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By: Miriam Sasson

forget about it

You can forget about throwing food
products haphazardly into your shopping cart. Check the labels first to compare the sugar content and note the presence of dyes (Red #40 and Yellow #5 being the most notoriously damaging to your health.) We’re not merely referring to the stuff in the junk aisle here – that’s already old news. You may be surprised to discover that sugar and dye demons lurk inside children’s medicine, vitamins, yogurt, bread, canned goods, soup mixes, crackers, and sauces too. We may not be able to convince our kids to prefer Craisins over cherry Oodles, but they surely wouldn’t discriminate against a can of beans that is lower in sugar. When we can, we should preserve our children’s health by carefully selecting what they consume.

Ice cream is a treat enjoyed both in the heat of the summer and the dead of winter. Gather the kiddies and allow them to assemble cones with their favorite ice cream flavors and toppings. Don’t let your heart hammer over the thought of melted ice cream drip-drip-drippingout from the bottom of the cone in a trail along your floor, for the solution that will please both you and your kids is here! Simply stuff a miniature marshmallow at the bottom of those cones to act as a plug, and the concept of leaky cones will become obsolete.

Do onions make you cry? That means they have retained their nutrients. But with these amazing onion goggles, you can bid your tears farewell. The goggles have a lightweight yet durable structure with a foam rim for ultimate comfort and no irritation to your skin. With these sleek goggles, you no longer need to procrastinate chopping those onions.

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Some food trends come in with a bang and disappear just as quickly. The kale fad seems here to stay, though, and for good reason: Kale is ultra-high in nutrients. (The word itself has a fresh, healthy ring to it, doesn’t it?) Kale ranks number one among greens for its fiber content, topping even spinach. Ditto for Vitamin C. The green stuff comes in second as far as carotenoid content is concerned. (Carotenoids are what make carrots so good for your eyesight.) Kale is also a decent source of iron for all those iron-deficient folks. Perhaps the best part is that kale is tasty, crisp, and gives that perfect crunch to your lunch. And with bug-free kale now readily available, you can officially have your kale and eat it, too.

How can I free my brown sugar
of solid clumps?

Brown sugar tends to lose its moisture quite rapidly, resulting in firm lumps. The good news is that there is a way out. Try microwaving the sugar with a slice of bread or half of an apple for fifteen seconds. The bread and apple will release just enough moisture to soften the sugar without ruining it. Adding several drops of water to the (microwave-safe) container of brown sugar and microwaving that for a few seconds should do the trick, too. Keep in mind that brown sugar doesn’t live forever and you may eventually need to toss it. In general, the ideal storage spot for brown sugar is in your freezer.

“Astringency.” Add this useful word to your lexicon. If you’ve ever eaten a lemon or a fruit not yet ripe, you’ve probably experienced “astringency.” Astringency refers to the reaction that takes place after eating sour foods. You know, the dry sensation in your mouth that causes your lips to pucker and constrict? Astringency occurs due to the presence of “tannins” found in many fruits. Tannins are phenolic compounds (A.K.A. thingies) that affect the secretion of proteins in the mouth. Astringency may also occur when drinking red wine, as some varieties also contain tannins.