Food Crimes: Gifting Times Two – Ethnic Recipes from my Friends.

john

Some years ago, John Voso Jr. put together a cookbook, Italian Recipes from my friends; the proceeds from which went to the Richie White Fund. Richie White was a young boy who spent most of his young life in the hospital battling cancer. He lost that battle a few days after his fourth birthday.

 

 

 

This year, John has put together Ethnic Recipes From My Friends. The proceeds benefit a number of good charities.

20180818_163559(0)

 

The book contains JackFruit tacos. You’ll remember that some months ago, I tried JackFruit tacos at a vegan restaurant and loved them.

 

 

43531062_2191834697807633_2971797741660798976_n(1).jpg

When John Voso, his wife, Debbie, and myself met for dinner, I was surprised to find this recipe in the book! I, personally, can not wait to make them myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The book contains recipes from a number of different people and cultures:

Angel Wings from Poland, 45249898_10215606113699519_8495535016174944256_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sonoran Style Carne Asada, 44957040_10215568156710618_4786004417256095744_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

42876531_10215381572126120_7345769895918829568_nand don’t forget about dessert, A Nut Kuchen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ethnic Recipes from My Friends will make a great gift and it supports great causes. Contact John Voso to order your copy!

45697053_10215631174366020_4530526997847212032_n

Food Crimes – Sugar: The other white treat

sugar-lips-wallpaper-1024x768

A little sugar never hurt anyone. The problem is that it’s in EVERYTHING!  Don’t believe me – read your labels.  If it’s not listed as “sugar,” it’s listed as:

  1. Beet sugar
  2. Blackstrap molasses
  3. Brown sugar
  4. Buttered syrup
  5. Cane juice crystals
  6. Cane sugar
  7. Caramel
  8. Carob syrup
  9. Castor sugar
  10. Coconut sugar
  11. Confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
  12. Date sugar
  13. Demerara sugar
  14. Evaporated cane juice
  15. Florida crystals
  16. Fruit juice
  17. Fruit juice concentrate
  18. Golden sugar
  19. Golden syrup
  20. Grape sugar
  21. Honey
  22. Icing sugar
  23. Invert sugar
  24. Maple syrup
  25. Molasses
  26. Muscovado sugar
  27. Panela sugar
  28. Raw sugar
  29. Refiner’s syrup
  30. Sorghum syrup
  31. Sucanat
  32. Treacle sugar
  33. Turbinado sugar
  34. Yellow sugar

Or other lovely pseudonyms.1981741_1648171295220103_7816513440544216227_n.jpg

If it were so harmless, why would it need aliases?

Some of the products you find sugar hiding in, besides the obvious, are canned goods, like corn and beans, whole grains, like bread and oatmeal, and especially “low fat” goods.

Too much sugar is bad for us. It’s been linked to memory and learning problems (in animals); some studies seem to relate Alzheimers to high sugar intake.

The truth is, no matter how much we like it, we can make healthier choices in the foods we eat.sugar crime

Secret Squirrel Food is one of my favorite sites for desserts. Not all of them are completely sugar free; some recipes use dates or other substitutes, but they are whole food choices which are healthier, in my opinion, than plain white sugar.

Well and Good Eats is guilty of some serious foodporn on Instagram. Check it out.

sugar crime1And PeanutButterPlusChocolate  are the winners for limiting the sugar to my sweet tooth.

Never say never.  Just say not so much!

 

Food Crimes: Inside Nutella

Did you know a woman sued Nutella and WON? nutella3.jpeg

She claimed Nutella falsely advertised the product as a healthy choice. She fed it to her child, believing in its healthy benefits.

I’m not fan of nutella or their advertising. I’ve seen the commercial in which a woman is spreading nutella on toast as an announcer says something to the effect, “get your children to eat breakfast again.”

Chocolate for breakfast?!  I’m in.  Uhm. Or not.

nutella1

My thought was always of the sugar and oil in the product and I’d never consider it something to feed my children for breakfast let alone a healthy alternative to anything.

Nutella claims it’s made with nuts. And it is.  They certainly have alluded to the fact that the product is healthy, but numerous companies are guilty of this type of advertising, and some are worse with their “lower sugar,” “fewer carbs,” “cautionbuyerbewarehigher protein” claims.

I’ve always considered food shopping like car shopping: Buyer Beware.

The company paid out 3 MILLION DOLLARS in the class action lawsuit.

It’s good that companies are held accountable, and more should be. But until that time, it really is buyer beware. READ LABELS!

We don’t need to deny ourselves something chocolate and nutty, we just need to make better choices. Here’s a few healthier versions of Nutella.

Homemade Nutella

Vegan Nutella

Better than Nutella

Let me know what you think!

ENJOY!

How Bananas Saved the World…

6 Good Reasons to Eat a Banana Today

Just Kidding.

But Bananas are considered the world’s perfect fruit because only 2% of people are allergic to them. However, sometimes, bananas can fool an allergy filled system. When my system is filled with allergens from other foods, bananas can make them momentarily worse. There’s been research on this – btw – not just making this up. It falls under a “cross reactive food.”

My daughter happens to be one of the people who are allergic to bananas, so I’ve accidentally poisoned her a number of times. (Wow, did I just admit child endangerment in public? She’s over 18, child services won’t do anything.) Don’t worry, she doesn’t go into anaphylactic shock or anything; she just gets a little itchy. We actually didn’t learn this until she was over 18. I’ve made recipes and added bananas, then didn’t think to warn her when she picked up the carrot cake or the brownies.

Other benefits of bananas include:

  • Vitamin B6 – .5 mg
  • Manganese – .3 mg
  • Vitamin C – 9 mg
  • Potassium – 450 mg
  • Dietary Fiber – 3g
  • Protein – 1 g
  • Magnesium – 34 mg
  • Folate – 25.0 mcg
  • Riboflavin – .1 mg
  • Niacin – .8 mg
  • Vitamin A – 81 IU
  • Iron – .3 mg

Helps with: digestion problems, heart disease (cause it’s high in fiber), and anemia.

Okay, so we’re actually getting to the real reason for this post. I made banana bread/muffins today and they were sooooo good, I had to share.

I’m an average cook. I’m pretty damn good at throwing things together and coming up with something pretty wonderful. (It runs in the family – you should try my mother’s cream-of-nothin’-soup) Therefore, measurements are approximate. I learned from my grandmother, who sometimes made the world’s best fudge; she believed you had to feel the recipe. Measuring cups are for suckas. (Hence, the “sometimes” in the world’s best fudge).

Okay, recipe with running commentary, and in relative order. (Don’t you hate that recipes list the ingredients in random ways?)

 

Banana Bread/Muffins

 

2 Eggs (that’s exact, but I didn’t say small, medium, or large; mine were medium brown).

A little more than 1/3 and less than a 1/2 cup of oil – the type of oil is important. Do NOT use vegetable oil! If you have that shit in your cabinet, toss it in the garbage now. The only thing crisco is good for is slipping off a too-tight ring. Do not put that crap in your in your baked goods. It’s not good for your body. If you’re trying to be healthy, why is that in your cabinet? I used about half coconut oil, half olive oil. And make sure that’s the real stuff too. Legally (?), they can sell oils that are actually mixed and label it as “pure.” Who passes these freaking laws? I know there’s a lot of information online about the good and bad of coconut oil, but here’s why I think it’s more good than bad.  Number one rule of health is to know what you’re putting into your body, folks!

1/3 ish a cup of Greek yogurt. Make sure it’s as close to Greek as possible. It’s not sweetened, it does not have cane sugar, fructose, etc. If you have problems with dairy, you could probably use coconut yogurt, but I’ve only ever seen that with added sugars; not sure how that will work. I used Fage brand because I like their ingredients above most of the things available on the American market.

1 tsp-ish of vanilla extract. (Although I prefer vanilla paste, I just haven’t found it lately. If you haven’t tried vanilla paste – it’s fabulous. So much better than the extract with alcohol, and you can use it straight in the greek yogurt, no alcohol taste!)

1/4 to 1/3 cup of honey.  Again – watch the honey. Do not buy that stuff in the bear jar. Legally (again with that ?), honey companies can add high fructose corn syrup and not list it on the label. Buy the stuff that’s real, do some research.

3 large ripe bananas.  Mmmmm….

Mix all those things up in a bowl. I, personally, like the bananas a little chunky.

Add the rest straight to this bowl. (Screw that whole whole bowl for wet, bowl for dry, bowl for spices. Please, who wants to do all those dishes?!)

Cinnamon. How much do you like cinnamon? I added like three or four healthy shakes from the container. I’m going to assume it was more than a half a tablespoon, probably less than a whole… but, when all was said and done, I felt it needed more anyway.

2 dashes of nutmeg and cloves (then I added an extra dash of cloves). Again, these are shakes from the container. I got all nostalgic for pumpkin pie. Mmmm.  I taste tested then because, well, because. And from there, it almost went no further. I really wanted to sit down with the bowl then and there.

Baking soda. Don’t add too much! That sucks. I did a dash and a half. Most people would do a half or full tsp. Do not do more than that.

1 and 1/2 to 1 and 3/4 cup of Flour – I used Almond Flour. Do not use that bleached white flour crap. Again, that goes into trash with the vegetable oil, and you better not have any of that white sugar in your cabinet either. Throw it away, throw it away now! White flour and white sugar products are poison to your system. As is that high fructose corn syrup. Don’t do that to your body. It better not even be out on your counter – if you’re one of those people who get all the ingredients out – how cute you are – but if you took that out, get rid of it now. Don’t let it near these muffins. Back to the flour now. Coconut flour is too sweet for this recipe. You can use oat flour. The almond flour will help this come out yummy and moist. Oat flour will be a little drier, but not too much so.

Walnuts. We know the rules by now, right? No salt, no sugar, just all natural, unmolested walnuts. Check the label. I used about a handful or more of the walnuts (Hey, I’m not cooking for anyone else, it’s okay if I put my hands in this stuff). Because I used almond flour, I didn’t want to use too many walnuts.  People with nut allergies are obviously going to use the oat flour and skip the walnuts, right?!

Raisins. Weird? I guess I was thinking breakfast cereal. Right?! We got cinnamon, nuts, raisins. I got crazy. And it was yummy.  Okay, so 2 handfuls of raisins.

Cook between 15-20 minutes for muffins and 30-40 minutes for bread at 325. Keep watch. Do not let them get too brown on top.

 

 

So, end results:  I decided against the bread and made muffins. As I said, I wish I’d added more cinnamon. But they were very moist and delicious. These will not last on your counter. If you’re going to have them for more than a day or two, put them in the fridge.

There you go: no butter, no sugar, no poison to your system. Tasty, healthy, nutritious muffins for breakfast or snacks.

Consider the ingredients in this – even the honey has nutritional benefits for your body sugar does not. Almonds have nutritional benefits, as does oat flour. All of these far outweigh anything white sugar or white flour can offer. White flour is like sugar to your system. So – the basic chocolate chip cookie – poison: white flour – sugar. white sugar – sugar. milk chocolate – sugar and fat. But, hey, the egg is good for you.

Much love and let me know how it goes!