Food Ideas To Create A Shopping List
What Are Blueberries And How Do Chefs Use Them
It’s tough to think of a superfood that has gained more recognition than blueberries. Native to North America, the blueberry is positively packed with good nutrition.
Are Blueberries The Most Delicious Berry Out There
These small, blueberries are also incredibly flavourful and can be eaten on their own, used as toppings, added to baked goods like muffins and pancakes.
Or even turned into wine!
What Is A Blueberry?
Blueberries grow in a variety of different types of flowering bushes in this family and are native to North America.
Northern High-bush, Southern High-bush and Rabbit-eye are just a few of the many varieties out there.
The size of the berries, as well as their actual colouration, depends on the type of bush in question, but they are all blue when ripe.
Getting Blueberries on Your Plate
Getting more blueberries in your diet is one of the simplest and most delicious things in the world. They’ve great eaten alone as a snack.
They can also be used as toppings for pancakes and waffles or added to muffins.
Consider adding a cup of them to a fruit salad, or use them as the base for a delicious smoothie.
Other options range from sorbet to ice cream to jams and jellies.
What Are Lentils And How Are They Used In Cooking?
Chances are good you’ve at least heard of lentils before. However, if you’re like a lot of other people in the UK, you’re not really sure what they are, how they work, how they taste, or what are lentils.
There’s good news. Not only are lentils easy to understand, but they can be a very tasty way to get better nutrition on your plate.
What Are Lentils?
What are lentils – you can think of lentils as cousins to beans? They’re technically legumes, like pinto beans, black beans and all the rest. However, they don’t come with the same drawbacks that beans do, such as having to be soaked before cooking.
They grow in a pod, usually two at a time. They are generally round, although some are heart-shaped.
Lentils are sold whole or split, and you’ll find three different colours on the market – red, brown and green.
Green lentils are a French variety. They tend to hold their shape and texture the best and cook up firmer than brown or red.
Red lentils are a little sweeter than the brown or green ones, and they tend to get a little soft.
Brown lentils are the most common but are also the most prone to get mushy when cooked, which is why they are often used in soups and the like.
Each colour brings a slightly different flavour to the table, but they are all tasty options. Plus, they pack in some interesting health benefits that everyone should know.
Getting Them Onto Your Plate
Adding lentils to your daily meals is actually pretty simple. They can replace beans in most soups and stews, and because they cook much faster and don’t require pre-soaking, you can save some time, as well.
You can also use them as a bean or meat replacement in just about any meal.
Lentil dip can be made easily by mashing cooked lentils into a paste and then adding your preferred flavourings. Enjoy it on pita, chips and more.
You can even add lentils to a cold salad or to a noodle dish using ginger too if you like.
Quinoa, What Is This Ancient Grain
What is quinoa? Chances are good that you’ve heard of quinoa, even if you’re pronouncing it wrong. It’s pronounced Keen-wa, rather than kwin-oh-ah.
Technically a grain, quinoa has been used by native South Americans for thousands of years.
It was partially replaced by European grains after the conquest of the New World but is today enjoying a significant resurgence thanks to its flavour, utility and its impressive health benefits.
What Is Quinoa?
What is quinoa – Quinoa is only called a grain – it’s actually a seed, and it is related to spinach, beets and even Swiss chard. It brings some of the flavours of buckwheat to the table, which helps to explain at least some of its popularity.
There are also three types on the market (white, red and black) that bring slightly different tastes.
One of the most important reasons for the rise in popularity experienced by this food is the fact that it is a complete protein. Quinoa offers all nine essential amino acids.
The human body cannot create these proteins itself and must obtain them through food.
Cooking with Quinoa
You can eat quinoa in many different ways depending on how you purchase it. Like corn, quinoa is available whole, but also smashed into flakes that can be added to other dishes or eaten on their own.
The most common way to buy quinoa on the market right now is ready to cook broken down. Although quinoa can be found whole, similar to a whole sweetcorn.
When using a whole quinoa it is important to wash and rinse off the saponin off the outer husk. This is the chemical responsible for creating an unpleasant soapy flavour.
Cooking With Quinoa
Cooking quinoa is relatively simple, and really just requires boiling in some water, and it will not only taste better but won’t be quite as hard. Once cooked, it can be added to just about any dish you want.
Native South Americans eat quinoa by itself, but in the US, you’re more likely to find it added to things like salads and dressings, veggie dishes and the like.
Excellent added to a roast cauliflower salad and can be used as a replacement for everything from grits to risotto or even lentils.
Tofu: The UK’s Most Misunderstood Food?
Say the word tofu in just about any setting and watch as people wrinkle their nose in disgust. It’s somewhat natural since most of us only know tofu as a soggy, white, tasteless block.
That is a great way to get away from eating meat.
However, tofu might just be the UK’s most misunderstood food. What is tofu and what should you know?
What Is Tofu?
Tofu is one of those foods that you either love or hate. The good news is that even if you hate it, you can learn to love it.
Chances are good that you just haven’t had it prepared the right way. Tofu is really nothing more than fermented soy milk that has been curdled and then pressed into block form.
It’s sort of like cheese made from cow’s milk, at least in how it is produced, if not in taste.
As a food, it dates back over 2,000 years in China, and remains an incredibly popular dish there, and is becoming more and more popular in the UK.
What About The Taste?
While some people actually enjoy eating tofu uncooked in its rubbery, spongy natural form, most of us prefer to cook it.
The good news is that you can cook tofu in just about any way you might want.
Cooking with Tofu
Tofu lends itself well to a range of cooking techniques, but most of them do require that the tofu is dried a bit before cooking. To do this, you’ll need to cut the block into pieces the size you want to cook with.
And then either salt and drain, or press between paper towels and then allow them to air dry.
Raw tofu contains a lot of water, and if you don’t get most of it out before cooking, chances are good that your meal won’t be all that tasty (and that the tofu pieces won’t hold together through the cooking process).
One popular way to prepare tofu is to cut it into small blocks (about an inch long and half an inch wide), dry them, and then batter them.
These can then be baked or pan-fried, and added to a wide range of dishes, although rice dishes make excellent options here.
It can also be grilled, added to a quinoa salad, and even made into “fries”.
What Is Wasabi? The Real Deal Of This Tasty Spicy Japanese Import
It’s got a funny name, but this Japanese import is no laughing matter. so what is real wasabi? It’s spicy, tasty, and packs some pretty important health benefits, as well.
However, it’s harder to find here than you might think.
Furthermore, if you’re buying it without researching the brand first, chances are good that you’re not getting the real deal.
Chances are your just eating horseradish that’s been coloured light green.
Real Wasabi – Crucial Information
Real wasabi, unlike the many brands in the stores, is actually made from wasabi japonica. Which is a very rare plant. That rarity means it’s costly and pretty hard to get a hold of, even if you live in Japan.
Unlike horseradish, which is the root of a plant, wasabi is made from a rhizome, which is a root-like stem and grows above ground.
What Is Wasabi? The Real Deal
Wasabi is related to both horseradish and mustard. This is why both of those are used to make what most of us know as wasabi.
And like mustard and horseradish, wasabi has benefits that go beyond making your sushi taste better. Or lending a spicy heat to other dishes (it’s used on everything from veggies to steaks by those brave enough to try).
In most cases, wasabi must be grated fresh, and added straight to the food or placed on a plate beside the dish. This is because real wasabi begins to lose its flavour in as little as 15 minutes of being grated.