10 Ways To Make Your Easter Basket Extra Special

easter-basket-400x300Easter baskets full of treats and Easter eggs are tradition. However, growing up as a kid in the 90s, I remember all of those corn syrupy sweet candies and eggs with artificial colors filling my Easter basket. My parents nor did many other people at the time know or even think about natural or organic options as much as they do today. Flash forward 25 years and now natural and organic Easter options are becoming mainstream. You can find many organic and natural Easter options at Valley Natural Foods.

The co-op even has many adult-friendly Easter–type gift items too, if candy or sweet treats are not quite your speed.

Here’s the lowdown of 10 ways you can fill your Easter basket with new traditions this year:

 

 

bunny-bears

1. Honey Easter Bears – 2 oz.  $2.99/each

This is by far the cutest Easter basket stuffer I’ve seen in a long time. BARE Honey always dresses up their 2 oz. honey bears for the holidays. For example, for Halloween, the bears become witches and Draculas and for Christmas, they become Santa bears, complete with the appropriate hats and capes. While I feel every honey bear dress-up iteration is utterly adorable, seeing the bears as Easter bunnies, wearing pipe cleaner ears and a singular white pom pom for a tail, melts my heart completely! Also, each bear comes complete with a tag that includes a corny yet fun bee-themed joke such as “Can bees fly in the rain? Not without their little yellow jackets!”. If that isn’t enough, be assured that you are getting the highest quality raw wildflower honey from Dustin and Grace Vanasse’s (owners of BARE Honey), family farm in Maplewood, Minnesota. Click here to learn more about BARE Honey.

 

decoratingsugars2. India Tree Decorating Sugars & Sprinkles  – $4.59/each for the decorating sugars, 3.3 oz. & $3.99 for 1.7 oz. sprinkles

Maybe making your own Easter cookies is the way you want to go this year. The perfect decoration for those cookies is India Tree decorating sugars and sprinkles. The sugars come in dazzling colors such as Raspberry Red, Sugar Green and Sunflower Yellow while the sprinkles are white snowflakes. What’s great about India Tree is that all the colors used to create the sugars and sprinkles are not from synthetic dyes but instead derived only from edible plants, approved by both the EU and the FDA. You can use them in combination with royal icing, frosting, or as a sugar glaze when decorating baked goods.  Click here for some fun Easter cookie decorating ideas courtesy of India Tree.

 

 

 

3. India Tree Nature’s Colors Decorating Set – $14.99 for 3-2.25 oz. colors: red, yellow & blue

indiatreeOf course, the most common basket stuffers are Easter eggs! India Tree offers a set of three liquid colors, red, yellow and blue, made from vegetable colorants, which are free from the 8 most common allergens. The colors are also free of corn syrup and synthetic dyes. With these three colors you can create a whole spectrum of different jewel tones!  Click here for India Tree’s easy-to-follow Easter egg dying guide.

Here is the ingredient list:

Blue: glycerin, deionized water, vegetable juice and spirulina.

Red: vegetable juice, glycerin, deionized water, turmeric.

Yellow: glycerin, turmeric and deionized water.

 

 

easter-dye

 

4. Color Kitchen Easter Egg Coloring Kit – $8.99/each

Color Kitchen is another plant-based color Easter egg dying kit option available at Valley Natural Foods. What’s different about this from India Tree, is that the colors come in powdered packets form instead of liquid form and the kit includes an egg dying kit and instructions for fun egg decorating tips, such as creating leaf prints. The kit has 3 color packets (radish, cabbage and annatto, derived from vegetable juice and vegetable extracts) and 3 mixing brushes, which can be used to create a rainbow of color combinations. All colors are non-gmo, gluten-free and vegan. The package also includes instructions for egg dying. Click here to learn more about Color Kitchen.

However, if  you have a lot of time and you really want to make natural egg dying into an all-day exciting adventure for your kids, use fruits, vegetables, spices and flowers to create your own dyes!

Click here for your natural egg dying guide.

 

surfsweets5. Surf Sweets Jelly Beans – $2.49/2.75 oz.

Aww, no Easter basket is complete without jelly beans! I remember conventional jelly beans having that intoxicatingly sweet, yet almost disgusting artificial corn syrup taste and I didn’t even like them as a kid! In addition, avoiding any of those nasty black licorice jelly beans was a must! However, Surf Sweets’ jelly beans are anything but disgusting, as their cherry, grapefruit, grape, lemon, orange and strawberry flavors, made from organic fruit juice free of artificial colors, flavors and corn syrup, make them difficult to stop eating! In addition, who knew that when you eat candy you could be getting your vitamins too . Each serving contains 100% of your vitamin C  intake for the day and you don’t have to worry about allergies either. Surf Sweets are free of the 10 common allergens and they are made in a nut-free facility. They are also vegetarian, non-GMO and certified organic. Click here to learn more about Surf Sweets.

 

6. Sunridge Farms Organic Jolly Beans – $13.99/lb.

Sundridge Farms are the co-op’s bulk jelly bean option! Our staff has packaged them for you for purchasing convenience this Easter, with each bag starting around $3-$4/each, depending upon the weight. Sunridge Farms Jolly Beans are also certified organic and non-GMO as they are made from organic fruit juices. Click here to learn more about Sunridge Farms and to view the ingredients of this product.

 

soaproacks7. Rising Tide Scarves – $19.99-$28.99

Moving on to more non-food, adult-friendly Easter basket items, Rising Tide scarves are a beautiful option and they would make a lovely accent to any Easter attire too. Each scarf is intricately woven into unique patterns, whether it’s scalloped stretchy, sheer plaid, tie-dye and webbed silk, striped ribbon, metallic stripe, and others. In addition, the scarves come in a variety of color options, with a special inventory concentration on pastels (purple, pink, turquoise and salmon) for Easter. There is also a heart-warming story behind these scarves as each one is handcrafted by artisans in India and Nepal. Rising Tide is also rooted in social entrepreneurship as they commit to providing stable living wages for these artisans, ensuring they are supporting successful home-based work environments, along with donating a percentage of sales to country-of-origin charities. Click here to learn more about Rising Tide.

 

8. Maggie’s  Colorful Classic Crew, Cushion Foot Socks & Roll Top Socks – Classic Crew – $15.39/each, Cushion Foot Socks – $10.99/each, or Roll Top Socks – $8.39/each

bunnyandsoaprocksOur colorful Maggie’s socks make for a unique, fun Easter basket addition! Maggie’s socks are made from mostly organic cotton, farmed from organic family farmers across the United States. The cotton is processed in a worker-owned cooperative cotton gin, the yarn is dyed in the United States, and the socks are knit in North Carolina. The cushion socks are available in simple stripes and a variety of colors and they have a padded cushion for all-day comfort. The crew socks are tie-dyed in pastel colors and they are stretchy, gently hugging your foot, ankle and leg. The relaxed roll top socks are taller and come in a striped pattern, which adds a bit of flair and style to any outfit. Click here to learn more about Maggie’s.

 

9. Soap Rocks Palmstones – $3.79/each or Soap Rocks $9.99/each

If you are not into the whole natural Easter egg craze and if you don’t like eggs much in general, then swap them out for Soap Rocks! Soap rocks are gorgeous specimens of glycerin that closely resemble gemstones. However, each one is carefully crafted and endowed with natural extracts such as aloe, calendula, chamomile, comfrey, lavender, Vitamin E, jojoba oil, olive oil and almond oil that create a moisturizing, fragrant, beautiful soap. Each one is unique and exquisite and the co-op has a wonderful selection of pastel Soap Rocks in, available in the smaller palmstone version, which is great for handing washing, or the larger variety, which is wonderful for luxurious baths or showers. Click here to learn about the history of Soap Rocks.

 

candles10. SOL Candles – $12.49/each

Candles in every scent are everywhere these days but I dare to say you won’t find ones that are as of superior quality and craftsmanship as SOL Candles. Not only are these candles locally made in Edina Minnesota, but they use 100% non-GMO soy from U.S. farmers.  In addition, they offer authentic aromatherapy through use of 100% pure essential oils without the use of synthetic fragrances and they are colored with eco-friendly power dyes that do not contain harmful solvents. Valley Natural Foods carries four SOL candle varieties in pastel colors and springy fragrances that will make a pleasant addition to any adult Easter basket. Each candle comes in a collectible printed jar with organic ink and a  wooden lid. Click here to learn more about SOL Candles, made by Edina, MN company Tru Melange.

Here are the scent varieties available at Valley Natural Foods.

Bliss: made with  the pure essential oils of bergamot & lime

Adore: made with pure essential oils of rose & ylang ylang

Rejuvenate: made with pure essential oils of litsea & lemongrass

Relax:  made with pure essential oils of lavender & blood orange

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