Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Wonderful Gift of Azure Standard

Several years ago I was introduced to a wonderful money saving organic and natural foods buying group called Azure Standard.  At that time we drove about 30 minutes to a drop off point where we would meet the semi and pick up our items we had placed orders for on line.  The company is located in Oregon and our trucking company, Covenant Ranch Trucking is located in Kansas.  Our drop point, Williamsburg,Iowa was the furtherest point on their line.  Due to the great pricing backed by the knowledge that our food was coming from healthy sources and was GMO free, the requests for Azure going more places became more insistent and today even my mom in South Carolina picks up monthly deliveries.   I am now drop point manager for a very convieniently located drop in Iowa City which is only a few miles from my home. Each month the fine folks in my group order what they need on line and one week later it is delivered to a spacious church parking lot which is a central location for most of us.  We all help unload and divide the orders making sure that each person has what they ordered.  In our particular group we have people such as an Organic Valley farmer who brings his delicious chicken and beef to our drop points at each pickup.  It is such fun having a group of like minded folks who enjoy feeding healthy as well as delicious food to their loved ones.
Some of the favorites I see around our group include Almond flour, (delicious!) frozen berries and fruits, grains such as wheat and oats, Nature's Path cearels, Bubbies Pickles, toothpaste and deoderant, BPA free containers, herbal tinctures, yogurts and cheeses and the list could go on.
My personal favorites include Azure's own chicken broth powder, their many varieties of potatoes (I got 50 lbs of yellow ones last month for only $22) apples (which are sadly about out for the season), wheat berries (which I grind for most of my flour usage), oats, mushroom soup mix and of course their fabulous seasonal produce.  I have a case of broccoli coming this month.  It has 14 heads in it and my cost is only $15!  
I stalk the sales specials and Bargain bins and try new things that way.  We also use their goat's milk bar soaps as we have sensitive skin issues in our home.
I was recently asked if I could write down a favorite recipe that showcases Azure ingredients and our pretty much daily Blueberry waffles and syrup came to mind.
Here is that yummyness...

*2 c ww flour (I use the AS brand in white wheat and have used soft and hard)
*1/4 c ground golden flax seed (AS has great 5 lb packs)
*1/4 c olive oil
*2 c milk (We use raw organic and I sometimes substitute 1/2 c of plain yogurt for 1/2 of the milk)
*4 eggs separated
*1 t. salt
*2 t bkg pwd.
*Blueberries, Chocolate chips, (both are available from AS at great pricing! I just got a case of the frozen bulk Blueberries and OWM they remind me so much of how they taste fresh!!)

Combine dry ingredients, add oil, egg yolks and milk.  Beat egg whites till they are stiff and fold in till well mixed.  I grease my waffle iron with real butter and place desired amount in and then place blueberries or chocolate chips right on top.  (I put both in mine  )

For a quick and easy syrup:
*3 cups organic raw sugar
*1 c organic brown sugar (I purchase cases of  brown and pwd sugars from AS in the small bags--stores well in my basement and keeps fresh!)
*2 c water
*1 T maple flavoring
Simmer together till sugar is dissolved.  Avoid boiling as that will make so that leftovers get sugary.

The waffle batter is great as leftovers for several days. But I always try to warn people that the flax seems to have a stronger taste after the first day.

Another of my favorite things from Azure is their bulk fresh Garlic which is usually only a few dollars per pound.
My herbalist and Friend, Kristi,  who is also an AS member shared a wonderful garlic oil recipe with me.  Garlic oil is good for so very many things including ear infections and many other illnesses.  It is wonderful to use in cooking and lasts on your counter for several months. 

It only uses 2 ingredients: 
6 cloves garlic and 1/3 c olive oil

I simply chop the garlic, place in cup size glass jar and pour the olive oil over the top.

After it has set for a few hours it is ready for use.  I usually leave most of it in the jar with the chopped garlic and then strain a small amount into a dropper bottle to use for ear aches.

I could go on and on about the many ways Azure has helped our young family. It is definitely a blessing I am very thankful for and love to share with other people.  If you are wishing for more info or to join a drop close to you you may call them directly at 971-200-8350 or if you are local to the Iowa City area you may contact me for help signing up.  The program is free. You do not have to place an order every month to stay active. When you do place an order there is a $50 minimum needed in order to avoid a $5 surcharge.
Anyone can go and browse their website and check out their great pricing for yourselves!

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