Questions answered

Hi all!

Good news on the home front.   Rascal made it through the night without getting sick.  I have a feeling that the little booger got into something at my aunt’s house yesterday.  He’s such a devious little guy, always looking for the crumb someone dropped, the pantry door left open, the new person invited to dinner who doesn’t know table scraps are not allowed…

But it’s his rascal-i-ness that makes him so lovable too.

Just look at that face!  How could you not love him?

Thanks for all the concerned tweets and comments.  In all honesty, Rascal has a sensitive stomach so this is not the first time it has happened, nor will it probably be the last.  That is why I travel with baby wipes.  Dogs teach you the very basics of  Children 101.

Breakfast this morning was the same as Monday morning, and since I left my camera at home, you get the same photo.

This time however, I could not finish my peach, which may have been even bigger than the one pictured here.  I only ate a little over half, probably due to my snack before bed time.  Note to self: when a peach is as big as your head, cut it in half, just in case you can’t finish it.

Besides questions about Rascal, I got two other questions in blog comments recently, which I thought I should address here just in case anyone else is wondering.

Jen asked: Can you tell me the instructions for cooking the brussel sprouts?

Sure, I can!  But I really wish I knew where I found this combination of flavors.

For fresh brussel sprouts:

–  Clean them and chop them in halves or thirds depending on their size

– Saute with  a bit of olive oil in a pan

– Once they start to brown add about 1 Tbsp. of Sriracha sauce (for one person – add more if you’re making enough for two people or if you just like a lot of spiciness).  I stir them around with my spatula so everybody gets a little Sriracha sauce.

– Add one large pinch of a large grain salt like kosher salt or sea salt

– Just before they’re done (I like mine pretty crispy and brown), add a pinch of brown sugar (~ 1/2 tsp.)

– Serve immediately because who likes cold brussels

Now, this isn’t exactly what I did last night but this version is much better.  I haven’t bought brussel sprouts in a while because they’re not in season, so all I had were frozen brussel sprouts…tiny ones.  So, I thawed them in the microwave first (1-2 minutes) then I put them directly in the pan.  I didn’t half them because they were so small.

This version works “okay”, but to get the real experience, go with fresh brussels, which get much crispier.  There’s just something about that spicy and slightly sweet combination. 🙂

My second question of the day was from my friend Jess.

I couldn’t find if you’d already wrote about this on your site…so I googled it and still have questions.  Bragg’s Amino Acids…what exactly is it?  Is it like a supplement, kinda like adding flax seed? do tell do tell 🙂

Well first of all, I don’t know why I keep calling it Bragg’s Amino Acids, because it’s actually called Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, which contains 16 amino acids. Bragg’s says that it’s a “gourmet alternative to soy sauce”, so let’s compare.

Soy Sauce – top

Bragg’s – bottom

When comparing these two nutrition labels, please keep one important point in mind.  The serving size for soy sauce is one tablespoon while the serving size for Bragg’s is 1/2 tsp.  So even though it looks like soy sauce has much more sodium, in reality a tablespoon of Bragg’s has 960 mg of sodium while soy sauce has about 46 mg more with 1006 mg total in an equivalent serving.  However, the taste of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos is much stronger than soy sauce so you’ll need much less to get the same taste intensity.   Use less = less sodium.

Some of the listed health benefits of Bragg’s come from what it does not contain:

no chemicals
no artificial coloring
no alcohol
no preservatives
no Gluten
Certified NON-GMO

However, there are brands of soy sauce that have no gluten, no chemicals, and no GMO’s.  San-J is an example of a soy sauce that adheres to almost all of these standards except one: it contains alcohol.  However, I’m not so sure why alcohol would be such a negative ingredient. (?)

From what I can tell, the real difference between Bragg’s liquid aminos and soy sauce is that Bragg’s amino acids are live.  This food product is made by fermentation, not by processing.  So if you are a raw foodist, you might prefer Bragg’s.

During my brief stint in researching Bragg’s Liquid Amino’s I found this interesting blog post about Bragg’s and MSG.

To be fair, please also see Bragg’s take on MSG here (5th paragraph under Summary of Basic Findings).

So will I continue to use Bragg’s?  Probably until the bottle runs out.  It’s way more expensive than soy sauce so I purchased the smallest bottle.  I’m not a raw foodest so although I really enjoy raw fruits, veggies, and fish, I’m not going to spend a lot of money to have an additional product just because it’s raw.   I’m not entirely convinced of the health benefits outside of it having less sodium.  I don’t use a lot of soy sauce so I don’t think the small amount I use has a negative effect on my health.

So, are the amino acids specifically goof for you?  Yes, they are.  In fact, you need them to function properly.  Combinations of amino acids form proteins, which you need.  But the amount of protein in Bragg’s is so small, that it would be very difficult to get your necessary protein from this source alone.

What are amino acids? Amino acids are the chemicals that make up proteins. The human body needs 20 different amino acids to function properly. (source)

Amino acids can be found in protein sources such as meat.  However, this becomes slightly trickier for vegetarians (but not that tricky!).

Proteins are made up of “building blocks” of amino acids.  Think of it like a puzzle with two pieces.  To get a complete protein, you must have both pieces of the puzzle.  Many vegetarian protein sources have one puzzle piece, but do not have the other.  So by eating nuts or beans alone you’re getting only part of the amino acids needed to make a complete protein.

To solve this problem, non-meat eaters need to eat a combination of foods that are complimentary proteins.

Examples:

  • Beans and tortillas.
  • Black beans and rice.
  • Chili and corn bread.
  • Pita bread with humus (source)

It was once thought that you had to eat these combinations at the same meal, but a study done by the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada showed that our bodies have the ability to combine amino acids to form a complete protein from foods eaten within 24 hours.   So you could eat oats in the morning and beans at lunch and your body would take the amino acids  (the two puzzles pieces) and stick them together to form the complete protein.  Our bodies are smart like that.

Stay tuned for a lunch recap, which just happened to be a meal of complimentary proteins.  🙂

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4 Comments

Filed under Breakfast

4 responses to “Questions answered

  1. Now you’ve got me interested. I thought soy sauce, like tofu, is traditionally made through fermentation. Although I am not surprised that it’s now made through lots of processing. I must investigate!

    • I did a little more research and it looks like traditionally soy sauce is fermented, but now a lot of commercial soy sauces are made from acid hydrolyzed soy protein, which is quicker to make and has a longer shelf life.

  2. GladRascal is OK. Nati has a sensitive stomach too. So much so that he needs to eat every 6 hours- except overnight- or else he vomits. Yup my dog eats 4 meals a day!

  3. Julie

    Aww, I just love sweet little hot dogs 🙂 He’s so cute — glad he’s fine!

    Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
    http://willowbirdbaking.wordpress.com

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