Cooking Ingredient Glossary
The Jennifer’s Kitchen Ingredient Glossary is an informative list of common and not-so-common foods that you may find in recipes. Feel free to email me if you come across an ingredient not listed that you’d like added here.
Take me to:
A dried seaweed that has very little or no taste and is used as a thickener. Agar can be used in place of gelatin in some recipes, but usually a lesser amount is required.
Unlike gelatin, agar is rich in many nutrients.
Also called agar-agar.
1 stick agar=3 Tbs. (2 oz.) agar flakes=3 tsp. agar powder=24 strands
Storage: Store in a cool, dry place.
Tips: Agar flakes, powder, and sticks are not interchangeable. Be sure to purchase the type your recipe calls for.
A highly nutritious nut (actually the fruit of a deciduous tree) that can be eaten raw, roasted, or blanched or made into almond butter.
Forms: Almonds can be purchased raw or roasted. Most of the recipes on Jennifer’s Kitchen and in the my Weight Loss Program use raw almonds.
Storage: All nuts should be kept in a cool, dry place. For longer storage (over one month), they should be kept in the refrigerator or freezer.
Tips: Be sure to purchase fresh almonds. Old or rancid almonds taste terrible.
Where to find it: Almonds can be purchased at most grocery stores and natural food stores. To save money, consider buying them straight from an orchard, such as Zinke’s Almond Orchard, or online.
Almonds that have had their skins removed. Blanched almonds can be purchased or you can blanch them yourself.
Storage: Blanched almonds are best stored in a cold, dry place, such as in a sealed container in the freezer.
Tips: Be sure to purchase fresh blanched almonds. Old or rancid blanched almonds taste terrible.
Where to find it: Blanched almonds can be purchased at most major grocery stores, natural food stores, or online.
How to blanch your own almonds –
1. Bring a pan of water to a boil.
2. Add raw almonds.
3. Allow to boil for 30 seconds.
4. Pour into a colander and drain.
5. Rinse briefly under cold water.
6. Slip the skins off by squeezing them between the thumb and finger.
A paste similar to peanut butter, except made from almonds instead of peanuts.
Selecting: I suggest you buy those without added ingredients such as oil or sugar.
Storage: Keep in a cool, dry place until opened. Refrigerate after opening.
Tips: Natural nut butters tend to separate. Stir before using.
Where to find it: Almond butter can be purchased at most grocery stores, natural food stores, or online. Or almond butter can be made at home for a fraction of the price.
How to make your own almond butter:
1. Place 1 1/2 cups raw almonds single layer on a dry baking sheet.
2. Bake in oven at 350°F for 14 minutes. Turn oven off, but do not open oven door. Allow almonds to stay in oven for an additional 10 minutes.
3. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
4. Place almonds in food processor.
5. Process until smooth and creamy, stopping processor several times to scrape down the sides. It will take several minutes.
A non-dairy milk made from ground almonds. The flavor of almond milk works well in dessert or breakfast recipes but doesn’t always taste very good in savory recipes.
Forms: Comes in a variety of flavors including vanilla and plain.
Storage: Aseptically packaged almond milk will keep until the “Best Before” date printed on the box. Opened almond milk will keep for 7 to 10 days in the refrigerator.
Tips: Shake well before using.
Where to find it: Almond milk can be found in aseptic packages at most major grocery stores in the health food aisle or the cereal aisle. Cartons of almond milk can be found in the refrigerated milk section of some major grocery stores. Almond milk can also be purchased from natural food stores, or online.
A round fruit that comes in many different colors and can be eaten fresh or cooked.
Forms: Apples can be purchased fresh or dried.
Selecting: Choose firm apples.
Storage: Fresh apples are best stored in a cool or cold place.
Tips: When cutting apples into slices or chunks, sprinkle them with lemon juice or soak them in apple juice to keep them from turning brown.
Where to find it: Can be purchased from most grocery stores or direct from an orchard.
An easily digested, fine powder that is made from the root of the arrowroot plant. Arrowroot powder is used as a thickening agent like cornstarch, but is less refined than cornstarch. Also called arrowroot flour.
Forms: Comes as a white powder.
Storage: Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Tips: To measure arrowroot powder accurately, use a spoon to scoop the powder into a measuring cup. Use a straight utensil or the back edge of a butter knife to level arrowroot powder across measuring cup.
Where to find it: Can be purchased from some major grocery stores, natural food stores, or online.
A green vegetable grown for the fleshy base of its leaves and the tender, edible heart. Usually eaten with a sauce for dipping. Not related to the Jerusalem artichoke.
Forms: The whole globe artichokes can be purchased fresh or the hearts can be found canned or frozen.
Selecting: Look for heavy, fresh-looking artichokes with tightly packed closed leaves.
Storage: Store in a plastic bag with a few drops of water in refrigerator.
Tips: Use scissors to snip off thorns before cooking.
Where to find it: Can be purchased from most major grocery stores.
A knobby root vegetable that looks similar to ginger. The skin is light brown tinged with yellow, red or purple. The inside is white and crunchy. Also called sunchokes.
Forms: Purchased as a raw tuber.
Selecting: Choose firm roots without bruises or nicks.
Storage: Store in a cool, dry place.
Tips: Jerusalem artichokes can be eaten cooked or raw.
Where to find it: Can be purchased from some major grocery stores.
A smooth, buttery fruit that is high in many nutrients including monounsaturated fat, folate, potassium, and vitamin E. Avocados taste great on salads or seasoned with lemon juice, onion, garlic, and salt and spread on bread.
Forms: There are close to 500 avocado varieties. The most common variety is the Haas avocado.
Selecting: Choose avocados that are green and firm and allow to ripen on counter top at home.
Storage: When the skin begins to darken and avocado yields to very gentle pressure, the fruit is ripe. Use immediately or store in refrigerator until ready to use.
Tips: A very green avocado will ripen in about 6 to 7 days. Ripening time can be sped up by placing the avocados in a warmer environment. The flesh of an avocado will begin to discolor shortly after exposed to air, so avoid cutting one until ready to eat.
Where to find it: Can be found in the produce section at most grocery stores.
Take me to: