cheesy kale chips

Cheesy Kale Chips 

Cheesy kale chips satisfy my cravings.  I love snaking on salty, crunchy things - popcorn popped in coconut oil and sprinkled with sea salt and nutritional yeast, cheese and apples, honeycomb and crackers.  We as a family are trying to eat cleaner and healthier, I do my best to avoid snacking (following the recomendations of this book)- but sometimes the urge creeps up on my anyways.  I reach for kale chips, those wonderful crispy bites of green and spice.

I’ve tried many a kale chip and have found my self, many times, disappointed.  Here, I can’t help but share my very favorite version with you.  They’re crisp, and cheesy (though they don’t actually contain any dairy) and full of yummy goodness.

How to Make Cheesy Kale Chips

Mild white miso, nutritional yeast, garlic sea salt and olive oil form the flavoring for these kale chips, and that combination of sweet-sour-salty miso and nutritional yeast lend a soft cheesy flavor to these kale chips.  After mixing the seasoning, massaging it into the kale, you simply spread the seasoned kale onto your dehydrator’s trays, dry them until crispy and serve.  It’s impossibly easy.

Using a Dehydrator for Your Kale Chips (and where to find one)

Some recipes calls for roasting kale chips in the oven, but, if you have one, use a dehydrator (you can find some good ones online). Favoring a dehydrator allows you to maintain even, low temperatures, while drying kale chips in the oven runs the risk of cooking them through or unevenly.  Nevermind that good quality dehydrators can be used for many, many things: super green veggie powder, homemade fruit roll-ups, herbs, homemade bouillon, and more.

The Issue of Raw Kale

Sturdy greens and cruciferous vegetables are beautiful foods, loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, but they (like all foods) can be potentially problematic.  Instead of fearing our food, we should understand it, enjoy it and eat a varied diet.

And for the Good News

Kale is rich in antioxidants like quercetin, beta carotene and loads of flavonoids.  It is also a good source of vitamin C, minerals, folate and other B vitamins. As kale is so extraordinarily rich in antioxidants, it helps to reduce oxidative stress and may help in the prevention of inflammatory conditions.

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

Tonight we made apple crisp.  I feel accomplished and my family’s belly’s are full with good, local, healthy*, made with love food.  Not only is cooking from scratch good for your waist line, it’s good for your soul.

I know of many people who can simply whip up apple crisp from memory.  But am not one of them.  I did a modified version of ‘Pear Crisp’ recipe in a great book called The Are Of Simple Food- by Alice Waters.

First we peeled and sliced 6 honey-crisp apples.

This totally could be a bowl of potatoes....

The next step is when you get the children involved.  Here come C & B….top chefs.  Pour apples into baking dish, grab two spoons and let them ‘mix it up’.

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Were you thinking that maybe C’s a little over dressed?  This is what she puts on everyday after school.  Why not wear a pretty dress, right???

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In another bowl add all the ingredients for the topping and mix.

No that we finished that recipe up I added some extra ingredients like ground flakseed and oatmeal.   More mixin’ was had.  

 Next simply pour toppings over apples and bake.  See full recipe below.

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Apple Crisp Recipe

Ingredients
Apple Base:
5 Apples {peeled, cored and cut into slices}
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 3/4 tablespoon of whole wheat flour
Topping
2/3 chop almonds
1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/4 flaxseed meal
1/4 oatmeal
12 tablespoons of butter {chopped up
Directions: 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix all the items for the base in a bowl them pour into a baking dish.  Next put all the topping ingreidents in a bowl and mix up.  Then pour over apple mixture.  Bake in over for 40-55 mintues.  Serve warm with Vanilla Almond milk {or regular milk}, vanilla ice cream or whip cream.

Reviews:
Liam: ‘I ate it all, can I have some in my lunch tomorrow?’
Claire: ‘It’s good but I’m not hungry I don’t want to eat it.’
Bryce: Silence.

She gave me a rutabaga

She gave me a rutabaga- and other great things from her garden—actually she gave us 2 rutabaga’s.

My mother-in-law loves to garden.  Spending time in her garden is her place of zen, it’s her getaway from it all.  I can appreciate, but sadly I don’t share such devotion to my garden.  So when she digs a root up from the ground and says ‘here’s a rutabaga!’ we all get excited, because we know she grew that for us- with love.  On the other hand she gave to 2 large rutabaga’s- I wasn’t sure what to do with them.  But I am always up a for a challenge.

Rutabaga

What is a rutabaga, my kids wanted to know, and so did I.  Is it in the potato family?- carrot family?  Other then it came out of the earth I didn’t really know much about it.  So I searched and found that rutabagas originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip. {I did not see that coming}  High in vitamin C, rutabagas also have a high content of potassium and vitamin E.  Antioxidants, good for your blood pressure and, – how can you not incorporate this amazing root into regular dinner table rotation after learning that!?!?

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Rutabagas can be cooked so many ways:  steamed, boiled and mashed, sautéed, baked or roasted- serve them as a side dish or in salads and most definitely in soups!

But I did simply did our favorite fall time oven roasted veggie mix and added chopped rutabaga’s.

Ingredients:
1 Rutabaga
6 Carrots
3 Apples
2 Large Yellow Onions
Olive Oil
Apple Cider
Salt & Pepper to taste
honey

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Chop rutabaga and carrots into bite size pieces and cut apples and onions into slices.  Add about 2 tsp. of olive oil, add salt and pepper and toss.  Pour mix into baking pan.  Add apple cider to the bottom of pan until the pan is covered with liquid.  Place in oven and bake for 35 mins stirring once in a while to make sure veggies don’t stick to the pan.  Once veggies are cooked through place in serving dish- make sure to add the yummy liquid cider mix to bowl too.  Drizzle with honey and serve!

Kid Tested:
Liam: “So good finally something I like”.
Claire: “I love carrots”
Brycer: “Batman”

 

 

Black Bean and Corn Salad

Ingredients
2 c. cooked black beans, or 1 15 oz can, rinsed and drained
2 c. fresh steamed or frozen sweet corn
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
2 scallions, sliced
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, diced (optional)
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp. honey
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Method
1. Combine salad ingredients (through cilantro).

2. In a small bowl, combine oil, lime juice, honey, salt and pepper.

3. Pour over salad and toss gently to mix.

How to store fresh fruit and vegetables

You’ve just returned from the farmer’s market or super market with two canvas bags full of gorgeous fresh fruits and veggies.  Great score!!! You sit down at the kitchen table to plan out the delicious dishes you’ll cook up for the week.  But after one look at your calendar, you know deep in your heart you can’t possibly eat and cook all of this produce in one week.  And sadly there’s a high probability that some of it will go to waste.

You are not alone. The typical American family throws out almost 500 pounds of food a year.  That is a lot wasted of money!  Here are some tips on how to store fresh fruits and veggies so you don’t become a statistic.

How to Store Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Know Which Fruits and Veggies Produce Gas

Fruits and veggies naturally emit an odorless, harmless, and tasteless gas called ethylene, and some produce it in greater quantities than others. When ethylene-producing foods are stored next to ethylene-sensitive foods, the gas will speed up the ripening process of the other produce. This is great if you need to ripen a piece of produce, for example, pair an apple with an unripe avocado. However, if you don’t want to speed up the ripening (or decay) process, store or keep the following fruits and veggies separate.

Produce That Creates Ethylene Gas: Apples, apricots, avocados, ripening bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, citrus fruit (not grapefruit), figs, grapes, green onions, honeydew, ripe kiwi fruit, mangoes, melons, mushrooms, nectarines, papayas, passion fruit, peaches, pears, peppers, pineapple, plums, prunes, tomatoes and watermelon.

Produce That Is Damaged by Ethylene Gas: Asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, kale, kiwi fruit, leafy greens, lettuce, parsley, peas, peppers, potatoes, romaine lettuce, spinach, squash,sweet potatoes, watercress and yams.

Take the Time to Plan Your Meals

  • Plan your meals for the week before you go shopping and create a shopping list
  • Only buy what’s on your shopping list
  • Eat and or cook the produce with the shortest shelf life first
  • If you still can’t manage to eat all of your fruits and veggies, throw them in yourcompost pile (along with your food prep scraps)

Follow These Food Storage Guidelines

Produce Storage Life Expectancy
Apples refrigerator (loose, not in bag) up to 1 month
Apricots, Nectarines, Peaches, Plums counter until ripe, then refrigerate in a bag 2-4 days
Artichokes refrigerator, in a bag 1-2 weeks
Asparagus refrigerator, trim stems, upright in a jar of water 3-4 days
Avocados counter, store uneaten portion with the pit intact in a bag in the fridge 3-4 days
Bananas counter 2 days
Berries & Cherries covered in the fridge. Don’t wash until you use them (too much moisture in the package speeds spoilage). 1-2 days
Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower refrigerator, bag in the crisper 4-7 days
Carrots refrigerator, take tops off 2 weeks
Celery refrigerator, wrapped in aluminum foil 1-2 weeks
Citrus room temperature of 60-70 degrees 1-2 weeks
Cucumber refrigerator, bag in the crisper 4-5 days
Eggplant cool, dry, dark place (counter, cupboard, basket) 3-4 days
Garlic unpeeled - cool, dry, dark place;peeled – sealed container in refrigerator or freezer unpeeled – several months;peeled – several weeks in refrigerator, months in freezer
Ginger store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, then freeze remainder if refrigerated – 2-3 weeks; if frozen - 2 months
Grapes refrigerator, in a bag 1 week
Green Beans & Peas refrigerator, in bag or container 3-5 days
Greens (lettuce,kale, spinach, cabbage) refrigerator, bag in the crisper 1-2 weeks
Herbs (fresh) refrigerator, trim stems, upright in a jar of water 1 week
Kiwis counter until ripe, then refrigerate in a bag 3-4 days
Mangoes, Melons counter until ripe, then refrigerate in a bag 4 – 7 days
Mushrooms cool, dry dark place (counter, cupboard, basket) in a bag 2-3 days
Onions cool, dry dark place (counter, cupboard, basket) 2 months
Pears counter until ripe, then refrigerate in a bag 3-4 days
Peppers refrigerator, bag in the crisper 4-5 days
Potatoes cool, dry dark place (counter, cupboard, basket) 1-2 weeks
Root vegetables (radishes, beets,turnips) refrigerator, leave greens on 1-2 weeks
Squash cool, dry dark place (counter, cupboard, basket) 4-5 days
Tomatoes counter, uncovered; refrigerate if very ripe 2-3 days


Check out other fun things on our summer bucket list.

 

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Bee Pollen Smoothie

Bee Pollen Smoothie

 Here is a great bee pollen smoothie recipe.  A bee pollen smoothie is a great way to introduce bee pollen into your diet.  Click here to learn more about bee pollen.  There are many ways of incorporating these amazing golden granules into your everyday foods.  Sprinkle it on your morning cereal or lunch-time salad, top your desserts, add to salad dressing, or fold it into your raw food snacks.

Bee Pollen Smoothie

Ingredients:
serves 2
1 cup nut milk (or other milk)
1 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
1 frozen banana, in 3 or 4 chunks
1 Medjool date, pitted (optional)
1 hunk of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tsp. bee pollen (to start, work up to 1 Tbsp.)
Directions:
-Put everything in a blender and whirl it up!  Drink immediately!
  ..:::What Is Bee Pollen?:::..

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