Archives for July 2013

Homemade Strawberry Milk: Better Than a Powdered Mix

Homemade Strawberry Milk made without any artificial ingredients. Your kids will love it!

Have you ever had strawberry milk from a powdered mix? 

You know what I’m talking about, right? That Nesquik chemical concoction? Check out the label on the box and you will find that NOWHERE is there any mention of strawberries.

None. Nada. Zippo. {I was going to put the ingredients here on the site, but I was worried I’d be sued. Seriously.}

I love strawberry milk. My mom would buy it for me and she still buys it for my girls. 

So I did a little research into whole food homemade strawberry milk. And there are lots of recipes out there. But none are as simple as the one I’ve come up with.

I wouldn’t go so far as to call it genius, but if you wanted to… hey, I won’t stop you!

This is my secret ingredient:

Freeze Dried Strawberries

Freeze Dried Strawberries!!!!!

I love these guys as a sweet, whole food, low calorie, perfectly portable treat.

And now I love them as my secret ingredient in making quick and easy homemade whole food strawberry milk.

Check out how easy this recipe is:

Homemade Strawberry Milk

Ingredients

  • 1 cup freeze dried strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons honey (add more or less to taste)
  • 2 cups milk (may substitute any kind of milk here)

Instructions

  1. Add freeze dried strawberries, honey and milk to a blender.
  2. Puree until all ingredients are well combined.
  3. Scrape down sides as needed.
  4. Makes 2 servings.
http://naturalgreenmom.com/homemade-strawberry-milk-better-than-a-powdered-mix/

Oh. my. word! It is so delicious I do hope you will give it a try. And think of the possibilities! You could make banana milk, blueberry milk, apple milk… Ok. Someone else try apple milk and report back if it’s any good, will ya?

Homemade Strawberry Milk

5 Ways to Preserve Your Excess Eggs

5 Ways to Preserve Eggs

Here’s a Works for Me post with thanks to Jaime from Slightly Steady.

My brother in law and his wife had only ten chickens last year – yet they seemed to be up to their ears in excess eggs. In order to make sure that all of the eggs were used before they spoiled, they wound up giving away dozens upon dozens of eggs to friends and relatives. Being in the latter category, I’m not complaining. We got free eggs all summer – but I couldn’t help but think what a shame it was.

Here they had invested in these chickens for the eggs, and they had more than they could use at the moment – but all winter, when the hens stopped laying, they’d have to buy eggs like everyone else.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were some way for them to keep the eggs so that they could use them year-round?

At the time, I didn’t think much more about it – until I got chickens myself.

They were slightly more work than I anticipated, and it occurred to me again that it would be a real shame to care for them all year and only be able to use the eggs in the warmer months. Fortunately, it IS possible to save your eggs – it just takes a little planning!

First of all, know that fresh eggs keep in the fridge for around 3 weeks – so if you’re big egg eaters, you might not even need to save that many of them.

If you find yourself with excess eggs (even from the grocery store), there are several options for storage.

Powdered Eggs Method

Ever had those powdered eggs? Maybe on a camping trip (or maybe in the military)?

To make a powdered egg that can be stored in airtight containers for use (no refrigeration):

  • Scramble and cook the eggs you plan to store. DO NOT USE FAT – just scramble them plain.
  • Spread the scramble out on a dehydrator (you may use a low oven temp to dehydrate as well).
  • How long it takes to fully dehydrate them depends on how many eggs you’re making, but plan on at least overnight.
  • Once they’re fully dried, grind them to powder in a food processor and store in an airtight container.

To use the powdered eggs, use 1 Tbsp of the powder with 2 Tbsp of water. This will equal 1 large egg, and can be used to substitute eggs in most recipes (although obviously not to make egg dishes like quiche).

Frozen Whole Eggs Method

Crack open as many eggs as you want to save and whisk them until they’re blended (but not whipped). Add either ½ tsp of sugar or salt per cup of raw egg (this will prevent them from becoming chewy). Freeze in ice cube trays (one cube equals one egg). Once the cubes are frozen, remove them from the trays and keep them frozen in labeled plastic bags.

Egg Yolks Only Method

To freeze just the yolks, separate them from the whites and stir together the yolks. Add 2 tsp of either sugar or salt per cup (again, to prevent chewiness). Freeze in ice cube trays that are filled only 1/3 full (to equal the size of just one yolk).

Egg Whites Only Method

To freeze just the whites, simply pour them into ice cube trays. No additional ingredients or stirring is needed.

Hard Boiled Method

This one is last because, really, it’s probably just me that enjoys these things – but, well, I love pickled hard boiled eggs. You see them a lot in country stores (at least, here in Ohio). I’d never have tried one if it weren’t for a dare when I worked in a grocery store – but they’re good! The salty pickle-flavor is only in the outermost skin of the hard boiled egg, and the rest just tastes like, well, hard boiled eggs! They’re yummy – if you’re willing to give them a shot!

And there you have it – your own homegrown eggs, available all year round! I hope you give this a try, and that you’re able to get the most out of your laying hens this year. Enjoy!

Homemade No-Bake Chocolate Almond Granola Bars | Whole Food Snack Recipe

No-Bake Chocolate Almond Granola Bars are perfect for summer days!

No Bake Chocolate Almond Granola Bars

Part treat, part healthy snack, these no-bake granola bars satisfy hunger, provide energy, and best of all, are quick and easy to make (and don’t require turning on the oven)!

The almond butter gives a new twist to the often popular peanut-chocolate combination and make these granola bars perfect for those with peanut allergies (like my hubby).

And the chocolate, well, who doesn’t like chocolate?

No-Bake Chocolate Almond Granola Bars

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup almond butter (I make my own using this recipe)
  • 1/3 cup honey (local, if possible)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Method:

1. In a medium sized pot, melt the butter, almond butter and honey over medium to low heat, stirring constantly.

Chocolate almond granola bar - melting ingredients

When melted, turn off the burner and remove pot.

2.  Add the oats and stir until combined.

3. Add the coconut and chocolate chips and stir again to distribute throughout.

4. Pour mixture into an 8 x 8 pan lined with parchment paper and press into pan so the top is relatively flat and the mixture is an even thickness throughout.

Chocolate Almond Granola Bar - Pressed into pan

Place in the fridge to cool (takes about an hour).

5. Once completely cool, lift bars out of pan and place on cutting board. Cut into bars (I usually get about 8 bars, but you could get more or less depending on what size bar you like).

Chocolate Almond Granola Bar - Sliced

Variations:

These bars are very adaptable and can be easily souped-up by adding an extra ingredient or two.

  • For extra nutrients and healthy oils, add a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds
  • Make a double chocolate granola bar by adding extra chocolate chips after the mixture has cooled (but before you place in the 8 x 8 pan)
  • Add dried fruit such as cranberries, cherries, or goji berries
  • Substitute the almond butter for homemade cashew butter (or any other nut butter)
  • Sprinkle in 1/3 cup of chopped nuts

These are very tasty and likely won’t last, so you might want to make a double batch!

Like feeding your family healthy food? Be sure to check out more whole food snacks.

What’s your favorite granola bar combination?

Stacy is a preacher’s wife and homeschool mom. She loves creating her own natural skin care and herbal remedies and is pretty much obsessed with all things DIY. Stacy is intent on creating a happy, healthy home and strives to encourage other moms through her blog, A Delightful Home.

20 Summer Activities for Preschoolers and Kids

We are a little over halfway through summer and your kids have probably said they are bored at least once.

Am I right?

Well, there is no need to hear those words again. I have a list of free and inexpensive summer activities for preschoolers and kids that will keep everyone busy for hours.

What I love about this list is everything is very affordable and nothing will break the bank. And, far too often we overlook and forget about the simple things we did as kids like: skipping rocks, feeding the ducks, playing in the mud, etc. These things can give hours of entertainment.

Ready to get started?

summer activities for preschoolers and kids

Summer Activities for Preschoolers and Kids

  1. Make healthy homemade popsicles.
  2. Have an iced tea party.
  3. Put a puzzle together as a family.
  4. Go to the zoo and have a scavenger hunt.
  5. Play in the sprinkler. Find a fun sprinkler attachment.
  6. Have a summer Olympics in your backyard.
  7. Build a lemonade stand.
  8. Make a bird feeder out of recycled items.
  9. Stay in your pj’s and watch movies all day.
  10. Pick wildflowers.
  11. Learn the alphabet and create letter of the week crafts.
  12. Be creative with water play.
  13. Listen to story time at the library.
  14. Skip rocks.
  15. Find a new playground.
  16. Sort through clothes that everyone has outgrown and make a trip to donate them together as a family.
  17. Have fun with food at snack time.
  18. Go for a car ride. (Keep little ones entertained.)
  19. Make easy homemade pizza as a family.
  20. Make instruments out of recycle items at your home.

What are your go-to summer activities for bored kiddos?

More Summer Activities for Preschooler and Kids

Swing by and check out Crystal, a Dallas Mom Blogger, who runs the mommy resource and solution site Crystal & Co.!  She loves to share activities for kids, teach busy families how to meal plan and share real easy recipes. She is a fast-paced mom of all boys, five to be exact (including twins), who is in the trenches of homeschooling. Are you tired yet?

Homemade Cherry Limeade Recipe with Whole Food Ingredients

cherrylimeade

The following is a post with thanks to Katie of Nourishing Simplicity.

Cherry Limeade, it’s summer in a glass. Many of us spent hot summer nights pulling into the drive thru to buy cups of the iconic drink that Sonic made famous.

This sweet and tangy drink is the perfect treat to cool off with… or is it?

Your typical cherry limeade is full of high amounts of high fructose corn syrup , artificial flavors and dyes. Not exactly what we want to be feeding our bodies; sending our kids on sugar high and crazy mood swings is it?

Why not enjoy a drink made from fresh squeezed lime juice, cherry juice, raw honey and sparkling water? While this drink might not taste just like the ones you are used to I am sure you will be won over but the fresh real flavors. This summer cool off with a new twist on cherry limeade that will nourish and refresh!

Cherry Limeade

Homemade Cherry Limeade Recipe

1 liter sparkling water
2 cups fresh lime juice*
2 cups cherry juice
1/2 cup raw honey

1. Blend the lime juice, cherry juice and honey on high until smooth.
2. Pour the juice blend into a pitcher with the sparkling water.
3. Serve over ice. Decorate the glass with lime slices and cherries if disired.

*If you don’t have citrus juicer you use spoon. Cut the lime in half, holding onto the handle of the spoon twist back and forth until all the juice has been extracted. You can also buy lime juice in a bottle but it will lack the fresh bite that comes from juicing the fruit yourself.

What is your favorite summer drink?

Cherry Berry Rhubarb Salsa Canning Recipe

Berry Cherry Rhubarb Salsa

How do you feel about tart?

This Cherry Berry Rhubarb Salsa is just the right mix of tart and sweet. It takes full advantage of all the lovely sweetness that is plentiful this time of year.

If you are new to canning, this recipe is simple. All it really requires is some chopping and a very short boiling time before you start to can.

Cherry Berry Rhubarb Salsa Canning Recipe

This recipe makes 6 half-pint jars. Save a few to give as gifts at Christmas time!

Cherry Berry Rhubarb Salsa

Ingredients

  • 6 cups diced rhubarb
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cherries
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cups diced strawberries

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, combine rhubarb, sugar, cherries, vinegar and ginger. Heat to boiling.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and add strawberries.
  4. Ladle into 6 sterilized half-pint sized jars. Leave 1/2 inch headspace
  5. Process filled jars in a water canning bath for 15 minutes. Adjust processing time for high altitude.
  6. Remove from boiling water and allow to cool on a wire rack.
http://naturalgreenmom.com/cherry-berry-rhubarb-salsa-canning-recipe/

What to Watch for Downton Abbey Fans

What to Watch Downton Abbey

Does anyone else miss Downton Abbey?

I’ve got a tide-you-over until next season plan I think you are going to like.

Witty British quips + period costuming = I’ve got your Downton Abbey dry spell covered.

I’m recommending you brew yourself a cup of Earl Grey and load up your Netflix queue with any of these great British dramas:

Emma – Beautiful, clever, and rich Emma Woodhouse is convinced she is good at matchmaking after her older sister and her governess both marry suitable husbands. Certain of her talents, Emma plays a dangerous game as she persuades her new friend, the young, pretty and socially inferior Harriet to reject an advantageous marriage proposal to a local farmer in favour of dashing Mr Elton.

Lark Rise to Candleford – Follow Laura Timmins as she says goodbye to her friends and family in Lark Rise to start her first job at the Post Office in the nearby town of Candleford.

The Grand – Set in the most opulent hotel in Manchester, England, during the decadent Roaring ’20s, The Grand is more than a building. It’s a nexus for schemes, scandals, romance, and intrigue among guests and staff members alike.

Upstairs Downstairs – This series starts in January 1936 as diplomat Sir Hallam and Lady Agnes Holland move into 165 Eaton Place, closely followed by his widowed mother and her wayward sister. But they also need a full serving staff, for which Lady Agnes turns to an agency run by none other than Rose Buck, who used to work at the house. But the arrival of an unwelcome guest puts a strain on relations both, upstairs and downstairs.

Tess of the D’Ubervilles – When the beautiful and innocent Tess Durbeyfield is driven by family poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy D’Urbervilles and seek a portion of their family fortune, meeting the manipulative Alec proves to be her downfall. A very different man, Angel Clare, seems to offer her love and salvation, but Tess must choose whether to reveal her past or remain silent.

Now your only worry is: How to find the time to watch them all!

And since we are talking FREE – how many of my 7 Food Documentaries to Watch Now have you seen?