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Why Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme?

Why Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme?-Wild Zora

Admit it. You can't just say "parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme", you have to sing it!  

But have you actually used this famous herb combo in your cooking?  We have.  It's one of the things that makes our new Apple Pork bar so tasty.

 

When we set out to create the new flavor, we faced several challenges.  We knew we wanted to create a snack that's AIP compliant and allium-free, meaning it had no onions or garlic.  It's important to us to accommodate our friends with food sensitivities.  But if you ever tried to cook without onions and garlic, you know that the resulting dish isn't often bursting with flavor.  Even more challenging: the new flavor was going to be made with pork.  Onions and garlic are natural companions of pork meat and without them, it tastes bland.  We are Wild Zora, not Bland Zora!  We experimented with a variety of seasonings, but in the end decided to go with the herb combo immortalized in Scarborough Fair: parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.

 

Why these four?

Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme have been used for centuries both as remedies and as seasoning. 

Although we associate the four herbs with the "Scarborough Fair", the herby refrain is a relatively new addition to the old song; it's believed to originate in the 19th century. 

It's entirely possible that the names of herbs simply made it into the song because they sound nice.  But the herbs also carry symbolic meaning.  The language of flowers was highly popular in the 19th century; it was a way to send cryptic messages through flower arrangement.  Could parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme serve as a way to send a secret message to the "true love of mine"?

 

Meaning of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme

  

That's all very interesting, but what does it have to with you?  You can try to send a bouquet to your ex and hope she is well versed in Victorian ways.  Maybe she will let go of her bitter feelings, find strength and wisdom to remember the love you shared, and have the courage to be happy with you again.  Or not.  In that case, you can use the herbs for cooking.

They taste great together

Don't take our word for it, try it for yourself.  Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme add fresh herby flavor to any dish.  Try it in stews, or with poultry.  Stuff your Thanksgiving turkey with a big bunch of those flavorful herbs.  Here is an everyday recipe using these wonderful herbs:

 

We found that parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme taste wonderful with pork.  Next time you are making pork roast or pork chops, try this flavorful foursome.   Or, order some Apple Pork Wild Zora bars today!

 

 They are good for you

Like many culinary herbs, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme have strong medicinal properties. 

 

Parsley

This humble herb often used only as garnish and discarded is a nutritional powerhouse. Parsley is rich in vitamins A, K, B, and C; in fact, it contains more vitamin C than oranges.  It's also a great source of calcium and iron.  To boost your immune system, add fresh chopped parsley on top of your favorite savory dishes.  It's a  mild diuretic, so it supports kidney health.  Like many green plants, it's rich in chlorophyl which helps fight off bad breath.  If you enjoy foods heavily seasoned with garlic, try chewing a few sprigs of fresh parsley after the meal to combat garlic breath. 

It's a mild diuretic, so it supports kidney health.  Like many green plants, it's rich in chlorophyll which helps fight off bad breath.  If you enjoy foods heavily seasoned with garlic, try chewing a few sprigs of fresh parsley after the meal to combat garlic breath. 

Parsley is readily available in most grocery stores, but it's very easy to grow.  It's best to start it from seed since the plant has deep roots that might make transplanting difficult.  It grows well in containers and requires well-drained soil.

 

Sage

The Latin name for sage, Salvia (Salvia Officinalis), is related to the word salvus, which means "healthy", or salvare, "to save".  It has been used for centuries to ease indigestion from heavy meals.  Sage has many benefits and deserves to be a regular part of your diet.

Because of its antibacterial properties, sage infusion makes a wonderful mouthwash or face wash, if you struggle with acne.  It's also a great gargle for a sore throat.

Many people are hesitant to use sage as a culinary herb because of its strong, somewhat medicinal taste.  It works well paired with other herbs - in our Scarborough Fair combo, the bitterness of sage is balanced out by the mild sweetness of parsley.  It works really well in our Apple Pork bar - it tames the sweet apple and complements the succulent pork. 

When grown outdoors, sage forms an attractive low shrub with silvery leaves and purple blossoms.  It does well in dry,  sunny spots.  If you grow it indoors it stays fairly small and likely won't bloom.

 

Rosemary

Because rosemary is the main flavor in our bestselling Mediterranean Lamb bar, we wrote another blog post about its many health benefits.

Rosemary brings bright, slightly woodsy flavor to our combination.  You will barely taste it in the Apple Pork bar, but it helps bring out the mild flavor of the all-natural pork and balances out the sweet notes of apples and cinnamon.

 

Thyme

 Thyme has been highly regarded by herbalists for centuries.  It has been used as an antiseptic and room deodorizer.  To this day, thyme is used to help ease symptoms of respiratory illnesses; it eases coughing and fever and also alleviates headaches.  It was used to relieve asthma symptoms in medieval times.  

As a culinary herb, thyme is indispensable.  It's used in many herb mixes, including bouquet garni, and it is a staple in Italian cuisine.  Its bright, comforting flavor goes really well with fish and seafood.  If you would like to eat more fish for its health benefits but find the fishy taste off-putting, try seasoning it with thyme and lemon.

If you want to enjoy fresh thyme, you can grow it both outdoors and indoors.  As an outdoors plant, thyme is a beautiful addition to a rock garden. It is an easy plant to grow;  it doesn't need really rich soil and prefers dry, sunny spots.  When you grow thyme in a container, make sure you don't overwater it.

 

Make parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme your kitchen staple.  Not only do they bring a comforting herby flavor to many dishes, they also have many health benefits.  That's why we added them to our new AIP compliant Apple Pork bar. Have you tried it yet?

 

 

 

 

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Got Pork?

Got Pork?

Drumroll, please! They are here!

The wait is over.  Today, you can start ordering the new Wild Zora pork bars.


 

We are excited about this new addition to our family of products. We found a wonderful local pork that is not only all-natural and raised responsibly, it also tastes wonderful. We paired it with organic fruits and vegetables, herbs, and spices to bring you new snacks that are both healthy and delicious.

 

Meet Apple Pork


You asked, we listened.  Many of you asked us to create a new AIP compliant flavor that would also be allium-free (no onions or garlic).  We built this recipe around tried and true, traditional combinations.  Apple and pork are paired with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme and a hint of cinnamon.  The final result is a healthy, satisfying snack with delightful, comforting flavor.  We dare you to eat just one!

  • AIP compliant
  • Paleo friendly
  • Whole30 compliant
  • Dairy free
  • Gluten free
  • Allergen-free: no peanuts, no tree nuts, no soy

 

Meet Taco Pork


This is not your ordinary taco meat!  We paired the succulent pork with a unique blend of rich spices, touch of lime and a lively jalapeño.  This bar will make your taste buds dance!  Keep some in your desk drawer to brighten dull days.

  • Paleo friendly
  • Whole30 compliant
  • Dairy free
  • Gluten free
  • Allergen-free: no peanuts, no tree nuts, no soy

Which one did you order and why? Let us know in comments!

 

 

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Delightful Lamb: Ingredient Spotlight

Delightful Lamb: Ingredient Spotlight

Only the best ingredients make their way into the Wild Zora Bars. We talked about the grass-fed beef, now let’s shed some light on our lamb.

The Mediterranean Lamb Bar is one of our bestsellers.  No wonder: it's Paleo certified, Whole30 approved, AIP compliant....and delicious!


We were determined to find the best lamb possible. We wanted to know that the animals are fully grass-fed and are free to roam.  We prefer to work with local farmers, so we can see the living conditions of the animals of ourselves.  Because the meat labels don't have a unified standard, we decided not to rely on them. We knew we wanted grass-fed lamb.

 

Why pasture-raised lamb?

It tastes better

Sheep have a fairly high amount of body fat and grain diet will only increase it, resulting in unpleasantly greasy meat.  

It's better for you

Texture and flavor aside, lambs that eat grass, similarly to grass-fed beef, are higher in nutrients. Lamb is an excellent source of vitamin B, iron, and CLA.

CLA benefits

 It helps the environment

Sheep are excellent natural lawn mowers. They only eat the top parts of grasses and other plants, not pulling their roots.  Unlike goats, sheep are not picky eaters and will eat a variety of weeds, eliminating the need for pesticides.

 

"So, why is your lamb labeled 'All Natural'?" 

 

When we tried a “100% grass-fed” labeled lamb from Colorado, we weren't impressed.  Although Colorado is one of the top lamb producers in the US, the harsh winters impact the taste if the animals aren't allowed to go in the barns when they choose.  The lamb we tasted wasn't quite fatty enough, resulting in a tough texture and a "gamey" taste.  Because we promised to bring you snacks that are not only healthy but also taste great, the "grass-fed" lamb just didn't meet our standards.

Now we use an “all-natural” lamb from a local rancher in Colorado that doesn’t have the official certifications, but the animals have the ability to move freely in and out of the barns as they choose, they look healthy and happy, and the taste is superior.  The meat is still completely free of growth hormones and antibiotics.  Knowing all this is far more important to us than a flashy label.

Pairing the tender local lamb with rosemary and turmeric resulted in a meat bar that will take your snacking to another level.  Are you ready for your Wild Zora Lamb Bar?

 

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Why Grass-Fed Beef?

Why Grass-Fed Beef?

Good food starts with good ingredients.  That's exactly what you get whenever you take a bite of a Wild Zora bar.

 

 

Wonderful taste and nutritional value are important to us, but we go even further.  The ingredients we use are grown and raised with minimal environmental impact. That's why we make our bars with organic fruits and veggies.  Our meats are locally sourced, to avoid the carbon footprint of international transportation.
 

Is your beef organic?

People often ask whether we use organic meats.  The answer is shocking to some: No.  We use animals from local farmers, which means we know how the animals are treated and what they eat.  Why not just go with organic?  Organic fruits and vegetables are pretty straightforward: you know they were grown naturally, without pesticides or other harmful chemicals.  Meat production is a bit more complicated.  Let's take a closer look at beef, for example.  The organic label doesn't mean that the animals are grass-fed or raised on a pasture.  For example, they can be raised in a feedlot, standing in their own you-know-what, eating "organic" grains (and getting the same metabolic diseases that we humans get when we eat too much grain!).  So because the "organic" label didn't meet our standards for beef quality, we decided to visit local farmers and find meat that comes from pasture-raised, grass-fed, grass-finished, well tended and healthy animals.
 

The Label Confusion

"Organic" label is not the only one that can be misleading. When you shop for beef, you will notice there is grass-fed, grass-finished, natural, 100% grass-fed... what does it mean?

Beef Labels

Definitions vary, but unless the grass-fed beef is AGA certified, you can't be sure that the animals were raised solely on grass.  USDA grass-fed certificate is based on written description of farming practices submitted by the farmer; the USDA does not visit the farms!  To muddy the waters even further, farmers can choose to use the grass-fed label (as long as it doesn't say "certified") even when their cattle is grain-finished.
All US cattle start their life grazing on a pasture. However, the majority of them get "finished" with grain on a feedlot.  With grain, they put on weight (and, unfortunately often get sick) quickly, resulting in a lower price of meat.  But that meat can still be sold as grass-fed at a higher price point!  What this means for you: if you want to eat truly 100% grass-fed beef, look for 100% grass-fed/grass-finished beef, like the kind used in Wild Zora beef bars
 

What's the problem with grain-fed beef?

 Grass-fed vs Grain-fed Beef

 
It's not healthy for the animals
Cows are meant to eat grass. Eating grains is hard on their digestive system. They are more likely to get sick and require antibiotics.  Also, the delivery of the feed matters.  Grain-fed cattle stand in a feedlot instead of walking and grazing on a pasture.  It is natural for them to walk and to be able to lie down.  The crowded feedlots don't allow for that and the animals are often uncomfortable and stressed.  At Wild Zora, we like using meat from farmers we know:  We know they treat their animals with respect and care.  Clearly, a feedlot is not a humane environment for cattle, even if the grain they eat is organic.
 
It's not healthy for you
Commercially produced grain-fed beef is likely to contain antibiotics and growth hormones.  And even if you choose meat labeled as "no antibiotics", you are still missing out: Grain-fed beef is significantly lower in Omega-3 acids and vitamins A and E.  Eating 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef will provide your body with CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, which is a powerful nutrient. CLA is thought to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
 

How about environmental impact?

You might have heard that grass-fed cattle produce more methane, which is a greenhouse gas.  Articles pushing this outdated claim tend to overlook all the benefits.

Grass-fed Beef

 
Carbon dioxide reduction
Well managed pastures contain a variety of green plants which use the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere far better than farmed grain fields. 
 
Less dependency on fossil fuels
Because animals pick their own food, farmers need to use less gas-powered machinery and electricity than when they harvest, process and deliver the grain. The animal waste is dispersed on the pasture, so there is no need to use machinery to move it.
 
Biodiversity
Unlike a grain field, a pasture is a diverse ecosystem with native plants.  Grazing cattle also provide natural fertilizer, encouraging a healthy plant growth and improving the soil quality.
 

 

 

Did we mention that grass-fed beef also tastes better? To see for yourself, try some today!

                  

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Healthy Easter Basket Ideas

Healthy Easter Basket Ideas

The seasonal isle in your grocery store is full of brightly wrapped candy, plush toys and various Easter-themed tchotchkes you're told to purchase for your children. Most of them will be interesting for a few days and then they just become clutter.  So naturally, you are hesitant to buy them.  And if candy is not an option for your children, how do you create healthy Easter baskets?

Think outside the box.  Or in our case, the basket.  We came up with a few ideas that can be adjusted for children of all ages.

 

Adventure Easter Baskets

Give your kids the gift of adventure.  There is nothing better than family time outdoors.  Fresh air and sunshine do wonders for your body and soul, and discovering nature through the eyes of a child is delightful.

 

Take a Hike Basket

Plan a hike in advance. There are many wonderful resources online.

Wild Zora Healthy Easter Basket for Hikers

Here are a few ideas for your hiking basket:

Water Bottle

Healthy Snacks - we recommend our "pizza flavor" Parmesan Beef Bar; it's highly popular with kids

Map

Compass

Hat

Sunglasses

Sunscreen (yes, even the Spring sun can burn!)

If your child doesn't own a hiking backpack already, buy one and use it instead of a basket; just add a little bow or a festive tag.

To make the hike more fun, plan a simple scavenger hunt.  Try to spot an animal - mammal, bird, or insect.  Look for flowers, trees with interesting bark or funny shaped rocks.

 

Birds of a Feather Easter Basket

Bird watching is a great family activity.  It teaches children patience and respect for nature's beauty.

Birdwatcher's Easter Basket Idea

Some ideas for bird watcher's basket:

Binoculars

Water Bottle

Healthy Snack

Book or a Brochure About Your Local Birds

Notebook or a Journal - here is a great printable one for young children

Pen or Pencil

Tip: To make the basket look like a bird's nest, we used raffia instead of the plastic "grass" basket filler.

 

Sports Easter Basket: Get the ball rolling

If you live in an area where exploring nature is more difficult, you can still give your children a gift of spending time outside. You don't have to enroll your children in team sports or buy expensive equipment. The idea is to play outside and have fun. 

Sports Easter Basket

Some ideas for Sports Easter Basket:

Volleyball

Football

Frisbee (or frisbee-golf frisbees?)

Healthy Snack - try our BBQ Beef - healthy BBQ with veggies that even picky eaters like

Water Bottle

Stop Watch

We started this basket with a volleyball because you can use it in any park; simply stand in a circle and try to keep the ball up.  Have fun - invent your own silly rules (i.e. everyone has to stand on one foot when you yell the code word).

 

"Easter Basket" for college kids

Your kids are no longer living with you, but you still want to get them something.  Wild Zora meat & veggie bars are a great little gift for a college student.  They are easy to carry around campus and because they are high in protein, they are the perfect brain fuel for your hard working student.  Try our popular sampler with all seven flavors.  Don't forget to add something "green", because it's Easter (wink) and because college students always appreciate a little cash.

College Student Easter Basket Idea

Tip: To keep the Wild Zora packages together for a neat presentation, we used little double sided tape.  Glue dots would also work well.

 

What is your go-to healthy Easter basket? Let us know in comments!

 

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