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Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Creamy Spinach Pesto Salad Dressing

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

I don’t know about about you but when June rolls around I am so ready to get my salad on! I actually love eating salads year round. But something about the warm, summer weather makes me crave salad.

And when it comes to dressing I am not a traditional girl. Ranch? No thanks. Italian? Blech. I used to always eat honey mustard (I even have over four versions of it on the blog!!), but when I had to give up mustard for two years I lost that taste too.

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

My New Favorite

These days my salad dressing usually contains desiccated liver, fermented kale or aquatic greens…or all three if I’m really feeling the need to boost nutrients.

But there is one thing I always love on my salads – pesto! I usually make a really mild and simple version of pesto with peas (super kid friendly!!!).

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Recently I had the opportunity to try some Taylor Farms organic salad mixes. I went right for the baby spinach and popped it in the blender with olive oil, Stonyfield whole milk yogurt and seasoning. Amazing!

I served it with dinner on a bed of Taylor Farms mixed spring greens. The family loved it! My six-year old still isn’t a fan of lettuce salads. So he had cucumber, avocado and parmesan cheese topped with the creamy spinach pesto.  He sure was happy with his salad – and even asked for it again the next day!

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Kid-Friendly Greens

Creamy spinach pesto is a great way to get your kids to eat their greens. It does not taste like eating spinach (my son will vouch for that!). Plus it is combined with healthy fats like whole milk yogurt and extra virgin olive oil to help utilize the vitamins and minerals in the spinach.

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Even if your kids aren’t big salad eaters yet this creamy spinach pesto works well for dipping veggies or even chicken nuggets. We also like to eat it on noodles (pesto pasta!).

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Sometimes I’m sneaky and add a little desiccated liver. My kids don’t mind the taste since I add it to everything. It really boosts the Vitamin A content!

If you’re like me and craving a good summer salad this dressing is for you! Grab a big bowl, some Taylor Farms organic salad mix, your favorite salad toppers and a big helping of creamy spinach pesto! Summer has officially begun.

What is your favorite salad dressing? Do you make your own dressing creations?

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Creamy Spinach Pesto Salad Dressing
Serves 6
A creamy green dressing the whole family will love!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups tightly packed spinach
  2. 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  3. 2 Tbsp. plain, whole milk yogurt
  4. 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  6. 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  7. 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  8. optional: 1/8 tsp. desiccated liver, 1/8 tsp. fermented kale powder, 1 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Run warm water over the peas to thaw or let sit on the counter to thaw.
  2. In a blender combine the spinach, peas, yogurt, oil, salt, garlic, onion and optional ingredients if desired.
  3. Blend on high until smooth, scraping sides as necessary.
  4. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  5. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator up to one week.
Notes
  1. This dressing works well on salads, as a veggie dip, on pasta or for chicken nuggets.
  2. This recipe makes one cup of dressing and is easily doubled or tripled to serve at a picnic.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt and Taylor Farms for this post. I have been compensated for my time but all opinions expressed 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.

Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

Simple Steps Towards Mom Self-Care plus a Quick Vegetable Dip Recipe

Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

I’ve been mom-wired for as long as I can remember. I wanted to play with dolls all day every day from the time I was very little. I dreamed about nursing babies instead of being a princess. I loved to make food for my siblings and their friends and would even clean up after them. I was always willing to help around the house. I would just sit in the kitchen and watch my mom bake because it fascinated me.

All Grown Up

I can’t say a whole lot has changed since then. I now have three kids of my own. I still love to cook for them and take care of them. It’s fun to dress them in cute clothes and do fun activities with them.

My writing is much the same. It focuses on feeding kids nourishing food and working through picky eating and allergies. All of my recipes have to be kid-approved. I even wrote two books about feeding kids (check them out here)!

Where’s Mom?

You may have noticed that one thing has been left out of all of this…myself. Yes, I am just like so many other moms. I put myself at the bottom of my to-do list.

As I write this post I’m starting day seven of my husband being out of town. With a house and farm to care for, three kids to feed and tend to, lots of activities and home schooling I bet you can imagine how much time is left to think about myself (next to none).Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

Mom Life Rocks!

I don’t say any of this to take pity on myself. It’s actually quite the opposite! I love my life. I wouldn’t change it for the world. But sometimes (ok, almost all the time) I forget that mom needs care too.

Over the last few months I have finally made it my goal to really focus on my health and making nourishing food a priority (i.e. sardines, liver and spinach for breakfast!!). It has been amazing to see my health continue to improve (even after 2 1/2 years of breastfeeding on a very restricted diet that left me worn out and depleted). I actually feel better now than I ever have. It’s a good thing since my life requires a lot of energy!

Body Shape Roller Coaster

Along with the  health changes have come changes in my body shape. For a while now I’ve been in a constant state of exhaustion and adrenal fatigue. This leads to skinny legs and booty with weight in the belly. Plus you lose muscle. For this once fit and active woman it was strange…but eventually became my normal. My husband and I even joked that I seemed to loose more booty and gain more belly with each child (now I know that is from being so run down)!

But as my health has been reversing back to balanced hormones and fully rested my weight is shifting back to the places it should be. I have a figure again! And now my clothes don’t fit (especially pants!).Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

What’s the Problem?

Yet one thing I still never do for myself is buy new clothes. Although it sounds trivial, when you’re wearing old yoga pants and ten year old t-shirts with holes in the armpits every day, it really doesn’t make you feel so great about how you look. It impacts your self esteem. And your kids notice. But it’s about all I have that fits.

You can imagine my excitement when I had the opportunity to partner with Stonyfield Yogurt and prAna again. I’ve worked with them in the past to help me figure out my style and learn to embrace bold. This time I combined both my love of simplicity and my need for bold colors with this royal blue dress. It fits perfectly with prAna’s celebration of #TheWholeYou. This dress is ALL me.

From the moment I pulled it out of the box I knew it would be one of my favorite pieces of clothing. Sometimes I get caught up in budgets and kids’ needs and forget that I have needs to. I am always willing to go without. I forget that a few simple pieces of clothing that actually fit and make me feel good can make a world of difference in my attitude and my confidence.Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

It’s Your Turn!

I want to encourage you to do something today to take care of yourself. Whether it be taking a walk alone, meeting a friend for coffee and having uninterrupted adult conversations, finishing that book that’s been half read for months, taking a yoga class, going on a date with your spouse or buying a new outfit that really makes you feel good.

Moms often forget that they have needs too. I don’t know about you, but I need a reminder once in a while (or maybe all the time) to not always put myself last. A happy, healthy mom is better able to care for her family and help create a happy, healthy home.Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

Need some inspiration to get you started?

I’ve got TWO ways to take mom off the bottom of the to-do list today.

First, check out prAna and buy yourself something nice. Seriously, their clothes are AMAZING. So comfortable and good quality. If you’re like me that is so important since I don’t buy new clothes often. It has to last. 

PrAna is offering my readers 15% off using coupon code WHOLES17JTB through the end of May. I might just have to order a few more things myself since none of my clothes fit anymore!Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

Second I’ve got a yummy treat for you (though you can share if you want – my kids sure love it…there I go again, handing over my food to my kids). I LOVE vegetables. I always have. But I like raw veggies even more with dip. You can make this super simple dip in about sixty seconds. Jazz up your veggies with something delicious and do your body a favor with nourishing foods. It’s a win-win.

All those great vitamins in vegetables need fat for absorption. So Stonyfield full fat Greek yogurt makes the perfect base. Add some seasoning and you’ve got a great snack or addition to your lunch.Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

60 Second Veggie Dip
Serves 4
A quick and nutritious veggie dip using Greek yogurt.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup Stonyfield whole milk Greek yogurt
  2. 1/8 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  3. 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  4. 1/4 tsp. onion salt
  5. 3/4 tsp. dried dill weed
  6. (optional: 1/2 tsp. desiccated liver)
  7. (optional: 1/4 tsp. turmeric)
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients. Add more garlic or onion if desired.
  2. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Notes
  1. You can substitute sour cream for the yogurt
  2. This is great as a vegetable dip, chip dip or topping for tacos or nachos.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

What are you doing today for some mom self-care? I’d love to hear how you make time for yourself! I have a lot to learn.

Don’t forget that Mother’s Day is in a few days…any mom would love some prAna clothing (hint, hint)! Use the coupon code WHOLES17JTB for 15% off!!

I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt and prAna on this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment but all 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.

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.

Nectarine Squash Pops | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Nectarine Squash Pops: Sugar Free First Birthday Popsicles!!

When your summer baby turns one you need a safe, sugar free treat. Nectarine squash pops are the perfect solution! Two ingredients, lots of flavor and no allergens.

Nectarine Squash Pops | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

First birthdays definitely require a celebration.

You made it! You made it through the first year.

The first year of sleepless nights, crying and dirty diapers.

The first year full of firsts! Smiles, coos, laughs, rolling, crawling and maybe even walking. First foods, first teeth, first words.

Nectarine Squash Pops | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Let them eat cake.

A birthday celebration requires a special birthday treat. Usually that means cake.

I LOVE decorating cakes. I look forward to our family birthdays each year because I get to create new cakes.

I’ve done Dora, monkeys, dinosaurs, cars, arts and crafts, Legos, cows, Frozen, bulldozers, April showers and princesses for my kids.  I’ve even done airplanes, sports and Cat in the Hat for my nephew, basketball and Calvin Knights for my dad, a fall cake for other family members and a neat recital cake for my sister-in-law.

I wanted to continue that tradition with my third child. With the challenges we’ve faced over the last year we are all certainly ready to celebrate.

Of course I set to work experimenting with new recipes that were free of her allergens.

I made a couple batches of cupcakes (that she loved!)…only to find out more foods that bother her.

Nectarine Squash Pops | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Who needs cake?

My daughter’s allergies combined with my preference to keep her at least gluten free for now (she’s been grain free up to this point) make birthday cake almost impossible. We can’t use:

  • wheat
  • rye
  • barley
  • oats
  • rice
  • sorghum
  • amaranth
  • buckwheat
  • tapioca
  • potato
  • arrowroot
  • coconut
  • almond
  • nuts
  • quinoa
  • millet
  • beans

Add to that no coconut oil, palm shortening, butter or egg whites and you’re not left with much.

Birthday Pops.

I gave up on the idea of birthday cake and opted to do popsicles! They make a perfect summer treat.

Since these popsicles are for a one year old I made them without any added sweetener.  I even added some vegetables to keep them mild and nutritious.

Nectarine squash pops make a birthday dessert you can really feel good about serving to the whole family.

Nectarine Squash Pops | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Eat in season.

I chose fruit that is in season here in Michigan in late August. Nectarines are so sweet and have such a bright color. They make a great base for a popsicle.

You can use peaches instead if you prefer the flavor.

I ended up making a second batch since we ate the first batch before the birthday! I added some watermelon to the second batch for extra color and sweetness. Watermelon is another late summer fruit that almost everyone enjoys.

Nectarine Squash Pops | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Fun and Fast.

Nectarine squash pops are the easiest birthday dessert you’ll ever make. Puree cooked squash and cut up nectarine with an immersion blender or in a regular blender and pour the puree into the popsicle molds. Done!

They are also easy to serve. Simply take them out of the molds a few minutes before serving to take the chill off. Pass them out and enjoy.

For older kids you can add chunks of fruit like cut up strawberries, whole blueberries or raspberries to the puree before filling the molds. Then you’ll really have a fruity, colorful treat.

You can also add a tablespoon or two of honey for big kids. It really covers up any hint of squash flavor. My oldest is pretty picky about flavors and textures. She said she couldn’t taste the squash at all when I added a bit of honey.

I was very disappointed that I couldn’t make a cake for my baby’s first birthday. But I’m so happy with how these nectarine squash pops turned out! I’m even happier that my daughter likes them…and that they are so healthy and free of allergens.

Do you celebrate any summer birthdays?

Instead of cake try nectarine squash pops. They make summer celebrations delicious and healthy.

Nectarine Squash Pops | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Nectarine Squash Pops
Serves 4
A fruity, sugar free summer birthday treat.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 medium nectarines, peeled and pitted
  2. 3/4 cups cooked butternut squash
  3. optional: 1/2 cup watermelon (seeds removed)
  4. optional: 1 - 2 Tbsp. honey
Instructions
  1. Puree the nectarines and squash (and watermelon and honey) with an immersion blender or in a blender.
  2. Fill popsicle molds and freeze until firm.
Notes
  1. You can replace the nectarines with peaches.
  2. For little ones let the popsicles sit out for a few minutes to soften before serving.
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.

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.

Five Minute Peach Jam | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Five Minute Peach Jam

Peach jam in five minutes? Yes! And only three ingredients. Simple, healthy and bursting with flavor. Five minute peach jam is a great way to capture summer in a jar.

Five Minute Peach Jam | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Growing up I ate one thing on my toast – grape jelly. Always.

Now that I’m older and cook for myself and my family I like to have a lot more variety. So I make strawberry jam, cherry jam and raspberry jam.

This year I tried peach jam. Wow! It’s like summer in a jar.

Chop. Mix. Simmer.

For real – that is all there is to it. Cut up fresh peaches, add sweetener and grass-fed gelatin. Simmer about five minutes.

Fresh peach jam awaits.

You can even make peach jam without any sweetener if your peaches are sweet enough. Else a couple tablespoons of sweetener really kicks up the flavor.

Five Minute Peach Jam | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Let the kids help.

This is a great project for getting your kids in the kitchen. Peal and pit the peaches and let your child cut them into small chunks. A dull knife is just fine for chopping peaches.

Then let them measure the sugar and gelatin.

Older kids can help with the cooking as well. If you are making a pureed jam this is a great way to teach older kids how to use an immersion blender.

Five Minute Peach Jam | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Spread it on. Stir it in.

Once the jam has chilled for a few hours it will be gelled enough to serve. Spread it on homemade gluten free bread, sourdough bread or your favorite muffin. My kids couldn’t get enough of this peach jam on freshly baked bread alongside a big bowl of soup.

Another great way to use peach jam is mixed into plain, whole milk yogurt. It makes instant peach yogurt without any thickeners, gums or added flavorings.

Spruce up your oatmeal by stirring in peach jam. Top with some crispy pecans and breakfast is served.

Five Minute Peach Jam | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Stock the freezer.

This recipe is for a small batch to eat fresh. You can easily triple it (or more!) and freeze the jam. Then you can enjoy it all year long.

Peach jam in the middle of winter is a real treat! Not to mention it’s very cost-effective. One jar of homemade jam costs about $1.25 (give or take).

The same amount of quality store-bought peach jam would cost about $5.00.

Grab a few peaches and your kids and mix up a quick batch of five minute peach jam. Then enjoy this allergen free spread all year long to change up your breakfast.

What is your favorite type of jam or jelly?  Do you make your own?

Five Minute Peach Jam | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Five Minute Peach Jam
Yields 1
Simple and healthy, five minute peach jam is a great way to capture summer in a jar. Only three ingredients and tons of flavor.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup peaches, peeled, pitted, cut into small pieces (juice reserved)
  2. 3/4 tsp. grass-fed gelatin
  3. 1 - 3 Tbsp. organic cane sugar or honey
Instructions
  1. Add peaches and juice to a small saucepan.
  2. Add the gelatin and stir. Let sit 1 minute.
  3. Add the sugar.
  4. Bring to very low simmer and let cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Mash or puree if desired.
  6. Pour into a half pint jar.
  7. Chill until gelled.
  8. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 1 year.
Notes
  1. An easy way to reserve the peach juice is to cut the peach directly over the pan and let the juice drip down while you cut.
  2. You can leave out the sweetener to make this sugar free jam.
  3. This makes one half pint of jam. Multiply the recipe by how many jars you want to make.
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.

Homemade Quinoa Milk {Nursing Mother’s Drink}

Homemade quinoa milk is a delicious alternative to dairy that is also great for nursing mothers boost milk supply.

Quinoa Milk Nursing Mother's Drink | Homemade Dutch Apple PieHave you ever tried quinoa milk?  Despite the growing variety of alternative milks available, it is not something I’ve ever seen at the store (though I have seen one brand of it online).

As I mentioned in my oat milk post I’m not a huge fan of nut milks.  Especially for young kids and nursing moms.

My first choice is always fresh, raw milk from cows or goats.  Unfortunately a dairy intolerance is very common for small babies.  Which  means mom needs an alternative.

Coconut milk is a great choice for cooking, baking and adding a splash to tea.  But it’s not something most people will drink plain in large quantities.  Plus it can also be hard on babies since it can be gassy and even cause reflux.

Enter quinoa milk!  It has a very mild flavor – similar to rice milk.  It is also very easy to make and very cost effective.  One quarter cup of quinoa can make up to six cups of milk!

The best thing about quinoa milk is that it is great for boosting milk supply.   If you tolerate quinoa and are a nursing mother I encourage you to include quinoa in your diet.  Even if you can have dairy this is a great alternative milk to have in your diet for variety and nutrition.

Unlike other alternative milks quinoa milk has quite a bit of protein.  You can add both calcium and vitamin D when you make it to boost nutrition even more.

Quinoa milk is not heavy like nut milks.  It has a very neutral flavor.  It works well for cooking and baking.  Plus it is great for boosting milk supply!

Need some variety in your diet?  Or are you just looking for an alternative to dairy?  Give quinoa milk a try. Quinoa Milk Nursing Mother's Drink | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Homemade Quinoa Milk: Nursing Mother's Drink {fermented option}
A delicious alternative drink that helps boost milk supply.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup quinoa
  2. 2 tsp. lemon juice
  3. warm water
  4. 5 cups water
  5. 2 Tbsp. coconut sugar, cane sugar, honey or maple syrup OR 3 dates (optional)
  6. 1/2 tsp. sea salt (optional)
  7. Vitamin D drops (optional)
  8. calcium powder (optional)
  9. 2 Tbsp. whey (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place the quinoa and lemon juice in a bowl. Cover with warm water (quantity does not matter, as long as it's covered)
  2. Let soak for 24 hours.
  3. Drain and rinse the quinoa.
  4. Combine the quinoa and 5 cups water in a medium saucepan.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 2 hours.
  6. If using dates as a sweetener add them to the pan during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  7. Pour the quinoa and water into a blender.
  8. Blend until smooth.
Non-fermented method
  1. Add sweetener (if desired/if not using dates) and sea salt. Blend.
  2. Pour into a serving container.
  3. Add vitamin D and calcium if desired.
  4. Refrigerate.
  5. Shake before serving.
Fermented Method
  1. Pour the blended mixture into a container.
  2. Add salt and whey.
  3. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 3 days.
  4. Add sweetener and vitamin D/calcium and refrigerate.
  5. Shake before serving.
Notes
  1. You can add 1 tsp. of pure vanilla to the pureed mixture for vanilla quinoa milk.
  2. If the milk is too thick for your taste it can be diluted with extra water or it can be strained.
  3. This should not be used for children under one year of age.
  4. This makes a great dairy alternative for both kids and adults.
  5. This recipe can easily be doubled.
  6. This recipe makes about 5 cups of milk. It can be increased by adding extra water.
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.

Maple Candy {grain free, dairy free, nut free, corn free, egg free}

Maple Candy | Homemade Dutch Apple PieMy kids getting candy is a very rare occasion.  We are 100% artificial flavor and dye free.  That excludes almost every kind of candy.

My oldest does get an organic sucker once in a while.  It’s a good substitute if she’s in a situation where other kids are getting treats.  Though I still try to limit them.  I’m not a fan of the unknown “natural flavor.”

With my son’s allergies to corn and rice he has not had candy in over a year.  And before that I think he had maybe tried a sucker a few times.  Even the organic suckers have rice.  I feel bad for him sometimes.  He feels left out.  Plus he sees his big sister having suckers.  He should get a treat too.Maple Candy | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

So I’ve been wanting to try making homemade candy for some time.  I finally did it!  This Valentine’s Day you can surprise your kids with homemade candy!!  Even if they have allergies.

Let me tell you…my son was so excited about this!  He loves this maple candy.

I love that it is made with all real ingredients.  So there is no junk hiding in there.

Keep in mind that it is still a sweet and should be limited to special occasions.

This candy can be sucked or chewed.  You can make it as a plain candy or on a sucker stick.  It would be perfect for cake decorations.  Just find a candy mold with the shape you like.Maple Candy | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Maple candy has a mild maple flavor and just enough sweetness.  It’s what I imagine the maple candy tasted like in the Little House books.

This Valentine’s Day surprise your kids or any loved ones with homemade candy.  It’s a very loving thing to provide a special treat that is hand made and keeps them away from the artificial stuff.

If you want something chocolate to go along with the suckers these chocolate covered toffee candies are perfect.

Do you like the flavor of maple syrup?  You’ll love maple candy.  If you don’t care for maple you can replace the maple syrup with extra cane or coconut sugar.Maple Candy | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Maple Candy {artificial flavor and dye free}
Serves 5
Homemade candy with the flavor of maple syrup.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  2. 1/4 cup water
  3. 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Mix the ingredients in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring.
  3. Simmer until the temperature reaches 300*F (this will take about ten minutes, the mixture will start to get thick/syrupy)
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Stir for one minute.
  6. Pour into candy molds and let set until firm.
Notes
  1. You can add a few drops of essential oils for flavoring after removing the syrup from the heat.
  2. To make "plain" suckers simply use 1/2 cup sugar and 3 Tbsp. water.
  3. You can easily double or triple this recipe to make a larger batch. Be sure to pour the hot mixture into molds quickly as it hardens very quickly.
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.

Simple Smoothie Series: The Health Nut

Simple Smoothie Series: The Health Nut || Homemade Dutch Apple PieThe final smoothie in this series is packed with nutrients and has no added sugar.  So I call it the health nut.

Dates and fruit add a touch of sweetness while flax seeds, avocado, egg yolks and vegetables provide critical fats, vitamins, minerals and omega-3’s.

The health nut is a very mild smoothie.  There are no strong flavors that overpower.  It is perfect for kids.

I used yogurt for probiotics, but this smoothie works just as well without any dairy products.  You can use coconut milk or water to get the correct consistency.  Then add a powdered probiotic.Simple Smoothie Series: The Health Nut | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

This smoothie does require a little bit of forethought.  You should soak the dates in warm water for a bit before using them.  The dates plus the soaking liquid will help sweeten the smoothie better that way.  I just put the dates and water in the blender the night before and add the rest of the ingredients in the morning.

You can adjust the amount of dates and fruit to your liking to make the smoothie sweeter if desired.

This smoothie is great as part of your breakfast or lunch or even for a mid-day snack.  Pour some in a travel mug with a straw and sip on it throughout the day when you need a little pick-me-up.

A smoothie is a great way to add nutrients to your diet with little effort.  This health nut smoothie is a delicious way to do it.Simple Smoothie Series: The Health Nut | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

 

Simple Smoothie Series: The Health Nut
Serves 1
A simple, nutritious smoothie with no added sweeteners.
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Ingredients
  1. 3-4 dates, pitted, soaked in 4 Tbsp. warm water
  2. 1 small or 1/2 medium apple
  3. 10 -15 grapes (red or green)
  4. 1 medium stalk celery
  5. 1/2 medium carrot, peeled, cut in chunks
  6. 1/4 cup whole milk yogurt, kefir, coconut milk yogurt, milk or coconut milk
  7. 1 egg yolk
  8. 1/4 avocado
  9. 1 Tbsp. flax seeds
  10. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
Instructions
  1. Soak dates in warm water over night or at least 3 hours.
  2. Combine the soaked dates (with liquid) and the remaining ingredients in a high powered blender.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Notes
  1. You can soak the dates in the blender.
  2. The egg yolk, flax seeds and avocado are all optional, depending on your tolerance.
  3. You can substitute cucumber for the celery.
  4. You can substitute cooked squash or pumpkin for the carrot.
  5. You can add 2 Tbsp. soaked nuts if you tolerate nuts.
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.