Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Quinoa: The "Mother Seed"

Commonly considered a grain, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is actually related to leafy green vegetables such as spinach, swiss chard, beets and tumbleweeds! Once considered the “mother seed” of the Incas, often now referred to as the "gold of the Incas." Quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse, containing all nine amino acids, making it a complete protein. These are not easy to find in the plant world, making quinoa an excellent option for vegetarians, vegans, and anyone interested in adding non-meat proteins to their diet. It is an excellent source of omega fatty acids, vitamin E, B vitamins, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorous, manganese, niacin and thiamine. Quinoa is also naturally Gluten-Free, making it a fantastic food for people following a Gluten-Free diet, and it is high in dietary fiber!

Because of all of its nutritional benefits, Quinoa has been used to increase stamina, ease migraines and hypertension, treat childhood asthma, keep gallstones from developing, help with Type 2 Diabetes, protect against heart disease, enhance calcium absorption which can help prevent Osteoporosis, treat arthritis, ease altitude sickness, help prevent Cataracts and benefits both babies and moms during pregnancy and breast feeding. Historically, quinoa has also been turned into a paste and used for inflammation, infection and the mending of bones.

Quinoa has been cultivated in the Andes Mountains for well over 5,000 years. It is grown at high altitudes, can withstand both intense heat and freezing temperatures and requires very little water. In addition, quinoa in its natural state is covered in a bitter-tasting layer of saponins, making it unpopular with birds meaning that the crop remains intact throughout the growing season.

Quinoa is cultivated in three colors, white, red and black and is similar in appearance to couscous. It should be washed thoroughly before cooking to remove the saponins. Quinoa only requires about 10-20 minutes cooking time and is extremely versatile. It is good at breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert! Try using quinoa as a warm breakfast cereal with fruit, in burritos, soups or stews, casseroles, salads, baked bread, veggie burgers, in place of bulgur in tabouleh, sauteed with veggies, in stuffed peppers, in black bean and corn cakes, in place of rice in pudding and even in brewing beer...the possibilities are endless! We sell a delicious Quinoa Salad with cashews and cranberries, available in our deli! Let's hear your favorite ways to enjoy this well-rounded superfood!

Friday, October 22, 2010

What's In a Number? Part II

544,000 – How many trees we could save if every U.S. household replaced just one roll of virgin-fiber paper towels with 100%-recycled paper towels.

40 – The percentage of solid mass in our landfills that’s made up of paper and paperboard waste.

200 – The number of pounds of meat, poultry and fish eaten by the average American in one year.

150 – The number of pounds the average American ate 50 years ago.

50 – The percentage of water American households devote to lawns, gardens and pools.

4.6 – How many pounds of trash the average American generates per day. Two and a half pounds of that trash goes to landfills; the remainder is recycled or incinerated.

1 Million – The number of trees ground up each year to produce junk mail.

28 – The number of plastic bags the average family of four uses per week.

180,000 – Tons of batteries thrown away by Americans every year.

6-10 – The percentage you can save off your heating costs by lowering the temperature on your hot-water heater from 140 degrees to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

45 – Tons of CDs that end up in landfills and incinerators every month.

20 Million – The number of mattresses thrown away by Americans every year. Give yours away or recycle it instead. (Check Earth911.com for locations)

20 – Tons of mine waste left behind by the production of one gold ring.

150 – Dollars the average family would save per year by installing a programmable thermostat.

25 – Percentage of insecticides used on conventional cotton crops

25 Million – The extra tons of garbage Americans throw away during the Thanksgiving-to-New Year’s holiday period, as compared to the rest of the year. That’s about 1 million extra tons per week; 25% more than in an average week.

2.5 Million – The number of acres of open space – farms, forest, wetlands and prairie – we lose to development each year.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What's In a Number? Part I

300 – How many dollars an Iowa farmer might get for the ethanol produced by a quarter-acre of corn.

300,000 – How many dollars the farmer might get for a year’s worth of electricity generated by wind turbines on that same quarter-acre.

20,000 – The known number of abandoned hazardous waste sites in the United States.

600 – The number of gallons of water it takes to grow the corn that feeds the cow that produces one 1/3 pound of hamburger.

500 Billion-1 Trillion – The number of plastic bags used worldwide every year.

1000 – How many kilowatt hours of electricity the average household blows through annually on things that are turned off but still plugged in. Items left on standby continue to use energy on functions (like digital clocks), and any item with an external transformer (like phone chargers) is pulling power constantly.

7 – Pounds of difference between the average resident of pedestrian-friendly neighborhood and that of a sprawling, car-friendly neighborhood.

33 – The percentage of the world’s natural resource base that has been consumed in the last three decades alone.

40 – The percentage of CO2 emissions worldwide that comes from buildings.

35 – The percentage of CO2 emissions that comes from cars.

1000 – The number of years it could take for a plastic water bottle to break down in a landfill.

6 – Tons of carbon dioxide that the average American vehicle emits over the course of a year.

0 – The number of pre-market safety tests required of cosmetics manufacturers by the government.

90 – The percentage of time the average American spends indoors.

1.5 – How many letters the average person receives each week.

10.8 – How many pieces of junk mail the average person receives each week.

41 – How many pounds of junk mail the average person receives each year. (Check out our blog, Easy Steps to Reduce Your Paper Waste, to learn how to stop junk mail)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Let's Get to Know Each Other!

We know you are out there and we want to hear from you! Let's get to know each other! Okay, we will go first. Our original location opened its doors 28 years ago as the Home Economist, a bulk supply store. Today, we have grown to three full-service and one express natural and specialty foods stores, now named Healthy Home Market. We pride ourselves on being locally owned and locally grown!

Our Mission

We are committed to:
Offering a comprehensive selection of healthy products, and supporting our surrounding communities through local partnerships and neighborhood outreach

Providing an educated staff in a welcoming environment to empower our customers to make informed product selections

Continually striving to be a prosperous company for the growth and benefit of our employees, customers, vendors and the community

Now, let's hear from you guys! Which store do you like to shop at? What are your favorite products? Do you attend our lectures and classes? Is there a class or lecture you would like us to hold? Is there a product you would like to see? What are your favorite recipes? You get the idea. Never visited one of our stores? That's okay! We want to hear from you too! Where are you from? How did you find us? Do you have a future blog idea! What issues do you care about? And whatever else anyone would like to share. Come on customers and blog readers, let's conversate!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tips for a Green Halloween

Halloween is certainly one of the most fun holidays of the year, however, it can also be wasteful and unhealthy. Here are a few tips for having a green Halloween this year:

  • Trick or Treat with a Reusable Container - Pillow cases or cloth grocery bags work great. Or if you already have a plastic bucket, keep using it!
  • Reuse Costumes - Never throw away a costume after one use! Change it up for another year or pass it on to someone who can use it. Trading can also be fun and exciting!
  • Make Your Own Costume - Utilize things you already have around the house or visit a thrift store, instead of purchasing something new.
  • Avoid Toxic Make-up/Hair Spray/Nail Polish - They can contain lead and other metals, plus numerous chemicals. Opt for natural options, we have plenty to choose from.
  • Give Eco-friendly Treats - Our stores carry a variety of Organic chocolates, lollipops and other healthy candies. Another option is to distribute fun, but useful, items such as pencils, erasers and stickers.
  • Walk Rather Than Drive - If possible, trick or treat in an area close enough to walk to. It will be cheaper, better for the environment, great exercise and a fun experience for the whole family!
  • Decorate Consciously - Grow pumpkins and use them for decoration before eating. Gourds and hay make great decor. Scarecrows can be made from pine straw and old clothes. Ghosts can be made from sheets and everything listed can be used from year to year!
  • Party Properly - Serve healthy, local food and treats, local, organic beer, light eco-friendly candles and decorate accordingly (see above). Opt for reusable tableware and provide recycling bins. See our Green Tailgating blog for more ideas for eco-friendly partying!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

HHM: Making Taking Action Easy!

As we have previously discussed in other posts, one of the most important things we can do as consumers, when it comes to making a difference for issues that we care about, is to vote with our dollars. As citizens, we should always exercise our right to vote at the polls. We should never be silent about the issues that matter! Spreading the word to friends, family and strangers through conversation, by utilizing the internet, joining a group, holding an event, starting a non-profit, etc. should never be underestimated! These grassroots efforts often lead to big changes. If you don't quite think you're ready to start a revolution just yet, another simple way to send a big message is to sign a petition. And of course, through the wonders of the internet and social networking, we can easily ask others to sign them as well. Below is a small list of links for petitions for issues that we think are important, that impact our industry, that effect our health, that effect the health of our planet, etc. Please take a look and decide for yourself. If an issue moves you, please take the time to sign the petition and spread the word. And please, share any other issues that are important to you in the comments area. We are all in this together!

Millions Against Monsanto

Call For an Immediate Moratorium on Carbon and Nuclear Fuels

Tell Congress Our Kids Need Healthy Lunches - And Help Fight Diabetes

Act for Autism Petition

Keep BPA's Out of Kids' Products

Do You Know GMO?

Stand Up to Factory Farms

Fight Disease - Replenish the Global Fund

USDA Admits Organic Fraud is Increasing

Help Europe Save Their Supplements

Limit Use of Non-Therapeutic Antibiotics in Food Animals

Say No to Frankenfish Salmon

Support Women's Health with the Globals MOMS Act

Please also take the time to check out Care2's Click-to-Donate page. All you have to do is "click" and money will be donated to the cause of your choice. How much easier could it get? And Free Rice, a fun website where you answer questions and for every right answer, the World Hunger Programme will donate 10 grains of rice to the hungry. It adds up quickly!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Apple-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Fall is here and that means there is a chill in the air, the leaves are beginning to change and drop and there's a new crop of fall vegetables to enjoy! Here at Healthy Home Market, we love Acorn Squash! They have a shelf life of six months! And provide important nutrients like Vitamin A, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin C, Potassium, dietary fiber, manganese, folate, Vitamin B complex, omega 3 fatty acids, copper and tryptophan! Acorn Squash is extremely versatile and can be found in both sweet and savory recipes. We have listed one of the many healthy, delicious Acorn Squash recipes below. Enjoy and please feel free to share your favorite Acorn Squash recipe with us!


3 acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 tablespoons stick margarine
1 cup chopped onions
3 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


1.Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the squash onto a baking sheet cut side down. Fill the baking sheet with 1/2 inch of water.
2.Bake the squash in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Drain off any water remaining in the baking sheet.
3.While the squash is baking, melt the margarine in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion and apple in the margarine until the onion has softened and turned translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a bowl to cool until the squash has finished baking.
4.Once the squash is done, stir the raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon, and Cheddar cheese into the apple mixture. Turn the squash cut side up on the baking sheet and fill with the apple mixture. Return the squash to the oven; bake until the filling is hot and the cheese has melted, about 15 minutes.