Eco-Friendly
Recipes & More

Are you looking for an easy way to teach your family about eating responsibly? Appeal to their appetites and teach them about eco-food choices with eco-friendly recipes featuring sweets and treats to save the planet. Barbara Beery, founder of Batter Up Kids cooking school in Austin, Texas, gives you step by step instructions and simple recipes to introduce to your kids - daughters in particular - in her latest book Green Princess Cookbook.

Green Princess CookbookIt's easy being green

Being green can be an easy and delicious endeavor as long as you are savvy on what it means to be eco-friendly. Eating responsibly is one of the best ways to teach your family about eco-friendly practices.

The Green Princess Cookbook, one of Beery's many kid-centric cookbooks, is an invaluable tool to teach kids how to cook green, have eco-friendly parties, and make Earth-friendly after-school snacks.

An eco-primer for your family

Open Beery's book and you are presented with a kid-friendly glossary of eco-friendly terms (you may also learn a thing or two).

Next up are five tasty chapters of recipes – meant to be made with local, organic ingredients – including Drinks and Ice Cream, Dips and Chips, Bigger Bites, Breads and Spreads, and Sweets and Treats.

Throughout the mouthwatering recipes and food photos, Beery provides easy Green Cuisine Tips, such as: "Instead of serving it in a bowl, serve Sunshine Sorbet in hollowed-out orange, lemon, or lime halves. Then save those rinds to compost in your garden!"

The Green Princess Cookbook also gives you Green Living Tips, like "Reuse! Use glass containers, cups, mugs and bowls in different ways than their original use." This tip is listed with the Chocolate Cobbler Cups – a luscious recipe featuring berries and chocolate bubbling under a cocoa crust cooked in oven-proof mugs.

Eco-friendly recipes from Green Princess Cookbook

Teaching your kids about eco-friendly food choices can help them grow up to be environmentally conscious adults who teach their kids about responsible eating and cooking. Help your kids shop for, prepare and cook the following Green Princess Cookbook recipes. (Though Beery's book targets little girls, the recipes and tips are appropriate for the whole family.)

Make the following recipes with locally-grown organic ingredients, if possible.

Dig That Earth Day Hummus

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients:
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed
2 to 3 medium-sized cooked beets, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons tahini
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Garnish:
1 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Directions:
1. Place chickpeas and beets in a food processor along with the garlic, lemon juice and water. Process about 1 minute. Add more water if needed to form a smooth and creamy consistency. Add tahini, cumin and paprika and blend another 30 seconds to combine.

2. Serve immediately or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To serve, place in a shallow dish and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and minced parsley. Serve with plenty of whole grain bread or pita bread.

Nature's Veggie Nachos

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, sliced into thin rounds
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/3 cup chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped bell peppers
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional)

Garnish:
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a sheet with Silpat, unbleached parchment paper or a clean brown paper grocery bag cut to fit. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2. Place potatoes on prepared sheet pan. Pour oil evenly over potatoes and sprinkle with salt, paprika and cumin. Toss with your hands to coat all sides. Arrange potatoes in a single layer and bake for 25 minutes, or until the rounds are almost tender.

3. Remove from oven and top with cheese and chopped veggies. Return to oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Remove from oven, garnish, and serve immediately.

(More veggie chip recipes)

Solar Power Strawberry Lemonade

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups unrefined sugar
1 cup chopped strawberries
2 strips lemon zest
2 cups water
2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 3 cups water, chilled

Directions:
1. Place sugar, strawberries, lemon zest and water in a half-gallon container with a lid. Stir to blend and secure lid. Shake container to continue mixing. Place container in full sun (on a sunny windowsill or outside) for 1 hour. Shake again and return to sunny spot for another 30 minutes.

2. Pour strawberry mixture through a strainer over a large bowl or pitcher. Add lemon juice, vanilla and 2 cups chilled water. Stir and then taste – add more water or sugar as desired. Serve immediately over ice or store, covered, in the refrigerator and serve later the same day.

More eco-friendly recipes and tips

Eco-friendly cheese recipes
Health benefits and recipes: Grassfed meats
Vegetarian recipes for the meat eater: Flexitarian recipes 
Earth Day recipes
Tips to eat locally and seasonally
How eating organic improves your child's health


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