Preparation for Virtual Back to School

Although back to school is very different this year, it is helpful to plan out snack breaks and lunches. Meal prep so that school at home is smoother! Many of our Back to school favorites are on sale 8/21-8/23 for owners! 

Back to Schoool Essentials

Meli Wraps are a ziplock and plastic wrap alternative. These beeswax wraps cling to bowls and work great for holding trail mix! 

Stasher bags are ziplock 2.0. They are freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe! These silicon master bags are great for snacks, soups, sandwiches, and more! Make soup in advance, portion out in these bags, and keep in the freezer. When you are ready to eat, place them in a pot of boiling water until thawed or throw in the microwave. 

Be prepared with All Good hand sanitizer and sunscreen.

Love Bags makes tote bags, lunch boxes, and more. Best of all their fabric is 100% recycled plastics. Cleaning up the oceans with style!

Kleen Kanteen is a long-time favorite. We got in various sizes to ensure you can stay hydrated! They are insulated and will keep your water cool during this heatwave!

U-Konserve is great for meal prepping. We carry various sizes of these sustainable metal and silicone containers. Prep for the week and these containers stack nicely in the fridge! 

Recipes:

Sandwiches

Salads

Snacks

Dip or Build

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Cooking with Avocado Oil

Avocado Oil? But I have always used Olive Oil!
Similar to olive oil, avocado oil is one of a few cooking oils that is extracted directly from the pulp of the fruit as opposed to chemically extracted from the seed.

While avocado oil has long been used in cosmetics and self-care products like shampoo, conditioner, and lotion, it has also become a favorite for many to cook with. The high smoke point of the oil (up to 520 degrees Fahrenheit!), makes it great for high temperature cooking, such as frying and sauteing.

It is creamier in texture and has a less bitter flavor than olive oil which makes it extremely versatile in a number of dishes. Some vegan recipes even use it as a butter replacement.

Benefits
While avocado oil has a similar fatty acid profile as olive oil (around 75% fat with a substantial dose of monounsaturated compounds), there’s also a few other key nutrients that make it a healthy option:

  • It has 25% more Vitamin E than Olive Oil, which helps nourish skin and hair . You can actually rub a small amount of avocado oil into the skin in dry areas to provide relief; even some cases of psoriasis have been helped with a topical treatment.
  • It has more potassium than a banana to help stabilize blood pressure and promote heart health.
  • This oil has nearly triple the amount of carotenoids as olive oil. These soluble antioxidants help fight cancer growth, protect the eyes from macular degeneration, and halt the physical signs of aging
  • It contains lutein, a plant compound that helps to preserve eyesight
  • Around 23% of the daily recommended amount of folate, a B vitamin that’s important during pregnancy to support the development of a healthy fetus can be found in Avocado Oil
  • Studies from the National Center for Health Statistics have shown that those who eat avocados regularly are better off than those that don’t. And avocado oil is just as effective as the raw fruit. Those that ate one serving of avocado every day found these benefits:
    • 22% lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind)
    • 11% increase in HDL cholesterol (the good kind!)
    • 20% less blood triglycerides

Takeaway
This isn’t to take away from Olive Oil; it is still a cheaper alternative with its own health benefits and a classic flavor that shines in cold dishes like salad and meals with lower cooking points. But if you are looking for an oil that can withstand a higher cooking point while providing you with some extra health benefits and a pleasant taste, Avocado Oil may be the oil for you!

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Plant-Based Taco Tuesday

Looking for a way to switch up your Taco Tuesday? We have a recipe that is plant-based, protein-packed, and perfect for a laid-back weeknight meal. Watch the video below for an explanation of what ingredients we chose and a walkthrough of the steps. The ingredients and instructions are listed below.

Ingredients

1 to 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 medium yellow onion, diced

1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

Olive oil

Apple cider vinegar

10-12 corn tortillas (use GF if desired)

Tofu “cheese” crumbles (1 C crumbled extra firm tofu, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast)

Garnishes: 1/2 cup salsa, avocado, fresh cilantro, lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. 
  2. Coat the sweet potatoes in about 2 tbsp of oil, salt, chili powder, and cumin. Then put on a baking sheet in the oven for about 15 minutes. Stir and flip, then roast another 15 minutes. 
  3. While this is roasting, saute the onions in about a tbsp of oil. Just before they are soft, add the garlic and jalapeño, saute for another minute. Then add the drained and rinsed black beans and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Cook until hot.
  4. Crumble extra firm tofu into a bowl, add salt and nutritional yeast. Mix well. This is your cheese!
  5.  Warm the tortillas in a dry skillet or in the microwave. 
  6. Let everyone fill their tacos with sweet potatoes, beans, avocado, salsa, cilantro, and cheese! Yum!

This recipe was developed by our Education and Outreach Specialist, Madison Suoja, and the demonstration was done by our staff member Rheanna Smith. Rheanna has a background in nutrition and food science, and along with working in many departments here at the Davis Food Co-op, she actively runs a food blog containing healthy recipes and nutrition tips. Keep an eye on our Co-op blog to see some of her recipes and give her Instagram account a follow for additional health tips and ideas, @rheannnabanana.

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