6 Common Food Combinations That Are Actually Terrible For Your Health

Combing foods is more than a culinary art, it’s what we all do on a daily basis. There are many traditional foods that we have always combined, but actually without realizing it this can actually have adverse health effects. Much of what we eat comes from habit, as in what our parents fed us and those favorite dishes that we just latched onto as something we have to have time and time again. Very few people actually put much consideration into the health effects of what they eat. When we eat we are not so much interested in taking care of our bodies as merely getting rid of those hunger pains and exciting the taste buds.

Eating should always be an enjoyable and even sociable event, but it should actually give us energy, keep us strong, and move us forward, instead of slowing us down or making us feel bad. Many unpleasant feelings that sneak up on us after eating that nice meal, has to do with the types of foods we are combining.

It’s not a bad recommendation for all of us to seek out a nutritionist or two and have them help us make a truly balanced diet. Eating healthy isn’t just about eating some lettuce, it’s understanding how various food combinations just really don’t make sense from a body’s needs point of view.

1. Sparing that favorite dressing for the diet version on your favorite salad.

You just can’t win for losing. Switching to that diet salad dressing because you think you are being health conscious is actually not a very wise choice at all. Vegetables have many great things for our body, and are an important part of a healthy diet. Unfortunately it’s the fat, in that great tasting salad dressing that actually helps the body to absorb and take advantage of all those precious benefits that a vegetable salad gives us. Diet versions of anything have never really been a good solution for weight loss. Eating a balanced and healthy diet and maintaining an active lifestyle including exercise and sport

is what really helps one lose weight and stay fit. Not buying everything with the word diet on it at the local grocery store.

2. Mixing eggs with steak, you know those famous steak and eggs that can satisfy a lumberjack!

It’s never a good idea to mix different types of proteins. Best to mix eggs with vegetables, and then eat that hefty steak for dinner. Also eating heavy proteins too early in the day can certainly make you feel groggy at work. Start light and work your way to heavier meals later in the day to evening. We do most of the heavy digesting when we are laying in bed and resting or sleeping. If we force our body to try and work too hard digesting food while we are active, we won’t have enough blood to handle all that activity hence the dizzy, lack of energy feeling we can get.

3. Bananas and milk or that banana smoothie

This has been proclaimed by nutritionists to be the absolute worst combination one can force down their body, no matter how delicious it may seem. It actually creates toxins that harm the body, create awful gases, upset stomach and bloating. A nice glass of chocolate milk helps the digestion, so why invite the bananas to the picture? Leave those for the Minions. You know those yellow little creatures that eat 50 pounds of bananas daily…

4. That famous marinara spaghetti sauce with Parmesan and American cheese.

Who would turn down such a great meal as spaghetti especially with some garlic bread to go along and maybe a glass of red wine? Ever noticed after eating those 3 portions of spaghetti you find it difficult to even get up from the table and walk to the living room coach? That’s because the tomatoes that make the famous spaghetti sauce are high in acid, and acid based foods mixed with starchy foods as pasta simply don’t mix. It makes for a digestion nightmare, no matter how delicious it is, if you don’t want to be weighed down by what you eat, best to avoid spaghetti and lasagna with tomato sauce. How about a fresh olive oil sauce with garlic and basil?

5. Bread and Jam, or that peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Oh how we love that peanut butter sandwich with potato chips and a cold glass of milk. Many of us grew up on that one! The problem is, such simple carbohydrates in such a delicious mix cause our blood sugar to go through the ceiling and then the body has to release large amounts of insulin to bring it back down. This expands more energy than we gained from eating that sandwich in the first place. After words it’s kind of like a bad hang-over, we lose energy, will and our ability to concentrate. Leave the pbj to our childhood, but now it’s time to start eating with the goal of helping us in our day, not slowing us down.

6. The habit of eating fruits after a protein meal as meat, potatoes, pasta dishes and so forth, or after eating a heavy lunch or dinner.

Fruit dishes have always been served as a sweet desert after a nice meal or to clean the palate. Fruit should be eaten without combining with other foods. It’s best eaten for breakfast like maybe on top of a nice oatmeal dish, or smothered in yogurt. Fruit has natural sugars, and meats and starches have complicated sugars. By mixing the 2, the sugar from the fruits will become stuck in the stomach, while it’s trying to breakdown the heavier sugars, and began a fermentation process, which we all know makes for unpleasant gases and stomach pain.

There are many more food combinations that really aren’t the best at all when we are trying to eat healthy. Much of this has to do with breaking our old eating habits, and then spending a little time actually researching what kind of diet would actually work for us. After all we are talking about our health, our energy, and our lifestyle. It certainly would not be a negative activity to try and improve our eating habits to give us a better quality of life. Talking with nutritionists, doing a little research on the internet, asking around and experimenting with different health oriented recipes could turn into a very enjoyable hobby for us, with the results of feeling like we were 20 years old all over again!

To Shroom or Not to Shroom – Know Your Mushrooms

Mushrooms, toadstools, fungus. They may look alike but if you’re an amateur, you should refrain from picking them in the woods. Many fragrant tasty species grow wild and add a pungent flavor to soups, stews and casseroles. White button mushrooms are grown domestically, offer less flavor and can be found in the produce section of your local food store. But they are not veggies. They reside in the fungus family. While certain species can be cultivated commercially, others grow only in the wild. Although fat-free and low- calorie, mushrooms do offer some nutritional value and add flavor and volume to many dishes.

Although you love their culinary value, don’t run out after the next rainfall and pluck those little toadstools sprouting on the lawn for your morning omelet. Many are highly poisonous, and it takes knowledgeable pickers to differentiate. The more popular types around the world are shitake, morel, oyster, chanterelle and cremini, which are flavorful, more costly and of course favored over the white variety by discriminating chefs. (Frenchmen wouldn’t dream of using our bourgeois white button variety.) Many species require cooking and should never be eaten raw, such as the morel. Tasty large portobello make an ideal meat replacement and a popular choice among vegetarians. The prized ruffle tops the list in its native France, and other countries pay through the nose to import them. (Those French. Nothing but the best for their discriminating palettes.)

While mushrooms presumably date back to the cavemen, the earliest documented usage goes back to ancient China, where mushrooms were consumed for medicinal as well as culinary purposes. (Long before explorer Marco Polo trekked over to China.) Always on top of the latest food discoveries, Romans enjoyed them as a food, but since all mushrooms are not edible, those inventive emperors employed food tasters to determine which might be poisonous. (Certainly not an enviable job. You never knew which meal might be your last.) Throughout history, mushrooms have been dried and then eaten all winter, which placed them highly in demand.

Asians in particular value mushrooms as a medicine, like the reishi, maitake and turkey tail, and they ingest them frequently for health issues, either cooked or as a tea. With over 65% of the world’s production, China tops the list, followed by Italy and Poland. At 5%, the U.S. is no slouch, cranking out 390,000 tons a year. (That’s a lot of soup.)

Among many ethnic cultures, mushrooming or foraging is a popular pastime. Not only can you find some tasty varieties, but you get fresh air and exercise at the same time. Just make sure you recognize the ones to pick and the ones to pass up. (And if you’re in wooded areas, make sure you also recognize poison ivy when you see it.) Charming drawings and stories throughout history depict fairies and other small creatures sitting under or on top of toadstools, hence the name’s origin. Were they edible or just furniture? No one knows for sure. Probably both.

So unless you want to hire a food tester, it’s best to stick to the grocer or farmers’ market rather than plucking toadstools out in nature. You want to enjoy that homemade mushroom soup rather than land in the emergency room. And don’t even think about noshing “magical mushrooms.” The psychedelic trip might not be worth the trip.

The Best Fruits for Your Health

Fruits are good for one’s health! These are rich in vitamins and minerals, so these act as a fine way for one to overcome deficiencies of vitamin C and A.

It is even known that if you consume fruits as a part of a well balanced diet, these can allow you to prevent a number of chronic disorders. Some other essential nutrients that fruits are rich in include

  • Potassium

Potassium could work towards minimizing the risk of cardiovascular disorders. It may even help prevent stroke. By getting the required dosage of potassium from our diet, one can decrease bone loss which comes as a part of aging.

  • Fiber
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate

Folate makes it easier for the body to form RBCs (Red Blood Cells). It is in particular helpful for pregnant women and enhances the growth of fetus.In general, by going for fruits, one could minimize the risk of disorders such as type 2 diabetes. By promoting phytochemicals, fruits ensure that one stays in the best of health!

Ideally, one must consume 2 – 2½ cups of fruits every day. This is also subject to how many calories does one require for everyday diet.

Let’s take a look at some of the best fruits for one’s health and well being.

Peaches:

Peaches are rich in potassium, and this augurs very well for one’s nerve and muscle health. One of the reasons peaches are good for one’s health is their skin. Skin of peaches is high in antioxidants and insoluble fibers alike.

If you’re on a diet, peaches are the perfect way to add sweetness to your diet.

Pineapples

Pineapples are not just pleasing to the platter. These are rich in anti inflammatory micronutrients which can work very effectively for our health and well being.

In particular, bromelain is an anti inflammatory agent which helps reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Grapes

Grapes are one of the most abundant food crops in the world. But consuming grapes is known to allow one to steer clear of cardiovascular disorders and high cholesterol.

The bulbs are also rich in iron and potassium, so as to allow one overcome muscle cramps and anemia.

Similarly, mangoes keep the immune system healthy and help promote bone growth. In the same way, apples are good for the heart. They help keep teeth healthy and promote weight loss.

Organic Fruits: A Better Choice for Health of Your Family and Yourself!

When you go for fruits, it is always better that you choose to go for organic fruits. An organic fruit tastes better. It is free from preservatives and also good for the environment. Moreover, organic fruits are free from GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).

Let’s consider an instance. If you go for papaya, it is better to go for a papaya which is grown organically.

Why Go For Organic Papaya Over Normal Papaya?

Papayas are high in vitamins A and C, good for the skin and good for the immunity. These are full of enzymes that aid the digestion process.

By consuming papayas, one can reduce bloating. Papayas are high in calcium.

Use papaya to make a smoothie, put some over oatmeal or make a fruit salsa using papaya. The tropical taste and flavors will get you!

But there is a checklist you must keep in mind. You must try and make sure that your papaya is not genetically modified. To get the best out of your papaya, you must make sure that it is free from GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).

Let’s know more about GMOs.

GMOs are produced in a lab. This is done by taking the gene of one species and putting it into another. This allows a scientist to get the desired traits in the new specie.

Why Does One Need To Avoid GMOs?

It is recommendable to avoid GMOs because one wouldn’t know how they are produced. It may be possible that GMOs are made by using virus or bacteria to infect a new species with some other specie’s DNA.

So it is difficult to assume the effect GMOs would have on our bodies.

Apart from papayas, some of the most genetically modified foods are:

  • Cottonseed
  • Canola Oil
  • Sugar beets
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Zucchini

A simple way to make sure that papayas that you buy are free from GMOs is by looking for the non GMO verified label on papaya. This is also one of the reasons one must choose organic papaya over a normal papaya.

The Simple, But Singular Merits Of Eating Right

Lifestyle disorders such as irregular hours of sleeping and unhealthy eating habits take a toll on our being. Resulting from the same, minor health disorders such as body aches and headaches have become the order of the day.

Taking care of one’s health is important. This not just boosts the feel good factor but safeguards one against a host of disorders and may also ensure longevity.

When we talk of taking care of one’s health, eating right is a significant way to get things right. So one must pay heed to one’s diet and stick to foods which are healthy.

Eating right is a topic which is discussed very often nowadays. Some simple changes in one’s lifestyle could ensure a much improved health and wellbeing for one’s family and oneself.

Let’s run through some tips about eating healthy, such that they benefit our families and us in the long run.

1. Organic Foods:

Organic foods are grown without use of pesticides and fertilizers. This ensures that our body’s contact with free heavy radicals reduces to a great extent. It makes one’s immunity strong and facilitates a better health for one.

Organic food could be particularly beneficial for seniors and growing children. In particular, organic foods have shown to reduce the occurrence of disorders such as ADHD and autism among growing kids.

One can nowadays find a lot of brands in supermarkets which are marked as organic. Organic certification is granted only by recognized authorities such as USDA, and it implies that predefined procedures have been used at every stage of growing or processing a food.

Some of the most common organic foods are organic fruits and vegetables, organic milk and organic cereals.

2. Natural Foods

People are often confused between the terms organic foods and natural foods. One may consider if organic foods are the same as natural foods.

Organic foods are different from natural foods, and the terms imply different things.
Natural foods are the foods which have not be fortified, chemically synthesized or altered in any way. This ensures that the basic nutritive value of a food does not undergo a change.

An example of natural foods is whole grain cereals. Whole grain cereals are healthier than normal cereals because they are rich in fibers. This ensures that one feels full after a short meal, and it also ensures that energy is released slowly in the body.

Whole grain cereals are thus good for ailments such as diabetes, obesity and a host of cardiovascular disorders, such as hypertension.

3. A fine example among superfoods: Millet

If we consider superfoods, millets are a variant that could bring about a world of difference to one’s health and well being. People from all corners of the world are turning back to millets for the numerous health benefits these have on our being.
Millet grain acts as a vegetarian friendly source of protein. While its protein value is similar to that of unprocessed wheat, millet is a richer source of essential amino acids.

Similarly for maintaining consistent blood sugar levels, millets are the option to go for. Millets have been shown to keep one’s blood sugar levels at its healthiest. These primarily work by reducing starch digestion and absorption.

Consumption of millets gives a significant boost to one’s cardiovascular health, mainly owing to their high percentages of dietary fibres. Alternately, millets contain a high percentage of carbohydrates (fibers) and lignins which are extremely beneficial for one’s vascular health.

4. Low GI foods

Foods that have a lower glycemic index do not spike blood sugar levels upon consumption. So energy is released in the body in a sustainable manner.

This ensures that one does not feel hungry frequently and makes it easier for one to overcome sugar cravings. Diabetes, heart disorders and obesity are some of the issues that Low GI foods help overcome.

Apples, peaches, oranges and cherries are some low glycemic fruits.

As you build proximity nature, you come to realize that it is natural resources which withhold the key to eternal health and wellness. Welcome to the Goa Wellness Festival, 2018. We look forward to facilitate a delightful enlightening experience for every one of our esteemed guests.

A Guide To South Indian Cuisine

Contrary to popular perception it is not all idlis, dosas, vada and sambhar, the region provides for an amazing array of seafood, meats as well as some incredible vegetarian preparations.

Here is only a glimpse into the many-hued tastes of Southern India.

Karnataka

This is the state that brought about the Udupi revolution in the country, if not the world. But there is so much more Karnataka offers! Take the bisi bele bhath for example. This spicy delicacy full of fresh vegetables and lentils is topped off with a unique blend of masalas which is made with coriander, fenugreek urad and chana dal. These masalas, pastes and pickles are a pillar of the cuisine of this region. The state is also famed for its chutneys, the red chilli chutney being one of the most favoured. Coconut, red chillies, chana dal and garlic, tamarind, cloves, and ginger to add flavour, and voila! The delectable Kundapura Koli Saaru is something you’d not want to miss if you love your chicken hot. This curry like chicken preparation uses the Kundapura paste, a unique paste consisting of coconut, red chillies and cumin seeds and whole coriander.

Kerala

The cuisine of God’s own country is just as beautiful as the countryside itself. Seafood is huge in this part of the country and so is their love of their all-year favorite – the mighty coconut. The delicacies of this state range from the tangy shrimp coconut curry that can make any meal seem better, to the sweet slurping delight of the much-famed aviyal. Take the simple breakfast of puttu and kadala curry – steamed rice and coconut rolls with a spicy curry of black Bengal gram (black chana), filling, delicious and easy on the stomach. If you want something exotic to try the kallummakaya, a tangy mussels curry that is sure to make any sea-food lover go weak in their knees.

Andhra Pradesh

The home of the hallowed Hyderabadi biryani is one of the spiciest food destinations to visit in the country, if not the world. Their liberal use of spices, chilli and tamarind make the experience here one of a kind. The Andhra style chicken curry is something you’d want to go for if you enjoy spices and tender chicken. If you are a meat lover you would not want to miss the gongura maans, a lamb curry made with gongura leaves that are sure to leave you panting for more. While focusing on the spices, this region also serves up some brilliant desserts. The boorelu, or friend sweet dumplings are a delicacy for every occasion, made with urad dal and jaggery.

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Food is usually differentiated in the following brackets – Sweet, sour, astringent, bitter, salty and pungent. The cuisines here are both spicy and mildly flavoured depending upon the area of preparation and there is no particular trend in the use of spice here. There are some scrumptious delights that this region boasts of. The unique Chettinad cuisine, famed for its use of spices is well known around the world. Try the urlai roast, roasted baby potatoes in a glorious masala mixture if you are a strict vegetarian. Sea food lovers would want to get their bibs on and dig into a bowl of steaming meen kozhambu, a spicy fish curry that is paired with steamed rice.

Each state in this region provides a different experience, all of which bound together by a few common but delicious gastronomic threads. Truly, Southern India is a palette of a thousand flavors.

Various Knife Cutting Techniques

Chopping and cutting might not be the most relevant activity in the kitchen but it can make the life of the chef much easier and the food on the plate much prettier. There are some cutting and chopping techniques used regularly in the kitchen that can be learned by anyone.

  • Slice

This is the most basic cutting technique that anyone who works in the kitchen will know how to do. This technique is often used on vegetables such as baby marrows and cucumber. Depending on which fruit or vegetable you are slicing will determine which knife to use, namely whether it should be serrated or straight edged. Depending on what type of dish you are making the thickness of the slice will vary too.

  • Julienne

This is a technique similar to slicing but not quite. The style leans more towards the cutting of strips. To achieve this type of cut, you would first need to top and tail (cut off both ends) the vegetable. The seeds will then need to be removed to cut the vegetable into rectangular pieces. After it has been cut into rectangular pieces you will need to cut it into strips along the longer side.

  • Dice

Dicing is another common cutting technique used by anyone who works in the kitchen. Chefs often use this technique on onions when making anything from pasta sauce to curries. There are also different sizes that you can cut the onion into depending on what you are fond of. Professionals prefer to leave the root of the onion intact when using the dicing technique. They do this so that they can keep the onion together during this process.

  • Mince

Use this technique when dealing with garlic. Many people prefer not to have pieces of garlic floating around in their food but love the flavour. Mincing is a way to get the flavour into the dish without having large pieces in the food. Crush the garlic with the flat side of the chef’s knife then constantly chop and repeat until you have miniature pieces.

  • Chiffonade

This technique might sound complicated and difficult but it really is quite simple. Chefs often use this technique to create a presentable garnish for the plate. All you do is roll up the herbs or leaves such as basil or spinach and slice them to make coils of garnish.The type of knife varies on the type of food you are preparing. Some knives can’t be sharpened normally such as serrated knives and birds beak knives. Always note which knife is best for certain vegetables, fruit or meat to avoid the fast degrading of the blade. A cash and carry wholesaler will have a wide variety of knives to complement your cooking methods.

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5 Quick Tips For Preparing And Cooking Grilled Pizza

Whether you’re grilling for a small group or a large crowd, pizza is a great choice for every party menu. It’s easy to make yet filling, not to mention delicious! It’s also a safe choice even if you’re expecting children at your party. These 5 quick tips for preparing and cooking grilled pizza will help you have a wonderful meal at your next backyard barbecue.

Use a gas grill if you’re a beginner

If it’s your first time to grill pizza, experts recommend using a gas grill because the temperature can be regulated easily. A charcoal grill works fine as well (some even claim it’s better for achieving the delicious smoky taste), but given that the dough cooks quickly, you would have to be extra attentive to keep your heat at the right temperature until the dish is cooked through.

Choose your dough

The dough is the heart of a pizza, so be sure to get a good quality one that can withstand the heat of the grill. You can buy some ready-made ones at your local grocery store but you can always opt to make your own for better results.

Prepare toppings beforehand

Whether you’re baking or grilling pizza, it’s important to have your toppings ready and within reach once you start the fire. Make sure that you’ve sliced your onions, grated your cheese, chopped your mushrooms and any other preparations needed. Experts also recommend pre-cooking your meat so that once it hits the grates, it will be cooked through.

Flip the dough right

Flipping the dough while cooking on the grates isn’t the easiest thing to do especially if you’re a first timer. Use pizza peels (wooden or metal) for this. Use long-handled tongs to assist with turning the dough over – grab the dough at the edge then slide it onto the peel for turning. However, if your peel is metal, you can use it as a spatula for turning the dough.

Prepare your cheese

Cheese is one of the ingredients that may make or break your grilled pizza. Make sure to use grated or very finely diced cheese for your pizza so that it melts faster with the heat of the grill and cover your dough evenly once cooked.

Many people say that pizza cooked on a grill is the best variety because it has a more natural taste to it on top of the appetizing smoky flavour. Follow these 5 quick tips for preparing and cooking grilled pizza for better results!

The Difference Between Ghee and Cooking Oil

You might come across a recipe that requires you to add ghee instead of oil. There isn’t a big difference and you can substitute ghee with cooking oil if you prefer.

Ghee is a type of clarified butter that is prepared from cow’s milk. Normally, the ghee is made by heating up the butter in a deep pan to avoid spilling. The butter is stirred slowly to avoid remixing the fat. The oil from the butter will eventually separate from the butter.

You will notice that when you cook with butter it will release froth once heated and melted. This froth will be strained so that none of the oil will be wasted and discarded. The leftover oil from the butter will turn into a pale yellow which will be strained to remove any remaining bits and then stored as what is known as ghee.

On the other hand, cooking oil is a neutral and non-polar chemical substance which means that it does not have an electric charge and will not conduct electricity if it is in such a situation. It is also a sticky or greasy liquid when it is exposed to regular temperatures.

The extraction process of oil is dependent on the type of fruit or seed it comes from. For instance, the sunflower seeds are compressed until the liquid gets released. It will also be refined to change the appearance so that it looks like the cooking oil on the shelves. Other cooking oil may also go through processes to change the taste and smell of it thus making it more appealing.

In some cuisines, the type of cooking oil used in the dish is very important. Flavour is important and chefs prefer to achieve unique textures and flavours that are native to their culture.

Ghee is lighter on the stomach because of the way it has been extracted from the butter. There are some people who struggle to digest food because of the viscous properties it may have. With ghee, a person does not have to worry about uncomfortable indigestion.

Cooking oil, however, has properties that can only come from fruits, vegetables and nuts. This means that there are other fats, such as trans fats, that your body needs to maintain a healthy immune system.

Those are the properties and differences between ghee and cooking oil. It is up to you as the chef to decide on which one is best suited to your recipe.

5 Essential Tips For Grilling During Winter

Grilling during the winter season is a lot different than doing so in the summer. There are more elements to consider and the weather is overall more harsh. Not to mention that it’s freezing cold! But that’s what makes a fresh off the grill burger, hotdog or steak more appetizing – a warm, delicious meal on a cold day.

Here are 5 essential tips for grilling during winter that you can try this holiday season:

A cover makes all the difference

Using a cover for your grill, whether it’s winter time or not, ensures that your grill will be protected from harsh elements outside, making its life longer. When it’s snowing, all the more a cover is needed – it will protect your grill from heavy rainfall and will keep it snow-free. Just have a brush or a small shovel nearby to dust the snow off the cover before cooking.

Keep extra fuel

If you’re grilling using charcoal, it’s ideal to have some extra as charcoal burns quicker because of the cold and the wind – you don’t want your barbecue to be cut short because you’ve run out of fuel. If you’re grilling using gas, make sure that your tank is full before each barbecue session to make sure that your grill is able to maintain the right temperatures to cook food evenly.

Don’t over check

Once the lid is down, set your timer and wait for your food to cook properly. When you check too much, the winter weather will cause your grill’s temperature to drop and your food won’t be cooked evenly. Keep the lid closed and check only when necessary.

Practice safety

During winter, the grease can accumulate at the bottom of your grill quickly which increases the risk of fire. Have a bottle of water ready (it’s not as easy to access the hose during winter as it is in summer time) or a fire extinguisher ready in case of fire or flare ups.

Pre-heat your grill earlier

When the weather is cold, your grill takes a lot longer to heat up before you can cook anything on it. You also have to allow some time to melt off the grease first. Also, it’s ideal to pre-heat your serving platter – when the food is cooked, you don’t want it to cool too quickly. Serve warm, delicious grilled food on a pre-heated serving plate.

A Healthy Way of Cooking Rice & Grains

Cooking rice and grains is a bit more complicated than cooking other foods. While too less heat may leave them uncooked or unevenly cooked, heating them too much may make them mushy and ruin their natural flavor. Similarly, while adding too much water may make them watery, using less water may cause them to be dry and not be soft and fluffy like you want them to. The thing is – the cookware plays a great role in cooking them with just the right amount of water and heat distributed evenly and thoroughly.

Most conventional cookware made from metals or ceramics fail to serve this purpose. First of all, the heat from this cookware is too harsh and is never evenly distributed. It’s usually more at the bottom than at the top which leaves the grains unevenly cooked. Secondly, there is no efficient way to filter out excess water so that just the right amount of water may be left that makes the grains moist and fluffy – just the way everybody likes them.

Another serious problem with conventional cookware is that most metals and ceramics leach toxins into food while cooking. I did an alkaline baking soda test on some cookware to confirm this fact. The alkalinity of food makes it reactive to the metal ions that this cookware leach. So, when an alkaline baking soda solution is heated in such cookware, they do the same to it. The test is pretty easy to do though:

  1. Boil 2-3 cups of water in any pot, when it starts boiling add 2 tsp of baking soda, boil for 5 more minutes. Turn stove off.
  2. Wait till cool enough to taste then taste the water (take a sip). If you taste metals, that’s what you’re eating! If water has a rubber/paint taste it’s the chemicals from enamel/glaze.

As a control, stir 2 tsp of baking soda to 1 glass of water and take a sip – you will taste just the baking soda.

I did the same test on a pure clay cookware as well and surprisingly it didn’t leach. I did some research and found out why it happened. Pure clay is a naturally inert material and if no chemicals are used in manufacturing process or for glazing, it stays that way and so, doesn’t leach.

Unlike metal/ceramic, pure clay cookware radiates far-infrared heat that is food-friendly and penetrates deep into each grain to cook evenly and thoroughly. They are good heat retainers, so you can turn the stove off even before the water fully boils – the grains keep cooking with the heat retained in the pot.

Pure clay pots are semi-porous which lets excess water evaporate and leave just enough moisture in cooked grains to make them soft and fluffy. I cooked rice in them and noticed that they were delicious and each grain was separate from each other without adding any fats, oils or additives – the pot took care of everything. I can confidently say that pure clay pots are ideal for cooking rice and grains.

Miriam’s Earthen Cookware is known to be the only makers of pure clay pots and I got mine from them. They have chosen this healthy material, pure clay for making cookware after a lot of research and people are really happy and satisfied with this healthy way of cooking, as evident from Google reviews.