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Ask Carb Diva: Questions & Answers About Food, Recipes, & Cooking, #146

Updated on July 20, 2020
Carb Diva profile image

Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes, one ingredient at a time.

Anniversaries

That topic is on my mind as I write this because my husband and I just celebrated 39 years of marriage. "Milestone" events like the 25th or 50th get all the recognition; why not those odd-numbered in-between years? You can't make the leap from 25 to 50 without the others, right?

I went to the Hallmark website to find out what they consider the "appropriate" gifts for those fill-in years. Here they are, just for fun:

  • 26th - Art
  • 27th - Music
  • 28th - Linens (yeah, by now the wedding stuff is LONG gone)
  • 29th - Tools (kitchen?)
  • 30th - Pearls
  • 31st - Travel
  • 32nd - Bronze
  • 33rd - Iron
  • 34th - Food (OK, now we're talking)
  • 35th - Coral
  • 36th - Antiques (I think I qualify as one of those)
  • 37th - Books (cookbooks?)
  • 38th - Luck
  • 39th - Laughter

Okey dokey. Enough about me; let's get started with today's mailbox. If you're an old friend, you already know how this works. But, if this is your first visit, let me introduce you to my kitchen.

Each week I receive questions about food ingredients, cooking or baking terms or methods, requests for recipes, and queries about nutrition. Just about anything food-related has been covered here.

I'm sharing this past week's questions and my responses; it happens every Monday. Want to join in the fun? You can leave your question in the comments below, and next week the answer will be right here. It's that easy.

Help With Vitamins

The first question is from Denise McGill (you know her as Paintdrips):

"As for me, I was wondering recently about vitamins. I remember when my grandmother used to swear by them and must have had 10 bottles next to her at any one time; everything from Vitamin C to all the Bs to Iron and Magnesium. I was wondering about the benefit of Vitamin C. Can't I just drink orange juice and get just as much Vitamin C that way? It is one of those vitamins that is eliminated every day and only what the body needs is used anyway, right? I haven't a lot of confidence in pills. However, I am getting older and I have to take Vitamin D every day because the dr. said I'm not getting enough sunlight and my body isn't converting what I am getting like I used to... so?"

That's a really good question. Honestly, I'm not accustomed to taking pills either, but I have friends who, like your grandmother, line up the bottles every morning. I do take a Vitamin D tablet every day and calcium is important (I have osteoporosis). Let's look at a few that you mentioned—find out what they do for us, how much we need every day, and how/if we can get them through a normal diet or if we need to supplement.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C | Source

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a good one to start with—it's easy peasy lemon squeezy (pun intended). As luck would have it, Vitamin C is an easy one to add to your diet; in fact, you're probably getting your daily recommended dose by doing nothing than eating what you always eat. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for Vitamin C is 75 to 90 milligrams which is the equivalent of one glass of orange juice, but there are plenty of other fruits and vegetables on the C-list.

What does it do for us? Vitamin C protects against cardiovascular disease and is an antioxidant. In other words, it gives you superpowers! Some physicians believe the daily dosage should be higher, much higher (500 milligrams or more). As Denise mentioned, Vitamin C is not stored in the body; it's water-soluble and what our bodies don't need is flushed out. However, large doses can cause stomach irritation and/or diarrhea.

Source
Foods High
in Vitamin C
Food Source
Milligrams
Red cabbage, 1/2 cup
40
Tomato juice, 1 cup
45
Brussels sprouts, 1/2 cup cooked
49
Broccoli, 1/2 cup cooked
51
Green pepper, 1/2 cup
60
Orange, 1 medium
70
Kiwi, 1 medium
71
Kale, 1 cup raw
80
Papaya, 1 cup
87
Guava, 1
126
Strawberries, 1 cup
152

Source Healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-C

Vitamin A
Vitamin A

Vitamin A

Next, let's look at Vitamin A. This vitamin supports cell growth and is important in eye, heart, lung, and kidney health. The average adult needs are 900 micrograms (μg) per day for men and 700 micrograms for women.

Vitamin A is found in many meat/animal products, but vegans don't have to worry. There are a number of vegetables that provide it too (typically orange plant foods such as sweet potato, carrots, cantaloupe, peppers, mango, and dark leafy greens). But be careful with this one; too much Vitamin A can be toxic so don't assume that if some is good more is better. Stick within the guidelines shown below.

Source
Foods High
in Vitamin A
Food Source
Micrograms
Beef liver, 3 ounces
4,851
Cod liver oil, 1 teaspoon
810
Salmon, half a fillet
229
Bluefin tuna, 1 ounce
214
Blue cheese, 1 ounce
198
Hard-boiled egg
74
 
 
Sweet potato, 1 baked
1,836
Kale, 1 cup cooked
885
Turnip greens, 1 cup cooked
549
Carrot, 1 medium cooked
392
Spinach, 1 cup raw
141

Source Healthline.com/nutrition

One option for Vitamin D - tuna and salmon
One option for Vitamin D - tuna and salmon | Source

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb and utilize calcium which we need for our bones and teeth. It also helps regulate insulin levels so can protect against type 1 diabetes.

Summertime sun exposure can give us our recommended daily dose of Vitamin D, but it breaks down quickly, meaning that our bodies do not store it well and we may need a nutritional boost in the winter.

The sun is our best source for Vitamin D but a definitive "prescription" is difficult to create because there are so many variables. When the sun's ultraviolet (UVB) rays touch a person's skin, the body starts to manufacture vitamin D. But the amount made and the amount required depends on geographic location, the time of day, whether or not one is wearing sunscreen, the amount of skin exposed, and even one's skin color (pale skin color makes Vitamin D more quickly than darker colored skin). For those reasons, it's best (I think) to take a daily supplement. But before you run to the pharmacy shelf, of course you should consult your physician.

Source
Foods High
in Vitamin D
Food Source
Micrograms
Rainbow trout, 3 ounces cooked
645
Salmon, 3 ounces, cooked
570
Canned tuna, 4 ounces
150
Dole's portobello mushrooms, 1 cup
400
Fortified orange juice, 8 ounces
100
Egg yolks, 1
40
Multigrain Cheerios, 1 cup + 1/2 cup fortified milk
90

Source Health.com/condition/osteoporosis

Denise, I hope this information helps. For nutrients such as Vitamin D, I think it best to take a supplement, but (in my personal opinion) a healthy, balanced diet should provide the other vitamins we need on a daily basis.

I didn't address the B Vitamins because there are several and it's a complicated and complex issue. Iron and calcium are important too, and I'll tackle those in the next few weeks.

Streusel Topping for Pie

I love to bake pies, but struggle with the top crust. Sometimes it falls apart, or it's to small, or it just bursts open and there is pie juice running down the sides of the pan and the mess is horrible. What about a streusel topping? Do you have a good/easy recipe?

Pie with streusel (crumb) topping
Pie with streusel (crumb) topping

I do indeed. I've had this recipe for so many decades I can't be sure of its source; it might be Betty Crocker. I'll give her the credit. It it's someone else and I've mis-applied the kudos, I apologize.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut in small dice
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed, of course)

Instructions

Place the flour and butter in a large mixing bowl. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour; you should have pea-sized crumbles. Stir in the brown sugar. Happily dispense the mixture over the top of your unbaked pie and bake as normal. There should be no eruptions or explosions—just a happy, bubbly pie with a simply sweet topping.

We're Organized

Did you know that there is a Table of Contents for this series? I have created an article that provides a detailed listing of each question I've received. It's broken down by category, and within each category, the questions are listed alphabetically. Each question is actually a hotlink back to the original post.

Here's a link to that Table of Contents.

I have also cataloged all of my personal recipes that I have shared with you in this weekly Q&A series and in all of my other articles as well. The link to that Index is here. There are hotlinks to each recipe and this will be updated as new recipes are shared.

Let's Try Again Next Week

If you have questions about foods, cooking techniques, or nutrition you can ask them here. If you are in search of an old recipe or need ideas on how to improve an existing one I can help you. If you want to learn more, let's do it together. Present your questions, your ideas, your comments below. Or, you can write to me personally at this email address: lindalum52@gmail.com.

And, I promise that there will always be at least one photo of a kitty in every Monday post.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2020 Linda Lum

Comments

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    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      12 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Dora, you're absolutely right. I'd much rather eat a healthy, balanced meal than take a pill.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      12 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Audrey, I have written a little bit about gluten, but haven't gone into detail on the topic. I'd be glad to answer that for you next week.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      12 months ago from The Caribbean

      Congratulations on your 39th wedding anniversary. You're right. You couldn't get to your 40th without it. This article is enlightening. Even choosing the brand of vitamins become complicated. Why not spend that energy on studying our food. Thanks!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda we are having the time of our life with 85ish in our desert. Don't worry about me, I spent hours on the shore and in my buddy's air conditioning. Trouble is that we worked on a death case. I have got to switch over to church instead of law. But they close churches here and let law offices be essential. Let us wrap our heads around that -- not!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      12 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I'm a vitamin freak! I try to get most of my vitamins from my food but my doctor has prescribed more vitamin D and B complex. We're all different so I think it all depends on our body and how our engine works.

      I really like reading articles concerning vitamins so thank you so much.

      Here's a question I'd like an answer for: Is a gluten-free diet for everyone or just those that have celiac disease?

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      12 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Hi Eric. You doing OK buddy? We're sweltering in the heat*. Hoping you are well. (*sweltering in the Pacific NW is anything over 80 degrees).

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Just a big old howdy. Thanks for being you.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      12 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Thank you Mary. It's good to hear from you.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      12 months ago from Brazil

      Congratulations on your anniversary.

      The information on vitamins was helpful. I've been thinking about making some beef liver so the level of vitamin A is good to know.

      I too enjoy a streusel topping but not so much for pies, more for a fruit crumble. Basically a pie but not bottom crust.

      Have a great week.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      12 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Thank you John, and my best to you and your wife. It just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it?

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      12 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Thank you Eric. You've visited 94 of my 146 Q&A's. In your spare time you should go back to #1's thru 52. Have a great week my friend. I'll be hiding in the shade.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      12 months ago from Gondwana Land

      Congratulations on your Anniversary, too. It is our 38 year Anniversary this September....and that is ‘lucky.’

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      So I was laying in a hospital bed with those cool socks on. A nutritionist came around and asked me about nutrition - duh. I told her my vitamins and she looked at me and said "just eat right". So I came to love Carb Diva. Exercise for your weight and eat for your health. Perhaps the joy of cooking and eating it is the finest medicine.

      I love the off years and odd number concepts. I will celebrate my 94 visits here and it feels more apropo than 100. Of course I would rather write it apre pose.

      Have a great week my friend.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      12 months ago from Washington State, USA

      John, thank you for your kind words. I'll try to follow up with info on the B vitamins, calcium, and iron.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      12 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Hi Shauna, yes that's exactly what she was doing. I finally found her. As for sun exposure, you are absolutely right. I slather on the sun block from head to toe every day.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      12 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, at least take a Vitamin D every day. You'd be amazed at how much better you will feel.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      12 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Yes, Pamela we laugh a lot--maybe that's what has kept us together.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      12 months ago from Washington State, USA

      I'm sorry Flourish. It's too hot to bake anyhow. Stay safe.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      12 months ago from Central Florida

      Happy Anniversary Linda! Thirty nine years is something to celebrate for sure!

      Interesting information regarding vitamins. I, too, take a D supplement. Living in Florida, the sun is intense and damaging. I'd rather take the supplement than risk skin cancer.

      As for exploding top pie crusts, as you know, making several slits in the dough after placing on the pie will allow steam to escape and prevent eruption.

      Where's this week's kitty? Is she out chasing butterflies?

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Cool question about vitamins, although I admit, I don't take any. Great information, though, so thanks for that.

      Needless to say, I'm doing nothing in this heat. I wasn't built for this 90's stuff.

      Stay safe and cool. I'm trying to think of a question for you, but my mind is blank. Sorry!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      12 months ago from Sunny Florida

      This is a very informative article concerning vitamins. Also, your 39 years of marriage is great and laughter is what you will have as a celebration. Have a wonderful week, Linda.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      12 months ago from USA

      Apple pie with a streusel topping is among my favorite and you make me so hungry now! I’m in quarantine and can only dream.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      12 months ago from Gondwana Land

      Nice job, Linda. The Recommended dosage and info on vitamins was helpful Especially.

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