Archives

DIY Ketchup

Have you ever been making lunch for your kids (or yourself) and realize you’re out of ketchup? I have…a lot. Last time I went grocery shopping, I walked by the ketchup and thought to myself, “We have enough ketchup at home. I don’t need to buy any this time” 

Needless to sayI was wrong.

I did need ketchup. I didn’t buy any. And now my kids are kethcup-less with their chicken nuggets, tater tots, and hot dogs…it’s a sad day at our house when there is not enough ketchup to go around.

Then, one day, it occurred to me. Why don’t I make my own ketchup? DUH!

This was a complete break through for me. And with my pregnancy brain lately…almost everything is a breakthrough for me.

As you may have already guessed, I started Pinterest-ing and found hundreds thousands many recipes for diy ketchup. There’s kinds you can ‘can’ (thought that sentence sounded weird with to ‘can’s in a row..) However, I just wanted something I could whip up and throw in the fridge. 

I looked at a couple that had some weird ingredients and that doesn’t work. I need something that I will always have the ingredients for.

DIY Ketchup (adapted from Basic Ingrdients)
Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

1 (6oz) can tomato paste
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp molasses
2 Tbsp honey
1 cup water (if you want it a little thicker)

In a small/medium bowl, whisk together all in ingredients except water. Slowly add the water while continuing to whisk. It will seem a little lumpy as first, but trust me, it comes together in the end 🙂

Keep in the fridge for 3-4 weeks. You can use the container you mixed it in (I mixed mine up in a Pyrex), or buy a special squeezy bottle for your ketchup, and even using an empty ketchup bottle from the store would work too!

 

note: I took some pictures with my phone, but it’s not working to upload them on here right now. So you’ll have to take my word for it when I say this ketchup, like the stuff you buy from the store, is red. 🙂

Peanut Butter Granola

I know I have mentioned this multiple times, but I love finding delicious and healthy snacks! And if you are a peanut butter lover like I am, you will like this one.
It’s super easy to slap together and you can enjoy it almost right away.
I also think this recipe would be pretty versatile. You could make this into a trail mix, adding some dried fruit or nuts. You could also use almond butter instead of PB.
Not only is this a clean recipe, but it could also be a gluten free recipe. Throw some gluten free oats in there and you’ve got a cheap and easy gluten free granola!

Peanut Butter Granola (adapted from Peanut Butter Fingers)

4 Tbsp natural peanut butter
4 Tbsp raw honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I make my own)
2 cups old fashioned oats

Spread out and ready to go in the oven!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Either spray a cookies sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
In a microwave safe bowl, combine peanut butter and honey. Microwave for about 30 seconds, or until peanut butter melts.
Add cinnamon and vanilla; mix well.
Stir in the oats until they are completely covered in peanut butter mixture.
Spread oat mixture out on prepared cookie sheet.
Bake about 12-15 minutes, or until granola is slightly browned.
Let cool.
Granola will become crunchy as it cools.

I put this in some Coconut Milk Chocolate yogurt and it was so yummy! I think it will taste good in all my flavored yogurt!

Vanilla Bean Frozen Yogurt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been wanting to make some frozen yogurt for a whole, and normally vanilla is not the first flavor I run to. Give me chocolate, peanut butter, or fruity flavors first. I always put vanilla at the end of my list. But, since I had some vanilla beans to use from a bottle of my DIY vanilla that I had just used up, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make something with them. And, I’m still eating clean (and will be for pretty much ever), so I wanted to make a recipe I wouldn’t feel guilty about eating.
So I started Pinterest-ing and couldn’t find one recipe that I actually wanted to use. I either didn’t have all the ingredients, or it used a cup of sugar, which is a big no-no in the clean eating world. (and I’m totally okay with that!)
So, here’s where creating my own recipe comes in again. The biggest trick is to find a sweetener that will work in place of sugar and still sweeten it enough so everyone else likes it too.
There are many different sweeteners you can use in place of sugar. Honey, agave nectar, stevia, coconut sugar, etc. If you head to a grocery store, you will likely find something that will work. I’m not a huge fan of using ‘fake’ sugar like Splenda, since we’ve found out its not quite as good for you as they first made it out to be.
For this recipe, I used agave nectar. Why, you may ask? Well, most of the time, I use honey in place of sugar, but that’s mostly in baking, and if its not baked, I feel that whatever you make ends up tasting like honey, and that’s it. So agave nectar has a more mild taste and seems to mix in a little better to cold things. Many thanks to my friend Janelle for letting me borrow her food processor for extended periods of time. It just makes everything easier! (I really need to invest in one of my own soon)

Vanilla Bean Frozen Yogurt

1 cup milk (I used 1%, but I’m sure you could use almond, coconut, etc)
1/2 cup evaporated milk
18 oz plain Greek yogurt, nonfat
2 vanilla beans, split and seeded
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup agave nectar (more if you want it sweeter)

In a food processor, blender, or mixing bowl, blend all ingredients together. (how easy is that!)
Pour ingredients into the frozen canister of your I’ve cream maker and follow your I’ve cream makers directions.
Then put in freezable container and freezer for about 4 hours or until ready to serve.
Note: Once fully frozen, it is hard to scoop, since it is not like normal ice cream from the store. If using later, I suggest letting it sit out for a bit before scooping. Trust me, it will be less frustrating.

Disclaimer: This frozen yogurt is NOT as sweet as the stuff you buy from the store and it does have a slight Greek yogurt taste to it. You could use half regular yogurt if you wanted or use a flavored Greek yogurt like vanilla to give it a different flavor.

I paired this with my Black Bean Brownies and it was an amazing treat!

BBQ Sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ahhh, Summer. Warm weather, kids running through sprinklers, and grilling. Oh! The smell of grilling! We are 100% charcoal grillers. No propane found here. You’ll have to check next door. And along with grilling, usually comes great friends to share it with. Really, what could be wrong with this picture? (other than the fact that winter is now right around the corner..more on that later)
Up until 2 1/2 years ago, I hated despised loathed wasn’t a huge fan of bbq sauce. I didn’t like the smell, taste, or texture. Nothing about it appealed to me. Then one day, I was pregnant with our second son, Jonah, and magically, bbq sauce was delicious. I don’t know what happened. It’s those pregnancy hormones, I tell you.
So, I’ve felt like I’ve needed to catch up, since I’ve missed out on this wonderful world of sauces thus far.
And along with my bbq sauce journey, comes my clean eating journey, and let me tell you, I found one (count ’em, 1) brand of bbq sauce at Walmart that didnt have high fructose corn syrup in it. And, while its not terribly expensive, I’d much rather make my own. So, I was on a quest to find a recipe that sounded appealing to me and didn’t have ingredients in it that i couldn’t pronounce.
I follow a clean eating blog (I know, big shocker there!) called The Gracious Pantry, and she has tons of awesome recipes. I’ve made quite a few of her recipes and they turned out very well! So, when I found her bbq sauce recipe, I was excited and I knew my hubby would be too!
I’ve used this for shredded chicken, shredded pork, marinating meats, and even as pizza sauce.
It’s so simple to whip together and so worth it.
Happy BBQ-ing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBQ Sauce (adapted from The Gracious Pantry)
Makes about 3.5 cups

1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce (no sugar added)
1 (5 oz) can tomato paste (no sugar added)
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
4 Tbsp unsulfered molasses
3 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Place all ingredients in to a medium mixing bowl and mix well with a whisk.

Use as you would any other bbq sauce that you buy from the store.

DIY Almond Butter

Nuts have never been my thing (not THOSE kind of nuts. Geez, get your mind out of the gutter…lol. Just kidding) Seriously though, I’ve never like any kind of nut besides peanuts. I enjoy love will eat just about anything you put peanut butter in or on. I don’t know what it is about peanuts and chocolate that just make my mouth water. Peanut butter cups…mmmm. I just don’t understand how anyone can’t like peanut butter. It’s the best thing since sliced bread (and it happens to great on that too!)

So, for me to branch into other kinds of nuts is a rather large feat for me. Last summer was the first time I’d ever enjoyed an almond and it’s flavor. It could have been the fact that is was smothered in cinnamon and sugar and warm and gooey…so I really didn’t taste the almond, but boy did I enjoy it!  Then this past February, I changed my eating habits majorly and the diet that I started following to begin this change had almonds as a snack (among many other things) But I knew that I would never be able to enjoy plain, boring almonds. Not happening. I refuse.

It wasn’t long after that, that I went grocery shopping for some healthy food and stumbled upon cocoa roasted almonds. OH MY GOODNESS! These things have changed my life! Not only do I now enjoy almonds (I still don’t enjoy them plain), but they give an extra boost of energy, and they taste like chocolate! Yay!!!! Something healthy that tastes good! I know, I didn’t believe it either.

Now it’s my goal to find healthy alternatives to my favorite treats. Like my Black Bean Brownies.
This time I found a recipe called Zucchini Brownies. I was instantly intrigued, since I love brownies and love zucchini. And what’s better, no flour or sugar! So gluten free and ‘clean’ (for those that may not know what ‘clean’ food is, I may write a post in this in the future) However, this post is not about the brownies…but is it about a very key ingredient IN the brownies. Almond butter. It’s uses a whole cup of it! I checked out prices on almond butter and decided I couldn’t spend $7.00 on a little jar of this stuff and use it ALL in a recipe for brownies.

I’ve been wanting to find a good price on almonds to use for other reasons, bit just haven’t found a great price. Untilast week. Fleet Farm, of all places, had a great deal on them! So I bought a bunch and tried my hand at almond butter.

My first attempt was less than successful. I forgot to roast the almonds first (apparently a key thing in this process) so I got, what I call Almond dust. (good thing I got a good deal on the almonds!)

I had to laugh. I was trying to make some cupcakes and text with a friend while I was doing this….I should know better than to multi-task.
When I figured out my problem and roasted the next batch of almonds and then processed them, it turned out great! And it was so easy! Trust me, if making things DIY scares you, don’t let it.This is something you can do!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almond Butter

2 cups plain almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place almonds in a single layer on a jellyroll pan (a cookie sheet with sides). Roast almonds for about 10 minutes or just until fragrant.
Take out of oven and place in a food processor (be careful, the almonds are VERY hot).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Process almonds about 15 minutes or until ‘buttery’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will want to scrape the sides of the processor a few times during this time.
When its done processing, scrape into a storage container (I used Pyrex) and let cool a bit before refrigerating.
Use in any recipe or on toast like peanut butter.

One thing I may do next time is add a bit of honey. I thought it was a tad bitter. But that’s just me.

So there you go. Easy DIY Almond Butter! Could it get easier than that?