September 7, 2007
Admit it. Summer's over. Time to head back to school, back to work, back to everyday life. But that doesn't mean you can't dream about being somewhere else.
Personally, I'm headed to Italy, with a copy of a beautiful cookbook and set of stories from Faith Heller Willinger called Adventures of an Italian Food Lover.
Willinger, a contributor to Epicurious who lives in Florence, has compiled stories and recipes from friends across Italy into a sophisticated and highly readable book that pays tribute to warm, talented people, fresh local ingredients and the meals you can enjoy when you bring them together. With listing information for restaurants and buying information for products as well as recipes, it comes off as part cookbook, part guidebook, and part love letter to a country that Willinger has gotten to know through its cuisine.
Continue reading: "Weekend Reading: Adventures of an Italian Food Lover by Faith Heller Willinger"
August 2, 2007
Watch out, Nabisco! Late July Organic Snacks just introduced an organic sandwich cookie that goes head to head with the Oreo, and might just win!
The Hyannis, MA-based company, founded by the same family that brought us Cape Cod Potato Chips, is known for its tasty crackers and mini peanut butter sandwich cookies. Last month, they launched their Faux-REO in two flavors -- Dark Chocolate and Vanilla Bean with Green Tea. According to Late July's website, these cookies
are like the sandwich cookies you remember as a kid, but all grown up. They deliver outstanding flavor using the finest organic ingredients like dark chocolate and whole grains with unexpected benefits like antioxidants and fiber giving new meaning to the term “smart cookie.”
Smart cookies, eh? Sounds right up our alley.
Late July Organic Sandwich Cookies are available at Whole Foods and Wild Oats and online.
August 1, 2007
Here's a recipe for tasty smoothie that's high in calcium, low in fat (no fat, actually) and packed with fruit and fiber. As someone who sometimes struggles to get enough servings of fruit in my day, this is one of my favorite summer breakfasts. Experiment with fruits and juices to get a flavor and texture you like -- or to use up fruits from your last trip to the grocery store.
1 cup nonfat yogurt (I like Stonyfield Farm Organic for taste and its eco-friendly promotions)
1 cup frozen blueberries, raspberries or strawberries
1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds
1/2 cup orange juice
Optional: peaches, kiwis, frozen mango
Instructions: Add ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy.
July 31, 2007
Looking for ways to support sustainable farming and rainforest conservation -- all before you've even finished your breakfast? Really Natural reader (and Sustainable Harvest International summer intern Jessica Schessler just wrote in about a promotion from Stonyfield Farm and Sustainable Harvest International that will allow you to do just that.
Sustainable Harvest International (SHI) is a nonprofit organization that works with farmers in Central America to teach alternatives to slash and burn farming.
Since 1997, SHI has worked with nearly 1,000 families and 900 students in Honduras, Panama, Belize and Nicaragua to
* Plant more than 2,000,000 trees.
* Convert 6,000 acres to sustainable uses, thereby saving 30,000 acres from slash-and-burn destruction.
* Improve nutrition through the establishment of more than 200 organic vegetable gardens.
* Increase farm income up to 800%.
* Build165 wood-conserving stoves (saving 1,650 trees per year)
SHI's work saves rainforests; it also leaves the farmers and their families with enough organic crops to feed themselves and sell extra crops for income.
This summer, SHI has joined with Stonyfield Farm yogurt to raise money for their work. Through Stonyfield Farm's Bid with Your Lid program, SHI will receive $20,000 in donations, plus up to $40,000 more based on yogurt-eaters' votes. You can go to the Stonyfield Farm website and receive a coupon for a free yogurt, and at the same time cast a vote for Sustainable Harvest International. You can also redeem yogurt tops and cast one vote for each top you redeem (e.g. 10 tops equals 10 votes, 20 tops equals 20 votes, etc.)
We're big fans of Stonyfield Farm organic yogurt for breakfast -- with homemade granola and wheat germ or mixed into a smoothie. And we think Sustainable Harvest International is an organization worth supporting. So it's win-win.
Get your coupon for a free Stonyfield Farmyogurt and cast your vote for SHI.
Learn more about Sustainable Harvest International.
July 17, 2007
Looking to grow something in a rather different manner? The EcoGrower incorporates an air driven “spider” drip system and uses the a revolutionary hexagonal reservoir with removable six inch lid inserts. Each lid insert will accommodate one 6” net pot that can easily grow very large plants.
In keeping with their commitment to the environment, General Hydroponics will soon release versions of the EcoGrower that will operate with electricity recovered from solar panels.
At Eco Grower
July 3, 2007
Back in May, we wrote about Simple Soynut Butter. The kind folks at Simple Food just sent us some samples. We've got the full spectrum of flavors: Cinnamon Sugar, Slightly Sweet, Sea Salted, and Chocolate.
Stay tuned for our review.
Available at Simple Food.
June 21, 2007
We've been enjoying our CSA share this summer. But with only two of us, and a weekly food share that could feed a family of four, we're definitely looking for ways to keep our fruits and vegetables fresher longer.
Evert-Fresh Produce Bags tackle the problem by absorbing the ethylene gas that foods release as they start to decompose. Bags can be reused 5-10 times, and will reduce decomposition and vitamin loss by 50%. Meanwhile, an anti-fog surface inhibits bacterial growth.
Purchase the Evert-Fresh bags with Extra Life Disks, and you can evidently reduce ethylene build-up by 97%.
Buy Evert-Fresh Bags. Buy Extra Life Disks.
June 19, 2007
We can't get enough Pirate Booty. And we've been known to pick up the occasional bag of Chex Mix on road trips. So why not try Robert's American Gourmet Chaos Snack Mix, a mixture of organic pretzels, chips, caramel popcorn and other snack mixes from the creator of Smart Puffs, Veggie Booty and Tings.
The verdict: It's no Pirate Booty, but Chaos is a nice mix of sweet and salty. And the 2 oz snack bag is perfect for school lunches or an afternoon snack.
Buy Robert's American Gourmet Chaos snack mix.
June 14, 2007
Fresh-picked radishes taste like summer. And sauteed baby radishes with wilted radish greens? Well, they just taste delicious. Here's the recipe Russ and I used to cook up the bunch of radishes included in our CSA share.
1 bunch of baby radishes with radish greens
1 Tablespoon butter
salt and pepper
1. Wash radishes in cold water. Cut off the greens and set 'em aside.
2. Slice the radishes thin, and saute them in melted butter.
3. Add the greens (still wet) and saute until wilted (less than 1 minute).
4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
June 13, 2007
Hooray for June! Time for longer days, warm nights, and -- perhaps best of all -- the start of our CSA share from The Food Project.
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. You buy a "share" of a local farmer's crop at the beginning of the growing season, and all summer you receive "dividends" -- baskets and boxes of fresh summer produce.
Russ and I bought our CSA share from The Food Project, a local nonprofit that employs city and suburban youth working organic farms inside and outside of the city.
In addition to growing veggies for CSA members, The Food Project distributes their organic produce to local soup kitchens and sells it at inner-city farmers markets. Youth who participate in the program learn about the food system, organic and sustainable agriculture, and about access-to-food issues facing inner-city residents.
Last week, our share included enough greens to feed an army -- arugula, mizuma, spinach, lettuce, bok choy, baby field greens, and a handful of radishes and turnips. It provides a great lesson in eating locally (see Omnivore's Dilemma and Animal, Vegetable, Mineral), and a great reminder of how good food tastes when it's fresh from the farm.
Learn more about Community Supported Agriculture and find a CSA near you.
Support The Food Project.