Blog Posts by Epicurious.com

  • 6 Diet Tips from the Author of Go UnDiet

    By Megan O. Steintrager, Epicurious.com

    I recently caught up via an email interview with Gloria Tsang, RD, the author of Go UnDiet: 50 Small Actions for Lasting Weight Loss and the founder of HealthCastle.com, a site that offers nutrition advice from registered dietitians. She shared the following tips for improving your diet and staying healthy through the busy fall season. Read on for advice on reading labels on packaged food, which food "villains" you should steer clear of, and more.

    Related: 5 Mistakes Parents Make When Feeding their Kids

    1. Of the "50 small actions for lasting weight loss" you cover in Go UnDiet, which one would you pick if you had to name the most important?

    Out of the 50 small actions, I'd have to say #12 "Un-HPF" is the most important. In my book, I called out highly-processed foods (HPF) for being the real culprit of our obesity problem, not meat or carbs. People worry about white meat vs. dark meat, or whether it should be skinless or not when ordering

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  • Fun Foodie Stuff for Back-to-School

    By Esther Sung, Epicurious.com

    If the kids haven't already headed back to school, they will be shortly. And we've got some fun lunch bags to recommend, perfect for carrying healthy homemade lunches. But let's be honest: sometimes it's not the edible stuff that makes lunch so much fun. With that in mind, here are a few items perfect for the cafeteria--and classroom--to help make going back to school a little more fun.

    Related: Our Complete Back-to-School Guide

    1. Lunch Box Notes (Etsy.com, $12.50/pack of 10)My mother used to write me a lunch note either on a napkin or a brown paper bag with every lunch she made in elementary school. Alas, none of them exist today. These letterpress note cards make those notes worth saving and savoring.

    2. Lunch Lines: Silly Riddles for Lunchtime Giggles by Dan Signer (Amazon.com, $9.99)You have an apple a day, so why not (at least) a laugh a day? Make lunch that much more enjoyable for your child with Signer's 188 riddles. Q: What dessert slithers

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  • Pub Shocker! U.S. Craft Beers Invade

    By Joanne Camas, Epicurious.com

    American craft brews are infiltrating the British beer scene, reports The Observer. Yes, British brewers are no doubt quaking: "American 'craft' brews are revealed as the UK's fastest growing beer trend," according to the newspaper.

    See also: Our Ultimate Grilling and Barbecue Guide

    Gone are the days when it was cool to drink Budweiser in Britain: Now Blue Moon, Goose Island, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and Brooklyn are grabbing the attention of British beer drinkers.

    Ian Lowe, of the real ale organization CAMRA, told The Observer: "The popularity of American craft lagers is very much down to how they offer similar traits associated with the British brewing scene of older years...They are more heavily hopped and are higher-alcohol-content brews."

    Related: Tailgating 101

    In other brewing news... Researchers say they've found a wild yeast in South America that hopped a sailboat from Europe to the New World hundreds of years ago. Science News reports that

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  • 5 Mistakes Parents Make When Feeding their Kids

    By Tanya Steel, Epicurious.com

    Every day I hear about tremendous strides in the fight to combat childhood obesity, but for every pound we lose, we seem to gain two back. Here are five common mistakes parents make on a daily basis with their children's diets and how they can take a few simple steps to ensure their children will live a long healthy life.

    Related: Our Complete Back-to-School Guide

    Liquid Lunches, Dinners, and Snacks: The amount of empty calories consumed in the form of sodas, diet or otherwise, and fruit juice, is enormous. One 12-ounce can of Coke is 155 calories, so if your child has two a day, that adds up to almost a quarter of his or her recommended daily calorie intake. Snapple and fruit juices may be natural, but they often contain even more calories than soda. Serve them only water, skim milk, unsweetened teas, and sparkling waters with fruit slices.

    Snacking Instead of Meals: Many parents complain that when it's dinnertime, their child says he or she is full and

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  • Fermentation: A Healthy Way to Preserve Summer Produce

    By Megan O. Steintrager, Epicurious.com

    While there are still plenty of tomatoes and corn at my farmers' market, I am trying to come to terms with the fact that summer does not last forever. Fortunately, there are some great methods of clinging to the flavors and vitamins in summer produce, including canning and freezing.

    See also: Our Ultimate Grilling and Barbecue Guide

    There's evidence that one time-honored method of preserving food -- fermentation -- has some health benefits beyond just retaining nutrients. The lacto-fermentation process, which is used to make sauerkraut, kimchi, and other pickled products, produces probiotics -- the good-for-you bacteria more commonly associated with yogurt. These beneficial bugs have been linked to heightened immunity and better digestion.

    See also: Our Complete Back-to-School Guide

    To learn more, read Foods that Fight the Flu here on Epi, and Fermented and Cultured Food from the Nutrition Diva or visit wildfermentation.com and

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  • 5 Favorite Food Factory Tours

    Tabasco Bottling Line by Sara BonisteelTabasco Bottling Line by Sara BonisteelBy Sara Bonisteel, Epicurious.com

    Taking a factory tour is akin to the religious pilgrimage of old. Devotees get to visit the birthplace of their favorite condiment, beverage, snack, or staple, and companies capitalize on the fervor with gift shops fully stocked with logoed gear that will travel far and wide as free advertising for the plant. And how-stuff-works people get to see how stuff works.

    See also: Our Complete Back-to-School Guide

    Like any good pilgrim, it takes a lifetime of visits to amass the tokens of devotion: pickle pins, chip clips, and fuzzy critters. My lifelong factory-tour journey is far from over, but here are my five favorites thus far.

    Herr's Snack Factory
    Located in Nottingham, Pennsylvania, Herr's Snack Factory churns out potato chips, cheese curls, tortilla chips, popcorn, and pretzels. A good factory tour has to have a mascot, and Herr's boasts Chipper, a chipmunk that provides levity to the visit. Production lines run Monday through Thursday, so Friday

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  • Back-to-School: Feeding Kids and Adults

    By Esther Sung, Epicurious.com

    For all caretakers--parents, extended family members, nannies, sitters--who need some culinary inspiration when it comes to what to feed the kids (and themselves), pick up a copy of Kate McMillan & Sarah Putman Clegg's The Lunch Box: Loaded with Fun, healthy meals that keep them smiling (Weldon Owen) as well as Susie Cover's The Supper Club: Kid-friendly meals the whole family will love (Weldon Owen). Both cookbooks will provide some much-needed help on a daily--and nightly--basis.

    Related: 5 Tips for Packing a Healthy and Tasty School Lunch

    The Lunch Box is a small book but it's brimming with ideas. The recipes certainly outshine the rather plain sandwiches and lunch options I grew up with, with regards to both taste and presentation. There are some conventional lunch ideas such as Tuna Salad Cutouts, Homemade Granola Bars, Hummus & Veggie Wrap, and Honey, Almond Butter & Banana Sandwich but you can jazz it up with Chicken & Rice Wrap with Peanut Dip,

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  • Corn Is Not Evil: 100-Plus Healthy Recipes That Prove It

    By Megan O. Steintrager, Epicurious.com

    Along with heirloom tomatoes, fresh corn on the cob is one of my favorite high-summer foods. I'm clearly not alone: Adam Roberts wrote about his love of dressed-up corn here in the Epi-Log earlier this week and Epicurious sister publication Gourmet Live has an ode to corn by farmer Kristin Kimball in this week's farmers' market issue. Of course corn has its detractors too, including those who think of it as lowly pig food, carbophobes, and high fructose corn syrup haters who cast sweet corn on the cob in the same light.

    Related: Our Ultimate Grilling and Barbecue Guide

    I don't fall into any of those camps, and I'd gladly eat corn for pure pleasure, but it never hurts to have a few health reasons too. So I was happy to come across a blog from EatingWell discussing the health benefits of corn: Corn is a good source of fiber, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin (compounds that help keep your eyes healthy), the author explains. Elsewhere online, the

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  • 5 Tips For Packing a Healthy and Tasty School Lunch

    By Tanya Steel, Epicurious.com

    It's back to school time, and that means mostly gleeful parents (as the Staple's commercial reminds us, "It's the most wonderful time of the year,") and mostly sad kids. For me it also means an uptick in television segments--as evidenced in this shot from my kitchen yesterday for a local ABC news shoot--because Epicurious offers a ton of back-to-school articles and recipes, and my book, Real Food for Healthy Kids, has an entire chapter devoted to healthy brown-bag lunches.

    Related: Our Complete Back-to-School Guide

    As evidenced by Joanne Camas' post, it does seem that initiatives such as Chefs Move to Schools are helping to transform school cafeterias.

    But, that doesn't affect those who bring their lunch to school so here are my top five tips to ensure your kids will actually eat any nutritious lunches you send:

    1. Seat your Child on the Lunch Board: Get them involved in the planning and preparing of that week's lunches. Take them to the market to

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  • Schools Offering Better Lunch Options

    By Joanne Camas, Epicurious.com

    Many schools now offer whole grains, locally grown food, and fresh fruit and vegetables among their lunch options, says a report released today by the School Nutrition Association.

    Related: Our Complete Back-to-School Guide

    "School cafeterias nationwide have made dramatic progress in improving the quality of the meals served to nearly 32 million children every school day," says the report.

    Among the highlights:

    Nearly every school district offers fresh fruits and vegetables (98%)

    Whole-grain foods have become readily accessible (97%)

    A total of 89 percent of school districts offer salad bars or prepackaged salads

    About two-thirds provide vegetarian meals (63%), and

    Virtually all districts offer fat-free or 1% milk (98%)

    See also: Our Ultimate Grilling and Barbecue Guide

    Food educational programs are also taking off, says the SNA. "From spinach to strawberries and pears to pumpkin, school nutrition professionals are constantly working to offer

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