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Posts Tagged ‘Vegan’

My post from April 9,  Fabulously Frugal, Sprouted Lentils, reminded me that I have been wanting to share another fabulous way to save money on natural, gluten-free, and organic foods. A few months back I began actively seeking coupons, weekly sales, and special discounts for items that we regularly purchase from stores. At first I was skeptical – I though that there wouldn’t be coupons and sales for natural and organic foods – yet over the last few months I have found several ways to make these types of small savings add up – all without compromising on buying mostly local, fairly traded, and organic food! This week I’ll share my strategies for gluten-free, organic, and natural foods couponing.

Initially, I was inspired to investigate the possibilities of natural foods coupons by the Chinook Book. The book costs $20, but can be found on sale for $15 (we bought one at the Better Living Show for $10). It is filled with coupons for discounts on natural foods and at natural foods stores (and for many other green-ish businesses). In my household the Chinook Book quickly pays for itself. For example, for each of Portland’s Co-Op’s (People’s, Food Front, and Alberta Street) there are coupons for 5 dollars off a purchase of 25 dollars. That’s 25% off our groceries!

Click here to view a list of the natural grocery coupons in the Chinook Book.

Click here to view a list of the local grocery store coupons in the Chinook Book.

Keep an eye out for coupon books in your favorite grocery stores. New Season’s and Whole Foods each have in-store coupon books. (Whole Foods coupons are also available online.) People’s, Food Front, and Alberta Street Co-Ops (and other co-ops) share the bi-monthly Co-Op Advantage coupon book, though not all of the products are available at every store. Free, bi-monthly publications like Remedies for Life, Taste for Life, and Delicous Living frequently contain coupons, I pick them up at Food Front in Hillsdale. Other print publications frequently contain coupons, I like to scan neighborhood and weekly newspapers, as well as my favorite print magazines devoted to healthy lifestlyes. (Living Without and Whole Living frequently contain natural foods coupons.)

I’ve found a few coupon websites devoted to natural foods. Mambo Sprouts Coupons is affiliated with the coupon giant Coupons.com and is regularly updated with new coupons. Coupons.com, like the Sunday paper coupon inserts, is mostly for conventional foods, however, there are occasionally natural products coupons to be found on/in both. HealthESavers.com is also dedicated to natural foods, but it is updated only occasionally Whole Foods coupons are updated bi-monthly, but (of course) they are only good at Whole Foods.

Click here to view Mambo Sprouts coupons

Click here to view Coupons.com coupons.

Click here to view HealthESavers coupons.

Click here to view Whole Foods coupons.

Some natural foods companies offer coupons to people who sign up for their mailing lists or become their Facebook fans. Look for mailing lists and facebook pages that offer specific coupons when you sign-up or ‘like’ the company. I’ve had repeated success with directly contacting companies and requesting coupons. I send quick e-mail note telling the company what at I appreciate about them, which products I buy, and I request coupons. (Some even send samples!) I encourage you to contact some of these exciting companies.

Columbia Gorge Organics

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap (they make coconut oil too),

Food For Life (sprouted and gluten-free breads)

Nancy’s Cultured Dairy & Soy

(These links provide you with the contact page, but you must make the request.)

All of this may seem exciting and overwhelming, so here are three things that I do to keep couponing helpful and under-control.

#1. My own rule has become that coupons must be for something I would normally purchase (even without the coupon) or for special treats on special occasions. (They’re for saving money not spending more!)

#2. Organization is key. I keep a small 3-ring binder with clear pockets to organize all of my coupons. It’s cute, tidy, and fits easily into my purse or shopping basket. I’m sure to keep it with me and I’ve seen other shoppers eyeing it enviously!

#3. Combining coupons and sales is always best, so next week I’ll share how I keep track of sales.

Do you have any tips for gluten-free, organic, or natural-foods couponing? I’d love to hear any suggestions in the comments below.

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Gluten-Free, Sourdough Pita Bread

Makes 8

I’m truly delighted by these little, gluten-free, sourdough flat breads. They puff-up when baked, they’re perfect for pocket sandwiches, and they’re wonderful with hummus!

2 cups mature Gluten-Free Natural Levain Starter Culture

½ cup warm (about 100 degrees F), well, spring, or filtered water

1 ½ cups tapioca flour, plus more for rolling out the dough

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon chia seeds

2 teaspoons xanthan gum

1 ½ cups sorghum flour

1 ½ teaspoons whole, unrefined sea salt

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

In a large bowl combine the mature starter, warm water, honey, chia seeds, and xanthan gum. Whisk until evenly combined, about 2 minutes. Add ½ cup of the sorghum flour and ½ cup of the tapioca flour at a time. Use a wooden spoon or the dough hook to mix incorporated. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Mix until the oil has been absorbed into the dough, about 1 more minute. Scrape the dough into a ball. Lightly oil the mixing bowl. Turn the dough in the bowl to coat in the oil. Cover tightly. Set to rise in a warm (about 75 degrees F) place for 2 ½-3 hours, until nearly doubled in bulk.

Center the oven rack. Place a cookie sheet or jelly-roll pan in the cold oven. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Use a bench scraper or chef’s knife to cut the dough into eight equal portions. Lightly flour your hands, a work surface, and a rolling pin.  Form the dough into a ball. Flatten and roll into a round that is ¼-inch to 3/8-inch thick and about 6-inches in diameter.

Bake 3-4 breads per batch on the hot cookie sheet. After 3 minutes remove from the oven. Flip each bread. Use the flat side of a metal spatula to press down all of the bubbles in the pita (this actually helps the bubbles to expand). Return to the oven. Bake until puffy and barely browned, about 3-4 more minutes. Stack hot pita breads and wrap in a kitchen towel. This will keep them moist and warm for up to one hour. Serve while still warm. Store cooled pita tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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Sprouted Gluten-Free Bread

Makes 1 loaf

The extra efforts of sprouting are rewarded by crunchy, tender, sandwich-friendly slices. Once you are familiar with the simple process for sprouting grains and legumes, this bread is rather easy to make. Using a food-processor the sprouts are pureed, then mixed into a gum-free, cane sugar-free, egg-free, dairy-free batter.

1 cup organic brown rice

1/3 cup organic green lentils

clean water (well, spring, or filtered)

sunflower oil

1 ½ cups Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour Mix

3 tablespoons chia seeds

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1 ½ teaspoons unrefined sea salt, finely ground

3 tablespoons sunflower oil

3 tablespoons maple syrup

To Make Sprouts:

In a one-quart mason jar combine the rice and lentils. Add water until the rice and lentils are covered by about 3 inches. Tightly cover the mouth of the jar with a mesh screen. Store at room temperature (about 68-72 degrees F).

After 12-24 hours pour off and discard the soaking water. Add enough water to cover and rinse the rice and lentils. Pour off and discard the water. Allow the jar to drain, upside down, for several minutes.

Rinse and drain the sprouts 2-3 times every day.  After 2-3 days visible sprouts will emerge. The lentil sprout is unmistakable, but the rice sprout is a tiny speck on one end of the end of the grain.  When the rice and lentils have sprouted, they’re ready to be made into bread (or they can be stored for up to four days in the refrigerator (rinse stored sprouts every other day)).

To Make Bread:

Generously oil a standard (4 ½-inch x 8 ½-inch x 3-inch) loaf pan. Assemble a food processor with the metal blade. Add the sprouts and 1/3 cup of water to the bowl. Pulse until the sprouts resemble chunky nut butter, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, chia seeds, yeast, and salt. Process until well combined. Add the sunflower oil and maple syrup. Process until a smooth batter forms, about 2 more minutes. Scoop into the oiled pan.

Sprouted Gluten-Free Bread, ready to bake

Set in a warm (about 75 degrees F) place until puffed by about two-inches, about 25-30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake until browned on top, about 60-65 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Use a sharp knife to loosen the edges from the pan. Remove from the pan and cool on a rack. Serve thinly sliced.

This pst was shared at Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday,  Simply Sugar & Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday,  Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday, and The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday.

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Fabulously Frugal, Sprouted Lentils

Makes 4 cups

Dried lentils, soaked and cooked form the basis of many richly flavored but inexpensive dishes throughout the world.  Organic dried lentils cost about $1.30 per pound (one pound is over 2 cups) and soaked lentils roughly triple in quantity once cooked. When lentils are sprouted they triple in volume even before being cooked! Thus, 1 cup of organic dried lentils (less than 65 cents worth) could yield up to 6 cups of sprouted lentil soup. That’s a fabulously frugal!

Use sprouted lentils in any dish where you would normally use dried lentils. When substituting sprouts in a recipe start by reducing the amount of dried lentils called for by 1/4. Some of my favorite lentil dishes are Dal (Indian lentil soup), Lentil Salad from Nourishing Traditions, and Lentil Pecan Patties from the Moosewood Cookbook.

1 cup whole, organic lentils

clean (well, spring, or filtered) water

Add the lentils to a wide mouth mason jar. Cover with 2 inches of water. Cover tightly with the lid. Store in a warm (about 72-75 degrees F) place. Twelve to 24 hours later replace the mason lid with a sprouting screen. Drain the soaking water from the lentils. Add more water to cover the lentils. Swirl the jar to thoroughly rinse the soaked lentils. Drain and discard all of the water from the jar. Invert the jar over a small bowl for 5-10 minutes to allow any remaining water to drain out. Thoroughly rinse and drain the lentils 2-3 times each day until you see a small sprout emerge, about 2-3 days.

When the sprout emerges the lentils can be cooked immediately or refrigerated for future use. To use immediately, cook the lentils according to your recipe. Be sure to skim any film that accumulates on top of the cooking water. To store sprouted lentils replace the sprouting screen with a mason lid. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Rinse the refrigerated sprouts every other day using the sprouting screen. Remember to let the sprouts drain over a small bowl for 5-10 minutes, then cap tightly and return to the refrigerator.

This post was shared on Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday , Simply Sugar & Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday, Mind, Body, and Sole’s  Wildcrafting Wednesday  and Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday blog hops.

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When:

Tuesday April 10th, 2012; 6-7:30 p.m.

What:

Flavored Kombucha: How to Make your Favorites at Home

Join me  for an evening of discussion, demonstrations, and samples! Learn the basics of brewing delicious kombucha tea. Plus, learn how to add your favorite juices, fruits, and herbs.

Enter to win a kombucha starter kit complete with everything needed to get started brewing. (The kit includes a one-gallon jar, cloth cover, funnel, strainer, organic tea, organic sugar, and a starter culture.)

The class fee includes: recipe packet; kombucha samples; gluten-free, vegan snacks; your own kombucha starter; and entry to win the kit. Bring a half-pint mason jar (or similar container) with a tightly fitting lid to transport the culture.

Class space is limited. Please contact Dori at DoriOliver@gmail.com to register (or if you have questions about the class).


Where:

People’s Food Co-Op – In the Community Room

Everyone is Welcome!

3029 SE 21st Avenue

Portland, Oregon

Cost:

$ 12

Please contact Dori at DoriOliver@gmail.com   to register.

Links to some of the techniques & recipes featured in the class:

Flavored Kombucha: How to make Your Favorites at Home

Simple Secrets of Carbonated Kombucha

5-Step Kombucha Recipe 

View the original announcement here or join this event on facebook.


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When:

Tuesday April 10th, 2012; 6-7:30 p.m.

What:

Flavored Kombucha: How to Make your Favorites at Home

Join me  for an evening of discussion, demonstrations, and samples! Learn the basics of brewing delicious kombucha tea. Plus, learn how to add your favorite juices, fruits, and herbs.

Enter to win a kombucha starter kit complete with everything needed to get started brewing. (The kit includes a one-gallon jar, cloth cover, funnel, strainer, organic tea, organic sugar, and a starter culture.)

The class fee includes: recipe packet; kombucha samples; gluten-free, vegan snacks; your own kombucha starter; and entry to win the kit. Bring a half-pint mason jar (or similar container) with a tightly fitting lid to transport the culture.

Class space is limited. Please contact Dori at DoriOliver@gmail.com to register (or if you have questions about the class).


Where:

People’s Food Co-Op – In the Community Room

Everyone is Welcome!

3029 SE 21st Avenue

Portland, Oregon

Cost:

$ 12

Please contact Dori at DoriOliver@gmail.com   to register.

Links to some of the techniques & recipes featured in the class:

Flavored Kombucha: How to make Your Favorites at Home

Simple Secrets of Carbonated Kombucha

5-Step Kombucha Recipe 

Gluten-Free Natural Levain Bread

Upcoming Free Events at People’s Co-Op:

Wednesday May 2,

6-7:30

Gluten-Free Sourdough Baking: How to Use Traditional Techniques with Gluten-Free Flours

Learn to make your own sourdough starter, maintain an ongoing starter culture, and use it to leaven breads, cakes, and more! (Bring a small jar with a lid to take home your own starter.)

Wednesday July 11, 6-7:30

Fermented Drinks: How to Make Refreshing, Probiotic Tonics

Beet Kvass

Learn to make kombucha tea, beet kvass, and a lacto-fermented fruit juice. These drinks are inexpensive, nutritious, and easy to make in your own kitchen!

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Gluten-Free Third Bread

Makes 1 loaf

This bread is made with a combination of three, whole-grain, gluten-free flours – thus each flour is one-third of the bread!  Soaking the flours overnight increases the digestibility (and palatability) of the whole grains. This recipe uses ginger powder to increase the probiotic content of the soaking water and hasten fermentation of the grains. The result is a 100% whole grain, gum-free, easily digestible, tender, delicious, sandwich bread.

1 ¼ cups brown rice flour

1 ¼ cups sorghum flour

1 ¼ cups millet flour

½  teaspoon organic, dried ginger powder

2 cups warm (about 100 degrees F) water

2/3 cup flax meal

1 teaspoon finely ground, unrefined sea salt

1 tablespoon whole cane, date, or palm sugar

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee, plus more for greasing the pan

In a large glass or ceramic mixing bowl combine the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, millet flour, warm water, and ginger. Use a wooden spoon to mix until a smooth batter forms. Cover tightly with a non-reactive lid. Leave in a warm (75-80 degrees F) place overnight, about 12-24 hours.

Generously grease a standard (4 ½” x 8 ½ ” x 3”) glass loaf pan. Add the flax meal, salt, sugar, and yeast to the soaked flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment to stir the batter until a fluffy dough forms, about 2 minutes. Add the oil or ghee. Stir until it becomes fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Scoop the batter into the greased bread pan. Cover with a light (flour-sack style) towel or cloth napkin. Set to raise in a warm (75 -80 degrees F) place until even with the top of the pan, about 30-45 minutes.

Center the oven rack. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake until slightly browned on top, about, 70-80 minutes. Remove the finished bread from the pan. Cool on a rack. Store tightly covered at room temperature if you plan to eat the bread over 1-2 days. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days. For longer storage wrap with wax paper, place in a freezer bag, and store in the freezer up to 2 weeks.

This post was shared on Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday & Real Food Wednesday!

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