Ingredient Explainers and Swaps
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TruRoots Organic Sprouted Green Lentils
Have you wanted to try sprouting at home? It’s really not that hard, but it does take some pre-planning. Enter the shelf-stable, sprouted and dehydrated lentils from TruRoots, which take just ten minutes to prepare. What a timesaver! Truth be told, sprouting your own lentils (or any other legumes for that matter) is not a difficult business.
Jun 3, 2014
Love Scallops? Lucky You. They’re a Great Sustainable Seafood Choice.
Tell me if you’ve ever had this experience. You’re standing in front of the seafood case at the grocery store with a hankering for a quick and delicious dinner, but you are troubled by concerns about sustainability. Is any of this OK to eat? What about seasonality? Maybe chicken would just be a better choice? Don’t give up so easily! There are many smart choices in seafood, including one of my own favorite foods: scallops. Scallops are one of my favorite foods.
May 13, 2014
What’s the Difference Between Boxed, Canned, and Powdered Coconut Milk?
Coconut milk is a pantry staple for us — there are so many delicious ways to cook with it! You can even make your own coconut milk at home. But if you’re buying it at the store, should you get the kind in a can or a box? What about BPA? And did you know it also comes in powdered and concentrated forms? We’ve sorted out the pros and cons of each.
May 1, 2014
Hemp Tofu: An Alternative to Soy Tofu
If you’re allergic to soybeans or avoiding soy for other reasons, it might seem like tofu is off the menu for you. But wait! There’s a new tofu in town and it’s made from hemp. I recently gave it a try and here’s what I thought of it… DIY hemp tofu recipes have been floating around for several years (here’s one from Bay Area Bites).
Mar 21, 2014
10 Ways to Use Almost Any Spice Mix
When I asked you what ingredients you’d like to use more often this year, many of you said that you’d like to use new spices more frequently, and to branch out into spice mixes like curry and dukkah. But it also seemed like spices stumped you — how do you use them beyond a specific recipe? As silverylotus said: “I went out a bought a whole bunch of spices to make Indian curry, garam masala, cardamom, coriander seeds, turmeric. Now they are just sitting on my spice rack.
Feb 27, 2014
5 Tasty Ways to Cook with Fresh Oregano
Fresh oregano has a robust, woodsy flavor that makes it one of our go-to herbs in the kitchen — particularly in the summer when we can buy big bundles at the farmers market or step out on the porch to gather our own! Here are five of my favorite ways to use it right now. Oregano + Chicken: Roasted, baked, poached or grilled — any way you want to cook your chicken, oregano can make it taste even better.
Jun 19, 2013
Hemp Seeds: Rich, Nutty & Nutritious
Hemp seeds. Yes, they’re legal and, no, you won’t get high. More importantly, these little nutritional powerhouses are rich, nutty, and delicious. protein powder Although members of the same family, the variety of cannabis used for food and the variety used for marijuana are different plants. So you’re not going to get a psychoactive high from a hemp seed brownie.
Apr 1, 2013
Mighty Tiny, Mighty Crunchy: Poppy Seeds
For something that seems specially designed to become wedged in our teeth after eating, we sure do love our poppy seeds! Maybe it’s because they make muffins and loaf cakes so very pretty. Or because of the delicate crunch they give these foods. Or maybe we don’t need a reason to love them at all! Are you a fan of poppy seeds? How do you use them?Ever wonder what poppy seeds looks like, up close and personal? Take a look at the photo above!
Mar 6, 2013
Cooking at High Heat? Try Rice Bran Oil
When cooking at high heat — stir frying, pan searing, deep frying — it’s important to use a fat with a high smoke point, and ideally with a clean, neutral taste that lets the flavor of your food shine. Enter rice bran oil.While it can be used for drizzling and other cooking applications, rice bran oil is particularly useful for high-heat cooking. In our kitchen, we reach for rice bran oil when stir frying and sautéing.
Mar 1, 2013
After the Dip is Gone: 5 Ways to Use Up Leftover Sour Cream
I inevitably end up with sad half-containers of sour cream whenever I make dip for a party. One might think that I would eventually learn to just make more dip, but sadly, the half-containers persist. If you are like me, or if you just love sour cream and want more ways to use it, here are some of my favorite ways to use up a container of sour cream. Add to Salads and Dressings: A dab of sour cream whisked into a homemade vinaigrette adds a cool touch of cream to a big leafy lunch salad.
Feb 6, 2013
What to Buy, What to Make: Canned Tuna
Let’s talk tuna! A tuna fish sandwich with crunchy pickle relish on whole wheat bread is still one of our favorite quick lunches. But tuna also has some problems, and we worry about everything from how the tuna was caught to BPA in the cans. What kind of canned tuna do you buy?Buying canned tuna really comes down to reading the label. There’s a lot of information wrapped around those skinny cans, but it’s not always clear what it means:• Albacore vs. Skipjack vs.
Sep 17, 2012
The Sweet Subtlety of Date Sugar
There are many different kinds of natural sugars out there, all waiting to sweeten baked goods, cereals or coffee and tea in a less-processed and often more flavorful way. We’ve written about turbinado, demerara and muscovado sugars before here on The Kitchn, but have recently come to be quite fond of date sugar. Have you heard of it? Date sugar is really just dehydrated and ground dates. It’s dark and moist much like muscovado sugar, so it should be stored in an airtight cool place.
Sep 13, 2012
10 Reasons Why I Always Have a Bag of Arugula in the Refrigerator
Once a somewhat exotic ingredient, arugula has become mainstream. You can find a bag of pre-washed arugula in most supermarkets these days, as well as heaped into large baskets at the farmers market. Arugula is an easy to grow salad green, making it a good home garden and window box garden choice. Its peppery taste adds extra oomph to everything from salads to soup. Read on for how a handful of arugula can wake up your everyday dishes.
Sep 11, 2012
A Giant Among Eggs: Goose Eggs
If bigger is better, then fist-sized goose eggs with their vibrant golden yolks are definitely better. These are eggs that demand to be made into something extra-wonderful. Should you find yourself in possession of a few of them, let’s make sure you have a few ideas.Physiologically, goose eggs aren’t that different from chicken eggs. They contain a single yolk surrounded by whites, though goose eggs typically have a larger proportion of yolk.
Sep 5, 2012
For Corn Tortillas to Tamales: Masa Harina
Even if you don’t know what masa harina is, you’ve almost certainly eaten it. This is the flour used to make corn tortillas and the filling for tamales. Pupusas, arepas, and sopes are all made with it, along with plenty of other favorite dishes. Masa harina is as central to the Mexican and South American pantry as chiles and dried beans. Do you ever cook with it?Masa harina is more than plain corn flour. Before being ground, the corn kernels for masa harina are soaked with limewater.
Aug 29, 2012
Tangy, Creamy & Low-Fat: Quark Cheese
Nope, we’re not talking subatomic particles here. We’re talking cheese! Fresh cheese! The original cream cheese, in fact. Ever had quark?Quark is actually a bit thinner and creamier than cream cheese, landing somewhere between cream cheese and sour cream in consistency. Quark is still perfectly spreadable on bagels and crackers, but also gets some major points for versatility.
Jul 16, 2012
Solving a Mystery: Why Do Maple Syrup Containers Have Tiny Handles?
We’ve all seen them — those tiny handles on maple syrup jars. They’re too small to be functional, so what are they doing there? I know, I know … this question has been keeping you up at night, so I am about to put your mind to rest!
Jun 25, 2012
Cheese on the Grill! Halloumi
Grilling cheese seems like a magic trick. You keep expecting the slices of halloumi to start melting between the grates and then…they don’t! Instead, this creamy, chewy, mild cheese picks up beautiful grill marks and a touch of smoky flavor. Grillers, say hello to your new favorite ingredient this summer.
Jun 11, 2012
A Sprinkle of Sweet: Powdered Sugar
No plate of French toast or batch of beignets is complete without a dusting of powdered sugar, in my opinion. This staple of the baking pantry provides that perfect sweet finish to so many of our favorite treats, from breakfast foods like these to cookies, cakes, marshmallows, and more. How to do you use it?Powdered sugar is nothing fancier than regular white granulated sugar ground into a fine powder. A little cornstarch mixed in prevents it from clumping.
Mar 26, 2012
Tart & Green: Granny Smith Apples
You can spot a display of Granny Smiths a mile away. Among the vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows of the other fruits, these bright spring-green apples shine like they have their own special spotlight. And maybe they do.The Granny Smith hybrid was first propagated in Australia in 1868 by, yes, the real Granny Maria Ann Smith and it is now grown in apple-growing regions around the world.
Mar 16, 2012
The Original Superfood: Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are teensy tiny nutritional powerhouses. They’re absolutely packed with fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, antioxidants, and cancer-fighting lignans. We only need a few teaspoons of seeds a day to benefit from their healthfulness, and happily for us, finding ways to work them into our daily meals is snap.Flax seed and flax oil have been used in cooking for centuries, and there are records describing its use dating as far back as Ancient Greece.
Mar 7, 2012
Crunchy & Cool: Jicama
Jicama is one cool customer. It hides out with the other vegetables, looking totally plain and unremarkable. But peel away its papery skin and get it in a salad, and suddenly this crunchy sweet tuber takes on a whole new dimension.Let’s start with how to pronounce its name. There are two ways, really: “HICK-ah-mah” or “HEE-kah-mah.” Both are correct. Both are equally fun to say.
Feb 10, 2012
What’s the Difference Between Cake Flour, Pastry Flour, All-Purpose Flour, and Bread Flour
If you make bread every weekend or have an obsession with cakes, it makes sense to keep specific flours for those recipes on hand. But what about the rest of us? Is there such a big difference between these flours or can all-purpose flour really be used for all purposes? First, what’s actually the same about all these flours is that they are made from wheat.
Jan 23, 2009