Wednesday, April 22, 2015

#WCW What's Cookin' Wednesday; An Organic Lunch Box Option in Honor of Earth Day!

This week's What's Cookin' Wednesday features a fun twist on organic options for your child's (or yours!), lunch box! Thanks to our OWN Wellness Coach, Delia Rice, for this creative recipe!

Happy EARTH DAY! This year we celebrate the 45th anniversary of the first Earth Day, but as I like to think…EVERY DAY IS EARTH DAY! When I was about 9,  I asked my parents to create a recycling bin for all of their Sunday newspapers and soda cans. I started making my brother turn off the water while he brushed his teeth. I made my Dad happy by finally realizing the importance of turning off the light when I left the room. My first restaurant job-  I convinced my boss to start recycling all those beer bottles and called the city to deliver a container! A few years later I was working at a major coffee chain and saw all of the left over pastries and sandwiches being thrown away night after night. A few calls into the local homeless shelter fixed that! 

Then, I became a Mom, and you guessed it, I used cloth diapers! HA!  I am now, more than ever, aware of the importance of living a “GREEN” life. I REDUCEREUSE, and RECYCLE everything I possibly can! Raising an Earth-Friendly/Green Family is easier than you think. Teach your children to respect nature and Mother Earth. Tell them how our actions have an impact on the environment. Involve the kids, make it fun, be a role model!

                *let kids help at the grocery store by reading labels and finding the least processed or packaged foods
                *plant flowers, a tree, or a garden together
                *have a clothes swap with friends instead of buying brand new
*appreciate a sunset together
                *instead of buying toxic household cleaners, have the whole family help make your own
                *visit the farmers markets, follow the 100 mile diet. (only buy food grown within 100 miles of where you live)
                *walk, bike or use public transportation whenever possible
                *start a compost bin together
                *turn off the TV-play a real game together. We love UNO!
                *repurpose an item that would have been thrown out
                *at least once a year go through your children’s toys. Collect the ones they have out grown and pass down to friends or family with younger children or         donate to a local charity.
                *track fireflies, observe bees, keep a growth chart of the plants in your garden. Help kids experience the sights, sounds, smells, and textures of nature!
                *buy products that are kind to the environment and safe for people (non-toxic materials, organic ingredients, biodegradable, recycled)

“Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future.” –John F. Kennedy

Another  great way to practice GREEN living with your kids is to create a GREEN lunch kit. The average kid’s lunch generates 67 pounds of packaging waste per year!! Start by purchasing a reusable lunchbox or bag. Replace plastic sandwich/snack bags with reusable cloth bags. You can find them online, at a few bigger name stores, or just make your own! Invest in reusable drinking bottles and a thermos for soups. To complete your green lunch kit, use real cutlery and small cloth napkins. Just remind your kids to bring it all home so you can both pack another healthy green lunch tomorrow!

To honor the folks that started this Earth Day back in 1970…I am sharing my new favorite healthy GRANOLA recipe!
Delicious by itself as a crunchy, protein packed, good for you fats, snack OR with milk, like cereal. I like mine with coconut milk!

1.5 cups whole raw almonds
1 cup hulled sunflower seeds
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup walnuts
1 cup macadamia nuts or pecans
¼ cup melted coconut oil
¼ cup almond butter
¼ cup Medjool dates
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Mix together all your nuts, flakes, and seeds in a bowl.
Put about 2/3 of the mixture into a food processor and pulse it until it has a crumb like texture- until it looks like granola!
Return that to your bowl.
In another bowl, mix together the coconut oil, almond butter, dates, cinnamon and vanilla.
Add that to your nut mix and stir it until evenly coated.
Spread the mix onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Bake 45 minutes….I suggest stirring it/ flipping it every 15 minutes though for even crispiness.
Cool completely and store in an airtight container. 

My 5 year old helped me make this last night and we enjoyed it this morning for breakfast!


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