One of our favorite things about the holidays is decorating cookies with the family. While sugary buttercream frosting is delicious, we wanted to test out some healthier alternatives. Below you'll find a few options from Chef Aaron Holliday for a healthier holiday tradition.
Coconut Cream Frosting (dairy free, gluten free)
2 cans coconut cream (not coconut milk)
1/3 cup sweetener of your choice (maple syrup, powdered sugar)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Chill coconut cream in can for at least 24 hours
2. Turn can upside down and open from bottom. Pour off coconut milk (save it for smoothies) so you are just left with the cream.
3. Add coconut cream, sweetener and vanilla to bowl of stand mixer
4. Beat on high until well mixed and fluffy
5. Add frosting to Little Green Pouches for easy, mess-free cookie and cupcake decorating
If you want to flavor or color your frosting naturally, add fruit and/or veggie purees to the frosting. Blueberries, beets, and carrots all provide great color and some extra nutrients.
It's that time of year again—time for our annual Holiday Gift Guide where we share what items we are loving for the kiddos and ourselves. We've put together a few of our favorites things for babies, toddlers, big kids, moms and dads.
Looking for a great Valentine idea? Look no further! Gift a Little Green Pouch with one of our adorable Valentine's Day Cards and a tasty LGP recipe.
All you need is a few items (all of which are available on Amazon Prime so you can get them ASAP).
-Baker's twine to attach the card to the pouch but any cute string would work: Red Baker's Twine
-Heavy cardstock (you can use any cardstock that will work with your printer - the heavier the weight the better): Neenah Premium Cardstock
Easy as 1, 2, 3 (4, 5, 6):
1. Print your cards using the free downloads below (both Valentine's cards as well as coordinating recipes). They're four per page so print as many as you need. Make sure you select the "scale to fit" option so that none of the cards gets cut off in printing. If you want to print double-sided, simply print the valentines first and then feed the printed page back into your printer so that the recipes will print on the back.
2. Trim your cards.
3. Fill out the to & from section (or have your little one do this if they are old enough).
4. Use a hole punch to make a hole in the upper left corner of the card.
5. Cut your baker's twine in approximate 5 inch lengths.
6. Place your card on top of a pouch. Push a piece of twine through the hole and wrap around the spout (just below the cap) and feed twine back through hole. Tie a knot and then a pretty bow.
Leslie Vandever shares tips for staying healthy when traveling over the holiday season.
If you’re like most Americans, you face the holiday season—that period from just before Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day—with a mixture of pleasant anticipation and a sort of resigned dread. There are fun presents, goodies, feasts, pretty decorations, parties full of laughter and camaraderie, and the opportunity to spend time with the extended family. It’s the very definition of “the most wonderful time of year,” as the old song goes.
But traveling during the holidays can add its own, special challenges—and nobody wants to face them while fighting off a cold, or feeling run-down and generally unhealthy. This year, stop and take care of your health before you hop in the sleigh to Grandma’s house.
Get vaccinated. If you haven’t had your flu shot yet, get it at least two weeks before your trip. That way, you’ll be far less likely to catch it from someone. Vaccinating against pneumonia, whooping cough, and shingles is smart, too.
Drink water. Try for at least 8 measuring cups full each day. Water helps your body function at its best and flushes impurities that can slow you down from your system. You’ll look, move, and feel better if you’re well-hydrated.
Rest well. Make sure you hit the hay each night at a reasonable hour. Shoot for seven good hours of sleep. During the day, take frequent, short rest breaks—but avoid napping for more than 15 minutes. Consider deepening your rest with simple meditation exercises, like counting your breaths or slow, deep breathing.
Decompress the stress. As busy as the holiday season is, we often forget to take breaks for fun and relaxation, but they’re vital for good mental and physical health. Meditation is a good way to beat stress. So is playing a game, dancing in the kitchen, and doing a little last-minute work in the garden before winter descends.
Eat mindfully. Plan your time so you’re not stuck wolfing junky, high-calorie fast-food on the run. Instead, make it a point to sit down for tasty, balanced, nourishing meals. Mindful eating will help keep your energy levels and spirits high while helping your body function at its best.
Move your bod. Five short minutes of exercise, done five or six times a day, is just as good as 30 minutes of sustained exercise. It keeps your blood moving and oxygenated and helps your muscles, brain, and other organs work at top efficiency. Try running in place, doing jumping jacks, stretching, or using resistance bands or hand-weights.
Dress in layers. Nothing’s worse than shivering or sweating with no way to get more comfortable. Dress in thin layers as you travel. It’ll make it simple to add or subtract clothing to fit the temperature and your activity.
Wash your hands. Traveling means being in heavily used public places, which are teeming with gazillions of viruses and germs. Avoid catching or spreading colds or the flu. Wash your hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds at every opportunity. Or, carry a small bottle of antibacterial gel in your pocket or purse and use it frequently.
Take care of you. Continue that mindful eating, resting, hydrating, and exercising. You’ll feel your best and have a really great, really healthy holiday season.
Leslie Vandever is a professional journalist and freelance writer with more than 25 years of experience. She lives in Northern California.
Holiday Health and Safety Tips. (2014, Feb. 5) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved on November 26, 2014 from http://www.cdc.gov/family/holiday/
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