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Shelf Life

New, noteworthy food products

Quick-freeze solution

By Judy Hevrdejs, Tribune Newspapers

June 26, 2013

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Quick-freeze solution
Mix up slushies with the Zoku Slush and Shake Maker. Set the inner core upright in a freezer (one that chills at 0-degrees Fahrenheit) for six to 18 hours, then slip it into its outer sleeve, pour in chilled liquids (sweet coffee, chocolate milk, juice) and add elbow grease plus Zoku's plastic spoon to scrape down the cup's walls. After seven minutes (perhaps an eternity for kids), you've got a slushy refresher. A caveat: Artificially sweetened beverages don't work well. The three-piece set (inner core, sleeve, spoon), is BPA- and phthalate-free and comes in several colors. $19.95, williams-sonoma.com.

A twist on hummus
Hummus, that garbanzo-based dip, gets a makeover from the Eat Well Enjoy Life team. They substitute white beans, black beans, lentils or edamame for the classic garbanzo. Most come with a savory topping. Roasted pine nuts and herbs top a white bean "hummus," for example (it's delicious), while sunflower seeds and apricot finish spicy yellow lentils. There are three edamame versions; our favorite has a red pepper and toasted sesame topping. Suggested retail price for a 10-ounce container is $4.99. Store locater: eatwell-enjoylife.com.

Alternative crunches
Add a baked, gluten-free Van's Whole Grain Cracker to your party-planning list this summer. There are a trio of flavors to choose from, each based on a blend of gluten-free oats, brown rice, millet, quinoa and amaranth: Multigrain and our two favorites, Lots of Everything! (with sesame, poppy and caraway seeds plus dried onion and garlic) and Say Cheese! (it's got a nice cheddar tang). A 5-ounce box has a suggested retail price of $2.99. Store locater: vansfoods.com.

jhevrdejs@tribune.com