Categories
Design Grocery Health

A Guide On Exactly How To Pick The Freshest Produce

I’m only a few days into the New Year and still feeling pretty good about my resolution to eat healthier. Whether or not I’ll stick with it in the weeks to come remains to be seen, but until then I’m eager to stuff myself with as many fruits and vegetables as I can get my chubby mitts on.

One hurdle I’ve come across, is that I’m not entirely sure at times whether or not I’m picking the freshest produce. I don’t want to have a bowl of fruits sitting around waiting to ripen at home.

Pounds to Pocket, a UK-based money saving blog, created this fresh infographic that helps you know how to select the freshest produce possible every time you’re at the grocers.

The infographic details things to look out for like color, firmness, texture, and smell. It also covers a diverse list of fruits and vegetables including strawberries, mangos, pineapple, apples, grapes, watermelon, avocados, blueberries, cherries, tomatoes, kiwi, rhubarb, broccoli, corn, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, and mushrooms.

Next time you’re shopping in the produce aisle, you can strut with confidence knowing that there’s a cheat sheet like this ready to jump in if you’re ever feeling uncertain.

Check out the fruit-picking guide below.


Courtesy of: Pounds to Pocket
Categories
Grocery

Australians On High Alert Over Finding Hidden Needles In Their Fruit

When you go to the grocery store and buy fruit, you usually check it for quality, color, and other key attributes. In Australia right now, folks also have to take the disturbing step of checking it for needles.

An unknown party is hiding the needles inside of strawberries and other produce all around the country, according to news.com.au. Over 100 different incidents have been reported to date, since becoming an alarming issue around two weeks ago. The activity has even prompted local supermarket giant Woolworth’s to take needles off their shelves entirely until the crisis is resolved.

So far, the fruits involved also include mangos and bananas, and police have caught at least one suspect they believe to be a copycat criminal.

It’s unclear at this point why the needles are being hidden and why strawberries have been the chief fruit targeted by the perpetrators. But Australia is taking drastic steps to try and mitigate their threat.

For starters, they’ve cracked down on food tampering, imposing a 10-15 year sentence to anyone caught committing the crime. There’s also a social media campaign encouraging people to smash their strawberries. This way, they can still enjoy the seasonal berry without the fear of biting into a needle.

It’s outlandish and bizarre that this type of serial criminal activity is happening, but until the needlers are caught, Australian grocers and consumers are going to be on their toes when shopping for fruit.


Featured image courtesy of the USDA on Flickr, CC 2.0.
Categories
Health Science

Watch The Surprising Way How Seedless Watermelons Are Grown

Summer is in full force and we’re looking for any sort of way to cool ourselves down. This includes slicing up some juicy seedless watermelon. As you sink your teeth into the cool, refreshing fruit, have you ever wondered how a watermelon without those pesky black seeds is achieved?

True Foods created a video that explains exactly how one gets a watermelon completely free of pesky seeds thanks to a naturally occurring chemical called colchicine. While toxic in high doses, small amounts can create something quite magical.

What colchicine does is interfere with normal cell division. When colchicine is applied to watermelon seeds or directly to the plant itself, twice the amount of chromosomes will appear in the female flowers. Once fertilized with pollen from a normal flower plant, you get seedless watermelons.

Check out True Food’s video for a detailed explanation of the science behind seedless watermelons.

Categories
Products

You Can Actually Buy A Working BANANA PHONE

A phone with appeal.

No better pun could describe what potentially will be the most sought-out food-themed gadget to hit the markets: the banana phone.

Created by a group aptly named Banana Phone, the device is shaped like the bright yellow fruit beloved by monkeys and humans alike.

The phone is actually a bluetooth enabled handset that connects to your smart phone. Once paired with your device, it’s able to receive and make phone calls. Through Siri/Google Assistant, you won’t even have to dial.

One percent of phone profits will to towards Gearing Up For Gorillas, a nonprofit that focuses on the conservation of the rare mountain gorilla in Virunga National Park.

The banana phone is estimated to cost a suggested retail price of $50 once it goes on sale, but you can back it for $40 on the company’s Indiegogo page, where you can also find more information about the product.

Categories
Hacks Hit-Or-Miss Video

How These Food Storage Tips Can Save You Money

Avocados, man.

One blink and their Kermit-green hue has turned into a muddy brown. We can thank Ethylene for this one, a natural gas that fruits and vegetables emit which speeds up the ripening process. This leads surrounding produce to rot at a rapid pace.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Americans waste up to 40% of their food, meaning a whopping $165 billion is thrown away each year.  This is partially caused by failing to appropriately store produce in the kitchen. Remember those bananas you bought yesterday? Well they’re probably as good as banana bread by now.

Not to be the kitchen cop, but these three storage tricks will help you put a halt to wasted fruits and veggies. Watch this video to learn how you can avoid turning your kitchen into a landfill.

Categories
Hacks Hit-Or-Miss

13 Genius Ways to Use Up Fruit That’s Going Bad

Look around your kitchen right now. Odds are you’re seeing bananas getting too brown, apples getting too soft, and strawberries slowly shriveling, right? Well, suppress your instinct to throw away food that’s just teetering on rotten.

Even if your fruit is starting to look unappetizing, it can still serve a purpose! Try using near-spoiled fruit in these 13 creative ways and rest assured that you, sir or madam, are an eco-hero. Congratulations.

Face Masks

We live in the day and age of the face masks; as one of the biggest beauty trends of the moment, there’s a face mask for all your skin wishes and woes. But why spend the cash on these masks when you can make your own right in your kitchen? Raw fruit has more tricks up its sleeve than you might think.

For example, papayas have amazing exfoliating properties, avocados prevent signs of aging, tomatoes help skin glow, and oranges reduce acne. Who knew, right?

Those are just a few examples of what DIY fruit masks can do for you complexion, but these masks (especially the tomato/lemon mask) might be our favorites.

Polish Silverware/Shoes

Dingy silverware or scuffed shoes? There’s a simple way to bring their shine back: a banana peel. It sounds weird, but we promise it works.

Peel a banana and take all those stringy bits off the inside of the peel. Then rub the inside of the peel on your dull shoes or silver. Buff with a cloth and you’ll see a shine like no other, plus a pleasant banana smell as a fun bonus.

Make Smoothies

So your shoes look fly and your silverware is gleaming, but what are you going to do with that peeled banana? If it doesn’t look good enough to eat right then and there, try throwing it into a smoothie for all the same flavor and nutrients, minus how gross it feels to eat an overripe banana.

Here’s a great recipe to get you started:

  • 1 overripe banana, chopped
  • ½ beet, chopped
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 ounces dairy-free protein powder
  • dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ice cube

If you don’t have time to make that delicious smoothie rn, cut the banana in half, put it in a plastic bag, and freeze it. You can use it for tomorrow morning’s smoothie instead!

Granitas

A granita is a frozen treat that’s like a snow cone, only boozier. All you have to do is blend or juice your going-bad fruit, stir in a little alcohol to keep it from freezing completely, and pour the mixture into a shallow, wide container. Place the container into the freezer and use a fork to break up the icy areas every hour or so.

The end result should resemble a shaved iced treat perfect for parties or just cooling off on a hot day.

Fruit Jams

Making homemade jam might make you picture a Stepford Wife, but it’s actually a simple and delicious way to put your rotting fruit to good use. One of our favorites? Apple jelly, which you’ll want to spread on anything you can get your hands on. Better yet, these little jams make rad gifts for your friends and family.

And if you’re not a fan of apples, then you have to check out Serious Eats’ epic guide to fruit spreads.

Conditioning Hair Treatment

The only thing currently trendier than a face mask? A hair mask. Your complexion isn’t the only thing that could use a fruity refreshing every now and again, your strands need TLC, too.

If dry, winter air is getting your hair down, then you need this moisturizing strawberry hair mask — it’s especially perfect for anyone rocking their natural curls.

Garbage Disposal

Nothing gets smellier faster than your garbage disposal. But thankfully, any and all citruses you might be looking to toss are your DIY solution!

Down your stinky sink, pour a half cup of baking soda, some vinegar, and then half of a lime, lemon, or orange. The baking soda and vinegar will react with one another and clean the disposal, while the citrus will leave behind an amazing, clean smell. If you’d rather eat that citrus, feel free to use peels to get the job done.

Breads and Muffins

What better excuse to bake than your ingredients starting to go bad? Adding chopped fruit to a baked good is a brilliant way to use up your produce and upgrade your breads or muffins.

Worried that the poor quality of your fruit will undermine the dish? Try giving the fruit a quick grilling first, which is a great way to give the fruit (and, by association, your baked goods) a deeper flavor.

Crumbles, Crisps, and Cobblers

It doesn’t get better than sugar-coated fruit surrounded by brown sugar crumbles or doughy pie crust. You can use pretty much any fruit imaginable to create an impromptu cobbler, crisp, or crumble, and it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Make Potpourri

This might sound like something only your grandma makes, but don’t hate until you’ve tried it. Potpourri (like homemade jam) makes for lovely presents and if you want to keep it for yourself, you’ll be surprised how well this mixture can make your home smell heavenly.

Adding lemon rind to potpourri is the perfect way to perk up any room. Take a handful of spices (such as cinnamon sticks, cloves, or nutmeg) and dried natural materials (such as seasonal flowers or pinecones). Then arrange them in a bowl along with the lemon rind. If you want even more of a boost, sprinkle with scented oils like orange or lemon.

Fruit-Flavored Booze

The perfect way to use fruit before a backyard party or BBQ? Soaking it in alcohol, obvi.

You can steep frozen or fresh fruits in liqueurs like brandy, vodka, or rum and get double the delicious; your alcohol will develop an irresistible fruit flavor and snacking on that fruit at the end of your drink? Let’s just say it will be the most fun you ever have eating a peach slice.

Homemade Ice Cream

Yep, you can make super-creamy ice cream with avocados that aren’t quite at their peak anymore. The fruit is sodium and cholesterol-free, low in calories, and loaded with vitamins and minerals, so it’s as good for you as it is freakin’ delicious. This avocado pistachio ice cream recipe is perfect for after-dinner indulgence.

With all those benefits and amazing flavor, it’s more like nice cream, amiright?

Homemade Pasta Sauce

Don’t have much of a sweet tooth? Rest assured, you can use those browning avocados to make a savory dish that’s just as creamy and delicious.

Try puréeing ripe avocados with garlic and lemon juice, then tossing with hot pasta. Game changer, right? You can also add chopped tomatoes and a little cheese for extra flavor. You’ll never buy canned tomato sauce again.

 

Do you use your rotting fruit in a different clever way? Share your brilliance with us in the comments section below.

Categories
Packaged Food Sweets

Why It Costs $22 For This Seemingly Normal Strawberry

A photo posted by えみ (@emi12.10) on

Strawberries, when in season, can be well worth the money if you’re buying a quality batch. Would you, however, pay $22 for a single piece of fruit? Apparently a single strawberry found in a Hong Kong supermarket is going for just that.

So what makes it so expensive?

According to Time, the Kotoka Strawberry can be found at City Super, an upscale Hong Kong supermarket that specializes in the decadent. Grown in the Japanese city of Nara, the strawberry boasts a seemingly perfect balance of acidity and sweetness.

When shelling out the $22, consumers don’t just get that single strawberry. The fruit is carefully placed in a specially-designed package that includes a foam nest to rest the berry in. The excessive packaging, understandably, has garnered some criticism from groups concerned with packaging waste.

Would you spend that much on one of these strawberries? We can understand if it were one of those reverse strawberries. Now those look pretty cool.

If you decide against the shelling out all that cash for the piece of fruit, and would rather get a batch of regular strawberries, here’s a quick hack on how to shuck them.

Categories
Alcohol Drinks What's New

For The First Time In Years, Absolut Vodka Adds A New Flavor: LIME

Absolut-Lime-Cover

Absolut Vodka just announced the addition of their first new flavor in four years. Joining the brand’s iconic citrus lineup will be Absolut Lime, a flavor that will stand side-by-side with Absolut Citron and Absolut Mandrin.

The new vodka, like its predecessors, was created to lay the foundation to many cocktails with its dynamic and complex citrus flavoring. According to Absolut, the vodka will go with pretty much anything one will garnish with a lime.

As for us, we’ve been on a martini kick for quite a while. Might try to grab a bottle and practice making some at home. Y’know, grown up stuff.

Absolut’s new vodka is now available nationwide for about $19.99 (750mL) and $24.99 (1L) at participating grocery store locations and alcohol retailers.