3 Ingredient Chocolate Ice Cream (Vegan)

This is one of my easiest go to dessert recipes for my family when we want a quick and healthy treat for Dessert Night.

Every Friday Night we have either home-made pizza or sushi and a movie night!! Of course we have to indulge in dessert too!! I like to change it up a bit so we don’t have the same treat every week. These “desserts” are pretty healthy and I notice that if I make something too frequently they boys will soon feel like they are eating something healthy and they wont want it anymore. I have a few other recipes that I keep up my sleeve for dessert night as well and plan on doing a Dessert Night Round up blog post for you to share all of my healthy go-to, nutrition packed recipes!!

On the menu for tomorrow night is 3 ingredient chocolate ice cream. This is actually a pro biotic, potassium and protein packed bowl of deliciousness but don’t tell the babies!! Oh and let’s not forget the great source of omegas as well that come with Shaklee’s Life Shake mix.

Ingredients:

3 Bananas chopped and frozen

1/4 C. Cocoa Powder (I have used Cocoa Nibs before but its just a little too bitter for the boys)

1/4 C. Shaklee Life Shake Mix in Chocolate

That is it folks!!

First you need to chop up a few bananas and freeze them. I always have frozen bananas on hand because I buy 2 bunches weekly. I feed the kids some for snacks through the week and the rest will get chopped up for smoothies or froze for future baked goods or this recipe!! I’m always needing bananas!!

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I have a vitamix (that I would die without…..no seriously…….I would die without it……I use it 3x a day at least……They should use me as a spokes person but they arent) that is really amazing and has a “frozen dessert” option on the settings. This is a very high-powered blender so if you have a regular blender I would recommend adding a little dairy free milk to help it along.

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I just dump all the ingredients into my best friend……I mean blender and hit the start button!! It pulverizes it into a beautiful chocolate custard.

After this dump it into a container of your choice, pop the lid on and freeze for a couple of hours.

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It’s so fast and easy and so much healthier than store bought!!

I hope you and your kiddos enjoy this recipe. I am excited to try and mix it up with some more flavors in the future!! Of course I will do a blog post on that for you as well!!

What healthy recipe do you guys have for “Dessert Night” in your house?? I would love to hear!!

PS~I apologize for the poor quality in pictures. We are in the middle of a kitchen renovation so everything (including the lighting) is a wreck right now!!

 

Look What Happens When You Wash Your Fruit and Veggies!!

 

I’ve always given my fruit and veggies a quick wash. Never have I seen results like this in the sink after.

I never bought into the idea that you should use soap or chemicals to wash your veggies but I didn’t feel like they were adequately getting clean.

Vinegar was really the only natural option. I hated the smell and sometimes I could taste it on the veggies I washed. Now I have Basic H!!! Not only is it safe toxic free household cleaner it works on veggies too!! I used two drops, (that right two drops!!) and it cleaned my fruits this morning.

This bottle of Basic H concentrate has over 48 gallons of cleaner in it. (Depending on how you use it)

*need a degreaser? Add 1 1/2 tsp to 16oz of water

*need an all purpose cleaner? Add 1/4 tsp to 16oz of water

*need to wash some Windows? Add 2 drops to 16oz of water

*need a fruit & veggie wash? Add 2 drops to a sink full of water.

Check out my website for other natural cleaning options!! Emilysutten.myshaklee.com

Oatmeal Pear Smoothie!!

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I have to say that I am a huge pear fan. I wait all year for the fresh pears to be ready on my In-Law’s 100 year old trees. My kids are obsessed with them as well. So when a fellow Shaklee Mom came up with this Smoothie Recipe I was IN LOVE!!

Enjoy this!!

8 oz. Almond Milk

5-6 Ice Cubes

1 Large Pear

2 Scoops Life Protein

1/4 c Rolled Oats

1/2 tbsp Pure Organic Maple Syrup

1 tsp Almond Butten

1/2 tsp Grated Fresh Ginger

Pinch of Cinnamon

To Order the Life Shake Mix (which includes raw protein and probiotics) click here

Freezing Peppers

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Alrighty folks!! I’m sure that you have heard (or read) my excitement on Facebook about the abundance of bell peppers we have this year!! It so exciting. We also have tons of sweet peppers, seranos, and jalapeños!! We are making and a canning salsa (stay tuned for a salsa post!!) but still can’t keep up!! So I’ve began freezing them. Much like you would freeze berries or peas on a cookie sheet!!

image         imageAbove I have sliced the bell peppers into slices (fajita style), spread them on a cookie sheet and popped them in the freezer.

imageHere are some beautiful sweet peppers that a cut smaller. These went in the freezer too!!

imageAbout 30 minutes later I pull out hard little pepper slices that are all separated. See in the picture above that nothing has changed about them. They aren’t stuck together or wilted or browned. They are frozen in their perfect state!!

I then scoop them out and put them in freezer bags. How cool is it that all winter I will be able to grab a handful of beautiful organic bell peppers for fajitas, chili, enchiladas or anything!!

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It’s a little embarrassing to admit but I really actually hurt myself doing this. Below is a picture of me in the beginning process of cutting up about 5 pounds of peppers. My husband couldn’t resist because one stuck to me after unloading them on the counter. Notice the happy smile………..about 20 minutes later it turned to a frown when I realized I wasn’t cutting sweet peppers, they were hot!! I was literally awake all night with horrible pain in my hands. Peppers ar no joke folks!! Wear your gloves!!

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My husband is in big trouble for calling me a wuss and then taking a bite out of one and telling me how hot it was!!

So there you go Peeps!! How do you preserve your peppers!!??

Happy Sunday,

Emily

Kitchen Sink Summer Pasta

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I don’t know what it is about summer veggies from the garden. I seriously could eat this and/or my Kitchen Sink Pizza daily. Why kitchen sink? Well because these meals are the epitome of “anything but the kitchen sink is used”. This pasta normally happens on a Friday night when my fridge is empty and all of my produce from the garden is preserved in some way for the week. So I have a mini panic and run out to the garden and scrounge up anything and everything that has just ripened in the afternoon sun.

I actually also do this in the winter the night before grocery shopping day to clean out my fridge!! It’s frugal, simple, and easy. Three of my favorite things!!

So really, this isn’t so much a recipe since you can use anything you have on hand. Don’t have fresh tomatoes? Throw in some canned!! Have some frozen asparagus? That would be great with peas and mushrooms!!

Here is what I had on hand tonight!!

1 Zucchini (cut in chunks)

1 Summer Squash (cut in chunks)

1 handful of pear and cherry tomatoes (some cut and some left whole)

1 handful of basil (I’m obsessed with basil so you may want less. Although I think that would be CRAZY of you!!)

1 heaping tbsp. of minced garlic (I have a garlic obsession as well so apply suggestions from above!!)

1 tbsp. Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

5 big handfuls of your favorite shaped organic pasta (No I don’t measure!! Wait….. You mean you measure pasta?). I use Trader Joe’s Quinoa Brown Rice Pasta so I can get a gluten free complete protein in.

Optional: 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast (for my vegan friends) or Parmesan cheese

Dirtections:

*Start pasta water on high to boil. I always salt my pasta water with pink Himalayan salt. Actually that’s the only kind of salt I use 🙂

*Warm olive oil in a sauté pan and add zucchini and summer squash to cook for about 5 minutes

*Add tomatoes and sauté for 3-5 minutes

*At the very end stir in minced garlic but be careful not to burn it

*Strain pasta and dump directly over cooked veggies.

*Julienne or mince your basil and sprinkle that over and Season with Salt and Pepper!!

*I also stir in some nutritional yeast for added B12 and protein

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Abso-freakin-lutley Delish and only takes 10-12 minutes to make. Gluten free and vegetarian or vegan. How can you go wrong with this? Well my meat-eating husband would tell me where I went wrong but I’m not asking him!!

Enjoy Friends

Create an Herbal Medicine Chest

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This is a reminder to stock your “Herbal Medicine Chest” with fresh, hard working Shaklee products.

1. Shaklee DR (Defend and Resist):

This Echinacea product also has elderberry extract which traps virus “claws” with gels so they can’t enter our bodies. Lozenges can be melted, chewed, swallowed or dissolved in water.

2. Vitalized Immunity: NEW!!

An effervescent tablet that powers Vitamin C into the body to quickly STOP the onset of coldsl.

3. Nutriferon:

My favorite product!! Developed after 50 years of research AFTER Dr. Kojima’s 1954 discovery of INTERFERON deep inside our cells. This amazing Nutriferon turns on the Interferon in our cells to blunt allergic reactions, stimulate the body’s own defenses, and protect us from disease. I take one tablet daily, but on days when I know I’m not feeling 100% I might take 2-3 servings throughout the day and (knock on wood) I’ve stayed healthy for years without even a cold.

4. Herb Lax:

Wonderful for constipation but even better for melting away mucus in throat, lungs, tummy. Just take one (you’ll need 3-4 for constipation). Spoon a few teaspoons of herb-lax tea into little kids to help them with their stuffy noses. Teenagers love it because it clears up acne (no more dumping poisons through skin!!)

5. Vita-C:

500 mg delivered in a time release all day. Prevents bruises, head colds, sinus infections.

6. Garlic:

Nature’s antibiotic. Kills Viruses! No resistance, no side effects. Take 6 tablets right away then 3 every few hours till well again. Yes, you will have a garlicky “green mist” to your breath! You shouldn’t be kissin’ anyone anyway when you’re sick!! Chew some gum or alfalfa tablets!!

7. Alfalfa:

Another wonderful product for allergies, body pain and odor. This time of year when we are out raking leaves, changing storm windows, etc. the body takes a hit!

8. Optiflora:

A super probiotic with 3 coatings to protect the little buggers! Store brands are mostly dead bacteria. Yogurt bacteria dies off in stomach acid (including Aptivia). ALWAYS take when using antibiotics from the doctor. Flood your system with positive bacteria to prevent yeast infections like candida, e coli, salmonella poisoning, etc. Dr. Daggy calls them “On-the-floor-a” because they bounce out of the Vita-Strips so vigorously!!!

Basic G:

Also – add a capful of Basic G (Germicide) when you wash bed linens if someone has a cold or flu. Make up spray bottle (1/2 tsp per pint water) to use as an aerosol disinfectant too. Not flammable either. Another nice plus: germ-killing protection lasts for three days on hard surfaces while chlorine bleach is effective only a few hours.

Why is Shaklee so different from Brand X?

1. Shaklee tests every batch of raw materials for purity and potency.

2. Shaklee tests all products on human beings for absorption and efficacy.

3. Results are published in scientific journals that have been peer reviewed (no paid endorsements).

4. 100 years of history. The products work. Guaranteed.

5. Shaklee’s own recipes, pharmaceutical standards of manufacture, science-based needs (no fads).

6. No artificial anything.

7. No animal testing.

Brand X is made on an assembly line that changes labels once in a while. No oversight, no guarantee of purity or potency. Look for biotin on the label. It is the key to making the B-complex function. It is the most expensive B-vitamin to include. Most brands offer 10% of the RDA (Shaklee makes sure to include 100%). But, Brand X will pack thousands of % of other cheaper B ingredients to make the label look powerful.

And – surprise – Shaklee’s Vita-Lea is usually CHEAPER than Brand X! Less than $12 per month for a guaranteed safety net for your body! And, Wal-Mart DOESN’T OFFER a bonus check. Monthly Shaklee bonuses mean your products can be FREE because you share the good news about Shaklee with friends and family.

(This information was from another Shaklee distributor and I wanted to pass it on to you!  ENJOY!)

To order your supplements, click on the links above or go here.

The Hawthorne Homestead Spring Garden Tour

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One of my favorite things about our little homestead Is that I have infinant possibilities for our garden. We live on over 1/3 of an acre and most of it is in our back yard. The owners before us put a chain link fence to separate the front half and the back half of the back yard. At first I HATED it. It was ugly and the second I could get it removed it was going to be gone.

But then I started planning our mini homestead and it really has fit in nicely.

We will be bringing a black lab puppy home this weekend so I’m sure being able to keep him away from the garden and future chickens will be a good thing and I won’t hate the fence so much. I also have plans to grow grapes up it (as soon as I can find a good deal on Craigslist!!).

I promised a garden tour a long time ago and I just couldn’t wait any longer. I have been sick so I apologize for the low quality pictures. Most everything in our garden has been grown from seed but as usual, I’ve had some more garden fails this year so starts had to be bought 🙂

Lets get this tour started!!

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This first picture captures strawberries growing in gutters as well as one of the beds. FYI – Pinterest is wrong…..strawberries do not do good in gutters. That was a gardening fail last year. I’m hoping to get a strawberry patch put in this weekend so I am going to move these to that.

In the bed we have corn, cabbage, and zucchini. Yes folks we grow our zucchini up trellises to save room. It works great and I love having the tunnel for the boys to walk under.

The corn and zucchini are from seed and the cabbage is from starts that we bought. My cabbage failed so bad it didn’t even sprout!!

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Gahh!! These pictures are terrible. I promise I will do an update later in the summer when everything is bigger.

In this bed we have radishes (which we have been harvesting and replanting all March and April!!), different types of cherry and grape tomatoes, and cucumbers that will also be growing up the trellis.

All was from seed accept the tomatoes. We decided to just buy tomatoes and peppers this year because I have struggles so much with growing them from seed. If anyone has any pointers I would be so appreciative!!

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In in this bed we have peas (growing up the trellis), leaf lettuce, romaine mix, spinach, and purple and green kale. All grown from seed

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This bed looks a little bare but it won’t be for long. Along the trellis we have green beans that are sprouting and yellow squash. In the middle we have tomatoes of the larger variety like beefsteak and Roma. The row closest to us (which looks bare) is actually basil that will hopefully grow quite a few plants. Everything here was grown from seed but the tomatoes.

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This is yummy bed has 10 pepper plants!! My husband picked them all because he is in charge of the salsa every year. It’s fun that he has so much fun with gardening. Even when we lived in a rental we would grow things in containers and he was still in charge of the peppers!! There is also two different kind of eggplant, a tomatillo and more basil (I’m pretty ridiculous about how much I love basil and I make a vegan pesto that I freeze so I need tons of it!!). Oh and speaking of the tomatillo. I totally failed with this last year. Any pointers on a hearty harvest for them?

Sadly everything aside from the basil was purchased as a start. In this bed.

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I don’t know why but this bed is just fun to look at. Maybe it’s my favorite because it grows the least weeds? It is cauliflower, broccoli, and dill, all grown from seed. Yes it’s a lot of dill but I love making pickles and there’s nothing better than knowing you also grew the dill in your pickles 😉

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This bed is another one of my faves. It has to be because it complements my OCD with its straight lines and conformity. This is my root vegetable bed. In it is beets, turnips, parsnips, and carrots of all colors. I can’t even tell you how excited I am to see the look on Mr. Precious’s face when he pulls a purple carrot out of the ground!! All of these were done from seed and incredibly easy. Are you afraid of gardening!!?? Don’t be. Try some of these root veggies. Heck we grew them all the way into winter last year. I literally went out and harvested carrots on Thanksgiving Day for my Maple Glazed Carrot Recipe!! How cool is that!?

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Garlic and Onions grown from bulbs and seed

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We have 4 of these but I only showed 2. We planted our gold and russet potatoes in these and Daddy Bear is building a potatoes tower this weekend that I will be planting our red and purple potatoes in. Our potatoes always give us a great yield. We used to grow them out of rubber maid storage containers. This is another plant that you can totally grow so easily!! I let my organic potatoes grow their little eyes and then I cut them in chunks and throw them in the pot with a little soil over them. That’s it!!

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I am so excited about this picture!! This is a little baby peach growing on our young peach tree. Our first fruit on the beginnings of our mini orchard!! There are a couple more but I couldn’t get them in the picture. We also have a pink lady apple tree, cherry tree, and Asian pear tree.

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I know this picture doesn’t really look like anything but this big line of bushes really give us a lot. In mid to late July it is full of wild black berries that I do my best to get out and pick every other night. Our wonderful neighbor Jerry lets us pick all of his behind his house too (I pay him with cobbler!!). This gives me on average, 7-10 gallon freezer bags full of blackberries!! It’s an awesome thing to have in the winter for smoothies, cobbler or just snacking!!

imageThis…..I’m ashamed to say…….is my herb bed. I planted from seed all of your typical kitchen herbs and they are just now coming up. My chives are here from last year and I threw some carrots and cabbage in there over winter that are ready for harvesting. I may go down and just buy some herbs to plant in here. I love this little bed. My husband put it in for me last year and it’s so nice to have. It’s right out side my kitchen sliding glass door.

So There ha have it!! The spring tour. I will be back In mid July with a very different looking garden 🙂

What’s sprouting on your homestead? Have you had any garden fails yet?

First Harvest of the Spring!!

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This will be a short post tonight but I just wanted to share a picture of our first Harvest of the spring. A bundle of “firecracker” radishes that I pulled out of the earth just 5 weeks after planting their seeds.

There is something special about the first harvest, no matter how small. The smell, the feel of the soil on my fingers, the pride and gratitude. It’s one of the most rewarding and therapeutic things that I experience each year.

This is one of the many reasons I’m writing this blog. I want this feeling for others. For you, your sister, your neighbor, your children.

You can do this!! You can have this tiny bundle of radishes!! Even in your apartment!!

Now get out there and create/nourish/love/grow something to harvest!!

Home Made Almond Butter

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In our family, consumption of nut butters is quite high. Not only on sandwiches but in plenty of home made baked goods and granola bars and even used in savory dishes. The issue with this is that it can get expensive. So what is a frugal homesteader to do? Well, get out my favorite kitchen tool and make my own if course!! Favorite tool being my pride and joy……The Vitamix  (swoon).

I order our raw organic almonds on bulk from Azure Standard. Have you ever ordered from them? They are awesome. You place an order for bulk items (most being organic) online and there are different drop points. I have a drop point right down the road from us!! I go and pick up my order once a month and have made some pretty awesome friends in the process!! I’ve also eliminated my Costco need 🙂 This is awesome because we always found extras that we needed at Costco so we are saving money!!

Wow back to the almond butter!! Sorry for trailing off!!

Ok here is the ingredient list……drum roll please…………..

1. Raw Organic Almonds

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Thats it….well you need a high powered blender to pulverize it into butter but I figured that is to be expected. Now I would like you to head into your pantry and pull out the old Jiff or Skippy or whatever kind of peanut butter that you have laying around and list the ingredients off. How many is there? Bonus points if you can pronounce them all!!

So now that I have you fully on board with this lets make sure the process of making it isn’t too hard. Here are the steps to make my amazing home made almond butter……….

1. Pour Almonds in the blender

2. Press start button and choose speed

3. Use wand/tamper thingy to swish stuff around

4. Wait 2-3 minutes while it blends

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Thats it!! Oh we’re you waiting for more instructions? No really, that’s it!!

Now my Vitamix makes the butter warm so I normally scoop it all out into my glass container and let it sit on the counter for a while to cool. There is nothing more yummy than warm fresh almond butter on freshly baked bread!!

And how awesome is it that it only has one ingredient? I don’t bat an eye at putting it on everything for my kids. Healthy fats and protein without added sugar or chemicals.

I make a batch once a week on Mondays when I do my Bread/Beans/Rice batch cooking.

So fellow homesteaders, do you make your own almond butter? If so do you add extra ingredients or have a different way of preparing? We would love to hear all about it!!

Gardening With Babies and Toddlers

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Kids love to be involved in everything we do (well my kids do anyway!!). This includes gardening of course!!

My first year of gardening with a toddler was a nightmare. He was a year old and into EVERYTHING!!

Of course I wanted him out in the garden with me. Hands in the dirt. Learning about healthy food that we created. That was how I was raised and it was lovely. This was the golden vision that I had in my mind.

Instead I had a toddler eating dirt (and I don’t mean in healthy amounts), pulling up plants that I just planted, screaming the second I left his side, and me,essentially not being productive in any way. Not quite that golden vision that I had in my mind.

So last year I vowed to make it easier. We were going to enjoy gardening and I was going to get stuff done!!

The first thing we did was make him his own bed. This was officially Mr. Precious’s garden box and he could plant and do whatever he wanted in it. We took this same approach early on with cupboards in our house and have never had an issue with him getting into the cupboards!! He has his own that he keeps his “cooking” stuff in and he sticks to that. So he liked this idea of his own box from the beginning. He grew carrots, and radishes in his box (at least that is what survived). There weren’t many because he enjoyed “tilling” the soil more than patiently waiting for the veggies to grow. But that didn’t matter. What mattered most was that he was outside!! Digging, learning, and growing in the garden. Just like I had always envisioned.

The second thing we did was get him his own garden tools. He now has more than I do!! He especially loves his lawn mower. Something that he affectionately calls his Babalo. Don’t ask me why. We have never figured out how he got Babalo from lawn mower but I will soak up every second that he calls it that. I’m sure a lot of people will cringe that I don’t correct it but I will miss it so much someday!!

This year is a little different. We took over his garden bed and have our onions and garlic in it. He is totally fine with this because our garlic is growing like crazy and he thinks it’s really cool.

We have given him his own wooden pot to grow  perennial flowers in and we are moving our strawberries to an “official” patch. Our mini homestead is constantly growing so he will always have new things to work with.

This year is also different because we have another baby. Mr. Blue Eyes is incredibly adventurous and wants to be down in the dirt (literally) doing everything his big brother is doing. This is a problem because it means he refuses to sit in anything that confines him for longer than 5 minutes. He is crawling now too so that means I can’t just put him on a blanket in the grass. He is off the blanket and eating handfuls of weeds in a matter of seconds (why do my kids like eating the outdoors so much?).

So I do what I do with everything else. I either carry him or I babywear him in the Ergo. We babywear a lot in this house so he is comfortable with this. I don’t know how much longer we will last before he wants to be on the ground!!

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In the end we will adapt. That’s what parenthood is all about isn’t it? There is something beautiful about the learning process of raising children.

I look forward to sharing more of our learning process with toddlers and babies in the garden, this summer!!

So how about you?? Do you let your Babies garden with you? If so do you have any tips to share??

Thanks and have a Great Day!!

Emily

Photo Credit Curtosy of Babble