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For Your Health :: Pledge to Eat More Natural and Organic Foods

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A lot of people make New Year’s resolutions that have something to do with their health. Perhaps it’s a pledge to lose weight, to exercise more, or to just start eating better.

“The first two will require a lot of effort on the part of the individual, but eating better is easy to do; it just requires discipline. A good place to start is by making a conscious effort to eat more natural and organic foods,” says Don Davide of the Hain Celestial Group, a natural, specialty and snack food company.

Thanks to a surging interest in healthier eating habits, natural and organic foods are readily available in stores and restaurants these days. According to the Food Marketing Institute, these foods are a key component in the major consumer trend known as whole health solutions -- diets that promote health and well-being, prevent disease, help cure illnesses and protect the environment.

What requirements must food meet to be labeled natural or organic? Natural foods are minimally processed and free of artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and additives. Organic refers not only to the food itself, but how it was produced.

In order to be labeled organic, the food must have been grown and processed using organic farming methods that recycle resources and promote biodiversity. Here are some healthy recipes that incorporate natural and organic ingredients:

Recipes

“Better for You” Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

4 ounces (1 stick) Hain Safflower Margarine
2 packets Arrowhead Mills Instant Oatmeal
1 cup Hain Organic Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Arrowhead Mills Enriched Unbleached White Flour
1 egg, or egg replacer
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Hain Sea Salt
2 tablespoons each Arrowhead Mills Wheat Bran and Raw Wheat Germ
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Lightly oil cookie sheet. In large mixing bowl, cream sugar and margarine together. Add remaining ingredients and mix together well until creamy. Drop by teaspoonful onto cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until done. Do not overbake. Yield: Approximately 24 cookies

Pina Colada Upside Down Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup Arrowhead Mills Enriched Unbleached White Flour
1/4 cup Arrowhead Mills Perfect Harvest Flour
1 cup Hain Organic Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Hain Sea Salt
3/4 cup milk or WestSoy Soymilk
1/4 cup (1 stick) Hain Safflower Margarine
1 egg, or egg replacer
1 teaspoon rum essence

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).

Mix all ingredients together in large mixing bowl. Beat on high for 2 minutes.

In an 8 inch square baking dish, melt:1/4 cup (1 stick) Hain Safflower Margarine. Sprinkle with: 1/2 cup Hain Organic Sugar, 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained 1/2 cup shredded coconut.

Pour batter over pineapple/coconut mixture, and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until done.

Serve warm with ice cream. Variation: Substitute 3 packages Arrowhead Mills Instant Oatmeal (any flavor) for pineapple and coconut, and replace rum essence with vanilla.

“Healthy foods have come a long way. Now you can have great tasting food that’s much better for you,” says Davide.

For more information about the natural and organic foods offered by Hain Pure Foods and Arrowhead Mills, log onto www.hain-celestial.com .

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