Product Review: Maya’s Jams

Who doesn’t love jam?

I know I sure do! For me, the pinnacle of late-night snacking is a fresh, good quality jam spread on homemade grain toast. Simple, crunchy, and sweet. Mmmm.

And really, what can bring you back to those happy childhood memories faster than a classic PB&J sandwich?

Sadly, all too often those store-bought jams can be a stew-pot of all things bad for you. Just take a look at the ingredient list of any of the major name brand jams and you’ll see ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors, and a host of nearly-unpronounceable chemical additives and preservatives.

Not to mention that the sugar content is so high it usually burns your mouth and leaves you wondering what flavor exactly the jam is supposed to be.

That’s why I was so excited when I was asked to do a review for Maya’s Jams, a small, 100% family-owned company from New York’s Hudson Valley. Using family recipes passed down through the generations, this family trio consisting of Maya, her mother, and her grandmother, create delicious jams of healthy goodness from their organic orchard as well as other locally-sourced fruits.
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Berry Healthy Matcha Smoothie

Part of my daily routine is a wonderful smoothie made from fresh greens and berries. Recently, I began adding some Matcha to this as well for a wonderful boost in nutrients. Continue reading

Very Vanilla Cupcakes with Matcha Green Tea Frosting

Looking to add a little pizzazz to your baking? Need something special for that next bake sale? Heck, does anyone really need an excuse for cupcakes? I don’t think so, but if you do, you might want to give these cupcakes a try. Filled with healthy antioxidants, these vanilla cupcakes with matcha frosting take tea time to a whole new level!

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Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil – Review

Tea Tree Oil kicks bacteria’s butt – naturally!

Those of you who follow this blog regularly know that I’m a huge proponent of a natural lifestyle. It seems like every day there is a new study out showing the dangers of the synthetic chemicals in products we encounter every day, from processed foods to household cleaners.

The most recent scandal focuses on triclosan, the bacteria-fighting ingredient in Colgate Total, as well as many soaps, detergents, and other products. In studies done on mice, rats and frogs, this ingredient has been shown to cause reduced fertility, development issues in fetuses, and increased cancer risk.

So, what’s a person to do? Look for natural solutions, of course!
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Organic Matcha- Green Tea Powder by Kiss Me Organics – Review

Recently I was contacted by KissMe Organics and offered the chance to review their Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder. Until the promotion, I really hadn’t heard of this product before, so I was really excited to give it a try.

Matcha is 100% natural, organic green tea leaves which have been carefully ground down to form a fine powder. It has been drunk in Japan as part of the tea ceremony for almost 900 years, and is used by Buddhist monks to keep them alert, awake and focused during long days of meditation.

We all know that green tea is healthy. Think of Matcha as the ultra-concentrated version of your steaming cup of tea, and you’ll see why it’s even better for you. It professes a wide range of health benefits, from increased energy and metabolism boost, to burning calories and improving memory and skin. Best of all, Matcha boasts an impressive 137x the amount of antioxidants of brewed tea.
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Thyroid Support by LESlabs – Product Review

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According to the American Thyroid Association, one in eight women will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime. Unfortunately, America has one of the highest rates of thyroid disorders in the world, largely due to our farming practices which strip essential minerals from the soil, producing crops with drastically reduced nutrients, and leaving our bodies at risk for deficiencies.

With a history of thyroid disorders in my family, I have been especially interested in learning more about the cause behind this problem, and what can be done to prevent or treat it- and the more I learn about the thyroid gland, the more I realize the significance of the role it plays in our overall health. Continue reading

Iodine – Are you getting enough?

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Kombu, or dried kelp, is often consumed in Japan. Kelp is known for being high in the nutrient iodine. Photo credit: kattebelletje via photopin cc

Initially used as a treatment for goiter, more and more studies are revealing a link between this essential nutrient and the prevention of cancers and other diseases. Continue reading

Beyond the label – Hidden poison in nuts?

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Those nuts in your pantry are harboring a dark secret – Photo credit: elana’s pantry via photopin cc

 

Are the “raw” almonds you purchase at the health food store really raw? Not legally, if you live in the USA, thanks to a mandatory law passed by the USDA in 2007.

In fact, not only are they not raw, they may potentially be treated with a dangerous chemical known as Propylene Oxide. The worst part? This chemical won’t show up on the ingredient list, since it is used in the processing or “pasteurization” and is not considered an actual ingredient. Continue reading

Yacon Syrup Review

I’ve always had a sweet tooth- and while I’ve tried to clean up my diet, I’m sure I still eat more refined sugar than I should. I just can’t help it! But recently, thanks to the folks at Quality Encapsulations, I’ve discovered a natural sweetener that is actually good for you! It’s called Yacon Syrup. Continue reading

No-Knead Multi-Grain Bread

I have been doing a lot of bread baking lately, experimenting with different flavors and textures. I blame it on the cold weather, when really, there’s nothing better to do than stay inside and cook. One of my happy successes was this multi-grain bread, which won approval from the whole family. Whole wheat flour is combined with all-purpose flour, and is jazzed up with a combination of rolled oats, sunflower seeds, and millet for a chewy, hearty (and healthy!) bread that is perfect for toasting and spreading with jam!

Oh, and did I mention you don’t have to knead it? 🙂 Continue reading