Priuk’s Weblog

September 28, 2008

THE WONDERS OF HONEY

Filed under: Health — priuk @ 1:18 am
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We know honey as a sweet and viscous fluid produced by honey bees (and some other species of bee), and derived from the nectar of flowers. This wonderfully rich golden liquid is the miraculous product of honey bees and a naturally delicious alternative to white sugar. In addition to its reputation as nature’s nutritive sweetener, research also indicates that honey’s unique composition makes it useful as an antimicrobial agent and antioxidant.

The process of making honey happens when the bees feast on flowers, collecting the flower nectar in their mouths. This nectar then mixes with special enzymes in the bees’ saliva, an alchemical process that turns it into honey. The bees carry the honey back to the hive, where they deposit it into the cells of the hive’s walls. The fluttering of their wings provides the necessary ventilation to reduce the honey’s moisture content, making it ready for consumption.

The Benefit of Honey

  1. Improve Athletic Performance and Heal Wounds with Honey. Primarily honey has been used as an energy source, but recent research has examined the use of honey as an ergogenic aid (a food or ingredient that helps an athlete’s performance) and wound healing agent, both of which were once considered merely age-old anecdotes, because in the time of the ancient Olympics, athletes were reported to eat special foods, such as honey and dried figs, to enhance their sports performance. The wound healing properties of honey may, however, be its most promising medicinal quality. Honey has been used topically as an antiseptic therapeutic agent for the treatment of ulcers, burns and wounds for centuries.
  2. Reduce the cholesterol in the blood. By mixing 2 spoons of honey with 3 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 16 ounce of tea into a potion, can decrease the amount of cholesterol in the blood up to 10% in two hours. The pure honey that is consumed daily can reduce the cholesterol effect to your body.
  3. Prevent heart attack. Spread some honey and ground cinnamon on your bread every breakfast. It will reduce the cholesterol in your blood and prevent the risk of heart attack. Even people who had had heart attack before, if they consumed honey and cinnamon everyday, it will prevent them from the second attack.

Others honey’s benefits include treatment for hair-fall, cure for bladder infection, tooth-ache, flu, infertility, stomach-ache, bad breath, fatigue, cancer, overweight, blemishes, and a lot more.
How to Choose the Honey with Good Quality

In many occasions, we often hear that there are the “original” and the “unoriginal” honey. Actually, there is no such thing as the “original” and “unoriginal” honey. All honey is original, because it is only produced by the bees. So, there are only honey with good or high quality, and honey with bad or low quality.

It is very difficult sensory to be able to find out whether the honey sold in the market has high or low quality. It has to be tested in the laboratory. But don’t worry, so you will not be tricked in buying honey, there are some characteristics that define the quality of honey.

Honey with fine quality usually has a very high level of viscosity. It must not also have foams, because it shows that the honey has experienced the fermentation process which made the quality turn poor.

The people’s perception to test the quality of honey by filling it in a bottle, then if the bottle explode it means good honey, is also a mistake. Testing honey by using ants also can’t be trusted.

Raw honey that has not been pasteurized, clarified, or filtered – provided it is of the highest organic quality – is your best choice. Look for honey that states “100% pure.” While regular honey is translucent, creamy honey is usually opaque and is made by adding finely crystallized honey back into liquid honey. Specialty honeys, made from the nectar of different flowers, such as thyme and lavender, are also available. Remember that the darker the color, the deeper the flavor. You might also look for darker-colored “honeydew” varieties produced by bees that collect the sugary secretions insects leave on plants, which is called honeydew.

So when are you going to start consuming honey?

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September 19, 2008

TOMATO

Filed under: Health — priuk @ 3:38 pm
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Some people categorize this plant as vegetables, but some others categorize it as fruits. We often make juice from it, but it is also delicious as cooking ingredients. Either way tomatoes own special benefits for human’s health. Find out more about it in the article.

Tomatoes are actually a fruit, not a vegetable because technically they are berries, with seeds, of a plant that bears fruit. However, nutritionally, popularly, and culinary use, they are categorized as a vegetable. It is said that the fruits are originally from Central, South, and southern North America from Mexico to Argentina. With Latin name Licopersicum esculentum, tomatoes are also known as the all-seasons fruit; the kind of fruit that can be found in all seasons.
Tomatoes are available in a wide variety of types, colors, shapes and sizes. Mostly they come in the colors of red, yellow, and green, but they do have variety in other colors. Tomatoes’ sizes range from about 1-2 centimeters in diameter, 4-5 centimeters in diameter, and 10 centimeters or larger. The shapes are usually round, but sometimes come in other shapes, such as the oblong shape of roma tomatoes.

NUTRIENTS AND HEALTH BENEFITS

No matter what the types or varieties are, tomatoes contain almost the same amount of nutritional substances. They are rich with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, mineral, fiber, and phytonutrient substances. The main content of tomatoes is water (about 94%).

Tomatoes also contain antioxidant. One of the substances contained in tomatoes has been a “hot” topic to talk about. It is the lycopene. This carotenoid found in tomatoes (and products made from tomatoes) has been studied extensively for its antioxidant and cancer preventing properties. Research and studies about lycopene from tomatoes has been conducted repeatedly not only in animals but also in humans. The researches claimed that they had proven the substance can protect body from many kinds of cancers, such as prostate, colorectal, pancreatic, breasts, and lung.

However, this claim has an opposite opinion. Scientists from Food and Drug Administration in United States of America proclaimed that presumption of the lycopene from tomatoes can prevent cancers must be straightened. There is no strong evidence that foods or other intakes contain lycopene, which also the substance responsible for giving the red color to the fruits will reduce the risk of getting exposed to many kinds of cancers. This finding is reported by Dr. Claudine Kavanaugh and her colleagues from The Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA, College Park, Maryland, in her paperwork that was published on the website of US Cancer institute.

This does not mean that tomatoes have no benefits at all. Related with this issue, another research suggested that there many substances contained in the fruits that can give health benefits for humans, not only the lycopene, for example, the vitamin A and vitamin C found in tomatoes. Public must have aware with the benefits this two vitamins can provide to our health. Tomatoes also contain fiber. Many sources stated how fiber has been shown to reduce high cholesterol levels, keep blood sugar levels stable, and help prevent colon cancer.

One research done and led by Dr. Howard Sesso found tomatoes’ cardiovascular benefits. The result of Dr. Sesso’s research was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The research found that women highest intake of lycopene-rich-tomato-based foods had significantly reduced the risk of heart disease.

Tomato juice can reduce the tendency of blood clotting. This is claimed by Australian research. In the study, twenty people suffer from type 2 diabetes were given 250 ml of tomato juiced or a tomato-flavored therapy daily. The people who were subjects of the study had no history of clotting problems and did not take any medications that would affect blood clotting ability. After 3 weeks, the clumping together of blood cells (platelet aggregation) was significantly reduced among those drinking real tomato juice. However those who received the tomato-flavored therapy were not affected at all.

Tomato seeds are also very useful. One research conducted in Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland found the benefits of tomatoes seeds for health. As quoted by a health magazine, Prevention, Asim K. Dutta-Roy, the researcher found that the slippery layer in the form of yellow mucous around the tomato seeds actually contain a very effective compound to fight stroke and heart disease. Dutta-Roy said, if we regularly drink tomato juice without throwing the seeds away, then we have reduced around 72% of the risk of blood clotting, which is one of the causes of heart-attack.

Tomatoes are also good for the skin. Researchers from University of Manchester and University of Newcastle discovered that adding five spoons of tomato pasta to the daily diet of 10 volunteers can help preventing skin damage by giving protection against the affect of ultra-violet ray. The damage affected by ultra-violet ray can cause early aging, and even skin cancer.

So, start consuming tomatoes regularly from now on. However, once again keep it moderately, not too much. Anything that too much will not give good affect, don’t you agree?

CHEF HENRY ALEXIE BLOEM

Filed under: Indonesian Chefs — priuk @ 2:56 pm
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Priukers, on July 2008 Indonesian Chef Association (ICA) has appointed a new president of the organization. Yes, he is Henry Alexie Bloem, or we all know him more as Chef Bloem. We have a little questions and answers session with Chef Bloem about this issue. Here is the report

On July 2008 Chef Henry Alexie Bloem is officially holding the position as the new President of Indonesian Chef Association (ICA) for the period of 2008-2012. He was appointed to take the position due to the resignation of ICA President for the period of 2007-2012.

Asked about his feeling toward the new position Chef Bloem said he feels nothing special about it. It is because he has been in the culinary industry for more than 20 years now. And he was the Vice President of Bali Culinary Professional (BCP) in 2002-2005. Moreover, from 2003 up to 2007, he became the President of IJUMPI (Ikatan Juru Masak Profesional), an organization for professional cooks, in Bali. Chef Bloem was also chosen as the Vice President of ICA for period of 2007-2012. This is mostly why he had to take the presidential seat. Due to the rapid activities of ICA’s President 2007-2012, he had resigned from the job and handed over the task in ICA completely to the Vice President. So, automatically Chef Bloem will carry on the task of ICA leadership starting from July 2008 until 2012.

So, a presidential position is not something new for Chef Bloem. This is why he does not feel anything special about it. On the other hand, Chef Bloem thinks that this is going to be one great challenge with more difficult tasks for him in the future.

When asked about his mission as the President of ICA, Chef Bloem answered that the missions of the association come first. He will try to equate the profession of chefs or cooks in Indonesia like any other professions, such as doctor, lawyer, and more. The other mission is to promote the dignity and prestige of Indonesian chefs/ cooks, so they will be more appreciated nationally and internationally so that Indonesian chefs can compete professionally along with chefs from foreign countries, who work in Indonesia. This is because everyday, the more foreign chefs come and work in Indonesia and become quite a competition for the local chefs. With ICA, Chef Bloem would like to conserve the Indonesian culinary culture, especially Indonesian traditional recipes so that Indonesian traditional foods will be known widely in national and international level.

Chef Bloem stated that cooking is a very crucial profession in the Indonesian tourism industry. For him, a chef/ cook is an artist who doing his job by “pouring” his creation, feeling, and experience, to create tasteful cuisines. This is why ICA try to unite Indonesian chefs, not only the ones that currently live and work in Indonesia, but also those who live and work abroad. Hopefully all of them will gather themselves in the organization, for the development of the Chef profession in the country, to be able to compete internationally.

Chef Bloem, currently is also busied with his new restaurant, which was just opened last May, Bloem’s The Waroeng, located at Jimbaran – Bali. After resigning from the hotel where he worked as the Executive Chef, he automatically runs The Waroeng himself. Other than that he was trusted to be a consultant for several restaurants and villas in Bali.

Back to The Waroeng, Chef Bloem shared the story about the favorite menus the restaurant offers. The Waroeng serves various cuisines, from Asian to Western specialties. For the Indonesia foods, he specifically highlighted on Sop Buntut (Oxtail Soup), and Nasi Goreng Djenggo. While for the Western, he suggested Goulash Soup, Barbeque Pork Spare Ribs, and Tenderloin Steak. Chef Bloem stated that even though The Waroeng uses local meat, but the tenderness can be compared with imported products.

When asked about whether he has thought to expand his restaurant business outside Bali, Chef Bloem said that he still has not thought about the idea. He is still working on creating a trade mark for The Waroeng. Perhaps, after The Waroeng is widely known, he will think about opening branches outside the island.

Priuk.Com Team and all Priukers would like to congratulate Chef Henry Alexie Bloem for his new position as the President of Indonesian Chef Association for the period of 2008-2012. We all hope with his leadership, the world of Indonesian culinary and chefs will be more recognized through out the world.

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