lindsey Freeman, Author at ig2go

The Miraculous World of Microgreens: A Powerhouse of Nutrition

In the vast universe of nutritious foods, there’s a group of tiny powerhouses that often gets overlooked – microgreens. These miniature versions of familiar plants pack more than just a visual and flavorful punch; they bring a substantial amount of science-backed nutritional benefits to the table. With their vibrant colors and distinct flavors, microgreens are scientifically fascinating and nutritionally potent, offering a surprising advantage for those seeking a healthier diet. Let’s take a closer look at these small but mighty heroes of nutrition.


What are Microgreens?

Microgreens, as their name suggests, are miniature plants, specifically the young seedlings of vegetables and herbs. They represent the early stages of a plant’s life, just after the germination of seeds, when the first true leaves begin to develop. This is a period of intense growth and development for the plant, a stage that’s captured and delivered to your plate in the form of microgreens.

The term “microgreens” is not just a fancy word for sprouts, and they’re not quite baby greens either. They occupy a unique place in the plant life cycle. Sprouts are typically harvested just days after the seed begins to grow, often while they’re still root systems with tiny leaf buds barely visible. On the other hand, baby greens are harvested later when the plant is small but well-developed, usually a few inches tall.

Microgreens are the in-betweeners. They are allowed to grow for approximately one to three weeks after germination, reaching a height of about one to three inches before they’re harvested. At this stage, they have developed cotyledons, or the plant’s first leaves, and sometimes even a set of true leaves, the ones that come after the cotyledons. This makes them larger and more developed than sprouts, but younger and smaller than baby greens.


The High Nutritional Density of Microgreens

Their small stature, however, does not limit their flavor. Microgreens are known for their strong and distinct flavors, often more intense than their mature counterparts. But in addition to stronger flavor, researchers at the USDA Agricultural Research Service found that microgreens often contain higher concentrations of vitamins and antioxidants compared to their mature counterparts. This counterintuitive finding makes sense when you delve into the biology of plant development. In the early stages of growth, a plant focuses its resources on building a strong foundational structure to support future growth. As part of this process, it accumulates a high concentration of nutrients in its tissues, resulting in a nutrient-packed seedling.

The “micro” stage of greens represents this peak moment of nutritional accumulation, a time when the plant’s reserves of vitamins and antioxidants are concentrated in a small package. This explains why a handful of microgreens can deliver an equivalent or even higher amount of nutrients compared to a larger serving of the same plant in its mature form.

For instance, studies have found that red cabbage microgreens have five times the amount of vitamin C and sixty-nine times the amount of vitamin K as the mature red cabbage. Similarly, garnet amaranth microgreens were found to have eight times more vitamin C, three times more vitamin E, and forty times more vitamin K than mature amaranths. The list goes on, making it evident that the “micro” in microgreens stands not for their nutritional value, but merely for their size.

From the peppery bite of radish microgreens to the sweet nuttiness of sunflower microgreens, each type offers a unique taste experience, elevating the simplest of dishes to gourmet levels. The combination of their nutritional density and taste profile make microgreens a truly remarkable addition to any diet.


Will microgreens replace mature vegetables?

Hearing all this, it may be tempting to get all your veggies in the form of microgreens, but it’s important to remember that variety is always going to be beneficial when it comes to a healthy and fulfilling diet. Mature vegetables offer much more fiber, and versatility than microgreens, which are both important to your overall wellbeing. We believe a combination of microgreens and mature vegetables is the best option for a nutritionally diverse diet, and you should simply consider adding in microgreens for a vitamin boost to whatever vegetables and dishes you’re already eating, rather than replacing anything.


Showcasing a Variety of Microgreens

The microgreens family is incredibly diverse, featuring members from all sorts of plant families. While this diversity makes the world of microgreens exciting and colorful, it’s important to know which plants make great microgreens and which ones you should avoid.

For starters, avoid plants that are toxic in their early stages or have parts that are poisonous. This includes plants from the nightshade family such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes, which contain solanine, a harmful substance especially concentrated in their leaves and stems. Similarly, rhubarb microgreens should be avoided as their leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid, which can be harmful if consumed in large amounts. You likely won’t find any of these sold as microgreens in stores, but we advise you not to try growing these yourself at home.

Moreover, plants with hard, thick seed hulls like corn may not be suitable for microgreen farming because they can be challenging to grow and may not yield as much edible product.

That still leaves plenty of options of plants that are suitable for microgreens. For instance, most leafy vegetables and herbs can be grown as microgreens. Some of the popular ones include:

  • Brassicas: This family includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and radish. Brassica microgreens are known for their vivid colors and slightly peppery taste.
  • Amaranths: Amaranth microgreens, especially the red varieties, are loved for their striking colors and slightly earthy flavor.
  • Legumes: Pea microgreens are sweet, crunchy, and have a flavor similar to fresh peas. They are larger than most microgreens and are excellent for stir-fries and salads.
  • Grasses: Wheatgrass is a well-known example in this category. It’s usually juiced rather than eaten whole.
  • Herbs and Spices: Many herbs and spices like cilantro, basil, dill, and fenugreek can also be grown as microgreens.
  • Sunflowers: Sunflower microgreens are large, crunchy, and have a pleasant, nutty flavor.


Incorporating Microgreens in Your Daily Diet

Incorporating microgreens into your diet is a surprisingly simple process, providing an effortless way to boost both the flavor and nutritional profile of your meals. Despite their gourmet appeal, using microgreens doesn’t require any sophisticated culinary skills – they can be added to dishes as easily as any other fresh herb or leafy green.

One of the simplest ways to enjoy microgreens is to sprinkle them over salads. Their bright colors and distinct flavors add a new layer of complexity to a traditional salad, and their crunch provides a satisfying texture contrast. Plus, the nutrient-dense microgreens help elevate a basic salad into a superfood-rich meal.

Blending microgreens into your smoothies is another practical way to increase your daily nutrient intake. Microgreens like spinach and kale blend seamlessly into fruit or green smoothies, adding a surge of vitamins and antioxidants without overpowering the taste. They can be an excellent addition to your morning routine, starting your day off on a healthy note.

Wraps and sandwiches can also greatly benefit from a handful of microgreens. Replace the regular lettuce in your sandwich or wrap with microgreens for a nutrient-packed crunch. Varieties like radish and mustard microgreens add a spicy kick that can elevate your lunch game.

Moreover, microgreens can be used as a beautiful and tasty garnish for soups and main dishes. Imagine a butternut squash soup topped with a scattering of arugula microgreens, or a plate of pasta primavera accented with a sprinkle of basil microgreens. They add a touch of sophistication while enhancing the overall flavor of the dish.

Even your favorite pizza can get a microgreen makeover. Once your pizza is out of the oven, add a layer of microgreens like sunflower or broccoli for a unique twist. The warmth of the pizza slightly wilts the greens, melding the flavors beautifully.

Microgreens are a versatile ingredient that can find a place in virtually any dish. Their vibrant color, unique flavors, and crunch can add a fresh and gourmet touch to everyday meals, while significantly enhancing their nutritional value.


Finding local Microgreens

Now that you know the power of microgreens, why not try them for yourself? We are thrilled to announce that we have started carrying microgreens from ‘Sow Good‘, a small local grower based right here in Tampa. Varieties they are currently growing include Broccoli, Radish, Sunflower, Pea, and a spicy salad mix made up of Broccoli, Kale, Kohlrabi, Arugula, Red Cabbage & Mustard. We have been loving everything we’ve received from them, and we highly encourage you to stop by Intelligent gourmet to pick up some greens for yourselves!



Farm-to-Table: Embracing Local Produce in Your Summer Meals

Picture yourself on a warm summer evening, savoring a plate of vibrant, flavorful dishes made with the freshest ingredients. The secret to such culinary delight? Farm-to-table dining. We invite you to dive into the world of local, sustainable agriculture and explore the wonders of embracing local produce in your summer meals. From the benefits of farm-to-table dining to inspiring recipes and practical tips, save this guide for a  delicious journey.

Benefits of Farm-to-Table Dining

Farm-to-table dining is more than just a trend—it’s a conscious choice with cascading benefits. To start, a lot of grocery store produce has to be picked before it’s ripe so it doesn’t spoil by the time it actually makes it to the store. And sure, a lot of produce can still ripen artificially, but it’s never quite as good as when it’s picked fresh. By sourcing ingredients directly from local farms, you can get your hands on produce that was picked at its peak flavor, and trust us when we say the difference is noticeable. Beyond taste, choosing local produce also means supporting small-scale farmers, promoting sustainable agricultural practices, and reducing the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transportation.

Exploring the Summer Bounty

Summer is a bountiful season, generously offering a colorful palette of fruits and vegetables. Imagine crisp cucumbers, succulent berries, and the undeniable sweetness of summer melons. By embracing the flavors of the season, we celebrate the natural cycles of the earth while nourishing our bodies. In our kitchen, we showcase the best of summer produce, elevating classic dishes and creating innovative recipes that showcase vibrant hues and distinct flavors.

Creating Summer Delights: Recipes and Menu Ideas

Let’s explore some tantalizing recipes that showcase the best of summer’s bounty. From refreshing salads to mouthwatering main courses, these dishes are designed to awaken your taste buds and nourish your body. Here are a few ideas to incorporate into your summer menus:

1. Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad

Indulge in the juicy sweetness of ripe heirloom tomatoes, paired with creamy mozzarella, fragrant basil, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. The vibrant colors and vibrant flavors of this classic salad capture the essence of summer on your plate.

2. Grilled Vegetable Skewers

Thread skewers with an array of seasonal vegetables—think zucchini, bell peppers, and mushrooms—lightly brushed with herb-infused olive oil and grilled to perfection. The smoky char adds depth to the vegetables’ natural sweetness, creating a delightful medley of flavors.

3.Berry Bliss Parfait

Layer fresh summer berries with Greek yogurt, granola, and a drizzle of local honey for a delightful, nutritious dessert. This parfait is a symphony of textures and flavors, offering a cool, refreshing treat on hot summer days.

Tips for Home Cooks

Farm-to-table dining is not limited to restaurants. Here are some tips to bring the spirit of local, seasonal eating into your own kitchen:

  1. Visit Farmers’ Markets: Explore your local farmers’ markets and connect directly with growers in your area. It’s an opportunity to discover unique produce, learn about farming techniques, and support local agriculture. Not sure where your closest market is? Check out these lists to see whats in your area and when to go:
  2. Join a CSA Program: Consider joining a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, where you can subscribe to regular deliveries of fresh, locally grown produce. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy a variety of seasonal vegetables while directly supporting local farmers. Check out these local CSA’s to get started:
  3. Get Creative with Recipes: Experiment with new recipes that showcase the flavors of the season. Explore cookbooks or browse reliable online sources for inspiration. Allow the natural sweetness and vibrant colors of local produce to shine in your dishes.
  4. Start a Home Garden: If you have space, consider starting a small garden in your backyard


We invite you to join us in embracing local produce in your summer meals. Visit your nearby farmers’ markets, engage with local farmers, and experience the joy of selecting seasonal ingredients firsthand. Explore new recipes that highlight the flavors and colors of the season, and get creative in your own kitchen. And of course, we would be delighted to welcome you to Intelligent Gourmet to experience the farm-to-table philosophy firsthand, where our culinary team transforms the freshest local ingredients into delightful, wholesome dishes.

Together, let’s celebrate the beauty and abundance of summer produce, support our local farmers, and indulge in the flavors of the season. By embracing farm-to-table dining, we not only nourish our bodies but also make a positive impact on our communities and the planet we call home.



10 Thoughtful Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and it’s time to start thinking about the perfect gift to show your appreciation for the woman who has always been there for you. While there are countless options out there, we’ve curated a list of unique and thoughtful gifts that any mom is sure to love. From a small batch hand poured candle to a fun embroidered apron and spatula set, and a gift basket filled with delicious artisanal treats, these gifts will make your mom feel loved and appreciated on her special day.


1. Mothers Day Menu

If you want to indulge in a stress-free Mother’s Day Celebration, pre-ordering a delicious meal to go can make a wonderful gift. check out our Mother’s Day menu featuring a variety of dishes to suit every taste and dietary preference, whether your mom prefers breakfast, brunch, or dinner. From decadent egg dishes and fluffy pancakes to savory quiches and refreshing salads, there are plenty of options to choose from that are sure to delight your mom’s taste buds. Pre-ordering a meal to go takes the pressure off of cooking or dining out and allows your mom to enjoy a special meal in the comfort of her own home, without the hassle of crowds or waiting in lines. A gift of a Mother’s Day meal to go shows your mom that you appreciate her and want to make her day special, while also treating her to a delicious and hassle-free dining experience.


2. Hand Poured Candle

Our candles are often made with Coconut Soy Wax and all-natural wicks with 100% cotton. The soft glow and pleasant scent of a candle can create a relaxing atmosphere, helping your mom unwind and feel appreciated. These candles are a simple yet meaningful way to show your mom how much you value her and her well-being on her special day.


3. Flippin & Sipping Gift Set

If your mom loves spending time in the kitchen, a gift set featuring a fun apron and wooden handle spatula might be the perfect way to celebrate her on Mother’s Day. The “Flippin & Sippin” apron adds a playful touch to her cooking routine, while the sturdy and stylish wooden handle spatula is perfect for flipping pancakes, sautéing vegetables, or stirring up a delicious meal. Whether your mom is a seasoned chef or simply enjoys trying new recipes, this gift set is sure to bring a smile to her face and make her feel appreciated. And long after Mother’s Day has passed, she can continue to enjoy using her new kitchen tools to create delicious meals and memories in the heart of the home.


4. Gift Basket

If your mom is a foodie or enjoys savoring the finer things in life, a gift basket filled with artisanal treats might be just the thing to make her Mother’s Day extra special. This gift basket includes a variety of hand-selected items, such as premium London tea, a beautifully crafted ceramic mug, a bag of rich and aromatic coffee, crunchy pecan cookies, a jar of sweet fig spread, and crispy biscotti. To complete the set, a charming tea towel adds a touch of charm and practicality. Whether your mom enjoys a relaxing cup of tea in the afternoon or a bold cup of coffee in the morning, this gift basket has everything she needs to indulge her senses and satisfy her taste buds. It’s a gift that shows your mom how much you care about her, and one that she’ll enjoy savoring for days to come.


5. Infused Salts

For the mom who loves to cook or experiment with new flavors, a set of flavor-infused small batch finishing salts can make a unique and thoughtful Mother’s Day gift. Made from high-quality salts and infused with herbs, spices, and other natural ingredients, these finishing salts can elevate the flavor of any dish or add a special touch to a homemade cocktail. From Rosemary and grapefruit to black garlic or oak smoked, there are a variety of flavors to choose from that are sure to suit any mom’s taste preferences. A gift of flavor-infused finishing salts shows your mom that you recognize and appreciate her passion for cooking and love for good food.


6. Essential Oil Patches

For the mom who could use a little extra self-care, a set of essential oil patches can make a thoughtful and practical Mother’s Day gift. These patches are formulated with high-quality essential oils that are known for their healing and therapeutic properties. Whether your mom needs help reducing stress, easing fatigue, or promoting overall health and wellness, there are a variety of patch options available to suit her specific needs. Unlike traditional aromatherapy, essential oil patches offer a convenient and long-lasting way for your mom to benefit from the therapeutic effects of essential oils. A gift of essential oil patches shows your mom that you care about her well-being and want to support her in taking care of herself.


7. Small Batch Soaps

If you’re looking for a Mother’s Day gift that’s both practical and luxurious, consider gifting your mom a set of small batch natural soaps. Handmade with high-quality natural ingredients like botanicals, and nourishing oils, these soaps offer a gentle and nourishing cleanse that’s free from harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances. Each soap is carefully crafted in small batches with attention to detail, resulting in a unique and artisanal product that your mom is sure to appreciate. Whether she prefers floral scents, refreshing citrus, or calming lavender, there are a variety of soap options to choose from to suit her personal preferences. A gift of small batch natural soaps is a simple yet thoughtful way to help your mom indulge in a little self-care and relaxation on her special day.


8. Rosemary Walnuts

For the mom who loves snacking on healthy and flavorful treats, a bag of rosemary-infused roasted walnuts can make a delicious and thoughtful Mother’s Day gift. These nuts are roasted to perfection with a sprinkle of sea salt and a generous amount of aromatic rosemary, resulting in a savory and satisfying snack that’s packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats. The rosemary infusion adds an extra layer of flavor and antioxidants to the walnuts, making them a nutritious and tasty treat that your mom can enjoy any time of day. Plus, the simple packaging of the nuts makes for an easy-to-gift presentation. A gift of rosemary-infused roasted walnuts shows your mom that you care about her health and well-being, while also indulging her taste buds with a delicious and unique snack.


9. Spa Day

For the mom who deserves some pampering and relaxation, a spa gift card or spa day can make an excellent and indulgent Mother’s Day gift. Whether your mom enjoys a massage, a facial, a manicure, or all of the above, a spa gift card allows her to choose the treatments that she wants and customize her own spa experience. Alternatively, booking a spa day for your mom is a thoughtful way to show her how much you care and give her a break from the daily stresses of life. Many spas offer packages that include multiple treatments, use of facilities, and even meals or snacks, ensuring that your mom feels completely indulged and taken care of. Plus, a spa day is a great opportunity for your mom to unwind, relax, and rejuvenate both her body and mind. A gift of a spa gift card or spa day shows your mom that you value her well-being and appreciate all that she does, while also giving her the gift of self-care and relaxation. We particularly love the offerings at Spa Jardin, so be sure to check them out if you’re mom loves to be pampered.


10. Dance Classes

For the mom who loves to dance or wants to try something new, ballroom dance classes can make an excellent and fun-filled Mother’s Day gift. Learning how to ballroom dance can be a great way for your mom to improve her coordination, balance, and overall fitness, while also having fun and socializing with others. Whether your mom is interested in the classic elegance of the waltz, the sultry rhythms of the tango, or the upbeat energy of the swing, there are plenty of ballroom dance classes and instructors available to suit her interests and skill level. Taking ballroom dance classes with a partner or a group can also be a great bonding experience and a fun way to spend time together. Plus, dancing is a great stress-reliever and mood-booster, helping your mom feel happier and more confident. A gift of ballroom dance classes shows your mom that you support her interests and want her to have fun and stay healthy, while also giving her a unique and memorable Mother’s Day experience. Check out ur neighbors at The Real Ballroom for some of Tampa’s best classes available.


Whether you’re looking for a sentimental or practical gift, these Mother’s Day gift ideas are sure to put a smile on your mom’s face. From the soothing scent of a hand poured candle to the joy of baking with a fun apron and spatula set, and the delight of savoring delicious artisanal foods, these gifts show your mom how much you care. So take some time to consider which of these gifts would be perfect for your mom, and give her the Mother’s Day she deserves.



13 Easy Ways to Get More Vegetables into Your Meals

We all know eating vegetables is essential for maintaining good health and preventing chronic diseases. But we also know that sometimes we slack a little on the veggie uptake due to busy schedules, eating out too much, or simply being in a rut with recipes at home. But incorporating more veggies into your meals doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated. Today we’re going to go over our favorite tips to add a little more nutritional value to your meals with whatever veggies you have on hand.


Buy more vegetables

Our first point may be obvious. If you have veggies available, you’re more likely to use them. Adding a bag of pre-cut carrots, a pack of spinach, or a container of cherry tomatoes to your shopping list is easy, and puts versatile veggie options within hand reach when you’re cooking throughout the week.  We’d like to think that having them and not wanting to let those veggies go to waste can help motivate you to use them, but we know that’s not always the case. Nonetheless, you can’t add veggies to your meals without having veggies to add in the first place.

Prep beforehand

If you love roasted vegetables, but don’t often have time to actually roast them, do a big batch over the weekend to have them on hand throughout the week. You can also prep veggies by pre-slicing cucumbers, chopping broccoli, rice your cauliflower, or dicing a big batch of peppers and/or onions. These veggies keep well in the fridge and doing all the prep when you have time saves you so much time when you’re in go-mode during the week.

Start with breakfast

Add vegetables to your breakfast by incorporating them into your omelets or scrambled eggs. You can also blend leafy greens, like spinach or kale, into your morning smoothies (and no this won’t make your smoothie bitter). Another option is to top your toast with sliced avocado, tomatoes, or roasted peppers.

Swap your snacks

Swap your typical snack options with vegetable-based alternatives. Instead of reaching for chips or crackers, try snacking on raw vegetables, like carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers. You can also dip them in hummus or guacamole for added flavor.

Sneak them into sauces

Add finely chopped or pureed vegetables to your sauces and soups. For example, you can add pureed carrots or butternut squash to your tomato sauce, or blend broccoli or cauliflower into your soup. This is a great way to add nutritional density and play around with flavors as you explore and find combinations that suit your tastes best.

Try vegetable noodles

Swap traditional pasta with vegetable noodles, like zucchini or spaghetti squash noodles. You can also try making cauliflower rice or broccoli rice as a healthy substitute for regular rice.

Top your pizza

Add a variety of vegetables to your pizza toppings. You can include mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, egglplant, or spinach, among other options.

Mix them into your meatballs

Mix finely chopped vegetables into your meatball mixture. You can use vegetables like onion, carrot, celery, or zucchini to add extra nutrients and flavor to your meatballs.

Use them as a sandwich filling

Use sliced vegetables as a sandwich filling instead of deli meat. You can add sliced cucumber, tomato, avocado, roasted peppers, or sprouts to your sandwiches for added crunch and nutritional density.

Add them to your stir-fry

Stir fries are a great way to pack in a variety of vegetables. You can add broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, carrots, and snap peas to your stir-fry for a colorful and nutritious meal.

Make vegetable-based dips

Make vegetable-based dips like guacamole, salsa, or tzatziki. You can also try making hummus using roasted red peppers or sweet potatoes for added flavor.

Get creative with salads

Get creative with your salads by adding a variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. You can also add roasted vegetables or grilled vegetables to your salads for added flavor and nutrition.

Order out

Eating out is not always a healthy option, but we specifically aim to challenge that narrative by providing healthy, wholesome, and nutritionally balanced options daily in our deli case. You can find seasonal veggies, lean proteins, salads, and plenty of options for eaters on a keto, gluten-free, or vegan diet. If you don’t have time to spare, it may be worth it to pick up some prepared options to mix and match for meals throughout the week. Getting your veggies in becomes much easier when all the prep and cooking is done for you, and all you need to plate it and enjoy.


Incorporating more vegetables into your meals doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. With these easy tips, you can sneak more vegetables into your meals and reap the health benefits without sacrificing taste or convenience. So why not try incorporating some of these ideas into your next meal? Your body will thank you!

Common Cravings and What Your Body is Really Trying to Tell You

As humans, we all experience cravings at some point in our lives. It’s the sudden desire to indulge in a specific food or drink that we may not typically consume. Whether it’s a sudden craving for chocolate or an insatiable desire for salty snacks, cravings can be difficult to ignore.

Many people often associate cravings with a lack of willpower or self-control. However, cravings can also be a way for our bodies to communicate with us about our nutritional needs. In other words, our cravings may be a signal from our bodies telling us what nutrients we may be lacking.

We want to be clear that we do not believe in demonizing any food, and that if you want cake, you have every right to eat that cake. Cutting out foods you enjoy can lead to cravings getting worse, and an unhealthy relationship with food. At our Intelligent Gourmet, we specialize in wholesome, nutritionally dense foods, and we believe in the power of listening to our bodies and understanding what our cravings may mean.

Here are some common cravings and what they may indicate about our nutritional needs:

  1. Chocolate One of the most common cravings is for chocolate. While it may be easy to dismiss this craving as a mere sweet tooth, chocolate cravings may indicate a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a role in many bodily functions, including muscle and nerve function, blood sugar regulation, and blood pressure control. Good sources of magnesium include leafy greens, nuts, and seeds.
  2. Salty Snacks Do you often crave chips, pretzels, or other salty snacks? This may be a sign that your body needs more sodium. Sodium is an electrolyte that helps regulate fluid balance in the body, and it’s essential for proper nerve and muscle function. However, it’s important to note that most people consume too much sodium in their diets, which can lead to high blood pressure and other health problems. Instead of reaching for processed, high-sodium snacks, try incorporating whole foods like avocados, nuts, and seeds, which are naturally rich in sodium.
  3. Red Meat If you find yourself craving red meat, it may indicate that your body needs more iron. Iron is an essential mineral that helps transport oxygen throughout the body, and it’s especially important for women who are of childbearing age, as iron deficiency can lead to anemia. Good sources of iron include leafy greens, legumes, and fortified cereals.
  4. Sweet Treats Cravings for sweet treats may indicate that your body needs more glucose, which is the primary source of energy for the body. However, it’s important to note that consuming too much added sugar can lead to a host of health problems, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Instead of reaching for sugary snacks, try incorporating whole foods like fruits, sweet potatoes, and whole grains, which are naturally sweet and provide a host of other nutrients.

Cravings can be a way for our bodies to communicate with us about our nutritional needs. By understanding what our cravings may indicate, we can make informed choices about what foods to consume. We encourage you to reach for wholesome, nutritionally dense foods that nourish your body and satisfy your cravings in a healthy way. 



What’s in Season: 7 Spring Fruits and Vegetables and Their Nutritional Benefits

Who doesn’t love spring? Every season has its own charm, but there is something so inspiring about spring—with the fresh blooms and new life everywhere you look. One of the best ways to enjoy the season is by indulging in the fresh produce that becomes available during this time. Here are some of our favorite fruits and vegetables along with all the nutritional benefits they can add to your diet.

  1. Asparagus: Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin K, which is essential for bone health, and folate, which is important for pregnant women. Asparagus is also a good source of vitamin C and is a particularly rich source of glutathione, which has been shown to have detoxifying properties and protect against certain kinds of cancer. Asparagus is delicious when steamed, sauteed, or grilled, and can make an easy side dish with minimal effort.
  2. Artichokes: Artichokes are a good source of fiber, which can help regulate your digestive system. Artichokes are also high in antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals, and help improve liver function. Both the artichoke leaves and heart can be eaten and steaming or baking are the most popular ways to prepare them. You can also stuff artichokes for an extra special presentation.
  3. Strawberries: Strawberries are one of the most popular spring fruits. They are a good source of vitamin C, which we all know is great for your immune system.  Strawberries are also high in antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation in your body. Polyphenols found in strawberries can also help improve insulin sensitivity in nondiabetic adults. Strawberries are delicious on their own, but we also love to add them to smoothies, yogurt bowls, oatmeal, or even sliced and added to water for a refreshing spring beverage.
  4. Peas: Peas are really excellent for eye health and can help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. They are also high in coumestrol, which helps prevent stomach cancer, and the high fiber content is excellent for digestive health. In addition, magnesium, potassium, and other minerals found in peas can lower your risk of high blood pressure. Peas can easily be added to pasta dishes that use light sauces, added to salads or simply steamed and lightly seasoned for a quick and healthy side dish.
  5. Radishes: Radishes are crunchy and refreshing spring vegetables that can help with liver and kidney function, and the glucosinolate and isothiocyanate can help to regulate blood sugar and reduce the risk of diabetes. Radishes are also excellent for overall blood and heart health because they are rich in antioxidants and minerals like calcium and potassium. incorporate radishes into your spring meals by adding thin slices to salads for a peppery crunch, roasting them with garlic and olive oil, or making your own pickled radishes to enjoy all year long.
  6. Apricots: We generally find apricots as dried fruit, and although those are tasty, we love to enjoy fresh apricots in spring when they are in season. Apricots are sweet and juicy spring fruit that are high in vitamin A, which is important for eye health. They are also a good source of fiber, which can help regulate your digestive system. Beta carotene, also found in apricots can help make your skin more resistant to sunburn, which is super helpful for our sunny climate. Like strawberries, apricots are delicious when eaten whole and do really well in salads and smoothies. You can also make some super tasty spring desserts like apricot tarts, and apricot crisp. 
  7. Rhubarb: Rhubarb is a unique spring vegetable that is often used in desserts. Only the stalks are edible, and you’ll see the best Rhubarb become available in early April. Rhubarb is a good source of vitamin K, which is essential for bone health, and vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system. Rhubarb is also high in antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage and reduce inflammation. The high fiber content is of course also excellent for overall digestive health. Get your fill of rhubarb by making pies, or your own chutney that can be whipped out and added to other dishes all year long.

Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is essential for maintaining a healthy diet. During the spring season, there are many delicious and nutritious options to choose from. By incorporating these seasonal foods into your meals, you can take advantage of their health benefits and enjoy the flavors of the season. We encourage you to shop local and find these spring fruits and veggies from local farms if available.

Do you have a favorite on this list? Or a favorite recipe incorporating other spring fruits and veggies? Drop a comment below, or tag us on social media! We would love to hear what you enjoy this time of year.



What is a Mediterranean Diet and why is it so popular?

In recent years, the Mediterranean diet has gained worldwide recognition as a healthy and delicious way of eating and has been consistently ranked as one of the best diets by health experts. The popularity of the Mediterranean diet is for good reasons. The diet emphasizes the consumption of whole, plant-based foods, healthy fats, and lean protein sources and besides being healthy, it’s delicious too. 

What Is Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet is a traditional diet that is popular in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece, Italy, Spain, and Turkey. This diet primarily includes plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, with moderate amounts of fish, poultry, and dairy and limited red meat and sweets consumption.

In addition, the Mediterranean diet also includes healthy fats, such as olive oil, as the primary fat source. 

Why Is Mediterranean Diet So Popular?

There are so many reasons for the increasing popularity of the Mediterranean diet. Here are some of the most important reasons why you should start the Mediterranean diet: 

Improves Your Health 

When you start the Mediterranean diet, it will help you avoid several health issues, including a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. This diet only includes healthy fats and plant-based foods while avoiding unhealthy processed foods, which improve your health significantly. 

Helps In Weight Loss

The Mediterranean diet can help with weight loss because it contains whole, nutrient-dense foods that are naturally low in calories and high in fiber. The high fiber content of the diet helps to increase feelings of fullness and satiety, which can help you avoid unhealthy junk food cravings. When you cut down the total number of calories of consume per day, it will help you lose weight quickly. 

Easy to Follow and Customize 

The Mediterranean diet does not require counting calories or following strict rules, making it easier for people to stick to in the long run. Besides being easy to follow, you can customize it easily by adding your favorite foods to your diet plan, as you get a lot of healthy options. 

Provides Long-term Results 

When you follow the Mediterranean diet, your body changes internally. It has many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients that will heal your body internally and thus provide long-term results. 

Tips for Making Your Mediterranean Diet Effective 

Here are some tips that you should remember to make the Mediterranean diet effective: 

  • Don’t consume many high-fat foods, such as yogurt, cheese, and processed foods. 
  • Reduce your consumption of red meat and opt for lean proteins like fish, poultry, eggs and plant-based sources like beans and tofu.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day and limit sugary beverages.
  • Take your time when eating, savor your food, and be aware of your hunger and fullness cues.
  • Try to be physically active if you want to see the results of your diet quickly. 

Bottom Line 

The Mediterranean diet is not a short-term diet but a lifestyle. You’ll have to be consistent and patient to see the positive results. You can visit Intelligent Gourment to make delicious and healthy food choices for your Mediterranean diet plan! 



Probiotic vs Prebiotic Foods – How to Incorporate Them Into Your Diet

Gut health affects your overall wellness, and what you eat plays a major role in determining the status of your gut health. Recently, probiotic and prebiotic foods have gained popularity as the savers of your gut health. But what’s the difference between these two, and how can you incorporate them into your diet? 

In this post, we’ll explore the difference between probiotics and prebiotics and give you practical tips on how to add these superfoods to your diet.

Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods – What’s the Difference? 

Probiotics and prebiotics foods are not the same. Probiotic foods contain live microorganisms that improve or maintain the number of beneficial gut bacteria in the body. Prebiotic foods contain non-digestible carbohydrates that serve as food for the beneficial bacteria in the gut.

In short, probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that improve the beneficial microflora in the gut, and prebiotics is the food that gut microflora consume, helping them to grow and thrive. Together, probiotics and prebiotics help support a healthy gut microbiome that is essential for the healthy functioning of the gut. 

How to Incorporate Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods Into Your Diet? 

When you’re taking sufficient probiotic and prebiotic foods, you’ll see significant positive changes in your gut health. If you have no idea which foods are the best to get a good intake of probiotics and prebiotics in your diet, here are some of our favorites:

Sources of Probiotic Foods 

  • Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and tempeh are good sources of probiotics.
  • Try adding a spoonful of miso to soups, sprinkling kimchi on your rice, or having a serving of yogurt with fruit and honey to boost probiotics in your diet. 
  • Probiotic drinks, such as kombucha, water kefir, and coconut water kefir, also contain a high amount of probiotics. 
  • You can also snack on probiotic-rich foods like probiotic granola bars or probiotic crackers.

Sources of Prebiotics Foods 

  • Fiber-rich foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, are excellent sources of prebiotics.
  • Root vegetables like garlic, onions, and leeks also provide a high amount of prebiotics.
  • Foods like legumes, green bananas, and cooked and cooled potatoes can also be consumed to increase the levels of prebiotics in your diet.

Processed foods are low in fiber and often high in sugar, which can harm the beneficial bacteria in your gut. So, it’s crucial to minimize highly processed foods from your diet if you want to experience the positive effects of probiotic and prebiotic foods.

Tips for Adding Probiotics and Prebiotics Into Your Diet 

Here are some tips that you should remember when you start adding probiotics and prebiotics into your diet: 

  • Aim for various probiotic and prebiotic foods in your diet rather than relying on a single source.
  • Gradually incorporate these foods into your diet to allow your gut to adjust.
  • Be mindful of the serving sizes and pay attention to how these foods affect your body.
  • Always consult a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

Bottom Line 

Excited to flourish your gut bacteria using these probiotics and prebiotics foods? Pin this post as a reminder, and come visit Intelligent Gourmet to enjoy wholesome food that will help you improve your gut microflora with tasty organic meals. 

Flourless Chocolate Roulade / Bûche De Noël

We’re spilling our secrets! It’s not always easy to make gluten-free desserts, but this flourless chocolate roulade takes the cake. This simple recipe only takes a handful of ingredients, and some patience to prepare ahead of time. But the result is a beautiful dessert with a rich dark chocolate flavor and filled with lightly sweetened whip cream. We like to add a dusting of powdered sugar, and optional cranberries & rosemary sprigs for a more festive celebration.

For the Cake:

  • 10 Eggs 
  • 3/4 Cups sugar or sweetener of choice
  • 5 oz Chocolate (we like bakers chocolate, but you can use semi-sweet, dark, or whatever you like)
  • 2 TBSP Cocao powder

For the Filling: 

  • 2 1/2 Cups heavy cream
  • Dash of vanilla (Optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon sweetener of choice (Optional)

Optional Toppings:

  • Powdered Sugar
  • Rosemary Sprigs
  • Cranberries


The Process: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350
  2. Separate all your eggs so the yolks are in one bowl, and the whites are in another. Set the whites aside for now.
  3. Mix the yolks with a stand or hand mixer, slowly adding in 3/4 cup of your choice of sweetener (Sugar, monk fruit, etc.) Mix until the yolks have doubled in size, and are very pale yellow. Should take about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Melt your chocolate in a bowl in the microwave using 45-second intervals, or over a double boiler. You want the chocolate to be smooth, so keep a careful eye on it so it doesn’t get too hot too quickly.
  5. Let the chocolate cool down, a little, and then fold it into your egg yolk mixture. The chocolate should be melted, but not too hot or it will cause the yolks to develop hard pieces.
  6. Add your cocoa powder to the yolk mixture and whisk until well combined.
  7. Next, mix your egg whites with a stand or hand mixer until you get very stiff peaks.
  8. Slowly and gently fold your egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. You want to keep that nice aeration the whites have, while also making sure everything is evenly incorporated. Make sure there are no lumps or massive air bubbles.
  9. Spray or grease a half-pan cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  10. Gently pour your egg mixture onto the cookie sheet. Tap the pan to help evenly distribute the batter, or use your spatula to help spread it out. Again, we want to keep the batter airy and fluffy
  11. Bake the cake at 350 for about 13 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the cake is springy but doesn’t leave a dent if you press your finger into it.
  12. Allowed to cool completely at room temperature then chill for 15 to 20 minutes.
  13. Add your heavy cream and optional vanilla extract and sweetener to a bowl, and mix with a hand or stand mixer until you have a lovely light and fluffy whipped cream.
  14. Take your chilled cake out of the fridge, and use the parchment paper to lift it out of the sheet pan. Lay it out on a flat workspace.
  15. Spread your whipped cream evenly across the cake.
  16. Using two hands, gently roll the cake starting from one of the shorter ends. Be sure to tuck it in nicely on that first foldover, then gently continue to roll tightly, peeling the parchment paper as you go.
  17. Once the cake is all rolled up, roll it up with some aluminum foil, and gently twist the end to create a seal on both ends (like a tootsie roll).
  18. At this point, you can keep it in the fridge for 3-4 days, or you can freeze it for up to 3 weeks. If you freeze the cake, allow it to defrost at room temperature for about 3 to 4 hours before serving.
  19. Dust with powdered sugar, and decorate with rosemary and/or cranberries if desired.


Did you try this recipe? We’d love to know how it turned out! Tag us on social media @IntelligentGourmet!




IG Holiday Gift Guide

It’s gift-giving season, and if you haven’t checked everyone off your list yet, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite gift ideas for all the foodies, family, and friends in your life. The best part? You can get them all in one stop, (or order them online and we’ll ship them directly!) and you’ll be supporting a local business in your community.


For Truffle/Mushroom Lovers

Not everyone loves truffles and mushrooms, but the people who do, REALLY love them. We are big fans ourselves, and we keep a few favorites on our shelves for anyone else who enjoys that earthy one-of-a-kind flavor.


Salt Lover

There are those that love salt, and then there are those that LOVE salt. We welcome them both of course, but if you have a true salt lover in your life, consider a salt trio set with 3 infused salts all handmade in small batches by our team. Use them for everything from Margaritas, Meat, Pasta, Salads, or even Salted Chocolate and sweets. These are so versatile and make it easy to bring new life to your favorite dishes.


Gluten-Free Eaters

It can be so challenging for someone who eats gluten-free to enjoy going out to eat. From asking the restaurant to make special accommodations on dishes to there simply being no gluten-free options available, it’s tricky to find somewhere you can trust and return to. We specialize in gluten-free cooking, and more specifically, gluten-free baked goods. If you know someone who eats gluten-free, we would love for you to share our menu and a gift card with them so we offer a gluten-free safe space they can actually enjoy.


Snackers/ Someone who’s always on the go

Whether they like to much around the house, or they need a quick bite to get them through a busy day, these snacks will not disappoint.



For your friend or family member that is always hosting game-day parties, weekend brunch, or intimate dinners with their nearest and dearest, these gifts are great to have on hand when they have guests over.


Charcuterie Lovers

Looking for something that’s not so off-the-shelf? We’ve got a great selection of artisanal cheeses and cured meats to put together a charcuterie gift basket. Add in some small batch honey, jam, Grissini, and fun spreads for a complete kit!


Salad Lovers

Who said salads have to be boring (honestly we feel that stigma has dissipated a lot over the past few years and we are HERE for it). We use this dressing and these blueberries on our Market salad, but you can grab jars of each to add to your own home creations.


Self Care Lovers

Let’s be honest, we all need a little more self-care in our lives. At IG, we are huge supporters of holistic wellness and the idea that wellness comes from a balance of health in all areas of our life. We may specialize in food, but we know it takes more than eating right to feel our best. These products help introduce supplementary self-care techniques that can paint a more complete picture of whole-body health and wellness.



For your friends, family, or even your trainers who are constantly pushing their bodies to the limits, help them recover with the restorative properties of CBD, or balance their nutritional needs with a gift card for Meal Prep (not a special meal prep gift card, but a gift card to our store that they can use for meal prep orders).


Busy Parents

How many busy parents do you know who struggle to find to cook healthy meals between all their kid’s activities and events? It’s easy to let eating well slip with so many things going on. A gift card to IG may be just what they need to quickly order and pick up a nutritious family meal the whole crew will love.


Health Guru

Although we think anyone can benefit from a juice cleanse, we know some people enjoy them more than others. If you know anyone who’s getting ready to kick off the new year in good health, a juice cleanse may be the perfect gift to support them in that effort. We offer single-day, 2 day, 3 day, 5 day, or even 7 day cleanse options, so you can pick the length that works best.



Are you getting a teacher gift this year? Consider getting them something that will make their days teaching a little easier. Maybe that’s a hand spray to help keep things around the classroom clean, or a candle to brighten up their room. Or maybe it is a reusable metal straw to help them stay hydrated and happy for those long days of teaching.