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Cooking Dictionary: Part 3

8 Oct

Pinch: The amount of dry ingredients you can hold in a pinch (between your thumb and forefinger). It’s equivalent to 1/16 teaspoon.

Puree: To mash a food to a smooth, thick consistency.

Sauté: To cook food quickly in a small amount of oil in a skillet or sauté pan over direct heat.

Spatula: A flat utensil. Some are shaped to scrape sides of the mixing bowl; others are shaped to flip foods, or to stir ingredients in a curved bowl.

Sear: To burn or scorch a food with an application of intense heat.

Simmer: To cook food gently in liquid at a temperature low enough that tiny bubbles just begin to break the surface (around 185 degrees).

Steam: A cooking method in which food is placed in a steamer basket over boiling water in a covered pan.

Stir-Fry: To quickly fry small pieces of food in a large pan over very high heat while stirring.

Whisk: A utensil with looped wires in the shape of a teardrop, used for whipping ingredients like batters, sauces, eggs, and cream. The whisk helps add air into the batter.

Zester: A utensil with tiny cutting holes on one end that creates threadlike strips of peel when pulled over the surface of a lemon lime or orange. It removes only the colored outer portion of the peel (zest).

Source: Cooking 101: WebMD

Tip: What is meant by a “Low Sodium” Diet?

20 Jul

Many of our aging clients are on a “low-sodium” diet, but what exactly does this mean? How much sodium should a healthy individual consume? To answer some of these questions please look at the following facts and recommendations from The Cleveland Clinic:

Sodium is a mineral found in many foods. It helps keep normal fluids balanced in the body. Most people eat foods containing more sodium than they need. Some foods may be high in sodium and not taste salty. Eating too much sodium causes the body to keep or retain too much water.

Following a low-sodium diet helps control high blood pressure (hypertension), swelling, and water build-up (edema). A low-sodium diet also can help decrease breathing difficulties caused when the weakened heart has difficulty pumping excess fluid out of the body.

  • Control the sodium in your diet. Decrease the total amount of sodium you consume to 2,000 mg (2 g) per day.
  • Learn to read food labels. Use the label information on food packages to help you to make the best low-sodium selections.
  • Include high-fiber foods such as vegetables, cooked dried peas and beans (legumes), whole-grain foods, bran, cereals, pasta, rice and fresh fruit. Fiber is the indigestible part of plant food that helps move food along the digestive tract, better controls blood glucose levels, and may reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood. Foods high in fiber include natural antioxidants, which reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The goal for everyone is to consume 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight. This includes losing weight if you are overweight. Limit your total daily calories, follow a low-fat diet and exercise regularly to achieve or maintain your ideal body weight.
  • Low sodium = 140 mg or less per serving
  • No sodium = less than 5 mg per serving