Tuesday, December 29, 2015
is the brand name of an Italian sweetened hazelnut cocoa spread.Manufactured by the Italian company Ferrero, it was introduced to the market in 1964
Pietro Ferrero, who owned a bakery in Alba, Piedmont, an area known for the production of hazelnuts, sold an initial batch of 300 kilograms (660 lb) of "Pasta Gianduja" in 1946. This was originally a solid block, but Ferrero started to sell a creamy version in 1951 as "Supercrema".
In 1963, Ferrero's son Michele Ferrero revamped Supercrema with the intention of marketing it throughout Europe. Its composition was modified and it was renamed "Nutella". The first jar of Nutella left the Ferrero factory in Alba on 20 April 1964. The product was an instant success and remains widely popular.
In 2012, French senator Yves Daubigny proposed a tax increase on palm oil from €100 to €400 per metric tone. At 20 percent, palm oil is one of Nutella's main ingredients and the tax was dubbed "the Nutella tax" in the media.
World Nutella Day is February 5.
On 14 May 2014, Posted Italian issued a 50th anniversary Nutella commemorative stamp. The 70 Euro cent stamp was designed by Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Statoand features a jar of Nutella on a golden background. Ferrero held a Nutella Day on 17 and 18 May to celebrate the anniversary.
I used to love Nutella when I was kid–that is before studying nutrition and discovering its harmful ingredients. The scariest thing that people don’t know about Nutella is that it contains monosodium glutamate (MSG), also known as E621. It’s cleverly hidden inside an artificial flavor called vanillin which is labeled on every Nutella jar. It also contains the toxic GMO emulsifier soy lecithin and palm oil whose extraction is ravaging forests and wildlife throughout the world.
Nutella was introduced in 1964 by the Italian company Ferrero who still manufactures the product, however they do have local manufacturers in many countries.
As kids we went crazy over nutella in the 70s and 80s, but parents back then weren’t taking as many precautions as they are today, especially when it comes to reading ingredient labels.
According to the official US , the ingredients are as follows:
Nutella claims their product contains.
The definition of artificial is “made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally.” Every single one of their ingredients goes through very heavy processing which would imply that the natural state of these ingredients which contribute to color and preservation is completely absent from their formula. Their soy lecithin alone is about as artificial as an emulsifier/preservative gets.
Nutella contains 67% saturated fat and processed sugar by weight. A two-tablespoon (37 gram) serving of Nutella contains 200 calories, 11 grams of fat, 3.5 of which are saturated and 21 grams of sugar. To put that into perspective, a typical chocolate and nut candy bar has 250 to 300 calories and 12 to 16 grams of fat.
When most people see vanillin, they think…oh it has vanilla. However, this is likely one of the most harmful ingredients in Nutella. Scent and flavor of vanillin are nothing but chemicals. When we talk about actual real-life non-imitation vanilla flavor, what we’re really talking about is a bunch of molecules that are extracted from a vanilla bean.
The grandest chemical of all of these is vanillin. Sure, vanilla has plenty of other odor molecules, but vanillin is about 95% of the scent. And, thanks to technology, you can make it cheaply from petroleum and in a lab. The largest vanillin manufacturers in the world are in China and more than 90% of food products manufactured contain vanillin from China including Nutella.
The worst part of vanillin is that it contains unlabeled MSG. It is not a nutrient, vitamin, or mineral and has no health benefits. The part of MSG that negatively affects the human body is the “glutamate”, not the sodium. The breakdown of MSG typically consists of 78% glutamate, 12% sodium, and about 10% water. Any glutamate added to a processed food is not and can not be considered naturally occurring. Natural glutamate in plants and animals is known as L-glutamic acid. and vanillin is one of them.
MSG has been proven to act as an excitotoxin which stimulates the reward system of the brain, so we think it tastes better (than it actually does) and consequently consume more.
There are a growing number of Clinicians and Scientists who are convinced that excitotoxins play a critical role in the development of several neurological disorders, including migraines, seizures, infections, abnormal neural development, certain endocrine disorders, specific types of obesity, and especially the neurodegenerative diseases; a group of diseases which includes: ALS, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and olivopontocerebellar degeneration.
Palm oil is taken from the fruit of the oil palm tree.
The use of palm oil in processed foods, its most widespread application in the United States, jumped sharply after government authorities took aggressive steps to reduce the trans fat content in processed foods. The Center for Science in the Public Interest reports that palm oil is second only to soybean oil in terms of worldwide popularity as a food oil.
In support of its warnings about the dangers of palm oil, the center cites two meta-analyses that show that palm oil raises blood cholesterol levels. A 1997 British analysis evaluated 147 human trials and concluded that palmitic acid, an active ingredient in palm oil, raised total blood cholesterol levels. A Dutch analysis, released in 2003, weighed data from 35 clinical studies and found that palmitic acid significantly increased the ratio of total cholesterol to so-called “good cholesterol,” a widely recognized risk factor for heart disease.
In a study published in a 1999 issue of “Plant Foods for Human Nutrition,” three Nigerian biochemistry researchers extol some of the nutrients found in fresh palm oil, but point out that the oil in an oxidized state can threaten physiological and biochemical functions of the body. They acknowledge that manufacturers of processed foods oxidize palm oil in their products for a variety of culinary purposes, meaning that much of the palm oil consumers eat is in an oxidized state. The dangers of oxidized palm oil include organotoxicity of the heart, kidney, liver and lungs, as well as reproductive toxicity, the researchers claim. Additionally, they note, oxidized palm oil can cause an increase in free fatty acids, phospholipids and cerebrosides.
Indonesia has achieved its goal of becoming one of the two largest palm-oil producers and exporters in the world. But at what cost?
At least half of the world’s wild orangutans have disappeared in the last 20 years; biologically viable populations of orangutans have been radically reduced in size and number; and 80 percent of the orangutan habitat has either been depopulated or totally destroyed. The trend shows no sign of abating: government maps of future planned land use show more of the same, on an increasing scale
6. WORLD NUTELLA DAY HAS BEEN A BIT OF A ROLLER-COASTER.
Friday, December 18, 2015
If You Think Bananas Are Just For Monkeys, Think Again
Bananas help overcome depression due to high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin -- the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter.
Eat two bananas before a strenuous workout to pack an energy punch and sustain your blood sugar.
Protect against muscle cramps during workouts and night time leg cramps by eating a banana.
Counteract calcium loss during urination and build strong bones by supplementing with a banana.
Improve your mood and reduce PMS symptoms by eating a banana, which regulates blood sugar and produces stress-relieving relaxation.
Bananas reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, aid weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and help with the production of white blood cells, all due to high levels of vitamin B-6.
Strengthen your blood and relieve anemia with the added iron from bananas.
High in potassium and low in salt, bananas are officially recognized by the FDA as being able to lower blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke.
Eating Bananas Aids Digestion
Rich in pectin, bananas aid digestion and gently chelate toxins and heavy metals from the body.
Bananas act as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of friendly bacteria in the bowel. They also produce digestive enzymes to assist in absorbing nutrients.
Constipated? High fiber in bananas can help normalize bowel motility.
Got the runs? Bananas are soothing to the digestive tract and help restore lost electrolytes after diarrhea.
Bananas are a natural antacid, providing relief from acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD.
Bananas are the only raw fruit that can be consumed without distress to relieve stomach ulcers by coating the lining of the stomach against corrosive acids.
Natural Cures From A Simple Banana
Eating bananas will help prevent kidney cancer, protects the eyes against macular degeneration and builds strong bones by increasing calcium absorption.
Bananas make you smarter and help with learning by making you more alert. Eat a banana before an exam to benefit from the high levels of potassium.
Bananas are high in antioxidants, providing protection from free radicals and chronic disease.
Eating a banana between meals helps stabilize blood sugar and reduce nausea from morning sickness.
Rub a bug bite or hives with the inside of the banana peel to relieve itching and irritation.
Control blood sugar and avoid binging between meals by eating a banana.
Eating a banana can lower the body temperature and cool you during a fever or on a hot day.
The natural mood-enhancer tryptophan helps to relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Quitting smoking? Bananas contain high levels of B-vitamins as well as potassium and magnesium to speed recovery from the effects of withdrawal.
Remove a wart by placing the inside of a piece of banana peel against the wart and taping it in place.
Rub the inside of a banana peel on your leather shoes or handbag and polish with a dry cloth for a quick shine.
1. Bananas Help Boost Bone Mass: The potassium inside bananas seems to counteract your bad effects of high-salt diets by preventing bones through decaying at a fast rate.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
An iSi Whip is a tool that uses gas and pressure to whip cream and create foams, fluffy sauces, light soups or infusions in just a matter of minutes instead of hours with incredible results. They are cylindrical stainless steel canisters with a handle and assorted tips for dispensing. The inert gas used with the iSi Whip is nitrous oxide (N2O) and it comes in a recyclable disposable cartridge called a charger. The N2O charge is attached to the iSi Whip canister to inject the exact amount of gas necessary to create the final product.
The iSi Gourmet Whip has a brushed finish and comes in 3 different sizes: iSi Gourmet Whip ¼ liters (half pint), and . The polished finish size and is the only whip on the market made specifically to keep cold foods cold for up to 8 hours without refrigeration and hot foods hot for up to 3 hours.
There are several different types of iSi Whips created to meet the specific needs of the user but these are the top 3 used in molecular gastronomy. They’re all portable, durable and easy to use.
Why Use an iSi Whip?
There are several advantages to using an iSi Whip versus using traditional methods. Just a few good reasons to use either the iSi Gourmet Whip or the Thermo Whip include:
Using the iSi Whip increases your product yield; an espuma can yield up to five times the volume of what you put into it. Since the product stays pressurized, it holds its form for much longer than the few minutes that you may have if you don’t use the whipper. This helps you manage your time and reduce waste.
Finally, it only takes a few minutes to build a cream or foam instead of the several that it would take to do it by hand so your time can be spent on the myriad other tasks on your to-do list. You will also use fewer kitchen tools so there is less to clean up when you are done.
Because the chargers guaranteed to expel exactly the right amount of gas every time, your product is consistent and you don’t have to guess at what you’re going to get. Your creation will be perfect every time. The N2O gas is inert and does not add any flavor to the preparation.
The iSi Gourmet Whip is made of high quality stainless steel and silicone gaskets making it safe for hot and acidic preparations. Aluminum whippers are not appropriate for hot and acidic preparations.
Multiple Uses for One Tool
Instead of needing different tools to make frostings, foams, creams, sauces and infusions, you only need your iSi Whip. It’s easy to wash, though they’re not all dishwasher proof so be sure to read your manual before you toss it in.
The decorator tips that come with it enhance precision and utility because you can just attach it right to the iSi Whip and dispense the product as you want it to appear. There are also some new and that you can purchase separately for special presentations and injecting marinades or filling narrow food items. No more switching to a pastry bag with a tip. The whip is easy to hold so getting the exact look that you want is made simpler.
Heavy duty stainless steel construction makes the iSi Whip tough enough to stand up to the abuse that comes with being a piece of equipment in a busy restaurant, bakery or bar. The heat-resistant gaskets last well, too. The iSi Gourmet Whip resists going through continued cycles of dish washing, preparing acidic ingredients and hot preparations without problems.
Who’s Using the iSi Whip?
The iSi Whip isn’t just a novelty tool; it’s used daily by such molecular chefs of note as Chef Ferran Adrià, who elevated both sweet and savory foams from obscure processes to innovative, modern additions to flavor profiles. Other noteworthy modernist chefs who swear by the iSi Whip include José Andrés, Paul Liebrandt, Johnny Luzzini and Alejandro Digilio.
What Are Some Great Uses for the iSi Whip?
We’ve touched on some of the most common uses for the whip, but we also have some amazing recipes to get you started or to use as a jumping off point for your own creations. You can also search here for .
Foams and Mousses
Foams and mousses are great ways to introduce flavors and textures to any dish. They also add visual flair to a plate and can even be used in cocktails to add flavor, color or simply stunning visual appeal. There are many types of foams and mousses. Foams are, logically, less dense than mousses but the process for making them is often extremely similar.
Foams and mousses may be sweet or savory, hot or cold. It’s all a matter of what you want to do. Here are some good recipes from some of our favorite chefs.
To serve hot foams you can keep the contents of the iSi Gourmet Whip hot in a water bath, sous vide or Bain marie, during service or you can use an iSi Thermo Whip which will keep them hot for up to 3 hours. Try these amazing hot foams with your iSi Whip!
Sweet Cold Foams
These are closer to traditionally whipped cream but you’ll notice that with the iSi Whip they are much lighter and airy. And as an added bonus, they are faster to make, minimize the use of kitchen tools you use so clean up is easier and you can keep them for several days in the iSi Whip and still get the same amazing quality when serving.
Savory Cold Foams
Savory foams were first introduced by molecular gastronomy Chef Ferran Adria. Here is a great savory cold foam recipe for you to try.
Faux Truffle, A Foam with a Twist
This is a great technique developed by modernist Chef Alejandro Digilio. Using the iSi Whip without nozzle, he expels an irregular foam ball on a spoon, which, when covered with bread crumbs, it resembles a truffle.
Most foams made with the iSi Whip contain cream or gelatin, but thanks to an ingredient used in modernist cuisine, , you can make foam with any oil and an iSi Whip. It is extremely easy to make and will definitely add a modernist touch to any dish.
Foams not only can be sweet or savory, hot or cold, but they can also contain alcohol to complement a cocktail or even a dish. The ease of use, speed and storage capacity of the iSi Whip makes it a perfect tool for molecular mixologists at busy bars or for a crowded party at home.
Try this Elderflower Foam with Champagne and delight your guests with no effort!
Solid Foam Presented as a Sponge Cake
I love this application of the iSi Whip. Molecular gastronomy Chef Ferran Adria developed this technique to make a fluffy, moist sponge cake in just 40 seconds in a microwave. This modernist sponge cake has the largest air pockets you have seen in any sponge cake thanks to the iSi Whip!
The spherification technique developed by Ferran Adria is most often used to encapsulate liquids with a sphere shape but you can also use it to encapsulate a foam. Also created by modernist Chef Ferran Adria, these potato foam gnocchi will certainly blow your mind.
Why just have cold foams and not frozen? Another great way to create a new texture is to freeze the outside of a foam and keep the inside soft and airy. Check out this blue cheese frozen foam using a homemade “anti-griddle”.
There’s no better way to increase the flavor profiles of simple dips, oils and alcohols than to infuse them with your favorite herbs or spices. Usually infusing oil or alcohol takes hours, days, or even weeks but with the iSi Whip, you can do it in a matter of minutes and without heating. Just place the ingredient to be infused in the iSi Whip together with the flavorful ingredient, charge it with N2O, wait for a minute and suddenly expel all the gas. That’s it, rapid infusion with the iSi Whip. You can read more about infusing liquids with the iSi Whip in this article.
Airy Sauces and Soups
Adding fluff and lightness to your sauces and soups can take them from delicious to sensational simply by modifying the texture a bit. They can be playful, fun and light without losing the flavors that you want to impart.
Check this airy modernist NE clam chowder for example.
Light Batters with the iSi Whip
Fluffy batters make delicious pancakes, waffles, and tempura coatings and the iSi Gourmet Whip makes it a piece of cake to do. Get recipe of .
Another great way to add dimension to a dish is to carbonate it and the iSi Whip is the perfect tool for the job. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s practically foolproof. Use it to carbonate fruits, veggies, cocktails and spheres. You just need to use an charger instead of N2O. You can also use an for this purpose. Just follow these recipes and you’re guaranteed to have a nicely carbonated fruit, liquid or gel.
Fruits and Veggies:
Cocktails: Nikko Spring –
You’ve probably heard about injecting flavors into proteins with a needle but the iSi whip is a much more efficient way to do it because you can infuse your own oils and marinades to create your own flavor profiles to suit your tastes right in the iSi Whip, and then inject it directly with gas pressure into the meat.
ISi Whip as a Pump
A final use for the iSi Whip that we’re going to mention today is as an air pump. Since the air is dispensed evenly and consistently, it’s a great tool to use to inflate mozzarella balloons or to expulse the agar spaghetti from the silicone tube. You can also inflate the mozzarella balloon with a foam to create your own modernist burratta. Here are a couple of cool recipes:
Wrapping up the iSi Whip Story
If you’re serious about cooking, baking or mixology, especially using modernist techniques, you really do need to invest in at least one iSi Whip. It will save you time, money and frustration because your product is going to turn out perfectly every time. They’re extremely affordable especially considering the time and money that they will save you in time, lost product, and additional equipment and quite simply have a place in every kitchen. Don’t just take our word for it, though. Ask any successful molecular gastronomy chef, and you’ll hear the same thing. Get whipping!
Friday, September 26, 2014
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Sometimes called mums or chrysanths, are flowering plants of the genus Chrysanthemum in the family Asteraceae. They are native to Asia and northeastern Europe. Most species originate from East Asia and the center of diversity is in China. There are about 40 valid species. There are countless horticultural varieties and cultivars.
Yellow or white chrysanthemum flowers of the species C. morifolium are boiled to make a sweet drink in some parts of Asia. The resulting beverage is known simply as chrysanthemum tea , pinyin: júhuā chá, in Chinese). In Korea, a rice wine flavored with chrysanthemum flowers is called gukhwaju .
Chrysanthemum leaves are steamed or boiled and used as greens, especially in Chinese cuisine. The flowers may be added to thick snakemeat soup to enhance the aroma. Small chrysanthemums are used in Japan as a sashimi garnish
Chrysanthemum plants have been shown to reduce indoor air pollution by the NASA Clean Air Study.
Chrysanthemum tea has many purported medicinal uses, including an aid in recovery from influenza, acne and as a "cooling" herb. According to traditional Chinese medicine the tea can aid in the prevention of sore throat and promote the reduction of fever. In Korea, it is known well for its medicinal use for making people more alert and is often used as a pick-me-up to render the drinker more awake. In western herbal medicine, Chrysanthemum tea is drunk or used as a compress to treat circulatory disorders such as varicose veins andatherosclerosis.
In traditional Chinese medicine, chrysanthemum tea is also said to clear the liver and the eyes. It is believed to be effective in treating eye pain associated with stress or yin/fluid deficiency. It is also used to treat blurring, spots in front of the eyes, diminished vision, and dizziness. The liver is associated with the element Wood which rules the eyes and is associated with anger, stress, and related emotions. No scientific studies have substantiated these claims yet.
Chrysanthemum tea is made from chrysanthemum flowers, belonging to the Chrysanthemum morifolium or Chrysanthemum indicum species, which is extremely popular in East Asia, specifically China. Chrysanthemum flowers are usually dried and boiled in hot water in a teapot, cup or glass, to prepare this tea. Rock sugar or honey is also added to chrysanthemum tea and occasionally, wolfberries are included. The tea that is prepared is transparent and can be bright yellow or pale in color, exuding a floral aroma. In China, after a pot of chrysanthemum tea is emptied, hot water is again added to the flowers. This produces a tea that is less strong than the previous one. The process is repeated several times, until the flowers lose their aroma completely. Traditional Chinese medicine practices still use chrysanthemum tisane for treating conditions such as sore throat and fever.
Nutrition & Health Benefits of Chrysanthemum Tea
Chrysanthemum tea detoxifies the blood, helps with sinus congestion and regulates high blood pressure. It can also help to calm the nerves.
Modern researches on the tea have established that it contains choline, vitamin A, vitamin B1, glycosides, adenine, amino acids, flavonoid, volatile oil, and other nutrients.
Chrysanthemum tea restrains the growth of bacteria in the body, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus hemolyticus B, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Shigella dysenteriae, tubercle bacillus and dermatomycosis.
The Chinese medicine prescribes this tea for relief against influenza and it is also used in treating heatstroke, due to its cooling effect.
When chrysanthemum tea is drunk with meals, it facilitates digestion, more so of greasy and oily foods. The tea is also consumed to strengthen the lungs and relieve head congestion.
The tea is also believed to improve vision and hearing. It can be safely recommended for obese people, as it contains zero calories, when consumed without adding sugar or honey. It also doesn’t contain any caffeine.
Some individuals can experience an adverse reaction on consuming chrysanthemum and even handling chrysanthemum flowers. Mild skin irritation may result on physical handling and mild to moderate stomach upset can be experienced on consumption. Though most people do not suffer from any adverse reactions from chrysanthemum tea, it is advisable to consult a doctor before its consumption, as some herbal solutions can interact with other prescribed medications.
Chrysanthemum tea is a 'cooling' herbal beverage that has been consumed by the Chinese since the Song Dynasty. Traditionally, it's used to help treat conditions caused by 'excessive heat' in the body, such as sore throat (in traditional Chinese medicine, they have a hot/cold theory). These days, this tea can be found in popper form, bottled, or canned, in most Asian grocery stores. However, these mostly contain sugar and water, so, although they may taste good, they are unlikely to impart any health benefits. It's not hard to make your own, and I personally much prefer a homemade infusion. You can buy packets of dried chrysanthemum for this from most Asian grocery stores and at traditional Chinese medicinal stores. If you have fresh white chrysanthemums that you want to use instead, great, but take note that there are quite a few different species of this flower, and not all are for culinary use. Wikipedia tells me it's the C. morifolium species that is used, but I'd look into the references, if you're planning to go down this route.
Just like how you would brew normal tea, simply bring some water to the boil; take off the heat; add some dried white chrysanthemum flowers; and allow to steep. Sweeten with golden rock sugar, according to taste preferences, and sieve before serving. You can do this in a teapot, in a cup, or in a small saucepan, if making a larger quantity, like what I did. This tea can be served hot or chilled. I generally prefer the latter, but it's nice to have it hot when the weather is cool.
In the infusion pictured above, I actually also added a bit of dried Japanese honeysuckle flowers, which is another flower with 'cooling' properties. This can also be sourced from the abovementioned shops.
50g dried chrysanthemum flowers
1.5 litre water
50g rock sugar (adjust to taste)
1. In a pot, bring water to a boil. Once the water starts to boil, add chrysanthemum. Simmer for a minute or two (do not simmer for too long). Add rock sugar to taste and turn off the stove when the sugar has dissolved. Serve the drink at room temperature or chilled.
2. Take out the chrysanthemum flowers andsieve the liquid through a strainer. Drink chilled or at room temperature.
1. Add 10g licorice (liquorice) roots (aka gan zao) or about 8 pieces in step 1. Read about its health benefits below, but skip this if you are pregnant or have high-blood pressure.
1. You can also add 1 tsp of wolfberries (soaked in water till puffy first) if desired.
2. There are a type of chrysanthemum flowers which do not require boiling; simply place the ingredients in a cup/tea pot, pour boiling water and let stand for 5 minutes. However, I prefer to bring the ingredients to a brief simmer to let the flavours seep in.
3. If you do not want to use a strainer, you can put the chrysanthemum flowers in disposable soup pouches and discard the entire pouch after simmering.