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Spring Cleaning with Full Circle Cleaners

Spring Cleaning with Full Circle CleanersGreen grass, blue skies and sunny days mean that spring is here, and it’s time to open the windows to let in the fresh air.

That’s when it happens; you begin to notice the layer of dust, the smudgy windows and grimy surfaces. It’s time for a day of spring cleaning, and Full Circle household cleaners are the perfect choice.

These all-natural cleaning products are non-toxic, safe for septic systems, contain biodegradable cleaning agents and are not tested on animals. They contain no animal ingredients, no petroleum-based cleaners and no dye.

Enhanced with essential oils like lemon, orange, eucalyptus, lavender and chamomile, these cleaners will get the job done on dishes, surfaces, windows and all around the house.

My cleaning arsenal wouldn’t be complete without the Full Circle Glass & Surface Cleaner, Dish Detergent and Toilet Bowl Cleaner. They have a lovely clean scent, and I don’t have to worry about harsh chemicals or ingredients that might damage my septic system. Before I know it, my house is as bright and beautiful as spring blooms on a sunny day.

Full Circle Glass & Surface Cleaner: Contains biodegradable cleaning agents and a naturally derived surfactant system. Get a streak-free shine on glass, and clean all of your countertops and appliances.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Lemon scent, non-toxic, no harsh fumes. Powerful nature-derived cleaning agents with ultra cleansing power. Quickly cleans, freshens and deodorizes without harsh chemicals and will not harm bacteria action of septic tanks.

Full Circle Dish Detergent: Gives you enough cleaning power to cut through grease and soil, getting your dishes, glassware, fine china and stemware sparkling clean

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Posted in: Natural, Organic

Taste the Difference with Grass-Fed Cows

Taste the Difference with Grass-Fed CowsThese days, you hear a lot about how grass-feeding versus conventional grain-feeding can make a difference in the flavor of meat and dairy. What does it mean and how can a different diet change the milk?

Since 2009, Maple Hill Creamery has been crafting whole-milk dairy products from cows in upstate New York that are 100% grass-fed. Their organic yogurts have an earthy flavor and smooth texture. Sugar, artificial flavors, colors and thickeners are never added to their products.

Their yogurt is tastefully tart, smooth and topped with a layer of cream on top. Each whole-milk product they craft begins as a single blade of grass.

According to the dairy’s website, their farmers pay close attention to the varieties of grass the cows are eating and the growth stages of the grass as it varies from each season. They guide the cows to eat areas of grasses prior to the seeding stage. Once seeding begins in the fall, the grass uses all the energy and protein to mature the seedhead, which reduces its nutritional quality for the cows. This grazing and growing process circumvents the resources typically used to produce corn, soybeans or grains that dairy cows consume.

Cows are ruminants, which means they are meant to thrive on fibrous grasses and plants. Their rumen is a four-part digestive system with a specific digestive flora.

So, what happens when a cow is fed a grain-based diet instead of a 100% grass diet?

When a cow eats corn and grain, the pH of the rumen begins to drop and becomes acidic, which destroys some of the digestive flora. While a diet of corn and grain may increase a cow’s milk yield, it can degrade the milk’s quality. Additionally, an acidic rumen can cause a variety of ailments for the cow, stemming from inflammation. Generally speaking, the cow’s lifespan will be shorter, and the chance of infection is higher.

When a cow eats a grass diet, the digestive flora flourishes, aiding with digestion and keeping the immune system strong with a healthy body. Testing has shown that milk from 100% grass-fed cows has higher levels of omega-3 levels than other dairy. Additionally, the milk has 3 to 5 times the amount of beta-carotene.

Because of the seasonality of the grass or wildflowers the cows consume, the flavor of the Maple Hill Creamery products can vary during the year. It brings about a special taste experience. Look for the Maple Hill Creamery Cream on Top Yogurt, Greek Yogurt and Drinkable Yogurt in the FRESH dairy case. Give it a try and taste the difference!

Post-Training Snacks for FRESH 15

Post-Training Snacks for FRESH 15The fourth annual FRESH 15 will be here soon, and if you plan to run the race, you may be working toward longer distances during your training runs. As you increase exertion and distance, it’s important to properly refuel after a long run.

Nutritionists with Running Magazine recommend a high-protein snack within 30 minutes of running. After a six-mile run, eat an apple paired with a healthy fat, like cheese or almond butter. This will help replenish amino acids that are needed for your muscles. Also, the fruit and fat combo increases blood glucose levels to provide energy to your cells.

After a longer run between 7 and 10 miles, have a mini meal that includes protein, fat and carbohydrates. Egg or tuna salad on whole-grain toast is a good choice.

Also, stay hydrated by sipping on water throughout the day, and try to drink half your weight in fluid ounces. Snack on fresh fruit and nuts for additional energy.

Some great refueling choices you can find at FRESH include the following:

Full Circle Almond Butter: Made from 100% ground almonds. A great source of protein.

Full Circle Almond Milk: All-natural, rich and creamy non-dairy beverage enriched with calcium and vitamins A, D and E.

Dave’s Killer Bread: Made with whole-grains, certified organic, non-GMO, no high fructose corn syrup and no preservatives. Contains 5 grams of protein and fiber, 250 grams of Omega-3 and 22 whole-grains per serving.

Natural Sea Solid White Albacore Tuna: Ocean-friendly, wild-caught tuna packaged in BPA-free cans. Contains 179 milligrams of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Full Circle Goes Back to School

Full Circle Goes Back to SchoolAfter a long holiday break, getting back into the school routine can be a little tough. Cold and gray mornings sometimes mean a late start, but that’s no reason for an unhealthy breakfast.

For a quick and easy breakfast, I like to spread toast with Full Circle Almond Butter and the delicious Full Circle European Apricot Spread. Pair that with a glass of Full Circle Almond Milk, and my day is off to a great start.

The milk is rich and creamy with a delightful nutty flavor. It is free of lactose, dairy, gluten, peanuts, casein and eggs. Enriched with calcium, as well as vitamins A, D and E, it contains no saturated fat and is cholesterol-free. It’s a delicious alternative to traditional dairy milk and can be used as an ingredient in favorite recipes.

The almond butter has a similar rich flavor and is made with organic dry-roasted almonds. Each two-tablespoon serving has 190 calories, 1.5 grams saturated fat and 5 grams of protein. Spread the top with the delicious apricot spread, and you have a flavorful breakfast that will keep you satisfied throughout the morning.

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Posted in: Grocery, Organic

Stock Up on Full Circle Spices

Stock Up on Full Circle SpicesIt’s almost time for Thanksgiving, and that means stocking the pantry with necessary ingredients. I also like to use this time to clean out my spice cabinet. It’s time to check for outdated spices and get rid of anything that has lost its flavor.

Replenishing the cupboard with quality spices can sometimes be expensive. That’s why I look to Full Circle for organic spices. They believe in purity over preservatives and truly good taste.

Full Circle is Brookshire’s wellness and USDA-certified organic brand that provides a healthy, environmentally conscious eating and living experience for the entire family at an affordable price. From farm-fresh produce to responsibly caught fish, all-natural snacks to gluten-free frozen dinners, and environmentally safe detergents to 100% recyclable paper towels, Full Circle provides a wide variety of items the way Mother Nature intended. Hundreds of Full Circle choices are currently available throughout the store, making it easy to shop for organic and wellness products.

For my Thanksgiving pantry, a few spices are essential. I must have ground ginger and fresh cinnamon for baking, pies and sweet potato recipes. For the savory, a new bottle of bay leaves is needed for cooking the turkey, and making broth and the leftover turkey soup.

Full Circle – it’s a brand I can trust for affordability, quality and flavor.

After-Thanksgiving Turkey Stock

5 lbs leftover turkey bones (with some meat still attached), broken into large sections if necessary
1 lb yellow onions, halved or quartered depending on size (skins on)
1/2 lb carrots, cut into 4-inch lengths
1/2 lb celery stalks, cut into 4-inch lengths
1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
8 sprigs parsley
3 bay leaves

In a 3-gallon stockpot, combine all ingredients, and fill with enough cold water to cover everything by 3 inches when submerged (about 6 quarts). If you don’t have a large stockpot, use two smaller pots.

Bring to a rapid simmer over high heat. Reduce heat until bubbles barely break the surface. Simmer until flavorful (about 2 hours), skimming stock with a ladle every 30 minutes. Keep the stock at a light simmer; do not boil. Any remaining fat can be easily removed once the stock is chilled. Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard all vegetables, herbs and bones. Let stock cool completely before refrigerating. To store, refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 6 months.

View this recipe to print or add items to your shopping list.

Cool and Creamy Coconut-Milk Ice Cream

Cool and Creamy Coconut-Milk Ice CreamThere’s nothing better on a hot summer day than ice cream ­— cool, creamy, refreshing and delicious in any flavor you choose. However, there are those with dairy allergies who can’t enjoy this cold summer treat.

Twenty years ago when my nephew was born with milk allergies, there were no dairy alternatives. Now, there are so many dairy-free ice creams that everyone can enjoy. The flavor and texture are great, and there is little difference between traditional and dairy-free.

NadaMoo Coconut-Milk Ice Cream is one of our favorites. In 2004, the founders started making small batches of coconut-milk ice cream for their own dairy-free friends and family in Austin, Texas. It wasn’t long before other people found out how delicious it was, and strangers were calling them for pints of the ice cream. That’s how NadaMoo began.

For this company, including great, wholesome ingredients is just as important as the ice cream being dairy-free. Each batch is USDA-organic, non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, kosher and fair-trade certified.

This multi-generational, family-owned business makes their products in the “heart of Texas.” Their family-oriented passion project has united dairy and dairy-free fans, joining a gap between non-dairy and delicious.

At FRESH, you can find four flavors: Lotta Mint Chip, Vanilla…Ahhh, Creamy Coconut and Gotta Do Chocolate. Give them a try! You won’t be able to taste the difference!

Full Circle Snacks Add to Vacation Fun

Full Circle Snacks Add to Vacation FunSummer is here, and you know what that means: time to plan the summer vacation! Of course, that usually means endless hours in the car anxiously waiting to get to your destination. Meanwhile, everyone is asking you, “Are we there yet?” or my other favorite, “How much longer?”

While you can’t make time pass any faster, you can make the car ride more fun. Packing a food bag filled with wholesome Full Circle snacks will certainly keep smiles on everyone’s faces. Since Full Circle products are filled with all-natural, organic, wholesome ingredients, it makes snacking a real pleasure instead of a guilty pleasure.

Full Circle is Brookshire’s wellness and USDA-certified organic brand that provides a healthy, environmentally-conscious eating and living experience for the entire family. At FRESH, you can find several great choices for summer snacks. Some of my favorites are the Full Circle Organic microwave popcorn, the graham crackers and the PB Blasts Organic cereal. Just fill up some snack-sized plastic bags with assorted treats and you’re ready to go. There’s also a great selection of juices for filling the cooler.

So, get the car packed, the food bag ready and the cooler iced down. Once you hit the road, your Full Circle snacks will make a long drive seem like no time at all!

Full Circle Favorites:
Fruit Juice
Cereal Bars
Dried Fruit
Fruit Snacks
Peanut Butter
Assorted Cereals
Graham Crackers
Cheese Crackers
Snack Crackers
Animal Cookies
Plus MORE!

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Posted in: Grocery, Kids, Organic

Asian Dipping Sauces for Any Occasion

Full Circle Asian Dipping SaucesSummer entertaining means outdoor cooking and long afternoons enjoying the sun and fun with family and friends. Of course burgers and hot dogs are a great choice, but chicken satay is a fun and versatile way to change up your grilling menu.

Satay is simply marinated and grilled chicken skewers. They are traditionally part of Thai cuisine, but I love serving them with a variety of Full Circle Asian Sauces. My favorite is the Peanut Satay, but I am also torn between Hoisin and Sweet Thai Chili.

Each of the Full Circle Asian Sauces are USDA organic with no preservatives or artificial ingredients. Sweet Thai Chili is exactly that – sweet and spicy with ginger, garlic, lemongrass, red jalapeños, and a touch of pineapple and orange juice.

Hoisin is a sweet and sour soy-based sauce flavored with molasses, miso paste, complex spices with a hint of vinegar, and finished with orange and toasted sesame.

Peanut Satay is rich with creamy peanut butter, coconut crème and red curry sauce.

This meal couldn’t be any easier. Simply marinate your chicken, grill it and serve with a variety of the sauces. Quick, simple and a great way to enjoy more sun and fun outside the kitchen.

Chicken Satay with Assorted Dipping Sauces

1 lb chicken tenders, trimmed
2 shallots, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 Tbs Sriracha sauce, to taste
3 Tbs soy sauce
1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tbs vegetable oil
Full Circle Organic Sweet Thai Chili Sauce, Hoisin Sauce and Peanut Satay

If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 20 minutes. Place shallots, garlic, Sriracha sauce, soy sauce, orange juice and vegetable oil in a blender. Blend well. Taste the marinade to see if you like the balance between salty, sweet and spicy.

Pour marinade over the meat; stir well to combine. Marinate for 30 minutes to 3 hours. Thread the chicken onto the skewers and discard the marinade.

Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Be sure the grates are clean and well-oiled. Place the skewers on the grill. Depending on thickness, grill about 5 minutes on each side until chicken is cooked through. Serve with dipping bowls filled with each of the Full Circle Asian Sauces.

View this recipe to print or add items to your shopping list.

Full Circle Agave Nectar: A Naturally, Sweet Choice

Full Circle Agave NectarA walk down the baking aisle brings many options for sweeteners. There are so many choices, and navigating all of the offerings can be confusing.

Full Circle Agave Nectar is a USDA Organic natural sweetener with 60 calories per tablespoon, zero fat, zero sodium and 16 grams of sugar. It comes in light and amber, and looks similar to honey or maple syrup. However, the flavor is sweeter, clean and more like sugar.

What is agave nectar? How does it compare to other sweeteners? How do you use it in recipes that call for sugar?

While agave is best-recognized as the plant from which tequila is made, it has also been used for thousands of years as an ingredient in food. The nectar made from the plant is known in Mexico as aguamiel, or “honey water.”

It is most often produced from the Blue Agaves that thrive in the volcanic soils of Southern Mexico. The plant comes in many sizes and colors — well over 100 species. Blue Agave is preferred because of its high carbohydrate content, which results in a high percentage of fructose in the final nectar.

When the agave has grown to 7 to 10 years old, the leaves of the plant are cut off, revealing the core. When harvested, the core resembles a giant pineapple, and can weigh in at 50 to 150 pounds.

To make the agave nectar, sap is extracted from the core, filtered and heated at a low temperature, which breaks down the carbohydrates into sugars. Lighter and darker varieties of agave nectar are made from the same plants.

Health Benefits of Agave Nectar
Agave Nectar has been used for centuries as a flavoring, though native populations also used it medicinally. The Aztecs used a mixture of agave nectar and salt as a dressing for wounds and a balm for skin infections. Agave’s use as a folk remedy persists today.

In recent years, refined sweeteners, such as granulated sugar and corn syrup, have dominated the modern diet. The problem with these substances is their high glycemic index – a measure of the impact foods have on our blood sugar. Foods that raise blood sugar quickly trigger the release of insulin. Excessive releases of insulin can lead to Type 2 diabetes, weight gain and obesity.

One of the most health-promoting properties of agave nectar is its favorable glycemic profile. Its sweetness comes primarily from a complex form of fructose called inulin. Fructose is the sugar that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables. The carbohydrate in agave nectar has a low glycemic index, which provides sweetness without the unpleasant “sugar rush” and unhealthful blood sugar spike caused by many other sugars.

Though agave nectar is more calorie-dense than brown or white sugar, it is about 40% sweeter, so the amount of agave can be reduced. It may take some recipe adjustments recipes to substitute agave for other sugars. It also provides the same variety of functions in cooking, including browning, moisture retention, softening and food preservation.

Using Agave Nectar in Recipes
It is most easily substituted for liquid sugars like honey, maple syrup, brown rice syrup and corn syrup. Using it in drinks, salad dressings, sauces and many desserts are among the easiest substitutions. More experimentation may be necessary when substituting for sugars in recipes containing precise chemistry. (For example, cooked candies and some baked goods.) If replacing all the sugar in a recipe with agave nectar does not produce good results, try replacing only half.

Here are some general guidelines from manufacturers:

Honey: Replace each cup of honey with one cup of agave nectar.

Maple Syrup: Replace each cup of maple syrup with one cup of agave nectar.

Brown Rice Syrup: When replacing a cup of brown rice syrup, use 1/2 to 1/3 as much agave, and increase other liquids in the recipe by up to 1/2 cup.

Corn Syrup: When replacing a cup of light corn syrup, use 1/2 as much agave, and increase other liquids in the recipe by up to 1/3 cup. Like corn syrup, agave nectar will not crystallize.

White Sugar: For each cup of white sugar replaced, use 2/3 of a cup of agave, and reduce other liquids by 1/4 to 1/3 cup. This substitution will also work for Demerara Sugar, Turbinado Sugar, Evaporated Cane Juice or Sucanat.

Brown Sugar: For each cup of brown sugar replaced, use 2/3 cup of agave, and reduce other liquids by 1/4 cup. Because the moisture content of brown sugar is higher than that of white sugar, liquids may not have to be reduced as much when substituting agave nectar.

Other Considerations: agave nectar may cause baked items to brown more quickly, so reduce oven temperature by 25° F and increase baking time slightly.

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Posted in: Grocery, Organic

Mother Nature’s Sports Drink: Full Circle Coconut Water

Full Circle Coconut WaterAn important part of any exercise program is staying hydrated. The fluids lost during a workout or any type of physical activity, especially in high-heat conditions, are important to replace.

Sometimes water is not enough, and many sports drinks are high in sugar, calories or artificial ingredients. That’s why I was excited to discover the Full Circle All Natural Coconut Water. Not to be confused with high-fat coconut milk or oil, coconut water is a clear liquid in the fruit’s center that is tapped from young, green coconuts.

Coconut water has been called Mother Nature’s sports drink, and many athletes swear by it to prevent cramping and dehydration.

Here are a few reasons why I love Full Circle Coconut Water:

  • Low in calories, and naturally fat-free and cholesterol-free
  • Contains more potassium than four bananas and is an excellent source of Vitamin C
  • Coconut water is made up of easily digestible carbohydrates. When you exercise strenuously for an extended period of time, especially in hot conditions, you need easily-absorbed carbs for quick energy and to replace lost electrolytes like sodium and potassium.
  • It has a mildly sweet and nutty flavor that is refreshing and thirst-quenching.
  • It has fewer calories, less sodium and more potassium than a sports drink. Ounce per ounce, Full Circle Coconut Water contains 5.6 calories, 1.4 grams of sugar, 44 milligrams of potassium and 2.5 milligrams of sodium.
  • Plain coconut water can be a better choice for adults and kids looking for a beverage that is less sweet.

So, be sure to grab Full Circle Coconut Water for your next workout. Before and after, it’s a great choice for natural hydration.

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