Embracing an ethical, sustainable, enviro friendly Christmas

I embrace the mantra that every cent we spend is a vote for what products we want this world to create. I also embrace minimalism so my gifts are often services (massage vouchers from a local business are a favourite); disposable (soap, candles, organic tea) or a product I feel has a positive environmental impact & will be a gift that won’t be broken/discarded quickly (reusable bag or coffee cup)

All I want for Christmas is youuuuu, but failing that, my top 12 gifts for this Christmas (in other words things I would be very happy to receive!) are:

1. Onya recyclable produce bags – I take mine everywhere (I mean EVERYWHERE – I recently took them all the way from sunny Sydney to snowy Scotland). They are brilliant in place of single-use plastic bags, are sturdy, only weigh about 10 grams each & are made from recycled plastic bottles.

2. Native flame eco candles – they are produced in Tasmania & made from coconut wax (did you know many candles are made from genetically modified soy?) & a timber wick. I’ve bought 3 so far as gifts & everyone has loved them.

3. Shampoo bar – a massive bonus to any product that has been reinvented purely with the environment in mind. Say goodbye to bulky single use plastic bottles with these bars.

4. Seedlings – I genuinely believe it’s cool to care about the environment. You need minimum space to grow some herbs & if I (no green thumb) can grow oregano, thyme, parsley, mint, basil, kale & chilli, you can do the same.

5. Home made treats – gingerbread are very easy to make, as are lots of Christmas treats. Forego the store bought goodies laden with flour, sugar, palm oil & preservatives. Pop it in a reusable container, wrap a ribbon around it & a fresh gardenia (my absolute favourite!).

6. Organic tea or coffee – tea & coffee are one of the most sprayed crops, meaning organic really is the only way to do coffee. I love Clipper organic teas, especially as their tea bags are unbleached. You can grab them in About Life.

7. Reusable coffee cup – if you know someone who is still buying single-use coffee cups lined with plastic (no peeps, they are NOT recyclable), then this is the perfect gift for them. My favourite is Frank Green – they have a great range of customisable colours. As a side note, I was thrilled to see on War on Waste last night a guy has come up with a formula to separate the plastic from paper in coffee cups. How frightening is the statistic of 7-11 selling 70 MILLION coffees per year in Australia alone. That’s one brand. In one country. In one year. 

8. Reusable water bottle – there’s nothing cool about toting a single use plastic water bottle which leeches chemicals from the plastic. Even less cool is the impact it has on our environment, with every bottle taking many many lifetimes to degrade. Don’t put your head in the sand, there are so many awesome reusable water bottles around now. I’m putting the Frank Green glass water bottle on my Christmas list.

9. Bamboo sheets – if you’ve got a little more to splash on me, I mean, your family & friends, bamboo sheets are a lovely gift. I’ve got my eye on some Ecosa sheets

10. Low-tox suncream – when you live in Australia & are applying suncream to yourself & your children daily, you really want to be applying a product that you understand what ingredients are being put on your skin daily. My picks are Little Urchin & Little Innoscents (which I am currently using on my 1 year old) – there are some other great low-tox brands out there now.

11. A subscription to Tooshies by Tom – as a Mum using disposable nappies & wipes, I am conscious of the environmental impact they have. In my experience these nappies work well & are super cute! Plus what parent or carer would be unhappy to receive their boxes of nappies & wipes delivered to the door rather than lugging them from the shops?!

12. A subscription or at least the first order to get the ball [roll?] rolling so to speak of Who Gives a Crap. I LOVE these products & have been using their loo paper & paper towel for close to a year & am proud to be using a product that is recycled & made from bamboo & sugarcane. They are wrapped in individual rolls with funky patterns (my sons love making the wrappers into paper planes). It’s a present that is sure to get used & again, is something ANYONE would love to receive delivered to their front door & not have to lug home from the shops. Plus their emphasis on charity is pretty incredible.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, health & happiness are our greatest wealth xx

 

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3 ingredient dairy-free ice-cream

3 INGREDIENTS | VEGAN | GLUTEN-FREE | DAIRY-FREE | NUT-FREE | CHILD FRIENDLY | NO ADDED CANE SUGAR | LOW FRUCTOSE

I made this “nice-cream” or vegan ice-cream or whatever you choose to call it because I have been getting mighty bored of the whinging of “Whats for afternoon teeeeeeea?” the whole walk home from school! You could add any supplements you enjoy to pimp the nutrient content.

250g frozen mixed berries

150g coconut yoghurt

100g coconut water

Blend until you reach desired consistency – I use the Thermomix on speed 5 for about 20 seconds

Enjoy immediately or pour into a reusable glass container & pop in the freezer

Pineapple & blood orange frappe

You guys, I know it’s not my normal thing blending lots of fruits BUT I’m trying to get my body ready for the 30 or so hours of travel we are embarking on this Friday. I am keeping ginger farmers afloat at the moment with the volumes I am consuming. I’m also trying to finish up all the food in the house, hence the sometimes odd combinations.

INGREDIENTS
350g pineapple, frozen overnight
60g blood orange (half)
100g coconut water (I love Natural Raw C)
A tablespoon of mint
A ton of ginger

METHOD

Blend all ingredients in the Thermomix on speed 6 for 15 seconds.

Serves 2

Paleo chocolate banana coconut flour cake

PALEO | VEGETARIAN | GLUTEN-FREE | DAIRY-FREE | 6 INGREDIENTS ONLY

INGREDIENTS

3 large bananas (approx 400g)

110g coconut water (I used Natural Raw C)

3 organic eggs

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cacao

75g tahini

I inadvertently forgot baking powder, but it turned out perfectly without

Optional: 1/2 cup raspberries (to put on top)

METHOD

1. Blend bananas, coconut water & eggs together

2. Throw in coconut flour, cacao & tahini. Put on reverse, around speed 3.5

3. Throw into a lined loaf tin, cook for 50 minutes at 170 degrees celsius

It is a fudgy, heavy texture & quite rich! Would probably be delicious with some whipped coconut cream.

Pink grapefruit & strawberry frappe

VEGAN | RAW | GLUTEN FREE | DAIRY FREE | PALEO | LOW FRUCTOSE | JERF

I have never done a juice fast, nor do I plan on ever doing one but I do love adding a blended smoothie / frappe every so often to get a massive nutrient hit in a condensed form (eg 3 cups of spinach blended down to approx 1 tspn, you know what I mean?).

This guy is low fructose for all the IQSers & with the amount of ginger I spiked mine with, I’m hoping all bugs will stay away.

INGREDIENTS

1 pink grapefruit (mine was approx 400g, down to about 275g when peeled)

10 strawberries (approx 150g)

10 ice cubes (approx 100g)

1 tablespoon mint

Ginger, to your taste – I used about a dessert spoon full

METHOD

Throw all ingredients into the Thermomix or your preferred blender, whizz until well liquified. I used speed 6 for 10-15 seconds.

Drink immediately.

Makes 2 glasses, or if you’re greedy like me, you can polish off the whole thing on your own

Spinach strawb blood orange juice

What it lacks in looks, it makes up for in both taste and nutrients…now that the boys rugby season is over, we have spent the last two Saturdays at Orange Grove Market. One of my favourite fruits, the lemonade fruit has been irresistible so I figured at this time of year while flu & are the nasty bugs continue to circulate, I’d dose up on nutrients in the hopes that when we head to the UK in two weeks we will all be well.

SIX INGREDIENTS

150g strawberries

130g blood orange (1, average size)

150g lemonade fruit (1, large)

50g spinach

100g coconut water (or water)

Ginger, to taste. I like mine with some kick!

Blend all ingredients (I don’t juice) & try to ignore the awful colour it becomes because it really is delicious!

Vanilla miso tahini fudge

VEGAN | GLUTEN-FREE | NUT-FREE | DAIRY-FREE | EGG-FREE | LOW FRUCTOSE | IQS APPROVED | 6 INGREDIENTS ONLY | ONE PAN ONLY

I become innovative when I am craving something sweet – which is a dangerous attribute to have! After scanning the pantry, I came up with this combination which is incredibly fudge-like but without any sugar, dairy, preservatives, colouring & minimal plastic packaging (my other passion currently is the environment). The only ingredient that comes in plastic is the Miso paste.

INGREDIENTS
100g tahini
80g coconut oil
35g coconut butter
1 1/2 teaspoons rice malt syrup
1 teaspoon miso (I love Spiral Foods)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder (I use Heilala)

METHOD

  1. Melt coconut butter, coconut oil & miso on a low heat. I never bring any part of this recipe above a low heat. I find the Miso doesn’t completely mix in which gives the fudge some lovely salty pops
  2. Once almost all melted, tip in the tahini & sprinkle in the vanilla
  3. once all mixed together, turn off the heat & stir through the rice malt syrup
  4. You can let it cool slightly, then pour into silicone moulds. I recommend placing the silicone mould tray on a chopping board so it doesn’t bend/spill when you’re lifting it into the freezer. Seeing as it is halfway to Christmas, I thought I’d give my Christmas tree moulds a go 😉
  5. Depending on the size of your mould, these can be ready in as soon as 30 minutes.

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