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What's New

Trader Joe’s Has An All-New Ube Mochi Pancake and Waffle Mix

With this pancake cereal trend blowing up everywhere, pancake mixes are flying off shelves. If you happen to be near a Trader Joe’s, however, you might be lucky enough to spot something pretty unique in the offerings of breakfast cake batter.

A crazy cool new variation of pancake mix was just spotted at Trader Joe’s: Ube Mochi Pancake and Waffle Mix.

Spotted by Trader Joe’s aficionado with the apt handle @TraderJoesAficionado,  this brand new item draws inspiration from the popular purple yams known as ube most prominently used in Filipino desserts. Ube flour is combined with rice flour to create an extra chewy texture within these pancakes. Entirely gluten free, all you really need is flour, eggs, and butter.

Let’s be honest, there’s no way I’d make minis of these. I’d want to try fat stacks of them on my first go. Looks and sounds AMAZING.

You can find this Ube Mochi Pancake and Waffle mix at participating Trader Joe’s locations throughout the U.S.

Feature image courtesy of @TraderJoesAficionado
Categories
Grocery

12 Foods You Should Never Buy Generic

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Generic goes upscale

Time was, buying off-brand potato chips (Prangles, anyone?) was as desirable as carrying an imitation Coach bag. But today, private label groceries aren’t necessarily a less nutritious, less tasty version of the products we’ve come to know and love through advertising. As stores have continued to roll out their own labels (Target’s Market Pantry, for instance, or Costco’s Kirkland Signature), including organic and gourmet items, shoppers have taken notice. A full 81 percent are making private label purchases on every single supermarket trip, according to a recent report, and sales of store brands rose eight times as much as national ones in the same year. But are they always a bargain? We consulted food and nutrition pros about when they won’t deviate from a favorite brand, and why.

natural organic peanut butter in a spoon isolated, on a wooden background, top viewShyripa Alexandr/Shutterstock

Peanut Butter

“For the most part, generic brands are equally nutritious and lower in cost,” says Jennifer McDaniel, RD, owner of McDaniel Nutrition in St. Louis, MO. But certain products can vary widely in their specific ingredients, which is why it’s vital to read nutrition labels carefully. Case in point: “Some generic peanut butters have unhealthy, unnecessary additives such as added sugars or extra fat from non-sustainable resources like palm oil,” she says. We put chunky peanut butter to the test…these were our favorites.

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Tomato sauce

“Products like pasta sauce, marinara sauce, or plain tomato sauces that use high-quality tomatoes and spices with good olive oil tend to taste better and require less added sugar and sodium,” says McDaniel. Store-brand versions might be better suited for recipes that call for smaller amounts of tomato sauce, such as stews and soups. Here are some shopping secrets from top grocery stores.

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Cheese

Very often, generic or cheaper cheese tends to have more additives and fillers that aren’t necessary, says McDaniel. Plus, they tend to score lower than brand-name fromage on taste tests and overall, don’t save you that much anyway.

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Olive oil

This Mediterranean diet staple is one of the most frequently tampered-with foods, often cut with other oils including hazelnut, which can trigger reactions in people with nut allergies. Buying brand name is no guarantee of purity—one study found that a whopping 70 percent of olive oils tested, both brand name and generic, were revealed to not be “extra virgin” as their labels claimed. But it does tend to hedge your bets since brands have reputations to uphold, and if one has been adulterated, you’re more likely to have heard about it (Bertolli, for instance, just settled a class action lawsuit about its oil).

Other things that help, says McDaniel: Look for the IOC International Olive Oil Council seal on your olive oil; buy oils in dark bottles, which protects it from oxidation; and look for a harvest date on the label (most mass-produced oils won’t have one). Don’t miss these 29 things your grocer won’t tell you.

closeup of cornflakes on a spoonOliver Hoffmann/Shutterstock

Breakfast cereal

Something like mixed nuts doesn’t have a lot of ingredients—maybe nuts, sea salt, and one or two more things. So you probably won’t find a ton of variation between brands, says Keri Gans, RD, author of The Small Change Diet. Breakfast cereals, on the other hand, can have ingredients lists several inches long. “I’d be looking closely at how much added sugar is in it? How much fiber?” she says. (Psst: Think your favorite cereal is healthy? Find out here.)

White eggs in an egg carton. White linen tablecloth background.Shablon/Shutterstock

Eggs

One carton may look like any other, but all eggs are not created equal, says Gans. It all depends on what the chickens that laid them have been fed. Her brand of choice, Eggland’s Best, has six times more vitamin D than other brands, and less saturated fat. Check out these secrets for healthy grocery shopping.

Yogurt with wheat bran and oat flakes on a wooden table, top view.Glevalex/Shutterstock

Yogurt

There are so many brand-name yogurts on the market that just choosing among those can be difficult. “It’s usually a matter of taste,” says Gans. Shoppers will gravitate toward whatever has the texture and flavor they most prefer. Some generic brands sneak in extra sugar or other additives, as well, so it’s best to check the label.

beans in tin canJiri Hera/Shutterstock

Canned beans

Take it from a professional chef: While you won’t find much taste variation among canned beans or chickpeas, there is another good reason to stick with a known brand, according to Frank Proto, chef instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education. “They hold up better in recipes,” he says. “Whenever I can, I go with Goya. Store brands tend to be a little overcooked.” Put those canned beans to delicious use with these 100 recipes.

Colorful heap of spices. Aromatic landscape with seasoning. Paprika, turmeric, imbir, nutmegOlga Bilobram/Shutterstock

Condiments

“I find that a lot of the name brands have just a little better quality,” says Proto. “It’s worth the few pennies more you pay.” Anything neutral, like white vinegar, I buy the store brand,” he says. But for flavors that will star in a dish, like sherry or red wine vinegar, he goes with a known name. He’ll use store-brand butter for baking because, in a brownie, he says, no one can tell the difference. But for spreading on dinner rolls, he likes the Kerrygold brand (so do we!), which he says has a little more flavor and a richer color. Ditto Hellman’s Mayonnaise. “It’s not brand loyalty as much as I just like the flavor.”

Instant noodles closeup tasty fastfoodTamarisk Julia/Shutterstock

Soup

While she is a fan of most generic products, nutritionist Laura Cipullo, RD, owner of Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition and Yoga in New York City, was surprised to find that the options in her Whole Foods refrigerated “grab and go” section, including Italian Wedding soup and Thai noodle soup, had a long list of non-whole food ingredients on the label. “I want my money to be spent on whole food ingredients, not added starches or words that my children cannot identify,” she says.

white coffee cup on backgroundDima Sobko/Shutterstock

Coffee

Packaged coffee is one of the top seven most commonly adulterated foods, according to the U.S. Pharmacopeia. It’s often imported, and producers may bulk up the ground beans with cheaper fillers such as soybeans, corn, even twigs. Plus, java drinkers often report that name-brand coffees taste better. If you do buy a store brand, go for whole bean to reduce the risk that it has been compromised. Make sure you know these supermarket tricks you could still be falling for.

Chocolate bar in foil on gray backgroundAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Chocolate

Products containing fair trade and organic cocoa and sugar have one of the highest rates of mislabeling and product tampering in the entire food and beverage industry. And dark chocolate’s health benefits are dependent upon its cacao percentage, so it’s important to read the ingredients label carefully. In taste tests, brands such as Ghiradelli came out on top. Next, don’t miss these ways frugal shoppers save money on groceries.

Related Links:

50 Secret Recipes for Classic Diner Foods

33 Things Your Fast Food Worker Isn’t Telling You

10 Common Mistakes Everyone Makes When Brewing Coffee 


Article by Jill Waldbieser, via Reader’s Digest, from Taste of Home. View the original article here.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss News Now Trending Video

Walmart Loss Prevention Accuses Shopper Of Stealing Items She Actually Paid For

Megastores like Walmart go through so many customers on a daily basis, that they usually have someone standing at the gates checking receipts to make sure nothing extra makes it out unpaid for. Usually they’re pretty chill. Usually.

A video recently went viral after a Walmart loss-prevention duo tried to stop a shopper they believed was stealing groceries and other items from the store. Specifically, a Lion King toy.

Two employees from the Burnsville, Minnesota location stopped shopper Gina Lescarbeau as she tried to leave the Walmart, Heavy reports.

Lascarbeau’s toy was believed to be $15 by blond lothario Kenny Swanson-Peck, where she adamantly claims she paid $7 for it. Swanson-Peck and his coworker, Thomas Ewalt, soon discovered that they were in the wrong after some price checking.

It should be noted that at no point does the Walmart employee apologize to the understandably angry customer. Hopefully they got a stern talking to from upper management since this video went viral.

Man, if someone accused me of stealing my deli fried chicken fix, I probably wouldn’t show the amount of restraint this lady did.

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Hit-Or-Miss

11 Adorable Food Gadgets That Your Valentine Will Love

There’s officially less than a week before Valentine’s Day, which means you probably still need to buy a gift, make reservations, and maybe even find a Valentine. So, in order to help you through this process, this gift guide should assist in finding something truly unique that will stand out more than some cheap candy — and will probably taste better too.

This year, instead of relying solely on the florist or a gourmet chocolatier — find something that will capture the essence of love, while also serving a physical purpose. For those of us caught up in the Valentine’s Day gift struggle to swoon your favorite foodie, these easy to find, food-centric gift ideas won’t break the bank, and will show Bae how much you care.

Covered X & O Silicone Ice Cube Tray 

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Looking for a cute and classy way to tell your lover, you want to XOXO them all over? Using this awesome ice tray from Bed Bath and Beyond, might be the easiest way. As they say, love is in the air on Valentine’s Day — and now it will be in your drink! $12.99, online only. 

Heart-Shaped Measuring Cups

Heartshaped Measuring cups

Although these heart-shaped measuring cups won’t hold flowers, they’ll definitely hold flour. These romantic, yet functional kitchen utensils are the perfect gift for the adorable baker or chef in your life. This is also the next best way to tell your sweetheart that you’re in love with their cooking.

Food-Themed Enamel Pins 

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Do you love pizza more than your Valentine, but can’t admit it? That’s okay because these adorable enamel pins by The Sleepy Mountain will be the best way show them what’s most important. $10

Peas in a Pod Salt and Pepper Shaker 

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The genius minds who create the adorable things at Smoko Inc. usually have the perfect gift for any occasion. While some Valentine’s Day gifts might seem a bit cheesy, Smoko’s Peas in a Pod Salt & Pepper Shaker will always remind your Valentine of the special bond you share — and will help make every meal just a bit more delicious. $19.99

Adorable Emoji Portable Chargers

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Is your darling always complaining about their phone dying? WattzUp Power is the portable problem solver. Right now, they have super cute designs, like the Smitten Kitten emoji that are purrfect for Valentine’s Day.  But, wait — how is this related to food? Think about it, now you’ll never have to worry about your battery dying if you have to call for some delivery.  $39.99

An Awesome Nacho Cookbook

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We all know that nachos are awesome. What’s even better is a whole cookbook on nacho recipes can that easily be recreated for any occasion  — you know, not just one time on a certain night in February — hint, hint. But, that should at least give you some ideas. ¡Buenos Nachos! by Gina Hamadey, $25

Can You Feel My Love Buzz?

You're Intoxicating
Let’s face it, there’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks on Valentine’s Day, but what about after? Your lover will always crack a smile every time he or she reaches to crack open a bottle. $22.00, 

Food Grade Coconut Bath Soak 

CoconutMilk_BathSoakBesides food, the next best thing about Valentine’s Day is getting pampered. Herbivore’s food grade coconut milk bath soak combines the best of both! $18.00

Chocolate Melting Pot

Chocolate melt
Chocolate dipped strawberries are super delicious, but it’s been done over and over again. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a box of week old strawberries, you can show your Valentine how resourceful and creative you are when you bust out this chocolate melting pot and create some chocolate dipped treats of your own. $17.99

Heart-Shaped Tea Infuser

Heart Shaped Tea InfuserValentine’s Day is only one day a year, so why spend money on something that’s just going to get thrown out in a week. This heart-shaped tea infuser will allow your favorite tea lover to feel the warmth of your love while brewing cup after cup of delicious homemade tea. $6.21

Cooking Set with Valentine’s Day Recipe E-book

Vday Cooking set
This might be the best thing on this list. Before you spend your life savings on an overpriced steak dinner, it might be easier — and less expensive — to learn how to cook for once in your life. This cooking set comes with two e-books, one specifically for Valentine’s Day recipes. $17.48

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Hit-Or-Miss

No One Knew Neiman Marcus Was Also An Expensive Online Grocery Store

Up until this point, department store Neiman Marcus had been known for carrying expensive designer clothing that catered to a more wealthy clientele. However, it’s been revealed that the high-end retailer has discretely been selling more than just luxurious garments and unmentionables.

We’re not quite sure when this happened, but we became aware that Neiman Marcus is currently selling frozen handmade tamales for $92 — plus shipping for $18 — on its website.

Neiman_MarcusTamales

Marketed as, Red River Tamales by Pedro’s Tamales INC., the Red River Tamales come with a choice of beef, chicken, pork or assorted. However, it doesn’t stop with the tamales. Not even close.

We learned quickly that the well-established department store had built an entire line of food products advertised as “Gourmet Food” that contained subcategories listed as, “Meat and Poultry”, “Complete Meals,” and “Boxed Treats” on its website.

From boxed chocolates to a $72 Enchilada dinner, the list is seemingly endless. There’s even breakfast options that you can order. So, next time you’re browsing for a pair of Gucci heels or Christian Louboutin red bottoms, add an Alewel’s Country Meats 5-lb. Stuffed Beef Tenderloin, for only $320, plus $32.00 for shipping. The Stuffed Beef Tenderloin looks pretty standard and the website indicates it will feed 10-12 people, at 7 oz. per person.

That’s about $32.00 a person, which seems steep, because that doesn’t include, a side or a beverage.

Described as a, “beef tenderloin stuffed with a mix of julienned bell peppers, spinach, mushrooms, and feta cheese,” and includes a “16 ounce truffled red-wine sauce.”

It’s hard to determine what the most astonishing part is. It could be the fact that Neiman Marcus considers itself a legitimate food retailer that employs a food “buying team.”

In an interview with the Huffington Post, a spokesperson said the company outsources its food from “a variety of different vendors,” then Neiman Marcus’ “buying team determines what they consider the very best that [they] can offer,” a spokesperson recently told the Huffington Post.

However there are limits to Neiman Marcus’ culinary reach. The company only delivers perishable items on certain days, “to ensure freshness,” meaning some perishable items cannot be delivered on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, or on holidays.

Leave it to Neiman Marcus to make ordering food online as trendy as celebrities wearing Calvin Klein underwear. Maybe they should consider a name change to, “Neiman Market.”

Categories
News Video

Supermarket Shopper Becomes Possessed And Freaks The F*** Out [WATCH]

If you’ve ever seen The Exorcist, then you’ll be able to recognize the chilling side effects of a demonic possession. Whether or not you believe in them is solely up to you, but the following video certainly might change your mind.

The video, taken from a CCTV camera inside of the supermarket, depicts the woman picking up a product that mysteriously falls from the shelf. After touching it, the woman suddenly begins to seize up. A local bystander sees the whole thing unfolding and begins to approach the woman, until she jerks her head back and unleashes a flurry of blood-curdling screams, scaring the female bystander shitless.

Later on in the video, there are several other instances of items randomly swinging around or falling off of the shelf. In the last ten seconds, we see an item fall from the shelf with no one else around. While faking something like that could probably be pretty easy (fishing line and tape, some sort of timed activator, etc.), the overall reactions from all the bystanders makes it hard for me to believe that it’s fake. What do you think?

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Walk-Around Beer Solves (Most Of) Our Grocery Store Shopping Woes

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As luxe as grocery stores have gotten as of late, what with their built-in Starbucks and trendy wooden signage, shopping in them can still be a huge pain in the ass. For when free samples or the promise of a deliciously home-microwaved meal just won’t cut it, though, now you can also pick up a can of “walkin’ around beer.”

Redditor Beeslo spotted this amenity last week at a Whole Foods in Austin. Of course, many Whole Foods locations come equipped with full liquor licenses, bars, and even wine and cheese pairing classes, so ready-to-drink beer cans aren’t incredibly mind-blowing. They are, however, possibly the easiest, most fill-free way to get you through those frigid frozen food aisles.

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Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Supermarket Lets Impoverished Pick and Choose Food Rather than Simply Receiving Donations

Shopping

Many have fallen on hard times in the recent years. So it’s great to hear that there are people out there looking to make things better for their community. Britain recently opened their first social supermarket to the impoverished as a means to get people back on their feet after a tough financial spell.

Named The Community Shop, the store opened up in a town in South Yorkshire.  The Community Shop carries food found in general stores that have nothing wrong with it other than minor packaging imperfections (dents, cuts, tears, etc.) that regular retailers try not to carry in their chains. They also carry food that contain a sooner expiration date than most.

The goal of the Community Shop is to give customers the choice of what to pick and take home to their families, instilling a sense of pride. Customers will also have access to cooking workshops as well as home budgeting and debt advice. The selection for the social supermarket changes each day, depending on the items available with some items (butter, oil and flour) being more difficult to acquire than others.

Membership is limited to those who already have some form of welfare support. If the Community Shop proves a successful endeavor, there will be plans to open a London location.

H/T PSFK