Home Life: Going to the Farm

I am a big supporter of local, organic farming and produce. I know it's not always plausible (believe me, I know - college student here) to buy fresh and organic, but it can be very beneficial to your health and taste buds to stop by a local produce market once in awhile. My mother and father are lucky enough to have a local organic farm in their area, which they subscribe to. My mom goes once a week!

During my break last week, I was lucky enough to make the trip with her, my sister, and my niece. It's a lovely operation with tons and tons of delicious and colorful produce. They also sell homemade goat cheese, goat's milk soap, jam, and fresh farm eggs. Plus, they even had baby chicks this time!


They didn't have any of my favorite (sweet potatoes) left (sad face), but we got plenty of awesome goods. I picked out some lettuce, swiss chard, yellow squash, and beets that were of course taken back to college with me. My sister got some corn to take home with her, and we also picked out some nice tomatoes and broccoli for use in salads that week. Nom nom nom.

Oh, and a cucumber shaped like a crescent moon...really brings me back to my Sailor Moon days.

Seriously. Veggies are so good fresh and straight from the source. It really makes a difference! It's really sad to me that it's so much harder to find and buy organic produce when it's crazy better for us and better tasting. My mother, who has a strong distaste for raw broccoli, loves it from the farm! Also, some produce from the supermarket is so inundated with pesticides and other chemicals that it can make us sick if we consume a lot of it. And you need a lot of veggies.

...or I do, at least ^_^

And farms are just great places to be sometimes. Ahh, nature.

And my niece loves it, too!


Crazy for Coconuts


So for awhile now it's been a deep wish of mine to drink a coconut. Yes, drink a coconut. I also want to try coconut butter and buy myself a jar of coconut oil and just eat coconut (but I mean, I'm not obsessed or anything...) but mostly I have been trying forever to get a straw and a coconut and go to town.

Here's the story: in my home town there's a little outdoor market on Saturdays where the "coconut man" sets up his booth and dishes out coconuts in which he's cut holes. It's like a little tropical drink, no cleaning up cups required! But we always go to the chiropractor first and we always miss him.

But yesterday, luck was on my side:

And I ended up with my heart's desire:

Mmm. A dream come true. It actually seems pretty easy to do yourself, so I guess if I stumble across any coconuts in my local supermarket I can try it. I'll let you know what happens. With that and with the leftover coconut ;)

Oh, and Saturdays at home also often mean a Whole Foods stop. I piled so many different things in there, I honestly couldn't tell you what some of it is. I know there's cranberry cous-cous, hummus & cucumbers, a mango and hearts of palm salad, balsamic tofu, basmati rice, asparagus, black-eyed peas, and kale hidden somewhere...
Gosh I love Whole Foods.

What are some of the foods you can't wait to try?


PB Crave Review

So, via the twittermonster, I was given a rather exciting opportunity. I'll admit that when I first got a twitter I was dubious - and peer pressured into it - but I'll give a hearty thumbs up to anything that gets me closer to peanut butter. That's right, ladies and gentleman, twitter helped me receive free peanut butter. And we all know how I feel about nut butters.

PB Crave, previously known as PB Loco, has come back with four new flavors and an exciting charity project. They asked via their twitter if any bloggers would be willing to review their product in exchange for free samples - and who was I to turn away this PBlicious opportunity?

Anyway my samples arrived in the mail only a few days ago and I was so excited I immediately tore into them to discover not any mere sample - but four. beautiful. jars.

And I had a spoonful of each on the spot. So let's get started.

#1: Coco Bananas

This is the PB I was most excited for, because there is very little I love more than a PB/Banana/Chocolate combo. I have PB and Banana together almost every morning, and certainly every day.

The Verdict: It's good, but it surprisingly ended up being my least-favorite flavor. Like all four flavors, it had an excellent creamy quality (possibly due to the melo honey) and I adored the little chocolate chips inside. The chips, as opposed to cocoa flavoring, added a nice texture and pop of chocolate. However the banana flavor was not all how I hoped it would be. It is an all-natural flavoring, but it still leaves sort of an artificial aftertaste. Still delicious, but a bit disappointing.

#2: Choco Choco

The double-chocolate peanut butter. I am all for more chocolate. Those little lumps are the chocolate chips! :)

The Verdict: Yum. Yum yum yum. I had this one (and coco bananas, as pictured above) on some toast after the initial taste test and I adored how easily it went onto the bread, and how some of the chocolate chips melted into the spread and added an extra kick of chocolate to it all.

#3: Razzle Dazzle

This one had white & dark chocolate along with raspberry flavor. I apologize for not getting a better picture of the texture of it, I realized last minute I'd not taken one when I taste-tested! Shameful. And then I had to leave my apartment for the day...so I snapped a quick pic in order to get this post out ASAP.

The Verdict: I really liked it - it had a nice light fruity pop. The flavoring did still left a bit of an aftertaste like the banana one but it wasn't overwhelming. And I'd never seen a berry-infused PB before! I was very impressed by the creativity in this PB recipe.

#4: Cookie Nookie 

A cookie dough flavored PB...uh, count me in. Admit it, doesn't this idea intrigue you?

The Verdict: My favorite. I love it. It's got a nice decadent flavor, which you'd expect from the name. It doesn't lose its PB-quality while still having a great chocolate chip cookie punch. I want a spoonful...like now. Excuse me, I have to run into the kitchen.

The Health Stats

A disclaimer, guys: these PBs are not vegan. I know my blog is very vegan, but I don't consider myself a stringent vegan I was not going to turn down free PB. Anyways, I consider my diet more plant-based than vegan, meaning I stick to plant-based and whole foods whenever possible, but I don't restrict myself. And I have honey every day. So. Non-vegan PBs. Onwards.

All four peanut butters are all-natural, made with Mel-o honey and Belgian chocolate. They are free of gluten, added sugar, trans fat, and high fructose corn syrup.

They are all 180 calories per serving (2 Tablespoons). Naturally most of those calories come from fat - it is peanut butter after all. But I firmly believe a bit of peanut butter is a good, filling snack or addition to a meal. Fat is not necessarily bad for you guys. Unless it's all you eat. And treat yourself with the added chocolate!

The Charity

PB Crave gives a minimum 2% of their profits to Project Peanut Butter, a charity whose goal is to treat and save malnourished children. This, I think, is the best part of their company and the strongest reason why they are worth trying.  So many children go without what we mostly take for granted, and we can help with these small gestures. And give our taste buds a little treat as well ;)

You can also vote here in Walmart's Get on the Shelf competition to help them further this goal: www.getontheshelf.com/product/4878/PB-Crave 

So there you have it. Expect a cookie recipe using one of these PBs soon! I'm thinking maybe Razzle Dazzle...

*disclaimer: I was not paid for this review of PB Crave's products, and my opinions are entirely my own.