Farmers Markets

 

Did you know that it is estimated that the average meal comes from 5 different nations and travels between 1500 -2500 miles to get from farm to plate!! Food transportation contributes greatly to global warming.We are spending far more energy to get food to the table than the energy we get from eating the food! In order to transport food long distances much of it is picked unripe and then gassed to ripen it after transport.Sometimes it is processed in factories using preservatives, irradiation and other means to keep it stable for transportation and sale.It is really important that we make the transition to supporting a local food system.You just start with what is fresh,local and seasonal in your area.Shopping at Farmers Markets is a great way to start. Did you know that in the 1970s that there were only about 300 registered Farmers Markets in the United States? Today there are more than 3,000!! About 3 million people visit these markets each week spending more than 1 billion dollars each year! How awesome is that? Innovative restaurants, school cafeterias, caterers and even supermarkets are beginning to order fresh seasonal foods from local farmers. Having a home garden and participating in a local CSA are also great options! This way we are able to eat food that is delicious, fresh, nutritious and also support small local farmers!Learn what foods are in season in your area and then build your menus around them. Buy extra of your favorite fruits and veggies and then experiment with freezing, drying, canning and making jams, jellies, soups and much more. In other words preserving it for a later date. It is so much fun in the Winter months to be eating wonderful ripe food that was preserved from the Summer harvest!

So do you shop at your local Farmers Markets?

Don’t forget to check out all of our all natural organic chemical free products at Eco NaturalWe have a full line of crushed earth mineral makeup that is awesome. If you are bothered by mosquitoes, chiggers, gnats, or even flies check out our All organic natural Deet Free Don’t Bug Me line.

Do You Use Resuable Bags And A Review.

With Farmers Markets getting into full swing it is a great time to be using your reusable bags. There are so many to choose from or you can make your own.I made this bag from one of the burlap coffee bags that we got at the Pier while living in California.Tee shirt bags are some of my favorites though. They are super easy to make and hold a whole lot of groceries.I got all of this into the bag above with room leftover.Then it folds into this! I am able to carry quite a few of these in my purse without taking up much room at all. That way I always have them on hand

Here is a really good tutorial on how to make these bags. It is only about 4 minutes long and is so easy to do.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnRjkdLfxEQ

Do you carry and use reusable bags or do you use plastic and paper from the grocery?

I was contacted recently by the Good To Grow juice company. They sent me some of their juices to try. We have two grandsons that are really good juice testers! Good to Grow combines nutritious juices with a variety of cool collectible character tops. These tops are patented and have spill proof SippaTop caps. They have nothing artificial, they are non GMO and BPA free. They have fruit juice, fruit and veggie blends and organic juice. They have no added sugar which is always on top of my list when buying juice for our grandsons. They also don’t have any preservatives, artificial colorings or flavors. These are my kind of juices!!They both LOVED these juices and gave them a super At rating! These juices are wonderful and I know that you can purchase them at Kroger and other retailes. Here is a link to their website http://www.good2grow.com/ Click on it and check them out. I know you will be pleased to read about the quality and care that goes into to these juices.

YAY! It’s Garden Time!

Well with the on again off again cold wet weather it has made it a challenge to get our garden planted.  We were a little behind on getting things planted but everything seems to be growing really well.Our peppers are starting to bloom!Our tomatoes haven’t started blooming yet but have really been growing pretty fast.Our mint has just gone wild! This is only half of the mint we have growing.The chives have grown so fast that I have already been using them in several recipes lately as well as our lemon thyme.We have also planted sweet and spicy basil’s,dill, parsley, cilantro, and marjoram. We still have rosemary and sage to go.

Has anybody else been planting a garden this year? If you don’t plant a garden do you ever get your veggies from the local Farmers Market?

 

A Couple Of Recipes And A Giveaway

It seems like I am always running behind on my blog posts! We have had so much going on here at Eco Natural. Quite a few new products including an awesome one for poison ivy and several Spring shows along with tremendous website sales. All really blessed and wonderful things but things that keep you really busy as well.

As most of you know we pretty much eat Vegan so I wanted to share a few recipes that are so easy, delicious and good for you.This meal is so delicious and is so easy to make. We use brown rice and I cook it ahead of time because the rice needs to be cooled before adding the other ingredients. You saute 1/2 cup of chopped carrots along with 1/2 cup of baby green peas. Add in 2 Tablespoons each soy sauce and sesame oil along with 2 cloves of garlic minced. Toss all together in saucepan. For the egg rolls you saute cabbage, onions, carrots,and extra firm tofu. You can also add peppers spinach or any other veggies that you like Roll them up and bake for around 12 minutes at 350 degrees. We make a dipping sauce for them that includes soy sauce, honey, red pepper flakes and garlic.This is such an easy dessert to make. You take a few bananas put them in a skillet then add a couple of tablespoons of good coconut oil and simmer until the bananas are caramelized. Let them cool and then place them in a container and put them in the freezer. Once they are good and frozen throw them in to your food processor or blender and process until thick and creamy. This is so delicious and has no added sugar! Caramelizing the bananas makes such a wonderful flavor. Do you ever try Vegan or Vegetarian meals? If so how did you like them and if not are you willing to try a no meat meal?

 

 

Now for the Giveaway. More and more women are finding out about the awful chemicals that are in the products that they use everyday on their bodies and on the bodies of their children and loved ones. So we are giving you a chance to try some of our all natural organic chemical free products to pamper you and your family. There are so many wonderful herbs and essential oils that the Lord put here for us to use that don’t have all of those awful side effects that chemical laden products have. Most people don’t realize that fragrance oils are full of chemicals and that 75% or more of them are made with coal tar!! That is why so many people get headaches and sinus problems from smelling them. We only use pure organic essential oils in all of our products.We have Crushed Earth Mineral Makeup which includes foundation, blush and over 50 eye colors.We have products for Acne, Eczema, Psoriasis, Toenail and Foot Fungus, Joint and Back pain as well as Shampoo bars and a wonderful Pet line. We also have an all natural insect repellent that is 10x stronger than Deet and is chemical free!!

The winner will get to choose any of our Bath and Body bars, any one of our Exotic Butters Luxury Dry Skin balms and any one of our amazing lip balms.

To enter just go to Eco Natural

Look over the products and then come back and leave a comment telling me which products you would most like to try.

For a second entry like us on Facebook

If you would like to try some of our products now here is a coupon code for 15% off of any order over $10.00 on any of our products, even the ones on sale!! We always offer free shipping on all orders!! Just type in EFH15517 This code is good through 5-25-2014

 


          


 

Spring Is Really Trying Hard To Get Here!

We were in Huntsville Alabama this past week and Spring seems to have already arrived there. The Bradford Pear trees were in full bloom as well as Red Buds and beautiful yellow Forsythia.Here in Tennessee the Bradford Pears are budding and some of them have started to open up a little.Buttercups have started blooming here already. They just say Spring to me!Even starting to see some green in the yard. Like clover and wild onions. When we mow the first time it will grind up the dried leaves as well. Will be glad to see them gone for the season. Believe it or not we had snow here three days ago. Melted fast and temps have warmed up. Been an unusual Winter.Are you still experiencing cold weather or has Spring Sprung in your area?


We praise God for the awesome growth of Eco Natural

We started out as an online company and we are so excited to say that we have a 98% reorder rate online.In the past couple of years we have opened 108 accounts of retail stores here in the Nashville/ Middle Tennessee area that sell our products. We are also so excited that actress Alicia Silverstone and country singer Carrie Underwood have gotten our products as well as Sophie Uliano of Gorgeously Green and the Hallmark channels Home and Family show. Sophie listed us as one of her top five soap companies. Thanks so much Sophie! We have some amazing testimonies on so many of our products but especially our Acne Relief, Psoriasis, Eczema, Toenail and Foot Fungus formulas.

All of our products are all natural organic and chemical free!

Whats Your Weather Like?

It seems like the busier Eco Natural gets the more my blog seems to take a backseat. I apologize for that. I was so surprised this morning when I realized it had been a month since I last posted. We have really been busy getting new products ready to introduce for the Spring.

We were in Birmingham Alabama this past week and it was 74 degrees when we left there on Sunday night. We arrived back home three and a half hours later to an ICE STORM!I am so ready for Spring! Thank goodness it is almost 70 degrees today so maybe it will be here soon.

This past week was our daughters birthday and she wanted me to bake her this Vanilla Chai Tea cake and instead of the icing they had with this cake she wanted me to make a Cinnamon Cream Cheese icing. It was easy to make this recipe Vegan She really picked out a winner. It was so delicious. Here is a link to the orginal recipe if you want to check it out.  Vanilla Chai Tea CakeHow has your weather been? Also my goal is to start posting more often!!

 

 

Are You Wasting Food?

I did a post on this subject a couple of years ago. This morning as I was cutting up some bananas that had gotten overripe to go into the freezer I started thinking about how many people waste food and never think much about it.

Most food is thrown out each week because it is not eaten before it goes bad. The NRDC reports that 40% of all edible food products in the United States is wasted each year. That is around 34 million tons!! Food waste occurs at many levels. Farm fresh veggies and fruits are often left unharvested because their appearance does not meet aesthetic standards imposed by the grocery stores. A lot of times it is simply that many people just buy more than they will use. Food waste represents the single largest component of all municiple solid waste going into landfills.

Here are a few ways to help in this area

Shop smarter by planning your meals for the week. I have been doing this several years now and it has made a huge difference. Once I started doing this it saved me from having to make multiple trips to the grocery during week. This has saved me time and money. I don’t really know how much it has saved us in fuel alone! We live pretty far from town so every time I was having to go to the grocery it was costing quite a bit just in gas. It is also a known fact that you spend more money on meals when we shop like this.

Before you start making your list you should inventory your pantry, fridge and freezer. Then make your list and stick to it. We tend to over buy when we are hungry so don’t shop on an empty stomach!!It really helps to organize your fridge and put leftovers at eye level so they can easily be seen. If you see some items that might go bad before you will eat them, freeze them! Many foods will last for months if they are frozen.Fruits are especially good to do this with. They make great smoothies and can easily be used to make delicious jams. Tomatoes are another food item that freezes well and can be used in so many different dishes.Wilted veggies like celery, carrots, soft tomatoes and broccoli can be used in soups, stews or made into awesome veggie broth.A great way to use your veggie peels is to compost them. Here is a picture of our grandson that I took a coupe of years ago. He loves when they come to visit to help me take the peels to the compost pile.

Are you a food waster? Also if you have any good tips on how not to waste food please share them with us. We are thrilled that Sophie Uliano of Hallmark Channel’s Home and Family listed us as one of her top five soap companies!!   Don’t forget to check out all of our products at  Eco Natural

Eco Friendly Money Saving Tips And A Recipe

I said in my previous post that I would be starting off this New Year with good Eco Friendly tips. If you are a regular reader of my blog you already know about most of these.

This past year I made Enzyme cleaner and this stuff is AMAZING! It was so easy and it is great for cleaning sinks cutting through soap scum on tubs and showers. It has worked wonderfully for me at getting stains out of our clothing! I love that it is so cheap to make and that I am reusing our citrus peels. If you would like the recipe just go  hereI love Pesto but it can be a bit pricy. Basil is so easy to grow and pesto is so easy to make. We save so much by making our own and it’s so fresh and tastes delicious. You can check how I make mine here One of my all time most popular post is on making your own wool dryer balls. Not only do you eliminate the need for terrible chemical fabric softeners but you can cut your drying time by 30-40%. The first year I made these we saved $240.00 just in fabric softener alone. We have been using them now for around 8 years so that is approximately a $2000.00 savings so far by just not having to buy fabric softener. That doesn’t even include the energy savings which are HUGE!! If you would like to see how I made ours and more information on how they work just  click  hereNext post I will have some more Eco Friendly money saving tips but now on to the recipeThis is a raw broccoli salad. It has chopped broccoli, onions and tomatoes. What makes this salad so delicious is the Pomegranate Vinaigrette. I have had the recipe for several months and just hadn’t made it.Well let me tell you once I made it the more I want to make it!! I can’t tell you how many times I have made this vinaigrette now. I have put it on different salads and now am looking for more foods to drizzle this on. Even our daughter who does not like vinaigrette’s at all loved this! It is so easy to make

1/2 cup of Pomegranate juice

2 Tablespoons of white wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons good Dijon mustard

2 Tablespoons good olive oil

Salt and Pepper

Just whisk this all together. It’s that easy. I doubled the recipe and made a large batch of the broccoli salad. I hope that if you try this you will like it as much as we do.

 

 

Healthy Recipes

Most people start the New Year off with goals they want to achieve for the coming year. Most of the time they include exercising and eating better. I use to always have both on my list and seemed to have a hard time especially with the eating better. Not anymore though. If you are a regular reader of my blog you know that a few years ago we decided to eliminate dairy and most meat. We love fish and still eat it and my husband likes a good burger or steak every once in a while. We will get organic beef that we know does not have antibiotics and has been grass fed. We have incorporated a lot more veggies, grains, nuts and legumes into our cooking.

I wanted to share a few recipes that are healthy and taste good.I found this recipe for Detox Water about a week ago and I love it!! You just fill a pitcher up with filtered water and add cucumber, lemon, lime, grapefruit, ginger and mint. Put it in the fridge before you go to bed and it is ready when you get up the next morning. I didn’t have any mint so I left it out but am looking so forward to making it using the mint. This tastes so refreshing and is amazing how good it makes you feel.Next is Lentil Soup. So delicious and full of protein and fiber. Just cook according to the directions on the package. I added carrots, onions and celery to ours. Takes about forty five minutes to cook.It is so filling but sometimes we will also have cornbread with it and make it more of a meal.When the weather starts to get cold we really like making lots of soups. This one I call cleaning out the fridge soup. It has whole wheat pasta, pesto green beans and some peas that were all leftovers. I added some sauteed onions, some homemade veggie broth and some of the tomatoes that I had put up from the Summer garden. So healthy and tasty!These are some granola bars that I made by putting two different recipes together. A lot of store bought granola bars are full of preservatives. Homemade ones are so easy and quick to make and are easy to wrap up and take with you for a morning or afternoon pick me up!This is a homemade Mounds bar. My husband says that these taste better than the original!! These are made from organic coconut, vanilla, honey, chocolate and coconut oil. So easy and taste awesome!!  Here is the link to the recipe  Homemade Almond Joy and Mounds Bars

I am going to start adding a lot more recipes to my blog posts this year. I hope that you will want to try some of them. I think that you will see that it is so much fun cooking and eating more healthy!

 

Cookware

I wanted to start the New Year off with some good tips so my next few posts will be covering some good Eco Friendly topics.

Today I wanted to start off with cookware. This past year I noticed that when I would be cooking that sometimes I could smell this odor that was really bad. So I got to doing some research on Teflon which is the kind of cookware we were using. OH MY GOODNESS!! I was shocked to find out that at high temps the coating breaks down into a chemical warfare agent PFOA and a chemical analog of the WWII nerve gas phosgene. This article also stated that 90% of Americans have PFOA in their blood. It is extremely hardy and stays in the human body for years!  Dangers of Teflon and PFOA ( I also read an article from The American Cancer Society that stated this as well) According to the Environmental Working Group, if all new exposure to PFOA was stopped it would take over 4 years for your body to get rid of half of it!  Natural Health 365After I read this I started looking into other types of cookware. This is the type I grew up seeing used. I bought several pieces and then several more because I was thrilled with it! I love these roasting pans with the lids. This eliminates me having to use foil to cover. ( which is a whole other blog post) I also got a couple of roasting pans without the tops that are great for roasting potatoes and veggies.Then we got this cast iron cooker. I love and it is really versatile. But I still needed some good skillets and pans. I had been looking into stainless steel since most of the people I like on Food Network use it. The one thing I kept reading over and over was that food would stick to it and it was then hard to clean. I didn’t like that idea at all!! What a blessing it is to use Google search because I found this awesome tutorial on you tube on how you can easily make  your stainless cookware nonstick. I bought a stainless skillet and used it to see if this would work. IT DID!!!!! It is so easy and it works awesome. Here is the link to the short videoI then felt confident to get a whole set of this cookware. I did some research on which brand was best and narrowed it to two. This is the one that was top on my list. So we bought it.I absolutely love this cookware but what I love most is that I know that there are no harmful chemicals being emitted into our food or into the air. Would you be willing to get rid of your Teflon coated cookware?