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Seasonal

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These states are the most obsessed with pumpkin spice

Pumpkin spice products have been available for several weeks now, but according to new data from Grubhub, it looks like most Americans prefer to wait until fall actually starts to enjoy these festive fall treats. The new data shows which states order the most pumpkin foods and when the popularity of these products spike. To conduct this analysis, the popular food delivery service looked at orders each fall month, then compared them to the rest of the calendar year. The analysis found that October is peak month for pumpkin and pumpkin-spice-flavored goods, with 118% more orders than usual levels. November comes in second most popular month for these products, with 92% more orders, and September is the third most popular month. These findings vindicate all those who argue that pumpkin spice offerings should be kept out of August — it turns out, we’re not really buying the stuff in the…

Why you shouldn’t stuff your turkey the traditional way

The idea of a juicy, stuffed turkey serving as the centerpiece to Thanksgiving feast can get just about any of us drooling. So I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But cooking your stuffing inside the bird might not be the best idea. It sure is delicious, but you could end up with dry meat or worse — foodborne illness that will definitely leave your holiday less than merry. Here’s what the experts say, as well as a few alternatives for stuffing that bird: Why you shouldn’t cook stuffing inside a turkey The most important rule to follow when cooking a turkey is that the bird — and anything inside — reach a safe temperature. The USDA has instructed that both bird and stuffing need to reach 165ºF or your meal poses the risk of carrying harmful bacterial like salmonella or E. coli. Of course, you might just…

Which apples are best to use in apple pie?

Who doesn’t love homemade apple pie? Come fall, it’s a must-make dessert for just about any baker in America. But if you’ve never made one, or if you think yours could improve, perhaps you should play around with your choice of apples. But wait! With more than 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the United States alone, how do you know which ones will make the best pie? Well, it all comes down to just two characteristics: firmness and flavor. First, you’re going to want firm apples that can hold their shape through the long, slow cooking process — no one wants applesauce pie! Second, you’re going to want to make a mix between two varieties of apples: sweet and tart. Buy half of your apples from the tart column and half from the sweet. A good balance between the two is what makes the best pies. So when we…

How Americans became so obsessed with pumpkins

Halloween and Thanksgiving are quickly approaching, but the spirit of the season has already been here for weeks. By early August, retailers were stocking shelves with pumpkin-flavored foods. Starbucks began selling it’s famous Pumpkin Spice Latte back on Aug. 27, and pumpkin beer has been available in bars for just as long. People associate pumpkins with fall, and as they look forward to the season, the demand for pumpkin everything increases. According to Nielsen data, sales of pumpkin and pumpkin spice-flavored items skyrocketed in 2017 $488.7 million – up from $286 million in 2013. But this hasn’t always been the case. There was a time when pumpkins weren’t celebrated as they are today — with products bearing their beloved image and contests cheering on their gigantic size. “American colonists were less than enthusiastic about pumpkins,” said Cindy Ott, author of Pumpkin: The Curious History of an American Icon. The colonists were accustomed to eating a diet of domesticated meats and…

Does pumpkin pie have to be refrigerated?

If you only eat pumpkin pie in the fall, it’s easy to forget the rules of safely storing them. You may wonder if pumpkin and other custard-style pies can be left on the counter overnight or if you need to clear space in your fridge. And now that we’re on the topic, can pumpkin pie be frozen? Here are the answers to all your pumpkin pie problems: How to store pumpkin pie from a store This time of year you’re likely to see pumpkin pies at the grocery store sitting out on a table, rather than stacked in the fridge or freezer sections. Store-bought pumpkin pies are loaded with enough shelf-stable preservatives that they can sit out. Rule of thumb: if you purchased a pie that’s been sitting out, it can continue to sit out on your kitchen counter for a few days (or until its expiration date, if it…

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…