Non-Toxic Cleaners You Can Make at Home

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Now that spring has arrived, it’s time to freshen up our winter-weathered homes. Unfortunately, the often-toxic ingredients found in most conventional cleaning products can be just as harmful as the dirt and germs they are meant to eliminate. The good news is that spring cleaning doesn’t have to be dirty work. You can avoid the toxins in most conventional cleaning products by making your own. White, distilled vinegar is great for disinfecting, degreasing and non-toxic cleaning. It’s also extremely economical and readily available. Note: The smell of vinegar does dissipate fairly quickly, but if the stench bothers you, try scenting it with fragrant essential oils.different cleaning bottles

What You’ll Need:

  • Aura Cacia Essential Oils (we recommend lemon, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree)
  • Sprouts Baking Soda
  • Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Clean distilled water
  • Toilet brush
  • Spray bottles
  • Cotton cloths

Disinfecting Surface Cleaner

Wipe away grime with this gentle, yet effective surface cleaner. Mix equal parts vinegar and water to disinfect walls, doorknobs, crib rails, and so on. If desired, add 5–10 drops of essential oil, per 2 cups of mixture. Dampen a sponge mop or cloth with the mixture and get to work!

Mirrors and Windows

To give your windows and mirrors a smudge-free shine combine 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar and 2 cups of water. Add 12 drops of lemon essential oil for added fragrance. Pour the ingredients into a clean spray bottle and shake well. Spray on surface and wipe with a clean cloth.

Multipurpose Cleaner

From the stovetop to the countertop, keep your home clean, fresh and safe with this multipurpose “greener” cleaner. Take an empty spray bottle and combine 1 tablespoon of liquid Castile soap, 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar and 1 1/2 cups of water. We recommend lemon, tea tree, eucalyptus or lavender essential oils to create a sweet and wholesome scent. Put the cap on and shake well.

Toilet Cleaners

For regular toilet seat wipe downs, straight vinegar will do the trick. For tougher jobs, combine 1/2 cup baking soda, 1 cup distilled white vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of tea tree essential oil in a spray bottle. Spray the bowl and allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes. Sprinkle baking soda inside the toilet. Then, scrub with a brush and flush.

Bath and Shower

The best way to prevent soap and scum from building up is to regularly spray the bath and shower walls with vinegar. For a deep cleaning, make your own soft soap cleaner with baking soda and Castile soap. Use the baking soda in place of scouring powder. Sprinkle it liberally on porcelain fixtures and rub with a wet rag. Add a little soap to the rag for more cleaning power.  

Mother’s Day Mason Jar Vases

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Nothing says “I love you” quite like a bouquet of freshly cut flowers. This Mother’s Day, why not take it a little step further and create these beautiful, DIY hand-painted mason jar vases that you know she’ll love. Better yet, if you’ve got little ones of your own, get them involved too! Mix and match multiple colors or simply choose the ones that go wonderfully with her favorite flowers. Either way, these do-it-yourself vases are easy to make, plus, Mom will know that they were painted with love.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Mason jars
  • Chalk paint in your preferred colors
  • Sandpaper
  • White chalk
  • Clear acrylic spray
  • Paintbrush

1. Paint the outside of each mason jar with chalk paint and let dry for one hour before applying another coat.

2. After the jars have completely dried, use sand paper to take the paint off of the raised, designed areas of the jar.

3. Rub white chalk over jar to create a distressed look.

4. Seal jars by spraying thoroughly with clear acrylic spray and let dry for at least two hours.

5. Once dry, add your mom's favorite fresh flowers.

Ice Cream Float Bar

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Summer is in full swing and what better way to celebrate the season than with a DIY Ice Cream Float Bar? Kids will love the option of creating their own recipes and adults will enjoy the nostalgia of this diner delight. Keep cool with these tips on how to create the perfect ice cream float bar.ICE CREAM BAR FLOATWhile you can’t go wrong with traditional vanilla, mix things up by providing a variety of flavors like mint chocolate chip or strawberry. You can find a number of dairy-free ice creams that will satisfy any sweet tooth. Sneak in an extra serving of fruit by dicing up fruit popsicles as a colorful option. Save time by prepping your ice cream the night before, by pre-scooping and freezing on a cookie sheet. Keep your frozen treats cool by serving the containers on ice.


The Drinks

Along with good old root beer, be sure to offer a variety of sodas for guests to mix and match flavors. To keep things even more interesting, add cold brew coffee, flavored seltzer water, sparkling lemonade and even kombucha to the mix. Be sure to display some adorable patterned straws for an added touch of color.SODA, STRAE AND ICE CREAM


The Toppings

To make your ice cream float bar extra special, you’ll need more than just a cherry on top! Fresh fruit, crushed graham crackers or marshmallows are just a few of our favorite toppings. Stop by our Bulk Department to pick up just enough dried fruits, chocolate or gummi bears to make your guests’ floats even more unique.

CHERRIES, STRAWBERRIES, MARSHMELLOW, CHOCOLATE CHIPS AND COCONUT


The Pairings

Give guests inspiration by creating a chalkboard with different recipes for one-of-a-kind pairings. Don’t know where to start? Here are some recipes that we’re loving.

  • Mint Mocha – 2 scoops mint chocolate chip, cold brew, chocolate sauce drizzle
  • Strawberries & Cream – 2 scoops strawberry, 1 can cream soda, fresh strawberry garnish
  • S’mores 2 scoops chocolate, 1 can root beer, whipped topping, graham cracker crumbs and mini chocolate chips
  • Strawberry Lemonade 1 strawberry popsicle, sparkling lemonade, crushed mint leaves
  • Blueberry Kombucha – 2 scoops vanilla, 1 blueberry kombucha, fresh blueberries

POPSICLES, TALENTI ICE CREAM AND SPROUTS ICE CREAM

Homemade Gifts in a Jar

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Cookies in a mason jarSome hosts are so easy to shop for: bottle of wine or scented candle. But if you’re trying to stay within a holiday budget or think of a creative gift idea for the person who “has everything”, these gifts are the perfect solution.

Gifts in a jar are festive, heartfelt, easy and delicious. Not to mention, cost effective for you! Simply layer the ingredients in a jar, add a ribbon and tag, and you have a simple but stylish gift.

Soup Mixes

For an easy shortcut to homemade jar gifts, simply visit our Bulk Department and find your favorite soup mix. Pour the mix into a jar and be sure to include cooking instructions on a gift tag.

Baking Mixes

Give the gift of baking by attractively assembling all of the dry ingredients needed for cookies, muffins or brownies in tall glass jars. Use pretty ribbons to tie on the recipe, along with a wooden spoon or whisk for an extra special touch. Friends will be encouraged to easily bake their own treats that come from the heart, not a box!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup White sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Baking soda

Instructions:

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add 1 slightly beaten egg, 1/2 cup melted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir until well mixed. Drop by rounded spoonfuls on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350°F for 8–10 minutes. Allow to cool, then enjoy!

Bulk Candy & Nuts

Our Bulk Department is a snack lover’s paradise. Fill a mason jar with an assortment of candy, dried fruit and/or nuts, tie it with some beautiful wired ribbon, and you’re on your way. For the avid hiker on my holiday list, I combined six of my favorite bulk ingredients to make a trail mix that’s full of energy, flavor and texture. You could certainly layer each ingredient separately for a more artistic presentation.

Ingredients:

  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Dried cranberries
  • Dried cherries

 

Edible Adornments for the Holidays

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apples and apple ciderNow that winter is almost upon us, it’s “root vegetable” season in the Sprouts Produce Department. Things that you may have ignored all year long, like yams, beets, turnips and parsnips, are suddenly much in demand for soups, stews and savory dishes. However, the colorful fruits of fall aren’t quite done yet. In fact they can be used to make some very dramatic displays throughout the holiday season.

Fruity Flounces & Flourishes

As you gussy-up your house for the holidays, there’s no need to go to the craft store. Just head to the Sprouts Produce Department for a one-stop shop! Apples, pomegranates, citrus fruit and pears are easy alternatives to fragile glass and crystal knick-knacks, and best of all, they are eco-friendly and don’t require storage once the festivities have concluded. Simply discard in the trash, or better yet, add them to the compost heap.

Check out these simple ideas for some fresh food frills:

Apple Assignment

Apples are a quick, inexpensive way to add whimsy to your dinner table. Use your very best handwriting or print out names on small name cards. Cut a small slit in the top of the apples and insert the place card. Place a finished apple at each place setting. Alternate red and green apples for a festive color scheme. Try this technique with pears and pomegranates too.

Frosted Fruit

Choose small sturdy fruits that will last, such as small limes, lemons, tangerines, apples and pears. Generously coat each piece with egg wash and shake off the excess. Roll in white granulated sugar and let dry. Arrange the sugared fruit on a decorative cake stand dusted with more sugar for a snowy feel. Add a few pillar candles for added drama. It’s perfect as a centerpiece for your holiday buffet. Use the sugar-and-egg white technique to frost evergreen boughs and pine cones, too.

Crowning Cranberries

Fill clear glass vases of various sizes halfway full with fresh, whole cranberries and place on a mantle or table. For variety, fill clear glass cylinder vases halfway with water and add the berries. Cranberries are buoyant so they will float; add a floating candle for glowing warmth. Cranberries will last up to two weeks in water.

Cinnamon Sensation

Bundle whole cinnamon sticks and secure with a rubber band. Tie a bow using colored, decorative ribbon around the bundle and cover up the band. Leave a loop or insert an ornament hook for easy hanging.

 

DIY Summer Ice Cream Bar

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Summer Ice Cream BarDIY ice cream bars are a fun and easy answer to entertaining this summer. Not only do they allow friends and family to make their favorite ice cream creations, but a simple ice cream bar is sure to let you enjoy your gathering without the hassle. If you’re trying to escape the heat, host a summer barbecue, or craving a frozen dessert, look no further.

Pick your Ice Cream:

These days there are so many frozen treats to choose from. Whether you’re looking for an ice cream that’s made with organic ingredients, a non-dairy alternative made from coconut or a traditional fresh-churned vanilla, you’re sure to find an ice cream you can enjoy while shopping at Sprouts.

Choose your Toppings:

Bulk:

When it comes to toppings for your ice cream bar, the Sprouts Bulk Department just can’t be beat. We have hundreds of bins and barrels brimming with scoopable goodies. For a decadent ice cream bar, snag a bag of dark chocolate covered blueberries or milk chocolate toffee. If you want to give your guests a taste of traditional sundaes, grab a scoop of roasted peanuts or pecan pieces. See all the choices the Bulk Department has to offer.

Produce:

We promise there’s nothing tastier than fresh produce with your bowl of ice cream. This summer you can find mountains of fresh produce to pair with the perfect frozen creation: sweet peaches, tangy cherries, juicy plums … strawberries, blueberries, blackberries … bananas, pineapples … need we go on?

Grocery:

Every good ice cream bar needs a few special toppings. Browse through our grocery aisles and you’ll find a few goodies you can’t leave without. Here are a few treats to help inspire your DIY ice cream bar.

  • Sprouts Shredded Coconut – Pairs well with banana, dried mangos, macadamia nuts and a scoop of Talenti’s Caribbean Coconut Gelato.
  • Sprouts Old-Fashioned Vanilla Wafers – Pairs well with raspberries, glazed pecans and a scoop of Halo Top Lemon Cake Ice Cream.
  • Sprouts Snickerdoodles Pairs well with peaches, caramel sauce, butter toffee peanuts and a scoop of High Road Bourbon Burnt Sugar Ice Cream.
  • Sprouts Toffee Sea Salt Bar – Pairs well with fresh cherries, roasted almonds and a scoop of Three Twins Chocolate Orange Confetti Ice Cream.

Set the Table:

Now that you have the perfect treats for your ice cream bar, why not snazzy up your table? Stout mason jars can be transformed to make the perfect sundae bowls and small metal pails are ideal containers to hold ice cream bar toppings. No matter your style, and whatever flavors you favor, get creative and enjoy!

 

DIY Baked Goods in a Jar

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Give the gift of baking by attractively assembling all of the dry ingredients needed for cookies, breads or brownies in tall glass jars. Use pretty ribbons to tie on the recipe, along with a wooden spoon or cookie cutter for an extra special touch. Don’t forget to print out and attach the recipe cards to the jar mixes!

Baked Goods

Here are a few tasty suggestions to get you started.

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups Coconut flour
  • 2 tsp. Ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. Ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. Ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 cup Brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Solid coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Eggs

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, melted coconut oil, brown sugar spices and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, fold in coconut flour.
  3. Scoop cookie batter onto prepared baking sheet using a small ice cream scoop or 2 teaspoons. Bake for 10–12 minutes, or until golden. Cool completely before removing from the pan.

White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Brown sugar
  • 3 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Dried cranberries
  • 1 cup White chocolate morsels

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a medium pan with parchment paper.
  2. Soak cranberries in bowl with hot water for 3 minutes. Drain water from cranberries.
  3. Cream butter, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture with a wooden spoon or large rubber spatula. Carefully mix in cranberries and white chocolate morsels.
  4. Press mixture evenly into pan and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes and enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cups Flour
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground cloves
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Sprouts Canned Pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate chips, optional

Instructions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, spices and baking powder. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin and water. Stir into dry ingredients until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips if desired.
  2. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350°F for 55–65 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing.

Peppermint Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2/3 cup Cocoa powder
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Crushed peppermint sticks
  • 1 1/4 cups Flour
  • 1 pinch of Salt
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1/4 cup Boiling water
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper, allowing excess paper to overlap the edges.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and sugar; set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, add the cocoa powder and salt. Add the boiling water and stir with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is paste-like. Add sugar, vanilla and butter, mix using an electric mixer until smooth. Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir in the flour mixture, and mix until combined.
  4. Spoon the brownie batter into the prepared baking dish, batter consistency will be thick. Smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake for 35 minutes or until the brownies are cooked through. Cool in the pan or a wire rack for 1 hour.

 

DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts

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Go ahead, wear your heart on your sleeve and embrace the sentimental feelings in the air. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to share a bit of your heart with others. The best news? You don’t have to stick with the standard gifts that may come to mind. With these easy-to-make and thoughtful DIY ideas, you can brighten the day of a special someone, friend, family member or colleague.

Hot Cocoa

Peppermint Infusion Hearts

What You’ll Need:

  • Crushed peppermint
  • Coffee filters
  • Baker’s thread
  • Construction paper
  • Hot chocolate

Directions:

Using a folded coffee filter, cut out a heart shape. After you have two heart shapes, stitch together around the edges until only a small opening remains.

Place peppermint candies in a plastic bag and crush until the pieces are broken down. Put about a spoonful of crushed peppermint inside the small opening of the coffee filter and finish stitching until it’s closed.

Attach a medium-length piece of baker’s thread to your peppermint-filled heart. Cut a small heart out of paper and add it at the other end of the thread to make a little “tag” like the ones that tea bags have. Present the gift with hot cocoa for a refreshing peppermint twist on a classic chocolatey treat.

 

 


Homemade Lotion Bars

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup Beeswax
  • 1 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup Shea butter
  • Silicon heart-shaped mold
  • 25 drops Lavender essential oil
  • At least 2 hours for refrigeration

Directions:

Start by warming beeswax in a double boiler until it becomes smooth. Add coconut oil and melt the two ingredients. Stir until smooth and add lavender essential oils. Let cool and place in silicon molds and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


“Simply Nuts for You” Mason Jar“

What You’ll Need:

  • Chalkboard spray paint
  • Painter’s tape
  • Chalk
  • Trail mix
  • Gift tag
  • Twine or ribbon

Directions:

Create a heart shape on the mason jar with painter’s tape. Using an open area, cover the mason jar with the chalkboard spray paint. Once it’s dry, carefully peel off the tape. Add a personalized touch by making a design with white chalk. Cut out a gift tag and create a small hole at the top. Thread twine through and loop around twice at the top of the mason jar. Pour in your special someone’s favorite trail mix.


Cookie Better Blondies

This gift is made from one of our favorite new treats! Sprouts Cookie Butter Blondies are sure to brighten someone’s day, but let’s be honest—you could give the cookie butter as a stand-alone gift as well. Delicious by the spoonful or as an addition to baked goods, it’s a perfect way to spread the yum!

View the for the recipe!

 

DIY Tea Party for Mom

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Say “I love you” with a tea party fit for a queen! This Mother’s Day, spend time celebrating mom and enjoying each other’s company over small bites and tasty teas! Get ready to put your pinkies up with ideas for your DIY tea party below!

Bouquet of Flowers

Décor

Keep your party vibrant with centerpieces that flourish! Simply assemble your mom’s favorite flowers in a mason jar and set out to display. A jar of colorful flowers is sure to capture the feeling of spring and make Mom feel special.

 


Small Bites

Small Bites

A tea party needs a few tasty treats to aid in its charm. Delight Mom with finger foods like fresh fruits and cheese alongside a few baked goods to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Don’t forget to spread your baked goods with toppings like jams, jellies and more. Get creative and be inspired by traditional, fancier tea parties—known as “High Tea”—and serve delicacies like lemon curd to accent sweeter snacks.

 


Tea BagsAdd a Bit of VarieTea!

Set the tone for a fun celebration with a new take on the classic hot teas typically served at this kind of gathering. Serving both hot and cold tea is a simple way to add personality and still get a tea fix! No matter how the temperature preferences vary at your table, you’ll be ready with plenty of options.

Add-ins like honey, sugar and milk are perfect for complimenting your selection of drinks as well.

 

DIY Spice Rubs

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If your dad is a grill-master, he’ll love these flavorful DIY spice rubs and you’ll love how easy they are to make! Pair these rubs with a new set of grilling tools to create a Father’s Day bundle that will delight all those hard-working dads.Three jars filled with spice rubs

All-Purpose Beef Rub

  • 2 Tbsp. Finely ground coffee
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp. Black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

Caribbean Rub

  • 3 Tbsp. Brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. Coarse salt
  • 2 tsp. Ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. Allspice
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

Buffalo Spice Rub

  • 1/2 cup Brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Chile powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne, plus more for taste
  • 2 Tbsp. Garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Ground mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.