How to Make Chocolate from the Fruit to the Candy Bar

Chocolate porn: the only kind of porn better than regular porn.

Make Your Dips, Dressings, and Drinks a Little More Probiotic with Kefir

Tangy kefir is like a pourable, drinkable version of yogurt. It’s praised for containing good-for-you probiotics that aid in healthy digestion. While kefir makes for a delicious beverage all on its own, there are a lot of other smart ways you can put this fermented drink to work in the kitchen.

This fermented dairy drink is similar to yogurt and buttermilk, and makes an ideal stand-in for both. You can pick up a bottle of kefir in the dairy aisle at the grocery store, or you can skip the lines and make your own at home.

Source: 5 Smart Ways You Could Be Using Kefir in Your Cooking

It can be used in pretty much any recipe that calls for un-fermented dairy. Use it in place of buttermilk, spoon for spoon, in savory dressings and dips, or as a tart milk substitute in smoothies, lassis, or even frozen yogurt. (Wanna get next level? Make your own!)

That said, I can’t find any substantial nutritional data on kefir.  One source claims it has vitamin K, yet [the similar] yogurt has very little vitamin K.  I advise caution and frequent testing if kefir is not already part of your consistent diet.

It’s the Flour, Not Just The Yeast, That Makes for Perfect Bread

Why do some wheat dough balls rise well and bake into perfect loaves while others are flat and hard as a brick? A new study says it’s as much about the flour as the yeast.

Source: It’s the Flour, Not Just The Yeast, That Makes for Perfect Bread

What about the water?  J. Kenji López-Alt from SeriousEats (and previously Cook’s Illustrated) wrote about performing a test concerning the effects of water on pizza crust.  They used multiple bottled waters, with different levels of dissolved solids as well as NYC tap water in the introduction of his new book. His panel of judges weren’t able to detect a significant difference between any of the crusts made with the different waters. At this point, I think it’s safe to say this is a myth or at least a very large degree of self-induced bias.

This Chemical Saves You From Gas Leaks And Bad Wine

The gas that gets pumped into your house has no smell. This means the first sign you get that you’re inhaling gas is a lack of oxygen to the brain. To correct that problem, companies use a chemical characteristic of badly made wine.

Source: This Chemical Saves You From Gas Leaks And Bad Wine

I learnt of mercaptan when dealing with propane.  I never knew it was used in wine production, but I guess it’s not the sort of thing you’d want to show people on a tour 😉

In the theme of misheard lyrics:

Insane in the methane:

DIY: Vegan Parmesan Alternative

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had some more options from time to time? Sure, we’ve got other cheeses like Pecorino Romano or a good aged ricotta salata, but they’re really just variations on a theme. What I want is something that can be used just like grated Parmesan, but brings a new set of flavors to the table. It’s something of particular interest to me during the month of February, when I maintain an entirely vegan diet (and I can tell you, cheese is the one thing I miss most). But I was after something that wouldn’t just carry me through February: I wanted something that I’d keep in my pantry all through the year and I’m afraid the common solution of cashews ground with nutritional yeast just ain’t gonna cut it.

Source: Better Than Parm? Dried Olive and Miso May Be the Ultimate Pasta-Topper

Parmesan – the worse it smells, the better it is.  So there can be benefits if you can’t have it 😉

Unrelated tip: Try nutritional yeast (nooch) on your popcorn.

Does Sauerkraut Have Vitamin K?

Yes, yes it does.  It’s made of cabbage, which on it’s own contains ~70 mcg of vitamin K per cup (79% DV).

The lowest vitamin K detail I can find for sauerkraut puts sauerkraut at 18.5 mcg of vitamin K per cup (23% DV).  If you make your own, the estimated vitamin K is a lot higher if you keep the water.

Either way, either be careful about how much you consume or be ready to have to increase your dose. And excessive consumption of sauerkraut may lead to bloating and flatulence due to the trisaccharide raffinose, which the human small intestine cannot break down.

How a Bean becomes a Fart

This animation (vimeo, 1:03 minutes) was created for Men’s Health Magazine.  Now every time you feel those gas pains, you can imagine a little animated factory fermenting the oligosaccharides in your colon.

Tip: Do not salt the water when boiling beans. It hardens the shells, dramatically increasing flatulence.

Related: Why You Fart (TED-Ed on youtube, 4:57 minutes)

Exercise social courtesy while passing gas.