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Recipes

Easy All Natural Granola Bars

January 25, 2015

Our family loves granola bars, we absolutely love them. They are a great snack and a perfect breakfast when I am running late to work (which is often). But, store-bought granola bars are filled with tons of sugar, salt, and products that I can’t even pronounce. Even the all natural and organic bars can contain a lot of unnecessary added sugar (my fav is the LARABAR though).

I have been following the Minimalist Baker for a few months now and just love, love, love their food blog. They have some amazingly, easy recipes and many only use a few ingredients! I stumbled upon their blog when I was trying to google some easy granola bars. This recipe came up and we cannot stop making them.

granola bars

Continue Reading…

Homemade Baby Food | Squash and Apple

December 6, 2014

Making your own baby food is super easy and pretty inexpensive. It is a little more time-consuming than buying it at the store, but not by much. I typically will do my baking and preparing meals or snacks for the week on Sundays, but you can whip up this recipe in the evenings before or after making dinner.

Baby Food Recipe – Squash & Apples

Since Squash is still available at our Winter Farmer’s Market and Apples are always available, this is a great recipe for your little one 🙂

What you will need:
1 small squash
2 apples
blender or food processor

Squash

You can use any squash but I find that acorn squash tends to be a little sweeter. Cut in half and scoop out all the seeds. Continue Reading…

DIY – Homemade Peanut Butter

November 24, 2014

I love, love, love peanut butter. Actually, my entire family loves it (other than the 9 month old – he doesn’t know what he is missing, poor guy). We used to use Jif Peanut Butter but then I started to read what was actually in the ingredients:

– Made from roasted peanuts and sugar
– Contains 2% or less of: molasses, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils (rapeseed and soybean), mono and diglycerides, and salt.

A lot of gross stuff in Jif and other than peanuts, stuff we really don’t need in our bodies when eating peanut butter! So, since all natural peanut butter is sooo expensive (even with coupons), I thought it would be more cost-effective to make it myself. Turns out it is AND it is super easy!

About two years ago I found a recipe online for peanut butter (cannot remember where), but we have altered it a bit. I do have to give my husband kuddos for this final recipe since he is the one who has made some “adjustments” to get it to the final product! This peanut butter is delicious and only has 3 ingredients!

Peanuts #1

Trump’s Homemade Peanut Butter:
3 C. of unsalted roasted peanuts
1/4 C. Canola oil
2 Tbsp. Honey

Pour the peanuts into a food processor or blender. Slowly add the oil and mix for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. The less time you mix it the chunkier it will be.

mixing

You will start to notice the consistency start to change. Next, add the honey and mix for another minute. You can add more peanuts at the end to get it a bit chunkier if you would like.

final

Play with the recipe though – if you want it a bit sweeter – add more honey. Not so sweet – less honey. Keep the peanut butter refrigerated. I put the peanut butter in mason jars or really, any old jars lying around. I have started to keep jars and have quite a collection. Just use what you have in the kitchen!

final jar

The recipe above will make about 18 ounces, roughly. Total cost would be around $1.87 per batch! That is cheaper than even your conventional peanut butter on the market! The price would include the canola oil on sale only, everything else at full price. I typically buy my peanuts and local honey in bulk at Lucky’s and organic canola oil on sale anywhere.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

DIY – Homemade Vegetable Broth

November 14, 2014

It is that time of year! Comfort food! Thank goodness. Now that it’s colder, we are making more soups and casseroles, which usually calls for some type of broth. So, I wanted to share a pretty easy, fail proof way to make your own 🙂 I got the idea when I took a cooking class at the Seasoned Farmhouse in Clintonville last year. I learned how to make my own chicken broth by using a rotisserie chicken and veggies that are about to go bad.

About 6 months ago, it finally dawned on me that I could just make Vegetable Broth the same way, but without the chicken. During the summer we had a lot of cherry tomatoes that were split (due to my lack of watering them), but I didn’t want to put them in the fridge and I knew the fruit flies would be all over it. So, I started to freeze them into big Ziploc baggies.

I also tend to forget about some of the vegetables in my fridge and by the time I do remember, they are looking pretty sad. Still ok to eat, but they probably would not taste that good. I throw those in the freezer bags too.

Also, any veggie scraps that I have, I throw in the freezer bags as well. The unwanted pieces of celery, broccoli, cucumbers, carrots, etc. I actually feel really good about saving all of the produce we have and using as much of it as I can. The only thing I don’t do is compost my food. We used to, but don’t anymore (a little lazy and not much room in our backyard right now).

veggie broth 2

DIY Homemade Vegetable Broth

Large Pot

Water

Veggies/Frozen Veggies

Fill up your pot with the veggies/frozen veggies and then fill with water (I am not systematic about this, so whatever you think is best). I like to try to cover as many vegetables as possible, but some may float to the top. You can add salt and pepper, but I like to keep my broth as plain and unseasoned as possible, since I will be adding this to other recipes.

Put your lid on and bring to a boil. Once the water starts to boil turn it down to a simmer.  Cook for about 3-4 hours. Once finished drain your veggies over a colander into a large bowl, cool, and refrigerate.

I like to pour mine into glass juice containers. You can also freeze your broth as well. I would recommend putting in a plastic, freezable container. Make sure to leave extra space at the top since it will expand.

Vegetable Broth is typically not that expensive and can run anywhere from $.60-$3 depending on the amount and if you are buying organic/non-organic. Making it yourself would cost you $0.00. You are only using water and the veggies that you have left over! Free sounds good to me 🙂