Saucy White Sauce

Greetings Ninjas in Training!

I hope you all are having a fabulous summer. It is ten million degrees where I live, which may or may not explain/excuse this post title. The sauce recipe I’m going to share is not particularly saucy – in fact, it’s a nice basic recipe that can be adapted for millions of different dishes.

Everything’s in the millions today, I guess.

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(I wish.)

(For you Orphan Black fans out there, you have no idea how hard it was for me to not use a gif of Alison and Donnie rolling in their soap money. I had to think of the children.)

Anyways, without further ado, a recipe for sauce!

Actually, just kidding. Quick announcement: I am working on restructuring the recipes page, so it may look derpy for a little while. I will be publishing all the recipes as individual posts, which should be much easier to use than a giant page.

Ok, NOW the recipe.

White Sauce
Courtesy of Lemon Ninja’s Mommy

White sauce is used in a variety of dishes and is the base for many sauces.   Here is our dairy free/citric acid free version for a basic medium white sauce, with adjustments for other thicknesses.

Ingredients:
Organic rice milk (read label for citric acid)
Spelt flour
Organic expeller pressed Canola oil or lard
Time Required: 15 minutes

Directions:

  1. In a small, heavy saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of canola or lard over medium low heat.
  2. Blend 2 tablespoons of spelt flour into the melted oil.
  3. Cook over low heat, stirring, until it just begins to bubble.  You don’t want to overwork the spelt flour, its fragile gluten breaks down easily.
  4. Slowly add 1 cup of rice milk, stirring constantly.  I like to use a flat whisk to stir this.
  5. Continue cooking slowly until smooth and thickened.

Notes: For thin white sauce, follow instructions using 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon flour. Thin white sauce is often used for cream soups.  For thick white sauce, follow instructions using 3 tablespoons oil and 3 tablespoons flour. Thick white sauce is for things like soufflés.  For heavy white sauce, follow instructions using 4 tablespoons oil and 4 tablespoons flour. Heavy white sauce is used to make croquettes or croquetas.

That’s all for now, ninjalings. Until next time, when life gives you lemons, RUN!

The Lemon Ninja

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Easter Floof

Greetings Ninjas in Training,

Happy Easter!

Easter weekend in my house has always been filled with wonderful smells and tastes. Since I became a ninja, it’s become a little harder to have a friendly feast – literally all of our classics are now off the table (see what I did there?).

This year, I sit here writing this post as the smell of delicious turkey wafts my way. We got cooking a little later than planned thanks to the turkey’s stubborn refusal to reach room temperature, so we cheated and ate dessert first:

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“Lemon Ninja, why are you eating steak and potatoes for dessert??”

That would be a great question if I had a death wish, but potatoes are wayyyy above my tolerance level of zero.

Also, despite the fact that I actually know people who would eat them for dessert, I have me a sweet tooth: brownies and homemade marshmallows it is!

“Lemon Ninja, I guess I see the brownie now, but that does not look like a marshmallow…”

Yeah, well. It was our first time making them and we got a little excited. I promise they taste a million times better than they look.

So, happy Easter to those of you who celebrate. To those who don’t, I hope you have a happy day anyways, and I hope the recipe I’m about to share for homemade marshmallows helps make it even better 😀

Quick reminder: the label reading contest (the prize for which is a ninja-friendly adaptation of your favorite recipe!) ends on April 1st. Make me proud, ninjalings!

Maple Marshmallows

Courtesy of Lemon Ninja and her Mommy

Part 1

Ingredients
1/2 cup water, room temp
2 T orange label Great Lakes gelatin

Instructions
Mix together and let bloom. It will look sort of like applesauce at first. We did this in an 8 cup Pyrex pitcher, so we could add the hot sugar syrup later for mixing.

Part 2

Ingredients
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup organic cane sugar
1/2 cup organic maple syrup (grade A works best for the texture)

Instructions

  1. Line a brownie pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Add water, sugar, and syrup to a deep saucepan. Do not mix it!!!
  3. Bring to boil on med high.
  4. Heat to 240 degrees or hardball candy stage (use a candy thermometer).
  5. Pour heated mixture into the pitcher with the gelatin mixture.
  6. Start whisking right away!
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  7. Mix it all together with large balloon whisk for 10-15 min, until it has the texture of marshmallow creme – it should form soft, stretchy sheets and bubbles. Note: you can also use an electric mixer, but Mama Ninja and I did fine trading off with the whisk!imageGetting there…image

Almost…

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Done!!!

8.  Immediately spread the floof in the brownie pan, and let set at least 4 hours before cutting. Store at room temp in airtight container.

9.  Try not to eat them all at once??

10.  Never ask me what’s up with the formatting in this post, because I don’t know and it’s driving me insane. But that’s ok because I can just eat marshmallows and nothing matters 😀

UPDATE: Here are some pictures from our third (much prettier) batch of marshmallows.

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“Lemon Ninja, Easter was only a week and a half ago!!! This is your third batch??”

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Shhhh. Look at the marshmallows.

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Look at them.

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That’s all for now. Until next time, when life gives you lemons, RUN!!!

The Lemon Ninja

Chocolate of the Carribbean

Greetings, Ninjas in Training!

At last, the most anticipated post topic of the century.

Chocolate.

Can you eat it? Can you not?

The short answer is:

See what I did there? There is no short answer. Hold on to your nunchucks, ninjalings. Let’s dive in and take a look at the mystery that is chocolate.

What is Chocolate?

Excellent question. What exactly are we talking about here? Chocolate can mean a lot of things.

I could tell you all about how cacao beans are fermented, dried, and roasted, but that took me months of research to sort through and I’m not going to bore you with it.

(Wait, months??? “It’s right there on Wikipedia,” you say. The thing is, more than one ninja has sent me a particular scientific paper about cacao fermentation, which contains information on the citric acid content of the beans and how this is important for flavor. The thing is, we don’t eat the whole bean, so I basically got lost in the tunnels of the Internet trying to find information that did not include the word “fermentation.” It’s harder than it sounds, I swear.)

Anyways, the part we care about is what happens after the fermenting, drying, and roasting. They crack open the beans, get rid of the hull (a source of citric acid in many hulled foods), and smush up the inside part, the “nib.”

(I deserve a medal for finding information on those darn nibs.)

The nib gets annihilated into what is called chocolate liquor, which, despite the name’s suggestion, is not going to get you drunk.

Because, Jack Sparrow, we are talking about chocolate.

Apologies. Captain Jack Sparrow, we are talking about chocolate liquor, which is comprised of roughly 50% cocoa butter, 50% cocoa solids, and 0% rum.

Aw 😦

Oh well, we have more important things to do anyways, like discuss what it means when you look at a chocolate bar and it says “Blah% Cacao.” What it’s referring to is the total content that comes from cacao – in other words, the chocolate liquor content. If you want to learn more nerdy things about cacao percentages, check out this page where I got all the info!

Now, I could start giving you science numbers, but first I’d like to give you some ninja numbers.

Ninja Survey Results

Roughly 100 years ago, I asked you whether you’d had a bad reaction to chocolate. The answers were broken up by tolerance level: High (1.2%+, can probably eat grapefruit), Moderate (0.4-1.2%, can probably eat tomatoes), Low (0.1-0.4%, can probably eat apples), or Saddest Tolerance Ever (<0.1%, should never eat anything) (I fall into this category) (see here if you want to figure out your tolerance level).

(Parentheses.)

The results:

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We will come back to these momentarily.

Science Results

After trekking through the wasteland of fermentation and lies, I finally happened upon a paper that gave me the citric acid content of cacao nibs.

Drumroll please…

30 mmol/kg.

Uh, ok, so that tells us nothing. Let’s convert that into something we understand:

30 mmol/kg = 0.030 mol/1000 g
(0.030mol/1000g)(192g citric acid/mol)(1/10) = 0.56g/100g = 0.56%

Thank you to my chemistry nerd friend Maria for checking my math, because I was pretty sure I’d forgotten how to do math when I saw that result.

Please click here for an appropriate emotional response: D:

But wait. We don’t just sit there eating chocolate liquor (I hope). Milk chocolate contains roughly 10% cacao, and dark chocolate must contain at least 43% to be considered dark (in Europe at least… let’s be real, in America it’s probably 5% but we won’t get into the inferiority of American food right now) and can even be found up to 85%.

So really:
Milk chocolate = (0.56%)(.10) = 0.056% = safe for ninjas with a low tolerance
Dark chocolate = (0.56%)(.43) to (0.56%)(.85) = 0.24% to 0.47% = safe for most ninjas with a moderate tolerance

Please click here if you need to respond emotionally again: D:

Ok, But Why Aren’t We Dead?

Ah, yes, the survey results. Roughly 2/3 of our moderate tolerance ninjas had never had an adverse reaction to chocolate; the same goes for more than half our low tolerance ninjas, and nearly 2/3 of our sad tolerance ninjas.

What’s up with that? Let’s break it down by group. You may have had a bad reaction if…

Moderate Tolerance Ninjas:
*You were eating super dark chocolate with 85% or more cacao
*You were eating chocolate with extra rude ingredients like soy lecithin (which contains citric acid and is in everythingggggggg)
*You are independently allergic to chocolate

Low Tolerance Ninjas:
*You were eating dark chocolate
*That nasty soy junk again
*You are independently allergic to chocolate

Sad Tolerance Ninjas:
*You should not survive chocolate
*How did 2/3 of us survive this?
*Are 2/3 of us crazy?

Are We Crazy, or is Chocolate Magic?

Here’s the thing, ninjalings. I have an exceptionally low tolerance to citric acid. I cannot breathe if I am in the same room as someone who was next to someone eating an orange 3 hours ago.

And because there was no information on citric acid to be found back when I was inducted into ninjahood, I found out everything the hard way. I went on the assumption that everything but citrus fruits and tomatoes were ok, then paid the price after eating dumb things like sweet potatoes and carrots and yes, even lettuce.

I did not find the list until after I’d found out pretty much everything the hard way – all it did for me was confirm that I was not crazy.

Many, many times, I have eaten a favorite food (see: sweet potatoes) fully assuming it was safe, and then I started wheezing and needed my friends to half carry me back to my dorm.

If only I could sing like Kristin Chenoweth

If only I could sing like Kristin Chenoweth

In other words: expectation does not influence whether or not I have a reaction.

I’m assuming the same is true for most, if not all of you. It’s not like we are talking about dairy or gluten – who the heck expects to react to citric acid? How many months and years did you suffer, researching and swinging wildly with your nunchucks at an unknown target? You are not here because you’re crazy, you’re here because you understand your body well enough to figure out what’s bothering it.

So.

I asked my two favorite M.D.s, my allergist and my homeopath, what the actual heck was going on. Is chocolate made of magic?

Yes, Chocolate is Magic

Both of my doctors agreed that chocolate is, in fact, magic.

“It certainly would make sense that some of your chemical reactivity causes neurological changes that might be reversed by any or all of the mechanisms you mentioned,” said the allergist.

“Cocoa powder is a magical substance indeed. It is so full of nutrition and antioxidants that in the old days tribes indigenous to where the trees grow used the number of them on their territory as a measure of their wealth!” said the homeopath, who then literally proceeded to prescribe me chocolate.

Sidebar: these are my physicians talking to me. Please don’t go prescribing yourself chocolate and then dedicating your Darwin Award to me and the doctors on my dope squad, ok?

Anyways, you may have gathered from my allergist’s response that I wasn’t just asking about my lack of reaction to chocolate – something in chocolate was not only preventing me from reacting to the citric acid it contained, but seemed to be taming my allergic responses in general: chocolate works better than Benadryl for me, especially when my reactions have neurological symptoms. But what’s the secret ingredient?

Turns out, there could be several. Here are just a few:

Nitric oxide – A vasodilator, which means it helps oxygenate your body and brain. It also acts as a neurotransmitter. These two actions might explain why it helps with my neurological symptoms.

FlavonoidsAnti inflammatory and antioxidant. Inflammation is a biggie, ninjalings. Pretty much every symptom ever is the result of an inflammatory reaction: everything from hives to an angry tummy to anaphylaxis. Antioxidants are also important because they keep those little jerks called free radicals from running around in your body and punching everything they touch, though this is more of a long-term helper and not an immediate one.

MagnesiumReduces histamine, which is the instigator of allergic reactions.

There’s probably other stuff, but if I keep researching I’ll never post this 😉

That Was Way Too Long, What Even Did You Just Say

In sum:

  • We’re not invited to Captain Jack Sparrow’s garden party
  • Milk chocolate contains roughly 0.056% citric acid
  • Dark chocolate contains anywhere from 0.24% to 0.47% citric acid
  • Lots of ninjas who shouldn’t be able to eat chocolate can eat it
  • Chocolate is magic

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So What Should *I* Do, Lemon Ninja?

Well, Ninjas in Training, this is a highly individualized question.

Bottom line: listen to your body.

Every ninja is different and some of you will not be able to eat chocolate. Some of you will. Either way, please be safe if you decide to experiment! Listen to your intuition and don’t try something you’re unsure about. If you’re prone to dangerous reactions, talk to your doctor about it first – if you get the green light, try a VERY SMALL AMOUNT, and do so in the company of emergency meds and a friend who knows what’s up.

A general procedure to follow:

  1. If you’ve been eating chocolate without a problem, eat on
  2. If you’ve had a reaction to chocolate, check the ingredients. If it contains anything other than chocolate liquor, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and cane sugar, you may be reacting to the extra ingredients (especially if there is soy involved)
  3. If there were no additives, either the cacao% was too high for you, or the magic of chocolate does not work for your body
  4. If there were additives or you think you can handle a lower cacao% (plus you feel brave and desperately need chocolate in your life), find a low cacao%, additive-free chocolate and give it a small try in a safe environment (I recommend Enjoy Life!)
  5. If the magic of chocolate still doesn’t work for you, that’s ok. The recipe I’m about to share tastes absolutely delicious even without chocolate!

 

Lemon Ninja’s Chocolate (or not) Custard

Courtesy of Lemon Ninja, her Abuelita, and her Mommy

Ingredients

Chocolate Sauce
1/2 cup organic sugar
1/4 cup water
6 Tablespoons organic powdered cocoa

Crema Pastelera
3/4 cup organic sugar
2/3 cup spelt flour
1 1/2 cup rice milk
6 egg yolks

Notes: This recipe is equally delicious with or without chocolate. It is also equally delicious as a pudding or a frozen custard. You can use anywhere from 4-8 egg yolks – more makes it richer and more flavorful, especially in the non-chocolate version. If you can, get organic chocolate. You’ll thank me later.

Part One: Chocolate Sauce

  1. Dissolve sugar in water in a small sauce pan while heating; it should get a little thick.
  2. Add cocoa and stir till dissolved.
  3. Set aside to cool.

Part Two: Crema Pastelera

  1. Mix flour and sugar in saucepan.
  2. Add in rice milk.
  3. Stir while warming over medium heat; when it begins to steam, turn the heat down and continue mixing until thickened.
  4. Remove from heat, add eggs and mix thoroughly.

Part Three: The Third Part

  1. Once both the chocolate sauce and crema are cooled to room temp, mix them together.
  2. Pour the custard into a freezer friendly storage thing, or into individual plastic cups for easier nomming later on.
  3. Let cool in the fridge for about an hour.
  4. Move the custard to the freezer and impatiently wait for it to get frozen.
  5. Eat it. All of it. At once. 😀

That’s all for now, my ninjalings.
Until next time, when life gives you lemons, RUN!
The Lemon Ninja

We Wish You Molasses Cookies, and a Happy New Year

Greetings Ninjas in Training,

As the year 2015 draws to a close, bloggers everywhere are writing sentimental posts… summing up their super productive year, and sharing their hopes for a super productive-er 2016. I thought I’d share my thoughts too:

  1. You guys really need to try these molasses cookies
  2. I really need to write more on this blog
  3. Lists need three things

In order to address this list, I plan to do the following:

  1. Share the recipe for these freaking delicious cookies
  2. Ask you all to comment on this post with topic suggestions, questions, and marriage proposals for 2016
  3. Make both of these lists have three items even though I only had two things to say

So. First thing’s first:

Molasses Cookies!

Ingredients:

1/2 c white cane sugar, plus extra for just before baking
1/2 c brown cane sugar (NB: many brands of brown sugar are actually just white cane sugar sprayed with beet molasses. This is not ninja friendly! Read the label, always!)
3/4 c lard
3 egg yolks
3 1/2 Tbsp unsulfured blackstrap molasses (again, make sure it is cane, not beet!)
2 c spelt flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt

Notes:

You may notice these cookies have no spices. I am currently not sure of the CA content of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, but they make me sick, so I don’t eat them. Ginger definitely contains CA, at 0.1% by weight when raw. It is likely that ginger as a spice has a much higher CA%, since water contributes a lot to the weight of raw ginger, but there is no water in the spice. Luckily, you don’t need spices to make delicious cookies! As for other modifications, you can use 1 whole egg, regular flour, and regular salt. Do not use shortening as a replacement for the lard, it’s made from vegetables of doom. I have not tested the recipe with any of those replacements, nor have I tested it with a gluten-free flour. Please leave a comment if you do and it tastes good! Or if it tastes bad, so others don’t suffer your fate 😀

Directions:

  1. In one bowl, set the lard out to soften.
  2. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Back to the first bowl! Add in the sugar, and cream together with the shortening.
  4. Add the egg to the sugar and shortening. Beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Stir in the molasses.
  6. Stir in the dry ingredients from the other bowl. It should form a nice big ball.
  7. Chill the dough for a few hours (overnight is fine too).
  8. Roll the chilled dough into 1″ balls. Then roll the balls in sugar!
  9. Place the balls of sugary dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 2″ apart.
  10. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes. Don’t let the cookies brown, or they won’t be chewy and delicious.
  11. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes after taking them out of the oven. Then put them on a cooling rack.
  12. Eat all of the cookies. Eat them NOW.
  13. No seriously. I dare you to stop eating these cookies.
nom nom nom

nom nom nom

Now that you’re full of cookies, I do hope to help you have a ninja-tastic new year, so please leave comments about what you’d like to see on this blog next year! All citric acid-related questions, from cooking to real world survival to treatments are fair game. My goal is one post per month: January will be (drumroll please) CHOCOLATE! Finally 🙂

Have a wonderful start to 2016, ninjalings.
Until next time, when life gives you lemons, RUN!!!
The Lemon Ninja

Stop Licking Your Spinach

Greetings, ninjas-in-training!

I hope you’re all having a lovely end of summer/winter.  I’ve made some massively exciting, life-changing updates to the site (ok, slight exaggeration), so clearly I must shout all the new information from the rooftops.

Actually, that’s way too much work, so I’m just going to explain and link here on the blog instead.

Change #1 is a minor correction to “the list.”  I had “spinach” listed as 0.2g/100g, when in fact there are two kinds of spinach on the list.  English spinach, which is what Americans tend to refer to as just plain spinach, actually has a citric acid value <0.1g/100g.  Water spinach, which is part of a different botanical family, has 0.2g/100g.  So now you can stop licking your spinach to see what happens. Thanks to Shidoshi John for catching that!

Change #2 is simply a clarification of information already on “the list.”  All of the foods marked as containing “trace” amounts of citric acid are now listed as <0.1g/100g.  If you bop on over to the NUTTAB 2010 Online Searchable Database, you might notice that the foods listed as <0.1g are not on the NUTTAB citric acid list.  If you look up the foods individually, you’ll see they are listed as having 0.0g of citric acid.  “What the heck?” you ask?  I’ll tell you a little story about it…

Once upon a 2008, when Lemon Ninja was just a half-dead baby ninja who didn’t know what to eat, these foods were on the citric acid list, with a value of 0.0g/100g.  “What the heck?” she asked, “Are there random citric acid-free foods on this list, or is this just extremely confusing decimal rounding?” The lovely people of NUTTAB explained that these foods contained “trace amounts” of citric acid (i.e. <0.1g), but as they rounded values to one decimal, they were listed as 0.0g.

When the NUTTAB 2010 came out, they decided to remove these foods from their list for the sake of brevity.  Thankfully, baby ninja had saved the old list in a word document, so she was able to include those foods on her incredibly shiny version of the list.  *strikes impressive ninja pose*

IFWT_Rangers2That’s all for now, my ninjalings! Enjoy your new learning tools, and until next time… when life gives you lemons, RUN!
The Lemon Ninja

To eat, or not to eat?

Greetings, ninjas-in-training!

Sensei here.  At your request, I have updated “the list” to include a tutorial on what to do about foods that aren’t on “the list.” Please let me know if it is clear, or if I need to add anything! I shall also share the tutorial below, but first a bit more ninja business…

I have also smushed both lists onto one page, in hopes that it will be easier to navigate.  It’s entirely possible that I just made it more chaotic, so please let me know if the new format makes your brains explode.  I’m hoping that you find it shiny, because I think it’s shiny.

I’d also appreciate it if you let me know if you encounter any broken links on the site.  I may be a lemon ninja, but I am not a computer ninja, and I can’t figure out why this site seems to spontaneously eat links on occasion.

Maybe they just look tasty?  I guess WordPress does not suffer from any form of hyperlink sensitivity.

And now, the long awaited not-on-the-list tutorial!

Suppose one fine day you find yourself with a hankering for Chicken Maratha with a side of pomelo and pistachios.  These things would probably taste terrible together, but for the sake of variety in this tutorial, you just like to eat weird combinations of things.  You love the spicy goodness of turmeric, tart juiciness of pomelo, and the weird greenness of pistachios, but you haven’t had any since you started your ninja lifestyle.  Are they safe to eat?  You rush to your favorite website of all time but, to your partial joy and partial dismay, you don’t see them on “the list.”

This means one of two things: (1) the foods are safe, (2) the foods are not safe, but have not been evaluated by the food people of Australia, or (3) I’m really sorry, there isn’t a third thing, but I cannot make lists composed of only two things.  So, which is it?

Have no fear, ninja-in-training!  With a few minutes on the web, you can make a reasonably educated guess as to the safety of almost any food.  Let’s go through the steps, and decide whether or not turmeric, pomelo, and pistachios are ninja-safe:

    1. Use your intuition.  If it sounds dangerous, it probably is. 
      • If you’re out and about, don’t eat it! 
      • If you’re at home and have time to hit the web, proceed to step 2.
      • Why do half of the things I need to list only have two things? *sigh*
    2. Think about similar foods.
      • Pomelo is a fruit.  All fruits have citric acid in them, so pomelo must have citric acid.
        • If some fruits are within your tolerance level, you’re going to need to get more specific.
        • Think about smell, taste, and texture: what fruits does pomelo remind you of?  Oranges and limes come to mind here, which is probably a bad thing for any ninja.
        • No pomelo for you!
      • What about turmeric?  It’s not fruit, and it’s not really a vegetable either, it’s a… well it looks like a… thing.  It’s a thing.  Okay.  Not very helpful.  Looks like we’ll have to take this to step 3!
      • Pistachios are some kind of nut-ish thing.  Nuts and seeds are weird foods when it comes to categories, and a lot of things we think of as nuts and seeds actually aren’t, like peanuts.  You may have noticed that there are no actual nut or seed things on “the list” anyways, so, on to step 3!
    3. Get science-y. 
      • Look up turmeric on the web.  More specifically, look up its family classification.  This is typically easy to find on Wikipedia, in a little box that looks like this: Turmeric, om nom nom
        • As you can see, turmeric is in the family Zingiberaceae.  How informative, right?  Well, maybe if we try clicking on it…
        • We can look on this page for familiar foods.  Right away, we can see that ginger is closely related to turmeric.
        • Is ginger safe?  Check the list!
        • NOPE.  Ginger is not safe for ninjas with a tolerance of 0.1g or less!
      • And pistachios?  Try this one for yourself!  The answers will be at the end of this tutorial.
    4. Using this information, give yourself some room for error. 
      • Ginger and turmeric are related, so it’s likely that they have similar citric acid content.
      • BUT!  This does not mean they are exactly the same.  Turmeric could have 0.2g or 0.05g… we can’t be sure.
      • Turmeric may even have some outrageous amount of citric acid, like 1.0g.  Again, we can’t be sure.
    5. Make a decision!
      • ALWAYS err on the side of caution.
      • Use the information you’ve found as an aide to your intuition, NOT as an absolute determinant.
      • Use your knowledge of your body and how it reacts to things.
      • Take other things into consideration, like how much citric acid exposure you’ve had lately, how much stress you’re under, and whether you’ve been invited to a gala with British Royalty within the next week or so.
      • If a sounds like a bad idea, it is.  Don’t eat it.  Listen to your body, sometimes it’s smart!
    6. Eat, or don’t eat.
      • If you don’t eat it, pat yourself on the back for your awesome research skillz.  Reward yourself with a delicious, safe treat of choice.
      • If you do eat it, do so S L O W L Y.
        • Take a little taste, and wait.
        • If you generally have fast reactions, wait however long your reactions usually take to show up.  If nothing happens, try a wee bit more.  Don’t go overboard!
        • If you generally have delayed reactions, eat the smallest amount that you feel could cause a reaction.  If nothing happens, try a little more the next time.  Again, don’t go overboard!
      • Congratulations, you have either eaten, or not eaten, a different food!  Great job, ninja!

      (Did you figure out the ninja-safety level of pistachios? They are a member of the family Anacardiaceae, also known as the cashew family.  If you don’t know anything about cashews, that’s cool, but you should have seen the word “mango” on their family tree and whipped out your nunchucks.  Now, the scariest part of mangos is the fleshy fruit part, and we don’t eat that part of pistachios… just the seeds… but we also don’t know what’s in those mango seeds.  So, what to do?  The choice is yours: choose responsibly!)

That’s all for now.  Until next time, when life gives you lemons, RUN!!!
The Lemon Ninja