Archive for February, 2011
For years there has been a huge debate over which is better for you. However, the facts seem a little nebulous. People who like carob find it better for you. Chocoholics find all the good facts about chocolate and promote them.
Many people tout that carob has less fat in it. However, in order to make it palatable in a candy bar, lots more oils and fats must be added to it, or it tastes chalky and dry.
Carob tastes different than chocolate. It is naturally quite sweet and tastes a little like malted chocolate. It can be used one to one the same way chocolate is used. If you are trying to replace chocolate in bar form use 3 tablespoons of carob powder, but you’ll also probably have to add some extra oil to the recipe or it may turn out dry.
The main health factor is the caffeine and caffeine like substances that exist in chocolate, that don’t exist in carob. It also contains 60% less calories than chocolate. As long as you don’t expect your dish to taste like chocolate you will probably find carob delightful and tasty. It can fulfill you chocolate cravings quite nicely.
There are quite a few smaller items that I find make food preparation easier. Here’s my essential and nearly essential list.
- Measuring cups and spoons – Nice stainless sets of both will last forever.
- Spatulas – Get silicone ones. They last forever or nearly so.
- Pot holders – Get really good thick ones so you don’t burn your hands.
- Can opener – Make sure it is easy to use and fits your hand.
- Handheld chopper – Also called a tap chopper. Thought this was one of the stupidest things my husband every bought, but it really does chop things in a flash, nuts, olives, pineapple, etc. Easy clean up, too.
- Bamboo mixing, stirring and serving spoons – Bamboo is nearly indestructible. My wooden ones always wear down (am I eating wood?) Bamboo looks almost exactly like the day I bought it.
- Slotted spoon – Gets things out of watery stuff without a mess.
- Oven thermometer – Only need this if you move frequently, as each oven has its own idea of what 350˚ is.
I think that’s about it for essentials. However, that is not all I have in my kitchen…
I was looking online at what others thought were essential tools and found out that I have a very lacking kitchen. How can I cook delicious gourmet meals if I’m missing the essentials? After reading their lists I’m surprised I can even cook a meal at all. Not only that they must have huge kitchens, because if I bought everything on their lists it would fill my kitchen and about half the rest of the house.
Here’s a list of the tools I use the most.
- Knives – I use knives made by Mac. I like that their handles are at an angle so you don’t mash your knuckles when slicing.
- Good cookware – I don’t use any non-stick, because I don’t trust that it is not toxic in the long run. Cast iron, although heavy is great for cooking. If seasoned property they work just like non-stick. Otherwise I have nice stainless pots and pans.
- Food processor – Great for fast chopping of veggies, nuts, cheese, etc.
- Blender or Vitamix – Although we have both, I’d choose the Vitamix if I could only have one, because it doesn’t bog down like a regular blender does.
- Cookie sheets, pizza pan, muffin tin – Use these more than I thought I would.
- Mixing bowls – Got a fantastic set of 5 nearly 30 years ago and they are still going strong. Get one or two more of the mid-sized, as you’ll use them a lot.
That’s about it for the big stuff.