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Posts Tagged ‘Crofters Organic’

Good Morning!! I’m in WAY too good of a mood for 8am on a mid-week day. I woke up today completely refreshed with nothing but oats on my mind! I’m seriously contemplating starting a club dedicated to oats. They are hearty, delicious, HEALTHY and so versatile. It is the one breakfast that I know will satisfy me and send me off with high spirits for the day. Today was no exception, and this bowl of Pumpkin oats was scrumptious. Yes, my word of choice today is scrumptious, because no other word seems to fit the sheer enjoyment contained in this bowl.

In the mix: 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 sliced banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, vanilla extract, 1/4 cup rolled oats, 2 TBS oat bran, 1/2 TBS chia seeds,  1/4 cup canned pumpkin (stirred in at the end).

Toppings: 1 Chopped Medjool date, the last of my Plain Chobani container ~1/4 cup, 1 TBS almond butter, and a big spoonful of Crofter’s Europe Superfruit Spread (black currants and pomegranate!).

The “brag” factors in this bowl were: Medjool Dates, Crofters and Oat Bran. I love the soft consistency of the dates, and the sweet “melt-in-your-mouth” feel they provide. They are such a nice pair with pumpkin and almond butter; something I have to remember next time I make pumpkin bread! The tart Crofter’s gave this bowl a little somethin’-somethin’. It  mixed so well with the Greek yogurt and provided a nice contrast between the sweet and spicy elements in the base of the bowl. Lastly, I am officially a fan of mixing oats. The rolled oats provide a slight chew factor and the oat bran leaves it nice and creamy; the perfect consistency for me :).

Back At It,

Nora

What is your “happy food”? Something that you can rely on to always treat you well?

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The Beginnings

Favorite Study Snack: Turkish Apricots Stuffed with Almonds

Happy Lick-Your-Almond-Butter-Jar-Clean Day Friday. Remember that almost empty jar I pictured yesterday? Well, I made sure to put it to good use today with Oats In a Jar! I have done this before with overnight oats, however; putting warm stove-top oats in a jar makes for an infinitely better melty-almond experience. I used my standard banana-oat mix ( 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/3 cup water, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, 1/2 banana, 1/3 cup steel-cut oats and 1/2 TBS chia seeds), mixed a handful of blueberries in at the very end, added the mixture to my almost empty Maranatha Almond Butter jar and topped with Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt, Crofter’s South America Superfruit Spread (Maqui berries and Passionfruit), chopped Turkish Apricots and Galaxy Vanilla Almond Granola. DELICIOUS! There were points were I literally was eating spoonfuls of ALMOND BUTTER! Whoever started this OIAJ trend needs an award. My favorite addition was the Turkish Apricots. I love dried apricots, and often snack on them with mixed nuts. (see picture above, my favorite way to eat them= stuffing with almonds!)  These are the most flavorful, and have the best texture. I find that bagged apricots are some times “gummy” and have a preservative taste. I only chopped 1 or 2 to put into my oats, and despite the other flavors, could taste them in every bite.

I’m headed home this afternoon for an eye doctors appointment. The pink eye I had about a month ago turned into an allergy and I have been wearing glasses ever since! I am glad to finally be glasses free, plus I get to go out for a fish dinner with my parents! (Fish because we don’t eat meat on Friday during lent/ I love fish! Can you believe Lent is almost over? I gave up caffeinated beverages, and only cheated a few times, plus get de-caf lattes and coffee so it’s not all bad! I have to say I have been feeling FANTASTIC being caffeine free.) With traveling comes ROAD SNACKS! It’s not a far drive so I packed some finger foods: 1 large carrot, 1 celery stalk, 1 Gala apple and left over mango sprinkled with cinnamon. I ended up eating another Gala apple while chopping all of this! They are so good! I made a spontaneous Lady Gaga CD purchase yesterday when I went to Target. I can’t remember the last time I actually bought a CD. This should be a fun one for the ride; there is something about her music that is….interesting to me.

In other news I am 99% sure that I am going to get a juicer this summer! I’m thinking about getting one from Breville. I found a few that were less expensive, but from past experience buying “cheaper” appliances, I know that they don’t always last and quality is extremely important. If anyone has suggestions let me know!

Have a Safe Weekend,

Nora

What is your favorite music? When was the last time you bought a CD?

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My Boyfriend.

Dinner tonight was met with indecision. Did I want something hot? Cold? Cheesy? Fish? Vegetarian? Grains? Pasta? Too many options! I haven’t made my simple Honey-Dijon Baked Salmon since summer, and my current beet/hazelnut obsession is still holding strong (I NEED A JUICER!!!). I decided to make a dish to incorporate both. Hmmm…beets and salmon what to make, what to make. A million ideas were flying through my head. I could make a beet sauce for the salmon, make a roasted beet and lentil salad and top it with salmon etc. I decided that the flavors I wanted to use for the salmon and for the elements of the lentil salad didn’t really work together. I ended up baking the Salmon with a Honey-Dijon Glaze, and made a side of Steamed Spinach topped with Warm Lentil Salad, Shredded Carrots, Roasted Beets in an Orange/Cranberry Sauce and Chopped Hazelnuts.

I loved the beets! After roasting, I diced them and added them to a small sauce pan with Orange Juice, Cinnamon and ~2 TBS Crofters North America Superfruit Spread. It was sweet and earthy; a perfect contrast to my spicy warm lentil salad, which was composed of: 1/4 Spanish Onion, 1/3 of a Large Carrot Diced, 1/2 Celery Stalk Diced, 1/4 Red Pepper Diced, chopped White Button Mushrooms, Green Lentils, Cumin, Curry, Red Pepper Flakes and Cracked Black Pepper (cooked in chicken broth). I ended up flaking the salmon on top of the side dish because the dijon/honey elements went so well with the flavors. It was a big success, but I have a few ideas in my head for next time ;)! I love experimenting in the kitchen; I never know what I will come up with.

Dessert was met with more indecision. Did I want chocolate? Fruit? Ice cream? YES!  Recently I have been loving natural chunky apple sauce (why do I never buy this?), and decided on that with some vanilla frozen yogurt and Maranatha Dark Chocolate Almond Spread (aka my boyfriend). I’d be lying if I said I didn’t go back for seconds of the apple sauce and dark chocolate almond, it was fantastic!

Dreaming of Food,

Nora

Do you ever “rediscover” foods that you love when you haven’t had them in a while?

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After two weeks of restaurant and “celebration” eating, it is about time to get back on track and back into the kitchen. Even when I eat “healthier” dishes on vacation, there is always MUCH more indulging. I figure that I don’t go out to eat or on trips that often so it is worth it. Well, two weeks later and my body is missing the variety of food I tend to eat at home, square meals and snacks. When my “food schedule” is off, I feel a bit off. A few times on our trip we would have late breakfasts, early lunches, and early dinners. I found I was either STARVING before a meal or not hungry at all. I’m so accustomed to having breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner each day, that when I change my habits for a few weeks I also notice a change in my energy levels.

I’m not one to think, “I’ve been eating really rich foods…so I’m going to diet for a while.” UGH. I hate that mentality. Everyone I know who has tried to diet seems miserable during the time and when they have a “cheat day” it is excessive and they go back to unhealthy dieting. I really do believe in the common notion of “everything in moderation.” I like how I feel when I eat foods that are good for me but that doesn’t mean I deny myself of a nightly bowl of ice cream (I have to have dessert every night!). Each day is a new day for healthy living. Even if I haven’t been eating the healthiest foods for an extended period of time, it is never too late for change.

I started my day with a cup of decaf green tea, an apple and Stove Top Steel-Cut Oats topped with Greek Yogurt, Crofter’s South America Superfruit Spread, and Toasted Almonds.

South America

I have to admit that I have about 6 different jams/fruit spreads/preserves in my fridge. I just love variety I suppose! This was such a hearty and cozy breakfast. I have missed my oats! I had some extra time this morning so decided I would make them on the stove top, which I think adds extra flavor and generates the perfect consistency. I started with 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a pinch of Kosher Sea Salt in a small sauce pan brought to a boil. I then added  1/3 cup steel-cut oats and cinnamon and cooked about 3-5 minutes on simmer until it was to my desired thickness. I topped the oats with a big spoonful of Greek Yogurt, melted (~2TBS) Crofter’s South America and Extra Toasted Almonds. I actually prefer my almonds be a bit darker because it adds GREAT flavor to the sweet/tart flavors of the jam and yogurt.

The combination of the South America Superfruit Spread and Greek Yogurt was amazing. The spread consists of Maqui Berry, Passionfruit, Red Grapes and Morello Cherries. I loved this combination. It was the last of the Superfruit collection that I tried, and has been one of my favorites! The yogurt is slightly sour and when added to the sweet/tart combination of the spread, with whole pieces of fruit made a luxurious cream for my filling oats.

Healthy and Happy Eating,

Nora

How do you “get back on track” after a period of indulgent eating? Do you change your typical routine, or start each day anew?

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I’m on the road again, this time traveling to NYC with my family for some BIG EAST BASKETBALL! GO SYRACUSE! (I have to pause for a moment and admit that I am not a huge sports fanatic, but Syracuse IS Basketball!) Since we are leaving at 8am, I did some prep work last night for breakfast and snacks. I made good use of a small Chinese food container, and made overnight oats for on the go with: 1/3 cup steel-cut oats, 1/3 cup Greek Yogurt, 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk and cinnamon. My brother will never understand me and kept questioning me as I was putting everything together, “Why are you planning breakfast when you can get better food at Dunkin Donuts?” Hmmm, well Andrew, Loaded Overnight Oats versus Doughnuts…not that I have anything against doughnuts, I just happen to like my almond butter and filling steel-cut oats a bit more than a greasy-two-bite doughnut that leaves me hungry an hour later. But that’s just me. Actually, I’m the only person in my family that really eats breakfast :(. It’s my favorite meal of the day, so you can imagine my disappointment. ANYWAYS, I added a Justin’s Almond Butter packet (good choice for on the go), 1/2 sliced banana and 1-2 TBS Crofter’s Asia Superfruit Spread.

Crofter's Asia Superfruit Spread

Overnight Oats That Travel

I decided to have another “food-venture”  by adding Crofter’s Asia Superfruit Spread to my overnight oats. I guess that means I am traveling with food and through food today. Their Asia spread contains Raspberries, Yumberries, Morello Cherries and Red Grapes. I’m actually surprised that I didn’t try this spread first. Who wouldn’t want to crack open a jar that contained something as fun sounding as yumberries?! My taste buds were tingling, it was such an unexpected tartness that I loved! I’ve never had a yumberry before but now know where the phrase “YUM” comes from, they were delicious! This would be amazing on a sice of whole grain sourdough bread with a bit of goat cheese!!

I also packed Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola into individual containers, two Greek yogurt cups, steel-cut oats, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, Jam, Amond Butter, Larabars, Clif Mini’s. Bananas and Apples. I’m not one to skip breakfast, even when the people I am traveling with opt out, so I thought it would be important to pack some healthy breakfast and snack options. Plus, I absolutely refuse to pay $10 for a bowl of granola, fruit and yogurt at a restaurant.

Healthy Travels,

Nora

How do you eat when you are away from home? Do you eat every meal at resturants or do you bring your own? Do you ever skip meals and snack through out the day?

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I woke up this morning FREEZING! My body was intensely craving the comfort of warm oats and peanut butter. (I didn’t have peanut butter in pure form yesterday for National Peanut Butter Day, so I am thinking it was a belated celebration craving? I have also been having a constant internal struggle about whether I prefer peanut butter or almond butter better. Clearly, I have a very exciting life.) I thought my warm oat craving would be the perfect place to try one of my sample’s from Crofter’s. I’m starting my global antioxidant Superfruit Spread adventures in North America: Wild Cranberries and Blueberries blended with Red Grapes and Morello Cherries.

North America

For the oats: 1/2 cup oats soaked in 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 cup water and cinnamon for 10 minutes microwave 1 minute (stir) return to microwave another minute until a consistency to your liking. Add 1 banana, 1 TBS Crunchy Natural PB and 1 TBS Crofter’s North American Organic Superfruit Spread.

Crofter’s states that each jar is packed with a pound of fruit, and they weren’t lying. When I opened the jar it was filled with whole pieces of cranberry and blueberry. This is the type of spread that you want to top everything with from poultry to ice cream. I was excited to try this particular fruit spread first  because it seemed unconventional using tart cranberries and blueberries instead of traditional sweet fruit. This reminded me of the cranberry relish I made over Thanksgiving: chunky, tart and slightly sweet. When combined with the peanut butter and oatmeal base,  I felt like I was eating a blueberry crumble with whole pieces of fruit in each bite. It provided a nice contrast to the sweetness of banana, and was all around a filling and enjoyable breakfast. I might have to incorporate this product into my lunch!

Load Your Oats,

Nora

Have you ever tried Crofter’s products? What is your favorite fruit  jam/preserve/spread topping?

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