Healthy Eating

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!

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.

Marching into Wellness: Bitters and How They Make Us Better!

By Elizabeth, CN Co-Owner & Certified Nutritionist

There are many reasons for us to use bitters to “make ourselves better” on a regular daily basis (see the list below). 

At Cambridge Naturals, we offer an eclectic collection sure to please your palate for both cocktails and for good digestive health.

Bitters’ complex flavors do more than make your mouth pucker, or add “life” to a cocktail.  Bitters help us balance our appetite and our digestive processes by increasing the secretion of our digestive enzymes. And bitters are also known to help detoxify the liver. 

Made from the roots, barks, and flowers of many herb plants, bitters stimulate the production of saliva, gastric juices and bile.  

Where did this concept of using bitter plants for cocktails come from?  Bitters have a rich history in all the major civilizations of the ancient and modern world extending all the way from the ancient Egyptians to the 16th century prescriptions of the physician Paracelsus to the 19th century British practice of adding herbal bitters to wine …. all the way to today when we mostly think of them for cocktails with names like orange bitters, celery bitters, lemon bitters, Creole bitters, grapefruit bitters, chocolate bitters, peach bitters, and more.

Here are 2 new bitters from Urban Moonshine™ to please your palette:

Cider Vinegar Bitters (alcohol free), which “Supports Digestion” and is “Fast Acting Heartburn Relief.” It is both “Earthy and Sour!”

Healthy Liver Bitters, noted as “Sweet & Herbaceous” and it “Supports Digestion, Normal Detox & Healthy Cholesterol”

 
 

What Bitters Can Do For You:

  • Curb sugar cravings*
  • Soothe gas and bloating and relieve occasional heartburn*
  • Encourage production of bile & digestive enzymes*
  • Calm upset stomachs*
  • Increase absorption of vitamins A, D, E, K*
  • Help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels*
  • Balance appetite*
  • Ease constipation and regulate bowel movements*
  • Support liver function and healthy skin*

Ask our staff for some of our favorite bitters!

*This blog post — Bitters and How They Make Us Better! — 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.

Elevate your Tuna

By John, Grocery Buyer & The Naturalist Contributor

Ah yes, the humble tuna salad... a staple of brown-bagged lunches for countless American childhoods. But what happens when those children grow up? Often the simple joy of the tuna sandwich is cast aside in favor of other, supposedly more sophisticated tastes. It's easy to see why. It's a recipe which is simple to make, but surprisingly difficult to master. Thankfully, we here at Cambridge Naturals are ready to show you several ways in which you can recapture the childhood comfort of the tuna salad experience in several delicious and unique styles.

Let's start with our take on a classic tuna melt! First, prepare the tuna salad. Mix 2 cans of our Wild Planet Albacore Tuna with one Real Pickles Dill Pickle spear (diced), one teaspoon Mustard & Co Classic Grain Mustard, one tablespoon Matiz Garlic Aioli, a pinch of Curio Spice Co Aegean Salt, and a pinch of black pepper. Slice some Neighborly Farms Monterey Jack Cheese and layer it on a slice of Dan's Brick Oven Rye + Whole Wheat Bread. Add a healthy layer of the tuna salad and top with more bread. Fry it up, flipping every few minutes, in a skillet with some of our Organic Valley Cultured Pasture Butter. It's ready when the cheese is gooey and melty. Feel free to add some bacon or tomato slices to up your deliciousness factor a little.

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One of tuna's most delicious applications outside of sandwich form is of course in sushi. But can you make a sushi-inspired tuna salad hors douvre? You bet you can! For the salad itself, mix 2 cans of our Wild Planet Albacore Tuna with 2 tablespoons Real Pickles Ginger Carrots, 1 tablespoon Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo, and half a teaspoon Flora Sesame Oil (be very careful with that sesame oil, a little goes a long, long way!) Spoon the mixture onto Edward & Sons Tamari Seaweed Brown Rice Snaps. The bolder among you might even consider finely crushing some of our Seasnax Wasabi Stix, and sprinkling it on top. These little bites are great at parties so make sure to make a lot. They'll go fast!

Another way to be adventurous with the tuna salad concept would be to replace the tuna altogether. Why not a twist on some classic deli salmon? Mix 2 cans of our Wild Planet Wild Pink Salmon, 2 teaspoons Canaan Wild Caper Tomato Tapenade, and 1 tablespoon Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo. Spread a generous layer of our Kite Hill Almond Cream Cheese onto a Sunfood Raw Coconut Wrap along with a heaping helping of the salmon salad. Top with greens, tomato slices, a little red onion, or whatever your little heart desires. Wrap it on up and go to town! A delicious, dairy and gluten free sandwich that really hits the spot.

These three variations are simply a few of many possibilities where tuna (and salmon) salad are concerned, so come in and talk with our helpful grocery staff. We'll share our secret recipes if you share yours. Bon Appetit!

Monthly Muse: Tripp & Emily Nichols

Photo courtesy Emily Nichols  .

Photo courtesy Emily Nichols.

Since we left you to find your own muses throughout the holiday season, we decided to bring readers a double hitter this month! What better way to celebrate the start of a new year than by celebrating a power couple that shares small, local products every day? Tripp and Emily Nichols are the creators of Small Batch Daily, an Instagram account sharing a curated collection of American made artisanal food products. From salad dressing and jam to coffee and chocolate, it’s easy to find a new favorite or three by simply scrolling their feed and commenting “sold!” But their love of food and involvement in the industry began long before Instagram started. Read on to learn more about out January Muses!

What is your favorite place or thing to do in the Boston area (together or apart)?

There are many but a favorite go-to activity when friends are visiting is hitting up Sofra Bakery and strolling through Mt. Auburn Cemetery. The food at Sofra is unlike anything around and so, so good. Get the mezze plate with crick cracks no matter what you do. And Mt. Auburn is the perfect place to work up an appetite or walk it off. Sometimes people think it's odd when you suggest visiting a cemetery but it's wonderful. There are miles of walking trails, the landscaping is gorgeous, and from Washington tower there are phenomenal views of the city.

White + Navy Everyday Napkin by The Everyday Co. Photo courtesy  Small Batch Foods .

White + Navy Everyday Napkin by The Everyday Co. Photo courtesy Small Batch Foods.

What is the last book you couldn’t put down?

Do cookbooks count? Tripp just got me the Nantucket Open-House Cookbook and that's what's currently on my bedside table. It was published in 1987 and definitely has an Ina Garten vibe. In the non-food department I'm absolutely loving Jessica Klein's 'You'll Grow Out of It'. She's a writer for Inside Amy Schumer.

You’re both very involved in food and nutrition, how did that passion grow?

We both grew up in central Massachusetts in apple country and always loved all the seasonal food traditions we have here in New England. After college we each made our way to food through different paths. Tripp did a few stints on Alaskan salmon and crab fishing boats before moving on to the gourmet cheese world at Formaggio Kitchen where he worked for 8 years. Most recently he's traded cheese for beer and now works as Outreach Director for Mystic Brewery. After college I went on to Tufts to do a master's in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition. Since completing that degree I've worked at Tufts in childhood obesity prevention.

We love following the Small Batch Daily instagram account! What inspired you to start this company?

It was absolutely inspired by all the makers we met through Tripp's work in the cheese world. We met dozens of folks who'd quit their 9-5 to make jams, honey, chocolate, cookies, cheese, butter, etc. Many of them became our friends and I began experimenting a bit with helping to promote their products on the food blog I was writing at the time. When that was successful we had the idea to try and more regularly showcase small-batch products and hopefully introduce them to a larger audience.

Photo courtesy   Small Batch Foods  .

Photo courtesy Small Batch Foods.

Photo courtesy   Small Batch Foods  .

Photo courtesy Small Batch Foods.

What are some of the highlights of running a company together from your home? Have there been any unforeseen or humorous struggles to that venture?

It has been so much fun! The biggest highlight has been all the new makers we've met and connections that have been forged as a result. Makers learn about us on Instagram or through other makers and reach out. Those are always the most exciting emails to get. As for unforeseen struggles, sure things always pop up. We rely on Instagram which is always changing its algorithm but it keeps us on our toes.

As a couple that works together, do you have any tips for balancing work and home?

It's nothing special but just carving out specific time for work and setting it down when that time runs out. Otherwise it just bleeds into every part of your day.

Last but not least, what are each of your top 3 favorite Cambridge Naturals products?

This is an easy one:

  1. Counter Culture coffee! I love that Cambridge Naturals carries such excellent coffee. It's my go-to spot to find new brews.
  2. Caleb introduced Tripp to the John Masters Hair Texturizer. It's awesome stuff and I admit I even use it once in awhile too.
  3. Palo Santo incense. Emily and Caleb first introduced us to this wood you can burn as incense and it's divine. I love burning it at home especially around this time of year as winter sets in.

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us, Emily and Tripp! To see more, follow @smallbatchdaily on instagram!

Book Review: BEYOND BROCCOLI: Creating a Biologically Balanced Diet When a Vegetarian Diet Doesn’t Work

BEYOND BROCCOLI: Creating a Biologically Balanced Diet When a Vegetarian Diet Doesn’t Work
By Susan Schenck, Lac
Reviewed by Rosalind Michahelles, Certified Holistic Health Counselor

For those who are, were, or might become vegetarians, this is a useful book. Written by a woman whose earlier book The Live Food Factor extolled the nutritional benefits of raw plants. Courageous woman! When she found after six years of raw veganism that she didn’t thrive, she looked “beyond broccoli,” and, once her health was restored, she wrote this book.