Pumpkin spice overnight oats combine the popular flavor of the fall season with a quick, simple, filling and nourishing breakfast in this recipe. With five ingredients, all you do is mix and let the flavors set and meld. It’s served cold, but it can be room temperature or you could warm it in the microwave slightly.
I received four complimentary samples of Eco Lips balm to review for my blog. I was already a fan of the company and, as always, opinions are my own. Contains affiliate link.
I’m a dry person. When we are talking wine or humor, it’s enjoyable. When we mean my skin and lips in a Minnesota winter, it’s anything but enjoyable. And with the high this week hovering around zero degrees, having chapped skin is a real concern.
As I get older and have moved back to a climate lower in humidity, I’m spending more time, resources and thought into my skincare routine. This includes avoiding dry lips.
I’m always hesitant of new lotions and balms, as many dry out my already cracked skin. I need something super hydrating yet not seeming too medical. I’m becoming more mindful of what I’m using, and being natural is important to me. Eco Lips fills all these needs, and then some.
The company is based in my hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I had the opportunity to stop in and talk with them a few years ago, and I love that what drives and motivates the company is their passion for good quality products. According to its website, Eco Lips has been first to market with several innovative organic lip care products and packages. It doesn’t test its products on animals and offers clearly marked vegan lip balms. A fun feature is that anyone can create his or her own lip balm at My Eco Lips.
The vegan lip balms go on smooth and stay put for a while, which is great because I always want to feel balm on my lips. The flavors are fun, consisting of lemon-lime, superfruit, mint and unscented. All flavors taste and smell real, like the flavorings and ingredients are real, taking me to a warmer climate (until I bundle up to step outside). I’m really happy with the products, their commitment to a quality item and supporting a hometown company. Purchase Eco Lips.
To compliment the tropical flavors of the balm while warming up in the winter, a great mint hot chocolate pairs well to stay warm but drift away to a warmer place.
Mint chocolate cocoa
The addition to mint (real or in schnapps form) is a nod to a warmer location while warming up in the cold winter months.
In an effort to solve my most burning question every summer — “How do I use all my squash and zucchini?” — I decided to go the squash-as-pasta route, using it in place of the crust for pizza. A bonus was this was a tasty, light treat using produce from my farm and garden in a non-too heavy meal on a humid summer day.
My first experience with Minneapolis’ vegan butcher resulted in tasty Hawaiian ribs and pepperoni.
As luck would have it, I stopped at a Herbivorous Butcher pop-up shop last week and snagged some pepperoni, so I knew the results would be tasty. (Side note: Herbivorous Butcher is a Minneapolis-based vegan butcher making small-batch handcrafted food from scratch.)
Sweating the zucchini
I wanted the pizza crust to be as bread-like and sturdy as possible, and cook as well as could be expected, so I sliced the zucchini evenly into 1/4 inch slices on my mandoline and salted them for about 30 minutes. Patting them dry, I dipped each slice in the milk-eggwash and dredges them in breadcrumbs. They then went on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and baked at 400° for about 15 minutes, until browned and crisp.
Pizza assembly line
Next the zucchini crusts got a light amount of marinara (no need to make them soggy an hour into the production) and cheese, then thinly sliced toppings. In this case the toppings were mushrooms, green onions, the pepperoni and rosemary, again lightly topped to not make the pizza too heavy. From here the pizza was put back into the still-warm oven to broil for 10 minutes. Once the cheese was bubbling and the toppings cooked, it was ready.
With the breaded zucchini as the crust, it was difficult to tell it wasn’t bread, it just wasn’t dense like crust. And more importantly, it was hard to tell it was zucchini (one of my less favorite summer vegetables).
With a little planning and not much hands-on time, this was a really tasty light summer dinner I will be making again.
Pizzas using breaded and baked zucchini as the crust.
Slice zucchini as evenly as possible and as thinly as desired.
Salt zucchini 30 minutes. Pat dry.
Whisk together egg and milk in one bowl, pour the breadcrumbs into another. Dip each slice of zucchini in the egg wash and coat with breadcrumbs. Place on baking sheet and cook at 400° for 15 minutes or until browned and crisp.
Remove from oven and top with marinara, cheese and toppings. Place in warm oven and broil 10 minutes.