Colourful Cheesecake

Funfetti Cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory in the U.S.

The multi-layer dessert was made to celebrate National Cheesecake Day, which is coming up at the end of July.

The cheesecake features layers of original cheesecake, vanilla cake, strawberry mousse, chocolate mousse, and a sky-blue vanilla mousse that gets coated with cream cheese frosting and coated with Funfetti sprinkles.

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Singapore Researchers Create Probiotic Beer

Beer lovers may soon have a gut-friendly drink to raise a toast to, thanks to the creation of a novel probiotic sour beer by a team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS). This new specialty beer incorporates the probiotic strain Lactobacillus paracasei L26, which was first isolated from human intestines and has the ability to neutralize toxins and viruses, as well as regulate the immune system.

The idea of producing a probiotic beer was first mooted by Chan Mei Zhi Alcine, a fourth-year student from the Food Science and Technology Program under the NUS Faculty of Science, who consumes dairy-based probiotic beverages daily.

“The health benefits of probiotics are well known. While good bacteria are often present in foods that have been fermented, there are currently no beers in the market that contain probiotics. Developing sufficient counts of live probiotics in beer is a challenging feat, as beers contain hop acids that prevent the growth and survival of probiotics. As a believer of achieving a healthy diet through consuming probiotics, this is a natural choice for me when I picked a topic for my final-year project,” says Chan, who will be graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Science with Honors from NUS in July 2017.

Studies have shown that consuming food and beverages with live counts of probiotics are more effective in delivering health effects than eating those with inactive probiotics. Currently, the recommendation by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics is to have a minimum of 1 billion probiotics per serving in order to attain the maximum health benefits.

Under the supervision of Associate Professor Liu Shao Quan, PhD, from the NUS Food Science and Technology Program, Chan took about nine months to come up with an ideal recipe that achieves the optimal count of live probiotics in the beer.

By propagating the probiotic and yeast in pure cultures, and modifying conventional brewing and fermentation processes, Chan managed to increase and maintain the live counts of the strain of probiotic. “For this beer, we used a lactic acid bacterium as a probiotic micro-organism. It will utilize sugars present in the wort to produce sour-tasting lactic acid, resulting in a beer with sharp and tart flavors. The final product, which takes around a month to brew, has an alcohol content of about 3.5%,” she explains. The NUS research team has filed a patent to protect the recipe for brewing the probiotic sour beer.

Liu says, “The general health benefits associated with consuming food and beverages with probiotic strains have driven demand dramatically. In recent years, consumption of craft or specialty beers has gained popularity too. [Chan’s] invention is placed in a unique position that caters to these two trends. I am confident that the probiotic gut-friendly beer will be well-received by beer drinkers, as they can now enjoy their beers and be healthy.”

Looking ahead, Liu and Chan are keen to collaborate with industry partners to introduce the beer to consumers.

Source: National University of Singapore

Potato Cake with Onion and Cooked Vegetables

Ingredients

12 oz any cooked vegetables — carrot, parsnip, zucchini, sprouts, beans, peas, mushrooms, bell pepper, cauliflower or broccoli
2 tablespoons oil or butter
1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1-1/2 lb potatoes, mashed
12 oz cooked shredded cabbage (green or white)
4 oz streaky bacon slices, crisply fried and crumbled (optional)

Method

  1. Use any boiled or roast leftover potatoes you may have, simply slice or dice them. Cut the other vegetables into manageable pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a large frying pan and fry onion and garlic gently until soft but barely browned. Add mashed potato and stir-fry for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add cabbage and cook for a few minutes more, stirring well to prevent sticking as the mixture begins to brown. Add other vegetables and continue until well browned.
  4. Pat the mixture down into a fairly flat cake and cook until golden brown underneath.
  5. Finish off under a moderate broiler (grill) for a few minutes so the top is browned.
  6. For individual Bubble and Squeak patties, combine all ingredients as described above and divide into four portions. Shape each into a cake and fry on both sides until golden brown.
  7. To serve, cut cake into wedges and sprinkled with crumbled bacon.

Makes 4 servings.

Note:

Traditionally this dish uses any cooked leftover vegetables. The essentials are onion, potato and a green vegetable but do experiment with a greater variety of ingredients.

Source: 50 Ways with Potatoes

What’s for Breakfast?

Home-cooked Japanese Breakfast

The Menu

  • Miso Soup with Sweet Potato and Deep-fried Tofu
  • Fried Egg with Salmon
  • Summer Vegetabled and Deep-fried Maitake Mushroom in Broth
  • Bell Pepper and Seaweed with Ponzu Dressing
  • Pickled Cucumber and Dried Plum
  • Cooked Barley and Rice

Seniors’ Lungs Can Tackle Exercise

If seniors want to start a vigorous exercise program, there’s a good chance their lungs can keep up with the extra demand, a new study finds.

Researchers assessed younger and older adults to determine their lungs’ capacity to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide (lung-diffusing capacity) during physical activity. This exchange between the lungs and blood delivers oxygen throughout the body, but typically decreases with age.

The study included four groups. One was young adults with an average age of 27. They had normal fitness levels. The second group was highly fit adults. Their average age was also 27. A third group was made of older adults. Their average age was 69 and they had normal fitness levels. The final group was highly fit older adults. Their average age was 65.

The study volunteers did increasingly difficult workouts on a stationary bicycle. As the study volunteers exercised, researchers measured their lung-diffusing capacity.

The researchers thought both older groups, especially the older highly fit volunteers, would have impaired lung function versus the younger groups. But the increase in lung-diffusing capacity wasn’t limited in any of the four volunteer groups.

These findings suggest that overall function of the lung’s circulation doesn’t become limited during vigorous exercise, no matter what your age or fitness level, the researchers said. And, that seems to be true even though negative age-related changes in pulmonary circulation do occur.

The study team was led by Kirsten Coffman, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

The results were published recently in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Source: HealthDay


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