You Need This Sweet Quinoa Breakfast Bowl So Bad – Organic Authority

This healthy vegan quinoa breakfast bowl is packed with protein and nourishment to start your morning right. This protein-packed quinoa breakfast bowl will get your morning started the right way.

When you think of breakfast foods, quinoa likely doesn’t pop into your mind. But with a few sweet additions such as fresh fruit, sweet maple syrup, and creamy peanut butter, quinoa is totally breakfast-friendly!

Many sweet quinoa breakfast recipes have you cook the quinoa in almond milk. But our recipe has you cook it with water, like you normally would, and then add in the almond milk after. This is so the quinoa is fluffy and can be used for other recipes. Feel free to use the quinoa leftovers for a savory breakfast bowl or for lunch!

Since quinoa is a seed, not a grain, it’s the perfect base for your breakfast. It’s a bit easier to digest than a heavy grain and it’ll energize you. A sprinkle of granola ensures you get a healthy dose of carbs to sustain you.

Quinoa is also a great source of fiber, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and copper. It also contains two flavonoids; quercetin and kaempferol, which provide antioxidant benefits. Quinoa is also a source of healthy fats with its omega-3 acid content.

Recipe Tips

Feel free to add any toppings you have on hand to this quinoa breakfast bowl. Get creative and try switching it up each time you make this. Some tasty suggestions are peaches, strawberries, bananas, almond butter, cacao nibs, and sliced almonds.

For the granola topping, you can either make your own using this recipe or use store-bought. I used One Degree sprouted vanilla granola which is gluten-free, vegan, and organic.

Vegan and gluten-free quinoa breakfast bowl with peanut butter, blueberries, and coconut flakes

Vegan Quinoa Breakfast Bowl Recipe

Vegan Quinoa Breakfast Bowl Recipe


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 ¾ cups filtered water
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • Toppings:
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • Blueberries
  • Coconut flakes
  • Granola


  1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh sieve until water runs clear. Add quinoa to a rice cooker or pot. Next, add filtered water and cover with lid. If using a pot, cook for 20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. If using a rice cooker, simply press cook and wait until the cooker signals it is finished.
  2. Once quinoa is done cooking, remove from heat and let stand five minutes. Remove lid and fluff lightly using a fork. Set aside ½ cup cooked quinoa and store the rest in an airtight container for later use.
  3. Add ¼ cup of cooked quinoa to each bowl and then add as much almond milk as desired. I suggest about ¼ cup. Then add one tablespoon maple syrup to each bowl. Top with one tablespoon peanut butter, a handful of blueberries, granola, and coconut shreds. Serve immediately and enjoy!


Related on Organic Authority
Save the Quinoa (But Not From Vegans)
Meatless Monday Roundup: 4 Quinoa Recipes
The 7 Healthiest Nutritionist-Approved Nut Butters

Images via Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers is a fashion and food blogger living a compassionate lifestyle. Karissa is the blogger of Vegan À La Mode where she shares her favorite vegan and gluten-free recipes and also her eco-friendly cruelty-free style. Her love for photographing food and her outfits, drove her to develop a passion for photography. After a few years of honing in on her photography skills, Karissa launched her business, Karissa Bowers Photography, where she shoots weddings and portraits. When she’s not taking photos or in the kitchen, you can find Karissa traveling and trying new vegan restaurants.

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Feeding Picky Teenagers – Nutrilicious

Life with teenagers can be a roller coaster ride; one day they think you are the greatest, next day they think you don’t know anything. Gone are the days when they cry when you drop them off at school and you worry whether or not their friends will play with them at recess. Fast forward to the teenage years and now you worry how they will do on their math exam, will their face clear up before the weekend and obviously, are they eating properly.

I know from personal experience feeding picky teenagers can be a challenge. If my daughter had it her way she’d eat pasta or pizza every night.  How do I ensure she is eating properly?

Here are some of things that have worked in my house:

1. Ask your kids for a few meal options and include them in your weekly rotation.


2. Prepare the foods they like but with slight variations:

a. We have pasta once a week but we prepare it differently each time. A favourite of ours is pesto.

b.  We have Mexican food once a week but we rotate between black beans and pinto beans, tortillas and  tacos to keep it interesting.

c.  We have tofu once a week but vary the vegetables and sauces we use.


3. Get your kids involved in the preparation as kids who cook a meal are more likely to eat it.


4. Stock the fridge and pantry with foods you know they like and that they can munch on. This way you  know they are eating nutritious snacks and not consuming empty calories from chips and chocolate bars.

Some good options include:
. hummous and pita
. corn chips and guacamole
. plain yogurt and fresh fruit
. homemade trail mix with dried nuts and fruit


5. Respect your kid’s food choices but encourage them to try new things. Don’t give up getting them to  experiment. Keep at it!


6. Take your kids shopping with you and let them choose what they’d like to eat. Hold your tongue and  let them throw in a few not-so-healthy items here and there. Remember the 80/20 rule.


Last but not least, be a good role model.


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12 Healthy Dinners for Under $3 per Serving

Sometimes it feels like you can only eat healthy if you’re willing to spend a lot of money. Avocados are all the rage, but they’re also a dollar a pop—even more if you’re buying organic. Not to mention all the overpriced salad chains, $10 smoothies, and the fancy spices and vinegars that may or may not turn you into a wellness influencer. (Spoiler: They Will Not.) With all of these things taking over social media, it can seem like eating healthy on the cheap is impossible.

I’m here to tell you that it definitely isn’t. There are tons of hacks that registered dietitians use to save money at the grocery store, like stocking up on items when they’re on sale and shopping seasonal produce. But even if you don’t use these tricks, there still ways to eat well without breaking the bank.

Really, it’s about having a series of tried-and-true, inexpensive recipes in your arsenal. The internet is rife with budget bloggers making healthy meals with hardly anything, because they rely on simple staples like beans and rice as well as affordable produce and protein sources. These 14 recipes are so cheap, each one costs less than $3 per serving to make. (Either the blogger calculated and provided this information, or we did the math using prices from Peapod.) They all make multiple servings, which means they’re great for meal prep. And, they’re filled with all the fiber, protein, and healthy carbs you need to feel good.

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Swap Your Oatmeal for Pinole: The Energy Powerhouse Superfood

purely pinole
Image care of Purely Pinole

How many of us start the day with a bowl of oatmeal? It’s rich in fiber, filling, and a comforting way to start the day. But if you’re after energy, nutrients, and antioxidants, the Mexican superfood blend known as pinole might be a better breakfast cereal choice.

What is Pinole?

Pinole is a blend of toasted purple heirloom maize, raw cacao, sugar, and spices that was first prepared by the Aztecs, though its recent fame is thanks to the Tarahumara people of northwestern Mexico. The Tarahumara, featured in the 2009 book “Born to Run,” are known for their tradition of hundred-mile-long barefoot runs, a habit fueled by pinole.

“In this tribe, there’s no diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or obesity,” reports Thrive Market. “Though researchers can’t pinpoint exactly why, they suspect it all goes back to nutrition.”

Pinole does boast an impressive nutritional makeup, with vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, and E from the cacao, blood sugar stabilizing powers from the cinnamon, and proanthocyanidins – a type of polyphenol – from the purple maize.

“Pinole ticks all the boxes for almost everyone,” says Dr. Elizabeth Trattner. “It’s gluten-free, vegan, and high in healthy fat and fiber.”

Image: Red corn

Where to Find Pinole

One of the top providers of pinole in the U.S. is Native State’s Purely Pinole, a company that puts a modern spin on tradition by reinforcing the blend with pea protein. This makes the superfood cereal a no-brainer choice over other porridges.

“Oatmeal has been touted as heart-healthy because the bran it contains reduces cholesterol,” writes Dr. Mark Hyman in his recent book, “Food: What the Heck Should I Eat?” “Oatmeal spikes insulin and blood sugar, which makes you even hungrier.”

The added pea protein, on the other hand, keeps you sated, while the other ingredients in the time-tested blend fill you with energy and endurance for whatever awaits you in your day.

“We work with a lot of trainers and people who live really healthy lifestyles and they all reported a difference in their athletic performance after eating pinole for a couple weeks,” Angela Palmieri, Native State’s co-founder, tells Well and Good. “We consistently have people tell us, ‘I got to the end of my run where I usually stop and I realized I had all this energy.’”

In addition to added protein, Native State also offers a good deal of transparency: Palmieri’s husband, co-founder Claudio Roumain Ochoa, explains that not only are the cacao and cinnamon in the product Fair Trade certified, but every ingredient is Non-GMO Project Verified and most are also certified organic.

“The hurdle to being fully organic has been the availability of an organic purple maize,” he explains. Currently, Native State sources its maize from small, sustainable family farms in the U.S., and Ochoa says that the company hopes to have access to certified organic maize next year.

purely pinole
Image care of Thrive Market (Paul Delmont)

How to Eat Pinole

There are lots of great ways to consume pinole. Ochoa likes to prepare it like oatmeal and sprinkle granola over the top, but the sky’s really the limit.

“The best part of pinole is that you can make it your own,” he says. “Like açai bowls, people are always customizing it with their favorite berries and nuts.”

Purely Pinole and Thrive Market worked together to create an antioxidant-rich pinole bowl recipe with fresh berries and jam.

But just because pinole is usually eaten as a breakfast cereal doesn’t mean you have to stop there. Many people who enjoy pinole for endurance have created easy-to-transport bars that they can take on runs and hikes: this version has the added benefit of being sweetened with dates instead of sugar, while this recipe also includes chia, another superfood commonly consumed by the Tarahumara.

You can even drink pinole, either by adding it to your favorite smoothie recipe or by sipping it as a horchata-like beverage.

Did we miss one of your favorite ways to enjoy pinole? Let us know! Share your favorite recipes with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Related on Organic Authority
Superfood: Worth the Hype or Flashy Fad?
These Vegan Cacao-Date Energy Bombs Will Make You Question Everything
The Bare Minimum: Shoes for ‘Barefoot’ Running

Emily Monaco
Emily Monaco

Emily Monaco is an American food and culture writer based in Paris. She loves uncovering the stories behind ingredients and exposing the face of our food system, so that consumers can make educated choices. Her work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Vice Munchies, and Serious Eats.

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17 Stir-Fry Recipes You Can Make in 15 Minutes or Less

Andrew Purcell; Carrie Purcell

When you need dinner as fast as possible, there’s nothing speedier than a stir-fry. Though all that stirring and frying may sound complicated if you’ve never done it before, it’s actually about as simple as it gets. Toss your veggies, your proteins, and your sauce in a pan, let it all cook until tender, and voilà—a well-rounded, healthy dinner is ready just like that.

There are a lot of exciting, low-maintenance meals out there, but none of them are more exciting or low-maintenance than a stir-fry. Seriously. The classic dish rarely takes more than 15 minutes to cook, and it can be made with all kinds of different ingredients. Though the famous iteration usually involves soy sauce, you can really use any kind of flavoring you please, whether that be Mexican-style spices or whatever you happen to have on hand.

Here are 17 stir-fry recipes that are so fast, you’ll never want to make anything else. None of them take more than 15 minutes to make, so they’re perfect for those nights when you’d rather not spend hours in the kitchen. They’re packed with lots of veggies and protein sources like ground turkey, chicken, and tofu, so they’ll keep you totally satisfied. And a bunch of them make plenty of leftovers, so you can pack them up and eat them for lunch, too.

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This Vegan Chocolate Mousse Recipe Uses the Savviest Ingredient Ever

A Vegan Chocolate Mousse Recipe With the Savviest Ingredient Ever

Something magical happens when you whip up aquafaba, the fancy word for bean water, aka thick liquid found in your can of BPA-free chickpeas (or in your home-cooked beans). It gets fluffy, airy, and absolutely reminiscent of meringue – sans eggs. Fold in melted chocolate, a dash of coconut sugar, and a few more goodies into the bowl, and you’ll have yourself a decadent, vegan chocolate mousse recipe made with the most culinary savvy ingredient around.

Aqua-what? If you’ve never heard the word before, fret not. Aquafaba was coined in 2015 by a now 50,000-strong community group on Facebook (Vegan Meringue – Hits and Misses!) who had been experimenting with chickpea brine for its surprising abilities to replace egg whites in recipes. Decadent treats like cakes, brownies, marshmallows, meringues, ice cream, macaroons, and more could be made vegan simply by using aquafaba as an egg alternative.

Aqufaba’s versatility has led to chickpea water totally becoming a thing and finding its way into gourmet and home kitchens, prepared foods like mayonnaise, cocktails, (whiskey sour anyone?) and pop-up restaurants around the country. News outlets like The New York Times and Bon Appetit are even writing on the marvels of chickpea brine, noting aquafaba to be a vegan wonder ingredient.

A Vegan Chocolate Mousse Recipe With the Savviest Ingredient Ever

Nutritionally speaking, the research and nutrition information on aquafaba is minimal. However, according to where a nutritional analysis on aquafaba was taken, chickpea brine does contain trace nutrients. According to the analysis, one tablespoon of aquafaba contains 3-5 calories along with trace amounts of calcium, iron, and protein.

Nutrition and vegan wonder ingredient aside, using aquafaba also helps to cut back on food waste. I’m sure you’ve poured countless cups of chickpea water down the drain without even giving a second thought to repurpose it. Now that aquafaba is a known culinary ingredient, you can be economical and kitchen savvy at the same time — a total win-win.

A Vegan Chocolate Mousse Recipe With the Savviest Ingredient Ever

A Vegan Chocolate Mousse Recipe With the Savviest Ingredient Ever

Using your chickpea brine for a decadent chocolate mousse recipe is definitely a way to take advantage of your culinary forte. By simply folding in a high-quality (organic, fair-trade, and dairy-free please!) dark chocolate into whipped aquafaba along with sweet and mineral-rich coconut sugar, and warming vanilla you’re able to make this vegan chocolate mousse recipe in a cinch. Due to the fact that the recipe uses no refined sugars, oils, dairy, or any other animal products, it’s suitable for many dietary restrictions as well.

A vegan, environmentally friendly, and lusciously chocolate dessert? Sign us up.

A Vegan Chocolate Mousse Recipe With the Savviest Ingredient Ever

Chocolate Aquafaba Mousse Recipe

Chocolate Aquafaba Mousse Recipe


  • 6 ounces dark chocolate (dairy-free)
  • 1 (BPA-free 15-ounce) can unsalted chickpeas
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Fresh raspberries, coconut flakes, and cacao nibs to serve


  1. Roughly chop dark chocolate and place in a double boiler, or in a glass bowl over boiling water on the stove. Gently melt chocolate, stirring every now and then until completely melted. Remove from heat and pour chocolate into a large bowl. Set aside to slightly cool.
  2. Drain chickpeas, reserving liquid aquafaba, and store chickpeas for another use.
  3. In a large bowl add in aquafaba (about ¾ cup should be reserved) along with cream of tartar. Using a hand mixer, mix on high speed for 7-10 minutes, or until soft peaks begin to form. Add in vanilla extract, salt, and coconut sugar and beat until mixed.
  4. Add ½ the melted chocolate to the whipped aquafaba and fold until incorporated. Fold in the remaining ½ aquafaba until smooth and combined.
  5. Gently spoon chocolate mousse into glasses, small mason jars, or ramekins. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  6. Sprinkle with coconut flakes, cacao nibs, and raspberries to serve. Enjoy!


Related On Organic Authority

Mouth-Watering Savory and Spicy Roasted Chickpeas Recipe
Chickpea Brine: Coming to a Cake Near You (Plus a Recipe)
Easy Pasta Salad Recipe with Feta, Olives, and Chickpeas

Photos by Kate Gavlick

Kate Gavlick
Kate Gavlick

Kate is a Nutritionist with a Master’s of Nutrition from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon and the blogger and photographer of Vegukate. Kate believes in nourishing the whole body with real, vibrant foods that feed the mind, body, soul, gut, and every single little cell. Her philosophy is simple when it comes to food and nourishment: cut the processed junk, listen to your body, eat by the seasons, eat plates and bowls filled with color, stress less, and enjoy every single bite. When she’s not cooking in her too tiny Portland kitchen, Kate can be found perusing farmer’s markets, doing barre classes, hiking, reading, and exploring.

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Tangy and Creamy Vegan Probiotic Coconut Yogurt Recipe

Tangy and Creamy Vegan Probiotic Coconut Yogurt Recipe

This vegan coconut yogurt recipe is slightly sweet, slightly tangy, and full of probiotics. It’s not only delicious but also improving your digestive system! And it’s never a bad idea to fill up on healthy bacteria. Even though popping a probiotic pill is a great way to keep your gut health in check, there are many more exciting ways to integrate probiotics into your diet (think: sauerkraut, miso, and kombucha).

But when it comes to probiotic-rich yogurt, I have long been eager for a vegan version. Luckily, plenty of vegan probiotic yogurt products are hitting the market. The only problem is, they’re expensive! Coconut Cult is making huge waves, and for a respectable reason, but they’re $25 a pop! I don’t know about you, but that’s not a yogurt I can enjoy on the reg.

The best way to get your probiotic coconut yogurt game on is to make it yourself! The following vegan probiotic coconut yogurt recipe explains just how to achieve that thick, creamy, lightly effervescent bliss. And while it may seem like a daunting task to make, I promise you it isn’t.

What You’ll Need

Making this recipe requires a bit of foresight. First, get yourself a vegan starter. Cultures for Health has a reliable vegan version that sells for $9.99 and contains four packets of starter culture, each dedicated to one to two quarts of milk (aka, to-be yogurt).

Next, you’ll have to decide the best coconut milk to use. While canned coconut milk or tetra packs are all possibilities, the best way to avoid the guessing game concerning add-ins and BPA leaching is to simply make your own coconut milk from fresh young Thai coconut. Be prepared with young Thai coconuts on hand as well as a responsible person to crack the coconuts open in a safe fashion.

You’ll also need agar-agar, which helps to thicken the yogurt into a beloved consistency. Agar-agar is a jelly-like substance, obtained from algae. Who wants runny yogurt, anyway?

The last element is the heating device. Unless you have a yogurt making kit, you use can use an Excalibur dehydrator set at about 105 degrees. Place the containers on the bottom, away from the heating element. Another option is to use a temperature-adjustable heating pad, or put a w0-Watt bulb in the oven and keep the light on with the containers wrapped in a towel to hold the heat.

Probiotic Coconut Yogurt Recipe: Vegan, Tangy, and Creamy Without the Fuss

This probiotic coconut yogurt is a delicious way to enjoy yogurt, only without dairy and with incredible digestive system benefits.


  • 1 liter coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons agar agar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut nectar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vegan yogurt starter


  1. Sterilize your yogurt containers in boiling water. Remove, dry, and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, bring coconut milk to 180 degrees Fahrenheit and then remove from heat. Be sure not to boil the milk, but it is important that the milk reaches 180 degrees in order to prevent harmful bacteria.
  3. Stir in the agar agar, followed by the coconut nectar.
  4. Let the milk cool down to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Remove 1/2 cup of the cooled coconut milk and stir in the starter culture. Stir well and pour into the remainder of the coconut milk.
  6. Pour cultured milk into the yogurt jars. Cover and ferment at 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit for seven to nine hours.
  7. Check on the taste of the yogurt after seven hours to see if it is sour enough for your taste. Let it sit in the heat for longer if you seek a stronger taste.
  8. Once finished, store the yogurts in the refrigerator and once cold, enjoy the yogurt alone, with granola, or as you please!


Related on Organic Authority
Best Ever Yogurt Dipping Sauce Recipe
The Big Truth About the Health Benefits of Yogurt
How to Find the Healthiest Yogurt (Vegan or Dairy)

Aylin Erman

Aylin Erman

Aylin is founder of GlowKitchen, a food blog with an emphasis on vegan and gluten-free fare. Aylin has been living in Istanbul, where she is founder and CEO of a cold-pressed juice and healthy foods company JÜS (

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7 Easy, Healthy Lunches to Eat This Week

Andrew Purcell, Carrie Purcell

Frankly, the hardest part of cooking is often figuring out what to make. To help alleviate some of that stress, SELF is putting together weekly lists of seven breakfasts, lunches, or dinners that will hopefully inspire your meal planning for the week ahead. Last week, we laid out a week of easy dinner recipes—this week, we’re focusing on lunch!

Several ingredients appear in multiple recipes—farro, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, apples, carrots, and Parmesan—which helps keep your grocery list short. There’s one chicken recipe, two tuna recipes, and four meatless recipes, so you won’t get bored. Everything keeps well in the fridge overnight, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not your packed lunch will actually survive until lunch. And, since farro appears in five of the recipes, it’s worth it to make a huge batch and store it in the fridge to repurpose for recipes throughout the week. Anything you’re not eating within five days should go in the freezer and thawed as needed.

Each recipe serves one or two people, but you can easily halve or double them as it suits you. Plus, they all make for excellent lunch leftovers. If you cook one of the recipes, post a photo on Instagram and tag @selfmagazine and @xtinebyrne (that’s me!)—we love a good food pic as much as you do.

Oh, and if these recipes don’t do it for you? We have a whole archive of healthy, easy lunch recipes right here.

Andrew Purcell, Carrie Purcell


Farro Bowl With Kale, Apples, and Egg

Lately, I’ve been buying Envy apples, a new-to-me variety that’s crunchy, sweet, and doesn’t brown as easily as other apples after being cut. When it comes to putting apples in lunch salads, this has been a godsend. This bowl is hearty but still tastes healthy and fresh, thanks to plenty of greens, healthy fat, and protein. Get the recipe here.

Andrew Purcell, Carrie Purcell


Tuna, Apple, and Avocado Wrap

Because of supersized tortillas and heavy fillings, wraps often get a bad…well, rap. The thing is, whole-wheat tortillas are actually a great blank canvas for all kinds of healthy ingredients, and they pack well. This one is filled with sweet apples, tuna, and avocado, and it’s got a great balance of protein, healthy carbs, and healthy fats. Get the recipe here.

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The 131 Best Organic Wines for 2018 (Plus: Sipping Tips from Wine Experts)

Best organic wine
@ Les Dauphins

It’s been a banner year for organic, biodynamic, and wines made with organic grapes. Bottles are winning awards, topping lists, and taking the spotlight.

Ann Arnold, owner of notes that “It’s important for consumers to realize that organic and biodynamic wines don’t get judged by a classification of their own just because they are produced differently. They are rated in magazines and judged in wine competitions alongside all wines in their respective classification. And they are performing remarkably well!”

Whether you are new to organic and biodynamic wines or a seasoned aficionado, this guide will help you curate the perfect wine for your palate and start building an enviable wine collection. To give you the best advice, we went to the wine experts to give you the insider knowledge to navigate the incredible number of choices in organic, biodynamic and wine “made with organic grapes”.

Best organic wines
© Bonterra

NOTE: If you want to skip to the 2018 Organic Wine List, simply, scroll down. But if you want tips from wine experts on how to choose just the right wine for your palate and budget, keep reading.

Look For “Great Value” Wines

“I would say being aware of good vintages is a key. Great producers find a way to make great wine every year but in benchmark vintages like 2005 in Bordeaux or 2013 in Napa,” says Brahm Callahan, Master Sommelier & Ribera del Duero and Rueda ambassador. “There was a lot of great wine available with a much better quality to price ratio than you might normally see in those wine regions. Also, value can be found in new emerging regions that weren’t part of the traditional market.”

“Grape varieties that we call ‘Rhone varietals’, such as Syrah, are a great bet for quality and value,” according to Erica Nonni of Nonni Strategic Marketing. “They have broad appeal without the high prices that Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir can command. In Italy, Sagrantino is a star grape that’s gaining renown (and higher prices) in the USA, while its ‘sibling’ Rosso di Montefalco is a steal.”

“The Anderson Valley, California is a hidden secret for those who love Burgundy, but are looking for wines with tremendous value,” says Darrin Low, winemaker at Domaine Anderson.

“Don’t just ask for a Cabernet or a Pinot Noir,” suggests Luigi Capasso, Senior Beverage Manager at il Vino EATALY, Los Angeles. “Tell us the occasion, who is coming, what you are serving and your budget and we can recommend a wine you will love.”

Don’t Only Choose Award-winning Wine

 Not all wineries can afford to enter their wines to be judged,” advises Ann Arnold, owner of “There are many wineries that do not get the recognition they deserve.  In my opinion, the best judges are at home exploring organic and biodynamic wines and finding gems that suit their individual palate.”

Explore your Palate at Free Wine Tastings

Best organic wines
©EATLAY Los Angeles

Most cities have a plethora of boutique wine shops and larger wine stores – most of which offer free wine tasting. For example, Il Vino at EATALY Los Angeles offers free wine tastings every day in the early evening where you can chat with a knowledgeable wine representative – and even sip wine while you shop.

Invest in a Coravin

Best organic wines
© Coravin

If you’re serious about starting an organic wine collection, Coravin allows you to pour wine through the cork without actually opening the bottle. Which means you can have a glass of Chardonnay one day and a glass of Nero d’Avola the next without ever wasting wine that you can’t finish. Many restaurants use Coravin for their library wines to keep them fresh and ready to pour. This also makes luxury wine more available by the glass. It’s a brilliant solution when you want excellent wine – but only a glass.

Consider Quality/Price Ratio – Instead of Just the Price

“Price (high or low) doesn’t necessarily equate to quality, says Callahan. “There are too many outside factors that affect quality to narrow it down.”

“You can get fantastic quality at $30 retail. Even at $15 retail the quality available is better than ever,” says Nonni. “In the USA this is a golden age for price/quality ratio in wine and the sheer selection to which US wine lovers have access. You generally find better quality/price ratio at many price points from Chile, which is a viticultural paradise thanks to ideal climates and conditions for organic and sustainable winemaking and thankfully hasn’t seen marketing-driven inflation but still remains a bit under the radar.”

Best organic wines
© Michael G Ingram

Organic and Biodynamic Farming Enhances Your Tasting Experience

“Biodynamic and organic wines allow you to better taste the terroir where the grapes are grown that give the wine its unique characteristics,” says Giacomo Zondini, Wine Store Manager Il Vino, EATALY Los Angeles. “It allows the maximum expression of the wine.”

According to Federica Mascheroni Stianti, manager of the Prelius estate and global representative for Castello di Volpaia, organic farming is “not an option, it’s a requirement to produce better wines. Every day you delay the organic conversion is a day you’ll erode your business value rather than creating it.”

“Wine taste and how the grapes are grown is dependent on everything from rainfall to irrigation and whether or not the soil has chemicals in it,” says Callahan. “For example, biodynamic farming in D.O.’s Ribera del Duero and Rueda, involves managing a farm utilizing the principles of a living organism and pursues the balance of the land where the vines are grown to promote its health.”

“I strive to create terroir-driven wines with a sense of place, showing the uniqueness of the Anderson Valley. This region was chosen by the House of Champagne Louis Roederer in 1981 for Domaine Anderson as the ideal location for spectacular Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays,” says Darrin Low, winemaker at Domaine Anderson. “We follow biodynamic principles, treating our grapes with care, and are always guided by our philosophy of minimal intervention throughout the winemaking process. These principles are used by many famed Burgundy producers.”

2018 Organic Wine List

This list of organic, biodynamic and wines made with “organic grapes” features unique varietals from around the world, excellent value wines, and emerging wine regions along with traditional ones. You’ll also find three delicious biodynamic orange wines to try. All the wines are numbered for easy reference but do not reflect ranking as you’ll find a variety of wonderful wines from all over the world at every price point.

White Wine

Best organic wines
© Alexander Rubin
  1. Emidio Pepe Trebbiano, Abruzzo 2012 $105 (Biodynamic)
  2. Emidio Pepe Pecorino, Abruzzo 2015 $99 (Biodynamic)
  3. Cellario E Bianco, Piemonte 2015 $18 (Biodynamic)
  4. Corte Sant’Alda Soave, Veneto 2016 $24 (Biodynamic)
  5. Gravner Bianco Breg, Friuli Venezia Giulia, 2008, $79 (Biodynamic)
  6. Raimat Saira, Albarino, Costers del Segre, 2014, $12.99
  7. Cos Phitos Bianco, Sicily 2015 $44 (Biodynamic)
  8. Youngberg Hill, Aspen, Chardonnay, McMinnville, 2015, $40 (Biodynamic)
  9. Montinore Estate, Pinot Gris, 2016, Willamette Valley, $16 (Biodynamic)
  10. Montinore Estate, Almost Dry Riesling, 2016, Willamette Valley, $16 (Biodynamic)
  11. Castello Colle Massiri, Melacce, Vermentino,  Montecucco Vermentino Doc, Montecucco, Tuscany , Italy  2016, $19.99
  12. Ripe Life Wines, The Clambake Unoaked Chardonnay,100% Single Vineyard Chardonnay, Mendocino, CA Batch 4, 2014, $19
  13. Keeler, Dolia Pinot Gris, Eola, Amity Hills AVA, Willamette Valley, OR, 2016, $24 (Biodynamic, 91 pts Editors Choice, Wine Enthusiast)
  14. Keeler, Chardonnay, Eola-Amity Hills AVA, Willamette Valley, OR, 2015, $32 (Biodynamic, 90 pts, Wine Enthusiast)
  15. DeLoach Vineyards Estate Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, 2015, $50 (Silver, Harvest Challenge 2017)
  16. BasileArteteca, Vermintino Toscana 2015 $13
  17. Querciabella, Batàr, Toscana IGT, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Tuscany, 2014, $79.99 (Biodynamic)
  18. Valori Pecorino DOC, 100% Pecornio, Abruzzo, Italy, 2016, $20
  19. Maysara Winery, Arsheen, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, McMinnville AVA, Oregon, 2016, $16 (Biodynamic)
  20. Maysara Winery, Autees, Pinot Blanc, Willamette Valley, McMinnville AVA, Oregon, 2016, $17 (Biodynamic)
  21. Maysara Winery, Anahita, Riesling, Willamette Valley, McMinnville AVA, Oregon, 2016, $24 (Biodynamic)
  22. Inkarri Estate White Blend, 60% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Chardonnay, 20% Viognier, Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza Region, Argentina, $13.99 (Biodynamic)
  23. Pizzolato Manzoni Bianco, 100% Manzoni, Piave D.O.C., Veneto, North of Treviso, Italy, 2016, $12.99
  24. 2016 Cooper Mountain Pinot Gris, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley AVA, 2016, $16 (Biodynamic, Low Intervention)
  25. Quivira, Sauvignon Blanc, Fig Tree Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley 2016 $24
  26. Chacewater “Teal” Chardonnay, Lake County, CA 2014 $33 (Organic, 93 pts Wine Enthusiast)
  27. Vignobles Raymond, Les Hauts De Lagarde Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon, Bordeaux France 2016 $14 (90 pts. Wine Enthusiast)
  28. Clos du Gravillas, L’Inattendu, Grenach/Macabeo, Minervois, France 2015 $36 (93 pts Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate)
  29. Pratello Lugana. Tubiana, Padenghe, Italy 2016 $18 (90 pts. Wine Enthusiast)
  30. Prelius Vermentino, Maremma Toscana, 2016, $16
  31. Matetic Vineyards, EQ Sauvignon Blanc, San Antonio Valley, Chile, 2016, $15
  32. Bonterra, “The Roost, Single-Vineyard Chardonnay, Blue Heron Vineyard, 2015, $40 (Biodynamic)
  33. Marcel Deiss, Riesling, Alsace, France 2012 $25 (Biodynamic)

Red Wine

Best organic wines
© Bonterra
  1. Montinore, Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, 2015, Willamette Valley, $35 (Biodynamic)
  2. Corte Sant’Alda Valpolicella Ca Fiui, Veneto 2015 $21 (Biodynamic)
  3. Montinore, Parsons’ Ridge Pinot Noir, 2014, Willamette Valley, $50 (Biodynamic)
  4. Basile Cartacanta, Montecucco Sangiovese, 2013 $20
  5. Basile Ad Agio, Montecuocco Sangiovese Riserva, 2012 $31
  6. Castello Colle Massiri , Rigoleto, Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Ciliegiolo, Montecucco Rosso Doc, Montecucco, Tuscany , Italy  2015, $19
  7. Castello Colle Massiri , ColleMassari,  Monteuccco Rosso Riserva Doc, Montecucco, Tuscany, Italy , 2014, $24
  8. Castello Colle Massiri, Poggio Lombrone, Sangiovese,  Montecucco Sangiovese Riserva Docg, Montecucco, Tuscany , Italy  2013, $49
  9. Keeler, Reserve Pinot Noir – Eola-Amity Hills AVA, Willamette Valley, OR, 2014, $48 (Biodynamic, 90 pts, Wine Enthusiast)
  10. Stellar Organics The River’s End, Pinot Noir, South Africa, 2011, $13.99
  11. Kirios de Adrada, Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero, 2014, $8.99
  12. Dominio de Pingus, Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero, 2015, $29.99
  13. Matetic Vineyards, Syrah, San Antonio Valley, Chile, 2010, $29
  14. Agricola Brandini Dolcetto d’Alba DOC, 100% Dolcetto, Piemonte, Italy, 2014, $23
  15. DeLoach Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, 2014 $70 (Gold, Sommelier Challenge International Wine & Sprits Competition 2017)
  16. Big Table Farm, Wirtz Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, 2015, $48 (Wine Spectator 92 pts, International Wine Report 94 pts)
  17. Corte Sant’Alda Amarone, Veneto 2012 $95 (Biodynamic)
  18. Big Table Farm, Cattrall Brothers Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills, 2015, $48 (Wine Spectator 92 pts, International Wine Report 93 pts)
  19. Raymond Vineyards 1 ½ Acres, Bordeaux Blend, Napa Valley, 2013, $112
  20. 1865, Viña San Pedro, Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley in Chile, 2014, $16.99
  21. Basile Comandante, Maremma Toscana, 2012 $15
  22. Tenuta di Valgiano Valgaino Rosso, Toscany 2013 $91 (Biodynamic)
  23. Tenuta di Valgiano Palistrorti Rosso 2013 $32 (Biodynamic)
  24. Querciabella Camartina, Tuscany 2000 $154 (Biodynamic)
  25. Maysara Winery, Jamsheed, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, McMinnville, Oregon, 2011, $25 (Biodynamic)
  26. Dominio Romano, Tinto Finto, Ribera del Duero, 2012, $14
  27. Matarromera Granza, Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero, 2014, $15
  28. Raimat ‘Pirineca’ Tempranillo, D.O. Costers del Segre, Spain, $12
  29. Cos Nero di Lupo, Sicily 2015 $34 (Biodynamic)
  30. Cellario E Rosso, Piemonte 2015 $18 (Biodynamic)
  31. Raimat Boira, D.O. Costers del Segre, Spain, $12
  32. Bonterra Vineyards, Merlot, Mendocino Country, 2015 $16
  33. Maysara Winery, (Cyrus), Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, McMinnville AVA, Oregon, 2014, $36 (Biodynamic)
  34. Foradori Teroldego Granato, Trentino Alto Adige 2013 (Biodynamic)
  35. Foradori Teroldego, Trentino Alto Adige 2105 (Biodynamic)
  36. Maysara Winery, (Asha), Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, McMinnville AVA, Oregon, 2015, $39 (Biodynamic)
  37. Three Degrees, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, McMinnville AVA, Oregon, 2015, $20 (Biodynamic)
  38. Inkarri Estate Malbec, 100% Malbec, Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza Region, Argentina, 2016, $13.99 (Biodynamic)
  39. Pizzolato, Cabernet, 100% Cabernet, Veneto I.G.T., Treviso, Italy, 2016, $12.99
  40. Sofos Greek Red, 50/50 Agiorgitiko, Cabernet, P.G.I. Korinthos, Klimenti, Greece, 2015, $12.99
  41. Granza Tinta de Toro, 100% Tinta de Toro, D.O. Toro, Valdefinjas, Toro, Spain, 2013, $14.99
  42. Pizzolato Raboso, 100% Raboso, D.O.C. Piave, North of Treviso, Italy 2014, $19.99
  43. 2014 Cooper Mountain Pinot Noir, Pinot noir, Willamette Valley AVA, 2014, $25 (Biodynamic, Low Intervention)
  44. Quivira GSM, Wine Creek Ranch, Dry Creek Valley 2015 $36 Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre (Biodynamic)
  45. Onward, Hawkeye Ranch, Carignane, Redwood Valley, California, 2014, $30.00
  46. Monte Zovo, Amarone della Valpolicella, Caprino, Italy 2013 $45
  47. Querciabella Mongrana, Toscana IGT, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Italy, Tuscany, 2014, $19.99 (Biodynamic)
  48. Querciabella Chianti Classico DOCG, Sangiovese, Italy, Tuscany, 2014, $36.99 (Biodynamic)
  49. Cos Rami, Sicily 2014 $32 (Biodynamic)
  50. Querciabella, Turpino, Toscana IGT, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Merlot, Tuscany 2011 $59.99 (Biodynamic)
  51. Quivira, Zinfandel, Anderson Ranch, Dry Creek Valley 2015 $42 (Biodynamic)
  52. Dal Prete Primitivo, Puglia, 2015, $16
  53. Dal Prete Negroamaro, Puglia, 2015, $16
  54. Cos Frappato, Sicily 2016 $34 (Biodynamic)
  55. Gulfi Nero Blejo, Sicily, 2012, $23
  56. Gulfi Nero Baronj, Sicily, 2011, $31
  57. Domaine Anderson, Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, California, 2013, $39.99 (Biodynamic)
  58. Emidio Pepe Montepulciano, Abruzzo 1983 $289 (Biodynamic)
  59. Illahe Vineyards 2016 Estate Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley AVA, Oregon, 2016, $22
  60. Grochau Cellars 2016 Commuter Cuvée, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley AVA, Oregon, 2016, $18
  61. Paxton Shiraz AAA Shiraz/Grenache, McLaren Vale, Austrailia 2015 $22 (96 pts James Halliday, Biodynamic)
  62. Paxton MV Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia 2015 $22 (Biodynamic, 96 pts James Halliday
  63. Inkarri Malbec Reserva, Mendoza, Argentina 2016 $18  (Biodynamic)
  64. Inkarri Red Blend, Mendoza, Argentina, 2016 $18 (Biodynamic, 92 pts. Tim Atkin)
  65. Viluko Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County, CA 2012 $50  (90 pts. Robert Parker Advocate)
  66. Viluko Malbec, Sonoma County, CA 2012, $55  (90 pts. Robert Parker Advocate)
  67. Maysara Cyrus Pinot Noir, McMinnville, OR 2012 $36 92 pts. Wine Spectator, Biodynamic)
  68. Clos du Gravillas, Lo Vielh, Carignan, Minervois, France 2014 $36 ( 90 pts Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate)
  69. Domaine Cedres, Cotes du Rhone Villages, Syrah/Grenache, 2015 $20, (90 pts Wine Advocate)
  70. Onward, Hawkeye Ranch, Pinot Noir, Redwood Valley, California, 2013, $38.00
  71. Onward, Cerise Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, California, 2012, $58
  72. Cruz de Alba Finca Los Hoyales, Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero, 2012, $72 (Biodynamic)
  73. Grochau Cellars 2016 Melon de Bourgogne, Melon de Bourgogne, Willamette Valley AVA, Oregon, 2016, $18
  74. Youngberg Hill, Bailey, Pinot Noir, McMinnville, 2014, $40 (Biodynamic)
  75. Youngberg Hill, Natasha, Pinot Noir, McMinnville, 2014, $50 (Biodynamic)
  76. Youngberg Hill, Jordan, Pinot Noir, McMinnville, 2014, $50 (Biodynamic)
  77. Bonterra “The Butler” Single-Vineyard Red Blend, Butler Ranch 2013 $50 (Biodynamic)
  78. Bonterra “The McNab” Single Red Blend, McNab Ranch Vineyard 2013 $50 (Biodynamic)
  79. Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico, Sangiovese, Chianti Classico, 2015, $21 92 Points, “Best Buy” Wine Spectator)
  80. Les Dauphins Côtes du Rhône Villages, Rhône Valley, 2016, $18 (“Best Buy,” Wine & Spirits Magazine, Rhone Valley Winery of the Year)
  81. Sokol Blosser, Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, Dunde Hills, 2015 $38

Rosé Wine

  1. Domaine Spiropoulos Meliasto Rosé, Moschofilero/Agiorgitiko, Mantinia, Greece, 2015, $18.99
  2. Valori Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC – 100% Montepulciano – Abruzzo, Italy, 2016 – $16
  3. Ripe Life Wines, The Clambake Limited Edition Rosé, 100% Single, Vineyard Carignan, Mendocino, CA, Batch 3, 2016, $19
  4. Sokol Blosser Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir, Dunde Hills, 2017 $22
  5. Onward, Hawkeye Ranch, Rosé of Pinot Noir, Redwood Valley, California, 2016, $22.00
  6. Raimat Rosado, D.O. Costers del Segre, Spain, $12

Orange Wine

Best organic wines
  1. Gravner Ribolla Gialla, Friuli Venezia Giulia 2008 $80 (Biodynamic)
  2. Radikon Ribolla Gialla, Friuli Venezia Giulia 2008 $32 (Biodynamic)
  3. Radikon Oslavje, Friuli Venezia Giulia 2008 $36.80 (Biodynamic)

Sparkling Wine

Best organic wine
© Mionetto
  1. Domaine Spiropoulos Ode Panos Brut, Moschofilero, Mantinia, Greece, 2014, $24
  2. Roederer Estate Brut Sparkling Wine, 58% Chardonnay/42% Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, California, Multi Vintage, $23
  3. La Staffa Brioso Sangiovese Sparkling, Umbria Non Vintage $23 (Biodynamic)
  4. Orsi San Vito Pignoletto Sparkling, NV, $21 (Biodynamic)
  5. Santa Julia Organic Blanc de Blancs, Chardonnay, Mendoza Argentina NV, $15
  6. Mionetto ‘Prestige’ Prosecco, Veneto, Treviso DOC, Italy, $15 (Organic)
  7. Perlage Sgajo, Glera, Prosecco DOC Treviso Extra Dry, Treviso Veneto, Italy, $15 (Mundus Vini Biofach 2017 Silver Medal)
  8. Furlani Alpino Sparkling, Veneto Non Vintage $24 (Biodynamic)

Find Donna on Twitter and Instagram

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Donna Sozio

Donna Sozio

Author, journalist and publishing consultant, Donna Sozio has been featured in 200+ media outlets including the Tyra Banks Show, Early Show, Fox News, Good Day LA, Seventeen Magazine, Yahoo! Personals,,,, and many more.
Her books The Man Whisperer (Adams Media) and Never Trust a Man in Alligator Loafers (Kensington) were bestsellers, had TV/Film options and were translated into German, Portuguese and Czech.

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Curried Butternut Squash Soup: The Best Bowl of Soup You’ll Ever Eat

Vegan Creamy Curried Butternut Squash Soup with a Secret Ingredient

This curried butternut squash soup is everything you need in a bowl of soup. Everything!

With spicy flavors balanced by sweet and creamy butternut squash, this soup will have you salivating. A sprinkle of crunchy toasted coconut and roasted seeds sends this soup over the top.

Butternut squash works wonderfully with Thai ingredients and makes for a big bowl of comfort. Imagine the smell of your favorite Thai restaurant. The strong aromas of ginger, turmeric, and coconut. That’s exactly what this soup tastes like. It’s perfection in a bowl.

If you’re new to cooking with butternut squash, don’t be intimated. You can follow along with our step-by-step guide to preparing butternut squash which makes the process a breeze. If you’re short on time,  feel free to use store-bought cut butternut squash. But keep in mind that cutting up your own butternut squash saves money and will taste fresher.

Butternut squash is a great source of fiber which means it’s a heartier ingredient than it looks and will keep you full. Combine that with low-calorie content and butternut squash soup is a weight-loss friendly food. Butternut squash is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and manganese. Those nutrients can help keep eyes, skin, and bones healthy.

Even though butternut squash has a peel which can protect some produce from pesticide residue, you may want to consider buying organic squash. Winter squash such as butternut squash is #25 on the Dirty Dozen list and has been linked to more than 60 pesticides.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients

Secret Ingredient

The trick to perfecting curried butternut squash soup is one secret ingredient. Most curried butternut squash soup recipes use curry powder which is essential but not the only ingredient you need.

We kick it up a notch by including a Thai kitchen staple that can’t be missed: ginger. It may not sound that groundbreaking, but it makes all the difference. It adds a zesty touch that complements the curry powder and coconut milk.

Plus, ginger boasts a variety of health benefits. Ginger’s most notable benefit is the enhancement it provides to the digestive system. Ginger has long been known for its ability to ease queasy stomachs. But it also can help prevent stomach aches and help food to digest easier.

Ginger is consisted of powerful compounds called gingerols. Gingerols pose anti-inflammatory benefits which may help those suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. The compounds are believed to help ease pain when ginger is taken on a regular basis.

Vegan Creamy Curried Butternut Squash Soup with a Secret Ingredient

Recipe Tips

You can get even more use out of your butternut squash and add a crunchy touch by saving the seeds. Like pumpkin seeds, butternut squash seeds are edible and delicious. Just follow along with these directions for roasting squash seeds. Sprinkle them on the soup and you’ll have a gluten-free alternative to croutons.

Other delicious garnish ideas for curried butternut squash soup are fresh cilantro leaves and toasted coconut chips. The cilantro provides herby notes while the toasted coconut chips provide a delightful crispy bite.

This recipe makes a thick and creamy soup so it uses minimal liquid. But if you prefer a thinner consistency, increase the vegetable broth by ½ cup. 

Vegan Curried Butternut Squash Soup: Butternut squash and curry powder blend to make a spicy yet creamy soup that is comfort in a bowl.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 ½ cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1-inch ginger, minced (about ½ tablespoon)
  • 2 ½ cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ cups coconut milk, plus extra for drizzling
  • Garnishes: Roasted seeds, cilantro, toasted coconut


  1. Heat coconut oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for four minutes, until softened and translucent. Add shallots and sauté for an additional minute.
  2. Reduce heat slightly and then add garlic and ginger to the pot. Sauté for two minutes while stirring occasionally.
  3. Increase heat back to medium and then add butternut squash cubes along with sea salt and curry powder. Sauté for four to five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add vegetable broth and bring soup to a low boil. Cook covered for 15 minutes or until butternut squash is fork tender. Remove from heat and let cool for ten minutes.
  5. Transfer soup to a high-speed blender. Add the coconut milk and then blend until completely smooth.
  6. Pour soup into bowls and then drizzle with coconut milk.
  7. Then, garnish each bowl of soup with roasted squash seeds, cilantro, and toasted coconut. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!


Related on Organic Authority
4 Butternut Squash Recipes to Get You Ready for Fall (Perfect for Meatless Monday!)
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Turmeric: Curry Spice or Astounding Cure-All?

Images via Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers
Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers is a fashion and food blogger living a compassionate lifestyle. Karissa is the blogger of Vegan À La Mode where she shares her favorite vegan and gluten-free recipes and also her eco-friendly cruelty-free style. Her love for photographing food and her outfits, drove her to develop a passion for photography. After a few years of honing in on her photography skills, Karissa launched her business, Karissa Bowers Photography, where she shoots weddings and portraits. When she’s not taking photos or in the kitchen, you can find Karissa traveling and trying new vegan restaurants.

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Three Good Spreads

After having spent 30 minutes listening to my (almost) eight-year-old daughter telling a joke, I can tell you with a 100% certainty that she’s got a talent for comedy. Someone apparently told her this joke in school and she tried explaining it to me repeatedly without ever reaching the pun. It was the funniest thing I’ve heard in years. Especially because she refused to give up and just kept at it. Something about blood dripping in a dark room and an old woman peeling tomatoes (although I think it should be blood orange, but don’t tell her). While I was literally ROFL with her for failing and yet succeeding with her comedy act, I had this revelation that this is it. This is the meaning of it all. As good as it gets. Total presens. Laughing so my tummy hurts together with someone I love unlimitedly.

So here is a suggestion. Whip up a couple of good spreads, fill a tray with veggies, shut off your phone and sit down with someone you love and tell each other jokes tonight – good and bad ones.

These spreads don’t call for neither tomatoes nor blood orange, but if you make the one with beetroot, your hands will look blood stained nevertheless (Yes! I knew there was a lame pun somewhere in there). The pink one is a Beet, Bean & Sumac Spread that we like a lot (especially Luise, who adds a couple of dollops on top of scramble eggs for breakfast). It has a beautiful color and an intricate and tangy flavor that balances the beans and the beets. The white one is a yogurt, spinach and feta dip inspired by a Bon Appetite recipe (but simplified) and it was our kids favorite out of these three (the other two were named “not good” and “terrible” by our daughter). The red-ish is my favorite spread of all times, Muhammara. We make ours with roasted bell peppers, walnuts, almond flour, dates, lemon and cayenne. It has that great balance of rich, fresh, tangy, spicy and sweet. You can roast the bell peppers yourself or buy them roasted in a jar. We have tried both versions and even if home-roasted tastes slightly better, it is honestly not a huge difference. And it’s 40 minutes quicker so I know which one you’ll go for.

That’s it for this week. Beans, nuts, yogurt, blood stains and bad jokes. My perfect Friday night.



Three Good Spreads

We served these spreads with a variety of raw veggies, roasted potatoes and pita bread, but they are also good on sandwiches and as sides at the dinner table. The top photo is inspired by a photo from one of Anna Jones wonderful cookbooks. Check out her books if you haven’t already.

Beet, Bean & Sumac Spread
Note: You can make this with raw beets if you want to save time, it’s also good. Skip or reduce the water if you do. However, you get a rounder flavour when roasting them so that’s our preferred method.

2 beetroots (approx 250 g / 9 oz)
1 x 400 g / 14 oz can white beans, rinsed
120 ml / 1/2 cup hot water
2 tsp ground sumac (or more lemon zest)
2 tbsp tahini 
1/2 lemon, juice and zest
1 pinch sea salt

Preheat the oven at 200°C / 400°F. Peel and trim the beets and cut in quarters. Place them on a small baking tray with a drizzle of oil and bake until soft, approx. 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly, then place in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the flavors to your preference.


Note: If you are cooking for kids, leave out the cayenne (and maybe the date as we use it to balance the spiciness in the cayenne). We have shared the easy version here with store bought roasted bell peppers but you can of course roast them yourself.

3 roasted bell peppers (from a jar) (approx 200 g / 1 cup) see note below how to roast them yourself
60 g / 1/2 cup walnuts
45 g / 1/2 cup almond flour
1 soft date, stone removed
2 tbsp tahini or olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 large pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
sea salt flakes

Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix until smooth. Taste and adjust the flavor and consistency, adding more almond flour to thicken and tahini/oil or lemon to smoothen.

Note: To roast your own bell peppers, simply place them in the oven at 200°C/400°F for 25-30 minutes or until charred. Leave to cool under a bowl (this will make them easier to peel), peel off skin and seeds and add the flesh to the processor with the other ingredients.


Spinach, Feta & Mint Yogurt
Adapted from this Bon Appetite recipe.

2 cups Greek or Turkish yogurt
100 g / 3 1/2 oz feta cheese
1 handful walnuts

100 g / 3 1/2 oz baby spinach
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
1 tsp dried mint or a small handful leaves fresh mint, chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pour yogurt into a bowl, crumble the feta cheese into it and stir until combined. Dry-toast the walnuts in a skillet on medium heat for 5 minutes, pour into small bowl and leave to cool. Add a thin layer of water to the same skillet and bring to a boil. Add half of the spinach, stir and keep adding more as the spinach wilts down. Add the mint to the spinach, season with salt, stir and set aside to cool. Add 2/3 of the spinach to the feta yogurt along with half of the olive oil, lemon juice and zest. Crush the walnuts in your hand, sprinkle over the yogurt and stir. Taste and adjust the flavour. Fold the rest of the spinach, walnuts and oil into the yogurt until it looks a little messy and marbled. Top with freshly ground black pepper.


Completely unrelated but we also just posted this sauerkraut video on our youtube channel. If you haven’t tried to make your own sauerkraut yet, you should! It’s super easy, you basically only need cabbage and salt. And it’s so good – tangy, fresh, gut healthy and all that.


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