12 plant-based recipes for a vegan or vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner

November 15, 2018 by  
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For many people, Thanksgiving dinner is not complete without a turkey on the table. But with diet trends turning toward vegetarianism, veganism and flexitarianism , people are starting to break away from the traditional turkey dinner for health, animal welfare or environmental reasons. Luckily, there are amazing plant-based dishes that you can prepare for a mouth-watering Thanksgiving feast, making it easier than ever to skip the turkey. Here are some ideas for main dishes that will replace the turkey on your table, plus some side dish and dessert ideas that will keep the food at your celebration completely plant-based. Main dishes Classic seitan roast Forget the tofurkey — try this basic meat substitute for a savory, meaty main dish that you can use for Thanksgiving day, and any extras will be perfect as salad toppers or sandwich fillings. This recipe comes from One Green Planet , and it does have an involved process. But the results are totally worth it. Seitan pot roast Another idea from One Green Planet , this recipe is not the traditional pot roast your mom would make, but it is the perfect recipe for a large Thanksgiving dinner. The biggest plus about this dish is that you make it in a slow cooker. Just throw everything in the pot, and let it cook while you make your other dishes. Related: 6 vegan and vegetarian turkey alternatives for Thanksgiving Lentil shepherd’s pie This recipe from Plant Based Cooking is perfect for picky eaters, vegan or not. Lentil shepherd’s pie is loaded with mushrooms, carrots, peas and garlic mashed potatoes, and you can easily refrigerate or freeze it. Vegan lentil loaf with gravy Perfect for the holiday season, this recipe from Vegan Heaven is easy to make, super healthy and beyond delicious. You will impress your family with this main dish, which takes a little over an hour to make and bake. Vegducken This is a vegetable main dish that will have your family and friends talking long after Thanksgiving is over. This recipe features roasted butternut squash stuffed with eggplant, zucchini and whole scallions. Then, you layer it with a puree of sautéed mushrooms, red onion, chickpeas, scallions, red lentils and gluten-free breadcrumbs. Side dishes Thanksgiving cornbread stuffing with gravy You might be able to skip turkey at Thanksgiving, but no one can live without the stuffing. This delicious vegan recipe from One Green Planet takes a little time to make, so you might want to prepare it a day in advance. Vegan pumpkin biscuits Free of dairy , egg, corn, soy and yeast, these pumpkin biscuits from Vegan Richa are easy to make and perfect for any guest at your Thanksgiving dinner. They feature fresh sage and thyme, and they are a savory side dish that is crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. Buttermilk vegan mashed potatoes Who says you need dairy products to make fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes? This recipe from The Vegan 8 calls for just eight ingredients to make creamy mashed potatoes that are full of flavor with a buttery taste that comes from apple cider vinegar. They will be one of the most-loved dishes at your Thanksgiving dinner. Smokey maple roasted carrots with lemon thyme drizzle If you are looking for an easy side dish that you can throw together, try this recipe from Veggies Don’t Bite . Not only is this carrot dish loaded with flavor, but the lemon thyme sauce will make you want to lick your plate clean. Related: The best in-season veggies to buy at your local market for Thanksgiving dinner Vegan green bean casserole This casserole is so creamy that you won’t believe it doesn’t contain dairy. Using raw cashews, unsweetened almond milk, bread crumbs, onions, garlic, flour, EVOO, mushrooms, white wine, soy sauce, salt and black pepper, this dish from Hummusapien will be so good, no one will know its vegan. Desserts Vegan pecan pie This recipe from the Center for Nutrition Studies is a healthy, vegan alternative to the popular holiday dessert . It is decadent, but not too sweet, and it is gluten-free and soy-free. Chocolate ganache mousse pie If you want to add a chocolate dessert to your menu, here is a delicious option that has a cookie crust and light filling that will make any chocolate lover happy. Images via Pixabay and Shutterstock

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12 plant-based recipes for a vegan or vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner

The Seasonal Food Guide helps you store, cook and enjoy seasonal produce

October 18, 2018 by  
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When you cook at home, there is nothing better than using fresh, seasonal produce as ingredients in your recipes. But it can be difficult to remember what is in season near you throughout the year. Luckily, there is an app for that, thanks to GRACE Communications Foundation, a non-profit organization aiming to boost awareness and support for sustainable food initiatives. Last year, the foundation launched its Seasonal Food Guide app (available for Android and iOS) just before National Farmers Market Week (in August each year). When you download it, the app will update you on the seasonality of everything from apples to zucchini in your own state. The guide is free, and it uses data from the Natural Resources Defense Council as well as the USDA and state departments of agriculture. When using the app (or the website), you can search for what is in season at any time of the year in every state. It is billed as the “most comprehensive database of seasonal food available in the U.S.” Related: Everything you need to know about online farmers markets “Today, people want to know where their produce is coming from, how long it will be in season and available at their local farmers market or grocery store, and what’s in season at other times of the year or in other neighboring states,” said Urvashi Rangan, GRACE’s chief science adviser. “We built the Seasonal Food Guide app to put those answers right at your fingertips.” This app will help you in your efforts to eat as much local produce as possible, which not only helps you increase your fruit and veggie consumption, but it also helps local growers and the local economy. The money you spend on local produce stays in your community, and it is reinvested with other local businesses. Why should you eat seasonally? If you haven’t had a lot of experience with eating fresh produce, it is definitely worth a try — it is ripe and flavorful and less bruised and handled, because it is transported locally. You can often taste it before you make a purchase, so you know what to expect. During peak harvest times, there is usually an abundance of fresh produce, and that means lower prices. You can also get “seconds,” which are slightly blemished fruits and veggies, for a major discount, and you can eat them right away or preserve them for a later time when they aren’t in season. This is an extremely frugal way to help you eat healthy all year long. Related: 5 mouthwatering plant-based fall recipes When you purchase seasonal food, you get a fresher, tastier and more nutritious product compared to the foods you would buy in the store. The best time to eat produce is shortly after harvest, and the only way to do that is to buy your produce from a local grower. Plus, when purchasing your produce from local farmers , you can talk to them about how they grew the food and the practices they used to raise and harvest their crops. Another benefit of eating seasonally is that it tends to lead you to cook at home more often, which is a great thing to do for your health. Taking control over what you put in your body — from what oil you cook with to how much sugar you add — helps you to consciously make better choices. Cooking is also a great way to bond, and it is a fun activity to do with your family and friends. Eating seasonally will also challenge you to be creative and come up with new ways to use your local produce. Buying local food is a benefit for the environment, because it helps to maintain local farmland and open space in your community. Direct-to-consumer produce is also less likely to have pesticides or herbicides. Eating seasonally can be intimidating. What is at its peak this month? How do you use that strange-looking vegetable you spied at the market? How do you store your abundance of fruits and vegetables so they do not go bad before you use them? This is when the Seasonal Food Guide comes to the rescue. Recipes, storage tips and more If you need some help with what to do with your local produce, the Seasonal Food Guide has a “ Real Food Right Now ” series to give you tips on cooking with food from your local grower. There are ideas for everything from asparagus to okra, and there are also tips for which seasonings and oils will complement your produce. The Seasonal Food Guide also explains the history of each item, giving you a chance to learn more about the food you are enjoying. Each fruit, vegetable, nut and legume is also broken down into its nutritional value and its environmental impact, meaning you can see how your produce is affecting the land. The guide also aims to curb food waste by teaching users how to properly store produce and how long it typically remains edible before it needs composted. The comprehensive app teaches users a wealth of information about the foods they eat, while also making it easy to experiment with new, unknown produce items. Get the Seasonal Food Guide app Check out the Seasonal Food Guide on your phone or computer, and get the best information about what is available in your state this month. You’ll find information and tips for about 140+ veggies, fruits, nuts and legumes. You can also set a reminder for your favorites, so you don’t miss them when they are available. Because the app provides photos of each item, you can also quickly identify that strange fruit or vegetable you passed at the market and learn more about it. This guide makes it incredibly simple to eat local, seasonal foods you love as well as find new favorites to experiment with in the kitchen. To see the web version click here , or download the iOS or Android apps here . + Seasonal Food Guide Images via Seasonal Food Guide , Caroline Attwood and  Maarten van den Heuvel ; screenshots via Inhabitat

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The Seasonal Food Guide helps you store, cook and enjoy seasonal produce

IKEA’s new cookbook cooks your food for you

July 5, 2017 by  
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You probably have that one friend who visits IKEA just for their Swedish meatballs, but now the furniture giant is showing how creative you can get with those meatballs at home. They just rolled out the IKEA Easy Recipe Series cookbook in Canadian stores, which makes dinner easier to cook with parchment paper pages that resemble a paint-by-numbers sketch – and they do much of the hard work for you. IKEA has made well-designed furniture more accessible, and now it seems they’re working to make food more accessible too. They got a little help from the Leo Burnett Toronto advertising agency to come up with the Cook This Page campaign. All users have to do is fill in the pictures of food on the parchment cooking pages, put it in the oven, and pull out a dinner that assembles far easier than an IKEA bed frame or bookcase. Related: IKEA’s new app will let you preview furniture in your home before you buy IKEA’s cookbook pages don’t simply come with a list of ingredients. The pages have spaces on which to place the food, drawn with food-safe ink in the approximate sizes of the precise amounts of items like one minced garlic clove or one eighth of a teaspoon of black pepper. Users place ingredients on the pages and roll them up to cook. The pages recently popped up in Canadian stores during the IKEA Kitchen Event. People could see exactly what food and kitchen equipment they’d need, and shop for the items at the store before taking the pages home to bake homemade meals. According to a video on the campaign, IKEA realized some folks are intimidated by new food and recipes , and “wanted to show people that getting creative can be deliciously simple.” Leo Burnett won two Gold and two Bronze Cannes Lions at this year’s festival for their work on the campaign. Via Fast Co.Design Images via screenshot and Leo Burnett Toronto

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IKEA’s new cookbook cooks your food for you

Wonderful recipes for the weird veggies in your CSA box

February 11, 2017 by  
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Kohlrabi Sounds like something to be shouted in Klingon, doesn’t it? No need to fear: kohlrabi won’t leap up and devour your face if you lean over it. This bizarre little “turnip cabbage” has a thick skin that needs to be peeled off before you get to its juicy little heart (which tastes quite a bit like broccoli stem), and its leaves can be cooked like collard greens or kale. Great recipes to try: Kohlrabi and zucchini fritters with sriracha mayo  – You can make fritters out of just about any vegetable, but these two pair together perfectly. Kohlrabi, cardamom, and coconut curry – Warming and filling, with just the right amount of heat. Shaved kohlrabi with apple and hazelnuts – This is a beautiful way to highlight kohlrabi’s mild sweetness and crunchiness. Spicy kohlrabi-kale kimchi – If you have more kohlrabi than you know what to do with and you’d like to use it up before it goes bad, make a batch of this kimchi and enjoy it later. Celeriac Root It looks like a tumor and tastes like celery, but what can you do with it? Quite a lot, actually. Celeriac is indeed part of the celery family, but is cultivated for its large root instead of its stalks. Great recipes to try: Celery root puree with balsamic beets and pearl onions – Buhhh. If anyone ever disparages vegan cuisine, feed them this, and it’ll blow their minds. Celeriac, fennel, and pear salad with lentils – Celery root’s refreshing crunch is echoed by both the fennel and sweet pear, and complemented by creamy, nutty Puy lentils. Celery root steaks with tomatillo salsa verde – Way to incorporate 2 CSA box items in one recipe! The savory meatiness of the root steak is brightened by spicy green salsa, and is a perfect summer dinner recipe. Celeriac and roasted garlic soup with parsley oil – This is a delicious, elegant soup that’s both perfect for cooler evenings, and for when you’re aiming to impress dinner guests. Or in-laws. Same idea. Rutabagas Also known as “Swedes”, rutabagas are root vegetables that likely originated by crossing a turnip with cabbage. Sounds bizarre, I know, but these tuberous powerhouses are quite versatile. They have a nutty sweetness from the cabbage, and the firm crunch normally associated with turnips. They can be used raw or cooked, and they make a great substitute for mashed potatoes for Paleo recipes, or for folks avoiding nightshade vegetables. Great recipes to try: Rutabaga fries – They’re low carb, vegan, AIP paleo compliant, and incredibly delicious. Spiralized rutabaga noodles – You can top them with anything you like. Try them with pesto and hazelnuts. Rutabaga hash with chilies and bacon – This can easily be made vegan with veg bacon or even toasted coconut. Latkes – An all-time favorite pancake, only made with rutabaga instead of potato. Fennel It looks like something from an alien landscape with its bulbous base and frilly hair, but fennel is a wonderful vegetable that’s quite versatile with a slight licorice flavor. You can eat it raw or cooked, and the green fronds are edible as well. Great recipes to try: Braised fennel with capers and olives – Magic happens when you combine the ingredients in this recipe. Arugula, fennel, and olive salad – A great mixture of textures, flavors, sweetness, and bite. Fennel, asparagus, and artichoke empanadas – This is a perfect way to showcase summer produce. Roasted fennel and onion gratinati – It’s as scrumptious with vegan almond cheese as it is with regular Parmesan. Garlic Scapes They may look like a tangle of skinny snakes, but these vibrant greens are garlic’s flower stalks, and they’re as delicious as their root bulb, only milder. Garlic scapes can be pureed into sauce, chopped and sautéed like green beans, added to frittatas… they’re really only limited by your own culinary creativity. Great recipes to try: Garlic scape pesto – One of the easiest and most delicious recipes for scapes. You can add in foraged greens like garlic mustard, lambsquarters, or dandelion leaves to. Summer vegetable strata – A brilliant way to use random bits from your CSA box in one delicious dish. Beet, garlic scape, and leek pizza – Pizza is fabulous no matter what you put on it, but these ingredients elevate it to an art form. Grilled garlic scape and asparagus soup with caramelized shallots – A lovely summer soup that’ll impress just about anyone. Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes) These adorable little knuckle-shaped roots go quite nutty when you cook them, and are woefully under-used in most people’s kitchens. Not related to globe artichokes, these tubers are part of the sunflower family, and are packed with protein, potassium, iron, and calcium. Great recipes to try: Crispy Jerusalem artichokes with aged balsamic – Roasting the sunchokes brings out their natural sweetness, and the balsamic adds depth to their flavor. Roasted Jerusalem artichoke, chestnut, and thyme soup – All of these rich flavors harmonize into a luxurious, creamy soup. Baked Jerusalem artichoke chips – Who doesn’t love chips? These are low-carb, paleo, vegan, and have a low glycemic index too. Sunchoke banana cake with maple syrup drizzle – Like any other tuber, these add richness, moisture, and texture to baked goods. Tomatillos Most people who are unfamiliar with South American cuisine may never have encountered a tomatillo, but they’re definitely worth getting to know. Relatives of tomatoes and ground cherries (physalis), these papery-coated green gems have a great tart acidity that works beautifully for salsas and other sauces, and can be sweetened for preserves and jams. Great recipes to try: Watermelon, strawberry, and tomatillo salad – If this isn’t a perfect summer salad, I don’t know what is. Tomatillo and lime salsa verde – Sharp and fresh, it’s as good on huevos rancheros as it is scooped up with tortilla chips. Green shakshuka – One of our favorite brunch dishes. Tomatillo jam – It can be made thick or thin (as a spread or as a syrup for pancakes), and is ridiculously good. Radishes Although most people can identify radishes at a glance, these poor little roots often get relegated to salads. Regardless of whether you’ve received cherrybelle, watermelon, or even daikon radish, you’d be amazed at how their flavors change when they’ve been roasted with the aforementioned garlic and olive oil (or butter). Great recipes to try: Watermelon radish tea sandwiches – These radishes are bright pink and green, and are fabulous when sliced thinly on bread. Try these tea sandwiches for a light summer meal, or make open-faced versions for bridal showers. Mulor shaak (spicy sauteed radish greens) – Don’t toss those radish greens into the compost! They’re the tastiest part of the vegetable, and are divine when sauteed with oil and spices. Quick pickled radishes – This one is ideal if you don’t think you’ll be able to eat your radishes before they go bad: just make a quick pickle of them and keep them in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Cinnamon sugar radish chips – Although this one sounds a bit weird, the result is startlingly good. The radishes retain their warming bite, which is complemented perfectly by the cinnamon sugar. If you’ve come across some other veggies , herbs, or even fruits that have been new and fun to explore, feel free to share your recipes in the comments section below. Images by Stacy Spensley , ted_major , romana klee , ilovemypit , mom2rays , Green Mountain Girls Farm , stetted , and Oregon State University via Flickr Creative Commons.

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Wonderful recipes for the weird veggies in your CSA box

This gluten free sweet potato miso will add some color to your day

December 11, 2016 by  
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These brilliant purple sweet potato noodles are more than just colorful: they’re healthy, delicious, vegan, and gluten free! This veggie-stuffed miso recipe is sure to be a hit with the whole family. Read on for the complete recipe.

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This gluten free sweet potato miso will add some color to your day

Make these easy zucchini fries for a tasty snack this weekend

October 15, 2016 by  
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If you are looking for an easy, tasty snack this weekend, check out these zucchini fries. They are super simple to whip up and are much healthier than fried potatoes. Click on for the recipe .

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Make these easy zucchini fries for a tasty snack this weekend

How to cook a whole pumpkin (seeds, guts and all)

October 12, 2016 by  
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® Flickr Amy Stephenson 1. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Fresh, roasted pumpkin seeds hot from the oven are a simple seasonal treat. First, clean out a pumpkin and separate the seeds from the guts. Set aside the guts to use in another recipe, such as pumpkin bread or to combine with the pumpkin flesh for a soup. Rinse the seeds and pat them dry. Sprinkle them on an oiled baking sheet or baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Roast the seeds in a 325 degree oven for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the seeds don’t stick together or burn. Because the size of pumpkin seeds can vary, keep adding 5 minutes of cooking time until the seeds are evenly toasted a light brown and have become crisp – taste test one to check. Once you remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle the seeds with a generous pinch of flaked sea salt and enjoy. Image via Pixabay 2. Pumpkin Scrap Stock If you aren’t already making your own vegetable stock with food scraps, now is a great time to start. It’s as simple as grabbing a sturdy gallon-sized storage bag and sticking it in your freezer. Every time you prep vegetables, simply toss the stems, roots, and leaves into your stock bag instead of the compost. Great additions include kale stems , onion tops, radish greens, celery leaves, cabbage cores, and slightly mushy or brown vegetables that don’t have mold on them. You can also add pumpkin ends, guts, and the skin, which has plenty of flesh clinging to it. Once your stock bag is full, add it to a pot with about 64 ounces of water and simmer over low heat for about 2 hours. Strain the stock through a wire mesh strainer or through cheesecloth and salt to taste. You can freeze the stock or use it immediately as a base for a delicious vegan or vegetarian soup or stew. Simply compost the boiled scraps you’ve strained out. Related: 10 healthy, energizing clean eating Thanksgiving recipes ® Flickr James Leow 3. Pumpkin Shake Craving a delicious, creamy, seasonal breakfast treat? Our recipe for Pumpkin Shakes is just the ticket. To modify this recipe to use the whole pumpkin, simply use fresh pumpkin instead of canned. When you prep the pumpkin flesh for baking, make sure to add the bright orange pulp of the pumpkin, which will also to add moisture. Once the pumpkin is baked soft, puree it and either use immediately or freeze for later use. To modify our Pumpkin Shake recipe, you’ll blend together 1 cup coconut milk (or regular milk), 1 frozen banana, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons honey, and one cup of the pureed pumpkin and pulp. Image via Public Domain 4. Pumpkin Seed Trail Mix Next time you create a Jack ‘O Lantern or prep a pumpkin to bake, don’t throw away the innards. Separate the pulp from the seeds and set them aside to add to some delectable vegan pumpkin donuts . Rinse the seeds and pat them dry on a towel – you’ll roast them and use them in a sweet-and-savory trail mix perfect for snacks on a crisp fall hike. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. On a large baking sheet sprayed with oil, sprinkle the raw, clean and paper towel-blotted seeds of one pumpkin. Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt flakes. Bake the seeds for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the sheet from the oven and add a selection of trail mix ingredients (mix up the ingredients if you like). Add 1/2 cup of coconut flakes, 1/3 cup of diced candied ginger, 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, and a generous sprinkle of powdered cardamom. Bake for another 12 minutes until toasted and fragrant, stirring occasionally to ensure the coconut flakes don’t get burnt. Allow the trail mix to cool before packing it into jars or bags. Related: DIY Halloween: Tasty Treats and Pumpkin Carving Ideas ®Emily Peckenham for Inhabitat 5. Pumpkin Soup in a Shell If you really want to use the whole pumpkin, there’s no better way than eating a savory vegetarian soup made from fresh pumpkin, served in its own pumpkin shell, and topped with roasted seeds from the very same pumpkin. This fun presentation is perfect for a fall dinner party or celebration, and the pumpkin shell also serves as an impromptu table centerpiece – you could also place it on a platter surrounded by fresh biscuits and rosemary sprigs, or seasonal fruit like grapes and figs. To make your pumpkin soup even tastier, roast the guts along with the flesh and puree it all together for a nutritionally dense dinner treat. Follow our complete tutorial here for details on everything from preparing the pumpkin shell to simmering a simple, savory soup to put inside. At the end of the meal, why not compost the pumpkin skin and shell to complete the cycle? ® Pixabay 6. Compost Pumpkin Scraps Last but not least, what do you do with the bits of the pumpkin you really aren’t going to use? Even if you make good use of the seeds, the flesh, and the guts, there are some bits that really aren’t edible, such as the stems and the skin. If you toss your pumpkin skin in the trash, it will eventually end up at a landfill where the sheer amount of trash means it won’t decompose properly, contributing to increased greenhouse gases and overfilled trash dumps. Composting the scraps with other organic matter speeds up the decomposition process instead, and well-made compost can be used again to grow and enrich new crops. What if you don’t live in a rural area where you can make your own compost and use it in a garden? No problem – even urban dwellers can create a small compost bin in their kitchens. If you’re worried about odor, follow our tutorial for creating an urban freezer compost bin. Once its full, you can drop it into a city compost bin or community garden, or arrange for pickup by an urban composting company.

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How to cook a whole pumpkin (seeds, guts and all)

DIY: Make delicious apple cider served in apple cups

September 24, 2016 by  
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It’s officially fall, and nothing sounds better on a chilly day than a warming cup of cider. For your next party, take cider up a notch by serving it in cute little apple cups. Read on to learn how.

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DIY: Make delicious apple cider served in apple cups

A DIY Face Wash Recipe Worthy Of Cleaning Every Face

September 14, 2016 by  
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In this episode of Earth911TV we spotlight a nifty DIY face wash recipe sure to eco-clean your fantastic face. It’s super easy to make with just three natural ingredients.  In case you were wondering, this recipe works…on any face….

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A DIY Face Wash Recipe Worthy Of Cleaning Every Face

Raise A Toast To The Edible Six Pack Ring

September 14, 2016 by  
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If you’re a planet-defending beer enthusiast, you probably balk at the idea of the functional but frustrating plastic six pack ring.  Like other wayward plastic litter, the ubiquitous frosty mug holder poses a distinct danger to…

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Raise A Toast To The Edible Six Pack Ring

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