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6 Most Healthy Seeds to Add to Your Smoothie

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Thanks to their dominant fruity flavors, smoothies are great options for picky eaters. You can blend a variety of healthy ingredients into them without significantly altering their taste.

In addition to sneaking some leafy greens into your morning smoothie, consider adding seeds as well. Seeds are loaded with many different vitamins, fibers, antioxidants, and minerals that are necessary for a plant to grow as well as incredibly beneficial for humans. If you’re interested in packing your smoothie with even more nutrients, consider some of these healthy seeds to add to your smoothie.

smoothie with healthy seeds inside
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Hemp seeds

Shelled hemp seeds, also known as hemp hearts, have a subtle, nutty taste. Packed with nutrients, hemp seeds are composed of plant proteins, fiber, potassium, a variety of essential fatty acids, and all nine essential amino acids. As a result of their incredibly nutritious makeup, consuming hemp seeds has a variety of health benefits, including improved heart and brain health, enhanced digestion, and reduced inflammation.

Flaxseed

It may not be very tasty on its own, but you’ll barely notice the slightly oily taste of ground flaxseed when you blend it into your smoothie—especially if you include berries, which will help mask the taste. Flaxseed is a great source of antioxidants, fiber, lignans, and healthy fat. Consuming this nutritious seed has been linked to decreased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Chia seeds

Perhaps the most popular seed that people currently add to their smoothies is the chia seed. Don’t be fooled by their small size; these little seeds can have a huge positive impact on one’s health. Loaded with fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and calcium, chia seeds are known to prevent heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Cashews

Most people think that cashews are nuts, but they’re actually seeds. Cashews are low in fat and high in copper, fiber, potassium, folic acid, vitamins E and B, and protein. Adding cashews to your smoothie can improve your heart, blood, and eye health as well as boost your immune system.

Pumpkin seeds

If you buy them raw and unsalted, pumpkin seeds make great additions to post-workout smoothies. Pumpkin seeds contain high levels of iron, vitamin E, and magnesium, which help maintain muscle and restore nutrients lost during exercise. In addition, they’re high in antioxidants, which help reduce muscle soreness after exercise. Even if you didn’t just hit the gym, pumpkin seeds have numerous health benefits, such as reducing the risk of certain cancers, improving bone and heart health, and protecting against Type 2 Diabetes.

Almonds

Many people enjoy snacking on almonds on their own, but they’re also delicious when you add them into smoothies. Almonds are plentiful sources of protein, fiber, vitamin E, calcium, and potassium. Their health benefits include lowered blood sugar and cholesterol levels as well as reduced blood pressure. Almonds are especially delicious when you blend them with bananas, strawberries, and a nut milk as a liquid base. To avoid the crunchy texture that almonds can add to your smoothie, consider soaking them before blending them in.

8 Weird Facts About Food You Might Not Know

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Most of the time, we buy our food without too much thought. We fill up our grocery bags with our favorite ingredients without ever wondering where they came from and what else they can do. The world of food is full of so many fun facts and secrets to learn.

lots of vegetables veggies for diet
Taken by D. Gold via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Here are eight weird facts about food you might not know:

Scientists can make diamonds from peanut butter

Diamonds form when highly organized carbon is subjected to extreme pressure and high temperatures. This happened naturally in the Earth’s crust billions of years ago, which is why real diamonds are so expensive. Because peanut butter is so rich in carbon, scientists can recreate these extreme conditions to turn it into diamonds.

White chocolate isn’t chocolate

The name of this sweet treat is misleading. White chocolate does contain cocoa butter, but it doesn’t contain any cocoa solids. Instead, it’s made of sugar, milk products, vanilla, and lecithin. Because cocoa nibs are responsible for real chocolate’s distinctive flavor, their absence in white chocolate means it’s actually categorized as candy.

Berries bounce

We all know to gently squeeze a fruit in the grocery store to see if it’s ripe, but have you ever bounced it? One of the best weird facts about food items is that cranberries bounce like rubber balls when they’re ripe. Believe it or not, farmers and consumers use this as a legitimate test to check if a cranberry is ready to eat.

Honey never expires

When honey bees make honey, they gather nectar and use enzymes in their body to break down the nectar and reduce the water content. As a result of this process, natural honey has extremely low moisture levels—meaning it never expires. In fact, archaeologists have found pots of honey that are thousands of years old yet still perfectly edible.

Strawberries aren’t berries

It’s no secret that tomatoes are technically a fruit. However, another weird fact about food you might not know is that strawberries aren’t really berries. Technically speaking, berries are fleshy fruits that come from a single ovary. By this definition, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries don’t count. Next time you have berries on your shopping list, you might look at watermelons, bananas, or pumpkins instead.

Grocery store bananas are clones

Bananas, like many other fruits, have a ton of varieties around the world. However, the ones you buy at the grocery store are all clones of just one type—the Cavendish. This banana variety doesn’t have seeds, and it lasts longer than other varieties, making it a popular purchase. Unfortunately, the lack of seeds means that farmers have to clone the Cavendish banana in order to grow it.

Black pepper was once a luxury item

You’ll rarely find a dining table without salt and pepper shakers. Despite how common it is now, black pepper was once an extravagant spice. It was so expensive in the Middle Ages that people used it to pay their rent and taxes.

Sandwiches were invented by a card player

As the story goes, a man named John Montagu—the Earl of Sandwich—invented this modern-day staple. An avid card player, the Earl wanted a meal that didn’t disrupt his card games. He (or more likely his servants) created the handy and delectable sandwich to eat at the card table.

If you’re a foodie, check out our post on the best foodie vacations.

7 Stress-Relieving Tips for Planning a Holiday Dinner Minus the Anxiety

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The holiday season turns into a stressful affair for a lot of people, whether they’re celebrating Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or another winter holiday.

For some people, meal planning is quite easy—but for others, hosting and planning a stress-free holiday meal seems quite unattainable. If you’re tired of the stress, follow these tips for planning a holiday dinner so that you can reap the rewards of a happy family stuffed with scrumptious cuisine.

setting the table early is one of the best tips for planning a holiday dinner without stress
Taken by H. Busing via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Here are 7 top tips for planning a holiday dinner without stress:

1. Plan Your Menu

First things first—create a menu! Make sure you put items that you can reasonably accomplish and that you’ll find at least some joy in creating on the list. Don’t fill the menu out too much—it will just add stress and take away from the joy of the season.

2. Make a To-Do List

One of the best ways to stay organized is to make a to-do list. Instead of wasting time trying to remember all the tasks you need to do, make it easier on yourself with a list—or several. You should have a grocery store list as well as separate lists for each time of day. As extensive as this sounds, to-do lists will keep you much more organized and stress-free. These lists are important not only for the day of the dinner, but also in the days leading up to the dinner.

3. Create a Schedule

Just as important as to-do lists are schedules. The day of the dinner, do your best to stick to a schedule—but don’t panic if you can’t stick to it perfectly. Recognize that perfection isn’t possible and that you can only do what you can do. It’s especially important to keep that in mind when you’re creating the schedule: don’t overbook or overload yourself with too many tasks. Delegate tasks if you can, and if you can’t, then lessen the load by—for instance—only serving two appetizers instead of four.

4. Allow Time for Organization

Another way to help yourself stay stress-free and organized is simply to make time for organization. If you devote 15 minutes each day leading up to the dinner for cleaning, meal prepping, and decorating, you’ll find the day of the dinner much more manageable. Taking the time to organize your kitchen will also help—figure out what dishes and utensils you’ll need to make your meal, and try to clear space when the day comes.

5. Set the Table the Night Before

When it comes to the dining room, a lot of people stress about creating the most aesthetically pleasing dining space. As nice as that is, you don’t need to stress too much about going over-the-top. Keep it simple, and leave room for people to converse. In addition, set the table the night before so that you don’t have to stress about not having enough time to do it properly.

6. Only Choose Desserts You Can Make Ahead

When it comes to desserts, you have two options. Either have a potluck-style dessert table so that you can get all the best desserts without having to make them yourself, or only choose desserts that you can make the night before. For example, you can make Thanksgiving pies the night before or even two days in advance. Latkes can be refrigerated for up to eight hours, and you can also make Christmas cookies ahead of time. Plan those times into your schedule, and that stress will fall right off your back.

7. Have Containers for Leftovers on Hand

One of the most stressful aspects of holiday dinners is all the leftovers you have to make room for afterwards. This year, solve that problem by having leftover containers on hand for your guests. Whether you use inexpensive Tupperware containers or custom boxes, there are plenty of ways to hand off some of those leftovers to guests instead of squeezing them into your fridge.

5 Creative Thanksgiving Dinner Alternatives for Vegans, Gluten-Free Diets & More

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Everyone looks forward to Thanksgiving dinner. Who doesn’t love classic Thanksgiving dishes like stuffing, mashed potatoes, and of course, turkey? Sadly, some people can’t have these heavy menu items due to dietary restrictions.

However, there’s no need to panic.

turkey is one of the most common Thanksgiving dishes
Taken by SJ Baren via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

These alternatives to Thanksgiving dinner are great for anyone that can’t handle traditional Thanksgiving dishes but still wants to leave their celebration full and satisfied.

1. Options for Vegans

Thanksgiving and veganism don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. Luckily, there are many meatless options for vegans to eat instead. If you’re avoiding the turkey, bring another dish you would like to serve as your main course—such as whole roasted cauliflower or mushroom wellington. Both are delicious and contain zero animal products.

Roasted brussels sprouts and butternut squash are great replacements for stuffing and mashed potatoes. The most important thing to remember is that there are options. Don’t feel hopeless if you’re a vegan on Thanksgiving.

2. Gluten-Free Choices

There’s nothing worse than getting sick at Thanksgiving dinner because you ate gluten. There are things you can do if you need to stay gluten-free this Thanksgiving. Buy a fresh turkey and put your own flavors and spices on it so you can ensure it’s gluten-free.

If you can, host Thanksgiving yourself so you can keep gluten and gluten-free items away from each other. When cooking gravy, substitute cornstarch for the flour. Also, never buy prepackaged items. They often contain gluten and will make you very sick.

If you’re interested, check out Dauntless Jaunter’s article on Thanksgiving traditions, customs, history, and controversy.

3. Vegetarian Possibilities

Since Thanksgiving is centered around meat, vegetarians have a hard time knowing what to eat. However, there are plenty of things vegetarians can eat. For example, vegetarians should try tofu turkey. If you’re a vegetarian, bring your own tempeh or tofu turkey (“tofurkey”) to Thanksgiving dinner and heat it up upon arrival.

Another option is to only stick to meatless sides. There’s no reason vegetarians can’t enjoy traditional dishes like stuffing and cranberry sauce. Feel free to load up on things that won’t break your vegetarian diet.

4. Be Mindful of Allergies

Nothing can ruin Thanksgiving more than an allergic reaction. Stay away from everything you’re allergic to this Thanksgiving. Inform the host of your allergies so they can be mindful while cooking.

If your allergies are severe, consider bringing your own dishes so that everything stays separate from things you’re allergic to. If you can host yourself, do that! That way, you can stay as organized as possible in the kitchen. Those that attend restaurants on Thanksgiving should inform chefs and waiters of any allergies as well.

5. For Those on a Diet

Dieting on Thanksgiving is tough. It’s so hard to resist all the hearty foods that everyone else is eating, but Thanksgiving doesn’t have to ruin all the progress you’ve made. There are plenty of healthy options that you can indulge in on Thanksgiving that won’t completely throw you off track.

For example, turkey without gravy is an excellent protein source. Bring whole wheat rolls to your Thanksgiving dinner for a healthier alternative to regular ones. Most importantly, keep portion control in mind. If you do indulge in some Thanksgiving treats, don’t overdo it. Moderation is key!

These alternatives to Thanksgiving dinner are great for anyone that can’t have the traditional dishes. If classic menu items like stuffing or pumpkin pie are dangerous for your health or go against your chosen diet, rest assured that there are options for you.

So, if you’re hosting the soiree, bring out your most fashionable serveware and impress your guests with your tasty alternatives. Eat as freely and as much as you want—and remember to enjoy the time with loved ones.

Four Winter Versions of Classic Cocktails Friends & Customers Will Love

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If your cocktail menu could use a refresher, try a seasonal theme. Keep people talking about your bar and drinks with these winter cocktails customers will love.

A fiery twist on an old-fashioned

The old-fashioned is having a trendy moment, so take advantage of the hype and put a modern twist on an old favorite. Without taking away your customer’s option of brandy or whiskey, recommend a base with a smoky flavor. Swap out the classic angostura bitters for cardamom bitters to tweak the taste and prepare for the pièce de résistance: a flaming orange peel.

Old-fashioneds typically feature an orange peel or cherry, but setting the peel aflame will add an inviting aroma and entice your customers. Just make sure you know how to serve the drink safely. Top it off with star anise for even more appeal!

A new adult hot chocolate

Your patrons will want to leave the kids at home for this hot chocolate run. For an added thrill, make this RumChata hot chocolate right in front of your customers! Bring mugs full of hot whole milk to the table, drop half a chocolate bar into each mug, and witness your customers’ amazement as the chocolate magically melts into the milk.

Stir until mixed well and finish with a shot of RumChata. Top the drink off with whipped cream and sprinkle of cinnamon on top! For extra taste, line the rims of your mugs with melted caramel before serving.

A seasonal shift for the classic mule

Moscow mule in cold mug
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The Moscow mule is a modern-day crowd-pleaser. Turn it up a notch for the winter and make an apple cider mule. The beauty of this drink is that it doesn’t require many changes to the original recipe.

Make a normal Moscow mule with vodka and ginger beer and simply add some sparkling apple cider. Top it off with an apple slice and a cinnamon stick in lieu of a stirrer. Try dipping part of your apple slice in caramel for some extra festive fun!

A versatile martini

Two things that people love are options and coffee. Capitalize on the coffee craze by introducing an espresso martini, served hot or cold. Simply mix vodka, coffee liqueur, espresso, a pinch of sugar, and an optional chocolate liqueur. If you’re serving it cold, mix the drink as you would any other martini.

If you’re serving it hot, mix it without ice and then heat it up. This gives customers more control over their cocktail and keeps things fun. Garnish the rim of the glass with sugar, and strategically place three coffee beans strategically top of the drink.

Six of the Best Vacations for Foodies in the World

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To pick the perfect vacation destination, you have to consider the food. The fun part about travelling is experiencing something new, and local or exotic cuisine provides one of the best ways to do just that.

Make the most of your next trip—and your next meal—with these best vacations for foodies:

1. New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans takes food to a new level with a rich culture and history all its own. From gumbo to beignets, there’s no end to the vibrant meals found in the French Quarter and beyond. If all the restaurants and food tours weren’t enough, there are also plenty of fun events to find within the city’s historic and jazzy atmosphere.

2. Italy

server preparing appetizer dish in Rome restaurant
Taken by J. Hild via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Everyone loves pizza and pasta. Go to where it all began with a visit to any of Italy’s gorgeous, food-famous cities—all of them among the best vacations for foodies. Book a wine tour through one of the beautiful vineyards, or take a cooking class to learn how to make delectable homemade pasta yourself.

Want an Italian dish that’s easy to make and a joy to eat? Try our cotoletta alla milanese recipe!

3. Chicago, Illinois

The Windy City is home to many unique takes on favorite dishes. Tackle a deep-dish pizza or loaded Chicago hot dogs, or treat yourself to other local favorites, such as Italian beef sandwiches. Between meals, enjoy a walk along Navy Pier or any of the other gorgeous sights Chicago has to offer.

4. Switzerland

For anyone who loves cheese and chocolate (and who doesn’t?), Switzerland is a must-see vacation spot. Visitors will find no end to the unique delicacies this country offers. Tour shops and factories, learn how to make your own cheese, or take the Chocolate Train from Montreux to get the most of everything in one day.

5. Colorado, United States

All the Rocky Mountain cities boast great food and an atmosphere for the adventurous traveler. Whether you want homely mountain town taverns or big city favorites, there’s always something new to try in Colorado. It’s also the perfect destination for beer-lovers, so make sure to try some craft brews while you’re in the area.

6. Bangkok, Thailand

food market at night in Thailand
Rod Fai Night market, Bangkok, Thailand. Taken by M. Kwak via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Discover what your favorite Thai food is like in its most authentic form. Bangkok offers exciting flavors and endless options. You’ll find restaurants boasting world-class chefs and street vendors selling mouth-watering quick meals. It’s a fast-paced, energizing destination, and it’s perfect for any foodie looking for the experience of a lifetime.

5 Tips on How to Make the Most Out of Your RV Kitchen Space

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Experiencing the change of the seasons in an RV combines the scenic beauty of the great outdoors with the comforts of modern amenities. Whether you’re an indoors or outdoors person, one thing you need to know is that you’re in for an amazing time no matter what. We’re here to help ensure that you have everything you need to hit the road and still have wonderful mealtimes.

Maui RV motorhome
Maui RV motorhome in New Zealand. Taken by H. Lu via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Here’s our list of essential tips for how to make the most out of your RV kitchen space:

1. Use RV-Safe Utensils

Your RV provides the comforts of home, but you’ll want to be sure you have the right utensils for your RV’s kitchen. When you’re prepping for your cookout, space is always a factor—find cooking tools such as a strainer or measuring cups that are collapsible and/or stackable. As you consider pots and pans, it’s very important that you don’t make the rookie mistake of just grabbing pots from your house. If you can, find pots and pans that work with both open-flame and induction stovetops.

2. Get Your Main Dish Cooking

What’s an RV cookout without grilling? Many people may think of an RV as simple living, but you can still create amazing meals that will have the entire campground wanting to stop by for a taste. Search the top brands in grilling to find the perfect travel-ready grill. Don’t let the size fool you—travel grills can handle charcoal, propane, liquid propane, and wood pellets. Just make sure to find the most versatile grill that meets your needs.

3. Unleash the Power of Multi-Cookers

Before throwing the meat on the grill, get all your side dishes going in a slow cooker or multi-cooker. The right multi-cooker can slow cook, deep-fry, steam, and bake. Grab a multi-cooker and let your inner chef’s imagination run wild.

4. Get Creative

Reduced kitchen space is an opportunity to let out your inner cooking MacGyver. Create recipe hacks to optimize recipes for your RV, or find cooking shortcuts to get the same gourmet taste in a more creative way. We’ll give you hint: food prep can save on time and space. Grab some storage bags, pre-shredded cheese, precut vegetables, and premixed spices, and let’s get cooking.

5. Disconnect, Connect, and Reconnect

The ability to enjoy a meal on the road with new friends is one of the many reasons to disconnect from your busy life and embark on a trip in your RV. Hitting the road presents an awesome opportunity to meet fellow RVers, and grilling in front of your RV will create memories that’ll last forever. Set up a properly shaded space to create the ideal area for cooking, eating, and enjoying your company.

Staying organized plays a huge part in making each meal its best. Always remember that making the meal is just a part of the process. The memories you create while eating meals with your family, friends, and loved ones will always be the best thing to make room for. Make sure to save room for the most important ingredient in every meal: love!

How Your Diet Affects Different Parts of Your Body

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You are what you eat. How many times have you heard someone say that? You’ve probably been warned from a young age about the different ways your diet affects your body.

At times, however, you may let these rules slide and need a refresher. Perhaps you’ve been relying on soft drinks to get you through the day, or maybe you foster other unhealthy habits to temporarily keep you going. It’s important that you listen to the voice in your head that reminds you to be careful of what you consume.

lots of vegetables veggies for diet
Taken by D. Gold via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

The list we provide below explains how your diet affects different parts of your body.

Your Muscles

Protein is essential for muscle growth, and you may begin to experience negative side effects without it. The longer you go without sufficient amounts of protein, the more muscle you’ll begin to lose, causing you to feel weak and fatigued. You also want to consume enough fat, as this can reduce the soreness you may feel after working out. Foods recommended for strong muscles include:

  • Skim milk
  • Almonds
  • Greek yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Soybeans
  • Shrimp

Your Bladder

Your diet can affect your bladder in several ways. Spicy and acidic foods can create irritation and even an overactive bladder in certain instances. Various types of food can also cause a heavy concentration of bacteria in your bladder. In the case of irritation, foods you should try include:

  • Pears
  • Broiled fish
  • Rice
  • Pears
  • Kale
  • Tofu

Your Weight

When trying to control or lose weight, you could consider adding more fiber into your diet. Fiber causes you to feel full faster, which in turn causes you to consume fewer unnecessary calories. Fiber also has an effect on the bacteria in your gut, which plays a role in controlling your belly fat. Foods that are good for maintaining weight include:

  • Oatmeal
  • Pistachios
  • Green tea
  • Coconut oil
  • Cabbage
  • Chicken breast
  • Apples
  • Peppers

Your Skin

It’s no secret that your diet greatly influences the appearance of your skin. If you’re experiencing blotchiness or inflammation, you may want to consider lowering your dairy intake. High amounts of sugar and alcohol can also have negative impacts. If you’re looking for food that will keep your skin clear and radiant, make sure your diet includes the following:

  • Avocados
  • Tomatoes
  • Soy
  • Dark chocolate
  • Red wine
  • Sunflower seeds

Your Heart

Your heart is one of the most important parts of your body, and you want to guard it well. In order to ensure optimal performance, avoid processed foods such as frozen meals, packaged desserts, and white bread. Another way to care for your heart is to decrease the level of sodium in your diet.

Food that can help your heart includes:

  • Salmon
  • Blueberries
  • Black beans
  • Walnuts
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Yams

Conclusion

The importance of your diet to your body and health is an entire iceberg that cannot be wholly explored in a mere few paragraphs. The foods we’ve listed, when thoughtfully paired together, can go a long way in improving your well-being.

This list is a good place to start, but you can take your efforts for a healthy lifestyle even further than that. In order to work toward becoming your best self, consult a nutritionist for a plan customized according to your personal needs.

Safe and Savory: The Importance of Food Safety in Restaurants

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There are many important factors a restaurant owner must keep in mind when they operate their business.

Perhaps the most important consideration for restaurateurs, however, is the customer’s health and safety. Maintaining a positive health inspection rating and ensuring the continued safety of all diners is of the utmost importance in every restaurant.

chef preparing food safely in restaurant
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The importance of food safety in restaurants is crucial to the success of the business, and restaurateurs should put meticulous measures in place to ensure the continued health and safety of their staff and diners.

First, restaurant owners should ensure their employees are all trained on proper food safety. Chefs, servers, and front of house employees should all possess a thorough understanding of cleanliness protocols and contamination hazards.

Food poisoning and illness, usually the result of hazardous or contaminated food products, are among the biggest concerns regarding food preparation. Even small amounts of cross-contamination can cause an allergic reaction or a serious illness for diners.

If you ensure all your staff undergoes thorough food safety and hygiene training, it will greatly reduce the potential for improper food handling and will reduce contamination risks.

To guarantee a proper understanding of the importance of food safety in restaurants, and to ensure the restaurant complies with proper food safety guidelines, restaurant owners should conduct regular inspections with a health inspector. These inspections assess the restaurant’s health and cleanliness. Ensuring food is stored at a safe temperature, cooked and handled properly, and purchased from a safe and reliable source are all factors that may contribute to a restaurant’s overall health and safety rating.

There are also measures in place to ensure the health and safety of food products before they even reach the restaurant. Advancements in chemistry processes and technologies now allow scientists to better monitor food safety and create an added level of control in food production.

Using automated liquid handling equipment, laboratory technicians can detect trace elements of allergens and pathogens within a given food sample. Through liquid-liquid and solid-phase extraction, this equipment can also identify and isolate any chemicals or pesticides present within a food sample.

This process, when automated, allows lab technicians to increase throughput and mitigate variability and human error, which can effectively reduce E. coli or salmonella outbreak risks in restaurants across the country.

9 Authentic Mexican Dishes to Try in Mexico

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You’ll find a lot of reasons to visit the beautiful country of Mexico: breathtaking beaches, extraordinary archaeological sites, and, of course, the incredible cuisine.

Tasting the country’s vibrant flavors and unique dishes is one of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in the rich and lively culture. From stuffed chiles to spicy sandwiches, the vibrant country offers more than just tacos to titillate your taste buds.

If you’re planning a trip south of the border, keep an eye out for these authentic Mexican dishes to try in Mexico:

1. Pozole

Pozole translates to “hominy,” the dish’s main ingredient, which is produced from dried, alkali-treated corn kernels. This traditional Mexican soup also includes meat such as chicken or pork, as well as an ample amount of herbs and spices. After stewing for hours or overnight, the soup is then topped with lettuce, lime, chili, and radish.

2. Sope

Originating in the central and southern parts of Mexico, sope is essentially a very thick tortilla topped with a variety of toppings such as refried beans, chicken, avocado, lettuce, salsa, and cheese. The base of the dish is made from a fist-sized circle of fried masa that’s pinched around the sides.

3. Chiles Rellenos

Translating to “stuffed chiles,” chiles rellenos is a flavorful Mexican dish consisting of a poblano pepper that has been roasted, stuffed, and finally fried. After stuffing the pepper with fillings such as picadillo, melted cheese, vegetables, and nuts, the chef then dips the pepper in an egg white batter, deep-fries it, and serves it in a tomato sauce.

4. Enchiladas

Dating back to the Mayan times, enchiladas have been enjoyed for thousands of years. This timeless dish is composed of a corn or flour tortilla filled with meat, cheese, beans, seafood, or vegetables and then covered in chili pepper sauce. If you don’t enjoy spicy food, you might want to steer clear of this authentic Mexican dish.

5. Pambazo

pambazos cooking Mexico City authentic
Cooking pambazos at a street stand in the historic center of Mexico City. Taken by Wikimedia Commons user A L Garcia . [CC BY-SA 2.0].

This Mexican sandwich is a street food favorite. The name pambazo refers to the chewy white bread that’s dunked in a red guajillo pepper sauce before being stuffed with shredded beef or pork, fried beans and potatoes, lettuce, and cheese.

6. Tinga

If you like tacos, you’ll love tinga. This dish is composed of shredded chicken or beef, sliced onions, and a tomato chipotle sauce. The spicy concoction is often served as a taco filling or a tostada topping. It can be topped with shredded lettuce, cheese, salsa, and avocado slices.

7. Menudo

More adventurous eaters will enjoy trying menudo, a traditional Mexican soup made from cow’s stomach in a spicy red chili pepper-based broth. The soup is often seasoned with lime, hominy, onions, and oregano.

8. Gorditas

Literally meaning “chubby girl,” a gordita is a type of savory pastry. Composed of a thick tortilla made from corn masa, it’s stuffed with a savory meat stew and salsa. Other potential fillings include cheese, vegetables, eggs, and beans. You can commonly find this dish in markets, in street fairs, and at street stands—basically anywhere you go.

9. Birria

Birria originated in the Mexican state of Jalisco. Similar to pozole and menudo, this stew gets its spicy flavor from dried chili peppers, and it’s traditionally made with goat or mutton. At many restaurants, birria is commonly made with a combination of meats, including beef and chicken.