One mama's Perspective on Living Lightly on our Earth

Sharing information, products and experiences to help keep our children safe, green and happy!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year from Abby Sprouts!
We wish all of our valued customers happiness, health, and plenty of eco-friendly living in 2015!
tuned as the Abby Sprouts blog explores various ways for you and your family to lead happier, healthier, and more eco-friendly lives in the months ahead.
We suspect that your holiday season might have been filled with a few too many indulgences in the
dietary realm. With that in mind, we present you with a deliciously decadent celebration cake that is
vegan, gluten-free, and packed with wholesome nutrition.
Make this cake and ring in the new year on a healthy note!
Chocolate Maca Bliss Cake with Caramel and Fudge Frosting
You would never believe that this cake is gluten-free and vegan. It is moist, dense, and fudgy, just as a chocolate cake should be, yet it is packed with wholesome nutrition.
Two layers of pure chocolate cake bliss are accompanied by a hefty dose of almond butter caramel in the middle… pure heaven.
This cake contains superfoods like chia seeds, raw cacao, maca, coconut sugar, quinoa, almonds, and avocado, so go ahead and have a second piece. For once, you won’t regret eating dessert.
Cake and fudge frosting adapted from Kitchen Cures:
Revolutionize Your Health with Foods that Heal by Peggy Kotsopoulos
Chocolate Maca Layer Cake with Caramel and Fudge Frosting
1 tbsp ground chia seeds
¼ cup water
1 large ripe banana
½ cup raw almond butter
2 tbsp raw virgin coconut oil
1 cup almond milk (homemade is best but you can easily get this at most grocery stores!)
½ cup coconut sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup cooked quinoa
3 tbsp maca
½ cup raw cacao powder
1 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt

Salted Caramel Layer:
¼ cup raw almond butter
¼ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup raw virgin coconut oil
1/8 tsp fine grain sea salt

Fudge Frosting
2 large, very ripe avocado
½ cup raw cacao powder
½ cup maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Line two 9-inch square or circle glass, ceramic, or stainless steel cake pans with unbleached parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix chia seeds with water and set aside until gel forms.

In large bowl, mash banana with fork until smooth and no chunks remain.

Mix in almond butter, coconut oil, almond milk, chia gel, coconut sugar,
vanilla extract, and quinoa.

In separate bowl, stir together dry ingredients.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until combined.

Scoop batter into prepared pan, ensuring that you divide batter evenly.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until firm to the touch.

Cool in pans for ten minutes. Remove from pans and place on cooling racks for one
hour. Move cakes onto a plate. Stack them, but leave a layer of parchment in between them to prevent

Place cakes in refrigerator while you prepare the caramel and fudge layers.

To make caramel, place a heat-proof glass bowl over a pot of water. Place coconut oil in bowl and place pot on stove. Heat until coconut oil melts. Stir in almond butter and maple syrup. Remove from heat and transfer to a glass container. Refrigerate until solid but spreadable, about two hours.

To make fudge frosting, scoop flesh from avocado and place all ingredients in a food processor. Process until the mixture resembles rich chocolate pudding (the frosting makes a delicious dessert in itself!).

Refrigerate for at least two hours.

To assemble cake, place one layer on a plate. Spread this layer with all of the caramel sauce (seriously… it will look thick, but you only live once! This caramel sauce is free from butter and refined sugar, so not to worry).

Place second cake layer on top. Ice the entire cake with all of the fudge frosting.

Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Eco/Health Tips:
1) We recommend that you use organic ingredients in this cake for optimal taste, health, and
environmental benefits.
2) To avoid packaging waste, bring your own glass jars, containers, and/or reusable cloth bags to a
health food store’s bulk food section and have a blast purchasing ingredients for this cake. If you
live in Victoria, Ingredients Health Food Store is a great source for all bulk organic items. As an
added incentive, customers are rewarded with a 10% discount for bringing their own containers
for bulk items!
3) Get the kids involved in the preparation of this cake! Spending time in the kitchen with your
children and teaching them about the importance of preparing wholesome, healthy, and natural
food together is one of the best ways to improve your family’s physical and spiritual health.

Thanks to newest staff member Allison for her recipe and instructions above.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas

Top 6 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Options!
The holiday season is well upon us, and with it comes the long-standing tradition of lavishing loved ones with presents. An unfortunate consequence of the most wonderful time of the year is the amount of waste that accompanies it. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the volume of household waste in the United States increases 25 percent during the month of December.
That’s about 1 million extra tons of waste!
What’s an eco-conscious family to do?
A great way to reduce your environmental impact this holiday
season is to ditch the single-use, non-recyclable wrapping paper in favour of these original and eco-
friendly options. Gift recipients and the planet will thank you for it!
1) Brown Craft Paper and Twine
Kids will have a ball decorating the paper with eco-friendly art supplies such as
Opt for twine instead of plastic ribbon; hemp twine and cotton twine are both reusable and biodegradable.
2) Burlap Sacks
If you don’t have any at home, your local organic market or organic bulk food store might have
some extras. Not only are these bags durable, but they can also provide kids with hours of
entertainment. Can you say potato sack races?
3) Sheet Music, Maps, Magazines, Comic Books
Reuse old paper and tailor the wrapping to the recipient’s interests. A foodie might enjoy
receiving a gift wrapped in food magazine pages, while your globetrotting pal would get a kick
out of a map-wrapped present!
4) Old Fabric
Everyone has scraps of fabric lying around their houses. You can wrap the gift in fabric and
secure it with twine or, if you have prowess at the sewing machine, you can make your own gift
bags too!
5) Keep Leaf Storage Baskets or Bolga Baskets
Keep Leaf storage baskets are made with 100 percent organic cotton and come in an array of
sizes and designs. Bolga Baskets are beautiful fair trade woven baskets made in Africa.
Both are exquisite options for packaging gifts.
The best part is that they are gifts in themselves and can be used by the recipient!
6) Forego Wrapping Altogether!
This option is particularly fun for young families. Instead of wrapping gits, hide them around the
house and have a scavenger hunt! Parents can write clever clues for the kids to figure out.