More and more manufacturers are enriching foods with additives, such as vitamins or lactic acid bacteria. Such yogurts, drinks or snacks should be healthy. Is that correct? Or do they even harm? Probiotic yogurt, margarine with healthy fatty acids , drinks with additional minerals : more and more products of this type can be found in supermarkets today. The most common additives are lactic acid bacteria, plant sterols, omega-3 fatty acids and folic acid. Such foods are called functional food by experts because they promise additional benefits. You should be healthy. Consumers should take a critical look at this promise. Only a few manufacturers can prove the added health value with scientific studies. It is also questionable whether anyone needs these added substances at all. Functional foods, nutritionists warn, seem to be more of a clever advertising strategy in order to be able to sell the fortified foods more expensively. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) emphasizes: Functional foods cannot compensate for nutritional errors. They should therefore only be used in addition to a varied diet with regular fruit, vegetables and whole grain cereal products. Lactic acid bacteria Yogurts, cream cheese or sourdough bread can be enriched with live lactic acid bacteria. Manufacturers advertise that these foods strengthen the immune system, regulate digestion , maintain the intestinal flora and protect against diseases. That is why such probiotics are healthy. Studies have shown some of the health effects of these foods, while other effects have only been investigated by scientists in model and animal experiments. One thing is certain: lactic acid bacteria contribute to maintaining a healthy intestinal flora. They are resistant to the aggressive digestive juices of the stomach, to a large extent they reach the intestine alive and ensure a good climate there. They promote the growth of useful intestinal bacteria and displace the less good ones. After antibiotic therapy, they help to rebuild the normal intestinal flora. The same applies after suffering from diarrhea. However , studies have not yet been able to prove whether probiotics can prevent cancer and allergies , as manufacturers occasionally claim. Healthy bacteria in normal curd too Lactic acid bacteria only settle in the intestine for a few days. If the microorganisms are to help digestion over the long term, you have to keep buying probiotic foods. Live lactic acid bacteria, which are contained in normal yoghurt, curdled milk or buttermilk, work just as effectively – provided the milk products have not been heat-treated. Because heat kills the living microorganisms. The DGE therefore recommends consuming low-fat, acidified milk products every day. By the way, lactic acid bacteria also live in fresh sauerkraut. Extra food for the helpful microorganisms Often producers enrich their drinks and desserts with indigestible carbohydrates , for example with inulin or with oligofructose. They enter the large intestine unchanged. There they serve as food for the lactic acid bacteria, as a result these bacteria multiply well. Such additives are called prebiotics: they achieve the same goal as probiotics, but in an indirect way. Because the body can only tolerate a limited amount of indigestible carbohydrates, caution is advised with prebiotic foods: If the body is given too much inulin, diarrhea is at risk. Plant sterols In the EU there are margarines, salad dressings and dairy products that are fortified with plant sterols. These so-called phytosterols have a similar structure to cholesterol and are supposed to prevent too much dangerous LDL cholesterol in the blood. How do they do that? Researchers believe that when you eat phytosterols, less food cholesterol is absorbed from the intestines. Many studies show: Plant sterols actually help to lower cholesterol levels. Few people do not respond to them at all. A question of the dose But be careful: the benefits of phytosterol-containing foods are controversial. Because even if they can help lower cholesterol, there is no study that shows that consuming them helps prevent heart attacks. What’s more, some people with a genetic disorder ingest high amounts of these phytosterols through the intestines, so that they get into the bloodstream – which normally rarely happens. The concentration of these sterols in their blood is then particularly high, which could be associated with an increased risk of heart attack. Overall it can be said that the data situation is very unclear. Therefore, a phytosterol-containing margarine is only suitable, if at all, for people who already have a slightly elevated cholesterol level. Under no circumstances should they be eaten preventively. Do not use several products at the same time It shouldn’t be more than three grams of phytosterols per day anyway. Nutritionists recommend a maximum of 1.6 to two grams per day, which corresponds to around 20 grams of a phytosterol-containing margarine. And those who already use this margarine should avoid other phytosterol-containing foods, such as milk or yoghurt. People taking cholesterol-lowering medication should ask their doctor whether they should be getting any extra plant sterols from their diet at all. Incidentally, an appropriately fortified margarine does not replace a healthy, low-cholesterol diet with a few saturated fatty acids and lots of fruit, vegetables, whole grain products and vegetable oils. Those affected should not do without it under any circumstances, not even if they are taking medication. Omega-3 fatty acids Numerous scientific studies prove: Natural omega-3 fatty acids have a positive effect on health. They help to reduce high triglyceride levels or high blood pressure and can prevent arteriosclerosis, including those of the coronary arteries. Many food manufacturers therefore enrich products with omega-3 fatty acids, for example bread, eggs, margarine or soft drinks. It has been scientifically proven: Omega-3 fatty acids work when they are taken as capsules or when they are in the hen’s egg. They occur naturally in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel or herring or in some vegetable oils, especially rapeseed oil. Walnuts are also a good source. To increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids, the DGE therefore recommends eating high-fat fish regularly, about once or twice a week, and also using vegetable oils, especially rapeseed oil. Folic acid Folate – that’s the name of the natural form of the vitamin, folic acid is the name of the synthetic form – is a class B vitamin . It is said to protect against cardiovascular diseases. However, this has not yet been clearly scientifically proven. Folate is found in abundance in many foods, for example in oranges and orange juice, in grapes, tomatoes, green vegetables, whole grain products or in meat, including in liver, as well as in dairy products and eggs. Nevertheless, the DGE regards it as a so-called critical nutrient: Many people of all ages consume too little folate. A folate deficiency is rarely seen, however. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment recommends women who want to have children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, to take a preparation with folic acid. This can prevent deformities in newborns, such as an open back, or a miscarriage. Some table salts are fortified with folic acid. Some scientists are calling for flour to be fortified with the B vitamin , as is done in the USA or Switzerland. Other scientists are critical of this. Whether folic acid is harmful has not been researched It is not clear whether the additional intake of folic acid increases the number of twin births. It is also unclear whether folic acid taken in addition promotes the growth of cancer precursors, for example in the colon. Studies show that high doses of folic acid can mask a deficiency in vitamin B12 . The problem particularly affects older people who cannot easily absorb vitamin B12 from food. Functional drinks Anyone who buys drinks that are fortified with the vitamin combination ACE – provitamin A and vitamins C and E – should be critical. The added amounts of vitamins often exceed the daily dose recommended by nutritionists several times over. The excess of vitamins C and E is not a cause for concern. It becomes problematic with provitamin A , beta-carotene. Because artificial beta-carotene is suspected of promoting bone fractures and increasing the risk of lung cancer in smokers. Some studies confirm this connection, others could not prove it. Energy drinks have dubious benefits The demand for energy drinks is great. The advertised stimulating effect of the drinks is questionable. The caffeine content often corresponds to that of a cup of coffee and the other invigorating ingredients are substances that the body also produces, such as taurine. The benefits and risks of energy drinks have not yet been researched in scientific studies. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment warns of possible dangers. For those who drink alcohol in addition to the energy drinks, the mixture can be health-critical: Coffee and alcohol mutually reinforce their effects. Guarana drinks contain a lot of caffeine, plus theobromine from cocoa beans and theophylline, obtained from the leaves of the tea bush – all substances have a stimulating effect. When children drink guarana, they can become temporarily cranky and nervous, perhaps even anxious.
Correct storage is essential Whether for breakfast, in the office or at dinner: a life without bread – whether savory or sweet topped – is unthinkable for many people. It is not for nothing that the Germans are considered bread champions. In no other country in the world are there so many different types of bread as in Germany – namely around 300. For most of them, nothing beats fragrant, preferably still warm bread. It’s just a shame that the bread is often dry or even hard the next day. But with the right storage, your bread will stay moist and fresh longer. Tip 1: Store your bread in the bread bin Bread is mostly sold in paper bags or plastic bags. Even if it will last a few days, it is best to remove the packaging. Instead, store your bread in a bread box, for example one made of steel * 🛒. It is important that this is not hermetically sealed. This allows the air to circulate better, which means that the bread neither gets too moist nor hardens too quickly. Clay bread pots have the advantage that they absorb water and transport it outside, but also return it to the bread if necessary. Wooden bread boxes have an antibacterial effect due to the tannic acid contained in the wood. In wooden bread boxes, however, the bread should be wrapped in a paper bag. This improves air circulation. Important: clean the bread bin regularly. To do this, remove the crumbs and wash the bread box with vinegar at least once a week. This ensures that mold does not form. Tip 2: keep your bread at room temperature Many think that bread stays fresh the longest in the refrigerator. But that is a fallacy. Bread loses moisture particularly quickly in the refrigerator, which means it hardens more quickly and also loses its taste. In fact, the bread keeps best at room temperature – i.e. at 18 to 22 degrees. You should only store bread in the refrigerator when it is warm and humid outside. This climate favors the mold of the bread. If you store it in a bread box, make sure that it is not in the immediate vicinity of the coffee maker, stove or microwave. These give off heat, which – just like cold – can also damage the bread. Tip 3: Always store bread on the cut surface If you want to prevent your bread from drying out quickly, you should always place it on the cut surface in the bread box or clay pot. In this way, the moisture cannot escape as quickly through the cut surface. Tip 4: The darker the bread, the longer it will keep Basically, the darker the flour used, the longer the bread will last. This is indicated, among other things, by the initiative “Too good for the bin” of the Federal Ministry of Consumers. While white bread only lasts around three to four days due to its high wheat content, whole grain bread stays fresh for up to four, sourdough bread even for up to seven days. So if you want your bread to last for several days, you should use wholemeal or sourdough bread made from rye or whole grain meal. Tip 5: It’s best to freeze leftovers Single households in particular will be familiar with the problem: The quantities in which bread is sold are often too large. If you want to keep the excess bread from getting old, you can freeze it right after you buy it. You can either freeze the bread in one piece or in slices. So you can simply thaw and consume it in portions if necessary. Tip 6: don’t throw away old bread! If stale bread that has become dry does accumulate, don’t throw it away. A trick to get light bread and white flour rolls crispy again: Brush the crust with a little water and bake it for about ten minutes. You can use really old bread and rolls, for example, to make croutons for salads or soups. Dry rolls are also ideal for making bread dumplings. However, if mold has already formed, you should definitely throw the bread away. In this case it is not enough to cut away the moldy part. This is because the mold spores can already have penetrated the entire bread before they become visible as mold.
Superfood expert reveals her favorite recipes The days in the home office – whether with or without children – often pose the challenge of still eating healthily. You quickly reach for frozen pizza or fish fingers when it has to be done quickly. But there is another way! Probably no one knows this better than the mother of five, Liane Peters-May, who, in addition to family and household, also runs a deli in Geldern in the Lower Rhine region, which has made one thing its mission: to make life a little nicer for guests – tastier, healthier, fresher and lighter. She and her business partner also closed their shop during the Corona crisis and, like many other restaurateurs, hope to be able to reopen soon . Liane gave us five simple and quick recipes that will get you and your family over lunchtime and taste delicious too! Spinach curry Ingredients for two servings: 1 can of chickpeas 200g baby spinach 1 zucchini 1 small onion 2 cloves of garlic 1 red chilli pepper 1 piece of ginger (1cm) 1 tbsp curry powder 2 tbsp coconut oil 60g red or yellow lentils 200g coconut milk 100-200ml water salt, freshly ground pepper Rinse the lentils in a sieve, drain the chickpeas into the sieve, rinse and let drain. Chop the onion, garlic, chilli pepper and ginger into small pieces. Cut the zucchini into slices. Heat coconut oil, roast the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger in it for five minutes until it is fragrant. Add the lentils, zucchini and chickpeas, deglaze with the coconut milk and simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve in bowls with the baby spinach. If complex carbohydrates are desired, whole grain rice, couscous or colorful quinoa can be served with it. Ingredients for two servings: 3 zucchini salt and freshly ground pepper 1 stick of leek 3 eggs 1 tbsp olive oil 150g feta cheese 3 tbsp dill 60g potato starch 1 teaspoon baking powder oil for frying 200g Greek yogurt 1 clove of garlic 1 teaspoon lemon juice Salt & pepper Preheat the oven to 120 degrees. Chop the dill, finely chop the leek, grate the zucchini and mix with ½ teaspoon salt. Drain in a sieve for about ten minutes. Then squeeze it out again vigorously. Mix the zucchini with the eggs and leek. Crumble in the feta, add the dill and season with salt and pepper. Add the potato starch and baking powder and mix well. Heat the oil in a pan and add a tablespoon of zucchini batter to the pan, fry the buffers on each side until golden brown. Put the finished pancakes on a plate with kitchen paper and place in the hot oven. Mix the ingredients for the yoghurt sauce and serve with the buffers. Lentil salad with roasted tomatoes Lentil salad with roasted tomatoes Ingredients for two people: 200g cherry tomatoes 4 tbsp olive oil 250 g lentils (canned) 100 g feta cheese 1 spring onion ½ cucumber ½ bunch of flat-leaf parsley 1 tbsp lemon juice Salt, freshly ground pepper Brush the cherry tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and roast in an ovenproof dish at 220 degrees for about 15 minutes. Mix 3 tablespoons of olive oil with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Drain the lentils in a sieve, crumble the feta, chop the parsley, cut the cucumber into fine crescents, finely dice the onion and add everything to the bowl for the dressing and mix. Arrange the lentil salad on two plates and top with the roasted tomatoes. This goes well with whole grain bread and homemade spread. Pancakes Pancakes Ingredients for eight people: 150g tender oat flakes 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 ripe banana 300ml oat milk coconut oil for frying Grind the oat flakes in the food processor to flour, transfer to a bowl and mix with baking powder. Puree the banana and add to the dry ingredients together with the oat milk and stir until smooth. Heat the oil in a pan and add one tablespoon of batter to the pan for each pancake and bake on both sides for about three minutes until golden brown. Overnight Oats Overnight Oats Ingredients: 40g oat flakes 150g vegetable milk (oats, almond, coconut) cinnamon, vanilla, coconut, raw cocoa as desired, fruit, nuts 100g pureed blueberries Mix the ingredients together the night before and place in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, arrange the oats and add fruit and nuts and garnish.
Ready meals make you fat – and now they are also old! The fact that ready meals are often unhealthy is nothing new. They contain lots of flavor enhancers and additives, as well as too much salt and unhealthy fats. In doing so, they switch off our natural appetite suppressor in the brain. The result: Unbridled hunger and obesity. The risk of type 2 diabetes and brain diseases such as dementia also seem to increase with frequent consumption of finished products . Now it has been shown: Even on how quickly we age, convenience foods can have a negative impact, as a new study by Spanish scientists suggests. Telomeres provide clues about our biological age A new study by scientists at the Spanish University of Navarra gives clear indications that regular consumption of ready-made meals makes us grow old faster. In their study, the researchers analyzed the eating behavior and the state of health of around 900 older people and then divided them into groups: Group 1 ate the fewest finished products, Group 4 the most. After the subdivision, there were also clear differences in terms of health: In the fourth group there were significantly more cases of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. In addition, the people from group 4 had shorter telomeres. Telomeres are a kind of protective cap at the ends of our chromosomes that shorten as we age. The shorter they are so the older we are – at least physically. Because our biological and our actual age can differ by a few years, depending on lifestyle and disposition. Cooking fresh is worth it! Although it is known that ready-made and convenience meals are not necessarily healthy, millions of them are bought every year. Because they have a great advantage: They require little or no preparation time and can therefore be easily integrated into the stressful everyday life. However, as the Spanish study shows, it seems more than worthwhile to spend more time cooking. Fortunately, there are enough healthy, balanced and, above all, fresh meals that can be prepared in just a few minutes. We have collected some of the most delicious lightning recipes for you. Self-experiment – Can healthy eating make you happy? Amazing results after only 3 days! Does it have to be the bar of chocolate that we “treat” ourselves to in order to be happy? Or isn’t there a healthier way? This is exactly what RTL reporter Thorsten Sleegers wants to find out in a self-experiment. The nutrition expert Alexander Nicolai accompanies him. You can find out in the video what he found out in this exciting experiment and how much his mood changed in just three days!
Special offers in discount stores do not take environmental damage into account Week after week, supermarkets and discounters in Germany lure with special offers. According to a recent study by scientists at the University of Augsburg, meat, milk and cheese should actually cost much more than is normally required today. And a whole lot more! “Real Cost”: Study commissioned by Penny Minced meat would have to be almost three times as expensive, milk and Gouda would have to cost almost twice as much as the business IT specialist Tobias Gaugler and his team have calculated. “Environmental damage is currently not included in the food price. Instead, it is a burden to the general public and future generations,” the scientist complains. On behalf of Penny, a discounter belonging to the Rewe Group, Gaugler calculated the “real costs” for a total of 16 own-brand products in the retail chain and, in addition to the “normal” production costs, also calculated the effects of greenhouse gases during production and the consequences of overfertilization as well as the energy requirement. Meat and dairy products in particular should be more expensive The effects on the price are serious – especially for meat and animal products. According to the scientists’ calculations, the price of meat from conventional rearing would have to rise by a whopping 173 percent if the hidden costs are taken into account . Specifically: 500 grams of mixed minced meat from conventional production would not cost 2.79 euros, but 7.62 euros. RTL.DEConversion of VAT for trade challenges milk would rise by 122 percent , Gouda cheese by 88 percent and mozzarella by 52 percent . The surcharges for fruit and vegetables would be significantly lower. According to Gaugler, bananas would be 19 percent more expensive, potatoes and tomatoes by 12 percent and apples by 8 percent. In the case of organic products, the surcharges were consistently somewhat lower than for conventionally produced goods. But the price of organic meat would also rise by 126 percent if the “true costs” were taken into account . For better animal welfare: How do you recognize better meat and what does it cost? The sustainability market in Berlin shows “real prices” The Rewe Group wants to address the problem of hidden costs when opening a new sustainability store of its Penny discount chain in Berlin next Wednesday. For eight conventionally and organically produced own-brand products, the retailer wants to show the “true price” as well as the sales price. The price tag for long-life milk, for example, says the retail price of 79 cents as well as the “real cost” of 1.75 euros and, for organic minced meat in a 250-gram pack, the retail price of 2.25 euros as well “true cost” of 5.09 euros. Even if the customer only has to pay the normal price in the end, Rewe top manager Stefan Magel sees the initiative as an important first step towards more sustainability. “We have to come to the point of making the follow-up costs of our consumption visible,” he says. This is the only way for the customer to make a conscious purchase decision. Magel admits: “As a company in a highly competitive market we are undoubtedly part of the problem.” But he hopes to be part of the solution with the current step. If customers reacted positively to the double price labeling, then he could imagine further increasing the number of labeled products and expanding the test to other markets. There is still a lot to be done, because an average penny market has around 3500 items. Still not all hidden costs included The Augsburg scientists hope that the “double price display” will change the shopping behavior of customers. It could be a contribution to more honesty in food prices. But they would still prefer it if the high environmental costs were gradually added to food prices – for example by taxing CO2 emissions in agriculture and mineral nitrogen fertilizers. “The price adjustments in the food markets would probably lead to significant shifts in the direction of more plant-based and more organic products and at the same time significantly reduce environmental damage,” said Amelie Michalke, co-author of the study. Not only the Augsburg scientists see an urgent need for action. The organic farmer and head of baby food manufacturer Hipp, Stefan Hipp, recently emphasized: “In the interests of all of us, we should urge that the true product costs are soon to be found on the price tags.” Society is currently bearing the cost of damage. And Thomas Antkowiak, board member at the Misereor relief organization, warned: “If we are honest, we have to admit that we are doing business at the expense of people and nature.” The calculations made by the Augsburg scientists do not yet include all the hidden costs that arise in food production, as Gaugler emphasizes. For example, the follow-up costs of the use of antibiotics in animal breeding, which lead to multi-resistant germs, or those of the use of pesticides cannot yet be quantified with sufficient certainty to be included in the current calculations. “So far, we have only considered some of the hidden costs, but that alone shows that the prices are lying – some more and some less,” the scientist says
The best freshness tips for your supplies Don’t have to go to the supermarket that often? That would be a real relief for many of us. The problem: Fresh foods such as fruit, vegetables and herbs do not last forever and often do not look as fresh after a few days. We therefore show which tricks can be used to preserve fresh food longer. No more moldy bread, brown bananas and sprouting potatoes! Wrap the banana stem in cling film We usually sell bananas without seeds, but in their wild form they contain numerous hard seeds. Since they first start to turn brown on the trunk, cling film should help. Simply wrap the stem at the top of the fruit in foil – the wholesaler’s tip sounds almost too good to be true. A direct comparison shows: With the foil stalk, the shelf life of the bananas is extended by about a day. Not much, but still! By the way: If you store the bananas in the refrigerator, they brown more slowly, but they also lose a lot of their taste. Bread lasts longer in the refrigerator Can you really store bread in the refrigerator? Yes! Over time it becomes drier there than when it is stored at room temperature or in a Roman pot, but it molds much later. In our test, bread stored in the refrigerator could be kept for ten days without mold. Another tip: Sliced bread goes moldy much faster than bread in one piece. So if you don’t know if you’re going to eat the bread quickly, it’s better to buy an uncut loaf. Store mushrooms in a paper bag Mushrooms rot quickly in plastic bags. This should even produce toxic substances, in contrast to storage in paper bags. Even a week after purchase, mushrooms look as fresh as they did on the first day. Olive oil on guacamole Homemade guacamole should actually be eaten immediately, otherwise the surface will turn brown. To avoid that, oil should help. Does the preservation of the avocado cream with oil work? The oil must cover the entire surface. The look and taste test confirm – this tip really works! Store potatoes with apples The apples are supposed to slow down the growth of the potatoes and prevent them from germinating quickly. In theory, it should be the other way around. Because potatoes give off a ripening gas that causes perishable fruit and vegetables in their vicinity to age faster. But our experiment shows: it works. Even after five days, apples and potatoes still look the same. According to the internet tip, onions should be stored separately from potatoes. Store apples in a cool place Can apples get cold? Absolutely: if you have a balcony protected from frost, you can store apples there perfectly. On the balcony they stay fresh and crisp for a long time – if you store them at room temperature, they become floury much faster. Wrap the broccoli in a damp cloth Does broccoli stay fresher if you wrap it in a damp kitchen towel in the refrigerator? Our test confirms this: if you leave it in the foil, the broccoli dries out more in the refrigerator. If you unpack it and put it in a damp cloth instead, it will keep it crisp longer. In general, broccoli likes it cool – so avoid storing it at room temperature if possible. Preserve herb pots with plastic bags A plastic bag over the potted plant – and the herbs should stay fresh. Wrapped like this, it went in the refrigerator for five days. And the amazing result: chives and rosemary looked just as fresh as they did at the beginning. So this tip really works. And what to do with too much bread or gray chocolate? We have five tips to help you avoid food waste! Is the best before date reliable? On industrially manufactured products, the best-before date provides an indication of how long the product can be enjoyed. We tested whether this information is really reliable – and we experienced big surprises in the process. What food do I need in stock? The Corona crisis has shown us that a lockdown in which you cannot or do not want to shop so often can definitely occur. We have put together for you what supplies you should really have at home in order to be well looked after in an emergency situation.
Do you have to throw away sprouting potatoes? This has probably already happened to most of them: If potatoes remain on the kitchen shelf for a longer time after purchase, they will develop germs for a longer or shorter period of time. Do you have to dispose of the potatoes? Or is it enough to simply remove the germs and then you can eat the tubers as usual? It depends on the length of the germs Whether you can still eat sprouting potatoes depends on how far the germ formation has progressed: If the sprouts are no longer than a few centimeters and the potato itself is still relatively firm, you can eat it without hesitation. If you peel the potatoes and cut out the germs generously, this significantly lowers the content of poisonous solanine. If the tubers are already wrinkled and the germs are longer than a finger’s breadth, the potatoes should no longer be eaten. This also applies if the potatoes are largely green. What is the problem with sprouting potatoes? Potatoes are nightshade plants that produce the poisonous substance solanine in order to protect themselves from predators. This heat-resistant toxin is found in areas that have become green, the skin and the dark “eyes” of potatoes as well as in the germs themselves. In higher concentrations, solanine makes the potatoes bitter. Solanine is only harmful to health if it is consumed in large quantities. Then symptoms of intoxication such as a burning sensation in the throat and stomach or intestinal problems can occur. Because children are often more sensitive to potential toxins than adults, they should best eat potatoes peeled. This is how to prevent potatoes from sprouting Sprouting can be delayed if the potatoes are stored in a dark, cool place – preferably in an unheated, but frost-free, airy cellar. In addition to temperature, exposure to light also plays a central role in the formation of germs: Potatoes should be stored in complete darkness if possible. They should also be kept separate from apples – because apples emit the ripening gas ethylene , which promotes budding.
80 different products in the test Off to the couch, TV on and a bag of chips to nibble on. Just a chip or two. Many nibblers know that it usually doesn’t stay that way. If only the little salty things weren’t there! That is why many people are now turning to supposedly healthier alternatives and getting chips that are not made from potatoes, but from beetroot, parsnip or sweet potato. After all, pulses and vegetables are good for the figure and the manufacturers promise crunch without regrets. But are vegetable chips really healthier? The consumer advice center NRW has tested it. High in Fiber and Less Fat? Specifically, the consumer advice center examined 37 chip variations based on legumes, 21 items with vegetable chips and 22 different puff snacks, which are offered by 27 manufacturers in stationary and online shops. Many of them are advertised with the most diverse health-related statements such as “less fat than …”, “high in fiber” or “high protein content”. First things first: Few products offer real calorie savings compared to normal potato chips. Legume chips only 100 kilocalories less In particular, chips made from legumes are often advertised with claims between 30 and 70 percent “less fat than conventional chips”. On closer inspection, however, it turns out that these statements are true, but that the lower fat content does not automatically mean a correspondingly lower amount of calories, according to the consumer advice center in North Rhine-Westphalia. For example, the statement “40 percent less fat than potato chips” for the products under consideration was accompanied by calorie quantities that are only 9 to 18 percent lower than those of potato chips. On average, the 37 different pulses made from legumes under review produce around 439 kilocalories per 100 grams. In comparison, potato chips averaged 536 kilocalories per 100 grams. Vegetable chips are sometimes even greasier In the case of vegetable crisps, the judgment of the consumer advice center is even tougher: the supposedly healthy alternative has an average of 496 kilocalories per 100 grams, which is only seven percent below the calorie content of potato crisps. What is particularly noticeable in this product group is the sometimes very high fat content. According to consumer protection, some products were even significantly higher than the fat content of potato chips. Puffed snacks vary widely in terms of nutritional information In addition to the chips, the consumer center also looked at the difference between puffed snacks and peanut flips. Among the 22 puffed snacks were some products with a fat and calorie content noticeably lower than that of peanut flips. However, the product group shows a wide range in terms of nutritional values. The calorie content is between 377 and 481 kilocalories per 100 grams. The fat content also varies greatly with values between 1.8 and 23 grams of fat per 100 grams. So it’s worth taking a look at the nutritional information here. The conclusion of the consumer advice center: Chips or snacks made from beetroot, parsnips, sweet potatoes, corn, beans, lentils or peas are no healthier than potato chips or peanut flips.
Fresh pasta from the cooling shelf Pasta lovers swear by filled dumplings. Whether tortelloni, ravioli or cappelletti – the perfect ratio of dough and filling makes the filled pasta tarts real gourmet bites. However, it takes a lot of time and a sure instinct to make it yourself, so that many amateur cooks also like to fall back on fresh ready-made products, with which the pasta can be prepared in boiling water in two or three minutes. Stiftung Warentest tasted 19 tortelloni from the supermarket refrigerated shelf and checked them in the laboratory. Tortelloni filled with spinach, cheese or meat in the test The dumplings tested included tortelloni with ricotta, spinach, meat and cheese filling, including branded goods and cheaper products from retail chains such as Aldi Nord, Aldi Süd, Lidl and Rewe. In the pasta filled with spinach, the tortelloni from Hilcona and Rewes Beste Wahl received the quality rating “good” (2.0) and therefore the best. In addition to the taste, the smell, the mouthfeel, the nutritional value and the ingredients of the ready-made pasta were also assessed – with special consideration for germs and pollutants. The declaration of the ingredients and the type of packaging also play a role in the test. Pollutants and germs – stay away from these tortelloni! The Rana spinach tortelloni were rated with a 1.0 in terms of taste and sensory quality, but the product was only rated “sufficient” (4.1) by Stiftung Warentest because of the germs found in the dough pieces . The “Italiamo Premium Pasta Tortelloni Ricotta Spinach” from Lidl fail completely at Stiftung Warentest, as they were contaminated with the harmful substance chlorate, as the check in the laboratory showed. You get a “poor” (4.7) . Steinhaus makes the best meat tortelloni When it comes to tortelloni filled with meat, Steinhaus is the winner. The company has been in the pasta business since 1980 and has manufactured around half of the products tested by Stiftung Warentest. There is its own pasta under the name Steinhaus in the refrigerated shelves. The company also supplies the retail chains Aldi Nord and Süd, Rewe and Lidl – without any noticeable loss of quality! The Steinhaus Meat Tortelloni emerged as the test winner and the dumplings produced for Rewe even save around half compared to the original product. Both score with the quality rating “good” (1.8) . The strong, very aromatic smell and taste of the tortelloni are emphasized. The other meat products at Stiftung Warentest are all good to satisfactory and were not as creamy as the two test winners. Tortelloni with cheese filling are all “good” The cheese-filled tortelloni are also recommended as a meal. The four products tested performed well in the test. The “Organic Tortelloni Cheese-Herbs” from Rewe scored points in terms of taste and smell with a clear herbal note and received the best result with “good” (2.2) . However, the products from Aldi Süd, Edeka and Aldi Nord also did little worse with good overall ratings between 2.3 and 2.4. Fresh batter tortelloni – what else to watch out for Fresh pasta from the cooling shelf is very practical as it only takes a few minutes to prepare. In contrast to the dried instant noodles, however, they don’t keep that long either, usually only a few days, and should be kept in the refrigerator. Stiftung Warentest also emphasizes that it is standard for finished products to use flavors and other fillers in the filling – but it can also be done without, which is reflected in the test results. The eggs in the pasta dough (proportion between 3 and 30 percent) also come mostly from floor farming. Only the organic tortellini from Pasta Nuova do without eggs, the organic pasta from Hilcona and Rewe contain eggs from laying hens with enough space to run out.
Two-ingredient recipe without yeast Whether with salami or vegetarian topped with an extra portion of cheese: We always like pizza! And best of all, if it’s homemade – yummy! But sometimes things just have to be quick. We’ll quickly resort to the frozen version. But that need not be! We’ll show you how you can quickly and easily prepare a delicious pizza dough like from Italy with just two ingredients. Without any yeast or walking time! It couldn’t be easier With this recipe you can conjure up a delicious pizza dough within just five minutes of preparation time – without any walking time. The only ingredients you need are flour and Greek yogurt. If you also want the dough a little fluffier, we recommend adding a little baking powder. Salt can also enhance the taste a little. And this is how the world’s fastest pizza dough is made: ingredients 300 g of wheat flour 450 g Greek yogurt 1 teaspoon Baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt preparation First preheat the oven at approx. 220 ° C for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, put all the ingredients in a bowl and knead into a sticky dough. Of course, you can also use a food processor to do the kneading for you. Then flour the work surface sufficiently, sprinkle some more flour on the dough and shape into a round ball for a few minutes with also floured hands. Then the dough should be quickly rolled out on the baking paper until it is nice and flat. Caution: The dough can quickly become sticky again when it is warm, then simply add a little more flour. Make sure that the dough is rolled out really thin, otherwise it can later rise too thick. Finally, only top the pizza with your favorite ingredients and put in the oven for about 5 to 8 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Buon Appetito!