How to Make Stuffed Tomatoes

With the RIDICULOUSLY mouth-watering tomato harvest at hand, we thought you might enjoy this mini tutorial on how to make stuffed tomatoes! (Especially if you've not made them before!)

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Note: For this recipe tutorial, we have not provided a filling recipe for you. You can literally use ANYTHING savory that will fit into a tomato, and rice (as pictured) is an easy go-to option if you have it on hand.

ingredients

  • 8 delicious island tomatoes*
  • approximately 2 cups of filling of your choice
  • cheese to add to the top
  • parsley for garnish

* Of course during late summer, we hope you'd have delicious island tomatoes on hand, but any tomato will work!

instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut a thin sliver off the bottom of your tomatoes. This is simply so that they will sit flat on the plate when you're finished, rather than wobbling over on their sides(!!).
  3. Cut off the tops of your tomatoes. (Note: These AND the tomato seeds in step #3 can be tossed into a blended salad dressing or a nice cold gazpacho!)
  4. Scoop out the seeds, being careful to leave the base intact. The easiest way to do this is to cut a circle with a super-sharp knife, then a grapefruit spoon for scooping.
  5. Add your filling to the inside. We love rice, pâté, or ANY delicious food that can easily fit in a tomato. Let it be easy AND delicious, friends!
  6. Place the filled tomatoes in a glass baking dish, add cheese to the tops of each tomato, and bake in your pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes.
  7. Add your garnish, and ENJOY!

Easy Peasy Guacamole

Recipe by Éva Raposa

If you have just the main ingredients (or heck, even just salt and avocado!), you have the basics of guacamole covered. But if you’d like the extra spice and freshness, do mix in the optional additions as you like!

  For this much (smooth!) texture, you'll want to follow the full instructions below...

For this much (smooth!) texture, you'll want to follow the full instructions below...

main ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados, diced
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice OR apple cider vinegar*

optional additions

  • 1/2 cup delicious, local, organic, chopped island tomato**
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp finely chopped jalapeño and/or 2 cloves minced garlic


* The apple cider vinegar is GREAT in a pinch and so easy. Due to the flavor profile (nice and sour!), I often toss in the vinegar just because it’s quick and it WORKS. While it’s perhaps more authentic to use lime juice, I’m admitting this to you in case you have those moments when you’d rather toss in the vinegar too!

** We’re sharing this recipe with you at beginning of a very abundant island tomato harvest. YUM!

 

instructions

  1. Chop or mince ingredients, adding them to your serving bowl. VOILA!
  2. If you’d like a super smooth, not-so-chunky texture, add all of the ingredients to a food processor. Process until your desired texture is reached, and now you can ENJOY!

want to store your guac?!

When attempting to store guacamole for a day or two, the trick is to put the guac in a container that is EXACTLY the same size as the amount of guac you’d like to store. This is because avocado oxidizes quickly, but if you pack an airtight container with less space, there is less air and therefore the oxidation will be much slower. Make sure (of course!) that you store the airtight container in the fridge.

 

Part 3: CBD + Hemp Extract Oil Benefits

This is part 3 of 3 in our mini-series about Hemp Extract Oil. It's also sometimes called CBD oil, due to one of the main components. Read <<part 1 to find out more about the difference between marijuana and hemp extract oil>> (it's actually quite different!) AND a delicious recipe. Check out <<part 2 simply to see one of the people who most inspired us to start carrying hemp extract oil>>. And read on below to find out more about the benefits!

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The three primary ways Hemp Extract Oil affects the body are:

  1. with the receptors in the brain (which are associated with mood, pain, memory, coordination, emotions, and more)
  2. by reducing pain
  3. by reducing inflammation

This is… HUGE. When you think about it, nearly every large challenge in our bodies can be connected with inflammation in some way. 

Some of the following are potential benefits:

  • pain relief
  • reduction of inflammation - which can effect an exhaustive list of challenges and ailments
  • improving recovery time for athletes (article here, which happens to feature the same CBD oil we sell!)
  • helping to let go of addiction to opioids and other drugs
  • treating epilepsy
  • reducing or preventing seizures
  • treating schizophrenia
  • slowing cancer cell growth + promoting the death of existing cancer cells
  • reducing anxiety
  • treating or aiding 
  • treatment in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease

Is hemp extract oil legal? And does it require a “medical marijuana” card for purchase?

In the state of Massachusetts, hemp extract oil is legal and can even be purchased over the counter. This is because it does not have high levels of THC, as marijuana does. While they come from the same family of plants, they are most definitely not the same thing! (You can read here to understand that better. If you’re looking for a “high”, hemp extract oil will not deliver! Its use is purely medicinal!)

Research and Resources:

Note: All of the text below is a clickable link to more information! :-)

Part 2: Have You Heard About Charlotte?!

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One of the catalysts for <<our excitement to sell hemp extract at Vineyard Grocer>>, was <<the story of Charlotte>>... We'd like to warn you that her story is a tear-jerker, but don't worry, there is a happy ending...!

*NOTE: As a clarification... in the CNN report, they refer to this as "Medical Marijuana", but we don't find that term to be accurate. In Charlotte's case, her family used low-THC, high-CBD hemp. (It's technically not the same thing as marijuana, and also wouldn't get Charlotte or anyone else "high.")

Part 1: The Truth About Hemp Extract (with a recipe!)

Hello! 

For many months now, we have been in conversations with many of you who have raved about hemp extract and the benefits of CBD. While we initially hesitated to offer it in the store, the more we have learned, it feels good to offer it to you. There is so much misinformation out there, that we hope to clarify a few details here + share some helpful resources for you to learn more. And of course, please don't hesitate to ask us if you have any questions!

Thank you,
Elio & Your VG Family


 yes, it looks like its cousin, but hemp is NOT the same as marijuana...!

yes, it looks like its cousin, but hemp is NOT the same as marijuana...!

Clarification #1: Hemp Leaves are NOT the same plant as marijuana, and CBD will not get you "high".

Hemp and Marijuana are in the same family, but their properties are entirely different. (like cousins who might have similar features but who act VERY different from each other!)

It's the THC in marijuana that creates the sensation of being high, but THC is present in hemp only a tiny fraction of 1%, and it cannot get you high.

Instead you'll find CBD (Cannabidiol), which is "one of the 150+ naturally occurring phytocannabinoids found in certain strains of hemp and in all cannabis plant strains," according to the Wikipedia article about CBD.

And it's the CBD and other phytocannabinoids which offer a medicinal effect so potent that it's being used to manage diabetes, PTSD, anxiety, seizures and epilepsy, and nearly everything you can imagine. (Even infertility + athletic performance due to the faster post-workout recovery times!)


 hemp seeds, lotion, oil, plant, extract... so many truly   different   options from the same plant

hemp seeds, lotion, oil, plant, extract... so many truly different options from the same plant

Clarification #2: Hemp seed oil and hemp extract are quite different!

Hemp is truly an amazing plant (it even was used as part of the clean-up in Chernobyl, the world's worst nuclear disaster to date!), and it can make many different products.

But not all are equal.

Hemp seed OIL (on the surface) looks and sounds a lot like hemp extract, but their properties are quite different. 

Hemp seed oil is made from only the seeds, whereas hemp extract is made from the entire plant. While hemp seed oil is high in omega fatty acids, it includes almost no (or zero!) therapeutic CBD.


 "the world's most trusted hemp extract"!

"the world's most trusted hemp extract"!

We're pleased to offer you the hemp well-known to be the world's most trusted hemp extract.

We have it right at the front register in the store, and you are welcome to peruse our selection. Like literally everything we offer to you, you'll find that our markup is small enough that our prices are often the same or lower than what you might find online.

Right here on island. 😘

If you're in our (free!!) e-Club, you know that we delight in offering you introductory offers. Feel free to join in this week to take part, if you have not already!



 a must-try -&nbsp;we hope you'll enjoy this milkshake!

a must-try - we hope you'll enjoy this milkshake!

+ Green Avocado Milkshake recipe, optionally featuring hemp extract!

This one is absolutely delicious but so very simple, and you can skip the hemp extract if you don't have or want it. 💞

INGREDIENTS
* 3 bananas
* 1 Hass-sized avocado
* 2 cups milk (almond milk, soy milk, or dairy milk all work great!)
* small handful spinach
* 1 cup ice
* 1 dropper of Hemp Extract

INSTRUCTIONS
Blend until smooth, and enjoy!
 

Summer Smoothie Station!

Did you know we now have a smoothie station set up for summer?!

We're pretty excited about all of the lovely responses we've gotten. Below we'll details how it works... But FYI: We are happy to help you zip up your smoothies!!

First, exactly where is the smoothie station?

If you come through the back door entrance you'll see it immediately. From the front, you'll pass the register, pass the fresh veggies, then look for the doorway immediately after. Voila!


 I chose Strawberry with Banana this time!

I chose Strawberry with Banana this time!

Step 1: Choose your flavor.

The prices and flavors are right there on the door... ranging from only $3.99 up to $7.99. Mmmm...

  • avocado and banana...
  • red berries... mmmm...
  • papaya with banana...
  • pineapple with mint...
  • so many delicious options!

Step 2: Grab the correct sized blender container + Pour the pre-measured base ingredients into the container.

Easy peasy. :-) In this case, the correct size was the smaller one on the left.

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Step 3: Choose your liquid + Fill to the 'max fill' line.

We have quite a few options there - organic milk, almond milk, coconut water, water.

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Step 4: Set up the blender

(carefully tighten the lid/blade + place on the blender machine base.)

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Step 5: Press the "Ultra Blend" button, wait less than a minute, and enjoy!

Truly we hope you'll enjoy this refreshing summer smoothie station! :-)

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Why We LOVE Havaianas!

Havaianas are NOT just any ole flip flop!

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  • The soles are a bit squishy (like memory foam) and this makes them more comfortable.
  • The way they’re made is unique enough that the shape is patented!
  • They last for years - these are NOT “throw aways” after a season!
  • It’s because of the type of rubber they’re made of, if you’re curious :-)
  • They come in lots of great colors and options

FUN Fact: “Havaianas” is the Portuguese word for “Hawaiians”. 

PSST… until June 25, find them 25% off for members of our (free!) e-Club! <3 (If you’ve not yet joined, find details right here.)

HAPPY SUMMER!!!

Yogurt - YUM! (tips & tricks)

We'd love to share some fun ways to spice up, crunch up, and zip up fruit granola yogurt for a breakfast that feels indulgent AND starts your day out beautifully!

 Featured: Fresh figs with honey drizzled on top. Mmmm

Featured: Fresh figs with honey drizzled on top. Mmmm

A yogurt MUST-DO is to dress it up so it feels "fancy" and indulgent. Break out your gorgeous glasses + garnish it beautifully!

Some of our favorite fruits to pair with yogurt:

* berries (any and all!)
* peaches (yum!)
* fresh figs (in season - come and get 'em!)
* kiwi & mango (together is so good!)

 

Sweeten it up!

* a drizzle of "Heavenly Organics" honey is just so good!
* lovely alternatives to honey include maple syrup, agave nectar, and coconut nectar
* or just let fruit be your sweetener!

And finally...

* add some granola or chopped nuts for crunch
* make sure to have a few layers
* take time to ENJOY it!!

A little later this week we'll share about our FAVORITE yogurt with more of your tips! (Spoiler Alert!) Maple Hill Creamery's organic line is LOVELY! We prefer the plain option so we can dress it up the way we like..!

How do YOU like your yogurt?!

Comment below or share your tips on our Facebook - we'll be giving away FOUR yogurts this week to those of you who join in the conversation! :-)