Memorial Day is the official start of summer barbecues, picnics and fun times, but don't let pathogens ruin your celebration.
Simply put, pathogens are tiny living organisms such as bacterium or virus that make people sick, but the good news is you can avoid them.
We are going to spend our Memorial Day at a park nearby. Everyone wants barbecue, so I'm bringing a pot of my favorite vegan barbecue recipe, and I am also bringing an all natural, eco-friendly, hand sanitizer.
Why? Because cooking outdoors usually means no access to soap and hot water.
It may sound trivial but keeping your hands clean is the first line of defense against pathogens and food-borne illness.
According to the U.S.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four food-borne illness outbreaks result from unwashed or poorly washed hands.
The center also says hand washing is “the single most important means of preventing the spread of infection from pathogens, bacteria, and virus causing diseases and food-borne illnesses.”
I know what you are saying; “I always carry a hand sanitizer” but, that may be causing you more harm than good.
Many people don't know this, but hand sanitizers often contain an antibiotic compound called triclosan or triclocarban. This ingredient is found in soaps and even some toothpaste. These products are often labeled as antibacterial or antiseptic.
Not only that, triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics. So using a hand sanitizer with triclosan may actually lower your resistance to diseases by killing good bacteria.
Another harmful ingredient in traditional hand sanitizers is ethyl and isopropyl alcohol. High concentration exposure to ethyl alcohol may harm a fetus, and the isopropyl can irritate the eyes and skin.
The FDA has concerns about all of these ingredients, and they continue to review the scientific evidence.
I personally stopped using hand sanitizer a long time ago, and I was washing my hands raw until I received a sample of a hand sanitizer called Elyptol. The packaging immediately caught my eye.
It said all natural and eco-friendly.
Prevent Pathogens From Ruining Your Memorial Day BBQ
I looked at the ingredients, and it contained eucalyptus oil and pure ethanol derived from sugarcane and corn. I tried it, and it felt very gentle on my skin and had a fresh, clean scent.
Upon further investigation, I discovered that Elyptol's natural sourced ingredients killed 99.9999% of germs quickly and effectively. I also loved that I could use it frequently due to the soothing skin repair function of the eucalyptus.
Not only that, it was named an eco-friendly product because it contains no synthetic chemicals, fragrances or petrochemicals.
It isn't easy for me to find sponsors whose values align with ours so I immediately reached out to Elyptol and I am helping them spread the word. You can sign up for their newsletter here. You can buy Elyptol right now on Amazon.
So in addition to keeping cold food cold and hot food hot, always remember, a simple, clean hand can reduce everyone's risk of food-borne illness this summer.
Now on to this week's plant-based recipe.
When I think of picnics, I think of portability and barbecue like this sloppy, delicious barbecue jackfruit sandwich. The wonderful thing about this recipe is that you can make it ahead, put it in a covered pot and just pop that pot on the grill to reheat.
If you have never had this delicious fruit before, it shreds beautifully and has a nice firm texture. It also does an excellent job of absorbing the flavor profile of anything you decide to marinate or cook it in. Not only that, it mimics the texture and taste of traditional barbecue.
Baby Jackfruit in Water
The jackfruit can be in brine or water. Rinse it before consuming and make sure the packaging says; young green jackfruit. Then take two forks and give it a good shred before you marinate it.
I like to toss it with some of my favorite seasonings and sauté it before adding it to the barbecue sauce.
Let it simmer in the sauce over low-heat for about 20-30 minutes. It is that simple. You can use your favorite barbecue sauce or try my recipe below. It is sweet and smokey with a touch of heat.
Happy Memorial Day everyone. Hope you have a safe and happy holiday!
- ⅓ cup vegetable broth for sautéing
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ onion, diced
- 1 cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or 2 tablespoons distilled vinegar
- 1½ tablespoons minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (or more to taste)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 20-ounce cans young green jackfruit in water (Not in syrup or brine)
- ⅓ cup vegetable broth for sautéing
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Heat the vegetable broth in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook for approximately 5-7 minutes until they are soft and translucent. Stirring often.
- Add the ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, chipotle peppers, vinegar, a pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Simmer for 20 - 30 minutes. Taste and add more chipotle peppers if you prefer more heat.
- Rinse, drain and thoroughly dry jackfruit. Chop off the center core portion of the fruit and discard. Place in a bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix together the BBQ seasonings and add to the jackfruit.
- Heat the vegetable broth in a large sauté pain over medium heat. Add the seasoned jackfruit and cook and brown for approximately 3 minutes.
- Add the BBQ sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for approximately 30 minutes.
This post was sponsored by Elyptol. The opinions and text are all mine.