The quality of our food has decreased greatly as companies produce products with the use of chemicals and pesticides in a startling quantity. Even purchasing raw, whole foods can be dangerous. If you buy non-organic produce from your local supermarket each week you will consume about one gallon of pesticides per year just from an average amount of fruits and veggies eaten on a daily basis. You may think you’re eating healthy by turning away from the packaged, processed garbage but think again. You’re still actually harming yourself and your family if you don’t turn to organic and all natural foods and products. Just a few short years ago your organic options were pretty limited. Luckily, many grocery stores are designating a whole section to organic products and most people can find a health food store in their area that provides safe and healthy food as well. In my area we have Wegmans which is a great grocery store chain that carries the largest variety of organic products in the area. It costs my family a bit more to purchase our food this way but we feel better overall and it’s worth budgeting for organic food. I hit the shelves of our local store to find some of the best organic and safe food options that I could stock our fridge and pantry with.
Because I like to cook from scratch (I find it’s the easiest way to know what goes into our meals) I like to keep basic staples in the house. One of those is broth. Usually I keep chicken and beef broth in the house. Unfortunately those big box containers take up a lot of room on the pantry shelf but Better Than Bouillon makes concentrated bouillons in tiny little containers and they’re great to keep a bunch of. Best part is they come in organic varieties as well as low sodium varieties. You keep them in the fridge once opened and I love to keep them around for things like throwing some chicken in the crockpot to turn into shredded chicken for tacos. You throw a spoon full of Better Than Bouillon in the pot, some water, the chicken and you’re done.
Add to the list of pantry staples products from Navitas Naturals. Every morning my hubby makes himself a smoothie before heading to work. It gets boring when you start with that banana, add some strawberries, maybe some kale. To really pump up his smoothie we keep some bags of coconut water powder in the house (Also good for stomach bugs to rehydrate), pomegranate powder, Acai powder and Chia Seeds. These items can be snuck into a lot of different meals. You’re adding some great minerals and vitamins without having to supplement.
Stock that pantry with Cento products like canned tomatoes and pastes. I love their vegetable paste. It’s great added to soups and my favorite is to add a little squirt to alfredo sauce to create a whole new taste.
Earth Balance makes some healthy alternatives to traditional products such as buttery spreads, dressings and nut butters. They are made with healthier ingredients such as coconut, soy, etc. They are great to have in the house and I keep a bunch of their products around to use in recipes.
Mamma Chia makes some really tasty products that are packed with Chia seeds. Chia seeds provide energy, a great source of fiber and are full of Omega-3’s. Chia Squeeze snack packs are great to pack on the go or you can sit back and enjoy a Mamma Chia beverage such as Kiwi Lime, Cranberry Lemonade, Coconut Mango and tons more. They can even be added to smoothies to liven them up a bit.
Yogurt is a basic in our house. We don’t eat a ton of it but sometimes my husband throws it in his smoothie and my son likes a bowl of it occasionally. Plus it’s great to keep a good quality yogurt around if someone has to take an antibiotic or is fighting an illness. Latta Russian Kefir Yogurt is packed with beneficial bacteria (probiotics). There are a lot of different probiotic products on the market but the difference between those other competitors and Latta is that Latta Russian Kefir is cultured directly in it’s container. Nothing is more fresh or natural than this product. Also, it’s made in the Pennsylvania Amish Country.
Another great way to get your vitamins each day is by way of Vitalicious products. These are great because they are kept in the freezer and thaw pretty quickly. I keep some of the muffin tops in the freezer downstairs, toss them in the fridge the night before and in the morning we have a quick and healthy breakfast with not a lot of sugar and no added nasty ingredients. I like Vitalicious products because not only can you freeze them but the vitamin content isn’t something crazy like 200% your daily value of a certain vitamin. We can all eat their products including my five year old. They also have VitaBrownies which make a great dessert!
Unfortunately my belly doesn’t like dairy too much so while I do enjoy an occasional bowl of ice cream I also like to keep non-dairy options available for those weeks you simply just want a bowl almost every night. Organic Coconut Bliss makes a fantastic vanilla frozen dessert product that has this really natural and tasty coconut flavor to it. It’s not overly sweet and has a low glycemic index number. We all eat this in our house and it works with syrup, whipped cream and cherries just like a traditional dairy-laden dessert. Another great ice cream alternative is Tofutti. It has a really nice, rich vanilla flavor to it and I love it plain. They also make frozen bars and other dessert items.
I keep some desserts on hand in my freezer for last minute get togethers, a last minute celebration…ok really anything we can celebrate with some sweets we do! Barbara’s hand made cookie pies are awesome and they boast the best ingredient in the world that I personally add to everything: Love. It may look like a pie but it eats just like a cookie. They are 100% natural and don’t have any preservatives in them. Just keep them frozen until you’re ready to thaw and eat.
I love that taste of salty and sweet put together. Chocolate covered pretzels or chips are my favorite. Salazon Chocolate Co. makes organic salted chocolate that is to die for. There are a few different bars to choose from including Dark Chocolate with Natural Sea Salt as well as Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt and a Touch Of Caramel. This single-origin product comes from the Dominican Republic and 100% USDA Organic.
Sunshine Burgers are a healthy and delicious food to keep around for quick dinners, lunches or even a snack. They are made with whole food ingredients such as raw sunflower seeds and brown rice. Other ingredients are added to create some of their unique flavors such as Falafel, Hemp & Sage, Southwest and more. They are soy free and vegan as well.
I keep a big arsenal of pasta sauces in the house as we eat pasta at least once per week. I like to keep traditional red sauces in my pantry but occasionally like to switch it up with some other flavors. Dave’s Gourmet makes some great pasta sauces such as Butternut Squash and Organic Red Heirloom sauce. You can top regular noodles with them or use these sauces in a recipe for a great meal.
I have a five year old son so of course we keep way more candy in the house than I care to. If I have to loosen up and treat him to some sugar I would at least rather it not be some high-fructose corn syrup product that has all those artificial dyes in it. Surf Sweets makes some awesome natural and organic candy that is made with organic fruit juice and sweeteners. I got a huge case of these products to try and the consensus is that they were great. There are so many different varieties to choose from and my favorite is the Fruity Bears and Jelly Beans. There’s also Gummy Bears, Sour Worms and other classic candy varieties to choose from.
I went gluten free this past year and had some great health benefits from it. Because of that the way I cook for my husband and son tends to be gluten free as well so I don’t have to prepare two different meals. Just a few years ago you couldn’t find many gluten free options at the supermarket and they weren’t very good the ones that were there. Today, the shelves at my local grocery store are packed with awesome gluten free options that often taste better than the gluten-packed options.
Jovial makes the best gluten free pasta in my opinion. I think it takes just like the regular stuff and it makes everyone in our house happy. I love the spaghetti variety but there are other noodle shapes to choose from. You can eat them with sauce or use them to make a recipe or casserole.
Glutino products are Gluten free and delicious! They make gluten free toaster pastries that are way healthier than that ‘other’ popular brand. They also make some other tasty products like stuffing mixes, cereal bars and cookies. All really tasty, healthy and gluten free!
Canyon Bakehouse sent me a case of different gluten-free breads and rolls to try out. Typically I stay away from bread all together because I hadn’t found a brand that I really liked. This all changed when I tried this brand’s products. The Cinnamon Raisin loaf has become a staple in my house. I have made it toasted in the morning for breakfast and I have even turned it into French Toast. They also have a 7-Grain bread that’s really good and their Deli Rye Style bread tastes just like the real thing. Maybe even better!
Wholly Wholesome makes some nice gluten free pie crusts that you can keep in the freezer. If you find out some guests are coming over that day you can whip one out and make a quick pudding pie. They’re really great to have on hand.
The gluten can really add up in your diet if you don’t try to minimize the amount you snack on. Good Boy Organics makes some awesome Organicasaurus puffs that are cheesy and delicious without any gluten in them. My son loves them and so do I! They are baked not fried and have no preservatives or trans fat in them.
Another great gluten free snack is Bops Baked Organic Potato Snacks. They are baked as well with no preservatives or trans fats. These chips are really good and come in flavors such as BBQ, Sea Salt, Sour Cream & Onion and Aged White Cheddar.
Melissa’s Organic is one of my favorite organic brands. They offer fantastic organic produce at a reasonable price and their products are convenient. The air-tight lentils are awesome to throw in a quick soup or make into burgers. The beets are ready to use and can be used in literally any recipe by just opening the package.
For a quick snack it’s great to have Pure Bars in the house. They are made of all natural ingredients like dates, raisins, fruit and more. They are a nice mixture between a power or protein bar and a granola bar. They are great for the whole family and give you a lot of energy with not a ton of calories.
Artisana makes some alternate nut butters that are great if your child is allergic to traditional peanut butter or if you just want some variety in your house. My husband thinks the Pecan Butter is fantastic and there are other varieties such as Macadamia Nut Butter, Walnut Butter and Cashew Butter.
The babies and toddlers in your life need good, organic nutrition just like we do and maybe more so since they are growing and developing. Happy Family makes a whole lines of products from foods to snacks that will provide your infant and / or toddler with all the vitamins and minerals they need to thrive. Everything is USDA certified organic including but not limited to: oatmeal cereal, rice cereal, fruit and veggie pouches, toddler bars and yogurt.
Don’t forget about your fur babies! Your pets should be healthy too so keep their food and treats as wholesome and all natural as you can. Bil-Jac makes dog treats that are grain free and healthy. They are nutritious and tasty for and great for an everyday treat or training tool.
My kitties love Merrick’s all natural pet food. They make a huge variety of canned soft food that they love and it’s easy on their bellies. Normally we struggle with soft food for our cats because they just don’t seem to digest it well but this all natural variety sits really well with them and they love flavors such as Surf and Turf and Beef Wellington. I’m convinced they’re eating better than I do.