Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Randall's and White Wave Foods. My opinions are my own.
Like many almost two-year olds, my little CC can be a challenge to shop with. His fierce curiosity, unbridled enthusiasm, and tendency toward a rather LOUD form of self-expression can often leave me feeling exasperated. It makes something as simple as a quick stop for milk feel more like running a gauntlet than running an errand.
We're learning though. And I've discovered that there are some things that make the task a bit easier - like shopping carts with little cars attached to them. Our neighborhood Randall's always seems to have one of these wonder-carts available, which makes it a favorite place to do our weekly grocery shopping.
On a recent trip, my crafty little tot managed to escape his car and make a run for it. I thought I would have to chase him across the store but as I watched him hurdle his tiny body across the shiny linoleum I realized that he was on a very specific mission.
CC made a bee-line for a display we'd just passed, grabbed a package of Horizon cookies, spun around, and then returned triumphantly to the cart in order to drop them inside. He then got back in his car, buckled himself up, and honked his horn with delight.
"I need cookies!", he shouted.
This was a clear sign that my little boy had learned an important lesson; what goes in your grocery cart ends up in your body. While he hopes to fill our cart with snacks and treats, his Mama has a different set of priorities. When I go shopping I certainly want the products I'm bringing home to be delicious, but it's also important to me that they are healthy for my family and good choices for the environment. One easy way to help make sure we stay on track is to try and meet these goals one cart at a time. Every cart counts, so I try to fill each one with care.
I don't believe that there is one perfect diet or lifestyle, but I do think that it's possible to make a better choice today than I did yesterday. Instead of trying to make perfect choices I focus on making better ones. It's a perspective that helps keep me feeling inspired without getting hung up on whether or not I'm doing it right.
Whether your diet is paleo, omnivorous, vegan, or somewhere in between there are always opportunities for improving the healthfulness or sustainability of what lands in your grocery cart.
Eating fruits and vegetables is obviously a healthy choice, right? When I reach for a strawberry instead of a chocolate bar I'm on the right path and that's something to celebrate. The next day I might take it another step forward by making that strawberry organic or washing it down with some almond milk instead of dairy milk.
When you take that extra step to choose organic or try out a plant-based alternative to a traditionally meat or dairy-based product you are not only making a wonderful choice for your own health but also promoting a healthier environment. Here are a few examples of what I mean:
- Earthbound Farm makes use of over 50,000 acres for its organic farming operations, keeping synthetic chemicals out of the environment.
- It takes an average of 77% less water to produce one half-gallon of plant-based beverages versus conventional dairy milk.
- Brands like Silk and So Delicious participate in the Non GMO Project's Product Verification Program which helps provide transparency for consumers who choose not to consume genetically modified ingredients.
And just by choosing brands that promote and enact environmentally responsible practices you are supporting those ideas - making them more popular and more attractive to other companies and consumers. When you think about it, every grocery cart you fill is an opportunity to influence the world we live in. Those of us who have the privilege of having this kind of food choice available can make a real impact, one cart at a time.
From April 6 - 26, Randall's and White Wave Foods are celebrating Earth Month with the Every Cart Counts Promotion. Lucky shoppers nationwide will be randomly selected to have their carts paid for by White Wave Foods when their orders include one of the following products.
Participating items for the Every Cart Counts promotion:
- Earthbound Farm 5 oz. Salads (5 oz. Kale Italia/ 5oz Spinach)
- Earthbound Farm Frozen Fruits (10 oz. blueberries)
- Earthbound Farm Frozen Vegetables (8 oz. Frozen Kale)
- Silk Half Gallons (Almond Unsweetened Vanilla)
- Nutchello (Caramel Almond Cashew)
- Silk Dairy Free – Yogurt Alternative (Blueberry)
- Silk Creamer
- So Delicious Dairy Free Yogurt Alternative (Strawberry)
- So Delicious Ice Cream Pints (Coconut Vanilla)
- So Delicious Almond Milk (Unsweetened)
- So Delicious Creamer (Vanilla)
- Simply Pure Creamer (Vanilla)
- Mac and Cheese (Classic)
- Cookies (Cinnamon Graham)
- Cracker (Peanut Butter Sandwich)
- Aseptic Milk (Chocolate 6-pack or 12-pack)
- Essentials US (Vanilla)
- Clean Protein US (Vanilla MD)
- Protein & Greens (SM US Vanilla)
- Clean Energy US (Berry Infusion)
White Wave and Randall's asked me to share some recipes showing you how to utilize some of the participating products. Lately CC and I have been savoring our Saturday mornings together so for this post I decided to make breakfast!
Yogurt pancakes are one of my favorite ways to sneak protein into my carb-worshipping child. Their flavor and texture are a little different than traditional pancakes. Instead of a light and fluffy bite, these are made with a thick batter that yields something much more dense and chewy.
I like off-setting that texture with juicy fruits and berries. I used blueberry and banana in this recipe but feel free to experiment with other fruits like peaches, strawberries, or apples. A dollop of something cool or creamy would be a nice addition as well. Ice cream? Whipped cream? Coconut cream? You see where I'm going with this, yes?
Vegan Berry & Banana Yogurt Pancakes
Makes about seven medium-sized pancakes
These dense and chewy pancakes are packed with plant-based protein and sweet, juicy fruit.
- 1 tablespoon flax seed meal
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 5.3-ounce containers Silk Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative (Blueberry)
- 1/4 cup So Delicious Almond Milk (Unsweetened Vanilla)
- 1 banana, peeled and diced
- 1/3 cup Earthbound Farm Frozen Blueberries
- Combine the flax seed meal and water in a small dish and let it soak for at least five minutes.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking powder.
- In a second mixing bowl, mix together the Silk Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative, So Delicious Almond Milk, and the flax seed and water mixture.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, creating a thick batter. Fold in the banana and blueberries.
- Heat a frying pan on the stove top over medium-low heat. When the pan becomes very hot grease it with a small splash of cooking oil.
- Scoop about 1/2 cup of batter onto the pan and gently spread it into a circle using the back of a spoon. Cook for 2-4 minutes on each side, until the crust is golden-brown and the center of the pancake becomes firm.
- Transfer to a plate and serve immediately with whipped cream (find a vegan recipe here), syrup, or applesauce.
I also whipped up a protein smoothie for those mornings when breakfast goes a little more quickly. This recipe is a favorite with my husband who prefers drinking his greens to eating them. While I am pleased as can be with a bowl full of steamed kale, Scott Bobleo doesn't really get down with green veggies as often as he should. So while I would love for him to start chowing down on kale salads he would much rather start the day with a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. I'm glad to see him making a better choice by heading to work with a green smoothie in-hand.
Vanilla Coconut Protein Smoothie
Makes two 10-oz servings
This sweet shake is loaded with protein and nourishing vitamins. It uses a sweetened nut-milk beverage called Nutchello, which provides a dessert-like flavor with a relatively modest amount of sugar. For a less sweet version of this smoothie, try substituting the Nutchello with Unsweetened So Delicious Almond Milk.
- 1 frozen banana, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
- 1/4 cup Earthbound Farm Frozen Kale
- 1 scoop Vega Essentials Protein Powder (Vanilla)
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
- 1 1/2 cups Nutchello (Caramel Almond Cashew)
- Place the frozen banana, ice cubes, and kale into a blender followed by the Vega Essentials Protein Powder, shredded coconut, and Nutchello.
- Blend on low for 30 seconds, then on high for 1 minute.
- Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Albertsons Safeway. The opinions and text are all mine.