Chenopodium pallidicaule, also known as cañihua and kañiwa, is a species of nutrient-rich goosefoot grain native to the Andes, which is similar in character to quinoa but half the size. Recently, it’s been popping up on supermarket shelves at specialty food stores in the United States and Europe– and with good reason.
Known colloquially as “baby quinoa”, kañiwa is smaller, crunchier, and higher in protein than quinoa– and it’s much less likely to be genetically modified when you buy it because the plant can resist low temperatures and high altitudes (it’s considered the most resilient grain crop in the world). This, in turn, makes kañiwa a safe bet for subsistence farmers– plus, it has all the health benefits of quinoa and more.
Peru is one of the most important agricultural centers in the world in terms of preserving genetic diversity of plants. Some of the world’s most diverse, unique, and nutritious grains, legumes, and fruits are produced here; kañiwa is merely the latest crop to be introduced to an American public who is increasingly concerned with the glycemic index.
Zocalo Gourmet’s kañiwa is source from Peru and is classified as a Rooted Food— “authentic, native foods created by small, community-based producers” whose crops represent “a community, a region, and a way of life.”
By purchasing Rooted Foods, consumers directly strengthen the economic, social, and environmental fabric of that community. (This particular kañiwa is sourced from El Altiplano, a company who works with over 160 producers who grow native grains in the Altiplano of the Peruvian Andes. They provide a seed bank, organic certification, low interested loans, profit-sharing, and a secure market at fair prices. By introducing organic farming techniques, the company has increased yields and offset some of the serious challenges arising from Climate Change in the region.)
Gluten free, high in protein, and half the size of quinoa, kañiwa has a nice crunchy texture and an earthy flavor that works well with vegetables, fish, and in stir fries, stews, omelettes, and salads. But it’s also a slightly healthier version of quinoa itself: kañiwa is technically a seed, not a grain, and is a rich source of lysine, an amino acid that is one of the key components of collagen.
Kañiwa is also high in iron, magnesium, Vitamin E, B vitamins, zinc, and phosphorous. It cooks just like quinoa: cook one part grain with three parts water with a dash of salt, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook 30-40 minutes with minimal stirring. With its sweeter, nuttier taste, baby quinoa is ideal for use in grain bowls, stuffing, porridge, and more.
When cooked, kañiwa looks almost exactly like quinoa, except that it’s slightly darker and half the size.
Like baby avocados, much of the novelty comes from size– and the fact that unlike quinoa, you don’t have to rinse it before cooking. We like mixing it with chopped sweet potatoes, sautéed spinach and mushrooms, dulse flakes, tamari, sesame seed oil, salt and pepper and chili flakes to make a healthy vegetarian lunch. Either way, however you prepare it, “Baby quinoa” is easy to make and tasty to boot– and with a name this cute, what’s not to love?
Hyungyun Choi is a self-taught buttercream cake designer based in Seoul, South Korea. Capable of sculpting even the most intricate and lush flowers out of homemade buttercream frosting, she produces some of the most elegant designs we’ve come across in the super trendy landscape of floral cakes– a genre of cake design that has reached almost asymptotic ubiquity on social media. (And it’s easy to see why.)
Choi’s Instagram (@soocake_ully), moreover, is a treasure trove for people who love flowers, food styling, and cake. What started as a hobby has now led the once novice baker to the height of Instagram fandom. “Six years ago, I happened to see a cake made of buttercream and it was so pretty and impressive,” she said. “I made it from then on.”
Before that, Choi says she had a “normal office job” that allowed her to experiment in the kitchen for fun.
Image via @soocake_ully
Choi doesn’t sell her cakes, but she does offer occasional workshops on how to make them– including a forthcoming workshop in New York, from August 31 to September 3, 2018. (More info about registration can be found here.)
“Deep flowers,” Choi says, “are the hardest ones to make– one of [the most difficult] is the English Rose.” The shadowing effect that develops underneath petals that have a lot of depth is hard to recreate in edible form; there’s more room for error, she says, and the grooves have to be more precise. Still, Choi makes it work, and we have been consistently impressed by her designs and how they continue to evolve. Not only are her flowers beautiful and biologically accurate, but her designs could rival that of even the most seasoned florist. It’s often hard to believe they are made of sugar.
Check out some of our favorite cakes from her archive, below.
Each year, as the cold loosens its grip on the air, daffodils announce the arrival of spring in the pavilion gardens. Soon come the brightly colored hyacinths and tulips, the whistle of the tufted titmice, and the cheery sounds of robins, cardinals and blue jays.
But it was not always this way. When Thomas Jefferson drew up plans for the Academical Village (see this issue’s retrospect “The Gardens, According to Plan”), he left the gardens blank, for private use by the faculty members living in each pavilion. According to UVA landscape architect Mary Hughes (Arch ’87), “They did anything they wanted in the back there. If they were gardeners, they could have a garden. If they weren’t gardeners, in most cases they ultimately filled up with outbuildings and smokehouses, slave quarters, utility buildings.”
It wasn’t until the 1950s and 1960s, when the Garden Club of Virginia undertook to reinvent them, that the pavilion gardens became the colonial revival gardens that generations have known. The group brought in renowned landscape architects from Colonial Williamsburg to reimagine gardens Jefferson might recognize, using landscape fashion and plants from his time.
They also opened the gardens to the public—though that’s not always clear, says Zach Root, a landscaper who works in the east gardens. Sometimes students and tourists “don’t really get that they’re public, because they don’t look it—gates and walls and things.”
Still, thousands make their way to the gardens each spring. Landscaper Shannon Adams says she sees gardeners from all over the country who come to talk about plants; others come to celebrate weddings or the end of the school year; locals come to walk their dogs; and students come to sling up hammocks.
Adams says she loves working in the heart of Grounds, hearing and seeing a bit of everything that goes on. Here, we offer our readers farther afield a look at what she and others saw this spring.
If you’ve spent any time on Instagram lately, you’ve probably noticed that eco-friendly underwear is all the rage. Or so we think it is, as most simple cotton underwear (even the nice kind) is produced in China using lots of chemicals, sweatshop labor, and other polluting mass manufacturing processes that are bad for the environment.
Below, we spotlight a new crop of super fashionable loungewear lines that are reimagining underwear through the lens of sustainability.
These eco-friendly brands make products that are comfy, durable, chic, and ethically made– they’re well made, but they also look and feel amazing. We promise that once you try on a pair, you’ll never go back.
Image via Azura Bay
Model wears Azura Bay’s Rozy Bamboo Pink Bodysuit
Azura Bay is the premier sustainable loungewear brand of the moment, selling not only a wide variety of ethically made undies, but also a better body image. We love that AB shows off women of all shapes and sizes in their photography, and the undergarments are great, too!
We particularly love their fashion-forward lingerie and streetwear-inspired underwear, like these Floral Lana High-Waisted Hipsters (which are super soft and made from eco-friendly lyocell, aka wood pulp). Lately, we’ve been seeing a lot of ladies cop the trend of wearing high waisted hipsters under their jeans and letting them show by wearing a crop top. Issa lewk.
Came for the bralettes, stayed for the vibes. Botanica Workshop makes our favorite bralettes anywhere, crafted out of organic cotton and stretch silk that looks polished when worn but is comfy on the body. BW’s bralette’s come in an impressive variety of shapes and sizes (more of a cup, less of a cup depending on your boob size) so there is truly something here for everyone. They also make recycled nylon swimwear and super cute high-waisted briefs.
Image via Pansy
Model wears the original bra in lilac
Pansy makes comfy organic cotton underwear that are dreamy, ethical, and made from cotton that is grown domestically and sewn locally. Founded by California girls Laura Schoorl and Rachel Corry, their products are made with organic Texas-grown cotton that is milled in North Carolina and “sewn in a factory in San Leandro, CA, a fifteen minute-drive from Laura’s apartment.”
We love this holistic, traceable model. Pansy undies are sturdy, minimal, and chic, and they’re dyed without toxins in Novato, California. Even the natural rubber/cotton elastic is made domestically in South Carolina. They also offer socks, leggings, and loungewear that you can coordinate with your underwear. What’s not to love?
Featuring beautiful detail shots and other images by Gabriela Herman, the article explores everything from Daisy’s unique eye for garden aesthetics to the romantic plantings within, which reminisce of everything from her travels through Europe to her favorite children’s book, The Secret Garden. Visitors to the page can glean insight on our founder’s favorite “messy-yet-structured” approach to garden design, which informs not only this particular garden’s virtue but that of our magazine, as well.
Given the concurrent mental health and opioid epidemics that continue to ravage America, our magazine has been reporting on easy, less invasive ways to improve quality of sleep naturally ever since we started publishing, but nothing has impressed us as much in the realm of natural sleep care as the Gravity Blanket— a new science-backed blanket designed to help users fall asleep naturally, without the use of supplements or prescription medications.
Image via Gravity Blankets
As the brand’s website explains of their science-backed technology: “Weighted blankets are engineered to be 7-12% of your body weight to relax the nervous system by simulating the feeling of being held or hugged. More specifically, Gravity uses the power of proprioceptive input (more commonly known as ‘deep touch pressure stimulation’), a well regarded therapeutic method that stimulates pressure points on the body linked to improved sleep, mood, and relaxation.”
Weighted blankets have been used in niche medical communities for years now, but science has only recently emerged to demonstrate their effectiveness at helping people fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply without a prescription or therapeutic training. According to research published by The Journal of Occupational Therapy in Mental Health (research whose findings informed the design of the Gravity Blanket), deep touch pressure stimulation can increase the production of serotonin and melatonin– also known as “the sleep hormone”– while decreasing the production of cortisol, the so-called “stress hormone”.
Image via Gravity Blankets
This natural, physiological approach “decreases heart rate, blood pressure, and more, improving mood and promoting restful sleep and relaxation,” Gravity explains.
Currently, the blanket is designed for one person’s use at a time (so it can’t be used as a full comforter on a queen bed, but rather as an intimate, supplemental tool for a single person). The blanket’s 72″ x 48″ size is specifically engineered to distribute weight evenly over one person, which has a grounding effect.
Currently, the blankets come in three colors (Space Grey, Galaxy Blue, and Moon Ivory) and three different weights (15 lb, 20 lb, and 25 lb) which latter should ideally be chosen based off of what best approximates 10% of the user’s body weight. Gravity also now offers a new cooling blanket for those who get hot at night, and all blankets have a soft, velvet-like finish that is cool and gentle to the touch.
Image via Gravity Blankets
While the heft of the blanket might feel a bit unusual at first, we’ve found sleeping with a properly weighted blanket to be mystifyingly relaxing. It’s amazing! The weight on your body seemingly has an inverse effect on the mind: after a few minutes of laying under the covers and “feeling held”, racing thoughts and other heavy burdens seem to lift and evaporate.
This, in turn, leads to a state of equanimity and relaxation that makes falling asleep easy and immediate. That’s always been the goal, right?
Garden Collage Magazine readers can get 15% their purchase of a Gravity Blanket by using the code GARDENCOLLAGE at checkout (valid for 1 use per costumer).
Marfa’s quaint, almost deserted feel creates a serenely unique atmosphere that has been attracting a mix of fashionable New York transplants and lovable old timers since its rise to fame in the 1970’s, when artist Donald Judd relocated there from New York City with his family.
Today, this West Texas outpost is favorite destination for art lovers, who flock to the dessert in order to explore The Chinati Foundation– an art museum conceived around the ideas of Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, and Robert Chamberlain, with a rotating cast of others exhibited in various buildings around Marfa.
Others come for the very instagrammable quirky vibe and relaxed sense of community– which is why photos of Prada Marfa and various other Marfa-based art pop-ups and fashion shoots have been popping up on Instagram over the course of the last several years.
On a recent trip to Marfa, our staff observed people renovating a bungalow with integrity, using chicly appropriate landscaping that was respectful of and suitable for the climate. We enjoyed walking the streets coffee in hand as the occasional tumbleweed blew by– taking in the natural beauty that is so vital for our mental and physical health.
Below are some of our favorite spots.
Image via The Chinati Foundation
The Chinati Foundation
When visiting Marfa, The Chinati Foundation is de rigueur. The town’s premiere art museum was conceived around the musings of Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, and Robert Chamberlain, whose works are all on display, with a rotating cast of other artists’ work exhibited in various buildings around town. Like Dia:Beacon, Judd’s other project in Beacon, New York, the buildings are often as compelling as the art itself.
The Get Go Grocery Store
The Get Go is one of those rural Texas staples that can only exist in Texas– a mix of mass consumer necessities and charming local brands pack the shelves at Marfa’s favorite grocery store. Here you’ll find everything from Marfa-made goat cheese and Marfa brand soaps to Big Bend roasted coffee and Topo Chico from across the border. There’s also fresh produce, ice cream, and other sundries.
Do Your Thing Coffee
We love the house made scones and cosy ambiance at Do Your Thing Coffee— a great place to get toast and a cup o’ joe while supporting local art. FWIW: the shortbread is excellent, as is the seasonal “green shakshuka” with Bulgarian yogurt, nigella seeds, avo, and serrano. So delicious!
Image via @jackieleeyoung
The Pool at Hotel Saint George
The town keeps maturing with really good food, shopping, art, galleries, farmers market but all in balance in a beautiful natural wild Texas kind of way. Restaurant have their own unique hours and many shops have “text us and we will be right there” notes stuck on the doors. The pool at the new, chic Hotel Saint George opens to the community after 4pm. There’s just a wonderful community feel all-around.
The Cheshire Cate Antique Store in Alpine, Texas
Whether you’re a seasoned antique shopper or just looking for a little local color, The Cheshire Cat in Alpine, Texas has something for everyone. Here you’ll find great bargains on everything from furniture to decor fixtures that can only be found in the old west– like vintage American Indian jewelry, antique silver, and handmade furniture. This is a great place to stop en route to or on the way back from Big Bend National Park.
We love the colorful striped bathrobes at El Cosmico, among so many other aspects of this charming trailer park/ teepee/ futuristic shelter hotel. El Cosmico is primarily known for its iconic, colorful trailers that you can rent like a hotel room for one night or several, but the teepee accommodation, safari tents, and futuristic bohemian yurts are also worth the stay. Rooms include access to bathhouses (thus the bathrobes), a hammock grove, outdoor kitchens, bike rentals, and wood-fired dutch hot tubs. One of the most unique hotels anywhere!
Cactus and vintage clothes reign supreme at Dirt, the brainchild of Taylor Livingston and Alan Dickson, who envisioned the creative shop as a place to stock “grounding and uplifting items,” mostly cacti. The duo’s iconic green truck and garden are open Thursday through Tuesday from 10 to 5 PM. At 4,000 elevation, the days are hot and the nights are chilly, which makes for a lovely combination and even rarer flora. We love seeing cacti thriving next to roses.
The Water Stop
Right next door to Dirt, The Water Stop serves up southern style Texas staples, from organic rotisserie chicken with mac and cheese and kale with bacon jam (recommended) to diner-style breakfast sandwiches (above). The avocado toast is also just as good as you can get it in LA.
Image via @UrbanBetty
The Capri at Thunderbird Hotel
In Marfa you can stay in a cool airstream or a fashionable hotel, eat breakfast burrito from a food truck, or have drinks and dinner in the sublime garden at The Capri. Like all of the newer hotels in the area, the Thunderbird’s tranquility is rendered all the more effective as there are no planes flying in and out of the town, nor are there sirens– just gorgeous vistas during the day and star-filled skies at night.
Until recently, practical guides celebrating the lifestyle and beauty routines of French woman lacked details about detox juicing and meditations routines. This was easily explained by the fact that most French women did not have them– favoring instead the leisurely routine of drinking red wine at dinner.
French women were famous for not gaining weight despite the recklessness with which they consume foie gras and cheese; they are not known for their balanced chakras or deep knowledge about the difference between kale and chard.
But Paris, which has never been associated with fitness centers or green juices, is now seeing the rise of booming wellness industry that mimics what is now standard in New York and LA.
Here are six new wellness hot spots worthy of exploration.
Image via Modo Yoga Paris
Studio Modo Yoga
Cult hot yoga studio Modo Yoga has finally come to Paris, setting up shop in a studio on Boulevard Richard Lenoir. Also known as Moksha Yoga across the Atlantic, Modo Yoga is a concept that integrates the idea of caring for the environment.
The Modo community is committed to using only non-toxic, low-impact, and renewable products– and Modo Yoga Paris is the only one of all hot yoga studios in France to adopt an eco-friendly mission.
In the heart of the old village of Passy, in the chic district of La Muette, Balzac’s pretty home (and its garden) is open for visitors. Only regulars from the 16th arrondissement of the capital, or those who love literature, know this garden. And with good reason: you still have to climb several stairs and admire the Eiffel Tower for a while before entering the Balzac House Garden, which is a hidden green space approximating 650 square meters.
Small but very green, Balzac’s garden has been having a renaissance among those seeking green solace in the City of Love. Nowadays, it’s composed of a large lawn– pleasant and perfect for those who wish to have a picnic– and is constantly blooming with boxwood, roses, and vines. It’s an ideal place to read, picnic, or meditate in seclusion.
5 Lorette is a chicly-designed vegan cafe where chef and owner, Rizia Azria, has left nothing to be desired. The restaurant’s table d’ hôtes is both simple and refined with vintage decor and a layer of blue paint designed as part of an interior concept styled by Sarah Lavoine. Everything in this cafe is meticulously matched and elegant– a simple and fitting background for the veggie-loving foodies who come here to enjoy their dinner.
5Lorette, 5 Rue Notre Dame de Lorette, 75009 Paris
Image via Chez Simone
Chez Simone is one of the most impressive modern community spaces we’ve seen– in Europe or elsewhere. A mix of co-working spaces, workshop space, a gym, and a restaurant define the space, which is more private and feels much cooler than, say, a yoga studio-meets-cage. Imagine a chic apartment in the heart of Paris that offers a complete program of exercise classes (yoga, pilates, dance, etc) in small group settings, as well as 15 minute drop-in spa treatments, a healthy Peruvian-inspired cafe, and a co-working space all in one. Ultimately, Chez Simone is all about wellness and empowerment– “Eating well, moving well, living well” is their motto. Think of it as Paris’ answer to The Wing, if The Wing was about wellness.
Massages, relaxation, and other energy work abounds in Paris, but none are as bespoke and seemingly in sync with nature as Catherine Dupuch. Two masterminds manage this delightful beauty salon: Catherine Dupuch who, in her salon du Marais, prepares personalized flower elixirs that address mood ailments and other psychological aspects of wellbeing; and Somaly Teang, a Cambodian raised by indigenous healers, who will act on your meridians with a personal blend of Shiatsu, Thai massage, and intuition.
Also known as “The Garden of the Roses,” this vegetable enclosure is the result of an assemblage of three gardens behind a set of private mansions on rue des Francs-Bourgeois.
It took all the ingenuity of its designer and landscaper to assemble the private gardens of three private mansions and to open them up to the public. While preserving the intimacy of the different spaces, this haven of accessible greenery includes one green carpet reserved for children’s games and a shaded fig tree grove. A third plot, more luminous and unobstructed, hosts a perfectly maintained flower garden.
New research suggests that pollution and particulate matter in major cities like New York, London, and Beijing may increase premature aging in skin, leading to increased incidents of hyper pigmentation, age spots, and wrinkles.
Research reported in Dermatology Times has shown that the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) that are bound to nanoparticles that enter air from pollution are converted to quinones. According to Dr. Zoe Draelos, these quinones are the “redox cycle chemicals” that produce “reactive oxygen species (ROS)”, which result in the same type of skin aging that is seen with chronic exposure to UV light.
As Draelos explains to the Times, “Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are inadvertently delivered to the skin via nanoparticles resultant from different forms of air pollution,” she says. “Washing the skin is one effective way of reducing the nanoparticle content on the skin surface. More information is needed in topical formulation development to combat this newly recognized skin aging mechanism.”
In the meantime, check out the below products, which are designed to help. And remember to always thoroughly wash your face at the end of each day!
Image via @LisaMariePrang
Clarins Multi-Protection SPF 50
Clarins Multi-Potection SPF 50 is an oil-free translucent sunscreen that shields skin from UVA/UVB rays as well as pollution and the consequent free radical damage that can stem from it, specifically the appearance of dark spots.
For those who have used this sunscreen for a while now, keep in mind that this is no longer an exclusively mineral-based sunscreen, though it is still broad spectrum. (The formula has been updated to include a mix of chemical and mineral sunscreens that offer more dimensional protection.)
When we recommended Shiseido’s Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector (SPF 42) in our guide to wintertime sunscreens, we did so in part because we like the added pollution protection. This light, smooth-applying sunscreen is gentle enough for everyday use and acts as a barrier to block pollution particles from penetrating the skin. Use it year round, and if spending extensive time in the sun (more than 2+ hours per outing) be sure to reapply often.
Photo via Luzern
Luzern’s La Defense Urban Protect Micellar Cleansing Water
We all know that micellar water can work miracles when it comes to removing oil, makeup, and bacteria– so having a formula that can also lift away pollution particles at the end of the day is an absolute must. Like the rest of Luzern’s results-driven, toxin-free skincare, the La Defense Urban Protect Micellar Cleansing Water is free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, mineral oils, synthetic fragrances, and the rest of the Toxic 12 ingredients that natural skincare junkies try to avoid.
Gluconolactone helps neutralize heavy metals that can adhere to the surface of the skin while pumpkin enzyme ferment removes dead skin cells and elderflower extract from the Swiss Alps acts as a gentle astringent. The formula also includes zinc, copper, and magnesium coenzymes that lift away pollution particles like a magnet. As Luzern’s La Defense line is specifically formulated to combat pollution, the brand also offers an Urban Protect Detox Masque, a mineral sunscreen, and a mineral bb cream with SPF 20.
Photo via Dr. Sebagh
Dr. Sebagh’s Supreme Day Cream
Pricey as it is, Dr. Sebagh’s Supreme Day Cream contains fractionated melanin compound that helps shield the skin against harmful High Energy Visible Light, also known as Photo Light, which can be just as damaging as UVA and UVB light. (The twist here is that HEV light is also admitted in small quantities by screens– yikes!)
The Supreme Day Cream also contains a powerful blend of antioxidants that help shield skin from daily environmental aggressors that dull complexion and age skin. It lifts, hydrates, and protects before you even apply your sunscreen.
“Eat The Rainbow” is often an overused phrase in the world of nutrition– but the fact remains that dark, colorful foods are necessarily rich in phytonutrients. So what about black foods?
While the color black is more likely to conjure visions of a burned meal than inspire notions of edibility, the dark hues that occur in nature often come with a number of beneficial vitamins and minerals. While the health benefits of omega-packed chia seeds and iron-rich squid ink are well documented, there’s a new wave of black, gothic-looking superfoods in town. (Apparently, black is the new black.)
Below, we explore seven jet-black superfoods to look out for on your next grocery run.
Photo: Garden Collage
Black Sesame Tahini
Tahini made with black sesame seeds instead of white ones yields a brilliant, shiny black nut butter that looks like… well, tar. But it tastes like heaven! The earthiness of the humble black sesame (which is often used in sushi and as garnish but not as often in Tahini) makes for a decadent, exotic spread that can also be used in hummus (black hummus!), smoothies (black smoothies!), or drizzled over veggies (zebra veggies!).
If you like tahini, you’ll like this. Kevala’s organic black tahini is made with 100% organic unhulled black sesame seeds that are slightly roasted and stone ground for maximum flavor and smoothness.
Black rice vinegar (so named because it’s made from fermented black rice, soybeans, and water,) is full minerals and acetic acid, which aids in regulating blood sugar levels and boosting gut health. (We like Kakuida’s premium black vinegar because it’s organic and it comes in what looks like a beautiful wine bottle with a pour spout.)
Mix in a 1:1:1 ratio with sesame oil and soy sauce, then sprinkle with red pepper flakes to make a tangy salad dressing, or use the mixture as a brine for refrigerator pickles. Or, simply sprinkle over a plated stir fry to add a finishing touch of flavor.
Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream took the dessert world by storm when founder Nick Morgenstern launched his exotic black coconut ash ice cream in May of 2016.
In the course of the summer that followed, the New York City hot spot became a tourist destination as foodie-travelers and Instagrammers from all over the world flocked to the parlor to take a #ConeSelfie with the now-iconic black ice cream. The ice cream, which was dyed with coconut ash (e.g. the remains of a charred coconut) tastes like a cross between vanilla and coconut. Yes, it turns your teeth black, but not for very long.
Until very recently, squid ink was the go-to “non-food coloring” food coloring of choice. When chefs wanted to, say, make a jet-black pasta, they opted for this animal-based staple. Coconut ash, on the other hand, might be a nice coloring agent for vegan dishes. Cooks have only just begun to explore the possibilities.
As it turns out, many black olives are picked before they are ripe, and then artificially softened and darkened with a chemical treatment. Sunfood’s Pitted Peruvian Black Botija Olives are naturally cured (but still raw) and packed with vitamins A and E, and minerals like calcium, iron, and oleic acid.
There are no preservatives– just a little bit of salt and lots of nutrients– which results in a rich and savory taste that we actually like much better than the traditional, not-so-good-for-you olives. Serve alone, with your favorite cheeses, or throw them in a marinated kale salad with goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, and avocado.
Image via Foodista
Black truffles have been popular among foodies for years, but black garlic is increasingly creeping up on farm-to-table menus as a favorite all natural flavor enhancer.
Black garlic is aged garlic that has undergone a chemical reaction that results in an almost “cured” taste. What is known as a “Maillard reaction” (akin to caramelization) enhances bioactivity and flavor, resulting in a sweeter, softer, more nourishing garlic that is ready to use in stir fries, asian cuisine, risotto, chicken or fish dishes, or soup.
Natto is an ancient Japanese food made from fermented whole soybeans cultured with beneficial bacteria. As a Japanese staple that is just now coming into vogue in the U.S., it is one of the earliest forms of probiotic foods, with billions of live probiotic bacteria (Bacillus subtilis, which is not found in any other fermented foods in the west) per serving.
We love NYrture’s black New York Natto, which is made fresh in NYC from sustainably grown black soybeans that are rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. Natto is also an incredibly rich food source of VitaminK2, which is vital for the cardiovascular system and bone health. Because of its silky fermentation, natto will appeal to those who like cooked okra, with a smooth, glassy texture that makes a welcome addition to any poke or grain bowl.
Kiawe is Hawaii’s slightly sweeter answer to the mesquite tree, which makes it a favorite wood for smoking and roasting in native Hawaiian cuisine. Kiawe smoked sea salt is made by evaporating sea water from 2200 feet below the sea and then cold smoking it with Moloka’i Kiawe wood. It’s also a great souvenir to pick up on the islands, as it adds a bold and smokey flavor to everything from meat and vegetables to soups and curries.
Hiwa Kai lava salt, alternatively, is made with activated charcoal from Hawaiian coconut shells, whose flavor is exotic and complex. It’s good for snack mixes, roasted nuts, and BBQ sauces and herbs.