Earth Day inspired recipes with Lisa Lewey-Shields


Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

Earth Day  is an annual event celebrated around the world on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, it now includes events coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network in more than 193 countries.

What Is Earth Day?

The history of Earth Day began in 1970, created by Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson. It’s celebrated every year on April 22 with the intention of raising awareness about pollution and taking care of the environment by reducing, reusing, and recycling resources.

  What are some Earth Day activities? You can make Earth Day every day by making small lifestyle choices with a huge impact. This could include:• Avoiding plastic water bottles in favor of reusable water bottles.• Opting for second-hand instead of buying new, like clothes, furniture, and toys.• Supporting organizations with sustainable manufacturing practices like the makers of Quilted Northern Soft & Strong®, who use more sustainable manufacturing processes to save 30% more water and 30% more energy.*

5 Little-Known Facts About Earth Day and Arbor Day1. Both Earth Day and Arbor Day are globally recognized but Earth Day is observed in more countries, despite being the younger holiday by nearly 100 years!2. The very first Earth Day fell on a school day and in observance, students came together and planted flowers, committed to recycling and protested pollution.3. On the first official Arbor Day on April 10, 1872, Nebraskan citizens planted more than one million trees.4. Arbor Day became a legal holiday in 1885 with an official date of April 22 (the same as Earth Day!) but was later moved to the last Friday in April and can vary depending on the region. For example, Hawaii’s tree-planting season is ideal towards the end of the year so citizens plant trees in observance of Arbor Day on the first Friday in November.5. These environmentally conscious holidays influenced the passing of the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act and prompted the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.  

Interestingly, while most holidays acknowledge a past event, Earth Day and Arbor Day focus on celebrating possibility for the future. By learning about these important eco-friendly holidays, we can work together to preserve our planet’s precious resources and commit to products and organizations that also share the same vision. 

Arbor Day is on Friday, April 30, 2021.

Arbor Day for the year 2021 is celebrated/ observed on Friday, April 30th. Arbor Day is observed in spring for the United States but globally dates vary depending on the region’s climate and planting season. It is a holiday to encourage people to plant and care for trees. Arbor Day and the World

  Arbor Day Foundation

The Arbor Day Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation and education organization. A million members, donors, and partners support our programs to make our world greener and healthier. More about our mission and programs… 

Remember buying a tree in school for a quarter and then you brought home a little sapling to plant….. and it seemed to take forever toi grow but now it is a huge tree in your parents backyard 

  Get 10 Free Trees when you join the Arbor Day Foundation › content

  Trees at – Arbor Day Foundation › trees

The Arbor Day Foundation trees site offers complete resources for planting, pruning, identifying, care of, and information about trees. Plant the right tree in the right place. 

  Arbor Day Foundation – Buy Trees and Learn About Trees

Become a member of the Arbor Day Foundation and receive 10 free trees as well as tree nursery discounts. See Our Work in Action Find out more about our programs and efforts to plant trees where they’re needed most—making the planet cleaner and greener. 

Banana-Oat Trail Mix Muffins   

Serves: 12 muffins  By Alisa Fleming

These muffins are just lightly sweet from ripe banana and vanilla creamer. We like them this way, but go ahead and taste-test the batter (no eggs!) and add a couple tablespoons of your favorite sweetener if it isn’t quite sweet enough for your mood.

Ingredients• 2 cups oats (certified gluten-free, if needed)• 2 tablespoons flax seeds• 2½ teaspoons baking powder (high altitude: 2 teaspoons over 3000 ft)• ⅜ teaspoon salt• 1⅓ cups very ripe, mashed banana (about 3 medium)• 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or baking oil of choice)• ¾ cup vanilla dairy-free creamer (I used So Delicious French Vanilla Almond Milk Creamer)• 1 to 1¼ cups trail mix (your choice of chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts and/or seeds)

Instructions1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF.2. Place the oats and flax seeds in your spice grinder or small food processor and grind into a powder.3. Pour the oat-flax mixture into a medium bowl and whisk in the baking powder and salt.

Blend the banana and oil in a mixing bowl (I use a hand mixer) until the banana is pureed. Stir in the creamer and the dry oatmixture until combined. Fold in the trail mix.

•  Divide the batter between 12 silicone or greased muffin cups, and level out, it will be a little thick.

•  Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until the muffins begin to pull away from the sides and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

•  Let cool for 10 minutes in the muffin cups, before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.


Overnight Oats with Peanut Butter

½ cup your favorite non-dairy milk (we suggest oat milk or almond milk)
2 tablespoons peanut butter (or other nut butter of your choice)
½ cup rolled oats
¾ tablespoon chia seeds
½ teaspoon flax seeds
1 tablespoon maple syrup or coconut sugar
Berries, as a topping (optional)

• In a jar: add milk, chia seeds, flax seeds, peanut butter, and maple syrup or coconut sugar, then stir to combine. (The peanut butter doesn’t need to be completely mixed with the almond milk.)
• Add the oats and stir a few more times. Be sure that the oats are immersed in the milk.
• Cover securely with a lid or seal and set in the refrigerator overnight to soak.
• The next day, open and enjoy as is or garnish with berries. We love adding strawberries!
(Note: Overnight oats will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 days.)

Blueberry Muffins

2 cups flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ cup sugar
1 cup almond milk or oat milk
⅓ cup applesauce
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups blueberries, either fresh or frozen
Pinch of salt

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line or grease muffin tin. 
• Mix wet ingredients in a bowl (or to save on a bowl, use a 2-cup measuring cup to mix these ingredients)
• Mix dry ingredients separately.
• Combine wet and dry: Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix until just combined. Do not overmix!
• Add blueberries by gently folding them in.
• Spoon into muffin tins, filling each cup about ¾ full.
• Bake: Place in the oven (on center rack) and bake for 30 minutes.
• Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy!


Cauliflower Wings


½ large head cauliflower, cut into florets
Olive oil
¼ cup flour, or almond meal (if you are gluten free)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons oat milk or your choice of non-dairy milk
½ cup breadcrumbs (optional)
½ cup Frank’s hot sauce (or your favorite)
2-4 teaspoons non-dairy butter (soy-free Earth Balance is a staple)

• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking dish with parchment paper.
• Toss cauliflower with a little oil. Place in a large bowl and toss with the flour and garlic powder until evenly coated. If using the breadcrumbs for added crunch, finely crush them. Add your milk of choice and then the breadcrumbs to the cauliflower, and toss to coat.
• Arrange in one layer in the baking pan. Bake on the center rack 25 minutes.
• Combine the melted butter with the buffalo sauce. Dip cauliflower in sauce. Bake another 15 minutes. After this time, I like to broil for about 5 minutes but make sure it doesn’t burn!

Easy Pea Stew

3 cups frozen peas
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
½ small lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of salt
3 ½ cups water

• Heat oil in pot and add onions and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until soft.
• Add water and more salt, then bring to boil.
• Add peas, tomato paste and lemon juice, stir.
• Cover and cook on low heat until peas are tender and sauce has a thicker texture.
• Serve with rice.

Peanut Butter Cookies

½ cup peanut butter (or alternative butter like almond or sunflower)
¾ teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons white flour (oat and rice also work if you are gluten free)
⅓ cup sugar
2 tablespoons applesauce
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon salt
¼ cup vegan chocolate chips (optional)

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
• Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. If your peanut butter is not stir-able, gently warm to soften. Add all remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir to form a dough. Roll into cookie balls.
• Refrigerate the dough for about 60-90 minutes.
• Bake in the oven.
(Note: cookies will look quite underdone when you take them out.)
• Let cool for at least 5-10 minutes before removing from tray.


You’ve probably heard that there’s a fight against single-use plastic drinking straws, which is why so many people have started buying their own reusable metal straws on Amazon instead. Not only are metal straws a more eco-conscious choice—since plastic straws aren’t accepted by recycling facilities, meaning they often end up filling landfills or polluting the ocean—they’re a healthier choice, too—since many plastic versions contain bisphenol-A, more commonly known as BPA.

It’s estimated that we use approximately 500 million straws a day, a data point discovered by then 9-year-old Milo Cress, who started the Be Straw Free campaign back in 2011. So if you’re ready and willing to do your part to help the environment, buying one of these reusable metal straws .—some with their own carrying cases, cleaners and add-on silicone tips — is the first step.

Whether you’re looking for an affordable on-the-go option, a set of metal straws for regular use in your home or a reusable option that mimics the feel of traditional bendy straws, we’ve got just the straw for you! 

Top of Form

Earth Day PB&J Lunch    

2 Pieces of Bread
Apple Jelly
Peanut Butter
Green & Blue Food Coloring        
1 Large Pretzel Rod
A few Pretzel Sticks
4 Green Grapes

Start out by cutting the bread into a circle using a round cookie cutter, glass, or kitchen scissors. Spread peanut butter in between the round slices. Scoop out 2 small spoon full of apple jelly in 2 small bowls. Tint one green and the other blue with a small drop of color. We added the blue jelly first for the water and then the green. Place it on a plate. We used a pretzel rod to make a tree. We used pretzel sticks to make branches and broccoli for the leaves. You could also use cucumbers, green grapes, kiwi, salad, etc… We cut green grapes in half for grass.

Earth Day Yogurt Parfaits    

All you need is some vanilla yogurt, food coloring, granola,  toothpicks and two bowls.

To make these you will need two separate small bowls. In one bowl dye your vanilla yogurt blue, and in the other dye the yogurt green (a few good spoonfuls of each).  All you need is one drop of food coloring to mix in the coloring. Spoon all of the blue yogurt into your parfait cup, or bowl. Then with a toothpick I made some blue swirls with additional pin-drops of food coloring to add some design to the water for fun. You then can spoon the green yogurt on top to look like Earth. 

You can use another toothpick and add some green yogurt islands off to the side. For the “mountains” add some of your favorite granola. 

Happy Earth Day!

Dirt Pudding Cups With Gummy Worms Recipe

Serves: 8 cups

Ingredients• 1 15-ounce package chocolate sandwich cookies (like Oreos)• 1 3.9-ounce package chocolate instant pudding• 2 cups cold milk• 8 ounces whipped topping (like Cool Whip)• 24 gummy worms

Instructions1. The first order of business when making “worms in dirt” is, of course, to make the dirt.2. Place the chocolate sandwich cookies in a large zip-top plastic bag, and use a rolling pin to crush them into small pieces. Don’t worry about removing the cream filling before putting the cookies in the bag–at first they will clump together, but as you continue to crush them, the cream will blend with the cookies and you won’t even notice it.3. Continue to crush the cookies in the bag until they are in fine crumbs. A few larger pieces are okay, too–after all, dirt comes in different sizes!4. Next, make the pudding. Pour the dry pudding mix into a large bowl, then add the cold milk. Whisk everything together until all of the dry pudding dissolves and it’s smooth and free of lumps.5. Let the pudding sit for about 5 minutes, until it thickens and is no longer liquid. If it has the delightfully gloppy texture of pudding, you’re ready to go on.6. Add the whipped topping and approximately half of the cookie crumbs. You don’t have to measure, just eyeball half the bag and pour it in.7. Gently stir everything together until the streaks of whipped topping disappear, and the cookies are well-mixed into the pudding.8. Divide the pudding mixture evenly between eight cups–each should hold a little over ½-cup of pudding. You can fill them however you’d like–I prefer to use a large ice cream scoop because I think it’s a little neater and faster that way.9. Tap the cups on the countertop a few times to level the pudding, then insert 3 gummy worms into the pudding and press them down a little so that they’re embedded.10. Pour the cookie crumbs over the pudding and gummy worms so that the entire top is covered with “dirt.” Smooth it into an even layer with your fingers.

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