Make Colorful, Tangy Sprinkles Out of Dried Fruit

On a new-year-new-you kick and all about that clean-eating life? God knows I’m not, but I’m all about experimenting in the kitchen and looking into ways to cut out any unnecessary added sugar and preservatives. Enter these technicolor “sprinkles,” made from at-home dehydrated citrus zest and unsweetened, freeze-dried fruit.

Source: Recipe: Sugar-Free Citrus & Fruit Sprinkles

Because there’s no sugar, the flavour will be sour/bitter.

This would be perfect for those that like to buy plain yogurt because they want to avoid added sugars and other ingredients. You could make your own fruit powders using a dehydrator, or your oven on its lowest setting, and then just toss the dust into a salt shaker with some rice to help keep the moisture out and increase its shelf life (but you would probably want to store it in the fridge when not in use).

What Makes a Dip a Dip: A Guide

Figured I’d post this early in case someone needs it

According to sources, this weekend is the Super Bowl, a time-honored tradition where men bang each other’s heads together, causing years of damage that eventually leads to death (and probable financial ruin before that), as the American public watches in glee while consuming mass quantities of unhealthy foods and alcohol. But let’s not focus on those unnecessary details. Let’s talk about one of those unhealthy foods: dip.

Source: What Makes a Dip a Dip: A Guide

Related – Is double dipping a health risk?

Your Super Lazy Guide to Making Super Bowl Party Food

In a culture where party food is practically a competitive sport, it can be easy to overthink your Super Bowl snack options. Unsurprisingly, we recommend taking a lazier approach, and have culled some the tastiest, minimum-effort dips and finger foods around, so you can focus on what’s really important: football.

Source: Your Super Lazy Guide to Making Super Bowl Party Food

Don’t forget the guacamole!

Grow Fresh Green Onions Any Time of Year In a Plastic Bottle

How nice would it be to just be able to pluck fresh green onions from the soil whenever you need them? Nothing beats fresh onions for your salads, dips or soup. But how can you ensure a supply of fresh onions at hand all the time?

Source: Growing Onions Vertically on the Windowsill

For those that remember it, it’s like a chia pet… but is actually useful.

You can make things easier by just putting the roots of the onions you bought in a shallow glass of water:

They’ll grow back in about a week as long as you change the water every couple days. The disadvantage is they don’t last in the long run.

Is Double-Dipping Actually a Health Risk?

If you’ve seen that classic episode of Seinfeld, “The Implant,” where George Costanza double-dips a chip at a wake, maybe you’ve wondered if double-dipping is really like “putting your whole mouth right in the dip!”

Source: Is double-dipping a food safety problem or just a nasty habit?

What if the second dip is performed with the not bitten end of the chip/cracker/vegetable/etc?  I admit – I’d been blasé about double dipping until reading the article.  I’m not typically getting sick like some I know, but that doesn’t mean I’m not an asymptomatic carrier.

Tortillas And Salsa Are Outselling Burger Buns And Ketchup In The US

In Spanish and Italian, salsa is just a generic word for “sauce”.  Like how chai means “tea”, so “chai tea” is redundant.

Salsa overtaking ketchup as America’s No. 1 condiment was just the start.

These days, tortillas outsell burger and hot dog buns; sales of tortilla chips trump potato chips; and tacos and burritos have become so ubiquitously “American,” most people don’t even consider them ethnic.

Source: Tortillas And Salsa Are Outselling Burger Buns And Ketchup In The US

Preferably the salsa is home made, because of the preservatives in stuff on the shelf.  But depending on what you make it with, it is certainly healthier than ketchup (about vitamin k, or how much it’d take to kill you).

The uptake of Hispanic food isn’t surprising when Spanish is generally considered the second language of the US, just unlike how Canada has both English and French.  But another aspect of the interest in spicy food/sauce, stuff like tabasco, sriracha…

And of course:

Lobster Butter: An Awesome Use For Leftover Shells

This is a Yankee take on the classic French recipe for beurre de homard, which incorporates cooked lobster meat into a compound butter. It is thriftier, using the shells to bring flavor instead of the lobster meat, but is no less delicious for that. The process is akin to making a lobster stock, with butter in place of water. Use the lobster butter as a melted dip for shrimp or yet more lobster, or as a topping for sautéed scallops or fish.

Source: Lobster Butter

For double lobster-y butter, you can cook the tails by basting over hot butter in a small saucepan – basically poaching them. The lobster itself tastes great this way, and the leftover butter is amazing. You can add the shells back in (and more butter if needed) and follow the basic steps here. Play around with it – add a few other flavors, a little salt and pepper, small amount of cream sherry, some thinly sliced lightly sauteed shallots and/or garlic… Toss with fresh linguini, brush onto grilled bread to serve alongside clam chowder.

You could also boil shrimp shells down… Strain and freeze the broth in ice cube trays.  Then use it to make corn and potato chowder later when you want the flavor without the actual shrimp.

Sour Cream, Crema, Crème Fraîche: What’s the Difference?

The headline makes me think of Seinfeld: “What’s the…”  But I digress…

Sour cream, crema, and crème fraîche: these three dairy products are often used to add a cool lusciousness and body to foods like potatoes, salads, and nachos. But while all three products are made the same way—by adding friendly bacteria to heavy cream—they’re all technically different ingredients.

Source: Sour Cream, Crema, Crème Fraîche: What’s the Difference?

While we’re here, might as well address vitamin K content…

Sour cream contains:

  • 1.8 mcg of vitamin K per 100 grams – that’s 2% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • 4.1 mcg of vitamin K per 1 cup/240 grams – 5%

I couldn’t even find information on crema – every search engine thinks I misspelt “cream”.  Sigh…

Crème Fraîche, according to sources, has 0 mcg of vitamin K.

If you consume in consistent quantity and frequency, you’re fine because your blood thinner medication dose already has it taken into account.  But depending on the amount you consume and timing just before an INR test, there’s a chance you could have a conversation with your doctor about changing your dose and testing again in the near future.

Recipe: Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

I plan to try this recipe, but have to be careful: cauliflower is high in vitamin K 😦  So this will be a special cheat meal, like blueberries in Greek yogurt.

It’s one of the more interesting aspects of diet, seeing the substitution for the meals we miss.  I remember the concept being mentioned in a Ghost in the Shell: 2nd Gig episode (#8), where a character is surprised that a restaurant they were staking out made vegetarian food that was modeled to look(/taste/texture?) like meat dishes.  Another character gave some succinct insight about why: the cooks weren’t monks at birth.

Which in turn reminded me of an article I read years before in Utne Reader about an author who could no longer eat due to cancer (portions of the throat had to be removed?).  I can’t find the article, but I remember the description of how the desire to eat – the taste, texture, and act – still remained though intravenous was the only option.  While the article was quite sad, it was a window into a very unique world.

The “vegan wings” recipe holds a place along side the Black Bean Brownies for interesting, cool and healthy recipes.  But that quinoa flour is stupidly expensive…

Hummus: Classic and Other Variations

Here’s direct link to the infographic.

Calling anything that isn’t a chickpea/garbanzo based spread-paste almost blasphemous. Hummus is literally “chickpea” in Hebrew and Arabic.  Whether or not to call the recipes in the infographic “hummus” is actually a matter of debate in the U.S., especially for hummus-making companies who worked to make the food more mainstream here. Bean-spread or vegetable-dip might be more accurate for some of these recipes, but they would probably loose some of their appeal under a different name.  Similar to the idea of cricket “flour”, nut “milk”…

  • Stay away from the pre-soaked/canned garbanzo/chic peas. Get the dried ones and soak them overnight. The next day, strain and boil with fresh/new water and use that. The texture and taste is just so much better.
  • Make your own tahini (recipe)