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How To Stop Food Waste For Earth Day & Every Day

With so many people going hungry in the U.S. (much less, worldwide), it’s shocking how much food we waste.

It’s not just us, the consumers. It’s the whole food chain, from “ugly” produce left to rot in the field, to problems with transportation and storage, to foods thrown out by grocers, foodservice, etc.

In fact, mre than a third of all food grown for human consumption in the U.S. is wasted, according to ReFED, a nonprofit that focuses on food waste.

That’s about $408 billion worth of food, grown on 18% of U.S. farmland, with 4 trillion tons of water.

The carbon footprint of U.S. food waste is greater than that of the airline industry!

Globally, wasted food accounts for about 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions [source].

Take a moment to think of the environmental consequences of producing food that no one eats.

April 22nd is Earth Day. We can each play a small part in saving our planet, starting with our kitchens.
 
 
CONSUMERS & FOOD WASTE

Some 37% of food waste happens in the home.

Why do we waste so much food? We are personally guilty of all of the following.

  • We buy too much, because we thinking we’ll eat more of it, because it’s on sale (we reach rather than think).
  • We buy aspirationally, thinking we’ll make a new recipe (but we don’t).
  • Perishables and leftovers get lost in the back of the fridge, to be found when it’s too late (we do too much of this).
  • Instead of responsibly using a perishable, we “don’t feel like eating it,” and allow it to deteriorate.
  • We decide to eat out instead of cooking the perishables that are waiting for us at home.
  •  
    Each Earth Day, we vow to do better.

    It’s like New Year’s resolutions. The intention is good, but the execution is not.
     
     
    8 SMALL STEPS TO STOP FOOD WASTE

    1. PLAN your purchases.
    In the old days, our Mom had a kitchen calendar/meal planner, with the dinners noted for each day of the week (roast chicken, salmon croquettes, spaghetti, whatever). She did her weekly shopping with a written list that matched the meals.

    Even if you don’t cook for a family like Mom did, you can plan your meals.
     
     
    2. RESIST over-buying. Train yourself to buy too little rather than too much. You’ll likely find that you can “make do” with what you’ve bought.

    One way we’ve been working on this is to shop twice a week instead of once a week, so we don’t feel pressure to buy everything at once.

    And when we look at that better-priced bag of 10 avocados or tangerines, we pause to think if we can commit to using them all before they go bad.

     
     
    3. DON’T toss wilted food.
    Fruits and vegetables that are softened or wrinkled can still be tossed into soups, smoothies, or baked dishes. We love making baked apples when they go soft. Stale bread becomes French toast, croutons or breadcrumbs.

    If you don’t know what to do with a soft eggplant, for example, just search online.
     
     
    4. DON’T rely on the “best before” dates. Produce, eggs, dairy and other foods can remain good well beyond those dates.

    A simple test: The sniff test. Then, the taste test: Dip a finger in and taste a tiny amount. You’re likely to find a perfectly edible food.
     
     
    5. STORE your products like the grocery stores do. The newest food is at the back of the refrigerator case or the shelf. The older products, that need to be used first, are at the front.

    This is a really easy way to store perishables, canned goods and other foods, including those you might not think of. For example, olive oil spoils, and even vinegar will go bad over time.

    6. KEEP a list of spoiled foods you’ve thrown out. We keep ours on the fridge. This can help identify certain foods that you should cut back on.

    7. FREEZE foods before they spoil. We toss a lot of fresh herbs, and leftovers, into the freezer. Bread, seafood, meats and poultry, even cooked pasta can go into the fridge.
     
     
    8. STORE food correctly. Here are great pointers on the best way to store fruits and vegetables. Always transfer leftovers from open cans into suitable containers. Do not store them in the open cans.

    Also note that some fruits give off ethylene, which makes adjacent foods spoil more quickly. Storing apples, bananas and tomatoes apart from other perishables will help keep all perishables fresher.
     
     
    MORE FOOD STORAGE TIPS

  • How To Store Coffee
  • How To Store Fresh Herbs
  • How To Store Leftover Turkey
  • How To Store Lemons, Limes & Other Citrus
  • How To Store Peanut Butter
  •  


    [1] Don’t buy them unless you’ll eat them that week (photos #1 and #2 © Good Eggs).


    [2] If you’ve decided not going to roast the whole chicken, quarter it and tuck it in the freezer.

    Baguettes
    [3] Artisan breads often are stale by the next morning. Stick what you won’t be using in the freezer, the day you buy it (photo © Hewn Bread | Chicago).


    [4] Don’t push leftover pasta to the back of the fridge. Keep it in sight and plan when to use it. Maybe fry it! (photo © DeLallo).

    Rosemary Olive Oil
    [5] Even olive oil goes bad. Store it properly (away from light and heat), and only open two bottles at a time: one for cooking, one for dressing or garnish (photo © Local Market South).

     

      

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    Tea Subscription Or Gift Subscription From In Pursuit Of Tea

    Black Tea In China Cups
    [1] Tea drinkers should enjoy the flavor of fine tea, even if they typically drink supermarket brands (photo © Canstock Photo).

    Cup Of Green Tea
    [2] The subscription contains two black teas, one oolong, one green and one herbal tea (photo © Kanaya Tea).


    [3] The tea bag subscription (photo © In Pursuit Of Tea).

     

    Celebrate National Tea Day, April 21st, with a tea subscription for yourself, or as a gift subscription, from In Pursuit Of Tea.

    This purveyor of fine teas now offers tea bags, in addition to the loose teas that are preferred by tea connoisseurs.

    While there have long been subscriptions of premium loose teas, here’s the first subscription for tea bags.

    Each month for five months, the recipient will receive a 12-count box of the finest teabags—a different variety each month.

    Each selection highlights the flavors and fragrances that make that type of tea unique.

    The teas include:

  • Assam English Breakfast (black tea)
  • Darjeeling First Flush (black tea)
  • Jade Spring (green tea)
  • Lemon Verbena (herbal tea)
  • Nantou Oolong (ooling* tea)
  •  
    Order your tea subscription here.

    It’s a great gift for Mother’s Day.
     
     
    ABOUT IN PURSUIT OF TEA

    Sebastian Beckwith and friends started In Pursuit of Tea in 1999, to explore small farms in Asia and source the finest teas available.

    The loose leaf teas they continue to source are mostly still picked and processed by hand, drawing on centuries of tradition, and crafted with great care.

    By sourcing directly, rather than using middlemen, In Pursuit Of Teas is able to share exquisite teas to appreciative tea drinkers, with only a minimal markup.
     
     
    MORE ABOUT TEA

  • A Year Of Tea Party Ideas
  • Brewing The Perfect Cup Of Tea
  • Darjeeling Tea
  • The History Of Tea
  • How To Avoid Cloudy Iced Tea
  • How To Brew Iced Tea
  • How To Plan An Iced Tea Party
  • Pairing Tea With Food
  • Tea Facts
  • Tea Glossary: Tea Types & Terminology
  • The First National Tea Day
  •  
     
    ________________

    *While many people think of oolong as a black tea, it is produced through a special process that includes withering the plant under strong sun and oxidation before curling and twisting the leaves. Most oolong teas, especially those of fine quality, are made from unique tea plant cultivars that are exclusively used for oolong.

     

     
      

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    Mid-Day Squares, Chocolate Bars That Are Functional Foods

    Mid-Day Squares are functional chocolate bars, and they’re part of a growing movement towards functional foods.

    Functional foods and beverages are everyday foods enhanced (fortified) with supplemental nutrition. The goal is to provide a health benefit beyond normal satiation and nutrition.

    Here’s more about functional foods.

    The Mid-Day Squares line was conceived by Lezlie Karls, a chocolate lover who also loved living a clean lifestyle.

    She searched for “a little something something to get me through the day,” and couldn’t find it in the chocolate category.

    Along with her husband and brother, she set to work creating it herself. The goal:

  • To satisfy afternoon cravings for chocolate.
  • To deliver an extra energy boost to ward off that afternoon crash.
  •  
    “It’s everything a chocolate bar isn’t, and everything a protein bar wishes it were,” says Lezlie.
     
     
    SO: WHAT EXACTLY ARE MID-DAY SQUARES?

    Mid-Day Squares are squares of real chocolate, and are nutritionally enhanced to add superfood nutrition while taking care of your sweet tooth.

    The ingredients provide sustained energy to get you beyond the afternoon slump; to stop mid-day hunger and cravings.

    Each square is vegan and packed with clean plant protein, real chocolate and superfoods.

    A lot of research went in to sourcing cutting edge sweeteners and proteins, to deliver every promise.

    Antioxidant flavanols in the ingredients help the body release endorphins—they are the compounds that make you feel so good after a long run.

    The squares are delicious, naturally sweetened with coconut sugar, maple syrup and yacon syrup. And there is no sugar crash!

    The added nutrition in these functional foods includes:

  • Protein: brown rice powder, maca powder (an energy booster with added health benefits), pumpkin seeds and sacha inchi (a complete plant-based protein).
  • More protein: Depending on the flavor, there are almonds,hazelnuts, peanuts and sesame seeds.
  • Fiber: Dates and nuts.
  •  
    While this sounds like “health food”—and it is—the squares are so much more satisfying than a chocolate bar.

    Each bite tastes “good for you!” in the best of ways. A chocolate lover with a demanding palate will appreciate them.

    And if you haven’t heard of some of the ingredients, check them out to see what they deliver.
     
     
    3 FLAVORS OF MID-DAY SQUARES

  • Almond Fudge: A base of chopped almonds in chocolate has a solid chocolate layer on top.
  • Busta Peanut: The base of ground peanuts under a chocolate top is a better peanut butter cup experience.
  • Fudge Yah: This vegan fudge is 90% chocolate—an intense chocolate experience.
  •  
     
    GET YOUR MID-DAY SQUARES?

    Head to the company website, MidDaySquares.com.

     


    [1] Open a packet and remove a square (all photos © Mid-Day Squares).


    [2] A tray of Busta Peanut, coming off the line.


    [3] Fudge Yah delivers intense chocolate flavor, with 90% cacao content.


    [4] Buy them in single- or mixed-flavor boxes at MidDaySquares.com.

     

      

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    Great Drinks In A Can ~ Mimosa Cocktail & Bellini From Ohza


    [1] How to make a Mimosa: one part orange juice, one part sparkling wine (photo © Good Eggs).


    [2] Or buy it ready-to-drink from Ohza (this and all subsequent photos © Ohza).


    [3] There’s real orange juice in every can.


    [4] In addition to the Classic Mimosa, there’s Cranberry Mimosa and…


    [5] …Mango Mimosa!


    [6] Don’t forget the Classic Bellini: peach nectar and sparkling white wine.


    [7] At last, a great drink to bring to the lake, shore, anywhere.

     

    Ah, for a Mimosa cocktail. Today, there’s a great one…in a can!

    When we were in college and smuggling drinks into the dorm, the way to do it was canned cocktails.

    The problem was, they were dreadful. Who would willingly drink them?

    People with no sense of taste, and dorm residents who couldn’t sneak in other booze and sneak out the empty bottles.

    Flash forward: Today, with consumer demand for “portable” cocktails, the category has exploded with good things to drink.

    One brand that impressed us is Ohza.

    Ohza wad born when four friends lugged ingredients and cups to a boat off Cape Cod, and attempted to mix up some Mimosas on board.

    The result? A mess, because the waves wouldn’t cooperate.

    One of the quartet knew there had to be an easier way to enjoy a good cocktail at a tailgate, camping, boating, anywhere outdoors (as long as it’s legal), on the road (but not if you’re the driver!), and other “portable” occasions.

    And of course, you don’t have to be on the move. We’ve enjoyed them on the sofa after work, on weekends, reading in bed, and (gasp!) as we write this on the computer.
     
     
    A BIT OF HISTORY

    The Bellini and Mimosa cocktails were preceded by the Buck’s Fizz, created in 1921 at London’s Buck’s Club as an excuse to begin drinking early.

    A cocktail with no hard spirits, it has two parts sparkling wine, typically champagne, to one part orange juice.

    The Mimosa followed in 1925 at the Hotel Ritz in Paris. Less strong than a Buck’s Fizz, it has equal parts of sparkling white wine and orange juice.

    The Bellini arrived some time later, created in 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani, head bartender at Harry’s Bar in Venice.

    It combined peach purée (peach nectar is now used) and the local sparkling wine, Prosecco.

    While the Buck’s Fizz didn’t make it big in the U.S., thanks to their juice content, the Mimosa and Bellina became a classic breakfast, brunch and lunch drink.

    Pair the sparkling wine in your choice of ways: orange juice for a Mimosa, peach purée or nectar for a Bellini.
     
     
    OHZA MIMOSA COCKRAILS & BELLINIS

    Ohza takes the two most popular brunch drinks—the Mimosa and the Bellini—and turns them into a treat-in-a-can.

    The current line includes:

  • Classic Mimosa
  • Mango Mimosa
  • Cranberry Mimosa
  • Classic Bellini
  •  
    The Mimosas and Bellinis are so good that bars and restaurants asked the company to sell them in kegs. There is now Ohza on draft!

    By the way, the name Ohza evolved from drawing out the word mimosa, to mimoooohza. The last two syllables became the name of the brand.

    The line is all natural, gluten free and vegan.

    The company also uses a specially formulated brut sparkling wine, made in the Finger Lakes wine region of New York State, that has zero sugar.

    Most sparkling wines actually sugar in them, so Ohza reduces the sugar content tremendously.

    For more about the sugar, check out the seven levels of sweetness in Champagne.

    Each 12-ounce can is 140 calories and 5% A.B.V.*, with 11 grams of sugar and zero added sugar.

    All of the sugar comes from the juice, which accounts for 28% of the liquid volume inside the can.

    It has the calorie count of a hard seltzer, but the flavor of a classic cocktail. A really good classic cocktail!
     
     
    GET YOUR MIMOSA COCKTAIL & BELLINIS

    Head to the Ohza website, OhzaMimosas.com, for a store locator.

    You can also order online.

    And, you can sign up for a subscription to have the cocktails delivered on your schedule. It’s a great gift idea, too.
     
     
    MORE MIMOSA & BELLINI RECIPES

  • Beer Mimosa
  • Blood Orange Mimosa
  • Cranberry Mimosa
  • Grapefruit Mimosa
  • Mimosa Party Bar
  •  
     
    > Bellini Cocktail History

    > Mimosa Cocktail History

     
    ________________

    *A.B.V. is alcohol by volume. You double the A.B.V. to get the proof. Thus, 5% A.B.V. is 10 proof.

     

      

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    Eggs Benedict Casserole Recipe ~ National Eggs Benedict Day

    April 16th is National Eggs Benedict Day, celebrating the English muffin topped with Canadian bacon, a poached egg, hollandaise sauce and chopped chives.

    A popular brunch item, it was created in the 19th century by a prominent chef for a wealthy lady’s lunch.

    Some people love Eggs Benedict, but aren’t great at poaching the eggs that are a key part of the recipe.

    Go Bold With Butter has solved that problem with this clever Eggs Benedict Casserole (photo #1).

    The recipe was developed for them by Jonathan of The Candid Appetite.

    Candidly, we like this recipe a lot. It just might alternate with bagels and lox at our regular Sunday brunch.
     
     
    The History Of Eggs Benedict

    > Eggs Benedict Recipe Variations
     
     
    RECIPE: EGGS BENEDICT CASSEROLE

    This recipe requires some advance preparation, so the casserole rest for 4 hours or overnight.

    The finished casserole gets a topping of hollandaise sauce, just like classic Eggs Benedict (photo #2).
     
    Ingredients For 8 Servings

    For The Casserole

  • 8 English Muffins
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 (6-ounce) packages Canadian bacon, quartered
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  •  
    For The Hollandaise Sauce

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  •  
    Preparation

    1. GREASE a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter and set aside.

    2. SPLIT open each English muffin and cut each piece in half. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

    3. PLACE half of the English muffin pieces in the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the Canadian bacon. Repeat with the remaining bread and bacon.

    4. WHISK together in a large bowl the milk, eggs, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Pour into the baking dish, over the bread and bacon. Cover with foil and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

    5. REMOVE the baking dish from the fridge and allow to sit while you preheat the oven to 375°F.

    6. BAKE, covered, for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the casserole is golden brown and a knife comes out clean when inserted in the middle, about 15 to 18 minutes.

    7. MAKE the hollandaise sauce. Whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice in a large bowl until pale and doubled in size. Place over a pot of barely simmering water and cook, stirring constantly, until the egg yolks have warmed through, about 5 minutes. Keep the heat low and continue to whisk so as to not cook the eggs.

    (If you have a double boiler, this is the time to use it.)

    8. SLOWLY WHISK in the melted butter in a slow steady stream, until the mixture comes together smoothly and has doubled and thickened. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

    If the sauce thickens too much as it sits, you can whisk in a tablespoon or so of warm water to loosen it up.

    9. REMOVE the finished casserole from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Top with the warm hollandaise sauce and garnish with chives and paprika before serving.
     
     
     
    > HOLLANDAISE SAUCE IS ONE OF THE MOTHER SAUCES OF FRANCE. HERE’S MORE ABOUT IT.

       


    [1] This casserole has all of the flavor of classic Eggs Benedict, with an easier preparation (photos #1 and #2 © Go Bold With Butter | The Candid Appetite).

    Eggs Benedict
    [2] Classic Eggs Benedict is garnished with hollandaise sauce. The casserole does the same.


    [3] Canadian bacon is a leaner type of bacon, made from the loin eye—in the pig’s back—which is smoked just like the more familiar streaky “side” bacon (check out the different types of bacon) (photo © Canadian Bacon).


    [4] A garnish of fresh chives is adds bright flavor to just about any savory dish (photo © Good Eggs).


    [5] It’s easy to grow chives on your windowsill or outside (photo © J. Durham | Morguefile).

     

      

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