Archive for 2015

Energy Boosting Foods

July 15, 2015

Today we are talking about foods you can eat for an energy boost during the day. Instead of reaching for coffee, try a snack that has a good balance of protein, carbs, and fiber.  There are tons of yummy ideas out there to help battle the 3 O’clock blues naturally. We’ve included some of our favorites below!

Hummus

The protein and fiber in hummus can keep you full for longer, while the iron and carbohydrates help give you the energy you need throughout the day! It’s delicious as a sandwich spread or dip for your favorite veggies and crackers.

Herbal Tea

Herbal teas can help boost energy naturally with very little or no caffeine. Add a little lemon and honey and you have the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. Our favorite is Jammin’ Lemon Ginger Herbal Tea from our friends at Celestial Seasonings.

Nut Butter Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread

A nut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread is a classic yummy snack, plus the combination of carbs, protein, and healthy fats can help keep your energy levels high through the whole day. There are tons of tasty pairings, and it’s an easy thing to bring with you to work or school!

Citrus Fruits

The nutrients in citrus fruits like vitamin c and potassium have been known to help fight off fatigue. Try some orange slices or half a grapefruit for a super refreshing snack that helps keep you energized as the afternoon wears on.

Unique Things To Try Grilling This Summer

July 7, 2015

When we think summer we think grilling season, and there is nothing better than firing up the grill and cooking a juicy hamburger (or veggie burger) to perfection. However, we found a lot of unexpected foods that are even more delicious when grilled! From fruits and veggies to doughnuts, the possibilities are endless! Keep reading for some of our favorites.

Grilling fruit may sound like a funny idea, but the results speak for themselves. Peaches and pineapples are two grilling favorites, because the combination of heat and smoke brings out a caramelized flavor. Feeling more adventurous? Try grilling watermelon or grapefruit for a unique, smoky taste.

People grill veggies all the time, but we included a few you might not think of. Grilled avocado slices instantly boost the flavor of your sandwich or burger. Let the avocado sit on the grill for 1 minute on each side and it will be warm and creamy. Give your salad a little something extra by grilling a head of romaine lettuce with a little salt and pepper for 1-2 minutes on each side for a warm, crisp taste.

It turns out it is possible to make doughnuts even more delicious than they already are. Slice crosswise and grill them on each side for 1-2 minutes. This leaves the top soft and the bottom crisp and yummy! Grilling is also a great way to mix up your French Toast, and you only have to cook it for about two minutes per side!

Make Your Produce Last

May 27, 2015

We love nothing more than a fridge stocked full of fruits and veggies, but sometimes they don’t get eaten quickly enough and they go bad. If you ask us, this seems like a waste of perfectly good food and money. To keep your produce good just a little longer, keep reading below for some tips.

Paper or Plastic?

For some produce, like corn, lettuce, spinach and other greens, plastic bags are the way to go. Store these products in an unsealed bag in the refrigerator for maximum shelf life. Other items like tomatoes or mushrooms last longer when stored in paper bags that don’t trap ethylene gas or moisture, which causes rotting and mildew.

Wrap Your Bananas

This works especially well if you separate a bunch of bananas and wrap the stems individually in saran wrap. This will slow down the natural release of ethylene gas, therefore slowing down the ripening process!

To Refrigerate or Not to Refrigerate?

This is an important question when it comes to making your fruits and vegetables last. Many fruits like berries, citrus fruits, and melons are best stored in crisper drawers in the fridge. Apples also last longer in the fridge, but make sure to keep them separate from other produce (or in a plastic bag) because they release ethylene gas that causes other food to ripen more quickly. Greens, carrots, peppers and broccoli, also should be refrigerated to boost their longevity. Some fruits like avocados and pears should be left to ripen at room temperature, and then stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat them.  Cucumbers, onions, and potatoes are three foods that should be kept in cool, dry places (but not stored together!) like a pantry.

Don’t Wash Until You are Ready to Eat

This tip is especially relevant to blueberries and grapes. They have a very thin skin, so they have a natural protective coating called “bloom” that helps preserve them. Washing this off will shorten their shelf life and make them more susceptible to damage and rotting.

Genius Ways to Use Bread Heels

May 12, 2015

At the end of every loaf of Rudi’s Organic Bakery® Bread is a pair of bread heels. For some, they are just two more pieces of bread, perfect for your morning toast or lunchtime sandwich. For others, they are not as appealing and they often end up getting thrown away. We’ve put together a list of a few of our favorite creative ideas for using bread heels!

Make Croutons

Homemade croutons are surprisingly easy and so delicious! Bread heels work well for this recipe because they usually soak up more flavors and get nice and crunchy. Below is a simple recipe that will liven up any salad! You will need:

  • 4 bread heels
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 TBSP Olive Oil
  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Chop bread heels in to cubes of desired size. Drizzle with olive oil
  3. Spread Cubes evenly over a baking sheet
  4. Sprinkle all seasonings over top and toss lightly so they are all evenly covered
  5. Bake for 6-8 minutes, then flip over and cook for 6-8 more or until golden brown

 Put it In a Bag of Brown Sugar (or homemade cookies) to Keep it Soft.

This is a tried and true trick that works like a charm. Putting a piece of bread (or a bread heel) in a bag of brown sugar keeps it soft for weeks! The secret is the brown sugar absorbs moisture from the bread, allowing it to stay soft while the piece of bread dries and hardens. The same principle works for homemade cookies. If you want them to retain that moist, chewy texture, add a bread heel and watch it work wonders.

 Bread Pudding

Bread pudding actually calls for stale bread! Using bread heels soaks up the flavoring and makes for a richer, yummier bread pudding! Check out our favorite recipe for Brown Sugar Bread Pudding here.

 Use to Clean Smudges Off the Walls (Note: this works best with white bread)

Smudges and fingerprints all over your walls? No Problem. Rub the bread heel (soft side in) on the wall in the direction of the smudges or streaks and buff them away. Follow with a clean cloth and voila! Good as new.

 Put Two Bread Heels on the Outside Slices of a Cake to Stop it From Drying Out

This tip is great when you have leftover cake in the house and you want to keep it from getting stale and hard on the outside. Using toothpicks or corn on the cob skewers, stick bread heels on the outside edges of the cake. Similar to the brown sugar trick, the cake with absorb moisture from the bread and stay soft and yummy much longer.

 Bonus: Save Them to Feed Birds at the Park

This isn’t exactly a trick, but it is a fun activity to do with the whole family! Break up bread heels into little pieces and give to your kids to sprinkle around the duck pond. The birds will love it, the kids will love it, it’s a win, win!

DIY Air Dried Herbs

May 8, 2015

Making your own dried herbs is surprisingly easy, and a great way to make herbs from your own garden last longer or to use up leftovers from a store or farmers market. In just a few simple steps you can have flavorful, homemade dried herbs that will make your house smell wonderful and your food taste delicious.

You will need:

  1. Fresh herbs of your choice
  2. Large bowl
  3. Cooling rack
  4. Twine or String
  5. Paper bags
  6. Thumb tack or Hook

First, gently wash each bunch of herbs in a bowl of cool water and blot dry with a cloth or paper towel. Let dry on a cooling rack for 8-10 minutes. The next step is to place a small paper bag around each bunch of herbs, stem side up, and tie string around the bottom of the bag, leaving at least 6 inches at the end. Poke a few air holes in the bag for ventilation. Using a hook or tack, tie the herbs so that they are hanging upside down in a cool, dry area. After 1-2 weeks, check on the herbs to see if they are completely dry. If not, allow to dry for 1 more week. If they are dry and flakey to the touch, remove the leaves from their stems and store in an airtight container or plastic bag. They should be good to use for up to a year.

Extra tips:

  • Remove any damaged leaves from the bunches of herbs before drying.
  • If your herbs are hanging up against a wall, turn them every few days so they dry equally on all sides.
  • When you check to see if your herbs are dry, make sure to discard any pieces that have mold on them
  • If you are drying more fragile herbs like cilantro or basil, make sure to check them for mold or damage more frequently.

Guiltless After Dinner Snacks

March 26, 2015

Late night snack attack? We’ve all been there. Even if you have a delicious, filling dinner, it can be hard to resist the urge to nibble on something sweet or salty before bedtime. The good news is post-dinner snacks don’t have to be full of fat and calories to satisfy your cravings. We’ve put together a few of our favorite treats for you to snack on, guilt-free!

Apples are a great option because they are naturally sweet and pair well with so many other foods. Try apple slices spread with your favorite nut butter (we love MaraNantha Dark Chocolate Almond Spread) and top with granola or walnuts. Looking for something a little warmer? Combine some apple slices, coconut oil, cinnamon, and sugar, cover with plastic wrap and pop in the microwave for about two minutes. Voila! It’s like apple pie without the guilt!

Strawberries and bananas are a classic combination for a reason. There are so many options we had a hard time only picking a few! One of our favorites is a peanut butter banana strawberry quesadilla on Rudi’s Multigrain Wraps. Just spread a creamy peanut butter like MaraNantha No Stir Organic Peanut Butter on the tortilla and layer sliced strawberries, bananas, coconut shavings, chocolate chips, or anything else you can think of on one side. Fold it in half and grill on both sides for a few minutes. The result is a delicious, organic treat that you won’t be able to get enough of. Looking for something even simpler? Try strawberry-banana kabobs! Just layer slices of both on a wooden skewer or toothpick for a sweet, satisfying treat.

When you think “guilt-free”,  soft pretzels probably aren’t the first snack that comes to mind. The good news is Rudi’s Organic Soft Pretzels are packed with protein and are under 200 calories! Just pop in the microwave and pair with your favorite low-cal dipping sauce, (like our Honey Mustard Dipping sauce made with light mayonnaise from our Recipe page) and enjoy a snack that you will satisfy both your mind and your stomach.

Yogurt is another tasty option for a late night snack. Try something different by making super simple frozen yogurt drops. Take your favorite yogurt (we currently love Greek Gods Honey Blueberry Greek Yogurt) and scoop it into a pastry bag or a plastic bag with one corner snipped off. Make a small row of dots on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for about an hour. When you take them out they will be a perfect bite size delight. On the more savory side, try a nonfat yogurt dip. Just mix 1 cup of plain nonfat yogurt with a packet of salad dressing seasoning or a teaspoon of each dried dill weed, onion powder, garlic powder, and parsley flakes and dig in with your favorite veggies or crackers!

Want more? Check out our Pinterest board for recipes and ideas!

Organic and Green St. Patrick’s Day Snacks

March 16, 2015

Here are some tasty green snacks to keep your St. Patrick’s Day fun and festive! Perfect for a party, or just a fun day at home with the family. For more recipes, decorating ideas, tips, and tricks, check out our Pinterest page!

Green Fruit Kabobs

  • 1 bag green grapes
  • 3 kiwis, peeled and diced
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, diced
  • 1 honeydew melon, diced
  • 1 package kabob skewers
  1. Layer the fruit on the skewers in any order you like and enjoy!

Delicious Kale Chips!

  • 1 bunch of Organic
  •  kale, washed and dried
  • 1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 425° F.
  2. Wash kale well. Once it is clean, dry it off using paper towels or a salad spinner
  3. Rip the leaves off the stalks into bite sized pieces, put them in a mixing bowl
  4. Drizzle the leaves with the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and chili powder
  5. Mix around with your hands. Massage the olive oil and seasonings mixture into each of the leaves before placing them on an un-greased baking sheet
  6. Bake for 5-8 minutes, then rotate pan and bake for 5-8 more
  7. Let cool and transfer to serving bowl

All Green Veggie Tray with Greek Yogurt dill dip

  • Sugar snap peas
  • Cucumbers
  • Broccoli
  • Baked zucchini spears
  • Green peppers
  • Celery
  • 1 cup Plain Greek yogurt (our favorite is Greek Gods Traditional Plain)
  • 1 tbsp dried dill
  • 1 tbsp minced onion
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tbsp celery salt
  1. Mix together Greek Yogurt, dill, onion, parsley, and celery salt in a small bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour
  2. Arrange the vegetables on a tray, leaving space for the dill dip

Put the tray out and watch the veggies and dip disappear!

Five Ways to Feel Awake in the Morning

March 5, 2015

Even if you’re a “morning person”,  getting up once your alarm goes off is much easier said than done. Even worse is when that sluggish, tired feeling continues through the rest of your day. Many of us try to combat this by hitting the snooze button a couple of times and drinking a cup (or two) of coffee, but these things can potentially do more harm than good. In honor of Daylight Savings, we’ve put together a list of things to help you feel refreshed and ready to go!

Let in the sunshine

Open those curtains! Pull up those blinds! Light is a natural sign to your body that it’s time to wake up. It’s much easier to fall back asleep in a dark room, so let the sun give you that extra little push that you need to get out of bed.

Forget the snooze button

Five more minutes turns into 10 more minutes, 10 more minutes turns into you being late. Sometimes we’re just not ready for our alarm to go off, and the snooze button seems to delay the agony of getting up, but the truth is it hurts more than it helps. When you wake up to hit snooze and go back to sleep, you are restarting your sleep cycle even though you have to wake up in a few minutes. This means that you are only getting 5 minutes of light, poor quality sleep before you are jolted awake again, cutting off your sleep cycle early and leaving you groggy for the rest of the day. Try hitting the sack a little earlier the night before and resist the urge to snooze.

Drink lemon water right when you wake up

Drinking water is important any time of the day, but drinking it first thing in the morning has numerous benefits. A glass of water before breakfast with a little squeeze of lemon helps get your metabolism started and flushes out toxins from the day before. It also helps hydrate you after your body has gone roughly seven hours with no fluids. Cold and warm water with lemon are both good, so choose your own preference!

Stretching/morning yoga sequence or exercise if you’re feeling ambitious

Even though it seems like the last thing most of us want to do, getting moving bright and early can set the tone and give you energy for the rest of the day. There are many ways to do this, form simple stretching to a morning spin class, but no matter what you choose to do it will help increase your blood flow and boosts your metabolism, both of which help you feel more awake.

Don’t skip breakfast!

A healthy, balanced breakfast can be good for helping to manage metabolism and weight, increasing alertness, and boosting productivity throughout the day. We like to have our breakfast with a mix of protein, whole grains, and fruit or vegetables . Try some of our delicious breakfast recipes on our Organic Recipe page, like a Spring Omelet with whole wheat toast and fresh fruit!

Bonus: Try tea instead of coffee! It’s hydrating for your body and has the added benefit of free radical neutralizing antioxidants (check out our DIY tea tutorial on our Rudi’s Gluten-Free blog or Celestial Seasonings Tea if you’re not feeling up to making your own blend!)

Life Hacks for the Kitchen

February 24, 2015

Here at Rudi’s Organic Bakery® we are all about making life a little easier, which is why we came up with eight handy dandy Life Hacks to help you out in the kitchen. Not only will they save you on time, but you’ll also feel nifty, thrifty, and crafty after you have successfully DIY’d your way through mealtimes. We love the idea of hacking the blue ice pack for something lying around the house like a clean sponge that you can freeze in an airtight plastic bag in a lunch box to keep your food cool and chemical free. Made too much French toast for Sunday brunch? Instead of throwing it out, throw it in the freezer in a single serving bag and then pop it in the toaster for a speedy breakfast that doesn’t skimp on homemade goodness. There are plenty more fun tips on our Pinterest Board,  and we’re taking it a step further by giving you the chance to win the ultimate KITCHEN HACK, A VITAMIX BLENDER! This blender is the real deal, with a variety of speed controls and container sizes so you can whip up delicious smoothies, whole-food juices, dressings, soups and much more. Enter to win on our Facebook page between February 23- March 8th 2015, and let us know how these Kitchen Hacks worked for you!