This is my best friend’s blood orange salad recipe and she’s as excited as I am to share it with you! I’ll usually get a text from her while she’s shopping that says, “Woohoo! I have arugula and blood oranges so I can make my fave salad!” During the past 18 years of our friendship, I’d say 80% of our conversations have been about food. We’re both foodies in our own different ways, and that’s probably one of the characteristics of our friendship that’s kept us so close all these years. We’ve come a long way from the concoctions we used to come up with in the kitchen of our apartment during college, but we always look back fondly on those days. We used to scrape our money together on special occasions to try new local restaurants in our college town. We went to New Orleans for spring break during our senior year and I think we were the only ones out of our friends who were going solely for the food (okay, and maybe for the 3-for-1 happy hour.) I remember our disappointment when we never made it past the waiting list at Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant that week. We ended up having the best jambalaya we’ve ever tasted, to this day, at a little hole-in-the wall restaurant that we’ll both never forget. Aaah, nostalgia. Okay, back to the salad.
With blood oranges in our CSA basket last week and our craving for the tastes of summertime, we had to make Tara’s favorite salad. I must say that this salad was absolutely perfect. The flavors of the sweet blood oranges and peppery arugula with the crunchiness of fennel…and a beautiful tangy orange vinaigrette…yummmm.
- Wedges from 1 organic blood orange (skin removed)
- Freshly squeezed juice from 1 blood orange
- 1/2 cup organic olive oil
- 1/2 cup organic white wine vinegar
- 1 pinch of black pepper
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- 1 bunch of organic arugula leaves
- 1 bunch of mixed organic salad greens
- 1 handful of fresh dill leaves
- 1 organic fennel bulb, thinly sliced into small pieces
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- Toss all greens (thoroughly washed) and dill with fennel, shallot and orange wedges together in a large salad bowl.
- In a mason jar or other glass salad dressing container, whisk or shake together olive oil, white wine vinegar, blood orange juice, pepper and sea salt until thoroughly combined.
- Drizzle vinaigrette over salad and serve.
We’ve been enjoying the spicy-sweet flavor of Bosc pears in our CSA basket for the past couple of weeks. Eating them fresh is definitely a treat but I couldn’t wait to experiment with a baking recipe since we had a bounty of them. I’ll say that it’s tough to go wrong with the unique flavor of these wonderful pears, but I was pleasantly surprised that this bread turned out perfectly the first time!
Cinnamon and nutmeg are stronger spices but compliment the spicy Bosc pear flavor really well in this recipe. You wouldn’t know it while eating this sweet bread, but it doesn’t contain any refined sugar. My family couldn’t get enough of it, so I’ll definitely make it whenever we have Bosc pears in the house.
- 3 ripe organic Bosc pears (peeled, cored and mashed)
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1 pastured egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup organic yogurt
- 1 1/2 cups organic whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup organic coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon organic ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon organic ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Combine mashed pears, honey, egg, vanilla extract and yogurt in a large mixing bowl.
- Stir together flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a separate mixing bowl.
- Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients, stirring until just combined.
- Pour batter into an oiled 5" x 9" loaf pan.
- Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Your seed flats are planted, you’ve been checking them at least once a day to make sure they have enough water, you’ve been making sure they’re not too hot or too cold, and you look at the soil wondering when you’ll see those little green shoots. Waiting for seeds to germinate reminds me a little bit of the anticipation and preparation while expecting a baby. Just like a baby, the seedling stage of a plant is a crucial time in its development so you have to make sure its needs are met as quickly as possible. In order to thrive it needs the right amount of light and moisture as well as the right temperature.
As soon as you see green peeking through the soil, you’ll want to provide your tiny seedlings with light. They’ll need 12 to 16 hours of light per day and 8 hours of darkness. The sunlight from a windowsill is most likely not intense enough especially if there are lots of cloudy days or the sun is low in the sky. There also may not be enough space near the window for all the plants to receive adequate light.
Grow lights are an efficient option that help take the guess work out of providing just the right amount of light. You can grow your seedlings entirely on artificial light alone. For example, you can put your flats on a bookshelf even in a dark space and hang grow lights from the shelf above. Light from fluorescent tubes is the type of artificial light that’s the most similar to sunlight. There are lots of easy options for hanging fluorescent fixtures, even if space is limited. Storage shelves, kitchen cabinets or closets are a few options. We went the tabletop route and set up our flats on a craft table with this grow light stand. Our three 16″-long flats fit perfectly side-by-side underneath this light, which is also adjustable so it’s easy to make sure it’s the right distance from the seedlings: just an inch or two above them.
Flats of seedlings should be kept moist but not soggy. We check ours at least once a day to make sure they’re not too dry. The seedlings should never wilt between waterings. We find that using a spray bottle is the easiest way to dampen them because you can control the force of the water. Seedlings are delicate and I worry about them floating away or getting waterlogged easily. I’ve noticed that the humidity of the room makes a big difference in how the soil holds moisture. Obviously, if the humidity is really low the flats will dry out quickly and they’ll need to be checked more often. The humidity has varied a lot at our house during the past month, and I noticed that 40-50% seems to be a good level.
The temperature in our house usually averages between 65° and 75° F which seems to have kept our seed flats happy so far. I’m just happy that most of our seeds have germinated; most of them on the shorter end of their estimated germination times so the temperature must have worked for them. I don’t think temperature is as important as light and water, but you do want to avoid extreme fluctuations because that puts stress on fragile seedlings. Grow lights put out a small amount of heat which warms up the soil slightly.
We planted multiple seeds in some of our soil blocks in our flats to help increase our chances of having seedlings in all of them. Some seeds were so small that we sprinkled a bunch of them in. We ended up with one seedling in some blocks and 2, 3 or 4 in others. The ones with multiple seedlings can become crowded quickly, so they need to be thinned out. This is especially true with lettuce. The easiest way to do this is to cut them back at the base of the soil with small scissors. Pulling them out can damage the delicate roots of surrounding seedlings.
I’m writing my seed starting posts as we go along, and we haven’t reached the transplanting point quite yet. They’ll be ready when they form the second set of their first true plant leaves. Transplanting is done so they can spread their roots out and have more room to grow, and to provide them with more nutrient-dense soil as they grow. We haven’t given our seedlings fertilizer since our starting mixture was one part compost, but it’s something we’ll do after we transplant. Stay tuned for my next seed starting post about transplanting!
This guest post by stay-at-home mom and writer Naomi Shaw is really helpful for me, and I’m sure it will be for many of you as well! Picky eating is a common occurrence in households with toddlers, and Naomi shares lots of great (and realistic) tips here.
Do you have a picky eater in the family? Is it getting harder and harder to win those mealtime battles? Check out these tips and tricks for introducing new and healthy foods into your child’s diet.
Let Them Choose
Is your spunky little sprite relentless on running the show? Feed your child’s blossoming sense of self by letting them make a few choices on their own.
- When you’re cooking a meal, pick out two healthy items yourself and then let your child choose between them. Once the choice has been made, stick to it.
- You can do the same thing at the grocery store where everything is on display for them to see. Ask your child to help you select fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. When you get home you can encourage your child to help you make the meal.
- If your force your little one to eat something, they’ll likely push back even more. They will eat their food of choice if they’re hungry.
- Keep the whole picture in mind and consider what your child has eaten over the course of the week. Don’t worry, this tumultuous time of finicky eating habits won’t last forever.
Make Meals Fun
Sometimes, all the motivation your child needs to start eating are some fun and games. This is an opportunity to be creative and playful with your little terror.
- Serve vegetables like broccoli with their favorite dipping sauce.
- Cut healthy foods into fun shapes, like stars and hearts, with cookie cutters. Make a “face plate” by arranging vegetables into a grinning face.
- Serve a variety of brightly colored foods and intersperse the healthy tidbits amongst other, more desirable foods.
- Make funny sounds (like the fork “airplane”) as your child eats. The hilarity may be motivation in itself.
Respect the Appetite (or lack thereof)
According to the Mayo Clinic’s article, 10 Tips for Picky Eaters, you don’t want your child to associate anxiety or frustration with mealtime. Here’s how to prevent this from happening so you can reinforce healthy eating.
- If your child is telling you they’re not hungry, refrain from forcing them to eat. Avoid bribery because they’ll learn that they can get anything from you, simply from throwing a fit.
- Mealtime should not be a power struggle, so don’t barter with your child.
- Try serving small portions to avoid overwhelming them; this gives them the chance to ask for more food on their own.
- Even if your child says they’re not hungry, try serving meals and snacks at the same times every day. Your child will learn to eat at these designated times, eventually.
Lead by Example (sneakily)
Tips for Feeding a Fussy Eater, written by Heidi Murkoff and posted on What to Expect, a great resource for all things parenting, says to be a good role model and, if you have to, sneak in those nutrients.
- Children mimic their parents and if their parents are eating fried chicken, well… It’s important for parents to eat their veggies and whole grains along with healthy desserts. Keep only healthy foods in the house so your little darling won’t get hooked on chips and soda.
- If your child won’t even consider eating his/her veggies, try sneaking some broccoli bits into their bowl of mac c’ cheese or adding some sweet potato or shredded carrot into the pancake batter.
- Never give up: according to Murkoff, it can take up to 15 failed attempts before a toddler learns to like a new food.
Giving your kids the power of making their own decisions, lessening portion sizes so they can ask for more, and being a healthy-eating role model yourself are just a few ways to get your picky eater on the healthy train. Remember, never give up, sometimes it takes a few tries before your little one learns to love a new food.
Naomi Shaw is a stay-at-home mom in Southern California. After being a stay-at-home mom for seven years she works full-time as a freelance writer. She enjoys blogging about food and healthy eating, providing insight, advice and more! She hopes you enjoy this article.
Visit Naomi’s website at naomijshaw.jux.com.
Do you have picky eaters in your family? What tips have worked for you?
February was a little crazy around here. From ice storms to snow storms to an earthquake and sunny 70 degree days in between, we’ve experienced it all! There really hasn’t been a dull moment since we moved to South Carolina. Hey, it keeps things interesting. Craziness aside, February was full of lots of fun stuff like enjoying our first month of CSA membership at a local organic farm and getting our garden seeds started indoors. We also discovered the good news that the potatoes we planted outside in November are looking good! I was pretty nervous about them since we’ve had a crazy winter. Looking forward to seeing what spring brings!
Here’s a roundup of some favorite posts from around the blogging world that I came across in February that I think you’ll love:
- You’re going to love these Raw Coconut-Almond Macaroons by Real Food Outlaws.
- Persimmon, Goat Cheese, Toasted Walnut and Arugula Salad with a Pomegranate Balsamic Viniagrette by Keep the Beet – YUM!
- This fermented food is quite easy to make – Spicy Cortido by Keep the Beet.
- I’m not sure about you, but we’ve been loving lots of sweet potatoes lately! Here’s a new recipe for you: Maple Dijon Sweet Potato Mash by Real Food Girl.
- If you’re looking for a gluten free banana bread recipe, you won’t want to miss this one by Good Food Eating.
- Have you ever made this at home? Here is a beautiful Tabbouleh (Parsley & Mint Salad) recipe by Revived Kitchen that you’ll definitely want to try!
- Read about the healing benefits of marshmallow root infusion by Deductive Seasoning.
- Some very helpful natural remedies for menstrual problems by How We Flourish.
- Here are some reflections on the business of herbal medicine by Numen Blog.
- If you’re expecting, check out this nourishing DIY Pregnancy Tea by Real Food Outlaws.
Healthy Living Tips:
- Did you know that there are some great heart-healthy benefits of pomegranates? Mindful Meals talks about this fascinating fruit.
- Here’s what your disinfectant is REALLY killing! By How We Flourish.
- Seriously, this is one of the best articles about raw milk that I’ve read in a long time. Check it out at Real Food Girl Unmodified.
- Why everyone should keep a healthy bowl of fruit on hand! By Deductive Seasoning.
- Would you like advice from all the experts about growing your own food? Sign up on Attainable Sustainable for the FREE Online Food Growing Summit – March 3-7, 2014.
- Here are 15 Real Food Budget Tips by Live Simply.
- 9 wonderful tips by Shalom Mama on slowing down and connecting as a family.
- Feeling overwhelmed by which coconut oil to choose? Coconut labels decoded at Five Little Homesteaders!
- Check out how to naturally clean a cutting board with one simple ingredient, at Live Simply. This is so cool!
- Totally agree with The Skinny Pear – here are her 5 reasons why junk food companies shouldn’t sponsor sporting events.
- Hayley of Health Starts in the Kitchen is doing a healthy kitchen tour series. This one is the kitchen of Russ from The Domestic Man. It’s so much fun to peek inside the kitchens of amazing food bloggers!
Natural Beauty Tips:
- What’s in YOUR skincare products? Visit Scratch Mommy to read about chemicals commonly found in products, and check out her organic skincare shop!
- Here are the top 5 “no-poo” shampoo alternatives by Natural Family Today.
- This naturally healing DIY aftershave spray by Scratch Mommy sounds so nice and refreshing!
As you think back about February, what were some of your favorite highlights?
We’re in the process of starting most of our seeds indoors to give them a nice strong start before it’s time to transplant them in the garden. Giving your plants this important head start helps them really take off when they get planted outdoors, and gives you a better chance at a larger harvest. In our case, it’s just a little extra luck on our side since we’re pretty unfamiliar with the new growing zone we just moved into here in South Carolina. The fun part about starting seeds indoors? After planning and dreaming about your garden all winter, you finally get your hands dirty again and take yourself closer to summertime!
Which Seeds to Start Indoors, and When
Some seeds such as lettuce mixes, arugula, dill, rutabaga, carrots, parsnips, beets, cucumbers and peas like cooler weather conditions and are recommended to be planted directly into the ground as soon as the soil starts to warm up and is workable. Below are the seeds that we started indoors, with the recommended times to plant (before the last expected spring frost date.)
- Peppers – bell peppers and jalapeños (8 weeks before last frost)
- Broccoli (6-8 weeks)
- Tomatoes (6-8 weeks)
- Basil (4-6 weeks)
- Chives (4-6 weeks)
- Cilantro (4-6 weeks)
- Spinach (4-6 weeks)
- Winter squash (4-6 weeks)
- Pumpkin (3-4 weeks)
- Parsley (2-4 weeks)
- Chard (1-2 weeks)
Assuming that you’ll plant your seedlings outdoors about 2 weeks after your last expected spring frost date (if you’re unsure of that date, you can do a search on NOAA’s site) you can calculate approximately when to start your seeds.
Types of Containers
There are lots of different options for seed starting containers, from milk cartons and yogurt containers to aluminum disposable pans, bricks and plastic greenhouse trays, to homemade wooden flats. You’ll just want to make sure that the container is at least 3 inches deep. We chose homemade wooden flats because they’re easy and inexpensive to make, and they’ll last forever. They’re a bit heavy, but the stability of them is nice if they need to be moved. I have 3 flats which each are 12″ x 16″ and 4″ deep. They sit side-by-side on a craft table in a warm room in our house.
To make the flats, we cut 1″ x 4″ cedar boards (naturally rot-resistant) to size and pieced them together with screws. We left 1/8″-1/4″ slats on the bottoms to allow for water drainage.
Seed Starting Mix
A good medium for starting seeds is light and porous. You can buy seed starting mixes at your local garden center. We made ours out of these 3 ingredients that we already had at our house: 1 part loose organic garden soil, 1 part compost and 1 part vermiculite.
I lined the bottoms of our flats with a layer of newspaper and covered that with 1/2″ of milled sphagnum moss to help hold the soil if water drains out.
The Soil Block Method
My mom was telling me how my grandpa started his seeds, and I remember his garden being absolutely amazing, so I use as many of his methods as I can! He used a soil block tool (like this one) to make individual seed starting cubes in his flats. It’s really cool because it spaces the 2″ cubes out just right and makes a little nest in each cube to drop the seeds into. Here’s how you make the blocks:
- Using a big tub, gradually add water to your soil mix until it’s the consistency of peanut butter.
- Pack the 4-cube block maker with soil mix and use your hands to make sure it’s filled up and leveled off on the bottom.
- Press down the handle on the top of the tool to eject the cubes into your flats.
- Let the cubes sit for a few hours to dry a bit before planting seeds in them.
Making the blocks is definitely a little time consuming and messy, but I love it. It saved me time in the long run, as it was easy to drop the seeds into the already formed cubes. I also have a touch of OCD when it comes to organization, so I think the nice and neat rows are awesome. It’s easy to lift them out of the flat to transplant them when the time comes.
Planting Your Seeds
If you use the soil block method, drop 1-3 seeds into each nest in the cubes. In containers other than soil blocks, you’ll want to make a furrow that’s about 1/4″ deep to place your seeds into. For small-sized seeds, plant them 1/8″ apart, 1/2″ for medium and 1″ for large. Cover the seeds lightly with soil mix; it’s fine if it’s dry. Seeds should be covered to a depth of 3 times their size. We use popsicle sticks to label them. Cover the flats with aluminum foil to help them retain moisture and set them in a warm spot for germination. Check often to make sure the soil mix doesn’t dry out. It should be moist but not soggy. It’s easiest to lightly water by using a spray bottle so the seeds won’t float away.
Once our seeds germinate, I’m going to write my next post about how to take care of the seedlings. When you see the first little shoots of green pop out of the soil, they need to be given light. 12 to 16 hours of light per day is ideal. Stay tuned for my next seed starting post!
Have you started seeds indoors? What methods did you use?
This is a super simple banana cake recipe that I came up with when I made my daughter Sadie’s second birthday cake. It’s been our favorite ever since then, and I’ll sometimes make it as a treat just for the heck of it since I usually have the ingredients sitting around. This is not your typical recipe when you think of birthday cake, or cake in general. It’s different because it’s sweetened with bananas, honey and applesauce instead of refined sugar. Some of the other ‘healthier’ ingredients are coconut oil and whole wheat flour. You can actually taste the flavors of the bananas, honey and applesauce because they’re not masked by tons of sugar and synthetic additives that store-bought cakes often have.
This banana cake tastes divine with a sour cream frosting sweetened with honey and vanilla. If it’s a birthday cake, the frosting works well with natural vegetable colors. Just make sure to frost the cake not too far in advance before serving, because the frosting may form tiny cracks on the edges after it’s refrigerated. I think the leftover pieces of cake taste best after they’re warmed up a little and served with a dab of organic butter. And I don’t feel bad indulging in a big piece of cake since the ingredients are healthier! With this recipe, you can go ahead and have your cake and eat it too!
- 1/2 cup organic coconut oil (virgin has a subtle coconut taste)
- 1 cup organic applesauce
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 1 cup organic bananas, mashed
- 1/4 cup organic milk
- 2 pastured eggs
- 1 teaspoon organic ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
- 16 oz. organic cream cheese
- 1/3 cup raw honey
- 2 teaspoons organic vanilla
- Natural vegetable colors (we use India Tree)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat coconut oil until melted.
- In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Spoon into oiled 9" x 9" cake pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes, then remove from pan to cool completely.
- Once the cake is cooled to room temperature, it helps to freeze it overnight if you’re going to cut it into a shape.
- To make the frosting, mix first 3 ingredients with an electric mixer until fluffy. To add color, gradually add drops of your favorite natural vegetable dye.
- Frost the cake when it's completely cool.
Cloth baby wipes are a wonderful alternative to disposable wipes because they save money, reduce waste in the environment, they’re soft on baby’s sensitive skin and they’re toxin-free. But, are they as convenient? They absolutely can be! I’ll show you some tips to make using cloth wipes hassle-free.
Different Types of Cloth Wipes
I’ve been using cloth baby wipes for a year and a half now without looking back. I absolutely love using them alongside our cloth diapers! We’ve used a few different types of wipes, and the ones that have lasted through the many loads of diaper washes are the double-layer ones (one layer made of 100% cotton flannel and the other made of organic cotton velour.) The thickness of them is nice because I use less of them with each diaper change or mess that I clean up. They haven’t frayed or worn out. Above all, they’re super soft for baby’s sensitive skin. I’ve used single-layer flannel wipes which are nice, but they ended up showing more wear and tear and not lasting. They’re thinner like a disposable wipe is, so I use more of them when I’m changing a poopy diaper. I have also used terrycloth wipes which I didn’t care for because they’re not as soft on baby’s skin as the cotton flannel and velour.
Right now I have a few dozen of the double-layer cotton flannel/velour wipes, which ended up being the perfect number for my diaper washing routine (every other day or two.) I didn’t make them myself, although I’m going to try my hand at it soon! I bought some that were handmade locally and sold at my favorite diaper store where we used to live in Michigan. I also use Kissaluvs cloth wipes which are similar to my favorite handmade ones. Etsy is another place to buy handmade cloth wipes. The investment in the double-layer wipes was well worth it for me since they last.
Homemade Cloth Wipes Solution
I wrote a post a while back on how to make cloth wipes solution. This is my favorite solution that has always worked the best for my baby’s sensitive skin. It only takes a few minutes to whip up a batch of it. Read the full post here.
The Wet Method and the Dry Method
One way of storing your cloth wipes is the dry method. You keep a spray bottle of solution and a pile of clean wipes next to your changing station, and you spray a wipe to dampen it when you’re ready to use it. The other way is the wet method. You keep a container of damp wipes at your changing station and pull them out as you use them, like you would a container of disposable wipes. I tried both methods and the latter method works best for me. Omitting the extra step of spraying the wipes during diaper changing time makes it much quicker and easier on baby and mama! It’s easy to whip up a batch of wet wipes every few days, and if they’re stored right, there are no mildew or odor issues.
A Good Container for Storing Wet Cloth Wipes
I found that a major factor in the convenience of cloth wipes is a really good storage container. I chose the Oxo Perfect Pull dispenser over an old disposable wipes container because it’s BPA-free, phthalate-free and PVC-free. It’s also really sturdy so it stands up well to everyday use, and I wash it frequently with warm water and soap to avoid mildew growth. It holds 15 to 20 of the double-layered cloth wipes snugly under a weighted plate. The plate makes it easy to pull one out at a time while the next is ready underneath. The dispenser lid opens up easily with one push, and there’s a silicone gasket in the lid that helps keep the wipes moist.
When we’re on the go, I put my cloth wipes in a mini wet bag and keep them in my diaper bag.
How to Fold Cloth Wipes Like Disposable Wipes
You can fold your wipes so they pop up out of the container like disposable wipes do. Starting with a batch of wipes dampened with wipes solution, here’s how:
- Put 2 wipes on a flat surface, one halfway underneath the other.
- Fold the the bottom wipe up and over half of the top wipe.
- Add another wipe on top of the folded wipe.
- Fold the bottom unfolded wipe up and over half of the top wipe.
- Repeat until your batch of wipes are folded. When you pull one wipe out of your dispenser, the next wipe will pop up.
No matter which type of wipes you choose, and whether you end up using the dry method or the wet method, you’ll find the way that best suits your diaper routine! It’s comforting knowing there are different ways to make cloth wipes just as convenient, if not more convenient than disposables.
Thank you to all who participated in our Rockin’ Green giveaway, and congratulations to Anna I., who will receive a full size bag of Classic Rock detergent. Looking forward to hosting more giveaways in the near future!
I was recently sent Rockin’ Green Classic Rock Laundry Detergent in 3 different scents to review. I’m excited to tell you guys about Rockin’ Green’s non-toxic, eco-friendly laundry detergent for lots of reasons other than the fact that my laundry came out really clean and fresh.
Rockin’ Green Detergents are Healthy for Us
The main reason why I like Rockin’ Green detergents so much is that they’re good for us. I’m a mama of two little ones with very sensitive skin, so I’ve always had to be very careful of what I use to do their laundry. I also do everything I can to avoid exposing them to harsh, toxic chemicals that are in most household products sold in stores. I’m a big fan of the Environmental Working Group’s database which rates products in terms of the safety of their ingredients. Here’s an example of how one major name brand detergent brand scores an F, and why I’m so happy that there are safer alternatives like Rockin’ Green!
You’ll never find any of these harmful ingredients in any Rockin’ Green product:
- NPEs / APEs
- Optical brighteners
- Sodium hypochlorite
- Artificial fragrances
Many products labeled “green” and “non-toxic” are not what they claim to be. I’m a busy mom, so I feel overwhelmed and frustrated when I’m at the store scanning long lists of ingredients. Rockin’ Green was actually developed by a mom who was fed up with the mis-labeling of supposed “green” cleaners.
Rockin’ Green ingredients: sodium carbonate, sodium percarbonate, natural chelating ingredients, sodium sulfate, biodegradable surfactants, natural fragrance oils (unless unscented.) All scents are made with 100% natural essential oils and are organic. Sodium carbonate (washing soda) is ONE component in Rockin’ Green detergent. Every powder detergent on the market, both mainstream and boutique, contain sodium carbonate as one of its ingredients. Rockin’ Green also contains surfactants, water softeners, and several other special ingredients that prolong the life of clothing and protect delicate skin.
Rockin’ Green Detergents are Healthy for the Environment
When I think about how much laundry I do each week, I also think about how much detergent is washing into the environment. If detergents contain toxic chemicals, they can end up in waterways and affect aquatic wildlife. That’s just one way these chemicals can have a huge negative impact on the environment. If we all make a conscious effort to use safe products, we can make a big positive impact. All Rockin’ Green detergents are a safe choice for us and the environment:
- They are biodegradable
- They have recyclable packaging
- They contain no phosphates
- They are gluten and vegan friendly
- They contain no SLS or parabens
- They contain no optical brighteners
Rockin’ Green Laundry Detergent Works
I’ve tried many eco-friendly laundry detergents, and most of them just plain didn’t work well. Rockin’ Green is one that is very effective. It didn’t leave a residue on the laundry, even when a gentle cold water cycle was used. I like my laundry to feel and smell clean, and that’s just what it is after I use Rockin’ Green. It does a pretty good job of lifting tough stains, however, I get some serious stains on a daily basis on my little ones’ clothes that I normally spot clean right away with Biokleen Bac-Out.
Rockin’ Green Laundry Detergent Smells Good
After gradually replacing all my household products with natural ones over the years, I noticed myself and my family having more of a sensitivity to fragrances. Now that I’ve used wool dryer balls for years, the scent from dryer sheets is really overwhelming and I prefer either no fragrance in my laundry, or a subtle one from essential oils. Same is true with laundry detergent. A subtle, natural fragrance is nice while I’m doing the laundry, but I really don’t want it to strongly linger after it’s done. That’s what I love about Rockin’ Green. You know the scents are 100% natural because they wash out. After you wash and dry your laundry with Rockin’ Green, it smells clean and fresh, but not like the scent of the detergent. I tried their Lavender Mint Revival, Smashing Watermelons and Mötley Cleän scents. I liked all 3, with Lavender Mint Revival being my favorite.
Rockin’ Green Customizes Detergent for Your Water Type
The other thing I love about Rockin’ Green is that there’s a detergent for each water type. Check out their handy map to see which type of water you have. This is especially important when it comes to cloth diapers. When we lived in Michigan we had “normal” water that was neither soft nor hard. Now that we live in South Carolina our water is extremely soft. I was starting to have some issues with my cloth diapers shortly after we moved and began using Rockin’ Green Soft Rock detergent along with Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer in my diaper washing routine. Works like a charm! When I tried the Classic Rock detergent on my regular laundry, it worked just fine and I don’t see the need to use the Soft Rock for that.
Rockin’ Green Detergent is Affordable
One challenge I’ve had while switching to green household products is cost. I do a lot of laundry, so I simply can’t afford expensive detergent. Rockin’ Green detergent doesn’t break the bank. One bag of Rockin’ Green can do up to 90 loads of laundry, which breaks down to 16¢ per load. HE machines only need 1 tablespoon of soap per load.
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Rockin’ Green provided me with free samples of their laundry detergent to review, and I was under no obligation to write the review. I was not under any obligation to write a positive review or host a giveaway.
One of the things I love about belonging to a CSA program is the encouragement to try new foods, especially when we’re surprised with a fruit or veggie we’re not familiar with. These interesting-looking, knobby root veggies were in the extras basket when we picked up our share last week. I actually thought they were ginger root at first. Turns out they were jerusalem artichokes, and now I know what I was missing out on by overlooking them in the past. Have you ever eaten one? Read on to find out why you’ll want to try this nutrient-dense root veggie!
What is a Jerusalem Artichoke?
Jerusalem artichokes, sometimes called sunchokes, are the edible tubers of the plant (Helianthus tuberosus) which is a type of sunflower (source.) They’re actually not artichokes, although I think they taste remotely similar. My honest opinion is that I don’t think they’re an amazingly delicious standalone veggie when raw. However, I would like to incorporate them into my meals more because they’re an easy way to add more valuable nutrients without majorly affecting the flavor of the dish; i.e., my toddler doesn’t know they’re there.
What are the Health Benefits of Jerusalem Artichokes?
Jerusalem artichokes are particularly high in dietary fiber, and they’re rich in potassium, magnesium, iron and B vitamins (source.) Jerusalem artichokes are high in inulin, a non-digestible soluble fiber. Inulin increases healthy intestinal bacteria which results in the prebiotic effect. Healthy bacteria in the gut can fight off unwanted bacteria and improve digestive health. Jerusalem artichokes can also help regulate blood sugar since they’re high in inulin. They have a low glycemic index and do not cause rapid fluctuations in blood glucose levels (source.) Some people are sensitive to jerusalem artichokes and have digestive discomfort after eating them because of the inulin. No one in my family experienced this, after eating them raw and cooked.
How to Eat Jerusalem Artichokes
Unlike some other unusual fruits or veggies, jerusalem artichokes are versatile. Like potatoes, they can be steamed, baked, roasted or grilled. They can also be sautéed. They have the highest nutrient content when eaten raw. I don’t think they taste horrible raw, but they don’t have much flavor that way. A water chestnut comes to mind when I eat a raw jerusalem artichoke. You can either peel them or leave the skin on. I thought they were a little bit difficult to clean because of their texture and peeling was time consuming, if the goal is to get every bit of skin off, that is. I used an old fashioned veggie peeler to remove the skin, but they definitely don’t peel as clean as a potato. I wasn’t too worried about getting all of the skin off because it’s not very tough.
We cut some jerusalem artichokes into small pieces and sautéed them with some other veggies that were going into a homemade soup. When sautéed, I think they have a bit of a nutty flavor, but they didn’t alter the flavor of the tomato-based soup we were making. It’s one of my three year old’s favorite soups and she didn’t even notice the jerusalem artichokes. A way to eat them raw is to grate them into salads or coleslaws. You can also thinly slice them, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and put them on the grill or roast in the oven. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F and roast for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
We definitely have a new appreciation jerusalem artichokes thanks to our CSA, and we might even try some in our own garden this year. Next time you’re grocery shopping, don’t forget about these little guys! They’re definitely worth a try!