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Archives for June 2017

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes

The Instant Pot isn’t just for cooking meat. It’s great for meatless meals as well. Whether you are a vegetarian or reducing your meat intake by taking part in Meatless Monday, the Instant Pot can help.

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes, Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes, Vegan Instant Pot Recipes, Meatless Monday

Reducing your meat intake can help reduce your impact on the planet and can also be better for your health. One popular way to do this is with Meatless Monday.It’s a great way to make sure you are reducing your meat intake without too much effort.


If you are new to Meatless Monday or a vegetarian lifestyle you are likely on the hunt for some delicious recipes that will make sure you don’t miss the meat.

Don’t worry you don’t have to eat salads everyday and you can make these delicious meals quickly and easily with the Instant Pot. A lot of people like to use their Instant Pot because it cooks meat quickly but it’s not just for meat. It’s great for cooking grains faster, veggies, and more.

What is the Instant Pot?

The Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker as well as a slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, and you can even saute in it. It can take the place of a lot of appliances making it a great space saver. People even make cheesecakes in it! They are for sale on Amazon and if you watch they go on sale pretty often.

There is somewhat of a learning curve but there is a lot of great info out there, one place you can ask questions and find great info is the Instant Pot Fan Club group on Facebook.

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes

Now for some great recipes you will want to try in your Instant Pot. Even your meat loving friends are sure to love these recipes. Many of these recipes are also vegan friendly.

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes, Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes, Vegan Instant Pot Recipes, Meatless Monday

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes, Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes, Vegan Instant Pot Recipes, Meatless Monday

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes, Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes, Vegan Instant Pot Recipes, Meatless Monday

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes, Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes, Vegan Instant Pot Recipes, Meatless Monday

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes, Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes, Vegan Instant Pot Recipes, Meatless Monday

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes, Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes, Vegan Instant Pot Recipes, Meatless Monday

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes, Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes, Vegan Instant Pot Recipes, Meatless Monday

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes, Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes, Vegan Instant Pot Recipes, Meatless Monday

More Instant Pot Recipes


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How to Actually Get Kids to Eat Healthy Food

It can be a struggle to feed kids healthy food, especially picky eaters. It is possible though, even on a budget. 

How to get kids to eat healthy food

How do you get kids to actually eat healthy food? Can we feed kids 100% organic and homemade food all the time? That’s not always attainable, especially in Oklahoma where good food can be hard to get. My goal is to make more things from scratch, learn to make better choices, and feed my kids as well as I can with the time and money available. The more organic, the better of course.


Are you a picky eater? Is your child? I sure used to be. The only vegetables I liked were french fries and corn. Don’t forget ketchup too. Those are not the makings of a healthy diet. I eat such a great variety of fruits and vegetables now, people are amazed. My daycare kids eat a great variety as well.

The best way to learn to like new things is to figure out how you like them. Usually, we don’t like a vegetable because we tried it when it wasn’t cooked well. Soggy, overcooked broccoli tastes awful and so does canned asparagus. There are ways you can make fruits and veggies taste amazing. The secret is to learn to cook them well and find out which way tastes good to you.

If you are wondering if I can help you with your picky child, believe me, I can. I have cared for 82 kids over the past 23 years in my home daycare, and I have met some of the world’s pickiest kids. It takes some work and creativity, but you CAN change at least some of the eating habits of any child. (and your husband too, believe it or not!) You CAN be a nutrition hero! Check out Little Sprouts Learning to see more about raising healthy kids.

How to Actually Get Kids to Eat Healthy Food!

Start early teaching kids to eat healthy

The earlier you begin to try to help your child enjoy healthy choices, the easier it will be. I remember changing our diet drastically from all processed food to home cooked, whole foods when my daughter was around the age 8 or 9. She was so upset, she asked for prayer about it at church. The changes we made gave her a much better life, but had we started earlier, it would have been much easier on her.

She is 24 now and on her own. Her diet is surprisingly healthy for a young woman who is just learning to cook for herself. I’m super proud of her for so many reasons, but it’s cool to see her see the importance of real, nourishing foods.

If you can begin making wholesome foods when your child is an infant, that’s great. Forget the jarred food and whip up easy-peasy baby food of your own. It’s super easy to bake a winter squash or sweet potato and toss it in the blender with a little water or chicken stock to thin it out. You can also buy bags of frozen peas or green beans, cook them up, and blend them with a bit of the cooking water.

No matter what age your kids are, it’s not too late. Try to introduce healthy foods to them anyway. Over time, they will get used to it. My husband and I learned new eating habits in our 30s. You can do it too.

How to get kids to eat healthy food

Be a good role model to get kids to eat healthy

Your kids are not going to want a heaping plate of broccoli if you are across the table making gagging noises and faces like a 2-year-old. If you are having a big mac and fries, they aren’t going to want the broccoli either. You have to learn to enjoy healthy foods yourself to entice your precious little ones on the path to health.

How to Actually Get Kids to Eat Healthy Food!

If you want even more tips on how to go from a nutrition zero to a nutrition hero, check out my new e-book, Zero to Hero Nutrition: How to Actually Get Kids to Eat Healthy Food. It will show you how to transition your family’s diet in manageable steps. Using my menus, shopping lists and cooking instructions, you can transform your family’s diet.

The book includes meal plans, recipes, and everything you need to be successful in changing your family’s diet along with information about why you need to make the changes. You can feed your kids healthy food without going broke or spending 24 hours a day in the kitchen. Pick up your copy of Zero to Hero Nutrition: How to Actually Get Kids to Eat Healthy Food today and find out how to bring more nutrition to your family and be a nutrition hero for them and you!

How to Actually Get Kids to Eat Healthy Food!

How to get your kids to eat healthy food, feeding kids healthy food, picky eaters

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How to Reduce Food Waste

Food waste is a big problem that is costing us a lot of money and is bad for our planet. There are some easy ways to reduce this waste and save money.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

In the US, 30-40% of the food supply is wasted! That’s more than 20 pounds of food per person, per month. Not only does that waste contribute to pollution, it also is wasting us a lot of money.


Things like meal planning, labeling and dating leftovers, planning your shopping trips, and even once a month grocery shopping can help prevent food waste.

There are so many other great tips to help you reduce food waste. Below are some bloggers’ top tips. They are sure to help you stop the food waste and save money.

Top Tips for Reducing Food Waste

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

We’ve all had lettuce go bad. Sometimes it seems like the day after you bring it home it’s already going bad. Victoria at A Modern Homestead used to deal with this issue but not anymore. She learned a tip that can help keep lettuce fresh for up to 5 weeks.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

Merissa at Little House Living shares a lot of great tips for helping make your produce last. Produce is something that gets wasted a lot because of improper storage so be sure you are storing your’s correctly

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

It’s never fun to be craving guacamole and go to the fridge and find it brown and gross. Paula at Dinner with the Rollos find the secret to keeping guacamole green longer and it’s simple!

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

No one likes a soft apple but don’t throw them out just yet. Habiba from Craftify My Life has an apple sauce recipe for using up old apples.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

All food waste is bad but there is something extra sad about throwing away desserts that have gone bad. Thankfully Jennifer at The Jenny Evolution has tips on freezing cookies and desserts.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

You don’t even have to waste your citrus peels. They are great for cleaning your garbage disposal. Over on Retro Housewife Goes Green you can learn how to deep clean your garbage disposal with citrus peels.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

You can also use lemons that are past their prime for cleaning. Bren at Bren Did has 15 all-natural homemade lemon cleaning products that are perfect for those lemons you need to use up.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

Another way to prevent wasting lemons and limes is by juicing them and freezing the juice. Kalyn at Kalyn’s Kitchen shares how to properly freeze fresh lemon and lime juice. She also has great tips for freezing fresh basil.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

Did you know you can also freeze kiwi? Stock up when they are in season and freeze them for smoothies later. Pam at Sidewalk Shoes shares an easy way to freeze kiwi.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

Garlic scapes are a food that is often wasted before we can ever end up with it. They are often cut off to allow the garlic bulb to grow larger. If you garden or can find some at a farmers’ market Ellen at Confessions of an Overworked Mom has some tips for preserving garlic scapes.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

What about once you have cut fresh fruit, can you still keep it fresh? Yes, there are ways to prolong the life of cut fresh fruit as well. Kim at Two Kids and a Coupon has great tips for keeping cut fruit fresh.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

Did you know you can also freeze milk? Spoiled milk isn’t something any of us want to deal with so Victoria at A Modern Homestead shares how you can freeze milk and thaw it perfectly.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

If you have chickens or just don’t always get around to eating all of your eggs, you may be wondering what you can do to avoid wasting them. Karrie at Happy Money Saver shares how you can freeze eggs.

When Food Does Go Bad

Even following the above tips you will likely end up with some food that is forgotten. For non-animal products the best way to deal with this is by composting. It helps keep more food waste out of the landfill and creates useful compost that can be used in food or flower gardens.

Helpful Composting Supplies


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What is Blue Green Algae?

Blue green algae is often found in lakes around Oklahoma during the summer. What is blue green algae and what do you need to do when it’s found?

Blue green algae, what it is and why you need to avoid it

The Grand River Dam Authority has reported that the Fly Creek area of Grand Lake has high levels of blue-green algae.


When the GRDA first reported the high levels on Friday, June 16, BGA densities were at more than  100,000 cells per milliliter with more than 20 micrograms per liter of microcystins is considered toxic.

There is currently a public advisory to avoid bodily contact with the water in the Fly Creek area of Grand Lake. Testing will continue daily as long as conditions warrant.

You can find the condition of other lakes around Oklahoma by visiting the Travel OK lake condition page. And if you see algae play it safe and avoid the area.

What is Blue Green Algae?

Blue Green Algae in Oklahoma

Photo property of the Tulsa District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Blue-green algae consists of tiny bacterial organisms. It can be found in all types of water including lakes, streams and pounds. Usually it’s found in low numbers but things like warm, stagnant water, heavy sunlight, and phosphorous or nitrogen can cause it to become abundant. Phosphorous and nitrogen can end up in the water from fertilizer and some household products.

Why is it Dangerous?

Some blue-green algae produces neurotoxins or hepatotoxins (live toxins), as well as toxins that can be harmful to the skins and gastrointestinal tract.

Exposure to these toxins can cause upper respiratory problems, vomiting and diarrhea, eye irritation, and a number of other health concerns. These toxins also can impact animals.

What to do if Blue Green Algae is Found?

  • Don’t drink untreated water.
  • Don’t swim, water ski, wade, or boat in areas where the water is discolored or where you see foam, scum, or mats of algae on the water.
  • If you swim or wade in water that may have blue green algae present, rinse off with fresh water and soap. This is also an effective method of reducing exposure for pets.
  • Don’t let pets or livestock swim or drink where water is discolored or where you see foam, scum, or mats of algae on the water.
  • Respect all water and beach closures.

You are also asked to please report any potential algae blooms to the local project office or the Oklahoma Dept. of Environmental Quality at 1-800-522-0206.

If you or a pet experiences nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, eye irritation, skin rays, respiratory symptoms or other unexplained illness, call your doctor or veterinarian.

For more information on blue green algae, visit Travel OK Lake Conditions

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Natural Red, White, and Blue Recipes

It’s almost 4th of July. It’s a great time to spend with friends and family, and of course eat some delicious food. These red, white, and blue recipes are not only delicious but are natural and dye-free. You don’t have to feel as guilty with these treats!

Natural 4th of July Recipes, red,white, and blue recipes, no dyes

It’s fun to make red,white, and blue themed food for patriotic holidays and parties but that often means a lot of artificial dyes. Artificial dyes have been linked to behavioral issues in children and a host of other health concerns.


You can still have fun themed treats without all of the dyes. These treats use natural dyes and ingredients that are naturally red, white, and blue. They are perfect for any patriotic parties like 4th of July, Memorial Day, etc…

Natural Red, White, and Blue Recipes

Natural 4th of July Recipes, red,white, and blue recipes, no dyes

Natural 4th of July Recipes, red,white, and blue recipes, no dyes

Natural 4th of July Recipes, red,white, and blue recipes, no dyes

Natural 4th of July Recipes, red,white, and blue recipes, no dyes

Natural 4th of July Recipes, red,white, and blue recipes, no dyes

Natural 4th of July Recipes, red,white, and blue recipes, no dyes

Fun Red, White, and Blue Supplies


Encourage healthy eating habits for your kids by teaching them how to cook. The Kids Cook Real Food eCourse can help your kids learn the skills they need to eat and cook healthy food.

Summer Skin Care from the Kitchen

Take care of your skin this summer with simple DIY skin care recipes using ingredients you likely have in your kitchen right now.

Summer Skin Care from the Kitchen, DIY Skin Care, Face mask, sugar scrub, hair mask

Summer is fully in view now, and it’s time to get your glow on.  Luckily, you can do this at home with ingredients you may already have in your kitchen!  Not only are you controlling what fresh ingredients go into your skin applications, but you are also saving some money as well!  Below are some easy recipes you can make at home.

Summer Skin Care Recipes


You’ll want to concentrate on exfoliating first to remove dead skin and polish.  Body scrubs are easy to make and can really help your skin look its best.  You can use either salt or sugar depending on your skin type.  People with drier skin sometimes prefer sugar over salt, whereas others will prefer salt to give more of a glowing effect.  If you choose salt, it’s best to use sea salt as table salt is too harsh.  By making this on an as-needed basis, you can avoid having to worry about shelf life or rancidity.  It is recommended to use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Simple Body & Foot Scrub

Ingredients:

  • 1 part jojoba oil (olive oil, almond oil, or grapeseed oil also work well. Avoid using low grade cooking oils)
  • 2 parts turbinado sugar or salt (you can use regular white or brown sugar)
  • Pinch of Finely Chopped or Dried Herbs (optional – suggestions are mint, lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, calendula)
  • Few Drops of Essential Oils (optional – suggestions are lavender, rose, eucalyptus, rosemary)

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined.
  2. Wet your skin.
  3. Scoop a small amount into your hands and work from the feet upwards on the legs, thighs, torso, and arms while rubbing in a gentle circular motion.
  4. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Next, you’ll want to focus on your face.  Making a fresh face mask from your kitchen is a great way to help rejuvenate your facial skin while also adding some useful vitamins and minerals.  You can use many kinds of fruits and vegetables, but this recipe is excellent for gentle exfoliation, cleansing, and toning all-in-on.

Mangos are excellent for the skin due to the vitamin C content, which helps brighten and fight against free radicals.  The oatmeal in this recipe gently exfoliates while the honey is an antioxidant powerhouse that also gently cleanses the skin.   It’s best to use organic ingredients wherever possible.  If using non-organic, then peeling the mango is recommended even though the skin contains a very high nutrient content.

Fresh Mango, Honey & Oatmeal Face Mask

Ingredients:

  • ¼ Mango with Skin, cubed
  • 1 Tbsp Oats
  • 1 Tbsp Honey

Directions:

  1. Wash face and neck area before applying.
  2. Blend ingredients in food processor or blender until a smooth paste is formed.
  3. Apply in a gentle circular motion and let sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse with warm water and air dry.
  5. Use some of the leftover mango peel and pulp for an eye patch.

Finally, your summer skin prep would not be complete without taking care of your hair.  This fresh avocado hair mask is great for all hair types and will help boost shine and strength.

Fresh Avocado Hair Mask

Ingredients:

  • ½ Ripe Avocado
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend into a paste.
  2. Add more lemon juice in tiny amounts if needed to blend completely.
  3. Apply to scalp and length of hair.
  4. Leave on for up to 30 minutes and rinse.
  5. Shampoo as usual.

With these easy DIY recipes, your skin will be glowing and ready for summer in no time.  And, always remember to use sunscreen.

Summer Skin Care from the Kitchen, DIY Skin Care, Face mask, sugar scrub, hair mask

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Delicious Smoothie Recipes

Smoothies are a quick and easy breakfast, snack, or even a light lunch. It’s a great way to eat more fruit and veggies. 

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies, Vegan, Organic, Low Carb, Dairy Free

Fruits and veggies can help fuel your body and give you natural energy. Many of us also struggle to eat enough produce. Smoothies are a great way to get some extra fruits and veggies. Also great for picky kids.


Another great thing about smoothies is you can use up produce that is about to go bad. Overripe bananas, slightly wilted greens, and any produce that you don’t really want to eat raw but is still good can be used up in smoothies.

Smoothies don’t have to be fancy, even if Pinterest makes us think they should be. The Produce Mom has a great infographic with easy smoothie ideas for when you don’t have all the fancy ingredients laying around. Basically you need some fruit and liquid. You can also add veggies, healthy protein powder, yogurt, and even some nut butter. The options are endless and it’s fun to experiment.

If you are getting bored with the smoothies you’ve been making or want some inspiration here are some delicious smoothie recipes. Remember you can easily replace ingredients in these recipes, it’s not baking so nothing needs to be very exact.

Delicious Smoothie Recipes

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Find More Smoothie Recipes

Looking for even more smoothie recipes? Check out these great cookbooks.

 


Encourage healthy eating habits for your kids by teaching them how to cook. The Kids Cook Real Food eCourse can help your kids learn the skills they need to eat and cook healthy food.