Friday, November 10, 2017

Vegan Coffee Creamer Ideas You Can’t Live Without

Got coffee addiction?

coofEven for those of us who chose not to consume dairy products, there’s nothing that can compare to starting the day with a caramel-brown cup of coffee that’s sweetened with the perfect amount of creamer.

I’m a bear in the morning before I’ve had my first dose of caffeine, and adopting a vegan diet didn’t change that for me. I spent a lot of time looking for the perfect vegan coffee creamer when I made the lifestyle switch, but all the options I found on store shelves seemed to be lacking.

The good news? Making homemade vegan coffee creamer is simpler, cheaper, and more delicious than you’d ever expect.

Best of all, you get to control exactly what winds up in every batch, ensuring you can keep those questionable artificial ingredients far away from your body.

And for the culinary creative, there are so many ways to tweak each recipe that you can make your creamer taste exactly how you prefer it.

Once you start making your vegan creamer, you’ll never want to go back to premade versions, so check out my personal recipe suggestions to get started!

Steps for Making Your Own Vegan Creamer

Making homemade vegan creamer is so easy that I hardly follow a recipe. Instead, I tweak each batch depending on my personal preferences for the milk, sweetening agent and flavoring I’m feeling that day. It’s that easy!

1. Choose Your Milk

Milk is the foundational ingredient for any creamer, and vegan varieties are no exception. Below are some of the types of ‘milk’ that make for great creamers, and the positives of each one.

Condensed Coconut Milk: Sweet, thick, and oh-so-creamy, this creamer base can be a little overwhelming for anyone that isn’t partial to coconut flavoring. Personally, I can’t get enough of it!
Almond Milk: Thinner in consistency than coconut milk, almond milk is also milder in flavor and less sweet. Sometimes I mix it with dried dates to enhance the flavor.
Cashew Milk: Creamy and easy to make, cashew milk tastes the most like nonvegan creamer to me.
Coconut Milk Powder: For an instant coffee creamer that doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge, coconut milk powder can’t be beat! Just keep in mind that it tends to be high in fat.

2. Choose Your Sweetener

While it’s technically possible to enjoy coffee without sugar, I don’t understand why anyone would do that to themselves. Vegans aren’t all that limited by the kinds of sweeteners they can use, (though most stay away from honey), but I prefer the following options.

Maple Sugar/Syrup: This thin syrup adds a subtle level of sweetness to any creamer recipe, and it’s especially appropriate for the fall and winter months.

Unsweetened Cocoa: if you don’t want to add unnecessary calories to your coffee, this natural chocolate ingredient adds a hint of flavor without added sugar.

Stevia: This plant is 20 times sweeter than table sugar but without the calories, meaning it’s an ideal for adding a subtle sweetness to any vegan creamer.

Table Sugar: Why mess with what works? If you enjoy table sugar, feel free to add a few tablespoons to your creamer recipe to enhance the flavor.

3. Choose your Flavoring

And now for my favorite part- finding ways to make my vegan creamer different than everything in the grocery store! I love to experiment with various flavor combinations, and I invite you to unleash your creativity for this step.

Feel free to store your creamer in separate tiny bottles so that you can create a collection of flavors that reflect your different cravings throughout the week.

Some of my favorite creamer flavor ideas include the following:

French Vanilla: Whether you chose to go back to the source with a vanilla bean itself or merely use a few teaspoons of vanilla extract, it’s hard to go wrong with this classic creamer flavor.

Chocolate Almond: A scoop or two of cocoa powder with a teaspoon of almond extract makes for a satisfying creamer recipe.

Strudel: Craving baked goods? Try adding a dash each of cinnamon, vanilla, and almond extract to your creamer to get you up in the morning without turning to cinnamon rolls.

Irish Crème: I love how much this creamer recipe tastes like a warm hug, and it’s one of my go-to flavors for chilly mornings. To make it, mix two tablespoons of chocolate syrup with a pinch of instant coffee, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Yummmmm!

4. Mix Together and Enjoy

Now, I’m going to share with you how I make my creamer and use it every morning! You can premix your ingredients ahead of time, or make them fresh for every cup. For one cup of coffee, my general rule of thumb is to add 2 to 4tbsp of milk, 1 to 2tbsp of chosen sweetener, and flavoring to taste.

Of, course, this recipe can change depending on the mix I’m going with, but that’s the beauty of it; you can mix and match to find what you like. Yummy and healthy, just the way I like it.

Once assembled, your homemade vegan coffee creamer should last for several weeks in the fridge. Most likely, though, it will be gone long before then, and you’ll be making a new batch sooner than you expect.

Trust me, that’s a good thing.

About the Author

Ashley Woodward is a nutritionist, fitness buff and the founder of Her goal is to help as many people as possible learn about the benefits of eating vegan, and to share her passion with other people who also have a love for cooking and trying new recipes. And if there’s something you want to see or ask, don’t hesitate to reach out, she’ll be happy to help!

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

How Sleep Affects Your Day to Day Activities

Even today, scientists and doctors still debate about why we actually sleep. Over the years and through many scientific studies and experiments we have learned quite a lot about sleep and how it affects us. One very interesting fact is that the average human-being sleeps a full twenty-four years of their entire life, so it must be important. This sounds like a large percentage of our lives but there are very significant negative effects of not getting enough sleep, as well as for getting too much sleep. So whether you are young or old sleep is critical for all of us. Bed barriers for adults who need a little extra help getting out of bed in the morning are very helpful, while for people that are younger a loud alarm clock will do the trick. Sleep can profoundly affect your psyche. It can also boost or impair your daily activities on a day to day basis. Most people can control how much sleep they get by setting alarms and keeping to a schedule and routine but there are disorders such as insomnia which can require medical attention.

How Much Sleep Do We Need?

The average human adult requires seven to eight hours of sleep each day or seven to eight hours per twenty-four hour time window. Regardless of whether a person’s schedule has them sleeping during the night or during the day, they still need seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. Getting less sleep than that will have negative consequences on you physically and mentally the next day. If a person consistently gets six hours or less each night over a long period of time the consequences increase exponentially. After just two weeks of six hours or less of sleep per night a person’s brain is effectively functioning the same as a person whose blood alcohol level is 0.1 percent and their emotional capacity is greatly diminished. As time continues, if a person continuously gets less than seven hours of sleep per night over a long period of time such as a year or more, they are very likely to have an increased chance of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Getting too little sleep will also cause problems mentally, it will cause increased irritability, difficulty learning and retaining information, and it will diminish a person’s ability to recall memories. They will also have an increased chance of early or premature mortality by about twelve percent.

Is There Such Thing as Too Much Sleep?

On the other side of the coin, people that sleep more than eight hours each night or twenty-four hour time period also face serious negative consequences. Similar to the people who sleep six hour or less each night, people who regularly sleep eight hours or more each night are also at an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. However, unlike those who sleep less than six hours nightly, people that sleep at least eight hours or more per night appear not to have their day to day activities impaired or suffer from any emotional or mental impairment. One last major difference between those who sleep less than six hours regularly and people that sleep more than eight hours consistently is that people who sleep more than eight hours nightly have a thirty percent increase chance of premature death.

Now that we have looked at the consequences for getting too little sleep and for getting too much sleep it is clear that the average adult needs seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Getting too little sleep can have serious negative consequences, while getting too much sleep can also have equally negative consequences. For human adults to function without any cognitive, physical, or emotional impairment we all need to try to get between seven and eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. This will help to avoid any increased chance of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, or premature mortality caused by too much sleep or lack of sleep. Even though the debate about why humans sleep and what exactly happens while we sleep continues, we know enough about the consequences of sleeping too much or not enough to understand the getting the right amount of sleep is essential for us to live productive and happy lives.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Create a Modern Kitchen with Midcentury Design

We all know that kitchens are the place where you spend a lot of time cooking but also where we spend time gathering with loved ones, both family, and friends.
While you could opt for many of the various kitchen designs, there is an increasing trend towards the classic mid-century aesthetic design. This popular choice and combines modernity with functionality – just what you would want from a kitchen that is timeless and works in today’s world.

If you are looking to have a mid-century kitchen design, you need to start off by focusing on the detailing of the kitchen – everything from the wall color to the flooring makes a difference.
We will look at some of the top design factors that can help you make the ideal modern kitchen with a mid-century design.

How Do You Create a Modern Kitchen with Mid-century Design Aesthetic?

Do research online to see which components of this style era that you like, and what you want to avoid. There is a vast range of ideas that will come up when you do a search, so you may want to narrow it down to specific years. Consider the big picture as well, such as will it blend with the rest of your house? Ensure that if you can see this room from other rooms, you have a flow in mind. If your dining room is French provincial, how will you transition between two very distinctive looks? It can work, but you should be mindful of this when coming up with the look that you are going for.

1. Wall Design

The walls should be done in a solid color that is preferably a neutral tone. Bright colors may be used of course, but they should common to that era, perhaps an olive green or turquoise blue. No muted tones here. Tile can be used on walls or as feature points as well and may feature a graphic design or shape. Nothing intricate, the lines are clean and usually one color.

2. Flooring

Laminate flooring options can give your kitchen floor a gorgeous look and feel that will not break the bank as other wood choices may do.
It looks great and will last a long time, and provides a look that will carry over for both time and design longevity. For example, if you modify your design aesthetic, a wood laminate will work with just about any type of look.

3. Cabinet Design

Solid wood with minimal additional design factors works best to translate from one era to the next. You may want to redesign your kitchen cabinets to get that mid-century design feel by refinishing the existing ones with a coat of paint or refinishing the wood surface. Choose flat faced cupboard doors with minimal designs and hardware. You can also omit hardware altogether if you find a design of cabinet to accommodate that. Consider your choices for streamlined looks that include pantry systems, and soft close drawers – that combine both form and function. You could have pullout bin organizers too, which will provide you with easier cooking and entertaining options.
Open shelving in corners provides a display area for knick-knacks or crockery from this era to give you a fun way to give the nod to the era of inspiration for your design. A small piece of pottery or vase will work, and adding additional touches like Fiesta Ware is one brand that comes to mind.

4. Lighting

Pendants with opaque white glass and sputnik style chandeliers are an excellent choice in lighting for your midcentury kitchen design. If you are doing a new install, opt to have a dimmer switch in your outlets and choose a light that works with that type of light. If you opt for something like the sputnik design, a simpler pendant would be good for over sinks or bar areas, since you would not want to install two strong design elements that could be too much.

You can do a lot with your kitchen and make it mid-century ready. However, it is important not to make choices that make you feel like you are on a movie set. You do not have to have every design element incorporated into this one room. You can pick and choose what components you like and want to make your own. You want to have a solid blend of midcentury authentic, with midcentury modern.

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

DIY Kitchen Ideas

Whether you’re a professional woodworker or just a hobbyist, kitchen remodeling projects are a great way to put those skills to use. There are a variety of kitchen surfaces that can be improved or updated, and having the means to do it on your own can provide you with inexpensive options that allow creativity to flow freely. We’ll take you through some of our favorite ideas for kitchen projects and cover a variety of features in the process.

Projects for Your Kitchen Island

Whether you’re planning to update your kitchen island or install one from scratch, there are a ton of design plans that offer unique perspectives and are sure to make the island not just a center point of your kitchen but of discussions as well.

Farmhouse Island

We use the term “update” loosely in some cases because the farmhouse look is an aesthetic throwback to the yesteryear. Nevertheless, it can be a great addition to both older and newer kitchens alike.

Many fans of the farmhouse design cite space as a primary reason for choosing it. The features of the farmhouse island promote the idea of wider, more open spaces. This is helped by this island type typically having several long drawers and wide doors for extra storage. Although there are many plans available online for tweaking, most do-it-yourselfers seem to prefer an artificially distressed look to go with the aesthetic of an old, well-preserved rustic house.

The “Old Paint” Island

Another classic, this design gets its name from the similarities to painters’ worktables that you’d often find in old shops. Plans for this are typically smaller than for the farmhouse model above, but they often share a rustic, old-style sensibility as well as space-saving options. Users often like to add a few long drawers where they can, but the great advantage of the painter design is that it has great open space underneath the tabletop for storing various clutter and taller items.

Projects for Your Cabinets

Restored Barn-Wood Cabinetry

As the name implies, this DIY project is a perfect match for the farmhouse island above. Using reclaimed or restored wood–often called “up-cycled” wood after you’ve worked on it–in your home improvement projects has become very popular in recent years. Barn wood for your cabinets or even just cabinet doors is not only long-lasting and great-looking, it can often be a real bargain. Older wood that is no longer useful for a barn is often cast-off, and despite being sought after can often be had for next to nothing. Thus, in many cases aside from tools and a few other hardware supply costs, you can craft this design almost for free.

Pallet Cabinets

Another favorite of ours thanks to its inexpensive cost, cabinets constructed from wooden pallets provide some attractive options. These cabinets are also quite versatile, as they allow you to customize the look and texture of the wood with a variety of staining, smoothing or distressing options to enhance their uniqueness. As with most things wood, the pallet cabinets favor the rustic aesthetic too. They’re also economical, as you can buy in bulk and use them to craft many other woodworking projects for the home.

Getting Started With DIY Projects

For those who are new to the woodworking craft, it’s a good idea to remember some of our helpful tips. These will help you get started quicker, and possibly avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes during and after the building process.

Ask Questions

Thanks to the internet, even if you don’t have any woodworkers nearby in your community, you can still find the answers that you need. Various forums dedicated to the do-it-yourself lifestyle are full of knowledgeable people ready and willing to help. Woodworkers often say “measure twice, cut once,” and asking the right question will help you to measure what you need to do and avoid having to redo the work.

Invest in the Proper Tools

Most of the costs that are associated with remodeling projects come from the labor. Since we’re saving all of that money by doing this ourselves, we always recommend redirecting some of that cost into getting the right tools for the job, at a quality that will perform well and last a long time. Note that while you could use power tools, all of the projects we’ve listed here can be made using only manual tools. They require some time and practice to use correctly, but you can make all of your woodworking projects with a few tools. For beginners, we recommend:

These will give you a lot of basic options for woodworking projects, and you can expand as you learn. A workbench is recommended, but with these tools, you can build that on your own too!

Have a Plan

Writing or sketching out a rough plan for what you want is standard for many jobs. These designs are no different and deciding beforehand what you want will help you jumpstart the beginning of your project and avoid unpleasant surprises.

We’re overjoyed to bring you some of the best ideas in kitchen projects available today and some of our favorite tips on how to execute these ideas. Any woodworking project will benefit from the proper knowledge, tools, and planning. There are a plethora of wood options out there for your kitchen remodel, and we encourage everyone to try something different.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Complete Guide to Chocolate

We all love chocolate, how could you not?! Chocolates in all forms from chocolate bars, hot chocolate, chocolate sauce, chocolate milk, chocolate biscuits…there are just so many amazing things made with chocolate! However, not all of us know a great deal about this amazing thing that we eat so often. So, let’s get ready to learn a little bit about this amazing ingredient!

A Brief History of Chocolate

Chocolate itself comes from the cocoa tree that has been growing for over 3 million years. Records show that chocolate initially was used as a beverage around 1100BC in Mexico by the Aztecs and Maya. The cocoa beans were originally fermented and made into a type of alcoholic beverage. The Mayan’s were the first on record to serve cocoa warm mixed with chili peppers and corn meal- an original hot cocoa!

Cocoa beans were even as currency during the Aztec period and chocolate was considered to be a gift from the God’s. But something this good wouldn’t stay a secret for long and in the early 1600’s, the chocolate drink made its way to Spain and became extremely popular among royalty and the wealthy (the only people who could originally afford such a luxury item). From there, the evolution of chocolate continued to expand and when the industrial revolution came about, it became faster to roast and produce chocolate which made it far more affordable to everyday people.

Today, about three quarters of the worlds chocolate is produces in West Africa and cocoa is still, to this day, an amazingly popular and desired taste. Now that you know a little bit about how chocolate came to be, let’s look even more in depth into the world of cocoa!

Types of Chocolates

There are numerous types of chocolates found in the marketplace of today. Chocolate will vary based on many things from being produced from cheap cacao or being roasted from the highest quality specialty cacao beans. Its flavor and price may also vary with the kind of cacao has been used and the types and amount of additives that may have been added.
All chocolate is made by first fermenting and roasting cocoa beans. The shell is then removed and the cocoa nibs, the part remaining, is ground into a paste. The paste is then heated, this melted form is called chocolate liquor, and separated into cocoa solids and cocoa butter. These two parts of the chocolate are usually sold separately in mass production as the quantity of each will vary from brand to brand, and from type of chocolate to other type of chocolate.
Here are the most common types of chocolates:

White Chocolate

White Chocolate is made by combining cocoa butter with sugar, milk solids and flavorings like vanilla. When processing chocolate, the dark colored solids of the cocoa bean are separated from the fatty parts of the bean. This cocoa fat is then used to make white chocolate and as most of the cocoa solids have been removed, white chocolate has an off-white, beige color.
Due to the fact that most of the cocoa solids have been removed, white chocolate lacks the antioxidant properties of darker chocolates and many do not consider white chocolate to really be “chocolate”. However the subtle, creamy flavors of white chocolate are still quite appealing!

Milk Chocolate

Milk chocolate is simply made from cocoa solids, sugar and cocoa butter added to milk or milk powder. The U.S. government dictates that milk chocolate contains at least 10% pure cocoa solids while the European Union requires at least 25% cocoa solids. So Milk chocolate from a European country will be much darker than a milk chocolate bar from the United States. Milk chocolate is very common in candy bars as it has a less bitter taste than dark chocolate but is richer than white chocolate.

Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate is a sweetened chocolate that contains high amounts of cocoa solids and small amounts of milk. Unlike milk chocolate, there are no regulations for what percentage of cocoa solids need to be used in dark chocolate. Because of that, based on the ratio of cocoa solids and sugars used dark chocolate my either be sweet, semi-sweet, bittersweet or unsweetened. Dark chocolate is usually labeled with a percentage right on the package which will tell you how much cocoa is in each type. 60% cocoa would be pretty dark chocolate but get up to 90% cocoa and you are about to try a very dark and bitter chocolate bar!

Dark chocolate is great for baking or eating. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and has much less sugar than milk chocolate or white chocolate and is deemed the healthier chocolate. Dark chocolate was recently declared a “super food” and this title has cause global demand to rise. Go dark chocolate!!
Subsets of dark chocolate are as follows:

Sweet Dark Chocolate – Contains 35 to 45% cocoa solids and has added sugar

Semi-sweet Chocolate – Contains approximately 40 to 62% of cocoa solids and is commonly used in cakes, cookies and brownies. It is considered as dark baking chocolate that is readily available in grocery stores.

Bittersweet Chocolate – Contains 60 to 85% of cocoa solids and is low in sugar giving the chocolate a rich and intense bittersweet flavor. Bittersweet chocolates are commonly used in baking and cooking.

Unsweetened Chocolate – Contains 100% of cocoa solids and half of it is fat. It is not suitable for eating because of its bitter taste. It is frequently used in baking.

How to Store Chocolates

Ideally chocolates should be stored away from other foods since they absorbs odors and aromas of other products. You don’t want your chocolate to taste like garlic, that’s for sure! Try to store chocolates in a cool, dry place at a consistent temperature of below 21 degrees C and a humidity of less than 55%. Sealing chocolate in an air-tight container is very helpful in keeping them fresh and flavorful and keeping chocolate away from light will also help preserve the flavor. Oxygen and artificial lights can cause unpleasant flavors and odors to chocolates.

Chocolate typically doesn’t contain additives and preservatives which is why they are better eaten fresh. If you have a significant supply of chocolates and you want to preserve them for an extended period of time you can refrigerate them to increase the shelf life. Furthermore, you can store chocolate for 6 to 12 months in the freezer. Before freezing chocolates, wrap them tightly to protect from odors and condensation. But always consume your chocolate at room temperature as that is the best for tasting the true essence of chocolate!

Cooking with Chocolate

Cooking with chocolate or making chocolate truffles themselves can sometimes be really tricky but it’s worth the effort to perfect the process. As we all know, chocolate desserts are the best desserts! Here are some tips for cooking with chocolate.

Add Shortening to Chocolate

baking with chocolateWhen making chocolate truffles or candies, adding shortening to the melted chocolate can help create a smoother and manageable consistency as compare to melted chocolate only. With this trick, it is much easier to evenly coat a product that you are dipping in the melted chocolate. Using the ratio of ½ teaspoon of shortening to each 25 grams of chocolate will result in a beautiful consistency.

How to Melt Chocolate

Always melt your chocolate slowly over a low heat. Chocolates typically melts at 30 – 32 degrees C. Don’t over melt chocolate because it will become grainy and too thick. Chocolate can burn quickly and become very bitter if melted quickly over high heat. Be gentle to your chocolate!

Chocolate for Baking

Baking chocolates are typically the unsweetened and bitter kind of chocolate that contains about 50% to 58% of cocoa butter. Baking chocolates are usually used in making brownies, cakes and frostings. You may need extra sugar (which is usually in baked goods anyway!) to make your chocolate taste delectable rather than overly bitter.

That’s Chocolate!

So now you know a little bit more about the detailed world of chocolate. Did you also know that every second, American’s collectively consume 100 pounds of chocolate? So join the crowd and go grab yourself a delicious chocolate bar!

Chef Jason Galletti’s passion for exceptional and unique catering experiences inspired him to bring together G`Day Chef to life in 2005. For over ten years now, Jason and his team has provided Melbourne with catering and event services that use the very best Victorian Produce, delivered with consideration of the newest and most delicious culinary trends.

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Crafting The Perfect Juice (Using a Juicer OR Blender)

home juicing

Today I want to talk about juicing. When people ask me about healthy cooking and how to incorporate more nutrients into their diet, juicing (either with an Omega Juicer or Vitamix Blender) is one of the things I always suggest first.

Think about it. With just a few ingredients and in no time at all you’re getting all the great nutrients, all the great vitamins, and all the wonderful taste of the garden in a drink. So let me go over you what I do and how I build out a great juice.

The Components of the Perfect Juice

I always like to start with a base. For this I use either celery or cucumber, but it’s up to you. You simply want a watery vegetable. So that’s the first ingredient I’m always going to put in my juicer.

After the base I’m going to go to the meat of the juice, which I like to call the bulk. For this I typically use dark leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale. That’s the meaty base I’m going to put in with the other part of the vegetables and makes for a great start.

After the base, I personally like to finish it off with fruits or vegetables that contain a lot to flavor like carrots or apples. So typical I’ll add some apples, some carrots, or strawberries to my juice, which makes it taste awesome and is a good way to finish it off.

To make your juices last longer, my secret tip is to add some kind of citrus. My favorite fruit for this is grapefruit, but any citrus will work.

Juicer and Blender Tips

One thing you want to look for in a juicer is something that isn’t loud, and something that’s easy to clean. A lot of people will make the mistake of buying a juicer, finding out it’s too loud, and never using it. So do your research beforehand, and make sure that you don’t fall into that group! Blenders can work also work well for this, but they do tend to be much louder.

In our house, we like a good Omega masticating juicer, because they are super simple to put together, very simple to clean, and very quiet.

Fresh Juice Vs. Store Bought

A lot of people ask how making your own juice at home is different than buying a ready-made juice from the store that comes already bottled. The main difference is that you need to use a lot less fruit when you couple it with other vegetables. This means less sugar and more nutrients coming from other sources, as opposed to just straight juice.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Kitchen Experiment: How Wild Salmon Differs From Farmed Salmon and the Best Way to Cook It

wild caught salmon compared to farmed salmon

Most home cooks pay close attention to internal temperature when cooking a steak, where know just five degrees means the difference between rare, and medium rare. But few people pay that much attention when dealing with fish, which is really too bad, because even fatty fish like Salmon, can go from tender and moist to chalky, and dry in a flash.

The Experiment

wild vs farmed salmon comparedIn our kitchen, we used an instant read, digital thermometer to tell when Salmon is done. And we’ve always preferred it cooked to 125 degrees, that the ideal balance of firm, yet silky flesh.

The majority of salmon we cook is farmed atlantic, but as we’ve cooked more wild species, we started to wonder if 125 was maybe a bit too high. To find out, we bought multiple filets of the foremost common species of wild pacific salmon. King, also known as Chinook, Sockeye, Coho, and Chum. We cooked samples of each to both 120 degrees, and 125 degrees sou vide, or sealed in a plastic bag, and cooked in a temperature controlled water bath. We also did the same for samples of farmed atlantic salmon.

We then asked tasters, blind to the differences in internal temperature, to pick which sample had the best texture. Everyone preferred the Coho, Sockeye, and Chum samples cooked to 120 degrees. And the farmed atlantic, cooked to 125. While a few folks preferred the King sample at 125 degrees, the majority preferred 120. These results may sound surprising. After all, salmon is salmon right? Well, not exactly.


salmon filletsIt turns out that farmed atlantic salmon differs in two important ways, from the half dozen commercial wild varieties caught in the Pacific ocean. One, due to their sedentary life, the collagen protein in farmed atlantic salmon contains less chemical cross links, than in wild varieties, which translates into softer flesh. And two, farmed atlantic salmon contains more fat than any wild variety, and up to four times as much fat, as the leaner species. We know that fat provides the perception of juiciness when cooked.

So, with naturally firmer flesh, and less fat to provide lubrication, wild salmon can have the texture of overcooked fish, even at 125 degrees. By cooking wild salmon to just 120 degrees, the muscle fibers contract less, and stay moist and tender.

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