Author: erinsmitty

Co-creator of Kicking It Whole School! I love food and music. Sometimes I give food I make a theme song...

Waste Free Winter

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This winter we took part in a challenge to reduce our waste production that we called Waste Free Winter. Inspired by a visit to the local waste management site, and with both of us moving to new homes, we were determined to spend the colder seasonΒ cutting back on the garbage. Β Here is a breakdown of our experience and tips we’ve picked up along the way.

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School Snacks Series: Chia Pudding

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It is back to school time, which is extra exciting for me because I am headed back to school both as a teacher AND a student! This week I’ll be starting my 2nd, and final, year as a student of holistic nutrition (!!!); and I’m also headed back to school as a kindergarten teacher πŸ™‚Β  I’ve decided to combine my passions for nutrition and helping children through a little series about packing healthy lunches for kids!

Packing a lunch can sometimes feel like a tedious chore, but it’s really important because children need to eat healthy snacks at school to provide them with energy, helping them to concentrate and do their best. Unfortunately, not all foods provide this desirable effect, and can in fact result in hyperactivity, fatigue, or distracting stomach aches.

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Cherry Chia Pudding

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Spaghetti Squash

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Spaghetti squash is a staple in my kitchen as you can use it as a pasta replacement in any dish you please! When cooked, it comes out in strands that resemble spaghetti noodles. It is a great source of fiber and vitamin A, and also contains vitamin C and other antioxidants; therefore it has much more nutritional value then regular pasta.

There are many different ways to cook spaghetti squash, but I now have my favourite as it consistently comes out with the perfect texture, not too hard or too mushy!

Directions

  1. Cut squash in half lengthwise
  2. De-seed
  3. Put squash cut side down in a baking dish
  4. Add up to a cup of water to the dish so that it’s base is fully covered
  5. Bake at 375 F for about 40 minutes, or until tender
  6. When ready, use a fork to rake the squash into “pasta”

Once cooked, you can top it with anything that would would put on regular spaghetti noodles!

It is harvested early in the fall season, so you’ll be seeing them in your grocery stores soon!

Zucchini Pasta

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With the hot summer weather, I find that I don’t crave heavy meals, like pasta as much. However, I can still enjoy my favourite pasta dishes by using a great pasta alternative that is much lighter: zucchini noodles, aka zoodles!

Zoodles are also great way to get more veggies into your diet because after you smother them in all your delicious toppings, you can’t even tell that they aren’t real noodles! So if you have a picky eater in your family, test out some zoodles to sneak some extra nutrients in πŸ™‚

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Golden Milk (Dairy Free)

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I’ve been using food to help balance my hormones in order to clear up the hormonal acne that I was getting on my chin. One of the things included in my hormone balancing meal plan is getting 2 tsp of turmeric into me every day! Luckily I really like turmeric and consume it often, making turmeric tea and sprinkling it on everything. My new favourite way to enjoy turmeric is Golden Milk – I drink it every evening!

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VIDEO + RECIPE: Garden to Table – Kale Pesto with Roasted Tomatoes and Potatoes

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We were so happy to team up with Loam Magazine again to bring you this video highlighting sustainable eating while sharing one of our healthy recipes.Β The majority of the ingredients used in this dish were either grown in our garden, or grown locally from an organic farm. We realize that it is the middle of Winter in Canada, but we hope this will be some inspiration for anyone interested in growing their own garden since March tends to be a good month to start seeds indoors.

If you don’t have a green thumb, not to worry! There are still other options for people looking for local, organic produce, some of which include local food shares, and farmers markets. Also, if you’re concerned that it’s cold and winter, most food shares are year round and provide bins of produce throughout all seasons.

 

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Pumpkin Hummus

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Hummus is one of my favourite snacks because it is easy to make, tastes delicious, and it’s a great source of protein. I try to eat protein with every meal, including snacks, because it helps to keep my blood sugars balanced. My favourite foods to eat with hummus are carrots, cucumber and celery, so it’s also a great way to get more veggies into my body! I also love that there are so many different ways to make hummus that result in such a variety of tasty flavours. This recipe for Pumpkin Hummus is from my wonderful Holistic Nutritionist, Kathrin Brunner, and it has quickly become a staple in my lunch bag!

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