Since ancient history people have been cooking to make food more palatable and safer to eat. Because of the profusion of raw foods as well as prepared food products, the varied ways of preparing and eating food, the difference in complexity of culinary technique and cultural expression represented through one-pot meals to gourmet banquets, the crucial role of food and cooking in health and longevity, and the intricate ways food and eating are interwoven into the social fabric, cooking offers numerous opportunities for personal and community development far beyond making food more palatable or safer to eat. If the food is not cooked properly or it is half cooked, many pathogens and microorganism that are harmful to our health are not destroyed. It is thus very important that food is cooked to at least 140 F for all the pathogens to be killed. Use best oven thermometers to know the exact temperature of the food. The kitchen thermometers are also helpful in knowing whether your food is properly cooked or not.
Tips To Make You a Better Cook
Sanitation is the most overlooked step of good cooking. There are over 70 million cases of food borne illness in the U.S. every year. Two simple steps could prevent many of them. The first step is to wash your hands thoroughly before starting to cook, after eating or using the bathroom, after handling meat or fish, and regularly throughout cooking. The second step is to ensure that counters and work surfaces are clean and sanitized by thoroughly washing and sanitizing as necessary and by heating wet sponges and dishrags in the microwave for 1-2 minutes every 3 days.
Cooking presents numerous opportunities to practice quality control. Look for opportunities to monitor quality when you choose food, when you trim or clean it, during preparation and cooking, and before you bring it to the table. A key method to becoming a better cook is to practice the fundamental techniques of cooking. The faster and more efficiently one can prepare food, the more likely one is to prepare it more frequently, which leads to becoming an even better cook.
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A major criticism of molecular gastronomy is that it is “science” not “cooking”, and that you need to understand chemistry and have lots of fancy equipment.
I think this viewpoint is mainly due to how recently many of these ingredients have started to be used in American kitchens. Because of this, there has been a lot of experimentation and explanation about how they work. All of this discussion took place for our traditional ingredients centuries ago, but these exact same discussions did occur.
For instance, you need to add water to the powdered mix and whisk until the thickening agent is evenly dispersed, becomes hydrated and a thick foam is formed, leavened by the carbon dioxide produced by the NaHCO3 interacting with the hydrogen. The foam is then heated over medium-high heat until the cellular foam structure solidifies and sets, and non-enzymatic browning covers the surface.
Or, you could say “add water to the instant pancake mix, stir together, and cook until it isn’t wet and the outside browns.”
This same idea applies to molecular gastronomy too. To utilize the thickening power of xanthan gum you don’t need to understand how it works on a molecular level, just that adding some to a liquid will cause it to thicken.
I’m willing to bet that the majority of the people who say molecular gastronomy is too complicated can make instant pancake mix just fine but couldn’t begin to tell you how it works.
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No matter what your health problems, even food allergies, eating healthy foods should be a priority, and a pleasant experience as well. You must be responsible for your own health—don’t expect anyone to keep you in line. As a matter of fact, many people will offer you foods that are not good for you and it is ultimately up to you to say “no, thank you.” Do everything in your power to stay on your nutrition plan. You will feel much better and be able to enjoy your daily activities and possibly reduce the risk of allergic attacks.
Eating habits can be difficult to change and are often rooted in years of ingrained cultural and family habits. Expecting a quick change is not realistic. Patience and a strong will to change over time are a must. By employing new habits, you will eventually see the fruits of your labor in an improved overall well-being.
Healthy eating is not about eating everything you like. It is about giving your body what it needs and what it agrees with. It is about eating the right amount of calories per day, taking into account your daily activities. Eating healthy is also about meal rituals. That means having regular meals at the same times every day. Three to four meals a day are recommended. This includes a snack in the afternoon, which is important to keep your blood sugar level stable if you have a late dinner. It is ultimately up to you to decide what works best for your body and how to spread your meals throughout your day. Remember to appropriately divide your daily calories
Continue reading Some Useful Suggestions for a Healthy Lifestyle
Eating well can have a positive impact on your health. But how should you begin to make a change, and how will you know what steps to take? Start to think about the time you felt well and when you started not to feel well. Beginning a regular food journal can help you to identify the causes of your symptoms.
Review your journal to see what you did in the last hour, twenty-four hours, and forty-eight hours: what you ate, what you drank, if you ate out, skipped or changed medication, introduced new beauty products, relapsed into unhealthy habits, or introduced a new food into your diet. Were you traveling and mostly ate out? If you haven’t been keeping a journal, it is time to start again. It is also time to rest, take your medicine (if any), and resume your gluten-free diet precisely. It is wise to keep a journal on any consecutive days you feel tired or off. Sometimes the answer is right in front of you and a little reflection can give you the answer to your problems. I once realized a toothpaste brand, which I had been using for years without problems, suddenly had a new flavoring ingredient. I got into a routine of purchasing it without checking the label and it took my allergies flaring up to remind me of the importance of checking the ingredients label every time I purchase a product—even one I am familiar with.
Once you figure out what caused you to feel unwell, make sure you keep it in mind as an ingredient you should be careful to avoid. On the other hand, you might not find out right away what caused your allergies to flare up. Be patient—it may take you a while to do so. A positive attitude and a strong desire to determine the reasons behind why you are not feeling well are extremely important. Revise your strategies and any notes that you made for establishing your healthier lifestyle, food intake, and beauty product use. Remember, your goal is to live a healthier life with as few allergic symptoms or health problems as possible.
If you avoid certain foods due to intolerance or allergies, it is important to remember that you may be depriving your body of major nutrients. This could be another reason you do not feel well. Consult your registered dietitian or nutritionist to find out if you need to change your nutritional habits and, if necessary, take vitamin and mineral supplements. Do ask which brand of supplements to purchase, as poor quality, and even hidden ingredients, might cause your allergies to flare up. Make sure you read the labels before purchasing. Once you start to take supplements, make note of even the slightest discomfort and let your registered dietitian or nutritionist know if symptoms don’t disappear within forty-eight hours. They should recommend a different brand as the symptoms may get worse if you do not discontinue using a brand that makes you unwell.
Continue reading Why Healthy Diet is So Important