I've not been cooking much but as my "C" bought winds down, will be back to doing more. I thought while I pause, it might be a good day to share some new to me tips and tricks I've learned through other blogs, vlogs, and social media, or stumbled upon by accident.
Baking soda added to soaking water for beans. I've been told adding baking soda to the water will help soften the bean and result in better cooking. Just this week I learned that same addition helps with the gas factor of reconstituting dry beans. How is this so? According to Nutritionfacts.org, the baking soda reduces the sugars in beans. Reducing sugars decreases fermentation in our colons. Interesting stuff! As I am planning to do a lot of swapping of dried for canned beans, I'll make sure to use this step. Believe me, as both DH and I age, we need all the help we can get in the digestion department.
Adding an acid to bland soup broth. When making bean soup, I was out of both vegetable broth and Better than Bullion. I took to Facebook to learn ideas to counter blandness. Add tomatoes was included again and again. Now, I didn't want a tomato based broth, but the reason behind the recommendation came to light- acid was needed to bring out the flavors of the vegetables, herbs, and seasoning. I added a few TBLS of lemon juice, and it helped a lot. According to thekitchn.com loads of additions added at the end can add balance to the soup base and bring out the intended flavor. I could have, and next time will, try some balsamic vinegar.
Cooked overnight oats are better for you. I never got into the refrigerator oat craze. Eating semi raw, fruity grains is not my thing. However, I like the idea of having real oatmeal ready to go with the ratios of topping to pull out heat up, and eat. Turns out not only is that an ok way to benefit from the make ahead breakfast, but also better for our health. According to My Longevity Kitchen, they're healthier cooked. Uncooked or improperly prepared oatmeal my lead to mineral blocking in our bodies and poor digestive health. (There's that recurring age them again.) I may go forward and make ahead my oats to pull out for my 11:00 meal, but I'll likely forgoe the cute canning jar and just use a microwave safe bowl. I did get another set of these glass bowls with lids that would work well. I'm slowly ditching my plastic "free" meat containers for more glass storage bows that are oven and microwave safe. I easily could layer, oats, fruit, a little maple syrup or brown sugar, and top with milk and just nuke for a minute the next morning.
Three new to me learnings. As I try and cook more form whole foods, increasing my proficiency in the kitchen will help. Have you recently learned anything new and are adding it to the way you prepare food?