Category Archives: Food Tips

Frozen Treats For Summer

One of the ways to cool off in the summer heat is to enjoy a frozen dessert. It could be anything from a tall frozen latte in a glass or a bowl of ice cream with all the toppings. Another idea is an ice box cake. The concept is simple, and you can make the cake with any kind of ingredient that you like.

 

The icebox cake is one that doesn’t require any baking and that is made with wafers that are hidden away between layers of whipped cream and other items, like fresh strawberries or chocolate ice cream. Once the layers are made, you chill the cake overnight so that it’s set when you cut into the dessert. Start your morning right with a caramel latte cake that is full of chocolate slivers, caramel drizzle on top and a base of latte cream that between flaky vanilla wafers. Spread whipped cream on the top before adding the caramel for a cake that tastes like it came from a glass of coffee.

 

Enjoy a sweet treat with a cookie butter and apricot cake. It has cheesecake for the layers with wafers that have a buttery flavor along with a hint of cinnamon. Apricot preserves are spread on the wafers or shortbread cookies before adding the cheesecake. Crush shortbread cookies to put on top of the cake before adding lines of the preserves. Another idea with the icebox cake is to put it in a small glass jar. Layer all of the ingredients like you would with a larger cake but in a smaller setting. This idea makes the cake easier to enjoy and is ideal for a summer cookout.

 

Tony Bourdain Thinks Americans Are About To Love Filipino Food

Anthony Bourdain burst onto the culinary scene in the United States over a decade ago. His first book, Kitchen Confidential, was all about his life as a cook in some of the best restaurants in the country. Since then, Bourdain has become a culinary icon for many. People know him from his many numerous appearances on television where his wry humor adds a sense of fun to any show. They also know him from his travel shows. Here, he takes viewers all over to world to regions they might not have heard about before. As a food expert and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, he has his hands on the pulse of the world food scene. With millions of followers, he can provide insights that are often startling and yet quite accurate about what Americans are thinking about when it comes to what’s on their plate.

 

The Next Big Thing

 

In his opinion, the next big thing in food for Americans is Filipino food. The Philippines are a series of islands in Asia. Here, culinary influences include Spanish, French, indigenous cuisines and American immigration. The net result is a wide mixture of flavors that are a hallmark of the dishes of this area. Bourdain believes that Americans are ready for this cuisine right now. In his opinion, the American thought about flavor profiles have shifted in the past. While many Americans still love food with a lot of sweetness to it, they are also open to other possibilities such as foods with more of a sour overtone. As he points out, many Filipino dishes rely on sour elements to create food that is complex and interesting

 

Many Restaurants on the Scene

 

Bourdain has looked closely at the eating scene in American. He knows what Americans like because he’s constantly on the road traveling to new places. He thinks Filipino food will become trendy as evinced by the opening of several recent Filipino restaurants.

 

How To Protect Against Food Fraud

Many Americans try to be cautious about what they eat. However, their efforts are often in vain because the food manufacturers engage in deceptive marketing practices. It is estimated that the food industry loses $10 to $15 billion per year because of food substitutions and fake labeling. It is estimated that food fraud is a problem that affects 10 percent of all food products that are commercially-sold.

 

Food fraud is defined as intentionally adding or misrepresenting food and its ingredients. Making false statements about food is also considered fraud. Food companies engage in deceptive marketing practices so that they can make more money.

 

There are a number of ways that food companies can engage in deceptive practices. For example, they can use a low-value product and market it as a high-quality product. They may also add unsafe ingredients to the food and still label the product as organic and non-GMO. Additionally, food companies may claim that their product has many health benefits, and this is false.

 

The good news is that most cases of food fraud do not let to health issues. People usually just get ripped off. However, there are ways that food fraud can be harmful. For example, a product’s label says that it does not have any nuts, but it does. This can create problems for people who have food allergies.

 

There are some things that you can do to avoid food fraud. You can tell that a product is fake by paying attention to the flavor and consistency of it. You also want to make sure that you buy products from reputable places. Furthermore, if you think that something is wrong, then you have the right to report it to the brand owner and retailer.

 

Eating More Fruits And Vegetables Can Improve Your Health

It is estimated that 10 percent of people get the recommended 4.5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. However, the American Heart Association encourages people to strive to meet this recommendation. Fruits and vegetables can drastically improve one’s health.

 

The American Heart Association has started a Healthy for Good Campaign. Annessa Chumbley is the spokesperson for the American Heart Association. She has stated that the purpose of this organization is to encourage people to make small steps today in order to start improving their health. This campaign will also teach people how to make better versions of their favorite meals.

 

Only 1 percent of people in America are in ideal cardiovascular health based on the American Heart Association’s standards. Poor diet is one of the factors that contributes to poor heart health. Poor diet can also contribute to premature death. Additionally, 66 percent of Americans are overweight, which is another health risk.

 

Dietary habits can contribute to high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol. On the other hand, fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of developing these conditions. The American Heart Association recommends that people get 2.5 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruits. The average person only consumes 1 to 1.5 servings of each per day. It is estimated that 30,000 lives could be saved if people would get 1 to 1.5 additional servings per day.

 

Regardless of how old you are, it is never too late to start your health journey. Not only will people be taught how to make healthy choices during the Healthy for Good Campaign, but they will also be shown how they can make creative and healthy snacks.

 

Hawaiian Adventure In The Back Yard

The summer season is often best spent outside with family and friends. If you want to throw a party instead of having a typical cookout with hamburgers and hot dogs, then consider a luau. The first thing that you want to do is to set the scene for the event. Wicker furniture with pillows in bright colors and tropical flowers in light green vases or hollowed pineapples work well for the event.

 

When you begin planning the menu, you want to think about eating with ease. Any kind of kabob is an idea that you might want to consider. Going with the luau theme, consider chicken with peanut sauce over a bed of cabbage or lettuce. Grilled shrimp kabobs are also an idea, adding chunks of pineapple or watermelon as well. If you want to offer hamburgers, then make sliders as they are easier to prepare and can be customized a bit easier than larger sandwiches. Make a buffet of items that guests can enjoy, such as Hawaiian rolls, slices of yellow onions, tomatoes slices of cucumber. An idea would be to make the sliders with pork instead of beef to blend with the luau theme.

 

Bamboo plates with utensils that are made of bamboo make for a lovely table setting. You can often find these items at a party supply store. They are usually disposable as well, making the cleanup of the luau a cinch. Large bamboo leaves or other tropical leaves would create a beautiful setting on the table with tropical flowers as centerpieces. Before guests enjoy the luau, set up a beverage station with fruit punch or a few alcoholic drinks made with rum.

 

Getting Festive With Food

Showcase your patriotism with a few red, white and blue recipes that are easy and fun to make. You can take a dish to a cookout for the 4th of July or prepare a meal or two for your family to enjoy at home. If you want to prepare something with sustenance, then consider a salad with roasted red peppers, purple potatoes, small pieces of mozzarella and small gold potatoes. It will look like a firework of flavor on the plate.

 

When you make desserts for the fall and winter seasons, you might make a cake roll. Most rolls are made with pumpkin or chocolate. You can change the dynamics by making a vanilla cake, separating the batter so that you can make one red cake and one that is blue. Roll the two together, coating with white icing, so that the cake resembles a flag when it’s cut. Get the day started healthy with a fruit smoothie in patriotic layers. Freeze the fruit juice before making the smoothie so that it will hold its form better in the glass. Blueberries, strawberries, and cream work best when making the drink. Another way to start the morning with a delicious meal is to make French toast with blueberries and strawberries on top. You could also make a French toast casserole with layers of fruits.

 

Make a red, white and blue salad for a refreshing side dish using diced watermelon and blueberries. This is a delightful dish for a picnic or if you need to serve a large number of people. Top the salad with slivers of lime and toasted coconut. Ginger can add a spark to the salad, combining well with the fireworks for the 4th of July.

 

Healthy Bones Brought to You by Yogurt

Recent research is leading health professionals to proclaim that yogurt may be good for your bones. Dairy has been linked to bone health for decades, but the research is uncovering that the best source of dairy for bone health is actually yogurt. Yogurt eaters have even been reported to perform better when given physical fitness tests.

Eamon J. Laird, a researcher at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, spoke with The New York Times about the apparent benefits of yogurt. Yogurt is a great source of Vitamin D, calcium, B vitamins, proteins, and probiotics.

In Ireland, lead author Laird and colleagues, tracked the diet of 4,130 Irish adults 60 and older. The team used advanced technology like X-rays and M.R.I. to examine each individuals physical abilities and bone health. It was determined that daily yogurt consumption increased bone mineral density by 3 to 4 percent.

Yogurt consumption drastically reduced the risk of osteoporosis in men with a 52% decrease. Yogurt consumption also significantly decreased the risk of osteoporosis in women with a 39% decrease. Both of these findings were based on the requirement that the individual was consuming yogurt as a part of their daily diet.

Lairds research was observational so a direct correlation between yogurt consumption and increased health cannot be declared. However, a strong association exists between the two, suggesting that yogurt consumption is beneficial for physical health.

An important detail to note is that in Laird’s research, other dairy products did not produce the same effects as yogurt. Given the complexity of the nutrients yogurt has to offer, individuals may be benefiting more from this particular dairy product because they are receiving so many nutrients in one compact dish.

Health professionals, like Laird, also note that it is important to pay attention to sugar content in your favorite yogurt. Many yogurts are quite high in sugar, so if you are consuming this food to reap its health benefits then you’ll want to avoid yogurt with high sugar content.

 

Celebrating Memorial Day Safely This Year

Memorial Day marks the first hurrah of summer, and many Americans celebrate with an old-fashioned picnic. There are several precautions to take when traveling with food, states an article from LiveScience.com. That is why the Huffington Post published an article this week to outline the ways we can keep our picnic foods safe for our families.

 

It is always recommended for picnic enthusiasts to keep their cold foods in a cooler with ice. This includes hamburgers, hotdogs, and any other meats. Foods with eggs or mayonnaise (i.e. salad dressings, potato salad) should also stay chilled. Providing an environment like a refrigerator keeps them safely below 40 degrees. The fewer people who open the cooler, the colder it will stay. It is a good idea to keep cold drinks in a separate cooler.

 

Picnickers should also bring a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of grilled meats is 140 degrees or more. Temperatures can drop if they are left out of the heat, so it is recommended to keep meat on the top grill rack to keep it hot until it is served.

 

If cold foods get above 40 degrees or hot foods drop below 140 degrees, there is a good chance that dangerous bacteria can form. Even a couple hours in this situation makes the food unsafe to eat. It should be trashed as soon as possible. As the weather warms up, food can go into the unsafe range even quicker. Just an hour in 90-degree heat can ruin the food.

 

The safety rules for the kitchen should also be applied to eating outdoors. An article from startcooking.com states that cooks should wash their hands before cooking, and after they have touched any raw meats. There is not always access to soap and water at a picnic site, so people should bring a jug of water and some hand soap so everyone can wash their hands before eating. If that is not possible, a bottle of hand sanitizer is better than nothing.

 

Cross-contamination is another way that harmful foodborne bacteria can be spread. All meats should be in their own separate bag, so there are no chances of them leaking on other foods in the cooler. Anything that has touched raw meat should not be used for another purpose (i.e. plates, grill utensils).

 

Statistics from the Center for Disease Control say that approximately 48 million Americans get food poisoning any given year. For some, it is enough to send them to the hospital. As many as 3,000 people actually die from food poisoning, says the source. Practicing good hygiene will keep everyone safe and happy this holiday.

 

Eat Your Way to Glowing Skin and Better Health With Carrots and Sweet Potatoes

What do glowing skin, sharp vision, and good health all have in common? One power-packed antioxidant known as vitamin A. This essential nutrient cuts down on inflammation while strengthening your immune system Also known as beta carotene, it allows your body to function at its best.

 

Vitamin A is the most potent when consumed in its natural state and is found in the highest concentrations in carrots and sweet potatoes. While they taste good on their own, you can only eat so much of the same thing before it gets monotonous.

 

Luckily, there are many carrot and sweet potato recipes that can keep your taste buds interested while providing you with hardcore nutrition. Here are just a few ideas.

 

Sweet Potatoes

 

Most of us love to incorporate toast into brunches or as appetizers but may want to opt for a gluten free option. This is where sweet potatoes come to the rescue. Instead of bread, replace it with a sweet potato.

 

It is relatively easy to do. Cut up two sweet potatoes into half inch sections, drizzle with some oil and salt, and bake them in the oven for fifteen minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, throw on some toppings, and enjoy the savory snacks. If you are unsure what to top them with, check out these recipes.

 

Carrots

 

These delicious vegetables are often overlooked, overcooked, and poorly seasoned making them the less popular choice of the two. When done right carrots become the superstars of the dinner plate.

 

Instead of boiling carrots slices, try steaming the whole vegetable. This method locks in more flavor and nutrients. Top it with a vinaigrette like in this recipe to create a savory side.

 

Using a vegetable peeler, you can slice the carrot into thin strips. Jazz it up with feta cheese and lime, and this can become a focal point in your meal replacing the everyday salad.

 

Let yourself get creative and experiment with these vegetables. You will find the possibilities are endless. Aromatic and versatile, carrots and sweet potatoes are a flavorful way to get your daily dose of vitamin A.

 

Stop That Brain Freeze

Most people have experienced what’s known as brain freeze when eating or drinking something extremely cold such as ice cream. It’s also called an ice cream headache, which causes a sudden, stabbing pain in the forehead. This phenomenon occurs when a very cold substance touches the roof of the mouth, which causes the blood vessels in the palate to constrict quickly. The arteries in the back of the throat respond by dilating and contracting and that sends a signal to the brain to move warm blood quickly inside the tissues because it’s imperative that the brain stays warm. This sudden blood flow could raise the pressure in the skull thus causing the headache to occur. It doesn’t make a difference if it’s warm or cold outside. It has to do with the sudden cooling in the mouth.

 

There are ways to prevent brain freeze from happening, and there are others that can alleviate the headache once it occurs. The first thing to remember is to try not to eat or drink something that’s extremely cold too quickly. Instead of gulping down that iced tea, take a sip to begin with. Don’t dive right into the ice cream cone, but take a small lick at first. As the palate adjusts and gets used to the cold sensation, bigger bites of the ice cream and sips of the cold drink can be taken.

 

If the advice above hasn’t been heeded, and a brain freeze does occur, a few things can be done to make it go away. One thing to try is to push the tongue against the roof of the mouth and hold it there until the palate warms up. Taking a sip of something warm can also sufficiently warm the mouth so that the headache subsides. Another trick is to cover the nose and mouth with the hand and breathe into them to warm up the air that’s going back into the mouth. Along that same line, it’s possible to find relief by breathing in through the mouth and out through the nose.