For The Greater Goods (sm)

Cara

General Mills Buys Annie’s Homegrown; shopOrganic Offers Alternatives

If you haven’t heard the buzz yet, General Mills has purchased Annie’s Homegrown/Annie’s Naturals.  While they promise that their ingredients won’t change and their commitment to using non-gmo ingredients is as strong as ever, they have allied themselves on the pro GMO side by default.annie's

General Mills may be looking to take advantage of the increase in sales of organic products, but savvy organic consumers are turning away from Annie’s, now that they have been purchased.

With a commitment to not carry any brands whose parent company donates to oppose GMO labeling, shopOrganic will no longer be selling Annie’s Homegrown or Annie’s Naturals products.  We are moving out the remainder of the inventory that we already purchased pre-aquisition and that will be it for our relationship with Annie’s.  We believe in putting our money where our mouth is and we believe that consumers have the power to shape our economy.  Let’s shape it toward organic producers who still believe in the spirit of organic.

I know that many families rely on Annie’s products to feed their kids foods that are familiar, that are fun and that they like to eat.  We’d like to suggest some alternatives for you to choose from.

If you like Annie’s Mac and Cheese:

If you like Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies & Pretzels:

If you like Annie’s Fruit Snacks:

If you like Annie’s Salad Dressing:

If you like Annie’s Gluten Free Cookies:

If you like Annie’s BBQ or Worcestershire Sauce:

If you like Annie’s Granola Bars:

If you like Annie’s Ketchup & Mustard:

Pet Dental Health – Top 5 Tips + Products That Help

As with humans, good dental hygiene in pets is linked directly to good health. While pet dental health has only become a focus of care in the past decade or so, it’s clear that taking care of your pet’s dental needs in a preventive manner is much less costly and far better for your pet’s overall health. With that, let’s look at our top five pet dental health tips and a few products that might make your life as your pet’s dental hygienist a bit easier!pet dental health

It’s often wise to take your pet for a checkup with your vet for a baseline on their tooth and gum health then create a plan for improvement (if needed). Your vet can tell you what to look for in your pet – dental health is partially related for overall health and partly tied to genetics, just like humans. So, get an idea of current status then use these tips to improve your pet’s dental health over time. Our four-legged friends can’t tell us when they have dental problems, so keep an eye out for changes to gum color or tongue, changes in eating habits or appetite. Beyond that, try these tips to keep Fido or Fluffy in great health!

1. Healthy Diet

Clean food is key to good dental health. Be sure to feed your pets clean, organic food appropriate for their age and activity levels. Fresh veggies can be great low calorie treats and add to your pet’s nutritional health. My dog loves raw carrots, apples and cucumbers and they sure make her breath sweet.

2. Clean, fresh water

Make sure you provide your pet with clean, fresh water daily. It’s vital to their overall health. Clean water every day (more often if your dog is like mine and drops her filthy tennis ball in the bowl). If you leave your dog outside in a yard at times, ensure there’s water outside as well. Even in winter, the dry weather can dehydrate your pet quickly.

3. Appropriate chew treats

Treats that your dog will chew on help clean teeth and scrape tartar off at the same time. According to the ASPCA,’ chew toys can satisfy your dog’s natural desire to chomp, while making teeth strong. Gnawing on a chew toy can also help massage gums and help keep teeth clean by scraping away soft tartar. Toxin-free rawhide, nylon and rubber chew toys are best. Gnawing also reduces your dog’s overall stress level, prevents boredom and provides an appropriate outlet for the natural need to chew. ‘

4. Do A Sniff Test

Your dog’s breath should smell, well, like a dog (and your cat’s like a cat) – but it shouldn’t be so horrible that it makes you faint. A health dog (or cat)’s mouth shouldn’t stink. A strong, foul odor is a sign of gum disease or an infection, both of which can be harmful if left untreated. Your pet’s gums should be pinkish, not white and not red. Check frequently so you know what ‘normal’ is for your pet then you’ll be able to spot changes and consult with your vet, as needed. Dark spots, bumps and other irregularities should be noted and monitors. Some dogs and cats have speckled interiors, so you should learn what ‘normal’ looks like and ask your vet if you see something new, different or concerning.

5. Brush Your Dog’s Teeth…If You Can

Sometimes it’s easier said than done. If you train your dog from a young age to tolerate your finger (and then a toothbrush) in its mouth, you may be able to brush its teeth. If you adopt an older dog who won’t tolerate it, use chews and treats that have a similar effect. My 10 year old Border Collie (adopted at the tender age of 9…) won’t bite when I brush, but some nights it’s a three-ring circus getting to the brushing. I use chews that are intended to clean her teeth and it’s a good compromise – brush sometimes, chew others.

Looking for products to help with pet dental health?

Castor & Pollux Rawhide Chews

Newman’s Own Organic Dental Dog Bone

Ark Naturals – Breath-Less Brushless Chewable Toothpaste

Ark Naturals – Breath-Less Plaque Zapper

Do you have any tips on pet dental health that have helped you and your fur-family?

Top Seven Essential Oils For Improved Mood & More

We all know that certain aromas will invoke particular feelings.  Like the warm comforting smell of fresh baked cookies making you feel good, scent is a powerful way to affect mood.  Using essential oils to affect your mood – whether for relaxation, energizing or other effects – is highly effective and simple to do.essential oils

Our olfactory system contains 50 million smell receptors in the nasal cavity and  is part of the brain’s limbic system, also known as the “emotional brain”.  Smelling a certain scent can create a powerful response almost instantly.  Because essential oils evaporate quickly, their molecules are easily inhaled. The inhalation of the naturally occurring synergistic chemicals in essential oils provide triggers to our brain which effect our emotional state.

There are certain essential oils that I go to more frequently than others – for mood elevation, for relaxation, or for focus.  Below I’ve listed some of my favorites along with how to use them:

Seven Essential Oils For Improved Mood & More

1 – Bergamot – a very calming essential oil, it can be applied topically, inhaled directly or used in a diffuser.  With a sweet citrus scent, Bergamot is helpful for both depression and anxiety, producing calming and uplifting feelings.  Note: This oil is sensitive to direct sunlight.  If you apply it to your skin, wait 24 hours before exposing that skin to sunlight.

2 – Chamomile this deep, rich, herbaceous scent is helpful for dispelling anger and irritability, clearing the mind and bringing stability to emotions. Diffuse it or inhale it directly from the bottle. It can be used topically for inflamed skin, to ease arthritis, headaches, sprains and muscle aches.

3 – Geranium – this sweet, fresh, flowery scent helps relieve tension and stress.  Can be used topically to relieve acne and oily skin.

4 – Lavender- possibly the most popular essential oil, Lavender can both relax and uplift, depending on what you need at the time.  Beneficial for anxiety, depression, irritability, panic attacks and reducing stress.  It is relaxing yet keeps you alert at the same time.  Lavender can also be used topically for cuts, burns, bug bits and stings.

5 – Sweet Orange this sweet citrusy essential oil is a powerful anti-depressant.  Add a few drops to a a spray bottle with water, shake and spray a room to instantly freshen and brighten the room.  This essential oil is also antiseptic and anti-inflammatory which makes it a good for swollen gums – just add a couple of drops to warm salt water and swish in the mouth for relief.

6 – Rosemary – invigorating, stimulating and refreshing, this essential oil is beneficial for memory and concentration.  Got a big exam or presentation coming up? Use Rosemary while you study or prepare then use it again the day of your event and your sense memory will kick in and give you an extra boost.  Also great for staying alert during long drives.  Used topically, Rosemary is good for respiratory issues, arthritis and improving circulation.

7 – Clary Sage – this essential oil helps ease fear and anxiety, as well as grief, exhaustion and burnout.  During menopause, clary sage can help reduce hot flashes, night sweats, palpitations, irritability, as well as headaches and dizziness.  Use topically for PMS symptoms and cramps.

Because essential oils are very potent in their pure form, most essential oils should be blended with a carrier oil, like almond, sesame or jojoba oil, before using topically.  For inhaling, essential oils can be sniffed directly from the bottle or you can place a few drops on a tissue or cloth.  For help with relaxation and sleep, you can place a few drops on your pillowcase.  To diffuse a scent throughout a room, you can use an aromatherapy diffuser or add a few drops to a water spray bottle and spritz whenever you need it.

Essential oils can be blended together in a synergistic way to create even more powerful combinations.  I highly recommend the book The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health — Beauty — a Safe Home Environment for more an in depth resource guide to creating your own blends.

Since essential oils are very powerful, be sure to check for any contraindications before using them, especially if you are pregnant.  Also, make sure to use pure essential oils, not synthetic.  Buying organic essential oils is the best choice so that you know you’re getting a quality pure essential oil and not a synthetic chemical compound.

How do you like to use essential oils?

DIY: Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

naturally dyed easter eggs

By Will Merydith from Fairfield, Iowa, USA (Natural Easter Colored Eggs) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Did you know that you can dye Easter eggs naturally using herbs, spices, fruits and veggies?  Dyeing times are a little longer and the colors are less intense than chemical dyes, but these naturally dyed Easter eggs are a better choice for your family and for the environment.

There are two ways to dye Easter eggs naturally; either boil raw eggs in the naturally colored water, or soak hard boiled eggs in the colored water overnight.  The first way is faster if you’re only using one or two colors but if you want to use a lot of different colors, its easier to make the colored soaking water and use smaller bowls to soak the hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator overnight.

To make the natural dyes, choose a natural ingredient from the list below.  The quantity that you use will determine how dark the color is.  Add distilled water and either cream of tartar or white vinegar to a non-aluminum pot.  Use 1 TBSP cream of tartar or vinegar per cup of water.  If you’re using raw eggs, boil them in the colored water like you normally would to cook hard boiled eggs.  You can then either remove the eggs or if you want them darker you can continue to soak them in the refrigerator.

If you’re using hard boiled eggs, you can make batches of different colors, then use smaller bowls to soak the eggs overnight in the refrigerator. If the eggs don’t come out as dark as you want the first time, you can make a darker colored soak water and let the eggs soak a second time.

Natural dyes are made with just a handful of ingredients.  You’ll need water, the natural material for coloring, and a mordant to help the colors penetrate the eggshell.  The mordant can be cream of tartar or white vinegar.

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs Instructions:

  • Place the eggs in a single layer in a pan. Add water until the eggs are covered.
  • Add vinegar or cream of tartar.
  • Add the natural dye materials. Use more dye material for more eggs or for a more intense color.
  • Bring water to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • If you are happy with the color, remove the eggs from the liquid.
  • For more intensely colored eggs, remove the eggs from the liquid. Strain the dye through a coffee filter or cheesecloth.  Cover the eggs with the filtered dye and let them soak in the refrigerator overnight.

Here’s a list of some herbs and spices you can use and the colors they yield:

Hibiscus flowers – Reddish blue/lavender
Turmeric root powder – Deep gold
Curry powder – Pale orange
Chili powder – Reddish brown
Paprika – Orange
Dill seed – Golden brown
Beet Juice – Pink
Coffee – Brown
Cranberry Juice – Pink
Red Cabbage Leaves – Blue
Onion Skins – Red or Yellow depending on the type of onion
Orange Peels – Pale Orange
Grape Juice – Lavender
Spinach Leaves – Green
Pomegranate Juice – Red

Find many of these natural dye materials HERE.

What are your favorite Easter traditions? Share with us in the comments below.

3 Vegan Recipes for the Great American Meatout

Have you seen the study that came out recently that found that eating meat and cheese is as unhealthy as smoking cigarettes?  The study, published by the University of Southern California found that excessive protein consumption is linked to a dramatic rise in cancer mortality andvegan recipes that middle-aged people who eat lots of proteins from animal sources including meat, milk and cheese are also more susceptible to early death in general.  While it’s not necessary to go completely vegan to get the health benefits of eating less animal products, these vegan recipes will make it easier if that’s your goal.

In honor of the Great American Meatout, I’m sharing three of my favorite vegan recipes.  Since I eat a vegan diet and I love to cook, I’ve played with lots of vegan recipes to make them satisfying and delicious.  The Great American Meatout encourages people to pledge to go vegan for a day, for one day per week, or every day.  Reducing or eliminating your intake of meat and dairy is possibly one of the best things you can do for your health.  When giving up meat and dairy, its still important to eat a whole food diet, so don’t get sucked in to buying meat analogues – they’re full of processed junk and you don’t need them to make a satisfying meal.  These vegan recipes will make you forget you ever needed meat and cheese.

Three Amazing Vegan Recipes

Vegan Recipe #1:  Macaroni and Cheese

8oz organic dry pasta of your choice
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
3 TBSP fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

Soak the raw cashews in filtered water for about an hour, then drain and add them along with the rest of the ingredients into a blender – a high powered blender like a VitaMix or Blendtec works best but a regular blender will do, you’ll just need to blend for a longer amount of time.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  You can use any type of pasta you like: quinoa pasta, gluten free pasta, whole wheat pasta, semolina pasta.  Elbow pasta or shells are traditionally used for mac and cheese but use whatever shape you like.   When the pasta is done cooking, drain it and pour the sauce into the pot and heat through.  You can serve the mac and cheese just like this or to make it even better, add some cooked broccoli, spinach, peas, mushrooms or any other veggies that you’d like.

 

Vegan Recipe #2: Three Bean Chili

1 TBSP Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 TBSP cumin powder
3 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cayenne
15oz can black beans
15oz can pinto peans
15oz can red kidney beans
28oz can diced tomatoes
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 TBSP chia seeds

In a large pot, heat the oil on medium heat. Add garlic, pepper, onion, carrot and sauté until everything is soft, 5-10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and cover, simmering for about 30 minutes on medium heat.  The chia will thicken the chili quite a bit so if you find that it is too thick, add a little bit of water.

Vegan Recipe #3:  Meatballs

1 cup (packed) fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
8 oz organic tempeh
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup cooked hulled barley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried fennel seed

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.   Chop the tempeh into small pieces; it should be crumbly.  Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the oil and garlic.  When the garlic is aromatic, add the chopped spinach and a tablespoon of water.  When the spinach is wilted, add the tempeh, stir to combine then add the tomato sauce, tomato paste and barley.  Stir to combine then turn off the heat to let the mixture cool.   In a bowl, mix together the vital wheat gluten, flour, nutritional yeast, salt, basil, oregano, dried pepper flakes and fennel.  Add the tomato/spinach/tempeh mixture to the bowl.  Stir to combine and knead for a couple of minutes.  This helps the gluten keep the meatballs in a ball shape.  Form 1 inch balls from the mixture; place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  This makes about 35 meatballs.   Bake for 15 minutes and then turn them over. Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.  Take them out of the oven and let them cool undisturbed for 5-10 minutes.  This allows the inside of the meatball to become firm.  At this point you can choose what to do with your meatballs.  Add them to marinara, make a swedish meatball sauce, slice them thin and put on pizza, make spaghetti and meatballs, sliders, its up to you.

What are some of your favorite vegan recipes? Share with us in the comments below!

 

 

Try These 5 Healthy Green Smoothie Recipes

Every morning I drink a big green smoothie.  It starts my day with lots of nutrition and I tend to stay on track when I start my day that way.  Made right, green smoothies are great for kids and adults alike. You may need to start slowly on the greens, especially for kids, but once your taste buds get used to the green veggies, you can add more and more and more.

The basics of green smoothies are simple:green smoothie

1 – Choose a dark leafy green vegetable.  It’s best to vary your choice from day to day so you can maximize the benefits.  Choose from spinach, curly kale, lacinato kale, chard, collard greens, various lettuces and if you’re adventurous, dandelion greens.

2 – Choose a liquid base.  You can use coconut water, almond milk, hemp milk, or another dairy alternative.  Even just plain water works fine.

3 – Add some fruit.  I like frozen bananas but frozen blueberries, strawberries or other berries are a good addition.  You can also use tropical fruits like mango and pineapple.

4 – Add boosters.  These are things like hemp protein, flax, chia, maca, spirulina, bee pollen, goji berries and cacao powder.

 

If you have a powerful blender like a VitaMix or Blendtec, you can pile all of your ingredients in and everything will blend to a super smooth consistency.  With a regular blender, you’ll need to chop your fruits and veggies smaller and probably blend a little bit longer to make sure you don’t have chunks.

Here are some of my favorite green smoothie recipes.  I like my smoothies to be icy cold but if you don’t, you can omit the ice cubes in the recipes and just add a little water instead:

Chocolate Malt Green Smoothie

I call this a ‘chocolate malt’ because maca has a malty flavor and blended with cacao powder, you can barely tell there’s anything green in there!

2 cups collard greens
1 cup coconut water
1 frozen banana
1 tablespoon maca powder
1 tablespoon cacao powder
1 tablespoon soaked chia
4-6 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients together until you have a thick, rich, delicious smoothie.

Pina Colada Smoothie

Let pineapple and coconut transport you to the islands

2 cups spinach
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 cups frozen pineapple
2 tablespoons coconut flakes
3-4 ice cubes

Blend all except for the coconut flakes until smooth, then add the coconut flakes and blend again for another few seconds to incorporate.

 

PB&J Smoothie

A smoothie that tastes like pb&j? Yes, please!

2 cups spinach
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 cup frozen red grapes
¼ cup frozen blueberries
1 frozen banana
3 tablespoons almond butter
3-4 ice cubes

Blend all until smooth and enjoy.

 

Superfood Green Smoothie

With lots of added superfoods, this is a supercharged way to start your day.

2 cups lacinato kale
1 frozen banana
1 cup coconut water
1 tablespoon bee pollen
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon raw maca powder
1 tablespoon hemp protein powder
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon spirulina
4-6 ice cubes

Blend, drink, and be prepared for a high energy day.

 

Peachy Green Smoothie

This one is a bit more adventurous, as chard has a slightly stronger taste than other greens.  You can also try using dandelion greens in place of the chard.

2 cups of rainbow or green chard leaves
½ cup frozen mango
¾ cup frozen peaches
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
4-6 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.

Do you have any favorite green smoothie recipes?  Share in the comments below!

January Specials at shopOrganic

Each month shopOrganic offers a different selection of sale items so that you can save a little money on the path of making better choices.  These specials also give you an opportunity to try some new products that you might have overlooked before. We’ve highlighted some of these great products below, including some products that are great for the upcoming holiday season. Be sure to head up to shopOrganic.com’s Sale section to see all of the January specials at shopOrganic.

january specials at shoporganic

January Specials at shopOrganic

Amy’s Kitchen
NEW Candy Bars 10% Off

Amy’s has really hit the mark with their new candy bars.  Their simple names: Crispy, Crunchy, Chewy and Creamy do not do justice to what’s inside the wrapper.  Crispy has rice crisps with almonds wrapped in caramel and chocolate – it is reminiscent of a 100 Grand bar.   The Crunchy is English toffee with almonds wrapped in chocolate – think Heath Bar.  Creamy is soft nougat with caramel and chocolate – think Milky Way.  Chewy is caramel and pecans covered in chocolate – honestly I can’t think of a bar that its like, this one is in a class of its own.  Click HERE to try this January special now.

Andalou
Select products 10% Off

Andalou Naturals is the first body care company to obtain Non-GMO Verified certification.  Andalou infuses the best of nature and knowledge into mindful and effective products that are good for people and the planet.  Their products are made with fruit stem cells which renews skin at the cellular level, blending nature and knowledge for visible  results. Click HERE to try this January special now.

Choice Organic Tea
All varieties 10% Off

These organic and fair trade teas will warm you up on a chilly Fall day.  Choice Organics commitment to fair trade practices will make you feel as warm inside as their tea will.  Click HERE to try this November special today.

Color Garden
All varieties 10% Off

We’re very excited about this brand new product – a food coloring made with only natural ingredients like beet, carrot and red cabbage.  Great for making cake and cupcake frosting without chemical food dyes.  Try them all HERE.

Explore Asian
All varieties 10% Off
Explore Asian’s unusual pastas are made from black beand, mung beans and soybeans.  With high protein and low carbs, its a healthy pasta alternative that cooks up al dente every time.  Click HERE to try them now.

Equal Exchange
Organic Baking Cocoa & Hot Cocoa Mix 10% Off
Warm up your winter nights with organic, fair trade hot cocoa from Equal Exchange; a perfectly sweetened treat.  Or enhance your baked goods with their organic fair trade baking cocoa.  Either way you’re supporting fair wages for the small scale cocoa growers of the CONACADO cooperative.  Try them HERE.

From The Fields
Organic Granola, Muesli & Cereal 10% Off

Made with simple ingredients, slow roasted to perfection, From The Fields’ products are a great way to start the day.  With no added oil and no wheat, they are available in small sizes as well as bulk sizes, try some today.   Click HERE to try them all.

Gimme Seaweed Snacks
All varieties 10% Off
These crunchy, healthy and tasty sea vegetable snacks satisfy that need for a crunchy snack with minimal calories and great seaweed nutrition.  Try them in single serve and larger sizes.  Try them all HERE.

Giovanni Facial Cleansing Towelettes
All varieties 10% Off
Treat yourself to a facial on the go. Giovanni’s refreshing facial cleansing towelettes cleanse, tone and hydrate in one refreshing step.   Ultra soft to comfortably remove makeup. Won’t clog pores or leave an oily residue.  Try them all HERE.

Good Boy Organics
BOPS & Organicasaurus Cheese Puffs 10% Off
BOPS (Baked Organic Potato Snacks) are the first line of certified organic baked potato chips on the market.  In classic flavors like sour cream and onion, bbq, and cheddar cheese, they make a great alternative for conventional chips.  They also have an organic version of a cheese puff called Organicasaurus; they’re shaped like little dinosaurs so they’re really kid friendly and fun. Try them all HERE.

Koyo Foods
Ramen Noodles 10% Off  
Made with organic heirloom wheat noodles, these isn’t your typical ramen.  The base for a healthy meal, these are great on their own or with added vegetables and protein.   Click HERE to try them now.

One Degree Organics
Organic Sprouted Grain Cereals 10% Off
Using only organic foods grown using natural veganic methods, One Degree is able to track all of their extraordinary grains all the way back to the field for true transparency. By sprouting the grains, One Degree’s products are more digestible and higher in nutrients. Try them all HERE.

Organic India
Organic Tulsi Tea 10% off 
In India, the herb Tulsi, also called holy basil, has been widely known for its health promoting and medicinal value for thousands of years. Commonly called sacred or holy basil, it is a principal herb of Ayurveda, the ancient traditional holistic health system of India. Holy basil is known as “The Incomparable One”, “The Mother Medicine of Nature”, and “The Queen of Herbs”.  Try them all HERE!


Take advantage of these great sale items and more throughout January at shopOrganic.

December Specials at shopOrganic

Each month shopOrganic offers a different selection of sale items so that you can save a little money on the path of making better choices.  These specials also give you an opportunity to try some new products that you might have overlooked before. We’ve highlighted some of these great products below, including some products that are great for the upcoming holiday season. Be sure to head up to shopOrganic.com’s Sale section to see all of the December specials at shopOrganic.

december specials

December Specials at shopOrganic

Artisana
Coconut Oil 10% Off

Artisana’s organic coconut oil is carefully created in small batches to ensure the highest quality.  Their products are always raw, always organic, and always delicious.   Click HERE to try this December special now.

Better Than Bouillon
All products 10% Off

Just in time for the holiday season we’ve got Better Than Bouillon on sale.  Great for soups, stews, gravies and other holiday recipes.  Add some concentrated flavor to your favorite dishes.  Click HERE to try them now.

Choice Organic Tea
All varieties 10% Off

These organic and fair trade teas will warm you up on a chilly Fall day.  Choice Organics commitment to fair trade practices will make you feel as warm inside as their tea will.  Click HERE to try this November special today.

Color Garden
All varieties 10% Off

We’re very excited about this brand new product – a food coloring made with only natural ingredients like beet, carrot and red cabbage.  Great for making cake and cupcake frosting without chemical food dyes.  Try them all HERE.

Dr. Kracker
All varieties 10% Off
Inspired by the traditional crispbreads of Europe, Dr. Kracker flatbread crackers are made with a blend of whole grains and seeds, mixed carefully into a yeast-raised dough and artisan baked to perfection. Every bite of every Dr. Kracker flatbread is full of texture, flavor and heartiness.  Great on their own or topped with your favorite foods, from dips to salads, nut butters and jam.   Click HERE to try them now.

Drew’s
Organic Salad Dressings 10% Off
Produced in small batches infused with authentic regional and ethnic flavors, Drew’s unique salad dressings totally transform salads and reinvent everyday meals. With bold flavors and organic goodness, Drew’s salad dressings’ combination of quality and convenience mean more time at the dinner table with your family. Try all of their dressings HERE.

Earth Friendly
Dishmate 10% Off
A powerful hand dish washing product that is naturally hard on grease but not your skin.  Try a small amount into your sponge for cleaning dishes so you can experience the power of this concentrated formula.  Dishmate is also great for hand washable clothes. Try them all HERE.

Edward & Sons
Organic Croutons 10% 0ff
Made from organic whole grain wheat and select organic seasonings, these croutons complete your organic salads and garnish your organic soups. Lightly Salted Croutons add a subtle toasted flavor to your bowl, while Onion Garlic and Italian Herbs Croutons impart zesty flavor that excite your taste buds and enhance your meal. The Italian Herbs Croutons make a great stuffing!  Try them HERE.

Equal Exchange
Organic Baking Cocoa & Hot Cocoa Mix 10% Off
Warm up your winter nights with organic, fair trade hot cocoa from Equal Exchange; a perfectly sweetened treat.  Or enhance your baked goods with their organic fair trade baking cocoa.  Either way you’re supporting fair wages for the small scale cocoa growers of the CONACADO cooperative.  Try them HERE.

Essential Oxygen+
All products 10% Off
Essential Oxygen Brushing Rinse provides a better way to brush your teeth. It works AND it’s clean. This amazing rinse is part organic toothpaste, part organic mouthwash.  Great for all oral issues including natural teeth whitening, gum pockets and receding gums, tooth sensitivity, bad breath, tartar, canker sores and toxic morning mouth, all without objectionable ingredients.  Their Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide is great for first aid, body & oral care, produce, household surfaces, dishwasher, laundry & stains, plants & garden, and pets.  Try them all HERE.

Farmer’s Market
Canned Organic Vegetable Puree 10% Off

With the holidays just around the corner, its a great time to stock up on canned pumpkin, sweet potato and butternut squash.  Great in casseroles, soups, stews and desserts.  Click HERE to try them all.

Flavorganics
Organic Baking Extracts 10% Off

It’s baking season, the perfect time to stock up on your favorite baking extracts.  Flavorganics extracts bring an extra punch of flavor to your baked goods.  Click HERE to try them all.

Heavenly Organics
Organic Honey 10% Off

These honeys are produced by a coop of organic farms in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains and throughout Northern and Central India.  With really unique flavors, these honeys are truly organic; the bees do not come into contact with any chemicals or pesticides.  Click HERE to check out this December special.

Mary’s Gone Crackers
Organic Gluten Free Cookies 10% Off
Made with real food ingredients and low glycemic sweeteners, you can eat these cookies anytime. Mary’s Gone Crackers’ Cookies use coconut palm sugar, a pure, whole-food sugar that is made from the deliciously sweet nectar of the coconut palm tree. They also contain chia seeds, an ancient superfood high in healthful omega-3 fatty acids. Try them all HERE.

Newman’s Own Organics
Organic Cookie-O’s 10% Off
Dunk them, twist them apart, eat them in one bite! No matter how you like to eat Newman Cookie-O’s, you can feel good knowing that they contain no artificial ingredients, no high fructose corn syrup, and no GMO’s.  They’re our favorite O’s!  Try them all HERE.

Nibmor
Organic Fair Trade Chocolate Bars & Drinking Chocolate 10% Off
Nibmor’s chocolate bars and drinking chocolate are organic, fair trade, gluten free and vegan.  With no refined sugars, you can indulge in delicious chocolate without any guilt! Try them all HERE.

OCHO Candy
Full size bars and minis 10% Off  
Made in small batches with great care, OCHO Candy brings back the fun you remember about candy as a kid.  In flavors that will leave your taste buds tantalized, try them in full size bars or mini sizes.   Click HERE to try them now.

One Degree Organics
Organic Sprouted Grains 10% Off
Using only organic foods grown using natural veganic methods, One Degree is able to track all of their extraordinary grains all the way back to the field for true transparency. By sprouting the grains, One Degree’s products are more digestible and higher in nutrients. Try them all HERE.

Take advantage of these great sale items and more throughout December at shopOrganic.

Organic Turmeric: 5 Amazing Health Benefits + Uses

organic turmericLast month I was coming home from a trip on a cramped and full flight.  After holding my body in an uncomfortable position for over an hour, I wound up with lingering pain in my right shoulder.  I tried massaging it out, using muscle balms and ointments and nothing worked.  I don’t like to take prescription or over the counter drugs but after not being able to sleep due to the pain, gave in to using ibuprofen.  It helped with the pain but if I stopped taking it, the pain came back.  I was frustrated and I remembered that I’d heard that organic turmeric was as effective or more effective than NSAID pain relievers.  I had nothing to lose so gave it a shot.  Within 36 hours of taking turmeric regularly, the pain was gone.  I continued taking it for a few more days just to be sure and when I stopped, the pain didn’t come back.  Score for organic turmeric!

While I was taking organic turmeric, I decided to see what else it was good for and I found quite a bit of evidence that it has a whole lot of healing properties; here are just a few:

5 Health Benefits of Organic Turmeric

1 – Natural Antiseptic and Antibacterial

With a general increase in antibiotic resistance, scientists are studying natural compounds for their antibacterial properties.  Studies have shown that curcumin, an active component in turmeric, has antibacterial properties. 1

2 – Cancer Prevention

According to the American Cancer Society, “Curcumin can kill cancer cells in laboratory dishes and also slows the growth of the surviving cells. Curcumin has been found to reduce development of several forms of cancer in lab animals and to shrink animal tumors. “2  Curcumin has been found to be beneficial in both prevention and treatment of certain cancers: lung, prostate, liver, breast, colon, stomach and melanoma.

3 – Prevents and Slows Alzheimer’s Progression

More than 50 studies on turmeric’s effects on Alzheimers show that extracts of turmeric contain a number of components that block the formation of beta-amyloid, the substance responsible for the plaques that slowly obstruct cerebral function.

 4 – Arthritis Relief

A common treatment for arthritis sufferers are pharmaceutical COX-2 inhibitors.  The COX-2 enzyme promotes the pain, swelling and inflammation that is present in arthritis.  Turmeric contains six different COX-2 inhibitors as well as more than two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds.  Studies of curcuming for arthritis have shown positive changes in arthritis symptoms.3

5 – Anti Depressant

Researchers have found that turmeric is as effective as Prozac for treating depression.4 Considering the side effects of pharmaceutical antidepressant medications, the use of turmeric is far more beneficial for the body.

How To Use Organic Turmeric

Commonly used in curry, turmeric is a staple in Indian cuisine but it can be incorporated into many other dishes to provide color, flavor, and health benefit.

  • Use in eggless egg salad or tofu scramble for a golden yellow color reminiscent of egg yolk.
  • Bake it into a cake! Sfuff is a middle eastern turmeric cake that is easy to make, festive and delicious.  Find a recipe HERE.
  • Try drinking turmeric tea.  Just simmer 1 tsp of organic ground turmeric in 4 cups of water for about 10 minutes.  Add honey or ginger for flavor and enjoy.
  • Add a bit of organic turmeric to soups and stews – the flavor is mild enough that any richly flavored bean soup, stew, winter squash soup or cauliflower soup will benefit from the addition of turmeric.

If cooking with turmeric isn’t your thing but you still want the benefit, you can take organic turmeric in capsule form.  Just 3 capsules a day will provide you with turmeric’s protective benefits.  Now that you know the health benefits of organic turmeric and some ways to use it, how will you be adding organic turmeric to your diet? Let us know in the comments.

 

References

1. ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY OF CURCUMA LONGA VARIETIES AGAINST DIFFERENT STRAINS OF BACTERIA

2. American Cancer Society – Turmeric

3. Anti-inflammatory Properties of Curcumin, a Major Constituent of Curcuma longa: A Review of Preclinical and Clinical Research

4. Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

November Specials at shopOrganic

Each month shopOrganic offers a different selection of sale items so that you can save a little money on the path of making better choices.  These specials also give you an opportunity to try some new products that you might have overlooked before. We’ve highlighted some of these great products below, including some products that are great for the upcoming holiday season. Be sure to head up to shopOrganic.com’s Sale section to see all of the November specials at shopOrganic.

November Specials at shopOrganicNovember Specials at shopOrganic

Artisana
Select products 10% Off

Artisana’s organic nut butters are carefully created in small batches to ensure the highest quality.  Their products are always raw, always organic, and always delicious.  Their walnut and pecan butters include the skins of the nuts to provide the most nutritional benefit.  Cashew butter is blended in to increase the natural sweetness and creaminess.  Click HERE to try this November special now.

Aunt Patty’s Sweetners
Select varieties 10% Off

We all know that refined sugars aren’t great for our health.  Aunt Patty’s makes a line of healthy sweeteners from whole food sources.  From the date sugar to honey crystals to coconut sugar and more – click HERE to try them now.

Better Life
Cleaning Products 10% Off

With funky names like Simply Floored and Einshine, Better Life makes cleaning fun, safe and effective.  Their products are environmentally friendly, smell great and work well.  Click HERE to try this November special now.

Better Than Bouillon
All products 10% Off

Just in time for the holiday season we’ve got Better Than Bouillon on sale.  Great for soups, stews, gravies and other holiday recipes.  Add some concentrated flavor to your favorite dishes.  Click HERE to try them now.

Choice Organic Tea
All varieties 10% Off

These organic and fair trade teas will warm you up on a chilly Fall day.  Choice Organics commitment to fair trade practices will make you feel as warm inside as their tea will.  Click HERE to try this November special today.

Farmer’s Market
Canned Organic Vegetable Puree 10% Off

With the holidays just around the corner, its a great time to stock up on canned pumpkin, sweet potato and butternut squash.  Great in casseroles, soups, stews and desserts.  Click HERE to try them all.

Flavorganics
Organic Baking Extracts 10% Off

It’s baking season, the perfect time to stock up on your favorite baking extracts.  Flavorganics extracts bring an extra punch of flavor to your baked goods.  Click HERE to try them all.

Giovanni
Select Body Lotions 10% Off

Giovanni Cosmetics is a family owned company committed to creating only the purest formulations.  Packaged in aesthetically beautiful bottles, their lotions come in scents to please just about everyone with quality you can feel on your skin. Click HERE to check out this November special.

Heavenly Organics
Organic Honey 10% Off

These honeys are produced by a coop of organic farms in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains and throughout Northern and Central India.  With really unique flavors, these honeys are truly organic; the bees do not come into contact with any chemicals or pesticides.  Click HERE to check out this November special.

Mamma Chia
All Flavors 10% Off  

A great on the go snack, Mamma Chia pouches are full of nutrition.  Chia is high in protein, Omega 3′s, and fiber.  Blended with only pure fruit and vegetable purees with no added sugars, these make a great snack for kids and adults alike.   Click HERE to try them now.

Next Organics
Chocolate Covered Fruits and Nuts 10% Off
A decadent treat, Next Organics takes delicious nuts and fruits and coats them in luscious dark chocolate for a little bit of heaven in every bite.  Try these in your candy dish at the office and watch everyone gather around.   Click HERE to try this November special now.

Numi Tea
Organic Savory Teas 10% Off  
At first glance, you may wonder what Numi was thinking creating a line of savory tea?  But one sip and you’ll know – these rich flavors offer a satisfying yet practically calorie free afternoon snack.  Drink these like broth and fool your stomach into thinking you’ve had a meal!  Click HERE to try them now.

OCHO Candy
Full size bars and minis 10% Off  
Made in small batches with great care, OCHO Candy brings back the fun you remember about candy as a kid.  In flavors that will leave your taste buds tantalized, try them in full size bars or mini sizes.   Click HERE to try them now.

Oregon Chai
Organic Tea Concentrates 10% Off 
The original chai concentrate, Oregon Chai brings the flavors of the Himalayas to our cups.  In regular, decaf and a slightly sweet version, warm up on a cold night with Oregon Chai.   Click HERE to try them now.

Road’s End Organics
Gluten Free Gravy Mixes 10% Off  
If you’re avoiding gluten, it doesn’t mean you have to give up gravy this holiday season.  Try Road’s End Organics gluten free gravy mixes for the flavors you love at your holiday meals.   Click HERE to try them now.

Wholesome Chow
Gluten Free Baking Mixes 10% Off  
Delicious gluten free baked goods are a thing of the past.  Wholesome Chow got it right with their baking mixes, offering great flavor and texture in a home baked gluten free mix.   Click HERE to try them now.

Take advantage of these great sale items and more throughout November at shopOrganic.

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