Friday, December 12, 2014

More Hints and Q & As

Hello fellow cook enthusiasts! This post covers another Q & A and a couple of hints.

Q. What kind of granola do you buy? Is it healthy?

A. Granola is typically made with healthy ingredients: whole-grain oats, whole-grain rice, oat bran, almonds, walnuts, dried fruit, cinnamon. The problem with most of the granola in the supermarkets is the high sugar content. I always read labels, and my rule of thumb is "higher fiber content than sugar." I have found only one granola in our local supermarket that does not have a higher sugar content then fiber. And, the fiber is not higher than the sugar; they are both equal. That brand is Bear Naked Triple Berry. All of the other Bear Naked flavors have a higher sugar content.

If you are a big granola eater, I suggest making your own. This is not something I have looked into making since we are not huge granola eaters, although I think I will add it to my list. I will start searching ideas, and I am sure I will come up with something to share.


Tomato paste
In my book, Eating Healthy Can Be Delicious and Easy, I shared a hint on page 25 for storing unused tomato paste. Most of the recipes I make call for only 1 or 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, so I always freeze the rest after I open a jar. I usually get about 10 tablespoons of paste from a jar. This is photo of the frozen balls, ready for storing in the freezer.

Freshly ground pepper
I always prefer freshly ground pepper when preparing a dish; however, it is not easy to grind pepper into a small measure, like a ¼ or ½ teaspoon. A few weeks ago, the simple matter-of-factness of how to do this hit me! I am sure many of you already know this since it seems like common sense now that the lightbulb is on in my head!

Turn the pepper container upside down with the lid on to grind it. After a few grinds, remove the lid, and then pour the freshly ground pepper from the lid into the teaspoon.