Valley City Times-Record

Hints From Heloise


COFFEE: GOOD OR BAD? Dear Heloise: My husband and I are wondering about the benefits of coffee. I know it gives me a jolt of energy in the morning when I need it most, but my husband said it's just a "junk food" that Americans are addicted to out of habit. Is there any benefit to coffee other than the caffeine? I drink my coffee black. --Belinda M., Rockford, Illinois

Belinda, coffee is an old drink that goes back to around 850 A.D. in Ethiopia. People have been drinking it ever since its discovery. According to the website "Nourish by Web MD," coffee might benefit your gut microbiome. It also contains a very healthy dose of antioxidan­ts, and many people feel better after 3 to 4 cups of black coffee per day.

However, like so many things in life, the key is moderation. If you add sugar and cream, you are adding calories and fat to your coffee consumptio­n, which may leave little benefit to drinking coffee. Coffee also can increase your blood pressure and should only be consumed after a doctor's recommenda­tion on when and how much coffee you can drink. There are also medication­s and health conditions that might cause you to either limit or exclude coffee drinking. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: A lot of men won't admit it, but some of us love to bake. I'm one of those guys who enjoys a delicious cake or homemade pie. I would like to get the recipe for your Light Velvet Cake. I have a wonderful butter cream frosting recipe that I'll use to frost the cake rather than the cream cheese frosting usually used. I plan to bring this cake to a family gathering at Thanksgivi­ng. -- Joseph H., Port Huron, Michigan

Joseph, I love to bake as well. The Light Velvet Cake is one of my favorites. You'll need:

2 1/2 cups unbleached flour 1 egg plus 2 egg whites

1 cup sugar

1 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon baking powder 1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon cocoa powder 1 teaspoon white vinegar 1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven, and divided

Combine all dry ingredient­s except the nuts in a large mixing bowl. Combine liquid ingredient­s in a separate bowl. Pour liquid into dry ingredient­s and mix well. Stir in 1/4 cup toasted nuts. Pour batter into three 8-inch round cake pans that have been sprayed with a nonstick vegetable coating. Bake at 350 F for 25 to 30 minutes, until cake springs back when gently touched with a finger. Allow to cool, then frost the cake. Sprinkle the rest of the toasted nuts on top of the cake after frosting. Enjoy!

This tasty treat can be found along with many other recipes in my pamphlet "Heloise's Cake Recipes." Just go to or send $3, along with a stamped, self-addressed long envelope to: Heloise/Cake, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. There's nothing like a homemade dessert to finish a meal.

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