Sunday, July 26, 2015

10 Healthy Foods I Dislike & Regret Buying

1) Chia seeds and chia pudding
The gooey texture and appearance is off putting. I do not mind using it within muffin batters
☑ Pricey

2) Hemp seeds-
The soft texture of the seeds is great but the strong musty (earthy) taste is not welcomed. When added to smoothies or oatmeal it imparts a noticeable taste. I however, enjoy and find hemp milk quite tasty.
☑ Pricey
3) Stevia- 
The brand of stevia I bought is not 100% stevia and this may be why the product has a bitter taste that is quite noticeable.
☑ Pricey
4) Coconut Flour
Boy, oh boy, Coconut flour is one of the most challenging gluten-free flours I have tested out. It soaks up a lot of water, it requires a binder (e.g. egg),  products made with it can have a grainy texture, etc. etc. I honestly, made  3 recipes with this and I gave up. 

5) Unsweetened  Almond milk (homemade or store-bought)- 
I'll stick to chewing my almonds, considering it is packed with more nutrition that unfortified almond milk.
6) Seaweed-
This tastes like a mix of the ocean and fresh salt-water fish; not my favourite flavour combo.

7) Carielle or Bitter melon-
The vegetable, despite it's health and nutritional properties is really bitter. It smells really good when fried but the bitterness is just to strong for my taste buds. 

8) Quinoa-
It tastes bland when cooked without herbs or spices but the miniature seeds are creepy.
☑ Pricey
9) Coconut oil and Olive oil
These impart a strong flavour on foods. I will stick to sesame oil and use coconut oil and olive oil in my hair.
10) Whole-wheat /Whole-Grain
The whole-grain versions of grain products  e.g. whole-wheat coucous, whole-wheat pasta and whole-wheat wraps have strong and bold flavours.  I would rather limit my consumption of the refined versions, that purchase the whole-grain version. The whole-grain versions are also quite pricey 
☑ Pricey
These are the health foods, I do not enjoy and in some cases regret purchasing.

Thank you for reading! 
What are the health foods you dislike?
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Healthy Food Hacks I Dislike

1) Frozen Banana "ice cream" for dessert
Bananas is one of those fruits, you either like it or not. I prefer my bananas fresh, whole and ripe. I am not a fan of banana chips, banana bread/muffins/cakes/fritters, banana punch or banana in oatmeal. 
When I first heard about this and the many positive reviews, I was amazed. I attempted making the frozen banana "ice cream" 3 times and
❶ it does not taste like ice cream, 
❷ it does not have the same texture as ice -cream, 
❸ it does not give me the same satisfaction as ice-cream and
Tasty Banana Treat
❹ the texture when it melts is just weird

Bottom-lime: I will stick to eating my bananas fresh, whole and ripe; plain or with a drizzle of chocolate syrup.

For the record, here were my "banana ice-cream" experiences:
Frozen Banana "ice cream"
✦ The first attempt: I added too much liquid because I was unsure it would blend. 
✦ The second attempt: It came out smooth, thick and creamy. However, it tasted just like cold puréed bananas. 
✦ The third attempt: I added frozen strawberries for some added flavour, it came out pink and was tasty.

2)  Do-It-Yourself  Microwave Popcorn
I love popcorn. I have always made my popcorn the old-fashioned way, using a deep pot, oil and popcorn kernels. However, upon hearing that I could skip the use of oil, I was intrigued. I attempted popping popcorn kernels using the microwave at least 3 times but this method is not for me.
Bowl method:
It takes forever to pop, if you use the wrong bowl. On my first attempt, I used a ceramic bowl and the kernels took forever to pop. I re-tried it with a glass bowl, using the popcorn setting and it was tasty but dry.
❷  Bag Method
I attempted this method without adding oil, it came out good but dry. However, when I tried coating the kernels with oil first, a number of kernels got burnt and without popping...wastage!.

It should be noted, 
✦ The bag method  encourages portion control, seeing that only so much popcorn can fit in the bag without making a mess during the popping phase.
✦Seasoning & flavourings such as salt, black pepper, garlic powder, grated parmesan or cinnamon do not stick to the popcorn if no oil is used during the popping. They just coat the bottom of the bowl.

Bottom-lime: I will stick to the old-fashioned way of making popcorn.

3)  Plain Yoghurt instead of Mayonnaise in Salads (tuna, chicken. potato salad)
While plain yoghurt and mayonnaise both have a creamy and thick texture, they are not interchangeable.  Plain yoghurt has a tart flavour that changes the flavour profile of the food item. Depending on your taste buds, you may enjoy this flavour change but I do not. Adding more flavourings or seasoning make a slight difference.

Bottom-lime: I will stick to regular mayonnaise in those type of salads (tuna, chicken. potato salad) or go without it.

4) Coconut Milk as Milk Substitute
Breakfast: 1 spoonful of coconut milk in my oatmeal

Being from the Caribbean island of Trinidad and consuming coconut milk only within dishes such as callaloo and pelau. I never, considered using coconut milk as a milk substitute or a as a non-dairy creamer. Nevertheless, after trying it out in my oatmeal, eggless pancake batter, black coffee, green tea and Indian chai tea, it is not for me. Coconut milk enhances the creaminess of these items but the flavour of the food item also changes; not in a good way, with the exception of the pancakes.  In the pancakes, the coconut milk positively enhanced the flavour but in the beverages and oatmeal, the flavour profile is weird.

Bottom-lime: I will stick to adding coconut milk to meal items such as callaloo and pelau. 

5) Linseed Wraps (high-fibre; low-carb wrap)
I attempted this after reading an article about cholesterol on DailyMail Uk. These wraps serve as an alternative to wheat based or corn tortillas. However, it is quite tricky to make. 
To clarify: 
❶ Sometimes the batter will stick to the plate and you will end up with a broken tortilla
❷ One tortilla is made at a time; hence it is inefficient
❸ Whole egg or egg whites are essential to get the wraps to bind; when made without the egg,  the batter  does not cook or bind
❹ The linseed flavour is strong. If you do not like the taste of linseed then this recipe is not for you.

Bottom-line: I will stick to regular wheat or corn tortillas
Video demo of the linseed wrap from Youtube user 'that'sveryjerry' 

6) Cauliflower Pizza (low-carb pizza alternative)
I enjoy cauliflower; steamed, baked or even as cauliflower rice but cauliflower pizza is a no, no. I first heard about this on Blogilates. I will admit I did not add the egg to the crust and this is probably was the reason for the pizza coming out soft, mushy and weird. After, viewing Chef John from Foodwishes recipe, I may one day try it again. 

There you go folks, these are the 6 healthy food hacks I do not enjoy. 

Thank you for reading! 
What are the healthy food hacks you dislike?
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RE: 6 Foods with More Protein Than an Egg

This post is in response to the Eat This, Not That article about 6 Surprising Foods with More Protein Than an Egg.

I enjoyed the fact that they provided alternative fibre-rich, plant-based protein sources (excluding the cheese) and informed us (the readers) about the micro-nutrient (vitamin/mineral) properties. My issue with the article relates to the claim 'these foods contain more protein than an egg'. On one hand, the claim is valid but on the other, it is somewhat misleading.

When examined on a per meal basis, it is practical for one to consume 1 large (64 g) boiled egg by itself or paired with other foods. After-all, 1 large egg is equivalent to 1 serving of protein according to most national food guides. This cannot be said for the other foods listed (excluding the cheese).

 1 serving of pumpkin seed is 35 g (1 oz.)
 1 serving of kamut, uncooked is 42 g (1/4 cup) and ½ cup when cooked 
 1 serving of chickpea flour is 42 g (1/4 cup)
 1 serving of spinach, raw is 29 g (1 cup)
 1 serving sun-dried tomatoes is 4 pieces (14 g)
 1 serving cheese is 1 oz. (1 slice)

The quantities listed for some of the foods in the article contain more than one serving size, which is not a bad thing; if consumed throughout the day. However, the fact that most of these options are fibre-rich, make it challenging to consume in one meal.

 Another issue with the article is that some of the protein content listed relates to the raw and uncooked form of certain foods. This is true for the spinach and kamut. Kamut like many grains, digestibility increases once cooked.
 1 serving of cooked kamut contains 5 g protein; not more than an egg.
 1 cup cooked spinach contains 5 g protein; also not more than an egg.

Food is so much more than its nutrients. Nevertheless, check out the poster above and pay attention to the macros (carbs, protein & fat) on the foods listed and be the judge for yourself.

Thank you for reading! 
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