Scientists have created the tear-less onion of your dreams – The Washington Post

Here’s one modified food I wouldn’t mind! (as long as it’s affecting just this enzyme and not all the good stuff..)

The smart people over at House Foods Group said they have come up with a way to root out the onion’s tear-inducing powers for good.

Researchers with the Japanese company have figured out how to weaken the enzymes that play a key role in giving the onion its eye-burning quality. They were able to do that by bombarding the onion bulb with irradiating ions, according to the Agence France-Presse.

The result is an onion that is less pungent and doesn’t leave a not-so pleasant odor on hands or your breath, according to the Wall Street Journal.

via Scientists have created the tear-less onion of your dreams – The Washington Post.

Advertisements

Grilled Sweet Potato Salad | Two Peas & Their Pod

This salad looks amazing. I have to try to make it soon…

Southwestern Grilled Sweet Potato Salad

Yield: Seres 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Grilled sweet potato salad with black beans, sweet corn, red pepper, avocado, cilantro, and lime. This fresh and healthy potato salad is always a hit at summer BBQ’s!

ingredients:

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 ear sweet corn, husked
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red pepper, diced
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 avocados, pit and skin removed, chopped
Juice of 2 limes
Salt and pepper, to taste

directions:

 

1. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato slices with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place the sweet potatoes on a grill over medium heat. Cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes on each side. When the sweet potatoes are close to being done, place the ear of corn on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes, rotating so the kernels get slightly charred. Let the sweet potatoes and corn cool to room temperature.

2. Cut the sweet potatoes into cubes and place in a large bowl. With a sharp knife, remove the corn kernels from the cob. Add the corn to the bowl. Stir in black beans, red pepper, green onions, cilantro, and avocado. Squeeze the lime juice over the salad and stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve.

Note-the salad will keep in the refrigerator for 2 days.

Yes, It Matters What Kind Of Onion You Use

via Yes, It Matters What Kind Of Onion You Use.

Yes, It Matters What Kind Of Onion You Use

Here’s a guide to what to use when.posted on September 6, 2013 at 1:18pm EDT

Photo by Macey J Foronda / Chris Ritter

So your recipe calls for “an onion.”


That’s not very specific, and you may find yourself at the grocery store staring at mountains of varieties. Dinner isn’t going to be ruined if you use a red onion where you should use a yellow onion. That said, there are some onion best practices, and here they are.

MOST COMMONLY USED:

MOST COMMONLY USED:

Photo by Macey J Foronda / Chris Ritter

Best for almost everything major: roasted meat dishes (pot roast, rack of lamb, roast chicken, etc.)…

…or as a flavor base for sauces, soups, and stews.

Yellow onions are the most common variety you should cook with. They have thin layers of white flesh and a tough, brownish-yellow skin. They’re very astringent — astringency is that sharp, almost spicy flavor that onions are known for — but also have a lot of sugar. When cooked, this onion loses its astringency, gets super sweet, and turns a light brown color.

SECOND-MOST VERSATILE:

SECOND-MOST VERSATILE:

Photo by Macey J Foronda / Chris Ritter

Best for frying, for making rings, for French onion soup…

…or for baked gratins and roast veggie dishes.

Sweet onions are similar to yellow ones, but their distinct flavor is better for certain things. A sweet onion has thick layers, which makes it great for slicing into rings. Because of its high sugar content and a low sulphur content, it is very sweet without being as pungent or spicy as other types of onion. They are great for frying — think battered things, like onion rings or the infamous bloomin’ onion — and are also perfect for French onion soup, since they add so much sweetness. They’re also perfect for roasted vegetables (while yellow onions are good for meat roasts, which have a more savory flavor), and in baked gratins. ALSO KNOWN AS: Vidalia onions, Walla Walla onions

CRUNCHIEST AND SHARPEST:

CRUNCHIEST AND SHARPEST:

Photo by Macey J Foronda / Chris Ritter

Best for salsa or vegetable chutney, or in sautéed or stir-fried vegetables for extra crunch.

White onions are less common, and are used mostly in Mexican cooking. They’re larger than other varieties, with thin, papery skin. They are sharp, astringent, and not very sweet, and they’re super crispy because of their high water content.

EASIEST TO EAT RAW:

EASIEST TO EAT RAW:

Photo by Macey J Foronda / Chris Ritter

Best for guacamole, pickling, slicing thin for salads…

…or grilled, on burgers, and on sandwiches.

Red onions are milder, and add a little bit of color. A red onion is crisp and a little bit sweet, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. It isn’t as pungent as a yellow onion (read: less “onion breath” and fewer tears while slicing), but still has a pretty strong flavor.

MOST SUBTLE:

MOST SUBTLE:

Photo by Macey J Foronda / Chris Ritter

Best for salad dressings, mignonettes, and cooked vinegary glazes…

…or in egg casseroles or as garnishes.

Though a shallot is not technically an onion, it has a similar flavor and is less overpowering. Shallots grow in clusters with multiple cloves, like garlic, but their flavor is really similar to that of a mild red onion. It’s sweet with a little bit of spiciness. Shallots are the best choice for vinaigrette and mignonette (a super chunky vinaigrette that’s eaten with oysters or other shellfish), or in cooked vinegar sauces (like balsamic glaze or gastrique). Shallots are also great in quiche or other egg dishes, since they’re smaller than onions and aren’t as chunky. Also, thinly sliced shallots are a great, simple garnish for vegetable dishes, either raw or fried.

Photo by Macey J Foronda / Chris Ritter

7 Economical Superfoods for Everyone | Rodale News

The media and food marketers often make a big deal out of the latest superfoods. Take goji berries or pomegranates as two recent examples. But trendy superfoods are usually pricey, unfamiliar, and unavailable locally, making them inaccessible to the masses.

In a post appearing in Food, Nutrition & Science, food expert Sharon Palmer, RD, suggests more familiar, readily available, and affordable superfood options. The best part? You can snag many of these items in organic form and on the cheap at a local farmer’s market (or in your own backyard garden!)

Here’s here list of affordable superfood choices:

1. Oats. Oats are rich in avenanthramide, an antioxidant that protects the heart. Other oat accolades? The superfood lowers cholesterol and has been shown to possess disease-zapping antimicrobial activity, making organic oatmeal the perfect affordable breakfast item for cold and flu season.

More details: The Grain Guide: Easy Recipes for the Healthiest Whole Grains.

2. Dry beans. Forget expensive steak and sausage. Dry beans and dry lentils pack a healthy low-fat, plant-based protein punch. Known as a “perfect food,” just one cooked cupful can provide as much as 17 grams of fiber. Beans are also loaded with protein and dozens of key nutrients, including a few most people fall short on—calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Studies tie beans to a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and breast and colon cancers.

Soak beans overnight and rinse them well to eliminate most of the flatulence-causing compounds.

3. Garlic. This onion relative contains more than 70 active phytochemicals, including allicin, which studies show may decrease high blood pressure by as much as 30 points. High consumption of garlic lowered rates of ovarian, colorectal, and other cancers, according to a research review in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. To boost garlic’s health effects, be sure to crush the cloves and let them stand for up to 30 minutes before heating them.

4. Cayenne pepper. If you can handle the heat, this powerhouse pepper is worth your while. The heat in cayenne peppers come from a phytochemical called capsaicin, which can help clear congestion, fight cholesterol, melt away body fat, and jump-start your metabolism. Sprinkle it over veggies and beans to sneak it into your diet.

5. Celery. Eating four sticks of celery a day can produce modest reductions in blood pressure, thanks to the vegetable’s rich supply of phthalides, phytochemicals linked to cardiovascular health.

Bonus: Celery is loaded with androstenone and androstenol, pheromones that help attract women.

6. Tomatoes. Tomatoes are our most common source of lycopene, an antioxidant that may protect against heart disease and breast cancer. Avoid canned tomatoes when possible: The epoxy can coating usually contains the harmful plastic chemical BPA. Instead, load up on in-season, organic tomatoes in bulk and preserve them for year-round enjoyment.

7. Onions. This bulb boasts far-reaching health benefits, including immunity-boosting compounds that can help prevent everything from the common cold to cancer. Onions are also rich in quercetin, a flavonoid shown to keep your blood healthy. It’s also a must-have for natural allergy prevention.

via 7 Economical Superfoods for Everyone | Rodale News.

8 foods you should really get at your farmer’s market… by Emily Main

I know I know… I should really be posting some original stuff. 🙂 We’ve had company in town and I’m trying to get through my Organic Chem online (self taught… awful) course before I startup Anatomy and Phys 2 in a couple of weeks.

I did think this article was really interesting though and wanted to share!

8 Foods You Should Always Buy at the Farmers’ Market

You get more than just better taste and fresher produce when you buy these eight foods at your local farmers’ market.
BY EMILY MAIN

Fresh, Local & Fair

Farmers’ market food tastes better, simple as that. But that’s not the only reason you should start hitting up your weekly market as much as you can. Whether you care about your health or the health of the planet, there are dozens of reasons to support local farmers, including buying vegetables that have higher antioxidant levels and haven’t been fumigated with toxic chemicals. When you buy these eight foods in particular, you’re supporting less-toxic food production and could even save a farm or two, all while getting the best-tasting food you can find!

Tomatoes

Surprised? Probably not. A bland, mealy grocery-store tomato will never rival a fresh-from-the-farm-market tomato. And there are more benefits to local tomatoes than just taste. In Florida, where a third of the country’s fresh tomatoes are grown, slavery of illegal immigrants on tomato farms is a persistent problem. And farmers in that state apply five times as much fungicide and six times as much pesticide as farmers in California, which supplies another third of the country’s fresh tomatoes.

Carrots

You’ll never find anything but standard orange carrots at a supermarket, but you’ll find them in every hue, from purple to white, at local farm stands. Those colorful varieties, particularly purple carrots, have higher antioxidant values than commercially grown orange carrots, according to a study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. They’re also better for the planet. The energy required to store carrots when they’re out of season or being shipped long distances accounts for 60 percent of the greenhouse-gas emissions associated with carrot production.

Berries

Grab a pint of local strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries, and you’re doing the planet a favor. Because they perish quickly and have relatively short shelf lives, berries are often shipped from farm to distribution center via air freight, the most fossil-fuel-guzzling form of food shipment, from South America, Mexico, Canada, and even as far off as Poland. You’re also doing domestic growers a favor: According to Food & Water Watch, the United States imports $220 million worth of strawberries, while selling just $1.5 million worth of domestically grown berries.

Onions

Oddly enough, buying local onions could help save a farm. A few years ago, the U.S. government loosened trade restrictions with Peru, and the result has been a glut of imported onions that has dropped the price local farmers can get for their crops by half. As a result, domestic onion growers have slowly been cutting back on the number of onions they grow. All of Peru’s onion exports aren’t doing farmers there any good, either. The primary pesticide used on Peru’s onion crops, methamidophos, has been linked to sperm damage in farmers.

Asparagus

Sales of this crop have also benefited from our neighbors to the south. Asparagus imports from Peru have grown steadily over the past decade and now account for 51 percent of the asparagus we consume. The vegetable is now Peru’s largest agricultural export. The USDA requires all shipments of fresh asparagus from Peru to be fumigated with the dangerous pesticide methyl bromide, a neurotoxic chemical suspected of causing cancer. If that’s not bad enough, the chemical shortens asparagus’s shelf life, so it doesn’t even taste good by the time it arrives at the store! The best-tasting stalks are at the farmers’ market, even if the asparagus season is fleeting.

Peaches

Domestic, imported. Organic, nonorganic. Peaches just don’t taste good any other time of year than in midsummer, the height of their season, because they don’t hold up well during transport. Another benefit to buying local? Pesticides. According to the Environmental Working Group’s Shoppers Guide to Produce, peaches are treated with more pesticides than any other fruit. Buying local means you can grill the farmer to see which chemicals, if any, he or she uses.

Grass-Fed Beef and Dairy

Like organic food, the environmental impact of animal products has more to do with how they were raised than how far they traveled—which is why buying local beef and dairy is important. Animals raised entirely on grass produce 8 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions and 30 percent lower ammonia levels than corn-fed animals raised in confinement. Since the term grass-fed isn’t always reliable (it’s not well regulated), local venues allow you to ask farmers direct questions about how their animals were raised.

Anything Organic

Despite the feel-good factor of supporting local farms, where your food is grown accounts for just a fraction of its environmental impact. It’s how your food is grown that matters most. According to agricultural researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, 11 percent of your food’s environmental impact comes from food miles, whereas 83 percent comes from how it was grown, particularly when it’s grown with the greenhouse-gas-intensive fertilizers and pesticides used on chemical farms.