Favorite vegan snack recipes for Earth Day—and beyond.

Vegan snacks so tasty that you don't need to be vegan to like them. Plant based deliciousness for all!

How to make DIY microwave popcorn.

Grab a paper bag, some oil, and popcorn kernels, because that's all it takes to make this DIY microwave popcorn. Just as easy as store-bought, no chemicals needed.

Vegan Salted Caramel Dip

This vegan Salted "Caramel" Dipis one of my kids' favorite snacks that I've ever made. Sweet, vanilla flavor in a plant-based treat without any added refined sugar. Just be warned: Addiction is likely.

Smoothie Breakfast Bowl: A fresh start.

Turn your snack smoothie into a healthy breakfast bowl with these tips and ideas for how to make the perfect Smoothie Bowl.

Natural Halloween candy buying guide. Boo-m!

The 2014 guide to natural Halloween Candy.

Recipes for cold and flu season

These recipes will help you and your family make it through cold and flu season.

Travel Eats: To greener pastures (of organic salad) with Earthbound Farm

The lure of easy breezy processed foods may be tempting, but they don't have to be difficult to transcend with the help of socially-minded, wholesome companies like Earthbound Farm Organic.

Travel eats: Feeding my Parmesan cheese obsession in Italy

Traveling in Bologna, Italy: A magical tour through a Parmesan dairy farm and the history Parmigiano Reggiano, the King of cheese.

Be good to the earth: Drink more (organic) liquor!

[caption id="attachment_11327" align="aligncenter" width="530" caption="Black Currant Margarita (click photo for recipe)"][/caption] Earth Day was yesterday, I know, but better late than never? Also, I knew you'd be busy gardening and doing eco crafts using upcycled materials with your kiddos, riiiigggghhhhhtttt? I didn't want to distract you with cocktails. But, now that all that is over, you can sit back, relax and continue to be good to our planet while you toast Mother Earth with these cocktail recipes made with organic liquor. You read correctly. Organic liquor. As in sprits or, as we call it here, booze. I did the hard the job of researching—and even taste testing—some of the organic liquor options on the market (someone had to) and shared the results, along with a bunch of recipes, over on Cool Mom Picks. Hey, we've gone organic with everything else, why not with our cocktails? Lest you think this an Earth Day gimmick or just plain precious, I'll have you know that the organic spirits I tried were priced comparably to conventional high-end brands and had great flavor. Plus, the companies give back in ways that you'll be happy to support. Think using waste from processing to create bio fuel and planting a tree for every bottle sold. So, yea, I'm serious: this is good stuff all around. Cheers to that. (more after the jump)

How to make all-natural Hoisin Sauce in 7 minutes

Just like when I posted my recipe for homemade ricotta, I bet a lot of you are scratching your heads wondering why in the world you'd bother making hoisin sauce from scratch. It's a fair question and, unless you're super into cooking with plenty of time to enjoy scratch kitchen projects, I don't generally expect you to make basics like condiments from scratch. Unless, of course, it's difficult to find a healthy version, which I've found to be the case with hoisin sauce. We love hoisin sauce in my house, but I've been uneasily turning a blind eye to the fact that I can't find an all-natural version without preservatives, coloring agents, and/or MSG. (Even the organic house brand at one of the big all natural markets has "caramel color" and a bunch of fillers.) I've been telling myself that it isn't a big deal since we use so little at a time and otherwise enjoy a diet free of chemicals, but it's been really bugging me. And then, just like that, I found a recipe—an easy recipe—for homemade hoisin sauce. It's good, too. (more after the jump)

How to buy healthy foods on a strict budget

Last week I spoke with a mom committed to scratch cooking, whole ingredients, and organic foods, but who wondered how to hold to her commitment while on a budget. An age old question. Yes, look for sales. And, yes, refer to the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists to make smart buying decisions about organic and conventional produce. But there's one piece of advice that I give that always seems to surprise moms: Stop thinking only about dinner. The bulk of our shopping haul is breakfast, lunch, and snack foods, and many of these foods are packaged. Look at your next shopping bill and you might just find that you're spending most of your money on these meals. If that's true, the decision to buy Monday night's broccoli organic or not has a much smaller impact on the bottom line than figuring out how to make smart decisions around your breakfast, lunch, and snack ingredients. Let's take a closer look: (more after the jump)

How to make homemade Ricotta Cheese. Yes, really.

Right now I bet that a bunch of you are thinking, "Seriously? Homemade ricotta? I can get perfectly good ricotta at the market, thank you very much, One Hungry Mama." Totally legit, but hear me out: This is an awesomely easy kitchen project that can be done with the kids and will make you feel like a badass domestic goddess. Like the rockstar family cook that I know you are. I do not (necessarily!) expect you to make homemade ricotta all the time, but I hope that you'll experience the deep satisfaction that comes from making a foundational food like bread or cheese from scratch. Even if just every once and a while. Or just once, period. Think of making homemade ricotta as a small step towards discovering health and fun in your kitchen this year, and take the step this weekend. I know making homemade cheese might sound more like a leap, but I promise it isn't. If you try and I'm wrong, I promise you can come back and yell at me and I won't delete your comment. Deal? (more after the jump)

Blueberry Crumb Muffins

I have an August fruit problem. It seems that no matter how much I buy, I can never get around to whipping up all of the things I plan on making. Instead, we just eat it all fresh. I think, "I'll just buy double," and then we eat double the amount of fresh fruit. And forget it when I'm dealing with fruit that we've picked ourselves! There's no amount that we can harvest that will keep us from eating every piece just as it came off of the tree or bush. It's just too good. These Blueberry Crumb Muffins are different, though. They were an unexpected exception. Because as good as freshly picked fruit is, it turns out that using your freshly picked fruit to cook something with your child—engaging them in the entire experience, from farm to table—is even better. (more after the jump)

Traveling with Kids: Healthy Food Options While on the Road

Every year I find myself struggling to feed my family well while on summer vacations—or even just while on day trips. I used to think it would get easier as my kids got older. Though it has in some ways, I hadn't anticipated the pressure to give into junk food. Even my big kid, who likes to declare that McDonald's—which he's never tried—has "very terrible food," has a penchant for friend chicken fingers and insatiable appetite for restaurant burgers. I've shared my favorite tips for how to eat well while traveling and even put together a list of the best travel snacks for kids, but today I've asked my friends at The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) to weigh in. CSPI recently released a report on kids meals that every parent should read. (Or at least skim, busy mamas and papas!) Even if you only succumb to fast food the few times a year that you're on the road, you should know what's on your kids plate, and have other healthier options in your back pocket. (more after the jump)

{VIDEO} Get kiddo excited about veggies away from the pressures of mealtime

There's so much talk these days about how to get kids to eat vegetables, but not a whole lot about how to get them to love veggies. (You know, eventually.) This whole teaching kids to eat healthy thing is not just about getting nutrients down the gullet. After all, we could do that with supplements and protein shakes. It's really about fostering a love of healthy food that will sustain them over the course of their lives. And, sometimes, it's easier to do that while away from the pressures of meal time. Watch my latest video to get my three favorite tips for how to inspire veggie love. They are foolproof: there's no way any of these will end in tears over green beans. I promise. You can also get my reading list after the jump. (more after the jump)

Masala Milk

I'm sick of winter—really, I am—but there's something exciting about this moment, teetering on the precipice of spring. It's still too cold, but you can feel warmth approaching. The edge is gone. The sun stays out longer. We're close. Really, really close. This Masala Milk—warm milk spiked with spices, saffron and ground nuts—is perfect for this very moment. It's warming, but with a fresh, bright flavor. This is very decidedly not a winter drink, but it'll warm you on a chilly morning or cool night. You can also drink it cold if you want, when the warmth peaks in mid-afternoon. This is what you should be drinking right now. And you can share it with kiddo, too. (more after the jump)