Some Facts About Mozzarella Cheese

Mozzarella is a traditional Italian cheese. It is a mild, smooth-textured fresh cheese and was was first made in Southern Italy near Naples. Originally, mozzarella was only made with buffalo milk. Legend has it that mozzarella was first made when cheese curds accidentally fell into a pail of hot water in a cheese factory near Naples … and soon thereafter the first pizza was made! Mozzarella is the most popular cheese in the world and is generally considered to be most flavorful when served at room temperature, so unwrap the cheese and leave it out of the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.

The word “mozzarella”, derived from the Neapolitan dialect spoken in Campania, is the diminutive form of mozza (“cut”), or mozzare (“to cut off”) derived from the method of working. The term is first mentioned in 1570, cited in a cookbook by Bartolomeo Scappi, reading “milk cream, fresh butter, ricotta cheese, fresh mozzarella and milk”. In the middle of the 20th century, mozzarella triumphantly advanced throughout all of Europe. Mozzarella received a Traditional Specialities Guaranteed (TEG) certification from the European Union in 1998.

Mozzarella is a stretched-curd cheese – the curd is mixed with heated whey and stretched and kneaded until it attains a smooth, pliable consistency. It is then molded into spheres or ovals and stored in water to keep it moist. Delicate and perishable, it typically lasts only a few days – some versions, however, undergo an aging process that strengthens their flavour, toward that of provolone, and prolongs their storage life. In Italy, the cheese is produced nationwide using Italian buffalo’s milk because Italian buffalo is in all Italian regions. Fior di latte is made from fresh cow’s milk and not water buffalo milk, which greatly lowers its cost. Lightly smoked mozzarella is known as Scamorze. Mozzarella made from cow’s milk is milder in taste than mozzarella made from buffalo’s milk.

Fresh mozzarella balls are sold in a brine, whey or water solution to help them retain their moisture and shape. Mozzarella is used as a topping on pizza in several pasta dishes, antipasto dishes,  sandwiches,  salads and various side dishes. It is considered the best cheese for pizza for a few reasons: its delicate, milky flavor, its smooth, elastic texture, and its fabulous meltability. Caprese salad is a simple Italian salad, made of sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and sweet basil, seasoned with salt and olive oil, occasionally paired with arugula.

Some Health Benefits Of Broccoli

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea) is a cruciferous vegetable related to cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Broccoli is high in many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium. It also boasts more protein than most other vegetables. This green veggie can be enjoyed both raw and cooked, but recent research shows that gentle steaming provides the most health benefits.

Health benefits of broccoli : Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli provide sulfur-containing compounds that are responsible for their often pungent taste. These bioactive compounds may have numerous health benefits.

Cancer prevention : Cancer is characterized by the rapid growth of abnormal cells and is often linked to oxidative stress (22Trusted Source). Broccoli is loaded with compounds that are believed to protect against cancer. Observational studies suggest that the consumption of cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, is linked to a reduced risk of many cancers, including lung, colorectal, breast, prostate, pancreatic, and gastric cancers. A unique family of plant compounds called isothiocyanates sets cruciferous vegetables apart from other veggies.

Studies suggest that Isothiocyanates affect liver enzymes, reduce oxidative stress, decrease inflammation, stimulate your immune system, and combat the development and growth of cancer. The main isothiocyanate in broccoli, sulforaphane, acts against the formation of cancer at the molecular level by reducing oxidative stress. Sulforaphane occurs at 20–100 times higher amounts in young broccoli sprouts than in full-grown heads of this vegetable. Though broccoli supplements are also available, they may not contribute an equivalent amount of isothiocyanates and thus may not give the same health benefits as eating whole, fresh broccoli (33Trusted Source, 34Trusted Source).

Lower cholesterol levels : Cholesterol has many important functions in your body. For example, it is a key factor in the formation of bile acids, which help you digest fat. Bile acids are formed in your liver, stored in your gallbladder, and released into your digestive system whenever you eat fat. Afterward, the bile acids are reabsorbed into your bloodstream and used again. Substances in broccoli bind with bile acids in your gut, increasing their excretion and preventing them from being reused. This results in the synthesis of new bile acids from cholesterol, reducing total levels of this marker in your body. This effect has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. According to one study, steamed broccoli is particularly useful for lowering cholesterol levels.

Eye health : Impaired eyesight is a common consequence of aging. Two of the main carotenoids in broccoli, lutein and zeaxanthin, are associated with a decreased risk of age-related eye disorders. Vitamin A deficiency may cause night blindness, which can be reversed with improved vitamin A status. Broccoli contains beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. This vegetable may thus boost eyesight in individuals with a low vitamin A intake.

Drinking More Tea Than Coffee Nowadays

For a guy who loved his coffee so much – hey I even have a category dedicated to just coffee – I have been drinking a lot more tea now. That is because I had consulted a dietician, after my health issues and I as advised to lose some weight by my doctor, and one of the things she said was to drink more tea instead of coffee.

And cut off sugar ofcourse. So I did. I start my day by drinking a cup of coffee with milk (I have to have more milk to increase the calcium levels in my body) and later on in the morning I will have a cup of tea. I add sugar free to my beverages now. I do not drink tea or coffee at the office anymore and instead will opt for a lime juice with a tiny bit of salt and no sugar. 2 atleast during a 9 hour shift; one at tea time and one during dinner.

During the weekends I drink a bit more. I drink a cup of coffee with milk in the morning – I need that pick up first thing after I wake up, brush my teeth and wash my face. Later on in the morning I will drink a black tea and in the evening after 5 pm I will usually have some biscuits with my cuppa. Ofcourse I drink it usually at my desk with Youtube running on my browser, either a vlog, a sports clip or review or some music. That is how I am spending my hot beverage drinking time.

Here Are Some Health Benefits To Eating Oranges

Health Benefits of Oranges

The vitamin C in oranges helps your body in lots of ways:

  • Protects your cells from damage
  • Helps your body make collagen, a protein that heals wounds and gives you smoother skin
  • Makes it easier to absorb iron to fight anemia
  • Boosts your immune system, your body’s defense against germs
  • Slows the advance of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss
  • Helps fight cancer-causing free radicals
When you’re feeling anxious, vitamin C can also lower your levels of the stress hormone cortisol and your blood pressure.

Fiber. The 3 grams of fiber in a medium orange help keep your bowels healthy, your cholesterol and risk of heart disease low, and ulcers at bay. Fiber also slows the way your body absorbs sugar — a big bonus if you have diabetes.

Calcium. Oranges are high in this important nutrient, which keeps your bones, organs, and muscles strong.

Folate for moms and babies. Oranges are a great way to get a big dose of folate naturally. Your body uses it to divide cells and make DNA. Because it helps prevent birth defects, it’s an especially important B vitamin for pregnant women.

Good sugar. The 12 grams of sugar in an orange are all natural. That’s different from the kind of sugar you’d get in a candy bar. Plus, all the fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants that come with an orange make it a much better choice for your body. Choose raw oranges, which have less sugar than the dried kind.

Potassium. This nutrient lowers your blood pressure, and oranges have a bunch of it.

Citric acid and citrates. These compounds help prevent kidney stones from forming.

Malkist Cheese Cracker Biscuits

I’ve always seen people eating cheese and crackers. I’ve only had plain crackers, usually dipped in tea or coffee, which over here in India are usually very dry and almost tasteless. However, I did try these ones and I like them a lot. Malkist Cheese Cracker which are nothing but cheese layered between two sugar-sprinkled crackers.

The crackers are crisp but the only thing is we have a tiny sugar granules, which for me is a problem as I am staying away from sugar. However I didn’t know this at first as when I picked it up it was a bit dark in the kitchen. Once I tasted it I thought, hmmm it does taste sweet and I got that along with the cheese. I understood that it was sugar but it’s very tiny and hence it isn’t too bad. I got it in a pack of 10. It is crisp but crumbles easily which is a bummer. It is light and does not feel heavy at all as the layer of cheese is thin but adequete.

The cheese was slightly salted which paired well with the sugar. This cracker is prepared with ingredients like milk powder and cheese powder, but it had no synthetic aftertaste. No added preservative but it has food colouring. If you like a savoury snack (despite the bit of sugar) it’s great for an evening snack with your tea or coffee.

Egg White Omelet With Spinach, Cheese & Tomato Recipe

Trying to lose weight like me but craving a good healthy yet filling breakfast to add to your diet? Well my dietician gave me some things that I could do for my meals and one of them is an egg white omelet. So here is a recipe I found online for this delicious & health breakfast.

Ingredients : 10 mins :  1-serving

  1. 3 eggs large Whites of (whisked)
  2. 2 tablespoons milk skim
  3. 40 g Spinach (coarsely chopped) / 1½ oz
  4. 40 g Mushrooms (sliced) / 1½ oz .
  5. 1 scallion spring onion / (thinly sliced)
  6. 40 g tomato (chopped) / 1½ oz .
  7. ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  8. salt black pepper and oil
  9. low fat cottage cheese
  • Combine all of the eggs, cottage cheese, and pepper and beat with a fork.
  • Spray a skillet with non-stick spray and place over medium heat.
  • Pour egg mixture into skillet, being sure it spreads evenly over the pan, and sprinkle mushroom and tomato over top.
  • Cook until eggs are opaque and set. Fold one-half of the omelet over the other.
  • Serve. Wheat bread toasted optional.

Here Are Five Benefits Of Drinking Green Tea

All types of tea, even your regular cup of builder’s, are made from the camellia sinensis plant. Green tea gets its name from the emerald green colour created when brewing these unprocessed, unfermented leaves.

1. High in protective polyphenols

Compounds called polyphenols are known to protect the body against disease and make an important contribution towards a healthy, balanced diet. These antioxidant compounds are found in a wide range of fruit, vegetables and other unprocessed foods. Green tea has numerous health benefits many of which are attributed to the fact that it is largely unprocessed and rich in these plant compounds. The main bioactive compounds in green tea are flavonoids, with the most potent being catechins and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

2. May boost brain function

Green tea contains a number of natural stimulants, including caffeine, which although not as high as coffee, may still help maintain alertness and focus. In addition to this, green tea is a source of the amino acid L-theanine, which has a relaxing effect; it does this by increasing mood-enhancing brain chemicals including GABA, dopamine and serotonin. The beneficial polyphenols of green tea may also help slow the effects of aging on the brain.

3. May boost fat burning

Some research suggests that green tea may boost metabolic rate and increase fat burning. This is thought to be thanks to the natural thermogenic properties provided by caffeine, and by the plant compounds such as catechins.

4. May support blood sugar control

Studies suggest green tea may improve insulin sensitivity and as a result have a beneficial effect on blood sugar control.

5. May reduce the risk of heart disease

Research suggests green tea is a useful beverage for helping to reduce the risk of heart disease and associated conditions, such as stroke. One way it may help is in its beneficial effects on cholesterol management.

Drinking Beers After A Very Long, Long Time

After many, many months – close to 9.5 months, last weekend I had gone to get my hair cut. I am balding, have a bad bald spot on the back of my head and hence my hair doesn’t really grow that much but within the last couple of months my hair had grown so long that it was almost at my shoulder. It was difficult for to manage and drying my hair after a shower was a nightmare. So I went to Ole and got my hair cut short and it feels so much better now.

With that out of the way, it was just a couple of steps near to Couchyn, the lounge bar that is attached to the Grand Hotel. I went it as it was also 9.5 months since I had any drinks. I was only going to have some beer but as I got in, I started to really miss it. I quickly sat down and ordered a Corona and munching on some free hickory sticks, I quickly demolished that. Man, did I ever earn that beer. Now I needed another one and I asked for a Hoegaarden which I really, really love.

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By then my first order of food had arrived. Delicious tempura prawns which is so good on it’s own but dipped in that delicious sweet & spicy Thai Chilli sauce that it comes with – oh my god, how I have missed this taste! So great to drink my beer and eat them prawns while listening to their excellent selection of 70s, 80s & 90s soft rock and folk music. The word chilling in the dictionary should have a clip of me drinking my beer, eating those shrimp and humming & singing softly to myself the lyrics of the songs that were playing.

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A little later I ordered some tandoori chicken, a half plate and a Budweiser. Now the first two beers were 350 ml bottles but the Bud was a full bomber bottle of 650 ml. I thought I could finish that but I couldn’t complete the last bit more than a quarter of the bottle and the last piece of chicken. Well I culd have but I wanted to go back home and if I stayed back then I could have finished them off. So I paid via my credit card, washed my hands and mouth, took a leak in the washroom and then booked an Uber to come back home.

Drinking Eggnog Around The Holiday Season Sounds Just Right; Here Are Some Eggnog Facts

1. Eggnog Was Once Only A Drink For Wealthy Aristocrats

Oh, you fancy, huh? In the 14th century England, only the well off could afford eggnog, as milk and eggs were both scarce and expensive, as was the sherry used to spike the mixture.However, that changed in the American Colonies where they had easier access to dairy products and liquor. Many Americans had their own chickens and dairy cattle so tossing together a glass of eggnog was an easy feat, making its popularity soar.

2. The Word Eggnog Has Many Origins

Many etymologists believe the name stems from the word “noggin” which referred to small wooden mugs that were often used to serve eggnog. Others posit a similar story but explain that “nog” comes from the slang term to refer to strong ales they also served in those cups.

3. Washington Enjoyed Getting Sloshed On Eggnog

When toasting your glass of eggnog these holidays, charge a glass to George Washington. Kitchen records from Mount Vernon indicate the first president served an eggnog-like drink to visitors. And since the general was a wealthy man, he didn’t’ skimp on the booze. Washington’s potent recipe included three different types of liquor – rye whiskey, rum, and sherry.

4. The FDA Limits The Amount Of Egg In Store-Bought Eggnog To 1%

If you pick up a carton of eggnog with your groceries, you may be getting more “nog” than yolk. Due to our fear of raw egg, U.S. FDA regulations limit egg yolk solids to no more than 1.0% of a products’ final weight to bear the eggnog name, while your typical homemade version has roughly one egg per serving

5. Eggnog Was Responsible For A Riot At West Point

In 1826, the Superintendent of West Point, Colonel Sylvanus Thayer set strict rules forbidding purchasing, storing, or consuming alcohol. However, several cadets took Thayer’s regulations as a challenge and celebrated the Christmas festivities with alcohol-laden eggnog. A riot ensued, two officers got assaulted, and the North Barracks vandalized. Ultimately, 19 cadets and one soldier were court-martialed for their involvement in the riot, resulting in eleven dismissals from West Point.

6. There Is No “Right” or “Wrong” Alcohol With Eggnog

With no hard and fast rules, eggnog can be made with any number of different distilled spirits, or none at all, known as “virgin eggnog”. Rum, sherry, Cognac, and whiskey are all suitable for eggnog. Some suggest that it should be a mix of two dark distilled spirits to balance out the sweet treacle flavor of eggnog, but it’s best to try them out and see what works best for you.

7. Vegan Eggnog Exists, And It’s Spectacular

While not technically using any eggs or milk, vegan “eggnog” can be made using a variety of products and is ideal for not only vegans but also those with lactose or dairy intolerances. “Milk” is used, in the form of soy, almond, coconut, or cashew and traditional eggnog flavors and spices remain such as vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. And of course making either alcoholic or virgin vegan eggnog is your choice, depending on how bearable your relatives are!

Six Fun Facts About Hot Chocolate

That sweet, chocolaty treat you enjoy on cold days has a lot of history behind it. It’s been on the frontline of wars, stirred up controversy with the Catholic Church, and seen empires rise and fall. Here are a few tasty morsels about hot chocolate.

1. IT DATES BACK THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

Long before people nibbled on bars and brownies, chocolate was consumed in liquid form. Historians credit the Olmec civilization of southern Mexico as being the first to roast the fruit from the cacao tree, then grind it down and mix it with water and other ingredients. Archaeologists have discovered Olmec pottery with trace amounts of chocolate dating back to around 1700 BCE.

2. IT WASN’T ALWAYS HOT—OR SWEET.

The Mayans and Aztecs, who picked up the habit from the Olmecs, drank a bitter brew they called “xocoatl,” typically made with chilies, water and toasted corn, and served lukewarm and frothy. The Spanish, who were introduced to cacao drinks after conquistadors brought them home, sweetened things up by adding cinnamon, sugar and other spices to the mix. This, however, was still nothing like the sweet concoction that characterizes hot chocolate today.

3. IT WAS THE SOURCE OF RELIGIOUS CONTROVERSY.

As chocolate drinks became widely consumed during the 16th and 17th centuries, mainly amongst the moneyed class, a debate emerged: Was it a drink or was it food? The distinction would dictate whether Europe’s Roman Catholics could imbibe during religious fasting, which occurred numerous times throughout the year. The argument went all the way to Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1588), who decreed that drinkable chocolate was fine to consume while fasting. Future popes would agree. Yet the debate raged on, with many clerics banning chocolate drinks during fasting time.

4. IT WAS SERVED IN FANCY PITCHERS.

In 17th-century England, so-called “chocolate houses” became all the rage. Establishments like White’s, which is still in business today, served up hot chocolate to go along with the political banter, gambling and general debauchery. And they served the drink in pitchers made out of gold, silver and porcelain. Limoges porcelain, which was elegantly designed and often featured floral patterns, was a popular choice. Needless to say, these were very elite gatherings.

5. REVOLUTIONARY WAR SOLDIERS HAD IT IN THEIR RATIONS.

The belief in chocolate’s restorative qualities extended well past the reign of the Mayans and the Aztecs. During the Revolutionary War, medics would often dole out cups of hot chocolate to wounded and dying soldiers. Hot chocolate mixes were also given out monthly to soldiers, and sometimes offered in lieu of wages.

6. IT FUELED POLAR EXPLORERS.

British explorer Robert Falcon Scott and his men subsisted off hot cocoa and stew during their yearlong trek to the South Pole. The expedition made it to the pole in January 1912, only to find that a Norwegian team led by Roald Amundsen had gotten there a month prior. Tragically, Scott’s team ran out of provisions on the return journey and perished, while Amundsen, who had packed five times as much cocoa, returned a hero. Decades later, in 1989, the six members of a sled-dog expedition across Antarctica consumed nearly 2100 packets of Swiss Miss hot cocoa.

Seven Foods To Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

1. Salmon : Salmon is a popular fatty fish and a great source of vitamin D. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Composition Database, one 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of farmed Atlantic salmon contains 526 IU of vitamin D, or 66% of the DV. Whether the salmon is wild or farmed can make a big difference in the vitamin D content. On average, wild-caught salmon has more vitamin D. The amount of vitamin D will vary depending on where the salmon is caught and the time of year.

2. Herring and sardines : Herring is a fish eaten around the world. It is often smoked or pickled. This small fish is also a great source of vitamin D. Fresh Atlantic herring provides 214 IU per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, which is 27% of the DV. If fresh fish isn’t your thing, pickled herring is also a good source of vitamin D, providing 113 IU per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, or 14% of the DV. Pickled herring also contains a high amount of sodium, at 870 mg per serving unless you are trying to lower your salt intake. Canned sardines are a good source of vitamin D as well. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving provides 193 IU or 24% of the DV.

3. Cod liver oil : Cod liver oil is a popular supplement. If you don’t like fish, taking cod liver oil is another way to get nutrients that are hard to get otherwise.  It’s an excellent source of vitamin D. At about 450 IU per teaspoon (4.9 mL), it clocks in at a massive 56% of the DV. It has been used for many years to treat vitamin D deficiency. It also has a history of being used as part of treating rickets, psoriasis, and tuberculosis.

4. Canned tuna : Many people enjoy canned tuna because of its flavor and easy storage methods. It is typically cheaper than buying fresh fish. Canned light tuna packs up to 269 IU of vitamin D in a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, which is 34% of the DV. Mercury is a heavy metal found in many types of fish. Bigger types of fish contain more mercury than smaller ones. The amount of mercury in canned tuna depends on the type of tuna. Light canned tuna comes from smaller fish and is lower in mercury.

5. Egg yolks : Fish are not the only source of vitamin D. Whole eggs are another good source, as well as a wonderfully nutritious food. Most of the protein in an egg is found in the white, and the fat, vitamins, and minerals are found mostly in the yolk. The yolk from one large egg contains 37 IU of vitamin D, or 5% of the DV.

6. Mushrooms : Other than fortified foods, mushrooms are the only sufficient non-animal source of vitamin D. Like humans, mushrooms can synthesize vitamin D when exposed to UV light. However, mushrooms produce vitamin D2, whereas animals produce vitamin D3. Though vitamin D2 helps raise blood levels of vitamin D, it may not be as effective as vitamin D3.

7. Vitamin D fortified foods : Natural sources of vitamin D are limited, especially if you’re vegetarian or don’t like fish. Cow’s milk is a naturally good source of many nutrients, including calcium, phosphorous, and riboflavin. In several countries, cow’s milk is fortified with vitamin D. Since vitamin D is found almost exclusively in animal products, vegetarians and vegans may find it trickier to get enough.

For this reason, plant-based milk substitutes such as soy milk are often fortified with vitamin D, along with other nutrients usually found in cow’s milk.

Fun Facts About Beaver Tails

Tasty dollops of gooey dough dropped into hot oil, deep fried to golden deliciousness, then sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and served to you warm? That is the Beaver tail! It is said that every nationality has its own version of fried dough. New Orleans has beignets, Spain has churros, Italy has zeppole, Canada has, well, BeaverTails (Queues de Castor in French). A true Canadian culinary treat, they are batches of dough that are stretched by hand to resemble the tail of a beaver. Then these deliciously addictive, traditional whole-wheat pastries are deep-fried in canola oil and served piping hot, drizzled with butter and your choice of toppings.

Fun facts about beaver tails:

  • The Barenaked Ladies change the lyrics of their song If I Had A Million Dollars to If I Had A Million BeaverTails during a music festival.
  • A question about BeaverTails makes it into the Canadian version of Trivial Pursuit.
  • “What is a BeaverTail?” is the answer to a Jeopardy question, the U.S.-television show hosted by Canadian-born Alex Trebek.
  • During an interview with The Globe and Mail, Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams states that his most Canadian trait is his ability to differentiate a BeaverTail from a Tim Hortons Timbit. Now, that’s Canadian.
  • BeaverTails uses 21.1 tons of chocolate hazelnut spread per year. That’s the equivalent weight of five elephants and 12 beavers.
  • Since BeaverTails’ debut in 1978, enough BeaverTails have been sold to make a straight line of tails, end-to-end, from the BeaverTails store in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, to the store in Whistler, British Columbia.
  • Since 1981 more than 8,000 young Canadians have worked at the BeaverTails operations in the Ottawa stores alone.
  • Along with the 80 franchised operations spread across Canada, there are now two stores in Saudi Arabia and two stores in Colorado’s ski country, spreading Canadian pride around the world.