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Eco-friendly birthday party recipes

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Eco-friendly party recipes

Green-themed birthday parties for your kids will make you the hippest mom on the block. With kids becoming more environmentally conscious, being green means being cool. From paperless electronic invitations and donation- or charity-themed get togethers to Earth-oriented party games and eco-friendly food, green birthday parties for kids are cheap, easy and fun. Here are a few eco-friendly birthday party recipes to serve at your kids’ green-themed gatherings.

Organic Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Eco-friendly birthday party recipes

The extravagantly frosted cake, artificially colored candies and sugary juice drinks are certainly the expected fare at most kids birthday parties, but what parent party host wants a gang of kids revved up on sugar and empty calories for the afternoon? Instead of overloading your little party guests with foods devoid of nutrients, fix them a cake and finger foods with redeeming nutritional and eco-friendly value.

10 Eco-friendly kids birthday party tips

Almond Cocoa Bites

Makes 36

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups raw almonds
1-1/2 cups pitted dates
1/2 cup unsweetened toasted coconut flakes
1/2 cup agave
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Raw cocoa powder

Directions:
1. In a food processor, combine almonds, dates, coconut, agave, vanilla and sea salt. Blend until nuts are finely ground and ingredients are well-combined.

2. Sprinkle cocoa powder on a plate. Form almond mixture into 36 balls, rolling each ball in the cocoa powder to coat. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 30

Ingredients:
1 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 tablespoons ground flax
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup organic smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil, at room temperature
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, flax and salt. Set aside.

3. In a food processor, combine peanut butter, coconut oil, honey and egg. Blend until smooth. Add peanut butter mixture to flour mixture and stir until combined. Mix in chocolate chips.

4. Form cookie dough into 30 balls and arrange on two large baking sheets. Gently flatten each with the back of a fork.

5. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes then rotate baking sheets. Continue baking for 5 to 7 minutes or until cookies are set. Remove baking sheets from oven and allow cookies to cool for 10 minutes or until they firm up.

Organic Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Serves 20

Healthier than a heavily-frosted bakery cake, this birthday cake is chockfull of wholesome ingredients – shredded carrots, currants and walnuts – and when modestly frosted becomes a yummy, kid-pleasing treat.

Cake:
4 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
8 organic eggs
2/3 cup organic maple syrup
2/3 cup organic oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups finely shredded organic carrots
2 cups chopped organic walnuts
2 cups dried currants

Frosting:
4 (8-ounce) packages organic cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 stick (1/2 cup) organic butter, softened at room temperature
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of an organic lemon
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh organic lemon juice
Organic confectioners' sugar to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9x13-inch baking dishes. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, spices and salt. In a second large bowl, whisk together eggs, syrup, oil and vanilla. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture until just combined.

3. Mix in carrots, walnuts and currants. Divide mixture between the two baking dishes. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice until smooth. Add sugar, beating well to incorporate.

5. Carefully invert cakes. Place one cake on a cake board. Generously spread the top with frosting. Set second cake on top. Cover sides and top with frosting. Save any leftover frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use on muffins or cupcakes.

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