Celebrating Fresh Avocados Throughout the US With Members of thePlate Community!

If you follow us on Facebook or on Twitter, you already know that we’ve been spreading our love for fresh avocados throughout the United States. Thanks to our fabulous bloggers, communities all around the nation have been learning about avocados and discovering new ways to incorporate them into a balanced diet.

Related: When Life Gives You Fresh Avocados, Host a Party to Share the Benefits!

We kicked off the avocado parties back in May at thePlate Boutique, our own storefront located in downtown Mt. Pleasant, MI. As part of our monthly healthy eating club loyalty card program, our members were asked to come shop and learn with us.

Avocado Party at thePlate Boutique

We had two displays in place; one where members could stop and learn how to select, ripen, pit and store a Hass Avocado. Another, where they could watch us whip up a tasty avocado and banana smoothie recipe found within the Hass avocado cookbook provided by the Hass Avocado Board (HAB) and additionally found over at LoveOneToday.com.

As we whipped up smoothies and discussed the best ways to get an avocado ready to eat, we also dished on some of the nutritional benefits associated with avocados.

Abby showing off avocados at thePlate Boutique
Store Associate, Abby Scharf, from thePlate Boutique showing us how to take care of our avocados!

Many of our members already knew avocados were good for them, but what really intrigued them was the versatility of the avocado. From breakfast dishes to desserts, the addition of fresh avocados to dishes morning ’til night was where most of our conversation stayed.

Over the past few months, the conversation continued. With five events hosted so far, our food health and nutrition bloggers brought about that same nutrition know-how to their own communities. We provided cookbooks and tips for hosting an event similar to ours, but the rest was up to them.

Megan Lyons from the Lyons Share Wellness created her own smoothie featuring the beloved avocado at a workshop she hosted at her dance studio. Her Summer Refresh-mint Smoothie was a hit, in addition to her veggie-loaded guacamole.

Megan from the Lyon's Share
Megan from the Lyon’s Share Wellness dishing up avocado goodness

Elizabeth Shaw, RD also shared her love of fresh avocados by hosting a party and month long campaign on her blog, Simple Swaps. Her displays were beautiful and the food amazing!

Avocado table set up for Simple Swaps event
Check out that spread! So many delicious options to choose from!

Interesting avocado facts were also shared in The Fit Cookie’s Avocado Class. The information shared and the recipes created can be found over on the Fit Cookie’s blog. Our favorite? The easy avocado chicken salad. Seriously! Go and check it out!

Sarah Jane Parker at Avocado Event
Sarah Jane Parker from the Fit Cookie is ready to show people how to incorporate avocados into their day!

A few teenagers over in New Jersey also learned a think or two about avocados thanks to registered dietitian Mary Brighton, RD. Mary gave a great nutrition presentation about all the benefits associated with avocados. She also shared a super simple and super delicious recipe for Simple Guacamole.

Mary Brighton, MS, RD
Mary Brighton, MS, RD is ready to show off her avocado knowledge!

As we continue to move through the next month, we’re excited to share the continued efforts our bloggers are making as they share their love for avocados with those in their community. In the meantime, be sure to visit LoveOneToday.com for great tips, recipes and resources.

Disclaimer/Disclosure: These events and this post were sponsored by the Hass Avocado Board. We received financial compensation for this campaign, but all opinions expressed are Kati’s alone. We just thought you should know. For a full list of our disclaimer and disclosure policies, please visit our legal page.

Celebrating 5 Years of Around the Plate with Dreamfarm! *GIVEAWAY*

Did you know that Around the Plate turns FIVE years old this month!?! It seems crazy to think that we’ve been posting and sharing healthy eating tips and inspiration for such a long time, especially when it feels as though everyday we’re embarking on a new adventure here behind the scenes.

We really wanted to say thank you to all of our amazing readers who’ve made every day at Around the Plate amazing, and what better way to do that then with a little celebratory giveaway?

Meet Dreamfarm! Probably one of the most innovative kitchen gadgets lines we’ve seen to date.

From their easy to use garlic press to their awesome potato and avocado masher, we’re pretty excited to share our anniversary with this fun kitchen line. Yep, Dreamfarm came on the scene just about the same time we did – WAY back in 2009! And separately, we’ve both been taking the world by storm one healthy idea at a time.

What we love about Dreamfarm is their commitment to solve problems in the kitchen. They don’t intend to design products that become useless or lost in your drawers. No, they look for ways to enhance your everyday kitchen experience and want to bring you quality products that last and do the job they are designed to do. From the packaging to the products themselves, the colors are bright and the design elegant. Seems like a perfect fit for the more modern cook or modern day healthy eater if you ask us.

Now as we join forces to celebrate 5 years, we hope these innovative products will help you cook a little easier, a little bit better, and a little bit healthier.

One lucky reader will also win their own set of gadgets from Dreamfarm! We’re giving them a Garject Lite (garlic press),

Garject Lite
photo credit: Dreamfarm

a Smood (potato/avocado masher),

photo credit: Dreamfarm

a Vebo (silicone steam bag),

credit: Dreamfarm
credit: Dreamfarm

and a Savel (fruit/veggie saver)!

photo credit: Dreamfarm

And for those of you who don’t win, guess what!?! We’ll soon be carrying this line at thePlate Boutique! So you can always eat well and think of us as you do. In the meantime, our mid-Michigan residents can stop by our downtown Mt. Pleasant store location to see these items in person. Our team is having fun testing them out, but we promise to show them to you too when you stop by!

To enter our giveaway, follow the directions below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer/Disclosure: We received one Savel, one Garject lite, one Vebo, and one Smood to review courtesy of Dreamfarm. Dreamfarm has also provided a duplicate set to be given to one lucky Around the Plate reader. We were not compensated for this post and the opinions expressed are Kati’s alone. For terms and conditions of this giveaway, please review the statement given via Rafflecopter above. For further disclosure and disclaimer information regarding our site, please visit our legal page. 

Local Bagger Dave’s Hosts Multi-Day Fundraiser for Kids’ Food Basket Through Sept. 19th

With our soon-to-launch Grand Rapids store location, we have to say we’re pretty excited to see some of our fellow Grand Rapid businesses and organizations partnering together in an effort to attack child hunger.

Related: Help Us Open Another Healthy Kitchen Store with IndieGoGo! 

Bagger Dave’s Burger Tavern is currently hosting a nearly week long fundraiser for the Kid’s Food Basket at four of its Grand Rapids-area restaurants through Friday, September 19th. Participating restaurants are in Cascade Township, Grand Rapids, Holland, and Grandville.

Girl with Healthy Lunch

If you aren’t familiar with the amazing nonprofit organization, Kids’ Food Basket, you should probably know that its one of our absolute favorites. Not only do they tackle childhood hunger by providing thousands of nutritious meals to kids within the area, but they also help young people learn to live and eat well.

During the week, each restaurant will be collecting the following items: Cracker packs and granola bars, peanut butter (any sized jars), snack and sandwich-sized Ziploc bags, individual fruit, pudding and gelatin cups, 100% fruit packs (0.9 oz or similar), brown and white paper lunch sacks (eight pound or extra large), individual serving size cereal, bulk pretzels, veggie straws (snack) and plain Cheerios.

For all our readers who live close by, we hope you’ll consider donating! We also encourage you to take a photo of your contribution and post it to your favorite social media site using the #daveshungerfight hashtag and showing the picture to your server. By doing this, you’ll be eligible to receive a free Bagger Dave’s koozie.

Related: Grab Your Invite to Bagger Dave’s Signature Drink Event

When you visit one of the participating restaurants, you’ll also get the opportunity to decorate paper sacks that Kids’ Food Basket’s clients receive their meals in. How awesome is that!?! What a great way to make a healthy sack lunch even more fun and special.

 If you’d like more information on Kids’ Food Basket or are looking for more ways to get involved, consider visiting their website. They also have a great Facebook page and Twitter handle to follow.

For more information on Bagger Dave’s and their hours of operation, visit their website at http://baggerdaves.com.

And don’t delay! This unique event ends tomorrow!

Help Us Open Another Healthy Kitchen Store by Supporting Our IndieGoGo Campaign

If you haven’t heard Aaron and I shouting it from the rooftops yet, you should know something BIG is about to happen. We’ve been eluding to it for the past couple of months, but now we can confidently say that soon you’ll be able to meet our team in person in not only one, but two very awesome locations!

Our kitchen store, thePlate Boutique, is headed to the city. And not just any city. Grand Rapids, MI – one of my favorite cities ever! Only about an hour and a half away from where we currently reside, we visit Grand Rapids for the zoo, museums, and amazing food. Our boys love it too. So it seemed kind of like a no brainer to choose Grand Rapids as our second store location. Throw in the fact that we’re looking at space in the Downtown Market, and now we’re talking about a match made in heaven.

thePlate Boutique

Yep, this is an AMAZING opportunity for us and our team. But to get there, we need a little help. As we put together our action plan, we also need to think about how to fund this dream of ours. That’s where you come in. We’re hoping you’ll consider partnering up with us and help bring our second store front from dream to reality.

We launched an IndieGoGo campaign a few weeks ago to better explain why we need your help. Although we have some capital and are exploring other options for funding as well, we didn’t want to leave any stone unturned. Basically, we believe in this dream so much that we are willing to do whatever it takes to make it a reality. When we opened our first store in downtown Mt. Pleasant, we took everything we had scrimped and saved and put it towards the business we currently have today. We’re proud to say that our business has grown a little each month; however, most of our money is wrapped in our current endeavors and carving out enough funds to truly be worthy of our new space in Grand Rapids is proving difficult.

Related: Around the Plate Says Hello to Mount Pleasant, MI

If you want to be apart of supporting one small businesses dream, we hope you’ll consider contributing to our campaign. Even $5 makes a huge difference and we have some amazing perks if you can give more.

Contribute to Our Campaign! 

Want more information? Watch this video from Aaron and I:

Celebrate National Guacamole Day with Us at a Google+ Hangout!

Although the avocado may not necessarily be a fruit you associate with fall, it is actually the perfect time to enjoy this versatile, nutrient-rich food. Actually, fresh avocados can (and should!) be enjoyed all year around yet September in particular is a pretty special time to celebrate the avocado and the fresh flavor it can add to your plate.

National Guacamole Day Ad

If you love guacamole as much as I do, then you may already know that an entire day in September is devoted to this delicious snack. What you may not know is that guacamole is meant for more than just chips. Actually, a guacamole is practically just as versatile as the avocado itself. Use it on sandwiches, in scrambled eggs, in a salad on top of a baked potato or piece of grilled chicken, or use it in place of may in chicken or egg salad sandwiches. Get creative, have fun and add a punch of flavor and nutrients to just about any dish.

As our excitement builds over National Guacamole Day, we hope you’ll consider joining us for a very special Google+ hangout to discuss how you can incorporate not only guacamole, but avocados in general, on your plate. Our bloggers have been hard at work all summer long sharing avocado inspiration, prep tips, and recipes with members of their community and they’re ready to share these same ideas with you! Not only that, but if you’d like to share the love of avocados with those around you, you’ll be able to get some great tips on how to do just that! So this year, whenever there is a reason to celebrate, you’ll be good to go with some fresh avocado-inspired event ideas.

Our Google+ hangout chat will be occurring on September 16th, otherwise known as National Guacamole Day! You’ll be able to join members from our team as well as a few of our fabulous bloggers from thePlate Community. We’ll be encouraging you to make your own guac to enjoy as you listen in, ask questions and live tweet with us! Can you imagine a better way to enjoy National Guacamole day? Us either!

For more information on National Guacamole Day and some party planning ideas, be sure to check out LoveOneToday.com. You’ll find all sorts of great resources there!

To RSVP for our special National Guacamole Day Google+ Hangout or to learn more about how you can get involved, check out the event listing over on Google+.

We can’t wait to share some guacamole with you!