Catharine L. Kaufman
At the market the other day, I overheard a mom tell her young daughter (who had an egg sensitivity) that they couldn’t buy certain brands of ice cream because they contained egg yolks. I didn’t know that (Food Fact No. 1) and as a cholesterol-conscious foodie, I am now reading all labels with a Hubble telescope, scoping out frozen treats without egg products. Here are more food facts for your good health:
- Land of Milk and Mummy
Honey has one of the longest shelf lives of any food. When stored in a cool, dry place, liquid honey maintains its integrity for at least a year. In fact, this Methuselah of foods has been found in the ancient tombs of Egyptian pharaohs by archaeologists who claim the honey was still quite edible.
- Snails, s’il vous plait?
In France they consume 40,000 tons of snails or escargot a year — most are artisanal or gathered wild. Whether prepared in Burgundy wine, a butter or garlic sauce, or wrapped in puff pastry, snails are a motherload of calcium, magnesium and Vitamin C.
- Slice of Life
In the U.S. of A. people chow down on 350 slices of pizza each second, that translates to 100 acres per day, 3 billion pies sold every year. That’s 23 pounds or 46 slices a year per person.
- Give Wheat the Shaft
Quinoa, pronounced (Keen-wah), the Incan “mother grain,” not only contains more protein than any other grain, but is also a complete protein with the full load of eight amino acids. High in unsaturated fats and low in carbs, quinoa has become the grain of choice by the glitterati of chefs.
- Call Me Mellow Yellow
Ripe, spotted brown bananas are sweeter than their green counterparts since they contain 17-percent more sugar.
- Stalk Options
Asparagus comes in green and designer shades of purple and pale ivory, grown underground to prevent them from developing color. The plants live between 8 and 10 years, the thicker the stalk, the older the plant. One peculiar property of this member of the lily family is its effect on urine odor, which has been the subject of great scientific debate for centuries.
In the early 1990s, an all-men’s club in Britain posted a sign that read, “During asparagus season, members must not relieve themselves in the hat stand.”
About 40 percent of the population experiences a phenomenon known as “asparagus pee,” a pungent aroma permeating from the urine after eating asparagus. Researchers believe that during digestion, sulfurous amino acids are broken down into stinky compounds in all those who eat asparagus, but only some possess the gene for detecting the odor … the nose knows.
- Heard Through the Grapevine
As red wine might trigger migraines, best to drink purple grape juice for the same assorted health benefits – reducing the risk of blood clots, putting the skids on bad cholesterol, maintaining healthy blood pressure levels, and supplying a load of antioxidants, such as resveratrol and flavonoids. Better yet, eat whole red or dark purple grapes with the added boon of fiber, nature’s Ex-Lax.
- Take With a Grain of Salt
If you are GMO-conscious, choose sea salt over table salt since the latter usually contains a Frankenstein grain to prevent clumping. Besides, sea salt is a more healthful, natural choice, minimally processed, as it’s the product of the evaporation of seawater, including trace minerals and other elements in the mix, which add texture, color and flavor.
- The Dirty Dozen
Buy organic and local, where possible, especially when it comes to these fruits and veggies with the highest levels of pesticide residue when grown conventionally:
1) Strawberries 2)Bell Peppers (tied with No. 3 Spinach) 4) Cherries (grown domestically) 5) Peaches (from Chile) 6) Cantaloupe (from Mexico) 7) Celery 8) Apples 9) Apricots 10) Green beans 11) Grapes 12) Cucumbers.
Chilled Quinoa Salad
This light-yet-hearty dish is packed with flavor and protein, is low carb, gluten-free, and has no “perfumey” afterscent.
1 cup quinoa
2 baby carrots, sliced in coins
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 medium ripe tomato, diced
2 Persian cucumbers, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pistachios, cashews or sunflower seeds
Chopped scallions, dried cranberries, chopped, dried apricots, or chopped black olives (if desired)
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt, cracked black pepper or cayenne, and ginger powder to taste
Method: Cook the quinoa according to package directions and refrigerate. Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Toss with the quinoa, veggies, herbs, fruits and nuts. Cover and chill.