What is the Ingredient “Flavour”?

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What is Flavour Ingredient

Recently we were looking more closely at the food labels in our pantry, and at what ingredients are there. For health reasons we have been attempting to eat more naturally, and have a better idea of what is in our foods. While looking at many of our canned goods and sauces we came across the rather bland ingredient of “flavour”.

That was rather non-descript, so I decided to contact the company that makes one of the canned items in question, and this is the response that I got:

The flavour used is of synthetic origin.  The actual profile of the flavour cannot be disclosed as it is proprietary information.

I was shocked to be honest!

It was always my understanding that we were supposed to be told about what was in our foods, I did not know that companies were allowed to put “secret” natural or artificial ingredients in food that we eat!

Amazingly it seems that the rights of companies to maintain their “proprietary information” is greater than our rights as consumers to know what we are putting into our bodies. We aren’t even allowed to know if the “flavour” or “flavouring” is natural or artificial in origin. Apparently there are over 2000 secret man-made flavour additives that don’t need to be identified by name or number. So while I have been trying to avoid numbered ingredients, the innocuous label of “flavour” has slipped by me.

The Food Intolerance Network has a great article about Flavours and Flavour Enhancers that goes into a lot more detail.

In the future our family will be avoiding the ingredient “flavour” or “flavouring”.

Photo credit: Margarine via photopin (license)

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Using Psyllium Husks in Gluten Free Baking

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Xanthan and Guar Gum is a common addition to Gluten Free baking to make up for the lack of binding that comes from the lack of gluten. Both Guar and Xanthan Gum can be difficult for some people to digest, and can lead to bloating and digestive problems.

A natural replacement for Xanthan and Guar Gum can be Psullium Husks. Finding the correct ratio for the replacement of the Gums for Psyllium Husks has always eluded me, until I read The How Can It Be Gluten-Free Cookbook Volume 2.

Here are the ratios that the book recommends:

  • Baked Goods (except drop biscuits) – 2 tsp Psyllium Husk to replace 1 tsp Xanthan or Guar Gum
  • Drop Biscuits / Cookies – 5 tsp Psyllium Husks to replace 1 tsp Xanthan or Guar Gum

Woolworths Macro Psyllium Husk

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One Pot Spaghetti Bolognese

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Ingredients:
  • 2 x tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 x jar pasta sauce
  • 250g spaghetti noodles
  • 1 x medium diced onion
  • 500g ground beef, veal, turkey, or chicken
  • 1 x clove minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Directions:
  1. Heat up olive oil in deep saucepan over medium heat
  2. Brown beef and onion for about 10-minutes unless onion is transparent
  3. Add minced garlic and cook for one more minute
  4. Add beef broth and pasta sauce, stir through and bring to a boil
  5. Add the pasta noodles
  6. Cook until noodles are cooked
  7. Add parmesan cheese and stir through
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Slow Cooker Beef or Lamb Curry

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Ingredients:
  • Cooking Spray
  • 3 x diced sweet potatoes
  • 500g diced lamb or beef
  • 2 x diced medium onions
  • 1 x 400g can of tomatoes w/ juice
  • 2 x cloves minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 x beef stock cube
  • 2 tbsp Keen’s Curry Powder
  • 150 g spinach
  • 2/3 cup plain yoghurt
  • 250g peas
Directions:
  1. Spray slow cooker bowl with cooking spray
  2. Add sweet potatoes, meat, onions, tomatoes and juice, garlic, water, beef stock cube, and curry powder to the bowl and stir it all together
  3. Cook on low temperature for 7-hours
  4. Add the spinach and yoghurt to the slow cooker bowl and stir through
  5. Cook for another 25-minutes
  6. Add the peas to the bowl and stir through
  7. Cook for a further 5-minutes

Serve curry over steamed rice.

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Creamy Chicken and Tomato Pasta

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Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g chicken breast cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • pepper
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 250g spiral pasta
Directions:
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Heat oil and sauté onion until tender, salt and pepper chicken pieces and add to the pan along with the garlic, cook until cooked through.
  3. Add can of diced tomatoes, including juice, to the onion and chicken an heat until bubbling. Add butter, milk, and cheese to the pan. After it has simmered for a while to reduce the sauce, add  the basil and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes.
  4. Add the cooked pasta to the chicken pan and stir to combine.
  5. Salt the dish just enough to bring out the flavour of the basil.
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Crispy Ginger Beef

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb flank steak or sirloin steak, sliced into narrow strips
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger, minced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Preparation:

  1. Place cornstarch in a large bowl.
  2. Add water gradually while whisking.
  3. Beat eggs into cornstarch mixture.
  4. Toss in beef and stir to coat.
  5. Pour 1 inch of oil into pan (I used a pot, it helps cut down on splashes), heat until boiling hot, but not smoking.
  6. Add a quarter of the beef to the oil.
  7. Separate with a fork and cook, stirring frequently, until crispy, Remove, drain on paper towel and set aside.
  8. Repeat until all the beef is cooked.
  9. Drain off all oil except for about 1 tablespoons and add carrots, onion, ginger, and garlic in that order.
  10. Stir fry briefly over high heat.
  11. Combine last 5 ingredients and add to vegetable mixture.
  12. Bring to a boil and then add beef.
  13. Heat through and serve immediately.

Source: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/CRISPY-GINGER-BEEF-50004915

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Pan Fried Elk Recipe

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We were blessed with a bunch of cuts of elk from a friend at church. As I haven’t cooked much game meat before I have been a bit apprehensive to cook it, even though every time I have tried it has turned out pretty well.

Tonight I decided to have a go at making Country-Fried Elk steak for dinner. I followed this recipe and it came out fantastic!

I also did some roast mini-potato, steamed vegetable and some gravy that I made from the drippings. The recipe I linked to called for “milk gravy”, but I just made my usual meet gravy and it came out a treat.

Next time I get some elk stakes I am definitely doing this one again …

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Classic Beer Aussie Damper Recipe

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I’ve written a few other recipes for damper (here and here). My last one was from the Aussie Griller web site, and this one is too …

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups plain white flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 60g melted butter
  • 1/2 bottle of beer
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F)
  2. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl
  3. Kneed the dough to form a ball for about 4 – 5 minutes until the dough is smooth.
  4. Flatten the dough ball, brush on a bit of milk and dust it.
  5. Place in on a floured baking tray.
  6. Place it in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes.
This looks like another one that I’m going to enjoy trying out …

Classic Beer Damper Recipe

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Cheese, Bacon and Chives Damper Recipe

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Previously I have written up the damper recipe that I usually use. I’ve experimented a bit with that base recipe by adding different herbs to it, but this cheese, bacon and chives damper recipe by the Aussie Griller looks delicious.

Here is how to make it:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups plain white flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 60g melted butter
  • 200ml milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Handful diced bacon
  • Handful shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbs chopped chives

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F)
  2. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl
  3. Kneed the dough to form a ball for about 5 – 8 minutes until it’s nice and firm
  4. Flatten the dough ball, brush on a bit of milk and dust it.
  5. Place in on a floured baking tray.
  6. Place it in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

Cheese, Bacon and Chives Damper Recipe

I can’t wait to try this one and I have subscribed to the Aussie Griller YouTube channel as well so that I can try out more of their great recipes.

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Baked Ground Beef Wellington

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Jamie Oliver - Jamie's Food RevolutionI recently borrowed another cook book from our local public library, which I reckon is the best place to check out new cook books. The book I borrowed was Jamie’s Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals and had some pretty good recipes in it. The version of the book that I borrowed was the international version titled “Jamie’s Ministry of Food – Anyone Can Learn to Cook in 24-Hours“.

So far the favourite recipe that I tried was the Baked Minced Beef Wellington. It was surprising easy to make, and tasted great! Everyone in the family wants me to make it again…

Whole Baked Ground Beef Wellington

I found a recipe online that was very similar to Jamie Oliver’s recipe. Like I said, I am definitely making this one again.

Sliced Baked Ground Beef Wellington

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