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Tag: diet

Understanding Whipped Cream

I use cream for cooking and also make whipped cream for desserts, a quart at a time, about once a day. Sometimes I make it several times a day. These are sweetened with sugar and flavored with vanilla, sometimes banana, lemon, or chocolate.

Doing this for years with a hand mixer, I’ve noticed big differences between brands and types of cream. My favorite that I use the most is Glenville Farms Heavy Cream. It whips fast, becomes very stiff, and is stable. You can quickly ice a cake with it and it stays put. It never creeps or sags. This cannot be said of any other brands I’ve tried, and I’ve tried all kinds.

If you make things with whipped cream, you might like to know why Glenville is the best I’ve found and what to look for. Cream is cream, right? It’s the stuff at the top of raw milk. Not exactly. It varies.

What varies is the fat content. The higher the fat, the faster it will whip and the more stiff and stable it will be. Fat is expressed as a percentage. Finding out the percentage can be challenging because it’s usually not printed on the carton or bottle.

The minimum fat content needed for it to whip at all is 30 percent. Some brands get by with even less by adding a thickening agent like carrageenan. Look for it in the ingredients. You can recognize this as it flows out of the bottle as a very thick gloppy liquid. Real cream is thick but still flows smoothly like a liquid. The result of low-fat-content cream will be okay for some purposes but will be soft, light, less stable, less flavorful. This is often labeled “whipping cream”. A better result occurs with fat content of 37 to 38 percent and this often labeled “heavy cream”. Glenville has 40 percent and its superiority is evident in the result and flavor.

I was going to publish a list comparing different brands, but accurate info is difficult to get hold of, so I decided not to, for now. What I found, however, was something to beware of if you are a dieter or paying close attention to nutrition. I found that several nutrition sites on the web do not show accurate information. Some sites allow you to search products by brand and type. I found that the information they publish for all brands and types of cream is identical. They just copy-pasted the exact same information on every brand and type — the same calories per tablespoon, the same grams of fat per 15 ml. We know that’s not true.

Americans Get Half Their Calories From Sugar!


Did you know that today’s average American gets half of his or her calories every day from sugar? It’s true. The average American today consumes 160 pounds of sugar per year. A hundred years ago, this figure was 10 pounds per year. This is great for the sugar companies but must be partly to blame for the explosion in obesity in the U.S.A.

Americans have become sugar addicts. Besides Coke and soda pop that’s loaded with sugar (Coke contains something like 10 teaspoons of sugar per can) read the labels in the fruit juice aisle at the market. Nearly all of them are labeled as “fruit drink” or “fruit cocktail” and are loaded with corn syrup. It’s hard to find a bottle that contains just plain fruit juice. Look at the calories on these fruit “juices”. It’s shocking.

Three years ago I was living in a warm climate and took to drinking lots of “fruit juice”. I thought I was doing myself a favor. After all, it said Vitamin C right on the label. But I noticed that I began to gain weight rapidly. I discussed it with a friend and she asked me to do a complete diet inventory, so I did. I discovered that I was consuming 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day, every day, just in “fruit juice”. I stopped that cold and switched to water. For the next two days, my vision was not quite right. A lifelong diabetic friend explained that this was normal because I stopped the huge constant sugar intake so suddenly. He explained that it would take a couple days for my pancreas to adjust to the new sugar levels. He was right. Since then I have limited my fruit juice intake to only real juices, not spiked with sugar or corn syrup, and about a glass per day. Lots of water and iced tea make up the rest of my fluid intake.

I was a prime example of the statistic I mentioned above. By quitting the “fruit flavored juice” I dropped nearly 20 pounds, back to my normal weight.

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