What’s in it for me?: Organic
Local stores prove that organic food doesn't have to sacrifice flavor
October 14, 2007
Bamboo Market’s Pamela Ball recommends the following:
Zhena Gypsy Tea, $5.79
Ingredients: Organic free trade Sri Lankan and Indian black tea, red and pink rose petals, natural flavors
Description: This tea is pitched at a woman’s senses, with a strong floral scent.
Gypsy Tea warrants that the workers who work in the tea fields receive health care, maternity leave, child care and education. Sounds good to us.
Chocobilly’s cookies, $3.69
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Ingredients: Organic enriched unbleached wheat flour, semi-sweet chocolate, organic palm fruit oil, organic naturally evaporated cane sugar, organic brown sugar, organic sunflower and/or safflower oil, whole eggs, organic tapioca syrup, pure vanilla
Description: These little cookies are addicting and are as good as any store-bought chocolate chip cookies we’ve ever had. Give them to the kiddies for after-school snacks knowing they are free of trans fats.
Late July Organic Classic Saltines, $2.99
Ingredients: organic wheat flour, organic palm oil, organic oleic safflower oil or sunflower oil, sea salt, organic evaporated can juice, yeast, enzymes
Description: The package states that these crackers are crispy. Unfortunately, fresh out of the sealed bag, they were dense and not crispy. However, they had a pleasant flavor and offer a decent cracker without any trans fat and very little saturated fat. Sodium is pretty low, at 120 mg per four crackers, and there is no unwanted sugar in the crackers. Texture was as if they had been left out on the counter in Memphis on a late July day.
Environkidz Organic Crispy Rice Bar, berry flavor, $3.79
Ingredients: organic brown rice flour, organic evaporated cane juice, sea salt, organic molasses, organic rice bran extract, organic brown rice syrup, organic honey, organic soy oil, organic corn starch, organic freeze-dried raspberries, gelatin-free natural marshmallow flavor, natural blueberry flavor and more
Description: Don’t tell the rug rats they’re organic. What they don’t know is good for them. The convenience of putting a couple of after-school snacks in your child’s backpack every morning is a high priority. These are like an organic Rice Krispie treat cookie, and they taste like they have more than the 7 grams of sugar listed on the wrapper. Give them a try with your hockey players and ski racers.
Traditional Medicinal Just for Kids Organic Cold Care Winter Season Tea, $4.79
18 tea bags
Ingredients: European elder flower, linden flower, chamomile flower and peppermint leaf (all organic)
Description: It’s significant to note that although the literature on the box seems to imply the product will ward off the common cold, it stops short of making any medical claims and even contains a disclaimer saying it is not intended to treat or prevent any disease. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it. The manufacturer claims the tea is intentionally made with mild herbs that are formulated to be tolerated well by children. Is the tea enjoyable? The strongest aroma/flavor that comes through is mild mint. There is certainly no bitter taste, so children should find it a soothing tonic on a wintry day when they need a boost.
Organic Prairie Bratwurst, $7.29
Ingredients: Organically raised pork from small farms, spices including organic onion powder and natural pork casings. No antibiotics, no pesticides used to grow pasture.
Description: Coming from small farms in Wisconsin, this sausage definitely has a pedigree. The flavor is very good but not as spicy as many big-name brats. We prepared them by boiling in water followed by searing on a grill. Next time around, we’d boil them in a mixture of water and dark beer with plenty of onions for grilling.
Organic Valley Muenster, $5.39
Ingredients: organic cultured pasteurized milk, salt, enzymes, annatto
Description: Muenster is the American version of the more pungent German and French Muenster cheeses. Typically mild in flavor, it’s a great picnic cheese – good with late summer fruits like cherries and peaches, as well as salami. Organic Valley’s cheese has a pleasant aroma and is noticeably salty.
Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 almond cereal, $4.99
Ingredients: organic sprouted whole grain wheat and malted barley, organic almonds, organic sprouted whole grain barley, whole grain millet, whole lentils, whole soybeans and whole grain spelt, filtered water and sea salt
Description: The list of ingredients is actually based on a Bible verse and the philosophy behind this cereal is to “unlock the dormant food energy” and nutrition in whole grains by allowing them to barely sprout in a little water before processing the cereal. This stuff is packed with protein – 8 grams in half a cup of cereal. Your five bucks gets you about eight servings. So how does it taste? You can prepare it hot or cold, and we recommend hot. Nuke it for 35 seconds with a little dab of (soy?) milk, and it retains a nice crunchiness to complement its nutty flavor. Most important – serve it with any kind of fruit, and you’ll find it much more appetizing than the plain cereal.
Healthy Solutions’ Jennifer Harlan recommends the following:
Bearitos all natural Taco Shells, $2.79
Ingredients: organic stone ground yellow corn masa flour, expeller pressed canola and/or safflower and/or sunflower oil
Description: Taco shells have a nice flavor, and the organic corn shell is very crisp. But, the opening in the taco is so narrow, you’ll struggle to fill it without breaking it.
Wasabi Ranch salad dressing, $6.99
Ingredients: Organic expeller pressed soybean oil, organic buttermilk, Real Wasabi paste, water, organic cider vinegar, organic egg yolks, organic lemon juice, organic spice blend, organic cane sugar, culture skim milk, organic sweet whey and more
Description: This salad dressing has a wonderful peppery, horseradish flavor that doesn’t assault the tongue or clear your sinuses. But don’t equate organic food with diet food — Wasabi Ranch contains 10 grams of fat per two tablespoon serving.
Amy’s vegetarian organic refried black beans, $2.29
Ingredients: organic black beans, filtered water, organic onions, bell peppers and tomatoes, organic high oleic safflower and/or sunflower oil, sea salt, organic garlic and green chilies, spices
Description: We tasted the beans on their own outside the taco shell and experienced a very nice, mildly spicy flavor from a nice selection or organic veggies blended into the beans. This product’s smooth texture is closer to humus than the lumpy refried black beans we are accustomed to. This is a nice vegan product offering 7 grams of protein per half-cup serving. Unfortunately, at 440 mg, the sodium is a little too high.
Mainland grass fed Organic Cheddar from New Zealand, $5.79
Ingredients: Cow’s milk, salt, starter culture, vegetarian rennet
Description: Wow, this is the real deal. Just enough sharpness with a very rich, creamy flavor. Of course, the fact that the milk used to make this cheese was produced organically doesn’t mean the cheese doesn’t contain dairy fat – 9 grams of fat, 7 of them saturated in a 25 gram (three-quarters of an ounce?) slice
Nancy’s strawberry Kefir, $1.49
Ingredients: organic milk, organic strawberries, organic agave nectar, organic nonfat dry milk, organic inulin and bacterial cultures
Description: Think of this organic low-fat milk product as a desert drink. It’s packed with sugar – 32 grams in 8 fluid ounces, but its source is strawberries and agave nectar. The milk comes from small dairy farms surrounding Eugene, Ore., where the farmers have pledged not to use artificial growth hormone. The Kesey family promises billions of live probiotic bacteria in every sip. Yum (we think).