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New York Superfoods: Artisan Superfood Snacks for Super Athletes

Our VideosBy Liza de Guia on Mar 13, 2012
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“We were so surprised there were no other products in the market incorporating chia seeds into a snack food.”

Meet Catherine Mangan Walsh, the co-founder of New York Superfoods Inc., an artisan health food company based in Manhattan. Catherine and her husband, Jason Walsh, live an active lifestyle. They like sports, they get outdoors, they bike, they run. They never dreamed they’d own a health food business, not until a few years ago, when they started to play around with chia seeds.

Chia seeds are a type of superfood, a special category of natural food said to rich in anti-oxidants and jam-packed with nutrients. They first read about the energy-sustaining power of the chia seed when they first read “Born to Run”, a non-fiction, adventure tale about an elite tribe of world’s greatest long-distance runners: the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico. In the book, the Tarahumara predominately depend on chia seeds to fuel up before and during their 100+ mile runs – a little food fact that got Catherine and Jason curious.  They wanted to try it. They wanted to see if chia seeds could power their own active lifestyles. However, their search for chia-based snacks came up empty.

So, they decided to play around in the kitchen and make a few products themselves. After endless testings and encouragement from family and friends, they decided to bring their ideas to market. Now, some of the top endurance athletes in the world use their products…

Enjoy their story!

If you are interested in buying some Chia Chargers or BeKind Chia Butters you can browse their full line of products at their online store here. I really enjoy the Chia Charger “Kick” with a hint of spicy paprika and their Manhattan Mud BeKind Butter with dark chocolate.

The Next Big Small Brand Contest Tasting + Judging Event is March 27th at BAM in Brooklyn. This is the 1st of 6 finalist videos I’m making for the contest. Come out and support small food artisans!

Thanks for watching food. curated.! Happy eating! 


Vivid Visions: Raganella’s Smokable Herbal Tea

Our VideosBy Liza de Guia on Feb 28, 2012
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“The ingredients, the elements of the products I make, have been in use for thousands of years. They’re safety tested by our ancestors…”

Meet Liz Neves, the founder of Raganella’s Botanical Solutions, an all-natural, ethical body care company that hand blends organic, sustainable, smokable tea and other herbal products in her kitchen in Brooklyn, New York. Liz sees herself as a “caretaker”. She left her 9-5 job in advertising to fulfill her calling to pursue something more ecological and healthy – starting her own body care company because she was fed up with synthetic, brand name products in the marketplace touting solutions to problems, but using ingredients that weren’t actually healthy for your body or the environment. As she dug deeper, she realized that “simple is good” that “the Earth is an abundant place; that it provides” and that healing plants were the solution to her problems and the answer to her own career riddle. So, Liz launched her company and started developing “solutions” for everyday issues in her life, and now, a year later, has over 30 handmade, plant-based products to help people heal in a more humane way; which, of course, brings me to her all-natural tea line and her #1 selling product: smokable tea.

Now, I’m sure many of you drink tea, occasionally, as a herbal remedy or a sleep aid, but have any of you ever smoked it? Probably not. It was a first for me too. Well, for you curious and interested folks reading this, here’s your chance:

Liz calls her smokable tea blend: Vivid Visions - a blend she learned about from herbalist Robin Rose Bennett. It’s her #1 selling product on Etsy, with many, many repeat customers. It’s legal, it’s under the radar, and, according to Liz, it’s perfect for anyone who takes life too seriously and needs a way to relax AND dream better. You don’t need a lot of it to feel the effects and benefits. And it works. I’ve been drinking it and smoking it over the past few weeks: it’s different, it’s interesting, smooth and it definitely chills me out in a way I feel immediately. There’s much more information in the video story. So enjoy! I hope you try it along with a handful of her other recommended solutions.

Thanks so much for watching food. curated.! Happy dreaming!! 

Don’t Miss: The BEST WINGS in Brooklyn Competition

Blog PostsBy Liza de Guia on Feb 21, 2012
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This Saturday, February 25th at 2pm, I’ll be judging The Best Wings in Brooklyn Competition at Red Star Bar in Greenpoint along with Jacob Osterhout from the DAILY NEWS, Peter DeNat from YELP BROOKLYN, Sarah Zorn from THE BROOKLYN PAPER and Sharon Beason from BROOKLYN EXPOSED. I’ve always wanted to judge a food cook-off, and I’m pinching myself that I get to kick off this long-desired dream with plates and plates of finger-licking wings.

I remember the first year I went and it was PACKED with wing lovers. Plus, you’ll get to sample secret recipes from 12-16 vendors from across Brooklyn all vying for bragging rights. Even better, the event is FREE – so come early! Hope you can make it!

Red Star Bar: 37 Greenpoint Avenue, on the corner of West Street and Greenpoint Avenue.

Food. Curated. Invited to the Power Women Photo Shoot for belVita Breakfast Lifestyle

Blog PostsBy Liza de Guia on Feb 21, 2012
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It’s always nice to get a little recognition for my food. curated. series.

A few weeks ago, my friends from JoinBklyn asked me to participate in a Megan Cignoli photo shoot for the launch of belVita Breakfast biscuits showcasing interesting female entrepreneurs. They wanted someone “optimistic with a very social lifestyle”. I’m honored they thought of me!!

Overall, I enjoyed the crunchy breakfast biscuits. They had a nice oaty flavor to them, good texture. The crunch reminded me of those Biscoff cookies I used to get two servings of on Delta flights. Anyway, these new belVita biscuits are made for people who want a breakfast option on-the-go. Now, of course, you’ll usually find me slaving over biscuit recipes or a digging into a bowl of homemade granola & fruit for breakfast, but on the days when I’m running out the door like a mad-woman to get to a film shoot, I could grab a pack of biscuits for sure. Enjoy the video. Will share the pictures from the shoot later this week. Cheers!

Local South Africian Cuisine w/Executive Chef Craig Paterson

Our VideosBy Liza de Guia on Feb 16, 2012
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As promised, just wanted to share a quick cooking video I shot, kind of on the fly, in South Africa at Londolozi Game Reserve showcasing local seafood, honey, and herbs & greens grown from Kenneth’s on-site community garden below! – Yes, the garden that grows its vegetables using all-natural, chemical free rhino dung safely harvested from their own safari reserve.

Meet Executive Chef Craig Paterson as he takes us through a colorful starter that speaks to the flavors of South Africa – one of many dishes I ate and enjoyed during my time filming wildlife at Londolozi.

Thanks for watching food. curated.! Happy Eating! *photo credit: Adam Bannister*