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Tips and tricks to save your smoothie

Smoothies are a fun way to get your daily fruits and veggies, but sometimes things can go a little awry. They can turn out too thick, too thin, or just plain “blah.” But there’s no reason to throw all of that goodness down the drain just because it doesn’t taste right the first time. Turn your smoothie into something delicious with just a few quick tips and tricks. Here are the best ways to save that smoothie: It tastes too watery: Perhaps the ice cubes got away from you and left you with a watery tasting smoothie. The fix Save it by adding more frozen fruit (or fresh fruit if that’s all you have). Then add something creamy (like almond butter or Greek yogurt) to help lessen the watery taste. Add a splash of flavorful fruit juice (whatever you have in your fridge) and a teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg, or…

Big decision ahead? Eat a snack

You probably learned the hard way to never grocery shop on an empty stomach, that is, unless you want a cart full of pizza rolls and potato chips. But it turns out hunger doesn’t just lead to unhealthy decision making in the supermarket. Hunger can lead to poor long-term decision making in other areas, too. The study was recently published in the journal Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. Researchers set out to understand whether being hungry had an affect not just on decisions about food, but on money and music, too. Participants fasted for 10 hours prior to the study, then they were asked whether they would prefer food, money, or music now, or a greater amount of that item in the future. For anyone who has ever felt hungry, the results aren’t too surprising. Indeed, researchers found that being hungry led participants to make different choices, no matter the topic.…

This is why Starbucks’ drink sizes are Tall, Grande, and Venti

Forget small, medium, and large. If you frequent the coffee mega-chain Starbucks, you know these sizes aren’t a menu option. When you’re ordering at Starbucks, you better know your tall, grande, or venti. So what’s the story behind this unconventional naming convention? Well, it all started in Italy. On a fateful trip to the coffee-loving country in 1983, Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks, became “captivated with Italian coffee bars and the romance of the coffee experience,” the Starbucks website says. So much so, in fact, he wanted to emulate that experience in the United States with his own coffee shop, Il Giornale. You may have never heard of Il Giornale, but it was a mini-coffee chain Schulz started in 1986 — a year before he purchased a tiny Seattle brand called Starbucks and turned it into the coffee behemoth we visit today. In her book, Grande Expectations, author Karen…

6 different salts you should keep in your kitchen

Salt has been a culinary commodity throughout history, and for a good reason. Is there any ingredient in the world that seasons our vastly different diets more universally than a sprinkling of salt? In the times before refrigeration, salt meant that we could preserve foods for a long winter or have sustenance when we went went exploring distant corners of the globe. Egyptians used salt as part of religious offerings and it became a valuable trade item in the ancient world between the Phoenicians and their Mediterranean empire. The earliest record of salt was by the Chinese back around 2700 B.C., but salt was used long before the beginning of recorded history. Despite its long history with humans, it wasn’t until recently that ordinary people started to give the types of salt a second thought. Today, we have seemingly endless options of salt, each lending its own characteristics to a…

Can you store open tin cans in the fridge?

I’m willing to admit my dark kitchen secret because I know you’ve done it too. I, on occasion, leave food in its open tin can and pop it back in the fridge. Not proud of it. It happened just last week. I was done baking for the day and found myself with half a can of pumpkin puree left over. I was already mentally done for the day, and in childlike resistance, I just didn’t really feel like transferring the gloopy pumpkin substance into plastic. “It’s in a container already!” I reasoned. But I had heard that storing food in open tins cans is never good, so I set out to investigate exactly why. After scouring the internet for far longer than it would have taken me to just put my leftover pumpkin in plasticware and get on with my life, I found an official vote of confidence for my occasional…

Love working at coffee shops? This coffee chain has the fastest Wi-Fi

By now, we know coffee shops are for more than just coffee. We might go there for a group meetings, for a date, or just to hang with friends. And just about everyone has used a coffee shop as a temporary office at some point. Besides a good cup of Joe, knowing a shop has reliable Wi-Fi can be the deciding factor in which shop you choose. So which coffee shop has the fastest Wi-Fi in the United States? PCMag looked at nearly 100,000 Ookla Speedtests results taken from smartphones over the past 12 months. Coffee chains with at least 100 tests over that period were considered for the final analysis. In the end, 11 chains were included: Caffe Nero, Capital One Café, Caribou Coffee, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Dunkin’, Joe & the Juice, Krispy Kreme, Peet’s, Philz, Starbucks, and Tim Hortons. And the coffee shop with the fastest…

8 ways you might be seen as rude at the grocery store

We’ve all witnessed some pretty bad behavior at the grocery store. You know — the guy who grabs a quick snack from the salad bar or the woman who leaves her cart in the middle of aisle. It doesn’t matter what store you shop at or what time of the day you go, running into rude people is inevitable. But anytime you step into public you’re at risk for your own little social blunder, as well. Whether you realize it or not, if you do any of these things, you will be seen as rude by others: sneaky Snacking Everyone know that grocery shopping hungry is never a good idea. Shopping on an empty stomach means you’re more likely to buy highly-processed, fatty food items to your cart. But it also means you might be tempted to sneak a snack. When you “sample” items from the bulk bins or salad…

10 Things you should never microwave

The microwave is a magical place. Frozen dinners, hot water, and leftovers all become ready in mere minutes. Every year they save us countless hours of cooking and put that time back into our busy lives. Microwaves were probably even the first way you learned to feed yourself warm food as a kid. But just because microwave ovens are ubiquitous in homes, doesn’t mean they can’t be dangerous. From leaching heavy metals into foods to starting fires, there are a number of things that just can’t be microwaved. Here are a few you should look out for: MEAT If you forgot to defrost your chicken thighs in the fridge the night before, it can be tempting to toss them in the microwave for a while to speed up the process. But this simple step could actually be exposing you to harmful bacteria. Microwaves aren’t great at distributing heat, so thinner edges on your cut of…

5 weird and wonderful kitchen gadgets you need right now

The kitchen basics are pretty easy to cover. If you have your pots, your pans, and a few mixing bowls,  you can whip up pretty much anything you want in some form. But there are many less-traditional tools that make cooking faster and way more fun. It’s time to explore more than just your standard spoons and spatulas and find new solutions that can fix common cooking annoyances. Here are our 10 favorite kitchen gadgets that are worth a glance: 1. A Guacamole Bowl The problem: Your guac turns brown within a few hours. The solution: The Fresh Guacamole Keeper keeps your guac fresh and green for days. No, really! The lid presses down on top of the avocado, pushing out the air, and creating a seal on top. That brown layer never has a chance to form. Where to buy it: Guac Bowl, $12.99. 2. Pineapple Corer The problem: Preparing…

10 Vegetables that are really fruits

Squeezing enough vegetables into your diet can be difficult enough — and that’s before you start considering that some of those veggies are actually fruits. Scientifically speaking, a fruit comes from a seed-bearing part of a plant that grows as the result of a fertilized flower. Another way to tell is that fruits usually have seeds on the inside. Vegetables on the other hand, come from just about any other part of a plant. Fruits and vegetables tend to get categorized in Western culture based off of how we use them — savory must mean it’s a vegetable, and sweet must mean it’s a fruit. But of course, in the botanical world, things are really more complicated than that. Here are 10 vegetables that really should count as part of your daily fruit intake: 1. Tomato You’ve likely heard this one before, but many people still get this wrong thanks…