Smoothies

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There are times when life is so busy I can’t get my stress relieving walks in.  The past few months have been that way and I can feel my shoulders creeping up around my neck with tension.  The best thing for me is a few days of “detoxing” with great healthy food kicked off with a veggie packed smoothie every morning.

You can make smoothies with almost any vegetable and fruit you have.

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I used a handful of kale, blackberries, flax seeds, slice of apple, 1/2 cup orange mango juice, 5 ice cubes and a squeeze of honey for this one.  It looks brown but it’s a deep purple color.  It was sweet, filling and packed full of great nutrients.

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The next morning I had kale and collard greens with some oj, and remember those flash frozen peaches (Flash Freezing Peaches) I made in the summer?  I threw a few of those in with some cranberries and black berries.  Another great body boost full of goodness!

Tomorrow I will use the frozen cherries we picked (freezing fruit) as well as the orange juice ice cubes (OJ ice cubes).

Whatever you have works and you can sweeten it if need be with honey or agave.

Throughout the day drink a few glasses of water with lemon.

After 2 days I can already feel the tension leaving my body!!

Cheers (clink)

Apple Juice (make it yourself!!)

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During apple season, I hate to waste anything.  When making apple bread, sauce, or pies I take the peels and cores and boil them to make apple juice.  There is nothing like homemade apple juice!!  It is delicious.

Depending on the type of apples you use, the color is always different but the flavor and health benefit is a plus!!  You can sweeten it with sugar, honey or agave.

You can find my recipe on my facebook page here:  Apple Juice homemade

Duh!!!!!

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Today is a fun filled day with the boys hockey game and the tween has a football game to cheer at.  But after barn chores  I am off for a walk to try and make something I wear feel loose!!  Happy Sunday 🙂

Canning Peaches

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Peach season is in full swing in our location and the time to can or make jam, preserves, or jelly is right now!!!  You should also freeze some slices to make a fresh peach cobbler or use in smoothies.  You can see how to flash freeze peaches here.

I canned 17 jars of peaches in various size jars last week.  As always I make the most for our family, a few as gifts, and a few to sell.  (step by step pictures at the bottom of post)

Last week at our camp out my son and his friend wanted to catch fireflies.  We were all back at the campsite and he asked me where the mason jars were to use for the bugs.  I told him exactly where they were.  So off the boys went to get a jar.  When they returned they informed me they did not see any empty jars only the peaches so they opened one, ate the whole jar, and now had their empty jar!! UGH…can we at least save a few for winter please!!!

Here is my method for canning our peaches.  If you do not know how to can, you can google it or follow instructions I posted on another blog here:  Canning procedures

I use a hot pack method with my peaches as I believe it helps to retain their color while stored.

Prepare a large bowl with water and 1/4 cup lemon juice.

You will need 8 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar

25 peaches or more

Slice your peaches all the way around and twist the top off (see procedure at the bottom of this page)

Peel your peaches (I have been told to blanch them, however I have never found it to work for me and I like my peaches more on the firm side rather than ripe with soft skins).

Peel one peach at a time and slice or cut into chunks and place in lemon water to keep the beautiful yellow color.

Once the peaches are all sliced and in the lemon water take a stock pot and fill it with 8 cups of water and slowly add 4 cups of sugar stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved.  Bring it to a full boil.  (you can use more or less sugar if you would like.  I find the half/half method good for fruit that is a bit more firm)

Using a slotted spoon add the peaches to the boiling syrup and bring to a light simmer for 6 minutes (time after you place the last peaches in the pot).

Get your prepared jars and fill each jar to the rim with peaches again using a slotted spoon.

Use a ladle and fill the jar with syrup to 1/4 inch from the top. (the peaches may float up just gently pat them down with the back of a spoon).

Using a plastic knife carefully slide it around the jar to help the peaches settle.

Wipe the rim of the jar with a wet papertowel.

Put on the hot lid and the screw cap until just tight.

Fill all the jars and then process them in the hot water bath once the water comes back to a boil for 25 minutes.

Remove and let cool.  Once cooled, test the top by pressing gently to make sure that it is sealed.

I know this looks like a lot of work but the hardest part is peeling all the peaches.  The rest is very simple.

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This is a great way to enjoy fresh summer fruit during the winter months!!  Please do not hesitate to ask questions if you have them!!

Orange Juice Ice Cubes

Orange juice is not just for breakfast!!

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Pork Tenderloin prepared with OJ

I LOVE to cook pork with it.  It really brings out flavor in pork loins, tenderloins, or chops. Recipe for tenderloin here and pork chops here.  When frozen you can just pop in 5 frozen OJ cubes.

It is fabulous in smoothies adding the natural sweetness you need to offset some of the bitter greens you may put in there and aids in the digestion of them.  You can add the ice cubes in place of plain water cubes.

These are great in many drinks including Mimosas, punch, iced tea, green tea, seltzer, and tonic.  My kids like them right out of the bag and the minute one complains of a sore throat I hand them a cube!!

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Whenever I have Orange Juice that is getting close to the expiration date I will fill up the ice cube trays and freeze it for future use!!

 

 

Guacamole

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Tomorrow is my babies birthday.  That baby will be 10!!!!  I can’t believe it.  Ok, enough of that…..

I am serving a lunch for our family and a few friends to celebrate.  We will be having deli sandwiches, Dorita Salad (I will post that recipe another day), watermelon, guacamole and lime chips, and chicken wing dip with pita chips.

I am not fond of avocados plain.  I like them in the pudding form I make (recipe here).  That is a fabulous recipe for your avocado fans!!  Recently I have acquired a taste for guacamole.  This is one of those items that you should never purchase from a chain.  It’s so easy to make your own and so delicious!!

Here is the recipe I have used to make a basic easy guacamole:

4 avocados, halved, seeded and scooped out

1 lime juice and pulp

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 medium onion chopped very fine

1 small or 3/4 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro (more or less to your taste)

1 clove garlic minced

Scoop all the pulp out of the avocado, juice and pulp the lime and pour onto avocado mixing until it’s all coated.  Add the remaining ingredients and mash with a potato masher.  Store overnight in the fridge or at least 2 hours.  Bring to room temperature to serve.

**I like to make it a day ahead so all of the flavors can marry together.

(on the side I serve chopped up tomatoes, pomegranate seeds, or chopped grapes for people to add if they like).

Serve with tortilla chips. 

It’s good for you and delicious at the same time!! 

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Smoothies

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Smoothies are a great way to sneak certain vegetables, vitamins and minerals into your diet as well as your children.  I made one the other day for us with Kale, Strawberries, Orange Juice, honey and ice cubes.  The kids had no idea what was in it and they drank it right down. 

Here is how I made it:

5 Strawberries washed and dehulled

6 chopped small kale leaves

1 Tablespoon honey

1/4 cup orange juice

5 ice cubes

Put all in the blender and blend until smooth.  Great flavor and I snuck in those extra greens!!