Need a thoughtful and creative holiday gift? Look no further than these DIY gift baskets that your friends and family will love!
It can be hard to pick out the perfect gift during the holiday rush. A gift basket made by you is a thoughtful, practical and personalized gift that any friend or family member will cherish. Follow this gift guide for easy, DIY bundle ideas created by our friends at A Baker’s House, Fit Foodie Le, Jason Sani, One Lovely Life, and Zen & Spice!
It’s no secret Southerners love good food and giving thanks. Mix it all together for a healthy and fun holiday food craft.
For the Snack Mix
Gobble up a seasonal snack mix from Sprouts bulk bins. Toss together:
1 scoop Dark chocolate-covered pretzels
2 scoops Apple cinnamon granola
3 scoops Cranberry trail mix.
Portion in brown sacks from the paper goods aisle and adorn with handcrafted turkeys.
Let’s Talk Turkey
Cut heart shapes from craft paper in your school colors. Overlap the hearts a smidgen and secure with tape on the back. Cut 1 1/2-inch rounds from brown paper using a craft punch. Doodle a sweet little turkey mug using a marker. Finish with a holiday saying and attach to the sacks for heart-warming smiles.
About Buttermilk Lipstick
Quite Simply the “Bee’s Knees” of Everyday Living
Rebecca Gordon is a Southern lifestyle expert specializing in food and entertaining. She designed, directed and launched the lifestyle brand, Buttermilk Lipstick which celebrates everyday living from home-cooked recipes, style round-ups and crafts that tie back to her food background and her passion for Southern football and tailgating.
Prior to launching Buttermilk Lipstick, Gordon served as Test Kitchen Director for Southern Living magazine and traveled the South as an on-stage presenter with the Southern Living Cooking School, as a Foods and Entertaining Specialist.
Rebecca graduated summa cum laude from Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina, specializing in Baking and Pastry Arts. She received her undergraduate degree in Restaurant Management from the University of Alabama and gained extensive experience as a pastry chef for many restaurants throughout the South including Frank Stitt’s Highlands Bar and Grill and Bottega restaurants. When she’s not cooking and entertaining friends, you’ll find her gardening or rearranging furniture around her work-in-progress bungalow and, in the fall, cheering on the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Check out our recent Facebook Live! Amber, an herbalist from Traditional Medicinals, showed us two cozy fall recipes and shared her top tip on how to brew the perfect cup of tea! Plus, we gave away prize bundles to three lucky viewers! Full recipes: http://bit.ly/2pQ8blU
The best part about chilly weather is getting warmed up to seasonal drinks. We’ve teamed up with Traditional Medicinals to bring you cozy fall beverages, without all the added sugar. Snuggle up with a hot cup of rhizome-rich Pumpkin Spice Golden Milk or soothing Peppermint Hot Cocoa tonight!
Pumpkin Spice Golden Milk
Go beyond the typical pumpkin spice drinks
with our creamy, dairy-free twist on this Ayurvedic alternative.
Sometimes pumpkin carving can be a messy, not to mention risky, activity. Rather than skipping out on the Halloween fun, why not try adorning your pumpkin with seeds or adding a splash of color to your festive group of gourds? We’ve rounded up some spook-tacular ways to decorate your pumpkins this season – no knife required!
What you’ll need:
Small pumpkin, any color
*Bowl of room temperature water
Variety of nail polish
After choosing your colors, pour the nail polish into bowl as close to the water as possible to avoid the polish sinking down to the bottom of the bowl.
Swirl the nail polish colors together slightly using a toothpick.
Stick the pumpkin on a fork and dip the top of it into the bowl.
Slowly remove and set on paper to dry (about 20 minutes).
What you’ll need:
Pumpkin of any size
Using a pencil, lightly draw your design onto your pumpkin.
Push in pins along the lines of the design.
Optional: adorn with a bow.
What you’ll need:
Assortment of seeds, jewels, or other decorative items
Craft glue or hot glue gun
Pumpkin, any size
Using your decorative items, plan out your design on a flat surface.
Begin gluing your design onto your pumpkin and let dry.
There are a lot of benefits to meal prepping in order to create multiple meals or snacks for the upcoming week. It can reduce stress, save time and money, and help you and your loved ones eat healthier. Think of having lunches already prepped so you don’t have to spend time making them every morning, or stress about what you’re going to make. Not buying a lunch every day is easier on your wallet as well! And, it’s so nice to come home knowing what’s for dinner because it’s prepped and ready to cook in a jiffy.
Where to Start
Start small so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Picking something easier like snacks or breakfasts as a place to start your meal prep practice means you’re more apt to continue the new routine. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be ready to take your meal prep to the next level adding lunches and dinners. Two super-easy make-ahead breakfasts you can try are overnight oats or chia pudding—both are packed with protein and nutrients.
Prepping Your Meals
The beauty of prepping is all the time you will save. In most cases, you can make multiple meals in about the same amount of time it takes to make just one. And, while you’re planning meals, think of those that can be frozen and reheated later. Making more than usual will leave you with dinners you can freeze for another busy week. Cooking a big batch of rice, portioning into freezer bags and freezing it is a great way to shave cooking time off weeknight meals for a fast stir-fry, fried rice or simple side dish. You’ll thank yourself later for thinking ahead now!
This practice is another way to ease your way into meal prep. When you’re making the evening meal, simply make extra. You can pack up the leftovers in reusable containers ready to take to work or pack for the kids. Tah-dah! Your lunch prep was made painless by including it in last night’s dinner. Try making extra taco toppings for dinner and turn them into taco salads for the next day’s lunch. A few corn chips in a resealable baggie can be crumbled on top just before eating to create a satisfying crunch.
Put a Lid on It
If you don’t already have a big stash of various-sized reusable containers, you’ll want to stock up. Having both glass and plastic containers, as well as resealable bags means you’ll have just the right-sized container for everything from full dinners to individual-sized meals—that too will save you time!
There is no right way to meal prep. Whether you opt to prepare and freeze multiple slow-cooker meals in resealable bags to use later in the month, make lunches for several days at a time or anything in between, any meal prep you do before your week begins will save you time and stress later. Have fun with it! Once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.
It can be difficult to maintain your healthiest lifestyle when the pace of your schedule picks up. Sometimes, it seems easier to go for what’s more convenient rather than what’s healthy. Planning your meals in advance can not only save you time during the week, it can also save you money and stress. We’ve put together a simple guide to creating your meal plan for the week.
Before you go grocery shopping, it helps to have a game plan. Set aside about an hour or so to create your weekly strategy. There are a number of ways to get started! You’ll find dozens of deals in your local Sprouts’ weekly flyer, the digital version is only a click away online and our Deals of the Month flyer is available in-store. A super-easy way to find deals, coupons and even create a shopping list is with our app—it’s available for both the Apple and Android, so you can easily download it on your smartphone! It’s simple to save money when you plan around sales.
Filling it All in
Now you’re ready to start filling in your weekly meal plan. If using your smartphone to create a list isn’t your thing, you can print off a copy of our handy template and start filling in your meals and snacks. Whether you choose digital or analog, a great way to begin planning the week’s meals is with your family’s favorites, filling in around those days you usually serve a certain dinner. Similarly, you’ll want to add any special meals, like birthdays or friends joining you. Stumped on what to have for breakfast, pack for lunch or make for dinner? We have tons of great meal ideas and inspiration on our recipes page.
Shopping with Ease
One of the most frustrating parts about grocery shopping can be bouncing from department to department looking for all the items on your shopping list. When you make your list, break it down by department, grouping like items together. This approach allows you to check off all the items on the list before moving on to the next department—your weekly shopping will be done in no time! (Our weekly meal-planning guide is great because it includes a shopping list which is already divided by department for you.)
Did you know? The average American household throws out 25% of their groceries—meal planning can help cut down on food waste!
As everyone gets back into the groove of school, schedules become more and more crowded. Packed schedules don’t have to always mean that packed lunches get moved to the wayside. Step aside crustless PB&Js, we’re here to make health taste great. Here are six new inspired lunch ideas your kiddos will love to eat and you’ll be proud to make. Bonus: added notes with jokes or fun facts are always a hit.
It’s time to get those little gears turnin’! Easy to assemble, the Brain Booster Lunch packs some nutritious punch with healthy fats from the eggs and a vitamin-rich berry medley.
When your kid can’t get enough of breakfast, pack it up again for lunch! Super easy to assemble in a snap, your kids will love the theme. Pro tip: cut the waffles into strips after you toast them so the pieces are easy to dip.
Almost too pretty to eat, these assorted colorful goodies are sure to put a smile on their faces. From the red cherry tomatoes to the purple wrap bites, these ingredients will provide natural antioxidants and nutrients that taste just as good as they look.
Composting can be a carefully curated cast of characters. True, it’s easy enough to pile your leftover fruit and veggie kitchen scraps in with lawn clippings and leaves to create a basic compost. That will yield results—eventually. But if you’re interested in attaining some DIY soil a little more quickly, or curious to know more, here are some of the key characters you’ll want to become familiar with in order to direct the best production.
Compost Heroes: Aerobic Bacteria
These little powerhouses are the star of the show. They need oxygen (aerobic) to help break down all the matter you put in your compost bin. To create nutrient-rich matter in a timely manner, you need the right environment to encourage a healthy population of these good guys.
The Baddies: Anaerobic Bacteria
These guys steal the scene when the pile has gotten compacted and has little to no air flow. Because they thrive in an airless environment (anaerobic), they have the power to overwhelm the population of the aerobic bacteria. A burgeoning population of anaerobic bacteria can bring composting to a near standstill.
Browns: Carbonaceous Matter
Carbon-rich matter, or browns as they’re also known, are like the carbs in the diet of those good-guy bacteria. Think of browns like the colors they often are: dried grass cuttings, dried leaves, sawdust and shredded newspaper.
Greens: Nitrogen-Rich Matter
Those hero bacteria also need to consume protein—enter the nitrogen-rich matter, or greens. These are your kitchen scraps from fruits and veggies, as well as things like coffee grounds (and your coffee filters, though technically, they are a brown) and green grass clippings.
Water stars as herself in this mellow-drama. You’ll need the right amount of moisture to ensure your good-guy bacteria neither drown nor dehydrate.
This character enters to stir things up when the plot … uh, compost thickens.
Use Your Nose
Properly tended, compost does not smell! Rather, it does not smell bad—it should smell rich and earthy. Here are some troubleshooting tips if your compost develops an unsavory scent.
An ammonia odor means you have too much nitrogen-rich, green matter. Adding some browns to the pile, like shredded newspaper, dried leaves or straw, and giving it a swirl with the pitchfork should help immensely. Also, compost that has been layered, but not turned recently can emit this eye-watering aroma.
Smells like sulfurous rotting eggs? If the pile is too damp or has become too compacted the result is a distinctive undesirable odor. If it’s been layered too tightly, simply turning the pile may alleviate the odorific problem. If it’s too wet, adding some carbonaceous materials and turning the pile will help give our compost heroes, the aerobic bacteria, a chance to breathe and thrive.
Our bacterial heroes require a proper ratio of green/nitrogen-rich to brown/carbonaceous matter or N:C. This proportion can be anywhere from 50:50 to 20:80 depending on environmental conditions and how quickly you want your pile to become useable. Additionally, they are living organisms and require a balance of air and water which you’ll achieve by turning the pile (aeration) and occasionally watering it if it becomes too dry. Ultimately, your compost pile should look like dirt when it’s done, with an earthy smell (not like decayed, rotted food) and you shouldn’t be able to recognize any of the matter you added to it earlier.
Did you know? The rapid composting method, also known as the Berkeley Method, can effectively create compost in as little as 14 days!
Give into that sweet tooth craving- thank us later. Pile on scoops of gelato for a sweet, melt-in-your-mouth kind of bite. This is a fun way to get kids involved with cooking and an even better way to save time on dish washing, because you’ll be eating the bowl!
Using a hand mixer or wooden spoon, blend butter until smooth. Add egg and Organic Chocolate Chippy Cookie Mix and continue blending mixture until dough is formed.
Grease bottom of muffin tin. Roll out dough on floured surface to 1/3 inch thickness. Cut 5-inch round disks from dough. Cover one disk over the bottom of each muffin tin, pressing to form smooth surface.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
Cool on pan for 10 minutes, then carefully loosen bottom edges of cookies from pan using spatula. Allow cups to cool completely on wire cooling rack.
Fill up cookie cups with Sprouts Organic Vanilla Gelato, and drizzle with your favorite chocolate sauce. Enjoy!