Find a Perfectly Ripe Pear by Pushing On the Stem End

We’re heading into fall fruit season, and while I’m not much of an apple person, I welcome pears with open arms. I’m not too picky about which varieties either — any and all, including those delicate Asian pears, are absolutely delicious to me.

I grew up believing that the best pears came in gift boxes around the holidays, and while those expensive pears are amazing, I learned that I can pick good ones out at the store myself instead. With a little know-how, you too can choose and ripen pears to perfection!

Source: The Best Way to Choose, Store, and Ripen Pears

The problem with pears is that ideal ripeness is so short. Even Time Lords understand this.

Turn Apple Peels Into a Tasty, Sweet Snack in Minutes

One of the things that made flying cross-country with a toddler a bit more bearable was the free snacks handed out on the airplane. These little bags of treats helped maintain both my blood sugar level and acted as bribes to keep my daughter from roaming the airplane cabin.

My favorite discovery in the basket of snacks was cinnamon-sugar pretzel bites. Sweet and a tiny bit savory, these pretzel bites were addicting but really weren’t the healthiest option. What if I could take the same concept and make a healthier snack instead? Thus roasted cinnamon-sugar apple peels were born!

Source: Did You Know You Can Turn Apple Peels into a Delicious Snack?

Careful not to have to find out you’re allergic to cinnamon 😉

There’s also “apple bark”, which was basically.. this recipe from Martha’s site, with a little bit of nutmeg?

The Kitchn has another good write up from a while back about other things you can do with apple peels. In the fall, when we go apple picking and make about 400 million pies, I save some peels and make a potpourri.

Make Mini Apple Pie Bites in About 15 Minutes

Everything is better in bite-sized portions, even pie. We think these miniature versions would be perfect for breakfast—they do have fruit in them!—or as a sweet treat post-Thanksgiving dinner. If you’re feeling adventurous, swap out apples for pears or even add a bit of pumpkin puree for an even more in-season treat.

Source: 4-Ingredient Mini Apple Pies

Need it to be gluten free?  Find gluten free crescent rolls.

Bonus recipe: Drunken Apples

In true drunken fashion, quantity/measure is not known/included 😉

Ingredients:

  • apple slices, peeled
  • brown sugar
  • honey
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • spiced rum

Cooking instructions:

  1. Combine
  2. Cook on stove over medium/low heat until apples are soft, and rum is reduced to a glaze
  3. Serve hot

Easy Thanksgiving Food Swaps That Cut Calories Without Sacrificing Flavor

It’s tradition to get stuffed on Thanksgiving, but you can still get your fill of traditional flavors without wrecking your diet. MyFitnessPal shows us some simple food substitutions that cut the calories, sugar, and/or fat of traditional Thanksgiving foods.

Source: Easy Thanksgiving Food Swaps That Cut Calories Without Sacrificing Flavor

There are benefits for intentionally failing on your dietTrying to be perfect actually hurts your weight loss efforts.  So enjoy yourself 😉

But know that there’s a decent amount of vitamin K in pecans.  There’s still vitamin K in pumpkin, but it’s far less than pecans.

The Best Ways to Keep Fruit from Browning, Tests to Prove It

The brown spots that mar an otherwise beautiful piece of fruit is basically “fruit rust,” caused by oxygen in the air reacting with a plant enzyme called “polyphenol oxidase.” This article explains the science in more detail, but to prevent enzymatic browning, you either have to stop the oxygen or the enzyme (or both.) Most prevention methods involve a physical barrier (water) and a chemical inhibitor (such as ascorbic acid) but we wanted to see which solutions provided the best solution to this ugly problem.

Source: Tip Tester: The Best Ways to Keep Fruit from Browning

They didn’t test the barrier 😦

Water can break things down, turning stuff to mush.  Honey is a different material, and has been used in the past for treating wounds so I’m not entirely surprised at the test result.

This Is How Your Fruits and Vegetables Look in an MRI Machine

Hey! What are your plans for that artichoke you’ve got there? You’re going to grill it and serve it with some lemon-butter sauce? That’s cool. We’re just going to stick ours in this MRI machine here.

Source: This Is How Your Fruits and Vegetables Look in an MRI Machine

These pics are rather a-pealing.  Orange you glad you saw them?

Study: An Apple A Day Keeps The Prescription Meds Away

Correlation does not imply causation! This doesn’t seem to rule out other factors, like whether apple eaters have healthier diets and lifestyles in general (which seems likely).

Also, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” isn’t an aphorism, it’s an old advertising slogan created by the apple industry. And it’s about as credible as any other slogan. Apples aren’t particularly healthy compared to other fruits like berries or tomatoes – they just had good PR.

A new study suggests that people should regularly eat apples not necessarily to keep the doctor away, but as a means to reduce national health care spending.

Source: An Apple A Day Keeps The Prescription Meds Away

This is a somewhat unsatisfying article. The first way that apple eaters might differ from the rest of the population is simply that they are more likely to be eating more fresh fruit, which we already know has health benefits above a certain level.

Unfortunately, I don’t have access to JAMA, so I can’t access the original paper to see if they controlled for this.

Use an Apple Slicer to Cut Potatoes Even Faster

We may or may not need to be bringing in a boatload of mashed potatoes to the Preschool Thanksgiving Pitch In tomorrow morning… so tonight meant peeling and chopping up lots and lots and lots of taters…

So what did Puddie do?

Source: Cutting Up Potatoes~ Super Fast

I wouldn’t recommend you go out and buy an apple slicer for this purpose alone, but if you already own one, we’ve got to admit: it’s pretty handy.   Apples, potatoes, onions, pears, and I think once on a big mozzarella ball.

I personally don’t peel potatoes.  There’s nutritional value in the skin, and I often mash it anyway to the point I can’t tell.  But it’s really important to wash the potato before preparation if you are keeping the skin.  They’ve been exposed to various chemicals and such en route to the grocery store, and while sitting on display.

Will the iPhone Transform Medicine? The FDA May Have Something to Say

Apple’s keynote this week produced a lot of hype-worthy news, as such Apple announcements often do. Laptops with no ports! Wearables with five-figure price tags! And who could forget the claims that the iPhone is now going to transform medical research? The keynote seemed to imply that iPhones, and ResearchKit, would transform our smartphones into medical tricorders, ready to diagnose Parkinson’s disease or atherosclerosis at the tap of a screen. Not so fast.

As much as Silicon Valley likes to think of itself as a force for good, disrupting this and pivoting that, it sometimes forgets that there’s a wider world out there. And when it comes to using devices in the practice of medicine, that world contains three very important letters: FDA. That’s right, the US Food and Drug Administration, which Congress has empowered to regulate the marketing and research uses of medical devices. 

Source: Will the iPhone transform medicine? The FDA may have something to say

The author isn’t saying that Apple will need FDA approval (or IDEs) for iPhones or other Apple products. As far as I know, there are no rumors that Apple is making a medical device. He’s saying that with Apple’s marketing push into biomedical research applications, the researchers or developers may end up falling under FDA regulations for medical devices. It’s like the situation for 23andMe.

Apple Watch Announced

…Apple finalized and solidified the release plans for the Apple Watch, telling customers to get ready to line up for the wearable device on April 24. The cheapest option, the Apple Watch Sport, will start at $349 for the 38 mm model and $50 more for the 42 mm model.

Meanwhile, the stainless steel Apple Watch will start at $549 for the 38 mm model, and that price will balloon all the way to $1,049 “depending on the band you pick,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told the San Francisco crowd. The stainless steel 42 mm model will cost $50 more. Both models will be available for pre-order from Apple Stores and Apple’s website beginning April 10; select stores will also begin hosting Apple Watch previews on that date. A far more lucrative Apple Watch Edition, priced “from $10,000” with solid-gold cases and custom-designed bands, will be made available in “select retail stores” in the near future as well.

Source: Apple Watch Sport starts at $349, launching April 24

There’s two aspects that I do not care for about the watch:

  • claimed battery life is 18 hours
  • non-replaceable battery

Admittedly, competing products aren’t much better if at all (IE moto 360).  And the planned obsolescence does make sense – technology will evolve to provide new things.

I like that the fitness trackers have brought the watch back into our culture, after loosing relevance due to cell/smart phones.  Watches make more sense, being on your person than phones but as people came around to – the 5 inch screen is generally a minimum these days.  I remember getting made fun of for my Samsung Note, and I had a Dell Streak prior to that.  So I’m curious to see what evolves out of the fitness tracker when you can’t really see/read/do a lot on a sub 45 millimeter face. I’ve had a Garmin 910xt for years now, I have no need even though I do not really get much use out of it.  I have to hope Garmin will learn from Apple to make the UI more intuitive.  However the aspect of being monitored 24×7 is scary…

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