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Blog posts tagged "healthy living"

Cultured Food Festival Round-Up

Organic Raw Brazilian Rainforest Honey

Our team was delighted to have shared our gourmet and organic foods at the Cultured Food Festival at the Highland Springs Ranch and Inn on February 23 and 24, 2019.

But hang on, what are cultured foods, you ask? "Cultured" essentially means "fermented."

Cultured foods have undergone a process through which they are broken down, usually by bacteria, yeasts or fungi. There are so many different types of cultured food, including yogurt and cheese. Initially produced as a way to preserve foods, cultured foods not only enhance flavor; they have an array of additional health benefits, including fostering gut health by strengthening your gut microbiome. They are packed with good bacteria and they are becoming more and more popular today.

We were honored to be invited to present our organic Brazilian Rainforest Honey and organic Black Botija Dried Olive at this year's festival. These are two of our favourite and most popular cultured foods that we offer. High quality ingredients such as raw, organic honey is key to some cultured foods and beverages, like Kombucha. Our Brazilian Rainforest honey is rich in flavor, aroma and nutrients that result from bees harvesting the diverse heirloom blossoms of the forest.

Organic Peruvian Black Botija Olives

Our olives are in the same league as our honey. Our heirloom variety, organic, Peruvian, black, cured olive is unique and likely different from most olives you’ve tasted. It is cured using the old-world style method of processing, which is so special and unique. Check out our post on The Lost Art of Artisan Olive Curing to learn more.

To create a delicious appetizer that’s quick and easy, you only need four simple ingredients. Slice up a cucumber and serve with a slice of Manchego cheese (a Spanish sheep cheese), an olive, a small slice of avocado and a dash of course culinary sea salt. And voilà! You have a tasty and healthy snack for your friends and family to enjoy.

Thank you for everyone that joined us for our talk and tasting or swung by our pop-up shop. Even if you missed it, we hope we've inspired you to create a delicious snack using a few simple ingredients that you can prepare and enjoy at home.

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Recipe: Chai Almond Shortbread Cookies

We know how it feels when a sugar craving hits you. You're trying to be healthy and you know cookies are loaded with sugar and excess calories. When you're standing in the chocolate aisle aisle at the grocery store with dozens of cookie boxes begging for you to pick them up, slowly back away. Instead, opt for a healthier option that will satisfy your sugar craving. You won't regret picking up the ingredients for this Chai Almond Shortbread cookie recipe. These crisp and buttery cookies are laced with a delicious nutty chai flavour that your friends and family will love. The beauty of this recipe is that it calls for Tagatose. If you're scratching your head at what this is, it's a low-calorie healthy substitute for sugar. It's a natural sweetener found in milk that is not quite as sweet as sugar but still a great substitute. It has a clean, neutral taste. If you want to learn more about sugar substitutes, Nat Geo baked a number of cakes with different artificial sugars: How Sugar Substitutes Stack Up. This recipe also requires chai syrup. You can buy this at most grocery stores or you can make your own: recipe here.

We believe that anything baked at home is going to be fresher, better tasting and better for you than anything packaged and processed that you buy from the grocery store. How can it not when you add the time, attention and love?



• 1 cup of Almond Flour • 3 Tablespoons softened butter • 3 Tablespoons Tagatose • 1/8 Salt • 1 Tablespoon of Chai Syrup


  1. In a large bowl (or stand mixer) combine all of the ingredients listed above.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Mix all of the ingredients together until a cohesive dough forms.
  4. Scoop 1” balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet. You could use a teaspoon cookie scoop or just roll them in your hands. Arrange the ball of dough about 1 ½” to 2” apart, then use a fork to flatten each cookie to about 1/4 “thick.
  5. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. (keep in mind Tagatose browns at a lower temperature than sugar so keep an eye on the cookies) Remove the cookies from the over and cool them on the pan for 10 minutes.
  6. Enjoy with a cup of tea and remember to share with friends and family

In the mood for spending some more time in the kitchen? Here are some healthy recipes you may like to try:

Bone Broth (with vegetarian broth option) • Blissful Anandamide: Tonic Recipe for BeginnersHomemade Nut MilkSimple Green Smoothie Do you have a recipe you'd like to share with us? Please e-mail us at

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Top 5 of our Favorite Farmers’ Markets in the USA

There are so many reasons why one should visit a farmers' market. What we love most is all the freshly picked produce of course, and the rare opportunity to chat to the farmer directly - you might learn about new ways to store and prepare your favourite foods! Every trip to a farmers' market ignites a new story. All these markets are charming, in beautiful settings and have their own unique personality. Farmers Market in Santa Fe1. Santa Fe Farmers’ Market, New Mexico

Located at the historic Santa Fe Railyard in Santa Fe, New Mexico, this market is one of the best around that features local agriculture of Northern New Mexico as well as a variety of chilies, foods and an abundance of sauces made from recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. More than just a farmers’ market, you’re in for a truly unique experience. Added bonuses include health screenings, food demonstrations, samples of healthy, affordable meals and even the occasional exercise class. Location: 1607 Paseo De Peralta, Santa Fe, New Mexico Hours: Tuesdays and Saturdays 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Wednesdays 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Visit their website

Wheatgrass shot, Maui Farmers Market, Hawaii, Healthy EatingFlickr
2. Upcountry Farmers' Market, Maui, Hawaii Operating for more than 40 years, this is a magical market has an abundance of organic vegetables (you almost have to go out of your way to find a conventional vegetable on Maui). There are many community chefs that make a variety of vegetarian, vegan and raw foods sold at this market. Apart from fresh, locally grown organic produce you’ll find coconuts, macadamia nuts, fresh fish, tropical flowers, plants and trees, Maui-grown coffee, Lilikoi butter, plus a bunch of new offerings weekly. Check out HawaiiOnTv's coverage of the Farmers' Market.

Location: 55 Kiopaa St, Makawao, Maui Hours: Saturdays 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Visit their website

farmers market, healthy eating, healthy living, palm springs3. Palm Springs Farmers' Market, California

Our very own Palm Springs Farmers’ Market is part of a seasonal trio of markets called the Coachella Valley Certified Farmers’ Markets. It is open year-round the other two in the valley close for the hot summer season. Although Zebra Organics and Palm Springs are situated in the Sonoran Desert, we are surrounded by a profound variety of very nearby climates that provide the perfect growing conditions for a diverse range of produce. Although this market is smaller than those in larger cities, the quality of produce is outstanding - it will make you want to get out your blender and food processor and whip up your favourite dish. Location: Palm Springs Pavilion, California Hours: Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Plus a new Summer Market at Westfield Palm Desert, California Hours: Sundays, 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. May 6 - September 16, 2018

Visit their website

farmers market, heritage cheese, new york city 4. The Union Square Greenmarket, New York City

Featuring more than 140 regional farmers, fishers and bakers in peak season, this world famous market is open a few days a week and is always a special treat. It is an oasis in the city that provides an escape from the hustle bustle of urban life. It’s known for its fresh fruits and vegetables, heritage meats, award-winning farmstead cheeses, artisan breads, jams, pickles, fresh-cut flowers and plants, wine, ciders, maple syrup and more. You can’t beat the electric atmosphere in one of New York’s greatest public spaces. As many as sixty thousand people a day flock to the market, from shoppers that come to chat with farmers, to students of all ages that come to learn about seasonality. Since its debut in 1976 with just a few farmers, this market has grown exponentially. Keep your eyes peeled for cooking demonstrations by some of New York’s most popular local chefs. Location: Union Square, E 17th St & Broadway, New York City, NY Hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Check out their website

Eggs, Farmers Market, California, Healthy EatingFlickr
5. Santa Monica Wednesday Market Welcome to the largest grower-only certified organic market in Southern California. Spread out over four city blocks, Santa Monica’s Wednesday market showcases 75 farmers and a vast selection of goods. Three growers have set up shop here since 1981 when the market first opened; Flying Disc Ranch in Thermal, Mike and Sons Egg Ranch in Ontario and Scotts Farms in Dinuba. Chefs from across Los Angeles gather at the market for the first fresh pick of goods. The quantity and quality of produce is astounding!

Location: Arizona Avenue, between 4th & Ocean, Santa Monica

Time: Wednesdays 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

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Organic vs. Conventional Coffee - How big is the difference?

Coffee lovers are very particular about the flavour, aroma and origin of their brew. These are among the differences between one brand and another, but one of the biggest differences is whether the coffee is organically or congenitally grown.

You may already choose organic in the shopping aisle but why should you go organic for your brew?

To meet demand for one of the most sought after commodities in the world, farming methods have evolved to maximise production - often to the expense of the environment.

Avoid toxic chemicals

Conventional coffee is doused in pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilisers and more (check out this Finnish study). Farmers are exposed to these chemicals while spraying the crops and harvesting them. These highly toxic chemicals are damaging to our health and the chemical residue in the air may impact surrounding communities.

Better for the environment

Organic coffee is grown and produced chemical and synthetic fertiliser-free, meaning our beans, air, land and water are cleaner.Grown with organic fertiliser such as compost, chicken manure or coffee pulp, organic coffee production emits less carbon than chemical farms.

Tastes better

Coffee connoisseurs claim that it has a richer, fuller flavour than congenitally grown coffee.

Organic coffee grows better in the shade, which means coffee plantations can exist without destroying forests and animal habitats. Coffee was traditionally grown in the shade but growers shifted to the sun to increase yield.

Zebra Organics supports coffee growers by supplying fair trade coffee. Instituted to provide growers with better conditions and a higher profit margin, fair trade rules indicate that the coffee importer must have a direct relationship with the grower. The organic coffee market has grown in popularity because people want to drink something they can feel good about. As a purchaser of organic coffee, you are supporting heathy ecosystems, sustainable farming methods and high quality coffee.

Fast facts

  • Coffee is the most respected beverage in the world. The coffee exporting business is worth a whopping 20 billion dollars. After crude oil, it's the most sought after commodity on the planet.
  • Coffee is grown in more than 50 countries in South and Central America, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. 90 per cent of the world's coffee is produced by developing countries. The top three producers are Brazil, Vietnam and Columbia.
  • 90 per cent of Americans consume coffee every day.
Zebra Organics carries organic and fair trade coffee by Joshua Tree Coffee Company.

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Top 10 Foods to Fuel the Brain

We know it’s important to eat well to keep our bodies in shape but are we forgetting about our minds?

Our diet can impact our mood, concentration and memory. Keep your precious brain functioning at its best with these top ten foods for brain health. After all, it’s the brain that controls most of our body’s activities so it’s important we feed it the right fuel.

Blueberries | Brain food

1. Blueberries

Strong scientific evidence exists that suggests that blueberries (not to mention blackberries and strawberries as well) have positive effects on the brain and may even help prevent memory loss. Berries are packed with antioxidants, which aid brain function by simulating blood and oxygen flow to the brain. Salmon | Brain Food

2. Wild Salmon

Wild salmon is best known for its high protein and Omega-3 fatty acid content. Omega-3 oils are important for an array of bodily functions, from digestion and fertility, to muscle activity and brain development. Farmed salmon is a good alternative is wild salmon isn’t available, according to the Washington State Department of Health. Almonds | Brain food

3. Almonds

Much like salmon, almonds are high in omega-3 fatty acid brain fuel. They also contain vitamin E that slows down the aging of brain cells that impact memory. A study in the American Journal of Nutrition found that almonds assist with improving cognitive dysfunctions in patients with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Broccoli | Brain Food

4. Broccoli

Broccoli is rich in brain-healthy nutrients such as Vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta-carotene. Studies have shown broccoli and some plant-based foods may help to slow cognitive degeneration. In recent years, Vitamin K has been seen to fight oxidative stress and inflammation related to Alzheimer's disease. Data also exists that suggests it has the capacity to influence psychomotor behaviour and cognition.

Leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale also contain the same nutrients and can fuel the brain in a similar way.

Walnuts | Brain food | Zebra Organics Health Food

5. Walnuts

Studies have proven that cognitive function is greater in adults that consume walnuts. Snacking on walnuts or tossing them into a salad or onto cereal are easy ways to include them in your diet for improved memory, concentration and information processing. Walnuts contain more antioxidants, folic acid and vitamin E than any other nut! They are also high in Omega-3 fatty acids that support brain health. Fun fact: Walnuts are the same shape as the brain!Avocado | Brain Food

6. Avocado

A recent study by Tuffs University in 2017 found that avocado consumption in older adults increases a pigment in the brain that relates to better cognition. The research revealed that adults aged 50 and over that ate one fresh avocado a day for six months experienced improved working memory and problem-solving skills.

Research also shows that the high levels of monosaturated fats may help keep nerve cells in the brain healthy by improving blood flow.

Herb infused chocolate | Zebra Organics

7. Dark Chocolate

Flavonols, a type of antioxidant in cocoa, can help to improve blood flow to the brain and heart. It’s also found in apples, wine and certain types of berries and vegetables. Chocolate lovers should remember that dark chocolate is the healthiest type of chocolate you can eat but it should be eaten in moderation. Here's how it compares to milk chocolate. Turmeric spice | Brain food | Healthy Living

8. Turmeric

Studies have proven that turmeric, a herb in the ginger family, aids with brain regeneration, helping to enhance memory. Widely grown in the tropics of Asia, turmeric has also been proven to prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by eliminating a plaque buildup in the brain. Zebra Organics Coconut Oil

9. Coconut Oil

There is evidence to suggest that coconut oil can help people suffering of dementia to regain their cognitive function. It is important to note that more research is required to determine whether coconut oil is able to improve cognitive function in normal brains.

(Coconut oil is rich in MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) that break down into ketones. Ketones are transported to the brain when there’s no glucose for it to burn, but only in emergencies will the brain actually use ketones as an energy source).

Coconut oil is a healthy fat with an array of health benefits and can be used in lots of different ways. Read about them here. Green Tea | Zebra Organics

10. Green Tea

Green tea is well known for its powerful effects on the body. When it comes to brain health, the large amount of caffeine naturally present in green tea has been found to “improve performance on long-duration cognitive tasks” (National Institute of Health). A Singapore study found that regular tea drinkers (those who drank a cup to three or more cups a day) reaped the most benefits in terms of brain health. Learn about our top 5 herbal teas here. We recommend making a conscious effort to include these foods in your diet. This is important not just for brain health, but because they're packed with a whole lot of nutritious goodness.

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The Importance of Choosing Raw Honey Over Cooked Honey

Special announcement -The Healthy Living Event Series

SkyIsland Organics and Zebra Organics present this series at our combined

facilities in Palm Springs, California, which includes the wellness & teaching center, manufacturing kitchens, packaging facility, distribution

warehouse, and product showroom. The events are free and everyone is welcome.


take place at:
Zebra Organics / Sky Island Organics
870 E Research Drive, Units 5 & 6
Palm Springs, CA 92262


off Ferrell Drive)

Friday, November 14th, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Raw Lifestyle Food Preparation

Special guest Joan Jackson, raw lifestyle consultant & chef, will join us

this Friday. Joan will teach us how to make healthier eating simple, demonstrate how to make delicious health food and we’ll get to taste her amazing food at the event. Joan will also sign her book, which is describes an effective system for making the raw food lifestyle simple, satisfying and


We hope to see you there.


Raw Honey is Medicine, Cooked Honey is Poison

We’re all familiar with honey and its sweet taste. You may have used it as a substitute for sugar in tea or recipes.

But apart from considering it a healthier alternative to sugar, you may be unaware of just how nutritional this natural resource is.

Containing an enzyme that prevents the growth of certain bacteria, honey has a long history as a antibacterial treatment for wounds and illnesses. Ancient Chinese medicine uses honey to neutralize toxins in the body, relieve pain and assist in treating stomach


According to the traditional medicine of Ayurveda that is native to India, honey is the nectar of life. Ayurvedic medicine suggests that raw honey is medicine and cooked honey is poison. Rich in minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes and carbohydrates,

honey in its natural form is full of nutritional value.

Once honey is processed it creates cellular toxicity in the body and is stripped of its nutritional value. It becomes a mucous-like texture and

can clogs subtle energy channels and arteries.

Uses for Honey in Natural Remedies
  • Improves digestion, as it does not ferment in the stomach
  • Relieves nausea
  • Helps fight of acne – you can try warming half a teaspoon of honey in your hands and spreading it lightly on your face and leaving it for ten minutes before washing it off.
  • Helps restore sleep – try adding a tablespoon of raw honey to warm milk to increase melatonin production, which helps regulate sleep.

“Raw” or “unpasteurized” honey is what you should be looking for in stores. Since it’s not processed, it

may appear a little cloudy due to its pollen and nutritional content. Raw honey contains bee pollen that is rich in antioxidants and antimicrobial agents.

Zebra Organicsoffers several types of raw honey:

A special rare product:

Organic White Himalayan Raw Honeyby Heavenly Organicsoriginates from

the isolated valleys high in the Himalayan Mountains near the source of the Ganges River. Most of this pristine region, famous for its wild-crafted health-promoting plants and flowers, is well beyond the reach of pollution and

modern agricultural chemicals.

Great for use in cooking or as a beauty mask for your skin:

Bloom's Avocado Honey is a rare gourmet 100% pure raw honey. Made in the avocado

groves of Ventura County, California, Bloom's Avocado honey has a rich, nutty flavor with hints of avocado. Nectar from the superfood California Avocado is

high in antioxidants and vitamins & minerals.

Bloom's Mesquite Honey has an ivory white color and distinctive sweet taste. This

rugged desert honey from the Sonoran Desert in Southern Arizona has long been used for its medicinal properties. It is 100% pure and raw - a healthy gourmet

treat for honey lovers.

Fun fact: honeybees

had to fly over 55,000 miles to make just one jar of Bloom Honey.

Some great ways to incorporate honey into raw food is in yogurt, tea or spread on bread or toast.

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