Vegetable Recipes

Super food insight ; Flax seeds

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Flax seed should be considered as a Superfood for health and nutrition.

Flax seeds are a healthy substitute for eggs in any recipe and can also replace all of the fat called for in a recipe due to its high oil content. The substitution for fat is that each 1/3 cup (75 mL) of oil or butter is replaced by 1 cup (250 mL) of ground flax seed. The basic substitution is a 3:1 ratio.

When using ground flax seed in place of other fats, baked goods are usually denser and brown quicker. Similarly, a flax seed mixture can also be used as an egg substitute for baking and in pancakes.

Every egg called for can be replaced with 1 teaspoon of milled flaxseed and 3 tablespoon of water.
The milled flaxseed and water must be mixed in a small bowl and allowed to sit for 1 to 2 minutes before adding to the recipe.

Using Flax seeds as a substitute will, most likely, yield a slightly gummier and chewier baked good. It may also show a slight decrease in volume. While whole and ground flaxseed have the same nutritional content our bodies receive more benefits from the ground flaxseed. The reason for that is that flaxseed is wrapped up in a hard, shiny seed coat that is difficult to break, even with careful chewing. Grinding or roasting the flaxseeds will break the hard shell, which makes all the nutrients much easier to digest.

Flax seeds can be easily ground at home in a coffee grinder, food processor or blender.  It is best to store them in the freezer, if possible, or an airtight container, as the oils and nutrients are highly perishable if not stored correctly. They are a great way to boost the nutritional content of any food. Flax seeds are considered one of the top sources for Omega-3 fatty acids, which are linked to heart and cardiovascular health. They also provide antioxidants, vitamin B1, manganese, dietary fiber, and a host of other nutrients.

Ground or roasted Flax seeds can also be sprinkled on cereal, or salads for extra nutritional benefits and to add a slightly nutty taste. They are well worth the effort if you are trying to include a rich source of vitamins and minerals, and increase the health benefits of any recipe.

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The Benefits of Using Avocado Oil in Cooking

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This edible oil makes an excellent cooking oil because of its high smoke point (up to 520 degrees F, 270 C, in fact). Avocado oil is pressed from the fleshy pulp around the avocado pit.

It is high in vitamin E and monounsaturated fat, and most of the fatty acids in this oil are monounsaturated oleic acid, the same omega-9 essential fatty acid found in olive oil which is believed to speed wound healing and cell regeneration, lower the risk of certain types of cancer, help with autoimmune diseases, and reduce inflammation in the body.

The vitamins, minerals and monounsaturated fatty acids in avocado oil help the digestive tract to process food efficiently, which is why some people like to cook with it to help prevent gas, bloating or heartburn. Oleic acid is resistant to oxidation so this type of oil can be stored for long periods of time without turning rancid.

Both unrefined and refined avocado oil can be used in baking, deep-frying, stir-frying, barbecuing, roasting, sautéing, searing, and almost any cooking method you can think of. It doesn’t break down when you are cooking at high temperatures, so it won’t lose its health benefits when heated, like some other oils do.

While olive oil offers a pungent, slightly bitter flavor that puts some people off, switching to avocado oil means you can enjoy a mild aroma, rich flavor and creamy texture. Avocado oil can be described as slightly nutty and buttery. It doesn’t taste like avocados but offers a light, smooth flavor.

It is perfect for pairing with mixed grilled vegetables. You can also use it in cooking marinades because it is fine when heated. Avocado oil is the healthiest oil you can choose for high heat cooking, and this versatile oil is also perfect for drizzling over salads.

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The magical world of Mushrooms

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There are many mysteries surrounding the world of mushrooms, we eat them and love it, we integrate them in our kitchen but really we do not know a lot about them. One common mistake in our perception is that mushrooms are vegetables.

Mushrooms are not vegetables; they belong to a different and exciting world. Mushrooms are considered as eukaryotic organisms and by less complicated words –they are actually living organisms. Most mushrooms are multi-cellular organisms but there are also mushrooms that consist of only one cell, such as yeast. The mushrooms world is very diverse, and there are evidences of the existence of a hundred thousand species of mushrooms, that can be found in water, air and soil. The range of mushrooms is so large that there is even a separate area in biology dedicated to studying mushrooms called mycology.

Another mistake commonly made about mushrooms, is that they do not contain any nutritional value. This is a huge mistake because the mushroom is one of the healthiest foods we can use in our kitchen. In all kinds of mushrooms we can find capabilities for its healing diseases and various physical conditions. All mushrooms are fat free, cholesterol free, low in sodium and loaded with antibody-oxidants, vitamins, iron, zinc, minerals and all the best.

We all know the Portobello mushroom champignon, and like all other mushrooms they are also loaded with nutritional values and great taste. But you should also know a few other kinds of mushrooms that taste great and your body will be glad to know.

Mai-Taki mushroom

The Mai -Taki Mushroom comes from the East, where thousands of years ago the Japanese were unable to appreciate the virtues and the special taste. This mushroom is known for its ability to restore energy and vitality to the body and therefore called “dancing mushroom”. The Mai-Taki mushroom is known for its ability to prevent the development of cancer cells, maintaining the immune system and maintaining a balanced blood sugar. May-Taki mushroom can be used in sauces for pasta, soups, stews, and more.

Porcini mushrooms

Porcini mushrooms come from Italy, especially from Central Italy, Florence and its surroundings. Porcini mushroom has a strong and intense taste called umami. This mushroom usually comes to us dried form, but soaking them for  about 20 minutes in boiling water they return to its fleshy form. Combine porcini mushrooms in a variety of foods, steaming mushroom soup, pizza, meat dishes, sautéed mushrooms with garlic and herb bruschetta and more. Each dish will taste unique and addictive and enrich in antioxidants, antibodies against tumor cells, anti-inflammatory substances, zinc and B vitamins, especially B9 (folic acid).

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Wonderful pomegranate

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When the pomegranate tree introduced its fruits to the world, somewhere in ancient Iran, it was immediately crowned as the king of fruits. With a Crown on its head, red color, and of course the unique shape and amazing sour sweet taste, there’s no room for doubts about the greatness of the pomegranate. In ancient times the pomegranate became a symbol of fertility and beauty in many cultures, in Judaism the number of grains represent the number of mitzvot that a person should do, and therefore is an important symbol of the Jewish holidays. Following the symbolism and its multiple meanings, it is used to adorn buildings, clothing, coins, ritual objects, and more. Since ancient times the pomegranate was used as a source of medicinal properties and used it to prevent diseases. Nowadays many studies show that pomegranate has multiple health benefits, as its number of grains.

The pomegranate was found 4000 years ago in the mountains of the Caspian Sea where it was domesticated and sent to the Mediterranean coast. The pomegranate is an integral part of the nature of the region and is used by local residents for preparing dishes, drinks and natural remedies.

One of the greatest benefits of the pomegranate fruit is its durability. The hard shell wrapped around its grains protects them from pests, weather and other damage that may impair its core. Because of its durability the pomegranate is traded in the Mediterranean area for many years. At our homes the pomegranate can be used up to half a year, plus you can peel it, separate the granules, freeze and use as needed.

Many studies conducted around the world emphasize the health benefits of this fruit. It was found that eating pomegranate or drinking half a glass of pomegranate juice on a daily basis reduces the risk of heart attacks, stroke and atherosclerosis. Pomegranate helps lower blood pressure, reducing bad cholesterol and helps as an antioxidant and raising iron levels in the blood making it essential for pregnant women who suffer low hemoglobin.

The pomegranate is the king of the kitchen as well…

Due to its sour sweet taste the pomegranate blends greatly in Mediterranean cuisine. You can find it in all its glory, Persian and Turkish kitchen where he fits in with salads and many cooked dishes. Pomegranate juice can be also found on the shelves on many different products, like pomegranate wine, pomegranate syrup, grenadine and more.

You can use a pomegranate for making stews and desserts, due to its unique taste it integrates with almost any dish. You can put the seeds into white rice that giving it a festive touch. You can combine them into a salad, meat dishes and vegetables. One of my favorite recipes that incorporate this great fruit is fried eggplant with fresh pomegranate seeds and lemon sauce, hot pepper, a little sugar, soy, garlic and bazil.

This is the power of pomegranate- the ability to adapt itself to any dish, refresh and upgrade any dish. The pomegranate will turn any dish into a dish of kings.

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Cooking and seasoning oil

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Oil, cooking oil, animal fat or vegetable, the health’s enemy advocates, the addiction of those wanting to get thinner and one of the most used products in our kitchen. For years the oil had a negative image, it’s full of cholesterol, increases the chances of stroke and heart attack, and of course, fattening. But nothing can be done and as we are living in modern times most of the foods which we consume during the day are fried or cooked with oil

So what can you do? After all, to avoid oil is almost impossible and undesirable, our body needs fatty acids that exist in oil, they help us produce amino acids such as omega three and omega six, there are certain types of oil that are an excellent source for  vitamin  E and A. So rather than take a radical step and avoid oil completely, you can choose the healthiest version. Our common kitchen oils are soybean and canola oil for frying and olive oil for seasoning. The benefits of canola oil and soybean oil are its durability in high temperatures, but in terms of health disadvantages outweigh the advantages. However there is no dispute about the many health benefits of olive oil, but it’s time to get to know some new stars.

Coconut oil – the coconut oil enters the list of super foods.  The coconut oil is a vegetable oil resistant at room temperature and therefore is the ultimate replacement for butter.

Coconut oil is indeed saturated fat but because it comes from plants is not accompanied by appendices such as cholesterol and other health disadvantages.  The Oil is a natural, not processed, easy to digest, and is resistant to high temperatures and therefore ideal for frying.  The aromatic taste of coconut oil should be considered as it may dominate the taste of your dish. In addition, you can use coconut oil as a cosmetic product; it is excellent for your skin and gives it moisture, elasticity and freshness.

Argan oil –this oil is produced from the Argan, a nut tree which grows in Morocco. This oil follows the authentic Moroccan dishes for years and gives them the unique flavor, slightly reminiscent of the flavor of hazelnuts.  Argan oil is considered very prestigious because of the rarity of this trees and difficulties in raising them; in addition, the oil production itself is a long and complicated process. Argan oil is rich in vitamin E and oxidation antibody.

Grape seed oil – grape seed oil, as its name suggests is extracted from seeds of grapes. Is an excellent source of vitamin D and helps in raising good cholesterol. Grape seed oil is also high heat resistant, and therefore can be a great substitute for soybean or canola oil. Its delicate flavor can spice up the flavor of fresh herbs salad or even green peas sautéed with garlic.

So, despite the concerns and oil’s bad reputation, we cannot get rid of it, and we shouldn’t get rid of it.  Oil is used in almost all our food and we use it for cooking on a regular basis as oil is essential for our body and for maintaining good health. We should try to use the healthiest, most effective and most delicious of course.

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