Even though I do tend to eat the same things over and over (hello, yogurt bowls), I try and incorporate new foods into my diet on a fairly regular basis. This is especially easy in the summer when Will and I can hit up farmers markets for fresh produce and experiment a little bit with new veggies to put into our rotation! Radishes have actually been a frequent flyer this summer in our kitchen; we picked up a bunch on a whim one day and have been buying (and eating) them regularly ever since!
There have also been a few other food finds that I’ve brought into my pantry over the past few weeks, so I thought I’d take today to share these with you. Who knows, maybe you’ll find something new here to spice up your own repetitive food routine!
Dr. Bronner’s Organic Coconut Oil
No, coconut oil isn’t anything new to me, but this brand is! Previously we had been using the Whole Foods generic 365 Organic coconut oil, but decided to try something new this time around. I don’t know that I can say that Dr. Bronner’s is any better or any worse, but it does have very good flavor. They also claim that using the whole kernal allows more nutrients to be retained in the product. Again, I haven’t done enough research to know if this is actually true. Overall I’ve enjoyed cooking with this brand so far, so no complaints here. We’ve sauteed some delicious fresh squash in this oil, and also some cauliflower last night. Both came out very well, with a very slight coconut flavor. Also, I’m not really sure which is better — expeller pressed or virgin, but Dr. Bronner’s claims to be both. Win win?
Real Pickles Fermented Beets
I know what you’re thinking.. Fermented? Beets? Yuck. And I thought the same thing when Will pulled this jar out of the grocery bag. I’m a huge beet fan, and love trying them in new recipes with different flavor combinations. I’ve even had pickled beets at restaurants which were great, but there is something about the word fermented that turned me off. My first bite didn’t really dispute this either, as I found the flavor slightly metallic and like they just needed… something. So I actually ended up trying them over a dollop of plain full-fat greek yogurt (because why not?) with a touch of salt, and it turned out to be very good! Besides the fact that the yogurt turned a lovely shade of bright purple, the flavor combination turned it into a great side dish alongside my grilled chicken and corn on the cob that night.
Once Again Organic Sunflower Seed Butter
I don’t know how I hadn’t tried sunflower seed butter yet. I’ve read about it a thousand times on other blogs, and I know a lot of people with nut allergies use it as a substitute for peanut or other nut butters. Finally, I decided to give it a whirl the other day while stocking up on snacks for my work-snack-drawer (doesn’t everyone have one of those?). And from the very first taste — I can’t believe that I’ve waited this long to try it. I place peanut butter in very high regards (I could almost consider myself an addict) and this honestly ranked right up there. I mean delicious. I was a little disappointed when I looked at the ingredient list and saw sugar on there, so next time I will make sure to buy a brand without any added sugar, but I will definitely be stocking up on more Sunflower Seed Butter for future snacking!
Lara Alt Bar
I’m a huge Lara Bar fan. I love almost every flavor I’ve tried (except the chocolate varieties– those really don’t do it for me) so I was excited when I saw these new Lara Alt bars in our local Harvest Co-op! I bought one each of the Carrot Cake and Cinnamon Apple Crisp flavors, and had high hopes based on other Lara products. Verdict: womp womp. The Carrot Cake flavor was really not good in my opinion; it was very dry and chalky. The apple-cinnamon flavor was better, and was decent for a snack in a pinch but I don’t think I’d go out of my way to buy these again. Ah well, live and learn! Side note to Lara Bars: What are you guys doing? You can do better than that.
Trader Joe’s Crunchy Green Beans
Ok, Trader Joes, you’ve done it again! I bought these a couple of weeks ago as a substitute for one of my favorite snacks, Trader Joes’ Contemplates Inner Peas. I can eat those by the bag full, so I thought I’d switch it up this time and try something similar but new. They didn’t disappoint! They are interesting, with a bit of a sweet flavor along with a salty crunch, which makes for a good snack no matter what you are craving. These are seriously just green beans that are cooked, dried, and seasoned, so the ingredient list isn’t too bad. I don’t think they’ll be a pantry staple for me, but I’ll definitely keep my eyes peeled and pick these up again next time I hit up a TJs.
Mary’s Gone Crackers
I’m not totally gluten free, but I do try to avoid eating a ton of gluten/wheat products just because I feel better when I’m not gorging myself with wheat products at every meal. I honestly didn’t buy these crackers because they were gluten free, although it did make me a little curious. It turns out they are an excellent light, crispy cracker with a flavor much more interesting than your every day cracker. I’ve been eating them as an afternoon snack with a couple slices of cheese, and it has been a great thing to tide me over until dinner! I haven’t tried these yet with the sunflower seed butter, but since they’re both in my arsenal of office snacks, I’m sure that combo will happen soon.
So those are some of my new food finds lately. Some have been hits, and some not so much, but either way it’s fun to try new things and new combinations of foods. What are some new foods or brands that you’ve tried lately? Have you ever tried fermented beets? What’s your favorite new food you’ve tried lately?