Bookmarks–June 15, 2024

In this edition of Bookmarks, food combinations that keep blood sugar in check, the cookbook editor who revolutionized the genre, tips for avoiding food waste, a cool climate initiative involving heritage gardens and mushroom “snake oil.” 

How to eat to avoid blood sugar spikes

When I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic, my first instinct was to cut way back on refined sugar. I was successful in achieving that goal but my efforts didn’t really move the needle on my next A1C (blood sugar) test. I did some research and learned a lot of what is discussed in this article. I became especially conscious of increasing my fibre by switching to whole grains and–of equal importance–combining foods as suggested here. This change in diet, along with an overnight fast (i.e. not eating after supper) led to a significant improvement in my on my most recent A1C test. 

…does this mean you should only base your meals on low GI foods? No, because this would not lead to a balanced and nutritious diet and you’d most likely cut some of the foods you love out of your diet…Instead, use it as a guideline on how to mix foods that cause higher increases in blood sugars with foods that complement and lower the impact. For example, adding protein-rich, fibre-rich, or fat-rich foods to a high GI food will help blunt the impact.” (BBC Food)

The woman who created the modern cookbook

I love reading about cookbooks, the people who create them and the writing and editing process, so this book about cookbook editor Judith Jones will be right up my alley. 

“By holding their prose to the same standards she set for her literary writers, treating recipes as cultural touchstones, and viewing authors as experts with specific and important perspectives, she helped define contemporary cookbook editing. And, by publishing a diverse roster of authors, including Madhur Jaffrey, Irene Kuo and Edna Lewis, she shined a light on cuisines and cooks routinely ignored in an age dominated by white home economists and male French chefs.” (New York Times)

What to do with broccoli stems

I peel and slice broccoli stems crosswise and toss them in my stir-fries but I still feel like I waste a lot. (And, yes, I do feed some to my dog–he is a broccoli fiend.) There are some great ideas in this blog post for using broccoli stems in more creative ways than I currently do, including the brilliant advice in the excerpt below. And anything that cuts down on food waste is good in my books. 

“I would encourage you to think of broccoli florets and stems as two separate vegetables. If you buy two bunches of broccoli for the week, you can use the florets for dinner one night, and the stems for dinner on the other.” (Woks of Life)

8 fruits that will continue to ripen after you buy them—and 9 that won’t

Continuing on the theme of preventing food waste, this article has tips on selecting and storing fruit to avoid it rotting before you eat it. 

Shopping for fruit might seem like a straightforward task, but there’s more to it than buying a pineapple or a bunch of bananas and calling it a day. Some fruits stop ripening as soon as they’re harvested—while others keep ripening over time. What’s more, different fruits ripen at different rates, so timing and smart shopping are key.” (Martha Stewart)

The royal garden that might save the planet

Ignore the fashion and the somewhat sensationalist headline and focus on the story here. It describes an historic French garden and its role in developing and promoting sustainable gardening methods. 

“‘Though climate change is the crisis of our time,’ Wiggins says, ‘we don’t have to continually tell a doom and gloom story. We can highlight how resilient so much of our heritage is and how much we can learn by sharing best practices, information, and support from all around the world.’” (Town & Country)

Scientists pour scorn on mushroom coffee, the latest ‘healthy’ food trend

I first heard about this trend years ago so I don’t know how recent it is; perhaps the consumption of mushroom coffee has increased lately. In any case, there is little scientific backing for the supposed health benefits of this beverage. Fortunately, there also appears to be little harm from drinking these brews so, if you enjoy and you feel better you can continue. Just temper your expectations of any impact on your health.  

“Some experts point out that many people feel better when they switch to a mushroom blend not because of a fungi feelgood effect but because they generally contain less caffeine, with a large section of the population very sensitive to the stimulant…Prof Nicholas Money, a mycologist at Miami University in Ohio, who previously told the Guardian that some of the claims being made were ‘without scientific foundation and amount to little more than snake oil’ told a recent episode of BBC Radio 4’s Sliced Bread programme devoted to the topic that it was ‘complete BS.’” (The Guardian)

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