Food News Today for July 19th, 2014

Simple uses for leftover wine. Shaking off the salty habit.

July 19, 2014

SIMPLE USES FOR LEFTOVER WINE?
Ever wonder what to do with that pesky half bottle of wine you have left? You hate to throw it away, but has it been open just a day too long?
Well we've got you covered! Reader’s Digest compiled eight new and practical ways to use the remainder of your wine. Whether its red, white or sparkling - here's how to save your budget and time and let no wine go to waste:
First - use it as a flavor booster. Wine works wonders when it comes to giving that soup, stew or gravy an extra layer. Readers Digest notes that white and sparkling work best in creamy or clear and brothy soups (such as chowder and simple vegetable), while red wine goes well with tomato or beef-based varieties (think chili).

And if you don't know what you're cooking next..no problem! Why not try freezing leftover wine in ice cube trays for cooking later!  

Another idea? Use wine to  Poach fruit. Cook pears, apples, peaches, or plums in red wine and sugar. Let simmer in the liquid for ten minutes.

If you're after that perfect fluffy omelet, leftover sparkling wine,  champagne, prosecco, or cava will give your eggs a lift. Add to omelets for a fluffy and light dish.

Finally, jump on board the artisanal trend and make yourself some artisanal vinegar. Pour leftover red wine into a jar of non-pasteurized vinegar and leave it alone, stirring weekly. Within a couple of weeks, you’ll have “artisanal” vinegar.

SHAKING OFF THE SALT HABIT
 For many American’s a daily diet challenge is cutting back on salt.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day — or 1,500 mg if you're age 51 or older, African American,  have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. But according to the Mayo Clinic, the average American gets about 3,400 mg of sodium a day — much more than recommended.
So while Americans are trying to fight off the salt addiction, there's one group that's not helping the cause: Restaurants!  A recent report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, has been tracking sodium counts on various restaurant menus, results showed that some meals at popular chains such as Red Lobster, Chili's and Olive Garden contain up to 5,000 milligrams of sodium -- more than double what a healthy adult should be eating each day.
The report analyzed 136 meals from 17 of the top restaurant chains in the United States.  Everywhere from Subway to Olive Garden to MacDonald’s - they looked at meals in 2009 and then again in 2013 to see if there had been any change.
Results were good and bad.  According to the report Subway made the biggest improvement. They reduced the sodium in every one of the 10 meals that were analyzed. For example, in 2009 a Footlong Ham Sandwich with chips and a soda totaled 2,730 milligrams of sodium. In 2013, the same meal had 1,895 milligrams of sodium.
Olive Garden, Burger King, McDonald's, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell also reduced the sodium in all of the meals that researchers analyzed.
The restaurants that made the least change? Chains such as KFC and Jack in the Box. Researchers evaluated seven meals at KFC -- five showed increases in total sodium. Jack in the Box increased the sodium in the sample meals by an average of 7.2%, according to the report.
 The biggest takeaway from these types of studies is that consumers can't rely on others to make the change.  Always read nutritional info before you purchase so you can make healthier choices, and if you're limited in options, at least try and avoid salty additionals like chips, fries and even sauces.


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