of August 26, 2007
on Cutting Down Sodium
Salt is a traditional flavour enhancer, but research
suggests that a high salt diet could contribute
to a range of disorders including high blood pressure.
automatically salt your food - taste it first.
a splash of olive oil or lemon juice close to
the end of cooking time or to cooked vegetables
- it can enhance flavours in the same way as
fresh or frozen vegetables, since canned and
pickled vegetables tend to be packaged with
your consumption of salty processed meats, such
as salami, ham, corned beef, bacon, smoked salmon,
frankfurters and chicken loaf.
reduced salt bread and breakfast cereals. Breads
and cereals are a major source of salt in the
salt is best. A major dietary source of iodine
is plant foods; however, there is emerging evidence
that Australian soil may be low in iodine and
this results in plants that are low in iodine.
If you eat fish regularly (at least once a week),
the need for iodised salt is reduced.
salt-laden processed foods, such as flavoured
instant pasta, canned or dehydrated soup mixes,
chips and salted nuts.
and butter contain a lot of salt but ‘no
added salt’ varieties are available.
cheeses are very high in salt so limit your
intake or choose lower salt varieties.
your use of soy sauce, tomato sauce and processed
sauces and condiments (for example mayonnaise
and salad dressings) because they contain high
levels of salt.
herbs, spices, vinegar or lemon juice to add
extra zing to your recipe and reduce the need
of August 19, 2007
for using and storing Parsley
Fresh parsley can be dried or frozen for later
use. For either method, wash and dry parsley then
freeze, simply pace in a plastic zipper bag and
dry, spread chopped parsley evenly on a baking
sheet and place in a 200 degree oven with the
door slightly ajar. Check occasionally and remove
from oven with completely dry. Store dried parsley
in an airtight container.
is very common in Middle Eastern, European, and
American cooking. Parsley is used for its leaf
in much the same way as coriander (which is also
known as Chinese parsley or cilantro), although
it has a milder flavor. Two forms of parsley are
used as herbs: curly leaf and Italian, or flat
leaf (P. neapolitanum). Curly leaf parsley is
often used as a garnish
selecting parsley, remember that the curly-leaf
variety has a milder taste and the flat-leaf (Italian
Parsley) has a bold taste.
of August 12, 2007
Methods for Fresh Herbs
Cut stems or leaves of the herbs, rinse, pat dry
and freeze in resealable bags. The small ones
work well or if you would like to cut whole sprigs
use the large gallon size. Label and freeze-later
pull out what you need and replace the unused
portions. You can also freeze chopped herbs in
ice cube trays with water. After they freeze remove
them and store in bags. This is good for using
Drying: Cut whole branches of
the herb plant and tie with string or rubber bands.
Hang in a dry, clean place such as an enclosed
shed or attic. You can place paper sacks over
the herbs as well while they are hanging to avoid
dust. When they are dry, crumble into a glass
or plastic container and store in a dry, cool
location. I have dried entire plants this way-if
they are annuals-just pull up and dry. Peppers
will dry nicely with this method too. You can
also dry herbs by laying on clean screens until
dry. If you harvest large leaf herbs such as lovage,
comfrey or large leaf basil, remove the leaves
and place on screens. If using this method, turn
the herbs during the first few days. You can also
dry in a very low temperature in the oven on cookie
sheets. Watch carefully and turn often.
Salts: In a 250 degree oven spread a
layer of free running salt on a cookie sheet.
Sprinkle the chopped fresh herbs on top of the
salt, and bake for 10-20 minutes, stirring and
checking often. When they are dry enough to crumble,
then let cool and crumble the herbs into the salt,
stir and place in a jar. You can use this as a
seasoning salt; especially good with vegetables!
Herbs that work well are chives, oregano, thyme,
lemon balm or lemon thyme, parsley rosemary or
can dry herbs in your microwave, but it's slow
and time consuming. However, it does work! Line
the turntable with paper towels. Place the herb
leaves on the table so they aren't touching. I
microwave for one minute-check and then try 30
seconds at a time until they are dry to the touch.
Some herbs take less time, some more. When dry,
crumble into containers. I like this method for
trying different tea combinations. Mint and lemon
balms worked well. I dried and put equal amounts
of both into a tea bag and sealed for using later,
or you can store in small plastic bags.
herbs do not dry well, such as chives or fennel,
but try freezing, or using the herb salt method.
of August 5, 2010
to Choose the Best Tasting Strawberries
is nothing that says summer than eating a juicy
Naturally the best strawberries are the ones you
pick yourself from your local strawberry fields.
In the stores, always choose locally grown strawberries
during the harvesting season (they are sweeter
and juicier than those that are bred for shipment).
Remember, your local strawberry season only lasts
3 to 4 weeks
purchasing berries from the grocery store, shop
with your nose. Always pick the plumpest and most
fragrant berries. They should be firm, bright,
and fresh looking with no mold or bruises, and
fresh green caps. The caps should be bright green,
fresh looking and fully attached. Berries should
be dry and clean; usually medium to small berries
have better eating quality than large ones
do not ripen after they have been harvested, so
choose strawberries that have been picked fully
berries that are in dry; unstained containers
(stained containers may indicate oversoft berries
that are not freshly picked). Mold on berries
spreads quickly. Never leave a moldy berry next
to a good one.
pint of fresh strawberries equals about 3 1/4
cups whole berries, or 2 1/4 cups sliced berries,
or 1 2/3 cups pureed berries.