Sunday, December 21, 2008

No.33: Lima Beans

Note: This week's Lima Beans has also been requested by Sam's Mistress & J

Favored for their lovely nutty taste, lima beans make a great addition to any meal!

1. During the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru, lima beans were exported to the rest of the Americas and Europe, since the boxes of such goods had their place of origin labeled "Lima - Peru", the beans got named as such.

2. Raw lima beans are not to be consumed raw! They contain linamarin (also called cyanogen), which releases a cyanide compound when the seed coat is opened. Don’t worry, cooking deactivates this compound.

3. The United States sets regulations to restrict commercially grown lima beans to those varieties with very low levels of this linamarin, but lima beans grown elsewhere,
may have 20 to 30 times the concentration allowed in the United States.

4. Before the late 19th century, most beans were raised for shelled, dried beans, not fresh green beans. Because beans dry so well, they are easy to transport and store.

5. Soak dried limas for six hours and cook on the stove uncovered for about one hour, or until tender. 1 cup of dried limas makes approximately 2 1/2 cups of cooked beans.

Reference: Food Reference, Wikipedia

Sunday, December 14, 2008

No.32: Cauliflower

Note: This week's Cauliflower has been requested
by Sam's Mistress

Sporting green leaves to shade itself from the sun gives
this yummy veg its original whitish shade!

1. Apart from the white variety of cauliflower, there are also green, purple and orange varieties! Orange cauliflower contains
25 times the level of Vitamin A of
white varieties.

2. While broccoli opens outward to sprout bunches of green florets, cauliflower forms a compact head of undeveloped white flower buds. The heavy green leaves that surround the head protect the flower buds from the sunlight, hence its white color.

3. To prevent moisture from developing in the floret clusters, store it with the stem
side down.

4. Cauliflower contains phytonutrients that release odorous sulfur compounds when heated. Some phytonutrients may react with iron in cookware and cause the cauliflower to take on a brownish hue. To prevent this, add a bit of lemon juice to the water in which you blanche the cauliflower.

5. Low carb dietiers can use cauliflower as a reasonable substitute for potatoes for while they can produce a similar texture, or mouth feel, they lack the starch of potatoes; cauliflower is used to produce a potato substitute known as fauxtato.

Reference: Wikipedia, World's Healthiest Food, Food Reference