Posts Tagged ‘organic’

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bread


Happy New Year friends! If you follow me on Instagram (@lydiahowerton) you’re probably curious about the recipe for this bread. Developed from a Paleo Bread recipe that I adapted many times until this creation was born, this bread is Gluten free, low carb, has no refined sugar, no dairy and it’s Paleo and Yeast-free diet friendly (if you use only almond butter and no banana). This is the IDEAL breakfast bread, all the fat and protein from the nuts and eggs keeps you full and satisfied much longer than regular toast.

Peanut Butter Bread Batter with Fresh Berries

I stud the nut butter batter with jewels: ruby raspberries and sapphire blueberries. Be sure to gently press them into the batter until they’re covered, so they don’t get crushed or all float to the top.

PB&J bread

Who knew that eggs and nut butter can bake up into a fluffy, spongy bread?


Peanut Butter & Jelly Bread

Whole berries baked inside. This bread is really best toasted and if your diet/lifestyle choice allows you than spread some Sqirl Blackberry+Meyer Lemon Jam on top.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bread Recipe
makes one large loaf pan or 3 mini loafs

Grapeseed or Coconut Oil for greasing the pan
1/2 cup organic creamy almond butter
1 cup organic creamy peanut butter
1 ripe banana, well mashed (optional)
5 organic free range eggs
3 tablespoons agave syrup or honey (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 Teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 cup organic blueberries, washed
1/2 cup organic raspberries, washed

Lightly grease a loaf pan with oil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients except for berries until well combined and pour into baking pan or pans. Evenly distribute the berries over the top of the loaf and gently press them into the batter until covered. Bake at 350 for 30 mins and check it with a knife or toothpick to make sure the center is cooked (knife should come out pretty clean). Some ovens will require the bread to bake longer. Just don’t overcook or it will be dry. Allow to cool 10 mins in the pan and then run a knife around the loaf to release it from the pan. Allow to cool and then enjoy (best when toasted!) Wrap the loaf well in plastic  and it will keep for 5 days on the counter or in the fridge.



The Dirty Dozen


Do you want to buy organic but groan at the price?  Here’s a secret I just learned: you can avoid pesticides without restricting yourself to organic products only.  Where pesticides are concerned, you see, not all produce is created equal. The trick is knowing which purchases give you the most organic bang for your buck.

According to the USDA and The Environmental Working Group the following 12 foods absorb the most pesticide.  Prioritize them on your organic shopping list.

The Dirty Dozen

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Strawberries
4. Peaches
5. Spinach
6. Nectarines (imported)
7. Grapes (imported)
8. Sweet bell peppers
9. Potatoes (not including sweet potatoes, which are part of The Clean Fifteen)
10. Blueberries
11. Lettuces
12. Kale and collard greens (a tie)

We’ve also got the Clean Fifteen: a list of the cleanest non-organic produce.  In other words, foods for which you pay for the label only when you pick organic.  Buying conventional products from this list saves money without negatively impacting your health.

The Clean 15

1. Onions
2. Sweet Corn
3. Pineapple
4. Avocado
5. Asparagus
6. Sweet peas
7. Mango
8. Eggplant
9. Cantaloupe (domestic)
10. Kiwi
11. Cabbage
12. Watermelon
13. Sweet Potatoes
14. Grapefruit
15. Mushrooms

Surprised by any?  I assumed mushrooms sponge up pesticides and that bananas are among the cleanest fruit.  How about you?

Xo Sarah

Apple Cider Hot Toddy


I put a pot of this cider on the stove to come to a boil and Drew came home and said “hmmm it smells like fall.” Success my friends. Make this to welcome fall into your home and drive out the lingering scents of summer.


Apple Cider Hot Toddy Recipe

Organic Apple Cider Hot Toddy
serves 2-4

It’s important to use organic apples and oranges in this recipe as you are cooking the skins of the fruit and you don’t want to cook wax and pesticides from non-organic produce into your cider. This is a very lightly spiced cider, it won’t taste like a bad scented candle.

32 fl oz Organic Apple Juice
2 small organic apples
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp whole black pepper corns
1 organic orange, long strips of zest
juice of one lemon
½  cup Rye whiskey or bourbon

Stud the small apples with whole cloves by pressing the narrow end of the clove into the flesh of the apples. Any designs or patterns of the cloves is a pretty bonus. Carefully remove the zest of your orange in long strips using a vegetable peeler, being mindful not to take any of the bitter white layer of the orange. Add the clove studded apples, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, orange zest and lemon juice to a heavy pot filled with the apple juice. Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce to a low-low heat and cover partially. Let simmer for 20 minutes until the flavors are well combined. Add the bourbon or Rye whiskey and serve warm.

Fresh Watermelon Margaritas


Hi friends, we redeveloped our most requested summer drink for The Daily Meal!

Watermelon Margaritas

Our antidote to the post-holiday blues, a margarita that’s just different enough to make any long Thursday feel like the start of a four-day weekend.  We’ve been making these for four years and we still can’t think of a better way to sample summer melons.  When they are perfectly in season, you don’t need the agave, your juice will be sweet enough as is.  Now, where’s the pool?


Watermelon Margaritas with a squeeze of lime

Fresh Watermelon Margaritas
make 1 big pitcher

8 cups fresh chopped organic watermelon, about 1 small seedless
1-1/2 cups premium white tequila
Juice of 5 organic limes, about 2/3 cup
½ cup Triple Sec or Cointreau
2 tablespoons organic agave syrup, to taste

Kosher salt for the rims

Lime wedges and watermelon triangles for garnish

Purée the watermelon cubes in a blender or food processor until smooth. Strain into a pitcher and then add the fresh lime juice, tequila, triple sec and a pinch of salt. Test for sweetness, adding agave syrup if the watermelon juice is not sweet enough. Chill for at least one hour before serving. Mixture will separate so mix well before serving over ice in glasses with salted rims.


Watermelon Margaritas





Meatless Monday: Fresh Tomato Sauce


I must preface this post with a disclaimer: this is not the “proper” way to make tomato sauce nor is it the right way to “put them up” for winter. Proper tomatoes sauces call for removing the skins of the tomatoes and sterilizing jars and other such respectable actions. This is a fast and dirty way to eek some of that magical sun drenched summer produce into my winter meals. If you have an abundance of tomatoes in your garden or purchased a load of beauties this weekend, cracking with ripeness and begging to be used immediately, then this recipe is for you.

chopped heirloom tomatoes

Fresh Tomato Starter Sauce

10 lbs ripe tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped (multi-colored heirloom tomatoes pictured)

2 tablespoons olive oil

6-8 cloves of fresh garlic, minced

10-15 leaves fresh basil, roughly chopped

salt and pepper

Wash the tomatoes and remove the cores. Roughly dice and set aside. Mince the garlic cloves while warming the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium low heat. Add the garlic to the pot and stir for 2 minutes, being careful not to let the garlic burn. Add the tomatoes to the pot and stir until well coated in garlic and oil then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Allow the tomatoes to simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally until completely soft. Add the chopped fresh basil and allow to simmer covered for 10 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool completely. Pulse the tomatoes with an immersion blender or in an upright blender until a chunky-smooth texture is reached. Pour into freezable containers in single dinner portion sizes (pasta sauce for 2 people requires about 1-1 1/2 cups of sauce.) Label and freeze.

simmering tomato sauce

For the next 6 months when you need a little hit of fresh tomato flavor you defrost the sauce in the fridge (pull it out of the freezer the night before you need it), add it to a pan with some sauteed onion and any extra seasoning you may want. Toss it with whole wheat pasta or spread it over roasted eggplant slices, top with mozzarella cheese and call it dinner.

tomato sauce for the freezer

Simple, healthy, and ecologically responsible as you will not be buying as many canned and shipped tomatoes this coming winter with this sauce in your freezer.

blender in the sink


Food Inc.


by Lydia Ellison

Please try to go see the documentary Food Inc. if it is playing in your area. If it is not available then please read one of Michael Pollan’s books In Defense of Food or the Omnivores Dilemma. It’s vital to your personal health and well being to educate yourself about the food you are eating and where it is coming from. I believe one of the great challenges for our generation is the shedding of the industrial food system and the “re-embracing” of locally, sustainably, ethically and organically grown foods.

A few easy things you can do eat responsibly and healthfully-

1. shop at your local farmer’s markets for produce, bread, eggs, fish, meats, flowers, honey and all sorts of snacks. You know the food is locally grown and you encourage and support your local farms. Find a farmer’s market here.

2. No time for the Farmer’s Markets? Get the farm produce delivered to your door in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box. Find a CSA box in your area here.

3. Purchase organic, free range and grass fed meats and dairy products. There are some ethically responsible meat companies like Mary’s Chickens and Niman Ranch products (they even make hot dogs!!!) just to name a few.

4. Avoid food chain restaurants (especially fast food) and eat at places that promote the use of farmer’s market produce and responsible raised meat. Trust me the restaurants who do this write the details on the menu because they are proud of the ingredients.

5. eat fresh, perishable food. Nothing from boxes, bags or tubs. THIS MEANS YOU WILL HAVE TO START COOKING YOUR OWN FOOD. Yes I said it. You can do it! Sarah and I are here to help.

Bonus-Read a testimonial to the change this movie has inspired in my friend Patrick