Why Some Milk Is Not Refrigerated (and an explanation of UHT)

When we were in Europe last month I shared how almost all of the milk options we saw in the supermarket are not refrigerated and are considered “shelf stable.” It stirred up quite a bit of discussion on Facebook

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Have you ever noticed how some milk here in the US is not refrigerated either?

milk in US

Why is it that these small individual sized organic milk containers in the US aren’t sold cold? If you haven’t already noticed almost all the commercialized organic milk options here in the US are Ultra High-Temperature Pasteurized (UHT) – which is actually the same process widely used in Europe – but that still doesn’t answer why some versions are refrigerated and some aren’t. The only difference is the packaging. Just like the pictured Organic Valley “Single Serve” milk boxes, almost all European milk is UHT and put into what is called aseptic (i.e. sterilized) packaging. UHT milk can last for several months in this type of packaging without spoiling…at least until you open it at which point the shelf life does shorten and it does need to be stored in the fridge. Continue Reading »

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Recipe: Tomato Pie (with corn and a whole-wheat crust)

I’d never even heard of “tomato pie” until last summer, but as soon as I was introduced to the idea I knew it was something I had to try. So after attempting a few different variations I am excited to share this recipe with you today. Serve it for dinner with steamed broccoli or a big green salad, and if you are lucky enough to have at least one piece leftover the next day have it for breakfast with some scrambled or fried eggs on the side – yum. How do you eat your tomato pie?

Tomato Pie (with corn and a whole-wheat crust) #realfood #tomatoes www.100daysofrealfood.com

Tomato Pie (with corn and a whole-wheat crust) #realfood #tomatoes www.100daysofrealfood.com

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Real Food Tips: 10 Recipes To Cook With Your Kids

There is no better time than now to spend some quality time in the kitchen with your kids. Despite all the learning our children do when they are off at school, a few things they are not being taught are some pretty important household duties like cooking, cleaning, and laundry – just to name a few. In Michael Pollan’s newest book, Cooked, he said himself that,

cooking from scratch

That’s a pretty strong statement – don’t you think? I personally want cooking to be second nature to my girls when it is time for me to send them off into the world, which means I need them to start learning these skills now! It’s no secret that getting your kids in the kitchen – even starting as young as 1 or 2 years old – can lead to many benefits like increased confidence, more adventurous eaters, and quality time together. But it’s also of course no secret that it’s more work for mom and dad to slow down the cooking pace and deal with more of a mess in the process, but I can assure you that it is totally worth it in the end. It does not need to be an every day occurrence …even cooking with your little one only once every week or two will go a long way!

kids in the kitchen

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Sodium is Essential (in the right quantity) – But Not All Salt is Created Equal

Glass saltcellar with salt insulatedLet’s face it – sodium has gotten a pretty bad rap lately. But in light of all the advice suggesting we reduce our sodium it’s important to know that (the right amount of) salt is also an essential nutrient for our bodies. So while overdoing it can still be detrimental to your health, you actually don’t want to go down the path of cutting out salt all together.

The reason so many Americans struggle today with high blood pressure and other sodium-related health issues is because very little of our sodium intake actually comes out of a salt shaker. In fact, “Processed and restaurant foods account for more than three-quarters of all sodium,” according to a 1991 study says CSPI – which means we don’t even know when we are eating it.

On that note I want to share a little something about my own personal health journey today. I am not saying what happened to me will be the same for everyone living a real food lifestyle – but maybe this information can help some. In early 2010 we began our mission to cut out all highly processed food. We changed a lot of things fairly quickly (in a matter of weeks) and many other changes were more gradual. When we initially cut out all the boxed, packaged and canned foods – and also started eating at restaurants less frequently – we obviously in turn greatly reduced our sodium consumption. Which is a good thing – right? Well to a certain extent, but what I didn’t realize at that time is that some salt is actually an essential part of our diets – in the right quantities that is. Continue Reading »

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Recipe: Roasted {Summer} Vegetable Pasta

If you are looking for ways to cook summer squash and eggplant then I have a recipe for you. I recently shared that I used to think I didn’t like eggplant (can’t even remember why I had that in my head), but I decided to give it another chance last year and have slowly started to change my mind. I’ve even caught myself ordering it at a restaurant and craving it in dishes at home – what a turn around! This recipe below is inspired by one of our favorite restaurant meals in France and actually included a pork chop as well (pictured below). And it wasn’t at an uppity, expensive restaurant in Paris…just at a little roadside café in the small town of Cluny at the uber reasonable cost of 8 Euros (about 10 bucks).

france restaurant food Continue Reading »

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Real Food Tips: Top 10 Travel Snacks

It’s no secret that we’ve done our fair share of traveling so far this summer. If your family still has some fun trips coming up – whether by car or by plane – below are some snacks that we think are great and easy to take along. Even if you just can’t (or won’t) stick to a real food diet once you get to your destination, I think it’s a good idea to bring some items for the trip there and even to supplement meals once you arrive. What good is a vacation if you feel sluggish (or even sick) from some not-so-great airplane or gas station food? And yes, you can take your own food and empty water bottle through airport security, provided you follow TSA guidelines for anything considered a liquid.*
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Top 10 Real Food Travel Snacks Continue Reading »

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