10 HEALTH BENEFITS OF BACON!

Almost everyone loves bacon. It’s ridiculously awesome. And many people have very mixed views about whether bacon is actually good or bad for you. It’s not defined as completely healthy, but does have some amazing health benefits if you have it just about once a week.

HERE ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF BACON:

  1. It’s packed with protein that helps regulate your energy level’s. And keep you feeling full. Plus protein in general boost’s your Norepinephrine, Epinephrine and Dopamine levels. Which will lead you to feel happy and energetic. No wonder it’s so addictive.
  2. Helps to lower your blood pressure as well as your blood sugar.
  3. Can help ease the symptom’s that come along with Diabetes.
  4. Helps to prevent Stroke’s, Heart Disease and Heart Attacks.
  5. Contains Choline that improves your memory and IQ. It also help’s reduce the symptoms that come with Alzheimer’s Disease.
  6. Can help you feel happy and reduce your stress levels.
  7. Contains high amount’s of: Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Phosphorus, Protein, Niacin, Vitamins B12, B6 and Thiamine.
  8. Contains Omega 3 Fatty Acids which help reduce inflammation throughout the body.
  9. Is used as a treatment for Salt Depletion (Hyponatremia).
  10. Helps prevent Anemia.

So don’t believe the hype that bacon is the worst thing you could possibly ingest, and go out and grab yourself a handful of salty, pork goodness!

Recipe of the Week: Cheesy Bacon Ranch French Bread Pizza

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 loaf (about 12.5 ounces) French Bread or Sourdough Bread
  • 2/3 cup Hidden Valley® Simply Ranch Classic Ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 4 cups shredded cheese (cheddar or mozzarella or a mix)
  • 6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 2 green onions, sliced small, optional

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Slice loaf of bread horizontally. Place two halves face up on the cookie sheet.
  3. Stir together ranch dressing and pizza sauce in a small bowl. Coat each bread half with sauce.
  4. Sprinkle with cheese, then bacon, then onions.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  6. Serve immediately. May be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days, but best the day it’s made.

U.S. Bacon Reserves Hit 50-Year Low Because We Just Can’t Stop Eating Bacon

Crispy, crunchy, fragrant, savory — it’s no mystery that Americans love our bacon. But we’re eating so much of it lately that our nation’s bacon reserves — yes, that exists — are at their lowest levels in 50 years.

According to the Ohio Pork Council, a non-profit out of Columbus, the demand for frozen pork belly, which is often made into bacon, is outstripping supply because pig farmers just can’t keep up.

“Today’s pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever,” Rich Deaton, president of the organization, tells USA Today. “Yet our reserves are still depleting.”

As USA Today puts it, “There are literally not enough little piggies going to market.” In Dec. 2016, America’s frozen pork belly inventory stood at 17.8 million pounds, which is the lowest it’s been since 1957 according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This means when we go to the market, prices might be a bit higher: Pork belly prices spiked 20% in January, the council reports. Increased demand from overseas may have also contributed to the dip in inventory.

Despite the low inventory, there will be enough bacon to satisfy our country.

“While bacon may become more expensive for consumers, rest assured pork industry will not run out of supply,” said Deaton.

The Food Gods Have Answered Our Prayers With A Toaster Just for Bacon

If you find your kitchen counters cluttered with food-specific gadgets and appliances, you finally have a good reason to get rid of them all. The culinary innovators at Nostalgia Electrics have created the only thing you’ll ever need: The Bacon Express, a toaster that cooks delicious slices of pork instead of bread.

Like your ice cream maker, waffle maker, and popcorn machine, the $40 Bacon Express is really only capable of one task in the kitchen: cooking bacon. But while you can live without ice cream, waffles, and popcorn, it’s hard to imagine a life without that crispy, salty staple.

The vertical heating element has enough capacity for six slices of bacon, and a pair of doors seal the heat, grease, and goodness inside. A dial on the side also lets you adjust cooking times, while a tray at the bottom collects grease drippings so they’re easy to dispose of, or use for other purposes. We’re not here to judge.

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Recipe of the Week: Bacon Bourbon Oven Baked Ribs

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 2-1/2 pounds spare ribs or baby back pork ribs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons spice rub, optional (use your favorite rub)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup Bacon Bourbon Barbecue Sauce or your favorite store-bought or homemade sauce

Instructions

  1. Prepare Ribs: Heat oven to 275º F and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Place the ribs meat side down on the work surface then locate the thin membrane that covers the rack. Since this membrane can become tough when cooked, we prefer to remove it. To remove it, use a butter knife and gently slide it under the membrane. Wiggle it from side to side until you can get your fingers under it. Then simply pull the membrane away from the ribs and discard. You might find that you need to use the knife to loosen the membrane a few times since we almost never get it all in one go.
  3. Trim excess fat then generously season both sides of the ribs with salt, pepper and/or your favorite spice rub.
  4. Note: Seasoning the ribs can be done in advance — a nice idea when using a spice rub — simply season the ribs then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  5. Bake Ribs: Lay the ribs on the prepared baking sheet and cover with foil to prevent them from drying out during baking.
  6. Bake until fork tender, 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
  7. Broil Ribs: Turn broiler to high then brush the ribs with barbecue sauce on both sides until well coated. Be careful when you turn them — the meat will be extremely tender.
  8. Broil the ribs just until the barbecue sauce begins to bubble and caramelize, 3 to 5 minutes. Let ribs rest 5 to 10 minutes then cut into either single ribs or into sets of 3 or 6 ribs. Serve with leftover barbecue sauce on the side.

Recipe of the Week: Sriracha Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza

Ingredients

Pizza Dough

  • 250 g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 7 g sachet Fast Action Yeast
  • 1 tsp Golden Caster Sugar
  • 170 ml warm water

Pizza Sauce

  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion – Chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic – Crushed
  • 1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano

Toppings

  • 100 g Cooked Chicken torn into pieces
  • 2-3 tbsp Sriracha add more if you like it spicy
  • 150 g Mozzarella sliced
  • 4 slices Bacon cooked and chopped
  • Ranch Dressing for drizzling

Instructions

  1. Make the dough. Mix the flour, yeast and salt together in a large bowl. Mix together the sugar and warm water then make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Pour the sugar and water into the well. Gradually mix the wet and dry ingredients together and then turn out onto a floured work surface. Knead for 10 minutes. Flour the outside of the ball of dough then place in an oiled bowl. At this stage you can either prove for about 15 minutes somewhere warm or put it into the fridge until you’re ready to use.

  2. Preheat the oven to 200° C. Make the sauce. Heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, plenty of salt and 40ml of water. Once the water has evaporated pour in the tin of tomatoes and cook down until it’s almost dry. Mix in the tomato puree, chilli powder and oregano and leave to cook a little more until it has a thick consistency. Tip out onto a plate and allow to cool.

  3. Divide the dough into two pieces and roll out until about 5mm thick then place on baking trays. Mix the chicken with the sriracha in a bowl then split between the pizza bases followed by the bacon and mozzarella. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Drizzle with ranch dressing and serve.

You Are Scientifically Destined To Love Bacon

I have a confession to make: My mouth still waters when there’s bacon popping on the stove. But why? Where does humanity’s bacon-lust emanate from? Why does it taste and smell like the smoky nectar of the gods? Here’s why, according to science.

Let’s Talk About Fat

Bacon’s marbling comes from fat. And everyone knows that fat tastes good. But how come? In part, it’s because fat makes other flavors taste better. Fat affects how “volatile compounds are released in our mouths and, ultimately, how the flavor gets perceived.” What’s more, flavors tend to stick to fat molecules, so that their release is extended in your mouth.

Studies also have shown that your body is designed to like it. It’s possible that humans have as many as 20 receptors for tastes, including fat. One study found that people with a protein called CD36 were more likely to detect small amounts of oil. This predisposition makes evolutionary sense, since fat can be converted into energy — and humans need energy to survive.

It’s Chemical

Fat is responsible for various chemical reactions, which also affects how bacon tastes. In part, that begins with the cooking process, when pork-belly fat breaks down. The fatty acids in the muscle tissue break apart into compounds such as aldehydes, furans, and ketones. As food scientist Guy Crosby told the BBC, these work together to create bacon’s flavor. The salts that cure the pork belly can change the fat’s chemical reactions, too, which further affects flavor. And the types of fatty acids that are present are affected by the diet and breed of the pig.

Much of bacon’s flavor appeal lies in umami — that buzzy flavor that essentially means “yummy” in Japanese. Six out of the 18 ingredients that make up bacon are types of umami, which we have evolved to crave: According to The Guardian newspaper, umami is “a marker of protein (which is made up of amino acids, which are essential for life).”

What’s That Smell?

When foods are cooked and heated, a chemical reaction occurs between amino acids and sugars, which releases pleasing aromatic compounds including hydrocarbons and aldehydes. (This is known as the Maillard reaction, if you’re ever on Jeopardy!.)

Somehow, bacon-smell is more tantalizing than other foods, though. That stems from the specific chemicals in it. Because bacon is cured in brine or salt, it contains more nitrates than regular pork. As The Telegraph explains, when bacon-fat molecules disintegrate, those nitrogen-rich compounds “not only reinforce the meaty fragrance already in abundance, but they deepen it as well, upping the pungent paradise enveloping the kitchen.” Well said!

There’s No Place Like Home

The last piece of the puzzle is harder to pin down, or attribute definitively to chemical reactions and science. That’s because part of bacon’s appeal lies in nostalgia. As Aviva Shen writes, bacon is so purely American: “[It] is the iconic food memory of most people’s childhoods — which makes it the ultimate comfort food.” The sight, sound, smell, and taste of bacon calls forth for many people sunny images of breakfasts past, and it’s that ineffable alchemical process that completes the delicious scientific picture of America’s favorite meat.

Recipe of the Week: Cheddar Bacon Ranch Baked Pork Chops

Ingredients:

  • Ranch Dressing (bottled, not the dry seasoning in the packet)
  • 3 Cups Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Small Package Dry Italian Dressing Mix
  • 1/2 cup Tbsp. Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. Hormel Bacon Bits
  • 4-6 Pork Chops(bone in or out, no science to it)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Lightly grease your baking dish.
  3. Mix your Italian Dressing Mix (the powdered kind, if you have, if not, no worries), mix it with your bread crumbs, grated cheese and bacon bits. Mix it, mix it good!
  4. This is going to get a bit messy….Dredge (a.k.a “slather”) your Pork Chops in the Ranch dressing (remember, it’s the bottled or prepared Ranch, not the powdered).  Now, shake off the excess Ranch. Shake it like you mean it, too much Ranch will make it a little soggy in the end. Guck.
  5. Place your Chops on a greased cookie sheet. (Go ahead and sprinkle on some left over bacon cheddar dry mix if your little heart desires).
  6. Poke into your preheated oven, set your timer for 25-30 minutes. Take them out.  Let them set for a few minutes, then, check them!

Recipe of the Week: Slow Cooker Bacon Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 small package (8 ounces) velveeta (or similar product), cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup cooked bacon crumbles
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 sandwich buns
  • Lettuce, tomato, sliced cheese, and pickles as garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook beef and garlic over medium/high heat in a 12 inch skillet, approximately 8-10 minutes. It will continue to cook in the slow cooker, so it’s okay to cook it medium/medium well instead of all the way well done. Crumble the beef while you cook to your liking. Drain the skillet of the oil.
  2. Add the cooked beef to a non-stick sprayed slow cooker. Add in the cubed cheese, onion, bacon crumbles, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine as much as possible.
  3. Cook on low for 5-6 hours, or on high for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. When ready to serve, fill buns with the beef mixture and top with desired garnishes.

Recipe of the Week: Cheddar Bacon Ranch Melt

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1½ teaspoon dry ranch dressing
  • 2 slices bacon, crushed
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and cubed
  • 1 oz shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 slice of extra cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices Daves Killer Bread

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preparation: Heat medium size skillet over low heat.
  2. In a small bowl, combine sour cream and ranch dressing. Add bacon, chicken and cheese. Spread equal amounts of butter between both sides of bread. Place one buttered slice of bread down into warm pan, layer with sliced cheers and mixture. Place second slice of bread buttered side facing up. Turn heat to medium and cook until bread is browned and crispy, about 2-4 minutes. Flip sandwich and cook until second slice of bread is just slight browned, then place bowl on top sandwich for an additional minute or so to melt cheese. Serve immediately.