Pizza Has All the Major Food Groups

In this very hectic world, meal time can be such a hassle. It seems hard to squeeze in a balanced diet when you have to do so many things throughout the day. As such, people are always on the look out for quick meals that provide all the necessary nutrients in one bite. If this is the case with you, then you need not look further than the yellow pages. The complete meal has long been around that you are probably eating it more often than you notice. Still puzzled as to what this complete food is? It is none other than the pizza.

For many, pizza may just be a snack or junk food, a fattening substance of empty nutritive value. But contrary to this common notion, the pizza can potentially be a healthful meal that can be both filling and nutritious. While it is true that wolfing down six big slices of pizza in one sitting can definitely make one fat, eating it in the right amounts can just be as healthy as eating a serving of salad. What makes pizza so good is that it has all the food groups recommended by nutritionists and doctors for a proper nutrition.

Here is a run down of the types of food that can be found in most pizzas.

Pizza Has Grain

The basis of any pizza is the crust. It is the binder of the whole pie, where all the ingredients are situated. Crust is simply bread, which is usually made of flour. This is a rich source of carbohydrates which the body uses as fuel for its everyday function. The grain food group is also a good source of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for maintaining normal body processes. The pizza crust is also a source fiber, which is very necessary for maintaining the function of the digestive system.

Pizza Has Protein-Rich Foods

Pizza is rich in food products belonging to the meat group. The usual pizza can have pepperoni, Italian sausages, ground beef, ham and other meats. Some pizzas can even have chicken, veal, or lamb. These types of food are rich in protein, iron, and vitamin D, among many other vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are necessary for building muscle and developing tissue. These nutrients are also used for maintaining hair and skin.

Pizza Has Dairy Products

Aside from the crust, a typical feature of any pizza is the cheese. Nothing beats the chewy, oozing goodness of melted mozzarella on top of any pizza. Some pizzas even have other kinds of cheeses like cheddar, feta, and Gouda. Cheese, like other dairy products is rich in calcium and protein. Calcium is a necessary mineral for growing strong bones and teeth. It is also an important element for preventing diseases like osteoporosis.

Pizza Has Fruits

Another typical ingredient of a pizza is the tomato sauce. While most people would think that tomatoes are vegetables, it is basically a fruit. And like many nutritious fruits, tomatoes are rich …

10 Utensils Common In Food Preparation In Africa

There are utensils in food preparation and in cooking that are unique to Africa. Here are a few!

1. Cooking Pot

In modern Africa, many families have switched to using cooking utensils made of metallic, ceramic and other materials, especially when using modern cooking fires such as electric or gas fires. However, the traditional earthenware cooking pot still remains a favourite for many.

The traditional cooking pot is made of clay, and then fired in a kiln. The processes involved in producing a cooking pot and a water pot are different, since a water pot only needs to keep water cool and not withstand the fire.

The traditional cooking pot is often used over an open fire, such as a wood fire, or at a hearth, or over a charcoal burner. The earthy smell of the cooking pot lends a unique flavour to the food. Fresh beans or meat simmered in a pot have quite a different flavour to when cooked in a metallic saucepan.

The insulatory qualities of the clay pot also slow down the cooking process, which further enhances the flavour of the food.

2. Mortar and Pestle

A mortar and pestle used to be standard equipment in many African households, and often still are. A mortar and pestle were used when pounding grain such as millet or sorghum to separate the chaff from the grain.

In western Africa, cooked yam or cocoyam is also pounded into foo-foo. In Uganda, roasted groundnuts are pounded into odii paste, while raw groundnuts are pounded into ebinyewa groundnut powder.

The Africa mortar and pestle are large for heavy duty pounding, differing from their counterpart common in western cooking, which is a small utensil for gently rubbing spices.

3. Mingling Stick

Most African kitchens have a mingling stick, or indeed a whole collection of them. They are made of wood, and come in all sizes and many different shapes. The most common is the wooden mingling stick with a flat head, used to stir food, but more often to mingle posho, ugali or kuon – maize meal or millet meal bread.

Every woman has a favourite mingling stick, which she claims produces the best results!

4. Gourd

In many communities, a gourd is a special and very handy utensil. A gourd is a climbing plant, which produces a long or round fruit. When this fruit matures and dries, it makes a very useful container. A ripe gourd is often brown or golden in colour. The woody inside is then hollowed out and cleaned.

The Kalenjin of western Kenya use their gourds to ferment milk in. And of course, every woman has her own favourite gourd.

When a gourd is cut lengthwise into two, one then has two calabashes, which are very useful for serving drinks. The clean, woody smell of drinking water in a calabash is quite unique. In northern Uganda,visitors were often served homemade beer in calabashes.

Several ethnic communities in Africa also use calabashes as musical instruments, including the Acoli …

Points to Consider When Cooking Meat

Meats should be cooked at a heat that kills the harmful bacteria in it. There are suggested unique cooking temperature readings for each kind of animal protein. There are several points that need to be taken into consideration, when cooking animal products; some of those points are –

Cook it at the right temperature – The science and technology has proposed several means that have comforted the human life. Kitchen, grill, and BBQ thermometers are a great utility that enable one to check the exact temperature of the food, while it is being cooked. Because uncooked or improperly cooked meat steaks may contain various microorganisms, it becomes essential to take them to the suggested summit of heat.

For instance, if you are making roast beef or lamb, make sure you take its temperature to at least 170º F, or 77º C. This is the safest temperature that makes the roast beef or lamb edible. You would need a grill meat thermometer for this stunt. Similarly, for cooking ground beef, chicken, and pork, 165º F temp would be perfect.

There are available special temperature-monitoring devices that can be used in microwave ovens. The probe can be inserted into the meat, before being placed into the microwave. There are also available devices that can give instant reading of heat, at the ending of cooking procedure. Ideal it would be, if you would buy an all-in-one thermapen that can be used for various operations. You just need to insert the probe into the meat, and the read out is instantaneously.

Insert the testing probe into the thickest portion of steak. As a vital step – to make sure that the steak is fit to be eaten and contains no bacteria – you should insert the probe into the thickest part. Another point, when taking this step, ascertain that the needle does not touch the bone. If the probe touches the bone, it could give wrong interpretations.

Keep the probe or device away from the pan in which it is being cooked – If the needle or device would touch the pan, it may interpret incorrect reading. You should insert the probe from that side where it does not touch the sides of the pan.

Reheating – If eating the leftover meat items, you should bring them to at least 165 º F temperatures. Additionally, when the food reaches the suggested cooking heat, you are advised not to remove the probe from it. (Though, you should remove the food from heat.) And allow the food to rest it at that temperature, and eat it only when the temperature has stopped rising.…

Jambalaya Pots – A Resume of Important Tips

The Jambalaya tradition is alive and well and spreading far and wide, well beyond its Cajun origins in Louisiana. If your thinking about getting into Jambalaya cooking there are a few things its good to know.

Jambalaya pots are multi-purpose; they are great for stews, soups, gumbos, popcorn and much more. You can cook nearly all types of food using cast iron cookware so these pots are the supreme example of large scale ‘anything goes’ cooking equipment

Cast iron pots are a great cooking medium with near perfect heat conduction and heat retention they are very efficient, heating evenly & consistently without heat spots.

There is one piece of advice that is paramount, don’t buy cheap. A Jambalaya pot is an investment that your grand children’s children will be enjoying, so buy well. Remember, by comparative standards they are not expensive and when measured over their extended lifetime they are incredibly cheap.

As a simple piece of advice, we have found that the Bayou Classic range of jambalaya pots are superb, they represent the very best in Jambalaya cookware.

Jambalaya pots are ideal for outdoor cooking but they can be a little heavy, especially the larger models. This said the common advice from users is, if you think you’ve chosen the right size then go for the next size up as there surely will come a time when you’ll have need of it. This said do also bear in mind that when going from say, a 7 gallon up to a 10 gallon pot you’re going from being able to serve 60 people, to being able to serve 100.

It’s really healthy to cook with cast iron jambalaya pots because you can cook fat free as a properly seasoned Jambalaya pot will be non-stick so it requires no oil for cooking.

Jambalaya pots are easy to clean:

  1. once the pot is cooled, wash it using normal washing up liquid, then rinse and dry with a paper towel; don’t listen to those that say just wipe it out; this is not hygienic.
  2. after washing put the pot onto the stove/burner to completely dry it out; then before its cooled very lightly oil with a vegetable oil; then leave it on the stove for a few minutes; then take it off the stove and wipe away any excess oil with a paper towel;
  3. after drying your cookware you should never store it with its lid on as this can allow moisture to build up inside, resulting in rust! To help avoid this it can help to put a paper towel inside the pot to absorb any moisture; and
  4. if you do experience rust, scour with steel wool, until the rust is gone, wash and re-season.

Finally here are just a few dos and don’t when cooking with your Jambalaya pots:

  1. Don’t use your pot for boiling water.
  2. Always preheat your pot before starting cooking. The temperature is right when drips of water sizzle then jump around. Its too hot if the water

How to Make Pumpkin Puree

Each year, eighty percent of the pumpkins grown in the USA are harvested in October. Commercially canned puree is probably the most familiar edible form of this popular autumn produce, however the mild, slightly sweet flesh of fresh pumpkin makes an excellent dish when baked, boiled, sauteed, steamed or microwaved. The pumpkin seeds, as well, may be toasted to create a marvelously tasty and healthy snack.

This article will discuss the process of selecting the proper cooking pumpkin and the technique for preparing homemade pumpkin puree.

Selecting and Storing Fresh Pumpkins…

  • For cooking, select the small ‘pie’ types, often called sugar, cheese or milk pumpkins – the ‘jack-‘o-lantern’ pumpkins are not as sweet and the flesh is tough and stringy. (If uncertain, ask your grocer to help select the proper variety.)
  • Always select firm, sound pumpkins that feel heavy for their size. The rind should not have any blemishes or soft spots and a 2- to 3-inch stem should be intact.
  • Fresh pumpkins may be stored in a cool, dry dark place for up to 2 months. Ideal temperature range for storage is 55 to 59F (12.5 to 15C). Do not store below 50F (10C) and do not store fresh pumpkin in a refrigerator or wrap in plastic.

    How to Prepare Homemade Pumpkin Puree…

    The following recipe will yield a minimum of 1-3/4 cups of puree — equal to 1 (15-oz.) can of solid pack pumpkin puree. (Three pounds of fresh pumpkin will yield about 3 cups mashed cooked pumpkin.) Any leftover puree may be frozen – see freezing instructions below. Use this puree in recipes or substitute it in the same amount in any recipe calling for solid pack canned pumpkin.

    1. Choose a 3 to 4 pound sugar (‘pie’) pumpkin for preparing puree. (Under no circumstances cook or eat a carved Halloween pumpkin as the cut surfaces breed bacteria.)

    2. Preheat oven to 350F (175C).

    3. Just prior to baking, rinse the pumpkin under cold water to remove any dirt or debris from the outside of the pumpkin; wipe dry with a cloth or paper towel.

    4. Split the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and stringy fibers by scraping the insides with a metal spoon. Discard fibers and save seeds for toasting, if desired.

    5. Rub the cut surfaces of the pumpkin with canola oil and place the 2 halves (cut-side-down) in a roasting pan. Add 1 cup of water.

    6. Bake in preheated oven until pumpkin flesh is tender when pierced with a knife (approximately 90 minutes).

    7. Remove the pumpkin halves from the oven and place them on a cutting board or other flat surface to cool.

    8. When cool enough to handle, scoop the baked flesh out of each pumpkin half with a spoon.

    9. Puree pumpkin in a food processor fitted with a metal chopping blade or mash by hand.

    10. Place the puree in a sieve lined with a paper-towel or coffee filter and set over a deep bowl. Let drain,

  • Benefits of Modern Commercial Kitchen Equipment

    If any food company decides to introduce modern kitchen equipments in its system then it has a wide range of options available to improve its performance. It is quite natural that commercial kitchen equipment will be technologically far better than the one which are used in domestic households.

    The best examples of the places where these equipments are used are restaurants, hotels, hostels etc. The ultimate invention in the field of kitchen equipments is chapatti making machine which is known for its hygiene because, the lesser the human efforts are involved; the lesser will be the chances of germs to get enter into the dough. The germs were earlier used to contaminate food even through open hands of the cook. There are so many varieties of Chapatti maker machine available in the markets now-a-days which are energy efficient and quite easy to operate. Being energy efficient means definitely they are helpful in reducing the overall cost incurred by the commercial set ups. The other advantage of this equipment is that it produces chapattis throughout in the same shape and size whereas it is not sure that manually made chapattis will be uniform in shape. There are three types of these machines available in the market they are semi -automatic, automatic and fully automatic chapatti making machines.

    This range is not only limited to Roti making machine but a huge variety of Tortilla maker machines are also available in the market. A commercial tortilla maker has become a necessity of any restaurant which has to make this dish on a large scale. Without a machine, work of mixing, rolling and cooking tortillas require intensive labour. Now these machines save a lot of time and labour which can be utilized in providing good services to the customers. A tortilla machine comprises of mixers, tortilla presses, tortilla cutters, dough dividers, counters and equipment for packaging.

    Kitchen equipment manufacturers have also introduced Papad making machine which saves a lot of time and energy of the commercial, small scale as well as large scale, industries. The huge popularity and demand of south Indian food like dosa has given rise to the invention of dosa machines which unbelievably can produce even four hundred dosa in an hour which could have never been possible if the same work had been done manually. Process of various operations to produce dosa like dispersion of batter, spreading and depositing of on the hot plate and roasting is organized in a very systematic way. This device is available with the facility of time setting, temperature control and various other features. These are very useful in industrial canteens, festivals, hotels and gatherings which take place on a large level.

    There is a machine which is very similar to that of a Roti machine named Poori machine which produces small size pooris in commercial setups. Thus, we can conclude that modernization and commercialization is not only limited to the outer world but it has taken control over our traditional practices of cooking food …

    The Foods You Need to Eat During Pregnancy!

    Need some real, practical suggestions for healthy breakfasts, snacks, meals and drinks for avoiding excessive weight gain during pregnancy? Look no further – we’ve even given you a shopping list!

    PREGNANCY NUTRITION: TOP FOODS TO EAT AND TO AVOID!

    Pregnancy Nutrition: BREAKFAST IDEAS

    Fresh fruit smoothie: Blend any fresh fruit (with some natural unsweetened live yoghurt (soya, goat or cow’s) and a handful of mixed seeds (e.g. pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and linseed).

    Tip: if you are in a hurry, add fresh orange or apple juice to dilute your smoothie so it’s easy to drink, then put in a beaker and take it with you.

    Boiled, scrambled or poached egg with buttered oat cakes or rye toast. – Wholegrain rye toast spread with nut butter (almond, cashew, hazel or peanut)

    Mix a handful of oats in a bowl of live natural yoghurt and top with a few pieces of chopped fresh fruit and a handful of chopped nuts.

    Spread some cream cheese on corn cakes or wheat-free bread/crackers and top with wild or organic smoked salmon.

    Porridge cooked in water with grated apple and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Tip: soak oats in water for 10 minutes before cooking – this will bring out their creamy flavour, so there’s no need to use milk. Add some hot stewed apple and berries

    An omelet (filling ideas: grated cheese and red onion, mixed fresh herbs, chopped tomatoes and peppers, garlic mushrooms and watercress, smoked salmon).

    Baked beans on rye toast.

    Pregnancy Nutrition: DRINKS IDEAS

    Herb teas instead of caffeinated tea. There are so many varieties now, experiment until you find one you like. Rooibosch (Red Bush) tea is the closest to ‘normal’ tea and can be drunk with milk.

    Caro, Barleycup and Dandelion coffee are all caffeine-free coffee alternatives. Teeccino is a delicious coffee substitute that you make in a cafetiere (comes in different flavors, e.g. mocha, vanilla nut, almond amaretto)

    Instead of alcohol, mix fruit, elderflower or ginger cordials with sparking water.

    SEEDS are rich in protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals – grinding them helps to release their nutrients. Aim to have a heaped tablespoon each day and add to cereals, yogurt, soups or salads.

    Buy some fresh, unsalted seeds – pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and linseed (also called flaxseeds – the golden variety is richer in essential fats than brown).Using a coffee grinder or a grinding attachment from a food processor, grind a mixture that’s 50{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} linseed and 50{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} a combination of pumpkin, sunflower and sesame. Grind enough to fill a small glass jar (choose glass rather than plastic as plastic can damage the essential fats in the seeds). Store your jar in the fridge. Ideally, keep your unground seeds in a dark cupboard to protect them from light or oxygen damage (essential fats can be damaged easily).

    Pregnancy Nutrition: ENERGY BOOSTING SNACK IDEAS

    An apple and a handful of pumpkin or sunflower seeds

    A pear, peach or other seasonal fruit with 10 fresh almonds

    Three oat cakes with …

    How Much Does it Cost to Use a Food Dehydrator?

    A common misconception is that it is expensive, electricity wise, to operate a food dehydrator. This is not true, even though dehydrators use electricity to operate their heating system and fans for longer periods of time, sometimes up to twelve and eighteen hours.

    Food dehydrators are used to dry various foods by eliminating the water within the food. The water content of food is very high, typically between 80{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} to 95{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} for various fruits and vegetables and 50{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} to 75{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} for different meats. In order to minimize dehydration time, best dehydration practices to follow include slicing food into 1/4 inch or less strips and evenly spreading the food throughout the unit’s trays in order to maximize the amount of the food’s surface that is exposed to the unit’s heat and air flow.

    However, even following best dehydration practices, a food drying process can take multiple hours. One temptation is to try and speed up the drying time by increasing the dehydrating temperature. This is not recommended and can result in case hardened food; that is, food that is dried and hard on the outside but moist and containing water on the inside. Case hardened food will spoil due to microbial growth.

    So what do typical dehydrators cost to operate? Obviously the costs depend on the state and local area that you live in, however, within the U.S., on average, running a 750 watt unit for one hour would cost about 8 cents. Cost per state, per hour, for the same 750 watt unit varies from about 5 cents on the low end in North Dakota to almost 22 cents in Hawaii.

    A typical dehydrator may run for twelve hours. As an example, assuming a dehydrator user lives in the state of California, a food dehydrator calculator can be used to estimate electricity costs required to run a 750 watt food drying appliance for, say, 12 hours straight. In this case the electricity cost would be about $1.21. In fact, most food drying units power on and off during the drying cycle so this would be a maximum electricity cost.

    If the same Californian user bought about 3.7 pounds of apples at $1.29 per pound and dried those apples during that 12 hour time period, the user would have about 1 pound of dried apples and the cost of the dried apples would be $4.77. The total operating cost for one pound of homemade dried apples would thus be about $5.98. This homemade cost compares favorably to a well known national brand of dried apples that was recently selling at a major grocery store chain for $2.79 for a 5 ounce bag or a cost per pound of $8.93. Savings for homemade dried apples, made with a dehydrator, versus store bought – about $3.00.

    Dehydrate your own dried fruit, dried vegetables and jerky at home using your food dehydrator. You’ll continuously save money versus store bought dried fruit and jerky and obtain a return on the cost of the food drying …

    The Chefmate Digital Food Scale and It’s Features

    The Chefmate Digital Food Scale is an extraordinary little digital food scale. Its appearance and advantages are great.

    This digital food scale features a lot. Its dimensions are 7.75 X 3.5 X 7.20, has a stainless steal base, it displays LCD, features 1g accuracy, it shows the volume of liquids, the maximum weight limit is 11lbs., a specific bowl is also recommended for this digital food scale and it is definitely easy to clean.

    The Chefmate digital kitchen scale is easy for you to convert on pounds, ounces or grams. Another special feature of this kitchen scale is that you can place the food along with the plate, bowl or Tupperware on it but the weight it measures is only the food plus it can measure the volume of liquids. The exterior is also really smooth, so it can be easily wiped and cleaned up.

    This specific kitchen device has many uses. It can be used when you have a baby usually until he or she reached five to six months. Babies have small stomachs, so you really need to measure their food and give them the exact amount they needed. You also have to prepare the babies’ food very quick because they would cry hard enough if not. With the use of the digital scale, it does not only make your work easier but also makes your work faster.

    This scale is also best for people who are in a diet and the ones really conscious about the amount of calories they intake. Having this kitchen scale, it will surely help you to determine how many calories you take in every food you eat. It’s also perfect for dieting. Some people also use this digital scale when cooking. They use this to measure the amount of food and some spices that are needed exactly to get the perfect taste of the food.

    The Chefmate digital food scale has many more advantages to give which you might find delightful. It is very useful, yet the price is very worth it also.…

    Laser Thermometers – Advantages and Disadvantages

    Thermometer technology has improved vastly in recent times. Lately, a new kind of thermometer-the laser thermometer-is becoming much talked about. As the name suggests, this thermometer works on the laser principle. But that’s all most people know about them. Let’s get to know these thermometers in a bit more detail here.

    What Are Laser Thermometers?

    These are thermometers that work on the principle of laser. When any substance is hot, it radiates this heat from all of its parts. This causes the molecules in this area to vibrate with greater velocity. Laser can measure this increase in velocity, and this is then converted into a temperature reading. This is the reading that a laser thermometer provides.

    The shape of these thermometers is more or less like a gun. There’s a region from where the laser is emitted. The laser ray is directly pointed to the surface whose temperature is to be measured. Though the path of the ray cannot be seen clearly, the point at which the ray touches the surface can be seen as a bright red dot. Within moments, the temperature of this incident area is reported by the thermometer.

    Since any hot body will emit an equal amount of heat radiation from all of its parts, these laser based thermometers can be pointed at any point on the surface of the body. The reading is almost similar, irrespective of where this actual point is located. This becomes an advantage of laser thermometers over other thermometers, which need to be positioned in specific ways on the body whose temperature is to be measured.

    Advantages

    1. Laser thermometers don’t really need to be brought in contact with the object whose temperature needs to be measured. They can even measure temperature from a remote location. It is only necessary that the path of the laser shouldn’t be obstructed. It is for this reason that the laser-based thermometers are also called as non-touch thermometers.

    2. The results are instantaneous. This is a great benefit, especially when creating clinical thermometers for infants. By using thermometers that work on the laser principle, it is no longer necessary to place the thermometer on the patient’s body and wait for a minute before taking the reading.

    3. All these thermometers are digital, which makes it much easier to get readings from them.

    Applications

    These thermometers find a lot of versatile uses.

    1. They are used in measuring body temperatures, especially in the form of ear thermometers, which are extensively used for measuring body temperature in babies.

    2. They are used to find the temperature of food. Whether food is just removed from the refrigerator or from the oven, these thermometers can accurately tell what its temperature is, which helps you decide whether you want to eat the food or wait a while.

    3. They are used in industry in determining places where there might be heat leakages. A routine laser thermometer scan of the whole area will show if there’s any place where there’s excessive …