GAZELLE STL NOVEMBER 2017 - Page 71

CUISINE Thanksgiving Fads and Facts P reparing holiday meals can be a daunting task for working women. Sometimes, it is necessary to take a few shortcuts to save time. Mayo Clinic registered dietician Kathryn Zeratsky helps us sort through the fads and the facts about holiday cooking. Thanksgiving turkey: It makes your mouth water, and it makes you tired, right? Yes, turkey is a source of tryptophan, but so are a lot of other foods. Tryptophan is an amino acid found in protein-rich food. So it could be turkey, but it could be dairy products like milk or eggs. And why do we end up needing a Thanksgiving Day nap? It probably wasn’t so much the turkey as it was the quantity of everything you ate. Can we safely cook a frozen Thanksgiving turkey without thawing it first? Yes, you can safely cook a frozen turkey if you take the following precautions: You can oven-roast a frozen turkey, but don't grill, deep- fry, microwave or smoke one. Grilling and deep-frying use high temperatures that will quickly cook and char the outside, but leave the inside of the bird only partially cooked, increasing the risk of foodborne illness. Microwaving also isn't a safe option because it cooks a frozen bird unevenly. Smoking uses temperatures that are generally too low and take too long to fully cook a frozen turkey, also increasing the risk of food poisoning. Oven bags aren't recommended for frozen turkeys, either. At some point, you need to open the bag to remove the giblets, and this allows contaminated juices to spill out. Opening the bag also releases scalding hot steam that can burn you. We’ve heard that canned pumpkin is healthier than fresh pumpkin. Is that true? Not necessarily. Fresh foods generally have a higher nutrient content than do cooked or canned foods. But in this case,