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Why do we give apples to teachers?

These days, it’s more likely for a teacher to be seen with an Apple iPad on her desk than a Golden Delicious. But it wasn’t that long ago that giving a crisp, shiny apple to a teacher on the first day of school was common practice. But where did this tasty tradition start? The true origin is mostly a mystery, though we do know that the apples have long served as a symbol of knowledge and education. From Greek references to a divine fruit that helped Hippomenes win a race for Atalanta’s hand, to Adam and Eve’s lesson of right and wrong, apples have been at the core of human history for a very long time. So how did they wind up on the desk of teachers in America? Gifting fruit has long been associated with surviving hardships throughout history. In the 1700s, poor families in Denmark and Sweden gave…

8 reasons you should eat more apples

“An apple a day” isn’t just a cute saying. There are some real research-backed benefits of eating apples. Apples are grown in all 50 states, so you’re never very far from a freshly picked apple. And that’s a good thing because they can greatly improve your overall health and reduce your chance of disease. But let’s get down to the juicy details. Here are eight reasons you should incorporate an apple into your daily diet: 1. Apples are nutritious First and foremost, you should eat apples because they’re just generally good for you. One medium apple has just 95 calories, 4 grams of fiber, 14% of your daily vitamin C, and other beneficial amounts of potassium, vitamin K, manganese, copper, and vitamins A, E, B1, B2, and B6. A medium apple equals about 1.5 cups of fruit (two cups of fruit daily are recommended for a 2,000 calorie diet), so you’re…

What produce is in season in September?

If you’ve ever hesitated at the grocery store because you didn’t know going into fall what fruits and veggies were going to be delicious and which were going to be gross, this article is for you. Of course, “gross” is an exaggeration, but we’ve all purchased produce that was clearly out of season. These fruits and vegetables may look beautiful, but just don’t taste their best. They might be dry or grainy. Plus, out of season produce is usually more expensive, meaning you’re paying more money for less-than-delicious produce. But fear not! Here’s your September guide for what fruits and vegetables are in season. Use this list to plan your shopping list — and your menu — and you’ll be enjoying juicy, nutritious, perfectly ripe produce the whole month long. Apples You know fall is right around the corner because apples have arrived. Learn how to cook and can your…

How to grill kabobs perfectly

We might be on the downward slope of summer, but that doesn’t mean your grilling habit has to end anytime soon. Fall is actually a perfect time to get outside and light up the grill. You won’t be standing over hot coals on a sweltering summer day, plus, you’ll get to enjoy the beautiful fall scenery around you. Because there’s no more delicious or fun way to get your daily veggies (and meats, too!), here are my top eight tips for grilling perfect kabobs: 1. Pick your stick There are two major options on which to skewer your meat and veggies: metal or wood/bamboo. I like metal because they’re reusable and the food doesn’t slide around as much. Plus, you don’t have to remember soak them, as you do with wooden skewers — one less thing! 2. Forgo the rainbow Okay, hear me out because I know a lot of you…

10 things you never knew about Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte

Forget about changing leaves, cozy sweaters or football games, the official signal of fall has arguably become the arrival of the Pumpkin Spice Latte to Starbucks cafe menus nationwide. But before you take a sip of your first PSL this season, here are 10 fun facts you need to know about everyone’s favorite fall beverage. Also read, how Americans became so obsessed with pumpkin in the first place.  1. A smashing pumpkin success Starbucks sells about 20 million Pumpkin Spice Lattes every year. Considering how many I personally purchase … yeah … that sounds about right. It remains the store’s best-selling seasonal drink of all time. And more than 200 million have been sold worldwide. 2. It’s all thanks to Peter Dukes Peter Dukes was the director of espresso Americas for Starbucks back in 2003. He led a development of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. His team of employees ate slices of…

What’s the difference between ice cream and custard?

Creamy. Cool. Sweet. Satisfying. I could be describing ice cream, or I could be describing custard. The truth is, they’re both very similar, and even the most serious sweet tooth among us might have trouble telling them apart in a blind taste test. Yet, they are two distinctly different frozen dairy treats. Here’s proof: They have different ingredients Ice cream is typically made with milk, cream, sugar, vanilla or other flavorings and occasionally a pinch of salt. Custard is made with all of those ingredients plus egg yolks. Eggs help make the custard mixture thicker and the flavor smooth and rich. The FDA regulates these terms. To be considered a frozen custard, the product must have at least 1.4 percent egg yolk and 10 percent milkfat. If the egg yolk content is any lower than 1.4 percent, it immediately drops to ice cream status. They have slightly different consistencies and…

6 Tips for packing back-to-school lunches on a budget

It’s the start of a new school year, and that means new teachers, new friends, and new lunchtime struggles. While it’s easy to fill your kids’ lunchboxes with pre-packaged snacks, that doesn’t do much in the way of keeping their growing bodies healthy. Sending kids to school with healthy lunches each day doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. “School lunches may not seem significant in a child’s life, but when you add up that they are eating them five days per week, it’s quite a lot of their calorie consumption,” said Dr. Nimali Fernando, a Fredericksburg, Virginia-based pediatrician and founder of The Doctor Yum Project. “Teaching them healthy lunch habits from a young age will give them the tools to build lifelong healthy habits.” Many pediatricians are concerned that children simply do not get the amount of healthy foods they need to begin with. The Centers for Disease Control…

How many calories do you burn drinking a glass of water?

Losing weight is all about “calories in, calories out.” But an often overlooked piece of this equation is hydration. Water can help keep your joints lubricated as your body powers through workouts, it boosts your energy levels, and it can help curb your appetite and keep you from drinking other calorie-laden beverages like soda or juice. And as an extra bonus? You will actually burn calories just by drinking a glass of water. It’s true. Basically, your body has to work to process anything that you send through your stomach. It’s called diet-induced thermogenesis. And while you won’t burn enough calories to justify eating an extra helping at dinner, it will add up over time. A study published in “The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism” monitored calories burned after participants drank about 2 cups of water. Researchers found that drinking the water temporarily boosted metabolism, causing participants to burn an extra…

How to get rid of fruit flies in your home

The weather is warm, and your house is stocked with loads of yummy fresh fruit. This means it’s prime time to find those pesky little fruit flies floating around your kitchen. Rather than just shoo them away, here’s how to get fly-free in no time. Gnats vs fruit flies When you first spot little black bugs flying around your kitchen, you should make sure it’s a fruit fly and not a gnat. Fruit flies thrive off of rotting fruit or other high-fructose foods. They’re typically reddish orange or dark brown in color. Gnats, on the other hand, are usually grey or black, and tend to live in soil, so if you think it might be those, the issue might not be overripe produce. How did fruit flies get in my house? It might seems like fruit flies just appear spontaneously out of nowhere, or that they miraculously grow from rotting fruit.…

Here’s how to keep food safe when it’s extra hot outside

Picture this: Relaxed al fresco lunches, backyard barbecues with friends, and simple snacks with the family car camping. What you see as summer fun,  bacteria and viruses also see as a raging good time. Around 48 million people will get sick from a foodborne illness this year, according to the CDC. Hot weather is the perfect environment for bacteria to flourish, so it’s especially important during the summer months to make sure you’re keeping your food safe. So what can you do to prevent those gnarly nights camped out in the bathroom? Here are 7 ways to make sure your food stays safe when it’s hot out: 1. Keep things cool on the road If you’re headed on our a car adventure, keep your cooler near the air-conditioning, rather in the trunk or in the direct path on sunlight. 2. Keep hands clean Always wash your hands before and after…