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Easter

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Buttered Popcorn defends title as America’s favorite jelly bean

Attention candy fans! If you ever needed a reason to scoop up some extra jelly beans, this is your weekend. Easter and National Jelly Bean Day fall back to back (April 21st and 22nd), creating the perfect storm for sweet eaters. This year, an estimated 16 billion beans will be eaten just for the Easter season (That many jelly beans could make it 1/3 of the way to the moon!). But while most people agree jelly beans are delicious, that’s where our similarities end. It seems that state-by-state we differ in what jelly bean flavors we find most delicious. Source: CandyStore.com. Some states savor the fruity flavors. Florida, Washington, and New Hampshire prefer pear, while Nebraska, New Mexico, Iowa, and Utah choose cherry. Watermelon is a favorite in Oregon and Alabama, but blueberry is best according to Pennsylvanians, West Virginians, and Indianians. Buttered Popcorn gets the love of both California…

Why do we eat chocolate bunnies on Easter?

It’s hard to imagine what a chocolate rabbit has to do with anything in the religious realm. I mean, we’re not complaining — It’s a deliciously adorable Easter treat enjoyed by millions across the globe. But it’s just that, well, how did a milk chocolate mammal become the unofficial symbol of Christianity’s spring holiday? According to Time, the origins of Easter can be traced back to the pagans who celebrated Eostre, the goddess of fertility. Of course, reproduction is what rabbits do best, so it’s fitting that Eostre’s animal symbol was a bunny. Fast forward to the eighteenth century. Christian holidays had long since taken favor over pagan holidays, but some of the symbols and imagery were reappropriated. Part of the tradition of the Easter holiday in Germany included the folklore of an egg-laying rabbit named “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” As Germans immigrated to the United States in the 1700s, so too…

How much sugar should you really allow your kids?

For kids, Easter morning means one thing — a big basket of candy. It’s a part of many childhoods — the egg dying, wearing your Sunday best, and biting ears-first into a giant chocolate rabbit. You try to limit your kid to just a few handfuls of jelly beans, but you turn your back for five minutes and they’ve devoured enough candy to fuel their whole year. While the candy-coma isn’t an actual medical condition, an excess of sugar and sweets can definitely take a toll on your child’s health. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), children shouldn’t have more than 3-6 teaspoons (12-25 grams) of added sugar per day. Eating too much sugar can actually make us crave more sugar, which can ultimately lead to everything from cavities, to obesity, and heart disease. In line with the AHA, the World Health Organization recommends that “free sugars” (sugars from…

10 Surprising facts about Jelly Beans

Unless you’re an uber-fan, you probably don’t think about jelly beans a whole lot until Easter rolls around — then the little candies take center stage. But what do you really know about these sweet pops of flavor? Here are some juicy details. 1. It can take 7 to 14 days to make A jelly bean. Making jelly beans is no easy task. It requires many steps from liquifying sugar and flavors to pouring into tiny bean-shaped molds and letting dry overnight. The candies then undergo a process called “panning.” They’re transferred to a rotating drum where flavors and colors are added as they spin. Sugar is then added to create the bean’s hard exterior shell. Finally, a hot syrupy wax is applied to give them their shine. After all of that, the beans still need to go through packing and shipping. 2. the battle for favorite flavor. For two…

Easy Tie-dye Easter Eggs

When Easter rolls around, everyone wants to get in on the fun of dying eggs. It’s a much-anticipated spring holiday tradition for many kids and families. Some treat it lightly, purchasing the dye kit at the grocery store, happy to apply some soft colors to those crisp, white eggshells. Others, like myself, take the tradition way too seriously. When I dye eggs, I want COLOR! … and I want my eggs to be cooler than everyone else’s eggs. I get competitive when it comes to art projects. I know, weird. But every year I try new fun ways of dying eggs. This year tie-dye is making a comeback, so I thought, “why not eggs, too!” Tie-dye eggs are as easy as wrapping eggs in textured paper towels and dotting them with food coloring, then spritzing them with water. Giving each egg a light squeeze ensures that the paper towel transfers…

14 Fun facts about Peeps

Forget groundhog shadows or tulips. The first real sign of spring are bright yellow Peeps stocking the shelves at your local grocery store. Marshmallow Peeps are everyone’s favorite non-chocolate Easter candy — they even outsell jelly beans! Americans will eat 1.5 billion Marshmallow Peeps and Bunnies this spring, but what do you really know about these sugar crystal coated, brightly-colored bird-shaped mallows? Discover 14 fun facts about Peeps: 1. Making Peeps used to be a really long process. It used to take 27 hours to make a Peep. The first Peeps were squeezed one at a time from a pastry tube before receiving hand painted eyes. Today, with an automated manufacturing process, a Peep takes just six minutes to make. 2. About 5.5 million Peeps are born every single day. Machines crank out 3,500 Peeps per minute — that’s nearly 2 billion Peeps per year! 3. Peeps were originally produced by…

Cracking through 8 myths about eggs

They’re cheap, nutritious, and an essential part in the diets of billions around the world. Still, there are a lot of myths surrounding the everyday egg. Get ready for a bit of shell shock. I’m about to scramble everything you think you know about eggs. Myth: Brown chickens lay brown eggs. Truth: The color of a chicken does determine what color eggs it lays, but it’s not the feathers that give it away — it’s the earlobes. (Yes, Earlobes!) Chickens with red earlobes lay brown eggs, while white eggs usually come from chickens with white earlobes. There are always exceptions, but if you’re wondering what color a hen’s eggs will be, this general rule is a good place to start. Myth: All eggs need to be refrigerated at all times. Truth: Whether or not you need to refrigerate your eggs depends on where you live. If you live in the United…

Peeps debuts 7 new fun flavors for Easter, including cotton candy

Love them or hate them, is it even Easter without Peeps? The iconic marshmallow candies have been filling Easter Baskets for decades, but this year parent company Just Born is releasing seven new flavors just in time for the 2019 holiday, including: Cotton Candy, Pancakes and Syrup, Orange Sherbet Dipped in Crème Flavored Fudge, Root Beer Float, Chocolate Caramel Swirl, Blue Raspberry, and Vanilla Crème. See new Peeps flavors from last year. The new flavors come in the classic chick shape and are currently rolling out in stores nationwide from now until Easter. If you’re looking to stock up, some of the new flavors are available only at select stores, so you’ll have to go on a bit of a hunt — good practice for finding your Easter basket later! Root Beer Float can only be found at Kroger, Blue Raspberry are excluding to Walmart, and Vanilla Crème and Chocolate…

Sweet potato muffins with pecans and raisins are perfect way to use up leftovers

There’s something about using veggies in baked goods that feels so smart. Zucchini bread and carrot cake are two classics, but if you like those, you should try making these sweet potato muffins. They’re a great way to use up leftover sweet potatoes whether they be baked, mashed or casseroled. You can always eat leftovers the next day same way, but isn’t it more fun to make something new? Here’s a simple recipe for sweet potato muffins. They have a mild flavor, and can be dressed up with honey, a pat of butter or an extra drizzle of syrup, but if you’re fine with a clean and healthy tasting muffin, you’ll gobble them up as-is. *Note: If your sweet potatoes aren’t already well-mashed, or if they’re in a casserole, mash before using in recipe. (If casserole is covered in marshmallows, consider scraping some off before mashing.) Sweet Potato muffins with raisins and pecans Makes…

Here’s what to do with all that leftover ham

Come Sunday night, you might have a bit of a ham problem on your hands. It’s recommended that you buy 1/4 pounds of boneless ham or 1/3 pound bone-in ham per person for your Easter feast, but if you’re like most people, that number likely gets tripled … you know, for leftovers. Besides sending all of your guests home with a pound of ham a piece, here’s what else you can do with all of those leftovers: deviled ham Deviled ham makes for a great day-after lunch. It’s light and flavorful and takes no time to make. Get the recipe. HAM pot pie You’ve had it with chicken. You’ve even had it with turkey. Now it’s time to get creative and try your pot pie with ham. Get the recipe. HAM, mushroom and spinach strata If you’ve never had strata, it’s basically the best breakfast casserole you’ve ever had. Time to…