Category Archives: Green Baby

Favorite kitchen gadgets

When I turned 40 several months back I asked for a manual hand mixer.  I have wanted one for quite a while and thought that any request I made on the eve of 40 would be met with a yes. In retrospect, maybe I should have asked for more. Ha ha.  Seriously, I  do love this kitchen gadget.  It’s great for scrambling eggs, banana bread, making pancake mix, and a wonderful way to introduce kids to cooking.  It’s fun and easy to use and you don’t have to worry about that wacky electricity and fingers getting caught in rotating beaters. 

Beck after a succesful waffle mix session. Notice the flour on the shirt!

For bigger jobs I will pull out the big ol’ Kitchen Aid Mixer, but it’s heavy and not really needed for simple mixing.  I know that the hand mixer came from Home-Eco which is on Macklind.  I’m sure you can get them other places, but Home-Eco is a great place since they are a “Green General Store.”  www.home-eco.com

My other favorite kitchen tools are my pressure cooker and immersion blender. My in-laws got us the pressure cooker about six years ago and it has been a favorite.  Sure, it’s not total “slow” cooking, but I can make dried beans in one hour without any pre-soaking.   Kale cooks up perfectly in about three minutes.  And lentils are ready in as little as ten minutes. It makes cooking from scratch a little easier for me.

 I know some folks have bad memories of pressure cookers, but these are easy and safe to use.  I highly recommend getting a pressure cooker cook book to go along with your pressure cooker as it gives you lots of information about what you can cook and suggested times.  

And lastly, the immersion blender. We got this right before our son was born because I was insistent on making all of his food.  I’m happy to say I did make most of his food and  still do (this is probably the only thing I have really stuck with of all my pre-baby ideas of how I would parent–as my friend Amanda says,”You’re the best parent you are ever going to be before you actually have kids.”) The immersion blender made it so much easier. 

I made all kinds of concoctions when he was little–broccoli, barley, tahini, brewer’s yeast–that I blended to a smooth consistency so he could eat it easily.  I use it now to make smoothies or blend a soup or pasta sauce. 

There are a million kitchen gadgets out there.  My suggestion is to think of your per cost use.  How many times you will use it–weekly, daily, every five years?  The more you use it the more your cost per use goes down.  And if the item really will help you eat more healthy foods then it might be worth it. 

Yours in cooking and eating and supporting local food.

Maddie

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Better Life Cleaning Products

local-harvest-blog-photos-001Better Life offers these super fun, super groovy, and super great cleaning products. Sure the packaging is amazing and the names are hilarious–I Can See Clearly Wow window cleaner, what-EVER all purpose cleaner, 2am Miracle for nursery, Even the Kitchen Sink a gentle scrubber and their new product Get Floored floor cleaner–but these products really work.

Yes, at times I wish I was the person who mixed her own cleaning products using only baking soda and vinegar, but I’ve had to face the hard truth that I am only that person about .05% of the time. The rest of the time I’m using these products. The 2am Miracle has been great for my recent ill-fated attempts at potty-training, I Can See Clearly Wow works wonders on windows and really doesn’t streak and the what-EVER really is good for what-EVER. I’ve used it for bath, kitchen and woodwork so far.

Better Life recently added a new product Get Floored and now has lightly scented their “old” productsimg_0891. For the first time I’m looking forward to cleaning my floors.

These products are super green, very affordable and were developed and are manufactured right here in St. Louis. These products have a great story so check out the website to learn more http://www.cleanhappens.com/

Yours in cleaning,

Maddie

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Baby Foods–in bulk???

blog-pancakes-and-applesauce-004

Blueberry pancakes with applesauce and yogurt

There are some foods that are so nice to have someone else prepare for you. For me that food is applesauce. I ordered a case of Woodstock Farms applesauce and have used it for about six months. Beck loves it.  It saves money to buy a whole case and then you have plenty for quick snacks and baking. 

Applesauce is a great replacement for syrup when you’re serving your wee one French toast or pancakes.  Beck likes to dip his food, so I just put some on his plate and he dips his pancakes in it.  Mixing the applesauce with some Nancy’s Organic Whole Milk Yogurt makes a great snack, breakfast and dipping sauce for toast or pancakes.

Yours in feeding baby,

Maddie

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Filed under Delicious Tidbits, Green Baby

storing food for baby

mason-jarsYou may have heard all the recent controversy about the plastic in baby bottles (and many of the plastic food containers used in our country.)  http://www.chej.org/BPA_Website.htm So, when I started cooking for lil’ Beck I was thinking about how I would store and carry his food.  Josie, who used to work for LHG, passed down her tip–  Mason Jars.

I stole this idea and still use it. I had access to a bunch of jars so I have a variety of sizes, but you can also just reuse mason jars from products at our store.  They are easy to clean, recyclable, cheap, and safe (well, as long as you don’t break them, which I have done.)

So that’s today’s “Green Baby” tip.

-Maddie

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Baby Oh Baby

Baby oh Baby

(This is a repost of an entry from our first blog.)

If you don’t have a baby, don’t want a baby, or don’t like babies, I suggest you skip this post….
That is my disclaimer.
So I wanted to do at least one post on cooking for wee ones. Jason and I have a 19 month old. It has been pretty important to me to cook most or all of his food. At times it has been quite a challenge–and during those times I’m thankful that I feel really good about the prepared foods we carry at Local Harvest.
Anyway, we have lots of foods which are great for first foods for baby and for the growing toddler. The book “Super Baby Foods” is a great resource for how to prepare your own infant cereals and “super” foods for the wee one. We carry many grains which you can grind for your own infant cereals–millet, barley, oats, rice and quinoa. The author also suggests add in’s like Brewer’s Yeast, tahini, and almond butter. I don’t agree with everything in the book, but found the authors suggestions on making “super porridge” and storage of fresh foods to be really helpful.
If you’re not feeling quite so ambitious, we carry Earth’s Best infant cereals, organic baby food in jars, applesauce, and one of my favorite processed foods that I give to lil’ Beck–Dr. Praeger’s Spinach Pancakes. I can read every ingredient and even know what they are. Yea. Other great foods for kids (who are eating dairy) Farmer’s All Natural Creamery cottage cheese, Nancy’s whole milk yogurt, Nancy’s kefir, and the ever easy organic frozen veggies.
For any of you moms and dads who are interested in making your own baby food, I’m always happy to chat about it and give any suggestions I can. Post or come into the store. I’m constantly learning as a parent and as a cook for a wee one so if I can help or commiserate I’m happy to do so.
Also, we’ll soon have a kid’s menu at the cafe. In the meantime, feel free to ask for mini-smoothies for your little one. So good and good for them. You won’t find any syrups in our smoothies. Only real ingredients. Yum.

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