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Jazz Up Your Water

24 May

by Green Gourmet L

Photo from coloribus.com

I was browsing around Old Town this past weekend, and I promised myself I wouldn’t buy anything. I’ve got some summer trips coming up (not to mention a big move to Texas), so I’ve tightened the purse strings. Let’s be honest, the purse strings are super glued together. But I had to make an exception when I came upon this special little guy:

Photo from tesseire.com

This is a French fruit syrup, which is made from 50% fruit juice. It has no chemicals, preservatives, or dyes. No artificial sweeteners.

You can do a bunch of things with this:

  • Sweeten up your favorite hot tea
  • Drizzle over fresh fruit (like the rose or violette flavors)
  • Pour over ice cream or sorbet
  • Add a zing to your homemade salad dressing
  • Mix it into yogurt
  • Make peach flavored ice to put into iced tea
  • Reinvent your favorite cocktail (mint julep anyone?)
  • Make your own soda by adding a splash to your sparkling water

We made our own Orangina using 1 part orange syrup to 9 parts water. So good!  They have a variety of flavors -orange, strawberry, lemon, lime, mint, anise, pineapple, almond, violette, even pamplemousse (my favorite French word). You can see what you remember from your highschool French class on their website. Or, if you’re like me, you can hop on over to Amazon and order your favorite flavor. If you live in DC, head to Old Town Alexandria and check out La Cuisine  to buy Teisseire and other great foodie finds! Enjoy this awesome product and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

Savannah Soap Co. – A Green Laundromat

3 May

by Green Gourmet K

I am departing from our usual food-based blog theme today to share a great “green” business I came across in Savannah.

Recently I found myself in the predicament of no clean sheets and no dryer and a serious amount of pollen outside that prevented my sheets from being line-dried. As you all may know, the husband and I have been living apart while he finishes school. So he kept the washer and dryer and I bought a dinky washer on craigslist. I have been line-drying or hanging my clothes on a rack.

Drying your clothes this way is a great way to make them last longer but you do have to iron them usually and if you need a few things to shrink from the heat of the dryer then you are out of luck. I’d like to say I am just being eco-conscious and not using the dryer because of the energy suck that it is, but alas, that is not true. I miss the dryer and line drying is not so fantastic when the occasional scent of pulp mill flows into your backyard.

That is how I found myself with no clean sheets and no way to dry them, without giving myself pollen hives. I asked my co-worker where a safe laundromat was so that I could do a load of bedding. She said she’d heard of a new “green” laundromat and it looked nice. I decided to check it out.

I was dreading the laundromat, being able to wash clothes in the privacy of your own home is such a luxury. I no longer take it for granted. The laundromat is always full of potent smelling detergents, it’s usually very hot, and you have to sit and wait while your clothes do their thing. And sometimes you have to sit and wait with some unsavory characters. But this is no ordinary laundromat. In fact, it made me re-think the laundromat and how it can actually be a place where you go to save time. I washed a set of sheets, two blankets and a mattress pad in one load and the whole wash and drying cycle together took less than 45 minutes. I kid you not, their washing machines are so efficient and remove most of the water so the drying cycle literally took 14 minutes.

The Savannah Soap Co. is located off of Abercorn at 12324 Largo Drive, Savannah, Georgia. This laundromat has a drop off service or you can do your clothes yourself and choose the right size washer and dryer for your laundry. They also have washers, called “Perfect Wash,” that will add the soap and softener for you. The soaps they use are all earth-friendly, and they have a board up front to tell you which soap they have loaded up that day. You are, of course, welcome to bring your own soap and softener.

The Savannah Soap Co. also sells great green laundry and cleaning products, like the Mrs. Meyer’s line (one of my favorites!). They also carry a lot of products that are safe for babies.

Check out this organic stain pen – I had no idea this was an option but this is the kind of unusual and practical “green” products the Savannah Soap Co. carries.

You can sip on an iced tea while waiting for your clothes to do their thing.

I mean who wouldn’t feel calm and relaxed while sitting this laundromat?

Now that my husband has moved down to Savannah, and we have our washer and dryer, I still plan to return to Savannah Soap Co. to do the occasional large load of bedding or slip covers. It would be well worth the money in my book and save me the hassle of doing multiple loads of laundry when I can be in and out in under and hour.

***Soap Co. did not pay me to write any of this – in fact, they have no clue who I am. I just enjoyed their establishment and thought others might like to know.

Sweet (Non-Food) Products

22 Dec

by Green Gourmet K

For a little change of pace, and since you all may want to think about something other than food (only for a brief moment, I hope), I thought I’d share some of my favorite new products. I hope that they might become your favorite products too.

While searching for a new perfume I came across Pacifica products at my local Earthfare (an earth-friendly grocery store).  I try to find and buy ‘green’ products when I can and sometimes they turn out to be much better than the original, not-so-green, product you are replacing.  This is one such situation: the Pacifica perfumes smell incredible, and the price point for the perfumes is better or equal to what you might pay in a department store.  I also love that you can mix or layer their scents on your body to create your own individual scent.

The Pacifica products have minimal packaging and what packaging there is, such as the box the perfume or body butter comes in, is made of recyclable materials.  The Portland, Oregon-based company professes to be committed to the environment, by aiming for zero-waste in their product manufacturing and using local suppliers and manufacturers.  They do not test on animals and their products are completely vegan (no animal parts).  This is all music to my ears.

My local store had about six or seven Pacifica scents and I found one I loved, Lotus Garden.  With a name like Lotus Garden, how can it be bad?  In fact, the names of all of their scents are great; how about Tunisian Jasmine, Persian Rose, Mediteranean Fig, Tuscan Blood Orange, Avalon Juniper, or Thai Lemongrass?

The other scents reminded me of certain ladies I know, so my mom and mother-in-law each ended up getting a tin of the solid perfume for Christmas last year.  The tin of perfume is a great option if you travel or are shipping a present.  One of them got Green Fig and one got Sandalwood.

Recently I tried the Pacifica body butters and lotions and they are just as wonderful as the perfumes.  The ingredients are things like shea butter, safflower oil, Vitamins A and E.  I know a few people who may be getting Tuscan Blood Orange lotion or Hawaiian Ruby Guava body butter, if I can part with them.

I really like these products, and if you’re still looking for a gift for someone for the holidays, or for no special reason at all, check them out.  If you can’t find them at your local store, they can be ordered on their website.  Right now they have free shipping and a free roller ball scent if you spend $25.  The Pacifica line is also on sale at Earthfare right now.

Disclaimer:  Pacifica is not paying us or even giving us products to say any of this (although we wish they would), this is our unbiased opinion.