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10 Organic Foods You’ll Always Find in My Kitchen
by Max Goldberg
Editor's Note from Susan Lutz: Stocking up on a few basics keep an organic kitchen ready to go at all times. Here's the top ten things Max Goldberg of Living Well Maxwell suggests.
For someone who loves organic food so much and cooks so often, my refrigerator is surprisingly empty. How could this be?
Well, I go food shopping A LOT and pretty much only buy whatever I need for the next meal that I’ll be eating. I have the good fortune of being able to do this because an amazing organic market is literally less a one minute walk from my apartment.
Plus, I LOVE going food shopping and making multiple trips to the market in one day is not exactly a burden. Staring at all of the amazing fruits and vegetables in the produce section is one of my favorite things to do.
Even though I do tend to “buy on demand”, you’ll pretty much always find these 10 organic foods in my kitchen:
COCONUT OIL I am a huge fan of coconut oil. Not only is it high in lauric acid and great to use after a workout but it is one of the few oils that you can safely heat and cook with. (Olive oil is not one of them.)
Aside from using organic coconut oil in my smoothies, I use it as a moisturizer as well.
PALM SUGAR Not only is palm sugar low on the glycemic index but it is a very sustainable alternative sweetener.
I am pretty much obsessed with palm sugar these days and love its mild sweetness. Plus, it is super-easy to travel with.
CHIA SEEDS Named one of my top 5 organic food trends of 2011, chia seeds continue to explode in popularity - and for very good reason.
Chia seeds are an incredible source of protein, and I use them in my morning smoothie and for puddings.
I seem to alternate back and forth between the seeds and the sprouted chia seed powder. Some people believe that the powder is more easily absorbed in the body. I go both ways on that one.
BRAZIL NUTS I drink a good amount of nut milk, and my preferred nut is definitely Brazil nuts.
Brazil nuts are high in fiber and protein (14%), and contain many amino acids and minerals, including selenium.
I always store my Brazil nuts in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.
CACAO POWDER According to various pieces of research that I’ve seen, cacao contains the highest amount of antioxidants of any food on the planet.
Along with using it in my smoothies, I will also drink it straight.
I’ll take a 1/2 teaspoon of cacao powder, 1/4 teaspoon of maca, 1/8th of a teaspoon of palm sugar, and then stir in 1/4 cup of warm water. I’ll drink this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach in order to allow for maximum absorption.
QUINOA I must eat quinoa about 3-4 times per week and can’t seem to get enough of it.
Rich in protein and containing all nine essential amino acids, quinoa is also an excellent source of manganese, magnesium, folate, and phosphorus.
SAUERKRAUT If you’ve never added sauerkraut to your salads, definitely give it a try it. This will take your salad to a whole different level.
Sun in Bloom in Brooklyn does it, and their Bella Divine salad might be my favorite salad in the whole city.
Sauerkraut is a fermented food and provides the body with beneficial bacteria. I particularly love the biodynamic caraway sauerkraut from Hawthorne Valley. It is spectacular.
SEA VEGETABLES I try to consume sea vegetables, either kelp and dulse, on a daily basis.
Kelp has very high levels of iodine and is fantastic for the thyroid. The importance of sea vegetables does not get nearly enough attention as it should.
BLACK SESAME SEEDS As I wrote about recently, black sesame seeds have become an absolute fixture on my salads and quinoa.
Not only are they full of magnesium, calcium, copper, and zinc, but some people believe that they help to reverse gray hair (of which I have plenty).
GOJI BERRIES Considered the most important food/herb in Chinese medicine, goji berries are rich in minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants.
I have a tremendous amount of difficulty not devouring the whole bag in just one sitting. They are that good and that good for you.
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About the Author
Max Goldberg: I’m just a regular person who decided to take his physical and mental health into his own hands. Along the way, I developed a real passion for organic food as a means to improve my well-being. Let me tell you my story…
After graduating from college, I moved to New York City in order to work in finance. The high-pressure job led to fast living, too many late nights and some self-destructive behavior.
Realizing that I needed to live differently, I committed to making some serious changes.
- I quit drinking alcohol in 1999 and never relapsed once.
- I quit smoking cigarettes in 2000 and never relapsed once.
- I quit nearly 11 years of antidepressants in 2001 and never relapsed once.
As health became a priority, I started to educate myself about the conventional food that I was eating. It shocked me that nearly everything was tainted with toxic pesticides, insecticides, growth hormones or artificial preservatives.
I wanted to treat my body with the most nutritious and “clean” food possible, so I switched to organic. Not only did it give me more energy, but it helped to change my relationship with food. I started to view food as medicine.
Learn more at LivingMaxwell.com.