By Kristen | May 29, 2020 2020 Photo credit: Damon The Difference Between Nuts and Seeds A sprinkling of nuts or seeds added to almost any dish boosts flavor, texture, and nutrition. Technically, nuts are the fruits of trees. But everything we call a nut is not technically a nut. For instance, peanuts are legumes…

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By Kristie | May 28, 2020 We all know that vanilla tastes delicious. In cookies, cakes, ice cream… the list goes on. (Especially if we “accidentally” add in a little extra.) But food isn’t the only place that’s perfect for vanilla. Do you want your house to smell delicious, even when you haven’t been baking?…

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By Kristie | May 22, 2020 If you’ve ever gone shopping for vanilla beans, you may have had to choose between a variety of labels: Grade A, Grade B, Madagascar, Bourbon, Mexican… the list goes on. You’d be right to be confused — it’s a lot to take in! Here we’re going to break down…

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By Kristen | May 21, 2020 I first began baking with flax years ago, when I had a customer request vegan baked goods. In order to make my recipes vegan, I would have to find substitutes for butter (not difficult, oil works) and eggs (a bit more tricky). I did some research and quickly realized…

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By Kristen | May 15th, 2020 Sometimes, when seeds are harvested, bits and pieces of the plant stem, seedpod, or husks can get caught up in the process. What should you do if you find plant matter in your poppy seeds? Turn to a process called winnowing, which is a seed cleaning technique. Winnowing Process…

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By Kristie | May 14, 2020 Angel food cake. White chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Vanilla ice cream. Fruit tarts.  You probably know that vanilla can bring these classic dessert recipes to life. But did you know that vanilla can elevate savory dishes, too? That’s right. And not just in fancy French recipes, either. Think mashed…

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By Kirsten | May 1st, 2020 The World Loves Poppy Seeds Poppy seeds are popular around the world, where they are enjoyed in both sweet and savory recipes. They are especially popular in  Eastern Europe, where poppy flowers (Papaver Somniferum) are native and the seeds are considered a symbol of wealth. You will find them…

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By Kristie | April 30, 2020 When it comes to vanilla, we may be tempted to assume: of course real is better. But you may be surprised to learn that in some cases, people — experts, even — can’t tell the difference between real and synthetic vanilla. In fact, when asked to choose between real…

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Kristie Chairil is a freelance writer and Los Angeles native. When she isn’t tutoring high school English, traveling, or writing, you can invariably find her immersed in a new Netflix series. Her non-streaming hobbies are all book-related: doodling calligraphy in notebooks, reading novels, sight-reading piano scores. If she had to pick a favorite bake, she’d…

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Kristen is a chef and culinary consultant based in Washington, DC. A certified food safety manager, she trained at New York City’s Natural Gourmet Institute. Kristen specializes in cooking and baking with whole, natural ingredients. For more than 6 years, Kristen owned and operated Flagstone Pantry, a healthy gourmet concept, located at the Santa Barbara…

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