Nagging Question rss

Are There Health Benefits to Flavored Yogurt?

No, according to nutrition expert Marion Nestle, author of What to Eat. There could be some health benefits to yogurt’s friendly bacteria (Lactobacillus acidophilus), which may replace some of the bad bacteria in your body. But research shows that there is a lack of scientific evidence to completely support this claim, so it’s more of an idea than a fact. Sort of like my “idea” that I can eat a donut for breakfast every day, when the fact is that at some point my jeans won’t fit. READ MORE

Potato Salad: How Long Can It Stay at Room Temp?

A lot of us already know that, on its own, commercial mayonnaise poses no threat of food poisoning when kept at room temperature (although it may get a funky flavor you probably want to avoid). But when mayo, a perfectly good kid in his own right, starts hanging out with troublemakers (cross-contaminated or low-acid foods), the likelihood that he will toilet-paper your house (cause food poisoning) is pretty high. READ MORE

Will Raw Milk Make You Sick?

Like your vision after a few Long Island Iced Teas, the answer to that question is blurred. READ MORE

Can You Make Ice Cream Without Eggs?

You sure can—unless you’re set on making a high-fat, superrich ice cream, the kind available in most high-end scoop shops. Otherwise there are plenty of other homemade ice cream styles, ones that don’t call for tons of yolks. Some Italian gelato recipes, for instance, rely on cornstarch for thickening. Philadelphia-style ice creams use just milk, cream, and sugar, with no cooking involved—infinitely easier to make than a French-style ice cream, which calls for tempering eggs and cooking the custard base on the stovetop. READ MORE

Do You Need to Use Cake Flour for Making Cakes?

People come down on both sides of this debate. There are pastry chefs who swear that cake flour is the only road to tenderness, while others happily use all-purpose (with one crucial addition) for cakes. READ MORE

Do Microwaves Kill the Nutrients in Food?

Microwaves have gotten a bad rap for being unhealthy, zapping the vitamins and other nutrients out of food, and leaching bad stuff out of plastic and into your lasagna, but is that reputation deserved? The answer is, well—complicated. READ MORE

Do You Really Need to Refrigerate That?

From eggs to ketchup to pickles, a lot of stuff in our shopping bags bears that well-known phrase "Refrigerate after opening." But as our fridges become overstuffed, it’s only fair to ask: Do all these things really need to live in cold storage? If you’ve ever visited friends in another country and seen how many of their foods sit out at room temperature, you might legitimately wonder if Americans are refrigerator crazy. READ MORE

Can You Freeze Cheese Without Killing It?

Cheese is arguably the most diverse and expressive of all the preserved foods humans have devised. Food historians agree that cheese was created from a need to preserve milk for survival—it’s made by coagulating, compressing, and (often, but not always) ripening milk curds that have separated from the thin liquid known as whey. Food scientist Paul Kindstedt of the University of Vermont says the reason the world has over 1,400 cheeses today is because different cheesemaking locales presented different hurdles to overcome, and thus, produced different adaptations that have yielded today’s great cheeses. But with the rise of modern preservation methods like freezing, many wonder if it’s possible to store cheese itself at subfreezing temperatures for even longer keeping. Cheesemongers and artisan cheesemakers seem to be unanimous on this: heck no. And why, many ask, would you even want to in the first place? READ MORE

Can You Cook with Sprouted Garlic?

As a species, we’ve been handling garlic for more than 7,000 years: Ancient Egyptians left it as an offering in tombs, Indians hung it from doors to ward off evil spirits, and as late as last century, during both World Wars, it was used to prevent gangrene. But even after working with Allium sativum for many centuries, one misconception still remains—that garlic with green sprouts at the center of the cloves is unsafe. READ MORE

Is It OK to Store Bread in the Fridge?

It happens all the time: You buy a loaf of sliced bread, set it on your counter or in the cupboard, and after a several days it’s stale and starting to mold. It’s a problem older than the commercial bread-slicing machine itself, whose inventor in 1928, Otto Rohwedder, used hat pins to keep the slices pushed together so they’d stay fresh longer, but probably required a lot of Band-Aids. READ MORE