Top 12 Vegetables to ALWAYS Buy Organic

Top 12 Vegetables to ALWAYS Buy Organic

The truth about non-organic veggies is downright scary.

  • They are sprayed with insecticides, herbicides, pesticides and fungicides in order to reduce crop damage due to bugs and pests.
  • Rinsing and scrubbing the vegetables doesn’t remove the residue.

Yuck!

We’d really prefer not to ingest these sneaky, unwanted chemicals like what is listed on the Dirty Dozen list of foods.

We know we can always trust organic veggies to be clean and safe. Just like we say on the parody film deducting about the benefits of organic produce – Grocery Store Wars.

Certified organic vegetables must meet a list of requirements, including:

  • They cannot be sprayed with any type of chemical.
  • The use of human waste as fertilizer is forbidden.
  • The crop cannot be GMO.
  • The land must not have been sprayed with any pesticides, herbicides, insecticides or fungicides for at least three years.

Still, sometimes it just isn’t possible to be 100% perfect.

That’s why we are simplifying your organic shopping checklist by bringing you the 12 most important vegetables to buy organic.

12 Best Organic Vegetables to Buy

1. Celery

organic celery
  • More than 90 % of all non-organic celery stalks contain 60 or more different types of herbicides, pesticides and fungicides.
  • These include: 13 chemicals that are known to cause cancer, 31 hormone disrupting chemicals, and 14 chemicals known to cause reproductive or developmental problems.

2. Cucumbers

  • Non-organic cucumbers can contain as many as 35 different chemicals.
  • It is not known how many of those chemicals penetrate beyond the skin, which means peeling may not remove all the residue.
  • Popular chemicals include: Endosulfan Sulfate, o-Phenylphenol and Methamidophos.

3. Green Beans

Non-organic green beans can contain this toxic residue:

  • 8 known carcinogens
  • 22 hormone disrupting chemicals
  • 11 different neurotoxins
  • Even after multiple rinses, these chemicals do not completely wash off.

Where to Buy Organic Green Beans

Find organic canned green beans, try Amazon.

4. Hot Peppers

  • Hot peppers are susceptible to blister beetles, cutworms and tomato hornworms.
  • To keep pests away from hot pepper plants, traditional farmers spray multiple powerful insecticides.
  • These chemicals can remain on the pepper even after performing a triple-wash.

5. Cherry Tomatoes

organic cherry tomatoes
  • Non-organic cherry tomatoes are one of the 10 dirtiest foods available in grocery stores.
  • Non-organic farmers use a variety of chemicals to increase crop yields and prevent pest damage.
  • Chemicals remain on the skin of the tomatoes even after processing and shipping.

Where to Buy Organic Cherry Tomatoes

You can find organic cherry tomatoes at Whole Foods.

6. Imported Snap Peas

  • Imported non-organic snap peas rank in the top 10 of the most chemically-laden vegetables.
  • Local snap peas contain fewer chemicals, but to avoid pesticide residue entirely, it’s best to purchase organic snap peas.

7. Kale

  • Traditionally grown, non-organic kale contains several different pesticides, herbicides and insecticides (in spite of being naturally pest resistant).

Where to Buy Organic Kale

Luckily you can very easily find an organic kale from Walmart which also has several organic kale options.

8. Lettuce

  • All types of traditionally grown, non-organic lettuce contain pesticides to deter cutworms, snails, and slugs.
  • Tests have identified up to 50 different chemicals on lettuce leaves
  • These include: 12 carcinogens, 29 hormone disrupting chemicals, and 10 toxins that interfere with reproduction and human development.

Where to Buy Lettuce

You can buy organic lettuce at Target.

organic potatoes

9. Potatoes

  • Potatoes are susceptible to leaf-hoppers, potato beetles, cutworms and grubs.
  • In order to deter these pests, non-organic farmers spray up to 35 different chemicals onto the leaves, stems, and surrounding soil.
  • Pesticides remain on the potato even after commercial processing, packaging, and home washing.

10. Spinach

  • All forms of non-organic spinach, except canned, can contain up to 50 different chemicals.
  • These include: 8 chemicals known to cause cancer, 25 hormone disrupting chemicals, and 8 neurotoxins.

11. Squash (Summer and Winter)

  • Summer and winter squash can contain up to 41 different chemicals.
  • These include: Endosulfan Sulfate, Dieldrin, and Phenylphenol.
  • Each of these is known to cause cancer, disrupt hormones, and damage baby and child development.

12. Sweet/Bell Peppers

  • Bell peppers can contain as many as 50 different pesticides, herbicides and insecticides.
  • These include: 11 known carcinogens, 26 hormone disruptors, and 13 neurotoxins.

How to Make Organic Grocery Shopping Affordable

Buying Organic Veggies Doesn’t Have to Cost You a Fortune

Don’t be intimidated by the thought of high grocery bills when you switch to eating organic.

Major super stores, such as Walmart and Target, now offer a selection of organic produce at good prices, including organic eggs.

Another tip is to also look at canning organic vegetables to help save some money.

Summary

No one wants a belly full of chemicals and toxins.

We aren’t meant to consume such high levels of these poisons. If pesticides are tough enough to kill off masses of insects, you can bet they’re tough enough to hurt your body.

With these 12 must-be organic vegetables in your grocery cart, you’re sure to fill up in the healthiest, cleanest way.

Canning Vegetables: All You Need to Know

Canning Vegetables: All You Need to Know

Does home canning sound like a chore?

A task reserved for only those flawlessly organized and pulled-together?

If so, you better prepare yourself for this – wait for it – canning is so easy and even (dare we say it?) downright fun.

Everything tastes sweeter when it’s had the chance to ripen under the summer sun. While true, it’s less than pleasant to find yourself up to your ears in zucchini, peppers, and cucumbers.

A flourishing garden may provide a welcome bounty of food, but sometimes we just can’t eat it fast enough! Don’t let those fresh flavors go to waste: home canning is a wonderful way to preserve your favorite summer veggies.

Benefits of Home Canning vs Buying Commercially Canned Foods

Female picking vegetables from her garden

Store-bought canned goods are often loaded with preservatives. DIY canning ensures you enjoy the most nutritious produce all year long.

Another downside to buying canned food in stores? They are expensive!

For a frugal Summer, stock up on jars and jars of homemade canned vegetables at a fraction of the price.

Supplies Needed to Get Started Canning

You will need:

  • A pressure canner with canning rack
  • Quart or pint canning jars
  • Enough vegetables to fill your jars
  • A jar lifter for retrieving hot jars
  • A timer
  • A pressure canning recipe for your vegetable of choice
  • Table or canning salt (optional)
  • A canning funnel (optional)

How to Can Vegetables at Home

Wooden table with red tomatoes and cucumbers

1. Clean your pressure canner with a quick swipe of vinegar and inspect it

  • Pay special attention to the pressure gauge. If it has been dropped, cracked, or submerged in water, it might not be accurate.
  • Your local agricultural extension office can test it for you.

2. Wash and inspect jars, lids, and rings

  • Unlike with water bath canning, you don’t have to sterilize your jars before you pressure can.
  • Fill your jars with hot water to keep them warm and set them aside.
  • Filling a cold jar with hot canning material can cause jars to shatter.

3. Add water and rack to your pressure canner

  • This step varies based on the canner. Follow your own canner’s directions.

4. Put canner on stovetop over low heat to get water started while you fill jars

5. Prepare your vegetables according to your recipe

  • Most pressure canners come with recipes, but you can also find instructions online or in books on canning available at Amazon.

6. Empty the warm water from your jars and fill them with vegetables

  • Always allow at least one-inch of “head space,” the empty space between the top of your canning materials and the jar opening, to allow for expansion.
  • Use a non-metallic spatula to eliminate air bubbles and wipe the jar edges clean.

7. Put lids on your jars

  • Make sure the sealing compound, which is usually an orange, slightly tacky ring around the inner edge of your lids, is facing down.
  • Then screw on the lid rings.

8. Place your jars in the canner on the rack

  • Make sure your canner’s lid vent pipe is open before closing up your pressure canner.

9. Process your jars according to the canner’s instructions

  • Be mindful of adjustments needed for high altitudes.

10. When processing is complete: move canner away from hot burner

  • Wait for pressure to drop.
  • This can take an hour or more.
  • Afterward, open the pressure regulator and vent.
  • Allow your canner to cool another 10 minutes before opening it carefully.

11. Use jar lifter to remove jars from canner

  • Place them away from drafts to cool.
  • Make sure not to tilt them.
  • This can take up to 12 hours.
  • When they have cooled completely, check the jar seal.
  • The tops of your lids should be sucked downward and not click when pressed.
  • Any unsealed jars should be stored in the fridge and eaten immediately.

12. Label your jars and enjoy

  • Canned foods will stay tasty for a year or two and remain safe even longer. Always check your seals before eating.
Labeled jars of canned corn, lecho and tomatoes

Safety

You might be familiar with traditional water bath canning.

While it is great for fruits, it’s no good for veggies.

High-acid foods will kill most bacteria, but vegetables are low-acid foods.

To can low-acid foods safely, you’ll need a pressure canner:

  • Pressure canners heat food to 240-degrees Fahrenheit, destroying bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
  • They’re easy to use, but be sure to read their instructions and safety information.

A Note About Salt

Salt isn’t necessary for safe home canning, though it will preserve your food’s fresh flavor.

Table salt will work fine, but canning salt keeps your food’s color bright.

Summary

With home canning, you can hang onto those feel-good summer vibes all year long.

This winter, you may not be basking in the sun, but you sure will be soaking up summertime veggie sweetness. For more inspiration, you can check out these canning recipes at Whole Foods.

You can pick up a pressure canner at Bed Bath & Beyond and Walmart. To save money, check out our Bed Bath & Beyond discount codes and Walmart discount codes.

3 Unique Guacamole Recipes to Inspire You

3 Unique Guacamole Recipes to Inspire You

There’s nothing like a creamy, salty, freshly whipped bowl of guacamole. Add some warm tortilla chips to this classic appetizer, and you have a dish sure to please any hungry guest.

While guacamole is a treat you know will be a hit time and time again, the standard recipe isn’t exactly original.

With the three totally unique guacamole recipes we have for you below, you will be sure to wow your guests with the sweet surprises of these unexpected flavors: bacon, pineapple, and sun-dried tomato!

Bust out the pita bread, tortilla chips, and tacos! It’s fiesta time.

Recommended Unique Guacamole Recipes

1. Guacamole with Cotija Topped with Bacon Bits Recipe

This is a famous bacon guac recipe that calls for 4 strips of bacon. To cut down on the fat content, you can use 2 minced strips and still keep the flavor.

Preparation Instructions:

  • Mash three avocados
  • Add ½ tbsp fresh cilantro
  • Add ½ cup cotija cheese
  • Add 1 tablespoon of finely-chopped serrano chile pepper
  • Add juice from 1 lime
  • Mix all ingredients and add coarse salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • Top with 4 strips of crispy bacon bits
  • Serve it with soft flour tortillas, chips or pita bread.

2. Pineapple Cilantro Guacamole Recipe

This tropical version of guac dip adds a tasty touch to your summer picnic buffet.

Preparation Instructions:

  • Mash 2 avocados
  • Add ½ juiced lime
  • Add 8 oz. can crushed pineapple
  • Add ¼ cup minced cilantro
  • Mix all ingredients and sprinkle on a dash or two of sea salt
  • Serve it as a spread on a bagel, dipping tortilla chips into it, or adding it to a veggie pita sandwich.

3. Sun-Dried Tomato Guacamole Recipe

tomatoes for guacamole recipes

This creative guacamole recipe also known as “California guacamole,” has a hint of Italian flavor.

Preparation Instructions:

  • Mash 4 avocados
  • Add 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Add 2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves
  • Add ⅓ cup parmesan cheese
  • Add ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil (but drain and chop them before you mix them into your guacamole dip)
  • Sprinkle in toasted pine nuts
  • Add 1 ½ tablespoons dried basil in place of the fresh leaves
  • Mix all ingredients and add on a pinch or two of sea salt.
  • Serve it with Italian bread, chips, or pita bread.
6 Healthy Crock-Pot Recipes for the Busy Cook

6 Healthy Crock-Pot Recipes for the Busy Cook

A solid rotation of healthy crock-pot recipes is every busy cook’s best friend. Let’s be honest, wasting gorgeously perfect summer days slaving away in the kitchen is a serious no-no. Who would you rather be … isolated, loner chef or summer’s most social butterfly?

Okay, okay, we might be exaggerating a bit. The point is, a crock-pot is your solution to cooking delish meals while never missing a moment in the sun. We have 6 reasons this handy cooking device is a worthy kitchen sidekick.

Preparing for a classy garden party, but your friends relentlessly insist you join them at the beach? Stop being stubborn already and ditch the apron!

With these healthy crock-pot meals, you can quite literally toss in all ingredients and walk away.

Easy-Peasy, Healthy Crock-Pot Recipes

1. Pulled Pork

Mmmm, pulled pork. You have GOT to try this!

  • Rub about 4 pounds of pork roast with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a little brown sugar. Add chili powder for a kick!
  • Chop 2 onions and place around the roast.
  • Options for cooking liquid:
    • Can of dark beer poured onto the roast will result in a nice traditional flavor.
    • Can of pineapple juice can be substituted for a fruity Hawaiian taste.
    • Cup of apple cider vinegar can be used for a tart taste.
  • Cook everything on low for 6 to 7 hours.
  • Use a fork to shred the meat and remove any bones.
  • Mix in your favorite BBQ sauce and let it cook on low for 1 more hour.
  • Serve your pork on delicious potato rolls. This healthy crock-pot recipe serves 10-12.
Healthy Crock-Pot Tortilla Soup

2. Chicken Tortilla Soup

When you think of chicken soup, you may picture frosty, stormy nights and a cold (perhaps runny) nose. Hear this: chicken soup is not limited to winter meals and sick-day sipping. Add a twist of lime, wedge of avocado, and dollop of sour cream for an instant summer soup hit!

  • Place 2-3 chopped chicken breasts into the crock-pot. Add chopped green chile, a can of beans, corn kernels, chopped tomato, onion, garlic, and a pinch of your favorite spices.
  • Pour 2 cups of chicken broth and 1 cup of water on top. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.
  • Squeeze at least 2 large limes into the soup and add a handful of cilantro.
  • To serve, pour into a bowl over tortilla chips. Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top.
  • Sliced avocado and a big spoonful of sour cream served as garnish completes the meal. This simple & healthy crock-pot soup serves 4-5 people.
Ribs Healthy Crock-Pot Recipe

3. BBQ Ribs

This recipe is ridiculously easy. Other than utter laziness, you have no excuse to skip it.

  • Rub down the 3-4 pounds of ribs with salt, pepper, garlic powder and a little chili sauce.
  • Place in the crock-pot with about 1/2 cup of dark beer.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Cover the ribs in barbecue sauce and bake at 350 degrees for just long enough that the sauce starts to caramelize. This healthy crock-pot meal serves 6-7 people.

4. Mac and Cheese

If you don’t love Mac and Cheese, there’s probably something wrong with you. This all-time favorite is virtually painless to prepare.

  • Coat the crock- pot in non-stick spray.
  • Mix 3 cups of milk with 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Add 1 beaten egg. Season everything with salt, pepper and paprika.
  • Pour this over 1 box of macaroni in the crock-pot and add a tad more cheese on top.
  • Cook on low for 4 hours.
Healthy Crock-Pot Oatmeal

5. Healthy Crock Pot Oatmeal Recipe: Loaded Berries

A tangy breakfast treat that is so simple to complete. Try cooking it overnight for a quick breakfast the morning of that camping trip. Delicious and healthy crock pot breakfast recipes can be a pain to find, but this one is a winner every time.

  • Pour 2 cups of steel-cut oatmeal into the crock-pot.
  • Add 6 cups of water and a pinch of salt, as well as a ½ cup of brown sugar.
  • Try a pinch of cinnamon for extra sweetness.
  • Stir well and let cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Before serving, stir in about a ½ cup of whole milk and top with a healthy portion of seasonal berries.

6. Chili

Then there is the beloved chili bowl. This ever-popular crock pot healthy dinner is a picnic food classic!

  • Add 2 pounds of ground beef to 2 cans of tomato sauce in a crock-pot.
  • Chop up a large onion, a bell pepper, and a couple cloves of garlic. Add them to the pot, along with 2 cans of your favorite beans.
  • Pour a ½ cup of water or broth on top. Season everything with a mixture of salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, brown sugar, and cumin.
  • Stir well and let cook on low for at least 8 hours.
  • Serve with a dollop of sour cream and some shredded cheese on top. This will easily serve 8-10 people.

TIP: Find crock-pots at Sears, Walmart, and Macy’s. Some suppliers, such as Amazon, will even deliver fresh ingredients to your doorstep!

Make these healthy crock-pot recipes a summer staple!

We might just make these dishes the only meals we prepare all summer. Berry oatmeal for breakfast, chili at the company picnic, and BBQ ribs for the 4th of July party! Done. This season, these scrumptiously healthy crock-pot meals will ensure you never waste a day indoors. You can find more healthy crock pot recipes and tips at Whole Foods or on these Pinterest recipes.

Quinoa, Kale and Poached Egg Recipe

Quinoa, Kale and Poached Egg Recipe

We got a tasty, and easy to make in 10-minutes Quinoa, Kale and poached egg recipe.

Ingredients

Kale Quinoa Egg Dinner
  • 1 to 2 large eggs (optional: organic eggs)
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup baby kale (optional: organic greens)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (optional: garlic-infused olive oil)
  • 1 teaspoon ground lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar (optional: apple cider instead of white)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preparation Instructions

Quinoa Recipe in 10 Minutes

1. Sauté the kale and cooked quinoa in olive oil

For extra flavor, try garlic-infused oil.

2. Cover the greens after cooking

3. Turn off heat and let the kale/quinoa mixture stand until it wilts

4. Scoop the cooked greens onto an attractive plate

5. Boil water in a small saucepan for the poached eggs

6. Turn boiling water heat to low, stir in vinegar and add cracked eggs

When adding the vinegar, stir the substance rapidly in a circular motion. This will create a whirlpool funnel.

Quickly drop the cracked egg into it. Slide eggs into the center of the whirlpool.

7. Let the egg simmer for 3-4 minutes

Keep the egg in the water until the whites appear cooked. This poaching process will usually leave the yoke a little runny.

However, if you prefer a firmer yoke, you could let it cook a minute or two longer. Be careful not to overcook it, which could leave it rubbery.

8. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked eggs from the water

9. Place the eggs on top of the kale/quinoa greens you prepared just minutes ago

10. Grind some lemon peel and sprinkle the zest over the top of the dish

11. Spread a few pinches of ground sea salt and crushed black pepper over it

You want just enough salt and pepper to flavor the dish, but not overpower it.

Estimated Preparation Time

This Quinoa, Kale and Poached Egg Recipe takes only 10 minutes to prepare.

Recommended Uses

The Quinoa, Kale and poached egg recipe dish is an excellent standalone item which is an ideal choice for busy parents who have hungry mouths to feed.

It is easy to double or triple the batch when you need to cook dinner for your whole family.

However, it offers a versatile enough flavor for a buffet-style menu.

You can modify the dish and add the finished product to lettuce or spinach salads that call for cooked eggs.

Also, consider using the leftovers for a nutritious, fast breakfast dish.

Where to Buy Quinoa

You can find all the ingredients you’ll need for our “10-Minute Quinoa, Kale, & Poached Egg Recipe” at your local grocery store or online at major grocery store brands.

We recommend you the best ingredients like buying organic eggs (if you can).

Our other tip would be to try using Giving Assistant to help save money on your grocery bill by, for example, finding a coupon for Target or other grocery stores.

You can potentially earn cash back when you sign up for a Giving Assistant account which you could also donate some to a nonprofit of your choice.

More Recipe Ideas

To discover similar quinoa dishes, browse Whole Foods or check out the 10 Best Quinoa Recipes from Bon Appetit.

Summary

When you are stuck for ideas for a tasty, fast to make quinoa dish that is vegetarian friendly we hope this quinoa, kale and poached egg recipe hits the spot for you.

We think this dish will mainly be cooked for lunch meals, however, it can be used for breakfast or even a dinner for one person.

Have you seen our rustic garlic mashed potatoes recipe yet? If not check that out next.