Killer Garlic Kale Chips

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Kale chips.  It’s one of those things that initiates eye rolls when you mention you love them.  Go ahead and whisper behind my back while I enjoy the amazingly delicious treat I have just made myself from the mother of all health foods…Kale.

I tried buying these in the store once and they were gross.  I’m not even gonna try and say they had any redeeming qualities because I would be lying.  Now, most average people who try a food that activates their gag reflex would just move on and note that in their dislike column.  Not this girl.  I know I like kale because I have it in my smoothies, juices and in my salads. So I viewed my aversion to kale chips as a “challenge accepted” situation.  After several tries and fails, I finally made kale chips my bitch.

I perused tons of recipes for kale chips and most called for a dehydrator. Child please, I can’t drop another few hondo on a dehydrator after my Vitamix and Omega juicer purchases.  Luckily, with a little ingenuity and finesse this piece of equipment is unnecessary.  I’m sorry dehydrator manufacturing people, sometimes the truth hurts.  Dehydrators have their place in greensypants world but not where kale chips are concerned.

This recipe is just awesome.  When I make them they usually get eaten immediately.  I don’t even bother putting them on a plate or in a bowl.  I monge them right off the baking sheet.  Taking pictures for this post posed a challenge for me because I had to wait to eat them.  They have an amazing garlic flavor and just the right amount of crunch.   If you have tried my veggie lasagna you’ll find the flavor a little similar to the “ricotta” used in that recipe.  If you don’t have any experience using cashews as a cheese substitute, I am so sorry.

I was having company one night and decided to make these.  I put out a small plate of them. It was only a small plate because I ate almost all of what I had made.  I was interested to see if anyone would go for them.  Within minutes the plate was empty.  Everyone said, “What were those?  They were delicious”.  Oh you know, just KALE CHIPS!  First came the look of disgust.  Like how could they possibly want to snack on kale chips?  Then the look of confusion took over.  Surely, the only reason they liked them is because they were covered in cheese and fried right?  RIGHT?

Nope.  Actually, my dear family and friends who always make fun of me for eating “weird” stuff, there’s no cheese.  And they are not fried.  How you like me now?

I really think I need to start recording these tricks I play on people and posting them for you.  It is one of my greatest sources of joy.

Anyway, you’re probably wanting me to get on with it and share my secret to kale chippy goodness.  So here you go…

Here is what you will need:DSC_5020

  • 3 bunches kale
  • 1 cup cashews soaked at least 4 hours to soften
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
  • parchment paper
  • slide off baking sheet (no edges)

The actual process of making these can get a little messy.  Most good things in life are messy so just deal.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Wash and tear kale away from rib in pieces a little smaller than palm size.  Spread pieces out on towel to let them air dry while you make the garlic spread for them.

Drain cashews and add to high speed blender along with water, garlic, onion powder, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast.  I said the nutritional yeast was optional only because you may not have it laying around.  It has a cheesy, nutty flavor and is loaded with vitamins and protein.  It also makes this kale chips go from good to amazing so get it for next time if you don’t have it now.  It can be found in most bulk bins at health food stores and Whole Foods.

Blend mixture until smooth.  If you don’t have a high speed blender, check out How to Choose a Blender and make that your next big purchase.

Here’s the messy part.  Using your fingers, coat each kale leaf with the mixture.  Make sure there isn’t large clumps on the leaves or it will be difficult to get the chips crunchy.  Only a thin layer is needed.  Place the leaves on a sheet of parchment paper that is slightly smaller than the baking sheet you will be using.  They will look something like this…DSC_5025

You can use a large bowl with a lid and add a handful of kale and a spoonful of mixture and shake the bowl but I always find there ends up being a lump of it somewhere and it doesn’t easily spread.  If you really are against doing the leaves one by one you can give that a whirl.

Once your leaves are all coated and on the paper, use your slide off baking sheet to place in oven by sliding paper directly onto middle rack.  You can put as many sheets will fit on the middle rack but do not put any on rack above or below.  The chips tend to cook unevenly that way.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven using your baking sheet.  Turn each leaf and place back in oven.  Check them after 8 minutes.  If they aren’t crispy check every two minutes after that.

And there you go. Kale chip perfection.  You’re welcome.

Good to knows:

  • If the chips seem a bit soggy, place back in oven for a few minutes.  I set aside soggy ones from each sheet and put all the late bloomers in together after all my sheets are done.  The kale leaves are all unique in that some are more curly or contain more moisture than others so some may need a little more time to crisp up.
  • If you don’t use all the mixture to coat the leaves it makes an excellent spread for crackers or toast.  It also freezes well.
  • Kids love these!  Well, mine does anyway.
  • Use the left over kale ribs in your smoothies or juices.

Enjoy your new found love for kale chips!

Be sure to like greensypants on facebook and follow on twitter so you know when there is more greensypants info to soak in!  Share with your friends and the green will keep coming your way!

Smooches,

Nikki

 

 

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Categories: Green Love, Recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

DIY Lotion

DSC_4833I have lotion on my bedside table.  I have lotion on my kitchen windowsill.  I have lotion in my bathroom, in my purse, and in my car.  If I don’t put lotion on my hands at least once an hour I feel like they are going to dry up and blow away in the wind like “He Who Must Not Be Named” at the end of Harry Potter.  If you didn’t know that happens then I don’t care that I just blew it for you. You have had ample time. (Nerd Alert, I know).

As you all know I have a love affair with coconut oil and use it for EVERYTHING.  If you haven’t read about my obsession you can do so here.  I do use it on my hands, but sometimes I need something that absorbs quickly if I’m going to be touching stuff I don’t want to get oil on. As great as coconut oil is for moisturizing, it can linger on your skin.  I wanted to keep using my beloved coconut oil but was thinking of how I could make it absorb quickly when I was using my hands a lot but still needing my lotion fix. I tried mixing a bunch of natural stuff together to find the perfect lotion.  Did I find something amazing?  You know it.

I tried and failed plenty of times.  Some things were too thin, some too thick.  Some smelled awful.  There were a few ingredients I knew I HAD to use since they are known to do amazing things for skin.  These ingredients are none other than coconut oil (duh), shea butter and aloe.

The shea butter is what gives this lotion its great texture.  It is full of vitamins A, D and E and has essential fatty acids and phytosterols (thought to bolster collagen production and slow down the aging process).  Shea butter on its own is very thick and not very spreadable.  Add the coconut oil and the aloe and you are left with a smooth, great smelling lotion that spreads easily, moisturizes like a dream and smells lovely.

Here is the recipe:

DSC_48265 Tablespoons raw shea butter

1 Tablespoon unrefined coconut oil

1/2 Tablespoon aloe (preferably squeezed straight from an aloe leaf)

10-15 drops of favorite smelling essential oil (optional)

2 Teaspoons cornstarch

The trick to making this lotion is to warm the ingredients on your stove so they mix evenly.  I have a small cast iron pot that has a spout for easy pouring, but any small sauce pot will work.  Put the shea butter in the pot first on lowest heat setting. It may take a while to melt.  You have to be patient here.  If the heat is too high you will burn the shea butter and it will turn an ugly brown color and smell icky.  If ten minutes goes by and it’s not starting to melt, turn up the heat SLIGHTLY and wait.  Break up the shea butter with a spoon and keep it moving in the pot for quicker results. Once it is melted, add coconut oil and aloe.  Feel free to add any essential oil you like.  Grapefruit and Jasmine are a few of my favorites.  You can read up on essential oils here.  Lastly, mix in cornstarch.  The cornstarch helps bind the ingredients and cuts down the oily texture.  Mix it well and pour into shallow glass mason jar.  As the lotion is cooling, stir it every 15-20 minutes or so to avoid separation.  You can put the jar in the fridge for quicker setting.  Once it is solid it’s ready to be used and will not need any more stirring.

The color is a bit brown.  People are sometimes put off by this.  Consider this, many natural things are brown.  All that store bought crap lotion is only stark white and flawlessly creamy because it is composed of chemicals that make it look that way.  Who cares what it looks like?  Once you rub it into your skin it all looks the same.

Enjoy your amazingly moisturized skin green people!

Good To Knows:

  • You can purchase a single aloe leaf at most health food stores. Whole Foods has them as well.
  • You can add some diaper cream if you want it to act as sunscreen. (Or make your own SPF 30 with this recipe)
  • Check this out if you aren’t sure which type of coconut oil to buy.
  • If you feel the lotion is still too oily, you can add more cornstarch.  You should be able to mix it in with a little elbow grease.  If not, melt again and add in one teaspoon at a time until desired texture.

Be sure to like greensypants on facebook and follow on twitter so you know when there is more greensypants info to soak in!  Share with your friends and the green will keep coming your way!

Smooches,

Nikki

 

Categories: Body, Green Love | Leave a comment

Buzz Off…DIY Bug Repellent

DSC_4811BUG. BITES. ARE. THE. WORST.  They always manage to find the worst spots to bite, too.  The backs of your knees, the tops of your feet.  Or, my favorite, the ever popular right-in-the-middle-of-the-forhead bite.  Really?  I have a pretty high pain tolerance and I don’t complain often.  But when I’m itchy…I whine like a sick man.  WAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH.

For this reason, I fear dusk.  I live in a wooded area and the mosquitos are plentiful.  Nothing puts a damper on a picnic quite like those little $h!t heads.  I am a nature and animal lover but I often find myself questioning how essential mosquitos really are to the homeostasis of the planet.  As much as I want them to just disappear and never return, they are here to stay and bestow their itchy misery on whatever victims they can find.  So let’s just suck it up and figure out how to make them move on to some other unsuspecting, non-greensypants.

First there are the obvious tasks…Eliminate stagnant water and wear long pants and sleeves whenever possible.  DON’T be the person who uses the chemical bug spray in your yard.  That garbage washes off in the rain and ends up in your water supply.  Tasty…And poisonous, and carcinogenic.  There are some herbal yard and shrub sprays made from peppermint oil that can be attached to your hose and sprayed in the wood line.  They work well short term.  If you are planning a picnic or to be out in your yard spray in the morning and it will definitely help for that day and maybe the day after assuming it doesn’t rain.  Here is an example.  It also repels fleas and ticks…Bonus:  It smells lovely.

So, I am guilty of using the main stream, store bought bug spray.  Sometimes it just has to be done.  If I am in a place where that is the only thing available I will spray a little on my clothes and try to avoid my skin.  There is some really horrendous ingredients in that crap.  Everything you need to know is right there on the can.  A nice long list of warnings.  You’ll also notice the burning in your lungs if you happen to mistakenly breathe in while applying.  If that is really your only option, and it’s rare that you do it, then go ahead and use it.  There are some really nasty things that can be spread by mosquitos.  However, with a minimal effort you can always be prepared to repel those buggers with some natural ingredients and things you may already have around the house.

be13db3a-627e-4c58-931f-62b5dca1ef37.imgTiger Balm:  This is a cream rub for aches and pains made from herbal ingredients…Camphor, menthol, mint, and clove oil.  It has a strong smell. That is what repels the bugs.  If you ask me, the smell is much more pleasant than your typical chemical filled bug spray.  Apply small amounts in areas mosquitos frequent.  If you have achey muscles go ahead and rub it all over.  Tingly.  Tiger Balm does contain a small amount of petroleum which some people like to avoid.  Generally speaking, I try to avoid it too, but the small amount used here is no big deal to me if it’s going to avoid getting bitten and exposing myself to potentially harmful diseases transmitted by mosquitos.  The small container is around $6 and a little goes a long way.  One purchase lasted me all summer using it about twice a week.

If the petroleum is a deal breaker for you there are sill plenty of options…

Tea Tree Oil:  Tea tree oil is an essential oil and is often used as an antiseptic and for acne.  I like the Desert Essence brand.  I purchased mine at Whole Foods but you can also find it here.  Any essential oil should be diluted with a carrier oil before applied to skin.  You will want to use a carrier oil that has no smell, or at least not a sweet smell in the case of a bug repellent.  Jojoba, or even olive oil would be good choices.  You can apply it to the same areas listed above under the Tiger Balm.

DSC_4813Citronella Oil:  I have no clue why this never dawned on me.  All the times I’ve seen and used citronella candles for mosquitos and I never gave a thought to what citronella was.  It’s a grass!  Well, holy $h!t.  How well does that work out for me?  I found this oil in my local health food store. It was $5.99 for one ounce.  A little goes a long way. You also dilute it with a carrier oil as you would with tea tree oil.  I find the citronella works better than the tea tree but it does have a stronger smell.

You want to mix 25 drops of essential oil (citronella or tea tree) to 2 tablespoons on carrier oil (jojoba or olive).  Almost every essential oil comes in a dripper bottle so it’s easy to control the drips.  You can purchase small bottles with squeeze drip applicators for the mixture and apply a few drops to the areas you wish and rub in.   Good areas to focus on are temples, behind the ears, nape of neck and the joint areas (inside elbows, wrists, back of knees, ankles).  The bottles are a few dollars each.  You can often find them in health food stores or at mountainroseherbs.com.  If you try to put this oil mixture in a spray bottle it will most likely clog.  If it is a spray you are looking for…

Another method is to put the essential oil in a small travel size spray bottle and mist the clothes you will be wearing outside with the concentrated oil.  Both tea tree oil and citronella oil on their own are thin enough that they won’t clog a sprayer.  I haven’t had a problem with staining, but I have a plain white tee shirt I use specifically for bug repellant and put it on over my clothes for the few hours bugs are at their worst.  I do the same for my daughter.  If I am going to be away from home I spray the shirts and put them in a gallon ziploc and take with.  Using this method will allow you to have the benefit of concentrated bug repellant without putting it on your skin (reminder, do not apply concentrated oil directly to skin, it may cause irritation).  I have put it directly on dark clothing also and have yet to deal with a stain.

You can also make a diluted spray that can be applied directly to your skin as well if you feel the extra clothing is a hassle.  Here is the recipe:

  • 4oz of distilled water
  • 3oz of witch hazel
  • 50 drops of your preferred essential oil (or a combination of both).

Mix in small spray bottle and apply as necessary.

Many other essential oils can be used the same way, but tea tree oil and cintronella oil seem to get the best results in my experience.  If you happen to have eucalyptus or peppermint oil you can try those before you purchase a new oil.

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Another option is a store bought all natural bug spray.  I have the Burt’s Bees All Natural Herbal Insect Repellent.  All of the ingredients are legit natural and include castor, rosemary, lemongrass and citronella oils among others.  It costs $7.99 for a 4oz spray bottle.  This is great to travel with.  I find it’s not quite as strong as using the oils but it’s a great choice if you want something quick and don’t mind reapplying a few times.  I always have this in my bag in case I forget my homemade oil mixtures or citronella or tea tree sprayed clothes.  That way I never have to be faced with using the awful chemical $h!t storm spray. Burt’s Bees is one of my fav brands. I absolutely love their products and use them for myself as well as my daughter.  This little spray bottle fits perfect it my purse and is made of aluminum. I have reused the empties several times for other things.

 

Tips and Tricks:

  • Add some of your oil mixture to a tart warmer and light candle underneath to use in place of citronella candles.
  • Got babies?  Spray a washcloth with your home made bug spray and put it near where your baby is sitting or sleeping outside.  I tucked it right in the visor part of the car seat where it was safely out of reach when she was snoozin…Works like a charm.  (Also, hang from patio umbrellas and deck railings.  Why not?)
  • If you feel like the scent of the natural bug repellent of your choice isn’t coming off easily in the shower, rub a little coconut oil on it and it will wipe away easily with a washcloth.  (This trick also works for DIY sunscreen)
  • All of these suggestions will also repel ticks.
  • Apply a few drops to your pet’s collar.  Avoid getting it on their fur so they do not lick it off.  Most essential oils are not edible.

Now you can enjoy all your outdoor adventures (or just enjoy a cocktail in a lawn chair) without wanting to scratch your skin off.  You’re welcome!

Be sure to like greensypants on facebook and follow on twitter so you know when there is more greensypants info to soak in!  Share with your friends and the green will keep coming your way!

Smooches,

Nikki

 

 

Categories: Body, Green Love, Product Recommendations | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

looks soooooo good!

Girl Eats Greens

Well I think it’s safe to say summer is here! I was a bit worried that we had missed spring while we were gone most of May – and I may have been right. But after this winter I’ll gladly take whatever heat I can get – especially if it means an excuse to experiment with more vegan ice cream options. The first time I managed to pull off vegan ice cream, I was actually shocked. But also inspired. It seemed like the possibilities could be endless! I figured out a base – and isn’t that really the hardest part?

IMG_4776One of my most favorite flavors of ice cream is mint chocolate chip. There’s just something about the crisp mint mixed with the sweet chocolate that makes my tastebuds sing. I decided it simply had to be my next ice cream attempt, and I was so happy with the turnout. It…

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Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Buttpaste vs Cancer

DSC_4771Now that I have your attention…

You know how when you are young you would rather die than listen to one word of advice your parents give you?  Yup, that was me.  There was one thing though, that for whatever reason stuck.  My mom would always tell me to wear sunscreen.  This is one of those golden nuggets that you don’t understand when you are seventeen.  As if I’m ever gonna get wrinkles mom, please.  And skin cancer is for old people.  But alas, there I was sneaking into her medicine cabinet generously applying her SPF 30 face cream in the morning (that just shed a whole lot of light on why you flew through that stuff huh, Ma?) .  Here are the words every mother wants to here….Mom, you were right. (I still stand by my tattoo and belly piercing though).

Most of us use sunscreen when we are planning a day outside in the sun.  Really though, you need to be using this stuff everyday.  Even on cloudy days UV rays are strong enough to damage skin.  We all want the easy way out, right?  We want to be able to do barely anything but get huge results.  Well what if I told you there was a way to prevent skin cancer and wrinkles and it’s as easy as putting lotion on everyday?  Oh wow!  How do I do that?  F*ck!ng sunscreen.  Use it.  You will walk for the cure but not put lotion on for the prevention?  Think about that one…

As with any product there are good sunscreens and bad ones.  Ones that are natural and ones that are filled with chemicals.  You’re here on greensypants so you’re looking for alternatives to the mainstream crap you buy in stores.  For some reason we forget that what we put on our body is just as important as what we feed ourselves.  Our skin is our biggest organ and it is porous.  It will absorb what you put on it.  There lots of chemicals that you will see on the back of your sunscreen bottle that could potentially be harmful.

Truth be told, the jury is out on all the chemicals used in sunscreen.  There are some studies that show some of the chemicals, such as oxybenzone, are present in the urine of almost all subjects that applied the sunscreen.  What does that mean?  It means that you put it on your skin and it has the potential to be absorbed into your bloodstream and hang out in your body for a while before exiting through your urine.  What did it do while it was in there?  Maybe nothing, but we don’t really know.  The companies that make products with suspect ingredients always fall back on the old…”We have been using this ingredient in our product since 1970 (or some other seemingly far away year).”  Oh, cool.  You know what there is a lot more of since 1970?  Cancer.  Is anyone able to prove without a doubt these ingredients cause cancer? No.  Is there anyone who can prove definitively and without question that they don’t cause cancer?  Anyone?  Didn’t think so.  There are plenty of studies that show zero adverse affects.  Guess who paid for those studies????  Yeah, the company making the sunscreen.  That’s not a conflict of interest or anything.

I went ahead and listed all of the ingredients in your typical SPF 30 sunscreen that you would buy in the store. Take a look…

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 1.0%, Homosalate 10.0%, Octisalate 5.0%, Octocrylene 0.8%, Oxybenzone 4.0%

Inactive Ingredients:  Water, Stearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydogenated Dimer Dilinoleyl/Dimethylcarbonate, Copolymer, Triethanolamine, Cetyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Disodium EDTA, Dipopylene Glycol, Disodium Ethylene Dicocamide, PEG-15 Disulfate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, BHT, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lecithin, Aloe Barbadenisis Leaf Juice, Phenoxyethanol, Methyldibromo, Glutaronitrile, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.

Phew. At least I see Aloe Leaf Juice in there!

The active ingredients listed here (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) are what are referred to as “physical barrier” sunscreens which simply sit on the skin and form an actual barrier from the sun.  The rest of these hard to pronounce ingredients on this label are “chemical barrier” sunscreens.  That means that they are absorbed in the skin and the sun protection is a chemical reaction. There are so many ingredients in most sunscreens to ensure full spectrum light protection.  All those chemicals listed above have different UV rays they filter.  That is really important when using sunscreen.  It’s getting confusing now, I know.

I don’t want to launch into a chemistry lesson and try to explain all these scary looking ingredients.  I wouldn’t be able to if I tried.  Instead, I am going to show you the ingredient list of the Badger brand sunscreen that I use…

Active Ingredient: Non-Nano Uncoated Zinc Oxide 22.5%

Inactive Ingredients:  Certified Organic Sunflower Oil, Certified Organic Beeswax, Certified Organic Jojoba Oil, Sunflower Vitamin E.

Well, isn’t that lovely?

There is only a “physical barrier” sunscreen here.  Zinc Oxide.  The non-nano, uncoated means that the particles in the zinc are big enough that they cannot penetrate the skin and will only sit on top.  Many other sunscreens contain Titanium Dioxide.  This ingredient has recently come under fire.  Here is a good read. The controversy is not in the ingredient itself just in the fact that it’s not always clear if the type of titanium dioxide used is the proper formulation, and therefore, may be absorbed through skin.  Take a gander and you be the judge.  You may want to read the “Nanoparticle Info” at the bottom of this post.

Now, like I said in the past, I’m not about to tell you that your sunscreen may be harmful and then leave you high and dry.  You have options here, loves.  Can you make your own?  Yes.  Do I make my own? No.  Is there a reasonable middle ground?  YES!

DSC_4784Zinc oxide.  It should be listed as the only active ingredient in your sunscreen.  As mentioned above, Badger is my go to store bought brand. It is expensive.  This 3 oz tube pictured on the right cost $14.  Since it is a mineral sunscreen, it is more expensive.  Zinc is an actual earth mineral and is much more expensive than those cheaply manufactured chemicals.  Make sense?  I will say, that I think the Badger is worth the money.  You can purchase it here.  They have sunscreens for kids and adults and tons of other great products.

You can in fact make your own sunscreen by purchasing zinc oxide non-nano powder and mixing up a batch with other ingredients like magical coconut oil and cocoa butter.  The reason I don’t do that is because zinc oxide powder in its concentrated form can be breathed in and damage your lungs.  I don’t want to mess with that stuff.  Don’t let that alarm you.  Regular old table salt would be harmful if it were breathed in as well.  What now?  In true greensypants fashion, I have an answer for you….

Buttpaste.  Yup.  All you mommas and poppas out there will recognize this in the first photo.  It’s diaper cream.  You can use this stuff straight and it costs about half of what the Badger will cost.

Diaper cream is just zinc oxide which is the active ingredient in sunscreen.  It is meant to sit on baby’s sweet little tush and form a barrier to protect affected skin.  It’s all mixed up and ready to use.  No messy lung infecting powder to deal with.  The tube pictured in the first photo is maximum strength, 40% zinc oxide which would give you an SPF of approximately 60. Wowza! That’s a high SPF.  You can use diaper cream straight up on your skin and will have maximum protection.  If you will be using it straight you can go with regular strength diaper cream.  If you want to add some other organic ingredients and make it a little more luxurious on your skin go with the maximum strength 40%.  That will enable you to dilute the cream with other ingredients and still have a high SPF.  Here is a recipe for making your own SPF 30 sunscreen with diaper cream.

  • 1/4 cup (one 4oz tube) of maximum strength diaper cream.
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa butter
  • 1 tablespoon beexwax

Warm coconut oil on stove top in small pan until melted.  Remove from heat and add other ingredients.  Mix well and place in tube or jar.

Making the recipe will end up costing almost as much as buying the Badger.  I make my own using this recipe and use the Badger.  They are virtually the same.  If I am going to give an honest recommendation I say stick with the Badger brand and avoid the hassle of making your own since the cost is about the same.  If you really want to save money then go with straight up Buttpaste…But…

There is a down side I have to tell you about.  The zinc does not absorb in your skin beautifully.  It will make your skin appear a bit white. It’s not that bad.  Remember that physical barrier talk above?  This white layer is the protection from the sun.  Is this inconvenient? Yes.  Know what else is inconvenient?  Cancer.

I used to be all weird about it in public.  I was so concerned what everyone would say behind my back because I possibly look like I have lotion that needs to be rubbed in. Then I realized…You know what…I’m fighting cancer.  And wrinkles.  Oh, you think I look dumb with my skin protected from the sun?  Let’s compare sun spots in 20 years.  How about that???  I wear my ghost suit loud and proud.  I don’t even care anymore. I’m saying “no, thank you” to cancer.  And another thing…So many people ask me how I have managed to keep my skin looking youthful.  You should see their face when I tell them Buttpaste.  Priceless.

I am not suggesting you look like casper all day every day.  You can put a small amount of the diaper cream in your daily moisturizer for a light UV protection if your sun exposure will be limited and the white won’t be detectable.  It’s a better option than all the age defying creams with the yucky chemical sunscreens.  If you are beach bound and know you are going to be in the relentless sun then spread that $hit all over. If the idea of the white is too much for you to handle in public, use your regular sunscreen and stick to using the diaper cream when you are at home in your own back yard and no one will see you.  Those small changes are better than nothing.  I will warn you though, that’s how I got my start.  Just when I was in my garden.  Now I glow white for all the world to see.

Lather up, bitches.

I’m not just talking about your face.  Spread that $hit everywhere with reckless abandon.  Pay special attention to your face, shoulders and chest.  It may seem like overkill now but you’ll be the sexiest one in the nursing home someday.

I joke about the Casper thing, but really, it’s not that bad.  Just be prepared to take an extra minute to spread evenly.  I put a little sample on my arm for you to see.  The left is the Badger brand and the right is pure Buttpaste.  The recipe above comes out the same as the Badger.

DSC_4785

See?  You can handle that, right?  In do time people will be asking you what you do to make your skin look so amazing.  Add coconut oil to your routine and you are a green force not to be reckoned with.  Read about it here.

Some tips:

  • A little nervous? Use your normal sunscreen and gradually add more and more diaper cream into it.  This way you will at least be using less of the harmful stuff.
  • You can purchase other brands of diaper cream but look at the other ingredients.  Many have some unsavory contents.
  • Go with a diaper cream that is 40% zinc oxide if you are making the recipe.
  • Babies don’t care if they look white.  Use this on your little ones if you have them!
  • As with any sunscreen, re apply often
  • Don’t forget the backs of your hands, that area is the first to show age.

Be sure to like greensypants on facebook and follow on twitter so you know when there is more greensypants info to soak in!  Share with your friends and the green will keep coming your way!

Smooches,

Nikki

Nanoparticle info

A few people have inquired about my awesome beach bag in the first photo.  Here is the link if you want to order one!  Lot’s of colors and patterns!

Categories: Body, Green Love, Product Recommendations, Recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Juicy Freezer Pops

DSC_4682This is not just for the kiddos…Although they do love them.  We all know the freezer pops from when we were kids.  Just the thought of them brings me back to the days of hot summer sun during school breaks.  I systematically would eat the purple first, then orange, then yellow, then red.  Then the worst. Green.  Bleck.  It was a dirty job, but somebody had to do it.  Then they got really creative and added in blue and pink.  Amazing right?  WRONG.

Now, years ago I will say these things weren’t so bad because it was just water, sugar and food coloring.  In comes all these big agra-business firms and then everything started going to $hit.  High fructose corn syrup made from GMO corn, poison food coloring that is turning up positive on allergy tests and linked to behavior problems…the list goes on and on.  Am I the only one who noticed that with the rise of all the crap in our food the incidence of cancer and other horrible diseases has risen too?  Coincidence?  I think not.  What I’m trying to say is, if you are buying freezer pops or any kind of popsicle for yourself or your kids…STOP.  NOW.  If you have any in your freezer, THROW THAT $HIT OUT.

I would never tell you to do something so drastic without giving you some sort of alternative that’s even better than the original.  By now you know me well enough to know what I’m going to suggest.  Make your own!

This process is so incredibly easy.  You are going to need a juicer.  If you have been toying with idea of getting one check out my post on How to Choose a Juicer for some help.  You could also use a blender.  The pops will just have a little more texture but are still amazingly delicious.  Did I write a post on how to choose a blender?  Heck yes, I did. Read it here.  If you have neither then read Blending Vs Juicing to decide which one will suit your needs better and be ready to have your mind blown.

You will also need something to freeze the pops in.  I used Zipzicles in this post but you can also use your standard plastic pop makers found in most stores.  I prefer to use the reusable pop makers since I am, after all, a greensypants, but I have washed out and reused Zipzicles pouches and you can get a few uses out of them.  Zipzicles are BPA free plastic and are reminiscent of those beloved freezer pops you remember as a child.  While I don’t use them all the time they are great for when I just want to make a few pops with juice I have left over and my plastic pop maker is occupied and already in the freezer. You can purchase them here.

Now you have your juicer or blender and your containers of choice for freezing your pops.  Extract or blend your veggies and fruits and just pour into pop molds.  If using Zipzicles, a small kitchen funnel will avoid spilling and swearing.

To maximize the nutrition you are getting from your pops, use mostly vegetables with just a small amount of fruit to sweeten.  In the photos you see here, I used beets and kale in the purple pop, kale, pea shoots and lemon in the green pops and carrots and apple in the orange pop.  Get creative and use things you aren’t sure if you like.  Once mixed with something sweet and frozen it takes on a whole new taste.  If you’re really feeling this whole pop thing, cut chunks of fruit and plop those suckers right in there.

If this is for the kids, don’t go blabbing about how you put kale or spinach or something in their freeze pops.  Talk about buzz kill.  Make them under the cover of darkness and let them try them before you tell them what’s actually in it. They will love it.  Keep the secret if you have to.  Use colorful veggies to make the pops look vibrant just like the garbage you buy in the store.

Good to knows:

  • DSC_4683If using Zipcicles, store upright in freezer so they are easier to open and eat.  I stand them in my other pop maker tray if it’s empty or if I have one already in the freezer that has a few spots open from pops already eaten.  If not I just stand them up in a plastic bowl filled with ice.
  • Set a timer for one hour after you put them in the freezer.  When it goes off take the pops out and give them a shake.  They will begin to separate and the more solid parts will sink.  This will ensure a nice even distribution.
  • Get frisky and add things like hemp seeds or chia seeds.  Oh la la.
  • If using a blender, add some water to make the pops easier to pour.

Enjoy my little greenies!  Until next time…

Be sure to like greensypants on facebook and follow on twitter so you know when there is more greensypants info to soak in!  Share with your friends and the green will keep coming your way!

 

Smooches, Nikki

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Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos

DSC_4739Hey look, I’m talking about food again.  There’s a shocker.  It’s so hard for me to wait to eat things I make while I take pictures to post here.  In case it’s not blatantly obvious by my other posts, I love to eat.

Mexican food is my favorite type of food.  It’s pretty easy to make and is full of fresh ingredients.  This recipe is for the taco (or burrito if you prefer) filling.  You can add any toppings and use any shell you like.  I tried to make it versatile so you could use whatever you have laying around.  You’re welcome.

You should have the majority of this stuff in your kitchen, and the few things you don’t should be in your kitchen.  Get them and we will figure out what to do with them together.  mmmmK?

Here is what you need (serves 6):

3 cups of cooked pinto beans (or 2 cans) drained

3 teaspoons of olive oil

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 teaspoons black strap molasses

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

3 garlic cloves minced

2 cups diced sweet potatoes

1/2 medium yellow onion diced

Salt to taste

hard or soft taco shells

any fixings you like

Method:

Set up a medium sized pot and a large sauté pan.  Put half the oil in each and warm over medium heat.

In the pot: Add beans, broth, paprika, chili powder, molasses, apple cider vinegar and garlic. Stir and let simmer about 7 minutes and turn off heat.

In the pan:  Add sweet potato and onion and sauté until potatoes soften and onions start to brown.

Add contents of pot to large pan with potatoes and onions.  Cover and let simmer until potatoes are soft (about 8-10 minutes).  If the mixture begins to dry out before potatoes are done, add more broth.

Build a yummy taco and enjoy!

The one pictured here has shredded broccoli stalk and carrots left over from juicing and some pea sprouts.  I prefer corn tortillas on the grill and some “Sour Supreme” dairy alternative made by Tofutti. Feel free to make some rice and throw that $hit in there too.

Good to Knows:

  • Black strap molasses is loaded with iron.  You can sneak it in most sautés and baked goods undetected.  It can be found in most grocery stores in the health food section or next to regular molasses.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar has amazing health benefits and tons of uses.  Check it out here.  Bragg’s is the brand you want and is found in most grocery stores right near the black strap molasses.  Convenient, huh?
  • If you don’t have olive oil feel free to sub coconut oil.  If you haven’t yet used coconut oil please read this and prepare to be amazed..

Looking for an appetizer for your mexican fiesta??  Try some Guac-A-Mazing

Be sure to like greensypants on facebook and follow on twitter so you know when there is more greensypants info to soak in!  Share with your friends and the green will keep coming your way!

Smooches,

Nikki

 

 

 

 

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Overnight Oatmeal

DSC_4749Oh, you don’t eat breakfast?  SHAME ON YOU!  Seriously.  I am about to go all Jillian Michaels on you.  Believe it or not I am an actual personal trainer. I don’t just play one on the internet.  Nothing would ignite my angry fire quite like a client telling me they don’t eat breakfast.  If they would get to me in the morning and tell me they didn’t eat breakfast I would tell them to go home.  As someone who loves to eat I don’t even understand this concept.  From the moment I’m conscious in the morning, before I even open my eyes, I’m thinking about what I’m going to stuff my face with first.  What’s wrong with you people???!!!

I know time can be hard to come by in the morning.  I get it.  Making a decent breakfast takes time you don’t have.  Lucky for you, I have a solution. Overnight Oatmeal.  It takes a few minutes in the evening before bed and then a minute the following morning.  Breakfast: Done.

There is an ingredient in this oatmeal you may not recognize.  Cha cha cha CHIA!  Yup, same stuff.  Those seeds you lovingly spread on the “pottery that grows” are actually food.  Chia seeds are PACKED with nutrition.  Ounce for ounce, it has more Omega-3 fatty acid than salmon and also has high amounts of Omega-6.  These Essential fatty acids build new cells and aid brain function.  Also, an ounce (2 tablespoons) of chia seeds contains 18% of your daily recommended calcium intake as well as provides 4 grams of protein.  Take that dairy!

Chia seeds are tiny and crunchy.  You can add some to your salads or even put in water.  If they are in liquid they swell up to 12x their size.  They get a gelatinous (yeah, I said gelatinous) texture and can be hard to drink. By putting them in the oatmeal you won’t really know they are there. They have a slightly nutty flavor but it’s very mild and hard to detect.

Here is what you will need:

1/2 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup almond milk

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Handful of fresh berries (optional)

1/2 mashed banana (optional)

Teaspoon of honey (optional)

Small (12oz) jar

Method:

Combine oats, almond milk, chia seeds and cinnamon in jar and shake up.  Put in fridge overnight.

Go ahead and tell me you don’t have time for that.

In the morning grab and go. You’ll notice there is a lot of options up there.  Add whatever you prefer. I personally like my overnight oatmeal with a little bit of raw honey and that’s it since I’ve usually already had a little fruit in my juice.  The banana and berries are the ones I’ve tried with this and it’s yummo.  I like mine warmed up for about 45 seconds in the microwave but it’s also good cold.

If you read this and still decide not to eat breakfast it’s over between us.

Just kidding!  I’ll be sad though so just do it.

Note: Chia seeds are becoming more widely available.  They are least expensive in the bulk bins at health food stores.  Keep in mind you only use a tablespoon at most at any given time and a little goes a long way.

Looking for something for din din?  Look no further…Try this Veggie Lasagna!

Be sure to like greensypants on facebook and follow on twitter so you know when there is more greensypants info to soak in!  Share with your friends and the green will keep coming your way!

Smooches,

Nikki

Categories: Recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Stank

DSC_4717Yeah, party people.  Let’s talk about stank.  More specifically, armpit stank.  I know this seems awkward but I’m kinda excited because we have reached a new level of comfortability in our relationship.

When we sweat, we stink.  We just do.  You can try to say…”Oh, I just don’t sweat that much”…or “Yeah, I never have a problem with B.O.”

Lies.

We have all had the day where we forgot deodorant and and are constantly doing the pit sniff test.  And, you know when you’re about 90% sure that weird guy (or girl) who stalked you back in ’03 is standing behind you at the bank and your trying to figure out how to get out of there without making eye contact?  Yeah, your lying if you say you don’t have pit stains when you get back in your car and haul ass outta there.  If you’re still denying this, how about this one…You go to the mall to finish your christmas shopping and you’re wearing your winter coat.  You’re carrying a thousand bags.  The escalator isn’t working.  You walk up it.  F@cking sauna.  Just because you don’t smell it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.  You’re sweating and you stink.  Sorry.

Well, just put on some of that prescription grade, extra strength, roll on, spray on, whatever on deodorant and antiperspirant.  Problem solved right?  Maybe not. Your pits may be smelling like a rainforest breeze but you may have just exposed yourself to some nasty, disgusting, possibly life threatening chemicals.  Aluminum, parabens and triclosan to name a few.

Lately, more and more information has come to light exposing the ugly truth.  What we put on our skin can be harmful to our body internally.  Here is information provided by the Centers for Disease Control regarding this.  There’s a slew of information that links deodorant and antiperspirant use to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.  In regard to the deodorant controversy, the CDC displayed this as guideline:  “Because studies of antiperspirants and deodorants and breast cancer have provided conflicting results, additional research is needed to investigate this relationship and other factors that may be involved.”  Results are conflicting?  Um, if by “conflicting” you mean the studies show deodorant causes cancer and the deodorant manufacturers say it doesn’t then I guess you’d be right.  More like conflict of interest…but I digress…

As with any controversial topic there is always two sides to the story.  There are studies making a connection between deodorant and cancer and studies that debunk the notion.  It’s a tricky situation and can leave you confused and unsure who to trust.  With all of the topics I choose to delve into, I usually come up with the same conclusion.  Where there is smoke there is fire.  I’d much rather come up with an alternative deodorant than keep using the suspect stuff and regret it down the road.

If you haven’t heard much about the controversy here is a run down of the ingredients in question:

Aluminum:  This is in the antiperspirant component.  You are basically clogging your pores with metal to keep the sweat from pouring out.  That really creeps me out.

Parabens:  Parabens are a group of synthetic preservatives that are often found in deodorant, shampoo and tons of other body products. They are very easily absorbed through the skin.  Parabens disrupt hormones and it is strongly suggested that this can lead to early puberty in children, and increased risk of hormonal cancers.  Parabens are also linked to birth defects.

Phthalates:  (yeah, I don’t know how to pronounce that either) Much like parabens, phthalates disrupt hormones.  Phthalates are linked to increased risk of birth defects and increase the likelihood of cell mutation.

Triclosan:  Triclosan is what helps squash odor and is classified as a pesticide by the good old FDA.  It is also named a probable carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency.  Many companies have begun to remove triclosan from products but it still lurks out there. (Kinda like the guy at the bank).

Y’all know me.  Those words are enough to ignite my anxiety and make me short of breath.  When I walk past the deodorant aisle in the store I think to myself…”breast cancer aisle”.

Well, now what do I do?  Possibly increase my risk for cancer or stink?  There is some good news here.  There are several natural versions of deodorant available in stores and, if you’re really feeling into this green thing, you can make your own (stay with me here).

I’ve tried several of the deodorants found in your typical grocery stores.  When I say I tried them I mean I actually tried them.  I didn’t just put it on and sit on my ass.  I put it on and ran, did yoga or bootcamp class, sat out in the sun for a while…I made sure I sweat.  A lot.  I warned all my workout neighbors that were next to me in class that I was in the midst of an experiment and let me know if I smelled.  Luckily, I work out with some cool people who were entertained by this endeavor.  I asked them to get right up in there and take a whiff.  For some reason, they obliged.  And to them, I say thank you!

Keep in mind when I tell you which ones worked best that everybody’s body is different and just because it didn’t work for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.  Also, most of these still contain a “no no” ingredient which isn’t ideal. Overall, any of these would be a better choice than your big name brands that will have the two big offenders, aluminum and parabens.  All of the examples listed here are free of both of those little $hit heads.

Here are the deodorants I tested:DSC_4708

From left to right: Tom’s of Maine (Unscented), Tom’s of Maine (Fresh Apricot). Arm & Hammer Essentials (Unscented), Arm & Hammer Essentials (Fresh Scent), Lafes Natural and Organic (Unscented).

Tom’s of Maine was my least favorite.  The unscented version didn’t do much to fight off stink.  The fresh apricot was a little better and smelled really nice but wore off quickly.  Tom’s contains propylene glycol as the first ingredient which has been added to the list of no no’s recently.  This one just didn’t work for me. I give it an F.

Arm & Hammer Essentials performed much better.  The unscented didn’t work as well as the fresh scent.  Toward the end of the day I needed to reapply but it was effective.  Note:  the fresh scent was slightly manly. Arm & Hammer Essentials contains both propylene glycol and triclosan.  I give this one a solid B for effectiveness.

Lafes Natural and Organic was my favorite of the store bought deodorants.  It was unscented and still kept stink at bay even after yoga then bootcamp on a pretty warm day.  I was sweating hardcore.  I couldn’t smell any offending odor on myself so I asked my trusty workout buddy to help me out.  I give her credit too because she leaned right in there and gave it her best whiff.  Nope.  Winner!  Shockingly, this one contained none of the big yucky ingredients.  I give this one an A.  The only problem may be finding this one.  I got it at a small health food store unlike the others that were right with all the other deodorants at a big chain store.  It also cost about $1.50 more than the others.

I was so excited to find a deodorant that didn’t have any of the gross chemicals that could be harmful.  What could be better?  You know what’s coming…make your own!  I couldn’t call myself a greensypants if I didn’t at least try.

I think making my deodorant was the moment I realized that I had gone off the deep end.  I had flung myself off the cliff into the ocean of crunchy granola.  I’m here now.  It feels good.  Reeealllllllyyyyy good.

I looked up some deodorant recipes to get a rough idea where to start.  I ended up making a few alterations and came up with this…

1 cup coconut oil (learn how to choose the right one here)

1/2 cup baking soda

10 drops tea tree oil

That’s it.

DSC_4733Melt the coconut oil in a small pot over lowest heat possible.  You can even hold it above the burner.  It melts quickly.  You can also leave it in a jar out in the sun on a warm day.  Mix in the baking soda and tea tree oil.  (Sub arrowroot powder if the baking soda is irritating.  You can use any essential oil you please).  Pour into a shallow mason jar while mixture is still warm and liquid.   Let set to room temp.  It will be waxy unless your house is extremely warm.  If it is too hard to use your fingers, just scoop some out with a spoon you designate for deodorant and soften it between hands.  Rub it into your pits like lotion.  People always ask me if this is annoying.  No.  I may be avoiding breast cancer.  It’s fine.  If this is really troubling you just pour the just mixed ingredients into an empty tube of deodorant before it hardens and use that way.  Hold it up to your skin and let it melt a little before spreading to avoid crumbling. You can also pour into cupcake papers and hold those.  I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty so I just go for it.  Any extra left on my hand rinses off.

So, how does it work?  Pretty good, actually.  I wear this day to day unless I am expecting a sweat fest.  I sometimes need to reapply it which doesn’t bother me.  If I forget to put on my Lafes Natural and Organic and go to workout with just my home made deodorant I don’t panic.  I’m sure if someone were to get really close…like nose in my armpit close, they may pick up a scent.  Really though, if someone is close enough to you to have their nose in your armpit at the gym I think B.O. is the least of your problems.

Now, I know this whole natural deodorant thing seems a bit much.  You don’t have to go full speed ahead.  Start by getting one of the store bought ones and wear it when you don’t expect to sweat a lot.  See how it works.  Maybe you can stick with your trusty deodorant for workout days and go with your natural one on chill days.  Any small change can add up to a large payoff.  Give those pits a rest!

Side note:  The cleaner you eat the less you smell.  Isn’t that special?

Are you using a natural deodorant?  Let us know which one works for you!

Did you miss the post on making your own fruit and veggie wash??  Click here!

Be sure to like greensypants on facebook and follow on twitter so you know when there is more greensypants info to soak in!  Share with your friends and the green will keep coming your way!

 

Smooches,

Nikki

Source:  http://www.cbsnews.com/news/followup-antiperspirants-and-cancer/

 

 

 

Categories: Body, Green Love, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Veggie Lasagna with Cashew “Ricotta”

DSC_4665Before I even start this there is something I have to get off my chest.  I am not a chef.  I am not a cook.  I am not a kitchen master, baker, nor do I have any training at all, whatsoever in the food preparation department.  I will also say I don’t like to cook.  Phew, I feel better now.

I can now tell you I LOVE to eat.  All day, everyday, nom nom nom. I think that’s why I like eating vegetables and fruits so much.  Just wash it with my homemade fruit and veggie wash, give it a rinse and done.  Food prepared.  It’s a total of 2 minutes from when I grab something from the fridge or fruit basket til I am grubbing.  Now, that’s efficeint.

When I accidentally discover create something like this veggie lasagna with what’s left of my produce stash at the end of the week I get really excited to share it with people.  I really love when I have people over for dinner and they are scared of what I will put in front of them since I’m always eating something totally foreign to them.  Then I plop this lasagna on their plate and a look of relief washes over them.  Once they start eating it the compliments roll in and they always include something like….”Oh wow, this is good!  I’m surprised you eat stuff like this!”  No clue.  Once they find out there’s no actual ricotta or meat in it they look totally confused and don’t believe me.  Gotcha, suckas!

Making meals that start with fresh food is pretty easy and requires minimal effort.  I’m not making any complicated sauce or cooking meat to a perfect temperature.  I’m chopping veggies and soaking beans and stuff.  Cooking plant based meals is really simple.  It can easily be vegan by subbing vegan cheese and gluten free by subbing gluten free noodles if either of those things are your jam.  I’ve tried it all ways and it’s still good.

So, since I don’t really know anything about cooking lingo and etiquette, I apologize if I don’t explain things in a typical way you would expect from a recipe.  I’ll explain in a way that’s easy to understand.  What I’m trying to say is, if you are a chef or some $h!t like that don’t judge.

The “ricotta” portion of this recipe is made from nuts.  Yeah, you read that right.  Nuts instead of cheese.  Cray, right?  You’ll see.  You will need to soak 1 cup of cashews at least 3 hours to soften them.  You will also need a good blender to get the nuts smooth to achieve that ricotta texture.  If you have the right blender you will be amazed at what the “ricotta” mixture will look and taste like.  If you haven’t already, take a look at the post titled “How to Choose a Blender” if you are in the market for a new one.  If you make the ricotta substitute and it’s all chunky, it’s your blenders fault not mine.

Here is what you will need: (serves six)

Cashew “Ricotta“:DSC_4644

1 cup raw cashews soaked for at least three hours and drained

1/2 cup pine nuts

1.5 tablespoons lemon juice

3/4 tablespoon onion powder

2.5 tablespoons nutritional yeast (it’s very important to use nutritional yeast and not regular yeast here)

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 garlic cloves minced

1/4 cup water

1/2  cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup chopped green onion

 

Veggie filling:

1 small eggplant diced

1 small zucchini diced

1 small yellow squash diced

28oz can diced tomatoes (freshly diced if you prefer)

Other stuff:

9 lasagna noodles boiled and ready to bake (gluten free if preferred)

Jar of your favorite tomato sauce

1 cup Mozzarella cheese (or favorite non dairy substitute)

 

First prepare the ricotta by adding cashews, pine nuts, lemon juice, onion powder, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic and water to your blender and blend until smooth.  Remove from blender into a large mixing bowl and stir in parsley and green onion.

Next, add diced eggplant, zucchini, squash and tomatoes to cashew ricotta to make lasagna filling.  It should look like this…

DSC_4661

You’ll notice it looks exactly the same as if you mixed regular old ricotta in there.  The pink color comes from the tomatoes.

In a 8×8 baking dish, layer, sauce, noodles,  and filling.  3 rows of noodles should perfectly fit across dish, just trim off ends if they are too long.  Kitchen shears work really well for cutting noodles.  You can fit three layers in dish then top with sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake covered with tin foil for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove tin foil and continue to bake until cheese is desired doneness, (approx another 10 minutes). I like it when it just starts to bubble.  Be sure to check the center of dish for warmth when you take it out of the oven.  You want that ish to be really warm.  I just shove my finger in there, but if this is for guests you can nudge a noodle over with a butter knife and take a tiny forkful and put the noodle back in place.

DSC_4663

Let set for about 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Some nifty “good to knows”

  • Once you taste the cashew ricotta you will want to keep stuffing your face with it.  It’s also really good spread on toasted bread or crackers and topped with diced tomatoes in a bruschetta type appetizer. Party pleaser!!!
  • Nutritional yeast has a nutty, cheesy flavor and is rich in protein and B vitamins.  It is inactive unlike brewers yeast used to make baked goods rise.  It’s a really great flavor and works into recipes easily due to it’s flaky texture.  It can be found in bulk bins at most health food stores.
  • Raw cashews are so incredibly versatile and when used correctly can be used in place of dairy in tons of recipes.  After soaking and blending they have an incredibly smooth cream cheese like texture.
  • Between the cashews, pine nuts, yeast, noodles and vegetables you are getting about 12 grams of protein per serving.  So, if you are a member of the protein police you can relax now.

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Smooches,

Nikki

 

 

 

 

Categories: Recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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