share. The Brookshire's Blog

Product Talk: Snack Time


Dried SnacksThey were there near the register, calling me like the siren’s song one evening at checkout.

Clear plastic packages of homemade snacks.

There was dried pineapple. Sesame sticks. Snack mix. Dried peas.

And, drum roll please, dried okra.

Holy, beautiful bite of deliciousness, Batman!

While I love all of Brookshire’s Snack Packs, I really, really love the dried okra. I guess they dehydrate it. Or bake it until its crisp. Or both. These little nuggets of happiness are crunchy, crispy and salty, all of my favorite things.

The okra is dried whole, so you can grab a piece just as you would a chip or a cheese puff. I can (and do) eat the whole snack container by myself at one sitting.

There are so many different snack packs at Brookshire’s. If dried okra isn’t your thing, try the dried mango or salty, crunchy peas.

Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong!



Family Matters: Gripe Water


Gripe WaterWhen my younger son, Luke, was about four weeks old, he started screaming in the afternoon. Every afternoon, all afternoon.

He’d usually scream until about 7pm, so that was a solid three hours of a super cranky baby, an even crankier momma and a confused older brother who was 19 months old at the time.

A wailing baby, a crabby toddler and a worn out mother do not make for a good combination, let me just tell you.

Sometimes I could hold Luke over my shoulder at just the right angle for him to get some relief, but you try doing that for three hours a day when you have a toddler running around.

I could wear him in a sling, which is what I usually did, but I didn’t want to cook dinner and deal with hot foods with a baby strapped to my chest.

The worst part was that I didn’t know what was making him cry.

The doctor diagnosed Luke with colic and gave me some prescription gas drops for the baby, but I didn’t like to use those as they smelled like alcohol when my poor infant burped. Ewwwwwww.

So, I tried Gripe Water, which doctors, nurses and grandmothers around the world claim help soothe colic and constipation in babies.

Gripe water is made with herbs like ginger, chamomile and fennel, which will soothe and settle down the stomach by lessening the gas and also calm baby. Gripe water is sold over the counter and doesn’t have side effects. Given that the digestive system of the baby is not wholly matured, gas will be built up in their stomachs and that hurts baby. When the gripe water is given to colicky babies, it changes the small gas bubbles into one larger gas bubble that can be belched out easily, thereby relieving the baby. Gripe waters are flavorless so most babies like them.

I felt like Gripe Water was a safe and effective alternative to a prescription medication for my Luke. The Gripe Water lessened his pain and made for much more pleasant afternoons in our house, I can assure you!

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Posted in: Baby, Natural


Healthy Living: Blackberries


BlackberriesBlackberry season makes me happy.

I love these luscious fruits, juicy and bursting with flavor.

Besides being delicious, they’re really good for you, too. In addition, you can buy all you can carry this summer and freeze them for use in the winter. Just make sure they’re washed and COMPLETELY dried, then pop them into a freezer bag and break out again to beat the winter blues in January.

The health benefits of blackberries are myriad, according to the Huffington Post:

“Much like spinach, raisins, apples, plums and grapes, blackberries are rich in bioflavonoids and vitamin C, but other nutritional benefits include a very low sodium count and having only 62 calories to a cup.

Their dark blue color shows that blackberries have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruits. Antioxidants lower the risk of cancers if the berries are eaten in their natural state.

Eating blackberries is said to promote the healthy tightening of tissue, which is a great non-surgical procedure to make skin look younger.

The high tannin content of blackberries provides a number of benefits to reduce intestinal inflammation, alleviate hemorrhoids and soothe the effects of diarrhea.

The leaves of blackberries, which are consumable, have been used to treat mild inflammation of the gums and sometimes even sore throats.

The astringent tannins are effective in oral hygiene when used as a gargle or mouthwash.”

So, run, don’t walk, out to get some blackberries now!



Healthy Living: Summer Water


Summer WaterI’ll admit it: I have a hard time drinking water (except carbonated water, which is a whole other blog post).

So, to entice myself to drink more water, I like to flavor it, especially in the summertime.

You can flavor your water with just about any fruit or vegetable under the sun. It’s a natural and healthy way to boost your water without adding sugar or extra calories.

My favorite combination is cucumber, lime and mint.

I just add it to the jug of water I keep in the fridge, let it sit overnight and the water is deliciously infused the next morning. Cucumber lime mint is tangy; it helps your system detox and is incredibly refreshing.

Try it with watermelon, strawberries, mangos, kiwis and lemons. You can also use celery, kale, spinach, basil or squash.

My kids even drink it up quickly!



Healthy Living: Dates


DatesA friend of mine just returned from a trip to China, and she brought back packaged, dried dates. She gave me a handful, colorfully wrapped in cellophane with mysterious Chinese characters on them. She said she ate them all through her trip for extra energy, to avoid hunger pains and for something healthy in a foreign land.

Dried dates are sold at Brookshire’s, too.

Dates are a healthy way to incorporate fiber and antioxidants into your diet.

Dates can give you relief from constipation, intestinal disorders, heart problems, anemia, sexual dysfunction, diarrhea, abdominal cancer and many other conditions.

Dates are good for gaining weight also, if you need to bulk up.

Dates are rich in several vitamins and minerals, and they contain oil, calcium, sulfur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium.

Eat them as a snack food to stay full and feel full of energy.



Earth Mama Angel Baby


Earth Mama Angel Baby

When I was pregnant with my boys and in the months after giving birth, I was so conscientious about what I put in – and on – my body.

Many mamas are, so Melinda Olson began formulating organic herbal remedies for friends in her Oregon kitchen, an endeavor which led to Earth Mama Angel Baby products.

Earth Mama Angel Baby products are safe, hospital-recommended, certified-organic and Non-GMO Project Verified. These natural, herbal personal care products, gentle castile soaps and teas are specifically formulated to support the entire journey of childbirth, from pregnancy through postpartum recovery, breast-feeding and baby care.

Melinda Olson is an expert in the benefits of plant medicine, and continually balances her trust and care of traditional herb wisdom with evidence-based research. She formulated her herbal pregnancy, postpartum, breast-feeding and baby care products to be safe and effective without worrisome ingredients. Of course, they are also baby-safe with no synthetic fragrances or preservatives.

Products include Angel Baby Lotion, Angel Baby Bottom Balm, Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash, New Mama Bottom Spray, Natural Nipple Butter and Organic Milkmaid Tea.

All are available at Brookshire’s.



Healthy Living: How to Soothe Coughs Naturally


Warm Tea with HoneyIt’s that time of year. My older son and I are both home sick today with coughs. My son, the hypochondriac, is convinced we both have enterovirus 68.

Luckily, we’re not that sick, but coughs due to the common cold are hard to treat. They also tend to linger. Doctors have different advice on medications: You don’t want to suppress a cough that is productive, but you don’t want to be wracked with pain every time you cough either.

Here are a few ways to help soothe a cough naturally.

First, stay hydrated. An upper respiratory tract infection like a cold or flu causes post-nasal drip. Extra secretions trickle down the back of your throat, irritating it and sometimes causing a cough. Drinking plenty of fluids helps to thin out the mucus in your body, helping to alleviate that while keeping mucous membranes moist.

Warm drinks and lozenges soothe the back of the throat, reducing the cough reflex. Try warm tea with honey and natural lozenges in a sugar-free variety, if you can find them.

Hot showers and humidifiers can also help by loosening secretions in the nose. Make sure that your humidifier is clean, though, so you aren’t spreading more bacteria.

If you don’t want to take a hot shower yourself, sit in the bathroom with the door closed while your little one showers. You’ll get the same benefits.



Product Talk: Almond Milk Smoothie


Almond Milk Smoothie“You’ve got to try this,” my friend said, handing me a glass with a suspiciously milky-looking substance in it.

Not that I have anything against milk: I grew up on 2 percent cow’s milk, and I think my mom served it at every meal until I left for college.

True story.

However, I can’t say it’s been my drink of choice since I moved out on my own. Still nothing against milk; it’s great for you and necessary for bone health, but I just don’t love it.

So, it was with great skepticism that I sipped from the glass she handed me.

It was good.

“It’s almond milk,” she said.

Milk? Out of almonds?

Exactly!

Almond milk is made from ground almonds and contains neither lactose nor cholesterol, which is another bonus for me as I’m trying to lower my total cholesterol.

It’s good for vegans and vegetarians, and it comes in flavors like vanilla or chocolate.

Although almond milk has less protein than cow’s milk, it is rich in nutrients including fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, manganese, zinc, potassium, iron, phosphorus, tryptophan, copper and calcium.

Try this smoothie made with almond milk. It tastes just like a Wendy’s frosty!

Almond Milk Smoothie

Ingredients:
3/4 cup almond milk
about 15 ice cubes
1/2 tsp vanilla
1-2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 of a banana

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until you’ve achieved desired consistency.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 467, Calories from Fat: 393, Fat: 44 g (39 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 29 mg, Potassium: 700 mg, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 11 g, Protein: 6 g

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.



Healthy Living: Blood Orange Quinoa Salad


Orange SaladCitrus season in this part of the country lasts as long as a Southern afternoon sitting on the porch sipping tea.

Thank goodness it does because there are so many delightful and healthy ways to enjoy citrus fruits. The best benefit, in my opinion, is the amazing amount of vitamin C it adds to your diet. I know for the past three months I’ve changed the expression from ‘an apple a day’ to ‘an orange a day keeps the doctor away.’ I think I’ve eaten an orange or a grapefruit (my personal favorite) at least once a day since flu season started!

There’s no reason to stop eating citrus when the weather warms. This refreshing salad features the best and brightest of what both seasons have to offer.

Blood Orange Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:
1 cup dry quinoa, cooked according to package directions
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup green onion, sliced
3 blood oranges, peeled, seeds removed and cut into slices
2 navel oranges, peeled, seeds removed and cut into slices
1 pink grapefruit, peeled, seeds removed and cut into slices
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup honey lemon dressing
2 cups broccoli sprouts

Directions:
Cook quinoa, let it cool and fluff with a fork. Trim fruit into pretty pieces, discarding seeds. Stir salad dressing into quinoa. Carefully fold in citrus, feta, green onion and avocado. Top with broccoli sprouts.

Honey Lemon Dressing

Ingredients:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp honey
sea salt
ground black pepper

Directions:
Shake olive oil, lemon juice and honey in a jar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 475, Calories from Fat: 144, Fat: 16 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 25 mg, Sodium: 341 mg, Potassium: 983 mg, Carbohydrates: 74 g, Fiber: 12 g, Sugar: 38 g, Protein: 14 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.



Product Talk: Clif Bars


Clif BarsA friend of mine is training for a triathlon.

You know, one of those crazy races where you swim, bike and run intense distances and still finish standing?

He swears by Clif Bars for a snack or even a meal replacement.

Clif Bars are basically organic energy bars. Granola bars, if you will, but so much more. They’re packed with all-natural protein and other good stuff.

According to their website, “As a food company, we play a critical role in helping to create a more just and sustainable use of the planet’s resources. The food we make connects us to the environment as well as to a complex network of people and organizations, including farmers, distributors and the people who eat our food. Through these connections and working with our trusted partners such as like-minded businesses, non-profit organizations and experts at the forefront of transforming our food system, Clif Bar is able to make strides in sustainability. Working and learning together, we continue to look for ways to reduce our impact on the environment and share with each other on this journey.”

So, not only do Clif Bars meet your nutritional needs, they take care of our planetary needs, too.

That, my friends, is awesome.



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Copyright © 2010-2014, Brookshire’s. All rights reserved.
The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

Product Talk

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