Cloth Diapering – What We’ve Learnt

Hi Savvys,

Before we knew that we were even pregnant with Ezra, we knew that I wanted to cloth diaper our babies since it is the most environmentally friendly option available.  My mom had cloth diapered us when we were growing up so I knew that it was a tradition I wanted to continue.  If cloth diapering seems to be daunting to you but you still want to find a more sustainable option, there are other options available such as biodegradable diapers, however since this would require us to purchase these on a regular basis, I also wanted an option that was going to give us the biggest bang for our buck. 

After some research and comparisons, I was happy to confirm for myself that cloth diapering not only is more environmentally friendly, but it will be the cheaper option for my family in the long run, especially if we plan to have more children.  See below for the full cost breakdown and for more information on our experience.

  1. How much money do you actually save?
    1. This all depends on what type of diaper you end up using in the end.  For my calculations, since we decided to go with pocket diapers, my calculations are based on this type of diaper.
    1. See the charts above!  Based on my conservative calculations, you end up saving almost $900 per child, however that doesn’t take into account the amount of diapers you are diverting from the landfills!  The savings can be even larger if you purchase second hand reusable diapers, or if you have them gifted from your gift registry, so do keep that in mind as well.
  2. Pockets, flats, prefolds: which cloth diaper should we use?
    1. I was so overwhelmed with all of the choices when I was researching which would be best for our family.  Personally, the pocket diapers ended up being the easiest to use because you just have to tuck the insert into the pocket and fasten the diaper onto your baby.  You don’t need to be a wizard at origami or worry about not folding them properly, which was an added benefit for us.
    1. When researching, I did come across recommendations to try different brands since they could fit differently on your baby.  Generally, they all do fit pretty much the same, but read the reviews because some brands are larger and some smaller, which can have added benefits for fit with a newborn (more on that below).
    1. The 3 brands that we have are Alva baby, Koala Mama and Kawaii.  We found that Kawaii fit the best on our baby, followed by Alva and then Koala Mama. 
  3. How many cloth diapers do I need?
    1. Newborns (0-3 months) will need on the high end 12 diapers a day, so you will need to calculate how many diapers you need for that.  If you plan on only cloth diapering when they’re a bit bigger (and can fit into the cloth diaper better), then you may need less, like 8-10 diapers a day.
    1. In the end, it really depends on how often you want to do laundry.  For us, we do laundry every day and found that 38 diapers work well for us and we can easily skip a day of laundry if necessary.  You may need more or less.  Keep in mind that you may also want to look into purchasing extra inserts for doubling up for overnights. 
    1. There are 2 types of inserts: bamboo and microfiber.  Microfiber is cheaper than bamboo, but from our experience not as absorbent as bamboo and we tend to experience leaking with microfibers.  When purchasing your pocket diapers, you can select either microfiber or bamboo, so keep that in mind, but we do recommend bamboo.  You can also find charcoal bamboo which are also anti fungal and anti bacterial, which is great because we tend to use these for overnights since we are changing the diaper less often.
  4. Can newborns fit into the cloth diapers?
    1. It depends on your baby and the brand you buy!  Of course, it’s impossible to know how much your baby will weigh before they are born, but keep in mind that for the diapers we have (Alva Baby and Kawaii to be exact), it could accommodate 8lb+.   There are hacks where you can fold the diaper a certain way to accommodate newborns, but depending on how chunky your baby’s legs are, there might be too much space to be able to full seal the diaper from any leaks.  Note that you can also purchase newborn sized diapers, but this will add to your overall cost for cloth diapering your baby. 
    1. For us, for the 1st week we did actually use disposables since we were monitoring the number of dirty diapers our was creating, to ensure he was eating enough and gaining enough weight.  Luckily for us, Ezra was born over 8lb so when we made the transition to cloth diapers when he was a week old, he was able to fit into them without issue.
  5. How do you really clean cloth diapers?
    1. It’s pretty easy to clean.  You will need to purchase a wet bag that you can put into a laundry basket for all of the dirty diapers.  Then you throw the whole thing into the laundry machine for 2 cycles:
    1. The 1st cycle is the quick rinse cycle
    1. The 2nd cycle is where it really deeps clean
    1. Once the diapers are washed, the liners actually naturally separate from the pocket diapers in the washing machine so it’s really easy to clean.  Then we hang dry the pocket diapers, but machine dry the liners to get them fluffy again.
  6. Will there be a smell?
    1. We found that there is no smell!  However, the diaper pail does sometimes get a bit dank, so we just throw in a dryer sheet with essential oils into the laundry bin for some freshness.  Also note that we haven’t entered the solid food stage yet, so once we do, we will be updating this guide for future reference.
  7. What do you do with poop?
    1. Because the primary food source is still milk, the poop is still in liquid form (and not solid) so there is no added step in cleaning the diapers – it all goes into the wet bag, which goes straight into the washing machine.
  8. Do they leak?
    1. When fastened correctly, they do not leak at all!  In our experience, the bamboo liners are much more absorbent than the microfiber ones so definitely choose bamboo instead.  We also double line the diapers with bamboo charcoal liners for overnights for even extra absorbency. 
    1. We did find that the Mama Koala diapers did tend to leak overnight since Ezra sometimes sleeps on his side, and found inconsistency with Alva baby.  We have not had any leaking issues with Kawaii overnight so I do recommend trying that first (though you may need to troubleshoot for yourself based on your baby’s body).
  9. How do I use cloth diapers outside of the house?
    1. Just like regular diapers, we bring a few in case we need to change them while we’re out.  We also purchased a travel sized wet bag that we throw the dirty diapers into and then wash when we get home.  The bag does not leak and contains the soiled diapers.

These are the products that we purchased:

Let me know if you have any questions regarding reusable cloth diapers.  I am also learning on this journey!

How to Roast a Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin

Hi Savvys,

Every year, like so many other households, I like to purchase the biggest pumpkin that I can find to signal to trick-or-treaters that we are giving out candy.  If the pumpkins are really cheap, like a few dollars cheap, I like to purchase 2!  I don’t carve the pumpkins or decorate them, but sit them on my porch since they are a decoration piece in itself.

Once Halloween is over, I love to cut them open and roast the seeds as a healthy snack.  You may not have already known this, but you can actually roast the meat of a Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin as well!  These pumpkins have been cultivated to grow larger, and therefore have a larger water content than pie pumpkins, however they are still full of nutrients even if the pumpkin flavour is more subtle. 

Of-course being the eco-warrior that I am, I never let a Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin go to waste!  Because they are high in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin E and iron, to name a few, they are perfectly fine to eat in sweet or savoury recipes. 

 I like to roast the flesh, puree it in my Vitamix and freeze it so that I always have roasted puree on hand!  I use the puree in various recipes, such as the below:

Pumpkin barley risotto

-Pumpkin spiced granola

-Pumpkin spiced oatmeal

-Pumpkin Lasagna

-Pumpkin Soup

-Added to smoothies for a punch of nutrition

And so much more!

Follow the directions below on how you can roast your own Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin and enjoy it long after Halloween is over.  Also check out my video tutorial to see how easy it is.

Now set forth and be savvy!

Ingredients

  • 1 Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin
  • Oil
  • 3 Baking Dishes

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out all of the seeds – reserve for roasting and snacking
  3. Cut each half into smaller segments to allow the pieces to fit into the roasting pans
  4. Coat the bottom of 2 (or 3, depending on the size of your pumpkin) roasting pans with oil
  5. Drizzle some oil onto the flesh of each pumpkin segment and rub generously
  6. Place each pumpkin segment flesh side down (skin side up) onto the roasting pan
  7. Feel free to season with salt and pepper – however, since I like to use the roasted pumpkin for both sweet and savoury recipes, I leave out the salt and pepper
  8. Roast in the center of the oven for 50-60 minutes, rotating at the halfway mark; you may also want to put a baking sheet on the lowest rack in case there is spillage from the pumpkins when roasting
  9. Once done, remove from the oven and let it cool down enough so you can handle it, overnight if you can (I just leave it in the oven over night and deal with it in the morning)
  10. Carefully scoop out the flesh from the skins with a spoon and add to a blender or food processor – blend/process until smooth, about 30 seconds; discard the pumpkin skins
  11. Note that there could be liquid at the bottom of the roasting pans from the pumpkins– you can keep this liquid and add it to soups or stews as a broth or add it to smoothies
  12. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months
  13. I was able to get about 14 cups of pureed pumpkin!  Can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for 6 months.

The Balanced Snack Box Review

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Hi Savvys,

I am always on the look out for new vegan snacks to try.  This year, my siblings sent me The Balanced Snack Box for my birthday and I figured I’d do a taste test and review!  If you haven’t heard of them already, The Balanced Snack Box is a subscription box service created by Evie Levitin, a registered holistic nutritionist.  There are different types of boxes that you can subscribe to which cater to your own dietary needs.  My siblings sent me the vegan box which came filled with sweet and savoury vegan snacks!

Keep reading below for my review on each product.

Now set forth and be savvy!

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The Light Pops – Brave BBQ flavour snacks are made from popped lotus seeds, which is a popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine.  I had never had it in this form before and usually have it in soups.  When we first tried it, I must say I didn’t think that it was going to be one of my favourite snacks out of the entire box.  It is light and airy like popcorn and has a great crunch.  I especially love that it came in a sweet BBQ flavour, which is one of my favourite flavours for popcorn as well.  I highly recommend adding this to your snack repertoire.

TheSavvyPantry-TheBalancedSnackBoxReview-Title-2GoGoQuinoaChocolate

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The GoGo Quinoa Chocolate Crunchies resembled more of a cereal.  This was my husband’s favourite snack out of the entire box since he loves cereal and was looking forward to having this in a bowl with soy milk.  I do like the crunch on this and the chocolate flavour wasn’t too artificial which was great, however I wouldn’t purchase this as a snack but would as a breakfast cereal.

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I have been seeing lots of advertisements for Sahale Snacks and was delighted to see that it was included in this box for me to try.  I received the Tangerine Vanilla Cashew-Macadamia Glazed mix and you can really taste the tangerine flavour come through.  The flavours were a nice pairing and I really liked the crunch from the nuts.  I highly recommend this snack!

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I’ve had coconut chips before and like the light chocolate flavour of the Rawcology Organic Coconut Chips.  I wouldn’t necessary purchase this to eat on its own since I prefer more savoury snacks, however this would be great if you were making homemade trail mix.

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I love crackers as a snack and was excited to see that the Enerjive Multigrain Crackers came in Ranch flavour.  The cracker itself looks very healthy and I like that you can see all of the different nuts and grains within the texture of the cracker itself.  I also liked seeing the spices like dried chives and salt in the cracker.  However, the ranch flavour was very lacking – it didn’t taste like ranch at all.  The cracker itself is good paired with dips and peanut butter, however I would not purchase this in product in the future since the ranch flavour was not apparent at all.

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I didn’t know what to expect from this Bobo’s Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oat Bar.  To mu surprise, it had a lovely toasted oat flavour and was balanced well with the chocolate chips.  This ended up being my favourite sweet snack from the entire box.  This is a product that I would purchase in the future since it tasted like I could make it at home, which I may try in the near future!

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I am always a bit weary when it comes to vegan protein bars as they tend to have a very grainy flavour to them.  The Eat to Life Kinwa Bar in Apple Cinnamon Vegan Protein Bar was not my favourite of the box.  The apple cinnamon flavour did come through well however I did not like the protein flavour with the bar.  I would not purchase this in the future, however if you are used to this type of product then definitely give it a try.

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I’ve had roasted chickpea snacks before in a savoury form but never thought of it in a sweet form.  The Lebby Dark Chocolate Chickpea snack really satisfies your craving for chocolate and crunch, but is light from the chickpea.  This snack gave me the idea to try to make it myself in the future.

TheSavvyPantry-TheBalancedSnackBoxReview-Title-8BadaBean

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I really liked the crunch from the roasted broad bean.  Bada Bean Bada Boom Mesquite BBQ broad beans was a great snack and I really liked how hearty it was.  I would definitely buy this again in the future.

4 Vegan Grain Bowls with Geovita Organic Mixed Grains

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Hi Savvys,

The warmer weather is finally upon us and has inspired me to eat more salads and veggies.  To ensure that I am inspired every week and don’t get bored of eating the same bowls every day, I really like to mix it up with either the salad dressing, veggies or base.  I love how these Geovita Organic Mixed Grains helps me accomplish just that!

These grains are full of nutrients, packed with flavour and easy to cook, which makes them great for meal prepping.  I recently received this PR package from Geovita which included recipes cards as well as a chart to help you “Build your perfect grain bowl”.  With social distancing, this couldn’t have come at a better time since it really inspired me to choose ingredients that I already had on hand!

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I used the chart as well as the recipe cards to create my own plant-based bowls which I looked forward to eating every day.

Keep reading below to see how I created unique bowls with each grain.

Now set forth and be savvy!

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I made this bowl on a lazy Sunday night for supper using pure leftovers from my fridge.  I am always craving Korean food and often times make it on a Saturday when I have more energy.  While the rice and lentil blend took 10 minutes to cook in my rice cooker, this gave me enough time to chop up all of my veggies and prepare my sauce.  I loved how delicious and fresh this bowl was and how quickly it came together.  Now I have no reason not to enjoy this Korean favourite during the week!

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The next day was a Monday, so for lunch, I decided to use the Falafel Grain Bowl recipe card to ensure that I would begin the week with healthy habits.  What I love about these recipe cards is that the recipes are very simple and use very little ingredients.  By applying the “How to Build your Perfect Grain Bowl Method”, you can easily substitute out any ingredient and still feel satisfied with all of the flavours.  I didn’t have any falafel on hand so I opted to use chickpeas as my protein instead.  I also had leftover roasted cauliflower which went perfectly with this bowl.  You can also easily modify the dressings to suit your own needs, which is what I did by adding some granulated garlic to the tahini dressing.

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I loved the texture of this mixture and it went really well with this burrito bowl.  Because of the texture and heartiness of the mixture, it really soaked up all of the lovely salsa that I had made.  I also loved that I could use up leftovers from my fridge, like roasted onion and zucchini which went perfectly well with this burrito bowl (kind of like the sautéed peppers you’d find at Chipotle restaurants).  I didn’t have any vegan sour cream, but in the future, adding it would be a lovely addition.

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TheSavvyPantry-4VeganGrainBowlsGeovita_Title4-Waldorf

I’ve always wanted to make a Waldorf salad at home since this is one of my favourite salads to order at restaurants.  I made this vegan by swapping out the chicken for chickpeas and using tahini as the base of my dressing.  This dressing was so simple and delicious that I’ve made it every week since receiving this recipe card!  I also love that I could use what ever ingredients I already had on hand, like pumpkin seeds and dried blueberries.  I also love the crunchiness from the celery and apple.  This salad ended up being my favourite out of the 4 that I made and will definitely be making it for family get togethers and BBQs this summer.

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5 Easy Cleaning Swaps for Eco -Friendly Alternatives

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Hi Savvys,

Earth day is finally upon us.  Though this is only marked in our calendars once a year, my philosophy is to live a lifestyle that creates as little impact on the environment as possible within my means.  I love to share tips that I’ve learned along the way with you guys so that you can also live an environmentally friendly lifestyle.

There are lots of alternative products out there as well as alternative ways of living that could help reduce our carbon footprint, but it might not be suitable for everyone’s needs given their living situations and their financial constraints.  This is why it’s important for me to share the tips that I’ve learned over the years that anyone can adapt to their lifestyle.  These tips include making swaps for more eco friendly products that you already purchase and are the same price as the conventional ones, or simply swapping for alternatives where you actually don’t need to purchase anything in addition!

Keep reading below for my 5 easy cleaning swaps for eco-friendly alternatives!  Leave a comment below on what your favourite swaps are.

Don’t forget to check out my other posts related to living an eco-friendly lifestyle:

12 Tips to Reduce Your Waste

8 Reusable Alternatives to Single Use Plastics 

Now set forth and be savvy!

5 Easy Cleaning Swaps for Eco-Friendly Alternatives

  1. Dish Cleansing Paste
    • There are so many recipes out there where you can make your own cleaning products, but not everyone has a DIY thumb, and sometimes the ingredients are hard to find. What I love about the Kliin dish cleansing paste is that you can easily purchase this as an eco-friendly alternative to regular dishwashing liquid.  Traditional dish washing liquid contains about 70% water and 30% active cleaning solution, which means that you are pretty much purchasing water.  When purchasing Kliin dishwashing paste, not only are you purchasing a product that is still highly effective against even the toughest mess, but it is actually lowering its carbon footprints along the entire supply chain because it uses less water since it is a concentrated solution and is lighter to transport.  I also love that this can also be used as an all purposes cleaner for all areas in your kitchen including stovetops, sinks and ceramic surfaces, making this a valuable addition to your cleaning routine.  Check out this link for more information on where you can purchase the Kliin Dish Cleansing Paste.

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  1. Castile Soap
    • Castile soap has been around for decades and has only recently become popularized as people look for healthier soaps for their homes and families. Traditionally, castile soap is made of vegetable oil, however it can now be found made with olive oil, coconut oil, argan oil and other essential oils.  What I love about castile soap is that with 1 bottle, you can turn it into multiple cleaning solutions around your house, which include body wash, hand soap, dish soap and even bathroom cleaner.  Because castile soap is a concentred solution, you just need to add the correct proportion of water based on the need to create your own multi purpose cleaner.  I like to use The Green Beaver Organic Lavender Castile Soap, but there are lots of brands out there that you can find.

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  1. Soap Bars
    • Growing up I always used soap bars, but at a certain point it got really trendy to use body wash. It’s also fun to use body wash because you get to create bubbles with a loofah and lather it all over your body.  However, each year, over 1 billion empty plastic bottles of body wash enter our garbage or recycling system.  Since we know that realistically, not everything gets recycled, and that about 75% of plastics end up in landfills, it’s time to find alternative while still maintaining cleanliness.  This is why I find it so attractive to switch back to soap bars.  There are so many companies making soap bars with as little packaging as possible that the possibilities are endless.

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  1. Tru Earth Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent Strips
    • I love these laundry detergent strips. Not only are you completely eliminating the need for plastic bottles, but it completely cuts out the need to water in this detergent solution.  It is high effective and even healthier for you and your family because it is paraben, phosphate and chlorine free.  I also love that this product is both cruelty free and vegan, which means not only was it not tested on animals but it also contains no animal by products in its formula.  Check out their website for more information

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  1. Newspaper for Compost Liner
    • If you are lucky enough to live in a city that have compost collection, or even live in a household where you have access to a backyard composting system, then this tip is for you! Ever since it’s become mandatory for lots of cities to include organic waste collection as part of their weekly services, companies have come out with compost liners made from either compostable bags or paper bags.  When we first moved into our house, we received a pack of paper bags complimentary from the city for our composting needs.  However, we like to keep these on hand in case of emergency.  Instead, I like to line our compost bin with newspaper!  Newspaper is free, made from recycled paper and is considered a brown material which will help add carbon to the compost pile.  This is probably the easiest swap that you can make since you end up saving money in the long run!

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Amoda Superfood Latte Review

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Hi Savvys!

I was so excited to have received some of Amoda’s new Superfood Lattes!  These lattes come in single serve pouches that are ready for any hot liquid of your choice.  These lattes do not contain any fillers, any artificial flavours, no added sugars and are all naturally vegan.

I love that these lattes are made with high quality ingredients and include adaptogens to give you wellness and balance in every cup.  Check out their website to discover the curated ingredients that are paired with each flavour to help compliment any lifestyle.

They also offer a subscription box for those tea lovers, or to gift to a tea lover in your life!  Don’t forget to check it out on their website as well.

See below for my full review on each flavour.

Now set forth and be savvy!

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I had the Brainiac Chai first thing in the morning to help me get started and motivated for my day of cleaning up.  As the tea box recommended, I mixed it with some hot water.  The first thing I noticed was that there was a very nice aroma as I mixed it with my hot water.  There were really nice notes of chai and coconut.  The appearance of the actual powder was not what I was used to since it was more brown in color, kind of like hot chocolate, but it was also clear and transparent enough that I could see the bottom of my mug.  The flavour was very mild and a touch bland – in the future I will try it with coffee since it recommends that as well.  I suspect this would be really tasty in a plant-based milk as well.  Since I don’t usually have caffeine in my diet, I really liked how the caffeine gave me energy without overwhelming my senses, which is typically what happens when I have lots of caffeine.

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The next tea that I had was the Matcha Glow.  This is probably my favourite of the three and will definitely incorporate this into my weekly routine.  I had warmed up some plant-based milk over the stove top and added the Matcha powder.  I whisked it well until it was well combined.  I found that the powder dissolved really nicely and quickly into the warm milk.  I also really liked the color and specs of Matcha in the drink.  The flavour was rich, almost like a dessert and would go well with a baked good on the side.  The tea does mention that there is a coconut base however I did not taste it – I think I would try it with a coconut milk to see how the flavours are enhanced and go together.

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I tried the Golden Hour tea after lunch.  I had also mixed it in some warmed-up plant-based milk and really liked the golden color to my drink as well as how well it mixed into the liquid.  The turmeric and coconut flavours really balanced each other out.  I did not notice any after taste, however I think the flavours would be more pronounced if I added some maple syrup to it as well.  This does taste like something I would make at home using ingredients in my pantry, which is great because the flavours and ingredients are very clean.

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GoodFood Meal Kit Review

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Hi Savvys!

I am always on the look-out for new inspiration and new flavours that I can add to my repertoire.  With all of these new meal kit subscription boxes, it is a great way to test new flavours and recipes without having to commit to too many ingredients since they provide you everything you need for the recipes!  I especially love how a lot of these companies have huge discounts for first timers since it allows me to test the different recipes and ingredients out there.

When I saw that GoodFood had a special on their boxes (I paid $24 for 3 vegetarian recipes for 2 people), I knew I wanted to try it out.  Like many meal kit subscription boxes on the market today, they offer fresh ingredients that come with step by step recipe cards.  What sets GoodFood apart from other companies is that they are committed to donating a meal for every meal kit purchased to a local school in need.  I love companies that give back to the communities in which they operate in!

What I would say however is there is still an opportunity to reduce plastic waste associated with these subscription boxes.  Though the plastic does serve as a way to protect the freshness and integrity of the ingredients, I do believe that there are still opportunities to preserve the ingredients without having to use single use plastics.  I do like how some of the ingredients do come in mini plastic containers that I can reuse in the future for home use.  The ice packs also come in handy for road trips and BBQs!

See below for my reviews for each recipe.  Don’t forget to check out the full video and leave your comments!

Now set forth and be savvy!

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I don’t think I’ve ever actually had an quesadilla before and am not typically craving it however I chose this as part of my box because I wanted to see for myself what it was like!  This recipe was pretty easy – the longest part was waiting for the cauliflower to roast.  The spices that came with this recipe was actually really tasty and I’d love to use it again for future dishes and other veggies.  It was flavourful and very easy to make.

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Who doesn’t like a baked pasta dish?  I’ve never had mafaldine pasta before but after trying this recipe, I am addicted.  I love the shape – it reminds me of miniature lasagna noodles.  It’s perfect for tomato sauce and the spices were really great as well.  I also like how this was served with green beans to really round out the meal with a serving a veggies. In the future, I probably wouldn’t bake this as cooking it over the stove top was already delicious all on it’s own.

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This recipe actually was a pretty big portion and made enough for 4 servings, which is great value.  I always make Thai curry at home and received a very similar curry paste in the recipe, so this was one of the least exciting recipes for me.  However, I really enjoyed the pairing over red rice since this is something that I never thought to do.  It’s great that I am still able to learn something new!  I also added more veggies that I had in the fridge which was perfect since we were able to have leftovers for lunch the next day.  I also noticed that the tofu was probably frozen beforehand and thawed out due to the chewy consistency.  This is actually a hack a lot of people do, in order to make the tofu more meatier in texture, you can freeze it and that before using!

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Toronto Vegandale 2019

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Hi Savvys!

I was so happy to attend this year’s Vegandale in Toronto.   I had attended last year and was so excited to see the different vendors this year.  Entry this year was $10 for early birds and $15 at the door.  There were lots of brands that had booths such as Daiya, Silk, Yves and Magnum offering full sized free samples – you definitely got your money’s worth.

 

 

Like last year, we brought our own reusable bags, containers, cutlery and water bottles to ensure we were reducing the amount of waste that tends to be produced at these types of food festivals.  And like last year, Vegandale came equipped with a refillable water bottle station with cold water for both you and your furry friend!

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I also enjoyed seeing so many restaurants having their own booths as well, such as Fresh and Planta Burger.   It was great to see so many local restaurants offering their specialties off their menus.  We had ordered the Southwest Burger from Planta burger with their truffle fries – my absolute favourite and served crispy with ketchup!

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I also made my annual trip to the Good Rebel to stock up on some vegan staples like soy curls and TVP.  I love that they now offer shipping across Canada so I can stock up all year round.  Definitely check out their website!  They offer a wide variety of vegan products, from pantry staples to frozen products, such as Beyond Meat sausages.

Last year the event was held on both Saturday and Sunday but this year it was only held on Saturday, which did make the line ups a bit lengthy.  We waited especially long at Ital Vital for about 15 minutes, but it was well worth it.  We enjoyed their Jerk with rice and sides.  Luckily we brought our own containers because we packed it up and ate it for dinner at home!

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I look forward every year to Toronto Vegandale where I can explore and be inspired by all of the loca vendors.  It seems like this festival is getting bigger and bigger every year and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for years to come.  Don’t forget to check out my video to see the experience.

Now set forth and be savvy!

8 Reusable Alternatives to Single Use Plastics

8 Reusable Alternatives to Single Use Plastics for Plastic Free July

Hi Savvys!Hope everyone is enjoying their Plastic Free July!July may be almost over, but I hope all of our new habits and healthy lifestyle changes will stick around all year round! Especially now that it’s summer, we have less time to spend indoors and look to convenience products since we want to maximize and enjoy the warm weather while it lasts.

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I’ve put together a list of my top 8 reusable alternatives to single use plastics that you can incorporate into your summer routine, whether it be attending food festivals, traveling or even enjoying a BBQ or two.

  1. Reusable Floss

Not only is this floss pot reusable for years to come, the floss itself is also vegan and compostable. That means when we’re done with the floss, we just throw it into our bathroom compost bin!

  1. Bamboo Toothbrush

I love that companies are so innovative now and creating everyday single use products out of renewable resources. Bamboo is considered a renewable resource as it can grow up to 4 inches a day. Cutting and harvesting bamboo actually improves the soil quality. Again, at the end of its useful life, we throw our bamboo toothbrushes into the compost bin.

  1. Diva Cup

I love my Diva Cup. It can be used between 2 – 4 years before having to be disposed of. Not only is it diverting pads and tampons from the landfills, it will also save you money in the long run!

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  1. Reusable Travel Zip Pouches

If you know me, then you know I love to travel. A lot of single use plastic bags are typically used when travelling to hold toiletries and electronics. I love these reusable zip pouches since they’re see through so security can see what’s in them as you’re passing through security check, and they’re sturdy enough to hold electronics such as wires and cables.

  1. Reusable Snacks Bags

Staying with the traveling theme, I always love to bring snacks with me no matter how long the car ride or flight is. I love that these pouches come in 2 different sizes to meet my snacking needs.

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  1. Travel To-Go Ware RePEaT Bamboo Utensil Set

I love that these bamboo utensils come in a pouch for easy traveling. I bring them with me when we have BBQ’s, potlucks or food festivals. Lightweight and can fit in my purse!

  1. To-Go Ware 2 Tier Stainless Steel Tiffin

Growing up I’ve always wanted these types of containers since they always reminded me of the bento boxes that anime characters would eat from. Now that I’m older, I love them for their practicality! They can fit salads and fruits and can fit into my small travel sized lunch box for when we travel by plane!

  1. ChicoBag Vita Shopping Bag

Of course we know how important it is to have reusable bags on us. But sometimes when we’re on the go, we don’t always have the space in our purse to stuff a reusable bag into. Luckily this shopping bag from ChicoBag is collapsible and comes with a key ring for your convenience. I never leave my house with this bag!TheSavvyPantry-8ReusableAlternativesPlasticFreeJuly2019 (3)

Of course, there are always reusable things around your house that you can use and incorporate that doesn’t cost extra money, but I wanted to share this fun list with you to show you products if you were interested in investing and reusing for the years to come.Leave your comment below to let me know what your favourite reusable alternative is.Now set forth and be savvy!

 

Toronto Green Living Show 2019

Toronto Green Living Show 2019

Hi Savvys!

This year was the 14th annual Green Living Show held in Toronto, and it was my 2nd time attending.  The Green Living Show  is Canada’s largest healthy living expo, showcasing products and companies to suit every aspect of your life.  If you’ve ever met me, then you know I’m all about sustainable living and sharing tips on how to reduce your overall carbon footprint.  I was so delighted this year to see that there was a whole section dedicated to sustainable fashion.

There were really cool companies showcasing their sustainable fashion, from scarves and tops made from organic cotton to handbags and hats made from leaves.  I picked myself up a pair of glasses made from recycled plastic from Dresden.  These glasses are super customizable and very durable.

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I also discovered the beautiful swimsuits from The Saltwater Collective where their gorgeous swimsuits are made from abandoned fishing nets and plastic scraps.  I felt so inspired walking this area and seeing the innovative things companies are doing to address the amount of waste we create.

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Within the Sustainable Fashion area, there was an interactive museum that showed different facts of the impact our purchasing decisions have on the environment.

At the Green Living Show, they seem to be evolving their food court, which they call their Food & Drink Pavilion, every year.   Like last year, it is a cashless system where you purchase food coupons before entering the pavilion.  After entering the pavilion, you use the coupons as currency to purchase food and drink.  This year was all about international tapas style foods.  They also have a beer and wine section.  Just like last year, we unfortunately never made it to this section because we always get so stuffed from trying all of the samples at the booths, but I would definitely love to check it out next year.

One of my favourite activities when visiting the Green Living Show is checking out all of the food vendors, of course.   There is always a huge selection of products to fit your lifestyle needs, whether it’s gluten free, organic or plant based.  I picked myself up all of the Nona’s cream sauces for an incredible deal and regret not purchasing more.  There were so many food vendors giving out samples that you could seriously have a meal here before you called it a day.

Don’t forget to check out my video below to see the experience.

Now set forth and be savvy!

 

Pinterest - Green Living Show