Little Animals Mean World
Little Animals, Mean World Vegan Children’s Book Collection (Talk to your children about Animal Cruelty!)

“Although they don’t speak our language, animals are not so different from us. They’re incredibly smart, feel emotions, and care about their families and friends. Animals want to be happy, and most of all, they deserve to live free.”

Angela Prada-Moed

Welcome back to the blog, loves. I am so excited to share this amazing vegan children’s book collection with you today! My children are in love. These books are fantastic for vegan and non-vegan families alike.

Each book in the collection can be purchased individually or as a set. I have written a summary of each book at the end of this blog post.

Little Animals Mean World Book Collection

My children received these books as one of their Christmas presents and not a single day has gone by where we have not read ALL five of these books. They are just smitten. At just 3 years old, my kiddos are already asking all of the questions.

This book bundle is a dream for any parent who wishes to tackle these hard topics.

The name of the collection is “Little Animals, Mean World” and it contains five very colorful vegan story books. These books explain the dairy industry, elephant riding, animal testing, meat consumption, and the fur/leather/etc industry in a way that children can understand.

The books are very well thought out, honest, descriptive, and each one comes with a very happy ending. Martin and I were sitting at breakfast the other day chatting about how beautiful the endings were. In all honesty, I truly believe that by raising our next generations with books like these in hand, we could very well make these endings a reality.

The writer of the “Little Animals, Mean World” books, Angela Prada-Moed, is a mother of two and a mama on a mission. As many others could relate, as soon as the motherly role is blessed upon us, we feel a deep connection to all other mothers and fully witness the bond between mother and child. The hard reality of the dairy industry hit her hard. Angela felt this ever so deeply and could not bear to sit back and do nothing. Her greatest mission is to be as transparent with her children as possible on hard to discuss topics.   We are so grateful for Angela’s passion to fight for the animals and could not have dreamed up a better book collection for our littles.

Every single night, my little boys run to the bookshelf to pick one of Angela’s books. Leo usually picks ‘Oliver’s Milk” (pronounced Oliers Mick) and Alessandro always runs to grab ‘Mackenzie’s Test” (pronounced Kenzie’s Mic-scope). I can not help but smile ever so brightly as my children start to ask questions and understand what I am reading to them. 

As little baby Oliver was taken away from his Mother in “Oliver’s Milk”, my children gasped and asked me if we could please help Oliver get back to his mommy. “Of course,”, I said, and we finished the book with the happy ending of baby calf being reunited with his mourning mama. Such a beautiful ending. One we all hope for.

I thought it would be helpful to give a short description of each book in my own words to help our readers fully understand the book collection.


Oliver’s Milk

I believe we are on reading number 500 of this book, and for good reason. It is colorful, interactive, and full of curiosity-striking writing. The story begins with a pregnant mother cow, Audrey, who gives birth to her son, Oliver, in a factory farm. They are very happy until the factory farm workers come and separate them. They are heart broken. Oliver does everything in his power to get back to his mother and eventually they break free and escape to an animal sanctuary. This book talks about the dairy industry, the meat industry, and the safe haven of animal sanctuaries. Leo’s favorite part is a little interactive map that helps Oliver to find his mother – just be sure to avoid the factory farm worker!

Mackenzie’s Test

Mackenzie is a very smart bunny who wishes to be a world-renowned scientist one day. She decides to head off to science camp but, sadly, finds herself locked up upon arrival for animal experimentation. We learn about why animals are tested, how they are tested, and how we can avoid animal testing to opt for safer and better results. Alessandro adores this book and all of the colorful science related tools and symbols on each and every page.

Ethan Isn't Bacon

Ethan Isn’t Bacon

Meat consumption has probably been one of the hardest discussions for me to have with my children and I am so grateful for Ethan. Ethan is a very privileged pig who lives life just like the rest of us. He goes to school, plays with his friends, and has a lovely home with his loving parents. One day, he is driving with his papa when he notices a truck full of pigs. He begins to ask questions and notices quickly that everyone around him doesn’t want to acknowledge the truth. Eventually, Ethan finds out that these pigs are being sent to the slaughterhouse and he will not allow it. Ethan becomes an animal activist and stops the slaughter of his fellow pigs.

Victoria's Couture

Victoria’s Couture

This is such an adorable and direct book on why wearing animal fur and skin is simply not nice. Victoria is a fox who owns a little clothing shop made from all cruelty-free materials. A new customer, Leila, walks in one day and is looking for a warm coat for winter. Leila requests down, wool, cashmere, leather, and more and Victoria explains why each one of these options are not kind to the animals. In the end, Leila and Victoria work together to create new cruelty-free collections and go into business together!

Riding Benjamin

Riding Benjamin

A year before my children were born, I was living in an elephant sanctuary in Thailand. These Elephants were saved from the very cruel Elephant riding industry and I couldn’t have been happier to see this book in the collection. This book begins with a baby elephant named Benjamin and his mommy playing in the water in the jungles of Thailand. On the way home, they fall into a trap and Benjamin is taken from his mother and sold to a Mahout. This Mahout forces Benjamin to give rides to tourists for money and Benjamin quickly becomes sick. While waiting to give another ride, Benjamin meets a little boy named Lucas who refuses to ride Benjamin and decides to save him instead. Lucas takes Benjamin to an Elephant sanctuary and vows to save many more elephants from the horrors of Elephant riding. 


“Learn the stories of how animals would fight back for their lives if they could speak our language. Find out how meat and dairy break families apart and where many clothing materials come from. Explore ways to help animals who are being used for entertainment, and discover scientific advancements that promise an end to animal testing.  Get useful insight into why choosing cruelty-free products matters and how to support animal rescue missions and farm sanctuaries.”

Little Animals, Mean World

If you would like to add this amazing Litte Animals, Mean World book series (or individual books) to your collection, please head to the KindRoar website and use code “KindLiving20” for 20% off your order. I just know you will love these books as much as we have and cherish them for many many years to come. Xoxo- Danielle

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Little Animals Mean World
Little Animals Mean World

Little Animals Mean World
How to Store Fruits and Veggies
How to Properly Store Fruits and Veggies

How To Store Fruits and Veggies

Hey there, mamas! Welcome back to the blog. This week, we are going over everything you need to know about how to store your fruits and veggies. 

Let me guess; you most likely do not go to the store every day to stock up on fruits and veggies for lunch and dinner. As a result, you might have some old broccoli or carrots hanging out in your crisper! There is nothing wrong with that, but if you can store your fruits and veggies correctly, you can keep them fresh for a longer time. 

The best thing about keeping fruits and veggies fresher for a longer time is that you can consume most of them before they go bad. 

At the beginning of the week or when you do head to the store, I highly recommend planning your meals ahead, so you can know which fruits and veggies you will be needing. 

If you have some extra fruits and veggies, especially towards the end of the week, I love going through the rest of my fridge and throwing together a recipe with those ingredients.

So, now that you have some fresh fruits and veggies for the week, where do you store them?

What To Store in the Fridge 

First, we are starting with what items belong in the refrigerator. Surprisingly, a lot of fruits and veggies are versatile. They can be stored in the fridge or on the counter. The kick to this is that anything stored in the refrigerator will not ripen any further, or just extremely slowly. 

I recommend fruits like avocados, kiwis, melons, peaches, and pears, you should store them on the counter, but if you don’t use them when they are ripe, move them to the fridge to get a couple more days out of them.. 

This produce, however, will need to skip the counter entirely and go straight into the refrigerator:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Apples
  • Berries 
  • Grapes 
  • Lemons 
  • Limes
  • Oranges
  • Pineapple
  • Watermelon

There are also some particular cases:

  • Corn: fine on the counter for 24 hours, but any longer, throw them in the fridge.
  • Figs: eat immediately, but they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

What To Store on the Counter

Now you know what to store in the fridge, what about the counter? Good news, the list is only a few items long, so that you won’t need to take up that much counter space. 

  • Onions 
  • Potatoes (Regular & Sweet)
  • Winter Squash (Butternut & Acorn)
  • Tomatoes
  • Bananas
  • Persimmons 

You shouldn’t store tomatoes in the fridge because the cold air kills their flavor producing enzymes, and it changes the texture. The great thing about storing fruits and veggies on the counter is that you are less likely to forget about them because you can see them as they age. 

What Veggies To Keep in Water For Freshness

If you like to pre-cut your veggies for the week ahead, storing some in water is a great way to maintain freshness. 

Store in fresh, lukewarm water. Change the water every couple of days if you are trying to prolong freshness. 

What veggies can you store in water? 

  • Apples (not a veggie, but hey, they’re still cool!)
  • Celery
  • Carrots 
  • Potatoes

A great way to plan ahead is to cut up some celery and apples, and then you will always have a snack on hand when you need them! 

How to Wrap Herbs and Greens in a Damp Cloth

First, you need to determine what kind of herb you have on your hands. There are two different kinds, soft/tender and hard. 

For soft herbs, or herbs like Basil, Cilantro, Dill, Mint, or Parsley:

Similarly to a bouquet of flowers, you need to trim the herb stems first. Then, place the herbs into a small vase, glass, or mason jar of about an inch of water. Cover the herbs loosely with either the lid of the mason jar or a reusable bag. Store in the refrigerator. 

For the hard herbs, or Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme:

Wrap the herbs in a damp cloth. Place them into a storage container, and store them in the refrigerator. You will need to re-moisten the cloth every few days, or as required. The cloth should be damp, but not soggy. 

For both of these wrapping methods, wash the herbs when you are ready to use them. 

Here is a great youtube video tutorial on storage for herbs, fruits and veggies. Check it out here.

Now it is time to cook!

I hope this blog has helped you out! You can use some of your freshly stored produce to make delicious plant-based recipes including:

Creamy Vegan Carrot and Apple Soup

Vegan Green Goddess Buddha Bowl

Vegan Cauliflower and Broccoli Stir Fry

If you are interested in some more plant-based meals, check out our WonderMamas Meal Plan Membership! You get a weekly family-style meal plan to cut to the chase with making amazing plant-based meals for your whole family. 

 

How to Store Fruits and Veggies
5 ways to add more plants to your plate
5 Ways to Add More Plants To Your Plate

5 Ways to Add More Plants To Your Plate 

 Do you find the kids are getting bored of their meals? Are you struggling to get more vegetables on their plates? Do you find it’s harder to try something new and still be sure you’ve got enough vegetables, vitamins and minerals? Do you find the family is getting sick of eating the same thing over and over again?

If you are nodding your head right now, you are in the right place to finding out easy ways to add more plants your plate.

Sometimes the kids look at their plates and say “Mama? Carrots, again?” And that’s normally my signal that I need to start mixing it up a bit. After years of practice and too many hours in the kitchen, I am pretty confident to say that our plates are always full of plants and happiness.

Here are my top 5 tips to add more plants to your plate

 

Baked goods

This is an easy favorite of mine (especially for breakfast). Adding veggies and fruits to muffins, cookies, and pancakes is such an easy way to make you feel like you are eating a treat instead of a raw veggie and it gets the kids excited about what they are munching! Also a great way to include grains and seeds into their diets. Some great plant examples to add into your baked goods are apples, spinach, carrots, and zucchini. 

Mama Tip

The key to a healthy plate is more than just sneaking veggies into your kids meals. I find that when my children help me with the preparation, and understand that their muffin has zucchini or carrots inside, a lesson is learned. Veggies should not just be hidden inside things. They should be loud, proud, and celebrated!

Make it fun!

Make your plants – FUN! This is so ideal for kids! Cutting your veggies into shapes makes the kids LOVE it. Hearts, stars, dinosaurs, their favorite cartoon characters (depending on your knife skills) will make the kids excited about seeing their plates and more prone to eating them up! For parents, make your vegetables into noodles or rice (I LOVE ZUCCHINI NOODLES), or make it into pasta! Who doesn’t love pasta, eh?  (Also it makes for a fun and unique pasta themed date night – Who doesn’t love GREEN pasta?) 

Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to jam-pack so many delicious vegetables into one nutritious drink, adding the perfect amount of sweet fruits and wholesome fruits will make for a refreshing liquid and healthy meal. I also like to do this with as many sauces as I can and  try to sneak seeds in, as well for some more nutrients into things like pastas sauces, marinades and more.  

Be sure to check out some of these smoothies and sauce recipes that are full of nutrition below.

Homemade Vegetable Packed Pasta Sauce: Two Ways! 

Vegan Cheese Sauce Loaded With Vegetables

WonderMamas Smoothie Recipes

Get creative

Trying something new normally always gets everyone excited. Even when you just cook it. Finding new recipes and favorites will make mealtime fun. Try to make one new meal a week to keep the menu rotating and fresh. I like to do this on Sundays and it always ensures our meals never get boring! Your palate needs to be entertained. Get creative with eggplants, mushrooms, squash and anything else you find at the market, make a unique plant inspired taco night with all of the fixings! Take the norm and make it unusual by adding new spices and toppings. (Exploring my blog here for a new recipe to help you).

Ask the family what they want

Sounds easy enough but it does help! Make a meal-time voting checklist for the week and see what the family is craving! If they all want eggplant but hate carrots… stop making carrots (sneak them into those muffins & smoothies) and start making eggplant boats. This way everyone is getting what they need and everyone is spending their kitchen time wisely. Giving everyone a say during  meal-time will not only inspire everyone to get creative in the kitchen but it also makes meal-time more meaningful and motivates everyone to enjoy their entire plant-filled plate of nourishing healthy food.  

Bonus tip: JUICING!

We all know I love juicing and it’s such an easy way to get so many plants and fruits throughout the day by sipping on your favorite one continuously. If you’ve got a juicer, use it. You won’t regret it. (Here is my current favourite juice recipe.) 

 

Let me know in the comments below if any of these tips have helped you add more plants to your plate!

Are you looking for more recipes and vegan meal plans? Want a curated shopping list and meal calendar for the whole family?

The hard-work has been done, so you too can enjoy all that’s good in life!

Learn more here about the WonderMamas Meal Plan Membership.

5 ways to add more plants to your plate

Zero Waste Pantry Guide

Zero Waste Pantry Guide

Welcome back to the blog! We are discussing all things zero waste and sustainable pantry today. I am covering my pantry must-haves for the best organized and utilization as well as what are my top 5 items I keep consistently stocked up!  Yes mamas, it is possible to have a fully stocked sustainable (and money-saving!!) kitchen. It takes a little bit of time to start but once you get going (and once you’re done reading this blog post), you will feel confident! 

 

zero waste pantry guide

Here are my top 3 MUST HAVES for a zero waste & sustainable kitchen: 

Reusable Glass Jars:

Simple mason jars are the perfect staple for storing shelf-stable foods, almost all pantry items but also to use as a perfect substitution for plastic tupperware or food savers (and, much easier to clean, too!). You can get jars in all sizes and I recommend getting an assorted variety. 1L-2L jars are great for storing cereals, flours, oats, etc. Medium-sized jars (.5L)  are great for storing beans, baking ingredients and kid snacks and the small ones make great use for home-made items and leftovers.

I even love the extra small ones to store things like garlic and spices!

Mason jars are also a neat way to store things inside your fridge but as well as make your pantry look organized. Showcasing your beautiful foods in your stunning pantry is the best way to create a healthy and happy environment.

Mama Tip

You can buy mason jars in bulk online or at most local bulk stores! BUT the best way to build your mason jar selection is to save the jars from leftover jams, olives and other jarred foods! Clean them out and peel off the label for a great way to reuse and recycle! I also love to get creative with the kids and make our own labels for every jar, these are also always fun to match to the aesthetic of your kitchen.

Vegan Wax Wraps:

The healthy way to saran and save! The ultimate saran wrap substitute which is reusable. This wax wrap can fit onto multiple dishes, jars and more.Save and store your foods without plastic or pollution.You can get them in all kinds of sizes but I also cut them to size for my own personal bowls and find this is the easiest way to keep using them! The wraps are so easy to wash and are definitely one of my most favourite multi-purpose kitchen tools. There is seriously no excuse for plastic when you happen to have these amazing vegan wax wraps!

I love Vonuva Wax Wraps check out my review here. 

Grocery Baskets & Produce Bags:

This one often gets forgotten but it’s such a great thing to keep in your pantry. You have to get the food in there somehow, right? So by having a large reusable grocery basket to take to the store or the market, makes it ideal and simple for you to unload into your pantry! Another favourite item, similar to this are produce bags. They’re inexpensive and simple mesh bags to carry and store fresh produce in, (they also allow the produce to breathe, if you want to store produce inside the bag continuously), they’re reusable, wash-able and keeps your produce tidy while shopping or at home. I also find both grocery baskets and the produce bags make a great gift for people and as a consequence, it helps create a lot less waste for everyone.

 

What to Stock In Your Zero Waste Pantry
 

Now that you have your three must haves, here are my favourite zero-waste and vegan dry goods you should always have handy and stocked in your pantry.

These are the things I use on a daily basis. Usually I tend to restock once or twice a month but I try to always have a big enough stockpile to keep my pantry comfortably full to ensure a productive week ahead:

  1.  Legumes: These are a staple in every plant-based kitchen. I use beans for almost all meals: snacks, baking, lunch, dinner and sometimes dessert!
  2. Nuts: Great for cooking, baking and snacking! I love to have a stock of walnuts, peanuts, and almonds to use in all kinds of recipes as well as great snacks for the kids. If you have a nut allergy, you can sub this out for granola (which I always like to have too), vegan chocolate chips and your favourite crackers.
  3. Grains: Rice, quinoa and flour are staples that I use everyday. Great for meals and any baking we do. I use all my bigger mason jars for this as the rice and quinoa are used almost every evening. Also, I keep a heavy stockpile of different shaped pastas and I store these in mason jars. I have a wide selection of noodles to keep things exciting but always have a big stock pile of penne as we love our pasta. Grains are one of the biggest must haves as I’m sure you know you are going to use these consistently.
  4. Spices: This is huge for cooking! Keeping your pantry stocked with your favourite spices. It is going to save you time and give you the best selection for cooking each and every meal. Spices are an absolute NEED in my kitchen as I love to spice up everything (especially those pasta dishes), I keep garlic, basil, oregano sesame, salt and pepper and vinegar in bulk.Also, I enjoy growing my own herbs too!

The more you have in your pantry, the happier you and your kitchen will be. Starting here, will give you a great head-start on your perfect zero-waste and sustainable kitchen.

zero waste pantry guide

If you found this article helpful, you will most likely enjoy our other articles!

Guide to family vegan meal prepping!
Vegan Grocery Guide + Free Download!
5 DIY Zero Waste Swaps that you can make at home!

 

June Produce Guide
What’s In Season? The July Produce Guide! (Northern Hemisphere)

The Season of Abundance:

Welcome to the July Produce Guide!

Today, I am super excited to share our guide to July produce (Northern Hemisphere, of course!). Here at WonderMamas, we are dedicated to inspiring and educating our followers on everything sustainable, nutritious, and delicious. One of the big first steps that we took in our environmentally conscious produce shopping was to shop IN SEASON!

 

Some amazing benefits of shopping in season:

  1. The Taste:

    In season produce is fresher and tastes so much better (you will notice the difference right away if you are new to shopping in season!). The fruits are sweeter, and the produce has reached its “perfectly ripe” stage. When we purchase out of season, the produce is picked BEFORE fully ripe and ripens in a cardboard box that is then shipped to various states or countries (usually across oceans!). The produce is also usually packed in refrigerator containers which greatly reduce flavour.

  2. The Nutrition:

    Fruit and vegetables that are picked at the perfectly ripe stage are much more nutritious than those who are picked early and ripened in artificial surroundings (box to refrigeration to heat rooms which lowers the phyto-nutrient content). Produce that is purchased in season is more likely to be fresher, consumed closer to harvesting and higher in nutritional value, some anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C, folate and carotenes will rapidly decline when stored for periods of time.

  3. Cost:

    In season means abundance. If apples are in season, you bet your dollar that farmers are literally SWIMMING in apples. We live near to apple orchards and we have seen this in real time – it’s quite funny. When farmers have an abundance of a fruit or vegetable, the price will (almost always) go down. We purchase the produce from our local farmers, we also cut out the shipping/transportation costs. When we purchase food that is out of season (or just not grown in our country), we are adding in a LOT of cost (that can hurt our wallet and the environment). Think of all of the shipping, transportation, and handling that goes into avocados? It’s quite intense.

  4. Overseas Contamination:

    So often we head to the grocery store and simply add the produce to our carts without thinking of the ridiculously long journey that it took to get to our hands. Where is the farm located? What are the regulations? How about transportation regulations? What about heavy metal? Hygiene practices? So many questions to be answered and most companies do not give these answers so freely. Best to stay in season, stay local, and support what Mother Nature has to offer you.

  5. Mother Nature is Wise:

    Speaking of Mother Nature, did you know that “In Season” is really just code word for “What Nature has intended for you to eat at this exact moment”? Haha. This is how I like to think of in season produce. Mother Nature is way smarter than any of us, I promise you, and she has given the gift of certain produce at certain times to aid us in our nutrition! Just think about it: Winter is full of yummy citrus which boosts our Vitamin C content for flu/sick season. Summer fruits are FULL of extra beta-carotenes and other carotenoids that help protect us against sun damage!

  6. Environmentally Friendly:

    If you have made it this far on the list, then you know how environmentally friendly it is to shop in season (locally preferred). The constant demand on overseas farmers, shipping, transportation, and the heavy pressure for spraying those questionable sprays to keep up with thee pressure is hurting the Earth (and its inhabitants) so much.

“But, Danielle, I can’t eat in season and local ALL the time. What do I do?!”

It is so very important to understand that this is not always possible, but that simply trying your best to support local and in season as much as YOU can is worth it. By simply being conscious of where you food comes from, how far it has traveled, and what it has gone through in terms of growing/handling/ripening/refrigeration/heat, we are much better prepared to make better decisions. Just do your best!

 

The July Produce Guide: Veggies Galore!

  • Asparagus
  • Bell Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Broad bean
  • Cauliflower
  • Courgette flower
  • Courgette.
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Chicory
  • Dandelion
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Green bean
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Early potato
  • Mushrooms
  • Nettle
  • Tomato
  • Pea
  • Rhubarb
  • Radish
  • Rocket
  • Summer Squash
  • Swiss chard

 

The July Produce Guide: Fruit for Days!

  • Apples
  • Avocado
  • Apricot
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Black cherry
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherry
  • Currant
  • Figs
  • Gooseberry
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Loquat
  • Mangoes
  • Melon
  • Mulberry
  • Nectarine
  • Pear
  • Plum
  • Peach
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry
  • Watermelon

 

 

Looking for recipes that include seasonal produce?

Check out our latest Vegan Summer Recipe Guide!

Want to try your hand at juicing your seasonal produce? Check out this amazing summer juicing guide!

Looking for FREE and Super Simple Vegan Recipes straight to your inbox? Subscribe here!

Join the WonderMamas Meal Plan Membership our secret to a healthy, sustainable, and ethical kitchen!

 

June Produce Guide
5 Amazing Juice Recipes to Cleanse and Reboot!
5 Amazing Juice Recipes to Cleanse and Reboot!

Our family LOVES to juice. How about you?!

Every single morning in our home starts off the same: The boys jump into my bed, we cuddle for about 10 minutes and then they begin to ask me repeatedly over and over again…

“Can we juice, mommy? Pllleeeassseee????”

Then we all sing our juicing song: “Juice! Juice! Cha-cha-cha” and make our way to the kitchen. Every night I set the juicer up for the next morning and add whatever produce we want to juice into our bamboo bowl. We all peel/chop as needed (the boys have become professional carrot peelers!) and then they boys take turns adding the produce to the juicer.

5 amazing juice recipes to cleanse and reboot

Once the juicer is done doing its work, we mix it up, pour into 3 or 4 cups (depending if Martin is home or not) and that is how we start our day! It’s about 5 minutes of pure silence and then the “Chocolate oats, mommy??’ or “Ice Cream, mommy??” begins hahaha!

Juicing has truly helped us stay on our zero FOOD waste journey. Our compost bin is not as full as it usually is because I have been taking all of the half eaten fruit/veggies and I just juice them! I even like to take the pulp from the juice and concoct pulp crackers, pulp “tuna fish” salads, and more!

I have also been having a lot more fun with creating different juices. When we first started juicing, we were pretty boring and stuck to a traditional juice . But the more you do it, the more you trust your self! I find this true in nearly every aspect of life and it has been SO much fun playing around with our juicer. We even like to juice and then blend with frozen goodies to make a super nutritious smoothie!

To Juice or Not to Juice?

5 tips to start juicing at home

Juicing has gotten a lot of attention in the past 10-20 years and not all of it good. As always, we humans like to take things way too far and take something beautiful and turn it into a huge fad (which essentially destroys the essence of the beauty). Let’s stop that right now, shall we?

Juicing is a beautiful way to incorporate easily digestible nutrients into your body. Should you live off of just juice? I would never recommend that. Should you completely say no to juicing because this one lady lived off of it for a solid month and got sick? Well…I think you should use your noggin and realise that there is a better way. A more balanced way of life.

A juice a day, in my opinion, is enough to reap the amazing benefits and keep your body full of the OTHER essential things in life like fiber (from whole foods) and chewing (get those mouth muscles working). We start off our day with a juice and, if I am truly in need of a juice pick me up later in the day, I will have another small “booster drink” with something like ginger/celery/parsley. In the mix of day, I will also have whole fruits and veggies, grains, nuts, seeds, and all the other beautiful plant based foods that make up my lifestyle.

Why did I start Juicing?

I started juicing to help my stomach overcome some serious sensitivities. I have always loved adding whole fruits throughout my day, but my stomach was NOT happy about it. It was just too much to mix the grains with the fruits and the fats. If you find yourself having stomach aches from pairing fruits with or around your meal times, then you may want to try this too. First, you can schedule eating fruits a solid hour before or after a meal – this helped a lot. Another thing you can do is juice. I find that having a juice with my breakfast does not hurt my belly because it is MUCH easier to digest. Thank goodness. Because…ouch.

Liquids are absorbed by the body more quickly and completely because the absorption of the many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients starts right away as soon as they enter your mouth. Solid food takes a slower path of absorption through the stomach and intestines, and unless you chew your food thoroughly, you don’t get as much nutrition from raw as you do from its liquid form.

Many folks start to juice once their body has shown signs of disease or failure, such as me (slight bow) but I hope more and more people use juicing to KEEP their body as healthy as possible. Take in those vitamins, nutrients and minerals and have yourself a merry little life.

 

New to Juicing?

5 Juice Recipes to Cleanse and Reboot

Here are 5 helpful tips to get started:

  1. Wash the produce very well. I like to use a vinegar wash or baking soda wash. I typically soak for about 5-10 minutes and then do a quick rub down with my hands or a scrubber (depending on what the produce is). Quick rinse with water and then you are all set. This is also when I remove the excess leaves/stems of produce that I do not want juiced (such as the tops of carrots or beets).
  2. Citrus must absolutely be peeled or the bitter taste of the peel will ruin your juice. Peel or simply squeeze the citrus fruit into your juicing bowl.
    1. Other produce that should be peeled: Anything with inedible skins like mango, guava, pineapple, and melons. I also like to peel my carrots and parsnips.
  3. Be sure to remove the pits/cores of any produce that needs it like apples, peaches, mangoes, etc.
  4. To strain or not to strain? Personally, I never strain my juice. I just mix with my stainless steel straw and down the beauty with a big ol’ smile on my face. If you absolutely loathe pulp, then you can use a simple mesh strainer, nut/milk bag, or something of the like.
  5. Know your sweeteners/bitters/and the likes: The more you juice, the more you will know how much of this or that to use.
    1. Apples, Beets, Pears and Pineapples are great additions to any juice for sweetness. Another huge favourite of ours is pomegranate seeds, but they do require some work to get out (completely worth it in my opinion!).
    2. The refreshing elements: Celery and cucumber! I always like to add one of these (or both) to my green juices.
    3. The tangy additions: any and all citrus! Oranges, limes and grapefruits are phenomenal in juices.
    4. And last but not least, the spices! Ginger, cayenne pepper, cilantro and basil are wonderful!

Juicer Recommendations

 

Our Current Juicer (3 years and counting): The Panasonic Slow Masticating Juicer

I love this juicer, I truly do. I purchased this as soon as we moved into our first apartment and the boys were barely a few weeks old. I was so tired, stressed, and in great need of nutrients. I could FEEL my body begging for juice. And so, I bought this as a gift to myself and juiced every single morning. It was wonderful. She still works just like new!

Panasonic juicer

The KOIOS Juicer

You will notice that I am only recommending slow, masticating juicers. This is because we do not want our juicer to heat our fruit while juicing to preserve all of the vitamins and minerals. Another benefit is the amount of oxidation at the lowest level. This juicer is one of the best to keep minimal Oxidation, low heat build-up, less foaming and no clogging. The motor has a 10 year warranty as well. If my juicer were to break beyond repair, I would choose this one as the upgrade.

Juicer

The Mueller Juicer

This juicer is made in Austria and has rave reviews. The chute is 3 inches wide which makes this super easy for juicing; little to no prep must be done! I love that this juicer has different speeds for quicker juicing: 1″ low speed runs from 12000 to 15000 RPM for softer fruits like oranges, tomatoes and others; “2” fast speed runs from 15000 to 18000 RPM for harder fruits like carrots, celery, beets, kale and many others. While the nutrient levels will not be at the KOIOS level, this is a fantastic juicer for a great price and great quality.

 

Mueller Juicer

The typical produce of juicing

Kale

Spinach

Cucumber

Lemon

Carrots

Celery

Lettuce/Greens

Beets

Apples

Oranges

Turmeric

Ginger

A few “not so typical” produce/herbs to play around with:

Fennel

Peppers

Jalapeno peppers

Sweet potatoes

Tomatoes

Berries

Jicama

Pomegranate seeds

Prickly Pears

Horseradish Root

Star fruit

Cinnamon

Mint

Basil

Cilantro

Parsley

 

5 Amazing Juice Recipes to Cleanse and Reboot!

super simple carrot apple juice

Super Simple Carrot Apple Juice

This is the juice that my children love more than anything!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beginner friendly, detox, healthy recipes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Juicing: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

Equipment

  • Juicer
  • Blender

Ingredients

  • 4 large carrots peeled
  • 2 large apples I prefer granny smith

Optional

  • 2 oranges This is always a fun addition if we have it them on hand

Instructions

  • Juice and enjoy! I love to add some ice cold water to this for my children and serve with some bamboo straws.

Super Simple Orange Ginger Juice

Super Simple Orange Ginger Juice

Super simple is all we need sometimes. 3 ingredient juice, here we come!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beginner friendly, Budget Friendly, detox, weight loss
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Juicing: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

Equipment

  • Juicer
  • Blender

Ingredients

  • 5 oranges Peeled/ Juiced or squeezed
  • 3 large carrots Peeled
  • 1 inch ginger

Instructions

  • Juice all of the produce and mix well. Feel free to strain or leave as is. Toss in a handful of ice if you wish and enjoy!

Fennel Apple Ginger Juice

Fennel Apple Ginger Juice

The first time I tried fennel in my daily juice was an experiment gone RIGHT! I cannot recommend fennel in your juice enough!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beginner friendly, weight loss
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Juicing: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

Equipment

  • Juicer

Ingredients

  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1-2 granny smith apples cored
  • 1 lemon peeled
  • 1 inch fresh ginger no need to peel

Optional

  • 5-6 large carrots

Instructions

  • Add all produce to your juicer and juice. Mix well and enjoy! I love to add a handful of ice to my juice.

Beet Apple Ginger Juice

Beet Apple Ginger Juice

This is one of my favorite go-to juices to wake me up and prepare me for a busy day ahead!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beginner friendly, Budget Friendly
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Juicing: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1

Equipment

  • Juicer

Ingredients

  • 1 large Beet Chopped
  • 2 apples I like a sweeter apple
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 small handful fresh parsley
  • 1/2 lemon squeezed or peeled/juiced

Instructions

  • Juice all the produce together, mix well and enjoy! I love to add a handful or ice to mine.

 

Pomegranate Orange Carrot Juice

Pomegranate Orange Carrot Juice

This juice is a hit in our home with the kids and adults. If you are new to juicing, I urge you to give this one a go!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beginner friendly, juicing, weight loss
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Juicing: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1

Equipment

  • Juicer

Ingredients

  • 1 pomegranate seeds removed and juiced
  • 1 large orange Squeezed or peeled and juiced
  • 3 medium carrots peeled and juiced

Optional Addition

  • 1 handful cilantro

Instructions

  • Add all of the produce to your juicer and juice! Stir well and drink immediatly.

Notes

*

Liked our 5 Amazing Juice Recipes to Cleanse and Reboot? Try these other drinks out!

Vegan Cinnamon Roll Smoothie

Must have energizing juices for a productive morning

Vegan Raspberry Morning Smoothie

Nourishing Pear Smoothie

 

5 Amazing Juice Recipes to Cleanse and Reboot!
3 Tips for Meal Planning
3 Tips For Family Meal Planning

Our Family Meal Planning Tips

Safe to say, meal planning is an essential part of our week here at WonderMamas. I can’t imagine my life without a solid plan heading into the week when handling meals for my family, it saves my day more times than I can count! I know family meal planning seems like it takes a lot of work, time, and effort, but it saves you all 3 in the long run.

Why do I love family meal planning so much? 
As I said, I am a massive advocate for sitting down and spending 30 minutes to an hour planning out family’s meals for the whole week. When you know what you are eating, you only have to go to the store once or twice a week instead of every day.
It also saves you so much mental energy because you don’t wake up every morning, asking yourself, “What are we going to have for dinner?” (Plus, when the kids ask, you can actually give them a response by having a truthful answer.)
If those two reasons aren’t enough for you, you’ll also be saving tons of money because there is no more excuse to skip the dishes by simply ordering take out.
To help you get started with meal planning for your family, here are my 3 favorite Family Meal Planning Tips for a easy whole-foods plant-based lifestyle.

My 3 Tips for Family Meal Planning

 

Tip 1: Follow Whole Food, Plant-Based Food Bloggers 
The hardest part of meal planning is finding recipes that are simple and whole foods plant-based! Instead of making the same 5 meals on rotation, try to include a few new recipes every week. This is especially great with kids, so they don’t complain about eating the same thing every week. (Believe me, I’ve been there!)
Follow your top 5 food bloggers and start bookmarking recipes that look amazing and won’t take you 2 hours in the kitchen.
When the time comes to meal plan, pull up your saved recipes, and pick a couple to try every week! You don’t need to make something new every night, but mixing it up a couple of times a week keeps everyone somewhat interested and excited about what’s for dinner.
Also, don’t forget to check out our recipe section here. 
Tip 2: Create a Go-To Family Favorite Recipes Stockpile 
When your family finds a recipe that is being requested regularly, create a file on your computer or write it out on an old school recipe card. As time goes on and as your stockpile begins to grow, you can quickly flip through it and pick out recipes from there every week.
To get the whole family involved, let your kids browse through it and pick out a recipe that you’ll make for them each time. They’ll have something to look forward to during the week, and you already know that it will be Mom-Approved. It might also be a fun idea to have them draw pictures for the recipe cards too!
Tip 3: Prep your produce (or anything you can!) well in advance
My biggest tip is prepping your produce at the beginning of each week. By prepping, I mean anything from just washing and cutting, to thoroughly cooking if you’re really running low on time.
I prewash, cut and separate all of my produce I know I will be using, so when it is time to cook, I can grab it out of the refrigerator and throw it immediately in the skillet.


 

The Benefits of Joining a Family-Style Vegan Meal Plan

 

If meal planning for your family sounds like something you want to start doing, but you are unsure where to begin, I would highly recommend joining us in ‘WonderMamas Meal Plan Membership. I send out weekly meal plans which are super simple, incredibly delicious, and of course- kid-approved!
A few benefits from joining my meal plans: 

Easy recipes from whole-food plant-based ingredients for the whole family to enjoy!

A new plan each week in your inbox and access to all our previous membership meal plans.

A fitness program and Kid Zone access with each membership!

Join our WonderMamas Meal Plan Membership to cut out all the stress and make living whole foods plant-based delicious for your entire family.

 

3 Tips for Meal Planning
Summer Vegan Recipes
Vegan Summer Recipe Guide

Hey Mamas! This is the ultimate vegan summer recipe guide you’ve been waiting for!

We’ve rounded up the best plant-based recipes we can find from amazing recipe creators that we love.

We have you covered all summer long with delicious, refreshing and kid-friendly recipes.

I’ve broken it down for you to navigate the best summer recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snacks! 

 

Vegan Breakfast Summer Recipes 

Vegan Tropical Smoothie & Oatmeal Bowl 

Created by: @raisevegan

I love all the healthy greens and tropical fruit this smoothie bowl includes! This is a great option for the kids too.

Oatmeal Waffles

Created by: @avirtualvegan

We love oats in our house! Now we love what Virtual Vegan has done here turning classics oats into a tasty summer waffle recipe.

Pink Raspberry Oat Smoothie

Created by: @twospoons.ca

This pink raspberry smoothie bowl is all you need this summer for a refreshing breakfast in the morning.

Apple Cinnamon Smoothie (Vegan, Raw, Sugar-Free)

Created by: The Green Loot 

Apples are in season and its time to whip up our favorite apple cinnamon smoothie!

Vegan Lunch Summer Recipes 

Cauliflower Ceviche (Vegan & Oil-Free)

Created by: @veggiessavetheday

Doesn’t this Cauliflower Ceviche look like a summer days dream? This is a family favorite.

Raw Veggie Chopped Salad 

Created by: @veggie_inspired

There is nothing better than a refreshing raw salad on a hot summer day! We will be making this one on repeat.

Vegan Power Bowl (Gluten Free, Oil Free)

Created by: @healthygirlkitchen

This hearty bowl is power-packed with healthy whole-food nutrition to help you through your busy day.

Vegan Chicken Salad (Gluten Free, Oil Free) 

Created by: @the.healthy.kitchen

This salad makes my mouth water every time I pull it up on my screen! This is a staple for any vegan BBQ this summer.

 

Vegan Dinner Summer Recipes 

Quinoa Cakes With Oil-Free Basil Pesto

Created by: @flora_and_vino

This recipe is so easy and great for meal prep! Try it out and let me know what you think.

Vegan Lentil Tacos

Created by: @kathysvegankitchen

This is a perfect summer taco Tuesday recipe and requires ingredients that you probably already have stocked in your kitchen.

Healthy Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Created by: @ceeceecooks

This is an easy summer dinner option that is perfect for meal prepping.

Hemp & Beet Veggie Burger Recipe (Gluten Free) 

Created by: @kindearthkitchen

Summer isn’t the same without a burger recipe right?! This beet and hemp burger is just what you need to complete a summer fest.

Oil Free Stir Fried Noodles (Vegan, Gluten Free) 

Created by: @veggiekins

Yes! Stir Fried Noodles are possible without oil. It is also an easy dish to make in the summer.

Dessert Summer Recipes 

Easy Lemon Blueberry Mug Cake

Created by: @alicepages

I’ve always loved any dessert that has a hint of lemon. This citrus and sweet mug cake is a perfect ending to your summer adventures.

Fruit Tart Cake 

Created by: @nuttinelli

Does any of your kiddos have a summer birthday? A fruit tart cake would be an excellent option. Plus, it is very refreshing too!

Strawberry Rhubarb Cake

Created by: @plantbasedmiri

Strawberry season has arrived and we are all about making all our desserts and snacks with strawberries. Try out this recipe next.

Homemade Oil Free Banana Bread Granola

Created by: @the_bananadiaries

Granola isn’t just for breakfast but you can have it for dessert too. This banana bread granola recipe is delish with some yogurt and fruit.

 

Snack Summer Recipes 

Trail Mix Granola Bars (Gluten Free and Oil-Free + Travel Friendly)

Created by: @thecanadianafrican

Are you headed on a summer adventure? Perhaps a park picnic or a hike in a national park? Either way, you need to bring along some of these trail mix bars.

Soft Roasted Chickpeas Recipe: A Salty-Sweet Kid Snack

Created by: @yummytoddlerfood

This is the perfect summer snack to add to your kid’s plate this summer.

Basic Bruschetta (Plant-Based, Oil Free) 

Created by: @riseshinecook

This one is for the mamas! Enjoy this delicious oil-free bruschetta on the weekend and relax!

 

Note: These recipes are not created or owned by WonderMamas. Credits are outlined in linked recipe descriptions. 

 

Summer Vegan Recipes
Vegan Grocery Guide
Easy Vegan Grocery Guide + Free Shopping List!

Easy Vegan Grocery Guide

We have created the ultimate easy vegan grocery guide to support you on your plant-based journey!
This easy vegan grocery guide is an excellent place to start.
Beginning on a whole food plant-based vegan journey is so much easier than most think. We simply stick to eating whole foods, including minimally refined and non-processed foods, and steer clear of animal-based products including meat, dairy, and eggs.
Before you get scared away by thinking about how challenging this lifestyle might be, let’s lay out a few of the amazing benefits that come from switching over to the plant side.

 

Click the photo below to snag your FREE Vegan Guide!

 

Vegan Grocery Guide

Benefits of Eating Whole-Food Plant-Based

There’s no surprise here, a plant-based whole foods lifestyle can seriously boost your health. Countless scientific studies show the effects of a veganism whole foods diet, controlling and even reversing many chronic illnesses. Veganism can reduce your risk for numerous diseases on the rise, such as Type 2 Diabetes, Cancer, and Heart Disease. 
Even if you’re not currently suffering from any major illness; veganism and the whole-foods lifestyle is often attributed to an increase in energy, overall fitness levels, and anti-inflammatory health benefits. 
My personal favorite benefit of eating plant-based besides how amazing I feel is the environmental impact I am making with my family. I love viewing animals as friends, not as food or nourishment, and finding new better sustainable ways to lessen my carbon footprint in every aspect of my family’s life. 
Switching to a whole foods plant-based lifestyle may seem daunting, but it is actually simple when you have the right tools for the transition. That is why you need to keep this easy grocery guide in your back pocket for whenever you need guidance! (bookmark this one friend!) 
Here is a free downloadable grocery list so you can get everything you need to sustain a vegan, whole foods, plant-based meals on your next trip to the grocery store. I’ve got you covered! 

Our Favorite Family Meal Prep Recipes!

Now you may be wondering… What can my family and I eat when switching to a vegan lifestyle?

Now that you have your vegan grocery guide, let’s chat recipes.

There are so many delicious ways to make all of your family’s favorite foods, vegan. I do not feel like I am missing out on anything food-wise because I have created practically a book of easy, delicious recipes that my family loves. 

Here’s a sample of what we eat in a day to give you an idea: 

Breakfast: My Super Simple Vegan Breakfast Squares

Who doesn’t love chocolate cake for breakfast? My boys call these breakfast squares “chocolate cake” and request these almost every day. Little do they know, they have secret nutrients hidden inside, such as flaxseed. 

Lunch: Vegan Green Goddess Buddha Salad Bowl

My lunch staple usually revolves around some sort of bowl or salad. I have been obsessed with Green Goddess Dressing, so I finally created my own and WOW… I would eat this every single day if I could! 

Dinner: Garam Masala Coco Carrot and Rice

The new highly requested dinner this past couple of weeks is the Garam Masala Coco Carrot and Rice. I whipped this up a few weeks ago after not going to the grocery store for about 13 days (a new record for me) and having also a little too many carrots left. This is a delicious, kid-approved way to sneak in those extra veggies.

Dessert: No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

And last, but certainly not least, if you have a little sweet tooth at the end of the night, these no-bake cookies are the cure. They’re super simple to make and a surefire way to satisfy everyone’s craving in the family. 

If you want to skip the vegan recipe research and make simple kid-approved meals for your whole family easily, join me in the Wonder Mamas Family Meal Plan Program for weekly meal plans! These meal plans will help you save time, money, and above all, save you from the stress of the never-ending question “What’s for dinner, mom?

 

Benefits of Family Meal Planning

I believe that meal planning is the key to living a sustainable, healthy, vegan lifestyle. Without it, I’d always be stressed about what we will eat next and what’s in my pantry. I started meal planning to save myself from the seemingly million trips to the grocery store every week, and now I want to share my vegan family style recipes with all mamas. 

Some benefits of meal planning:
  • Save time: Don’t waste time going to the grocery store before every meal – know what you need the first time with a full weekly grocery list. 
  • Save money: How many times have you gone to the store for a few veggies and walked out with another week’s worth of random foods? By planning in advance, you can get what you NEED and skip out on the extra fluff that happens to catch your eye. 
  • Reduce stress: Stop worrying about what the next meal is and start knowing what every meal provides! Save your brain the mental energy by planning in advance, so you can get back to enjoying in fact your day-to-day family life, instead! 

If you have yet to download Our FIVE page Vegan Grocery List please do so below!

Vegan Grocery Guide

Tips and Tricks For Meal Planning

 

My top tips and tricks…
  • Plan your meals first… and then make your grocery list. 
  • Don’t forget about snack time! Plan in a possible snack for the kids (and yourself!) that you can make ahead of time and store in the fridge. 
  • Ask your family for input. I love letting my kids pick out one or two meals weekly, so they feel included and excited to eat their choice. 
  • Keep it simple. Don’t make it complicated by trying to make four-course vegan meals every night, five-ingredient meals go a long way with the same satisfaction. 
  • Meal Prep When Needed. If you have time to cook every meal, that’s great! If you don’t meal prep in advance however as much as possible eventually, you won’t be able to avoid those hunger-induced temptations. 

 

Vegan Grocery Guide