Q&A with a Food Scientist

That’s an indication from the manufacturer of when the product is at peak quality. After that, it’s not as good in quality but is safe to eat. There are no laws on putting dates on a package that tells how long a product is safe for!

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I’ve wondered that sometimes, because I hate cakey cookies. I found that melting the butter before adding the sugar stops air from forming. So don’t cream the butter and sugar, just melt the butter in the microwave with your sugar instead.

Once you add the flour, only mix as much as necessary to combine the ingredients. It’ll form gluten and that makes cookies cakey. Try a recipe that doesn’t use excess flour…like maybe this one:http://foodscientistbakery.com/perfect-cookies-chocolate…/

I’ve also read that brown sugar reacts differently because it contains invert sugar, so you could try taking a few tablespoon of the white sugar out of a recipe and replacing it with brown sugar.

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I had to dig into some research because I’ve never heard of glucomanna before! I used xanthan gum when I was experimenting with gluten free baked goods, and I use it at work all the time. It seems to be safe, although it’s best to limit your intake to 15 grams (which is a lot, it’s used in small amounts in most recipes). Glucomanna seems safe as well. One benefit that has that xanthan gum doesn’t is that it’s a prebiotic, so it feeds the probiotics in your gut, leading to a healthier digestive tract. If the pricing is similar for you, I’d go with glucomanna just for the health benefit.

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That should work. I’d recommend spraying the pan with some cooking spray so that the eggs pop out easier. Mixing a little milk in might make them easier to pour into the pan. Boiled eggs whites don’t do well in the freezer, but cooked eggs are fine! I used to make egg breakfast sandwiches and freeze them and they always turned out well. Good luck!

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I would recommend only buying as much ground spice as you could reasonably use up in a year. Glass bottles could keep the aromatics in spices for longer, but after a year all spices should be refreshed. Putting some dried beans in the bottom of the spice containers keeps out moisture, extending the shelf life. Grating fresh ginger with a microplane zester is my method. Never tried turmeric fresh before. Nutmeg and cinnamon are the easiest to find whole at grocery stores, but it’s best to grind just before using. When a spice is ground, its aromatic properties are released (which is why they smell awesome). Those compounds are lost to the environment and flavor is lost. Paprika, parsley and chives are some herbs that are very light sensitive, which is why they can fade faster. Coffee is the same way, it loses some flavor after 20 minutes in a glass, because the aromatics are lost to the air.

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There are some trigger words you may be better off avoiding: “flavored”, as in chocolate flavored chips that may or may not contain chocolate. It’s okay to go cheap if you’re using it in a recipe with a lot of other ingredients- like peanut butter in a rice crispy recipe for example. If it’s the “star” or main ingredient, get the good stuff, like real vanilla for vanilla pudding but not necessarily chocolate chip cookies. There are some things I’ve never found good alternatives for so I make them myself. BBQ sauce and spice mixes come to mind.

“Creme” versus “cream” probably means it’s something pretty artificial. Basically watch out for any weird spelling, because that’s a way to get around laws regarding standard of identity for foods. Real maple syrup and cream cheese are worth the splurge in my opinion.

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I like making cookies, and my favorite ones are oatmeal chocolate chip! They’re easy and delicious.https://foodscientistbakery.com/…/perfect-oatmeal…/ I also love cupcakes but they usually take too much time/energy. I developed this recipe to solve those issues: https://foodscientistbakery.com/…/chocolate-chip-cupcakes/

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I know it’s lower calorie, but a lot of that is just because they pump it full of air (also makes it cheaper for the manufacturer). Here’s the ingredient list- VANILLA BEAN. ingredients: Milk and cream, eggs, erythritol, prebiotic fiber, milk protein concentrate, organic cane sugar, vegetable glycerin, vanilla extract, vanilla beans, sea salt, organic carob gum, organic guar gum, organic stevia.

None of these ingredients are terrible for you. It’s basically sugar, milk, eggs, and vanilla along with some thickeners to replace the creamy feeling of high-fat ice cream.

I don’t like the taste of fake sugars, even the natural ones, so I haven’t tried this. They can trick your brain into thinking calories are coming because of the sweetness, and when they don’t, your brain basically throws a fit and makes you so hungry you eat something. That’s how artificial sweeteners cause weight gain.

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Yep, unless it says “unsweetened”, it has sugar added. 72% and 86% bars can be found in the baking aisles of Walmart!

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YES!! Dark chocolate (>60% cacao) contains catechins. The catechins are in a class of polyphenols called flavonoids, and are considered antioxidants. Polyphenols are a type of phytochemicals, which are plant-based bioactives (Singh and others 2011). This type of antioxidant functions by stabilizing an unpaired electron in multiple resonance structures (Nimse and Pal 2015). Flavonoids may be able to reduce cardiovascular diseases (WHO 2003), and all antioxidants may prevent cardiovascular disease, by protecting LDL from oxidation (Nimse and Pal 2015).

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There is actually a ton of scientific evidence that proves how terrible these drinks are for people to consume. Here’s some of it:

Busuttil and Willoughby demonstrated that high-consumption (2 cans or more) of energy drinks (EDs) in one day was associated with higher diastolic blood pressure as well as increased frequency of palpitations, rising with co-ingestion of alcohol, even in healthy individuals without cardiovascular risk factors [1].

Likewise, Svatikova et al. recently reported that the consumption of a commercially available ED increased glucose levels, blood pressure and norepinephrine in young healthy adults, thus suggesting that these acute hemodynamic and adrenergic changes may increase cardiovascular risk [2].

Not long ago, we also published about accumulating evidence that energy drinks (EDs) overconsumption in adolescents, especially consumed before or during sports practice, may trigger a number of atypical disorders for this age range including palpitations, arrhythmias, anxiety, nausea, shortness of breath, loss of control and imminent death, and development of uncontrollable phobias and fears, between others.

I did find a study to prove the negative effects of soda:

“rats consuming gaseous beverages over a period of around 1 year gain weight at a faster rate than controls on regular degassed carbonated beverage or tap water. This is due to elevated levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and thus greater food intake in rats drinking carbonated drinks compared to control rats. Moreover, an increase in liver lipid accumulation of rats treated with gaseous drinks is shown opposed to control rats treated with degassed beverage or tap water. In a parallel study, the levels of ghrelin hormone were increased in 20 healthy human males upon drinking carbonated beverages compared to controls.”

Source: Dureen Samandar Eweis, Fida Abed, Johnny Stiban, Carbon dioxide in carbonated beverages induces ghrelin release and increased food consumption in male rats: Implications on the onset of obesity, Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, Available online 20 February 2017.

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These are liquids that contain carbon dioxide gas. The process by which the gas dissolves in the drink is known as carbonation. This process can occur naturally, such as in naturally carbonated mineral water that absorbs carbon dioxide from the ground, or by man-made processes, as is the case in most soft drinks and soda waters. Interestingly, the acid is actually what causes the tingling sensation, not the bubbles!

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Eating more high-calorie healthy foods can help. Nuts and avocados are good choices, as well as bananas and mangos. Healthy carbohydrates from potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, oats, and barley or other grains are a good choice. Drinking smoothies with fruit and milk or chocolate milk can get calories in without weighing you down. Make sure you eat plenty of healthy fats such as olive oil!

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A complete diet has the correct amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fats to satisfy our calorie needs while getting enough nutrition. An easy way to eat what you need is to get plenty of vegetables (especially greens) and fruits, grains like rice or oats, meat or alternative sources of protein, and healthy fats (avocado, nuts, olive oil). Eating a variety of foods from this food groups will produce a complete diet.

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Yes, you can eat a combo of seeds/nuts and grains to give your body the 9 essential amino acids we can’t synthesize by ourselves. Quinoa is the only non-meat source of all 9 of these acids, which are the building blocks of protein that we need to maintain or build muscle mass. Peanut or almond butter with toast, nuts in your oatmeal, or beans and rice are some examples of ways to get enough alternative sources of protein. These don’t have to be eaten together, just sometime throughout the day.

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*Mono- and Diglycerides* These are called emulsifiers. They help oil and water ingredients combine and remain in suspension instead of settling out. They’re found in things like salad dressing and sauces. They start out as plant oils, and are industrially produced by a reaction between triglycerides and glycerol.

*Glycerol* This is a thick liquid that is sweet-tasting and non-toxic. The glycerol backbone is found in all lipids known as triglycerides. It’s used as a sweetener and a water-binder in products like low-fat cookies (as a filler) or frosting (keeps it from setting too hard).

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Fewer ingredients has become synonymous with healthier (to many consumers), so food companies regularly promote products with fewer ingredients. They tend to cost more because the ingredients that were removed were really just cheap fillers that weren’t necessary to the product. Hershey’s just released a simplified chocolate syrup where they removed the preservatives, salt, mono- and diglycerides, xanthan gum, and polysorbate. These are functional ingredients that help the texture of a product, but anyone could make chocolate syrup that last for a really long time in the fridge with 5 ingredients or fewer. They also put a natural vanilla extract in it instead of an artificial flavor, which likely increased their cost.

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I love butter. I can go through a pound a week when I’m baking a lot. I heard that it can cause inflammation, which leads to high cholesterol, so I dove into the research to see what I could find. My conclusion from clinical studies was that it does increase cholesterol, although grass-fed butter can increase good cholesterol (which is hard to do). We’re increasing the amount of other fats in our diets, like coconut oil, although I’ll never be able to stop eating butter permanently!

Category: nutrition
Tag: butter

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