October 19th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
We have two new recalls to announce. While the involved products are not organic, you may have purchased them.
Pats Exotic Vegetable Beverages
Bronx, NY-based Pats Exotic Beverages is recalling all packages of its Carrot Juice, Carrot Beet, Carrot Lime and Cucumber beverages because they were inadequately processed and may contain foodborne pathogens.
Read More:2 New Recalls: Pats Exotic Vegetable Beverages, Store-Brand Frozen Vegetables
September 25th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Fall may have arrived, but we’re going to endure triple-digit temperatures in Southern California next week.
While water is the best way to stay hydrated, blueberry juice provides a special antioxidant-rich treat.
Today’s recipe adds a blueberry twist to traditional limeade. All of the ingredients should be available at a well-stocked natural and organic food store.
Note: For cocktail hour, check out our previously posted recipe for Organic Blueberry Mojitos.
Read More:Organic Blueberry-Mint Limeade
September 11th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
A glass of freshly squeezed lemonade is one of summer’s culinary hallmarks.
Unfortunately, ordering said glass at a restaurant can send you into a sugar coma. Most lemonades are sickeningly sweet, masking the true star of the classic beverage: tart lemons.
As summer comes to a close, pick up some organic lemons at your local farmers’ market or natural/organic food store, and start squeezing. Cut the sweetener in standard recipes by 50%, and then tweak the drink to please your personal palate.
Read More:Spiced Lemonade
September 9th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
You’re not imagining it: Prices for your favorite coffee—whether purchased at a coffee shop, restaurant, natural/organic food store or mainstream supermarket—are on the rise.
A critical international coffee shortage, in which demand is steadily outpacing supply, according to the London-based International Coffee Organization.
Read More:Coffee Prices Jump 41% Since June
August 26th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Triple-digit temperatures have hit Southern California later than expected. I suppose I should be grateful that the thermometer reads only 103° today, as opposed to the day’s record high of 116° that blistered us in 1985.
Staying hydrated is critical when the sun decides to show off. I make sure my ice cube trays are well stocked and drink more fluids to make up for water loss.
I also take a cue from Jenny Harper, senior culinary specialist for the Nestlé Test Kitchens. Jenny freshens up summer drinks with lemon-flavored ice cubes.
“Squeeze fresh lemons, and put the juice in ice cube trays,” she says. “You can also add some zest for an extra lemon boost.”
Freeze the cubes, and then transfer them to a freezer-ready storage container. You can add a burst of flavor to water, iced tea, fruit juice and other beverages.
I like the BPA-free, though pricey, Stainless Steel Ice Cube Tray (right) from Onyx. And if I’m out of lemons, I’ll substitute other citrus fruit juices for flavorful ice cubes.
4 Special Recipes from Jenny Harper
- Early-Morning Pumpkin Maple Oatmeal
- Pumpkin Latte
- Creamy Margaritas (Tequila Optional)
- Frozen Hot Chocolate
Follow me on Twitter: @BarbGoesOrganic
Read More:Cool Off with Organic Lemon Ice Cubes
August 24th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Nothing beats sipping a tall, cold Blueberry Mojito while grilling outdoors.
The combination of fresh mint and blueberries is super-refreshing, and the drink can be prepared with or without alcohol. (For a virgin mojito, top off the glass with lemonade or club soda in lieu of rum.)
Here’s the best part: All of the ingredients should be available at a well-stocked natural and organic food store.
Makes 1 drink
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons blueberries, fresh or frozen, divided
1/2 to 3/4 cup lemonade
Splash of club soda
1 ounce light rum
1/2 ounce dark rum
Mint sprig and lime slice, for garnish
- In a tall 16-oz. glass, add mint leaves, lime juice and sugar. Mash the ingredients with the back of a spoon or muddler until fragrant.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the blueberries, and mash until juicy.
- Fill the glass three-quarters full with ice. Add lemonade until the glass is two-thirds full.
- Add splash of soda, light rum and remaining blueberries; stir.
- Slowly pour dark rum into the drink so it floats on top.
- Garnish with a sprig of mint and slice of lime; serve immediately.
Recipe developed by Lewis & Neale for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
Read More:Organic Blueberry Mojito
July 24th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Fruit-flavored waters are a refreshing change of pace, especially during the hot summer months.
But there are several disadvantages to buying premade brands:
- Beverages may not be organic.
- Products are sold in glass jars or plastic bottles, which need to be recycled.
- Drinks may contain a fruit essence, but no real fruit. Some will contain sweeteners, which lead to consumption of empty calories.
- Ounce per ounce, they’re usually overpriced.
You can overcome these problems by creating your own fruit-infused water, and the Takeya Fruit Infusion Jug makes the job a snap. It’s glam enough for formal entertaining, yet practical enough for everyday use.
The 66-oz. airtight pitcher is made with Takeya’s proprietary AcraGlass, an FDA-approved, nontoxic, BPA-free acrylic that’s lightweight, stain- and odor-resistant, and dishwasher-safe.
Simply add your favorite water and organic fruit, whose flavors will meld naturally. When you’re ready to pour beverages, a built-in screen prevents pieces of fruit from dropping into glasses or mugs.
When you’ve finished serving and want to store leftovers, pop the pitcher in the refrigerator door or lay it on its side on a fridge shelf.
Need a birthday or bridal gift? The aesthetically pleasing pitcher’s retail price is $27.50, and you may qualify for free shipping on Amazon.com.
Read More:Infuse Your Drinking Water with Organic Fruit
May 15th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Horchata is a traditional Hispanic beverage made with water, milk and rice, with all of the delicious flavors of a traditional rice pudding. Here in Southern California, it’s often served at popular Mexican restaurants and cafés.
Kern’s, best known for its canned nectars, has been selling horchata and similarly refreshing aguas frescas (lemon, tamarind, hibiscus) in mainstream supermarkets for several years, but the products are not organic. Enter Maria Elena’s Aguas Frescas, which sells a 10-oz. Certified Organic Horchata Mix that may be purchased online.
Today’s DIY recipe adds coffee and orange zest to the mix for a great spring or summer beverage. All of the ingredients should be available at a well-stocked natural and organic food store.
1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
2 cups water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (not imitation)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup organic sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee
2½ cups milk
1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest
- Soak the rice in the water for a minimum of 1 hour. (Overnight works, as well.)
- Mix rice, soaking water, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar and coffee in a blender for 2 minutes. Strain (using cheesecloth or a strainer) into a pitcher, and add milk.
- Chill completely (overnight is fine). When ready to serve, pour the mixture into a serving pitcher, leaving the sediment behind. Stir in orange zest.
- Optional: Serve over ice, and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Starbucks/ARA. Photo: Ken Yasuhara/Flickr
Read More:Coffee Horchata
May 4th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Whether you’re celebrating Mother’s Day with a home-cooked brunch or taking Mom to her favorite restaurant, start the celebration with this trendy cocktail.
Cilantro, ginger and lime add an exotically flavorful flair. Prep time is only 5 minutes, and all of the ingredients should be available at a well-stocked natural and organic food store.
Write a special toast for Mom, and you’re good to go!
Cilantro Lime Fizz
Makes 2 servings
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 ounces gin
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves (without stems)
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract (not imitation extract)
1 cup ginger beer
Fresh cilantro sprigs
- Mix lime juice, gin, cilantro leaves and almond extract in a cocktail shaker with a muddler or wooden spoon, until cilantro is crushed.
- Add 2 cups ice cubes; shake until well mixed and chilled.
- To serve, strain over ice cubes in highball glasses. Fill glasses with ginger beer.
- Garnish with cilantro sprigs.
Recipe and photo courtesy of McCormick
Read More:Cilantro Lime Fizz
February 12th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
On Sunday, say “Be My Valentine” with this deliciously simple coffee drink, which will warm you up—or cool you down, if you add ice cream.
Sweetened condensed milk adds a rich, creamy texture and sweet flavor. Several organic brands should be available at well-stocked natural food stores.
Prep time is only 5 minutes. Cook time is also 5 minutes.
Prepare to receive mocha-flavored kisses!
Makes 4 servings
4 cups strong brewed coffee
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
2 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (optional)
- In large saucepan, combine coffee, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate and cinnamon.
- Heat through, stirring constantly.
- Serve in mugs. Top with whipped cream or small spoonful of ice cream (optional).
Valentine’s Day Recipes from Our Blog
- Valentine Salad
- Warm Griddle Salad with Chicken and Apples
- Maple Wasabi Grilled Salmon
- Triple-Berry Granola Crisp
- Plus: Impress Your Sweetie with an Organic Valentine’s Day Dinner for Two
Read More:Mocha Coffee