Vegetable Recipes

The History of Hummus

No Comments

The History of Hummus – A Middle Eastern Cuisine That Started a Food War

The title says it all! Who would have thought that a simple dish such as Hummus could start wars in the Middle Eastern countries? For all those people out their searching when this delicious recipe was created, you may stop your search and put a rest to your curiosity here because the exact origin of Hummus is “unknown”.

History

Also known as “ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna” (حُمُّص بالطحينة), the main ingredient of this dish chickpeas has been around for thousands of years, recorded in the earliest crops of Mesopotamia in the Palestine. There has been a long debate, which is still ongoing in certain countries that Hummus belongs to the Egyptian Arabs. Dating back to the 13th century when Hummus was made for the first time. Funny thing is the Arabs, Greeks and Israelis have fought “food wars” over the ownership of this dip.

Here’s a fun fact:

In 2008, Lebanon attempted to sue Israel, accusing them of “stealing” Hummus. That’s insane! However, the attempt was unsuccessful. Since then, both nations have been in a war over breaking the world record by creating the largest and heaviest plate of Hummus.

As of 2010, Lebanon holds the Guinness World Record for creating “The Largest Dish of Hummus”, which was prepared by 300 cooks and weighed

23,040 lb.

The Middle-Eastern Dish That’s Conquering the World

Hummus plate

“Jewish men never tire of arguments about the absolute, the one and only, the most fantastic Hummusia… It is like the English fish-and-chips shop, a savored local treasure.”
– Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Chef Yotam Ottolenghi

As far as we know, the very first time Hummus was introduced in Britain was in the 1980s. As for the US, the first company to introduce Hummus was Sabra Dipping Company. In 2016, Sabra held 62% of the market share of Hummus and today, this market is worth over $1 billion dollars.

The reason why this dip is conquering the world and peoples’ hearts is because it’s a delicious package that comes with a healthy punch. The tangy flavor and the subtle taste when you take the first bite with a black olive makes you keep going back for more. In fact, in Israel, restaurants have come to blows over whose Hummus tastes the best.

Nutritional Facts

Before going into brief detail about the nutritional benefits this dip offers, let’s have a look at its nutrition facts:

Chickpeas have appreciable contents such as protein, manganese, dietary fiber, thiamin, phosphorus, B vitamins and other nutrients. A plate of 100 grams of Hummus has around 170 calories, which fulfils:

  • 10% of you daily nutrition intake value
  • As for the fat content from olive oil and Tahini, the roundup is 14%, with 65% water, 10% sugar and protein, and 17% total carbohydrates

Nutritional Benefits

  • People who eat Hummus as their meals are 53% less likely to be obese
  • Lowers cholesterol levels
  • Improves digestive health
  • Increases heart health
  • Excellent dipping protein for veggies
  • Contains Folate, which may help in fighting colon cancer
  • Tastier in recipes that call for cream cheese and mayonnaise
  • Safe for food allergies

The first taste of Hummus usually makes you go Mhhmmm… and why not? We like to say that this little dip made from just six ingredients is “The Queen of Aphrodisiac”.

Share itShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on Reddit

The Truth about Avocados

No Comments

What’s this Vegetable’s… Err Fruits Deal?

The Truth about Avocados

Let’s get this sorted out once and for all, shall we? Avocado is a FRUIT! Yes, ladies and gentlemen… that green smooth texture that you dip your nachos in, apply on toast in the morning and evening and basically try to cram everywhere you want. Let me remind you of the Tortilla Chip Sombrero that Guru’s daughter wore in Despicable Me 2, which was filled with “guacamole”… because I would love to have one just like that.

It’s very hard to distinguish between fruits and vegetables since there are several other debatable items such as a tomato. Let’s get back to avocado – it may come as a surprise but people all over the world eat avocados in different ways. Avocado’s creamy and soft flesh is what makes it such a popular ingredient for both sweet and savory dishes.

In some countries, it’s a necessary food staple, whereas in other countries, it is only used in exotic dishes. Some common dishes include soups, salads and sandwiches. You might have just tasted guacamole in these three food items but there are several other dishes that you need to try. Here’s a brief overview of how people eat avocados in different countries:

  • Avocados in Ethiopia

    Avocado in ethiopia

    Ethiopian Spri

In Ethiopia, you will find avocado purée layered in a fruity drink called “Spri”. A glass of Spri usually contains layers of mango, papaya and avocado purée. It is easily made at home and is available in different flavors in most of the restaurants.

  • Avocados in Brazil

Brazil uses avocado in both sweet and savory dishes. As a sweet, avocado purée is popular due to a dish called “Creme de Abacate”. It’s a thick desert that has a smooth and rich texture.

Avocado purée

Avocado purée

  • Avocados in Mexico

In Mexico, avocado purée is used as a condiment alongside chilies. It is used to garnish tacos, tortilla soup, panuchos and flautas.

  • Avocados in the Philippines

Sweet, sweet ice cream is what Philippines make of avocado. It is a popular flavor alongside vanilla and chocolate.

  • Avocados in Colombia

    Colombian avocado soup

    Avocado soup

Columbia’s avocado specialties are warm dishes and one of their most popular is “Crema de Aguacate” (avocado soup).

  • Avocados in Indonesia

In Indonesia, avocado is used as a sweet for smoothies. They call it “Jus Alpukat”, which is a creamy shake topped with chocolate sauce. 

  • Avocados in Peru

    Tequeños

    Tequeños

The Peruvians use avocado as mayonnaise. Avocado is mashed and served with “Tequeños”, which are fired cheese sticks.

  • Avocados in Haiti

Haitians eat avocado at breakfast. They make a thick sauce, which they spread on “Cassava Bread”.

  • Avocados in Australia and New Zealand

In both these countries, avocado is used in sweet and savory dishes such as salads, ice cream, sandwiches, etc.

Share itShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on Reddit

Super food insight ; Flax seeds

No Comments

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.

Share itShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on Reddit

The Benefits of Using Avocado Oil in Cooking

No Comments

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.

Share itShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on Reddit

The magical world of Mushrooms

No Comments

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).

Share itShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on Reddit