How to Be A Conscious Consumer

How to Be A Conscious Consumer

Do you know how the products you are buying were made? Are they environmentally friendly? Do you budget? If you answer yes to these questions then it means you are a conscious consumer.

Over the past decade consumption levels have increased across the globe. As the income level rises, so is the greater access to a wide variety of consumer products. Presently, unconscious and unethical consumerism has brought about several problems such as pollution and erosion of income savings. It is for this reason that the idea of a conscious consumer is being propagated.

Therefore, how do you become a conscious consumer?

Know the Product Background
Ever wondered how your favorite snack or t-shirt is manufactured? Well, many people are not aware of how many of the products they consume are made.

Over the years, several companies have been accused of unethical and inhumane manufacturing practices regarding their products. So, to be a conscious consumer, it is prudent of you to dig a little and find out the background details. How are they made? Where are they manufactured? Who manufactures them? How are they shipped?

Knowing all this will ensure that you consume products that have been ethically produced. Besides, it will allow you to hold accountable the companies should they contravene the consumer protection laws and regulations.

Avoid Unbudgeted Spending
Currently, consumption rates have increased tremendously as people’s spending powers also increase. However, it is prudent to undertake sound budgeting to ensure conscious consumption every day. It calls for sound financial and budgeting skills.

Start by determining your net monthly income and then use it to budget as per your needs. As a conscious consumer, you should be able to meet most of your monthly needs comfortably without feeling the need to overspend. Moreover, with a budget, you will minimize spending your money on unnecessary purchases.

Aim for Lower Cost Purchases
Well, with lots of money comes the power to spend. Nonetheless, it is imperative to cut on cost where necessary. Shop well, shop less, and shop consciously.

If you can find a way to make purchases at a lower price, then take it. By doing so, you will be able to save extra cash on the side for other essential life investments such as education.

Aim to cultivate a more conscious consumer mindset by distinguishing between wants and needs. For instance, you could make purchases on second hand retail stores, where surprisingly, you will find quality stuff for low prices. But as you do that, also be mindful of the quality of your purchases. You do not want to buy a piece of furniture only for it to break within a few days.

Embrace Environmental Consciousness
Much of the products people consume have their raw materials sourced from the environment. So, it makes sense to take care of Mother Nature in return.

One way would be to ensure that you minimize using plastic products and embracing disposable and biodegradable made products. For instance, instead of buying products from fast food stores that serve using plastic cups and plates, you could opt to visit a store that uses disposable take out boxes.

Proper management of trash is also an excellent way to cultivate ethical consumer consciousness. As a conscious consumer, you should prioritize on recycling and reusing where necessary.

Vegan Rice Krispy Treats

Vegan Rice Krispy Treats

When you’ve got someone in your household that is allergic to dairy, eggs, and nuts finding treats for them can be very challenging.  Most ready made snacks contain at least one or more of these allergens or are made in a facility that uses these ingredients.  So really the best solution is to make homemade snacks, that way you know they’re allergen free.  That’s pretty much what we do for my grandson Jett.  And one of his favorite snacks are Vegan Rice Krispy Treats.

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We used to make a vegan and non-vegan versions of the same snacks, but that just got too tedious.  Then we discovered that the other kids will happily eat the Vegan Rice Krispy Treats so we just started making the vegan version.

Really you can convert most of your recipes into a vegan version, just find substitutes for animal products.  The hardest thing to sub in my opinion are eggs, but since the original recipe for rice krispy treats don’t require eggs any way Vegan Rice Krispy Treats are the perfect choice to start with.

The recipe for these treats have just 3 ingredients rice krispy cereal, marshmallows, and butter.  Easy enough to substitute right?  Well it should be as long as you can get your hands on vegan marshmallows.  What?  You thought marshmallows were already vegan?  Surely you jest!

First of all one of the ingredients in marshmallows is gelatin, and gelatin is an animal product.  Don’t ask me to go into details, but if you don’t believe me ask Siri or Alexa.  Anyway there are vegan marshmallows in the market, you just got to find some!  The most popular ones seem to be Dandies Vegan Marshmallows, we use the mini ones for Vegan Rice Krispy Treats, I find they melt better and faster than regular sized marshmallows.

Ok we got the vegan marshmallows now we need to find a substitute for the butter, now butter is definitely an animal product, but you knew that right?  There are several brands to choose from, we use Earth Balance.

Now that’s 2 out of 3 we got substitutes for, now for the good news.  Rice Krispy cereal is Vegan!  Yaaay!  We’re ready to roll!

What you need to make Vegan Rice Krispy Treats:

3 Tbs Earth Balance Buttery Spread or any brand of Vegan Butter

4 Cups Vegan Marshmallows

6 Cups Rice Krispy Cereal

And here’s how to make your Vegan Rice Krispy Treats

Melt butter in a large pot over low heat

Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted

Remove from heat and stir in cereal

Spread evenly in to a 9×13 pan that’s been coated with your vegan butter

Let cool then cut into squares

Store left overs in air tight containers

Did you know that there are seasonal Rice Krispy cereals?  Yes there are!  It’s the same cereal, they just mix in seasonal colors like red and green kernels for Christmas.  So if  you’re making holiday treats look out for the seasonal cereals to make your Vegan Rice Krispy Treats more fun!

Spicy Blistered Green Olives

The humble green olive, you gotta love them!  Olives and eating them have been around for thousands of years.  Evidence of its cultivation and consumption dates back almost 6000 years to the Levant area in countries such as Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Crete.  Olive oil has been traded since pre-Christian times.  And I believe olives have been cooked and eaten in some way or another since then.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they made Spicy Blistered Green Olives in a fire pit back in the day!

In fact my husband who was born in the Middle East in what is today known as the West Bank has many childhood memories of eating freshly roasted olives prepared by his grandmother during the olive picking season.  To hear his stories one is led to believe that his grandmother prepared it in the centuries old way of roasting them over an open fire in the yard, the same place she made her flat breads.

Actually today we still eat olives prepared the same way pretty much as they were prepared way back then because you really can’t eat the fruit picked straight from the tree.  Yes, olives are fruit not veggies, but fresh from the tree they are basically inedible.  They’re bitter and have an unappetizing texture.  To make olives edible they must be brined, roasted, or cooked in some way.  Most of us in the US know only the brined or pickled olives that we find in cans and jars in the supermarket, or floating in a martini, rarely do we find fresh olives that we must prepare at home.

We’ve also “discovered” or really “re-discovered” that olives are healthy for us.  A fact which was known thousands of years ago.  Olives are packed with nutrients that have many benefits.  Olives are heart healthy and has been shown to prevent heart disease; studies have shown that green olives can prevent osteoporosis; olives contain large amounts of antioxidants which help prevent certain types of cancers; they can help reduce Arthritis inflammation and pain; and they are believed to be natural treatments for ulcers.  The list actually goes on so I think it’s safe to say that including olives and olive oil in your diet has positive health benefits.

Having said all that I know that not everyone is overly found of olives and I doubt there’ll be a mad rush to buy barrels of brined olives.  So here’s a recipe inspired by my husband’s stories about his grandma’s roasted olives that might help you like olives enough to include them in your diet.  I call them Spicy Blistered Green Olives, but unlike the grandma I cook them on my stove and not outside in an open fire; although if you have a fire pit you might want to give it a go!

Spicy Blistered Green Olives are delicious!  You can eat them hot or cold, they make awesome appetizers, and terrific snacks.  I usually leave a bowl of Spicy Blistered Green Olives on the table and everyone who walks by can’t help but pop an olive or two in his mouth each time they walk by.

Aside from the fact that they’re simply yummy and have positive health benefits these Spicy Blistered Green Olives are super easy to make.  They are a healthier alternative to chips, cookies, and other carbohydrate laden snacks out there.  So here’s the recipe!

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Spicy Blistered Green Olives


1  10oz. Jar of Garlic Stuffed Green Olives

2 Tbs Olive Oil

2 Tbs Minced Garlic

1 Tsp Himalayan Pink Salt

1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper

1 Tbl Crushed Red Pepper

1 Tbl Fresh Lemon Juice


Heat olive oil in sauté pan

Drain Olives and add contents of jar including garlic pieces to the hot oil

Cook until all sides start to turn brown and the olive sort of starts to get wrinkles

Add minced garlic and cook until it starts to brown

Add salt and peppers and mix well

Remove from heat and drizzle lemon juice over all

Toss a bit and serve


Spicy Blistered Green Olives
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Tasty green olives that are a great healthy alternative to carb laden snacks.
Spicy Blistered Green Olives
Print Recipe
Tasty green olives that are a great healthy alternative to carb laden snacks.
  1. Heat olive oil in sauté pan
  2. Drain Olives and add contents of jar including garlic pieces to the hot oil
  3. Cook until all sides start to turn brown and the olive sort of starts to get wrinkles
  4. Add minced garlic and cook until it starts to brown
  5. Add salt and peppers and mix well
  6. Remove from heat and drizzle lemon juice over all
  7. Toss a bit and serve
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Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

Instant Pot Hard Boiled eggsIf you look on Pinterest you’ll see that just about all Instant Pot lovers are raving about Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs.  They talk about how perfect and easy to peel these eggs are and how you’ll never eat hard boiled eggs cooked any other way.

Seriously?  Even I can’t work up enough excitement about hard boiled eggs regardless how they’re made.  I mean I like hard boiled eggs well enough.  I like them for egg salads and deviled eggs mostly.  I can’t really thing how else I use them except perhaps for breakfast or snack on some days; and of course for coloring during Easter.  But I felt obliged to add my two cents in to this Instant Pot Hard Boiled Egg conversation.  So here goes!

Let me begin by saying that intimidating as it had first appeared to be, I love my Instant Pot!  An Instant Pot is an electric pot that is like a crockpot on steroids.  It does just about everything your regular crockpot can do, it just does it faster because it’s really a pressure cooker.  Now this does have it’s benefits like veggies don’t get mushy like they can do in a crockpot because they’ve been cooking for 8 hours, and of course you can make your favorite crockpot recipes in less than an hour.

Now what does this have to do with hard boiled eggs?  Well Instant Port Hard Boiled Eggs aren’t really boiled, they’re pressure cooked in just about 7 minutes.  Wow right?  Well I guess it’s pretty amazing because in 7 minutes you actually do end up with perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs that are very easy to peel.  So no frustrating and wasteful egg shells with some of the whites stubbornly stuck on them; no weirdly shaped eggs with sides gouged out because the whites stuck to the shells.  In short perfect eggs for coloring and making deviled eggs.

How do you make Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs?  Easy peasy!  Here’s how!

Place trivet onto the bottom of your Instant Pot.

Add 1 cup of water.

Arrange as many eggs as you can on the trivet, I have a model Lux80 and can fit about 16 large eggs.

Lock lid in place making sure valve is in sealing position.

Turn Instant Pot on to Manual and adjust time to 7 Minutes.

When Pot beeps let it depressurize naturally for 5 minutes – watch the timer on the pot.

When it reaches 5 minutes carefully turn valve to venting for quick pressure release.

Prepare a large bowl with ice water.

Once pot is completely depressurized open lid and using tongs or slotted spoon lift eggs out of pot and place in bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

Leave eggs in ice bath for 5 minutes then use or store as needed.

You’ll see what I mean when you peel those eggs, the shell seems to literally just fall off!  And of course the egg is cooked perfectly too!

Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs
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Basic Overnight Oats Recipe

Basic Overnight Oats Recipe

Overnight Oats!  What the heck is that?  At least that’s what my family said when I told them we’d be having them for breakfast.

Ok overnighovernight oatst oats is basically raw oatmeal that’s been soaked in a liquid and allowed to sit in the refrigerator for a minimum of 6 hours.

Overnight oats for breakfast is a great way to start your day.  You can make them a head of time, they last refrigerated for up to 5 days, they’re filling, nutritious, versatile, and heart healthy, you can have them on the go, and most importantly they’re yummy!

If you look around you’ll find like a million recipes for the best overnight oats in the world.  Some are vegan, some have fruity flavors, others have nuts, and still others include yogurt, and more.  Seriously the possibilities seem endless!  But at the end of the day no matter what flavor or topping you prefer you still have to start out with basic oats.

Yes the French Toast or Banana Nutella overnight oats recipes look delish but really those are just ingredients you can add to make your breakfast to suite your taste or your mood.  But in my case I make overnight oats for myself, my husband, and grandkids; of course everyone likes something different.  The best solution is to make a batch, ok a big batch of overnight oats, portion them in containers (they can’t even agree on the containers they want to use), then just before eating each person can “customize” it to suite their taste.

So today I’ll share with you my basic recipe for overnight oats, even then you can switch out some of the ingredients to suite your needs.  For example if you have mild allergies you can use non-dairy liquids such as soy or coconut milk.  You can change up the liquids even if you have no allergies just to get a different taste.

Also I used rolled oats as I feel they have the best texture.  Rolled oats are the ones you must cook, not the instant ones you just add water to and microwave.  If you like your oats a bit on the crunchier side you can use steel cut oats.

The 2 most important things to remember when mixing overnight oats are the proportion of liquid to oats, I like to use 1 to 1 proportions; and that pinch of salt!  Yes overnight oats must be seasoned to taste good and if you forget the salt there’s no amount of sweetener or toppings you can add that will make them taste right.  So remember the salt!

overnight oatsHaving said that here’s my recipe it makes 9 pint size mason jars (half filled) – you can portion them out in mason jars or small plastic containers with a lid.  Be sure the lids lock onto the containers.

Ingredients for oats:

6 Cups Rolled Oats

6 Cups Liquid – milk, coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk, or whatever type of milk you prefer – I use 2% milk or coconut milk

1/2 Cup Natural Sweetener – honey, molasses, maple syrup, coconut sugar, agave syrup, or whatever sweetener you like – I usually use coconut sugar or honey – try to stay away from white sugar

1/2 Cup Chia Seeds (optional)

2 Tbs. Salt


Fruit – fresh, dried, or frozen berries, bananas, mango, papaya


Nuts – sliced almonds, pecan pieces, etc.

Chocolate chips

Nut butters – peanut, almond, etc.

Shredded coconut

Or whatever topping you like


Mix all the ingredients for the oats together in a large bowl.

Divide them into portions enough to fill your mason jars or plastic containers half full.

Cover tightly.

Refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours.  Overnight oats can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.  The longer you refrigerate them the creamier they become.

Before serving/eating add the toppings of choice.  Mix them in the oats and enjoy!



Basic Overnight Oats
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Servings Prep Time
12 jars 15 minutes
Passive Time
6+ Hours
Servings Prep Time
12 jars 15 minutes
Passive Time
6+ Hours
Basic Overnight Oats
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 jars 15 minutes
Passive Time
6+ Hours
Servings Prep Time
12 jars 15 minutes
Passive Time
6+ Hours
Basic Oats
Servings: jars
  1. Mix all the ingredients for the oats together in a large bowl. Divide them into portions enough to fill your mason jars or plastic containers half full. Cover tightly. Refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours.  Overnight oats can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.  The longer you refrigerate them the creamier they become. Before serving/eating add the toppings of choice.  Mix them in the oats and enjoy!
    overnight oats
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Ah, childhood. once selections were simple (Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network?) and one’s biggest issues were within the vein of running home quick enough from the grammar school to catch the frozen dessert truck and also the 3:30 PM escapades of Arthur the placental mammal on PBS. Once your oldsters gave the impression to recognize everything there was to understand regarding everything, and you saw the complete world from a foot or 2 lower to the bottom. Ingestion Chinese BBQ Pork Buns or baked Cha Siu Bao was conjointly a part of that childhood!

My particular version of childhood concerned loads of sinking large reenactments in my friend Reema’s higher than ground pool (we were terribly melodramatic children), reading at recess, robust lobbying for a family puppy acquisition, the collected medium works of John Hughes, my vaporous purple Game boy Color, and a gradual experience with something having to try and do with horses. It conjointly concerned loads of Sabbatum morning automobile rides into Queens and Chinatown, once we would visit my grandparents or cousins, grab cuisine, and inevitably stop by a Chinese. There were perpetually the same old suspects…the pillow soft butter buns, the sweet, breakable pineapple buns, the vastly-appealing-to-Chinese-American-kids “hot dog” buns (my enchantment with this explicit pastry has…ebbed over the years. [Update] That, till I created THEM MYSELF! Here’s the Chinese hot dog breadstuff direction.), and after all, the “cha siu baos,” or baked BBQ pork buns, that area unit stuffed with a savory, slightly sweet filling of Cantonese dialect joint. Chinese BBQ Pork buns, cuisine and Chinese shop favorite’s area unit after all, the topic of today’s post.

These take your time, however area unit pretty simple to place along, particularly if you’ll be able to get the joint prepared made of your native Chinese grocery store’s hot bar. If not, you’ll be able to conjointly simply create your own joint, with this Chinese BBQ Pork Buns (cha siu) direction we tend to announce some days gone. In any case, the dough is fairly simple in addition. It involves one crucial, dead straightforward step at the start that involves creating a fast five-minute roux/paste with flour, water, and milk. The paste, known as a “tangzhong,” is then mixed with the rest of the dough ingredients, and you need the heck out of it until it’s smooth. Easy.

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5 cups bread flour or all purpose flour, plus 1/3 cup
2/3 cup water
1 1/3 cup milk, divided
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons instant yeast
2 eggs
4 tablespoons melted butter
eggwash (1 egg, beaten with a tablespoon of milk)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)

For the filling:

2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots or red onion
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
¾ cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups diced Chinese roast pork (cha siu)


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