Monday, May 26, 2014

Homemade Fruit and Yogurt Push up Pops

One thing we have learned on our food journey is that my daughter reacts to dyes. In the summer and even in late spring here in the south, it gets HOT! Mega hot and humid! Nothing cools you off like a good ole popsicle... so instead of buying ones that have dangerous ingredients and dyes. I decided to come up with our own.

I bought these nifty little tubes from Amazon. They work wonderfully. They are super easy to clean and they are easy to 'push-up' the pop!
You can use your own combination of flavors, but for this batch we had some beautiful strawberries, some fresh mango and I just finished a batch of homemade yogurt.
No real strict measurements, but this is what I used... change it up however you like!

1 cup mango
1 cup strawberries (plus juice if any)
1 cup yogurt
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
Blend til smooth and fill up your popsicle molds.

Yum, YUM!
Summer is going to be a whole lot sweeter!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A day with the Bees

Yesterday, I was blessed to get to experience bees first-hand! No, I didn't get stung... I went to a friends home that had working hives. I will tell you, it is one thing to read about things and quite another to experience it for yourself! To see her smoke the bees, to pry the box open as gently as possible to not disturb these little master craftsmen and women, to taste that sweet honey and chew the wax like I did as a little girl. 
Memories flooding back. 

To watch them. To hear them...

It was absolutely beautiful!
I am sure I have mentioned here at one time or another...
I see God so much in nature, He created it, so it's not a surprise!
 It makes me more worshipful when I am out there with it!
I see His handiwork.
 I love and appreciate nature and Him MORE when I am there in the midst.

Hearing the busy-ness, all knowing they each have a purpose and a job and doing that job with excellence!
 Watching a lady who appreciates the miraculous work that God has created the little honeybees to do... it was such a wonderful experience. 
Some people do work just to do it. 
But when you are around people who LOVE what they do... well, it is a WHOLE 'nother level! 

I am so thankful to have had a chance to enjoy the bees.... and even more thankful is that in the next week or so, we will be welcoming our first hive to the homestead!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Healthful Jello!

Good Morning friends!!! I want to tell you something I've just tried and we are excited about. 
Sometimes my kids want something sweet. As we have tried to pull off the sugar, we have to look a bit harder to find or make healthful treats! 
I made these for the kids and they all enjoyed them!

Here's all the ingredients:
2 cups juice (I used homemade grape)
2 tsp honey
2 cups Kombucha
(if you don't make kombucha or don't like it, you could use all juice)

Measure out your 2 cups of juice and place it in a small sauce pan.

Add 5 Tbsp beef gelatin (the good kind, like pictured above!)
This gelatin is a good thing to add into your diet because it is excellent for your joints. It helps to repair and restore damaged joint tissue.

Heat until warmed and slightly thicker

Add 2 cups kombucha to juice mixture
add 2 tsp honey
Mix and pour into mold.
We've said here before how beneficial kombucha is. A powerful probiotic and healthy drink. Honey is used here to sweeten slightly. 

And this is what happened. The mold had these little edges that DID NOT release, so I had to cut the jello up in pieces. Haha... it happens. I returned this pan and got a square shaped one. I don't think I will have to worry with those releasing. 
I plan on making a batch of gummies soon too! 
For now, though, these are a great treat!
And they are packed with the goodness of kombucha, raw honey, and beef gelatin!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Homemade Nut Butter

I didn't realize just how easy it is to make a nut butter. It is SUPER simple and you might just get hooked like we have!

First, you want to make crispy nuts.

or here's the quick version:

Crispy Nuts

4 cups raw almonds or other nut
1 tablespoon sea salt
Water enough to cover nuts
Mix salt in water and cover nuts. Let set for at least 7 hours. 
(If making cashew crispy nuts, soak no longer than 5 hours)
Drain and rinse with cool water
Lay flat on dehydrator.
Dehydrate 12-24 hours until dry and crispy.

Once your crispy nuts of whatever kind are ready, then you want to toast them.

I took them out of my dehydrator and laid them on a baking sheet with a silpat mat. Toast them at 350* for about 8 minutes. Shake the pan or turn the nuts and give them approximately 8 more minutes. You will know they are ready, because the smell will be insanely good!

Once your nuts are toasted and slightly cooled, pop them into a food processor or a vitamix. 
Process. They will take several minutes. If you watch, you will see them turn from ground nuts, to almost a flour, to the butter. The oils will release and they will begin coming together in a ball. 
I added a few tablespoons of honey to ours and it is absolutely delicious!