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In this “Spotlight on Style” series, we take a look at the beauty behind Scandanavian design, starting in Stockholm.

What’s your legacy?

{Thanks to gettingahealthybody for this powerful reminder!}

(via trying-to-balance)

Lesson #1 from Hurricane #Sandy - everyone near and far are in my heart <3

Lesson #1 from Hurricane #Sandy - everyone near and far are in my heart <3

(via onarollercoaster-onlygoesup)


Visions of sugar plum fairies waif through the air with these simple, seasonal and nutritional treats.

Scones, experience says, can be either bland as a dog biscuit or so chock full of sugar and butter that they consume a whole day’s food fulfillment. With this fresh take on the Scottish staple, seasonal, local and wholesome lead the way.

Full of vitamin C—just one plum (in season from the summer to earlyAutumn) contains 10 percent of the typical daily, recommended value—and vitamin A, these low sugar treats provide the perfect jam-and-scone-in-one blend. Part plummy, part citrusy, part caramely, the sugar plums bring a sweet surprise to tea-time or Sunday brunch.

Make these gluten-free as I have, and you’ll get the dietary diversity of millet, brown rice and sorghum flours—full of fiber, protein, iron and other critical minerals. Add walnuts, and you’re in store for an extra dose of fiber, protein, vitamin Bc (which helps your body convert protein into energy) and omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy body and complexion.

Beauty from a baked good? You just may be in luck.

The Vegan & Gluten-Free Version – Sugar Plum Scones

Inspired by the original recipe and The Best of Vegan Cooking

Makes 6-8 scones

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten free flour
  • (3/4 cup sorghum flour, minus 2 tablespoons)
  • (1/2 cup brown rice flour)
  • (1/4 cup millet flour)
  • (1/2 cup tapioca flour)
  • (2 tablespoons almond flour)
  • (1 tablespoon xanthan gum)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup + ¼ cup (for glazing) agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1/3 cup oil (canola, sunflower or safflower are ideal)
  • ½ cup walnuts (optional)

Caramelized Sugar Plums

  • 4 fresh plums (a local, fresh variety of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange rind
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. To prepare the Sugar Plum mixture, thinly slice the fresh plums, removing the seed. Gently heat the coconut oil in a skillet, until dispersed across the cooking surface. Add the slide plums, the fruit rinds and juices, the sugar and vanilla extract. Mix together over medium heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes until the plums are soft but still intact. Remove from the stove top and cool.
  3. Place the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) in a bowl and mix.  Add the oil, ½ cup agave nectar, cold water and vanilla and mix for about 1 minute.
  4. Gently fold in the sugar plums and walnuts, if using.
  5. Form the scones by hand. Begin by dividing the dough into 8 parts. Then make each section into a ball.  You can form a ball into either a circle, a square or a triangular shape, using your hands. Place on the lined cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes.  Remove from the oven and brush with the remaining agave nectar, then return to the oven for 4 minutes, until lightly browned.
  6. Cool before serving & enjoy!

For the original recipe & complete article, please hop over to ecosalon

{Images: Jennifer Barckley - Organic Girly}

Taking on New York Fashion Week eco-style, we’ve picked some of our favorite designers and pieces for your Spring Summer 2013 musings.  Afterall, it will be here before you know it.  

Costello Tagliapietra shows the essence of love

David Peck brings dreams to life for a real life fairy tale

Allison Parris makes every day a party

Samantha Pleet merges nostalgia with modernity for an it-girl Indiana Jones

Laura Siegel explores artisanal desert cultures through the lens of fashion


Images: Jennifer Barckley


Time stands still as the best blend of flavors melt in your mouth.

Two summers ago, I had a dream: Salted. Caramel. Ice Cream. Just hearing those words together, I could taste the cascade of sweetness, saltiness, coolness and warmth, all at once, melting in my mouth. And so, the quest began to experience what I imagined would be the sweetest delight on earth.

And then, it happened. Salted Caramel Ice Cream hit the charts. Nearly every micro-creamery was whipping up the flavor. To make it all worse for a tantalized vegan, some began to add crispy bacon to the affair. And yet, my search for a vegan version remained futile. With that, I vowed to concoct my own variety (and acquire an ice cream maker to get the consistency just right).

So, here we are, nearly 730 days later. I’ve whipped up batch after batch and tasted spoonful after spoonful to create the richest, smoothest, creamiest and yes, even healthiest, recipe for all to enjoy. The base of this melting concoction is handmade cashew nut milk. While rich in fats, an ice cream staple, cholesterol-free cashews are full of monounsaturated fats, the “good kind” of fats. They are also full of copper, magnesium, zinc and even Vitamin E—critical to stabilizing a healthy blood pressure and preventing against heart conditions, all while supporting a balanced nervous system and with it, a good mood. It’s no wonder you’ll feel so joyful with every little spoonful.

The Vegan Version – Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Makes approximately 2 pints

Ingredients

• 2 1/2 cups cashew nut milk (divided):
• 1 cup raw cashews, soaked
• 3 cups water
• 1/4 cup agave nectar
• 1 tablespoon coconut oil
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup coconut milk (optional—can substitute with an additional cup of cashew milk)
• ½ teaspoon gaur gum
• 1 cup granulated sugar (divided)
• 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salted vegan butter (I used Earth Balance soy-free butter)
• ½ teaspoon (or more—to taste) fine sea salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• pecans or other nuts (optional topping)

For the directions and more, please see my complete article on ecosalon… Thank you!

{Photos compliments of Organic Girly.}


We live in a lucky time. Sure, we have every reason to be worried about the livelihood of our future and about the degradation of our environment. Yet, today, we’re forward thinking. Or, maybe it’s really backward thinking. Traverse back more than a century, and you’ll finally find a time when living sustainably looked more mainstream than it does today. 

Study the way our predecessors dressed, and you can often get an anthropological lesson into the zeitgeist—from politics, to warfare to famine to opulence to slow fashion to fast fashion. Our T-shirts and jeans (in 2012 talk) say it all. Liberation, androgyny, rebellion, confidence and pioneering are just a few words we might associate with this singular style.        

According to the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and its 2011 exhibit “Eco Fashion: Going Green,” sustainability and style shared roots more than 250 years ago. Long before the advent of the Industrial Revolution, synthetic chemicals were scarce, if not non-existent. In seventeenth century England, as export markets for textiles and clothing grew, synthetic textiles and dyes began to replace natural ones derived from plants, bugs, shells and other flora and fauna. In the face of such development, sustainable style still survived. “In the nineteenth century,” for instance,“dresses were sometimes reworked to correspond to changing silhouettes—a testament to the lasting value of textiles,” reports FIT.

While the Industrial Revolution began in Europe and traveled west, what is today known as eco-, sustainable- and slow- fashion also holds its origins in this pioneering land. Today, across many industries—including fashion—Europe has taken the lead in banning or limiting the use of toxic chemicals like azo dyes or even irritating substances like nickel during textile production. Beyond such European Union-wide regulations, the textile industry itself has policed itself into a healthier state. 

For my complete article, please jump over to ecoplum.  Thanks!

Photo: Alex Duffner

Taste summer with every little bite and savor the slow, sweet life.

Nothing says summer like strawberry shortcake. Sure, there’s sand,sunscreen and bikinis. But nothing encapsulates the sweetness, coolness and delightful deliciousness of the season like a bite of this American classic.

On a recent lunchtime picnic in midtown Manhattan, our EcoSalon editor-in-chief gathered with a few friends to simply celebrate and savor the sweet life together. As we lingered over this vegan and gluten-free shortcake—naturally taking many a food porn photo op—time seemed to stand still. We truly tasted the essence of slow food. Three hours later, we seemed to float from our seats, back to our businesses and filled with the joys of good friends and good food. They are, after all, the perfect pairing.

An adventurer’s note:
Making this seasonal treat vegan is like diving into a science lab—but local, fresh and organic. Lucky for you, I’ve conducted all the in-kitchen experiments, so all you need to do is follow along. The most fun and challenging part, you may find, is to create a vegan version of heavy whipping cream. I started with a coconut-based creamer, and then blended in prepared (dissolved, cooled and gelatinized) agar-agar—a red algae based thickening agent. Not only does it give just the right texture, thickness and creaminess to the mix, it’s also reported to provide a healthy dose of minerals and fiber, all the while suppressing the appetite. With those benefits to boot, it’s the perfect complement to a beach time sweet treat.

For the original and freshly veganized (and gluten-freed) recipe, jump over to ecosalon.  Happy July!

Photos (top to bottom) compliments of Amy DuFault & Jennifer Barckley.

Embrace the sweet, slow pace of summer with the food that symbolizes it all.

Italy holds the reigning flag of slow food. It is, afterall, the movement’s official birthplace, dating back to 1986 in Piedmont, Italy. As one of the country’s northern most regions, encircled by the Alps and directly touching France and Switzerland, it’s no wonder a love for food and nature collided into an international movement here—where wine pours from vines and where you can graze for breakfast on meadows of rice and corn.

Travel south some 200 miles to Tuscany, and you’ll meet an even older articulation of slow food—cantucci—most commonly known to us foreigners, as biscotti. The twice-baked crunchy cookie is reported to have been a survivalist food (think modern day granola bar), munched by travelers and Roman warriors along their journeys. With the heralding of the Renaissance, biscotti found life again in the perfect pairing—dipped into a glass of vin santo, Italian dessert wine, for just the right sweetness and crunch. It became something to gather around, to celebrate and to luxuriate in, slowly.

Years ago though, long after the Renaissance, I lived and studied in Florence, Italy. And the aromas wafting from bakeries is what I remember most. (Well, that and spoonfuls of creamy gelato.) Biscotti were the staple among those delectable bakery delights, filled with fruits, nuts, chocolate and varieties between. Now that I dine vegan (and gluten-free—no easy Italian feat), I often wonder what my next trip to Italy will taste like. I may fall off the vegan wagon. Or, I may just pack my own dolce for the journey. Like biscotti, the kind that keeps.

To read the complete article and get the recipe, please visit ecosalon… La dolce vita!

My dad is a role model—the guy who does it all.  He is endlessly busy, and yet always seems to have all the time in the world for his family.  For as long as I can remember, up until the day I graduated from high school, he would make a little brown bag lunch for my sister and I.  (My favorite Dad-wich concoction was peanut butter and honey.)  In the evenings, he would patiently coach me in math or science.  And, when I wanted to learn how to serve a tennis ball, he perfectly rigged one to a string and hung it from the rafters in our garage.  

Today, he’ll always take my calls (even when he’s in meetings), and he’s my greatest business mentor.  And, no matter what, he always worries about me.  I now know it comes from a place of love.  So Dad, I hope you also know that for all of my impatience, all of my pushing harder than I should and for every “okay, Dad” (sigh), it comes from a place of love.  I respect you, I love you and I’m so grateful to call you Dad.  

Happy Father’s Day!

love,

Jennifer