Posted by & filed under Food Philosophy.

Here’s a little disclaimer for you: The ‘couscous’ we’ll be talking about really isn’t couscous. You, therefore, lose out on the supergrain advantage; however, these substitutes not only come close in the taste department, but win out nearly just as much in the health department, and the bonus is this: you will go gluten-free with these two options. And you can’t compete with that.

Think CAULIFLOWER and RED LENTILS, and You’re on the Right Trackgo-gluten-free-couscous

Cauliflowers? Really? Yes, it’s true. You prep those cauliflowers the right way, and you’ll have something so comparable to couscous that you won’t even know the difference. Simply blend the raw cauliflower in a processor. That’s all you need to do — instant couscous, and you’ll go gluten-free. You don’t even need to cook it. Eat it raw. But if you want to warm those ‘grains’ up, simply use a little oil in a pan, and the rest is flavor.

Red lentils are even more of a substitute without many not even knowing it. They don’t associate these tiny little beans to be anything even close to couscous. However, if you boil those red lentils until tender, they’re pretty comparable. All you need to do is drain and dry. Replace with anything couscous or risoni, and you can’t go wrong. It’s like having pasta, or the supergrain — only it’s a freakin’ bean. And beans are really high in that protein you want — all without the gluten.

They’re Creative Options, No Doubt When You Go Gluten-Free for Dinner

But believe us — that’s only two of the several options available for going gluten-free for dinner. You’ve got several opportunities to make dinner spectacular. All you need is the know-how and the will. Now you’ve got both. Pour some wine and make it special. And don’t forget the organics while you’re at it!

 

Posted by & filed under Food Philosophy.

It’s true, actually. What…. You don’t believe us? We don’t blame you. After all, the one thing that remains to be the standard of baking is the fact that you need grains. Flour. Even eggs. A lot of that stuff contains gluten. One would think that saying baking can be gluten-free is like saying being sick with Pneumonia isn’t a big deal! Look…. If you’re going to go gluten-free, at least go gluten-free with style, pizzazz, and a little flavor! It’s not asking for much….

That’s Why These Two Options Might Actually Make It Worth Your While

First off, there’s a little something called almond meal flour. Never heard of it? Most haven’t. The amazing thing about this type of ‘flour’ is that it’s made from almonds, a nut as with all other nuts that is completely gluten free. Regular flour can be gluten-free as well, only low on protein. When it comes to baking, though, you need that protein. Baking can be gluten-free with thebaking-can-be-gluten-free protein, though, as long as you go with some sort of nut meal. Other options include chickpeas and quinoa, believe it or not. You just need to know what to look for, and your basic staple of baking’s all taken care of!

Then there’s something called GF ‘pastries’. You use these GF pastries to make tarts without having to use any of the shortbreads typical for that. As we know, shortbreads are also rich in gluten. All you need to do to get creative with it is get some good ol’ cookies labeled gluten-free, or biscuits for that matters, break it all up and combine with some melted butter. You get something very similar to the shortbread we all love, but without the gluten. It’s simple. Then all you need to do is mix it in with the tart shell, chill it, and then it’s ready for the love.

And When You Think About It, Just Based on That…. The Sky’s the Limit!

Your scope just increased by 110% there. You’ve got the flour substitutes taken care of. And you’ve got the shortbread stuff handled in short order, too. Talk about options for going gluten-free. Now we’ve got baking taken care of. Let’s celebrate with some cakes!

 

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The one thing people don’t like about going gluten-free is sacrificing some of the rich, wholesome foods we all love. And what’s dinner other than wholesome? Basically nothing else! It’s no wonder not many people are interested in gluten-free options for all meals. However, we’ve got the goods here. So listen up. This list will change your mind drastically.

Think Creativity. This List for Making Your Dinner Gluten-Free Is Exactly That.

How so? For starters….making-your-dinner-gluten-free-1

It’s Weird That We Made It That Easy to Completely Cut Your Gluten From Your Dinner Plans

It actually is when you think about it. It just takes a quick switch. The mindset has to go a different direction. When it does, it’s like clockwork. Your dinner stays just as wholesome as usual. You just got creative with the choices, and before you knew it, you’re still eating hearty and healthier thanks to eliminating what you don’t want.

Making your dinner gluten-free doesn’t have to be a complete eradication of everything you love about food. It’s strategic. It’s focused. And it’s also a big commitment. Do yourself a favor and commit to these tips, because one thing’s for sure: your body’s going to thank you in a real big way!

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You have some considering breakfast to be the most important meal of the day — and then there are those who just can’t go through one day without having lunch. It’s like that bridge in the day, getting you from one island to the next. What stinks about lunch, though, is the fact that your options are limited if you have to go gluten free. That would be a gluten nightmare unlike anything you’ve ever seen for good reason, because when you’re working that 9-5, 40 hours a week, five lunches packed with gluten can make for a disaster.

There Are Options, Available, Though, to Subvert the Gluten Nightmaregluten-nightmare-leaf-lettuce and Still Eat Healthy

And we have those options right here:

  • Lettuce Leaf Wraps — You’d be surprised how fresh and tasty these can be if done right. Really all you’re losing is the tortilla bread or sliced bread, but you can still pack those leaves with all the goodies you want!
  • Lunchbox Salads — It’s a common misconception that a “salad” has to be all about greens. You can add all sorts of protein, cheese, dressings, you name it. It’s a plethora of culinary treasure without the grains loaded with gluten.
  • Legume Salads — Heat those lentils, chickpeas, or beans with your favorite sandwich filling, and you’ve got a kind of stew. Think about it. Pulled pork. Chicken salad. Tuna. Those legumes round it out and fill you up.

And You’ve Got Plenty of Other Options for the Other Meals as Well

Sure, lunch is awesome. Don’t skip out on breakfast or dinner, though, and this gives you the goods on what you need to do to go completely gluten free. The key is creativity. And remember: protein’s your best friend! After all, that’s where the flavor comes from anyway. Who needs the bread! We don’t!

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See? Told you there was more to check on regarding your gluten-free journey. For those asking “what is gluten?”, not only will this answer the question definitively here, but in terms of breakfast — especially if that’s your favorite meal of the day — there are some additional options available, making it that much easier to go gluten-free without losing out on some of the breakfast stuff you absolutely love.

Ever Heard of “Quinoa Porridge”?quinoa gluten-free

Not many have, in fact. And it’s quite the simple innovation. First off, there’s quinoa, a super-grain so versatile that not only can you have it as an effective side dish to many dinners, but you can even have it for dessert if prepared the right way. This is a super-food packed with all the goodies your body needs and without the gluten you never could ask for.

Even better…. quinoa remarkably has the same consistency as oats! The size of the grains say it all. Flavor it with anything from brown sugar, to apples, to — well, just about anything. And you cook them just like oats. How’s that for gluten-free?

What About Chia Seed Bran? That’s Gluten-Free.

We’re sticking into the same realm of super-food genius here as chia seeds also have similar benefits, all without the gluten. In this case, chia seed bran can make for one heck of a great cereal, replacing the oats and the wheat cereals we’re so used to eating. Yes, the same chia seeds growing out of your chia pet, you can eat.

And Then There’s Psyllium Husk

Another option replacement for cereal — only this is a fibrous food so capable of regulating your gut. This particular substance is even used in Metamucil, a treatment designed to help you with constipation. You get all the fiber without any of the gluten, and the bonus? You’re hydrated. You’re fueled for the day. And you did it all without having to sip coffee or gulp down an energy drink.

You Can Get Any of These Foods at a Health Store

In fact, many grocery stores may also have it. Do the research. Your life to enjoy food doesn’t have to end with you annihilating gluten from your diet. There’s still possibilities for you! All you need is the information. And you can get it right here.

 

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Here’s a little disclaimer for you: gluten isn’t necessarily bad; just not for everybody! We want to make that very clear. However, one thing’s for sure: when the doctor tells you that you need to stay away from it (after asking the question: “what is gluten??”), you’re sort of up a creek as far as choices —

Let’s See, You Can’t Have BreadYou Can’t Have Oats, You Can’t Have….fried-egg-gluten

Okay, it’s going to be a pain to stay away from it. We get it. Thankfully, Golden Gate Organics has some options available particularly for breakfast (which as you know is understandably heavy on the grains).

  • Go With Eggs Instead of Toast — Eggs take a bit more time to prepare, yes, but it’s well worth it when you have to stay away from the grains.
  • Granola Can Be Gluten Free — Surprisingly, despite the fact that gluten’s a group of natural proteins in certain kinds of foods, it just so happens that you can have your granola gluten free!
  • And Believe It or Not, so Can Yogurt — Forget the fact that many of you are probably surprised over yogurt actually containing those proteins…. Yes, you can get yogurt without gluten as well.

And that’s just the start of it.

You Have Plenty of Other Gluten-Free Options

And with a little creativity, breakfast doesn’t have to be a downer for you when you’re stuck with only those glue protein possibilities. Even restaurant menus these days have specific options available. You’ll love part II of this little series, cluing you in on the secrets of eradicating those food binders from your diet and going with premier health. And there’s plenty more where that came from, so stay tuned for even more information. Feel free to check out our organics, because that’s where it’s all at: veggies and fruits. The king of quality care.

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Balance Omnivore Diet Non-Meat Protein-Rich Foods

Amidst the perpetual buzz about meat or no meat, which kind of meat, vegetarian or vegan – there is a simple truth: humans need protein to be live. Protein is considered the building block of bone, connective tissue, cartilage, blood and skin. It also plays a vital role in building muscle mass and making tissue repairs, producing enzymes and hormones and so on.

We also know that the healthiest humans typically consume less saturated fats than their unhealthy counterparts. Thus, regardless of “label-able” dietary preferences, it’s in all of our best interest to balance our diets with non-meat, protein-rich foods.

Best Non-Meat Foods That Are High in Protein

Here are some of the best, non-meat foods that pack a powerful protein punch.

Crack Those Eggs. Several years ago, eggs got a bad reputation for being high in bad cholesterol. That’s because grain-fed chickens that are cooped up in pens do tend to produce nutrient-deficient eggs that have higher LDL cholesterol levels. Is that so hard to imagine?

If you raise your own chickens, or purchase your eggs from farmers who give their chickens plenty of organic feed and room to forage for themselves, the eggs’ nutrient content is significantly elevated so you don’t have to worry so much about unhealthy cholesterol. Read, Benefits of Farm Fresh Eggs, to learn more.

Learn to love legumes. Oh, yes, you knew this one was coming. Anyone who’s never gone anywhere near a vegetarian entree still seems to absorb the news that legumes – aka beans – are loaded with protein – and they’re right. Beans – particularly adzuki, black, kidney and pinto – are full of both protein and fiber. In fact, depending on the beans you eat, 1 cup of beans can have about the same amount of protein as one cup of cooked chicken – no joke. They’re good for your calorie count, your heart and your digestive tract. Put them in soups, toss them with salads, puree them in “cream of whatever soups.” Beans are extremely versatile, and since they dry and store well they’re a year-round favorite.

Eat your almonds raw or roasted. There are lots of foods that are considered “world’s healthiest” out there – but almonds are pretty neat. For a small little seed, they provide a powerful nutritional boost – including high levels of biotin, vitamin E, manganese, copper, B2 and more. They’re also full of protein. Raw is best, soaked-and-sprouted can up the protein value, and roasted are still pretty health (just watch the salt content on those).

Spirulina from the sea. You’ll have to look a little harder to find spirulina because it’s not on the produce aisle (usually). Most likely, you’ll find spirulina in the supplement section where they sell powders to add to your smoothies or juice. It’s also a common ingredient in high-quality green powders. Spirulina really is a superfood. It’s a type of blue-green algae and 62% of its makeup is amino acids (aka building blocks of proteins). It also seems to have some pretty positive effects on the immune system. You can add it to juice in the morning, sprinkle it into your smoothie combo, etc.  Because spirulina is a supplement, you should always talk to your doctor before adding it to your diet.

Add quinoa to your grocery list. There are three reasons why we love quinoa: it’s delicious, it’s full of protein and it’s gluten-free. It’s also versatile (oops! There’s #4). You can cook it like rice, mix it up with other ingredients to make a salad, add it to soup, mix it with egg (See #1) and other stuff and fry it up in patty form, etc. etc. Some more bonus facts about quinoa? It contains powerful antioxidants and is a healthy source of Omega-3 fatty acids.

All those greeny, green greens. People mistakenly believe that plants are devoid of protein. Hello?!? Every single one of their cell walls contain protein. Of all the plants out there, rich, green vegetables and greens seem to have some of the highest protein levels. Specifically, broccoli, spinach, kale, chard, and asparagus rank up there towards the top. Incorporate these organic veggies (throw in some beans and/or eggs for extra measure) and you’re looking at some seriously non-mean, protein-rich eatin’.

Looking for healthy sources for organic, protein-rich foods for you and your family? Check out the goods here at Golden Gate Organics. You can put them in your virtual cart and we’ll deliver them to your brick-and-mortar door.

Posted by & filed under Food Philosophy, fruit.

whats skinny fruit dieting

Wondering where fruit comes in (or stays out) of your diet and weight loss plan? It can get a bit confusing these days. The reality is what whether or not you can eat fruit on your diet depends on what your diet is supposed to accomplish. If you are on a “high protein/low carb” plan – such as the Adkins or South Beach, fruit intake may be very limited during certain phases. Almost all other diets, however, recommend eating lots of organic fruit – and with good reason.

In addition to being loaded with vitamins, nutrients and fiber (part of what makes them a low-glycemic index food** choice) – fresh fruits are also full of water – most being almost 90% water when all is said and done.

**Not sure what that term, “Low Glycemic Index” is all about? Read Healthline’s, 10 Low Glycemic Fruits… to learn more.

Learn To Balance Organic Fruit Servings Depending on Your Health Goals

That being said, carbohydrates inherent in your favorite fruits can rack the calorie count up if you aren’t careful. So, we recommend learning to balance your daily fruit intake based on your personal diet and health goals. DO make it a point to prioritize organic fruits. Studies continually show that pesticides aren’t as easy to “wash off” as you’d think, especially since many of the chemicals are absorbed by fruit’s skin – where they settle into the fruits’ flesh…and are consumed by you. Not good.  Always prioritize fruits and veggies that are certified organic or grown by farms that use pesticide- and herbicide-free, sustainable practices.

You’re most interested in eating a healthy, well-rounded diet

If your primary goal is to eat a healthy, well-rounded diet, Harvard University’s Healthy Eating Plate is an excellent guide for the whole family. It’s based on the most recent research, including a 2007 meta-analysis study published in the “Journal of Human Hypertension” that showed adults who ate more than 5-servings of fruits and vegetables each day had significantly reduced risks of developing heart disease. Harvard nutritionists recommend that at least a quarter or each meal plate be devoted to our colorful fruit friends (typically about 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit per day, or at least 1/3rd cup per meal).

To get an idea of what your portions should look like, visit the Adult Energy Needs and BMI Calculator from BCM. This tool will take your gender, height, weight, age and activity level into account when calculating your BMI, establishing whether you are “at a healthy weight,” “overweight,” or “obese.” It will also provide information about your target caloric intake for maintaining that weight.

You are interested in losing weight

If you are interested in losing weight, but do not feel blood sugar levels are an issue for you at this point (i.e. your doctor hasn’t said you are at risk for or have type 2 diabetes), fruit can certainly comprise a satisfactory portion of your diet.

As we mentioned above, fresh fruit is full of water and fiber, both of which help you to feel full longer and are also good for digestion and your heart. For this reason, those interested in losing weight are typically fine leaving their fruit servings alone (eating plenty of fruits from all colors of the rainbow). Replacing seasonal ripe fruit for your favorite go-to, processed sweet cravings is a smart way to ditch extra calories and boost nutritional intake.

Some fruits are even shown to help people lose weight. These include:

Berries are at the top of any nutritionist’s “best fruit for weight loss list” because they are lower on the glycemic index and they are packed full of fiber – strawberries, raspberries and blueberries in particular. Another bonus? Berries are loaded with antioxidants, which help to fight free radicals that contribute to inflammation, cancer and other serious health conditions.

Grapefruit. Yep, you’ve seen this on the plates of dieters for generations – and there’s a reason for it. Grapefruit is another low-sugar, high-nutrient plate filler – loaded with vitamin C. The key is to purchase ripe grapefruit, in-season, to get the most flavor bang for your buck. If you think you don’t like grapefruit, odds are you’ve never had a good one.

Apples. At only about 100 calories per piece of fruit – apples are easy to take with you and eat on the fly – sans packaging. With the huge range of heirloom varieties available these days, do a taste test with the family and let everyone pick their favorite varieties.

Finally, don’t neglect avocados. Yes, they are a fruit and they also contain some of the healthiest fat and oils you can find in a food product. Trying to reduce your fatty-meat consumption? Add avocado to salads, smoothies and alongside your eggs and you’ll be the better for it.

You’re trying to maintain your target weight and balance your blood sugar levels

If balanced blood sugar levels are a priority for you, you may have to shift your fruit intake just a bit. First, prioritize fruits that are on the low-glycemic end of the spectrum – including cherries, grapefruits, berries, prunes, apricots, peaches, plums, apples and pears. Sprinkling a little cinnamon on your fruit, smoothies and oatmeal can also help since cinnamon is thought to lower insulin resistance.

Interested in adding a variety of fresh, seasonal and certified organic fruits to your meal plates and snack time? Visit Golden Gate Organics, load up your cart, and we’ll cheerfully deliver it right to your door.

Posted by & filed under Food Philosophy.

We normally think gluten is this substance akin to caffeine, or fat, or saturated fat: it’s bad, bad, bad. Well, it can be. What is gluten? Plainly misunderstood as we’ve been seeing the countless ads and instructional videos about how gluten-free is the way to go, but the message gets lost:

It’s Not Because Gluten’s Bad for You — It’s Because Your Gluten’s Not “Right” for You

It’s all about diet. Cut your diet down to one fried egg, and it can mean the world for you. But gluten? What is gluten anyway? It’s nothing more than the “glue” binding certain proteins together, and it’s a substance so common that you’d be shocked to wheat-glutenknow what common foods actually have it. It just so happens that many people don’t have much tolerance for it (almost like an allergy, it seems), and doctors would instruct a gluten-free diet.

You see, it’s not bad. It just may not be good for everyone. Luckily there would be alternatives to this list of 3 (and a couple more) common foods that have a plethora of gluten —

  • Wheat — You heard correctly. Wheat. As in everything from bread, to cereal, pasta, baked goods, and even salad dressing! Think about it. It’s what keeps all of that food together, keeps it from breaking apart when you cook it. It’s almost necessary.
  • Barley — Yes, barley is on this list of the Big Gluten 3 for good reason given just how much pressure barley’s put under. Think malt milkshakes, syrup, vinegar, and beer. Even food coloring falls under this category.
  • Rye — We hate to burst your bubble on this, but a lot of rye products contain it, everything from cereals to specific breads. Yes, they’re good for you. But if your body can’t tolerate it, better stay away.
  • Triticale — We’re willing to bet not many have heard of this particular grain, similar to wheat but capable of growing in much harsher conditions like rye can. Yes, if your body can’t tolerate it, best stay away from this one as well.
  • Oats — Now for the final nail on the coffin, bursting your happy bubble. No more “Honey Bunches of Oats” for breakfast. No more oatmeal it seems. The good thing, though, is you can get all sorts of oat products that are gluten free…. Whether or not they’ll be tasty? That’s up to you and your expectations….

Think About What This Could Mean for Your Diet….

And then think about what kind of benefits you receive for cutting all of it out. Sure, you don’t get to eat all sorts of bread. Yes, cereal’s out of the question as well. You definitely can’t enjoy that cold one with a friend during a hot summer either. But remember this:

There are alternatives through research, and if you contact us, we can help. Just because you can’t manage gluten, doesn’t mean you can’t manage all the foods you love. That’s the best part about organics: anything’s possible!

Posted by & filed under organic.

Two chicken eggs on a shelf of the refrigerator door open closeup

Oh, it was all so exciting. The Farmer’s Market was abuzz with homesteaders, farmers and backyard chicken coopers – chatting each other up about how long they leave their farm fresh eggs out on the counter…

What?!? Not refrigerating eggs? Who would even consider such FDA sacrilege? Isn’t that a recipe for salmonella?

FYI: the only food-related, salmonella outbreaks reported in the U.S. for the past 20+ years have been linked to the consumption of commercial poultry products – meat, not eggs (CDC).

So how do you store farm fresh eggs?

You Should Refrigerate Your Eggs

Here is the deal. For Golden Gate Organics business’s sake, for our legal liability’s sake, and for lots of other 21st century’s sakes – we are stating loud and clear that you should refrigerate your farm fresh eggs the minute you get them home. Eggs are a super nutritious addition to your diet, and the fresher they are – the better.

We also recommend marking your egg box with the bought date, and then consuming the refrigerated eggs within three to four weeks. If you are like many of our customers, your household goes through organic farm fresh eggs so fast there’s no need to mark the box at all – you can simply donate empty boxes to your nearest backyard chicken owner, who will thank you profusely – and most likely reward your generosity with a dozen eggs.

Is it True That Farm Fresh Eggs Don’t Need to Be Refrigerated?

Again, we’ll reiterate that we advise you to refrigerate your farm fresh eggs.

However, it is true that lots of people in the organic farming and homesteading community – as well as the large majority of Europeans (who mostly buy/eat farm fresh eggs) – do not.  Here’s why…

Egg shells are porous. When chickens lay their eggs, the eggs are automatically coated with a clear substance called a “bloom” or a “cuticle.” This layer is a natural antibiotic that protects the egg’s contents from degrading as the result of harmful bacteria.

In the big Ag world, eggs are washed because large commercial chicken farms have a difficult time keeping their chickens healthy and clean, and this makes the entire enterprise more susceptible to harmful bacteria. When industrial eggs are collected, they’re washed and then coated with a synthetic product, designed to replicate the original bloom.

In the farm fresh egg world, many chicken owners – and organically-minded consumers – choose not to wash their eggs, keep the original bloom intact and then store the eggs on their countertop. We love the way eggs look – we love their colors and their varieties. We love that we know the chickens who laid the eggs, and that those eggs were the product of our own backyards – or a neighbor’s or friend’s backyard.

We also know that in the natural world, chickens lay about one egg per day, until they have about 12 to 14 eggs in their nest – at which point the begin setting on them until the eggs hatch. The whole clutch of eggs hatches within hours of one another. That means that the egg laid on Day 1 is still just as healthy as the egg laid on Day 14 – as evidenced by the healthy chick inside –  even though it was never refrigerated.

So, you may notice that some chicken-rearing friends choose to keep farm fresh eggs – or an assortment of them – out on the counter for as long as a week or more. Baskets work well for countertop eggs, as do these nifty egg dispensers – called egg skelters – that ensure eggs are in the order in which they arrived.

Note: Some farm fresh eggs may come with poop on the shell, these should always be washed first and refrigerated. Also, if your farm fresh eggs have already been washed, they’ve lost the protective “bloom,” so it’s best to refrigerate those as well.

Do be aware that some of our customers who wanted to keep their eggs on the counter found out their dogs appreciated the proximity as well, which re-inspired them to refrigerate the farm fresh eggs after all.

Interested in having organic farm fresh eggs delivered to your door? Contact us here at Golden Gate Organics or visit our online store where you can build custom-boxes full of beautiful, 100% certified organic produce and products. We look forward to nourishing your family.