“Meatless Monday” Recipe of the Week – ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH TOMATOES

January 15, 2018 at 7:21 AM | Posted in diabetes, diabetes friendly, Diabetic Dish of the Week, Diabetic Gourmet Magazine | Leave a comment
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This week’s “Meatless Monday” Recipe of the Week is – ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH TOMATOES. Another delicious and healthy recipe from one of my favorite recipe websites, the Diabetic Gourmet Magazine. At the site you’ll find a large selection of Diabetic Friendly Recipes, Diabetes Management, Diabetes News, and more! So check it out today. Enjoy and Eat Healthy in 2018! https://diabeticgourmet.com/

ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH TOMATOES

Ingredients

1 pound small fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
1 can (14.5 ounces) Hunt’s Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons pure canola oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

1 – Heat oven to 425F.
2 – In large bowl, toss together Brussels sprouts, drained tomatoes, oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
3 – Spread mixture in single layer on large shallow baking pan.
4 – Bake 20 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are tender and browned, stirring once halfway through.
NOTES:
You can assemble this dish in the morning and slip them in the refrigerator, so all you have to do is slide them in the oven at dinner time.

Recipe Yield: Yield: 6 servings.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING:
Calories: 75
Fat: 5 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Sodium: 217 milligrams
Protein: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 7 grams
Sugars: 2 grams

https://diabeticgourmet.com/diabetic-recipes/roasted-brussels-sprouts-with-tomatoes

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One of America’s Favorites – Chicken Soup

January 8, 2018 at 6:20 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | 2 Comments
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A classic preparation of chicken noodle soup made with a stewing hen and flavored with thyme and black pepper

What better to have on a cold Winter’s Day than – Chicken Soup!

Chicken soup is a soup made from chicken, simmered in water, usually with various other ingredients. The classic chicken soup consists of a clear chicken broth, often with pieces of chicken or vegetables; common additions are pasta, dumplings, or grains such as rice and barley. Chicken soup has acquired the reputation of a folk remedy for colds and influenza, and in many countries is considered a comfort food.

 

 

 

Variations on the flavor are gained by adding root vegetables such as parsnip, potato, sweet potato and celery root, herbs such as parsley, dill, other vegetables such as zucchini, whole garlic cloves or tomatoes and black pepper. The soup should be brought slowly to a boil and then simmered in a covered pot on a very low flame for one to three hours, adding water if necessary. A clearer broth is achieved by skimming the drops of fat off the top of the soup as it is cooking, first bringing the chicken to boil from a pot of cold water and discarding the water before continuing, or straining it through a strainer or cheesecloth. Saffron or turmeric are sometimes added as a yellow colorant. Then, the chicken can be shredded by hand and stored in the refrigerator until ready for use in the soup.

 

Chicken soup can be a relatively low fat food: fat can be removed by chilling the soup after cooking and skimming the layer of congealed fat from the top. A study determined that “prolonged cooking of a bone in soup increases the calcium content of the soup when cooked at an acidic, but not at a neutral pH”.

 

 

Homemade chicken noodle soup cooking

Strictly speaking, chicken soup, unless qualified, implies that the soup is served as a thin broth, with pieces of meat, and possibly vegetables, and either noodles, rice, barley, or dumplings.

Cream of chicken soup is a thick, creamy, soup made with chicken stock and pieces, combined with milk (or cream) and flour, which might contain vegetable pieces, depending on the recipe.

Several terms are used when referring to chicken soups:

* Chicken broth is the liquid part of chicken soup. Broth can be served as is, or used as stock, or served as soup with noodles. Broth can be milder than stock, does not need to be boiled as long, and can be made with meatier chicken parts.
* Chicken bouillon or bouillon de poulet is the French term for chicken broth.
* Chicken consommé is a more refined chicken broth. It is usually strained to perfect clarity, and reduced to concentrate it.
* Chicken stew is a more substantial dish with a higher ratio of solids to broth. The broth may also be thickened toward a gravy-like consistency with a roux or by adding flour-based dumplings (matzah balls do not have the same thickening effect).
* Chicken stock is a liquid in which chicken bones and vegetables have been simmered for the purpose of serving as an ingredient in more complex dishes. Chicken stock is not usually served as is. Stock can be made with less palatable parts of the chicken, such as feet, necks or bones: the higher bone content in these parts contributes more gelatin to the liquid, making it a better base for sauces. Stock can be reboiled and reused as the basis for a new stock. Bouillon cubes or soup base are often used instead of chicken stock prepared from scratch.

Chicken soup has long been touted as a form of folk medicine to treat symptoms of the common cold and related conditions. In 2000, scientists at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha studied the effect of chicken soup on the inflammatory response in vitro. They found that some components of the chicken soup inhibit neutrophil migration, which may have an anti-inflammatory effect that could hypothetically lead to temporary ease from symptoms of illness. However, since these results have been obtained from purified cells (and directly applied), the diluted soup in vivo effect is debatable. The New York Times reviewed the University of Nebraska study, among others, in 2007 and concluded that “none of the research is conclusive, and it is not known whether the changes measured in the laboratory really have a meaningful effect on people with cold symptoms.”

It has also been shown that chicken soup contains the Amino acid cysteine, which is very similar to acetylcysteine, which is used by doctors for patients with bronchitis and other respiratory infections to help clear them.

 

Cream of Chicken Soup

In the United States and Canada, chicken soup often has noodles or rice in it, thus giving it its common name of “chicken noodle soup”. The term may have been coined in a commercial for the Campbell Soup Company in the 1930s. The original 21 varieties of Campbell’s condensed soup featured a “chicken soup with noodles”, but when it was advertised on the Amos ‘n’ Andy radio show in the 1930s by a slip of the tongue the soup was referred to as “chicken noodle soup”. Traditionally, American chicken soup was prepared using old hens too tough and stringy to be roasted or cooked for a short time. In modern times, these fowl are difficult to come by, and broiler chickens (young chickens suitable for roasting or broiling) are often used to make soup.

Typically sold as a condensed soup, canned chicken soup, such as Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup, is notable for its high sodium content, 890 mg per 1/2 cup serving, giving a 1 1/2 cup bowl of soup about 2,500 mg, a full days allowance in the case of the mainstream brand, Campbell’s. Other condensed chicken soups such as Chicken with Rice or Chicken & Stars Soup produced by Campbell have similar amounts, as do generic versions of the product. Canned chicken soup with much less sodium than the traditional formulation is available, including many varieties produced by Campbell’s, some with at little as 100 mg of sodium. Campbell’s claims production of a chicken noodle soup that will find broad consumer acceptance, in short, that will sell, is very difficult.

 

Crispy Pan Fried Tilapia w/ Sliced Potatoes and Asparagus Cuts and Tips

November 8, 2017 at 5:40 PM | Posted in fish, Simply Potatoes, Zatarain's | Leave a comment
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Today’s Menu: Crispy Pan Fried Tilapia w/ Sliced Potatoes and Asparagus Cuts and Tips

 

 

To start this 8th day of November off I prepared a Scrambled Egg and toasted 2 slices of Aunt Millie’s Light Whole Grain Bread that I lightly Buttered with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. I also had my morning cup of Bigelow Decaf Green Tea. About 30 degrees this morning. Had a high of 50 degrees and partly cloudy out. Spent most of the day house cleaning today. Later in the afternoon I went to Bank for Mom. For Dinner tonight I prepared Crispy Pan Fried Tilapia w/ Sliced Potatoes and Asparagus Cuts and Tips.

 

 

I purchased the Tilapia while Jungle Jim’s International Market the other day. I had already rinsed it in cold water and had it in plastic bag the freezer. I sat the bag in the fridge and let it thaw overnight. To prepare it I’ll need; the Tilapia, McCormick Grinder Sea salt and Peppercorn Medley, and Zatarain’s Crispy Southern Fish Fri. To start I heated Extra Light Olive Oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet was ready I cooked the Tilapia in the hot Oil until Golden Brown, about 4 minutes per side. I had not had Tilapia in a while and it tasted great! Moist with excellent seasoning. Love hitting the Seafood Dept. at Jungle Jim’s. They have about anything, they even have tanks of live Tilapia and Trout!

 

For one side I prepared some Simply Potatoes Homestyle Sliced Potatoes , first time having these. Again Jungle Jim’s is the only place around here that I seen carries this product from Simply Potatoes. To prepare them; Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a skillet until hot. Add potatoes. Cover with lid. Cook 5–6 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. Turn and cook an additional 4–5 minutes. According to the package instructions – During cooking, potatoes must reach a temperature of 165degrees F for 2 minutes. Wow what an easy way to have Fried Sliced potatoes! These came out so good and were so easy to prepare! You can use these for several different Potato Recipes including Scalloped Potatoes. I’ll have to buy more of these!

 

I also heated up a can of Del Monte Asparagus Cuts and Tips. Partially drained some of the can’s liquid. Then added the contents to a small sauce pan and cooked on medium high to a boil and then reduced the heat to simmer. Cooked about 7 minutes. Really enjoyed Dinner tonight! For Dessert later a Weight Watcher’s Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Bar.

 

 

 

Zatarain’s Crispy Southern Fish Fri

The secret of authentic Southern style fried fish is the crispy combination of cornmeal, corn flour, spices and lemon juice captured in this special Zatarain’s Frying Mix.

Amount Per Serving % Daily ValueZatarain’s Crispy Southeren Fish Fri
Calories: 60
Calories from Fat: 0
Total Fat: 0g 0%
Saturated Fat: 0g 0%
Cholesterol: 0mg 0%
Sodium: 630mg 26%
Total Carb: 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber: 0 0%
Sugar: 0g
Protein: 1g
Vitamin A: 2%

http://www.zatarains.com/Products/Breadings-and-Fry-Mixes/Crispy-Southern

 

Simply Potatoes Homestyle Slices

Description
New look, same great taste. We’ve added the logo of our sister company, Crystal Farms, to our package because we share one main goal: to provide outstanding quality at a great value. We’re committed to bringing you the very best from our table to yours.

Try all our delicious varieties: shredded has browns. Southwest style hash browns. Diced potatoes with onion. Homestyle slices. Red potato wedges. Rosemary & garlic red potato wedges. Traditional mashed potatoes. Country style mashed potatoes. Garlic mashed potatoes. Sour cream & chive mashed potatoes. Mashed sweet potatoes.

Why Buy?
Made from Fresh Potatoes
Instruction
1 – After opening, store in an airtight container and use within 3 days.
2 – Cook before serving. Keep refrigerated. For best quality and cooking results, do not freeze. Keep refrigerated.
3 – Simple Steps to Delicious Potatoes HEAT 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a skillet until hot. ADD potatoes. Cover with lid. COOK 5–6 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. Turn and cook an additional 4–5 minutes.Note: During cooking, potatoes must reach a temperature of 165degrees F for 2 minutes. Do not eat until fully cooked.

Wild Idea Buffalo Recipe of the Week – Grilled Buffalo Steaks

November 2, 2016 at 5:41 AM | Posted in Wild Idea Buffalo | 2 Comments
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This week’s Wild Idea Buffalo Recipe of the Week – Grilled Buffalo Steaks. Nothing better than the Wild Idea Buffalo Steaks! I always have a supply in my freezer. Whether you grill them, pan fry them, or broil them its always a winning dish! You can find all the Wild Idea Buffalo recipes and purchase all of the Wild Idea Buffalo cuts of meat on the Wild Idea Buffalo website. Happy Grilling! http://wildideabuffalo.com/

 

 

Grilled Buffalo Steaks
Grilled Buffalo Steaks

Our meals become pretty simple in the summer. In addition to what we eat, how we eat is minimized too. Frequently dinner consist of a grilled buffalo cut, and grilled vegetables on salad greens. The complete meal is served on the cutting board that the vegetables were prepped on. Other than cutting the steak, silverware is optional. Somehow the food just tastes better, you’ll just have to try it. Below is my simple way of “how to grill a steak”. Although this may be easy for many of you, it is a question that I get a lot. I hope it is helpful. Enjoy! Jill

 

 

1 – Rinse Wild Idea Bison steaks, and pat dry with a paper towel.
2 – Drizzle olive oil on steak and season generously with salt & pepper.Wild Idea
3 – Loosely cover and let steak rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
4 – For Gas Grill: Insure grill grids are clean. Turn all burners on high and close grill cover. Allow gas grill heat to come to 550*.
5 – Place steak on grill, close lid and cook for 3 minutes.
6 – Turn steak and cook for an additional 2.5 minutes, for medium rare.
7 – Remove steak from grill and place on serving plate and cover for 5 minutes.
Serve grilled steaks with grilled vegetables, salad greens and bread. Vegetables can be added to grill at the same time as the steak, turn as above. Simply delicious!

http://wildideabuffalo.com/blogs/recipes/93473217-grilled-buffalo-steaks

Yummy Chicken Casserole Recipes

September 7, 2016 at 5:06 AM | Posted in diabetes, diabetes friendly, Diabetic Living On Line | Leave a comment
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From the Diabetic Living Online website its Yummy Chicken Casserole Recipes. Comfort Food Deluxe with these recipes. Recipes including; Hot Chicken Salad, Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole, and Chicken Taco Casserole. Find them all at the home of Diabetic – Friendly Recipes, Diabetic Living Online (http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com/)

 

 

Yummy Chicken Casserole RecipesDiabetic living logo

Chicken casseroles are classic, comforting, and convenient. These tasty casserole recipes use lean chicken and fresh ingredients, making dinner healthful as well as flavorful.

 

 

Hot Chicken Salad

A crunchy cornflake-almond topper complements the saucy chicken mixture in this yummy casserole……

 
Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

This isn’t that same old-fashioned chicken casserole. Reduced-fat soup and cheese as well as fat-free milk make it up-to-date for today’s concerns about fat and calories……

 
Chicken Taco Casserole

Sweet pepper and spinach bring a load of vitamins A and C to this Tex-Mex layered meal-in-a-dish. Just throw a few chicken breast strips in a skillet before baking……

 

 

* Click the link below to get all the Yummy Chicken Casserole Recipes
http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com/diabetic-recipes/chicken/yummy-chicken-casserole-recipes

Wild Idea Buffalo Recipe of the Week – Grilled Buffalo Steaks

June 8, 2016 at 5:09 AM | Posted in Wild Idea Buffalo | Leave a comment
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This week’s Wild Idea Buffalo Recipe of the Week – Grilled Buffalo Steaks. Nothing better than the Wild Idea Buffalo Steaks! I always have a supply in my freezer. Whether you grill them, pan fry them, or broil them its always a winning dish! You can find all the Wild Idea Buffalo recipes and purchase all of the Wild Idea Buffalo cuts of meat on the Wild Idea Buffalo website. Happy Grilling! http://wildideabuffalo.com/

 

 

Grilled Buffalo SteaksGrilled Buffalo Steaks

Our meals become pretty simple in the summer. In addition to what we eat, how we eat is minimized too. Frequently dinner consist of a grilled buffalo cut, and grilled vegetables on salad greens. The complete meal is served on the cutting board that the vegetables were prepped on. Other than cutting the steak, silverware is optional. Somehow the food just tastes better, you’ll just have to try it. Below is my simple way of “how to grill a steak”. Although this may be easy for many of you, it is a question that I get a lot. I hope it is helpful. Enjoy! Jill

1 – Rinse Wild Idea Bison steaks, and pat dry with a paper towel.
2 – Drizzle olive oil on steak and season generously with salt & pepper.
3 – Loosely cover and let steak rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
4 – For Gas Grill: Insure grill grids are clean. Turn all burners on high and close grill cover. Allow gas grill heat to come to 550*.
5 – Place steak on grill, close lid and cook for 3 minutes.
6 – Turn steak and cook for an additional 2.5 minutes, for medium rare.
7 – Remove steak from grill and place on serving plate and cover for 5 minutes.
Serve grilled steaks with grilled vegetables, salad greens and bread. Vegetables can be added to grill at the same time as the steak, turn as above. Simply delicious!

http://wildideabuffalo.com/blogs/recipes/93473217-grilled-buffalo-steaks

Pepper of the Week – Allspice

November 26, 2015 at 5:51 AM | Posted in Pepper of the Week | Leave a comment
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Whole allspice berries

Whole allspice berries

Allspice, also called Jamaica pepper, pepper, myrtle pepper, pimenta, Turkish Yenibahar, English pepper or newspice, is the dried unripe fruit (berries, used as a spice) of Pimenta dioica, a midcanopy tree native to the Greater Antilles, southern Mexico, and Central America, now cultivated in many warm parts of the world. The name ‘allspice’ was coined as early as 1621 by the English, who thought it combined the flavour of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

Several unrelated fragrant shrubs are called “Carolina allspice” (Calycanthus floridus), “Japanese allspice” (Chimonanthus praecox), or “wild allspice” (Lindera benzoin). Allspice is also sometimes used to refer to the herb costmary (Tanacetum balsamita).

 
Allspice is the dried fruit of the P. dioica plant. The fruits are picked when green and unripe and are traditionally dried in the sun. When dry, they are brown and resemble large brown smooth peppercorns. The whole fruits have a longer shelf life than the powdered product and produce a more aromatic product when freshly ground before use.

Fresh leaves are used where available. They are similar in texture to bay leaves and are thus infused during cooking and then removed before serving. Unlike bay leaves, they lose much flavor when dried and stored, so do not figure in commerce. The leaves and wood are often used for smoking meats where allspice is a local crop. Allspice can also be found in essential oil form.

 
Allspice is one of the most important ingredients of Caribbean cuisine. It is used in Caribbean jerk seasoning (the wood is used to smoke jerk in Jamaica, although the spice is a good substitute), in moles, and in pickling; it is also an ingredient in commercial sausage preparations and curry powders. Allspice is also indispensable in Middle Eastern cuisine, particularly in the Levant, where it is used to flavor a variety of stews and meat dishes. In Palestinian cuisine, for example, many main dishes call for allspice as the sole spice added for flavouring. In the U.S., it is used mostly in desserts, but it is also responsible for giving Cincinnati-style chili its distinctive aroma and flavor. Allspice is commonly used in Great Britain, and appears in many dishes, including cakes. Even in many countries where allspice is not very popular in the household, as in Germany, it is used in large amounts by commercial sausage makers. It is a main flavor used in barbecue sauces. In the West Indies, an allspice liqueur called “pimento dram” is produced.

Allspice has also been used as a deodorant. Volatile oils found in the plant contain eugenol, a weak antimicrobial agent.

 

 

Allspice blooming twig, flower & fruit detail

Allspice blooming twig, flower & fruit detail

The allspice tree, classified as an evergreen shrub, can reach 10–18 m (33–59 ft) in height. Allspice can be a small, scrubby tree, quite similar to the bay laurel in size and form. It can also be a tall, canopy tree, sometimes grown to provide shade for coffee trees planted underneath it. It can be grown outdoors in the tropics and subtropics with normal garden soil and watering. Smaller plants can be killed by frost, although larger plants are more tolerant. It adapts well to container culture and can be kept as a houseplant or in a greenhouse.

To protect the pimenta trade, the plant was guarded against export from Jamaica. Many attempts at growing the pimenta from seeds were reported, but all failed. At one time, the plant was thought to grow nowhere except in Jamaica, where the plant was readily spread by birds. Experiments were then performed using the constituents of bird droppings; however, these were also totally unsuccessful. Eventually, passage through the avian gut, whether due to the acidity or the elevated temperature, was found to be essential for germinating the seeds. Today, pimenta is spread by birds in Tonga and Hawaii, where it has become naturalized on Kauaʻi and Maui.

 
Allspice (P. dioica) was encountered by Christopher Columbus on the island of Jamaica during his second voyage to the New World, and named by Dr. Diego Álvarez Chanca. It was introduced into European and Mediterranean cuisines in the 16th century. It continued to be grown primarily in Jamaica, though a few other Central American countries produced allspice in comparatively small quantities.

 

Herb and Spice of the Week – Nutmeg

January 1, 2015 at 6:38 AM | Posted in Herb and Spice of the Week | Leave a comment
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Nutmeg seeds

Nutmeg seeds

Nutmeg (also known as Pala in Indonesia) is one of the two spices – the other being mace – derived from several species of tree in the genus Myristica. The most important commercial species is Myristica fragrans, an evergreen tree indigenous to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas (or Spice Islands) of Indonesia.

Nutmeg is the seed of the tree, roughly egg-shaped and about 20 to 30 mm (0.8 to 1.2 in) long and 15 to 18 mm (0.6 to 0.7 in) wide, and weighing between 5 and 10 g (0.2 and 0.4 oz) dried, while mace is the dried “lacy” reddish covering or aril of the seed. The first harvest of nutmeg trees takes place 7–9 years after planting, and the trees reach full production after twenty years. Nutmeg is usually used in powdered form. This is the only tropical fruit that is the source of two different spices. Several other commercial products are also produced from the trees, including essential oils, extracted oleoresins, and nutmeg butter.

 

 

Nutmegs on a tree

Nutmegs on a tree

Nutmeg and mace have similar sensory qualities, with nutmeg having a slightly sweeter and mace a more delicate flavor. Mace is often preferred in light dishes for the bright orange, saffron-like hue it imparts. Nutmeg is used for flavoring many dishes, usually in ground or grated form, and is best grated fresh in a nutmeg grater.

In Penang cuisine, dried, shredded nutmeg rind with sugar coating is used as toppings on the uniquely Penang ais kacang. Nutmeg rind is also blended (creating a fresh, green, tangy taste and white color juice) or boiled (resulting in a much sweeter and brown juice) to make iced nutmeg juice.

In Indian cuisine, nutmeg is used in many sweet as well as savory dishes (predominantly in Mughlai cuisine). It is also added in small quantities as a medicine for infants. It may also be used in small quantities in garam masala. Ground nutmeg is also smoked in India.

In Indonesian cuisine, nutmeg is used in various dishes, mainly in many soups, such as soto soup, baso soup or Sup Kambing.

In Middle Eastern cuisine, ground nutmeg is often used as a spice for savory dishes.

In originally European cuisine, nutmeg and mace are used especially in potato dishes and in processed meat products; they are also used in soups, sauces, and baked goods. In Dutch cuisine, nutmeg is added to vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and string beans. Nutmeg is a traditional ingredient in mulled cider, mulled wine, and eggnog.

In Italian cuisine is almost uniquely used as part of the stuffing for many regional meat filled dumplings like tortellini as well as for the traditional meatloaf.

Japanese varieties of curry powder include nutmeg as an ingredient.

In the Caribbean, nutmeg is often used in drinks such as the Bushwacker, Painkiller, and Barbados rum punch. Typically, it is just a sprinkle on the top of the drink.

The pericarp (fruit/pod) is used in Grenada and also in Indonesia to make jam, or is finely sliced, cooked with sugar, and crystallised to make a fragrant candy.

In Scotland, mace and nutmeg are usually both essential ingredients in haggis.

In the US, nutmeg is known as the main pumpkin pie spice and often shows up in simple recipes for other winter squashes such as baked acorn squash.

 

 

Nutmeg

Ground Nutmeg

The essential oil obtained by steam distillation of ground nutmeg is used widely in the perfumery and pharmaceutical industries. This volatile fraction typically contains 60-80% d-camphene by weight, as well as quantities of d-pinene, limonene, d-borneol, l-terpineol, geraniol, safrol, and myristicin. In its pure form, myristicin is a toxin and consumption of excessive amounts of nutmeg can result in myristicin poisoning. The oil is colorless or light yellow, and smells and tastes of nutmeg. It contains numerous components of interest to the oleochemical industry, and is used as a natural food flavoring in baked goods, syrups, beverages, and sweets. It is used to replace ground nutmeg, as it leaves no particles in the food. The essential oil is also used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, for instance, in toothpaste, and as a major ingredient in some cough syrups. In traditional medicine, nutmeg and nutmeg oil were used for disorders related to the nervous and digestive systems.

After extraction of the essential oil, the remaining seed, containing much less flavor, is called “spent”. Spent is often mixed in industrial mills with pure nutmeg to facilitate the milling process, as nutmeg is not easy to mill due to the high percentage of oil in the pure seed. Ground nutmeg with a variable percentage of spent (around 10% w/w) is also less likely to clot. To obtain a better running powder also a small percentage of rice flour can be added.

 

 

 

Nutmeg butter is obtained from the nut by expression. It is semi-solid, reddish brown in color, and tastes and smells of nutmeg. Approximately 75% (by weight) of nutmeg butter is trimyristin, which can be turned into myristic acid, a 14-carbon fatty acid, which can be used as a replacement for cocoa butter, can be mixed with other fats like cottonseed oil or palm oil, and has applications as an industrial lubricant.

 

 

 

World production of nutmeg is estimated to average between 10,000 and 12,000 tonnes per year, with annual world demand estimated at 9,000 tonnes; production of mace is estimated at 1,500 to 2,000 tonnes. Indonesia and Grenada dominate production and exports of both products, with world market shares of 75% and 20% respectively. Other producers include India, Malaysia (especially Penang, where the trees grow wild within untamed areas, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, and Caribbean islands, such as St. Vincent. The principal import markets are the European Community, the United States, Japan and India. Singapore and the Netherlands are major re-exporters.

Nutmeg has been used in medicine since at least the seventh century. In the 19th century it was used as an abortifacient, which led to numerous recorded cases of nutmeg poisoning. Although used as a folk treatment for other ailments, unprocessed nutmeg has no proven medicinal value today.

 

 

 

One study has shown that the compound macelignan isolated from Myristica fragrans (Myristicaceae) may exert antimicrobial activity against Streptococcus mutans, and another that a methanolic extract from the same plant inhibited Jurkat cell activity in human leukemia, but these are not currently used treatments.

 

Herb and Spice of the Week – Marjoram

December 18, 2014 at 6:29 AM | Posted in Herb and Spice of the Week | Leave a comment
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Marjoram

Marjoram

Marjoram (Origanum majorana, syn. Majorana hortensis Moench, Majorana majorana (L.) H. Karst is a somewhat cold-sensitive perennial herb or undershrub with sweet pine and citrus flavors. In some Middle-Eastern countries, marjoram is synonymous with oregano, and there the names sweet marjoram and knotted marjoram are used to distinguish it from other plants of the genus Origanum.

The name marjoram (Old French majorane, Medieval Latin majorana) does not directly derive from the Latin word maior (major). Marjoram is indigenous to Cyprus and southern Turkey, and was known to the Greeks and Romans as a symbol of happiness.
Leaves are smooth, simple, petiolated, ovate to oblong-ovate, (0.5-1.5 cm) long, (0.2-0.8 cm) wide, with obtuse apex, entire margin, symmetrical but tapering base and reticulate venation. The texture is extremely smooth due to presence of numerous hairs.

 

 

 

 

Considered a tender perennial (USDA Zones 7-9), marjoram can sometimes prove hardy even in zone 5.

Marjoram is cultivated for its aromatic leaves, either green or dry, for culinary purposes; the tops are cut as the plants begin to flower and are dried slowly in the shade. It is often used in herb combinations such as herbes de Provence and za’atar. The flowering leaves and tops of marjoram are steam-distilled to produce an essential oil that is yellowish in color (darkening to brown as it ages). It has many chemical components, some of which are borneol, camphor and pinene.

 

 

 

Bottle of Majoram herb

Bottle of Majoram herbMarjOregano

Pot marjoram or Cretan oregano (Origanum onites) has similar uses to marjoram.

Hardy marjoram or French marjoram, a cross of marjoram with oregano, is much more resistant to cold, but is slightly less sweet. Origanum pulchellum is known as showy marjoram or showy oregano.

Marjoram is used for seasoning soups, stews, dressings and sauce. O. majorana has been scientifically proved to be beneficial in the treatment of gastric ulcer, hyperlipidemia and diabetes.Majorana hortensis herb has been used in the traditional Austrian medicine for treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and infections.

 

Herb and Spice of the Week – Grains of Selim

October 16, 2014 at 6:17 AM | Posted in Herb and Spice of the Week | Leave a comment
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I have never heard of this one, Grains of Selim.

Grains of Selim seed pods

Grains of Selim seed pods

The term Grains of Selim refers to the seeds of a shrubby tree, Xylopia aethiopica, found in Africa. It is also known as kimba pepper, African pepper, Moor pepper, Negro pepper, Kani pepper, Kili pepper, Sénégal pepper, Ethiopian pepper, Hwentia and Guinea pepper. The seeds have a musky flavor and are used as a pepper substitute. It is sometimes confused with grains of paradise. By far the most common name in Wolof is djar in Senegal, and this is how it is listed on most, if not all, Cafe Touba packages.

 
As a spice the whole fruit (seed pod) is used as the hull of the fruit lends an aromatic note (with the taste being described as an admixture of cubeb pepper and nutmeg with overtones of resin) whilst the seeds lend pungency (they are also quite bitter). Typically the dried fruit is lightly crushed before being tied in a bouquet garni and added to West African soups (stews). In Sénégal, the spice is often sold smoked in markets as Poivre de Sénégal (the whole green fruit is smoked giving the spice a sticky consistency) and when pounded in a pestle and mortar it makes an excellent fish rub. These, however, tend to be the larger pods of the related species Xylopia striata.

In West African cookbooks, especially those from Cameroon, the spice is referred to as kieng, but the language that name is derived from is unknown.

 
The pods are crushed and added whole to soups or stews, then removed before serving the food. Smoked pods can be ground before being used as a spice rub for fish.

In northern Cameroon it is one of three spices added to tea, along with dried ginger and cloves.

The grains are a key ingredient in Touba Coffee (called Café Touba in French). Near the end of the roasting phase of making the coffee, Grains of Selim, known in Wolof as djar, are added while the heat is still on. Roasting continues for approximately five more minutes; during this time the sneeze-producing scent of pepper becomes easily discernible. The coffee to djar ratio is 80 percent coffee to 20 percent djar.

 

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