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Make At Home Doughnut Recipes

doughnunt

It’s here! Each year on the first Friday of June is National Doughnut or Donut Day! This day celebrates the doughnut and honors the Salvation Army Lassies, the women that served doughnuts to soldiers during WWI. In preparation, we have compiled two of our favorite recipes that are baked versions of the classic treat.

Lemon Glazed Baked Doughnut

Makes about 14 doughnuts

Ingredients
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk (1%)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Lightly coat a doughnut pan with cooking spray.
2. Combine flours and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
3. Combine buttermilk, eggs, honey, butter, and vanilla, stirring well with a whisk. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture; whisk just until combined.
4. Spoon batter into doughnut pans, filling two-thirds full. Bake in the middle of oven until doughnuts spring back when touched and are golden on bottom (about 8 minutes). Let cool in pan slightly (about 4 minutes); turn out.

Lemon Glaze
Combine 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, stirring well with a whisk. Dip 1 side of the cooled doughnuts into glaze; let cool on a rack, glazed side up.

Cinnamon Sugar Donut Bites

Makes about 24 bites

Ingredients
1-1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
Dash of salt
3/4 cup (2 percent) Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 – 4 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon melted butter

Directions
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray and set it aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the egg, oil, Greek yogurt, vanilla and brown sugar until the mixture is fully combined. It will be a little thicker than a muffin batter. If it’s too thick, add in a bit of milk.
3. Using your hands, roll the dough into little balls and place them in the greased muffin pan.
Bake donuts for about 10 – 11 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Let them cool for about 1 minute.
4. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Using a pastry brush, brush each donut with melted butter, then dip in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Repeat until all of the donuts have been covered and enjoy!

 

Store all leftovers in our stainless steel food containers to keep the freshness of the doughnuts for the next few days! Enjoy making these recipes with the whole family as a way to celebrate.

Four Tips for a Waste-Free Road Trip

road trip

With the summer season upon us what better way to kick it off than with a waste-free road trip! While enjoying the scenery of a new place, it’s important to be mindful of your impact. By taking these few extra steps you can cut your trash in half while on the go.

Plan and pack food and snacks

Most of the stops you make while on the road will be for food. Cut down on some of that time by packing plenty of snacks and drinks in reusable containers to keep your family energized. Trail mixes, energy bars, fruits, and veggies are easy-to-pack snacks that will keep your car full and happy. Stopping for lunch? Pack your favorite blanket and make a picnic out of it! Many routes have rest areas or scenic pull-offs that double as great places to stop and eat while stretching your legs.

Stay Organized

When packing the car try putting all overnight luggage in the back and set up crates or reusable bags near the front of the trunk for all food and drinks. This way you will have all of your necessities easily accessible. Also, don’t forget extra water, on-the-go containers, utensils, and small towels or cloth napkins for any spills. Throw in some extra reusable bags for anything you pick up on the road!

Be mindful of your garbage

This can be tricky while on the move, but by packing an extra glass jar you can “carpost” any of the food waste from the trip! Choose a sealable container to keep in the trunk and dispose of all scraps. Keep all non-compostable items together and discard them when appropriate.

There’s an app for that

Running low on food or interested in taking a detour to sample the local cuisine? Farmstand is a free app that will connect you to more than 8,000 farmers and local markets nationwide. You can sort markets by location and opening times.

Bulk is a new app by our friends at Zero Waste Home to connect you with package-free locations across the country. Find different markets and shops to refill your reusable containers or jars while traveling. Help continue the movement by adding locations not already listed.

Our friends at PLAN Post-Landfill Action Network took the above picture on their latest waste-free camping trip in the Moab Desert to spread the word. Check out this blog post covering their latest update from the zero-waste road trip and more tips for on the road.

Pack a Waste-Free Picnic!

waste-free picnic

Picnics are a great way to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather and nature around us this time of year! While enjoying the great outdoors it’s also important to be mindful of our impact on the environment. Read on for our tips on how to enjoy a waste-free picnic!

Make getting there an adventure

Save energy and increase the fun by opting for low-impact transportation and exploring your local community for outdoor gathering spots near you. If you can, ditch the car and bike, walk, or take public transportation to your picnic destination!

Set the scene

Pick out some fun blankets, beach towels, or sheets laying around the house to sit on while enjoying your waste-free picnic. Sitting at a picnic table? Bring a fun linen tablecloth to lay overtop with matching cloth napkins. Use a basket that you already own to pack your food in or pick one up at a vintage market for an authentic look. Reusable tote bags and backpacks are also great options!

Use what you have

Did you know that 50 percent of the plastic used in the U.S. is used just once then thrown away? Minimize impact by opting for items you already own instead of single-use plastics. Bring along your own utensils, pack drinks in reusable bottles, and use our food kozies as plates! If you’re looking to purchase re-usable options we recommend:

  • Utensils: Choose Bamboo! Our version is lightweight, multi-functional and easy to clean
  • Plates: We love these options from VerTerra which are 100% compostable and made from fallen palm leaves
  • Food Containers: Our stainless steel divided series are a great option for packing different varieties of food in a single container.  Bringing along hot or cold food?  These insulated jars will keep food at the perfect temperature for hours.
  • Water Bottles: Pack drinks in glass water bottles or mason jars with sealable lids.

Be Prepared

Pack some natural bug spray, sunscreen, and hats to protect you and your family from the elements. Remember to bring along a football, frisbee, or your favorite games to play together and enjoy the afternoon outdoors!

 

Happy waste-free picnicking!

Energy Bar Recipes for the Whole Family

energy bar

With the weather heating up outside and summer upon us, what a better way to celebrate than getting outside and going on a long hike or heading to the beach. Today we’ve picked two of our favorite no-bake energy bar recipes for quick on-the-go snacks that you can easily pack in your reusable containers.

CHOCOLATE CHIP ALMOND BUTTER GRANOLA ENERGY BAR

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup packed dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup honey (sub maple syrup or agave for vegan option)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (if unsalted, add a healthy pinch sea salt)
  • 3/4 cup raw nuts (such as pecans and almonds)
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (GF for gluten free eaters)
  • 1/4 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips (dairy free to keep vegan)

INSTRUCTIONS

OPTIONAL: Toast oats in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes to give a toasted flavor. Not necessary but recommended.

1. Place dates in a food processor and mix until small bits remain and they form a ball. 2.Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add oats, nuts, and chocolate chips. Stir with a wooden spoon, breaking down the dates so they disperse fairly evenly throughout the ingredients. Small chunks are OK.

3. Warm honey and almond butter in a small saucepan and pour over dry ingredients. Stir quickly to evenly coat. The chocolate chips will get a little melty – that’s fine and even desirable.

4. Transfer to a shallow pan (such as 8×8 or loaf pan) lined with parchment or plastic wrap and top with another piece of plastic wrap and use your hands to form the mixture into a tight square (keeping in mind you want them about 1/2 thick and you’ll cut them into 10-12 bars) with a uniformly flat top. This will take a little work but the warmth of your hands will work well to shape them.

5. Still covered, pop them into the freezer to set for 15 minutes. Remove and cut into 10 bars. Store in an airtight container or bag in the fridge to keep fresh, or in the freezer for longer term storage.

View the inspiration for the recipe here

CHOCOLATE CHIA COCONUT ENERGY BITES

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups oats – old fashioned or quick cooking
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ¼ cup flax seed meal
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together peanut butter and honey until smooth. Stir in cinnamon and salt.
2. Add oats, chia, coconut and flax seed meal to the bowl and stir until evenly incorporated.

3. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl so that all ingredients are combined then stir in chocolate chips.

4. Use a small/medium cookie scoop to form into bite-sized balls. Can be served immediately or chilled if you prefer them cold. Energy bites can be kept in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.

 

View the inspiration for the recipe here

 

Interested in more energy bar recipes? Check out all of our favorites on our Pinterest page .

The Last Straw: How to Eliminate Plastic Straw Waste

plastic straw

It is second nature when handed a drink to grab a plastic straw. From grabbing an iced drink in the morning to going out to eat with friends single-use straws are all around us. Americans use 500 million single-use plastic straws every day, enough to wrap around the Earth’s circumference 2.5 times a day!

 

Why switch to reusable straws?

 

The plastic we throw away every day is polluting our cities, open spaces, oceans, and bodies. Plastic creates toxic pollution at every stage: manufacture, use, and disposal. The solution goes further than avid recycling or refusing to litter because the problem is a society built on disposable, single-use plastic.

  • Plastic doesn’t biodegrade, it photodegrades, which means the material breaks into tiny toxic pieces but never breaks down completely.
  • Animals frequently consume plastic thinking it is food: 86% of turtles, 44% of marine birds, and 43% of marine mammals have plastic in their guts, says the Oceans Program at World Wildlife Fund Canada.
  • Recycling is not a sustainable solution to the crisis. Not only do plastic straws have a short lifespan and rarely get reused or recycled, but they usually come with plastic/paper wrap.
  • Plastic straws can be made from questionable plastic with unknown health effects and can poison our food chain and our bodies.

 

One reusable straw can replace thousands of throwaways. With options ranging from our stainless steel version to glass and paper, there are many fun alternatives. So ditch the plastic straw for good this summer and opt to B.Y.O.S (bring your own straw) with you when you leave the house. Interested in taking further action? You can sign the pledge to go strawless with our friends from the Be Straw Free Campaign and learn more ways to get involved!

 

This post was inspired by one of our previous newsletters. You can check out all of our past newsletters here and sign up to receive our monthly newsletter today!

Know Your Plastic: Plastic Numbers Explained

plastic numbers

 

Plastic is a part of our daily lives. From the clothes we wear to the utensils we eat with, plastic has become a staple in the products we buy daily. But what plastics are safe to use and what plastics should we avoid? Follow this guide for an overview of the different types of plastics, the plastic numbers they are classified under, and where you can most commonly find them in everyday products.

 

To start why does plastic follow a coding system? The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) established a classification system to help consumers and recyclers properly recycle and dispose of each different type of plastic based on its chemical makeup. Below we touch upon the most commonly used plastic numbers in the market.

Plastic numbers explained:

 

#1 – PET or PETE—polyethylene terephthalate is used in many water and juice bottles. It’s commonly recycled, and accepted by most curbside programs and recycling centers.

 

#2 – HDPE—high-density polyethylene is common in milk jugs, detergent and shampoo bottles. It’s usually accepted by most curbside programs and recycling centers.

 

#3 – PVC —vinyl or polyvinyl chloride is a known human carcinogen, often contains phthalates and is not recyclable. Phthalates add flexibility and durability to PVC and vinyl. They’re present in products like toys, food packaging, plastic wrap, shower curtains, lotions, perfume, air fresheners and candles. Phthalates are listed as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program, and are considered a probable human carcinogen and endocrine disruptor by the EPA. Even though phthalates have been banned from some baby toys and baby gear, they are still allowed in lunch bags and food containers, so always choose phthalate-free.

 

#4 – LDPE—low-density polyethylene is common in plastic bags, cling wraps, baby bottles and reusable drink and food containers. It’s recyclable at most recycling centers and some curbside programs.

 

#5 – PP—polypropylene can be found in baby bottles, yogurt containers, and many reusable food and drink containers. It’s recyclable in some curbside programs and most recycling centers.

 

#6 – PS—polystyrene is used in takeout food containers, Styrofoam containers and cups, and plastic cutlery. It has been found to leach styrene, a neurotoxin and possible human carcinogen, and has been banned in many U.S. cities. It is not easily recyclable.

 

#7—This catchall category includes polycarbonate which has been found to leach bisphenol A (BPA), a hormone disruptor that mimics estrogen. Bioplastics (plant-based) are also in this category but cannot be recycled and are usually sent to landfill unless directed to a bioplastic-specific composting facility.

 

We use PET #1, LDPE #4 and PP #5 plastics in our products. We advocate for using plastic safely (not microwaving or heating), and getting to know your plastic numbers. There are possible health risks with some types of plastics, so we only use plastics that are safe for food storage. All of our products are tested free of BPA and phthalates. Still have questions? Take a look at our product information page for more facts on our entire product line.

 

Want to learn more? Our strategic partner Healthy Child, Healthy World has created an informative resource called Know Your Plastics that can provide you with more information on the topic as well as more information on how to reduce your use of plastics. As you learn more about what types of plastics you are bringing into your home, the more you can cut down on your plastic consumption and make safe choices for your family and the planet.

Choosing Simplicity in a Modern World

simplicity

 

As parents, we go above and beyond to make sure that our children have everything they need, receive the very finest education, feel safe and taken care of.

 

Yet, it feels at times that the more we try to make them happy, the more challenging it becomes. Today’s society seems to largely promote material accumulation over authentic experiences that can help ourselves and our children achieve happiness. Rather than fall prey to the consumption trap, a growing number of families are embracing a simpler way of life.

1- Turn off the electronic devices!

Teaching your children to embrace simplicity is a lot easier than you think: start by bringing back the basics – trade iPads and smartphones for books and board games, encourage them to go play outside rather than sit in front of a computer or video game, and limit their TV time.

 

Don’t rush into it: your children may feel like it’s a punishment and may not agree with this choice. Lead by example. Start by introducing these healthier activities on the weekend, and progressively reduce their interaction with electronics. Changing old habits takes a little time, but it’s well worth it!

2- Let go of old baggage

Take a fresh start by de-cluttering and really asking yourself what is essential to your lifestyle. Living minimally is life-changing. It will fill your home with a burst of positive energy that is conducive to productivity and new endeavors.

 

For children too, less is more: ask them to regularly put away or, better yet, gift toys that they haven’t played with for over a month, clothes that don’t fit, or books and manuals that they are no longer using.

 

Use this example from The Minimalists as a way to get the whole family involved and see what you really could live without!

3- Promote family time

Carving time for positive human interactions is the root of a happier family lifestyle. During the week set aside a night to have game or movie night. Use weekends to start cooking together, run or bike as a family, learn a new instrument or experiment your arts and crafts skills. Try it and see how it works wonders!

 

Simplicity is a core component of sustainable living. It is the decision to act and consume with intention and mindfulness; choosing items and thoughts that align within your value system. Rise to the challenge and prepare to be happily surprised.

6 Reasons to Get Kozy with Reusable Food Kozies

food kozies

Have you ever looked into the garbage post lunch and noticed all of the disposable plastic baggies thrown away? Every year we generate 200 million tons of trash or 4.3 lbs. per person per day. Most of this trash is from our disposable lifestyle, and this convenience comes at a high cost.  Out of this problem, our Food Kozies were created.

Six reasons why you should try our sustainable solution

Versatile Food Packing—Invented for sandwiches, but our customers love them for cut veggies, cut fruit and cheese.

Many Uses—Not just for lunch packing, they are also ideal for storing leftovers in the refrigerator, picnics and travel.

Easy to Clean—Unlike cloth, the surface is easy to clean, dries quickly,  keeps food from seeping through, and is perfect for messy foods.

Non-Toxic—Made from LDPE #4 plastic and free of BPA, PVC, phthalates, and lead.

Good for the Environment—Every day 20,000,000 sandwich bags from school lunches go into the trash.

Saves Money—A waste-free lunch saves on average $216 per child per year (versus a disposable lunch).

 

Bag the baggie this Summer and try the reusable alternative with our Food Kozies; wraps and bags for sandwiches, snacks and more. Perfect for summer camp, the office, road trips and other travel, you’ll have fun packing lunch and feel good about reducing your plastic footprint. Join the reuse revolution today!

Insulated Food Jar Lunch Ideas!

insulated food jar

Salads and sandwiches are an easy option for lunch, but can become so routine.  Lunch should be something to look forward to, a welcomed break in the middle of the day.  And with the weather warming up, the hunt for new recipes and ideas on what to pack is on.

With the insulated food jar as our muse, we came up with a few new recipes to put into our routine.  They are quick, healthy, and easy for the whole family.  And by packing them in our stainless steel jars, there is no need to worry about them staying hot or cold!

ACAI BOWL

Smoothie bowls are popular right now and for good reason!  Why wouldn’t you want to slow down, grab a spoon and enjoy every sweet bite for lunch?Acai berries, in particular, have many natural health benefits besides tasting delicious and make for a tasty, thicker base.  The following is one of our favorite recipes, but play around! That’s half the fun.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) frozen strawberries
  • 2 frozen sliced bananas
  • 4 tablespoons acai powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice), plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons nut or seed butter (we use almond)
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon honey, to taste

TOPPINGS (pick 2 to 3)

  • Fresh fruit, sliced (we like bananas, strawberries, and blueberries)
  • Bee pollen (optional)
  • Clear, runny honey (optional)
  • Granola (optional)
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
  • Dried goji berries (optional)
  • Chia or hemp seeds (optional)

DIRECTIONS
Add the frozen fruits, acai powder, almond milk, nut or seed butter, and honey to a blender.  Blend until creamy and smooth, adding extra almond milk as needed to get the blender running.  Aim for a frozen yogurt consistency (it should be thicker than a smoothie).  Spoon the acai mixture into your insulated food jar and top with sliced fruit and any other optional toppings to enjoy! Note: Use a high power blender to achieve best results.

Carrot Ginger Soup

Super easy for your on-the-go lifestyle and full of flavor, this recipe is a great lunch idea! Full of vitamins and brain food, carrots and ginger pack a powerful punch.  Change it up and opt for a more colorful rainbow variety of carrots from your local farmers market or produce store.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 16-ounce bag baby carrots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 32-ounce box low-sodium vegetable broth
  • Optional Garnish: Plain yogurt or sour cream

DIRECTIONS:
In a medium saucepan or pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the carrots, ginger, salt, and broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the carrots are fork-tender.  Puree the soup in a blender or with a hand blender until creamy and smooth. Serve, topped with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream if desired. Enjoy hot or cold.

 

Looking for more ideas of what to pack in your insulated food jar?  Head on over to our pinterest page to see all of our suggestions!

How to Say No to Disposable Cups With Style

disposable cups

We resolve never to purchase disposable cups, plates or utensils again.  We resist buying paper towels, plastic baggies, and plastic wrap. We replace our worn plastic containers with non-toxic glass and stainless steel. It starts becoming easy to live a sustainable lifestyle at home.

But it gets tricky when we leave the house.

The ultimate zero-waste blunder

Recently at an event, I was handed a drink in a disposable plastic cup by a thoughtful acquaintance. I graciously accepted (after all, refusing the drink at this point after it was already poured seemed wasteful in itself). As luck would have it, Lauren Singer, the zero-waste maven behind the blog Trash is for Tossers, looked over and walked up to me (with her reusable cup of course). She didn’t mention the plastic cup in my hand, so I did. We talked about the predicament, and the encounter helped me think through some tips for your next outing.

Tips for refusing disposable cups on the go

Ever get thirsty at an event that only serves water in plastic bottles, without a drinking fountain in sight? Ever kick yourself because the drink you just ordered in a restaurant arrives in a single-use cup (and you’re reminded of the 25 billion coffee cups that end up in landfills every year)? Suddenly going green is not so easy, so keep in mind:

  • Try to remember to carry a reusable cup in your bag (obvious, but easy to forget).
  • When ordering at a restaurant (especially at a counter) always mention that you’d like your drink in a reusable cup just in case.
  • If you’re at an event in someone’s home, seek out a reusable alternative if throw-away cups are the only options set out.
  • Remember to be polite (no shaming) and helpful (if you use a kitchen cup, wash and return it to the cabinet). Your thoughtful intentions to lessen your environmental footprint won’t go unnoticed, especially if you are mindful about how you handle it.
  • If disposable cups are your only option, ask yourself if you really need a drink, and remember that drinking fountains are a good standby.

But if you’re caught with the unavoidable single-use cup in your hand, like I was, Lauren’s advice was to enjoy the drink, be sure to reuse the cup at the event, and of course, recycle it.