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Great Tips For Finding the Best Fish Oil

When it comes to consuming things that are healthy for your body, there are a few things that you know you should take. One of those things is fish oil. It has been proven time and time again that fish is good for you, and something that is even better for you is its oiliness. This is a great way to get the omega 3s that your body needs. However, if you want to make sure that you are getting the most out of your fish, there are a few tips that you have to know. These tips are going to help you in picking out the fish with the best oil on the market. These tips are going to steer you away from picking up the wrong kind of product to get the nutritional benefits you are looking for. After all, there are tons of different products out there nowadays, and it can be hard to find out which one will work best for you.

The first tip that you need to know to pick out the best fish oil is that the product needs to very clearly state what kind of species of fish they used to get the oil. After all, it comes from fish, and we have a right to know where it comes from. However, there are only four types of fish that actually offer the richest sources of fish oils. Those four are tuna, anchovies, sardines, and salmon. If these four are not the source in the ingredients, then it is not worth getting. Also, you have to make sure that the product that you are consuming contains omega 3 fatty acids. Some of the products out there are just oil from fish and nothing more. Just taking these oils are not the same thing as taking them with omega 3 in them.

Another tip that you need to keep in mind is that you should only accept supplements that have fish oil that has been pressed from the flesh of the sea creature. Do not get the ones that have been pressed out of areas like the head or the tail. These are parts of the fish that humans do not eat, so why would you want fish products from those parts of the body? These are just some common mistakes that people usually make whenever they are buying fish oil supplements. Not only that, but speaking about eating fish, you would not want to eat one that had health problems, thus, you are not going to want to digest products that come from a diseased animal. You also need to make sure that the fish that are used to make the nutritional supplements have been screened for health problems.

Last, but not least, when choosing the best fish oils, you need to make sure that the products are 100% pure. Do not accept any kind that has any kind of toxins in it or any kind of heavy metals. If the product does not say that it’s 100% fish oil, then it is not worth having. Some of these other products have things like pesticides in them. That is not the kind of thing you want to feed to your body.

Courtesy: This article is taken from the site latestarticles

Pizza Making Tips and Tricks

A lot of factors influence will influence the results of your pizza making efforts. Primary among these factors are the pizza ingredients and pizza equipment used. The following are some pizza making tips and tricks that you can apply for the best homemade pizza.

Pizza Ingredients

The pizza ingredients that you use depend on the type of pizza that you wish to make. Moreover, you usually have to prepare three sets of ingredients: one for your pizza crust, another for your pizza toppings and another set for your pizza sauce,

” Pizza crust recipes: usual ingredients and tips

Flour is a definite necessity when making pizza crust. The usual ingredient in making the basic pizza dough is wheat flour, although whole wheat flour is also used by some. For a firm, elastic pizza dough, you’ll want to use flour with moderately high gluten content (this is also known as hard flour).

The gluten is formed when water is added to the flour and it is a crucial part of the pizza’s structure. Thus, when you make pizza crust, it is best to use bread flour or flour with especially high gluten content (check the label) which has enough gluten content for pizza making purposes. However, people who have celiac disease or those who prefer a low carb pizza crust usually opt for flour with low gluten content. Some even make gluten-free pizza in the belief that it is healthier. In any case, it is advisable to use premium-grade flour milled from first-grade wheat; the flour, moreover, should have quality protein (the flour and water mixture should be very easy to handle) and should be able to absorb a lot of water without becoming soggy and limp.

Yeast is another requirement in making the pizza base. The yeast is the leavening agent and it helps the pizza dough rise as well as helps the dough achieve elasticity (so you can stretch it into pizza rounds without breaking). Yeast and its fermentation, furthermore, give the pizza crust its distinct flavor. Unless you are using the instant dry yeast variety, you should mix yeast with warm water then let the mixture stand for around ten minutes before you use it in your pizza dough mixture. Furthermore, the best, yeasty flavor is achieved by leaving the pizza dough to rise for several hours after kneading.

The other dry ingredients that basic pizza dough has are salt, sugar, baking powder (if you need more leavening than what the yeast can provide), and dry milk. The salt is necessary to create the slightly salty taste of pizza crust which provides a great contrast to the pizza sauce flavor. Sugar, on the other hand, is added to add a slightly sweet taste to the crust as well as to facilitate yeast activity and to yield a browner pizza crust. Do not add a lot of sugar. Powdered milk or milk solids, on the other hand, adds to the dough’s bulk, adds flavor and nutrients to the pizza dough as well as gives strength to the pizza dough’s structure even if such is over-fermented. Use the non-fat variety especially if you are making low fat pizza.

The liquid ingredients include water and oil. Water is necessary for gluten generation and for activating yeast. Use slightly acidic as well as slightly hard water for best results. To ensure standard water pH, you can use distilled water (which has neutral pH) or tap water (which is usually slightly acidic, especially in cities). Oil, on the other hand, serves well to lubricate the dough for easier handling. Use extra virgin olive oil if you want it to serve more than just lubricating purposes; extra virgin olive oil also has a distinctive flavor. Olive oil, moreover, is healthy for it has lower saturation than other types of oil.

If you prefer, you can use egg white or egg yolk in your pizza dough. The egg white helps strengthen pizza dough whereas egg yolk helps soften dough. As such, you can use either depending on the type of crust you want to make. Add egg yolk, for instance, if you need to make your pizza dough softer. If you will use eggs, don’t forget to reduce the amount of water in your pizza crust recipe.

You can also add flavorings like garlic powder to your pizza dough. You can even use herbs on your dough to give it a distinct flavor. Use sourdough starter, on the other hand, if you want to make sourdough pizza.

” Pizza toppings: usual ingredients and tips

There’s not much you should know about pizza toppings. The ingredients are pretty much up to you and should depend on the type of pizza you are making. However, there are certain techniques to preparing your pizza toppings. For one, you should use fresh Mozzarella cheese when making your pizza. Moreover, you should not put the cheese on top if you need to bake the pizza for a long time; you’ll end up with burnt cheese this way.

The usual pizza toppings include pepperoni, sausages, ground beef, ham, canned tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, bacon, ham, various types of cheese, and olive oil. Other toppings include shrimp, salmon, chicken meat, anchovies, fruits, artichokes, etc.

” Pizza sauce: usual ingredients and tips

The usual pizza sauce recipes have tomato sauce. Flavor is enhanced by adding garlic and onions (whether powder or sautéed) then ground meat, salt, pepper and other usual pizza spices such as basil and oregano. Typically, tomato-based sauces are thick. On the other hand, you can make a thin pizza sauce by mixing oregano and basil with olive oil. The fastest way of making pizza sauce is by using canned pizza sauce.

You must remember to apply pizza sauce with a light hand. Thick sauce must be carefully added on top of the pizza toppings. Thin sauce must be gently rubbed over the pizza. Excessive use of pizza sauce can lead to excess moisture and thus a limp pizza.

Pizza Equipment

You can cook your pizza using a pizza pan or bake it directly on a pizza stone. If you are going to use a standard oven without a pizza stone, then stretch your pizza dough into the desired thickness on your pan, add your toppings and pizza sauce, preheat your oven and bake according to your pizza recipe. If you are using a pizza stone, cut your pizza dough, use one of the portions and stretch it into a pizza round of your desired thickness. Add your desired toppings and your homemade pizza sauce, load the pizza on your wooden peel (pizza paddle) then place said pizza round on top of the pizza stone. The pizza stone, at this point, should have been kept hot in the oven for at least an hour.

It is best to use a pizza stone for baking pizza. This leads to a crispier pizza crust for two reasons. First, it absorbs run-off and excess moisture. Second, it distributes heat from the oven evenly; thus, the pizza crust is uniformly cooked all over.

Naturally, if you want to make deep dish pizza, you have to use a pizza pan. On the other hand, you can pre-bake your deep dish pizza crust, add toppings and sauce then finish baking your pizza on a pizza stone.

A good oven with a timing device and a temperature monitor is also necessary for precise pizza baking. A wooden spoon, on the other hand, should be used for mixing the pizza dough to prevent sticking. Use a marble countertop when kneading dough for the same purpose.

After using your pizza equipment, clean each piece carefully according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

List of Fat Burning Foods

List of Fat Burning Foods

Obesity is a major global concern today. The only way to fight obesity is by following a strict diet and doing exercises that help in losing weight. There are certain foods that are listed as fat burning foods. The main property of these foods is the ability to melt the excess body fat by suppressing your appetite for junk food. If you are planning to reduce weight, along with your weight loss program include a few fat burning foods. Negative calorie foods are also called as fat burning foods.

What is fat burning food

The fat burning food can be defined as a food that help in burning more calories than its calorie content. Fat burning foods are included in a well-defined diet plan of a weight loss program.

List of fat burning foods

Take a look at some of the fat burning foods that have been clinically proven to help the body in shedding excess weight. The fat burning foods are rich in vitamins and minerals, and also possess certain fat-melting substances.

Apples: “Apple a day keeps the doctor away.” The proverb holds true because an apple is rich in fiber and helps to prevent hunger pangs. Apples helps to maintain the blood glucose at a normal level. The total calories in an apple is 81. Apple is called a fat burning food because it has no saturated fat or cholesterol and sodium. The health benefits of consuming apples are - it helps to bring the blood pressure to normal and also lowers the cholesterol level in the blood.

Beans: Beans is one of the legumes that is a best source of plant protein. A cup of cooked beans (any variety) have 215 calories. Beans have low sodium and high potassium contents. Regular consumption of beans also helps in lowering cholesterol level in the blood. Beans combined with rice, wheat and barley will make a whole meal.

Barley: Barley is one of the food grains that is high is protein and fiber and low in fat. A cup of cooked barley has 170 calories. The historical records reveal that the staple food of Roman gladiators was barley. There are many delicious recipes that use barley as the main ingredient.

Broccoli: Broccoli is considered as one of the vegetables that helps in fighting cancer. This vegetable is high in fiber, carotene, vitamin C and calcium. Broccoli is rich in “indoles”, a cancer fighting chemical. A cup of cooked or fresh broccoli has only 44 calories.

Cabbage: A cup of shredded cabbage have 33 calories. Cabbage protects the body against colon cancer. This is one of the fat burning food that is used in sauerkraut recipes and coleslaw recipes.

Carrots: Carrot contains beta-carotene and vitamin A. The total calorie in a medium-sized carrot is 55 calories. Carrot is known as a nutritional powerhouse. A cup of chopped carrots before a meal is filling and will suppress the hunger.

Coffee: Recent studies show caffeine helps in burning calories and it is a stimulant. However, have moderate quantity of coffee i.e. not more than 2 cups a day.

Chicken: Chicken is a lean meat which has ample quantities of protein, iron, niacin and zinc. Total calorie of cooked chicken is 245. You can add BBQ chicken or grilled chicken in your daily diet because it is filling and healthy. Remove the skin of the chicken before cooking it. There are many chicken recipes which favor low-fat diet.

Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese is anytime better than processed cheese. A cup of cottage cheese has 205 calories and the fat content is 2%. Cottage cheese is rich in calcium and vitamin B. It can be used in various recipes instead of cream cheese.

Fish: Seafood is a healthy food and it is hard to gain weight if fish is a part of your daily diet. Studies reveal daily supplement of fish oil lowers high blood pressure and the cholesterol levels in the blood.

Figs: Figs are rich in fiber and low in calorie. Adding figs to the daily diet give a feeling of fullness and prevents you from overeating.

Garlic: Garlic helps to lower cholesterol in blood and also burn fat. It is known as an effective fat burning food.

Grapefruit: Grapefruit is high in vitamin C and potassium. It also contains pectin that helps to reduce cholesterol in the blood stream. A medium-sized grapefruit has 75 calories. Grapefruit helps in burning fat because it contains galalacturonic acid.

Kiwi: A kiwi fruit has 46 calories. It is sweet tasting and is rich in vitamin C and potassium. This fruit makes a good dessert.

Lettuce: Lettuce is one of the green leafy vegetables that is included in diet plans. This leafy salad vegetable is rich in vitamin C and a cup of lettuce has not more than 10 calories.

Melons: Melons are one of the fat-burning foods rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. Melons have fiber and water content and a cup of watermelon has 49 calories. They are also rich source of potassium.

Onion: A cup of raw onion has 60 calories and helps in lowering cholesterol.

Pasta: Whole wheat pasta help in burning fat. A cup of cooked pasta has only 155 calories and is rich in minerals such as copper, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous, manganese and iron. There are many sumptuous pasta recipes that can be mashed up in a jiffy.

Spinach: Spinach is rich in vitamins C and E, iron and beta carotene. A cup of cooked spinach reduces the cholesterol level in the bloodstream. Spinach salad make a healthy whole meal.

Tomatoes: A medium-sized tomato has around 25 calories. It is rich in fiber and potassium and low in fat and sodium. Introduce tomatoes in your diet as it helps in weight loss.

Red Chillies: Red chilies contain capsaicin which helps in burning fat because it increases the metabolism.

Yogurt: Yogurt is rich in protein, calcium, zinc and riboflavin. It is low in fat and a cup of yogurt contains only 120 calories. You can replace creams and whole milk with yogurt in some recipes.

Tofu: Tofu is made from soybean curd. A small cube of tofu contains 86 calories. It also contains calcium and iron but has no saturated fat and sodium. Tofu increases the metabolism and reduces cholesterol.

Fat burning is way of losing excess fat by consuming healthy food and by practicing a few fat burning workouts.

How to Freeze Apples

How to Freeze Apples

One of the fruits enjoyed, as a snack by children and adults is an apple. There are approximately seven thousand varieties of apples. The origin of the apples is in Kazakhstan. Many varieties of apples are available throughout the year. The ones that are seasonal can be frozen for later consumption.

Apples can be used in various delicious recipes such as apple crumble, apple pie and so on. Cider made from apples is very popular in the US and it is one the main drink that is served at Halloween parties and on Thanksgiving Day. Cider vinegar is made from apples.

It is a fact apple will remain good in a cool and dry area but over a period of time the water content will be lost and the skin will wrinkle. If you have an apple tree in you back yard or if you happen to purchase large quantities of apples from a nearby original Farmers Market, you can freeze the apples. By freezing, the taste of the apples is retained to a certain extent and these could be used for many apple recipes.

Steps to Freeze Apples at Home

Select the apples: Choose good quality apples, which are ripe and naturally sweet. Some of the varieties that you can use for freezing are Fuji, Red Delicious, Gala, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp and Pink Lady. You can either purchase them from the grocery store or from the Farmers Market.

Wash and peel: Wash the apples under a tap. The apple should be washed well and dried using a hand towel. The quickest way to peel the apples is by using an apple peeler. If the apples are over-ripe or mushy, the apple peelers may not work well. In such case use a hand peeler. Remove any brown spots on the apple.

Slicing the apples: The next step is to core and slice the apples. You can use either an apple corer/slicer or an ordinary knife. You have to remove the seeds, stems and the soft spots of the apples.

Decide the method of freezing: The method of freezing depends on how you intend to use the frozen apples later. There are basically three methods for freezing apples.

Sugar pack - Sugar pack is the method used if the apples are used to make apple pies. Sugar pack method prevents the apples from turning brown or having a freezer burn. Make a solution with ½ tsp ascorbic acid and 3 tsp water. Pour this over the sliced apples. You would require half cup sugar for every quarter cup of sliced apples. Sprinkle sugar and toss the apples so it is well coated.

Syrup pack - You have to make a syrup using sugar and ascorbic acid. For every 3 cups of water you would require 2 cups of sugar. In a thick-bottomed pan make the required quantity of syrup as per the quantity of sliced apples. Syrup pack prevents apples from browning.

Dry pack - In this method, wash, peel and core the apples. Mix them with a solution of ascorbic acid and water. Put them in freezer bags and immediately put the bags away in the freezer. Dry pack apples can be used for any type of cooking.

Packing and freezing: Once the sliced apples are processed, it is time to put them in freezer containers or bags. The apples should stay good if the freezer temperature is below 25 degrees F.

What are Potassium Enriched Foods

What are Potassium Enriched Foods

The food that is rich in potassium is known as potassium enriched food. One of the minerals in the human blood stream is potassium. Potassium along with another important mineral sodium helps to maintain normal functioning of the kidneys, brain, heart and the skeletal muscles. This mineral is a significant nutrient that regulates the heartbeat, digestion, muscle contractions and nerve transmission.

Reduced sodium and magnesium also maintain the potassium level in the blood stream. A dip in the potassium level in the body can lead to conditions such as diarrhea, vomiting, malnutrition and excessive sweating prevail. A person suffers from hypokalemia, if the level of potassium in blood is less. Hyperkalemia occurs if the level of potassium in the blood is high. To maintain the normal level of potassium one should have a balanced diet. Take a glance at the potassium enriched diet.

List of Potassium Enriched Food

The table below shows the potassium-enriched food . People who are suffering from hypokalemia or low potassium levels in their blood should have potassium-enriched diet. The table below shows the food, quantity served and the total quantity of potassium in each serving.

Vegetables: Here are a few vegetables that are rich in potassium content.

Potassium-enriched Food Serving Size Potassium Content (mg)
Baked Potato 1 Medium size 593
Fresh Spinach 1/2 Cup 440
Lima Beans 1/2 Cup 473
Baked Sweet Potato 3/4 Cup 529
Beet Greens 1/2 Cup 417
Chard 1/2 Cup 563
Cooked Peas 1/2 Cup 296
Winter Squash 1 Cup 590

Fruits: Oranges, lemon and kiwi are potassium enriched fruits. Some dried fruits are also rich in potassium.

Potassium-enriched Food Serving Size Potassium Content (mg)
Orange Juice 1 Cup 479
Grape Juice 1 Cup 360
Tomato Juice 1 Cup 552
Raisins 3 Tablespoons 225
Almonds 3 Tablespoons 206
Avocado 1/2 Fruit 510
Peaches 2 330
Banana 1 Medium size 338
Apricots 1/4 Cup 454
Cantaloupe 1/4 Fruit 412

Beans: All kinds of beans cooked, baked or steamed are a major sources of potassium. Here is the list.

Potassium-enriched Food Serving Size Potassium Content (mg)
Black Beans 1/2 Cup 531
Kidney Beans 1/2 Cup 452
Lentils 1/2 Cup 375
Soy Beans 1/2 Cup 510
Pinto Beans 1/2 Cup 541

Cereals: Cereals are a source of potassium and are rich in fiber content and various other nutrients. Whole grain cereal is one of the examples of potassium-rich food.

Potassium-enriched Food Serving Size Potassium Content (mg)
Shredded Wheat 1 Cup 155
Bran Flakes 1 Cup 251
Muesli 1/2 Cup 450
Wheat Bran 1/2 Cup 1160

Advantages of Potassium Enriched Diet

Potassium is not only a mineral but also an electrolyte. It helps to maintain the balance of water and electrolyte in the body. Here are a few advantages of consuming foods that are enriched with potassium.

According to some studies foods rich in potassium are the main sources of potassium. Foods rich in potassium are used to treat the symptoms of hypokalemia. Studies reveal that consuming a diet rich in potassium can reduce symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, stomach upsets and irregular heartbeat.

Consumption of fruits and vegetables rich in potassium helps to prevent bone diseases such as osteoporosis.

Recent studies show that one of the reasons for high blood pressure is a low-potassium diet. A diet having adequate potassium improves the blood pressure and also helps maintain normal blood pressure. High blood pressure can be controlled by consuming potassium-rich diet of fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.

Consuming potassium-rich fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of heart attacks and other heart related diseases. However, it is not advisable to consume potassium supplements without consulting a medical practitioner.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is caused by low level of potassium in the blood stream. The kidneys function smoothly, if the level of potassium in the blood is normal.

Adding foods such as fish, fruits, and vegetables, which are high in potassium content, would help to prevent asthma in young children.

Potassium Enriched Recipes

A few recipes mentioned below are rich in potassium. They are delicious, lip smacking and can be taken as a whole meal.

Fruit Salad
This fruit salad can be served as a light breakfast or a dessert. The total potassium content of the salad is 662 mgs/serving.

5 kiwifruit (peeled and sliced)
2 cups honeydew (cubed)
2 cups cantaloupe (cubed)
1 medium-sized papaya (cubed)
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp mint (fresh)
4 tbsp fresh orange juice

Blend sugar, mint and orange juice in a food processor. In a salad bowl mix all the fruits together. Pour the juice over the fruits and gently mix well. Refrigerate for half an hour before serving.

Bean Salad
This salad is a rich source of potassium because it contains soybeans and other vegetables such as capsicum, wax beans, parsley and cherry tomatoes. Bean salad is not only nourishing but also filling. It can be eaten as either a side dish or a complete meal. One serving of bean salad contains 430 mgs of potassium.

2 cups French beans or haricot verts (diagonally cut)
2 cups of yellow beans/wax beans (diagonally cut)
1 cup green soybeans
1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
1/2 cup yellow capsicum (finely sliced)
1/2 cup onion (sliced)
1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
2 tbsp vinegar
1/2 sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste

Cook all the beans, till they become tender. Drain the water and drop the beans into a bowl containing ice water. Leave it for exactly 2 minutes and drain the water. In a salad bowl, combine beans, capsicum, tomatoes and onion.

Whisk sugar and vinegar. Add olive oil and stir till all the ingredients blend well. To this mixture add parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add this vinegar-mixture to the beans and toss gently.

Chocolate Pudding
Chocolate pudding is a source of potassium because of milk and dry fruits. The potassium content in each serving is 540 mgs.

4 cups low fat milk
1/4 cup milk powder (malted)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 corn flour
1/4 cup chocolate chips

1 tsp vanilla essence
Pinch of salt
1/2 chopped almonds, raisins and dried apricots

In a thick-bottomed pan, mix malted milk powder, sugar, corn flour and salt. Add milk to this mixture and stir well using a whisk. The ingredients should blend well with the milk. Now place the pan over a medium flame and stir continuously till it boils. Reduce the flame to simmer and cook till it becomes thick. Stir continuously.

Once it is done, remove from the flame and add chocolate chips. Stir till the whole mixture becomes smooth. Add vanilla essence.

Pour the pudding into a serving bowl and allow it to cool. Cover the mouth of the bowl with aluminum foil and keep it in the chill compartment of the tray. Add the chopped dry fruits before serving.

Different Types of Apples

Different Types of Apples

The apple is one of the oldest fruits in the world. The apple belongs to the family Rosaceae and class Magnoliopsida. Apples originated in Kazakhstan, Central Asia and even today the ancestor of all the modern hybrid apples grows here. In Kazakhstan, apple is known as alma because the region where the apples originated is known as ata-alma, which means “father of all apples”. The term “apple” is derived from an old English word “aeppel”.

Apples have been around for thousands of years. Apple is mentioned in many religious texts including the Bible and also in most of the myth creation stories of the ancient world. Apples are associated with temptation, wisdom, fertility, health, luck, beauty and love.

In 1620, the English pilgrims introduced apples to the United States. In 1741, the apples were commercially exported to the West Indies from the United States. Today, there are over 7000 varieties of apples grown worldwide. Gaius Plinius Secundus, known as Pliny the Elder, a Roman naturalist had listed over thirty-six varieties of apples in the first century AD.

Eighty percent of the people around the world consume apples. It is one of the most popular fruits enjoyed as a dessert or a snack by the young and the old. Here we look at some of the most popular types of apples.

Types of Apples

Arkansas Black - Arkansas Black apples are mostly used for cooking. It is used as one of the ingredients in sauerkraut recipes. This variety of apple has a firm texture and a sour taste.

Braeburn - This variety of apple is available anytime between October and July. The skin color of a Braeburn apple is reddish-orange with shades of yellow. This variety is usually used for making salad, applesauce, and pies. These apples can be frozen for later consumption.

Cameo - Though the Cameo apples are harvested in the month of September, it is available in the market only between October and August. This variety is identified by the white spots on the red skin. Cameo apples are used in various desserts such as apple crumble or apple crisp and many more. It is also used to make salads, sauces and pies. Cameo apples can be frozen.

Cortland - Cortland apples are available almost throughout the year. The only time it is not available in the market is during the months of January, March and April. This variety of apple is sweet and the skin color is red spread over a yellowish-green skin. It is used for baking and freezing. It would make a good snack after a meal.

Empire - Empire apples are available throughout the year. It is has a sweet and a sour taste. The skin color of this apple is a combination of red and green. You can freeze this variety of apples for future consumption.

Fuji - Fuji apples have reddish-pink skin. This variety belongs to Japan and was introduced in the US in the 1980s. This variety makes a good snack after a heavy meal. It tastes good in salads, pies and sauces. Fuji apples have longer shelf life without refrigeration. This is available from August to October.

Gala - This variety of apples is available from September to May. Though it is not good for freezing, it can be used for baking and apple pies. Gala apples have pinkish stripes on yellow skin. This variety of apples is very sweet.

Ginger Gold - This variety of apples have a sweet-sour taste. Ginger Gold apples are available from August to November. Apple pies and sauces could be made from this variety. However, it is not good for freezing. The skin color of a Ginger Gold apple is yellow.

Golden Delicious - As the name suggests, this variety is not only sweet and delicious but also golden yellow in color. It is used to make jams, salads, pies and sweet sauces. Golden Delicious apples are good for freezing too. This variety is available throughout the year.

Granny Smith - The skin color of this apple is green and it is very sour. It is available throughout the year. It can be frozen for later consumption. You can make pies and sauces with this variety.

Honeycrisp - This is a new variety of apples, which was introduced in the early ’90s. The skin color of a Honeycrisp apple is a combination of red and yellow. It is used for baking and making salads and sauce. It does not taste good in pies. This variety can be frozen.

Idared - Idared apples are available through out the year. The skin color of an Idared apple is pink. This variety has a sweet and sour taste. Idared apples can be used for baking and freezing. It is used for making pies and sauces.

Jonagold - Jonagold apples are a hybrid variety of the Jonathan and the Golden Delicious apple. This variety is mostly used for making sweet-sour sauces, pies and salads. You can freeze Jonagold apples for future consumption. Jonagold apples are available between October and May.

Jonathan - This variety has a shade of red and green skin color, and the taste is sour. Jonathan apples can be frozen. It is widely used in salads and sauces.

McIntosh - This variety of apple makes an excellent snack. You can make pies and sauces with McIntosh apples. However, these are not good for baking or freezing. The skin color of this apple is a blend of red and green. It tastes sweet with a tinge of sourness.

Red Delicious - The skin color of this variety of apple is red and it has a very sweet taste. This apple is good for making jams and would make a good dessert after a heavy meal. These apples are available in the market throughout the year.

Rome Beauty - This variety of apples are commonly used in baking. The skin color of this apple is crimson red and it is mildly sour. It is mostly used in salads and pies. It can be frozen too.

Winesap - Winesap apples are not good to eat raw and mostly used for making apple cider. This variety of apples is sour and has the flavor of a seasoned wine. The skin color of this apple is deep red.

Do you know an apple tree can live for more than hundred years? There are many interesting facts about apples, which include the nutritional and health benefits. Apples are used in a number of food recipes including sauces, pies and cider.

Freezing Vegetables

Freezing Vegetables

Freezing vegetables is one of the best methods for preserving food. With this method, you can be rest assured, you enjoy your favorite veggies throughout the year even during the off-season time. Fresh vegetables are best frozen after harvesting. Freezing vegetables in the refrigerator helps to preserve their freshness till the time they can be used for the actual preparation. The quality of the frozen vegetables would also depend upon the handling of the same at the time of harvest. There are many techniques that are involved for appropriate storage of the same.

Freezing Vegetables: Methods to be used
It is best to choose fresh vegetables for freezing as soon as they are harvested. It is also very essential that veggies be blanched before they are frozen. Blanching involves few methods, which are used to treat the vegetables before they are stored. Blanching helps to slow down the enzymes that are present in the vegetables. These enzymes are responsible in causing the veggies to ripen. By slowing down the action of these enzymes, the nutritional value and the color of the vegetables are preserved.

Blanching can be done in different ways. Many vegetables can be blanched in boiling water. Steam blanching is also another process that can be used. One point that would be worth remembering is that these vegetables would need to be cooled thoroughly after the blanching process. The packaging is also equally important in this case. The containers to be used for freezing have to be the ones that are designed specifically for freezer storage.

While freezing vegetables, you must also note that it should never be overloaded. This can affect the condition of the freezer as well as the food that is stored in it.

Freezing Vegetables: Tips to store common vegetables
This method is applicable for many types of vegetables however, there are few for which you would need to avoid this technique. These veggies include green onions, cucumbers, radishes and tomatoes.

Begin by washing the same and sort it out by size. Always snap off the ends and cut the stalks in 2-inch length. Once blanched, cool and dry to pack it. The small stalks may require 2 minutes in boiling water where as the large stalks would require around 4 minutes.

Wash the beets and remove the top portion of the beet. Leave the taproot and cook in boiling water. Small sized beets would take half an hour for blanching where as medium sized beets would take 50 minutes at least.

Wash the carrots, trim and peel them. You can even cut large sized carrots. For water blanching, you would need 4 minutes for the process.

The potatoes would need to be cut or grated as per your requirement. Then you would need to either cook it in water or sauté it in oil. Whole potatoes would need 5 minutes for blanching where as the pieces would require around 2-3 minutes.

Use only the dark green stalks and wash and peel the same. Trim stalks and remove the heads. You might also need to soak it in saltwater solution to remove the insects. Then split them lengthwise and blanch. Once cooled, drain the same. It would require 3 minutes for water blanching.

These were some of the common tips and techniques used for freezing vegetables. These basic instructions should help you to begin with this process with some ease.

Facts about Apples

Facts about Apples

Apple is world’s one of the most popular fruits. It is known for its wonderful taste as well as its high nutritional value. It is a popular low-calorie snack. It can be eaten any time of the day in its original form or juice form. It is used for preparing a variety of food recipes such as milk shakes, fruit salad and desserts. Apple is processed to produce various products such as applesauce, apple juices, or dehydrated apple products. As apple provides a number of health benefits, it is recommended to eat an apple everyday for good health. Let’s get some interesting facts about apples.

Facts about Apples

  • Apples originated in the Middle East about 4000 years ago.
  • They are the members of rose family. They are available round the year.
  • More than 7,500 varieties of apples are grown all over the world.
  • United States is known for growing about 2,500 varieties of apples.
  • The science of apple-growing is known as pomology.
  • Apples come in different variety of colors such as red, yellow, green, etc.
  • Different varieties of apples range in size, from a bit bigger than a cherry to as large as a grapefruit.
  • Some of the popular varieties of apples are Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Gala apples, Fuji apples, Granny Smith, Rome, Empire, Idared, etc.
  • About 25% of their volume is air. That’s why, fresh apples float on water.
  • A medium-size apple contains about 80 calories.
  • It requires about 36 apples to produce one gallon of apple cider.

Nutrition Facts about Apples

Apple is known for having a great nutritional value. It is an easy-to-carry, low-calorie snack and a natural mouth freshener. One medium-size apple consists of 80 calories, 21 gm carbohydrates, 4 gm dietary fibers (soluble and insoluble), 10 mg calcium, 10 mg phosphorus, 0.25 mg iron, 159 mg potassium, 8 mg vitamin C, 73 IU vitamin A and 4 mcg folic acid.

Health Benefits of Apples

Apple is well-known for offering a number of health benefits. The health benefits of apples are associated with the phytonutrients, such as epicatechin, quercetin and procyanidin, as well as minerals and vitamins found in apples. Phytonutrients present in the apple protect us from various diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. They have anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory effects. Apple is low in fat, cholesterol and sodium. It is an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fiber such as pectin prevents the cholesterol buildup in the blood vessels and thus, reduces the risks of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Insoluble fibers in the apple improve the digestive health. Apple is a potent source of antioxidants, which are effective in preventing many health problems.

A flavanoid called phloridzin found in apple helps protect from osteoporosis and also increases bone density. Pectin in the apple lowers the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. It is also helpful in managing diabetes. Apple is effective in preventing various types of cancers such as liver cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer.

Knowing these facts about apples, one can believe that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Rich in nutrients, an apple is, no doubt, a valuable choice for improving overall health.

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Casserole is the French word used for a saucepan. The casserole is used in the oven as well as a serving dish. The term may also be used for the food that is cooked and served in such a dish. Green bean casserole is a casserole that consists of green beans, French fried onions and canned cream of mushroom soup. You can also use ground black pepper or soy sauce in these food recipes.

Green bean casserole was invented by the Campbell Soup Company test kitchen led by Dorcas Reilly in the year 1955. It is a popular Thanksgiving side dish in the United States. Following are some delightful recipes for green bean casserole, which also have great nutritional value. Know more about freezing fresh green beans.

Green Bean Casserole

4 cups cooked green beans
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1-1/3 cups French fried onions
½ cup milk
1/8 tsp pepper

In a 1½-quart casserole dish, mix together cream of mushroom soup, pepper and milk. Then add cooked green beans and 2/3 cup of fried onions. Bake this mixture at 350°F for about 25 minutes. Top with remaining 2/3 cup fried onions and bake it for 5 more minutes, until onions become lightly brown.

Grandma’s Green Bean Casserole

3 cans French style green beans, drained
2 tbsps all-purpose flour
¼ cup onion, diced
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp butter
½ cup crumbled buttery round crackers
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp white sugar
1 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt 2 tbsp butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Then add all-purpose flour, until the mixture become smooth. Cook it for about one minute. Then add onion, sugar, salt and sour cream and mix well. Add green beans and stir. This mixture should be transferred to a 2½-quart casserole dish. Top with shredded cheese. In a small bowl, lightly mix cracker crumbs and remaining butter and sprinkle it over the cheese layer. Bake this mixture in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and top turns golden.

Green Bean Pork Chop Casserole

1 bag frozen green beans
1 cup sour cream
6-8 pork chops
1 can mushroom soup
3-4 medium-sized potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
2-3 tbsps olive oil

Cook and season the pork chops in preheated oil in a pan. Rinse thin slices of potatoes and pat dry. In a mixing bowl, mix well milk, mushroom soup and sour cream and add this mixture to the bottom of a 13-9″ casserole dish. Then add a layer of ½ soup mixture and potatoes. Each layer should be lightly covered. Arrange pork chops in a single row across the mixture. Mix together soup mixture and frozen green beans and spread this mixture over the pork chops. Bake the mixture for about 30-40 minutes at 400°F in the preheated oven. Cover the top using a foil and place it on a baking pan in order to avoid spillage.

Pizza Around The World

Pizza Around The World

New York style pizza is a style originally developed in New York City by immigrants from Naples, where pizza was created. It is often sold in generously sized, thin and flexible slices. It is traditionally hand-tossed, moderate on sauce and moderately covered with cheese essentially amounting to a much larger version of the Neapolitan style. The slices are sometimes eaten folded in half, or even stacked, as its size and flexibility may otherwise make it unwieldy to eat by hand. This style of pizza tends to dominate the Northeastern states and is very similar to the basic style common through the United States and known simply as pizza.

Chicago style pizza contains a crust which is formed up the sides of a deep-dish pan. It reverses the order of some ingredients, using crust, cheese, filling and then sauce on top. Some versions have two layers of crust with the sauce on top. The invention of deep-dish pizza occurred in America and transcends a single ethnic origin. Deep-dish pizza was invented by Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo and first served in 1943 at Pizzeria Uno, which is still operating along with its twin restaurant, Pizzeria Due, in the River North neighborhood.

St. Louis style pizza is a variant of Chicago style thin crust that is popular in and around St. Louis, Missouri. The most notable characteristic of St. Louis style pizza is the distinctively St. Louisan Provel cheese used instead of mozzarella.

California style pizza refers to pizza with non-traditional ingredients, especially those that use a considerable amount of fresh products. A Thai inspired chicken pizza with peanut sauce, bean sprouts and shaved carrots is a popular variant in California style pizza restaurants, as are pizzas that use chicken and barbecue sauce as toppings. The style was invented by Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, California and popularized by the California Pizza Kitchen chain, along with Wolfgang Puck’s various fine dining and casual restaurant chains and retail products.

Greek pizza is a variation popular in New England. Its name comes from it being typical of the style of pizzerias owned by Greek immigrants. It has a thicker, chewier crust and is baked in a pan in the pizza oven, instead of directly on the bricks. Plain olive oil is a common part of the topping, as well as being liberally used to grease the pans and crisp the crust. Variations in other parts of the country include using feta cheese, Kalamata olives and Greek herbs such as oregano.

Hawaiian pizza has “Canadian bacon” and pineapple toppings with Mozzarella cheese. This type of pizza is especially popular in the western United States and is also a popular topping combination in Australia, Canada, and Sweden, but notably not in Hawaii. This type is also common within the EU, where it is known as pizza Hawaii.

Taco pizza has ingredients usually associated with tacos, such as: lettuce, shredded beef or hamburger, chopped tomatoes, avocados, corn chips, cheddar cheese, sour cream and taco sauce.

Grilled pizza, invented in Providence, Rhode Island, uses a fairly thin crust cooked on a grill. The toppings are placed on the baked side after the pizza has cooked for a bit and been flipped over.

English muffin and French bread pizza and pizza bagels are common convenience pizzas made at home in an oven or toaster, usually with a simple topping of tomato sauce, sliced or shredded cheese and perhaps pepperoni. French bread pizza is sometimes available commercially as a frozen meal.

New Haven style pizza, also known as apizza is popular in southern Connecticut. It has a thin crust that varies between chewy and tender, depending on the particular establishment. The default version is a “white” pizza topped with only garlic and hard cheeses; customers who want tomato sauce or mozzarella cheese have to ask for them explicitly. Apizza has a very dark, “scorched” crisp crust that offers a distinctive bitter flavor, which can be offset by the sweetness of tomatoes or other toppings.

Breakfast pizza is a specialty pizza made specifically to be eaten breakfast. Such pizzas substitute a sausage gravy (or similar sauce) for the tomato sauce and in addition to cheese are topped with eggs and breakfast meats such as ham, sausage or Canadian bacon. Such pizzas may be eaten fresh, or sold as frozen or ready-to-bake meals.