Today is a green day- green drinks, green food, and of course, green living. Jack, Carolyn and I are all feeling muuuuch better thanks to plenty of juice, water, and broth-y soups. We’re still a little stuffy, so today is all about giving our bodies a boost- starting with some fresh juice.
Apples, kale, lemon, ginger, and pear- yum! I haven’t actually introduced Carolyn to juice yet. I want her to get used to drinking water first, and I’m afraid that if she gets juice then that’s all she’ll want, so she snacked on little cubes of fresh pear. At this point Jack will actually identify the parts to my juicer and request that I make juice, so that little glass is all him.
We also got in on the julienne peeler fun over at OhSheGlows. I was familiar with spiralizers, but as cookware goes, they’re pretty far down my wishlist. I was so excited when I saw this post on OSG about using a julienne peeler to make zucchini pasta that I jetted over to my local Bed Bath & Beyond and scored one for $8. I dove right in, and successfully transformed two zucchini into a pound of zucchini spaghetti!
Topped with almond-kale pesto, it was a great way to re-charge after that gross cold.
Last week, we had an exciting package come our way:
reusable produce bags from MotheringMother! I’d be lying if I said I haven’t already put them to work. When we first started feeling sick I popped out to pick up a few extra things for soup and juice, and in the process I fell in love with these bags. I received the Fresh Food Starter Set, which includes: the Fresh Food Care-ier tote, 3 large produce bags, 3 small produce bags, and a veggie towel.
The tote is HUGE! Large enough for a serious shopping trip, but it’s made of lightweight cotton so it’s not cumbersome. It’s definitely durable- we loaded it with olive oil, a pineapple, Meyers all-purpose cleaner, bananas, brown rice, almond milk, and avocados, among other things- and got it all home with ease.
It also has pockets, one on the outside and one on the inside. This is a huge bonus, as it gives me a convenient place to stash my keys and wallet, allowing me to leave my purse in the car while I’m shopping.
Another simple yet wonderful feature? Two different handle lengths. It seems like such a trivial thing, but it’s really convenient that the bag can be slung over my shoulder or draped over my arm comfortably.
The large produce bags are also enormous. Each one can hold an entire peck of peaches (confirmed yesterday afternoon at Solebury Orchards). I like that they are so oversized- I don’t worry about running out of room. Additionally, it’s nice that they can accommodate awkward or slippery items like pineapples and melons, giving me a more comfortable and secure way to transport them home. They also do a great job of protecting delicate greens from grabby little hands. A bonus? Each bag’s tare is printed on the front underneath the logo, so weighing produce is a cinch.
Even so, the bags are so light that most of the time it won’t have much of an effect on the price. The large bags weigh in at 1.1 ounces, while the small ones are just .6 ounces. This makes them easy to transport, since they can be rolled up, stuffed anywhere, and weigh almost nothing.
The small bags, though much smaller than the large bags, are actually pretty decently sized. We used them for limes, and 4 limes only took up about a quarter of the bag’s space.
I am loving the drawstring closure. It’s fast and easy, and keeps the kids from digging through my produce- but still makes it easy for me to open and unload once we get home.
Our package also came with a veggie towel. I had never heard of such a thing, but now I don’t know how I ever survived without it. It’s like swaddling, but for veggies!
You soak it in water and then wrap your greens in it to keep them extra-fresh while they’re in the fridge. Like the tote, it’s large, so it will work with just about any manner of produce. I wasn’t even aware my greens were lacking in freshness, but I have noticed a difference since employing the towel. It just keeps them looking…happier, I guess. Perkier, or something. In any case, it comes with the starter set!
The thing I was most excited about actually was the supplemental canvas lunch bag!
School is back in session, and with a 10-hour day on Tuesdays and a class Monday and Wednesday afternoons, I am going to be packing a lot of meals this semester. I love bringing my own food to school because a) it’s cheaper!, and b) I usually pack myself delicious things to keep me going even when I’m feeling completely drained. This tote is so simple and functional, like a standard classic paper bag, only reusable.
It has a simple velcro closure, nothing fancy, but totally functional and easy. It’s lightweight and fits almost anywhere, so I can shove it into my purse as I’m running out the door. The top is also easy to grasp if I want to carry it in my hand.
I am so glad to see products like this, made with simple yet quality materials, being sold at a reasonable price. The starter set is currently on sale for $19.99 + shipping, but let me tell you, it’s worth it even at full-price. I think the lunch bag hovers somewhere around $6. So often products like this suffer a huge markup because people think they’re trendy, but the reality is that their primary purpose is to ease the strain on our environment– so the more affordable they are, the more people have access to them, the better.
The tare thing was what I found most appealing, actually. It is such a simple addition, but it makes using the bags so much easier, knowing that I can toss the entire thing on the register scale without having to worry about an unfair price increase. And of course, I feel good knowing I’m doing my part to reduce plastic use and excess waste.
MotheringMother also sells bulk bags, which are specially designed for bulk shopping. They have a handy velcro closure and little tabs to make it easy to transport around the store and also transfer bulk items from the bag to storage containers like ball jars once at home. I definitely want to check them out, since I do so much bulk shopping. I always recycle my plastic bags, but it would be even better if I didn’t have to use plastic at all!
I’m sure, to someone who isn’t familiar with the ins and outs of greener living, all of this can seem a bit overwhelming. It probably looks really complicated, or expensive, or time-consuming. I assure you it’s not- in fact, it actually makes me feel better in a lot of ways, since I know I’m not contributing to the over-use of plastics. Also, I feel fancy when I shop. It’s tons of fun to line up a bunch of canvas bags on the checkout belt and get the side-eye from your cashier (note: this never happens at Whole Foods). If they look unfamiliar with things like cloth produce bags, I usually take a minute to explain the process in the hopes that it will make its simplicity more apparent, and perhaps inspire others to give it a try.
Contrary to what Kermit the Frog wants us to think, it’s actually not so terrible, being green. 🙂