Category: Recipes

The Benefits of Canning Fresh Vegetables

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Hey Fitness Friends!

Over the past two weeks I have been in full swing of harvest season. If you have a home garden you are probably reaping the benefits of all your hard labor throughout spring and summer. If you don’t have a green thumb or a passion for gardening you can also visit local farmers stands, flea markets and even super markets to buy fresh vegetables to incorporate into your meal planning.

Whatever the case nothing is better then fresh vegetables straight from the vine that supply a wealth of nutrients to our bodies. The best part is knowing where they came from, watching them grow(especially if you have children) and being rewarded for all the hard effort you put forth.

Canning and gardening is a lot of work. I often times compare it to our workout regimen. It’s a lot of effort up front but as time goes on we start to reap the benefits of canning all winter-long. Just as if we stay consistent with our exercise and eating habits we begin to develop stronger muscles, our clothes fit differently and we start to think twice about eating that bag of potato chips.

I often joke with my husband, I tell him I belong in a more primitive era! But that’s beside the point!

Here are a few benefits I have found from home canning:
1. SAVES US MONEY and TIME!
2. Clean eating straight from the garden all year long
3. Power outage, winter blizzard? No worries we can find something to eat in our canning cellar home canned goods can last up to 4 years
4. The veggies we have canned are not exposed to harmful pesticides
5. Less sugar, salt, and preservatives
6. Tomatoes offer vitamins A, C, K, folate, and potassium. The longer they are cooked the more lycopene (a cancer fighting antioxidant) is released

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting some of my home canning recipes. If this is something you find that you could quickly get interested in, I suggest taking a look at this website to help you collect the materials needed to can and find recipes that will suit your family. I only can what I know we use a lot of. I have learned over the past six years how to incorporate what I am canning to make it useful in our family meal planning. More Canning Information

Here is a quick List of what I re-stock in my cellar each year:
whole tomatoes
tomato juice
salsa
homemade tomato soup
pickles
pepper mustard
banana peppers
tomato marinade
zucchini relish

A couple things I freeze:
homemade pizza sauce
green bell peppers
tomatoes
sweet corn
egg plant

I’ll never forget all the hot summer days I spent with my father a small produce farmer, picking corn, clipping beans, and watching his mother make a peach jelly that was incredibly tasty. I love watching my daughters sprint to the garden and pick tomatoes and fight over who is going to help me in the kitchen. Give one canning recipe a try this year. Slowly incorporate this into your late summer routine. It makes me feel accomplished in knowing I can provide my family with the freshest vegetables all year long. You will love grabbing a fresh jar of salsa on a cold winter night or using fresh tomato juice for your favorite soup recipe!

Blessings, Enjoy Your Holiday

-Michelle

Eating on the GO:

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This granola recipe has been a staple of mine over the last two years. It started with my birth of my second daughter. I just craved oats, peanut butter, and a little chocolate. Over the years I have experimented with all sorts of different ingredients to add into this recipe. Here is a basic recipe that you can use as a base. You can really get as creative as you want with this recipe.

It’s easy, quick, and takes around 12-15 minutes @ 350 to bake in the oven. It always curves my sugar cravings. I try to reach for a small piece of this for dessert rather then a cookie or ice cream.

Homemade Granola:
4 Cups of oats
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup wheat germ and ground flax seed – (stabilizes metabolism)
1 tsp of baking soda
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1-2 tsp of butter
2 huge scoops of peanut butter – (creamy or crunchy)
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp of vanilla and oil (you could use applesauce in place of oil)

* Sometimes I add more peanut butter

optional extra ingredients:
Chocolate chips-always add these in :0
Reese chips
sunflower seeds
coconut
sliced almonds
cranberries
m&m’s
peanuts

Happy Baking, Let me know how they turn out

Blessings, Michelle

Quick Clean Eating on the Go

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Good Morning,

Here is a quick recipe that is great to portion off in small containers for quick eating on the go or if you need a little afternoon snack. I know I am more likely to go for the good stuff over the bad if it is prepared before hand and readily available. The summer can be crazy dashing from play dates, working out, to the pool, cookouts and errands. Throw a container in your gym or travel bag! Enjoy and let me know how you like this recipe!

I was swimming at the pool this last week with a friend and she offered me some of this salad. Like any pregnant women how could I turn it down. After eating three bowls and feeling like I may have over did it I had to get this recipe to share with you all!

2 heads of fresh Broccoli
3 bell peppers- red and yellow
Green onions chopped up
Sunflower seeds
Slivered almonds
Sliced almonds
1 bag of cranberries
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil and vinegar to taste
(You could add zucchini and cucumber in the processor from your garden if available)

I used my food processor to make the Broccoli into a slaw. Chop up onions and peppers fine (love my vidalia food wizard from bed bath and beyond). You can estimate the salt, pepper, almonds, sunflower seeds, olive oil and vinegar to your liking. Just go easy on the vinegar, mix up everything and then taste to see if it needs a little more flavor.

I naturally go easy on the salt due to being pregnant and having experienced hypertension my first pregnancy.

Blessings, Michelle

What is your favorite summer salad?