Today’s Real Foodie is Maria Speck, author of the cookbook Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, which won the Julia Child Award and was named a New York Times notable cookbook, a Washington Post top 10 cookbook and one of Cooking Light’s Top 100 Cookbooks of the Last 25 Years. Maria has a passion for propelling Old World staples such as faro (our favorite!), barley, polenta, and wheat berries to the forefront of new American cooking. She draws on food traditions from across the Mediterranean and northern Europe to reveal how versatile, satisfying, flavorful, and sophisticated whole grains can be. Maria has been kind enough to share her recipes for Fig Muffins with Creamy Goat Cheese Filling and Kamut Salad with Carrots and Pomegranate with us, which are fantastic Real Food Recipes for the family to enjoy.
When we asked this critically acclaimed cookbook author why she chooses Real Food, she had this to say:
"For me, one of the big pleasures of cooking and eating real food has to do with flavor. You might find yourself amazed at the clean taste of a garden-fresh tomato or a cucumber in summer, or you might discover layers of flavor in good-quality chocolate or a local cheese. Personally, I have been smitten by the nuances of flavors in ancient grains, which so many still just regard as a blank and bland canvas. Grains to me not only have many fascinating textures, from comforting (think polenta or millet), to softly crunchy (as in amaranth and quinoa) to supremely chewy (as in wheat, spelt, or rye berries). They also have subtle flavors I learned to cherish and use in my everyday cooking: rye, for example, brings enticing tang, Kamut buttery richness, and oats a pleasing natural sweetness. Discovering these aromas can be a revelation."
Let us know what you think of the amazing flavors of Maria’s Real Food Recipes!
Today’s Real Foodie is blogger Kath Younger of Kath Eats Real Food. Kath has been blogging about her Real Food journey since 2006. Along the way she has added the titles of Registered Dietician and Bakery Owner to her resume. And most recently, Kath took on the role of Mom to son Mazen.
Kath has found feeding a toddler to be one of the hardest parts of motherhood. “I don’t blame Mazen at all for being a picky eater - imagine if someone was creating your whole menu and you had very little way to communicate back. Sometimes you just don’t want meatballs.” Kath and her husband, Matt, have found that sign language has helped a lot, but beyond the basic foods, “It’s hard to tell what he’s in the mood for until he pushes it off of his tray.”
Kath has found texture plays a huge part in Mazen’s likes and dislikes and often makes him smoothies, soups and purees.
“I believe that the more variety you can get into a child’s diet the better. It’s hard for a toddler to chew kale or celery and texture can make or break a dish. Thus, the more you can adapt things to make kiddos like them the better off their diets will be. Smoothies and pureed soups are as versatile as they come and offer an easy way to introduce more real food. Best of all – you can enjoy them along with your toddler.”
Our awesome Real Foodie for today is Jessica from Real Food & Fitness. Jessica loves both food and fitness, and “believes that one is not without the other.” As a registered dietitian (RD), certified specialist in sports dietetics (CSSD), food lover, group fitness instructor, and certified-personal trainer, her belief is that wellness is both mental and physical.
When we asked Real Foodie Jessica why she felt that a Real Food lifestyle was important for athletes such as herself, she had the following to say:
“A real food focus is essential for athletes because so often their on-the-go lifestyles leave them greatly dependent on convenience foods that poorly fuel the body and lack many of the nutrients found in real, whole foods. Remember that real foods, including a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, provides nutrients that work synergistically to repair and nourish the body. A solid foundation in real foods makes an incredible difference when it comes to energy levels, staying well, and feeling our best, no matter what each day brings."
Jessica was kind enough to share a pouch-friendly real food recipe that she says is “more specific to healthy living in general.” (FYI, she explains it is not ideal just before or during high-intensity or intermittent workouts, if that was your plan today). It’s her Lean Green Smoothie, and here it goes!
When to introduce: 12 months (check with your pediatrician)
Stars: Chia seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid, high in fiber, and a good source of iron, calcium, and other minerals. Apples are high in fiber, potassium & Vitamin B6 and also contain calcium. Spinach is another great source of Calcium and contains Vitamin A, Iron and Selenium. Oranges are not just a great source of vitamin C, they have a myriad of vitamins and other nutrients that make them tops for a refreshing and healthy snack.
Lean Green Smoothie
As we continue to explore this whole new world that is Real Food, we’ve made some pretty interesting discoveries as to just who eats Real Food. There is a wide spectrum of Real Foodies out there – individuals from all types of professions, and with all types of interests. From doctors to environmentalists, athletes to nutritionists and dieticians, bloggers to cookbook authors, people from all walks of life seem to be embracing this fantastic movement that is Real Food. That’s a pretty good sign, no?
This week we are excited to introduce you to a few of these people, each eating Real Food for their own real reasons. We’ll share with you new Real Foodie recipes, pouch friendly or not (for credibility’s sake), and these Real Foodies’ thoughts on why choosing a Real Food lifestyle is important.
We hope you’ll try some of these awesome Real Foodie recipes, which of course will be posted on our site (check out our Real Food Hub) and our growing Pinterest board of Real Food Recipes. And please, please, please, share your own. If YOU are a Real Foodie too, we’d love to know about you and your interests, and why you choose a Real Food lifestyle.
Enough of the intro already, right? (You must be just dying with anticipation.) We’ll see you tomorrow with our first Real Foodie post!
‘Til then,- Maggie & Melissa
Looking back a year ago, we were feeling every emotion you could imagine—excited, scared, hopeful and proud. Today we remain proud of the product we have created and the company we have become. Of course, without our customers, Little Green Pouch would not have made it past the first month, so we want to celebrate with YOU! We are throwing a surprise party on our site. Click below to reveal the surprise party sale!
And speaking of proud, Melissa's first born, Bailey, is also celebrating a milestone—her 2nd birthday! Bailey has been along for the Little Green Pouch roller coaster ride since day one (literally). She never ceases to entertain, challenge and inspire us! Plus, she's pretty damn cute! Happy birthday, Bailey Gray!
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