Homemade Pumpkin Puree
How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree

I never even thought to make my own pumpkin puree until I found myself living in a little Italian town with NO canned pumpkin puree to be found. Sweat began to trickle down my face as I asked the woman behind the counter where the canned pumpkin was. Google translate had it correct…so why was she looking at me like I was crazy?

“Pumkin Puree? No. You make your own. There, (she points to some small pumpkins) You need those.”

And so, I awkwardly grabbed some pumpkins (no, not to decorate), paid and headed home.

My journey to homemade pumpkin puree (and everything else it seemed) began in this little Italian town and I am so thrilled to share it with you today. I promise, it’s SO much better than the canned stuff.

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

When making pumpkin puree, you typically want to use small pumpkins like sugar pumpkins. Keep in mind, I have used all sizes and they all work (with varying tastes). The only big difference is the sweetness – the bigger pumpkins will need extra sugar when baking with them.

The most “famous” pumpkins for puree are called sugar pumpkins. These are bright orange and small enough to bake in full on your baking dish. I will be using these today for the blog post.

 

The Sugar Pumpkin

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Pick out a nice sugar pumpkin (ask the farmer for help if need be!) and give it a good rinse once you get home.

Preheat oven to 400F/200C.

Slice the pumpkin in half (should be easy enough because of its size) and notice the gorgeous pumpkin seeds in the centre. Scoop these out and save them for a yummy roasted snack later.

Lightly season with sea salt and add to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You want to lay the pumpkin cut side down for best baking. Bake until the flesh is nice and tender (super easy to scoop out!) which should be about 45-60 minutes.

Let cool, scoop out, food process and store! Homemade pumpkin puree is now yours!


 

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Skip the canned stuff and make your pumpkin puree at home!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: how to
Cuisine: American
Keyword: halloweeen, Vegan Thanksgiving
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 20
Calories: 18kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Sugar Pumpkin
  • Sea Salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F/200C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Slice the sugar pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and strings.
  • Season with a light sprinkle of sea salt and lay cut side down on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes, until tender, and allow to cool for 10 minutes before handling.
  • Scoop the pumpkin flesh out and directly into a food processor. Process until nice and smooth.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Will last 1 week in the refrigerator and a few months in the freezer.

Nutrition

Calories: 18kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 231mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 5789IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

In search of a High Speed Blender to make all your DIY recipe dreams come true? Here are our top 3 picks:

Our Current Blender: The Vitamix Explorian Blender
  • It took me 3 years to choose this blender haha. I’m not even joking. I was so afraid of the price. So, instead, I purchased two other blenders in those 3 years that, low and behold, BROKE. The plant based lifestyle will wreak havoc on most blenders so you must choose a high quality one with a WARRANTY. The Explorian is one of the most inexpensive vitamix options but it still works great. I use it multiple times a day, every single day, and all of the recipes are from this beauty! Check out deals around Black Friday – you can usually snag one of these for under 200USD. For my European followers: Get ready to pay MORE than North America. I’m not sure why, but vitamix in Europe is double the price (which is actually more than double because we pay in euros/pounds/etc).

Vitamix Blender
 

Blendtec Classic Fit Blender
  • I have never owned a Blendtec, but I did live with someone who had one and it was pretty amazing. Never understood why it didn’t come with a tamper (?) but it does work beautifully. I am pretty biased with my years of experience with the vitamix over the Blendtec, but the price point is fantastic and there are TONS of videos out there comparing the two.

Blendtec
 

Nutri Ninja
  • I had a Ninja blender for years and years before I found the plant based lifestyle (or it found me). Prior to going plant based, I loved to make smoothies on a daily basis (still do today!). However, my smoothies were much *kinder* to the blender than today. While having owned both, I could just (and never would) compare a Ninja to a Vitamix – the difference is staggering. However, if you are just looking to blend up some oats, make light smoothies, or create epic dressings? Then go ahead and choose this one!

Ninja Bullet
 

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Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Homemade Vegan Apple Cider
Homemade Vegan Apple Cider

The BEST Homemade Vegan Apple Cider!

It’s getting a bit chilly in our old apartment and you know what that means: It’s time to move into the kitchen haha. Yes, we live quite old school over here in Italy. When the cold weather strikes, we run to the kitchen and bake lots of homemade treats and boil endless amounts of apple cider to keep us warm. The heat from the stove works wonders in our little kitchen and all the warm food in our belly puts us right in hibernation mode. Slow living. It makes me sleepy haha.

For years everyone has been talking about apple cider vinegar as a holy grail of healthy living and fitness, some swear on it as a weight loss supplement. Is it actually a hype or is apple cider vinegar really great for your and your family’s health?

It obviously won’t work miracles, but I think it’s amazing for your well-being. Among its many benefits, apple cider vinegar can improve digestion, lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Impressive, right? And making it at home makes it even more nutritious!

P.s. Love simple recipes like this? Head to our Recipe Only Instagram Page Here!

Homemade Vegan Apple Cider
This here is my signature homemade vegan apple cider recipe. I used to make this with honey back in the day but I have now switched to maple syrup, date syrup, or even brown sugar sometimes (or maybe even a mixture of all 3 if I feel like it). I absolutely love this recipe and hope you do too.
The addition of the orange is optional, but I do recommend it. Enjoy

Check out these other amazing DIY treats!!

 

Homemade Vegan Apple Cider

 

What you will need for The BEST Homemade Apple Cider:

Green Apples

Red Apples

Cinnamon

Nutmeg

Maple Syrup

Water

Fun Options:

Yellow Apples

Oranges

Cranberries

Homemade Vegan Apple Cider

Homemade Vegan Apple Cider

This is such a simple and delicious recipe for homemade vegan apple cider. Just a few ingredients and lots of time to simmer.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beginner friendly, Budget Friendly
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 15
Calories: 44kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 Green Apples Cored and chopped
  • 4 Red Apples Cored and Chopped
  • 1 Large Orange Optional but recommended
  • 12 cups Water
  • 2 large Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup Can substitute for brown sugar or even date syrup if you wish.

Instructions

  • Rinse and scrub the apples. Core and chop and toss into a large stock pot with the remaining ingredients.
  • If using the orange: Rinse, scrub and chop. No need to remove the skin.
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer for 2 hours. Stir every so often.
  • After 2 hours, taste test and adjust to your liking. Strain well and serve warm. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 44kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 50mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 13IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg

 

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Homemade Vegan Apple Cider

Homemade Vegan Apple Cider

Homemade Pumpkin Spice
The BEST Homemade Pumpkin Spice

The BEST Homemade Pumpkin Spice!

If it’s Autumn where you live, then you have probably seen about a bajillion recipes calling for the infamous “Pumpkin Spice”.

For many folks, this is as easy as heading to their local shop and stocking up on the spice mixture – but it’s not so easy for the rest of us. We have lived in Italy for 4 years now and there is no pumpkin spice to be found. Luckily, however, I have all the ingredients I need to make one kick-a** homemade pumpkin spice mix of my own!

As well, making your own pumpkin spice gives you the opportunity to give it the exact taste that you like.

Sometimes I find that I want to make it a little bit more spicy, so I add more ginger, which also makes it an immune booster (check the benefits of ginger and the other spices used in this recipe further down in the page!).

I love making my own spices because I can really experiment with flavor and have fun with it!

 

Homemade Pumpkin Spice
All you need to do is snag the 5 signature pumpkin spice ingredients, mix well, and store in a spice jar.
I highly recommend saving old spice jars (quick rinse and dry) to make wonderful DIY recipes like this one. Furthermore, I suggest making your own if you are on any kind of a budget (we always are haha) to save lots of money! Pumpkin spice has a tendency to be a bit pricier than normal spices. 

Homemade Pumpkin Spice

 

What you will need for The BEST Homemade Pumpkin Spice:

Ground Cinnamon

Ground Ginger

Ground Cloves

Ground Nutmeg

Ground Allspice

 

Benefits of…

Cinnamon

  • Cinnamon is a great spice all-around! It’s packed with anti-oxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It helps with blood sugar levels and it’s know to help with hormones regulation. Plus, it tastes amazing!

Ginger

  • Ginger is a spice that originates from Southeast Asia, and it has a very long history of use in various alternative medicine. It has loads of properties, namely it’s great for digestion, it helps with nausea and menstrual cramps. It’s packed full with anti-oxidants and it’s great for the brain.

Nutmeg

  • Nutmeg is found to have many health benefits, including its ability to relieve pain, soothe indigestion, strengthen cognitive function and boost skin health.

 

Homemade Pumpkin Spice

The BEST Homemade Pumpkin Spice

No need to go in search of the infamous pumpkin spice mixture - just make it yourself!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Spice
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Fall Flavour, Homemade Spice
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 40
Calories: 3kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 tsp Ground Allspice

Instructions

  • Add all of the spice to a bowl and mix. Transfer to a spice jar and store! Please store your spices in a dark corner of your kitchen or pantry.

Notes

**Have fun with this one! I love making my own because I can add more cinnamon if needed or even more all spice. I also love to make specialty spice mixtures. Martin is not the biggest cinnamon fan so we love to up the extra spices and downplay the cinnamon for him. 

Nutrition

Calories: 3kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 4mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

Looking to lower your waste while prepping?

Check these out!

For this specific recipe, I highly recommend saving old spice jars to create new mixtures like this one! Simply save the old ones, rinse out, and set aside for later! I like to save my old spice jars in my pantry.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice
 

Compostable & Unbleached Parchment Paper

 

Compostable Parchment Paper
 

The parchment paper by “If You Care” is unbleached, chlorine free, and compostable. I have used this up to the highest oven setting without any issues! Paper, in it’s natural state is beige or light brown. For years people have subjected it to a bleaching process to create the white sheets we all know and love.

Unfortunately, cleaning the paper is having the opposite effect on the environment. The most common bleaching agent – chlorine dioxide (ClO2) – occurs naturally as a component of salt, but once it separates from it’s natural pair it begins to cause problems. The paper bleaching process deposits chlorine in the lakes and streams where mills are most commonly located, and once there it bonds with organic matter in the form of dioxins.

Dioxins are a group of highly toxic chemicals that are thought to pose negative effects on reproductive and immune system development, as well as cause several kinds of cancers. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there is no safe level of dioxin exposure.

 

Vonuva Plant Based Wax Wraps

Plant based wax wraps
 

Reusable. Compostable. Cruelty-Free! Each wrap is made of unbleached certified organic cotton cloth infused with all-natural candelilla wax, pine resin, a pinch of soy wax and organic coconut oil.

 

Plastic-Free Glass Containers

glass Tupperware
Plastic Free. Sustainable. Non-toxic. The bamboo lids are strong, durable and beautiful. They’re plastic free, BPA free, phthalate free, biodegradable and recyclable! They also double as portable cutting boards!

 

Find more healthy vegan recipes like this Homemade Pumpkin Spice when you join The WonderMamas Meal Plan Membership!

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Pin this recipe here!

 

Homemade Pumpkin Spice

Love this Homemade Pumpkin Spice?

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Homemade Pumpkin Spice
5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes
5 Ways To Repurpose Old Clothes

**All of our sustainable & zero waste content has moved over to our brand new website: SustainablyKindLiving. Hope to see you there!!**


5 Ways To Repurpose Old Clothes

Written by the amazing Rhea of @helpingtheenvironment

Hi there! I think we’ve all been in this situation before: having a bunch of old clothes in your closet and not knowing what to do with them. That’s why today I want to show you how to make use of old clothes instead of throwing them away.

Ethical motivation

Now, why is it so important to be resourceful with the clothes we already have? Well, more often than not, western fast fashion companies exploit workers in developing countries, who are willing to work for lower wages and in unsafe factories. These workers lack workplace protection, are oftentimes abused by employers and work extremely long shifts.

Environmental motivation

From an environmental standpoint, fast fashion also spells disaster. According to Oxfam, it would take 13 years to drink the water needed to make one t-shirt and a pair of jeans! A single cotton t-shirt uses up to 2,700 litres of water during production. And just the UK alone sends 11 million items of clothing to landfill every week.

Get your old clothes ready!

This means that only by repurposing our old fast fashion clothes can we make up for the labor and emissions that went into their production! Throwing them away would furthermore add to the waste problem we already have. So, without further ado, here are five ways to repurpose old clothes and give them new life!

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes

 

 

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes: Crop Tops

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes

You need:
  • old shirt, scissors, optionally a sewing kit

Especially in summer, short clothes are a life-saver for hot weather. You can make your own crop tops out of old shirts or blouses!

First, put the shirt on and use a pen to mark a line along which you want to cut.

Make sure you straighten it out before cutting, and use appropriate scissors!

Alternative crop top idea

Another awesome idea is to cut a shirt or blouse into a crop top that you can tie into a knot at the front! Instead of cutting a straight line, you leave two triangles of cloth along the front, which can then be tied.

For some pieces of clothing, I would recommend to hem them afterwards in order to prevent the edges fraying, but it isn’t always necessary.

 

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes: Hair Ties

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes

You need:
  • old socks, scissors

How to:

Cut off a few stripes at the opening of a sock! Socks have the right size for hair ties and you can choose ones with nice colors and patterns.

Considering hair ties often go missing the moment we buy them, they’re pretty expensive.

 

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes: Denim Shorts

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes

You need:
  • old jeans, scissors, optionally a sewing kit

Old jeans that don’t fit that well can easily be made into cute shorts by simply cutting them. Raw denim edges are a trend right now, but if you don’t want your shorts to fray too much, you can do a basic stitch along the edge. Alternatively, you can simply cuff your shorts, which also looks pretty cool.

 

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes: Kitchen Towels

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes

You need:
  • any old clothes, scissors

This one isn’t an outfit idea, but still useful. Any old piece of clothing can be made into a reusable kitchen towel very easily by simply cutting it into equal-sized squares. This way, you’re also reducing your kitchen waste!

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes: Makeup Wipes

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes

You need:
  • old clothes, scissors

Another easy way to repurpose old clothes is to cut them into equal-size round pieces and use them as makeup wipes. It’s especially ecofriendly because
disposable wipes take very long to biodegrade, and this is a quick reusable alternative.

 

About Rhea

@helpingtheenvironment

My name is Rhea and I live in Germany. A few years ago I started taking an interest in the environment and ways to protect it. Since then I’ve changed my lifestyle in a lot of ways, for example by becoming vegetarian and eliminating a lot of plastic from my life. That’s why I started an Instagram account in 2018, sharing ways to help Earth, information about climate change and tips to reduce waste. If you’re interested in sustainability, why don’t you check it out? @helpingtheenvironment.

 

If you liked this blog post, check these other ones out!

Zero Waste Deodorant that Actually Works

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5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes
Eco-friendly and Zero Waste School Supplies
30 Eco Friendly & Zero Waste School Supplies

Eco Friendly & Zero Waste School Supplies

Welcome back to the blog everyone! Today we are super excited to have a guest contributor by the name of Alexandria Winner (from Ecoist) to share her advice on eco-friendly & zero waste school supplies. My school days may be over, but I need all the help I can get with my two children heading off to school in the near future! I love the thought of carefully choosing each and every school supply piece, with not only my children in mind, but with mother earth and the future state of our world in mind.

Be part of the solution, not part of the pollution

Eco Friendly & Zero Waste School Supplies

 

The typical American school uses about 250,000 pieces of paper per year.

This equates to over 35 Billion sheets of paper JUST in the K-12 schools in the United States.

When you add in the school supplies that the children and teens are bringing into their classrooms, these numbers can easily be multiplied by well over 56 million – which is the number of children and teenagers in school this year according to the National Centre for Education Statistics. And this is “just” paper that we are talking about here, folks. Don’t even get me started on the plastic situation. The numbers are staggering and changes need to be made.

If you are looking to fill those school backpacks with responsible, well-made, eco-friendly, and zero waste items, then you have come to the right place!

 

psst….Short on Time?

Here are the quick links for our list of Eco Friendly & Zero Waste School Supplies:

 

Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste School Supplies: Pens & Pencils

eco-friendly & zero waste school supplies

Before ordering a bunch of pens and pencils for school, take a look around your house in your drawers and pen cups to see if you have a bunch of old ones lying around. Who doesn’t, right?! Use those first.

Once those are all used up, then choose one of the many eco-friendly options:

  • OHTO/JPT Pencil/Ball Pen
    • Natural Wood Pencil Ball Pen – 1.0mm
  • OHTO/JPT Stainless Steel & Ceramic Roller Ball Pen
    • Stainless steel pen with a ceramic roller ball, 0.5mm
  • Sprout World Plantable Pencils
    • The plantable Sprout pencils can grow into plants like luscious flowers, fragrant herbs and fresh vegetables once they’re too short to use.
  • Recycled Newspaper Pencils
    • These exquisite pencils are made from old newspapers and not from cut trees. Newspaper is tightly rolled over graphite. The high-quality graphite is strong and does not break when sharpening. A regular sharpener can be used with these pencils. It’s cool to see shavings of newspaper when sharpening!

The Accessories for your Pens & Pencils

 

Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste School Supplies: Crayons & Markers

Eco-Friendly & Zero Waste School Supplies-4

Whether you are shopping for the first days of kindergarten or high school, everyone is going to need some color in their lives!

Here is our list of eco-friendly crayons & markers!

  • Vegan & Toxic Free Butterfly Crayons
    • These beautiful butterflies are the larger of our crayon shapes, but still perfectly sized and textured for little hands. Handmade in the UK from Soy wax, carnauba wax, cocoa butter and coloured with natural occurring earth pigments they are suitable for veggies and vegans too (Crayola and other many other crayons contain beef tallow).
  • Stabilo Woody 3-in-1 Crayons
      • The STABILO woody 3 in 1 is perfect for kids to draw and paint and ideal for parents too – it washes off windows and is suitable for many surfaces besides just paper or cardboard.
  • Eco-Friendly Recycled Permanent Markers
    • The tubes of these earth-friendly permanent markers are made with recycled paper, reducing the use of plastic by 60%. The markers feature polyester fiber tips that are filled with non-toxic, alcohol-based ink and contain NO Xylene, Toluene, or other VOCs.
  • Eco Text Marker Highlighter
    • The stock consists mainly of the renewable raw material sugarcane. The bright color is water-based, solvent-free and odorless.
  • Eco White Board Markers
    • Ethanol-based ink, free from aromatic or chlorinated solvents. Marker body made from Recycled Paper & wax instead of aluminium or plastic.

 

Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste School Supplies: All the Paper

eco-friendly & zero waste school supplies

Even with the digital world that we live in, paper use in schools is still quite high, especially for the little ones. Choosing 100% recycled paper is a wonderful way to help support Mother Nature while also teaching valuable lessons to our children. Each time they see the recycled paper stamp, you will have left a little stamp of inspiration for their future choices.

Here is our list of eco-friendly paper products!

  • A5 Handcrafted Stapled Recycled Notebooks
    • The covers are made from reclaimed and recycled materials that would otherwise be sent to landfill. Since each book is personalised, you can pick what type of material your cover can be made from cardboard to PVC.
  • PrintWorks 100% Recycled Copy Paper
    • 100 percent post-consumer recycled printer and copier paper for everyday use at an affordable price
    • Made in the USA from recycled food and beverage containers and other paper-based printed materials
  • Natural & Recycled Drawing Paper
    • Natural Recycled 9″ x 12″ Drawing Paper – 500 Sheets. Crayons, pencils, markers and paints show up brilliantly on this natural unbleached paper.
  • 2-pocket Notebooks by Naked Binder
    • These Folders are sustainable eco-friendly folders made from 100% recycled, 100% post-consumer waste 22-pt. chipboard.
  • 3-Ring Binder by Naked Binder
    • EXTREMELY DURABLE. Made with one solid piece of heavy-duty binders board. The hinge has been tested (opened and closed) 250,000 times and it did not fall apart!
  • Handcrafted A5 Weekly Planner
    • cream 100 % recycled paper (Clairfontaine)
    • 80 gsm plain recycled boards with printed monstera leaves
  • Naked Binder 3-Ring Tab Dividers
    • 100% post-consumer fiber, and FSC certified Neenah Conservation Paper. 100% recyclable.
  • Yamama Memo Pads
    • Four Side Colored Memo Pad.  180 sheets
  • Yamama Metallic Sticky Notes
    • Metallic Sticky Notes. 33 sheets

 

Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste School Supplies: Accessories

eco-friendly & zero waste school supplies

All those little accessories add up, don’t they? I gotta tell ya, I have no idea where all those paper clips, staplers, staples, scissors, etc ended up. Well….I think I do…they all ended up in the trash. So, let’s try our best to fix that!

Here is our list of eco-friendly accessories

  • Yamama Bamboo Paper Clips
    • These innovative bamboo paper clips project positive impressions for all of your presentations. And they are beyond eco-friendly, they’re 100% work-friendly!
  • Onyx & Green Scissors
    • These 5″/127 mm scissors have stainless steel blades and a rounded tip. The handles are made from corn plastic.
  • Staple Free Stapler
    • Easy to shred and recycle papers without the worry of staples getting jammed. Without staples just drop in the shredder or recycle bin. It’s environmentally safe.
  • Midori Storage Boxes
    • 11″x7″x5″ ht.  100% Recycled Paper Storage Container
  • Cork Desk Organizer
    • This desk organizer is a simple zero waste product.  It is made of cork and designed to hold cell phones, pens and note pads.
  • Vegan Recycled Felt MacBook Sleeve
    • The colorful felt is made of multi-color fabric. The waste textiles have been cut into tiny pieces and then transformed into a new fabric – colorful felt from recycled textiles.
    • The felt made of vegan fabric is non toxic, health and environmentally friendly (European Union REACH Certificate of Compliance).
  • Cell Phone Covers by Pela Case
    • COMPOSTABLE PHONE CASE: Pela cases are made of a combination of flax straw ‘waste’, plant-based biopolymers and contain organic ingredients that meet rigorous standards for compostability in municipal and industrial composting facilities.

 

Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste School Supplies: Backpacks

eco-friendly & zero waste school supplies

What better way to finish off the school supplies guide than with the amazing bags to hold all your goodies?! Here are a few of our favorite environmentally friendly backpack options. Just remember, there is nothing more sustainable than what you already own. If you already have a backpack, please use it!

Here is our list of eco-friendly backpacks

  • TerraThread Backpacks $
    • The Earth Backpacks are made using heavy-duty 14 oz organic cotton canvas. These fairtrade backpacks are spacious and feature one large exterior pocket, one small interior pocket, and a laptop compartment. The organic backpacks can be used for school, outdoor activities, traveling, and more!
      Each purchase of this backpack contributes 20 MEALS to children, families, and seniors in need in the United States through Feeding America.

      • Made with 100% Organic and Fairtrade Cotton
      • Processed and Manufactured per Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS)
      • Color dyed using low impact GOTS Certified Dyes
      • Manufactured at a Fair Trade Certified Factory
      • Hang Tags are made using recycled kraft paper
  • United By Blue Backpacks $$
    • 100% recycled polyester with water repellent finish
    • Padded laptop sleeve accommodates up to 17″ laptop
    • Interior zippered pocket and open pockets
    • Exterior flap pocket with magnetic closure, zipper pockets and side pocket
    • Adjustable, padded shoulder straps, haul strap and cross sternum strap
    • Water bottle sleeve fits bottles with a diameter up to 3.75″
    • Equipped with a Lifetime Guarantee
  • Kathmandu Backpacks $$$ (Children to Adult Options)
    • When it’s time for your kid’s first pack or to upgrade their current one, the Cotinga Kids’ Pack will be a welcome surprise. With an ergonomic harness and sizing to specifically fit kids, your growing child won’t want to remove it. There’s also a spacious front area for lunches – because books and bananas don’t mix. Made with 15 recycled plastic bottles.
    • Outer fabric contains REPREVE™ – polyester created from recycled plastic bottles
    • kidsFIT technology – an ergonomic harness with adjustable shoulder straps
    • Elasticated sleeve in the main compartment – for your kid’s books or portable device
    • Grab handle and reflective detail for safety

 

Use what you already have!

After all of our research and digging, I was so shocked by just how many companies are in support of sustainable school supplies. This is such great news!

Like we always say here at WonderMamas, please use what you already have first. Even if you have a drawer full of plastic supplies, I beg you to use those first before buying anything new. If you are on a tight budget and cannot afford the pieces listed above, please check out your local second hand stores, second hand online shops, or even second hand swaps. Join facebook groups in your area for second hand school supplies, yes they exist!

In the end, being a conscious consumer is so much more than buying the latest and greatest eco products. The first step is to evaluate what you got, extend its life, and then replace when necessary. I am so honoured that you have chosen us to help you on this journey. Have a beautiful school year!

 

If you liked this blog post, check these other ones out!

Zero Waste Deodorant that Actually Works

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7 Ways Parents Can Save the Earth From Home

What A Zero Waste Home Actually Looks Like

 

Eco-friendly and Zero Waste School Supplies
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
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!

 

Pit Liquor Non-Toxic Deodorant
Pit Liquor Non-Toxic Deodorant Made from Whiskey!

Pit Liquor Non-Toxic Deodorant Made from…Whiskey and Vodka??

Welcome back to the blog! Today we are super excited to feature my new favorite non-toxic deodorant company, Pit Liquor by Distilled Bath and Body. I was sent a full set of these amazing alcohol-based deodorant’s and I cannot get over how amazing they work to kill odor, keep me fresh, and do so without any harmful chemicals whatsoever.

If you follow our family on Instagram, you will know that I have been looking for my forever deodorant for quite some time. I tried homemade deodorant, I tried coconut oil-based deodorant, I tried the most expensive all-natural brands of deodorant, I tried the deodorant balms, the deodorant sprays, and even the lime juice trick. None of them…not a single one…worked as well as the non-toxic deodorant by pit liquor. As a veteran sailor, I should have known that whiskey and vodka were going to be a part of my forever pit routine haha.

Pit Liquor Non-Toxic Deodorant

*Discount Code for 15% off: WonderMamas15

Before we jump into the who, what, where, when, and how of the Pit Liquor Non-Toxic Deodorant company, let’s get one thing clear. This one thing is….this company kicks butt. Don’t believe me? Check out their risk-free guarantee that comes with purchasing from them:

Our risk-free guarantee on your first bottle puts your mind at ease. Don’t love Pit Liquor? Email us and we’ll work out a return with you. We refuse to be like those other natural deodorant companies that tell you it’s your fault you haven’t detoxed enough or some other load of BO. We’ll want to know how we can improve in the future because we believe all feedback is good feedback. Learn more about our guarantee here.

Haha. Welp, if that didn’t make you giggle a bit then I am not so sure we can be friends anymore. Just kidding. You may just need a good rub of whiskey or rum on your pits to lighten up :).

 

Meet the Makers of Pit Liquor

Jason and Erica

Saddle up your unicorn and join us for a magical armpit journey!

Pit Liquor Creators Erica and Jason

Erica and Jason are the founders of Pit Liquor and the entire Distilled Bath and Body company (pretty amazing in and of itself!). They are loving parents to a little gal named Eve and some very cool cats named Tolkien and Hobbes (pretty sure we just became best friends by the cat names alone). I could go on and on about how cool these two are but let’s jump into the Pit Liquor goodness; How the he-haw-sally did they get into the armpit business??

As like most of us, Erica and Jason were sick and tired of nasty chemicals sneaking their way into their home. They decided to fix the issue themselves and create a truly non-toxic deodorant that not only works but works well.

Here is the very cool Pit Liquor Invention story straight from them:

The story of Pit Liquor began at a most unusual time: During my pregnancy with Eve. Jason was concerned about the carcinogens in our deodorants and we’d been trying various natural alternatives, but none of them worked. One day, he begged me to stop using toxic deodorant for the baby. So I slapped hand sanitizer on my armpits and headed out the door issuing Jason a challenge to find something that actually worked. When I got home, I didn’t stink. Always the inventor, Jason thought plain old hand sanitizer was a boring (and not entirely non-toxic) solution to the underarm stench, but the hand sanitizer illuminated a new idea: high-proof, drinkable alcohol is less toxic than anything unregulated and potentially made from inedible ingredients. So, obviously, we turned to whiskey to solve our quandary. 

 

Pit Liquor All-Natural and Non-Toxic Ingredients

The majority of you are here for this huge chunk of information, so let’s just go ahead and start with this:

What is in the Pit Liquor Deodorant??
  • Organic Vodka and Whiskey: Overproof liquor which is amazing at killing unwanted microbes.
  • Organic Arrowroot: You will notice this at the bottom of your bottle – so be sure to shake before use. The arrowroot helps to keep the armpits a bit more dry and, above all, it’s anti-microbial! Bacteria is scared of this stuff.
  • Himalayan Salt: Don’t even think about drinking this stuff because it will taste like salt – yuck! The salt is meant to keep the bottle for armpit use only and also aids in dryness.
  • Organic Tea Extracts: Purchased from Happy Lucky’s Tea House and The Golden Poppy Herbal Apothecary in Fort Collins, CO. For the list of tea extracts, click here!
  • Organic Scent Components: Amazing vanilla beans, lavender flowers, and black peppercorns and cloves are used to give the deodorant a fragrance.
  • Essential Oils
  • Organic Extracts of lavender and vanilla from local spice shops in the area.

Plus, you can feel so good knowing that all of the Pit Liquor selection of deodorants are vegan, cruelty-free, toxin-free, gluten-free, aluminum-free, paraben-free, mining-free, baking-soda-free, pesticide-free, triglyceride-free, and above all, stink-free (which is just spectacular). The products are also fair trade!

 

Sustainable Production of Pit Liquor Deodorant

The folks behind Pit Liquor put a lot of conscious effort into their sustainable practices. When I received my own package of Pit Liquor, I was extremely satisfied with the packaging (all recyclable), the bottles (beautiful glass bottles), and of course the nature of the deodorant itself.

While the bottles can be easily recycled, Pit Liquor would actually like you to return the bottles to them so that they can give you a sweet discount for your next purchase and so that the bottles can have a second life!

Here’s how to Recycle the Used Bottles:
  1. Wait until you have 5 empty bottles.
  2. Give them a quick rinse.
  3. Send them back to Distilled Bath and Body (you will pay the shipping) and get a sweet discount code for your next purchase! Don’t forget to subscribe to the awards program as well!
The Refill Program

Not a fan of shipping back and forth? Looking to reduce your carbon footprint even more? That’s who this program is for! The refill program allows you to buy in bulk and refill at home for up to a year! Genius.

 

Pit Liquor Coconut Lime with Rum

I decided to pick three deodorants to talk more about in detail, starting with this epic “Summer in a Bottle” coconut rum one. I swear….as soon as I smelled this bottle it was like I was transported back to my summer holidays, pre-kids of course haha. The smell is so amazing.

One extra perk of the pit liquor deodorant ingredient list is that they will not cause any rashes that can sometimes occur with natural deodorants. This is absolutely a rash free deodorant, and my armpits are extremely happy!

Available in:

  • 3.4 oz, lasts 4-6 months
  • 50 ml, lasts 2-3 months
  • 30 ml, lasts 3-4 weeks
  • reFILL, lasts at least a year

pit liquor rash free deodorant

*Discount Code for 15% off: WonderMamas15

 

Pit Liquor Whiskey Lavender

 

The Pit Liquor Whiskey Lavender has become my daily go-to bottle. I love applying this in the morning before my yoga session and then getting a whiff when I am in a sweaty downward dog haha – Gosh, I have never spoken so freely about my armpits before and I am loving this blog post lol.

When applied, the whiskey and lavender mesh together so beautifully. Once applied, the alcohol kills the bacteria and I am left with this dry powdery lavender smell. It’s magnificent. I highly recommend trying this one first if you want to take the plunge.

Pit Liquor Rash Free Deodorant

*Discount Code for 15% off: WonderMamas15

Pit Liquor Whiskey Triple Shot Set

 

While I love the roll-on, Martin is obsessed with these spray bottles. I am honestly thinking that each one of these can last for like…4 months or more? The website says that you only need to apply every 24-48 hours and Martin is applying around 36-48 hours. He smells amazing! I love him in the whiskey black pepper…super sexy smell on his skin.

Each one of these bottles in 100ml! Snag 3 of them for a bit of a discount.

FYI: The website states that each bottle should last 3-4 months. Woohoo!

*Discount Code for 15% off: WonderMamas15

 

I think I am going to finish this post off with a quote from my beloved, Martin. Eh hem…

“Baby, this (pronounced “dis” in his German accent) is the BEST deodorant. I did not smell you once in the car today after yoga – it is a miracle!”

Hahahaha. Oh, my life. 

 

Big Thanks to Pit Liquor!

The folks behind Pit Liquor were kind enough to gift our family a HUGE box of all the goodies from the deodorant selection. We will be set for well over a year and I can promise you all, we will 100% be purchasing another huge box after these are finished (in the recycle program, of course). I am hooked. I have finally found my and Martin’s forever pit spray! If you have any questions, comments, concerns, please just leave them in the comment section or message me directly. As always, thanks for stopping by!

 

If you dig this post, check out a few of our others:

Pit Liquor Non-Toxic Deodorant