Sept. 22, 2012
This Week's Q&A (Peanut Butter and Agave)
You've got questions and we've got answers!
Q: What’s your opinion on agave nectar?
A: I've read a lot of conflicting information on agave -- I do think it depends on what kind of agave you’re using (i.e. is it raw, how is it extracted from the plant?) because I don’t doubt that some brands are junkier than others (i.e. white sugar vs. raw sugar) but I also think it's important to remember agave is a sweetener and just like any other sweetener it's not a "health" food the way an apple is a health food. All sweeteners should accent the diet, not be a key ingredient. If I use a little agave here and there, I don't see a problem with it. It's not my first choice, I much prefer maple, then raw sugar, but I do have a few recipes where agave works best and I make them a handful of times a year without guilt or worry... but we all need to find our own balance :)
Q: I have non-stick pans. Is it necessary for me to line my pans before baking burgers and cookies?
A: It depends. Every non-stick brand is different. Some have temperature limits on their non-stickiness. For example, when I was pricing new bakeware, I remember picking one up that said it was non-stick up to 350 or 400F. I can’t remember the brand or specifics. Your manufacturers website should have this information and it should be on the packaging if you are purchasing new. When in doubt, line your nonstick with parchment paper. Easier cleanup anyway!
Q: Is there a recipe for “healthy cheese sprinkle” using nutritional yeast without nuts?
A: I don’t know of a recipe, but I use the vegan parm by Galaxy Global which does not contain nuts.
Q: I’m currently vegetarian, thinking about transitioning to a plant-based diet. Any tips for me?
A: Just do it. Don’t think about it or fret about it, take it one meal at a time. Also, try our meal plans. They make getting started ridiculously easy.
You can also check out my blog post, top 10 tips for going vegan.
Q: Do you eat peanut butter? I know peanut butter has oil in it.
A: Not all peanut butters have oil in them. You can buy (or make) peanut butter that’s just nuts, or nuts, sugar and/or salt if you like your peanut butter to be sweetened or salted. I’m not a huge fan of peanut butter, and I don’t eat a lot of nuts in general, but I do eat oil-free peanut butter in food from time to time. For example, I use a dab of peanut butter when I make Pad Thai.