The Go Green Initiative Starts In Your Home

The Go Green Initiative Starts In Your homeIn 2002 the “Go Green Initiative” was started in Pleasanton, California by Jill Buck. The program is all about environmental education and a stewardship program that is located in all 50 US states and in 13 other countries.

The goals of the initiative are to teach and help others learn to conserve and protect natural resources for future generations, and to protect human health through environmental stewardship. Their focus is on…

  1. Recycling and Waste
  2. Water
  3. Energy

What does it mean to “Go G.R.E.E.N.?”

Generate less waste

Recycle everything that cannot be reused

Educate the community on eco-friendly options

Evaluate the environmental impact of actions

Nourish discussions and activities that integrate environmental education into existing curriculum

children running at schoolThough the “Go Green Initiative” is all about helping schools create a campus-wide culture of conservation by teaching kids how to be environmental stewards, we all can contribute to the initiative, though we may not be in school.

Do you have school aged children, or grandchildren in your home? Why not set an example for them by getting involved with the Go Green Initiative, starting in your home. How? By using household cleaners that are earth friendly.

One of the goals of “The Go Green Foundation” is to educate young people about climate change, global warming the earth in a woman's hand with green grass and blue sky in the back groundcrisis and sustainable living practices (Go Green Foundation).

Let’s focus on the later, sustainable living practices.

Going green and using the power of all natural green products to clean your home, can help keep you and your family healthy, as well as keep the environment healthy. This is a great place to start, that is to initiate, and practice sustainable living at home.

Here are some great examples of all natural green products to clean house, that you can prepare at home in your very own kitchen.

Cleaning Wood Floors

1/2 cup white vinegar

3 drops orange oil

3 drops lemon oil

3 drops grapefruit oil

cleaning wood floors with earth friendly products2 drops tea tree oil

1 quart water

Put into a hand sprayer and apply to wood floor, and clean with a damp mop.

General Purpose Bathroom Cleaner

 General Purpose Bathroom Cleaner 1/2 cup baking soda

1/4 cup vinegar

3 drops tea tree oil

2 drops eucalyptus oil

1 drop thyme oil

 5 drops orange oil

5 drops lemon oil

Carpet Cleaner

8 ounces baking soda

5 drops grapefruit oil

 Mix ingredients in a jar, covered with a lid. Shake out on to carpet and vacuum up. It is also recommended for use in a steam cleaner when cleaning carpets.

Carpet Cleaner

cleaning the carpot with all natural earth friendly cleaners 8 ounces baking soda

5 drops grapefruit oil

Mix ingredients in a jar, covered with a lid. Shake out on to carpet and vacuum up. It is also recommended for use in a steam cleaner when cleaning carpets.

Bathroom Mold and Mildew Cleaner

 Bathroom Mold and Mildew Cleaner4 ounces water

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

3 drops lemon oil

1 drop clove oil

5 drops tea tree oil

Mix ingredients in a spray bottle, and spray onto tile and other surfaces that have mold or mildew, and let sit for 20 minutes before rinsing off.

Dish Washing Soap

 1/2 cup castile soap

1/2 cup vinegar

1 quart water

6 drops lemon oil

natural earth friendly dish soap2 drops geranium oil

3 drops tea tree oil

Mix in a soap dispenser, and add to dish water, and mix in.

Castile soap originating in the Castile region of Spain, is not the same as caster oil soap. Castile soap is made from 100% olive oil, were as caster oil soap, is made from the caster seed, and therefore is considered a vegetable based soap.

The More You Know

Old Farmers 2016 AlmanacYou will find Wikipedia and other sources referring to castile soap as a vegetable based soap made from 100% olive oil, when in fact olives are not a vegetable, but a fruit.

The natural all green recipes were adapted from the Herbal Remedies Magazine – published by Harris Farmers almanac.

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National Gluten Free Baking Week

National Gluten Free Baking Week According to National Day Calendar, December 13th thru the 19th, it’s “Gluten Free (GF) Baking Week.

Gluten is a complex protein found in wheat, rye and barley and for some people that spells trouble.

Why Gluten Free Baking?

Gluten Free Blueberry Lemon Bread

Gluten Free Blueberry Lemon Bread – Click Image For Recipe

GF baking is one that excludes any type of flour that has gluten, which is a particular protein composite found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale.

Without becoming too technical or medical, wheat, rye and barley wreaks havoc on some, if not many individuals their digestive tract.

Gluten free baking doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite traditional desserts. It just means modifying your desserts by using gluten free flour choices.

Gluten Free Flour Options For Baking

Creative minds have discovered ways to bake with GF flours, and such flours can be found at your local market. Let’s examine in short what some of your choices are.

Bean Flours

Including garbanzo bean flour and romano bean flour, these flours are typically high in protein and have a distinct flavor. They are better suited for heartier recipes, such as breads.

Brown Rice Flour

This is a supplementary flour, and works great when blended with teff, buckwheat or sorghum flours. It is great for baking those sweet desserts.

Millet Flour

This is a light in color and a drier flour than most other gluten free flours. It is best when mixed with heartier flours, like Teff, Hemp, or almond flours.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake with a Cream Cheese Frosting

Gluten Free Carrot Cake with a Cream Cheese Frosting – Click Image For Recipe

 

Buckwheat Flour

Yes, it has wheat in the title, but this flour is related not to wheat but to the rhubarb plant. It has a distinct taste, which makes it best when combined with other, more bland flours.

This flour alternative for use in muffins, cakes and pancakes. In order to work well with the dough, adding a starch would help, like arrowroot, tapioca, or a nongmo cornstarch.

Sorghum Flour 

Made from sorghum, which is a relative of sugarcane. It’s tender and adds a mild sweetness, but is rarely used alone.

Coconut Flour

This flour lends a pleasant flavor to baked goods. Since coconut flour absorbs moisture more than other flours, it is suggested for recipes that have at least as much liquid as flour required in a recipe. Because this can be a tricky art, it’s suggested that as a beginner, you use recipes specifically designed for coconut flour.

Almond Flour

This is a great choice for baking. Using almond flour to a dessert recipe will add moistness, binding, a light almond flavor, and a good amount of density to cupcakes, muffins, brownies, cookies, breads, and cake recipes.

Keep in mind that any nut flour cannot be substituted in equal quantities for flour, because nut flours are more dense and very high in protein. They can be used to replace a portion of other GF flours, such as Oat Flour, being used in the recipe.

Buying Commercial Gluten Free Flour Choices

Gluten Free Zucchini Cranberry Bread

Gluten Free Zucchini Cranberry Bread – Click Image For Recipe

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free is a fine blend using as its base garbanzo beans, potato starch, and tapioca, to name a few of the ingredients. See Bob speaking here about his flour choices, along with nutritional information, reviews, and GF recipes.

King Arthur Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour

King Arthur Flour is a blend of white rice and whole grain brown rice flours, along with tapioca and potato starch. What’s great about this product is that ‘it’s multi-purpose’ and can therefore be used for both baking and cooking, cup-for-cup, the same as any gluten flour product.

Tips For Beginners Of Gluten-Free Baking

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake – Click Image For Recipe

Experiment, experiment and experiment. There is a learning curve when you first start with Gluten free baking, but once you get some practice and experience you will become an expert about what works and what dosen’t.

Stay with it and don’t get discouraged. There will be failed recipes because you have to learn which flour combinations work best, but it just takes practice and testing. It’s best to get guidance from recipe books or online guides when first trying your hand at gluten free baking.

Begin with simple baking recipes and learn the basics.

Try some of our gluten free dessert recipes by clicking on the images above that are accompanying this article, or by clicking the links below.

Gluten Free Tropical Carrot Cake

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Pancakes with Orange Maple Mascarpone Sauce

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Toasted Coconut Banana Pudding

Toasted Coconut Banana Pudding - Top View

Our pudding is referred to as “Toasted Coconut,” because it has that appearance of being toasted as we used coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is like brown sugar in appearance, but doesn’t have the same effect on blood glucose in the blood stream. In other words, it does not spike your sugar levels.

The Glycemic Index of coconut sugar is 35 as reported by the Philippine Coconut Authority, the largest supplier of coconut sugar along with Indonesia. 35 is classified as a low glycemic food.

Coconut sugar has many natural occurring nutrients, including magnessium, potassium, zinc, iron, B vitamins, and amino acids. Because it is unprocessed, the nutrient content is intact, unlike refined white table sugar.

Coconut sugar is actually more sustainable than sugar cane. The coconut palm tree produces up to 75% more sugar per acre than cane sugar, while only using 20% of the resources.

Now for the featured recipe: Toasted Coconut Banana Pudding, and here is what you will need.

1/2 cup organic coconut sugar

1/3 cup organic arrowroot starch

1/2 teaspoon organic Himalayan salt

3 cups silk Coconut milk (or your preferred organic brand)

3 tablespoons organic coconut butter

1 teaspon organic vanilla extract

About 30 to 40 organic vanilla wafers

3 ripe organic bananas

Toasted organic coconut for garnish (optional)

Organic heavy cream, whipped for topping (optional)

mixing ingredients in sauce pan to make Toased Coconut Banana Pudding

Whisk together coconut sugar, starch and salt in a medium saucepan.

Slowly whisk in coconut milk, oil, and vanilla. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.

Lower heat and simmer whisking occasionally until mixture thickens, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

layering sliced bananas and vanilla cookiesTo assemble spread a layer of vanilla wafers in a 9 X 9 inch square baking dish, or a 9-inch round baking dish (your choice) top with half of the banana slices and half of the pudding.

Continue with another layer of vanilla wafers followed by remaining bananas and ending with remaining pudding, spreading to cover all banana slices.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 to 5 hours or overnight.

Toasted Coconut Banana Pudding - Side ViewTo serve, line a dessert glass or small dessert bowl with some vanilla cookies, and top with fresh organic whipped cream and toasted coconut.

This is a gluten free and all organic dessert. Enjoy!!

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Gluten Free Carrot Cake with a Cream Cheese Frosting

Gluten Free Carrot Cake with a Cream Cheese Frosting

Just because you can’t have gluten, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your favorite desserts! For health reasons I have chosen to eat as much gluten free breads and desserts as I can. If gluten does bother you, then it is causing inflammation to your digestive system.

The carrot cake we are featuring was made with an all-purpose baking flour that consists of garbanzo bean flour, whole grain sweet white sorghum flour and fava bean flour. To replace the gluten, potato starch and tapioca starch was used. We also used oat flour, and coconut flour.

Here is what you will need to make Gluten Free Carrot Cake with a Cream Cheese Frosting.

3/4 cup all-purpose gluten free flour

3/4 oat flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1 1/2 teaspoon 5 star chai spices

1/2 cup dried shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 to 1 cup mixed dried fruits (Trader Joe’s has a package of mixed fruits that have blueberries, cranberries, cherries, and golden raisins)

4 medium eggs

1 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

2 cups shredded organic carrots

3/4 cup pecan pieces, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

 

melting coconut oil

First melt the coconut oil. Coconut oil is solid below 76 degrees. To use it in baking it is necessary first to melt it. What we have done to melt the oil, is first place a small sauce pan over medium heat, and heat the pan for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the 1/4 cup of solid coconut oil, and begin swirling the pan until the coconut butter, has melted to oil. Put aside.

mixing gluten free dry ingredients with dried fruit

In a large mixing bowl, add the first 8 ingredients from the list above, and mix till well incorporated. Then add the dry fruit and mix in, add nuts if using, mix in and set aside.

Next shred the two cups of carrots and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together eggs, coconut sugar, applesauce, and coconut oil. Once well incorporated, add shredded carrots, mix in, and set aside.

Prepare two 9-inch glass pie plates with parchment paper on the bottom, and coconut butter smeared around the sides. Set the pie plates aside.

Now returning to the wet ingredients, add it slowly to the dry ingredients and stir. Divide the gluten free cake mixture between the prepared pie plates. Place into heated oven and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a inserted knife comes out clean. Let cool for 30 minutes before adding frosting.

Here is what you will need for the Cream Cheese Frosting.

8 ounces cream cheese, soften

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon real vanilla

1 cup organic icing sugar (powdered organic cane sugar)

In a mixer, add soft cream cheese, yogurt, and vanilla and cream together. Next add icing sugar and mix in.

preparing to add frosting to cakePlace on of the cakes on a large serving platter, and cut around the outside of the cake to cut off any uneven edges. Top with frosting and pecan pieces. Next place other cake over the frosted one, and continue frosting.

close up of Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese FrostingPlace around the outer edge of the frosted Gluten Free Carrot Cake pecan pieces. Using a yellow and purple organic carrot, shred some pieces and place in the center of the frosted cake.

Serve and enjoy.

slice of Gluten free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Strawberry Yogurt Cake

Strawberry Yogart Cake with Lemon Frosting

We found an article on the Health News Library website about yogurt and its 7 benefits for better health, which are:

  1. Better Immunity
  2. Calcium Absorption
  3. Fewer Yeast Infections
  4. Digestive Regularity
  5. Food Allergies
  6. Asthma Prevention
  7. Reducing Inflammation

To read the article in its entirety, link here to the Health News Library “7 Health Benefits of Yogurt”.

For the featured recipe, here is what you will need:

ingredients Strawberry Yogart Cake

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
½ tsp. baking soda
12 oz. strawberries½ tsp. salt
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 Tb. lemon juice, divided
8 oz. plain, Greek yogurt
12 oz. fresh strawberries, diced
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees ; grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan (10-15 cup pan).

order of mixing Strawberry Yogart Cake

  1. Sift together the 2 ¼ cups of flour, baking soda and salt.
  2. Mix in the lemon zest and set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 1 tbsp. lemon juice.
  5. Alternate beating in the yogurt and flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated.

strawberries mix with flourToss the strawberries with the remaining ¼ cup of flour. Gently mix them into the batter. Pour the batter into the Bundt pan. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Allow to cool 20 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Place cake onto a large dessert platter once cooled. Whisk together the remaining 2 tbsp. of lemon juice and the powdered sugar. Drizzle over the top of the cake. Plate and serve.

Strawberry Yogart Cake with Lemon Frosting

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Carrot Coconut Bread

Carrot Coconut Bread

1¼ cups flour

¾ cup sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

1 cup sweet shredded coconut

2 large eggs, beaten

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup shredded carrot

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

 

In a large bowl, sift together first 7 ingredients. Then mix in shredded coconut.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs then add oil and mix well; add the yogurt, vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Stir the shredded carrots into the egg mixture, and then fold into the dry mixture until just combined.

Pour into four 4 to 5 inch spring form pans lined with parchment paper. Bake for 35 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes and then remove bread and cool on a rack.

Frosting for bread as follows: Whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar, 8 oz. soft cream cheese and 1 tsp. vanilla. Spread over cooled bread. Reserve some cream cheese to decorate carrots on top. Use orange and green food coloring and a pastry bag. Orange is for the carrot and green for the leaf.

 

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Orange Almond Cake

Orange Almond Cake

Different uses for the citric peel like oranges or lemons are:

Oranges are candied.

Citrus fruit zest is added to flavor confectionery icing.

Lemon zest is used in cheese cakes.

Here is what you will need to prepare the Orange Almond Cake:

ingredients for Almond Orange Cake

For the cake
1 ½ cups dry roast almond pieces, processed to flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
½ cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt

Candied Oranges and Syrup
1 ½ cup Sugar
¾ cup water
2 or 3 medium oranges, thinly sliced

We will start with candying the oranges first. Cut the ends off both sides of the orange and cut into thin slices.

Heat the sugar and water in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Add oranges and cook over low heat for 15 minutes until candied.  Set aside.

Candied oranges for the Orange Almond Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare a 8 inch cake pan or spring-form pan spreading butter on sides of pan and lining the bottom with parchment paper.

From a room temperature stick of butter, cut off one tablespoon. Stick it to the side of the spring-form pan; using  a spatula spread it out over the sides of the spring-form pan.

preparing spring-form pan with parchment paper and buttering the sides

Next roast the almonds. To toast whole almonds, spread on a light colored baking sheet and bake at 350°F, mix nuts around once, roast  7 to 9 minutes or until they start to smell fragrant. When you smell the fragrance of the almonds and continue to roast them, they will have a burnt flavor.  

roasting almonds to make almond flour

The 7 to 9 minutes depends on the calibration of your oven. Hint: gas ovens will roast faster than an electric oven. Roasting the nuts makes a finer flour. As the image shows here not roasting the almonds makes a gummier flour and will not work will to prepare the cake.

differenc of almond grind fromroasting and not roasting

After you have processed the nuts prepare to assemble the ingredients.

Orange Almond Cake step by step

Beat the 4 egg yolks, ½ cup honey, vanilla, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add the ground almond flour and beat on low until combined.

Beat 4 egg whites in another large bowl with the electric mixer on medium speed until very foamy, white and doubled in volume, but not stiff enough to hold peaks, 1 to 2 minutes. It is important that there is no hint of yolk in the whites or they will now whip up. The bowl cannot have any water in it or oil as well as the attachments to the electric mixer. The whites will not whip up.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the nut mixture until just combined.

With the candied oranges fill the bottom and line the sides of prepared cake pan.

lining spring form pan with candied oranges

Next scrape the batter over the oranges evenly, taking care to not move the oranges slices.

Bake 38-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cake should have the appearance of golden brown.

Remove cake from spring form pan onto a large dessert platter by inverting it. Then pour syrup over the cake while it is still hot. Set cake aside to cool completely before plating and serving.

Orange Almond Cake

Orange Almond Cake

For the cake

1 ½ cups dry roast almond pieces, processed to flour

4 large eggs, at room temperature, separated

½ cup honey

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

Candied orange and syrup

1 ½ cup Sugar

¾ cup water

2 or 3 medium oranges, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 350 ° F

Heat the sugar and water in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Add oranges and cook over low heat for 15 minutes until candied.  Set aside.

Prepare cake pan spreading butter on sides of pan and lining the bottom with parchment paper.

Process dry roasted almonds pieces in a food processor or blender until finely ground.

Beat 4 egg yolks, ½ cup honey, vanilla, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add the ground almond flour and beat on low until combined.

Beat 4 egg whites in another large bowl with the electric mixer on medium speed until very foamy, white and doubled in volume, but not stiff enough to hold peaks, 1 to 2 minutes. It is important that there is no hint of yolk in the whites or they will now whip up. The bowl cannot have any water in it or oil as well as the attachments to the electric mixer. The whites will not whip up.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the nut mixture until just combined.

With the candied oranges fill the bottom and line the sides of prepared cake pan. Next scrape the batter over the oranges evenly; taking care to not move the oranges slices.

Bake 38-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cake should have the appearance of golden brown.

Remove and unmold cake onto a large dessert platter by inverting it. Then pour syrup over the cake while it is still hot. Set cake aside to cool completely before plating and serving.

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