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Welcome To Roj Bash Kurdistan 

Food Room

a place for talking about food, specially Kurdish food recipes

Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Nov 05, 2020 2:10 pm

As many people in the UK are living on takeaways this should come in handy

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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Nov 11, 2020 8:34 pm

Vegan cauliflower dinners

Spicy gochujang cauliflower ‘wings’

Ingredients

For the crispy cauliflower

    vegetable oil, for greasing
    100g/3½oz plain flour
    1 tbsp soy sauce
    1 small cauliflower, outer leaves removed, cut into florets
    30g/1oz dried breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs
For the sauce

    60g/2¼oz gochujang (Korean fermented chilli paste)
    1 tbsp light brown sugar
    1 tbsp rice vinegar
    1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    1 tsp finely grated fresh root ginger
To serve

    1 tbsp sesame seeds
    2 spring onions, finely sliced
    cooked rice
Method

    Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7. Line two large baking trays with baking paper and brush with oil.

    Put the flour, 150ml/5fl oz water and soy sauce in a large bowl and stir to make a thin batter. Add the cauliflower florets and stir to coat completely. Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and mix until coated.

    Place the coated florets on the baking trays, spacing them apart as much as possible. Drizzle with a little more vegetable oil. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until just starting to get crispy underneath.

    Meanwhile, make the sauce by mixing all the ingredients together.

    Tip the cauliflower into a clean, large bowl, pour the sauce over and stir to coat. Spread the cauliflower over the two baking trays again and return to the oven for a further 15–20 minutes, until sticky and slightly crisp.

    Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and spring onions and serve rice on the side.
For an assortment of delicious cauliflower dinners follow the link below:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/collections/ ... er_dinners
Last edited by Anthea on Wed Nov 11, 2020 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Nov 11, 2020 8:43 pm

Baked aloo gobi with flatbreads

Ingredients

For the aloo gobi

    1 large cauliflower, left whole
    4 tbsp coconut oil
    2.5cm/1in piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
    4 green chillies, finely chopped and seeds removed
    4 garlic cloves, crushed
    1 tbsp black mustard seeds
    2 tsp ground turmeric
    400ml tin coconut milk
    1 unwaxed lemon, halved
    600g/1lb 5oz potatoes, scrubbed, skin left on and cut into 2cm/¾in pieces
    salt and freshly ground black pepper
    50g/1¾oz Greek-style yoghurt (or a thick dairy-free alternative), to serve
    25g/1oz blanched almonds, to serve
    coriander leaves, to serve
For the flatbreads (optional)

    200g/7oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
    1 tsp baking powder
    200g/7oz Greek-style yoghurt or 150ml/5fl oz warm water
Method

    For the aloo gobi, using a sharp pair of kitchen scissors, cut the large leaves and stalks away from the outside of the cauliflower. You can leave the smaller leaves close to the florets – they will go nice and crispy when roasted.

    Turn the cauliflower upside down and, using a small paring knife, carefully cut a hollow in the middle of the central stalk to help the cauliflower cook evenly.

    Take a casserole or lidded saucepan and half-fill it with water from the kettle and bring to the boil. Add salt to the pan, add the cauliflower, cover and simmer for 6 minutes.

    Drain the cauliflower and return to the pan off the heat, put the lid back on and leave the cauliflower to steam for 10 minutes.

    Meanwhile, take another casserole dish and place over a medium heat. Heat the coconut oil , then add the ginger, chillies and garlic and cook for a few minutes, until fragrant. Stir in the mustard seeds and continue cooking until the garlic has softened. Add the turmeric and a big pinch of salt.

    Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7.

    Pour the coconut milk into the casserole dish, stir well and season with a little pepper. Place the steamed cauliflower in a colander to drain off any water. When the milk starts to bubble gently, turn off the heat and place the cauliflower in the dish, then baste it with the coconut-spice mixture. Add the lemon halves to the dish and scatter the potatoes around the cauliflower so they sit in the coconut milk.

    Bake in the oven, basting the cauliflower occasionally with the sauce in the dish, for 40–45 minutes. You want it to catch a little on top. To test if the cauliflower is cooked, insert a small sharp knife into the middle – it should be really tender and the potatoes and cauliflower should have soaked up most of the sauce. Carefully remove the lemons and leave to cool slightly before squeezing them over the aloo gobi. Transfer the aloo gobi to a serving dish.

    While the aloo gobi is baking, prepare the flatbreads. Place the flour, baking powder and yoghurt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture forms a ball. If you don’t have a food processor, this can be done in a bowl using a fork to begin with, followed by your hands.

    Tip the dough out on a clean work surface that is lightly dusted with flour. Knead for a minute or two. Put the dough into a flour-dusted bowl and cover with a plate. Leave to rise for 10–15 minutes. It won’t rise like normal dough, but it may puff up slightly.

    Dust a clean work surface and rolling pin with flour and divide the dough into four equal pieces. Using your hands, pat and flatten out the dough and then use the rolling pin to roll each piece into a circle that is roughly 20cm/8in in diameter and 2–3mm thick.

    Place a large frying pan or griddle pan that is slightly larger than your flatbreads over a medium heat. Once hot, cook each flatbread for 1–2 minutes on each side, turning with tongs, until nicely puffed up.

    Serve the aloo gobi with the yoghurt, almonds, coriander and flatbreads, if using.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/bake ... with_32681
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:13 am

What Happens to Your Body
When You Stop Eating Sugar


Sugar is a cruel, cruel mistress—it’s delicious and addictive, but it’s not doing you any favors

Aside from causing weight gain, increased consumption of refined sugar increases the risk of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, and can impact cognitive function and memory, says best-selling author Sara Gottfried, M.D.

It turns out your daily afternoon sugary treat not only gives you major brain fog—according to author David Wolfe, it also accelerates aging.

It may seem daunting, even impossible, to remove processed sugar from your diet, but understanding all the extraordinary things that happen when you cut it out can empower you to kick the habit. Keep reading.

After an Hour

Expect withdrawals, even after a few hours. “Sugar is addictive and activates a dopamine response in the reward center of the brain, like a drug,” says Wolfe. Depending on the amount of sugar you consume daily, you might experience varying drops in blood sugar levels, sweating, shaking, irritable moodiness, hunger, and sadness. Gottfried suggests fighting through these symptoms by consuming fresh vegetables with fiber, anti-inflammatory protein sources, and healthy fats.

After a Day

The days just after you’ve stopped consuming sugar are perhaps the hardest. “You may have withdrawal-like symptoms including headaches and a drop in energy levels,” says Gottfried. You’ll probably have some strong cravings for something sweet, too.

But already, your body is beginning to heal itself. According to Wolfe, sugar feeds harmful microorganisms, such as candida—which, when overgrown, can affect your gut health. Cutting out processed sugar helps keep those microorganisms in check.

After a Week

This is when the magic happens. Your body will quickly start to repair itself once sugar is out of the way, starting with improvements in insulin levels and inflammatory responses.

According to Gottfreid, in just 72 hours, as your insulin levels begin to stabilize, other hormones (like those involved in fat storage) will also return to normal levels. Another noticeable difference? Skin clarity and less puffiness in the face, says Wolfe.

After a Month

“You’ll realize what sugar has been doing to you, namely increasing cravings, causing weight gain and yeast infections, and amplifying inflammation,” says Wolfe. Why? Because a lot of these issues, as well as hankerings for treats, will be disappearing.

Add to those benefits stable blood sugar levels, improved mental clarity, natural weight loss, and improved gut health. “A healthy gut reduces inflammation in your body and your overall risk for many health problems,” says Gottfried.

After Six Months

Imagine this: “You will be so far away from the habit of eating sugar that you will not only not want it, but you won’t even be able to look at it,” says Wolfe. Gottfried adds that when you have stable blood sugar levels, you’ll find weight stays off, especially that stubborn belly fat.

More important, you’ll be overall healthier: Six months without refined sugar will decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and early aging, she says.

After a Year

On a surface level, skin quality and reduction of acne, irritation, and fine lines can be dramatic when sugar is eliminated from your daily diet. Even better, you will see a reduction in overall risk of preventable diseases, like diabetes, as well as heart attack and stroke. Not to mention, you’ll also increase your quality and length of life. Seriously—we’re not sugarcoating it.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/what ... obal-en-GB

!?! The above article mentions processed sugar and refined sugar

I only ever use one spoonful of NATURAL UNREFINED CANE SUGAR in my black tea and cannot remember ever using refined sugar

And YES I do eat chocolate sometimes but not every day

I wish to know what the differences are between the usage of Natural Unrefined Cane Sugar and Refined Processed Sugar

I feel a little research is called for !?!

PS:
Chocolate cake from my local baker does NOT contain any calories. I checked the box thoroughly and there was NO mention of calories anywhere on the packaging :ymdevil:
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:06 pm

Green jackfruit flour can
help with type 2 diabetes


    Green jackfruit flour has a low glycaemic index, is high in fibre and cheap to produce

    It has been shown to reduce blood glucose levels and reduce side effects of chemotherapy
Click to enlarge:
1272

For Susan Eapen, a diabetic since 2008, managing blood sugar levels was a constant challenge. She tried the low-carb, high-fat keto diet, but gave it up after having dizzy spells. She cut down on her carbohydrate intake – using almond flour instead of wheat flour – and supplemented meals with eggs and vegetables. But preparing a daily meal tailored for her own needs was not easy.

“I found it exhausting to put in extra effort to make something for me,” said the retired banker from Trivandrum, in India’s Kerala state. After sharing the family meal, though, she had high blood sugar, felt tired and had a constant need to urinate

Eapen’s life changed in 2018 after reading a newspaper report on Jackfruit365, a start-up company producing flour made from green unripe jackfruit that is freeze dried and powdered. James Joseph, the man behind this enterprise, was changing the perception of the cumbersome jackfruit growing in every backyard in Kerala.

Neutral in taste and odour free, the jackfruit powder is easy to use in any cuisine. Joseph commissioned a clinical study in 2016 by Sydney University’s Glycemic Index Research Service (SUGiRS) – one of the world’s best for studies on glycaemic index, which measures how fast and how much a food raises blood glucose levels. Foods with higher index values raise blood sugar more rapidly than foods with lower glycaemic index values.

The study showed that 30g of green Jackfruit365, about a cup, has a lower glycaemic load (17) than one cup of cooked rice (29) or two wheat rotis, Indian flatbreads (27).

Eapen ordered the jackfruit flour and has been mixing it into her batter to make appam and dosas.

“The flour helped control blood sugar without much effort. Unlike almond flour required for a low carbohydrate diet, this is affordable and easily available. Preparing meals is no longer an effort,” she says, adding she has been off diabetes medicines since 2018.

“My sugar levels are in control. I am no longer tired or waking up post midnight sweating profusely.”

Joseph commissioned another study that was published in the American Diabetes Association journal Diabetes in June this year, involving type 2 diabetes patients. Participants took 30g of green jackfruit flour daily as a substitute for an equal volume of rice or wheat flour. After 90 days, there was a significant decrease in their blood sugar levels.

Oommen V Oommen, a retired biology professor from the University of Kerala who has been diabetic for 15 years, also found the jackfruit flour helpful in lowering glucose levels.

“In three months, my readings dropped substantially,” said the 71-year-old, who adds a spoonful of the flour daily into his herbal drink.

“It helped in reducing my insulin dosage, from 14 to 10 units in the morning and from 10 to eight units in the evening. It’s not a medicine, but as a food supplement, it helps manage diabetes.”

Vinu Nair, a marathon runner from Chennai in Tamil Nadu, India was surprised to find he had high blood sugar levels during an annual check- up. He started taking medicines for diabetes.

Then his paediatrician wife began to mix a small amount of the flour into the mix for their Indian breads. Within three months there was a considerable drop in his blood sugar readings. “That motivated me to continue,” says Nair. Not only are his blood-sugar levels and triglycerides under control; the flour’s high fibre content helps keep him regular. And in May, he stopped taking medicine for diabetes.

Dr Thomas Varughese, a senior consultant in surgical oncology and reconstructive surgery at Renai Medicity hospital, in Kochi, Kerala, says the jackfruit flour added to cancer patients’ diets also helped them through chemotherapy. Results of the study he did in 2018 were published in the magazine of the National Library of Medicine.

He prescribed 30gm of green jackfruit flour daily for his patients who were part of a study group.

“My patients’ biggest trauma is the side effects of chemotherapy,” said Varughese. “Chemotherapeutic drugs while being aggressive are also toxic. They also act on other rapidly dividing cells of the body, leading to low WBC (white blood corpuscles) count, hair loss, mouth and throat ulcers, respiratory infection, fungal infection and diarrhoea.”

Those who had the flour did not experience a decrease in their white blood cell count, and their gut mucosa was protected, Varughese said. The jackfruit flour cannot prevent hair loss or vomiting, though.

“When the WBC count is maintained above normal, patients can take food and water without any issues,” he says, adding that protection of intestinal mucosa prevents diarrhoea. Since chemotherapy-induced diarrhoea brings patients back to hospital for electrolyte supplements and nutrition, readmission costs are reduced.

Jyothi Rajeev, a breast cancer survivor, was unaware of jackfruit flour until Varughese prescribed it. Initially she mixed it with dosa batter and roti dough, but then started mixing it with water and drinking it in one shot.

“My chemotherapy was so smooth that I did not know how I reached the sixth cycle. Except for hair loss, there were no mouth ulcers, nor nausea or loss of appetite. I could go for my 5km walk every day,” she says.

Varughese said the idea of using jackfruit flour was an “accidental discovery” after he noticed that two of his patients were free from side effects during chemotherapy.
“They told me about including green jackfruit flour in their diet to control diabetes
. I decided to try it with other patients. Being a vegetable product, it posed no harm.”

Those who did not have the flour reported side effects, but when they started to take it from the next cycle, they benefited, also.

“My patients lead an active life with regular walks. Even during Covid times
they are continuing with chemotherapy. This flour has boosted their immunity.”

Joseph, who developed the jackfruit powder, is not surprised by the findings. “A Jackfruit tree in the yard extends human life by 10 years,” he says, recalling his uncle’s words, that jackfruit “works like a bottle brush for your intestinal walls”.

https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/health-w ... obal-en-GB
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Nov 27, 2020 1:26 am

How to Clean a Microwave

Let’s face it: It doesn’t take much for your microwave to get dirty. An overfilled bowl of soup or spaghetti can quickly turn the inside of your microwave into a disaster zone and it’s often easier to close the door on than to clean up

Fortunately, cleaning your microwave is much simpler than it looks.

Follow this goof-proof guide to transform your greasy, splatter-ridden microwave into a sparkly fresh kitchen appliance in no time.

You know what’s great at dislodging stubborn grime? Steam. You know what can make steam? Your microwave. Here’s how to harness your microwave’s own magic to get it sparkling clean with vinegar.

    Distilled white vinegar

    A sponge or dishcloth

    A clean, dry cloth or rag

    A glass measuring cup or other small microwave-safe cup or bowl
Method

    Mix 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar into a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl

    Place the cup or bowl inside your microwave and heat on high power until the liquid comes to a boil

    Let stand for 3 minutes, so that the steam trapped inside has time to loosen up all the caked-on food gunk

    Open the door, and then slowly and carefully remove the measuring cup or bowl, as well as the turntable or plate (if your microwave has one)

    Starting with the ceiling and then the sides, use your sponge or dishcloth to wipe the inside of your microwave clean

    Don’t forget the edges and the inside of the door!

    Wipe down the turntable and put it back in (if you took it out)

    Grab a clean, dry cloth or rag and give your entire microwave—ceiling, sides, door, turntable—a final wipedown and voila: it’s good to go!
How to Clean Microwave Doors and Exterior

It’s great when the inside of the microwave is clean, but you also want the outside to shine.

Here’s what to do:

    Detail scrub brush, or cleaning toothbrush

    A sponge or dishcloth

    Distilled white vinegar

    A cleaning cloth (like microfiber) or paper towels

    Rubbing alcohol

    Baking soda
Method:

    Use a detail brush to clean the rubber gasket or seal around the edge of the door, dislodging any dried-on food or other debris you see. Introduce water or a water-vinegar mixture as needed for extra cleaning power. Don’t forget to clean the hinge area thoroughly!

    Use a damp sponge to wipe down the inside of the door. If you need extra grease-busting power, dampen your sponge with a half-vinegar, half-water mixture, or follow the steps above to steam clean the inside of your microwave.

    Make a mixture of half water and half rubbing alcohol, use the mixture to dampen a cloth or paper towel, then wipe and buff the outside of the microwave door, and the entire microwave exterior. Be careful around mesh and vents to make sure no moisture is getting through to your microwave’s inner workings.

    If any stubborn stains remain on the microwave door glass, make a paste of baking soda and water and spread it across the door (you may need to unplug and set your microwave on its side so the paste stays in place). Let the mixture sit for a few hours, then return and wipe clean with a rag or sponge.
For as often as we use our microwave ovens, it’s only fair to give them some TLC from time to time. So, instead of putting off cleaning your microwave and making things even worse, just follow these foolproof steps to score a fresh-looking one in minutes.

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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Dec 04, 2020 12:21 pm

5 Impossibly Easy
No-Knead Bread Recipes


I never tire of the magic that is no-knead bread. You stir together flour, yeast, salt, and water to create a shaggy dough, let it rise while you go about your day, shape it into a loaf, and bake it in a hot Dutch oven. There’s almost no effort involved, and you’re left with a lovely loaf of fresh homemade bread. See, magic!

Click image to enlarge:
1273

Once you’ve tried the basic technique, you’ll learn how easy it is to customize the bread to your liking. Herbs, seeds, citrus zest, and cinnamon sugar are all fun and flavorful add-ins. The five easy variations below are a few of our favorites.

5 Tasty Variations on No-Knead Bread

    The basic bread: These five breads follow our basic No-Knead Bread recipe. It’s just flour, water, yeast, and salt mixed together and rested for at least six hours at room temperature.

    Add-ins, toppings, and more: You’ll notice that some ingredients get added into the dough before its long rise, others are folded in when the dough is shaped, and a few are added after the dough is shaped. This is intentional, and ensures that the add-in doesn’t alter the gluten structure of the dough. Follow each recipe for specific guidelines.

    Baking the bread: Follow these instructions for each of the breads below. About 30 minutes before the dough is ready, heat the oven to 450°F. Place a large Dutch oven and its lid in the oven while it’s heating. Remove the Dutch oven and, using the parchment paper as a sling, carefully transfer the loaf into the Dutch oven. If desired, slash or cut the top of the dough with kitchen shears or a sharp knife. Cover the pot, place it back in the oven, and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until the top is browned, about 15 minutes more.

    Testing for doneness: You can be extra-sure your bread is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the top or side registers 210°F. Use the parchment paper sling to transfer the bread to a wire rack. Cool at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Click image to enlarge:
1274

Cheddar and Jalapeño No-Knead Bread

Measure 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast into a large bowl. Make a well in the flour mixture, add 1 1/2 cups warm water, and stir until a rough, shaggy dough forms. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk and bubbly, 6 to 8 hours.

Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper and turn the dough out onto it. Sprinkle the dough with 4 ounces diced cheddar cheese, 4 ounces finely grated Parmesan cheese, 1 thinly sliced small jalapeño (about 3-inches), and 3 finely chopped scallions. Fold the dough over onto itself 4 times to incorporate the add-ins. Flip the dough over and quickly shape into a round ball. Cover with a towel and let rise until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Bake as directed above.

Click image to enlarge:
1275

Rosemary Olive No-Knead Bread

Measure 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast into a large bowl. Make a well in the flour mixture and add 1 cup halved, pitted Kalamata olives, 1/2 cup halved, pitted Calvestrano olives, and 1 1/2 cups warm water. Stir until a rough, shaggy dough forms. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk and bubbly, 6 to 8 hours.

Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper and turn the dough out onto it. Sprinkle the dough with 1 large finely chopped shallot and 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves. Fold the dough over onto itself 4 times to incorporate the add ins. Flip the dough over and quickly shape into a round ball. Cover with a towel and let rise until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Bake as directed above.

Click image to enlarge:
1276

Cinnamon Raisin No-Knead Bread

Measure 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast into a large bowl. Make a well in the flour mixture and add 1 1/2 cups warm water. Stir until a rough, shaggy dough forms. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk and bubbly, 6 to 8 hours. Stir a scant 1/3 cup granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon together in a small bowl.

Sprinkle a piece of parchment paper with a few teaspoons of the cinnamon sugar and turn the dough out onto it. Sprinkle the dough with 2 more tablespoons cinnamon sugar. Fold the dough over onto itself 2 times to create a rough swirl of cinnamon sugar in the dough. Flip the dough over and quickly shape it into a round ball. Sprinkle the top of the dough with remaining cinnamon sugar. Cover with a towel and let rise until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Bake as directed above.

Click to enlarge:
1277

Five-Seed No-Knead Bread

Measure 3 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons hulled pumpkin seeds, 2 tablespoons hulled sunflower seeds, 2 teaspoons flax seeds, 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon chia seeds, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast into a large bowl. Make a well in the flour mixture and add 1 1/2 cups warm water. Stir until a rough, shaggy dough forms. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk and bubbly, 6 to 8 hours.

Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper and turn the dough out onto it. Fold the dough over onto itself 2 times. Flip the dough over and quickly shape it into a round ball. Sprinkle the dough with 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds and 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds. Cover with a towel and let rise until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Bake as directed above.

Click to enlarge:
1278

Roasted Garlic and Herb No-Knead Bread

Measure 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast into a large bowl. Make a well in the flour mixture, add 1 1/2 cups warm water, and stir until a rough, shaggy dough forms. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk and bubbly, 6 to 8 hours

While the dough rises, roast a large head of garlic: Remove the excess papery skins from the head and slice a thin layer off the top to expose the cloves. Wrap the garlic completely in aluminum foil and bake at 400ºF until tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely, then squeeze the roasted cloves out of their skins and reserve.

Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper and turn the dough out onto it. Sprinkle the dough with the roasted garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, and 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves. Fold the dough over onto itself 4 times to incorporate the add ins. Flip the dough over and quickly shape it into a round ball. Cover with a towel and let rise until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Once the loaf is in the Dutch oven, quickly drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon flaky salt. Bake as directed above.

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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:00 pm

How to Make 10 of the
World’s Easiest Breads


In times of great uncertainty, knowing how to make your own bread and thereby feed your family, is palpably reassuring. The very act of kneading dough is calming, like Play-Doh for adults. So, of course, newbie bakers are all over social media, obsessing about “bubbling mothers” (AKA sourdough starters)

Look a little closer, though, and they’re not very happy. “We are all baking bread and some of us are not so good at it,” tweeted one journalist, dejectedly. That’s because sourdough is high-maintenance baking. People write memoirs about mastering the technique. By contrast, watching Noji Gaylard making South African steamed bread (see below) is like hugging a baby. Three minutes and 30 seconds of pure calm. Her recipe, alongside the others included in our 10 basic breads, is easy enough for even the most inexperienced baker.

But first a note about yeast. As Adrian Chiles has noted, it was stockpiled right off all the shelves earlier this year. So, if you do have any, set aside a portion of whatever leavened dough you make to leaven the next (variously called old dough and pâte fermentée; you’ll find plenty of instructions for this online). And, if you don’t, you could try making your own yeast. Lisa Bedford, the self-styled Survival Mom, has written a really thorough how-to. I appreciate that making your own yeast somewhat negates the premise of this piece, but you’ve got to admit it’s awesome that you can.

Also, reserve any pasta or potato cooking water for your bread baking. As Nigella tweeted: “It will help the bread’s texture and rise.”

Flatbreads

At its simplest, a flatbread is flour and water mixed into a dough, rolled into balls, rested, flattened and griddled. Dan Lepard tweeted the basic ratio: 500g of any wheat flour (white, wholemeal, self-raising, plain) to 300g cold water. Add some form of oil to the mix, and you get everything from chapatis and rotis ( Meera Sodha fills hers with coconut, raisins and almonds) to tortillas and lavash. Jamie Oliver switches things up a bit, using yoghurt, self-raising flour and a little baking powder, and cooks with griddle pan over a high heat. Elsewhere, his coconut flatbreads are made with just coconut milk and self-raising flour and fried in butter.

Quick Bread

AKA batter bread, this is the base recipe used in such things as apple bread, banana bread and the French savoury cake studded with everything from bacon and olives. You mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) with wet ingredients (milk/buttermilk/yoghurt, oil and eggs) and flavour it any way you like. Kristin “Baker Bettie” Hoffmann gives you every option thinkable: sweet, savoury, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and without baking powder (she separates the eggs, and whips the whites to get the rise needed). Texture-wise, this is more on the muffin/cake side of things, so if that’s not what you’re after, read on.

Soda Bread

The original no-kneader, and as Chiles put it last week, a gift to the yeastless. The rise comes from bicarb, so that ingredient is a must, but flour-wise it’s flexible: wholemeal, oatmeal, rolled oats, plain, self-raising, rye or whatever mixture you can manage. Liquid-wise, milk, yoghurt, buttermilk, Nigella’s pasta water: they’ll all work, too. You’ll want a dollop of salt and sweetness (honey, soft brown sugar); Chiles flavours his with treacle and Marmite, and nothing has ever endeared a columnist to me more. And there’s nothing to say you can’t jazz it up further: Oliver puts dark chocolate and hazelnuts in his.

No-Knead Crusty Loaf

The New York Times calls this the world’s easiest yeasted loaf; a step-up from the already groundbreaking easy method devised by Jim Lahey (if you’re a budding bread person, I recommend his books). You mix plain flour with yeast, salt and lukewarm water into a loose dough, cover and let rise for two to five hours. Then you shape it and bake it. The crustiness comes from having a broiling panful of water – or a few ice cubes – in the bottom of the oven to steam the loaf while it cooks.

Pitta

Putting yeast in a wheaten flatbread essentially means it can puff up while baking, to create those soft pockets so perfect for picnics. Yotam Ottolenghi puts sugar in his dough and seven spices in his chicken filling, and, well, what more could you want? Although it is technically possible to make them completely lean, Felicity Cloake doesn’t recommend it: the fat contributes to flavour and shelf-life.

Hard Dough Bread

A Jamaican speciality, this is a plain-flour yeasted dough, enriched with butter and sugar. It takes a short knead (you want the dough nice and elastic) and a 45-minute rest. You then roll it out flat with a rolling pin and – to give it that moist, dense crumb – roll it right back up again into a tight log, tucking the ends in. Then, after a short rest, it is baked golden brown in a loaf pan.

Steamed Bread

The one loaf you don’t need an oven for. This South African beauty involves mixing a very sticky batter of plain flour, salt, sugar, yeast (no oil) and lukewarm water in a bowl with a wooden spoon. ( Gaylard’s demo is quite possibly the most mesmerising cooking video I’ve ever come across. It’s now my lockdown backdrop.) Cover with a lid to let it rest, then beat it once more and let it rest again. Pour into a buttered bowl and place in a large pot for which you have a lid, with enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of your bowl, adding water when necessary to keep the steam going. It is cooked when, as with a cake, a knife stuck into the centre comes out clean.

Maple Oat Breakfast Bread

This takes a couple more ingredients (maple syrup and rolled oats) and an overnight rest (eight hours or more), but it makes, as Food52 notes, darn good toast. Much like in soda bread, the oats impart a welcome bite. As with the no-knead crusty loaf, you’ll need an oven-safe heavy-based pot with a lid to achieve consistent, high heat and a good seal so the moisture doesn’t escape.

Focaccia

Nigel Slater once said that he thought focaccia was the bread to attempt first, before any trad white loaf. “A batch rarely fails.” Now most recipes will ask for strong white bread flour and/or 00 flour (used for making pasta). But Marcella Hazan makes hers with plain flour, and she’s not someone to mess with. You’ll need a good amount of olive oil ( River Cottage uses 150ml), some flaky salt and something like a baking stone – a heavy cookie sheet will do.

Bagels

Surprisingly easy to make at home, as Jennifer Garner demos in episode 15 of her aptly named Pretend Cooking show. Sure, there is the extra step of poaching before you bake, but you can use plain flour and honey for the dough (or strong bread flour and malt syrup, if you want to be fancy). Food52’s Kenzi Wilbur says the hardest part is waiting an excruciating 30 minutes once you have removed them from the oven. But I’ve never known anyone able to resist freshly baked anything, so why would you even attempt to do that here? Butter at the ready …

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PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Dec 06, 2020 7:11 pm

How to Get Smarter Every Day

Ask people which factor contributes the most to success and most will choose intelligence, even though science says you also have to be lucky: Right place, right time. Right person, right time. Right idea, right market, right audience at the right time

Yet even though there are ways to "create" your own luck, you can't control luck.

But you can control, to some degree, how smart you are.

Let's Define "Smart."

While there are a number of different forms of intelligence, let's focus on two. Crystallized intelligence is accumulated knowledge: facts, figures. Think "educated."

Of course we all know people who are "book smart" but not necessarily smart smart. That's where fluid intelligence comes into play: The ability to learn and retain new information and then use it to solve a problem, to learn a new skill, to recall existing memories and modify them with new knowledge. Think "applied intelligence."

Becoming more educated is, while not easy, certainly simple.

Improving fluid intelligence is harder, which is one reason why brain games--crossword puzzles, Sudoku, brain training apps, etc.--are fairly popular.

But do they make you smarter? Do they improve fluid intelligence?

Basically, No.

A 2007 study published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences assessed the impact of brain training games on fluid intelligence. After participants played Tetris--yes, Tetris--for several weeks, cortical thickness and cortical activity increased.

Both are signs of an increase in neural connections and learned expertise. In simple terms, their brains bulked up and got smarter.

But after those first few weeks, cortical thickness and activity started to decrease, eventually returning to pre-Tetris mastery pursuit levels--even though their skill levels remained high. Participants didn't lose brain power.

Instead, their brains became so efficient at playing Tetris those increased neural connections were no longer necessary. Using more mental energy was no longer necessary. As with most things, once they kinda figured it out, it got easy.

Unfortunately, no matter how much work it took to learn new information or gain new skills, "easy" doesn't help improve fluid intelligence. Once knowledge or skill is in your pocket, you certainly benefit from the increase in crystallized intelligence.

But your fluid intelligence soon returns to a more baseline level.

That's the problem with brain training games. Solving Sudoku puzzles, and only solving Sudoku puzzles, won't improve my friend's fluid intelligence in any other areas.

It only makes him better at solving Sudoku puzzles.

Learning how to use a new inventory management system will improve your fluid intelligence, until you've mastered it. Setting up Quickbooks for a new business will improve your fluid intelligence, until you've mastered the accounting process basics.

Once you achieve a level of comfort, your brain no longer has to work as hard, and all that new mental muscle gained starts to atrophy.

So what can you do?

Stay Uncomfortable.

Easy: Once you've mastered a new game, a new process, a new skill, a new anything--move on to something new.

At work. At home. Anywhere. Just keep challenging yourself.

Not only will you pocket a constant flow of new information and skill, your brain will stay "bulked up" and forging new neural connections, making it easier to keep learning and growing.

And then there's this: The more you know, the more you can leverage the power of associative learning--the process of relating something new to something you already know.

Not in a Pavlov's dog kind of way, but by learning the relationship between seemingly unrelated things. In simple terms, whenever you say, "Oh, that makes sense: This is basically like that," you're using associative learning.

The more you learn, the more likely you will be able to associate "old" knowledge to new things. Which means you only have to learn differences or nuances. And you'll be able to apply greater context, which also helps with memory storage and retrieval, to the new information you learn.

All of which makes learning even easier, which research shows will result in your being able to learn even more quickly--and retain a lot more.

So if you like brain training games, master one and then move on to another. And another.

Better yet, keep pushing yourself to learn new things about your business, your customers, your industry, etc.

Not only will that help you become more successful, you'll also get to improve your crystallized intelligence and fluid intelligence--which will surely help you become even more successful.

Where win-wins are concerned, that's a tough one to beat.

https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/how-to-g ... obal-en-GB
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PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Dec 07, 2020 1:18 am

How Exercise Changes Our Blood

While we exercise, we raise and lower the levels of hundreds of molecules in our bloodstreams that are related to our metabolic health, even if we work out for only a few minutes, according to a complex and encouraging new study of the molecular effects of being active

The study, which involved more than 1,000 men and women, adds to growing evidence that exercise improves our health in large part by transforming the numbers and types of cells inside of us.

There is at this point, of course, no reasonable debate about whether exercise is good for us. It is. Countless studies show that people who are active are less likely than more-sedentary people to develop or die from a host of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, dementia, cancer, obesity and many others. Active people also tend to live longer and feel happier.

But we still know surprisingly little about just how exercise changes us for the better. What are the many, interconnected biological steps and transmutations that allow a walk today to add to our life span decades from now?

That question has been driving considerable interest recently in research looking at exercise “omics” — the study of all of the molecules in our blood or other tissues that are part of a particular biological process. Genomics, for instance, quantifies the many, many molecules involved in genetic activities. Proteomics does the same for proteins, microbiomics for the multiple contents of our microbiomes and metabolomics for molecules related to metabolic processes. (There can be overlap between various ’omics, obviously.)

Understanding how exercise affects the levels of the various molecules within us is important, because these changes are likely to be the preliminary step in a complex cascade of further biological actions that contribute to better health. Increase some molecules, decrease others, and you jump-start inter-organ messaging, gene expression and other processes that subsequently alter how we make and use insulin, burn or store fat, respond to cholesterol and so on.

A number of important recent studies have delved into the ’omics of exercise, including a fascinating experiment showing that a short workout rapidly changes the levels of 9,815 molecules in people’s bloodstreams. But that study, like most other examinations of exercise and ’omics, involved relatively few volunteers — 36, in that case — and did not link molecular changes with subsequent health outcomes.

So, for the new study, which was published in September in Circulation, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and other institutions decided to up the number of exercisers whose ’omics would be parsed and also try to find connections between the ’omics data and later health.

Conveniently, they had access to a large group of potential volunteers among men and women already enrolled in the long-term Framingham Heart Study, which is overseen primarily by researchers at Boston University. The scientists now asked 411 middle-aged volunteers enrolled in the study to visit the lab and exercise, by pedaling to exhaustion on a stationary bicycle. Most riders’ efforts lasted for a little less than 12 minutes. The researchers drew blood before the ride and afterward, within about a minute of when, worn out, the cyclists quit.

The scientists then ran the blood samples through a mass spectrometer, a machine that counts and quantifies molecules. The researchers focused on metabolites, which are molecules related to metabolic processes. The label “metabolite” is somewhat arbitrary, but for this study, the researchers focused mostly on molecules that could affect people’s insulin, fat burning, cholesterol, blood sugar and other aspects of cellular fueling.

They found plenty. Of 588 metabolites checked, the levels of more than 80 percent generally grew or dropped during the short rides. To reinforce those findings, the scientists repeated the experiment with another 783 Framingham volunteers, checking their blood before and after exercise for changes in about 200 of the molecules that had been most altered in the first group. Again, these metabolites changed in the same ways as before.

Last and perhaps most intriguing, the researchers created what they called molecular “signatures” of the levels of a few, representative metabolites that changed with exercise. They then looked for these same patterns of metabolites in stored blood samples gathered decades before from past Framingham participants, while also checking to see if and when any of these volunteers had passed away.

The relevant signatures popped up in some of the blood samples, the researchers found, and these samples tended to be from people who had not died prematurely, suggesting that the kinds of metabolite changes that occur with exercise might influence and improve health well into the future.

That idea is “speculative,” though, says Dr. Gregory Lewis, the section head of the heart failure program and director of the cardiopulmonary exercise laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital, who oversaw the new study. The decades-old blood samples were drawn during standard medical testing, not after exercise, he says, so some people with desirable metabolite signatures might have been born that way and not needed workouts to remodel their metabolites.

Even among the current volunteers, he points out, different people’s molecules responded somewhat differently to their exercise. Over all, people with obesity developed fewer changes than leaner riders, suggesting they might somehow resist some of the benefits of exercise. Men and women, as groups, also showed slightly discordant molecular signatures, but age did not influence people’s molecular responses.

Larger future ’omics studies should help scientists tease out how and why we each react as we do to exercise, Dr. Lewis says, and enable researchers to define more-precise molecular signatures that might indicate, with a blood test, how fit someone is or how their bodies may respond to different types of exercise.

But for now, the current study underscores just how pervasive and immediate the effects of exercise can be. “This was barely 10 minutes of exercise,” Dr. Lewis says, “but it shifted so much” inside people.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/25/well ... obal-en-GB
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