Sunday, August 18, 2019

Plate Size Matters

The History of Plate Sizes

Fast foods do not have a monopoly on supersize. The plate industry has had its own growth spurt during the past 50 years. In the 1960s dinner plates were about 8.5 to 9-inches in diameter and held about 800 calories; by 2009 plate size had grown to 12-inches with the capacity to hold about 1900 calories. The calorie differences are illustrated in the graphic below. (Calorie amounts will vary depending on the foods you choose.)


From “As Purchased” to “Edible Portion”
How to Analyze a Recipe using a Nutrient Database



Dr. Frank has over 25 years’ experience as a Nutrient Analysis Expert. She has worked with the media, cookbook publishers, recipe bloggers & websites. Dr. Frank wrote “From As Purchased to Edible Portion,” as an essential tool for anyone providing nutrient analysis.


Purchasing nutrient analysis software and learning how to use the program is only useful if you have the knowledge to convert “as purchased” ingredients to the “edible portion.” This book describes how to read a recipe and enter the correct ingredients and amounts, in order to provide an accurate nutrient analysis.



Do you have the knowledge and skills necessary to analyze a recipe? Take the quiz at the bottom of the page.




Nutrition Analysis is part of our everyday life. We have grown accustomed to nutrition information being readily available. But what if a recipe has no nutrition information or even worse the information is wrong?


People with medical conditions might not try the recipe. There are millions of people who have special dietary needs, such as low calorie, carbohydrate controlled, high protein, low protein, low carbohydrate, low fat, low cholesterol, low sodium, high fiber, gluten free, lactose free, peanut allergies, and these are just a few of the diets available.


Many people believe if they just buy a nutrient analysis program, they can provide an accurate nutrition analysis for a recipe. This is far from the truth.

Recipes are usually written based on what the consumer needs to purchase. The individual analyzing the recipe must evaluate the recipe based on the actual food ready to eat (unless the food is meant to be eaten whole.)

A nutrient analysis program cannot cook or prepare meals. A person must have skills in Food Science, Culinary Nutrition, Cooking and Preparation Techniques, Purchasing Guides, Yield Factors, and Nutrient Analysis Software.

An essential tool for analysis is the food conversion and equivalent tables. These databases provide information on AP (as purchased), EP (edible portion), waste, marinating, straining, percentage of bones; difference between a raw or cooked weight; comparison of weight versus volume measures. Many nutrient analysis software programs do not provide this information for all items; therefore it must be calculated manually or estimated.

Most Americans believe one cup is equal to eight ounces; and they would be right if we were referring to a liquid. In selecting the correct measure of a food, it is critical to know whether the food is measured by weight or by volume. Weight measures include grams, ounces, and pounds. Volume measures are listed as teaspoons, tablespoons, fluid ounces, cups, pints, quarts, and gallons.


Quiz: 
Do you have the knowledge and skills necessary to analyze a recipe? 

Below are a series of questions to determine your knowledge of foods and recipes in order to perform a nutrient analysis. The answers can be found at the following link. Answers to Quiz


1. How much does one cup of cheerios weigh in ounces and grams?

2. How many apples should you purchase to yield 2.75 cups, peeled, cored, and chopped?

3. The recipe states to purchase one pound potatoes. Directions: Bake potatoes and peel. How many ounces will be left?

4. How much lobster would you analyze, if provided with a 1.5 pound lobster in a shell? The answer should be in ounces.

5. Recipe states to purchase one pound chicken breast with bone and skin. Directions: Broil, remove skin. How many of ounces of cooked chicken will you analyze?

6. How many cups of cooked kidney beans would one pound dried kidney beans yield?

7. How many cups of all-purpose flour would a two pound bag of flour yield?

8. Recipe states to purchase one pound lean ground beef and broil. Drain fat. How many ounces of cooked ground beef would you analyze?

9. Recipe states to marinade chicken in refrigerator overnight. Prior to cooking, the marinade is drained and discarded. What percentage of the marinade should be included in the analysis?

10. You are preparing the analysis of a chicken broth. The directions state to strain and reserve the chicken and vegetables for another time. How would you analyze the recipe?


Consider adding nutrition information for your online recipes and menus.


An invaluable service for the Media, Publishers, Writers, Chefs, Recipe Websites and Blogs. Your readers will benefit from the Nutrition information. 






Portion Control Matters - Kids Eat Right



Resources
1. WebMD, Portion Size Guide
2. Kids and Portion Control, Jo Ellen Shield, RDN, Kids Eat Right
3. 
How to Avoid Portion Size Pitfalls to Help Manage Your Weight, CDC
4. 
What is the difference between a serving and a portion? NIH



 

 

Edible Flowers by Guest Blogger: Brittaney Bialas, MS, RD


Spring is a warm, bright, and sunny time of year when you may schedule time for outdoor picnics at local parks and beaches. While you are at it, you might as well pencil in some time to brighten up your herb or vegetable garden with some tasty flowers – edible flowers, that is! 

You may have seen floral garnishes adorning fancy meals or flashy desserts; but you may not know that you can eat many of these flowers fresh from the plant after rinsing. Edible flowers can be cooked like a vegetable, sprinkled on top of a favorite dish, used to make soups and sauces, or stuffed and sautéed as a main part of a recipe. They can be made into vinegar, syrups, butters, and jellies, or used in custards, sorbets, and other desserts. They can also be frozen into ice cubes to add extra excitement to an otherwise boring beverage on a hot day. Now is the time of year when many edible flowers are in peak bloom. They may even be in your garden already - just waiting to be added to your next dish!




Some of the edible flowers that may be in your backyard or vases include pansies, violas, chrysanthemums, carnations, fuchsias, geraniums, jasmine, lavender, violets, and certain roses. Flavors range from sweet and honey-like to spicy and peppery, while scents can add a floral aroma or a citrusy tang. Nasturtiums are a popular edible flower that adds a spicy, peppery kick. The purple flowers of banana trees and blossoms of citrus trees (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, kumquat) are edible fruit flowers that may be in your back yard. Many herb flowers, including alliums (garlic, chives, leeks), cilantro/coriander, chicory, dill, mint, sage, and thyme are also safe to eat. Most of the flavors of herbal flowers resemble those of the herbs they come from. These can be added to a dish along with or in place of the herb itself. Several vegetable flowers probably already make a regular appearance in your diet, such as cauliflower (who would have thought?), broccoli, and artichoke, which are all flower blossoms. In addition, the flowers of arugula, okra, radishes, peas, and squash are edible. Squash blossoms appear quite often in the produce stands and taste a bit like the raw gourd from which it came.

Best of all, many edible flowers have vitamin C, vitamin A, and other beneficial essential nutrients. Edible flowers can replace sodium and sugar when used in conjunction with herbs and spices, adding more flavor and aroma to foods. However, keep in mind that edible flowers have a delicate taste that is detected best when added to simple dishes that do not have overpowering flavors.




Many flowers can be safely tossed onto our plates; but there are flowers that are poisonous and should never be eaten. Always make sure a flower is edible before adding it to your food. Some resources that list some edible flowers are at Colorado State Extension  and North Carolina State University. In general, edible flowers are best when they are picked during the morning when they have the most moisture. They can be rinsed and placed in a moist paper towel in the refrigerator for storage. Use within a short period to maintain quality.

There are also some safety rules to follow regarding where you find your edible flowers. Do not pick flowers from the side of the road where fumes from vehicles and other contaminants can make the plants unsafe to eat. Do not purchase edible flowers from nurseries or garden centers unless they are grown specifically for consumption. Do consume edible flowers that you have grown from seeds as long as you do not use pesticides or other chemicals. Do introduce small amounts of new flowers one at a time since pollen from the plants may trigger allergies. Do research which parts should and should not be used since each type of edible flower is different.

Flowers are nice to have. Their colors brighten a room, they give off a pleasing aroma, and they bring joy to people who take the time to notice them.

However, one of the most exciting reasons for dietitians to love flowers is that they may be food! Spring is the perfect time to try something new and let an edible flower be a part of your dining room table – and not just as an accent piece in a vase! 


Pansy Herb Salad 
4 cups mixed greens 
1/4 cup fresh sprigs of dill 
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves 
4 large basil leaves, rolled up and thinly sliced crosswise 
1 large lemon, halved 
Pinch of salt 
Fresh ground black pepper to taste 
1 /2 cup toasted walnuts 
3/4 cup crumbled feta 
1 cup fresh pansy flowers 

Toss salad greens and herbs in a large bowl. Squeeze lemon juice (without the seeds) over the greens and season with salt and pepper. Toss again. Add walnuts and feta and toss well. Divide salad and pansies among four serving plates and serve.

Nutrition Fact Per Serving (Serves 4)
Calories: 179; Fat: 16g; Carbohydrate: 5g. Adapted from Pansy Herb Salad





Friday, August 16, 2019

Get Acquainted with Kiwifruit Month

sponsored by the California Kiwifruit Commission.

The Kiwifruit


History of the Kiwifruit.
Originally discovered in the Chang Kiang Valley of China, kiwifruit was considered a delicacy by the great Khans who enjoyed the emerald green color and wonderful flavor. By the mid-1800s, the fruit had found its way into other countries and was nicknamed the Chinese gooseberry. New Zealand growers started to export this exotic fruit to specialized markets around the world.


Then in 1962, a California produce dealer began importing New Zealand gooseberries. The dealer renamed the product "kiwifruit" because of its resemblance to the fuzzy brown kiwi — New Zealand's funny-looking national bird. By the late 1960s, California began producing its own kiwifruit in the Delano and Gridley areas.

How to Eat A Kiwi

There's no "right" or "wrong" way to eat California Kiwifruit. But since most people find that slicing and scooping is a good way to get the most from their kiwifruit, we coined the word "slooping" to describe it! Here's how to sloop your kiwi:

Using a sharp knife, slice the kiwifruit lengthwise to create two identical halves. Then use a spoon to scoop the sweet, delicious meat of the kiwifruit from each half. Looking for maximum fiber and nutrition? Don't throw that skin away! It's loaded with nutrients and fiber, so rinse it off and bite right in! 



The kiwifruit is a rich source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K and Fiber. It is low in calories, low in sodium, has no cholesterol and only a small amount of fat. 


One Large Kiwifruit, weighs about 3.5 ounces (100 grams) and provides the following nutrition.


Recipe from California Kiwifruit Commission.

Kiwi Mint Lemonade
Makes 4 servings 



If you don't have mint, try fresh lemon balm. The lemonade is also delicious without the herbs. 

Ingredients
1 cup (250 mL) water
 ½ (125 mL) cup granulated sugar
 ½ (125 mL) cup packed fresh mint leaves
 3 California kiwifruit
 3 lemons
 Sparkling water

Directions
1. In a medium saucepan, heat water with sugar over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in mint leaves. Let stand 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, peel kiwifruit and cut into chunks. Puree in a food processor. Place puree in a pitcher. Strain cooled syrup into pitcher, pressing on mint, then discard leaves. Refrigerate until cold. Squeeze juice from 2 lemons. Stir into kiwifruit mixture. Taste, squeeze in juice from remaining lemon for a tarter lemonade.


3. Pour into glasses. Top with sparkling water. Serve garnished with a slice of kiwifruit. Makes about 2¼ cups (550 mL) without sparkling water, enough for 4 drinks.
 



For more recipes, visit the California Kiwi Commission.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Remembering Julia Child





Julia Carolyn Child was born on August 15, 1912 and died on August 13, 2004. She was an American chef, author, and television personality. Child is recognized for bringing French cuisine to the American public with her cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” and her television programs, the most prominent of which was The French Chef, which premiered in 1963.

In 1946 Julia married Paul Cushing Child. The couple moved to Paris in 1948. In Paris, Child attended the Le Cordon Bleu cooking school and later studied privately with master chefs. She joined the women's cooking club Le Cercle des Gourmettes, through which she met Simone Beck. In 1951, Child, Beck, and Bertholle began to teach cooking to American women in Child's Paris kitchen, calling their informal school L'école des trois gourmandes (The School of the Three Food Lovers). For the next decade, as the Childs moved around Europe and finally to Cambridge, Massachusetts, the three researched and repeatedly tested recipes. Child translated French into English, making the recipes detailed, interesting, and practical.



In 1961 the Mastering the Art of French Cooking was published and became a best-seller and received critical acclaim. The book is still in print and is considered an important culinary work. Following this success, Child wrote magazine articles and a regular column for The Boston Globe newspaper. She would go on to publish nearly twenty titles under her name and with others. 

In the 1970s and 1980s, Child was the star of numerous television programs, including Julia Child & Company, Julia Child & More Company and Dinner at Julia's. In 1989, she published a book and instructional video series collectively entitled “The Way To Cook.”

Child starred in four more series in the 1990s featuring guest chefs: Cooking with Master Chefs, In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs, Baking with Julia, and Julia Child & Jacques Pépin Cooking at Home.

Julia Child’s kitchen can be seen at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. She will be remembered for bringing French cuisine to the American public and her dynamic cooking style and presentation in the kitchen.


References.

1. Wikipedia, Julia Child
2. PBS, Julia Child
3. Julia Child's Kitchen, Smithsonian Institution





Wednesday, August 14, 2019

August 14, National Creamsicle Day


Creamsicle® is a frozen dessert with vanilla ice cream in the center and a fruit sherbet on the outside. The classic Creamsicle® flavor is orange and vanilla, but today there are numerous flavors to choose from.

The term “Creamsicle” is a registered brand name owned by Unilever.

Creamsicles are available in several varieties, including 100 Calorie Bars, Low Fat Bars and No Sugar Added Bars.












GoodGuide is a business that provides information about the health, environmental and social performance of products and companies. Their mission is to help consumers make purchasing decisions that reflect preferences and values.
GoodGuide includes a team of scientific and technology experts working to acquire and compile high-quality data, which then can be organized and transformed into actionable information for consumers.

GoodGuide Ratings (0 to 10, 10 the most favorable).

Creamsicle, No Sugar Added  5.9
Saturated Fat: Low
Cholesterol: Low
Sugars: Low
Sodium: Low

Creamsicle, Low Fat 5.3
Saturated Fat: Low
Cholesterol: Low
Sugars: Medium
Sodium: Low

Creamsicle, 100 Calorie Bar   5.1
Saturated Fat: Low
Cholesterol: Low
Sugars: High
Sodium: Low


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