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).

Top Wintry Soups with Granola for Crunchy, Nutty Goodness

With the right toppings, the humble soup gets some extra texture, flavors, and finesse. You can take the most plain Jane vegetables and in a transition fit for My Fair Lady, transform them into a classy dinner soup.

Source: 9 Toppings to Make Your Soup Pop

For wintry favorites like butternut squash, pumpkin, or a creamy coconut curry – the nutty, slightly sweet granola is beyond complementary.  Bu if you’re weirded out by the sweet factor, try toasted nuts. They have a similar, though savory, effect.

I’ve covered how to make spicy/hot honey for those interested.  And how much vitamin K there is in yogurt (including Greek).

Ponder the Physics of Chocolate Fountains During Your New Year’s Revels

New Year’s revelers will be heading out to all kinds of parties tonight, and chances are a good percentage will be tempted by the presence of a chocolate fountain—just a teensy bit of indulgence before those resolutions kick in. Perhaps those with a scientific bent could find themselves pondering, just for a moment, the complicated physics involved in all that chocolaty goodness.

Source: Ponder the Physics of Chocolate Fountains During Your New Year’s Revels

I’m going to the wrong parties… 😦

Yogurt Isn’t Always the Best Source of Probiotic Bacteria

As a parent with a background in science, I usually feel comfortable in the drugstore medicine aisle. I’ll stand there for 15 minutes comparing ingredients and prices, getting in every other parent’s way, and I’ll walk out feeling confident that what I have bought is a good value and will make my wee one feel at least a little bit better. Not so when I found myself faced with a daunting aisle of probiotics—live microorganisms that can confer health benefits—at my local health food store recently. I wanted to find some good bacteria to repopulate the gut of my toddler daughter, who was finishing up what seemed like her 80th dose of antibiotics in three months. I couldn’t even understand the labels, let alone fathom what I should buy. Did I want Lactobacillus GG? Bifidobacterium lactis? Lactobacillus acidophilus? What the hell were Lactobacillus anyway, and why does one small tub of them cost $28?

Source: Should Your Kids Take Probiotics?

Some aren’t aware that probiotics don’t take up residence, even in the best-case scenario. When you stop taking them, you stop getting whatever benefits they provided.

The 20 Best Full-Fat Foods for Weight Loss

…now I can get fat 😀

It’s time to get fat.

Not around your waist, but on your plate: A new report from the Credit Suisse Research Institute found that more and more of us are choosing whole-fat foods over skim, lite, fat-free or other modern monikers of leanness. And while many health organizations like the American Heart Association still want us to cut down on fat—particularly saturated fat—this full-fat trend may be a healthy rebellion against those decades-old credos, according to recent studies.

Source: The 20 Best Full-Fat Foods for Weight Loss

The article fails to mention why fat is good in our diet: fat soluble vitamin uptake is greatly improved when consumed with fat.  So I don’t know why they listed protein as something that is improved by eating fat…

Be mindful of how much vitamin K there is in the suggested foods:

Use Slow Roasted Shallots to Make Creamier Salad Dressings

Let’s get one thing straight: A salad is really only as good as its dressing. Sure, it’s important to use farm-fresh, in-season produce. And yes, careful and creative preparation is not to be ignored. But hey: Without a good vinaigrette, you’re just eating forkfuls of dry spinach, and there’s nothing sexy about that. Some of our favorite salad dressings are rich and creamy, and well, not exactly healthy (although there is certainly a time and a place for blue cheese). That’s where these alterna-emulsifiers come in. When you’re looking to get a little creative, try these lighter, brighter ways to turn your dressing into the main event.

Source: What Sorcery Is This?! 7 Creamy, Rich Salad Dressings That Are Actually Healthy

I know what the headline says, but the avocado option would be my “go to”.  Way more healthy choice.  I have information about making your own nut “milk” and butter.

If you’re already grilling outside, throw a handful of unpeeled shallots on the grill along side whatever else is cooking.   Turn the shallots until the skins are blackened and the insides are soft, then let them cool. Scoop out the soft insides…  You’ll get a sweet smoky flavor that’s good in dressings, sauces, etc.

Easy DNA Editing Will Remake the World. Buckle Up.

They were worried about what people called “recombinant DNA,” the manipulation of the source code of life. It had been just 22 years since James Watson, Francis Crick, and Rosalind Franklin described what DNA was—deoxyribonucleic acid, four different structures called bases stuck to a backbone of sugar and phosphate, in sequences thousands of bases long. DNA is what genes are made of, and genes are the basis of heredity.

Preeminent genetic researchers like David Baltimore, then at MIT, went to Asilomar to grapple with the implications of being able to decrypt and reorder genes. It was a God-like power—to plug genes from one living thing into another. Used wisely, it had the potential to save millions of lives. But the scientists also knew their creations might slip out of their control. They wanted to consider what ought to be off-limits.

I highly recommend reading if you’re at all interested in editing DNA to see the history of how the current tools have come forward, and why the power to do so should not be taken lightly.

Five Simple Buttermilk Substitutions for Batters and Baked Goods

Maybe you don’t want to buy buttermilk for a recipe that calls for just half a cup of it, or maybe you’ve already started cooking and just realized you need buttermilk and don’t have any. Nothing matches the pure taste of buttermilk exactly, and if you really want to taste that flavor—if you’re making dip perhaps—you should try and stick with the real thing. But if you’re baking or making pancakes, don’t worry about using a substitute.

Source: The Best Buttermilk Substitutes

My five – they forgot milk + lemon juice.  Someone claimed it was vegan… but it is vegetarian, depending on your practice.

Make Dairy-Free Yogurt with Coconut Milk

After trying a pot of super creamy, slightly tangy coconut yogurt from the supermarket, I started to wonder how it was made — and if I could make it myself. A bit of research and experimentation later, I discovered it’s not hard at all! As soon as you’ve gathered a few supplies, you’ll be well on your way to making (and falling in love with) this delicious dairy-free yogurt.

Source: How to Make Dairy-Free Coconut Yogurt

FYI: Even reduced-fat coconut milk contains about 10 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, compared to about 2.3 grams per 100 ml in reduced-fat cow’s milk.  But if you can’t have dairy…

Yogurt/Greek Yogurt: How Much Vitamin K?

If you’re reading this, you must not be lactose intolerant 😉

For 1 cup of yogurt (Greek or otherwise), there’s 0.5 mcg:

So, there is vitamin K.  If you regularly consume lots already while on blood thinners (warfarin, coumadin) then your dose should already take this into account.  A cup a day will not be a major impact.

  • Yogurt has recently been show to lower risk of type 2 diabetes in several large-scale human studies. While the greatest risk reduction has been shown in individuals who average about 6 ounces per day, even 3 ounces per day has been shown to decrease risk.
  • Probiotic yogurts (containing millions or tens of millions of live bacteria per gram of yogurt) have been found to decrease total blood cholesterol levels while increasing HDL (“good cholesterol”) levels when consuming 10 ounces a day.
  • 2 cups per week is associated with lowering hip fracture risk
  • Yogurt is known for decreased appetite (not surprising, given the protein-rich nature of this food), better immune system function, and better bone support.
  • Cancer: There’s only a decreased risk in bladder cancer when consuming yogurt.  2+ servings, but we don’t know what the size was…
  • Yogurt can be made from either animal or plant foods. Animal-based yogurts are often referred to as “dairy” yogurts and plant-based yogurts as “non-dairy” yogurts.

Not all Greek yogurt is made according to traditional fermentation and straining techniques. Due to the rapid growth in popularity of this yogurt type, some manufacturers are working to meet the marketplace need by taking tapioca or other thickeners and adding them to non-strained yogurt, together with supplemental protein in order to match the amount in traditionally strained Greek style yogurt. While these “no-strain” Greek style yogurts may match traditional Greek style yogurts in texture and protein content, these are considered to be a further step away from whole, natural food and recommend traditionally fermented and strained products when choosing Greek yogurt.