About the Food Blog

At Keeping Karma, we're foodies! We eat at ethnic restaurants around the world. We're lucky enough to live in Tucson, the first city in the U.S. to be recognized as a UNESCO World City of Gastronomy. And we make an annual trip to mecca (otherwise known as the Gourmet Food Show). Don't miss our musings on the foods we eat!


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Teas Tea Lemongrass Tea and Blueberry Tea

Teas Tea lemongrass tea and blueberry teaTeas' Tea Lemongrass Tea and Blueberry Tea with Pomegranate

I am a dedicated tea drinker and rarely a day goes by that I don't have a cup of tea. Most days I have several! The habit started long ago when I was in my 20's, inherited from my dad who also drinks tea daily. In my first job, I relished (especially working in a freezing air conditioned office) my hot cup of black tea with sugar. But as I got older and my quest for being healthy grew, I switched to mostly herbal teas and ditched the sugars. 

As such, I have always made my own tea, often filling my stainless steel bottle with my flavor of the day. I've never wanted to buy bottled tea except for the occasional stop at a gas station. Mostly this is because I don't care for the sugary sweet flavor of Mr. Lipton and such. However, at this year's Jan 2020 Fancy Food Show, I got a couple of sample bottles of Teas' Tea: lemongrass tea and blueberry tea. And I love it! Here's why: they've ditched all (or at least most of) the sugar and brewed some flavorful, decent bottles of tea. 

My first taste of Teas Tea was their Lemongrass Green Tea. I've been fascinated with lemongrass ever since my trip to Vietnam a few years ago, but consistently when I try a "lemongrass" tea, I can't even tell it's in there. So, imagine my surprise when, instead of the insipid flavor often experienced, it has a distinct taste of lemongrass that I find absolutely delightful. Furthermore - and my favorite part - the tea is unsweetened! I also tried their "slightly sweet" Pomegranate Blueberry Green Tea. Usually not a fan of fruit teas or blueberry tea because they tend to be sickeningly sweet, I enjoyed this slightly sweet version with just the right amount of fruit flavoring. 

In short, if you're looking for a bottled, ready-made tea, I recommend this. And please recycle your plastic (the only thing I DON'T like about this tea is the plastic bottle)!!


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Posted in Healthy food | View Post
How to Clean and Remove Pesticides from Fruits and Vegetables

How to Clean and Remove Pesticides from Fruits and Vegetables

Many years ago, my mom taught me a simple trick for cleaning mushrooms. Just soak them in water instead of running under water. When they soak, it’s amazing how much dirt typically comes off the mushrooms! 

Now I use the same trick for any vegetables I can. On nights I'm making salads, it's not unusual to see multiple bowls or colanders sitting in bowls filled with water and vegetables. While I'm working on other tasks, the vegetables are happily soaking away the dirt and pesticides. Sometimes, bacteria too!

It struck me, though, am I losing nutrients by soaking the fruits and vegetables? In doing some research, there are a couple of things I learned:

1. Nutrient loss will be minimized if you wash/soak the vegetables and fruits BEFORE cutting them. In my case, I never cut before washing or soaking.

2. The benefits of properly soaking fruits and vegetables outweighs the minimal nutrient loss you'll experience. In fact, there are a few ways to soak the fruits and vegetables that help remove not only residue, but also pesticides:
note:
- soaking time is 20 - 40 minutes

do a quick cold water rinse after soaking

  • Saltwater: Soak in a saltwater solution for 20 - 40 minutes. Dissolve 2 tsp salt into 4 cups of warm water. Let the water cool down before using.
  • Vinegar Soak: Vinegar has the added benefit of being effective in removing some types of bacteria. Use anywhere from 1-part vinegar/4-parts water to full strength vinegar. One caution: on thin skinned items, such as berries, the vinegar taste might absorb, so you may want to use less vinegar or clean using a different method.
  • Baking Soda: Dissolve 2 tsp baking soda into 2 cups of water. (I buy my baking soda for cooking from ThriveMarket. Read here to understand the difference between various brands of baking soda and why it may be better to spend a little bit more on your baking soda: The Great Baking Soda Anti-Hoax.)
  • Cold Water: Research shows that cold water alone gets rid of most, but not all, pesticides.
  • Buy Vegetable Cleaner: You can also use a fruit and vegetable wash (available in all groceries stores, Trade Joe's, etc.). I use these sometimes - mostly for items that I'm going to peel - but I don't like having to make sure I've rinsed off all the suds. But it does come in handy at times.
So there you go. Hope this makes fruit and vegetable cleaning time in your kitchen a little quicker and easier!
 

Posted in How To Hints | View Post
Beans Wonderful Beans

How to Cook Beans

How to cook beansIf you're like me and you love beans - especially a nice, warm bowl of bean soup smiley - you'll love this article about HOW to cook beans. The recipes always say to soak them overnight, but I just don't plan ahead that way. Plus, the times I've cooked them without overnight soaking, they seemed fine.

So I was excited to see this article that tests out the myths of cooking beans.
Enjoy!


Epicurious's Myth-Busting Guide to Cooking Beans











Posted in How to cook | 1 Comment(s)
Santa Fe Best Restaurants

Santa Fe Best Restaurants: Joseph's Culinary Pub

Happened upon this cozy place with lovely food and ambiance!

428 Agua Fria
Santa Fe, New Mexico
josephsofsantafe.com




1 Comment(s)
The Lundberg crunchy chips we love

One of My Favorite Chips: Lundberg

If you want a chip that isn't made from wheat (gluten), corn (GMO), or isn't chock full of chemically-sounding ingredients, try organic, non-GMO, whole grain, gluten free Lundberg chips. As part of the Sustainable Food Trade Association, this is a family-owned and operated business. So when you eat their products, you can feel good that you're supporting an eco-friendly organization committed to sustainability.

Of course, non of that matters if the chips don't taste good! Thankfully, that's not the case here: we LOVE them. They are made from a variety of whole grain, such as red rice, quinoa and brown rice, which makes them really crunchy. Add onto that the great selection of flavors including Cinnamon Sugar, Aged White Cheddar, and Sea Salt Rice Chips. Give them a try, we think you'll like them!












Posted in Snacks | 85 Comment(s)
Best ice cream at San Francisco Food Show

Best Ice Cream at San Francisco Food Show

I confess it. I am an ice cream snob. As a kid, I was spoiled in the beginning by the amazing custard sold at this Washington D.C. institution. I see I'm not the only one with memories (read this!) of the creamy, delicious custard and the famous giant polar bears outside. 



I know what you're thinking ... wow! She grew up with the Model T. LOL ... this was the only photo I could find of the place during the 40's, but it was around a really long time after this photo was taken.

In any case, I graduated to Breyers. Not the yukky Breyers you get now which is an "ice cream dessert", but good old fashioned Breyers. There is ONLY ONE original Breyers flavor that they still make and it is STILL delicious: Breyer Natural Vanilla.

Also, second to none is Baskin Robbins Pralines and Cream. Maybe it's the southern girl in me, but pralines in ice cream is amazing. Yum.

And that's it. Those are pretty much the only ice creams that get me jazzed. Until now.

Meet Jenis ice cream - my FAVORITE vendor at the San Francisco gourmet food show.

What's not to like? Fresh, real ingredients, like Breyers used to be in the old days. Not all full of oil, pectin, corn syrup and "natural flavorings" in other brands. 

Seriously, I could rave for a really long time about this stuff. I kept going back to the booth getting sample spoonfuls. EVERY flavor was amazing. It is sooooooooo good.

And they sell an array of AMAZING flavors:
Bangkok Peanut
Juniper & Lemon Curd (my favorite, SO WONDERFUL, out of this world!)
Queen City Cayenne 
Gooey Butter Cake
and lots more!


You can order it online or find a store nearby.
And, last but not least, being the enviro-friendly crazy that I am, I LOVE that they send you a label to return the styrofoam container  - and they pay the cost. What's not to love?


 

Posted in Sweets and ice cream | 59 Comment(s)
San Francisco Gourmet Food Show

2017 Trends at San Francisco Fancy Food Show

Are you a foodie? We are ... and we've just made our annual trek to the San Francisco Gourmet Food Show!

After scouring the show, here are some of the trends we're seeing:

Sriracha - Wow! Saw a lot of chips, crackers, candy and other foods flavored with Sriracha. It's definitely become quite popular! Even so, while I like it here and there, I'm not a big fan, so I don't have any amazing finds on this category.

Honey - There were quite a few honey companies. For me the problem is each bottle of honey I buy takes about 10 years to use (lol) so it's just not a product I get excited about. That said, I find the variety of flavor fascinating and would love to be a bit more of a honey connoisseur.

The Standards - There are always massive amounts of popcorn and chip companies (bean, potatoes, quinoa, etc, etc.). We'll be doing some tasting on what we brought home and will let you know if there are any winners.


Posted in Food Trends | 67 Comment(s)
Chimes Toasted Coconut Toffee

Hard Candy I Actually Like:
Chimes Toasted Coconut Toffee

Let's kick off the year with some candy! Hey, you say you've had enough of late with the holidays? These are handy for withdrawals -- when you want a little bit of sweet without eating another big portion of pie.

These hard candies remind me of a healthier version of Werther's Caramel Hard Candies. They are a few less calories than Werther's, but beyond that they are gluten free (Werther's has wheat in them) and are made with coconut milk instead of cream. They are also vegan! 

I gotta say they are pretty yummy! I especially love the "sweet and salty" effect of the bit of sea salt added. Order them from Amazon and you even get free shipping!
Get Chimes Toasted Coconut Toffee!




Posted in Sweets and ice cream | 95 Comment(s)