Krispy Kreme Celebrates Solar Eclipse by Debuting Chocolate Glazed Donut

Donut fans, this one is for you. Krispy Kreme is set to debut a limited run of donuts that coincides with the solar eclipse. The donut chain will offer a chocolate rendition of the classic Original Glazed on August 21, the same day as the natural event. There is a catch though, customers are only allowed to purchase the limited donut before its debut during the Hot Light hours on August 19, 20 and all day on Monday the 21.

In a statement by Jackie Woodward, the CMO of Krispy Kreme states:

“The solar eclipse is a rare occasion providing a total sensory experience for viewers across the continental U.S. Chocolate will have the same effect as we introduce a first-time chocolate glazing of our iconic Original Glazed Doughnut. The Chocolate Glazed Doughnut is a delicious way to experience the solar eclipse — no matter where you are — and we can’t wait for fans to try it.”

Will you be picking up the treats?

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Buying Your Groceries Online Can Curb Impulse Buying & Ultimately Weight Gain

For people who just can’t seem to pass up the candy in a supermarket checkout line, perhaps grocery shopping online could help reduce these impulse purchases, a new study suggests.

In the study, college students who were asked to shop for groceries online made similar food choices to one another, regardless of how impulsive the individuals were.

The findings are preliminary, and more research is needed to confirm the results, but the study suggests that online grocery shopping could help people stick to a healthy diet, said lead study author Jaime Coffino, a public health researcher at the University at Albany, State University of New York.

Previous research shows that people who are more impulsive may be less healthy than less impulsive people, Coffino told Live Science. In a grocery store, that impulsiveness could lead to a shopping cart filled with junk food.

The new study looked at 60 college students who filled out questionnaires that assessed their levels of impulsiveness as well as how they respond to the presence of food. The students were then told they had $48.50 for grocery shopping, and were asked to fill an online shopping cart with “nutritious, affordable and tasty” foods.

When Coffino calculated the nutritional value of all the food in each person’s online shopping cart, she found that there was no link between the foods a person chose and how impulsive the person was.

“It didn’t matter how impulsive a person was,” Coffino said. “The nutritional outcomes didn’t vary.”

Online grocery shopping could one day serve as a type of dietary intervention, Coffino said. Often, when people buy groceries online, they need to search for each item they want, as opposed to strolling through a store and saying, for example, “Oh, those chips look good.” Online, more planning and thought is needed. In addition, online grocery shopping makes people more aware of how much money they’re spending, which could deter them from adding impulsive picks to their carts, Coffino said.

She noted that the study has limitations — for example, no control group was used — and much more research is needed. Future studies could compare online grocery shopping to in-store grocery shopping, she said.

The findings were presented here Aug. 4 at the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting. The research is part of a larger study that looks at how public health researchers can use online grocery shopping as a tool to encourage healthy eating. The findings have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Recipe of the Week: Shrimp Fettuccini in White Wine Tomato Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 ounces fettuccine pasta
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp (31/40 count)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 15-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cooking pasta according to package directions for al dente in a large pot of salted, boiling water. Drain when ready.
  2. In a large skillet or frying pan, heat olive oil to medium-high. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shrimp and sauté until pink on both sides, flipping shrimp once, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add wine, tomatoes and oregano. Reduce heat and simmer until pasta is ready, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add drained pasta to skillet and toss to evenly coat pasta with sauce.
  5. Top with fresh parsley before serving.

Krispy Kreme & Reese’s Debut Mouthwatering Peanut Butter Doughnuts

If you’re a big fan of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Reese’s peanut butter, then you don’t want to miss their newest offering — Krispy Kreme Reese’s Peanut Butter Doughnut.

Combining two classic flavors, the delicious donut is filled with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Kreme filling, dipped in chocolate icing and topped with a chocolate and peanut butter drizzle, as well as Reese’s mini peanut butter chips and peanuts.

“Similar to our hot, fresh doughnuts, the matchmaking of chocolate and peanut butter is a delicious combination that consumers have enjoyed for generations,” said Jackie Woodward, Chief Marketing Officer of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. “In partnering with The Hershey Company, we’re satisfying an intense desire that Krispy Kreme and Reese’s fans never knew they had.”

The new Reese’s Peanut Butter Doughnut will be available in participating U.S. Krispy Kreme shops for a limited time starting this Friday, August 4, 2017.

Recipe of the Week: Grilled Chicken Caprese With Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
  • 1 roma tomato sliced
  • 4 thick slices buffalo mozzarella (about 14 ounces or 400 grams)
  • 4 tablespoons basil shredded
  • tablespoons balsamic glaze (or reduction), store bought

Instructions

  1. In a large shallow bowl, mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Add in the chicken and allow to marinate for half an hour (if time allows).
  2. Preheat grill plates over medium heat, and grill chicken for 5-6 minutes each side, or until completely cooked through in the centre, and slightly charred on the outer edges. While chicken is cooking, grill the tomato slices for 1-2 minutes each side. Top each breast with a slice of mozzarella and grilled tomato slice, allowing the heat to melt the cheese.
  3. To serve, top with the shredded basil and balsamic reduction.

Today Is National Chicken Wing Day: Here Are Some Deals

There’s only one good thing about nonsense holidays like National Ice Cream Day or National Donut Day: If you like the food being celebrated, restaurants have events where you can get discounts or free items. National Chicken Wing Day, July 29, is no exception.

Discounts

Buffalo Wild Wings: Small plates of boneless wings for $9.99, and traditional wings for $11.99.

East Coast Wings & Grill: Buy wings on the holiday, get a voucher for five free wings the next time you come back.

Hooters: Buy any 10 wings, get 10 smoked chicken wings free. They’re calling it “National Smoked Chicken Wing Day.”

Hurricane Grill & Wings: $1 wings and a free soda or beer if you spend $20 on food.

WingHouse: Buy 10 wings, get five free.

Wingstop: Buy wings, get five free boneless wings from 11 A.M. to 5 P.M.

How To Build The World’s Most Perfect Burger

Our love for the mighty and humble burger runs deep. But what makes the best burger the best? Some would argue that the meat has to be just fatty enough to create that perfect emulsion. Others live and die by a great bun. Does any of that matter if the toppings are subpar? These are questions for the ages.

Here’s a secret: All the above factors hold equal importance when considering what separates a good burger from a great one. Why spend a fortune on home ground cuts of meat if you’re not also using aged cheese, perfect bread, and the right mix of sauce and crunchy vegetables? It’s madness. But it doesn’t have to be. We’ve ground it all down and now we’re dishing up what you need to create the world’s most perfect burger.

THE BUN

The right bread is the first step in creating a perfect burger, because it’s literally holding the whole thing together. Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain once preached that “a proper hamburger bun should retain its structural integrity, playing its role as delivery vehicle for the meat patty until the last bite.” That means that the crumbly brioche bun is out, no matter how fancy it sounds. “God is against the brioche bun,” Bourdain’s announced, and if anyone would know, it’s him.

So which bun should you use? It’s argued by many that the best bread is the Amish Dinner Roll. That’s a super soft roll made with eggs and mashed potatoes to maximize the smoothness of the bread. The extra starch from the potato adds integrity to the bread’s structure, meaning that the grease and sauce aren’t going to break down the bun and create an unholy mess on your hands.

Butter those rolls and add a little garlic salt before grilling (on a flat top or flame), and you’ve got yourself a great start to your burger.

THE MEAT

The meat determines whether the burger lives or dies. No one wants a dried out burger patty. The perfect protein is juicy, succulent, and… velvety.

The standard ratio is 20 percent fat to 80 percent lean. That ratio can be nudged closer to 30/80 if you want, but the higher the fat the looser the patty is going to be. To amp up the juiciness without adding more animal fat, you can add a good slab of butter to the meat when you’re forming patties.

When it comes to which cut, you should ask your butcher to grind with that fat ratio, your options go well beyond just chuck. Try adding some brisket, short rib, and maybe even some skirt to the mix. Some chefs like to add rib eye, but that amps up the price tag considerably.

When cooking your beef patty, know your temperatures. 140F is where bacteria die off. This will give you a pink interior and maximum moist texture. 160F is considered well done, leaving your burger brown through and through.

Play around with your protein. If old-fashioned red meat isn’t for you, try a black bean patty, bison patty, Impossible Burger, lamb, or whatever else tickles your fancy. Just remember to season liberally with black pepper and plenty of salt before you sear.

THE SAUCE

A great hamburger sauce is a very personal choice. High-end joints will throw truffle aiolis at you left and right, and those are all good and well. But it doesn’t need to be that complicated. Sometimes a great BBQ sauce or even some decent ketchup will do the trick.

We like to think there’s a reason McDonald’s hamburger sauce is so close to In-N-Out’s. There’s something that feels right about a ketchup/mayo convergence with a slight vinegar edge and some finely minced pickle.

The only way to have full control over the sauce is to make your mayo and ketchup yourself (and you can). If you want to save time, though, you can get just as much enjoyment by trying out a variety of sauces and then choosing one (or ten) signature combos that feel 100 percent you.

THE TOPPINGS

The holy trinity of lettuce, tomato, and onion is a must, but some nice butter lettuce or even a crisp iceberg can do the trick when used sparingly. Large cuts of ripe tomatoes are a must as well. Beef steaks are a popular choice, but a good Roma can add a little extra umami to the mix. Then there’s the onion, which should be used sparingly. A whole onion slice will overwhelm, so go for a few rings of yellow, white, or red to add crunch and flavor.

After the base toppings, it’s really dealer’s choice as to what goes on next (although it’s best to keep it at one or two extras if you don’t want a mess on your hands). Not that we’re saying that that’s bad. Add some guac, bacon, onion rings, hell a slice of foie gras if you’re not afraid to get dirty. Or just keep things simple and refined with the holy trinity. No need to mess with the classics.

And yes, you’re going to need a crisp pickle.

CHEESE

The last important component of a truly perfect burger is the cheese. Yellow American Cheese is the standard bearer, but even processed cheese is Bourdain approved!

If you want to explore some different flavor profiles, however, there’s a whole world of cheese just waiting for you. Try a nutty Edam with a smokey bacon. Or move on from the processed cheese to an extra sharp cheddar, shredded Port of Call style. Want to go full-on crazy train? Add some Swiss Raclette melted cheese madness.

If the question of whether or not to add cheese to a burger, we all know the answer is a resounding HELL YEAH.

These Kirkland Brand Products are Why You Need a Costco Membership

Let’s go ahead and establish the tone for this article right now. Costco might be the best thing to happen to the general shopping experience since the first person set up a store. Your shopping trip could easily include picking up socks, dinner, a new computer, flowers for the garden, and filling up your gas tank. Plus, it doesn’t come with all the guilt of shopping at other stores like it. Where Wal-Mart hosts food drives for its employees and actively suppresses workers’ efforts to improve their job experience, Costco is routinely ranked one of the best places to work. The company treats its employees well, has ridiculously low turnover because it actually rewards employee loyalty (and reciprocates that loyalty), provides benefits to the vast majority of workers, and voluntarily keeps markups low on products to save customers money. It’s a wholesale club with the labor philosophy of a family-owned corner store.

The company’s excellence carries into its Kirkland brand as well. Everything with the Kirkland logo on it is guaranteed to be a quality product, and that guarantee doesn’t come in the form of some corporate disclaimer or marketing stunt. It comes in the form of Costco making way better stuff than they ever needed to. Next time you find yourself in a Costco, or maybe we’ve just convinced you to start doing your weekly shopping there, make sure you give these Kirkland brand products a shot.

Booze

There are a ton of rumors flying around about Kirkland brand spirits and they’re incredibly difficult to verify. People have said Kirkland vodka is Grey Goose’s overflow and that Knob Creek and Macallan regularly supply the brand with whiskey. The prevailing theory seems to be that when high end distilleries of any number of alcohols have spirits they aren’t happy with or made too much of, Kirkland swoops in and swallows it up. Again, we can’t verify this, but if there’s truth to those rumors, it would explain a lot. For example, it would explain why Kirkland vodka costs next to nothing and doesn’t make us hate ourselves in the morning. In fact, it made us a lot more confident in vodka’s potential to be good, an opinion that’s backed up by the opinion of people who drink a lot more vodka than we do.

This isn’t a “better for the price” situation. Kirkland spirits are a high quality alternative to dropping a couple hundred bucks at the liquor store. In fact, the cult following of the brand is growing all the time and we might be saying stuff one of your friends has been saying for years. As what might be the ultimate sign that Kirkland booze is an excellent choice to stock your house, check out this post on Reddit. In a rare display of unity, every top comment is a recommendation to try their brand, and that’s if it’s not a glowing endorsement. Obviously still go ahead and get some top shelf stuff, but for everyday mixing and sipping, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with keeping a few of these bottles handy. If anything, you’re going to find out exactly which of your friends are spirit connoisseurs and which are just posing.

Barbecue Meats

The butcher at Costco is one of the more appetizing to walk through. At some locations, you can watch the butchers work and they are consummate professionals. Their cuts are clean and precise, they’re more than knowledgeable, and they’re happy to help customers, even if that means recutting or redistributing what they’ve already done. They’re great at their jobs and they clearly enjoy what they’re doing, which are the two main things we use to evaluate the people who sell us stuff.

Their product is excellent too. It’s great meat and here’s another place we won’t cheapen that sentiment by adding “for the price.” The price is great too, but neither detracts from the other and you don’t have to rationalize eating one of their generic steaks the way you might have to at cheaper grocery stores. Provided you cook it right, you and your guests will be more than happy with your burgers, sausage, ribs, steaks, pork belly, hot dogs, chicken, turkey, or whatever else you buy.

Pet Food

Here’s a personal anecdote as support for a larger claim. Kirkland dog food made my dog happier. I brought home a few sample bags on one of my trips to the store, because it was a sample bag and the lady offered me enough to feed the dog for a few days. In those couple days, the dog looked healthier, had more energy, and was generally far happier than he had been in weeks. From then on, that’s what he’s eaten and it’s been a sustained difference from the previous food.

That also taught me that maybe the people on all those TV commercials aren’t full of shit. The paragraph I just wrote could have easily been ad copy for an annoying Blue Buffalo ad. But those are the genuine results of Kirkland dog food, at least for my own personal pet and there’s also no way for me to make it sound like I’m not currently writing a couch testimonial for a shitty ad, so I’m just going to close this by saying at least take the free sample if the lady offers you one.

Sunglasses

We find it a bit weird that they don’t list their sunglasses on the Costco website. They only have two types, one athletic and one casual, but they’d be so easy to pack and ship that not listing them online seems like a missed opportunity. Especially since these are the perfect sunglasses for everyday use. They’re polarized, sturdy, and come with their own cases and microfiber cleaning cloths. The pairs we’ve seen haven’t cost more than $30, which is the perfect price for buying a decent pair for leaving in a car or by the front door. They’re stylish enough that they look like they cost more than $30. Not hundreds of dollars more, but still. More.

A Giant Wheel of Parmesan Cheese

We’ve never had the need for 72 pounds of Parmesan cheese, but now that we know it’s so accessible, we’re going to work pretty hard to find one. If we have to spend a month eating pasta and Italian soups, that’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make. Plus this isn’t a big tub of American knockoff cheese. This is genuine, imported Italian parmigiano reggiano aged for 24 months possibly in a cave. For nearly a thousand dollars, sure, but people have spent more on weirder, so we don’t think this is such a crazy thing. And when we looked around for comparable products, the best we could find was price quotes from high scale websites. Fine Italian dining is finally within grasp.

Gasoline

The attraction of this is more that it makes Costco a completely one stop shop for anything and everything you’d need in a week. You can get your shopping done, then pull the car around a corner and fill it up too. It’s probably not anything to go out of your way to get, but if you find yourself at the wholesale club and also a little low on fuel, there’s no harm in pulling around and topping up. This is going to be a specialty thing not every Costco offers, but if yours does, take advantage.

Kitchen Pots and Pans

Unless you’re one of the only families in the world to pass cast iron cookware from generation to generation in a tradition stretching back hundreds of years, everyone needs to buy themselves a set of pots and pans for their kitchen. When you do, you’ll want a set that’s durable, versatile, and affordable, all words that can be and are being used to describe Kirkland’s set. For less than two hundred bucks, you can outfit your new apartment, house, vacation home, RV, cabin, or whatever other domicile you’re furnishing with every pot or pan you’ll need for good home cooking. Plus everything can be used on the stovetop or in the oven too, so you don’t even have the limitations that cheap, plastic handled pots and pans have. In fact, we may have just talked ourselves into buying a backup set.

 

Americans Waste Than Half Their Food Allowance On Meals That Require No Cooking

If the Bureau of Labor Statistics has it right, then Americans don’t like cooking very much. The latest numbers reveal an annual average food budget of just over $7,000 (approx. $150/week). More than half of this is spent on food products and services that require no cooking. Here’s a little breakdown:

An impressive $3,008 per year is spent on dining out, which includes “fast food, take-out, delivery, concession stands, buffet and cafeteria, at full-service restaurants, and at vending machines and mobile vendors.”

$726 goes toward ‘miscellaneous foods’, which Business Insider defines in more detail:

“This category appears to be comprised mostly of premade meals and snacks (think Hot Pockets and Lean Cuisines, as well as Doritos and almonds), though it also includes: ‘condiments and seasonings, such as olives, pickles, relishes, sauces and gravies, baking needs and other specified condiments; and other canned and packaged prepared foods, such as salads, desserts, baby foods, and vitamin supplements’.”

Finally, a hefty $374 is spent on non-alcoholic beverages, which likely means soda, juice, and milk, none of which are particularly good for human health.

Most shocking, for me, was how little is spent on whole fresh foods. A mere $247 a year on fresh vegetables and $284 on fresh fruits? That’s about as much as I spend per month on those same items. More than twice as much is spent on sugar ($155) than eggs ($63), and bakery products ($344) are another clear yet questionable favorite. A whopping $832 goes toward meat and fish, although the Bureau divides this number into different categories based on the type of animal protein, which is why it’s not in the top three.

The numbers reveal a cultural preference for quick prepared meals, food on the go, and meats, which is unfortunate. As we’ve been saying on TreeHugger for years now, cooking from scratch can be a powerful force for change in one’s life. It addresses so many issues at the same time, from saving money to improving personal health to supporting local farmers to providing an important space for family engagement.

A shift away from spending on sugary drinks, baked goods, meats, and takeout foods could free up dollars for more fresh ingredients, many of which are quick and easy to prepare, once you get a few simple recipes under your belt.

How to Get Started on a Plant-Based Diet

Switching to a plant-based diet won’t mean you’re automatically super healthy. You can eat non-dairy ice cream and frozen veggie pizza every day, but that doesn’t mean you’re any healthier. There are plenty of plant-based junk foods out there, so if you want to reap the benefits of a plant-based diet, you need to commit to focusing your diet on healthy foods.

Feeling healthy can keep you motivated, and figuring out how to make your plant-based diet good for you isn’t too tough. Here’s how to get started.

Decide What It Means for You

Plant-based can mean a variety of things when it comes to what you eat. While plants will make up the majority of your diet, you might decide that including dairy sometimes works for you. Or small amounts of meat is what you want. Or no animal products at all.

Deciding what your plant-based diet consists of will make transitioning easier because having guidelines you set yourself makes turning down foods that don’t fit in your plant-based diet less difficult.

Know What You’re Eating

If you’ve never tried a diet where you cut out certain ingredients, you’re going to be surprised by how much you time you’ll now spend reading labels in the store. Turns out, lots of pre-packaged foods have animal products in them, so if you want to stick only to plant products for your new diet, you’ll need to keep a keen eye on ingredient labels.

Even if you’re allowing some animal products into your plant-based diet, look out for pre-prepared foods that are loaded with sugar, fat, sodium, and other things that will impact your healthy diet.

Find New Versions of Your Favorite Dishes

Don’t try to replicate your non plant-based favorite foods, instead, think about what you like about those foods (texture? flavor? versatility for cooking?) and find swaps that fulfill that criteria. Here are a couple to get you started:

  • Lentils: Great for saucy dishes that you’d normally put ground meat in, like meatloafsloppy joes, and bolognese.
  • Tempeh: Takes on whatever seasonings or marinade you add to it. Try it as a breakfast “sausage” patty for a hearty start to your day.
  • Beans and nuts: Perfect for blending into thick, creamy sauces, as this mac and “cheese” recipe shows.
  • Tofu: Crumbled or blended with oil and seasonings, this can make a good filling for both sweet and savory dishes (including as a substitute for ricotta in lasagna).

Make it easy for you to stick to your healthy plant-based diet by having two to three go-to dishes you can pull together quickly for a satisfying meal. A couple of my favorites:

  • Indonesian Gado Gado Salad: Almost all the ingredients are raw, which makes this quick to prepare, especially if you have good knife skills!
  • Sicilian Eggplant and Pine Nut CaponataA very flavorful dish that you can make in one pot or pan. It does take some chopping of ingredients, but lets you toss them in the pan and simmer without a lot of attention needed. Good for pairing with polenta, couscous, or pita.
  • Slow Cooker Coconut Curry LentilsMinimal ingredients and very low effort (slow cookers are great!). You’ll come home to a fragrant, filling dinner.

At least one of your dishes should be able to be made primarily with pantry ingredients so that you can throw it together even if you haven’t had a chance to go to the grocery store.

Build a Support Network

As with any new habit, it’s easier if you have people who help you stick to it. Find friends who are willing to try new plant-based dishes with you, or who are open to going to restaurants that have plant-based options.

You should also check out Facebook and Meetup to see if there are any local plant-based groups in your area (try terms like “vegan” and “vegetarian”). Groups like these will help you expand your support network and give you a wealth of knowledge to tap into as you continue on your plant-based diet.