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FEED YOUR BRAIN is our phrase for everything we do to inspire and enable a healthier generation through learning and information. In our stores, we have Feed Your Brain menus, Feed Your Brain wallpaper and now we have our first online example – our Feed Your Brain blog!

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>Niacin: Friend or Foe?

Nutritional SupplementNiacin, also known as vitamin B3, seems to be a hot topic of conversation these days. Every time you turn around, someone is talking about its great benefits and recommending a supplement. Well, before you do, it’s important to understand that although niacin offers great benefits, too much of any good thing may have some adverse health effects.

 

 

 

Benefits

Niacin assists with various metabolic processes, and is essential for nearly every process in the body. A few benefits include:

> Lowers Cholesterol – The vast majority of people taking a niacin supplement are doing so to reduce their cholesterol. It helps the body secrete high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

> Atherosclerosis – Niacin plays a key role in the body’s ability to produce a chemical compound that dilates blood vessels to improve circulation.

> Skin – Many people take niacin to improve the appearance of their skin. It firms skin, prevents acne, increases moisture, and makes your skin glow.

> Cleansing – One of the reasons this particular vitamin has experienced a surge in popularity is because it is associated with cleansing. If you want to detox, a safer solution that doesn’t require a supplement is a juice cleanse, like the Love Deep cleanse at Organic Avenue.

> Brain Health – Consuming a healthy amount of niacin can reduce your risk for memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.

> Metabolism – Niacin supports your metabolism by encouraging your system to break down fats and carbohydrates to transform them into energy. It also turns protein into amino acids.

> Muscle and Joint Health – Joint mobility can be improved with healthy levels of niacin, which can reduce the need for anti-inflammatory medication. Niacin can reduce fatigue and pain in the joints and muscles.

 

Potential Risks

In healthy doses, niacin is beneficial. However, when taking supplements, there can be unfavorable health effects. Some doctors are warning against taking niacin for high blood pressure because it may increase the risk for diabetes and bleeding. Large doses can trigger a niacin flush, which dilates blood vessels in your skin, causing redness and burning. Too much niacin may also increase your risk for liver toxicity, and it can make you feel nauseated, as well.

Good news—the average diet gets more than enough niacin to reap its benefits without side effects, whether you’re an omnivore or eat an exclusively plant-based diet. Plant-based foods with the highest niacin content include peas, barley, bulgur, crimini mushrooms, asparagus, squash and brown rice.

As always, consult your doctor before taking any supplement to make sure it’s right for you.

 

Health information: The statements about the products featured herein have not been evaluated by the FDA. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Individual results with the consumption of these products may vary. 

>March Madness: Take the OA Health Challenge!

Basketball PlateFor many, March is just that ‘in-between’ month before the spring weather hits—a countdown to brighter, warmer days ahead. For sports enthusiasts, March is one of the year’s highlights—the NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament—68 college basketball teams competing for the national championship.

Whether you have a team to root for or not, OA has pitted some of our favorite nutrient-dense powerhouses against one another, in honor of March Madness. Make your plate the court, and let your body tell you which foods score the most points.

 

 

The Great Green: Kale vs. Collards

Two of the most nutritious foods on earth, you’ll find that kale and collard greens are extremely well matched.

Kale contains more vitamin C than collards, which is essential for immune function. It’s also higher in vitamin K, which aids in blood clotting.

Team Kale: Kale Quinoa Salad, The Big Clean Salad

Collards make more shots than kale in the mineral game. They’re higher in bone-protecting calcium and iron, which aids in the production of hemoglobin and red blood cells.

Team Collard: Thai Collard Wrap, Lunchbox Salad Collard Wrap

 

The Healthy Fat: Avocado vs. Coconut

Avocado and coconut are tropical foods known for their high-quality fat content that the body uses immediately for fuel and is less likely to be stored in the cells and tissues.

Avocado is higher in potassium and antioxidant vitamin A, for healthy skin and vision.

The average avocado contains about 4 grams of protein, the highest of any fruit.

Team Avocado: Avocado Smash Sandwich, Chocolate Mousse

Coconut contains a higher amount of dietary fiber per serving, as well as more magnesium, an important mineral for activating muscles and nerves.

Team Coconut: Coconut Yogurt, Coconut Mylk

 

The Nutritious Nut: Walnuts vs. Cashews

Both cashews and walnuts are high in polyphenols, antioxidants that may have heart-health benefits.

Cashews contain more vitamins and minerals than walnuts overall, including minerals iron, zinc and copper.

Team Cashew: Lunchbox Salad Sandwich, Brussels Sprouts & Apple Slaw

Walnuts have a higher vitamin E content. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage, and may prevent certain diseases. It’s also a ‘beauty vitamin’ for this reason, shielding skin from UV damage and keeping it supple and glowing.

Team Walnut: Broccoli Slaw, Sweet Peach Crumble

 

The Superstar Seed: Hemp vs. Chia

Hemp and chia seeds are easily assimilated sources of complete plant-based protein, containing all nine essential amino acids to build and repair muscle tissue.

Hemp seeds contain more protein per cup than chia seeds, as well as gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), a unique omega-6 fatty acid.

Team Hemp: The Big Kale Salad, Cashew Hemp Mylk

Chia seeds could win the game with their higher fiber content for digestive health, about double that of hemp. They’re also abundant in omega-3 fatty acids—crucial for brain, joint and heart health.

Team Chia: Chia Berry Tapioca, Matcha Chia Glo

 

The Favorite Fruit: Banana vs. Pineapple

Bananas and pineapples are two of the most popular sweet foods found in nature—not only enjoyed on their own, but also blended in smoothies.

Banana contains more of the essential minerals magnesium and potassium—electrolytes that regulate the body’s fluids and help the body use energy.

Team Banana: Power House Smoothie, Revival Smoothie

Pineapple provides 78% of your daily value of vitamin C, versus banana’s 14%.

Team Pineapple: Lite Weight Smoothie, Sweet Karma Smoothie

 

Challenge yourself to incorporate more of these nutrient-dense foods into your diet this spring, and if you sit down to watch your favorite teams with family and friends, get them on board by serving healthier plant-based recipes featuring the MVPs. Click around the Feed Your Brain blog for inspiration, or visit an Organic Avenue location to access our superstar foods and juices.

>Healthy ‘Shamrock Smoothies’ to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Each St. Patrick’s Day, many people flock to their local fast food joint for a seasonal green shake. While it may look festive, the source of its vibrant color is quite far from the green plants we love. The shamrock hue is the result of a Yellow # 5 and Blue # 1 combo, two additives you don’t want in your diet.

Instead of sabotaging your health goals with a fast food shake; why not make a healthy green smoothie at home to celebrate this lucky day? Here are three delicious recipes, featuring nutrient-dense greens like spinach, dandelion and spirulina, courtesy of our knowledgeable and creative Organic Avenue Retail Managers.

 

Green Coconut Smoothie

Smoothie IngredientsHyacinth Mills

Retail Manager, 9th & Third

 

14oz Organic Avenue Coconut Mylk

1 ripe pear, seeded and chopped

1/2 avocado

2 cups of spinach

2 tsp of green powder (like BõKU Superfood, optional)

 

Blend the above ingredients for approximately 60 seconds until smooth.

Serve chilled.

Serves 1-2

 

Heavenly Green Smoothie

Jeannette Donofrio

Retail Manager, Bryant Park

 

14oz Organic Avenue Coconut Mylk

1 Bunch of spinach

A Few Leaves of dandelion

1 Whole Pineapple

6 Bananas

 

Blend the above ingredients for approximately 60 seconds until smooth.

Serve chilled.

Serves 3-4

 

Sweet Green Spirulina Mylk

Hyacinth Mills

Retail Manager, 9th & Third

 

14oz almond milk (homemade for best results)

1 frozen banana

1 tsp Hawaiian spirulina

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 Medjool dates

 

Blend the above ingredients for approximately 60 seconds until smooth.

Serve chilled.

Serves 1-2

 

If you don’t have time to prep your green shake at home on March 17th, feel free to pop into Organic Avenue for our signature Green Monkey Smoothie, or a Lite Weight or Power House Smoothie, available at select locations.

 

>All Arugula All the Time

Arugula LeavesMove over kale, there’s a different green emerging as the most popular kid on the playground. Arugula, also called salad rocket, garden rocket, or just plain rocket, has been cultivated since Roman times in the Mediterranean area for its long list of health benefits. It’s loaded with antioxidants to support the immune system and fight free radicals, and it has high levels of chlorophyll to prevent liver and DNA damage. Research shows arugula may reduce chronic inflammation, lower cholesterol, protect an aging brain and help prevent cancer. So, what are you supposed to do with its pungent, peppery, zippy flavor? Well, arugula is a lot more versatile than you might think!

>Arugula & Pesto Baguette – Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut a fresh baguette into half-inch slices, and brush with olive or   coconut oil. Bake 8 minutes, smear on pesto, and top with fresh arugula. This is a great appetizer or lunch. You can add tomato slices, too. If you are out and about, or don’t feel like cooking, stop by Organic Avenue for the Avocado Smash Sandwich. It’s arugula, avocado, cilantro, radish, and lime juice on hearty nine-grain bread.

>Broccoli Soup – Making a pot of broccoli soup? Arugula is the perfect addition. When the soup base is done, pour it into the blender with the arugula and blend until smooth. Then, you can add your broccoli florets, if you choose. You can also finely chop the arugula, and just add to broth for vegetable soup.

>Peach Salad – Arugula is a wonderful addition to any salad, but its sharp flavors pair with sweet peach beautifully for a summer salad. Toss it with some white balsamic vinegar, and add a bit of freshly ground black pepper.

>Pita – When you’re in a hurry, just stuff a whole-wheat pita with arugula and hummus. Add a few sliced tomatoes, if you have time to cut them.

>Arugula Smoothie – Why should kale and spinach get all the smoothie love? Arugula can be your blender’s best friend, too! Mix it with banana, strawberry, coconut oil, maple syrup, and water. It mixes well with pear, too. Add walnuts, ginger, and some fresh-squeezed orange juice to this recipe.

>Pasta Dishes – Arugula is an easy addition to your pasta dishes because you don’t have to cook it, if you don’t want to. You can certainly add it to the sauce, but you can also just mix it in at the end. The heat from the pasta will wilt it enough to be incorporated into the dish.

>Salad Dressing – There is no need to use store-bought salad dressing. Blend arugula with olive oil, lemon or lime, and salt and pepper for dressing. A bit of seeded mustard will give it an extra kick.

>Lentils – Toss cooked lentils with fresh parsley, minced shallot, and red wine vinegar. Add arugula and toss again. This makes a perfect side dish, or you can just eat it for lunch. You can also skip the lentils and mix it with quinoa or brown rice.

>Arugula Chips – You have been eating kale chips for years now. It’s time to make arugula chips in the oven or dehydrator. Add some nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.

>Mayo Who?

'Mayo' DressingMayo may be one of the most versatile condiments ever created, but it’s also one of the unhealthiest. Traditional mayonnaise is loaded with bad fat, cholesterol and sodium, and only 1 tablespoon has about 90 calories. If you’re going to devote 90 calories to a condiment, shouldn’t it at least be good for you? One of the biggest challenges folks face when adopting a healthier diet is giving up condiments and the foods that require accoutrements. Well, if you’re ready to end your friendship with mayo, you have a lot of exciting alternatives to try out.

 

>Cashew Mayo – It may seem strange that a nut can be used as mayo, but the versatility of cashews is unbelievable. They can be used to make everything from cheesecake to a creamy soup base, and of course, they can also be used to make a healthy and flavorful mayo. You can make it yourself in minutes. Blend 1 cup soaked raw cashews, 1/4 cup vegetable broth and 2 tablespoons squeezed lemon juice until creamy. Season with salt, or for a unique flavor, add rosemary, thyme, tarragon, or dill. Not sure if you’ll like cashew mayo? Try a Lunchbox Salad Collard Wrap from Organic Avenue. It has carrots, broccoli, almonds, dried cranberries and cashew mayo wrapped in a collard leaf.

>Guacamole – You can make guacamole with avocado, diced tomato and red pepper, juice from lime or lemon, and a pinch of pepper. Alternately, you can just smash an avocado and add a bit of sea salt and pepper for a creamy spread or dip.

>Hummus – This is a great mayo-substitute for the health conscious. Chickpeas are loaded with fiber, protein and vitamins. Store bought varieties often contain extra oil and salt, so make your own when you can.

>Coconut Yogurt – Craving a mayo-based dish like coleslaw or potato salad? As an alternative, blend plain coconut yogurt with olive oil. You can also add dill or garlic powder for a hint of spice.

>Tahini – Many think tahini is just an ingredient in hummus, but it’s delicious enough to stand on its own. Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds and loaded with nutrients. You can use it plain, or puree it with lemon juice, garlic, and black pepper.

>Mustard – Your best mustard options are going to be from organic and non-GMO brands. The vinegar in mustard helps lower blood sugar, while the turmeric boasts excellent antioxidant properties.

>Vegan Mayo – If you are looking for something easy to keep on-hand, check out a vegan mayo alternative. Vegenaise is a popular one made from brown rice syrup, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, and salt. Look for the soy-free version made with pea protein. Just Mayo is another clean alternative to the traditional brands.

>Pesto – A little basil and olive oil can really do amazing things for a cracker or sandwich. You can also get creative and swap the basil for arugula for a zestier flavor.

>Tzatziki – For a Mediterranean-inspired flavor, you can’t beat Tzatziki, a dip made from yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, garlic, and salt. Use plain coconut yogurt for a healthier, plant-based version.

>Valentine’s Day: Love Your Body

Love yourself in wood typeWhether you have a sweetheart, or not, you should be the number one person on your Valentine’s Day shopping list. Valentine’s Day is all about love, and what love could possibly be more important than self-love? Some wait until spring to think about getting in shape, but never take steps to become healthier from the inside-out. Others assume they are healthy because they work out and are lean and toned, but health goes beyond the physical appearance. Give yourself the gift of health this Valentine’s Day by giving your body what it truly needs.

 

Listen to Your Body

One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to follow an exact “plan” that has worked for others. Everybody is different, so every individual body has unique needs. Just because someone who is the exact same height and weight as you recommends something does not mean it is automatically right for you. Maybe you are more active than them. Perhaps they have a thyroid problem. There are endless variables that make your needs unique, so it is vital that you learn to listen to what your body is telling you.

Your body uses cravings and symptoms to make sure dietary needs are met. That being said, if you are addicted to something unhealthy, like refined sugar, you are going to go through withdrawals to get it out of your system. Your brain will tell you it wants sugar because of withdrawals, not because your body needs it. Learning to tell the difference between a legitimate nutritional craving and an unhealthy message that should be ignored comes with time.

Truthfully, once you completely detox, and know what it feels like to be clean, you will be more in touch with your body’s needs.

 

Start with a Detox

If you are serious about achieving optimal health, and you want to be in tune with what your body needs, you will start with a juice cleanse. After a detox you become very much aware how every piece of food makes you feel. If foods are making you tired or causing a foggy brain, your body is giving you these signs for a reason. A simple three- or five-day cleanse, like Organic Avenue’s Go Green cleanse, is all it takes to reset your senses and clean your system. A lot of people choose to do a cleanse monthly or seasonally to start fresh and get on track. Your body will tell you when you need one again.

 

Break the Rules

Since you were young, you have probably been told to eat three meals a day or to not eat after a certain time at night. Maybe you have a list of breakfast-appropriate foods that has been drilled into your mind. You can break these rules. If your body tells you it needs soup for breakfast, fruit for lunch, and oatmeal for dinner, this is what you should eat.

>Post-Workout Recovery with Plant-Based Eating

Dumbell and green smoothieIf you’re a newbie just beginning a fitness regimen, or even a longtime gym enthusiast, you may have this question: what are the best foods to consume after my workout? Many folks are unsure if they should eat light or heavy, carbs or protein, or just keep it liquid. Since everyone’s body is very different, and we all work out at varying levels of intensity, the answer may be different for everyone. However, one thing that can’t be disputed is the effectiveness of consuming plant-based foods after a workout.

 

 

We’ve got you covered with some of the healthiest ways to repair and refuel. These noshes will help you feel better, look better and get ready for your next gym session.

 

HYDRATION IS KEY

As you perspire on that spin bike or sweat it out during that intense dance cardio routine, your body is losing electrolytes that must be replaced. Electrolytes not only help to regulate the body’s fluids, they’re also key for balancing the body’s pH and promoting optimal muscle function. Coconut Water is our go-to. Often dubbed ‘nature’s sports drink,’ coconut water contains a high level of electrolytes, specifically the mineral potassium (which is why it’s also a great hangover cure). The natural sugar in coconut water is mostly glucose as opposed to fructose, so it will give you a post-gym energy boost without a dreaded crash. Much better than the high fructose corn syrup-laden beverages out there.

In addition to Coconut Water, green juice, like OA’s signature Green Love, is a fantastic post-workout beverage. Not only hydrating, the chlorophyll in the greens helps build red blood cells, which supply oxygen to your muscles. It’s important to go green daily, but after the gym, you may also want to include a red juice, containing beets, like our famous Royal Red. Emerging research shows that beet juice also improves oxygen flow to muscles, boosting athletic performance and aiding in recovery.

 

PLANT-BASED PROTEIN

Protein is essential to rebuild muscle following an exercise session. Most fitness experts recommend consuming protein about 30-45 minutes after your workout. Get your pure water, coconut water and/or green juice down the hatch first, wait a half hour and then grab a protein-rich meal. It’s possible to get more than enough protein from vegan sources. Some of our favorite options include nuts like almonds, cashews and walnuts, seeds such as pumpkin, chia and hemp seeds, and high-quality grains like quinoa and brown rice. Quinoa, chia seeds and hemp seeds happen to be complete proteins, containing all 9 essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. These foods are much easier for the body to break down and assimilate nutrients from than denser animal proteins.

For optimal benefits, consume a protein source alongside an alkaline vegetable, like a dark, leafy green. Greens are the healthiest complex carbs around and also great protein sources. Not only will the water-containing veggies help you better digest the protein, they aid in balancing your blood’s pH back to an alkaline state (7.38 on the pH scale). Strenuous exercise creates an acidic environment in your body. If you don’t neutralize the acid with what you eat, your body will leech calcium from your bones and nitrogen from your muscle tissue to neutralize it. Skip the processed whey or soy protein power and energy bars and stick to whole foods. If you’re working out during your lunch break or any moment you’re pressed for time, you can make a smoothie as a quick meal replacement ahead of time. Infuse fresh greens and/or whole fruit with a protein source like hemp seeds or brown rice protein powder in pure water or a nut mylk. If you’re able to have a sit-down meal, some of the best options are a green salad with a whole grain, like the OA Kale Quinoa Salad or veggies with nuts and seeds, like our Sunflower Falafel Salad and Lunchbox Salad Collard Wrap.

When choosing a post-exercise meal, there’s no need for complicated recipes, exotic ingredients or hard-to-find supplements. Just by sticking to high-quality, organic plant-based foods, your body will get everything it needs to recover and reach the next level of fitness and overall wellness.

>Valentine’s Day Activities for a Healthier Partnership

Hands in form of heartFebruary 14th is not too far away, and for those of us in a relationship this winter, we’re probably trying to plan the perfect romantic evening with our partner and/or a meaningful gift to surprise him or her with. While the classic dinner and wine at a romantic restaurant is never a bad choice, there are more creative routes to explore—especially when it can be difficult to score a reservation, and not to mention, significantly more expensive than a typical night out.

If you’re a couple committed to a healthy lifestyle, or partners looking to establish beneficial habits together in the New Year, why not use this day to strengthen your love for each other through the love of wellness?

Check out our top picks for a fun and healthy Valentine’s Day.

 

Let’s Get Physical

As Olivia Newton-John sang in her 1981 hit, “let me hear your body talk,” relationship experts agree that couples that work out together establish synchronicity, resulting in better communication and commitment to shared goals. An added bonus, which may not be much of a surprise, is stronger sexual desire and performance, as exercise increases self-esteem. Ditch the bottle of vino and head to a yoga class (kundalini helps specifically in this department). Alternatively, plan a romantic night ice-skating together outdoors in the crisp winter air—ideally followed by sipping hot cacao in front of a fireplace, if you’re so lucky to have access to a hearth.

 

Connect in the Kitchen

One of our favorite childhood authors, E.B. White, beautifully expressed, “On days when warmth is the most important need of the human heart, the kitchen is the place you can find it.” Instead of dining out, spend Valentine’s Day at home, creating a delicious and nourishing meal with your partner. A study from the University of Maryland proves performing an action of sharing with a positive intention enhances the recipient’s pleasure. This includes the injection of love into food preparation. Pick a healthy recipe to make together, and use the kitchen as a space to express your amorous feelings toward each other. If you’re lacking skills in the culinary department, surprise your partner with a cooking class and learn from a pro—a great way to strengthen your bond through teamwork.

In addition, many plant-based ingredients are natural aphrodisiacs, so you may want to try a recipe incorporating foods like leafy greens, pumpkin seeds and coconut. Some foods not only increase sex drive, but also enhance body fluids essential for sexual activity, such as eggplant, seaweed, chia and okra. Don’t forget to make a cacao-based treat for dessert (before the main dessert, of course), like your own version of our famous Chocolate Mousse.

 

Cleanse as a Couple

A great way to support each other’s health is to embark on a cleanse together—whether it’s an all-juice program, like our Love Deep, or a regimen that incorporates clean, plant-based foods as well. The gift of a cleanse will not only take your wellbeing to the next level individually, but also strengthen the health of your relationship. Many of our veteran cleansers report higher energy, clearer thinking and a glowing complexion. How could those benefits not have a positive impact on your partnership?  For couples planning to use the Valentine’s season as an opportunity to start a family, pre-conception cleansing is beneficial for both partners to ensure healthy, clean sperm and eggs to create healthy babies.

Even if you plan on enjoying an indulgent night on the 14th, transition into a cleanse the following day, focusing primarily on whole, plant-based foods like fruit smoothies, raw salads and steamed vegetables. You can still incorporate nuts and seeds and whole grains as desired in the transition period. After a few days, if you’re both ready, switch to an all-liquid program for maximum results. When transitioning back to normal eating post-juice cleanse, keep the veggie intake high. You’ll likely be inspired to eliminate some of the heavier, processed foods that may have been in your diet previously. Keep each other accountable with fresh recipe ideas and new suggestions of restaurants with clean menu options.

Cheers (with Green Love, of course) to a stronger, healthier relationship this year!

XOXO,

Organic Avenue

>Winter Blues? Here Are Some Helpful Nutrients

snow covered Central ParkA large percentage of the population gets the winter blues, but believe it or not, changing the way you feel can be as simple as giving your body certain nutrients. When it is cold outside most eat more comfort food, like biscuits and gravy for breakfast, cream-based soups for dinner, and warm apple pie for dessert. Not to mention, coffee intake is increased because you want to sip on a hot beverage. Suddenly your body is being deprived of the nutrients it was getting all summer from your breakfast smoothie and veggie-loaded salads for dinner. These vitamins/minerals play a huge role in your mood. Plus, there are a few extra nutrients that can make you feel a little more positive that aren’t always easily consumed in the average diet.

 

  • Walnuts – Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for a happy brain. Not a walnut fan? No problem! Flax, chia, and hemp seeds are all great sources.
  • Apples – Apples are loaded with fiber to keep your energy levels steady. The great thing about apples is they can be packed in your briefcase, school bag, purse, etc. They are truly the most convenient fruit to eat.
  • Berries – Fresh berries help prevent the body from releasing cortisol, which is a hormone that affects your mood.
  • Lentils – These versatile pieces of yummy goodness are packed with folic acid, which is used to create serotonin. Lentils can be eaten plain or used in a wide variety of recipes. Other foods full of folic acid include leafy greens, black-eyed peas, oranges, oatmeal, and sunflower seeds.
  • Nutritional Yeast – Low levels of B12 are associated with depression. Non-vegans get B12 in a number of animal-derived foods, but there are few vegan sources. Nutritional yeast happens to be one of these rare treasured sources. It comes as a powder or flake form and tastes like cheese, so sprinkle it on everything from salads to steamed vegetables.
  • Bananas – Start your morning with a banana, and see how different you feel when you get to the office. Bananas contain high levels of tryptophan, which calms the nerves. It also has natural sugar for energy and potassium to fuel your brain. As a bonus, bananas are full of magnesium, which reduces anxiety and improves sleep patterns.
  • Herbs – Valerian root, St. John’s wart, lemon balm, rosemary, chamomile, and kratom are all recommended to help fight the winter blues.

 

Need an Easy Fix?

Are you always on the run, and just don’t have time to prepare meals 100 percent of the time? Maybe you are so busy in meetings or taking care of the kids all day that you are lucky to even eat lunch. Keep Organic Avenue’s Booster 6-Pack on-hand. One of these quick shots will supply you with vital nutrients your body needs to get through the day.

>Super-healthy Super Bowl Snacks

As game day approaches, many are looking forward to watching their favorite team crush the competition, or that pop star work it out during the halftime show. Others (us included) are anticipating the food they’ll enjoy during the festivities.

We’re well aware that traditional Super Bowl fare is not always the best for our bodies and can be an easy way to blow that New Year’s resolution. If you’re hosting the party, try to balance out the unhealthy staples with plant-based options that will be equally, if not more, pleasing to the palate. If you’re a guest, make sure to bring a healthy dish to stay in your personal end zone throughout each quarter. If you need a bit of recipe inspiration, below are four of our favorite game time noshes.

 

4-Ingredient Guacamole

Made from avocado, nature’s perfect food (fiber, healthy fat and protein), guacamole is our go-to. Stick to crudité instead of processed chips for dipping—red bell peppers, carrots, zucchini, etc. One of our favorite chip alternatives is peeled and sliced raw sweet potato (garnet or jewel varieties).

 

Ingredients:

  • Flesh of 3 ripe avocados
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon of Himalayan pink or sea salt

 

Directions:

  • Mash ingredients together in your favorite bowl.
  • Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes prior to serving.

 

Cauliflower & Almond Pizza  

This is an entirely plant-based version of the popular grain-alternative crust. Top with your favorite organic marinara sauce, cashew cheese and veggies. We love spinach, broccoli and sliced Kalamata olives on ours. Feel free to bake multiple crusts ahead of time and freeze them until game day.

 

Ingredients:Cauliflower Pizza

  • 1 pound cauliflower florets
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pizza seasoning (or a mix of dried garlic and oregano)

 

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse until a rice-like texture is achieved.
  • Pour the cauliflower ‘rice’ into a pot, add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil.
  • Cover, reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Drain the liquid, and then lay the cooked cauliflower rice on the center of a dishtowel to cool.
  • In the meantime, mix together 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds with 6 tablespoons of water in a small bowl to create an ‘egg.’ Let it thicken for 5 minutes.
  • Once the ‘rice’ has cooled, squeeze it in the dishtowel to remove all of the excess liquid.
  • Place the ‘rice’ in a large bowl, then add in the flax ‘egg’, the almond meal, the extra tablespoon of ground flaxseeds, salt, and pizza seasoning.
  • Stir well, and transfer to the baking sheet to shape into a crust.
  • Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes.
  • Flip the crust using an extra sheet of parchment, and bake for another 15 minutes.
  • Add your favorite pizza toppings and bake for 5-10 minutes longer.

 

Simple Vegan Chili

If you’re unable to make it to an OA store to pick up our popular Three Bean Chili, here’s a similar protein-packed recipe you can whip up in your own kitchen. Serve with your favorite whole grain or gluten-free bread.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can pinto beans (15oz), drained
  • 1 can kidney beans (15oz), drained
  • 1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

 

Directions:

  • In a large soup pot, sauté the onion, red bell pepper and garlic in the melted coconut oil.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, vegetable broth, chili powder, salt and pepper.
  • Reduce heat to medium and add the pinto and kidney beans.
  • Cook for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Chocolate Chip Brownie Bliss

Super Bowl Sunday would not be complete without something sweet to celebrate, or help you forget, the outcome of the game. These are gluten-free brownies conveniently portioned in a muffin tin.

 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • ¾ cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (we like Bob’s Red Mill)
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips

 

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and coat an 8-cup muffin tin with coconut oil, or use paper liners.
  • Mix together 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds with 6 tablespoons of water in a small bowl to create an ‘egg.’ Let it thicken for 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, flax ‘egg’, coconut sugar, vanilla, baking powder, salt and cacao powder. Add the flour, and then fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Scoop batter evenly into each cup of the muffin tin until 3/4 full.
  • Bake at 350°F for 22-26 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let the brownies cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.