Posts tagged Organic

Baffled by Sugar

Healthy Home

Welcome to Healthy Home, an enlightening weekly series on Mom Going Green.  Healthy Home focuses on natural health topics for the whole family.  The goal of this series is to provide moms (and dads too), with information on how to achieve optimal health for the entire household naturally.   The series will include the latest in natural health news, wholesome health tips, yummy recipes, and natural health remedies that have worked for healthy homes in years past.

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Options for Sugar

The sugar aisle in the grocery store is the most confusing and frustrating for me.  So many choices, UGH!!  I don’t like so many choices, it brings out my indecisive side.  Do I go with regular white, brown, Raw, Demerara,

Turbinado, Rapadura, Sucanat, Stevia???  Where do I start?  What’s the difference?  Is one cup of white sugar the same as 1 cup of Rapadura or Turbinado, or Raw?  I’m getting a headache!

After putting in several hours of research here is a synopsis of what I found and a handy chart to tuck in your re-usable shopping bag when at the store.

 “White” & “Brown” Sugar

Let’s start with the traditional refined white sugar.  If you guessed this is the worst and most unhealthy, you are correct!  White sugar has been heated and filtered to the max, not to mention, bleached, so that all nutrients and molasses is filtered and heated out and what is left is fine white crystals with no nutritional value.  Brown sugar goes through the same process but with some of the molasses or caramel coloringbeing added back in (at different ratios for light/dark).

 Turbinado Sugar

This sugar is produced when the juice from crushed sugar cane is extracted and evaporated with heat.  The sugar crystallizes and is spun in a centrifuge.  This removes additional moisture and molasses (the nutrient dense portion of sugar).  A small amount of molasses remains.  Turbinado often comes from Hawaii, one company that produces a form of turbinado is Sugar In The Raw, out of Maui, Hawaii.

 Demerara Sugar

(Washed Raw Sugar) is processed similar to Turbinado.  The name Demerara is from the Demerara River in the Guyana region where this sugar was grown.  It has similar nutritional value to Turbinado.  They are both a light brown, large crystal sugar.  An example of Demerara is here.

 Muscovado Sugar

A dark brown sugar from sugar cane after evaporated, heated, pan-evaporated in the sun, and finally pounded.  It retains a lot of nutrients and is tends to be hold extra moisture, therefore it may take some experimenting before using in baked goods.  Muscovado comes from Mauritius, an island of the coast of Africa.

 Organic Whole Cane Sugar

(formerly Rapadura)

This is an unrefined and unbleached sugar by Rapunzel, harvested in Brazil.  Organic Whole Cane Sugar is not separated from the molasses during the squeeze-dried process.  It is known for a unique caramel flavor.  It can be substituted for white sugar in a 1:1 ratio.  The Rapunzel is very eco-conscious and has been since 1974.  They grow and purchase through the Hand in HandTM Fair Trade program.   Rapunzel works with local small farms in South America and contributes to educational, health and environmental programs in the local community.

 Sucanat

Sucanat stand for SUgar CAne NATural which is a brand name of this first whole, unseperated, unrefined sugar sold in the US. Sucanat comes from whole sugar cane from Costa Rica.  The sugar cane is crushed, the juice extracted and heated then hand-padded dry.  They are certified Fair Trade and Organic.  I have read several sources that state that for a period of time Sucanat  removed the molasses and then added it back in, therefore no longer “whole”, but have since reverted to their original practices.    I have not confirmed this information with the company but have read it on several sites.

All of the above sugars can be subsituted in a 1:1 ratio for white or brown sugar or used in coffee and other beverages.  I have tried Demerara and now moved onto Rapadura.  I like their green practices and consistant product.    I feel liberated to know that I know have more nutritions and healthy staples in my cubbards.  I only wish I would have found these jewels years ago.   Most of these sugars can be purchsed in bulk online at Azure.

Below is a handy chart I found at The Center for Process-Free Living.

Amounts based on 100 grams White Sugar Raw Brown Sugar (Sugar in the Raw) Sucanat Rapadura
Minerals
Potassium (mg) 3-5 15-150 570 600-1,000
Magnesium (mg) 0 13-23 8.7 40-100
Calcium (mg) 10-15 75-95 110  80-110
Phosphorous (mg) 0.3 3-4 37 50-100
Vitamins
A (IU) 0 0 <20 120-1,200
B1 (mg) 0 0.01 0.007 0.023-0.1
B2 (mg) 0 0.006 0.55 0.06-0.15
B6 (mg) 0 0.01 0.27 0.02-0.05
Niacin (mg) 0 0.03 0.7 0.03-0.19
Pantothenic Acid (mg) 0 0.02 0.33 0.34-1.18

Have you tried any of these sugar alternatives?  What has been your experience?

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Homemade Green & Organic Play Dough

Growing Up Green!Welcome to the weekly series, Growing up Green.  This will be your eco-friendly stop for green, all-natural, toxin and chemical free tips for your family.   Learn simple and meaningful ways to make your children’s environment a little safer for their health and the earth.

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Jack 20 months Halloween 013Thursdays we have fun with art in our house and recently Jack and I created our own Green play dough.  The great think about homemade play dough is that you know and have control of every ingredient in it.  There was nothing toxic about our play dough.  I’t may not have tasted great if Jack put it in his mouth but it was safe without toxic chemical ingredients and dyes (see recipe below).  Once made, Jack enjoyed squishing and patting the play dough.  He also had fun guessing what animal, but or vehicle I was making.  Jack really wanted to drive the play dough car we made around the table but it wasn’t so hardy!  We enjoyed our art day with play dough.

 Green & Organic Play Dough:

–          1 cup Organic Flour

–          1 cup Warm Water

–          2/3 cup Sea Salt

–          2 tsp Cream of Tarter

–          1 tsp vegetable oil

–          Juice from ¼ Beet for red/pink color (*for blue try blueberry juice and for yellow try turmeric spice or curry powder.  Mix the above primary colors for additional colors.)

Mix the first 5 ingredients in a pot over medium heat.  Add in natural coloring.  Stir and heat until think.  Remove from heat and kneed until smooth.  Let cool then dig in!  Store play dough in an air tight container in your refrigerator.  Play dough will keep for quite a while.

** I have yet to try the blue or yellow yet.  If you have tried them or have another idea for all natural colors I’d love to hear about it!

Jack 20 months Halloween 010

Jack 20 months Halloween 011

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Farmer’s Market Weekend

Farmers-market2

Greg and I decided we want to tour all of the farmer’s markets in the Columbus area this summer.  I fell in love with Farmer’s Market’s after spending a summer in Madison, Wisconsin with the US National Rowing Development Camp, while in College.  We checked out the Madison farmer’s market one Saturday and it was Amazing, the largest one I’ve ever been to.  It took up a huge block in the  center of town with live bands, and so many vendors from fresh veggies to cheese, flowers, honey, and so much more.  From then on I have loved farmer’s market’s.  I love the idea of buying items that are fresh and local and homemade.  On Friday I compiled a preliminary list of all the Columbus area farmer’s markets I could find, and then they are open.

clintonville logo

This weekend was the beginning of our tour.  Only a handful are open this early.  We chose Clintonville’s Farmer’s Market as our first.  It was a reasonable size, not quite as big as the one we used to go to in Daytona Beach but it had a nice variety of vendors, from fresh produce to veggie and herb plants, hand-made candles, meet and cheese, baked goods, reusable grocery bags and more.  clintonille 1Most of the vendors sold organic, all-natural products!

We purchased some grass-fed beef, free range chicken, and organic cheese.  I found the largest green onion I’ve ever seen!  We also picked up fresh asparagus, cherry tomatoes and green beans.  

clintonville 2When we got home I through the veggies in a bowl with some cooked pasta, home-made vinaigrette and Parmesan cheese for a yummy summer pasta salad, while Greg threw some chicken and burgers on the grill.  It made for a nice afternoon and yummy dinner on the patio.   If you would like a complete list of all vendors and produce offered at the Clintonville Farmer’s Market check out their website here

I can’t wait for next weekend on the farmer’s market columbus tour!  Althougth not all are on the weekend.  We may hit up the downtown, pearl Ally market on tuesday which I’ve heard is pretty good!

Columbus Area Farm Market List

Canal Winchester

Saturday 9am-1pm @ High St. in historic downtown

Clintonville

Saturday 9am-noon @ High St. just north of N Broadway, Starts May 30th

Delaware County Fairgrounds

Sat. 10am-noon @ 236 pennsylvania Ave.

Delaware

Sat 9am-noon & Wed. 3pm-6pm @ downtown Deleware

Gahanna

Wed. 4pm-7pm @ Creekside Plaza on Mill St., July 8-Oct. 28

Grove City/Circle S Farm

Sat 8am-noon @ 9015 london Groveport Rd., July 5-Sept. 6

Jefferson (Blacklick)

Sat. 9am-noon @ 7494 Clark State Rd

Pearl Ally Growers (Bexly)

Sat. 10-1pm @ 224 E. Main St., July 12-Oct 25

Pearl Ally Growers (Columbus Square)

Tues. 4pm-6pm @ Cleveland Ave and 161, July 8-Oct 28

Pearl Ally Growers (Grandview)

Sat. 10am-1pm @ Grandview Ave and 2nd, July 12-end of Sept.

Pearl Ally Growers (Upper Arlington)

Wed 4pm-6pm @ The Mallway, 2100 Arlington Ave. June9-Oct29

Pearl Market

Tues&Fri. 10:30-2 @ Pearl Ally 1 block North of State House, May19- Oct30

Powell

Thurs. 3pm-6pm @ 47 Hall St. Downtown Powell, June 11-Oct 1

Westerville

Sat. 9am-noon & Wed. 3pm-6pm @ Downtown, June 6-Sept. 26

Worthington

Sat. – 9am-noon @ High St., 1 block South of 161, mid May-Oct.

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Monday for Moms: My Favorite Dessert!

I want to share with you my favorite healthy dessert.  Just because I used the word healthy doesn’t mean it’s not super yummy!  This dessert was invented by my nutrition professor at Palmer Chiropractic College in Florida, Dr. David Seaman.  I put my own little twist on his invention.  It is very easy to make and no cooking required.  So here it is…

 

  1. Frozen berries of your choice (Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, black raspberries, cherries, and/or cranberries)
  2. Organic heavy whipping cream
  3. Shaved dark chocolate (the higher % cocoa the better, I like 85% or higher, but I’ll do 65% or 70% if that’s all I can find)
  4. Shredded coconut

 

In a bowl place your frozen berries and drizzle with organic heavy whipping cream.  Let it sit out and thaw slightly or thaw it for a few seconds in the microwave.  As the berries thaw the whipping cream freezes.  With a grater, grate the chocolate and coconut and sprinkle on top.  You could also try adding almond slivers to your evening treat.

 

Health benefits:  The berries and dark chocolate are very high in anti-oxidants.  Coconut is a natural anti-inflammatory saturated fat. Another thing I love about this dessert is that you know exactly what all of the ingredients are in this creation, however if you were to look on the back of an ice cream box you would likely see many, many ingredients, some of which you probably can’t even pronounce.  It is a much healthy option that ice cream, lower in sugar, but just as tasty!

 

Enjoy and let me know how you liked it!

Here is a photo but it doesn’t do it justice.  You have to try it for yourself!

Healthy & Chocolate - you can't beat that!

Healthy & Chocolate - you can't pass that up!

 

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