Ideas, Intelligence, Events and Promotions from WIRED

Solar Sun Stove, for Eco-Friendly Cooking in the Wild

Photo via Uncrate

We’re all for camping, but one thing’s for sure: As with all adventures in life, the food had better be great. But that’s easier said than done, right?

The GoSun Solar Stove certainly can’t guarantee the food will be good (sorry, chefs, that’s on you), but at least it’ll make cooking it a tiny bit easier. As Uncrate explains, this portable stove weighs in at just 7 pounds so it’s easy to schlep in and out of the woods, and uses an all-natural process to harness sunlight and turn it into cooking heat.  The structure uses an evacuated glass tube as a cooking chamber with a stainless steel cooking tray inside, and converts as much as 80% of sunlight into food-cooking, 550-degree power.

Now there’s no excuse for crappy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches under the stars. Sorry, dad. 

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|  October 17th, 2014

This Waffle Iron Lets Even the Most Artistically Challenged Make Waffle Art

Image via Food Beast

Pancakes usually get all the glory – it’s far less often that someone makes Mickey Mouse waffles, and with just a few aptly-placed berries, pancakes can turn into kid-friendly smiley faces in no time. But one Quirky product is aiming to change all that.

The Pixel Waffle Maker is a 9x9 stainless steal iron that helps even the most artistically challenged make beautiful waffle art with very little sweat. Just rearrange the silicon squares in the fitted tray by pushing some down and pulling some up, pour the waffle mix on top and your waffles will be printed with beautiful shapes in no time.

 Before kids, it’s the perfect way to create phallic edibles. After kids, be the favorite parent by making them snowman waffles. Either way, it’s a win-win.

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|  October 17th, 2014

Simply Delicious Fruit Snacks

Image via BARE

Finding high quality snacks that are ideal for taking with you on-the-go is a difficult task: snack aisles of the grocery store are chock full of “healthful” eats that are anything but, and the word “organic” is tossed around so much that it’s nearly lost its meaning. There are some brands, though, that you know you’ll be able to rely on for yummy, pure eats, and BARE is one of them.

Founded in 2001 in Washington State, BARE, and its cornerstone brand Barefruit, pride themselves on producing a baked snack from real fruit. Even better, they’re non-GMO Product Certified, free of refined sugar and preservatives and, oftentimes, vegan. Products include natural apple chips in a variety of flavors (if they can make sea salt-caramel chips healthful, we’re on board) as well as toasted coconut chips and dried fruit mango chunks. And since they’re sold in stores like Whole Foods and Costco, you won’t have to go on a mission to find them.

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|  October 10th, 2014

The Most Adorable Self-Contained Ecosystem

image

Photo via Kickstarter

Not all of us have the space for the kitchen of our dreams (vertical or otherwise). But a tiny kitchen shouldn’t stand in the way of growing our own produce and herbs, am I right?

Meet the AquaSprouts Aquarium Aquaponic Garden, an adorably compact “ecosystem” that is powered by fish waste. It’s not as gross as it sounds. The concept is simple – users simply feed the fish in the small fish tank, and those fish then produce waste, which fertilizes the miniature garden via a powerful water pump. Before you know it, boom, delicious basil for you to toss into your cooking.

As cNet explains, he AquaSprouts Aquarium is currently raising money through a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of $119 will earn you a discounted kit sans aquarium, while supports to pledge $139 or more will get a 10-gallon aquarium included in their purchase. 

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|  October 10th, 2014

Cold Brew Coffee’s World Takeover

imagePhoto via OXO

Cold brew coffee is the new rage, and for good reason: while it may take a bit longer, when you brew with cold water (as opposed to the standard that we’re all used to: hot water), less acid is removed, leaving more flavors for our taste buds to enjoy.

There are a number of cold brew machines and gadgets popping up on the market, but the OXO’s Cold Brew Coffee Maker is up there on our list because of its bare-bones simplicity. This brewer comes with a glass carafe (don’t worry, it’s strong enough to withstand cracking even if your coffee is super hot or super cold) and automatically shuts off when you remove the carafe, so you’ll avoid that dreaded accidental drip-spillage (we’ve all been there).

Already bored by basic cold brew? No problem. Grubstreet has also discovered a new LA-based company called Fliquor Bean that is set to release its instant Irish coffee maker, pending federal approval. This nifty cold-brew machine uses 90-proof whiskey instead of water, making coffee a totally sophisticated way to get hammered in the morning. 

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|  October 3rd, 2014

Raw Juice Robot!

Photo via The Daily Meal

If you’ve hopped on the organic juicing bandwagon (no judgment, that stuff is healthy!), you know the feeling of regret. You’re out with some friends, you’re dying for that last green juice sitting in your fridge at home, and you know that you won’t get back to your place anytime soon. What’s a nutritionally conscious, super busy man or woman to do? 

Introducing the Raw Juice Bot, a new gadget open for crowding on Kickstarter. The healthful vending machine will stockpile greens, roots, seasonal fruits and vegetables, and citrus fruits in its compartments, and create a customized drink based on user selection. It’ll then dispense the antioxidant-charged beverage with a minimal shelf life (the sign of any good organic juice press) for you to enjoy on the go. It’s a lot cooler than carrying around a Magic Bullet in your bag, we can promise you that.

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|  September 26th, 2014

The Pocket-Sized Sommelier You’ve Always Dreamed Of

Photo via Eater

There’s been a huge barrage of digital sommeliers hitting the app marketing lately, from WineGlass to Tipsi,  and now it’s easier than ever to find a way to navigate that seemingly intimidating wine list on an important first date. But, in case you haven’t found one you like yet, here’s another one to take for a test spin.

Meet WhatWine, one of the newest additions to the pocket-sized wine encyclopedia game. This app uses a technology (which we like to envision as a tiny robot that reads really, really fast) that scans any given restaurant’s wine list and then makes a vino selection for you based on your order. So yes, it takes a little bit of user engagement, but it’ll be worth it when WhatWine’s tiny robot delivers you that perfectly heavy chardonnay to pair with the duck and the fish. 

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|  September 26th, 2014

The Gadget All Home-Brewers Must Have

Image via Uncrate

So you love brewing your own beer at home, but hate how much time (and, more importantly, attention) it takes, right? Meet BeerBug, your new best friend.

This WiFi-enabled gadget lets you monitor your concoction from the web browser of any computer hooked up to the Internet or your smart phone. It measures the important things – like gravity, temperature and, of course, alcohol content, and has a rechargeable battery that lasts nearly a month, so your batch won’t go bad while you’re on vacation.

Another option, of course, is just buying your beer – but where’s the fun in that? 

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|  September 19th, 2014

These Chopsticks Can Stave Off Food Poisoning

Photo via Food Beast

Chopsticks are one of the oldest, most traditional ways to eat food. But, these chopsticks are neither old nor traditional, and are majorly upping the bar for utensils everywhere. 

According to FoodBeast, these chopsticks are Bluetooth-enabled, therefore offering the ability to communicate with your smart phone, and they can read the PH levels, temperature and contaminated oils in any given food, giving you advance notice before you consume tainted cuisine – you know, before you discover it three days later, in the bathroom. Unfortunately, as of now, it’s still not clear if they’re available for purchase.

Here’s a demonstration video (but, by the way, it’s in Japanese. Watch only if you’re a visual learner). 

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|  September 19th, 2014

Watch the Video that Explains How Decaf Coffee is Made

imageImage via Eater

Craig Benzine of Mental Floss has created a video to explain to the layman exactly how decaf coffee is made (though, as he points out, it’s important to note that coffee is rarely entirely decaffeinated – there are a handful of milligrams of caffeine, ranging from 8.6 to 13.9, to be exact, in 9 out of every 10 cups of “decaf” coffee. In other words, only 94% – 98% of caffeine is generally removed from the beans – but don’t worry, we’ve all been living the same lie).

Putting that injustice aside, let’s get down to the science. Basically, the process involves taking the green bean (no, not that green bean – he’s talking about the coffee beans before they’re ripe), steaming or soaking them in water, and then getting down to the decaffeination.

There a few methods the totally hilarious Benzine explains, one of which involves trapping the beans in a pressurized container with some good old fashion carbon dioxide, the agent that will proceed to remove the caffeine, and subsequently be separated from the beans.

For more details on the other “solvents” used to remove caffeine, watch the video here.

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|  September 19th, 2014