To buy organic food or to not buy organic food? That seems to be the hot question everywhere these days! No matter what side of the argument you side with, knowing what organic vs. non organic is and how you can slowly introduce these foods to your grocery list can be valuable for your health and your wallet!
What are Organic Foods?
Organic foods are foods that are produced by farming methods that promote biodiversity, ecological balance, and avoid using extra chemicals or additives in the soil. Many foods have become “non-organic” over time because using chemicals, like pesticides, help farmers to grow larger crops for a cheaper price. In many cases, the nutritional profile of non-organic vs. organic fruits and vegetables are the same. The important distinction, and why many people pick organic, is that these foods are friendlier on the environment and do not have extra chemicals inside of them that may cause different sicknesses.
How to Buy Organic Food
Now that you know the difference between organic and non-organic foods, are you interested in starting to buy organic? If so, the great news is that many supermarkets have begun to sell a variety of organic foods at an affordable price. If you live in the south, one of our favorite places to shop affordably for organic foods is Earth Fare. This supermarket bans certain chemicals and additives in all their foods so you can feel good about everything you purchase. It is also extremely affordable and has lots of weekly specials.
Shopping organic can also be something that you slowly integrate into your weekly supermarket trips. If you are just getting started or want to get started, here is what we recommend doing:
Shop Organic for “The Dirty Dozen” – The Dirty Dozen lists foods that are most commonly found to have pesticide residue. Think fruits and vegetables that you eat the skin of (grapes, apples, peaches, etc.) or that grow low to the ground or underground (spinach, sweet potatoes, lettuce, etc.). It makes sense that these foods have more chemicals than others. Since the foods are sprayed with pesticides, eating the skin, even if it’s thoroughly cleaned, can be harmful. Also, the foods that grow close to the ground collect all the drops of chemicals that trickle down into the ground.
Buy Organic Tomatoes – One of the biggest taste differences in organic vs. non-organic is tomatoes! Have you ever eaten a tomato from your own garden in late summer? They are sweet and delicious and taste much different than the large bitter ones sold in supermarkets. If you are new to organics and want to taste the difference, tomatoes are a great place to start. Make a simple Caprese salad with an organic, vine-ripened tomato.
Check the Expiration Date – Organic foods often expire much faster than non-organic ones! Take extra time at the supermarket to check the expiration date on your organic foods. Eggs will typically be good for a month, cheese can be anywhere from a week to a month, bread will be about a week, and vegetables are usually good for a few days before they go bad.
Cook Using Simple Methods – At first, organic shopping can take a little more time, so balance the extra time in the supermarket with simple, easy to make recipes. Check out our recipe vault of Slow Cooker Recipes. Each one only requires about 15 minutes of prep time and your house will smell amazing while they cook!
More Information on Organic Foods
It’s great to try to eat organic if you haven’t started to already. Consider visiting our Blog for healthy recipes to inspire you to cook with organic foods! To help encourage children in your life to understand the importance of eating foods, check our Online Shop for lots of fun products featuring The OrganWise Guys!
Make these sweet potato nachos for your Super Bowl party tomorrow! The great thing about these sweet potato nachos is that you use baked sweet potato chips for your base instead of regular tortilla chips. By trading in sweet potatoes, you get a healthy serving of Vitamin A and much less fat thanks to baking the chips. Add healthy toppings like black beans, avocado, salsa, etc. and you have yourself the perfect party dish!
These sweet potato nachos are also a lot of fun to make with the whole family. Make sure that an adult cuts the sweet potatoes, but kids can lend their hands in piling on the toppings. We know this recipe will be a hit!
Tip: if the sweet potatoes are too difficult to cut with a knife, boil them whole for a few minutes to soften.
Buffalo chicken is the epitome of party food, especially during football season! Buffalo chicken wings, buffalo chicken sandwiches, salads, etc. The list goes on! Buffalo chicken dip is typically prepared in a not so healthy way. Think cream cheese, lots of cheese, very little vegetables, and only a little bit of chicken. The main thing that you are really eating in most buffalo chicken dip is heavy dairy products and not much else! We wanted to change this so we came up with a recipe for buffalo chicken dip… made in a slow cooker! Having slow cooker buffalo chicken dip not only saves you time in the kitchen (mainly because the chicken cooks itself in the slow cooker), but this recipe is also a way to enjoy the buffalo chicken dip without extra added fats. Plus, we added veggies like celery and carrots to give this dip a nice crunch and a pop of color. Make this for your upcoming Super Bowl party; it will be a hit!
What are you going to make? Our stomachs have been growling seeing the abundance of delicious treats all over the internet that can be served for the big day. Did you know that Super Bowl Sunday is only second to Thanksgiving for the most food consumed in a day? This recipe for lightened-up seven layer dip is sure to be a hit! Best of all, it includes two of The OrganWise Guys Foods of the Month – good fats (avocado) and low-fat dairy! (low-fat Greek yogurt)
Keep it Healthy.
Be sure to pick healthy appetizers and snacks for your viewing party like this lightened-up seven layer dip. By using ground turkey, switching out sour cream for Greek yogurt, and adding an extra layer of yummy veggies, we think this dip is a winner that everyone will enjoy!
1 15 oz. can vegetarian refried beans (or make your own*!)
1 red pepper, diced
1 jar tomato salsa
1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 package guacamole
1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
Green onions, for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the ground turkey using a skillet on medium high heat until no pink remains, about 10 minutes. Stir in taco seasoning and set aside.
Using a small rectangular baking dish, begin to layer your dip. Start with a layer of the refried beans. Next, add the turkey, then the chopped red pepper, then the salsa, then the cheese. Bake for 25 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.
Remove dip from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Then, spread an even layer of the guacamole on top, followed by the sour cream, extra cheese, and green onions. Return to the oven and broil for 5 minutes until the top cheese begins to bubble.
Serve with veggies and whole grain tortilla chips.
*Make your own refried beans with the recipe here: http://www.organwiseguys.com/blog/homemade-refried-beans/
OrganWise Guys Blog http://www.organwiseguys.com/blog/
Blacks beans, a type of legume, are what comes to mind when we think of Mexican inspired dishes like quesadillas, burritos and nachos. These yummy beans are packed with fiber, making them a great choice to add to your meals whenever you make Mexican food at home or enjoy it in a restaurant. We love the idea of packing in legumes to these meals to get potassium and protein in our diets too! Try swapping out meat like grilled chicken in quesadillas for blacks beans instead. This black bean and sweet potato quesadilla recipe makes it easy for you to do just this. The salty black beans and the sweet sweet potato make for a delicious combination. Add some pepper jack cheese and you’re all set for an appetizer (think upcoming Super Bowl) or meal.
Boil the sweet potato cubes for about 15 minutes, until they are tender.
Drain and transfer to a bowl. Mash the sweet potato and mix in the cilantro, salt and pepper.
Lay the tortillas flat, the spread about 2 tbsp. of the sweet potato mixture onto the bottom half of the quesadilla. Top with 2 tbsp. black beans and a sprinkle of cheese. Repeat with the remaining 3 tortillas.
Fold over the quesadilla then transfer to a nonstick pan (or sandwich press) and cook for about 3 minutes on each side over medium heat until the cheese is melty and the tortilla is crispy.
Serve with your favorite toppings like low-fat sour cream, salsa and guacamole!
If serving as an appetizer the serving size is 8 instead of 4.
OrganWise Guys Blog http://www.organwiseguys.com/blog/
Spicy buffalo cauliflower is a healthy take on fried buffalo chicken wings. The best part about both of these treats is the spicy kick you get when you eat them! It really doesn’t matter whether or not it’s a veggie covered in spicy sauce or chicken, in our opinion. The great thing about this recipe is that since the cauliflower is less filling and greasy than fried chicken, you can eat lots more of it. And you can feel great about eating these tasty buffalo cauliflower bites because they are loaded with fiber and Vitamin C and are very low in fat. Serve with some carrots and celery during your upcoming Super Bowl Party for a delicious veggie plate!
This recipe is so tasty and easy that you’ll never go for canned refried beans again!
Refried beans don’t have to be full of fat. Typically, in restaurants, bacon grease or butter are added to refried beans making them a not-so-healthy choice. The canned versions can be high in sodium too. But, when you make your own refried beans you can still get the delicious taste of a restaurant style dish without the added fat and salt! Think of this recipe as sort of like Mexican inspired mashed potatoes. It’s simple, quick and only uses a few ingredients. The stars of this homemade refried beans recipe, pinto beans, are full of fiber too, which you can feel good about eating.
Although it doesn’t look like it, cauliflower is one of those foods that can be used as a substitute for so many things. We’ve made cauliflower pizza crust, there are recipes for cauliflower “fried rice”, cauliflower “mashed potatoes”, and more! The possibilities are endless. What about using cauliflower in place of bread in grilled cheese? When we heard about cauliflower grilled cheese, we had to try it! The result is delicious. And, by swapping out bread for cauliflower, you gain lots of nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and Vitamin B6.
Use a box grater to finely grate one medium-sized cauliflower head.
Microwave the grated cauliflower on high for two minutes, until it is hot.
Transfer the cooled grated cauliflower to a dish towel and squeeze out all the excess water.
Combine the grated cauliflower with the egg, mozzarella, parmesan and spices. Mix together with a fork or spoon, then use your hands to separate it into 4 equal sized parts. Place the 4 parts onto a baking sheet covered with piece of parchment paper sprayed with nonstick oil.
Use your hand to flatten out each piece into a square shape (like a piece of bread).
Bake for 20 minutes until the cauliflower bread slices are golden brown.
Remove from oven and assemble the sandwiches using the cheddar cheese.
Bake for another 5 minutes, until the cheese is gooey.
OrganWise Guys Blog http://www.organwiseguys.com/blog/
Happy New Year … almost! Hopefully all of you have had a memorable 2015 and are excited about all of the new opportunities that come with a new year. Make sure and be safe tonight while celebrating. We look forward to spending another fun and healthy year with each of you! Check back with us in January to see some new and exciting things that we have going on for the kids in the new year. Here’s to a healthy 2016!
If you need to keep the kids entertained and awake until the ball drops, download a fun Happy New Year coloring page and activity sheet:
Most of us create resolutions at the beginning of a new year. After all, it’s a great time to make behavior changes and start off the year with healthier habits than you left behind the year before. Many resolutions are unkept because they are too ambitious and cannot be adhered to after the first week.
Here are 5 simple ways to a healthier 2016:
Eat breakfast – This seems simple, right? Many people think skipping this all-important meal will help in weight loss goals, however, getting your day started with a healthy breakfast is the best thing for you.
Ease into exercise – Start out with smaller goals such as taking a walk after dinner, or a quick run with the dog before or after work and then work up to more intense exercise sessions.
Find a workout partner – It is easier to stay committed when you have someone keeping you accountable. If you know your best friend is going to be waiting for you at the gym, you are more likely to go!
Cook with simple swaps – Try healthier versions of your favorite dishes by substituting lower-fat alternatives! Turkey sausage, low-fat cheese, and greek yogurt are a few examples of some tasty swaps! Check out some of our favorite healthy ingredient substitutions.
Engage with family – There is nothing better than spending quality time with family except for fitting in physical activity while bonding! Take a family walk or weekend hike and you will see how good it feels for the entire family to be healthy!
While we’re talking about simple ways to a healthier 2016, if you haven’t come up with your new year’s resolutions yet, download this resolutions worksheet for you and your kids. Make it fun, and make sure to be creative, yet realistic.
Remember, slow and steady wins the race! It’s the small things that can make a big difference, so commit to a healthy 2016 now!
What resolutions do you hope to accomplish this year?