fbpx

COOKING

Healthy Hemp Hearts – Without a High

Looking for a new, offbeat vegan ingredient to experiment with, or to act as a conversation starter? Well, look no further than hemp hearts or hemp seeds. Often associated with the marijuana plant, they are now finding their way into vegan recipes as a rich source of protein and fibre. Hemp hearts are the edible interior of the seed from the hemp plant. The white, soft things you buy at the shop are actually the “heart” rather than the seed – that …

Cacao Nibs: A Better Way to Enjoy Chocolate?

Most of us have a love-hate relationship with chocolate: love the taste, hate our inability to consume it in healthy quantities. But go back a step in the chocolate-making process and you’ll find something that’s much healthier: cacao nibs. Cacao nibs are fast gaining popularity with health experts and vegan cooks, who tout them as a healthy (and crunchy) alternative to chocolate or cocoa in both savoury and sweet dishes. But first, a little about where cacao nibs come from. …

The Air-Fryer – Healthy or Just “Healthier”?

If you’ve never heard of the air fryer, you may not have realised you’ve been missing out on the must-have appliance of 2019. These high-tech cooking machines fry food to a crispy golden brown by swirling hot air around it rather than dousing it in hot oil. Oil is still involved – you coat the food with it – but the oil itself isn’t what’s cooking the food. You can fry up basically anything that you would normally plop into …

The Rise of Baking Schools in Singapore

Even people who love to cook can find be put off by baking. Some get so frustrated they give up after a failed first attempt. Why is baking so hard for first-timers? Well, it’s more technical than cooking and requires patience and an eye for detail. There’s definitely not as much freedom or room for error when you’re baking a cake compared to, say, spaghetti bolognaise. It can also be intimidating and confusing. Bakers throw around mysterious and fancy-sounding terms, …

Gluten-Free Cooking at Home: Tips and Tricks

Between 0.7 and 1.4 percent of the global population suffers from celiac disease. This disease causes the body to have a severe autoimmune reaction when it’s exposed to gluten, a protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. In addition to the growing population of people with celiac disease, there’s also a high number of people throughout the world who are intolerant to gluten. If you fall into either category or are just a part of the gluten-free movement, chances …

Making Your First Sourdough Loaf, Part Two

In the second of our two-part series, Love Wholesome’s resident recipe tester Jo-ann Huang tells you how to turn a yeast starter into a delicious loaf of sourdough. In our last post, we established beyond a reasonable doubt that sourdough is the king of bread. Wild yeast; a complex, tangy taste; a golden-to-dark-brown crust – what more could you want? Well, for starters, maybe a cheaper option than buying sourdough at an artisanal bakery. So here we are, a handy …

EATING

A Day In the Life of a Vegan

What does it mean to be vegan? How are vegans different than vegetarians, exactly? How do vegans get protein? And what the heck is riboflavin? If you’ve ever had these questions rattling around in your brain, grab your hemp backpack and organic granola, because we’re going vegan! At least for one day… You subscribe to the vegan philosophy As a vegan, you don’t just have a diet. You have a philosophy. As a vegan, you do not believe in the …

Getting Salty: Different Kinds of Salt and its Effect on You

Given the bad press around salt and its potential negative health impacts, it’s easy to overlook that it’s an indispensable ingredient in most kitchens. While most of us reach for table salt when cooking and baking, you can also find a range of gourmet salts in supermarket aisles, each with a different mineral make-up, sodium content and taste profile. Also known as sodium chloride, salt is a crystalline compound made up of two elements: sodium and chlorine. These elements are …

Vegan Alternatives to Honey

It’s well-known that vegans steer clear of animal products like meat, eggs, dairy and seafood. But what about honey? Within the vegan community, it’s a hotly debated topic. Some believe that they should avoid it, as honey is meant to be food for bees, keeping them alive over winter, while other vegans include honey in their plant-based diets. It’s not like bees are slaughtered during commercial honey production, or that honey is directly part of the reproductive process. The argument …

Giving Up Caffeine: A Survival Guide

Life in the fast lane can often demand frequent doses of caffeine. The burst of alertness and energy you get from a cup of coffee or an energy drink is something many of us just can’t live without – least of all when we’ve worked that overtime shift, or been up late finishing a project. These days it’s also extremely easy and convenient to get a caffeine fix at any time of the day – corner coffee shops are open …

Paleo – It’s a “No Grainer”

Do you ever want to get back to nature? Do you dream about making fire with sticks and stalking deer with a bow and arrow? You’re in luck! In recent years, the Paleolithic diet, better known as paleo, has got foodies nixing dairy and cereal grains and replacing them with berries, nuts, veggies and other foods our Flintstonian ancestors (may have) chowed down on. But is this prehistoric meal plan as healthy as it’s cracked up to be? First, some …

Gluten-Free = Guilt-Free?

Gluten-free diets have well and truly entered the mainstream, to the point where you can now find gluten-free alternatives in chain supermarkets. Fans of gluten-free rave about how it has improved their moods, given them more energy and a better skin complexion, reduced bloatedness and improved their digestion, among other perceived benefits. But the movement’s detractors call it nothing more than a fad diet that makes light of those who have coeliac disease, a serious medical condition that causes adverse …

INGREDIENTS

Is MSG Really Bad for Your Health?

More dining establishments are going MSG-free these days, reflecting widespread consumer concerns about the consequences of eating too much of this commonly used flavour enhancer. Formally known as monosodium glutamate, MSG is usually found in Asian cooking, as well as in canned soups and sauces. Some people try to steer clear of MSG completely, claiming it gives them headaches and causes weight gain. It’s perhaps most synonymous with Chinese food, thanks to a 1968 opinion piece in the prestigious New …

Is Vegan-Friendly Coconut Nectar the New “Agave”?

Natural sweeteners are all the rage in vegan-friendly or vegetarian kitchens, with products like coconut nectar or agave syrup appearing in everything from desserts to baked goods and breakfasts. Vegetarian or vegan cooks are employing these naturally sourced sweeteners not only for their perceived health benefits but also due to the widespread use of bone char in sugar production. Many manufacturers use bone char to decolourise or bleach sugars through an absorption process. Bone char is a byproduct of slaughtered cattle …

Milk Your Almonds

Easy-to-make almond milk Almond milk has long been a popular alternative to dairy milk for the lactose-intolerant. It is lower in fat, a great source of protein and calcium and, for those who avoid dairy for ethical reasons it is cruelty-free. With its creamy texture and naturally sweet flavour, it is the most viable substitute to dairy milk available right now. But it’s also a rather expensive: expect to pay SG$24 for a 1-litre bottle of raw almond milk from …

Candlenuts: Fire and Flavour

The candlenut bears a striking similarity to its cousin, the macadamia nut – both have cream coloured skins and similar rough textures. But the candlenut is more popularly used as a spice in Asian dishes to flavour curries, condiments and marinades. The candlenut is also known as buah keras, which literally translates to hard fruit, and originates from the flowering species Aleurite moluccanus (commonly known as the moluccana tree) that is found in the tropics and other warm climates. The tree can …

Discovering the Torch Ginger Flower

If you stumble across a torch ginger plant, you’ll soon find yourself staring into an exotic and beautiful pink flower – one that is synonymous with Malay and Nyonya (Peranakan) dishes. The torch ginger can grow up to 20 feet in height, and the flowers (bunga kantan in Malay) are buds that appear at the end of tall, straight stalks that can be 5 feet long. The name derives from its appearance: when the plant or flower is young, it looks like a flaming …

The Sweetest of Rivals

Palm sugar is a unique and versatile ingredient. While often found in Asian desserts, it’s increasingly a popular choice for savoury dishes or as an addition to broths in main courses. This natural sweetener is derived from palm trees and is sometimes known as coconut palm sugar. Different varieties of palms can be used to create palm sugar of varying textures but all go through similar extraction processes. Manufacturers usually process the sugar palm juice into three types of sugar: …

Artisanal Sausages

If it wasn’t for her son’s autism, Stephanie Siow would probably never have become a food entrepreneur. His condition meant Siow had to give up full-time work so she could care for him. Needing a new income stream to support the family, the 48-year-old decided to start a home business, and she launched Stephanie Siow’s Artisanal Sausages last year. But it wasn’t just about making extra money. Siow wanted to teach her 17-year-old son life and work skills so that he …

Star Anise Secrets

If you’re familiar with Chinese cuisine, then star anise, with its distinctive, eight-pointed shape, will be no stranger to your kitchen. Its distinctive taste – with even more of the same compound that gives ordinary anise and liquorice their unique flavour – packs a huge punch in that small, pointy package and represents one of the five major spices in Chinese cooking. Those less accustomed to cooking Chinese dishes might not consider star anise a very versatile spice. How could …