Looking for some fun to have in the kitchen? Morgan Shanahan compiled 17 fun kitchen experiments using common household foods. Although it may be designed for kids, the science behind each experiment is really interesting and we have talked about some of these reactions and processes in class over the semester. Including everything from molecular gastronomy, to acids and bases, this list is a great way to try out some of the cools things we have learned. I’m really looking forward to making my own yogurt and trying out the lemon battery experiment. After all we discussed over the past few weeks, it is really great to see that other people are talking about the science of food and how fascinating it can be.
Question: What cool experiment would you add to the list?
Since we have been discussing eggs and egg whites a lot recently, this article is really insightful on the many uses and benefits of egg whites. A versatile ingredient to many recipes, egg whites are used in nearly everything Americans make and consume. The egg has even become rapidly industrialized, where it has risen to a multi billion-dollar industry. Unfortunately, the mass production of eggs has lead to questions of health safety and animal cruelty in the USA. Despite this, the article discusses the true health benefits and uses for egg whites in the human diet, including the many proteins and other components that enhance health.
What other food is similar to the egg, in that it is a common ingredient in many recipes and versatile in its uses?
This recipe is really amazing. We’ve been talking a lot of molecular gastronomy lately and we just started discussing phases. This ravioli is transparent because of a dissolving film that holds it together (a dissolving solid filled with liquid/solid). It can be filled with anything the chef pleases and the film dissolves once it is consumed. This allows a burst of flavor for the diner.
The ingredients used are some we are familiar with in the lab, like potato starch and soy lecithin. I have to say that the molecular gastronomy recipes are really creative, especially this one. I would have never though to make ravioli transparent, but some one did and they were actually able to succeed. I would love to try and make this, but it requires a molecular gastronomy cooking kit that is a little pricy.
What kind of food would you make with molecular gastronomy?
This article answers 17 questions about food that most people didn’t know or didn’t even think to know. The answers for the questions are chemically inspired, covering topics from capsaicin in spicy foods to globular proteins in eggs that allow them to physically change when heated. I find it really interesting that so many questions about food can be answered on a chemical level. Most of the questions refer to household knowledge that is indisputable, but the answers are not something that a lot of people would know. It is an interesting article and includes lots of topics we have discussed in class.
Question: What other question/answer about food (involving chemistry) do you know?
This article from the Mother Nature Network discusses diets and healthy eating lifestyles, which we have learned a lot about over the past few weeks. Above all, the article states that mindful eating can be adapted to all diets and lifestyle choices, helping people digest their food with more thought and more reflection. With that being said, the author gives 5 tips on how to best begin the habit of mindful eating. Two of the tips the author gave correspond to what AU’s dietician, Jo-Ann Jolly, told us during the molecular gastronomy demonstration—shut off your phone and eat slower. In addition, the author wrote on eating in silence, thinking deeply on the flavors of the food you’re eating, and knowing where the food comes from. It takes concentration and commitment, but the author vows it is possible.
Question: What other mindful eating tips should be included in a guide to mindful eating? Why?
2 (5.3 oz or 150.2g) containers Vanilla Greek Yogurt (or 1 slightly heaping cup)
1/3 cup (85g) creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp (21.5g) honey, or to taste
Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk to blend until smooth. Serve with fruit (recommended bananas, apples, raspberries or strawberries), pretzels, and/or crackers. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.
This peanut butter dip is perfect for a healthy snack and as a crowd pleaser. As a soluble solution, the peanut butter and greek yogurt mix together to form an evenly smooth dip, and the honey adds just the right amount of sweetness. Be careful to get the right ratio of peanut butter to yogurt—you don’t want a dip that is too stiff or too soupy.
Question: What additional ingredient(s) could improve this recipe, either for taste or presentation?