Antimicrobial Efficacy of Oiled John Boos Cutting Boards Is Validated

Antimicrobial Efficacy of Oiled John Boos Cutting Boards Is Validated

Scientific Research Has Substantiated the Antimicrobial Efficacy of John Boos Wood Cutting Boards Protected with Boos Mystery Oil and Boos Block® Board Cream.

John Boos & Co., with headquarters and manufacturing facilities in the Central Illinois town of Effingham, dates back to 1887. That’s when founder Conrad Boos carved his first wooden block from a Sycamore tree for use as a blacksmith’s sturdy work table. Recognizing that meat butchers too had need for rugged chopping tables, Boos’ son John expanded the family’s product line. Today, Boos’ ubiquitous butcher blocks and wooden cutting boards are trusted by professional and celebrity chefs and preferred by aspiring gourmets because of their design, craftsmanship, beauty, and functionality.

But there’s another reason for pros and amateurs alike to flock to Boos cutting boards: their antimicrobial properties. This characteristic of properly oiled Boos Rock Maple cutting boards was assessed by Professor Nenad Miljkovic of the University of Illinois and his team of researchers who are experts in the areas of nanoengineered surfaces and coating technologies.

Miljkovic and his team studied NSF-approved Boos cutting boards made of U.S. Northern Hard Rock Maple. NSF is an independent evaluative and testing organization that assesses the raw materials a manufacturer uses, plus its manufacturing processes and practices. The NSF designation signals that the product that carries it meets recognized food service industry standards designed to promote public health.

The key finding of the university’s research team was that once a Boos NSF-certified maple cutting board used to carve meat was then coated with Boos Block Board Cream and Boos Mystery Oil, the level of bacteria on its surface was reduced to “a ‘clean level’ in just three hours.”

The researchers determined that application of the two moisturizing substances created a hydrophobic, or water-resisting, barrier on the boards that made it more difficult for bacteria to adhere to the wood.

Furthermore, they concluded that Boos Mystery Oil helped any meat juice remaining on the surface of the board be absorbed into the fibers of the wood, where naturally occurring enzymes found in Northern Hard Rock Maple killed off any remaining bacteria. 

Professor Miljkovic stated that, “Prior to this project, we believed the function of cutting board oil was simply to prevent drying of the wood, but our research showed that it actually enables microbes to absorb into the wood grain, which contain antimicrobial enzymes that kill bacteria. We found that USA grown Northern Hard Rock Maple, used by John Boos & Co. to create cutting boards, was the most effective species of hardwood that contained these antimicrobial enzymes, which kill bacteria.”

For more information, please visit https://butcherblockco.com, a leading online dealer of John Boos products.

Easy, Maple Walnut Crusted Salmon

Easy, Maple Walnut Crusted Salmon

Our guest blogger, Erin from Food Wise Family, is here to share an easy walnut crusted salmon recipe. This simple recipe makes a delightful dinner that can easily be paired with any veggie side dish.

I love a dinner that comes together with little effort. This walnut crusted salmon recipe is one of those meals. It only takes minutes to top the delicious salmon with a crunchy, sweet, smoky glaze and then throw it in the oven to bake away. Prep a side of your favorite veggies while it cooks, and you have a healthy meal on the table in under 30 minutes.

I am always afraid to cook salmon. I’m scared I’ll overcook it and ruin it. I have this fear because the first time I cooked salmon, it was undercooked after the given amount of time stated in the recipe. So I placed it back in the oven and didn’t check it soon enough, and to my surprise, it was now overcooked. When salmon is overcooked, it’s dry and loses its flavor. Until recently, I usually had my husband cook salmon, but I finally got past my fear.

One thing that helps to not overcook the walnut crusted salmon in this recipe, is to make sure you set a timer to check in on it before the full time is up, and continually check on it until it’s done. Salmon changes from red to pink as it bakes in the oven. Take a fork and peek in the thickest part of the fillet. Once the meat starts to flake easily the salmon is done.

Easy Maple Walnut Crusted Salmon
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Baking Time: 13-17 Minutes
Total Time: 18-22 Minutes

Ingredients
2 lb salmon fillet
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp avocado oil
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Place salmon on aluminum foil-lined or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  3. Combine maple syrup, Dijon mustard, avocado oil, paprika, salt, and black pepper in a medium bowl. Once thoroughly mixed, fold in walnuts.
  4. Evenly coat salmon fillets with the maple walnut mixture.
  5. Bake for 13 – 17 minutes, or until salmon is done. Make sure not to overcook it.
Walnut Crusted Salmon Prep

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.

Here is another Walnut Recipe you are sure to love: Easy, Delicious Walnut Banana Bread

Undermount Sink Cutouts – What You Need to Know

Undermount Sink Cutouts – What You Need to Know

Undermount sinks, including farm and apron styles, are by far the more popular option for kitchen sinks these days. An undermount sink is any sink that mounts to the underside of the countertop, rather than dropping in on top of the counter. Besides looking beautiful, undermount sinks also have the advantage of providing a smoother clean-up process – simply wipe crumbs and scraps right into the sink, without getting anything caught in the rim like you would with a drop-in style sink.

While we love undermount sinks, they do require extra care when installed in a butcher block top… We’re here to help you before you install.

Your sink cutout can be done when your countertop is manufactured, so that it is installation-ready when you receive it. Undermount sink cutouts void the manufacturer’s warranty whether done at the factory or onsite, so it is important that the cutout is done right! Read our previous post, Custom Countertops from Start to Finish, to see the process involved in making your top.

An undermount style sink installed in a butcher block top will leave wood edges exposed to water, which means a higher potential for water damage than if you use a drop-in style sink. Before you install, it is very important that you are mindful of this potential damage, that you prepare the edges in advance, and do your best to avoid exposing those edges to splashes and standing water when in use.

No matter if your cutout is DIY or factory done, you need to take extra precautions when installing your sink to protect the exposed edges of the cutout:

undermount sink
  • If you have a polyurethane or varnish finished top, apply extra layers of finish on the underside of the counter, several inches around the perimeter of the sink cutout. This will help avoid any moisture damage if there are leaks in your sink or faucet. You must apply additional coats of poly to the exposed cutout edge itself to give it more water resistance.

undermount sink
  • For oil-finished tops, use an oil-based poly on the underside. For the exposed edges, you must apply melted beeswax or paraffin wax to repel water. It is important to reapply the wax occasionally to maintain water resistance. Alternatively, you may use an oil-based matte poly finish on these edges, but we recommend you test in an inconspicuous area first to be sure you are happy with the look.

Whether you choose to do it yourself or go with a factory cutout, we are here to help! Give us a call if you have any questions or concerns, and our experts will help you decide the best option for your home and lifestyle.

Healthy Blueberry Jam – A Sweet Summer Condiment

Healthy Blueberry Jam – A Sweet Summer Condiment

Did you know July is National Blueberry Month? Erin, our guest blogger from Food Wise Family, is here to share a quick, yet healthy blueberry jam recipe that’s perfect for spreading on your favorite breads, pancakes, crackers, or even adding to yogurt or oatmeal.

This healthy blueberry jam recipe makes approximately one cup of jam, which is ideal when you only want a small batch in your refrigerator. Plus, this recipe takes 15 minutes or less and uses only three ingredients, making this recipe super simple!

What Makes This Jam Healthy?

The jam you find in the store is usually packed with refined sugar, but this healthy blueberry jam lets the natural sweetness of the blueberries and a little bit of honey do the work.

So, this isn’t the sweetest jam you’ll ever taste, but it does the job to create a balanced bite of blueberry sweetness to whatever you add it to.

I love to use chia seeds, and this healthy blueberry jam recipe is an opportune time to add them. In jam recipes, you often will discover that pectin is used to help gel the jam. The chia seeds are replacing the pectin in this recipe. Chia seeds absorb the blueberry juice produced in this recipe and helps to give the jam its gelatinous quality. If you’re not familiar with chia seeds, they are rich in omega-3s, protein, fiber, and calcium, making them a great addition.

Healthy Blueberry Jam Recipe

Cook Time: 5 Minutes
Rest Time: 5 – 10 Minutes
Total Time: 10 – 15 minutes

healthy blueberry jam ingredients

Ingredients
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
3 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp honey

Instructions

healthy blueberry jam prep
  1. In a small saucepan, heat blueberries on medium while stirring occasionally.
  2. Once berries are warmed and start to break down (about 5 minutes), mash them with a potato masher or other utensil (fork, wooden spoon, etc).
  3. Add chia seeds to the saucepan and stir several times until mixed in. Let lightly simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from heat and stir in honey.
  5. Allow the jam to cool for 10 minutes, and enjoy warm or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for later use.

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.

Feeling Knotty? Knotty Alder Brings Rustic Charm to Your Home

Feeling Knotty? Knotty Alder Brings Rustic Charm to Your Home

Knotty Alder butcher block has been one of our fastest growing species options over the past couple years. Because it is very lightweight, it is easy to move, and is therefore used mostly in furniture and cabinets. But recently we have seen a surge in its popularity for island tops, dining tables, and even countertops.

Knotty alder is an affordable and versatile wood that can be used throughout your home!

The rustic, natural appearance of knotty alder lends warmth and charm to many décor styles. Our customer Brandi, for example, has a gorgeous kitchen with modern appliances and more traditional cabinets. Her 2.5″ thick knotty alder island top somehow ties everything together perfectly, bringing a beautiful warmth to the cooler palette of her design.

knotty alder

Blending light tans to medium and dark reddish browns, knotty alder also stains quite well if you want to go darker. It even looks great with whitewashing, so the coloring can be quite versatile. Check out our customer Amie’s beautifully stained top! She used the plank style knotty alder with the hand-scraped treatment, then applied her own stain and finish to match her cabinets. The knot holes present throughout the lumber may be more apparent and frequent in plank style tops, with some holes going all the way through.

knotty alder

Knotty alder is on the softer end of the hardwood spectrum, and that softness combined with the knot holes mean it is not ideal for the rigors of chopping, but it is certainly durable enough to be used as a table, bar, or island top. For a smooth surface, you may choose to fill the knots with either a matching wood filler or a clear epoxy. Once finished and sealed, you will have a beautiful smooth surface suitable for just about any application!

We hope you are feeling knotty now, too! Check out our online custom quote calculator if you are interested in getting pricing for your own project in 1 of 15 different species!

Sweet Potato Toast Recipe – A Must Try!

Sweet Potato Toast Recipe – A Must Try!

Sweet Potato Toast
Here’s something sweet, yet wholesome for dad this Father’s Day. Our guest blogger, Erin, over at Food Wise Family, has a great addition for any breakfast, brunch or even appetizer.

What is Sweet Potato Toast?
Sweet potato toast is sliced sweet potatoes that have been perfectly baked in the oven. Well, it’s not bread and it doesn’t really taste like toast, so why call it toast? It is dubbed as toast because it can hold all your favorite toppings just like toast. If you want to be fancy, you could even think of it as a healthier form of bruschetta. Not only is this gluten free, but it is a delicious and healthy option.

The recipe below uses almond butter and strawberries, but this is just an example.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to sweet potato toast. Whether it’s avocado and tomatoes or honey and cinnamon, just think of your favorite toast toppings and have at it.

Leftovers Are Great
This sweet potato toast recipe calls for one large sweet potato. If you don’t think you’re going to eat that much in one sitting, these make great leftovers. Just store any plain slices in an airtight container in your fridge. When you want to eat them, just pop one in the toaster on a low to medium setting, and then top with your favorite topping once warmed.

Sweet Potato Toast
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Baking Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients
1 large sweet potato
almond butter
sliced strawberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Wash and dry sweet potato. Cut off both ends of the sweet potato and cut lengthwise into 1/4-1/2 inch slices.
  3. Place sweet potato slices in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool. Smother sweet potato slices in almond butter and top with sliced strawberries.
sweet potato toast prep

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.

Looking for another Father’s Day Recipe? Here is a (not-so-healthy) recipe for you to consider: Father’s Day Sliders!

Hickory Butcher Block Grows in Popularity

Hickory Butcher Block Grows in Popularity

Hickory butcher block has become increasingly popular over the last couple years, sliding in just behind maple and walnut to round out our top three best sellers. Known for its unique appearance, hickory wood is also very hard, making it an incredibly durable option for many applications. Its hardness level can also make it a bit difficult to work with, so if you need custom cuts, it is best to consult with us and have them done in our shop. Hickory is not just used as butcher block in the kitchen, though! It can be utilized in the bathroom, home office, laundry room…anywhere!

From countertops to cabinets, desktops to dining tables, hickory butcher block can add a beautiful and dependable surface to any room of your home or office.

The lumber for our hickory butcher block is readily available and sourced from Ohio and the surrounding area. The heartwood is a beautiful brown color that pairs nicely with the more creamy and light sapwood. The plank style hickory boasts large swaths of the beautiful grain pattern, whereas the edge grain style typically has a somewhat striped appearance.

Below on the left is a full kitchen remodel from customers Victoria and Mark, who used the plank style hickory with a varnish finish to revamp their countertops and center island. We were able to accommodate the unique shape of their island as well as the custom bump-out at the kitchen sink. On the right is a kitchen cart with an edge grain hickory top, highlighting the stripey pattern.

Hickory Butcher Block

Our happy customer, William, from California, installed this gorgeous 3” thick edge grain style hickory block to complete his beautiful kitchen. It looks stunning with those green cabinets and rustic brick backsplash.

Hickory Butcher Block

As you can see, hickory butcher block is an incredibly versatile material that adds function and beauty to your space. We hope you are inspired to bring some hickory into your life! Check out our online instant quote calculator to get pricing for your project.

Homemade Salsa Recipe – Feel The Heat!

Homemade Salsa Recipe – Feel The Heat!

Erin, our guest blogger over at Food Wise Family, has a homemade salsa recipe with an awesome kick to it! So break out those tortilla chips, and get ready to make this quick and easy salsa just in time for Cinco de Mayo.

I like my salsas hot. With two jalapeños and a little bit of cayenne pepper in this homemade salsa recipe, you can definitely feel the heat. So I’ve added chunks of creamy avocado to help cool down each bite.

Not a Fan of Cilantro
Cilantro is very common in Mexican dishes and salsas, but this homemade salsa recipe just doesn’t have it. I am one of those people who isn’t sold on cilantro; my taste buds just don’t like it. The salsa needs some herbs to help balance out the flavor, though, so my favorite herb mix to use in my salsa is Italian seasoning. That’s right, Italian seasoning! Trust me on this one. However, if you are a fan of cilantro and you are wondering why on earth wouldn’t she use cilantro, by all means, sub a handful of fresh cilantro for the Italian seasoning.

This homemade salsa recipe is not only great with your favorite tortilla chips, but is so versatile and full of flavor, it complements anything that needs a punch of flavor.

Enjoy it on top of eggs, meats, fish, tacos, hamburgers, baked potatoes… the possibilities are endless.

Homemade Salsa Recipe

Total Time
5 mins

homemade salsa recipe

Ingredients
• 1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes
• 2 jalapeños, seeded and roughly chopped
• 2 green onions, roughly chopped
• 1 tsp Italian seasoning
• 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
• 1/4 tsp black pepper
• 1/8 tsp salt
• 1 small ripe avocado, cubed
Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients, except the avocado, in a food processor and pulse for 15 to 30 seconds.
  2. Put salsa in a bowl and lightly stir in the cubed avocado.
  3. Enjoy immediately. This will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.

This recipe goes great with a Hibiscus Margarita! Read our Blog!

Crunchy Snack Recipe – Maple Cinnamon Glazed Pecans

Crunchy Snack Recipe – Maple Cinnamon Glazed Pecans

National Pecan Day is this weekend and a great way to celebrate this nut is with a healthy, protein-packed pecan recipe. Our guest blogger Erin from Food Wise Family is here to share a wonderfully crunchy yet sweet snack that you don’t feel guilty about indulging in.

My maple cinnamon glazed pecans are a delightful way to honor the delicious pecan. Not only is this recipe super simple, but it makes your house smell amazing. I know I can’t resist the smell of maple and cinnamon welcoming me when I walk in the door.

These glazed pecans don’t last long in our house. My most recent batch only lasted a little more than 24 hours. It’s really hard not to eat more than one. They are addicting!

 

This tasty little snack is sweetened by just a little bit of maple syrup, keeping it paleo.

This not only makes a great snack, but is also a great topper for salads, if you want to add some crunch. Plus, the pecan is heart healthy, full of vitamins and minerals, and packed with fiber.

Maple Cinnamon Glazed Pecans
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Baking Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes

Ingredients
2.5 cups raw pecans
1 egg white
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt

glazed pecans bake

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250°.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk egg white for about one to two minutes until it is frothy.
  3. Add maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt to the egg white mixture and mix well.
  4. Pour the pecans into the egg mixture and stir until well-coated.
  5. Spread mixture evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes. Stir the mixture every 15 minutes while baking.
  7. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 5 minutes.

Recipe Note:
Looking to make more? This recipe for maple cinnamon glazed pecans can easily be doubled. Just make sure when you are baking it, that the there is enough room on your baking sheet for the glazed pecans to be spread out evenly.

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.

Love pecans and looking for a sinfully delicious dessert? See our blog for Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie!

Matcha Chia Pudding Recipe

Matcha Chia Pudding Recipe

Whether it’s St. Patrick’s Day or any other day, here’s a little bit of green to start your morning. Our guest blogger, Erin over at Food Wise Family, has a creamy treat perfect for matcha lovers – it’s called Matcha Chia Pudding!

Matcha is a finely ground powder of high-grade green tea. Unlike normal tea where you steep the leaves, with matcha you are consuming the whole leaf. Matcha has more caffeine than black tea, but less than coffee.

Chia seeds are tiny seeds that retain a large amount of water. That’s why they are great in pudding, because they soak up all the delicious coconut milk in this recipe, creating a texture similar to tapioca pudding. Since they soak up at least 10x their weight, it’s best to eat chia seeds soaked, like in a pudding, so they don’t absorb the water in your body. These tiny seeds are a great source of fiber, protein, calcium, and omega-3s.

Chia seeds tend to soak up whatever flavors you pair with them, so this matcha chia seed pudding is a balanced blend of creamy coconut and the refreshing earthy notes of matcha.

While this matcha chia pudding is far from being Irish, this tasty little goody is a great alternative to enjoying a cup of matcha. I’m not giving up my morning coffee any time soon, but every once in a while I love to indulge in a cup of matcha. This vibrant green wonder is full of antioxidants and just the right amount of caffeine.

With my love for coconut milk chia pudding, it was a no-brainer for me to combine it with matcha.

This matcha chia pudding takes just minutes to prep and requires only four ingredients. Plus it’s dairy-free and paleo!

Matcha Chia Pudding Recipe

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour to overnight
Servings: 4

Ingredients
13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk
6 tablespoons chia seeds
2 – 3 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)*
2 teaspoons matcha

Instructions

  1. Empty a can of coconut milk into a mixing cup and blend for a few seconds using an immersion blender.**
  2. Place remaining ingredients in the coconut milk and mix thoroughly.
  3. Spoon the matcha chia pudding into separate serving containers and cover.
  4. Refrigerate for at least an hour before enjoying. For the best flavor and for chia seeds to fully set, refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Recipe Notes:
*Use more or less sweetener to desired taste.

**You can also use a regular blender, or even just whisk the matcha chia pudding. Just make sure to mix well. If whisking, make sure to mix it immediately after adding the chia seeds. Once the chia seeds get wet, they stick to everything and clump, so it’s best to mix it right away.

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.