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Post Image April 10th, 2014
Microgreen Madness

About a week ago, I was introduced to microgreens. I ordered a veggie pizza at one of my …Read More

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Post Image 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 …Read More

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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!

reclaimedmicrogardens.com/


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