VIDEO: How to make adorable mini gingerbread house mug huggers for Christmas

December 5, 2016 by  
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From brownstones to iconic homes to the New York City subway , we can’t seem to get enough of tasty gingerbread architecture here at Inhabitat. If you’re looking to get in on the gingerbread game yourself this holiday but want to start small, we’ve got an easy and adorable recipe that will have your guests squealing with glee. These teensy tiny gingerbread house mug huggers may be mini, but they pack a big punch when it comes to getting friends and family into the holiday spirit. Plus they’re just the right size for breaking apart and dunking into your coffee, tea or hot chocolate gobbling up in one bite. I first discovered the concept of mini gingerbread mug toppers when my sister spotted them selling for $10 a pair in the Anthropolgie catalog. Smitten but unwilling to cough up $5/sq. inch for gingerbread real estate, I decided to try making my own version. A quick search on the internets revealed this very helpful tutorial on Not Martha , which I modified slightly below. RELATED: How to Make a Gingerbread Brownstone Gingerbread Cookie Dough Ingredients (click here for a vegan version of this recipe) Dry ingredients 3 cups all purpose flour 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 3/4 teaspoon of ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon of salt Coconut shreds, peppermint candy shards, powdered sugar and other decorations (optional) Wet ingredients 3/4 cup of Sugar in the Raw liquid cane sugar 1/2 cup of butter 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of brown sugar Vegan Royal Icing Ingredients 1 cup powdered sugar 1 tablespoon water 2 teaspoons Sugar in the Raw liquid cane sugar 1?4 teaspoon almond extract Making your gingerbread houses Step 1: First combine your dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix together. Step 2: Add the liquid cane sugar, brown sugar and butter to a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter is all melted. Step 3: Pour your butter mixture into your flour mixture and mix with a spoon or spatula until a dough forms. Then use your hands to mix until the dough has an even consistency. Step 4: Cover your dough and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Step 5: After your dough is chilled, remove it from the fridge and roll it out onto a large piece of foil. It should be about 1/8 inch thick. Step 6: Print and cut out either Not Martha’s template or the slightly smaller version we made using hers, and use the pieces to cut shapes out of your dough. Collect the scraps between your pieces and roll them out again to make more house parts. Step 7: Bake your house pieces at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Making your icing Step 1: In a small bowl, stir together the powdered sugar and water until smooth. Step 2: Add the liquid cane sugar and almond extract until your icing is smooth and glossy. If the icing feels too thick, add more water. Step 3: Pour your icing into a piping bag or make your own piping bag by cutting a small hole into the corner of a ziploc bag. Assembling your gingerbread mug toppers Step 1: First, let your gingerbread house pieces cool for 10-15 minutes after you take them out of the oven. Then place one of your “house” pieces down on a flat surface and pipe two lines of icing along either side of it and stick one of your “wall” pieces on so that it creates a 90-degree angle with your house piece. Repeat this step by sticking another wall piece to your other line of icing. TIP: If your wall piece is not secure or keeps falling down, try making your icing thicker by adding more powdered sugar. You can also flatten the edges of your wall pieces down by rubbing them together to create a straighter edge. Step 2: When your two wall pieces feel secure and not shaky, pipe two more lines of icing onto the edges. Then lay down another house piece to form the 4th side of your gingerbread house. Step 3: Flip your house over so that it’s standing on its base and pipe two more lines of icing onto the roof edges. Pop your roof pieces on top. Step 4: Decorate with icing, coconut flakes, pieces of candy, sprinkles or any other embellishments you’d like. Let the icing harden for about an hour. Step 5: Finally pour your friends some hot cups of their favorite holiday beverages and pop your mug huggers on top to serve. Hat tip to Not Martha for hooking us up with her handy mini gingerbread house template ! We hope you enjoyed this recipe. Please don’t be shy about sharing pics of your own gingerbread mug huggers with us on our Facebook page .

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VIDEO: How to make adorable mini gingerbread house mug huggers for Christmas

Stop throwing away banana peels – eat them instead

June 29, 2016 by  
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Pop quiz: What food is packed with vitamins and fiber, but is almost always purchased just to be thrown away? If you said banana peels, you’re right. It might be one of the world’s most recognizable comedy props, but the humble banana peel is nothing to laugh at. These slippery skins contain vitamins B6 and B12, magnesium, potassium and fiber, as well as tryptophan, which has been shown to help balance emotions and mood. While the jury is still out on exactly how much of these nutrients our bodies can absorb from eating banana peels, noshing on them instead of trashing them is still a great idea because of the landfill waste it saves. But if the idea of chomping down on these thick, fibrous membranes doesn’t sound very a-PEEL-ing to you, read on to check out the newest episode of Inhabitat and NYC Media ‘s TV series Urban Green for three delicious and nutritious ways to make them more palatable. Video: Little Darling Productions with Jason Jenkins for NYC Media Before we get into our banana peel recipes, here are two important tips: TIP 1: Remember to wash your banana peel thoroughly just like you would with any other fruit you plan to ingest. TIP 2: We recommend using organic bananas for these recipes since non-organic banana peels may contain harmful pesticides. BANANA PEEL SMOOTHIE Smoothies are a great way to mask the bitter flavor of banana peels while also breaking them down and making them easier to digest. One of my favorite smoothies to use banana peels in is an apple pie smoothie , which, believe it or not, tastes like a healthier version of apple pie. To make it, just blend one Red Delicious apple, one whole banana and the peel (just cut off the hard ends), a dollop of almond butter or a handful of almonds, some almond milk and a dash of cinnamon. If you’re allergic to nuts, feel free to leave out the almonds and use a different kind of milk. PICKLED PEELS Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peels, and so can you, with this couldn’t-be-easier pickled banana peel recipe. Just chop your washed peels up intro strips width-wise (cutting against the grain helps to decrease the fibrous mouthfeel). Then plan to have pickles for lunch so that you can use the leftover pickling liquid for your peels. Submerge the peels in the pickling liquid overnight and you’ll end up with a tart condiment that will have your dinner guests trying to place the unique flavor. CANDIED PEELS Okay, so candying isn’t exactly the healthiest way to eat banana peels, but these sweet morsels are guilt-free enough if eaten in moderation or used as a garnish. To make these crunchy treats, stir together ½ cup of sugar and ½ cup of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then add 2 sliced up (again, against the grain) banana peels and reduce to medium/low heat. Simmer while stirring for about 10 minutes. Once you see the sugar begin to caramelize, remove the pot from the heat and transfer your peels to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or other non-stick surface. Let your peels cool and harden, and then snap them into strips to eat as a snack or sprinkle over some yogurt to give it a crunchy kick. We hope you had a “bunch” of fun learning how to eat banana peels. And if you have any cool peel recipes, please share them in the comments below! + Urban Green + NYC Media

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Stop throwing away banana peels – eat them instead

Stop throwing away banana peels – eat them instead

June 29, 2016 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Stop throwing away banana peels – eat them instead

Pop quiz: What food is packed with vitamins and fiber, but is almost always purchased just to be thrown away? If you said banana peels, you’re right. It might be one of the world’s most recognizable comedy props, but the humble banana peel is nothing to laugh at. These slippery skins contain vitamins B6 and B12, magnesium, potassium and fiber, as well as tryptophan, which has been shown to help balance emotions and mood. While the jury is still out on exactly how much of these nutrients our bodies can absorb from eating banana peels, noshing on them instead of trashing them is still a great idea because of the landfill waste it saves. But if the idea of chomping down on these thick, fibrous membranes doesn’t sound very a-PEEL-ing to you, read on to check out the newest episode of Inhabitat and NYC Media ‘s TV series Urban Green for three delicious and nutritious ways to make them more palatable. Video: Little Darling Productions with Jason Jenkins for NYC Media Before we get into our banana peel recipes, here are two important tips: TIP 1: Remember to wash your banana peel thoroughly just like you would with any other fruit you plan to ingest. TIP 2: We recommend using organic bananas for these recipes since non-organic banana peels may contain harmful pesticides. BANANA PEEL SMOOTHIE Smoothies are a great way to mask the bitter flavor of banana peels while also breaking them down and making them easier to digest. One of my favorite smoothies to use banana peels in is an apple pie smoothie , which, believe it or not, tastes like a healthier version of apple pie. To make it, just blend one Red Delicious apple, one whole banana and the peel (just cut off the hard ends), a dollop of almond butter or a handful of almonds, some almond milk and a dash of cinnamon. If you’re allergic to nuts, feel free to leave out the almonds and use a different kind of milk. PICKLED PEELS Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peels, and so can you, with this couldn’t-be-easier pickled banana peel recipe. Just chop your washed peels up intro strips width-wise (cutting against the grain helps to decrease the fibrous mouthfeel). Then plan to have pickles for lunch so that you can use the leftover pickling liquid for your peels. Submerge the peels in the pickling liquid overnight and you’ll end up with a tart condiment that will have your dinner guests trying to place the unique flavor. CANDIED PEELS Okay, so candying isn’t exactly the healthiest way to eat banana peels, but these sweet morsels are guilt-free enough if eaten in moderation or used as a garnish. To make these crunchy treats, stir together ½ cup of sugar and ½ cup of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then add 2 sliced up (again, against the grain) banana peels and reduce to medium/low heat. Simmer while stirring for about 10 minutes. Once you see the sugar begin to caramelize, remove the pot from the heat and transfer your peels to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or other non-stick surface. Let your peels cool and harden, and then snap them into strips to eat as a snack or sprinkle over some yogurt to give it a crunchy kick. We hope you had a “bunch” of fun learning how to eat banana peels. And if you have any cool peel recipes, please share them in the comments below! + Urban Green + NYC Media

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Stop throwing away banana peels – eat them instead

VIDEO: How to Make an Edible Terrarium Snow Globe

December 22, 2015 by  
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To learn how to make an incredible DIY edible snow globe that will impress all of your friends at your next holiday party, read on…. Read the rest of VIDEO: How to Make an Edible Terrarium Snow Globe

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VIDEO: How to Make an Edible Terrarium Snow Globe

Net-zero learning center teaches children about gardening and sustainability

December 22, 2015 by  
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Net-zero learning center teaches children about gardening and sustainability

The ethically sourced smartphone you can repair and upgrade yourself is now on sale

December 22, 2015 by  
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The long-awaited Fairphone 2 – the smartphone you can repair by yourself – is now on sale . Dubbed the ‘world’s first ethically sourced smartphone,’ the first Fairphone was the product of a carefully crafted supply chain that seeks to minimize the use of conflict materials. Now, the second model ups the ante with a modular design that allows for easier repairs, resulting in a smartphone that could do something completely unheard of in the world of pocket-sized electronic gadgets. This could eliminate the need to buy another phone – ever. Read the rest of The ethically sourced smartphone you can repair and upgrade yourself is now on sale

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The ethically sourced smartphone you can repair and upgrade yourself is now on sale

Make strawberry gushers that burst in your mouth with our DIY recipe

December 10, 2015 by  
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Video: Unarmed Media Remember the joy of popping squishy Gushers candies in your mouth as a kid? Now you can make a healthy homemade version of the beloved treat at home using the magic of molecular gastronomy. Just follow along with our video recipe above for the easy instructions. Read the rest of Make strawberry gushers that burst in your mouth with our DIY recipe

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Make strawberry gushers that burst in your mouth with our DIY recipe

Make your own tasty vegetarian turkey for Thanksgiving with this recipe

November 19, 2015 by  
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It’s exciting to see that more and more people are opting to make their Thanksgivings cruelty-free, and there are a lot of tasty turkey alternatives on the market now for us vegetarians and vegans to choose from. But if you’re tired of Tofurky and want to try something different this year, or just prefer to whip something up from scratch so that you know exactly what’s going into your dinner, try our flavor-packed recipe for vegan turkey that you can make right at home. Read the rest of Make your own tasty vegetarian turkey for Thanksgiving with this recipe

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Make your own tasty vegetarian turkey for Thanksgiving with this recipe

Kia Niro hybrid crossover teased ahead of its debut next year

November 19, 2015 by  
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Currently Kia’s lineup of green vehicles consists of the Soul electric vehicle and the Optima hybrid , but Kia is getting ready to expand that list with a new dedicated hybrid called the Niro. Kia has released a batch of teaser photos of its new Niro crossover hybrid, which will be Kia’s first model that has been designed from the ground up to be a hybrid. Read the rest of Kia Niro hybrid crossover teased ahead of its debut next year

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Kia Niro hybrid crossover teased ahead of its debut next year

Apple teams up with Ireland to invest in sustainable wave energy

November 19, 2015 by  
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We are in the midst of a refreshing shift as some of the wealthiest icons are investing their cash into progressive measures to create a better planet. Apple is joining the ranks of Bill Gates’ $2 billion investment in clean energy with its recent $1.5 million pledge to research and development in wave energy off the coast of Ireland. This announcement brings the company closer to its goal of running its facilities off of 100 percent renewable energy. Read the rest of Apple teams up with Ireland to invest in sustainable wave energy

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