Category Archive for: ‘Topics’
15 Different Frosting Recipes

Tired of the same old same old? Need something more than sticky on your buns?  Try one of these from

1. Meringue Buttercream


  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 5 large egg whites
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and water to a boil. Clip a candy thermometer onto the saucepan. Boil the syrup, brushing down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent crystallization, until the syrup registers 240 degrees (soft-ball stage).
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and beat on medium high until stiff but not dry peaks form.
  3. With the mixer running, pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl (to prevent splattering) into the egg whites in a steady stream, and beat on high speed until the steam is no longer visible, about 3 minutes. Beat in butter, piece by piece. Add vanilla; beat until smooth and spreadable, 3 to 5 minutes. If it looks curdled at any point during the beating process, continue beating until smooth.

2. Whipped Frosting


  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites, sugar, salt, and water. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved (or mixture registers 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high until glossy, stiff peaks form (do not overbeat), about 3 minutes; reduce speed to low, add vanilla extract, and beat just until combined. Use immediately.

3. Basic Buttercream


  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition, about 5 minutes. (After every 2 additions, increase speed to high, and beat for 10 seconds, then reduce speed to medium-high). Add vanilla, and beat until buttercream is smooth. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (Bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using.)

4. 7 minute frosting


  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature


  1. In a small, heavy saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, corn syrup, and 2 tablespoons water. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Rub a bit between your fingers to make sure there is no graininess. Raise heat to bring to a boil. Do not stir anymore. Boil, washing down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water from time to time to prevent the sugar from crystallizing, until a candy thermometer registers 230 degrees about 5 minutes. (Depending on the humidity, this can take anywhere from 4 to 10 minutes.)
  2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 1/2 minutes. Gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Remove the syrup from the heat when the temperature reaches 230 degrees (it will keep rising as pan is removed from heat). Pour the syrup in a steady stream down the side of the bowl (to avoid splattering) containing the egg-white mixture, with the mixer on medium-low speed.
  3. Beat frosting on medium speed until cool, 5 to 10 minutes. The frosting should be thick and shiny. Use immediately.

5. Dark Chocolate Ganache


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped


  1. In a large saucepan, bring 2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt to a boil. Remove from heat; add 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped, and let stand, without stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk just until combined. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until spreadable, about 1 hour.

6. Cream Cheese frosting


  • 1 pound (16 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
  • 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and vanilla until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add butter, beating until incorporated.
  2. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add sugar, beating until incorporated.

7.  Brown Sugar Butter cream


  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons


  1. In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water, whisk together egg whites, sugar, and salt. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch.
  2. Transfer to the clean bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy and cooled, about 15 minutes.
  3. Raise speed to high; beat until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to medium-low; add butter, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, until fully incorporated.

8.  Caramel frosting


  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 package (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until nut-brown in color, about 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour butter into a bowl, leaving any burned sediment behind; let cool.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, salt, and butter. With the mixer on low, slowly add cream; beat until smooth. If frosting seems too thick, stir another tablespoon cream into the mixture.

9. Mrs. Milman’s chocolate frosting


  • 24 ounces Nestle semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 4 cups whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup


  1. Place chocolate morsels and cream in a heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until combined and thickened, between 20 and 25 minutes. Increase the heat to medium low; cook, stirring, 3 minutes more. Remove pan from heat.
  2. Stir in corn syrup. Transfer frosting to a large metal bowl. Chill until cool enough to spread, about 2 hours, checking and stirring every 15 to 20 minutes. Use immediately.

10. Coconut-Pecan frosting


  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and brought to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 2/3 cups (7 ounces) sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped


  1. Combine egg yolks, evaporated milk, and brown sugar in a saucepan. Add butter, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick, about 10 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl.
  2. Stir in vanilla, salt, coconut, and pecans. Let cool completely. Frosting can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 day; bring to room temperature before using.

11. Maple Buttercream frosting


  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups pure maple syrup, preferably grade A dark amber
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, pour maple syrup into a medium saucepan. Place pan over medium-high heat; bring syrup to a boil. Cook syrup until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees (just above soft-ball stage), about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat. While the electric mixer is running, pour the syrup in a slow, steady stream down the side of the mixing bowl into the egg-yolk mixture (it is essential that the syrup touches the side of the bowl as you pour it in so the sugar will be very evenly incorporated and not splatter onto the sides of the bowl) until the syrup has been completely incorporated, about 1 1/2 minutes. Beat until the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch, 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Add butter, one piece at a time, until all of it has been completely incorporated and the frosting is fluffy, about 4 minutes more. Use immediately.

12. Italian Meringue buttercream


  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and 2/3 cup water to a boil. Continue boiling until syrup reaches 238 degrees on a candy thermometer (soft-ball stage).
  2. Meanwhile, place egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and beat on medium-high speed until stiff but not dry; do not overbeat.
  3. With mixer running, add syrup to whites in a stream, beating on high speed until no longer steaming, about 3 minutes. Add butter bit by bit, beating until spreadable, 3 to 5 minutes; beat in vanilla. If icing curdles, keep beating until smooth.

13. Coconut meringue buttercream


  • 10 large egg whites
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups (8 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup cream of coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure coconut extract


  1. Whisk egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water until sugar has dissolved and mixture registers 160 degrees, about 3 minutes.
  2. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until cooled, about 10 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add butter; beat until pale and fluffy. Mix in cream of coconut and extract. Buttercream can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days; beat before using.


When Martha used this buttercream to frost the Coconut Column Cake, she used 2 1/2 cups sugar.

14. Brown Sugar Swiss meringue buttercream


  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 2/3 cups packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature


  1. Put egg whites, sugar, and salt into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until mixture registers 160 degrees, about 4 minutes.
  2. Beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low. Add butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating after each addition (meringue will deflate slightly as butter is added). Beat until frosting is smooth and glossy, 3 to 5 minutes. Buttercream can be refrigerated airtight for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature, and beat before using.

15. Chocolate whipped cream frosting


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 ounces finely chopped semisweet chocolate


  1. In a small saucepan, combine heavy cream and chocolate, and heat over medium heat until chocolate has melted. Remove from heat and refrigerate until well chilled.
  2. Place heavy cream mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat until thick and spreadable. Use immediately

Just when I thought there was nothing left in the world that could surprise me, along comes Tempeh.

What the heck?

Tempeh is another soy product in patty form.  Yes, it is fermented.  Temp’h is made with whole soybeans that undergo very little processing.  It is high in protein, as most soy products and is therefore a great vegan protein source.

Why do we care?

We care because of the texture.  Ahhhh, the texture is that of meat.  I’m not going to pretend that I don’t love everything about meat, with the exception of what it does to my body.  I miss the texture, the mouth feel, the chew of a steak, bbq, a simple hamburger.  Is tempeh the answer?  I sure hope so.

Where to get it

The author of at least one of the articles I read about tempeh feels that because of the complicated nature of the fermentation process necessary to make tempeh, they do not recommend making your own.  This is one of those pre-packaged foods you’ll want to buy.

“You can find tempeh pre-packaged in the refrigerated section of most natural foods stores. Unlike tofu, it hasn’t made it to most mainstream groceries just yet, but try requesting it and see what happens. You might be pleasantly surprised to discover they’ll stock it, or order it for you. If you have to order in bulk, that’s okay because it can be frozen until ready to use.

Because soy bean crops are almost always grown with GMOs  (Genetically Modified Organisms ), your soy products (and corn products, for that matter) should always, always, always be made with organic soy. And this is no exception. So be sure to check your labels to be sure it’s organic. Sometimes it says it on the cover of the package, and sometimes it says it in the actual ingredient list, so check both.”

How To Clean and Prep Tempeh

There are basically two types of tempeh which you can find, one is fresh (or fresh frozen) and one is vacuum-sealed and found in the refrigerated section of your store.

The vacuum-sealed tempehs are almost always pasteurized. This is not in all actuality “pre-cooking” but a way to kill bacteria and molds and other harmful organisims. The pasteurization ensures that all the bacteria is killed off (including, unfortunately, beneficial bacteria) so it can be packaged and sold in stores. These are ready-to-eat and usually do not have to be pre-cooked.

The fresh tempeh is more rare, but seems to be healthier because all the fantastic nutritional qualities are still intact. It’s definitely a food filled with live cultures and such. Fresh tempeh must be pre-cooked for at least 20 minutes before eating. Fresh tempeh can also be frozen in this fresh state.

(When I called my local Whole Foods store to ask if they have any fresh frozen non-pasteurized tempeh, they said it’s illegal for them to sell non-pasteurized tempeh.)

So in the end, the consumer really has to be vigilant. It the package says ready to eat, that means it’s likely been pasteurized and is good to go. If the package says to cook first, then it’s very important to do so.

No matter which tempeh you choose the soybeans are fermented so it’s much easier for our bodies to digest. And of course the tempeh is a nice source of protein. I might recommend that, as with all pre-packaged foods, one not rely on them on a daily basis but try to focus on eating whole foods as nature intended.

Now, having said all that I recommend you cook your tempeh before using it in your recipe. First of all, it helps to remove some of tempeh’s bitter flavor. Secondly, it helps to make the tempeh soft and moist which makes for scrumptious tempeh recipes. And if you would like to marinate your tempeh, cooking it first helps the tempeh to accept more of the marinade.

If you would like to steam it first, you can learn how to do that here: How To Steam Your Tempeh. I recommend steaming it for 20 minutes.



I haven’t yet tried tempeh, but I’m going to today.  If this is the next coming of the faux meat, I’ll let you know, believe me – jughandle

Soak Your Nuts

I was given a heads up by a friend on an article about eating and soaking nuts grains, seeds and legumes before eating them.  The following is a loose synopsis of the article

Natures way

No, not the “Spirit” song.  Nature is one smart old broad.  And I mean that in the nicest way.  Nature includes some digestive and decay resistant chemicals in nuts and seeds, etc., to keep them viable until they have the opportunity to sprout and grow.  It only make sense that these chemicals would be toxic to animals and wash off easily with water.

Why soak nuts, grains and seeds?

1. To remove or reduce phytic acid.

2. To remove or reduce tannins.

3. To neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.

4. To encourage the production of beneficial enzymes.

5. To increase the amounts of vitamins, especially B vitamins.

6. To break down gluten and make digestion easier.

7. To make the proteins more readily available for absorption.

8. To prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss.

9. To help neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean.

10. To prevent many health diseases and conditions.

“Soaking allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize a large portion of phytic acid in grains. Soaking in warm water also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors, present in all seeds, and encourages the production of numerous beneficial enzymes. The action of these enzymes also increases the amount of many vitamins, especially B vitamins. During the process of soaking and fermenting, gluten and other difficult-to-digest proteins are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption.”

What to Soak them In and how long?

Now, I’ve always soaked my dried beans overnight in water to make them easier to cook, but I didn’t know about the seeds and nuts and grains.  There are many methods suggested, but the simplest is plan old warm water.  Soak for 7 to 24 hours to neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.

If they start to sprout, all the better for you.

There you go.  You can then dry them in the refrigerator or eat them wet.  What ever you deside to do you’ll be a little healthier for doing it -thanks B – jughandle

To get the full article – click here


More Reasons to buy Organic

If you haven’t gotten on the organic band wagon, I’ve got some more convincing to do.  The following is largely from an article in Organic Gardening Mag.

Think about it

You should be eating a heavily weighted diet of plants and raw foods.  I don’t want to hear the same old BS that we are meat eaters and should be eating red meat.  That may have been true 100 years ago, but not know.  Chemistry has gotten into our diet.  Chemists have found ways to increase the yield of everything and haven’t thought about the long term costs until recently.  If you don’t eat organically grown food you are ingesting 12 or more chemicals  and pesticides that can  HARM you, your family and your future family.  The hormones in the dairy and meat we eat are changing the size of the human race.


Maybe you’ve heard of the chemical “Roundup”?  Supposed to be one of the safest weedkillers around.  So safe that chemists have genetically engineered crops like corn to be “Roundup ready”, meaning that a corn crop can be planted then when the weeds start to grow and compete with the corn, Boom, just fly by with a crop duster and spray Roundup on everything and the genetically engineered corn being resistant to the Roundup lives on while the weeds die.

Sounds great, doesn’t it.  Not so much.  Roundup is not just salt as we might have heard.  The main component of Roundup is GLYPHOSATE.  Glyphosate is a systemic chemical, which means it is absorbed into the root system of the plant.  People being lazy, greedy, bastards, farmers are no exception.  They found that using Roundup increased the yield of their crops and was a whole lot easier and cheaper to use.  So much so that researchers can find glyphosate in RAIN and in the air and of course our ground water and streams.  In 2009 the USDA says that farmers sprayed 57 million pounds of glyphosate on food crops.  That alone is reason to buy and eat organic.  Not convinced?  I’ll proceed.


To be brief – glyphosate is a hormone-disrupting chemical.  It is linked to metabolic damage, infertility, obesity, learning disabilities and birth defects.  Need More?  Really?  If you are smugly thinking that you are a meat eater and don’t eat much corn, think again.  Most cattle are raised on CORN and that corn is Roundup ready.  Don’t believe me – take a trip to Nebraska.

In fact if you live in a corn growing state like Nebraska, you are drinking glyphosate in your household water unless you have a granular activated carbon filter to remove it.

We are eating Crap!

I’m not just being crude.  Human sewage sludge is used as fertilizer in farm fields.  Yes, that is a potential source of salmonella out breaks or worse.  I make this point because another huge problem is hormone-disrupting phthalates which are very common fragrance chemicals used in soaps and shampoos.  Phthalates are being found inside our produce and the only reasonable source is the sewage sludge.  EAT ORGANIC- the use of human sewage is banned in organic farming.

Fat and don’t know why?

May be you eat too much.  But maybe it is the pesticides that are making us fat.  Even in very low doses, pesticides tamper with our body’s natural weight loss chemistry.  These are also linked to cancer and type 2 diabetes, go figure.

The nice thing is that eating organic for just five days can rid the body of virtually all pesticide residues.

What to avoid?

Avoid synthetic fragrances, soft vinyl products and “slow release” or gel-coated medications to eliminate phthalates.  And of course eat organic.

More reasons

Pesticides can interfere with your vitamin D levels.  Organophosphates are a class of pesticides that include 20 or more different pesticides and account for more than 70 percent of the pesticides used in the US.  It is known that these pesticides interfere with the body’s ability to metabolize vitamin D.  D, known as the sunshine vitamin protects us from cancer, diabetes, infections, heart desease, broken bones and boosts our immune system.

Feed Lot Farming – now this is a story in its own right, but hopefully you’ll read it anyhow.  Feed lots are a farming method to raise a large number of cattle or fowl in a small space.  The animals are herded into tightly packed pens or corals.  They are fed in situations that force the animals to eat their own feces.  These “Lots” are so filthy the farmers inject low levels of antibiotics into the animals to keep them health, which in turn end up in the meat we eat and cause antibiotic resistance in humans.  All mass produced animals including cows, chickens, turkeys, pigs, dairy cattle and sheep are raised this way.  In such conditions pests can also be a problem, so farmers spray the herd or flock with pesticides which also get into their food.

Conditions are so bad that e.coil bacteria is a problem, so to prevent it from getting into the food supply, after slaughter, one method is to wash chickens in a chlorine bath that contains 30 times more chlorine than a swimming pool.  To mask the chlorine odor and supposedly to keep the bird moist while cooking, the chickens are then injected with a solution of water and phosphate.  Phosphate can increase our risk of kidney disease, weak bones and even cause premature aging.

Need more reasons?

You are beyond hope – it was nice knowing you – jughandle




Much of this post has been copied from my post of almost 2 years ago.  I’m re-publishing this information because I find it more important today than ever.  The focus of this blog is to help improve or health and eating standards.  No better way than to avoid eating additives.  Read the labels. – Jughandle

Eat Natural ingredients!!!

The 11 Most Controversial Food Additives

Do you know what’s hiding in your food? We reveal the truth

A calorie-free artificial sweetener 200 timessweeter than sugar. It isoften used with other artificial sweeteners to mask a bitter aftertaste.

FOUND IN More than 5,000 foodproducts worldwide, including diet soft drinks and no-sugar-added icecream.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOWAlthoughthe FDA has approved it for use in most foods, many health and industryinsiders claim that the decision was based on flawed tests. Animalstudies have linked the chemical to lung and breast tumors and thyroidproblems.

Denotes any of hundreds of allowable chemicals such as butyl alcohol,isobutyric acid, and phenylacetaldehyde dimethyl acetal. The exactchemicals used in flavoring are the proprietary information of foodprocessors, used to imitate specific fruits, butter, spices, and so on.

FOUND IN Thousands of highlyprocessed foods such as cereals, fruit snacks, beverages, and cookies.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW The FDAhas approved every item on the list of allowable chemicals, but becausethey are permitted to hide behind a blanket term, there is no way forconsumers to pinpoint the cause of a reaction they might have had.

A near-zero-calorie artificial sweetener madeby combining two aminoacids with methanol. Most commonly used in diet soda, aspartame is 180times sweeter than sugar.

FOUND IN More than 6,000grocery items including diet sodas, yogurts, and the table-topsweeteners NutraSweet and Equal.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW  Overthepast 30 years, the FDA has received thousands of consumer complaintsdue mostly to neurological symptoms such as headaches, dizziness,memory loss, and, in rare cases, epileptic seizures. Many studies haveshown aspartame to be completely harmless, while others indicate thatthe additive might be responsible for a range of cancers.

AKA, Butylated HydroxyAnisole and ButylatedHydroxytoluene are petroleum-derived antioxidants used to preserve fatsand oils.

FOUND IN Beer, crackers,cereals, butter, and foods with added fats.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Of thetwo, BHA is considered the most dangerous. Studies have shown it tocause cancer in the forestomachs of rats, mice, and hamsters. TheDepartment of Health and Human Services classifies the preservative as“reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”

A corn-derived sweetener representing more than40 percent of allcaloric sweeteners in the supermarket. In 2005, there were 59 poundsproduced per capita. The liquid sweetener is created by a complexprocess that involves breaking down cornstarch with enzymes, and theresult is a roughly 50/50 mix of fructose and glucose.

FOUND IN Although abouttwo-thirds of the HFCS consumed in the United States is in beverages,it can be found in every grocery aisle in products such as ice cream,chips, cookies, cereal, bread, ketchup, jam, canned fruits, yogurt,barbecue sauce, frozen dinners, and so on.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW  Sincearound 1980, the US obesity rate has risen proportionately to theincrease in HFCS, and Americans are now consuming at least 200 caloriesof the sweetener each day. Some researchers argue that the bodymetabolizes HFCS differently, making it easier to store as fat, butthis theory has not been proven.

A semi-soft fat created by chemically blendingfully hydrogenated andnon-hydrogenated oils. It was developed in response to the publicdemand for an alternative to trans fats.

FOUND IN Pastries, pies,margarine, frozen dinners, and canned soups.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Testingon these fats has not been extensive, but the early evidence doesn’tlook promising. A study by Malaysian researchers showed a 4-week dietof 12 percent interesterified fats increased the ratio of LDL to HDLcholesterol. Furthermore, this study showed an increase in bloodglucose levels and a decrease in insulin response.(think diabetes)

The salt of the amino acid glutamic acid, usedto enhance the savoryquality of foods, MSG alone has little flavor, and exactly how itenhances other foods is unknown.

FOUND IN Chili, soup, andfoods with chicken or beef flavoring.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Studieshave shown that MSG injected into mice causes brain-cell damage, butthe FDA believes these results are not typical for humans. The FDAreceives dozens of reaction complaints each year for nausea, headaches,chest pains, and weakness.

A manufactured fat created by forcing hydrogengas into vegetable fatsunder extremely high pressure, an unintended effect of which is thecreation of trans fatty acids. Food processors like this fat because ofits low cost and long shelf life.

FOUND IN Margarine, pastries,frozen foods, cakes, cookies, crackers, soups, and nondairy creamers.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Transfathas been shown to contribute to heart disease more so than saturatedfats. While most health organizations recommend keeping trans-fatconsumption as low as possible, a loophole in the FDA’s labelingrequirements allows processors to add as much as 0.49 grams per servingand still claim zero in their nutrition facts. Progressivejurisdictions such as New York City, California, and Boston haveapproved legislation to phase trans fat out of restaurants, andpressure from watchdog groups might eventually lead to a full ban onthe dangerous oil.

Food dyes that are orange-red and cherry red,respectively. Red #40 is the most widely used food dye in America.

FOUND IN Fruit cocktail,candy, chocolate cake, cereal, beverages, pastries, maraschinocherries, and fruit snacks.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW The FDAhas proposed a ban on Red #3in the past, but so far the agency has beenunsuccessful in implementing it. After the dye was inextricably linkedto thyroid tumors in rat studies, the FDA managed to have the lake (orliquid) form of the dye removed from external drugs and cosmetics.

An artificial sweetener 300 to 500 timessweeter than sugar. Discoveredin 1879, it’s the oldest of the five FDA-approved artificialsweeteners.

FOUND IN Diet foods, chewinggum, toothpaste, beverages, sugar-free candy, and Sweet ‘N Low.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW  Ratstudies in the early ‘70s showed saccharin to cause bladder cancer, andthe FDA, reacting to these studies, enacted a mandatory warning labelto be printed on every saccharin-containing product. The label wasremoved after 20 years, but the question over saccharin’s safety wasnever resolved. More recent studies show that rats on saccharin-richdiets gain more weight than those on high-sugar diets.

The secondand third most common food colorings, respectively.

FOUND IN Cereal, pudding,bread mix, beverages, chips, cookies, and condiments.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Severalstudies have linked both dyes to learning and concentration disordersin children, and there are piles of animal studies demonstratingpotential risks such as kidney and intestinal tumors. One study foundthat mice fed high doses of sunset yellow had trouble swimming straightand righting themselves in water. The FDA does not view these asserious risks to humans.


Oneglance at the back of a label and you’ll see the food industry haskidnapped real ingredients and replaced them with science experiments.And lots of them. Milkshakes with 78 ingredients? Bread with 27? Evenmore troubling is the fact that some of these additives have beenlinked to bad news, like cancer in mice or ADHD in children. Next timeyou’re scanning labels in the aisle, look out for these 11 downrightfrightening food additives. For the complete list, including thenutritious additives, check out our book, Eat This, Not That!

You Can Be 90% healthy too!

Can any one be 90 percent health?  I believe you can, but my point here is to make living a strict life style, such as vegan eating, easily attainable.

The art of the cheat

I never really liked the word “cheat”.  It implies that you’ve done something wrong.  In this case, lets do something right.  Let’s call it the “10 percent solution”.  For me, and I think, one of my failings in life, I have a strong need to keep my options open. I believe there are way too many rules in life already, why self-impose more. When I’m restricted I have a strong desire toward that restriction.  Weird?  What you resist you get?

So, I came up with a personal solution that might serve you as well.  I use a “10 percent solution”.  It’s easy doing something for a short period of time, am I right?  I make available to me the possibility to eat anything and everything I want at any time.  I can dream about the food, I can plan menus with it, I can even cook it.  I know that if I really want to, I can partake of the forbidden.  But I don’t 90 % of the time.  I leave the door open to eating meat and/or dairy and eggs, one day per week.  Funny thing is that by making it possible, I don’t want it as often.  Only about 10 percent of the time, not even once per week.

Removing the NO-NO

If you remove the forbidden, amazingly the deep lingering desire also is gone.  At least for me.  Since starting this plan around mid December (yes I know that it’s only been a month) I have planned to eat meat every weekend only to find I didn’t really want it.  In fact, I’ve exercised the 10% rule only twice this month.

Conclusions and recommendations

I concluded long ago that if I eat a 90% vegan diet, I will clean the plaque from my arteries and in turn lose the 100 pounds I’ve gained from having no testosterone in my body. I’m a two time testicular cancer survivor.  The goal is to accomplish this in the year 2012.

I recommend that if you have dietary health issues that are causing you to be uncomfortable or to worry about your longevity, join the fun.  We’ll work through it together, it really isn’t that hard.  It can even be fun watching people squirm when you tell them you are a vegan. Tell them you are a member of  Jughandle’s Fat Farm and start a conversation.  What can it hurt? – Jughandle

Kid Safe Food – Annie’s

It is unusual to find a whole line of food that I can’t really find anything wrong with, but Annie’s seems to fit the bill.  I haven’t completed my research yet, mainly because they make so many products.  Their colorants are natural and they don’t hide things in “Natural Flavorings”.  The only thing I find that is even the lest bit questionable is the use of sodium phosphate as a preservative.

Back Ground

Annie’s is over 20 years old and Annie is Annie Withey the founder.

Store Locator

Annie’s products are available nationwide at natural food stores, grocery stores and mass merchants.  We’ve listed a selection below.  You can also talk with the manager at your preferred store and tell them you’d like to see more Annie’s!

In Georgia look for Annie’s at Whole Foods, Kroger, Target, BJ’s, Bi-Lo, Fresh Market, Harris Teeter, Ingles, Publix, Winn Dixie.


Annies makes


These are healthy, good products to feed to your family.  Please don’t believe me, do your own research and let me know if I’m wrong. –  Jughandle