Archive for the ‘Food facts’ Category

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark … Beer, That Is!

Monday, March 17, 2014
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Many people steer clear of drinking “dark” beers like stouts, porters or black ales because of their ominous color, fearing they are too heavy or strong..

But there’s no reason to be afraid of the dark. A beer’s color is not necessarily an indicator of its body, calorie content, alcohol level – even taste.

So if you plan to hoist a pint for St. Patrick’s Day tonight, keep in mind these three commonly held myths surrounding dark beer – as debunked by Julia Herz, publisher of CraftBeer.com and craft beer program director at the Brewers Association

 

Myth 1: All dark beers are rich and heavy.

Dark beer color comes from the barley and rising temperatures of heat. Color is not an indicator of weight or body of a beer.

Myth 2: Dark beers have more calories than paler beers.

The toasting is the reason that the beer is darker. The color of the beer has nothing to do with the calories it contains.

Myth 3: All dark beers are higher in alcohol.

Many dark beers are the same alcohol level of paler beers – some event lower. Color is not an indicator of alcohol levels of any beers, of any style.

 

If you’re looking for some Happy Hour inspiration, CraftBeer.com has also put together a list of local, American Craft Beer to help celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

And if you’re in need of some St. Patrick’s Day recipes (I’ve got the Corned Beef and Cabbage simmering on the stove as we speak), CraftBeer.com also offers more than 70 recipes that call for Stout to help you out.

Bacon … The Next Health Craze?

Thursday, August 1, 2013
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Could bacon be the next hot health craze?

I doubt it.

But there are those who tout its benefits as a good-for-you indulgence.

Dr. John Salerno, for one, believes bacon is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Of course, he’s also a protégé of Dr. Robert Atkins (gasp), creator of the once-hot “eat all the bacon you want but don’t dare touch a slice o’ bread” Atkins Diet.

“Many think of bacon as one of the guiltiest pleasures possible, but it has also been shown to alleviate the effects of diabetes, heart disease and strokes,” says Salerno, author of “The Silver Cloud Diet.”

“Nitrate-free bacon is an excellent source of high-protein, low-carbohydrate energy that helps to reset the metabolism,” he continues, “and it’s filled with amino acids delivered without the risk of dangerous levels of mercury, which can be found in many fish.”

Need more reasons to praise the pig?

  • Bacon has a 4-to-1 ratio of protein to fat.
  • It contains choline, which boosts memory and healthy brain function.
  • It’s composed of monounsaturated fats, the kind that contains lots of healthy fat-soluble vitamins and minerals.
  • And it’s a potent source of oleic acid and saturated fats, which help reduce levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), lower triglycerides and raise HDL, commonly referred to as the “good” type of cholesterol.

I do love the stuff and will continue to chomp down on more than my fair share. But let’s not kid ourselves about its debatable health benefits.

Wheatgrass, it’s not.

But man cannot live on wheatgrass alone, which is why the occasional slab of bacon is such a joy. Everything in moderation.

So when you’re ready to moderate, here are a few fine bacon-blessed treats you might want to try …

  • Wrap a slice of bacon around your favorite items when grilling. Chicken or a nice filet, of course, but also around asparagus, scallops, even some grilled fruits.
  • Bling up a traditional BLT with creole mayo, sliced avocado or spicy pickles.
  • For an incredible appetizer, wrap bacon around a feta stuffed fig or a chunk of apricot rolled in brown sugar. Bake until the bacon is cooked through.
  • Three words: bacon cinnamon rolls. Unroll cinnamon buns from a refrigerated canned dough and roll them back up with a cooked slice of crisp bacon inside. Bake per package directions.
  • Two more words: bacon candy! Spread sliced bacon across a slotted baking pan and sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon and a touch of maple syrup, then bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Best bacon ever.

 

x   x   x

 

Bacon also played a supporting role in a great appetizer idea a neighbor recently shared. Actually, she didn’t just give me a recipe but also brought over all the ingredients I needed to make it.

What a gal!

Her Cheesy Stuffed Peppers featured an assortment of red, orange and yellow peppers filled with a mixture of cream cheese, sautéed onions, garlic and bacon, then baked until warm and gooey inside.

The results were so good, I’m sharing Naomi’s recipe this week. But like me, she didn’t really measure anything so just adjust all amounts to taste.

 

Cheesy Stuffed Peppers

assorted small red, orange and yellow peppers
medium onion, chopped
cream cheese, softened
cooked bacon
garlic, salt and pepper (to taste)

  1. Cut off (and save) the tops of all peppers and scoop out seeds.
  2. Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp, then remove to drain on paper towels. Pour off all but a scant amount of bacon grease and sauté onions in the same pan. Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Remove mixture from skillet and let cool.
  3. Mix onions and crumbled bacon into softened cream cheese, then use this filling to stuff each pepper. Replace tops and place upright in a baking dish. Bake 15-20 minutes a 350 degrees or until peppers are a little tender.

 

 

It’s National Pie Day. Bake, Slice and Celebrate!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
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Wednesday (Jan. 23) is National Pie Day – WOOT! – so here are a few fun facts from various sources to mark the occasion …

  • Nearly one out of five (19%) of Americans prefer apple pie, followed by pumpkin (13%), pecan (12%), banana cream (10%) and cherry (9%).
  • Pie isn’t just for dessert anymore! Thirty-five percent of Americans say they’ve had pies for breakfast. Pies as lunch (66%) and midnight snacks (59%) also have a popular following.
  • When asked what dessert Americans would prefer a friend or family member bring to their house for a holiday dinner, pie was the winner with 29%. Cake (17%) and cookies (15%) rounded out the top three.
  • The expression “as American as apple pie” traces back to 14th century England. The Pilgrims brought their pie-making skills, along with      apple seeds, to America. As the popularity of apple pie spread throughout the nation, the phrase grew to symbolize American prosperity.
  • The term “upper crust” refers to early America when the economy was difficult and supplies were hard to come by. Only affluent households could afford ingredients for both the upper and lower crusts of a pie, thus the term “upper crust” was born.

Now, go make one. :)

Interested in Wild Turkey? Ooh, Yes, YES! … Oh.

Saturday, November 17, 2012
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So, how’s this for a bait-and-switch?

The National Wild Turkey Federation recently called to ask if I’d be interested in learning more about Wild Turkey.

Heck yeah, I said, suddenly craving a cocktail. But they meant actual wild turkeys.

Oh, alright.

The domestic, farm-raised turkeys most Americans eat on Thanksgiving Day, they say, are nothing like the wild turkey feasted on by the Pilgrims and Native Americans. So here are a few facts about the tasty game bird enjoyed during that first feast:

  • Wild turkeys, now almost 7 million strong, were almost extinct in the early 1900s.
  • Wild turkeys can run up to 25 mph. Just how fast is that? Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest-known human, only averaged 23.35 mph during his world-record 100-meter run.
  • Wild turkeys rarely weigh more than 24 pounds while domestic turkeys regularly grow to more than 40 pounds.
  • Wild turkeys, which have as many as 6,000 feathers, can fly as fast as 55 mph. Most domestic turkeys are too heavy to fly.
  • Wild turkeys have much sharper vision than humans and can view their entire surroundings simply by turning their head.
  • Wild turkeys can make at least 28 different vocalizations, with gobbles heard up to one mile away.
  • Wild turkeys roost (sleep) in trees, often as high as 50 feet off the ground.
  • Wild turkeys were argued by Benjamin Franklin to be a more appropriate choice than bald eagles as our national bird.