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Archive for October, 2012

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/29/power-outage-food-safety-hurricane-sandy_n_2039351.html?ir=Foodhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/29/food-safety_n_2038763.html?1351523569#slide=1694778www.FoodSafety.govhttp://www.nola.com/hurricane/index.ssf/2012/08/will_we_be_cooking_without_pow.html & Anne’s brain.

Did you hear? FrankenSandy is on its way!!

Here are a few tips about Food Safety in case your power goes out for an extended time (or if you anticipate power loss).

Tips for before the outage: 

  • Fill some ziploc bags with water & stuff them into every nook and cranny of your freezer. A fuller freezer will stay colder longer because there’s more cold stuff in it! Plus, if things really get dire and you run out of water, you can drink the water in the bags! You’re welcome.
  • Grouping together your food in the freezer will help the food stay colder longer.
  • Use an appliance thermometer in the fridge and freezer. Fridge should be 40 degrees or lower and the freezer at 0 degrees or lower.
  • Consider freezing leftover items that you won’t need immediately, such as deli meats and milk. This will help keep these items at a safer temperature longer.
  • Have ice in the freezer in case the power goes out. A cooler with ice will allow you to prolong the life of your food. If you don’t have a cooler, you can also use the ice to keep the refrigerator cool.
  • For pantry items, store all food on higher shelves in case of flooding.
  • As the storm approaches, turn down the temperature of the fridge and freezer to the max to make it as cold as possible. Don’t forget to turn it back once the threat passes.

Foods to pack into your pantry for during the storm:

  • The usual: canned beans, fish and veggies, peanut butter & crackers.
  • More fun & interesting! (not all of these are BuzzNutrition-approved foods… but this is a crisis, people!):
    • Canned coconut milk, shredded coconut
    • Boboli pizza crust, pizza sauce in a squeeze bottle, summer sausage, dry salami.
    • Bulghur wheat (tabouli) does not require cooking. Hydrate, fluff it with a fork, add chopped vegetables and herbs.
    • Low-salt broth
    • Dijon mustard, Creole mustard
    • Dehydrated mushrooms to add to soups; reconstitute for other dishes
    • Real bacon bits in a jar to flavor bland dishes
    • Instant pudding to prepare with evaporated or powdered milk
    • Nuts
    • Individual tea bags that don’t require hot water
    • Instant coffee, creamer packets
    • Small condiment packages (mustard, relish, soy sauce, etc)
    • SPAM (Just kidding! Seriously, do not buy this.)

Cooking during a storm:

  • Even without electricity you can cook!: Use a: grill, camping cookstove, candle- or Sterno-fired fondue pot, indoor fireplace (be sure to open the flue).
  • Do like a Boy Scout & make a foil pack:  Wrap seasoned slices of raw fruits, veggies or meats in heavy-duty foil, seal and put them on the grill.
  • Do NOT use a charcoal or propane grill inside unless you want to perish from carbon monoxide fumes.

Tips for after an outage:

  • Spoiled food puts you at risk for food-borne illness (duh). Although small numbers of Salmonella and e.Coli are normal in a healthy gut, too many is a very bad thing.
  • Do all you can to keep the doors of your fridge/freezer CLOSED. If they stay sealed, your fridge can keep food cold for about four hours, and a full freezer for about 48 hours (24 hours if it’s half full).
  • Discard any perishables that have been stored above 40 degrees F for more than two hours, no matter what their appearance or odor.
  • Never taste food to determine its status… unless you are a crazy scientist.
  • Do not rely on your sniffer. Rotten food only smells rotten if lots of time has passed. Sniffing only works for milk.
  • “When in doubt, throw it out.” Worried about the lost money? Okay, eat it then, and reevaluate after you’ve had diarrhea for 12 hours.
  • If the frozen food contains water crystals, it should still be safe & can be refrozen, though the texture may be weird.
  • Check out these helpful tables: when to toss from fridge, when to toss from freezer 
  • If you have a lot of food that is still okay, but won’t last much longer, cook it up and have a party!
  • You may have stored this stuff in the fridge, but it’ll keep several days at room temperature.
    • Condiments: catsup, mustards, Barbecue, soy and Worcestershire sauces
    • Jams and jellies
    • Peanut butter
    • Oils & butter (if it’s hot out, put the butter in a bowl 🙂 )
    • Bread (aka. future croutons)
    • Hard cheeses (like parmesan, asiago, etc.) As for soft cheeses, eat them right away (brie, cottage cheese or cream cheese)
    • Unopened salad dressing or other condiments

Was there a flood?

  • If there’s a chance a food came in contact with flood waters, toss it (unless it’s in a waterproof container). Also discard wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples and pacifiers if they may have been in contact with flood waters.
  • Wash all metal pans, ceramic plates and utensils that may have come into contact with flood waters with hot soapy water. Sanitize by boiling them in clean water or by immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water.
  • Use only bottled water that has not been exposed to flood waters. Otherwise, boil it.

Stay safe! 🙂

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Source: http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2012/05/21/the-peoples-pharmacy-first-aid-kit/

How do you like these random tips from Food Pharmacy?

  • Packets of yellow mustard: Use for leg cramps or burns. Some use to ease symptoms of heartburn.
  • Packets of soy sauce: Can ease the discomfort from a mild burn right after the area is immersed in cold water.
  • Finely ground black pepper: Can help stop bleeding from a minor cut or scrape.
  • Meat tenderizer: Mixing a paste of meat tenderizer and water or vinegar can ease the pain from a bee sting.
  • Vinegar: Small swig can combat muscle cramps or help relieve heartburn.
  • Castor oil: Helpful for fire ant bites, warts, bruises and sore joints.
  • Adhesive tape: Use to remove ticks you may find crawling on you.
  • Sugarless gum: Has a laxative effect. Can also stimulate saliva and ease symptoms of heartburn.
  • Ginger: Can relieve motion sickness. May also help headaches, coughs & heartburn.
  • Coffee: May aid in asthma attack: 2 or 3 cups of regular coffee can open airways in a pinch.

And then there’s Milk of Magnesia… not a food, of course, but it can be pretty helpful to have around!

  • If you have constipation, be sure to visit your local Registered Dietitian to figure out the root cause and remove it!
  • MoM can be used topically as a deodorant and to dry up skin eruptions like acne & poison ivy rash.
  • Also may help soothe eczema. But keep in mind, eczema is often caused by food allergy so please be sure to get some advice from a nutritionist so that you can eliminate the problem and keep your milk of magnesia in the closet.

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Source: http://wakeup-world.com/2012/10/15/16-foods-thatll-re-grow-from-kitchen-scraps/

  1. Spring onions, scallions, leeks, fennel: Put the hairy root end in a jar with a little water & place in sunny window. Green leafy part will continue to shoot. Snip off what you need from the green growth and cook! Leave the white root end in water to keep growing. Freshen up the water each week or so. Never buy them again!
  2. Garlic: You can re-grow a plant from just a single clove – just plant it, root-end down, in a warm position with plenty of direct sunlight. The garlic will root itself and produce new shoots. Once established, cut back the shoots and the plant will put all its energy into producing a tasty big garlic bulb. And like ginger, you can repeat the process with your new bulb.
  3. Onions: Onions are one of the easiest vegetables to propagate. Just cut off the root end of your onion, leaving a ½ inch of onion on the roots. Place it in a sunny position in your garden and cover the top with soil. Ensure the soil is kept moist. Onions prefer a warm sunny environment, so if you live in a colder climate, keep them in pots and move them indoors during frostier months. As you use your home-grown onions, keep re-planting the root ends you cut off, and you’ll never need to buy onions again.
  4. Lemongrass: Grows like grass! Put root end in glass jar with a little water & place in sunny window. About a week later, new grass will sprout. Transfer to a pot and leave outside in the sun. Harvest for cooking when stalks are around 1 foot tall.
  5. Celery, Bok Choy, Romain Lettuce & Cabbage: Put root end in shallow bowl of water (cover roots, but not top of cutting) & place in sunny window. Spritz occasionally to keep top moist. After a few days, roots and new leaves will appear. After about 1 week, transfer to potted soil (with leaves above soil) and wait a few weeks for your new head! Or, skip the water & spritzing and plant the cutting directly into soil (but  keep the soil very moist for the first week until the new shoots start to appear).
  6. Ginger:  plant a spare piece of ginger in potting soil with the newest (ie. smallest) buds facing upward. Ginger enjoys filtered, not direct, sunlight in a warm moist environment. Before long it will start to grow new shoots and roots. Once the plant is established and you’re ready to harvest, pull up the whole plant, roots and all. Remove a piece of the rhizome, and re-plant it to repeat the process.
  7. Potatoes: Pick an old potato with robust eyes (the creepy sprouty things that happen when a potato sits for too long), and cut it into pieces around 2 inches square, ensuring each piece has at least one or two eyes. Leave the cut pieces to sit at room temperature for a day or two, which allows the cut areas to dry and callous over. This prevents the potato piece from rotting after you plant it, ensuring that the new shoots get the maximum nutrition from each potato piece. Plant your potato pieces around 8 inches deep with the eye facing upward, and cover them with around 4 inches of soil, leaving the other 4 inches empty. Potato plants enjoy a high-nutrient environment, so it is best to turn compost through your soil before you plant them. As your plant begins to grow and more roots appear, add more soil. If your plant really takes off, mound more soil around the base of the plant to help support its growth.
  8. Sweet potatoes: When planted, sweet potato will produce eye-shoots much like a potato. Bury all or part of a sweet potato under a thin layer of soil in a moist sunny location. New shoots will start to appear through the soil in a week or so. Once the shoots reach around four inches in height, remove them and re-plant them, allowing about 12 inches space between each plant. It will take around 4 months for your sweet potatoes to be ready. In the meantime, keep an eye out for slugs… they love sweet potatoes. To propagate sweet potatoes, it is essential to use an organic source since most commercial growers spray their sweet potatoes to prevent them from shooting.
  9. Mushrooms:  These are one of the more difficult vegies to re-grow. They enjoy warm humidity and nutrient-rich soil, but have to compete with other fungus for survival in that environment. Although it is not their preferred climate, cooler environments give mushrooms a better chance of winning the race against other fungi. Prepare a mix of soil and compost in a pot (not in the ground) so your re-growth is portable and you can control the temperature of your mushroom. Try a warm filtered light during the day and a cool temperature at night. Just remove the head of the mushroom and plant the stalk in the soil, leaving just the top exposed. In the right conditions, the base will grow a whole new head. Success will be quickly apparent as it will either start to grow or rot in the first few days.
  10. Pineapple: Remove the green leafy piece at the top, ensuring no fruit remains attached (otherwise it will rot after planting, which may kill your plant). Carefully slice small, horizontal sections from the bottom of the crown until you see root buds (the small circles on the flat base of the stalk). Remove the bottom few layers of leaves leaving about an inch base at the bottom of the stalk. Plant your pineapple crown in a warm and well-drained environment. Water your plant regularly at first, reducing to weekly watering once the plant is established. You will see growth in the first few months but it will take around 2-3 years before you are eating your own home-grown pineapples.

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Sugar Bears

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Sometimes Bears say it best… Watch this quick video to learn more about sugary sodas from some adorable bears.

From the website:
“It wasn’t so bad when soft drinks were the occasional treat.
But now sugary drinks are the number one source of calories in the American diet.
With one third of America overweight and another third obese, it’s a wonder
anyone is still swallowing what the soda companies are selling.”

…don’t forget that juice is sugar too!

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Source: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-creamy-ice-cream-w-93414, via Janey on Facebook.

I kinda spoiled it with the title there, but can you guess the single ingredient in this ice cream recipe?!

Some ingenious person on a highly restrictive diet discovered that frozen banana gets creamy & slightly gooey when blended. I haven’t tried it but am guessing it’s near as good as it looks.

How to:

  • Freeze banana until solid
  • Buzz in blender or food processor
  • Eat!

5 delicious variations : Peanut Butter & Honey Banana Ice Cream, Nutella Banana Ice Cream, Dark Chocolate Banana Ice Cream, Cinnamon Dulce Banana Ice Cream, Strawberries & Cream Banana Ice Cream 

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Source: http://chriskresser.com/the-nitrate-and-nitrite-myth-another-reason-not-to-fear-bacon

Bacon is much-loved yet maligned by most… under false pretenses!

  • High in saturated fat? Yeah, but who cares because saturated fat from natural sources is good for you!
  • Spikes cholesterol and clogs arteries? Wrong. Dietary cholesterol from clean sources does not affect blood cholesterol… and furthermore, cholesterol does not cause heart attacks.
  • Dripping with nitrates which can cause cancer… thanks to this recent article by Chris Kresser, the appropriate response is “big whoop!”

Nitrates/nitrates are used in the curing process. They are not going to kill you:

  • Study that first claimed nitrates increased cancer risk was subjected to a peer review and discredited
  • Extensive reviews of the scientific literature resulted in a thumbs up for nitrates/nitrites- yes, they not only do not seem to cause harm… they may just be beneficial to health!
  • Most nitrate/nitrite to which we are exposed comes from our own bodies: “salivary nitrite accounts for 70-90% of our total nitrite exposure”
  • As far as food goes, 93% of nitrites we get from food come from vegetables
    • “…one serving of arugula, two servings of butter lettuce, and four servings of celery or beets all have more nitrite than 467 hot dogs. And your own saliva has more nitrites than all of them!”
    • So-called nitrate/nitrite-free foods still contain the chemicals, they just use natural sources like celery/beet juice/sea salt.
  • Nitrate/nitrite do not accumulate in body.
    • When ingested from food, nitrate turns into nitrite (after contacting saliva). 25% of nitrite is converted into salivary nitrite, 20% converted into nitrite, and the rest is excreted in the urine within 5 hours of ingestion. If absorbed, nitrite disappears from our blood in under five minutes.
    • “Some nitrite in our stomach reacts with gastric contents, forming nitric oxide which may have many beneficial effects.”
  • May be health-promoting
    • Nitric oxide, formed when nitrite contacts stomach contents may improve blood pressure and reduce heart attack risk.
    • Nitrates may help boost the immune system and protect against pathogenic bacteria.
    • Curing pork products eliminates risk of infection with the nasty trichinosis parasite (similar to tape wom!)

Sad that this news should come alongside headlines warning of a coming “bacon shortage“, aka Aporkalypse. Apparently many pigs are fed corn (neither their natural nor preferred food) and corn prices are very high because of drought. But don’t fret: apparently experts say “reports of world-wide pork shortages in 2013 are a load of bull“.

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Recipe to celebrate:
Source: www.salad-in-a-jar.com/family-recipes/bacon-wrapped-jalapeno-chicken-bites

Images here: www.flickr.com/photos/40228850@N08/7437262518/, www.flickr.com/photos/40228850@N08/7437262740/

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Chicken Bites

Chicken spread with cream cheese and jalapenos, rolled and wrapped with bacon, then grilled.
Ingredients
  • 8 chicken tenders from a good source, flattened and cut in two
  • 3-ounce package softened full-fat cream cheese
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 8 slices bacon from a good source, cut in half
Instructions
  1. Dab 1/2 teaspoon (more or less) of cream cheese on top of each chicken tender. Sprinkle a scant 1/4 teaspoon of peppers over cream cheese. Fold or roll chicken to enclose cream cheese mixture. Wrap each roll with one piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
  2. Grill until bacon is brown and crispy on both sides.
Notes
Serves: 16 bite-sizes

Be sure to wear plastic gloves when handling fresh jalapenos. The oil will attach itself to your hands and is not easily washed away. An inadvertent swipe of the hand close to your eyes could be an unforgettable experience.

For reference, if you are substituting for the chicken tenders (i.e. dark meat, large pieces of chicken breast, game meat), the size of the tenders I used were 5-6 inches long and 2-3 inches wide before flattening and cutting in half.

Try flattening meat inside a zip-lock bag as pictured above. No flying pieces, no contamination on your cutting board from the chicken, and cleanup is super easy.

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Cholesterol Comeback

A long while ago, I created a video to vindicate Cholesterol and Saturated Fat, two of our most important yet maligned nutrients.

There’s a lot more new information out that further supports these nutrients… I plan to share in live, lecture-format soon, but until then, here’s a primer in video-format (even better, with a Star Wars theme and with background music by my brother!)

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