Cooking With Beer: Smoothies

I love to cook.

Using beer as an ingredient is simply a way to expand my larder of choices. And it’s surprising how many people still are relegating beer to glassware only.

Time to get your apron on, people!!

With a nod to the Beer Smoothies & Summer Drinks article I wrote for dear friend Karie Engels a while back, I’d like to share a few ideas today.

1. Beer can be added to myriad recipes. When you use it consider why it can or shouldn’t be included. For instance if you’re using milk and want to sub beer, figure out if the protein factor of adding milk will be critical in substituting beer.

2. Any beer you find to be suitable yet you’re not going to drink it can be stored in a clean glass container in the fridge for a few weeks. Put a lid on it.

3. Any beer you won’t use as above in short order, I suggest dedicating a few ice-cube trays to freezing the remaining beer and using it one cube at a time when desired. Let the beer decarbonate totally for best freeing and accurate quantities. Once it’s frozen solid, flip it out of the trays into a container for easy access.

4. Buy beers that interest you solely for the purpose of cooking with them. Then do so.

5. Make notes if beer as an ingredient is new to you. One reason – if you’re actually using heat in your cooking (vs. prepping sans heat) hops will concentrate into a very unpleasant way. Experiment and record.

Whatever you do, try. I learned the heat lesson when I was practicing to present at the Toronto’s Festival Of Beers a few years back. Knowing that the horrid concentrated uber bad bitter can happen, I adjusted and made the sauces (per my talk) successful.

Enjoy the enormity of flavors you can find in modern beers. Start with classics and move into areas of foods that you really enjoy cooking and prepping. Friends are usually close at hand to support your endeavors and eat the samples.

Salud to summer, smoothies & cooking with beer ~




ABC’s of Women, Beer & Food: Letter C

If A is for Aroma and B is for Brewing, C is for cooking with beer.

Cooking is what brewing is and it’s what we often do with our food to prepare it. When you look up the definition of Cooking, here’s what you might find:

“The process of preparing food, often with the use of heat.”

And while all cooking does not require heat, it’s an integral part of some cooking methods. What would a cake be for want of an oven, a stew be without heat from an element and a creme brulee without company of a live flame? They’d not the same things at all.

Beer is the same way. With no heat, you entirely change the process and everything about what it is – beer and food both. Some sources cite the higher nutritional value of cooked foods and some say raw foods are the way to go.

As with techniques, it’s all in perspective, what’s available, tools, setting, and preference. Remaining open to both (with or without heat) leaves you set up for flavor opportunity that you may otherwise close yourself off to. And that’s no fun!

Wherein lies the heat in cooking? Baking, roasting, sauteing, simmering, broiling, braising, poaching, barbecuing, smoking, broasting, broiling, frying, grilling, searing, steaming, and reducing….and brewing. There are oodles of techniques and methods of cooking using heat. Indeed, our intake and nutrition landscape would be dramatically different if we had no heat to cook with.

What’s your style? How do you like to cook? What ingredients do you like to cook with? What beers do include in your ingredients lists?

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