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Showing posts from June, 2017

High Fructose Corn Syrup - Friend or Foe?

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High-fructose corn syrup - you’re probably heard people talk about how bad it is for you, and you’ve probably seen products that advertise “no high-fructose corn syrup!” on their labels. You may have also see articles from the “nutritional authorities” that it’s NOT bad for you, but has been over-hyped.

So...who should you believe? Is high fructose corn syrup going to kill you? Or is that all a media scare?

Well, obviously, I think you should believe me. Keep reading.

The Short Answer: It’s not really much worse than table sugar. However, you should absolutely try to avoid products that contain it because, yes, it will kill you (well, make you sick).

What it is: High fructose corn syrup was first introduced in the 1970s as an alternative to sugar (sucrose). The food industry loved this, because corn was everywhere in the United States, making HFCS easy and cheap to get. Plus, it was a syrup instead of a granular substance so it didn’t need to be dissolved in water before use the way that …

Recipe - Italian Dressing w/ Olive Oil

With all my talk about leaving out vegetable oils (canola, soybean, corn, etc), I thought I’d share an olive oil Italian dressing that is easy, inexpensive, and very convenient. Store-bought dressing usually use vegetable oil, and many home-made recipes get complex and/or use vegetable oil anyway, so I’m sharing mine!
It uses the flavor of olive oil to make a great dressing, and – bonus – there’s absolutely no sugar. I will usually make enough to last 2-3 weeks at a time; you can scale the recipe to make as much or as little as you want.
Basic Italian Dressing w/ Olive Oil ½ c. olive oil ½ c. white wine vinegar 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp oregano Salt & Pepper to taste (I usually use quite a bit of pepper)
[I usually just make the base dressing listed above, but sometimes I mix it up by adding one or more of the following]
Optional: Scallions (minced)* Optional: 1 clove garlic, crushed Optional: ¼ c. Parmesan cheese
Whisk all of the ingredients together and serve. Always shake or …

Vegetable Oil - Practical Considerations

I mentioned in my previous post that I stopped using vegetable oil, and gave a brief layman's overview of why. Now I'm going to lay out the substitutions I made in my own cooking, as well as some some suggestions for eating out and purchasing stuff at the grocery store.
Practical Considerations - Cooking Changes:
Salad Dressings: You can’t directly substitute another type of oil for vegetable oil in salad dressing, because other oils have flavors - vegetable oil does not. However, you can re-work your salad dressing recipes to accommodate other oils. I use a mixture of olive, walnut, and avocado oil in my dressings, and have occasionally used sesame or flaxseed oil as well. It may take some trial and error to convert your salad dressing recipes to non-vegetable oil, but it’s TOTALLY worth it...and I actually like a lot of my new recipes better than my original ones! Hint: start with more acid/vinegar and go from there
Frying: Peanut oil - this works just as well as canola oil, an…

Why I Stopped Using Vegetable Oil - The Science

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It’s become fairly common knowledge that vegetable oil is bad for you, and olive oil is better, but that doesn’t change the fact that canola oil (or soybean/corn/etc oil) is cheap, readily available, in everything, and extremely convenient when cooking. For a long time, I limited my use of vegetable oil, opting for olive oil whenever I was sauteing, but I continued to use it in baking, frying, and to make certain salad dressings. The high smoke point and neutral flavor of the oil is invaluable for a home-chef like myself, and I figured that as long as I used LESS vegetable oil, it would help. Well, that’s true. But after investigating vegetable oil, I’ve decided to eliminate it completely.
Essentially, here is what my research discovered:
Oil, in general, is highly processed. The processing is actually rather fascinating, from a technical standpoint, but long story short...this process damages the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that are found in most vegetables oils. In the human bo…