Character Food and Drink of Pop-up Tuxedo Sam Cafe in Shibuya, Japan

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Healthier Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

1-1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup quinoa flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon hemp seed powder (use your coffee grinder)
1 teaspoon wheat germ
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup raw agave nectar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, blend together flours, baking soda, hemp seed powder, wheat germ, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix agave nectar, brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients until you create a batter.
  5. On prepared cookie sheet, place cookie batter in balls that measure about 1 tablespoon. Cookies should be about 2 inches apart. Do not press down.
  6. Cook for approximately 8-10 minutes, until light golden brown around the edges.

Makes 20 to 25 cookies.

Source: The Organic Family Cookbook

The Secret to Making the Perfect Chocolate Ganache

Kate Krader and James Tarmy wrote . . . . .

Some food is straightforward: You cook a steak by putting a slab of raw meat on a hot surface; you make a cocktail by mixing one alcohol with various liquids; you scramble eggs by … scrambling the eggs.

Other food, though, remains shrouded in mystery. What exactly is a paillard and why is it always outrageously expensive? How is a profiterole prepared without melting the ice cream inside? And what makes chocolate ganache so special that it doubles the price of regular chocolate?

We’ll leave paillard and profiteroles for another day. To answer the question of chocolate ganache, we turned to Nicolas Cloiseau, the creative director of La Maison du Chocolat and maker of the best truffle chocolate in the world. A La Maison du Chocolat chocolate bar weighs 0.17 pounds and costs $11; a single truffle ball of ganache—that luscious, melt-in-your-mouth mixture of melted chocolate and cream—weighs 0.02 pounds and costs $2.60. At that rate, a chocolate-bar-size truffle, perhaps covered in a texturally contrasting chocolate shell, would cost a whopping $22. (Cloiseau also claims, in a new book, to eat more than 13 pounds of chocolate a month, and he employs a “forager” who scours the globe looking for new taste notes in raw cacao.)

We met with him at the company’s Madison Avenue store for a tutorial on ganache making, which, it turns out, is a very simple idea (take chocolate, add cream and butter, and you’re done) that is entirely dependent on its ingredients. “The cacao we work with is very rare,” Cloiseau said, speaking through a translator. “It’s very delicate, and makes up only about 3 percent of the world’s cacao production.” After he walked us through the steps, the answer to its lofty valuation became clear: Chocolate bars are cacao paste and sugar. Ganache requires finesse, labor, and a careful calibration of proportions and technique.

Check out Cloiseau’s step-by-step tutorial. You can—and should!—absolutely try this at home.


Recipe for Chocolate Ganache

Makes about 50 bonbons

1. Start with a bowl of 260 grams of roughly cut chocolate.

2. Bring 150 grams of cream just to a boil, then pour over the chocolate.

3. Let it sit for 15 seconds while it melts the chocolate.

4. Start stirring with a whisk, with small movements in the center of the bowl.

5. As the mixture begins to thicken, broaden your strokes.

6. “It should have a mayonnaise-type texture,” Cloiseau said.

7. Add 15 grams of unsalted butter at room temperature.

8. Stir until smooth.

9. Pour into a large frame, or “plaque,” and let cool for 24 hours.

10. Enrobing the ganache in chocolate.

11. Cut ganache into 50 pieces. Carefully.

12. Pour a tempered chocolate on top of the cooled ganache, and let harden.

Source: Bloomberg

The Amount of Added Sugar in 9 ‘Healthy’ Foods

Sarah Schmalbruch wrote . . . . . .

Many foods that are marketed in this way actually contain a surprising amount of added sugar — a processed form of sugar that provides no nutritional value to your body.

According to the American Heart Association, women shouldn’t be consuming more than 25 grams of added sugar per day, and men shouldn’t be consuming more than 36 grams.

Below are nine foods whose sugar content will probably surprise you (and most of the sugar in these foods is added as opposed to natural). Keep in mind that the number of grams listed apply to only one serving size of each food.


Granola: 6-16 grams of sugar

While granola may be the ideal topping for your plain Greek yogurt, it also has the ability to sabotage what would have been a healthy meal or snack. That’s because many brands of granola essentially sell clusters of sugar, even if they aren’t chocolate or fruit flavored.

Cereal: 8-18 grams of sugar

It’s a well-known fact that cereals like Fruit Loops and Lucky Charms are packed with sugar, but what about the cereals that are branded as being better for you? Turns out they can be just as bad. For example, Raisin Bran has around 18 grams of sugar in just one serving, whereas most Special K flavors contain about 9 grams per serving.

Flavored instant oatmeal: 9-14 grams of sugar

Besides the fact that instant oats are more processed than steel cut oats, the flavored varieties also contain significantly more sugar. Watch out for flavors like blueberries and cream or cinnamon, which can add a fair amount of sugar to your breakfast — especially if you like to top your oatmeal with brown sugar or honey to begin with.

Energy / Protein bars: 9-23 grams of sugar

It’s hard to imagine that one small energy bar could contain so much sugar, but many brands do. The majority of Cliff bars have a whopping 22 grams of sugar, while Larabars clock in at around 18 grams. Luna bars are at the lower end of the spectrum, with 8 or 9 grams.

If energy bars are your go-to post workout snack, just be sure to glance at their sugar content to make sure you’re not fueling yourself with the same amount of sugar you would find in a candy bar.

Flavored yogurt: 9-24 grams of sugar

Most people prefer flavored yogurt over plain yogurt. Unfortunately though, those flavors are packed with sugar, and it’s not natural sugar — it’s artificial. Try spicing up plain yogurt in a more natural way, by adding your own fruit and a little bit of honey.

Canned tomato soup: 10-15 grams of sugar

Turns out sodium isn’t the only thing you should be keeping an eye out for when it comes to this kind of canned soup.

Flavored milk substitutes: 9-13 grams of sugar

Many people see almond and soy milk as healthy alternatives to regular milk, but that’s only true if you’re getting the unsweetened versions of these drinks. Going for vanilla or chocolate flavored soy milk means you could end up consuming the same amount of sugar (or more) than you would had you stuck with regular milk. And, the sugar in regular milk is lactose — a natural sugar — whereas the kind found in flavored milk substitutes is artificial.

Fruit juice: 26-29 grams of sugar

Whether it’s a green smoothie or orange juice, fruit juice is loaded with sugar. You’re much better off eating a piece of fruit instead of drinking juice. That way, you’ll avoid added sugars and consume only fructose, a naturally-occurring sugar that’s much more nutritious. Plus, the fiber in fruit will give you a feeling of fullness that juice won’t.

Salad dressing: 5-10 grams of sugar

Often, the most unhealthy part of a salad is its dressing. And while most people keep an eye out for a dressing’s fat content, sugar content is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. Certain flavors such as raspberry vinaigrette, French, or vidalia onion can often add an unexpected serving of sugar to your salad.

Source: Business Insider

Eating More Vegetable Protein May Protect Against Early Menopause

Results of a new study from epidemiologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health suggest that long-term, high intake of vegetable protein from such foods as whole grains, soy and tofu, may protect women from early menopause and could prolong reproductive function.

Consuming enriched pasta, dark bread and cold cereal were especially associated with lower risk, while they observed no similar relation to eating animal sources of protein.

“A better understanding of how dietary vegetable protein intake is associated with ovarian aging may identify ways for women to modify their risk of early onset menopause and associated health conditions,” write first author and then-graduate student Maegan Boutot, with her advisor, professor Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson. Details appear in the current early online edition of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Early menopause, the cessation of ovarian function before age 45, affects about 10 percent of women and is associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and early cognitive decline, the authors note. Few studies have evaluated how protein intake is associated with menopause timing, they add, and to their knowledge this is the first to look specifically at early menopause.

Boutot, Bertone-Johnson and colleagues in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at UMass Amherst, with others, evaluated the relationship between diet and risk of early menopause among members of the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHS2), an ongoing prospective study of 116,000 women aged 25-42 when they entered it in 1989.

Participants were asked to report how often they ate a single serving of 131 foods, beverages and supplements over the previous year, from “never or less than once a month” to “6+ per day.” They observed that women consuming approximately 6.5 percent of their daily calories as vegetable protein had a significant 16 percent lower risk of early menopause compared to women whose intake was approximately 4 percent of calories.

For a woman with a 2,000 calorie-per-day diet, the authors explain, this is equal to three to four servings of such foods as enriched pasta, breakfast cereal, tofu and nuts, or about 32.5 grams a day. They adjusted for age, smoking, body mass index and other possible confounding factors.

Boutot and Bertone-Johnson add, “Though relatively few women in our study consumed very high levels of vegetable protein and our power for analyses of more extreme intake levels was limited, women consuming 9 or more percent of their calories from vegetable protein had a hazard ratio of 0.41 (95 percent confidence interval = 0.19-0.88)” compared to those eating less than 4 percent.

Source: University of Massachusetts Amherst


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