Excellent Illustrated Guide to Cooking Oils and How to Use Them

Just got an email from fix.com with the concise, illustrated article printed below about the difference between cooking oils regarding their smoke points (temperature at which they start to smoke), nutrition, source, flavor, and best use – all in alphabetical order. Terrific reference that I’ll be sure to use. Thanks, Fix!

Nut, Seed, and Flower Oils – Which Cooking Oil to Use When

From deep-fried foods to healthy salads, cooking oils play a part in the flavor profile and healthiness of many meals. With such a huge range of nut, seed, and flower oils on the market to choose from, all boasting their own array of nutritional and superfood benefits, it can be hard to know where to start.

Consider the smoke point when selecting an oil to cook with. The temperature at which a type of oil begins to smoke and burn will play a huge factor in the dishes you should use it in. Will you be cooking your food hot and fast? If that’s the case you might want to avoid the delicious and flavorful extra virgin olive oil, which begins to smoke at 320 degrees F, and instead opt for an oil with a higher smoke point, like avocado oil, which smokes at a searing 520 degrees F.

Then there’s your waistline and general health to consider. It’s no secret all oils contain fats, but consulting our list will teach the levels of mono-saturated, mono-unsaturated, and poly-unsaturated fats in 15 popular nut, seed, and flower oils, allowing you to choose the oil that’s right for you.

Will you be stir-frying your next meal? Try almond oil, avocado oil, olive oil, or walnut oil. Feel like a toasty flavor in your next salad dressing? Perhaps sesame oil should be your oil of choice. From flavor profiles to best applications, as well as interesting information on the derivation of each oil from its plant source, see the infographic below for everything you need to know about cooking oils and more.

Source: Fix.com


Microwave Cooked Fresh Hot Chocolate: Quick, Easy, and All in Pictures

Microwave Cooked Fresh Hot ChocolateThere’s nothing much better than the warm rich flavor of a fresh cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day. By “fresh”, I’m talking about using only real ingredients: cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla extract, maybe a light dash of salt, and milk. That’s it: pure, honest, and clean, which means using far fewer and much easier to pronounce ingredients than those found in a container or packet of instant hot chocolate powder that’s intended to be mixed with only hot water. Read more »

What Makes a Body Fit and the Power of Nutrition

Mitochondria (cell powerhouses)

From E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth

I’ve always wanted to know what it is inside our cells that makes them physically fit. The answer, as I found through reading The Science of Fitness (Nov. 2014) written by Dr. Mark Hom and endorsed by three time Tour de France winner Greg Lemond, is more and healthier mitochondria.

Science of Fitness Book Cover

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Baked Kale Chips – Flavorful, Nutritious, and All in Pictures

Baked Kale ChipsI don’t know what you chose for your new year’s resolutions, but I did see online that losing weight, getting fit, and eating more healthy foods are 3 of the top 10 resolutions people make. I know from personal experience those 3 resolutions are about the toughest for anyone to start let alone maintain for any meaningful period of time because they involve lifestyle change, which means changing the way we’ve become comfortable living – even if that comfort means doing things that are not at all good for our body and our minds. Read more »

Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Fries – Easy to Make & All in Pictures

Oven Roasted Sweet Potato FriesOh baby, it’s cold outside! So how ’bout we warm things up with fully flavorful, richly nutritious, and easy to make oven roasted sweet potato fries.

First, a few tips.

  1. Sweet potatoes are packed with beneficial antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and blood sugar moderating properties. For details, I highly recommend this link to the very comprehensive sweet potato page on the World’s Healthiest Foods site:http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=64.
  2. Adding some fat to cooked sweet potato in the form of a little butter or oil will help your body absorb and process the fat-soluble vitamins found in the vegetable, primarily, vitamin A. (This recipe uses a shot of canola oil cooking spray for roasting, which helps satisfy that need.)
  3. I prefer not peeling the skin from any potatoes as most of the nutrients reside both in the skin and just below the skin. Instead, I give the potatoes a good dirt cleaning scrub with an abrasive sponge (you can also use a brush or your bare hands) under cold running water as shown below.

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New Year’s Eve Sparkling Wine & Rum Punch Blast

Sparkling Wine and Rum Punch BlastThis Sparkling Wine & Rum Punch Blast combines combines dry, crisp Italian Prosecco (sparkling wine) with white rum and the summery citrus flavors of lemon, lime, and orange for a great tasting, easy to make twist on the traditional New Year’s Eve bottle of champagne.  Read more »

Fresh Mai Tai: Full-On Tropical Holiday Flavor – All in Pictures

Mai TaiAll right, the winter holidays – every one of ‘em – is right here and now, and I sure wish you Happy Holidays!

The other day while I was in downtown Boston, a good friend of mine, Andrea, mentioned that she and her family were going to have a luau Christmas this year. Terrific! It turns out Andrea will be in charge of the drinks and was thinking about making mai tais. Great! “Only, I’m quite sure I know how to make them,” she said. No problem, I told her. I have a recipe – all in pictures – at my site. I drilled up the site on my phone to show her right then and there and realized that what I’d had available wasn’t quite as clear as wanted it to be. Again, no problem. That’s one of the beauties of working digitally.

I got home, reshot and rewrote the recipe, and now have it here good to go.

Mai Tai Picture Book Recipe Read more »

TV Celebrity Chef Help for Can’t Cook Daughter-in-Laws

Meredith Vieira
Got a call yesterday from Alyson Difranco with The Meredith Vieira Show asking for help finding women, specifically daughter-in-laws who can’t cook, possibly to appear on an upcoming show with Meredith Vieira (pictured above).

Before passing on the casting call details, I checked out Meredith Vieira at her site online and found out that, aside from having fun,…

Meredith Vieira Show

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Roasting Chestnuts in an Oven or Toaster Oven – In Pictures

Roasted Chestnuts Just seeing fresh chestnuts in the store at this time of year brings back all kinds of memories to me – from seeing and smelling them roast on a cold night on the streets of New York City to cracking them open parked in front of a blazing fire in the living room with either cider in my very young years or Canadian Club and ginger ale after that.

Roasting chestnuts is darn easy. Here are a few tips. Read more »

Pineapple, Yogurt, Jam, and Dried Fruit – All in Pictures

Pineapple, Yogurt, and Jam

Last post showed how to ripen and cut a fresh pineapple as easily as possible. Here’s a fully flavorful and also very easy to make way to enjoy cut pineapple. As always, the ingredients you see below are only suggestions. Use your imagination to make your pineapple, yogurt, jam, and dried fruit all yours!

Pineapple, Yogurt, and Jam Ingredients Read more »

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