April 27th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Actress/singer Selena Gomez has teamed with Kmart to launch an eco-friendly clothing line in July, just in time for back-to-school shopping.
Aimed at tweens, her Dream Out Loud collection—featuring organic cotton and recycled materials—will include value-priced junior sportswear, handbags, belts, scarves, hats, hair accessories and socks/hosiery. Footwear will join the line in October.
Gomez, who stars in the Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place, “is a positive role model for teens, and her fans all over the world look to her for style inspiration,” says Kmart spokesman John Goodman. “We are delighted to offer our customers the opportunity to emulate her style with affordable apparel and footwear options.”
Gomez will star in the feature film Ramona and Beezus (opening July 23), based on Beverly Cleary’s beloved series of children’s books. Her first CD, Kiss & Tell, just went gold.
“I am proud to be able to join forces with Kmart to release my own fashion collection,” Gomez says. “This has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember, and I feel privileged to be able to give the consumer great product at a great value.”
Photo: Disney Channel/Bob D’Amico
Read More:Selena Gomez to Launch Eco-Friendly Clothing Line
April 20th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Jim and Kristen Mitchell, a Scottsdale, AZ-based husband-and-wife team, have just launched Humble Seed, a company that offers premium organic seed kits that produce an array of edible plants.
Four themed garden kits are available:
- Hot Mama’s Peppers and Chiles (including Yankee bell, habanero, cayenne, Caribbean red and Anaheim chile peppers)
- Uncle Herb’s Favorites (including bouquet dill, common sage, Greek oregano, cumin and German winter thyme)
- Veggin’ Out (including Washington cherry tomatoes, Bull’s Blood beets, De Cicco broccoli, Marketmore cucumbers and black seeded Simpson leaf lettuce)
- The Producer, a bulk fruit and vegetable kit for community gardens and organizations
Each kit contains at least 10 premium heirloom, non-GMO, non-hybrid and organic seed packets for environmentally conscious growers.
“My whole life, I’ve been trying to find one calling—one passion that would help people,” Jim says. “I really connected to growing my own food. There are so many health, financial and environmental benefits, and creating a stable, healthy food supply reduces our reliance on other economies.”
“We are extremely excited that we’re helping empower people in a down economy,” adds Kristen. “Families can now get fresh food at a fraction of the cost found at your local produce section.”
Kits start at $21.95. The website also features books, recipes and seed-growing tips.
Humble Seed’s launch party is Thursday (Earth Day), with proceeds benefiting Waste Not, a local nonprofit organization that delivers food to more than 80 agencies that feed the hungry.
Read More:Organic Heirloom Seeds Produce Themed Gardens
March 4th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Move over, iceberg lettuce and romaine!
Spruce up your salad plate with miner’s lettuce, also referred to as Indian lettuce or winter purslane.
This mild green, known for its heart-shaped leaves, is available at farmers’ markets and natural/organic food stores from late winter to early spring.
The lettuce was named after old-time California gold miners, who ate it to boost vitamin C consumption and prevent scurvy. Usually featured in raw salads, Miner’s lettuce may also be substituted for spinach in cooked dishes.
If you’d like to grow your own crop, organic seeds for this hardy green may be purchased online from Cottage Grove, OR-based Territorial Seed Company ($3.05 to $14.95).
Get the Recipe: Wild Miner’s Lettuce Salad, with blue cheese, dried cranberries, toasted pine nuts, vinaigrette and citrus zest
Like the Look? Wear an organic Miner’s Lettuce T-Shirt.
Photo courtesy of MarxFoods.com/Flickr
Read More:Miner’s Lettuce: Great Source of Vitamin C
March 3rd, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Green Zebras. Bloody Butchers. Big Boys. Polish Linguisas.
Organic gardeners will have a literal field day with these and other tomato varieties at Tomatomania, billed as the world’s largest tomato seedling sale. The event will tour select cities from March 20 to May 23.
If the tour misses your area, you may purchase several collections online—from heirlooms to paste tomatoes used in cooking—from Litchfield, CT-based White Flower Farms, which also sells organic tomato fertilizer. Shipping begins next month.
Tomatomania proprietor Scott Daigre, owner of PowerPlant Garden Design in Los Angeles, will sell his book, Tomatomania! How to Grow Tomatoes Successfully in Southern California, at the shows.
Daigre also teaches a Crazy for Tomatoes! class at California State University, Northridge. The course covers soil preparation, staking, fertilizing, saving seeds and getting the best production.
Read More:Grow Organic Tomatoes
January 26th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Middle East meets Southwest in Wildwood’s new organic Raspberry Chipotle Hummus.
Enhanced with probiotic cultures, the creamy vegan dip marries hummus’ classic garbanzo beans and tahini with raspberries, chipotle peppers, sea salt and spices.
A 2-tablespoon serving contains 70 calories.
Look for it at your local natural and organic food store, or order a six-pack online.
Recipes from Our Blog
- Eggplant Hummus
- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
- Orange-Parsley Hummus
- Vegetarian Bagel Sandwich
Read More:Organic Raspberry Chipotle Hummus
January 12th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
I picked up a new breakfast idea from the current issue of Health magazine:
- Toast 2 frozen whole-grain waffles.
- Top with 1/2 cup ricotta cheese.
- Slather with 1/2 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries (thawed).
The result is a cheesecake-like dish that takes only 5 minutes of prep time.
To keep things organic, I buy:
I’ve substituted fresh fruit (apples, pears, orange segments), but I really do enjoy the texture of the frozen berries, which drizzle juice over the ricotta cheese. It’s a healthful, filling breakfast “sundae” that’s rich in nutrients and flavor.
Read More:A New Organic Breakfast Favorite
January 6th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Stocking up on organic fruits and vegetables ensures you’ll enjoy a more healthful diet, but keeping track of everything you’ve bought can sometimes prove challenging. There’s nothing worse than throwing away a bunch of organic radishes that you inadvertently buried in the back of the cooler.
If you have an iPhone, tracking your produce purchases is now a breeze. The Shelf Life application logs your fruit and veggie inventory, as well as perishables like dairy and meat.
Your freshest produce is displayed with a green light, while items nearing expiration slowly become yellow, orange and red.
At $1.99, this is a great investment—and you’ll give those sorry radishes a break.
Read More:Is That Cheese Still Good? There’s an App for That
December 16th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
I have a large collection of cookbooks, and the ones I rely on for baking impart a critical piece of advice: Use only the best ingredients, including spices and extracts.
Many authors are quite specific about the brand of vanilla extract they use: Nielsen-Massey. I’ve come to rely on it, too, for both sweet and savory dishes, and the company uses organic vanilla beans.
Nielsen-Massey is pricier than many of the vanillas you’ll find on supermarket shelves, but consider it an investment in taste. You’ll get a lot of mileage out of a 4-oz. bottle. I buy it at my local Cost Plus World Market, which offers competitive prices.
As I wrote a few years ago in Flavor Focus: Vanilla, “vanilla beans with distinctive nuances come from four principal parts of the world”:
- Madagascar: Mellow and creamy flavor; often referred to as “bourbon” vanilla beans because they’re grown on the Bourbon Islands
- Mexico: Mild and smooth
- Tahiti: More aromatic, musky and sweet
- Indonesia: Smokier and sharper
For baking, choose Madagascar vanilla, which holds up well in high oven temperatures.
Mexican vanilla, according to the experts at Nielsen-Massey, is spicier and “smoothes out the heat and acidity of tomatoes and chili peppers, which are used in salsas and barbecue sauces.
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns consumers to purchase only Mexican pure vanilla that is produced in the United States,” they add. “Mexican vanilla is often made with coumarin, a toxic substance banned in the U.S.”
Tahitian vanilla is ideal for foods that are cooked and cooled, such as refrigerated and frozen desserts, fruit pies, sauces, smoothies and shakes.
For a great selection of vanilla recipes (and holiday gift books), check out:
- A Century of Flavors
- Vanilla: The Cultural History of the World’s Favorite Flavor and Fragrance
- Simply Vanilla: Recipes for Everyday Use
5 Recipes to Inspire You
- Organic Vanilla Cured Pork Loin with Roasted Turnips in a Vanilla Maple Sauce
- Candied Butternut Squash
- Chilled Holiday Nog (Raw)
- Soufflé Omelet with Balsamic Strawberries
- Organic Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Read More:Make Mine Vanilla
December 9th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
December is a great time to buy organic teas for yourself or as holiday gifts.
Tea producers roll out new flavors and boxed samplers that are sure to delight organic tea aficionados.
Here are some of my holiday recommendations:
- Art of Tea’s caffeine-free Blueberry Cheesecake dessert tea is handcrafted from organic and Fair Trade South African rooibos, honeybush and antioxidant-rich blueberries. It’s infused with a natural, creamy flavor.
- Numi’s new Mint Puerh comes from China’s Yunnan Mountains. Large handpicked leaves are slightly oxidized in the sun, yielding a golden tea. The flavor is smooth and mellow, with a sweet aftertaste.
- The Republic of Tea’s new Blood Orange Green Tea is a limited edition, created in partnership with Whole Foods Market. Ingredients include organic/Fair Trade full-leaf green tea, organic orange peel, natural flavors and orange fruit.
- The Chopra Center’s Organic Passion Plum Holiday Tea, also a caffeine-free limited edition, combines organic hibiscus, cinnamon, rosehips, orange, Siberian ginseng and passion flower.
Visit the OrganicAuthority Shop for a wide selection of your favorite teas—from Tangerine Ginger to Jasmine Pearl.
Read More:4 New Organic Holiday Teas
November 29th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Almost 43 million families will be making their own holiday gifts, cards and decorations this year, according to the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA).
“Crafting provides an opportunity to spend time with friends and family while creating unique, one-of-a-kind gifts that don’t need to cost a lot of money,” says CHA President and CEO Steve Berger.
The following project makes a great holiday decoration or gift. Organic wreaths are available at your local nursery and some natural/organic food stores. The remaining supplies can be found at your local craft store.
My favorite craft store, Joann, is offering OrganicAuthority readers free shipping on orders totaling $50 or more. Click here to take advantage of this holiday promotion.
Family Holiday Wreath
- Organic wreath
- Chipboard words
- Alphabet rub-ons
- Favorite family photos or holiday-themed stock photographs
- Heavy cardboard
- Metal saying
- Wire cutter
- Glue gun
- Attach metal saying with wire to center of wreath.
- Print or download photos. Those in this craft were printed in sepia.
- Adhere photos to heavy cardboard (same size as photos).
- Add rub-ons to photos (create names, messages).
- Glue chipboard words to wreath.
Project courtesy of www.terriocraftprojects.com. Photo courtesy of the Craft & Hobby Association.
Read More:Decorate an Organic Wreath