My Five Friday Favorites continues!! Sometimes I’ll mention things in my classes, and when I notice a lot of people writing them down, I know that it’s something I need to share! Feel free to leave a comment with any of your favorites — I’d love to check them out. Have a great weekend, my dears!
Lily’s No-sugar Added Chocolate Chips
Move over Nestle, there is a new chocolate chip in town! While Nestle may not actually be my chocolate chip of choice, even some of the cleaner brands like Whole Foods 365 and Trader Joes’ chocolate chips are really not that great either. Most of them have added sugar and corn syrups, which is a huge bummer since unless those are organic, they contain GMO’s. Thumbs down in my book! However, let me introduce you to Lily’s, a stevia-sweentened, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, fair-trade chocolate company that makes dark chocolate baking chips. Lily’s chocolate chips have no added sugar, which is a huge bonus when trying control the amount of refined sweeteners in your foods. And, the best part here is that the chocolate is still sweet like regular chocolate chips, just without the added calories (that’s where the stevia comes in). Lily’s, my tastebuds and my waistline thank you. And what’s even better is this company was founded to honor a young girl, Lily, who is 13-year-old brain cancer survivor. Part of the proceeds from the company goes to different charities that aim to support kids fighting cancer. Can your chocolate chips do that? I got my Lily’s baking chips from VitaCost, and they are also available on Amazon and at Whole Foods.
(Enjoy Life is also a better brand than Nestle, etc.)
My favorite stockpot
Without fail, whenever I use this stockpot in my classes someone asks me where they can get it. This heavyweight stockpot made by Demeyere is so perfect for making homemade stocks, soups, and stews. And, the bonus here is that is it as attractive as it is functional- so I can serve directly from the pot if I am feeding a crowd or entertaining. It is a bit pricy, but I have used this pot several times per week since I bought it 15 years ago and it is still in amazing shape. It is well worth the investment. It is available on Amazon for $190.00.
Whole Foods Frozen Organic Fire Roasted Corn
Corn has gotten such a bad rap in the last couple of years after GMO becoming so prevalent in that industry. However, you can avoid this problem completely by buying organic corn! I think corn is delicious and versatile and a great vegetable to add a little sweet crunch to all kinds of different dishes. And what could be even better? Fire roasted corn! It has a slightly smoky flavor perfect for pairing with Mexican dishes. Whole Foods carries this frozen organic fire roasted corn, and when I discovered it, I think I bought them out! I have been adding it to everything from tacos to soups to chili to a delicious vegan queso dip (stayed tuned next week for the recipe!) The fact that it is frozen allows it to become a “pantry” item, so I can always have it on hand for last minute meals.
Superfood Spotlight: Green Tea
I am not a coffee drinker, but sometimes when the afternoon yawns roll in, I need a little pick-me-up. Warm tea is always my go to, and green tea is one of my faves because of it’s abundance of health benefits (and because it’s tasty.) Green tea is the most beneficial tea for our health because it is not oxidized (like black and oolong, for example) so it contains more of the oh-so important cancer fighting antioxidants. It also speeds up our metabolism (yes!), lowers blood pressure, boosts immunity, and can even protect against Alzheimer’s disease. The list goes on and on about what this mighty leaf can do for your health, so I suggest ditching the coffee and going for a cup of green tea! Even better, matcha, which is green tea leaves in powdered form, allows you to absorb even more of the antioxidants since you are consuming the leaf directly, rather than just what is infused into the water. You can stir matcha into your smoothie, use it in salad dressings, or dust it over your favorite sweets like vanilla ice cream or dark chocolate. Green tea isn’t just for drinks! Check out the recipes below for food made with green tea.
Green tea oatmeal from Up Root From Oregon
Green tea pancakes from One Ingredient Chef
Green tea soba soup with shrimp and shiitakes from Kitchen Daily
Green tea shortbread sandwiches from Smitten Kitchen
Seasonal produce: cauliflower
I have been saying for a couple years that cauliflower is the new kale. And now that it is in peak season, it is the perfect time to get this cruciferous vegetable into your diet. I have used cauliflower in all sorts of unconventional ways lately- in tacos, pizza crust, mashed potatoes, shredded into small granules to resemble rice, and my absolute new fave- frozen steamed cauliflower in smoothies! Cauliflower develops a smooth, milky, nutty flavor when cooked, and is so delicious even just plain and roasted with some coconut oil (Mr. Picky’s favorite.) What’s even better than the versatility of this amazing veg is the health benefits. Cauliflower helps the body maintain it’s 3 most important systems for decreasing risk of cancers: detox system, anti-inflammatory system, and antioxidant system. Check, check, and check! I have some great recipes for cauliflower on my site, and check out these others from around the web as well.
Quinoa cauliflower patties from Sprouted Kitchen
Crispy cauliflower tacos from Love and Olive Oil
Roasted Cauliflower with Pine nuts, Meyer Lemon, and Mint from Yummy Supper
Curried cauliflower pizza from Naturally Ella