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Friday, February 20, 2009

Investigating Trans fats :Margarine or Shortening or Butter,which is worse?. And Spiced-up Peach Mini-Tarts

Back when dangers of trans fat were unknown,none cared to check the food label for this unhealthiest kind of fat.Lots changed after discovering the link between the growing number of heart disease and the daily careless consumption of trans fats;every food label is now required to mention about the quantity of trans fat under the nutrition facts.

What is a Trans Fat?
Simply put,it an altered or processed form of fat.Altered by injecting in Hydrogen(H2) under pressure(with metals like nickel as catalyst) in to the vegetable fats that results in change of the fat's original state,when it partially hardened at room temperature the fat becomes "Partially hydrogenated" and fully hardened the fat is called "Fully hydrogenated",either of those are the heart's biggest enemies,a leading cause for heart disease.

Why is this harmful oil used commercially?
Partially hydrogenated oils or trans fats are used in processed foods to preserve its shelf life and also for its milder taste.

Trans fat found in other foods
Besides some processed foods like cakes ,cookies, fried foods like French fries and doughnuts,we may be consuming some amounts of trans fats through foods like butter,pork,lamb and other fatty dairy products.


How much Trans Fat is safe according to the Nutritionists?
No more than 2g is recommended for a healthy diet.If you eat high fat red meat and dairy regularly,then you may be getting the required dose ,leaving no room for such commercial products with trans fats.

Margarine or Shortening or Butter,which is worst?

Even though Margarine or Shortening are cholesterol free,the trans fat content makes them just as bad or some times worse than butter depending on its concentration of trans fat.And butter even though nearly free in trans fat ,is a high cholesterol food,hence best if minimized in consumption.
Be careful when reading the nutrition labels ,unless otherwise labeled as "trans fat free" margarine or shortening or butter have some amount of trans fat.Even "0g" does not mean its free of trans.According to the nutrition labeling tricky(ridiculous!) rules ,unless trans fat is greater than 0.5grams the food is still labeled as 0 gram.

If you are not vegan,regular on high fat red meat and dairy, its recommended to avoid trans fatty commercial products and consume Saturated fats under limits i.e about 15 grams(little more than a tablespoon) a day.Of course even Vegans have to check the labels and consume trans fats within daily allowed limit (2grams) for an over all good health.

Spiced-up Peach Mini-Tarts

Originating from China,these gorgeous fruits rich in Vitamin A and C make a delicious juicy topping for the tarts with hint of spices.


Often pies,biscuits and tarts call for saturated fats such as butter or shortening for a crumbly scrumptious crust.Instead of generous use to solid fats which can clog the arteries,use fat under limits.2 tablespoons for 3 servings is well under the limits for this mini tarts recipe.

Recipe
Makes about 6 mini tarts.
Serves 3
Ingredients
For Crust
1 cup Whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoon Organic butter or Vegetable Shortening(Trans fat free),cold and cut in cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon
2-3 tablespoon cold water

For Topping
2 peaches or nectarines(fresh please not canned),chopped
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Method
Prepare the dough
Sift the flours,salt and cinnamon in bowl. Mix in the butter or shortening,using a food processor pulse while adding the cold water ,until just combined in to a crumbly mixture. Or use 2 fork and break the butter in to flour and mix it up while adding the cold water.Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and allow to refrigerate for 30 minutes

Prepare the Topping
Mix all the ingredients under the topping list about 5 minutes before rolling the crust.
Bake the tarts
Preheat Oven to 350F
Unwrap the dough. Spread some all purpose flour on work surface.Divide the dough in to 6 equal portions.Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough about 4 inches in size.Place the dough on a baking tray and put the fruit filling in the center leaving out the edges.Bake for about 15-18 minutes until the edges of tart are lightly crisp.Serve warm.



These peachy tarts are off to Sunshinemom's Food In Colors event,the color of the month is Orange and host is Aparna of My diverse Kitchen.

38 comments:

nick said...

I totally for banning the trans fats!

Asha said...

I would prefer to use real butter and sugar to any artificial replacement to these. 1 tbsp fat sounds quite okay to me per day, keeps your skin supple! :)

Spiced Mini Tarts looks yummy,I love Cinnamon and brown sugar combo enjoy. see you on Monday!

veggie belly said...

I had no idea anything below .5 could be labeled as 0 g. How deceptive! Thanks for an educational post!

Priya said...

Spiced mini tarts looks delicious, very informative n helpful post..thanks a lot Yasmeen...

Varsha Vipins said...

I always go for butter ..neva used maragarine or shortening.That was a lot of info Yasmeen..Thanks..:)
Loved the mini tarts..they look cute n wholesome..:)

Aparna Inguva said...

How cute are those..! yum

Poornima Nair said...

Thats some really useful info Yasmeen...better stick to butter than all the artificial alternatives...
The tarts look yummy!!

Indhu said...

excellent post... thanks for posting such informative articles... it helps a lot for people like who have just now started experimenting with cooking.
love the mini tarts! :)

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Nice useful information abt fats. Those tarts looks so cute. Nice recipe. YUM!

Sara said...

I try and avoid trans fats as much as possible. Your tarts look so pretty!

Sunshinemom said...

Mini tarts look terrific. A tasty and healthy mouthful:)

Maris said...

These little whole wheat crusts are great! I bet they'd be delicious with all kinds of fruit desserts.

Cham said...

The "o" calorie spray, food are the biggest Labeling loop holes. But it is legal because one-5 sprays re less than 5 calo, but if u find out the whole spray bottle calorie and fat, we should die! Good post and tasty Tart!

sowmya said...

your posts are always so informative..tarts looks so cute and must have been so delicious too..

Viki Xavier. said...

Much useful a post on trans fat. Those mini tarts look delicious.
Ur photos are always great and I like the details in those pics.
Thanks for your caring response in my 'humble request ' post.
I too love the teachings in Quaran.
We can learn a lot from those religious books. Isn't it..lovely thoughts dear.

Ann said...

Great Informative post as always..The tarts look tempting..am sure it will be my fav taste..

Ivy said...

Thanks for this informative post. I am trying no to use either of them but mostly olive oil

Kevin said...

Nice informative post! It seems like a trade off between two evils. The tarts look good!

ayesha said...

I never knew trans fat could be present in red meat,thanks for the useful info.The mini tarts sure look delicious with fruit topping.

sam said...

Trans fats are truly the unhealthiest ingredient in a processed food.thanks for raising the awareness.

simmi said...

Delectable mini-tarts.thanks for all the info on bad fats.

Adlak's tiny world said...

gr8 dear wat an informative post u have shared here.. thnks thnks a big thanks for that.

spiced trats - simply superb.

sangeeta said...

what i liked the most is the use of whole wheat flour and fresh peaches with skin.......the hint of spiced is awesome.........i know it tastes good...

DEESHA said...

they look soo cute yasmeen

Sid said...

Oh I avoid trans fats as much as possible,but its hard to miss them on most processed\baked commercial food labels.Those mini tarts sounds scrumptious with peachy topping.

meeso said...

Cute little tarts!!!

Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

Very great post on the investigation of trans fats. I try to look at labels when I purchase butter or margarine.

The mini tarts look excellent!

zlamushka said...

Lovely tarts Yasmeen :_)
I have tried to email you before to confirm you are OK with hosting T&T in July. Please get bac to me :-)

Swapna Pravin said...

Nice click & very creative dish. Just love this:)

Jen said...

The 0g not really 0 does sound tricky and unfair,even the fraction of trans fat in a food must be clearly labeled,for consumers best health.
Love those fruit topped tarts with just the needed amount of butter.

Uj said...

Very good and informative post dear.. Thanks.. I prefer to use butter and sugar in place of these artificial sweeteners or shortening. Tarts look yummy. you make us crave with those beautiful pics

sriharivatsan said...

Nice useful information abt fats. Tarts looks so cute!!

Navita said...

love the info n those tarts!

i use margarine more often..guess hve to use it sparingly now!

RAKS KITCHEN said...

I too recently read an article about this,how in packing they trick you and how we have to be in careful while choosing!
Peach tarts are pretty looking Yaasmeen:)

Bharti said...

Those tarts look so cute! And I'm in the use real butter brigade. Use less but keep it real and natural.

notyet100 said...

this looks yuumy,..

Curry Leaf said...

Love the tarts Yasmeen.Thanks for the info on trans fats.The chart is very helpul and eye opening

Aparna said...

Such delightful looking cute little tarts, Yasmeen.
Thanks for participating in FIC orange.
That's a good write-up on fats. One other thing is that many products have a "0" cholesterol tag on them. Or say "baked not fried"! This doesn't mean they're lower in fats or calories.

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