Review: Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss dairy- soy- and gluten-free ice (coconut) cream

As you may recall, earlier this month, we held a contest for free pints of Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss. Kiley, from Coconut Bliss, was kind enough to provide us with coupons so we could try their dairy-free icecream, risk free!

Well, our three lucky winners’ reviews are in, so I’m going to whet your appetite for some cold deliciousness!

Me, Laura - Mint Galactica

I got myself out of my Dark Chocolate rut and chose Mint Galactica as my free pint. I was really happy with it! I think this is a good flavor for people who are not keen on a coconut undertone to their icecream: I could hardly taste the coconut! The mint was strong, but not overpowering, and was shot through with generous...

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Recipe: Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Take advantage of all the gorgeous farmers’ market produce this summer and put some up for winter. (Don’t you love the term “put up” when referring to bountiful food? Makes me feel so homesteadish.)

This is the super easy “Clausen-style” (ie: never heated) pickle recipe that my family uses. In my opinion, it produces the best tasting result and best of all, you don’t have to have any skill whatsoever to make your own delicious homemade pickles!

No-cook Dill Pickles
3 Quarts Water
1 Quart Vinegar
1 Cup Salt

Cool overnight.

Scrub 5 pounds cucumbers. You can slice them now if you like, or pickle them whole. You can also pickle lots of other veggies! Don’t limit yourself to just...

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Hey Laura, when should I apply sunscreen?

Amy writes:

So, what’s the big deal with putting sunscreen on the kids first thing in the morning…does it really work? I have always done this and know so many others who do, but I know for my kids we have to reapply quite soon after we finally get out in the sun. Does it really help/work to put sunscreen on the kids first thing in the morning, even and esp if you’re not really going to be out in the sun until later in the morning or afternoon?

I honestly had never even heard of this practice until Amy asked the question! Sure, I wear a face lotion with spf 15, but I have never considered putting actual sunblock on myself or my kids unless I’m anticipating some major sun exposure.

So, I...

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Hey Laura, are cloth diapers really more environmentally friendly?

Sonja writes:

Although it is too late for me, I have always wondered if cloth diapers are really more environmentally friendly than disposable due to the cleaning process.  What about unbleached disposable vs. cloth.

My short answer to Sonja’s question is YES.

Sierra Magazine’s Mr. Green (he’s like HeyLauraWhat’s brother for all environmental issues! Love him!) has a great article discussing the water issue. In short, he estimates that “the entire process of washing diapers from birth to the joyful day of completion of potty-training will take roughly 24,000 gallons.” And that’s a very liberal estimate, assuming, among other things, a standard 40-gallon per cycle washer - difficult to...

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CLOSED Contest! Zoe Organics bath and body goodness

This contest is now closed. The reviews are still relevant though!


This week I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing the baby line from Zoe Organics. As Heather is a long-time friend from high school, I got to try some of her very first test samples last year. But now she’s refined her formulas and has stunning new packaging and a gorgeous website, too. It has been wonderful to watch this dream of hers unfold, as she’s been incubating the natural spa items concept since as long as I’ve known her!

Here’s what Zoe Organics is all about:

Zoe means “life,” and our mission is to celebrate and protect the lives of our children, family, community and planet. Zoe Organics uses only the most...

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Hey Laura, GMO or no?

Michelle asks:

So this is a question that I might not really want to know the answer to, but figured I’d let you do the grunt work! :)

In general, what’s the deal with GMOs?  What are they?  Where are they found?  What are the best ways to avoid them?

And then - are GMOs and veggie meat connected in anyway?  specifically the Worthington/Loma Linda canned goodness and the Morningstar farm stuff.  While I know that all the sodium that is found in veggie meat is not the best, I have begun to hear things about processed soy and didn’t know if that was somehow related to GMOs or if that is a whole other not good thing . . .

Veggie Meat Lover who is Trying to Clean Up Her Food Act (aka,...

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Recipe: Quinoa and Corn Medley

This is a family favorite! I never look at the recipe anymore (although it is very nice!), and I tend to just add whatever veggies I need to use up. The lemon juice and parsley really make it a stand-out. This is one recipe where more garlic is not better - such a hard concept for me to grasp.

Since quinoa is a complete protein, this can really be a one-bowl meal. It’s quite filling and very satisfying!

Quinoa and Corn Medley
6 cups water
3 cups quinoa, well rinsed
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup diced red pepper
1 cup diced orange pepper
1 TB olive oil
1 cup cut corn
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup green onions, sliced
1/2 cup black olives, sliced (if you have kitchen...

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