Easy Homemade Beans and Hearty Bean Soup Recipes

Beans are a nutritional superstar.  It’s tough to find other hearty, protein packed food that are as rich in nutrients and fiber and low in cost.  They can be added to Yumm Bowls and soups as the main protein or can help you cut back a bit on the meat in your standard carnivorous favorites.  But making homemade beans has alluded me for years.

So why even attempt to cook dried beans?  The sodium content is far lower and the flavor can’t be beat.  Plus I won’t have to recycle several aluminum cans and I’ll pay three to five times less per serving.
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DIY Last Minute Holiday Gifts

If you’re in a last minute panic and can’t imagine lugging your children through crowded shops, our vintage posts can save the day!

These fast and easy gingerbread cookies taste great and handle beautifully.  Although people always seem to be impressed by the mysterious qualities of gingerbread, you’ll have a batch whipped up in no time flat.  (There’s no refrigeration required.)

You can involve your children with making DIY: salt dough ornaments.  You can also use the dough for their little handprints if you want a great gift idea for grandparents.

Simple homemade play-dough is a great stocking stuffer or holiday craft to keep your kids busy while you tuck presents under the tree.
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Creative Indoor Play for Kids–Including Holiday Crafts!

When the rain hits around here, cabin fever quickly descends unless we seek creative indoor entertainment.  Luckily we have a huge supply of cozy kid-friendly fall activities for those chilly afternoons indoors.

If you’re still waiting for that first baby to arrive, you can while away the time with our DIY baby mobile made of beautiful paper birds.  Or, you can whip up a few homemade hemp diaper liners to fill out your cloth diaper layette.  Don’t forget to buy or use your library for free access to books! Check out our practical little publication, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide for some entertaining and eco-friendly reading.
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Milk Making Cookie Recipe: Enjoy Your Own Homemade Lactation Cookies

Can cookies really help increase your supply of breastmilk?  Although scientists can’t prove it, most mothers find that oatmeal, flaxseed and brewers yeast help increase their production of breastmilk.  Since these key milk making ingredients are all in this lactation cookie recipe, (plus chocolate) there’s a good chance they’ll work for you!   (Fenugreek is an herb that is proven to be effective as well.)
There are two companies selling these little milk making cookies for a small fortune, but you can make them using the homemade lactation cookie recipe with the same success.  I did tweak a few of the ingredients to make them only slightly healthier, but they still have more than enough fat and sugar to make you want to wolf them down by the dozen.

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What’s Your Favorite Organic Baby Food?

In a perfect world, every one of us would whirl up our own sweet potato purees for baby at all times.  Some of you live in that reality and I salute you!  Since I was working nearly full time while raising my babies, I lived in the land of sleep loss and basic survival and sometimes purchased a little sanity in the form of prepared baby food.

If you do buy baby food for traveling or just to save time, what does your child prefer?  My babies enjoyed Earth’s Best Baby Food and I loved that I could buy them in affordable cases from Costco or individually from Target. I also had hearty approval from my child for Happy Baby Organic Baby Food but I can’t speak to some of the other brands on the market like Plum Organics Baby Food, Sprout Organic Baby Food, or Peter Rabbit Organics.
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Freeze Ahead and Bake Pumpkin Scones

Nothing quite welcomes the fall like a hot pumpkin scone drizzled with frosting.  But who has the time?  Or the four bucks you’d have to shell out at a café?   This recipe gives you loads of taste along with the convenience of being able to mix them up and freeze them for later baking.

Honestly, I’ve made this recipe ahead of time and also baked it right away, and I actually think the freezing improves the quality of the taste.  The pre-frozen version turns out moister and with a nice melding of pumpkin and spice flavors.

If you’d like a fresh baked scone or two on a daily basis, simply use your toaster oven to save energy and bake a smaller batch.  You can even cut them into mini-scones to give your children for breakfast.  I usually skip the frosting, but you new moms may need those extra calories for the hard work of motherhood!
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Café Yumm in Downtown Portland!

I would like to interrupt our regularly-scheduled updates on cloth diapers and organic buntings to make a very important announcement to our Portland readers: Café Yumm is now open downtown! (Don’t live anywhere near Portland, Oregon? Keep reading. . . .)

Joy, over in our Eugene office, wrote a Café Yumm post last year in which she describes how she duplicates the café’s famous “Yumm bowls” in her own kitchen, thus satisfying her voracious husband and son with nutritious and cheap beans and rice. She later reveals the secret to making beans and rice even more delicious: Yumm Sauce. Here’s how to Make Yumm Sauce at home. (Incidentally, this is one of the Green Baby Guide’s most popular posts ever!)
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Gluten-free, Dairy-free Waffle Recipe

Waffle cravings on a gluten-free diet? No problem. With more and more pregnant and breastfeeding mothers swearing off gluten, we felt obligated to come to the rescue with this recipe from the Gluten-free Gourmand. Sure, you could buy a gluten-free waffle mix, but what makes all of the concoctions from this blogger special is the way she plays with flour combinations to get each recipe perfect. Once you have an array of gluten-free flours at your disposal, you’ll be able to whip up just about anything without wheat. Try it and let us know what you think!

Image from the Gluten-free Gourmand

Easy Gluten-free Dairy-free Waffles
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Removing Stains on Baby Clothing

Have pureed yams forever ruined your baby’s pinstriped pajamas? No worries! With a little persistence, ingenuity, (and possibly vinegar) the garment might just be restored to its original brilliance.

Of course with all of the below stains, the best option is to quickly wet and pre-treat the item so that the stain doesn’t have a chance to dry. If it is dried without your knowing, you can still give the following remedies a try!

Try these simple tricks for specific stains:

  • Berries: Boil water, stretch the garment tight over a pan, exposing the stain. Then pour the very hot water down over the stain. If that doesn’t work try mixing vinegar and toothpaste to remove the stain.
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Summer Beverage Bonanza: Green Iced Tea

Here’s a tip that’s literally green: Drink green iced tea this summer! Piggybacking on Joy’s recent postpartum weight loss posts, I thought I’d share my latest health secret. Studies [that I am too lazy to cite at the moment] have shown that drinking five glasses of green tea a day can help you lose weight. Not only does green tea pack in more antioxidants than black tea, it acts as an appetite suppressant.

For me, drinking five glasses of green tea a day is no problem. I simply switched from black iced tea (which I raved about last summer) to green. Iced tea is cheaper than Coke, not to mention better for you. If you make it yourself, you won’t have bottles and cans to recycle afterward.
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