I’m as addicted to food and cooking magazines as much as I am to cookbooks (see An Autobiography in Cookbooks for more on that) and after several months, old issues start to pile up and I get nervous and anxious about it until I can’t stand it anymore. That’s when I brew a cup of tea, get a pair of scissors and pile the stack of magazines on the dining room table and do a little surgery, cutting out the recipes that I think I’ll use someday. I came across some interesting, perhaps useful factoids while eviscerating a fairly recent issue of Cooking Light. Observe:
I’m a fan of wheat germ and add it to pancake batter, sprinkle it on top of my morning oatmeal and use it in muffins and cookies as well – and that’s a good thing – but wheat germ is not a whole grain. A whole grain consists of bran, endosperm and germ. Wheat germ is…only the germ. So sprinkle and enjoy, but make sure you’re getting true whole grains elsewhere in your diet.
Garlic. If it’s a savory dish, chances are excellent that I’ll be adding copious amounts of it. I can get a little lazy sometimes with the mincing, especially when I’m in a hurry, but the more you mince, the more you release heart-healthy thiosulfinates, which prevent blood platelets from clumping – keeping your arteries clear. So mince for everything you are worth! Or to make the task a little easier, get yourself a kitchen tool you never thought you needed (but will cherish): a microplaner. One of these bad boys makes quick work of garlic and really releases those thiowhatevermajiggies.
Do I love flaxseeds? You bet your cute, little shiny seeds, I do! Let me count the ways: they’re a vegan’s omega-3 friend, they replace eggs in baked goods like a champ and add a warm, nutty flavor to cereal, muffins, pancakes, cookies and the occasional salad. And they love us back – but only if the little seeds are ground first. You can purchase flaxseed meal or make your own with whole seeds using a spice/coffee grinder. Keep either variety in the refrigerator or freezer to retain freshness.
Shake it like you mean it – your soy milk, that is. You’ve probably seen it at the bottom of your soy milk carton – a thick white…sludge. Yum. But that sludge contains stuff that is good for you, namely the calcium that has been added to the soy milk. Shake, drink, enjoy.
Are all oatmeals created equal? For the most part, yes. Whether it’s the long-cooking Scottish variety, rolled or instant (which is pre-steamed to cut down on cooking time), they all contain the same vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber – even though you probably feel more virtuous eating the big, slow-cooking groats. I would suggest, however, that you avoid those frightening packets of oatmeal that contain way too much sugar and salt and strange chemical flavorings. For an overnight solution to the fast and healthy breakfast dilemma, see my post, Morning Fuel, Made the Night Before.