Tips and Tricks

Cooking With Honey

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As many cooks have found, honey does more than sweeten and nourish – it adds its subtle depth, body, and mellow flavor to any dish in which it is used. Bakers have long relied upon honey as a necessary ingredient in all their tastiest products, not only for the flavor and color it adds, but because honey assures a moist and tender texture in all breads, cakes, and other baked goods.

Honey can be used in any recipe that calls for an all-purpose sweetener. Here are a few suggestions for the best possible results in cooking with honey.

  • When substituting honey for sugar in your favorite recipes, use equal amounts of honey for sugar, up to one cup. Then, reduce the total amount of other liquids by 1/4 cup for every cup of honey used.
  • When baking with honey, lower the oven temperature about 25 to 30 degrees F, to prevent over-browning.
  • When measuring honey, first coat the measuring utensil with a small amount of oil, otherwise, the honey will tend to stick to the measuring cup or spoon.
  • Store honey at room temperature rather than in the refrigerator. Keep it tightly covered and in a dry place.
  • Use 1/4 teaspoon of soda for each cup of honey in baking. This will neutralize honey’s natural acidity.
  • If honey granulates, place its container in hot water until the honey is once again liquid.
  • Foods, and especially baked goods, sweetened with honey will tend to taste their best if served the day after they are baked.
  • Honey, because it is hygroscopic, tends to keep foods moist and tender. Therefore, if you are baking goodies for kids away at school, overseas servicemen, or friends out of town, bake with honey to insure freshness.

From: The Honey Cookbook

Heat Diffuser Info

Many of the macrobiotic recipes call for a heat diffuser. They can be purchased at Amazon, or any store well stocked with kitchen and cooking items. Here’s a link to a google search for heat diffusers for sale: Shop for Heat Diffuser.

If you don’t have one, you can make do with a pie plate and a stove top. In the following video, Kenzi Wilbur shows you how to hack a heat diffuser with a pie plate. By inverting your pie plate over the stove, you can create an even and thorough cooking surface that can also take the place of your double-boiler.

The Best and Worst of Fish

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Unfortunately, fish, such an ancient benefactor, is sometimes contaminated with modern poisons, such as pesticides and other industrial chemicals. Here are ways to get the most health benefits from fish with the least hazards.

  • Choose saltwater ocean fish over freshwater fish from streams, rivers and lakes, which are more apt to be polluted.
  • Avoid sport fish caught by recreational fishermen in lakes and streams. They are most likely to be contaminated.
  • Choose smaller fish over larger fish. Small fish, like sardines, have had fewer years of exposure to pollutants.
  • Eat a variety of fish instead of just one type. This reduces the risk of overdosing on one contaminated source.
  • Don’t eat fish skin, which is a prime depository of toxic chemicals.
  • For a safer bet, you can choose farm-raised fish, such as catfish and salmon, not likely to be contaminated; however, they usually have less omega-3 type oil than wild fish.
  • Don’t over do it. Although some populations, such as Japanese fishermen and Eskimos, with low disease rates eat fish every day, sometimes as much as a pound, it’s not necessary to eat so much to reap the benefits of fish. Most studies suggest that regularly eating fish two or three times a week can make a tremendous dent in heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases.
  • A special caution for pregnant women whose fetuses could be damaged by toxic chemicals. Forgo fish from inland waters, and restrict swordfish, shark and fresh tuna to once a month. Some experts also advise pregnant women not to eat more than 7 ounces of tuna a week.

Source: Food – Your Miracle Medicine

Keep The Cardiologist Away

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Here is some great diet advice to keep the cardiologist away:

  • The number one advice to keep heart disease away has to be eat more fatty fish, high in omega-3 fatty acids – at least an ounce a day or a fish serving 2 or 3 times a week.
  • Also go heavy on garlic, onions and all kinds of other vegetables and fruits to keep plenty of antioxidants in the blood, as well as anticoagulants that protect arteries from clogging.
  • Shun fatty animal foods, such as high fat meat and dairy products.
  • Use olive oil and canola oil.
  • If you drink alcohol, a regular dose of a drink or two a day, especially of wine with meals, may act as antidotes to heart disease, but if you do not already use alcohol, do not start drinking, because the dangers can well outweigh the benefits. If you drink more than two drinks a day, cut down. Heavy drinking harms your heart and your general health and boosts chances of death.
  • Restrict coffee to a couple of cups a day if you have heart beat irregularities. There is no known advantage to switching to decaf to prevent heart disease.

Such advice is doubly important if you have already had a cardiovascular problem. “Second-chance diets” can intervene to prevent further damage to arteries, staving off subsequent heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events.

 

How To Get The Best Antioxidants

Fresh organic vegetables in wicker basket in the garden

Finding the foods with the most disease fighting antioxidants is a simple matter of paying attention when grocery shopping, and later when preparing meals. When you choose fruits and vegetables, look for those with color, usually the deeper the color, the more antioxidants. Also, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables have more antioxidants than those that are canned, processed or heated.

Generally you get more antioxidants if you eat:

  • Red grapes rather than green or white grapes.
  • Red and yellow onions instead of white onions.
  • Cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli raw or lightly cooked.
  • Garlic raw and crushed.
  • Fresh and frozen vegetables rather than canned ones.
  • Steam your vegetables instead of boil them.
  • Extra virgin cold-processed olive oil
  • The deepest, darkest green leafy vegetables.
  • Pink grapefruit instead of white grapefruit
  • Whole fruits rather than juices.
  • Fresh and frozen juices instead of canned ones.
  • The deepest orange carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkins.

Source: Food – Your Miracle Medicine

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"Diet has the distinction of being the only major determinant of health that is completely under your control. You have the final say over what does and what does not go into your mouth and stomach. You cannot always control the other determinants of health, such as the quality of the air you breathe, the noise you are subjected to, or the emotional climate of your suroundings, but you can control what you eat. It is a shame to squander such a good opportunity to influence your health." ~Andrew Weil, MD
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