Monday, March 14, 2011

Homemade Roasted Peanuts

Peanuts are popular as snacks or ingredient in some dishes. Most of us love its nutty, delicious taste and crunchy texture, though it is actually a legume and not a true nut. It is usually substituted in dessert and meal dishes that require nuts, since it is much cheaper and more available. What I noticed though, as with most healthy ingredient, manufacturers add sugar, salt, oil, spice and whatever flavoring they think would make it more tasty and addictive! On the contrary, I think the delicious flavor of the nut is lost and you end up unhealthy too because of the additives. I'm so glad I'm able to buy raw shelled nuts in the supermarket. 

It costs a lot less, and I can easily roast it in the toaster and just add a little salt. 

The first time I roasted peanuts in the oven toaster, I used the higher setting of 800W. After just 5 mins. it got burned! 

So I tried again and used the lower setting of 400W, and after 7 mins. it looked just right :) Now I have another healthful snack that I can eat regularly and enjoy.

A handful of naturally prepared peanuts is really much better in taste and has loads of benefits. Here are just some:

Health benefits of Peanuts

  • Peanuts are rich in energy and contain many health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
  • These nuts are good source of dietary proteins with fine quality amino acids that are essential for growth and optimum health.
  • These nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E, alpha tocopherol; contain about 8 g per100 g. vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant which helps maintain the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting from harmful oxygen free radicals.
  • Peanuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. 100 g of peanuts provide about 85% of RDI ofniacin which contribute to brain health and blood flow to brain.
  • The nuts are rich source of minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.
  • Just a hand full of peanuts a day provides enough recommended levels of phenolic anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins and protein.
    All these - except if you're allergic to peanuts! I don't know anyone who is...but I've read that this condition can be fatal.

  • Consequently, if you get all these benefits then you most likely will prevent diseases from taking over your body.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Discovering the wonders of an Induction cooker...

I've been looking at the Induction cookers at the appliance section since more than a year ago. I liked how it looks and know that its an innovative product, but didn't bother to learn what it was all about. The price itself discouraged me. But recently I noticed that the prices of these induction cookers are becoming more affordable. So I decided to go ahead and try this latest improvement in cooking style. Yes, its a style that you need to learn and absorb, but once you get it - you'll find out its so cool and wouldn't get back to your old style ;) Here is a pic of a similar cooker as what I bought:

I'm certain this cooker consumes less electricity compared to regular electric stoves...though I have not computed the savings at home. It also saves a lot of time, since one does not have to wait for it to heat up. The pot or pan will generate heat from the magnetic field generated by electricity. This is also the reason you might have to spend on some new cookware made of stainless steel, as most other materials will not heat up on the induction cooker.
It takes some practice to get used to this "instant" heat and some recipes need to be adjusted a bit. A few dishes would cook better on a regular stove, though. One example is fried egg and omelettes, since it tends to become dry. However, for boiled eggs I get a perfect result just by setting the timer at 7 mins. on medium heat. The water would boil just before the time is up. Then I leave it alone for 10 mins before rinsing in cold water.

More about induction cooking here, or do a Google search.