“Ancient Grains” Like Quinoa Are Trendier Than Wheat, But No Healthier

“Ancient grains” have been officially mainstream since January of this year, when they got their own Cheerios version. The likes of quinoa, spelt, and teff are turning up more and more, always with a hint that they’re healthier than boring old wheat or corn.

Source: “Ancient Grains” Like Quinoa Are Trendier Than Wheat, But No Healthier

I’m cool with diversity, but are people who dislike wheat because it’s industrially cultivated and intensively bred really pushing for ancient grains to become mainstream, thus being industrially cultivated and intensively bred?

There may well be environmental reasons to prefer these other grains, especially since some are more tolerant of drought or cold or whatever. But that’s definitely not why they’re in Cheerios, y’know?

Gluten-Free Sports Diets Do Nothing, Study Suggests

Ditching the notorious complex of proteins known as gluten is a popular diet plan nowadays. Besides people with celiac disease, a severe autoimmune disorder triggered by the proteins, athletes have been particularly smitten with the gluten-free fad. But, according to a recent study, the diet is unlikely to give them the results they expect.

Source: Gluten-free sports diets do nothing, study suggests

Given that gluten specifically has yet to be identified by any athletic diet as necessary, I’m not surprised.  Protein and carbs, by comparison, are well known and documented.  It’s nothing about allergy, perceived or otherwise.

Remember Which Grains Contain Gluten with the BROWS Acronym

If you, like me, constantly find yourself asking, “Is such-and-such grain gluten-free?,” you’ll be relieved to know that there’s an easy way to remember, at a basic level, which grains and flours contain gluten.

Just think of the acronym B.R.O.W.S.

Source: An Easy Way to Remember Which Grains Contain Gluten

Keep Rice from Sticking Together with Lemon Juice

You can keep your rice from clumping and sticking together by washing it a few times until the water runs clear and then set it aside for 20 minutes or until no water remains. Washing the rice rinses a lot of the starch off of the rice which allows it to cook without clumping.

Source: Tips for Cooking Rice

Depends on what type of rice you’re cooking.  Longer, thinner-grained varieties like Basmati are less sticky and starchy, and cook up looser. Shorter, fatter-grained varieties such as Japanese rice or glutinous rice (so-called because it is gluey—it contains no gluten, like all rice) are more sticky and starchy. In fact, glutinous rice is called “sticky rice” and is used to make joong/zongzi.

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.

Turn Leftover Lasagna Noodles Into Delicious Pasta Crackers

While lasagna (the dish) will save dinner, lasagna (the noodle) will prove equally heroic for throwing together small bites and snacks with little effort and time. So when cravings strike next, think outside the layers and try these five, noodle-filled bites.

Source: 5 Surprising Ways to Snack on Lasagna Noodles

I like to cook lasagna a day or so before I plan on eating it.  The leftover noodles never go to waste as I always reserve a part of the sauce and some cheese for making lasagna noodle roll-ups after the lasagna has been constructed and put in the oven. Very messy and very, very tasty!

Roll Chocolate Pastries in Cocoa Powder Instead of Flour for More Chocolately Flavor

Be prepared to get your hands dirty and apply sprinkles liberally.

Source: 10 Tips from One Week as a Professional Baker

It also keeps chocolate cookies brown (or black). I frequently make black bat sugar cookies and they come out looking much better with cocoa powder instead of flour.

Make Your Own Self-Rising Flour with Stuff You Already Have in Your Kitchen

All-purpose flour is a pantry essential. You’re reliant on it for chocolate chip cookies and your favorite Sunday morning pancakes. But every once in awhile you may come across a baking recipe that calls for cake flour or self-rising flour. Rather than pick up a bag, make these varieties at home with what you already have on hand. Yup, we just saved you a trip to the grocery store

Source: Flour Hacks: Make Your Own Cake or Self-Rising Flour

Don’t forget to sift!

Science is Now Developing a Pill to Help Celiac Sufferers Eat Gluten

In what can only be described as great news for both sufferers of Celiac Disease and anyone who hates people who insist they can’t eat gluten while downing an entire plate of spaghetti, science appears to be on the verge of delivering us an actual pill that will allow those with Celiac to eat gluten.

Source: Science is Now Developing a Pill to Help Celiac Sufferers Eat Gluten

Dare to dream… 😉