Wednesday, November 24, 2010
More “Turkey Day” Trivia: Thanksgiving dinner
Cranberries – Of all fresh fruits, cranberries contain the most phenols, a type of disease-fighting antioxidant. Phenols and polyphenols are strong antioxidants and many scientists believe antioxidants protect the heart.
Yams vs. sweet potatoes - A yam is not the same thing as a sweet potato. Although yams and sweet potatoes are both angiosperms (flowering plants), they are not related botanically. Yams, native to Africa and Asia, are a monocot (a plant having one embryonic seed leaf) and are related to lilies and grasses. Sweet Potatoes are a dicot (a plant having two embryonic seed leaves) and are in the morning glory family. Yams are starchier and dryer than sweet potatoes.
Pumpkin pie - Most pumpkin fillings are really custard-type fillings with eggs acting as "gelling agents". They're able to do this because proteins in the eggs unwind as they are beaten and hold the pumpkin and liquids in a gentle mesh. As it cooks, it coagulates or sets and forms a custard-like filling. If the filling is cooked too long, the protein network contracts and shrinks, causing the filling to crack across the top. To prevent the cracking, cook it a little less this year. Remove it from the oven while the center still jiggles slightly if you give it a gentle shake. It may look like it still needs a little more cooking, but remember because of latent heat, it will continue to cook after it is removed from the oven.