Plant Burgers Offer Novel Way To Eat Our Way Out Of Extinction

Plant Based Burgers Rival Real Deal

Since we’re not interested in putting a man on the moon anymore, it’s a good thing somebody has been paying attention to a much bigger ambition. Saving ourselves from extinction. It looks like we may have a way to eat our way out of trouble.

Ethan Brown, founder of Beyond Meat, says that the key to creating a meat-like experience using plants is replicating the composition of real meat: its protein, fat, and water.

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See Also:Cultured Meat Symposium Unveiled

Beyond Meat Plant Based GMO Free Burgers

“If you understand what goes into meat and the architecture of it, you can build a piece of meat right from plants.”

Video Games May Help Increase Fruit, Vegetable Intake

Fruits and Vegetables

Serious Video Games May Help Increase Fruit, Vegetable Intake

04/05/2016 06:56 GMT Elsevier

Using a serious video game, Squires Quest! II: Saving the Kingdom of Fivealot, researchers from the United States Department of Agriculture / Agricultural Research Service Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital evaluated how creating implementation intentions (i.e., specific plans) within the goal-setting component in the game helped fourth and fifth grade students improve fruit and vegetable intake at specific meals.
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Full bibliographic information

“Meal-Specific Dietary Changes from Squires Quest! II: A Serious Video Game Intervention,” by Karen W. Cullen, DrPH, RD; Yan Liu, MS; Debbe I. Thompson, PhD (DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2016.02.004), Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Volume 48, Issue 5 (May 2016), published by Elsevier.

Mediterranean 5-grain Salad with Sunchokes, Beets & Mozzarella

Our friends at Green Kitchen Storie  created this salad in collaboration with Swedish/Italian family company Zeta. They are launching a new range of organic whole grain mixes . Since grains can be a little colourless, they asked Green Kitchen Stories for a delicious recipe that looked stunning (no pressure, right). Luise and Elsa share a deep love for Italy and Italian flavours and they truly indulged in that while creating this salad.

The grains add a nourishing base for this salad and they are tossed in pesto for extra flavor. They add sunchokes that are roasted until buttery soft  and mix with thinly sliced raw, crunchy chioggia beets (aka candy cane or polka beets) and radishes. Of course they threw in some mozzarella and pine nuts (influenced by Italy!), and added red grapes for sweetness. All in all, it’s a real beauty of a salad, it is very nourishing and tastes just as good as it looks.

The idea of mixing chioggia beets with radishes for a colourful kick is shamelessly inspired by some of the salads in Erin Irelands instagram feed (worth checking out btw!).

Mediterranean 5-grain Salad with Sunchokes, Beets & Mozzarella
Serves 4–6

1 bag (250 g / 1 1/2 cup) Zeta organic 5-grain mix (Farro, Barley, Kamut, Brown Rice and Oat Groats), or grains of choice
500 g / 1 lb sunchoke/jerusalem artichoke
2 chunks mozzarella di bufalo
4 polka beets (chioggia) or yellow beets, peeled
1 bunch radishes, rinsed
200 g / 7 oz red grapes, halved
1 handful pine nuts, lightly toasted
2 handfuls rucola/arugula
1 bunch fresh basil

Pesto dressing
5 tbsp green pesto
2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F. Rinse and brush the sunchokes (don’t bother peeling them) and cut them in 5-10 mm (1/4-inch) slices. Place the slices in a bowl, drizzle over olive oil and toss them until everything is covered in oil. Spread out the slices on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until soft with crispy edges.

Meanwhile, cook the grains in a large sauce pan filled with salted water, following the cooking time on the package. Drain any excess water and scoop the grains back into the sauce pan.

Stir together the pesto dressing and pour over the grains in the sauce pan. Make sure they are all covered and then pour the grains out onto a wide plate or salad bowl.

Layer with sunchoke slices and torn mozzarella chunks. Use a mandolin (or sharp knife) to shave the polka beets and radishes very thinly and spread on top of the salad together with pine nuts, grapes, rucola/arugula and basil.

Tasty Tomato Tart Always a Crowd Pleaser

Tasty Tomato Tart

Ingredients

1 package Phyllo Dough (thaw to package instructions)

1 egg

1/2 stick of Butter(1 tablespoon for caramelizing onions and melt the rest for the layering of the Phyllo)

1/2 cup yellow and red grape tomatoes

1/2 up heirloom tomatoes

1/2 cup zucchini and yellow squash

1 cup Ricotta cheese

1/2 cup Feta cheese

1 brown onion sliced thin

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons Red Balsamic Vinegar

1/4 cup Fresh Basil chopped fine

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

1.Slice Tomatoes place in a bowl with salt , pepper ,a drizzle of EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar .Cover and refrigerate at least an hour. Slice onions ,place in skillet with butter and EVOO,add salt and pepper, saute until golden brown.Remove from skillet and let cool. Slice zucchini and squash in circles, add to skillet , saute about 5 to 10 mins. in EVOO, add salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool.Remember it is important to flavor every layer. Salting the tomatoes and letting them drain before adding them to the tart ensures that your tart ends up intense and jammy instead of watery.
2.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Brush the bottom and side of a 9-inch tart pan with some of the melted butter. For crust, unroll phyllo dough; cover with plastic wrap. Remove one sheet of phyllo and lightly brush with melted butter. Place a second sheet of phyllo on top, placing it at an angle to the first sheet; brush with butter. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets one at a time, placing each at an angle to the previous sheet to form a circle and brushing each with butter. Using a wide spatula, transfer the phyllo stack to the prepared pan, carefully easing it into the pan and allowing some of the phyllo to hang about 1/2 inch over the edge of the pan. Make two slits in the center of the phyllo stack for steam to escape.

3. Bake in preheated oven about 8 minutes or until phyllo is light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
4.Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes, reserving 2 tablespoons of the marinade. Set tomatoes aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix the Ricotta cheese with fork until smooth. Add feta cheese,  herbs, lemon zest ,mix well. Add eggs,mix just until combined (do not over mix). Pour mixture into crust-lined pan.
5. Add the carmelized onions to the top of the ricotta and drizzle a tablespoon of the tomato marinade on the onions .  Begin placing the tomatoes around the outer edge of the tart pan,continue to fill in. Place the zucchini and squash in a similar pattern( see photo) until the tart is completely filled in.Drizzle with the remaining marinade.
6. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until center is soft-set and edge stays firm when gently shaken. If necessary, loosely cover the edge with foil the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Remove  from pan,if desired, let tart stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to bring out its fullest flavor. If desired, garnish with fresh herbs. Cut tart into wedges. Makes 10 servings.

This wonderful simple tart is always a crowd pleaser. I constantly get asked “what’s in it ?”  or “Tell us how to make it!”.

Heirloom tomatoes are some of the most impressively colorful fruits out there. They range from dark purple to sunshine yellow, and can be as small as a Roma tomato or as big as a navel orange. You’ll find the best ones at the best prices in July and August when they’re in season, but no matter when you get them, use them quickly. Their shelf life is shorter than that of their classic red brethren.

If you can’t find heirloom tomatoes in your area, you can make this recipe with Roma or plum tomatoes instead. Here it is… I LOVE to cook for others and am an avid fan of the local foodie movement .

A little back history on my love of food..I was fortunate to have grown up in a time where the kitchen and gathering together for meals was an important daily activity. We prepared a well rounded variety of styles of cooking from around the globe. We grew some veggies, herbs, scratched baked everything,made our own sauces and jams,etc. My grandmother had me washing rice and helping prepare meals ever since I can remember. Fresh as can be (luckily Grandma worked for a major Produce vendor) was Grandma’s way. Watching Julia Child, the Galloping Gourmet and Jacque Pepin were my visual  food influencers as well.

Food Preference Genes To Revolutionize Diets and Improve Health

01 June 2014 European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG)

 

Food Preference GenesNew understanding of the genes involved in taste perception and food preferences can  lead to personalised nutrition plans effective not just in weight loss but in avoiding  diseases such as cancer, depression, and hypertension. The ability to devise diets based on individual genetic profiles can lead to significantly better results – for example, a weight loss 33% greater than with a control group who had a similar calorie count but a non-personalised diet plan, researchers say.

Milan, Italy:  New understanding of the genes involved in taste perception and food preferences could lead to personalised nutrition plans effective not just in weight loss but in avoiding  diseases such as cancer, depression, and hypertension, Italian researchers reported at the annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG)   Knowing why individuals prefer certain food tastes and being able to personalise health interventions based on them will help people age in a healthier way and greatly improve their quality of life, as well as engender considerable savings for health systems, they say.

Dr Nicola Pirastu and Dr Antonietta Robino, from the University of Trieste and the IRCCS Burlo Garofolo Institute for Maternal and Child Health, Trieste, Italy, set out to identify novel genes and pathways involved in taste perception and food preferences, and to investigate their implications in protecting against or predisposing to diet-related disorders such as overweight, obesity, and diabetes.  “To date most studies have focused on specific taste receptors, especially bitter ones, and this has been partly successful in an attempt to understand the genetics behind the perception of specific compounds such as caffeine and quinine,” says Dr Robino. “Our work has expanded these studies to the whole genome, with the goal of clarifying which specific genes drive individual differences in taste perception and food preferences.”

BaconThe researchers undertook genome wide association studies (GWAS) to try to unravel the genetic basis for certain food preferences.  2311 Italian subjects participated in the discovery step, while 1755 from other European countries and from Central Asia were used in order to further verify the findings.  They uncovered 17 independent genes related to liking for certain foods, including artichokes, bacon, coffee, chicory, dark chocolate, blue cheese, ice cream, liver, oil or butter on bread, orange juice, plain yogurt, white wine and mushrooms.  Surprisingly, none of the genes thus identified belonged to the category of taste or smell receptors.

“There is still much that needs to be done to understand what are the characteristics of certain foods affected by the genetic make-up of an individual,” says Dr Pirastu.  “For example, we found a strong correlation between the HLA-DOA gene and white wine liking, but we have no idea which of the characteristics of white wine this gene influences. Our studies will be important for understanding the interaction between the environment, lifestyles, and the genome in determining health outcomes. Although there has been a lot of work on food-related diseases such as obesity, this has rarely taken food preferences into account.  This is a major limitation which our work attempts to remedy, and as yet we have only really scratched the surface of this issue.”

In a second study, the researchers amassed the response of around 900 healthy adults from North Eastern Italy to salt, and related this to a DNA sequence variation found on the KCNA5 gene, known to be related to taste pathways in mammals.  Salt perception and the related genetic variation in taste receptors are important determinants of individual differences in salt intake, which in turn represents an important risk factor for the development of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. “Genetic variations for taste perception are well known for bitter, sweet, and umami taste, but until now we knew little about their role in salt perception and liking,” says Dr Robino. “Identifying the receptor associated with individual differences in the perception of salt could help us better understand how chemosensory differences can interact to influence and predict food choices and hence human nutritional behaviour.  This could also play an important role in the development of salt substitutes, in which there is a growing commercial interest.”

chocolateNutritional intervention could be greatly improved by tailoring it to the food preferences of each person, the researchers say.  And food preferences are also much easier to collect and study; while it is almost impossible to remember much one has eaten in the past ten years, it is easy to remember food likes and dislikes.

“By uncovering the genetic bases of taste and food preferences, we will be able to increase not only the effectiveness of nutritional interventions, but also compliance with them. For example, we have recently carried out a study where we applied our knowledge of 19 different genes in order to personalise diets for 191 obese individuals for were trying to lose weight.  They were divided into two groups, 87 in a test group and 104 controls,” says Dr Pirastu.

“We devised a standard weight-loss diet subtracting 600 calories from individual nutritional needs, and analysed DNA from the test group for 19 genes known to affect different metabolic areas and taste.  We then modulated the diets according to individual genetic profiles – for example, people whose genetic profile showed that they had less efficient lipid metabolism were given fewer lipids in their diet – but kept the overall amount of calories the same for everyone.

“Although there were no significant differences in age, sex and BMI between the two groups at the beginning of the trial, we found that people in the group who had followed the gene-based diet lost 33% more weight than the controls over two years, and the percentage of lean body mass also increased more in this group,” he will say.

Food preferences are the first factor driving food choice, nutrition and ultimately diet-related diseases and as such are the key to understanding human nutrition and its relationship with health on a large scale, the researchers say.  A recent study1 carried out on more than 40,000 people showed that people who prefer fat have a completely different eating pattern than people who dislike it. “So something as simple as measuring fat liking can provide us with a great deal of information.  Understanding the genetics of these traits will open new possibilities for the development of personalised diets and of functional foods aimed at improving people’s health and therefore their quality of life,” Dr Pirastu will conclude.

Abstract nos. C14.3, P17.26-M, and P15.19-S

1. Association between intake of nutrients and food groups and liking for fat, Caroline Mèjean et al. Appetite, 2014

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