Fall Is In The Air

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When the weather is nice each day the kids and I take a walk in the woods near our house. We are lucky enough to have woods and pasture near us to give us plenty of opportunity to explore. Today when we started out we had to put on sweatshirts and this is the sight that greeted us as we headed down the step lane. Fall is in the air!! I have to say fall is my absolute favorite time of year. Anne of Green Gable had it right when she said she would hate to live in a world without October. October brings a cool chill to the air in our part of the county which means sweatshirts, bon fires, leaves covering the ground, our local college football team is in full force and of course fall comfort foods. The kids and I have been experimenting with pumpkins over the past few weeks. We made a stew in a pumpkin a week ago that was amazing!! We are baking like crazy! Pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, the list goes on and on. Have I mentioned I love this time of year? So in honor of fall and all the yummy food we have baking/cooking at our house I will be sharing our favorite fall recipes so you can maybe try them in your homes. Happy October!!!!

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Greek Yogurt Panckaes

We are all about pancakes in our house. The kids love any type of pancake that they can get their little fingers on, especially if it is topped with pure maple syrup and Greek yogurt. A little while back I posted a recipe that we like for Greek Yogurt Pancakes. Since then I have been tweaking it a bit and have come up with a better version, it’s a little thicker and easier to work with. This recipe also freezes well for quick weekday morning breakfasts.

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

3 cups of flour, we use white wheat flour but any will do

4 teaspoons baking powder

4 tablespoons of pure maple syrup or honey

1 teaspoon salt

4 Tablespoons oil

4 eggs

2 teaspoons of vanilla

1 1/2 cups of Greek yogurt

1 1/2 cups of milk, we used whole milk but any would work

Preparation:

1. Whisk together the dry ingredients

2. In a separate bowl mix together the wet ingredients

3. Slowly mix together the wet and dry ingredients until well combined

4. Preheat a pan or griddle to medium high heat

5. Grease the pan with butter and scoop out a large spoonful of batter onto the pan. Cook on both sides until golden brown.

6. To freeze lay cooled pancakes out on a cookie sheet and flash freeze for thirty minutes. Drop down in a labeled ziplock bag. To reheat toss in the microwave for about a minute until warm.

Freezing Garden Veggies

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We harvested our first tomatoes from our family garden this week. By harvested I mean the kids and I picked the four regular tomatoes and the 8 cherry tomatoes. My son ate all the cherry tomatoes before we made it back to the house. Unfortunately our garden this year is struggling. We have had SO much rain that all the gardens in the area are struggling. We are also still smack in the middle of our house renovation. This means we are spending out days covered in dry wall dust and paint. So our garden has suffered. It is so hard to neglect it!! Our garden is usually so pretty and makes a great backdrop for summer.

So with our struggling garden we are not going to get a big crop this year. Luckily we live in farm country. This means that everyone we know has gardens. Lucky for us everyone else around is not in the middle of an endless renovation and so their gardens are doing a bit better then ours. This means that every few days someone shows up with produce or anytime we stop by a friend or neighbors house they send us home with produce.

The tricky part with all the unpredictable produce is that I want to be able to can it all and preserve it so this winter when we are hopefully in our new house we can enjoy homegrown produce. Right now we have tomatoes, squash and peppers showing up. I was trying to figure out how to save all this produce so that I can make spaghetti sauce and salsa later. We get it in such small amounts that it’s not enough to do anything with.

So what’s the solution you might ask? Well freeze it of course!! Yes, you heard me right freeze your peppers and tomatoes. You can also freeze your squash and zucchini. I have been doing this for years. I grate it and then put it in freezer bags and pull it out throughout the year to make zucchini breads or muffins. However, I have never attempted tomatoes or peppers. This is the perfect solution though. It allows me to freeze the produce and then pull it out when I have enough to make salsa or sauces. So I gave it a try today and it is super easy!! I am linking in a YouTube video that I found that walks you through step by step how to do it. Below that video is a Martha Steward video. Yes Martha Stewart, don’t hate me!! I have to admit when I was in my early 20’s and just learning to cook on my own Martha Steward was my go to lady. I still have a box in the barn full of old Martha Steward Living magazines. Don’t judge I know she can be a bit snooty at times but that lady knows her stuff! OK maybe she and her staff know their stuff but either way she passing it on for out benefit.

I really like this video there are some helpful tips and I like that he flash freezes his tomatoes first. I really believe flash freezing is the key to freezing any foods.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuLpLp_5G0E

Here’s the Martha Steward video. She shows us and this poor farmer she has on her show how to freeze corn and tomatoes. Being from the Midwest we always have plenty of corn to freeze!! I actually love the idea she provides for using the bunt pan.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07qe27TtXbI

Pinapple Upside Down Cake for Breakfast, Yes Please!!!

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Pineapple Upside Down Banana Pancakes. Guest post by Jessica Merchant of How Sweet It Is, recipe submitted by TK member Donna of Apron Strings.

We have been on the road a lot over the past month. Which has meant hotel breakfasts or the ever dreaded hospital cafeteria breakfast. Seriously if there is one place in this country that should have healthy meals it should be hospitals, but this is definitely not the case. When we have been home we have been relying on what’s stocked in the freezer, thanks goodness for freezer foods!! I noticed this morning as I pulled out a walking waffle for my kids to eat as we ran out the door that our supply of food is running short. This sent me on the hunt for some new breakfast recipes to add to our old standbys. I came across this recipe from tastykitchen.com. for Pinapple Updside Down Banana Pancakes. These looked and sounded amazing!! I am a big fan of pineapple especially in the summer when it is fresh. I haven’t tried this recipe yet but will be doing so soon!! I will keep you posed on how well it freezes and if it tastes as delish as it sounds.

Pineapple Upside Down Banana Pancakes

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Pineapple Upside Down Banana Pancakes. Guest post by Jessica Merchant of How Sweet It Is, recipe submitted by TK member Donna of Apron Strings.

Ingredients

  • 3  Ripe Bananas
  • 2-¼ cups Vanilla Almond Or Soy Milk
  • 1-½ cup Whole Grain Flour (such As Wheat Or Oat)
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1  Small Pineapple
  • A Little Canola Oil

Preparation Instructions

Mash bananas with a fork—you should have 1 ½ cups. Process the banana in food processor with about ½ cup of milk until smooth. Blend in remaining milk. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir dry ingredients into banana mixture until blended. Let sit while cooking pineapple slices.

Cut outer skin off pineapple. Cut pineapple into slices ½ inch thick, making 8 slices. Using a small round cookie cutter, remove center core of each slice. Heat a skillet to medium low heat. Add a little oil to skillet. Cook pineapple slices in batches for about 2 minutes.

Turn pineapple slices over. Immediately pour ¼ cup batter into the center of each pineapple slice, allowing batter to spill over and form a circle around the outside of the pineapple slice. Add a little more batter if necessary to form about 1 inch of pancake around the outside of the pineapple slice. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly browned.

Carefully flip over and cook other side for about 2 minutes, until pancake is cooked through and is lightly browned.

Muffin Round Up

I realized this morning as I packed lunches for the kids that we are running low on our stock of muffins in the freezer. I try to keep a wide variety of muffins in the freezer to grab for snacks and lunches. I love fruit filled muffins, I keep a variety of muffins filled with fruit in the freezer. We also love muffins filled with protein like bacon or eggs. I love these for quick lunches or breakfasts for the kids. I also keep some treats like chocolate chip banana muffins. I was gathering my list that I need to make this weekend to refill our freezer and I thought I would share my list. I will keep adding to it as I come across new recipes or find more favorites.

Fruit Filled Whole Wheat Muffins

I love these muffins because they are yummy and so versatile. You can add any of your favorite fruits or other add ins. You can mix up one huge bowl of batter and then split it up with different add ins. These also freeze wonderfully!!!

whole wheat muffins

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling

This is a yummy recipe if you want a little sweeter muffin for a sweet treat.

banana muffins

Whole Wheat PB & J Apple Muffins

These muffins are so yummy and are a favorite with my kids.

PBJ Muffins

Power Packed Fruit and Veggie Muffins

These are a great muffin for breakfast or a great side for your lunch or your kids lunch boxes. You can switch out ingredients for whatever you have in the fridge.

Banana Nut Muffins

We had a friend show up one morning with a whole bunch of bananas that he had gotten and thought he’d share. So I went to work making lots of muffins and breads to use them up before they went bad. I tried this recipe that week and it has become a favorite.

Individual Baked Oatmeal Cups

These are a great addition to your freezer for quick breakfasts. I love to keep options like this in the freezer for those mornings that we are running late to get out the door. I can still give my little ones a healthy breakfast without taking up to much of our time. Again, these are great because you can mix and match the ingredients.

oatmela cps

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

I am always looking for healthy fun treats I can make for my kids to snack on or to pack in their lunches. But let’s be honest I am also always on the look out for yummy snacks for myself. I am also always looking for recipes that I can add to my collection to help use up all that Zucchini we will no doubt have running out our ears in a few months. I saw these and thought they fit the bill of tasty with a side of healthy. I will definitely be trying these this weekend!!

Head on over to Tried and Tasty  or see the recipe below to check out this delicious looking treat!

 

Zucchini-Muffins-01

 

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffin
Serves 11
Ingredients
  1. Slightly less than 1/3 c. honey
  2. Slightly less than 1/4 c. molasses
  3. 1/4 c. Spectrum® Naturals Organic Coconut Oil, softened or melted
  4. 1 egg , plus 2 egg whites
  5. 1 banana , well mashed
  6. 3/4 c. plain yogurt
  7. 1 tsp. vanilla
  8. 2 c. grated zucchini (approx. 2 medium)
  9. 2 c. whole wheat flour*
  10. 1/4 c. ground flax seed
  11. 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  12. 1/2 tsp. salt
  13. 2 tsp. baking soda
  14. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  15. 1/4 c. mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Once you’ve shredded your zucchini, squeeze out any excess moisture. In a stand mixer, mix together the wet ingredients (including the Spectrum® Naturals Organic Coconut Oil & zucchini). In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, ground flaxseed, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Slowly add the flour mixture into the wet batter and mix well. Lastly, add your mini chocolate chips and stir just until incorporated. Lightly coat your jumbo muffin tin with cooking spray; fill each cup about half way (I used my large cookie scoop and filled each cup with two scoops). Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Notes
  1. I used the soft white winter wheat berries for this recipe and it turned out wonderful. I freshly grind the berries in my Blendtec right before adding it in the recipe. The fresher the flour, the higher the nutritional value. Of course, if you don’t have the resources to grind your own wheat berries, you can buy store bought whole wheat flour as well.
  2. Also, if these aren’t going to be eaten within a couple of days, I would suggest storing them in the fridge. Because of how moist they are, they won’t last long on the counter top.

 

 

Fruit Dips

In honor of summer and the much awaited berry season I am compiling a few of our favorite fruit dips. All of my family could eat their weight in berries, and sometimes we do. So we always make sure to stock the freezer full while they are season. However, nothing tastes better then strawberries right off the vine still warm from the Midwest sunshine. If you can’t tell I am counting the days!! Some of you may already have some berries on the vine so in honor of this amazing time of the year here is a few recipes to help add some yummy creaminess to those delish berries.

Dreamy Creamy Greek Yogurt Dip

This is by far my kids absolute favorite dip of the season.

Dreamy Strawberry Greek Yogurt Dip

Lemon Fruit Dip

The ladies at Super Healthy Kids have done it again with this dip, so tasty!!

Creamy Lemon ‘Clean Eating’ Fruit Dip Recipe