The Pressure’s Off
If you have relocated from lower parts of the country, particularly below 3,500 feet, you’ll find that the effects of high altitude wreak havoc on your culinary prowess. Indeed, that crisp-on-the-outside-moist-on-the-inside cookie that you’re famous for or your ability to grill every steak to a juicy, medium-rare perfection may prove to be elusive at first. Even something as simple as timing a hardboiled egg may feel beyond grasp until you get the hang of it. With less air pressure as you increase in altitude, the fundamentals of chemistry, like water boiling at about 187°F instead of 212°F, are upended at altitude. This is why many store-bought mixes come with special “high altitude” directions, and because cooking generally takes longer, foods tend to dry out faster. If you are a baker of the “from scratch” variety, you’ll find that doughs rise faster and liquids in batters evaporate faster. But not to worry, here here is my High-Altitude Baking and Cooking Conversion Chart to help you regain your culinary mojo.
You will have to experiment with these adjustments to get the results you want with your favorite recipes, but with persistence you will enjoy the delicious journey to perfection. Try joining local Facebook groups like the Roaring Fork Swap to get additional pointers and advice from local cooks. Whether you are training for a marathon, considering a plant-based diet or trying to make a few healthy changes, check out our Dietitian Demos video series archive, with 25 episodes and counting, to empower you with knowledge, information and inspiration to fuel your healthy journey.
About the Author
Kristy is pleased to be able to combine her passion for medical nutrition therapy with culinary arts and management. She enjoys working with fellow dietitians, Lauren Mitchell and Laurie Osier, in the clinical realm along with her talented team in the Castle Creek Café. She strives to revolutionize what is “hospital food” with her passion for recipe development and knowledge of nutritional pathophysiology. On her days away from the Hospital, Kristy enjoys exploring the many rivers and mountains under the Colorado sunshine with her dogs Roxy and Lola.
Photo Credit: Will McDonald