Ripe Bites: July food news and products

Staff Writer
Baystateparent Magazine

Smart Snacking In a Small Size

Dietitian-created Zing Bars recently debuted a smaller sibling, the mini Zing, a 100-calorie bar packed with nutrient-dense, clean ingredients for on-the-go smart family snacking.

Zing Bars have a nut or seed butter base and contain real dark chocolate. The new mini bars have between 90 and 110 calories each and come in six flavors, from Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip to Oatmeal Chocolate Chip. Gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO, kosher, and with nine vegan options, Zing Bars are also low-glycemic and contain fiber from chicory or tapioca root. Mini Zing Bars cost $1.29 each and can be purchased online or at local stores. A store locator can be found at

FDA Approves New Food Labels

The FDA recently finalized the new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods to reflect new scientific inf

ormation, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. The agency says the new label will make it easier for consumers to make better-informed food choices. Check out the new label:

Olive Oil: APowerful Household Cleaner


There’s nothing as good as “EVOO” (as Rachel Ray calls it) and fresh Italian bread.

But did you realize that olive oil is more than just a great dipping oil? It’s also a wonderful cleaner. Its uses around the house are amazing.

See how it can help you all around your home:

• Olive oil is great for cleaning and polishing your stainless steel appliances. Olive oil removes fingerprints and keeps the stainless looking perfect. You’re wondering why you would put oil on your stainless steel? Oil actually respells the oils on your hands so that you don’t get those fingerprint marks all over your appliance. It also seals the stainless steel so that it doesn’t oxidize. Oxidizing is another reason why your fingers leave marks on stainless steel.

• Olive oil is also great for polishing dry wood furniture. Mix a touch of lemon juice with a tablespoon of mayonnaise and a tablespoon of olive oil and it will cut through any built-up polish and leave the wood looking wonderful. This works better than any furniture restorer you can purchase.

• You can also use olive oil on leather. Put a very light coat on the leather, let it sit for a minute, and wipe it off with a microfiber cloth. The oil will fill in any scratches you may have in the leather and keep it soft and moist.

• Use olive oil to season your cast iron pans. A light coating before putting the pan away will keep the cast iron from rusting and it will be ready for its next use.

• Olive oil is great to use on dry wicker or rattan furniture. If the furniture is in the sun, coat it with olive oil and let it sink in. Wipe away the excess with a dry rag. Do this monthly to keep the wicker soft and prevent it from becoming brittle and breaking. 

• Olive oil is great for removing paint on your hands. The oil actually gets under the paint and lifts it off your skin without using harsh chemicals. You can also use olive oil on a regular basis to keep your hands soft and smooth.

• Have a squeaky door or a difficult drawer? Use a touch of olive oil on both to remove the squeak and get that drawer working perfectly. The oil will remove built-up dirt and let the joints work again.

• Remove a price tag easily. Olive oil is the perfect remedy for those sticky price tags that just won’t come off. Just a drop or two of the oil will work its way through the sticker and let you wipe it right off — naturally.

Grow Your Own Pizza Garden

— With an App

Scotts Miracle Gro has released the Gro app (, which offers step-by-step instructions to make planting/gardening super simple. 

It offers fun family projects like the “pizza garden,” in which it shows kids and parents how to plant and grow everything needed to make pizza; a similar “salsa garden”; and more. 

Based on your location, the app will also tell you what will grow best in your area and when to water or feed your plants. The app works on iOS devices and is free via the App Store.

A Sweet Bug Juice Recipe

Our friends at reCAP, the Mason jar company (, are always coming up with amazing new uses for the glass powerhouse. Check out this fun take on the summer classic beverage.


• 1 64 oz. bottle apple juice

• Several boxes Nerds candy 

(Grape and Strawberry work best)

• Prepared Green Jell-O

(Lemon-Lime flavor)

• Ice


• In a 1/2 gallon Mason jar, add 2 cups cubed green gelatin and 2 cups ice. 

• Sprinkle 2-3 small boxes of candy over the ice. Modify quantities according to taste. 

• Pour apple juice over the ice mixture and serve in Mason jars with straws.