Blog Page 2 - Verdant Kitchen
We craft products for a Strong Active Life™
November 15, 2018

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Gifts ›  


The Six Essentials for Great Gifts

Gift choices and giving should be a natural pleasure but often it feels stressful. 

Why does it sometimes fill us with dread ? How do we get something for the person that has everything? We looked to leading psychologists, philosophers, and grandmothers for answers. What they said made sense. Their advice not only opened a new universe of potential gift ideas but changed gift giving back to what it should be - a time to appreciate and honor others.

We give gifts to celebrate others. In the end, it does not matter if it is to say thank you for kindness, to a stranger as an act of compassion, to our partners, parents, siblings, co-workers, or children we have created these 6 Essentials for Great Gifts:

1. Be Personal - Gift giving is one to one. It is your opportunity to connect directly with someone. This is a gift for them and no one else. You chose it for them. Spend some time to look at the next 5 Essentials and you will meet this #1 essential of gift giving.

2. Look to the Past or to the Future - Gifts can celebrate the past or the future. Memories of past times, a great flavor, a familiar texture, a happy scent from our past that is full of joy. Pick a gift that connects to time. Future times are full of promise. Are they planning a trip? Moving house? Getting married? Having a child? Find a gift that can be part of that future or that helps connect to a happy past time.

3. Be an experience - choose gifts that can be enjoyed. Experiences are best shared. Find gifts that can be enjoyed many times. Wonderful snacks, beautiful aromas, and great tastes can be enjoyed over and over. Small happy experiences that can be repeated and shared many times make for great gifts.

4. Include a little bit of yourself - make the gift connected to you. Add a special note about the history or providence of the gift. Add something that made it special to you and gives more information on why you are sharing it.

5. Make them happy - gifts should make them happy. Gifts that make them comfortable, relieve their stress, or provides them with relaxation are appreciated.

6. Be what they need - a gift that solves a problem is a good gift. If your gift is to help someone climb a mountain next month then that is a great thing but most people have simpler ambitions.  Not everyone feels well or is leaving for an outward bound adventure in the next month. Gifts that bring simple comfort, warmth, and better mobility are always well received.

At Verdant Kitchen® we have curated a selection of individual items, gift collections, and gift sets from $5 to $60. They include gifts that prepare for great adventures or bring simple comfort when times are tough. We work to craft gifts that bring joy to those who receive them and to those give them.
November 12, 2018

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recipe ›  


Ginger Coconut Farina Bowl - a sweet, warm and gluten free start to your winter morning

Thanks to our Instagram friend @sundaybacon for the image and recipe

Start the day with this sweet, gluten-free and nutritious Ginger Coconut Farina  Fun fact Growing up in Australia 🇦🇺I ate Farina (milled wheat flour) as my daily hot cereal. This gluten-free recipe has @bobsredmill brown rice flour version.

Ingredients:
For the Farina 👇
1/2 cup @bobsredmill brown rice Farina
1 1/2 cup coconut milk
2Tbsp dried cherries
2 Tbsp walnuts, chopped
1 Tbsp @verdantkitchen Ginger Bites - we added these to boost the ginger. You can use some grated or dried ginger.

For the topping👇
1/4 cup fresh berries
2Tbsp @verdantkitchen Ginger Syrup
1 Tbsp sliced Almonds
1Tbsp Pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp unsweetened coconut

Durections👇
Bring coconut milk, cherries and Ginger Bites to a boil
Add Farina, cover, reduce heat & simmer 8 minutes, stirring occasionally 
Scoop the goodness into a bowl and load with the toppings
Drizzle with @verdantkitchen Ginger Syrup

 

 

Verdant Kitchen Products in this Recipe

October 23, 2018

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Turmeric Infused Honey ›  


Why is Lemon and Turmeric Infused Honey Water so good for cough and cold season?

Ginger Honey & Lemon Water
Honey and Lemon in warm water is a time-honored drink for cough and cold season. Why has it been used for 100's of years?
To get a better understanding lets take a look at the ingredients. This simple and soothing drink has four key ingredients:
Organic Turmeric
Raw Honey
Organic Lemon
Water

INGREDIENTS

8 oz water
Juice of half a lemon

INSTRUCTIONS

Boil your water and let cool.
Juice the lemon into the water.
Stir in the honey.

You can download a printable PDF of the recipe here.

 

When you have a cough or cold (or are trying to avoid getting one) there are several foods that can provide comfort and essential nutrients and active ingredients that support your bodies natural ability to be well.

 

When we have a cough or cold several issues come into play.

 

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We cough to help expel contaminants and irritants from our airways. A body function that is critical but when we cough too much can cause discomfort and lack of sleep. 

Honey appears to increase salivation, this is probably due to its sweetness and this, in turn, can help your body reduce the urge to cough.

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Our immune system is working overtime, producing white blood cells and seeking out and destroying the invading virus and bacteria. This battle produces toxins across our bodies, including bits of dead cells and other byproducts. 

Lemon is full of minerals and Vitamin C, a strong antioxidant. Antioxidants can help with cell repair and immune system strength. Oh, and did I mention that when mixed with Turmeric Infused Honey the sweet/sour/earthy flavor is absolutely delicious.

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Our immune system is triggering its histamine weapons to help attack the invaders but this often gets out of control and causes inflammation that we feel as discomfort.  

Turmeric contains Curcumin and many other active ingredients that studies and 10,000 years of use, as a natural food, have shown its ability to modulate inflammation.

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We often feel the aches and pains of dehydration. We need to stay hydrated and flush our systems clean.

Water is the magic liquid. It is a wonderful carrier of our nutrients. When we warm the water up to make our drink, the warm water helps the Turmeric be more soluble and easier for our bodies to absorb.

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Simple, time-honored, delicious and soothing. Made in minutes with natural ingredients. Don't wait to be sick to include it into your every morning routine.

 

Verdant Kitchen® Products Used in this Recipe:

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 18, 2018

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turmeric ›  


How to Grow Turmeric at Home - 5 key steps for the best results

We have a lot of people ask us about growing Turmeric at home. The good news is that you absolutely can grow it. You may not get a bumper crop like this one from our subtropical farm but you will get a beautiful plant and enough Turmeric to plant again next year and enough to enjoy the natural goodness of over 50 active ingredients that can help your body maintain a natural state of wellness.
We are going to assume that you are growing this in a pot. You can grow it in the ground but remember Turmeric will need 9 months of 75F-90F of soil temperatures to thrive. For most people in most parts of the US the best way to grow it is in a container that you can start inside to provide a long enough growing season.
A little history - Turmeric originated in subtropical India, probably in the region known today as Kerala. There is over 10,000 years of recorded growing, trading and enjoying Turmeric. Turmeric is a "herbacious, perrenial rhizome" - decoded this means it dies back in cool weather, it reshoots each year and it propagates from root cuttings. 
Just like us, it takes 9 months to grown. Plant in Spring and harvest in winter. To shoot Turmeric will need soil temperatures about 65 F and preferable 75-80 F. Once it is growing it will need daily water to keep the growing medium damp but never wet. It hates wet feet and will get diseases and rot if it sits in water. Given that you may need to move the container we have kept the container small but do remember this plant will grow up to 5 tall (we have grown them 7 feet tall) so protect the pot from tipping over in the wind as it grown.

5 Steps to Growing Turmeric at Home

  1. Get three pieces (each about 1 inch) of fresh Turmeric root from the grocery store. Make it organic if you can.
  2. Fill a 5-gallon plastic pot or container 3/4 fill with well-drained potting soil. The extra room will be needed as the turmeric root grows later in the season and fills the container
  3. Place the turmeric pieces 1 inch under the top of the soil and cover them and keep it damp but not wet
  4. Place in a sunny warm location where the temperature stays between 70-80 degrees F. We like to cover the top of the potting mix with a 2 inch blanket of mulch like pine bark or straw to reduce evaporation and keep it warm. Now be patient - it is going to take a while for them to shoot.
  5. 5. Shoots will appear in 2-4 weeks. Add a general purpose fertilizer every 6 weeks
Well cared for the plants will grow 3-5 feet tall with lush green soft leaves. The orange roots will develop in month 6-9. At the end of the season, around November once the weather gets below 65 F the leaves will turn yellow and the plant will die back, this is part of the natural cycle. It's harvest time tip it out, cut back any leaves and stem, wash and dry the roots and enjoy your bounty!

Green Smoothie with Mango & Lemon and Mint Dusted Baby Ginger

 

Ginger is a powerful addition to your morning smoothie. Ginger is a natural source of a wide range of anti-oxidants and polyphenols. It supports your whole body nutrition and has a wonderful calming effect on your digestive system.

loaded with nutrients for your body and brain. This is our take on a green smoothie from @pinchofyum green smoothie boosted with our Lemon & Mint Dusted Baby Ginger.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Total time: 5 minutes
 
INGREDIENTS
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1/2 cup frozen peach slices
2 cups kale (stems removed)
1-2 cups almond milk
1/4 Avocado
4 pieces Verdant Kitchen® Lemon & Mint Dusted Baby Ginger
A drizzle of Verdant Kitchen® Ginger Infused Honey to taste
A squeeze of lemon juice

You can download a printable PDF of the recipe here.

 

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
  2. Serve in a glass tumbler

 

Verdant Kitchen® Products featured in this recipe

 

Pecan Pie with Ginger Infused Honey - a more healthy recipe without refined sugar

It just seems that as soon as the mornings get even a little cool in the south you suddenly think about a slice of pecan pie.

Delicious yes but to us, the recipes have just become overly sweet and loaded with refined sugars.

We went looking for a healthier option.  This is our take on a more "healthy" pecan pie inspired by A Sweet Pea Chef https://www.asweetpeachef.com/healthy-pecan-pie/ it features our delicious Ginger Infused Honey and Candied Ginger Pecans

We think you will love it. Easy to make, it will be a fall favorite.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes
 
INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup Verdant Kitchen® Ginger Infused Honey
2 tbsp coconut oil melted
3 eggs
1/2 tsp fresh orange zest
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups Verdant Kitchen® Candied Ginger Pecans
1 bottom pie crust
INSTRUCTIONS 
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine Verdant Kitchen® Ginger Infused Honey, coconut oil, eggs, fresh orange zest, sea salt, unsweetened almond milk, ground cinnamon, pure vanilla extract, and whole wheat pastry flour. Stir to combine. 
  3. Arrange the Verdant Kitchen® Candied Ginger Pecans into the prepared 9-inch pie crust. 
  4. Pour the liquid filling mixture over the pecans, spreading some with a spoon if necessary. 
  5. Place into the oven and bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes. 
  6. The pie will rise in the oven. You’ll know it’s done when it has small cracks in the top and is no longer jiggly. 
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool, preferably overnight.

You can download a printable PDF of the recipe here.

Verdant Kitchen® Products featured in this recipe

October 04, 2018

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cocktails ›   ginger syrup ›  


How the classic Moscow Mule got its name and copper mugs

It's National Vodka Day! Yes, there is, in fact, a National Vodka Day, so let's take this opportunity to celebrate it with the very best ingredients.

Then Moscow Mule is such a great cocktail.  (Get the kit here with mugs, ginger syrup, and recipe cards)A few simple ingredients and you have a refreshing cocktail that has broad appeal. Combine it with copper mugs and it's eye-catching!

It seems like so many iconic drinks started out as a marketing campaign. Most accounts have a John G. Martin buying the rights to the Russian Smirnoff brand in the late 1930s only to find that vodka was not the drink of choice. The Second World War was yet to burst upon the world, but the memories of WWI and the Russian Revolution were still fresh. The story goes (and this coincidence is perhaps a bit of a stretch) that Martin was discussing his issue getting vodka sales moving with two friends, one with a similar problem with ginger ale and one with copper mugs. This is just a crazy enough combination to possibly be true. The three set about solving this business problem by combining their respective products into a newly manufactured drink - the Moscow Mule. Just as I can personally attest (as an Australian) that the "blooming onion" only exists at Outback Steakhouse and nowhere in Australia, the Moscow Mule was a marketing creation and not the historic drink of Cossack warriors.

Nevertheless, what was handed down since the 1930s has become a favorite. The drink has been made with ginger ale, but we've found that by using our Ginger Syrup you can better control the flavor.

Moscow Mule Recipe

 

 

Ginger Syrup

Enjoy responsibly - give as a gift generously!

August 31, 2018

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Infused Water - A Great Way to Stay Hydrated

Turmeric Dusted Baby Ginger Infused Water

It's summer and we all need to think about keeping ourselves and our families well hydrated. It is one of the key things we can do to help build and maintain a Strong Active Life™. Is it really possible to consume the recommended 8-10 glasses of water per day? Not only is it possible, it can be enjoyable and full of whole health benefits. One answer is simple - "Infused Water."

The recipe couldn't be easier. Make your own spa-quality Turmeric Ginger Water with Turmeric Dusted Baby Ginger. For a citrus mint burst, try Lemon and Mint Dusted Baby Ginger. Just add a piece to a water bottle, infuser or tumbler of sparkling, still or tap water. Give it a shake or stir. Let it sit for a few minutes and drink. At the end, eat the piece of ginger. It will still be packed with flavor.

Our bodies are 60% water, and our very life is dependent on water. We've all heard these statistics. It isn't just a life or death question. Our bodies and mind run much better with the correct amount of water. More on this topic in a later blog. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggest a consumption of 2.5 liters per day for women and 3.7 liters per day for men.

Easy to say, but let's put that into perspective. That is equal to 84 fluid oz of water for women and 125 fluid oz for men. It doesn't just vary with male/female, it also depends on age, size and physical activity, so for simplicity let's just call it 90 fluid oz on average. My math gives an equivalency of 9 x 8 oz glasses of water per day. 

Our daily water intake can come from a number of sources and not from just drinking 9 glasses a day. Many of our foods have a high water content and count toward this daily target. Fruit, for example, is often 90% water. A large apple like the one I weighed as 12 oz, would be about equal to an 8 oz glass of water. 


 

Tea, coffee, fruit juice and soda are all mostly water, so an 8 oz coffee counts as one of the 9 glasses we need each day. For many of us, that still leaves 40+ fluid oz a day to be consumed (5 x 8 oz glasses).

Enjoying 16 fluid oz of infused water each day is a great way to help reach the daily goal. Many people are just not motivated to drink plain water except when they're thirsty. As we age, our bodies are less reliable at letting us know when we are mildly dehydrated. Tea and coffee are after all just another form of infused water. Let's describe infused water as anything that is left to "steep" in water. The water acts as a carrier and moves some of the flavor, nutrients and other compounds into the water.

Back through time, people who did heavy manual labor realized that if you flavor water with ginger, you can consume more water without that bloated feeling. Infusing your water with our range of ginger-based products is a quick, simple and delicious way to help stay hydrated.

Recipe - Curried Turmeric Honey Shrimp with Pasta

A quick and satisfying weeknight or date night meal - ready in under 20 minutes! Like so many of our recipes, this tasty meal is wellness on a plate. Olive oil brings out the flavor and dissolves the active compounds in the spices ready for your body to use.
 
We chose a high-protein pasta to deliver a full serving of protein, while the shrimp is used sparingly. Think of animal and fish protein as a "garnish" rather than the star of the plate.

Download the Recipe

Ingredients: 

  1. Verdant Kitchen Turmeric Infused Honey - 1 tbsp
  2. Shrimp - 8 oz
  3. Red onion - 1 cup, chopped
  4. Frozen peas - 1 cup
  5. Olive oil - 1 tbsp
  6. Cumin - 1/4 tsp
  7. Coriander - 1/4 tsp
  8. Ground black pepper - 1/4 tsp
  9. Low sodium soy sauce - 2 tsp
  10. Cornstarch - 1/2 tsp
  11. Pasta - we chose a high-protein fine spaghetti - 8 oz

Details:

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Preparation:

  1. Boil salted water in a large saucepan and add pasta. Cook according to package directions.
  2. In a skillet, add olive oil, cumin, coriander, black pepper and Verdant Kitchen Turmeric Infused Honey and warm to bloom the spices.
  3. Add shrimp, onions and peas and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Mix cornstarch in 1-2 tbsp. of water and stir to thicken.
  5. Drain pasta.
  6. Plate and serve.
Verdant Kitchen® products used in this recipe
Verdant Kitchen Turmeric Infused Honey

Recipe - A Healthy Ginger-Cranberry-Almond Snack

Treat yourself and your friends to this healthy Ginger-Cranberry-Almond Snack! Three simple ingredients make a quick snack that's packed with energy and great for picnics, hikes, traveling!

A mix of heart-healthy raw almonds, antioxidant-rich dried cranberries, and Verdant Kitchen Crystallized Ginger.  A delicious way to enhance a strong active lifestyle! 

Download the Recipe

Ingredients:

  1. Verdant Kitchen Crystallized Ginger – ½ cup
  2. Dried cranberries – ½ cup
  3. Whole raw almonds – ½ cup

Details

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: None
Servings: 4

Preparation:

  • Combine all 3 ingredients and serve or pack individual servings to go.

Verdant Kitchen® products used in this recipe

Crystallized Ginger