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What Are Some Cooking Myths that Don’t Help?

What Are Some Cooking Myths that Don’t Help?

It’s true to say that we all have some cooking techniques or use some cooking method that we thought helped with the flavor and aids our culinary skills. Well there are plenty of cooking myths out there that just need to be blown apart. This answer found in Quora helps to blow away some of those things we believe that simply, aren’t true. What are the cooking myths that are not real?

Here’s whatJonas M Luster, an experienced chef, has to say about it –

” Some of the more common ones:

You can not “sear meat to seal in juices”

This is a TV-chef myth. It comes up all the time on the telly, which doesn’t make it any more true. In fact, the act of searing the outside of meat actually makes it more porous and therefore more likely to give off juices under pressure. This pressure does not have to be manual, the mere exposure to heat forces the muscle (almost all traditional cuts are muscles) to contract and therefore expel juices from the item.

You can’t stop those juices, but you can work with it. Searing at great heat and then finishing your meat at lower heat, letting it rest for a while after cooking and before serving, preserves the second-largest amount (top for that is still Sous Vide cooking) of juices.

    You don’t have to keep whipping cream or it “falls apart”

    I am guilty of that myth myself. Always the strict and fun-removed cooking instructor I want my students to sweat some. But the truth is, when whipping egg whites or cream, stopping in the middle and picking it back up a few seconds later (when that arm gets too heavy) doesn’t make your whip fall apart. If anything, it helps by allowing the structure to set and firm up a little. Just don’t remove your whisk, leave it inside your liquid at all times, and restart at medium speed, not at full bore.

    Speaking about myths, you don’t need a special whisk for stuff. The whole idea of whisking is integration of air into a liquid – get the one with the most spokes, cheap or expensive, and if you still find yourself having issues use two whisks at once, you’ll see the insane difference.

      “Crowding Pasta” is OK in 99% of all cases

      My mother believed this one to be true, too. Plus those idiot TV cheflebrities with vaguely Italian names who think that a grandfather from Rome and a vacation in the 80s makes them “Italian” keep perpetuating it. Unless, and that’s really the only time, you make your own, 100% semolina (it’s not a good mix to begin with), pasta and do not rest/dry it, you don’t need to fill a huge pot with lots of water for some product. As long as all of the pasta is covered, crowding is never an issue. Add enough salt to make it, as my Italian chef always said, “taste like theAdria“, NO oil (never, ever), and bring to a light, not rolling, boil. And, voila, perfect pasta every time.

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        Bonus: No, it’s perfectly OK to buy your pasta

        A foodie myth. Apparently, I am told, only home made pasta is worth it. Well, that’s a myth. Good bought pasta contains exactly the same stuff you’d put into it. Unless it’s ravioli (in which case you have to make it yourself to get stuff inside), buying pasta is completely acceptable and done anywhere and everywhere. Yes, that includes Michelin-starred places.

        Clarification:Barilla and other durum-extruded pastas are different from home made pasta in contents and taste. They’re not worse or better, but different. When I refer to store bought pasta it’s the stuff you buy at a pasta shop, not a supermarket.

          Salt and Yeast – not as incompatible as you think

          Cooking school myth. “Don’t put salt on the yeast, you’ll kill it”. Active dry yeast, double-rise yeast, all those kinds, don’t get too bothered by salt. If you are using bakers-loaf yeast (the alive kind in a block), salt can act as a desiccant and implode your yeasties, but if you bloom or add into dough just the packet yeast everyone else uses don’t worry about salt touching it.

            Pasta does not (should not) be rinsed

            THAT one is one persistent myth. Many people I know seem to like to cook their pasta, then shock it. And that, firstly, doesn’t stop the cooking process as quickly as one would assume, and – secondly – washes off all that nice starch covering the outside of the pasta. This, in turn, leads to thinner sauces, lack of sauce-pasta adherence, and to a drying of your pasta. Cook until 80% doneal dente,then just remove and let stand and finish cooking while you set up the sauce.

              Adding salt doesn’t make your water boil faster

              Adding salt actuallyraisesthe boiling point of water. The amount of salt we add to cooking water, however, is way too low to make a discernible difference to the things cooked in it. Salt seasons food, it acts hygroscopic in some cases, and in the case of pasta it actually counteracts some of the starch cohesion while cooking.

                Santoku knives aren’t worth it

                Get a chef’s knife. Buying Santoku doesn’t make you more sophisticated or for better cuts. French knifes (the slightly curved blade kind, known as “Chef’s Knife”) work like saws – one slices them across the surface and the blade’s miniature ‘teeth’ cut through the product. Santokus work like axes – by pushing apart the cut. For this to work, Santoku have to be insanely sharp, thin, and be made of extremely good steel. Such technology does not come at a $200 price.

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                Stick with a chef’s knife, it’s better.

                  Lard is healthier than you think

                  Lard has less saturated fat, more unsaturated fat, and less cholesterol than an equal amount of butter by weight. It also contains no trans-fats while Margarine and Shortenings do. The “Lard is bad for you” myth was started by the hydrogenated vegetable oil producers who wanted to push butter and lard off the shelves to make room for their chemical crapola.

                    One does not “caramelize” onions

                    Onions brown, they do not caramelize. For caramelization to occur, sugar has to be present in mono- or disaccharide form. In onions, the amino acids are deprotonated and react with the sugar’s carbonyl group. Why is that important? Well, it’s bad form not to call a spade a spade (onions arebrowned, notcaramelized) and it’s important to cooks since, alas, temperature requirements are different.

                      It doesn’t matter how often you flip meat

                      The “flip once” team and the “flip often” team are both right and wrong at the same time. It does not matter, for even cooking, how often meat is flipped. Most of the internal cooking process works through liquid redistribution as the muscle contracts and expands accordingly.

                      McGee seems to favor “flip often”. He told me three years ago that he was on the fence, leaning towards no difference between the two. Since this seems to have changed (though I still find no difference in my own work), flip often if you wish, either way it won’t harm the meat :)

                        The “heat” is not in the seeds

                        Capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) can be found anywhere in fruits that hold it (yes, chili peppers are fruits), but the highest concentration is actually in the placental layer of the fruit, the white flesh. Seeds have very little of it, actually, the heat comes from capsaicin that adheres to the outside of the seeds when the white flesh is cut.

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                          Baking Soda does nothing for your fridge

                          Baking soda does not absorb bad smells. It’s an Arm & Hammer myth and scientifically false. How would baking soda DO that, anyways?

                            One does not “cook out all the nutrients” when cooking veggies

                            – Bonus: raw vegetables are not better (a major myth, lie, and source of massive income for some charlatans selling ‘raw food’ diet books)

                            Most vitamins are unaffected by heat. Many of the minerals and vitamins in food are, actually, much more completely absorbed in the stomach when cooked beforehand. To re-iterate: raw foods are not, at all, healthier.

                              MSG is NOT bad for 99.9% of all Americans

                              The “Chinese disease” is a myth. A very small number of humans have an intolerance to glutamates (much less than, say, to salts or sugars) and will feel adverse effects. MSG itself, however, is not harmful in the least to most anyone. To “poison” someone with MSG the amount would have to be so humongous, the food would taste like crap and be 90% MSG.

                                Gluten is NOT bad for 99.5% of all Americans

                                In 2005 a few niche providers of gluten free food saw an “in” and started maligning this age-old, completely harmless, substance. Today you can buy “gluten free” dog food, which is as much an abomination as the diet quacks and health food snake-oil vendors who claim that a gluten free diet has any positive effect on people. People with coeliac disease, however, must observe a gluten free diet.

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                                  Alcohol doesn’t “burn off”

                                  Your grandmother’s Rum Cake or that red wine in the sauce won’t get you sloshed, but there’s nothing you can do to food with alcohol in it, short of rendering it inedible, that will remove all the alcohol. Cook without it if anyone in your family has an intolerance.

                                  It violates everything basic chemistry taught us about alcohol, yes. Find a a USDA study I participated in and from which I draw my conclusions here:http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foo…

                                    Marinades or special concoctions do not “tenderize” meat

                                    Neither one permeates the meat very deeply. Don’t believe me? Buy a cheap cut and some “tenderizer”, pour food coloring into the solution, and put your meat into it. A day later cut it open – only a very shallow outer layer will be dyed. Marinades adhere to the outside and permeate into the meat fractions of a millimeter, but they flavor, not tenderize, the meat.

                                    Yogurt based marinades penetrate deeper and do tenderize. In general, still, the old-wife’s tale of marinades “penetrating deep and tenderizing” is a myth.

                                      When you burn yourself (happens to anyone), don’t add ice to the injury or flour or anything else!

                                      Adding ice to a burn will only damage the tissue more (think freezer burn), flour is a bad idea, also. When you burn yourself rinse with cool, not cold, water to stop your skin from cooking, add antibiotic ointment, cover, let heal. See a doctor for anything bigger than 5cm.

                                        “Well Done” meats aren’t inherently safer than medium rare or rare meats

                                        Muscles are great things. One of the cool things about them is their ability to be completely shut off against many food borne illnesses. Most any, close to 99% of all, food borne illnesses are found not in the muscle but – through cross-contamination – on its outside. Once that part of the meat is exposed to the heat of a pan most of them are dead, too. Two caveats: ground meat and, a pet peeve of mine, those “tenderizer” needle stamps. Both will, if it is present, introduce nasty critters into the inside of the muscle or product. If you use ground meat grind it yourself after washing off the outside of the meat with water, working extremely cool all the time. ”

                                          Here’s the link to the original answer

                                          Featured photo credit: chef by seasonal kitchenvia Shutterstock

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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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