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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.

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.

No more boring fruit. This simple creamy orange poppy seed salad dressing transforms any combination of fruit into a special side dish.

Creamy Orange Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

Nothing says spring like a fresh fruit salad. Top it with this creamy orange poppy seed salad dressing for a treat the whole family will love.

No more boring fruit. This simple creamy orange poppy seed salad dressing transforms any combination of fruit into a special side dish.

It’s no secret. I LOVE salad. I could (and sometimes do) eat it every day (I’ll be sharing my secret super food dressing soon!).

But my family…not so much. For my husband a “big” salad is about ten pieces of lettuce. So when I was challenged by Stonyfield and The Cookful to create a new salad dressing it took some real thinking. What could I make that my family would actually like?

No more boring fruit. This simple creamy orange poppy seed salad dressing transforms any combination of fruit into a special side dish.

Skip the lettuce.

Instead of going the traditional lettuce salad route I opted to create a fun fruit salad! Use any fresh fruit you have on hand (especially what’s in season!). Add a burst of flavor with Stonyfield vanilla Greek yogurt (now available in full fat!!), freshly squeezed orange juice and poppy seeds.

I used what we had on hand in the house – Fat Free Vanilla Greek Yogurt. You could also use whole milk yogurt combined with a little maple syrup. But the Greek yogurt really adds a nice thickness.

This creamy orange poppy seed salad dressing is so easy to make. My big kids can make it by themselves (they are learning to do so much from The Kids Cook Real Food eCourse!!).

No more boring fruit. This simple creamy orange poppy seed salad dressing transforms any combination of fruit into a special side dish.

Great for oral sensitivities.

My oldest has a very sensitive mouth. Any hint of tartness or tough skin in her fruit and she won’t eat it. One fruit she usually does not like is grapes. She makes some pretty good pucker faces when she tries them.

But the other day all I had in the house was a bowl of grapes. I gave her a dish topped with creamy orange poppy seed salad dressing. Not a single complaint! She licked the bowl clean. It’s that good.

No more boring fruit. This simple creamy orange poppy seed salad dressing transforms any combination of fruit into a special side dish.

Spruce up your salad.

If you like sweet salad dressings (like me!) you could even use this on a lettuce salad. Add some crispy pecans, dried cherries and feta cheese. Delicious!

Looking for some other great salad dressing recipes? The Cookful has plenty to choose from . I think the No Egg Caesar Dressing would be great.

Ready to add some extra flavor to your fruit salad?

Try this super easy creamy orange poppy seed salad dressing. No more boring fruit.

No more boring fruit. This simple creamy orange poppy seed salad dressing transforms any combination of fruit into a special side dish.

Creamy Orange Poppy Seed Salad Dressing
A creamy fruit salad dressing with a pop of orange flavor.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup Stonyfield vanilla Greek yogurt (fat free or full fat)
  2. juice of 1/2 - 1 orange (depends how strong you want the orange flavor)
  3. 1/2 tsp. poppy seeds
  4. pinch unrefined sea salt
Instructions
  1. Mix all of the ingredients.
  2. Chill for 10 minutes.
  3. Serve over fruit as a salad, on the side as a dip or on a lettuce salad.
  4. Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Notes
  1. This makes enough for a large fruit salad.
  2. You can replace the vanilla yogurt with plain yogurt and 1 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

Have you heard of The Cookful?

It’s a great new site that really digs deep into specific food topics. They came up with some great salad dressing recipes!

I am working with Stonyfield and The Cookful on this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment, but I have not been paid to post positive reviews. Opinions are my own.

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.

Creamy Cranberry Jello | Just Take A Bite

Creamy Cranberry Jello

Looking for a kid-friendly spin on cranberry sauce? Try some creamy cranberry jello! It is packed with nutrients and kids will love the taste.

Creamy Cranberry Jello | Just Take A Bite

I am working with Stonyfield for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment. But the opinions and ideas are my own. I have not been paid to post positive reviews.

I’ll be honest. I always skipped the cranberry sauce growing up.

Tart, gelatinous red stuff shaped like a can…not really my thing. I’m not even sure I ever actually tasted it!

It looked that bad to me.

Not much has changed.

Fast forward thirty years. I’m still not entirely sure I’ve ever tasted cranberry sauce. I honestly couldn’t tell you what it tastes like. Even though it sounds really good…assuming it’s not out of a can.

I’ve never made it or served it to my family (though this homemade version from Raising Generation Nourished sure looks good!)

So when challenged by Stonyfield to recreate a holiday dish using yogurt I figured I should try to improve on the one Thanksgiving dish I never even bother making.

Creamy Cranberry Jello | Just Take A Bite

I turned cranberry sauce into creamy cranberry jello!

Sweet success.

My kids love it.

A little sweet. A little tart. A little creamy. Perfect.

Creamy cranberry jello really couldn’t be any easier to make either.

Five ingredients. Five minutes of hands on time.

The cranberry comes from pure cranberry juice. The creaminess comes from Stonyfield Plain Greek yogurt or strained whole milk yogurt. And the jello comes from quality grass-fed gelatin.

I love the simplicity of this dish and that it is very kid-friendly. I also love that you can make it up to a couple days in advance. One less thing to think about the day of Thanksgiving or Christmas!

If your kids tend to be hesitant to try new foods and flavors like cranberry try using these fun Thanksgiving printables.

Thanksgiving-stickers

They can be printed out on a self-adhesive paper and placed on soup bowls, paper plates, napkins and glasses. Cute illustrations can sometimes motivate children to eat, but if that’s not enough, writing out funny rhymes or riddles about food can really do the trick.

They can also be used for labeling each dish so those with allergies know what’s safe.

Are you still finalizing your holiday meal plans?

Be sure to keep cranberries ON the menu this year. Nobody will pass them up in the form of creamy cranberry jello. Not even the kids!

Creamy Cranberry Jello | Just Take A Bite

Creamy Cranberry Jello
Serves 8
A creamy, kid friendly twist on cranberry sauce.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups pure cranberry juice (NOT cranberry juice cocktail)
  2. 1 cup organic cane sugar
  3. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  4. 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or 1 cup whole milk yogurt, strained
  5. 1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp. grass-fed gelatin
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan combine the juice, sugar, salt and yogurt. Whisk until combined.
  2. Add the gelatin while whisking to prevent clumping. Let sit one minute.
  3. Heat over medium heat, whisking frequently, until the sugar and gelatin are dissolved (about 3 minutes, mixture will be warm).
  4. Pour into a heat-safe serving dish.
  5. Refrigerate until firm.
  6. Serve cold.
Notes
  1. If you like your jello on the softer side use 1 1/2 Tbsp. of gelatin. If you like it firmer use 2 Tbsp. of gelatin.
  2. You can turn this into finger jello by using 2 1/2 - 3 Tbsp. of gelatin.
  3. You can add whole cranberries to the jello before refrigerating.
  4. You can replace half of the sugar with honey. You may need to increase the gelatin slightly.
  5. You can substitute coconut yogurt to make this dairy free.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

Looking for more delicious jello recipes for the holidays? Give these a try!

Candy Corn Finger Jello

Pear Lime Jello Salad

Strawberry Lemon Jello Salad

Cherry Rhubarb Jello

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.

Easy Crockpot Mashed Potatoes | Just Take A Bite

Easy Crockpot Mashed Potatoes

No need to stand at the stove making mashed potatoes at the last minute when hosting a holiday gathering. Let your crockpot do all the work! Crockpot mashed potatoes are easy to prepare and can stay warm and ready to serve whenever you need them.

Easy Crockpot Mashed Potatoes | Just Take A Bite

We are quickly approaching the holiday season. That means big meals and lots of great food.

If you’re like me you prefer to host rather than travel.

But that is a lot of work!

Now you can take one thing off of your last minute to-do list. Crockpot mashed potatoes let you prepare a staple side dish in advance and forget about it until dinner is served.

It really doesn’t get any easier.

Easy Crockpot Mashed Potatoes | Just Take A Bite

Head over to Super Healthy Kids to find out just how easy these crockpot mashed potatoes really are. Then add them to your Thanksgiving menu.

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.

Candy Corn Potatoes And Carrots | Just Take A Bite

Crockpot Candy Corn Potatoes and Carrots

Halloween isn’t limited to sweets. Candy corn potatoes and carrots is festive and healthy! You won’t have any problem getting your kids to eat vegetables when they look like dessert.

Candy Corn Potatoes And Carrots | Just Take A Bite

I love fall.

I wish it could last longer. Mild temperatures. Beautiful colors. All things pumpkin.

Savoring the season.

I recently shared my candy corn finger jello recipe as a nod to fall and a tribute to my grandparents. In that same spirit I have another fun play on candy corn today. But this time it is savory!

Candy corn potatoes and carrots is a fun and healthy side dish. You can modify it to meet your dietary needs too.

Change it up.

The base recipe uses white potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots. But if you don’t want to use roots or don’t like quite that much starch (or have a crazy sensitivity/allergy to them like my daughter) then you can use pumpkin or squash (yellow/orange) and cauliflower (white)!

Candy Corn Potatoes And Carrots | Just Take A Bite

Take your time.

The preparation for candy corn potatoes and carrots is so simple because the crockpot does most of the work for you. Toss all of the veggies in the crockpot. Once they are cooked you simply puree and layer them.

The entire dish can be prepared in advance and just warmed before you eat. The warming can even be done in the crockpot!
Naturally Sweetened Sweets - A Community Cookbook

Pick your flavor.

I love how versatile the flavor of this dish is. Add any seasoning, spices or even sweeteners you like.

My kids love a little brown sugar on their carrots and sweet potatoes. So I added just a touch to the bottom layers. But if you like things really savory adding salt, pepper and herbs would be just as delicious. Or you can find a happy medium by adding a pinch of cinnamon.

Candy Corn Potatoes And Carrots | Just Take A Bite

Go ahead and choose which color to put in which layer. I like the dark to light effect. But you can go with the traditional candy corn yellow, orange, white scheme too.

Fun holiday dinner.

Are you wondering what to serve for dinner on Halloween? How about roast beef paired with candy corn vegetables and candy corn finger jello?! Your kids will love it. Plus they’ll fill up on nourishing foods and won’t crave a bunch of sweets later (can I get an Amen?!).

You could even turn this into a one pot meal by adding seasoned ground beef, chicken or turkey between each layer. Candy corn casserole!

Surprise the kids with some Halloween fun before the trick-or-treating begins. Candy corn potatoes and carrots (or squash and cauliflower) is a healthy way to enjoy the holiday.

Do you have any creative Halloween traditions or treats?

If not, start one with a festive dinner your kids will request year after year that includes candy corn potatoes and carrots.

Candy Corn Potatoes And Carrots | Just Take A Bite

Crockpot Candy Corn Potatoes and Carrots
Serves 6
A fun, fall side dish filled with vegetables.
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Ingredients
  1. Orange layer: 3-5 sweet potatoes OR 1 orange flesh squash (pumpkin, butternut, kabocha)
  2. Yellow layer: 6-8 large yellow carrots OR 1 yellow flesh squash (acorn, spaghetti)
  3. White layer: 3-4 white potatoes OR 1 head cauliflower
  4. unrefined sea salt to taste
  5. water, broth or milk (enough to puree)
  6. optional: brown cane sugar, maple syrup, honey, herbs, cinnamon, spices
Instructions
  1. Peel and cut vegetables into large chunks.
  2. Place the vegetables in glass containers with a small amount of water or broth. Place the containers directly into the crockpot.
  3. Add about 1/2 inch of water to the bottom of the crockpot.
  4. Cook on high about 3 hours, until vegetables are tender.
  5. Remove containers from the crockpot.
  6. Add salt and any sweetener, herbs or spices and puree with an immersion blender (or in a blender). Add water, broth or milk if needed.
  7. Layer the vegetables in desired order in a see-through oven safe dish.
  8. Serve immediately or place in the crockpot on warm or cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to heat (in a 350*F oven for about 20 minutes).
Notes
  1. If using squash it can be roasted whole in the crockpot or oven, then cut open and the flesh scooped out. You can keep it as is or puree it at this point.
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.

Rustic Chicken Zucchini Pie With Olive Oil Crust | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Rustic Chicken Zucchini Pie with Olive Oil Crust

Looking for a new way to use up your abundance of zucchini? Rustic chicken zucchini pie with olive oil crust makes the perfect breakfast, lunch or dinner! Serve it warm or cold any time of day for a filling and nutritious meal.

Rustic Chicken Zucchini Pie With Olive Oil Crust | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Summer is about having fun, getting outside and being active. That includes riding bikes, picnics at the park and pool parties.

But summer is also about slowing down, taking it easy and enjoying the simple pleasures. Think lounging on the beach, sitting by the fire watching the stars and snuggling with your kids on a quiet rainy day.

When it comes to soaking up the summer I think of simple, comfort food that utilizes fresh produce.

Rustic Chicken Zucchini Pie With Olive Oil Crust | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Summer food.

Rustic chicken zucchini pie is comfort and summer all wrapped up in a pie crust.

It is a cross between pie and pizza.

The crust is a simple soaked dough made with flour, water, olive oil and salt. The filling is chicken and a bit of squash simmered in bone broth until a thick sauce forms. Finally a layer of zucchini tops the pie for a beautiful and delicious dish.

Simple and versatile.

Rustic chicken zucchini pie is fancy enough for dinner guests. Though you might want to make two! It will go quickly.

It is also simple enough for a weeknight meal that the kids will devour.

Eat it with a fork and knife or your hands. Serve it at the dinner table or pack it in a picnic.

Breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Warm or cold.

A full meal all wrapped up in a delicious package, rustic chicken zucchini pie is really that good and that versatile.

Rustic Chicken Zucchini Pie With Olive Oil Crust | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Allergen friendly.

The thing I love about it is that it is naturally dairy, egg, nut, corn and coconut free. I did use a wheat crust, but gluten free flour can replace the wheat. So it is safe for just about everyone!

If you can tolerate cheese some fresh mozzarella mixed into the sauce or grated parmesan on top would taste great.

No chicken on hand?  Swap it for another meat like sausage. Or simply make it a veggie pie.  The sauce underneath can be made without the meat. Simply add a little extra squash to the broth for a creamy base.

Lunch time!

For all of the busy moms out there chicken zucchini pie is perfect for a grab and go lunch. It’s hard enough to feed the kids let alone find time to make your own lunch. Make a pie at the beginning of the week and grab a slice or two each day for lunch.

If you want to get a head start on school lunches you could make a few chicken zucchini pies, cut them into slices and freeze individual pieces. Simply pull out a piece when you need it for adding to a lunch box or even for an easy breakfast.

I don’t know about you but any time I can get my kids to eat broth while at school is great. Vegetables on top of it is a bonus.


Check out the Lunch Box ebook for more fun recipes (35% off through 9/7/15!)


Don’t let that pile of zucchini go to waste! Create a simple summer dish the family will love. Rustic chicken zucchini pie with olive oil crust is perfect for any occasion.

How do you like to use zucchini – in sweets like zucchini bread, cake and scones or in a savory dish?

Rustic Chicken Zucchini Pie With Olive Oil Crust | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Rustic Chicken Zucchini Pie with Olive Oil Crust
Serves 4
Creamy chicken, fresh zucchini and a simple olive oil crust - the perfect breakfast, lunch or dinner!
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Crust
  1. 1 cup whole wheat, all purpose or gluten free flour
  2. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  3. 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  4. 2-3 Tbsp. cold water
  5. 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Filling
  1. 2 Tbsp. pureed squash
  2. 2 medium zucchini
  3. 1 cup cooked, shredded or diced chicken
  4. 3/4 cup chicken broth
  5. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  6. 1 tsp. of a combination of basil, rosemary and thyme
Crust
  1. In a food processor combine the flour, salt and olive oil. Pulse until crumbly.
  2. Add the water and lemon juice.
  3. Process until a ball of dough forms.
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 7-24 hours.
Filling
  1. Slice the zucchini and lay it on a cooling rack.
  2. Sprinkle with salt and let sit 20 minutes. Flip and repeat. (This will remove a lot of the water.)
  3. Pat the zucchini dry with paper towel when done draining.
  4. While the zucchini is draining, cook the chicken, squash and salt in broth. Simmer until it is thick and the liquid is evaporated, 5-10 minutes.
  5. Heat oven to 350*F.
  6. Roll the dough into a 12" round on parchment paper.
  7. Spread the chicken filling on the dough, leaving a 2" border.
  8. Layer the zucchini on top of the chicken.
  9. Season with herbs.
  10. Fold edges of dough onto zucchini.
  11. Drizzle the top with olive oil.
  12. Bake for 70 minutes.
  13. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
Notes
  1. This can be served warm, room temp or cold.
  2. This can be frozen whole or in slices.
  3. You can add 1/2 cup shredded cheese to the filling and/or the top.
  4. To make a meatless pie omit the chicken and increase the squash to 1/2 cup.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
Rustic Chicken Zucchini Pie With Olive Oil Crust | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

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.

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.

Green Bean and Bacon Casserole | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Green Bean and Bacon Casserole

Green bean and bacon casserole is a real food version of the classic side dish.  With nourishing ingredients like bacon, raw milk and fresh beans it is healthy and filling enough to be a main dish.

Green Bean and Bacon Casserole | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Every summer we have a garden with a variety of vegetables. We change up what we grow each year.

But one thing we always have is beans!

I am in the kitchen freezing beans a couple times a week all through July and into August so we can enjoy them all year.

Our favorite way to enjoy beans is cooked fresh.  My son always has to have second and sometimes third helpings. He knows what’s good!

Green Bean and Bacon Casserole | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

A new twist on an old favorite.

This year I decided to use some of our abundance to recreate the classic green bean casserole.

The original includes canned beans, canned cream soups and fried “onions” on top. To me that means MSG, thickeners and all sorts of strange ingredients I don’t care to consume.

My homemade green bean and bacon casserole is made with fresh beans, homemade bone broth, raw milk and pastured bacon. It really doesn’t get any better than that!

Green bean and bacon casserole can be served traditionally as a side dish.  But my version is so filling that I served it as the main course! Give me a big pile of green bean and bacon casserole and a slice of sourdough bread and I am a happy mama.

The kid seal of approval.

This was the first time eating a green bean casserole for my kids. They couldn’t get enough! My husband thoroughly enjoyed it as well.

Green bean and bacon casserole is great when beans are fresh. It also works with frozen beans. So you can enjoy it year round.

Green Bean and Bacon Casserole | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Make it work for your schedule.

It is perfect for potlucks, family gatherings and holidays. You can even make it for an easy week night meal. Green bean and bacon casserole can be prepared in advance and baked at dinner time.

As a busy mom I love meals like this. I prepare it during the day while the kids are napping or at school.  Then when dinner time rolls around and everyone needs my attention I just pop it in the oven.

No time to bake it? No problem. Green bean and bacon casserole is great straight from the pan. Serve it on a bed of rice and you’ve got a complete meal.

If you enjoy the crispy onions on top of green bean casserole simply fry up some onion slices until crispy. Add them to the top after it is done baking.

If you don’t have bacon on hand you can substitute cooked chicken.  Then use whatever fat you have on hand in place of the bacon grease (lard, tallow, butter, etc.).

Whether you’ve got fresh summer beans or you’re working through your freezer stash green bean and bacon casserole is sure to please the whole family.

My only regret when making this was that I didn’t have time to take better photos before my kids devoured it!

Did you grow up on green bean casserole? You’ll love this updated, nutrient dense version.

Green Bean and Bacon Casserole | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Green Bean and Bacon Casserole
Serves 6
An updated version of the classic green bean casserole. This one is filled with nourishing ingredients and can be served as a main dish.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. green/yellow beans, snipped, cut
  2. 1 cup chicken broth
  3. 1 cup milk (can be replaced with broth to make it dairy free)
  4. 2 Tbsp. all purpose flour, tapioca flour or cornstarch
  5. 1 tsp. salt
  6. 1/2 tsp. pepper (optional)
  7. 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  8. 1/2 lb. pastured, nitrite/nitrate free bacon, cooked, crumbled, grease reserved
  9. 2 Tbsp. bacon grease
  10. 1/2 small onion. sliced (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cook the beans in water until tender, 30 - 40 minutes. Drain.
  2. Heat the bacon grease in a large skillet.
  3. Stir in all purpose flour OR mix tapioca or cornstarch with 1/4 cup of the broth and add to grease.
  4. Cook 1 minute.
  5. Slowly stir in the broth and milk.
  6. Season and simmer until it thickens.
  7. Add the cooked beans and simmer on low 5 minutes.
  8. Add the bacon.
  9. Transfer to a 1 1/2 qt. casserole dish.
  10. Bake at 350*F for 20 minutes.
  11. Cook onion slices in bacon grease until crispy.
  12. Top casserole with onion slices when serving.
Notes
  1. This can be served straight from the pan without baking.
  2. This can be prepared in advance and baked when ready to eat.
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.

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.