Green Recipes for Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!

Many bloggers that I follow do a "What I Love Wednesday" post.  Welp, seeing that it's Earth Day and I have a few things to share with you, I figured that today is as good of a day as any!

A brief history lesson: Earth Day came to be in 1970.  After seeing the ravaged land following an oil spill, Earth Day's founders decided that it was a good idea to inform and motivate the public on environmental issues.  They wanted to capitalize "on the emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns front and center" (EarthDay.Org).

This day sprang out of the "hippie/love the environment" movement.  Now, I'm kind of a conundrum; I would not call myself a hippie, I'm too OCD and preppie for that.  But I do recognize the importance of caring for the environment and its creatures.  I care.  About everything.  Too much.

I think that the world would be a better place in general if people cared for each other, animals, and the environment more.

But that's enough from my soapbox.  

Today, I wanted to share with you three green recipes that have been on my mind lately.  They are SOOOO good!  Each is a little different.

Avocado Face Mask
A few months ago, my friend Rebecca and her sister Rachel turned me on to this natural face mask.  It's brilliant!

I don't know about you, but sometimes I have a ripe avocado (or three) and I don't know how to use them all.  This mask helps with that problem!  It's quick and easy to make.  It's so natural that you can eat it.

You may be skeptical of this recipe, but you shouldn't be.  It's amazing how effective this is.  The apple cider vinegar and lemon juice really cleanse and revitalize the face.  The original recipe calls for honey, but you can replace it with maple syrup for a vegan option; I think it helps to stick it to your face!

Avocado Face Mask
Adapted from Nutrition Stripped

1/2 avocado
1/4 c. oatmeal, uncooked
1 T. apple cider vinegar (preferably raw)
2 T. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. lemon juice

Mix and wipe it on your face.  Leave the mask on for 20 minutes and then rinse it with warm water.  I think you will notice a difference ;-)

Dehydrated Kale Chips with Nacho Cheese Seasoning
You guys - this is my favorite snack right now!  You may have seen those prepackaged kale chips at the stores, but they don't have anything on these homemade goodies.  Like I can eat a whole bag of dehydrated kale...in one sitting.

There are several tricks.  First, I like to use my dehydrator.  My dehydrator was about $40 from Target and it's not fancy at all; there are no settings - you just plug it in.  I don't have to worry about the kale chips burning or having soggy parts mixed with crunchy parts.  The dehydrator solves all of these problems.

Next, when you clean and rip your kale, make sure they are torn in bigger pieces.  Kale chips will shrink in the dehydrator/oven, so you want them to be at least the size of a silver dollar.  This won't happen all of the time, but it's a good goal.  I don't like the thick kale stems, so I usually tear around them.

The most important part: the seasoning sprinkle! This recipe is directly from Fork & Beans.  Cara makes her own Doritos seasoning, which is where this recipe comes from.  

Nacho "Cheese" Seasoning for Kale Chips
Recipe from Fork & Beans

1/4 c. nutritional yeast
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. sea salt

I spray the chips with a little bit of coconut oil (or olive oil) and then toss them in the seasoning.  Then I pop them into the dehydrator for a few hours.

Pesto Flatbread - Gluten-free Recipe
A week or two ago, I had a crazy craving for pizza.  It needed to happen ASAP.  But my homemade pizzas with gluten-free experimentations had failed.  I found the recipe below on Pinterest and it's become my go-to flatbread pizza recipe.

The nice thing about this recipe?  There's no waiting for the dough to rise.  It's quick and you can have it in the oven in 10 minutes.  This recipe below makes one very generously-sized flatbread.

Gluten-free Flatbread Crust
Adapted from Brittany Angell

1 1/2 c. almond flour
3.5 T. starch (corn, tapioca, arrowroot, etc.)
1 tsp. baking powder, aluminum-free
pinch of sea salt
2 tsp. oregano
1/3 c. flax seed meal
1/2 c. warm water
1/2 T. olive oil

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375°.  Have a baking sheet ready to go.

In a small container, stir the ground flax seed with the warm water and oil.  Allow it to thicken for 5 minutes.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients: almond flour, starch, baking powder, salt and oregano.  When the flax mixture is thick, pour it into the larger bowl and work it into the dry ingredients.  It should take you a minute or two to get everything combined.

Once you have a dough, roll it out thinly between two pieces of oiled parchment.  It should be about a 1/4 inch in thickness.  Move the rolled out dough to a baking sheet and par-bake the dough for about 20-22 minutes.

When it's done, add your favorite toppings - pesto, olives - you name it!  Bake it for another 15-20 minutes.

Slice it into long, artisan slices and you have yourself a gourmet pizza!

I hope that you enjoy my green recipes; let me know how they turn out!

Cheers,
-Aileen