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NASFT Changes its Name

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Written by Hannah
01 March 2013

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A New Name, After 60 Years

The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade Inc. (NASFT) has a new name as of today - the Specialty Food Association. According to the Specialty Food Association, the name change caps a year-long celebration of the association's 60th anniversary and comes as membership reaches a record high.  Congrats Specialty Food Association on 60 years!  

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International Year of Quinoa

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Written by Hannah
08 March 2013

International Year of Quinoa

On March 20th The United Nations held an official launch ceremony for the International Year of Quinoa at the UN General Assembly in New York.

According to the UN, the International Year was declared "in recognition of the Andean peoples who have preserved quinoa as a food for present and future generations". Objectives for the year include raising awareness in how quinoa can provide nutrition, increase food security and help combat poverty through its production.

Raymond-Hadley has been celebrating by cooking up our own amazing quinoa recipes at home.  Jacinto put together this delicious quinoa with mushrooms and Swiss chard.

Swiss Chard Quinoa

I must admit, the last time I made quinoa was for my first baby (now almost four) and I wasn't a big fan.  When I saw this recipe my friend posted on Facebook I new I had to give his healthy grain-like treat another try.  I made Quinoa with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Leeks and Slivered Almonds.  

This recipe is amazing, and it's Gluten-Free!!

Quinoa ingredients:

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
Sea salt, to taste

What I discovered about my distaste for quinoa in the past is that I was not soaking it long enough (if at all), before cooking, in order to get rid of the natural pesticides it produces, which can leave a bitter taste in your mouth.  This time I soaked the quinoa for over an hour in a strainer of cold water while I prepped the rest of the ingredients. 

Here are the rest of the stars of the recipe:

 DSC 0944

In a roasting pan, combine:

1 leek, washed, trimmed, sliced
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed, halved (or quartered, if large)
1/4 cup slivered blanched almonds
1/4 cup plump golden raisins, packed
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar
Sea salt, to taste
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried dill

DSC 0943

We love Brussels in our house, but I have to admit I don't have much experience with leeks.  The last time I cooked with leeks it was disastrous, but this time my faith in this trusty veggie from the garlic family has been restored. 

I didn't have any golden raisins on hand so I just used regular raisins instead.  

Here it is all mixed together and ready for roasting.

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And, the finished product.  It is amazing hot out of the oven, but equally as tasty straight out of the fridge as a leftover!!  This is one recipe that will be around for years in our house!

Brussels Quinoa Vertical DSC 0955

Cheers to the Year of Quinoa!



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Organics on the Rise

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Written by Hannah
12 February 2013

organic-on-riseThe National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) debuted a new online platform on its website today to share news, trends and product content. Of particular interest is the Natural and Organic InDepth section. Check it out here: Natural and Organic InDepth.

(Source: NASFT Specialty Food News Natural and Organic InDepth http://www.specialtyfood.com/news-trends/natural-organic/ )

This comes just a day after the NASFT’s daily email Specialty Food News reported “Good News for Organics,” noting that “The business of organics is booming. Even as the rest of the economy sputtered to recover in 2011, organic food sales nationally grew to $29.2 billion, a 9.4 percent increase from the year before. Statistics for 2012 haven't yet been compiled, but the Organic Trade Association expects to see the pattern continue unabated.” (source: http://www.specialtyfood.com/news-trends/publications/specialty-food-news/2013/2/11/)

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A Bad Start to a Good Day

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Written by Hannah
05 February 2013

GF-Doughnuts-webYou’ve all had one – a perfectly made cup of coffee, actually arrived at your desk on time and started clearing through your inbox. I reached for my coffee drooling over the left over apple crostata I saved from last night’s dinner out that I planned to enjoy along with today’s brew only to realize I’d left it on the kitchen counter at home – immediately sending me into a bad mood. But, alas, the test kitchen saved the day (again)!

Today’s save: a Gluten-Free Cinnamon and Sugar Doughnut!  Can I just tell you that this doughnut is amazing!!! There’s no way anyone could tell its Gluten-Free – I mean this thing is good!  Just look at it!  It even photographs well with my outdated iPhone.  That’s the beauty of working for Raymond-Hadley, the private label manufacturer for the industry’s award winning Gluten-Free bake mixes!

Now, if only I can resist going back to the test kitchen several more times today to taste the next few items that come out of the oven.

Cheers to a good day, saved by a doughnut!

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Gluten-Free Grows Up

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Written by Hannah
29 January 2013

nasftIt happens to all of us, at some point or other – coming into our own. So it’s true for Gluten-Free or at least that was the buzz during last week’s Winter Fancy Foods Show. Tomorrow, January 30, at 2:00 p.m. EST National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) Vice President, Ron Tanner, will talk about the maturity of gluten-free during his “trend spotting” webinar. Check it out here.

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