Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Favorite Organic and All-Natural Foods

In an effort to cut preservatives, pesticides, antibiotics, and growth hormones out of my diet, I have been a little more careful with the foods I select at the grocery store. I have always bought some all-natural foods, but since having a baby I have become so much more aware of what I am feeding my family. I have been trying to prove to my husband over the ten years we have been married that healthy less-processed food doesn't mean it has to taste like cardboard. All of these foods, organic and all-natural, I am about to share with all of you are amazingly tasty and they aren't full of pesticides, preservatives, or growth hormones (which my husband jokes is what makes food taste good). 

Organic foods are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives. 

The day Ella was able to have cows milk I was in search of a milk that was rBST free (rBST is a growth hormone) and found this milk at Sunflower Farmer's Market. It's Shamrock Farms Organic Milk and my family loves it. It is seriously the most delicious milk we have ever had. Quick note: milk doesn't have to be organic to be rBST free, just check the bottle to make sure it doesn't have this hormone (it will say "rBST free"). Some farmer's give their cows this hormone to make them produce more milk which is then passed through the milk onto us. I don't know about you, but I don't need any extra growth hormones.

One of the main reasons I wanted to post about my favorite organic foods is because of this bread - Dave's Killer Bread. It ROCKS! It's organic, it's delicious, and it has 21 whole grains. Dave's motto is "Just say no to bread on drugs!" It has no preservatives, no animal byproducts, and no GMO's (genetically modified organisms). I found this amazingly delicious bread at Costco.

Some of my other favorite organic staples are organic eggs from Costco (I make sure the are free range chicken eggs), Organic Girl Good Clean Greens (click here for one of my recipes), organic whole wheat pasta, and organic steel cut oats. I try and buy organic produce as much as possible too.

"Natural Foods" are often foods that are minimally processed and do not contain any hormones, antibiotics, sweeteners, food colors, or flavorings that were not originally in the food.

A lot of foods I buy are all-natural. I like the fact that they don't have yucky additives. Don't get me wrong, not all of my family's favorite things come all-natural, but everything is okay in moderation (i.e. cupcakes and other delicious items). 

One of my favorite all-natural food makers is Alexia All Natural Gourmet Foods. They make yummy appetizers, artisan breads, fries, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and vegetable sides. I have had almost everything they make (except I am dying to try the new Waffle Cut Parmesan Lemon fries) and I love it all. All of their products are so flavorful and delicious. Alexia products can be found at most grocery stores. Here are two of my family's favorites: 
Sweet Potato Puffs (think Sweet Potato Tater Tots - Ella especially loves these)

I LOVE anything Kashi and when I need a sweet treat I go for these - Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Soft-Baked Cookies. All-natural, whole grain, dark chocolate, and they are so delish! These can be found at most grocery stores.

Kettle Baked Potato Chips. All I have to say besides they are all-natural and baked - they are my favorite chips EVER!

Other all-natural foods I love are Seapoint Farms Edamame, Gardenburgers, and three others that I blogged about in the past, Diana's Banana Babies, Dave's Gourmet Pasta Sauces, and Dorot Frozen Fresh Herbs.

AND last, but not least I have to mention my three favorite all-natural restaurants that even have organic ingredients in their kitchens; Blue Lemon, Chipotle, and Jamba Juice. I love Blue Lemon and die for their Black Bean Ravioli. I eat at Chipotle at least once a week and even my baby is addicted to their brown rice and black beans. And Jamba Juice has amazingly delicious organic steel cut oatmeal and a new hot cider drink (the Chillbuster) with organic mulling spices. So good!