5 Foods That Are Healthier to Eat Raw, and 5 That Are Healthier to Eat Cooked

It may come as a surprise to the raw food movement but as it turns out not all foods are best consumed uncooked. The nutrient content of veggies actually changes based on whether they are raw or cooked. In order for some nutrients to be digestible by the body heat is actually needed. Don’t worry- you don’t have to torch your veggies in order to receive their maximum benefits. Light steaming or roasting is enough to break down the cell walls in order for your body to better absorb them. Here are 5 foods that are best to eat raw, and 5 foods that are best to cook before consuming.

 

Foods best eaten raw:

  1. Onions- When raw, onions have higher concentrations of sulfur compounds that help fight and prevent cancer.

 

  1. Red peppers- When aiming to get the most vitamin C a red pepper provides, it is best to consume them raw.

 

  1. Nuts- Did you know that roasted nuts have higher fat and calories than raw nuts?

 

  1. Blueberries- When cooked, blueberries lose their high amounts of fiber and anti-oxidant content.

 

  1. Kale- Kale is an anti-oxidant powerhouse and when you heat it up, it loses the bang to its buck. Opt for a kale salad instead of kale that has been steamed.

 

Food best eaten cooked:

  1. Carrots- WHen you cook your carrots, you increase their beta-carotene amounts which can improve your eye and bone health.

 

  1. Tomatoes- Tomatoes are surprisingly better for you when cooked! It increases the anti-oxidant properties in the fruit.

 

  1. Pumpkin- The anti-oxidants found in pumpkin are more easily digested by the body when cooked.

 

  1. Mushrooms- If you want more fiber out of your mushrooms, give them a light steam!

 

  1. Asparagus- Asparagus is a superfood packed with antioxidants, vitamins A, E, and K, niacin, and magnesium. These are all better absorbed by the body after they are cooked.

 

As it turns out, nutrition is not all black and white. Some foods end up being better for your body when cooked and others are better consumed raw. Use this list as a guide and see if you can feel the difference!

 

Advertisements

Cooking Tips from a Food Scientist

Top chefs may like to think of cooking as an art, but the truth is, there’s more chemistry involved than anything else. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to find another everyday activity that calls up so many skills learned in high school science classes. Here are some insider tips from food scientist Harold McGee that are sure to come in handy.

Keep heavy cream as a refrigerator staple

If a cream sauce contains an acidic ingredient (such as lemon juice), use heavy cream in lieu of milk — otherwise the sauce will curdle when brought to a simmer.

Scrape and rinse steaks before cooking

This is especially important if the steak has been sitting in the fridge for a few days, as it will rid the meat of any debris or discoloration (just make sure the meat hasn’t actually spoiled, as there’s no bringing it back in this case).

Blanch fresh berries

Upon bringing fresh berries home from the local patch, dunk them briefly in hot (125 degree) water, to kill off any lingering microorganisms that might cause them to spoil more quickly. See this YouTube video for instructions.

Coat steamed veggies with oil or butter

Immediately after draining, help steamed vegetables retain their moisture by giving them a “fat bath.” No need to dump and drench — just a light coating will do.

Ice down turkey breasts

Want to keep the breast meat from overcooking while the drumstick and thighs attain that prized, caramelized succulence? Remove the legs and cook them separately — or, alternatively, put ice packs on the breasts and let the bird sit at room temperature for a few hours before roasting.

Use thick-cut fish fillets for crispy skin

If the fillet is too thin, it’s impossible to attain a nice, crisp skin without turning the fish into jerky. Go for a hearty thick cut instead to keep the interior moist and flaky.

Revitalize brown sugar with damp paper towels

It’s all too easy for brown sugar to turn into an unusable brick in the cupboard, but it can be easily restored to its former glory by sealing it in its bag with a moistened paper towel — or even a slice of apple.

5 Foods That Are Healthier to Eat Raw, and 5 That Are Healthier to Eat Cooked

It may come as a surprise to the raw food movement but as it turns out not all foods are best consumed uncooked. The nutrient content of veggies actually changes based on whether they are raw or cooked. In order for some nutrients to be digestible by the body heat is actually needed. Don’t worry- you don’t have to torch your veggies in order to receive their maximum benefits. Light steaming or roasting is enough to break down the cell walls in order for your body to better absorb them. Here are 5 foods that are best to eat raw, and 5 foods that are best to cook before consuming.

Foods best eaten raw:

  1. Onions- When raw, onions have higher concentrations of sulfur compounds that help fight and prevent cancer.
  1. Red peppers- When aiming to get the most vitamin C a red pepper provides, it is best to consume them raw.
  1. Nuts- Did you know that roasted nuts have higher fat and calories than raw nuts?
  1. Blueberries- When cooked, blueberries lose their high amounts of fiber and anti-oxidant content.
  1. Kale- Kale is an anti-oxidant powerhouse and when you heat it up, it loses the bang to its buck. Opt for a kale salad instead of kale that has been steamed.

Food best eaten cooked:

  1. Carrots- When you cook your carrots, you increase their beta-carotene amounts which can improve your eye and bone health.
  1. Tomatoes- Tomatoes are surprisingly better for you when cooked! It increases the anti-oxidant properties in the fruit.
  1. Pumpkin- The anti-oxidants found in pumpkin are more easily digested by the body when cooked.
  1. Mushrooms- If you want more fiber out of your mushrooms, give them a light steam!
  1. Asparagus- Asparagus is a superfood packed with antioxidants, vitamins A, E, and K, niacin, and magnesium. These are all better absorbed by the body after they are cooked.

As it turns out, nutrition is not all black and white. Some foods end up being better for your body when cooked and others are better consumed raw. Use this list as a guide and see if you can feel the difference!

Growing Food From Scraps

Love this! Fantastic read on how to turn your food scraps into fresh, home-grown fruits and vegetables.

kelleysdiy

Grow Food From Scraps

Did you know that 1/3 of all the food globally is wasted? Yes, it is! 1.3 billion tons gets lost or wasted or not consumed. And only a small percentage of that waste can be diverted for composting. Compost will help lessen these waste but did you know that there is a better way to save food? Read on to learn how to grow food from scraps!

Save food and money by planting food scraps. Yes, there are foods that can be regrown from scraps – without starting from seeds. Take a look at what you are throwing away. You’ll be surprised what you can grow. We love teaching our kids about recycled and reducing waste.

First things first. Aside from the common soil where plants grow, there are plants that grow in water and also dozens of windowsill plants from that can be from from vegetable leftovers. Ever grow a potato…

View original post 1,105 more words

Recipe Hacks That Will Change the Way You Make Soup

Soup is great meal to have and make. It’s easy, fun, usually healthy and allows you to use the minimum amount of supplies in your kitchen. Furthermore, storing and serving soup is easy and stress-free. Here are some tips and hacks that will revolutionize the way you make and prepare soup.

1) Store your soup in the freezer:

Are you busy during the week? Do you not have time to make a dinner every night? Well luckily, you can store soup in containers, Ziploc, glass etc., and put them all in the freezer. This will keep the soup fresh for a longer period of time and allows you to have soup all week long in advance.

2) Make Creamy Soup without Cream:

We all love those creamy. comforting, delicatessen soups. However, they can be generally unhealthy because they are stuffed with cream and other fattening ingredients. However, you can substitute this by using a blender and adding ingredients like butternut squash and pumpkin. They taste wonderful, give your soup a fulfilling flavor and texture and additionally are extremely nutritional. You will not have to use heavy cream again. If you cannot avoid dairy at any cost, feel free to try unsweetened nondairy milk such as pea milk, which has a lot of protein, as well as almond, coconut or oat milk.

3) Reduce the sodium and substitute for other flavors:

If you want to reduce the amount of sodium in your soup but not lose previous flavor, use lots of spices instead. You can get away with using low-sodium chicken or vegetable broths so long as you always load your soup up with spices like paprika, cumin, pepper etc. They will give your soup a hearty taste and you might not even remember its lacking salt. Also, herbs and spices tend to have better health benefits than excess sodium does.

4) Make a satisfying vegan soup:

Yes, you might want to eat super healthy. But yes, you understand that some vegan stuff might not be that satiating. When making sure your vegan soup is satisfying, you must make sure that it has lots of protein in it. Use high protein vegetables like pea protein and other high-protein plant-based foods. For more information about all these great soup hacks, check out this article

How to Use “Root to Stem” Cooking to Cut Down On Food Waste

Nearly a third of all food produced in the world is thrown in the trash on a yearly basis. More people are looking to cut down on food waste by turning to root to stem cooking. Restaurants have been doing this for years and now it is becoming a worldwide phenomenon. Learn how to make the most of food scraps with the tips below.

Save Peels and Stems

When thinking of using fruit or vegetable peels, citrus zest is often the first thing that comes to mind. However, almost all produce scraps can be utilized in other ways. Peels from root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and parsnips can be used immediately or frozen in a storage bag for later use in a vegetable broth.

Broccoli stems are often thrown away because they are very fibrous, but they can also be steamed or pan fried if the stalks are peeled away. The same thing can be done with cauliflower and asparagus.

Make a Salad

The leafy tops of vegetables like celery and carrots are often thrown in the trash, but they are actually very tasty when used in a salad. Beet greens, radish tops, and broccoli leaves are equally delicious when tossed with a bright vinaigrette.

Turn Them into Chips

A crunchy snack is just minutes away when you use fruit and vegetable scraps to make homemade chips. The peels of regular and sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions, even broccoli and cauliflower stems, can be used to make this tasty snack.

Fruit peels are equally delicious when baked or candied. Make delectable apple chips in the oven, or candy citrus peels to enjoy on their own or in different recipes.

Meat Scraps and Trimmings

While vegetable and fruit scraps are very useful in the kitchen, meat trimmings are equally valuable. Bone broth is delicious and healthy and a great use of chicken, beef, and any other leftover bones. Other unused meat scraps can be ground down for burgers, fried as a topping for salads, or used in a stew.

Root to stem cooking is a great way to save money at the grocery store and cut down on waste. It’s a healthier way of cooking that’s benefits will far outreach your kitchen.

How To Cook With Different Trendy Salts

When learning to cook as a child, one of the most important things that we learn is that our food needs salt. Most likely you weren’t allowed to add the salt right away due to fear of over or under-salting (which if you haven’t learned by now, both can completely ruin a meal). However, now as a full-grown adult, there is so much more to salt than you even know. Besides the simple white salts, there is a colorful array of delicious, gourmet salts that can take your dish to the next level.

As everyday cooks and chef get more creative in the kitchen, it is time to learn how to ‘spice up’ your cooking with these specialty salts. Let’s take a look at the five different types of salt and how to use them.

Table Salt

Sodium Chloride, or table salt, is harvested from salt deposits found underground. Even though this is the most used type of salt, it is the most unnatural and refined form there is. It contains iodine to prevent iodine deficiency and anti-caking agents to prevent the salt from clumping. It is artificially sprayed and processed to remove any impurities or trace minerals.

Kosher Salt

This salt got its name from the Jewish religion. This particular type of salt works well to cure meats, which is a part of the process to make a food “kosher” according to the religion. Kosher salt is flakier and coarser than regular table salt. It dissolves quickly and works well as an all-purpose cooking salt. Although, it is important to remember that this type of salt does not contain iodine, and a lack of this element can cause hypothyroidism and other maladies.

Pickling Salt

Containing no additives, such as iodine or anti-caking agents, or trace minerals from natural salt, this salt is perfect for pickling or brining vegetables, like sauerkraut or cucumbers. Since the minerals and elements that typically cause ugly discoloration of pickled or brined food is left out, this salt is the obvious choice for preserving food. The flavor is exceptionally concentrated, so it is important to remember that when seasoning with this salt, less is more.

Sea Salt

The natural minerals found in rock salt that are stripped away when processing table salt is kept intact with sea salt. These minerals, such as zinc and potassium, help balance your body. This type of salt is pure, giving it an exceptionally salty taste. It is usually not processed, comes in a variety of flavors and colors, and can be eaten with practically anything. Sea salt can also be used as an all-purpose ingredient, as well as a finishing highlight to a dish.

Himalayan Pink Salt

Himalayan Salt is the oldest and one of the purest salts on earth, is harvest by hand, and is chock full of minerals and health benefits. It is an air purifier, a sleep inducer, it prevents respiratory problems and contains more than 84 minerals. Slabs of the salt are used for serving food as it retains temperature for hours. It can be used as a cooking or finishing salt, as it comes with a bolder flavor than many other salts. And it’s pink color? It comes from remnants of iron oxide (a type of rust) that makes any prepared meal look fancier.

Useful Tips For Those Trying To Cook More In 2018

It is 2018, and if there is one thing that memes have taught society, it is that it is time for us all to learn how to cook better. Along with our need for paved streets, honest politicians, and forward progress, as a society, we need to feed ourselves better. Let fast food live in the past and embrace a new way of health: cooking more nutritional meals this year. Practicing healthy living is a gradual process, but we’ve got to begin somewhere. Leave the stress and start here with four useful tips for cooking more in 2018.

Cutting Boards

Out of all the useful tips on this list, this one matters most when it comes to your health. If you do not have two cutting boards, or even two knives (and don’t want to wash it in between cuts), prioritize your chopping. Choose to dice up any fruits or veggies before moving on to the meats. This will prevent any bacteria from your raw meat from contaminating your fruit or vegetables. If you forget to prioritize cutting, wash both your knife and cutting board before continuing to cut and cook.

Refrigerated Food

One of the first things we should learn when it comes to cooking is how to handle stored food. We know that before we can cook something, it should be defrosted first. For example, if you take a pork chop out of the freezer and throw it on a flame, the outside will be seared and browned, but once you cut it open, the inside will be far undercooked. But did you know that even if you have defrosted that frozen pork chop in the fridge, you should still take it out and let it reach room temperature before cooking? The reason being is the same as with frozen: the outside will overcook by the time the internal temperature rises.

The same goes for frozen vegetables. Let them defrost before placing them in a greased and hot pan. If not, the steam that is created from the “frost” could very well burn you as you cook it.

Pasta Water

The #1 rule of pasta making: salt the water when boiling. This gives your food flavor before any sauce is added to the noodles. And if it helps, most of the salt goes down the drain with the water, so no reason to be wary of consuming too much.

The #2 rule of pasta making: DO NOT RINSE the pasta. The water that boiled the pasta contained starches that make the pasta more flavorful and helps the sauce stick to the pasta.

The #3 rule of pasta making: DO NOT ADD oil to the boiling water. This will make your pasta slick which leads to the sauce not sticking. The only time to consider adding oil to pasta is after cooking. Adding a small amount of oil to sitting pasta allows it to cool without sticking together.

Let It Sit

There is a common tendency to move to food around while it is cooking. We think that this keeps the food from burning, so we continually move it, even though it actually can take away from the finished product. Instead, allow the food to sit until it is golden brown. This helps the juices to stay within the food and keeps the cook time to a minimum.

Christmas Dishes Around the World

The beauty of Christmas is that every home celebrates it a little differently. One constant though is celebrating with delicious food. From Italy to South Africa, Philippines to Poland, here is just a taste of some famous Christmas dishes around the world.

Italy- The Feast of Seven Fishes

The traditional Christmas Eve dinner is the Feast of the Seven Fishes, which typically consists of seven seafood dishes, symbolic of the number seven, which is the most repeated number in the bible. As the name suggests, seven different types of seafood dishes cover the table, from clams, cod, and calamari to shrimp, smelt, and scallops; oysters, octopus, and snails also make appearances.

South Africa- Grilled Turkey or Duck

The Daily Meal reminds us that  Christmas falls in the middle of summer south of the equator, so in South Africa it’s not uncommon to find people preparing their Christmas dinner on the grill. For many, however, Christmas involves turkey or duck, roast beef, mince pies, or suckling pig with yellow rice and vegetables. A sweet and spongy cake called malva pudding is also popular.

Philippines- Lechon

Lechon, or whole roast suckling pig, is a common centerpiece of a Filipino Christmas table, along with ham, queso de bola (edam cheese), pancit (a noodle dish with meat and vegetables), a type of chorizo called morcon, a stew-like beef dish called machado, and a goat stew called kaldereta.

Poland- Wigilia

Poland’s Christmas Eve dinner is a huge meatless feast where families break their fasts by sharing a Christmas wafer at the first sight of a star in the evening’s night sky. Then, they dig into dishes such as herring, carp, root vegetables, fruit compote, sauerkraut, and of course, potato pierogies! Desserts often include makowiec, a poppyseed cake, and honey ginger cookies.

Whether you are feasting on the seven fishes in Italy, or cutting into a whole roast pig in the Philippines, everyone around the world agrees on one thing: Christmas is for tradition, and a large part of that tradition involves feasting on our favorite dishes!

 

How to Bake the Perfect Cookie

As a child you probably believed that baking cookies was an easy task. As an adult, you now realize that baking the perfect cookie is no easy feat. Here are some tips to help you realize your dream of baking the perfect cookie this holiday season!

 

Choose Quality Ingredients

Like anything else, cookies are only as good as their worst ingredient. If you truly want to bake the perfect batch of cookie, you need to start with the best ingredients. Use real butter instead margarine, real vanilla instead of artificial vanillin. Make sure your ingredients are fresh by buying them from a local farmer’s market. Replace your baking powder to ensure that it’s fresh. Use fresh organic spices, and keep them in the fridge to prolong their shelf life. Using quality ingredients will be sure to yield quality cookies!

 

Chill your Dough

Joybilee Farms recommends you chill the cookie dough before you bake it to give your batter more body and let your cookies rise a bit higher in the oven. You can even roll the cookies into small balls and freeze them for a few days. Chilling cookie dough before baking solidifies the fat in the cookies, then as the cookies bake, the fat in the chilled cookie dough takes longer to melt than room-temperature fat. And the longer the fat remains solid, the less cookies spread. This will be extremely helpful in producing a uniform batch of delicious cookies!

Bake One Batch at a Time

For the best cookie results, bake one batch at a time, on the middle rack. You will get the best possible results when the oven only concentrates on one batch. If you absolutely need to bake more than one batch at a time, rotate the baking sheets from the top rack to bottom rack a couple times through the baking process to encourage even browning. And turn the sheets around as well. Ovens have hot spots, so you need to work around this.

Bake and Cool

The Food Network suggests baking for the shortest time suggested in the recipe, then checking one cookie from the middle of the baking sheet and one from the edge for doneness. Remember, the cookies will keep cooking once removed from the oven. Let them cool completely on a rack before decorating, and store them in an airtight container.

Every baker sets out to bake the perfect cookies. But unless you start with quality ingredients, chill your dough, bake your cookies one batch at a time and cool them, you will most likely not achieve this. Be sure to follow these helpful hints and you will wow party guests with your perfect cookies!