June 22, 2011

Really Natural Cookbooks: Ani's Raw Food Asia

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I love raw food, but I wouldn't say I was a raw foodie. Fortunately, Ani's Raw Food Asia: Easy East-West Fusion Recipes the Raw Food Way has many great recipes to spice up my raw food recipes beyond nuts, cocoa, and salads.

You've been to her kitchen, enjoyed her desserts, and mastered the essentials; now go with raw food goddess Ani Phyo back to her roots for the first ever Asian raw food cookbook. Along with recipes from Korea, China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, and Hawaii and background information on traditional dishes, Ani's Raw Food Asia also offers essential tips on green living, well-being, longevity, fitness, beauty, and entertaining as inspired by a healthy Asian lifestyle.

Recipes include: Mixed Vegetable Skewers with Almond-Butter Sauce, Creamed Curry Saag, Vegetable Tempura with Orange Lemongrass Dipping Sauce, Marinated Shiitake Mushroom Dumplings, Corn Fritters with a Hot and Sour Cucumber Dipping Sauce, Dosas, Moo Shoo Vegetables, and more.


One recipe I found really interesting and never encountered before was for sunscreen! This recipe includes sesame oil, which according to Ani "blocks or reduces about 30 percent of the sun's burning rays". Who knew?

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 20, 2011

Dave's Gourmet Unique Pasta Sauces: Three Certified Organic Flavors

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Pasta sauces have surely gotten expensive in this economy, and I tend to make my own. It's pretty much the same marinara with whatever herbs are growing in the garden, but Dave's Gourmet has me beat with some really unique flavors. We were sent three varieties to sample. All of which are gluten-free, but only one was of the organic nature, although Dave doe's make three organic pasta sauces.
Dave's Gourmet Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce:

The first of its kind, our all-natural butternut-squash pasta sauce is made with squash ripened in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Paired with fresh garlic, onions and roasted red pepper, the natural sweetness and delicate flavor of the butternut squash is enhanced to provide a delicious change of pace.

Dave's Gourmet Organic Red Heirloom Pasta Sauce:
A fresh tasting sauce featuring fresh garlic, fresh herbs and organic heirloom tomatoes that burst with flavor. Try it tossed with your favorite pasta, dusted with Parmigiana Reggiano and a glass of Merlot

Masala Marinara Pasta Sauce:
This delicious and innovative pasta sauce pairs the wonderful western flavors of a classic marinara with the spices (masala), lime, and coconut flavors of the South Asian world. The result is a sauce that you would normally find coming from the kitchen of a talented restaurant chef. This sauce is fantastic with pasta, rice, chicken, pork, lamb, seafood, and vegetables.

Dave's Gourmet has me beat in creativity and will inspire me this fall to toss a few other ingredients in my homemade sauce. At least all of my sauces are 100% organically grown!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 7, 2011

USDA Tests Reveal 34 Unapproved Pesticides Found in Cilantro

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Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs to grow and cook with for its unique flavor and ease of cultivation. In fact, the cilantro in my garden has been reseeding itself and growing voluntarily for over ten years. I am glad I grow my own cilantro in light of USDA testing.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

At least 34 unapproved pesticides showed up on cilantro samples analyzed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of the agency's routine testing of a rotating selection of produce. Cilantro was the first fresh herb to be tested in the 20-year-old program.

"We are not really sure why the cilantro came up with these residues," said Chris Pappas, a chemist who oversees the Virginia-based USDA pesticide testing. Researchers suspect growers may have confused guidelines for cilantro and flat-leaf parsley, for which more pesticides are approved.

In all, 94 percent of the 184 cilantro samples tested in 2009 came up positive for at least one pesticide, according to an annual Pesticide Data Program report posted online last week.

Chris Campbell, a pesticide analyst for the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization, said data show that 44 percent of cilantro samples had residues of at least one pesticide not approved for use on that crop -- "higher than I have ever seen" in nearly a decade of analyzing the USDA's pesticide reports.

I wonder why flat leaf parsley would be approved for more pesticides than cilantro. Furthermore, it is extremely concerning that so many unapproved pesticides were found on the herbs.  It also alarming that the USDA has not been testing herbs until recently, and that "the USDA's pesticide program usually tests fewer than 20 fresh fruits and vegetables a year".  Can we really trust that our food is safe?

Photo:  Attribution Some rights reserved by ingridtaylar

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 3, 2011

Organic Honest Ade and Honest Tea Thirst Quenchers

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Honest Ade Organic Zero Calorie Classic Lemonade:

This classic lemonade by Honest Ade has a refreshingly modern twist. Instead of sugar they use organic Stevia, a leafy plant that provides natural zero calorie sweetness. USDA Organic

Honest Tea Black Berry/Caffein Free (100% Organic):
Organic Black Frost Berry Tea Bottle A Fruit Infusion Made With Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Hibiscus, Organic Blackberry Leaves, Organic Berry Flavor, Organic Blueberries, And Organic Raspberries.

Both of these drinks are caffeine free and delicious.  They certainly are a better choice for your health then grabbing a soda on an interstate road trip!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 2, 2011

Law Firm Investigates "Blueberry" Cereal that Contain No Blueberries

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It's common knowledge that blueberries are a super food, and major food companies have been touting their benefits in their products. Too bad many of these products, like blueberry cereals, do not contain this amazing fruit. The situation is so bad that a legal firm has gotten involved.  Natural News reports:

The law firm of Finkenstein Thompson LLP, with offices in San Francisco and Washington D.C., has launched an investigation into the issue of "faked" blueberries being used in cereals and bread products. As reported here on NaturalNews and revealed by the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (www.ConsumerWellness.org), General Mills manufactures a cereal called "Total Blueberry Pomegranate" which contains no blueberries and no pomegranates.

Many cereals, breads, bagels, pancake mixes and muffins imply they contain real blueberries either by using the word "blueberries" on the front of the box or by showing prominent pictures of blueberries on the product packaging. But the ingredients list reveals many of these products contain no blueberries at all. Instead, they are often made out of artificial coloring chemicals, partially-hydrogenated oils and processed sugars. Instead of delivering the nutrients that people expect to enjoy when they eat real blueberries, these "fake blueberry" products deliver chemicals and processed sugars.

Photo: AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by brx0

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

May 27, 2011

Numi Organic Tea Chest: 18 Assorted Flavors Committed to People, Planet, and Pure Tea

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Numi is one of my favorite organic tea brands. Numi Organic Tea Tea Chest allows you to sample 18 different varieties of pure tea!

From fertile hills to sun-kissed meadows... from smooth earthy tones to light floral scents, we proudly bring you our palette of teas and herbal teasans. These Gifts of Nature have soothed, roused, healed and been shared for centuries. Green Tea: Gunpowder Green, Jasmine Green, Toasted Rice, Mate Lemon, Ginger Lemon Black Tea: Aged Earl Grey, Breakfast Blend, Decaf Black Vanilla, Golden Chai Pu-erh Tea: Chocolate Pu-erh, Emperor's Pu-erh, Magnolia Pu-erh White Tea: White Rose Herbal Teasan: Chamomile Lemon, Rooibos, Moroccan Mint, Rooibos Chai, Honeybush"

The tea chest is reusable and made from 85% post-consumer waste. The tea bags are biodegradable.
NUMI'S VISION
Numi inspires well-being of mind, body and spirit through the simple art of tea. Our company is rooted in the principle of creating a healthful product that nurtures people and honors the planet. In all of our company initiatives, we strive to foster a healthy, thriving global community while bringing you the purest, best-tasting organic tea.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

May 23, 2011

Goji, Mocha, Pumpkinseed: 22 Days Vegan Protein Bars

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What could you accomplish in 22 days? Apparently, it takes 21 days for our minds "to adjust to a major life change". 22 days vegan protein bars adds a day to challenge you to better nutrition.

We believe that foods made with the finest natural ingredients satisfy not only the body but also the spirit. That's why we created 22 Days nutritional products, a smart alternative to many of the well-known nutrition products on the market. Our vegan and vegetarian products are specially formulated using raw and organic superfoods, including the exceptional benefits of hemp and rice protein. When you eat well, you live well and the benefits go beyond the individual and can actually positively affect our environment.

These bars come in the following varieties:

These are raw food bars, so if you don't like that sort of thing, you may not like them. My son did not like the bar he tried, but my daughter liked hers.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

May 11, 2011

Harmony Valley Vegetarian Hamburger Mix

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I've been a vegetarian since I was 16-years-old. I am not one of those people who feels they need fake meat products, so I always approach such reviews with some trepidation.
Harmony Valley Vegetable Hamburger Mix is a soy based mix that is vegan, but full of ingredients that are potential allergens like wheat gluten and soy protein.

Harmony Valley is determined to revolutionize the meatless category, presenting the convenience of a dry mix that is versatile, healthy, delicious and supports sustainability. The dry Vegetarian Hamburger Mix and Vegetarian Breakfast Sausage Mix create the perfect vegetarian replacement for ground meat. Consumers have a meat substitute at their fingertips to incorporate into any recipe, instead of just one option, which is often the case with other meat replacement products. Harmony Valley products are all convenient and easy to use, as the main preparation required is adding water. Take the vegetarian mix off the shelf, and simply hydrate for health and harmony.

"From devoted vegetarians to flexitarians and those simply seeking a healthier option, we believe this contest will attract a variety of personalities, which is reflective of the versatility of our brand," says Dan Berlin, partner at Harmony Valley. A flexitarian himself, Berlin adds that once people discover the great flavor of Harmony Valley, located in the dry food areas versus the freezer where many meat substitutes are placed, they won't go back.


It is a convenient mix to take camping or backpacking, but I prefer nut burgers to soy-based ones. I also think this mix makes a better crumble fake ground beef, like for tacos, than a burger patty.

This product is not organic. It is made with wind power, and the packaging has a recycling symbol with the number 7, but good luck finding a place to actually recycle it.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.


Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

May 6, 2011

Really Natural Books: Nutrition at Your Fingertips

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Nutrition at Your Fingertips by Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN is a handy dandy reference book. From weight management to trace minerals, everything related to nutrition is explained.

"Nutrition at Your Fingertips covers all the basics, from what happens if you eat too little fat to the safest way to defrost food. It also includes helpful charts that provide readers with must-have information, such as which foods contain key vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, along with their benefits and a breakdown of food label terms. It's the kind of resource people can go back to over and over again."
-Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, CSSD, New York Times bestselling author

This book contains information useful for vegetarians and omnivores alike, as well as those requiring special diets like diabetics and celiacs. Food sources for vitamins are displayed in easy to read charts, as well as the BMI index for adults. One of the items I found most surprising is that my cup of espresso actually contains about half the caffeine of a cup of brewed coffee!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

April 26, 2011

Maine Towns Enact Local Food Freedom Laws

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In what can only be a response to the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009, communities in Maine are enacting "local food freedom" laws to supersede federal laws (only it doesn't actually work that way in the Constitution). Treehugger reports:
Blue Hill, Maine will be one of several towns in Maine to recently enact food freedom laws declaring that the federal government doesn't have the right to intervene in local food matters, according to a story on Natural News. The bill allows this rural community of around 2,500 people to decide what foods that they buy and sell locally as well as exempting all direct sales of local food products from complying with state and federal inspection requirements.


Photo:  AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by manray3

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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