Itty Bitty Greenie

eco-fabulous finds for kids

Posts Tagged ‘natural sugar substitutes’

10 Things you’ll probably find in a Greenie Mum’s pantry

If there’s one thing eco-conscious mums have in common it’s a desire to find alternatives to big brand, overly processed foods and a keen interest in keeping the family healthy. That means seeking out local and organic food producers, growing our own and spending lots of time reading ingredient labels. Here are some of the staples you’ll find in our cupboards:

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1) Coconut Oil

Incredibly versatile, organic virgin coconut oil is wonderful for cooking, moisturizing, boosting immunity and metabolism, treating skin conditions and so much more. Coconut oil is made up of healthy fats lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid, which contain antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties.

2) Natural sweeteners

Agave syrup, rice malt syrup, maple syrup, organic honey, organic molasses, stevia, Medjool dates – these handy sugar substitutes help when a recipe calls for the “evil” white stuff (sugar). There is definitely a war on sugar these days, with three major health organizations in Australia alone calling for a sugar tax to curb consumption as it is blamed for everything from cancer to rising childhood obesity.

3) Non-dairy milk

Many of us grew up drinking cow’s milk and were lead to believe it was a health food, but there is plenty of recent evidence to dispute this. Since the rise of factory farming, with hormones and environmental carcinogens entering our food chain, many now question whether the benefits of cow’s milk (and dairy products in general) outweigh the risks. This month a British scientist and six-time cancer survivor urged Western nations to curb consumption of dairy and animal products because of links to hormonal cancers. In the meantime rice milk, oat milk, almond milk, hemp milk, coconut milk or soy are excellent dairy substitutes for your morning cereal, baking or smoothies.

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4) Apple cider vinegar

Hardcore health enthusiasts will tout the stuff as a miracle elixir, but greenies tend to like it because it’s all natural and can be used for everything from detoxing to house cleaning to treating sunburn and making your hair shine. Raw, organic, unfiltered and unpasteurized, apple cider vinegar is so much more than a salad dressing.

5) Quinoa

Surely by now you have heard of this superfood AND know how to pronounce it? It’s one of the most protein-rich foods out there, which, if you’re looking to cut down on meat consumption, can come in handy. It also has twice as much fiber as most other grains, is high in iron, magnesium, lysine and riboflavin. We love it because of its versatility too: serve it warm in porridge or as a substitute for rice, or cold (in salads) and pretty soon you might understand why the Incas believed it increased the stamina of their warriors.

6) Chia Seeds

Another food that’s been around for centuries (it was an important crop for Aztecs), Chia has re-emerged as a modern day superfood. Why do we like it? It’s a great source of calcium and fibre, protein and healthy omega-3 fats (which can improve brain function, sleep patterns and behaviour in children). It’s also flavourless, making it easy to add to just about everything. We regularly top our muesli, baked goods, smoothies and yogurt/fruit bowls with a sprinkle.

7) Kale

Starting to see a pattern here? It’s true, greenie mums love superfoods, and Kale is also a biggie because it’s high in iron, antioxidants, vitamins and calcium. Shhh… my kids don’t know I sneak it into everything from soups, lasagne, risotto, smoothies and more.

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8) Lemons

We have a lemon tree in our yard, so I’m always looking for new and helpful ways to use them. Besides the obvious benefits of boosting Vitamin C intake and using lemons to clean and whiten, they are great to have in the greenie mum’s arsenal of home remedies. Lemon and honey can soothe a sore throat and fever, lemon can ease the itch of bug bites and help acne. more on the health secrets of lemons here.

9) Muesli

Greenies are often labelled as granola-munching hippies and I say what’s wrong with that? I love making my own muesli, packed with oats, seeds, grains, spices and dried fruit. When the kids get home from school and you’re suddenly faced with that dreaded refrain of “I’m hungry” you’ll be thankful it’s in the cupboard as a go-to snack any time of the day. And it’s good for you.

10) Organic Fair Trade Chocolate

It’s a greenie mum’s favourite treat. I only read the studies that say it’s beneficial (dark chocolate is best), and always look for fair trade brands. My favourite Australian organic chocolate makers are Pana Chocolate and Loving Earth.