My Recipe

Stir-fried Chicken with Preserved Olive and Sugar Snap Peas

Ingredients:

9 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
2 oz carrot (1/8-inch rounds)
8 oz sugar snap peas
2 Tbsp preserved olive leaf 香港橄榄菜
2 tsp garlic (minced)
2 tsp ginger (minced)

Chicken Marinade:

2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp water
dash white ground pepper
1/2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp oil

Sauce:

1 -1/2 tsp light soy sauce
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 sesame oil
dash white ground pepper
1/2 tsp chicken broth mix
3/4 tsp cornstarch
4 Tbsp water

Method:

  1. Cut chicken into thin slices. Add marinade and set aside for about 30 minutes.
  2. Remove strings from peas or use stringless.
  3. Mix sauce ingredients.
  4. Blanch carrot in 5 cups boiling water for 30 seconds. Add peas, blanch for 1 minute. Remove and drain.
  5. Pour away water in wok. Dry, reheat wok and add 1/2 Tbsp oil. Stir-fry carrot and peas for 30 seconds. Remove.
  6. Reheat wok and add 1-1/2 Tbsp oil. Sauté half of the garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add half of the marinated chicken, stir-fry until no longer pink. Remove. Add another 1 Tbsp oil to wok. Sauté remaining garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add remaining chicken and stir-fry until no longer pink. Return previously cooked chicken to wok. Add 1 tsp wine, toss for 30 seconds. Add preserved olive and toss briefly. Return vegetables to wok. Add sauce ingredients. Keeping tossing until sauce thickens. Remove and serve hot.

Nutrition value for 1/6 portion of recipe:

Calorie 183, Fat 12.4 g, Carbohydrate 7 g, Fibre 1 g, Sugar 2 g, Cholesterol 27 mg, Sodium 445 mg, Protein 10 g.


Infographic: Transfat in Foods and Diet of Europeans

See large image . . . . .

Source: European Commission

Hybrid Food: Ramen and Burito

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The ‘Ramenritto’ Combines Burritos and Ramen

Cooking Class: Types of Sugar and Sweetener

White Sugar

There are many different types of granulated sugar. Some of these are used only by the food industry and professional bakers and are not available in the supermarket. The types of granulated sugars differ in crystal size. Each crystal size provides unique functional characteristics that make the sugar appropriate for a specific food’s special need.

“Regular” or white sugar, extra fine or fine sugar

“Regular” or white sugar, as it is known to consumers, is the sugar found in every home’s sugar bowl, and most commonly used in home food preparation. White sugar is the sugar called for in most cookbook recipes. The food industry stipulates “regular” sugar to be “extra fine” or “fine” because small crystals are ideal for bulk handling and not susceptible to caking.

Fruit Sugar

Fruit sugar is slightly finer than “regular” sugar and is used in dry mixes such as gelatin and pudding desserts, and powdered drinks. Fruit sugar has a more uniform small crystal size than “regular” sugar. The uniformity of crystal size prevents separation or settling of larger crystals to the bottom of the box, an important quality in dry mixes.

Bakers Special Sugar

The crystal size of Bakers Special is even finer than that of fruit sugar. As its name suggests, it was developed specially for the baking industry. Bakers Special is used for sugaring doughnuts and cookies, as well as in some commercial cake recipes to create a fine crumb texture.

Superfine, ultrafine, or bar sugar

This sugar’s crystal size is the finest of all the types of granulated white sugar. It is ideal for delicately textured cakes and meringues, as well as for sweetening fruits and iced-drinks since it dissolves easily. In England, a sugar very similar to superfine sugar is known as caster or castor, named after the type of shaker in which it is often packaged.

Confectioners or powdered sugar

This sugar is granulated sugar ground to a smooth powder and then sifted. It contains about 3% cornstarch to prevent caking. Powdered sugar is ground into three different degrees of fineness. The confectioners sugar available in supermarkets – 10X – is the finest of the three and is used in icings, confections and whipping cream. The other two types of powdered sugar are used by industrial bakers.

Coarse sugar

As its name implies, the crystal size of coarse sugar is larger than that of “regular” sugar. Coarse sugar is recovered when molasses-rich, sugar syrups high in sucrose are allowed to crystallize. The large crystal size of coarse sugar makes it highly resistant to color change or inversion (natural breakdown to fructose and glucose) at cooking and baking temperatures. These characteristics are important in making fondants, confections and liquors.

Sanding sugar

Another large crystal sugar, sanding sugar, is used mainly in the baking and confectionery industries as a sprinkle on top of baked goods. The large crystals reflect light and give the product a sparkling appearance.

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Brown Sugar

Turbinado sugar

This sugar is raw sugar which has been partially processed, where only the surface molasses has been washed off. It has a blond color and mild brown sugar flavor, and is often used in tea and other beverages.

Evaporated Cane Juice

Evaporated Cane Juice is the common name for the food-grade cane based sweetener produced directly from milled cane using a single-crystallization process. The filtered, clarified juice is evaporated into syrup, crystallized and cured. This free flowing sweetener has a light golden color and retains a hint of molasses flavor because there is no further processing.

Brown sugar (light and dark)

Brown sugar retains some of the surface molasses syrup, which imparts a characteristic pleasurable flavor. Dark brown sugar has a deeper color and stronger molasses flavor than light brown sugar. Lighter types are generally used in baking and making butterscotch, condiments and glazes. The rich, full flavor of dark brown sugar makes it good for gingerbread, mincemeat, baked beans, and other full flavored foods.

Brown sugar tends to clump because it contains more moisture than white sugar.

Muscovado or Barbados sugar

Muscovado sugar, a British specialty brown sugar, is very dark brown and has a particularly strong molasses flavor. The crystals are slightly coarser and stickier in texture than “regular” brown sugar.

Free-flowing brown sugars

These sugars are specialty products produced by a co-crystallization process. The process yields fine, powder-like brown sugar that is less moist than “regular” brown sugar. Since it is less moist, it does not clump and is free-flowing like white sugar.

Demerara sugar

Popular in England, Demerara sugar is a light brown sugar with large golden crystals, which are slightly sticky from the adhering molasses. It is often used in tea, coffee, or on top of hot cereals.

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Liquid Sugar

Liquid sugars

There are several types of liquid sugar. Liquid sugar (sucrose) is white granulated sugar that has been dissolved in water before it is used. Liquid sugar is ideal for products whose recipes first require sugar to be dissolved. Amber liquid sugar is darker in color and can be used in foods where brown color is desired.

Invert sugar

Sucrose can be split into its two component sugars (glucose and fructose). This process is called inversion, and the product is called invert sugar. Commercial invert sugar is a liquid product that contains equal amounts of glucose and fructose. Because fructose is sweeter than either glucose or sucrose, invert sugar is sweeter than white sugar. Commercial liquid invert sugars are prepared as different mixtures of sucrose and invert sugar. For example total invert sugar is half glucose and half fructose, while 50% invert sugar (half of the sucrose has been inverted) is one-half sucrose, one-quarter glucose and one-quarter fructose. Invert sugar is used mainly by food manufacturers to retard the crystallization of sugar and to retain moisture in the packaged food. Which particular invert sugar is used is determined by which function – retarding crystallization or retaining moisture – is required.

Home cooks make invert sugar whenever a recipe calls for a sugar to be boiled gently in a mixture of water and lemon juice.


26 Sweeteners, by Name and Type

Here’s the list of current and pending (not yet approved by the FDA) sweeteners. There are three basic classifications. Caloric sweeteners (of which sugar is one), artificial sweeteners (not found in nature) and sugar alcohols/polyols.

Caloric Sweeteners

  • Dextrose
  • Glucose Syrup
  • Crystalline Fructose
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Fruit Juice Concentrates
  • Maltodextrin
  • Trehalose
  • Stevia (not FDA approved)

Artificial Sweeteners

  • Saccharin
  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame-K
  • Sucralose
  • Neotame

Sugar Alcohols / Polyols

  • Sorbitol
  • Mannitol
  • Xylitol
  • Erythritol
  • D-Tagatose
  • Isomalt (Palatinat)
  • Lacititol
  • Maltitol
  • HSH Hydrogenated Starch Hydroslsates, Maltito
  • Glycerol
  • Polydextrose

Artifical Sweeteners, Not Yet Approved by FDA

  • Alitame
  • Cyclamates
  • Neohesperdine
  • Thaumatin

Source: The Sugar Association

Type 2 Diabetes Reversed by Losing Fat from Pancreas

Type 2 diabetes is caused by fat accumulating in the pancreas – and that losing less than one gram of fat through weight loss reverses the diabetes, researchers have shown.

Affecting two and a half million people in the UK – and on the increase – Type 2 diabetes is a long-term condition caused by too much glucose, a type of sugar, in the blood.

The research led by Professor Roy Taylor is being published online today in Diabetes Care and simultaneously he is presenting the findings at the World Diabetes Congress in Vancouver.

Bariatric surgery

In a trial, 18 people with Type 2 diabetes and 9 people who did not have diabetes were measured for weight, fat levels in the pancreas and insulin response before and after bariatric surgery. The patients with Type 2 diabetes had been diagnosed for an average of 6.9 years, and all for less than 15 years.

The people with Type 2 diabetes were found to have increased levels of fat in the pancreas.

The participants in the study had all been selected to have gastric bypass surgery for obesity and were measured before the operation then again eight weeks later. After the operation, those with Type 2 diabetes were immediately taken off their medication.

Both groups lost the same amount of weight, around 13% of their initial body weight. Critically, the pool of fat in the pancreas did not change in the non-diabetics but decreased to a normal level in those with Type 2 diabetes.

This shows that the excess fat in the diabetic pancreas is specific to Type 2 diabetes and important in preventing insulin being made as normal. When that excess fat is removed, insulin secretion increases to normal levels. In other words, they were diabetes free.

Drain excess fat out of the pancreas

Professor Taylor of Newcastle University who also works within the Newcastle Hospitals as part of the Newcastle Academic Health Partners said: “For people with Type 2 diabetes, losing weight allows them to drain excess fat out of the pancreas and allows function to return to normal.

“So if you ask how much weight you need to lose to make your diabetes go away, the answer is one gram! But that gram needs to be fat from the pancreas. At present the only way we have to achieve this is by calorie restriction by any means – whether by diet or an operation.”

In patients who had started with Type 2 diabetes, fat levels in the pancreas (pancreatic triglyceride) decreased by 1.2% over the 8 weeks. Very exact methods were needed to be able to measure this and a new method using a special MRI scan was developed. With an average pancreas for a person with Type 2 diabetes having a volume of 50 ml, this is the equivalent of around 0.6 grams of fat.

However, the patients who had never had diabetes saw no change in the level of fat in their pancreas demonstrating that the increase in fat in the pancreas is specific to people who develop Type 2 diabetes. Importantly, individuals vary in how much fat they can tolerate in the pancreas before Type 2 diabetes occurs.

Transforming the thinking on Type 2 diabetes

Traditionally, Type 2 diabetes has been thought of as a progressive condition, controlled by diet initially then tablets, but which may eventually require insulin injections.

It affects 9% of the global population and was once known as adult-onset diabetes but is now found in young adults and children. It causes too much glucose in the blood due to the pancreas not producing enough insulin – a hormone which breaks down glucose into energy in the cells – together with insulin resistance, a condition in which the body responds poorly to insulin.

Previous work by Professor Taylor and his team highlighted the importance of weight loss through diet in reversing Type 2 Diabetes. This work in 2011 transformed the thinking in diabetes as it was the first time that it had been demonstrated that diet could remove fat clogging up the pancreas allowing normal insulin secretion to be restored.

Professor Taylor adds: “This new research demonstrates that the change in level of fat in the pancreas is related to the presence of Type 2 diabetes in a patient. The decrease in pancreas fat is not simply related to the weight loss itself. It is not something that might happen to anyone whether or not they had diabetes. It is specific to Type 2 diabetes.

“What is interesting is that regardless of your present body weight and how you lose weight, the critical factor in reversing your Type 2 diabetes is losing that 1 gram of fat from the pancreas.”

Newcastle Academic Health Partners is a collaboration involving Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust. This partnership harnesses world-class expertise to ensure patients benefit sooner from new treatments, diagnostics and prevention strategies.

Source: Newcastle University


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