Forget About It

People with cardiovascular diseases should avoid drinking ice-cold water. Body tissue temperatures can drop suddenly, resulting in a shock to the body’s system. Water at room temperature is the way to go. In general, our bodies digest lukewarm water more efficiently than ice-cold or boiling water. Speaking of digesting lukewarm water, it is best to avoid drinking water during a meal, and instead leave the chugging for later, as water dilutes the enzymes in our body that aid digestion.

You’ve been there… You’re grinding almonds (or other nut varieties) in a mini chopper in preparation of your favorite dessert. Unfortunately, all your almonds fuse together to form a large mass. Not exactly material for easy dessert prep! The way out? When grinding nuts, add a small amount of sugar to prevent sticking. This way, your ground nuts won’t clump and will be easy to work with.

Is your refrigerator an organizational disaster? Is your freezer an impenetrable food iceberg? Do you find yourself tossing out whole bags of food you never used, because you forgot you even owned it? For your refrigerator or freezer, these add-in storage drawers may be just what you’ve been needing to keep your foods in some sort of order. For optimal compartmentalization, these plastic pull-out drawers come in four colors. Reserving the green one for frozen veggies, the red for meat, etcetera, will keep you on top of the storage situation (as all shaatra moms like to be)!

spotlight on: Beets

How well do you know your beets?

While beets contain the largest sugar content of any other vegetable, they are a low calorie, vitamin-rich food. Believe it or not, the beet is a relative of spinach, and both its roots and leaves are edible. When selecting a fresh beet, go for a small or medium-sized one that is firm to the touch. Always add beets to salads and other foods last so your beets won’t “bleed” onto the other foods.

Do dry beans still remain a nutritious protein, even after all those hours of soaking and cooking?

As a matter of fact, yes! Amazingly, beans and legumes, unlike fruits and vegetables, are a healthy food choice, even though they’re out for quite some time during the cooking process. Studies show that our leguminous plants retain 70 to
90 percent of their vitamin content despite a cook time of
1.5 hours. (Only the Vitamin B content in beans is reduced to half its original amount when cooked.)

How about a little lesson in agriculture? Each kernel
of the grains we know and love is comprised of 
three parts: the bran, endosperm, and germ. The outermostlayer, the bran, contains the most nutrients and dietary fiber. This is the part that is found in whole grain products but removed from refined foods. The endosperm, the heaviest part, houses most of the grain’s protein and carbohydrates. Our white flour is mainly made up of the endosperm. Lastly, the germ, holds the fat (oh, well!) and Vitamins B and E, both of which are generally removed to preserve the grains’ freshness (double oh well!).