19 August 2013

Thoughtful Perspective: Gelatin

I love jello, especially the blue raspberry. I also love jello shots. But a little over a year ago I dropped jello like it was the plague. Unfortunately, gelatin is an utterly grotesque, morbid ingredient. They could probably make a whole horror film based solely around gelatin.

My friend was happily munching on gummy worms (swoons), oh how I miss those. She offered me one; I declined. She asked why not. I told her it had gelatin. She looked very nervous to ask of what is gelatin made. I grimaced and said she probably didn't want to know. A year later she said she was finally ready to know of what gelatin is made. Prepare yourself mentally and hold you stomach.

Gelatin is a protein substance derived from collagen, a natural protein present in the tendons, ligaments, and tissues of mammals. It is produced by boiling the connective tissues, bones and skins of animals, usually cows and pigs. Gelatin's ability to form strong, transparent gels and flexible films that are easily digested, soluble in hot water, and capable of forming a positive binding action have made it a valuable commodity in food processing, pharmaceuticals, photography, and paper production.

Read more: http://www.madehow.com/Volume-5/Gelatin.html#b#ixzz2cQzD6pAL
 Unfortunately it gets worse. It also includes, eye balls, spinal cords, bones, and hides. Now that really puts it over the edge. I'm a huge fan of using everything, but this just crosses the line. I almost feel violated knowing that the tasty poptart with the super fun icing is really made of some cow's eyeball. Real mood killer.

Its important to be aware of what's hiding in your food. I would have never fathomed ground up cuddly animals are in marshmallows, frosted mini wheats, yogurt, candies, etc. Its absolutely heartbreaking. But this is gives me more gusto to hunt down the noble and harmless ingredients, such as agar agar and vegan marshmallows. Its all about social awareness.


18 August 2013

Recipes XIX: Summer Soup

Ahhh!! Harvest time is in full swing. Tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, mmmm...Before you take your excess zucchinis and sneak them into unlocked cars, consider this recipe. If you don't have oodles of fresh veggies, support your local farm/farm stand.

Summer Soup yields 6-8 cups
1 cup= 55 calories (without wine)

4 cups water
2 cups of veggie stock
2 vegan chick'n bullion cubes (1 cube to 2 cups water)
2 tbsp olive oil
1.5 tsp poultry spices
Couple cranks on the pepper mill
3 small cloves of garlic crushed
2 pinches of salt (if desired)
Splash of dry white wine if you have it ;)

1 medium summer squash
1 medium zucchini
1 peeled carrot
1 garden fresh tomato (no GMO tomatoes allowed)
handful of small yellow cherry tomatoes
2 fresh basil leaves
small cluster of  fresh rosemary
small cluster of fresh parsley

Combine the liquids and spices into a medium size pot on the stove. While the liquids are heating chop tomatoes into cubes, peel carrot, slice the zucchini, carrot and squash into medallions. Carefully dump the veggies into the pot. Mince the fresh herbs and stir into the pot.

Close the lid and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. When complete, serve with butter-drenched crusty bread.