Natural Foods Guides

A Guide to Salt Varieties

Salt varieties

Salt comes in all colors, shapes and sizes; as well as pure white, salt may be pink, grey, black or green. Salt truly is a rainbow-hued rock. Here’s a guide to many of the common salts available.

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Seitan (Wheat Gluten): Recipes and Tips

Homemade seitan recipe

A traditional Asian food used as a meat substitute, you may have encountered seitan in dishes like “Buddhist’s Delight” in Chinese restaurants. Dense and chewy, this product of cooked wheat gluten is almost pure protein—you can see that by observing the high protein content of the dishes in this section. Clearly, though, seitan is not for anyone with gluten sensitivity. Store-bought seitan usually comes in 8-ounce packages or 16-ounce tubs. more→

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Sea Vegetables—Varieties and Best Uses

chuka seaweed salad

Sea vegetables are getting more attention now that sushi is so popular. For thousands of years, cooks on every continent have made flavorful meals from sea vegetables—soup, stews, garnishes, condiments, and even desserts. Sea vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamins and low in calories. You may also find that eating sea vegetables satisfies your need for salt. (Rinse sea vegetables before cooking them to reduce their sodium content.) more→

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Vinegar Varieties

Apple Cider Vinegar

Vinegar, from the French words vin (“wine”) and aigre (“sour”), has been made since ancient times by fermenting various liquids. There are numerous types of vinegar, from the cheap, harsh white distilled vinegar to precious varieties, such as well-aged balsamic vinegar that can cost up to one hundred dollars a bottle. Here’s a brief overview of just a handful of vinegars—those most commonly found in natural-food stores or those that are common to ethnic cuisines popular in the wholefoods realm. more→

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Brown Rice: Cooking Tips and Varieties

Gingery rice with sweet potatoes and peas

Here’s a quick guide on how to cook brown rice as well and how to use some of its varieties. For a wide range of delicious and easy brown rice recipes, visit our Brown Rice Recipes page. With its nutty taste and chewy texture, brown rice doesn’t fade into the background of dishes as does white rice. But once you switch to brown rice, there’s no going back! Nutritionally, brown rice is far superior to white, which has had its valuable hull and germ removed. Learn more by going to Top 10 Health Benefits of Brown Rice. more→

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Vegan Pasta Recipes and Tips

Pasta varieties in jars

If you’re looking for vegan pasta recipes as well as tips on making the most of this versatile food in all of its varieties (alternative flours, gluten-free, etc), you’ve come to the right place! Easy and quick to cook, easy to digest, low in fat, rich in nutrients, and of course, versatile and tasty, pasta and noodles should be perfectly at home in every busy, health-conscious cook’s pantry. more→

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Natural Sweeteners: A Brief Guide

While the detrimental effects of white sugar are still being debated, there’s little doubt that Americans consume far too much of it. But most of us would be loath to giving up sweets altogether, no matter how bad the news. While most natural sweeteners aren’t nutritional bell ringers, they are generally thought to produce less of a shock to the body’s blood sugar level and metabolism than do simple sugars. Here’s a brief guide to using and enjoying these kinder, gentler sweeteners. more→

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Getting to Know Pepper

Peppercorn varieties

Like grapes, black pepper grows on perennial vines. But pepper vines soar to a height of 30 feet or more—you can see them trellising swaying palm trees in the state of Kerala on India’s Malabar coast, where black pepper is big business and pepper vines are everywhere. Excerpted from Healing Spices* by Bharat B. Aggarwal, PhD, Sterling Publishing, 2011. See VegKitchen’s review of Healing Spices.

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