Tag Archives: Vegetables

How Do You Like Them Apples?

Bountiful Baskets Day!
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Can you say YUM! Here is a picture of my latest haul from my co-op. 

Breakdown: 12 bananas, 2 pomegranates, 7 bell peppers, 4 limes, ginger root, 1 cucumber, 1 butter lettuce, 6 tomatoes, biggest yam I have ever seen, 1 onion, 1 cantaloupe, 2 apples, 4 beets w/ greens, carrots about 3-4lbs, strawberries, bunch of Kale, bunch of Parsley, bunch of Celery, romaine lettuce, 1 pineapple, and 3 oranges (hiding behind the romaine) all for $25!

Then I swung by my local market and picked up some interesting finds: sunflower sprouts and sorrel. (oh and local corn on the cob!)
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Then I finally found some farm fresh eggs! (not that they never had them, I just never thought to look there) I really love how unique each egg is. They all have unique colors and sizes, not just all brown or white large eggs. Something about that is really creepy to me now!
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Also snagged a slice lemon strawberry banana bread from a local vegan co-op and some homemade pumpkin chocolate chip bread from another baker! Not to mention all the great people I met and free knowledge I acquired.

Local makes me happy!
-Ellie

P.S.
I picked up some wool dryer balls from a local crafter, I am excited to use them and will review them ASAP!

All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for any of these local reviews. I encourage you to find local markets in your community! Featured image courtesy of antpkr | freedigitalphotos.net

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Breaking My Co-op Cherry

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How great is that sign? I saw it on Pinterest, and now I know I need MUST make one for my kitchen!

When I first started my journey to eating healthy, I convinced myself I would become a juicer and go on a juice feast and lose tons of weight. Looking back, I can see how laughable that was, knowing myself and how much I love food. So instead of juicing, I started mega food restriction and ate maybe once or twice a day. How bleak life was. Even my guy was becoming depressed with our eating habits, even though we were technically losing weight.

One day it hit me, that it was time to fall back in love with food, except this time I would date the good foods and not be tempted by those “bad” foods as so many other girls (and guys) do!

This is still probably one of the most important things I have learned. For me eating is now about the love of preparing my own dishes (whether they end up good or yucky) from the freshest, natural ingredients whether that be breakfast, lunch, dinner, or desert!

Sometimes when something tastes “blah” I have to remind myself that I am just used to the greasy, salt covered version and it will take time for my tastebuds to love the natural flavors!

I didn’t know that Co-ops even existed, which might sound crazy to some people. But when you live off frozen food mutations and restaurants, did you really expect me to? So when I stumbled upon I was excited and leery. I spent weeks “filling” up my online basket with extras and goodies, only to never submit them before the deadline. After picking up my basket this morning, at the awful time of 7am on a Saturday mind you, I wonder what took me so long to hit submit!

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First things first, what I received (keep in mind these change):

Fruit/Veggie Basket ($15) (All organic option also available for $25): Pineapple, mini watermelon, cantaloupe, 6 bananas, 2 avocados, 1 pomegranate, 1 celery bunch, 2 onions, 2 heads of butter lettuce, green beans, 5 tomatoes, and a package of whole mushrooms. (you always receive 6 fruit and 6 vegetable items, but as you can see one item like bananas or tomatoes will contain multiples but still count as 1 fruit item.)

Mexican Veggie Lover Pack ($8.50): 1 bunch of cilantro, green onions, 3 onions, garlic, 4-5 jalapeños, 4 Anaheim peppers, 5 limes, and 12-13 tomatillos

Bread Pack ($10): 2 loaves 9-Grain bread, 2 loaves of english muffin bread, and 1 baguette.

A $3 basket fee, that is one time only (your first time)
A $1.50 processing fee for payment (always pay because they only accept credit/debt)

Total $38.00

So by going through my local weekly ads and some estimation along with weighing some things at home I estimate this would have all cost a little more than $50 at the grocery store. Subtracting my fees and counting just food, I saved 33% on my food. The best part is the bread will more than like last us all month since its 4 loaves. But for me this isn’t all about the savings per say. It is also about eating local, fresh ingredients.

Note: On their website they estimate the fruit/veggie baskets are worth about $50 grocery quality food, so either I’m under estimating, or they are over estimating. Either way, in the end it is cheaper!

They also offer a variety of extras every week/season. Things like coconut oils, bulk (around 25lb) fruits/veggies, bread packs, tortillas, italian packs, mexicans, and many more!

Literally the only downside is that you never know exactly what you are going to get. Like this week I received fruits and veggies I would never buy/eat. But I am taking the opportunity to try new things and cook new recipes. Or you can always donate the items to another family or local homeless shelter!

Okay, maybe waking up SUPER early on a Saturday is another downside, but I could drive like 30 mins to another city to pick up a basket at noon, or save the gas and time and suck it up!

Next I want to check out another local co-op called Earthwise Gardens. They have (what I think to be) a slightly high monthly membership fee of $100 for only 8-9 produce items a week. But I hear they have a store so I might have to check it out. I am still looking for a great place to find fresh eggs to use my super cute dishes.

Here is a picture of the “space wasters” as my guy likes to call them. I picked them up at World Market for $6 each! They are ceramic and come in white and yellow (that I could find!) and hold 12 eggs. (These are just organic, cage-free eggs from my local natural food store).

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I then later reorganized my fridge (and still working on the pantry) so the eggs “wasted” less space. But the first picture shows them better!

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And speaking of eggs….

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It’s not that most beautiful omelet but I did run straight home and use some of my mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, garlic, cilantro and spinach (that I already had) to make us a nice fresh breakfast! Later we had grilled peanut butter and honey sandwiches from the 9-grain bread and local Texas honey and organic 1 ingredient [crunchy] peanut butter, yum!

Happy Eating!
-Ellie

Eat Drink The Rainbow!

Juicing is what seems to be on everyone’s minds these day! Don’t get me wrong, I do love to juice and love how I feel after drinking that ultra vitamin packed drink. What I don’t love is the clean up! Blah! I am a very, “I need a breakfast made in 5 minutes so I can run out the door and still possibly be late!” kind of person lately. Which makes me feel super blah and flaky, but hey nutrition takes time and dedication! 

So after I went juice crazy for about a week, I decided, “Hey, I don’t really mind ingesting fiber. I don’t really want to detox through a juice feast right now, so why not try smoothies?!” So I pulled out my $20 blender (I am in desperate need of an upgrade, seriously!) and got to work. 

Sometimes my smoothies aren’t really the greatest sugar-wise. But at this point any fruits and veggies into my esophagus is healthier than the past, so I take what I can get! But lately I have been trying to get myself to eat the rainbow. Now this is pretty easy with fruits, but I am slowly trying to make more of my “rainbow” veggies. So far I have spinach….yeah I need to put more effort into this!

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So I threw in a banana, some blueberries, strawberries, mandarin oranges, and spinach, all fresh and not frozen. (I really need to work on measuring my ingredients!) I grabbed my coconut water out of the fridge and poured it in. Blend. Lets just say the “rainbow” turns out pretty muddy looking when blended, haha. 

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I take a sip, and instantly I think, “Man, this tastes really sour, in an off kind of way not in a bitter fruit kind of way.” Lately I have been trying to be really good about cleaning up right after I cook/bake so I turn around to rise out my blender (much easier to clean than a juicer) and the mason jar where my coconut water was. Lo and behold I look into the mason jar and see some nice white fuzzy mold growing on the bottom. ::Gagh:: 

Can you believe that I seriously considered drinking my smoothie anyways because I didn’t want to waste all my fruit? I’m gross I know. But don’t worry, I poured it out and started over! This time, afraid to use my unopened coconut water, I opted for using some unsweetened almond milk! 

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Unfortunately, I now had to use frozen fruit (that I had bought and then froze myself). Remember how I mentioned that I needed a blender upgrade? This is exactly why! My blender has such trouble with anything frozen. I have to stop, stir/unclog, blend: like every 5-10 seconds! It is ridiculous. 

Anyways, my new smoothie had a frozen banana (chopped up), frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries, plain stonyfield yogurt, granola (i bought in bulk at Sprouts), spinach, and unsweetened almond milk. OH MY GOODNESS!! That was like the best parfait tasting smoothie ever! (the only one I have ever made, so I am slightly bias.) Who hasn’t been eating a parfait and thought, “Man, I wish I could drink this instead of make the effort to eat it?” Haha. Not to mention it turned out a little prettier than the last one!

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So there you have it! My way to convince myself its okay to drink a “milkshake” for breakfast ::wink::

-Ellie