Beets – A Lesson in Frugality

Whole Golden BeetsBeets are the ultimate in nutritional usefulness.  Each part of the beet is nutritionally useful, and even the few small parts you don’t want to eat can be fed to your garden in the form of compost.

Golden beets are beautiful and sweet, and according to some sources are much lower in starch than their red cousins.  So if you are reducing starch in your diet for health reasons, golden beets are OK!  Also, red beets are a pain with their sheer redness, which gets all over everything in your kitchen.  I’ve already got stains on everything from all the turmeric I’m consuming, and add the red “blood” from beets and I’ve got sunset-colored cutting boards and wood-handled knives, not to mention my hands…  Ah the price for health.  But I digress…

Beets can be divided into three uniquely useful parts: the roots, the stems, and the leaves.

Roots: The root bulb is the most deliciously sweet part of the plant.  The easiest way to cook the beet root is in foil packets on your grill (btw you can skip the peeling step and eat them with the peel on).  Another way is to simply peel them and steam them, then drizzle with a little olive oil and salt and serve warm. Continue reading “Beets – A Lesson in Frugality”

Names of Hidden Sugars

Barbados sugar
Barley malt
Beet sugar
Brown sugar
Buttered syrup
Cane juice
Cane sugar
Caramel
Carob syrup
Castor sugar
Confectioner’s sugar
Corn syrup
Corn syrup solids
Dehydrated cane juice
Demerara sugar
Dextran
Dextrose
Diastatic malt
Diatase
Erythritol
Erythrol
Erythrite
Erytghoglucin
Eryglucin
Erythromannite
Ethyl maltol
Fructose
Fruit juice
Fruit juice concentrate
Galactose
Golden sugar
Golden syrup
Grape sugar
High fructose corn syrup
Invert sugar
Lactose
Malt
Malt syrup
Maltodextrin
Maltose
Muscovado
Panocha
Phycite (erythritol)
Refiner’s syrup
Rice syrup
Sorbitol
Sorghum syrup
Sucrose
Sugar
Treacle

Freezing Rice and Other Grains

Ever make more rice than you can eat? If you aren’t going to use it in the next few days, you can freeze it for later use.  Here’s how:

  1. Put 1-1/2 to 2 cups of plain cooked (cooled) brown rice in a quart-size, freezer-grade ziplock bag. Don’t seal it shut yet.
  2. Flatten the bag out, then gently roll from the bottom up to remove as much air as possible, and zip closed.
  3. Flatten it back out and freeze flat.

To thaw, simply massage the bag briefly to break up the frozen rice, then empty it into a microwave safe bowl, cover with a paper towel, and microwave for 30 seconds or so (depending on the wattage of your microwave).

This works for most other cooked whole grains as well. I used to buy frozen pre-cooked brown rice at Trader Joe’s, but this is more economical and tastes fresher.

How to Cook Whole Grains

Barley

Barley is available pearled (the bran has been removed) or quick cooking (parboiled). Technically neither are whole grains but nutritionally speaking they count toward your whole-grain servings because of their high fiber content.

To Cook: Pearl barley Continue reading “How to Cook Whole Grains”

Seafood Stock

This is a great recipe for lobster stock but you can also use shrimp shells, clam shells, salmon skin, fish bones, heads etc.  I was surpised to see it takes three hours as I’ve traditionally done mine for only two.  I’m not sure how much difference it makes but if you have the extra hour, go for three!

Traditional Lobster Stock Recipe