Category Archives: Green Parenting

Reduce Fruit Food Waste – Simple Cake Recipe

Greener Me

Do you have mushy bananas in your fridge which you’re thinking “I should throw those out”? What about peaches that are squishy?  Strawberries that aren’t looking their perky selves?

Don’t throw them out! 

If you chuck them, you are wasting numerous resources: money (if purchased), time it took to go to the supermarket and the opportunity to make something really yummy.

I have an easy receipe to turn your mushy (but still edible) fruit into a cake – either gluten or gluten free.

image

It is my basic banana bread / cake recipe.  You can switch the bananas for whatever mushy fruit you have.  I have made it with strawberries, peaches, apricots and pears all successfully.

70g Nutterlex (dairy free butter)
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg beaten
3 mushy bananas (or other equivalent fruit)
1.5 cups gluten free self raising flour (use gluten SR flour if not intolerant)
1 cup…

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27 Diagrams That Make Cooking So Much Easier

Do you love cooking?

Do you love experimenting with new recipes?

Do you like to try different substitutions for various ingredients?

Do you want to learn some fun and interesting cooking techniques?

Do you want to excel in your culinary skills?

Or most importantly

Do you want to reduce your food waste?

well… whatever might be the case, there is something for all of us to learn about cooking or master one’s cooking skill. Here are 27 diagrams that make cooking so much easier including some fun and interesting facts,  easy ingredient substitutions, conversion charts, what kind of mixer to use, knife skills, appropriate storage and much more….

27 Diagrams That Make Cooking So Much Easier 

posted on Jan. 18, 2015, at 2:19 a.m.

1. For making your own vinaigrette.

For making your own vinaigrette.

Which you should be doing, instead of buying the bottled stuff. It’s healthier and tastier, and it’s really not hard. Here’s everything you need to know about building a better salad.

2. For making substitutions when you’re missing an ingredient.

For making substitutions when you're missing an ingredient.

Pretty awesome. Via eReplacement Parts.

3. For cooking red meat exactly how you like it.

For cooking red meat exactly how you like it.

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed. buzzfeed.com

If you’re going splurge on a really great piece of meat, you’d better know how to cook it to temperature. If you need more help, here’s how to make the perfect steak.

4. For spicing things up.

For spicing things up.

Sure, you can just dump a bunch of spices into your stew and it’ll taste good. But, you can take your home cooking to a whole new level if you really know which spices taste best with which foods. Via CookSmarts.

5. For making any soup from scratch.

For making any soup from scratch.

It’s actually s(o)uper easy to make a healthy, warming winter meal. Via Shape.

6. For Metric conversions.

For Metric conversions.

7. For boiling eggs:

For boiling eggs:

Cooking time varies depending on whether you like your yolks soft or hard. Here’s exactly how to boil an egg.

8. For volumetric conversions.

For volumetric conversions.

Plainworks / visual.ly

Why do math when this chart has all the answers?

9. For cooking with and maintaining a cast iron skillet.

For cooking with and maintaining a cast iron skillet.

© 2011 Yumi Sakugawa, as first published on http://WonderHowTo.com

Cast iron skillets are great for cooking because they’re good heat conductors, meaning they get super hot, stay super hot, and cook your food evenly. They’re especially great for getting a delicious, crispy crust on meat. Here’s everything you need to know about owning a cast iron skillet.

10. For making sure you’re using the right kitchen appliance.

For making sure you're using the right kitchen appliance.

Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Good cooks know that sometimes it’s better to leave the hard work to a machine.Just make sure you’re using the right one.

11. For marinating meat to make it tender and delicious.

For marinating meat to make it tender and delicious.

Chris Ritter / Buzzfeed. buzzfeed.com

No more dry chicken. Here’s more about using marinades to make delicious food.

12. For knowing what oil to use.

For knowing what oil to use.

It’s important to know the smoke point of the oil you’re cooking with so that you don’t set off your smoke alarm and ruin your food. .

13. For when you’re too heavy-handed with the chili peppers.

For when you're too heavy-handed with the chili peppers.

It’s a shame when you spend all evening making a great dish, only to find that it’s intolerably spicy. Here’s how to tone down the heat.

14. For your next trip to the butcher.

For your next trip to the butcher.

Knowing the difference between cuts of meat means you’ll always be able to go into a butcher or grocery store and ask for exactly what you want. Plus, it makes for impressive dinner conversation. Full infographic here.

15. For knife skills.

For knife skills.

A sharp knife is a cook’s most important tool. Knowing how to use it means anything in the kitchen is possible. Via Visual.ly.

16. For knowing what kind of onion to use.

For knowing what kind of onion to use.

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed. buzzfeed.com

You won’t ruin a recipe by using a sweet onion when a red onion would have been better, but different onions have different characteristics—some are milder, some are sweeter, etc.—so it’s good to know the difference. More info here.

17. For vegan baking.

For vegan baking.

You may have to experiment a little bit to figure out which replacement is best for particular recipes, but here’s a good starter guide on egg substitutions.

18. For hosting a party.

For hosting a party.

Running out is not an option. Heather from Chickabug has plenty more tips for party planning, cooking and decorating.

19. For cooking your grains perfectly.

For cooking your grains perfectly.

Via Good Eggs.

20. For making a sourdough starter.

For making a sourdough starter.

Freshly baked bread forever! This is how to make the perfect sourdough boule.

21. For cooking vegetables.

For cooking vegetables.

Well, for boiling or steaming vegetables. Via Kid Spot.

22. For filleting fish.

For filleting fish.

They’re much cheaper when you buy them whole, and filleting them yourself isn’t that hard. Via Wide Open Spaces.

23. For pasta lovers.

For pasta lovers.

Impress anyone with your extensive noodle knowledge. Get the poster (or see a zoomed-in version) at Chasing Delicious.

24. For perfect chocolate chip cookies.

For perfect chocolate chip cookies.

And by “perfect” I mean, “exactly the way you like them.” Learn more about how to make the chocolate cookie you want.

25. For grilling everything.

For grilling everything.

Fire it up. Via Visual News.

26. For knowing what’s in season.

For knowing what's in season.

Sure, you can find blueberries at the supermarket in December. They’re just not going to taste very good. From The Best American Infographics.

27. For knowing exactly how to store your groceries, and for how long.

For knowing exactly how to store your groceries, and for how long.

HAPPY READING AND HAPPY COOKING !!
 

3 Peachy Raw Food Recipes for Summer: Peach Ice Cream, Peach Pit Tea, and Peach-Mango Salsa

As a mum I am always looking for new  and interesting recipes so that I can prepare some healthy food for my family and myself, of course without compromising its taste and looks.  I found this really interesting recipe on peaches which is perfect for this summer for me and my family to indulge upon. Hope you’ll love it..!!

3 Peachy Raw Food Recipes for Summer: Peach Ice Cream, Peach Pit Tea, and Peach-Mango Salsa

by Guest Blogger

3 Peachy Raw Food Recipes for Summer: Peach Ice Cream, Peach Pit Tea, and Peach-Mango Salsa

 

Here in the deep-south, Georgia, everyone is excited about peaches!  Of course, it is the “Peach State”.  Even Whole Foods is having the One-Day Sale on Peaches.   So, if you missed the opportunity to pick our own at the local orchards, there is still a chance to stock up.  If you are not living in the deep south, then hopefully your local natural foods market or farmer’s markets has a good crop of peaches to offer as well.

Peaches are high in a number of nutrients your body needs such as niacin, thiamine, potassium and calcium. They are also high in beta carotene, an antioxidant that converts to Vitamin A, which is essential for healthy hearts and eyes. The darker the peach’s color, the more Vitamin A it has in its pulp. The antioxidants may also help in maintaining healthy urinary and digestive functions.

Peach tea is known in Eastern cultures to be a kidney cleanser and used in detoxification. This isn’t peach flavored tea, but a brew made from the pits. Many people claim peaches are good for relief of stomach ulcers and other digestive issues like colitis and kidney disease. This may be due to their high fiber and potassium content.

Summertime peach recipes bring back tons of memories from my childhood. I can remember sitting under a big ‘ole tree in my grandmother’s back yard, listening to the hum of the ice cream maker, just waiting for that first bite of peach ice cream! Here is our favorite raw food version of peach ice cream:

 Peach Ice Kream

(adapted from The Delicious Revolution site)

 Ingredients:

  • Cashews for Raw Peach Ice Cream Recipe
1 cup cashews, soaked
  • 4 cups peaches
  • 1/4 cup raw agave nectar,
    or honey, or maple syrup
    (I like maple syrup in this particular recipe)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water
    (as needed)
  • 
dash salt

 Directions:

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until creamy.

Add just ¼ cup of the water to start.

To make ice cream, either pour into an ice cream maker, following maker directions or freeze in ice cube trays.

If frozen in ice cube trays, pop out frozen cubes into your blender and pulse quickly to make a creamy treat.

Our favorite summer salsa!

 Peach-Mango Salsa

 Ingredients:

  • Fresh Peaches for Peach-Mango Salsa Recipe2 mangoes,
    peeled and chopped
  • 2 fresh peaches,
    peeled and chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
    Fresh Mangoes for Peach-Mango Salsa Recipe(optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice of one lime
  • dash salt and pepper

 Directions:

Combine all ingredients and chill.

Also, yummy to serve alongside avocado slices.

Makes a beautiful summer presentation!

Recipe for Peach Pit TeaPeach Pit Tea

 Ingredients:

  • Dried peach pits

 Directions:

Remove any excess flesh from the pits. Boil them in water for a few minutes to remove any remaining flesh.

Dry the peach pits on a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven for an hour or so. Let cool, and store in an airtight container.

Combine 5 pits with 4 to 5 cups water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, covered for 10 to 15 minutes.

Pits may be used for three or four batches of tea.

Sweeten with honey if you desire.

For variations, try boiling with grated ginger or cinnamon.

Hope you enjoy a slice of summer … the peach!!!

What are some of your favorites ways to enjoy the fresh juicy goodness of peaches? 

Source: 3 Peachy Raw Food Recipes for Summer

 

Thinking of buying a new house? Here are 9 good to know things before you move out

Buying and moving to a new house is always exciting. If not planned and organised properly it could end up in a total chaos. Here are few things that we need to think before moving into the new house. These  tips not only help you easily settle  in your new home but also help you save lots of money, time, effort  and over all a peace of mind.

Also please add to the list if you have any

A new house can be so exciting: The decorating possibilities! The organizational ideas! But before you start moving in your stuff and arranging your furniture, check off these must-do maintenance tasks to make sure everything is safe and in working order:

1. Change the locks.
“You just don’t know how many people have a copy of the keys,” says Agnes Bowman, a broker associate at Century 21 Peterson in Secaucus, NJ. When a house goes up for sale, a lot of people have access to it (think: listing agents, selling agents, and maintenance workers). Plus, you can’t be sure who the previous owners offered a spare set. If the house has an alarm system, remember to change the code. And don’t forget the garage door.

2. Check for moisture stains.
Your inspector should have noted any discolored yellow rings on your drywall, but give your home another once-over right before you move in. Any necessary repair work will be easier to tackle when the space isn’t crammed with your stuff.

3. Locate the shut-off valves.
Find the main water shut-off valve and check to see if you need special tools — like a wrench or a key — to operate it. “If you suddenly have a plumbing leak and there’s water pouring into your house, you need to be able to get to the valve and turn off the water quickly,” says Claude McGavic, executive director of The National Association of Home Inspectors.

And no, these valves aren’t in the same place in every home. “Sometimes the inspector can’t even find them,” laughs McGavic. Look in the home’s interior, in the attic, in the back of the house and around the fence. If you can’t find it, call a plumber to help you.

4. Locate the circuit breaker box.
“If an electrical fire starts, you should know where to go to turn off all the power in the house,” says McGavic. Now would also be a good time to label the switches if they’re not already marked. You’ll need two people: One to flip the switch and one to holler when the lights go out.

5. Replace the batteries in smoke detectors.
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors aren’t always checked during a home inspection. And even if they are, something could happen between the inspection and the time you move in. “I could push the button, it could work fine, and then the battery could die,” says McGavic. Working smoke alarms save lives, so swap out all the batteries with fresh ones.

6. Give carpets a deep clean.
Even if the previous owners didn’t have pets, it’s worth the couple hundred dollars to hire a professional to come in, says Bowman. “They have the heavy duty steam-powered machines that can kill germs and dust mites,” she says — and who knows when the carpets were last cleaned. We recommend calling in the pros once a year, so take advantage of the empty house and do it now.

RELATED: 7 Rules for Deep-Cleaning Dingy, Smelly Carpeting »

7. Change the heating and cooling filters.
A new disposable filter costs about $4, according to McGavic. The damage that could be caused by an old filter? A whole new system could cost you up to $5000. “If you don’t replace the filter, it could cut down on efficiency, or worse, cause the system to overheat,” he says. McGavic also suggests having a professional come to service the equipment — and set up an ongoing maintenance schedule for every six months. “It’s the same reason you change your oil every 3,000 miles in your car. If you don’t take care of the equipment, it’s going to fail.”

8. Install closet systems.
Moving is one of the few times in life when you have a clear gauge of how much stuff you really have, so you can plot out a helpful closet system pretty well. “If you install drawers, shelves, and hanging rods before you move in, you can unpack and organize your stuff at once,” says Bowman. “Everything goes right into place and you’re done.”

9. Paint.
Okay, so you can do some decorating before you move in: Paint your heart out. The benefits are two-fold, according to Bowman. Painting in advance gives the house time to air out before you’re actually living there, and your furniture won’t be in the way while you’re working. Some people say to paint after you move in (so you know how the light changes throughout the day) but if you spend time in the new place completing this checklist, you should have a decent idea. Paint some test swatches on the walls and see how you like them over a few days.

TELL US: What smart moves did you make before unpacking in your new home?

Photos: Getty

Source: GoodHousekeeping.com

 

11 great ideas to have eco-friendly Christmas

Festivals always come with lots of enthusiasm and excitements and Christmas is no exception.  In an attempt to make it fun and joyous we indulge ourselves in lots of activities including exchanging gifts, cooking lots of food, visiting friends and families etc. to name few. These activities if not planned properly can result in possession lot lots of unnecessary stuff as well as money being wasted.  There are many ways to celebrate this festive season in a limited budget while also reducing the environmental impact of our actions. Here are 11 simple ways to celebrate Christmas in an eco-friendly manner while still maintaining its elegance and style.

1. Buy the right product

1want vs need

Every time we have some celebration, we want to buy new things for our home, ourselves or our families, whether we need them or not. Plan and make a list of items you want to buy so that the important things don’t get missed out. Identify if you just want those things or you really need them. Focus on the items that you need most. In this way you would be able to better manage your budget too. Stick to the list and do not let yourself get carried away with the items on sale or cheaply priced. Avoid  buying anything that you don’t need in order to prevent them from getting wasted and ultimately being dumped to the landfill site.

2. Buy less

2 buy less   2. buy less

Once the list of items you really need is ready, try to stick to it. Do not overbuy. Again don’t get tempted to buy the things that are on sale or cheaply priced. The best idea is to quickly scan through your pantry, wardrobe, garage or store room so that you don’t end up buying too much or buy something that you already have. If you already have similar items that could replace the ones you want to buy, consider using them. For instance make your own Christmas tree, use alternatives for wrapping paper, bake your own cake, make your own greeting card etc.

3. Create less waste

3. create less waste 2    3. create less waste

Try to create less waste where possible. Avoid buying thing with too much packaging, don’t buy or cook too much, don’t buy the things that you won’t use. If you get something as a gift that you don’t use, donate it to local charity shop or consider giving it to someone who might use it. Avoid buying disposable or one time use  items, its worth investing in things that that could be used multiple times. If you have a real Christmas tree this season, ensure that it is not put to waste. You can replant it in your garden or take it to nearby recycling centre, instead of putting it out for landfill. If you choose to use an artificial tree, you can reuse it again next year, sell it, or give it to your local charity.

4. Don’t throw away, Donate

3. Donate a    3. Donate b

Christmas is all about giving. If you are planning to clean your house this Christmas, instead of throwing them away, donate them to local charity shops. Pull out your old clothes, crockery, toys, books etc  that you don’t use any more, as  this is the perfect time to donate so that those who need get the pleasure to use them.  This will not only help people in need them but also help declutter  your home and save valuable resources from going to the landfill.

5. Reuse and recycle

4. reuse and recycle

Try to buy things that could be used multiple times. Avoid buying single use disposable plastic plates, glass and spoons. Choose to buy reusable ones or buy eco- friendly products that could be decomposed or recycled.

Recycle the items that could be recycled. Pet bottles, cardboard, paper, glass containers, cans etc could be recycled. Collect them separately and put them in the recycling bin so that these valuable resources could be used to make new products

6. Compost

5. compost

Food  waste constitute the huge part of our waste. During festivals we tend to cook or buy more food which will result in more food waste.  Use your food waste to feed the worms in your worm farm or put them in your compost bin.

7 .Shop locally

6. shop locally   6.. shop locally b

Shop locally to promote local business and support your community. Buying locally made products also create local employment which will help enhance economical status of the community. Local shops sell a wide range of products at affordable prices at the same time they have less ecological footprint.

8. Give the gift of experience

7. gift of experience

Where possible choose to give your loved ones an experience rather than material item. Materials either gets consumed or stay in the house or end up as the waste where as experience last for lifetime. Pass to museum, aquarium zoo, rock climbing, spa, beauty care, movie ticket etc counts more than the material gifts.

9. Save energy and  water

8. save energy and water

It would be wise to be mindful while using water and energy as you would be using it more frequently during the holiday season. Using solar or led powered Christmas light, taking short showers, using dishwasher and washing machines in full loads, minimising use of hot water etc would help save energy and water as well as money.

10. Celebrate with nature

9. celebrate with nature

Celebrate the Christmas close to the nature. organise bush walking, barbeque in the park (national park) or play outdoors. This will help family and friends bond with each other while children will enjoy  to be with nature.

11. Be creative, don’t just spend

10. be creative b10. be creative

People always love and admire creative ideas. Come up with creative decoration or gift ideas. This will not only save you heaps but your creativity might  inspire people to do the similar things. For instance, create your own Christmas tree, design your own Christmas table decoration, make your own gift wrapping paper, decorate the home with the items readily available in your garden or store room.

 

 

 

 

 

Mama Let’s Go Green !!

Mama Let’s Go Green !!

Mama Let’s Go Green !!

go green mama

Go Green Mama

My enthusiasm and perseverance for green living has always motivated me to make it a part of my everyday life. The interest became more apparent after I had my first baby. Being a mom I realised that there are lot more we can do to raise a healthy family which will also help to protect our environment as well save us money. The idea hit me when I was mopping my tile floor using a general antibacterial cleaning product. I felt that the smell being emitted was so strong and intense that it was literally making me nauseous and giving me a headache. Having a little one sitting just around the corner, my concern grew towards the quality of air he was inhaling. And this is when I started looking for alternatives for household chemical cleaning products. To my surprise, I came across numerous things that parents could adopt to sustain a green and healthy living. And now opting a green living has become more than just an interest to me, it has become a mere necessity.

Having baby means buying more stuff and creating lots of waste, utilising more water and energy, more expenses and less savings. On the other side children are vulnerable to the chemicals and other external particles that get emitted through cleaning products, plastic toys, smoke, dust etc. While it is important for children to stay away from all these, it is equally important to think about protecting the environment which they will inherit in future.

This space will hold information on how parents can adopt green and healthy living in a simple, fun and yet effective way. Be it small actions like washing your clothes in cold water and drying them in sun rather than using dryer, or making your own cleaning products rather than buying chemical laden products from supermarket. Changing ourlifestyle and our behaviour will not only lead us towards healthy life but also significantly reduce our impact on the environment. As a parent to two young children one of my main focus is to reduce the use of toxic chemicals which are found in abundant quantity in the mainstream cleaning products.

Through this page I aspire is to encourage all the moms (and dads) to be mindful of the environmental impacts of their everyday actions and live a more sustainable life. If you are a beginner in green living and just started getting concerned for a healthy family and better environment, you are just at the right place. It will give you much pleasure than ever that there are so much you can do for yourself, your family, community and the entire planet. Being a mom gives you one more reason to go green.

Mama… Let’s Go Green… !!

Go Green Mama: The Best Playdough Recipe

 

Play dough is the perfect rainy day activity, and we love making it in our kitchen. When you make your own playdough with the best playdough recipe ever, you get way more dough for your money than when you go out and buy it. Plus, this homemade playdough is so much softer and easier to mold than the store-bought stuff!

At Kids Activities Blog, we love making playdough and have several different recipes for you to try. This DIY playdough recipe has been around forever. When I was teaching kindergarten, another teacher passed it down to me as a “trade secret” but I didn’t think it was fair not to share (what I think is) the best playdough recipe with you guys. So, here it is!

best playdough recipe

Here’s What You Need To Make The Best Playdough Recipe:

  • 2 Cups of Flour
  • 2 Tbsp of Oil (any oil will do, coconut oil, vegetable oil, even olive oil)
  • 1/2 Cup of Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1 1/2 Cup Boiling Water

best playdough recipe ever

The secret to brilliant colors in your playdough is using gel food coloring – we find ours in the cake decorating sections of craft/hobby stores, or on the baking aisle in the grocery store. Gel food coloring is definitely the best dye for homemade playdough.

How To Make The Best Playdough:

  1. Pour 2 cups of flour into a bowl.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of salt.
  3. Mix in 2 tbsp Cream of Tartar. (You can find this in the spice section of just about any grocery store.)
  4. Add 2 tbsp of oil. For this recipe I used vegetable oil, but you can use any oil, and as long as it’s a kitchen oil, your playdough will be non-toxic and safe for little ones to eat.
  5. Pour in the boiling water. Be VERY careful because this makes the dough HOT!
  6. Mix all the ingredients together until they form the dough. At this point, if you don’t want to add any food dye to your playdough, you’re finished!
  7. After it’s cooled, to make several different colors of playdough, separate the dough into equal parts and roll it up into balls.
  8. Now, punch out the middle of the ball to leave a little bowl for you to pour your gel food dye into.
  9. Drip your gel dye into the bowls. This is a great time to mix dye colors if you want to make another color.
  10. Knead the dough until the dye is thoroughly mixed. This is VERY messy! If you don’t want to stain your hands, use gloves, and make sure to put something down so you don’t stain your counter (like I did).

 

the very best playdough recipe

Note:  We noticed that our dough began to smell a bit sour after a month or two. Our solution: using koolaid coloring (the flavor would mask the smell – but the colors weren’t as brilliant), or adding a few drops of candy extracts/oils. My kids have enjoyed making peppermint or orange or cinnamon scented doughs! Have fun coming up with your own scent/color creations.

Source: The Best Play Dough Recipe