Health Safety In Skills
Page 7
Does Olive Oil Really Expire or Go Bad?
Q: Do olive oils really expire? I have two great bottles at home, and being single, and not home often, they have passed their expiration dates printed on the bottle. I’m still using them, as they don’t smell any different.Are they still safe, or should I get new ones? And if they are bad, what’s a good way to dispose of leftover olive oil?
Jul 8, 2010
On Pasteurizing Cheese: Why Do It?
Any hardcore cheese lover will tell you that raw milk cheese — that is, cheese that is unpasteurized — is better. Hands down. No question. Not even worth a discussion.So if raw milk cheese tastes so much better, why oh why would cheesemakers choose to pasteurize? What are the advantages, and are all forms of pasteurization created equal?First things first: Pasteurization is a heat treatment that kills the naturally occurring bacteria found in unpasteurized (that is, raw) milk.
Jun 16, 2010
Yes, You Can Get a Great Tan from Eating Carrots
The folks across the pond at Bristol University have been doing some rather interesting testing, comparing the results of outdoor tanning to the improvement in skin tone you can get from eating certain foods. The results are fascinating! While the media tells us a rich tan from the beach is the most beautiful thing, this study found otherwise.
May 28, 2010
Is It Safe To Brew and Drink Sun Tea?
Q: I just bought a vintage sun tea pitcher, and I just read that iced tea prepared this way may be unsafe!Is it true that bacteria may grow during the steeping making it unsafe unless consumed right away? Please tell me this is not true.Sent by KathleenEditor: This romantic, old-fashioned way of making iced tea is very popular in the summertime. You just place a few tea bags in a big jar of water and let them slowly steep in the hot sun. And technically, yes, this method is not strictly safe.
Apr 16, 2010
Paranoid? How to Remember Turning Off the Oven
We can’t count the number of times we’ve merrily left the house only to be struck an hour or two later with the sudden thought, “Did the oven get turned off?” The worry that we left it on plagues us until we finally get home and dash to the kitchen to find…yup. We did! Here are a few tricks to help us all stop fretting!This worry about leaving the stove or oven on is largely unmerited.
Mar 15, 2010
Ideas for Healthy Snacks That Ship Well?
Q: My best friend’s infant daughter is in the hospital. They live about 400 miles away. I’d like to send her something helpful like food so they can just grab a healthy snack while they’re in the hospital with her.Any thoughts for healthy snacky foods that ship well?Sent by DanaEditor: Dana, we’ve talked about mailing treats a couple of times — there are some good tips and ideas in these threads:• Recipes for Healthy, Mailable Treats for Care Packages?
Mar 8, 2010
Agave Nectar: Healthful or Harmful?
When agave nectar burst onto the health food market, many people were excited about it as a substitute for refined sugar. But a growing body of research indicates that agave nectar — which is not, in fact, a nectar and is processed in much the same way as high-fructose corn syrup — might be as unhealthy as HFCS is purported to be.
Jan 21, 2010
How Can I Make Lactose-Free Eggnog?
Q: My family was thinking ahead to Christmas and my cousin brought up the subject of eggnog and how much he loved my homemade version. But the problem is that he is lactose-intolerant and could only drink so much.I know there is not lactose in goat and sheep milk and was looking for recipes that use that. But they are few and far between.They also suggest that you use cream in it as well as the milk. Is this needed? Is there any ways I can really make it completely lactose free?
Dec 24, 2009
Sprouted Spaghetti Squash: Is It OK To Eat?
We got quite a surprise when we split open this spaghetti squash – inside were sprouted seeds! Has this ever happened to you? Did you eat it?First of all, we knew our squash was a little old when we cut it open. In addition to the sprouts, it appeared dried out. But was it edible? After reading several conflicting opinions online, we decided to just try it for ourselves. Not a fun experience – the flesh and sprouts were alarmingly bitter.
Dec 15, 2009
Does Your Fridge Have a Fever? Check Its Temperature!
We received a nasty shock early last week when all our refrigerated food suddenly and mysteriously started spoiling! The culprit ended up being a busted cooling fan, but we learned a lot about fridges, freezers, and proper running temperatures in the process. Do you know what temperature your fridge and freezer should be running?Refrigerators should maintain a consistent temperature between 33° and 41°.
Nov 3, 2009
Feel the Burn: Tips for Washing Hot Pepper Off Your Hands
Some people aren’t so sensitive (luckies!), but most of us wind up with tingly burning hands for hours if we try to cut hot peppers without gloves. A fact that we seem to forget on a regular basis. Next time you forget the gloves and wind up feeling like your fingers are on fire, try these solutions:The burning sensation after cutting chili peppers comes from oils that coat the skin and are very hard wash off. Simple soap and water doesn’t always do the trick, unfortunately!1.
Sep 25, 2009
How Can Home Cooks Calculate Nutrition Information? Good Questions
Q: I see recipes that include the nutritional information (e.g. calories, fat, protein, carbs, etc.) and I’m wondering how the Average Joe can calculate this information for home recipes. Is there user-friendly software lurking somewhere? Do you have to join a secret nutrition society? Anything freely available? Thanks for your tips!! — Sent by LorettaEditor: Loretta, there are quite a few websites that will give you nutritional data for recipes.
Aug 3, 2009
The Truth About MSG
While planning a Koreatown dinner out recently, a couple of friends stated their preference for no MSG. What? No MSG?! We (or this writer, at least) love MSG! What’s your take? Do you avoid eating it? Have you ever cooked with it? And what is MSG, anyway?MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is a flavor enhancer that gives an umami taste to food.
Jul 22, 2009
Picnic Tip: How To Make a Watermelon Sling
One of our favorite things to bring to outdoor get-togethers (or give as a hostess gift) is a whole watermelon. Not only does it alleviate the stress of prep work, but it’s easy to pack and go in a jiffy, especially when it’s being toted around in a sling. Although it looks like something the stork would bring (babies, watermelon, same difference right?), this easy sling means no slipping, dropping or rolling around can occur!
May 26, 2009
Food Science: All About Marbling
A well-marbled steak is a truly beautiful thing, and there’s a reason why we’re willing to pay top dollar to get it! What exactly is marbling and why is it so desirable? Well, we’ll tell you…Marbling simply refers to the fat found within a cut of meat and between the muscle fibers themselves. A high-quality steak will have a lot of marbling, while a lean cut will have very little or no visible marbling.
Mar 10, 2009
Good Question: Labeling for Trans Fats and Partially Hydrogenated Oils?
We received this great question from Kitchn reader Meredith:More and more packaged foods are claiming to be free of trans fat even though partially hydrogenated oils are still included on their ingredients lists. How is this possible?Can you spot the paradox in the label above?!What this comes down to, unfortunately, is labeling regulations. The FDA requires that products containing any amount of trans fat list that fat as one of the ingredients.
Feb 4, 2009
Good Question: Healthy Chip Substitute?
Just in time to round out Eating Light month, and just in time for the Super Bowl, too, here’s a question from Lindsey on chips and salsa:I love eating chips and salsa, although chips aren’t really all that good for me. I was wondering if you had any ideas for a chip substitute that would be great for eating with salsa?Lindsey, well, if you love chips, we first off would suggest just eating them in moderation and not substituting anything! A handful here and there won’t hurt.
Jan 30, 2009
Good Question: How Can I Make Healthier Instant Ramen?
Joy loves her ramen noodles, but she’s looking for a way to make this cheap and yummy dish healthier. She writes:Despite knowing how bad it is for me, I still love instant ramen. It’s cheap, delicious, and convenient for those times I don’t really want to bother with cooking. Recently I’ve been adding julienned carrots, napa cabbage, and a whole egg in attempts to make it more “nutritious”.
Jan 15, 2009
Word of Mouth: Clabber
Clabber, noun: soured milkBack before there was baking powder to use as a quick leavener in baking, there was clabber. This was something that every farm wife or person with access to fresh milk could make, no additional ingredients necessary!To make clabbered milk, the fresh, raw milk was simply left out at room temperature. Bacteria in the milk would start converting the lactose (sugars) into an acid, causing the milk to thicken and sour while also keeping it from actually spoiling.
Jan 8, 2009
Eat Your Vegetables: Simple Boiled Kale
If greens were meat, winter kale would be the hangar steak. It’s not like spinach (the filet, if we’re sticking to our analogy), which takes mere seconds to melt down quickly in a pan. No, some tough, curly leaves of kale need a little tenderizing, a little time. And that’s why we like to boil ours…There’s been some chatter around the food blogs lately, after Molly at Orangette wrote about her love of boiled kale served with a fried egg.
Oct 29, 2008
Tip: Save Vegetable Scraps for Stock
Vegetable stock is one of those ingredients that is easy to buy off the shelf yet so much more delicious – and economical – when cooked from scratch. And you don’t have to purchase pounds of fresh veggies to make it. Using vegetable peelings, stalks, and leaves can be a great way to save money and avoid wasting food. Here are some tips for saving vegetable scraps, which can be used in our basic Vegetable Stock recipe.
Oct 29, 2008
What is Gristle?
A few too many encounters with gristle, and even the most avid omnivore might be tempted to turn vegetarian. It’s chewy, rubbery, flavorless, and altogether unpleasant, but what exactly is gristle? Read on…Your average cut of raw meat is made up of four components: muscle tissue, fat, collagen, and elastin. The muscle tissue is what we actually end up eating. The fat melts as the meat is cooked, giving this muscle tissue flavor and texture.
Oct 20, 2008
Five Ways to Prepare Tempeh
We’ve had good tempeh and we’ve had mediocre tempeh. At its best, the soybean cake is rich and nutty. At its worst, tempeh can be bitter or bland. We grew up eating tempeh and enjoy its earthiness, but for some, it’s an acquired taste. In preparing tempeh, there are five ways to enhance its potential for excellent texture and flavor. Here are five ways to prepare tempeh:1. Steamed. If you find tempeh to be too bitter straight out of the package, steaming it can help.
Sep 23, 2008
Home Cooking While Sick: TJ’s Quick Prep Favorites
Of all the things we love about fall, one thing we’re not so crazy about is the beginning of cold and flu season. Some of us have already been suffering through an early bug.We’re nearly useless in the kitchen when we’re not feeling well, but keeping a few heat-and-serve items in our pantry keeps us from constantly reaching for the takeout soup menus.
Sep 18, 2008
Food Science: What is Freezer Burn and How to Prevent It
Freezing summer produce is a great – and simple – way to put away fresh food for the months ahead. One drawback is the susceptibility of many foods to freezer burn. Read on…Freezing foods puts a temporary hold on many biological processes, including decay and enzyme activity. However, when foods are frozen for extended periods of time or are frozen improperly, freezer burn can begin to develop on the food’s surface.
Sep 16, 2008
Cilantro: Why Is Its Taste So Polarizing?
Personally, I love cilantro and can’t get enough of it – I add heaps of it to my guacamole and salsa. It tastes fresh and citrus-like to me. However, supposedly there’s a genetic trait that makes cilantro taste like soap or ground metal shavings to some people. Most people agree on what most foods taste like. Strawberries taste sweet, lemons are sour, and steak is savory. But a large amount of the population cannot agree on what cilantro (also known as coriander) tastes like.
Aug 8, 2008
Food Science: When Good Carrots Turn Green
And this time we’re not talking about “environmentally-friendly carrots”!If you’ve ever sliced into a freshly-baked carrot cake only to find that the shreds of carrot have turned green, you will probably agree that this is a rather disconcerting experience, to say the least.Why does this happen and is our cake safe to eat? For these answers and more, read on!
Jun 3, 2008
Food Safety: How to Use Ice Baths to Cool Food Quickly
When you cook soup, stock, or any other dish that you’re planning to portion and store, do you immediately place it in the fridge or freezer? If you answer “yes,” you may be increasing your risk of contracting a food-borne illness. The food danger zone is from 140° F (60° C) to 40° F (4° C.
Apr 24, 2008
Tips and Tricks: How to Avoid Wasting Food
If you’re participating in the Kitchn Cure, you probably tossed a fair amount of outdated, spoiled, and just not useful food this week. Every time we clean out the fridge, we’re filled with agita at all the food we waste. Cooking for two people with busy schedules means that plans change unexpectedly, and that head of lettuce you bought two weeks ago is just not going to wait.
Mar 27, 2008
How To: Sanitize Instant-Read Thermometers
Most of the time, it’s fine to simply wash our thermometers with soapy water and call it a day. But when we’ve been using them to take the temperature of meat, we want them clean. And we mean really clean. Who knows what microscopic nasties are hanging around after all that poking and prodding? And since it can’t go in the dishwasher with everything else, how can we be sure we’re getting our thermometers clean? Start off by washing the stem in soapy water.
Mar 11, 2008
Kitchen Science: Demystifying Gluten
Ah, gluten. Bread bakers love it and pastry chefs keep it at a respectful distance. So what’s the deal with gluten and what can we oh-so-humble home cooks do about it?All flour contains a certain percentage of protein, ranging from 8% for cake flour to around 13% for durum semolina (pasta) flour. When activated, these proteins cling together to form strands of gluten.
Mar 5, 2008
Food Safety 101: How Long Can I Keep Leftovers?
With the USDA ground beef recall fresh on our minds, we are brushing up on our own food handling practices. Do you know how long you can leave that potato salad on your buffet ? What temperature meat should be before it is safely cooked and done? If you’re not so sure, no worries: we’ve been doing a Food Safety 101 course this week to keep you and your guests happy and healthy. We already talked a little bit about how long you can leave cooked food unrefrigerated.
Feb 29, 2008
Food Safety 101: How to Defrost Frozen Meat
With the USDA ground beef recall fresh on our minds, we are brushing up on our own food handling practices. Do you know how long you can leave that potato salad on your buffet before it needs to go back in the fridge? How about the right way to thaw frozen meats? If you’re not so sure, no worries: we’re doing a Food Safety 101 course the rest of this week to keep you and your guests happy and healthy.
Feb 27, 2008