NOURISHING ESSENTIALS (March 2019)
Known for its distinct blue color, indigo has come to be called "Japanese blue". Although most commonly recognized as a fabric dye, indigo has many uses and can be enjoyed as a tea or edible powder. The ancient Japanese even used it as an immune booster and an antibacterial cure.
Enjoy the floral and unique taste of this indigo blue tea with these convenient to use tea bags made in Unzen city, Nagasaki. The tea is harvest every morning and dried in sunlight. It includes indigo stalks and leaves raised by the Agia cane factory without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Depending on the time of harvest, indigo roots, seeds and flowers may also be included.
You'll be amazed by the gorgeous and vibrant blue color that comes from the added butterfly pea.
Learn more about this incredible product and its producer in our Producer Spotlight.
Suggested use:Add hot water and enjoy!
Ingredients: Indigo leaf, butterfly pea
Nutritional information: N/A
Celebrate Hinamatsuri (雛祭り)!
Also known as Dolls' Day or Girls' Day, this holiday is celebrated on March 3rd in Japan (the third day of the third month). Families pray for the health and happiness of their girls by displaying ornamental dolls known as hina-ningyō (雛人形 ), as well as by eating special, traditional foods. One of which is hinaarare (ひなあられ).
Hinaarare are colorful and sweet rice crackers that help to welcome spring after a long, cold winter. Each color carries a special meaning. The white crackers represent snow, the pink crackers represent life, and the green crackers represent the budding green leaves of spring.
These hinaarare are a limited edition, seasonal product from the Kansai region of Japan and are made from rice cultivated without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. It is also JAS certified organic.
Suggested use: Enjoy as is.
Ingredients:Organic glutinous rice (domestic), organic white soy sauce (including domestic soybean / domestic wheat), organic white soy sauce (including soybeans and wheat) organic sugar, mirin, seaweed, blue paste, kelp, bonito
Nutritional information: N/A
Ume, a fruit similar to plums, are a staple in the Japanese diet. Although they can commonly be found all over Japan, only 1% produced in the famous ume region of Wakayama are organic. This liquid organic ume paste is made from JAS/USDA certified organic ume with no added chemicals (even in the fertilizer), preservatives or artificial coloring. Truly only the best quality ume is used! Learn more about these amazing producers on our Producer Spotlight.
This liquid organic ume paste has been aged for more than 3 years in an ume barrel and is made with salt from the seawater of Hyogo prefecture. It has a wonderful salty and tart taste and can be used in the place of salt or soy sauce. Only a small amount is required.
Suggested use: Add it to soups or sauces for extra flavoring, as a salad dressing or as a marinade for chicken or pork.
Ingredients:Organic plum vinegar, organic plum, organic shiso, salt
Nori (seaweed) paste, also known as tsukudani, is a commonly used condiment in Japan. Toasted nori sheets are pickled then simmered into a delicate paste the has balanced sweet, salty and umami flavor.
Traditionally added on top of a steaming bowl of rice, you can also use it as a spread on crackers or toast, as a topping for fish or chicken, or mix it with diced avocados or hard boiled eggs. Use your creativity!
Nutritional information: (Per package) Calories: 14kcal, Total Fat: 0g, Sodium: 0.5g, Total Carbohydrate: 2.6g, Protein: 0.7g
Make your own mochi!
Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made from pounded, glutinous rice. It comes in a wide variety of forms and flavors, from plain to savory, or as a dessert filled with such things as ice cream, sweet red bean paste or fruit. There are some that are traditional eaten on specific holidays, but it can also be enjoyed on a daily basis.
This mochi comes filled with different types of seaweed including hijiki, akamoku, wakame and nori. The ingredients are sourced by a fishery located inthe south of Toba City in Mie prefecture. They catch and produce from the local fishing village and focus on sustainable fishing techniques.
Convenient to make, this do-it-yourself mochi can be easily prepared at home. Just pop them in the microwave for 60 seconds and enjoy!