How To Green your Cocktail Party

Is it 5 o’clock yet?

Summer is over! Say it isn’t so, I am NOT ready. It is, however, the perfect time to throw an outdoor cocktail party is fall! Invite your friends, mix a few great drinks with fab garnishes, set a simple spread, and enjoy. If you aren’t a fan of alcohol, you can make great mocktails. Need some mocktail recipes? Leave me a comment.

Choose the drinks: Grab your favorite cocktail book or borrow one for the library and choose 2-4 different cocktails that are fun and out of the ordinary. My favorite cocktail book is Margaritas, Mojitos, and More because it has delicious recipes with beautiful pictures and well, those are my favorite drinks. I highly suggest the Cantaloupe Mojito and Mango Margarita.

Set the Mood: Any outdoor area will do, if you are working with a patio or deck, remove everything and lay down a simple area rug, and place all of your chairs and end tables in great conversation sets. You can also use large pillows and cushions for seating. Arrange potted plants around the seating areas and create an ambiance with great Eco-friendly candles or solar-powered lanterns. Don’t forget to turn on the sound dock with some light and fun music.

Set the Table: Fab your patio table with a beautiful reusable tablecloth, then set up the cocktail station. Use an assortment of bowls to house lemon, orange, and lime slices, cocktail onions, cherries, olives {my fav are blue cheese stuffed green olives} and don’t forget sugar and salt to rim the glasses. A small vase full of colorful licorice sticks makes fun stir sticks and straws. Make your guests feel welcome with lots of munchies to nosh on. Try fresh breadsticks, (standing vertically in a vase), hummus with assorted colorful veggies (straight from the garden), fancy nuts, and chocolate pieces.

This is a simple party to put together but is a lot of fun.

What is your favorite cocktail or mocktail?

 

5 Spooky Fruit and Vegetable Halloween Treats for Healthy Kids

Halloween is my favorite holiday – mostly because it is an anything goes, don’t hold back, get as creative as you want, holiday! I have been adding a little spookiness into Eben’s snacks by getting creative with fruits and vegetables. He seems to enjoy these “sweet” treats just as much as a sugary alternative – maybe even more. Read on for 5 spooky fruit and vegetable Halloween treats that I have used as inspiration for celebrating the holiday with my healthy kid.

#1: Jack o’Lantern Fruit Plate
This may be one of the easiest treats in the bunch – simply peel, cut, and arrange a selection of organic strawberries, clementines, blueberries, and grapes and you have a Halloween treat that is sure to please everyone!

+ Jack O’Lantern Fruit Plate
+ via Wholesome Dinner Tonight

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#2: Veggie Skeleton
Looking for a fun way to get your child to eat more vegetables this autumn? Look no further than this adorable veggie skeleton. This, along with the Jack O’Lantern Fruit Plate would be perfect for your child’s class Halloween Party or your family’s spooky get-together!

+ Veggie Skeleton
+ via Feeding Four Little Monkeys

#3: Pumpkin Oranges + Banana Ghosts
Yum! These goodies are definitely calling my name – I bet the bananas would be even better if they were slightly frozen! These would be great for a kids party – just grab and go.

+ Pumpkin Oranges + Banana Ghosts
+ via Kid Party Food Ideas

#4: Apple Teeth Treats
While these little yummies might take a little more time to prepare – I bet they are worth all of the compliments you would get at your Halloween party.

+ Apple Teeth Treats
+ via All Recipes

#5: Halloween Sweet Potato Fries
I want to whip up a batch of these yummy sweet potato fries to go with Halloween dinner. Not only does my family love them – but the spook factor will win them over for sure.

+ Halloween Sweet Potato Fries
+ Babble

Green Nosh: Jayson’s Organic Garden Salsa

This is the time of year when the garden is full of tons of yummy veggies. It is the perfect time to make salsa since most, if not all of the ingredients that you will need are in your own garden. Salsa is also fab to take to a back to school BBQ or just to nosh on while lounging by the pool. Try my husband, Jayson’s, Organic Garden Salsa. This recipe is great to make in bulk because by cooking it, it can be stored by freezing, canning, or bottling, whereas fresh salsa can not be stored for long periods of time. You can freeze for up to 3 months in your kitchen freezer or up to 1 year in a deep freezer. {This is the perfect recipe if you have tons of goodies in the garden but aren’t sure what to do with them.}

Ingredients:
  • 6 cups organic yellow onions (diced)
  • 6 cups organic fresh raw tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/2 bunch organic cilantro (chopped, stems and all)
  • 1o cloves organic garlic (chopped)
  • 3 organic Serrano peppers (for medium to spicy, do not seed.For mild,
  • remove seeds)
  • 4 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 organic white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon organic dried oregano
  • 15 ounces organic tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon organic cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon organic salt
Preparation:
  • Saute onions and peppers in olive oil until softened. Add all other ingredients and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Let cool and puree in a blender until you reach the desired consistency.

    Yield: 5 large bowls.

Enjoy.
If you try this, let me know what you think.
 

5 Fantastic Reasons To Grow Your Own Fruit And Veggies

It’s fair to say that there is more pressure than ever on the different food resources around the world. One of the ways to alleviate the pressure is to grow your own produce in your garden. Here are some other benefits of exploring this option. 

Get The Kids Outside

An overlooked benefit of growing your own produce is that it does give you a reason to get the kids outside. There’s no reason why you can’t get the whole family involved in this idea. Your kids might love exploring how to prepare their own meals from scratch, including growing their own ingredients. This is a cool skill to teach them, even from a very young age. 

Explore New Recipes

One of the best and brightest benefits of growing your own fruit and veg is that you will be able to use the produce to explore different recipes and meal possibilities. These could be a big hit with your family and ensure that you do get tremendous benefits from options like this. For instance, you could take a look at a vegan chili recipe from The Mediterranean Dish. Going vegan can be difficult because it’s a massive change to your diet. Growing your own veg will make this a lot easier. 

Save Money 

Or, if you are struggling with your monthly budget, then it might interest you to learn that growing your own fruit and veg could save you a lot of money. It will help ensure that you don’t have to spend a fortune on different products in the superstore. It’s true to say that eating healthy can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be when you live off your own plot of land. 

Help The Planet 

Of course one of the best reasons to grow your own veg and set up a little plot in your back garden is that you will be helping to save the planet. Particularly, if you take the right steps. Various research shows that composting – which will help your fruit and veg grow – you also help the planet. You can even ensure that more carbon dioxide is trapped underneath the ground rather than spreading into the atmosphere. So, while simple, this is definitely going to ensure that you’re doing your part to save the planet. 

Be Healthier 

Finally, one of the most important reasons to grow your own fruit and veg in your garden is that it is going to allow you to eat a healthier diet and ensure that your family is following the same diet too. Unfortunately, a lot of farmers are now using a wide range of chemicals in their produce while livestock is being pumped full of drugs. Experts believe that the impact these chemicals have on our body could be wide stretching and even lead to processes such as oxygenation. 

We hope this helps you understand why it is beneficial to grow your own fruit and veg rather than constantly relying on the products that you can buy in the superstore. If you take the right steps here, then you’ll be amazed by the incredible results that you’ll witness. 

6 Healthier Halloween Sweet Treats for Green Kids

My family loves Halloween, it is our favorite holiday! You get to dress up like anything you want, decorate your home with pumpkins and ghosts, spend time sipping hot apple cider with family and friends, and then, there are the goodies! Oh my! What’s not to love? Well, I am not a fan of treats packed full of artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or high fructose corn syrup or the tons of non-recyclable candy wrappers! Instead, I like to choose goodies that are good for my family and the environment! Read on to learn my favorite 6 healthier sweet treats for Halloween and give a couple a try this year!

1. YumEarth 
If you are looking for yummy, natural, and organic sweet treats that your whole family will love, look no further than YumEarth. YumEarth’s Natural Sour Jelly Bean and Organic Gummy Bears and Lollipops are fantastic! These yummies contain NO artificial colors, flavors, or high fructose corn syrup. These are a staple at our house during Halloween. We are huge fans of the pomegranate pucker lollipops! And all of YumEarth’s goodies are gluten-free and vegan too! Perfection!

+ Yummy Earth
2.  Bitsy’s Brainfood
If your child loves animal crackers, put these treats on your grocery shopping list! With yummy flavors. They contain Omega 3’s, Vitamins A, B12, B6, D3, and Folic Acid and No GMO’s. We really enjoyed them – especially the zucchini gingerbread carrot. Yum!

+ Bitsy’s Brainfood

 

3. Unreal Candy 
I have to admit Eben loves a sweet treat – and while we like his sweet spot to be satisfied with whole fruits – he enjoys a candy treat here and there. Unreal Candy fits that bill! We were talking about making our Unreal Candy caramel apples last night. Made with NO artificial colors or flavors, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and NO GMO’s! We keep these on hand for the trick or treaters, as ice cream toppings, and even used them (but up) on our caramel apples this year! They are available at your local retailer and taste better than their toxic-chemical counterpart.

+ Unreal Candy

4. Plum Organics
You may know Plum Organics for their certified organic foods for babies and toddlers, but now the company is offering goodies geared especially for the older kiddos! Hooray for Eben! The new certified organic goodies include; soft-baked graham bars filled with yogurt, yummy bite-sized granola clusters,  squeezable fruit, and yogurt smoothies, fruit, and veggie gummy snacks, freeze-dried yogurt dots, and mini peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Yummy for Halloween and every day!

+ Plum Organics

5. CLIF Kid
Every year a Halloween favorite at our home is CLIF Kid’s Full Moon Brownie organic Zbar! These are perfect for everyone in your family! Not only are the Zbar’s certified organic, but they are also the yummiest chocolate brownie bar sprinkled with white chocolate chips! Packed full of 12 vitamins and minerals, 8 grams of whole grains  – these are the perfect treat for that added boost of energy before your children head out to trick or treat! We pack these for our hiking and paddleboarding adventures.

+ CLIF Kid Zbar

6. Homemade Organic Treats
One of my favorite Halloween treats is those that you make with your children! This October, Eben and I have made organic vegan pumpkin carob cookies, vegan peanut butter cookies, oatmeal cookies, and vegan peanut butter cups! I like to make our own treats because I can ensure that we are only using the freshest, organic, vegan ingredients and it’s a great excuse to spend a day with my favorite person!

How about you – what healthier Halloween sweet treats do you choose for your littles?