3 Things You Need to Know About Washing Produce (Even the Pre-Washed Stuff)

3 Things You Need to Know About Washing Produce (Even the Pre-Washed Stuff)
iStock/PeopleImages

There’s no arguing with the health benefits of fresh, raw fruits and vegetable… and yet it seems that you can’t scroll through your newsfeed these days without hearing about another produce contamination scandal and subsequent product recall due to foodborne illness.

With bacteria growing ever more resistant to antibiotics, now more than ever, it’s important to be the last line of defense between your family and foodborne illness. But according to a 2016 survey by the FDA, only about half of people wash bagged or prepared produce, like the romaine lettuce at the heart of the latest contamination scandal, before consuming it.

To help you protect yourself and your family, here are three things you probably didn’t know about keeping produce clean. This could be the difference between a healthy, happy family and falling victim to of one of the next scares.

1. Organic produce still needs to be washed

If you’re buying organic, you might be convinced that you don’t need to wash your produce; after all, one of the major health benefits of consuming organic is that you don’t need to worry about added chemicals, right?

In fact, the misconception that you don’t need to wash organic fruits and veggies is far from the reality.

Jaydee Hansen, Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for Food Safety, notes that all produce – even organic apples or carrots from your own garden – need to be washed before consumption.

“Organic produce needs to be washed, as it still can have pathogens on it,” he says.

Some pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides are approved for organic, such as copper sulfate, which is a common fungicide approved for use in organic that is nevertheless linked to health problems when consumed in large doses. Add to this the fact that organic produce can be contaminated due to spray drift, that it might be coated in wax if shipped long distances, and that no produce is immune to bacterial contamination, and it’s no surprise that washing is still important, even when you’re buying organic.

Opt for organic whenever you can, especially for items on EWG’s Dirty Dozen list, which are the items most likely to be contaminated with pesticides… but remember that doesn’t exempt you from washing before you dig in.

2. Rinsing is not enough to prevent foodborne illness

When you’re washing your produce, how do you usually go about it?

If you’re like many people, a quick rinse under a stream of running water is probably the most you do – and it’s not enough. Washing off any visible dirt or residue will certainly make your produce taste better, but it isn’t enough to remove bacteria or pesticides from the outside of your fruits and vegetables.

“The safest way to wash produce, including that which is labeled ‘already washed,’ is to wash or rinse it three times,” explains Hansen.

One study from The Department of Analytical Chemistry at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station found that at least 30 seconds of rinsing is best to “significantly reduce” the presence of pesticides and fungicides from the surface of your produce, and friction is important to ensure you’re actually getting all traces off, so investing in a scrub brush that you use specifically for your fruits and veggies may be a good idea.

3. Your best line of defense? Acid.

If you want to be very sure your produce is clean, you could also opt to use an additional product to help you remove any residues.

Some old wives’ tales point to vinegar as the ideal substance, seeing as it’s safe for consumption and you probably already have it lying around, but while a study from the University of Florida found that rinsing produce with a 10 percent vinegar solution reduced both viruses and bacteria by more than 90 percent, this homegrown solution can be problematic, both because it imparts a vinegar flavor to produce and because it might not be enough to remove oily or waxy coatings.

For Hansen, a combination of three basic ingredients can help keep produce super clean and devoid of any pathogens or chemicals: a weak acid, a salt, and a surfactant to loosen oils and waxes present in pesticide sprays and wax coatings. All three are present in eatCleaner, a product invented by Mareya Ibrahim, chef and holistic nutrition expert that also contains calcium carbonate and ascorbic acid; these antioxidants have been proven to extend the shelf life of produce naturally.

Tests performed by third-party labs have shown that eatCleaner can remove up to 99.8 percent of chemicals like herbicides atrazine and simazine from the surface of produce and can kill off bacteria like E. coli and Listeria present on raw leafy greens in 120 seconds of contact time. A recent test even showed that the product could remove 97 percent of pesticides from porous fruits like strawberries, without changing the flavor of the food itself.

A product like eatCleaner is especially useful if you can’t source organic produce for whatever reason.

“I love what organic means,” says Ibrahim. “I grew up in the industry; I love that the whole goal is to take care of the earth and to take care of our health. But the truth is that not everybody has access to it, and we have to give people other solutions that work.”

Whatever solutions you choose, washing produce properly will help you ensure that you’re keeping your family safe, healthy, and happy.

Related on Organic Authority
How to Save Water by Hand-Washing Dishes Like This
Does Washing Fruits and Vegetables Prevent Foodborne Illnesses?
Arsenic in Your Rice? How to Decrease the Contamination Risk

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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How to Roast Cauliflower Perfectly Every Time

how to roast cauliflower

Cooking with cauliflower has its options; to boil, puree, sauté, turn into rice, or grill? Although there are several ways to utilize this super vegetable, one of the heartiest and most delicious ways to cook it is to crank up the oven and roast away. Here’s how to roast cauliflower perfectly every time.

Buying Fresh Cauliflower

While I love using frozen florets of cauliflower to thicken smoothies and soups, using fresh cauliflower works best when roasting. The good news is that fresh cauliflower is readily available year round.

When purchasing cauliflower at the grocery store or farmers market, look for firm heads of cauliflower with crisp outer leaves. Small brown speckles on the florets and wilted outer leaves usually signify that the cauliflower is old. Once purchased, cauliflower will keep in the refrigerator for three to five days in the vegetable crisper.

how to roast cauliflower

If you’re on a tight food budget, you can choose to skip the organic cauliflower. According to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen list, cauliflower ranks low on the list for pesticide contamination.

Shopping organic is great for so many reasons (protecting the environment, farmers’ health, reduced pesticide exposure, preventing disease, to name a few), don’t feel guilty about buying conventional cauliflower when organic isn’t available. (Save your pennies for organic strawberries – the number one pesticide ridden fruit according to the EWG.)

Although the typical creamy colored cauliflower is commonplace, this vegetable comes in other bright colors as well. Look for purple cauliflower, which gets its vivid color from the same anthocyanin antioxidants found in cabbage and red wine. And there’s orange cauliflower, which boasts more vitamin A and beta-carotene than its white counterpart.

Of course, all cauliflower (no matter the color) is a healthy choice. Cauliflower packs a nutritious punch and is rich in fiber, potassium, magnesium vitamins C, and phosphorus. Like other super healthy Brassica family members (kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli), cauliflower contains natural antioxidants, such as phenolic compounds and phytochemicals, known to reduce free radical damage, inflammation, and may even help to prevent certain diseases, such as cancer.

how to roast cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower Cooking Prep

Before roasting the cauliflower, give it a good wash to remove any dirt, pesticides, or debris. I like to do this by first cutting the cauliflower into similar-sized florets and then placing in a colander in the sink to rinse every nook and cranny.

There are a few important things to keep in mind to make sure your cauliflower gets roasted to crispy, creamy perfection. First, grab a baking tray large enough for the cauliflower to sit in a single layer. Overcrowding the baking tray will result in mushy and not evenly cooked cauliflower.

Choosing a proper cooking fat ensures roasted cauliflower goodness. The two I recommend are avocado oil and grass-fed ghee, both of which can tolerate high-heat cooking. Unlike olive oil or coconut oil, avocado oil and ghee both have very high smoke points, of 450 degrees Fahrenheit and upward.

When fats hit their smoke-point, they also become damaged. These damaged compounds include lipid peroxides and aldehydes, both of which can contribute to inflammation and even cancer.

Using ghee and avocado oil in your high-heat cooking not only ensures a healthy cooking fat medium, but delivers tasty nutrition, too. Avocado oil has a buttery taste and is filled with the same healthy fats found in avocado. Ghee, or clarified butter, has a nutty flavor and is a rich source of short-chain and medium-chain triglycerides along with butyrate, a type of fatty acid associated with gut health. When drizzled over cauliflower, ghee and avocado oil make the roasted end product that much more delicious.

Pro Chef Tips

Serving and pairing your roasted cauliflower with dinner has endless possibilities. Amanda Hesser of the New York Times notes “Roasted cauliflower can be served warm or at room temperature” she says. To serve, “It can be part of an antipasto of roasted vegetables. Or an accompaniment to a roast chicken or lamb. And though they aren’t obvious choices, scallops and lobster, both naturally sweet themselves, are delicious with roasted cauliflower.”

Kate Taylor, the food blogger of Cookie and Kate, notes cauliflower can also be used to “add bulk and tasty roasted flavor to other veggie dishes, like lentil tacos and farro salad.”

Says Taylor, “It’s neutral enough that it doesn’t overwhelm other flavors, so it goes well with a variety of cuisines.” Whether you’re adding roasted cauliflower to another flavorful dish or just munching on it straight from the oven, (guilty) this roasted cauliflower recipe is sure to be one of your favorites.

roasted cauliflower

How to Roast Cauliflower Perfectly Every Time

How to Roast Cauliflower Perfectly Every Time

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 Tbsp ghee or avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Wash and chop cauliflower into evenly sized florets. Add to baking tray and drizzle with ghee or avocado oil.
  3. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  4. Roast for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove cauliflower from oven and give a good stir. Roast for five to seven minutes more, or until evenly charred to your liking.
  6. Remove from oven and stir. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

4.32

http://www.organicauthority.com/how-to-roast-cauliflower-perfectly-every-time/

Related On Organic Authority
Savory, Sweet, and Sour Miso Roasted Cauliflower
Spicy Vegan Buffalo Popcorn Cauliflower Recipe
Healthy Super Bowl Recipes: Cauliflower Hot Wings

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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The Best Strawberry Margarita Recipe

Organic Strawberry Margarita with Lime

Serve up this tasty frozen strawberry margarita alongside your favorite Mexican dish for a fun yet guiltless treat! These aren’t your average margaritas; we’ve skipped the artificial syrups and flavorings and blended together fresh, organic ingredients to create the ultimate healthy margarita.

Sweet strawberries and tangy lime blend together perfectly to create the refreshing sip you expect from a margarita. Gold tequila adds the kick to make this drink party-perfect. A splash of pomegranate juice adds an unexpected yet tasty tart touch to this delicious drink.

Try boosting your strawberry margarita by using organic tequila from 4Copas or 123 Tequila. Both brands are certified organic and just as satisfying as your average tequila. Back in 2011, Organic Authority conducted a blind taste test of organic tequila and conventional tequila. The results proved that organic tequila is worth a try with all 4 judges agreeing the organic tequila was smoother and sweeter than the conventional.

Invite over some friends and impress them with this delicious strawberry margarita!

Strawberry Margarita with Organic Tequila

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Frozen Strawberry Margarita Recipe



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Cook Time: 10 minutes

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Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1 glass

Calories per serving: 186

Fat per serving: 0.1g

Saturated fat per serving: 0g

Carbs per serving: 23.3g

Protein per serving: 0.4g

Fiber per serving: 0.8g

Sugar per serving: 18.9g

Sodium per serving: 22mg

Cholesterol per serving: 0mg

Frozen Strawberry Margarita Recipe

Ingredients

  • 10 oz frozen organic strawberries
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup pure maple or agave syrup
  • 5-6 shots gold tequila
  • Splash of pomegranate juice
  • Sea salt or cane sugar to garnish

Instructions

  1. Add frozen strawberries and water to a blender. Blend until completely pureed, scraping down the sides as needed.
  2. Next, add lime juice, syrup, and tequila and blend until well combined.
  3. Spread about ¼ cup sea salt or sugar on a plate. Dampen the rim of a glass and dip into the salt or sugar. Pour margaritas in your garnished glasses and enjoy!
  4. Store any leftover margarita in a pitcher in the fridge and stir well before serving.
4.32

http://www.organicauthority.com/best-strawberry-margarita-recipe

Related on Organic Authority
Healthy Vegan Sweet Potato Taquitos with Chipotle Mayo
‘Trifecta’ Guacamole Recipe with Fresh Basil, Cilantro, and Parsley
Vegan Nachos with Sweet Potatoes and Tofu Cream

Images via Karissa Bowers

The post The Best Strawberry Margarita Recipe appeared first on Organic Authority.

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How To Cook Tomatillos: (Plus 5 Amazing Tomatillo Recipes!)

How To Cook Tomatillos: 5 Tomatillos Recipes You'll Love

Tomatillos are a delicious member of the tomato family essential to many Mexican recipes. They may seem challenging but they are quite easy to cook. We’re sharing 3 easy ways to cook tomatillos and 5 tomatillo recipes that’ll make you a fan of this vibrant fruit.

How To Cook Tomatillos: 5 Tomatillos Recipes You'll LoveTomatillos are often mistaken for green tomatoes but they are quite different in terms of flavor and texture. Tomatillos are covered by a thin, paper-like inedible husk which once peeled away, reveals a vibrant, green glossy fruit.

The tomatillo thrives in autumn but can still be found year around in most grocery stores. When selecting tomatillos, choose ones that are both firm and have tight-fitting husks. If the husk is loose, check inside to make sure the interior is unwrinkled and still vibrant. This will indicate the tomatillo is not overripe.

Tomatillos can be enjoyed raw, cooked, or blended in sauces.

How To Prepare Tomatillos

How To Cook Tomatillos: 5 Tomatillos Recipes You'll Love

5 Tomatillos Recipes You'll Love

5 Tomatillos Recipes You'll Love
Remove husks from each tomatillo. Place de-husked tomatillos in a colander. Rinse thoroughly to remove the sticky residue and any dirt.

5 Tomatillos Recipes You'll LoveTransfer to a cutting board and trim any stems. If preparing to use in a sauce, quarter the tomatillos.

How To Cook Tomatillos

How To Cook Tomatillos: 5 Tomatillos Recipes You'll Love

1. Raw
It’s perfectly safe to eat tomatillos in their raw state, although they may be a bit sour. Counteract the tartness by pairing it with sweet fruit like in the strawberry tomatillo salad recipe below!
2. Sautee
Soften up tomatillos and add flavor by sautéing them. Chop the tomatillos, and then sauté over medium heat with your favorite cooking oil. Add garlic, onion, and sea salt for flavor and sauté until softened.
3. Boil
Tomatillos can be boiled in soups, stews, or for pureeing in a sauce. This method is quick and easy!

Tomatillos Recipes

These tomatillo recipes prove they are good in more than just salsa!

1. Vegan Chilaquiles Recipe

Vegan Chilaquiles Recipe with Cashew Cream and Salsa Verde
Image via Vegan À La Mode

Tomatillos get pureed with jalapenos, garlic, and vegetable broth to make a perfect sauce for vegan chilaquiles in this recipe. Drizzled with cashew cream and served alongside vegan refried beans, these chilaquiles are a crowd-pleaser.

2. Roasted Tomatillos Chickpea Curry

Roasted Tomatillos Chickpea Curry
Image via Chef De Home

Tomatillos and chickpeas pair for a unique take on classic curry from Chef De Home. This warming and comforting dish is the perfect way to use tomatillos during autumn or winter.

3. Watermelon, Strawberry, and Tomatillo Salad

Watermelon, Strawberry, and Tomatillo Salad
Image via Pickled Plum

Sweet strawberries and refreshing watermelon get a tangy twist thanks to raw tomatillos in this delicious salad recipe from Pickled Plum. Serve this up at a summer picnic and you’ll be sure to impress your friends and family!

4. Potato Tacos with Mango and Salsa Verde

Potato Tacos with Mango and Salsa VerdeImage via Vegan À La Mode

Ripe and juicy mango complements the tartness of tomatillos in this potato tacos recipe.

5. Vegan Enchilada Sauce

Vegan Enchilada Sauce
Image via Karissa Bowers

Tomatillos make the perfect base for a verde vegan enchilada sauce. This easy recipe can be prepared in advance and used the next time you’re craving enchiladas!

Related on Organic Authority
What are Tomatillos and Green Tomatoes? Same or Different?
Plant of the Month: 5 FAQ’s About Harvesting Tomatillos
5 Unique Salsa Recipes: Bring More Fiesta to Your Summer

Images of tomatillos 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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9 Delicious Mexican Recipes to Make Cinco de Mayo a Real Fiesta of Flavors

9 Delicious Mexican Recipes to Make Cinco de Mayo a Real Fiesta of Flavors
iStock/Knape
 

Did you know that Cinco de Mayo is far more popular in the U.S. than it is in Mexico? This annual celebration commemorating the Mexican Army’s victory in the Battle of Puebla has become associated with Mexican-American culture Stateside – which is why it’s perhaps no surprise that it’s also the day that many people in the U.S. choose to enjoy a Mexican feast. These Mexican recipes run the gamut from the traditional to the innovative, but they all share one thing in common: they’re absolutely delicious.

Yummy Mexican Mains

Image care of Damn Delicious

1. Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

This casserole takes the finicky rolling out of traditional enchiladas, with a quinoa base flavored with enchilada sauce, green chiles, corn, and black beans. Topped with shredded cheese, avocado, tomato, and cilantro, it’s sure to be a hit with the whole family.

weeknight fish tacos
From Weeknight Gluten Free by Kristine Kidd (Weldon Owen 2013)

2. Weeknight Gluten-Free Fish Tacos

These delicious fish tacos are super easy to make. Just heap herb-crusted tuna in your favorite gluten-free corn tortillas. Top with a store-bought broccoli slaw and your tacos are ready to enjoy.

Perfectly Plant-Based

Healthy Vegan Sweet Potato Nachos Recipe
Image care of Karissa Bowers

3. Plant-Based Sweet Potato Nachos

Nachos aren’t always the healthiest choice, but these plant-based nachos fly in the face of the stereotype. Traditional tortilla chips are replaced with thinly sliced rounds of sweet potato. Top them with black beans, avocado, and non-GMO tofu sour cream, for a moreish, festive dish rich in colors and nutrients.

vegan mexican quinoa salad
Image care of the Minimalist Baker

4. Mexican Quinoa Salad

This hearty meal salad is loaded with superfoods and fresh Mexican flavors. A base of mixed greens, cooked quinoa, corn, black beans, and avocado is flavored with fresh cilantro, red onion, and a simple, flavorful orange-chile dressing that really packs a flavor punch.

vegan green chile burgers
Image care of Minimalist Baker

5. Mexican Green Chile Veggie Burger

These chickpea-based burgers are super moist and flavorful thanks to heaps of mild green chiles and a host of Mexican spices. The burger base uses crushed tortilla chips in place of breadcrumbs for flavor, crunch, and structure. Top the finished burgers with salsa and avocado for even more flavor and flair.

vegan butternut queso
Image care of The First Mess

6. Butternut Squash Queso

This plant-based queso is positively perfect for drizzling or dipping. A butternut squash and raw cashew base is seasoned with jalapeño, onion, and garlic. Its rich, cheesy flavor comes from an umami-rich combination of nutritional yeast, tamari, and light miso.

Festive Beverages (Tequila, Please!)

Organic Strawberry Margarita with Lime

7. Strawberry Margarita

Is there anything that goes better with Mexican food than a margarita? This slightly sweeter version made with seasonal strawberries and a splash of pomegranate juice bring brighter colors to the table.

mango chile lime margaritas
Image care of Minimalist Baker

8. Mango Chile Lime Margarita

This margarita adds a hint of heat to your cocktail: a dash of hot sauce flavors the margarita itself, which is served with a chile-salt rim. Ultra-sweet, unctuous mango is the perfect base to counteract all that spice!

paloma cocktail
Image care of Drizzle and Dip

9. Paloma Cocktail

The margarita’s lesser-known cousin, the Paloma, pairs refreshing grapefruit with richer, aged reposado tequila. Club soda and just a touch of agave finish this cocktail off with style.

Related on Organic Authority
Tequila Showdown: Does Organic Make a Better Margarita?
4 Unique Mexican Food Recipes Perfect for Meatless Monday (Hold the Tacos and Burritos!)
Is Mexican Food the Next Health Food? Chef Mary Sue Milkin Says Yes


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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Root Vegetable Fries: A Seasonal Twist on the Classic Side

root vegetable fries

Root veggies standout in soups, salads, purees, roasted, grilled, slow cooked, and every other which way. One of the easiest (and tastiest!) ways to use these tuber stars is in root vegetable fries for a healthier and sweeter take on the classic side.

root vegetable fries

Types of Root Vegetables

Root vegetables can be quite intimidating with their various shapes and textured skins. Don’t judge these hearty vegetables by their appearance; let their flavors stand out.

Parsnips, sweet potatoes, yams, beets, rutabaga, turnips, carrots, yucca, kohlrabi, fennel, celeriac, horseradish, Jerusalem artichoke, radishes, ginger, turmeric, garlic, onions, and daikon are all considered root vegetables.

When it comes to making root vegetable fries, we suggest using rooty staples like sweet potato or yams, parsnips, carrots, and celeriac. These offer the best texture and taste when baked, plus are super easy to find in season right now.

root vegetable fries

Root Vegetable Health Benefits

With their shapely and oftentimes extraterrestrial appearance, root vegetables are filled with plentiful health benefits and are incredibly delicious when prepared properly.

Because they grow underground, root vegetables absorb a lot of quality nutrients from the soil that surrounds them. This is another reason to choose organic root vegetables when possible, as they have been grown in the richest soil without the use of pesticides.

Starchy root vegetables are filled with complex carbohydrates that help to balance blood sugar levels and prevent hangry outbreaks. These carbohydrates take longer to digest in the body, as opposed to quick sugar-spiking simple carbs (ahem, donuts).

Due to their slow and steady digestion, complex carbohydrates aid in keeping you feeling full and energized longer. When it comes to carbohydrates, don’t fear them! Instead, chose whole varieties of complex carbs like root vegetables, beans, and legumes.

Along with being a supreme source fiber, root vegetables are packed with essential nutrients. Root vegetables are some of the best sources of carotenoid antioxidants and vitamins A and C.

These vitamins are essential in fighting free radical damage, keeping the immune system sharp, and lowering inflammation. In fact, diets rich in carotenoid antioxidants have been associated with lower risk of stomach, kidney, and breast cancers.

Several studies have shown that some root vegetables, like sweet potatoes, offer bioavailable sources of beta-carotene, which is easily converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is necessary for healthy eye function, and a deficiency can cause both temporary and permanent damage to the eyes and even lead to blindness. It can also suppress immune function and increase mortality, especially among children and pregnant and lactating women.

In general, most varieties of root vegetables are also good sources of manganese, potassium, folate, copper, and B vitamins.

root vegetable fries

Choosing and Storing Root Vegetables

Root vegetables are most delicious and easily found at their peak season from fall to spring, although many can commonly be found year round.

Choose hard and firm root vegetables without bruises or deep gashes. If selecting root vegetables with stems and leaves (like a bunch of beets) choose brightly colored greens that appear crisp and fresh.

Root vegetables are easily stored (no root cellar needed) in a dark, cool place for many weeks, depending on the variety. In the refrigerator, store root vegetables in a plastic or paper bag in the crisper to keep firm.

root vegetable fries

Root Vegetable Fries Recipe

Root Vegetable Fries Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 celeriac, peeled
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 rainbow carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 1 ½ Tbsp avocado oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp paprika

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Wash and scrub all vegetables. Carefully slice each root vegetable into thin, evenly sized fries.
  3. Add all vegetables to lined baking tray and drizzle with avocado oil. Sprinkle liberally with sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, and paprika and toss to combine.
  4. Bake fries for 20 minutes, remove from oven and give everything a good stir. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until root vegetable fries are crisp and slightly browned.
  5. Remove from oven and serve! These fries are delicious dipped into organic ketchup, avocado mayo, or a spicy aioli sauce. Enjoy!

4.14

http://www.organicauthority.com/root-vegetable-fries-seasonal-twist-classic

Related On Organic Authority:
Dig On This Dirt: How To Grow Root Vegetables Successfully
9 Healthy Winter Recipes with Root Vegetables
Meatless Monday Recipe Roundup: Get Rooted

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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Vegan and Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Recipe: Sweeten Up Your Spring!

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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Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread with Peanut Butter

chocolate chip banana bread

Looking for a healthy homemade treat to bring to your in-laws or a get-together with your gluten-free besties? Or planning to stay in and devour it yourself? It is chocolate after all. Make this chocolate chip banana bread and become everyone’s most favorite person in the world. You’re welcome.

Bananas, with their naturally sweet taste, are effortlessly transformed into nutritious recipes. They’re an obvious choice for homemade ice cream, are delicious when sautéed with coconut oil and spooned over oatmeal, give moisture to granola bars, and are the other staring ingredient in two-ingredient protein pancakes (eggs + bananas = magic. FYI).

Nutrient-packed bananas also lend their moist texture and natural sweetness to baked goods, like this chocolate chip banana bread. With a variety of vitamins and minerals, this sweet fruit is the ultimate quick bread ingredient.

chocolate chip banana bread

chocolate chip banana bread

One Medium-Sized Banana:

Potassium: 9% of the recommended daily intake (RDI).
Vitamin B6: 33% of the RDI.
Vitamin C: 11% of the RDI.
Magnesium: 8% of the RDI.
Copper: 10% of the RDI.
Manganese: 14% of the RDI.
Fiber: 3.1 grams.
Protein: 1.3 grams.
Fat: 0.4 grams.

Along with digestive friendly fiber and nutrients, bananas are packed with antioxidants that help to reduce oxidative stress in the body. Some of a banana’s antioxidants include dopamine and catechins–two compounds thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and degenerative diseases when consumed frequently.

This chocolate chip banana bread uses coconut flour to make the recipe both gluten-free and fiber-rich. Coconut flour is made from ground and dried coconut meat, also known as the white flesh on the inside of a coconut shell. Due to its minimally processed nature, coconut flour is rich in a variety of nutrients and is an easy flour to use in your baking and cooking.

Dietary tip: Easily make this chocolate chip banana bread Paleo-friendly by swapping out the peanut butter for almond or hazelnut butter. To make this recipe vegan, use flax eggs or egg replacer. If you are substituting ingredients due to dietary restrictions, check the chocolate chip ingredients, too! Most conventional chocolate chips contain soy, dairy, and even gluten. I like Enjoy Life chocolate chips, which are certified vegan, non-GMO, Paleo approved, and gluten-free.

chocolate chip banana bread

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Bread Recipe

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Bread Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup chocolate peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips + an additional handful

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with coconut oil.
  2. In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine bananas, vanilla, and peanut butter. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add in eggs and blend until combined.
  4. Add in coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Mix again until just combined. Stir in ½ cup dark chocolate chips.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Sprinkle with a handful of dark chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool and devour!

4.14

http://www.organicauthority.com/this-chocolate-chip-banana-bread-with-peanut-butter-will-make-your-gluten-free-friends-very-happy/

Related on Organic Authority
Irresistible Gluten-Free Vegan Banana Bread
4 Delicious, Different Types of Bananas to Go Bananas Over
Go Bananas for This DIY Facial

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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How To Cook Asparagus 5 Ways

How To Cook Asparagus

Asparagus’ adaptable, light flavor makes it a versatile vegetable apt for a variety of cooking methods. This vibrant veggie adds a fresh crunch to salads when served raw, takes on a tender bite when roasted, or develops a crispy, charred flavor when grilled. However you choose to cook it, asparagus remains a standout vegetable of spring.

While asparagus’ peak season is April, it is readily available February through June. It’s likely even available year-round in states such as California. We love cooking with it this time of year since it can be found in abundance both at grocery stores and farmers markets. Asparagus is a member of the  Environmental Working Group’s “Clean Fifteen”, meaning it has a low pesticide load when grown conventionally.

It’s not just asparagus’ versatility that makes it a spring favorite, it also has an abundance of nutrients to boot. Asparagus has high levels of vitamins B1, B2, and K, folate, copper, and selenium. It also has anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its antioxidant nutrients. Not to mention asparagus also helps with digestion and blood sugar regulation.

When choosing asparagus, look for dark green and purple tips with freshly cut ends. The stems should be firm and rounded. Avoid spears’ whose ends have dried out as they will lack flavor.

Gather up your asparagus spears and learn how to cook this all-star veggie with us!

Asparagus Purple, Green White shutterstock_367820072
Image of green, white, purple asparagus on slate via Shutterstock

There are three types of asparagus; white, purple, and green. The varying hues indicate a slight difference in flavors. While all are edible and enjoyable, it’s important to note the differences.

White asparagus takes on its colorless hue because it’s grown in the dark which prevents them from producing chlorophyll. White asparagus is considered a delicacy in many cultures and is harder to find due to its more complex method of growth. It also is tougher in texture and more bitter than green asparagus which means it must be peeled and cooked longer. Purple asparagus gets its color from antioxidants known as anthocyanins which are common in purple foods. It also has a sweeter, more fruity flavor than traditional asparagus. It only requires light looking or is even best enjoyed raw.

How To Cook Asparagus 5 Easy Ways

How To Cook Asparagus

1. Raw

If you choosing to eat asparagus raw, we encourage purple asparagus since it lacks bitterness and is instead sweet and fruity. Trim ½ inch of the ends and chop into ¼ inch pieces. Toss with sea salt and pepper and serve as desired.

2. Blanch

To retain asparagus’s vibrant color and enhance the flavor, you can blanch it for a quick cooking method. Simply bring a pot of water to boil and have a nearby bowl of ice water ready. Add trimmed asparagus to the boiling water and boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and quickly plunge into the bowl of ice water for one minute. Drain and season with sea salt, lemon juice, or other desired topping.

3. Steam

Steaming asparagus eases the texture and gets rid of any bitterness while still preserving the nutrients. To do so, fill a pot with enough water to reach the bottom of a steaming basket. Trim the ends of the asparagus and cut until it fits easily in the basket. Steam for 3-5 minutes, until fork-tender.

4. Roast

Tried and true, roasted asparagus is swoon-worthy with its tender texture and buttery taste. A little drizzle of olive oil goes a long way as it naturally wilts and becomes moister as it roasts. To achieve perfectly roasted asparagus, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Trim the ends of the asparagus to your preference, making sure to get rid of any woody ends. Drizzle the asparagus with 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 10-15 minutes until fork tender. Squeeze half of a fresh lemon over the asparagus and serve.

5. Grill

Preheat a grill or stovetop grill pan. Trim the ends of the asparagus and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a touch of lemon zest. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Place asparagus on the grill diagonally. Grill for about 5 minutes, tossing halfway through so all sides are evenly cooked. Remove from grill and top with fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Asparagus Recipes

Grilled Asparagus Recipe with Lemon White Wine Fettuccine
Image via Karissa Bowers

Grilled Asparagus Recipe with Lemon White Wine Fettuccine
Pair chargrilled asparagus with fettuccine noodles and a white wine sauce for a refreshing spring dinner.

Pan-Grilled Asparagus and Endive with Fava Beans, Orange and Basil Recipe
Image via Erin Kunkel

Pan-Grilled Asparagus and Endive with Fava Beans, Orange and Basil
This endive salad features pan-grilled asparagus making it the perfect, refreshing way to use asparagus during late spring and early summer.

Whole-Wheat Asparagus Tart Recipe with Ricotta-Egg Filling
Image of asparagus quiche via Shutterstock

Whole-Wheat Asparagus Tart Recipe with Ricotta-Egg Filling
For chilly days, warm up with this comforting and aromatic baked whole wheat tart topped with asparagus.

Related on Organic Authority
4 Tasty Asparagus Recipes for a Springtime Meatless Monday Meal
7 Spring Vegetables: From Peas to Purple Asparagus
Meatless Monday Recipe Roundup: The Asparagus Cleanse

Images of asparagus on wood board 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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Rhubarb, Ginger & Strawberry Soup

My grandma had rhubarbs growing in her garden and would cook them into a sweet, tangy and unfortunately quite stringy soup with lots of little bits in it. I never liked that soup. I was only 11 when she passed away so I don’t remember a lot about her. But I do still remember that soup. How annoying is that!? One of the few memories you have of a person is something they cooked for you that you didn’t like. Eight year old David preferred supermarket box carton soups and powder soups that you just added water to. That ungrateful little schmuck.

Since then, I have of course come to my senses and learned to appreciate any food that someone cooks for me. Even tangy and stringy rhubarb soup. But since I don’t want to risk being remembered for a stringy soup, we give you a smooth one instead. It’s approved by eight year old David. And his children.

We made this video for our youtube channel to show how easy it is.


Rhubarb_strawberry_soup_2

We like this soup because it’s so simple and fresh and comes together in just over 10 minutes. Just a handful ingredients that you simmer, blend, (chill, if you like) and eat. It has a fruity and tangy flavour and a nice fresh punch from fresh ginger. It’s ideal as a weekday dessert, weekend breakfast or on a brunch table.

The soup begs to be topped with something creamy. We used greek yogurt, but mascarpone, whipped cream, ice cream or any dairy free option would also work. All to your preference.

I’m a licorice fan and was surprised by how well it matched the flavors when sprinkled on top of this soup. However if you don’t like licorice, cardamom or vanilla would also be great flavor additions. We also sprinkled some edible flower petals on top because it looked pretty but chopped pistachios will probably taste better and add some crunch 😉


Rhubarb_strawberry_soup_3

Rhubarb, Ginger & Strawberry Soup
Serves 8

Don’t focus too much on the exact amounts. You can use more or less rhubarb, strawberries, dates, water etc. It all depends on how sweet or tart the different fruit is, how large the dates are and how sweet flavor you want.
We usually add vanilla powder to this but it’s so expensive at the moment so we left it out. If you have some at home, add it together with the rhubarb in the sauce pan.

5 stalks rhubarb (1/2 kg / 1 lb / 2 cups chopped)
350 – 500 ml / 1 1/2-2 cups cold filtered water
1 big chunk fresh ginger

1 lime, zest
250 g / 1/2 lb strawberries
8-12 soft dates

To serve
Yogurt (or mascarpone, whipped cream or ice cream)

Licorice powder 
Edible flowers (or replaced with chopped nuts or seeds)

Trim the rhubarb and chop into 1 inch bits. Add to a wide sauce pan along with 1 cup filtered water and freshly grated ginger and lime zest. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and let simmer until the rhubarb is starting to dissolve, around 5-8 minutes.

Pour over into a blender. Add strawberries, dates and a little more water. Mix until smooth. Taste and add more dates, strawberries, lime juice or ginger, if needed. And more water if you like it thinner. Place in the fridge too cool or serve it warm. Top with a dollop yogurt and sprinkle with licorice powder and some dried edible flower petals.

.

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Fall in Love With Rural France in

Image care of the Cook's Atelier
Images care of the Cook’s Atelier

A common trope is given new life with “The Cook’s Atelier,” a beautiful cookbook inspired by the story of a mother-daughter pair who dropped everything and moved to a small town in France to open a cooking school.

Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Franchini didn’t always dream of moving to France, but Franchini – then Smith – developed an interest in French language and culture early on. When her daughter began spending more and more time in France, Taylor decided to leave Phoenix as well, capitalizing on her love, passion, and knowledge of cooking to make a life for herself in Burgundy.

Beginning in 2008, the mother-daughter team (with help from Franchini’s husband) built The Cook’s Atelier from scratch: the cooking school in Beaune teaches its students not just technique and recipes but the cultural aspects of French culinary traditions that have attracted Americans to France for decades.

Image care of the Cook's Atelier

This story of passion and drive is the backdrop against which the recipes in this book are set: organized according to season, they range from the simplest spring combination of French radishes, butter, and salt, to more involved (but nevertheless accessible) dishes like homemade savory tarts or shortcakes. Throughout, the authors never fail to reinforce their overarching culinary philosophy: your cooking is only ever as good as the seasonal ingredients you use.

“We are big believers that less is more when it comes to good cooking,” write the authors. “When you use best-quality ingredients, even the simplest dish will shine.”

This is no truer than in the summer recipes in the book, which the authors note “aren’t cooked so much as they are assembled” and feature grilled meats, salads, and seasonal fruits.

Image care of the Cook's Atelier

This philosophy is also highlighted by the interviews scattered throughout the book, which profile local producers, farmers, and vendors.

“To us,” write the authors, “a true artisan food producer is someone who is growing, harvesting, and producing food, rather than just selling it at the market. We gain immense satisfaction in knowing that we are supporting small farmers and eating clean food.”

Image care of the Cook's Atelier

The authors have clearly embraced local Burgundian cuisine, but they bring their own touches to some classic recipes, as well. Their coq au vin, for example, is made with dry white wine instead of the classic red; the vegetables are just barely blanched and added at the end, for a lighter touch. It’s just one example of what these two have mastered: the perfect blend of truly traditional French dishes with a modern, contemporary flair.

This book is not immune to the romanticism so many Americans have of France: from the vintage appeal of their school to the oft-touted belief that all French people eat seasonally and well, Taylor and Franchini are catering, to some extent, to what Americans wish France was. The refreshing touch that this book brings is the lightest of reality checks: an exploration of the work and effort that continued attention to seasonality and quality products requires – no matter where you live.

“France, for the most part, still puts a significant value in the pleasure of eating well and supporting small farmers and artisan producers,” they write. “As the world gets more and more homogenized, we feel that traditions such as kitchen gardens, small farms, and charcuterie- and cheese-making, as well as artisanal baking should be protected. We do our best to help support these crafts by shopping locally and sharing these traditions with our guests as well.”

It’s the France that Americans want to see, for sure, but for once, it’s actually pretty close to the reality.

The Cook’s Atelier is available on Amazon.

*Disclaimer: Help support Organic Authority!  Our site is dedicated to helping people live a conscious lifestyle. We’ve provided some affiliate links above in case you wish to purchase any of these products.

Related on Organic Authority
6 New Plant-Based Cookbooks to Get You Back in the Kitchen
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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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These Vegan and Gluten-Free Blueberry Breakfast Cookies are Goals

blueberry breakfast cookies

If having cookies for breakfast is #breakfastgoals, then these vegan and gluten-free blueberry breakfast cookies are definitely the best way to start the day.

Packed with whole food ingredients, sweetened only with a banana, and bursting with juicy blueberries in every single bite, these blueberry breakfast cookies will become your new favorite breakfast – guaranteed.

The best part about these blueberry breakfast cookies is that you probably already have all the ingredients on hand.

The dry ingredients of these cookies are rolled oats, almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and sea salt. Rolled oats are a great source of both insoluble and soluble fiber, both of which aid in digestive regularity and blood sugar balance. If you have a sensitivity to gluten or celiac disease, use certified gluten-free oats.

Almond flour, or ground up blanched almonds, is rich in protein, healthy fats, potassium, iron, and protein. Using almond flour in these blueberry breakfast cookies is another way to keep the recipe gluten-free, too.

Cinnamon adds a delicious spice and natural sweetness to these cookies, without the need for any other added sugar or flavors. This spice has been shown to reduce blood sugar fluctuations and therefore help to manage symptoms of diabetes, lower LDL cholesterol, and even reduce inflammation. Cinnamon truly is a wonder spice and essential in these breakfast cookies.

The dry ingredients are combined with ripe banana, coconut oil, a nut butter of choice, and blueberries. Throw in a handful of dark chocolate chips to make these cookies extra wild – and extra good!

Like cinnamon, banana adds sweetness to this recipe without the need for added sugar. It also helps to bind the cookies together and provide a cake-like, soft texture.

Coconut oil adds a dose of healthy fats while nut butter amps up the fat and protein count even more. Feel free to use your choice of nut butter, as peanut, almond, or cashew butter will all taste delicious.

Of course, blueberries are the real stars of these breakfast cookies. Every bite provides a burst of juicy blueberries and sweet flavor. Blueberries are fantastic sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals including potassium, folate, and vitamin C.

These blueberry breakfast cookies are delicious served warm with a glass of almond milk. Cookies for breakfast have never been so healthy – or mouthwatering.

blueberry breakfast cookies

Blueberry Breakfast Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew)
  • ¾ cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ dark chocolate chips, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Combine oats, almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and sea salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a separate larger bowl, mash banana until smooth. Stir in coconut oil and nut butter of choice and mix until combined. Stir in dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
  4. Fold in blueberries and chocolate chips, if using.
  5. Scoop heaped tablespoons of cookie batter and use hands to form them into balls. Slightly flatten cookies to give them shape.
  6. Place on lined baking tray and repeat with remainder of batter.
  7. Bake cookies for 17-20 minutes, or until slightly golden.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool completely before storing.
  9. Store blueberry breakfast cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where they will keep for up to four days. Enjoy!

4.14

http://www.organicauthority.com/these-vegan-and-gluten-free-blueberry-cookies-are-breakfast-goals/

Related On Organic Authority
This 5-Ingredient Blueberry Zucchini Smoothie is a Creamy, Low-Sugar Superstar
5-Ingredient Vegan No-Bake Peanut Butter and Raw Cacao Cookies (Date-Sweetened!)
Vegan Gluten-Free Gingersnap Cookies Recipe

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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5 Cauliflower Rice Recipes to Try Now

Cauliflower Rice Recipe

Lower your carb intake and sneak in some veggie goodness with these light and healthy cauliflower rice recipes!

By swapping cauliflower for rice, you’ll be saving time, carbs, and even a bit of money since you are forgoing takeout when you make this.

Not only is cauliflower rice easy to make, it’s also fun. Cauliflower gets morphed into a fluffy rice like texture with a simple whirl of a food processor or swipe of a grater! Both methods achieve the fluffy base, without having to wait the normal 30 minutes to an hour it takes to cook rice.

Cauliflower is chock full of health benefits and has been commonly used as a weight loss recommended food. Its versatility allows it to even be morphed into mashed “potatoes” and even a creamy, healthy alfredo sauce.

Plus, it’s readily available at grocery stores and farmers market any time of the year. It’s also on EWG’s Clean Fifteen meaning it’s safe to buy conventional cauliflower if you can’t find or prefer not to buy the organic cauliflower.

While 1 cup of cooked white rice contains approximately 45 grams of carbs, 1 head of cauliflower only contains 29 grams of carbs. Cauliflower also is full of necessary nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and fiber.

When buying cauliflower, make sure the vegetable is firm and without discoloration. Make sure the florets are still tightly packed together to ensure you are buying the freshest head.

Cauliflower rice is extremely versatile and can be used to replace rice in just about any dish. Use it in stir fry, burrito bowls, and so much more. Try one of our cauliflower rice recipes below for a tasty first try of this grain-free staple.

What You’ll Need
1 head of cauliflower
Chef’s knife
A food processor or box grater
Tea towel

Directions
How To Make Cauliflower Rice


1. Rinse head of cauliflower and then pat dry. Transfer to a cutting board. Cut the stem off by cutting the base with a sharp chef’s knife. Discard the stem and surrounding greens.
How To Make Cauliflower Rice
2. Section the cauliflower into smaller pieces by quartering it. Now you are left with 4 medium-sized pieces of cauliflower which will be easier to work with. Rinse each piece thoroughly, making sure to get out any dirt. Pat dry.
How To Make Cauliflower Rice

3. If using a food processor, break the cauliflower into smaller pieces by separating the florets and placing them into the food processor with the S blade attached.

You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of the food processor.
How To Make Cauliflower Rice

4. If proceeding with the food processor, pulse cauliflower until it has been chopped into small, rice-like pieces.

If using a box grater, grate the cauliflower through the medium sized holes into a large bowl.
How To Make Cauliflower Rice

5. Transfer cauliflower to a clean tea towel. Cover with another tea towel and press out any moisture thoroughly. This will allow the rice to absorb more flavor once you cook it.

Now the cauliflower rice is ready to use in one of the below cauliflower rice recipes.

5 Sensational Cauliflower Rice Recipes

These cauliflower rice recipes are packed with flavor and will bring your cauliflower rice to life!

Vegetable Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe

Vegetable Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe
Image of fried cauliflower rice via Shutterstock

This recipe will bring you back to comforting memories of ordering takeout and enjoying a hearty carton of fried rice. Except you won’t be feeling sluggish afterward as this delicious fried rice recipe is made with cauliflower rice. Swap the eggs for tofu to make this entree vegan.

Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl

Burrito Bowl with Cauliflower Rice Recipe
Image via Love and Lemons

Put a healthy spin on a traditional burrito bowl with this recipe by Love and Lemons. The burrito bowl’s base is cauliflower rice and is topped with black beans, corn tortilla strips, and mango plus a chile cashew cream drizzle!

Cauliflower Rice Sushi Roll

Cauliflower Rice Sushi RecipeImage via 8th and Lake

Lighten up your next sushi night and save money by making it at home with this cauliflower rice sushi recipe from 8th and Lake. The sushi is filled with more veggie goodness like sliced carrots, avocado, and purple cabbage making it a healthy wholesome dish.

Vegan Vegetable Curry with Cauliflower Rice

Vegetable Curry with Cauliflower Rice Recipe
Image via Greener Resolutions

Curry is a classic warming and flavorful Thai dish that can be quite heavy. But this cauliflower rice curry recipe from Greener Resolutions is much healthier than the takeout version. With a creamy coconut milk-based sauce and a handful of veggies, this delicious dish will leave you wondering why you even considered takeout.

Crispy Peanut Baked Tofu with Cauliflower Rice

Crispy Peanut Tofu with Cauliflower Rice Recipe
Image via Minimalist Baker
The comforting creaminess of peanut butter livens up this cauliflower rice recipe from Minimalist Baker. Crispy tofu is a slathered in a savory peanut sauce and served on a bed of cauliflower rice. A touch of bok choy adds some a nutrient-packed punch of green to this dish.

Related on Organic Authority
Arsenic In Your Rice? How to Decrease the Contamination Risk
Vegan Mashed Cauliflower Recipe (Fewer Carbs no Dairy)
Our Top 4 Vegetarian Comfort Food Recipes with Cauliflower for Meatless Monday

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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You

Vegan Avocado Toast with Radishes and Dill Recipe

Looking for a new way to enjoy avocado toast? In-season radishes add a refreshing crunch to a classic recipe. With a few sprigs of dill to enhance flavor, you’ll fall in love with avocado toast all over again.

This vegan avocado toast is perfect for morning or afternoons! Whether you serve it for breakfast or as a midday snack, you’re certain to be satisfied and sustained. Grab some ripe avocados, crunchy radishes, and fragrant dill to begin.

Avocado Toast Ingredients

The key ingredient in this recipe is buttery avocados. Avocados are on the Clean Fifteen so feel free to buy conventional avocados instead of organic. They tend to be more affordable, especially if you live in a region where avocados have to be imported. When buying avocados, feel for any soft spots. You’ll want to skip soft and bruised ones. Instead, look for ones that are mostly firm with a slight give. Another trick to finding ripe avocados is to pick off the stem and see if it’s a neutral yellow which indicates its ripeness.

Spring brings with it an abundance of produce options. Radishes make a great addition to avocado toast since they peak from April to May. Red radishes work wonderfully on this toast but watermelon radishes will add a vibrant touch. But unfortunately, those are a bit trickier to find. You may be able to find the gorgeous pink and green roots at your local farmers market or co-op. Regular red radishes, on the other hand, can easily be found at grocery stores.

Though of course, it’s always preferable to buy and cook with organic produce, you can safely choose conventionally grown radishes, too. The reason is, radishes aren’t on the Dirty Dozen list and generally aren’t farmed with pesticides. Their natural compounds suppress pests and pathogens on their own eliminating the need for pesticides in most cases.

Dill is another seasonal ingredient for spring. Dill can be found year-round but you’ll find in spring it tends to have a more potent flavor and smell. I always buy my herbs (and greens for that matter) organically grown to avoid pesticide residue.

Health Benefits

Avocados boast a number of health benefits that will make you feel good about eating them. The monounsaturated fatty acids in avocado have anti-inflammatory benefits and have been suggested to lower cholesterol. Avocados are also a great source of fiber, vitamin K, copper, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin E, potassium, and vitamin C.

Radishes also boost this recipe’s nutrition profile. Radishes have detoxifying benefits and may purify the body and blood of harmful substances. Radishes also contain the flavonoid, anthocyanin, which in a study was linked with scavenging free radicals, improved eyesight, lowered blood pressure, and decreased cancer cell production.

Kitchen Prep

This recipe is fairly simple so fortunately not too much preparation is required. But to make the process flow more smoothly, follow these suggestions. Have a cutting board and sharp knife handy on the counter. Also, have a toaster oven or preheated 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven ready for use.

You can also slice up the radishes the night before and store them in a refrigerated airtight bag or container until ready to use. The dill may also be prepared in advance by rinsing and then mincing it and storing it in the refrigerator.

How To Make Avocado Toast

Spring Avocado Toast Ingredients

Avocado Toast with Radishes and Dill

Avocado Toast with Radishes and Dill

Ingredients

  • 2 pieces of bread of choice
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 3 radishes, rinsed and scrubbed
  • 1 sprig of dill, minced
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • Sea salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Toast bread until lightly golden brown around the edges.
  2. Meanwhile, slice open avocado and remove pit. Put each half in a bowl and smash until thick and spreadable with texture remaining. Slice radishes and set aside.
  3. Cover each piece of bread with half of the avocado mixture. Spread until bread is completely covered. Top with sliced radishes and sprinkle with mixed dill. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition facts based on using organic whole wheat bread.

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http://www.organicauthority.com/how-to-make-the-best-avocado-toast/

While You Cook

Avocado Toast Ingredients

While your bread toasts, take the time to prepare the avocado. If you haven’t prepared your radishes and dill yet, you can also use this time to do that. Keep an eye on the toast though so it doesn’t burn. Keep your oven on keep warm with the toasted bread inside while you finish prepping the toppings.

Flavor Tips

Experiment with your toppings. As the season changes, reach for what’s in season or what you have on hand. Here are other alternate topping ideas:

  • Vine-ripe or heirloom tomatoes: Slice them up and serve over the smashed avocado for a juicy bite.
  • Steamed asparagus: Elevate your toast with this elegant vegetable. Squeeze with lemon juice to bring the flavors together.
  • Artichoke hearts: No fresh fruits or veggies on hand to garnish? Reach for jarred artichoke hearts. The vinegary flavor will make your toast even more savory.
  • Strawberries: Put a sweet twist on your avocado toast with fresh, sliced strawberries. Garnish with basil and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Related on Organic Authority
10 Amazing Avocado Recipes To Make Now: Green, Creamy, Totally Delicious
Bite Into the Incredible Health Benefits of Radishes
Delightfully Fresh Heirloom Tomatoes on Toast Recipe

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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Make This Epic Berry Dark Chocolate Bark With Just 5 Ingredients

dark chocolate bark

Nothing is more delicious than dark chocolate, except, maybe, for homemade dark chocolate bark studded with frozen berries and coconut flakes. Here’s how to make the most epic berry chocolate bark ever.

The base of this dark chocolate bark is cacao butter. Not to be confused with coconut butter, cacao butter (also called cocoa butter) is the solidified oil extracted from the cacao bean. It’s used as the fat source in making chocolate, and gives chocolate bars a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth feel.

Cacao butter shares similar characteristics with coconut oil, especially in its medium-chain fatty acid content. The fats in cacao butter are associated with reduced risk of heart disease and hardening of the arteries.

These fats, coupled with cacao butter’s high polyphenol compound content, have shown cacao to be an anti-inflammatory food.

Cacao powder adds flavor, depth, and color to this dark chocolate bark. Raw cacao powder is loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols – more so than green tea and red wine, according to a 2003 study. These compounds include theaflavin, epigallocatechin gallate, resveratrol, and procyanidin, all of which have been studied for their chemoprotective and heart protective abilities.

Frozen berries boost the antioxidant content of this dark chocolate bark even more, while providing a natural sweet flavor. I prefer my dark chocolate bark really dark (without adding in any sweetener), as the berries sweeten it enough. If you prefer a slightly sweeter bark, add in pure maple syrup or raw honey.

A sprinkle of coconut flakes is a delicious way to add texture and flavor to this dark chocolate bark. Choose an unsweetened version of coconut flakes to keep the sugar content low.

Creamy, decadent, and totally chocolaty, this dark chocolate bark is the most delicious sweet treat ever.

dark chocolate bark

Berry Dark Chocolate Bark

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cacao butter, chopped
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 3 Tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1-3 Tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey (optional)
  • ½ cup mixed frozen berries
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut flakes

Instructions

  1. Add cacao butter to a saucepan and heat over low heat until completely liquid.
  2. Stir in coconut oil until combined.
  3. Whisk in cacao powder and sweetener, if using.
  4. Line a small baking tray with parchment paper. Pour liquid chocolate into baking tray and dot with frozen berries and coconut flakes. Place in the freezer to set for 45 minutes.
  5. Remove chocolate from the freezer and gently break into pieces.
  6. Store chocolate bark pieces in the freezer where they will keep for up to five months.

4.14

http://www.organicauthority.com/how-to-make-epic-berry-dark-chocolate-bark/

Related On Organic Authority
4-Ingredient Peppermint Bark that will Actually Make You Swoon
Dark Chocolate’s Magic Anti-Inflammatory Powers Finally Revealed
Cuddle Up with a Vegan Dark Chocolate Fondue Recipe

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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Spring Picnic Bread

Picnic season is finally upon us and we are kicking it off with two new favorite things. The first one is a bike and the other is a bread.

We have been dreaming of a Danish cargo bike for years and years, and last month we finally splurged on this one. It’s the perfect vehicle for us because we can fit all three kids in it with seatbelts and all. It’s ideal to bring home heavy grocery bags with. And it’s environmentally friendly. All practicalities aside, it is also so much fun to ride around with and we are roaming from playground to picnic spots without a hitch. Just packing a few blankets, a big smoothie, a rhubarb compote and this beauty of a bread.

We created this recipe for all type of picnic situations. We wanted something spring-y and savory that tasted awesome and could manage a bumpy bike ride. It’s basically like a savory muffin that we bake in a sheet pan. It serves many, is easy to make, super moist and flavorful and you can make lots of variations on it (although I love the look of thinly shaved asparagus on top).

Needless to say, this is also ideal for a brunch or or other weekend gatherings.


Potato_and_asparagus_cake_2


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Just like a foccacia, the bread is just a base and you can play with all the toppings. Here are a few suggestions:
• Swap some of the potatoes with grated carrots, parsnip or swede.
• A teaspoon of mustard in the batter would add some complexity to the flavor.
• Add lots of different fresh herbs to the batter.
• Olives or capers could be good on top. Spinach could also be used instead of asparagus.
• You can use a dairy free yogurt instead of buttermilk and leave out the feta cheese if you prefer it dairy free.
• We haven’t tried a vegan version but replacing the eggs with chia eggs (1 egg = 1 tablespoons chia seed + 3 tablespoons water) has worked for us on similar recipes.


Potato_and_asparagus_cake_4


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Asparagus & Potato Picnic Bread
Serves 12

Dry Ingredients
100 g / 1 cup oat flour (or the same amount rolled oats, blitzed into flour in a food processor)
100 g / 3/4 cup rice flour (or buckwheat flour or spelt flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt flakes

Wet Ingredients
3 free-range eggs
125 ml / 1/2 cup olive oil or coconut oil, at room temperature

125 ml / 1/2 cup cultured buttermilk (or yogurt or plant-based yogurt)
1-2 spring onions
3-4 potatoes (2 cups / 250 g)
100 g feta cheese

Topping
3 raw asparagus
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tsp quality olive oil
2 tsp honey
a handful chive

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F bake mode and grease a 30 x 22 cm / 12 x 9 inch tray or line it with parchment paper.

Add all the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir until combined. Make a well in the centre and set aside while preparing the wet ingredients.

Whisk eggs in a separate bowl, then add oil and buttermilk. Finely chop the onion. Peel the potatoes, grate them coarsely and add them to the wet mixture along with the onion. Crumble in half of the feta cheese. Give it a good stir and then pour the wet mixture into the bowl with the flours. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to combine the batter and then pour it onto the tray.

Use a peeler to shave the asparagus into thin ribbons and spread them out over the batter. Crumble the remaining feta cheese on top. Combine pumpkin seeds, oil and honey and sprinkle them on top as well, along with the chive.

Bake for approx. 40 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly in the tin before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely. Store the cake at room temperature in an airtight container and it will keep for a few days.

Great to bring on a picnic and serve with a tangy rhubarb compote or chutney.

Enjoy!


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This Berry French Toast Recipe Calls For Breakfast in Bed

berry french toast

Weekend breakfasts are a thing to savor. Enjoy lazy mornings, the bounty of the berry season, and minimal cooking with this deliciously simple berry French toast recipe.

French toast actually has its origins in Italy – not France. The earliest reference to this sweet breakfast hails from 4th century Rome in, of all things, a cookbook. Using stale bread, milk, eggs, and butter, Roman cooks would create fried toast to make the most of day old bread.

I prefer to use stale bread in my berry French toast recipe as well. Apparently, so do the French, who call modern French toast pain perdu, which translates to “lost bread.” Using day old or stale bread not only is a resourceful way to use up a delicious loaf, it provides better texture and crispiness to the final product. Too soft bread can easily get mushy and greasy, creating a less than desirable toast breakfast.

Berry French Toast Ingredients

The beauty of this berry French toast recipe is its simplicity. A handful of refrigerator staples are easily transformed into a comforting and nourishing breakfast, in less than 20 minutes. Add a drizzle of maple syrup and a handful of fresh berries and you’ve got breakfast perfection.

The batter for this berry French toast is made from organic eggs, a non-dairy milk of choice, vanilla extract, spices, and mashed raspberries. The mashed raspberries are the secret ingredient to this French toast and provide a lovely and sweet flavor to the mixture. When cooked, the French toast can also have a hint of pink to it – thanks to the raspberries.

When choosing both frozen or fresh berries, go organic. All berries are heavily sprayed crops. Consult the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen guides for more info. What’s currently on the top of the list of pesticide-ridden fruits? Strawberries.

When fresh berries are in season, even organic berries can be very inexpensive. Visit the farmers market, stop along the road at a farm stand, or grow some in your backyard. Even better, make a day of picking berries and save them for cooking and baking (and eating!) all summer long.

This berry French toast recipe can be made nut-free and gluten-free to fit dietary modifications. Use gluten-free bread to keep the recipe gluten-free and swap out almond milk with coconut milk to go nut-free. Feel free to also use coconut oil in place of butter or ghee to make the recipe dairy-free as well.

Breakfast in bed anyone?

Berry French Toast

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp ghee, grass-fed butter, or coconut oil
  • 4 day-old slices brioche, sourdough, gluten-free, or wheat bread
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup almond or coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp frozen raspberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • Maple syrup, to serve
  • 1 cup mixed berries, to serve

Instructions

  1. Melt ghee, butter, or coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Place frozen raspberries in a small bowl and gently mash with a fork, until berries are broken down. You may need to let them sit out at room temperature before mashing.
  3. Whisk together almond milk, eggs, mashed raspberries, vanilla, and spices. Pour mixture into a shallow baking dish. Place slices of bread in egg mixture and allow to soak up egg mixture on both sides.
  4. Cook bread in heated skillet until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes per side.
  5. Serve French toast with fresh berries and maple syrup. Enjoy!

4.14

http://www.organicauthority.com/this-berry-french-toast-recipe-calls-for-breakfast-in-bed/

 

 

Related On Organic Authority
Challah Bread French Toast Recipe with Chocolate Gelt Syrup
Bread is Back: La Brea Bakery Launches Heirloom Fortuna Wheat
3 Ways to Make Fancy Toast at Home

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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Spicy and Savory Mexican Breakfast Bowl Recipe

mexican breakfast bowl

Start the day off on a spicy and savory note with this Mexican egg, avocado, and black bean breakfast bowl recipe. Packed with protein, fiber, healthy fats, and quality carbohydrates, it’s a delicious way to kick-start the day.

The majority of standard American breakfasts foods are sweet (too sweet) and set the day up for a carbohydrate load and sugar crash. Incorporating plenty of quality macronutrients into the first meal of the day not only prevents that crazy blood sugar ride, it also promotes satiety and the ability to make good food choices the remainder of the day.

This breakfast bowl recipe is packed with all sorts of spicy and savory elements for serious breakfast goals.

Organic eggs are a delicious source of high-quality protein (roughly 5-7 grams per egg), vitamins, and minerals. These include vitamins A, B5, B12, and B2, folate, phosphorus, and selenium.

Specifically, eggs contain choline, a nutrient crucial for brain and heart health. Choline is especially important during pregnancy, as a deficiency in this vitamin has been linked to neural-tube defects.

Eggs also contain powerful antioxidants, known as lutein and zeaxanthin, associated with eye health. Having an adequate supply of these compounds is associated with a reduced risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, two common eye conditions, according to a 2006 study.

Along with nutrient-filled eggs, this Mexican breakfast bowl packs in plenty of fiber thanks to black beans and spinach. Spinach contains a powerhouse of vital nutrients including iron, vitamin K, and calcium. Just remember to choose organic spinach to avoid a plethora of pesticides.

Other delicious additions to this breakfast bowl are fresh salsa or tomatoes, hot sauce, and avocado. A healthy fat star, avocado is a delicious source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and monounsaturated fat. Feel free to have slices of avocado or go full-on fiesta with a scoop of guacamole.

Eat this Mexican breakfast bowl recipe with corn tortillas to make mini breakfast tacos, if you’re feeling extra spicy. Because, what better way to start the day than with breakfast tacos?

mexican breakfast bowl

Related On Organic Authority
Make this Savory Breakfast Bowl with Magic Green Sauce ASAP
These Easy Paleo Egg Muffins are Breakfast Game Changers
How to Choose the Healthiest Breakfast Bars (Or Make Your Own!)

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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