Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How Juicing Fruits And Vegetables Can Enrich Your Diet

There has been a growing concern over the rapid deterioration of health among professionals. If you have been living on instant meals for most of you life, you may be subjecting your body to more stress than usual.

It's high time that you started watching what you eat.

The body needs proper nutrition for it to function properly. For people who are always on the go, incorporating fruit and vegetable juices in their daily meals is one of the many options that they can try. Juicing is an innovation that was popularized to provide an answer to the dilemma of being able to get the most out of vegetables and fruits.
While everyone understands the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, there are still a lot of people who are not too keen on the idea of eating their greens on every meal. Taking your fruits and vegetables in juice form is a good alternative especially if you don’t have much time to sit down for a proper meal.
There are lots of benefits that can be had from incorporating fresh fruit and vegetable juices in your diet. In fact, there are many aspects in which fresh juice can be much better than eating cooked or processed fruits and vegetables.

Maximized nutrition

Patients who are suffering from gastrointestinal problems are advised to go on a liquid diet because it’s much easier for the body to take liquids. The body is capable of absorbing nutrients much more efficiently when food is taken in juice form than when it is in solid form. This is mainly because it doesn’t take a lot of effort to digest juice and break its components down into simpler forms. With solid food, the stomach will need to work on breaking it down to turn it into a semi-liquid state before it is suitable for absorption into the bloodstream.
Cooking fruits and vegetables tends to cause nutrients in food to disappear. Heat can also destroy the enzymes found in these food products. Studies show that when vegetables are subjected to high temperatures, most of their nutritional value tends to get lost.
Juicing fresh fruits and vegetables helps to retain their nutritional value. It keeps enzymes viable and usable by the body. Without enzymes, several different processes in your system will cease to function. These compounds provide some sort of a go-signal for different chemical reactions in the body to start.
Hydration
Juicing is the most effective way to restore the body’s health because you’re preparing food in such a way that is easier for the body to process. It can also enhance your fluid intake as fruits and vegetables naturally contain water. Fresh juice not only provides you with most of the essential nutrients that you body needs, it also keeps you hydrated even when you don’t get to drink a lot of water throughout the day. With other types of drinks such as carbonated sodas, liquor and coffee, the body has the tendency to eliminate more water than it takes in. Juices contain water that can be readily utilized by the body because it comes in a clean and pure form.
Healthy habit
Fruit and vegetable juicing enables you to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Fresh fruit drinks can take the place of certain beverages that you tend to take in daily. With a steady supply of fruits and vegetables through juicing, you essentially gain a body that is revitalized. It also trains your palate to be more tolerant with certain types of food that you wouldn’t normally eat. For instance, if you don’t like eating vegetables a lot, taking them in juice form makes them more palatable especially when they are prepared properly. Fruits can also complement most types of instant meals that are available these days.
Easy preparation
Juicing can be a big step towards getting proper nourishment for your body. In a world where processed food products are the mainstays in people’s refrigerators, it’s important to at least incorporate easy-to-prepare but nutritious food in one’s daily meals. Juices do not take a lot of time to prepare. All you need is a steady stock of fresh fruits and vegetables and a juice extractor and you’re good to go. It also doesn’t take rocket science to create them. In fact, the possibilities and combinations are endless when it comes to fruit and vegetable juices so it’s difficult to grow tired of this particular habit.

Monday, August 30, 2010

How Is Dry Ice Made?

Anyone old enough to remember "ice boxes", will remember the daily deliveries of huge blocks of ice that kept their meat and food cool inside the icebox, a forerunner of the refrigerator. But those blocks were hugely messy when they melted, and turned to liquid.

That's one problem you don't have with dry ice. Because it is just what its name says- dry ice. And when it "melts", it is actually changing its state from a solid to a gas. Dry ice is carbon dioxide gas that has been subjected to high pressure.

Just as the nature of water changes according to the sea level, boiling at lower temperatures, at lower pressures, carbon dioxide also has a solid-liquid-gas transformation related to pressure. At normal pressure, CO2 is not quite liquid, and not quite a gas. But when confined within the high-pressure chamber of a fire extinguisher, it becomes a liquid.

To make dry ice, liquid carbon dioxide is released from a high pressure container, after which there is a rapid evaporation of some of the gas into the air, which results in almost instantaneous cooling of the rest of the escaping liquid, to freezing point. The ice/foam like product is then subjected to compression, to create blocks of ice whose surface temperature averages around -109F.

The very density, and the slow process of evaporation after compression, makes dry ice the perfect way to ship perishables over very long distances. There are no messy puddles of water because any evaporation turns the dry ice to a gas released into the air. For this very important reason, dry ice should never be carried in a closed vehicle, and/or kept in a room without proper ventilation. When the CO2 content in normal air rises about its standard 5% level, it becomes toxic.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

How I spent my Vacation in Amsterdam

During the vacation I got to see many of the wonders that Amsterdam has to offer. One of the first things I went to see was the Van Gogh Museum. Having just gotten off the plane I was tired, but some of his art is just amazing to see, and I did not want to wait to see them.

After going to the museum I headed into the city center to look around, maybe do some shopping and get some food.

I had herd many things about Amsterdam and just thought that many of them were blow out of proportion, well I am here to tell you that they are all true. The first thing that hits you is the strong smell of Marijuana, and then you start to see the almost completely naked girls in the windows.

As if the prostitutes in the windows were not enough there are live sex shows and sex shops selling every imaginable sex toy known to man on every street, but this was not what interested me.

Then as I continued walking around I started to notice something besides pot, and naked females, I saw casinos.

I grew up in New Jersey, just about 2 hours from Atlantic City, and after my 18th birthday I spend a good amount of time in the casinos. So I decided to go in and check some of them out.

Well I wound up spending most of the rest of my time in those casinos. The first one I went to was Video Gaming machines only, but they had video poker, video blackjack and Video Slot machines as well, I did not really do well her in this place so I only spent about an hour, and about 100 Euro, then left.

The next place I found was a nicer place. Unlike in New Jersey, in these casinos people are dressed up in their nice clothes instead of jeans, sneakers and T-Shirts. This casino had actual table games so I tried to play some Blackjack, but there was a player at the table that either had no idea on how to play or he was somehow involved in cheating with another player, but I am inclined to think he just did not know how to play blackjack.

So I started playing at the Roulette table, and I was doing really well, at one point I was up about 400 Euro before I started losing. So I decided to leave this casino and go walking around for a while.

The next day I found myself in another casino, and I decided to see if my luck was back, I went to a slot machine and put in some money and on the third spin I won another 200 Euro, so feeling lucky I decided to enter the poker room, and that is when things got really interesting. I got into a game and boy were these guys good, but I was winning just as much as I was losing, and in the end I may have even walked away with a few Euros more then when I walked in.

After playing for about 5 hours I decided to go outside and walk around a bit to stretch my legs. I would up deciding to sit down and have a cup of coffee, but I did not know the difference between a coffee shop and a caf?.

In Amsterdam a caf? is a place to sit and have a coffee, but a coffee shop is a place to purchase and smoke Marijuana. So as I was sitting there drinking my coffee I noticed several people rolling joints. Now I have herd about this and I hade smelled plenty of pot while I was there, but I did not realize it was sold out in the open like this. So I decided to buy some pot and try it.

I went to the counter where I saw others buying their weed and the guy behind the counter was very nice and showed me a menu of what they had for sale. I wound up buying a joint of white widow. The man behind the counter told me his was very strong stuff, but I was not prepared for this.

I managed to smoke about half of the joint, before I was hit with this feeling. I have been a drinker for many years, but even in my college days I was never out of my head like this.

Eventually I managed to get out of there and get some fresh air, and some waffles. I decided, this was the time to back into the casino and win my money back, and in the end I lost another 600 Euro, and wound up falling off my chair in the casino and needed to be helped out.

So if you are going to be going to Amsterdam, be careful the grass is really strong.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

How Horoscopes Help you Win

Many people believe that by using astrology you can tell your future, and maybe it can not, but by following the advice given in Horoscopes many people find great luck, so how else can it be explained.

This phenomenon can be explained by the fact that if you believe it is true that you will have good luck on a certain day you probably will.

This does not mean that the prediction was right, but if you believe good things are going to happen to you at work, in your personal life or in a casino, you will give off a positive energy that attracts other positive energies and this will help good things happen.

Some people do not believe this theory either. They feel that if you believe good things are going to happen and they do it is because you were in a better mood and making better decisions which will bring about better results.

No one can tell how exactly gambling horoscopes help a person win in a casino, but the fact remains that they do help people win all the time.

Studies have been done to try to show exactly how horoscopes work, but no one has ever been able to come up with an explanation that seems believable. All they have been able to show is that the more you believe the better and more accurate the predictions will be.

This may be because if you really believe in the accuracy of the gambling Horoscope you will find things that you rationalize to make fit into the horoscopes prediction.

No one has ever been able to find any reason any form of prognosticating works, but people do believe in it and it is that belief in it that seems to make the things come true.

Studies have been done in the past and have proven beyond doubt that a person who has a more positive outlook will tend to have better luck and will generally be a happier person; where as a person with a negative outlook will constantly have negative events take place around them.

The only explanation scientists have ever given for this is to say that the average human only uses 10% of the brain and that the explanation for these events is hidden in the 90% of the brain we do not use, and that maybe if and when we learn the secrete for unlocking these areas of the brain we will then be able to get a better understanding of how all types of psychic predictions work.

But until then all I can tell you is that if you believe that the prediction will come true then it will come true.

By reading your horoscope and waiting until it says you will have a good day, then going to the casino to do some gambling you will greatly increase your chances of having a winning day and the more you believe it will happen the more it increases your chances of being successful.

Friday, August 27, 2010

How Does A Refrigerator Work?

In the summertime, have you ever gotten out of a swimming pool and then felt very cold standing in the sun? That's because the water on your skin is evaporating. The air carries off the water vapor, and with it some of the heat is being taken away from your skin.

This is similar to what happens inside older refrigerators. Instead of water, though, the refrigerator uses chemicals to do the cooling.
There are two things that need to be known for refrigeration.

1. A gas cools on expansion.

2. When you have two things that are different temperatures that touch or are near each other, the hotter surface cools and the colder surface warms up. This is a law of physics called the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Old Refrigerators

If you look at the back or bottom of an older refrigerator, you'll see a long thin tube that loops back and forth. This tube is connected to a pump, which is powered by an electric motor.

Inside the tube is Freon, a type of gas. Freon is the brand name of the gas. This gas, chemically is called Chloro-Flouro-Carbon or CFC. This gas was found to hurt the environment if it leaks from refrigerators. So now, other chemicals are used in a slightly different process (see next section below).

CFC starts out as a liquid. The pump pushes the CFC through a lot of coils in the freezer area. There the chemical turns to a vapor. When it does, it soaks up some of the heat that may be in the freezer compartment. As it does this, the coils get colder and the freezer begins to get colder.

In the regular part of your refrigerator, there are fewer coils and a larger space. So, less heat is soaked up by the coils and the CFC vapor.

The pump then sucks the CFC as a vapor and forces it through thinner pipes which are on the outside of the refrigerator. By compressing it, the CFC turns back into a liquid and heat is given off and is absorbed by the air around it. That's why it might be a little warmer behind or under your refrigerator.
Once the CFC passes through the outside coils, the liquid is ready to go back through the freezer and refrigerator over and over.

Today's Refrigerators

Modern refrigerators don't use CFC. Instead they use ammonia gas. Ammonia gas turns into a liquid when it is cooled to -27 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.5 degrees Celsius).

A motor and compressor squeezes the ammonia gas. When it is compressed, a gas heats up as it is pressurized. When you pass the compressed gas through the coils on the back or bottom of a modern refrigerator, the hot ammonia gas can lose its heat to the air in the room.

Remember the law of thermodynamics.

As it cools, the ammonia gas can change into ammonia liquid because it is under a high pressure.

The ammonia liquid flows through what's called an expansion valve, a tiny small hole that the liquid has to squeeze through. Between the valve and the compressor, there is a low-pressure area because the compressor is pulling the ammonia gas out of that side.

When the liquid ammonia hits a low pressure area it boils and changes into a gas. This is called vaporizing.

The coils then go through the freezer and regular part of the refrigerator where the colder ammonia in the coil pulls the heat out of the compartments. This makes the inside of the freezer and entire refrigerator cold.

The compressor sucks up the cold ammonia gas, and the gas goes back through the same process over and over.

How Does the Temperature Stay the Same Inside?

A device called a thermocouple (it's basically a thermometer) can sense when the temperature in the refrigerator is as cold as you want it to be. When it reaches that temperature, the device shuts off the electricity to the compressor.

But the refrigerator is not completely sealed. There are places, like around the doors and where the pipes go through, that can leak a little bit.

So when the cold from inside the refrigerator starts to leak out and the heat leaks in, the thermocouple turns the compressor back on to cool the refrigerator off again.

That's why you'll hear your refrigerator compressor motor coming on, running for a little while and then turning itself off.

Today's refrigerators, however, are very energy efficient. Ones sold today use about one-tenth the amount of electricity of ones that were built 20 years ago. So, if you have an old, old refrigerator, it's better to buy a new one because you'll save money (and energy) over a long period of time.

For more information go to:

• Argone National Laboratory - Ask A Scientist (http://newton.dep.anl.gov/newton/askasci/1993/eng/ENG30.HTM)

• Mr. Hand's 8th Grade Science Site (www.mansfieldct.org/schools/mms/staff/hand/heatrefrig.htm)

• How Stuff Works - Refrigerator (www.howstuffworks.com/refrigerator.htm)

• Science Treasure Trove - refrigerator page (www.education.eth.net/acads/treasure_trove/refrigerator.htm)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How Do We Make The Perfect Coffee

Drive down just about any street in the United States and you will spot people holding coffee cups walking into their place of employment or just on a lazy morning stroll. With specialty coffee shops strategically tucked in our business districts, one would think coffee has always been in the United States, but this ever growing trend is not an original American idea.

It is believed that the first coffee trees were found in Ethiopia. Several urban legends surround the discovery of the coffee bean – the most familiar being a farmer who watched his goats eating the beans, and out of curiosity, ingested one and was impressed with the surge of energy the bean produced - but cannot be substantiated. But what we do know is that coffee beans found its way through the Arabian Peninsula that led to Yemen and Arabia. Yemen was the first area to cultivate the coffee bean. From there, it made its way to Turkey, where coffee beans were first roasted and then crushed and boiled in water, producing a very primitive version of the coffee we drink today.

Trade merchants brought coffee to Europe, and it quickly took off. Coffee houses popped up rampantly, and were the sites of philosophical and other intellectual discussions.

Then, in the 1700’s a French captain brought a tree from Europe to the Americas, and planted it on the Caribbean Island of Martinique. From there, coffee consumption spread like wild fire in Central and South America.

And in the mid-1800’s, Italy put its own spin on coffee by perfecting espresso in their region. France was known for making the first espresso machine, but the Italians found a way to add to the technology. They were the first manufacturers of the now ever popular espresso machine, and espresso remains a significant aspect of their culture today.

America added its own spin to coffee consumption. In the 1970’s, the “coffee revolution” was born in Seattle, WA. At that point, the latte – a coffee and milk beverage - was created, and sought after throughout the United States. This ingenious invention that has American buzzing around their jobs and life helped change the quality of coffee we drink now. It has also begun to quickly spread to other parts of the world – coffee shops and other coffee venues can be seen just about anywhere globally – but Americans are still dubbed the largest consumers of coffee.

Today, coffee is one of the largest world commodities – it falls second to petroleum world-wide. The coffee industry employs over 20 million people, 5 million alone in Brazil. Coffee industry workers cultivate and harvest over 3 billion plants all over the world – which helps support the approximately 400 billion cups of coffee consumed each year. In the United States, the coffee industry pulls in annual revenues of over a billion.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hotels: How to Get Free Gifts

Planning to visit Las Vegas or any other vacational resort where casinos are a major portion of their business? I have just the thing for you. Here, I will show you how to pass off as a High Roller and collect many complimentary items and gifts.

What is the Secret?
The Secret is that you have to make them believe you are rich and love gambling. In short you have to impersonate a High Roller.

Why?
Hotels love high rollers because these players leave behind thousands of dollars each visit. And the real cool part about this is that if you act the role, casinos will lavish you with the same gifts and complimentary items that a real High Roller would receive.

How ?
It is not that difficult to fool the hotel and resorts with some finesse and true self-confidence. It can be done.

1) The Way you Dress:
Elegant and smart is the way to go. Opt out of the baseball cap, t-shirt and jeans. Try and wear a suit or at least a regular buttoned shirt with an elegant dark jacket. It was Shakespeare who said that the clothes maketh a man, and so too, when going to a hotel resort. They judge you according to how you dress, so dress according to the role.

2) A Large Pad of Notes:
Yes. Just like in the movies. Carry a large bundle of notes with you and keep them in plain sight. You do not have to really take with you that much. Instead, take a few notes and place them at the top and at the bottom of real note-size paper cuttings. Just remember to never expose this while you are in the casino. Use other notes you’re your wallet instead. But do it nonchalantly so that none of the casino personnel will notice.

3) Always Flash Your Notes Around: No matter where you go, whether its to the hotel restaurant for lunch or for to the bar. They will be watching. From time to time, use that money to play at a range of table games or video game and bet some of that money. Remember you must use some of your money to play but just do not use all of it.

4) Play Complicated Games:
This is one of the more problematic things to do and requires some training at home. Learn on your own how to lay and how to bet on the high rolling games such as roulette, baccarat and craps. You could also play poker or Texas holdem in one of the larger ante tables, but in any case stick to your plan and you will soon reap the flowers.

Conclusion:
Above, I have outlined some of the more practical methods by which one can save money by receiving gifts from the casino. These gifts range from casino comps (free money to play), room deals that can get nearly free and many others such as free drinks, clothes, coupon to stores in Las Vegas and many more. Note that what you are doing here is completely legal provided you don't take up a false name or falsify your passport card.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hot Sauce History – A Lip-smacking, Mouth-watering Story

The hot sauce history is the history of enterprising men fired by the fiery chilly into crafting the hot sauce that is a rage among the gourmet lovers. The hot sauce history also chronicles their ventures to create ingenious hot sauce variations that grace almost every cuisine in the world.

Sauce historians have gathered information mainly from the labels on the hot sauce bottles housed in private collections. Hot sauce advertisements obtained from city directories and newspapers are other resources. Information in general is sparse, but whatever are available, points to a rich and varied hot sauce history.

The flaming hot sauce had a humble beginning in the form of cayenne sauces in Massachusetts way back in1807.

1849 is a landmark year in the history of hot sauce. The first sauce import took place in 1849 when England’s Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce made its way into the USA and Colonel White raised the first chronicled Tabasco chilly crop.

Colonel White prepared the world’s first Tabasco sauce and advertised it. Hot sauce was now well and truly geared towards commercialization.

A variation of the hot sauce came out in 1860 when J. McCollick & Co. of New York City produced a Bird Pepper Sauce.

But the hot sauce really captured the imagination of the public with Edward McIlhenny’s ripened Tabasco hot sauce in 1868.

1870 and 1906 are high watermarks in hot sauce history whence McIlhenny secured a patent on the Tabasco variety of hot sauce and the McIlhenny clan trademarked the Tabasco brand, respectively.

Hot sauce marketing broke new grounds with Chicago-based William Railton’s 1877 advertisement copy for his Chilly Sauce, which positioned it as an exotic variety with medicinal benefits.

The legendary Poppie’s Hotter ‘n Hell Pepper Sauce had its moorings in south Louisiana under Poppie Devillier in 1893.

The success of the Tabasco hot sauce opened the floodgates to experimentation with various flavors. Thus in 1916, Charles Erath of New Orleans produced the Red Hot Creole Pepper Sauce; in 1923 Crystal Hot Sauce made its debut courtesy Baumer Foods, Louisiana; in 1941 the La Victoria Sales Company created a stir with red taco sauce, green taco sauce and enchilada sauce.

These experimentations were not confined to only the entrepreneurs. Homemakers too were dabbling their hands at hot sauces, as evident from recipes for barbecue and curry sauces found in “Mrs. Hill’s New Cookbook”. Hot sauce had spread like wild fire.

The hot sauce juggernaut rolled on with David Pace’s picante sauce, made in 1947 and Chris Way’s Dat'l Do It Sauce and Hellish Relish, in the beginning of the 1980s.

Hot sauce history says that Los Angeles leads the way when it comes to hot sauce consumption, with 3.3 million gallons consumed in 1990.

Modern hot sauce history is replete with manufacturers like Sauces & Salsas Ltd, Le Saucier, the first dedicated sauce and hot sauce retail outlet and Chi-Chi’s vying to grab a share of the consumers’ appetite. Hot sauce surely sells like hot cakes.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hot Sauce – Heating Things Up

There is nothing like a dash of hot sauce to liven up even the blandest of all dishes. In fact, true to the genre of sauces all over the world, the hot sauce is not only an accompaniment but also does honors as the prime ingredient in many dishes.

The term hot sauce could not have been more apt for it refers to any hot and spicy sauce made from chilly peppers or chilly extracts and vinegar. Thus, you can have sauces made from any kind of chilly pepper (i.e., the fruits of plants hailing from the Capsicum family) like red peppers, habaneras or tabasco. The Tabasco sauce is the most popular amongst all the hot sauces available.

How hot your hot sauce is going to be is determined by the type of pepper being used. Thus, you have the bell pepper with a barely-there taste at one end of the spectrum and the robust habaneros, which will work up quite a steam, at the other end. Interestingly, it is a substance called capsaicin, which imparts the characteristic heat to the pepper.

The hot sauce is a popular constituent in many Mexican and Cajun dishes and in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. However, its most widespread use is, as a barbequeue accompaniment.

Barbecue sauce is poured onto grilled or barbecued meat. It is also used as a dipper. A hot barbecue sauce is usually a blend of sweet, sour and spicy elements and the most popular combination contains tomato flavorings, vinegar and sugar.

Barbecue sauces come in myriad forms, with every region boasting of their native BBQ sauce. Thus you have the fiery Texas variety with a tomato base, the vinegar and tomato based Arkansas variety tempered down by molasses, the white mayonnaise based Alabama type and the black pepper, mustard and vinegar concoction hailing from South Carolina.

For all the fire they spew, hot pepper sauces are easy to prepare.

Take a few peppers (the number wholly depends on how hot your sauce will be) like habanera or tabasco, a cup of water, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, one bell pepper, a tablespoon of paprika, salt to taste and cumin if you so desire. Chop or grind the peppers and boil it with all the ingredients. Lastly, crush this heady mixture in a blender. Your hot pepper sauce is ready.

A word of caution

While working with pepper and pepper sauces, do remember to don the gloves. Some peppers are nothing short of live ammunition and are known to cause skin irritation and are especially nasty when they get into the eyes.

There is more to a pepper than just the tangy taste. Peppers are storehouses of vitamins A, C and E, potassium and folic acid. So apart from the distinct taste, the hot sauces also impart some nutritional value to the dishes they grace.

The hot sauce holds its own in whatever dish it appears. As the saying goes, like it or loathe it, you just cannot ignore it.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hot Chocolate Hits The Spot

I love almost everything about winter. I love the colder weather, I love the snow that falls to cover the ground and tree limbs, and I love taking any chance I get to be outside and enjoy the unique time of year. There is nothing better than taking a long winter hike or spending a few hours outside building a snowman with children or friends. As much as I love being outside, sometimes the cold air gets to me and I just need a break. My favorite way to warm up after a cold afternoon is to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate.

I'm not sure what it is about hot chocolate that I love so much. It seems to me the perfect beverage: warm, creamy, milky, and filled with lots of chocolate. What is there not to love about that? I have friends who prefer a latte or a cup of tea. You will never see me being unfaithful to my favorite drink. Whether I am at home, work, or visiting with friends at a local coffee shop it is hot chocolate that I will always choose.

I guess part of why I love hot chocolate so much is because it reminds me of my childhood. I have many fond memories of mom fixing me a cup of hot chocolate after a long day of playing outside or sometimes, or, if I was lucky, after just an ordinary winter school day for no reason at all. After my mom mixed the ingredients (whatever they were) just right, I got to add marshmallows to the top. I loved this part. I could adorn my cup of hot chocolate with as many tiny mallows as I wanted. After experimenting with several amounts of mallows in my hot chocolate I remember finally settling on thirteen as the perfect number to place in my cup. Unlike most people, the number thirteen was a magic number to me, or at least it felt magical because of the way those thirteen marshmallows made my hot chocolate even better.

As an adult I have continued to love hot chocolate just as much. I love coming home from a long day of work and stopping in the kitchen to make a perfect cup. I have a special recipe that I have been using for a few years now and it just keeps tasting better. Friends and family have asked me to share it but I just cannot bring myself to do it. Maybe if they appreciated hot chocolate as much as I do then I'd let them in on the secret. Until then, I'll keep my recipe to myself and enjoy inviting them over to share good conversation over my now famous hot chocolate. I guess I'll even let them put in their own marshmallows and try to find their own perfect
number.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Honey – Important Health Facts!

Honey is the most known apicultural product, it is a substance that the bees produce through a complicated process of elaboration, where they absorb the nectar and deposit it in their stomach, then go back to the beehive to deliver it, throwing up repeated times; this way ferments, acid and albumen are added to the nectar. It contains most of the essential mineral elements that our system needs. There have already been found, in the honey, more than 180 different nutritional substances.

The beekeeping is a very old activity. Evidences from Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece describe ancient beekeeping and the honey is also mentioned in the Bible. It was considered sacred, and was also used to pay taxes and debts. Besides all this, it was used to draw and paint as well. Honey contains proteins, essential minerals and vitamins. It is a food of elevated energy and is also known for its medicinal and therapeutic assets. Honey is a food of easy digestion and enthusiastically assimilated by humans, constituting a healthy source of energy.

Honey consumed as food is important for the balance of the biological process of the organism. It contains glucose and fructose, which goes directly into the blood, becoming an energetic product. Honey can be used as food, as a natural sweetener and as medicine. After some time of use, it assists in the control of rheumatism and arthritis, prevents all types of respiratory illnesses and helps in the digestion. Honey is also used on the skin and is an ingredient for some shampoos. It is used extensively in the cosmetic industry as well (creams, cleanness facemasks, tonics, etc.) because of its astringent and softening qualities.

Eating honey will improve your quality of life, since it stimulates and increases physical resistance; it is slightly sedative, discouraging insomnias; it helps in the healing, it is anti-septic, digestive and laxative, helping in the treatment of gastritis; it is an expectorant fighting the cough, also of smokers. Used externally, it speeds up the healing of wounds and minor burnings, besides hydrating the skin.

With honey – and nothing else –, Nigerian doctors were able to cure serious wounds, burnings and ulcers of skin in 59 patients, which were submitted previously to conventional treatments with antibiotics without any satisfying results. First, the doctors gathered samples of the wounds to be studied in laboratory. The results had shown that the infections were caused by common bacteria – therefore more resistant – as the Pseudomonad, found frequently in infections. After that, the honey was applied on the infected skin. One week later, no micro organism appeared in the laboratory examinations. For the reason that it is slightly acid, extremely viscous and absorbs water, the honey cleaned the wounds, diminished their size and protected them from new infections. According to the Nigerian doctors, honey also has the property of being a bactericidal agent.

It has been indicated to prevent, control or cure the following illnesses:

• Respiratory diseases
• Cramps
• Intestinal disturbances
• Digestive disturbances
• Throat irritation
• Urinary irritation
• Irritation of the eyes
• Dental caries
• Illnesses of the liver
• Rheumatic pains
• Physical fatigue
• Insomnia
• Skin burn
• Stomach ulcer, etc.

The flavour, aroma and colour of the honey differ according to its botanical origin, in accordance with the flowers from where the bee has removed the nectar to manufacture it. The climate, humidity and even the altitude will interfere in these characteristics of the honey. Usually, the clear honey presents weak flavour and aroma. The honey of darker coloration is richer in proteins and minerals.

Here goes an advice: honey fattens less than sugar. 1 tea-spoon or 5g of honey = 16,4kcal. It is also the best option for athletes. Biologists concluded that honey is the best source of carbohydrates and energy for athletes and mature people.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Home Bar Stools

If you have a bar in your house or have a kitchen counter creating a partition between the kitchen and dining room, it would be a good idea to add some bar stool chairs to make the divide seem like less of a divide and add an extra bit of comfort to your home.

Bar stool chairs are a marriage between a barstool and a tall chair. They have seatbacks, cushioned fabric, leather, or wood seats, and often have armrests. These bar stool chairs are primarily for the home, to add an air of distinction to anyone’s kitchen counter or home bar, but they also fare well under the rigorous workout in the public bar or restaurant.

A relatively new concept for bar stool design has been the introduction of ergonomics (the science of comfort). Bar stool chairs that you would have in the home boast features such as tilting seats and seatbacks, adjustable height and added cushioning, these features are appearing on more and more bar stools that are being bought for home use.

Another clear benefit of this kind of bar stool in the home is versatility. The height can be adjusted so the kids can use them for doing homework, having dinner, drawing or watching TV and the adults can use them for virtually anything else. Because these are a combination of both chairs and bar stools what you end up with is a more comfortable style of seating that increases the practical uses.

Just like any piece of furniture there are multiple materials that can be used to construct a bar stool chair. The good thing about this is, these bar stools can fit in with any other furniture or any environment. Wrought iron seems to be a popular material, as well as oak, pine, and cherry. You'll also find a lot of combinations, such as stainless steel or aluminium frames around wood seats and seatbacks.

One good point to look out for is the type and quality of the cushion on the bar stools, this could be a real turning point when you come to decide on the choice of stool. This is especially important if you know the chairs will get a lot of use. Look for such durable fabrics as, vinyl, or thick leather and lots of padding and stuffing on the bar stools to make the long term sitting more comfortable for everyone.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

History Of Salsa Sauce – The Mexican Connection

The history of Salsa sauce originated with the Inca people. Salsa (combination of chilies, tomatoes and other spices) can be traced to the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas. The Spaniards first encountered tomatoes after their conquest of Mexico in 1519-1521, which marked the beginning of the history of Salsa sauce. Aztec lords combined tomatoes with chili peppers, ground squash seeds and consumed them mainly as a condiment served on turkey, venison, lobster, and fish. This combination was subsequently called salsa by Alonso de Molina in 1571.

Charles E. Erath of New Orleans was the first person in salsa sauce history who began manufacturing Extract of Louisiana Pepper, Red Hot Creole Peppersauce in 1916. A year later, La Victoria Foods started Salsa Brava in Los Angeles.

In Louisiana in 1923, Baumer Foods began manufacturing Crystal Hot Sauce and in 1928 Bruce Foods started making Original Louisiana Hot Sauce - two salsa sauce brands that are still in existence.

In 1941, Henry Tanklage formed La Victoria Sales Company to market a new La Victoria salsa line. He introduced red and green taco, and enchilada sauces - the first of salsa hot sauces in US. He took over the entire La Victoria operation in 1946, which manufactures ten different hot sauces now covering the entire salsa spectrum, including Green Chili Salsa and Red Salsa JalapeƱa.

According to the hot sauce history, salsa manufacturing in Texas began in 1947 with David and Margaret Pace and their picante sauce. In 1952, La Victoria Foods introduced the first commercial taco sauce in US and in 1955, La Preferida launched a line of salsas.

In 1975, Patti Swidler of Arizona launched Desert Rose Salsa. Four years later, in Austin (Texas), Dan Jardine began producing Jardine's commercial salsa, giving Austin the reputation in the history of Salsa Sauce as the hot sauce capital of America. Another Texas company, the El Paso Chili Company, was started in 1980 by Norma and W. Park Kerr. In 1986, Miguel's Stowe Away in Vermont launched a salsa line and in April, 1986, Sauces & Salsas Ltd. began manufacturing the Montezuma brand of hot pepper sauces and salsas in Ohio.

Between 1985 and 1990, Mexican sauce sales grew seventy-nine percent; between 1988 and 1992, the percentage of American households buying salsa increased from 16 to 36. By 1992, the top eight salsa manufacturers in the history of salsa sauce were Pace, Old El Paso, Frito-Lay, Chi-Chi's, La Victoria, Ortega, Herdez, and Newman's Own. By 1993, competition from smaller salsa companies was so fierce that Pace, Old El Paso, and six other brands saw Texas sales decline three percent.

The big news in 1994 was the buy out of two of the largest companies in the Fiery Foods Industry. Numero Uno salsa manufacturer, Pace Foods, was sold to Campbell Soup Company for an astronomical USD1.1 billion.

Some of the best sauces ever produced in the history of Salsa Sauce

Jose Goldstein Artichoke Garlic Salsa contains artichokes from Spain with mouth-watering California garlic. A sure hit with a bag of chips or your favorite meat. Great on pasta too!

La Paloma Hot Salsa and La Paloma Mild Salsa are the best of its kind. Once you savor the fresh, robust flavor of La Paloma Salsa, you'll be hooked.

Scorned Woman Salsa has won the 1st Place in Fancy Food Magazine’s Hot & Spicy Food Show in 1997.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Herb Blends and How To Use Them

Sometimes you just get tired of using the same old recipe that tastes the same time after time. But we are all so busy we are looking for easy ways to spice up are repertoire. One way that many cooks forget is to use blends of herbs to add subtle flavor distinctions. The French have been doing this forever.

The French never use just one herb in there dishes but rather a blend of herbs that they call a “bouquets garni”. Don’t be put off by that fancy name, it simply means a bouquet of herbs. The blend of herbs adds subtle but distinct flavors to every dish you prepare. The trick is to get the right blend for so no one herb dominates the dish. You want the flavors to be delicate.

With just a few herb bouquets you can change the taste of a recipe instantly. Now, old recipes have added spark and will get you plenty of “This is Greats”. Your aim here is to create a complex flavor that is balanced making each guest want to instantly take another bite. Of course there is different garni for each recipe. You want to achieve the right herbs and spices that compliment each other. You want to use the right relationship between quantities of each herb you are using.

For meat based casseroles, stews, stocks and soup, the old tried and true garni of parsley, thyme and bay leaf still apply. But go one step further and add a twist of citrus (lime, lemon, or orange) for a little zip. The formula for this garni is 3 sprigs of parsley, 1 sprig of thyme and 1 bay leaf. Get a piece of cooking string and tie the bundle together. Viola, just add the bundle to your dish and remove it before serving. Please use fresh herbs, they’re so much better. If you have to use dried, sprinkle the herbs into a patch of cheesecloth and tie the cloth together with the string. .Fine Herbes and Herbes de Provence are to other bouquets that the French use in their cooking.

You can buy these at the grocery store or a gourmet shop but why not make your own. Finely chop fresh oregano, thyme, marjoram, savory, and marjoram for Herbes de Provence. Add one tablespoon of each to your dish. This combination can also be used in salads, meat dishes and vegetables.

The English version of Herbes de Provence is sage, rosemary, marjoram, Italian parsley chives, tarragon and thyme. Mix them all together and use on lamb, pork or in stuffing.

For Fine Herbes, mix together chopped parsley, tarragon, chives and chervil. Experiment with the quantities. Be adventurous! Keep careful notes when you are experimenting so that you can duplicate the successes and toss the disasters. Remember that creating beautiful tasty dishes is a more of a craft that an art.

You will need to identify the flavor and strength of each herb so that you can group them into either mild or robust. Examples of mild herbs are basil, bay leaf, chervil dill, and marjoram. These herbs combine well with most other herbs and their flavors become milder during the cooking process. With mild herbs you can use larger amounts and with more variation. They can also be used in salads and other dishes where the leaves are not cooked or briefly cooked.

Your robust herbs stand up to cooking. Often, they are used for braised or roasted meat or domestic fowl, soups, stews and even grilled foods. You will have work on the recipe since sometime the herbs alter subtly during the cooking process. They will either become more muted or in some cases intensify. They can always be combined with the mild herbs. Robust herbs include sorrel, rosemary, garlic, oregano, sage, tarragon and thyme.

Another cool easy to use fresh herbs is to flavor oil or vinegar with a blend of either mild or robust herbs. You will need pretty glass jars (preferable dark) and a tight seal. Simply put your combination of herbs in the jar, add the oil or vinegar, seal and let it sit for several weeks. Oils should be stored in the refrigerator. The herbs will add a subtle flavor to the liquid and will be delicious in a variety of ways.

You can make really healthy tinctures with fresh herbs. But I would urge you to master the cooking with herbs before you branch out to other areas. By know exactly how each herb flavors each dish you will instinctually know what to use in tinctures.

Again be adventurous, mix and match, keep trying new things and keep notes so your successes can be repeated. After you have mastered cooking with herbs, who knows? Maybe you will start an herb garden so you will always have fresh delicious herbs on hand.

Here’s to Good Cooking!

Copyright © 2006 Mary Hanna All Rights Reserved.

This article may be distributed freely on your website and in your ezines, as long as this entire article, copyright notice, links and the resource box are unchanged.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Healthy Foods That Your Kids Will Love

Is getting your kids to eat healthy foods is a battle in your home? If so, you’ll love these tips that will make your kids happy and give you the satisfaction of knowing you are feeding them foods that are good for them.

Start the Day Right

You can give your kids a delicious, healthy breakfast by getting rid of the ready to eat cereals and pastries and replacing them with bran pancakes and low-sugar syrup and/or fruit. Whole-wheat tortillas filled with fruit, scrambled eggs, or cheese and turkey bacon are delicious and your kids will have fun eating them, paying no attention to the fact that it is actually good for them.

Naturally Sweet

Most kids will ask for sweets such as candy and snack cakes. Instead of giving in to the pressure, give your kids applesauce and homemade oatmeal cookies prepared with a sugar substitute or honey rather than white sugar. Fruit snacks and dried fruit roll ups made from 100 percent fruit are great ideas for kids.
Replace fruit drinks and sodas with flavored tonic water and fresh fruit juice. Drink boxes containing pure fruit juice are relatively inexpensive and kids love the individual boxes, complete with straws.

Make it Fun

The secret is in the presentation. Arrange an assortment of healthy foods in a fun way on your child's plate. You can include smiley faces made from raisins or nuts and choose foods that are colorful. Kids will eat most things if they are presented in a unique design that makes eating fun.

Healthy Dinner

Dinnertime can include homemade pizza topped with cheese and vegetables, or soft tacos made with shredded chicken and cheese. Chicken strips prepared in the oven are always a hit and you could include an assortment of fresh vegetables and whole-grain breads. Fish sticks are relatively healthy if you prepare them in the oven rather than fried. Cheese and legumes are healthy choices.

It's not difficult to get kids to eat healthy foods. It just takes a little extra thought and planning. Start by using our tips and you may be surprised to see what your child will eat.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Healthy Food On A Tight Budget

One of the easiest traps to fall into when money is tight is to eat unhealthy foods. Healthy foods seem to be so expensive, after all. However, there are ways to save money while eating healthier foods. Yes, you can skip the ramen noodle section of your grocery store and still feed your family well.

What’s the trick? Planning!

Whether you work at home or outside the home, your life can often be so hectic that it just seems simpler to order pizza or cook prepackaged convenience foods. However, these are typically much less healthy for you than foods you cook yourself.

Start by picking out the recipes you would like to make. Deciding on what you are serving ahead of time can keep you from deciding on something less healthy but easier to make just because you don’t feel like taking the time to cook the healthier food.

If time is a major issue, consider recipes where you can prepare it partially or fully in advance. There are people who do an entire week’s cooking in one day, storing the meals in the refrigerator or freezer. Even if you can’t entirely prepare the meal in advance, consider chopping the vegetables in advance.

Planning your meals in advance also helps with your grocery shopping. Use your plans to create your shopping list. You may even want to plan your meals at the same time as you plan your shopping list by taking a look at what is on special at whichever grocery stores you plan to shop at. Buying items that are on special can save you quite a bit of money. You may even want to stock up.

To save as much as possible, limit yourself to what is on that list. No impulse purchases! It takes self discipline, but cutting back on impulse items can be a huge help.

They may seem expensive, but fruits and vegetables that are in season are actually quite affordable, and can be an excellent alternative to sugary or salty snacks. Their frozen counterparts are also quite good for you and may be quite affordable.

If you have space in the freezer, buy meats when they are at their best discount. You will want to keep track of what a good price is for each kind of meat. You will also want to be aware of when products get marked down. I know that my local Albertson’s, for example, generally marks their ground beef from the butcher department to $1/pound somewhere around 9 o’clock every evening. Guess what time I shop there when I need ground beef?

Make the most of your leftovers. It’s all to easy to forget them and have to clean out the fridge several days later. Wasted food is money you’re throwing out. Pull those leftovers out for lunch!

Finally, pay attention to how you’re cooking your food. You may not need as much oil as you’ve been using, for example. Stir frying can be a great way to mix your meat and vegetables up with a delicious sauce. Drain the grease when you cook ground beef to make it a little healthier. Trim excess fat from other meats to make them just a little better for you. And don’t forget to eat your vegetables! Try mixing them up with some spices rather than butter... there are wonderful ways to bring out the flavors of vegetables.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Healthy Dinner For You

The Holiday Season is the best time for you to spending your time with your friends and family, going shopping for Christmas, watching football games by a warm fire , and dining out in fabulous restaurants. And if you are on diet, trying to monitor your weight, you would probably lose the best chance to try healthy dinner at your favorite restaurants!

Chinese Restaurants would be one of the best restaurants for you in the season, as they offer numbers of food, a wide variety of broth-based soups , stir-fried specialties ( with seafood , tofu, vegetables and lean meat ), steamed fish and vegetable dishes , steamed rice , hot mustard sauce , chow mein , and other menus that you would love to try for low-fat , low-calorie , choices.

However, you should avoid some kinds of food for your health, for example, fried egg rolls, fried wontons, dishes made with duck, egg foo yung, and fried chicken. Just try to eat healthy food, avoiding food above and be ensure that you would be healthy. If you really want to eat rice, try to avoid Fried rice and eat steamed rice instead. The all-you-can-eat buffet is also not a good choice for your healthy reason, and should be avoided at all costs.

If you have a chance to dine out in a restaurant with Indian Cuisine, you would be offered a number of delicious menus to choose from for healthy, low-fat options, such as Chicken, fish, veggies, steamed rice; legumes are included in healthful dishes in every menu. Bean soups are tasty and healthy. Or you can try Chapati, Chicken or Shrimp Vindaloo, or Lamb kabobs. However, try not to eat fried breads, dishes served with large amounts of nuts and dishes made with coconut milk. Overall, Indian cuisine is a fantastic dinner when you are monitoring your food.

And in Italian Restaurants, there are some of the most fattening dishes you could possibly dream of , such as Fried Mozzarella sticks, Lasagna, thick creamy Alfredo pasta dishes and many others you can choose. However, there are some dishes offered for you to make your mouth water as well, for example, Thin crust pizza with vegetable toppings, pasta with tomato-based sauces, chicken cacciatore, chicken Marsala, and biscotti that will keep you enjoying your meal without having to cutting down calories and watching fat intake. Salads and soup dishes would be also interesting. Try to avoid all deserts in the Italian Restaurants, because most of them have a lot of cheese.

Mexican Cuisine is also another option for your healthy diet. You can try Black bean soup, grilled chicken or shrimp dishes, chicken soft tacos, chicken or shrimp fajitas, salsa, and chicken quesadillas, but try to nachos, refried beans, enchiladas, and fried choices, such as chimichangas.

The Holiday Season would be the best choice for you when dine out with family and friends. And it is essential to remember that while you are on diet, you don’t have to exclude yourself from all of the holiday cheers, but just try not to cheer as loudly as others!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Healthy Chocolate is NOT an Oxymoron!

Healthy chocolate? How can that be? After all, we've been trained to think of chocolate as a guilty indulgence at best, and as a health disaster at worst. Yet there is a large body of scientific evidence that supports the notion that chocolate is not only harmless, but that it can actually contribute to health and longevity.

There's Chocolate and Then There's Chocolate

That's not to say that all chocolate is created equal. If you think that those sugary confections you find in candy stores and on grocery store shelves are nothing but empty calories, you're not far off the mark. Chocolate candies are often full of the refined sugars, milk fats, and hydrogenated oils that are important to avoid.

But those unhealthy ingredients are masking a dark healthy chocolate that is filled with antioxidants, flavonoids, and amino acids that can contribute to health and well being. Unprocessed cocoa has antioxidants that can slow the aging process and cellular decay, as well as flavonoids that have been shown to be beneficial to cardiovascular health. These cardiovascular benefits include improving blood flow, lowering LDL cholesterol, and reducing blood pressure. Dark chocolate also has essential amino acids like tryptophan, as well as alkaloids like theobromine and phenethylamine, all of which can help elevate and regulate moods.

Latest Trends in Healthy Chocolate

As the concept of healthy chocolate gains momentum, products are being brought to market that combine the best qualities of chocolate with those of other ingredients. The mixture produces a high-powered blast of benefits with all of the intrinsic satisfaction that eating chocolate brings.

What makes healthy chocolate different from the kind you find within candy bar wrappers? First, there are no sugars, milk fats, or hydrogenated oils. Second, it has not been subjected to what is called the Dutch process, whereby an alkali is introduced that all but destroys the antioxidants. Rather, it is cold pressed to preserve the antioxidants and nutrients. Third, it is often combined with Acai berries and blueberries to further boost its antioxidant properties - so much so that some products give you the equivalent of a half-pound of spinach or three-quarters of a pound of broccoli in one small nugget. Fourth, the dark chocolate has no trans fat, no wax, and no fillers.

Healthy Chocolate as a Weight Loss Tool

Unarguably, it's counterintuitive to think of chocolate as being a central component of a weight loss plan. But healthy chocolate - without the additives, sugar, and milk fat - can, indeed, help you lose weight. Eating a nugget with a glass of water about a half our before a meal can quell hunger and satisfy chocolate cravings. You'll eat less at meals and get a boost of nutrients in the process. Similarly, eating a nugget as a snack is a healthy alternative to more calorie-laden fare.

The bottom line is that you can incorporate healthy chocolate into your diet without even a twinge of guilt. What a relief and a blessing!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Healthy Breakfast Foods

It is always surrounded by silly excuse of lack of time. And still no one denies that fact that "breakfast" is the most important meal of the day.

Why such a hullabaloo about this early morning meal? Well, for starters, this meal comes after a break of 8 - 10 hours; hence your blood sugar level will be low. Since your body has gone with out food for such a long time, it needs nourishment to kick-start its day. Therefore "breakfast" is considered to be an important and essential meal of the day.

Breakfast benefits both, young and old. It is the key to jump start your muscles and your day. People who eat breakfast (healthy) daily are more likely to

- Consume more vitamins, minerals and less of fat and cholesterol.
- Increased strength and endurance.
- Better concentration and productivity all day long.
- Control over weight
- Low cholesterol = no risk or little risk of heart disease

Children who eat breakfast are likely to have better concentration, problem-solving skills and eye-hand coordination. They will be alert, creative, and less likely to miss days of school.

If you think skipping this meal, will help you lose weight, think again. By passing over this meal, your body will go in the starvation mode and make you crave for snacks especially sweets. Impulsive snacking on unhealthy foods can lead to weight gain. So you motive of losing weight by skipping breakfast stays unachieved.

Try to choose healthy foods from at least two food groups each morning

- Fruits & Vegetables
- Grains
- Dairy
- Proteins

A glass of pure fruit juice, bananas, yoghurt, low-calorie muesli with semi skimmed or skimmed milk, fresh fruit salad with few spoonfuls of low fat yoghurt, fresh and raw veggies mixed with flavoured yoghurt, a slice of toast or plain bread with eggs, boiled or poached are some of the options for breakfast. Kids can enjoy a Smoothie with their favourite fruits; add dash of yoghurt or honey to make it more delicious.

If you look forward to eating different kinds of healthy foods for breakfast, you are less like to skip this meal. If time is your hurdle, think about packing your breakfast or eating on the 'run', its better than skipping it altogether.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Healthy Beverages

It is important to have a variety of health beverages in your diet. Today, there are too many people subsisting on diet sodas, regular sodas, and energy drinks. These consist mostly of artificial sweeteners, artificial flavoring, and caffeine. The body will not perform to peak performance with a steady intake of these types of beverages.

My favorite beverage to have in substitute of a soda is orange juice. It tastes good, it is natural, and is readily available. Orange juice provides a good dose of Vitamin C. An 8 ounce glass contains as much potassium as a banana. It has a remarkable variety of phytonutrients. Beyond the great vitamin and nutrient content, a study has shown that orange juice can lower your blood pressure.

Another great beverage is apple juice. Fresh apple juice carries a significant amount of Vitamin A and C. The old time saying that an apple a day can keep the doctor away is true. Recent studies have shown that drinking apple juice can help slow down the process that leads to heart disease.

Cranberry juice is another powerful drink that should be added to your diet. Medicinal properties of the cranberry have been recognized for centuries. It provides powerful antioxidant qualities. A common treatment for urinary tract infections is to drink cranberry juice. It is thought that the strong acidic content of the juice provides an inhospitable environment for bacteria.

Beyond the standard juices, you can get a bit more exotic. Mango, pineapple, carrot, wheatgrass, and tomato are all great juices that provides wonderful health benefits. Many companies are now offering smoothies and other freshly made juices. As people become more health conscience, these will become the future of the beverage industry.

I hope you will see that there are many options to sodas. You will feel a great impact to your health once you have given them up and integrated the more healthy juices into your diet. At first it will take will power, but as time goes on, you will find that you will completely loose your taste for those sugary sodas.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Gum 101: Some Facts To Chew On

Chewing gum has an unique place in American culture. It's been used for a variety of purposes-from keeping astronauts healthy to freshening breath to helping people avoid eating fatty snacks-and one gum maker says if you stacked all the pieces of gum that it's sold, the stack would stretch halfway to the moon.

The most popular type of gum-sugarless gum-has been around since 1960. It was an instant hit when first introduced. Today, people can find sugarless gum in a rainbow of flavors and, sugarless gum that helps whiten your teeth. So where do all these gummy ideas come from? The answer may surprise you.

Lots of the gum that's chewed today is developed at the Cadbury Schweppes Americas Confectionery New Jersey-based Science & Technology Center. Cadbury Schweppes Americas Confectionery is part of Cadbury Schweppes (NYSE: CSG), the world's largest confectionery company and beverage industry leader. The Science & Technology Center employees develop such favorite gums as Dentyne and Bubblicious. One of the company's latest creations, Trident Splash™, is the first sugar free gum with a liquid center. It comes in peppermint with vanilla and strawberry with lime flavors-and according to its makers, it helps clean people's teeth if chewed after eating.

As popular as the gum may be, it was far from simple to create. Dr. Barbara Raphael, head of the Cadbury Schweppes Americas Confectionery Science & Technology Center, says gum formulas are actually very complex and that it takes up to 70 ingredients to create a great tasting gum (a far cry from some early varieties of gum made from tree resin and powdered sugar).

"High quality, long lasting gum requires a complex flavor system. We start with a characteristic flavor-a taste that we are all familiar with-and then go from there," Dr. Raphael explains. Often, she says, her team works with what are known as "top notes" when creating a new gum.

The process of adding top notes has to do with adding specific flavors not usually associated with the base flavor. This is done through a high tech process (as well as some trial and error). For instance, the company's cinnamon gum (called Dentyne Fire) blends warm notes to a base cinnamon flavor. Its powerful peppermint and spearmint gum (called Dentyne Ice) blends cool notes with mint or spearmint base flavors.

Of course, texture is an important part of the chewing gum experience as well. Dr. Raphael says that's why her company uses a variety of ingredients to find just the right feel for its gum. "Ingredients exhibit a wide range of physical characteristics from liquid, soft paste and free flowing granulars, to different types of solids," she explains.

All ingredients must be combined in the proper ratios and correct temperatures and pressures must be met to produce a gum that will meet what Dr. Raphael describes as "consumers' chewing expectations." Not to worry, though, it seems the technology center has that process down to a science. The company manufactures about 65 billion pieces of gum every year for consumers in Canada, the US, and Latin and South America.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Growing Your Own Salad

It’s not exactly fast food. It could take most of the summer to get your salad (which seems to be roughly the speed of most pizza places) but it is well worth the wait. With only the most rudimentary of tools, a little space in the back yards, and some elbow grease, anybody can have a truly fresh salad.

Gardening is a rewarding hobby. Flower growers can see the beauty of their labors all summer long. The vegetable growers also get a great reward. They can hear the fresh crunch of home-grown lettuce and taste the mouth-watering tomato that just came off the vine minutes before you tasted it.

A gardener can grow his own salad, making it as simple or complicated as he would like. As with any salad the first thing he starts with is the lettuce. Any true vegetable aficionado will tell you that there is no such thing as lettuce. The leafy salad staple comes in a variety of tastes, shapes, sizes, and colors. Gardeners can grow iceberg lettuce (the normal kind you find in the grocery store), butterhead, romaine, or countless other lettuces. The produce section of the supermarket generally doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the types of lettuces out there. It’s best just to check what grows in your area and plant whatever looks good.

Next on the salad is the tomato – the ripe, red wedges add visual appeal as well as deep flavor. Tomatoes tend to be robust plants and can grow in a variety of climates. Its best to stake them to make sure that the tomatoes do not touch the ground. This can be anything from a simple wooden stake to an elaborate metal cage. Keep an eye on them, though. They’ll sprout up and ripen seemingly overnight. Pick them when they are plump and red, slice them into sections, and enjoy!

To add some extra color to the salad, not to mention some Vitamin A for good eyesight, shave some fresh carrots over the salad, or chop them into round pieces. The carrot is another hearty vegetable. Unlike the tomato, the carrot grows into the ground, thus it grows better in loose soil. When you are ready to make your fresh salad, simply go to the ground and pull out any carrot bigger than your finger. Slice it up and you are ready to eat!

One of the last things to add to a fresh grown salad is a few cucumber slices. Cucumbers are fast-growing plants – most varieties are ready to pick in 2 months. When you are ready for your salad, go to the garden and pull one of these off the vine, clean it, slice it and eat it.

A simple hobby is turned into a delicious salad – with its crisp greens, ripe tomatoes, crunchy carrots, and brisk cucumbers. And they eat their fresh home-grown salads, gardeners can definitely enjoy the fruits … er … vegetables of their labors.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Grow Your Own Benefits With Kombucha Tea

Unlike other teas that you can purchase at the store in a bag or a box, Kombucha tea is something that you will have to grow on your own. Many find the extra effort to be well worth it when they decide to weigh the benefits, which include a distinct sweet taste and possible aid for individuals who suffer from excema and other types of skin problems, hair loss, arthritis, hypertension, digestive and intestinal problems, high cholesterol and more.

Kombucha tea has been used in China for thousands of years and is believed by many to be a fountain of youth elixir. The ancient beliefs surrounding Kombucha tea seem to signify a combination of magic, mystery and power. In addition to the aforementioned benefits, Kombucha tea is also thought to lengthen an individual’s lifespan, soften the appearance of veins, speed the healing process, increase blood circulation, lessen the symptoms associated with menopause and eases anxiety, etc.

It is important to note that only a few of the benefits that Kombucha tea is thought to provide actually have a scientific basis to back them up. It is equally necessary that individuals realize that too much Kombucha tea is not good for them. In fact, if consumed in large quantities, it can even be harmful. This adds further credence to the old saying that reads, “more is not always better.”

Prior to using any product as a remedy or for medicinal purposes, individuals should consult their physician and inquire about potential side effects. This is very important when using any type of product in hopes of aiding in one illness or another. All too often, individuals continue using a product without fully realizing it’s potential harm and may never even know until it’s too late. Therefore, prior to using Kombucha tea, individuals are urged to provide their physician with a detailed medical history and a list of any current medications that they are currently taking. This will help the doctor to make a well-informed decision as to whether or not Kombucha tea will be a good or bad step toward better health.

The information in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered as, or used in place of, medical advice or professional recommendations regarding the use of Kombucha Tea. If necessary, individuals should consult a medical doctor for information regarding Kombucha Tea and it’s potential benefits and/or side effects.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Grocery Shopping The Healthy Menu Mailer Way

I have to admit, grocery shopping isn’t exactly one of my favorite things to do. In case you can’t “hear” the sarcasm in my voice, let me tell you that I’d rather be doing just about anything other than grocery shopping. I tried delegating it to my husband, but we usually end up eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and potato chips when I do that.

Since I can’t avoid grocery shopping, I found a few things that make it a more pleasant and most importantly a faster process. I’d like to share my grocery shopping tips with you.

1) Make a shopping list and stick to it.
Making a list and sticking to it will keep you from buying too much junk. Not only will it encourage you and your family to stick to the new healthy eating lifestyle, it will also save you some money on your grocery bill.

Please apply common sense to this though. If you remember that you forgot to put your baby’s diapers on the list, by all means get them. On the other hand, if you feel tempted to get the new chocolate pie because there is a two for one sale, skip it. You get the idea.

2) Eat a snack before you go grocery shopping.
Never go grocery shopping while you are hungry. You’ll be much more tempted to buy junk food and already prepared meals. You’ll also end up buying much more than you really need. Either go shopping right after a meal, or eat a small snack before you go. Even eating a piece of fruit and drinking a glass of water will keep you from feeling hungry while you are in the store.

3) Avoid the aisles with the chips, snacks and candy.
Don’t tempt yourself by going down the “junk food” aisles. You’re only human and the candy and snack manufacturers put a lot of money into making their products as tempting and appealing as possible. The easiest way to avoid having those items land in your cart is to skip the aisles entirely.

4) Buy fresh meat and produce whenever possible.
Buy your meat and produce fresh whenever possible. You’ll get the most nutritional bang for your buck that way. If there is something you either can’t find fresh, or it just doesn’t look good, go with a frozen version. The only exception to this is tomatoes, especially if you are going to cook them anyway. Tomatoes loose their nutritional value quickly after they are picked. If you are making tomato sauce or are using them in a stew or soup, just stick with canned tomatoes. They are canned immediately after they are picked and contain more nutrients than a batch that has been sitting in a truck for days.

5) Write your grocery list with your supermarket in mind.
You will make your shopping trip much easier and faster if you keep the layout of your market in mind when you write your shopping list. Think about the departments and isles you go through first and put those items on your list. Mentally make your way through the rest of the store adding your items to your list as you go. You’ll avoid backtracking for an item further down on your list once you are in the store.

6) Clean veggies and herbs.
Unpack and clean your vegetables and herbs as soon as you get back from the store. Loosely wrap them in some paper towels and stick them in a Ziploc bag. They’ll be ready to use when your recipes call for them.

7) To freeze or not to freeze?
Portion your meat out depending on how much each recipe calls for. Keep what you will be using over the next two days in the fridge and freeze the rest. With hamburger meat, you may want to freeze any portions you are not using the day you bought them.

You’ll see that by implementing even just a few of these tips, your shopping experience will be more pleasant and most importantly more efficient. You’ll spend less time in the supermarket and more time enjoying your family.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Green Tea And Some Of Its Benefits

Three to five cups of green tea a day can do you a lot of good.

Tea, especially green tea has long been known for its medicinal benefits. It helps digestion, boost metabolism and even wards off cancer and heart disease.

According to whether it is fermented or not, tea can be divided into 3 types:

green tea ¨C not fermented
oolong tea ¨C partially fermented
black tea ¨C fermented

While people may prefer black tea or oolong tea, green tea has more healthy benefits. As it¡¯s dried straight after picking, it keeps most of its valuable polyphenols while its cousins ¨C black tea and oolong tea lose most of theirs in the process of fermentation. Green tea has a lot more polyphenols than black tea or oolong tea. What¡¯s the deal of those polyphenols things, you may wonder? They are known as powerful antioxidants, which remove free radicals from the body. Free radicals in the body's cells are very bad. They are very unstable and tend to react negatively with other important molecules like DNA, causing malfunctions and injury on the cellular level. They produce destruction that may therefore pave the way for diseases like heart disease and cancer. Green tea contains rich polyphenols that play an active role in removing the free radicals from the body. Antioxidants in tea are also known to prevent death from second heart attack by helping blood vessels relax, thus blood can flow through more easily. As a result, that can help lower blood pressure and reduce stress on the heart. Studies show green tea drinkers have 50% lower risk of developing stomach or esophageal compared to non green tea drinkers.

One final benefit of green tea drinking can help lose some weight. It¡¯s believed some of its polyphenols and caffeine work together to boost the body¡¯s metabolism, thus boost our energy burning system.

How much tea shall we drink? Generally, three to five cups a day is fairly enough for us to get its medical benefits.

Shall we have a cup of tea now?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Green Tea - A Tea from the Far East

Green tea is a kind of tea that has been very popular in China and Japan for centuries, and has recently seen a massive explosion in popularity in the West. Its rise is linked in many ways to that of the alternative health movement, which sees green tea as having a range of traditional healing properties and abilities to cure diseases. Although these claims have not been proven, there is documentation for belief in them that goes back over a thousand years.

Some green tea is produced outside China and Japan, but it is mostly considered to be cheap imitations of the ‘real thing’ and not worth paying attention to, with the possible exception of a few Indian teas. Most green tea drinkers still import their tea from the East, considering this to be the best tea, and some green teas have become especially famous, such as Japanese sencha, and the Chinese teas Longjing, Hou Kui, Piluochun, and many more besides. Although most supermarkets still only stock one form of generic ‘green tea’, which is usually of very poor quality, health food and herbal shops will generally have a whole range of high-quality, albeit expensive, green teas to choose from.

In Japan, green tea is used as part of a ‘tea ceremony’, a Buddhist tradition where tea is specially prepared and served to the people present. Participating in the ceremony at all requires intimate knowledge of how it works, meaning that few non-Japanese have ever done so. Tea holds an interesting place in Chinese culture, too, with making tea often being used as a means of non-verbal communication to express sentiments like “I’m sorry” or “thank you”. The mythos surrounding tea in Eastern cultures allows the Western green tea drinker to feel that they are taking part in something ancient, traditional and mysterious simply by drinking green tea, and to a certain extent they are.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Great Health Benefits Of Seafood

Seafood contains essential oils that are an important part of your diet. Oils provide the source of energy we need and they are also great flavor enhancers. More importantly, they are a source of significant fatty acids.

Seafood oils are unique and have great nutritional benefits to our body. This oil contains the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, specifically the eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Our body only produces small amounts of these important fatty acids; therefore we need to rely on other sources for this essential nourishment. Seafood is one of the best sources of these nutrients. In fact, oils are the second biggest components in most seafood.

Eating seafood just once or twice a week can provide good health benefits. Eating fresh seafood is a great way to obtain your required dose of these essential oils. Oils extracted from seafood are also available as nutritional supplements.

Oils derived from seafood help prevent some of the most deadly diseases today, including Alzheimer's disease, asthma, arteriosclerosis, bipolar disorder, bronchitis, cancer, heart diseases and more.

The omega-3 oils decrease the risk of heart diseases, high blood pressure and rheumatoid arthritis. They are also beneficial to infants' brain and eye development.

The oils in seafood can also prevent osteoporosis. This is because the oils improve calcium absorption in our bones and can prevent the bones from becoming brittle.

According to recent findings, Omega-3 also helps improve people's immune functions, thereby reducing infections.

Seafood oils are known to have properties that lower blood pressure, benefiting especially those suffering from hypertension.

Another kind of oil found in seafood is the omega-6 fatty acid. This is important for growth and plays an important role in people's health and well-being.

Eating a seafood diet can also help you reduce weight. For years, seafood has been part of many weight loss programs. This is because, unlike diet pills, seafood is natural and has beneficial properties to people.

However, fish can rot quickly. Therefore, you should cook it the day you buy it. Here are some tips for preparing seafood:

* If you do not plan to cook the fresh seafood the day you buy it, you should store it for no longer than two days at very cold temperatures.

* If you are going to thaw the fish, keep it in the refrigerator or thaw it under cold water. Do not leave it to thaw on your kitchen counter. This is because the nutritional value of the seafood may diminish.

* You can prepare many delicious seafood dishes from great seafood recipes. You can fry or grill seafood. You can combine it with fruits and vegetables to make it even more delicious. You can marinate it and further enhance its flavor and get rid of its unique smell.

* Some people do not want to eat seafood for fear of choking on the tiny bones. In this case you can request the fish store to help you remove these fish bones.

Remember that seafood is not only delicious; it can also provide wonderful benefits to your health.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Grants Scotch Whisky

As the whisky industry continues to consolidate, the days of family-owned distiller/blenders is fast becoming a memory. William Grant & Sons is one of the few noble exceptions, proving that a family firm compete with the UDVs of this world by being as self-sufficient as possible.

Every firm uses its own malts as the core of its blends: Grant's can draw on the Dufftown triumvirate of Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie, although it still buys or exchanges over 40 other malts for its blends. Grant's also uses its own grain whisky from its distillery in Girvan, which it bottles as Black Barrel.

The need to keep as many of the fillings in-house was the rationale behind building Kininvie in 1990. Constructing a new distillery is always a slightly nervy experience, as you can never be 100 per cent certain how the malt will turn out, how it will mature or how it will behave in a blend. Thankfully, Grant's ever-modest master blender David Stewart is happy with Kininvie's performance so far. 'We built it to give us a fruity note for the blends,' he explains. 'I've been using it in Family Reserve for the past four years and eventually it may end up in the 12-year-old, though we still don't know what a 12-year-old Kininvie will be like'.

Kininvie's arrival doesn't mean the malts it replaces are immediately taken out of the blend, as the process is a gradual one involving constant balancing and rebalancing of flavours and components in the blends. What is certain is that Kininvie won't disturb the graceful, sweet and complex Grant's style; wherein David uses the clean, quick-maturing Girvan grain as a platform for some powerful interplay between the malts.

While the Dufftown core remains the same in the Grant's range, he uses lighter malts in Clan McGregor and Family Reserve, and meatier players such as Cragganmore, Highland Park and The Macallan in older blends. 'There may be more malt in the older blends,' he says, 'but don't underestimate the grain. It does provide flavour as well'.

G RA N T' S One of the most famous families in whisky, the Grants had already built their Glenfiddich distillery three years prior to the launch of their blend - originally Standfast, now Family Reserve.

TASTING NOTES

Grant's Family Reserve
A fragrant nose, mixing honey/lime blossom, pear and light smoke. Very soft toffee/vanilla start before a good, subtle interplay between malt and grain, and a crisp and deliciously nutty finish.