For The Love of Food
We might all agree that maple syrup is definitely one of our favorite staples to make a breakfast perfect. Who doesn’t like drowning our pancakes or waffles in it ? When I was little I would make sure I poured my syrup into every little indent! Nothing made breakfast taste as delicious as maple syrup did. But, did you know that you can you can use maple syrup for more than just breakfast? Turns out you can use it in savory cooking dishes, baking, and much more!
Let’s make sure we get something straight, first. Pure maple syrup is not to be confused with “breakfast syrups” or “pancake syrups” like Mrs. Butterworth’s, Aunt Jemima, or pretty much anything you get at a diner or a fast food restaurant. Those are not made from the sap of maple trees, but from high fructose corn syrup and other flavor compounds. American labeling laws prevent these imitations from carrying the word “maple” on their labels, but unfortunately people are still fooled nonetheless.
Maple syrup currently comes in Grade A and Grade B varieties. Grade A is lighter in color and in flavor while Grade B is darker, richer and more flavorful. It’s the one food I can think of where Grade Be is more desirable than Grade A! This is changing, however. In 2014, Vermont adopted a new grading system for maple syrup. It will be fully implemented in 2015 so you’ll soon start seeing new labeling on pure maple syrup. All maple syrup will be identified as Grade A but they will be distinguised by color so you’ll see Grade A Golden, Grade A Amber, and Grade A Dark.
The Golden maple syrup is the lightest in color. It has a very mild maple flavor slightly thinner than the other two. Good for drizzling over pancakes or for adding to cocktails
The Amber maple syrup is one grade darker in color and has more flavor and is thicker like honey. Also good and what I prefer on pancakes, or toppings on ice cream or other desserts.
The Dark maple syrup is still darker and has a deep, rich maple flavor and is usually very thick. This is the best to use in baking and cooking but can also be used on pancakes and dessert toppings.
7 Tips for Cooking with Maple Syrup:
- Mix maple syrup with an equal amount of Dijon mustard and use the mixture to glaze baked ham, roast pork or baked salmon fillets.
- Drizzle a little warm maple syrup on cooked vegetables (examples: mini carrots, wedges of squash, or slices of parsnip) to add decadent sweetness.
- Drizzle a little maple syrup on top of a spicy soup to balance its heat.
- Make a tasty vinaigrette to dress about 8 to 10 servings of organic salad greens by whisking together 3 Tbsp. maple syrup, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1/3 cup olive oil, with salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste.
- Drizzle over plain Greek yogurt for a bit of sweetness, top with berries or nuts.
- Add a tablespoon or two to your smoothies (especially pairs well with banana and nut or nut butters).
- Warm or cold, it makes a wonderful sauce for ice cream; sprinkled with a few chopped nuts.
How to substitute maple syrup for sugar in baking:
In baking, replace 1 cup of white sugar with 3/4 cup of maple syrup and reduce by 3 tablespoons the other liquid content in the recipe for every cup of maple syrup used. Because maple syrup is brown and granulated sugar is white, this replacement will darken your baked goods and cause them to brown quicker.
Maple Syrup Recipes from shopOrganic:
What is your favorite use for maple syrup? Do you use it in other ways than just for breakfast?
Despite what you might believe, starting out your day with an organic breakfast is actual easy to do! You can find almost anything organic these days, including cereal, oats, nuts, fruit, eggs, bacon, pancake/muffin mixes, yogurt, and so on. Don’t think that just by starting to eat organically means you have to give up your old foods. Quite the opposite, you can still eat your favorite breakfast dishes, but now just healthier versions of them!
Here are five easy organic breakfast ideas to help get you started and hopefully inspire you to create your own organic meals!
Scrambles are a go-to dish in my family. Quick, easy, and on the table in no time. You can use whatever veggies you have on hand, fresh or frozen. Sauté them up in organic coconut oil then add organic eggs and you’re done!
2. Chocolate Smoothies
These are my kids’ favorite breakfast currently. Smoothies are a great, quick way to get nutritious nutrients into your kids before school.
- 2/3 cup raw cashew nuts
- 2 cups filter water
- 1 cup ice
- 3 large frozen bananas
- 4-6 pitted dates (or to your desired sweetness)
- 1 big handful of organic greens (kale, spinach) optional but will provide minerals and good source of folate.
- 3 Tablespoons raw organic cacao powder
- 1 Tablespoon organic coconut oil melted
- 1 tsp organic cinnamon
- A pinch of Himalayan sea salt
- *for a little spicy kick add a few dashes of cayenne powder!
Throw all the ingredients, except the melted coconut oil, into a high power blender and let it go until you get your desired consistency then slowly poor in the coconut oil. Add more ice or more liquid for a thicker or thinner smoothie.
3. Overnight Oats
Once you make this, you will never go back to cooking your oats on the stove. This is so quick and easy and the options are endless!!
- ½ c old-fashioned oats
- 1 c milk of choice (cow, almond or coconut)
- ½ c berries of choice
- 2 Tbsp. nuts of choice
- 1 Tbsp. Maple syrup or raw honey
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy in the morning!
Not only are organics good for you, they taste good too. There are many organic pancake mix brands to choose from, here are a few of my favorites.
- Nature’s Path Organic Buttermilk Pancake Mix
- Bob’s Red Mill Organic Buckwheat Pancake & Waffle Mix
- Wholesome Chow Organic GF High-Protein Pancake Mix
- Pure Pantry Organic GF Pancake & Baking Mix
Granola is always a great way to start your day. It’s quick, easy and very versatile. You can have it cold with your choice of milk, throw some fresh berries in it, or you can use it as a topping on your hot oatmeal or Greek yogurt! And of course you can have it in bar form too! Some good organic granola options are:
- Nature’s Path Organic Granola
- GoRaw Organic Simple Granola
- From the Fields Organic Cereal & Granola
- Two Moms in the Raw Organic GF Granola
- 18 Rabbits Organic Gracious Granola
And there you have it! Five organic breakfast ideas to start your day right! What are your favorite organic breakfast meals?
Have you thought about starting your own organic garden? There are so many benefits to starting your own organic garden: it’s cost effective, especially when you plant the vegetables you buy and use most in your home; it helps reduce the toxic chemicals and pesticides that we get from conventional foods, and you don’t have to worry about what kind of fertilizers and pesticides they are spraying on your crops; and it’s really a wonderful tool for your family, especially if you have young children, get them involved!
Here are 3 easy ways to start your own organic garden:
1. Kitchen Window Herb Garden
If you are new to gardening and want to see what all the fuss is about. Start small. Try growing a few herbs right in your kitchen. You can even just start with one or two plants! For growing herbs in your kitchen. It’s best to have a south-facing window that gets direct sunlight for at least 4-6 hours per day during the winter. If you don’t receive that much light, use supplemental lighting such as florescent shop bulbs to ensure proper growth of the herbs during the winter.
When you’re taking care of your new herbs, don’t forget the most common killer of houseplants: not enough water. To monitor the thirstiness of your plants, poke your finger into the soil once every 3-4 days. If the soil feels dry, it is time to water.
Some good choices for your window herb garden: parsley, chives, rosemary, thyme, sage, marjoram and winter savory and peppermint.
2. Raised Beds
I’m a big fan of raised-bed gardening. This is what we do in our family. Here are some reasons you might want to consider raised beds as well:
- More control over the location of the garden, you can pick a good spot which gets the best sun.
- Ability to choose the best soil for your particular plants.
- More efficient draining.
- Because the beds are raised it can be easier on your back and knees due to less bending and stooping.
- Easier to keep out weeds (one of my favorite reasons).
- The soil warms up earlier in a raised bed, so you can plant earlier and extend your growing season.
- Better ability to keep out ground-dwelling pests (chicken wire is great at keeping moles away).
- Perfect for kids who like to help in the garden.
Head over to This Old House to learn how to build your own raised bed.
3. Container Gardening
Container gardening is wonderful for people who live in the city or apartments without a yard. No yard is no excuse for why you cannot grow your own food. Containers come in every size…you can use small ones for your windows, larger ones for your porch, deck, or balcony, or you can hang them too! Containers also make it easier for you to control the soil, light, water and fertilizer.
Some Important Tips for Container Gardening:
1. Go Bigger
The greatest challenge of container vegetable growing is watering, because the soil dries out faster in pots than in the ground. A bigger container or pot will help it not dry out as fast, so get the biggest you can fit in your particular space. It’s fine to mix compatible plants in a single large pot. Make certain that any container has holes so excess water can drain away from the soil.
2. Watering is Key
Those “self-watering” containers have a reservoir beneath the soil topped with a grid through which the roots can reach down to the water. With these containers you won’t have to water as often, but you still have to be careful and watch to keep it filled. And in the hot summer, mature plants will empty that reservoir fast, so you may have to fill it daily. To help, try spreading some mulch over the soil in pots just as you would in a garden, to keep moisture from evaporating.
3. Start with Herbs
They are easy, especially if you begin with transplants, and will add a fresh-grown taste to almost any meal. Just remember to give them the conditions they prefer. All herbs need full sun, but some, such as rosemary, prefer dryer soil and fewer nutrients; basil needs more fertilizer and watering.
4. Move it
What is good about containers is that you can move them. In the morning you can stick them in the sunshine, and just keep moving them to follow the sun. It might take some remembering on your part but with a container garden you’ll have a lot of options.
Additional Resources to Help You Start an Organic Garden:
- How to Start Your Own Organic Garden
- Starting an Organic Garden: The Top 4 Benefits
- Make the Most of Your Organic Garden: How to Use/Freeze Zucchini
- Find a Community Garden in Your Area (perfect for people who have no room or space at home, and excellent for the community)
Have you started your own organic garden yet? What was the easiest or hardest part for you?
I don’t think there is anything better than waking up to a yummy smelling breakfast. Don’t even get me started on breakfast in bed! Nothing screams “I LOVE YOU” more than an organic breakfast in bed! Here are a few ideas that you can make for your sweetie.
This one is a quick, no fuss recipe, and you can serve it so many different ways. It may be fun to do a little breakfast bar in bed with 5 little cups of different toppings for your loved one to choose from.
Dutch Baby Recipe
- 3/4 cup flour (you can used gluten free flour )
- 3/4 cup milk (cow, nut or coconut milk)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup butter, ghee or coconut oil
Preheat your oven to 425. In a medium bowl whisk all ingredients except butter together until smooth (sometimes if I’m in a hurry I just throw it all in my blender). In a cast iron pan add the butter and place the pan in the oven and let butter melt while preheating. When done preheating add your mixture to the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until your Dutch Baby has puffed and is golden brown. Serve warm with whatever toppings you like.
Some Topping Ideas:
- Fresh cut fruit – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.
- Nut butters like almond, cashew, peanut butter or a chocolate hazelnut would be delicious.
- Maple syrup or powdered sugar.
Sweet Potatoes and Eggs Recipe
- 3 teaspoons organic ghee, butter or coconut oil
- 1 large sweet potato or yam, washed + ends cut (if you don’t like sweet potatoes you can use russet or red)
- 3 large pastured eggs
- shredded cheddar cheese, or other sharp cheese
- salt and pepper
Grate your potato. Heat a 9”-10” skillet that is oven safe over medium heat and add your choice of fat. Once pan is hot, place the sweet potato in the pan and stir frequently until done to your liking. Usually takes about 8-12 minutes.
Set your oven to broil on high. Spread the sweet potato evenly around the pan and create 3 small wells for the eggs. Crack eggs one at a time and pour into each well. Let cook for about 2-3 minutes, until the white just starts to solidify and turn opaque. Sprinkle with cheese and place under the broiler, watching closely, until eggs are cooked to your liking.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Goes great with bacon and fresh fruit!
While it’s okay to splurge on special occasions with richer, fattening foods, you might consider using breakfast in bed as a time to show you care about someone’s health.
- 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 Handful of spinach or kale
- 1 ripe banana
- 1/2 cup liquid of choice (any juice or milk of choice)
- 1/2 cup water
- Ice (if I use frozen fruit then I don’t add much ice, if any)
*Sweetener – if you are like me and still like to add a little sweetness to it, I usually add a few drops of some vanilla stevia or a scoop of raw honey and sometimes a few dates (dates require a super blender).
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend to your preferred consistency.
5 Tips for the Perfect Breakfast in Bed
- Try hiding a poem, a card or a small flat gift under a plate.
- If you don’t have a breakfast-in-bed tray, fold a table cloth in half and lay it down. A nice basket filled with hand-held items like muffins, fruit and the morning paper can provide an elegant low-crumb experience.
- Breakfast in bed isn’t much fun if you don’t have time to leisurely enjoy it. So if you decide to serve breakfast pick a day when they will have plenty of time to eat their breakfast and savor the experience.
- Layer on the extra touches. Use your best china and silverware. Present the meal with a linen napkin. Put a chocolate on the tray or flowers.
- Save time in the morning by using a mix or premixing whatever you can the night before. Most muffin batters can be mixed the night before and stored in the refrigerator.
Even More Ideas for Breakfast in Bed:
- Pancakes are always easy—especially with a mix. You can make them special with a topping or by adding something as a filling. Cranberries, nuts, applesauce, or chocolate chips are popular considerations.
- French toast is always easy. Add a little extra cinnamon or nutmeg and maybe some vanilla extract or orange flavoring.
- Scrambled eggs can be quick and easy. Make it special with bacon bits and cheddar, or sausage, or sautéed vegetables. Nearly anything that you can do to an omelet, you can do to scrambled eggs.
- Strawberries and crème fraiche make for an elegant but easy breakfast dish.
- Pick a granola that he or she likes and serve it as a cereal or a parfait with yogurt.
- Cut fresh fruit and present it in an attractive bowl or on a platter.
- Pick up hot bagels and different flavors of cream cheese.
- Try broiling a grapefruit half topped with a sprinkling of brown sugar.
Have you have had an organic breakfast in bed? What was your favorite item served?
I’ve been a regular farmer’s market shopper for years now and I always enjoyed picking and choosing what looked the best each week at my favorite farmer’s market. I’d been tempted to join a CSA over the years but resisted because I wanted to choose every single fruit and veggie myself.This year, when one of my favorite local farms opened up their CSA for the year, I decided to give it a try.
Since I’ve never met a vegetable I didn’t like, I figured it would be fun to see what comes in my box every week. For the most part that has been the case each and every week but in the last few weeks I’ve been getting this purple knobby bulbous vegetable called Kohlrabi that I have almost no experience with. All I knew to do with it is shred it and put it in salads. Its crunchy and little sweet and its great in salads but when I came home from my CSA pickup yesterday with another kohlrabi bulb and realize that last week’s was still in the fridge, I figured I needed to find another way to use it.
After searching on recipes and finding a lot for shredded kohrabi (apparently its the most common way people are eating this alien looking vegetable), I noticed a few for carrot kohlrabi soup so I decided to make up my own recipe with what I had in my fridge. It came out delicious!
Chop the onion and saute in butter or coconut oil until tender. While that is cooking, peel the outer portion of the kohlrabi and roughly chop it. Roughly chop the carrots (I don’t peel carrots, just use a vegetable brush on them). Add the carrots and kohlrabi to the pot and saute for about 10 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. At this point you can transfer everything to a blender or food processor or use an immersion blender and puree until smooth. If you want a thicker consistency, continue to cook the pureed soup until it is the thickness you like. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I garnished mine with the greens from the kohlrabi. If your kohlrabi has greens, chop them into pretty small pieces and saute in butter or coconut oil until tender then add some to the top of each bowl of soup.
Have you gotten any strange veggies in your CSA? Share your tips on using them below!
Along with peas and beans, organic peanuts are members of the legume family, which are the the best sources of protein in the plant kingdom. They also have a variety of nutrients which include fiber, vitamin E (an antioxidant) and magnesium – all of which reduce the risk of heart disease.
Since peanuts are actually legumes, they have a soft and porous shell (unlike most nuts that have hard shells). Fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides can permeate the shell and reach the peanut itself and since peanuts are high in fat, they act like a sponge and absorb the pesticides. This is why it is really important to buy organic peanuts instead of conventional.
Organic peanuts can be eaten salted, dry roasted, boiled and even raw. I know many of us don’t think of peanuts as a food to cook with. Most of us, when we think of peanuts, we think snacks! I know I do. I think of eating peanuts at baseball games, peanuts in trail mix, as peanut butter or in my old favorite candy bars.
Organic peanuts are very versatile and can be used for so much more than snacking and peanut butter. Here are some international recipes using organic peanuts, which I hope will inspire you to start cooking with them.
7 International Recipes Using Organic Peanuts
- African Lamb and Peanut Stew – Hearty and aromatic!
- Kashata (East African Peanut Brittle) – Coconut and Cardmom make this Ugandan treat unique!
- Chicken Sate with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce - If you’re looking for a recipe with some spice to it, I’d try this one out!
- Pacific Rim Chili – I love chili, this sounds like a fun twist!
- Tropical Fruit with Ginger & Peanuts - Could be good for breakfast to or over yogurt!
- Indonesian Prawn & Peanut Wrap – This one sounds so yummy little sweet, little salty.
- Senegalese Sweet Potato & Peanut Soup – Sounds perfect for a cold winter day.
If you haven’t tried cooking with organic peanuts, I hope these recipes will give you some inspiration. What are your favorite organic peanut recipes?
There is nothing better than having a nice, big, bowl of hot organic soup during the cold winter months. There is just something so comforting about it. Though it hasn’t been too cold here in the Northwest so far this winter, I’m still finding that I love making soups on a weekly basis.
Adding more organic soup to your diet is a great way to lose weight or maintain weight. They are typically low in calories but filling. Try eating soup for dinner or at least starting your meal with a soup and see how full you’ll feel.
Soups are also excellent for busy, working families because you can double a recipe and freeze the leftovers, giving you an easy weeknight meal when your time is short.
Here are some of my favorite hearty winter time soup recipes.
Organic Soup Recipes for Winter
Garden Vegetable Soup Recipe
This soup is perfect for when you have a ton of vegetables that you need to eat before they go bad. I love making this soup and you can make it with any veggie you have. Today I used:
- 1/2 large cauliflower, chopped
- 5 ribs of celery chopped
- 3 rainbow carrots chopped or thinly sliced
- 1-cup frozen peas
- 2 cloves garlic chopped finely
- 1 cup corn
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon ghee (coconut oil, olive oil will work fine too)
- 2- 32oz containers of organic broth/stock of choice (today I used beef broth). If you have homemade broth on hand, please use that.
Directions (with images):
1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat your choice of fat, today I used ghee. While that’s warming up, and you haven’t done so already. Chop up all your veggies and get your spices ready.
2. When the ghee is melted and pan is nice and warm throw in the carrots, celery, onion:
3. Stir occasionally until onions are translucent, and veggies start to get tender, usually around 10, minutes, this is when I throw the garlic and spices in and stir for another minute or two.
4. Add broth and the rest of your vegetables.
5. Cover and cook for 45-60 minutes (check tenderness of your veggies). Add salt and pepper to taste.
There you have it a hearty garden vegetable soup.
Mountain Stew Recipe
I was given this recipes years ago, and I still have no idea who wrote this recipe or where it came from. I love it though and have made it several times. I like to mix up the vegetables and sometimes I add chicken.
- 1-15oz can kidney beans
- onion, sliced thin
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup cabbage, coarsely chopped
- 1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes with liquid
- 1 c diced red potatoes
- 4 c stock (I used chicken stock, you can use any you like)
- 1/3 cup uncooked rice
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder, or more to taste
- 1/2 grated cheese of choice (cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack etc)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil and cook the onion and garlic, stirring until the onion is soft, about 3-5 minutes.
Add the bell pepper, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes (with liquid), chili powder, paprika, and cumin.
Continue cooking, stirring frequently for 3 more minutes. Add the rice, stock and the beans. Cover and cook over low heat until the stew is thick and the beans and rice are tender, about 2 hours on stove top or six hours in your slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Top with grated cheese.
Easy Chicken Pho Recipe
Pho is one of my family’s favorite meals, we love going out dinner to have a big bowl of pho. It’s also one of my husband and I’s favorite meal after a long day of snowboarding. Did you know it’s simple to make at home! Here is a quick recipe. This is perfect to make when you have leftover chicken or even turkey!
- 8 cups of organic chicken stock/broth (I love using homemade for this, makes it taste even more authentic)
- 2-3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or chunked (whatever you prefer)
- 8 ounces of bean sprouts
- 1 cup fresh Thai basil leaves (optional)
- 1 lime wedged (optional)
- 1 Jalapeno thinly sliced
- 1 package of rice stick noodles
- Hoisin/ chili garlic sauce for serving
1. Add stock and chicken to crock pot. Cover and cook on Low for 6-7 hours or high for 3.
2. Add bean sprouts, noodles, and basil. Heat until noodles are softened.
3. Spoon soup into individual serving bowls and server with lime wedges, hoisin, or chili sauce.
Note: Always use organic ingredients whenever possible. This will lessen your exposure to unwanted chemicals and pesticides.
What are your favorite comforting soups for winter time?
Organic flaxseed has gained significant popularity among health-conscious Americans in recent years. However, despite the recent hype surrounding this little seed, a lot of people still have never heard of it. It may not exactly be a super food, but organic flaxseed certainly has many nutritional benefits. Although flax has been known to have been used thousands of years ago, even as far back as 1000BC because of its many health benefits, flax was until recently, relatively unknown.
Benefits of Organic Flaxseed:
1. Prevents Heart Disease
Omega 3 fatty acids are considered to be good fats and are important to our health, but they cannot be produced by our body. We must get them in from our foods. Because organic flaxseed is rich in omega 3, it can help to keep your heart healthy in a variety of ways, one way is that it helps fight inflammation in the body, which is a major cause of many diseases. Flaxseed also helps your heart health by naturally lowering your blood pressure. Having high blood pressure increases the chances of having a heart attack or congestive heart failure. The omega 3 fatty acids in flaxseed help reduce those risks.
2. Fiber Rich
Organic flaxseed is rich in fiber, both soluble and insoluble types. While soluble fiber helps to maintain proper gut and colon health, insoluble fiber plays a vital role in keeping the heart healthy by lowering LDL cholesterol levels. This property of flaxseed also aids in maintaining normal blood sugar levels for people suffering from blood sugar issues and diabetes.
3. Good Source of Protein
Organic flaxseed is a complete protein source, meaning that it contains every amino acid that your body can’t make on its own. It’s uncommon to find plant-based foods that are complete proteins, so flaxseed makes a great addition to vegetarian and vegan diets.
4. Boosts your Immune System
Organic flaxseed can help with fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and other immune disorders by building your immune system (which is mostly in our gut), healing you from the inside out, and preventing illness. Not only will you benefit from eating the nutrition your body is craving, but the flax lignans, omega 3, fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals will help your body to heal and repair itself.
5. Aids in Weight Loss
Organic flaxseed forms an essential part of many diet programs, for those trying to lose weight, since it keeps blood sugar levels in check. Due to its richness in fiber, it keeps the stomach full and helps you to not over eat. Also the good fats in flax help keep you full for longer periods of time.
6. Helps to Fight and Prevent Cancers
Studies show that flaxseed may have a role in fighting cancer, particularly colon, prostate and breast cancer. The benefit is based on its high concentration of lignans, which are believed to inhibit the enzymes that promote tumor growth.
7. Boosts Brain Power
Your brain and body must have Omega 3 to function and survive, we must have fats. Omega 3 is one of those essential fats we need in order to prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia as well as helping with many mental disorders, depression, ADD + ADHD, difficulty sleeping, etc. Also, kids need Omega 3 so that their brains can develop properly. The only way for our body to get Omega 3 is through foods we eat, but much of the food we eat is cooked and processed; which does not contain any Omega 3 in it. Flaxseed is the perfect way to get more Omega 3 in our daily diet.
How to Get More Organic Flaxseed in Your Diet
Flaxseed has a light, nutty taste. Here are some ways to add it to the foods you already eat and enjoy:
- Sprinkle flaxseed on your cold cereal or hot oatmeal at breakfast.
- Add a teaspoon of ground flaxseed to the mustard or mayonnaise that you spread on your sandwich at lunch.
- Blend flaxseed into juice or smoothies.
- Sprinkle on salads or in soups.
- Mix a tablespoon of ground flaxseed into your yogurt.
Do you take flaxseed daily? How do you use it?
Do you have fond memories of winter time when you were young? I know I do. One of my most fond memories was coming inside from playing out in the snow, and my mom would have a huge pot of homemade hot cocoa and buttered toast ready for us. It was the best thing ever and warmed us kids right up. Today I’m going to be sharing some cozy winter time recipes for organic snacks and ideas for your next cozy winter night.
Warm and Cozy Organic Snacks:
Dairy Free Organic Hot Cocoa Recipe
- 1 can organic coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp organic cacao powder
- 1-2 Tbsp. (or to taste) organic raw honey
- pinch sea salt
- 1/4 tsp organic vanilla
Tip: To make it Cocoa Mint, add a drop or two of peppermint extract.
Combine coconut milk, vanilla, cocoa, and salt in a sauce pan and whisk together until combined. Over low-medium heat warm the milk, whisking continuously, until it starts to bubble gently. Remove from heat and stir in honey
One last tip! Sometimes I like to throw it all in my Vita-Mix for about 1 minute on High after the last step, it combines ingredients really well and kids love the frothy top it makes.
Organic Flavored Popcorn Recipe
I don’t know what it is about popcorn on a cold night but it is one of my favorite organic snacks this time of year. I like to switch it up sometimes with different seasonings.
Directions to make Popcorn:
Directions: In a 3-Qt pan, pour in 3 tbsp coconut oil in the pan. Add a couple corn kernels to the pan, cover and heat. When they pop, add remaining popcorn and cover and shake pan over medium heat until popping stops. Add desired seasonings. Makes about 16 cups.
Optional Flavors Popcorn Flavors:
1. Ranch: Melt 4 tablespoons coconut oil or butter with a 1/2 packet of organic ranch seasoning mix; toss with 16 cups hot popcorn and 2 tablespoons chopped chives. Season with salt.
3. Brown Butter Cinnamon Sugar
- 6 tablespoons salted butter, diced.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon organic cinnamon
Place butter in a small, heavy-bottomed pot. Set pot over medium-low heat and stir constantly as butter melts and foams. After a few minutes, butter will turn golden and brown specks will form. When the foam subsides and the butter begins to smell nutty, remove from the heat. Butter should be deep golden brown but not black or burnt. Remove pot from heat and stir in vanilla (be prepared for butter to foam up quite a bit). While brown butter slightly cools, mix sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl until well combined.
Slowly drizzle brown butter over popcorn, allowing any black/dark brown sediment at the bottom of the pot to remain behind. Gently stir popcorn until evenly coated. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mixture over buttered popcorn; stir, and repeat with remaining cinnamon sugar. Serve immediately.
Homemade Organic Chai Tea Concentrate Recipe
- 4 cups of pure water
- 6 organic chai tea bags
- 3 Tbsp. raw honey
- 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
Pour water in to sauce pan over medium-low heat and bring to boil. Add tea bags and steep for 15-20 minutes. Remove tea bags and squeeze remaining liquid into pan.
When it cools slightly stir in honey and vanilla. Store in large mason jar and keep in fridge for up to 7-10 days. To make use a 1:1 ratio. 1/2 cup chai concentrate to 1/2 c milk.
Chai Tea Latte Recipe
Pour chai tea into a small sauce pan on stove and heat on medium low just until warm. Pour milk into your high power blender and blend on high for 2 minutes. This will warm up milk and make if very frothy. Pour warm chai into mug then top with frothy milk. If you have an espresso machine you can use that as well. Serves about 4.
What are your favorite organic snacks to cozy up to during the winter time?
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s time to start planning and preparing for the big feast. In case you’re like me, and still collecting recipes for next week, I thought I’d share a few of a few organic Thanksgiving recipes that I am going to try out this year; all of them made with easy, all-natural ingredients!
These dishes are so tasty your family may not even realize they’re eating healthier. Hope you enjoy them!
Organic Thanksgiving Turkey
To find a good organic, free range turkey. You have three options. Find a local farmer who raises them, this time of year it might be tricky because they will most likely be pre-sold. Next best option is to find one at your local grocery store. The prices can be high, but it will be an easy choice. The only caution here is that many organic turkeys labeled organic have just been fed organic feed but are not truly free range. Still a better option, but nowhere near the nutrients of truly free range turkeys. Lastly, if the other two options don’t work, just order online. There are quite a few options to buy pastured turkeys online. This year I will be trying a recipe for slow-roasted turkey with herb butter from Nourished Kitchen.
Organic Thanksgiving Sides
Isn’t everyone’s favorite thing the sides?! I know they’re mine. Here’s one I’ll be trying:
Basic Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
- 8 medium organic sweet potatoes
- 2 tbsp. grass-fed butter, ghee or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup hot milk (any milk will do)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. paprika
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 lb. marshmallows
1. Cook sweet potatoes until tender. Remove skins and mash. When smooth, beat in butter, milk, salt, and spices. Beat well.
2. Fold in walnuts and turn into buttered baking dish.
3. Top with marshmallows and bake at 350 until marshmallows puff and become golden brown.
Can’t have Thanksgiving without a delicious dessert! Below is a recipe I made last year that turned out fantastic.
Grain – Free Pumpkin Bar Recipe
Adapted from this recipe
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup sunflower seed butter (we are sensitive to almonds in my family, but almond butter would be great also)
- 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
- 2 organic, free range eggs
- 1 tsp organic cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
Directions for Cake
In a medium sized bowl, combine all the cake ingredients and mix thoroughly to combine, I actually took the easy route and threw it all in my Vitamix. Pour into an 8×8 oven safe baking dish (I lined mine with parchment paper for easy removal). Bake about 30 minutes until it’s nice and golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean and it is firm to the touch.
Top your Pumpkin Bars
These are my favorite toppings for these pumpkin bars. I like them all.
Coconut Cream Frosting
Coconut Cream Frosting Directions:
Place your can of coconut milk in the fridge and leave overnight. Open the milk the next morning, and do not shake. The top of the can should be thick, scoop this out. About halfway through you should reach a point where the cream turns to water. Do not scoop out the water. Whip the vanilla into the cream until well-combined and fluffy. Spread on bars, cut into squares, and enjoy!
Maple Pecan Glaze (pictured above)
- 3/4 c pecans
- 1/4 c pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 cup milk of choice (I used coconut milk)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Spread on bars when completely cooled.
Head over to our Fabulous Fall Recipes board on Pinterest for more fun Thanksgiving meal ideas.
And more Thanksgiving recipes here:
- 25 Fantastic Gluten-Free Side Dishes for Thanksgiving
- 32 Vegan Recipes Perfect for Thanksgiving
- Top 25 Paleo Thanksgiving recipes
*It’s easy to make any meal organic. Whether it be gluten-free, vegan, paleo, or traditional, buying organic ingredients will make all the difference.
What are your favorite Thanksgiving meals?