Our three products of the week support new year’s resolutions for better eating. Valentine’s Day is less than a month away, but in the interim, consider:
January 16th is National Quinoa Day, so it follows that we’re starting out with this trending grain.
Many people we know have gotten into quinoa in a big way. While not in the grain family, quinoa is considered a whole grain*, which means it contains all of the essential amino acids†. It’s also gluten-free.
Some come quinoa the hard way, starting with buying bulk quinoa and washing it. Some buy the seeds pre-washed.
And others, like us, buy ready to microwave-and-eat quinoa from Ancient Harvest, in four microwavable varieties:
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa), pronounced KEEN-wa, is the Quechua (Inca) word for “mother grain” or “super grain.” Here’s more about this exceptional food.
Discover more at AncientHarvest.com.
If you enjoy cooking with spice blends like ras-el-hanout and za’atar, and want to try another Middle Eastern spice blend, we introduce you to hawaij (ha-WHY-idge), an ancient spice mixture used in Yemenite cuisine.
Yemeni immigrants brought the spices to Israel, and hawaij (alternately spelled hawaj, hawaij, hawayji, or hawayej) has become popular in Israeli cooking as well.
There are actually two distinct varieties of hawaij: one traditionally used in coffees and the other to season soups and other foods.
WebMD and other health sources cite the blend or cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, ginger and turmeric as outstanding sources of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and other beneficial nutrients‡.
Pereg Hawaij Blend for Soup is an aromatic mixture of cumin, turmeric, black pepper, cardamom, and cloves.
Find out more at Pereg-Gourmet.com.
If you snack on dried fruit or add them to salads and baked goods, you may not be aware that some have sugar added to ensure a sweet experience. This is particularly true with dried berries.
If you care about added sugar, Stoneridge Orchards has a better options for you. The company has introduced its 50% Reduced Sugar product line, beginning with Dried Blueberries and Montmorency Cherries.
The berries remain rich with fiber and flavor, and preservative-free, gluten/allergen free and non-GMO.
To achieve 50% less sugar, non-caloric stevia is blended with cane sugar. The berries remain moist and plump: a delectable snack and ingredient.
For more information, visit StoneridgeOrchards.com.
*Quinoa is not actually a grain (which is a cereal), but the seed of a leafy plant related to beets, chard and spinach. As with those vegetables, you can eat the leaves (although you’re not likely to find them in the U.S.). The part of the quinoa plant that we eat, the seed, is cooked like rice. Quinoa is gluten-free.
†Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. Amino acids and proteins are the building blocks of life. The essential amino acids, a subgroup, cannot be made by the body; they must come from food. The nine essential amino acids are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
‡Yes, these are healthful ingredients, but you have to injust a lot of them to fight inflammation, aid digestion, lower blood sugar, fend off free radicals, etc.
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