Spread the Halloween spirit, without spooking Mother Nature, by sending all your friends a Halloween e-card like the one pictured above by Grist.
And don’t forget to either cook up those pumpkins or compost those spooky jack o’ lanterns!
Detox Your Home
Cleaning is a dirty job, but as I’ve mentioned before, there are plenty of products out there that can get the job done — without the toxins that are typically found in many household cleaners. One such line of these products, is Method, whose products are biodegradable, non-toxic and never tested on animals.
Personally speaking, we use Method’s Daily Shower Cleaner every day in our shower at home, and it is a relief to know that we aren’t filling the small enclosed area with a toxic mist.
Method products are conveniently available at Target and if you need even more of a reason to pick some up, they are currently running a promotion where if you buy more than $20 worth of products, you get this awesome Plastic Bag Rehab reusable tote.
It’s not just for stir-fry and smoothies, I slipped tofu into these cookies this weekend for a football party and no one even noticed. Tofu has numerous health benfits as it is great source of iron and protein and low in fat and calories. It takes on the flavor of other ingredients in a recipe which makes it incredibly versatile and is often used in vegan recipes to replace eggs.
I found this recipe for the Chewy Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies at the G Living Network. I’ve never tried tofu in baking so it caught my eye as it seems a little healthier replacing the usual eggs with tofu and calls for whole wheat pastry flour (which I still had on hand from our going local challenge). They turned out great the first time and everyone was surprised to learn there was a secret ingredient.
Swaptree: Trade Your Books, Music, Movies & More
At a young age, you are taught that “Sharing is Caring”. You are also taught that paper comes from trees, and money doesn’t grow on them. Based on these principles, look no further than Swaptree the next time you have finished reading that best-seller and now want to see the movie on DVD.
Swaptree is a unique website that allows you to swap and recycle your books, CDs, DVDs, and video games for free. All you have to do is sign up and list what you want and what you have, and the computer figures out where it is and sets up trades. All you pay for is the shipping (and book/media rates are typically minimal).
So save some trees, and some money, and show your 2nd grade teacher that sharing really is caring, and sign up at Swaptree today.
My going local meal this week was less of a meal and more of a dessert. My husband is out of town and I just felt like keeping it simple. But now that I think about it, I ate predominately local foods most of the day snacking on lots of the goodies I picked up at the farmer’s market this morning like some delicious applesauce from one of the apple orchards.
The weekly local meal was a local veggies salad with spicy muslin, red onion, zucchini, and shredded cheddar with a bowl of Indian Tomato Soup that I had made a few weeks ago and had frozen. For the soup, I used almost all local ingredients taking advantage of the last of the tomato season.
The focus of the local meal this week though was the dessert. I have lots of squash sitting around my kitchen now since expanding my squash repertoire during our going local week, so I wanted to try something new. I found a great recipe for a simple butternut squash dish that I suppose could be served as a side dish or a dessert. It incorporates two ingredients that are in abundance this time of year in the northeast: squash and maple syrup.
Preheat oven to 350. Peel and chop the butternut squash. In a large bowl combine the squash with about 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, add a couple teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, and a pinch of salt. Toss everything together to coat evenly. Spread mixture into an 8×8 baking dish and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through.
I thought it tasted great as is, however you could add chopped pecans, a little dollop of whipped topping or even a little organic vanilla ice cream to top it off.
This recipe is from “Raw Food Life Force Energy” by Natalia Rose.
Got Nut Milk?
We’ve already talked a little about raw milk and mentioned organic milk, so what’s left? Nut Milk! For those of you who are lactose intolerant, vegan, or just wanting to try something new, nut milk is a healthy and tasty alternative to cow’s milk.
One of my favorite types of dairy free milk is Almond Milk, which is like having all the healthy benefits of almonds whipped up into a delicious milk that you can drink straight up or over cereal. It even works well stirred into oatmeal and in recipes like pancakes and waffles! It tastes really smooth, has a hint of almond flavor and can be a little sweet depending on what else is added. Other varieties of dairy free milk include hazlenut, oat, rice, soy, and hemp seed.
Finding it is fairly easy, I like Almond Breeze and Pacifica brands which I find in health food stores, the co-op and occasionally in the regular grocery. And while I haven’t tried it on my own, I hear it’s fairly easy to make at home by blending 1 part almonds to 3 parts water then straining through a nut milk bag. You can even take an additional step to sweeten it up by further blending it with vanilla or a couple of pitted medjool dates.
I wasn’t able to get to the Wednesday market this week, which meant my local meal was not very well planned. The pantry and fridge were both pretty bare, so I cooked the last of the local pasta and added the remaining eggplant, mushrooms (from Homestead Growers) and tomatoes that were still in the fridge.
Sign Up For The Squeeze!
Are you interested in having a little bit of Green Lemonade delivered directly to your email inbox? Now you can, with The Squeeze!
The Squeeze is our e-newsletter that will highlight some of our favorite recipes, products and green tips. Signing up is as easy as filling out the form below. You can rest assured that we will never share your name or email address with anyone else, and you will always have the option to unsubscribe at any time.
Tricks for (Green) Treats
Ever thought of the serious amount of calories kids take in after a long night of “trick or treating” around the neighborhood? Not to mention the amount of trash created by everything from the mini candy wrappers, to face masks and costumes, that all get tossed by November 1st anyway. So, with Halloween lurking around the corner, I thought I would throw out some tips to help send the ghouls and goblins off your doorstep with something a little more healthy and environmentally conscious. This year, consider the following:
- Chocolate? Try some fair trade certified treats like Endangered Species Chocolate, which come in a convenient little bite size collection.
- Sweet? Pick up some honey sticks this weekend at the Farmer’s Market or here.
- Fruity? Toss in some organic fruit leathers by Stretch Island Fruit Company, nothing artificial and no added sugar!
- Something different, but fun? Try Ginger in hard candy or great little ginger chews.
- Homemade? You’ll be in the kitchen for days if you try to do this for all your little visitors, but make these candy bar knock offs to treat yourself while you answer the door and while I’ll admit that they may not be super calorie friendly, at least you can control what’s in them and cut back on all the processing and packaging!
- And of course, you could chuck the whole candy idea and hand out some non-edible goodies like these.
Check out some more tips from some of the experts here and here. Oh, and make sure your own little ones nix the disposable bags in favor of reusable totes (or even the old standby pillowcases), get creative with your own costumes by using what you have (or swapping with others), and find a creative way to use all those leftover pumpkins!
I usually pack my lunch, but if I do eat out, I hit up the organic soup and salad bar at Nature’s Cupboard. It’s fresh and healthy, but I always feel guilty using and tossing the divided styrofoam containers. (Unfortunately, there isn’t a place to recycle styrofoam in Indianapolis.)
Since I purchased the spork, I have eliminated using disposable silverware. Next on the list was finding a similar re-usable option for the salad bar. I checked out the Light My Fire Lunch Box, but I admit to being one of those people who doesn’t like their food getting all mixed together. Another great product (that solves this problem) are the bento-style Laptop Lunches, but this seemed to be a bit of an overkill for a quick trip to the salad bar (not to mention, since the salad bar price is based on weight, I was worried this would add a lot to my meal.)
I finally settled on Tupperware’s Lunch’n Things Container. It is quick and easy and perfect for what I am looking for. It might not be the most eco-friendly option, but I know that it is better to reuse something, then to continue to generate styrofoam waste.
Additionally, I asked the owner if I could receive a percentage off of my meal, since my container is heavier than the alternative, but also better for the environment. While they had never had anyone bring their own container, they offered to weigh my container to get it’s “pre-salad” weight, and then discounted me that at checkout, in addition to giving me an additional 10% off! Now if I could only convince them to use more eco-friendly options like they do at the co-op Liz shops at…