Yesterday I was astonished to read Chris Kresser’s excellent blog post The Myth about Nitrates and Nitrites . Everyone knows that Nitrites/Nitrates are potentially carcinogenic. When I allowed my children to eat hot dogs or lunch meats that contained them, I felt worried. Now, according to peer reviewed studies, not only are they not harmful, but may be beneficial for immunity and heart health! Apparently the vast majority of our exposure to nitrites/nitrates comes from endogenous sources in our own bodies, particularly saliva, though we also are exposed to them through vegetables! Kresser writes,
“On average, about 93% of nitrites we get from food come from vegetables. It may shock you to learn that one serving of arugula, two servings of butter lettuce, and four servings of celery or beets all have more nitrite than 467 hot dogs. (2) And your own saliva has more nitrites than all of them! So before you eliminate cured meats from your diet, you might want to address your celery intake. And try not to swallow so frequently.”
Isn’t this amazing? It’s seems when it comes to beliefs about what food is healthy and what is not, expect the unexpected. I never thought that I would hear that Nitrates/Nitrates are beneficial. There are so many ingrained beliefs that are erroneous; fat is bad, tofu is good, red meat is bad, whole grains are good, the list goes on and on.
Now for a complete change of subject: Mayonnaise.
Home made mayonnaise has the distinct advantage of containing only healthful ingredients. It is really difficult to find store bought mayonnaise that is not made with canola oil or soybean oil, or another inferior product. But unfortunately sometimes home made mayonnaise does not always turn out well. On occasion, in spite of my best efforts to carefully slowly drip the oil into the blender, it does not set and I am left with an oily mess. This has happened to me more than once.
Thus I was very interested to learn about a method of making mayonnaise using an immersion blender. I tried it, and it worked like a charm! It was incredibly easy, and I instantly had perfect fluffy mayonnaise. This is a really good tip. Try it. I also suggest that you add a tablespoon of whey to your mayonnaise, as it will then last for several months rather than just 2 weeks. It will become firmer over time. Here is a YouTube video with a recipe and demonstrating the technique: