Thursday, April 16, 2015

Glutino Goes Green

A few months ago, I added Glutino as one of the companies that I blog for (loving it!). I am very picky about who I work with not only because I can be but because (I feel) that whatever I say or do with a product must be true to my word, always. I don't believe in promoting a company or product unless they believe that what they are doing will help others. You all know I am always trying to help so I am inspired when other companies (especially those that I use) share the same passion.

Now, I'm not sure if other bloggers think the way I think or not. I have no game plans, no schedule of articles that I am planning on posting for each month. I have two kids, we have food allergies, life, work so my mommy-brain meshed with blogger brain stopped working in an organized way many years ago. However, I am now used to the somewhat crazed, organized-unorganized way I have learned to think. You do whatever works. So when Glutino sent out an April memo for Spring, my brain bypassed the recipe track and immediately thought What else can I do with their products? Not recipes, although recipes are always nice and fun to come up with but I wanted to inspire other people in a different way. What do most families do, especially when they have children and lives and busy days?

Think With the Box
Our family began a personal mission to recycle as much as we could a few years ago (HERE) so when I was looking at all of these boxes, I felt the "greenest" thing to do was to find ways to reuse them. With a bit of Mod Podge, leftover paper (wrapping paper scraps, a brown lunch bag, even the Sunday comics) and some scissors, I transformed Glutino's product boxes into a family organizational center. This was an easy craft that took no time at all. Each family member has their own space for miscellaneous items and we used up bits and pieces of other items that were laying around that we weren't sure what to do with.

Reuse The Box
Each Glutino box has a gluten free tidbit on the back of it (Gasp! You never noticed?! Well go get one, turn it over! It's there, I promise you!) They also provide a recipe as well but then I thought, why not use the cardboard to make a personalized recipe card? Something that you could fill in as-needed, wrap up as a handmade gift for a teacher or even as a way to begin to teach your child about how to formulate their own gluten free (or other) kind of recipes. As an added reminder, I attached Glutino's message onto the recipe cards. Easy, simple, crafty, eco-friendly and useful- who can beat that?!
What's in Your Bag
At first, it was Glutino's English Muffins but as I began to head toward my plastic recycling bin (yes, I actually have one just for plastic bags), I realized that this too could be re-purposed. I mean, come on, the bags are pretty darn sturdy so why not use them again? I used one of them to pack some shoes for a weekend getaway to avoid having everything I have ever walked on touch my packed items (because, ewww, just ewww). But there are endless ways to use these bags! Need other ideas? How about
  • Storage for your epinephrine
  • Collection keepers (seashells, rocks, small toys)
  • Gift bag for homemade pot pourri
  • Movie popcorn (make your own & bring it with)
  • Smaller, safe snacks for trips
  • Toiletries
  • Bags for wet swim suits
  • Personal phone accessories*
Shall I continue? Be creative, be earth-conscious and be open to using what you have.

Tag- You're It
*Don't forget to reuse the plastic tags too! Label each person's bag to avoid mixing them up (and to keep mommy just a little bit more sane with a little less arguing). Another point of labeling is because all parents eventually get to the point where they want (no, need) to reclaim their own "stuff" and labeling helps us to do this. Sharing is nice, being unselfish as a parent is something ingrained within us but let's face it people- there's a certain age where sharing everything starts to kind of gross us out and yearn for just being able to eat your own snack without being hit by those big puppy-dog eyes of "Can I have some of that?". Labeling removes that parental guilt and redirects it into "Look, now you have your own, all to yourself!" 

It's in the Bag
Wait, no- it doesn't have to be in the bag (unless you are still eating the Glutino snacks, then yes, keep them in there to avoid getting stale). After it's empty and you are staring at that bag that's kind of reminds you of those 1980's NASA blankets (admit it- you had one of those crinkly annoying things) you can reuse that too! It's a bag, it's a shiny thing, it's..... an instant sparkly streamer for bicycles or scooters! Dare I say it could even be used as an American Doll festive Hawaiian skirt? (talk about budget-friendly!) Maybe even something sparkly for the garden now that the flowers are starting to bloom? Just remember to secure it firmly to avoid littering. Directions: Simply snip off the top and bottom of any Glutino product bag and then cut down the middle, leaving a long silver strip. Wipe the bag to remove excess crumbs. Cut thin pieces of the bag, making sure to leave a 1-2 inch area at one end for a sturdy core and for something to be able to attach. Tape and go.

Just Use It
Now, come on, you knew I would have to sneak in a recipe somewhere, right?! This time I "kept it clean" to stay focused and I used what I had. Did you know that you can heat up any of the Glutino "dessert" pretzels (Yogurt, Chocolate, Salted Caramel) just enough to make them a bit melty and gooey? Then, if you add just a few pieces of fruit, it becomes an instant, bite-sized pretzel pastry? I do recommend using fruit that has skin on it (such as blueberries) as the cut up pieces were juicier and had to be eaten right away before the juice made the pretzel a bit mushy. Or, you could try using some Fruit Clusters (or even the crumbs- ohh, the crumbs!) to get a similar taste.

Heat the oven to 375 and place 3-4 the pretzels into a paper muffin cup (IfYouCare is perfect!) in a muffin pan to hold the form. Heat just long enough until the pretzels begin to melt but not burn. Remove and quickly place your choice of fruit into those convenient pretzel holes. Allow to cool and enjoy. I kid you not, the Yogurt pretzels with blueberries tastes just like a bite of a blueberry pastry. Imagine what else you could do with so many other fruits and the other flavors...silent moment to drool.

What Will You Do?
I invite everyone to share these ideas as well as sharing what your family came up with too. Sharing is caring and it's also what helps everyone understand how easy allergy-friendly products and ideas can be. Sometimes, all we need is an idea from someone else to spur our own thoughts.

Thank you to Glutino for allowing me to use my creative weirdness with their products.

*Reminder-Always check all product labels to stay safe. Glutino products may not be safe for your specific allergy needs.

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