Good Eats

Beyond "Sweets for the Sweet": Your Guide to a Savory Chocolate Valentine’s Day Feast!

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By John, CN Grocery Buyer

Anybody can give a lovely box of truffles to their sweetie on Valentine’s Day, but if you really want to impress your loved one, why not serve up that chocolate in a more intriguing fashion? Chocolate is a great ingredient in savory dishes, from obvious choices like mole sauce or steak rubs to much more surprising combos like the ones I’ll be sharing with you in this month’s column. Follow my instructions and you’ll be ready to prepare a huge meatless spread showcasing the less sweet tendencies of that dark chocolate deliciousness. After all, you’re sweet enough already, aren’t you?


JOHN’S FAMOUS  SWEET POTATO CHILI

Ingredients:

  • 28 oz can peeled tomatoes
  • 14 oz can black beans
  • 14 oz can kidney beans
  • 14 oz can garbanzo beans
  • 14 oz can pinto beans
  • 1 tbsp Navitas Raw Cacao Powder
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup brown beer
  • 1 tsp Cambridge Naturals Bulk Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Cambridge Naturals Bulk Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cambridge Naturals Bulk Oregano
  • 1 tsp Maldon Smoked Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Alex's Ugly Cayano Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp La Chinata Smoked Paprika
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 tsp Nutiva Coconut Oil


Instructions:

Combine tomatoes, beans, salt, and beer in a large pot over low heat. Stir occasionally. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into cubes. Add vegetable oil and sweet potatoes to a nonstick skillet and sautee for about 10 minutes on medium heat. Add in garlic, onion, hot sauce, and peppers and sautee for an additional 5-6 minutes. Empty contents of skillet into the chili pot and stir. Add cocoa powder, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and smoked paprika. Cook on low heat for as long as you possibly can, adding salt/cocoa/heat as desired. Use more beer if the chili seems too thick.


EGGPLANT CAPONATA

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Canaan Fair Trade Nabali Tree olive oil
  • 2 lb. eggplant, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste, thinned with 1⁄4 cup water
  • 1 cup crushed canned tomatoes
  • 6 oz. Alive & Well Chalkidiki olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup Bragg's Apple Cider vinegar
  • 1⁄2 cup golden raisins
  • 1⁄4 cup salt-packed capers, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tbsp. Nutiva Coconut Sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Theo 70% Baking Chocolate (finely grated)
  • 1⁄2 cup finely shredded basil
  • 2 tbsp. Cambridge Naturals Raw Pine Nuts

Instructions:

Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add eggplant and fry, tossing occasionally, until browned, 3–4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggplant to a large bowl; set aside. Pour off all but 1⁄4 cup oil, and reserve for another use. Return skillet to heat, add onions and celery, and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until caramelized and almost evaporated, 1–2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Stir in olives, vinegar, raisins, capers, sugar, and chocolate, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Transfer to bowl with eggplant, along with basil and pine nuts, and mix together. Season with salt and pepper, and let cool to room temperature before serving.

 

CHARRED CAULIFLOWER AND SHISHITO PEPPERS WITH PICATA SAUCE

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed, halved, and cut into 1 1⁄2" wedges
  • 2 tbsp. plus 1 cup Canaan Fair Trade Nabali Tree olive oil
  • Cambridge Naturals bulk sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Nutiva coconut oil, for frying
  • 12 shishito peppers
  • 1⁄2 cup Will & Rose's Whole Sprouted Almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup plus 1 tbsp. roughly chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp. finely grated Theo 70% dark baking chocolate
  • 2 tsp. Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar


Instructions:

Heat oven broiler. Arrange cauliflower in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush both sides with 2 tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper; broil, flipping once, until charred and tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil and the garlic in a 12" skillet over medium. Cook until garlic is golden, 4–6 minutes; transfer to a bowl and let cool. Wipe skillet clean and heat canola oil over medium-high; fry peppers until blistered and slightly crisp, 4–6 minutes. Transfer peppers to paper towels to drain; season with salt. Stir almonds, 1 cup parsley, the chocolate, vinegar, salt, and pepper into reserved garlic oil; spread onto a serving platter. Top with cauliflower; garnish with fried peppers and remaining parsley.

 

ROASTED BABY CARROTS WITH BALSAMIC-CHOCOLATE SYRUP

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds baby carrots (about finger-width thick), green tops trimmed to about 1 inch
  • 3 tablespoons Canaan Fair Trade Nabali Tree olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons Celtic Light Grey Sea Salt
  • 5 or 6 (4-inch) sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ cup Cadia organic balsamic vinegar
  • ½ ounce Theo 85 percent dark chocolate, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon Crystal's Own New York Wildflower honey


Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the carrots on a sheet pan, drizzle them with the olive oil, and spread them in a single layer. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the carrots, and lay the thyme sprigs on top. Roast until the carrots are tender and brown in spots, shaking the pan and turning once or twice, about 35 minutes total. While the carrots are cooking, make the syrup. Put the vinegar in the smallest saucepan you have and simmer over medium-low heat until reduced to 1⁄4 cup. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate. Let the chocolate melt for 30 seconds, then use a small spatula to gently stir the syrup until the chocolate has melted completely and the syrup is smooth. Add the honey and salt and mix well. Cover the pan to keep the sauce warm until you’re ready to serve the carrots. To serve, discard the thyme and arrange the carrots on a serving dish. Drizzle them generously with the syrup, and serve immediately.

Moondeli: Herbacious Soup for the Soul

By Bex, Supplements Buyer & The Naturalist Contributor

All images by Pure + Wild Journal

Growing up, any hint that we would be going on my family’s now-and-then adventure to our neighborhood deli prompted knee-rattling anticipation as I contemplated a challenging decision at the large window display chock-full of salads and spreads in quantities that could quite literally feed a village. Then, inevitably upon arrival, I would settle on a moon-like matzoh ball suspended in a large bowl of piping hot chicken soup, which my grandmother always reminded me was “the Jewish Penicillin.”

So, when I stumbled upon Moondeli, I naturally thought of that scrumptious celestial body floating in a steaming edible bath for my digestive tract. The comparison is actually not that much of a stretch since Moondeli is my modern day answer to the enduring need for bowl after bowl of comforting and fortifying liquid. Now that I only reserve matzoh ball soup for when I actually fall ill, I’m focused on regularly consuming herb based tonics that support my body in staying strong, energized and relaxed, so that I find myself getting sick much less often. The organic, wildcrafted, ethically-sourced precious powders from Moondeli become boosters to add to your smoothies, tea, coffee, juice, and get this - soup!

Moondeli’s adaptogenic blends have become part of my self-care ritual, supporting my body and mind as they adapt - rather than react - to stress. Inspired by ancient plant medicine, Moondeli Tonics can be enjoyed heated or chilled on their own, immersed in liquid, or cooked into goodies galore. I’ve even experimented with putting these functional foods on my face! Try a teaspoon of the Meditation Tonic stirred into your favorite cup of herbal tea. If you crave a little sweetness, add honey or stevia to taste. Make a golden milk latte by whisking the Golden Turmeric Tonic into your milk of choice. However, if you want to really have some fun, get creative in the kitchen and add these to sweet and savory treats to infuse your bites with life-affirming goodness.

Here are a handful of Moondeli-inspired recipes to nourish your body and soul!

 

THE NOT-SO-MEAN GREEN PROTEIN MACHINE SMOOTHIE

  • 2 tsp Moondeli Blue Green Protein (spirulina, tocos and salt)
  • 1 Banana
  • ½ cup of frozen mango chunks
  • 1 cup of frozen strawberries
  • 4-6 frozen peach slices
  • 1 serving of your favorite vanilla protein powder (I use the plant-based sunwarrior warrior blend)
  • 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 1 Tbsp bee pollen (to sprinkle on top)

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend it up! Add more almond milk to achieve the consistency you desire (I like it on the thick side, so I usually use less.) Serves 2

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CRUNCHY MINTY HIPPIE’S DELIGHT SMOOTHIE

  • 2 tsp Moondeli Mushroom Adaptogen (cacao, chaga, cordyceps)
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 cup of frozen strawberries
  • 1 handful of raw organic spinach
  • 3-4 mint leaves (to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp of hemp seeds (one to be blended into the smoothie, the other to use as a topping)
  • 1 Tbsp of almond butter
  • 2 cups of unsweetened hemp milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 2 Tbsp of granola (I sometimes add it as a topping and sometimes stir in. I use paleo granola)

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend it up! Add more hemp milk to achieve the consistency you desire (I like it on the thick side, so I usually use less.) Serves 1-2

 

BLISS BOOSTING GLUTEN FREE hygge season COOKIES

  • ¼ cup Moondeli Bliss Booster (cacao, maca and cayenne)-like Mexican Hot Chocolate!
  • 1 Tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup GF Flour blend (I use Cup4Cup or Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1.5 cups GF rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt (I often double that because I like salty cookies)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup flax meal whisked with a fork in ⅔ cup water
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup of unsweetened coconut shreds (or unsweetened coconut chips if you prefer crunch)
  • ½ cup dark chocolate (I prefer chopped chunks, but you can also use chips)
  • ¼ cup dried cherries
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (this is another area where I get a little generous)
  1. Mix dry ingredients together (Bliss Booster, cacao, cinnamon, flour, almond flour, oats, chocolate, coconut, cherries, baking powder and salt) in a large bowl
  2. In a separate large bowl stir together the wet ingredients and sugar (melted butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, almond butter, coconut oil)
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring it in bit by bit.
  4. Chill for at least 2 hours (I like to chill the dough overnight)
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper (or thoroughly greased) for 10-12 minutes
  6. Check the edges and consistency of the cookies. Depending on the oven, I usually increase the temperature to 375 and bake for another 1-3 minutes as needed.
  7. Cool on a cooling rack if possible.

CHILL THE F OUT CHAI CHIA PUDDING

  • 2-3 Tbsp Moondeli Calming Adaptogen (ashwagandha, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon)
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 cup berries of choice (I topped mine with blackberries and raspberries)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons of cacao nibs
  • 1 serving of vanilla hemp protein powder
  • 1 can of coconut milk
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Mash the banana into a tupperware container with the almond butter until it is soft. Add 1 can of coconut milk and stir together with the banana. Add 4 Tbsp of chia seeds and stir. Place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours (I like to let it sit overnight.) Mix in protein powder and Calming Adaptogen powder. Top with cacao nibs and berries!

 

I’ve also added these powders to soup, juices, overnight oats, zoom balls, pancakes, truffles, frosting, and salad dressing, so get creative and have fun! Moondeli suggests up to two servings of each blend per day, but remember that the tonics work synergistically, so you can mix several of them together in your attempt to gain superpowers. I’m not a doctor or a pharmacist, so I can’t say whether or not that will happen, but I’m gonna give it a try… Ceremony Tonic (matcha, cacao, maca,) here I come!

 

EVERYTHING BUT THE BIRD: A Complete Guide to Slaying Your Thanksgiving Fixin's!

By John, Grocery Buyer & The Naturalist Contributor

Well folks, I think I should keep the chit chat a bit short for this installment of the recipe blog, as we've got a lot to get through here... Often these blogs contain maybe three recipes, but today we're giving you SEVEN! Your veggies, stuffing, gravy, mash, and pie all planned out with fine ingredients available right here at Cambridge Naturals! These delicious selections are not all vegan, or gluten-free, but enough of them are one or the other or both to hopefully accommodate for any dietary restrictions you may encounter. The sides contained herein range from a bit complex to incredibly simple, so you can flex those chef muscles a bit without being overwhelmed. So, without further ado, let's get started...

 Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

GLUTEN-FREE TURKEY GRAVY

Gravy should be the glue that holds the whole plate together, as ideally your guests will want to put it on EVERYTHING! This one has some nice notes of cranberry and sage, which compliments the stuffing perfectly, and drops the gluten for good measure!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 jars Epic Turkey Cranberry Sage Bone Broth
  • 1-2 cups skimmed and strained roast turkey drippings
  • Celtic Sea Salt and freshly ground Cambridge Naturals bulk black pepper
  • Frontier (Bulk) Arrowroot Powder

INSTRUCTIONS:

Bring the bone broth to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add turkey drippings. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer about one cup of your gravy mixture to a medium bowl and whisk in 10 tablespoons arrowroot. Just before serving, return the arrowroot mixture to the gravy base and whisk until the whole thing is thickened and smooth.

 

SOURDOUGH STUFFING WITH PECANS & CRANBERRIES

You may want to make extra of this. The desire to just eat a pan of stuffing for dinner will be very real!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 16 oz (a bit more than half a loaf) Dan's Bread Whole Wheat Sourdough
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup Cambridge Naturals pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Organic Valley Unsalted Cultured Butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 cups Epic Turkey Cranberry Sage bone broth
  • 3/4 tbsp Celtic Sea Salt, more as needed
  • Cambridge Naturals bulk black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Organic Valley Unsalted Cultured Butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Canaan Nabali Olive Oil (for baking dish)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Tear or cut the bread into 3/4 inch pieces until you have 8 to 10 cups. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 275F, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until crisp and mostly dry (about 15-45 minutes). Heat 2 tbsp butter in a large, covered skillet over medium-low heat. Add the celery and onions and cook. stirring occasionally, until they're slightly softened but still have some crunch. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in pecans and cranberries. Add the bread to a large mixing bowl, along with the parsley, sage, and thyme, and toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the bone broth over the stuffing. Toss occasionally if mixture is not fully absorbed. Bread should be moist but not soggy. Stir in the 1/4 cup melted butter and eggs. Heat oven to 375F and lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with the olive oil. Spread the stuffing and cover tightly with foil. Bake about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 20 minutes or until the top is crisp. 

 

VEGAN & GLUTEN-FREE GARLIC MASHED POTATOES

Just some humble, easily prepared mashed potatoes. With lots of garlic and olive oil because they make EVERYTHING great!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Celtic Sea Salt
  • Cambridge Naturals bulk black pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Canaan Nabali Olive Oil

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add potatoes, garlic, and 2 tsp salt and cook at a brisk simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and garlic, reserving about 1 cup cooking liquid. Mash the potatoes and garlic. Beat in olive oil and then thin to desired consistency with the remaining cooking liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

 

VEGAN & GLUTEN-FREE GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

 A delicious twist on a Thanksgiving classic, great for guests with dietary restrictions...

INGREDIENTS (Crispy Onion Strings):

  • 1 White Onion
  • 1 ½ Cups New Barn Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 tbsp Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 ½ Cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 baking flour
  • 1 tsp La Chinata Smoked Paprika Powder
  • 1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
  • ½ tsp Cambridge Naturals bulk black pepper
  • 3 cups Nutiva Organic Liquid Coconut Oil (for frying)

INGREDIENTS (Casserole):

  • 8 cups fresh green beans
  • 1 cup Cambridge Naturals raw whole cashews (soaked for three hours)
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 1 tbsp Frontier Arrowroot Powder
  • 1 tbsp Nutiva Organic Liquid Coconut Oil
  • 8oz Mushrooms
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp Cambridge Naturals bulk onion powder
  • ½ tsp Cambridge Naturals bulk nutmeg
  • ½ tsp Cambridge Naturals bulk black pepper
  • 2/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS:

Thinly slice the onion, using a mandolin if your knife skills aren’t up to snuff. You should be able to see through the slices. Pour the almond milk into a bowl and whisk in the apple cider vinegar. Let the onions soak in this mixture for 10-15 minutes. In a separate mixing bowl combine the flour with the smoked paprika, sea salt, and black pepper. Heat your 3 cups coconut oil in a large pot til it reaches 375 degrees. Gently toss the onions in the flour mixture. Shake off excess and transfer to yet another bowl. Deep fry the onions in small batches for about 2 minutes and remove with tongs onto paper towel. To make the sauce, drain the cashews from the soaking water. Add them to a blender with your fresh water and arrowroot and blend until smooth. Heat coconut oil over a medium heat and add mushrooms, saute for two minutes. Add shallot and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Add minced garlic and saute for another minute. Then add nutmeg, onion powder, sea salt, and ground pepper and saute for yet another three minutes. Stir in vegetable broth and your cashew cream in small portions, bit by bit, stirring until smooth. Bring to a simmer. Once the sauce is simmering add lemon juice and then finally the green beans. Toss the beans in the sauce and cover the pan with a lid. Let it sit for 20 minutes stirring occasionally until the beans are cooked. Transfer the beans and sauce to a casserole dish and cover with your crispy onions. Put the whole thing under the broiler for a minute or two and then serve immediately.

 

MAPLE GOCHUJANG ROASTED CARROTS

  • Sweet n' spicy veggies with the flair of New England Korean fusion!
  • INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ Cup Canaan Nabali Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoons Feronia Forest Mission Maple Syrup
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Bushwich Kitchen Weak Knees Gochujang Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon Cambridge Naturals bulk cumin
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • Celtic Sea Salt and Cambridge Naturals bulk black pepper to taste

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat to 450F and line a baking sheet with foil. In a bowl, combine garlic, olive oil, maple syrup, sriracha, cumin, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Toss the carrots in the mixture to coat evenly, then pour everything onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until tender.

 

TWICE-ROASTED HOT HONEY SWEET POTATOES

Sticking with the sweet n' spicy orange foods theme we just saw in the carrots. Absolutely delicious!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, about 1lb each
  • ¼ cup Mike’s Hot Honey or Bushwick Kitchen Spicy Honey
  • 4 tablespoons Organic Valley Unsalted Cultured Butter
  • Celtic Sea Salt
  • 2 tbsp Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat Oven to 350F. Poke holes all over sweet potatoes and wrap them in foil. Place on a foil-rimmed baking sheet and roast until tender, about 60-70 minutes. Unwrap and let sit until cool enough to handle. Increase oven temperature to 450F. Combine hot honey and butter in a small saucepan and season with sea salt. Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar. Smash the sweet potatoes with your palm, then tear into bite-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl and add half of hot honey mixture, then season with salt. Arrange the pieces skin side down on a baking sheet and roast until browned and crisp, about 20-25 minutes. Drizzle with remaining hot honey mixture.

 

VEGAN & GLUTEN-FREE PUMPKIN PIE

All due respect to apple, but pumpkin is the classic Thanksgiving pie. Won't even miss the butter or flour in this one, I promise!

INGREDIENTS (CRUST):

  • 6 tbsp cold Miyokos Vegan Butter
  • 1 1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
  • 4-6 tbsp ice cold water

INGREDIENTS (FILLING):

  • 2 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup Feronia Forest Mission Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup New Barn Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 tbsp Nutiva Organic Liquid Coconut Oil
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Frontier Arrowroot Powder
  • 1 3/4 tbsp Cambridge Naturals bulk pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 tsp Celtic Sea Salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

Combine gluten-free flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Slice in the cold butter and work gently with a fork to cut it in. Don't overwork it, just get it incorporated. Add water a little at a time while stirring with a wooden spoon. Only use as much as you need for the ingredients to come together. Once a loose dough is formed, transfer to a piece of plastic wrap and work it with your hands into a 1/2 inch thick disc. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, then let it warm up slightly at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350 and start working on your filling! Add all the filling ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed and set aside. Unwrap your dough and set between two pieces of wax paper, then roll out with a rolling pin. If it cracks, simply reform it with your hands. Remove the top piece of wax paper and gently lay the pie dish face down on the crust and use the support of the wax paper to gently invert it, then form it into the pan by hand. Try not to overwork the dough. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for an hour. Crust should be golden brown and the filling should jiggle just slightly. Remove from the oven and let cool before loosely covering and transferring to the fridge to set. Let it set for at least 4-6 hours, overnight if possible. Slice and serve!

There you have it! Now you just need to figure out how to prepare the bird, if that's even necessary given the rest of this sumptuous feast. We'll leave that up to you. Share with your neighbors, be merry and full! Happy Thanksgiving!

MY BODY IS READY: Pastas for Hibernation Season with Matiz Products!

By John, Grocery Buyer + The Naturalist Contributor

The natural inclination of us mammals as the days grow cooler and shorter is to put on weight for the hibernation season. You may not like it, but it is a biological fact. I say go with it! Store up that energy for the long, slow season ahead and have fun doing it! What better way than with heaping bowls of pasta? Not a boring bowl of mushy spaghetti with jarred sauce and a shaker of so-called parmesan… Not even a good all-day, slow-cooked marinara or Bolognese (as much as I love those, and may eventually share my secret recipes with you folks here)… No, no. We’re going to get a bit more creative, with some help from the Matiz line of delicious Spanish specialty products.

Now, I have documented my love for the noodle here on the Cambridge Naturals blog extensively, with columns on soups and varied noodle dishes and even a previous pasta salad recipe in my BBQ blog, but here we are again with an entire column dedicated to pasta, including yet another pasta salad! I know, I know. But folks, my love for pasta is unending, as are the methods in which it can be prepared. And fear not, gluten-averse friends, because two of this month’s three recipes were designed with you in mind! The third is for our vegan comrades.

First up is a delicious tapas-inspired gluten-free pasta salad made with pipparas, a crunchy Basque pepper with a mild, pickly flavor. Traditionally served with black olives, I’m pairing them here with tuna and sharp cheddar as well, and I gotta tell you, it’s pretty… pretty… pretty great.

 Some of our favorite pasta in the world is made by Semolina in Los Angeles! Use this or the delicious Jovial Gluten Free Penne in the two recipes, below.

Some of our favorite pasta in the world is made by Semolina in Los Angeles! Use this or the delicious Jovial Gluten Free Penne in the two recipes, below.

PICKLED PEPPER PASTA SALAD WITH TUNA

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 jar Matiz Garlic All-i-oli
  • 2 tbsp Mustard & Co Golden Dijon Mustard
  • 2 1/2 cups Jovial Gluten-Free Fussili
  • 3oz (half a jar) Matiz Pipparas and 1 tbsp piparra pickling liquid
  • 2 5-oz cans Wild Planet Albacore Wild Tuna
  • 1 cup cubed Neighborly Farms Raw Milk Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • l cup Alive & Well Black Olives, de-pitted and sliced
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • Cambridge Naturals bulk sea salt and black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Boil the pasta in salted water until done, about 7-8 minutes.
  2. Drain and rinse with cold water until the pasta is room temperature.
  3. Toss the fully drained pasta in a large bowl with tuna, cheddar, olives, pickles, and scallions.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the all-i-oli, mustard, and piparra liquid until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir about 3/4 of the dressing into the salad until mixed.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for several hours until cold.
  6. Reserve the remaining dressing to add just before serving, so the pasta salad won't dry out.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

 

 This delicious organic olive oil is cold pressed and organic, and sourced fair-trade from Palestine.

This delicious organic olive oil is cold pressed and organic, and sourced fair-trade from Palestine.

Next, let’s take things from the north of Spain all the way to the Caribbean islands! Our Matiz Paella Sofrito is good for do much more than paella, and once you try it in our Puerto Rican-inspired Sofrito Chicken Pasta I have a feeling you’ll want to put it on everything!

PUERTO RICAN STYLE SOFRITO CHICKEN PASTA

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon Canaan Nabali olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons adobo, divided
  • 1/2 bell pepper (any color), sliced
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 can (8oz) tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup Matiz Paella Sofrito
  • 2 teaspoons Cambridge Naturals bulk West Indies rub
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cambridge Naturals bulk dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cambridge Naturals bulk black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Five Way Foods Chicken Bone Broth
  • 8 oz Jovial Gluten-Free Penne

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and season with 1 teaspoon of the adobo. Brown the chicken and then remove from pan. Set aside.
  2. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato sauce and sofrito and bring to a simmer, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of adobo, west indies rub, oregano, black pepper and bone broth. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Return the chicken to the sauce. Cover and simmer on low until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  5. While the sauce is simmering, boil the pasta according to the box instructions and drain.
  6. Pour the drained pasta into the chicken and stir to combine. Serve and enjoy!

 

Our final dish this month is, as promised, one for the vegans. It is, maybe surprisingly, a “cream” sauce! With cheezy, delicious Rawmesan, fresh baby spinach, and fantastic Matiz artichoke hearts, this one will be a real crowd-pleaser!

 Stop in and check out John's featured ingredients in our grocery section!

Stop in and check out John's featured ingredients in our grocery section!

CREAMY VEGAN SPINACH ARTICHOKE PASTA

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tbsp Miyoko's Cultured Vegan Butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 12oz vegetable broth
  • 1.5 cups Milkadamia unsweetened macadamia nut milk
  • 1/4 tsp Curio Spice Co. Aegean Salt
  • Freshly cracked Cambridge Naturals bulk black pepper
  • 8oz Semolina Fusilli
  • 1/4lb fresh baby spinach
  • 1 jar Matiz artichoke hearts
  • 1/4 cup Rawmesan

INSTRUCTIONS:

Mince the garlic and add to a skillet with the vegan butter and sautee.

Add the broth, milkadamia, Aegean salt, some freshly cracked pepper and the pasta to the skillet. Make sure pasta is submerged, and cover. Allow the skillet to come to a simmer, and then bring the temperature to low.

Simmer for 12 minutes. While simmering, drain the artichoke hearts and chop them into smaller pieces.

Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of herbed salt, west indies rub, oregano, black pepper and bone broth. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Once the pasta is tender, add the spinach a handful at a time to the sauce and pasta and toss til it wilts.

Stir in the artichoke hearts and half the Rawmesan. Top with the additional half the Rawmesan and serve.

There it is! Now that you’re stuffed full of delicious pasta, you are getting sleepy. Very sleepy. Close those eyes mama and papa bears, and let’s drift off into a sweetly soporific state ‘til Springtime.

SLOW DOWN AND ENJOY YOUR BREAKFAST!

By John, Grocery Buyer and Breakfast Connoisseur

You're heard it since you were a tiny little tyke: "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!" It's true! A delicious breakfast can set the mood for your entire day to come, and while some of America may 'run on, we here at Cambridge Naturals prefer things prepared a bit more slowly and with a tad more TLC. With that in mind, here are some great family-friendly breakfast ideas ranging from sweet and sticky to savory and spicy. Enjoy!

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NUTTY, MELTY FAUX-CREPES:

This is one the kids will love! Start with some of our Siete Almond Flour Grain-Free Tortillas. Spread your fillings on one side (think Nutiva Hazelnut Spread, Fior Di Frutta fruit spreads, Once Again Creamy Almond Butter, Organic Living Natural Juice-Infused Strawberries, maybe some banana slices...), fold it over quesadilla/crepe style and pan-fry to golden brown on both sides in a bit of Full Moon Ghee. It doesn't get much easier than that, or more satisfying!

THE KOREAN-STYLE OMELETTE:

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Melt some Full Moon Ghee in your frying pan and beat some of our unbeatable Brookford Farm Eggs in a bowl. Add the eggs, some Chi Kitchen Kimchi, scallions, and shredded Neighborly Farms Sharp Cheddar. Cook 'til fluffy and serve with a liberal squirt of Bushwick Kitchen Weak Knees Gochujang Sriracha. Voila! The perfect breakfast for those who prefer to start their day with a little heat!

PANCAKES TWO WAYS:

Who doesn't love a nice stack of pancakes? I love them so much I couldn't decide on just one recipe suggestion, so you lucky folks get two!

First up, soak some goji berries overnight in water (or dare I suggest simple syrup?). Prepare some batter with our Bob's Red Mill Paleo Pancake Mix (I hear it's best prepared with Brookford Farm Eggs and Nutiva Virgin Coconut Oil), add the berries, and break in some wafers of our Sunfood Cacao Paste. Cook 'em up and you've scrumptious Paleo Goji Cacao pancakes!

 Mmmm pancakes. Photo via Paleo Newbie.

Mmmm pancakes. Photo via Paleo Newbie.

Or for a very decadent sweet-spicy-nutty-tart explosion of flavors, begin with our Mu Mu Magic Organic Cranberry Date Pancake Mix (oddly enough, this kind is best prepared with Brookford Farm Eggs and Nutiva Coconut Oil as well!). Chop up some Will & Rose's Pecans into that batter. Cook 'em up and slather them in Benito's Habanero-Infused Maple Syrup and Organic Valley European-style cultured butter. Cranberry and Habanero go fantastic together, believe it or not! Try it and you'll be convinced in no time!

So there you have it. Put down that prepackaged bar, accept that your local bagel place won't miss you if you skip just one day, and sit down with a nice, homemade breakfast. Treat yourself! You deserve it!

Imbibing, Naturally

By John, CN Grocery Buyer and The Naturalist Contributor

"What's that?" you may be asking. "How could the place where I purchase my vitamins and protein shakes help me get drunk?" Well, dear readers, although Cambridge Naturals will always be here for you when you're in need of a cleanse or detox, we're more than happy to help you creatively re-tox as well! Booze in careful moderation* may have some medicinal value, and its functions as a social lubricant and stress reliever have been documented since the poems of antiquity.

But antiquity is not what we're here to talk about. The world of the mixed drink has changed dramatically in the last decade, and Cambridge Naturals is stocked to the rafters with ingredients which can bring your next party to the vanguard of the craft cocktail revolution!

What follows are not a couple, not a few, but five different drinks showcasing a wide variety of items for sale in our store. It could have been a dozen! The possibilities really are limitless. Come find me in person at the store for the low-down on some of my extra-secret concoctions or to let me know what you've come up with.

THE HOT HONEY PALOMA

  • 4 oz Grapefruit flavor Spindrift sparkling water
  • 2 oz Organic Mezcal or Tequila*
  • 1 tablespoon Mike's Hot Honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Sprig of Mint

Stir the liquor, honey, and lime juice well, then pour in the Spindrift and enjoy!

THE SAPPY CHAMELEON

  • 1 oz Feronia Forests Mission Maple Syrup
  • 1 oz Overproof Rum*
  • 8 oz Chameleon Cold Brew

Combine and mix ingredients in a glass, stir, and serve!

THE CHAI ORANGE HONEY OLD FASHIONED

  • 3 tablespoons Boston Chai Party Homemade Chai Spices
  • 8 oz Organic Bourbon*
  • 8 tsp Puremiel Orange Blossom Honey
  • Urban Moonshine Citrus Bitters
  • Mountain Valley Sparkling Water

(recipe makes 4 cocktails)

First, put the chai spices in a sachet and infuse the bourbon for a few hours. Then mix 2 oz of the infused bourbon, 2 teaspoons honey, and 3 dashes of the bitters with some ice in a shaker and shake it all up. Pour over an old fashioned glass with ice and top with a splash of sparkling water.

THE GINGER CACAO BOMB

  • 1 1/2 oz Repurposed Pod Cacao Juice
  • 1 1/2 oz Organic Gin*
  • 1/4 oz Old Friends Farm Ginger Syrup
  • a dash of Urban Moonshine Original Bitters
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice, shake, pour over ice, and bottoms up!

THE CAMBRIDGE NATURALS BLOODY MARY

  • 2 Tablespoons Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Hosta Hill hot sauce
  • 3oz Organic Vodka*
  • 6oz Mucho Gazpacho (Original)
  • Mix in a glass with ice and your choice of garnish, line the rim with Maldon's smoked sea salt!

That's all for now! Cheers! Slainte! Probst! Kampai! Salud! See you next time!

*Please drink responsibly. Any of these cocktails can be made without alcohol and enjoyed immensely!

THE TRIUMPH OF THE VEGAN AT THE BBQ!

By John, CN Grocery Buyer

It can sometimes be a lonely affair to be the vegan at a summer barbeque. Perhaps you’ve brought enough portabellas to share, but they end up cast aside in favor of cheeseburgers. Maybe you’ve even given up on bringing along food to share altogether, and succumbed to the urge to just graze on chips, underwhelming salad, and corn on the cob. Well fret not, gentle herbivores, for I’m here with a trio of plant-based recipes you can put together here at Cambridge Naturals that will be the star of the show, even among confirmed meat lovers like myself!

Chips and dip are a perennial favorite for those pre-meal munchies, while you sip your first beer and warm up the coals. Try pairing a bag or two of our incredible Jackson’s Honest Potato Chips (I like Purple Heirloom, but they’re all good) with this simple VEGAN “PARMESAN” YOGURT DIP! Just stir together 1.5 cups of Forager Unsweetened Cashew Yogurt with 3 tablespoons of the Herb and Spice variety Rawmesan, one clove of minced garlic, and half a teaspoon of Curio Spice Co. Kampot & Sea Salt. Easy, huh?

For your meat replacement, rehydrate some of our bulk dried shiitakes and then marinate them ( I recommend using our Coconut Secret Garlic Sauce and a squeeze or two of Kitchen Garden Sriracha). Impale a handful of the mushrooms each on some of our Bambu skewers, grill ‘em up, and then sprinkle with sesame seeds from our bulk section if you’re feeling extra fancy. There you have it, delicious YAKITORI STYLE SHIITAKE MUSHROOM SKEWERS!

As for a side dish, let’s talk pasta salad. It’s a staple at picnics and barbecues, and this variation is sure to please. For a VEGAN MEDITERRANEAN PASTA SALAD that will knock your socks off, start by boiling a 16oz bag of our Semolina Organic Fusilli (made in LA!). De-pit and chop some of our Alive & Well Probiotic Kalamata Olives, and stir in a 6.5oz jar of our Matiz All-i-oli garlic spread (Fiery Garlic if you’re feeling extra bold). It’s that simple. Heck, maybe try chopping up and tossing in some of our Matiz Artichoke Hearts, while you’re at it!

If you’re in a hurry, and even these remarkably simple recipes seem to require too much time or effort, come in for some high quality pre-prepared options: Hope Thai coconut curry hummus, Magic Bites Lentil Fingers, and Karine & Jeff’s Moroccan Style Chickpeas (they’re as good cold as heated!) are all excellent suggestions for the vegan on the go.

And while you’re at it, keep the cooler stocked with plenty of Maine Root Ginger Brews alongside the brewskis. They’re great on their own, and they also pair extremely well with dark rum for a magnificent Dark and Stormy!

Hope that helps to get your imagination going with regards to the myriad creative ways in which Cambridge Naturals can help make you a backyard hangout hero this summer. Come on in and chat with our knowledgeable grocery team for even more suggestions.

Interview with Joel Rosen of Rosen's Kraut

By Vicki, Local Grocery Brands Coordinator

Nowadays the "Fermentation Nation" section of the cooler at Cambridge Naturals is pretty crowded. There are SO many amazing locally made fermented foods options, can there really be anything "new" out there? Well, lo and behold we found Rosen's Kraut at the Sustainable Business Network annual conference, and were bowled over by his crunchy, tangy, delicious and totally original Butternut Squash Kraut (what?!) - along with Beets & 'Neeps and Garlic Pickled Carrots. The texture, the taste, the smell of all of Rosen's Krauts are all so enticing, so eye catching, that it will leave you with a bigger smile and a happier tummy.

Here is a deeper look into the brand, the vision they have, and some other interesting tidbits that will connect you closer to one of our newest local brands!

How did you first learn about fermentation? And how did that spark the interest in starting your own business?

Well, I remember my parents were brewing beer at home when I was ten or so, so I suppose I'd been exposed to the idea that you could ferment your own food and drink since I was a kid.  In college, I spent my summers cooking at a folk dance camp in Plymouth, where the head cook introduced me to their sourdough starter and taught me how to bake bread.  But it wasn't until after college when I lived in China that I really developed a taste for pickled vegetables.  I'd always liked cucumber pickles, but in China I was introduced to the concept of salted pickled vegetables like turnip and mustard tuber that were eaten with breakfast, alongside steamed buns or in savory crepes.  It wouldn't have occurred to me to eat salty, sour, or spicy condiments first thing in the morning, since we're more used to eating sweets with breakfast here, but once I got a taste for it I was really hooked.

When I moved back to Boston I began experimenting with making my own kimchi and fermented grated carrots that I'd eat with my eggs and coffee.  Around that time, JP also started hosting the Boston Fermentation Festival just down the street from where I lived, and I'd walk down every year and taste what everybody was making.  Just about a year ago I left my software job and had some time on my hands, so I thought I'd try selling my carrots and see if I could make a business out of it.  I played around with a ton of recipes and vegetables this past summer, including some brined ferments like cucumbers and okra, but eventually narrowed down to a line of kraut-style veggies that go particularly well on salads.  I figure, everybody eats salad, but salads can get boring, so I'm hoping my products can help fill a big need here, even with people who might not necessarily be thinking about the health benefits of fermented foods, but who are just looking for something more exciting and colorful to put on their salads.

Of course, I eat this stuff with everything, and if I can get others eating pickles with breakfast, that would be awesome, but it might be a bit of an acquired taste for most folks.

 

Why is eating fermented food important for us?

There's a lot to be said about the health benefits of fermented foods, and Sandor Katz even writes about fermentation as a kind of political act, but I just eat it because I'm addicted to the flavor.  Fermented foods, pickles, cheese, beer, wine, bread, all have that distinctive umami flavor that you can't get without it.

You have one of the most unique krauts available, how did you get the idea for the Butternut Squash Kraut?

I'd been intrigued by the color and texture of butternut squash for a while, and was curious to see how it would ferment.  Great, as it turns out.  The bright yellow color is the first thing you notice, and the texture is crunchy but also has a creaminess to it.  The most common variety of butternut was also developed here in Waltham, so I thought it would be nice to focus on a crop that's local to Boston.

Where do you source your veggies for your Kraut? Why is sourcing important to you?

Sourcing good produce, I've learned, is essential to the quality of my krauts, especially because my recipes are so simple.  I take veggies, shred them, salt them, add garlic, and that's it.  I don't cook them, I don't use vinegar, and I don't add any other spices that could compensate to mask the flavor or texture of a poorer quality vegetable.  The fermentation process is entirely natural and results can vary widely depending on the quality and ripeness of produce used, so throughout the season and as I source from different farms, the flavor of my ferments will change from batch to batch.  Since I got started in January I've been buying directly from small farms in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  My last few batches have all been sourced from Red Fire Farm in Montague, but their supply of winter squash just ran out for the season so I'll need to look a little farther afield for butternut this summer. Next year if things go well I'm hoping I'll have reached a scale where I can find a farm to grow all my butternut for me, to process once at the beginning of the year to last me the whole season.  Fermentation is primarily a food preservation technique, after all!

What inspires you in life?

I like meeting people who have done a whole bunch of different things in their lives, who end up being successful at something interesting that they hadn't imagined they'd do, or could have planned for as part of a traditional career path.  For example, there was a little while when I was working in Beijing, I got a gig as an interpreter for the special effects team on the production of The Kite Runner.  My boss, the special effects supervisor, was a crusty old kiwi who had spent much of his younger professional life on deep sea excavation of naval wrecks.  That's how he learned a bunch about explosives, which turned out to be a useful skill for special effects in film.  He didn't go to film school or plan to work in movies, but now he gets paid to travel the world blowing things up and making fake snow.

I've also been inspired by my kung fu teacher for as long as I've been studying with him.  He worked in business making bean sprouts wholesale for twenty years before opening his martial arts school.

Anyway, I'm still not sure what I'm going to be when I grow up, but I figure if I keep doing things that interest me, I'm probably on the right path.

The Buttery Goodness of Full Moon Ghee

By Vicki, Local Grocery Brands Coordinator

You may have been hearing the words “clarified butter” or ghee a lot recently. Since there has been an interest in more alternative medicine approaches other than our western way, people have started to look at Ayurveda for a way to feel better in life. Ayurveda is one of the most ancient healing systems in the world, developed by the sages of India thousands of years ago. Ayur means life, and veda means science or knowledge. So Ayurveda means the science or knowledge of life… who wouldn’t want to study the science of life?

Ghee is used in Ayurveda for balancing all constitutions in a person’s body. It is made from cooking butter at a very low heat for about 20 minutes or so, which removes the water in butter, and separates the milk solids and the fat from each other. Since the milk solids are removed, ghee is also safe for lactose intolerant individuals! YAY GHEE! There are numerous benefits to using ghee; improved digestion, better immune system, support for healthy levels of inflammation and just feeling like you are an awesome human being!

We'd like to introduce you to one of our favorite Ghee's in town -  Full Moon Ghee. We want to emphasize how important sourcing is, and how mindfulness is important when you are a creator AND a consumer. Full Moon Ghee is made as “an act of service to our community, our ancestors, and ourselves.” The butter comes from extremely happy cows in Lee, Massachusetts, and the ghee is made ONLY on the Full Moon (hence, the name!). Why? Read the interview to find out!

Introducing Hannah Jacobson, one of the founders of Full Moon Ghee - sharing her knowledge of life with us below.

When and how did you get the idea for Full Moon Ghee? What caused you to start making ghee? Were there any major events that led to the creation?

While studying yoga and Ayurveda at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, MA, I began using lots of ghee in my meals. For my 28th birthday, a dear friend gave me a home made jar of ghee and I devoured it with the awareness that it was pure medicine for the body, mind, and spirit. It wasn't until a couple of years later, when Daniel Rainwater moved to the area that we began making ghee for our friends. I attended a farmer's market for my herbal company, Sweet Birch Herbals, and had a feeling customers would eat it up! The dozen or so jars were gone within the first few hours and we knew people were hungry for healthy, local, delicious ghee. Full Moon Ghee was brought into the world in 2015 with the intention of producing the highest quality ghee made from local butter on the full moon. We infuse each batch of ghee with prayers for health, vitality, expansion, creativity, and peace.

What are your favorite health benefits of ghee? Why do you use ghee?

I use ghee because there are countless health benefits including aiding the digestive tract, increasing assimilation of nutrients, therefore boosting energy levels, lubricating the joints internally, cleansing the colon, cooling irritated mucous membranes, strengthening to the hair, skin, eyes, and it contributes to a healthy immune system. Ghee contains omega-3 and omega-9 essential fatty acids, along with vitamins A, D, E and K. Ghee made from the butter of pastured cows is one of the highest natural sources of CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid. It also has 9 phenolic antioxidants, as well as numerous other minerals. When I eat ghee daily, I generally feel more sustained energy throughout the day.

Why is it important to you to buy locally sourced organic products? Is organic important to you?

It is important to support the local food economy not only as a consumer, but also as a producer. The core value of Full Moon Ghee is to support local dairy farms by sourcing butter from them. I try to purchase mostly local and organic products as a consumer, however organic dairy can be challenging for small farms in New England when prices of feed are more than double for organic. The organic certification process can be cost prohibitive for small dairy farms, even if they are already following organic practices. That is why we source all of our butter from High Lawn Farm in Lee, MA, a farm we trust after visiting and speaking with the farmers. High Lawn Farm grows the hay and silage for their well cared for cows. The feeling I get when I'm at the farm is pure delight. We want that uplifting energy in our ghee.

How did you have the idea to only make the ghee on the Full Moon?

Ghee is traditionally made on the waxing moon according to ancient Ayurvedic texts. While traveling in India, I asked ghee producers, grandmothers, and farmers what the significance of the moon is on the ghee. They explained that when the moon is waxing, the grass is reaching upward toward the sky. The cows eat the grass full of minerals and waters of the Earth pulled by the moon, which inevitably transfers into the milk. This theory is similar the biodynamic methods of organic agriculture drawn from the ideas of Rudolf Steiner in 1924. To make ghee from the butter of the cow on the waxing moon is special because it infuses that expansive energy into the holy oil, which we then consume, becoming part of our bodies. When I asked, "What if it's made on the full moon?" I always got the same answer: "Making ghee on the full moon is very auspicious."

Since you are making a product that is “energetic” in nature, what do you do when the energy in you, or around you, isn’t positive at the moment?

This is a great question because it raises even another question: "What is positive vs. negative?" In my attempts to raise the vibrations around me, I try to let go of the limiting dichotomies of "good" and bad." Instead, I welcome all the sensations, no part left out. As I learned in India, before making ghee, it is important to bathe and offering gratitude to the cows, the moon, the sun, the water, the fields, the farmers, and all the elements in nature which sustain us on Earth. The time around the Full Moon can often be emotionally challenging and we wonder why we chose this time to make ghee. However, I believe the moon chose us. She is our teacher. Every time we make ghee, even when we begin from a place of suffering, our moods shift because we are remembering that the transformation that takes place while making ghee is sacred. Rituals deepen our acceptance of ourselves. Our commitment to making ghee on the full moon is an act of service to our community, our ancestors, and ourselves.

In what other ways is the moon important to us? 

The Moon mirrors how the cycles of nature are within and around us all the time. We are not separate from nature. Healing takes root when we remember our innate connection to the source of all the elements: fire, water, earth, air, and wood.

Who has influenced you the most in your life?

My Mother and Father, for their steadfast commitment to unity, equality, and justice.

In what ways do you want to influence the world?

I want to reflect how deeply lovable each person is by simply being here on Earth. My offering is nourishing medicine made with intentions of healing, harmony, and peace.

Thank you Hannah for sharing your story and passion for mindfully made ghee with us! You can find Full Moon Ghee on our shelves in our healthy fats section. Just ask someone on staff to point you in the right direction!

 

This blog post — The Buttery Goodness of Full Moon Ghee — is for general health information only. This Web site is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem. Users of this Web site should not rely on information provided on this Web site for their own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own physician or other healthcare provider.

Use Your Noodle!

By John B, CN Grocery Buyer & Blog Contributor

Ever since centuries back, way before Marco Polo could even conceive of his famous visit to China, the noodle has existed in an endless array of delicious flavors and textures and varieties. From crunchy to slippery, from blindingly spicy to fragrant and floral, a person could probably enjoy a different noodle dish every night for a year without exhausting their options or succumbing to boredom. Our grocery department has a couple of excellent new noodle products in stock, so I figured it would be a great time to share some suggestions with you on how to make them sparkle! Just remember: the three recipes I'm sharing with you today are but a few shades of a few colors of the rainbow of noodly delights, and I hope you'll come into Cambridge Naturals sometime, find me in person and tell me all the creative ways you're using our products to create that perfect slurp!

Let's start with Italian: Our Semolina Artisan Pastas are a delicious and high-end treat, and put any 99-cent-a-box grocery store macaroni to shame. Paired with some of our seafood and vegetable options, they make for a heck of a meal. Cook 3/4 pound of the Semolina noodle of your choosing. Roughly chop a cup of our Matiz Artichoke Hearts, 3/4 cup parsley, and 1/2 cup our Cambridge Naturals Brand Organic Almonds. Add them to the pasta along with half a cup of our Wild Planet Sardines in Olive Oil, some pecorino cheese, our Salt & Olive Olive Oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Now dig in! It's like a Mediterranean flavor explosion, contained entirely within your kitchen!

Another delicious recent addition to the store are a pair of wonderful gluten-free noodle options from King Soba. They come in two flavors. much love to the Pumpkin, Ginger & Rice, but it is my opinion that this recipe works better with the Sweet Potato & Buckwheat. First, make a marinade of soy sauce, our Bragg's Apple Vinegar, garlic, and some of the ginger powder and chili flakes from our bulk section. Marinate two packages of our delicious Fungi Ally Shiitake Mushrooms for at least a half an hour. Cook the mushrooms (along with all the marinade) with a cup or two of spinach and the cooking oil of your choosing. We always have many excellent options in stock. Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packaging, drain them. and add them to the pan with the mushrooms, spinach, and perhaps a splash of soy sauce. Let those flavors meld for a few minutes and you've got a yummy vegan meal without too much effort!

Another popular noodle here at Cambridge Naturals are the Lotus Foods Gluten Free Ramen. I've blogged some recipes using these in the past, so let's do something a bit different here today: Ramen burger buns! Looking for a new and delicious gluten-free way to enjoy your burger (or veggie burger)? Simmer 2 packages of Lotus Foods ramen, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Rinse them with cold water. Beat two of our Handsome Farm Pasture Raised Eggs in a bowl with salt and pepper and stir the noodles in until evenly coated. Divide the noodles into six small bowls, place a sheet of plastic directly over the noodles and stack another bowl on top to flatten them, then refrigerate about 20 minutes. Heat up a skillet with some oil. Invert each bowl, careful to preserve the ramen's "bun" shape. Fry them without moving the noodles for about three minutes, flip them, and fry and additional three minutes. Should be crispy on one side and slightly softer on the other. Plate crispy side up and pile high with your sandwich fillings. You'll never look at ramen the same way again!

So there you have it, a few ways (outside of our cognitive supplements) in which Cambridge Naturals can help you use your noodle! Bon apetit!