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Grain and nut free mineral rich hummus makes the perfect snack or lunch box addition. This is will soon become a kid favorite for dipping veggies!

Grain and Nut Free Mineral Rich Hummus

Grain and nut free mineral rich hummus makes the perfect snack or lunch box addition. This is will soon become a kid favorite for dipping veggies!Grain and nut free mineral rich hummus makes the perfect snack or lunch box addition. This is will soon become a kid favorite for dipping veggies!

It’s time to get back to routines, back to school, back to nourishing lunches! If you haven’t set any goals, a good one is to make sure your kids are being nourished every single day at every meal.

It may sound daunting, but it’s not. Real food is actually quite simple. Want a snack? Have a pear. Have some pepper slices. Simple.

Want to know what else is simple?

My grain and nut free mineral rich hummus!

It’s so simple my kids can make it themselves. Just a few ingredients tossed in the blender. Done in less than five minutes.Grain and nut free mineral rich hummus makes the perfect snack or lunch box addition. This is will soon become a kid favorite for dipping veggies!

If you want to avoid using canned beans, the easiest way to cook chickpeas is in your Instant Pot!

But what makes it mineral rich?

In addition to the usual chickpeas and oil, I like to add pumpkin seeds. They are loaded with zinc, potassium, magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorus and vitamin E!

The seeds are ground right into the hummus, so you’d never know they’re there. But they really boost the nutrition. You could also use sunflower seeds and/or hemp seeds to vary the minerals.Grain and nut free mineral rich hummus makes the perfect snack or lunch box addition. This is will soon become a kid favorite for dipping veggies!

Allergy Friendly Hummus

I like to keep my hummus very allergy friendly. No grains, nuts, dairy, eggs, soy or corn. Veggies with hummus is my go-to dish to bring to a family gathering. I have kids with allergies and a niece and nephew with allergies. So I try to make sure I bring something everyone can (and will!) eat.

My kids will eat hummus by the spoonful. I like to keep some on hand for easy snacks and lunch additions. If I have pepper and cucumber slices prepared, my three year old will grab a pile with the whole container of hummus and start dipping away.

This year make nourishing food a priority. But don’t stress yourself. Keep it simple with easy foods like fruits, veggies and my five minute grain and nut free mineral rich hummus. You never know, it might just be the trick to turn your kids into raw veggie lovers!

Are your kids adventurous eaters? They might like my pesto hummus!Grain and nut free mineral rich hummus makes the perfect snack or lunch box addition. This is will soon become a kid favorite for dipping veggies!

Grain and Nut Free Mineral Rich Hummus
Serves 10
A simple, mineral rich dip for veggies or crackers.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (cooked, boxed or canned), drained, liquid reserved
  2. 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  3. 6 Tbsp. bean liquid or water
  4. 2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds (or sunflower or hemp)
  5. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  6. 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  7. 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  8. 1/4 tsp. dillweed (optional)
  9. 1/4 tsp. desiccated liver (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend on high until smooth. Add extra liquid/water if needed.
  3. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  4. Serve immediately or refrigerate (up to one week) until ready to serve.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Protein-Rich Salted Chocolate Milk

Need a delicious drink that is also nourishing and loaded with extra protein? This protein-rich salted chocolate milk is perfect for kids and adults!Need a delicious drink that is also nourishing and loaded with extra protein? This protein-rich salted chocolate milk is perfect for kids and adults!

I am working with Vital Proteins on this post. I have been compensated for my time, but have not been paid to post positive comments. All opinions are my own.

When it comes to drinks in our house we basically have two options: milk or water.

It may seem boring. But really, we don’t need much else. Once in a while my kids get a little pure grape juice (if they are fighting a cold). And of course we do love our smoothies for added nourishment (check out my book full of recipes here!).

But if my kids are thirsty it’s generally water or milk.Need a delicious drink that is also nourishing and loaded with extra protein? This protein-rich salted chocolate milk is perfect for kids and adults!

A Little Extra

Then there are those days where we just want something a little extra. Or maybe my little one is in one of her “I don’t want to eat much” slumps. And I have to be sneaky.

That’s when I bust out the chocolate milk! Who doesn’t love chocolate milk? I know I sure do!

Protein-Rich Drink

My version is taken to a new level with extra protein from Vital Proteins collagen. It blends right in with no added taste. Plus it’s loaded with a whole array of essential amino acids.Need a delicious drink that is also nourishing and loaded with extra protein? This protein-rich salted chocolate milk is perfect for kids and adults!

The kids and I have been studying human anatomy and physiology for science this year. Our unit on nutrition introduced us to amino acids and how they are the building blocks of protein. And they are so important! So when I showed the collagen container to my oldest she was fascinated to look at the amino acid profile. Science lesson built in to making chocolate milk!

The good stuff doesn’t stop there. We are big fans of adding salt to chocolate. When I say salt I mean real, unrefined sea salt (like this). Not only does it contain a broad spectrum of minerals, it is also hydrating/good for balancing electrolytes and delicious! We even use it to make salted dark chocolate ice cream, healing hot cocoa and salted honey chocolates . Salt and chocolate go so well together.

To really boost nutrition we like to add probiotics and raw egg yolks (from our own free range chickens). So you are getting extra protein, essential minerals, probiotics and vitamins! All in a glass of chocolate milk. It’s a mom win!

If you like your chocolate milk a bit thicker, like a shake, you can add a little banana and/or avocado.Need a delicious drink that is also nourishing and loaded with extra protein? This protein-rich salted chocolate milk is perfect for kids and adults!

Kid Seal of Approval

When I gave this protein-rich salted chocolate milk to my daughter she had two comments:

  1. Does this have salt?! Yum! When can we make salted chocolate ice cream?
  2. You have to make this every single day!

Picky Eater Trick

My youngest can be really picky when it comes to meat. Veggies? She’ll out eat anyone. Meat? Turns up her nose. We have to bribe her to take bites of meat…then she can have thirds of veggies! For real. So I’m always glad when I can sneak in extra protein for her in something so delicious like chocolate milk. Vital Proteins collagen is a great way to do this. A couple big scoops gives her the protein boost her little body needs. Added to the raw milk and egg yolks it makes a complete protein.

Her ideal meal is a huge pile of vegetables with a glass of salted chocolate milk. And I love to give it to her.Need a delicious drink that is also nourishing and loaded with extra protein? This protein-rich salted chocolate milk is perfect for kids and adults!

Quick & Easy Nutrition

It only takes about three minutes to make salted chocolate milk (mostly just the time required to gather ingredients). Older kids can make it themselves. My six and nine-year olds know how to separate egg yolks thanks to the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse. My three year-old loves to help with the blender. It’s a family event! And we all enjoy the reward at the end.

The next time you’re in a beverage rut or your kids need a little protein boost, make a batch of salted chocolate milk. Use your favorite milk and some Vital Proteins collagen to blend a nourishing drink the whole family will love.Need a delicious drink that is also nourishing and loaded with extra protein? This protein-rich salted chocolate milk is perfect for kids and adults!

Protein-Rich Salted Chocolate Milk
Serves 2
A nourishing drink filled with extra protein and minerals.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups raw whole milk or full fat coconut milk
  2. 2 Tbsp. organic cocoa, carob or cacao powder
  3. 2 Tbsp. maple syrup or raw honey
  4. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  5. 2 Tbsp. Vital Proteins collagen
  6. Optional: 1 capsule probiotics
  7. Optional: 1/2 banana and/or 1/4 avocado
  8. Optional: 1 - 3 egg yolks (from free-range chickens)
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a high powered blender.
  2. Blend on high until well combined.
  3. Serve immediately.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Gluten free sugar cookies are fun to cut and decorate any time of year. These hold up well and are so simple to make!

Simple Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Gluten free sugar cookies are fun to cut and decorate any time of year. These hold up well and are so simple to make!Gluten free sugar cookies are fun to cut and decorate any time of year. These hold up well and are so simple to make!

I know what you’re thinking…it’s almost the New Year…time to get healthy. And here I am posting a recipe for cookies! Well, better late than never, right?

Crazy Christmas

That is the kind of Christmas we had. Everything was out of order. We had some celebrations early. We did our baking late. It was all mixed up. But it was still fun.

And boy did my kids have fun making these cookies! Even if Mom wanted to just forget the baking all together…Gluten free sugar cookies are fun to cut and decorate any time of year. These hold up well and are so simple to make!

Gluten Free Made Easy

Gluten free sugar cookies can be hard to make – crumbly, dry, rock hard, etc. But these are so simple and hold up so nicely. The dough is soft and easy to work with. And there are no strange ingredients like xanthan gum added!

I try to keep them not too sweet. Especially if you plan to add frosting or icing. I might even try cutting the sugar down more the next time I bake gluten free sugar cookies.Gluten free sugar cookies are fun to cut and decorate any time of year. These hold up well and are so simple to make!

One of my secrets to not having kids go crazy eating cookies all day? Make a small batch. They won’t feel deprived, but there won’t be cookies sitting around for weeks on end. You can also freeze extras to pull out for a special treat later.

This recipe makes about 25 cookies. You can easily double or triple it if you need a big batch for giving away or for a party.Gluten free sugar cookies are fun to cut and decorate any time of year. These hold up well and are so simple to make!

If you’re going to make sugar cookies, you have to decorate them! We used homemade frosting with natural dyes and chocolate chips. In typical fashion my toddler wouldn’t eat the cookies unless I scraped the frosting off. She is not a fan of sweets…and I hope to keep it that way.Gluten free sugar cookies are fun to cut and decorate any time of year. These hold up well and are so simple to make!

Healthy Year and Holiday

I hope you make this your healthiest year yet! But don’t forget that it can include a small treat here and there. These simple gluten free sugar cookies make the perfect little sweet treat or fun holiday baking project!Gluten free sugar cookies are fun to cut and decorate any time of year. These hold up well and are so simple to make!

Simple Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
Yields 25
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Ingredients
  1. 6 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
  2. 1/3 cup organic cane sugar
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1/2 tsp. gelatin
  5. 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  6. 1 cup white rice flour
  7. 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  8. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400*F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
  3. In a small bowl mix the egg, gelatin and vanilla. Add to the butter mixture and beat to combine.
  4. Stir in dry ingredients.
  5. Use your hands to combine the dough into a ball.
  6. Cover dough and chill for 30 - 60 minutes.
  7. Roll the dough on a floured surface. Cut shapes and place on a parchment paper or silpat lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake at 400*F for 10 - 12 minutes, until golden.
  9. Allow cookies to cool completely before decorating.
Notes
  1. The cookies can be frozen for up to a year.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Candy Cane Mason Jar Fruit Salad

Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment. All opinions expressed are my own. I have not been paid to post positive reviews.

When it comes to holiday entertaining (for a crowd or just for my own family) I have two requirements:

  1. Nutritious
  2. Simple

I’ve learned how to host a crowd without stress and still serve real food. The big stuff is easy – meat, potatoes, veggies, etc. But I tend to neglect the little things like breakfast, dessert and fruit sides.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Three-in-One Recipe

Today I’m sharing my solution for all three!

Candy cane mason jar fruit salads work for breakfast, dessert or a simple side dish.

Start with whole milk Stonyfield yogurt that you strain to make it really thick. We like to use the vanilla, but you could use plain to make it without any added sugar. The strained vanilla yogurt is a simple alternative to whipped cream that has probiotics! My kids could not get enough of it! And I always have quarts of Stonyfield yogurt on hand. Actually I usually have about four or five in my fridge because we eat it so often.

I add our own fruit, sweeteners and other add-ins (like kettle corn granola and chia seeds) to the plain, whole milk organic yogurt for an easy breakfasts a couple times a week. That way I know we’re eating good quality food! I love that Stonyfield is all organic and is committed to using quality ingredients.

And if you’re concerned about sugar content, Stonyfield has less sugar than other brands.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

If you like your yogurt/cream really thick (like I do!) you can even use strained Greek yogurt for the fruit salads. But it would be a bit on the tart side. The strained yogurt works perfectly for these fruit salads so the fruit does not sink into the yogurt. You can really see those layers!Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Fruit Stripes

Once strained, simply layer the yogurt with your favorite festive fruits. We use pomegranate seeds, kiwi, raspberries and grapes. Taylor it to your tastes and the look you like. Little kids might not be keen on pomegranate seeds. While adults might like a mix with everything. My toddler enjoyed a combination of raspberries and green grapes. But my big kids loved the pomegranate seeds and kiwi.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

I make a variety and let everyone choose what they like. I keep some all green and some all red and some I mix. They look so festive! Like a candy cane in a jar.

How to Save Time

Best of all? You can make them ahead of time for a super easy breakfast or dessert. Don’t want to interrupt opening Christmas presents to make breakfast? Make these fruit salads the night before and munch while you unwrap. Or prep them before your guests arrive for a super easy dessert.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

If you’re really busy you can skip the last step and simply turn breakfast into a candy cane parfait buffet. Set out all the ingredients and let everyone assemble their own! Add granola, chia seeds and nuts for a complete meal. This works very well for a big crowd.

Kids Can Cook Too!

I really love that my kids can actually make these on their own. They’ve been learning to cook for two years now through the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse. So they are proficient with knives and many other kitchen tools. I could give them all the supplies and let them prepare the fruit salads as a fun project. Then I’m free to work on the main meals.

Interested in teaching your kids how to cook? Check out the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse HERE!

Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Coffee with Dessert?

Whether serving mason jar fruit salads for breakfast or dessert, a cup of coffee is an excellent accompaniment for the adults. If you like coffee that is. Me? I’ve never been a coffee drinker. But my husband and in-laws are! Whenever my in-laws come visit I have no drink to offer them with dessert. My brother and sister-in-law actually bring their own! They know I never serve any.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Thanks to Krups I now have a great coffee maker! And I can finally learn how to make some decent coffee. No more embarrassed hostess here.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Cutest Candy Canes

Now let’s be honest, the real reason we all want to make these mason jar fruit salads is simply because they are so stinkin’ cute! Seriously. Who wouldn’t want one? My kids were sad I hadn’t made two for each of them. I guess next time I know to make a huge batch. They could be easy grab ‘n’ go snacks or great additions to school lunches. Use seasonal fruit to change it up throughout the year.

Festive and nutritious holiday dishes don’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple and fun with these fresh, fruity candy cane mason jar fruit salads. They are sure to be a family favorite.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Candy Cane Mason Jar Fruit Salad
Yields 6
A simple, holiday fruit salad that works for breakfast, dessert or a side dish.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups Stonyfield whole milk vanilla yogurt (or plain or Greek)
  2. Seeds of 1 pomegranate
  3. 2 kiwis
  4. Medium bunch of red and/or green grapes
  5. 2 cups raspberries or strawberries
  6. (Optional) 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
Instructions
  1. Strain the yogurt in cheesecloth for one hour. Hang it over a bowl to get as much whey out as you can.
  2. While the yogurt is straining chop/seed the fruit into bite-size pieces.
  3. Layer the fruit and yogurt in 1/2-pint mason jars, small glass bowls or festive dishes.
  4. Top with chia seeds or more fruit.
Notes
  1. The fruit salads can be made with all red fruit, all green fruit or a combination.
  2. Older kids can help prepare the fruit and layer the salads.
  3. This makes 6 - 8 1/2-pint mason jars, depending on the ratio of fruit to yogurt you like.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Don't let the stress of the holidays alter your real food plans. Here are my simple tips to cook real food for a crowd without any stress!

How to Cook Real Food for a Crowd Without Stress

Don’t let the stress of the holidays alter your real food plans. Here are my simple tips to cook real food for a crowd without any stress!Don't let the stress of the holidays alter your real food plans. Here are my simple tips to cook real food for a crowd without any stress!

Is it just me or is the end of the year crazy busy? The last thing I want to do is spend half of my time in the kitchen. Especially when I’m with family.

I’m the queen of making things as easy as possible (like this Instant Pot mac ‘n’ cheese). We just hosted Thanksgiving…and I was able to take a nap in the afternoon before the big meal (being pregnant had something to do with that)!

No rushing around. It was so laid back.

And yet we had quite a feast that I prepared completely by myself (well, my kids helped with chopping veggies and making the desserts since they are experts in the kitchen after doing the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse).

My Secret to Entertaining Without Stress?

Do as much prep ahead as possible. My goal when cooking for a crowd is to make as much food as I can ahead of time and just put things in the oven/crockpot/Instant Pot the day of. I tackle one or two projects a day leading up to the festivities. So I’m not overwhelmed.

Then I get to take it easy and spend time with my guests on the day of the party. No shortcuts with packaged food necessary.

I even have the added work of hosting for several days since my family is all out of town. So it’s more like meal prepping for three full days of meals instead of one big meal. But it’s still totally doable! The only thing I had to make at the last minute this year was the gravy. Everything else for our meal had been prepped hours or days ahead.

First Step to Cook Real Food for a Crowd

The first step is menu planning. Do this a few weeks in advance so you have time to shop for supplies and gradually work through your list. Then figure out what can be made weeks in advance, days in advance or the morning of. And go from there.

Here is my course-by-course breakdown of how to create a delicious holiday menu that you can prepare in advance. Your guests will be amazed by all of the real food goodness and you’ll get to enjoy spending time with them. Pick and choose from each category for your best holiday feast ever!

Head over to Kitchen Stewardship where I’m sharing all of my stress free entertaining tips!Don't let the stress of the holidays alter your real food plans. Here are my simple tips to cook real food for a crowd without any stress!

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Give your little cowboy a power-packed treat with these fun, gluten free cowboy cookies. They are loaded with real, nourishing food.

Abram’s Cowboy Cookies {gluten free, nut free, dairy free option}

Give your little cowboy a power-packed treat with these fun, gluten free cowboy cookies. They are loaded with real, nourishing food.

Give your little cowboy a power-packed treat with these fun, gluten free cowboy cookies. They are loaded with real, nourishing food.

Last year my daughter got her own cookbook for Christmas. Of course she immediately wanted to try some recipes. We found a few good ones that the whole family enjoyed. Her favorite was the molasses cookie.

Naturally if big sister gets to choose some recipes little brother wants to as well. My son saw a recipe for cowboy cookies. But when we went to make them, we realized they were loaded with things he is allergic to like wheat, nuts and oats. He was quite disappointed.

Time to Recipe Create

No worries. Allergy-friendly mom to the rescue!

We came up with our own cowboy cookie recipe that does not contain gluten, nuts or oats. They can also be made dairy free.

My son and I had a blast making these together (he is quite skilled in the kitchen thanks to the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse!). And he loved being able to share them at a family gathering. Everybody else loved them too!Give your little cowboy a power-packed treat with these fun, gluten free cowboy cookies. They are loaded with real, nourishing food.

A Colorful Cookie

We use sunbutter in this recipe to help bind and add fat. You must note that when you use sunbutter and baking soda together it can turn green! So if the inside of your cookie starts to look green there is no need to throw them out. And no, you didn’t do anything wrong. My kids now think it’s a fun surprise to have a green cookie when you take a bite.

Save Some for Later

This recipe makes a big batch (about 30 cookies). They freeze really well. So you can enjoy some now and save some for later. Or if you need them for a party or event you can make them well in advance. They thaw very quickly (10 – 20 minutes). Though my kids love to eat them frozen!

Cookies with a Punch

My little cowboy (and cowgirls!) is very active. He loves to spend all day outside on the farm taking care of animals and helping with any jobs he can. He really works up an appetite (and is by far my fastest, biggest eater). These cowboy cookies are great as part of a snack or the perfect ending to a hearty meal.

Loaded with protein, vitamins and minerals from eggs, sunbutter, pumpkin seeds and raisins, Abram’s cowboy cookies are nourishing and sweet. As you can see my little one sure loves them!

Give your little cowboy a power-packed treat with these fun, gluten free cowboy cookies. They are loaded with real, nourishing food.

Get your little cowboy or cowgirl into the kitchen to whip up a batch of cowboy cookies. You’ll all enjoy the time together and delicious treat you make.

Looking for more fun cookie recipes? Try these!

Grain Free Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Cookies

Everything Free Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Gluten Free Peppermint Twist Cookies

Einkorn Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten Free Squash Cookies

Give your little cowboy a power-packed treat with these fun, gluten free cowboy cookies. They are loaded with real, nourishing food.

Abram's Cowboy Cookies {gluten free, nut free, dairy free option}
Yields 30
A hearty and allergy friendly cookie.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup softened butter, palm shortening, lard or tallow
  2. 1 cup organic cane sugar or coconut sugar
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 tsp. organic vanilla
  5. 1/4 cup sunbutter
  6. 2 cups white rice flour or brown rice flour
  7. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  8. 1 tsp. baking soda
  9. 1/2 cup chocolate chunks (we use Enjoy Life)
  10. 1/4 cup raisins and/or dried cranberries
  11. 2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Add the sunbutter, egg and vanilla. Beat until well mixed.
  4. Add the flour, salt and soda. Mix well.
  5. Stir in the chocolate, dried fruit and seeds.
  6. Scoop large mounds (2 - 3 Tbsp.) about 2 inches apart on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
  8. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.
Notes
  1. The cookies freeze well. Allow 10 - 20 minutes for them to thaw.
  2. The cookies may turn green inside due to the sunbutter reacting with the baking soda. It is not harmful.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Many people use the Theory of Herd Immunity as a reason to mandate vaccines. So exactly what is herd immunity? And does it really exist? Let's find out!

What is Herd Immunity…and Does it Exist?

Many people use the Theory of Herd Immunity as a reason to mandate vaccines. So exactly what is herd immunity? And does it really exist? Let’s find out!Many people use the Theory of Herd Immunity as a reason to mandate vaccines. So exactly what is herd immunity? And does it really exist? Let's find out!

Before I begin I want to state that this post does not deal with vaccine safety. It is not pro or anti vaccines. It is simply discussing vaccine efficacy and the theory of herd immunity.

Vaccinating vs. not vaccinating is a very personal choice – a choice every parent should have.

Vaccination is a medical procedure and the government should never be allowed to make that decision for us. If our freedom to choose whether or not to vaccinate is taken away or prohibits us from education or a career, then we no longer live in a democracy, in the land of the free. We live in a dictatorship.

I am passionate about children’s health. And parents should be able to make decisions in the best interest of their children’s health. Always. This includes making decisions about vaccines.

People have different beliefs on safety, religion, morality, etc. The right to choose must be maintained.

But some people feel it’s ok to take away that individual right “for the good of the group.” The theory used to back up this claim is called the Herd Immunity Theory.

Note the word theory.

The theory of Herd Immunity is not a proven fact. And it’s NOT a valid reason to mandate vaccination.

So just what is a theory?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a theory is: “an ideal or hypothetical set of facts, principles, or circumstances” or “a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena.”

A theory is not proven. It is hypothetical. It is a possible solution given to explain things.

What is the Herd Immunity Theory?

According to vaccines.gov:

When a critical portion of a community is immunized against a contagious disease, most members of the community are protected against that disease because there is little opportunity for an outbreak. Even those who are not eligible for certain vaccines—such as infants, pregnant women, or immunocompromised individuals—get some protection because the spread of contagious disease is contained. This is known as “community immunity.”The principle of community immunity applies to control of a variety of contagious diseases, including influenza, measles, mumps, rotavirus, and pneumococcal disease.

In simpler terms – if enough people are vaccinated, the disease can no longer spread.

The theory of Herd Immunity seems like it makes sense. It is a “plausible general principle.” But let’s take a closer look.

Join me over at Kitchen Stewardship where I’m digging in deep to find out more about the this idea of herd immunity. Check it out HERE.

NOTE: Please read the full article before making any comments.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Real foodies love cookbooks and kitchen gadgets. But don't forget about the little ones. Here are my top picks for little foodie gifts.

My Top Picks for Little Foodie Gifts

Real foodies love cookbooks and kitchen gadgets. But don’t forget about the little ones. Here are my top picks for little foodie gifts.

Real foodies love cookbooks and kitchen gadgets. But don't forget about the little ones. Here are my top picks for little foodie gifts.

If you want your kids to grow up knowing about real food, you have to teach them. What better way than with some Christmas gifts that promote real food and natural health?!

My kids love all things related to food – cooking food, eating food, learning about food and nutrition. So it’s no surprise that my gift list for little foodies isn’t that different than my list for adults. Just a little more age appropriate.

My kids have or want everything on this list. So it really is little foodie approved!

Desiccaated Liver

Now you might think I’ve really lost it. I put liver at the top of my gift list and now on my kids’ gift list! I really truly believe it is that important. Although my kids would not want a jar wrapped up under the tree, they do understand how nutritious it is and request to add it all sorts of foods.

Soon I’ll be sharing my son’s secret taco seasoning recipe – which includes lots of desiccated liver. My youngest likes to put liver on her salads.

While this may not be a stocking stuffer, using liver in your cooking will give your kids the gift of good health. And it doesn’t get much better than that.

You can always get an extra 10% off using my code TAKE10. I already stocked up for the year. Merry Christmas to all my kiddos! Grab yours HERE.

Kids Cook Real Food eCourse

Making nutritious food for your kids is a wonderful gift. The next best thing…teaching them to cook good food! It’s the gift that won’t take up space and will benefit them for a lifetime.

My six year old loves to cook dinner with me. By the time he is college age he’ll practically be a chef. I keep saying he is going to make an amazing husband someday.

My girls beg to help in the kitchen too. That’s why we’ve been doing the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse for two years now! Even as early as age two kids can learn to use knives, proper measuring skills and how to follow a recipe.

This really is a gift for you too. Wouldn’t you love for your kids to be able to get up in the morning and make breakfast? With the KCRF eCourse they will!

Grab a spot today in the Kids Cook Real Food course! This is a great gift for Grandpa and Grandma to get the kids.

Kitchen Tools

If you teach your kids to cook…they’re going to want some kitchen tools. Trust me on this one. My kids LOVE having their own set of measuring spoons and cups, knives and other little gadgets like crinkle cutters.

This can be a great way to encourage a child that is hesitant to help in the kitchen. It also teaches your child responsibility by needing to take care of their own equipment.

Last year my oldest got a set of knives for Christmas. Now every time she helps with chopping she HAS to use her knives. Maybe this year I’ll get a set for my son. Yes, a six-year old can safely use sharp knives! They learn how in the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse.

Chef Coat/Hat/Apron

Of course when your kids start working in the kitchen with their new skills and new tools they will have to look the part. Last winter my oldest and I made super cute aprons for each child. They grab them whenever they help me cook. Or even just to set the table. My son likes to fill the pockets with silverware and pretend he works at a restaurant.

This year I think we might go a step up and get the older kids chef coats (like these)! My daughter wants to be a baker some day. And my son really loves to cook. They will be thrilled to look like a real baker and chef with the proper attire.

Again, it’s one more way to encourage kids to learn about food, nutrition and how to cook. It’s a win for everyone.

Cookbooks

My oldest is an avid reader. She has been since she was a few months old. I could read book after book to her when she was literally three months old. It was crazy.

Now at age nine she still devours books. One of her favorite things to read is a cookbook! It’s actually a great way to teach younger kids to read too. Get one with lots of pictures to help those younger readers (and for those that just love to see good food). Then you can look through it together or they can read on their own.

Choose some recipes to make together. Or for older kids challenge them to try a new recipe on their own for dinner some time!

Here are a few good ones:

Nourishing Meals

The Nourishing Traditions Cookbook For Children

The Nourishing Homestead

Real foodies love cookbooks and kitchen gadgets. But don't forget about the little ones. Here are my top picks for little foodie gifts.

Nutrition Books

I may be getting a bit nerdy here. But this is how important nutrition is to me. I really want my kids to understand why we eat the way we do. I want them to understand how to care for animals, how to grow our own food and how it helps our bodies. Not to mention how we eat is important for taking care of God’s holy temple.

This year for science we chose to study human anatomy and physiology. My kids LOVE it! They beg to do science every day. We just finished learning about the digestive system and are now learning about nutrition. Perfect! This is the curriculum we are using.

I know not everyone homeschools. But that doesn’t mean you can’t study nutrition! Find age appropriate books (or even “study” some cookbooks) and make time to read them often.

We love these books about eating the rainbow that are simple yet show what each color of the rainbow does for our bodies.

We live in a world where food comes in boxes and bags. Which leads to the question...how much do your kids know about their food?

Play Kitchen

Hands down the toy all of my kids play with the most is our play kitchen and food/dishes. We started with just a small bucket of play food when my oldest was about two. It has evolved now into a full bin of dishes and food. They make elaborate feasts and love to play restaurant.

This is the kitchen my youngest just got for her birthday. It is the perfect size for little hands. And all of this pretend play helps develop a love for working with food.

The sets that allow kids to practice cutting are great leads into real kitchen skills!

Mini Trampoline

Little foodies need to focus on health in addition to real food. A mini trampoline (like this one) is a great way to get out energy. But more than that it is wonderful for the lymphatic system. Every bounce or tap helps drain the lymph nodes.

When I did Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis for my girls one of the action items on their plan was to rebound for ten minutes every day! Kids think it’s fun. But it’s more than that. It is so good for them!

Crunchy Balm

Last on my list is another repeat from my real foodie gift list. Crunchy Balm. My son uses it daily when his legs get itchy. I love the quality ingredients (tallow and essential oils) and how well it works.

This year I think I’m getting my oldest some of the Crunchy Organics lip balm. She’s at the age where she is interested in “beauty products.” But there are very few products that I will let her use because I am picky about ingredients. I totally trust this lip balm. It’s on my list too! I ran out of my last one. It’s the only thing that keeps my lips from cracking in the winter.

And for the older crowd Crunchy Organics has deodorant too! Another product that requires careful consideration due to potential harmful ingredients. There are a few different scents so it works well for boys or girls! I think this will be another stocking stuffer for my oldest.

Time to Shop!

It’s so fun to shop for little foodies! I love encouraging my kids to understand where their food comes from and why it’s important. Let’s raise a new generation of good stewards, taking care of God’s creation. Start small with some fun Christmas gifts!

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Christmas is just around the corner. What should you get for the real foodie in your life? Here are my top picks for the perfect real foodie gifts that will help promote natural health and well-being.

My Top Picks for Real Foodie Gifts

Christmas is just around the corner. What should you get for the real foodie in your life? Here are my top picks for the perfect real foodie gifts that will help promote natural health and well-being.Christmas is just around the corner. What should you get for the real foodie in your life? Here are my top picks for the perfect real foodie gifts that will help promote natural health and well-being.

If you’re like my kids you want to listen to Christmas year round. If you’re like me you don’t mind the music, but you kind of dread all the hustle and bustle of buying gifts and all the other to-do’s for the holidays. And you tell yourself every year you are going to start early…and then Thanksgiving rolls around and you haven’t even started.

Don’t panic! (I’m saying that for my own benefit.) Today I’m sharing my top picks for gifts that any real foodie would love. Don’t forget that Black Friday is coming up in a few days. There will be great deals on pretty much all of these!

Desiccated Liver

Yes, liver tops my list!! Maybe I’m crazy. But that’s how much I love it. I use the Perfect Supplements brand desiccated liver. And I am so thrilled that they now carry it in powder form instead of just capsules.

I put liver in literally everything we eat because it is so nutrient dense and has more Vitamin A than just about anything else you can eat. I add it to meatballs, tacos (my son has his own taco seasoning recipe with liver), salads, smoothies and even caramel!

Whether you are a fellow liver lover or you’ve never tried it, now is a great time to stock up. Get 10% off using the code TAKE10. I might just try to stock our pantry with desiccated liver for the year! No, I’m not even joking. With little kids and trying to focus on prenatal nutrition we go through a LOT of liver. I’d gladly take it as a present. It’s like getting the nutritional equivalent of gold.

Grab your liver and other Perfect Supplements products here.

Slow Cooker

The tool I use most often in my kitchen is my slow cooker (a.k.a. Crockpot). I know everyone is crazy about the Instant Pot these days, but I’m still a slow cooker fan. I like to do my meal prep in the morning and be done for the day. Especially on the days where we are gone in the afternoon and don’t get home until dinner time. Or on Sunday mornings when everyone is starving as soon as we get home from church. It’s a life saver.

Some of my favorite slow cooker recipes are sweet and sour meatballs, meatloaf, split pea soup, mashed potatoes, sausage and lentil chili and pork and beans. And you can never go wrong with a roast, whole chicken or ribs in the slow cooker.

I use my slow cooker so often that it never actually gets put away. It has a permanent place on my counter top.

This is the kind I have been using for years. Though a larger one like this would be nice!

Tea Strainer

This may be a small, simple kitchen tool, but it’s another one I use daily. I love herbal teas for helping all sorts of things like supporting your liver, adding minerals and balancing hormones. I buy loose leaf teas in bulk and then make my own mixes depending on what my body needs.

Right now I’m drinking a lot of nettle dandelion tea. I also love to make infusions for myself and for my kids. Add some fresh or frozen fruit to a jar and let the tea steep over night. Such a refreshing and nourishing drink! Nettle is my go-to for just about everything, especially seasonal allergies.

I’m thinking about putting a tea strainer on my list again this year so I have a second one. Then I can make multiple infusions at once!

This is the one I love.

Crunchy Balm

Winter in our house brings about DRY skin. My husband and two oldest kids especially are prone to super dry, itchy skin. Our favorite remedy is Crunchy Balm. It’s made with whipped tallow and essential oils. It is so soft and creamy and really works.

Crunchy Organics has plenty of other amazing products too, like their face cream made with frankincense and a whole line of natural makeup.

I’m not sure how many jars of Crunchy Balm we have laying around the house. I just like knowing there is always plenty on hand. If you deal with eczema or any kind of skin irritation I highly recommend Crunchy Balm.

We do also love Cheshire Fields products. And the creator, Michelle, is so nice. She even made custom products for us to work around allergies! It’s hard to find natural products without coconut!!

Immersion Blender

I’m not really sure how I survived before I had an immersion blender. It is my go-to tool for a lot of food preservation during the summer and fall. I use it to puree applesauce, pearsauce and squash.

Making homemade mayo or Miracle Whip is a cinch with an immersion blender. It literally takes five minutes, including the time it takes to get the ingredients out. 

Needing foods pureed for a little one? The immersion blender makes it so easy. Cook some veggies, add broth and puree.

We also love to make pureed soups like our favorite squash and sausage soup. I eat it for breakfast lunch and dinner!

There are so many neat brands now. It’s hard to choose which one to get!!

Young Living Essential Oils

Are you new to a natural lifestyle? Essential oils are a great way to help boost your family’s health. I started using essential oils about three years ago. I started with the Young Living Starter Kit. And I’ve been using them ever since.

My favorite oil is Pan Away. I have battled hormone headaches for many years. The only way to ease them was with OTC medicine. But now it’s so rare that I have to take any medicine. I use Pan Away at the first sign of a headache and it usually subsides shortly after.

Essential oils support your health and work well for cleaning your house safely. I love diffusing oils both during the day and at night. Interested in getting started? Grab your starter kit here!

Vitamix

The Vitamix is definitely one of my favorite kitchen tools. Sometimes I use it three or four times a day. It makes perfect smoothies (like the ones you will find in my book Easy Nourishment for Picky Eaters), even when most of your ingredients are frozen solid!

Hummus only takes minutes in the Vitamix for a quick snack or lunch.

I even use it to grind flour and make homemade powdered sugar. Some years I use it to puree our applesauce, peels and all! It makes such an amazingly smooth sauce. My kids would say that homemade ice cream is the best thing that comes from the blender. The batter is ready in under five minutes. There really isn’t much the Vitamix can’t do.

Probably one of the things I love most is how easy it is to clean. That only takes seconds too. Talk about fast work in the kitchen.

Grassfed Collagen/Gelatin

Need a powerhouse ingredient to add to those delicious smoothies? Grassfed collagen is a great source of protein. I never make a smoothie without it.

I also use grassfed gelatin to make homemade fruit snacks and all sorts of real food jello salads. You can find all of my recipes using gelatin here.

I love both Perfect Supplements and Vital Proteins brands. Don’t forget to stock up on your Perfect Supplements products 11/24 – 11/27 at 45% off using code TAKE10! You can also get some FREE collagen from Vital Proteins 11/24 – 11/27. Use the code PEACELOVECOLLAGEN at checkout for a 5 oz. canister of collagen when you spend $75.

Cast Iron Skillet

Want a juicy burger, a perfectly cooked steak or the best scrambled eggs you’ve ever tasted? You need a cast iron skillet! A kitchen tools that has been around for centuries is definitely a keeper.

I was nervous when I got my first one. I thought they were hard to use and care for. WRONG. How to use – get it HOT. How to clean – wipe it down when you’re done and wipe a little oil on. That’s it.

You may want to get a few in different sizes. I love my small skillet for making a batch of scrambled eggs for the kids in the morning. My large skillet is great for steaks, burgers and even taco meat.

Still on my list is a cast iron griddle. That would make some awesome pancakes and bacon!

Grab your favorite size cast iron tools here.

Real Food and Natural Health Books

Last on the list, but definitely very important – you need knowledge to know how to use your kitchen tools and natural health products. That’s where books come in. Whether ebooks or hard copies these are some of the best around. Some are part of my personal library. Some I’m still hoping for! You might notice a theme…nourishing yourself and your family.

Family Table (by Shaye Elliott)

Easy Nourishment for Picky Eaters (by Mary Voogt)

Nourished Beginnings (by Renee Kohley)

The Nourished Metabolism (by Elizabeth Walling)

Why Won’t My Child Eat?! (by Mary Voogt)

Healthy Snacks To Go (by Katie Kimball)

The Paleo Approach (by Sarah Ballantyne) 

Nourishing Traditions (by Sally Fallon) (this is the book that started my real food journey and completely changed the way I looked at food)

Christmas is just around the corner. What should you get for the real foodie in your life? Here are my top picks for the perfect real foodie gifts that will help promote natural health and well-being.

Keep it Simple

I could probably add about thirty more items to the list. There really are so many good ones. But these top my list.

Remember, some nice tea, a cute apron, a night off from cooking, a back rub or a few hours of quiet also make perfect real foodie gifts. And won’t break the bank.

You can also keep it simple with homemade hot cocoa or a big bag of kettle corn granola.

What’s on your real foodie wish list this year?

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I'm inviting you into my (blessed) mess. Come see what life has been like lately.

Inviting You Into My (Blessed) Mess

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I’m inviting you into my (blessed) mess.

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I'm inviting you into my (blessed) mess. Come see what life has been like lately.

Let’s get REAL.

I don’t mean real as in real food. I don’t mean real as in natural health. I mean real and as in honest, real life with all of it’s mess and chaos.

Like my sweet, little girl that has turned into a threenager over night. Or my son that has returned to daily stomach aches. Reality.

If you follow my blog you may have noticed that it’s been pretty quiet around here lately. No fun, kid-friendly recipes. No meal plans. Silence.

Well, life has been messy. Literally one big mess. Let me show you what I mean.

My house.

This is the current status of our school room. As you can imagine, not much schooling is happening here. Don’t worry, we’re still doing plenty of school work. It has just moved to the living room and dining room.

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I'm inviting you into my (blessed) mess. Come see what life has been like lately.

And this…this is my kitchen floor. My children have decided it’s a place to throw whatever they like. I can barely walk through without tripping on shoes (even though the kitchen is right next to the mud room…where shoes belong).

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I'm inviting you into my (blessed) mess. Come see what life has been like lately.

This is my daughter’s craft area – that has been very unsupervised for a while now apparently. I keep telling myself I’m letting her be creative.

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I'm inviting you into my (blessed) mess. Come see what life has been like lately.

The Living Room…

Now we come to the living room. A messy coffee table is not that abnormal, right? This one is unique in that it’s been my table, my desk, my everything for the last two months. I’ve been parked on the couch with severe “morning” sickness.

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I'm inviting you into my (blessed) mess. Come see what life has been like lately.

Yes, all of this mess has been for one very good reason. God has blessed us with another miracle!! Next April we will welcome baby four into our family.

I am so grateful for all of the people that brought meals and helped take care of my kids. I am thankful for my family giving me grace in the midst of this chaos.

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I'm inviting you into my (blessed) mess. Come see what life has been like lately.

True humility.

Sometimes it’s in this chaos that God has to humble us too. You know I’m a big fan of real food and nourishing your body. I’m the lady that eats stir fry, roasted veggies and avocado for breakfast (normally). I’ve been gluten free for years. I avoid all things processed. And yet for the last two months I’ve lived on cereal, frozen pizza and canned ravioli. It’s hard to even say that out loud.

I’ve had to give myself grace and just eat whatever I could keep down. Any attempt of fruit and vegetables was met with a trip to the bathroom (or if that was too far I always had a bucket by my side). I couldn’t even think about meat without gagging. I tried every natural remedy out there. None of them made any impact. I have even been on anti-nausea medication. But I still was barely functional. Carbs and cheese. That’s about all I’ve been eating for months.

I managed to only lose one pound during the first trimester. So I call that a win. And I am rejoicing that I am finally starting to feel a little better and able to eat some real food again. I can keep squash, beef and Brussels sprouts down! What a blessing.

As much as I love a natural lifestyle, there are times when life gets messy and you have to just let go. Real food is great. But so is being real. This is our reality right now.

My time on the couch has taught me a few lessons.

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I'm inviting you into my (blessed) mess. Come see what life has been like lately.

Being sick is lonely!

I was still with my kids every day. I still talked with my husband every day. But it was different. Until a few days ago I couldn’t sit at the table to eat a meal. I felt like an outsider to my own family meal times. Most of the time my husband had to put the kids to bed (something I usually do). I missed out on those precious bedtime chats. I even missed taking care of my house. I just had to sit back and watch life happen. And watch the mess pile higher and higher.

Mess = Stress

I’ve realized just how much the mess in our house is the source of a lot of stress. For the whole family. Just a few days ago my oldest asked me, “Why am I so angry all the time lately?” I told her we all are..because our house is so chaotic.

The first item on my to-do list when I’ve regained my strength and energy is organizing and de-cluttering. I recently read an article about highly sensitive people. And it really resonated with me. I feel so much more peaceful when my house is simple. I honestly don’t even like many decorations on the walls. Having kids with sensory processing disorder I know it will help them as well.

I’m ready to do away with the nightly meltdowns about picking up toys because my kids don’t even know where to put anything. I’m ready for a clean, clear space to do our school work so my kids can truly focus. I’m ready for a play area that encourages my kids to read and explore without overwhelming them with options.

I’ll have to take it one room at a time. But I’ll get there. Simplify is the plan. More peace in our house is the goal.

I know life will be messy again when the new baby arrives. In the mean time I’m hoping to eliminate a lot of the mess in the house.

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I'm inviting you into my (blessed) mess. Come see what life has been like lately.

Kids are capable.

I’ve also learned how much my kids are capable of doing. How much they can work together and learn from each other. My oldest has been my backup teacher and mother lately. And she’s so good at it!! I think the kids listen to her better than they listen to me. She even took care of me when I was at my worst, making me food and helping around the house.

It’s a mess.

Real life is messy and chaotic at times. But it’s also full of joy and lessons learned. I’m thankful for our mess. I’m thankful for a little more energy to deal with the mess.

And most of all I’m thankful for my whole family, including our newest member on the way!!

All glory and honor go to God for this miracle. He is the author and creator of life. And we praise Him for his goodness to our family.

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I'm inviting you into my (blessed) mess. Come see what life has been like lately.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.