Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

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Home-made baking powder


I recently met someone who was looking for a natural baking powder. We discussed the ease of making one’s own. This prompted me to look-up this recipe (from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking).

“Why would one want to make their own baking powder?” you might ask. Well, commercially available baking powders often contain aluminum which many people attempt to avoid any more exposure to than necessary.


1 part baking soda

2 parts cream of tartar

2 parts arrowroot powder

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container at room temperature. This mixture should last for about a month. To be sure that it’s still fresh, drop a teaspoon of it into a cup of hot water. If it bubbles vigourously, it’s still active.


Blue garlic


Ever had garlic turn blue on you when you’re cooking? Ever wonder why that happened and if it’s still safe to eat? Well, science writer Harold McGee has the answer for you in his column The Curious Cook

For those of you who can’t be bothered to click the link, or read the entire article, I’ll give you the abbreviated version… Apparently there’s a reaction when the sulfur complexes in the garlic react with other substances in the cooking; acids, and copper. I’ve also read that iodine in table salt can cause a similar reaction. It’s still perfectly safe to eat but it does look a little unappealing. 

So, how to avoid this reaction? Apparently, cooking over a high heat can help. Also, avoiding old copper-bottomed pans might be helpful as well as using a non-iodized sea salt when cooking with garlic. 

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The magic of kitchen shears


A great way to cut down (yep, pun intended, I’m the worst!) on time spent in the kitchen is by investing in a good pair of kitchen shears. Use them to:

  • chop herbs; especially chives, green onions, and basil
  • cut a whole chicken into pieces (it’s a lot cheaper to buy a whole bird than it is to buy the pieces)
  • cut-up dried fruit for granola
  • cutting pita bread into triangles
  • not so much a cooking tip, but they’re also great for cutting the ends of a bouquet of flowers



Cooking with tofu


I’ve blogged about the nutritional aspects of tofu before, but how about how to actually cook with it?

Tofu comes in different consistencies: soft, firm, and extra firm. Soft is great for adding to smoothies and using in sauces and puddings. If you try to cook with it, it will most likely just fall apart on you.

Firm tofu is great for stir-fries and scrambles or marinated on its own. Cube the tofu and cook in a clean pan over medium heat, turning occasionally. You’ll know the tofu is done when it stops steaming and all of the sides are golden. Tofu scramble is a great alternative to scrambled eggs and can be made with many different flavours. One of my favourites is Garam Masala Tofu Scramble from 101cookbooks.com.