Summer is already on its last legs, but the expected August heat and uncommonly stagnant humidity don’t seem to be going anywhere fast. To keep the coming weeks interesting, here are some new products on the market that’ll make your hot days and nights all the more interesting.
Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss
The frozen dessert revolution began sometime in the 1980s when families began driving past the ice cream parlors to hit the new frozen yogurt shops. Since then, desserters have endured cold stones, icy microdots, sour yogurt with fresh fruit incarnations, gelato explosions, soy dreams, and sugar-free sugaries on the path toward tasty but, when possible, healthy frozen enlightenment.
Welcome to the next chapter: Coconut Bliss, a frozen dessert that’s vegan, dairy-free, low on the glycemic index, and free of both soy and gluten. Invented by Eugene, Oregon’s Luna Marcus and Larry Kaplowitz, the coconut milk- and agave-based treat is creamy, refreshing, and-if you don’t mind the mild coconut sensation, which is noticeable in most flavors-tastes even better than ice cream. The milk, which comes from a family-owned farm in Thailand, is free from cholesterol but high in good things, such as lauric acid and medium chain triglycerides, so you won’t feel bad eating something that has saturated fat levels more than 50 percent of the daily allotment. It’s certainly worth adding to your quiver of post-dinner offerings.
You can find it in Santa Barbara at Lazy Acres, and in Ojai at the Rainbow Bridge and The Farmer and the Cook. For more info, see coconutbliss.com.
Green Hearts Natural Charcoal Briquettes
In Santa Barbara, both barbecue season and Earth worshiping last all year long. Now, for those cooks who swear by the pollution-spewing art of charcoal grilling, we can do it all with a clean conscience thanks to Green Hearts Natural Charcoal Briquettes, which are being billed as the first carbon-neutral briquettes ever. Made from self-replenishing eucalyptus trees grown in Brazil, the heart-shaped briquettes-made by the French/Brazilian company Soler without any fossil fuels or added chemicals for binding-put off only as many CO2 emissions as would be absorbed by the trees they came from. For more info, see greenheartsbriquette.com.
Love that iced tea at lunch, but hoping for a few bubbles to tantalize your tongue? Get your buds going with TeaZazz, the invention of a pair of Southern Californian girlfriends who wanted to kick soda but still have something tasty to drink. The result is a drink with the antioxidant goodness of tea and the sweet and bubbly appeal of pop, but less sugar and calories than the typical soda. It comes in four flavors: green tea with lemon, green tea with mint, black tea with peach, and original black tea. Pick it up at one of many markets in town, from the Bottle Shop in Montecito and Milpas Liquor & Deli in Santa Barbara to the Isla Vista Market and Country Meat Market in Goleta. See drinkteazazz.com.