What Does It Mean To Be Gluten Free?

“Gluten-Free” is a popular buzzword among dieting circles as well as among the general public. With each passing year, the awareness of gluten and those who maintain gluten-free lifestyles is growing. Though Celiac’s Disease and other immunodeficiency diseases that require a gluten-free diet have been around for centuries.

A lot of people are skeptical of gluten-free diets and view them as a fad like many other diets that have come before, however maintaining a gluten-free lifestyle is a healthy choice for people of various walks of life. If you want to learn how to live a gluten-free lifestyle, your local Pembroke Pines health foods stores are good resources, as well as your family doctor and nutritionist.

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is the name for a family of proteins found in wheat, rye, spelled, and barley. The protein gives dough its elasticity. Wheat is often found in bread, baked goods, fried items, pasta, cereals, beers, and pretty much any mass produced item that contains flour. Wheat flour is the most popular choice for flour and often the cheapest choice. People who have a gluten intolerance often react to the presence of gluten in their food in a variety of ways. The most immediate symptoms are gastrointestinal distress, fatigue, and headaches after consuming a big dose of gluten.

Other annoying and common symptoms are canker sores (inside your mouth), bone and joint pain, depression, and migraines. Left untreated, Celiac’s Disease can do severe damage to your intestines, cause major vitamin deficiencies, and trigger other disorders. If you suspect you are reacting to gluten or may have Celiac’s Disease, it is best that you consult your family physician as soon as possible. There are many tests that can be done to ascertain your sensitivity to gluten and treatments available.

How Do I Learn to Be Gluten Free

One of the most common treatment methods available for gluten intolerances and Celiac’s Disease is to maintain a gluten-free lifestyle. This entails guarding yourself against consuming gluten in any amount. This shift can be difficult for many people and can be a source of frustration. Luckily the gluten-free food industry has come a long way in the past few years and many grocery stores near you will carry a good selection of gluten-free products.

You will find that vigilance is necessary, you will have to question all of the menu items at your favorite restaurants and possibly find natural foods stores near you to help you make the shift in your cooking. There are many flour alternatives that will work in some of your favorite recipes and there will be a whole new world of foods you can explore as well! You will find yourself surprised at how delicious some gluten-free choices can be!

Recipe: Cheddar Chive Skillet Cornbread


Recipe credit: Amy Palanjian

Photo credit: Amy Palanjian

Cornbread is often considered a comfort food. The more comfort foods you can tweak to eliminate gluten, the easier your transition to a gluten-free lifestyle will be! Delicious Living has many more amazing gluten-free recipes for your to explore! If you are able to buy chives with their pretty purple flowers, stir the petals into softened butter with a little honey—then smear over warm cornbread. Best eaten the day it is made.


• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

• 1½ cups cornmeal

• ½ cup gluten-free flour blend (such as King Arthur Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour)

local Pembroke Pines health foods stores• 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

• 1 tablespoon baking powder

• ½ teaspoon salt

• 1 cup low-fat (1 percent) milk or unsweetened nondairy milk

• 2 tablespoons honey

• 2 eggs, lightly beaten

• 1 cup (about 4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

• ¾ cup finely chopped chives or green onions

• Additional honey (optional)


1. Melt butter in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet while oven preheats to 400°. Remove 2 tablespoons of melted butter from the pan and set aside. Place pan back into the oven.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together cornmeal, flour, flaxseed, baking powder, and salt. Stir in reserved melted butter, milk, honey, eggs, cheese, and chives or green onions.

3. Remove skillet from oven, and swirl butter to coat. Pour in batter, and shake gently to distribute evenly. Bake for 20–22 minutes or until edges are lightly golden brown and cornbread is set. Let cool slightly, cut into wedges and serve warm with honey, if desired.

PER SERVING: 298 cal, 12g fat (4g mono, 1g poly, 7g sat), 77mg chol, 391mg sodium, 34g carb (2g fiber, 7g sugars), 9g protein

Being Gluten Free Doesn’t Have to Be A Struggle

Transitioning to a gluten-free lifestyle isn’t as difficult as many would make it seem. There are many resources online and in your own community available to help you change your life. Outside of your medical providers, there are many community resources such as the natural health stores near you. Utilizing all available resources will only make your path smoother.


A Guide To Fruits: Which Ones Are The Healthiest?

Everyone knows that they really should eat more fruit and veg. That doesn’t mean that you can just hit up the grocery store and pick up whatever fruit is on special offer. Like all foods, some fruits are much healthier than others. Here’s a guide to the healthiest fruits out there, so you can choose wisely.

Picking The Right Fruit

Pembroke Pines Vitamin Store
When you’re in the supermarket, you need to know which fruits are the best to buy. There’s so many in there, how can you know which ones are right for you? Here’s a checklist to help you buy the right fruits in grocery stores near me.

  • Pick richly colored fruits: As a general rule, the richer the color of your fruit, the better it will be for you. Keep that in mind as you’re shopping, and compare fruits to see which ones would be better for you. It’s well worth picking these kinds of fruits, as they’re a good source of Vitamin A.
  • Eat in season: The best fruits are going to be those that are in season. Thanks to modern grocery stores, you can buy all kinds of fruits even if they aren’t in season. However, when they’re out of season they’re not the healthiest. Fresh produce is best, followed by frozen. Canned fruit isn’t as great as it seems, because it’s lacking B and C vitamins from the canning process.
  • Prepare Your Vegetables Well: The way you prepare your vegetables will affect their nutritional value too. The best way to eat your fruits is raw, if you can. If they need to be cooked, steaming them is best as you won’t lose vitamins in the cooking water.

The Best Fruits For You

Now you know how to pick fruits, which ones are the best for you? Here’s some of the healthiest fruits you can buy, as recommended by Pembroke Pines Vitamin Store:


Grapefruits are the healthiest citrus fruits out there, as it’s such a good source of vitamins and minerals. It’s also a fantastic fruit to keep around if you’re looking to lose weight. It’ll even help you reduce your cholesterol levels, so if you’re watching your levels make sure you keep some grapefruit in your kitchen.


Avocado is having a moment in trendy food circles, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s low in carbs and full of healthy fats. When so many fruits are high in carbs, it can make them hard to eat if you’re on a low carb diet. If that sounds like you, get more avocado into your diet to increase your fruit intake.


Blueberries are the fruit that are the highest in naturally occurring antioxidants, so make sure to get plenty of them in your diet. The antioxidants are thought to help reduce the risk of many conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s.


These trusty go to fruits should always be in your pantry, as they’re so good for you. They contain high amounts of potassium, fiber, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C. As they’re so good for you, the old wives tale that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ may actually be true! It’s also worth knowing that apples have been linked with increased bone density and the increase of good bacteria in your gut, too.


Pomegranates are known as some of the most nutritious fruits around, thanks to their powerful plant compounds. They also have anti inflammatory effects, which have been seen to reduce the risk of cancer.

Nutrition Smart vitamin store Pembroke Pines


Mangoes are some of the most delicious fruits out there, and some of the healthiest fruits you can eat. They’re full of soluble fiber, which has tons of health benefits you can take advantage of. As well as this, their antioxidants can help prevent a whole range of diseases.


If you’re diabetic, strawberries are the fruit for you. They’re full of vitamins, but have relatively low sugar index. That means you can eat them without causing a large blood sugar spike. It’s important to have some strawberries around, as you can get the health benefits without causing more issues.

As you can see, there’s plenty of fruits out there that are delicious, healthy, and readily available. If you’re looking for the healthiest fruits around, drop by Nutrition Smart vitamin store Pembroke Pines to find out more.


Preparing for your Vegan Party

Getting ready for a party is a lot of fun, but if you’re vegan, shopping for food can be a little bit intimidating. For most people this isn’t a problem; they just head to the grocery store and buy whatever they feel like. We envy those people, but we also love that we’re making a difference in both ourselves and the world. The vegan lifestyle isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination but it’s finally catching on, and when you search ‘grocery stores near me’, or even look for organic produce in Pembroke Pines, you can expect to find plenty of great vegan options. So, what are you preparing for your party?

Recipe Ideas for Organic Produce in Pembroke Pines

Let’s take a look at some of the best vegan recipe ideas, and you can get all of the ingredients form our organic health shop!

Vegan Sloppy Joes

Make these vegan sloppy joes, even more, kid-friendly by adjusting the spices to your family’s preference.

 organic produce in Pembroke Pines

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion peeled and diced
  • 2 cups butternut squash (peeled and diced)
  • 2 medium carrots (peeled and diced)
  • 1 cup dry brown or green lentils
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can reduced-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Whole-grain rolls or salad greens
  • Hot sauce, pickled cabbage, cucumbers and/or relish for garnish
  • Lentil & Veggie Sloppy Joes


In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add onion, squash, and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add lentils, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and molasses. Stir. Add stock and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes.

Remove lid and continue to cook for an additional 20–25 minutes or until lentils are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir in apple cider vinegar and serve on rolls or over salad greens. If desired, garnish sandwiches with pickled cabbage, cucumbers, hot sauce or relish.

PER SERVING (1 cup lentil mixture without bun): 195 cal, 3g fat (2g mono, 1g poly, 0g sat), 0mg chol, 280mg sodium, 35g carb (7g fiber, 7g sugars), 9g protein



Recipe: Braised Cannellini Beans (Gluten-free, vegan)

Dried beans, lentils, and other pulses are super soil helpers. Unlike most plants, which pull nitrogen from the soil as a food source, beans work with soil microbes to pull nitrogen from the air, which both enriches the soil and reduces the need for fertilizer.


  • 1 pound dry cannellini beans
  • 10 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper


In a large pot, place beans; cover with 10 cups cold water. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Bring beans to a boil, and boil for 1 minute. Cover, turn off heat and remove from burner. Let sit for 1 hour.

Drain cooking liquid. Return beans to the pot, and add 4 cups water and 2 cups broth to just cover the beans. Add onion, garlic, rosemary sprigs, oil, pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove lid, and cook another 60 minutes. Check liquid levels, and add more as needed.

Remove 1 cup beans, and mash with a potato masher. Return mashed beans to pot, and simmer for 5–10 minutes, until thickened slightly. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve beans with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of chopped fresh rosemary.



Acorn Squash & Mushroom Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Slaw

These tacos are the perfect easy dinner option for vegans wanting to spice up their meal. The cilantro-lime slaw adds a zesty note on top of the savory taco.



  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • ¾ cup diced yellow onion
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon plus ⅛ teaspoon dried oregano, divided
  • 1 acorn squash (peeled, seeded and diced -about 4 cups)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 8 ounces quartered or sliced baby portobello or button mushrooms
  • 24 small (5-inch) white corn tortillas
  • Raw pepitas and avocado slices for garnish (optional)


  • ½ head green cabbage (very finely shredded)
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • Pinch of salt


In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion and salt. Cook onion until translucent; then add 1½ teaspoons garlic, cumin, chili powder and 1 teaspoon oregano; cook 1 minute.

When spices become fragrant, add diced acorn squash, broth and tomato paste. Stir, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until squash becomes tender. Taste, and add pinch each of salt and pepper, if desired. Remove from heat, and transfer squash mixture to a bowl. Using a potato masher, mash mixture until mostly smooth.

Wipe out skillet with a paper towel and return to medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil. When oil is hot, add mushrooms and remaining ⅛ teaspoon oregano to pan. Reduce heat to medium, and cook mushrooms without stirring until browned, about 5 minutes. Shake pan, and add remaining 1½ teaspoons minced garlic; cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat, and transfer to a bowl; keep warm.

Wipe out skillet again, and place over medium-high heat. Heat corn tortillas, one at a time, in dry skillet, turning once. Wrap tortillas in a towel to keep warm.

To prepare slaw, in a medium bowl, combine shredded cabbage, carrot, cilantro and coriander seeds. In a separate bowl, combine lime juice, oil and salt; pour over slaw mixture, and toss until well combined.

To assemble tacos, fill tortillas with squash mixture and top with mushrooms, slaw, pepitas and avocado slices.

PER SERVING (3 tacos): 332 cal, 10g fat (7g mono, 2g poly, 1g sat), 0mg chol, 104mg sodium, 57g carb (10g fiber, 7g sugars), 8g protein

PER SERVING (½ cup): 185 cal, 3g fat (2g mono, 0g poly, 0g sat), 0mg chol, 383mg sodium, 30g carb, (7g fiber, 2g sugars), 11g protein


 Pembroke Pines organic produce

Setting Up the Perfect Holiday or Everyday Meal

We’ve given you a few good ideas but, as always, you want to remember that most party meals need to be a little bit lighter in nature so that everyone is in good spirits throughout the night. You’re going to need the energy to outlast the clock, but you still want to make sure you have some amazing choices. The tacos we mentioned are a great example; they’re practically finger food and your guests can carry them around as they mingle and socialize. Just make sure you make plenty; you’re going to need them!

Take Food Allergies into Consideration

If you’ve read any of our other blogs, then you already know just how seriously we take food allergies. From gluten intolerance to egg allergies, there is always something that you need to be concerned over, so before you make any of the vegan masterpieces that we mentioned above, try the following:

  • Ask your Guests if they Have any Allergies You Need to Consider
  • Check the Labels of any Food You’re Buying at our Health Food Store
  • Let your Guests Know What’s in the Food!

When you’re preparing a spread for your party, make sure you buy a pack of index cards and write down the ingredients for each. This is an extra step but it’s going to keep your guests safe during the celebration, and that’s the most important thing of all.

At the end of the day, your goal is to make sure everyone is fed, happy, and that they have a celebration to remember. In our opinion the food makes the party, so use our ideas and others that you come across to craft the perfect holiday meal with our Pembroke Pines organic produce.