Healthy Grape Lime Rickey

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Peach Freezer Jam {No refined sugar & No pectin)


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Shamrock Mint Shake


 
I love spring! Here in my desert home the trees are starting to blossom and big billowy clouds bring cool rain, turning the sagebrush a lovely shade of green. The inevitable and always inspiring rainbow is bound to show up whenever the sun peeks out. 

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Homemade Greek Yogurt

My parents have always been very health conscious ever since I could remember. Not just health conscious, but very frugal and thrifty as well. Yeah, the apple didn't fall far from the tree. So when my parents said they'd cleaned out their kitchen and were bringing over some things they thought I might like, I was intrigued. When they started unloading a juicer, blender, and yogurt maker I was like a kid on Christmas! Woohoo!

 
Making your own yogurt is super simple, super economical ($1.43 for 24 oz. of yogurt. Savings of $2.55), and you're sure to not have any added sugar, colors, or chemicals. We normally don't eat much dairy, unless it's raw organic cheese for sprinkling on tacos, but yogurt is a great source of probiotics.

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Bottle Your Own Chicken Broth

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Guest — Jen
Shouldn't one follow the USDA recommendation to use a pressure canner & not use the boiling water bath method for a low acid f... Read More
Tuesday, 13 January 2015 03:16
Guest — Melissa
If you will be making a large amount of stock that will potentially be sitting for very long in your panrty then yes, use the pres... Read More
Tuesday, 13 January 2015 20:47
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{Homemade} Salsa


So I'm not as much of a "Holly Homemaker"  as my mom and, therefore this latest {homemade} is a small victory for me since I did it all on my own! Woot woot! Maybe for some of you bottling your own fruits and veggies is no biggie, but for me I was always worried I would mess up and ruin a lot of produce.  After watching my mom in action and reading lots of how-to's I finally got up the nerve to try it myself.  And I am so glad I did.  This salsa turned out AMAZING (If I do say so myself :) and wasn't as scary or as hard as I'd imagined.  So be brave my friends because having the skill to bottle your own food will liberate you and open up lots of money saving possibilities for  food storage.

This doesn't make a huge batch btw.  It yields about 5 pints which to me is way better to do small batches every now and then instead of one blitz salsa making weekend.  If you prefer the blitz then go ahead and double or quadruple the recipe.


Here's what you do:

1 1/2 quarts fresh tomatoes.  Core tomatoes then cut in half or in fourths.  If your tomatoes are really juicy you'll want to scoop out most of the seeds and excess juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and lay on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar. Preheat boiler.  Place sheet of tomatoes under broiler until tomato skins begin to wrinkle and blacken. About 3 minutes. Pull them out and let them cool down enough to touch.  Now peel the tomato and chop it into small pieces.

Dump all the chopped tomatoes and vinegar-tomato liquid into a large cooking pot. Now combine remaining ingredients.

1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups green or red bell peppers, chopped
2 garlic cloves, mined
1 - 12 oz. can tomato paste or tomato sauce if you don't want it as thick
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 tbsp. salt
1/2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, chopped
2-4 tbsp. fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
6 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped

(Here's a quick F.Y.I on the jalapeno peppers.  The number of peppers will determine how hot your salsa is, but that's all dependent on how hot your peppers are to start with.  Usually you'll know their heat when you first cut into them by the burning sensation in your throat. If they're hot just to look at then you may want to use 4 and remove the seeds.  But if they're like the one's I picked from my parents garden, about as hot as a bell pepper, then you'll need to add more, seeds and all. Use your best judgement)

Bring the pot of salsa to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes to blend the flavors.  Ladle salsa into 5 sanitized pint jars.  (To sanitize jars just run them through the dish washer.  Don't open the door until you're ready to use them.)  Leave about a half and inch of space at the top and screw the lid on nice and tight. Place in a large cooking pot of water that is deep enough to have an inch of water over the jars. Put a lid on it and bring to a boil.  Boil for 20 minutes.  Remove from pot and let cool on the counter.  Store for 1 year in a cool dark room.

That's it!  Pretty painless and so worth it when you get a hanker'n for {homemade} salsa!


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"Good Morning!" Green Smoothie

 


They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Now that summer is coming to a close and school is gearing up to start it's the perfect time to power you're little learners and yourself with a power smoothie.  My dad is a religious green smoothie maker and since we recently moved closer, he's got me and my kids hooked on green smoothies too.  Yes, my kids LOVE this and look forward to their green smoothie every morning.  Even my 2 year old asks for her "dreen smoovie".   My dad likes to add carrots, broccoli and dried cranberries to his. Make yours with as many veggies and fruit as you like, but this is how I put mine together for a nice smooth smoothie...

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{Homemade} Pomegranate Jam

 
 

When I think of fall, of course the traditional apples, pumpkins, and savory soups immediately come to mind and make my tummy growl in anticipation, but only a second behind that craving is my love of freshly picked pomegranates. My in-laws have a couple trees that are weighed down each fall with these delicious pink-seeded fruit that are packed with vitamins C, B5, E, and could rival carrots for its beta carotene and bananas for its potassium. On their own they're a healthy yummy snack, but when you have buckets of them you need to get come up with something other than having one for a snack or even freezing them for later. Thus we have {Homemade} Pomegranate Jam made with low or no-sugar needed pectin and coconut sugar. Coconut sugar because it ranks lower on the glycemic index and won't leave you with a rush and crash after eating, plus it's usually far less processed.

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Citrus Ginger Green Smoothie

Having a baby six months ago on top of everything else had put a bit of a damper on my workout habits. Oh, who am I kidding, they came to a screeching halt! It hasn't been easy or convenient, but I'm back to running again (which is the best de-stressing, mind clarifying, boost of endorphin ever! It's like a shot of happy!) and I've joined a gym and am loving trying out all the different classes they offer. You know what, having that hour a day of exercise back in my routine is not only making me feel better physically, but I'm telling you it makes me a better mom.  Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm way more able to handle the daily challenges that being a mom brings and feel more relaxed so I can enjoy this time with my crazy kiddos.

Speaking of feeling good and doing good stuff for yourself...how about a green smoothie?!

This smoothie is creamy and filling while still refreshing and super good for you. My kids love green smoothies too and they gave it a thumbs up. Even my hubby who prefers his greens non-pureed thought it was yummy!

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Homemade Applesauce (No Added Sugar)

 

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Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks

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10 Delicious & Gluten-Free Ways to Enjoy Watermelon


For me, celebrating Independence Day is almost as exciting as Christmas! I love the fireworks, the stirring reminder of patriotism, and the feeling of unity as citizens of a nation I am proud to be part of. I don't know about the rest of you, but the smell of fireworks and summer just isn't complete without watermelon.

I'm a purist when it comes to watermelon. Big slices of cold deep pink goodness sitting on a piece of newspaper to catch the seeds and juice dripping off your chin - it's bliss. But sometimes it's fun to take this fruit and dress it up, blend it up, and otherwise use it to make everything it touches taste sweet and fresh. 
I guess what I'm trying to say is...it's summer - let the watermelon madness begin! 
Here I've collected 10 unique, gluten free, and delicious ways to enjoy everyone's favorite melon!....I'm going to need more watermelon.

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Chia Seed Fruit Leather: Energy Snack

 

 

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Honey Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

 

This morning we awoke to....SNOW!  I shouldn't be surprised since I grew up along the Wasatch mountain range, but when you live in the sunny Southwest for almost 10 years you kind of forget what cold is.  The kids were so excited!  It was all I could do to keep them in the house and dry before I dropped my 2nd grader and kindergartner off at school.  Back at home again my 2 year old sat with her face glued to the window and watched as the slushy rain turned to little balls of hail then to huge fluffy snow flakes.  It's only October!  I needed something toasty and since we just carved pumpkins last night --->
 

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Orange Marmalade - Sweetened with Honey



Remember the Paddington books? Well, orange marmalade may be all the vitamins and minerals a bear needs, but it happens to be pretty good for people too - that is, when you swap out all that sugar for some local, raw, unfiltered honey. We all know oranges are full of vitamin C, but they also boast other essential vitamins and flavonoids (antioxidants).



Most people love to eat oranges or drink the juice, but we're missing some serious health benefits that are only found in the peels. I'm talking calcium, copper, magnesium, vitamin A, folate and other B vitamins. Not to mention a good source of dietary fiber. And guess what? Orange marmalade incorporates those beautiful orange peels.

All this healthy goodness is so lovely that we don't want to mess it up by dumping mounds of refined sugar on it. Instead, I used some locally harvested raw, unfiltered honey. Using honey from local bees may help to reduce seasonal pollen allergies and boost your immune system.

So, now you can enjoy some very tasty, very powerful natural immune supporting vitamins on a sandwich and keep it in your hat if you like...in case of emergency. ;) Although, my favorite is to add about a tablespoon of marmalade to my morning bowl of cooked rolled oats, and top it all with fresh blueberries, pecan halves, and almond milk.

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I have been learning to get creative with everything we have been so graciously gifted from this land, but despite the constant cr... Read More
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Melissa Moore has spent years researching and implementing nutritionally-based approaches to health and wellness. Her lifelong love of food and health evolved from a hobby to a passion when her daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease.

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