One of the best things about my job and what most chefs would probably agree on is that we get to try an amazing array of foods and products as part of our work. I’ve been fortunate enough to come across products simply by visiting restaurants and grocery stores or by connecting with purveyors of quality products who are eager to introduce something to you through this site. Here’s a list of four products I think you’ll enjoy trying because I’ve found them to be beneficial to use. There’s also a giveaway at the end!
Coco5 is an all natural coconut water product I tried last year towards the end of Ramadan. It was great to use during non-fasting hours to stay hydrated naturally- and with so many wonderful flavors, each one tasted great. They’re halal-certified and made with all natural flavors, colors, and sugars. Very important to me, as I’m NOT interested in hydrating drinks with ingredients that are questionable to our health. What’s even better is that the company shared a halal certification with me that you can see here. So, stock up to have during this year’s Ramadan and for your Monday and Thursday fasts if you do those, too. To find Coco5 products, check out their site.
Sol Cuisine makes really great vegan and vegetarian burgers. I don’t know about you, but although I am an avid cook, that can sometimes be the exact problem I have at home- I’m cooking all the time and just want a break from the enormous spreads I’m always putting out on the table. I’ve made a variety of their burgers for weekend lunch or a quick bite when no one else is at home to create a large meal for- my favorite is the Spicy Black Bean. They’re also non-GMO verified for 17 of their products, AND have halal certification, which is an awesome combination for the conscious consumer. Straight from their website, this is their mission: “Sol Cuisine focuses on organic, Non-GMO, Kosher, Halal, wheat-free, gluten-free, nutritious, delicious, healthy, vegetarian and vegan protein products.” Be sure to enter the giveaway for their products at the end of this post.
Arganic Virgin Argan Oil is a product we gave away last year in this article about the culinary and cosmetic uses of argan oil. At the time I had really only experienced cosmetic argan oil (which I’m absolutely crazy about) and continue to use it on my dry winter skin. It has a light, nutty smell which reminds me of a stone fruit oil like apricot but it is uniquely all it’s own. Derived from the argan tree in Morocco, founder Dana Elmara takes great care to make sure that her oil is of the highest quality without harming the lives of those Moroccan women who labor to produce it. I love her company’s philosophy “The best dishes are the simple ones, made with the finest ingredients.” Use the Arganic Virgin Argan Oil to lightly saute vegetables, in salads or to top off a great dish like hummus or baba ghanouj. Argan oil is becoming a hit with gourmet chefs around the world who are catching on to the unique and healthy flavors of Moroccan food and its ingredients. Dana even shares some recipes on her blog that incorporate argan oil, showing everyone how it can be used. Find the recipes here. (photo credit: Arganic)
Pine Tar Soap- this is the only non-food item on the list but I like it so much and find it to be a pretty unique find that I just had to share. I used to suffer from very severe eczema until I began going all natural with everything I put on my skin. Apparently, my skin is so sensitive that anything with artificial fragrance will irritate it so much that it breaks out into red leathery patches. It’s painful beyond explanation and it took me a long time to figure out what would help- it’s also something that I have to constantly watch and maintain by only using natural soaps like olive oil, castile and now this pine tar soap which is an all natural and vegetarian soap that can be found on the Grandpa Brands website. Buy in bulk to save- you’ll want to have this on hand, particularly if you or anyone you know suffers from skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.
About the Sol Cuisine Giveaway:
Sol Cuisine is giving away 10 free product coupons to random winners. Enter by adding a comment at the end of this post by telling me about a product you love, something we should feature or simply giving feedback on the ones mentioned here. Please read our official guidelines before entering, as your comment indicates that you have done so and agree to its terms. Giveaway ends February 1, 2013.
Disclaimer: I received complimentary products from Coco5, Sol Cuisine and Arganic without payment for any type of review. The opinions expressed about these products are my own.