Monthly Archives: August 2013

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Extra virgin olive oil, whether it comes from California, Greece, Spain, Israel or Italy, is replete with protective qualities. A monounsaturated fat, it contains a range of antioxidants, including vitamin E. It’s also rich in polyphenols. Studies have shown that consumption of olive oil improves blood cholesterol levels. If you’re going to use extra virgin olive oil, be sure to buy oil that is marked cold pressed. This means that the oil is made from the first pressing of the… Read more >>

Oat Flour

Oat flour is flour made by grinding oats, to a fine or extra fine, medium or coarse grind.  This healthful grain has a similar texture and taste to that of stone ground whole wheat flour, although it tends to be a bit more bitter. More recently embraced by the gluten-free world than other alternative flours, oat flour can, with much practice, be used on its own in baked goods. It is often combined, however, with other flours to make the item in question a bit… Read more >>

Agave Nectar

The nectar of the agave plant, agave is now widely available and can be found in the baking aisle of most supermarkets. Lately, it has become the darling of the baking world, for a variety of reasons. Agave falls low on the glycemix index, which means that it is slowly and gradually absorbed into an individual’s blood stream, thereby preventing spikes in his or her blood sugar. Bakers have also increasingly turned to agave since it is 25% sweeter than sugar, meaning that you can… Read more >>

Xanthan Gum

Even though you might not believe it, xanthum gum is a natural carbohydrate. It’s made from a microscopic organism called Xanthomonas campestris. After the organism is produced by the fermentation of glucose or sucrose, it is dried and ground into a fine powder. After that, it is combined with a liquid to form the gum. Basically, xantham gum is added to gluten free baking to mimic the characteristics that protein or gluten naturally provide – that is, viscosity, elasticity and airiness. Although very expensive, you… Read more >>

Trans-Fat Free Margarine

– Trans fats are formed when a liquid vegetable oil undergoes partial hydrogenation, which transforms the oil into a solid fat, such as margarine. Trans fats, as we all now know, are a panacea to food manufacturers but not great for our health. These particular fats lower the HDL cholesterol in our bodies while simultaneously increasing the LDL cholesterol. Unlike regular margarine, trans-fat free margarines are made by replacing the otherwise high amounts of hydrogenated oil with other ingredients such as mono- and diglycerides and… Read more >>