You went to the farmers market and brought home a colorful riot of summer’s best organic, non-GMO produce: Berries, melons, peaches and plums, tomatoes, corn, summer squash, leafy greens and herbs. Or perhaps you opened the box from your CSA to find a brilliant array of fruits and vegetables you’ve never seen before. The Internet is teeming with recipes for how to prepare them, but how do you store these summer gems? Here’s how to keep the season’s best herbs, fruits and vegetables at their peak as long as possible. Continue reading
Smoothies made with organic, quality ingredients are easy to prepare. Armed with a blender and a little imagination, it’s easy to create your own drink out of the ingredient options here, or try the Blueberry Bliss recipe below.
Thick, fruity drinks made from (ideally) organic, local and fresh—or frozen—fruits blended together with filtered water, coconut water or milk, organic milk or other unsweetened alternative milks like almond, hemp or oat
Organic yogurt, avocado, or bananas blended with fresh or frozen fruit and a little water, milk or unsweetened non-dairy milk
Fresh fruit with dark, leafy greens and water or a little fresh juice
Ripe local fruit
Choose sweet-smelling, unbruised fruit; peaches and other stone fruit should yield slightly to the thumb.
In a pinch, choose from the organic frozen fruit at the supermarket; look for strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, açai, mango, coconut meat or peaches.
Grab a small bunch of kale, chard, collard or spinach leaves and let the blender whirl away. You’ll get an extra shot of nutrients with a gorgeous, chlorophyll-green hue.
For an extra boost, try adding a scoop of organic raw cacao, goji berries, maca powder, a little extra virgin coconut oil, almond butter, spirulina, blue-green algae, bee pollen, aloe vera or hemp, flax or chia seeds. Half an avocado provides creaminess and extra potassium.
Thick or thin
Add more or less filtered water, coconut water, milk or yogurt to taste.
Ice is nice
Add ice cubes for a lighter, frosty treat.
Smoothie extra credit
Make popsicles from your smoothie creations. Learn more about healthy frozen treats and find a recipe for Strawberry-Watermelon Paletas here.
Take it to go
Freshly made smoothies are best, but can also be stored in the fridge for up to three days in a sealed container. Bring a smoothie in a travel mug for a healthy mid-morning snack or quick pick-me-up.
1 banana, peeled, broken into two pieces
½ c. organic blueberries
½ c. young coconut meat or ½ c. organic blackberries
2 ice cubes
1 tsp. maca powder
1 scoop protein powder (optional)
water or coconut water to thin
Combine all ingredients in blender. Process on high until smooth.
Image courtesy of Dale Gillard
Strawberries are bursting out of their baskets at farmers markets right now, and what better way to enjoy this vitamin C-packed member of the rose family than with recipes that celebrate their spring-summer sweetness and cheerful red pop? Continue reading
Glowing skin is anything but skin deep: the epidermis is often the visible scorecard for how well we eat. Look for these go-to beauty foods at your local farmers’ market or health food store, and start noshing your way to luminous skin and glowing inner health:
1. Berries. As rich sources of antioxidants, berries help protect your skin’s collagen from free radical damage (think: wrinkles) caused by too much stress, sun and pollutants.
2. Dark leafy greens. Kale, collards, chard, spinach, arugula, watercress, parsley, and wheat and barley grasses are all rich in chlorophyll, a pigment that catches the sun’s energy and emanates its radiant benefits to you.
3. Radishes. This humble root might hold the triple crown of glowing skin: vitamin C, sulfur and silicon, which all support collagen production and help keep skin moist and elastic.
4. Dark chocolate and raw cacao. The super dose of antioxidants in high-quality, organic, raw chocolate and 70% dark chocolate can help increase hydration, improve blood flow, enhance skin texture and cell renewal. Cacao has a high concentration of sulfur, known to promote beautiful skin.
5. Flax, hemp and chia seeds. These beautifying seeds are rich sources of ALA (alpha-linoleic acid) omega-3 fatty acids. High levels of ALA can help prevent wrinkles and protect against sun damage, resulting in youthful, nourished skin that glows.
6. Olive oil. Organic, cold-pressed olive oil is rich in vitamin E and fatty acids, which can help keep skin looking soft, smooth and radiant.
Lastly: Dry, rough and dull skin can be a sign of dehydration. Ensure your body is hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Photo by Yogendra Joshi
Sprouting: It’s not just for hippies and raw foodists anymore. Walk through your local farmers market or flip through a recent issue of your favorite cooking magazine: You’ll see a lot more than scrawny alfalfa sprouts layered in soggy veggie sandwiches. Today, home cooks and professional chefs alike are composing eye catching and palate pleasing dishes featuring these highly nutritious tiny shoots, sprung from an array of nuts, beans and grains.*
Growing your own sprouts is an easy, sustainable and economical way to enjoy these nutritional powerhouses. They’re full of concentrated vitamins, minerals, enzymes, trace elements, amino acids and proteins; organic sprouted seeds are often easy to digest and can be grown in the kitchen all year. It’s hard to get more local than that! Continue reading
In most cultures and spiritual traditions, spring is a time of rebirth, renewal and purification; it’s no surprise that farmers markets across the country are suddenly bursting with artichokes, asparagus, arugula, watercress and spring onions. All these vegetables cleanse and prepare our bodies for warmer temperatures. If you are curious about seasonal eating, visit your local farmers market and check out the abundant displays of organic green produce. Continue reading
In honor of Earth Day, I’ve put together some earth-friendly cooking tips. From the farmers market to the stove’s flame, the following tips are not only better for the environment but will make your cooking more delicious, cost-effective and healthier. Happy Earth Day!
Tip 1: Buy Local and Organic Food as Much as Possible
Locally grown, organic ingredients are a result of sustainable agriculture, have a smaller carbon footprint and support the local economy. Many farmers markets sell fresh local produce, grains, meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, eggs, honey, and even cut flowers and jams. Consider joining a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, which offers harvest-fresh local produce from your area. Continue reading
Passover starts Friday evening at sunset; to celebrate the Jews’ exodus from slavery, I’ve included links to my favorite charoset recipes with tips to make them more delicious by using healthful ingredients.
Charoset symbolizes the mortar created by the Israelites while they were slaves in Egypt. It’s the only sweet dish on the seder plate and is often bound with Kosher wine; some families enjoy a traditional Eastern European Ashkenazi mixture of apples and walnuts, while Sephardic Jews — with roots in the Mediterranean — favor a purée of dried figs, dates, pistachios and aromatic spices.
Traditionally charoset is slathered on matzoh with bitter herbs and horseradish or formed into small spheres, depending on a family’s heritage. Either way, it is passed around the table during the seder and is an integral part of the Passover feast.
I’ve put together a vegetarian Easter menu to please herbivores and meat-eaters alike, packed with nutritious ingredients like spring peas, asparagus, fresh herbs, squash, sweet potatoes, flavored-packed farro and spelt, and organic dark chocolate. Fiber-rich plant-based dishes help you feel full and provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals to help offset the negative effects of too many sugary treats from Easter morning. For healthy vegetarian menu tips, read on. Continue reading
To celebrate Passover, I’m making Marcy Goldman’s Whole-Grain Matzoh Recipe, which I found via Food & Wine. I love that the recipe features spelt, oat and whole wheat flours. You may have noticed that I often recommend using spelt flour in place of all-purpose flour — that’s because unlike other grains, even conventionally grown spelt is not commonly sprayed with pesticides or other synthetic chemicals. (As an added bonus, those with wheat allergies often tolerate immune-strengthening spelt.) Goldman’s recipe does also call for a cup of all-purpose flour, which I’d recommend replacing with — you guessed it! — additional spelt flour.
If making matzoh from scratch is a bit too ambitious for you this year, I’ve also rounded up the healthiest brands of matzoh available from websites and grocery stores around the country. Continue reading