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Food in the news: Kitchen magic?

Hot is healthy

Chili may be a health food.

Chili may be a health food.

So we’re a little behind in telling you about this, but there is now one appliance that will weigh, cook, stir, whip, chop and knead.

And it’s not your personal chef.

It’s the Thermomix, a German wonder tool that’s so hot, there’s a waiting list to get one. But you can order it on Amazon, if you have about $1,800.

Miracles don’t come cheap.

Vorwerk in Germany is working its staff around the clock to keep up with demand, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, and adding employees at another site.

Coin-shaped memory chips hold digital recipe collections. Cooking time and temperature are preset — all you do is add ingredients. And, there’s an app for that.

It replaces your blender, food processor, steam cooker, food mill and scales. It may not be able to bake rolls, but it can grind the flour for the rolls. It boils rice while steaming a meat and vegetable.

What can’t it do? Slice or fry. But wait! KitchenAid is working on a Cook Processor that will reach a high enough temperature to fry.

With this and 3-D printing, can we be far from the Jetson’s kitchen? Or Star Trek’s replicator?

Eat to help the hungry

IHOP restaurants has joined forces with No Kid Hungry to bring an end to childhood hunger. IHOP and No Kid Hungry share the philosophy that starting the day with breakfast, and a smile, is extremely important, and have targeted a goal of providing 2.5 million meals this year.

No Kid Hungry’s mission is to ensure that every child in the United States has access to healthy food. IHOP is joining that effort by offering guests the opportunity to donate directly to No Kid Hungry, Aug. 24 through Sept. 20

On Aug. 25, participating IHOP restaurants will offer short stacks of  buttermilk pancakes for only $1 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Dubbed “Share a Smile” Day, 50 cents from each $1 short stack sale will benefit No Kid Hungry.

The IHOP-No Kid Hungry promotion will continue into September, helping kick off No Kid Hungry Month and the Dine Out for No Kid Hungry program where brands nationwide help raise funds to end childhood hunger.

Spicy foods are good for you

Pass the sriracha, and hand over the habanero.

Research in China, a source of seriously spicy foods, suggests people who ate spicy food once or twice a week had a 10 percent lower rick of death than those who did not. And eating spicy 3-7 times a week produced a 14 percent lower risk.

Specifically, the study found a lowered risk of death from cancer, ischamic heart and respiratory system diseases. Researchers als found fresh chili pepper was more effective that dried chili, sauce or oil.

Our old friend capsaicin may be the key. It’s already been found to be effective for anti-obesity, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-hypertensive effects. And it may help with an anti-microbial function that can impact the bacteria in your gut to increase longevity.

More research is needed, but as one researcher told the Washington Post, “the debate and the research interest are certainly hotting up.”

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