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Hockessin Community News
  • Cooks’ Books: Cure high prices with books from the drugstore

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  • “The Diabetic Bible: All-in-One Guide to Living Well with Diabetes” by Dana and Allen Bennett King Armstrong.
    With political fights about raising the minimum wage and studies showing that wages for many employees throughout the rungs of the workforce have stayed flat, even during this time of other types of economic recovery, many families are still feeling the pinch of the recession, which began more than five years ago.
    This doesn’t mean that good cooks or wannabe gourmets need to give up cookbooks.
    There are lots of hungry distributors and platforms that have taken a huge bite out of mainstream cookbook and other book sales. First, giant online retailers, like Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com, sunk their teeth in, causing the end of many brick-and mortar-stores, including lots of Barnes and Noble locations.
    Now, through those outlets, as well as others that populate the iPhone and smartphone universes, like iTunes and Google Play Store, even fewer books are being bought the old-fashioned way.
    Discount shoppers, though, may be overlooking some almost-obsolete routes to finding economical ways to cut the fat when it comes to purchasing cookbooks and nutrition tomes.
    Say you’re bustling around the drugstore, tossing toothpaste, shampoo, a hairbrush and socks into your basket, don’t overlook the book section many have in revolving displays near the pharmacy. This is a long way pricewise from the best-sellers that may be selling next to magazines in news rack aisles.
    Republished versions of invaluable informative books may be available here for a song. There are thousands of titles nationwide sold this way. “The Diabetic Bible: All-in-One Guide to Living Well with Diabetes” by Dana and Allen Bennett King Armstrong is a trade paperback example purchased for $9.99 at Rite Aid. It’s a 2011 reprint from Publications International, filled with gorgeous color photography and more than 100 recipes, of a 2004 edition that retailed for $12.98 that was at the purchase time selling for slightly less than at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. Since then, new printing runs have been issued and, as for many books, the pharmacy edition still wins when it comes to price.
    With the full-page photography, some of the recipes almost jump off the page, like luscious Strawberry Oat Mini Muffins, Fresh Vegetable Quesadillas and a Stuffed Party Baguette filled with fresh basil, red onion and red bell pepper.
    All this makes the medicine go down easier: the essential medical advice from the medical pro authors that make this, as its title suggests, a “bible.”
    Beyond drugstore chains, sometimes books like this abound at an even lower price at dollar-only stores, like the large 99 Cents Only chain. There, you can even buy accompaniments, like spatulas, pans, dishes, aprons, cooking mitts and assorted ingredients at that appealing price as well.
    Page 2 of 2 - STRAWBERRY OAT MINI MUFFINS
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup uncooked oat bran cereal or uncooked non-instant oatmeal
    2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup buttermilk or lesser calorie unsweetened vanilla-flavored almond milk, which is creamy
    1/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
    1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    3/4 cup diced strawberries
    1/4 cup chopped pecans
    Yields 24 mini muffins.
    Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray 24 mini muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.
    Combine flour, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Whisk together buttermilk, apple juice concentrate, applesauce and vanilla in small bowl.
    Stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture just until dry ingredients are almost moistened. Fold strawberries and pecans into batter. Do not overmix.
    Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake 17 to 18 minutes, or until lightly browned and toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Let cool in pan 5 minutes; remove to wire racks. Serve warm or cool completely.
    Nutrition per 3-mini muffin serving (including buttermilk and uncooked oat bran cereal): 135 calories; 23 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 3 grams total fat; less than 1 gram saturated fat; 1 milligram cholesterol; 310 milligrams sodium; 4 grams protein. Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch; 1/2 fat.
    SNACKIN’ CINNAMON POPCORN
    3 to 4 teaspoons brown sugar substitute (or other granulated sugar substitute)
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    8 cups hot air-popped popcorn
    (Preferably butter-flavored) nonstick cooking spray
    Yields 4 servings of 2 cups each.
    Combine brown sugar substitute, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl; mix well.
    Spread hot popped popcorn onto jelly-roll pan. Coat popcorn with nonstick cooking spray; immediately sprinkle cinnamon mixture over top. Place in large serving bowl and toss well with large wooden spoons.
    Nutrition per 2-cup serving: 63 calories; 13 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 1 gram total fat; less than 1 gram saturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 582 milligrams sodium; 2 grams protein. Exchanges: 1 starch.
    Lisa Messinger is a first-place winner in food writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the author of seven food books, including “Mrs. Cubbison’s Best Stuffing Cookbook” and “The Sourdough Bread Bowl Cookbook.”
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