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Never be without an easy grab and go snack with this simple, allergen free ground beef jerky.

Simple And Nourishing Ground Beef Jerky {Allergen Free!}

When you’re working around allergies it can be hard to find easy and nutritious snacks. This ground beef jerky is easy to make and safe for the whole family.

Never be without an easy grab and go snack with this simple, allergen free ground beef jerky.

One of my biggest struggles having children with allergies is finding easy sources of protein. Our allergies include nuts, dairy, beans and eggs. So basically it’s meat or nothing. And I just don’t feel like cooking meat for every meal of the day!

Limited options.

I do let my kids have sunbutter (we LOVE this brand that is made in a peanut and tree nut free facility!). But it really doesn’t have that much protein. And I only give it every four days to stick with our rotation diet. I also do sardines and anchovies about once a week. Although they are super nutritious that gets expensive!

When it comes to lunches and snacks I stick to easy. And the usual easy protein sources aren’t options. Most days there is enough leftover from the previous night’s dinner that it’s not a problem.

But sometimes there’s not. My solution? Beef jerky!

This simple and nourishing ground beef jerky makes a great snack that is free of allergens.

No soy, please.

I did some research to find a recipe…and couldn’t find one. Most of them use either soy sauce or coconut aminos. When you can’t use soy or coconut that just doesn’t work. Plus I really had no desire to go to the store or buy specialty items.

So I came up with my own recipe using just a few simple and nourishing ingredients. To my great delight this ground beef jerky turned out great!

A snack for the entire family.

My biggest surprise…my one year old was the child that liked it the best! She ate almost the whole batch (don’t worry, not in one day). My husband and I love it too!

It is so easy to stick in the diaper bag when running errands. No mess. No refrigeration. Just a simple, healthy snack that is free of allergens and easy enough for a one year old to eat. Perfect!

Make it your own.

You can adjust the salt and sugar to your liking. I like a lot of salt. You can also add liquid smoke for a smokey flavor. If you really want to bump up the nutrition you can even add desiccated liver!

This simple and nourishing ground beef jerky makes a great snack that is free of allergens.

The other thing I love is how affordable this beef jerky is. I use grassfed ground beef. No fancy steaks. So a whole batch only costs about $6.00 (including the other ingredients)…and makes at least 30 good size pieces of jerky! The ground beef actually makes it a bit softer and easier to chew (trust me, I tried other meat first…and I can barely chew that batch).

Not a fan of beef? Swap it for ground pork, chicken or turkey!

This ground beef jerky is perfect for school lunches or summer picnics. Make a big batch and store it in the freezer. Grab as much as you need any time. It thaws in about sixty seconds.

If you’re like me and always trying to figure out an easy snack that is healthy, satisfying and free of allergens you’ve found it. Ground beef jerky is perfect for the whole family.

What are your go-to allergen friendly snacks?

Put ground beef jerky at the top of your list! Homemade lunch meat is a great option too.

This simple and nourishing ground beef jerky makes a great snack that is free of allergens.

Simple and Nourishing Ground Beef Jerky
Yields 30
A simple beef jerky made with ground beef, broth and seasoning.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. ground beef (or pork, chicken or turkey)
  2. 1/2 cup gelled beef broth (or pork, chicken or turkey)
  3. 1/3 cup sweetener (honey, maple syrup, molasses, brown cane sugar)
  4. 4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  5. optional: 2 tsp. desiccated liver
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 - 8 hours.
  2. Spread strips of marinated meat onto dehydrator trays using 1-2 Tbsp. of meat each (thinner is better when spreading. I just use my hands to spread it).
  3. Dry at 155*F for about 12 hours.
  4. Store at room temperature for up to a week, in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to a year.
Notes
  1. Add liquid smoke to the meat mixture for a smokey flavor.
  2. Jerky can be eaten straight from the freezer.
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.

Pistachio Pea Pesto | Just Take A Bite

Pistachio Pea Pesto

With the return of spring comes color and new life. Add some of both to your meal with this bright and flavorful pistachio pea pesto.

Pistachio Pea Pesto | Just Take A Bite

If there is an easy way to get your kids to eat vegetables it is in a sauce. Put the sauce on pasta or pizza. Instant hit!

This pistachio pea pesto is no exception. Parents love the loads of vegetables and healthy fat from nuts. Kids love the taste and color.

Easy “peasy.”

The really great thing about this pesto is how easy it is to make. Only six ingredients (and the cheese is even optional). Toss them all in the blender and it’s done. No cooking. Just puree and serve. It is easy enough for kids to make themselves!

Mix pistachio pea pesto with your favorite variety of noodles for an easy weeknight meal that can even be made gluten or grain free. Add some extra peas and nuts into the pasta for texture and nutrition. Leftover cooked chicken also makes a great addition for a complete meal.

But the possibilities don’t end there. Make pizza night a little more special with pesto pizza. Make or buy your favorite pizza crust. Top it with pistachio pea pesto and some fresh mozzarella. Bake and serve.

Pistachio Pea Pesto | Just Take A Bite

Whether you are vegetarian or just looking to save a little money on your grocery bill either of these would make a great meatless meal.

The possibilities are endless! Head over to Super Healthy Kids where I’m sharing this easy pistachio pea pesto recipe and more fun ways to use it.

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.

Rainbow Egg Muffins | Just Take A Bite

Rainbow Egg Muffins

Winter is almost over! Get ready to think spring with these rainbow egg muffins. Lots of color, flavor and nutrition packed into the perfect little bite.

Rainbow Egg Muffins | Just Take A Bite

Spring is coming. I can almost taste it. After the snow and cold I am more than ready to think about new life and color returning.

And after all of the illness we’ve had I am looking forward to spending a lot of time outside in the fresh air. The end to illness can start any time now. Any time.

If you look out your window and still see everything covered in white you can at least bring spring back to your breakfast with these colorful rainbow egg muffins.

Start the day with a healthy dose of protein, vitamins and vegetables all in one. Add a slice of toast with homemade grape jelly or peach jam to make it a complete meal.

 

Rainbow Egg Muffins | Just Take A Bite

Rainbow egg muffins are even great for toddlers. Cut one into bite size pieces so your toddler can practice picking up food and self feeding.

What a fun Easter breakfast for the whole family!

How do they taste?

Will kids really eat them? I let my four year old be my taste tester. I put one on his plate and stepped back into the kitchen to grab something. When I got back his muffin was already half gone. The other half went down about ten seconds later.

Want the recipe? Head over to Super Healthy Kids! I’ve got this simple recipe for rainbow egg muffins plus some tips on how to cut your prep time in half.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

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.

Sunbutter Breakfast Cookies | Just Take A Bite

Gluten Free Sunbutter Breakfast Cookies

In need of an allergy free easy breakfast? These sunbutter breakfast cookies only take a few minutes of prep time and are free of gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, rice, corn, soy and coconut.

Sunbutter Breakfast Cookies | Just Take A Bite

When I ask my kids what they want for breakfast nine times out of ten they say breakfast cookies.

I don’t blame them.

Who doesn’t want a cookie for breakfast?!

I’ve been making a variety of breakfast cookies for years. But recently we experimented with an egg free diet for my oldest. So I had to come up with yet another version.

Sunbutter makes a great allergen friendly substitute for eggs. Not to mention it is delicious! It also replaces the fat. So there is no need to use dairy or coconut.

I also add some ground flax seeds to make sure the cookies hold together.

Sunbutter Breakfast Cookies | Just Take A Bite

Start them the right way.

Sunbutter breakfast cookies start with a long soak to reduce the phytic acid content. This is especially important when using oats as they are very high in phytic acid.

If you’ve never soaked your grains before rest assured it’s a very simple thing to do. Mix the grains with water and lemon juice. Done.

When you are ready to bake all you have to do is add the remaining ingredients, mix, scoop and bake.

Get the kids in the kitchen.

This is a great recipe to let little ones help with. No chopping. No egg cracking. No butter melting. Just measure, pour and mix.

They can even sample the ingredients as you go. Somebody has to make sure the honey tastes good, right?!

You can add whatever extras you like to sunbutter breakfast cookies. My kids always ask for mini chocolate chips. Dried fruit, nuts, seeds and coconut all work, depending on your dietary needs.

Sunbutter Breakfast Cookies | Just Take A Bite

Add a fall twist.

For fall you could even add a touch of pureed pumpkin and ground cinnamon. Or some diced apples and cinnamon would be fun too.

Are you looking for an allergen friendly breakfast treat for your family? Sunbutter breakfast cookies will be a family favorite.

Stock up.

Be sure to make a big batch so you can stock the freezer for effortless breakfasts on busy school mornings. Or add them to lunch boxes for a delicious and healthy treat.

I have to share a fun fact that I learned while making these.

When you mix a lot of baking soda with sunbutter it turns green!

Don’t worry. I adjusted the recipe so you won’t have green cookies like we did. But it is perfectly safe to eat them even if they are green.

Sunbutter Breakfast Cookies | Just Take A Bite

Gluten Free Sunbutter Breakfast Cookies
Yields 20
A simple breakfast cookies that is free of gluten, eggs, dairy, nuts, rice, corn and coconut.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups gf oats
  2. 1/2 cup sorghum flour (or brown rice or amaranth)
  3. 3/4 cups warm water
  4. 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  5. 1/2 cup sunbutter
  6. 2/3 cup honey
  7. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  8. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  9. 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  10. 1/2 cup add-ins: chocolate chips, dried fruit, coconut, seeds, nuts
Instructions
  1. Combine the oats, sorghum, water and lemon juice in a bowl. Cover and let sit 24 hours.
  2. Heat the oven to 350*F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Add the honey, salt, soda and flax seeds to the oat mixture. Mix well.
  4. Stir in the add-ins.
  5. Scoop mounds onto the prepared baking sheet (as large or as small as you like).
  6. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes (less time for smaller cookies, more time for larger cookies).
  7. Let cool.
  8. Store in sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer 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.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

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.

The Busy Moms Solution to Preserving Pears | Just Take A Bite

The Busy Mom’s Solution to Preserving Pears

Fall is a busy time of canning applesauce and freezing pumpkin. But don’t forget about preserving pears! With a short season and a busy schedule use this guide to stock your pantry with pears before they are gone.

The Busy Moms Solution to Preserving Pears | Just Take A Bite

I try to do a fair amount of canning each fall. How much I do depends on my kids’ ages and how I’m feeling.

Regardless I don’t like to spend hours on end in the kitchen each day to keep up with produce preservation.

Do you have time?

I already take the easy route when it comes to canning peaches. That is a life saver.

Then I get to pears. There is really no way around it.

Canning pears takes a lot of time.

The Busy Moms Solution to Preserving Pears | Just Take A Bite

Lots of peeling and slicing (especially if the pears are small). It can take up to sixty pears just to do one round of canning! That is a lot of peeling.

So I haven’t done it in several years.

I would love to start canning pears again at some point. But while I have little kids and a busy schedule it just isn’t going to happen.

But I still want to preserve this amazing fruit to enjoy it all winter.

The Busy Moms Solution to Preserving Pears | Just Take A Bite

The solution.

Enter pearsauce.

It is just like applesauce but with pears. Honestly, I would take pearsauce any day over applesauce. It is that good.

There is no need to add any sweetener as pears are plenty sweet on their own.

The other thing you don’t have to do – peel them!

Preserving pears is quite easy when you can just wash, quarter, cook and puree. Then either can or freeze the pearsauce.

Use it in many ways.

One of the reasons I love having pearsauce on hand is that it makes a super easy first food for little ones six months and up. You can serve it plain or turn it into a nutrient dense baby porridge. Sign up for email alerts so you don’t miss when that is posted!

The Busy Moms Solution to Preserving Pears | Just Take A Bite

My big kids love it too! Sometimes I even make it extra special by adding strawberries, raspberries or blueberries from our freezer stash. As they melt and let off juice it colors the pearsauce and adds an extra burst of flavor.

Serve it cold. Serve it warm with a pinch of cinnamon. Add it to oatmeal. Mix it in yogurt.

You really can’t go wrong. You also don’t need to spend days on end making pearsauce.

Here is my busy mom’s solution to preserving pears. I worked through a half bushel in one day (with 3 young kids, including a nursing little one) and still managed to get my kids to and from school and activities and get healthy meals on the table.

That was from moving the pears to the sink to pulling the jars out of the canner…twice!

In fact it only took me twenty minutes to wash and slice the first batch of pears while helping my son with school work and feeding my youngest.

If I can do it you can too!

Have you ever tried preserving pears? I encourage you to try pearsauce!

Are you new to canning? Check out my step-by-step tutorial to get you going.

The Busy Moms Solution to Preserving Pears Fall is a busy time of canning applesauce and freezing pumpkin. But don't forget about preserving pears! Even busy moms can get the pantry stocked. | Just Take A Bite

Pearsauce: The Busy Mom's Solution To Preserving Pears
Yields 11
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Ingredients
  1. 35 - 40 pears
  2. 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. Wash pears.
  2. Quarter and core and place in a large stock pot with 1 cup water.
  3. Cook for 30 - 40 minutes, stirring periodically, until pears are cooked down and have released their juice.
  4. Puree the pears in a high powered blender or use an immersion blender.
To freeze
  1. Chill the pearsauce.
  2. Put the pearsauce in freezer safe containers.
  3. Label and freeze.
To can
  1. Return the pearsauce to the stockpot and keep warm.
  2. Prepare a water bath canner.
  3. Ladle pearsauce into hot jars.
  4. Place lid and band on the jars.
  5. Can in hot water bath for 25 minutes.
  6. Allow the jars to set untouched for at least 8 hours, until completely cool and sealed.
Notes
  1. One batch of pearsauce makes about 11 pints total. Since my canner holds 7 jars I do 4 quarts and 3 pints or 3 quarts and 4 pint with a little left over to eat fresh.
  2. A half bushel of pears will make two rounds of pearsauce with a few pears left for eating fresh or using for baking.
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.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

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.

Sourdough Pumpkin Pie Cereal | Just Take A Bite

Sourdough Pumpkin Pie Cereal

Pumpkin isn’t just for fall desserts. Try it in your breakfast! Sourdough pumpkin pie cereal is crunchy, sweet and easy to make. Eat it for breakfast covered in milk or sprinkled on yogurt.

Sourdough Pumpkin Pie Cereal | Just Take A Bite

Are you getting excited for all things pumpkin?

I know I am. It’s crazy to think that just a few years ago I wanted nothing to do with anything pumpkin.

I hated it.

I hated it as a child and as an adult. I just didn’t understand why everyone loved pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin everything.

Until I started roasting fresh pumpkin.

What you get in a can doesn’t even compare to freshly roasted pumpkin.

Sourdough Pumpkin Pie Cereal | Just Take A Bite

Pumpkin, pumpkin everywhere!

Now I love to use pumpkin year round!

Not only is it packed with nutrients, but it tastes great. I use it in soups, breads, muffins, pasta, crackers, pie, ice cream, cheesecake. Pretty much any way you can think of.

I even love it plain with a touch of honey and sea salt.

And yes, I can even handle canned pumpkin now.

Pumpkin for breakfast.

One of my favorite ways to use pumpkin is in sourdough pumpkin pie cereal. It’s like pumpkin pie in your breakfast bowl.

Combine sourdough with pumpkin, sugar and spice and you’ve got an amazing start to your day.

Sourdough pumpkin pie cereal is great with milk. But you can also sprinkle it on yogurt. I like to add it to my salted caramel custard. It is my replacement for granola.

Sourdough Pumpkin Pie Cereal | Just Take A Bite

Pumpkin for snacks.

Most of the time I find myself just munching on it plain! Sourdough pumpkin pie cereal makes a great snack.

Better yet mix it with crispy nuts and dried apples for the perfect fall trail mix.

Any way you serve it this cereal is a delicious fall treat.

Sourdough pumpkin pie cereal is made with traditional sourdough for easier digestion and nutrient absorption. It is also dairy, egg, nut, corn, soy, coconut and rice free.

Are you in need of something different for breakfast this fall?

Grab some pumpkin (fresh or canned) and get a batch of sourdough pumpkin pie cereal started. The whole family will love it!
Sourdough Pumpkin Pie Cereal | Just Take A Bite

Sourdough Pumpkin Pie Cereal
Serves 12
Simple sourdough cereal with pumpkin and spice.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup sourdough starter
  2. 1 cup wheat, spelt or rye flour
  3. 1/4 cup water
  4. 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  5. 3/4 cups organic cane sugar
  6. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  7. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  8. 1 tsp. cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Combine the starter, flour and water. Cover and let soak 6 - 24 hours.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat oven to 350*F.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the flour mixture. Mix well.
  4. Spread on the parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 1 hour.
  6. Let cool 10 minutes.
  7. Flip the whole "cake" (leaving the parchment paper on the baking sheet.
  8. Cut into small squares (using a pizza cutter or sharp knife).
  9. Bake another 45 minutes.
  10. Allow to cool completely.
  11. Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to a month or in the freezer 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.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

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.

Pectin Free Concord Grape Jelly | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Pectin Free Concord Grape Jelly

Wondering what to do with your homemade grape juice? Make grape jelly of course! It is a classic kid favorite that is easy to make and perfect for your pb&j!

Pectin Free Concord Grape Jelly | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Growing up we ate one flavor of jelly.

Grape.

That’s it.

At home. Grape. In a restaurant. Grape. On toast. Grape. On a sandwich. Grape.

That was really all we knew and all we wanted.

No jelly here.

Want to know something? I have never bought grape jelly for my kids. Most grape jellies are filled with high fructose corn syrup. Not to mention the texture kind of grosses me out now.

But homemade grape jelly – that is a whole different story. Especially when it comes from juice you made yourself!

Pectin Free Concord Grape Jelly | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

No pectin. No canning.

The unique thing about my grape jelly is that I skip the pectin and the canning.

Most pectin contains dextrose. That’s just sugar, right? Well, yes, sort of.

But it usually comes from corn. My son is allergic to corn. So I don’t use pectin.

Instead I use gelatin and then freeze the jelly. That turns this into such a simple task. It takes about five minutes to make a whole batch of jelly.

This was my own experiment with creating an easy and allergen friendly grape jelly.

Pectin Free Concord Grape Jelly | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

No complaints.

The consensus from my family? Great! Everyone loves it. Even the adults that grew up with more traditional jelly (both homemade and store bought).

My kids rave about it and keep asking for it on their bread.

We have been enjoying it on toast and on sunbutter and jelly sandwiches. I personally love it on sourdough bread. The contrast between the sour and sweet is delicious.

Pectin Free Concord Grape Jelly | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

No fears.

Are you intimidated by the idea of making your own grape jelly? Set those fears aside. This pectin free concord grape jelly is so easy!

Use your homemade grape juice or quality organic grape juice. Add some grass-fed gelatin and you’re minutes away from homemade grape jelly.

Your kids will love it, and you’ll feel good about what they’re eating. No more high fructose corn syrup, dextrose and citric acid for breakfast. Just whole, simple ingredients.

Once you get the freezer stocked with grape jelly grab some blueberry juice to make blueberry jelly! It’s another great addition to your morning eggs and toast.

Pectin Free Concord Grape Jelly | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Pectin Free Concord Grape Jelly
Yields 7
Homemade grape jelly that is free of pectin and high fructose corn syrup.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups unsweetened concord grape juice
  2. 3 cups organic cane sugar
  3. 6 1/2 tsp. grass-fed gelatin
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan combine the juice and sugar. Whisk.
  2. Slowly pour in the gelatin and whisk.
  3. Let sit one minute.
  4. Turn on heat to medium/low.
  5. Slowly whisk until the mixture is warm and the sugar and gelatin are dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Fill half pint glass jars, leaving 1 inch of head space.
  8. Put a lid on the jars and refrigerate until fully gelled, at least 8 hours.
  9. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 1 year.
Notes
  1. You may need to adjust the sweetness depending on the sweetness of the juice and your taste.
  2. You can increase the gelatin to 8 Tbsp. and pour the whole batch into molds or a glass pan to make grape gummies.
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.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

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.

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.

Homemade Grape Juice: From The Vine to Your Cup

When it comes to juice fresh is always best. Learn how to make  your own homemade grape juice starting with picking grapes and ending with sweet juice.

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.

 

Confession. I love grape juice. Love it.

I don’t drink it very often these days because I know most juice is just empty calories with no nutrition. Otherwise I would.

Once in a while I buy pure organic concord grape juice for making jello or gummies. But I can’t afford to buy that just to drink plain.

Homemade Grape Juice | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Free grapes.

A few weeks ago my mom called to tell me my grandpa said I could have his grapes. My grandma passed away earlier this year and my grandpa is now in hospice. So the grapes on their farm are just sitting there.

He thought I might be able to put them to good use.

He knows me well.

Homemade Grape Juice | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

I made a trip to the farm with my two youngest, hoping to pick a bunch of grapes. Then I realized that picking grapes when everything is soaking wet and you have a toddler with grabby hands strapped to your chest is next to impossible.

At least I had a great helper! We did pick a few to get us started. But I had to send my husband and big kids back a few days later to finish the job.

My suggestions for picking grapes:

  1. Have two free hands.
  2. Use clippers.
  3. Be prepared to get messy.

Making juice.

Once we had the grapes at home I had to figure out what to do with them.

It turns out that making homemade grape juice is quite simple. You basically just wash, cook and strain. You may need to add sweetener if you want to drink the juice plain. It just depends how tart the grapes are.

Homemade Grape Juice | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

It also turns out that the “hardest” part is just separating the good grapes from the bad ones.

It was fun to make my own grape juice for the first time. As I did it I couldn’t help but smile and think of my grandparents standing in the kitchen on their farm making juice together every year for decades.

I felt honored to carry on the tradition, and I think of them every time I drink our homemade grape juice. They are some of the most amazing people I know. And their farm has always been one of my favorite places.

Now we have some grape juice in the freezer for later (that I will try really hard to share with my family). Plus I used some to make grape jelly! I’ll be sharing that recipe tomorrow.

Have you ever tried making homemade grape juice? If you have access to fresh, concord grapes start picking! There is nothing quite like it.

Homemade Grape Juice | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

 

 

Homemade Grape Juice: From the Vine to Your Cup
Fresh, homemade grape juice from concord grapes.
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Ingredients
  1. Freshly picked concord grapes
  2. Organic cane sugar or honey
Tools
  1. Large stockpot
  2. Large fine mesh strainer
  3. Cheesecloth
Instructions
  1. Wash the grapes. Get rid of any bad or unripe grapes.
  2. Place the grapes in a large stockpot.
  3. Mash the grapes with a potato masher to get the juices flowing.
  4. Turn the heat on to high. Bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer the grapes for 10 - 15 minutes, mashing periodically while they cook.
  6. Turn off the heat.
  7. Strain the grapes/juice through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth over a large bowl.
  8. Allow the grapes to strain for a few hours or over night.
  9. Discard the grapes/skin/seeds.
  10. Strain the juice a second time through clean cheesecloth.
  11. If using the juice for drinking add sugar if the grapes are too sour. Stir and let the sugar dissolve.
  12. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to a year.
Notes
  1. I used about 1/4 cup cane sugar per quart of juice for drinking.
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.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

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.

Grain Free Sunbutter and Jelly Bars | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Grain Free Sunbutter and Jelly Bars

No time to make a sandwich? No problem. Grab some grain free sunbutter and jelly bars from the freezer and an allergen friendly lunch is ready in no time.

Grain Free Sunbutter and Jelly Bars | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

We’ve been back to school for exactly one week.  And I’m already sick of packing lunches. Anybody else?

In all honesty I don’t mind it *too* much. But it sure is nice when I have some easy things to pack that are filling and nutritious.

Skip the nuts.

Of course I’m always conscious of allergies too. So while peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are about the easiest thing to make I don’t pack them in my daughter’s lunch (even though she is not allergic to nuts).

Recently I started using sunbutter in place of nut butters. My kids love it! I love that I don’t have to worry about them getting nuts on their baby sister when they eat it. Plus I can send it to school without potentially causing another child harm.

That means my daughter does get sunbutter sandwiches once in a while. They are easy and delicious.

Grain Free Sunbutter and Jelly Bars | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Skip the bread.

But there is something even easier!

Grain free sunbutter and jelly bars are easy to make, easy to pack and easy to eat. You get the added bonus that you don’t have to worry about making or finding decent bread! This is especially key if you are gluten, grain or anything else free.

To make the dough simply dump all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix. The “jelly” filling is just three ingredients pureed in the blender for thirty seconds.

Then pour, bake and eat.

Grain Free Sunbutter and Jelly Bars | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Skip the long lunch prep.

I like to make a big batch so I can keep a bunch in the freezer. Then packing lunch is easy and has virtually no preparation. In fact kids can pack it themselves!

A sunbutter and jelly bar paired with veggies and dip and some fresh fruit is a great lunch. Or you can really boost the nutrition factor by pairing it with a thermos of your favorite soup. My daughter loves split pea!

Grain Free Sunbutter and Jelly Bars | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Change the flavor.

Let your kids pick the jelly flavor. Strawberry is a favorite here. But raspberry, cherry and blueberry all work well.

If your kids don’t like jelly then you can make the bars without the filling. It will be like a sunbutter and honey sandwich.

Are you in need of another easy lunch component to add to your rotation? Skip the sandwich. Go for grain free sunbutter and jelly bars. They are sure to be a hit!

Don’t need to pack a lunch? Serve them for breakfast. Kids love them any time of day.

Grain Free Sunbutter and Jelly Bars | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Grain Free Sunbutter and Jelly Bars
Serves 12
A nut free bar that is easy to pack and takes the place of a sandwich.
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Bar
  1. 1/2 cup sunbutter
  2. 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  3. 2 eggs (or flax or gelatin eggs)
  4. 1/4 cup honey
  5. 1/4 cane sugar
  6. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  7. 1/4 tsp. baking soda
Filling
  1. 1 cup fruit (strawberry, blueberry, cherry, raspberry), thawed and drained if using frozen
  2. 1 1/2 tsp. grass-fed gelatin
  3. 1 Tbsp. honey
Bar
  1. Heat oven to 350*F. Grease a 7x11 baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl combine all of the bar ingredients. Beat until well mixed.
  3. Spread half of the dough into the greased pan.
  4. Blend the filling ingredients in a blender until pureed. Pour the filling over the dough in the pan. Spread.
  5. Pour the remaining half of the dough on top of the filling.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool. Cut into bars.
  8. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to one year.
Notes
  1. White rice flour can be substituted for tapioca. It will no longer be grain free.
  2. The eggs can be replaced with ground flax seeds.
  3. You can also assemble the bars by pouring all of the batter into the pan and pouring the filling on top.
  4. Any nut or seed butter will work in place of the sunbutter.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

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.

Crockpot Sprouted Orca Bean and Squash Chili | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Crockpot Sprouted Orca Bean and Squash Chili

Put a new spin on your usual chili by adding Bob’s Red Mill orca beans to create sprouted orca bean and squash chili.  Pair it with freshly baked corn bread for a hearty week night dinner.

Crockpot Sprouted Orca Bean and Squash Chili | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

I am partnering with Bob’s Red Mill and Stonyfield for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment to use these products. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

There is nothing quite like a bowl of hot chili on a cool fall day. You can add lots of vegetables, make it extra meaty, spice it up or keep it mild.

I’ve made chili many ways. The possibilities are endless.

Try something new.

But one thing I have never added to my chili is orca beans! In fact I had never heard of them until recently.

Bob’s Red Mill orca beans are so fun. They look like mini orca whales with the black and white exterior. What kid wouldn’t love to have whales swimming around in her chili?!

Crockpot Sprouted Orca Bean and Squash Chili | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

A lot to love about beans.

One of the things about orca beans that stood out to me right away was the nutrition content. They have lots of fiber, protein, folate, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. Talk about packing a punch!

Just be sure to sprout your beans first to make them easier to digest and to make the vitamins and minerals available. That means thinking ahead to start the beans the day before you make chili. But it only takes about thirty seconds to get them sprouting.

The other unique thing about this chili is the pureed squash. It adds thickness and a hint of sweetness. Combine that with tomatoes, onions, peppers, zucchini, broth and your choice of beef or chicken. Dinner is served!

Crockpot Sprouted Orca Bean and Squash Chili | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Top it. Pair it.

Sprouted orca bean and squash chili can be eaten as is or you can add a variety of toppings. We like to add grated cheese and avocado. Another delicious addition is Stonyfield plain yogurt. It cools down the spice and adds a creaminess to the chili.

Of course you can’t just have a bowl of chili. Sprouted orca bean and squash chili is great served on noodles or rice.

But our favorite way to eat it is paired with cornbread! You can make traditional cornbread. Or if you have corn allergies like we do try my corn free cornbread. You’ll never know the difference.

Crockpot Sprouted Orca Bean and Squash Chili | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Eat it now, eat it later.

Load up the crockpot with a big batch of chili. Serve it for dinner and pack up the leftovers for school lunches. Simply heat it in the morning, and it will stay warm in a thermos. Spread a generous helping of butter on leftover cornbread. It doesn’t get much easier or tastier!

Chili also freezes well. So you can keep some on hand in the freezer for an easy lunch or dinner.

My kids love orca beans. They are great in chili or cooked and eaten plain. Give them a try and see what your kids think. Then add them to sprouted orca bean and squash chili. They won’t be able to pass up killer whales in their soup!

Looking for a new, easy dinner this fall? Crockpot sprouted orca bean and squash chili is perfect any night of the week.

Crockpot Sprouted Orca Bean and Squash Chili | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

 

Crockpot Sprouted Orca Bean and Squash Chili
Serves 6
A new twist on chili with orca beans and squash.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill orca beans
  2. warm water
  3. 2 cups chicken or beef broth
  4. 1 lb. ground beef or chicken
  5. 1 cup pureed squash
  6. 1 cup diced tomatoes
  7. optional: 1/2 cup diced onion
  8. optional: 1/2 cup green peppers, diced
  9. optional: 1/2 cup zucchini, diced
  10. 2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  11. 1 tsp. garlic powder
  12. 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  13. 1/4 tsp. cumin
  14. optional toppings: shredded cheese, avocado, Stonyfield plain full fat yogurt
Instructions
  1. The day before making the chili, place the beans in a bowl and fill it with warm water. Let it sit 8 hours. Drain the water. Let the bowl sit in a warm area or in the oven (turned off) with the light on for 8 hours.
  2. When ready to prepare, cook the meat. Add it to the crockpot.
  3. Saute the onion, peppers and zucchini (if using). Add them to the crockpot.
  4. Add the sprouted beans, broth, squash, tomatoes and seasoning.
  5. Cover and cook on HIGH 6-8 hours or on LOW 8-12 hours, until beans are fully cooked.
  6. Add toppings to individual bowls if desired.
Notes
  1. This chili freezes and reheats well.
  2. You can replace the squash with pumpkin.
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.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

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.