Archive for camy

Chef Superhands

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2012 by ecofrenfood

Chef Superhands
Deep Fried Chicken using his hands

Restaurant ‘Heart Attack’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2011 by ecofrenfood

Restaurant ‘Heart Attack’

Can Certain Foods Really Save Your Life?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2011 by ecofrenfood

Can Certain Foods Really Save Your Life?
‘Super foods’ can help prevent disease, prolong life, and more
By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic-Feature

Quinoa, broccoli, beans, and almonds hardly sound like life-savers. But according to scientific research and a few recent books, these and certain other foods are just that. Almost daily, new studies reveal more about the powerful substances found in particular foods, and how they can improve our health and/or prevent disease.

It’s true, experts say — what you put in your mouth really can affect how long you live, whether you get certain diseases, and how your body ages.

“Absolutely, there are foods that when added to the diet can make a significant health difference,” says David Grotto, RD, author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life.

He offers a few examples: “If you have arthritis, eat ginger, peppers, and yogurt; for headaches or migraines, try blueberries, mushrooms, or rosemary; insomnia sufferers, try cherries, Romaine lettuce, and walnuts; and if you are overweight, eggs, oats, and pears can help you slim down.”

Joy Bauer, MS, RD, Today Show registered dietitian and author of Joy Bauer’s Food Cures, agrees. “You can treat common health concerns, look younger, live longer, boost mood, and manage diabetes and more by choosing the right foods,” she says.

It seems that eating a variety of healthy foods — particularly fresh produce and whole grains — gives your body substances that help battle the “free radicals” that can damage cells. These foods may thus help boost immunity, and reduce inflammation at the cellular level. And that’s not all.

“There is not one or even a small number of nutrients — there are thousands of health-promoting, beneficial compounds such as phytonutrients, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, that head off diseases that can shorten your life,” says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author of The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to the New Food Pyramids.

Heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and certain cancers are just a few of the chronic conditions that a healthy diet can help to prevent.

But, experts add, it’s important to remember that diet alone is not the answer: “A healthy lifestyle includes regular physical activity, not smoking [and] controlling stress, along with a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and adequate amounts of low-fat dairy, lean meats, fish, and healthy fats,” Ward says.
14 Foods that Could Help Save Your Life

That said, here are 14 foods that deserve a place in your diet, along with their specific nutritional attributes, according to Joy Bauer’s Food Cures and 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life:

* Almonds: These nutritious nuggets are a good source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, and a variety of antioxidants. They can help with weight control and heart health, and may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
* Barley: This whole grain is a rich source of vitamin E, fiber, B vitamins, and a wealth of antioxidants. Barley contains beta-glucan, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
* Quinoa: This is an ancient grain high in protein, fiber, iron, zinc, vitamin E, and selenium. It can help control your weight and help lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes.
* Coffee: In moderate doses, coffee may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, improve mood and memory, and, for men, reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
* Eggs: They are low in calories (75 per egg), an excellent source of high-quality protein, and rich in folate, choline, and iron. They can play a role in eye health and weight management — an egg at breakfast helps to curb appetite.
* Grapes: They’re rich in vitamin C, potassium and quercetin. Preliminary studies have shown that quercetin may boost the immune system.
* Kale: This super-healthy green veggie has vitamins A, C, potassium, lutein, and zeaxathan, which can help reduce the incidence of certain cancers and macular degeneration.
* Ginger: This spice with anti-inflammatory properties may help lesson arthritis pain. It also quells upset stomachs, nausea, and motion sickness.
* Pecans: These nuts are rich in gamma tocopherol, a type of vitamin E, as well as a rich source of antioxidants.
* Sweet potatoes: They’re rich in vitamin A and C, high in fiber, and naturally sweet. Sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of lycopene which may fight heart disease, and breast and prostate cancer.
* Olive oil: This Mediterranean diet staple is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and plant compounds that have anti-inflammatory action to fight heart disease and cancer.

But the list of potentially life-saving foods is by no means limited to 14. For example, Wendy Bazilian and Steven Pratt, authors of The Super Foods Rx Diet, suggest 14 other super-nutritious foods: beans, blueberries, broccoli, oats, oranges, pumpkin, salmon, soy, spinach, tea, tomatoes, turkey, walnuts, and yogurt. (All but turkey are also mentioned in Joy Bauer’s Food Cures and 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life.)

What Makes a Super Food?

Several efforts are afoot to rank or score foods according to their nutritional profiles. But James Joseph, PhD, a researcher for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, says the various systems can be confusing. It’s easier, he says, to simply choose a wide variety of colorful produce, whole grains, nuts, fish, lean protein, and low-fat dairy.

“Most people don’t walk around with a pyramid or book on the healthiest foods but they do know their grocery stores,” says Joseph, author of The Color Code. “Avoid most of the center aisles and spend more time in the perimeter, where produce, dairy, meats, fish and whole grain bread are located.”

Venture into the interior aisles for whole grains, nuts, and simple frozen foods such as blueberries, he advises — but try to avoid refined flour, sugar, saturated and trans fats, and the temptations of the snack aisles.

And don’t forget that portion size matters, even when it comes to healthy foods. You can take more liberties when eating low-calorie fruits and simply prepared vegetables, but take care to eat other super foods in sensible portions.
Think Addition, Not Subtraction

Perhaps the best thing about “super foods,” experts say, is the idea that you can stop worrying so much about the foods you should avoid, and instead concentrate on foods you can add to your diet.

“People are tired of being told what not to eat, and if we could shift our advice to encourage them to start eating more good-for-you foods, they will recognize how delicious and filling healthy foods are and eat fewer of the less-healthy foods,” Grotto says.

http://www.webmd.com/cancer/nutrition-cancer-8/5-healthy-foods?page=2

Food Poisoning Symptoms

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2011 by ecofrenfood

Food Poisoning Symptoms
More than 76 million persons in the United States become ill from the food they eat and over 5000 will die every year from food poisoning. Uncooked or undercooked foods (meat, eggs or fish) and improper cleaning and washing of fruits and vegetables are the main causes of food poisoning.

The reason for Food Poisoning symptoms
The underlying cause of food poisoning is the presence of large amounts bacteria in food. The most common are Staphylococcus ( found in salad dressing, ham, eggs, custard-filled pastries, mayonnaise, and potato salad), Salmonella ( found in poultry, beef, eggs, or dairy products) or E. coli (found in undercooked hamburger, unpasteurized apple juice or cider, raw milk, contaminated water (or ice), vegetables fertilized by cow manure)

Symptoms of Food Poisoning
The symptoms of food poisoning vary with the source and severity of contamination and usually manifest within a few hours of consuming contaminated food. The general symptoms can include one of more of the following:

Upset stomach
Nausea
Fever that lasts longer than 24 hours
Vomiting
Abdominal cramps
Diarrhea (Bloody diarrhea or pus in the stool)
Dizziness and/ or fainting,
Rapid heart rate
Weakness
Numbness or tingling in the arms, legs or mouth
Most food poisoning symptoms will resolve themselves on their own in a few days. You should seek medical attention if:

The symptoms of food poisoning last for more than two days of if there is a persistent fever with or without shivers or chills.
There is extremely watery diarrhea
There is blood pus or mucus (whitish-gray in color) mixed in with the stools
There are symptoms of dehydration — excessive thirst, dry mouth, little or no urination, severe weakness, dizziness or lightheadedness
There is anyone else in your family is also sick with similar symptoms.
Treatment
Fluids and electrolytes and lost from vomiting and diarrhea should be replaced by drinking clear liquids or diluted energy drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade. If medical attention is necessary, a doctor may prescribe medication to treat the fever, vomiting or diarrhea.

Tips to Prevent Food Poisoning
1.Use purified or bottled water
2.Practice proper hygiene (thoroughly washing hands) when coming into contact with food
3.Workers in the food industry should use masks, cap and gloves during cooking and serving.
4.Sick individuals should not handle food
5.Kitchen and other food preparation surfaces should be kept clean
6.Utensils should be washed with soap and hot water.
7.Food that has been prepared should not be kept at room temperature for prolonged periods of time.
8.All food materials should be kept in closed containers.
9.Fruits and Vegetables should be properly washed
10.Meat should be fresh and should be purchased from butcher or market
11.Do not consume foods that passed their expiration or “use by” date

http://www.foodpoisoningsymptoms.net/

How To Choose Edible Flowers – Edible Flower Chart:

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2011 by ecofrenfood

How To Choose Edible Flowers – Edible Flower Chart:

Begonia – Tuberous begonias and Waxed begonias –

Tuberous Begonias (Begonia X tuberosa) – The leaves, flowers, and stems are edible. Begonia blossoms have a citrus-sour taste. The petals are used in salads and as a garnish. Stems, also, can be used in place of rhubarb. The flowers and stems contain oxalic acid and should not be consumed by individuals suffering from gout, kidney stones, or rheumatism.

Wax Begonias (Begonia cucullata) – The fleshy leaves and flowers are edible raw or cooked. They can have a slight bitter after taste and if in water most of the time, a hint of swamp in their flavor.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) – Also called Marigolds. A wonderful edible flower. Flavors range from spicy to bitter, tangy to peppery. Their sharp taste resembles saffron (also known as Poor Man’s Saffron). Has pretty petals in golden-orange hues. Sprinkle them on soups, pasta or rice dishes, herb butters, and salads. Petals add a yellow tint to soups, spreads, and scrambled eggs.

Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus – aka Dianthus) – Carnations can be steeped in wine, candy, or use as cake decoration. To use the surprisingly sweet petals in desserts, cut them away from the bitter white base of the flower. Dianthus are the miniature member of the carnation family with light clove-like or nutmeg scent. Petals add color to salads or aspics. Carnation petals are one of secret ingredients that has been used to make Chartreuse, a French liqueur, since the 17th century.

Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum coronarium) – Tangy, slightly bitter, ranging in colors from red, white, yellow and orange. They range in taste from faint peppery to mild cauliflower. They sould be blanched first and then scatter the petals on a salad. The leaves can also be used to flavor vinegar. Always remove the bitter flower base and use petals only. Young leaves and stems of the Crown Daisy, also known as Chop Suey Greens or Shingiku in Japan, are widely used in oriental stir-fries and as salad seasoning.

Clover (Trifolium species) – Sweet, anise-like, licorice. Raw flower heads can be difficult to digest.

Cornflower (Centaurea cynaus) – Also called Bachelor’s button. They have a slightly sweet to spicy, clove-like flavor. Bloom is a natural food dye. More commonly used as garnish.

Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) – Also called Sweet Rocket or Dame’s Violet. This plant is often mistaken for Phlox. Phlox has five petals, Dame’s Rocket has just four. The flowers, which resemble phlox, are deep lavender, and sometimes pink to white. The plant is part of the mustard family, which also includes radishes, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and, mustard. The plant and flowers are edible, but fairly bitter. The flowers are attractive added to green salads. The young leaves can also be added to your salad greens (for culinary purposes, the leaves should be picked before the plant flowers). The seed can also be sprouted and added to salads. NOTE: It is not the same variety as the herb commonly called Rocket, which is used as a green in salads.

Dandelions (Taraxacum officinalis) – Member of the Daisy family. Flowers are sweetest when picked young. They have a sweet, honey-like flavor. Mature flowers are bitter. Dandelion buds are tastier than the flowers: best to pick these when they are very close to the ground, tightly bunched in the center, and about the size of a small gumball. Good raw or steamed. Also made into wine. Young leaves taste good steamed, or tossed in salads. When serving a rice dish use dandelion petals like confetti over the rice.

Day Lilies (Hemerocallis species) – Slightly sweet with a mild vegetable flavor, like sweet lettuce or melon. Their flavor is a combination of asparagus and zucchini. Chewable consistency. Some people think that different colored blossoms have different flavors. To use the surprisingly sweet petals in desserts, cut them away from the bitter white base of the flower. Also great to stuff like squash blossoms. Flowers look beautiful on composed salad platters or crowning a frosted cake. Sprinkle the large petals in a spring salad. In the spring, gather shoots two or three inches tall and use as a substitute for asparagus. NOTE: Many Lilies contain alkaloids and are NOT edible. Day Lilies may act as a diuretic or laxative; eat in moderation.

English Daisy (Bellis perennis) – The flowers have a mildly bitter taste and are most commonly used for their looks than their flavor. The petals are used as a garnish and in salads.

Fruit Flowers:

Most fruit trees are usually sprayed just before and during the bloom. If you are using you own flowers that have not sprayed, use only the pedals, not the pistils or stamen.

Apple Blossoms (Malus species) – Apple Blossoms have a delicate floral flavor and aroma. They are a nice accompaniment to fruit dishes and can easily be candied to use as a garnish. NOTE: Eat in moderation as the flowers may contain cyanide precursors. The seeds of the apple fruit and their wild relations are poisonous

Banana Blossoms (Musa paradisiaca) – Also know as Banana Hearts. The flowers are a purple-maroon torpedo shaped growth appears out of the top of usually the largest of the trunks. Banana blossoms are used in Southeast Asian cuisines. The blossoms can be cooked or eaten raw. The tough covering is usually removed until you get to the almost white tender parts of the blossom. It should be sliced and let it sit in water until most of the sap are gone. If you eat it raw, make sure the blossom comes from a variety that isn’t bitter. Most of the Southeast Asian varieties aren’t bitter.

Citrus Blossoms (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, kumquat) – Use highly scented waxy petals sparingly. Distilled orange flower water is characteristic of Middle Eastern pastries and beverages. Citrus flavor and lemony.

Elderberry Blossoms (Sambucus spp) – The blossoms are a creamy color and have a sweet scent and sweet taste. When harvesting elderberry flowers, do not wash them as that removes much of the fragrance and flavor. Instead check them carefully for insects. The fruit is used to make wine. The flowers, leaves, berries, bark and roots have all been used in traditional folk medicine for centuries. NOTE: All other parts of this plant, except the berries, are mildly toxic! They contain a bitter alkaloid and glycoside that may change into cyanide. The cooked ripe berries of the edible elders are harmless. Eating uncooked berries may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Fuchsia (Fuchsia X hybrida) – Blooms have a slightly acidic flavor. Explosive colors and graceful shape make it ideal as garnish. The berries are also edible.

Garden Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) – Sorrel flowers are tart, lemon tasting. So use like a lemon: on pizza, a salad topping, in sauces, over cucumber salads.

Gladiolus (Gladiolus spp) – Flowers (anthers removed) have a nondescript flavor (taste vaguely like lettuce) but make lovely receptacles for sweet or savory spreads or mousses. Toss individual petals in salads. It can also be cooked like a day lily.

Herb Flowers:

Most herb flowers are just as tasty as the foliage and very attractive when used in your salads. Add some petals to any dish you were already going to flavor with the herb.

Alliums (leeks, chives, garlic, garlic chives) – Known as the “Flowering Onions.” There are approximately four hundred species that includes the familiar onion, garlic, chives, ramps, and shallots. All members of this genus are edible. Their flavors range from mild onions and leeks right through to strong onion and garlic. All parts of the plants are edible. The flowers tend to have a stronger flavor than the leaves and the young developing seed-heads are even stronger. We eat the leaves and flowers mainly in salads. The leaves can also be cooked as a flavoring with other vegetables in soups, etc.

Chive Blossoms (Allium schoenoprasum) – Use whenever a light onion flavor and aroma is desired. Separate the florets and enjoy the mild, onion flavor in a variety of dishes.

Garlic Blossoms (Allium sativum) – The flowers can be white or pink, and the stems are flat instead of round. The flavor has a garlicky zing that brings out the flavor of your favorite food. Milder than the garlic bulb. Wonderful in salads.

Angelica (Angelica archangelica) – Depending on the variety, flower range from pale lavender-blue to deep rose. It has a flavor similar to licorice. Angelica is valued culinary from the seeds and stems, which are candied and used in liqueurs, to the young leaves and shoots, which can be added to a green salad. Because of its celery-like flavor, Angelica has a natural affinity with fish. The leaves have a stronger, clean taste and make a interesting addition to salads. In its native northern Europe, even the mature leaves are used, particularly by the Laplanders, as a natural fish preservative. Many people in the cold Northern regions such as Greenland, Siberia, and Finland consider Angelica a vegetable, and eat the stems raw, sometimes spread with butter. Young leaves can be made into a tea.

Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) – Both flowers and leaves have a delicate anise or licorice flavor. Some people say the flavor reminds them of root beer. The blossoms make attractive plate garnishes and are often used in Chinese-style dishes. Excellent in salads.

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) – Depending on the type, the flowers are either bright white, pale pink, or a delicate lavender. The flavor of the flower is milder, but similar to the leaves of the same plant. Basil also has different varieties that have different milder flavors like lemon and mint. Sprinkle them over salad or pasta for a concentrated flavor and a spark of color that gives any dish a fresh, festive look. Linguine with Tomatoes and Basil

Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) – Also called Wild Bergamot, Wild Oswego Tea, Horsemint, Monarda. Wild bee balm tastes like oregano and mint. The taste of bee balm is reminiscent of citrus with soft mingling of lemon and orange. The red flowers have a minty flavor. Any place you use oregano, you can use bee balm blossoms. The leaves and flower petals can also be used in both fruit and regular salads. The leaves taste like the main ingredient in Earl Gray Tea and can be used as a substitute.

Borage (Borago officinalis) – Has lovely cornflower blue star-shaped flowers. Blossoms and leaves have a cool, faint cucumber taste. Wonderful in punches, lemonade, gin and tonics, sorbets, chilled soups, cheese tortas, and dips.

Burnet (Sanquisorba minor – The taste usually is likened to that of cucumbers, and burnet can be used interchangeably with borage.

Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) Chervil flowers are delicate white flowers with an anise flavor. Chervil’s flavor is lost very easily, either by drying the herb, or too much heat. That is why it should be added at the end of cooking or sprinkled on in its fresh, raw state in salads.

Chicory (Cichorium intybus) – Earthy flavor, eat either the petals or the buds. Chicory has a pleasant, mild-bitter taste that has been compared to endive. The buds can be pickled.

Cilantro/Coriander (Coriander sativum) – Like the leaves and seeds, the flowers have a strong herbal flavor. Use leaves and flowers raw as the flavor fades quickly when cooked. Sprinkle to taste on salads, bean dishes, and cold vegetable dishes.

Chamomile (Chamaemelum noblis)- The flowers are small and daisy-like and have a sweet, apple-like flavor. NOTE: Drink chamomile tea in moderation as it contains thuaone; ragweed sufferers may be allergic to chamomile.

Dill (Anethum) – Tangy; like their leaves, but stronger. Use yellow dill flowers as you would the herb to season hot or cold soups, seafood, dressings, and dips. The seeds are used in pickling and baking.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) – It has a star-burst yellow flowers that have a mild anise flavor. Use with desserts or cold soups, or as a garnish with your entrees.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) – The white variety of ginger is very fragrant and has a gingery taste on the tongue. Petals may be eaten raw or you can cook the tender young shoots.

Jasmine (jasmine officinale) – The flowers are intensely fragrant and are traditionally used for scenting tea. True Jasmine has oval, shiny leaves and tubular, waxy-white flowers. NOTE: The false Jasmine is in a completely different genus, “Gelsemium”, and family, “Loganiaceae”, is considered too poisonous for human consumption. This flower has a number of common names including yellow jessamine or jasmine, Carolina jasmine or jessamine, evening trumpetflower, gelsemium, and woodbine.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – Sweet, floral flavor, with lemon and citrus notes. Flowers look beautiful and taste good too in a glass of champagne, with chocolate cake, or as a garnish for sorbets or ice creams. Lavender lends itself to savory dishes also, from hearty stews to wine-reduced sauces. Diminutive blooms add a mysterious scent to custards, flans or sorbets. NOTE: Do not consume lavender oil unless you absolutely know that it has not be sprayed and is culinary safe.

Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla) – Tiny cream-colored citrus-scented blossoms. Leaves and flowers can be steeped as an herbtea, and used to flavor custards and flans.

Marjoram (Origanum majorana) – Flowers are a milder version of plant’s leaf. Use as you would the herb.

Mint (Mentha spp) – The flavor of the flowers are minty, but with different overtones depending on the variety. Mint flowers and leaves are great in Middle Eastern dishes.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) – Milder version of plant’s leaf. Use as you would the herb.

Rosemary – Milder version of leaf. Fresh or dried herb and blossoms enhance flavor of Mediterranean dishes. Use with meats, seafoods, sorbets or dressings. Lemon Rosemary Chicken

Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) – Its dried flowers, Mexican saffron, are used as a food colorant in place of the more aromatic and expensive Spanish saffron.

Sage (Salvia officinalis) – The flowers are violet-blue, pink or white up to 1 3/8 inches long, small, tubelike, clustered together in whorls along the stem tops. Flowers have a subtler sage taste than the leaves and can be used in salads and as a garnish. Flowers are a delicious companion to many foods including beans, corn dishes, sauteed or stuffed mushrooms, or pesto sauce.

Savory (Satureja hortensis) – The flavor of the flowers is somewhat hot and peppery and similar to thyme.

Thyme (Thymus spp.) – Milder version of leaf. Use sprigs as garnish or remove flowers and sprinkle over soups, etc. Use thyme anywhere a herb might be used.)

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Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) – Cranberry-like flavor with citrus overtones. Use slightly acidic petals sparingly in salads or as garnish. The flower can be dried to make an exotic tea.

Hollyhock (Alcea rosea) – Very bland tasting flavor.

Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) – Sweet honey flavor. Only the flowers are edible. NOTE: Berries are highly poisonous – Do not eat them!

Hyacinth (Brodiaea douglasii) – Only the Wild Hyacinth (Brodiaea douglasii) bulbs are edible. The bulbs can be used like potatoes and eaten either raw or cooked and has a sweet, nutlike flavor. NOTE: The common hyacinth (found in your gardens) is toxic and must not be eaten.

Impatiens (Impatiens wallerana) – The flowers have a sweet flavor. They can be used as a garnish in salads or floated in drinks.

Johnny-Jump-Ups (Viola tricolor) – Lovely yellow, white and purple blooms have a mild wintergreen flavor and can be used in salads, to decorate cakes, or served with soft cheese. They are also a great addition to drinks, soups, desserts or salads.

Lilac (Syringa vulgaris) – The flavor of lilacs varies from plant to plant. Very fragramt, slightly bitter. Has a distinct lemony taste with floral, pungent overtones. Great in salads and crystallized with egg whites and sugar.

Linden (Tilla spp.) – Small flowers, white to yellow was are delightfully fragrant and have a honey-like flavor. The flowers have been used in a tea as a medicine in the past. NOTE: Frequent consumption of linden flower tea can cause heart damage.

Marigold (Tagetes tenuifolia – aka T. signata) – The marigold can be used as a substitute for saffron. Also great in salads as they have a citrus flavor.

Nasturtiums Tropaeolum majus) – Come in varieties ranging from trailing to upright and in brilliant sunset colors with peppery flavors. Nasturtiums rank among most common edible flowers. Blossoms have a sweet, spicy flavor similar to watercress. Stuff whole flowers with savory mousse. Leaves add peppery tang to salads. Pickled seed pods are less expensive substitute for capers. Use entire flowers to garnish platters, salads, cheese tortas, open-faced sandwiches, and savory appetizers.

Pansy (Viola X wittrockiana) – Pansies have a slightly sweet green or grassy flavor. If you eat only the petals, the flavor is extremely mild, but if you eat the whole flower, there is a winter, green overtone. Use them as garnishes, in fruit salads, green salad, desserts or in soups.

Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) – In China the fallen petals are parboiled and sweetened as a tea-time delicacy. Peony water was used for drinking in the middle ages. Add peony petals to your summer salad or try floating in punches and lemonades.

Phlox, Perrennial Phlox (Phlox paniculata) – It is the perennial phlox, NOT the annual, that is edible. It is the high-growing (taller) and not the low-growing (creeping) phlox that grows from 3 to 4 feet tall. Slightly spicy taste. Great in fruit salads. The flowers vary from a Reddish purple to pink, some white.

Pineapple Guave (Feijoa sellowians) – The flavor is sweet and tropical, somewhat like a freshly picked ripe papaya or exotic melon still warm from the sun.

Primrose (Primula vulgaris) – Also know as Cowslip. This flower is colorful with a sweet, but bland taste. Add to salads, pickle the flower buds, cook as a vegetable, or ferment into a wine.

Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) – Also known as Wild Carrot and Bishop’s Lace. It is the original carrot, from which modern cultivars were developed, and it is edible with a light carrot flavor. The flowers are small and white, and bloom in a lacy, flat-topped cluster. Great in salads. NOTE: The problem is, it is closely related to, and looks almost exactly like another wild plant, Wild or Poison Hemlock, which often grows profusely in similar habitats, and is said to be the most poisonous plant native to the United States. The best way to differentiate between the two plants is to remember that Queen Anne’s Lace has a hairy stem, while the stems of Wild Hemlock are smooth and hairless and hollow with purple spots.

Roses (Rosa rugosa or R. gallica officinalis) – Flavors depend on type, color, and soil conditions. Flavor reminiscent of strawberries and green apples. Sweet, with subtle undertones ranging from fruit to mint to spice. All roses are edible, with the flavor being more pronounced in the darker varieties. In miniature varieties can garnish ice cream and desserts, or larger petals can be sprinkled on desserts or salads. Freeze them in ice cubes and float them in punches also. Petals used in syrups, jellies, perfumed butters and sweet spreads. NOTE: Be sure to remove the bitter white portion of the petals.
Rose Petal Jam
Rose Petal Drop Scones
Rose Petal Tea

Scented Geraniums (Pelargonium species) – The flower flavor generally corresponds to the variety. For example, a lemon-scented geranium would have lemon-scented flowers. They come in fragrances from citrus and spice to fruits and flowers, and usually in colors of pinks and pastels. Sprinkle them over desserts and in refreshing drinks or freeze in ice cubes. NOTE: Citronelle variety may not be edible.

Snap Dragon (Antirrhinum majus) – Delicate garden variety can be bland to bitter. Flavors depend on type, color, and soil conditions. Probably not the best flower to eat.

Sunflower (Helianthus annus) – The flower is best eaten in the bud stage when it tastes similar to artichokes. Once the flower opens, the petals may be used like chrysanthemums, the flavor is distinctly bittersweet. The unopened flower buds can also be steamed like artichokes.

Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum) – Also known as Wild Baby’s Breath. The flower flavor is sweet and grassy with a hint of nutty, vanilla flavor. NOTE: Can have a blood thinning effect if eaten in large amounts

Tulip Petals (Tulipa) – Flavor varies from tulip to tulip, but generally the petals taste like sweet lettuce, fresh baby peas, or a cucumber-like texture and flavor. NOTE: Some people have had strong allergic reactions to them. If touching them causes a rash, numbness etc. Don’t eat them! Don’t eat the bulbs ever. If you have any doubts, don’t eat the flower.

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Vegetable Flowers:

Did you know that broccoli, cauliflower, and artichokes are all flowers? Also the spice saffron is the stamen from the crocus flower? Capers are unopened flower buds to a bush native in the Mediterranean and Asian nations. The general rule is that the flowers of most vegetables and herbs are safe to eat. Always check first, because as with anything in life, there will always be exceptions. NOTE: Avoid – the flowers of tomato, potato, eggplant, peppers and asparagus.

Arugula (Eruca vesicaria) – Also called garden rocket, roquette, rocket-salad, Oruga, Rocketsalad, rocket-gentle; Raukenkohl (German); rouquelle (French); rucola (Italian). An Italian green usually appreciated raw in salads or on sandwiches. The flowers are small, white with dark centers and can be used in the salad for a light piquant flavor. The flowers taste very similar to the leaves and range in color from white to yellowish with dark purple veins. Arugula resembles radish leaves in both appearance and taste. Leaves are compound and have a spicy, peppery flavor that starts mild in young leaves and intensifies as they mature.
Arugula Salad
Arugula, Pear and Asiago Cheese Salad
Walnut, Arugula & Gorgonzola Crostini

Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) – The artichoke is considered a flower in which the leaves of the flower are eaten and the choke or thistle part is discarded.

Broccoli Florets (Brassica oleracea) – The top portion of broccoli is actually flower buds. As the flower buds mature, each will open into a bright yellow flower, which is why they are called florets. Small yellow flowers have a mild spiciness (mild broccoli flavor), and are delicious in salads or in a stir-fry or steamer.

Corn Shoots (Zea mays) – Corn shoots may be eaten when they resemble large blades of grass with a strong sweet corn flavor, which could be used as a garnish for a corn chowder. The whole baby corn in husk may also be eaten, silk and all.

Mustard (Brassica species) – Young leaves can be steamed, used as a herb, eaten raw, or cooked like spinach. NOTE: Some people are highly allergic to mustard. Start with a small amount. Eating in large amounts may cause red skin blotches

Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) – Also known as Ochro, Okoro, Quimgombo, Quingumbo, Ladies Fingers and Gumbo. It has hibiscus-like flowers and seed pods that, when picked tender, produce a delicious vegetable dish when stewed or fried. When cooked it resembles asparagus yet it may be left raw and served in a cold salad. The ripe seeds have been used as a substitute for coffee; the seed can be dried and powdered for storage and future use.

Pac Choy (Brassica chinensis) – A sister of the Broccoli plant.

Pea Blossoms (Pisum species) – Edible garden peas bloom mostly in white, but may have other pale coloring. The blossoms are slightly sweet and crunchy and they taste like peas. The shoots and vine tendrils are edible, with a delicate, pea-like flavor. Here again, remember that harvesting blooms will diminish your pea harvest, so you may want to plant extra. NOTE: Flowering ornamental sweet peas are poisonous – do not eat.

Radish Flowers (Raphanus sativus) – Depending on the variety, flowers may be pink, white or yellow, and will have a distinctive, spicy bite (has a radish flavor). Best used in salads. The Radish shoots with their bright red or white tender stalks are very tasty and are great sautéed or in salads.

Scarlet Runner Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) – Have brilliant red blooms that are very tasty and can be served as a garnish for soups, in salads. Bean pods toughen as they age, so make use of young pods as well as flowers.

Squash Blossoms (Curcubita pepo) – Squash and pumpkin blossoms are edible and taste mildly of raw squash. Prepare the blossoms by washing and trimming the stems and remove the stamens. Squash blossoms are usually taken off the male plant, which only provides pollen for the female.

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Violets (Viola species) – Sweet, perfumed flavor. Related flowers, Johnny jump-ups or violas, and pansies now come in colorful purples and yellows to apricot and pastel hues. I like to eat the tender leaves and flowers in salads. I also use the flowers to beautifully embellish desserts and iced drinks. Freeze them in punches to delight children and adults alike. All of these flowers make pretty adornments for frosted cakes, sorbets, or any other desserts, and they may be crystallized as well. heart-shaped leaves are edible, and tasty when cooked like spinach.

Yucca Petals (Yucca species) – The white Yucca flower is crunchy with a mildly sweet taste (a hint of artichoke). in the spring, they can be used in salads and as a garnish.
http://whatscookingamerica.net/EdibleFlowers/EdibleFlowersMain.htm

Deadly Delicacies : Come Dine With Death!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2011 by ecofrenfood

Deadly Delicacies : Come Dine With Death!

Poisonous or dangerous food is considered a special delicacy by some cultures in several parts of the world. In most cases, a nice feast may turn into a deadly game of Russian roulette.
So, would you take the risks of eating these deadly delicacies?

“Fugu” or Pufferfish

This goes on top of my list as the world’s deadliest delicacy. Even a drop of toxin from a Pufferfish or Fugu (in Japanese) can immediately leave you paralyzed, followed by death.

Fugu is considered an authentic Japanese delicacy and it would take years for a chef to master the art of preparing the dish. The toxin, called tetrodotoxin is concentrated in the roe, ovaries and the liver of the fish.

A slight error during the removal of the toxic parts can allow the toxin to contaminate the entire flesh of the fish. Despite the risk of eating Fugu, it is reported that yearly, there are dozens of death from Fugu poisoning in Japan.

Cassava

This is one of the world’s popular staple food. Cassava is often used to make the tropical delicacy in the form of tapioca starch or flour. However, if not properly washed or cooked, cassava leaves and roots contain toxin called cyanide which is fatal to humans even in small doses.

Giant Bullfrog

Giant bullfrog is considered a delicacy in Namibia. The Namibians eat the entire giant bullfrog except for the internal organs. In most cultures, only certain body parts of the frogs such as the legs are consumed as most frogs have poisonous skin and poisonous internal organs. A premature bullfrog is said to contain a certain toxin which could lead to kidney failure in most cases.

Ackee Fruit

Ackee plant is originated from West Africa. Later, it was introduced to Florida, USA. Ackee fruit is widely used in Jamaican cuisine, which includes its national delicacy, “ackee and saltfish”.

The fruit looks like a pear, red in color when it’s ripe. The ackee fruit must be picked after it has naturally opened and revealed the seeds. The fruit must be eaten at the right time. The fruit is poisonous if it is both immature and overripe. The fleshy part around the seeds is the only part which is edible. The rest of the fruit contain a type of toxin called hypoglycin which can be fatal if consumed.

Silver-Stripe Blaasop

The silver-stripe blaasop is a delicacy among the locals who live in some parts of the Indian Ocean. The locals are experts in removing the toxic parts of the fish before cooking and consuming it. The poison is concentrated in the liver, reproductive organs and also the skin of the fish which can cause paralysis and breathing problems if consumed by humans.

Somehow, the silver-stripe blaasop made its way to the eastern Mediterranean waters. In early 2007, there are about 10 reported deaths relating to the poisoning of the fish which include 8 in Egypt and 2 in Israel.

Echizen Jellyfish

The giant Echizen jellyfish is a huge, poisonous jellyfish which moves in swarms in the Japan waters. The jellyfish lives on tuna fish and this poses a problem as the tuna supply is affected by the huge consumption. So, the solution is to catch the jellyfish and turn it into a delicacy.

And the most gruesome of all:

“San Nak Ji” or Live Octopus

San Nak Ji or live octopus is a popular delicacy in Korea and Japan. The enjoyment of eating this food is when the octopus is still moving with the tentacles sticking to the roof of the mouth. The challenge is to munch and swallow the live octopus without choking. It is reported that there are on average of 6 deaths due to choking (on live octopus), each year in South Korea.

The Best Fish to Eat (and the Most Dangerous)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2011 by ecofrenfood

The Best Fish to Eat (and the Most Dangerous)
By: Celeste Perron
May 18, 2011

We all hear, ad nauseum, that fish should play a big role in a healthy diet. They’re a good source of protein, are packed with essential fatty acids, provide a range of vitamins and minerals, and are low in “bad” fats (true regardless of whether you consider saturated fat or omega-6-laden vegetable oils to be the enemy).

And now that summer is almost upon us, I’m dreaming of fish tacos — though fish is a good idea all year, I tend to crave it most when the weather is warm. But the issue of which fish to eat seems to grow more complicated by the day. Many varieties of fish are being hunted to extinction, fish farms are hurting the oceans, many fish are contaminated with heavy metals and toxins like PCBs, and now we’ve got radiation from Japan in the water.

To help an eager pescavore sort out how to eat healthily and sustainably, I’ve tried to answer some of the most pressing questions:

What’s the healthiest fish to eat?

Although all fish offer some health benefits, salmon seems to take the superfood prize. It’s loaded with the omega-3s DHA and EPA, which boost cardiovascular health, improve mood and brain function, protect your joints, prevent macular degeneration and may help prevent cancer.

But, beware: About 80% of salmon in your supermarket is farmed, and farmed salmon, while cheaper, could do you more harm than good. A blog post by Mark Sisson explains why farmed salmon is a bad deal—fewer omega-3s plus a hefty dose of PCBs and other contaminants, plus red food dye (since farmed salmon is fed an unnatural diet, the flesh would be grey if not dyed a rosy hue).

Your best bet is wild, Alaskan salmon. Yes, it costs more, but if you can’t afford big fillets try buying smaller portions and putting it in omelets, pasta or tacos.

What are the safest and most eco options?

In general, fish that are low on the food chain—think sardines, anchovies and shellfish—are the least contaminated with toxins. Some other relatively safe and earth-friendly choices: Alaskan and California halibut, Alaskan salmon, Mackerel, California squid, Dungeness crab, and farmed shellfish. (This is according to a good fish/bad fish list put together for San Francisco magazine by Kenny Belov, an owner of Sausalito, CA restaurant Fish, one of my favorite places to eat.)

What about tuna?

Tuna is tricky—it’s packed with healthy fats but usually also packed with mercury (a potent neurotoxin that can build up in our bodies). Plus, in part because the past couple of decades have seen an explosion in sushi consumption, tuna are being stripped from the oceans at an unsustainable rate. So because of both health and ethical reasons, I try to avoid it.

If you do eat tuna, it seems that the best choices are Pacific albacore and US Yellowfin (if they are troll- or line-caught).

Which other fish should I avoid?

It’s a long list, unfortunately. See it on the Seafood Watch website and download one of their seafood guides—they have printable wallet guides as well as Iphone and Android apps, and do guides specific to various regions of the country. I have the guide on my Iphone and find it really helpful when I’m trying to make sense of the seafood counter.

Should I worry about radiation?

Probably not—that’s the consensus anyway, though of course there are dissenters. (This Mother Jones article explains.) I heard Andrew Weil speak at an event last week, and when somebody asked him about radiation dangers he said that the radiation seemed to not be affecting Alaskan waters, so at least we can eat fish from the far north without fear.

http://health.lifegoesstrong.com/best-fish-eat-and-most-dangerous?utm_source=OB_health&obref=obnetwork