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10 Benefits of Fennel and Fennel Seeds, Based on Science Darrell Miller 4/30/19
Lose Weight And 6 Other Reasons To Eat Bamboo Shoots Darrell Miller 4/20/17
10 foods that are healthy, except when they aren't Darrell Miller 1/17/17
Did You Know That Coconuts Are Healthy? If Not, Then Check This Out! Darrell Miller 12/15/16
What are the health benefits of organic Cacao? Darrell Miller 4/24/14
What are the health benefits of organic Cacao? Darrell Miller 4/24/14
Check Out The Wonder Grain: Amaranth Darrell Miller 2/2/14
What Are The Health Benefits Of The Grain Quinoa? Darrell Miller 2/13/12
Tasty new treats by Now Foods, "Crunch Clusters snacks" Darrell Miller 12/11/09
Bitter Melon Darrell Miller 5/22/09
Fennel Darrell Miller 6/30/08
Best Bread ... Darrell Miller 6/13/05



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10 Benefits of Fennel and Fennel Seeds, Based on Science
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Date: April 30, 2019 04:14 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: 10 Benefits of Fennel and Fennel Seeds, Based on Science





Culinarily, fennel is appreciated for its mild licorice flavor, but it should also be cherished for its many medicinal properties. Fresh fennel bulb and its seeds (both are edible) are low in calories and high in manganese. The bulbs are also a good source of Vitamin C, while the seeds have the ability to curb one's appetite, according to some research, and thus abet weight loss. Antioxidants have been shown to provide numerous health benefits, and fennel bulb and seeds are loaded with them. There are even studies suggesting (although not conclusively proving) that fennel can help fight cancer. Overall, fennel is as healthy as it is delicious.

Key Takeaways:

  • Besides possessing a pleasing and mild licorice-type flavor, crunchy fennel seeds are also packed with minerals and fiber.
  • Data suggests that a tea made with fennel seeds may have the ability to suppress appetite.
  • Nutrients found in fennel include msgnesium, potasspot, iron, calcium, manganese and vitamin C.

"Aside from its many culinary uses, fennel and its seeds offer a wide array of health benefits and may provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial effects."

Read more: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fennel-and-fennel-seed-benefits

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Lose Weight And 6 Other Reasons To Eat Bamboo Shoots
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Date: April 20, 2017 03:44 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Lose Weight And 6 Other Reasons To Eat Bamboo Shoots





Bamboo, a popular sustainable building material is also a nutrient food, packed with minerals, proteins and fiber while containing low amounts of fats and sugars. Fresh shoots need to be stored properly and boiled to remove possible toxins. Canned bamboo is safer but needs to be rinsed before eating. Bamboo shoots are full of lignans which support healthy weight and are low in sugars, calories and carbs, perfect for dieting. They are rich in potassium, as well as several vitamins and minerals. They can lower cholesterol,fight cancer and balance hormone levels. They are natural anti-inflammatories and best if all, can be eaten year round.

Key Takeaways:

  • Bamboo shoots are extremely healthy as they are very low in calories, carbs, and high in protein. Great for people who doesn't want a lot of sugar in their body and high protein.
  • A study was done stating that bamboo actually helps to lower cholesterol, making it a healthy food for people to eat.
  • There has been research done by Indians stating that bamboo shoots could fight cancer.

"While most people in the U.S. recognize bamboo’s industrial role, many are not aware that they are edible, a rich source of proteins, minerals, fiber, and are low in fat and sugars. In fact, Asians — particularly Chinese, Taiwanese and Japanese — have been eating bamboo for thousands of years because of the delicious crunchy texture and numerous health benefits."

Read more: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/reasons-to-eat-bamboo-shoots/

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10 foods that are healthy, except when they aren't
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Date: January 17, 2017 12:59 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: 10 foods that are healthy, except when they aren't





On a diet and looking for those healthy foods to consume and lose weight? It is important when looking into those healthy foods to make sure they are really healthy. Some cereals can be a convenient and healthy breakfast but watch out for those sugary cereals they can cause a blood sugar spike and a crash before lunch time. Another healthy choice is sushi but beware sushi that is battered and fried can contain 200 more calories and three times the amount of fat.

Key Takeaways:

  • Popcorn, cereal, sushi: We love them, and we may tell ourselves they are healthy. But are they? Most of the time, it depends on how they're prepared.
  • A Crunchy shrimp tempura roll, which is battered and fried and often drizzled with spicy mayo, has about 200 more calories and three times the amount of fat.
  • Air-popped popcorn is a healthy, whole-grain, antioxidant-rich snack that's low in calories.

"Popcorn, cereal, sushi: We love them, and we may tell ourselves they are healthy. But are they? Most of the time, it depends on how they're prepared."



Reference:

//www.cnn.com/2017/01/05/health/gallery/healthy-food-or-not-drayer/index.html

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Did You Know That Coconuts Are Healthy? If Not, Then Check This Out!
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Date: December 15, 2016 02:59 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Did You Know That Coconuts Are Healthy? If Not, Then Check This Out!





Coconut meat is the rich white lining that is contained within the shell of a coconut. Coconut meat can be juicy and tender, or slightly thick and Crunchy, to tough and fibrous depending on how long the kernel has been stored. Though coconut only grows in tropical regions of the world, it is now widely available in the American consumer market. And this is a fortunate thing as eating food products derived from coconut like coconut oil and coconut meat on a regular basis has profound positive effects to your overall health.

Key Takeaways:

  • Coconuts offer a wide variety of health benefits.
  • Its saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fatty acids improve heart health and promote weight loss.
  • It also helps strengthen the connective tissue that involves skin, ligaments, bones, and tendons.

"Coconut also contains short-chain fatty acids and medium-chain fatty acids that have amazing benefits."



Reference:

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=//www.boldsky.com/health/wellness/2016/did-you-know-coconuts-healthy-if-not-check-it-out-108762.html&ct=ga&cd=CAIyGmZjNGVlYTM1NDU3YmZmOGU6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNFLYDqgR9WmrfZbh08NqpDnAU2LtA

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What are the health benefits of organic Cacao?
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Date: April 24, 2014 02:58 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: What are the health benefits of organic Cacao?

Do you know what Cacao and some of its health benefits are?

What is a cacao

Cacao is a kind of a tropical tree, which is part of the evergreen family that produces chocolate from its seeds in its raw state; that is before both sugar, and fats or some other forms of sweeteners are added to it.

First, some of the benefits for finding the Cacao tree are that the cacao tree is grown under the shade of much bigger and different trees thus having a very profound effect on the Cacao seeds, which instead tends to be more potent and higher in antioxidants. The Cacao tree comes in different species that is Forastero, Trinitario and Caffeine. Cacao is used to describe both the seeds and the tree as well as the pods which holds the actual Cacao seeds/ beans which are also known as nibs. Well, the terms Cocoa and Cacao were often interchangeably used mistakenly to mean a similar thing. However, both the terms are used to differentiate different parts of the process and ingredients where Cocoa refers to the processed and sweetened Cacao.

When the Cacao seeds without the shells are crushed and liquified into what is known as chocolate liquor, a dark chocolate is therefore created. Dark chocolate, which is synonymous with pure chocolate, exhibits a more powerful and a stronger effect of this health enhancing ingredients. The organic Cacao nibs’ offers a real chocolate treat as they are Crunchy, flavorful and packed with powerful nutrients and antioxidants as well as natural mood lifters. Cacao in its raw form is regarded as the most potent and provides many benefits as it is packed with lots of nutrients such as vitamins and antioxidants, essential minerals, Phenylethylamine and many more. This therefore makes Cacao either to act as multivitamin or to be regarded as super food.

Benefits of cacao

Although the Cacao nibs produces chocolate which when taken in very large quantities may prove to be very dense in calories thus being unhealthy. However, when taken in moderation this product can be highly nutritious while providing numerous health benefits such as intestinal regularity, heart and blood vessels as well as blood sustained sugar levels not to mention lowering of cholesterol, boosting cognitive performance, providing antidepressant benefits, elevating ones mood by boosting ones endorphin's. Cacao also contains poly phenols and more oxidants per cup which when taken offers the body a chance to fight cancer, aging, heart diseases.

Additionally, some of the nutritional and health value that are offered by the Cacao arises from some of the beneficial ingredients such as Theobromine which is a mild stimulant to offer a diuretic effect hence helping to push toxins out of one's body. This helps to enhance one's mood. The Phenylethylamine on the other hand also acts to enhance a person’s mood making one to feel a sense of well being. Cacao increases the level of serotonin that one's brain produces which is a feel good hormone. Other essential minerals that are also found in Cacao include magnesium, Iron, zinc, copper, manganese, potassium while the essential vitamins that one will receive from Cacao are vitamin A,B1,2,3 and C,E as well as the Pantothenic  acid.

Sources

  1. //www.enjoydarkchocolate.com/dark-chocolate/what-is-cacao.html
  2. //www.livesstrong.com/article/331715-cocoa-powder-health-benefits/

 

 

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What are the health benefits of organic Cacao?
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Date: April 24, 2014 02:58 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: What are the health benefits of organic Cacao?

cacao plantDo you know what Cacao and some of its health benefits are?

What is a cacao

Cacao is a kind of a tropical tree, which is part of the evergreen family that produces chocolate from its seeds in its raw state; that is before both sugar, and fats or some other forms of sweeteners are added to it.

First, some of the benefits for finding the Cacao tree are that the cacao tree is grown under the shade of much bigger and different trees thus having a very profound effect on the Cacao seeds, which instead tends to be more potent and higher in antioxidants. The Cacao tree comes in different species that is Forastero, Trinitario and Caffeine. Cacao is used to describe both the seeds and the tree as well as the pods which holds the actual Cacao seeds/ beans which are also known as nibs. Well, the terms Cocoa and Cacao were often interchangeably used mistakenly to mean a similar thing. However, both the terms are used to differentiate different parts of the process and ingredients where Cocoa refers to the processed and sweetened Cacao.

When the Cacao seeds without the shells are crushed and liquified into what is known as chocolate liquor, a dark chocolate is therefore created. Dark chocolate, which is synonymous with pure chocolate, exhibits a more powerful and a stronger effect of this health enhancing ingredients. The organic Cacao nibs’ offers a real chocolate treat as they are Crunchy, flavorful and packed with powerful nutrients and antioxidants as well as natural mood lifters. Cacao in its raw form is regarded as the most potent and provides many benefits as it is packed with lots of nutrients such as vitamins and antioxidants, essential minerals, Phenylethylamine and many more. This therefore makes Cacao either to act as multivitamin or to be regarded as super food.

Benefits of cacao

Although the Cacao nibs produces chocolate which when taken in very large quantities may prove to be very dense in calories thus being unhealthy. However, when taken in moderation this product can be highly nutritious while providing numerous health benefits such as intestinal regularity, heart and blood vessels as well as blood sustained sugar levels not to mention lowering of cholesterol, boosting cognitive performance, providing antidepressant benefits, elevating ones mood by boosting ones endorphin's. Cacao also contains poly phenols and more oxidants per cup which when taken offers the body a chance to fight cancer, aging, heart diseases.

Additionally, some of the nutritional and health value that are offered by the Cacao arises from some of the beneficial ingredients such as Theobromine which is a mild stimulant to offer a diuretic effect hence helping to push toxins out of one's body. This helps to enhance one's mood. The Phenylethylamine on the other hand also acts to enhance a person’s mood making one to feel a sense of well being. Cacao increases the level of serotonin that one's brain produces which is a feel good hormone. Other essential minerals that are also found in Cacao include magnesium, Iron, zinc, copper, manganese, potassium while the essential vitamins that one will receive from Cacao are vitamin A,B1,2,3 and C,E as well as the Pantothenic  acid.

Sources

  1. //www.enjoydarkchocolate.com/dark-chocolate/what-is-cacao.html
  2. //www.livesstrong.com/article/331715-cocoa-powder-health-benefits/

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Check Out The Wonder Grain: Amaranth
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Date: February 02, 2014 07:48 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Check Out The Wonder Grain: Amaranth

The wonder of amaranth

amaranth plantThe wonder grain Amaranth has been known to humans for centuries. It was heralded as a staple in the diets of pre Columbian-Aztecs who heralded the plant is granting them special powers. Unfortunately, when the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in the region, they outlawed the crop and went to great lengths to push its existence far from common knowledge. It has only resurfaced on the market in recent decades.

Amaranth plant

A broad and bushy plant, amaranth can grow to around six feet in height. It sports a bright and colorful flower head which contains an immense amount of seeds. It is not uncommon for a single plant to produce seed quantities around the 60,000 mark. The seeds are typically used in the creation of amaranth cereal or flour.

The plant itself is not technically a grain, belonging instead to the same plant family as beets, spinach and quinoa. This classification is the reason it offers nutritional benefits that are closer to those offered by darker, greener plants with more foliage rather than those of true grains. Amaranth plays host to a myriad of different nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. One amino acid in particular, lysine, which is generally present in fairly low levels in other grains, appears in a noticeably higher concentration here. Compared to wheat, Amaranth also carries four times as much calcium and double the content of iron and magnesium. It also boasts an exceptionally high level of protein.

Uses of amaranth

This miracle plant can be prepared with a wide variety of techniques. It can be simmered to produce a consistency not unlike porridge. It can also be mixed with other grains to create a dish that resembles rice. Traditionalists can also toss the grains in a skillet to be cooked like popcorn, producing a Crunchy, almost nutty experience. While still not yet immensely popular and therefor sometimes harder to find, amaranth can be an excellent addition to any healthy diet.

Sources:

  1. //whfood.org/genpage.php?tname=dailytip&dbid=231
  2. //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaranth_gain

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What Are The Health Benefits Of The Grain Quinoa?
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Date: February 13, 2012 01:57 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: What Are The Health Benefits Of The Grain Quinoa?

Quinoa is a gluten free seed rich in dietary fibers with creamy, fluffy and slightly Crunchy texture. Its taste is somewhat nutty when cooked. It belongs to the family of spinach, beets, swiss chard and lamb's quarter.It is a complete protein grain with all the essential amino acids. There are nine essential amino acids known as the building blocks of protein. Amino acids help in building strong muscles and nourish the nerves.It is also rich in essential minerals such as manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and iron.

Quinoa is technically a seed, not a grain of a goose foot plant. The name quinoa came from Greek words chen which means goose and pou which means foot. This is because the leaves of the plant of quinoa seeds resemble the webbed foot of a goose.

Quinoa has been cultivated as early as the 12th century by the Incans, the ancient people of South America. They referred to quinoa as the "mother seed",considered as a sacred grain and gold of the Incans.They believed that it is a gift from gods that possesses enhancing properties.The emperor ritually planted and sowed the first quinoa seed of the season using his golden taquiza, a shovel like planting stick. Quinoa gives energy and increases oxygen to the relay teams of bare footed running messengers who lived in the mountains with an altitude considered high enough where oxygen level is reduced.This is because they were holding ash from quinoa plant and cocoa leaves. This combination increases oxygen in their body to sustain the runners increasing need for oxygen. In can armies also used quinoa to energize their body from frequent marching for days. Quinoa is part of the native Indian diet to increase their resistance to prevail over harsh living condition in the high mountains.

Today quinoa is making its name popular in the industry of wonder foods.It is so high in protein that builds and nourishes muscle tissues. It is used to treat people with migraine, diabetes and atherosclerosis. It is a good source of magnesium that relaxes the blood vessels. Magnesium reduces attack of migraine by improving blood and oxygen distribution to the brain.

Magnesium combined with high dietary fiber found in quinoa helps in maintaining healthy blood pressure and prevents cardiovascular diseases. Fibers absorb and eliminate bad cholesterol.It prevents plaque that blocks the arteries and enhances blood circulation.This process prevents atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries due to fat deposits and plaque buildup that narrows the arteries.

Quinoa is rich in anti oxidants that shields each cells from getting damaged caused by free radicals, pollution, alcohol and medication. It boosts the immunity and increases resistance from stress. Anti oxidants and fibers prevent risks of cancer and diabetes.Obesity and overweight are the most common risk factor of diabetes. Fibers remove toxins and excess fats, improve digestion and maintain healthy body weight to prevent diabetes.While antioxidants enhances cell regeneration and repair. This process lowers risks of cancer.

Quinoa is highin insoluble fiber thatprevents gallstones and helps in cleansing the liver. Whole grains like quinoa reduce asthma, allergic cough and wheezing in children. The protein in quinoa strengthens the muscle tissues of the air passage, thus prevents inflammation that narrows the airways of asthma patients.

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Tasty new treats by Now Foods, "Crunch Clusters snacks"
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Date: December 11, 2009 02:49 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Tasty new treats by Now Foods, "Crunch Clusters snacks"


Crunch Clusters 9 oz bags Whoever said that health food had to taste bad never tried NOW® Crunchy Clusters. Our three popular varieties of these tasty bite-sized snacks have become such a big hit with consumers, we simply couldn't limit them to a 5 oz can. That's why we're super excited to introduce these new, more economical 9 oz Crunchy Cluster bags. Now you can enjoy even more of these great tasting, nutritious snacks. Best of all, they can be taken anywhere. They're perfect for the office, after workouts, in-between meals, or anywhere an extra boost of nutritious energy is needed.

If you're going to snack on something throughout the day, why not make it something that tastes amazing? NOW® Crunchy Clusters are the perfect solution. Each scrumptious variety is made with natural ingredients, and guaranteed to be free of artificial preservatives, flavor enhancers, or colors.

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Bitter Melon
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Date: May 22, 2009 11:44 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Bitter Melon

Bitter melon, which is also referred to as bitter gourd, is the fruit of the Momordica charantia plant. This plant is a climbing vine that originated in Asia, Africa, and Australia. Now, it is grown in warm climates all over the world. The fruit is one of the bitterest fruits of all plant foods. The oblong shaped bitter melon has warty appearance, making it quite easy to distinguish. The bitter melon fruit is hollow in cross-section with a thin layer of flesh that surrounds the central seed cavity. This cavity is filled with large flat seeds and pith which appear white in unripe fruits and red in those that are ripe.

The seeds and pith are not intensely bitter and can be removed before cooking. The pith will become sweet when the fruit is fully ripe. The pith can be eaten uncooked in this state, but the flesh is far too tough to be eaten anymore. The flesh of this fruit is Crunchy and watery in texture, similar to that of cucumber, chayote, or a green bell pepper. The skin is tender and edible. Most often, the fruit is often eaten green, but it can be eaten when it has started to ripen and turn yellowish. However, it grows more bitter as it ripens.

Bitter melon has a history of being used in fold medicine all over the world. It is though to be natural insulin in Ayurvedic tradition, making it highly recommended for the treatment of diabetes. is also one of the main components of the Okinawa diet. These people have the highest percentage of centenarians in the world, the longest healthy life expectancy, and a very low incidence of heart disease. This fruit has often been used for the treatment of tumors, asthma, skin infections, gastrointestinal ailments, and high blood pressure. Bitter melon has been a traditional remedy in Africa, China, India, and the southeastern portion of the United States.

Currently, bitter melon is being researched as a remedy for diabetes, AIDS, and some kinds of cancer. It can be used to help regulate blood sugar by reducing blood glucose and improving glucose tolerance. However, no studies have established a safe and effective dose. The plant’s roots and leaf extracts have shown antibiotic properties. Some studies suggest the possibility that an element in bitter melon may prevent the HIV virus from infecting human cells. Laboratory research shows that one component of the plant may even help to inhibit the growth of some cancers. In some studies, those people who take bitter melon developed headaches. It should be noted that expectant mothers should not use bitter melon.

The fruit, leaves, seeds, and seed oil of the bitter melon fruit are used to provide abortifacient, antifertility, antimicrobial, and hypoglycemia properties. The primary nutrients found in this fruit are ascorbic acid, glycosides, iron, niacin, riboflavin, sodium, and thiamine. Primarily, the bitter melon fruit is extremely beneficial in treating asthma, cancer, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, HIV/AIDS, hypertension, skin infections, and tumors.

Bitter melon is available in capsule or tablet forms at your local or internet health food store. For more information on the beneficial effects provided by the bitter melon fruit, please contact a representative from your local health food store. *Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Bitter melon and magnesium is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.

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Fennel
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Date: June 30, 2008 04:47 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Fennel

If there has ever been an overlooked vegetable, it would definitely be fennel. Some people have an aversion to its licorice-like scent, while others feel as if fennel is a bizarre and obscure vegetable that they have no interest in learning how to prepare. However, those who have discovered it know that ignoring fennel is a waste of a versatile vegetable’s amazing flavor and healthful benefits. Even those who already cook with fennel might find that they aren’t taking advantage of its versatility. For example, many people use only the delicate, lacy parts of fennel as a flavor-enhancing garnish for soups or salads. Others stick to just using the green-white bulbs, while tossing the remaining pieces aside. However, there’s no season like now to start using and enjoying all the parts of fennel.

Fennel is available from autumn until early spring and both its stems and bulbs have been found to contain many nutrients. Fennel spice, which is made from the vegetable’s seeds, can be found year round, as it is one of five spices in Chinese five-spice powder. One cup of raw, sliced fennel is a huge source of vitamin C, folic acid, fiber, and potassium. History has shown that fennel can be taken to alleviate bad breath, indigestion, intestinal spasms, cramps, and gas. It is thought that Puritans chewed the seeds in order to tame hunger during fasts. Recently, scientists have found that fennel contains antioxidants which promote good health.

In order to gain these healthful benefits, be sure to purchase white or pale-green fennel that has clean, firm bulbs. The bulbs should not be split, bruised, or spotted, while the stalks that grow from the bulb should be relatively straight. Additionally, the vegetable’s fronds would be green but not flowering because blooms indicate that the bulb is past maturity. When consumed right away, fennel is at its best. But, it can be kept in the crisper for up to four days. Be sure to wash it before using its base in hors d’oeuvres, salads, and gratins. Also, make sure to reserve its fronds in order to enhance dishes in a potent way. With such versatility in the kitchen, there is absolutely no excuse not to include fennel in your meals this season.

Once you discover that fennel is both Crunchy and slightly sweet, you will want to incorporate it into many of your daily meals. Thankfully, fennel can enhance many dishes and make them extraordinary. Here are some quick ideas for using fennel this season. You can thinly shave the desired amount of a fennel bulb and toss it with a bit of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and a small amount of Parmesan cheese to make a fennel salad at moment’s notice. Another option is sauté sliced fennel with equal parts of onion and bell pepper in order to make a simple vegetarian side dish. One can take advantage of fennel’s ability to enhance flavors by adding fennel with tuna or grilled sea bass. Fennel can also be cut vertically, leaving bulb, stalk, and leaves intact and then brushed with olive oil and grilled until lightly browned. Another idea is to garnish your favorite vegetable soup with coarsely chopped fennel fronds.



--
Buy Fennel At Vitanet ®, LLC

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Best Bread ...
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Date: June 13, 2005 07:30 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Best Bread ...

Best Breads by Jane Lane Energy Times, December 9, 1999

Few of us can resist the seductions of freshly baked bread, warm and fragrant, poised on the edge of a steaming bowl of soup or painted with an aromatic swath of rosemary scented oil. Even those of us from the most culinary challenged households can recall the pleasures of the simple plump white dinner roll or flaky biscuit piled in a basket on the dinner table.

Bread has blossomed from sideshow status beside the dinner plate to a full-scale mealtime headliner, a scrumptious star enriched by nutritious grains, herbs, fruits and vegetables.

Contemporary cooks build meals around Crunchy cornbread or chewy focaccia, presenting soups or salads as satisfying counterpoints. Want to jump into the bread baking basket or hone your skills? Two top vegetarian chefs shared with Energy Times their passion for bread and their expertise in baking. See if you don't find that ardor contagious.

Nancy Lazarus is a chef at the famed Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York, established in 1973 to serve up natural fare with a homecooked, vegetarian emphasis. The bill of fare changes daily at Moosewood, but there's one constant: a cup or bowl of soup, a salad and a thick slice of bread. Some loyal customers have ordered the daily special for 20 years.

That's why bread occupies a cherished spot at Moosewood. Nancy Lazarus tells why and offers some of Moosewood's favorite bread recipes: "Cooking is like art; baking is like science; bread is like magic. No matter how much science you apply, you'll never have complete control: It'll do its own thing on some level, which is part of its charm, if you're charmed by that sort of thing. Breads come out differently depending on heat and humidity, the heat of the oven; yeast is a variable that can be slower or faster acting.

"There are bread machines, of course, and they work. But they're not as satisfying as the real thing, the kneading, which can be almost therapeutic, and the control over the ingredients to your own specifications.

"Bread is not that difficult. Know your own oven, to begin: Good insulation is important and how the heat travels around inside. Convection ovens are a wonderful thing.

"There are difficult breads we recommend you buy at a good bakery: baguettes, Italian, French and Cuban that are crusty outside and soft inside.

"But focaccia is easy. It's a yeasted bread that's better to make at home than buy because it's so fresh and you can control the toppings. It only requires one slow and one quick rising but you have to be there for a while.

"Then there are quick breads that use baking soda or powder, like cornbread. If you want a good meal at home and can make only one thing, make a quick bread. They're satisfying and delicious warm from the oven; and the aroma of bread fills the house. A corn bread with tomato soup for supper is a nurturing meal good for vegans.

"Popovers are fast and simple, a middle American 50s treat, but you do need a hot oven and 45 minutes. Also easy to make: sweet breads- carrot, banana, zucchini-and biscuits.

"To reduce the fat in denser quickbreads and cakes, use applesauce. It gives body and moistness.

"The number of wheat-sensitive people is rising dramatically. A theory I think makes sense is that in the last 30 years the varieties of wheat grown has been reduced to 1 or 2 that are more easily cultivated and harvested with the machinery available. People are overloaded with one type of wheat.

"Gluten is the offending substance in wheat and some oats; try rice, tapioca and potato flours, which are denser and more fine and don't produce a good crust. Improve the crust by baking in a preheated cast iron skillet.

"Also investigate chickpea flour. You don't make a loaf of bread with it- use it for flatbreads like papadam, which is in Indian cookbooks. And it's good for batter for vegetables.

"Spelt is the closest to wheat flour in consistency but some people can be sensitive to it.

"Visit a natural food store to check out the flours. The mills sometimes print handouts with recipes and a lot of those are real good, especially for what works with their flour. Or you may run into a baker who will whet your appetite with ideas and recipes.

"Bread is the supreme comfort food. It can speak to us, and reassure us. The magic of bread and how it varies: There's something appealing in that. In today's world, food is predictable, and that's reassuring to some people. At Moosewood, things are always different, and that's good."

Claire Criscuolo puts an intensely personal spin on the eclectically ethnic style of cooking at her esteemed vegetarian restaurant, Claire's Corner Copia. That 25-year-old institution in New Haven, Connecticut, reflects her zest for the freshest ingredients, robust flavors and inspired combinations. Claire, a teacher and advocate for healthful cuisine, pours her passion into her breadmaking as well:

"Healthy bread is like anything else-it has healthy ingredients. We use the best organic unbleached flour and yeast, pure vanilla, whole eggs (not dried and powdered), whole milk and organic sour cream. You want to use good, fresh ingredients. It's the essence of healthy cooking. "I tell my staff, 'Don't use your soup pot as a garbage pail. Bread is the same. If the ingredients aren't at their freshest for serving, then they aren't right for other uses in the kitchen.

"Our bread is very important at Claire's. We make a country white and a honey wheat in a pinwheel loaf-400 a day-and challah for the morning French toast with sauteed bananas or as buns for veggie burgers. "It's not practical to bake bread every day. We let our bread rise several times, punching it down again and again. For the home cook, it's time consuming. Even I'm happy to buy a good loaf of bread. "But anybody can bake bread. Combine flour, water and yeast and watch it grow! It's delights all your senses. And it a gratifies and satisfies. I was kneading it all by hand until we got up to 12 loaves a day.

"I love a good oatmeal molasses bread; a whole wheat bread with walnuts, rosemary and finely chopped sweet onion sauteed in olive oil for a roasted vegetable sandwich; or an anadama bread with split pea soup.

"Bread is part of a meal. It requires time and effort, but I can't think of many things worthwhile that don't."



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