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Don’t be scared of being green during the spookiest holiday of the year! We have the tips you need to stay sustainable and save money this Halloween.

Ghouls, Ghosts and Green! 5 Ways to Make Your Halloween Eco-Friendly

DIY Halloween Costume Ideas – Spoonful

Make your own costumes at home for the cutest, greenest disguises this year – no matter if you have a lot of time or just a little, there are great DIY options for every member of the family. If you simply don’t have a crafty bone in your body, try swapping costumes with friends, family and other members of your community for a fun and free option year after year!

Ghouls, Ghosts and Green! 5 Ways to Make Your Halloween Eco-Friendly

Use the Whole Pumpkin – 30 Pounds of Apples

Whether you’re making a pumpkin pie or carving a jack-o-lantern for the front porch, you can reduce food waste by using the whole pumpkin – inside and out. If you haven’t tried them before, roasted pumpkin seeds are healthy, delicious and wonderfully simple to make. Try this classic recipe or get creative and make up your own!

Ghouls, Ghosts and Green! 5 Ways to Make Your Halloween Eco-Friendly

Light the Way Efficiently —EnergyEarth

Be sure to bring along extra light while trick-or-treating. Choose LED flashlights and rechargeable batteries for the brightness and reliability you need, and the savings and efficiency you want. If you’re passing out candy, light your pathway and porch with LED bulbs in your porch fixture and solar-powered lamps along your pathway for maximum savings.

Ghouls, Ghosts and Green! 5 Ways to Make Your Halloween Eco-Friendly

Decorate Naturally – Real Simple

Whether you prefer simple and elegant or fun and funky décor, try going all-natural for unbeatable savings and sustainability. Plus, nothing beats the fun and flexibility of making your own decorations from inexpensive or free finds from everywhere – the farm stand, the grocery store or your own backyard!

Ghouls, Ghosts and Green! 5 Ways to Make Your Halloween Eco-Friendly

Skip the Highly Processed Snacks and Treats – 100 Days of Real Food

Depending on your neighborhood or community, you may be able to make your own treats and wrap them in recyclable paper. If you don’t think the parents in your area will go for that, you can still make sure to hand out healthier (without high-fructose corn syrup, chemical coloring or artificial flavoring) pre-packaged treats in eco-friendly packaging. Try checking at your local Earth Fare, Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s for tasty, affordable options.

Have a safe, happy and sustainable Halloween!

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Ditch the Disposables - 4 Ways to Have a Green 4th of July {The Dirt on Green}

1. Ditch the disposables. Reusable tableware will save you money and lower your impact on the environment. Worried about an enormous pile of dishes after your get-together? Try asking your guests to bring their own plates or pitch in with cleaning duties.

Skip the Fireworks - 4 Ways to Have a Green 4th of July {The Dirt on Green}

2. Skip the fireworks. Stay safe and avoid the toxic fumes this year with fun alternatives like biodegradable confetti, a bonfire, attending a parade or light show and other fun activities. If you simply have to get your fireworks fix, try attending your city or community’s display instead or setting off your own at home.

Choose Real Food - 4 Ways to Have a Green 4th of July {The Dirt on Green}

3. Choose real food. It’s no secret that real, homemade food tastes better, but did you know that it can also help lower your impact? Highly processed snacks and ingredients often travel farther and have a larger carbon footprint than their simpler, often regionally-sourced alternatives. And did we mention that it tastes better?

Cool Down with Homemade Treats - 4 Ways to Have a Green 4th of July {The Dirt on Green}

4. Cool down with homemade treats. Turn off the air conditioner and step outside with a delicious fruity (or creamy!) popsicle. You can even make some for your furry guests!

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Kale is all the rage these days – and for good reason. This low calorie, fat free leafy green is high in fiber, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, calcium and vitamins A and C. What isn’t to love?

It can be hard to keep fresh greens on hand all the time without it wilting. Next time you pick up a bundle and don’t quite finish it before it’s about to turn, try blanching and freezing it for an easy and healthy boost in soups or sautéed as a side dish. If you just freeze fresh greens, they will get bitter, but blanching them for a few minutes will kill all the enzymes that cause that unwelcome bitter flavor.

Chopping the Kale

First, wash and trim your kale, as nobody wants to eat the tough, bitter stalk, then chop the leaves into smaller pieces.

While you’re doing that, start boiling water in a large stockpot and place a large bowl in your sink and fill it with cold water and ice.

How to Blanch Kale (and Other Greens) for Easy Freezing

For the easiest results, place the kale in a steamer basket, dunk it in the pot of boiling water, put the lid on (the steam helps cook the bits bobbing on top) and leave it for approximately two minutes.

How to Blanch Kale (and Other Greens) for Easy Freezing

When the time is up, quickly lift the kale from the pot of water into the bowl of ice water. Retrieve bits left behind with tongs.

How to Blanch Kale (and Other Greens) for Easy Freezing

Remove from the ice bath and lay it flat on a kitchen towel to lightly dry. Put it in a resealable container and pop in the freezer. You’re done! Repeat as many times as needed to blanch all your kale.

When you’re ready to eat it, simply pull out of the freezer and sauté in olive oil with a little minced garlic and sea salt or add to soup for a delicious nutrition boost.

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The unmistakable flavor of cool creamy ranch – homemade with only natural, wholesome ingredients at a fraction of the price of those little packets you can buy at the store. Go on, indulge a little while you eat your vegetables.

Homemade Ranch Dressing and Dip

Here’s what you’ll need for the mix:

2 tablespoons dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried dill

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon cracked black pepper

Homemade Ranch Dressing and Dip

Combine all of the spices in a small container and mix. Store in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it.

Homemade Ranch Dressing and Dip

To make dressing, combine 1/3 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup milk, 1 tablespoon spice mix and salt, to taste.

To make dip, simply combine 1/2 cup sour cream and 1 tablespoon mix.

Homemade Ranch Dressing and Dip

Whip some up any time you need it. Serve with salad, fresh veggies, whole wheat pretzels or pita chips or anything else you like! Refrigerate for up to 3 days; makes about 4 tablespoons of mix.

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Soft, warm homemade banana bread straight out of the oven reminds us of childhood mornings waking up at grandma’s house. Whip up this healthy spin on an old classic in just about 5 minutes prep time with ingredients you already have on hand.

Healthy Banana Bread Ingredients

Here’s what you need:

–          3 or 4 ripe bananas

–          5 tablespoons butter, melted

–          ½ cup raw sugar

–          1-2 tablespoons honey

–          1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

–          1 egg or ¼ cup applesauce + 1 tsp baking powder or EnerG Egg Replacer

–          1 teaspoon baking soda

–          Dash of sea salt

–          1½ cups whole wheat flour

–          Extra virgin olive oil (for greasing the loaf pan)

Overripe Bananas

Peel and mash your bananas in a mixing bowl. Overripe bananas work best, as they are sweeter and softer. We like to use a potato masher because it leaves sweet little chunks in the bread without being too large.

Mashed Bananas

Add melted butter, raw sugar, egg (or egg substitute), honey and vanilla and mix thoroughly.

Banana Bread Ingredients

Gradually add baking soda, salt and flour and mix.

Banana Bread Ingredients with Flour

Lightly grease a loaf pan with the olive oil before pouring the batter into it.

Banana Bread Batter in Loaf Pan

Bake at 350°F (175°C) for about an hour or until a fork inserted into the top comes out cleanly.

Warm Banana Bread Fresh From the Oven

Voilà! Simple, delicious comfort food that you can feel good about eating. Adjust the ingredients as needed the number of bananas you need to use. Enjoy on its own or with a little butter, cream cheese or honey. It’ll take you right back to your childhood with each healthy bite.

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Hearty chickpeas blended with tangy tahini, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and your choice of spices make this creamy, versatile treat both healthy and delicious. Making it yourself is surprisingly easy, inexpensive and better than store bought. And you can customize the flavor exactly how you want it!

Hummus ingredients

Here’s what you need:

–          2 cups of chickpeas (15oz)

–          ¼ cup fresh citrus juice (lemon juice is preferred, but oranges will do in a pinch)

–          ¼ cup tahini (can be found at some supermarkets or international markets)

–          2 tablespoons minced garlic or half of a large garlic clove

–          2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

–          Dash of sea salt

–          2-3 tablespoons water (as needed)

And you may want:

–          Cracked black pepper

–          Ground cumin

–          Paprika

–          The possibilities are endless!

Beginning the hummus

If you’re using chickpeas from a can, simply wash and drain them in a colander. If you prefer dried chickpeas, we suggest following these instructions for soaking and cooking.

In a food processor or blender, combine tahini and citrus juice and blend for about a minute. Add the olive oil, minced garlic and salt to whipped tahini and juice. Blend for another minute, scraping the sides occasionally.

Mixing the hummus

Add the chickpeas and desired spices to taste and blend until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl periodically. Most likely the hummus will be too thick or slightly lumpy. To fix this, gradually add the water until the consistency is perfect.

Finishing the hummus

And there you have it! Super easy and delicious. Top with olive oil and a dash paprika, a spoonful of garlic or whatever spices you used for a real store-bought feel.

We found that hummus is nearly always best after it has rested for about a day, allowing the flavors to meld fully. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one week or freeze for up to six months.

—The EnergyEarth Team

Recipe – Blackberry Crisp

April 25th, 2013 | Posted by EnergyEarth in Green Recipes - (0 Comments)

Juicy, fresh blackberries and wholesome oats combine to make this easy, healthy and delicious dessert. Perfect with vanilla ice cream on warm summer days or with a cup of coffee by the fire on cold winter nights!Raspberries

What you’ll need:

4-5 cups fresh blackberries

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups rolled oats

1½ cups raw sugar +  1½ tablespoons molasses

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1½ cups butter

Crisp Topping

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In large bowl, combine raw sugar and molasses with a hand mixer (you now have brown sugar!).
  3. Add flour, oats, brown sugar mixture, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut in butter until crumbly.
  4. Press half of mixture in the bottom of a 9”x13” pan, then cover with the berries. Sprinkle remaining crumble mixture on top.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the blackberries are bubbly and the topping is golden brown.

 

Baked Blackberry Crisp

And there you have it! Serve warm with ice cream or coffee and refrigerate the leftovers for up to a week. Not totally healthy, but not totally unhealthy. And did we mention it’s delicious?!

—The EnergyEarth Team

© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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