ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ask Carb Diva: Questions & Answers about Foods, Recipes, & Cooking, #56

Updated on February 19, 2019
Carb Diva profile image

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

There is Peace Once Again

The bulldozer is gone, the cement pumper truck has stopped pumping, and peace again descends upon the Carb Diva homestead. For those who are new to my page, allow me to explain.

My family (husband, daughter, and I) live in a farmhouse in a rural area of Washington state, 1 1/2 acres off a private dirt road (which means no paving, driveway or sidewalks). After almost three decades we now have a paved space for our cars (no more weeding!) and a hardscape that encircles the house—an important consideration when you live in a wooded space where the north and west sides of the house get virtually no sunshine at all. A lawn will not grow there (but somehow the weeds always manage to find a way) and mud or dust are always on our shoes).

There are now a paved driveway, hard edges for our flowerbeds, and a sidewalk where the grass refused to grow. I am a very joyful homeowner. My weeding, hacking, and mowing times have been greatly reduced, and these weary bones and muscles of 6+ decades are thankful for that.

But, enough about me. You're here to discuss, learn of, and enjoy food. Let's get started.

Where Is Pure Cane Sugar on the Glycemic Index?

The question I had regarding glycemic index was not for white sugar; you posted that in last week's Q & A. I was curious as to where pure cane sugar sits.

Not pure cane sugar, but still awfully sweet (I couldn't resist)
Not pure cane sugar, but still awfully sweet (I couldn't resist) | Source

Shauna, there is no good news on this front. Raw organic cane sugar (also known as turbinado sugar) is dehydrated cane juice. It doesn't undergo the filtering and processing of other sugars, but it still is basically just sucrose and has a GI of 65.

Likewise, granulated sugar, whether from cane or beets, GMO or non-GMO is sucrose, and it too has a GI of 65.

However, there are other benefits to be found in opting for pure cane sugar. Unrefined sugar cane offers antioxidants and a number of essential nutrients and minerals that refined and white beet sugars cannot (magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and iron). The process of refining introduces many harmful ingredients to sugar cane, such as sulfur dioxide and phosphoric acid.

So, allow yourself to enjoy an occasional treat made with pure (non-GMO) cane sugar. It's not a health food, but it is certainly better than some options.


Cooking as Cognitive Therapy

I am still researching and contemplating how cooking may be a key to unlocking the chains of Bi-Polar and Dementia. It seems that the joy and stimulating of all senses is paramount.


Eric, I have given this topic a great deal of thought. I don't have the time or resources to pursue research in this, but the concept is absolutely fascinating and has (I believe) a great deal of merit.

When we cook, we can step back to our most primal instincts and engage all of our senses. Here are just a few examples of how cooking could help to connect with those struggling with dementia, TBI (traumatic brain injury), or other neurological impairments:

  • Participating in the preparation of food for oneself or a group can improve self-esteem and promote joy in the sense of accomplishment.
  • The act of cooking or, at the very least, being present when food is being prepared, can bring back memories of better times spent with loved ones, holidays, celebrations, and religious or cultural traditions.
  • A daily routine can provide motivation to engage with others and reduce depression.
  • The physical act of preparing food can help improve strength, range of motion, dexterity, and fine-motor skills.
  • The planning involved is an opportunity to stimulate attention and provide an avenue for problem-solving.
  • Activities such as kneading dough (touch) or seasoning foods (smell and taste) can be pleasurable, promoting healthier eating habits and increasing appetites.

Do a Google search. There has been some work in the field, but more is needed. Thank you for your thoughtful and loving question. If you happen to find some research out there, perhaps you can share with us in the future.


Each week we look at one soup recipe. We began with the letter A (Albondigas soup) and then proceeded to recipes for soups beginning with the letters B, C, D, and so on. Today we have letter F.

I created this soup for my family several years ago. What sets this recipe apart from others for French Onion soup is that it is vegetarian. Instead of beef broth, or a combination of beef and chicken stocks, this soup is packed with umami flavors from dry red wine, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and soy sauce.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 red onions, thinly sliced, about 2.5 lbs.
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper, ground
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained (see Instruction #2 for how to use this ingredient)
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 day-old baguette, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1/2 cup Swiss or Gruyere, grated


  1. Sauté the onions in the olive oil in a large sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until browned--about 30 minutes. (This first step requires a bit of patience. The onions need to caramelize low and slow to develop the rich, sweet flavor one associates with French onion soup. Hurry the process with high heat and you'll end up with bitter, burned onions. If you don't allow the onions to develop a deep golden color you'll end up with flabby, watery, and tasteless onions.)
  2. Increase heat to medium-high. Add salt and pepper, wine, and tomato paste. Cook until wine is almost evaporated (about 5 minutes). Add water, tomatoes, and herbs. Bring to a boil and then cover; reduce heat to simmer and cook about 20 minutes. Stir in soy sauce. Discard bay leaves. We prefer to leave the tomato pieces in our soup, but you may puree the tomatoes in a blender before adding them to the soup if you wish.
  3. OK, now you have the vegetarian stock. And you can use this for so many more things than French onion soup. So, keep this recipe in your back pocket (as my dad would have said) for future reference. But, if you want to proceed to turn this into Ooey Gooey Cheesy Goodness, continue with the instructions below.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush bread slices with olive oil and bake in the oven until edges are brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  5. When ready to serve, whisk the 1/2 cup Parmesan into your hot broth. It’s important to whisk in the cheese at the last minute, or else the cheese will fall to the bottom of the pot and burn. Ladle the warm soup into heatproof bowls, and lay a slice of the baked bread over each bowl. Sprinkle a layer of Gruyere cheese over the bread, and place the crocks under the broiler until the cheese bubbles and browns.

Which Mixing Bowls are Best?

I might have missed it. Does the type of mixing bowl make a difference (ceramic vs. steel, etc.)?


Eric, there are so many choices—metal, plastic, glass, ceramic, copper—what's a cook to do? How does one choose? Well, it depends on what you are cooking or baking. Let's look at the pros and cons of each type of bowl.

Type of Bowl
Stainless steel
Stain resistant, unbreakable, a good choice for chilling foods quickly, can be used as a double boiler, non-reactive, dishwasher safe. lightweight, relatively inexpensive
Can't be used in the microwave
Dishwasher safe on top rack, non-reactive, inexpensive, unbreakable
Porous and so can absorb stains and odors. Can't be used in the microwave
Best for proofing yeast bread, microwave safe, dishwasher safe, non-reactive
Heavy, fragile
Beautiful, decorative, non-reactive, dishwasher safe
Heavy, fragile
Hands down the BEST for whipping egg whites
Expensive, not microwave safe (but usually too large as a consideration), needs to be hand-washed

So what's the winner? If I needed to purchase a set of mixing bowls today I would opt for stainless steel. But I am fortunate to have a graduated 4-piece set of Pyrex mixing bowls (see photo above) that belonged to my mother. They are "vintage" (older than me!)

That's All for This Week


Miss Kitty, my Administrative Assistant, offers her thanks to you for your questions, and so do I. Keep 'em coming. You can leave your queries in the comments below or email me at

I hope you have a great week!

© 2018 Linda Lum


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)