Showing posts with label Pasta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pasta. Show all posts

Oct 31, 2014

Leftovers Lite

While not usually nine days old, some foods taste better the second time than when first cooked. Many people say leftover pasta tastes great. Now an experiment has shown that it also might be better for us.

Pasta is a form of carbohydrate and like all carbohydrates it gets broken down in our gut and then absorbed as simple sugars, which in turn makes your blood glucose quickly rise. In response to a surge in blood glucose our bodies produce a rush of insulin to get our blood glucose back down to normal as swiftly as possible, because persistently high levels of glucose in the blood are extremely unhealthy.

A rapid rise in blood glucose, followed by a rapid fall, can often make a person feel hungry again quite soon after a meal. It is true of sugary sweets and cakes and also true for things like pasta, potatoes, white rice, and white bread. That is why dieticians emphasize the importance of eating foods that are rich in fiber, as these foods produce a much more gradual rise and fall in blood sugars.

Cooking pasta and then cooling it down changes the structure of the pasta, turning it into something that is called 'resistant starch'. It is called that because once pasta, potatoes or other starchy food is cooked and cooled it becomes resistant to the normal enzymes that break carbohydrates down and release glucose that causes a blood sugar surge.

According to Dr. Denise Robertson, from the University of Surrey, if you cook and cool pasta down then your body will treat it much more like fiber, creating a smaller glucose peak. You will also absorb fewer calories.

A study was conducted and volunteers had three days of testing, spread out over several weeks. On each occasion they had to eat pasta on an empty stomach. The volunteers were randomized to eating either hot, cold, or reheated pasta on different days.

On one day they ate the pasta, freshly cooked and hot with a plain sauce of tomatoes and garlic. On another day they had to eat it cold with the same sauce, but after it had been chilled overnight. On a third day they ate the pasta with sauce after it had been chilled and then reheated.

On each of the days they also gave blood samples every 15 minutes for two hours, to see what happened to their blood glucose as the pasta was slowly digested. Eating cold pasta led to a smaller spike in blood glucose and insulin than eating freshly boiled pasta.

Cooking, cooling, and then reheating the pasta had an even smaller effect on blood glucose. It reduced the rise in blood glucose by 50%.

We can convert a carb-loaded meal into a more healthy fiber-loaded one without changing a single ingredient, just the temperature. Leftovers could be healthier than the original meal.

Dec 7, 2013

Food Myth Debunked

The myth is that adding salt to water changes the boiling point and cooks food faster. This is one of those food myths that doesn't want to die. You hear it repeated by home cooks and professional chefs, but any first year Chemistry student can show you how minor the effect is to alter the boiling point. In order to change water's boiling point appreciably, you would have to add so much table salt that the resulting salt water would be nearly intolerable. In spite of the boiling point myth, adding salt to pasta water makes the pasta more tasty.

Nov 1, 2013

Six Cooking Tips from HGTV

When you deep-fry, hold each piece of food with long tongs as you add it to the oil. Hold it just below the oil's surface for five seconds before releasing it. This will seal the exterior and stop it from sticking to the pot or the other food.

If you need more oil in the pan when sautéing, add it in a stream along the edges of the pan so that by the time the oil reaches the ingredient being cooked, it will be heated.

Do not use oil in the water when boiling pasta, because it will keep the sauce from sticking to the cooked pasta. Also, After you drain pasta, while it's still hot, grate some fresh Parmesan on top before tossing it with your sauce to give the sauce something to stick to.

When making burgers, add in a bit (or a lot) of bacon bits or pork bits while mixing for added flavor.

When making mashed potatoes, after you drain the potatoes, return them to the hot pan, cover tightly and let steam for 5 minutes. This allows the potatoes to mash with a beautiful texture and soak up the butter and cream more easily.

Jul 19, 2013

Seven Kitchen Tips

Microwave garlic cloves for 15 seconds and the skins slip off.
When working with dough, coat your with olive oil to prevent sticking.
Wrap celery in aluminum foil and put it in the refrigerator to keep for weeks.
Let raw potatoes stand in cold water for at least half an hour before frying to improve the crispness of french-fried potatoes.

Microwave lemons, limes, or oranges for 15 seconds in the microwave before squeezing them and you get twice as much juice.
After you drain pasta, while it’s still hot, grate some fresh Parmesan on top before tossing it with your sauce, so the sauce has more to stick to

Nov 9, 2011

Salty Thoughts

Adding salt to water changes the boiling point and cooks food faster is a myth. You hear it repeated by home cooks and professional chefs, but any first year chemistry student knows how little salt affects the boiling point. You need to use at least an ounce of salt per quart of water to raise the temperature one degree. Of course, adding salt to your pasta water makes the resulting pasta tasty.