By now we all know that organic foods and products are healthier and better for us than those that aren’t. Organic milk, organic produce, organic grains…..but what about a key element in all our baking and cooking that makes our dishes taste delicious… what about organic spices? Yes, spices and herbs are best to buy organic too! I know in the beginning of my wellness journey I had no idea that using organic spices had an impact on my health, but the more I learned the more I realized that those nasty store bought packets of ranch dip, taco seasonings and Italian seasonings that I was buying on a weekly basis, didn’t contain organic spices, and were packed with icky ingredients such as MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) and other chemical additives I can’t pronounce.
Of course now I use organic spices to make my own seasoning blends, well, really now I make EVERYTHING using organic materials… (I even make my own shampoo, toothpaste and deodorant, but that can be for a future blog!).
Organic Spices in D.I.Y. Seasoning Blends
Making your own seasoning blends does take a little time, but it’s worth it. Just knowing your family isn’t getting any extra unwanted and unnecessary sodium and chemicals in the food you prepare for them, is all worth it. Plus, it only takes a little chunk of time, because once you’re done you have a ton of seasonings that you won’t have to buy or make for a while! And if you buy your organic spices and herbs in bulk at shopOrganic, it will save you money in the long run! Now here are a few of my favorite seasoning blends using organic spices, that I make most often!
Taco Seasoning Blend Recipe with Organic Spices:
1/4 cup Cumin Powder
1 tablespoon Garlic powder
1 tablespoon Onion powder
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Oregano
1-4 Tablespoons Cayenne Powder (depending on how spicy you like it)
1 teaspoon ground pepper
To Make: Place all ingredients in bowl and mix. Store in an air tight container or jar (I like to use mason jars). Use just like you would use with any taco seasonings. I use about 2 Tbsp. per pound of meat when I am making tacos. Adjust it to your preference.
Italian Seasoning Blend with Organic Spices:
1/2 cup Basil
1/2 cup Oregano
1/4 cup Rosemary
1/4 cup Marjoram
1/4 cup Thyme
1/4 cup Sage
2 -3 Tablespoons Dried Minced Garlic
To make: This one I actually throw in my vita mix and pulse it a few times just to cut down the rosemary and make it a tad finer. You can also use a mortar and pestle or a food processer. Store in container until ready to use. Use in all your favorite Italian recipes.
Ranch Dressing Mix with Organic Spices:
1/4 cup Dried Parsley
1 Tablespoon Dill
1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 tablespoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Basil (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Ground black pepper
2-4 teaspoons Sea Salt (optional)
To Make: Mix together and store in an air tight container.
For dressing: Mix 2 tablespoons dry Ranch mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup buttermilk or sour cream.
For Dip: Mix 2 tablespoons dry Ranch Mix with 2 cups of sour cream or yogurt. Store in fridge until ready to use.
Dry Onion Soup Mix with Organic Spices:
2/3 cup Dried, Minced Onion
3 teaspoons Parsley Flakes
2 teaspoons Onion Powder
2 teaspoons Turmeric (optional )
1 teaspoon Celery Seed (or omit salt and use Celery Salt)
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Organic Sugar (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Mix all ingredients and store in jar. Remember to shake before each use.
Use 4 tablespoons in a recipe in place of 1 packet of onion soup mix. Store this in a dry, cool place.
Tip: If you buy herbs in bulk you can freeze them for longer use!
Those are my four most used seasonings using organic spices in my home. Which organic spices and herbs are your favorites? Do you have a seasoning you would like to share? I know I would love to see if anyone has a good homemade curry seasoning recipe… I just can’t seem to make a good one!
A bowl of organic oatmeal is a hearty and healthy breakfast, but did you know how versatile oatmeal really is? Not only is it a high fiber, delicious breakfast food, it can be used for beauty care, kitchen cleanup, kids’ activities, and more. Let’s take a look at 25 uses for organic oatmeal:
Skin Care with Organic Oatmeal:
1. Acne: Spread cooked oatmeal (after it has cooled) over your problem skin. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then rinse. Oatmeal can absorb and remove oil and bacteria from skin, and exfoliates dead skin cells, all of which can combat acne. Try adding honey and tea tree oil for more acne fighting power.
2. Itch relief: If you’re suffering from the itchiness of poison ivy, chicken pox or even a sunburn, try an oatmeal bath. As a kid who got a lot of poison ivy, I can vouch for this one. Place oats in an an old piece of clean pantyhose and knot it around the faucet in the bathtub so that it hangs in the water. Draw a warm bath, allowing the water to run through the oats. Soak in the tub and use the pouch of oats to rub your itchy skin.
3. General skin problems: Its easy to make your own oatmeal soap or scrub for any skin problems. To make a scrub, grind 2 Tbsp of oatmeal in a blender then add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and enough water to make a paste. Spread on dry skin then rinse off after 10 minutes. Oatmeal soap can be made using the bits of soap left in your shower. Melt them down with a small amount of organic oatmeal and pour into a mold. Cool and you have your own fresh organic oatmeal soap.
4. Rejuvenating face mask: Mix 1/2 cup hot water with 1/3 cup oatmeal for two or three minutes, then add two tablespoons each plain yogurt and honey, plus one egg white. Spread thinly on the face, then relax for 10 minutes and rinse with warm water.
5. Stress releif: You don’t need itchy skin to have an excuse for an oatmeal bath. Try adding a cup of milk, two cups of oats (in a pouch) and a tablespoon of honey to the bath to moisturize the skin and relax the body. You could also use scented oils in a ground oatmeal pouch, as described in the itch remedy above.
6. Go ‘No-Poo’: If you’re not familiar with the trend, many people are moving away from using shampoo and are using other methods to cleanse the hair and scalp. Grind oatmeal into a powder and mix with an equal amount of baking soda. Rub into the scalp and let it soak up oils and odors, then brush out.
7. Itchy dogs: Dogs also suffer from dry skin and hair problems. Try mixing equal parts oats and warm water and rubbing the mixture thinly over a dog’s dry, itchy spots. Wrap in aluminum foil and keep the dog still for 10 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water and repeat regularly until your dog is scratching less.
8. Pore Refiner: Mix 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup hot water, and 1/4 cup honey in a food processor. Let cool, and apply. Wait 10 minutes, and rinse.
9. DIY Scrub: To smooth out rough skin your body or face, make your own scrub out of oatmeal by grinding up two or three tablespoons of oats in a food processor. Add one or two teaspoons of baking soda and enough water to turn it into a paste. Smooth the scrub onto the skin and rub gently in a circular motion. After about 20 minutes, rinse off the paste with cool water.
Organic Oatmeal For Your Health:
10. Weight Loss: Oats have more fiber than wheat and other flours so cooking with oat flour offers a more full feeling with fewer calories.
11. Fuel Your Exercise: Studies have shown that oats can help fuel muscles during a workout. Eat oatmeal about three hours before your next endurance run or bike ride and enjoy the benefits of this high fiber complex carbohydrate.
12. Lower Cholesterol: The soluble fiber in oats lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad kind). Oatmeal may curb small LDL cholesterol particles, which may be riskier than bigger LDL particles.
13. Reduce Inflammation: Lab tests show that antioxidants in oats have anti-inflammatory properties. It would be impractical to try to eat the amount of oatmeal needed to get the antioxidant levels used in those tests, but smaller doses over time may have benefits.
14. Cardiovascular Benefits: Since organic oatmeal is high in fiber it offers many cardiovascular benefits, including a reduced risk of developing high blood pressure. Postmenopausal women, who tend to develop high blood pressure, should eat six servings of oatmeal on a weekly basis. Studies show that men can also reduce their risk of heart failure if they eat one bowl of oatmeal, per day.
15. Stable Blood Sugar: A high fiber diet that includes organic oatmeal for breakfast will stabilize blood sugar levels and won’t cause the mid-morning slumps, which comes from eating a lot of sugar and carbs in the morning.
16. Immune System Booster: Oatmeal contains a type of fiber called beta-gluten fiber. This fiber protects against heart disease and also supports the immune system, helping the immune cells seek out and repair areas of the body that may be fighting a bacterial infection.
17. Prevent Diabetes: Oatmeal isn’t just a good source of fiber, it is also a good source of magnesium, which regulates the body’s insulin and glucose levels. It’s been shown that, over the course of eight years, women who eat a diet rich in whole grains like oatmeal can reduce their risk of developing diabetes by up to 31 percent.
18. Lower Risk of Breast Cancer: A study in the International Journal of Epidemiology suggested that premenopausal women can reduce their risk of breast cancer up to 41 percent by focusing on diets rich in oatmeal and other whole grains.
Household Uses For Organic Oatmeal:
19. Odor Absorber: Oatmeal can absorb odors in your refrigerator or bathroom. Just leave a container of oats open in your fridge or any other smelly spot.
20. Kid’s Toy: Make your own substitute for Play-Doh with organic oatmeal. Just mix two parts oatmeal with one part flour and one part water. Add some natural food coloring if you’d like. Once mixed, it can be molded into virtually any shape and can be painted once dry.
21. Soak Up Oil Spills: Cover the oil puddle with uncooked oatmeal and let it sit for 5 minutes before sweeping it up.
Organic Oatmeal In Your Kitchen:
22. Breadcrumb Substitute: Process oats in a food processor and use in place of breadcrumbs in meatballs, meatloaf and veggie burgers.
23. All Purpose Flour Substitute: Grind oats in a food processor to create oat flour and use as a healthier substitute for traditional flour in cookies, pancakes, breads and more. You’ll get twice the fiber with less calories.
24. Homemade Granola: Nothing is better than fresh warm granola right out of the oven. Control the ingredients in your granola by making it at home. Here’s a great recipe for a basic granola that you can add to with whatever dried fruits and nuts you like: http://www.chow.com/recipes/30062-basic-granola
25. Thickener: Soups, stews and dips can be thickened with some ground oats or oat flour.
Now that you’ve seen the whole list, what are some of your favorite ways to use organic oatmeal?
How to Make Organic Milk from Organic Raw Almonds:
- Soak 1 cup of raw almonds in water 6-8 hours or overnight (make sure the nuts are covered in water).
- When done soaking pour out the water and rinse, then pour nuts in your blender.
- Add 3 cups of filtered water and blend on high for 3 minutes.
- Strain milk through a nut bag, sieve or cheese cloth. Place in a jar and put in fridge. Use within 3-4 days.
How to Make Organic Milk from Cashews (this is my favorite, quick easy, no fuss):
- Pour 1 cup of raw cashews right into your blender (no need to soak or rinse)
- Add 3 cups of water and blend on high for 2-3 minutes. Pour in jar and use within 3-4 days (no need to strain)
- To make an extra special treat, here is a little variation: Vanilla Honey Cinnamon Cashew Milk. Just add the following ingredients to your blender alongside the nuts:
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2-2 tbsp of Honey (you can also use maple syrup or stevia to sweeten also)
Important Note about Raw Almonds:
In 2007 the USDA implemented a mandatory pasteurization program for almonds in the U.S. This rule was called for in response to two recalls of raw almonds from conventional farms due to the presence of salmonella. So please take caution that if you purchase organic almonds in North America, they will have gone through steam pasteurization. Unfortunately in North America, now that “raw” almonds are pasteurized (by one of the above methods) they are still able to label them as “raw” because they aren’t roasted. When experimenting with pasteurized raw almonds, I found that they did still sprout. While there’s no guarantee that a pasteurized almond would sprout, some are making it to market with their life force intact.
What’s your favorite kind of organic milk? Do you make your own organic milk? Or do you have a favorite brand?
1. “Cashews,” WHFoods.org
2. “Walnuts,” WHFoods.org
I’ve become a recent organic legume evangelist. In my quest to find the best diet for my body, I’ve tried a lot of different eating plans. I’d been eating a low-glycemic raw food diet for a few months and was pleased with how easy it was for me to stay away from sweets once they were out of my diet completely. The downside was that to feel satisfied and full, I was eating a lot of nuts, seeds and oils and I had some negative side effects from that. It was a great conversation with a customer about eating vegan that led me to the embrace organic legumes. She recommended to me the book ‘Eat To Live’ by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Dr. Fuhrman recommends eating at least one cup of organic legumes per day, along with 1 pound of raw vegetables, 1 pound of cooked vegetables and a few pieces of fruit. I picked up a copy and decided to give it a shot.
I hadn’t been using beans or legumes at all in my diet so it was important to introduce them slowly. You know that song, ‘beans, beans, good for you heart, the more you eat them…’ you know the rest. Adding organic legumes a little bit at a time allows the body to adjust so that you don’t have to suffer the gassy fate of that song. It is true though, that beans really are good for your heart – and they have a multitude of health benefits that everyone, not just vegans, can enjoy.
Organic legumes are a staple food in many regions of the world. Organic legumes and beans are rich in copper, iron, magnesium and folic acid, nutrients that many of us are deficient in. Peas as well as dried beans are also a good source of absorbable iron, great for anyone, but especially beneficial for vegans. They are low in fat, high in quality protein and are one of the best sources of soluble fiber. That fiber is what makes beans and legumes heart healthy, by lowering levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood. Eating organic legumes and beans is especially beneficial for people with diabetes as the soluble fiber slows down the absorption of sugars, keeping blood glucose levels stable.
How To Cook With Organic Legumes
It takes a bit of advanced planning to use dried organic legumes. You’ll want to sort through the dried beans looking for discolored beans and pebbles. Once they’re sorted through, rinse them in cold water then soak them for 6-8 hours or longer if it works better for your schedule. I often soak them in the morning before work and cook them when I come home from work so they’re soaking a good 9 hours. Soaking is the best way to offset their gas-producing effects; it also shortens your cooking time. When your soak time is up, skim off any beans that are floating on top, then drain the water and rinse. Place the beans in a pot and add fresh water. My quick tip is to use enough water to cover the beans plus two knuckles worth of water. If you put a finger in the water so that the tip of your finger touches the top of the beans, you should fill the water to your second knuckle. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until tender. Depending on the variety it should be about one to three hours. At this point you can season them however you like. A bit like tofu, beans take on whatever flavor you add so you can be as creative or as simple as you’d like. You can use organic legumes as a hot stew or soup, add them cold to salads, or blend them to make a spread for wraps.
Since adding organic legumes to my diet, I am able to fill up easily without adding a lot of fat to my diet. The versatility of legumes has been a real treat, I can eat them every day and not get bored at all. My favorite of all of the organic legumes would have to be lentils; here are a few recipes using them in different ways so you can see the versatility:
Red Lentil Dip
1 cup red lentils
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground caraway
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Place lentils and bay leaf in a large saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above lentils. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes until tender. Drain and discard the bay leaf. Heat oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until onions are translucent. Add the remaining ingredients in the list (aside from the lemon juice) and cook for about 5 minutes. Combine lentils with the onion mixture in a food processor and add the lemon juice; process until smooth. Enjoy on crackers, pita, with fresh veggies or as a wrap filling.
Cold Lentil Veggie Salad
1 cup uncooked green lentils
1 tablesoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
1/8 cup red onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/4 cup red cabbage, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Place lentils in a deep pot and cover with water to 2 inches above lentils. Bring to a boil them cook, covered, over medium-high heat for 30-45 minutes or until tender. They should retain their shape. Drain and rinse with cold water.
In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and vinegar. In a medium bowl, combine cooked lentils, green onion, parsley, red onion, carrot and red cabbage. Add olive oil and lemon mixture to lentils and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to meld.
Spicy Lentil Tacos
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 cup dried green lentils
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup jarred salsa
12 corn tortillas (I like Ezekiel brand)
Sauté the garlic and onion in the oil in a medium pot for 4-6 minutes, or until they become soft and fragrant. Add the lentils and the chili powder, cumin and oregano. Stir to combine. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for about 25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Uncover and cook for 5 minutes more to allow the mixture to thicken. Mash the lentils with a fork and stir in the salsa. Spoon the mixture into the tortillas and top with your favorite taco toppings like shredded lettuce and fresh tomato.
How do you like to use organic legumes? Please share your favorite recipes in the comments!
Who doesn’t love a drizzle (or flood) of liquid amber on their stack of pancakes for breakfast?! I know I do and my kids certainly do as well. We love using organic maple syrup and I will tell you why it’s not only delicious but nutritious as well, but first I want to warn you what not to buy! When you are walking down the aisle at your local grocery on a mission to get syrup…don’t be fooled by the eye catching bottles like Mrs. Butterworth’s or the sweet face of Aunt Jemima smiling back at you. Those syrups are what we call “fake” syrup. There are around 10-12 ingredients in those “syrups”, which include: corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, caramel coloring and other artificial flavors. Yuck, I know!
The better choice for your family is definitely going to be organic maple syrup. It’s pure, it’s natural, it’s organic and the best part is there are actual health benefits to switching to or using pure organic maple syrup! Not only is it a whole food (1 ingredient) organic maple syrup has some actual nutritional benefits! Did you know organic maple syrup contains Zinc and Manganese? Manganese is a trace mineral which is an essential component in a number of enzymes that are important for energy production and antioxidant defense. Zinc is an essential mineral for our immune systems which help protect our body from unwanted invaders like viruses and bad bacteria! I don’t think you will find those awesome benefits in that cute Mrs. Butterworth’s bottle!
Organic Maple Syrup: Grade A vs. Grade B
Another question that might come up when you are buying organic maple syrup is what is the difference between Grade A and B? The good news is the difference is ONLY in the taste. Grade A does not mean it’s better in the quality of the syrup or nutritional value. It’s only for color and flavor. Grade A or “Grade A Dark Amber” is usually harvested in the beginning of the season and is lighter in color and milder of the syrups and sometimes has a slightly thinner consistency and is perfect for pouring all over your stack of flapjacks in the morning.
Then there is “Grade B” (my personal favorite), Grade B is usually your darker, thicker syrup which has that real “maple” taste and yummy caramel undertones. This syrup is excellent to use in your baking recipes in place of other sweeteners like sugar and brown sugar and will give your baked goods that slight scent of maple when it’s in the oven. Now that you know the difference between the two, I hope you will try each one out and see what you like the best!
9 Delicious Ways to Add organic maple syrup Other Than On Pancakes
Let’s face it we all know it’s good over your favorite pancakes, so here are some other ways to use it:
1. Drizzle on top of your oatmeal in the morning
2. Be adventurous instead of sugar cubes and honey, try some organic maple syrup in your tea or coffee for a unique taste
3. Substitute it in your favorite baked recipes. It’s worked well for me in Muffins
4. Drizzled over peaches and cream for a sweet dessert or snack
5. Smoothies! Sometimes instead of Raw Honey or Stevia I like to switch it up with organic maple syrup.
6. My kids love honey on toast but if we are out of honey try maple syrup. Toast a piece of sprouted grain bread and spread on your butter of choice (my kids love peanut butter and almond butter) then drizzle with organic maple syrup and top with sliced bananas!
7. Baked Sweet “Sweet” Potato. Bake a sweet potato when it’s done spread a little coconut oil and drizzle with organic maple syrup and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and a pinch of Himalayan sea salt …. such a treat!
8. For a yummy chicken or salmon marinade
Combine 1/3 c soy sauce,1/2 c organic maple syrup, 1/4 c fresh squeezed orange juice, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tsp grated fresh ginger root and if using on fish add 1 tsp dried Dill Weed. Combine together in bowl. Pour over your chicken or fish and let marinate for 1-3 hours or overnight.
9. Apple Sunday Recipe:
2 Apples chopped
2 Tablespoons butter of choice (I like Almond or pecan butter for this recipe)
1/4 cup organic maple syrup
2 Tablespoons chopped nuts (again I like pecans, almonds or walnuts)
1 teaspoon of vanilla (or almond extract)
coconut flakes (optional)
To make: Blend or mix together the butter, extract, syrup until smooth. Divide the apples into two bowls and pour the mixture over the apples. Top with nuts and coconut flakes!
Those are some ways we use organic maple syrup in our home. What are your favorite ways to enjoy this delicious treat? Let me know in comments below!
As a vegan who’s picky about the ingredients in the foods I eat, finding a milk alternative wasn’t easy. Most commercial nut beverages contain added ingredients to stabilize the liquid. I also found that I’d open up a carton of nut milk and it would go bad in my fridge before I used it all. I decided to explore making my own so that I could control the ingredients and make just what I’d need without wasting anything. The easiest way I found is to make nut milk out of organic nut butter. It’s so simple you’ll never buy packaged nut milks again.
How To Make Nut Milk From Organic Nut Butter
The basic recipe is 1 tablespoon of organic nut butter to 1 cup of water. You’ll need a blender, but it doesn’t have to be a high powered one, a regular blender will do. Just whizz the nut butter and water together until it is milky and smooth. Use more water if you like a thinner consistency, less water if you want a thicker consistency. A thicker nut milk makes a great creamer substitute.
Making your own nut milk out of organic nut butter allows you to make only what you need so that you’re not wasting any. The most common nut butter used to do this would be almond butter but experiment with other nut butters like cashew butter, walnut butter, peanut butter and pecan butter.
Keeping organic nut butter on hand is a great way to make sure you’ll always have nut milk available for recipes. Cashew butter, when made into milk, is the best cream substitute I’ve found. One of my favorite recipes to make is a creamed spinach recipe using cashew milk instead of cream. It is so rich and delicious, my 11 year old step-son was even asking for more.
How to make vegan creamed spinach using nut milk:
- 1 lb fresh spinach, chopped
- 1 c cashew milk
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- pinch of salt
Steam sauté the spinach until wilted and drain to remove the water. Add cashew milk and spices to the pan and stir constantly until the mixture thickens, 2-3 minutes. Serve hot.
A few years back, gluten free foods were not particularly tasty, but folks with gluten sensitivities didn’t have a lot of options – forget trying to find gluten free organic foods. Fast forward to 2013 and you can find a wide variety of gluten free organic products from breads to pastas, beverages to snacks.
Why Gluten Free Organic Foods?
The term “gluten free” covers wide territory and as people with Celiac disease and gluten sensitivities know, it’s not “one size fits all.” People sensitive to gluten have a variety of physical reactions to gluten and tolerance ranges from high to low which can result in mild stomach upset to life-threatening allergic responses. Unfortunately, a lot of gluten free foods are filled with chemicals and ingredients that aren’t good for you and can contribute to the problem.
However, there are a lot of gluten free organic foods now available so you can choose healthy foods within a gluten free diet. It still takes some effort, because not all foods are created equal. For instance, some oatmeal is gluten free, some is not. Bob’s Red Mill, a popular organic food brand, carries both a gluten free organic oatmeal and a non-gluten free organic oatmeal. As a consumer with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivities, there are lots of choices available, but you still have to read labels and pay close attention.
Where To Find Gluten Free Organic Foods
The first place to start is in your grocery’s organic produce section. You can’t go wrong with fresh organic fruits and vegetables as the mainstay of your diet. However, few people live on fruits and vegetables alone – and a natural addition to most diets are beans and grains. That’s where finding gluten free organic food options can be challenging. Bread, crackers, grains and other starches you might naturally add to your diet need to be carefully selected.
shopOrganic offers a wide variety of gluten free organic foods to make your gluten free shopping experience easy. We’ve created an entire section of gluten free organic and natural products just so you don’t have to hunt-and-peck looking for gluten free organic foods.
Needing to be on a gluten free diet used to be a very dull alternative, but thankfully there are hundreds of delicious, nutritious gluten free organic foods to choose from these days!
I have known about organic chia seeds for some time now but I didn’t really start incorporating them into my diet until about a year and a half ago, and only to help me with my weight loss regimen. After having my 4th and final child I was ready and determined to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight (again). I had read that taking 1 tablespoon of organic chia seeds with water 15 minutes before your meals helps you to feel fuller. And so I started incorporating organic chia seeds into my diet more with recipes like:
Organic Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding Recipe:
- 1 Cup of milk (cow, goat or any nut milks)
- 1/4 c of Chia Seeds
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- Couple tablespoons of raw honey or Stevia to taste
Heat milk, vanilla in a small sauce pan until hot (not boiling) stir in the organic chia seeds and take off heat. Let mix sit for 10 minutes or until thick. Stir in raw honey and other add in. You can make this chocolate pudding by adding a tsp. or two of raw Cacao powder!
And I soon noticed that adding these organic chia seeds to my diet was definitely making me feel fuller sooner, and healthier, and so I knew there must be more to this little, gelatinous, seed so I started to research and I was blown away by the many nutritional benefits of this magical, little seed!
10 Health Benefits of Organic Chia Seeds:
1. High in Protein: Chia seeds have the highest amount of protein than any other grain (about 2.5-3 g per 1 tbsp). Organic chia seeds are easily absorbed and digestible. Chia has a total of 19 essential amino acids which makes it a complete protein source . Chia seeds can even replace the protein in those protein shakes!
2. Joint Pain: Daily use of chia over time will greatly reduce or eliminate joint pain. The omega 3 in organic chia seeds are a proven anti-inflammatory. Even the Aztecs ate chia seeds to relieve knee pain. A number of arthritis sufferers have reported reduced pain and inflammation after a few weeks of taking organic chia seeds. The high concentration of omega-3 helps to lubricate joints and keep them supple.
3. Rich in Fiber: Organic chia seeds are also very high in fiber, 10 grams in just 2 tablespoons which makes up 1/3 of your daily fiber intake. Chia seed fiber is 5%-10% mucilloid soluble dietary fiber (helps lower cholesterol and manage diabetes) 90%-95% insoluble dietary fiber (promotes healthy regularity). Taking chia daily will greatly aid your regularity.
4. Antioxidants: Organic chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, cancer and aging. Per serving they contain a much higher level of antioxidants than blueberries! So that high antioxidant profile also helps them have a very long shelf life. They last almost two years without refrigeration.
5. Gluten Free: If you are like me and have a gluten free child in your home or you yourself are gluten free, don’t fret because organic chia seeds contain no gluten or grains. Therefore, all of the nutritional benefits of organic chia seeds can be obtained on a gluten-free diet.
6. High Energy Food: Chia is known as a mega energy food. Athletes (like runners, climbers, weight lifters, etc.) take it because of its prolonged sustained release of energy. It has twice the potassium as bananas. It easily can give you sustainable energy throughout your daily cardio and strength workouts. You will be amazed at your increased energy levels.
7. Recovery: Amino acids are the “building blocks of protein” while antioxidants are the ultimate defense against free radicals. Organic chia seeds are full of both. Eat them soon after your workout to jump start recovery.
8. Omega 3 and 6: Organic chia seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Organic chia seeds’ lipid profile is composed of 60 percent omega-3s, making them one of the richest plant-based sources of these fatty acids , and has the highest known natural percentage of alpha linolenic fatty acid. More than flax seeds even (which needs to be ground, or in oil form which can be expensive and has a limited shelf life) or salmon. Omega 3 and 6 help our brain functions and naturally brightens our mood. They also help our central nervous system and cell membranes health. Omega oils are important for our vital organs, especially our thyroid and skin cells. chia also is an important part of heart healthy eating and cardiovascular health.
9. Detoxification: Similar to psyllium, the swelling action of chia in the body helps to cleanse and soothe the colon, and absorb toxins while lubricating and strengthening the contraction of muscles.
10. Weight Loss: Like I mentioned above that I started using organic chia seeds for an aid in my weight loss here is why: The essential fatty acids contained in organic chia seeds helps to boost our metabolism and promote lean muscle mass. The seeds are sometimes added to food to provide bulk and nutrients while adding very few calories. For these reasons, many people have found organic chia seeds are quite useful in weight loss and maintaining your weight when you have reached your goal.
Other Ways to Incorporate Organic Chia Seeds in Your Diet:
- As a drink. Add 1 tablespoon to your favorite drink
- Incorporate into your smoothies
- Stir into your prepared oatmeal or other warm breakfast porridge
- Stir into your hot tea
Now aren’t you happy you know of all the amazing qualities and benefits of this super seed?! They sure have come a long way since the famous Chia Pet craze… you remember the little jingle right? “Chi-Chi-Chia”, well who knew that those crazy pets were actually a power house super-food! Just go to your favorite health food store or pick some up here and start incorporating them into your diet today!
Greens. We know we’re supposed to eat a lot of them, but how do you do it without getting bored of the same old salads? Make your own organic salad dressing! Nothing beats the freshness of homemade organic salad dressing and they’re really so simple to make with just a few key ingredients and whatever spices and seasonings you have on hand. I’ve got a handful of organic salad dressing recipes tucked in my back pocket that I can pull out and use when I’m in a rut. Salads never have to be boring again, once you know the tricks.
There are two main types of organic salad dressing – vinaigrette and creamy dressings. The basic formula for a vinaigrette is 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil with whatever seasonings you’d like to add. The key is find the right balance between the acid, fat and seasonings. Since oil and vinegar naturally repel each other, these dressings will separate when standing. Creamy dressings add an emulsifier like mayonnaise to keep the ingredients from separating. You can either use a homemade mayo (simply whisk 1 ounce of egg yolk with 1 cup of oil until you reach the right consistency) or use a commercially prepared mayonnaise.
I’ll share with you some of my favorite organic salad dressing recipes but the flavors can so easily be tweaked for your own taste buds. By varying the type of oil (olive, sunflower, safflower, sesame, etc), the type of vinegar (balsamic, white wine, red wine, apple cider, flavored), and the seasonings, there’s nearly endless combinations.
Here are some of my favorite organic salad dressing recipes:
Raw Vegan Italian Salad Dressing
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. While this works best in a high speed blender, any blender will do.
I don’t know what else to call it because it is so good and you’ll crave it once you try it – its that good! I found a version of it online a while back and it was an instant addiction.
Miso Tahini Organic Salad Dressing
1 Tbsp miso
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup waterWhisk all ingredients together until creamy; you may need to add more water to thin the dressing.
1 tsp of dried oregano
1 tsp of dried thyme
salt and freshly ground pepper
In a small bowl, add the vinegar, garlic, mustard and mix well. Slowly add the olive oil while either whisking or stirring rapidly with your fork. Add the oregano and thyme, salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasonings.
Creamy Caesar Dressing
2 anchovy fillets
3 garlic cloves
1 cup mayonnaise
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Place anchovies and garlic in a food processor fitted with the S blade. Pulse until finely minced. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until it reaches a smooth consistency. This dressing is better the next day after the flavors have combined overnight.
Organic baby care wipes are my absolute favorite natural baby care product. Making organic baby wipes yourself is quick, easy, and is a great way to save money for things that are more exciting to buy. Like dark chocolate! And they are all natural and organic! You just need a few ingredients and supplies and you probably already have them around the house.
D.I.Y. Organic Baby Wipes Recipe:
-1 package of bounty select a size or viva (must be one of these thicker brands)
- A bpa free container with tight fitting lid
-2 T Dr. Bronner’s
-1 T Coconut oil
-Essential oils (Optional-I use 6-8 drops of lavender and orange, I also like to put a few drops of tea tree oil for an extra boost, and it also helps keep mildew and mold away, the coconut oil also helps too)
2 cups water boiled then slightly cooled (or you can use distilled water warmed up in microwave or on the stove)
First cut your paper towel roll in half. Don’t use a serrated knife as you will have a bunch of little fuzzies in your wipes. Put one half in your container and save the other for later. It’s ok if it sticks up over the edge. It will just squish down nicely when you are done.
Second mix all the other ingredients and then pour the mixture over the towels. Don’t worry about that cardboard roll as soon as it sits for a while it will come right out. Let sit for a while( at least 10 minutes) until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Remove cardboard center and you are ready to go. Pull wipes from the middle!
There you have it some fool proof, quick, easy, money saving, natural and organic changes you can make to your baby’s everyday care. For me, making my own organic baby wipes is one less thing to worry about! Don’t forget what goes ON your baby’s skin, goes IN your baby’s skin!
Tips: if you don’t have a container that fits you can also us an old baby wipes container. Just fold the paper towels and lay flat, and then pour the mixture over the paper towels!
*If you are not interested in making your own organic baby wipes check out these trusted organic baby wipes instead!