November 2012

Asparagus – Choosing, Storage and Cooking Tips

Buying Asparagus:

Green asparagus is the most common variety compared with the costly, imported white and the newly-developed red varieties. When buying asparagus, make sure they have firm, unblemished stalks with tightly closed tips. Stalk thickness is a matter of preference – thin stalks have a grassy, young taste and the thick – a bit more succulent.

Asparagus are available from March through June, although imported asparagus may be found all year round.


To store asparagus – refrigerate, upright, in a container of water. If space is a problem, wrap bottom of stalks in a damp paper towel and seal in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to four days.

Quantity and Nutrition:

1 pound is about 15 stalks
1 pound, trimmed and peeled equals 3 cups
1 serving is 1/2 pound

Asparagus are rich in vitamin A and C.
1 cup has 35 calories.

Cooking Tips:

When cooking, please note that asparagus stalks have an outer fibrous membrane that should be removed with a vegetable peeler before cooking. Snap off tough ends of stalks before cooking.

Cook in salted boiling water for three to four minutes or steam for five to six minutes.

Why are sardines so popular?

Did you know that sardines are some of the most valued fish around the world?

The fact itself is surprising judging by the size of the fish and how many of them there are in the sea, but it’s true nonetheless.

Sardines live together in large schools in temperate marine areas. They are known for living in schools numbering in the thousands. mostly in areas like the European, Australian, South African, Californian, and Chilean coasts. Sardines will only grow to about six or eight inches in length.

Why are they so popular?

Sardines are known as a delicacy to many worldwide. Because they are so desired in many parts of the world, sardines are netted thousands of them at a time. They are then cleaned up and shipped worldwide.

Sardines, especially when canned, are an extremely good source of Calcium.

Sardines are also desired as sources of food for other animals. Sardines are fed to dolphins, sharks, and other large fish that are held in captivity.

Sardines are also known as a source of oil extracted from their greasy body and as a ground fertilizer.

The main fact is that sardines are some of the few fish that have so many uses, which explains their high desirebility.

Carbohydrates That Fool

Are bread and other carbohydrates fattening? No. The problem isn’t the carbohydrates themselves, but the now-widespread super-sized portions that are often to blame when weight seems out-of-control. And it’s not just “junk foods” at fault here – even “healthy” foods in excessive portions spell trouble.

Experts are hotly debating whether bagels for example, should be considered healthful or horrible. As low-fat complex carbohydrate, they clearly offer good nutrition. When it comes to weight and blood sugar concerns, it’s the portion that we should consider.

These portion size issues relate to many carbohydrate foods – potatoes, crackers, tortillas and so on. It’s not that the foods themselves are fattening or bad for blood sugar. We’ve just gotten so used to “super-sizing” everything that we’re super-sizing ourselves without realizing it. Moderation is the key.

Source:Gourmet Connection

How are calories calculated

Energy has traditionally been expressed as calories or kilocalories. More recently, the units of energy have been changed to kilojoules. There are 4.2 kilojoules in 1 kilocalorie. Someone having 2000 kilocalories each day would be having 8400 kilojoules, also known as 8.4 megajoules.

The energy value of a food indicates its value to the body as a fuel.
After a food is ingested, some of its energy may be ‘lost’ during digestion and metabolism. Although the energy value of some foods has been found by combustion in a bomb calorimeter, more usually the amounts of the macronutrients – fat, protein, carbohydrate and alcohol (ethanol) – in a food are taken into account when assessing the total energy value of the food. The energy value for each macronutrient must be known, and an allowance made for body losses.

Fat is the most energy-dense macronutrient, followed by alcohol, protein and carbohydrate.

Energy requirement can be thought of as the amount needed to maintain the basic processes of life at rest, that is, basal metabolism, plus the amount needed for physical activity under a variety of circumstances.

Body weight is an important factor in determining how much energy we need, since more energy will be needed to sustain and move a greater body mass.