Lemons offer a distinctive flavor that can come across as both sweet and sour. Its acidity can help enhance other flavors in a dish while not coming across as lemony. Some chefs swear lemon can make foods of all types taste better whether they’re salty, sweet, or fatty.
🍋 Texture and Color
Red foods will stay red longer with the help of lemons. Sliced foods like apples, peaches, and avocados will turn brown much slower as they oxidize with the addition of lemon juice. The acidity from lemons can help prevent fruits and vegetable cell walls from breaking down, keeping them firm and crunchy in recipes.
🍋 Health Benefits
Lemons are high in vitamin C and antioxidants that can help strengthen immunity, aid in iron absorption, and reduce the development of certain chronic diseases. They also have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. On top of all that, lemons are a good source of the phytonutrients called flavonoids.
Lemons work in cooking and baking since both salt and natural sugars blend well with their citric acid. This combo can boost chemical reactions that may occur during the cooking/baking process. Lemons can even be used as a substitute for animal-based ingredients like eggs and buttermilk.
January 22nd is National Blondie Day. Do you know what makes these different from the usual brownie?
🟡 Blonde brownies or “blondies” are the same as typical brownies but don’t include cocoa in the ingredients list. They’re both technically “cookie bars” since they’re softer than cookies, but not as fluffy as a cake.
🟡 Instead of going for a chocolate taste, blondies strive for a rich, buttery vanilla or caramel taste.
🟡 Brown butter is a key ingredient in blondies that really sets them apart. It’s made by slowly heating butter in a pan until its color changes to a deep amber and scent and flavor becomes nutty.
🟡 Another distinguishing difference is blondies usually call for brown sugar instead of refined granulated sugar. This adds to the overall butterscotch-like flavor.
🟡 Add-ins that go well with blondies include pecans, walnuts, dried fruit, white chocolate, and macadamia nuts.
🍿Popcorn is a quick and easy snack that packs a lot of fiber, it also contains vitamins B6, A, E, and K as well as phenolic acids - which are a type of antioxidant. Popcorn is also a whole grain - meaning it has a low glycemic index that can help maintain blood sugar levels.
🍿When cooked on the stovetop you can control all the ingredients that go into your bowl, making it a healthy, light snack.
🍿Grab a taller pot with room for the expanded kernels. Air-popping the corn means it will contain fewer calories, but you can always add a healthier oil option like walnut, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil to add healthy fats which is known to help control hunger.
🍿For air-popping: set your burner to a medium heat, add your kernels, and top with a lid. Soon you’ll hear popping. When the popping slows to every few seconds turn off the heat and let the steam escape from the lid. Then add your favorite dry toppings such as grated cheese, salt, pepper, chile flakes, or nutritional yeast.
🍿For oil-popping: select your serving amount and add 1-3 tablespoons of oil accordingly to your pot. Use a medium heat, let the oil heat up and add two kernels first to make sure it’s heated enough. If it pops quickly, add the rest of your kernels and cook the same as the air-popping method.
🍿3 cups of air-popped popcorn contains:
• Calories: 93
• Protein: 3 grams
• Carbohydrates: 18.6 grams
• Fiber: 3.6 grams
• Sugar: 0.2 grams
• Fat: 1.1 grams
You bet it does! Let’s start there and then go into why you still may need to watch how often you’re reaching for the cheese.
One ounce of cheese has 5-7g of protein on average (an egg is 6g, for comparison) so it can be a quick way to add some protein to your day as a snack or with a meal.
One slice of cheese usually has 150-300mg of calcium. Your daily recommendation is 700-1,200mg, so that’s a pretty good start!
➕ Vitamins, Minerals, Probiotics
You’ll usually find good amounts of vitamins A and B12 in cheese along with zinc, vitamins K, D, and B12, and even some probiotics.
It varies depending on the type of cheese, but one slice may have up to 450mg of sodium, which is a pretty big chunk of your daily limit of 2,300mg. Individuals with high blood pressure should be under 1,500mg per day.
➖ Saturated Fat and Cholesterol
Diets high in saturated fat and cholesterol may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and cheese does usually contain a moderate amount of each. If you’re focused on lowering your saturated fat and cholesterol intake, look for low-fat or fat-free cheese to help cut those values way down. Higher fat cheese = higher cholesterol cheese.
Cheese can be a quick way to get some protein, calcium, vitamins, and minerals into your diet. Be sure to balance it out with other foods and don’t overdo it…especially if you are dealing with high cholesterol or high blood pressure already.
⚡Potassium is an electrolyte that is highly reactive in water, making it able to conduct electricity and invaluable to many processes in your body.
⚡It’s the third-most abundant mineral in your body with 80% of it found in your muscles and the other 20% found in your bones, liver, and red blood cells.
⚡It can help regulate fluids. Your body is about 60% water and uses fluids in your blood, spinal cord, and in and around cells. Potassium makes sure all of these are balanced to keep cells intact and functioning properly.
⚡Your nervous system needs potassium too. Nerve impulses help regulate contractions of your muscles, reflexes, and even your heartbeat. Low levels of potassium in your blood can affect the generation of these impulses.
⚡A potassium-rich diet may help reduce blood pressure by removing excess sodium in your body.
⚡Your bone mass can also benefit from potassium. Studies have shown that osteoporosis risk may be reduced by potassium since it reduces how much calcium you expel through urine.
⚡Sources of potassium include: sweet potatoes, pinto beans, white potatoes, portobello mushrooms, avocado, spinach, kale, bananas, salmon, apricots, and peas.
A couple of our recent menu items, Buffalo Mac and Buffalo Chicken, get a kick of flavor from zesty buffalo sauce. What makes it different from regular hot sauce? Read on:
🔥 Is buffalo sauce the same thing as hot sauce?
Not exactly. Technically buffalo sauce is a type of hot sauce with “hot sauce” being the more general catch-all term for all types of spicy sauces with a vinegar base.
🔥 What makes buffalo sauce different?
The main thing that distinguishes buffalo sauce from all the others is the addition of a fat such as butter or oil to help with coating and add some richness to the sauce. It’s what makes it such a good coating for wings. It’s also common for buffalo sauce to have a little extra cayenne pepper added to it.
🔥 What’s in buffalo sauce?
It usually consists of hot sauce (vinegar, aged cayenne peppers), butter or oil, paprika, garlic, and a little extra cayenne powder.
🔥 Why is it called buffalo sauce?
This spicy sauce got its name from where it was created. It was first made and used in Buffalo, New York by Teressa Bellissimo in 1964 at Anchor Bar.
Black-eyed peas usually make an appearance around the New Year in the hopes of ushering in good luck. While the luck thing hasn’t been proven yet 😉 the health benefits of black-eyed peas have been.
🌟 1 cup of cooked black-eyed peas contains:
0.9 g fat
35 g carbs
13 g protein
11 g fiber
6 g of sugar
24% of the daily value (DV) for iron
4% DV for calcium
14% DV for potassium
23% DV for magnesium
23% DV for copper
15% DV for zinc
89% DV for folate
41% DV for manganese
🌟 Their fiber content makes black-eyed peas great for supporting healthy digestion. They also contain prebiotic fiber, which helps feed the good bacteria in your gut. Increasing your fiber intake may even help reduce acid reflux and stomach ulcers.
🌟 Eating legumes such as black-eyed peas can help lower your LDL or “bad” cholesterol and inflammation in your body, which can help improve your heart health.
🌟 Black-eyed peas are a good source of complex carbohydrates. These take longer to digest and can help you feel satisfied longer and avoid giving into cravings.
🌟 Folate is critical to creating healthy genetic material and new cells and black-eyed peas are a fantastic source of it. This can help people of all ages but is especially helpful for pregnant women as it may help increase the development of their baby’s spinal cord and brain.
When a new year is about to begin and you’re considering what you want to do differently for the next 365 days, it can be daunting. We’ve got some tips to help keep success attainable as you strive to meet your goals:
1. Think it through.
• Take a few days to let your new goals roll around in your mind. Imagine what success will look like and determine if you think it’s possible in 365 days. You want a challenge but you have to be realistic too.
2. Have a few goals in mind.
• Having only one resolution is too much pressure on one specific aspect of your life. Having too many can make you feel trapped. Three to four is a good number to make you feel like you’re accomplishing something and let the small victories act as catalysts for the next ones.
3. Make them measurable.
• Being specific is helpful. Don’t strive to “exercise more” as that’s too open-ended. Instead set a measurement for how much more, such as four times a week. This helps define what success looks like.
4. Celebrate successes.
• Notice when you make improvements for what they are - something better than it was before, no matter how small. It can help to keep some notes about success to see it in writing and look at what may have contributed to it.
5. Mix up the time frames.
• Try to get a mix of goal time frames. Too many “daily habit” goals can make each day feel like a chore. Consider adding one goal that’s daily, one weekly, one quarterly, and one that you can do once per year.
🥛 It’s been around since medieval times.
- Most historians trace eggnog back to a warm milk-based drink from the 13th century called posset that consisted of eggs, spices, milk, figs, and wine.
🥛 It’s pretty high in calories and fat.
- One cup of nog with no alcohol yields 343 calories, 19g of fat, and 50% of your daily allotment of cholesterol, so enjoy it in moderation.
🥛 It was popular in early American colonies.
- It’s thought that early colonists brought the idea for eggnog over with them from Britain. They’d usually add rum to the warm milky mixture because alcohol such as whiskey and cognac had high taxes that made them too pricey.
🥛 George Washington was a fan of it.
- Our nation’s first president shared his own recipe of eggnog that included cream, milk, sugar, brandy, whiskey, rum, and sherry.
🥛 It may be named after a cup.
- Colonists referred to rum as “grog” and it was commonly served in little wooden mugs called “noggins”. The drink became known as “egg-n-grog” and eventually “eggnog”.
🥛 It has its own national day and month.
- Conveniently enough, December is National Eggnog Month and Christmas Eve is National Eggnog Day.
🥛 It caused a riot.
- On Christmas in 1826 at West Point Military Academy in New York, a riot broke out that became known as The Eggnog Riot. Alcohol had been snuck into the base to spike the Christmas party’s eggnog. As the party went on late into the night, nearly one-third of the academy’s cadets (around 260 men) imbibed and grew out of control. This led to broken windows, bayonets being charged, rifles being fired, broken furniture, and court-martial proceedings that lasted until March of the next year.
A recent poll asked people to choose their preferred Christmas foods in a series of head-to-head match-ups containing 58 different dishes. Here are some of the highlights with where they placed and the percentage of overall popularity.
❄️ The top five most popular were:
1. Roasted potatoes - 76%
2. Mashed potatoes - 75%
3. Turkey - 73%
4. Bread/Rolls - 70%
5. Stuffing/dressing - 70%
🎄 The bottom five were:
54. Cabbage - 29%
55. Goose - 28%
56. Turnips/turnip greens - 27%
57. Plantains - 24%
58. Tofu - 11%
🎁 Some notable entries:
11. Ham - 62%
14. Macaroni and cheese - 61%
22. Deviled eggs - 56%
32. Glazed carrots - 50%
38. Potato pancakes/latkes - 45%
52. Duck - 33%