Good Eats

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!

Surviving Thanksgiving Dinner (and beyond!)

By Bex, Supplements Buyer & The Naturalist Contributor

Some of you count down the days to Thanksgiving all year long, and are excited to gobble up a meal that brings together family, friends and tantalizingly decadent dishes. Others dread the massive feast and that heavy, sluggish feeling that follows it - particularly, when you have to undo that top button of the pants you wore specifically because they were loose. Ugh!

Regardless of which Thanksgiving camp you fall into, the day can be loaded with foods that make you feel, well, loaded. Sugar. Alcohol. Starches. Fat. Oh my! How do you avoid ending the night feeling like a stuffed turkey?

Now, some Thanksgiving survivalists suggest feasting with your eyes, rather than your mouth, but what if you are a Thanksgiving enthusiast (and pragmatist) who wants to indulge a little? How about enjoying the meal in a mindful way that supports your digestion, your taste buds and your waistline? Here are five Thanksgiving dinner survival tips to get you and your belly through the day! (And not to mention, the rest of the holiday season.)

1. Digestive bitters, digestive bitters, digestive bitters - and digestive enzymes.

The typical western diet is lacking in bitter foods, which help to jumpstart the production of digestive enzymes, bile and other digestive juices. Bitter tastes literally tell your entire digestive system, "Food is coming! Get working!". "Digestive Bitters" like those made by Urban Moonshine are traditionally used to support indigestion, nausea, gas, bloating, and balanced blood sugar levels. They encourage everything along the track - from our salivary glands to our intestines - to get the digestive party started. Consider grabbing a spray bottle of Urban Moonshine Bitters to stash in your purse or pocket Thanksgiving night. Take them about ten minutes before the big meal - and consider taking more after your meal if your gut needs a little extra love.

For those of you who need something that packs a little more punch, you may want to give digestive enzymes a whirl. Digestive enzymes support the process of breaking down food into smaller, more absorbable and digestible molecules. On Thanksgiving Day, we tend to eat more food in general, and often consume more fat, sugar, dairy, gluten and alcohol than usual. Enzymedica’s Digest Spectrum is specifically formulated to support those who suffer from food intolerances. Digest Gold is a high-potency enzyme formula, great for supporting your body in breaking down carbohydrates, fats, protein and fiber. Lypo Gold is a fantastic choice for those who aren’t used to consuming the richer foods on the Thanksgiving table and could use a substantial dose of lipase to support efficient fat digestion. Digestive enzymes are most often taken right before or during a meal, but many people find them to be effective within 30 minutes of a meal.

2. Eat a wholesome breakfast and drink lots of water!

It may seem counterintuitive to start your day with food when you know there will be so much more of it on your plate later. However, fueling your body in the morning can help you stave off some of the hunger pangs and low blood sugar crashes that can lead to overeating. Drinking enough water throughout the day can also support normal hunger levels and help your body process the high amount of salt that often comes with a heavy Thanksgiving meal.

3. Joy Tonic by Urban Moonshine

For those of you who are terrified about your crazy in-laws imposing their political beliefs upon everyone at the dinner table, we understand. For those who feel uneasy when there is enough food on your table to feed your family for a week and there are people starving in this world, we understand. For those who feel conflicted about the very origins of this 'Thanksgiving' tradition, we understand. Whatever may be causing your Thanksgiving Day anxieties, Urban Moonshine’s Joy Tonic could be the stress support that turns your day around. Formulated with uplifting herbs that promote peacefulness, inspiration and positivity, just a teaspoon of Joy Tonic can help provide that gentle emotional boost necessary to make it through the feast with a smile.

4. Plant Sterols

If you are at all concerned about the high cholesterol in turkey, not to mention other heavy foods weighing down your plates (and stomachs) this Thanksgiving, taking plant sterols might be a worthwhile investment in your health. Since plant sterols have a similar structure to cholesterol, they support the absorption and metabolism of cholesterol so that it is eliminated through your stool. As you have probably heard us say, we are not doctors or pharmacists, but clinical studies and customer experiences demonstrate that plant sterols can lower total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol. We recommend Plant Sterols 500 mg by Blue Bonnet

5. GIVE THANKS! And, start those New Years Resolutions early. 

Get into the spirit of the holiday and express your gratitude for the people, experiences and transformations that have positively impacted your year. Alternatively, make some proactive commitments for how you will support your community (global or local) and honor your values in the year ahead. Share these with the table - positive affirmations can ease anxiety and bring joy to those around you in difficult times. 

As a thank you for reading this entire article, here are some extra credit tips: 

  • Probiotics can be a great way to support the optimal environment for your gut. Cambridge Naturals Brand (including our line of Probiotics) is still on sale 20% off through the month of November!
  • If you end up feeling bloated or gassy, Gaia makes a great formula called (seriously): Gas and Bloating. It includes some pretty remarkable digestive herbs.
  • Get outside! A Thanksgiving hike will help burn those calories and get your digestive system humming along. Plus, you can avoid the crazy in-laws for another hour or so. 
  • And of course… come by the store or give us a call if you have any other nutritional questions!

This blog post 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.

Soups for Days with Five Way!

It’s that time of year again. We’re turning back the clocks, it’s getting dark early, and we’re all settling in for another long, cold New England winter. But it doesn’t have to be all gloom: this is an opportunity to get comfy and cozy. Cuddle up with a good book, a warm blanket, and a nice, hot soup!

Of course, the most important component of any soup is the broth. Here at Cambridge Naturals we have several excellent broth brands, but my personal favorite is Five Way Foods. They’re a not just a locally-based company, they also locally source the ingredients for their chicken, fish, and veggie broths. So when you buy their products from us, you’re supporting the local economy at least three times over! How cool is THAT?!

I’ve come up with a simple recipe suggestion for each of their three broths, using lots of ingredients you can find here at Cambridge Naturals. With any luck, they’ll leave you imagining hundreds of other ways to warm up your winter with Five Way. The possibilities are limitless!

First up is an option that is both vegan and gluten-free. Simmer some carrots, peas, and onion in 16 ounces of Five Way Ginger Veggie Broth until the veggies are soft. Add a packet of Lotus Foods Forbidden Rice Ramen and cook for another four to five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the ramen’s miso packet. If you’re looking for a little extra heat, add some of our Kitchen Garden Brand sriracha to taste.

If you’d rather sample the tastes of the sea, simmer 16 ounces of Five Way Foods fish bone broth with our Maine Coast Sea Vegetables Alaria (Wakame) seaweed. Stir in South River Garlic Red Pepper Miso and finish with some of our ready-to-eat Gold Mine Kelp Noodles. The Atlantic may be frigid right now, but its bounty is as comforting as a warm, fishy hug!

Finally, a true winter comfort food: chicken and rice soup! Cook up some of our Tru Roots Organic Sprouted Rice Trio. Add to 16 ounces of Five Ways chicken bone broth along with celery, carrots, and some chopped, dried shiitakes from our bulk section. Season with a few pinches of Curio Spice Company's Kozani Spice Blend. You'll be radiating a deep inner warmth in no time!

If you want to level up your textures, try crumbling some Jovial Sea Salt Einkorn Crackers over any of these soups. Or simmer in any number of the healing herbs from our bulk section for a delicious wellness boost. There are a million scrumptious ways to enjoy Five Ways broth! Come on into Cambridge Naturals and talk to any of our brilliant and beautiful grocery staff for additional suggestions.

Let's Do Brunch!

By John B, Grocery Buyer, CN Blog Contributor, and Brunch Aficionado

Ah, brunch.  Not quite breakfast, not quite lunch, but a perfect excuse to gather with friends and catch up ahead of your afternoon plans. But what about the weekend crowds? The waits? The lines? These can be frustrating, especially for the brunch-goers among us who are just trying to nurse their hangovers with some fried food and a little hair of the dog in peace. Too bad it would be such a hassle to organize a brunch get-together at your own place, right? WRONG! With a little help from the Cambridge Naturals grocery section, you can put together a full vegetarian brunch spread, with appetizer, main course, dessert, and cocktails, that will be easy to prepare, not to mention much more nourishing and healthful than anything at your local greasy spoon.

Let's start with the first course. This one is as simple as it comes: Smear our Lundberg Brown Rice Thin Stackers with some Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Blend and top with a sprinkling of Phoney Baloney’s Coconut Bacon. This vegan sweet-and-savory combo will be sure to wake up your taste buds. Even connoisseurs of “real” bacon will find it irresistible!

For the main course, let's talk Tex Mex. I was in Austin recently, and a brunch staple there which the northeast sorely lacks are migas, a fantastic scrambled egg and tortilla dish. For a somewhat non-traditional take, start by frying some diced tomatoes, bell peppers, and onion in our Dr. Bronner's Coconut Oil. Rather than frying day-old tortillas, just have some of our Jackson's Honest Tortilla Chips nearby. Add the chips and some well-beaten eggs into the pan with the veggies, shred in some of our Neigborly Farms Savory Pepper Cheddar Cheese and scramble it all up! For a little added heat, our Los Roast X-Hot Chile Sauce makes a great condiment. Serve with a side of black beans or home fries, if that strikes your fancy.

Photo of migas via  Pinch of Yum

Photo of migas via Pinch of Yum

After those hot and spicy eggs, your guests are sure to want something cool and sweet. Try making a parfait of our Organic White Mountain Bulgarian Yogurt with thin layers of Fiordifrutta fruit spreads and any of our delicious granolas. 

Now that you've got a good, strong base of delicious brunch treats in your belly, it's time for that post-meal cocktail. Mix 3/4 oz of Bushwick Kitchen's Trees Knees Cinnamon Maple Syrup, 3/4 oz dark rum, and 8 oz of our Slingshot Cold Brew Coffee. Stir and pour over ice. Voila! The perfect cap to a great meal. Your guests will think you are a culinary genius, I guarantee it.

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These are just a few ideas to get you started based on what we have in our always changing, expertly curated grocery section. Come on in or get in touch for more ideas; or tell us some of your own!