Being grateful for our bitter sensing tastebuds

A sensitivity for the bitter tastes in life may be linked to the pain relief and other healing benefits we gain from the phytonutrients that are the active ingredient in the pain relief tablets of Aspirin TM. Salicin/salcylic acid/salicylates are a group of phytonutrients found in berries and other fruits and some vegetables and in many spices used in India. A reduced cancer rate in people of rural India is speculated to be associated with the increased use of traditional foods and cooking spices in the their diet. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16608205)

Some people may have food sensitivities or allergies to the group of phyotnutrients and a list of foods lower in the nutrients then other foods and those, such as buckwheat, that have more of the nutrients available than average here: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.jafc.7b04313

Aspirin was developed from analysis of the Willow Bark Tea, which was a traditional medicinal remedy for pain relief.   https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1319610310000578

Some people have more sensitive perception of the bitter taste and it was found to be associated with increased sensitivity to the salicin content of foods. The genetic difference developed around 1.1 million years ago. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131111185522.htm

Addition 5/12/18: I had a genetic screening test done recently and learned that I do have a genetic difference in my ability to taste bitter flavors that may have made me more sensitive to lower amounts of bitter substances as a child and then might have gotten used to more bitter flavors as an adult. https://www.snpedia.com/index.php/gs227

So a spoonful of medicine may need a little sugar to help the bitters go down better.

(pun intended, Bitters was an old type of medicine based on quinine that was occasionally used in alcoholic mixed drinks and was called Bitters because of it’s bitter, sour or bittersweet flavor, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitters

This article about a study with less than 1000 people that is making links between food taste preferences and psychiatric tendencies is sensationalistic and unreliable with such a small group of people. nypost.com/2017/12/31/if-you-like-gin-and-tonic-you-might-be-a-psychopath/ Certain illnesses and some medications can cause an increased sense of bitterness in taste whether or not the food is very bitter to the average person. bitter+taste+preference+and+inflammatory+conditions

I’ve written about this topic before with excerpts from two research articles. The post includes a list of some foods and spices salicylate content: Carrots, spices and Baby Aspirin may help prevent cancer and inflammationhttp://transcendingsquare.com/2011/10/21/carrots-spices-and-baby-aspirin-help-prevent-cancer-and-inflammation/

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

Orange Buckwheat Cake tastes a little like rainbows

This is a quick bread with ratios similar to a rich muffin or cake like brownie. Oat flour may have traces of gluten but it helps reduce the crumbliness of buckwheat, millet and corn flour products.
  • I have been focusing on developing recipes that use less commonly used ingredients that are rich in phospholipids and other nutrients. Rotating in more unusual ingredients into the weekly or monthly diet adds trace nutrients. Coconut and walnuts add variety to the types of fats in the diet. The saturated and mono-unsaturated fats benefit the diet by improving the ratio of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids but without having to add animal based fats. Omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids are found more in oily seeds, while olive oil has a higher ratio of mono-unsaturated fats and coconut is rich in saturated fats. Walnuts are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids to the point that excessive daily use could lead to problems with blood clotting and bruising easily.
  • The fat content of a meal also is needed for the stomach to tell the brain that the meal was satisfying and that eating could stop.
    Variety and moderation are the essential factor to a healthy diet. Using a variety of whole food ingredients in the daily diet boosts intake of trace nutrients and other phytochemicals. Many important antioxidants are also the actual pigment colors in the plant.
  • Taste a Rainbow” of fruits and vegetables is a campaign that some school lunch programs have embraced. The changes in the school lunch program had been anticipated since 2009. Registered Dietitians in larger school districts have been revamping menus since then. Student participation has been encouraged with sampling days where new vegetables or other foods are available for everyone to try even if they brought a sack lunch.
  • Produce requirements have doubled from requiring that 1 and 1/2 servings of fruit and vegetables be offered per meal to 2 servings of vegetables and one of fruit (roughly- the numbers are listed in cups).
  • The following article adds that “French Fries” that are served in school cafeterias have been baked for years and frequently are sweet potato fries. According to the following article in the magazine, Today’s Dietitian, deep fryers are not generally found in school kitchens. :  [New Standards Unveiled for School Lunches – Soon Kids Will Be Eating More Fruits, Veggies, and Whole Grains, by Lori Zanteson,  todaysdietitian Vol,. 14 No. 5, p 14]
Trial Three showing the interior texture. I ran out of frosting.

Orange Buckwheat CakeTrial 1
Makes one 8 inch by 8 inch pan, bake at 350’F for about 35-40 minutes
***This combo is good but a little dry and stringy. Commercially purchased Coconut Pecan Frosting was the perfect finish which led to Trial Two with raisins and walnut additions.

1 cup Buckwheat Flour
1/2 cup Oat Flour
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Coconut Flakes
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
2 Eggs
1/2 stick/ 4 Tbs Butter melted or 1/2 cup Oil
1/2 tsp Orange Oil Extract
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 cup Apricot Nectar or Orange Juice

Trial one and two = lots of cake to eat.

Orange Buckwheat Cake – Trial Two – I’m aiming for a variation of Carrot Cake. the coconut by itself stands out as an odd stringy texture that suddenly needs to be chewed more than the rest of the quick bread. When carrots and coconut are used with raisins or chopped nuts the combined textures and shapes blend into a mixture that makes chewing expected and more natural.

1.  Let soak while gathering the other ingredients:    Trial Three – the raisins were a little odd but the level of moistness was better.)

5.5 oz can Apricot Nectar                             2/3 cup Orange Juice

1/2 cup Golden Raisins                                 1/2 cup Coconut Flakes

1/2 cup Coconut Flakes                               1 cup chopped Walnuts or Pecans

1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts

2. Whisk Dry Ingredients together:

1 cup Buckwheat Flour                               3/4 cup Buckwheat Flour

1.2 cup Oat Flour                                       3/4 cup Oat Flour

1/2 cup Sugar                                             3/4 cup Sugar

1/2 tsp Salt                                                  1/2 tsp Salt

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder                             1/2 tsp Baking Soda

3. Beat the eggs and oil and then add to the flour along with the soaking fruit and nut mix.

2 Eggs                                                        2 Eggs

1/2 cup Oil                                                  1/2 cup Oil

1/2 tsp Orange Oil Extract                           1/2 tsp Orange Oil Extract

1 tsp Vanilla Extract                                     1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Bake King cake pans with sliders. eBay

4. Bake in a 8 in by 8 in square pan for 45 minutes or  in two 9 inch round cake pans for about 35 minutes or when they pass the clean knife blade test and the center springs up lightly when pressed.

*** I put Trial Three in two cake pans. The batter is excessive for one pan but a little short for two. Trial Four, eventually, will test a larger batch size of Trial Three to better fill two cake pans with no other modifications to the ratios or ingredients. It’s good just short and dense.

My mother used the Bake King cake pans with a center slider. Buttering or oiling the pan and then sprinkling that with flour is the traditional method for improving the chance of getting the cake out of the pan unbroken.

Some bakers trim the edges and flatten one layer before frosting.

PS – The orange extract is good with the strong flavor of the buckwheat but just the vanilla would probably also be good. I  used Apricot Nectar in Trial One and Two because it is less acidic than orange juice. If using orange juice substitute 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Soda for the 1 1/2 teaspoons of Baking Powder. The Baking Powder has an acidic component that would be unnecessary if Lemon Juice, Buttermilk or Orange Juice are used in the recipe.

PPS: The orange juice plus baking soda worked very well in Trial Three.

PPPS: This type of frosting is traditionally used on German Chocolate Cake and only the top of the layers are frosted. The crisp edges would not be trimmed away when using Coconut Pecan Icing.

  • Ovenex Cake Pans with Sliders -[link] a brand that seems comparable to Bake King. The center of the cake pans have a slider attached that cuts the cake loose from the bottom of the pan. The center of Trial Two stayed behind as I removed the cake from the square pan.