I often think of the beginning of the school year as bustling, but the last few weeks of school are CRAZY. I quite honestly can’t keep up with the number of performances, ceremonies, parties and permission slips. I laughed out loud at this post on Buzzfeed titled “Parents at the Beginning of the School Year vs. the End.” The lunch post I found to be especially cute. I’ll admit I am slightly off my game from September, but I’m in good company. One thing that I am really, really looking forward to is my older daughter coming from college on Saturday! I am going to burst, I’m so excited. Check out my Instagram and/or Facebook page to see what I cook up for dinner for her first night back!
Here are a few favorites I’ve talking up in my classes the last few weeks. Check them out!
Go Raw Snacks
I often tell my students to avoid packaged snacks and foods at all costs and instead encourage making things at home from scratch. There is almost always some type of additive in packaged foods, such as sugar, salt, preservatives, natural flavors, etc. However, there have been some game-changing products on the market lately that are so clean I can hardly even believe it’s true. These new snack “cookies” from Go Raw are my new addiction. There’s nothing added, they’re 100% organic and raw which means most all nutrients are in tact. I could argue these crisps are actually good for you in moderation. And did I mention delicious?! They are so crispy, perfectly sweet and satisfying and I nearly inhaled an entire bag the first time I ever opened one up. They come in a variety of flavors including spirulina (which contains banana so it tastes just like banana chips,) carrot cake, chocolate and ginger snap (my personal fave). These are available at my local Whole Foods, vitacost, Thrive Market (best price), and even Amazon!
Book: The Life-changing Magic of Tidying up
I thought I would share with you a book that I read a few months ago about the relationship between a person and his/her belongings or “things” or “stuff”. It is interesting to think about how attached we become to inanimate objects and how emotional we become when challenged to part with them. It is a reason why a lot of us end up with stuff coming out of our ears and our garages and closets filled to the brim with whatever we can stuff in there. Can you remember the last time you were at someone’s house with an empty closet or garage? Our culture has become focused on consumption and over-consumption! “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” was written by a woman from Japan who offers a very interesting perspective into the Japanese culture with respect to their “clutter.” I am always looking to simplify my life and especially my home. I feel more clear-headed and more in control when I am not overwhelmed with stuff and this book was very helpful to me in how to approach getting organized. This book in the very least will inspire you to clean out your closet or maybe donate a thing or two to Goodwill.
All-clad Butter Warmer
We all have those certain pots and pans that are our absolute go-to’s in the kitchen. For me, one of the pots that I use almost daily is my little All-Clad butter warmer. I’ve turned on so many of my students to this indispensable little pot and they all report back how much they love it. It is perfect for melting small amounts of butter and coconut oil, but also milk or a small amount of soup. It is a nice petite size so it is easy to whip it in and out of its storage space. One of the most common uses that I find for it is when I make pancakes- I can melt the butter for the batter quickly and then after that is done plop some coconut oil into the pot to use for brushing the griddle. I am not a fan of microwaves and haven’t had one for years so I don’t know where I would be without my butter warmer. Although I think I should rename it “coconut oil melter” since that is what it’s getting used for the most these days!
It is available at most kitchen stores including Williams Sonoma, Crate and Barrel, and Sur La Table. It is also available on Amazon with prime shipping!
Seasonal produce: cherries
The arrival of cherry season is one that is very much anticipated in my household. Whenever May rolls around, I approach the farmer’s market this time of year I have my fingers crossed that there will be buckets overflowing with sweet red cherries. And that time has finally arrived- it is cherry season! Cherries are such a treat as they are only available for a few weeks in the end of spring/beginning of summer. I think it is worth every second to pit these little fruits and indulge in a delicious handful. Cherries are perfect for desserts and fruit crisps like the one here on my blog, but I think they are also great in fresh summer salads with a vinaigrette or even served along side some dark chocolate squares for a light dessert when entertaining. I am really into cherries and raw cacao in an overnight oat porridge. Yum! And although cherries are perfectly sweet, juicy and have an addictive slight crunch, they are beneficial to our health as well. Cherries work well to fight off uric acid (which causes inflammation in diseases such as arthritis and gout) and can also help soothe our muscles after a tense workout. They also contain a significant amount of melatonin that helps to calm and relax our nervous system, so they’re perfect to eat before bedtime.
Check out a delicious cherry crisp recipe from my blog as well as a couple of others from around the web!
Wheat Berry Salad with Arugula and Cherries by Sprouted Kitchen
Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Cherry Salsa by The First Mess
Baby Potato and Cherry Flatbread by Green Spirit Adventures
Pluot Summer Salad with Cherries by 101 cookbooks
Superfood spotlight: spirulina
Although spirulina has seen the limelight lately, this microscopic algae has been around for billions of years- literally. I have talked about the benefits of sea plants in the past and spirulina is no exception. This superfood is actually an algae and is usually sold in powdered or capsule form. The powdered form can easily be added to juices and smoothies, but due to its seaweed-like taste, a lot of people actually use spirulina as a supplement in capsule form. The health benefits of spirulina are out of this world as it is composed 65-70% complete protein, which is the highest of any other known food. It contains 18 amino acids, is detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, and has no cellulose wall which makes it unbelievably easy to digest. Spirulina can be found at most health food stores and is also available on thrive and vitacost! Check out some ways to get spirulina into your diet!
Spirulina Smoothie by Deliciously Ella
Spirulina Chia Seed Pudding by Pure2Raw
Raw Spirulina Energy Crunch Bars by Healthful Pursuit