This is a reblog from Kolene Allen of VeganGR. Periodically they review items for sale that are vegan or accidentally vegan. EcoTrek Fitness bars are available online, sometimes shipped in health/wellness boxes, or if you live in the Midwest…grocery stores and gas stations. My personal fave is the Chocolate Raspberry bar. Tastes too good to be healthy-really, it does.
I would never call myself an athlete, but I do try to keep in shape by running 3 miles 3 times a week. My post run recovery usually includes a green smoothie, normally packed with coconut milk, whatever fruit is in the house, and a handful of spinach or kale.
The times when I’m in a hurry and need something in a pinch, or I don’t feel like fussing with the blender, I reach for an energy bar. There are many on the market, though many of them are not vegan. And of those that are vegan, few qualify as edible due to the taste factor. That all changed when Cari Draft, founder of Grand Rapids based EcoTrek Fitness, sent us a sample of her whole food bars to try out. Cari founded a program that offers outdoor group workouts that integrate cardio, strength training and flexibility. Then she created her very own whole food bar that is packed with 10 grams of protein and created from ingredients of the highest quality nutritional content. There are no refined sugars, artificial sweeteners or genetically modified ingredients anywhere in the bars.
Despite the fact that these bars contain green foods like spirulina, wheat grass and spinach, you would never know it. There are three flavors to choose from and each one is covered in chocolate and tastes like a candy bar! Each one is 100% vegan and made right here in Grand Rapids. There are three flavors currently available. Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter, and my favorite, Dark Chocolate Raspberry. During my first bite I thought, “There’s no way this is good for me.” I did a double check of the ingredient label, and I was wrong. These bars are packed full of goodness.
You can find EcoTrek Fitness bars at every single Meijer store and at a number of other places in Grand Rapids and Michigan, or buy them online.
For more vegan goodness, check out VeganGR.com
Posted in Product Review, Vegan, Vegan MoFo, Vegetarian
Tagged @VeganGr, Cari Draft, EcoTrek, energy bars, grand rapids, Kolene Allen, no meat athlete, post-workout vegan foods, vegan bars, Vegan GR, Vegan MoFo, vegan month of food 2013, whole food bars
So you went crazy this past weekend and picked a zillion berries and now you are worried that your fresh strawberries might not be so fresh by the time you want to use them? Here’s a little trick from The Canning Diva to buy you a little bit of time while you process those berries:
- Put your strawberries in a large bowl and run cold water over them.
- Add 1/4 cup of vinegar (distilled white or apple cider) to every 2 cups of water.
- Let them soak for about 5 minutes.
- Drain, rinse, and dry on a towel-lined cookie sheet.
Now get to work using the fruit of your labor in this unusual dish sure to delight at your next porch party or holiday party. In the dead of winter, if you pull out a jar of this to take for a dish to pass, you will look like a rock star. This past weekend, my friend Jen, her mom, Mrs. Jen and I went to work churning out two batches of this sweet and savory salsa. I can’t wait to try it over some vegan cream cheese on a cracker or a corn chip.
The Diva’s Signature Strawberry Salsa
- 12 cups of bite-size chopped strawberries (about 4 quarts)
- 1/2 cup Agave Sweetener
- 5 cups of raw, unbleached sugar (if this huge amount freaks you out you can use more Agave, Stevia or Splenda, consistency will vary however-we used 3 C sugar and a mix for the rest)
- 1 1/4 cups Vidalia onions, size is your preference (mine are diced small)
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup of jalapeno (if you want more heat, keep some seeds) I remove all seeds and chop fine in my small food processor
- 4 ounces of fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 3/4 cup red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup finely chopped mint
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups of apple cider vinegar
Directions from the Diva: Boil sugar, vinegar and agave sweetener until sugar has dissolved. Add all onions, peppers, herbs, lime juice and spices and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and add the strawberries. Mix well.
Using a slotted spoon, hot pack salsa into pint size jars being sure to include ample liquid in each jar so long as the salsa isn’t too watery. Leave a ½” of headspace for proper processing. (I filled 7 jars with salsa and had 1 pint left over that was pure liquid. Process the liquid the same as the salsa and use it as a marinade or the base of a sweet and savory cocktail)
As always, be sure to wipe your rims with a warm cloth to remove any liquid. Seal each jar with lids and rings and process in a hot water bath for 20 minutes. Processing doesn’t begin until after the water is at a rolling boil!
Posted in CSA, Fall Food, Less is more, Make Ahead, Michigan, Recipes, Seasonal Ingredients, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tagged canning, Comstock Park, grand rapids, Krupp Farm, Michigan, michigan produce, Michigan strawberries, preservation, strawberry salsa, tangy, The Canning Diva, The Diva's Signature Strawberry Salsa