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Mexican Quinoa Salad Recipe

This Mexican-style Quinoa Salad is loaded with black beans, corn, tomatoes, avocados, red onion, and cilantro. Simple, healthy, and incredibly delicious, you’ll want to make it over and over again!

Let’s Just Jump Right To The Recipe!

Tex Mex Quinoa Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa*
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup corn frozen and thawed, or canned
  • 2 small avocados
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ medium red onion, diced
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp. pepper or to taste
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder or to taste
  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne optional

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Place the cooked and cooled quinoa into a large bowl. Add the black beans, corn, onion, tomatoes, avocados, and cilantro.
  • Squeeze the limes, grizzle with olive oil, and season the salad with salt, pepper, and cumin powder. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper, if preferred. Mix everything well.

NOTES

* You’ll need to cook about ¾ cup of quinoa according to the package instructions and cool it completely. Leftover quinoa is perfect for this salad. 

Cook quinoa in vegetable broth for extra flavor. 

HOW TO STORE THIS SALAD

Store this Quinoa Salad in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 2 days. You can still eat it on day 3, but the avocados will brown, and the tomatoes become a bit soggy.

Healthy Banana Ice Cream

Banana Ice Cream-the main ingredient is bananas! Easy to make, naturally sweet, healthy, milk free optional and low calorie. Have fun with this recipe and switch it up to your liking! A perfect treat for any day!

Don’t throw out those browning bananas! Chop and freeze them to make delicious and easy banana ice cream with just one ingredient: bananas.

How to Make Banana Ice Cream

Most times I buy bananas, there’s one or two that go brown before we eat them. This is a great way to save those bananas and turn them into a healthy frozen treat!

Step 1: Chop the bananas and freeze them
I chop the bananas about 1/2″ thick and them put them in a sealable plastic baggie. The secret to this recipe is freezing the bananas first! The cool thing is that you don’t need to use them right away so you can save those browning bananas and then make the ice cream anytime later.

Step 2: Put the bananas in a blender allow to melt for just a few minutes and start blending
If your bananas were a little mushy or they’ve been frozen for a while, you’ll need to seperate them before blending. You don’t want to put a solid frozen chunk in there or it won’t easily blend. I just take the baggie and slam it on the counter, or even the floor until the contents are broken up a bit.

I don’t have a favorite blender setting for the blending portion. I mostly press random options until I see things start to move. Sometimes I pour a little milk or cream in at this point, to get things moving better, but that is completely optional.

The bananas will look all chunky at first and you’ll probably have to repeatedly shove them down and blend. This part always takes some effort and perseverance.

Step 3: Keep blending until it looks like banana ice cream
Just keep at it and eventually it will start to look like ice cream! I usually switch to the “smoothie” setting on the blender for this part. Once you have the right consistency it will be smooth and moving on its own.

Step 4: Pour into a bowl and serve
Once it starts to look like ice cream, it’s time to pour it in a bowl and eat it right away! I’ve found it doesn’t refreeze all that well, so just make the amount you plan on eating.

An interesting thing to note- it doesn’t taste overly “banana-y.” It tastes mostly like vanilla ice cream with a hint of banana. It’s also naturally sweet and can be made with purely bananas, or you can mix in cream, honey, peanut butter powder, etc. and make your own unique blend. Add your favorite toppings like fruits or cinnamon! Enjoy!

Maria J 💜 – The Naturally Blooming

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Healthy Homemade Tuna Salad

Healthy tuna salad is a light, refreshing meal packed with fresh herbs, crunchy garden cucumbers, and the delightful twist of freshly squeezed lemon juice. You can make so many different meals with this tuna salad! Here are some ideas!

Tuna sandwiches

Tuna cheese melts

Serve as a dip with carrots, celery, and crackers.

Add to the top of a bed of fresh lettuce.

Place sliced cheese on crackers with a small dollop of tuna salad on top.

Pita pocket with lettuce, tomato, and tuna salad.

Make it a wrap 

Serve it over some cooked pasta.

Swap out the celery for cucumber.

Make a Mexican version by adding cilantro, lime juice (instead of lemon), and a dash of cumin.

For some sweet crunch, dice up some fresh apples to add to the salad. Add walnuts for some Waldorf inspiration.

Add diced hard boiled eggs.

YUM

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Healthy Homemade Tuna Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 cans tuna – I like Wild Planet
  • 1 recipe homemade avocado mayo
  • I lemon, juiced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • Handful fresh herbs (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Make a batch of my favorite homemade avocado mayo. I promise you it is super simple.

In a large bowl, add canned tuna (drain, if needed) and mayo.

Dice onions and celery. If you have kids, I suggest dicing the onions into really small pieces.

Chop herbs and add to bowl. This step is totally optional, but fresh herbs add so much brightness and flavor to the salad.

Squeeze lemon juice over the top.

Mix well and serve.

Notes

  • Fresh cilantro is my favorite herb to add, but you could also add a handful of fresh parsley or basil.
  • This recipe utilizes my favorite homemade avocado mayo. You could substitute it for store-bought, if needed. Always opt for avocado mayo, because most other types are made with unhealthy, refined vegetable oils.
  • For extra lemon flavor, add the zest of one lemon.
  • Tuna packed in water, olive oil, or just salt will work with this recipe. Make sure to drain the tuna before making this recipe.
  • Try to pick the best quality tuna you can afford. Wild and sustainably caught fish is the top choice.

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Nutritious and simple to make bread recipes

homemade bread is quite easy to make, even for beginners. But if you’re somewhat of a bread expert, you can always try recipes that require a bit of skill and technical know-how. So fire up the oven and try the following homemade bread recipes.

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No-Knead Bread

No-knead bread is not only convenient but also requires very few ingredients and equipment. It is also a perfect recipe for people with little to no experience baking. The preparation of the dough itself takes no more than five minutes.

Ingredients:

6 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups warm water
1 cup hot water
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons salt

Preparation:

In a mixing bowl, combine warm water, flour, yeast and salt until the mixture is sticky.
Let the dough rest in a warm area (near the stove or a preheated oven) until it doubles in size.
Refrigerate the dough for a minimum of four hours. You can also keep it refrigerated for several days.
Take out the dough and mold it on a floured surface according to the desired shape.
Let the dough rest. It should continue to expand. As it rises, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the dough is ready, make even horizontal or diagonal cuts across the surface. Transfer it onto a pizza stone or a cast-iron pan.
Place the stone or pan atop a broiler pan to create steam as the dough bakes. Steam keeps the bread crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
Bake the dough for 40–45 minutes or until golden brown.

Seeded flatbread

Flatbread is a type of unleavened bread that only requires flour, water and salt to make. It is extremely versatile, as it can be served alongside meat, chicken, salads or dips. Plus, you can also introduce flavor and crunch to the classic flatbread by adding various seeds.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup mixed seeds (sunflower, sesame, mustard, coriander)
2 scallions, sliced
1 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the seeds and scallions.
Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the buttermilk. Stir the mixture until a dough forms and you can shape it into a ball.
Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Set the dough on a floured surface and divide it into four. Use a rolling pin to flatten out each piece until it is 1/8–1/4 of an inch thick.
In a cast-iron pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add a piece of dough. Cook for about three minutes. Flip and cook the other side for three minutes more.
Repeat the process for each piece of dough.
Transfer the flatbreads onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle salt to taste.

Potato peel focaccia

This recipe introduces a clever twist to the classic Italian focaccia by using potato peels.

Ingredients:

1 cup potato peels
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons yeast
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons butter

Preparation:

Boil the potato peels for 20–30 minutes or until tender.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and yeast.
Blend the peels and the remaining cooking water into a puree.
Pour the puree into the dry ingredients. Mix until a dough forms. Cover the bowl using plastic wrap or a large enough lid. Refrigerate the dough for at least 12 hours.
Use olive oil to grease two large pie pans. Separate the dough into two equal pieces and knead each piece into a ball. Let the dough balls rest until each piece has filled its pan.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and drizzle the dough balls with olive oil. Sprinkle salt to taste.
Bake the dough balls for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the pans and let it cool.

There is nothing quite like slicing into a piping hot loaf of bread to start the day. After all, bread is not only one of the most versatile sources of wholesome calories but also a powerhouse food. Fortunately, homemade bread is not only easy to make but also ridiculously delicious. It is also extremely versatile, as it can be paired with practically any dish, jam or spread.

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How to Make Homemade Ketchup (from Fresh Tomatoes)

In this article: Learn how to make your own homemade ketchup using fresh tomatoes from your garden.

Ketchup. It’s a favorite among lots of people. We joke that kids think of ketchup as its own food group. But there’s just something about this condiment that makes it a must have.

When I first started growing tomatoes with the intent to preserve, I focused on tomato sauce. Afterall we eat pizza and pasta every week. Sauce goes in chili. It goes in soups. It made sense that I focused my preservation in that area.

But now, after a few years (or decade….) under my belt, I have branched out. I have my store of sauce, salsa, and tomatoes for the year. Now it’s ketchup time!

This homemade ketchup is amazing. This ketchup tastes just like ketchup should- and I know exactly what goes into it. Even the pickiest eater gobbles it up just like the stuff from the store.

So, if you are ready to make your own homemade ketchup, from your homegrown or local tomatoes, let’s get started!

How to Make Homemade Ketchup

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How to Make Homemade Ketchup (from Fresh Tomatoes)


yield: 4 CUPS

prep time: 15 MINUTES

cook time: 4 HOURS

additional time: 15 MINUTES

total time: 4 HOURS 30 MINUTES

Delicious and health homemade ketchup made from fresh tomatoes

This ketchup recipe can be canned using a water bath canner. I have included directions on how to can as well. Here’s what you need to make this homemade ketchup:

Homemade Ketchup Ingredients

  • 5 lbs tomatoes- cored and seeded
  • 1 onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • ⅓- ½ cup raw sugar
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • ¾ tablespoon salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp celery seed
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • Dash black pepper

You will also need the following supplies if possible:

Kitchen scale

Large stock pot

Large bowls

A high speed blender ( or food mill/fine strainer/immersion blender)

A slotted spoon

A canning pot

Jars (with lids and rings)

Canning tools

Now that you’ve got your supplies ready, let’s make ketchup!

Start by prepping your tomatoes. I used mostly Romas, but added in a few other sauce and paste varieties for an added flavor balance. Weight is the most important thing here, but sauce tomatoes have less water content, meaning you won’t have to cook your ketchup as long.

Remove the stems, cores, and as many seeds as you can. You need 5 lbs of tomatoes after removing the cores and seeds.

I placed my large pot on my scale, zeroed it out and started filling the pot with tomatoes.

Once you have all 5 lbs of tomatoes, add the onion and garlic to the pot and place the pot on the stove.

Cook the tomatoes over medium heat. Cook and simmer the tomatoes for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

You may need to squish down the tomatoes and stir a bit to prevent burning on the bottom of the pan. If you find that the bottom of the pan is scorching, reduce the heat.

Once the tomatoes have cooked, it’s time to strain and puree the ketchup for the first time.

I use my high speed blender for this step. You can use a food mill or a fine sieve, but my food blender does a really good job of making the homemade ketchup really smooth.

Working in batches, use a slotted spoon to transfer tomatoes to your blender. The more juices you remove in this step, the more quickly your ketchup will cook down.

Blend on high speed for a few minutes until very smooth.

Transfer the ketchup to a bowl while you finish the rest of the tomatoes.

Throw out the juices in the pot and set back on the stove.

Add the pureed tomatoes back into the pot.



Add in the rest of the ingredients (sugar, vinegar, spices) and bring to a boil over medium heat.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

How long it takes to cook down will depend on how much of the juices you removed in the previous step and how thick you like your ketchup.

It will take a minimum of 3 hours, most likely. As it cooks the ketchup will reduce down by about ½-¾ the amount you started with.

When the ketchup has reached the thickness you want, you need to puree it one last time. This step is optional, but if you want the mouthfeel of traditional store bought ketchup, it’s a step you don’t want to skip.

Again, I use my blender but you can press it through a fine mesh strainer or food mill if you wish. You can use an immersion blender, but in my experience they don’t have a high enough speed to get the homemade ketchup really smooth.

Instructions Outline
Remove cores and seeds of your tomatoes. You need 5lbs after removing.
Place tomatoes in a large pot. Add onion and garlic
Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally
Drain as much liquid as possible, and puree the tomatoes, onion, and garlic using a high speed blender (or stainer/food mill)
Pour the ketchup back into the large pot and add the rest of the ingredients (vinegar, sugar, spices)
Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 3 hours, or until the desired thickness is reached.
Puree the ketchup in a high speed blender, on it’s highest speed until very smooth.
Pour into half-pint or pint sized jars.

Wipe the rims clean and place on lids and rings
Process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.

Once the homemade ketchup is done, it’s time to prepare your canning supplies.

Wash pint or half-pint jars, lids, and rings in hot soapy water and set them to dry.

How to Can Homemade Ketchup

Fill your canning pot with water and set it on the stove to heat.

Fill jars with hot ketchup, leaving a ¼ inch headspace and run a knife down the sides to remove air bubbles.

Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean damp cloth and place on clean lids.

Tighten the rings finger tight.

Process in boiling water for 15 minutes (for both pints and half-pints). Start your timer when the water starts to boil.

After 15 minutes, remove the lid from the canning pot and turn off the heat. Allow the jars to sit for 5 minutes in the water before removing.

Set the jars on a towel in an undisturbed spot overnight. Check for correct seals before storing.

How Much Ketchup Does This Recipe Make?

As written, this recipe will make about 4 cups of ketchup. So 4 half-pints or 2 pints.

Tastes for ketchup can be subjective, so if this is your first time making this recipe, try a small batch like this first to make sure you like the flavor. Trust me- my very first homemade ketchup recipe year ago, used apple cider vinegar. And NO one liked it. It was quite a waste!

This recipe doubles and triples well.

10 lbs of tomatoes will yield 4 pints/ 8 half pints.

15 lbs of tomatoes will yield 6-7 pints/ 12 half pints.

Not canned, this ketchup recipe should keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. Same goes for after you open a new jar.


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Chocolate Chai Coffee Recipe

The presence of some chocolate chai loose leaf tea in our inventory sparked some inspiration for an experiment.
Chocolate is rich. When we eat a chocolate bar we savor the flavor, roll the chocolate over our tongues so that we can taste thoroughly. Chai too is rich. Tea in itself however can tend to be bold, and rich, however both the chocolate and the chai in this tea lend themselves to combining with a rich cream or milk as well as sweetener to fully highlight the flavors.

In comes coffee – coffee is strong. When combined with Chocolate Chai Tea, coffee acts as the base and provides the vehicle for the chocolate and chai flavors. Then add cream and a sweetener, and you have coffee with a kick, chocolate chai tea with a boost. Overall – super delicious!

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Chocolate Chai Coffee Recipe

Brewing the brew:
Using a french press, place 4 tablespoons unflavored coffee inside. Add 2 teaspoons chocolate chai tea to the press. Add hot water and allow to sit 4-5 minutes to make 2 cups of coffee-chai-tea brew.

Add creamer, milk, almond or cashew milk, and sweetener to taste. I recommend a thick creamer or whole milk, or a thicker almond or cashew milk as is often found in the refrigerated section. Agave nectar makes a fantastic sweetener as it blends well with the chocolate, chai, and coffee.

Enjoy!!

Let us know how your Chocolate Chai Tea Coffee turned out!


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