Spice shelf gets hipper

The spice aisle just got a little trendier with several new seasonings from McCormick that incorporate chia seeds, flaxseed and matcha. Chia seeds show up in a citrus chili garlic seasoning, with suggested uses on meat and seafood or whisked into a vinaigrette. Chia also provides a crunchy texture in a cinnamon and nutmeg mix, with suggested uses in smoothies, oatmeal or over sweet potatoes. Mediterranean herbs combine with flaxseed for a mix that can be used similarly to Italian seasoning. Matcha’s slightly bitter green tea notes get a counterpoint with powdered ginger. How to use? McCormick suggests adding it to iced matcha lattes, cake batters or as a rub for chicken or seafood.

Also, McCormick’s Kitchen Basics brand now offers an 8.25-ounce heat-and-sip carton of bone broth, with 10 grams of protein and only 50 calories. For more information, visit mccormick.com.


Victory lap in the ‘War on Butter’

Looking for odd YouTube videos to get you through your Thanksgiving coma? Consider one from Organic Valley, the Wisconsin-based, farmer-owned cooperative of more than 1,800 organic family farms. It celebrates the end of the so-called “war on butter” that began when butter and fats were blamed for negative health trends from obesity to heart disease, thanks in part, as we’ve learned, to some strategic redirects by the sugar industry. Now, though, research indicates that saturated fats have little or no effect on heart disease risk and that a well-balanced diet includes more fat than advised in the past. (More here at thewaronbutter.com.)

All of which makes dairy farmers very happy. They’re the “heroes” in a video that uses humorously doctored Egyptian hieroglyphics and Renaissance paintings to highlight a worldwide love of butter. Plus, faces on toast! It’s a commercial, but droll enough to amuse. Go to YouTube and search “war on butter” or click here at youtube.com/watch?v=hLqUoMrgFTc



Cookies! Free!

Join us at Star Tribune headquarters on Dec. 1 for a complimentary round of cookies from our 14th annual Taste Holiday Cookie Contest.

Taste five cookies (a winner and four finalists) at a free event on Dec. 1 at the Star Tribune, starting at 11 a.m and continuing while the treats last. For the second year, we’ve partnered with Rush City Bakery to provide the samples.

Cast members from Chanhassen Dinner Theatre’s production of “Camelot” will sing holiday tunes, and we’ll be collecting cash and non-perishable food items for Second Harvest Heartland.

It all takes place at the Star Tribune headquarters, 650 3rd Av. S., Mpls., in the public atrium between the Star Tribune Building and Capella Tower.

RSVP: Let us know you’re coming by signing up on Facebook, at facebook.com/events/320777128307417/

Can’t make the event? Watch for the winning recipes in Taste on Dec. 1, and online at Startribune.com/cookies.

A series for curious food minds

The University of Minnesota will present a conversation on “Farm Fields, Gardens, Kitchens and Libraries of the Great Midwest” on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Cowles Auditorium in the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs (301 19th Av. S., Mpls.). The featured speakers are Beth Dooley, author and food advocate, with her recent memoir, “In Winter’s Kitchen,” and J. Ryan Stradal, author of the fictional “Kitchens of the Great Midwest.” Free but reservations are requested by Nov. 28 online at z.umn.edu/Dooley.