Funky Fresh Kitchen – The Make it Yourself Challenge

What helped me most during our healthy eating journey was realizing that while we were changing the way we purchased and made food, we were not trading Cheesy Velvetta Dip or Jello Pudding for a boring diet of tasteless rice cakes and bland green things that I’d never heard of. I simply found new ways to create our favorite foods. We didn’t have to stop eating peanut butter, pasta, pizza, tacos, cookies, pancakes, mac and cheese and burgers – I just needed to learn to make them in a healthier way.

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Homemade Creamy Pudding

Look through all of our recipes (scroll through the drop down Recipe Menu at the top of our site) to find long lists of Bread and Breakfast recipes, Main Dishes, Side Dishes and Snacks, Desserts, Condiments, Dairy Products – so many recipes that are easy to make, kid friendly, and healthy – all at the same time! Life does not end once you’ve decided to throw away your boxes of Partially Hydrogenated High Fructose Corn Syrup Red Food Dye #40 (otherwise known as the cereal that claims to be a part of “this complete breakfast”).

I know that not everyone enjoys cooking and creating in the kitchen as much as I love it. I mean…I love it. That has made this transition easier for me. But even if you don’t love cooking, there are some very simple foods you can make that aren’t difficult at all – and they just might replace (in a very delicious way) some of those “foods” you threw out the other day.

Your Funky Fresh Kitchen Challenge for today includes choosing one food item that you can make from scratch that will replace a less healthy option from the store. For instance:

Those are just a few fun ideas to get you started. Look through all of our recipes, or look elsewhere on the web (or in your favorite cookbooks) for a recipe you can make that replaces an unhealthy variety of one of your favorite foods. I promise you that all of the above listed ideas are super easy to make. You can make peanut butter in five minutes with only a food processor and some peanuts. Making your own salad dressings is one of the easiest changes I made in my healthy kitchen. Take a look at this post called Five Minutes to Cultured Dairy for inspiration on making your own yogurt and other dairy products. Making Homemade Mac and Cheese takes the same amount of time as using the boxed stuff. Let go of the unfounded fears that cooking from scratch means that you’ll rub blisters, break nails and faint from exhaustion.

Pick one (or five!) and make it a project. Leave a comment on this post telling us what new recipe(s) you plan to make yourself. (No, it doesn’t have to be a recipe from our Heavenly Homemakers site – you can pick anything that will be best for your Funky Fresh Kitchen!)  Your comment will serve as your entry in the giveaway for one of five $10 gift certificates to our Shop. Then, after you’ve completed your Make it Yourself project, come back and leave another comment sharing the results. (This will be a second entry!)  Share with us – Did you like the new recipe? Did it work well for you? Was it easy to make? I can’t wait to hear about all your Funky Fresh Kitchen projects!

Let the Make it Yourself Challenge begin!

(As for me, for a long time I have wanted to try to make Homemade Beef Pepperoni – a recipe I found at Tammy’s Recipes. I challenged myself to make that this week and YUM! I’ll share more about it next week. I’m so excited – I made homemade pepperoni!!)

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Comments

  1. Karis says

    haha i actually posted on your peanut butter brownie cups blog that i need to make the switch over to natural peanut butter but just haven’t yet. and then i saw the link to your homemade kind and i’m SOLD!! just gotta find someone with a food processor haha. thanks for the inspiration!

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  2. says

    I’ve already made your taco seasoning mix before (time to make it again!) and I love making home made tortillas for different dishes. I think next we will try your healthier cheese dip.

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  3. Tahlor says

    My friend and I just had a baking night tonight and made poptarts and breakfast cookies to put in the freezer for breakfast this week!! I love trying all your recipes!

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  4. Misty says

    I made the banana cake earlier this week, and it didn’t last the day. I also made peanut butter honey fudge, that got raves from the whole family, especially my stepdad the sweet tooth.

    I am going to make butter tomorrow for the first time, just to see if I can.

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    Stephanie Reply:

    Butter is so much fun I do it with my 4 year old!

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  5. says

    Your tortilla recipe e-book has changed us for good! We now regularly make them and love them. No turning back now. I can’t wait to try the chocolate peanut butter cupcakes. Also, we love the graham crackers.

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  6. Angela says

    I’ve made the healthy switch with your peanut butter, and your salad dressings. I’ve LOVED the change on both of those items. Next I’m working on changing granola bars, we eat a lot of packaged granola bars so it’s next on my list. Thank you for helping me make this slow change to more healthy eating! What I really need to change is the tortillas, we eat a lot of white tortillas, and I can’t keep up with the demand. (I’ve made your recipe once but the time demand isn’t worth it to me. . . so I’m just not there yet, on all items)

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  7. carrie says

    I bought sour cream today so I am going to make some ranch dip. I’d like to add a raw veggie plate to dinners during the summer especially and my girls will try more veggies if they can dip them. I also want to make your healthier cheese dip but I think I should wait until we are having guests so I can share it otherwise I see myself eating a whole bag of tortilla chips and well I don’t need that, lol But keeping that idea for our next get together. I have invented my own BBQ sauce that we all love but I use ketchup (not homemade) in it. Next step will be to make ketchup. I also want to try making those pop tarts. I used to LOVE pop tarts but haven’t ate one in years.

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  8. Laura says

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while and have tried a few recipes. This summer I haven’t cooked much but am ready now to get back into the groove of healthy eating and being more organized with menu planning. I plan on making tacos and creamy macaroni & cheese next week. The following week I’ll serve the cheeseburger casserole and chips with healthier cheese dip (ha-ha, you get that I will make extras and keep my cooking to a minimum?!) I’ll make the mini quiches for breakfast tomorrow. The next time I am tempted to make brownies, I’ll try your peanut butter brownie recipe. This is a plan! Thanks for the inspiration!!

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  9. Jessica says

    We have tried and liked the ranch dip, taco seasoning, onion soup mix, mac and cheese and many other of your recipes. The one I am excited about now is my vanilla extract, I made it in May so its almost done. It will be done just in time for holiday baking. I have found a recipe for homemade granola bars and my family loves them. I will never buy store bought again.

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  10. kelly says

    I have made many of your recipes. my hands down favorite is the granola bars (no bake) . May try the ranch dip next. =0)

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  11. Lori says

    My husband got a bunch of free peanuts, in shells, from his work. Too many for just he and I to ever eat, so I started shelling them and decided I was going to try to make peanut butter. I didn’t let them go for long enough in the food processor so it was more like crunchy peanut butter, but I loved it and have been asking for more peanuts ever since.

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  12. says

    Yesterday I dared to tread the waters of “make your own Nutella.” Success! I modified an online recipe to use as few ingredients as possible. Besides the slightly nuttier texture, I can’t tell the difference. Love it!

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  13. Gail E says

    I’m going to try making us tortillas this week and since my husband likes pudding in his lunch I thought I’d try making a healthier version.

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  14. Margaret says

    I have a gallon of vanilla working quietly in the dark corner of the pantry.
    I use a similar recipe for my taco seasoning.
    Have you ever made sunbutter? I have a grandson who is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts.
    I am going to try several of these other homemade version this week.

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  15. Kellie says

    I’ve already made quite a few of your recipes, and they are keepers! Just last night I used your taco seasoning. Next I want to try your vanilla wafers, or maybe the graham crackers!

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  16. says

    I’ve always purchased natural peanut butter by Skippy. The other day I looked at the ingredients and found to my surprise that there were other things than peanuts – mainly sugar. So I’ve decided to switch to making my own peanut butter using just peanuts, and so far it’s been wonderful! My husband loves to eat the peanut butter right off the spoon. Thanks so much for your inspiration! Next I plan on trying the ranch dressing mix and the chocolate syrup.

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  17. Nisha says

    I’m planning to make mini crustless quiche today. I tried it last week with spinach and LOVED it. I’m going to try it with peppers and broccoli today. I’m also going to make some coconut flour muffins.

    I love your website. I hate cooking but I’m trying to get my family to eat healthier and your recipes make it easy to do that. Thanks for providing great easy recipes and advice for those trying to live a healthier life.

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  18. susan says

    i want to try the ranch dressing and chewy granola bars. i’ve made peanutbutter in the past and the kids don’t like it as well. I love your chocolate syrup and am trying to perfect my yogurt. not sure what i’m doing wrong but it’s hit & miss. the last batch divided into 3 layers. 1 that looked like yogurt with “feathery lines” in the top, whey/clear liquid in the middle, and a creamier runnier type of yogurt on the bottom…any ideas?

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  19. says

    Just made your bagels again last night. I forgot how good they are! On them was cream cheese from the yogurt I strained last week. I used the whey to make my first (small) batch of saukraut. Can’t wait to taste it!

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  20. says

    I want to try your homemade chocolate syrup it sounds great and the ranch dressing. Actually I want to try a lot of your recipes. I have made your taco seasoning and it was so good. Thanks for the posts this week, I am loving it. I will let you know how these turn out.

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  21. says

    I’m making homemade sausage gravy to go over homemade hash browns for my family’s breakfast this morning — no foil packets or frozen shreds, either! Will be back to let you know how everything turns out. ~Lisa

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    Lisa @ Happy in Dole Valley Reply:

    Oh my, I used Southern Living’s recipe for sausage gravy
    and it was delicious! For the hash browns we simply chopped potatoes
    (from our garden!) and fried them in coconut oil seasoned with
    garlic, onion, sea salt, and pepper. YUM!!

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  22. Joanna S says

    Homemade ranch dressing looked great and I had everything on hand so I just threw it together and WOW!!! NEVER going back to store bought!! Thanks! :)

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  23. Sonja says

    Wow, where to begin?? I have made your granola bars, butterschotch bars, creamy mac and cheese to put in the Healthy Hamburger Helper, the taco mix, banana cake, pop tarts, breakfast cookies… I am sure there are more. Love your site, love your determination and creativity in making your own healthy version of many foods!

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  24. Angela Kahney says

    I am really hoping I have everything on hand to make the ranch dressing because I want to make it for dinner tonight. Hubby will be so happy! He loves ranch but I haven’t bought it since switching over to whole foods. And I am usually too lazy to make homemade dressing or I haven’t found a recipe we really love so we usually just use olive oil and vinegar. Kinda boring. I already make sourdough tortillas which we love. We have a nice long holiday weekend so maybe we will try the poptarts and graham crackers and grandly bars and… it all looks so good!!!

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  25. Greta says

    I already make lots of things homemade: bread, crackers, kefir, dressings, mac & cheese, tortillas, pizza, yogurt, granola etc. My next projects are lacto-fermented ketchup and barbecue sauce.

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  26. Leanne says

    I just tried your recipe for ranch dressing last week and I love that it was so so easy to make! Next I am going to try the apricot breakfast bars.

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  27. Lyndsay says

    I have made a lot of changes to our diet, made a lot of things myself, and have even tried peanut butter (it’s a work in progress!). Yesterday I was looking for ranch dressing for my kids, and even the “healthy” and organic ones were filled with junk. Therefore, I will be trying your ranch dressing. Because if I can make that and my kids will eat it, I can get them to eat just about everything! And I had to laugh last weekend when my kids were at my sister’s and she offered to make them mac & cheese. She pulled the blue box from her cupboard and my son looked at her and said “Oh, from a box. Never mind!”
    Heehee, she was pretty shocked!

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  28. Christy says

    We made your mac and cheese just yesterday! It’s not my favorite — I like more sauce, and haven’t played around with it yet to make that happen — but my husband and sons love it. To be honest, I use the recipes on your site at least once a week!

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  29. says

    These are truly easy changes. I have made homemade vanilla extract, choc. syrup and the taco seasoning. My daughter loves the taco seasoning. Thanks for putting us on the right track for a healthier life. God Bless!!

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  30. says

    I’ve been working on making chocolate. While the butter and coconut oil were good, I think I’m going to try actual cacoa butter next. Had you tried making it with before you used butter or coconut oil?

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  31. Amy T says

    I already make our own granola bars, taco seasoning, ranch dressing. I’m going to try now making our own bread and pop tarts. I am not a pudding fan, but your pictures look awesome! I may have to try that too.

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  32. McKinsey says

    Since we are headed to the beach next weekend I want to make some things to take with us. On my to do list is the butterscotch oatmeal cookies, granola bars, chocolate syrup and to take my recipe book with me with many of your recipes in there! I have loved everything I’ve made from you. I’ll be excited to try pepperoni too!

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  33. Lisa Malone says

    I am going to try the mac and cheese and the pop tarts. I do home daycare and am always looking for healthy recipes to feed the children.

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  34. Lorrie says

    I just mixed up the Ranch Dressing so it will be ready for supper tonight. Next I hope to make the Onion Soup Mix.

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  35. Laura says

    we make lots of things homemade, but i have swiched to your homemade pudding! its so yummie and so easy!! i’ll be making the vanilla for my mother in law today who is recovering from surgery :)

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  36. Tiffany says

    I have made many of the things on your list. My latest experiment is making homemade vanilla extract which I will be giving for Christmas presents! I have been wanting to make homage peanut butter for my husband who goes through the stuff like crazy but I am waiting on a good quality food processor before I can do that.

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  37. says

    I no longer buy ranch dressing and will only make your ranch dressing recipe now. My kids love it and that’s how I get them to eat raw carrots!
    Your homemade Mac and cheese is also a weekly lunch staple in our house. Love it!!

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  38. says

    Oh yes, I forgot how awesome your pudding is too. So yummy and so much better than store bought boxes! I’ve also made your homemade chocolate chips using coconut oil and sucunat and there is nothing better!

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  39. Misty says

    I made butter this morning for the first time, It was great on our homemade whole wheat waffles, with real maple syrup.

    This real food stuff is kinda fun.

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  40. Lisa H. says

    I’ve never ever made pudding before…. the ingredients are lovely, so I should really try to make this some time as a treat for my poor deprived children!
    Thanks for sharing!

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  41. says

    I make my own bread and granola (no cereal in this house), pancakes (no baking mix-so sad that for years I didn’t even know this was possible), and kefir. This week I’ve been making applesauce and apple butter after a gift of 75 pounds of free apples. I want to try my hand at sourdough bread, yogurt, and cheese, but haven’t quite made that leap yet.

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  42. Cathy B. says

    I’ve been wanting to try making homemade yogurt, kefir, vanilla extract and sourdough. I just tried your graham cracker recipe–it’s yummy! All the recipes you listed above sound great, but I guess my next one to try might be the homemade poptarts. I never buy them for my children, and they used to ask for them a lot.

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  43. Kate says

    Signed up because I’ve been dreaming of a Nutrimill for years!!!
    Thanks, Laura!!! Your website has really blessed me (and my family!!)! So glad I saw your article/write-up in the “Home Life” magazine! It was life-changing!

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  44. Denise says

    In the last year I have been trying to switch to natural, whole foods. I make my own granola and bake (some of) my own bread. I have found a bulk food store where I can buy fresh grains, however, I have no food mill. I have entered your drawing because, frankly, right now purchasing a food mill is beyond my budget. I’m also excited about checking out Paula’s Breads.

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  45. Denise says

    I was so excited about the food mill giveaway that I emailed my daughter-in-law the link to this website. She’s also interested in wholesome food, which is great for my son and granddaughter!

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  46. says

    Well…I wasn’t planning on a new recipe…until I saw this! Now, I think I will have to try and make the Homemade Beef Pepperoni! I can’t wait and hope my family likes it!

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  47. KimL says

    Good morning! I’ve already made the ranch dressing,taco seasoning mix and the homemade poptarts, all are very good,and saved money too! I think this evening I am going to make your recipe for homemade pudding (chocolate!) I’m looking forward to making the homemade chocolate chips and the vanilla soon.

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  48. Linda says

    So far, I have given up the baking mix and made your simple soaked pancakes. They were great and the family won’t even think about going back. We also switched to real Grade B Maple Syrup with the same response. Last night, rather than have boxed mac and cheese, I tried your cheesy mac and cheese last night and it didn’t work out as well as we liked but it was still good. Since it was the first time I cooked pasta in milk, I think I need to practice a little more and try a different cheese. We baked the leftovers and that was good, too. Almost every day, we try something new. It is a great adventure. Thanks!

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  49. says

    I have made your Whole Wheat graham crackers and they were a huge hit. And your super delicious Chocolate chip brownies are frequently requested. Hubby asked me the other day when I was planning to make the peanut butter- so I need to try that. We are planning to make your banana cake and the boys just spied the chocolate syrup recipe and are asking if we can make it so that they can have chocolate milk. Thank you so much for all your amazing recipes and for all your inspiration- take care :)

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  50. Rhoda says

    Our journey to healthy eating started years ago when I heard someone on the radio talking about stomach pains and canola oil. We used canola and my DH had severe stomach cramps. Switching to olive oil and butter did wonders. Slowly this has changed many ways in which we eat. We still have a long way to go, but your site is an encouragement and great recipes. One I have yet to try is the graham crackers–hopefully this fall as we haven’t eaten those in a long time. Thank you for all that you are doing for your family and so many others too! P.S. The PB Brownie cups are incredible!

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  51. Kate says

    OH. MY. GOODNESS!!! How did you know that just this morning I was trying to figure out how to sweet-talk the ladies at the health food store where I used to work into tracking down and stocking natural pepperoni for me?! And this will be SO much cheaper. Tee hee – my sister thinks I’m kooky because I make my own yogurt – wait until she hears about this! :)

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    Kate Reply:

    Also, do you have an alternative to the curing salt in mind to use? I think I’d rather not use that.

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  52. Kathy says

    Yesterday I made taco meat using your taco seasoning – it made a GREAT taco salad today for lunch! And the chocolate peanut butter cups were just as easy as a brownie mix from the store – and just as good, plus I know I’m doing something good for my family. Thank you for giving us great recipes to feed our families healthy food that they will enjoy. Homemade poptarts are next on my to-try list.

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  53. Laura says

    I’ve been making ranch dressing and taco seasoning mixes for awhile but have slacked off and bought some but I will go back to making my own. I would like to try making some vanilla extract.

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  54. Katie says

    I have the vanilla extract going right now and hope to try (once crazy canning season slows down) the graham crackers, vanilla wafers and granola bars.

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  55. says

    The granola bars are chilling as we speak. The unchilled version is tasty and reminds me of the no-bake cookies I made all the time as a kid for my siblings when we needed a quick chocolate treat. (I added bakers chocolate to the peanut butter stuff)

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  56. says

    I was seriously just thinking that I need to make homemade pudding. I’ve got a terrific sounding recipe for caramel pudding I’ve never tried and I think I might give it a go tonight…I guess you just provided my ‘must do now’ excuse, right?

    Heather

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  57. says

    I just made up 3 freezer crock-pot meals of Beef Cassoulet.

    I used my chicken recipe and changed it up a little. I know this will taste a whole lot better than any of the pre-made crock-pot meals I could buy at the store. Plus I know what in it and don’t have to read the ingredient list.

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  58. Cara C says

    I’ve only known about your website for a couple weeks and I’ve already tried several of your recipes and plan on many more. I’m dying to try making my own ravioli (I used to love chefboyardee), but I don’t know if I’ll have time this week.

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  59. Tamela Camp says

    I made the whole wheat cheeze crackers, they were delicious. I couldn’t believe you could make a cracker. I also just tried the brownie peanut butter cupcakes and my family loved them. Thanks for all the healthy recipes.

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  60. Gina says

    I just became the owner of a freezer… Given to me by someone who just bought a new one!! Oh, I am so blessed. Anyway, my point… I am going to make some simple soaked pancakes and freeze them, along with other goodies!
    I am also going to mix up some seasonings and store them in jars! :)

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  61. Sarah Lee says

    My son’s Dr. told me he needs to get more Calcium and that she doesn’t care if he’s drinking chocolate milk as long as it’s MILK…so I’ve been unhappily buying him store-bought chocolate milk (ugh!! all that corn syrup!)…I decided to try making our own chocolate syrup today. Both kiddos loved it!! Thanks for the challenge!! No more high fructose corn syrup to drink for us!!

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  62. Tina Edwards says

    I keep coming back to your site, sometimes several times per day! I have made pudding and kefir, and bread and….so much more! Thank you for your blog! I enjoy it so much! I want to make Graham Crackers next!

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  63. Jennifer H says

    I have a loaf of cheddar onion bread in my bread maker as I type. I need to make all our bread from scratch. I will try to make an effort to try different recipes in my breadmaker to find one we like for sandwiches. For the time being it will have to be store bought whole wheat flour. One day I hope to have a mill to grind my own. I will keep my fingers crossed I win the Nutrimill that you have in the giveaway.

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  64. Rose says

    I have already been trying the delicious recipes from Heavenly Homakers site. I have just recently tried the ranch dressing(WONDERFUL!!!), and the whole wheat vanilla wafers(terrific!!!!) now I am going to be trying the chocolate milk mix. It sounds yummy!

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  65. Alecia says

    I’ll be trying a recipe that I found on Once a Month Mom’s website. It’s kale pesto spread over chicken cooked in the crockpot. You can lay a piece of foil down over the chicken and place potatoes on top and cook most of your meal at one time.Hopefully the kids will like it..

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  66. Rebecca C says

    Laura,
    i have tried almost ALL of these recipes already. So, I think I will try the Homemade vanilla wafers next!
    Rebecca C

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  67. Julie says

    I think I’ll try the granola bars, as a breakfast option for my new first grader if she is running late for the bus…

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  68. Amanda says

    I recently made my own chocolate sauce, and that’s awesome (of course). I need to try hot dog and hamburger buns next.

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  69. Priscilla F. says

    Ahh, after making many of those items on a regular basis in the past year, it’s hard to believe I bought them regularly once upon a time. Especially love homemade yogurt. Today planned to make Breakfast, Italian and Andouille sausage. Have a meat grinder and a smoker, so no excuses for buying MSG laden sausage…

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  70. Misty says

    It has been a busy, yet productive day. I made 2 dozen banana muffins for breakfasts, as well as 2 dozen mini quiches, 3 dozen breakfast cookies, pancake and sausage muffins, all for freezing, so I can have them for easy breakfasts since my children don’t like cereal. I also made a banana cake for a party, peanut butter, and butter. Tomorrow it’s time to make jam.

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  71. says

    O.K. I tried the granola bars and the chocolate milk mix the first one and both were great the chocolate milk tasted better than hershey’s! I am like you and cannot handle the oats, I should say my stomach cannot handle them but I did taste them and they were great. Now I just need to make my own peanut butter. I received a call from Azure Standard that they are coming to my area I am so excited.

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  72. Michelle H. says

    I first tried homemade taco seasoning a few years ago and have never went back to packaged. It’s cheaper than buying the envelopes and tastes so much better. I keep seeing your recipe for homemade ranch mix and need to try it next.

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  73. Mary says

    One thing my family has really missed since going whole foods, is garlic bread. I am going to try a whole wheat French loaf tomorrow and make a yummy garlic spread for it.

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  74. says

    My latest attempt was last week when my 5 year old daughter and I made your ketchup and it is great. We are keeping it is secret by putting it in the old squeeze bottle and waiting to see if anyone notices. So far only yummy responses!

    I have everything to make vanilla except a gallon jar or jug to put it in.Have to find one somewhere. So next I think I will try the cheese dip or the pudding.

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  75. Rebecca says

    I have been slowly chaning over to this lifestyle during the last year. I already grind my wheat and make my own bread. I make my own cheese, and yogurt. I would like to try pudding and chocolate milk this week. Thanks for the challenge

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  76. Kathy McConnell says

    I’ve made taco seasoning mix and chocolate syrup. Would like to try the ranch dressing. Have a great day! God Bless : )

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  77. Brenda says

    Total convert on the Chocolate Syrup (made some this morning after church)! No more boxed Mac and Cheese for us… your recipe is GREAT!!! Your Taco Seasoning Mix is all I use now… I tried making granola bars, my husband liked them, but kids did not. We make Kefir instead of Yogurt. Use your recipe for Ranch Salad Dressing. I have a batch of Vanilla Brewing and finally I tried and failed with the pop tarts.

    I guess I should work on the rest of this list…. one healthy step at a time!! thanks Laura for guiding us with great recipes!!

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  78. Katie Nix says

    I love the taste of the granola bars, but I need to keep them in the fridge in order for them to be a bar. We used date pieces, coconut, and sesame. Yum. THanks for the recipe.

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  79. Courtney says

    I would like to try homemade ketchup. I have switched to buying organic, but would like to take the plunge and try to make it myself.

    Blessings!
    Courtney

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  80. Abbie Long says

    I am going to try making granola bars and ranch dressing tonight or tomorrow! Can’t wait to try them both! And probably some type of bread as well!

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  81. says

    I’m so excited to try to chocolate syrup recipe and the taco seasoning recipe. I’ve made my own before, but I usually ‘wing it’. It’ll be nice to have a recipe.

    Thanks for the chance at this!

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  82. Jocelyn Skelly says

    we’ve been working hard to get rid of the boxes of cereal around here so my goal is to make some homemade granola and granola bars…here we go!

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  83. Melissa says

    I’ve made homemade yogurt a bunch, just started making kefir, and want to try nut butters! Oh, also make chocolate sauce for topping or dipping.

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  84. Melissa says

    Homemade granola bars (which are currently cooling as I type this). I had tried making them before and they were a total bust, so today I tried them again, and they look wonderful!

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  85. Amber J. says

    Homemade Graham Crackers = Success!!

    I also learned that Graham Flour is nothing more than coarsely ground Hard Red Wheat…I used Hard white, because that is what I have!

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  86. says

    I have made your sausage seasoning, taco seasoning and italian seasoning from scratch. I also make your chocolate syrup for which my kids are ever grateful! I have a batch of vanilla extract sitting in the top of my pantry waiting to be bottled for my family for Christmas gifts.
    I have long wanted to try the poptarts for my kiddos, but given we just returned from Grandma’s this weekend who always has the store bought kind for them, I think I’ll wait a while on those.
    Instead, perhaps I’ll finally get around to making your ranch dressing mix. I have friends who have made it and love it. I just haven’t gotten to it yet.

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  87. carrie says

    This ranch dip was a HIT! My 2 yr old even dipped her pork chop in it, lol

    I can’t wait to see this pepperoni recipe you mentioned :)

    Carrie

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  88. Priscilla F. says

    So the sausage project turned out good; definitely won’t be buying sausage from the store, at least not in a big way. So fun to learn to do things the “old fashioned way”.

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  89. Lorinda says

    I’m going to try your version of taco seasoning and make taco’s for dinner this week! I’ve tried 2 different recipes listed on other blogs, although good….I’m looking for a better knock off recipe.
    I make BBQ sauce from the Barbeque University cookbook.
    I have a dry onion soup recipe that I use already.

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  90. Rebecca says

    I’m coming back to report. I made Homemade Butterscotch chips. They flopped. I wrote a comment to ask for some help. I also made graham crackers. They were a hit.

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  91. Stephanie H. says

    I really want to make your pop-tarts and Hamberger Mac. I grew up with both in a box and Never ate them again as an adult so this should be fun!

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  92. Stephany says

    Made the homemade granola bars too with sunbutter and they didn’t pass very well with my boys. I LOVED them but I think I will have to try them again with the peanut butter and some chocolate chips, yum!

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  93. Carmen says

    I already make my own vanilla and taco seasoning. Just last week I made my own granola bars (they were awesome!) I would really like to try making poptarts (never cared much for the boxed variety anyway) and vanilla wafers.

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  94. Vanessa says

    I plan to make the homemade ranch and I am in the process of making my own vanilla (should be ready by Christmas!)

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  95. Vanessa says

    Absolutely LOVE the homemade Ranch. My husband and I agree it is way better than the Hidden Valley Ranch (and this used to be the only kind I would eat).

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  96. says

    Thank you so much for making your site so user-friendly. I love the clear instructions that come with your recipes. What great giveaways, too-especially the Nutrimill from Paula’s Bread!!!

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  97. Lorinda says

    This is my response to trying your taco seasoning recipe. We really enjoyed it. I was cautious and added a TBSP of the mix in at a time. Yes, we like the 3TBSP! I went back to the other 2 recipes of similar mix to find out the difference: one added cornstarch and one added flour, they both added oregano, and one added bouillon, and crushed red pepper/cayenne. Although these held me over until we tried your version…we’ll stick with your. Thanks!

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  98. Rochelle says

    I have made your ranch dressing mix (yum), honey whole wheat bread (double yum), potatoes with broccoli cheese sauce, country fried steak strips, brownies, homemade poptarts and pudding. Thanks for such a great resource of healthy recipes. Oh and the tortillas. I plan on trying quite a few more too!!!

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  99. Carey L says

    I have started making my own taco seasoning, pretzels, granola bars, and ranch (someone I work with actually paid me to make him a bottle of his own!) I bought peanuts to try making my own PB, and pretty much want to try everything on the list! Your blog has changed my life, and the life of people around me. God bless you, Laura.

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  100. jenn foy says

    i’ve made so many of your recipes, and love all of them. i’ve been meaning to try the granola bars again…but just yesterday i made your creamy mac and cheese. delicious!

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  101. Shelley says

    I no longer buy salad dressings…my kids (& hubby too) love your recipes for ranch and Italian dressings so much more than store-bought!
    One new recipe to try this week is your Cheeseburger Mac. Sounds yummy!
    I’m also wanting to make your homemade vanilla…maybe I can ask for vanilla beans for Christmas?! :)

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  102. Valerie says

    I bought fresh roasted peanuts in the shell to make homemade fresh peanut butter. I was surprised to learn how many peanuts it took to make just a cup and a half of peanut butter. But it did taste very fresh!

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  103. Stacy says

    I just switched to making our own cornbread instead of grabbing a mix at the store. So good and I can control how much sweetening goes into the mix! I am going to try your taco seasoning mix next.

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  104. Lena Courbron says

    I mad emy own Ranch Dressing for the first time. Hubby and the kids loved it so I will never buy store bought again!!

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  105. Rebekah says

    I love making anything and everything homemade! I love this journey of creativity. Your blog has been so helpful in encouraging me that there are others out there too who are learning creativity for our homes and families. :-) This spring I finally made chapstick, deodorant, moisturizer, lotion, insect repellent. Hoping to learn cheese and soap this winter. I love hearing my daughter say how we could make something at home instead of buying it. :-)

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  106. Amy says

    I would like to try the chocolate syrup for chocolate milk. I just found a recipe that calls for chocolate syrup but don’t want to use store-bought kind!

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  107. Georgette says

    I LOVE your blog!! I started with your amazing poptarts. Before that though I began making my own bread about 4 yrs ago. Now I make anything I can homemade!! Your recipes have been such a Godsend to me and my family. Thank you!!

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  108. Mandi says

    My goal is to find a healthy homemade version of Tuna Helper. Oh, this Healthy Journey Take 2 (attempt 1 was a couple of yrs ago and obviously didn’t last) is going to be a long and slow one this time.

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  109. Christa says

    My husband is Puerto Rican and staple in the kitchen is Recaito or Sofrito. It’s a mixture of very fresh ingredients that forms a base sauce and is used in most recipes (rice, soups, savory meats and poultry). I make my own in the blender with green and red peppers, onion, garlic, culantro, parsley, small sweet chili peppers and a little bit of olive oil. Puree in the blender! You can make a big batch and freeze in little containers.

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  110. Francine Moore says

    I really like most of your recipes. I was wondering if you have GF recipe for Big Breakfast Cookies? The one you have posted on your regular site looks like it could be faily easy to convert. Cookies is a little harder for me to convert to the new change of lifestyle and cooking GF.

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    Laura Reply:

    I’m not sure on this one, but maybe eventually I can figure it out. :)

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