Question: A friend recently told me about a new sugar substitute she is using called xylitol. She loves it and feels it is far better than the artificial sweeteners on the market. Can you shed some light on xylitol for me?
Every day there seems to be a new study heralding the work done by the billions of microorganisms in our guts. Probiotics, the live organisms (naturally occurring bacteria) in your body, are working overtime to keep us healthy, and now—according to recent research published in the AHA journal Hypertension (July 21, 2014, doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.03469)— it seems they could play a role in keeping our blood pressure in check.
People around the world are getting more thoughtful about their food and are seeking quality, sustainability and big flavor on the plate.
Largely driven by chefs, microbakers, microbrewers and small-operation farmers, the growing trend for reviving our culinary history includes dogged pursuit and then loving cultivation of near-extinct heirloom crops and livestock. Dedicated artisans are bringing back some foods from the brink of extinction.
Although not particularly glamorous, eating “bugs” is now considered essential for better gut health. And our increasing appetite for so-called “probiotics” is being played out in the proliferation of fermentation cookbooks and food products hitting store shelves.newsletter_teaser: Although not particularly glamorous, eating “bugs” is now considered essential for better gut health. And our increasing appetite for so-called “probiotics” is being played out in the proliferation of fermentation cookbooks and food products hitting store shelves.
Most often associated with Italian cookery, fennel’s sweet-anise, licorice-like flavor adds a unique dimension to soups, salads, sautés, braises and desserts. The seeds, the leaves, the celery-like stalks and the bulb of this herb plant can all be used in cooking.
If we step back and take in the big picture on nutrition, food and our relationship to eating, the human body looks like a miniature version of the universe— everything happening in the external world is also happening within us.
It’s so tempting to say, “Freekeh Friday,” but freekeh is actually good for you any day of the week. An ancient grain (mentioned as early as the 13th century), freekeh is made from green wheat that’s sun-dried, roasted, thrashed and then further sun-dried.
If you’re a vegan or vegetarian home cook, you are probably familiar with the unique umami flavor pop of nutritional yeast. Also known as “nooch,” this interesting food product is a deactivated yeast (a single-celled microorganism called Saccharomyces cerevisiae) that is grown on enriched, purified cane and beet molasses under carefully controlled conditions. Once harvested, it is washed and heat-dried to cause deactivation. Unlike baking yeast, which is a live culture, nutritional yeast does not “grow” or froth and does not serve as a leavening agent.
First noted by Alexander the Great on his conquest of India in 327 BC, the banana is America’s top-selling fruit.
Contrary to common perception, the banana actually comes from the world’s largest herbaceous flowering plant—not from a tree. Bananas grow in bunches called “hands”; a group of hands make up a “stem,” which can weigh over 100 pounds.
You may not know what turmeric is at first mention, but if you’ve ever slathered plain old ballpark mustard on a hot dog, you’ve eaten turmeric. However, sampling it as a simple condiment hardly honors the properties of this powerful plant derivative.