Tag Archives | organic food

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!

 

 

Probiotics on a Budget: How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut

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(Note: Day 1 is with green cabbage, and Day 3 is with Red. Take a look at how the cabbage “breaks down” – it’s the same amount in each container!)

Homemade sauerkraut is incredibly easy to make, is inexpensive compared to buying it in a store, and is great for you! All cruciferous vegetables (radishes, cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, etc.) naturally contain the beneficial bacteria lactobacillus, which is also found in yogurt and other fermented and cultured foods. Sauerkraut is then made by a process appropriately called lacto-fermentation, where the cabbage is submerged in a salt water solution, called brine. Then, as the sauerkraut sits, the bacteria begins to convert sugars in the cabbage into lactic acid, which is a natural preservative to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

Over the course of a few days, the cabbage becomes less crunchy, and the probiotics start to flourish and multiply, thus creating an amazingly tasty fermented probiotic you can eat whenever your heart desires! Here’s my recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 small head of red or green cabbage, about 8 cups
  • 1.5 Tablespoons of sea salt (Make sure to get sea salt and not iodized salt!)
  • Between 2-3 cups of chemical free water (spring/distilled water should be ok) If you only have tap water, let it sit out in an open container for 6 hours, and the chlorine and other chemicals will escape. Then you can use it without any trouble!

Supplies:

  1. Large knife, long enough to cut through the entire head of cabbage
  2. Cutting Board
  3. Large pitcher
  4. Several smaller mason jars, or another similar glass container with a wide mouth
  5. Cheesecloth(s) or microfiber washcloth(s) that air can easily pass through, but bugs can’t
  6. Rubberband(s) or elastic(s)  large enough to fit around the wide mouthed container(s)
  7. Cup, plate, or other object that fits inside the wide mouth container to use as a press (optional, but makes life easier)

How To:

1. Clean your cutting board, knife, and containers thoroughly, then wash your hands. It is very important to make sure that the lactobacillus bacteria have as clean of an environment as possible in which to grow. If there is a bit of bacteria on your hands when you prepare the sauerkraut, it is possible that the batch will be bad, or may even grow mold. Yuck! The salt does help prevent this, but why not give the cabbage a little boost?

2. Chop up the cabbage into pieces about as large as the nail on your pinky finger. If they’re a bit larger, that’s ok, it just helps get all of the pieces into your containers more easily. I recommend cutting the head of cabbage into four, starting with your first cut directly through the center of the stalk. Then cut those pieces in half, and then slice in small slivers until you get the size you need. This can get messy!

3. Place the cut up cabbage in a large bowl or pot, preferably not plastic. Add enough water to cover about half of the cabbage, then add the salt. Massage the cabbage with clean hands for 5-10 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the texture of the cabbage starts to change. This is to start the fermenting process, and to dissolve the salt, so it can start it’s job of preventing the bad bacteria from flourishing.

4. Place water and cabbage into the containers, and position your press so that it pushes down the sauerkraut, and the water completely covers it. This can be a little tricky, depending on what you’re using, and may take a bit of maneuvering at first. It is very important that the water be covering the cabbage during the entire process, or the cabbage starts to rot, and you will see a moldy film appear! If you choose to not use the press, proceed with the directions, but check the containers every few hours for the first day or so and make sure that no cabbage is poking out of the water.

5. Cover with the breathable fabric, and place the elastic around the mouth of the container. Set in a room temperature spot (65-75 degrees F) for three days, and check the taste. This is when the cabbage is considered sauerkraut, and this is when you can start to jar it and put it in the fridge. If it’s not sour enough to your liking, let it sit for up to 3 weeks, and taste test along the way.

When it comes to sauerkraut, I am super impatient and eat it on day three. Maybe I’ll get my assembly line going so I can try some that has fermented longer!

Overall, my batches of sauerkraut probably cost around $1 per jar. Compare that to the pasteurized jars in the grocery stores, that’s a 75% discount, not to mention the amazing probiotic benefits! Compare it to the completely raw stuff you’ll find at your local health food store, it’s a steal!

If you’re still not set on making sauerkraut, or just don’t like the taste, I understand. We just started making water kefir, another type of probiotic drink, and I’ll show you how to make kefir soda once I have mastered it myself!

Happy Sauerkraut-ing!

Flackers and Seedsters: Healthy Snacks for the Holidays

Flackers and Seedsters

We are always looking for yummy snacks that are healthy – especially around the holiday season. We all have family and friends visiting for the holidays and it’s always nice to have healthy snacks in the pantry for those last minute get togethers too. Flackers and Seedsters are the perfect snack to keep on hand!

The Doctor in the Kitchen is a company bringing what many of us are looking for to the table, a healthy alternative to snacking – which is perfect for the holidays. Their motto, “Good Food is Wise Medicine”, makes complete sense when you glance at their ingredients lists – each product includes a healthy dose of omega-3’s and omega-6’s, which are great for such health benefits as lowering inflammation, alleviating depression, protection against Alzheimer’s disease, increased brain function, better bone health, and a higher metabolism.

The Doctor in the Kitchen currently has two organic product lines that will transform how you snack. The Flackers are raw, gluten free flax seed crackers, these are perfect for serving with dips. However, with five flavor options, Cinnamon & Currants, Sun Ripened Tomato & Basil, Rosemary, Savory, and Dill, these treats are so savory, you can eat them on their own too!

The second product line is Seedsters, which is a raw, gluten free sprouted organic flax seed snack and by far my favorite. You have four flavors to choose from: Sweet Onion & Garlic, Sea Salt & Black Pepper, Cinnamon & Currants, and Sweet & Smokey Barbecue. As snacks based on the flax seed, they are a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber which supports healthy cholesterol levels, as well as plant lignans, vitamins, and minerals. I like to throw these in our packs before hitting the biking trails or the water for a paddleboarding adventure. They are filling and delicious too – a win, win!

 

Full Disclosure: We received samples of Flackers and Seedsters and thought you would love them too!

Have a Weinervention at Your Next Summer Campout!

Wienervention KitWhat summer camp-out would be complete without a weine roast? Since we have been camping in the Florida Keys for the past week, I felt it was the perfect time to have a weinervention! We had toted along our Weinervention kit from Applegate that included everything that we needed for a tasty hot hog cookout including Applegates hotdogs made from simple natural ingredients; beef (that have never been administered antibiotics or hormones), water, salt and spices. It’s time to say goodbye to those dirty dogs filled with sodium phosphate, sodium nitrate, and who knows what else and switch to a cleaner-weiner!

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We enjoyed ours in simple hotdog fashion: ketchup, mustard and relish served with coleslaw! It was a super fun way to celebrate our first week of camping!

Have you tried Applegate’s Natural Hotdogs? They would be perfect for the 4th of July!

Full Disclosure: I received a Applegate Weinervention Kit to review – however, we purchase a lot of Applegate products that we love and would have shared with you anyway!