Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wordless: How to Keep Fresh Lemon & Lime Juice on Hand

Fresh Limes Ready to be Juiced

Juicing the Limes with Food Processor

Fresh Lime Juice

Ice Cube Bag & Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice

Lime Juice Ready to Freeze

Lemons Past their prime, but good for juicing

Fresh Lemon Juice

Frozen Lemon & Lime Juice Ready to Use as Needed

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A Fun & Healthy Wintertime Snack for Kids

Frozen Fruit & Vegetable Snack

My kids were recently inspiried by an activity they saw on Curious George.  In the little activity section of the show after the cartoon they had kids freezing food in blocks of ice and then melting it (Sid the Science Kid has a very similar activity, choose the "Change Caused by Cold" video).

So we decided to do the same thing, except to make it a little more fun, we put them in freezer-safe pyrex containers and put them outside, covered.  Then the next day after dinner we brought them inside and put them one-by-one into the big bowl pictured above, pouring warm water over them to loose the fruit and veggies (we used oranges, carrots, grape tomatoes, and grapes) and had our investigation for dessert.  They had a great time melting the ice and eating everything as it melted.

Carrots & Grapes Ready to Be Eaten

Frontier Herbs Review

Frontier Natural Products Co-op

I really love the herbs and spices from Frontier Natural Products.  I've been buying them a Whole Foods for the past six months, but you can also purchase them online.  I first started buying Frontier when I wanted to switch to organic and it was one of the first brands I chose to try.  I quickly realized they were one of the best brands.

I like a couple of things about the Frontier Herbs.
  • Optional Small Packages.  Although you can purchase their herbs in one of those typical small glass jars, I prefer the small package because then I don't have to worry about my herbs getting stale.  A smaller package ensures I use them up quickly.  
  • Freshness.  When I am cooking with them they smell and look like their fresh counterpart.  The basil smells like fresh basil, not sawdust.  The oregano looks like fresh oregano. 
  • Corporate Policies.  Frontier Natural Products believes and supports things like sustainability, fair-trade, and environmental responsibility and they've been doing it since 1976
I decided to do a little photo comparison.  I compared four Frontier herbs to their Organic Private Selection Brand counterparts.  I am a little disappointed in my camera, but I think you will be able to see the difference. I strongly encourage you to click on the picture and choose to view the large version on Flickr, where the you can really see the differences in color and texture of the herbs.  Also worth noting is that the Private Selection herbs were fresher when I took the pictures.  I went out to buy them all fresh, so they were all unwrapped and photographer, whereas the Frontier herbs were ones I had on hand so some of them had been opened awhile.

Private Selection Organic $3.99 @ Kroger for .50 oz (14g)
Frontier $2.69 @ Whole Foods for .39 oz (11.06g)

Notice how much greener the Frontier Basil is?
Frontier Basil

Private Selection Organic $ 3.99 @ Kroger for .50oz (14g)
Frontier $2.29 @ Whole Foods for .43oz (12.19g)

The Frontier brand is also more olive in color than the Private selection which is more brown.  You can also see that the Frontier Oregano also has more of the little parts of the plant rather than the Private Selection "flakes."  I didn't notice a big difference in smell.
Frontier Oregano

Private Selection Organic $3.99  @ Kroger for .63oz (17g)
Frontier $2.39  @ Whole Foods for .43oz (12.19g)

This is one where they don't look that different, but they smell incredibly different.  When I smell the Frontier Thyme, it smells like fresh thyme.  When I smell the Private Selection brand, it smells more like tea than Oregano.
Frontier Thyme

Private Selection $2.29 @ Kroger for .28oz (8g)
Frontier $2.29 @ Whole Foods for .27oz (7.65g)

I couldn't find the Private Selection Organic, so I had to get the conventional version.  The Frontier Parsley is nice and flat and smells slightly lemony.  The Private Selection is kind of curled up.  It also smells a lot like hay (as in the kind you feed to horses).
Frontier Parsley

To my eyes, mouth and nose, the Frontier herbs come out ahead of the Private Selection brand. They look, taste and smell superior and I think they have a very positive impact on the dishes I use them in while cooking.

P.S. Note to other careful when smelling herbs for a taste test, some just might go up your nose :-)

You can purchase the Frontier Herbs directly from The Frontier Natural Products Co-op (20% off with code gimme20) if you don't have a Whole Foods close to your home.

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