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8 Things That Go Just Right With Cheese Fondue!

8 Things That Go Just Right With Cheese Fondue!

I’m going to come right out and say it. I love cheese. I LOVE CHEESE! I also love beer, dipping (and double-dipping) foods, and cheese that is melted. You know where I’m going with this. All of these things together equal to the magnificent creation: cheese fondue! I am definitely a cheese maniac, though I am not from Wisconsin.

The word “fondue” is the feminine past passive participle of the French verb fondre which means “to melt.” It was said to be the national dish of Switzerland in the 1930s, and became popular in the US in the 1960s. AND NOW IT’S BACK. Fondue is amazing. I mean, you get hot melted cheese (or other melted things) and you get to use skewers, long fork, sporks, tongs, knives, or whatever you want to stick random foods into it.

The very first known fondue recipe comes from a 1699 book from Zurich, conveniently titled “Käss mit Wein zu kochen.” Fondue was promoted in the US at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York.

FONDUE_24

    Mmmmm.

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    These days, fondue is back in style, and you can buy whole fondue sets for $30 or less, and I want to bring fondue parties back! Of course, bread is the most common thing people think of dipping into cheese fondue, so let’s take a look at some other options, and things that go well with cheese-y fondue-y goodness!

    1. Beer, of course!

    Cheese fondue is usually made with beer and shredded cheese that melts and gets mixed together over continuous heat for melted drippy cheese-y fondue, so of course beer is going to pair well with it! Inside the fondue, an ale is delicious, such as Bass or Newcastle Brown Ale. You can also make cheese fondue with a mellow white wine! To drink with your fondue, light beers, white wine, and black tea are all said to go very well! Dark beers, such as Guinness, will overwhelm the flavor of the cheese.

    wine fondue

      2. Traditions!

      Traditions always go well with fondue. It is said that the reason fondue was so widespread in Switzerland is because it was convenient, all in one pot, combined with being over the fire, which the family would gather around to keep warm. It is tradition that if a man drops his bread in the fondue pot, he must buy everyone a round of drinks, and if a woman does, she must kiss her neighbors. Seems like a great drinking-and-cheese game to me!

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      flickr cheek

        3. Appetizer course: What to dip in your cheese fondue?

        Well, you have options! The most common is different breads. Personally, I could put cheese on anything, and other common fondue dippers include fruits like apples or pears, and veggies like raw broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. Pretty much anything goes with cheese, so grab your favorite veggies and get to fondue-ing! These dippers, along with crusty bread, are the most common things that you’ll find served with fondue.

        fondue veg

          4. Lightly cooked or steamed vegetables

          Vegetables like asparagus or squash, or roasted artichoke hearts, fennel, and mushrooms are less common to find as cheese fondue dippers, but are extremely delicious in gooey, melted cheese. You can also steam the more regularly seen veggies like carrots and broccoli for a more cooked experience.

          mushroom

            5. Cured meats go surprisingly well with cheese fondue!

            Sausage, salumi, chorizo, prosciutto and more will be really yummy in fondue, and will create more of a “meal” feeling and less of the feeling of just an appetizer. Fully cooked meats like chicken or beef would also be great dipped in cheese, but you are more likely to find those as well as meats like shrimp and more in an entree type of fondue, known as fondue chinoise.

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            meat

              6. A surprising option for cheese fondue dipping: pickles!

              Small pickles such as cornichons are a great salty option for fondue.

              pickles

                7. Why don’t more people use potatoes for a fondue meal?

                Everyone loves baked potatoes with cheese on them, or cheese fries, so though it is pretty uncommon to be found on the plate for fondue, cooked potatoes, or french fries, or potato skins are a great option!

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                potato

                  8. Your friends!

                  What could possibly go with cheese fondue? The people you want to dip with, of course!

                  friends

                    Did I miss anything that you love in or with your fondue? Let me know, so I can try it!

                    Go forth and fondue!

                    Featured photo credit: Alexandre Duret-Lutz via flickr.com

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                    Last Updated on February 21, 2019

                    Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                    Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                    Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

                    If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

                    When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

                    In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

                    1. Salmon

                    Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

                    It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

                    Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

                    Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

                    Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

                    Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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                    2. Blueberries

                    Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

                    Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

                    Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

                    Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

                    Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

                    3. Turmeric

                    Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

                    Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

                    Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

                    Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

                    Curcumin has also been shown to:

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                    • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
                    • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
                    • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
                    • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

                    4. Coffee

                    Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

                    Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

                    Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

                    Coffee can also:

                    • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
                    • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
                    • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
                    • Improve your memory.
                    • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

                    5. Broccoli

                    What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

                    Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

                    Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

                    Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

                    Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

                    6. Bone broth

                    Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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                    Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

                    Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

                    Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

                    Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

                    With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

                    Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

                    7. Walnuts

                    Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

                    Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

                    Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

                    Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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                    8. Eggs

                    For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

                    Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

                    Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

                    9. Dark chocolate

                    You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

                    Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

                    Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

                    Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

                    Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

                    Conclusion

                    Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

                    In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

                    If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

                    More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                    Reference

                    [1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
                    [2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
                    [3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
                    [4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
                    [5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
                    [6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
                    [7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
                    [8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
                    [9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
                    [10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
                    [11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
                    [12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
                    [13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
                    [14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
                    [15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
                    [16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
                    [17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
                    [18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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