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Donation Button

Oldfather-Farms-126Good day everyone, I am sure that by now you have seen the Donate Button in our main menu.

Nouveau Raw and the wonderful people that I come in contact with through it, are such an amazing  blessing in my life.  Just like most  recipe / teaching blogs Nouveau Raw started out with one recipe and one subscriber.  Today, I share my heart and my passion for healthier eating with over 14,000 subscribers and more than 600,000 page views a month!  We even had to move to a different (and of course more expensive) server to support all this traffic.

  I share my recipes and experiences, answer every comment that comes through, take on challenges in creating “healthified” dishes when readers make requests, and spend endless hours doing research.  I do all of this with the greatest joy and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to spend time with like-minded people (like you!).

Throughout the years numerous people have asked me if there was some way to contribute financially to my site.  We finally decided to create the “donate button” for those of you who wish to express their appreciation through a donation.    Please do not feel any obligation to make any kind of donation at any time.  I provide all that I do, to simply help  you lead a happier, healthier life, one recipe at a time.  This is a truly labor of love for me.  If however you do wish to contribute I greatly appreciate your kindness.

Another way that you can support Nouveauraw.com is by purchasing items through my Amazon store.  Everything you buy there will return some of their profits to me and my blog, without any extra cost to you.     If you are going to buy anything through Amazon and get there through the link below, or through my store,  I will get a small commission on that sale as well.

Thank you again for thinking of me.  Much love, amie sue :)

Click Here to Shop on Amazon

Noodle Mania!

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Over the past month I have been buried in veggie noodles.  If a hard, rooted veggie sat still long enough, I spiralized it!  My mom was here visiting for the past month and each day I tried to create a new raw dish for her.

She is learning to eat more and more healthier and I thought veggie noodles would add a lot of excitement into her life. I know I haven’t touched all that there is to spiralize but I did get a good start.  I hope that you find some inspiration through them!    The main dish that really started all of this was my Raw Veggie Noodle Pad Thai dish that I made for her, which she fell in love with.

I hope that you can find some inspiration from these postings.  Check out all the veggies noodles that I have been working on…Noodle Making / Alternatives

 

Tools used to create noodles:

GEFU Spiralfix Spiral Slicer 13410 $49.95

  1. Can be used in the left or right hand.
  2. 4 different widths of cut for creative recipes: Spiral cut across the entire width of the material, 3 mm, 6 mm or 12 mm wide adjustable via adjusting wheel
  3. Folding lid for easy filling
  4. Detachable non-slip holding container for safe standing
  5. Material: stainless steel, ABS plastic, SAN
  6. Splash-guard lid with drive unit detachable for easy cleaning. Dishwasher-safe

World Cuisine Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer: Approx. $29

  1. Built for right handed people.
  2. This slicer comes with 3 different blades which give you 3 complete different textures and shapes.
  3. This is the one used in the photo above.

Joyce Chen Saladacco Spiral Slicer: Approx. $25

  1. This is another type of spiral slicer that gives you some different options, such as angel hair thickness.

Potato Peeler: Approx. $8

  1. Wash and peel the outer skin off of the veggie.
  2. Hold the veggie  at one end and in a long stroke motion, run the peeler from top to bottom.
  3. Rotate the veggie in a circular motion and continue peeling until you reach the seeded core (if there is one).  Stop once you reach this.  Don’t throw it away, use it in a smoothie or salad.

New Added Feature ~ “Your Favorite Recipes”

I wanted to let you know that we have added a new feature to Nouveau Raw.  It is called “Your Favorite Recipe”.  This came as a special request by one of our readers .  And we aim to please. :)  This feature can be found on the left-side menu bar on your screen.  See the green arrow in the photo below.  

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Once you click on the menu it will take you to the “My Favorite Recipe Collection”
Please read the instructions that once you open up the page on your computer.

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In the photo below, you will see the yellow arrow pointing at a yellow star
with the words, “Add to Favorites”.  When you click on those words, it
will save that recipe to your own collection of favorite recipes.  
You will find this star at the top of each recipe.

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Once you have clicked on it, it will now read “Added to Favorites!”

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Now once you have started a collection, you can  click on the“ Your Favorite Recipes” 
on the left-side menu bar and see what recipes you have selected.  See the large yellow arrow below.  
If you want to visit that recipe, you just click on the name of the recipe that is in the green ink.  
You will also the word remove, this is to remove any recipe one at a time from your favorites.
 See the tiny yellow arrow?  It reads “Clear favorites”  be careful, once you click that,it will erase all 

the recipes in your collection and then you would have to re-add them one at a time .

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I hope that you enjoy this feature.  If you have any questions or comments,
please leave note below and I will do my best to help. ;)  
Have a wonderful day!   Amie Sue

A Special Thank You… Best of Raw Results are in!

thank-you-FBOMGJ!!!! Oh My Golly Jillywinkers!!!  They just had the Best of Raw Awards for 2014, and I won for Professional Gourmet Chef (5+) Years!  Not only that, I also won the award for Professional Raw Photographer!  I am so totally overwhelmed, it really has not even fully sunk in yet.

I know am a few days late in sharing this news with all of you,  I but I am here now to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your votes.  I am truly honored.  None of this would have even been possible without  your support and love.  I know that may sound a little cliche’ but it is really true and I don’t know of any better way of saying it.

All this joy from what started as a little website to keep track of my recipes so I wouldn’t lose them.  Now I have this wonderful venue where I can share my passion with you… I am living my dream.  Lets not ever wake up, ok?! ;)

Of course I made a raw cake to celebrate, but we are all going to have to share… but not to worry, I have plenty of forks. hehe  Next year who knows?  Food Network?

Many blessings to each and every one of you…

Amie Sue

Happy Thanksgiving and a “New” Recipe Round Up

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Before the days get busy (eeeer) I wanted to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and to remind you of how thankful I am for you.  But this warm fuzzy feeling that I have doesn’t just happen one day out of the year.  Everyday, I reflect on how blessed and grateful I am to have such encouraging and supporting readers.  You are truly my inspiration.

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I have so many new recipes to share with you but I didn’t want to overwhelm your inbox with individual emails so I decided to round them up into one tidy little spot.  Here.  Below you will find a photo and a link of each new recipe that I have developed. These are all new!   I have more to share in the up and coming days, so stay tuned.

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving for the first time, or just trying to think of something special to add to your feast-filled day, you may be short on ideas.  My hope is that you can find some great, healthy dishes here on Nouveau Raw to feed your guests with.

Thanksgiving time is often filled with traditions, but so often they fall to the wayside as the years pass.  Now is the time to either bring them back or create some new ones of your own.  Want to try something new?  Create a Family Gratitude Journal® throughout the year.  Each night, have a family member share something that they are grateful for by writing it down in the book. Then when the next Thanksgiving rolls around, pass it around the table, having each person read from the book.

Another fun idea is to create a tablecloth specifically for Thanksgiving celebrations. Provide fabric markers where friends and family can record their gratitudes by writing them on the tablecloth.  Have each person sign and date their message.  Each year pull this out and decorate your table with it.  Everyone will reminisce and read all the wonderful messages that get recorded over the years.

Here is a quick decorating idea…  Nothing fancy schmancy, but they are sure adorable!   In the picture on right, I peeled some tiny mandarin oranges and popped some mint leaves in the center.  So easy, so adorable!  Edible decor.  Again thank you, each and every one of you, for joining me on my journey.

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Raw Cranberry and Pomegranate Relish

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Raw Pomegranate and Cranberry Relish Cheesecake

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Raw Pomegranate and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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Raw Pomegranate and Vanilla Bean Pudding

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Raw Warm Green Bean Casserole with Buttery Walnut Crumble

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The little pumpkins below, go together quick and easy.  I bought the plastic
pumpkins from the Dollar Store, and wrapped them with twine, securing it
with hot glue.  Added a few do-dads, and there you have it… a warm Autumn
decoration.

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Best of Raw… Time to Vote!

gI_123025_bestofraw1Good morning!

As many of you may know, last year through the amazing support and love of those who follow Nouveau Raw… we won the “Favorite Online Blog” award.    Every year around this time,  those that are involved in the raw lifestyle get nominated in various categories.   One of my readers contacted me saying that they wanted to nominate me for the “Favorite Online Blog” award again. As honored as I was, you can’t enter in the same category two years in a row.  :)  So with that being said,  this year I am  listed in two different categories…

Professional Gourmet Chef 5+ years

Professional Raw Photographer  

To vote, please click on the following link:  Best of Raw.  You can vote for me, Amie Sue Oldfather, or for any one else who has been an inspiration to you on your journey.  No matter who you vote for, please vote.  It shows great support and encouragement to all of us who share our love and passion with all of you.

How to Vote:

  1. Click on the blue Vote button below.  This will redirect you to the Best of Raw site.
  2. From there click on the large sign that reads “Click here to enter the voting portal”
  3. If you haven’t voted before, follow the instructions to be able to log in.
  4. Then click to vote.  
  5. In the next screen, “select a category”  if you are voting for me, the category would be “PEOPLE”.
  6. Under that, select the bar below and click on Professional Gourmet Chef 5+ years and / or Professional Raw Photographer.
  7. Then select the name and then submit.   
  8. To vote in another category, on the left hand menu, click on “select another vote”.
  9. You can vote for both if you wish.

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The contest is open from November 15th through January 8th.

 

Where Nouveau Raw’s and now Oldfather Farms’ creations come to life… my pantry

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I continually receive requests to see pictures of my fridge and pantry. hehe  So, I thought I would take a moment to share some pictures of my pantry.  No square inch has been left untouched. haha  In my head, I refer to my pantry as an art studio.  It is filled with all-things-inspiring when it comes to creating and plating raw food dishes.  But before I can show you more about how my pantry is organized, we need to take a tour through time so you can see what it use to look like.

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This is what it looked like when we first moved into the house.
For those of you who haven’t seen it in person, it is hard to get the full impact of everything
we went through.  In the photo below there were three small rooms that ran together.
Laundry room, shower room for cleaning off after working in the orchard, and a pantry.

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We gutted it down to the bare bones.   There is Bob
playing in the shower.  So hard to get that man to do any real work. hehe Just kidding.

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The inner dividing walls were removed except for the wall that houses the electrical panel.

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Looks like me on a bad hair day

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Aaah, inner walls contained, I am already feeling better…

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Time to warm things up with a little paint…

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Natural cork flooring… bad hair day under control… things are looking up.

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We had been living part-time in Oregon and part-time in Arizona.  But this past
June, we closed up our house in Arizona and become full-time residents  where our
hearts have taken root… Hood River, Oregon.  In July, our household belongings
showed up from Tucson.  These boxes were just from the kitchen stuff from our other
home!  It took me three days to filter each box into the new pantry.  Sorting,
organizing and labeling.

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So seven days,  5 long hot baths, 16 bruises on my legs (yep, counted them during my bath),
5 gallons of sun tea, six nights of sleeping like a lumber jack…LATER…. this is the end result…

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There is a WHOLE LOTTA’ stuff going on in such a small space…talk about trying
to fit 10 lbs of “stuff” into a 5 lb bag.  I am already eyeballing the garage.  I  have
the window treatments selected in my head.;)  I mean, my 2 commercial fridges and 1
commercial freezer, already take up a good portion of real estate out there.
We better build a barn SOON!

Introducing Oldfather Farms Raw Food Manufacturing Company

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A lot has been going on behind the scenes of Nouveau Raw so I thought it was about time to bring you, my good readers, up to speed.  For quite a while now, we have had the dream of creating our own raw food manufacturing company.  Getting there has has been quite an amazing journey to say the least.  We have had many distractions with our other business (Bookmans, based in Arizona), Bob and I relocating to Hood River, Oregon, buying a orchard there, let alone the day to day of life. :)  But during all of this, we were taking small steps in preparation.  Everything in due time, I guess.

But it is now official.  Oldfather Farms™ is now a legit raw food manufacturing company!  We have a licensed raw food kitchen, a logo, business cards, wholesale accounts to buy ingredients, and packaging materials.  And of course recipes in place.

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On October 23rd we delivered our first product, which is now being sold in one of Hood River’s finest coffee shops … Doppio Coffee and Lounge.  For the past year or so, I have been taking them “raw food tastings” to get feedback on my creations.  Plus, they are just so cool down there, that I love to share goodies with them, just because.   So, if you live in the area or if you pass through Hood River, be sure to stop in there and order a Raw Dark Chocolate Ganache Brownie (spiced with black pepper and cayenne).  They have a full menu of delicious foods and pull amazing espressos, if that is your thing.  If not, they make great smoothies and even have kombucha on tap!

This is going to be exciting new chapter in our lives and I have to say that I couldn’t have done this without you and my adoring husband, Bob.  You may be asking yourself, “Me?”… yes you.  You have all become part of my extended family, and a wonderful support system.  Just by being “here” you inspire me to continue to share my passion, and this is the next step.  Don’t worry though, Nouveau Raw isn’t going anywhere!  I will always be creating recipes and sharing them with you.  :)

So, again Bob and I thank you for being a part of this journey, and hang on it should be quite a ride. :)

Much love,

Amie Sue

Upgrades on Recipe Viewing

Good morning, afternoon, or evening,… whenever this posting should find you…

I just wanted to point out that we have done a little upgrading to NouveauRaw for your recipe viewing pleasure.  You can view them as you always have by clicking on the photos or you can view the recipes as a list.  Just click on the the “Click for List View” button near the top of the recipe page.  See the screenshot below.  I am such a visual person so I prefer searching the recipe pictures right off from the get-go, but I realize that many of you are “list people” and would rather scan down a list of recipes to find  their inspiration.

Bob and I must have spent a good hour or two just designing the button.  lol   To big, to small, to long, wrong feel, text not just right, to blocky, to harsh, to glossy, to modern… one of the joys (?) of living with an artist.  ;0   I think I dreamt of buttons all night long.   Anyway, enough about the button… I hope that you enjoy having the option.  Let me know what you think.

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I found it rather shocking as to how many recipes that I have created and share on this site.   I don’t think about it.  I 
just create, create, create and share, share, share.  After installing the button so we could click over to the 
list view, we took it for a test spin and up popped the list of recipes.  I scrolled and scrolled and scrolled. 
Wowza!  That really brought it home to me.  hehe  I liken it to the Holiday Gain… during the holidays
you eat and eat and eat,  but then after the holidays pass, you step
on the scale… and your eyes about pop out of your head.  I GAINED that much?!!!  haha In this case…
I MADE that many??!!  And Bob says, “I ATE that many??!! lol  Life is fun. :)

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Peaches, Fruit Flies and Fruit Roll Ups

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Well it’s that time of year again, when peaches are in season.   Well, at least there are here at Oldfather Farms.  They are perfect for picking!  I will soon be sharing some raw peach recipes, but today as I was prepping some for dehydration, I was rudely invaded by … Fruit Flies!  Oy-vey!  I don’t understand where they come from, but they are never late to a fruit party, that is for sure.

After Bob and I spent a little time picking some peaches, I brought them in the house, put them on the counter, went to use to the bathroom, came back and !!!!!! There they all were.  I think they were drunk on peach juice!  It was time to get down and dirty.  I had a trick up my sleeve on how to deal with them, and it was time to pull out the “guns”. In case you haven’t seen my post on fruit flies that I did several years ago… here is a link on How to Deal with Fruit Flies.   There is an easy solution to help you get rid of them.  It still works and we are now fruit fly free.  Shew!

With Fall just around the corner, so is back to school.  I know in some states school has already started but peach fruit leather is a great way to use up those peaches (should they get out of hand) and create school snacks.   Last year, I developed over 60 different fruit leather recipes.   I also did a basic post on How to Make Fruit Leather, if you are looking for any tips.   Also, here are some recipes that I created for fruit leather that included peaches.

  1. Maple Peach Chia Fruit Chips
  2. Lavender Peach Fruit LeatherPeach Harvest Fruit Leather
  3. Peach Berry Fruit Leather
  4. Peach Cherry Fruit Leather
  5. Maca Cherry and Peach Fruit Leather
  6. Sweet Peach Fruit Leather
  7. Thanks-giving Pumpkin Peach Fruit Leather
  8. Balsamic Vinegar Peppercorn Peach Fruit Leather
  9. Blackberry and Peach Fruit Leather
  10. Peach Fruit Leather Infused with Pumpkin Spice Tea
  11. Honey Huckleberry Peach Fruit Leather
  12. Blueberry Peach Lavender Fruit Leather
  13. Pumpkin Bliss Fruit Leather
  14. Chili Pepper Peach Fruit Leather
  15. Peach Fruit Leather Infused with Chai Coconut Tea
  16. Summer Harvest Fruit Medley Leather
  17. Peachy Pumpkin Craisin Fruit Leather

And just in case you run out of peaches… there are plenty of other designer fruit leathers that I created.  Check them out here.

Best of Raw 2013 – We Won!

This is so cool, can you believe it?  We won the 2013 Best of Raw for an On-line Blog! Wheeeeeee.  So here is a special send out and thank you to each and every of you who voted for us.   I so love the community that has grown up around my site over the years. :)  It has really blossomed into something that I really can’t wrap my head around.  :)

I don’t know if you have any idea what it means to me to surrounded by such supportive and like-minded people.  YOU are the fuel that feeds my passion, and for that, I am so grateful (and so is Bob’s full belly haha).

Just for fun here are some facts about NouveauRaw. Did you know…

NouveauRaw was formed in 2008 mostly as a place for me to organize my recipes, and to share them with friends and family.

We now have 4,668 subscribers!

It has been viewed in 144 countries.

I have posted 879 recipes! OMG!

Last month we had 527,648 page views.

And 48,000 unique (different) visitors.

All I can say is WOW… it humbles me to think that as I scamper around my little kitchen, dropping spatulas covered with sticky almond butter on the floor, getting key lime pie batter spattered in my face, dropping measuring spoons in my running food processor, or watching a tray of kale chips tumble to the floor as I carry them to the dehydrator…. And while all that is going on, I have my extend raw family sneaking peeks at my creations.  How amazing is that?!

Again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much.

Amie Sue

 

Update ~ Best of Raw Voting ~ Now made easier!

Last week I  sent out an email where you could go to vote for your favorite raw food site.  After countless comments and private emails, I realized that the voting process was way to difficult.  I sent “Best of Raw” an email explaining the issue.  Apparently I wasn’t the only one because today I received an email from them…

“We’ve heard from many of you about our new voting technology, and we’ve been listening to the feedback from the community of folks who have begun voting at this year’s Best of Raw Online Awards!  Many of you have mentioned that the log-in interface was difficult to use and faulty. We therefore removed the Facebook and regular login function altogether.  It is now much simpler for people to vote with only a single requirement for voters to enter their email address without having to set up an account or use Facebook, so that we can keep the voting “real,” ie, one vote per person.”

Yay!  How wonderful that they fixed it, making the process easier.  If you are still interested in voting, click the button below please visit their site and cast your vote.  You will need to select “online blog” on their site and then scroll down to find Nouveau Raw.

Many blessings and have a wonderful day. amie sue

1/20/13 Update… It seems people are still have problems finding me so they can vote. I took step by step screen shots to help….

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Best of Raw: Time to Vote for all Your Raw Favorites

This year I was nominated for The Best of Raw Awards, if you want to go and vote for me, please do.  Even if you don’t vote for me, be sure to check out the other raw sites that were nominated. I am sure that you will find some great resources!

To vote, visit the following link and it will take you to the voting page, or just click on the button below,  BestofRawFoods.com. It takes a second or two for the their page to fully load.  Once it does, click on the “online blog” category,  then scroll down a bit and look for my picture.  I realized when I had to fill out their form that Nouveau Raw doesn’t have a logo!  Tisk, risk.  I need to work on that. :)

The creator and founder of Best of Raw, Laura Fox, says, “We have created the Best of Raw Awards to honor and celebrate those who are educating humanity about adding more raw organic plant foods to the diet to increase health, decrease our eco-footprint and raise our spirits”.

The winners of the Best of Raw Awards are going to be announced at the Raw Living Expo.

I appreciate your vote and your time.  Many blessings, Amie Sue

Nouveau Raw Web-site Upgraded for Mobile Devices

Good morning everyone!  This is just a quick note to let you know that Nouveau Raw is under going a few changes at the moment.  We have upgraded the site  making it more user-friendly for mobile devices.   Along with changes, comes a few bugs.  So, please, if you notice anything strange or see things that you feel could be improved… make a comment on this post and we will do everything we can to fix it.  Have a wonderful weekend! amie sue

Happy Holidays! A Special Thank You & an eBook Sale!

I wanted to take a moment during this busy time of year, sit down, and share with of you what a blessing this site has become for me.  I originally started Nouveau Raw back in 2008 as a way to keep my own personal recipes organized and for my friends and family. Little did I know back then that my “friends” would expand to over 3,000 of you and reach all corners of the globe!

My passion for healthy foods continues to grow stronger and stronger with each recipe I create. And to have all of you to share them with just blesses me beyond measure.   Every morning I wake up, kiss my husband, then snuggle on the couch as we share a cup of coffee.  Then as all my faculties begin to come into focus, I open up my computer and browse through my emails.  And much to my delight, everyday, I find messages from so many of you.  I am so thankful, you inspire me, encourage me, challenge me and bring great joy to my heart.  I never knew that starting this site would have such an impact on me.  Thank you all so much, I am deeply humbled.

I know many of you love to give homemade Christmas gifts and this is a time of year when we are invited to potlucks, dinner parties, cookie exchanges, office parties, and so forth. I am not sure if you have checked out my eBook, but it contains step by step instructions  with photos to help you create beautiful edible art in the form of veggie bouquets.  A show stopper for sure!  It will help you put a whole new spin on bringing the “typical” veggie tray and become the star of any party!  As my gift to you, my loyal readers, I am offering a special holiday, 50% off, discount on my eBook.  You can purchase it from now till December 31st, 2012 for only $3.99.  This would also make a wonderful gift for someone special in your life as well.  In case you haven’t seen a picture of what you can create out pure veggies, see the photo below.  If that isn’t inspirational, I don’t know what is.  :)  Many blessings and happy holidays!  Amie Sue

To purchase the Edible Veggie Ebook, click on the photo below.  It will direct you to the order page.  Be sure to type in the discount code, “edible art”.  If you don’t put the code in, you won’t get the discount.  This will drop the price from $7.99 to $3.99.  Enjoy!

 

Wrapped up in Fruit Leather

Yes it’s true… I have been wrapped up with making fruit leather these days, weeks, oh my gosh, has it even turned into a month?!  I shudder at the thought.   I wake up in the morning and my little feet hit the floor and pitter-patter down the hallway, making my way to the kitchen, for in the midst of my dreams I have come up with yet again, another recipe to test… I am not sure what bug bit me, but it gave me a fever for creating gourmet fruit leathers.

As I stand at the island in my kitchen, most of the cabinet doors are open, the draws are ajar, and the counters and sinks are full of dirty dishes.  Shoot I am beginning to think that dishes are just meant to be dirty all time and having them clean in the cabinet is just a sheer crime!  I usually have at least four recipes going at once.  It isn’t uncommon to find the water running, (filling the sink for dishes), the Blendtec whirling with some beautiful puree in it, all the while I hustle and bustle about looking for a dry dishcloth, which is usually always hanging from my pants pocket.  Logic defies me during these moments.  A photo shoot is sitting in the corner waiting for my attention,  and my printer is chiming in the background telling me that I have run out of paper for the labels that I am creating.  Fruit juice is in my hair (note to self:  always put blender lid on before pushing “on”) causing strands of it to stick to my cheek which constantly makes it feel as though there’s a bug on me.  lol   My husband walks by, plants a kiss on my head, (which is a strategic plan to distract me as he snags a sample) and gracefully walks away shaking his head, laughing and telling me that I am crazy.    Perhaps I am, but I am ok with that.   All current fruit leather recipes  are listed below, just in case you want to skip all the following girl talk.

Part of my inspiration comes from my surroundings, here at Oldfather Farms.  The lush fruit season sends my mind into a tizzy of joy and wonder.  It all started with the fruit bearing season of Bing and Rainier Cherries.  After we sent the bulk of the ripe cherries to the packing house,  I was left with over 100 lbs worth to process personally.  My fingers were stained reddish/purple for about three weeks and my hands looked like those of a mechanic who works in grease all day. But I was proud of them and eventually stopped stuffing them into my pockets whenever I went out in public. :) I was determined to NOT let a single cherry go bad on me so, I picked them, froze them, dehydrated them, made smoothies with them, made jams, ice creams,  and  fruit leathers galore.  I even think I swallowed a cherry pit when my pitter malfunctioned and shot one into the air and into my mouth!  Will a cherry tree grow out of my belly button come Spring?  My Great Grandmother always told me that watermelons were going to sprout out of there because I always ate the seeds.  I am still waiting on that.

While we were waiting for our pears and peaches to ripen for harvest,  I couldn’t resist visiting the local Fruit Loop and this is where I got into trouble, I kept coming home with arms laden with fresh; strawberries, huckleberries, apricots, and apples.  I was like an addict who couldn’t control herself!  And no one was brave enough stand between me and the fruit to say, “No more Amie Sue!”… so I fed my addiction, literally.

I had dehydrator trays all over my kitchen, fruit leathers had invaded and taken control.  My brain was constantly interrupting itself.  The chatter went something like this: “I could try…oh wait, what would tarragon taste like paired with, oh oh, bananas, I could combine bananas and …. wait…. a bright shiny object!”  I kid you not, there was a tornado of ideas going through my mind so quickly that I almost called for an emergency broadcast (this was not a test)!  It was exhausting as my body tried to keep up with my mind.  I would no sooner wash the counter load of dishes when another creation would hit me and the process would start over.  There was no end to my madness so I caved into it.  The Borg where right on Star Trek, resistance is and was… futile.

It wasn’t just creating the recipes that kept me busy. I then had to package and design labels for all of them.  Right now my stand-alone freezer is chuck full of raw treats and it brings me such joy, and to my non-stop grazing husband. hehe We keep the freezer in the garage and my husband is always in it, pulling out raw treats and sharing them with everyone who comes over;  guests, orchard workers, the neighbors horses,  the electricians, you name it.  Today, a crew of five workers who are removing poison oak from our land, got Banana and Strawberry Dixie Pops.  Nothing more masculine than seeing a hard-working men walk around with Dixie Pops. lol

Still covered in every fruit puree possible… pear harvest hit… well for Bartlett’s anyway, the Bosc are still on the branches right now.  And trust me those branches are hanging low with the weight of the fruit on them.  Occasionally I go out there and lift up a branch or two, hoping to give the trunk of the tree some relief.  A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do!   The day of harvest came and it was a glorious day outside, the weather was perfect as it hovered around the mid seventies, the sun was high but there was a slight breeze in the air to keep it from beating down to harshly.   The orchard pickers reminded me of stealth ninjas,  one minute they were in front of you, the next minute they had disappeared into the trees only leaving a ghostly trail of dust that proved that they were once there.

The rumbling of trucks and four-wheelers kept a steady hum as the workers continued well into the late afternoon.  There were bins and barrels of pears peppered around the land. Ladders clanked and squeaked as they stripped each tree clean of its bounty.  Then faintly, if the wind caught their words just right,  you would hear a cadence of orders being commanded, a friendly chatter between workers and occasionally a melody of song would whisper through the air.   They were working hard but they seemed happy.  Which made me happy.  I sit here with a smile on my face as I look at the photo to the left here… You can’t quite see the huge grin on Bob’s face but he too was in heaven.  Here is giving the pears a bit of loving before they got shipped off.  So, keep in mind, if you buy a pear and it tastes amazing… it could be from Oldfather Farms… infused with love!  :)

Oh, and did I mention that there was a Mexican food truck parked in the middle of the orchard?!  Oh gosh, how could I forget that.  This topped it all!  A local restaurant sent out one of their food trucks to feed the workers.  What an odd, yet wonderful and tasty delight that was!  I posted a picture below of Gina and Bob enjoying a Mexican feast.  Boy, was the food amazing!  Here is a shout out to Taqueria Los Amigos!

No sooner did the pears start to ripen, then so did our little peach trees. (and they still are)   Cherries, pears and now peaches!  How is one to keep up?!  (wipes brow and carries a grin stretched from one ear to the other)  So, daily I head out and touch the pears, seeing if they are ready for picking.  Ok, ok, I talk to them too, really, there’s no need for a straightjacket.  Really.

But wait, there’s more!  (I feel like a Ginsue knife commercial)  Blackberries!!  Take me now lord, for I am in heaven! lol  We must have at least a hundred feet of wild, thorned, blackberries within our property lines and trust me, I have picked buckets full.  But I have come to realize that I realistically can’t keep up with them, so I am going to share some with the birds.  :)  Below, I am picking away while Bob is rejoicing in the background.  I do love that man.

So, as I already said, I have been making oodles of fruit leathers and I wanted to share all the recipes with you that I have been creating but I was concerned about releasing them individually and overloading you with emails so I decided to do one grand-puba post and include links to the fruit leather recipes that I have released so far.  I have developed, prepared and tested over 40 new recipes.  Most have been an instant hit but I have one right now as I type this that has given me some challenges.  I am on the 3rd attempt of that recipe trying to perfect it.  But that’s ok too because the mess ups didn’t end up in the trash,  they actually gave me a whole new idea and now I am off in a new direction.  I will share more later … 

So without further ado… in no particular order… I would like to present to you…

Sweet and Sour Green Apple Chubbies Fruit Leather ~ Gourmet Edition ~

Plum-Berry Balsamic and Pink Peppercorn Fruit Leather ~ Gourmet Edition ~

Kidding Around Fruit Leather ~ Gourmet Edition ~

Tres Fig Balsamic Fruit Leather ~ Gourmet Edition ~

Chocolate Banana  Personal “Pizza” Fruit Leather ~ Gourmet Edition ~

Chocolate covered Blueberry Leather Lollipops ~ Gourmet Edition ~

Sassy Raspberry Banana Fruit Leather ~ Gourmet Edition ~

Golden and Ruby Plum Pinwheel Fruit Leather ~ Gourmet Edition ~

Blackberry Banana Lavender Fruit Leather ~ Gourmet Edition ~

Orange Julius Fruit Leather ~ Gourmet Edition ~

Balsamic Banana-Berry Fruit Leather ~ Gourmet Edition ~

They freeze beautifully too!

OH and one last thing that I wanted to share with you.  Bless my husbands heart,  he sees all the work that I put into these creations, the amount of time I spend on them and he wanted to do something special for me,  he wanted to find a way to make my life easier….so he bought me a new washing machine…

Isn’t he just amazing?! lol

Garlic Honey Throat, Cold and Flu Remedy

This is a great cold and flu remedy to have on hand!

Garlic is a powerful immune-booster.  It is very effective against nasty bacterial, viral and fungal infections.  The antibiotic qualities of garlic appear to be a direct result of the allicin produced from raw, crushed garlic.  This is destroyed by age and cooking – cooked garlic has virtually no antibiotic value although it still retains other benefits.

Honey also has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties, so when you combine the two, you’ve got a great aid to help you fight sore throats, colds or the flu.

So here’s a tip: when infused in honey, raw garlic becomes far more palatable.  Tasty even!  So keep a jar of this on hand at all times.  At the first sign of a sore throat, cold or flu, start popping  honey infused garlic and try to eat one clove every hour or two all day long.  Decrease the amount the next day, but continue to eat a couple of cloves a day until all better.

So make up a jar of this and keep it in your fridge so that you will be all set for winter (or the next time you start to feel sick).  The garlic is ready to eat after a few days but tastes even better over time.  You can replace the garlic cloves with fresh ones whenever you take some out, so the jar remains pretty much full at all times.

WARNING: The consumption of honey during the first year of life has been identified as a risk factor for infant botulism.  Infant botulism occurs when a baby eats living bacteria or its spores and they grow in the baby’s gastrointestinal tract.  The most common cause of infant botulism is eating honey or corn syrup.   Please research this for more detailed information.  Here is what the Mayo Clinic has to say about it as well.

Recipe adapted from: Healthy Green Kitchens

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint jar
  • 1 cup of peeled garlic,  separated into cloves
  • raw local honey to fill your glass jar of choice (raw honey is more nutritious than store-bought honey)

Preparation:

  1. Fill jar with garlic cloves and then pour the honey over the garlic.  Allow mixture to infuse for several days before using, then store in the refrigerator where it will keep for a year or more.
  2. At the first sign of illness, start eating a clove every hour or two.  Aim for about 6 cloves per day.  The honey can be taken on its own by the spoonful as a cough syrup.  You could also mix a teaspoon of the honey with some raw apple cider vinegar and hot water and drink this as a tonic when you’re sick; feel free to add a dash of cayenne pepper, too- this is excellent for your sinuses.

Attention:

I had a reader send me a private email asking about botulism and if a person runs a risk of that when soaking garlic in honey.  I spent a great deal of time searching Google to find a specific answer, but I couldn’t find anything black and white regarding it.  There are a lot of warnings out there about botulism when it comes to soaking garlic in olive oil but not much about garlic in honey.  As mentioned above I found this recipe on Healthy Green Kitchen.  This site is ran by a woman who has a degree in naturopathic medicine.  I contacted her to see what her take is and she felt that there wasn’t an issue and has had a jar in her fridge for 2 years now with no problems.  I didn’t stop there though.  I put out 4 different emails inquiring about the subject matter at hand.  I contacted:

1st email – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Who replied…

Thank you for your inquiry to CDC-INFO. In response to your request for information on your risk for botulism, we are pleased to provide you with the following information.
While CDC-INFO was unable to locate specific information on the risk for botulism regarding the recipe you cited, we can provide you with the following information.
There are many things you can do to prevent botulism.
First, follow strict hygienic (cleanliness) procedures when canning food at home. This will help keep bacteria from getting into the food. Always follow proper home canning recipes, including the use of pressure canners or cookers when recommended. Boiling home-canned foods for 10 minutes before eating them will inactivate botulinum toxin.

You should also:
* Keep oils infused with garlic or herbs in the refrigerator; and
* Keep potatoes baked in tin foil hot until they are served or keep them in the refrigerator.

Don’t feed honey to babies less than 1 year old. This is because honey may contain the spores that can produce botulism bacteria.

Most cases of foodborne botulism come from foods that have been canned at home, especially home-canned vegetables. The bacteria that cause botulism can grow in foods that are not canned properly. In Alaska, fermented fish and other traditional aquatic game foods are the most common cause of botulism.  Honey is a common cause of infant botulism.

Wound botulism has been linked to the use of black-tar heroin. It is most common in California.

As a public health message, the CDC would like to remind you that in order to prevent wound botulism, you should:
* See your doctor right away, if you have an infected wound; and
* Not inject street drugs.

To learn about how to can food safely, you can get information from:
* Your county or state health department;
* The Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, at the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA); or
* The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

2nd email -Mayo Clinic.com, who replied…

Dear Amie Sue;

Thank you for your e-mail.  I was unable to find information on our site to
answer your specific inquiry. I’m sorry we’re unable to assist you. We
suggest you try a Google search for your inquiry.

Thanks for visiting. We are always adding new content to our site so we hope
you will continue to be a frequent visitor!

Best wishes,

Stacey
Mayo Clinic Online Services

3rd email – Penn State Department of Food Science, who replied…

Amie Sue,  It would not be a risk as long as it was stored in the refrigerator.  I would be worried that someone would see honey in the refrigerator and then move it to room temperature storage, where it would be a botulism risk.

 Martin Bucknavage

Senior Food Safety Extension Associate

Penn State Department of Food Science

Penn State Extension

438 Food Science Building

University Park, PA  16802

4th email – Food Safety.gov – pending reply

 

Disclaimer
This web-site is not intended to provide medical advice.  All content, including text, graphics, images and information available on this site is for general informational, entertainment and educational purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment. The author of this site is not responsible for any adverse effects that may occur from the application of the information on this site. You are encouraged to make your own healthcare decisions, based on your research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Apple Pick’n Season

It was my plan to take all these amazing pictures of us picking apples but it just didn’t happen.  I was too busy eating picking apples to take any pictures.  Though we had a great time, I will admit it felt a bit odd picking apples in an orchard that was surrounded by desert.  haha  Never seen such a goofy site before.  It was an organic orchard that just reopened after 4 years of struggling with their crops.  The apples were so small, about the size of a plum but none the less they were fun to snatch out of the branches.   The orchard had a herd of lambs that roamed up and down the paths so I stayed busy trying to keep out of their way and in the meantime I was also dodging these HUGE red bugs that were dive bombing me.  I swear they were the Protectors of the Apples!  I couldn’t tell what the heck they were but then I wasn’t going to stick around to examine them either. :)  I am sure the farmers watching from afar thought that I was running around in great enthusiasm in picking apples, little did they know that I was being chased by winged creatures!

In the end we picked about 80 lbs of apples!  It was a good 1 1/2 hour drive to this orchard and we were very excited by this new adventure.  We had already experienced cherry picking and cranberry bogging together and now I was able to scratch apple picking off the bucket list!  We were excited to pick them once we got there.  We were excited to load them in the truck.  We were excited to drive home.  We were excited to see 80 lbs of apples sitting on our kitchen counter….I was excited to “process them”.  After slicing the 276th one, I wasn’t all that excited. lol  I am sort of kidding, I did actually have fun processing them.  It took me 4 days straight to tend to them all!  I dried 41 trays worth in the dehydrator.  Can we say, Christmas gifts?”   You will notice in the pictures below that I played around a bit with shapes and sizes.

I was getting down to the end of apples, growing a little weak in the wrist from slicing them all, so I decided to make apple butter with the last 11 1/2 lbs.  I sort of felt bad, like I was searching for an easy way out, but soon that feeling of guilt faded.  Peeling 11 1/2 lbs of itsy bitsy apples made apple slicing look a whole lot better. lol I managed to keep all my fingernails and skin intact.  I forced all the apple butter into jars and stood back, gazing upon them with great pride.  Look at all that luscious apple butter?!  Then I it hit me, what the heck am I going to do with it all?!  I didn’t can the apple butter so that meant it had a much shorter self life date.  So I slapped a few labels on the jars and took them all to the office where I pawned them off to everyone who crossed my path.  Problem solved. :)  I love sharing food anyway so it was a win for all involved.  So, that wraps up this adventure!

 

 

Types of Apples

  • Arkansas Black – Arkansas Black apples are mostly used for cooking. It is used as one of the ingredients in sauerkraut recipes. This variety of apple has a firm texture and a sour taste.
  • Braeburn – This variety of apple is available anytime between October and July.  The skin color of a Braeburn apple is reddish-orange with shades of yellow.  This variety is usually used for making salad, applesauce, and pies. These apples can be frozen for later consumption.
  • Cameo – Though the Cameo apples are harvested in the month of September, it is available in the market only between October and August.  This variety is identified by the white spots on the red skin.  Cameo apples are used in various desserts such as apple crumble or apple crisp and many more.  It is also used to make salads, sauces and pies.  Cameo apples can be frozen.
  • Cortland – Cortland apples are available almost throughout the year.  The only time it is not available in the market is during the months of January, March and April. This variety of apple is sweet and the skin color is red spread over a yellowish-green skin.  It is used for baking and freezing.  It would make a good snack after a meal.
  • Empire – Empire apples are available throughout the year.  It has a sweet and a sour taste.  The skin color of this apple is a combination of red and green.  You can freeze this variety of apples for future consumption.
  • Fuji – Fuji apples have reddish-pink skin.  This variety belongs to Japan and was introduced in the US in the 1980s.  This variety makes a good snack after a heavy meal.  It tastes good in salads, pies and sauces.  Fuji apples have longer shelf life without refrigeration.  This is available from August to October.
  • Gala – This variety of apples is available from September to May.  Though it is not good for freezing, it can be used for baking and apple pies.  Gala apples have pinkish stripes on yellow skin.  This variety of apples is very sweet.
  • Ginger Gold – This variety of apples have a sweet-sour taste.  Ginger Gold apples are available from August to November.  Apple pies and sauces could be made from this variety. However, it is not good for freezing.  The skin color of a Ginger Gold apple is yellow.
  • Golden Delicious – As the name suggests, this variety is not only sweet and delicious but also golden yellow in color.  It is used to make jams, salads, pies and sweet sauces. Golden Delicious apples are good for freezing too. This variety is available throughout the year.
  • Granny Smith – The skin color of this apple is green and it is very sour. It is available throughout the year. It can be frozen for later consumption. You can make pies and sauces with this variety.
  • Honeycrisp – This is a new variety of apples, which was introduced in the early ’90s. The skin color of a Honeycrisp apple is a combination of red and yellow.  It is used for baking and making salads and sauce.  It does not taste good in pies.  This variety can be frozen.
  • Idared – Idared apples are available throughout the year.  The skin color of an Idared apple is pink.  This variety has a sweet and sour taste.  Idared apples can be used for baking and freezing. It is used for making pies and sauces.
  • Jonagold – Jonagold apples are a hybrid variety of the Jonathan and the Golden Delicious apple. This variety is mostly used for making sweet-sour sauces, pies and salads.  You can freeze Jonagold apples for future consumption.  Jonagold apples are available between October and May.
  • Jonathan – This variety has a shade of red and green skin color, and the taste is sour. Jonathan apples can be frozen. It is widely used in salads and sauces.
  • McIntosh – This variety of apple makes an excellent snack.  You can make pies and sauces with McIntosh apples.  However, these are not good for baking or freezing.  The skin color of this apple is a blend of red and green.  It tastes sweet with a tinge of sourness.
  • Red Delicious – The skin color of this variety of apple is red and it has a very sweet taste.  This apple is good for making jams and would make a good dessert after a heavy meal. These apples are available in the market throughout the year.
  • Rome Beauty – This variety of apples are commonly used in baking.  The skin color of this apple is crimson red and it is mildly sour.  It is mostly used in salads and pies.  It can be frozen too.
  • Winesap – Winesap apples are not good to eat raw and mostly used for making apple cider.  This variety of apples is sour and has the flavor of a seasoned wine.  The skin color of this apple is deep red.
  • Do you know an apple tree can live for more than hundred years?  There are many interesting facts about apples, which include the nutritional and health benefits.  Apples are used in a number of food recipes including sauces, pies and cider.
By
Last Updated: 10/6/2011

 

Nut Milk – A New Technique!

cheese-press-nut-milkI have shared a little bit about this before, when I was just starting to tinker with other methods of making nut milks.  You might remember how I used an old antique cheese press to squeeze out the milk.  So with those same thoughts still rolling around in my head I started to do a little research about cheese presses.  During my late night Google searches I found a  company that sells several different sized ones.  I took a gamble and ordered their smallest model, hoping it would be a nice and manageable size for the kitchen counter.

I love making nut milks for two reasons: for the milk of course but more so for the nut pulp which I love to use in my recipes.  So, when I do make nut milks, I make large quantities and my hands get so tired and cramped from all the squeezing of the nut milk bag.

My husband had a great idea using a book press that we have.  But it is so large and heavy!  Not to mention not everyone can easily get their hands on one. :)  So, I spied our antique cheese press that was on display above our kitchen cabinets.  It worked beautifully but had a few design flaws.  This new cheese press that I ordered works like a charm!!!  Not only does it make for pain-free hands, it really squeezes the pulp dry!  I took some pictures and I hope you can see the amazing results.  I have never been able to get so much nut milk out of the pulp before.

If you would like to order one of these handy dandy units, click here… this is an exact unit that I have in my kitchen.

Click here for nut milk recipes.

This technique can be used with any nut or seed milk.
Always start with soaked nuts.  Curious why?  Read here.

almond-milk-1

Place the the nuts and water in the blender.

almond-milk2

Blend on high for 30 seconds.

almond-milk3

Now it is time to get ready to use the cheese press for squeezing out the milk.

There are two ways of handling this part.  I am showing you the first way here.
Make sure the machine is sitting higher than the bowl that will collect the “milk”.
I set my press on top of another bowl.

almond-milk123

I took the basket off of the press to show you up close what is happening.
You won’t have to do this when you are making your milk.

almond-milk4

Place a nut milk bag inside of the colander, drape over the sides and pour.

Nouveauraw.com5

Oh FIDDLE STICKS!  lol What do you see wrong with this photo?  Yep,
I was all caught up in taking detailed pictures for you that I didn’t plug
the spout.  Oy-Vey!  “Wet clean up Nouveau Raw Kitchen!”

almond-milk6

 Ok after cleaning up my mess, we are back to business.  So this is what it
looks like when a person normally makes milk with this unit.  As you
pour the nut milk into the mesh bag, it will automatically start to drain
out.  So make sure your bowl is in place to catch it.

almond-milk7

Pull the draw string on the bag to close it and loosely pile the bad inside of
the colander.

almond-milk8

Start cranking the handle cause the disc to lower, thus pressing the milk
from the bag.  This should be effortlessly.

almond-milk-12

Don’t press too hard.  As soon as you feel a decent amount of resistance,
stop.  You can see that a little of the milk is sitting on the disc.  I stopped
there.  Tilt the unit towards the mil bowl so any extra milk can seep out.
Then twist the handle so the disc rises, remove the nut bag and wa-la!
Perfect nut milk and nut pulp to use in many recipes.

almond-milk-11

Here is the second way of using the press.  You can adapt clear tubing to
the nozzle and drain the milk through that into another container.  You
can pick the tubing up at your local hardware store.

almond-milk-10

And there you have it… refreshing nut milk with ease!

homoginized-almond-milk12

The School Doors have Opened!

It’s that time of year again!  Can you hear the school bell ringing? 

Lately there has been is a lot of buzz about the lack of nutrition available to kids in school.  The good news is authorities are beginning to recognize the importance of healthier lunch options, and are making efforts to improve cafeteria food.  But these changes are perhaps moving at a slower pace than one would wish.  School vending machines and cafeteria lunches have long been blamed as one of the major causes of childhood obesity.  And although it’s great that some schools are making improvements, they still have a long way to go.  Even the schools that serve healthier options may still sell sugary sports drinks and most schools have not even begun to remove junk food from vending machines.

Children’s appetites and nutritional needs vary by developmental stage, and inadequate nutrition at any of these stages can negatively influence academic performance, behavior and energy levels.   But we can’t fully rely on the school system, teaching kids proper eating habits, like so many things begins at home.

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Take a Saturday and spend some quality time in the kitchen with your kids!  Have them help you make healthy recipes that they can pack in their backpacks for school and/or for after-school snacks.   Making them a part of this will bring much more excitement when they open their lunch pails and pull out treats that they helped to make!  Kids love to take pride in the things they help create.  Not to mention that you will be planting nutritious seeds within them for years to come.

Breakfast Ideas:

Walnut Banana Bread Granola (can double as a snack food for their lunch)

Cinnamon Raisin Granola / Cereal  (can double as a snack food for their lunch)

Banana Mango Pudding

Morning Burst Porridge

Snacks for lunch:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Chocolate Apple Chunk Cookies

Cheese Nip Crackers

Cheesy Kale Chips

Chocolate Coconut Kale Chips

Touchdown Spicy Cheese Dip (send with veggie sticks for dipping)

Above I listed  just a few ideas that you can make!  There are so many other options, be creative!

Before you know it will be time for “Parent Teacher Conferences”…. when that time comes,

leave that apple at home and make their teacher a gift that he/she won’t forget…

Edible Veggie Bouquet!