What keeps it crunchy, even in milk? *Semi-permeable food varnish. That's what.
So, yesterday (I think it was yesterday) sometime in between the painting and the contemplating of The Vast Expanse of Yard, I wandered up to the computer to take a wee break. The Yahoo people were featuring a recipe for a Cap'n Crunch Shake. Suppressing a shudder, I went to investigate. Apparently there is a woman out in the Hinternet that goes by the moniker "Hungry Girl." She is Very Powerful, and fat free snack manufacturing folks grovel at her feet in the hopes that she will Smile Upon their, let's call it Food, so that they can sell A Bunch.
First, let me say that I'm sure that Hungry Girl is a lovely person. She's obviously doing something right, and I'm sure her mother loves her very much. But, friends, I have some Things to Say.
Her most recent cookbook is about making food with fewer than 200 calories. And that's where the Cap'n Crunch Shake comes in. I'm not going to write down the entire ingredient list here, because I'm afraid my keyboard wouldn't recognize me. Then, it might Cease to Work until I show it ID. My wallet is downstairs--we have stairs now--and I'm so sore from painting and such that it might as well be in Guam. So, if you' d like to see what's in this, this....ahem, Food, go on over to her site and check it out: HG's Cravin' Cap'n Crunch Shake
What I want to look at is the ingredients for the ingredients. I won't go through all of them, because I'm still painting, but here you go (courtesy of our friends at Wikipedia):
Calcium Carbonate is found naturally in chalk. Hooray. And you know what else? You could just grind up some sea shells and you'd be ready to go.
Polydextrose is made out of sugar and some other stuff, and it's used as a sugar, fat and/or starch replacement.
Yellows #5 and 6. This is in the Cap'n Crunch. Yum. Guess what else is in Cap'n Crunch? BHT. BHT is edible, supposedly, but it's also used in embalming fluid, so you won't need to be embalmed when you die if you eat enough Cap'n Crunch. Eat up, y'all.
Sucralose This is Splenda. You know, "Looks like sugar; tastes like sugar, but Psych! It's not sugar." It's all technical and stuff, but it's chlorinated. Weird, huh. And not food, as far as I'm concerned.
Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate This is some highly processed stuff, and it's used as an emulsifier
Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil I shan't comment on this one
Artificial Flavors Ditto
So, why am I so opposed to this whole Cap'n Crunch shake thing? (And here, I'm having a flashback to Monty Python, and the Wizard Tim talking about the deadly bunny: "Look at the bones, man!") Look at the ingredients, people. And here's the thing. I can't give you a fat free, sugar free alternative to a milk shake and still be able to sleep at night. I mean, if you want a milk shake, make one at home with ice cream that contains ingredients that only have one or two syllables: milk, cream, sugar, eggs, vanilla. [Update: Jamie rightly pointed out that vanilla is a three syllable word. Thanks, Jamie. I blame the stairs.] Add some milk. Put it in a blender. If you're concerned about calories, only make a little bit, or share it. Then go take a walk. Don't eat Cap'n Crunch. Or just eat it infrequently, at least. And, whatever you do, please don't mix up a whole bunch of highly processed chemistry projects together in a blender and then drink it. Shudder.
That's really all I have to say about that. Again, I'm sure HG means well, I just think the advice is misguided. And maybe she isn't really trying to kill you, but just be careful, because you Never Can Tell. Besides, Joon is the one who puts Cap'n Crunch in a blender with milk and peanut butter and drinks it for breakfast and then goes outside wearing a snorkel mask so she can direct traffic with a ping pong paddle. See, Cap'n Crunch shakes are for schizophrenics, not for well-adjusted people like you. (See 3:11 and then 5:56 for The Evidence)[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyd6ua-pNvI&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b]
*Maybe not. I just like saying it, 'cause of Christmas Vacation.