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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

TIP OF THE DAY: Make Fruit Punch

fruit-punch-davidvenableQVC-230

A recipe for summer: fruit punch. Photo
courtesy QVC.

 

Have you made a bowl of fruit punch yet this summer? Our mom never planned a cookout without punch. Her recipe: equal parts of grape juice, lemonade and orange juice, from frozen concentrate.

Among the hundreds and thousands of punch recipes out there, here’s one from chef David Venable of QVC. He adds a bit of fizz with lemon-lime soda.

The frozen fruit in the recipe offsets some of the ice so the punch doesn’t dilute. Another anti-dilution tip: Freeze some juice into “ice cubes.” Finally, consider the drink dispenser below, which has a central core to hold ice cubes apart from the punch. The cubes melt into the core and can easily be refreshed.

For adults, you can keep a bottle of vodka, gin or tequila next to the punch.

Here are 10 punch making tips from THE NIBBLE.

 
RECIPE: BASIC FRUIT PUNCH

Ingredients For 12-14 Servings

  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 3 cups pineapple juice
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup grenadine syrup*
  • 1 (1-liter) bottle lemon-lime soda, chilled
  • 16 ounces frozen strawberries
  • 16 ounces frozen peach slices
  •  
    *Here’s a recipe for homemade grenadine.

     

    Preparation

    1. COMBINE all of the juices and the syrup into a large pitcher and place into the refrigerator. Chill for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend. Just before serving…

    2. POUR the fruit juice mixture into a large punch bowl (or a drink dispenser as shown in the photo). Add the lemon-lime soda, frozen strawberries, and peaches. If desired, serve the drink over ice cubes.

     
    MORE PUNCH RECIPES

  • Frozen Margarita Punch Recipe
  • Saké Punch Recipe
  • Tea Punch Recipe
  •  
    THE NEW PUNCH BOWL: A SPIGOT DISPENSER

    Forget the punch bowls of yore. For entertaining, this plastic beverage dispenser with spigot (see photo) is the neater option for pouring. Outdoors, it keeps the bugs out of the punch bowl.

    The model in the photo has a center ice core—a plastic insert for ice that doesn’t melt into the punch. Learn more about it on Amazon.com.

     

    fruit-punch-spigot-dispenser-budeez-amz-230

    The new punch bowl: This affordable plastic beverage dispenser has a central core to hold ice, so the punch stays cold without dilution. Get it on Amazon.com.

     

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Petite Crème From Stonyfield

    petite-creme-beauty-spoon-230

    New Petite Crème, a creamy yogurt
    alternative without the tang of yogurt. Photo
    courtesy Stonyfield.

     

    The category of Greek yogurt has exploded in the U.S. Is there anyone who isn’t eating it? The Greek category accounts for 47% of all U.S. yogurt sales.

    Yes! A large enough number of people don’t care for the tang, such that Stonyfield, a subsidiary of French dairy giant Danone (of Dannon yogurt fame) that specializes in organic yogurt, has introduced a product to capture their business:

    Called Petite Crème (PEH-tee CREHM), it’s a French dairy product called fromage frais (fresh cheese), known in Germany and elsewhere as quark.

    Fromage frais is high-moisture-content, unaged cheese: drained, coagulated milk (simple lactic set curd) intended to be eaten within days of its production. It is most popularly eaten for breakfast or with fruit for dessert. In the U.S., it is waiting to step right in where the yogurt-averse fear to tread.

    Fromage frais has a creamy, soft texture and fresh, sweet flavor, although the fromage frais cheeses of the U.S. are less flavorful than those made in other countries from unpasteurized milk (U.S. law requires all cheeses aged fewer than 60 days to be made of pasteurized milk to eliminate potentially harmful bacteria; pasteurization kills off friendly, tasty bacteria in the process).

     

    Petite Crème has the consistency of yogurt without the tang and debuts in seven flavors:

  • Belle Blueberry
  • La Vie en Strawberry
  • Mon Cherry Amour
  • Ooh La La Peach
  • Plain & Simple
  • Strawberry-Banana Ménage
  • Vive la Vanilla!
  •  
    The Stonyfield line is certified kosher by OU.

     

    The all-organic ingredients include cultured pasteurized nonfat milk, sugar, cream, cornstarch, vanilla or other flavors and guar gum. What’s missing? Live and active cultures, like Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.

    In yogurt, the cultures ferment the milk, causing the thickening. With Petite Creme, cornstarch and guar gum (a bean-based powder) the job.

    The nutritional content is similar to Greek yogurt: 10g protein per 5.3 ounce cup.

  • For the plain variety, calories per 5.3 ounce serving are 100, 30 from fat, with 5g sugar that is the lactose in the milk.
  • A fruit flavor, such as Strawberry, has 30 calories, 25 from fat, and 15 g sugar.
  •  
    We recently had the opportunity to taste all the flavors and have two personal favorites: Mon Cherry Amour, with intense black cherry flavor, and Plain & Simple, the original fromage frais.

     

    Petite-Creme-plain-230

    Be sure to try the plain version as well as the fruit flavors. Photo courtesy Stonyfield.

     

    ABOUT CHEESE RECIPES

    Fromage frais, quark, yogurt: What’s the difference? Cheese and yogurt* are made from a common ingredient—milk. But depending on how that milk is handled, thousands of different recipes result.

    Cheese is produced from milk due to the activity of special dairy bacteria and the action of rennet. These act on the proteins in milk, causing them to coalesce into a gel-like curd which is the beginning of cheese.

  • Milk type and butterfat level
  • Amount and type of cultures (bacteria)
  • Amount of rennet
  • Added moisture (water)
  • Time and temperature at which the milk is heated
  • Brining time and additives (beer or wine, for example)
  • Size of the cut curds
  • Length of time stirred
  • How the whey is removed
  • How the rind is treated
  • Ripening time
  •  
    Minor changes in any of these areas can have a dramatic affect on the final product.
     
    *Yogurt is not a fresh cheese. The definition of cheese requires rennet. Even though yogurt has a texture very similar to fromage frais and quark, there is no rennet in yogurt. Rennet coagulates the milk, causing it to separate into solids (curds) and liquid (whey). Curds and whey exist separately even in fresh cheeses like fromais frais, where they are not visible to the naked eye.
      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Spiked Iced Coffee & Iced Espresso

    russian-iced-coffee-delonghi-230

    Iced Russian Coffee. Photo courtesy
    DeLonghi.

     

    Iced coffee with a shot of vodka: Now there’s an idea for chillaxing on a summer day. You can have an old school Black Russian or a White Russian (recipes).

    Or, you can add vodka, tequila or rum to iced coffee.

    De’Longhi, maker of premium espresso machines, sent us recipes for these two iced espresso drinks.

    If you don’t normally sweeten your coffee, leave out the sugar. Adjust the proportions based on the size of the glass you are using.

    RECIPE: RUSSIAN ICED COFFEE

    Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • Chilled or room temperature espresso
  • Sugar to taste
  • 1 shot of vodka
  • Light cream or half and half to taste
  • Crushed ice
  • Optional garnish: whipped cream
  • Preparation

    1. BREW the espresso coffee. Let cool. Add the sugar and the vodka.

    2. POUR into a glass and top with cream. Add crushed ice, stir and serve.

     

    COLD COFFEE CREAM

    This recipe requires some pre-freezing, but the result is thick and rich.

    Ingredients For 2 Drinks

  • 10 ounces/300 ml light cream or half and half
  • 8 ounces/250 ml espresso
  • Vanilla extract
  • Splash of rum
  • Optional garnish: cocoa mix
  •  

    Preparation

    1. POUR the cream into a container and freeze; mix together the coffee and rum and freeze in a separate container.

    2. CUT the frozen cream cut into cubes and place in the blender with the vanilla extract. Pulse.

    3. ADD the frozen coffee cut into cubes and blend for a few seconds, until combined.

    4. POUR into glasses and garnish with cocoa.

     

    thai-iced-coffee-nescafe-230

    You can also add a splash of rum to Thai Iced Coffee (recipe). Photo courtesy Nescafe.

     
    Sit back, sip and relax.

      

    Comments

    FOOD 101: Live & Active Cultures In Frozen Yogurt

    pinkberry-coffee-230

    Inside: 10 million or more live and active
    cultures. Photo courtesy Pinkberry.

     

    “What happens to the beneficial bacteria in frozen yogurt,” a reader writes. “Does freezing kill them?”

    No. Live culture frozen yogurt maintains the cultures’ benefits because the flash-freezing technique used in the production of frozen yogurt, unlike slow freezing in a freezer, only makes the organisms dormant. It does not kill them—or at least not all of them, as the number of bacteria in frozen yogurt is usually lower than that in the fresh yogurt from which it was made.

    Yogurt is made by culturing milk with bacterial cultures. The words “live and active cultures” refer to the living organisms, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus*, which convert pasteurized milk into yogurt during fermentation. (Note that the milk is pasteurized before culturing in order to remove any harmful bacteria.)

    This fermentation process is what creates yogurt, with its unique taste, texture, and healthful attributes. The yogurt cultures—all the strains of bacteria added to the product—make up about 1% of the ingredients.

     

    Not all yogurt has live and active cultures. Just as some manufacturers use different combinations of cultures, frozen yogurts are created with different processes. Some are heat-treated after culturing, which extends the shelf life of fresh yogurt but kills the cultures.

    Why should you care about the live organisms? There is preliminary scientific evidence suggesting that live cultures in regular and frozen yogurt can boost your immune system, prevent osteoporosis, and prevent gastrointestinal infections, ultimately helping your digestive system as a whole.

     
    *Other cultures may be added as well, but these are always the first two.

     

    Different yogurt brands, fresh and frozen alike, add probiotics, which aid with digestion. Red Mango is one frozen yogurt brand that adds probiotics. Yovation is a packaged brand found in some natural food stores.

    The levels that remain in frozen yogurt depend upon the numbers that were in the fresh yogurt from which it was made, and on the hardiness of the specific cultures that were used. Thus, Some frozen yogurts are better sources of live cultures and/or probiotics than others.

    In order to receive the National Yogurt Association’s Live & Active Cultures seal—a voluntary labeling program—frozen yogurt is required to contain at least 10 million cultures per gram at time of manufacture (for fresh yogurt, it is 100 million per gram). The amount was agreed upon by research scientists who participated in studies of the health benefits of live cultures in yogurt products.

    If you like a brand that doesn’t have the seal but want to know what’s inside, contact the manufacturer to ask what types of bacteria their product contains and how many live and active cultures are in the finished product.

     

    live-active-cultures-seal-natyogassn-230

    Look for the seal on boxes and containers. Image courtesy National Yogurt Association.

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Fresh Lychees

    lychee-baldorfood-230

    A peeled lychee. Photo courtesy Baldor Food.

     

    Lychee is a a tropical evergreen fruit tree native to southern China. The evergreen grows wild in southern China, northern Vietnam and Cambodia, although there is evidence that it has been cultivated since around 2000 B.C.E.

    Today it grows throughout southeast Asia, notably in southern Japan, India, Pakistan, north Thailand and Vietnam. More recently, the tasty fruit has been planted in California, Florida and Hawaii, ensuring U.S. fans a more reliable supply. Depending on location, the harvest runs from May through September.

    We’ve been coming across it in farmers markets: the skin of different varieties ranges from rosy red to pale dusty rose to golden tan and pale olive green. The paper-thin skin is peeled away to revel the milky white fruit inside. Here’s everything you’d ever want to know about lychee from Purdue School of Agriculture, including how to dry them in the skin.

    The fruit is also transliterated as litchi. Perhaps the more useful information, though, is how to pronounce lychee.

  • In south China, where the fruit originated, Cantonese is the dominant language and in Cantonese the fruit is pronounced LYE-chee. The transliteration from Cantonese is lai chi.
  • In Mandarin, the language of Beijing, however, it is pronounced LEE-chee.
  •  

    Like stone fruits (apricots, peaches, plums and nectarines), the lychee is a drupe, a fruit that has an outer fleshy part that surrounds a large, hard center seed. It has been called a “lychee nut” because the seed/pit looks like a glossy brown nut (it is definitely not a nut). The pit is inedible and slightly poisonous.

    The typical lychee is about one inch in diameter. The outer covering is a pink-red, roughly-textured rind that is inedible but easily peeled with one’s fingers. The flesh inside is white, translucent and sweet, rich in vitamin C, with a texture somewhat similar to that of a grape. Children liken lychees to “eyeballs,” and you can see why in this photo.

    The fresh fruit has a floral aroma; one account says that the perfume is lost in the process of canning. However, canning adds sugar for a higher level of sweetness, and the organoleptic difference between fresh and canned lychee is not as drastic as, say, with peaches. The canned fruit has more integrity, like canned pineapple.

     

    BUYING & STORING LYCHEES

    Lychees are extremely perishable. Store in a perforated plastic bag in the fridge for up to a week.

    Or, freeze them whole, with the skin on. When they are defrosted, they’ll be fine. You can even eat them frozen: instant lychee sorbet. (You may have to run the frozen lychees under warm water for a few seconds to soften the skin.)
     
    In China, lychees are enjoyed out-of-hand. In the West, peeled and pitted, they are used in:

  • Baked ham, instead of pineapple rings
  • Canapés, stuffed with goat cheese or cream cheese and pecans
  • Chinese Chicken Salad
  • Cocktails (muddled or puréed with vodka or gin, and as a garnish)
  •  

    green-lychee-melissas-230

    So delicious; we wish there were less pit and more flesh. Photo courtesy Melissas.com.

  • Eyeballs: Create lychee “eyeballs” for sweet cocktails and mocktails by stuffing the pit hole with blueberries, dried cranberries or pieces of grape. (For a savory cocktail, make a radish eyeball instead.)
  • Fruit Salad (delicious combined with banana, melon, mango, papaya, etc.)
  • Gelatin desserts
  • Green Salad
  • Sorbet
  • Parfaits & Sundaes
  •  
    For an exotic presentation, serve unpeeled lychees in dessert bowls over crushed ice (provide a bowl for the pits).
     
    LYCHEE RECIPES

  • Lychee Panna Cotta Recipe
  • Seared Tuna With Lychee Coulis Recipe
  • Lychee Agua Fresca Recipe
  •  
    There are dozens of recipes at LycheesOnline.com.
     
    LOVE THE FLAVOR OF LYCHEE?

    We find that St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur tastes like lychee (or perhaps it’s that elderflowers taste like lychee). We find it far superior to Soho lychee liqueur.

    Head out to find fresh lychees. Enjoy them today, and freeze some for later.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Edamame & Corn Salad

    SONY DSC

    Edamame and corn salad. Photo courtesy
    CitronLimette.com.

     

    Here’s a fusion recipe: Corn is native to America, soybeans are native to Japan. Here, they marry in a sprightly oregano vinaigrette—oregano being native to the Mediterranean region and the Middle East.

    You can make this recipe with frozen or canned corn, but the idea here is to head to the farm stand and buy fresh corn. Save the canned and frozen options for the rest of the year.

    Corn is a whole grain, and edamame, fresh green soybeans, are high in protein and fiber. You can find them in the frozen section of supermarkets. Buy them shelled to save time.

    Prep time is 20 minutes, cook time is 5 minutes.

    RECIPE: EDAMAME & CORN SALAD

    Ingredients For 10 2/3 Cup Servings

  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen shelled edamame
  • 3 ears fresh corn, cooked and kernels cut from cob (2 cups)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Optional: diced tomatoes
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  •  

    For The Oregano Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  •  

    Preparation

    1. BRING 2 quarts water to boil in medium saucepan on high heat. Add edamame; cook 4 minutes or until edamame are bright green and tender. Drain and rinse under cold water.

    2. MAKE the vinaigrette. Mix all ingredients in large bowl until well blended.

    3. ADD the edamame, corn, red bell pepper, green onions and parsley; toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors. Toss before serving.
     
    Variations

    Enjoy this recipe as a side dish. We also used it to top burgers and franks. The second time we made it, we added a bit of crushed red pepper heat.

    You can use it as the base of a luncheon salad by adding cubed proteins (chicken, grilled tofu, ham, etc.) We cut up a leftover pork chop.
     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Olive Oil Cake

    Our first encounter with olive oil cake came at a trattoria in our neighborhood. It sounded strange to us: We were raised in a butter culture, with a palate trained to recognize buttery goodness over margarine and cake mixes made with salad oil.

    But, this olive oil and basil cake (also made by the restaurant in an olive oil and rosemary version) was love at first bite. The extra virgin olive oil—not canola or corn oil—donated wonderful flavor. And while cake isn’t exactly a good-for-you food, heart-healthy olive oil instead of cholesterol-laden butter was an excuse to have another piece. (Note, however, that this particular recipe does include some butter.)

    Use a fruity EVOO, not a peppery or grassy one. Fruity means that it tastes olive-y (see the different flavors of olive oil).

    You can make the tangerine marmalade to top the cake, enjoy the cake plain, or serve with berries and a dab of mascarpone or crème fraîche. By all means, add a chiffonade of fresh basil.

    The nine-inch cake serves eight.

    This recipe, by Sarah Copeland, is from The Newlywed Cookbook.

    RECIPE: OLIVE OIL CAKE

    Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup/150 g sugar
  • 2/3 cup/165 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup/75 ml melted unsalted butter
  •    

    olive-oil-cake-newlywedcookbook-230

    It’s not hard to make this delicious olive oil cake. Photo courtesy Chronicle Books.

  • Finely grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1 tangerine, orange, or lemon
  • 1-1/2 cups/175 g all-purpose/plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or iodized salt
  •  
    For The Tangerine Marmalade

  • 4 large tangerines, Minneolas, lemons, Meyer lemons or Temple oranges, or a mix (about 1-3/4 lbs/800 g)
  • 1 cup/200 g sugar
  •  
    For The Garnish

  • Crème fraîche or whipped cream/double cream
  •  

    bottle-with-tree-flavoryourlife-230

    Who knew: Olive oil tastes just as good as
    butter in certain cakes.FlavorYourLife.com.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 325°F/165°C/gas 3. Lightly butter a 9-inch/23-cm springform pan with a removable bottom.

    2. COMBINE the eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until the eggs are thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Drizzle in the olive oil and melted butter and continue to beat. Fold in the citrus zest and juice.

    3. WHISK together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients gradually to the egg mixture and stir until evenly combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure there are no dry bits at the bottom.

    4. POUR the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is lightly brown, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes, rotating once during baking to make sure it cooks evenly. Cool the cake on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove the pan sides and cool the cake completely on the rack.

     

    5. MAKE the marmalade: Scrub and dry the tangerines and trim off their tops and bottoms. Slice 2 of them as thinly a possible while still keeping their shape, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch (3 to 6 mm) thick, discarding the seeds as they appear. Place the tangerine slices in a small pot with a heavy bottom. Juice the remaining 2 tangerines (you should have a scant cup/240 ml of juice) and pour the juice over the sliced fruit. Set aside for 20 minutes.

    6. COOK the fruit over medium-high heat until the liquid comes to a boil. Decrease the heat slightly and simmer until the tangerine peel is soft, about 20 minutes. Don’t stir: It will destroy the pretty round shape of the citrus.

    7. ADD the sugar and continue cooking until the sugar is dissolved. Cook until thickened and the juice has gelled slightly and is syrupy, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

    8. ARRANGE the candied citrus slices over the top of the cake, overlapping to make beautiful jeweled tiles of fruit. Drizzle some of the citrus syrup over the slices and allow it to drip down the sides of the cake. Slice and serve with crème fraîche or whipped cream/double cream.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Tiger Figs

    What to look for in farmers’ markets and specialty produce stores: striped tiger figs. Or, buy them from Melissas.com.

    The Tiger Fig (also called Tiger Stripe fig and Candy Stripe fig) is prized as one of the most flavorful varieties in the marketplace. It is a light yellow, small to medium, pear-shaped fig with unique dark green stripes and crimson red interior fruit. It was bred in 1668, probably from a mutation.

    When fully ripe the fruit has a high sugar content and rich, jam-like texture and consistency. This taste yields a hint of strawberry or raspberry jam.

    You can eat it out of hand, dry it or make preserves. But something this special looking deserves to be showcased as a dessert or cheese course.

  • Serve with a frisée salad.
  • Pair with cheeses—everything from fresh goat cheese to your favorite strong cheeses.
  •    

    striped-tiger-figs-melissas-230

    Sweet tiger figs. Photo courtesy Melissas.com.

  • Make a light compote to top ice cream or cheesecake (recipe below).
  • Bake a delicious fig tart.
  • Cook with roast chicken or pork.
  • Slice onto a cream cheese or goat cheese sandwich on multigrain or raisin bread.
  •  

    fresh fig and parma ham salad

    Figs and frisée salad. Photo courtesy SXC.

     

    Have a green thumb? Live in the right climate (zones 5-9)? Plant your own tiger fig trees.

    FIG FACTS

    Figs do not ripen off the tree, so buy those that are soft to the touch. The skin around stem should have begun to twist and wrinkle.

    Along with olives and grapes, figs are believed to be among the first fruits cultivated by man. Native to Western Asia (the Middle East and the Near East), Ficus carica has been cultivated for more than 5,000 years.

    In order to develop flavor and sweetness, the fruit requires a long, warm season where temperatures regularly exceed 95°F. Figs, including the turkey fig, are grown in southern California. Turkey leads the world in fig production.

     

    RECIPE: FRESH FIG COMPOTE

    If the figs are very sweet, you may need only a scant amount of sweetener. You can use the compote as a bread spread and a condiment with sweet or savory foods.

    Ingredients For 2/3 Cup

  • 1 pound fresh figs
  • 1 to 6 tablespoons sugar or honey (or half as much agave)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  •  
    Preparation

    1. REMOVE the stems from cleaned figs and cut into quarters. Place figs, sweetener, water and cinnamon in a small saucepan over low heat.

    2. COOK for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in butter.

    3. PULSE, using an immersion blender or food processor, until desired consistency is reached. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Use Lemon, Not Salt

    Sunkist has a recommendation for people who should cut down on their salt intake—and that’s just about all of us.

    They call it the S’alternative Choice. It’s lemon juice, an excellent substitute for salt.

    The average American consumes twice the amount of recommended sodium daily. Uh oh.

    Even if you’re in great shape now, as you hit middle age, the excess sodium can create serious problems.

    While much of the salt we consume is in prepared and processed foods, you can reduce the salt in recipes—including proteins, grains, soups, salads, rubs and seasoning mixes—up to 75% without compromising flavor.

    Sunkist commissioned a study at Johnson & Wales University to explore how to reduce salt with citrus. Global Master Chef Karl Guggenmos worked with Sunkist to develop what they call the “optimal blend”:

    In everyday cooking, use 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon zest before/during cooking. Finish cooked food with 2-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice.

    Here are other ways to substitute for salt:

       

    lemons-salt-cookingsf-230

    Use more lemon juice, less salt. Photo courtesy Cooking San Francisco. Chart image courtesy Sunkist.

     

    lemon-salt-chart-sunkist-520

     

    510937_salt_shaker-230

    Salt is not necessarily your friend. Develop
    good salt habits. Photo by Ramon Gonzalez |
    SXC.

     

    YOUR DAILY SODIUM LIMITS

    The 2010 Dietary Guidelines from the USDA Center For Nutrition Policy And Promotion recommend that Americans consume less than:

  • 2,300 mg of sodium per day for adults in good health.
  • 1,500 mg of sodium per day for children or for adults who are 51 and older or have hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.
  •  
    How much sodium is in your daily diet? You’d be shocked. For just one day, write down everything you eat. Packaged foods will have the sodium on the nutrition label; you can look up other foods online.

    Excessive sodium intake has been linked to health problems such as high blood pressure, cancer and osteoporosis. According to a 2010 study by Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS, director of the University of California Center for Vulnerable Populations at San Francisco General Hospital:

    If every American reduced his or her daily sodium intake by 400 milligrams, 32,000 heart attacks, 20,000 strokes and 28,000 deaths could be prevented each year.

     

    This is not just a warning for adults: The habits kids develop for stay with them for life.

    Get the facts on sodium, learn helpful tips and discover healthy the alternatives. Visit SunkistSalternative.com.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Italian Hot Dogs

    mozzarella-pesto-turkey-dog-jennieo-230

    Hot dogs, Italian style. Photo courtesy
    Jennie-O.

      What do you like on your hot dog? Pickle relish and onions? Sauerkraut? Chili?

    How about marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and pesto?

    That’s the suggestion from Jennie-O, maker of turkey franks.

    Prep time is under 15 minutes, total time is 30 minutes.

    RECIPE: ITALIAN HOT DOGS

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 4 turkey franks
  • 4 hot dog buns, split
  • ½ cup marinara sauce
  • ½ ball (8 ounces) fresh mozzarella cheese, torn
  • ½ cup roasted red bell peppers strips
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto
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    Preparation

    1. PREPARE grill for medium heat. Grill franks according to package direction.

    2. GRILL buns, cut side down, until golden brown. Spread inside buns with marinara sauce. Add mozzarella and bell peppers. Place on grill, close lid.

    3. GRILL 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from grill. Add franks. Top with pesto.
     
    Perhaps you should serve these with a glass of Chianti instead of a beer?
     
    MORE HOT DOG RECIPES

  • Gourmet Hot Dog Recipes, Part 1
  • Gourmet Hot Dog Recipes, Part 2
  • Bacon Cheese Hot Dogs Recipe
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