The highlight of the Institute of Food Technology (IFT) meeting in July was meeting Karla Chambers, Vice President of Stahlbush Island Farms. Her book, Farming, Food & Fine Art is filled with easy to prepare fruit and vegetable recipes with full color photos that make your mouth water. A Recipe & Coloring Book – The Color of Nutrition is just what is needed to encourage better eating habits. Both can be ordered from Stahlbush Island Farms at www.stahlbush.com or Amazon.
The IFT conference also featured corn as a whole grain that food processors like Kellogg, Post and Pepperidge Farms will be using in cereal bars, crackers, baby snacks and baking mixes because it is gluten-free.
Stevia plants take too much land for growing this alternative sweetener so Cargill (makers of Truvia) and Evolva, a synthetic biology pioneer will be converting corn into steviol glycosides via a fermentation process that begins with genetically engineered baker’s yeast.
Another low calorie sugar called ” allulose” added excitement for beverage, yogurt, ice cream and baked goods manufacturers. It has the bulk, texture and taste of sugar with no calories and 70% of the sweetness. Whether it can be labeled as “natural” is yet to be decided. Allulose is found in small amounts in some fruits but the manufactured product is produced via the enzymatic conversion of corn, sugar or other materials containing fructose.
Cricket powder was a show stopper. Dr. Aaron Dossey, founder and CEO of bug ingredients and research firm All Things Bug, stated that many producers roast and then grind crickets to make a dark, coarse powder. He grinds crickets for heat-treating them, creating a paler, firmer powder with a more neutral flavor with a shelf life of 12 months that could be used in muffins, pancakes, or protein powders.
Aquatic plants could be the next source of healthy oils according to Mark Brooks, senior vice president of Solazme. Algae oil does not contain trans fats and is a monounsaturated fat like olive oil. It could be used in mayo, salad dressings and fried foods in the future.
Vegetable Stir Fry
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bag (2 cups) frozen sweet corn
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 bag frozen spinach or 2 packed cups fresh spinach
Toasted sesame seeds
Salt & pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions. Saute 3 minutes before adding garlic and corn. Saute 5-10 minutes longer until onions are tender. Add red pepper and spinach. Saute until spinach is fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Top with toasted sesame seeds before serving. Makes 4 servings.
One serving = 72 calories
Protein 2 g
Sodium 53 mcg