Jingle all the way! These tasty and healthy date bran balls can be made with orange juice in place of the brandy to make them more family-friendly.

Date Bran Jingle Balls

Ingredients

2 cups cereal, bran flakes
3/4 cup dates, pitted and whole
1/2 cup nuts, pecans, toasted
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons cream cheese – softened
2 teaspoons brandy
1/2 cup nuts – finely chopped

Preparation

1. Place cereal, dates and pecans in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add honey, cream cheese and brandy (or orange liqueur or orange juice) and pulse until a stiff dough forms.

2. Scoop tablespoon-size portions and shape with greased hands into balls. Roll each ball in chopped nuts (or date sugar or coconut or wheat germ). Place on wax paper. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving or storing.

*Recipe and image courtesy of BetterEats.com, Everyday Health’s new food site.*

In search of an earth-friendly stocking stuffer idea that won’t break the bank? Elle Naturals has now intrduced newluscious lip balms to their lovely line, and has generously offered Tiny Green Mom readers a special coupon! Pleaseuse the coupon code TINYGREENMOM when shopping online, which is good for $5 off orders of $20 or more!

Visit their website, ElleNaturals.com, to take advantage of this exclusive offer!

Give the gift of cookies that they can enjoy whenever the mood strikes them. An easy gingerbread cookie mix in a jar makes a great teacher gift this Christmas and holiday season.

Gingerbread Cookie Mix

Ingredients

1 quart-sized glass jar with a lid
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup packed muscovado or dark brown sugar

Additions

Small containers of sprinkles
Cookie cutter

Directions For Assembling Jar

1.In a small bowl, mix together 1 ¾ cups flour and the ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves, and nutmeg. Add in an even layer to the jar.

2.Layer the brown sugar, followed by the remaining 1 ¾ cup flour. Top the jar with the lid and decorate.

To Make Gingerbread Cookies:

½ cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 large egg
¼ cup molasses

Preparation

Mix together butter, eggs, and molasses. Stir in the contents of the jar until incorporated. Chill the dough for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll out gingerbread dough and cut into shapes and then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes until edges just start to brown. Allow to cool completely. Decorate with icing and sprinkles.

Makes 1 gingerbread cookie mix

Recipe and image courtesy of Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine by Shaina Olmanson

May 2012, Harvard Common Press

Cookbook, 152 pages, hardcover

978-1-55832-798-6 $16.95 US, $17.95 CAN

7 x 8, 4-color photographs

About the Author

Minnesota native Shaina Olmanson is a home cook, photographer, and mother of four young children. More than 50,000 readers flock to her blog Food for My Family (one of PBS’ top “Food Blogs We Loved in 2011”) every month for menu planning tips and family-friendly recipes that reflect her commitment to healthful, local, and seasonal cooking. Shaina can usually be found in one of three places: cooking, at the computer, or behind the camera. More often than not, these three things occur in the kitchen simultaneously.

Here’s an eco-fabulous gift any woman on your gift list this season will love – the new Indulgent Body Lotion Kit from Weleda! Featuring the four rich, luxuriously soft new lotions, including Weleda Citrus Replenishing Body Lotion, Sea Buckthorn Replenishing Body Lotion, Wild Rose Pampering Body Lotion, and Pomegranate Regenerating Body Lotion, this is the perfect present to pamper Mom, Grandma, your best friend, or your favorite office pal! It makes an appreciated and lovely gift.

Why do we love the new Indulgent Body Lotion Kit at Tiny Green Mom? Each scent is crisp and clean, and the lotions leave your skin feeling extremely soft and radiant. Plus, each lotion offers an unique formulation for different skin types.

You can find Weleda products at your local Target store, or you can purchase online at Weleda.com. Full sizes (pictured above) of each lotion are available, as well!

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

5 Natural Supplements that Help Heal Your Body

If you’re already dealing with a cold or flu virus that you might have caught from the kids or elsewhere, it’s time to take charge and keep away the germs. Of course there’s always your family physician you can visit so that you can enjoy the holidays, but who wants to wait at a clinic or schedule an appointment? Instead you could try taking natural supplements that will naturally heal your body. Besides dealing with the common cold, you may also be struggling with a muscle injury, inflammation from a sprain, or other sports related injuries. Look to this guide so that you have a good idea about how each supplement will help heal and protect your body from injuries and illnesses, the natural way.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin – Both of these natural multivitamin ranges help with repairing your joints and also reduce the inflammation. Connective tissue healing takes time, but both of these supplements will expedite the process.

Vitamin C – You’re probably very familiar with this vitamin, but if you need a reminder vitamin C helps with your immune system. No, it doesn’t completely cure a flue or cold, but it does help your body fight off a virus more successfully. As opposed to taking Airborne, opt for the direct version of vitamin C by drinking more orange juice or taking a vitamin C daily supplement.

Vitamin B3 – If you like to eat fish a lot you already have some of this vitamin in your system, but probably not nearly enough. Restore your muscles after difficult workouts with this supplement. Since there is only about 15mg of vitamin B3 in a fillet of fish, you need much more of this vitamin. Use this supplement as a convenient way to provide your body with more protein and more power for a speedy recovery.

Cetyl Myristoleate – Have you heard of this supplement before? If not, it is used to help with arthritis. 12-15 grams over a series of 30 days will help with arthritic symptoms and should also help with the pain that you experience due to inflamed joints. It also works well for sprains and strains since arthritis is very similar, except arthritis is more on-going than a temporary sprain.

Vitamin E – This powerful antioxidant is another great supplement that will help the cells in your body fend off harmful viruses that threaten your system. If you happen to like sunflower seeds you’re in luck because vitamin E is found in this type of seed. Take this supplement and eat your sunflower seeds and you’ll be thrilled at how your body naturally heals itself.

Of course natural supplements are not a cure all, so if you have any questions or doubts it is important to consult a physician or someone you trust. However, supplements are important to take and will improve your health and diet. Of course obtaining these supplements in the foods that you eat on a daily basis is also important. Rest up and feel better this holiday season by taking supplements and taking care of both you and your family!

About the Author

Sierra is a freelance writer who enjoys learning about supplements because they help her improve her health!

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.com.*

Ladies – you will fall in love with the Sonja Sweater from Krimson Klover this winter! Perfect for snuggling up by the fire, or looking cozy yet chic while out and about in the chilly weather! The Sonja Sweater is made from luxurious 100% merino wool for a sumptous look and feel. The sweater is available in 5 rich colors to complement your style, including Aubergine, Black, Coriander, Espresso and Ruby.

Krimson Klover is committed to providing adventurous women a clothing line that is feminine, playful, and features vivacious luxury fibers. Fun, yet elegant patterns, bright colors and impeccable quality are the core of this innovative collection. Krimson Klover is devoted to environmental and social responsibility by using Merino and Pima cotton yarns from sources that respect their animals, employees, and Mother Earth.

Wouldn’t you like to wrap yourself up in it this holiday season?! From November 24th – December 10th, 2012, you can enter to win the Sonja Sweater daily on Tiny Green Mom!

First, leave a comment below to let us know why you would love to win the Krimson Klover Giveaway!

To obtain extra entries:

Follow Tiny Green Mom on Twitter. Leave a comment with your Twitter name to let us know that this has been done. This is only valid for one entry.

Leave a comment on another Tiny Green Mom post. Leave a comment below with the name of the post you commented on. This is only valid for one entry.

Visit Krimson Klover on Facebook. Please leave a comment below to let us know you have stopped by their page to learn something new! This is only valid for one entry.

Follow Krimson Klover on Twitter. Leave a comment with your Twitter name to let us know that this has been done. This is only valid for one entry.

Pin It to Win it! Visit Krimson Klover on Pinterest. This is valid for only one entry.

Blog about this giveaway. You must have a link to this giveaway in your blog post. Please leave a comment with the link to your blog post. This is only valid for one entry.

The Krimson Klover Giveaway ends on December 10th, 2012 and is open to the US only. Please leave your email address in each comment, and make sure to leave a separate comment for every each and every entry that you make so that they will count for you!

Thank you! “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom can’t wait to announce the winner of this eco-fabulous giveaway!

Mom” was excited to take part in the DKNY Throw Décor Challenge this past month – we took a gorgeous, yummy DKNY Sweater Throw, and incorporated it into our décor at home! This neutral palate provided a background for natural, sea-inspired elements in the living room, and went from just a plain throw to an integral part of the décor!

Using the backdrop of a white coffee table, the sable DKNY sweater throw was twisted around a large piece of interesting driftwood, with large shells, a sand dollar, and a starfish placed in its folds. A colorful glass turtle sat gazing down at them all from the piece of driftwood!

While this lovely sweater throw is a warm and cozy blanket for chilly evenings, it can just as easily be used to decorate the home! What would you do with the throw, besides snuggle up in it, of course?!

You can check out the entire DKNY collection at Donna Karan Home Collections – the throw is available in ivory, charcoal and sable.

*A sample was provided for the DKNY Throw Décor Challenge. All thoughts expressed herein are from the author of the website.*

If you often have small quantities of several varieties of dried beans in your pantry, here is a great way to use them up. For a festive presentation, add the bread crumb or caramelized apple topping.

Cider Baked Beans

Ingredients

Medium (approx. 4 quart) slow cooker

2 cups assorted dried beans 500 mL
2 onions, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, peeled and thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 large parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp chili powder 10 mL
1 tsp salt 5 mL
1 tsp cracked black peppercorns 5 mL
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick piece, about 2 inches (5 cm)
1 cup apple cider or juice 250 mL
1 cup water 250 mL
1⁄2 cup maple syrup 125 mL
2 tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 30 mL
2 tbsp (30 mL) cold water

Preparation

1. Soak beans according to your preferred method (see pages 6 and 7). Drain and rinse and set aside.
2. In slow cooker stoneware, combine beans, onions, celery, carrots, parsnips, garlic, chili powder, salt, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, apple cider, water and maple syrup. Cover and cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours or on High for 5 to 6 hours, until beans are tender.
3. In a bowl, combine dissolved cornstarch with 2 tbsp (30 mL) hot cooking liquid from beans and stir until smooth. Gradually add up to 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) hot bean liquid, stirring until mixture is smooth. Return mixture to stoneware and stir well until sauce thickens.

Serves 8.

Variation

Cider Baked Beans with Bread Crumb Topping: Preheat broiler. After beans are cooked, ladle them into individual heatproof tureens or a baking dish. In a bowl, combine 1 cup (250 mL) dry bread crumbs with 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) each melted butter and finely chopped parsley. Sprinkle over beans and place under broiler until topping is lightly browned and beans are bubbling.

Make Ahead

To manage your time most effectively when making this dish, soak the dried beans overnight. Peel and chop the onions, celery, carrots, parsnips and garlic the night before you plan to cook. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Measure the dried spices and cover. Combine apple cider, water and maple syrup in a 4-cup (1 L) measure. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, drain and rinse the beans and proceed with the recipe.

Excerpted from 250 Best Beans, Lentils & Tofu Recipes by The Editors of Robert Rose Inc. © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca All rights reserved: May not be reprinted without permission.

These pumpkin-inspired muffins courtesy of The Tefft House located in Plainview, MN will have the whole house smelling simply divine while baking!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

2 cups gluten free flour (such as Domata or Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour)

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ cup ground flax seed (optional)

1 cup Libby’s Solid Pack pumpkin

¼ cup sour cream (“Mom” prefers organic)

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

2 eggs (“Mom” prefers cage-free, organic eggs)

¼ cup softened butter (“Mom” prefers organic)

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the first seven ingredients.

In another bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, cream, sour cream, and eggs. Mix thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients and butter; mix until well blended.

Spray muffin cups with baking spray. Fill each cup almost to the top. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Remove from pans. Serve immediately.

This recipe makes 12 muffins.

*Recipe and image courtesy of BNBFinder.com.*

Those adorable little legwarmers that are seen adorning tiny legs and arms this Fall are available in soft, organic cotton, as well! BabyLegs® Organic offers vibrant stripes and pretty prints to mix and match with all of your child’s outfits, and one size fits most, so the legwarmers can be worn as your child matures. PLus, for added fun, the legwarmers can also be worn as armwarmers, too! What “Mom” loves about these cute styles is that they can help to transition your baby or toddler’s clothing from Summer to Fall with style. Plus, they make diaper changes a breeze!

In addition to keeping wee ones warm, the organic legwarmers are perfect for protecting tiny knees and elbows as babies learn to crawl and walk. Our favorites include the Duchess and Dorothy styles with tiny ruffles – could they be any cuter?!

To learn more about BabyLegs® Organic, to locate a retailer near you, or to order online, visit BabyLegs.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*