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Top Five Pantry Essentials helped me survive 2016 - will help you thrive in 2017!

Looking to start 2017 on the right foot with a pantry (and freezer) stocked with healthy, time-saving essentials? Look no further...here are my top picks that helped me get through 2016 with ease.

1. Organic Minced Ginger from The Ginger People - add to smoothies, salad dressings and stir fry in place of fresh ginger root. A smoothie with frozen peaches or mango, carrot juice and lots of ginger really brightens up the morning!

Organic Minced Ginger

2. Maesri Red Curry Paste - follow the directions on the can, adding coconut milk to make a simple curry sauce than can be used for vegetables, tofu or rice. This red curry paste is gluten free, Maesri also makes a Yellow Curry Paste that is tasty but not gluten free.
Maesri Thai red curry - 4 oz x 2 cans

3. Brown Rice Vermicelli - use the Mamy instant brand available at Stop & Shop or another instant whole grain brown rice noodle because it cooks in 2-3 minutes and then toss the noodles with soy sauce, curry sauce or use in your favorite spring roll or stir fry.


4. Papou's Sprouted Frozen Falafel - made in Maine and available at Whole Foods Market and Common Crow Market, Gloucester, MA. These falafel got me though spring of 2016 when I moved twice in a month! They cook up in minutes and I had them on top of salad and dressed with tahini multiple times a week.


5. Amore All Natural Pesto Paste - it's vegan (dairy free)! Use this on top of pasta, mixed into rice or quinoa, or in your favorite soup to instantly add the flavors of fresh basil and garlic when you don't have time to chop them yourself. Available at Stop & Shop near the tubes of tomato paste.

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Tropical Coconut Lime Dairy Free “Yogurt”

Tropical Coconut Lime Dairy Free “Yogurt” 

2 cups young coconut meat ½ cup water or coconut milk Zest of 2 limes Juice of 1 lime 1 tablespoon maple syrup Contents of 2 probiotic capsules
If you purchased frozen young coconut meat, let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Add all ingredients to a food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth. The mixture will be thicker than milk based yogurt but thinner than Greek yogurt, it will firm up over a few days in the refrigerator.
Young coconut meat is an excellent source of fiber and live enzymes. Because of the fiber content, this “yogurt” is filling, try a small serving (1/3 cup) at first. Top with fresh berries, ground flax seeds, hemp hearts, ground ginger, or fresh mint.