The Freestyle Project

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16 posts tagged great finds

Got Mushrooms?

Marx Foods does! Can’t find those exotic varieties of mushrooms at your local market? Well Marx Foods has what you need - whether fresh, dried, wild, or cultivated, you will find whatever fungi your little culinary heart desires. Prices might be a bit steep for some cooks, but overnight shipping is included. 

Liquid Smoke

What is it? True liquid smoke is produced by the method of destructive distillation. The process consists of the burning wood chips (generally Hickory), capturing the smoke, condensing the smoke into solids or liquids, and then dissolving the smoke solids in water. In 1895, Ernest H. Wright introduced the first liquid smoke for sale on the American market. According to the Wright’s Company, now owned by B&G Foods, to this day their liquid smoke is the only brand with no added preservatives, sugars, or sodium …and yes, it is Vegan! If you want to experiment with liquid smoke, and you’re a Veg, you will have to ignore the picture on the label of the bottle of a cow’s rear end being fried on the grill.

Will The Real Nut Please Stand Up?

As you are probably well aware, macadamia nuts are a prevailing crop here in Hawaii. In the islands they are available everywhere, and are commonly seen in markets and on restaurant menus gracing salads, sauces, pestos, and such. I don’t think I ever ate a mac nut on the mainland – although I am sure somewhere you can find the macs that are processed by the big corporate brands. But have you ever tastes a freshly-picked, crisp, raw, organic macadamia? There’s nothing like it.

So where do you get them then?

Buy direct from small farms that are committed to sustainable practices. One of my favorite places to get macadamias is from Kuaiwi Farm in Captain Cook (Big Island). Their macs are hand picked, then washed and dried at 105 degrees for 4 to 5 days – a process that renders a protein-rich nut with all of its omega-3 oils intact. You can buy whole nuts or butter – and don’t even get me started on the butter.

Ain’t Nothin’ Like The Real Thing Baby

This coconut extract is Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO) as well as USDA Certified Organic, and is also kosher. Some other flavor extracts that we won’t mention by name contain propylene glycol, polysorbate-80, triacetin or other solvents, and are manufactured with low quality GMO cottonseed oil and artificial flavors.

The only ingredients in this one:

Water, Organic Alcohol, Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Coconut

Now that’s the real deal!

Mahalo and a Big Buss on the Lips…

to Crazy Rumors for their Aloha Collection package of HibisKiss lip colors!

Certified organic ingredients (mostly)

Zero parabens

Gluten-free & nut-free

Vegan & cruelty-free

With six sultry shades like Tropical, Coral, Breeze, Pearl, Sunrise, and Sunset  -as well as that lip-smacking hibiscus flavor- how can you help but feel all warm and fuzzy inside? …like you are about to embark on a morning surf session in Haleiwa - or maybe just kick back and relax on the beach Big Island style.

$28.99 for da hui. Sa-weet!

Flip & Tumble Instead of Lash & Wound

I’ll admit that the last post wasn’t the most vegetarian. After blogging about the massacre of my poor finger, I thought it would be better to write about something other than food. Soooo…here is one of my favorite eco-products - the 24-7 Bag by Flip & Tumble! These compact little spheres pop open into sturdy grocery totes, and most importantly for me, they are easy to remember. I keep a couple in my bag or in my car, and don’t have to apologize to the cashier at the health food store because I’m empty-handed when she surreptitiously asks me if I’ll be needing a plastic bag.

An added bonus: my husband is not embarrassed to carry the black ones - and when balled, the bright, colorful ones double as impromptu toys for my toddler. 

A Tiny Change Makes A Mighty Impact

Family owned farm Tiny But Mighty Foods in Iowa grows an heirloom variety of Non-GMO popcorn that is absolutely addictive. This super-premium corn has tiny, virtually hull-less kernels, and a sweet, buttery taste. I love, love, love this popcorn…you gotta check ‘em out!

Old News Is Good News

Ok - old news about super-toxic BPA leeching from the lining of the can into your tomatoes. Maybe you just don’t care about care about chromosomal damage, endocrine cancer or suppressed sperm count because you’d rather make the spaghetti sauce for Sunday night dinner. But personally, I do care - so when I need tomatoes, if they’re not fresh they are bottled. My favorite natural foods store brand of bottled tomatoes? Eden Organics. 

The East Coast Evil Twin

Now, Vegan donuts are not new to NYC. We all know Babycakes and the Vegan Divas serve up some fine vegan doughnuts…but an entire shop -completely Vegan no doubt- dedicated to this hollow-centered pastry? Drool, drool, drool… well done Dun-Well Donut Shop – but secretly plotting to take over the world from a little storefront in Brooklyn? I was home in July and missed my chance to join the dark side. Aaaaarrrrgh! Time for a visit to see my family…

CLICK ON PIC TO VISIT THE DARK SIDE 

photo: Dun-Well Donuts

The Superhero of Donuts  

Ahem, I ate my way straight through the holidays and obviously I have not stopped. My husband’s mention of our upcoming annual 28-day cleanse sent me into lucid dreaming about food, food and more food…thus, doughnuts. Truly I only eat donuts about once a year (ok, maybe twice), but when I do they better be great donuts - none of that hydrogenated-artificially-god-who-knows-what’s-in-it-flavored crap. I want a real donut – and a Vegan one at that. We-hellll…look what I found. Mighty-O Donuts. I am now considering moving to Seattle …ok maybe just a trip.

WARNING: YOU MAY GET A LITTLE DIZZY BUT CLICK ON THE PIC ANYWAY. 

photo: www.mightyo.com

“Honey is Sweet, But the Bee Stings”

Hmmmm, this old proverb is wise…that’s why I use coconut sugar - my new kitchen obsession. This caramel-colored natural sweetener is made from the sap that drips from the fragrant coconut palm flower buds - aahhhh one of my favorite scents that often wafts through the air on a balmy night here in Hawaii. Coconut nectar sugar is rich in amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, and has a low glycemic index of 35-54 per serving. Evidently the bees are collecting this stuff – so why not go right to the source your self? Find it here.

photo: Diana Bauman

DIVINE TWINE

100 % Cotton, this twine is traditionally used to tie up pastry boxes. It’s a great alternative to plastic string…perfect for wrapping up gifts and keeping those (latex!!) balloons tied down.

photo: BHLDN

It’s A  Crazy Rumor

But it’s true! There is an all-natural lip balm that is made with certified organic ingredients…that is also completely cruelty-free (gasp)! Pictured above is 1 of 4 flavors from the Candy Cane line by Crazy Rumors in New York. It partners succulent plum with rejuvenating peppermint and is 100% VEGAN. So keep those smackers soft n’ smooth during these harsh winter months…even if like me, you spend your winters in Hawaii.

Keep Your Cool

The Penguin Large Reusable Insulated Grocery Tote keeps groceries frozen for over an hour, and refrigerated for up to three hours. Constructed of industrial food-grade approved polypropylene and polyethylene fabrics, 1% of all revenue is donated to 1% for the Planet. A pack of 4 totes for $29 bucks? that’s a refreshing deal… 

Have Your Kelp & Eat It Too

I admit that this may be one of those crunchy-granola type of Vegan snacks…but hey! That’s a good thing! Packed with protein, calcium (180 mg per bar), and a variety of minerals, these krispy-krunchy sesame bars are truly a nutritional winner. The balance of mildly sweet (maple syrup & brown rice syrup) with ever-so-slightly salty (Maine coast Atlantic kelp with no salt added), create a toothsome combination. For those who like their snacks with a bit of a zingy bite, Kelp Krunch sesame-seaweed bars are also available with a touch of ginger, cayenne and vanilla. These bars are free of gluten, nuts, dairy, soy, trans-fats and any genetically modified ingredients…woohoo!!

And a P.S. to any moms out there: my 17 month old LOVES these!! I buy them by the case…

To purchase Kelp Krunch Bars and other nutrient-packed seaweed products, check out the Maine Coast Sea Vegetables website: http://www.seaveg.com/shop/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=14

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