Cutting Sugary Drinks Improves High Blood Pressure

Even a small reduction per day in sweetened soft drink intake could improve your blood pressure, researchers report.

In an 18-month study, researchers found a measurable reduction in blood pressure — 1.8 points in systolic pressure, the higher of the desired 120/80 desired reading, and 1.1 points in diastolic pressure — when intake was reduced by about a can of sweetened beverage a day, said the report published May 24 in Circulation.

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Konnyaku

Konnyaku (Konjac in English) is a plant that grows in China, India, Japan and Korea for its starchy corms.

Japanese konnyaku (food with the same name as the plant) is made by mixing the flour of the corm with water and limewater. Hijiki is often added for the characteristic dark color and flavour. Without additives for colour, konnyaku is pale white. It is then boiled and cooled to solidify. Konnyaku made in noodle form is called konnyaku noodle or shirataki in Japanese.

Konnyaku has no gluten and almost no calorie (3Kcal/100g) but is high in fibre. Thus, it is often used as a diet food. It is also used as a vegan substitute for gelatine.

Konnyaku itself has very little flavour. It’s the texture that is appealing to the eaters who like it. It’s gelatinous and firm, rather like agar-agar but firmer and a bit rubbery. Since it has little flavour of its own, and because it’s almost all water, it takes on the flavour of whatever it’s cooked in.

Chinese Vegetarian Dishes V

Konnyaku Noodle Salad with Veggie Ham

Sweet and Sour Tofu

Stir-fried Asparagus with Mixed Vegetables

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Home-made Pasta Sauce vs Pasta Sauce in a Jar

HealthCastle.com has published an article comparing the ingredients and nutrition values of “Ragu” roasted garlic sauce and home-made tomato pasta suace.

By using fresh tomatoes in the home-made sauce, they were able to reduce the sodium content by a whopping 53 times from the jarred sauce! In addition, home-made sauce also skips the chemical additives like sulphites (a preservative that some people are allergic to), calcium chloride (stabilizer and thickener), and citric acid.

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Top 10 Dessert Trends for 2010

The Food Channel® presents its Top Ten Dessert Trends for 2010. The list is based on research conducted by The Food Channel in conjunction with “CultureWaves® and the International Food Futurists®. Here’s what they see happening in the next 12 months.

The Top 10 dessert trends for 2010 include:

  1. The Unexpected Complement. These days we’re all about trying something new to get us out of the everyday routine. So, we’re pairing sweet and savory in new ways (and it’s not just about bacon).
  2. You Say Macaroons, We Say Macarons. In Paris and New York, dessert right now is all about macarons, which is like a colorful little sandwich made by a pastry chef.
  3. Dessert Meister. What we’re seeing now is beer coming into play both as a dessert ingredient and as a pairing option. This trend is probably the natural outgrowth of the rise in microbreweries, because any restaurant willing to brew its own beer just has to be a fan of trying new things.
  4. Transformers. This trend is about the use of common, everyday foods combined with familiar flavors then reassembling them in a new way. We’re seeing it with Burger King’s Funnel Cake Sticks, and at Mexican burger chain Burguesa Burger, where every milkshake comes straw-skewered with a donut.
  5. Tweet! Here Comes the Dessert Truck. The Kogi taco truck and other maindish nomadic vehicles paved the way, and now the sweet treat trucks (really a trend in itself) are merging into the traffic of city life.
  6. Darwinist Desserts. This trend is about the evolution of desserts and our human desire to make them what we want them to be. That could mean gathering up odds and ends of leftovers and turning them into something, and it usually means trying to deliberately create something that no one else has thought of.
  7. Freshly Baked. These days, bakers and pastry chefs are becoming a specialty business. If your town is typical, odds are good that you have some young entrepreneur opening up a cute little bake shop where they are baking amazing confections and selling them like hotcakes—er, cakes.
  8. OK, Just a Bite. This trend is the amalgamation of several others all rolled up into the smallest possible confection with the biggest possible burst of flavor.
  9. Soda Fountain Fizz. Last year desserts were all about ice cream, and we’re still seeing it mixed in here and there. The usual dessert drink of port or a hot latte is getting some competition from some of the new floats, shakes, malts and coolers.
  10. The Sandwich Generation. This trend speaks to the artisan within. We see it come to life in the traditional ice cream sandwich, as it evolves into something new..

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