I went shopping today. Shopping anymore is adventuresome, and usually involves stops at places I didn’t used to go to as often as I search for alternate food ideas. Today’s visits to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods (which is conveniently across the street from TJs) yielded a couple promising finds!
DARK CHOCOLATE HONEY MINTS
I found these Dark Chocolate Honey Mint gems at Trader Joe’s. There’s just three ingredients: honey, chocolate liquor, and peppermint extract. Honey is on the list of no-no foods for anti-inflammation, so these aren’t things I can eat a lot of, but it is at least a whole, natural food, unlike sugar, so is easier on the body. And they’re delicious! With no refined sugar in these they might be a good occasional treat!
Flax seed is one of the items on the list of foods that people should eat on an anti-inflammation diet. It fights inflammation. I use it mostly in fruit smoothies – just stick it in the blender with everything else, and I don’t even know it’s there. I buy it in this ground up form because my blender isn’t good enough to grind the seeds. It’s a lot easier to find this than the coconut and almond flours. I got this at Big Bear, but I’ve seen it in regular grocery stores too.
PUFFED SPELT AND BROWN RICE CAKES
Brown rice cakes and spelt/flax cakes are things I use as sandwich substitutes, mostly in Homemade “Nutella” and Banana Yumminess. (Man, I have GOT to find a better name for that….) I found these at Whole Foods. They have a neutral flavor with a bit of nuttiness. Of the two, the spelt/flax cakes are my favorite. (Let’s file that along with “Things I never thought I’d say ever.) I never would have considered eating it 2 months ago, but now I quite like it.
Coconut milk is one of those things I never bought before. I use it now in Magic Milkshakes and smoothies. But not all coconut milk is created equal. READ THE LABELS ON EVERYTHING YOU BUY!!! I have this other coconut milk I bought that has water, coconut extract (as in flavoring), guar gum, and other things I can’t pronounce. The Trader Joe’s version I bought today has just coconut milk and water. But there was some coconut milk in cartons at Trader Joe’s that had a boat load of ingredients in it, including sugar. So, always read labels, even at stores you think are “safe” by reputation!
I found this pasta made with quinoa and corn at Whole Foods. I have no idea how it tastes. I’m a little suspicious of the corn, because I don’t know if it’s refined corn flour or not, but I thought I’d try it out. I was wanting to see if it worked well in macaroni and cheese or not. Typical gluten free pastas like rice pasta and corn pasta are either made with refined grain or are sugar spiking, so they’re off limits. So we’ll see how this is. I’ll let you know how it works out!
NATURAL MILK FROM GRASS FED COWS
This low-temp pasteurized, non-homogenized milk from grass fed cows has nothing to do with an anti-inflammation diet. It’s just delicious. Non homogenized milk is also easier to digest, and non- or low-temperature pasteurized keeps all the beneficial bacteria that helps your body digest the milk. Ultra-pasteurized (at high temperatures) kills all of those beneficial bateria and makes it harder on the body. So, this sort of milk is much healthier, and tastes better. It’s also hugely more expensive. This quart was $3.00. It’s something I kind of treat myself with once in a while. I normally get my milk from a micro-dairy (Halo Farm) 10 minutes away in Trenton. That milk is ultra-pasteurized and homogonized, but it’s all from cows that are anti-biotic and growth hormone free, and is fresher and cheaper (!) than the stuff at the store.
I got these carob chips from the bulk bins at Whole Foods. They’re naturally sweet, with no added sweeteners at all, and are commonly used as a chocolate substitute. They aren’t really chocolatey – it’s hard to describe the flavor. They taste familiar to me for some reason – like I have a childhood memory associated with them that I can’t remember. Carob chips also apparently have nutritional benefits that chocolate doesn’t have.
CAROB COVERED RAISINS
These carob-covered raisins were right next to the carob chips, and I decided to get them as a munchy snack!
That’s it for this time!