Deep-Frying Vegetables Can Actually Add Nutritional Value

You’ve probably heard that deep-frying is the absolute worst way to prepare anything ever, but a study published in Food Chemistry has found that it can actually add nutritional value to some vegetables.

Source: Deep-Frying Vegetables Can Actually Add Nutritional Value

Concerned about the amount of heat olive oil can tolerate (~400F)?  Just fry below the smoking point. In Spain, they use pure olive oil for fries instead of extra virgin because you can crank it higher.  When you fry at high temps, food absorbs less oil.  But I have no problem getting my fries nearly confitted with olive oil. Might be a bit soggy, but make them homefries!

Make Mushroom “Jerky” For an Umami-Packed Snack Anyone Can Enjoy

Not for those allergic to mushrooms, obviously 😉

These super salty, slightly tangy slices make a great addition to wraps, sandwiches, salads, and more. Keep them in your fridge for a quick snack or a means of adding intensity and umami to any dish!

Source: Vegan Mushroom “Jerky” (Slow-Roasted Mushroom Strips)

The recipe is similar to the this one for vegan smoked mushroom “bacon”, which is liable to be cheaper than the algae that tastes like bacon

Always cool to see what substitutions/alternatives people have come up with.  Traditional jerky uses meat, and has been suggested as a reasonable source of protein.  100 grams of beef jerky contains 33.2 grams of protein, and 2.3 mcg of vitamin K (3% Daily Value).  Grilled portobella mushroom has 5.2 grams of protein per 1 cup/121 grams, and no vitamin K.  Win some, lose some…

Make Granola from Anything You Have On Hand With This Ratio

Memorize this technique, and you’ll never buy granola again.

Source: Granola Is Better and Easier to Make Without a Recipe

Having trouble finding cost effective rolled oats?  Look for Quaker Rolled Oats in the cereal aisle.

Bonus: If you are making granola and you want big chunks, pack all your ingredients tightly together on a baking sheet (I find it easier on a lipped baking sheet but plain should work fine). Once the granola is baked and cooled, you can break it into chunks.

Use Cold Butter to Make a Better Butter Sauce for Pasta

Italians are pretty specific about how to cook and dress their noodles, and we urge you to adhere to our ten basic rules when cooking pasta!!

Source: The 10 Most Important Pasta Cooking Tips

Ugh, first one is about salting the water.  Don’t do that – it’s a waste of salt.

The Great Olive Oil Swindle

Sure, it can be misconstrued as pretentiousness, but after a decade of producing her own, she’s an olive oil insider, intimate with last year’s poor harvest. 2014 was a black year for olive oil, a 15-year low in global production that saw key producers like Spain, Italy and Morocco’s output falling 40 to 50 per cent below average.

Source: The great olive oil swindle

It’s not the first time olive oil fraud has been covered, but the nice part about the article is it provides a couple of things to look for when tasting.  I’ve noticed there’s no smell in the normal olive oil I’ve bought to date, but the extra virgin does.  I’ll have to review to figure out if it’s proper.

Olive Oil Shortage of 2014?

Good thing butter is cool again because there may soon be a shortage of extra virgin olive oil. According to a press release, harvest reports from the “major olive growing areas around the world” show that there will be a significantly smaller crop this year. All-in-all this year’s harvest  — around 2.56 million tons — appears to be nearly 20 percent lower than years past, and far below the 3 million tons consumed last year.

Source: The Great Olive Oil Shortage of 2014 Is Imminent

Given the amount of fraud in the olive oil industry, will we actually notice?

Fats, Cooking Oils vs Warfarin/Coumadin

The amounts listed in these tables [below] are certainly more than would be recommended for a particular meal. For instance, it is unlikely that you would eat 10 rice cakes at a sitting. The amount listed is a guide to an amount that you could eat in a particular day and get a consistent level of vitamin K.

Source: Vitamin K Levels: Fats, Oils & Dressings

Notably, olive oil comes out as “low”.  I haven’t found anything about Extra Virgin, though the designation is questionable these days.

If you are truly concerned about the vitamin K content, PTINR recommends putting the olive oil in light (sun or fluorescent) for 48 hrs.  Most olive oil bottles are dark in colour to protect the olive oil from light exposure, so deal with accordingly.  That said, you’re altering more than just the vitamin K content so you risk getting little to no nutritional benefit when consuming the denatured olive oil (extra virgin or otherwise).  Given that most recipes do not require a lot of olive oil, and that we still need some vitamin K in our diet – it’s something I’d recommend managing with medication.

Olive Oil: Extra Virgin Fraud, Corruption and Mafia Involvement

An estimated 69% of all store-bought extra virgin olive oils in the US are probably fake, according to tests by the University of California. UC Davis tested samples from the top-selling extra virgin olive oil brands to find the ones that are not worth buying and those that are.

Source: The Most (and Least) Fake Extra Virgin Olive Oil Brands

The article lists the offenders as well as those who passed the testing.

For a run down of the corruption and mafia involvement, check this New Yorker article: Slipper Business

In 1997 and 1998, olive oil was the most adulterated agricultural product in the European Union, prompting the E.U.’s anti-fraud office to establish an olive-oil task force. (“Profits were comparable to cocaine trafficking, with none of the risks,” one investigator told me.) The E.U. also began phasing out subsidies for olive-oil producers and bottlers, in an effort to reduce crime, and after a few years it disbanded the task force. Yet fraud remains a major international problem: olive oil is far more valuable than most other vegetable oils, but it is costly and time-consuming to produce—and surprisingly easy to doctor.