Tag Archives | organic food

6 Ways to Get the Most Out of Organic Stone Fruit While It’s in Season

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It’s stone fruit season! Wondering what stone fruit is? Stone fruit is any type of fruit that has a single seed or pit – for example; apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, and cherries. Any time a particular type of fruit is in season, it’s a great idea to buy in bulk and stock up. There are several great ways that you can get the most out of the stone fruit that you purchase. It just takes a little creativity and a few different ways to preserve the stone fruit and you can enjoy it all year long. Read on for my 6 favorites ways to get the most out of these sweet fruits.

#1: Bag It!
We recently purchased a large quantity of organic stone fruit – however, there were several pieces that were not ripe. To ripen them up quickly so that we could use them, we put them in a paper bag for a couple of days. Works like a charm.

#2: Grill It!
It’s grilling season too and a fantastic way to enjoy stone fruit is fresh off the grill. Peaches grilled quickly on each side and then topped with organic vanilla ice cream is an amazing fall treat. You won’t be disappointed and it is a super fun dessert for those get-togethers.

#3: Add It!
Stone fruit isn’t only good on it’s own, or as a dessert – it tastes amazing when added to the main course. I like to add cut up stone fruit to salads, salsas, and side dishes during the summertime. It’s adds a ton of flavor and a pop of color to our meals. The possibilities are endless!

#4: Can It!
While purchasing stone fruit in a large quantity while it is in season is a great idea, what if you can’t use it all before it spoils? Can it! Stone fruits can be used in jams, syrups and salsas, so why not get to cooking and preserve some of that sweetness for later in the year. Can you image a yummy stone fruit syrup, salsa or jam during fall, winter and spring?

#5: Dry It!
Who doesn’t love dried fruit? What could be better than dried peaches or apricots. You can either dry the fruit in the oven at 200° F for three hours or use a food dehydrator to get the job done. Dried fruit lasts a long time and will be perfect as a lunch box snack during the school year.

#6: Freeze It!
Whatever stone fruit you have leftover should be frozen before it spoils. Frozen stone fruit is amazing in smoothies and desserts, just remove the amount that you need from the freezer and enjoy!

Get Thermos Happy: New School Hot Lunch Ideas!

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If you have one or more kiddos in school that depend on you for their lunch everyday, step up your game and introduce new hot and healthy meals into your child’s lunch routine. The perfect way to do this is by investing in a good thermos that will fit in your child’s lunchbox. Of course, the options for thermos designs and colors are endless so be sure to include your little one in the shopping fun – and make sure it is eco-friendly too!

Don’t be skeptical that what you put in the thermos before school will remain hot until your child’s lunch period – it will stay plenty warm! A hot lunch can be a nice change from a cold sandwich – especially with the cooler months approaching. This change may also give you the opportunity to be resourceful by eating more leftovers. If you have the ability to send part of last nights meal in a thermos with your kids the next day perhaps you won’t waste as much food – which is good for the environment and your pocketbook.

You know better than anyone what foods your kids will eat but here are a few thermos meal suggestions to try! What kid doesn’t love spaghetti and meatballs? Add your favorite spaghetti recipe to your thermos and enjoy! Another favorite is to make veggie mac-n-cheese by mixing frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrots with mac-n-cheese to make a hearty lunch for any season. Is your kid a chicken nugget fan? Send a few warm ones along with your child’s favorite dipping sauce for a special lunch treat!

Make your little one feel warm and toasty on cool days by sending your special homemade soup! Or sometimes there’s nothing better than eating breakfast for lunch. Send cold or hot breakfast thermos options such as yogurt and berries, or hot oatmeal with fruit. Power up!

Sick of PB&J? 3 Delicious Organic Lunchbox Lunch Upgrades

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Sometimes making a simple sandwich is just the easiest, but if your student is sick of seeing the standard PB&J in his lunchbox (or you’re sick of making it!) it’s time for a box-lunch upgrade! Read on for three new lunchbox standards that we love in our home and think you will too.

#1 Wraps and Burritos
Wraps are a great way to get a few servings of healthy vegetables into your kid’s day. I like to make extra chicken breast at dinner the night before and combine it with cucumbers, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots—you name it!—into a hearty wrap the next day. Make sure to include a healthy fat like avocado and a protein like garbanzo beans or feta cheese so that your student gets a balanced meal. Burritos are one of my all time favorite lunch foods and I haven’t met a kid yet who didn’t like them, too! Create a healthy version by combining black beans and brown rice and a sprinkling of cheese. Send some avocado slices, lettuce, or tomatoes in a separate container and the meal is complete.

#2 Homemade Soup
Hearty, homemade soups and chillis are a great winter lunch to send to school with your kid. The next time you make a big pot for the family, portion some out into jars or Pyrex containers and freeze or store the portions in the fridge. On lunch morning, simply heat up the soup and pack it in a thermos. Add a slice of seedy, whole grain bread and the meal is complete!

#3 The Re-done Lunchable
Instead of serving your kids the highly-packaged, preservative-laden lunchables that come from the grocery store, create your own using healthy ingredients. Put together whole grain crackers and cheese with fruit and nuts or hummus with carrots, celery, pita bread, and almonds for a more filling, much more nutritious alternative.

What are your favorite organic lunches to send to school with your little ones? What’s the new PB&J in your household?

3 Delicious Organic Lunchbox Lunches

Organic Lunches

School just started, however your student may be getting sick of seeing the standard PB&J in her lunchbox (or you’re sick of making it!) I know this happens in our family – Eben will want the same thing for lunch for a few weeks and then all of a sudden as I am packing lunch – he chimes in that he wants something different! If you are struggling for new lunch ideas, it’s time for a box-lunch upgrade! Read on for three new lunchbox standards that your child will be asking for again and again.

#1 Wraps and Burritos
Wraps are a great way to get a few servings of healthy vegetables into your kid’s day. I like to make extra chicken breast at dinner the night before and combine it with cucumbers, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots—you name it!—into a hearty wrap the next day. Make sure to include a healthy fat like avocado and a protein like garbanzo beans or feta cheese so that your student gets a balanced meal. Burritos are one of my all time favorite lunch foods and I haven’t met a kid yet who didn’t like them, too! Create a healthy version by combining black beans and brown rice and a sprinkling of cheese. Send some avocado slices, lettuce, or tomatoes in a separate container and the meal is complete.

#2 Homemade Soup
Hearty, homemade soups and chillis are a great fall and winter lunch to send to school with your kid. The next time you make a big pot for the family, portion some out into jars or Pyrex containers and freeze or store the portions in the fridge. On lunch morning, simply heat up the soup and pack it in a thermos. Add a slice of seedy, whole grain bread and the meal is a winner!

#3 The Re-done Lunchable
Instead of serving your kids the highly-packaged, preservative-laden lunchables that come from the grocery store, create your own using healthy ingredients. Put together whole grain crackers and organic cheese with fruit and nuts or hummus with carrots, celery, pita bread, yogurt (right now – the Stonyfield Petite Creme’s are Eben’s fave!) and almonds for a more filling, much more nutritious alternative.

What are your favorite organic lunches to send to school with your little ones? What’s the new PB&J in your household?

You Grill, Girl! Applegate Summer Giveaway!

Applegate Giveaway

Hello friends! I feel like it’s time for a fun summer giveaway! What could be more perfect for July than a grilling giveaway sponsored by Applegate! It’s a fun giveaway too – one that will be perfect for a fun summer day with your family. The cleaner-weiner giveaway kit will help you kick those dirty dogs to the curb and includes:

  • Applegate Natural Beef Hot Dogs (now made with 100% grass-fed beef)
  • Sir Kensington’s Ketchup and Mustard
  • Vermont Bread Company Natural Buns (these buns are super sweet and yummy!)
  • Applegate Cooler Bag
  • Applegate “You Grill, Girl” Apron
  • Applegate Grilling Mitt
  • Meat Thermometer
  • Applegate Bandanas & hair accessory tutorial
  • Applegate Hot Dog Boats

Want to grill girl? Leave a comment to enter. For extra entries follow Sweet Greens and Applegate via social media and leave a separate comment for each!

Sweet Greens Social Media Channels:

Facebook: @SweetGreens
Twitter: @SweetGreens
Pinterest: @SweetGreens
Instagram: @SweetGreens

Applegate Social Media Channels:

Facebook: @Applegate
Twitter: @Applegate
Pinterest: @Applegate
Instagram: @Applegate

Good Luck! Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only – and will end on July 14th, 2015.
The winner is Katrina! Congratulations!

 

Full Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Applegate.

REVIEW: Fire & Flavor Gluten Free, Certified Non-GMO Rubs

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In Florida, it’s always warm enough to grill! We recently received a set of Fire & Flavor’s gluten free, certified Non-GMO rubs and seasonings to review. Fire & Flavor, based in Athens, GA, helped to popularize cedar plank grilling, which as become a favored technique for grilling fish. A WBE certified woman owned business, Fire & Flavor was founded by Gena Knox. Knox’s Southern background and love of family and friends fueled her passion for cooking. Today, the company shares all kinds of ways to make food more delicious, nutritious, and easier to cook.

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Those of you who are experienced grillers know that a good seasoning or rub will compliment the natural flavor of a food without overpowering it—which is exactly what Fire & Flavor’s rubs do! Fire & Flavor uses all natural ingredients to make flavor-filled rubs that make any cook feel like a gourmet chef, including the Classic Rub, Everyday Rub, Turkey Rub, and Coffee Rub—yum! While grillers will embrace the dynamic uses of these seasonings, anyone can use them. Fire & Flavor’s website offers ideas for how to use the rubs and the Everyday Rub, for example, tastes great on seafood, chicken, and even sweet potatoes. As an added eco-bonus, rubs come in a recyclable shaker-top jar and the company uses BPA-free packaging. The company also sells brines, cedar planks, and cookbooks.

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We reviewed the seasons & rubs including the coffee, classic, everyday rub, and the turkey rub. The Coffee Rub, which combines fresh-roasted coffee with a hint of ancho chile pepper and brown sugar. We tried it on grass-fed steak. The Classic Rub is great for tenderizing lean pork chops, as well as chicken, without overpowering natural flavors – we used it on organic chicken.  The Everyday Rub is made from a mild blend of assorted chilies, paprika, brown sugar, onion, and garlic. We used this rub on fresh fish!

Whether you’re an avid griller or beginning cook, Fire & Flavor’s rubs add gourmet home-cooking flavor to any meal.

 

Full Disclosure: I received samples of this product and was compensated for this sponsored post – however, all opinions are my own.

Snack Happy this Holiday Season with Goodies from Snikiddy

Snikiddy

If you are like our family, you look for the healthiest products when grocery shopping! I like my family to eat a very healthy and balanced diet, and I admit we still have our snacks from time to time! When picking out snacks for road trips or impromptu trip to the beach, we try to be more conscientious in picking ones that are free from GMO’s, artificial colors, preservatives, refined sugars, MSG and hydogenated oils. And with the holidays right around the corner, we usually have some snacks on hand for friends and family who stop by. So when Snikiddy asked if we would like to try some of their snacks, we jumped on the chance. Snikiddy currently offers three product lines: Baked Fries, Cheese Puffs, and Eat Your Vegetables. We really enjoyed these healthier versions of some of our favorite snacks and think you will too! Read on to learn more about them:

1. Baked Fries
These are perfect for all you potato chip addicts out there, especially if you desire a healthier option. Baked Fries come in Cheddar Cheese, Sea Salt, Barbeque, Original Seasoning, Bold Buffalo, and Hot & Spicy, each of which boasts a profile with 50% less fat than regular potato chips, no gluten, no GMO’s, no MSG, and no cholesterol. To top it off, they’re kosher, as well as vegetarian, with one vegan friendly option. I am not a chip fan – but Eben and his friends enjoyed this one!

2. Cheese Puffs
The two flavors of Cheese Puffs are Grilled Cheese and Mac ’n Cheese. They are gluten free and non-GMO, contain no trans fats or MSG, and they’re low in saturated fat too. MSG is called an excitotoxin because it can overexcite you body’s cells to the point of serious damage. It’s also been shown to destroy neurons in an area of the brain that leads to obesity. Snikiddy seems to understand these dangers, and excludes MSG from its ingredients list entirely. We all enjoyed these ones – they reminded me of the cheese puffs that my grandma always had on hand – but without all of the junk.

3. Eat Your Vegetables
These are veggie chips, each a combination of different vegetables: carrot, kale, konjac, spinach, broccoli, tomato, beet, and shitake mushroom. Each bag is low in sodium, weighing in between 140mg and 150mg per serving. Eat Your Vegetables come in five flavors: Salt & Lime, Sea Salt, Sour Cream & Onion, Jalapeno Ranch, and Italian Herb & Olive Oil. These were the mister’s favorite – he loves tortilla chips.

If you are looking for some great snacks that are healthier too – give Snikiddy Snacks a try!

 

Full Disclosure: We received samples of Snikiddy snacks – and would have shared them with you regardless because they are good-for-you yummy!

 

 

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