17 May

Tips on Choosing and Storing Avocados

Avocado, fruit is sometimes avoided because of the fat content. Though the fat in avocados is unsaturated fat that is actually healthy for the body. By also taking notes is not excessive, so that the levels are maintained.

Well, this avocado as well as olive oil, which can increase levels of HDL or the good cholesterol called. HDL can help protect the body from free radical attack, so it can regulate triglyceride levels and prevent diabetes.

In addition, there are many other benefits of avocados, including: karotenoidnya protein content and are also good for the body. While, vitamin C and E in avocados can help keep the skin moist. Wow a lot of it also benefits avocado. Now, we will help you select and store fresh avocado to keep it when they want to consume. Consider the following tips yes.

Tip 1:

The ripe avocado tree is the best quality, but usually the most frequently encountered in the store or market is not yet ripe. Well, if you have this you should choose avocados that are heavy, dark green skin color and no blemishes on the fruit skin.

Tip 2:

In order to quickly cook avocado, does not need to be washed after purchase. Wrap in use newspaper and keep it away from sunlight. Within 2-3 days, avocados will ripen, the skin is more tender and soft.

Tip 3:

Sometimes, it’s not a large alupkat eaten alone. As a result after the split, part of which half should be stored. But the color will turn black and it seems to be less fresh.

Overcome this, you can use lemon juice. Squeeze the lemon juice over the avocado meat, avocado enter into the plastic and wrap tightly. With avocado this way will stay fresh at least up to 2 days. Tips can also be used for avocado chopped or blended, add a little lemon juice so that the color does not change blackish.

15 May

Whole Food Supplements

Whole food supplements is currently a topic of worldwide interest. A profusion of evidence has recently come to light suggesting that ordinary synthetic multivitamin supplements may be hazardous to your health. Goran Bjelakovic, a respected scientist from the University of Copenhagen, headed up a massive meta-study that looked at the results of 67 placebo-controlled trials previously undertaken to determine the effects of vitamin and anti-oxidant supplements on longevity.

In the end, the study combined observations of 232 000 test subjects. By using such a large population sample, a study can become much more powerful with regards to spotting large-scale trends and overcoming human bias.

The results of the analysis, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, were nothing less than shocking. Looking at patients with diabetes, heart disease and lung cancer, as well as healthy, normal individuals, there was no apparent benefit to taking popular fractionated supplements like Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Selenium, or beta-Carotene. In fact, the results went in the opposite direction – there was an increased chance of death (16 percent) amongst Vitamin A users, a 7 percent higher death rate amongst beta-Carotene users, and a 4 percent mortality increase in Vitamin E users. Beta-Carotene and Retinol, promoted as anti-carcinogenic agents, may promote lung cancer. That’s right – pills marketed as helping you towards a longer, healthier life are

15 May

Gourmet Coffee Habit Costing Consumers as Much as $1,500 Yearly

Gourmet coffee consumers rarely consider the cost of their
daily coffee in terms of the expense to brew premium whole
bean coffee at home (50 cents to 75 cents) with prices of
a pound of gourmet coffee beans versus a two or three cup
a day ($4.50 to $6.00) coffee drinking habit when purchased
at premium coffee houses. A recent Washington Post article
discussed Seattle law students spending money from their
student loans for Starbucks coffee across the street from
the Seattle University School of Law.

Erika Lim, director of career services at the law school has
launched a campaign to reduce coffee consumption by students
attending the university on student loan money. She points
out that students are spending education loans on luxuries
like latte instead of necessities like a loaf of bread. That
borrowed money takes years to repay and many students don’t
do the math to see that study time with 2-3 cups of coffee
at Starbucks over 4 years can cost them significant sums –
as much as $4500 in principle, interest and fees on their
student loan – over the course of their education. An
online calculator has been posted for those interested in
calculating their caffeine expenses at:
http://www.hughchou.org/calc/coffee.cgi

Gourmet Coffee drinkers have become accustomed to paying $2
or more per cup for fresh brewed coffees at Premium coffee
houses – and many sources are predicting those prices may
increase to as much as $4 per cup soon due to expected
increases in green coffee prices. But smart gourmet coffee
consumers have long known that premium coffee brewed at home
costs just 12 cents or so per cup, depending on preferences
for coffee strength.

Many coffee producers recommend starting with 1 tablespoon
of fresh ground gourmet coffee beans per standard 6 ounce
cup of water. Starbucks recommends double that amount for
stronger coffees at 2 tablespoons per 6 ounce cup. A pound
of gourmet coffee (that is 16 Ounces or 1 Lb.) divided
by 1 1/2 Ounces comes to roughly 10 pots of 10 cups
(6 Ounce cups) equaling 100 cups for the cost of one pound
of gourmet coffee beans. At the average of 1.5 tablespoons
per 6 ounce cup and average size of 12 ounce coffee mug,
you can expect 50 cups of home brewed coffee per pound of
gourmet beans!

Prices of premium gourmet coffee beans range between $10
and $18 per pound, making a cup of home-brewed gourmet
coffee, made fresh to your liking, cost only between .10
cents and .25 cents per cup or between $1.00 and $2.00 per
pot of coffee! Even the rarest and most expensive coffee
sold, the exotic Kopi Luwak, at $175 per pound, is still
less than $1.75 per 6 ounce cup when brewed at home! So
if you have expensive tastes and want a 12 ounce mug of
the rarest and most expensive coffee on the planet, you
still need only pay what some premium coffee houses charge
for a latte ($3.50) for that rare privilege.

When consumers learn that they can purchase gourmet whole
bean coffee for between $10 to $18 per pound, then fresh
grind and brew at home for significantly less than gourmet
coffee companies charge, many see home brewing premium
gourmet coffee as luxurious treat. Purchasing a thermos
or a large travel mug to take coffee with them from home
makes drinking rich, fresh roasted coffee a possibility
for about one-seventh the cost of buying that coffee from
expensive and crowded coffee shops.

Many so-called premium coffee houses keep their coffee
heated on warmers after brewing, but this practice causes
the flavor to turn bitter after less than an hour of
warming. It is actually more likely you will get a rich
flavorful cup of coffee from an insulated thermos or
insulated type pump containers. Reheating coffee can
destroy the flavor of good gourmet coffee – just as quickly
as extensive warming.

Coffee purists prefer to make individual cups with a coffee
press, fresh grinding beans for each cup and drinking the
entire amount brewed before it turns cold to get the maximum
enjoyment from their beans. Microwave a good cup of coffee
that has gone cold and you’ll see how much better it is
freshly brewed. Using good clean, fresh water is essential
since coffee is 99% water and bad tasting tap water can
quickly ruin even the best fresh ground beans.

You can enjoy great gourmet coffee more and pay less for the
privilege by starting with whole beans and grinding them
yourself with a $20 coffee grinder. Make only what you can
drink or carry with you in a nice thermos or travel mug
instead of reheating coffee later. Use good tasting water
and keep your brewing equipment clean to prevent the
rancid bitterness that can come from previous grounds in
crevices.

You can brew at home with fine gourmet coffee beans, fresh
ground and brewed in a French press coffee maker, carry a
fancy thermos of great coffee to work or school and enjoy
the best coffee available for far less money than you would
spend at crowded and expensive premium coffee house.

© Copyright 2005 http://www.TastesofTheWorld.net

14 May

Fitness and Health

For most of us from the government schools, PE (physical education) was in the school curriculum. So we had no choice but to comply and treat it as one of the school subjects. For the outdoor initiated, the PE lessons were great as it gave many an outlet for all the youthful hormones to exert themselves. For those of us who dread PE (including myself), our main thoughts were more like “what is the use of PE when it doesn’t improve our exam scores.” We were so wrong then. Continue reading

11 May

The Skinny on Weight Loss With Spicy Food

A lot of people are becoming fascinated with different ways to lose weight, and one of them is weight loss with spicy food. At first, weight loss with spicy food may sound a little ridiculous. You may even think eating spicy foods won’t do any wonders for your body. However, before we take spicy foods for granted, let us take a look at their features.

Spicy culture

Spicy food has always been included in various menus of different cultures all over the world. Spices like chili powder, cayenne peppers, and curry powder never fail to add some flavor and kick to any dish. However, is there such thing as weight loss with spicy food in your diet with the help of these and other spices?

How it works

Weight loss with spicy food works simply by raising your metabolism. You do not have to resort to eat a lot of hot peppers until your mouth feels like it is burning. In fact, even a little spice can provide a significant increase in your metabolism.

The truth

Weight loss with spicy food is possible because it increases your metabolism, which helps you burn more calories. This is because the spices increase your body temperature and contributes to an increase in your heart rate, too. Remember that the increase happening in your body temperature and heart rate requires energy.

Thermogenic properties

Spices also have thermogenic properties by helping your body burn calories especially if you are eating high-fat meals. Aside from increasing your body temperature, spices also aid to the increase of your blood circulation. They are also able to stimulate the breaking down of your fat cells, which aids in weight loss.

Some things to consider

Weight loss with spicy food is possible, but you should remember a few things before becoming very convinced. One is the fact that those who eat them do not really rely completely on the food’s influence in their metabolism so they can stay slim. Second, keep in mind that there are certain spices that can provide strong flavors to any dish, which can influence the dish’s rich taste and aroma.

It’s in the flavor

Once your meals receive that strong flavor, you will have the urge to eat less just to feel satisfied. Some spicy foods that have certain spices in them are even healthier compared to foods that solely rely on sugar just to have some flavor. Chicken, shrimp, lentils, and tomatoes are some examples of foods that are usually included in several spicy dishes.

How the flavor works

It is also important to understand that spices enhance flavors of any food, which provides a satisfied feeling to your palate. That feeling will make you eat less, which makes people associate weight loss with spicy food.

Benefits of spices

When it comes to weight loss with spicy food, it is also important for you to consider the benefits that particular spices can contribute to your body. For instance, black pepper works as an antioxidant and as an antibacterial, while cayenne pepper is believed to aid in giving your immune system a boost while clearing congestion. Athletes also eat spicy foods to increase their endurance and treat osteoarthritis.

Improve digestion

Spices also improve your digestion because they increase the hydrochloric secretion of your stomach. That is the reason why your metabolic rate increases. Remember that an increase in your metabolism also increases your body’s absorption rate. The result is that the body can convert the calories into energy so they are not stored as body fat.

Fat buring benefits?

Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which is shown to have fat burning and appetite reducing capabilities. Some scientists say that cayenne pepper increases your body’s norepinephrine and epinephrine levels, which can cause you to feel less hungry.

Keep everything in moderation

Eating spicy foods can also contribute some negative effects on the body. One is the onset of stomach ulcers. Another is acid reflux or GERD, which is more common with obese people who are trying to lose weight with spicy food. With this in mind, it is important to take spicy foods moderately especially if you have sensitive stomach or you simply have a low tolerance for them.

Test your tolerance

Too much spices can also mess up your digestion, cause some irritation in your digestive tract, and may even impair your tastebuds, which will cause you to not be able to enjoy your food in their usual state. If you want to try spicy foods to aid you in weight loss, try eating small amounts at first to see if you can tolerate them. If you can’t, then do not force yourself.

11 May

Different Types of Coffee Makers

Coffee or the word cafe is all you would like to hear after a long work or right after you wake up. This is the most widely drunk beverage in the world. Coffee ingestion on an average is about a third of that of tap water in North America and Europe . While drinking coffee outside is usually expensive and preferred mostly during conversations or meetings, deals etc., many of us would prefer to make coffee ourselves at home and drink it in the company of our family members or drink it ourselves. Over the years, this art of brewing coffee has been mastered and we can make the best brewed coffee ourselves, but this has been taken over by our need to automate the coffee brewing art so that our work is made easier. Here, you will be taken through the three types of coffee makers in the world and figure out which is the best for you.

Santos Vacuum Coffee Maker , designed by Swedish designer Kass Kleeson:

First we will look at the vacuum coffee maker which is hailed by anyone who has tried it as the best coffee maker of all times. It uses a process that cooks coffee with an extremely strong flavor. The flavor and strength is usually based on how much coffee you use to make it. Today, a lot of coffee makers destroy the flavor by not mixing the components properly, or by not brewing at the right temperature or maybe not brewing for the right amount of time too.

A vacuum coffee maker is made up of two units. The lower and upper pots which are both made of glass. The upper pot is placed directly on top of the lower pot, and both the pots sealed together with the help of a stopper. A tube is attached to the upper pot which runs down to the lower pot as well. A filter is also attached to the upper pot to filter the coffee while it flows down to the lower pot.

Ground coffee, usually of coarse texture, is added to the upper pot. This depends upon how much your taste buds want. Usually, for a strong coffee, 1 tablespoon per cup of coffee will suffice. Then the lower pot is filled with the required amount of water and placed over a heating element or fire. After reaching boiling point, the upper pot is placed on top of the lower pot and the decreased pressure in the lower pot will cause the water to push up itself through the pipe into the upper pot. Here, the coffee is brewed in hot water and after a few minutes (depending upon the strength of coffee you want) the whole apparatus is removed from the heating element. If you are a beginner at using this type of coffee machine, it pays to experiment and figure out the right time duration that produces the coffee of your choice. As the water cools down, a vacuum is built up in the lower pot and coffee is sucked down. The upper pot is removed and the coffee collected in the lower pot is poured into the cups and enjoyed. The greatest benefit of using this coffee machine is that the temperature is perfect and this does not destroy the oils and flavor of coffee which is often the case in other coffee makers. Though this process requires little manual effort to place the apparatus on the heating element and taking it out of the heating element, this manual effort is affordable once you start drinking coffee made by this procedure.

Stove Top Coffee Maker :

This is made up of aluminium or stainless steel. The bottom of the pot contains a reservoir of water and the top has a round basket with a stem reaching to the end of the pot. First, water is filled and the basket of coffee is then added. The pot is heated and as the water boils, it comes in contact with the coffee and the coffee is brewed. The basket must be removed to filter out the coffee beans. Latest types include espresso pots which use steam and water to brew the coffee. This is reported to brew better coffee, but taste buds vary from person to person. Steam is used to produce latte or foam milk for cappuccinos.

Nowadays, we have stove top pots which function similar to the French press which presses the coffee beans to the bottom of the pot to produce a darker and much richer cup of coffee. However, this type of machine requires constant watching as there is possibility of burning the coffee beans in the absence of careful observation.

Drip Coffee Maker:

Almost all the drip filter coffee makers work the same way. They contain a paper or a plastic filter which holds the finely ground coffee. Cold water is poured through a tube from a reservoir and heated before falling over the coffee powder. This brews and extracts the oils and flavor of the coffee into the waiting carafe. This is a simple and reliable method compared to many other models available in the market.

Many companies use these three models with other additional features such as the strength of coffee, sugar adding facility, coffee with milk, number of cups etc. It is up to you to choose the best coffee maker according to the budget and the one which is most appropriate to your convenience. You would not choose the one which adds sugar automatically for an extra price as we can do that for ourselves, unless you are the one who does not know how to spend your money. The bottom line is that the machine must brew coffee at the right temperature for the right time using the right amount of water.

11 May

Clean and Conscious Dining With Halal Foods

The process of preparing halal foods can be said to be multidisciplinary. The foods should not only be from good sources but they should also taste good. For example, the true taste of chicken biriani cannot be compromised. The spices must be in the right proportions and prepared at the right temperature. Presentation is also important especially for gourmet food and specialty food. Zabihah halal food distributors do justice to the ingredients they work with bringing out the true flavor.

Considerations must be made whether to have fully cooked or precooked meals. This is important with regards to frozen food which must be reheated. Some dishes go especially well with specific sauces. For obvious reasons, they are packed separately but they should be served in one dish. Some of the halal food like chicken nuggets can be taken as snacks. Others are the variety of gourmet food and so are served as appetizing entrees.

Frozen food is convenient for individuals and also for parties. You don’t have to be worried that guests will reject the food at the event you are hosting. The halal food is enjoyed both by vegetarians and beef eaters. The logistics of preparing food en masse is beaten hands down by the availability of frozen food. Call it modern convenience; you can now be the perfect host without having a clue on culinary matters. The makers of frozen food have explored the intricacies of world cuisine. They have the knack of producing the family meal that can bring a sense of nostalgia to many people.

Apart from the gastronomic experience, halal food is a health plus and a credit to the reduction of green house gases. This comes about due to the fact that halal food originates from farms that run on sustainable energy. Taking the entire subject of conservation and social responsibility to another level, bio-digestors and other sustainable energy sources are used. The source farms are a haven for clean energy. The animals themselves can be considered clean because they are never given antibiotics. The animals are of a natural size since they don’t have growth enhancers such as hormones. The goal is to culture food sources which are less fattening or pegged with risk indicators to cancers and other health issues. For the same reason, the sauces have no preservatives as they come from fresh produce which is not processed.

It is worth mentioning that meat from halal food is from animals that were not abused neither did they face animal cruelty. It thus gives consumers a clean conscious when choosing halal food from the frozen food section. The livestock such as lamb, cow and chicken are well treated and their animal rights are respected. The farms that are certified for halal food are currently small farms. However with the endorsement of conscious consumers they are growing larger and larger. For the health freaks or for persons who are ill, specialty food is also available. Many have seen the benefits of specialty food when they are ill and have continued taking it after full recovery.

10 May

Are You Cooking Meals from a Broken Cookbook

Burn your recipes!” If youve been following me for any amount of time now, youve heard me utter that statement time and time again. Its not that Im entirely against using recipes for home cooking, its more because I see cooking meals as a personal art form or your kitchen culinary expression.

In fact, home cooking recipes are especially useful if youre looking for new ideas and flavor combinations. Recipes are useful for cooking meals if you want to try to duplicate something exactly.

Here are some of the things that recipes will tell you:

The ingredients to use
The correct weights and measures for the ingredients
The temperatures and degrees to use
How much time you should cook
What steps to take and when

But, you cant expect recipes to tell you everything that you need to know to make the meal come to life. I like to make analogies between cooking and music. Lets take sheet music for example. There are things that sheet music doesnt tell the piano player. There are variations in tone, pace, and interpretation. The musician has to bring the music to life through his or her own interpretation of the music that they are reading.

Here are some of the things that recipes dont tell you:

Variations in ingredients/substitutions
Variations in measurements/ mistakes in measuring
Variations in oven temps/stove temps
Variations in time
Why you are taking the steps you are taking

There are very few celebrity chefs that I enjoy. An exception is Alton Brown. I enjoy Alton Browns show because he also explains why hes taking the steps hes taking as well as how different ingredients, temperatures, etc. affect the food that you cook. One day when I was watching Alton, he was cooking a popover recipe that looked great. As I was watching, I thought that the amount of salt he used would make it too salty for me. But, when I tried to make the recipe, I used his exact measurements because, well, hes Alton Brown. Turns out the popovers were WAY too salty!

Next time, Ill take out some of my own recipe books I use for inspiration and point out some of the ways that I know the recipe book is broken. My goal is to help you to increase your kitchen culinary skills by using your home cooking recipes to cook meals that you can be proud of again and again.

10 May

Improve Your Health and Fitness

Over aeons of time, our bodies have adapted to cope with survival in a harsh environment. Although we achieved civilization thousands of years ago, our bodies have not evolved to adapt to this change. If we imagine ourselves back in the distant past we would have eaten less sugar, salt and fat in a year or more than we now eat in a week or less. We would have eaten a diet of meat and fish, mostly vegetable matter, fruit, berries, nuts, seeds and roots. We would only have drunk water, and may have sampled the splendour of honey. Foods would be rich in fibre, some protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals, but low in sugar, salt and saturated fats. We would have been in almost constant motion; playing, working, foraging, preparing food, but rarely staying still. (I think that it is important to remind ourselves that our body is designed to be active, but that we often think of exercise as formal, vigorous, structured pursuits. It can be easy to persuade ourselves that going swimming or playing football twice a week is enough [and so we have an excuse for driving to work and to the local shops]. And although it is great to do these things, we can stay fit and healthy without a gym membership, just by doing everyday movements; walking, cleaning the house, and gardening, and yes I shall say that well-worn phrase- leaving the car at home.)

Don’t think that our person from the past would have been feasting on jumbo mammoth steaks Flintstone-style all day long either. Meat may have been in scant supply for much of the time (have you ever tried to catch a rabbit?) and women and children spent a large amount of time foraging for nuts, roots, berries and vegetable matter. Everyone would have been involved in acquiring food, and all methods of obtaining food would have used large amounts of energy; you have to cover wide areas to provide enough food for a family. Even when farming became a way of life huge amounts of energy would have to be invested in producing the fruits, vegetables and animal products. Animals too would have been reared on a diet of more complex foods rather than modern high-energy processed feeds. It is thought that their meat would have been much less rich in saturated fats and so healthier for the people consuming it.

Food production would have been part of every day life, unlike today where food arrives pre-packed, smothered in cellophane, produced days, weeks or months ago in a factory hundreds of miles away, glazed with wax, identical in size and colour to its neighbour, lacking any aroma, and likely to be lacking in nutrition. Our imaginary person would have experienced real, largely unprocessed food, and a varied seasonal diet (no strawberries at Christmas for Ms Caveperson). It is likely that they would have a relationship with what they had produced. If you ever grow your own fruit and veg you will understand how exciting it is to watch things grow, then how good it feels to harvest and prepare them. People would have wasted nothing- all parts of every fruit, vegetable or animal would be used for something, almost nothing was unusable; today in the UK one third of our food is thrown away and wasted, out of every 2 bagged salads purchased today, one will go in the bin (sounds familiar?).

Another aspect of our imaginary person’s relationship to food is the social aspect. People would have produced and processed the food together, celebrated harvests and abundant times, and eaten together as a family or group. Children would help the adults, and learnt how to grow and prepare food ensuring that they would be able to look after themselves as adults. Meal times may have been the only time when the extended family would be gathered together to swap the day’s news, gossip and stories. This way people eat more slowly, and eat less allowing their body to feel full and satisfied. Food would have produced social bonding and been a central and essential part of social life.

Life would have been hard, and still is for many people today who have to provide their own food, and so I don’t want to over-romanticise this imaginary person. However, I think that this person from the past is a useful tool for understanding what our eating and activity profile should be more like if we wish to be healthier and happier. There would have been no slouching on a sofa in front of the TV, no Chicken Dippas, micro-chips, and definitely (and thankfully) no Pringles. Our imaginary person may not even recognise these things as food.

Underneath it all we are still cave people, our bodies and brains have evolved to take nutrition from simple whole foods, we thrive on human contact and still feel the need to eat together and share food, and our bodies are healthier if we exercise consistently. We need a diet rich in whole foods, in raw foods, and home cooked foods. We should pick foods which are low in sugar, salt and saturated fat. If you are doubtful about the validity of a food, ask yourself how far-removed it is from its natural state, could you make it yourself, would it have existed a hundred years ago or more? If the answer is no then the chances are that it is not very healthy. We need to explore the excitement of foraging for food, growing it and preparing it, we need to rediscover the simple pleasures of podding peas, chopping fresh herbs, picking blackberries, and making pickles and jams.

10 May

Coffee For Your Health

Many of us rely on coffee to get us going in the mornings, wake us up in the afternoons, and prepare us for that special business meeting. Go ahead, have a cup of coffee. It’s much healthier than you may be thinking right now.

Coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world. No matter where you go, coffee is usually available. Yet, until recently there’s been very little research on the effects of coffee on our health. The researcher’s are waking up however. There have recently been studies completed on a variety of health benefits to drinking that simply delicious cup of coffee. Continue reading