Melon Mania!

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What’s more refreshing and delicious than melon on a hot summer’s day? Branch out of the familiar watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew varieties and try one of the unique specialty melons available in-store today!

Here are some handy picking and prepping tips to help you find the right ripe melon for a summer treat:

  • Canary

  • Pick: Look for firm melons with a sweet fragrance as a sign that it’s ready to eat.
  • Prep: Perfect for adding to fruit salads or drinks.
  • Tip: Tastes similar to cantaloupe but with a distinct sweetness.
  • Cantaloupe

  • Pick: Look for melons with yellow coloring and a slightly soft stem end.
  • Prep: High in vitamin C, these are great for juicing.
  • Tip: Also known as “muskmelons”.
  • Casaba

  • Pick: Choose melons that are firm with a sweet fragrance.
  • Prep: Sprinkle ginger, salt or a squeeze of lemon on this fruit for a delicious snack.
  • Tip: Its juicy, creamy-green flesh is known for its sweet taste.
  • Crenshaw

  • Pick: Look for firm melons with a sweet fragrance and a smooth, waxy surface.
  • Prep: Use in salsas, smoothies and sorbets for an added refreshing and fruity flavor.
  • Tip: Keep at room temperature one to two days before serving for a juicier melon.
  • Galia

    Pick: The deeper the orange color, the higher the sugar content.
    Prep: Pair with ginger for a refreshing snack.
    Tip: Similar to a cantaloupe on the outside but like a honeydew on the inside.

  • Hami

    Pick: Known for its floral and sweet aroma.
    Prep: Try pairing with cucumber and mint.
    Tip: A good source of vitamins A and C.

    Honeydew

    Pick: Choose firm fruit heavy for its size, yielding slightly under pressure.
    Prep: When the peel is smooth and the rind is a light cream color, it’s considered mature and ready to enjoy!
    Tip: A wonderful addition to breakfast or salads.

  • Gold Honeydew

    Pick: Once ripe, it’s possible to hear the seeds rattle inside.
    Prep: Perfect to add to fruit salads or drinks.
    Tip: Its name is inspired by its gold shell.

    Orange-Flesh Honeydew

    Pick: Ready to be enjoyed when the skin is slightly waxy and the color is yellow with an orange tinge.
    Prep: Eat as-is or include in a fruit salad.
    Tip: Also known as “temptation melons,” they share a taste of both honeydew and cantaloupe.

  • Lemon Drop

    Pick: Avoid melons that are too firm, too soft or have any part of the stem remaining at the tip.
    Prep: Enjoy as-is or include in refreshing summertime smoothies or sorbets.
    Tip: Expect a sweet-tart flavor with a hint of juiciness.

    Santa Claus

    Pick: Choose firm melons with a sweet fragrance.
    Prep: Great as-is or in desserts.
    Tip: Name inspired by its availability in winter months.

    Watermelon (Seeded)

    Pick: A ripe melon should be firm, heavy and bruise-free.
    Prep: Enjoy raw, in fruit salads or in fruit platters.
    Tip: A good source of vitamin A, vitamin C and lycopene.

    Watermelon (Seedless)

    Pick: Select a melon heavy for its size with a deep-pitched tone when thumped.
    Prep: Enjoy raw, in fruit salads or fruit platters.
    Tip: Despite the name, all seedless watermelon contain white seeds as well as an occasional black seed.

    Watermelon (Mini)

    Pick: Choose a melon that is heavy for its size and bruise-free.

    Prep: Its small size is perfect to bring along to a picnic.

    Tip: Sweet, crisp and juicy, these melons contain about 88% water and are a hydrating snack.

Gaia Herbs Story

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Gaia herbs field with tractor

Founded in 1987 by Ric Scalzo, Gaia Herbs is headquartered in Brevard, North Carolina. This beautiful location was intentionally chosen because of its rich soil and climate. Amazingly, over 80% of all plant species in the U.S. can grow in this region. And, the water used to irrigate the farm flows directly from the nearby Pisgah National Forest.

Gaia manufactures over 200 herbal products in a variety of consumable products—teas, liquid extracts, liquid phyto-caps, functional powders and syrups. Gaia’s Liquid Phyto-Caps® are a patented technology concentrating liquid extract into the convenience of a capsule. Liquid concentration allows for faster delivery of herbs into the body.

Purity + Integrity = Potency

Fueling their passion, Gaia’s process is defined by the belief that purity and integrity equal potency. Their full-spectrum extraction technique was developed to mirror nature. This also means their manufacturing operations go far beyond standardization. Starting with sustainably and responsibly sourced herbs from their own organic farm as well as organic farm partners from around the world, Gaia’s herbs are tested throughout the process.

Transparency

All Gaia products are fully traceable. A batch ID number on the side of every bottle allows you to enter into MeetYourHerbs.com where you can learn more about each product. From the manufacturing date, purity testing, country of origin of the raw materials, to education on the functional benefits of each herb in the formula—you’ll find a wealth of information about Gaia’s products.

MegaFood Gummies

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four bottles of MegaFood gummies on a wood background

MegaFood’s new gummies are made without high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin, added flavors, colors or preservatives—at all! They’re also vegan and free of gluten, dairy and soy. But what’s not missing at all is flavor, that’s because all their gummies are made with a special Slo-Food Process™ that incorporates real fruits and vegetables. In fact, at MegaFood, they use over 500,000 pounds of fresh fruit and veggies a year in their supplements from trusted farm partners.

Each of MegaFood’s new gummies has two grams or less of sugar and all have bold and uniquely tasty flavors. And if you hold them up to the light—you can see specks of those real healthy fruits they’re made of!

D3 Wellness – Supports Bone, Muscle & Immune Health*

Combining fresh Florida oranges, sweet Quebec blueberries, tangy Wisconsin cranberries and spicy Kauai ginger together in one gummy? Yep. MegaFoods did that in their Mixed Fruit D3 gummies. The result of this delicious combination is a bold fruity start with a light ginger finish.

B12 Energy – Supports Cellular Energy Production*

These B12 gummies come in two taste-bud stimulating flavors, cranberry and ginger. Delightfully zingy and tangy, they might just become you’re new favorite afternoon pick-me-up.

C Defences – Supports Daily Immune Function*

Mmm … you’ll feel like you took a bite of a fresh organic orange when you try the Tangy Citrus flavor of this vitamin C gummy.

 

Did you know? Nearly half the population (40%) has a hard time swallowing pills—but there’s nothing hard to swallow about MegaFood’s new line of gummies.

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Cooking Up Goodness with Vital Farms

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Matcha Butter Latte

Whether you’re looking for a breakfast booster, coffee alternative or an afternoon pick me up, you’ve found just the right drink to hit the spot! This drink will be a new favorite of yours. It works great as a latte and is even refreshing when blended with ice. 

Benefits of matcha:

  • Can boost energy, mood and metabolism, all while tasting good!
  • Is packed with antioxidants
  • Supports higher levels of concentration

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. matcha
  • 1 Tbsp. Vital Farms Butter
  • 1 Tbsp. MCT oil or coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. collagen powder or vanilla protein
  • 1 squirt vanilla Stevia
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 6-8 oz. unsweetened coconut milk

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together until blended into a puree.
Tip: Remix your drink by adding ice to make it a little cooler or add another teaspoon of greens powder for an easy way to get those greens in!

Egg Fried “Rice”

This is a simple recipe you can use to improve your vegetable intake. It provides a very satisfying alternative to the typical starch base, using a sweet potato instead of rice!

 Ingredients:

  • 2 Vital Farms Pasture-Raised Eggs
  • 1 medium sweet potato or 2 small/medium parsnips
  • 1 Tbsp. Vital Farms Butter
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut aminos
  • Dash of Himalayan sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat a medium-sized sauce pan on medium-high.
  2. Rinse and chop potato or parsnips. Use a food processor to chop into rice-sized pieces. It works best to pulse about five times for about two seconds each time. A subtle shake can help break the pieces up evenly. Depending on the size of your processor, you may need to do a couple runs.
  3. Toss chopped vegetables into the sauce pan and use with a wooden spoon to slightly toast without oil or butter for three minutes.
  4. Add butter to pan and continue to toss for three minutes.
  5. Add seasonings and eggs. Scramble eggs into veggie mixture. Stir for two additional minutes to prevent sticking.
  6. Add more seasonings, if desired.

Optional Add-Ins:

  • Leafy greens, like spinach or kale
  • Hot sauce or broth to sauce pan with chopped veggies
  • Hemp hearts for protein and fiber
  • Fermented vegetables
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Sliced avocado before serving

Video Description: Facebook Live with Jason Sani!

 

World Fair Trade Day

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As a consumer, every purchase you make is a vote within the market place. You have the ability to influence not only which products you see on shelves, but also where those products come from and how they’re made. When you choose fair trade products and ingredients, you help improve the lives of farmers, farm-workers, producers and their families.

World Fair Trade Day is May 12th this year. A global celebration of fair trade, it brings together thousands of people who are committed to building healthy and sustainable communities worldwide. Vote for positive change this May and every day when you purchase dedicated fair trade brands.

World Trade Day

10 Principles of Fair Trade*

 

  1. Opportunities for disadvantaged producers
  2. Transparency & accountability
  3. Fair trade practices
  4. Fair payment
  5. No child labor, no forced labor
  6. No discrimination, gender equity, freedom of association
  7. Good working conditions
  8. Capacity building
  9. Promote fair trade
  10.  Respect for the environment

*Courtesy of the World Fair Trade Organization website

Did you know?

The Fair Trade movement started in the United States in 1946. You can read more about the history of the Fair Trade movement on the World Fair Trade Organization website.

 

DIY Gift Bundles for Mother’s Day

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Need a last minute Mother’s Day gift? Look no further than these DIY gift baskets your mom will love!

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and you may be rushing to find the perfect gift for mom. A gift basket made by you is a thoughtful, practical and personalized gift that any mother in your life will cherish. Check out these easy, DIY gift basket ideas created by our friends at Fresh Mommy Blog; Food, Pleasure & Health; and One Lovely Life!

The Ultimate Pampering Gift Bundle by Fresh Mommy Blog

If anyone needs a little pampering in their lives, it’s the mamas of the world! Give her the gift she may not give herself – everything she needs for an evening of relaxation and pampering.

Supplies:Basket filled with assortment of gifts.

  • Body Wash – Nubian Heritage Patchouli & Buriti
  • Body Lotion – Nubian Heritage Patchouli & Buriti
  • Body Scrub – Nubian Heritage Patchouli & Buriti
  • Pretty Soap – Sappohill Oatmeal Soap Bar
  • Candle – Tru Mélange Harmony Vanilla & Peppermint
  • Bath Bomb
  • Body brush or natural sponge
  • Wine – Gérard Bertrand Coté des Roses
  • Chocolates
  • Flowers
  • Basket
  • Hand towels

Instructions:

  1. Start with a color theme! While browsing the bath and beauty aisles of Sprouts, I landed on the theme of blush and vanilla. The Nubian Heritage bottles were pretty, and the perfect start to our themed basket. The product also smelled fantastic!
  2. Gather any items that would make bath-time a pampering and relaxing experience. In keeping with the vanilla theme, the Tru Mélange candle fit right in. The pumice stone and brush combo matched, and so did the oatmeal soap.
  3. Next, it was time to add a few extra treats. Chocolates are definitely part of a pampering experience, and I picked up a couple containers of various chocolates to put in mason jars to add to the look and feel of the gift basket. You could use goodie bags, add ribbon, tags, etc.
  4. Don’t forget something to drink! Mom’s favorite tea, coffee or wine makes a great pairing for a night of pampering. Rosé is not only a top choice, it’s also a beautiful one! This bottle of Gérard Bertrand Coté des Roses was stunning and I knew the bottle could even be reused later.
  5. Grab a beautiful bouquet to top off the basket, and you’re ready to go!
  6. Using towels, wash cloths or even a robe, begin to build the ultimate pampering basket by layering the items so each is visible and compliments the others.

Loves to Cook Bundle by Food, Pleasure & Health

Each item in this basket is hand-picked for moms who are adventurous cooks and are ready for more finesse in the kitchen.

Supplies:

Supplies:

  1. Gather all of the supplies from your favorite craft store and ingredients from Sprouts.
  2. Lay the basket flat on the floor and put empty cardboard box or riser inside for height.
  3. Cover the riser/cardboard box with tissue paper or fabric.
  4. Arrange the ingredients; think about color combination and height to make it visually appealing.
  5. Cover with cellphone bag, bows or other decorations as desired.

Natural Beauty Bundle by One Lovely Life

This gorgeous basket is full of natural beauty favorites—from makeup to self-care and more. This is the perfect gift for the beauty lover in your life.

Ingredients:Assortment of gifts in a basket.

Instructions:

  1. Assemble all items in your favorite basket or bag.
  2. Give along with fresh flowers.