5 Tips To Making Healthy Processed Food Selections

I avoid processed foods as much as possible. Yes, there are some boxes and cans in my pantry but really, I try to make as much as possible in my own kitchen using fresh, whole ingredients.

Food labels are really deceiving. Clever marketing tips and tricks abound. It can be tough to figure out what is truly healthy and what is just a gimmick to get you to buy.

I’m sure you stand in the grocery aisle wondering what you SHOULD be looking for on food labels. I know I do.

Here are five tips to help you make the healthiest selection.

1. If the ingredients list contains long, chemical-sounding words that you can’t pronounce, avoid that item. It likely does contain various toxic chemicals. Stick with ingredients you recognize and can pronounce and spell.

2. Look for words like “sprouted” or “raw” or “whole” or “unrefined” to indicate higher-quality natural foods. Sprouted grains and seeds are far healthier than non-sprouted. Raw ingredients are generally healthier than processed or cooked. Whole grains are healthier than “enriched” grains. An unrefined oil is always healthier than one that has been heated and stripped of its beneficial properties.

3. Don’t be fooled by the word “wheat” when it comes to flour. All flour derived from wheat can be called “wheat flour,” even if it is processed, bleached and stripped of its nutrition. Only “whole grain wheat flour” is a healthful form of wheat flour. (Many consumers mistakenly believe that “wheat flour” products are whole grain products. In fact, this is not true. Food manufacturers fool consumers with this trick.)

4. Don’t be fooled into thinking that brown products are healthier than white products. Brown sugar is a gimmick — it’s just white sugar with brown coloring and flavoring added. Brown eggs are no different than white eggs (except for the fact that their shells appear brown). Brown bread may be no healthier than white bread, either, unless it’s made with whole grains. Don’t be tricked by “brown” foods. These are just gimmicks used by food giants to fool consumers into paying more for manufactured food products.

5. Watch out for small serving sizes. Food manufacturers use this trick to reduce the number of calories, grams of sugar or grams of fat believed to be in the food by consumers. Many serving sizes are arbitrary and have no basis in reality.

{ 0 comments }

Pumpkin Quinoa Parfaits

October 22, 2014

Pumpkin Quinoa Parfaits

Yes!!! Pumpkin season is in full swing loves and this mama is taking advantage! I have been busy in the kitchen whipping up pumpkin this and pumpkin that. My family is quite thrilled as they share my passion for the orange goodness as well.

I strive to create snacks that are nourishing, low in sugar, and full of protein and good fats. Bonus points if I can squeak some fiber in there as well.

This recipe my friends, fits that bill. And it is DELICIOUS.

If you are steering clear of most grains, you can omit the graham cracker crumbs. They add a layer of texture but don’t alter the taste a whole lot. It sort of becomes more of a pudding when you omit them.

You all read for this delish snack that is oh-so-good for you?

Here you are loves!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups plain organic or homemade yogurt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (separated into 1 tsp and 1 tsp)
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs or other favorite “graham crackerish” crumbs (I use this gluten free brand)
  • 1/4 cup pecans (optional)

Directions

  1. Soak the dry quinoa in water for 4 hours.
  2. Rinse and drain it several times.
  3. Boil ½ cup of water and add the ¼ cup of quinoa.
  4. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Mix 1 tsp of cinnamon to the quinoa and remove from heat.
  6. Put the quinoa in the fridge to cool for 10 minutes.
  7. While the quinoa is cooling, mix the plain yogurt, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and 1 tsp cinnamon.
  8. Get out whatever glass you want to use (or bowl) and start the layering.
  9. Put 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of the glass.
  10. Add a layer of 1/2 cup of pumpkin yogurt.
  11. Add half of the quinoa.
  12. Add another layer of 1/2 cup pumpkin yogurt.
  13. Sprinkle pecans over the top. And more cinnamon, too, if you so desire.
  14. Gobble it up!

{ 0 comments }

What You Need To Know About Domestic Violence

October 15, 2014

True or False? Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten. Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family. Domestic violence is the leading cause of […]

Read the full article →

Help us win! // Martha Stewart American Made 2014 Finalist

October 9, 2014

Earlier this year, Poppy Soap was invited to join Martha Stewart’s American Made Market. The American Made program spotlights the next generation of great American makers: entrepreneurs, artisans, and small-business owners who are creating beautiful, inspiring, useful products; pioneering new industries; improving local communities; and changing the way we eat, shop, work, and live. Now […]

Read the full article →

DIY Pumpkin Spice Simmer Potpourri

October 8, 2014

I absolutely, positively LOVE this time of year. I am such a fan of pumpkin. I mean, it just makes me feel so alive. The scent alone is enough to change my mood from “ugg” to “yeah!” Pumpkins are not known for having a significant aroma. I mean, you don’t walk by one growing on […]

Read the full article →

Spiced Pumpkin Latte

October 1, 2014

I tried giving up caffeine last year. It wasn’t easy but I made it a couple of days. And then I went back to my old ways. It isn’t so much a need for the caffeine jolt as it is the taste of coffee. Oh how I love that taste. The smell too. There is […]

Read the full article →

Mysterious Tarragon

September 24, 2014

Tarragon. Tarra went where? Hahahah… Ok, pathetic attempt at humor. I’m restless tonight and decided to sit down and do some writing. My restlessness apparently translates into some really lame jokes. You know what’s not lame? Tarragon. Seriously. Have you heard about this herb? If you haven’t, don’t feel bad. It is one of those […]

Read the full article →

Spiced Ginger Tea

September 17, 2014

September is one of my favorite months! While I love summer, there is something so magical about the California Coast teetering on the edge of autumn. The weather is gorgeous…warm enough to spend the day at the beach but cool enough in the early morning and late evening to warrant a light sweater and a […]

Read the full article →

Honey – Not All Is Created Equal

September 10, 2014

Sweet as honey… My mom always used to say that about me. Well, not so much during my teen years but hey – I’m human! Anyway – honey. Right. Back to that. Since making the decision to move to an unprocessed lifestyle, I have basically cut out all refined sugar from my family’s diet. Baked […]

Read the full article →

Coconut Oil Cuticle Cream

September 3, 2014

All the gardening I did this summer sure took its toll. My back hurts, my shoulders got a few more freckles, and my cuticles are a hot mess. Well worth it though! I decided to tinker around in my soap studio and whip up something that would soothe my dry, cracking cuticles. Three days later, […]

Read the full article →