plant based nutrition

7 tips for going organic on a budget

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You’re likely are no stranger to the benefits of organic foods over conventionally grown foods -- organic foods 'aren't allowed to be cultivated with nasty pesticides, synthetic growth hormones, and GMOs. 

But perhaps the price tag of organic foods makes you wonder if it's worth it or if it’s even possible with your food budget.

There are many benefits of eating more organic food, not least lowering your exposure to hormone-disrupting toxins.  

The costs of healthcare are more astronomical now than ever, so it makes great sense to take better care of yourself through nourishing foods that don't have harmful agents in them.

Going organic can have a bit of a higher price tag, but it is worth it in the long run.  

If going all organic isn't an option, you can still take small steps to get safer food on your table.  

Here are a few tips to help you on your next grocery run: 

1. Always give your kids organic

Because kids are still in a crucial period of growing, if you have to make sacrifices in your budget for organics, then you could just buy organic for your children to start with.  Those pesticides and growth hormones can affect their growing bodies. You can start by picking up long-lasting produce that won't go bad quickly, so you aren't throwing money down the drain. So going organic is especially important for your kids.

2. Go organic on meat and dairy items 

If you do choose to eat meat & dairy, buy from farms that have an excellent reputation.  Conventionally-raised livestock is given synthetic growth hormones, and they're fed grains that contain GMOs.  If that's not upsetting enough, these animals are often kept in inhumane conditions that you'd be appalled to see. 

3. Follow the EWGs yearly Clean 15 & Dirty Dozen’ 

Want to know something really alarming? Even fruits that have peels that you don't eat can absorb the pesticides they're sprayed with. So when you thought it was fine to choose a banana that wasn't organic, think again. It's even more critical when it comes to fruits and vegetables where you do eat the skin.  Check out the EWG's yearly Clean 15 / Dirty Dozen list to see what items you should definitely be purchasing organic, and which items have the lowest amount of pesticides where you can skip the organic label. 

4. Avoid GMOs at all costs

GMO's cause a host of problems and should be avoided.  Just a few years ago, GMO's weren't as widely understood as they are today.  Because of this awakening, we are starting to see more products labelled ‘GMO-free’.

5. Switch your coffee

Love coffee? Make the switch to organic. Regular coffee is chemically-treated, and since it penetrates into the beans, you're brewing up a pesticide-laden beverage for yourself that can take a toll on your health over time.  Since coffee is typically consumed daily by coffee drinkers, it's worth the extra money to invest in organic coffee.

6. Wash all produce (both organic & non-organic)

It is also important to wash all of your produce - organic and non-organic. Here’s my produce wash recipe.  

Fruit & Veggie Bath Recipe 

Fill your sick with water.  Add 3 drops of lemon essential oil and a 1/2 cup of white vinegar.  Add produce and leave to soak for 15 mins. 

The white vinegar is effective at killing most bacteria, germs and mould due to its acidity level. 

The lemon essential oil is a good degreaser and will hep dissolve the wax and toxins that are sprayed on some fruits and vegetables that can seal in pesticides. 

7. Shop local & look for your local co-op

Consider shopping for produce at your local farmer's market where you can be sure you're getting organically-grown produce which has the added benefit of being local, too.  You can also join a co-op where everyone pitches in for fresh organic produce from local farms. 

There are options for your better health organically that don't have to cost a fortune, so check them out and find what works best for you and your family.

Your turn: Do you choose to buy organic?  Do you have a favourite produce wash recipe? 

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The Healthiest Marshmallows in the World

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This recipe is a little trickier than my usual super easy ones but totally worth is.  Also remember, sugar is sugar is sugar.....no matter where it comes from  So this really is for those special occasions.  

Ingredients

1 1/2 tbsp. agar agar

1/2 cup cold water

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/8 tsp. himalayan salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

 

Instructions

Lightly grease a baking tray with coconut oil and cover it with baking paper. Also grease the paper lightly.

Put ¼ cup of the water in a bowl and sprinkle in the agar agar. Put it aside to turn geletinous.

In another pot heat the salt,  maple syrup and the remaining water. Heat to about 120 degrees C (240 degrees F). It could take up to 10 minutes to reach this temperature. To check if it’s ready dribble a little of the liquid into a bowl of ice cold water. Allow the syrup to cool in the water, remove it from the water and form into a soft little ball, if it molds into a ball its ready. 

Remove the syrup from the heat as soon as it’s at the right temperature.

Slowly whisk the hot mixture into the agar agar mixture.  Start by pouring the mixture down the edges of the bowl.

Then add the vanilla extract and salt.  Increase the speed of the whisk.

Whisk for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture is fluffy and thick. 

Empty the mixture into the baking tray and leave uncovered overnight so that it can dry out. 

When ready cut the marshmallow into shapes.

Alternatively, you could grease some small moldings and let the mixture set in these molds for a variety of shapes. 

Share and enjoy!

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