Has your get up and go, got up and gone? Juice up your day with nourishing greens, bursting with energy to spare. We added a kiss of apple and a handful of strawberries for sweetness and recommend including a frozen banana for an extra creamy texture. Our Redwood Hill Farm Plain Kefir or Green Valley Organics Plain Kefir pack a punch of protein. Make enough to share as family and friends will be green with envy of your renewed vim and vigor.

Go-Go Greens Smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup (about 1 handful) leafy greens (chard, spinach or kale with ribs removed)
1/2 cup Green Valley Organics or Redwood Hill Farm Plain Kefir
1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries (about 5 whole berries)
1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice or cider
1/2 medium frozen banana
1/2 cup ice cubes (adjust to reach desired consistency)

Preparation

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Bigger Boost: Add a tablespoon of chia seeds for a boost of fiber, omega 3s, and calcium. Add a scoop of lactose-free whey protein isolate powder for added protein.

Redwood Hill Farm and Green Valley Organics are available at Whole Foods Markets, natural food stores and specialty grocers nationwide. To find a store near you, go to redwoodhill.com/store and greenvalleylactosefree.com/stores/.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Green Valley Organics.*

Need a little brain boost? Don’t get blue; enjoy a healthy helping of blueberries, known for their phytochemical prowess and antioxidants, both thought to improve cognitive function. Combine with walnuts for their essential fatty acids and our easy-to-digest Redwood Hill Farm Plain Goat Milk Kefir or lactose free Green Valley Organics Plain Kefir for a thoughtful drink that will have you pondering (and answering) the meaning of life in no time.

Brainy Blueberry Smoothie

Ingredients

1/2 cup Green Valley Organics or Redwood Hill Farm Plain Kefir
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup unsweetened blueberry, pomegranate, or orange juice
1/2 medium fresh or frozen banana
2 Tbs. walnuts (about 6 halves)
1/2 cup ice cubes, adjust to reach desired consistency

Preparation

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Bigger Boost: Add a teaspoon of lecithin per serving, a natural source of choline required by the body to support nervous system health, brain function, and heart and liver health.

Redwood Hill Farm and Green Valley Organics are available at Whole Foods Markets, natural food stores and specialty grocers nationwide. To find a store near you, go to redwoodhill.com/store and greenvalleylactosefree.com/stores/.

*Recipe courtesy of Green Valley Organics.*

As gifts go, grandparents cherish those that are homemade. In honor of this Grandparents Day on September 9th, Tree Top has developed a delicious and kid-friendly gift idea that will show grandma and grandpa how much they care!

Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

Cookies:

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup quick oats

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cloves

2 teaspoons lemon zest

¾ cup salted butter, softened (“Mom” prefers organic)

1 ½ cups sugar

1 large egg (“Mom” prefers organic)

½ cup Tree Top Natural Apple Sauce

½ cup maple syrup

1 cup chopped apples with peels

2 cups caramel chips

Icing:

1 cup powdered sugar

2 – 3 tablespoons milk (“Mom” prefers organic)

1 teaspoon maple flavoring

Preparation

STEP 1: Break out your apron and mixer! Grandparents won’t be able to resist these yummy caramel apple oatmeal cookies. Moms and dads, remember kiddos will need your help in the kitchen – supervision is a must.

Preheat oven to 300°F.

In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, oats, salt, soda, cinnamon, cloves and lemon zest. Mix well; add butter, sugar, egg, apple sauce and maple syrup. Mix until well blended.

Add fresh chopped apples and caramel chips. Mix until all ingredients are combined. Do not over mix. Dough will be soft.

Drop by rounded tablespoon-full onto greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 12-15 minutes until bottoms are golden.

Mix powdered sugar, milk and maple flavoring in small bowl until smooth. While cookies are still warm, ice with maple icing and let set.

STEP 2: Entice your grandparents by wrapping the cookies up in an extra special way! Some suggestions include:

Place cookies carefully into a cellophane gift bag. Tie the top closed with bakers’ twine.

Place a sheet of parchment paper onto a sheet of tissue paper. With cookies in the middle, gather the edges and tie with bakers’ twine. For extra decoration, cut a strip of card stock to wrap around the package as a decorative band.

Cut an 8-by-8 inch square of tissue paper, and fold all four corners around the cookie. Seal with an extra-special sticker.

STEP 3: What gift is complete without a card? Make this one extra special with a poem written by Tree Top especially for grandparents on their special day.

Happy Grandparents Day to one of the best.

To have you in my life, I sure am blessed.

I hope you know you’re the apple of my eye.

Here’s a gift I made for you, give it a try!

STEP 4: Attach the card to the cookie package and give to your grandma and grandpa with a big hug!

*Recipe and image courtesy of Tree Top.*

If you love mashed potatoes, but would like a lower fat yet higher nutrient-rich dish, opt for mashing cauliflower instead!

Cauliflower Mash (Faux Mashed Potatoes)

Ingredients

3 1/2 cups frozen cauliflower – 1-16 oz bag

3 oz Kitchen Basics unsalted chicken stock

3 1/2 tbsps Non-Fat Greek yogurt

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil – drizzle

Preparation

Cook cauliflower with some of the broth in microwave for 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked but still a bit crunchy, not mushy. Put all ingredients, except extra virgin olive oil, into a blender or food processer and puree until the consistency of mashed potatoes drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Serves 4.

*Recipe and image courtesy of ZoneDiet.com.*

Two cups of fresh mushrooms make this dish rich and flavorful, and the added orange extract, dill and cinnamon add distinct flavor.

Turkey Scaloppini with Mushrooms

Ingredients

2 tsp olive oil, divided

3 oz cooked turkey breast, sliced in strips

3/4 cup onion, finely chopped

2 tsp cider vinegar

1/8 tsp lemon herb seasoning

2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tsp cornstarch

1 tsp orange extract

1/8 tsp dill

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 cup water – lemon and lime flavored

Preparation

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in medium nonstick sauté pan. Sauté turkey with onion, cider vinegar, and lemon herb seasoning. Sauté until turkey is cooked through. In second sauté pan heat remaining oil and sauté mushrooms for 3 to 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and sauté until liquid is thickened. (Mix cornstarch with a little water to dissolve it before adding to saucepan.) Spoon mushroom mixture onto serving plate and top with turkey.

Makes 1 serving.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Toxic Fat.*

From Mastering the Zone comes this simple, healthy dish for dinner that can be made in a mere 30 minutes.

Chicken Apple Medley

Ingredients

2 cups frozen broccoli, prepared as package directs

3 tsp olive oil, divided

6 tsp cider vinegar, divided

6 oz boneless skinless chicken breast (or chicken tenderloins, flattened)

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 1/2 cups fruit cocktail, water packed

1/2 tsp cinnamon

5 cups mushrooms, sliced

1/2 tsp parsley

1/4 tsp paprika

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation

Cook broccoli and set aside. In a sauté pan, add 1 teaspoon oil, 4 teaspoons vinegar and flattened chicken. Cook until chicken is browned; then add applesauce, fruit cocktail and cinnamon to sauté pan. Simmer for 5-10 minutes to blend flavors.

In a second nonstick sauté pan, add 2 teaspoons oil, 2 teaspoons vinegar and mushrooms and prepared broccoli. Cook mushrooms until tender. On two dinner plates, place a mound of sautéed mushrooms, topped with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with parsley, paprika, salt and pepper.

Makes 2 servings.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Mastering The Zone.*

Here’s a great way to incorporate protein into a healthy banana bread recipe – perfect for busy mornings or a quick grab and go snack in the afternoon.

Banana Protein Bread

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas
1 cup of oat flour
2 scoops of vanilla protein powder
1 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt
3 egg whites
1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce
6 to 8 packets of Truvia
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Place bananas in a mixing bowl and mix until you have a pudding-like texture.

3. Add all remaining ingredients, except nuts, to bowl and mix well.

4. Carefully fold nuts into batter.

5. Prepare an 8-inch-by-inch Pyrex dish by spraying it with a nonstick spray.

6. Evenly place batter in dish and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until center is completely cooked.

7. Cut into 12 squares and enjoy 3 to 4 squares for a well-rounded, on-the-go breakfast!

*Recipe and image courtesy of HellaWella.*

Brittany Davila is the author of LittleBsHealthyHabits.com, which follows her as she strives to live a clean, fit lifestyle. She shares lots of clean eating recipes and workouts, and gives glimpses into her everyday life, hoping others will recognize you don’t have to be a fitness model or competitor to live a fit life. She is just a normal girl that works 40-plus hours a week but chooses to make fitness and health a top priority.

Whether you make them for an afternoon snack or a weekend tailgating party, this reduced fat cookie recipe will bring autumn’s scents and flavors to any occasion.

Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

½ cup butter

¾ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup Tree Top Natural Apple Sauce

3 egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups oats (quick or old-fashioned, uncooked)

Preparation

Heat oven to 350°F. Beat butter and both sugars with mixer until creamy.

Add egg whites, apple sauce and vanilla. Beat well. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together; add to wet ingredients and mix well

Add oats and any optional ingredients; mix well. Place evenly spaced on ungreased baking sheet, by the tablespoon. Bake 8-10 minutes until light golden brown.

Try adding 1 cup of raisins, walnuts, chocolate chips, or cranberries.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Tree Top.*

Fun to make after school, these will certainly make little ones smile!

Stuffed Banana Smiles

Ingredients

1 medium bananas with peel on
1 tablespoon Sun-Maid Natural Raisins or Sun-Maid Golden Raisins
1 tablespoon semi-sweet, milk or white baking pieces (“Mom” prefers organic)

Preparation

PLACE banana, with peel on, flat on its side on a microwave-safe plate.

STARTING and ending 1/4-inch from the ends of banana, cut a slit lengthwise through the banana up to the skin on the other side.

GENTLY open the banana. Use your fingers to stuff the banana with raisins, then add chocolate chips.

MICROWAVE banana uncovered on high for 40-60 seconds or until chocolate begins to melt and banana is still firm. Banana skin may darken slightly. Eat immediately, scooping with a spoon right out of the banana peel.

Other ideas include:

At a party! Invite guests to prepare their own banana smile!

On your BBQ! Place each banana flat on its side, on a piece of aluminum foil and follow steps 2 and 3 above. Wrap bananas loosely and pinch foil closed. Place on covered barbecue grill or over hot coals for about 5 minutes or just until chocolate begins to melt and banana is still firm.

In the oven! Place wrapped bananas on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 350 F for 5 minutes.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Sun-Maid.*

Green Media Dangers

One of the best ways for a modern family to reduce the amount of clutter in their home while also encouraging entertainment providers to produce less potential waste is by taking advantage of all of the online media streaming options for music, movies, or TV shows. After all, even those of us who try to minimize our family’s consumption of television related entertainment still enjoy watching movies sometimes, children will always love watching cartoons, and teenagers will want to listen to the hottest new tunes.

The Benefits of Online Viewing

Companies such as Netflix have made it very easy to access tens of thousands of movies and TV shows instantly online. This not only makes life a lot easier, it also allows you to reduce your carbon footprint, because you will not have to drive anywhere to purchase or rent a movie. In addition, you won’t be required to have the physical space to store DVDs, nor do you have to be concerned about all of the plastics used to create each DVD case.

The Negative Side of Online Entertainment

Although media technology has decreased its environmental impact, the rise in popularity of online entertainment has also led to a huge increase in Internet piracy. There are hundreds of websites devoted entirely to profiting off of bootleg materials. The worst part about this issue is you could be duped into viewing and perhaps even paying for something that is illegal. It is important to understand that ignorance will not stand as a valid excuse in a court of law. As the major media conglomerates continue to crack down on Internet piracy, it is possible for someone who did not have bad intentions to get caught in the middle of a legal battle. This will require them to hire the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Katz & Phillips, an Orlando criminal attorney group, encourages Internet users to avoid the seemingly innocent activity of Internet piracy. By giving an example of a Minnesota woman who illegally downloaded 24 songs, she was fined $1.9 million. It never occurred to her that she was doing something illegal and the end result would be a hefty fine. Although the Internet is a convenient resource, consumers should be careful which sites they visit and how they conduct themselves online.

Safe Online Viewing

Sites with safe and legal online music or movie downloads are easy to find. First, you should steer clear of any websites that aren’t familiar to you. While it might be tempting to click on a link that is advertising free streaming of a recent movie or latest song, you need to ask yourself if getting a computer virus or potentially engaging in an illegal activity is worth it. Secondly, you can sign up for a regular movie and TV show Internet streaming service, such as Netflix, Hulu or Blockbuster or you can purchase music online through companies like itunes or Amazon.

Home entertainment and music will eventually become completely centered on streaming media. By taking advantage of it now, you can reduce your expenses and start participating in a greener method of watching movies or listening to music. Internet piracy will probably never go away, but you can avoid it by sticking to major providers for your online content.

About the Author

Krista Langford is a green lifestyle advocate and a contributing author for Katz & Phillips, an Orlando criminal attorney group. These Internet law experts specialize in crimes across the web, which include but are not limited to the following: spamming, piracy, hacking, creation and distribution of viruses as well as phishing. They couple their extensive Internet knowledge with their tenacious criminal defense law expertise to ensure that their client’s case has the best possible outcome. Hire an experienced advocate to be on your side!