Health & Wellness

Have You Herb? Herbal Teas to Soothe the Soul

In the American pantheon of hot drinks, coffee usually claims the throne, but tea is our unsung hero. Whether chasing away sniffles, winding down after a hard day, or soothing ourselves to sleep, tea does a lot of heavy lifting! This week, Produce Buyer Laura Rose Dailey is excited to bring a plethora of herbal teas to our shelves.

Coming to us from Lancaster Farmacy and Full Kettle Farm, these herbal teas are for everything from getting better sleep to aiding in the fight against the common cold. Both are locally sourced from Pennsylvania and Massachussetts, on small, family farms.

Lancaster Farmacy was founded in 2009 by Elisabeth Weaver and Casey Spacht, who saw the need for reclaiming health care and making it accessible at the local level. Their background of grassroots activism, community organizing, cooperative models, farming, herbalism, and rewilding gave them the tools needed to grow natural medicine.

Follow them on Instagram: @lancasterfarmacy

Full Kettle Farm is a one acre herb farm in Sunderland, Massachusetts that grows a diversity of vibrant herbs for their exclusive line of delicious herbal teas. The herbs are grown and harvested by hand at peak vitality, then dried on site in their wood framed herb drying room.

Follow them on Instagram: @fullkettle

Carla Bueno-SandersHave You Herb? Herbal Teas to Soothe the Soul
read more

A Little Wellness Pick Me Up That Won’t Put You Down

Could your January use a little hair of the dog, a little boost, a little wellness? A cure for what ails ya might be in order after a December full of holiday parties, relatives, and a work life balance that might as well have been a see-saw. All you want to do is hibernate until spring! Making a list of resolutions feels trite; it takes on a different flavor, though, when you rename it self-care.

Maybe you’re cutting out dairy—don’t worry, we’ve got Oatly in stock, though Elmhurst also makes a range of great non-dairy milks. If you’re trying to chase away the last of a 2019 cold, Monfefo’s tried and true ginger and turmeric shots now come in glass bottles to reduce their plastic production. Turmeric is also known to boost joint health, but if you’re looking for a bigger batch than a few ounces, you can make your own healthful brew at home with Diaspora Co’s single-origin turmeric, sourced directly from the family farmers that grow it in India.

The most classic resolution, naturally, is starting a new exercise regimen. It can seem like most fitness-oriented food and drink is full of unpronounceable ingredients that only weigh you down. Your standard energy bar often feels like chewing on putty dipped in faux chocolate. Energy drinks come in colors not found in nature and can taste more like the factory they were bottled in. Luckily, we’ve got the goods to keep you moving and focused.

Pack your gym duffel, hiking pack or even just your everyday bag with dairy-free, gluten-free energy bars like O.W.L., Yes, and Kuli Kuli moringa bars—O.W.L., made locally, has been a cashier favorite for years. Ingredients like protein-rich peanut butter, coconut nectar, and noted super-green moringa will fortify you, while being so delicious you’ll be looking forward to snack time. For the more serious gym goers, Siren Protein Bites pack 12 grams of plant-based protein into every serving! Don’t forget to hydrate—our current pick is Recoup, a more natural take on energy drinks with revitalizing local maple water, and a healthy dose of muscle-soothing organic ginger that gives it a kick. You’ll want to pick up every flavor!

Of course, there’s no one way to focus on health in the new year. So let’s drink—or eat—to your health in 2020, no matter what wellness trail you blaze.

Carla Bueno-SandersA Little Wellness Pick Me Up That Won’t Put You Down
read more

Gotta Blame It On My Juice

While autumn’s first day might still be a ways away on the calendar, sweater weather has definitely arrived! The neighborhood is filling back up as folks make their return from nearby getaways and far-flung adventures, and families are bustling to get their kids ready for the first day of school. We’ve got our own back to school list ready, from after-school snacks to lunchbox essentials to easy dinners, that are sure to make the grade with everyone! 

Juice boxes have always been a lunchbox staple, but this season we’re upgrading the juice game. You’ll want to keep an eagle eye out for Lumi Juice, a new collection of cold-pressed juices. These are made from organic ingredients like beets, cucumbers, grapefruit, and granny smith apples, just to name a few. They’re sure to power up anyone’s lunch, whether in the school yard or the office break room, as well as fuel workouts and early grab-and-go breakfasts. Need something with a bigger kick to it to wake you up, and maybe even keep playground cooties at bay? Try Lumi’s health shots—the jalapeño shot is bound to kickstart your brain, while bringing something new to the shots scene. 

If you’re feeling more than just thirsty, few snack combos are as classic as juice and cookies. Try satisfying your sweet tooth with Makabi & Sons shortbread sandwich cookies, new to our shelves. We just can’t stop munching on them! Made by hand by founder Eiman Behmanesh in LA, these cookies bring new meaning to thinking globally and eating locally, infusing flavors from afar into buttery cookies and smooth creme. It’s hard to choose between spicy chocolate and cayenne, smooth and aromatic earl grey, and earthy matcha with black sesame. Our best recommendation is not to choose at all and stock up! Whether you’re sneaking one into a lunchbox or hosting a weekend shindig, you won’t regret treating yourself. 

Check out our back to school selection here!

Carla Bueno-SandersGotta Blame It On My Juice
read more

Put a moringa on it.

Winter hibernation mode is often balanced by the adoption of a new workout routine, diet, or consumption of foods that will make us at least feel like we made it to the gym. The wellness industry is rising in popularity and the latest food trends lean on the benefits of natural ingredients and sources of energy. Super Moringa is no exception. Known as the Drumstick Tree or “Tree of Life,” and originating from South Asia. This powerhouse plant is said to be one of the most nutritious greens on the planet! Packed with an arsenal of amino acids, antioxidants and protein, moringa is sure to give you a super boost—and it doesn’t skimp on flavor! Zaamroot moringa powder is produced by a South Asian sister duo and is ethically sourced from women-owned farms in Zambia, where they grew up. There are a plethora of ways to use this powder, simply mix into your favorite smoothie or spruce it up for an instagram-worthy moringa smoothie bowl!

For busy bees on-the-go, Kuli Kuli dreamed up these delectable moringa energy bars that are a great alternative to granola. Encouraged as a “salad in a bar”, they contain a generous amount of protein, iron, calcium, along with all the benefits of a half cup of leafy moringa. As if that wasn’t enough, envision a delicious almond butter bar mixed with dates, and dressed in a rich dark chocolate. You’ll completely forget you’re eating something good for your body! If you’re hesitant to hop on the moringa train, these energy bars will swipe you in. Your taste buds will remember the ride and get a bonus serving of veggies along the way.

Angela GelsoPut a moringa on it.
read more

Eggs-cellence in the Field

While food trends come and go, announcing this berry or that herb as the new star ingredient to your every meal, there’s no denying the simple egg. There are as many ways to prepare an egg by itself as there are recipes to which eggs are essential, whether it’s dyed and hidden in grass, placed on a Seder plate, or part of a spring-inspired baking project with seasonal fruit on the horizon. But with so many different labels and terms on egg cartons these days, what does it take for an egg to make it to our discerning shelves?

There are plenty of producers that can legally slap the words “free range” or “cage free” on their egg cartons, but neither of those terms are guarantees that their hens are living the idyllic lives we hope they are, nor are they promises against some of the industry’s crueler practices. That’s why we’re proud to offer eggs from Oliver’s Organic Eggs and Red Gate Grocer’s Scenic Vista Farm, both family-owned farms in upstate NY. On these farms, hens have access to spacious pastures, free to graze on provided vegetarian feed and field insects. Oliver’s, which hand-raises their hens from chicks, is certified organic, which extends to the grains they grow themselves that becomes feed for their chickens. On Scenic Vista Farm, chickens roam free all year long, and each egg supplied to Red Gate Grocer is certified American humane.

True free range farming like this, which gives chickens freedom to be chickensinstead of screened-in rooms that barely qualify as “outdoor access”also produces healthier eggs. Pastured eggs have lower cholesterol and saturated fats than their conventional counterparts, as well as up to double essential vitamins like A and E, and up to seven times as much beta carotene. You could say pastured eggs really help us reach our beak potential! – Order delivery! These eggs-ceptional eggs are available here!

Carla Bueno-SandersEggs-cellence in the Field
read more

Sensational Citrus

Winter may feel like it’s abating as this balmy February washes over us, but the zest part of winter is just getting started. It’s citrus season! This week we’re bringing a bit of sunshine to our shelves in the form of these seasonal fruits. One of the many groves we’re working with is Bernard Ranches in California. From making the nitrogen-rich mushroom compost to managing the water conserving drip irrigation system, they’re as busy as the gophers they wrangle by hand on the farm. The Bernards also avoid synthetic pesticides and herbicides, instead implementing IPM (integrated pest management) by deploying beneficial insects in the grove, like lacewings and ladybugs. Now their hard work is paying off; spring can wait while we savor the fruits of their labor.

Coming to us from Bernard Ranches, we’ve brought in the Tangelo and the Oro Blanco, grown with IPM. The juicy Tangelo is also known as the Honeybell, thanks to its distinctive bell shape and delicate, appealing flavor. You may not be competing in this year’s Olympics, but you can still go for the gold with the Oro Blanco. Translated as white gold from Spanish, Oro Blanco brings the fragrant aroma and sweetness of a pomelo and the tartness of a classic grapefruit together into a real champion of a fruit.

Our organic citrus offerings this season feature classics like the Navel Orange, the Ruby Red Grapefruit, and hefty Pomelos, but look out for the Kishu as one of our newest additions. While these tiny mandarins were first grown in Japan, they have a real tangy history, stemming from an ancient variety of Chinese mandarin originally discovered in the Tang Dynasty. Their roomy peel and surprisingly big flavor make them great for a quick snack, but you may not be able to stop at one.

For the folks who just don’t Cara Cara ’bout all that, there’s conventionally raised Sumo mandarins and Cara Cara oranges. The Sumo Mandarin’s name is a nod to both its Japanese heritage and its impressive size; they’re easy to peel and super flavorful, making them a favorite with Provisions staff. The Cara Cara is considered a natural evolution of your friendly neighborhood Navel orange, first discovered in Venezuela in the 70’s. Its red flesh, while not as dark as a blood orange, is highly sweet without the acidity of a traditional orange.

Not to be pithy, but we think you might want to citrus self down while you send your taste buds into the transformative sunny world of seasonal citrus!

Carla Bueno-SandersSensational Citrus
read more

A 2018 Toast to your Health!

If a new year means a new you, then a new you means a new focus on your health and wellness.
Whatever it is you need to stick to your new goals, whether large or small, we’ve got something that’ll help.

Is 2017’s cold and flu season still dogging you? Try fresh juices packed with turmeric, ginger, lemon, and a number of other health boosting ingredients. We have customers who swear by Blueprint’s Lemon Yay, a cayenne-infused lemonade. Daily Greens and their cold pressed vegetable and fruit juices will have you feeling renewed and refreshed. And while Bija Bhar’s Resilience Blend isn’t a juice, its powerful combinations of inflammation-reducing turmeric, stomach-soothing ginger and vitamin-loaded lemon peel—among other ingredients—give it a well-deserved mention.

If you’re looking for something more substantial than juice, we’ve got you covered there, too. Mustard greens are the unsung heroes of healthy leafy greens! Grown and harvested right here in Brooklyn, mustard greens from Square Roots are rich in minerals and antioxidants, great for lowering cholesterol, and best of all, they’re easy to cook. Produce buyer Maggie Bissell recommends giving them a quick sauté with garlic and olive oil for a flavorful addition to virtually any meal.

Kicking coffee is never easy, and it’s harder still when you’re a busy New Yorker. Luckily, coffee isn’t the only delicious thing that’ll keep you going. Matcha is a powdered green tea from Japan, tied to ancient ceremonies still carried out today. It has half the caffeine of coffee, but still more caffeine than your standard bagged green tea, and is chock full of health benefits, from antioxidants to lowering blood sugar. If you’re on the run, try Remedy Matcha, boosted by maca and turmeric, or take it easy with a canister of Matchaful’s single origin matcha powder.

Angela GelsoA 2018 Toast to your Health!
read more