Blue Strawberry

Nutrition, Food Science, Cooking….

Category Archives: Food Science

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Green Peas Anyone???

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Green Peas in my lovely garden…

Veryyyyy freshhhhhhhh… mmm… looking delicious… even on their mommy plant…

Buying Meat… Be Careful…

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I want to share with you this story…

Last week I went with my sister to purchase some vegetables, meat and fish from a very well know supermarket….

We first started with the vegetables… we got lettuce, carrots, and coriander… with some strawberries and apples…

On our way to the fish display area… we saw a massive and huge fish lying on a bed of ice… and it seemed that the employees where just playing with it… have a look…

When I approach the employee and asked him what exactly is he doing with the fish??? He laughed and said… Don’t worry this fish is only used for “Fish Kibbe” that means minced fish… Yet, I didn’t get the point… If this fish is used to make ” Fish Kibbe” that means he can play around with it????

Here is another shot…

The journey continues… we reached the meat area… my sister asked for Brazillian Beef Filet…

They looked lovely… red and clean…

The beef filet was vaccumed packed… the employee removed the filet from the bag and placed it on a wooden cutting board… the beef filet was cut… packed and priced…

All is well… we went home…

As we reached the house… My sister removed the meat from the plastic bags… and at this moment a very very bad smell was released from the meat… as if there’s a dead animal or something…

We called the supermarket… they said ok… fine… please get us the meat…

Back to the supermarket… non of the managers or responsibles came to see what’s the problem… We were only talking to the butcher… The butcher was trying to convince us that the meat is very safe and this smell is normal… He took another vaccumed piece and set it on the same cutting board to cut it… We told him thank you very much we really don’t want the meat or any meat… especially that you’re just using the same contaminated tools for all your meats…

It might be a boring story or an intresting story… Yet, it’s sad to see how much people are indifferent when it comes to food safety…

What do you say???

Eggs and My Backyard Chickens…

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On a Sunday morning…
Spending the day at my village “Jouret El Ballout” (in Mount Lebanon)…
I had a walk in my backyard garden…

The Chickens…

And their guardian angel … haha…

mmm… What’s inside???

Some Shovels…

The Chickens’ food!!!

Designing the living room… not bad…

Is this where the eggs are laid???

The Chickens bedroom…

and finally… the eggs…

Arak… 0% Alcohol ???

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Now that’s intresting…
Alcohol Free Arak…

Have a look for yourself…

Blue Strawberry and Green Tea’s Research Trip to the South…

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We have a research study on Olive Oil and Honey…
We will be visiting several areas in Lebanon…

Here are some shots from our visit to the South…

Our trip started with a traditional breakfast… Knefeh and coffee at 7ilwayeit el Baba…

The honey search has started…

An old souk honey shop…

As we walked… some floating ducks…

Souk el Samak…

Fava beans for only 500L.L…

Or maybe tomatoes…

Poor little chickens…

An artisan toy wheel… where’s the children???

We have reached the soap factory…

Never forget our traditional Tarbboush and the kebkeib… made from our ancient olive oil and sweet honey…

A traditional soap oven… and pottery works…

Don’t they look lovley???

It’s lunch time at 2istira7it saida… next to the blue sea…

Starting with the traditional fattoush… roasted bread pleasssssseeee…

Lunch with no Hommous b Tahineh??? never works… mmm… my favorite…

Rkakat… but baked…

Or maybe… some deep fried french fries…

and finally… oriental barbecue chicken with garlic…

To be continued…

Rosemary… known as “2ikleel el Jabal”…

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Today’s dish was Beef with Rosemary and Garlic…
mmm… it looked, smelled, and tasted delicious… Looking ever green with its small needle shaped leaves, rosemary was first sautéed with garlic and olive oil, and lastly seated on top of the dish for garnishing…

Rosemary… known as “2ikleel el Jabal” in my country…

Rosemary is a herb having evergreen needle-like leaves and a distinctive woody smell with a bitter and astringent taste. It is widely know in the Mediterranean region.

It is used as fresh or dried frequently in the traditional Mediterranean cuisine specifically in barbecuing.

It is added to oil bottles during storage to flavor the oil. It also helps retard rancidity (oxygen damage of oils that lead to change of odour, taste, and safety), thus improved oil’s shelf life.

Rosemary contains anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-fungal and anti-septic, disease preventing and health promoting compounds…

How to use:

Wash fresh leaves in cold running water or rinse for few minutes or use it dry; added it in the final steps of your cooking to preserve the distinctive fragrance and flavor…

Sa7tein…

Did you know??? Lobsters, Crabs and Shrimps…

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Lobsters, Crabs and Shrimps… All turn into Red and Orange when Cooked …

Lobsters, crabs, and shrimp have a variety of different colors present in their shells.
The red color is due to a pigment called “Astaxanthina”.

This pigment lies under the caratenoid family. Caratenoids, are pigments that produce
a reddish orange color (in shells and outer skins like in carrots).

Within the shells of lobsters, crabs and shrimps etc… this pigment is entrapped by protein chains.

The outer layers, of such shells, appear naturally dark colored (black, brown, green etc…).
Yet when they are cooked, the protein chains surrounding the pigment get degraded (denatured)
and so the astaxanthina gets released.

This pigment is naturally heat stable; consequently under heating conditions (cooking)
it doesn’t degrade and remains present within the shells.

As a result, after cooking (boiling) the lobsters, crab and shrimps all appear reddish in color….

See for yourself…

Before…

After…

An Old Artisan Dough Kneader…

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Isn’t it just beautiful…

Chatting… Wine… and Resveratrol…

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Chatting on a Saturday afternoon with my friend “Southern Comfort”….

Blue Strawberry:
2kh… finally I’m home… eatinggggggg…. What’s your favorite food????????

Southern Comfort:
My favorite food… I dunno….
I eat anything and almost everything… regardless if i’m hungry or not… :p
iza 3abele ekoul something, then i will eat it!!!

Steak has to be one of my favorite things… i really like pasta…
Vodka diet 7up, amaretto sour, marguerita…. wine…

Blue Strawberry:
mmmm… wine is not bad…

Let’s see… wine… wine… wine…. How about Red wine??? And it’s characteristic antioxidant…

Wine is one of the mostly consumed alcoholic beverages through out the world. Wine have shown high beneficial effects to health due to its antioxidants content.

Antioxidants are substances that reduce the damage caused by oxidation that in turn is caused by free radicals. Antioxidants are naturally produced by living cells of animal or plant origin. They are produced as part of the defensive mechanism preventing lipid oxidation and rancidity.

Lipid oxidation and rancidity are mainly related to the production of toxic substances named “Free Radicals” that degrade lipids (fats). Lipid Oxidation (within human cell): The degradation of lipids by those toxic reactive oxygen species pose several health concerns such as: cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes (glycation of end products), cancers etc… Rancidity (within food ): The degradation of the fat by those toxic reactive oxygen species leading to quality deterioration of foods.

One of the characteristic antioxidants in wine, mainly red wine, is Resveratrol. Resveratrol is mostly found in the skin and seeds of grapes that’s why it’s a major constituent of wines. Resveratrol from grapes is more highly concentrated when it has been processed into wine, it’s mainly found in red wine rather than white wine because red wine is fermented with the skin allowing the wine to absorb the resveratrol.

The biological attributes of resveratrol mainly include: antioxidant activity, anti-inflammatory activity, anti-platelets aggregation, anti-aging, anti-cancerous agent etc. Thus resveratrol may help prevent free radical damage over the human body and provide better support to the blood vessels; reduce the risk of heart disease, age-related illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease. Helps control arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, and reduces the risk of blood clotting.

Many studies have shown that resveratrol has a very important role in reducing highly reactive oxygen species, because it’s a free radical scavenger and because it promote the activity of several antioxidant enzymes. It is an antioxidants that plays an important role as a health protecting factor. It is now incorporated in pills as an effective supplement used for many healths related concerns.

In conclusion, Red wine’s potential health benefits are very promising in the presence of resveratrol antioxidant. Thus, moderate amounts of alcohol, including red wine, lowers the risk of several health concern. But, increased amounts of red wine, an alcohol, increases the risk of high blood pressure, high triglycerides, liver damage, obesity, certain types of cancer, and other problems; thus it’s best taken in moderation.