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Natural Goodness Blog

  • Memorial Day Recipes

    3 Red, White and Blue Recipes for Memorial Day

    While the true meaning of Memorial Day is to reflect on the incredible sacrifices made by our brave military members and their families, it is also a day to come together with family and celebrate summer, freedom, and of course, BBQ.

    If you’re stuck on what to bring to this year’s get-together, we’ve got 3 patriotic recipes that are perfect for pleasing both parents and kiddos alike.

    What are your Memorial Day BBQ traditions?

    1.Red, White and Blueberry Parfait

    Red, White and Blue parfaitCelebrate all day, starting with breakfast, with this red, white and blueberry granola parfait. It’s super simple to make, just layer your favorite yogurt with strawberries, blueberries and granola. Drizzle with honey and add pomegranate seeds and/or mint leaves for garnish. Serve with milk for a protein boosted Memorial Day breakfast!

    2.Starred and Sliced Quinoa Fruit Salad

    Starred and sliced quinoa fruit saladA red, white and blue mix of apples, blueberries, and star shaped bananas come together in this quinoa fruit salad topped with a creamy lemon poppy seed dressing. It’s healthy enough to be considered dinner, and tasty enough to pass as dessert!

    3.Patriotic Berries and Cream

    Patriotic berries and creamStrawberries are an iconic way to welcome summer, and this super easy recipe turns them into the perfect patriotic snack. Just hollow them out, fill with Oakhurst whipped cream (or make your own) and top with a Maine Wild Blueberry. Delicious!

     

     

  • Mother’s Day Mad Lib

    Kids say the darndest things – don’t they? If your little one is too little to write their own Mother’s Day card (or even if they’re not), this Mother’s Day Mad Lib will help them express their love, and growing vocabulary (ha!) in a hilarious fashion.

    Click here to download a printable PDF that includes a full color card and a black and white version that can be colored in by your little artist.

    Ready? Just ask for the following word types, fill in the card, and prepare to laugh.

    Mother's Day Mad Lib

  • 3 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day Today and Every Day

    Does your family celebrate Earth Day? We believe Mother Earth deserves more than just one day – so we’ve put together three ways to celebrate today and 3 ways to celebrate all year long.

    How does your family celebrate? What are your favorite ways to help the environment?  

    Celebrate Today:

    1. Clean Up Crew It might seem boring to adults, but kids love a good trash walk! Get them gloves or “grabbers” and a big trash bag and walk the neighborhood looking for pieces of litter they can clean up. Add to the excitement by planning a prize for the person who collects the most garbage.

    2. Plant a Tree Improve your landscape AND help the Earth in one fell swoop. Trees create oxygen, and everyone needs oxygen! Even if planting a tree isn’t in the cards today – planting a flower, a bush or anything green is a gift to the Earth and to future generations.Plant a tree

    3. Build a Birdfeeder This peanut butter bird feeder is so fun to make, and perfect for hungry birds waiting for Spring. Build and hang it today, and enjoy the beautiful birds all week long (or until the birdseed is gone!). Get the instructions here: http://tinkerlab.com/two-creative-outdoor-activities/Birdfeeder

    Celebrate Every Day:

    1. Turn Out the Lights  Have you heard the rumor that it’s better to leave lights on than turn them on and off frequently? It’s not true! It does require a small surge of energy to power up fluorescent lights, but its miniscule compared to the energy required to keep them on. So make a commitment to always shutting off the lights when you leave a room, and powering down anytime there’s enough natural sunlight to get by.

    2. Turn Off the Water  Did you know that just by shutting off the water while you brush your teeth you can save more than 200 gallons of water a month?! Yes – a month! That’s more than 2000 gallons a year – enough to fill a standard swimming pool. Make a commitment to turning off the tap whenever you can to preserve one of Mother Earth’s most precious resources.brush teeth

    3. Eat Your Leftovers  Food waste in the US accounts for more than half of landfill contents – the single largest source of methane emissions. According to worldfooddayusa.org we waste more than 30% of our entire food supply. Yikes! Help save our food supply (and the ozone layer) by shopping and cooking strategically, and composting everything you can!

    recycle

     

     

  • 4 Ways to Sneak Protein to Picky Toddlers

    Toddlers are crazy, to put it nicely. They cry when their socks fall off, the scream when you put them back on. They like peanuts but not peanut butter, bananas – but only in the peel. They are notoriously picky eaters and for parents it can feel like a full-time job just trying to make sure they don’t starve to death.

    As a parent of two picky-eating toddlers I can tell you that the biggest struggle in our house is protein. My girls will eat applesauce all day long (especially if it comes in a squeeze tube) and surprisingly, they love their veggies. But protein – forget about it. They won’t touch it. So I’ve learned to get a little creative in how I manage their “energy” intake.

    These four recipes are some of our favorites:

    1. Cajun Mac and Cheese (http://oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/cajun-mac-and-cheese) Mac and Cheese is typically toddler-approved – and it already has a good amount of protein in it thanks to the whole milk or cream used to make it. This version kicks it up a notch with some andouille sausage (you can substitute any other kind of sausage or even hot dog if your kids aren’t fans of spicy) for an added boost of protein.Cajun Mac and Cheese
    2. Protein-Packed Berry Burst Smoothie (https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/protein-packed-berry-burst-smoothie-recipe) When all else fails trying to feed toddlers, smoothies FTW! I can put almost anything into a smoothie and as long as comes out through a straw my girls are totally into it. This recipe includes, milk, berries, oatmeal and walnuts for a whopping 10 grams of protein per serving.Protein-Packed Berry Burst Smoothie
    3. Peanut Butter Cat Toast (https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/peanut-butter-cat-toast-recipe) Peanut butter is a great source of protein – especially when paired with milk. But PB&Js can only take you so far. This cat toast is the perfect evolution. Filled with protein and decorated with raisins and pretzels, toddlers are sure to enjoy this cute little kitty. Pair with a glass of milk for an extra 8 grams of protein.Peanut Butter Cat Toast
    4. Raspberry Cottage Cheese Protein Pancakes (https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/raspberry-cottage-cheese-protein-pancakes) Pancakes are a fan favorite in this household – but they typically don’t have very much to offer in terms of nutrition. Not anymore! These protein-packed pancakes offer more than 10 grams per pancake when paired with a glass of milk – but shhhhhh – the toddlers don’t need to know. Rasberry Cottage Cheese Protein Pancakes

    Do you have picky eaters in your household? What are your favorite ways to sneak protein into their diet?

  • Signs of Spring: 3 Simple Crafts for Up-cycling Milk Jugs

    Raise your hand if you’re ready for Spring!

    Yep – we thought so! Even if the weather hasn’t quite gotten on board yet, March is technically the start of Spring, so we’re getting in the spirit with these 3 Spring-themed milk jug crafts. It’s a great way to cut back on waste and give your empty Oakhurst containers new life.

    1. Milk Jug Birdfeeder

    Milk Jug BirdfeederThis is a perfect craft for helping kids with their scissor skills, and it’s great for wildlife, too! Simply follow the instructions in the link below to turn your milk jug into a feeder, decorate with sticks, stickers, paint and other items, and hang outside with a little bit of birdseed. Then sit back, relax and enjoy the view! Get birdhouse crafting instructions here: http://www.greatstems.com/2013/05/wildlife-projects-for-kids-milk-jug-bird-feeders.html

    2. Milk Jug Planter

    Milk Jug PlanterThis popular milk jug craft not only helps bring on Spring just a little bit sooner, but it also saves money by eliminating the need for traditional garden containers. Kids love caring for and checking in on their seedlings, and taking them to the store to buy seeds is a fun excursion! Get the instructions to build a milk jug planter here: http://inspirationlaboratories.com/make-a-milk-jug-planter/

    3. Milk Jug Flowers

    Milk Jug FlowersWhat do you do when it’s not warm enough for flowers to grow outside? You make them out of milk jugs of course! These gorgeous up-cycled flowers can survive in any climate, and look beautiful year after year. All you need to make them are some empty Oakhurst jugs, scissors, a little paint, tissue paper and glue or modge podge. Get the full tutorial here: http://www.oakhurstdairy.com/blog/2016/09/02/milk-jug-flowers/

     

    Did you make one of these crafts with your kiddos? Share the photos with us on Facebook and tag #upcycledOakhurst!

  • 7 Images that Prove Winter in Maine Can Be Awesome

    Summer in Maine is incredible. Sun, sand and sparkling coastlines draw tourists from all across the country (and the world). But summer in Maine is short lived – three months at best. And then comes winter. Long, cold, dark and snowy winter.

    But while almost every New Englander has complained about winter from time to time (mostly while trying to shovel 4-feet of snow out of their driveway only to repeat the process 12 hours later) it is somewhat of an “insider secret” how incredible Maine (and the rest of New England) is in the winter as well.

    If these 7 photos don’t convince you to give New England winters a try…well then we just don’t know what will.

    1. Majestic Mountains

    We’re not sure what’s more magical – little Fawn’s unicorn-themed snow gear, or the stunning mountain range in front of her. This little daredevil is only three, and already tearing it up on the slopes. If you lived here, you could be this awesome, too. (Photo by Josiah Babcock)Magestic Mountains

     

    2. Sky on Fire

    Nope, it’s not the Northern Lights – just another winter sunset in Maine. (Photo by Katie McPherson)Sky on Fire 1

    And another one… (Photo by Adam Casey)Sky on Fire 2

     

    3. Salt Air and Snow

    The beaches here are beautiful in summer, but take away all the tourists and add a dusting of snow and you’ve got a doggie paradise. Room to roam, waves to chase and picture perfect photo ops for the humans-in-tow. (Photo by Kristen Cameron)Salt Air and Snow

     

    4. One with Winter

    Here in the Northeast we’re one with winter – literally. Something about that salt air mixed with pure powder days makes for snow beards like you’ve never seen. (Photo by Jared Baker)One with Winter

     

    5. Snowy Sunrise

    It looks like a painting (or the background of an inspirational quote) – but here in New England we wake up to this kind of gorgeousness almost every single day. It may be cold but it sure if beautiful. (Photo by Charles Cormier)Snowy Sunrise

     

    6. Contrasting Colors

    Winter often gets a bad rep for being bleak and gray – but here in the great outdoors there are acres and acres of pristine white snow, speckled with gorgeous pops of colors that only reach their peak in the heart of winter. (Photo by Cathy Wheelden)Contrasting Colors

     

    7. Snowflake Tasting

    If you’ve never tried it, you should. Here in New England snow tastes as good as it looks! Add a dash of pure maple syrup and you’ll never want to miss a New England winter again! (Photo by Hilary Dudley)Snowflake Tasting

    What do you love about New England winters? Share your favorite photos with us on Facebook!

  • 3 (Naturally) Green Recipes for St. Paddy’s Day

    There’s no better time to go green than St. Paddy’s Day. After all, you don’t have to be Irish to enjoy green beer, green donuts – even green, err, bacon?

    But you don’t have to have food dye on hand to enjoy a hearty green snack this weekend. Here are three naturally green recipes, perfect for the Irish and everyone else.

    Sláinte!

    1. Oakhurst Dairy Shamrock Milk Mixer http://www.oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/shamrock-milk-mixer

    Shamrock Milk Mixer

    Forget the fast food milkshakes – this chocolate, pistachio, and mint milk mixer tastes just as delicious and needs only 3 ingredients to throw together. Perfect for a party or special afterschool snack.

    2. Green Mac and Cheese

    Green Mac and Cheese

    A kiddo fan favorite – this green mac and cheese boasts both festive coloring AND good nutrition. You’ll need some Oakhurst milk, broccoli florets, and green peas to pull it off. Get the recipe here: http://weelicious.com/2013/03/06/green-mac-and-cheese/

    3. Green Goddess Veggie Dip

    Green Goddess Veggie Dip

    Avocados are what give this dip it’s delicious creaminess as well as a perfect St. Paddy’s day hue. Pair with cut veggies for a healthy and hearty party app. Get the recipe here: http://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/healthy-green-goddess-dressing-dip-recipe/

     

    What are your favorite green foods for St. Paddy’s Day? Share with us on Facebook!

  • 3 Winter Recipes That will Warm You Up from the Inside Out

    Winter in New England is many things – most of them involving cold. But along with bitter winds and heaps of snow, winter also means cozy sweaters, warm fires and the perfect excuse to dig in to your favorite comfort foods – for warmth of course!

    Here are three of our favorite recipes for staying cozy all winter long:

    1. Smoky Mac and Cheese

    Smoky Mac and CheeseA delicious twist on traditional homemade macaroni, this spicy, smoky version includes smoked gouda cheese, your favorite hot sauce (we love siracha!) and seasoned bread crumbs. It’s comfort food at it’s finest! https://www.oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/smoky-mac-and-cheese

    2. Mint Hot Chocolate

    Mint Hot ChocolateThere’s nothing like a steaming cup of rich hot chocolate after a marathon play session out in the snow. This recipe ads a mint twist for fun. Rim the glass with sugar crystals and top with marshmallows for a picture-perfect presentation. https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/crowd-pleasing-mint-cocoa-0

    3. Creamy Spinach and Potato Breakfast Casserole

    Creamy Spinach and Potato Breakfast CasseroleThere’s nothing better than starting the day with a warm and hearty breakfast full of protein and calcium. This creamy breakfast casserole is easy to make, and includes everything you need for a wholesome, healthy breakfast – eggs, veggies, turkey, potatoes – all wrapped up in one delicious dish. Dig in and warm up. Don’t forget to pair it with a glass of Oakhurst milk!https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/creamy-spinach-potato-breakfast-casserole

  • 3 Simple and Beautiful Kids Crafts for Valentines Day

    Nothing says “Happy Valentines Day” like uncooked macaroni glued to a paper heart- parents, am I right?

    We kid, but there really is something so special about Valentine’s Day crafts, made with love by the little people that run us ragged day in and day out. There’s just something about those footprint hearts and misspelled cards that remind us why we cut PB&J sandwiches into triangles – no squares – no actually triangles – every single day without fail.

    So this year, if you’re looking for something refrigerator-worthy to work on with your kiddos, these three crafts are simple, beautiful and won’t result in glitter embedded in your carpet for years to come. Win, win, win!

    Milk Jug Stained “Glass” Hearts

    Milk Jug Stained GlassHearts

    How pretty are these “stained glass” hearts made from up-cycled milk jugs?  They look beautiful hung in a sunny window.  Get all the instructions to make them here!

    DIY Heart Crayons (http://acreativemomma.blogspot.com/2011/01/valentines-for-classmates-heart-crayon.html)

    Heart Crayons

    This craft is prefect for little ones who aren’t quite ready for scissors or the other more advanced crafting skills.  All they have to do is peel the paper off a bunch of crayons and break them into pieces.  Then place the broken crayons into silicone heart molds, bake them in the oven for 10-12 minutes, and after they cool, pop them out of the mold and place in plastic baggies to deliver to friends on Valentine’s Day!

    Valentines Day Milk Straws (http://www.papersource.com/blog/diy/how-to-valentine-party-drinking-straws/)

    Valentines Day Milk Straws

    Seriously how cute are these heart shaped paper straws?!  You can buy the actual straws online or at your local craft or party store, and then decorate with construction paper, ribbon, faux crystals and other goodies from the craft store.  When you’re finished, whip up this yummy cinnamon vanilla milk, and serve with your new LOVEly straws.  Bon appetite!

  • 3 Healthy Recipes to Keep your Resolutions on Track

    Ahh yes, it’s that time of year again. The time when 99% of us jump ship on our healthy-eating resolutions. To be fair, it’s really hard. Especially when you live in New England and the high temperature for the month is -1 and it’s just so much easier to make cookies than it is to make a salad.

    But don’t give up! We hear you, we’re with you – and we have three absolutely delicious recipes for you that will warm you up without claiming all your calories for the week. Dig in and then let us know your favorite healthy and hearty recipes for winter on Facebook.

    1. Curried Butternut Squash Soup (http://oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/curried-butternut-squash-soup)

    Thickened with black beans and milk (instead of cream) this healthier version of a hearty winter favorite will warm you up AND slim you down.CurriedButternutSquashSoup

    2. PB&J Power Muffins (https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/pbj-protein-power-muffins)

    An adorable twist on the traditional PB&J, these bite size muffins are the perfect serving size – just enough to fill you up without going overboard! The kiddos will love them, too!PB&JPowerMuffins

    3. Black Bean Breakfast Bowl (https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/black-bean-breakfast-bowl)

    Full of protein and flavor, this black bean breakfast bowl has everything you need to stay powered up through lunchtime (without all the added sugar or traditional cereals or baked goods). The toasty black beans and crispy fried egg will warm you up nicely, too!BlackBeanBreakfastBowl