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Family Central: Be Well, Drink Live!

Rootbeer Kombucha FloatStep away from the soda can, buddy. We all know that mainstream sodas are not good for us, but we really like the way they taste. How about if I told you about the perfect compromise!?

LIVE Soda Kombucha began in Austin, Texas as one man’s mission to improve the health of his family by crafting a kombucha that tastes like the soda we love so much! Trevor Ross first experimented with small batches, tweaking spices and flavors until he got each one just right. His kombucha went above and beyond industry standards of quality and probiotic content using only the purest ingredients – always USDA Organic, Non-GMO, Fair-Trade, and 99% raw kombucha.

LIVE Soda is raw kombucha which aids digestion, detoxifies the liver with organic acids & enzymes, energizes the body with organic B-vitamins and antioxidants, and realigns your digestive system with live probiotics.
Just in time for the summer here is a LIVE twist on a classic for you to try!

Rootbeer Kombucha…ahhh! Float
Pure delight! Pair delicious, dairy-free, egg-free NadaMoo Vanilla…ahhh! Coconut Milk Ice Cream with our fizzy Revive Rootbeer for a treat you can feel great about.

1 bottle Revive Rootbeer LIVE Soda Kombucha
1 pint NadaMoo Vanilla…ahhh! Coconut Milk Ice Cream
2 glasses
2 spoons

Serves two
Place 2 scoops of NadaMoo Vanilla…ahhh! in a glass
Pour 6oz of Revive Rootbeer over ice cream
Stick a spoon in it and enjoy!

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Family Central: Hope Hummus

You no longer have to be a hippie to love hummus. Hummus has gained in popularity and variety in the last few years.  Hummus is a Middle Eastern dip made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. And it’s divine!

FRESH just happens to have an excellent variety of hummus along with chef-prepared hummus on the dip bar. You might have seen me trying to sneak in a sample or three on my last shopping trip! But today, I would like to sing the praises of Hope Hummus (you can find in a refrigerated case across from the chip aisle). Hope Hummus makes an excellent organic, gluten-free, vegan, and kosher dip that just might be up your alley.

Hope’s mission is to provide delicious food that is as bold and honest as possible, while maintaining the utmost food safety. Through a process of applying extremely high pressure to all of their non-baked products they are able to ensure that the products are fresh and unadulterated. High Pressure Processing is an alternative to using heat or preservatives to maintain the freshness of food and we believe it is the best way to process foods.

Don’t stick hummus in a corner; I dare you to try one of Hope’s most unique hummus recipes!

Hope Hummus Stuffed Bell Peppers

2 cups long grain wild rice
1 cup Original Hope Hummus
1/3 cup toasted walnuts
1/3 cup chopped parsley
coarse salt
red pepper flakes
2 halved bell peppers, seeds removed
1 Tbs olive oil
ground black pepper

Heat oven to 400° F. In a bowl, mix 2 cups cooked wild rice, 1 cup Original Hope Hummus, 1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts, and 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley. Season with coarse salt and red pepper flakes to spicy preference.

In a baking dish, arrange halved bell peppers open side up, and drizzle with olive oil, coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Divide hummus mixture among peppers.

Cover with foil and bake until tender, about 30 minutes. Uncover and cook until topping is slightly crisp, about 10 more minutes. Garnish with more toasted walnuts and chopped parsley!

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Family Central: Lucini Artisan Vinaigrette

The salad season is upon us. The sunshine is in place, fresh greens are abundant and I’m already coming up with a flock of excuses to delay the dreaded swimsuit shopping session!

My dear friend, George in produce, has an extraordinary variety of leafy greens and colorful fruits and veggies to craft your perfect salad. However, you will need a grand dressing to pull it all together. May I suggest Lucini Italia’s Artisan Vinaigrettes?

According to their website, “The Lucini Italia Company was founded on the philosophy that great tasting food comes from only the most cared-for, high-quality ingredients. (Their) passion is creating authentic, handcrafted gourmet foods inspired by the culinary traditions of Italy. Prepared in small batches using 100% natural ingredients, Lucini Italia products offer both exceptional taste and culinary performance.”

These Artisan Vinaigrettes are full-bodied and bursting with all-natural flavors. These artisanal dressings are specially blended to provide a versatile dressing that adheres well to greens, adds punch to sandwiches, and brings new depth to meats and poultry when used as a marinade. The unique flavor profiles range from sweet to savory and showcase a range of tastes from earthy, roasted nuts to sweet and tangy summer cherries.

Made with honest, all-natural ingredients, this gourmet collection will delight any food lover!

The flavors you can find at FRESH include Cherry Balsamic & Rosemary, Bold Parmesan & Garlic, Tuscan Balsamic & Extra Virgin, and Fig & Walnut Savory Balsamic.

Family Central: Sir Kensington’s Ketchup

Do you find yourself complaining about the drab condiment landscape of ketchup? Don’t we all, really? Thank goodness Sir Kensington’s is here to help.

Sir Kensington’s creates award-winning, all-natural condiments. Debuting in 2010 by reinventing ketchup, Sir Kensington’s now offers two flavors, bringing choice and innovation to a previously forgotten category. By using high quality non-GMO ingredients and strict quality control methods, we can enjoy both superb taste and nutritional benefits.

Classic Ketchup

Modeled to be a highly-evolved natural variant of the ketchup taste you know and a classic reborn with a perfect balance of sweet and salty, “Sir Kensington’s Classic Ketchup boasts a surprisingly short list of wholesome ingredients like crushed tomatoes, raw sugar and a tangy blend of vinegar and spices. It’s ketchup, you see, only more so—a lively, all-natural alternative made with the ingredients nature intended,” according to the Sir Kensington’s website.

Spiced Ketchup

“Looking for a bit more heat? Sir Kensington’s Spiced Ketchup features chipotle peppers, cilantro, lime juice and a hint of coriander. Spicy enough to amuse the taste buds, it packs a pleasing punch without sinking the ship,” says the website.

Hurry now and fire up the grill to try this Blue Burger Bomb (known as the Red, White and Bleu Burger on the Sir Kensington’s website)!

Blue Burger Bomb

4 lb ground beef chuck
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 egg
3 Tbsp  Sir Kensington’s Classic or Spiced Ketchup
1 cup bleu cheese, crumbled
tomato, red onions, pickles and arugula to garnish
2 Tbsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper


Incorporate chuck with shallot, ketchup, egg, salt and pepper. Mix gently.Divide mixture into 8 mounds. Pat mounds into 4-inch patties. Take 1 mound and top with 1/4 cup of crumbled bleu cheese. Place a second mound on top, patting it onto the other patty to enclose the cheese. Pinch and seal into a single patty. Repeat for remaining 3 patties. Grill patties, turning over once, until just cooked through. Place patties into buns and top with a dollop of Sir Kensington’s Mayonnaise and a handful of arugula. Enjoy!

Serves 4

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Family Central: Aunt Gussie’s Cookies

Healthy cookies? Yes, please! Aunt Gussie’s was founded by Marilyn Caine in 1980. The business originally started in her own kitchen! For more than 30 years, from classic flavors to new tastylicious additions, Aunt Gussie’s has balanced healthy eating with wonderful taste into each and every cookie. And you can pick up your own package of Aunt Gussie’s cookies at FRESH.

Many companies have gluten free OR sugar free, but Aunt Gussie’s prides itself on being considered one of the few companies to have cookies that are both sugar free and gluten free, in addition to their original cookie. They have a dedicated gluten-free facility, certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, to ensure there is no cross contamination from any wheat allergens. On top of all that, they are 100% kosher.

My favorite Aunt Gussie’s cookies are the Spelt Sugar Free Pecan Meltaways. These cookies, sweetened with Maltitol and made with organic spelt flour, are just as healthy as they are delicious. With a delicate texture that melts in your mouth, the toasty cashews and pecans are an added bonus for your tastebuds to these all butter sugar free cookies.
Here is a sweet treat to work some Aunt Gussie’s cookies into your everyday cooking!

Summer Pecan Meltaway Parfait

8 oz fresh strawberries
8 oz fresh berries
1/4 cup sugar or equivalent sugar substitute
1 cup crumbled Aunt Gussie’s Spelt Sugar Free Pecan Meltaways
1/2 cup Cool Whip Lite
1/2 cup Greek yogurt

Cut strawberries into bite-sized pieces and place them in small mixing bowl. Sprinkle sugar over berries and stir. Use spoon to crush berries slightly so they will release juice. Set aside.

Place cookies in zip-top plastic bag and use rolling pin to crush them finely. Set aside.

In small bowl, stir together whipped topping and yogurt until well blended. Set aside.

Divide cookie crumbs evenly in bottom of 4 parfait glasses or other dessert dishes (that hold at least 1 cup).

Spoon a layer of the strawberry mixture evenly over the cookie crumbs in each glass.

Then spoon yogurt and cool whip mixture evenly over strawberries.

Now you can layer the fresh berries as well in each glass.

Before serving, add a dollop of whipped topping on top of each dish to garnish.

Now you can enjoy!

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Family Central: Krave Jerky

I get to rave about KRAVE! Expanding my snacking repertoire is of the most importance. I have a new superstar in the rotation. KRAVE takes jerky to another level! Out with the tough, chemical-laden, processed meat snacks and in with all-natural, whole-muscle cut, hand-sliced pieces of MEAT. After bathing in marinade for 48 hours, it’s off to BAKE, resulting in a moist and tender jerky experience unlike any other.

KRAVE is entirely gluten-free and devoid of nitrites, MSG and corn syrup, so you can feed your hunger without worry and focus on the flavor! Whether you’re fueling up after a run, snacking on your way to yoga, filling the kids’ lunch boxes or warming up on the ski slopes, KRAVE really is the perfect accessory and a jerky for all seasons.

Be prepared to enjoy flavors like Basil Citrus, Lemon Garlic and Chili Lime. Basil Citrus is my current favorite. They infuse turkey breasts with tangy citrus to create a jerky that’s soft, subtly seasoned and bursting with flavor. You’ll taste the rich basil complemented by the clean and crisp citrus notes on the palate. Is your mouth watering yet?

Now, I’m encouraging you to visit the end of the chip aisle to pick up a package of your very own. Don’t be afraid to get creative with KRAVE jerkies in a recipe. Here are two for you to try! If you would like to learn even more about KRAVE jerkies, visit

Chopped Citrus Salad

Serves 2

You might have never thought about jerky on a salad, but with KRAVE’s moist and tender texture, it’s the perfect way to add a bit of flavorful protein.

4 cups mixed greens
2 navel oranges, segmented
1 bunch radish (varietal of your choice), sliced thin
1/2 cup spiced pecans
1/2 sweet red onion, sliced thin
1 (3.25oz) bag KRAVE Lemon Garlic Jerky, chopped
balsamic dressing, to taste

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. Dress to taste and serve!

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Savory Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Serves 8

KRAVE Jerky is a delicious way to beef up any potato – russet, red or sweet, mashed, au gratin or twice baked. Get creative!

4 medium sweet potatoes, cleaned and dried
1 Tbs olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup spiced pecans or walnuts
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 scallion, sliced (for garnish)
1 bag KRAVE Jerky, chopped (use your favorite flavor!)

Preheat oven to 425°F. On a baking sheet, rub sweet potatoes with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake 40-45 minutes or until tender then set them aside to cool. (Keep your oven on!)

Halve sweet potatoes lengthwise and scoop out 1/3 cup of flesh from each half. Mix with sour cream in a mixing bowl, mashing until smooth. Season with salt and pepper then stuff the sweet potato skins with the mixture. Put filled sweet potato skins back on the baking sheet then place in the oven until warm, about 15 minutes.

Garnish with KRAVE Jerky, nuts and scallions!

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Health & Wellness: Kerrygold Cheese


Kiss me, I kind of look Irish! With my red hair and freckles a plenty, it was destiny that I spend some time on the Emerald Isle. I jumped the pond a few years back but I will always have a fondness for Ireland.

Of course, when I celebrate there is always cheese around. My dear friend Andrew Griffith, whom I consider “the Big Cheese” at FRESH, was on hand to showcase the Irish cheese offerings from Kerrygold at FRESH. In Ireland, cows roam free in fresh air and graze in lush pastures of tender grass. From this legendary landscape comes luscious milk that births some divine cheeses you simply must try!

Vintage Irish Cheddar boasts a delightfully distinctive character.  Aged for three to six months the wheel is encased in black wax to differentiate it from less-aged Cheddars.  This connoisseur’s cheddar, notable for its rich, rounded, buttery flavor and firm, smooth body, deserves a place on the cheese board alongside your choice of the world’s other great cheeses.  Pair it with Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon Blends and Syrah.

Aged Cheddar with Irish Whiskey is infused with robust flavor, Kerrygold’s rich and creamy Aged Cheddar with unique undertones of the smooth, woody, and nutty taste of pure Irish Whiskey. What a bonus! Entrenched in the history and traditions of Ireland, Cheddar and Whiskey are now together in one spirited cheese. This tasty combination is the perfect complement to your cheese platter and is also a unique gift item.

Dubliner can be described as a combination of Cheddar and Parmigiano Reggiano. The description is quite accurate.  Dubliner tastes of a mature Cheddar with the sweet aftertaste of Reggiano.  Created by Kerrygold and named after Ireland’s capital city, this cheese’s texture is semi-firm and slightly crumbly. Dubliner’s flavor is one-of-a-kind, with a slight spice and sweet aftertaste.  This cheese is complemented by strong reds like Merlot, Cabernet and Chianti, and is also an excellent choice with Irish beers!

Dubliner with Irish Stout is a combination of Kerrygold’s original Dubliner Irish Cheese and its perfect pair, an Irish Stout, are now together in a unique cheese. The classic flavor combination brings out the sweet, nutty, rich flavor of Dubliner and swirls and tumbles it together with the malty, caramel, bitter flavor of a perfect pint of Irish Stout. Serving this cheese to your guests will have them toasting for more!

Health & Wellness: Siggi’s Yogurt

Health Wellness YogurtIf it’s good enough for a Viking, it’s good enough for me! Lucky for us, there is no need to break out your battle gear to try skyr, the traditional Icelandic “yogurt.” Norse Vikings have made skyr since settlers from Norway first arrived on the island in the ninth century. You can enjoy some by simply picking up a container of Siggi’s at the FRESH dairy department. Siggi is actually a genuine person! His name is Siggi Hilmarsson. His story is that he got nostalgic for his homeland’s skyr-style yogurt, so he started making his own. He made enough to share with us, too!

It’s a bit thicker than American or even Greek yogurt, and skyr is pretty healthy! Made from non-fat milk combined with live cultures, it is low-fat, high in protein AND packed with probiotics. Also, be aware that Siggi doesn’t add lots of sugar to his creation, so you will enjoy the traditional tang taste with no artificial sweeteners.

There is no doubt that you will relish sitting down and eating Siggi’s mixed with a little FRESH granola or blueberries. I dare you to try a Viking version or a southern favorite.

Siggi’s Ranch-Style Salad Dressing

1 cup (5.3 oz) Siggi’s Plain skyr (0% or 2%)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 small shallot, minced
1 tsp dill, chopped
1 tsp chives, chopped
1 tsp parsley, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a jar with the exception of the olive oil. Mix well and then slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Health & Wellness: National Chip & Dip Day Celebration

Chip&DipPrepare now for this momentous food occasion heading our way; National Chip and Dip Day is March 23! I rarely need an excuse to eat, but it’s nice to have one on your side just in case. Chip and dip, this grand duo is a party staple. I personally find much joy in exploring the true capacity of how much dip my chip can embrace on its way to my mouth.

You might have noticed the extensive chip selection here at FRESH. It’s wonderful and sometimes a bit overwhelming. Rest assured that FRESH has a chip for everyone. From natural, organic hippie chips to all of your favorite standard crunchy classics. The granola chick in me gravitated to The Real Deal All Natural Snacks chips.

Real Deal chips find their way to FRESH from a family-owned company in Pennsylvania that has been making wholesome, great-tasting snacks for over 60 years. They have perfected a superb tortilla chip that comes in white corn and blue corn! These chips are made with organic corn and lightly sprinkled with sea salt. Each serving provides 21 grams of whole grain with a bonus of all-natural, gluten-free, non-GMO and kosher ratings. Ok, so now we have our chips all lined up for the big day. On to the dip!

FRESH just happens to have an assortment of dazzling dip mixes from Foxy’s Gourmet strategically placed on the end of the chip aisle (opposite of the Real Deal chips). These dip mixes come in really cool packaging that has an origami flair that hides some great recipes in the bottom lid. You can explore flavors like artichoke parmesan, onion chive, sun dried tomato, spinach, pesto and an East Texan favorite, salsa!

I decided to dive into the sun dried tomato mix for research purposes, of course. All I needed was sour cream or plain yogurt for a reduced fat version, the pouch of mix and chopped sun-dried tomatoes. I opted to use plain yogurt, mixed my dip up and let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours. You can even let it sit overnight to encourage all the flavors to develop, but I can attest that it’s pretty good either way.

Now, you have all the tools to properly celebrate Natonal Chip and Dip Day. Go forth and enjoy!

Health & Wellness: Hail Merry

Pumpkin TartsSometimes, I cringe when I see a label that touts gluten-free, vegan AND raw, especially when it involves dessert. My sweet tooth is picky and ravenous, but my obligatory New Year’s get healthy resolution spurred me on to try Hail Merry macaroons, of which you can find in FRESH’s vegan section in a refrigerated case near the Bakery.

Hail Merry is a snack food company born out of the yoga culture that celebrates raw plant-based oils. Their truly great tasting recipes are consciously prepared to protect the integrity of the pure ingredients they source, offering a supreme taste experience. Their award winning non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan and kosher certified snacks and desserts are created and manufactured in Dallas, Texas.

My taste buds and I can get behind that, in large part of how amazing these treats taste! They are a perfect amount of sweet and packed with rich flavor. Dehydrated at low temps and made with pure ingredients, enjoy the melt-in-your-mouth macaroons. They are best devoured at room temperature. I found it very difficult to not eat the whole bag in one sitting.

If you can control yourself, here is a recipe made with the Caramel Sea Salt (my favorite!) that you can dazzle your own sweet tooth with!

Pumpkin Tartlets

1/3 cup raw unsalted cashews
1-2 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp salt
6 Tbsp pumpkin puree (1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp)
1/4 cup melted organic virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup organic maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 (3.5 oz) bag Hail Merry Caramel Sea Salt Macaroons

1. Combine the cashews, sugar, spice and salt in your food processor, and whiz until finely ground or powdered. It may start to clump a little; that is fine.
2. Add the cashew mixture, pumpkin, oil, maple syrup and vanilla to your food processor, and blend until smooth and creamy.
3. Press the macaroons into 8 mini tartlet or cupcake molds/tins. They will hold together well and can even be shaped into a tartlet shape without a mold or tin.
4. Divide the cashew filling evenly between the tartlet cups. Place in the refrigerator to set up.
5. To serve, garnish as desired with whipped coconut cream, fresh mint sprig and berries. Enjoy!

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