Fireworks Festive Smoothie Recipe

IMG_3141It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on the blog. I seemed a bit out of balance with work and life and took a decisive step back to breath. Kimberly always inspires me to forgive myself for self imposed failures and just start moving forward. It’s fitting to jump start my blog with her new smoothie recipe.

If you too have struggled staying on track with kids being out of school, summer vacations, and those amazing late summer nights that can be oh so distracting, join me, and treat yourself to this summer fun smoothie.

Source: Fireworks Festive Smoothie Recipe

A Guide to Farmer’s Market Day Tripping in Atl

In case you haven’t noticed, the weather’s taken a turn for the gorgeous lately. And there’s almost no way I’d rather spend a sunny Saturday morning in Atlanta than perusing the fresh, local-grown goods at our city’s many amazing farmers markets.

As a self-proclaimed farmers market fan-girl, I feel like I’ve seen the best and worst of the market scene. I’ve made mistakes and learned tricks to get in and out with three kids in tow and a bounty of the finest living foods nature has to offer. Here’s what I’ve learned about doing Atlanta’s farmers market scene like a champ.

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My Favorite Metro Atlanta Farmers Markets

 Brookhaven Farmers Market: 1375 Fernwood Cir NE, Brookhaven, GA 30319, http://www.brookhavenfarmersmarket.com

*The Bar Method Atlanta will be a sponsor at the Brookhaven Farmers Market starting Saturday, April 22nd! Stop by for fun Bar Method events, pop-up classes, and other fun ways to learn about what we do.

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Alpharetta Farmers Market: 1 South Main, Alpharetta, GA 30009, www.alpharettafarmersmarket.com

What’s to love: This might be my favorite market in North Atl. They have a gorgeous floral selection and one of the largest varieties of produce I’ve found.

Hidden Gems: Look for Capra Gia Goat Cheese- super fresh and bursting with flavor. Also, there’s a lemonade girl, not sure of her company name, but she’s always there with a juicer and her lemonade is the real deal.

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Roswell Farmers Market: 38 Hill St, Roswell, GA 30075, www.roswellfam.com

What’s to love: This used to the Riverside Farmer’s market down by the Chattahoochee and has re-located behind city hall every Saturday. The organizers have committed to keeping this market about supporting hyper-local farmers.

Hidden Gems: Hanalei Bath is usually there with wonderfully natural handcrafted soaps. I have their scent “Dirty Hippy” in my bathroom, it’s anything but dirty- smells super clean and perfectly earthy.

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Morningside Farmers Market: 1393 North Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30306,  www.morningsidemarket.com

What’s to love: It’s the only market in town that requires all vendors to be certified organic.

Hidden Gems: My daughter is a Lacrosse player and the Moon Organics Foot Kit has revived her poor feet after the worst beating time and time again. Red Earth Organics makes a crazy-good blueberry jam that my daughter asks for every time we go. Also, treat yourself to the 26th & Popped Tasted White Cheddar, Simply Butter & Sea Salt or Classic Caramel fresh-popped corn.

 

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Grant Park Farmers Market: 600 Cherokee Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30308, www.cfmatl.org/grantpark

What’s to love: It’s one of the largest and longest running farmers markets in the city and was voted “Best Farmers Market” by Creative Loafing and Atlanta Magazine.

Hidden Gems: Because of its in-town location and popularity, this market pulls some big-name chefs- like Hugh Acheson, Kevin Gillespie and Virginia Willis- who do free cooking demonstrations and workshops every weekend.

 Getting the Most Nutritional Bang for your Buck

So you’re committed to buying the freshest, local-grown veggies around but don’t have Gwyneth Paltrow dollars to drop. I mean, who does?

Or maybe you’re just pressed for time. Here’s a quick guide to the most nutritionally dense southern-grown produce available during three farmers market seasons. *Note that since farmers markets typically only carry produce from local farmers, this list is not the same in all areas. This list is specific to Georgia and some food’s harvest seasons carry over into other seasons (i.e. bell peppers are available in summer and early fall).

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Spring

Tart Cherries Anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants, meltonin (great before bedtime)
Cantaloupe Vitamin A and C, beta-carotene, fiber
Kale Vitamin K, B2, B3, E and A, calcium, protein, omega-3 fats, phosphorous, manganese and copper
Spinach Vitamin K, B1, C and A, zinc, protein, choline, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, fiber and phosphorous
Beets Vitamin C and B6, iron, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, fiber

Summer

Cucumber potassium, magnesium, vitamin c, silica
Eggplant Vitamins K, B6 and B1, niacin, potassium, manganese, copper, phytonutrients, fiber
Shallots Anti-inflamatory, anti-bacterial, potassium, vitamin B6, manganese, folic acid
Zucchini Copper, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, b vitamins, magnesium, fiber, protein
Blueberries Vitamin K and C, manganese, fiber, copper
Strawberries Vitamin C, potassium, folate, fiber, antioxidants, biotin, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6, and omega-3 fats
Garlic Potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and selenium
Vidalia Onions Vitamin C and B6, fiber, folate, potassium, manganese
Bell Peppers Vitamin A, E, C, B2 and B6, folate, molybdenum, dietary fiber, vitamin pantothenic acid, niacin, potassium

Fall

Apples Vitamin A, C, E, K, fiber
Brussels sprouts Vitamin C, folate, manganese, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, choline, copper, vitamin B1, potassium, phosphorus and omega-3 fatty acids
Garlic Potassium, iron, calclum, magnesium, manganese, zinc, selenium
Pomegranates Vitamin C, K and B vitamins, antioxidants, potassium, folates, fiber
Sweet Potatoes Vitamin A, B6 and C, iron, fiber, potassium
Rutabagas Vitamin C and B6, fiber, zinc, thiamine, manganese, calcium

 

The Dirty Dozen- Where Organic Matters Most

Most of us would love to buy everything organic, all the time but that’s not always possible for a number of reasons. In these situations, it’s important to know which foods matter most when it comes to buying organic.

The Environmental Working Group continually updates its “Dirty Dozen” list. These are the fruits and veggies that are most susceptible to toxic chemicals for a number of reasons. As the agriculture laws change and as we learn more about the impact of pesticides on our health, this list changes, so it’s important to check back regularly. As of this month, April, 2017, the EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” list of foods especially important to buy organic includes:

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Potatoes

Tips for getting the most out of your trip to the farmers market.

  • Bring plenty of reusable bags, it’s eco-friendly and vendors run out of bags later in the day. I keep a bunch of reusable grocery bags inside a larger reusable bag in the truck of my car and return them there the moment after I put our groceries away (otherwise it doesn’t happen). The Bar Method will soon have some re-usable bags to offer you when you come in and shop with us at the studio, Be sure to save them for your upcoming farmer’s market trips!
  • Bring a rolling cooler. It warms up quickly on a sunny day and a cooler means you can take your time without worrying about meats or cheeses going bad.
  • Leave the dog at home. I know, it seems like the perfect doggie day out, and almost all outdoor markets allow dogs, but I’ve always regretted bringing our pup to the farmers market. Most markets get crowded, then our arms are crowded with bags and it ends up being not very fun for anyone, including the dog! Make it easy, and let Fido sit this one out.

Bonus Tip: If you’re ever out of town and looking to meet people or find things to do, hit up the local farmers market! Last week, my family did spring break in Seaside, FL. Look at these colorful gems we found, and the locals were just as sweet! We may make the farmers market our first stop every time we’re on vacation!

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Do you have any favorite markets or hidden gems to share? Please do in the comments and happy farmers market tripping to each of you!

Lines We Love: Bamboo Juices

When we seek out products to feature in the retail shop at The Bar Method Atlanta, I’ll be the first to admit that we’re a bit picky. It can be a long process finding products we feel confident to stand behind and sell to the clients who trust us. But that obsession with quality over quantity is something I’m most proud of. Plus, there’s something so satisfying about seeking out and supporting brands that resonate with us, not only as smart consumers, but also on a heart level.

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Bamboo Juices is one of those brands for me. I could go on and on with the reasons why- it’s organic, locally produced, tastes uh-maze-ing and so on, but here are four most interesting reasons Bamboo Juices is a line we love.

1. The brains behind Bamboo. Bamboo Juice CEO and founder, Kelley Sibley, did her homework in the creation of her brand. In fact, she spent 15 years studying anthropology and traveling the world to learn about the eating habits of people who live in “Blue Zones”. These are areas with high concentrations of people who live passed 100 years old. She uses the ingredients and combinations of foods found to be most beneficial to longevity in these areas, and then lovingly worked them into each of her juices and almond milk.

2. It’s chock full of micronutrients. Raw, cold-pressed juices pack a powerful punch of micronutrients, feeding us on a cellular level. But Bamboo Juices takes nutrition to the next level by using a Norwalk Juicer, basically the Bentley of hydraulic press juicers. This progressive production method has been proven to be most effective in retrieving nutritional enzymes from fibers of produce. And more nutrition density means a healthier you!

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3. Unlike life, it’s simple. Bamboo uses no more than five ingredients in each juice or almond milk. Our body uses different enzymes to break down different ingredients. Using limited ingredients ensures that the body can complete digestion and also complete nutrient absorption. The flavors of each ingredient really come through in yummy combinations, like lemon-ginger-green apple and carrot-ginger-lime.

4. Our clients love them. And we love our clients! Sure, we initially pick the products we want to feature at The Bar Method Atlanta because the staff loves them but after that initial order has been placed, it’s our clients that have the last word. If we hear less-than-ideal feedback or if a product just isn’t selling, it will be short-lived.

Stop into The Bar Method Lenox and The Bar Method East Cobb for a Bamboo Juices and tell us what you think! We get new batches and flavors delivered almost daily!

Tangy Key Lime Smoothie Recipe « Kimberly Snyder

As promised, here is @kimberlysnyder’s #sundaysmoothie. Kimberly makes a great point when describing this beauty empowering smoothie. With time at a minimum, stress at some of its highest levels for the year, and sugary treats at every turn, it’s the perfect time to boost your immune system and keep your gut healthy with probiotics. Enjoy this smoothie as it nourishes your body.

Xoxo,

Melissa

Source: Tangy Key Lime Smoothie Recipe « Kimberly Snyder

Sauerkraut for Gut Health (Three-Ingredient Recipe)

Let’s talk about guts. Ewww, right? No.

Our “guts”, when working properly, are a beautiful thing and oh-so vital to the way every other system in our bodies perform. Often, when we think about boosting our immune system, we think of washing our hands, getting plenty of vitamin C and so on… but protecting our intestinal wall with living, disease-fighting bacteria is actually one of the most powerful ways we can improve our health and vitality in every area.

One of the best ways to protect our guts (or digestive tract, to be more specific) is with live, fermented foods that are packed with lactic acid bacteria. These good bacteria aid the break-down of food, keeping harmful microorganisms at bay and allowing for better nutrient absorption. They’re also loaded with micronutrients, such as choline, that can be tough to get in our everyday diet.

“All Disease Begins in the Gut”- Hippocrates

One of my favorite ways to reap the benefits of living, fermented food is through raw sauerkraut (note that the unrefrigerated sauerkraut on most store shelves is pasteurized and contains no live cultures). Not only does raw sauerkraut boast the benefits of a fermented food, but cabbage happens to be a cruciferous vegetable, along with Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale and radishes. These vegetables combat many cancers, lower cholesterol, have anti-inflammatory properties and enhance your liver’s detoxification process. One serving of quality, raw sauerkraut delivers a health boost that surpasses many expensive probiotic supplements in stores, and for a lot less money!

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A few conditions that fermented foods, like sauerkraut, help combat:

  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Obesity
  • Asthma
  • Depression
  • Mental Illness
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune Diseases

 Three-Ingredient Sauerkraut Recipe

Ingredients

Medium Head of green, red or napa cabbage (approximately 3 lbs)

1 ½ tbsp Kosher Salt

1 tbsp caraway seeds

What You’ll Need

Chef’s knife or food processor

Mixing bowl

Two quart-sized mason jars

Jelly jar or cup

Rubber band

Clean stones or marbles

Piece of cloth for covering jar

Instructions

  • Cut Cabbage. Remove wilted, limp outer layers of the cabbage. Cut cabbage into large chunks, removing core. Slice each chunk into thin ribbons.
  • Add Salt and massage. Move cabbage into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with salt. Begin massaging the salt into the cabbage with your hands. After 5 or 10 minutes, the cabbage will start to have a more tender texture, more like coleslaw than raw cabbage.
  • Mix in caraway seeds.
  • Pack cabbage into the mason jars. Every so often, push the cabbage deeper into jar. Pour any remaining liquid into the jar- just leave an inch of space on top as the mixture will start to bubble after a couple of days.
  • Weigh the cabbage down. Once all the cabbage is packed into the Mason jar, slip a smaller jelly jar or cup into the mouth of the larger jar and fill it with clean stones. This will help push the cabbage down so that it’s eventually submerged in its own liquid.
  • Cover the jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band. This allows air into the jar but prevents dust and insects from getting into it.
  • Press the cabbage every few hours. Over the next 24 hours, press the cabbage down into its liquid. As the cabbage releases more liquid, it will become limp and compact and the liquid will increase.
  • Add extra liquid if needed.
  • Ferment for 3 to 10 days. Keep sauerkraut away from direct sunlight and at a temperature between 65°F to 75°F. Check it daily and press down if the cabbage is floating above the liquid.
  • Start tasting it after three days. You can let it continue fermenting as long as you’d like- there’s no absolute answer- just whatever tastes good to you at this point. When the sauerkraut tastes good to you, remove the weight, screw the cap and refrigerate.

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And voilà! Aside from the health-benefits of sauerkraut, its tangy crunch is a great addition to soups, salads, proteins or even by itself.

Things to Note

  • Since sauerkraut is fermented, it will keep for at least two months if refrigerated. As long as it still smells and looks good, it will be.
  • You’ll likely see bubbles and foam as your brew matures to its most beneficial state. This is all normal and part of the process.
  • Note that your mix may develop a white, velvety film on the top. If this happens, simply skim it off the top and fish out any solids that it may have left behind.

Other fermented foods that benefit gut health:

  • Kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Kimchi
  • Tempeh
  • Pickles
  • Greek Yogurt

Spicy Pear Smoothie Recipe

While I must admit to loving the milder temperatures we have had so far this fall, colder weather is coming! Spices are a terrific way to warm the body as colder temps approach. Kimberly is always sharing creative ways to enjoy the warmth of the season while resisting “comfort foods”. Enjoy her latest #sundaysmoothie

 

Source: Spicy Pear Smoothie Recipe

Spicy Beauty Chocolate Truffle Recipe « Kimberly Snyder

The struggle is very real for myself and my husband as we find ourselves dipping into the kids’ candy bags. Sugar is a real addiction and I struggle with it same as so many people. This recipe is a great way to feed that craving with a higher quality choice. I try not to be too hardness on myself, “progress not perfection” works not just in Bar Method, but with food choices and many other aspects of life.

Please enjoy another tasty treat from Kimberly Snyder.

Source: Spicy Beauty Chocolate Truffle Recipe « Kimberly Snyder

Green Tea Blueberry Smoothie Recipe

Source: Green Tea Blueberry Smoothie Recipe

Each Sunday my favorite nutritionist, Kimberly Snyder posts a new smoothie recipe. My mission is to spread awareness in the areas of strength, beauty, mindfulness, and nutrition. Therefore, each Sunday I will share her nutritious and delicious recipes with you. If you don’t know about Kimberly, you can find her at kimbersnyder.com. Try her Glowing Green Smoothie, affectionately called the #ggs. It’s a life changer!

Xoxo,

Melissa