Mind, Body
+ Spirits

Summer Essentials

Grab the sunscreen, make a fun playlist, and get ready to relax because it’s officially summer! While we all know that Memorial Day is theunofficial kick-off for the best season of the year, the calendar notes the official start of summer as June 20. To save you the trouble of seeking out summer essentials,  Covet has curated a list of summer must-haves to use at home, in your beach bag, or at your next pool party. Check out some of our absolute essentials for your summer routine!

1) Pangea Organics

 

Whether it’s before a posh pool party, at the beach, or even at your friend’s backyard barbecue, Pangea Organics’ French Rosemary with Sweet Orange Facial Toner will be your go-to essential that will refresh, nurture and relax your skin. The fresh mixture of rosemary meets a summery citrus scent that will make you feel like you’re at the spa, while still doing the  “dirty” work of removing traces of dirt, oil, and impurities. This multitasking essential is perfect for on-the-go, so be sure to keep one stashed in your bag or purse for use all summer long!

2) Chameleon Cold-Brew

 

It’s our favorite time of year again, and while Summertime means fun in the sun, it also brings barbecue after block party boasting sugary drinks that aren’t too friendly on your summer bod. Chameleon’s premium, less acidic, and highly caffeinated consciously crafted coffee is here to help by giving you that bold and smooth flavor you know and love, without the extra calories. Chameleon’s line of organic cold-brew coffee concentrates and ready-to-drink beverages are available in a variety of delicious flavors including Mexican, Black, Mocha, Caramel, Texas Pecan, Vanilla, and more, and can be enjoyed hot or cold, sweetened or black, alone or mixed with your favorite booze, making it a completely customizable experience. These skinny yet bold cold-brews will be sure not to ruin your summer #bodgoals.

 

3) Birch Benders

 

Who ever said that pancakes were just for cold, rainy days? Turns out, pancakes are and can be the perfect addition to your summer brunch. Birch Benders micro-pancakery has you covered with options like Buttermilk, Chocolate Chip, Gluten-Free and even Paleo! Their easy-to-make, high-quality pancakes mixes come in a variety of flavors that are natural and use the very best ingredients. To add a fresh touch, add some seasonal toppings like strawberries, bananas, or blueberries, and you have a delicious summer treat to enjoy on your own, or with friends!

 

4)  CORE Hydration

 

Our absolute must-have for the warmer months of summer is one that will be used after a long day at the beach, during your workout, or simply while trying to stay cool. CORE Hydration is the premium water brand that delivers naturally pH-balanced water in a contoured bottle that is perfect for the gym or on-the-go. For those who suck at drinking enough water daily (guilty), staying healthy, hydrated and (ph)abulous could not be easier with CORE Organic, CORE Hydration’s sister line of organic fruit-infused water (with just 5 calories!)

5) Health Warrior

Health Warrior’s line of chia bars help deliver nutrient-rich superfoods that are tasty, nutritious and only 100 calories. Mini yet mighty, these little bars of goodness will keep you full with minimal calories and never sacrificing on flavor. Enjoy a range of flavors from Dark Chocolate, Acai, Coconut, or even Coffee. Not to mention, each bar is gluten-free, vegan, and free of GMOs. Grab some Health Warrior Chia Bars and you’ll be sure to have the best summer snack ever!

10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Make With Pancake Mix

Chances are, you have a bag of pancake mix sitting in your pantry for those lazy Sunday mornings when you want to treat yourself or your kiddos to a warm stack of flapjacks smothered in butter and maple syrup. Why wait until the weekend to get your pancake fix? Spanning from Classic, Protein, to Six Grain Cinnamon, Birch Benders offers a variety of flavorful mixes that will make you crave breakfast morning, noon and night. This uber versatile mix can be used in a myriad of different recipes throughout the week.

We’ve compiled 10 sweet and savory recipes to be used for any time of the day using their line of just-add-water mixes, proving Birch Benders are a must-have staple in any pantry.

     

     

  1. Paleo Banana Bread
    • This simple banana bread batter uses only three ingredients thanks to Birch Benders’ Paleo Pancake & Waffle Mix, making it healthier than almost every loaf on the market and so easy.

     

  2. Tropical Fruit Donuts with Lime Glaze
    • Get on island time with these better-for-you donuts, made with Greek yogurt and the Classic Pancake & Waffle Mix. Tropical drink sold separately.


  3. Pigs in a Blanket
    • It’s gameday and you’re in charge of finger foods. Making a quick biscuit dough using Birch Benders Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix, these updated football snacks will be the hit of any party.


  4. Fried Pickles
    • A staple in Southern kitchens, these pickles are taken one step further with a batter made from Protein Mix, ensuring that you’re getting your necessary protein while gorging on these salty snacks.


  5. Jalapeño Poppers
    • Combining their love of pancakes with their love of spice, cream cheese and bacon, the team at Birch Benders created this epic recipe for Jalapeño Poppers that will leave you wanting to roll every veggie in pancake mix.


  6. Fried Shrimp & Tartar Sauce
    • These shrimp coated in Birch Benders’ Classic Recipe and buttermilk are simple, delicious and noticeably better-for-you than your run-of-the-mill fried seafood.


  7. Paleo Buffalo Chicken Pizza
    • If our Paleo friends are craving pizza and can’t seem to get behind the cauliflower crust trend, then Birch Benders’ Paleo Pancake & Waffle Mix is the perfect solution. Dress it up or down however you want, but we love to cover it in shredded chicken and drizzled with buffalo sauce and ranch.


  8. Vanilla Coconut Chicken Tenders
    • Grown ups like chicken tenders too, but Birch Benders throws coconut chips into the mix, adding some sophistication to your childhood favorite.


  9. Classic Sugar Cookies
    • For those moments when you get a cookie craving, and don’t want to spend your afternoon measuring out countless dry ingredients, Birch Benders’ Classic Mix takes the hassle out of baking,allowing you more time to decorate with friends.


  10. Cinnamon Peach Apple Cobbler
    • Pouring Six Grain Cinnamon Pancake & Waffle Mix over a variety of seasonal fruits creates a fluffy, spiced topping that will impress any guest.

 
Photo credit: @birchbenders

The Benefits of Bone Broth

Bone broth is making a comeback. While everyone has been told by their moms, grandmas and even doctors, that chicken stock does a body good, does anyone really know why? And what the heck is even considered bone broth?  The widely accepted definition of bone broth is the liquid that remains after animal bones are boiled in water for anywhere from 12 – 48 hours in order to break the bones down and allow all the nutrients and minerals to be released.

 

Bone broth has been rumored to do the following, taking it from just liquid to liquid gold:

 

— Reduce inflammation

— Help alleviate joint pain

— Be a useful tool for weight loss

— Stimulate hair and nail growth

— Improves memory & sleep patterns

— Has anti-aging properties

— Boost the immune system

— Great for gut health by sealing holes in the intestines

 

Now, some skeptics may say that bone broth is just dressed up soup. And if we believed all the hype surrounding newly acclaimed superfoods that seem to be popping up in our newsfeeds daily, we wouldn’t be doing our due diligence as health and wellness advocates. And as much as we want all of these benefits to hold true, the fact of the matter is that there is very little scientific backing to many of these claims.

 

Easy cynics… before you start blasting I told you so comments on your friends Facebook posts about bone broth, take note that there are some very notable pluses to consuming this age-old comfort food.

 

Just like grandma told you, a homemade bowl of broth will bolster the immune system. It is also true that bone broth (especially that made from the bones of poultry) is a great natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin to support joints – both in humans and pets!

 

Bone broth also happens to be a great sports recovery drink. Don’t believe me? Ask Kobe Bryant. He and his LA Laker teammates have a special dietary regimen that bone broth is one of the three founding pillars of. In addition to hydrating the body and replenishing electrolytes lost while exercising, the amino acids in bone broth will help the body rebuild muscle.

 

And on top of it all, from an efficiency standpoint, bone broth really makes use of the entire animal. According to Epic Provisions, who just launched the first-ever refrigerated bone broth, they strongly feel we should be honoring the animals providing for us anyway we can. That it is our responsibility as carnivores that live on a planet with limited resources. Epic embodies this value by using up to 70% of the entire animal in their product line. And just to give you some perspective, most meat snack companies cap off around 8%.

 

So just because you decide to start drinking a cup of broth a day on top of your 3,000 calorie diet of pizza and beer, does not mean you are suddenly going to be rid of all of your health issues and concerns. But adding bone broth to your routine has the potential to improve general health, especially if you are feeling sick or fatigued. What making and consuming bone broth will do – without question – is get you in the kitchen, making your own food, and opening your consciousness to what you are putting into your body. And for those of you that prefer to skip to the fun part of eating without the hassle of cooking, pick up Beef Jalapeno Sea Salt, Homestyle Chicken, or Turkey Cranberry Sage broth at your local Epic retailer.

Striking Gold at Expo West

Ahhhh, Natural Products Expo West. Where the kombucha flows like wine and health-nuts flock like the Salmon of Capistrano.

Some view this insanely jam-packed weekend as chaos at its finest. However, at Covet, we see it more as Oscar Weekend, where all of our most coveted foods, beverages, beauty products and more, are all dressed up for the big award show. Natural Products Expo West is where the who’s who of health and wellness brands all convene in one place, chugging cold brew, revealing new innovations, bouncing wild ideas around and putting faces to a year’s worth of emails and conference calls.

This year, we took the whole team up to Anaheim for the weekend to set up camp in our amazing lineup of client booths (and get some much needed R&R in the Suja Press Room). I think it is safe to say that we have finally recovered from our four-day hangover, following the biggest Expo West in history, and are just buzzing with excitement over the bubbling trends we noticed since last year’s Expo, all of the fun new brands in the health and wellness space that we tried, and the success of our incredible clients. Below is a recap of all the madness from the big show!

 

Tradeshow Trends

 

Greener than Ever:

Several brands are taking reduce, reuse and recycle to the next level with creative uses of ingredients that were likely previously thrown away. For example, Hawaiian Ola has taken coffee leaves – a potent source of antioxidants – and created a refreshing ready-to-drink tea, which also creates an added value to Hawaiian coffee farmer’s efforts. Meanwhile, dehydration is proving an effective technique to pack nutrients into foods while preserving.  

 

Puppies & Babies:

It seems like both pet and baby food have begun to follow in the footsteps of our very own nutritional trends, incorporating more fresh ingredients into their products and using innovative new modes of processing and packaging to preserve the nutritional integrity of those fresh ingredients. Once Upon a Farm has put an HPP-spin on fresh fruits and veggies and infused healthy fats tailored to infants’ key nutritional phases, all packaged in neat little shelf-stable pouches that don’t sacrifice taste or quality. Meanwhile, The Honest Kitchen – who’s dehydrated pet foods have sparked a revolution among pet food manufacturers big and small – has disguised superfoods to look like pet kibble with its new Proper Toppers product launching in April, made only with chicken or turkey, blueberries, pumpkin and chard.

 

Odd Couples:

Functional ingredients have stepped out of the box and off the spice rack with unique ingredients like rosewater and saffron being infused in a beverage called H2Rose that claims beauty from within along with mood-enhancing and stress-relieving benefits. Royal jelly, found in Bruce Tea, was the Kung-Fu legend and brand namesake’s special ingredient in his tea (which was created by his daughter), and the queen bee’s pollen touts a plethora of health benefits.

 

Protein of the Future:

Protein has become more and more important, in light of the many intolerances to other food groups like grains, dairy and sugars. Much like Once Upon A Farm’s fresh baby food, Smashpack is the solution to every busy body’s chaotic schedule. Their BPA-free pouches are packed with real fruit and a healthy fat to give you a delicious, paleo-friendly, gluten-free, high protein snack while you’re on-the- go. And just when protein products couldn’t get more outside the box, we found Exo, who makes protein bars packed with a gluten-free flour alternative made solely out of crickets (yes the bug). Think they’re crazy? Cricket protein is catching like wildfire, and brands like Exo and Bitty -maker of cookies made with cricket flour – are just the tip of the insect-iceberg.

 

Bike Powered Energy:

Forget solar power, this weekend was powered by our two-wheeled roadside companions. Pitaya Plus & Stonyfield Organic both utilized stationary exercise bikes to power blenders to make smoothies-to-order with their delicious superfood packets and organic yogurts, respectively.

 

Watermelon World:

Beyoncé was one step ahead when she was drinkin’ that watermelon… our favorite summertime fruit has become one of the biggest trends in food and beverage we’ve seen this year, for it’s ultra-hydrating properties. Maple water top dog’s DRINKmaple used Expo West as a launching pad for their newest product, DRINKmelon. Unlike high pressure processed watermelon beverage brands like WTRMLN WTR and H2Melon, DRINKmelon is pasteurized and shelf-stable. Hot on the watermelon trend, sprouted snack brand GoRaw has soaked, sprouted and dehydrated watermelon seeds to create a powerful protein source on its own and in a bar.

 

Most Buzzed About Booths

 

Siete, an emerging tortilla brand, has used cassava and coconut flour for a delicious gluten-free tortilla that mimics the feel of a flour tortilla with an amped up taste. The brand’s breakfast tacos were the tastiest treat on the show floor.

 

Aside from having killer branding and top notch protein snacks to keep us going on hour 2783910 of the show, EPIC hosted Bone Broth Latte’s on Saturday morning that sparked a fan-crazed line longer than that of a Bieber concert.

 

Exclusively on Friday, NFL pros and Health Warrior investors and ambassadors Arian Foster, Glover Quin, and EJ Manuel were at the chia seed snack line’s booth to provide powerful nutrition and inspiration through superfoods. Visitors snapped selfies with the stars starting around noon, while checking out the brand’s all-new look and tasting the new Dark Chocolate Chia Bar (an office staple!)

 

What we were probably most excited and curious to check out was the Barnana booth. About a week before the big event, the potassium packed banana-snack purveyors announced their newest product: Gorilla Milk – a nutritionally dense milk from Western Lowland Gorillas. By purchasing Barnana Gorilla Milk you would be directly contributing to efforts to save and repopulate the wild habitat of the gorilla. Crazy amazing, right? We weren’t the only ones who thought so. After making the trek to Barnana’s post, we soon discovered that the hair-brained idea was nothing more than a publicity stunt. We don’t know what we felt more… totally stupid for buying into the gimmick heard round Expo, or hilariously entertained by the fact that everyone in attendance did too. Well done, Barnana. Well done, indeed.

 

Favorite New Products

 

Banza Chickpea Pasta – pasta can finally be enjoyed guilt-free. And don’t even get us started on their new Mac N’ Cheese….

Project 7 Gourmet Gummies – the brand that has brought joy to chewing gum fanatics nationwide launched their brand new line of gummies. With flavors such as Birthday Cake and Grapefruit Melon – it takes just one bear to be transported back to childhood nostalgia.

Ruby Rockets – when we thought we literally couldn’t eat one more thing, and were feeling the expected Expo-bloat from all the samples, Ruby Rockets came to the rescue with their 35-calorie Galaxy Green veggie popsicle, made only with kiwi, avocadoes, spinach, banana and green apples.

Pop & Bottle – not only did their almond milk taste insanely good, but we felt cool just holding one of their gorgeous bottles.

 

Covet Client Achievements

 

NEXTY Best in the West: Suja’s Raspberry Probiotic Water

 

NEXTY Best New Condiment: EPIC Duck Fat Cooking Oil

 

NEXTY Best New Pet Product: The Honest Kitchen’s Bone Broth