Whole Wheat Zucchini Carrot Bread & Natural Value Foods 25% off Plus 20% off at Amazon

The more nutrients you can stuff into one recipe, the better, right?  My friend Emily tried this idea of adding shredded carrots into zucchini bread, then let me know that I should try it.  Great idea.  Mmmmm, so good!

Zucchini Carrot Bread

3 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup honey
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, sea salt, nutmeg and baking powder.  Stir in honey, zucchini, carrots, eggs, and melted butter.  Mix ingredients until dry ingredients are moistened.  Pour into two well buttered loaf pans.  Bake at 350° for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

zucchini carrot bread

Slices of this Zucchini Carrot Bread would be perfect in your Make-Ahead Lunch Box!  Simply allow the bread to cool, slice, wrap individually, then freeze.  Pull a wrapped slice of bread out of the freezer, then toss it into your lunch box for a dessert or snack!

What other veggie combinations have you thrown together in quick breads?

While I’ve got you, I wanted you to know about these ROCKIN’ coupons at Amazon.  Natural Value brand is already lower in price than many organic foods.  Right now, they are offering 25% off coupons at Amazon on many of their great items!  Plus, if you have Amazon Prime/Mom and order at least 5 subscribe and save items, you’ll get an additional 20% off too!  I grabbed six cases of Natural Value items we use frequently for great deals.  Here’s what I got:

Natural Value Coupons at Amazon

This post contains affiliate links.

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Whole Wheat Pumpkin Donuts

After months of trial, illness, starvation, exhaustion, and many other forms of misery (encouraging post so far, Laura) – the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags came together for a great feast on what is now known as The First Thanksgiving.  These incredible people had much to celebrate, no doubt.

On their table there was an abundance of lobster, rabbit, chicken, squash, chestnuts, hickory nuts, onions, leeks, dried fruits, radishes, and cabbage – all of the traditional foods you and I always serve to our families on Thanksgiving, right?  (I always tear up a little during the carving of our traditional Thanksgiving Lobster.)

Quick question: How did the above First Thanksgiving menu give way to boxed stuffing and canned cranberry sauce that plops out onto a plate?  Don’t answer that.  But what I do what to know is this:  Where have these Whole Wheat Pumpkin Donuts been all my life?  These need to be added to everyone’s Thanksgiving menu: turkey, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, relish tray, mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade rolls with butter, and a big, huge platter of Pumpkin Donuts.  Oh, and don’t forget the Lobster.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Donuts with Glaze

These Pumpkin Donuts scream, “Fall is here!  Be thankful!  Inhale deeply the scent of cinnamon spice!  Eat me already!”  This is a fall treat that ranks right up there with all things amazing.  This donut recipe stirs up quickly, rolls out easily, and fries up into fantastic goodies that might make you pass out.  They are great with a cup of coffee or apple cider.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Donuts (adapted from this recipe)

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground hard white wheat)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup sucanat (or brown sugar)
2 Tablespoons melted butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup pumpkin puree
Oil for frying (I recommend coconut oil or palm shortening for healthy frying)

Stir together whole wheat flour, baking powder, sea salt, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and sucanat.  Add melted butter, eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, and pumpkin puree – mixing until all ingredients are well combined.  Roll dough on a well-floured surface.  Cut out donuts and donut holes (makes about 30 of each).

Fry dough in hot oil for about 3 minutes or until donuts are golden brown.  Drizzle with glaze and serve.

Buttermilk Glaze

2 cups powdered sugar (I use unbleached powdered sugar)
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk ingredients together and drizzle over warm donuts before serving.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Donuts

What are your family’s traditional Thanksgiving foods that are a little different from the norm?  I have to admit, not only have I never had a Thanksgiving Lobster on my table, I’m not sure I’ve ever actually eaten lobster, period.  I’m a Kansas girl turned Nebraska girl.  What can I say?

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Fresh Peach Milkshakes

It’s story time, children.  Please sit down, criss-cross-applesauce, and listen quietly.

Once upon a time, there was a lady who got a new blender.  It wasn’t just any blender.  It was the blender of all blenders, the Blend-Tec blender that she’d been waiting patiently to purchase.

She was super excited to make a peach milkshake with the fresh peaches she had in her kitchen, and figured that reading all the fine print in the “blender handbook” would be a waste of time.  “How hard can it be?” she thought, “It’s just a blender.”

And so, the uninformed lady proceeded to fill the blender to the top with delicious whole milk, slices of fresh peach, maple syrup, and vanilla.  With excitement, she placed the lid on the blender and pushed the on button.

Before the lady could say “one Mississippi” the force within the blender sent the lid shooting right off the top.  With a shout that sounded something like, “Aaoourrhheeeewwryeeeoo!” the lady quickly smacked the off button.  But no matter.  Peach milkshake had been sent to the ceiling, to the floor, to the stack of mail beside the blender, to the casseroles sitting on the countertop, to the side of the refrigerator, to surfaces she found three days later, and I think it goes without saying, to the clothes, arms, legs, shoes, and hair of the befuddled lady.

She stood, quite shocked and motionless, for approximately 8 Mississippi’s, before calling in her 12 year old son.  With a chuckle, said 12 year old brought in the camera, as moments such as this should be documented and preserved forever in ones memory and computer picture file.

peach milkshakes 1

This picture does not do the situation justice.
“The lady” was covered, the rug was covered, everything was covered. 

Thus lunch-time was delayed, and the kitchen got a much needed scrubbing.  The lady soon smelled sour from being drenched with dairy product, and even though she changed her clothes before going to a soccer game, was surprised to find flecks of dried peach stuck to her knees and ankles during half time.

The moral of the story: Read the directions, do not overfill your blender, and do not be surprised to find crusty milkshake residue four feet away on the front of the silverware drawer next Friday.

The end.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Everybody hungry for a Peach Milkshake now?  Below you’ll find a recipe, which only makes about 2 servings.  Trying to make 6 servings at once, no matter how large your blender, is a bad, bad, bad idea.  I’m still not quite over it.

Fresh Peach Milkshakes

2 cups whole milk
2 fresh peaches, sliced
1 Tablespoon real maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place ingredients in a blender, making sure the blender is only half-full, trust me on this one.  Place lid on the blender, plug it in, and give it a whirl until ingredients are well blended.

Fresh Peach Milkshake

Make this milkshake at your own risk.

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Whole Wheat Pizza Swirls ~ The Make-Ahead Lunch Box

The Make-Ahead Lunch Box

I’m excited to kick off our new Make-Ahead Lunch Box series with a fun new recipe I recently tried for my family.  We all love these Whole Wheat Pizza Swirls.  Here are my favorite perks to this recipe, and why I think this is perfect for your Make-Ahead Lunch Box:

  • You can make Pizza Swirls ahead of time, wrap them individually, and store them in the freezer until you need them.
  • You can fill the Pizza Swirls with any of your favorite toppings, making this recipe versatile and ideal for accommodating food preferences.
  • These taste great both hot and cold.
  • Pizza Swirls are simple to make.
  • Pizza Swirls are filling and easy to eat.

Whole Wheat Pizza Swirls

1 recipe of Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
1 cup pizza sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese
3 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
variety of pizza fillings – your choice – like meat, olives, and veggies
2 Tablespoons olive oil (optional)

Mix Whole Wheat Pizza Dough as directed.  On a clean, well floured surface, roll dough into a long oval until it is about 1/4 inch thick.  Spread pizza sauce over the dough.  Sprinkle with cheeses and your favorite pizza toppings.  Roll the dough up, beginning on the long side.  Tuck the ends under.  Place on a cookie sheet.  Spread olive oil over the top if you like.  Bake in a 375° oven for about 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  Slice and serve.  Makes about 8-10 Pizza Swirls.

Whole Wheat Pizza Swirls

Bonus Tips:

  • Want to pack these Pizza Swirls to go?  Once the swirls have cooled completely, wrap them individually and place them in an air tight container in the freezer.  Set frozen wrapped Pizza Swirl in the fridge overnight to thaw to pack in a lunch box the next day.
  • Need to eat Gluten Free?  Copy the idea and use your favorite gluten free dough recipe.
  • Tired of pizza?  Skip the sauce and use turkey or chicken with cheese to make Meat and Cheese Swirls.

Great to Serve with Pizza Swirls:

  • Fresh fruit like apple slices, orange slices, peaches, cantaloupe, pineapple, or pears
  • Carrot sticks, sliced cucumbers, celery, or sweet peppers
  • Olives or pickles

I double, triple, or quadruple this recipe so that I can make lots at once to make my getting-ahead efforts worthwhile.  This also means I can make a variety of different Pizza Swirls to have on hand.  Our favorites are:

  • Pepperoni and Cheese
  • Combination (meat, cheese, green peppers, mushrooms, olives)
  • Hamburger and Green Pepper
  • Pepperoni and Olive

What kind of pizza swirls do you think your family will like?  Have any other ideas you feel would be good to serve with Pizza Swirls (especially ideas that will pack well in a lunch box)?

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Cream Cheese Filling For Your Crepes

While Matt and I were cooking out at camp a couple weeks ago, we were blessed to work with a very talented lady who has been cooking for campers for years.  One of her specialties?  Homemade Crepes with cream cheese filling, topped with berries.  You should have heard the kids as they walked by the kitchen and saw we were making crepes.  “Is it crepe day tomorrow?!?  I’ve been waiting all year for this day!”

Seriously, the campers love them.  I believe we cranked out over 300 crepes in preparation for “Crepe Day.”  Phew, what a job!  But it was worth it.  The crepes were amazing!  The key to making these so great had to be the filling.  Cream cheese filling.  Sooooo good!

We used powdered sugar at camp, but when I got home, I played with the idea to make the filling with stevia or maple syrup.  Yum, yum, yummy.

Cream Cheese Crepe Filling

Cream Cheese Crepe Filling

8 ounces softened cream cheese
10 drops liquid stevia or 2 Tablespoons real maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat ingredients together until smooth.  Place about 2 teaspoons of filling in each crepe.

Here’s my super easy Crepe Recipe Wholesome, filling, and delicious.  And with cream cheese and berries?  Heavenly.  :)

Are you loving the fresh berries of summertime as much as I am?

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Lasagna Casserole…On the Stovetop

I mentioned here that I’m trying to avoid the oven during these hot summer days.  Later this week, I’ll be making Lasagna Casserole, which is one of our family’s favorite recipes (and one of mine because it’s so easy).

Cook Your Casserole on the Stovetop

But, I don’t want to bake it in the oven right now.  It’s just too hot.

For recipes like this, I “bake” them on the stove top.  Just follow the recipe as normal, but then leave it in the pot on the stove.  Sprinkle cheese over the top and put the lid on.  Let it sit and simmer for a few minutes until the cheese is all melty all over the place, then serve.

This method also works for Cheesy Beef and Rice and Pizza Casserole - and probably a bunch of other casserole recipes you have that are all pre-cooked and then baked for a few minutes.

This summer, skip the oven.  Use the stovetop.  Unless of course you like sweating profusely and passing out.  I’ll use my oven when I absolutely have to.  In the meantime, when I can, I’ll stick to my stove-top.

This post was originally published on June 29, 2009.

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Orange Creamsicle Recipe

Did you like the Strawberry Creamsicle recipe I shared?  How about an Orange Creamsicle recipe to add some variety?  For that matter, you can sub just about any fruit you like to make creamsicles.  Such a refreshing treat!

Orange Creamsicle Recipe

2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup orange juice concentrate
1 Tablespoon real maple syrup (or about 10 drops liquid stevia)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy.  Pour mixture into popsicle molds or 3-ounce cups.  If using 3-ounce cups, place a popsicle stick into the middle of each after these have been in the freezer for about 30 minutes.  Freeze for about 2 hours before serving.  Makes about 12 small creamsicles.

Orange Creamsicles

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7-Minute Strawberry Ice Cream ~ Dairy Free Option

Healthy food always takes a long time to make, right?  Not at my house.  Healthy food always tastes like “health food,” right?  Oh, for real.  Healthy food always costs a lot of money, right?  Not if I can help it. 

Most of the guests I feed at my house don’t even suspect that I’m serving them healthy food.  In fact, I fed this simple Strawberry Ice Cream to someone last week, and all he knew was that I was handing him a dish full of homemade ice cream.  All he knew was that it tasted delicious, he loved it, and he asked for seconds.  He was impressed that I had “taken the time” to actually make homemade ice cream.  He had no idea it was made in 7 little minutes.  He had no idea the dessert didn’t have any added sugar (I used stevia).  He had no idea the health benefits of what he was eating.  He just thought he was eating really good ice cream.  Boom.  Score one for healthy food that doesn’t appear to be health food.

Yes, from start to finish, this ice cream just takes about seven minutes to make.  No ice cream freezer necessary – all you need is a strong blender or food processor.  By the way – those seven minutes it takes to make this treat?  Well, it’s not like it takes 7 minutes of work on my part.  I just put the ingredients into the food processor and walk away.  God bless the person who invented food processors so that I can check email while I’m making ice cream.

7-Minute Strawberry Ice Cream

4 cups (give or take) frozen strawberries
1 can (13.5 ounces) chilled coconut milk or 1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 drops liquid stevia or 1 Tablespoon real maple syrup or 1 Tablespoon honey

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy.  Serve right away.  Makes 4-8 servings.

7-Minute Dairy Free Strawberry Ice Cream

Have you tried the Cool Pineapple Cream Dessert recipe yet?  This is pretty much the same recipe, except for the obvious switch from pineapple to strawberries.  I found that when using pineapple, I didn’t need to add anything else to sweeten the treat.  Strawberries are a little more tart, so adding a tiny bit of stevia made this perfect.

Next I plan to make this treat using frozen peaches.  Then maybe frozen blueberries.  Then frozen raspberries.

Health food?  You can keep your rice cakes.  I’m having ice cream.

What’s your favorite “healthy food” to serve that doesn’t appear to be health food?

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Strawberry Creamsicle Recipe

Strawberry Creamsicles in Muffin Tins

Tis the season to enjoy cold, sweet treats.  Tis the season to find refreshment in a frozen snack after a hard day of work or play.  Tis the season to drip syrupy red or blue food dye down the chin, staining the teeth, the tongue, and the swim shirt in the process.

No, wait.  Not that last one.  Let’s skip the food dye and syrupy fake sweetness of high fructose corn syrup, and instead enjoy a real food treat.  Although do feel free to let this Strawberry Creamsicle melt and drip down your chin.  After all, what’s summer without messy, sticky chins and swim suits?  Seriously, you should watch me eat a slice a watermelon.  It’s like I’m a three year old, slurping and grinning and ignoring the watermelon juice as it runs all the way down my neck while I stand at the kitchen sink taking bite after bite.  Hey, there’s no shame in enjoying a treat while ignoring the napkin.

Sometimes you just really don’t know what to say or do with the things I tell you about myself, do you?  Oh c’mon.  Live a little.  Grab some watermelon and make some Strawberry Creamsicles.  Grin and slurp.  Be a kid again.

Strawberry Creamsicles

2 cups frozen strawberries
2 cups whole milk (or coconut milk)
2 Tablespoons real maple syrup (or about 10 drops liquid stevia)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy.  Pour mixture into popsicle molds or 3-ounce cups.  If using 3-ounce cups, place a popsicle stick into the middle of each.  Freeze for about 2 hours before serving.

Strawberry Creamsicles

Nothing fake – all natural sweetness, just perfect for a summer treat!  I can’t think of anything I’d rather have running down my chin.

#whoneedsnapkins  #lifestooshort  #grinandslurp

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Icy Cold Milkshake Treats

I’ve been sharing quite a bit about coffee treats lately.  Iced Coffee, Homemade Chocolate Frappe, Chocolate Whipped Cream for Coffeeyum.  This is great for everyone except for those who don’t like coffee, right?  Yes, well.  This post should take care of that.

My family definitely fits into the “don’t like coffee” category of people.  In fact, they really don’t understand why I’ve suddenly started loving the stuff.  Okay by me.  It’s the one and only food/drink in this house I get all to myself.  Ha!  It’s mine.  All mine!!  (she says, lovingly.)

So for all the “don’t like coffee” people out there, including my family, who thinks my Homemade Chocolate Frappe looks really good but tastes really bad – here’s what I’ve come up with as a delicious alternative.  Icy Cold Milkshake Treats.  Instead of starting out with coffee ice cubes, simply start out with regular ice cubes.  Instead of adding cold coffee and milk, simply add cream and milk.  Instead of adding chocolate…oh wait.  We’re still adding chocolate.  Unless you want straight up vanilla.  That works too.

You’ll love how easy this is, how “real food” this is, and how it’s a treat completely void of sugar.  It doesn’t get any better.  (Unless you add coffee, but we’ve been through this already.)

Icy Cold Milkshake Treats

2 cups ice cubes
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Liquid stevia to taste (I use about 10 drops NuNaturals brand)
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (omit if you prefer a vanilla milkshake)

Blend ingredients together until slushy-like.  Serve right away.  Makes about 3 servings.

Icy Cold Milkshake Treats

Most of the ingredients in the list are in “give or take” proportions.  You’ll figure this out if you actually try to measure 2 cups of ice cubes.  Rectangle shaped ice cubes don’t cooperate very well in a round measuring cup.

In addition, you may want your shake to be creamier, smoother, sweeter, chocolatier, or with coffee.  Oh wait.  This one doesn’t have coffee in it.  Well anyway, feel free to add more or less of any of the above listed ingredients to make this shake just what you want it to be.

As for me, I’m going to stick with the Homemade Chocolate Frappe.  And I’m going to drink the entire blender of coffee goodness all by myself because no one else in my house likes it so I don’t have to share, so ha!  (she says, with kindness.)

What do you think?  Which will you like better?  And which will your family members like better? 

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