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There is only so much holiday pie one can consume before the body starts to crave good, natural food. What better way to lean into healthful eating this New Year than to pack as many fruits and vegetables as possible into one meal as a satisfying smoothie?
But look beyond the traditional staples like bananas, nut butters and frozen fruit, and add new ingredients that are low in calories and high in nutritional benefits to take your smoothies to the next level. From super seeds to steamed vegetables, experiment with these approachable boosts for extra protein and fiber to start your day. For best results, keep all fresh ingredients frozen or very cold.
Ground Flax Seeds
Per tablespoon, these mighty seeds are a great source of protein, fiber and omega-3s. In order to coax the maximum amount of nutritional benefit from this ingredient, try pulsing the seeds in a clean spice or coffee grinder until a coarse meal forms. Pre-ground flax seeds are easy to find, but they are typically more expensive and spoil faster than whole seeds.
A very powerful carbohydrate, chia seeds are high in antioxidants and low in calories. When exposed to liquid, these little seeds expand into filling, fiber-rich “pebbles” that are ideal for balancing the sugars in a smoothie.
Add old-fashioned oats to a smoothie for a protein-packed (and gluten-free) base that is sure to fill you up. Add cooked and cooled oatmeal directly to the smoothie base, or blend raw oats in the body of the blender and pulse until they form a coarse meal. This will allow you to break up the oats without over-blending the entire smoothie.
Similar to flax and chia, these seeds are protein-rich and packed with plenty of nutrients. Hemp seeds add texture and a boost of natural vitamins without adding a significant flavor profile or calories. Keep hemp seeds in the freezer to avoid spoiling.
Frozen baby spinach and chopped kale add a boost of nutrients and a healthy dose of greens to a smoothie. To bulk up the smoothie with even more vegetables, try adding steamed and frozen cauliflower, carrots, beets or sweet potato chunks. Be sure to balance your veggies with equal parts frozen fruit to please the palate.
Plain, full-fat Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein, ideal for rounding out the body of a smoothie. Greek yogurt pairs well with just about any fruit without adding a significant amount of sugar.
Pineapple and Greens Smoothie
Bursting with tropical flavors, this sweet smoothie is balanced with filling chia seeds and protein-rich Greek yogurt. Be sure to add ingredients in the order listed; this smoothie’s consistent texture relies on layering the tougher ingredients closer to the blade.
1 T. chia seeds
1 T. hemp seeds
1 c. fresh baby spinach
¼ c. plain Greek yogurt
½ c. frozen pineapple chunks
1 medium banana (frozen)
½ c. cold coconut water
Pulse the oats and flax seeds into a coarse meal before adding the wet ingredients for a super smooth “milkshake” that’s packed with protein and fiber.
¼ c. old fashioned oats
1 T. ground flax seeds
6 oz. frozen strawberries
1 small frozen banana
¼ c. Greek yogurt
½ c. unsweetened oat milk
2 T. granola of choice (if desired)
Story, recipes & photography by Rachel Johnson
Edible Austin wants to support our local restaurants, stores, supermarkets, entertainment venues and other places by providing updated information on how local businesses are handling the situation. Please submit an update here so we can add your business to the list. Be Vocal. Help Local!
Farms & Farmers’ Markets
Stores and Supermarkets
Other Ways to Help
Now through August (and September in some places), visitors of all ages can enjoy delicious peach offerings at Hill Country Fruit Council Member stands in Fredericksburg and Stonewall. The cool nights, sunny days and well-drained soils of Central Texas combine to create an environment near perfect for producing fresh, sweet peaches. Peach varieties currently available include, Flavorich, Carored, June Gold, Texking and Regal. During the peak of the season in mid-July, Loring and Dixieland peaches will be available along with other freestone varieties.
From pick-your-own to pre-picked offerings, the Hill Country Fruit Council members have a little something for everyone. And peaches aren’t the only thing Hill Country Fruit Council members have to offer! Visitors can also choose from variety of other fresh fruits and vegetables grown right here in the Texas Hill Country.
Thank you for supporting your local Hill Country Fruit Council members. We hope you enjoy peach season and all that it has to offer!
Writer: Sarah McConnell Photography: Patty Robertson
At Doc’s Drive In Theatre in Buda, Chris and Sarah Denny aim to bring modern flair to a 1950s classic by bridging the past and the present through new age and vintage movie showings. Located just outside of Austin’s city limits, this unique drive in offers a number of extraordinary amenities, such as movie-themed tiny homes for those who wish to stay the night, a private beach and swimming hole and a two-story bar with a patio overlooking the theater’s screens. What really sets this drive in apart from the rest, however, is the food served at Doc’s Diner, the theater’s onsite restaurant.
Inspired by their shared love for good food and traveling, the Dennys crafted the menu at Doc’s Diner specifically to emphasize fresh, high-quality ingredients—which meant taste testing every single bun, cut of meat and condiment. The diner also smokes its own brisket and makes many of their own sauces and dips, like guacamole and pico de gallo, from scratch daily. What’s more: everything at Doc’s is baked rather than fried, meaning movie-goers can enjoy many of their favorite comfort foods—from chicken wings to corn dogs—guilt-free. In addition to burgers, hot dogs and a variety of other offerings, the diner has all the traditional snacks movie-goers expect: popcorn, nachos and candy. For those with kids, Doc’s Diner also offers make-your-own s’mores kits that can be picked up and enjoyed at your location of choice, whether that be the drive in’s grounds or the tailgate of your car.
Even with all of the seemingly fancy updates to the facility and menu, an overwhelming sense of nostalgia remains infused in the space. “Basically, everything we’ve done out here is our favorite stuff in our favorite childhood memories,” Chris says. The themes of the onsite tiny homes, for example, which include Star Wars, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Harry Potter, were chosen because they were favorite childhood movies of Chris, Sarah and Sarah’s sister.
At Doc’s Diner, these childhood influences and personal touches can also be seen. The homemade sauce on the signature “Drive-In Burger” was an attempt to replicate a special sauce from Sarah’s childhood in Washington state. Other items are named for special people in the Dennys’ lives. “The Stanley” is the favorite sandwich of the couple’s soon-to-be 90-year-old neighbor—a grilled peanut butter, banana and honey concoction. Other inspired menu items include “The Logan,” a vegetarian sandwich named for Sarah’s best friend, and “The Don Juan,” a sandwich named for the contractor who built the drive in.
“We really wanted to create something where people could have a conversation, put away their phones, hang out in the car with friends and talk while a movie is going on,” Chris says. He emphasizes that he and Sarah are “in the business of creating happy memories.”
By the end of 2020, Chris and Sarah plan to add an underground, 1920s-themed speakeasy complete with craft cocktails and finger foods. Much like the rest of the drive in, Chris says the idea was inspired by memories of building secret hideouts and pillow forts as a kid. The speakeasy will feature old family recipes, including a bean dip that has been passed down through generations for nearly 100 years.
For those looking for a fun way to spend an evening with family and friends this summer, Doc’s Drive In offers a chance to take a step back in time, curl up in the passenger seat or at the end of the tailgate and enjoy some quality time and delicious food with a film and those you care about most.
Story by Sarah McConnell Pictures by Doc's Drive In
On a gray, windy afternoon 10 days before Christmas and a week after the most spectacular snow in the memory of most Central Texans, I’m heading across the flat ranchland east of the Balcones Fault to Rockdale, Texas. I’m looking for Renda Graham, owner and operator of Bad Girl BBQ, a pink flamingo-adorned food truck open for business most Thursdays and Fridays in the parking lot of Stoney’s Liquor.
First let us define local. We’ve already been amazed at how many meanings that word can have. Within our 30-county area called Central Texas, local is the organic-vegetable-and-lemonade stand run by seven-year-old Alabel Chapin, her five-year-old brother Henry and their six-year-old friend Ford Martin.
(We happened upon them in Austin’s Travis Heights neighborhood—see “1,000 Words,”) Local is the family ranch outside of Fredericksburg owned by Chuck and Teppi Schmidt, who raise pastured, grassfed beef using organic principles. Local is the soon-to-open Big Top Candy Shop on South Congress Avenue—independently owned by Brandon Hodge—featuring an old-fashioned soda fountain.
It may appear counter-intuitive, but lingering over a rare treat of a real egg cream soda counts as the art of slow food. Local is Jesse Griffiths and Tamara Mayfield’s Dai Due supper club where lucky diners are served an all locally sourced menu, family style, at Rain Lily, a gem of an urban farm in East Austin. Tamara met Jesse delivering Rain Lily’s vegetables to Vespaio where he used to work as a chef. Local is exactly about making that kind of connection.
All in One Bake Shop
Austin's retail supply source for baking supplies, products and accessories for home and professional bakers and decorators
8566 Research Blvd.
Bark ‘n Purr
Organic pet supplies
4604 Burnet Road
Boasting one of the largest selections of eco-friendly baby products
107 Old Settlers Blvd, Round Rock
Breed & Co.
Hardware, plus the finest housewares, garden, and gourmet food you’ll find anywhere.
Central: 718 W. 29th St., 512-474-6679;
Westlake: 3663 Bee Cave Rd., 512-328-3960
Callahan's General Store
An Austin landmark for more than 30 years! We're not just a feed store, or western wear, hardware, tack, housewares, or gifts -- we're all of that and more!
501 Bastrop Hwy
512-385-3452 or 800-950-8602
Building affordable, well-made chicken coops for small backyard flocks
Climb On! Products
100% Pure skin care products
691 La Buena Vista Dr. Ste. B, Wimberley
Der Küchen Laden
Der Küchen Laden is all about inspiring the little chef in all of us. One step inside and you’ll see why people call it the candy store for kitchen geeks. Packed floor to ceiling with everything from cookie cutters to small appliances, and a veteran sales staff that feel more like friends than hired help.
258 East Main Street, Fredericksburg
Moving & shipping supplies and box recycle
EcoClean of Austin
Non-toxic dry cleaning and laundry.
2915 Guadalupe Street
Local source for building, home, kitchen, cleaning, baby, furniture, bedding, bath and body, clothing, and other products.
110 West Elizabeth Street
Faraday’s Kitchen Store
Your source for a full assortment of everyday kitchen and specialty gourmet items, from cutlery to bakeware, cookware to gadgets!
12918 Shops Parkway, Suite 540
Fleegal Farms Soap
A healthy, natural alternative of full range face & body skin care products
Gary Weeks & Co. Furnituremakers
We are artist craftsmen in Wimberley making dining chairs, tables, and rocking chairs from Forest Stewardship Council-certified woods.
112 W. Spoke Hill Dr., Wimberley
800-986-3187 / 512-847-3187
The Herb Bar
An extensive array of natural health and bodycare products
200 W. Mary
House + Earth
Austin's locally owned and operated green building material store
1214 W. 6th St., Suite 100
Locally owned eco conscious cleaning company
Olive: Green Goods for Modern Dogs
Dedicated to bringing you the largest variety of healthful and environmentally conscious dog products on the Internet
toll free: 877-654-8355
Organic Carpet Care
All-natural, high performance carpet cleaning
The Purple Fig Cleaning Company
Natural and non-toxic cleaning services and products
Texas Green Clean
Natural and non-toxic cleaning services
Texas Natural Supply
Natural Herbal Bath and Body products made with high quality herbal ingredients & botanicals
4506 Weletka Dr. Suite 200
TreeHouse Home Improvement
Helping build smarter homes and homeowners
Wildflower Linens & Home
Home decor, textiles, linens and gifts dedicated to eco-awareness
908 North Lamar
350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the safe upper limit for atmospheric CO2 to sustain life as we know it on the planet. It’s the number that could define our future.
When you consider that we’re already at 385 parts per million, according to data presented by scientists at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco last December, now is the time to start paying attention and 350 is the number not to beat.
When author (The End of Nature, Deep Economy), educator and grassroots organizer Bill McKibben visited town this March, Austin Green Art founder Randy Jewart hosted a roundtable discussion with Bill and a roomful of Austin’s sustainability crowd. McKibbon, who also founded Step It Up 2007, which organized hundreds of rallies in support of curbs on carbon emissions, explained his latest project—the 350 Campaign (350.org), an international undertaking aimed at further raising awareness about global warming. Bottom line, we all need to do our part or we’re all gonna die, as in global death.
By Bridget Weiss
Photography by Carole Topalian
When I was four, my older brother and sister won a free trip through the Sears toy department in the Hancock Center. They had 15 minutes to fill two large baskets with anything they wanted. Observing this unfathomable privilege ruined me for years, and it all but destroyed the work ethic my parents had tried so hard to instill. As a result, I became the kind of adult who waits for checks in the mail from kindly strangers, who hopes to win a lottery for which I forgot to buy a ticket, who stands ready to move into a house left to me by a deceased, previously undiscovered, relative.
Think about it
Edible Austin is all about food. But is also (and just as importantly) about supporting the building of a deep local economy using local food as the driver. Think about it:
• When you hand the Starbucks clerk a $5 bill, say good-bye. It’s on its way to Seattle. When you hand a locally owned coffee shop your money, a much higher portion of that re-circulates in the Austin economy.
• When you choose the big brands, you are enriching corporations and their shareholders. When you select local products—especially at locally owned food stores like Farm to Market and Thom’s Market, as well as at Whole Foods Market, H-E-B and elsewhere—you are creating local jobs.
• When you purchase directly from the farmers market or farm stand, you are reducing our dependence on foreign oil and chemically addicted industrial agricultural corporations…and you are building community as you meet and establish ongoing relationships with those local vendors.
• When you dine at one of our many independent restaurants—especially those who source local food—you are supporting the entire local food and supply chain. When you dine at chain restaurants, you are likely sending your dollars to some remote location for food and supplies that have traveled back and forth across the globe.
TAKE THE EDIBLE CHALLENGE: For the next week, use cash for all your food and restaurant purchases. Don't use a discount card. As you hand over your hard-earned money, think about: WHO are you handing it to? WHERE is it going? HOW MUCH of it will stay in Austin, re-circulating and building a vibrant, deep local economy?
Just Call it Food...
I’d like to address our current national language of food. Since when do basic words such as “food,” “cheese,” “meat” and “produce” need to be modified with words such as “good,” “natural,” “healthy,” “organic” and “whole,” in order to assure us that they are the “real” deal? Without these modifiers, we’re left to wonder if our food is fractured, unhealthy or unnatural.
Passport to Local!
There’s no denying it. There are times when we just love to pack up and go. We travel for work, we travel for adventure and sometimes we travel just to get away from it all.
My father is a retired physician, and as a faithful reader of JAMA (Journal of the American Medicine Association), he reported to me that in June of this past year, JAMA published a reprint of an article that appeared 100 years ago, on June 14, 1913, that he felt relevant to the readers of Edible Austin.
He gave me the clipping, with a handwritten note on it, "For Marla's Magazine," that I have saved in my desk drawer for the time I thought most appropriate to share. That time has come with this first of our new season of six issues: The Wellness Issue.
The first half of the reprint is a scolding of American culinary ineptitude, asserting that “neither states' rights nor slavery, but the fying-pan, brought on the Civil War; for frying encapsulated the food in a layer of fat impervious to the digestive juice, and the resulting indigestion aroused the mutual enmities and the berserker rage of our fathers.”
It goes on to revere the more civilized approach to the culinary arts exhibited by our European counterparts, “In the Old World the relation of zest and fragrance to food is held vital, and justly so…. The composer Rossini composed salads as symphonic in their way as his operas, and regretted that by reason of his neglected early education he could not have made cooking, rather than music, his profession.”
Then quotes follow from Brillat-Savarin’s great work, The Physiology of Taste, including:
“Digestion, of all bodily functions, has most influence on the morals of the individual.”
“A good dinner is but little dearer than a bad one.”
“The most momentous decisions of personal and of material life are made at table.”
“The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of the human race than the discovery of a planet.”
The article ends with this: “But our fellow citizens, and our doctors, and most emphatically our nurses, ought to make pure food well cooked a matter of serious national import…. When the gustatory nerves tingle in response to the stimulus of some rare condiment or aroma, the saliva flows in joyous excitement, and the digestive juices, by whose benign influences food is transformed into nourishment, respond in salutary and fullest measure. The simple and pleasant way to bring this about is to pay proper attention to the flavor of food.”
In keeping with JAMA's sage advice from 1913, within this issue we invite you to discover a myriad of ways we can manage our health through the pleasure of pure foods well cooked. Salud!
By Terry Thompson-Anderson and Russ Kane
Art by Bambi Edlund
The Feast of the Seven Fishes is an Italian-American tradition based on the Christmas Eve celebration of the Vigilia di Natale (the wait, or vigil, for the midnight birth of Jesus) in Italy. The feast is observed as a festive, though reverent gathering distinguished by the abstinence from meat and spotlighted by a meal of seven or more servings of fish and other seafood offerings. Of course, being a celebratory Italian meal, wine is often involved.
The Heirloom Issue
WE SUPPORT URBAN FARMS
“Eating is an agricultural act.” —Wendell Berry, The Pleasures of Eating
Every time we lift our fork we are supporting a farm somewhere. Increasingly, thanks to urban farms, we are supporting neighborhood farms in our own community. These farms grow healthy food, create jobs, serve as community hubs and give us the opportunity to experience the inherent value of the land.
Celebrate our Outdoor issue this spring by going to at least one farmers market or farm stand each week! It’s a guaranteed way to provision the best of local harvests and put a smile on your face.
Edible Austin is looking to expand its sales staff as well as discover new contributors. Read More
by Mary Stanley
Mama says don’t leave home without your smartphone, but first make sure you have unlimited text and data download or you’ll come home from Europe with a phone bill bigger than Texas. Ask your cellphone provider for their best travel options. For a small fee, my provider allowed me to use my U.S. number while in Europe—to phone home or call my traveling companions, who also had U.S. numbers—and gave me unlimited data download and texting so I could freely use my apps and GPS. International calls were still very expensive, but I didn’t use my phone for talking. Instead, I used it to keep from becoming lost; to book trains, accommodations and dinner reservations; and to research a destination’s information, such as museum hours, history and photography. Here are some things I learned along the way.