Gadget: Swedish Kitchen Machine

Ankarsrum Original Mixer

The Ankarsrum Original Kitchen Machine, a favorite mixer of Swedish cooks since 1940, is now available for North American homeowners.

Fashioned from sturdy chrome and steel, this 600 watt professional quality kitchen tool is a durable all-purpose mixer that produces superior baking results. A variety of optional attachments transforms the Ankarsrum Original into a complete kitchen center, eliminating the need for a separate food processor, meat grinder, or slicer. The Ankarsrum Original offers professional functionality and versatility in one convenient countertop tool.

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Japanese-style Noodle Soup with Pork Belly


1 lb. skinless pork belly, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup red miso paste
3 tbsp sake
3 tbsp mirin
1-1/2 tbsp. packed dark brown sugar, preferably from Okinawa
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
5 oz mung bean sprouts
9 oz somen
4 stalks green onion, thinly sliced
shredded chili, to garnish


1/4 oz kombu
1 oz bonito flakes
5 cups water


  1. Make the dashi: In a small saucepan, combine kombu with 5 cups water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, discard kombu, and stir in bonito flakes. Let the dashi stand for 5 minutes, then pour through a fine sieve into a bowl and discard the bonito flakes. Let the dashi cool to room temperature and refrigerate for up to 3 days or until ready to use.
  2. For the pork belly: Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium. Add the pork belly and 1 tablespoon water and cook, stirring, until the fat renders and the pork is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a paper towel-lined plate and wipe the skillet clean.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss the cooked pork with the miso, sake, mirin, sugar, and 3 tablespoons water until evenly coated. Scrape the pork and sauce into the skillet, return it to medium heat, and cook, stirring, until the liquid reduces and the pork becomes sticky, about 10 minutes. Stir in the sesame seeds and remove the skillet from the heat. Meanwhile, heat the dashi in a small saucepan over low and keep warm.
  4. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the mung bean sprouts and cook for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sprouts and transfer to paper towels to drain. Add the somen to the boiling water and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the somen and divide them evenly among 6 serving bowls. Divide the dashi and sprouts among the bowls and top with the pork, green onion, and chili.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Saveur

Food Fraud — Do You Know What You’re Eating?

Despite of all kinds of regulations and inspections, food fraud exists. Food fraud can defined as the intentional addition of improper or inferior ingredients to a food, often for economic gain.

Food fraud has been around throughout history. Highly sought after spices were with filled with ground up seeds; milk was been diluted with water and chalk. The medical journal “The Lancet” reported in 1851 that swindlers were selling tea that was made from elm, oak and beech leaves, and contaminated with lead.

More recent examples have been documented in the bestselling book “Real Food/Fake Food.” Here are just a few:

  • Fish and seafood: Less expensive varieties are sometimes sold as a premium species. (Can you tell the difference between species?)
  • Parmesan cheese: Despite being marketed as 100 percent, some brands may contain 40 percent cheese or less, with the remainder being cellulose.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil: Some are not extra-virgin or even virgin, or even from olives.
  • Coffee: Some ground coffee may contain grains, such as corn and wheat, or even twigs.

A study conducted by the Food Protection and Defense Institute (a Homeland Security Center of Excellence) looked at food adulteration reports in journals and other media between 1980 and 2011. The food categories cited most often included fish and seafood, dairy products, fruit juices, oils and fats, grain products — and even infant formulas.

Many of these are foods that we eat for health reasons — olive oil, fish, whole grains. We want know that we’re eating the real deal — not some watered-down version — and not adulterated versions that can harm us.

Unfortunately, the major governmental agencies like the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration are unable to catch many cases of food fraud because of limited resources. Others, however, have turned their attention to product purity. The U.S. Pharmacopeia Convention), a non-profit scientific organization, sets standards and maintains databases to alert the food industry of food fraud incidents. Food manufacturers are also concerned, as it is estimated that food fraud costs the global food industry $10 to $15 billion a year.

Although it’s unlikely that we can be completely safe from food fraud, we can take measures to lower our risk:

  • Keep in mind the types of foods that are most prone to fraud (mentioned above)
  • Buy from local producers
  • Be wary of bargain prices for expensive foods
  • Eat whole foods instead of highly processed foods

Source: Mayo Clinic

Is Gelatin Supplement Good for Your Joints?

Enlarge image . . . . .

A new study from Keith Baar’s Functional Molecular Biology Laboratory at the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences and the Australian Institute of Sport suggests that consuming a gelatin supplement, plus a burst of intensive exercise, can help build ligaments, tendons and bones. The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Connective tissue and bone injuries are common in both athletes and the elderly, and interfere with peoples’ ability (and enthusiasm) for exercise, whether they are an elite athlete or just trying to lose weight and maintain fitness and flexibility. Steps that can prevent injury and enhance recovery are therefore of great interest.

Obviously, it’s difficult to assess the direct effect of a supplement on tissues without opening up someone’s knee. But Baar’s laboratory has been developing techniques to grow artificial ligaments in the laboratory. They used their lab-dish ligaments as a stand-in for the real thing.

Gelatin, Vitamin C and Exercise

Baar, Greg Shaw at the Australian Institute of Sport, and colleagues enrolled eight health young men in a trial of a gelatin supplement enhanced with vitamin C. The volunteers drank the supplement and had blood taken, and after one hour performed a short (five minute) bout of high-impact exercise (skipping).

The researchers tested the blood for amino acids that could build up the collagen protein that composes tendons, ligaments, and bones. They also tested blood samples for their effect on Baar’s lab-grown ligaments at UC Davis.

The gelatin supplement increased blood levels of amino acids and markers linked to collagen synthesis, and improved the mechanics of the engineered lab-grown ligaments, they found.

“These data suggest that adding gelatin and vitamin C to an intermittent exercise program could play a beneficial role in injury prevention and tissue repair,” the researchers wrote.

Source: Medical News Today

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