Small Business Saturday: Food Edition

Since 2010, the Saturday after Thanksgiving has been deemed Small Business Saturday to help steer people towards locally owned shops. It’s my personal belief that we should be supporting small businesses year round because they make and sell high-quality products and help support the local economy. Since the holiday season is upon us, I’ve compiled a list of amazing, small food businesses that can help you get through your holiday shopping list!

Tru Bee Honey
I highly recommend the Spring varietal honey or the Barrel-Aged Honey. They also have the best lip balm which makes for a great stocking stuffer!

Boyden Valley Winery
During my trip to Vermont in September, I had the chance to visit this beautiful winery and sample several of their wines. There are so many unique blends but some of their best sellers and my personal favorites include: Big Barn Red, Glogg, Vermont Ice Cider, and the Vermont Ice Maple Creme Liqueur.

Noble Springs Dairy
So maybe wrapping up cheese and putting it under the Christmas tree isn’t the best idea, but Noble Springs cheese makes for the perfect host/hostess gift! Or you can wow people with your cheese board arrangement skills at holiday parties by adding a few of their delicious goat cheese varieties.

Soberdough
Soberdough has made it impossibly easy for anyone to bake beer bread at home. Just add a 12-ounce bottle of beer to the mix, bake it, then eat it! The bread can also be baked with club soda if preferred.

Coffee Subscriptions
For the coffee lover in your life…or maybe for yourself. A coffee subscription is the gift that keeps on giving month after month, or as often as you choose. There are a lot of great coffee roasters out there, but this year I’m eyeing Stumptown Coffee for gift-giving.

Meal Subscription Service
There are a wide array of meal services out there now, from companies that provide just a meal plan and ingredient list, to those who send meals already prepared and just need reheating, and everything in between. If you know someone who wants assistance with meal planning and cooking tips, Cook Smarts offers a great platform. For those living in Nashville, My Veggie Chef delivers vegan meal kits to your door!

For more Nashville-crafted food-centric gift ideas, read my post from last year. A couple items are making an appearance again this year so you know I must love them! Happy Holiday shopping :)

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

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I’m in the process of moving (again) so I’ve made it a personal goal to use as many items in the pantry as possible so there isn’t as much to pack. Every little bit counts, right?! As of last Sunday, I had four cans of pumpkin puree. I like pumpkin….what else can I say?

Except for pumpkin pie. Go figure.

So in between the packing, holiday preparations, full-time job, blog upkeep and other daily life activities, I’m drinking pumpkin pie smoothies to get in the Thanksgiving spirit!

pumpkin pie smoothie

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie


Ingredients
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
4 oz apple cider
1/2 tsp minced ginger
dash of cinnamon

Directions
1. In a blender, combine all ingredients and process until smooth. Optional: add a small amount of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon for more of a pumpkin pie effect :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

6 Easy Travel Snacks

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The holidays are a busy, and sometimes stressful time for many people. All the hustle and bustle and traveling over the river and through the woods can lead to limited and inadequate food options.

You can avoid this predicament by stocking up on these 6 no-hassle travel snacks that leave you feeling cheery rather than dreary!

6 Easy Travel Snacks

1. Kashi Chocolate Chip Chia Seed Crunchy Granola & Seed Bars  Crunchy Granola & Seed BarI tried this crunchy, chocolatey granola bar while at Blog Brûlée and loved it! Many granola bars are overloaded with sugar and just too decadent for my taste, but not this one. Two of these Kashi bars contain 180 calories, 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and only 9 grams of sugar. This is a snack I can feel good about!

2. Fresh Fruit
Nature’s own version of grab + go snacks! Apples, bananas, oranges, clementines, pears, grapes, berries—all are ready to hit the road when you are. Just make sure you rinse your fruit under water before enjoying. Pair your fruit with some protein, like snacks #4 and #5 to help keep you feeling fuller longer.

3. Nourish Snacks
nourish snackBesides loving the variety of Nourish Snacks, part of the reason I’m thrilled about this line of snacks is because it was created by Registered Dietitian, Joy Bauer. Her motto, “Life is hard, food should be easy” comes to life through Nourish Snacks–simple ingredients combined to create a nutrient-dense, on-the-go snack! My favorite so far is Mr. Popular, half-popped corn kernels. Definitely satisfies the need for something crunchy and slightly salty…much better option than potato chips!

4. Skim Mozzarella String Cheese
String cheese is more than just fun to eat! With about 7-8 grams of protein per cheese stick and less than 100 calories, this is the perfect match for fresh fruit or veggies. Just be sure to eat any dairy products within 2 hours of being removed from refrigerator, or keep them in an insulated bag with an ice pack to maintain proper temperature.

5. Peanut Butter packets
These can be a travel lifesaver! Finding quality protein sources at rest stops or gas stations can be next to impossible and that’s where peanut butter packets can save the day. Keep PB packs on hand at home so they’re ready when you are! Peanut butter not your thing? Justin’s offers other nut butters in single-serving packets, too! Keep in mind that nut butters can be high in calories, so keep portions to 2 tablespoons and pair with a fresh fruit for a balanced snack.

6. Cold-Pressed Bottled Juices  juice Nashville

Let’s be honest for a moment. Raise your hand if you eat the appropriate number of servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Now, raise your other hand if you eat MORE of them while traveling? Chances are many of us didn’t raise either hand. Fruit and veggie intake can fall off easily during the holidays, so make it easier on yourself by getting them through cold-pressed juice! I’m a big fan of Nashville’s local juicery, juice.Nashville, but you can also find brands like Evolution juices available nation-wide.

Do you have favorite ready-to-go travel snacks you’d like to share? It’s always great to have new suggestions!

I wish you all safe and healthy travels this holiday season!

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