Zero Waste Toothpaste!

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ZERO WASTE TOOTHPASTE! 

Once you make this toothpaste for the first time and you buy your handy bamboo toothbrush, you will realize how easy it is to make a huge difference everyday in lessening plastic consumption, landfill pile up, and not supporting resource sucking industries! Knowing what ingredients go into your everyday teeth, face and body care also means voting no on deforestation and saving species from habitat destruction. So lets do it!

Some good bamboo toothbrush brands are
-The Green Root
-Brush with Bamboo

For floss I use
- Dental lace  (no plastic, a re-usable container, and commercial composts accept it!)

NOTES:
-It's important to never use metal or stainless steel of any kind when using bentonite clay. Bentonite clay has some amazing properties and draws out bacteria as well as remineralizes your teeth. If it touches metal, it loses all its charge and will then be a pointless ingredient in your toothpaste.
- Sometimes if it gets cold, your coconut oil may harden in your pipes, clogging the drain. An easy fix is to just pour hot water down it and it will melt it all down!
- You are not supposed to ingest these essential oils unless diluted properly so I would advise not to add any to toothpaste intended for children unless you are certain they will not swallow it. Using non-diluted essential oils is completely okay for toothpaste since it will mostly be spit out. 
-Spearmint/peppermint keeps your breath fresh, cinnamon essential oils is antimicrobial, tea tree is anti fungal, and clove has germicidal properties and obstructs pathogenic bacteria! 
A good essential oil brand that focuses on sourcing sustainably is Mountain Rose Herbs


TOOTHPASTE (makes 4 oz)
What you'll need: 
1. 4 oz jar or any small glass container (no metal)
2. A wooden spoon or stir stick ( I reused a wooden chopstick). No metal or steel - the bentonite clay will lose its beneficial charge.

Ingredients:
4 tbsp Coconut oil
1.5 - 2 tbsp Baking soda (baking soda can be harsh on gums, and if you experience this, lessen the amount)
1 tbsp Bentonite clay
Drops of essential oil (peppermint, cinnamon, or spearmint ) 

Directions:
1.  Add room temp coconut oil to your jar
2. Stir in baking soda and the bentonite clay with your wooden spoon
3. Add your essential oils to your liking. I do about 10-20 drops.
4. VOILA!!!
5. I store at room temperature for easy use! 

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Vegan/GF Cinnamon Apple Pie Bread

VEGAN/GF CINNAMON APPLE PIE BREAD

This recipe makes one delicious & guilt-free apple pie bread. You will feel full gratitude for life, for food, and for the planet. Don't you just love when food can do that? Awaken your senses and your present being? Am I being too emotional about this loaf of bread?

I say guilt free in every way because its palm oil free, no refined sugars, no animal products being used to save resources and it feels way good for your soul. The apples are local and organic and all the ingredients I bought in bulk or had all recyclable and no plastic packaging!

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INGREDIENTS:
 2 tsp ground cinnamon
 1 cup maple syrup (or coconut sugar or another sugar you prefer)
 ¼ cup coconut oil (softened, not liquid)
 ¼ cup applesauce
 2 chia eggs  (for one chia egg mix 1 tbsp chia with 3 tbsp water)
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract      
 1½ cups Gluten free flour (see note at bottom of ingredient list for kind I use) 
 2 teaspoons baking powder
 ⅓ cup almond milk (or milk you prefer)
 1 large or 2 small apples, peeled and chopped

*Note: I use Pamela's Gluten Free Baking and Pancake mix (choose the non-dairy one for vegan) for most of my baking! I ordered the 25 lb. bag one because its the only one that comes in all paper and zero plastic. It has lasted me about 6 months and I'm only half way there so it's the best purchase ever!

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Combine small bowl with 1/3 cup sugar with cinnamon and set aside
  3. Mix together (I used my magic bullet) 2/3 cup sugar and coconut oil until blended and semi-fluffy. Then mix in apple sauce, chia eggs, and vanilla.
  4. Stir together flour and baking powder and then add flour and almond milk to mixture.
  5. Stir to combine and do not overmix.
  6. Pour half into greased and floured loaf pan. Sprinkle in 1/2 of the apples and 1/2 of the cinnamon mixture.
  7. Stir rest of the apples into the remaining batter and pour rest into pan. Top with the rest of the cinnamon mixture.
  8. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until top comes out golden brown and until knife comes out clean.
  9. YAY!!

Home made All purpose spray

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Easiest eco-friendly all purpose cleaner!

NO plastic packaging, nasty ingredients, or spending way too much money with this incredibly easy cleaner that I use for my entire house! Just save your citrus rinds, buy some white vinegar, and gather a few favorite essential oils. 
I feel like I should write a lot but theres really nothing more to say here. I'm so in love with this recipe for a clean home and I'm sure I'll be using this recipe the rest of my life! Are you ready?

ALL PURPOSE CLEANER:

Ingredients:
(I have a 64 oz jar but it just depends on how much you want)


-Leftover citrus rinds (I have orange and lemon)
-White vinegar (I use the 32 oz glass bottles of Heinz White vinegar)
-Water
-Essential oils (I rotate between spearmint & lavender together or tea tree.

Directions:

1. Fill up any size jar with your leftover citrus rinds and store in the fridge
2. Submerge them fully in white vinegar and keep in fridge for 2 weeks. You can add rinds as you go!
3. After 2 weeks strain out the citrus rinds and compost them.
4. Cut citrus vinegar in half with water. Ratio should be 1:1 (exact same amount of both)
5. Add essential oils to how you like
6. SPRAY YOUR ENTIRE EVERYTHING CLEAN BECAUSE YOU DID IT! WOOO!!!

Note: To make it even more eco-friendly, wipe with reusable everyday cloth napkins or "unpaper" towels. You can find some on Etsy or make your own using cloth or towels you don't use anymore and cut them into squares.
 

Fill up your citrus rind jar with white vinegar!

Fill up your citrus rind jar with white vinegar!

Final product! 

Final product! 

Chaga mushroom tea

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Hello!! I present to you the best mushroom tea around! We can thank Chaga for absorbing the amazing nutrients of a tree and we can thank nerdy humans for figuring out how to extract the benefits for our benefit!
Fungi is one of the main reasons I changed my entire way of living. Fungi plays an incredibly important role in sustaining the health of the natural world and I believe that humans can too! I will talk to you guys about more of that in another blog post so for now enjoy this amazing health drink!

What are the benefits you ask? The real question is, what AREN'T the benefits?
-The mushroom has a thick outer layer of black and that is an overproduction of melanin (hence the color) which plays a role in our bodies to protect against sun damage and protects DNA. It helps with anti-aging and fights free radical damage.
-There are a ton of minerals, substances, and elements (poly saccharides, photo nutrients, and way too many more) in chaga that contain anti-cancer properties. Yes you read that right, Chaga shrinks cancer and tumor cells!!! This is a fact.  
-Chaga contains more antioxidants than any superfood in the world other than Reishi mushroom
-Stimulates the immune system and reduces blood sugar to fight diabetes.
-SO MANY MORE!

Some very important things to know before you embark on your tea making journey:

1. Please source your chaga sustainably. If your harvester cannot explain what a collar cut or bark ridge cut is, then they have no business cutting chaga down! A proper harvester will not cut the chaga too deep into the tree, because it will kill the tree so ask questions! This is really the key to finding sustainable anything. Its also important to find a trusty seller because often times they will inject the mushroom chunk with air and sell it for more! Get the bang for your buck and do your research. I get my Chaga from  Fiddlehead heaven !!

2. Do not let your chaga boil! The nutrients will be denatured and you won't reap the full benefits! 

3. After using once, you can keep the chunks and reuse over and over again until you can't (the water will be clearer and clearer). You can then compost your chunks!

4. Some use this like a coffee, as it has energetic properties so if you are very sensitive, maybe skip the night time chaga! I drink it at night and it doesn't bother me at all!

CROCK POT CHAGA TEA:

Ingredients:
- 25 cups of water (or just fill your entire crock pot!)
-1/2 cup Chaga powder or chunks

Directions:
1.  Pour in water and put in chunks/powder. Turn on middle setting (should be warm or low)
2. Set for anywhere from 6-10 hours! I do 8 hours.
3. Strain and freeze chunks for later use.
4. Enjoy! Store extra in sealed jar in refrigerator. (Will last 2 weeks in there)
5. Optional: add maple syrup, milk, or spices to flavor it to desired flavor
-Chaga tea in its plain form has a very earthy flavor.. It is a kind of acquired taste like a black cup of coffee but I personally LOVE the flavor so much. I don't add anything. 


OVER THE STOVE CHAGA TEA:

Ingredients :
- 10 cups or fill your pot and leave about an inch of room
-1/3 cup chaga chunks or powder

Directions:
1. Pour in water and put in chunks/powder. Put on low/simmer. DO NOT BOIL. (it will ruin benefits)
2. Let steep from 2-6 hours. Some water may evaporate, and you will have to occasionally replenish water! ( I like the crock pot way better because you can leave the house, the water doesnt deplete during the process, and it will last you a while.)
3. Strain and freeze chunks for later use.
4. Enjoy! Store extra in sealed jar in fridge.

 

This is Chaga! Photo from http://mushroom-collecting.com/mushroomchaga.html

This is Chaga! Photo from http://mushroom-collecting.com/mushroomchaga.html

Easy Vegan Home Made Chai

Guys, It's fall! Once fall hits, I feel my mind go into a totally different state. Instead of my summer brain that wants to lay in the sun and hang out with the trees, it kicks into the fall feels and I just want to spend all my time baking things and smelling cozy food aromas. Lighting a candle, listening to my fall playlist, and making delicious things is heaven. To start the season off I made a  home made chai. Prepare yourself though, you will need every fall spice in the books. The best part is that you might already have most of them but if you have to buy these spices, they will last you so long. 

It's really important to source your spices organic because your purchase is a vote for healthy soils. They use no pesticides, fertilizers or toxins and you are supporting the well being of workers, the environment, and ourselves. 

I also chose an alternative to dairy milk because I want to lighten my footprint and by opting out of animal products, we can lighten the load of methane and carbon being emitted and not to mention - giving the earth a break from all the water usage and other resources getting used up by that industry. So yay! Here it is!!

Vegan home made chai
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Easy Vegan Home Made Chai
serving size: 3-5 people or will last a week in your fridge for yourself!

Ingredients:
2 cans full fat organic coconut milk
3-4 cups of water (depending on creaminess preference)
3-4 Tbsp of organic assam black tea
1 Tbsp cinnamon powder
2 cinnamon sticks (or just add 1 more TBSPN cinnamon powder)
1 Tbsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp cardamom
2 Tbsp black peppercorn
2 full star anise pieces
10-15 strands of saffron
5 cut coins of fresh ginger
1/4 cup-1/2 cup coconut sugar depending on sweetness preference

Directions: 
1. Literally throw it altogether and have it all boil for a few minutes then stir.
2. Adjust to simmer and leave it for 30 minutes to an hour. I left it for an hour just so it would be extra flavorful.
3. Strain out the chunks.
4. Serve hot or let it cool, pop it in your fridge and take it out for a nice iced chai!!
5. YAAY!!!
 

Vegan Poutine

I haven't posted in a long time! I thought I'd kick off the blog again with a good amount of food recipes. Since cutting out meat and cheese from my grocery list I have had some really amazing meals and I want to share it with all of you. 
Even cutting back twice a week on your meat/dairy intake makes a HUGE difference in sustaining our planet.  I have found alternatives that better digest in my system, that are guilt free, and that are better for our earth and saving resources. This particular one is a take on a Canadian favorite, poutine! You really just need three parts to this recipe. The sweet potato fries, the vegan cheese, and the gravy. So I've broke it down for you.
 

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So what I did was soak the cashews a couple hours before making the poutine. You can soak the cashews anywhere from 3-8 hours before depending on when you remember haha. Then I start to make it all at the same time. Starting with popping the fries in the oven, then the gravy and cheese at the same time, then taking out the fries from the oven. It should all take about 30-45 minutes. 

Sweet potato fries ingredients:
-2-3 medium sweet potatoes
-Olive oil (any type of oil)
-salt/pepper (any seasoning you want!)
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 385 F .
2. Slice the sweet potatoes into thin strips.
3. Lay them out evenly onto a baking sheet and drizzle oil with salt and pepper.
4. Ready in about 30-40 minutes depending on thickness of strips. Should be a light brown at edges, and crispy.
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Mushroom gravy ingredients:
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-10 to 12 sliced crimini mushrooms
-1/2 of a big red onion (chopped)
-2 cloves garlic (minced)
-2 cups vegetable broth (link is for my crock pot veggie broth)
-3-4 tablespoons of coconut amigos ( or to taste)
-herbs to taste (sage, thyme, salt, pepper)
-4 tablespoons of tapioca starch (your choice of flour to thicken)
Directions:
1. Toss the olive oil and onion in a pan on medium high. Saute til aromatic and til onions are transparent and browning.
3. Add mushrooms and herbs and turn down to medium heat. Toss til mushrooms are getting smaller and the water has evaporated from them.
4. Add in veggie stock, coconut aminos, tapioca starch and stir. Let simmer til flavors are all sweetly marinading and delicious!
5. Taste and if necessary add more aminos or herbs til you love it!


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Vegan cheese curds ingredients ( adapted from here):
-1/2 cup soaked cashews (soak 3-8 hours before starting to make meal)
-1 cup water
-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- dashes of salt to taste
-1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
-3 tablespoons of tapioca starch to thicken it (or a corn starch/flour that works for you)
Directions:
1. Place all ingredients in a food processor, blender, or bullet until its all blended and no cashew grains are apparent. Should be very smooth!
2. Pour it over to a pot and turn onto medium heat until it thickens up a lot! Stir occasionally. Should all take about 6-10 minutes but consistency is preference. I liked it thick like curds! 
3. Place in fridge for 10-15 minutes (if you want) so it gets even thicker like curds.

Add fries to a bowl, then pour a happy helping of gravy over your fries and top with cheese curds. Add chives on top for extra yumminess!


-Note: Once you make the vegan cheese curds and the gravy, it should be about time for the fries to be done. If not, just leave your gravy on the lowest setting until the sweet potato fries are all done. 

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MY GO TO ZERO WASTE VEGAN TACOS

MY GO TO ZERO WASTE VEGAN/GF TACOS:
Sweet Potato and Mushroom tacos with Cashew lime-cilantro sour cream 

 

Looking back on when I used to eat a ton of meat and cheese, I remember thinking how hard it would be to cut these out but after eating meals like the one I made shown below; I don't miss those meals at all! There are some crazy statistics about cutting out meat and cheese even once a week.                                                               •If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the US would SAVE:
-100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months
-1.5 billion pounds of crops otherwise fed to livestock, enough to feed the state of New Mexico for more than a year.  (source: physicist Noam Mohr, New York University Polytechnic Institute.)

So behold, an easy and tasty way to help the Earth and its species re-coop! My best friend Sara (who is an amazing Nutrition Consultant and Eating Psychology coach) and I made this amazing dish and now every time we visit each other, we HAVE to make them.

First and most importantly, this meal is earth sustainable. All organic and/or farmers market vegetables, with home made cashew sour cream (Cashews are very resource extensive but I consciously use them, meaning not regularly).  Second, this is packed with nutrients! Amongst them are B-vitamins, iron, selenium, protein, Vitamin C and so much more.

The above photo was everything needed for these tasty tacos, including the amazing cashew cilantro lime sour cream. 


INGREDIENTS for tacos (serves 2):
1-2 medium sized sweet potatoes diced in cubes
2 big handfuls spinach
2 1/2 cups diced mushrooms
Cilantro
Spices you desire (I used Chile powder, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic)
Olive oil
1 lime (for garnish)
1 medium sized red onion chopped in strips
Maseca corn flour (can find anywhere and comes in recyclable paper sack and lasts forever!)
INGREDIENTS for cashew cilantro lime sour cream:
1 cup of soaked raw cashews (soak 6+ hours with pinch of salt)
1 cup cilantro
juice from 2 limes
salt, garlic powder cayenne to taste
DIRECTIONS for sour cream:
1. Throw in all ingredients in food processor until creamy. If too thick, add water.

DIRECTIONS for tacos:
1. After seasoning and olive oil, pop sweet potato cubes in oven on 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until soft and outsides are brown and crispy.
2. While sweet potatoes are in oven, caramelize onions and mushrooms with oil and spices (either in separate or same skillet). For convenience, when almost done, throw in spinach until lightly wilted or lightly sauté in separate skillet.
3. Throw in squeezed lime, soaked cashews, salt, and cilantro in food processor until creamy and fluffy
4. Read directions for Maseca on side of bag (mix water, salt and flour and roll out into tortilla rounds) Put rounds on pan about 5 minutes each side on medium heat.

(In short terms: sauté everything, throw potatoes in oven, make cream and roll out tortillas and grill in pan!)

Throw it all on top of tortillas and squeeze your garnish lime all over and enjoy!!! YUMMMMMMM