Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Parsley: Beyond Garnish

You have to admit that when I mention parsley, you think garnish. In fact, like me, you’ve probably picked it off your food and set it aside without even the thought of eating it. Wait, you can EAT it??

I don’t blame you, because for a long time I ignored this little herb too. But I’ve been cooking a lot lately, creating and testing recipes in preparation for the launch of the Pure cookbook next year. In doing so I have developed an appreciation for certain ingredients that in the past I haven’t given much thought to. One of those is definitely parsley.

Parsley is probably one of the most well-known herbs but also one of the most pigeon-holed and underappreciated herbs in this country. Though common in European cuisine, in the US, parsley is mainly used as a garnish or to add a bit of color to meals and most of us have no idea how nutritious this little leaf is.

Parsley is very high in flavonoids and antioxidants which help to fight against disease in our bodies. In fact it is considered a highly protective food because of its ability to neutralize certain toxins in our body. Parsley is high in vitamin C, an important antioxidant and powerful anti-inflammatory. It contains high levels of folic acid which is a key player in cardiovascular health and vitamin A which is important to our immune system.

Parsley is easy to grow and harvest in your own garden or even on your windowsill. I now have a parsley plant in my kitchen that I cook with and eat from daily. See below for my favorite easy ways to use more of this incredible little leaf, and click on the links for some recipes to get you started!

- Veronica

Story Source: www.whfoods.com  

Using More Parsley + Recipes

Salads- whatever salad you’re making, throw a handful of parsley in it

Soups- stir into all soups and stews at the end of cooking

Juices- whenever you are making a juice or smoothie, add a handful or two of parsley

Vegetables- Stir a handful in at the end of cooking

Alone- pick and eat 3 or 4 leaves of parsley each day to boost your health

More recipes

For recipes, tips and creative ideas check out our Instagram and Pinterest pages

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Microgreen Madness

About a week ago, I was introduced to microgreens. I ordered a veggie pizza at one of my favorite local, home grown restaurants, Salt of the Earth, and it showed up covered in tiny plants. When I asked the server about these “tween” plants, not really sprouts but not grown-up vegetables either, he introduced me to the concept of microgreens.

On our not just slightly amazing pizza, there were radish and celery microgreens. They didn’t look anything like radishes or celery stalks but rather little plant shoots like the kind you see in the spring or basically a stem, and tiny set of leaves. They were fresh and delicious. But why eat microgreens?

According to this NPR article the first scientific study into microgreens was mind blowing. Compared to their adult counterparts, microgreens had between 4 and 6 times more nutrients. It seems like these baby plants are essentially concentrated forms of the adult vegetables. I suddenly envisioned a sprinkling of handful of these greens on every salad and pizza my kids eat. And what’s great too is that because these baby veggies are so young they have a mild flavor much different than the full grown vegetable.

I will definitely start to look for these on menus, at the health store, and even try to grow my own (see below). High powered vegetables are too good to pass up!

- Veronica



Growing a Microgarden

If there was ever a chore to give your kids that they will love, this is it! Have your kids grow a microgarden and they will love to reap and eat the benefits! I found this awesome company that uses reclaimed wood and builds cool little microgarden pods so your garden can be as fashionable and ecofriendly as it is healthy!


Monday, March 31st, 2014

Expo West 2014, New Pure Bars and Other Favorites

It’s hard to believe that this was my 8th year at Natural Products Expo West. My first year at Expo, I showcased Pure at a tiny table in the back of the last hall, next to the bathrooms. I had a vinyl sign behind me and boxes of Pure Bars on the table in front.

It’s crazy to think but I actually believe that being one of those small, broke, yet cool companies with a great product brings you more attention at a show like this than being one of the big guys. People are looking for the innovative brands not the fancy booths. I have always loved that about this show. In those early years, even back in no man’s land, I was discovered by some of my biggest accounts and I can say with confidence that Expo West was a crucial part in launching the Pure business.

This year at Expo felt amazing. We created a warm, inviting kitchen-like feel in our booth and although we had a nicer space than we did in year one, we are still the small, exciting, and innovative company we always have been. By introducing our two new products, Cashew Coconut and Peanut Butter Chocolate Ancient Grains, we showed that we are bound to bring better products to more people and places than ever before.

As a mom who lives in the world of natural food and cooks for a family of five, I am always super excited to see what other new products will make my life and my family’s life healthier and easier! I walk the show as a consumer in search of the next new, groundbreaking products to use and enjoy. Below are a list of my top picks and why I loved them!

- Veronica

My 5 Favorites

Bruce Cost Ginger Ale Unfiltered “You don’t have to imagine the ginger” One of my biggest pet peeves is fake products, typical ginger ale being a prime culprit. This drink on the other hand has bits of wonderful ginger you can see and taste floating around in their delish flavors which blend ginger with pomegranate, monk fruit and jasmine. Yum, I want one right now!

Beyond Meat This company makes plant-based meat substitutes. While I wish all their products were organic and non-GMO, I LOVE that they use pea protein instead of soy for their Beefy Crumbles. Oh, and it is by far the closest thing to meat I have ever tasted.

Jem Nut Butters As a vegetarian family, we pound through the nut butters. Jem makes raw, sprouted nut butters that taste like my grandmothers secret fudge sauce. How they make something so wickedly healthy taste like the most indulgent dessert, I don’t know, and frankly I don’t care. I just want more.

Farmhouse Culture I love anything pickled, and so does my digestive system! These guys make 6 varieties of super kraut including beet ginger, smoked jalapeno, and horseradish leek that will knock your socks off. Visit their website for out of this world recipes that will make you want to buy a case today!

Date Lady No fellas, this is not someone you call when you are bored Friday night. This lady makes delicious date and caramel sauces that are a perfect vegan replacement for honey or substitute for maple syrup. The flavor is so deep and intense; I can’t wait to use it in some recipes.

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Rum Roasted Fruit

As I was digging around in the freezer last night for dinner ideas, I ran into a bottle of Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum left over from the vegan eggnog we made during the holidays. It got me thinking about other ways to use the rum. Drinking it would be fun, but realistically as a busy, working mom, it probably won’t happen until the next holiday season, and that’s way too long to be taking up valuable space in the freezer.

I decided to use the spiced rum to make a marinade for roasting fruit. The only fruit I had in the house were apples and fresh cranberries (frozen from when I hoarded them over the holidays). I was bummed I didn’t have any pears which would have also been amazing in this recipe, but will definitely look forward to trying pears as well as peaches and berries when they come into season.

The key to roasting fruit is to first cover it and let it get all bubbly and soft, then uncover and caramelize it under high heat. You want the fruit to be soft but also slightly browned on the edges for the best flavor! Serve it in small bowls topped with yogurt, coconut ice-cream, or homemade almond milk. Is your mouth watering yet?

- Veronica

Rum Roasted Apples & Cranberries

Serves 2

3 tablespoons Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups chopped apples
1 cup fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the rum, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the apples and cranberries and mix well to coat. Pour the mixture into a pie plate and cover with foil. Bake on the center rack for 20 minutes or until fruit is soft and bubbly. Turn oven to 450 degrees. Uncover and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes until fruit is browned on the edges. Serve warm.

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Spice up Valentine’s Day with an Aphrodisiac Menu

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, but every day is the right day to feel and express love. . Aphrodisiac foods help us do just that. I am intrigued by the science behind aphrodisiac foods because it helps us understand the mechanism by which these foods help us experience passion to the fullest. I choose my four favorite aphrodisiac foods to include this day and every day you want to make your romantic experience soar!

Honey: An incredibly sensual food, thick and sweet it creates a strong sensory reaction from the first drop on your tongue. Honey contains important minerals and vitamins that help our body produce and metabolize both estrogen and testosterone which keeps our libido strong. Now that is sweet!

Avocado: Rich and delicious, avocados embody indulgence and are packed with vitamin E which increases healthy blood flow and helps the body produce sex hormones. Guacamole anyone?

Basil: Known as the love herb in ancient times, it spices up appetizers and main dishes alike while heightening libido by increasing blood flow and decreasing inflammation. Talk about spicy!

Chocolate: The fact that this decadent food can also help your libido is almost too good to be true! Chocolate has chemicals that increase the production of pleasure producing neurotransmitters in our brain. It also contains potassium which helps increase stamina and zinc which is linked to sex hormone production. You know what they say, “Everything is better with chocolate!”

- Veronica

Make a simple yet delicious Valentine’s Day dinner with all of the above ingredients!

Valentine’s Day Menu:

Apple-Cranberry Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette & Pure Bar Croutons

Pasta with Diced Tomatoes and Avocado Basil Pesto

Dark Chocolate Glazed Poached Pears with Strawberries and Almonds

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

5 Awesome Organic Ways to Pamper Yourself in the New Year

Yogi Kathryn Budig shares her tips to start fresh and get healthy in the New Year.

Dry Brushing

This is an amazing method used to improve your circulation, lymphatic system, great exfoliant and even helps to banish cellulite! Grab a body brush (normally the kind with rough bristles that you would use in a bathtub) and brush your entire body in long sweeps towards your heart. Do this on dry skin when you wake up, before bed or before showering.

Clean Your Teeth with Activated Charcoal

This is a bit of a mess but one of the best, natural ways to whiten your teeth and improve the health of your gums. You can buy capsules of activated charcoal at health food stores. Just dump the contents onto your toothbrush and scrub away! Your mouth will be completely black, don’t panic! Do a good scrub with toothpaste afterwards and careful not to swallow any as it’s job is to pull out impurities.

Oil Letting

This is an ancient Ayurvedic approach to oral health. It’s fantastic for dental health as well as pulling toxins from the body. Use a T of sesame or raw coconut oil and swish in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. I do it while I’m taking a shower and doing my morning activities.

Facial Mask

Pamper your face once a week with a gorgeous facial mask. Look for companies that are organic and cruelty free. Products made from plants and food are the best!

Epsom Salt Soak

End your day with a beautiful soak. Epsom salts do wonders for a tired, aching body. It will help restore your muscles and prepare you for a good night of sleep.

For more information check out KathrynBudig.com.

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

New Year, New Pure, New Promo!

We want to make sure eating better is as delicious as possible for you in 2014. So we came up with the most indulgent new flavors we could think of that also deliver Pure’s stellar nutrition. I have to admit, I can’t keep them in stock at our house because my teenagers and their friends eat them as fast as they are delivered!

Our crispy-crunchy Peanut Butter Chocolate Ancient Grains bar is only 160 calories, contains 5 grams of vegan protein and has only 8 grams of sugar.

The new creamy melt-in-your-mouth Cashew Coconut is the latest addition to our soft & chewy original line of Pure Bars and is only 190 calories with 3 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of vegan protein.

Of course ALL Pure snacks are certified organic, non-GMO verified, certified gluten free, vegan and kosher. Take a minute to discover more about these incredible new bars on our website and then take advantage of our promotion below to try them and start the New Year right! Trust me, you will be glad you did!

- Veronica

For recipes, tips and creative ideas check out our Instagram and Pinterest pages

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Happy Holidays from All of Us at Pure

Dear Readers,

I want to thank all of you for your support of Pure over the last year, and for your wonderful notes, comments and suggestions along the way. I am blessed to have such amazing customers alongside me on this journey of growing a company we can all be proud of. Many blessing to you and your family this holiday and into the new year!

In gratitude,

- Veronica

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

The Power of Pomegranates

Normally I’m not into food that I have to work for. Anything that has to be peeled, broken, extracted and/or scooped is frowned upon. I like simple and easy.

However, there is one exception, a food that even the laziest of eaters cannot resist. It’s a beautiful fruit that is worth the effort just to experience the amazing taste and health benefits of it. That fruit is pomegranate.

Despite the work, pomegranates are hands down my favorite fruit. Every year around November they start to pop up in the stores here in Michigan, and I buy them as fast as week can eat them, usually 1 or 2 a day.

And worth it they are. Pomegranates are considered one of the world’s healthiest foods providing a cocktail of antioxidants that have been shown to reduce blood pressure, increase heart and artery health, act as mood enhancers, increase bone mass and inhibit growth of cancer cells. I think that covers most of America’s health problems! Pretty great for a little red fruit.

And if the work still bothers you, I have the perfect solution. Introduce them to your kids. Before you know it they will be peeling and extracting the seeds for you, and you will all reap the benefits!

- Veronica

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Goat Cheese

About a month ago I was in a restaurant in San Diego that served roasted Brussels sprouts with dried cranberries. It was a delicious combination! I decided to mimic the dish using pomegranates and goat cheese. I loved it! In fact pomegranates can be used in place of cranberries, cherries or other fruits in your favorite dishes.

Serves 4
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, ends and outer leaves removed
1-2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
3 oz goat cheese

In a large bowl, toss Brussels sprouts with oil and salt until coated. Roast at 400 degrees until soft, about 20-30 minutes. Place roasted Brussels sprouts in a serving bowl. Gently mix in pomegranate seeds and sprinkle with goat cheese. Serve warm or chilled.

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

4 Easy Ways to Lower Heating Bills This Winter

Last week it was 55 degrees, and there were still beautiful signs of fall foliage around town. This week we have a foot of snow on the ground. Welcome to winter in Michigan! I do love the change of the seasons but I don’t love the heating bills that come along with the cold. As we transition into colder weather, here’s an infographic of some of my tips to make the sting of the heating bill hurt less, so you can concentrate on the holidays and enjoy the cozy warmth that winter brings.

Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!

- Veronica

From the Entire Pure Family

We wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Kathryn Budig’s Quinoa and Roasted Veggies with Lemon Coconut Sauce

We are excited to share a healthy quinoa recipe from a special contributor who certainly subscribes to the Pure lifestyle. Kathryn Budig, one of the youngest and most widely recognized faces in yoga, is also known for her love of food and laughter. Kathryn’s Quinoa and Roasted Veggies with Lemon Coconut Sauce is as filling as it is fun to make. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Quinoa and Roasted Veggies with Lemon Coconut Sauce

1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
2-3 cups brussel sprouts, chopped finely
2-3 large tomatoes, diced
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
sea salt
red pepper flakes
1 cup red and white quinoa
1 3/4 cups ZICO coconut water
salt and small pat of butter

for lemon coconut sauce:

1 cup canned coconut milk
1 lemon, juiced and zested
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 T Lucini Fiery Chili Extra Virgin Olive Oil*
good pinch sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place your cut veggies onto a cookie sheet and massage well with olive oil, sea salt and pepper flakes until evenly coated. Roast for about 25-30 minutes.

Soak your quinoa for 5 minutes then rinse well. Cook in coconut water, butter and salt for about 15 minutes or until liquid has evaporated and the quinoa is light and fluffy.

Blend coconut milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, chili oil and salt and pepper until fully incorporated. Place on the stove and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add all of your goodies into a large bowl and mix well. Place quinoa/veggie mix into individual bowls and ladle with lemon coconut sauce and don’t hold back!

*use extra virgin olive oil and red chili pepper flakes if you can’t find this oil

Pure is on Instagram

From recipes to behind-the-scenes glimpses of what happens at Pure, there’s something for everyone on our Instagram feed. Follow @purebarveronica, and be sure to tag PUREBAR in your posts – we can’t wait to see how Pure fits into your everyday life.

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Cooking with Farro

Farro has finally hit the big time! I know this because I actually found it on the shelf of my local Michigan grocery store, which tells me that farro is now a food staple. I have eaten and enjoyed farro in restaurants for quite some time but never really thought about cooking it myself until recently. I have found it to be a really nice reprieve from pasta and a wonderful ancient grain to add to my repertoire. In fact, it can easily replace pasta and grains in your favorite recipes.

Farro reminds me of oversized barley and has what I believe is a really nice texture, similar to barley. I like the fact that it is hearty and I can chew it. Farro contains the grains of several species of wheat, and is usually sold in “pearled” form which means some of the tough part of the grain has been removed so that it cooks up faster and more tender.

Farro is higher in fiber than rice or pasta and also contains a good amount of protein, magnesium and vitamins E and B, which are all good reasons to take it for a culinary spin! Try my recipe below for a quick and delicious farro dinner, and check out my Pinterest page for even more farro recipes.

- Veronica

Recipe: Farro with Sundried Tomatoes and Baby Spinach

2 tablespoons olive oil plus 1-2 tablespoons for drizzle
1 large garlic clove pressed
1 cup farro
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
2 cups baby spinach
1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
Ground black pepper
Grated parmesan

In a saucepan sauté the chopped garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 3 minutes on medium heat. Add the faro, stir and toast for 3 more minutes. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a low boil for 15 minutes until faro is “al dente”. Drain any excess liquid. Stir in the sun dried tomatoes and spinach. Remove from heat, drizzle with remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with parmesan and serve warm.