Category Archives: Food

The History of Cakes

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Cake is a dessert that nearly everyone has enjoyed at some point during their life. As a child, getting a slice of chocolate cake from one’s parents was more like a gift from the gods. Cake recipes have changed quite a bit over time, but the pleasure they give has stayed intact over the years. Some might say that making a great cake relies on having a great cake recipe, however it is also important to have an understanding of the history and where cake actually comes from. History does not taste quite as good as a fresh chocolate cake, but it is still quite interesting to discover where cake recipes actually came from.

The actual word for cake dates back many centuries ago to the 1200s where European bakers would mix fruits and bread. These “cakes” could stay intact for several months, thus providing food for the village that could be saved without the need for any form of modern refrigeration. It wasn’t until much later into the 17th century that the more modern form of the cake came about.

Still in Europe, advances in technology allowed for the first cake with icing to be produced. This came about as the key ingredient of sugar became more and more refined. Likewise, ovens became more reliable, giving bakers more control over what they were actually making. The icing itself was created using the sugar as well as egg whites which was poured onto the cake as it was baking. Once removed from the oven, it would harden quickly, giving the appearance of what we know today as an iced or glazed frosting.

At this time, bread and cake recipes were still being used almost interchangeably, as early cakes were more simply flour based sweets. On the other hand, bread was also flour based, but lacked the sweetening element of the cake. Ancient people would often bake this sweetened flour on a hot stone. In the modern world, this might take shape more in the form of what we call a cookie or even a biscuit.

Even still, many years ago, the first cakes were beginning to take shape. Cakes themselves were often baked for special occasions as the ingredients that were needed were much more expensive than for baking simple bread. In turn, the wealthy people in society were more likely to frequently consume it than the poor. This is where Marie Antoinette’s famous line of “let them eat cake” is thought to have originated as the princess had no idea of the actual living conditions of her people.

During the 19th century, the ingredients became more inexpensive allowing for the poor to have their chance to experience cake at a higher rate. It also gave rise to new ingredients being experimented with as people sought cheaper ways to produce a cake.

In modern society, a cake recipe can be found on thousands of websites across the internet as well as on the cake mix box itself. Ancient people surly never would have imagined that today anyone could make a cake using simple ingredients that mostly come in a single box. It is true that Cake recipes have changed for the better and can thankfully be enjoyed by almost everyone today.

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Revealing the Importance of Eating Natural Low Carb Chocolate

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For most Americans, they really love to eat various types of chocolates. Whether the available choice is a white, milk or dark chocolate, these people will reveal their appreciation while eating every bit of this sweet treat. Unfortunately, some offered products on the market today are unhealthy. This means that they incorporate extreme amount of sugar, fats and additives. Once the body absorbs these unhealthy substances, it starts to experience undesirable effects.

Because of this concern, chocolate producers now focus on giving the best and healthiest options to many consumers worldwide. They want to assure that the ingredients are safer for the body and provide the exact good feel to reveal positive mood after eating few chocolate bits. This is very important in fighting depression and keeping the energy of the body higher. Today, among the best options include the low carb chocolate. It presents the most healthful nutrients that include the best antioxidant properties to fight aging.

When the body is experiencing depression, you can easily observe the mood swing and affects your daily routines. This likewise affects the functionality of your brain and easily lets you feel disappointed. Because of this, you must have the best solution like eating the most healthful sweet treat without allowing your disappointments to come out.

Keep in mind that when you feel weary and frustrated, eating few pieces of chocolates can make your day much better. The natural ingredients of these types of goodies can let your mentality feel relax and allow the circulation of your blood flowing freely. Of course, you have to make sure that you eat the best and low carb chocolate that presents healthful substances for the benefit of your body structure. When you choose, you have to check the label of the product and be sure that a trusted company manufactured it.

Aside from choosing the best low carbohydrate chocolates, you may as well consider eating those made from organic whey. Otherwise, there are natural dark chocolates also but they are expensive compared to the traditional choices. One reason is that they present the best organic cacao nutrients and will never harm the body even if you consumed more than what you desire. Furthermore, they do not present harmful substances that can ruin your fitness plan. Even health experts today can prove the real health benefits of these sweet treats and they continue to gain popularity on the market today.

Always remember that low carbohydrate, dark and organic whey chocolates are the best solutions to deal with your sweet craving without harming your body. This is very important to guarantee that you will stay healthy even if you eat your favorite goodies. These options contain no artificial sweeteners and can include them on your regular dieting each day. In fact, even individuals who are suffering from diabetic issues can enjoy these healthful

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7424498

Dessert Recipes To Help You Lose Weight

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Until recently the directive for most weight loss aspirants was to stay clear of fat laden foods such as desserts. However new compelling research from the medical field seems to suggest that in order to achieve successful weight loss, the dieter should eat a breakfast rich in carbs, proteins and dessert. A wholesome breakfast with a moderately low calorie dessert would satiate the dieters’ food cravings and suppress his appetite for the rest of the day, thus helping him lose weight. Here are 5 appetizing low calorie dessert recipes that will see your weight loss aspirations come to fruition.

Recipe 1: Lemon Mousse with Strawberries

Ingredients:

2 cups of strawberries

 

  • 1 envelope of gelatin
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of grated lemon rind
  • ½ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice ]
  • 1 tablespoon of extra light olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/3 cups of fat free plain yogurt

 

Method: Hull and slice the strawberries and keep aside. Combine the gelatin in a ¼ cup of cold water and allow it stand for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile combine the lemon rind, lemon juice, sugar, oil and egg in a saucepan and cook over low heat while stirring constantly. Now pour in the softened gelatin mixture and continue stirring until all the gelatin has dissolved. Remove from heat and transfer the contents to a medium sized bowl. Lastly whisk in the yogurt and spoon the moose into dessert bowls. Top each bowl with an equal portion of strawberries and serve.

Recipe 2: Toasted Almond Meringue Cloud

Ingredients:

1 cup of sliced almonds

 

  • 1 cup of egg whites
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

 

Method: Preheat the oven to a temperature of 200° F. Meanwhile line up a baking pan with parchment paper and set aside. Tip the almonds into a dry skillet and toast them over medium heat. Continue stirring and toasting until the almonds smell fragrant. Turn off the heat and keep aside to cool. Transfer the egg whites to a blender and whip at medium speed. Now whisk in the granulated sugar in three parts, keeping a gap of 20 seconds between each addition. Next fold in the sugar, salt and a cup of the toasted almonds and mix well. Using a spatula scoop out oval shaped mounds of the meringue and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Top the meringue clouds with the remaining toasted almonds. Bake for about 2 hours and serve.

Recipe 3: Fruit Sorbet

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 4 cups of fruit or fruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons of vodka

 

Method: Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Transfer the sugar syrup along with the fruit and lemon to a blender and whisk until smooth. Add 2 teaspoons of vodka to the blender and whip for a minute. Now pour the mixture into a freeze-safe container and refrigerate for about 45 minutes. Break up the ice with a fork and freeze for another hour. Continue repeating this process until the desired consistency has been achieved and serve.

Recipe 4: Baked Almond Stuffed Peaches

Ingredients:

10 dried apricot halves, chopped finally

 

  • 6 packaged amaretti cookies, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons of almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon of brandy
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/3 cup of chopped blanched almonds
  • ¼ cup of packed light brown sugar

 

Method: Preheat the oven to a temperature of 350°F. Next fill a large saucepan upto half its depth with water and bring to a boil. Slice the peaches into half and remove their core. Tip the peaches into the boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes until soft. Now, place the peaches with the cut side up in a prepared baking pan. For the filling finely chop the remaining peaches and place them in a large bowl. Whisk in the dried apricots, almond extract, amaretti crumbs, brandy and egg white. Toast the almonds in a skillet over medium heat, stirring until golden brown. Combine the almonds with the fruit mixture and give it a final toss. Spoon the fruit mixture into the cavities of each hollowed peach half and drizzle the brown sugar over the tops of each. Cover with foil and bake for about 25 minutes until the fruits are tender. Now remove the foil and increase the oven temperature to 400° F. Bake until the top of the stuffed peaches is golden brown. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.

Recipe 4: Apple and Blueberry Crumble:

Ingredients

4 granny smith apples

 

  • 250 grams of frozen blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 50 grams of butter, sliced

 

Method: Preheat the oven to 360°F. Peel the apples, cut into quarters and remove their cores. Transfer the apples to a large bowl and whisk in 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix well till all the apples are well coated and add the blueberries. Press the mixture into a prepared baking dish and keep aside. Meanwhile combine the flour, butter, sugar and oats together in a large bowl and drizzle the mixture over the contents of the baking dish. Bake for about 40 minutes until it starts to bubble and the coating is brown. Remove from heat and allow the crumble to cool on wire racks. Serve with yogurt or low fat custard.

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Delightful Fruit Dessert Recipes

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Fruit desserts are a refreshing change after consuming a heavy calorie laden meal. Minimalist yet delicious beyond belief, nothing concludes a meal more graciously than a dessert comprising a heady concoction of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and what have you. The sprightly colors and flavors that are characteristic of fruit based desserts evoke blissful emotions with every spoonful of nature’s bounty. Here are 5 delightful fruit dessert recipes which you can savor with a broad smile of satisfaction swept across your face.

Fruit Dessert Recipe 1: Milk and Strawberry Pudding

Ingredients:

 

  • 15-18 fresh strawberries
  • 600ml of full cream fresh milk
  • 180-200g of caster sugar
  • 1 packet of agar agar powder

 

Method: Wash strawberries and hull them to remove the leafy tops and stems. Slice them into wedges and keep aside. In a pot of 600 ml water, combine the sugar and agar agar powder and stir thoroughly until well blended. Bring the mixture to a boil on medium heat and keep stirring until thick. When the agar-agar mixture starts to boil, whisk in the milk to make the milk jello. Bring to a boil and turn the heat off. Pour the milk jelly mixture into dessert cups and allow them to cool. Top each cup with 4 to 6 strawberry wedges. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Fruit Dessert Recipe 2: Fruit Cobbler

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • ½ stick of butter
  • 2 cups of assorted fruit (blueberries, peaches, raspberries and strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

 

Method: Begin by melting the butter in an oven-safe dish over medium heat. Next mix together the flour, milk, vanilla in a bowl and combine thoroughly. Now pour this mixture into a prepared pan and tip the fruits evenly all over the top. Place in the oven and bake at a temperature of 300° F for about an hour until done. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Fruit Dessert Recipe 3: Blueberry Crisp

Ingredients:

 

  • 4 cups of frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup of firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup of all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter or margarine

 

Method: Preheat the oven to a temperature of 375° F and grease a shallow baking dish with butter or margarine. Arrange the blueberries evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish and drizzle with lemon juice. In another large bowl combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, flour and rolled oats. Drizzle the mixture evenly over the blueberry mixture in the pan. Bake for about 30 minutes until the top is golden and bubbling. Cool on wire racks for a couple of minutes. Serve warm!

Fruit Dessert Recipe 4: Yogurt Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 apples cored, seeded and diced
  • 2 bananas, chopped
  • 2 cups of strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 2 cups of grapes
  • 1 cup of vanilla yogurt
  • ½ tablespoons of honey
  • ½ cup of assorted chopped nuts of your choice
  • ½ cup of raisins

 

Method: Combine all the fruit in a large bowl. Now stir in the yogurt and honey and mix thoroughly. Now transfer the dough to a bowl and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before. Top off the fruit salad with nuts and raisins and serve chilled.

Fruit Dessert Recipe 5: Apple Crisp

Ingredients:

 

  • 6 cooking apples, cored, peeled and sliced into chunks
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 large fresh egg
  • ½ cup of butter
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground cloves

 

Method: Preheat the oven to a temperature of 325° F. Next coat the quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Now, peel, core and cut the apples into equal sized chunks. Place the apples at the bottom of the prepared baking dish. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar and egg and mix thoroughly. Drizzle the crumb mixture over the apple chunks at the bottom of the baking dish. Speckle the apple chunks with the remaining butter, ground cinnamon and ground cloves. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for an hour until the crust turns golden brown.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Christoper_M_Hayes

 

8 Scary Hidden Ingredients In Processed Foods

Most of us have a hard time figuring out the ingredients list on processed food labels. What the heck is butylated hydroxyanisole? Any clue what ammonium sulfate is, and what else it’s used for? Well, the answers might alarm you. Read about some of the scariest, and some of the strangest ingredients in processed foods here; maybe you’ll find enough reason to reduce the consumption of processed foods like you might have been advised before.

1. Diacetyl
Found In: Microwave popcorn.

Several Healthy, young and non-smoking males began developing an extremely rare form of lung cancer. What they had in common was that they worked in popcorn factories, and were inhaling diacetyl for extended periods of time. Several manufacturers have voluntarily removed the chemical from their products, and some governments have stepped into regulate the harmful chemical. But it’s more than just a worker safety concern — a man in the United States was awarded over $7 million in damages after his case of the rare cancer was linked to the chemical. Studies have also suggested that diacetyl may be linked to Alzheimer’s Disease.

2. Silicon Dioxide
Also Known As: Sand.
Found In: Fast food.
Just as you might add it to concrete to strengthen it, silicon dioxide is added to various fast food meals to keep it from clumping. Though that does sound pretty gross, it’s important to note that silicon dioxide is generally safe to consume in small quantities.

3. 3-MCPD
Formed By: Exposing foods that contain fat and salt to high temperatures during the production process.
Found In: Asian oyster, soy and hoisin sauces. They’re also found in wheat products, meat and cheese.
Banned in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, (though not, yet, in the United States), 3-MCPD is toxic to humans and raises your risk of cancer.

4. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
Also Used As: A preservative in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
Found In: b*tter, beer, meats, cereals chewing gum, and many snack foods.

b*tter
BHA is usually used in processed foods to prevent fats from going rancid. Studies have shown that cosmetic lip products that contain BHA are quite harmful, potential increasing the risk for cancer. The substance is banned for cosmetics use in the European Union, and its use is restricted in cosmetics in the U.S. It’s been known to cause cancer in some animals, and the National Institutes of Health believes that it is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”

5. Allura Red AC
Also Known As: Red 40, an azo dye manufactured from petroleum.
Found In: Lots of things — sodas, cough syrup, candy, cereal — you name it.

cough syrup
The most common red dye used in foods manufactured in the United States, Allura Red AC is banned or discouraged in several parts of Europe. Why? Well, studies have shown a problematic link between Allura Red C, along with other food dyes, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other hyperactive disorders. The dye has also been linked to an increased risk of cancer.

6. Castoreum
Also Known As: Extract from the perineal glands of beavers.
Found In: You know that illusive “natural flavoring” ingredient in processed foods? Sometimes, that’s castoreum.
Don’t worry — this stuff is very uncommon in the United States. As a whole, the food manufacturing industry produces about 300 pounds of the stuff annually.

7. Ammonium Sulfate
Also Used As: Fertilizer — it’s a salt compound.
Found In: Some bread and flour products.
Ammonium sulfate is added to some bread and flour products to regulate acidity, particularly in breads at fast food restaurants. It’s generally safe to eat.

8. Tartrazine
Also Known As: Yellow #5, a synthetic food dye.
Found In: Sodas, cereals, candies, ice cream, pickles, cookies, macaroni and cheese… you name it.
More allergic reactions are caused by tartrazine than any other food dye. Though intolerance to the chemical is thought to be quite low, for those who are intolerant, symptoms like migraines, depression, itching,and blurred vision have all been seen. It’s not entirely clear whether people who aren’t intolerant experience negative consequences from ingesting yellow #5, some research has suggested a link to behavioral issues, cancer and damaged organs. It’s banned in some areas of Europe, but legal (and regulated) in the United States and Canada.

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Chocolate profiteroles

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Recipe for Chocolate profiteroles

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Place a small roasting tin in the bottom of the oven to heat.
2. For the choux pastry, place the water, sugar and butter into a large saucepan. Heat gently until the butter has melted.
3. Turn up the heat, then quickly pour in the flour and salt all in one go.
4. Remove from the heat and beat the mixture vigorously until a smooth paste is formed. Once the mixture comes away from the side of the pan, transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes.
5. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until the mixture is smooth and glossy and has a soft dropping consistency – you may not need it all.
6. Lightly grease a large baking sheet. Using a piping bag and plain 1cm/½in nozzle, pipe the mixture into small balls in lines across the baking sheet. Gently rub the top of each ball with a wet finger – this helps to make a crisper top.
7. Place the baking sheet into the oven. Before closing the oven door, pour half a cup of water into the roasting tin at the bottom of the oven, then quickly shut the door. This helps to create more steam in the oven and make the pastry rise better. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden-brown – if the profiteroles are too pale they will become soggy when cool.
8. Remove from the oven and turn the oven off. Prick the base of each profiterole with a skewer. Place back onto the baking sheet with the hole in the base facing upwards and return to the oven for five minutes. The warm air from the oven helps to dry out the middle of the profiteroles.
9. For the filling, lightly whip the cream with the orange zest until soft peaks form. When the profiteroles are cold, use a piping bag to pipe the cream into the profiteroles.
10. For the chocolate sauce, place the water and sugar into a small saucepan and bring to the boil to make a syrup. Reduce the heat to a simmer and place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl set over the pan. Heat, stirring occasionally, until melted. Take the pan off the heat, pour the syrup mixture into the chocolate and stir until smooth and well combined.
11. To serve, place the stuffed profiteroles into a large serving dish and pour over the chocolate sauce. Serve hot or cold.

Preparation time: 30 mins to 1 hour
Cooking time: 30 mins to 1 hour
Makes about 20 profiteroles

Ingredients

For the choux pastry
– 200ml/7fl oz cold water
– 4 tsp caster sugar
– 85g/3oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
– 115g/4oz plain flour
– pinch salt
– 3 medium free-range eggs, beaten
For the cream filling
– 600ml/1 pint double cream
– 1 orange, zest only
For the chocolate sauce
– 100ml/3½fl oz water
– 80g/3oz caster sugar
– 200g/7oz good-quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces

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How Brooklyn Chef Brings Raw Foods to Life

Brooklyn chef Neal Harden has a passion for raw, plant-based cuisine that’s all natural and he brings that passion to his head chef position at Maimonides of Brooklyn (also known as M.O.B.). Supporting healthy lifestyles and community food economies, his focus is on developing delicious meals using fresh, organic, and bio-dynamic food from local providers.

With more than ten years of experience and education in the culinary arts, Chef Neal specializes in raw foods, vegan and vegetarian cuisine, healing and whole foods, and gluten-free cooking. But, what makes his vegetarian cooking so different from what other restaurants serve? With his focus being on fruits and vegetables and not meat substitutes, his cuisine is delectable enough to strike a cord with traditional carnivores as well. Rather than relying on soy powders, he uses real, fresh ingredients from local markets. According to Chef Neal at M.O.B., “we source what we can locally, which means greenhouse lettuce and a heap of potatoes and beets around March. We have some set menu items but leave room for seasonal changes so we can use ephemeral ingredients without feeling constricted.”

Chef Neal and M.O.B. uses and sells locally produced items like honey and maple syrup. They also use organic products like flour, soy, corn, and other ingredients with everything being non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms). They even provide gluten-free bread upon request. Chef Neal has recreated traditional brunch flavors in many creative ways, explaining, “We make a biscuit sandwich with tomato, avocado and smoked, thinly sliced, marinated eggplant that gives you the smoky sensation of bacon; spicy, coarse Cayuga Pure Organics grits with shiitake mushroom sauce and kale; and an apple wood-smoked sausage with chickpea flour, shiitake mushroom and white sweet potato. The potato is cut into pieces to resemble bits of fat. It’s very aesthetic and textural.”

Chef Neal was drawn to Maimonides of Brooklyn because of their core premise that “no disease that can be treated by diet should be treated with any other means.” That is what they strive to do: bring people together by making food “medicine” for the body and soul.

After graduating in 2005 from the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health, Neal became the Executive Chef of Pure Food and Wine in New York, a fine dining vegan food restaurant. Since that time, Neal has learned cooking techniques from other cultures, traveling the United States, Bali, Tokyo, and Paris.

He’s been featured on The Learning Channel and in numerous publications, plus he’s a contributor to the cookbooks Living Raw Food and New York Cooks: 100 Recipes from the City’s Best Chefs.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7146799

Healthy Cooking With Fats and Oils

As a naturist there are topics that I am asked about regularly and one of those is what oils to use when cooking. Well this can be quite confusing because a number of factors have to be taken into account:

  1. The smoke point of an oil – once an oil starts to smoke it is a sign that the oil is starting to break down and from this point on will lose both flavour and nutritional value. If an oil has reached its smoke point it is a good idea to clean out the pan and start again at a lower temperature.

 

  1. The fatty acid composition of the oil. Saturated fats are more stable (less likely to oxidise and create free radicals) than both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils and therefore are better to cook with at higher temperatures. Coconut oil is an example of an oil that contains healthy plant saturated fats. It is great to use for higher temperature cooking. Also good are animal fats from grass fed organic sources. Organic butter, ghee and animal fats such as Lard and duck fat are also suitable for cooking but smoke points vary.

 

  1. For low temperature cooking and baking oils such as Olive oil, Macadamia oil, organic Peanut and Hazelnut are suitable as they are high in monounsaturated which are relatively stable and low in polyunsaturated fatty acids which oxidise very easily. Monounsaturated fats are also heart healthy (think Mediterranean Diet).

 

  1. Oils such as Rice bran and Canola have been left off this list as they are high in Omega 6 polyunsaturated oils which are easily oxidised and of which we already get too much of in our diet. This excess throws the balance of our omega 3 to omega 6 ratio and ultimately has a pro-inflammatory effect in our body.

 

  1. For cold/room temperature dressings freely use the following oils: Olive, Sesame, Walnut, Pecan, Macadamia, Avocado and Flaxseed. These oils are rich in monounsaturates and/or Omega 3.

 

  1. Partially hydrogenated oils such as those found in spreads, processed foods and margarines are best avoided. Make your own spread using a 50:50 mix of organic butter and olive oil. It’s healthy and home-made. Or use avocado (rich in lots of other goodies apart from the good fats), hummus, tahini paste, nut butters or just plain old organic butter.

 

  1. When oils are refined, they undergo a variety of chemical processes, including deodorizing, bleaching, and anti-foaming. Therefore it is best to choose unrefined oils and organic where you can.

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