Nonfat or Low Fat Sour Cream and Cream Cheese
or try Neufchatel.
regular cheddar cheese with low fat shredded
of January 27, 2008
Grow Your Own Sprouts
love all kinds of sprouts, but it seems like
when I decide I want to buy at my local grocery,
they are slightly wilted and have seen better
days. So I thought how hard could it be to grow
it turns out . . . it is really pretty simple.
you need is a mason jar ( with the ring portion
of the lid only) or any other jar and a rubber
band, a piece of cheesecloth or other breathable
fabric, and the seeds, beans, grains, or nuts
you wish to sprout. Seeds used for sprouting
can be found at some grocery stores or health
food store, or from an online retailer. (just
Google "sprouting seed retailers".
of the most popular plants to sprout include:
Alfalfa, Broccoli, Mung Bean, Mustard Seed,
Radish, Sunflower Seeds and Wheat.
a thin layer your choice of sprout-able into
the jar, and cover with several inches of warm
water. Cover the mouth of the jar with the cheesecloth
and screw the ring from the lid over the fabric.
If you're using something other than a mason
jar, use the rubber band to seal the cloth over
the opening of the jar. Let the seeds soak overnight
(or up to 24 hours for large beans, garbanzos,
the morning, turn the jar over the sink, letting
all of the water drain off. Then fill the jar
with fresh water and immediately re-strain,
giving the jar a good shake to get as much water
out as possible. Repeat the adding water/straining
process each morning and evening for the next
4 to 6 days, or until the sprouts have reached
the stage at which you'd like to eat them (generally
1/2 to 3 inches). Then rinse them one last time,
shake out as much water as possible, and enjoy!
If you start batches of sprouts in three-day
intervals, you'll have a ready supply of nutrious
sprouts always on hand.
Store the sprouts in their jar in the refrigerator,
and bear in mind that sprouts perish rather
quickly and need to be eaten within a week.
Week of January 20, 2008
you want to lower your sugar intake. That's
a good idea. But if you want to use a sugar
substitute, which one should you choose.
are several sugar substitutes on the market
and the best one to use is really a personal
preference. However, when cooking, we have found
that some types of sweeteners work better in
cooking than others.
are the ones that work best:
- a "measures like sugar" calorie-free
- a calorie-free sweetner with aspartame
Spoonful - a "measures like
sugar" calorie-free sweetener with aspartame
Sugar Twin - a "measures like
sugar" brown sugar calorie-free sweetner
are some of the more common brands of "measure
like sugar" sweetners that you will find
in your grocery store:
- contains sucralose, a modified sugar molecule
that is not absorbed by the body, no aftertaste
and is heat stable (1/2 cup of sweetener =
1/2 cup of sugar)
Spoonful - contains aspartame, has
no aftertaste, but loses some sweetness in
high heat (1/2 cup of sweetener = 1/2 cup
Twin - contains saccharin, has some
aftertaste and is heat stable (1/2 cup of
sweetener = 1/2 cup of sugar)
- contains a combination of acesulfame-K (Sunette)
and isomalt, has no aftertaste, looks like
sugar and is heat stable (1/2 cup of sweetener
= 1/2 cup of sugar)
concentrated forms of sweeteners that come in
packets, you will find these brands:
Packets - contains aspartame, no
aftertaste, comes in bulk form or single packets.
Equal loses some sweetness in high heat. (Bulk
- 3 1/2 teaspoons = 1/2 cup sugar) (Packets
- 12 packets = 1/2 cup sugar)
'N Low - contains saccharin; some
aftertaste; available in bulk form or in packets,
heat stable (Bulk - 1 tablespoon - 1/2 cup
sugar) (Packets - 12 packets = 1/2 cup sugar)
One - contains acesulfame-K (Sunette),
no aftertaste, heat stable (12 packets = 1/2
sugar substitues that are available include
'N Low - contains saccharin, some
aftertaste, heat stable (1 tablespoon = 1/2
- contains saccharin, some aftertaste, heat
stable ( 1 tablespoon = 1/2 cupsugar)
addition to the above calorie free sweeteners,
you will find these sweetening alteratives as
Sugar Lite: This is a new product
that is a blend of sugar and calorie-free
sweeteners. It has half the calories and half
the carbohydrates of regular sugar and can
be easily substituted that call for sugar.
It bakes, browns and provides the needed volume
to baked goods. (Use cup for cup like sugar)
Stevia - This is an herbal
sweetener that comes from the stevia plant.
It is said to be 100 to 300 times sweeter
than granulated sugar. You can find stevia
at most health food stores in bulk powdered
form, liquid extract or in single serving
packets. It has no calories or carbohydrates.
- Fructose is fruit sugar and is found naturally
in fruits and fruit juices. Fructose is actually
not better or worse than sucrose (table sugar).
They are both simple sugars and broken down
by the body in the same way. Fructose is 1
and a half times sweeter than sucrose, so
you use slightly less for the same sweetening
of January 13, 2008
to Make Your Own Herbal Vinegars
vinegars can add extra flavor to your foods.
a cider or wine vinegar as a base. Bruise the
freshly picked, cleaned herbs and lossely filla
clean jar. Pour on warmed but nothot vinegar
to fill the jar and cap with an acid-proof lid.
Set in a sunny window and shake daily for 2
weeks. Test for flavor; if a stronger tast is
required, strain the vinegar and repeat with
fresh herbs. Store as it is or strain through
cheesecloth and rebottle. Add a fresh sprig
to the bottle for identification and visual
appeal. Use in salad dressings, marinades, gravies
Follow the above instructions and add a sliced
clove of garlic to the steeping tarragon and
vinegar. Remove the garlic after one day and
replace with 2 cloves for the remaining 2 weeks.
Strain and bottle.
Other nice savory flavors may be created using
combinations of herbs.
part tarragon to 2 parts lemon balm
part basil to 2 parts salad burnett
part each of tarragon, basil, chives and 2
parts each of lemon thyme and salad burnet
and 1 clove of garlic
part each crushed seed of anise, caraway,
celery, coriander, cumin, dill, salad burnet
and 1 clove garlic.
of January 6, 2008
to Cut Back on Sodium
to shake the salt habit? Here are a few ways
that may help you gradually decrease your usage.
back gradually, so that your taste buds have
time to adjust to the change.
high sodium flavor enhancers like garlic salt,
celery salt, onion salt, MSG, etc. Enhance
flavor with plain garlic powder, onion powder,
not add salt while you are cooking. Instead,
use spices, herbs and citrus zests.
sodium foods don't always taste salty. So
READ the labels. Avoid products with more
than 15 percent daily value for sodium. (The
% Daily Values give you a general idea of
how one serving contributes nutritionally
to a 2,000 calorie diet. Look on the right
hand column of the Nutrition Facts label for
the % Daily Value numbers.)
your intake of cheese and processed meats.
intake of condiments such as soy sauce, ketchup,
mustard, salad dressings, pickles and olives.
low-salt or salt free crackers, chips and
no-salt added or low sodium versions of canned
soups and canned vegetables. Canned soups
and broths are notoriously high in sodium.
might want to try making your own broths / stock
for soups and flavoring. Note the sodium levels
below for homemade stock versus purchased broth.
As you can see, there is not as much difference
in the calories or fat, but a great difference
in the sodium.
on quantities of 1 cup.
Here's how homemade and commercial stocks and
broths compare nutritionally.
commercial beef stock
white chicken stock
commercial chicken stock
less-sodium chicken broth
Complex flavor in fine Balsamic Vinegar comes
from this long and exacting aging. A variety
of woods are used including durmast, chestnut,
ash, cherry and mulberry. Balsamic vinegar makers
keep a secret art in the matching and blending
of resinous aromatic wood staves. One taste
of a truly fine Balsamic will make clear why
it is worth all the effort. Balsamic Vinegar
is truly in a class apart from other vinegars.
Unlike the sharp tastes we usually associate
with vinegar, the balsamics present a rich dark
complex of sweetness and intrigue.
having said all of this, let us return to the
supermarket shelf where a full two-thirds of
the brands are "imitation" balsamic
vinegars that have nothing in common with the
traditional balsamic vinegar. These are basically
wine vinegar with added sugar and artificial
flavors and colors.
your best guides will be your own taste and budget.
But generally speaking, a fine "tradizionale",
to use sparingly, is wonderful to have on hand
for special presentations, while a good quality
"condimento" is excellent for every
of January 01, 2010
January approaches, most of us once again think
of New Year's resolutions if you have gained weight
in the last year. As most of us grow older and
our metabolic rates drop, the pounds tend to creep
up on us. Before you know it, you have to buy
new clothes to fit your expanding measurements.
You wonder how you could have gained another five
pounds this year. You think to yourself that "I
don't eat that much that is bad for me".
OK, all right, you do grab a pat of butter here,
a little extra mayonnaise there, a little half-and-half
in your coffee . . . what can it hurt? It is such
a very small amount!
Yes it may be tiny, but consistent indiscretions
do finally add up. If you drink two and one half
tablespoons of half-and-half distributed among
your 2 or 3 cups of coffee each day, you add 50
fat laden calories a day. That does not sound
like much until you realize that those 50 extra
calories have blossomed into 5 extra pounds at
the end of one year.
Do the math: 50 calories x 375 days in a year
= 18,750 calories.
3500 excess calories are necessary to gain one
18,750 divided by 3500 = 5.2 pounds.
a look at those consistent things that you are
ingesting each and every day that adds unwanted
fat and calories to your diet. Replace the half-and-half
with fat free half-and-half or use 1% milk. Instead
of the pat of butter on your toast, try using
spreadable fruit or sugar free jam or marmalade
only. Replace the mayonnaise with low fat mayonnaise
or use mustard or honey mustard.
After you take a close but really honest look
at what you consistently eat every day, you probably
won't have to wonder where those extra fifteen
pounds you have gained over the last few years
have come from.
you begin any exercise or diet program, you should have permission
from your doctor.
Contents in this web site are in no way intended as a substitute
for medical counsel .