Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Food of the Month - Avocados!

Loaded with potassium (more than a banana!) and vitamin B6, avocados are our superstar food of the month. Technically, avocados are giant berries with just one seed, making them a fruit, not a vegetable. But whatever you call it, remember how good it is for you!



Alongside potassium and B6, avocados are also loaded with good healthy fats, vitamin K and folate. They are usually available organic, and about 95% of avocados in the US are grown in Southern California, especially San Diego County. More fun avocado facts.

Avocados are getting the spotlight this month because they are so versatile. Their mild flavor and rich creamy flesh go way beyond tacos. They are one of best ways to sneak veggies and vitamins into kids diets because they can be added to sweet or savory dishes. Our recipe for chocolate freeze pops have avocado in them, and they add an extra element of creaminess to blended drinks like milkshakes or smoothies. Chicken or egg salads can get a healthy boost from avocados when half the mayo is replaced by our food of the month, and avocados can also be swirled into cold summer soups to thicken them.

Now that you're dreaming up new ways to eat them, stay tuned for this month's reci-PEA for a great way to use your avocados!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Seuss-ically Speedy Breakfast!

Green Eggs and Protein!

The hardest part of our day is usually just making it out the door in the morning!  To streamline our mornings and stop the “just grab a bar” approach to breakfast, we decided to make a few varieties of easy egg cups to get us through the week.

They are endlessly customizable depending on the vegetables you have on hand, and they can also be eaten on-the-go or turned into a quick breakfast sandwich with just a slice of cheese and some toast. (herbs and hot sauce optional for an adultified version!)





Ingredients:

12 large eggs
3/4 cup chopped steamed broccoli
½ cup chopped frozen spinach (thawed, excess water pressed out)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 cup diced ham (nitrate-free!) or turkey sausage
1 cup diced red bell pepper
Salt and Pepper

Optional
1 cup cooked quinoa
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Whole wheat English muffins
Sliced cheese (muenster, swiss, cheddar)

Process:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, mustard, and salt and pepper. Spray out your muffin tin with a non-stick spray. In each muffin cup, evenly distribute the chopped veggies and ham. Pour the egg mixture over the veggies until nearly full. Give each cup a quick stir with a fork to evenly distribute the mix-ins and to get rid of any air pockets. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Microwave or toaster oven in the morning, melt a slice of cheese on top and place between toasted whole-wheat English muffin halves for a healthy, on-the-go, green eggs and ham breakfast sandwich!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

NonGMO Project Verified!

Peas of Mind is now NonGMO Verified!

Peas of Mind is excited and proud to announce that our Veggie Wedgies have been certified GMO-free by the Non-GMO Project!

So, what does this mean? Well, we started this process nearly a year ago, which sounds like a long time, and it is! The process takes that long in order to be incredibly thorough. Luckily, our fries have so few ingredients that we were able to finish our certification in a series of months. To give you an example, we ensure that not only are there no genetically modified organisms in our products, but that any facility that our ingredients pass through are inspected to guarantee that none of our products could possibly be contaminated by another company’s GMO ingredients.

Our broccoli is real broccoli, grown here in the US, and never genetically modified.   Same with our carrots. And our cauliflower. And our potatoes.


Every aspect of every ingredient we use has been combed through with a fine-tooth comb to bring you, our customers, the absolute safest, healthiest veggie fry we can make! It’s been our pleasure to work with the Non-GMO project on this verification and we are delighted to see it completed. We hope this gives you and your family some peas of mind!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Pantry Experiments!

Snow Day SCIENCE!

It’s been a long winter for much of the country, and that can mean hours of indoor time for the kids, and those exciting or dreaded SNOW DAYS! So how to entertain them once cabin fever has set in and the snow is up to the eyeballs? SCIENCE!

We’ve put together a few easy activities that require only the ingredients in your pantry but pack in a little learning as well.

Baking Soda Fizzle Rocks!

This one has just three ingredients – baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring! Add water a little bit at a time to the baking soda in a bowl until you have a very thick paste, toss in some food coloring, and mold into shapes using your hands. Rocks, blobs, or get fancy and use a gingerbread man mold, any shape works, then just leave them to air dry for a few hours until they’re hard as….rocks!

Now comes the fun part – once they’re hardened, pour some distilled vinegar onto a plate and let the kids drop their rocks! They’ll watch them fizz up and then melt away!

Monster Veggies!

Grab some celery stalks (with leaves is best) or napa cabbage leaves and some food coloring for a demonstration of capillary action (transpiration) and how plants take in water! Fill a few glasses halfway with water, and add a different color food coloring to each one. Place a celery stalk or cabbage leaf into each glass so the liquid is covering about ¼ to 1/3 of the vegetable. Now sit back and watch - results start after just a few hours and are dramatic overnight! The veggies will begin to pull the colored water into their stalks and leaves until they’ve changed colors and then you can let the kids “dissect” the celery to see the bright interiors.

Oobleck!

This one can be little messy so it’s best done in a plastic tub or extra storage container, but it’s also really easy to make. Just take a box of cornstarch and slowly add water until you have a consistency like thick maple syrup. Now grab a few small toys (plastic little army figures etc.) and let the kids have at it! They can tap or punch the Oobleck and it will feel hard and solid, and the toys will even sit on top of it for a time. But if they touch it slowly, pressing their whole hands onto the surface, they will be sucked under! This unique substance behaves as a solid AND a liquid!

ENJOY!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Food of the Month: BROCCOLI!



Brocccccccoli! Our Food of the Month!

If the vegetable species’ were families vying for the Iron Throne of Healthiest Vegetable House, First of Its Name, then Brassica oleracea would rule the kingdom. This group, referred to colloquially as brassica (it’s genus) counts some major super-food muscle under its banners – everyone from brussel sprouts, to cabbage, to kale and even cauliflower are members. But the stand-out leader is, of course, broccoli! Cultivated since the 6th century, broccoli was a highly valued crop in Italy and was introduced to the US by Italian immigrants. [1]

What makes seemingly humble broccoli our food of the month? The answer is in its nutritional value – a vitamin-packed plant in which every part of the vegetable contains more nutrients than the last, so there is little to no waste!

Hold up, you’re thinking. What about the stalks? Those are trash, right? NOPE!


The stalks of this green gem actually have more iron, calcium, and vitamin C pound for pound than the dark flowering heads! And the leaves of broccoli are even better. So save the leaves, and simply remove the fibrous exterior of the stalks with a vegetable peeler. Once they’re cut up, the stalks masquerade as a much more kid-friendly looking vegetable than the familiar broccoli floret forest they might be wary of.

The stalks of broccoli also freeze beautifully so they’re perfect to have on hand for quick additions to your family’s favorite meals!

Add some broccoli to your pasta to make Broccoli and Cheddar Mac n’ Cheese and boost your family’s vitamin C consumption to 150% of their RDA – a lifesaver during cold and flu season!

Toss a cup of broccoli into a baked sweet potato loaded with garlic and a little Parmesan for 200% of your vitamin K requirements and nearly half your daily folate!

And eating just 2 cups of broccoli twice a week is enough to measurably reduce your risk of certain cancers, so a big bowl of broccoli stir-fry or your favorite summer bbq broccoli slaw can protect your entire family.

The best part of the our Food of the Month is that it is low in calories and high in fiber, which means you can feel great about letting your kids eat as much as they want, and they’ll stay full for hours!




1.       Nonnecke, Ib (November 1989). Vegetable Production. Springer-Verlag New York, LLC. p. 394. ISBN 978-0-442-26721-6.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Peas of Mind Buddha Bowls!

Buddha Bowls



One of our favorite quick lunches is the nutrient-packed and endlessly customizable Buddha Bowl. We toss these with whatever is in the fridge, and it’s more of an equation than a recipe. But what makes a Buddha Bowl really stand out is the dressing, and we’re sharing a few of our favorite quick and easy Buddha sauces that can really tie your bowl together.

To make your Buddha Bowl, simple mix and match with what you have on hand.

1 grain (quinoa, brown rice, etc.)
+
1 legume (black beans, chickpeas, etc.)
+
1 protein (tofu, chicken, a fried egg)
+
1 seed or nut (almonds, sunflower seeds, etc)
+
1 crunchy item (shredded carrot, bacon bits, bean sprouts, etc.)
+
Veggies (avocado, green beans, cucumber, tomatoes, anything works!)

And now you have a delicious and hearty 1 bowl meal that is loaded with vitamins and fiber and will keep you and your family full until dinner.

The hardest question, as always, is dressing your bowl – what should it wear?! ;)

Here are 3 of our favorites to add some variety (and one to add an extra veggie!) to your lunch time routine.

Garlic Yogurt Dressing
1 medium clove garlic
1 pinch of cumin
1 big squeeze of lemon juice
½ c of greek yogurt (or regular plain yogurt)
1 c packed baby spinach
¼ c of good quality kalamata olives (from your grocer’s olive bar – not canned)
1 tbsp champagne vinegar

Simply pulse it all together in your food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning, add salt to your liking.

Balsamic Herb Dressing
½ c mint leaves
½ c basil leaves
½ c balsamic vinegar
1 big squeeze lemon juice
1 small garlic glove
1 tbsp whole grain or Dijon mustard
½ c good quality olive oil
½ small shallot
Dash of Worcestershire optional

Pulse all ingredients except the oil in your food processor, then slowly add the oil. Season to taste with a generous grind of black pepper.

Miso-Tahini Dressing
1 tbsp white miso
¼ c tahini paste
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 c warm water
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp honey

Blend the warm water and tahini first, then add everything else in your food processor. Season to taste.

All of these keep for at least a few days in the fridge, and are equally delicious smothered onto roasted veggies or dunked with carrot sticks should you find yourself with leftovers.







Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sweet And Red and Full of Veggies!

Red Velvet Cupid Pops



This Valentine’s Day, we are whipping up a treat for the whole family that’s sweet and red and full of veggies, of course! Red velvet cupcakes are a Valentine’s hallmark, so we’ve reinvented them into a frozen pop and given them a hidden veggie boost. They come together the night before, and look gorgeous and festive for all of your sweeties!










Ingredients
Cream Cheese top:
-1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
-1/4 cup of cream cheese
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 tbsp agave
-1/8 cup of coconut water

Cocoa bottom:
1/2 cup of beets (roasted or steamed)
-1 cup yogurt
-2 tbsp cocoa powder
-2 tbsp agave

The cream cheese “topping” will go in the bottom of the popsicle mold, so you will
need to make that first. Simply blend all of the ingredients together with a whisk until smooth and pour into the tip of the popsicle molds (should fill about 1½ inches). Freeze for 2 hours.


Next, puree the cooked beets in a blender or food processor until smooth, and add the next three ingredients. Pour into molds atop the cream cheese and put in the popsicle stick. Return to the freezer and freeze over night. Your Valentine won’t even know they are eating beets!