Ripe Bites: August food news and products

Staff Writer
Baystateparent Magazine

A Nutty New Snack To Go

New snack packs from Justin’s can send kids back to school (or parents to work) with a portable, easy way to enjoy the company’s famous nut butters. Justin’s Snack Packs come in three varieties: Chocolate Hazelnut Butter and Pretzels; Classic Almond Butter and Pretzels; and Maple Almond Butter and Pretzels.

Snack packs retail for $1.99 and can be found on local grocery store shelves and online (

Protect Drinks onthe Go With Great Coaster

Uneven sand at the beach or ground at a picnic can quickly result in an empty drink. With its wide base and three prongs, Great Coaster can balance safely on or dig into unstable ground, providing a snug, safe, level surface for your can, bottle, water bottle, or juice box. Not thirsty? The coaster’s well can also house snacks, keeping them within arm’s reach and off the ground. Available at Amazon, Great Coaster comes in a variety of colors and retails at $12 for a set of six.

Report Names America’s Best Fast-Food Restaurant

The annual American Customer Satisfaction Index Restaurant Report is out, with Chick-fil-A retaining the top spot as the country’s favorite fast-food restaurant, scoring 87 points out of 100. Pizza chain Papa John’s came in a distant second with 82 points.

Other chains in the Top 10 include:

• Little Caesars Pizza, 81

Panera Bread, 81

• Arby’s, 80

• Dunkin’ Donuts, 80

• Subway, 80

• Chipotle Mexican Grill, 78

The chain scoring the lowest? McDonalds, with 69 points. The survey was based on responses from 4,700 diners polled nationwide in March. The entire report can be viewed at

Try a Refreshing New Summer Salad

The Mason jar mavens at reCAP ( share this fresh seasonal salad recipe: Summertime Happiness Salad featuring Grapefruit Ginger Dressing.


1/4 cup light oil (sunflower, canola, or olive)

Juice from 1/2 ruby red grapefruit, freshly squeezed

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper 1/2 to 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger

1 tsp. honey 


Into a half-pint Mason jar, add all ingredients except for the grapefruit juice. Squeeze most of the juice from the half grapefruit through a sieve into the jar. 

Screw on The Original reCAP Mason Jars pour cap – shake vigorously for a couple minutes or until well incorporated. Serve as a salad dressing or use as a marinade for fish, chicken, beef, or vegetables. 

On a bed of baby spinach (or your choice of fresh greens), add sliced strawberries; sunflower seeds or thinly sliced roasted almonds; thinly sliced shallot (optional); and feta cheese or small dollops of goat cheese. Shake, pour on Grapefruit Ginger dressing, and enjoy.

How to Manage the Dog Days of Summer Shedding


Who doesn’t love the warm, beautiful weather in the middle of summer? We love wearing our sleeveless shirts, shorts, and sandals. But how would you like to be enjoying this weather while wearing a fur coat? Dogs have two different coats of fur. The top coat protects the dog from dirt and water, while the undercoat insulates them. But no one – even your dog – wants to be wearing an insulated coat on a hot day. A dog’s body realizes that it doesn’t need that extra fur and the dog starts shedding. It’s amazing how much fur just seems to fall out. Here are some tips to help you battle the buildup of fur in your home.

Vacuum more often – Once a week in the wintertime may be enough to keep their fur under control, but in the summertime you need to vacuum much more often. Use a canister vacuum with a soft horsehair brush for hardwood floors. For carpets, you need a very aggressive power brush to pick up all the hair.

Try the “rubber glove trick” – It’s very difficult to get pet hair off carpeted stairs – unless you use the rubber glove trick. Take a rubber glove (one you would usually use for washing dishes) and while wearing it, rub it over any fur on the stairs. The glove will create static electricity and pull fur off the carpet. This trick also works for runners and small carpets around your home.

Use a lint roller – Pet fur can get into places that make it really hard to remove. Use a lint roller on those areas and you will be amazed at how easily it comes off. You can use the lint roller on lamp shades and furniture so you don’t damage those items.

No more “sticky” fur – Sometimes it seems the dog hair is glued to the fabric of your favorite chair. Actually it is stuck on with static. You can reverse this by spraying a little fabric softener to the chair and then wiping with a damp microfiber cloth.  

Quick fix – Having company and you need to get hair off the furniture? Make your own version of a dryer sheet by using a coffee filter and lightly spraying it with olive oil. Work the oil into the paper of the filter – it won’t leave an oil spot on the fabric – then wipe the fur off with the treated coffee filter.

A New App For Food Allergy Families

A new app has been released to help parents better manage the care of food-allergic children. Via AllerPal (, parents can easily enter information from the care plan created by their child’s pediatrician or allergist, and send it to any caregivers in their child’s life, including babysitters, coaches, neighbors, family, and friends. Caregivers receive an email notification, download the app, and can access the shared plans, meaning the child’s information is always on a caregiver’s phone and is only a click away.

 AllerPal is available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play. Parents can download the app free and create a food allergy care plan for their children. Parents can upgrade for $5.99, which allows them to share their children’s plans with as many caregivers as they like. The app is free for caregivers to download and access.