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Cantaloupe Icee: Vegan, Paleo, sugarfree, milk free

cantaloupeAfter starting a vegan cleanse today, and looking for this recipe for an hour, I decided I better add it to the recipes here at OE, so I don’t have to search for it again! And you’ll thank me. This is so super easy and yummy, if you love cantaloupe that is. Not sure it would work for any other melons except maybe honey dew, since its texture is similar. So, if you try another fruit, let us know (in the comments).

I am not going to give you amounts because you’re going to make this one according to your tastes. I will give you ingredients:

cantaloupe, cut to fit into blender, maybe start with half a cantaloupe for your first try

ice, about half as much as the cantaloupe

lime, I only use about 1/4 of a lime for a half a cantaloupe, but hubby likes to have more. Lime cannot be substituted and I’ve never made this without it. It’s like the secret key ingredient in this somehow. Just trust me.

mix in the blender until smooth, I use the “smoothie” setting on my Blendtec.

Here are some optional things you can add. My cantaloupe was not sweet enough, so I added a few drops of stevia to help it. If yours is sweet, try it first without the sweetener before you add anything. I have not tried it with honey or any other sweetener, so I do not know if it will change the flavor. You could add a milk of choice to make this more like a smoothie instead of an icee, but the flavor of the milk, will cover the cantaloupe and lime taste.  You can add a drop of vanilla, but it will take away from the tartness of the lime, so choose wisely. Again, hubby prefers the tart. Experiment with it to see what you like. You will want to serve this immediately because it’s just not pretty when the cantaloupe starts separating from the liquid. And that’s all there is to it. So easy. Enjoy!

Encouraging Health,

Organic Eater

What You Should Know About Poultry Production Claims | Marks Daily Apple

What You Should Know About Poultry Production Claims | Marks Daily Apple.

I have many people ask me about reading poultry labels, and a blog post about it has been on my to-do list for months. Thankfully, Marks Daily Apple recently posted this, and I can just pass the info along to you guys! Just click on the link above and be informed! Educate your children as soon as they’re old enough to shop.

Additional notes from Organic Eater: “no water added” is sometimes on labels and that was not covered in the link above. You DO want to buy “no water added” chicken so that you are paying for the weight of the MEAT and not the weight of the water inside the meat. Processing chicken can involve a water solution in the meat before freezing it, so when you pay by the pound, you are paying for the weight of the water that was added. I do not know if that water is necessarily toxic, but I surely wouldn’t want to pay for water in the meat. This is helpful when comparing prices, because you may not be paying much more per MEAT pound when you compare the two. Just something to be aware of.

If pastured meats are absolutely not in your budget, or your only option is grocery store meats (CAFO, factory meats), eat the leanest and lightest (no dark meats) cuts you can find, ie chicken breasts. The toxins in CAFO factory meats can end up in the fat of the animal, so eating leaner cuts may be a way of cutting down on toxins. And consider that pork and chicken are NEVER allowed (per USDA standards) hormones the way beef is allowed hormones, so that fact may be helpful in determining the best of the worst choices. IF your budget has room for all pastured meats, then by all means, eat that yummy fat and dark meat! Does that make you squeemish because you’ve heard for years that saturated fat is unhealthy? See this page with a link to how healthy saturated fats really are or see this post from the Wellness Mama, with expert Chris Masterjohn. Lastly, if eating out, your best option is probably going to be a vegetable plate since finding pastured meats in restaurants is rare. Although, then there’s that whole issue of rancid processed oils that the vegetables are cooked in, and that’s no good either, so maybe it’s a toss up….

Here is the page for Beef Labeling Resources

Encouraging Health, …and smart shopping

Dana, Organic Eater

chicken and apple fresh color resized

The Seafood “Dirty Dozen” Guide

The fish stand in Lam's Seafood Market

On this blog, I try not to “recreate the wheel”. There are some fantastic resources out there, and I love finding them and putting them “in one place” here at Organic Eater, so you can reference them easily. So, when I came across this clean seafood resource (again) this week, I knew it could be very helpful to the omnivores and pescatarians out there who want to “eat clean” as much as possible. If you’re like me, summer means eating more fish! There is usually a summer beach trip or two since we live near the Carolina beaches, so of course that means eating fresh catch on those trips! This resource can help us make better decisions about clean eating when buying fish, due to the farming practices and mercury content, similar to the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list for pesticides on produce. There is also a wallet version you can print to keep with you if you like. Enjoy and eat clean!

www.foodandwaterwatch.org  will take you to the website, and you can search for the “Smart Seafood Guide 2012” if you want that printable. This website is full of extremely helpful info, so check it out!

Encouraging Health,

Organic Eater

Encouraging Health through Instagram Pictures

Good morning! I have an idea I wanted to share with you all. I know many of you are not on Instagram and have no intention of starting it. I understand. Social Media does have its down side. BUT Instagram pictures are fun and I’m on there almost every day sharing tips and encouragement (it is so much easier than creating a blog post!!), so I thought I would bring Instagram to you once a week. Something like a “week in pictures” post. IF you like it, let me know so I will know if it’s of interest to my readers or not. Let’s try it and see. I will not label or describe each one, just enjoy the view. But, if you have questions about anything, feel free to leave questions in the comments. OK, we’re off…..

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paleo bread

beets

organic farm

eggs and Tebow

loveinalunchbox

egg and veg bfast

me and mom

Hope something in here inspires you toward a healthier life, aka #lowcraplifestyle!:)

Encouraging Health,

Dana, the Organic Eater

My First “Farm to Fork Dinner” : the Good Life in NC

ImageFriday night I experienced one of the most lovely evenings one could imagine! In Union County, NC there is small but thriving organic farm at the corner of Way-On-Out-There and Are-We-There-Yet. They grow “beyond organic” produce, which means pesticide free (blog post explaining that term is coming soon) produce for Atherton Market and for 7th Street Market on Saturdays. The Ross family hosted their first “Farm to Fork Dinner” at their farm, and it was one of the happiest nights of my foodie life!

It was the ultimate in “eat local” and “eat seasonal”!

Upon arrival, we could feel the peace of country living flowing in and the stress of city-life ebbing away.  We breathed in the fresh air and blooming flowers. We toured the organic vegetable gardens, strolled among the blueberry bushes, marveled at the edible flowers and herbs, and smiled at “the ladies” who greeted us from behind the chicken wire. Dinner was being created by Roots as we toured the farm. Then we gathered, about 30 of us, to hear from Baucom’s Best about the exceptional quality of the pastured chicken we were going to enjoy at dinner (did we ever!). The food was blessed, and we were grateful to sit down to what we knew would be an amazing meal (Roots has an exceptional reputation here in the Carolinas!) I was so excited, my real-food-foodie-heart was about to burst! And then the serving dishes were placed on the pristine white tablecloths for us to eat “family style” and we dug in. Perfection pictured below:IMG_0133

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Local greens, flowers, and beets, with parmesan "crackers"

Local greens, flowers, and beets, with parmesan “crackers”

Pasta with herbs and vegetables from the garden

Pasta with herbs and vegetables from the garden

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Main Course: local pastured chicken

Dessert: Strawberry Milkshake and Biscotti

Dessert: Strawberry Milkshake and Biscotti

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Almost everything on the menu was from the Ross’ farm, Bell’s Best Berries, but any additional ingredients were definitely local. Chicken came from Baucom’s Best, another local union county farm.

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The beauty of the farm is indescribable. Not enough adjectives to properly put into words.

This “Bells Best Berries” Farm also happens to be where I spend my Fridays, helping the Ross family prepare for Saturday’s Markets and CSA members (Community Supported Agriculture). Can you imagine a more lovely place to “work”?! It’s a beautiful commute, and the benefits are innumerable. If you have any questions about their CSA membership or buying produce from the markets, you can contact them on their Bells Best Berries Facebook page. I will include more pictures from the dinner below, if you care to look. I hope you too will find your own local sources of organic or pesticide free produce and be able to participate in a Farm to Fork dinner in your area. Let me know if you do!

A big thank you to the Ross family of Bells Best Berries farm, Roots catering and Baucom’s Best farm! Let’s go ahead and get another one on the calendar!

Encouraging Health,

Organic Eater

IMG_0108IMG_0109IMG_0110IMG_0111IMG_0129 IMG_0130IMG_0139 IMG_0143 IMG_0147all photos taken with my iPhone. Thank you for being awesome, Apple.