|Brussel sprouts and mince with spaghetti|
Food Diary (December 26, 2011)
Breakfast: Rolled oats with plums, coconut, sunflower seeds and flax seeds
Lunch: Brussel sprouts and mince with spaghetti
Dinner: Potato and onion soup, fried egg
Baking/sweets: Chocolate ice cream
Today was the second time in my life that I bought brussel sprouts. The first experience happened years ago, and it wasn't the most memorable. Today I decided to give it another chance and have another date. I am glad I did. It is too early to say whether we are looking into a regular longer term relationship but we will certainly be seeing each other again soon. There are some leftovers in the refrigerator and I also froze some. Isn't this great, things you can do with vegetables.
Today's Favourite Photo
Chocolate Raisin My Favourite Tart
Today’s Favourite Blog
A very informative article on produce that lasts the longest.
Cabbage: Even after they have been picked or harvested, fruits and vegetables continue to respire and are supported by internally stored energy compounds. The more a vegetable or fruit breathes the more quickly it is likely to spoil. Cabbages can last for weeks because they have a very low rate of respiration. They should be stored in the refrigerator, loosely wrapped, as the cool temperatures will slow down their breathing even further. In fact, it’s likely that if you buy your cabbage from the grocery store, it will probably have already been in storage for a couple of months before hitting the shelves.
Eggs: According to the USDA, eggs can be kept refrigerated for 3 to 5 weeks from when you buy them. Over time, the yolk absorbs water from the white and when the egg is broken, the yolk appears flatter and more fragile. While the egg shell acts like a sterile seal, preventing the contents from becoming contaminated, it’s porous. This means moisture and carbon dioxide in the white evaporates out through the pores, allowing air to penetrate into the shell. This makes the egg white thinner, causes it to lose some of its thickening and leavening powers. To keep them fresh, store eggs in the original egg box, and keep them at the back of the fridge on the middle shelf.
Apples: Apples contain a lot of fiber and sturdy cellulose material that make them hardy and resistant to spoiling quickly. In addition, they have thick skins that prevent them from drying out and are also often coated in a waxy, water-soluble substance that acts as a further barrier against moisture loss. Properly stored, apples can remain good to eat for a weeks. The best way to keep them is to place them in a Ziploc bag, squeeze out all the air and keep in the fridge. Another reason to keep apples in a bag and separate from other fruits is that they produce a fair amount of ethylene which encourages ripening.
Potatoes: potatoes can last several weeks if not months, before they spoil. They don’t need to be refrigerated, but they need to be kept in a cool, dark and dry place. Even if they start to sprout, they can still be eaten but it’s very important to remove every part of the greenish sprout before cooking as the ends can be toxic to some people.
Peppers: They contain a particular gene that prevents their cell structure from breaking down and spoiling. In addition, peppers have a very turgid cell structure, and the cells hold on to their moisture very well
Yogurt: Certain kinds of yogurt - organic and probiotic varieties that contain live and active cultures or “good” bacteria, have a very long shelf life. These kinds of yogurt will just continue to ferment and the healthful bacteria will produce increasing amounts of lactic acid that will simply make the yogurt more tart, but certainly not harmful. As a general rule, if kept undisturbed in the refrigerator and the seal is unbroken, organic and probiotic yogrts can be kept for several weeks beyond their use-by date. However, the more traditional and conventional kinds of American yogurt that are made from milk, pectins, fillers and other compounds that add texture, will spoil quite quickly because they contain a certain type of protein that’s prone to spoilage.
Watermelon: The thick, inedible rind maintains the freshness of the fruit. Watermelons have an extremely high water content – over 90%. While other produce such as leafy greens - which also contain a lot of moisture, suffer from this characteristic as it makes them susceptible to drying out, watermelons aren’t at risk from losing juice because their tough skins act as a barrier. Moreover, the rind prevents contamination from airborne bacteria and other spoilage nasties. Once ripe, watermelon can be stored for up to a month in the fridge (and only 1 week at room temperature). Refrigeration, however, can be detrimental to their nutritional value.
Steak: It’s not as if a fresh sirloin steak or flank steak is going to last for weeks. But, compared to ground or chopped meat a whole cut of protein has a considerably longer shelf life, about 3 to 5 days if properly stored in the refrigerator and handled as little as possible, as opposed to 1 to 2 days for the ground variety. This has to do with bacterial growth. Since bacteria thrive on the surface of meat, and ground or chopped meat has much more surface area, they are susceptible to faster rates of spoilage as a consequence of speedy bacterial growth.
Onions: We conventionally think of onions as being fresh vegetables, however, they’ve been dried or cured before they reach the supermarket. Having been preserved in this way, they’ll keep in the fridge for 2 or more months, depending on when they were harvested. Sweeter onion varieties will have a shorter shelf life, however, due to their high sugar and water content. It’s best to store onions in the fridge for maximum shelf life, and opt for an open container so that plenty of air can circulate between the bulbs. It’s a good idea to line the base of the container with paper to absorb any excess moisture otherwise the onions might start to rot. Alternatively, you can keep onions in a cold basement or garage using a rather unique storage vessel.
Deli Meats: If left unopened, pre-packaged deli meats such as roast turkey or beef, in their original sealed packaging, will last a fair amount of time – generally about 2 to 3 weeks from you time you buy them. In addition to vacuum sealed pouches where all the oxygen has been removed and therefore preventing bacteria from thriving, some deli meats are pasteurized using post-packaging technology that can that can increase shelf life from 14 days to 45 days. Once opened however, deli meats should be consumed within 3 to 5 days as they have been exposed to the air and possible contamination.
Butter: An unopened stick of butter will generally last for 4 to 6 months if stored in a cold 40 degrees Fahrenheit refrigerator. If you open it, though, it’s best to store the butter in an air-tight container rather than leaving it semi-exposed in its original wrapping on the refrigerator shelf, as it will start to harden and take on the odors of other products in the fridge. If properly stored, opened butter will last up a 1 month.
Winter Squash: Winter squash can generally be stored for up to 3 months in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight. Their thick, tough skin allows them to breathe, but it also protects them from contamination, attack from bacteria and from losing moisture and drying out. Also, much like onions, squash have actually been cured before they reach the grocery stores to ensure they last for as long as possible. When buying, always try and go for fruit that have the stems still attached. Stems act like an airtight plug in fruit, and if the stems were removed when the squash were harvested they were at risk of being contaminated by bacteria at the point where the flesh was exposed
Afghan Cookies (Biscuits)