Tid-Bits to Chew On

By Naazish YarKhan

Have a craving for Halal Quiche or Brownies? Check out Love and Quiches. Susan Axelrod set up shop in her small family kitchen thirty years ago. Today, her company Love and Quiches operates out of a 65,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility and is synonymous not only with quiche, but also with her carefully selected, handcrafted line of desserts. Her line of desserts began as a simple request from a loyal customer for pecan pie – one with that special home-baked taste her quiches were known for. Using all-natural ingredients, including real butter and Georgia pecans, Susan developed her now famous recipe, baked the pies and then froze them to capture the just-baked flavor her customers requested. She is a supplier to restaurants in USA, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan Syria, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Nigeria, Yemen, Mauritania, Sudan, Libya, Iran. Want her goodies at a store near you? Just ask the manager to get samples from her at : http://www.loveandquiches.com/store/index.asp

Corn. Is it the (Wise) Fuel of Choice?

With corn becoming the fuel of choice, it came as no surprise that corn prices more than doubled from their decade long average price of $2 a bushel, amongst ethanol producers. A ripple effect wasn’t long behind. The primary feed for cattle being corn, rising prices leave cattle owners with no choice but to hike up the price of milk.

Rising prices, however, don’t seem to impact sales of milk. Especially amongst families with young children, there really isn’t a choice. According to Cindy Haren, chief executive of the Thornton-based Western Dairyfarmers' Promotion Association, in an interview with The Denver Post, “when the average price of milk rose 19 percent in the spring of 2004, milk purchases declined less than 4 percent.” A gallon of whole milk at the supermarket is expected to cost almost $3.35 by October, vs. $3.07 in January, according to Ken Bailey, an agricultural economist at Penn State University who specializes in the dairy industry.

No doubt the international market will feel the burn, given the growing demand for skim-milk powder, dry whey and whey protein concentrates, all of which are exported for feeding programs in regions including the Middle East, Asia and Cuba.

Sugar Substitutes…. The Healthy Kind

Our recent vacation to Mammoth Cave National Park was restful… the times we weren’t hiking the trails, that is. “Wait up for me!” was my constant refrain as hubby and kids sailed up or down steep hillsides. I had no clue, I was that out of shape. As soon as I returned home, I made a mental note to myself. Either I get healthier now or pay the price as I get older. Maintaining health is easier and cheaper, than regaining it once it’s lost. First thing on my list was to kick the sugar the habit. I can avoid sweets but with 4 cups of tea, per day, on average, I consume close to 10 teaspoons of sugar.

That’s when I learned of Industrializadora Integral Del Agave’s Organic Agave Syrup 100% Blue Webber and Inulin Fiber, both available as retail products in health food stores.

But what is Agave syrup? Developed in the 1990’s, it’s a relatively new, 100% natural sweetener being imported by the U.S. It can be used as a substitute for sugar. Three-fourth of a cup of Agave can replace a cup of sugar in the original recipe. Agave syrup can be used in equal amounts when replacing honey. Some chefs also reduce the oven temperature by 25°F in recipes requiring baking when using Agave syrup.

Inulin Fiber is being called the ‘in’ fiber by Food Processing magazine. Comparable to sugar in taste, it too can also be used as a sugar replacement. It is considered a ‘prebiotic’, as it stimulates the growth of friendly and healthy intestinal bacteria, specifically bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, which inhibit the growth of harmful pathogens and support good colon health. Since Inulin fiber has a very low glycemic index, it is suitable for those on restricted diets.

Why not check your local health food store for supplies? Even if they don’t have Agave Syrup or Inulin Fiber, ask for Natural Sugar substitutes. It’s better than ingesting chemicals such as Nutrasweet and the like. And for those who are diabetic, throw in a small stick of cinnamon and see the difference in two weeks flat.

Take care, seriously !

Until later!