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Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

Creamy Zucchini Egg Muffins

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that includes plenty of protein, healthy fat AND vegetables? Creamy zucchini egg muffins combine nutrient dense eggs with creamy whole milk yogurt and fresh summer veggies to create a simple and delicious start to the day.

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

I am working with Stonyfield, Le Creuset and Kitchen IQ on this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been paid to provide positive feedback.

Is your zucchini starting to pile up in the fridge like mine? I’m always looking for new ways to use it.

I love making chocolate zucchini cupcakes, zucchini crackers, soaked gluten free zucchini bread and especially zucchini cake! Our whole family enjoys it grilled, roasted and sauteed. I try to freeze some as well.

Yet no matter how diligent you are it seems there is still more. I’ve got a fun, kid-friendly recipe that will get your kids to eat zucchini for breakfast!

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

Eat Your Veggies…I Mean Eggs!

In my house the zucchini is not the hard part…it’s the eggs. Three of us can’t even eat eggs. My oldest can (lucky girl!). But she has always struggled eating eggs. She picks at them, holds them in her mouth, complains about the texture.

But I did not hear a single complaint about these creamy zucchini egg muffins. In fact, she told me she really liked them!

There are two secret ingredients.

  1. Whole milk plain yogurt – it really adds a rich creaminess to the eggs.
  2. Cane sugar – I know what you’re thinking. Add sugar to eggs? Don’t worry, it’s only 1/2 tsp. But it really does something to the flavor.

A little back story on the sugar in eggs. When I was little and had the chicken pox I didn’t have much of an appetite. The only thing I would eat was the scrambled eggs my big sister made (multiple times a day for me). There was something different about them. We called them “oops eggs” because she didn’t make them right. But I loved them. We figured out later that she added a touch of sugar to them!

She was probably only about twelve years old. So she did a great job taking care of her little sis!

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

The final component of these eggs is the vegetable. Sauteed zucchini and onion really boost the flavor of the egg muffins. When you put the yogurt, sugar, sauteed veggies and eggs together you create a flavorful, healthy breakfast (or lunch or dinner) any kid will love.

New Kitchen Tools Are Fun!

One thing I loved about making creamy zucchini egg muffins was using my new cutting boards and measuring spoons from Kitchen IQ. The cutting boards come in four colors. Can I just say that as a mom of kids with different allergies that is so cool?! Everyone has a color. No cross contamination. It’s great!

I love the bright colors…and so does my toddler. She frequently grabs the cutting boards off the shelf just to play with them.

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

Even more than the cutting boards I love the measuring spoons. It is so easy to level them. And they nest together for easy storage. Who knew that measuring spoons could make such a great toddler toy too? My one year old loves trying to stack them over and over. She also loves to help me cook and bake with them.

Is your zucchini still going strong?

Give creamy zucchini egg muffins a try. You just might be adding sugar to your eggs more often.

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

Creamy Zucchini Egg Muffins
Yields 6
A high protein, veggie-packed egg muffin perfect for busy mornings.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 pastured eggs
  2. 4 Tbsp. Stonyfield plain whole milk yogurt
  3. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  4. 1/2 tsp. organic cane sugar
  5. optional: any additional herbs and spices
  6. 1 cup diced zucchini
  7. 1/4 cup diced onion
  8. 1 Tbsp. butter, olive oil, tallow or coconut oil
  9. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
Instructions
  1. Sautee the zucchini and onion in 1 Tbsp. fat of choice (about 10 minutes). Season with salt. Set aside to cool.
  2. Heat the oven to 400*F. Grease a muffin pan.
  3. In a medium size bowl combine the eggs, yogurt, salt, sugar and seasonings. Mix well.
  4. Stir in the cooled vegetables.
  5. Divide the egg mixture into 6 greased muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool 3 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. You can bake these in advance and eat cold, room temperature or warmed.
  2. You can freeze these muffins for up to a year. Thaw and heat 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 a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.

Red Plum Raspberry Jelly {No Added Pectin!}

Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.

Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I’m not very good at making jams and jellies. Even when I use the packs of pectin!

I have switched over to using gelatin to create my strawberry freezer jam, cherry jam, grape jelly and five minute peach jam. They turned out beautifully!

But I recently teamed up with Ball Brand to try one of their recipes. I had the great pleasure of perusing The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving. It’s like a canner’s dream.

The pictures are gorgeous. And the recipes all sound so delicious. I wish I had time to try them all!

But I had to just pick one to try and share with you.

Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.

Trying My Hand At Jelly Again

With our allergies I don’t use pectin. Since I can’t be certain of the source it’s too risky. I know a lot of pectin is made from apples. And my two youngest are allergic to apples.

So instead of modifying a recipe I went for one that didn’t even need pectin. Red plum raspberry jelly sounded like the perfect combination of fruit flavors. And it is!

Neither fruit over powers the other.

There is no doubt that red plum raspberry jelly tastes good. You can use it for your  morning eggs and toast or mixed into some plain yogurt. We like it on pancakes.

Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.

The Outcome

The real question, though, is did I manage to make good jelly without using gelatin?

Ummmm, no.

I read the instructions on how to look for the gelling point. I used a thermometer to monitor the temperature (got it to 220 just like it said).

But the timing worked out that it was right around the gelling point when I was trying to get my toddler down for a nap. And of course this was the one day where she was fighting sleep. In fact, instead of taking 3-10 minutes to get her to sleep it took over an hour and a half (including a dirty diaper change)! Maybe it was all those raspberries she ate!

Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.

So I kept bouncing back and forth between checking the jelly and checking the toddler. And at one point I just said I have to get it done and said a prayer. Well, it wasn’t gelled.

My Big Mistake

And now that I am re-reading the directions I see that it says to stir constantly…oops. Not easy when trying to get a toddler to nap. I think all of the pectin came to the top when I wasn’t stirring…there was a sticky, pink foam. Oops.

Note – keep stirring while it boils!!

All is not lost, though. We now have sweet red plum raspberry syrup! I can’t wait to use it on our pancakes this week (every Friday we have breakfast for dinner…pancakes is on the menu).

I might also try cooking it down a bit or adding a little gelatin when I open a jar. Just to see what happens.

It’s Your Turn

In spite of my inability to make jams and jellies I am sharing this delicious recipe with you today. I bet you’ll have better luck. Maybe you can teach me a thing or two about gel! My motto moving forward is going to be “Follow the directions and keep stirring.”

I hope to try this recipe again and actually cook it the right way. I REALLY want to try red plum raspberry jelly on bread (freshly baked sourdough would heavenly).

How about you? Are you a pro at making jams and jellies? Or are you jelly challenged like me?

I’d love to hear how it goes if you try red plum raspberry jelly.

But there’s more! Keep reading.
Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.

Red Plum Raspberry Jelly
Yields 4
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Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs. firm, ripe red plums, halved
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 4 cups raspberries
  4. 3 cups cane sugar
  5. cheesecloth
Instructions
  1. Pit plums, reserving pits. Chop plums and place in a 6 qt. stainless steel or enameled Dutch oven. Lightly crush the plum with a potato masher.
  2. Stir in the water and reserved pits. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Add raspberries, crushing with a potato masher. Return to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Line a large, fine wire mesh strainer with 3 layers of dampened cheesecloth. Place the strainer over a large bowl.
  5. Pour the plum mixture into the strainer (do not press down). Cover and let stand 3 hours or until collected juice measures 3 1/2 cups and mixture no longer drips.
  6. Wash and dry Dutch oven.
  7. Pour the juice into the Dutch oven. Stir in the sugar and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil, stirring constantly, to gelling point.
  8. Ladle hot jelly into a hot jar, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.
  9. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band and adjust to fingertip tight.
  10. Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
  11. Process jars 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid and let jars stand 5 minutes.
  12. Remove jars from canner and cool.
Notes
  1. Tip - plum pits are super high in pectin, so simmering them with the fruit really helps give this jelly its velvety smooth set.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.Can It Forward

Don’t forget to “Can It Forward” with Ball Brand. On July 22, 2016 they are hosting a Can-It-Forward day live on Facebook. You’ll see demos (I think I need to tune in for one on jelly). Plus Ball Brand will be donating to a local charity. The more engagement they receive the more they donate!

Here’s how you can participate.

  • Pledge to can-it-forward by signing up via the pledge page and share with friends.
  • Tune in on July 22nd to watch canning demonstrations via Facebook Live from 10:00AM – 3:30PM ET. Each hour, viewers will have the chance to win a giveaway prize!
  • If you engage with any of the Facebook Live recipe videos, a donation will be made to charity.
  • You can ask Jarden Home Brands canning experts any preserving or home canning questions via Twitter with the hashtag #canitforward from 10AM – 5PM ET on July 22nd. Consumers can also share their own #canitforward creations with the brand on Pinterest and Instagram.

More For You

Ball Brand would also like to give one of my lucky readers coupons for canning supplies and a copy of The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving! Enter below for your chance to win.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Does red plum raspberry jelly sound like a delicious combination? What is your favorite jelly flavor?

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.

Look no farther! I've got the BEST allergen free snacks so you can enjoy summer and stay safe.

The Best Allergen Free Snacks For At Home And On The Go

Whether you’re hitting the road in the summer or you’re in your regular routine at home it’s important to have safe snacks on hand. I’ve got the best allergen free snacks to help make summer fun.

Look no farther! I've got the BEST allergen free snacks so you can enjoy summer and stay safe.

Kids love to snack. No question about it.

I try to give my kids nutrient packed meals so they aren’t too hungry between meals. But they still seem to be hungry a lot (especially due to allergies and gut issues). And with a little one trying to get back on track with weight gain I feed her any chance I get.

Summertime is no exception to the snacking.

There are so many healthy real food choices! What a blessing.

Not Everyone Is So Lucky…

What if your kids can’t eat most things that you can buy in a store or restaurant, even the healthy stuff?

Your options are quickly limited.

Look no farther! I've got the BEST allergen free snacks so you can enjoy summer and stay safe.

Managing Food Allergies On the Go

No need to worry. I’ve got a list of some of the best allergen free snacks around. They aren’t expensive processed foods. Just simple, nourishing snacks that kids love.

Believe me, I know allergies. When I say something is allergy friendly, it really is safe.

Feeding my children nourishing meals is hard. But providing safe and healthy snacks is even harder,especially when traveling. Since I can never compromise, I have to constantly be prepared.

Look no farther! I've got the BEST allergen free snacks so you can enjoy summer and stay safe.

Favorite Allergen Free Snacks for Kids

Some of these snacks work well for when you are away from home and need to keep food at room temperature. Others are simple bites to have on hand at home or kept in a cooler.

Some are salty. Some are sweet. There is a little something for everyone. Mix and match to meet your summer activity needs!

These allergen free snacks are all naturally free of (or can be made free of) gluten, dairy, nuts, eggs, corn, soy and coconut. So take your pick and enjoy safe summer snacking.

Head over to Kitchen Stewardship where I’m sharing my list of allergen free snacks!

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.

Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.

The REAL Reason I’m Teaching My Kids To Cook

Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I’m teaching my kids to cook. Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.

 

“It’s a good thing I like to cook.”

I made that comment to my husband earlier this week. And I really meant it.

With all of the varying allergies in our house cooking is a full time job. I’m not joking. I spend half of my day in the kitchen.

It’s a rare treat if I can come up with a meal the whole family can eat. There is no such thing as convenience food (unless you mean a box of raisins.). Eating out? That’s a thing people do?

Even as we look ahead to visiting family this summer I have to do the meal planning. I don’t get a break whether I’m home or traveling.Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.

Nobody else can cook for my family.

There is no substitute for me. Even my husband doesn’t know how to cook.

It doesn’t matter if I’m sick.

It doesn’t matter if I’m tired.

If I don’t cook, my kids don’t eat.

I happily accept the challenge of keeping my kids well fed and healthy. It is actually my passion.

The REAL Reason I'm teaching my kids to cook - and it's not to get me off the hook!

Everyone deserves a break.

But let’s be honest. Everyone needs a break sometimes. If you don’t get one, that passion fades a little. The joy of cooking isn’t quite the same when your food is reduced to a handful of safe options. And I don’t have ten hours a day to cook.

Have you tried cooking when you can’t let one person’s food touch another’s food? You must use a new knife for everything you cut. Did I stick that spoon in this pot or that one? Better get a clean one just to be safe. What rotation day are we on? Better check so we know what your snack options are. Does this measuring cup have latex? Gotta wash my hands after I add the flour to the bowl (or buy new measuring cups). Everyone must wash up as soon as they are done eating so you don’t get an allergen on anything.

Nothing is easy.

Easy meals like sandwiches are a big undertaking. It requires me to make my own lunch meat and bake a minimum of two kinds of bread. Pizza…three separate crusts, two kinds of sauce, different toppings, some with and some without cheese, bake on separate pans, use different pizza cutters. Not so easy.

Cooking and eating at my house is like a very delicate juggling act. Fun in some ways. Not as fun in others. And one little slip up and it comes tumbling down.

Cooking is a learned skill.

When I got married I really had no idea how to cook. I had a handful of things I could make. But not very well. And most of them involved packaged foods.

Over the years I have taught myself to cook. I have learned to be creative in the kitchen with evolving food restrictions and new diets. I always gladly accept each new challenge. I’m thankful I get to share my journey and my creations with you!

The REAL Reason I'm teaching my kids to cook - and it's not to get me off the hook!

I want some replacements.

But my kids won’t be little forever. I won’t be in control of what they eat when they grow up. I can’t make choices for them when they are not home.

I want to empower my kids to take control of their own health and understand how to eat well in spite of their allergies. I want to share my passion for real food with my children.

Yes, we are working on and hopeful for healing. It would be wonderful if someday we can all eat the same food and a much larger variety of food. But that is not guaranteed.

What I can for sure give my kids is the knowledge and ability to cook and care for themselves.Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.

Here’s the plan!

That’s where the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse comes in. We started it back in January. But I’ll be honest – life was crazy busy. We only did it sporadically.

When we did do the course my kids LOVED it. And they learned so much. Now they are always begging me to help in the kitchen.

I’ve been anxiously waiting for summer so we can dive back in and really get cooking.

The real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook - and it's not so I can take it easy.

Sound good? Go check out The Kids Cook Real Food eCourse!

You can do beginner, intermediate or advanced or get all access if you have kids of all ages and skill levels. There is something for everyone. Do it at your own pace and watch the videos whenever it fits in your schedule.Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.

Lofty goals.

My first goal for this summer is to have my eight year old be able to make an entire meal by herself, start to finish. Then in a pinch I know I could rely on her to make a meal. That may sound like an ambitious goal if your kids don’t normally cook. But she’s been cooking with me since she was nine months old. She loves helping in the kitchen. Now it’s time to let her really take responsibility.
Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.
Even my toddler can get in on the action now. I’m excited to let her practice cutting banana slices for herself and spreading lard on her bread.

Who knows, maybe I’ll even convince my husband to tune in to some of the classes and learn a few cooking skills too.

I love cooking in spite of our challenges. But I don’t want my kids to depend on me forever (well, I do, actually…can I keep them this small?). Sadly they do have to grow up.

I could say I’m teaching my kids to cook so I’m off the hook. But really that’s not it. I want them to be safe. I want them to stay healthy even if a situation comes up where I can’t be around to cook a meal. I want my children to be able to visit Grandpa and Grandma and tell them what they can eat.

How about you? Are you ready to give your kids skills for life?

Click here to register for the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse

It’s an investment in your kids’ future.

The real reason I’m teaching my kids to cook is to empower them and keep them safe and healthy. What is your motive for teaching your kids to cook?Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.

Need more info about picky eating and allergies? Check out my books!

Easy Nourishment for Picky Eaters

Why Won't My Child Eat?!

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.

These chocolate filled frozen banana bites make the perfect allergen friendly cold summer treat.

Chocolate Filled Frozen Banana Bites

Sweet, creamy and a little taste of chocolate added in. These chocolate filled frozen banana bites are allergen friendly, easy to make and even great for teething toddlers!

These chocolate filled frozen banana bites make the perfect allergen friendly cold summer treat.

With summer in full swing it’s nice to be able to give the kids a cold treat without loading them up on sugar. I do my best to make sure we have lots of time outside instead of spending a bunch of time inside the kitchen preparing food!

These frozen banana bites are fun to make and fun to eat. But so, so easy.

Knife skills.

Let your kids practice their knife skills by slicing the bananas. Then use a straw to make holes. Add a sucker stick or popsicle stick if you like and you’re halfway done with the preparation…and a three-year-old can be in charge!

These chocolate filled frozen banana bites make the perfect allergen friendly cold summer treat.

A Safe Sweet.

My favorite part about chocolate filled frozen banana bites is that they are allergen friendly. Well…mostly. My son is allergic to both bananas and cocoa. But those allergies aren’t as common. Just be sure to use dairy free chocolate chips if you have dairy allergies (this is the brand I use).

Also use caution if you have a latex allergy as bananas can be cross-reactive.

Ready to get your kids in the kitchen and make a delicious, healthy treat? Check out the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse where your kids will have so much fun learning knife skills (among many other skills!). And whip up a batch of chocolate filled frozen banana bites together.

Now click here to head over to Kitchen Stewardship where I’m sharing the recipe!

These chocolate filled frozen banana bites make the perfect allergen friendly cold summer treat.

Looking for more cool summer treats? Try one of these:

Black Forest Popsicles

Blueberry Cheesecake Pops

Nectarine Squash Pops

Grain Free Peach Cobbler Creamsicles

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake

Dairy Free Thin Mint Cookie Ice Cream

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

Real fruit combined with grass-fed gelatin create the perfect snack - strawberry kiwi gummies.

Strawberry Kiwi Gummies

Just because your gummies are homemade doesn’t mean the flavor has to be boring. These strawberry kiwi gummies are bursting with flavor and made from real fruit.

Real fruit combined with grass-fed gelatin create the perfect snack - strawberry kiwi gummies.

Fruit snacks are a go-to snack for many kids these days. They are easy, sweet and chewy. Kids love them. They don’t require any work on mom’s part. Just grab a bag and go.

But have you ever actually looked at the ingredients? Many contain artificial flavors and colors. Even if you get natural or organic fruit snacks they contain things like caranuba wax and “natural” flavor.

Natural flavor is actually not that different from artificial flavor and can have the same impact on your child’s health and behavior. Not to mention it’s important to avoid it if your child has allergies since it can contain anywhere from 50 to 100 unknown to you ingredients. So it could contain a hidden allergen.

Real fruit combined with grass-fed gelatin create the perfect snack - strawberry kiwi gummies.

What’s the solution? Make your own!

Homemade gummies are so easy to make. The flavor combinations are endless. And you can make all sorts of fun shapes with candy molds.

These strawberry kiwi gummies are both fun and fruity. The juice of real strawberries and kiwis is combined with grass-fed gelatin for a protein-packed, nourishing snack.

Want to learn how to make them?

Click here to head over to Super Healthy Kids where I’m sharing this simple recipe.

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.

Black Forest Smoothie | Just Take A Bite

Black Forest Smoothie

Want to say “I Love You” in a healthy way? Show your kids some extra TLC with a black forest smoothie. It  combines the delicious flavors of chocolate and cherry and is packed with nutrition!

Black Forest Smoothie | Just Take A Bite

 

January was great, wasn’t it? Full of motivation and enthusiasm about your goals. Everyone is eating well, getting good rest and moving their body each day.

Then February arrives. So do the sweet treats!

Don’t panic. This year take a new approach to Valentine’s Day or any holiday. Instead of showing your love with boxed chocolates and candy, promote health and wellness to show you care. It is the gift that keeps on giving.

You can show some love this February by creating nutrient dense food that still tastes great. This black forest smoothie is a great place to start. Whether you serve it for breakfast, a snack or even dessert you’ll be doing your kids a favor.

Black Forest Smoothie | Just Take A Bite

 

They taste chocolate and cherries. You see them filling up on healthy fats, protein, probiotics and vitamin-rich fruit. If you really want to bump up the nutrition factor you can add avocado, chia seeds, flax seeds and collagen. That sounds like a delicious and nutritious breakfast! The perfect way to show your kids some love.

Want the full recipe?

Click here to head over to Super Healthy Kids where I’m sharing this delicious black forest smoothie! The perfect breakfast for Valentine’s Day or any day.

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.

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

Homemade Grape Juice: From The Vine to Your Cup

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

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

 

Confession. I love grape juice. Love it.

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

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

Homemade Grape Juice | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Free grapes.

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

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

He knows me well.

Homemade Grape Juice | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

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

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

My suggestions for picking grapes:

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

Making juice.

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

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

Homemade Grape Juice | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

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

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

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

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

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

Homemade Grape Juice | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

 

 

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

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

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

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

The Easiest Way to Can Peaches | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The Easiest Way to Can Peaches: A Step-by-step Tutorial

Want to know the easiest way to can peaches? It’s all about one key step. Follow this simple step-by-step tutorial to preserve one of summer’s gems so you can enjoy peaches year round.

The Easiest Way to Can Peaches | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The first time I canned peaches I was overwhelmed. There was so much work involved.

I was not new to canning. I didn’t have three kids yet. No big deal.

I had purchased a half bushel of peaches assuming that would be a good starting point. I ended up doing one round of canned peaches and freezing the rest. After peeling, pitting, chopping and canning one batch I gave up and just figured canned peaches would not be on my list of to-dos again for many…many years.

Then my mother-in-law told me a trick that changed everything.

Do NOT peel your peaches!

Of course this makes canning peaches about ten times easier. But it also preserves the sweetness and flavor of the peaches.

There is no need to worry about having to eat the skin either. It comes right off when you are ready to eat the peaches.

I have now successfully canned many…many quarts of peaches! Instead of being the hardest canning task it is about the easiest one I do all year.

I try to buy a half bushel every summer and can twenty one quarts of peaches, with a few left over for baking and eating.

Have you ever wanted to try canning peaches but it seems like a daunting task? I promise you it is not.

Grab a few peaches before they are gone for the summer and preserve them to enjoy all winter.

No more spending hours in the kitchen. This is the easiest way to can peaches. This summer I canned twenty one quarts in ONE day! With three young children, one nursing frequently. If I can do it anyone can!

The Easiest Way to Can Peaches | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

One round of canning:

One half bushel of peaches = 3 rounds of canning (21 quarts) plus a few extra peaches for eating fresh

The Easiest Way to Can Peaches

The Easiest Way to Can Peaches | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

  1. Let the peaches sit in a single layer until they are ripe but still slightly firm.The Easiest Way to Can Peaches | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie
  2. Prepare the simple syrup: Heat water and sugar in a large pot until sugar is dissolved. The syrup needs to be warm/hot when ready to can. You can prepare the syrup up to a few days in advance and just warm it before canning.
  3. Fill the canner with water and place the clean, quart jars inside. Put the lid on. Turn on the stove to high heat and let the water heat up until small bubbles appear. Maintain this low simmer and allow the jars to heat for ten minutes.The Easiest Way to Can Peaches | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie
  4. Wash the peaches well. This is important since you are keeping the skins on.The Easiest Way to Can Peaches | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie
  5. Fill a large bowl 2/3 full of water. Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice.
  6. Cut the peaches in half. Twist. Remove the pit. Quarter the peaches and place in the bowl of lemon water. Continue until all of the peaches are quartered.The Easiest Way to Can Peaches | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie
  7. Remove the jars from the hot water.
  8. Fill the hot jars with the peaches, skin side up if possible.The Easiest Way to Can Peaches | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie
  9. When all of the jars are full ladel the hot syrup into the jars, leaving 1 – 1 1/2 inches of space at the top of the jar.The Easiest Way to Can Peaches | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie
  10. Wipe the jar rims. Place a lid on and secure a band around the lid.
  11. Place all of the jars back in the canner. Put the lid on. Return to a boil.The Easiest Way to Can Peaches | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie
  12. Let the jars process for 30 minutes (25 minutes if doing pints).
  13. Turn off the heat. Remove the canner lid. Let sit for 5 minutes.The Easiest Way to Can Peaches | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie
  14. Remove the jars from the canner and place on a towel. Let the jars sit, untouched for at least 6 hours.
  15. When the jars are completely cool you can remove the bands, label the lids and store in your pantry.

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.