You want to give your children Halloween treats they’ll love, but without all the ghoulish stuff—GMOs, artificial flavors and colors, high fructose corn syrup—you avoid all other times of year. While healthier packaged treats are more readily available than ever (come into the store for a great selection of Rising Tide-approved Halloween treats), don’t underestimate the fun (and ease!) of creating homemade treats made with wholesome, organic/non-GMO ingredients. Whether you’re hosting a party, bringing snacks into a child’s classroom, or simply want to control a fraction of your child’s Halloween booty, get some inspiration for healthy Halloween recipes here.
DIY PROBIOTIC-RICH FERMENTED FOODS AT HOME
Nourish your gut—naturally. Brimming with probiotics, tangy lacto-fermented veggies are a delicious way to maintain a balanced microbiome and healthy digestive system. Plus, they’re surprisingly easy to make at home. Follow these simple recommendations for the best results.
1. Get the right gear.
No need to buy a fancy fermentation set. All you need to get started is a wide-mouth mason jar, wooden spoon and some sort of weight to keep the veggies submerged in brine (a cabbage or apple core or even a smaller mason jar resting on top of your ferments will do the trick). Run your jars through the dishwasher before using.
2. Choose organic.
Starting with clean, pesticide-free produce will guarantee a better outcome. Select high-quality organic veggies from your garden, or shop for them in Rising Tide’s 100 percent organic produce department! Not convinced? (In honor of September being Organic Month, here are some more reasons why it’s more important than ever to buy organic.)
3. Wash veggies well.
Wash produce carefully under cold water and make sure to remove all dirt and debris before fermentation, as this could affect the taste of the final product. After washing, slice your produce in uniform pieces for even ripening.
4. Use purified water.
Always use distilled or purified water for your brine. Tap water contains chlorine, and often fluoride, which can disturb the growth of good bacteria.
5. Don’t skimp on the salt.
Along with adding flavor and creating a crispier texture to your veggies, salt kills harmful bacteria and prevents mold during the fermentation process. Be sure to use the exact amount that the recipe calls for. Opt for high-quality Himalayan or sea salt instead of table salt.
6. Give veggies time to ripen.
Cover your jar with an airtight lid, and give the fermentation process at least a week on your kitchen counter before checking. You’ll know they’re ready when you see bubbles forming in the brine and the mixture omits a sour, though not unpleasant, odor. If you see mold on top, simply scrape it off with a wooden spoon and discard. Shaking the mixture once a day; this helps inhibit mold growth. It’s a good idea to taste the product to determine if it could use a few more days to culture. If your veggies smell rotten, toss them and try again.
7. Store your finished product in the fridge.
Finally, it’s time to move your veggies to a refrigerator or cellar. Cold temperatures slow the growth of healthy bacteria, so the flavor of ferment will continue to deepen and evolve. Your veggies will keep in cold storage for up to a year.
Start your own fermentation adventure. Check out a bunch of make-at-home fermentation recipes here.
Fermented foods—resurging in popularity because of their ability to improve digestive health, boost immunity and fight inflammation—contain beneficial bacteria created through a process called lacto-fermentation. You can make your own fermented foods at home in a few simple steps—and enjoy them in a multitude of dishes all year long.
(Note: If you don’t have time to DIY, we stock a diverse and exciting variety of the best fermented products on the market right here at Rising Tide. Check the refrigerated case at the back of the store for some of our favorites, or ask a staff member for guidance.)
Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake
Post a pic—and tag us—-if this inspires you to ferment at home!
Yes, the season is winding down, but summer still has some juicy secrets up her sleeve. Stone fruits—namely plums, pluots and apricots—will be abundant in August. Ripe and luscious, in a salad or in a pastry, let these sweet-and-sour gems top off a sultry summer.
The first written mention of s’mores dates back to a Girl Scout wilderness handbook in 1927. That means we’ve been enjoying these delicious chocolatey-graham crackery- marshmallowy treats for more than 90 years and if you’ve ever had one…you know why. These nighttime campfire treats are fun to make, feature all non-perishable ingredients, and boast a crunchy, gooey flavor combo that’s next to none. Plus, s’mores are a seasonal staple; if you’re eating one, chances are it’s just one part of a great summer night.
From the traditional to the intoxicating, we’ve got recipes to help you get your s’mores on this summer:
***DON’T MISS OUR SALE ON S’MORES FIXINS…DISCOUNTED THRU 7/11***
Summer’s here, and outside is the best place to cook (flipping burgs with a cocktail by your side is surely one of life’s great joys). Grilling can be a delicious, healthy way to prepare all kinds of foods; you get loads of flavor in a short period of time (without the ubiquitous batter coating you find in so many summer foods). Nutrients also stay intact when grilling when compared to other forms of cooking. Plus, grill lines look pretty on just about anything you toss on those flames and just about scream summer.
While grilling is healthier than frying, etc., there are certainly some grill techniques and food choices that are healthier than others. Research indicates that some grilled foods (particularly meat) can be linked to certain types of cancer. There are two components in play here. First, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been linked to colon cancer and are found in well-done foods, most specifically in the charred or “crispy” portions of the food that turn black from the grill. Then there are heterocyclic amines, or HCAs, formed from intense and concentrated high heat.
The good news, these nasty PAHs and HCAs can be avoided without giving up grilling. Here are some super easy hacks for making this grill season your healthiest one yet.
Shorter is better. Try to not eat overcooked food from the grill (well-done meat has 3.5 times more HCAs than medium-rare meat).
Keep it clean! Make sure your grates are clean of any leftover burnt food particles.
Marinate. Marinating your meat with herbs, specifically thyme and/or rosemary, can cut back on HCA’s by up to 99%. Black pepper, allspice, and/or chives can also provide powerful protection against carcinogens. Avoid sugary marinades (which actually make things worse); go for lemon or vinegar and herb-based ones, instead.
No flare-ups. This can help with both kinds of carcinogens. Keep a spray bottle of water with you to put them out (without putting out your coals).
Seafood says summer. Fish and shrimp produce much fewer HCAs from high heat exposure than meat, and their lower fat content minimizes fat drippings to reduce PAHs from smoke.
Grill fruits & vegetables. PAH’s and HCA’s don’t form on produce, so create a rainbow this summer by grilling healthy fruits and veggies. Even when grilling meat, mix in some grilled veggies as well; the antioxidants from (hopefully organic) produce can help counteract the carcinogens formed as a bi-product of the grilling. (Remember: Rising Tide Natural Market boasts a 100% organic produce department, guaranteeing our customers the healthiest, most carefully curated produce at every visit.)
Some fruits and veggies that are awesome on the grill:
- bell peppers
Grill lean cuts of meat. The leaner the meats, the less fat dripping on the grill, and the fewer PAHs and HCAs formed. Also pick smaller cuts of meat, which cuts down on grill time.
Flip your burgs. Like we said above, there’s something to that flip. Turns out it also reduces the amount of HCAs that form. Use a spatula so you don’t pierce the burgers, causing fat to drip and HCAs to form.
Recipes for Healthier Grilling
Lastly, here are some general tips for successful grilling this summer!