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DIY Coconut Milk :: No Gums, Fillers, Or Sweeteners

February 3, 2015

DIY Coconut Milk :: No Gums, Fillers, Or Sweeteners
I started making coconut milk years ago during our first year of having a raw milk share. Our milk share decreases in supply from January until May during the winter months. At first I was disappointed as we were really enjoying our raw milk. However, if there is one thing I learned from having and healing gut disorder, it would be that it is wise to take a break from certain foods during their “off season”. The practice of eating with the seasons gives the gut a break and allows for different foods to be used for nourishment.

DIY Coconut Milk :: No Gums, Fillers, Or Sweeteners
We ended up really becoming accustomed to the coconut milk in the winter months, and it makes enjoying our fresh raw milk in the spring just that much sweeter! My girls have quite an affinity toward coconut milk and will gladly drink glass after glass just plain, in smoothies, or poured over oatmeal. It is very creamy and indulgent!

There are only 1 or 2 brands of canned coconut milk without BPA packaging, and without questionable gums and fillers. And those 1 or 2 brands are so pricy for my budget. Especially when making your own coconut milk is just so simple and cost effective!

DIY Coconut Milk :: No Gums, Fillers, Or Sweeteners
Coconut milk subs equally for whole milk in most recipes, and I use it in my cooking in the winter when our meager raw milk supply dwindles at the end of the week. I also prefer to use coconut milk when cooking certain cuisines like Thai or if I need to give a soup a creamy texture with a slightly sweet taste.

This recipe makes a quart and a half of coconut milk. I purchase coconut shreds from the bulk refrigerated section at our local health food store and they come in bags that equal about 7 cups – where ever you end up getting your shreds from just use a 1:1 ratio of shreds to water and you will be good to go!  Also! I don’t have a high powered blender so don’t worry if you don’t have one. The only blender I have is a Magic Bullet and it works just fine for the blending part! I have to do the blending in batches but it works just as well!

Product links in this section are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand should I use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

DIY Coconut Milk

Making your own coconut milk isn't hard at all, and you'll love having control over the ingredients.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: coconut milk recipe, homemade coconut milk, how to make coconut milk
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Renee - www.raisinggenerationnourished.com

Ingredients

  • 7 cups unsweetened coconut shreds shreds work better than flakes in my experience
  • 7 cups water brought to a boil
  • Optional splashes of vanilla or almond extract to flavor

Instructions

  • Put the coconut in a large mixing bowl, and pour the boiling water over the coconut shreds.
  • Cover the bowl with a towel and let it steep 2-3 hours.
  • Pour the water/coconut shred mixture into a blender and blend about a minute.
  • Pour the blended coconut/water mixture into a cheesecloth or tea towel over a bowl and squeeze out the milk.
  • Store the milk in the fridge for a week, or in the freezer for months. Shake the coconut milk before serving –the cream will separate.
  • Save the leftover coconut shreds to use in your baking (granola bars, energy bars, etc), your smoothies, your oatmeal, or dehydrate and grind into coconut flour.

Let me know how the coconut milk making goes!

This post was shared at Fat Tuesday!

Condiments Dinner Ideas Real Food Tips

Thai Peanut Sauce :: MSG, Starch, Filler, & Sugar Free

February 3, 2015

Thai Peanut Sauce :: MSG, Starch, Filler, & Sugar Free
It all started about 12 years ago.

Bear with me for a minute while I take a trip down memory lane – you’ll see why in a minute 🙂

It was our second date. A double date to be exact – with my best friend and her now husband and myself with my now husband. We went rock climbing…I had never rock climbed a day in my life, but you better believe I wasn’t gonna tell him that.

My friend and I mostly hung out on the floor watching our guys show off scaling the walls, and to be honest the rest is history for me. We had the best day – that ended at this little place in the city for Thai food. I had never experienced Thai food before, and not only did I completely fall for my now husband that day, I also fell completely in love with Thai cuisine.

Thai Peanut Sauce :: MSG, Starch, Filler, & Sugar Free
I loved the flavorful heat. The color! The texture! All of it!

I have “real foodified”, if you will, some of our favorite Thai dishes at home, and I think you will be surprised at how authentic you can make it taste with, go figure…real ingredients. And with minimal effort – everything into the sauce pan to simmer – 10 minutes and done!

Thai Peanut Sauce :: MSG, Starch, Filler, & Sugar Free
Spicy Thai peanut noodles was the very first Thai meal I ever had, and it is still one of my favorites – I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

This recipe makes enough sauce to get us through a couple dinners for my family of 5. I usually stir it into a big stir fry. You can use it for dipping sauce as well. Make it as thick or thin as you like! And adjust the heat to your preference. This is pretty mild since I have little ones eating it – I want them to enjoy it too! My husband and I add more heat to our dish separately.

Thai Peanut Sauce :: MSG, Starch, Filler, & Sugar Free
Product links in this section are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Thai Peanut Sauce

This is a super authentic tasting sauce, using only real food ingredients.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: homemade thai peanut sauce, thai peanut sauce recipe
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Renee - www.raisinggenerationnourished.com

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup organic natural peanut butter Just peanuts and salt! No other oils or sugar added! I get mine at Costco – or if you have a high powered blender (lucky you! you can make your own.)
  • 1 cup <a href="https://www.raisinggenerationnourished.com/2015/02/diy-coconut-milk/" target="_blank" title="DIY Coconut Milk :: No Gums Fillers, Or Sweeteners">coconut milk (Either homemade or THIS is a safe brand in a BPA free can)
  • ½ cup coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes more if you want more heat
  • Sea salt/pepper to taste
  • Water to desired consistency – I like it thicker and use about ¼ - ½ cup

Instructions

  • Everything into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes to incorporate. You can add the water or even more coconut milk as you go to get the consistency you want for your stir fry or dipping.

What is your favorite Thai meal? Let me know how you like the peanut sauce if you give a try!

This post was shared at Fat Tuesday!

Batch Up Meals Condiments Dinner Ideas Real Food Tips

DIY Taco Season Mix :: No MSG, Starches, Or Artificial Flavoring

January 31, 2015

DIY Taco Season Mix :: No MSG, Starches, Or Artificial Flavoring
Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Taco night is a staple meal night in our house and I am pretty sure it is a popular cuisine to serve in most homes. Taco salads are our household favorite!

I remember when I first started reading labels for ingredients instead of just fat and calories, and those little packets of taco seasoning really threw me off. What were all of those long named preservatives and starches? Unfortunately many of those store bought packets (yes even some of the organic ones) are filled with questionable starches/fillers and “natural flavorings” which scream hidden MSG. At the time I was on a pretty limited diet while healing gut disorder so taco season mix was one of the first “from scratch” DIY’s I ever tried.

DIY Taco Season Mix :: No MSG, Starches, Or Artificial Flavoring
My favorite part of this recipe is that it is so fast and convenient. I have this perfect sized spice jar that the whole recipe fits in. The seasonings can just be layered in, then shaken up, and I can just scoop out what I need on taco night.

DIY Taco Season Mix :: No MSG, Starches, Or Artificial Flavoring
This seasoning mix can be used for so much more than beef for taco night too! It mixes into fiesta/taco style soups, this fiesta dressing for salads or sandwich spreads, and I use it to season my slow cooker white chicken chili – it is so good!

If you want to make your taco meat have more of a “sauce” you can add a tablespoon of water mixed with a tablespoon of arrowroot to the meat to make a thickened sauce. I particularly like to do this when I make taco meat for taco salads – the “sauce” acts as a nice dressing mixed with guacamole, sour cream, and salsa in the salad!

DIY Taco Season Mix :: No MSG, Starches, Or Artificial Flavoring
Another one of my taco night tricks is to stretch the meat with sprouted beans or sprouted refried beans that I have stashed away in my freezer. My family of 5 could easily put away a pound of ground beef on taco night in one sitting, but when I mix a few cups of beans with the pound of beef, that one dinner just became 2 dinners.

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

DIY Taco Season Mix

Know exactly what is in your seasoning instead of picking up a packet at the store. It'll taste better you'll feel better about using it.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: homemade taco seasoning, how to make taco seasoning, taco seasoning recipe
Servings: 5 servings
Author: Renee - www.raisinggenerationnourished.com

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Everything into an air tight container/spice jar and shake it up to mix.
  • Use about 1 ½ to 2 TB of seasoning per 1lb of meat or 2-3 cups of beans.

 

This post was shared at Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday

Batch Up Meals Condiments Lunch Ideas school lunches Snack Ideas

Simple Baked Applesauce

September 28, 2014

Simple Baked Applesauce
There aren’t too many things as predictable as beautiful apples popping up at farmer’s markets right around the end of September.

And living in Michigan, having a couple of those warm “Indian summer” weekends in this early part of fall is just as predictable, and always a welcomed event for apple picking.

Simple Baked Applesauce
We are incredibly fortunate to live in an area literally surrounded by gorgeous apple orchards to pick from every fall. Our first apple picking adventure of the season was actually at Grandpa’s house right off his tree. The girls got to spend some after school time cleaning off his tree and they had a ball.

Simple Baked Applesauce
Completely untouched, unsprayed, and no fuss, these apples are just about as good as it gets for applesauce. The uneven bumps and color give character to these perfectly imperfect apples – and the flavor is always amazing.

Simple Baked Applesauce
I dress my applesauce up with the spices of the season, but it is certainly delicious on its own. You can traditionally can it or freeze, and enjoy your own applesauce year round.

Simple Baked Applesauce
Simple is the name of my game – everyone into the oven roaster, and after they bake, it gets blended right down in the pan.Whether you can walk right outside and pick them from your own tree, or are able to get them in season at a market near you, this applesauce recipe is for everyone.

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Applesauce

I dress my applesauce up with the spices of the season, but it is certainly delicious on its own. You can traditionally can it or freeze, and enjoy your own applesauce year round.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked applesauce, homemade applesauce, how to make applesauce
Servings: 16 servings
Author: Renee - www.raisinggenerationnourished.com

Ingredients

  • ½ bushel apples about 20-ish pounds
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 8-10 cups of water comes up about halfway up the apples in the pan
  • 1-2 TB cinnamon optional
  • 15-20 allspice berries optional

Instructions

  • Wash and core the apples (I don’t even skin them!) and toss into your oven roaster, or roasting pan. As you are tossing into the pan, squeeze your lemon over top and toss to ensure the apples don’t brown as you go.
  • Add your water and spices to the cut apples in the pan, and toss.
  • Cook at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hours.
  • Use an immersion blender right in the pan to puree your applesauce. You could use a blender or food processor as well. If you want it super smooth a high powered blender would be best – I do enjoy some texture to my applesauce though!

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site! Please know I would never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Tips:

  • This batch makes quarts of applesauce.
  • I honestly have used just about every different kind of apple imaginable for applesauce and it is always delicious. Other than sour apples, you really just can’t go wrong.
  • I do have a couple of reasons for leaving the skins on. You could possibly call it lazy, but it really does take more time to skin them, and I just don’t have it! I think the applesauce taste and color is wonderful with the skins on. The other reason I like to leave the skin on is because the fiber in the skin balances the sugars in the flesh of the apple, making blood sugars keep a bit more stable. Go ahead and skin them though if you wish!
  • I bake my apples in my oven roaster, but using a simple large roasting pan in the oven works just as well, and I did it that way for years.
  • Ok so the immersion blender! OH how easy this makes the clean up part! No transferring to a blender and having more appliances to clean! It goes super fast, and all I have to do is rinse off my blender stick! I do believe a more high powered blender is going to give you a much smoother finish and texture, however, if that is your thing!
  • I have become a bit more aware of the differences in cinnamon in the last couple years and prefer to stick with the ceylon cinnamon. And while you can definitely use ground allspice, I just love popping the allspice berries into something like this because the flavor is fresher and more intense.

This post was shared at Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, & Allergy Free Wednesday!

Condiments

Simple Egg Free Mayonnaise

September 15, 2014

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site! Please know I would never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Simple Egg Free Mayonnaise
Ok! Raise your hand if you grew up with Miracle Whip or Hellman’s spread all over your white bread sandwich with electric yellow cheese and bologna?!

*Raising both hands*

I seriously love mayo. While we don’t typically have bread in the house anymore (unless I want to shell out for gluten free bread), I really love the taste and “zip” it brings to chicken salad, wraps, and even salads.

Simple Egg Free Mayonnaise
Store bought mayo has not been in my fridge in many years. The rancid oils, and mile long list of other additives is just unnecessary. Even “healthy” versions in your health food store are usually not what they claim to be. I just picked up one the other day that boasted it was olive oil mayo – it wasn’t even the first oil listed! Of course soy oil was, and soy is definitely not a health food.

I made up this recipe a little over a year ago when I discovered one of my girls just wasn’t handling eggs great. Many homemade mayos have an egg or yolk base, and we were bummed to have to take homemade mayo out of our menu. She loved chicken salad and liked it spread on lettuce leaves.

Simple Egg Free Mayonnaise
I love the texture and “spread-ability” of this mayo – and if you are used to the store bought stuff you are going to be amazed at how much this tastes just like Miracle Whip. You can taylor the tang and/or the sweet to your taste.

Simple Egg Free Mayonnaise

Print Recipe
5 from 7 votes

Egg-Free Mayonnaise

Homemade mayo but without egg? Perfect for your family with allergies or if you are wary of raw egg.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: egg-free mayonnaise recipe, how to make mayo without egg
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Renee - www.raisinggenerationnourished.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup avocado oil olive oil works too or a combo of the 2
  • 1 cup sour cream if you are dairy free use coconut yogurt
  • Juice of ½ lemon start with this and if you want more tang add the other ½
  • 2 tsp organic mustard watch those ingredients!
  • 1-2 TB organic pure cane sugar or coconut sugar raw honey would work too
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp pepper

Instructions

  • Everything into a quart jar or similar sized jar and pulse with an immersion blender until well combined and thick. Alternately, you could put everything into the food processor EXCEPT the oil, start the blend and slowly add the oil through the drip top to emulsify.

Tips:

  • I love the avocado oil because it has a neutral taste. It is a beautiful friendly fat for our bodies too!
  • Here is the immersion blender I use – it is one of the most used kitchen tools in my house! Less than 30 seconds and your mayo is nice and thick!
  • This batch makes a little over a pint of mayo.

This post was shared at The Homestead Barnhop, Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, & Allergy Free Wednesday!

Condiments Dinner Ideas Lunch Ideas

Caesar Dressing

August 14, 2014

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site! Please know I would never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Caesar Dressing
Still plenty of summer greens left, right?

Well romaine lettuce happens to be, by far, my most favorite salad green. And my husband and I just adore Caesar salad.

Caesar Dressing
When I first met him, it was the only “vegetable” he would eat. A Caesar salad. Slowly (slowly…) over the years I have been able to help his little taste buds along to *tolerate* other veggies, but he definitely will eat a large plate of Caesar salad without hesitation, and I will take that any day!

Caesar Dressing
I have been working on this Caesar dressing for quite a while to get it just right. To taste just like what he loves to order at a restaurant or buy in the store. What’s the point of eating something “healthy” like a salad when you drown in it soybean oil, corn syrup, and MSG?!

Caesar Dressing
My secret weapon to the dressing is avocado oil. Super mild smell, and not as powerful in taste as olive oil. Sometimes when you are used to store bought or restaurant dressings, olive oil based homemade dressings can be a little overwhelming.

Caesar Dressing
I have worked on making my Caesar dressing have the same salty bite as regular Caesar without the fish. I don’t have access to quality sourced anchovies, nor to is it in our budget to order the ones that you can find online. Parmesan definitely does the trick!

Caesar Dressing
This dressing is loaded with beautiful friendly fats to nourish your family.  And especially knowing how hard my husband works all day, it is so important to replenish him with real food. Be sure to check out the tips section if you have special food allergies – I left some great swaps for you!

Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Caesar Dressing

This dressing is loaded with beautiful friendly fats to nourish your family. And especially knowing how hard my husband works all day, it is so important to replenish him with real food. 
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: caesar dressing without fish, caesar salad dressing, homemade caesar dressing
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Renee - www.raisinggenerationnourished.com

Ingredients

  • 1 pastured egg yolk See tips section if you are egg free!
  • 1-2 tsp organic mustard watch those ingredients!
  • Juice of ½ a lemon about 1 TB
  • ½ cup avocado oil Could also do ¼ cup avocado oil and ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup whole sour cream see tips section if you are dairy free!
  • ¼ cup grated organic parmesan Raw if available. See tips section if you are dairy free!
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper Or more if you want more heat!
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

Instructions

  • Everything into a pint jar and use an immersion blender to emulsify!
  • If you don’t have an immersion blender you could add everything but the oil to a food processor and add the oil in slowly through the top drip opening to emulsify.

Tips:

  • This makes a little over half pint of dressing which is perfect for sending with my husband to work to keep in the fridge there for his salads for a week. Just double up if you want more! If I know all of us will be eating it I will double up into a quart jar and send half along with my husband to work.
  • If you are egg free, it should work to just keep the yolk out and maybe use an extra scoop of sour cream.
  • If you are dairy free, you can use coconut yogurt or coconut milk instead of the sour cream. And for the parm you have a couple options. Many people who can’t have cow dairy can have sheep or goat milk – so you could use Pecorino Romano which is a sheep milk cheese. Look in the gourmet cheese section at your grocer if you don’t have a cheesemaker near you. Feta could work although is a softer cheese. If you can’t have that then I would just leave out the cheese. You may have to add more sea salt to create the taste of the cheese.
  • An immersion blender really does work best for the dressing if you are wanting to go fast! Just emulsify it right up in the jar! No mess! My food processor works as well, you just have to drizzle the oil in slowly with the drip top.
  • Don’t forget the kids! The girls *love* Caeaser salad – and I ordered these stainless steel condiment containers for my oldest’s lunchbox this fall. I can pack her a salad
    and she can pour on the dressing herself!

Tell me how the family likes the dressing when you try it!

This post was shared at Fat Tuesday!

Condiments Lunch Ideas

Blueberry Jam

July 28, 2014

Simple and sweet blueberry jam! The perfect summer project for the kids and so delicious!

Blueberry Jam
Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site! Please know I would never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Right about mid-summer the most beautiful blueberries you have ever seen start popping up everywhere around here.

Just a 10 minute drive down the road from our house is a wonderful family blueberry farm where we pick plump, sweet blueberries every year.

Blueberry Jam
Blueberry picking is a fun one to bring the little ones to because the bushes are just their size, the picking is super easy, and kids love blueberries! This was baby Caitlyn’s first blueberry trip, and while she was strapped to momma’s back most of the time, she did stretch her legs a little toward the end and definitely caught on to how fun the blueberries tasted!

Blueberry Jam
We brought home 40 pounds of blueberries this year. I froze about half, dehydrated some, and we’ll eat a lot of the fresh this week. I also triple batched blueberry muffins, and the rest went into jam.

Blueberry Jam
Blueberry is my absolute favorite jam! I think most people think of strawberry jam when it comes to favorites, but if you have never had blueberry jam before you really have to try it! I rarely make any other jam anymore. The flavor and texture is similar to grape jam, and it is just amazing on pancakes, or stirred into oatmeal or yogurt!

Blueberry Jam
I use the Pomona’s 100% citrus pectin and have always had very good outcomes on my jams with it. You don’t need a load of sugar to make it work, and you should be able to find it in your health food store. If you can’t, Amazon does carry it.

Blueberry Jam

Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Blueberry Jam

Simple and sweet blueberry jam! The perfect summer project for the kids and so delicious!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: blueberry jam, blueberry jam recipe, homemade blueberry jam, how to make blueberry jam
Servings: 16 servings
Author: Renee - www.raisinggenerationnourished.com

Ingredients

  • 16 cups whole blueberries
  • ½ cup juice from a lemon
  • 1 TB calcium water comes in the Pomona pectin pack
  • 1 TB pectin powder comes in the Pomona pectin pack
  • 2 cups organic pure cane sugar If you want to use raw honey, back it off to about 1 ½ cups

Instructions

  • Put the whole berries, lemon juice, and calcium water in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Use a potato masher to squish up the berries as they warm and get soft.
  • While the berries are warming, whisk the pectin with the sugar.
  • Once the berries are mashed up to your liking, and has come to a boil, pour in the sugar/pectin mixture and stir constantly for a couple minutes so everything dissolves.
  • Bring the jam up to a boil again, and then turn off the heat.
  • Ladle the jam into your jars or containers, let them come to room temp, and then put them in the freezer WITHOUT the lids on. Let them freeze for a day before you lid them. You could alternatively follow hot water bath canning instructions instead of the freezing.

Tips:

  • Here is where you can get the Pomona’s 100% citrus pectin if you can’t find it in your health food store – I have been using it for years and it always works very well – very forgiving.
  • This recipe makes about 2 dozen 4oz jars (about 12 cups) – just half the recipe if you don’t think you want that many. This jam will last me until next summer!
  • You can alternatively blend your blueberries to a puree before you cook them if you like a super smooth jam. They really cook down well anyway, and it really has a pretty smooth texture even without blending. I just use a simple potato masher to squish up the berries while they cook!
  • Have you seen these Ball Freezer Containers?! They are my absolute favorite. I do about half of my jam in the pretty little Ball glass jam jars so I can give them away for gifts, but the other half I put in the simple (cheap!) BPA free Ball freezer containers. You can put the lids right on and stick them in the freezer– they won’t crack like glass would with a lid on while they freeze! I usually give a few containers to my mom for the year so she can have them in her freezer when the girls spend the night at Gramma’s and might need a PB&J!
  • The freezer jam will last a couple weeks in the fridge once thawed.
  • We like to use our jam on pancakes! We don’t eat a ton of PB&J’s around here because we are gluten free and GF bread is expensive. But I do make large batches of pancakes to keep in the freezer, and the girls will have PB&J sandwiches using pancakes for the bread. You can also stir your jam into soaked oatmeal or whole plain yogurt!

This post was shared at Fat Tuesday, and Real Food Wednesday!

Condiments Nourishing Staples school lunches Snack Ideas

DIY Salad Dressings :: 5 Quick, Popular Dressings The Whole Family Will Love!

April 14, 2014

DIY Salad Dressings :: 5 Quick, Popular Dressings The Whole Family Will Love!
Happy salad season to you!

While I can hardly wait to get some lettuce greens into my ground (Come on ground! Thaw out already!), we are already craving crisp, fresh salads this early spring!

During the spring and summer, salads are on our table almost daily – especially once they start overtaking my garden! I make a different salad dressing every week, and that keeps taste buds happy and salads fun and interesting all season.

DIY Salad Dressings :: 5 Recipes The Whole Family Will Love!
Why not just grab a bottle of dressing at the grocery store? Or better yet – an organic one at the health food store?

So glad you asked! Store bought salad dressings are one of the most “green washed” products on the market if you ask me. Just because a label says organic or “lite”, or seems “healthy” – sometimes it isn’t.

One way I keep myself with getting frustrated over what products are safe and which are not is by reading ingredient lists. Not the calories, grams, or the percentages of fat. I’m talking the little list of what is actually *in* that darn bottle you will be putting in your body! And for dressings, it’s pretty easy in my book. Toxic, rancid, hydrogenated, GMO and PUFA filled oils like soybean oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil should never be on the ingredient list. Peroid. It just isn’t worth it. And it is incredibly hard to come by salad dressings in the store that don’t have at least one of those oils. THIS is a great resource to learn about the difference between the different oils.

DIY Salad Dressings :: 5 Recipes The Whole Family Will Love!
So here are some dressing options! I’m all about simple, FAST, and flavor! I’m talking throw everything into a jar and shake it up. Each one of these won’t take you more than 5 minutes to make up and it will last a week or 2 in your fridge. And the flavor will blow you away!


“RANCH” DRESSING:


    1. Everything into a pint jar and stir up. If you want a thicker, “dip” sort of Ranch for carrot sticks, etc, you can leave out the milk or only add a few splashes. If you rather it runnier then you can add more milk.

DIY Salad Dressings :: 5 Quick, Popular Dressings The Whole Family Will Love!


“FRENCH” DRESSING:


  1. Everything into a pint jar with a tight lid and shake well to combine. Shake before each use as well. This dressing is also a great one to use on taco salad night – it is very similar to the “catelina” type dressings some restaurants use on taco salads.

DIY Salad Dressings :: 5 Recipes The Whole Family Will Love!


“ITALIAN” MIX AND DRESSING


ITALIAN SEASON MIX:

  1. Add everything together in a small container with a lid (empty spice jars work great), put the lid on and shake it up to combine. Also tastes great to sprinkle on stir fry or to a roasted chicken!

ITALIAN DRESSING:

  1. Everything into a pint jar with a tight lid and shake well to combine. Shake well before each use. Store in the fridge.

DIY Salad Dressings :: 5 Recipes The Whole Family Will Love!


“THOUSAND ISLAND” DRESSING


                      • 1 cup whole sour cream
                      • ¼ cup organic ketchup
                      • Juice of 1 lemon (about 2-3 TB)
                      • 1- 1 ½ TB raw honey (local if possible!)
                      • ¼ cup finely chopped pickles (I like using Bubbies so we get the natural fermented probiotics!)
                      • 1 tsp onion powder
                      • ¼ tsp sea salt
                      • black pepper
  1. Everything into a pint jar and stir together. Store in the fridge. If you want a thicker Thousand Island for spreading on a sandwich or wrap add more sour cream.

DIY Salad Dressings :: 5 Quick, Popular Dressings The Whole Family Will Love!


FIESTA SALAD DRESSING


  • 1 cup organic salsa
  • ½ avocado
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ⅓ cup whole sour cream (If you are dairy free you can leave this out and it will still be good – OR you could add more avocado for more creaminess)
  • 2 tsp taco season (I use my homemade blend)
    1. Everything into a processor or blender to blend together. Store in a pint jar in the fridge. If you want it thicker for spreading on sandwiches or wraps add more avocado or sour cream.

DIY Salad Dressings :: 5 Quick, Popular Dressings The Whole Family Will Love!
Ok! So keep me posted on which dressings you are loving! And by the way! Treat yourself to a salad spinner if you don’t already have one! You can wash up and have ready to go salad everyday of the week in your fridge! My routine is pick from the garden and wash up right away, into the salad spinner, and into the crisper in the fridge! It keeps much longer!

This post was shared at Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, and Allergy Free Wednesday!

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Guacamole :: Making Large Batch Quatities for Freezer Storage

March 18, 2014

Guacamole :: Making Large Batch Quatities for Freezer Storage
I first started making guacamole when my first born was a toddler. She *loved* avocado as a first food, and as she was getting older I was trying to find ways of serving it to her other than just plain. I played around with recipes for a while until I got just the right flavor to our family’s taste, and I would make it every so often for us to share.

Guacamole :: Making Large Batch Quatities for Freezer Storage
Years later…and 2 more babies later…well one batch of guacamole doesn’t last real long around here!

I started taking advantage of when our local grocer puts avocados on sale 10 for $10 with the 11th free every few months, adjusted my recipe to create a larger quantity of avocados, and this has become my method for guacamole over the last year.

Guacamole :: Making Large Batch Quatities for Freezer Storage
The recipe uses 5 out of the 6 avocados I get during those quarterly sales. The other 6 get plenty of attention from my little avocado monsters straight from the shell, get mushed up for baby, or get made in to a great salad dressing, smoothie, or sandwich spread.

Guacamole :: Making Large Batch Quatities for Freezer Storage
Give it a try – let me know how it goes!

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Guacamole

Not only is this an amazing guac recipe, it doubles as a perfect first food for baby, and it freezes well, too.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: baby food guacamole, easy guacamole, how to freeze guacamole
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Renee - www.raisinggenerationnourished.com

Ingredients

  • 5 ripe avocados
  • 2 jalapenos seeded and de-ribbed
  • 2 tomatoes seeded and juices scooped out
  • ½ onion coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons use at least one and to taste you can add more depending on the juiciness of your lemons
  • 2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  • Everything into the food processor and blend/pulse to desired consistency.
  • Store in the fridge up to a week or in the freezer for months.

Tips:

    • This makes 4 pints of guacamole. I usually keep one pint out for lunch and freeze the rest. I have certainly doubled even this recipe and used 10 avocados. Especially if we haven’t seen that 10 for 10 sale in a while and we are a little avocado deprived!
    • This recipe is quite kid friendly in taste – as in not a ton of heat. If you prefer more kick to your guac I recommend adding another jalapeno or 2, or adding come chipotle or cayenne!
    • Freeze up in one serving portions to pop in the lunchboxes easy. Take them out of the freezer the night before and it will be thawed by their lunchtime!
    • Other than using guacamole on taco salad night or taco night, I like doing guac at lunchtime. I fry up rice tortillas in butter and quarter into “chips” for dipping in the guac. Very easily can be done in batches and the chips can be stored in a container for the week to pack in lunchboxes.

Guacamole :: Making Large Batch Quatities for Freezer Storage
Does your family love guacamole as much as mine???

This post was shared at Allergy Free Wednesdays and Real Food Wednesdays!