Archive for April, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Banana Chips

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

I have a friend going through a pretty strict elimination diet right now as she is trying to heal her body from some on-going health issues she has struggled with for a long time. It’s been hard on her but I commend her commitment to it; plus in a very short time she has had some incredible results!

I kept trying to come up with something I could make for her to 1) help expand her limited food choices a little bit and 2) help her discover new, exciting foods. However a vast majority of what I eat was on her no-no list. Bummer! I definitely like a challenge when it comes to alternative diets, conscious eating, and healthy ingredient substitution. After much thought I came up with something. Eureka!! Banana Chips to the rescue!

Banana chips are super easy to make. If you have a food dehydrator you could make them in there. I however don’t have one (crazy, I know…although I do like to keep things simple in the kitchen appliance department…well¬†actually in life in general ūüôā )¬†You can easily make banana chips (and many other recipes that typically use a dehydrator) in your oven at a very low temp. I once borrowed a food dehydrator from a friend to experiment with to see if I wanted to invest in one; turns out I actually prefer the low temp oven method for most things.

Oh and if you plan to make a batch to give to a friend, you will probably need to hide them from your kids…just saying. I have learned that if I make something into “chips” (kale, sweet potatoes, apples, etc) my kids will automatically think¬†it is¬†an amazing and delicious snack…and devour it shortly after it comes out of the oven. This particular snack takes 3 hours to bake in the oven, so it is not exactly easy to whip out another batch if your kids happen to eat the first batch. In other words, you might consider doubling the recipe. ūüôā

Ingredients:

4 bananas, peeled

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

sprinkle of cinnamon to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Slice bananas into 1/4 inch thick discs. Sprinkle or brush banana slices with lemon juice. Sprinkle with cinnamon (optional).

Place banana slices onto parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for approximately 3 hours.

Remove banana slices and allow to cool. They will crisp/harden as they cool.

Viola! Homemade banana chips. Enjoy!!

-Sarah

 

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Sunday Funday Giveaway: Rockin’ Green Cloth Diaper Detergent

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

I recently tried Rockin’ Green Cloth Diaper Detergent for the first time. I have to say I am a huge¬†fan! From the edgy package design, to the great scents, the specialized formulas, and the overall effectiveness, Rockin’ Green is definitely Rockin!! Watch out for a full review later this week, but in the meantime I thought it would make a great giveaway. ūüôā

Rockin’ Green Cloth Diaper Detergent comes in 3 options: Classic Rock, Hard Rock, and Soft Rock. “Rockin’ Green was designed for different water types, so it’s important to find the right formula for your area” (Rockin Green, 2013). Which one you use depends on how hard your water is. The general recommendation from Rockin’ Green is as follows:

  • <60 ppm should use soft rock
    <250 ppm should use classic rock
    And anything more than that should use hard rock

Now¬†I will admit…¬†those numbers didn’t really mean much to¬†me at first. Turns out they are actually a water¬†hardness¬†level. You¬†might already know if you have hard or¬†soft water depending on the area you reside. Or you might have a hubby who knows. ūüėČ However if you don’t know you can typically have your water hardness level professionally tested for free by a pool/spa store, aquarium supply store, or¬†water softener company, etc. The map below provides suggested formula recommendations across the US.

Want to try¬†Rockin’ Green Cloth Diaper Detergent to get the stinkies out of your diaper stash?¬†Then be sure to enter this week’s giveaway for your chance to win a bag of Rockin’ Green¬†Cloth Diaper Detergent. Winner¬†gets to select formula for their water¬†hardness level. Winner will be announced Sunday, May 5. Winner will be notified via email and is asked to respond within 48hours in order to claim prize.

Good Luck All!

Sarah
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Silent Saturday: Spreading Some Love…

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

A mama friend just welcomed her third baby into the world! I love meeting squishy little newborns! I also really enjoy bringing meals to families after the arrival of a new baby. I know how much it meant to me when friends brought me post partum meals. I am happy to be spreading the love around!

Here’s what the care package included: Black Bean and Rice Salad, Chips and Salsa, Cashew Nut Cream with Strawberries, Veggies and Hummus, Lactation Bars, and Spiced Pecans.

 

I ran out of time to make hummus, so picked up some at Trader Joe’s instead. The Mediterranean is my favorite hummus ever!

Lactation Bars…yummy!! These are always a hit with new mamas.

A cold black bean and rice salad is quick and simple for a mama of a newborn. No preparation is required to enjoy it. Simply scoop it into a bowl and viola a hearty and healthy dish is ready to eat!

What are your favorite meals to bring to families during times of need or transition? Would love to hear from readers! ūüôā

Happy Weekend All!

-Sarah

Product Review: Bottombumpers All In One Side Snap Cloth Diaper

Friday, April 26th, 2013

I recently added my first Bottombumpers Diaper to my stash. The only reason I decided to get¬†a Bottombumpers All In One Side Snap Cloth Diaper was because I could custom order one¬†with the Great Cloth Diaper Change logo on it. I thought it would be fun for my son to wear it to the event. Otherwise, I will admit Bottombumpers had not really peaked my interest up until then. I am not exactly sure why though? Perhaps because the whole side snap design threw me? Or maybe because I really don’t know anyone who has Bottombumpers¬†in their stash. Bottombumpers seem to be one of the lesser known cloth diaper brands so there is¬†not as much exposure to them. At any rate I put my custom order in and awaited its arrival in the mail.

 

I LOVE how fast Mom’s Milk Boutique ships their orders, however for this particular diaper I had to wait much longer than usual (per the manufacturer since the¬†Bottombumpers with the Great Cloth Diaper Change logo was a custom order). When it finally arrived I was super excited! Of course I first noted how adorable it was. The¬†embroidered logo looked great! But I also noted how small the diaper looked; in particular the¬†crotch seemed rather narrow.¬†I worried that it wouldn’t fit my son. I put it on him right away (without prepping it at all) to check the fit and thankfully it seem to fit okay. Well then I got a little distracted (as moms of young children often do) and forgot to take it off him. Sure enough within 10 minutes he peed in it. And it leaked everywhere. I was again concerned that maybe the fit was off, but then decided it was best to prep the diaper before making any final conclusions about it.

Okay, so let’s talk about the side snap design. I honestly didn’t think I would care for it.¬†For some reason I¬†assumed it would be more difficult to diaper baby than a front snap design. But it wasn’t…at all. In fact just the opposite. It was actually a breeze to get on my son. Plus the side snaps eliminate the bulk sometimes found in front snap diapers. Also there are 5 snap options on each side to adjust the waist allowing you to get the best fit possible.

You have the option with Bottombumpers to select from One Size or Sized Side Snap Cloth Diapers. I already have several one-size diapers in my stash so I opted for a sized diaper in medium.

One very cool feature of this all in one diaper is that the soaker (ie Рthe absorbent middle layer) is attached with snaps so you can remove it for washing and drying. This addresses one of the main issues many people have with all in ones; that they can take forever to dry. The soaker folds in half offering 4 layers of protection. It is made from Organic Cotton and topped with Bamboo Velour

This diaper did seem to require a little extra prepping (which is commonly the case with organic cotton)¬†as it also leaked the second time I used it, even after two prep washes. However¬†after¬†a third prep wash, we have had no further issues with leaks! Whew, 3rd time really is a charm. ūüôā

Now aside from all the functional features of Bottombumpers such as fit, design, absorbency, and materials we have to discuss the cuteness factor of the special prints. Bottombumpers offers special prints at various times during the year. For example the 2012 Holiday Prints were simply adorable!! Although even the everyday prints and colors are super cute. Plus they have some fun names such as Shamrock and Espresso.

Honestly I love this diaper…especially how trim fitting it is. Ironically the side snap¬†design that kept me at bay for so long turns out to be a feature I actually really like! Particularly because it completely eliminates any bulk in the front.

Do you have any Bottombumpers in your stash? What are your thoughts on them?

-Sarah

 

Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Lemonade (the lazy version)

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Things are starting to heat up around here…and fast! Time to dust off those BBQs, clean off the patio furniture and plan some fun¬†pool parties!

Nothing compliments an outdoor BBQ (and yes, vegans BBQ)¬†better than an ice cold glass of refreshing lemonade. Needless to say I was pretty stoked to discover my Costco now carries organic lemonade. Yippie! I purchased some on a recent Costco trip. While checking out, the cashier notes my lemonade and comments that they just started carrying it. “I know! I am so excited!” I replied. “Eh, I just make my own” was his reply back to me.

Mmmmm, yeah… homemade lemonade sounded kind of amazing. I often see it for sale at Farmer’s Markets for like $4+ a cup. Surely it cannot be that hard to make…or costly either? Especially here in Arizona where lemons are plentiful. People are always trying to give away citrus fruits here (which for the record I will¬†gladly accept¬†any overstock of citrus!¬†ūüôā )

So I¬†looked up how to make lemonade and all the¬†recipes coming up involved pots and¬†stove tops….huh?¬†That sounded way more complicated than¬†I thought it would be.¬†Can’t¬†I just throw¬†lemons, water, and sugar in my blender¬†like I do everything else? Sure! Why not? I decided to give¬†that a go instead of messing with making a simple syrup, rolling lemons, squeezing lemons, and yada yada yada.

So ta-da¬†here it is…my lazy version of homemade lemonade. It will literally take you about 2 minutes to make and even less time¬†than that to clean up. Although hopefully it lasts a little longer than 2 minutes in your family; which is rarely the case in our home. As soon as my boys hear the blender turn on, they run into the kitchen. My two year old will grab a cup and insist I pour him some of whatever I making…doesn’t matter¬†when I try to explain to him that it is pesto sauce and we¬†generally don’t drink pesto by the cupful.¬†To him I speaking complete nonsense.¬†If it comes from a blender, it must be enjoyed via cup according to my toddler. ūüôā

Ingredients:

1 generously sized lemon, peeled

3 cups of water

1/3 cup of sugar (you could experiment with other sweeteners…I just happen to have a ton of organic cane sugar that my hubby thought we needed…if it says organic and is on sale, he buys¬†it thinking I will be super excited…it’s actually quite endearing…even if it means our pantry is over flowing with cane sugar)

handful of ice

Directions:

Throw ingredients in a blender and blend for a minute or two. You can serve it over ice just like this, however it will be rather pulpy. Some people prefer pulp (and enjoy/appreciate the nutrients in it). My kids however do not. So I strain our lemonade through cheesecloth much in the same way I do almond milk. I simply place the cheesecloth over the pitcher and pour lemonade directly from blender over the cheesecloth into pitcher. Serve over¬†ice. ūüôā

Some fun variations:

  • Throw a¬†handful of strawberries ¬†(frozen or fresh) into the blender for a yummy pink lemonade.
  • Mix half lemonade and half of your favorite ice tea together for a refreshing Arnold Palmer.
  • Serve with a sprig of mint and sliced lemons for an extra flavor boost.

ENJOY!

-Sarah

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