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Category Archives: Halloween

A Salty Halloween Snack

Halloween is fast approaching and I am getting my house ready for trick-or-treaters. My simple Sea Salt Seeds are the perfect treat to enjoy while carving Jack-o-lanterns. Make them yourself using the seeds from carving pumpkins.

 Carved Pumpkins

Sea Salt Seeds

1. Cut the top off your pumpkin and scoop out the insides. Clean all the pumpkin goop off the seeds and rinse them well in warm water.

2. Bring about 4 cups of water to a boil, add a pinch of salt, and place seeds in boiling water for 10 minutes. This will help soften the seeds and make them easier to digest. Also, the steam inside the seeds will cook them more thoroughly.

3. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. After boiling the seeds in water, place them in a colander, then gently pat dry with a paper towel (they don’t have to be completely dry, but shouldn’t contain too much excess water).

4. Place the seeds on a baking dish with olive oil and sea salt to taste. (Use 1 tbsp per cup of pumpkin seeds).

5. Cook for approximately 10 minutes. Stir seeds on baking dish and cook for another 8 minutes.

6. Take out of the oven and enjoy!

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For some great variations, during step 4, replace the olive oil and salt with: 1. Cinnamon, sugar and butter

2. Fresh garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper

3. Ginger, clove, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg (for pumpkin-pie-spiced pumpkin seeds, mix with a little bit of butter)

4. Seasoning salt and olive oil

Pumpkin Fun!

With Halloween right around the corner, I’ve got pumpkins on the brain. We all know the tradition of carving pumpkins with scary faces, but what do you do with the goop on the inside?  And what do you do with the pumpkin after Halloween is done?

Here are some ideas for pumpkin fun:

1. Pick your pumpkins at a local organic farm to minimize transportation while helping support your local farmers. Picking a farm that is pesticide-free ensures that the pumpkin you pick won’t introduce armful chemicals to your family.

2. Be sure to save your pumpkin’s innards while you carve it. The innards and the seeds can be used to make many things, from pumpkin bread to pumpkin soup and even a healthy alternative to potato chips.  For recipes ideas, click HERE.

 Even if you are not that much of a cook, pumpkin seeds roasted in the oven and sprinkled with sea salt make a great fall snack as well as a healthy option for kids.

3. Carving your pumpkin allows for your creative side to come out! Allow your creative side to come out when carving pumpkins this year!  Print out a scene and trace it onto your pumpkin before cutting.  Whether you go traditional or modern, carving pumpkins helps you get into the spirit of the season, and makes great décor for your front porch. Here are a few of our favorites.

4. When it’s time to retire your carved pumpkin, don’t throw it in the garbage. Cut up your gourd and turn it into compost or feed it directly into your garden. If you’re without a yard, many cities offer programs that help you collect these materials, such as New York City Greenmarket . Or see if your local community garden can add it to their compost bin.

Have a Happy Halloween!

It’s Scary How Good This Recipe Is!

With Halloween right around the corner, many people are thinking of carving pumpkins for the their porches.  However I’m thinking about the delicious recipes that incorporate pumpkin, from soups to sauces.  The recipe that jumps into my mind is my favorite dessert, pumpkin cheesecake.  Here is the recipe for the best organic pumpkin cheesecake you will ever have the privilege to enjoy! 

Organic Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

Makes: 12-16 Servings

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Bake Time: 60 – 75 Minutes

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 cups organic graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons organic brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground organic cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Smart or Earth Balance butter spread

Filling

  • 3 (8-ounce) packages organic cream cheese
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pureed organic pumpkin
  • 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk {or egg substitute}
  • 1/4 cup organic sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups organic sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground organic cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground organic nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground organic cloves
  • 2 tablespoon organic whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°

To make the crust

Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Add the melted butter. Press down flat into a 9-inch spring form pan. Set it aside.

To make the filling

Beat cream cheese until smooth. {I do this in a stand mixer.} Add the pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar, and spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined and not lumpy. Pour into crust.

Spread out evenly and place in oven.  Bake for 1 hour or until the cheesecake is soft to the touch and does not jiggle when the pan is shaken.  Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. Yummy served with homemade vanilla ice cream, too!

How to Create an Eco-Friendly Halloween

Going green doesn’t mean you have to compromise the funny or yum factory of Halloween. Make your holiday fun, unique and an Eco-Friendly event.

  1. Participate in a Costume Swap

Gather a group of your children’s friends or parents from school and bring costumes to swap and trade. Your kids will be excited over having a “new” costume without having to purchase a whole new one and it will  eliminate waste.

  1. Give Out Healthy Candies and Treats

Pass out candy without harmful ingredients that still taste yummy and wont get your house egged.  See the Trick Or Treat OMI Blog from 2011.

UNREAL Candy offers chocolate treats that taste as good as major commercial brands but without the articial colors, dyes, sweeteners, preservatives, hydrogenated oils and GMOs.  Check out their goodies HERE.

Surf Sweets offers a variety of gluten-free, organic gummies, sour bears and jellybeans.   They even have treats in spooky spider shapes for Halloween!

  1. Use Reusable Bags for Trick-or-Treating!

Any bag can hold goodies, from baskets to bags to old purses and more.  Old pillowcases make great bags to collect candy and can be easily decorated or customized for your child.  A simple white pillowcase can be turned into a “ghost bag” by drawing, sewing or gluing on eyes and mouth.  Or simply add your child’s name.

  1. Decorate with Nature

Use natural items to decorate this year, such as hay bales, leaves, branches, gourds, pumpkins, mums and more.

  1. Light up the Night

If you string up lights to keep your walkway safe for trick-or-treaters, be sure to use LEDs or solar-powered lights.  LEDs use less energy than conventional holiday twinklers.

  1. Let Kiddos Decorate

Forget store-bought window sickers and skeletons. Help your kids cut out bats from recycled paper or make hand print spiders for walls and windows.  Carve or paint pumpkins for more decorations. White sheets can be hung as ghosts.  Get creative!

How will you keep your Halloween more Earth friendly?

Trick or Treat?

Imagine for a minute that it is Halloween night.  Your doorbell sounds, “ding dong,” and you open the door to find a rather cute fairy, a menacing pirate, and a giggling baby Ninja Turtle.

Smiling, you reach your hand into your candy bowl and pull out their treats: Lifesaver Gummies, Nestle’s chocolate bars, and Tootsie Roll Pops.  But what are they really eating? High-frutose corn syrup, non-fair trade chocolate, and dye-ridden lollipops.

Choosing to pass out natural, organic and fair-trade candy is not only a safe and healthy option for a childs treat, but it also is quite the “trick” for kids.  They won’t be eating dyes, preservatives or ingredients that are not safe for their bodies.

Here are a few wonderful options kids will love:

Fair Trade Milk Chocolate Earth Balls by Sunspire

Ingredients: Milk chocolate (evaporated cane juice, cocoa butter*, chocolate liquor*, whole milk powder, soy lecithin, vanilla extract). *Fair Trade Certified

 

 

Invisible Ghost Lollipops by Strawberry Hill

Ingredients:  Organic cane sugar, organic tapioca syrup. (USDA Certified)

 

 

 

Natural Gummie Worms by Surf Treats

Ingredients: Organic tapioca syrup, organic evaporated cane syrup, gelatin, organic grape juice concentrate, citric acid, lactic acid, ascorbic acid, colors added (including black carrot juice concentrate, turmeric, annatto), natural flavors, organic sunflower oil, carnauba wax. (USDA Certified)

 

Organic Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups by Justin’s

Ingredients: Organic milk chocolate (organic evaporated cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic whole milk powder, organic chocolate liquor, organic soy lecithin, organic vanilla), organic peanut butter (organic dry roasted peanuts, organic palm fruit oil), organic evaporated cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic vanilla flavor, sea salt. (USDA Certified)

 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!

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