Blueberry Chocolate Milk

I am a huge fan of chocolate milk and while blueberry chocolate milk may sound funny, but don’t be hatin… you would be surprised by how well blueberries and cocoa go together. A very unique taste indeed. I will have to get a picture some other time for you… darn me for forgetting the picture.

So this morning I really wanted some chocolate milk. I start with only the freshest raw milk around… from organic grass-fed cows. Then I add some non-dutched cocoa (It was Chatfields brand which I find very acceptable although normally I would buy organic alas I was all out). I also add a bit of kefir which adds a nice tartness and some excellent probiotics. Then comes the blueberries and I always add either a little organic maple syrup or rapadura to sweeten… although it really isn’t needed. Of course you can make all sorts of excellent smoothies and add any number of things. This morning I decided to keep it simple with blueberries and cocoa. Quite nice to be able to see how simple ingredients work together to produce flavors before moving on to more complex arrangements. Of course this is the way I prefer things anyway… simple whole foods.

Mmmmm good.

Product review: Monte Pollino di Trappato Olive Oil

monte pollino

I have been enjoying olive oil my whole life long. I am half Italian (mom’s side) and so I have a nice relationship with olive oil. I have recently developed a nice relationship with Monte Pollino di Trappato Gold Selection Extra Virgin Olive Oil… that’s a long title. This is one of the best olive oil’s I can remember ever having. I picked this olive oil up at Trader Joes not sure of what to expect… I guess I expected the usual versatile extra virgin olive oil that I get. I was pleasantly surprised.

For comparisons sake I will compare it to another excellent olive oil also available at Trader Joes: First Lady Reserve Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Sure I am comparing a filtered to an unfiltered but get past that. First Lady has excellent flavor… it goes from grassy to peppery. I think it tastes as good as other unfiltereds that may cost three times as much at other stores. What I think is so great about Monte Pollino though is that it has the excellent flavors that one would expect from an unfiltered…. but to me it’s even better.

Monte Pollino has a definite buttery taste that is full of fruit and aroma and then it has a spicy finish that surprised me the first time I tasted it. It was spicier… I want to say hotter, but that isn’t really right… than other peppery olive oils.  It is impressive because it is more complex than most olive oils you will taste in the store. It also has an excellent aroma and for 5 bucks at Trader Joes it is an incredible buy.

I have pretty much tried every olive oil at Trader Joes (yeah this is turning into a plug for Trader Joes) and I think Monte Pollino is by far the best, followed by First Lady Reserve. I hear the Kalamata EVOO is excellent but that is one that I haven’t had… prehaps on my next trip to a Trader Joes I will get some, unfortunately there are no Trader Joes in Nashville.

If anyone has any recommendations for excellent olive oil feel free to leave a comment… or even better you can contact me and send me a sample! 

Kombucha kombucha kombucha

gts-kombucha

I first heard about kombucha sometime in 2004… I can’t remember exactly when. However, I was caught up in all of the new things about food that I was learning and switching over to real milk was taking the place of other beverage investigations. So I am finally drinking kombucha. A wonderful health promoting beverage.

So first off, what is kombucha? Kombucha is tea that has been fermented. It’s always prepared with sugar and tea. Just like any fermentation, the bacteria and yeast feed on the sugar and the byproduct is carbon dioxide and some other stuff which I do not remember at the moment. You should look it up. (who says that? really?) Kombucha contains several B-vitamins, probiotics, enzymes, and antioxidants.

It is much cheaper to make your own kombucha as all you need is tea, sugar, and a kombucha mushroom. The kombucha mushroom is also called a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). I am not going to go into details right now on how to make it but I will in a future post. I am currently trying to determine what are the best combinations for making kombucha (black, green, or white tea… honey, rapadura, maple syrup). For now, I just want to highlight kombucha itself.

If you are looking to buy some kombucha, instead of making it, make sure you get raw, organic kombucha. Buying organic ensures that the tea is free from pesticides and other toxic residues. Buying raw ensures that you are getting a living product with all of the enzymes and healthy bacteria still alive and well. A brand that I recommend is GT’S Kombucha and we just did a review for them on WhatToDoAbout.com. The nice thing about GT’S is they have so many different flavors in their synergy line that you can try. Besides that, they produce a high quality product.

Well, I hope that wet your appetite for some kombucha… or at least made you want to learn more about it. Stay tuned I’ll be writing more about it in the future.