Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is made up of ground peanuts, vegetable oil and sugar or honey. Alternatively, salt might be added to the mixture for a different taste. Although peanut butter is high in calories, the spread contains many other nutrients that can benefit you.

Protein is the main nutrient in a peanut. It is important for muscle repair and growth, and adds to your balanced diet. Peanuts are also important to keep your heart healthy and avoid cardiovascular disease.

Potassium is contained in peanuts and relieves the body of heart disease and strokes. The mineral also prevents you from getting cramps because of its muscle strengthening effect.

Niacin is an amazing vitamin that helps with circulatory problems, and memory problems. It also helps with keeping your skin healthy and glowing. Not only does Niacin help with skin and circulation, but it also helps you to metabolise your food and processes anything in your stomach quicker. Better metabolism means that your chance of getting gallstones is lower.

Vitamin E is an important component when it comes to your diet. Not only does it get rid of the toxins in your body but it also helps with neurological problems.

Peanut butter contains magnesium which helps with increase your energy, is a nerve calming mineral, is a treatment for poor sleeping patterns and disorders such as insomnia and prevents headaches and migraines. Often if you have a craving for acidic foods and chocolate, your body is lacking magnesium and most nuts and legumes such as peanuts contain this element.

Besides all of the minerals and vitamins the spread has, it also carries fibre which is important to have in your system. Fibre helps with your bowel movement and improves your metabolism. Most diet plans tell you to have as much fibre as possible to get your digestive system going.

Peanut butter is the most famous spread and has been for quite some time. You can stock up on it at any cash and carry wholesale supplier. Although many people are also allergic to peanuts, if you need the minerals and vitamins that are contained in the legume, highly refined peanut oil should work for you.

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Vinegar

Going back to 2000 B.C. vinegar was disdained as a beverage due to its harsh acidic taste, but was soon incorporated into a myriad of foods and other uses, taking its place on the ships of the spice traders.

But perhaps getting a jump on the Chinese were the Babylonians, as recordings start about 5000 BC, when the Babylonians were using fruits to make wine and vinegar, most likely the date palm. (Let’s face it, apples were pretty scarce in Egypt.) Residues have been found in ancient Egyptian urns as far back as 3000 B.C. and, like the Chinese, it was a popular pickling agent. Centuries later, Cleopatra used vinegar daily for her many personal beauty treatments.

The Bible frequently refers to vinegar being used for bathing and embalming, and it was offered to Jesus Christ when he was crucified on the cross. In the Islam traditions, it is thought to have been a favorite of the Prophet Mohammed. Of course the European royalty were not to be left out, using it primarily in food preparation. (They weren’t big on bathing.)

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed apple cider vinegar to be mixed with honey for a variety of health complaints, including lung congestion and coughs. He theorized that vinegar could remove infection by applying it to the wounded area,which was vital for the armies of ancient Greece.

In 218 B.C. the Carthaginian general Hannibal pressed vinegar into service when he crossed the Alps. His troops discovered that heating vinegar then pouring it over large stones would dissolve them, making passage easier for their animals.

The army of King Louis XIII of France, in the early 1600’s, used vinegar to cool off the cannons of his army in their many battles. When applied to the hot iron cannons, it not only had a cooling effect, but cleaned the surface metal, thus inhibiting rust.

Not to be outdone, many armies of the Middle Ages, when some country was always waging war, found that vinegar mixed with sand formed an abrasive material that was great for cleaning armor. (The forerunner of SOS pads?)

European alchemists in the Middle Ages poured it over lead, which created a sweet tasting substance they called “sugar of lead.” It was used into the nineteenth century to sweeten bitter ciders. As we now know, lead is highly poisonous, which resulted in the early death of many cider aficionados. They also learned the hard way not to store lead in metal containers.

In 1721, once again the Bubonic Plague reared its deadly head in many French cities. The French used imprisoned convicts to bury the dead, and the tale goes that four convicted thieves survived exposure to the infected bodies by drinking large amounts of vinegar daily, infused with garlic. Today, Four Thieve’s Vinegar is still sold in parts of France.

Not merely content to invent the pasteurization process for milk, scientist Louis Pasteur also experimented with a natural fermentation process to make vinegar, around the year 1864. It became popular for pickling vegetables and fruits, as well as a meat tenderizer. Vinegar promptly found its way into the first recipe for ketchup by the Henry J. Heinz Company and forever changed the popular condiment.

Imagine a kitchen without at least one bottle of vinegar, but more likely several varieties, including apple cider, red wine and balsamic. As many flavored vinegars continue to flourish, its popularity extends to thousands of other uses, including cleaning agents, pickling, salad dressings and a myriad of others. Regardless of who created it, Vinegar is clearly a staple of the world.

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Tapas Bar

I worked one state north of where I live. When I retired, it seems that some people whom I admired and liked hanging around with got left behind along with my career. I have not been away from work so long to miss work so much, but I have missed them. They were in town on business, and several of them thought to call me. That made me feel good. No one can make you feel like you matter better than your friend.

So, it fell to me to find a good place for us to talk, and share a meal. As I perused the restaurant choices, my eyes fell upon a tapas bar. Honestly, I never have paid much attention to tapas. The name implies girl food to me. All of my visiting friends were men. But, this particular tapas bar had its own home brewery in the basement of a two-hundred-year-old house in the old town section of the oldest town in our region. For some reason, this felt right.

But, I had to be certain about what a tapas was. The name is Spanish, and basically it is meant to describe appetizers that have earned their way into main course status. They can be a hot dish or cold, and they can be constructed of meat, fish, vegetables, cheese, and most any other edible. They are small portions, as one might expect of an appetizer. Yet, the size is not meant to deny, but rather to invite mixing up the variety of the meal. Plus, tapas are served in a way that evokes the old tradition of hospitality toward guests.

It was this final bit of information that tipped me to reserve last night’s meal with my friends at the Old Towne Tapas Bar. So, how did the Spanish derive a serving style of a meal in small portions that can be shared? The tradition dates to the Middle Ages in Europe, a time in which many people who spoke different languages had begun to encounter each other with greater frequency. Until the Romans conquered them, Europeans were tribal people who lived out their lives within the borders of their ancestral territories. Once Romans conquered, they stationed outposts of soldiers in the conquered land. They established Roman government, law, and they extended roads. None of this meant that the conquered people became world travelers. Mostly, they lived where they were, and according to their customs and traditions. They just didn’t have to think so much since the Romans ran the show. Over time, the Romans no longer ran the show. The Roman Empire declined and finally it failed. But, the roads that they built remained and the tribal Europeans used them.

This is how Scandinavians, Germans, French, and others might find their way into Spain. Mostly, they did not speak Spanish, nor did they understand the customs and food of Spain. What began with the hospitality of people who lived in homes alongside the old Roman roads, developed into a disorganized system of inns with stables. The home owners encountered foreigners who could only point and grunt when they were asked if they wanted food. If there was a single pot of stew cooking in the hearth, that was the only choice for a meal. There must have been some understanding passed to the Spanish hosts that not everyone can eat boiled pig meat or whatever it was in the pot. So, why not cook a variety of foods simultaneously in several smaller pots? Why not invite your guests to sit at a long table, and place all of the pots there, to be passed, sampled, and enjoyed with shared conversation, even if folks still grunted and pointed in order to be understood? This is how tapas originated.

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Banana Squash

A banana squash is a winter squash. It is yellow/orange in color (when ripe, it is salmon colored) and is about 2 to 3 feet long. It smells like a cucumber, the meat looks similar to a pumpkin, but it has its own flavor. It can weigh up to 35lbs but is generally around 10lbs.

They are fat free, cholesterol free, sodium free, and an excellent source of vitamin A and C. They can be stored up to six months if in a dark, low humid environment and can be used in the same way as any other winter squash. It makes great stews, soups, and salad toppings. It pairs great with butter, cheese, lamb, pork belly and truffles. The best herbs/spices to use are the ones we love for winter: thyme, bay, sage, rosemary, cumin, curry, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.

I had no idea what to do with a banana squash when I purchased it. The following recipes were my first attempt at using a banana squash and were followed with rave reviews from family and friends. I hope you enjoy!

Banana Squash Pie

First, wash the squash and then cut the ends off. Use a serrated knife to keep from slicing your hand. Cut into pieces and scoop out the seeds. Keeping the pieces as big as you can, put them in a microwaveable bowl. You may have to do this several times in order to get all of them done. Put two inches of water in the bowl and then put the lid on. Now place in the microwave for approximately 12 minutes (until the squash is soft).

Take the squash out and scoop out the meat. It is OK to let it cool before scooping. The squash will yield more than enough, so you don’t have to be overly precise. Blend the squash (I used a food processor but you can also use a blender).

Now your squash is ready for the recipe.

  • 3 cups squash puree
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 can evaporated milk
  • 2 graham cracker pie crusts
  • Mix it all together and put in pie crusts. The mixture is very liquid, that is OK.
  • Bake at 425F for 15 minutes. Then turn temp to 350F and cook around 60 minutes. You test done-ness by inserting butter knife or toothpick and it coming out clean.

Banana Squash-Raisin-Walnut Bread

I had left over squash. So I made some bread.

  • Rest of squash
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 can evaporated milk
  • 3 cups Bisquick
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Raisins
  • Mix together and put in bread pans. Cook at 350F for 40 minutes.

Banana Smoothies

A banana contains a minimum number of 90 calories. Bananas also contain about 2.5 grams of fiber and 50% of this fiber is soluble. One of the reasons why you should learn how to prepare banana smoothies recipes is the unparalleled nutrient content of this fruit. Bananas are full of potassium, an important mineral electrolyte. Potassium is absorbed through the walls of the intestines and into the cells of the body. Since potassium is a key electrolyte in the body, deficiency results in symptoms foremost of which heart rate irregularity. An adequate potassium level is also critical in maintaining blood pressure.

What are the benefits of adding the fruit to your daily dietary regimen? Bananas promote gastrointestinal health, help regulate cardiac rhythm, and it even contributes to weight loss. You may be surprised at this next bit, but including banana smoothies recipes in your daily regimen contributes to eye health as well. This is because of the Vitamin A content of the fruit. There is enough Vitamin A in bananas to benefit the visual system. Aside from vitamin, bananas also have beta-carotene and alpha-carotene which get converted to Vitamin A in the body.

Another benefit from regular consumption of banana smoothies recipes is improved bone health. Bananas are fruits that also contribute to prevent bone thinning.

Studies have also shown that bananas have an antacid effect. Bananas can protect the stomach from ulcers because it can suppress secretion of gastric acid. There are also substances found in the fruit that promotes the production of a thicker protective lining inside the stomach.

There is no shortage of banana smoothies recipes online. Here’s something that you can make immediately after reading this article. Here’s what you need: 1) two ripe bananas, peeled and coarsely chopped, 2) one and a half cup of skim milk, 3) a quarter cup of natural yoghurt, 4) two tablespoons of peanut butter, 5) one tablespoon each of honey, 6) ice cubes. This set of ingredients make for an interesting banana smoothie that you will be proud to serve to house guests and to your family, of course. Once the ingredients are all mixed together inside the blender, you only need to make sure that they are well integrated and incorporated together.

There is one secret ingredient to this preparation and similar other banana smoothies recipes that will make it an unforgettable taste that people will crave for. Drizzling honey on the smoothie glasses will make a huge difference. This is what makes it a beverage that people will keep coming back to.

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Benifts of Tuna Fish

High Source of Protein

It is no news that eggs and different types of meat are sources of protein but few people are aware of the high protein content of tuna fish. Tuna contains lots of beneficial nutrient but protein is one of the highest of them all, containing about 25 grams of protein in three and half ounce. Protein is beneficial for glowing skin, nails, hair and blood.

Regulated Blood Pressure

The Omega-3 fatty acids in tuna helps in the prevention of high blood pressure. It has been proven through different experiments that a healthy blood pressure is restored by this nutrient. It is recommended that those who do not have problems with high blood pressure should still consume tuna to avoid this.

Healthier Heart

Heart Rate variability is a measure of the heart rate function. This can be increased by eating tuna fish. Cardiovascular health is improved through an increased Heart Rate Function. Thanks to Omega-3 fatty acids in tuna. This prevents your heart from developing abnormal heart beat rhythms as that can be fatal.

Reduced Risk of Obesity

Reduced risk of obesity and the improvement of insulin response in the body is another benefit. The hormone called lepton is stimulated by Omega-3 fatty acid in tuna. This improves the body metabolism while regulating the intake of food and the weight of the body. For those struggling with obesity, tuna is a recommended supplement as it has a low value on the glycemic index (GI), having a rating of zero, it is also low in fat and calories.

Lower Triglycerides

The triglyceride level of humans can be lowered with just two meals of tuna in a week. This is recommended because triglyceride is an indication of how much fat is being carried by the blood. If your triglyceride levels is high, there is a probability that you are experiencing high level of low density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol. Basically, it is recommended that you should have more high density lipoproteins and less of low density lipoproteins. One way of achieving this is through the consumption of tuna fish.

Boosting The Immune System

The immune system of the human body is very important as this is what fights against diseases, ensuring we live a healthy life. Tuna is a great source of selenium which helps in improve the immune system. The aforementioned are outstanding benefits of tuna. Do not deprive yourself of these benefits, enjoy a healthy meal of tuna fish at least twice a week.

Indian Food

Because of its rich, complex flavours, Indian food seems like it would be incredibly difficult to cook, or at least difficult to cook well. While a beginner cook might face a few challenges when attempting to conquer Indian cuisine, this is probably true of most major cuisines in the world. For example, some Italian dishes take hours to prepare properly, but we don’t normally hear people lamenting how difficult it is to make an Italian meal. So, if you are interested in whipping up some Indian delights, start by familiarizing yourself with the ingredients and the basic cooking techniques, and you’ll find this food as easy (or complicated) as any other type of food to prepare.

Some Indian dishes have a fair amount of oil, but like with other dishes you can adapt your recipes to your tastes. Moreover, rich, oily foods are not the only options available on an Indian menu; in fact, Indian cuisine is incredibly diverse. Depending on the region of Indian, you will find that the style of cooking and ingredients used will vary significantly. Many dishes are prepared by boiling, steaming, roasting, or grilling which are all considered healthy means of preparation. So, when it comes to whether Indian cuisine is healthy or not it really depends on what you are eating. Certainly, there are dishes that you do not want to eat for every meal, but there are many interesting, delicious, and healthy Indian foods that you can add to your diet guilt-free.

Again, Indian dishes are very diverse, so while some dishes are very hot this does not mean that all Indian food is spicy. Plus, if you are cooking at home, you can adjust the spice level to your personal taste; if you prefer, you can leave the spicy ingredients out entirely.

Finally, many foodies who are not familiar with Indian cuisine often believe that curries are synonymous with the cuisine. While curries are an important feature of Indian dishes, they account for a very small fraction of the styles of food available in India. Moreover, curry powder is actually not a common ingredient in Indian dishes, instead, many homes create their own unique spice blends that appeal to their individual palates.

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Butter or Margarine

Butter or margarine

We can get into a lengthy discussion over margarine vs. butter, but we won’t. We only want to give you a quick glimpse into why exactly we prefer margarine over butter. In a ten-gram serving, margarine contains only 1.5 grams of saturated fats while the same serving of butter is packed with 5.4 grams of saturated fat. So by simply choosing margarine over butter in your everyday cooking, baking and spreading needs, you’ll be saving yourself and your family from 3.9 grams of unnecessary saturated fat. Another good point to consider is that margarine is made from high quality natural plant oils which are all vital sources of Omega 3 and 6. These oils do not raise cholesterol and contain only sensible amounts of salt.

To understand margarine a little better, we’ll go back to its origins. Believe it or not, but the history of margarine can be traced back to the culinary capital of Paris in 1867. Emperor Napoleon III offered a prize to the first person to create an everyday spread that would feed the people of France and help keep its armies marching across Europe. The prize was won by a man from Provence named Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès. His margarine recipe was a success, and, over the years, became the everyday yellow stuff we know and love today.

Since its humble beginnings in France, margarine has become a world favourite today. Especially now that modern margarines contain no partially hydrogenated fats anymore – that means no resulting trans fats.

So is the winner butter or margarine?

The American Heart Association is amongst many who suggest buying soft, trans-fat-free spreads instead of ordinary butter. It’s best to choose a blend with the least amount of saturated fat and zero trans fats. If the tub mentions partially hydrogenated oils, it still contains some trans fats (less than 0.5 gram per serving), even if the food label says trans fat free. You can also choose light or low-fat margarine. This means the spread has added water to reduce the overall fat and calorie count, but remember to check your portion size too.

Now that we’ve uncovered the truth using a touch of science and history, why not read more about the butter vs. margarine facts online.

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Benefits Of A Cherry Fruit

Fruits like cherry are known to be rich with vitamins and minerals that increase the body’s health and immune system. It also provides wonderful benefits that can surely provide amazing features for individuals. To know more about cherries, listed below are some health benefits one can obtain when he takes in the recommended dose each day.

Weight loss – Cherries can help individuals lose weight. This food item is a healthy and a natural way to cut off the excess weight. This is made possible since cherries consist of 73% water with low calorie content. Cherries are also rich in soluble fiber that helps accelerate weight loss and reduce cholesterol levels.

Reduce risks of certain diseases – Diseases like Dementia, Alzheimer, Cancer and Diabetes are some of the most common diseases that affect individuals. So, by eating cherries, individuals can reduce the risks and improve their immune system since cherries have anti-oxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin and beta carotene.

Help individuals sleep – Due to the demanding needs at work or at school, individuals may sometimes experience insomnia due to so much stress. With the help of cherries, individuals can boost their exogenous melatonin intake that can help them get to sleep easily. Exogenous melatonin can provide soothing effects on the neurons and calm down the nervous system.

Improve health – Cherries can also improve the health due to the numerous vitamins and minerals present such as zinc, iron, potassium, manganese and copper the fruit contains. These vitamins and minerals can help regulate the flow of blood and the blood pressure. Cherries also contain vitamin A that can help replenish the skin to make it livelier.

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Chicken and Noodles

Chicken Stew With Noodles

  • 1-2 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin removed
  • 6-8 cups water
  • half an onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 6-8 teaspoons powdered chicken bouillon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • thyme and other seasonings of your choice
  • 1/2 bag of dumplings or egg noodles
  • one 5 oz can of evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  1. Place the chicken thigh(s) in a deep-bottomed pot and cover with water. Bring to boil and skim the scum off the surface of the water.
  2. Add the onion to the pot and let simmer until the chicken is done cooking. Remove the meat and set it aside to cool.
  3. Add the carrots, celery, chicken bouillon, salt, pepper, thyme, and other seasonings to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the dumplings or egg noodles to the water. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Make a slurry of evaporated milk and cornstarch: mix the two together in a separate bowl. Add this mixture to the pot. This will thicken the stew. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Shred or cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Add the meat back into the pot and let it warm up for about 5 minutes.

Chicken & Dumplings Bake

  • half a bag of Pennsylvania Dutch Homestyle Egg Noodles
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • one 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup Bisquick
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 ounces milk
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and prepare egg noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles and set aside.
  2. In a bit of vegetable oil, saute carrots and celery for a few minutes. Push the vegetables to the side, add the chicken, and brown on both sides.
  3. Add the noodles, soup, chicken broth, and milk to the pot. Stir to combine, then pour the contents into a greased casserole dish.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a separate bowl, mix the Bisquick, cheese, melted butter, and milk together. Drop the batter by spoonfuls on top of the casserole. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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