Phrases like "essential amino acids" and "calcium-magnesium balance" have joined our dinner conversations.
This is because a few months ago, Natalie started a holistic nutrition program at Bauman College in Berkeley, CA. After class, she comes back to our apartment, bubbling with information.
One of the main concepts that's easy to adapt is the idea of SOUL food. A guide for eating, the acronym stands for Seasonal, Organic, Unrefined, and Local.
To a lot of people, seasonal, organic, and local = expensive. While we Americans probably should spend more of our income on good food*, it's always nice to find a way to make things more affordable.
How to make seasonal, organic, and local food more affordable
1. Get to know your vendor
Our berry vendor at the farmers' market gives us a great deal when we buy a flat (12 baskets). The price comes to about $2.50/pint, which is comparable with conventional strawberries, but with better taste, and without the environmental impact of transportation and pesticides.
2. Buy in season, then freeze
The strawberry season is long in California, but fresh berries only last a few days. When we buy a flat, we keep a few baskets in the fridge, and wash and freeze the rest.
3. Do some research
Nat's compiling a list of common foods we buy and their prices, categorized by vendor. A list like this is overkill for most people, but it's taught us just to pay more attention. Some prices are consistent everywhere, while some vary a lot.
One simple lesson we've learned: Check if the item is priced by pound, or bunch/head/etc. Cauliflower at $2.50/head, is very different than at $2.50/lb.
Strawberry Kale Smoothie
This is a quick breakfast we make with our frozen strawberries, but fresh work well, too. Added bonus: it's got a ton of vitamin C from the strawberries, kale, and rose hips.
- 1 cup coconut or almond milk
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tsp rose hip powder (optional)
- 1 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
- 2 cups kale
- 1 small ripe banana
- 1.5 cups frozen strawberries (about 12 strawberries, or 200 grams)
- 1 cup water
- Pinch of sea salt
- For extra sweetness, try one or two medjool dates.
- Add ingredients to blender, layered in the order of the ingredient list, bottom to top
- Blend until smooth
- It's easy to drink it a little too fast, so sometimes we serve it in a bowl and use a spoon instead of a jar.
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