It’s summer in Arizona once again. Who wants to spend a lot of time near an oven when you already feel like you’re in one? To help satiate summer cravings for lighter offerings, while getting the best out of gourmet flavors without spending hours in the kitchen, check out the new line up of products from 4th & Heart, RiceSelect® Organic Pearl Couscous and Pereg Gluten-Free Flour. 

4th & Heart Artisanal Flavored Ghee

Give me a one, give me a two, give me a ghee! Before you chastise my corniness, I want to emphatically stress that the variety of ghee flavors offered by California-based, 4th & Heart are 100% worth, cheering for. My first introduction to ghee was in a childhood story where an Indian tiger was turned into Indian butter – it was quite entertaining. My first taste of 4th & Heart’s ghee, described as a “type of clarified butter that is heated, reduced & triple-filtered out,” was beyond delicious. I first sampled the “White Truffle Salt,” on a chicken veggie skewer I threw on the grill – amazing. My second go at ghee, despite my intrepidness at the jar’s listed suggestion to put Madagascar Vallina ghee in coffee, was equally delectable. As a product that is considered a healthy fat advisable in replacing butter is lactose and dairy free and aids digestion and metabolism, I think you’ll aghee that ghee is the better butter. I also find the packaging to be charming and the on-the-go ghee packets, practical and priceless. 

RiceSelect Organic Pearl Couscous

I’ve always enjoyed variations of couscous. Admittedly, I’ve always preferred the “bigger” version of Couscous, which thanks to RiceSelect® Organic Pearl Couscous, I have learned is also referred to at “Israeli Couscous.” This USA organic produced Couscous is perfect for busy individuals, who want an easy, but tasty dinner addition that can be dressed up or down depending on the mood. I’m happy to report that my entire family has officially become Pearl Couscous addicts. Our first trial run of the “bigger Couscous” resulted in pleas for second helpings, disappointment due to an empty pot and requests for additional servings…every night henceforth.  I’d also like to highlight the happy union of RiceSelect® Organic Pearl Couscous with 4th and Heart’s ghee, which will undoubtedly guarantee multiple spoon dips from the Couscous bowl (try adding a tablespoon during prep and right before serving).

Pereg Gluten-Free Flour

If you subscribe to a gluten-free diet, I’d like to introduce you to Pereg’s line up of almond, banana, buckwheat, chickpea, quinoa and coconut flours. Although I don’t have any sensitivities to gluten, I’m always in for an alternative baking flour and was thus intrigued by my sample of banana flour. Interestingly enough, the folks at Pereg suggest that the properties of banana flour work similarly to those of traditional wheat flour, except even less banana flour is required. The result: an earthy wholesome flavor with a fluffy texture for your baked goods, according to Pereg. Or, if you make the chocolate-banana bread recipe on the back of the banana flour bag, you’ll have a chocolatey, delicious treat you can eat 10 times more of in one sitting … because it’s healthier – okay, I made that last part up. I passed my coconut flour sample to friend Liz, who does happen to have a sensitivity to gluten. She also had great results with the coconut flour biscuit recipe on the back of her bag. I bet those biscuits would go amazingly well with a little ghee melted on top!