Making and Canning Homemade Clean Veggie Soup

I’ve have heard people complaining that there’s too much waste when clean eating. Some people feel this way because other family members won’t eat from the same clean menu. Some people are apprehensive about clean eating as they claim that it’s too hard to figure to plan a lunch menu. Still others confess to being bored with eating the same thing over and over. I totally disagree with all of the above statements and think you will too after trying my clean veggie soup!

This delicious soup allows me to make one item on the dinner menu, as everyone loves it, even if they’re not clean eating. Canning the leftovers allows me to have access to a quick and delicious lunch at home or on the go, or have it months later for a delicious supper. This soup is anything but boring!

I love making homemade clean vegetable soup. However, as many can witness when making soup there’s often an abundance leftovers. I’ve tried freezing soups in the past, which worked out pretty good, but not as tasty as a fresh pot of soup. So, the last time I made this delicious soup I decided to can the left overs. It worked out great! I actually ate a bowl of it today for lunch…and it was delicious! I’m excited to share not only my recipe for clean veggie soup, but also the directions for canning this delicious soup.

soup II

Okay, first things first the ingredients.

1 medium package of ground elk, venison, or organic beef
1 large sweet onion
1 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and black pepper (this can be adjusted to taste)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
one large organic sweet pepper, or one homegrown sweet pepper (any color)
1 large can of organic tomato juice, or 1 quart home canned tomato juice
1 can of organic corn, or 1 small bag of fresh corn
1 can of organic green beans, or 1 quart of fresh green beans
five-six large potatoes
small bag of organic carrots, or homegrown carrots
1 pint of fresh crushed tomatoes, or one small can of organic crushed tomatoes
1 can of organic peas, or 1 small bag of homegrown sweet peas
3 beef bullion cubes

Next, easy to follow directions:

  • Chop onions and peppers to desired size. I like to chop mine rather large for more of a bite.
  • Place a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large dutch oven and heat over medium heat.
  • Tenderize onions and peppers in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add very lean choice of meat in the same pot and brown with onions and peppers.
  • Stir in garlic and add red pepper flakes and cumin.
  • Drain if necessary. If the mean is lean enough there will be little to no drippings to drain.
  • In the same pot begin adding vegetables one at a time and stirring.
  • When all the vegetables have been added incorporate tomato juice. You may add more if desired. I sometimes add a little water.
  • In a separate kettle boil peeled potatoes and sliced carrots and add salt and pepper, boil until a knife will pierce but still have a bite.
    (if you use can carrots, they can be added when the other vegetables are added)
  • Drain potatoes and carrots and add to the pot of soup
  • Add bullion cubes to soup and season again with salt and pepper to taste
  • Simmer on medium to low heat for at least two hours before serving

This is a great supper for a cold relaxing evening at home. It’s also a fantastic soup for lunch. Very filling and deliciously clean soup that will leave full and guilt free!

Now for canning those delicious leftovers!

You will need very few things to can this delicious soup. You will need clean sterilized pint jars, rings, flats, and a canner. The steps to can it are as simple. Simply fill clean, warm, and sterilized jars with warm leftover soup. It’s important that the soup is warm to prevent jars from breaking. Also, leave approximately a half an inch to an inch headspace. Wipe jars clean and place flats and rings on them. Don’t tighten the rings extra tight, as you can do this after the jars are removed from the canner. Place warm jars of soup in a canner of warm water, bring water to a boil, and boil for 45 minutes. Remove jars carefully from water and allow to cool. Dry jars and check to ensure that each jar has sealed. Secure the rings, and date the soup. Seriously, this soup is as good, if not better after being canned than it was the day it was made! I typically will have enough soup left over to can at least four or five pints of soup.

IMG_1263

I hope you and your family enjoy this soup as much we do! It’s delicious! It’s clean! It’s satisfying and as savory the day you make or six months later when you want it for lunch! If you enjoyed this recipe feel free to check out all of my canning recipes! Also, please feel free to leave comments. I love to hear from my readers! Happy canning!

 

 

 

 

Clean and Delicious No Bake Cookies

I confess that I have a sweet tooth, and that I love no bake cookies!  I’m sure you’ve had those cravings for something sweet as well. They often strike at the most inopportune time. For example, when there’s nothing clean in the house that we want to eat, and when we don’t want to cheat by eating unhealthy foods. Often when we eat clean it’s not always easy to find a sweet treat that satisfies, tastes great, that’s clean, and one that leaves you feeling guilt-free, and un-bloated without regrets.

So, with my sweet cravings and my love for no bake cookies, I decided to create a clean recipe that satisfied both of my cravings. I know you will enjoy my clean no bake cookies as much as my entire family does.

Ingredients:

1 cup organic peanut butter
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 cup organic coconut oil
2 blocks of unsweetened dark chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups of old fashioned oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup organic crunchy oat granola

organic peanut butter      organic coconut oil

Making the cookies:

  • in a small saucepan combine peanut butter, coconut oil, honey, vanilla, and chocolate squares
  • melt ingredients together over medium heat (You will need to stir to prevent sticking)
  • once the ingredients have melted, stir them well
  • add dry ingredients one at a time and stirring in each
  • you can drop cookies onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper or press into a well greased cake pan for bars
  • place in the freezer for fifteen minutes and then in the refrigerator for approximately fifteen more minutes
  • cookies are ready to eat
  • keep refrigerated to prevent melting
  • yields one dozen cookies or an 8×8 pan of bars

no bake cookies

Eating clean is not a diet, but a way of life. I have enjoyed my journey with clean eating and have enjoyed the benefits as well. The benefits that have made an impact on my life include; lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, weight loss, less inflammation, more energy, and much more. I don’t feel deprived, but I feel empowered!

My entire family enjoys these deliciously clean cookies. Even my grandchildren enjoy them. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! Feel free to leave comments…I love to hear from my readers!

Eating Clean? Tips To Help You Through The Holidays!

The holidays are quickly approaching. Have I mentioned that I love all of the fall and winter holidays? I love everything about them. I enjoy watching the kids trick or treat, the family gathering for a traditional Thanksgiving feast, and a few weeks later the Christmas festivities begin. Each of my favorite holidays revolve around family, and food! Halloween candy seems to be everywhere during the month of October. My desire to bake breads, cookies, pies, and cakes increases as the falling leaves turn to snow. Oh, and how about all that Christmas candy, and cookies? A few weeks later, it’s time to indulge in all of those delicious Valentine chocolates. Yes, the holidays are a great time for family interaction, celebration, making memories, giving to others, and an opportunity to indulge in our favorite foods! It’s also a time that those extra pounds have a way of creeping up on us before we know it. Yeah, it’s happened to me in the past, year after year. But, not in the past four years!

Since I began the journey of a healthier lifestyle through clean eating, I have learned to be prepared and equipped for the holiday eating binges. How? You might ask. I want to share with you a few tips that have helped me to maintain my focus, resist temptation, and feel satisfied and not deprived of all the holiday goodies!

A Daily Promise

I have found that by making a verbal promise to myself each morning I am more motivated, dedicated, and have a clearer vision of my ultimate goal of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I simply promise myself that I will be good to myself today by making healthy food choices, exercise, and drinking plenty of water. This is a simple statement that I make usually while I am making my morning coffee, and doing my routine stretches, and resistance exercises. I also give myself a little pep talk about how I deserve to feel healthy, have more stamina, energy, joy, and peace with myself. I follow-up with my morning prayer. I have found too that meditation, and prayer help me to stay focused.

Planning meals ahead of time!

Planning meals ahead of time!

Plan ahead

Temptation is the hardest when I don’t plan ahead. For example, I know during the month of October, bowls of candy seem to appear everywhere on campus, at the check out in many of our local stores, all over the store shelves, on television commercials, and in the hands of my students and colleagues. To be equipped to say no, I have found that if I keep a healthy treat with me at all times, I am more likely to say no. By planning ahead, I shop for small healthy and clean items that I can keep in my purse, and or my lunch tote along with a bottle of water. I have found that apples help curb my sweet tooth. Carrot sticks help curb a desire to eat something crunchy, and my homemade apple dips are wonderful to help curb a sweet craving, and are an easy take along treat. These are only a few of many treats that I have found to be satisfying. I love to have organic dried cranberries to snack on, as well as toasted almonds, Greek yogurt, granola, homemade energy balls, organic peanut butter, honey, sorghum, cauliflower bites, oranges, bananas, homemade clean breads, and even smoothies are a terrific way to help carry us through those weak moments. Don’t feel bad for having those weak moments, we all have them. We’re not machines that can be programmed. We are just human. Keep in mind there are loads of healthy and clean recipes that can made with organic peanut butter, dark chocolate, and fruits that are awesome! I’ll post a few of those recipes very soon!

Clean Pumpkin Apple Bread that is Delicious!

Clean Pumpkin Apple Bread that is Delicious!

Holiday Substitutes

For every delicious and fattening holiday recipe, there is also a delicious, clean, and healthy recipe awaiting to be prepared. Do you homework. Scour the Internet for clean recipes. I have several clean bread recipes, clean fruit dip recipes, and many more recipes to come before the holidays. However, there are many more blog sites, websites, and Pinterest pins filled with clean and healthy recipes just awaiting for you to try them. You may also fill up on vegetables, fruit, and healthy dishes of baked or roasted turkey, sweet potatoes sweetened with sorghum, and many more delicious healthy versions of various holiday recipes to substitute the unhealthy recipes that we’ve all eaten for years. It just takes a little creativity and careful planning.

Food journals help keep me accountable.

Food journals keep me accountable.

Food Journals

Food journals have been a source of inspiration for me for years. Many years ago, while I was in college we were required to keep a food journal for a health class. We not only had to record our food intake, but also our water intake, exercises, our daily weight, weekly measurements, and vitals if we had any medical complications. I was amazed how this made me more accountable than ever before. The trick is to be consistent and honest. As years have passed, technology has increased and many wonderful computer programs, apps, and other health monitoring equipment have been developed that makes it so much easier today. I have used various websites, and apps to help me track my food intake. I have also used several apps and interactive bracelets that have proven to be beneficial in tracking my exercise. I love using the map my walk app, and also wearing my fitbit, which can be purchased on amazon. Check out my amazon favorites for a quick look at them. Tracking, journaling, and recording have never been easier. It just takes desire, honesty, and dedication.

Every day brings hope, it's a brand new day!

Every day brings hope, it’s a brand new day!

Every Day is a New Day

Even when we’ve made ourselves a promise, meditated, read an inspirational devotion, planned ahead, made healthy substitutes, and recorded our food, exercise, and water intake…we still are only human, and we will make mistakes, and poor choices. I have my fair share of both. I have also learned through this three-year journey of eating clean, that when I make a poor choice, or I fall off the health wagon, it’s not the end of the journey. Everyday is a brand new day with new choices to make. In years past, when I made poor choices, I often felt so guilty and frustrated that I gave in, and gave up. One day of making poor choices turned into weeks of really bad choices, and before I knew it…five pounds had accumulated, my blood pressure was rising, and I was feeling really depressed. With the changes that I have made in my life through these last three years, I have learned that it’s not the end of the journey, I am only human, I don’t get angry at myself, I give myself a pep talk, re-motivate, and I start a brand new day with a new promise, new plans, new substitutes, and a clean slate. Life is too short to live in the past with regrets, and bitterness. Remember, every day is a brand new day in your journey of clean eating and maintaining a healthier lifestyle.

I hope you have enjoyed learning a little more about me and my personal journey to a healthier life. I have found that the above tips have helped me through this three and a half-year journey. I have also learned that with patience and loving myself, I have developed new eating habits that become easier to maintain with time, and new routines that also become easier over time. I have also learned that every day is a new day, and every day is precious. My desire is to live a clean, healthy, and happy life through healthy choices that I make. Feel free to check out my Pumpkin Almond Fruit Dip and my Almond Butter Fruit Dip to help curb your sweet cravings. I love to hear from my readers, so feel free to leave your comments. Make your holidays clean and happy!

Clean Pumpkin Apple Bread

Fall would just not be fall without pumpkin lattes, pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin smoothies, and the list could go on and on! As a matter of fact, I like pumpkin anything! When I began the journey of living a healthier life through clean eating, less stress, and more exercise I was sure that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy many of my fall favorites. I was wrong, really wrong! Eating clean and healthy is not as difficult as many of the attempts that I previously made by trying to count calories, fats, sugar, etc. With clean eating, I don’t think about counting anything really. I simply use organic ingredients, little to no processed and packaged ingredients, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

One of my all time favorite fall breads is pumpkin apple bread. I’ve been working on getting the recipe just right. I attained that perfection yesterday! My bread was delicious. So delicious that the entire loaf disappeared by night fall. No, I didn’t devour the entire loaf. It was consumed by myself, my daughter (who also enjoys clean eating), and believe it or not, my husband who does not eat clean. I’m excited about sharing this recipe with you, and it’s just in time for the holidays!

A delicious treat anytime!

A delicious treat anytime!

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, or adjust with gluten-free flour
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
1/1/2 fresh grated cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 fresh, or organic eggs
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup fresh sorghum
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 cup Pumpkin Puree
1 small apple peeled and diced

Fresh farm eggs

Fresh farm eggs

A clean replacement for brown sugar!

A clean replacement for brown sugar!

Agave nectar is a great way to sweeten any drink or dish!

Agave nectar is a great way to sweeten any drink or dish!

Procedures

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.) Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, stir and set aside.

3.) Mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and pour into the dry ingredients, mix well.

4.) Oil a loaf pan with coconut oil.

5.) Pour the bread mixture into the oiled pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.

Bake at 350 degrees

Bake at 350 degrees

A delicious treat anytime!

A delicious treat anytime!

Fall breads make great treats anytime of the day. They also make great gifts. I hope that your family enjoys this delicious and festive bread as much as my family does. It’s healthy, clean, tastes great, and feels like you’re cheating, when you’re not! If you enjoy this bread, be sure to check out my recipes for Clean Apple Zucchini Bread, and Clean Apple Ginger Bread. Both of these recipes are easy and just as delicious. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, try my recipes, and enjoy a few minutes in the mountains of Kentucky! Feel free to leave comments, and share how you enjoyed my Pumpkin Apple Bread. Also, feel free to follow my blog!

Clean Apple Zucchini Bread

It’s that time of year again! The beautiful fall foliage is always a welcome sight in the mountains of Kentucky. Bright colors of orange, lemon-yellow, russet-red, and deep-green silently welcome visitors to the mountains. Menageries of pumpkins proudly fill the many pumpkin patches in various parts of the state. Each orange splendor of beauty awaits the eager hands of a child to select them for their fall project. Swirling and drifting leaves fill the air, while the birds gather in preparation of their long journey south. With the arrival of cool temps, beautiful colors, and holiday festivities, also comes the desire to bake delicious breads.

Pumpkins awaiting to be selected by an eager child.

Pumpkins awaiting to be selected by an eager child.

When I began clean eating almost three years ago, I was sure that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy many of my fall favorites. I just knew that I would miss the delicious pumpkin, apple, and zucchini breads. Boy, was I wrong, and glad of it! I discovered that there are wonderful, healthier, alternative clean recipes for almost every bread that I baked. It took experimenting, trial, error, and adjustments to achieve just the desired taste. All of the experimenting was fun, and a learning process. One of my new fall favorites is my version of clean apple zucchini bread. It’s satisfying, tasty, clean, and delicious with a hot cup of coffee!

Ingredients

2 cups of either whole wheat flour, or gluten-free flour
2 tablespoons of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup raw honey
2/3 cup sorghum
1 generous cup grated zucchini
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 small apple peeled and diced
1 whole fresh, or organic egg
1 fresh, or organic egg white
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons of organic extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup of fresh walnuts chopped

A clean replacement for brown sugar!

A clean replacement for brown sugar!

Fresh eggs

Fresh eggs

Directions

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.) Oil one large loaf pan with olive oil

3.) In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, sea salt, walnuts, and nutmeg (I like to sift my flour through a strainer, or use a sifter, but this is optional.)

4.) In a separate mixing bowl, mix sorghum, honey, zucchini, apple, apple sauce, egg, and egg white, olive oil, cinnamon, lemon zest, and yogurt. Mix well.

5.) Using a wooden spoon, stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture and blend well.

6.) Pour batter into the oiled loaf pan and place in the preheated oven.

7.) Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a wooden tooth pick comes out clean.

8.) If your bread begins to brown to quickly, you may cover it loosely with aluminum foil for the last few minutes of baking.

A delicious bread anytime!

A delicious bread anytime!

My entire family loves this delicious, healthy, and clean bread. It’s great with honey, as a breakfast treat, for dessert, or as a snack with a big glass of almond milk, or a cup of hot coffee. I also like to give whole loaves as gifts as well. I love receiving fresh homemade breads, cookies, and candies during the holidays, but enjoy giving it even more. If you know someone who enjoys clean eating, bake them a loaf as a special gift. Enjoy a slice with your family. Serve it as a holiday treat! Take time to just enjoy it! If you like this recipe, be sure to check out my Clean Apple Ginger Bread recipe. Please, feel free to leave your comments about either recipe. I love hearing from you, your comments, feedback, and your ideas. Happy baking, and happy Fall Y’all!

Pumpkin Almond Fruit Dip

It’s a beautiful fall morning in the mountains! It’s hard to believe that fall temperatures have already arrived. It’s a cool 43 degrees this morning. While taking my usual morning walk, I was amazed to see so many fallen leaves on the ground. It’s a little early, but it truly feels like fall in Kentucky! I love everything about fall. I love the temperatures, the beautiful foliage, the holidays, and recipes with pumpkin!

A fall walk in the mountains of Kentucky.

A fall walk in the mountains of Kentucky.

I have had many ups, and some downs since I started the wonderful journey of clean eating my way to a better quality of life. Some of the ups include the joy that I have found experimenting and modifying my favorite recipes to qualify as clean recipes. With the success of each recipe, I have been able to expand my food choices, menu, and my pantry! However, one of the hardest modifications for me is modifying snacks that remain both tasty, and satisfying. But, with trial and error…eventually comes success.

Once again, I was inspired to experiment with pumpkin puree and Greek yogurt to create a clean and delicious pumpkin fruit dip. I have found fruit to be a very satisfying and filling snack, and with fruit dip, an even more satisfying treat. Finding snacks that are clean, healthy, and tasty also helps reduce the desire and craving for many of the unhealthy snack that I once indulged in. This pumpkin Almond Fruit Dip, is a winner, and totally satisfying! If you love pumpkin as much as I do, I am anxious for you to try this clean and tasty Pumpkin Almond Fruit Dip.

A delicious sweet treat

A delicious sweet treat

A delicious fall treat

A delicious fall treat

Pumpkin is a fall favorite in our house

Pumpkin is a fall favorite in our house

plain or vanilla yogurt will work for this recipe

plain or vanilla yogurt will work for this recipe

A tasty treat

A tasty treat

Not just for smoothies anymore!

Not just for smoothies anymore!

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree

1 cup of either pumpkin spice Greek yogurt, or vanilla Greek yogurt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 scoop vanilla Pure protein (Optional)

1 tablespoon organic Almond Butter (you may add an additional spoon for a thicker consistency)

1 teaspoon of fresh ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Procedures

1. ) Mix all ingredients until smooth and chill in the refrigerator for an hour before serving.

2.) Enjoy this delicious snack with sliced apples or bananas.

Delicious Pumpkin Almond Fruit Dip

Delicious Pumpkin Almond Fruit Dip

I hope you and your family enjoy this delicious fall snack as much as my family does. I have tried it with both the pumpkin spice yogurt Greek yogurt and vanilla Greek yogurt. Both are delicious, but I think the dip with the pumpkin spice yogurt is my favorite. If you enjoy my Pumpkin Almond Fruit Dip, be sure to check out my Almond Butter Fruit Dip or my Clean Pumpkin Spice Smoothie. Feel free to check out  A Few of My Amazon FavoritesAs always, feel free to leave comments. I love to hear from my readers! Happy fall!

Pumpkin Almond Fruit Dip, a delicious fall treat!

Pumpkin Almond Fruit Dip, a delicious fall treat!

Clean Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

So, this afternoon I am blogging from our local coffee shop, The Axis. What a great place to hang out with friends, drink awesome coffee, socialize, and host a book club. That’s what’s going on later this afternoon, book-club with a terrific group of girls. Many of which are previous students. Another great reason to spend time at The Axis, is the Christian atmosphere. It’s always upbeat and positive with plenty of friends, and quiet spaces as well.

The Axis...a great coffee shop!

The Axis…a great coffee shop!

Even though it is just September 03, fall is ever-present. Leaves are beginning to fall and scatter across our drive, we’ve harvested the last of the green beans, and only a few tomatoes linger on the drying vines. Night fall is coming earlier than it was two weeks ago. I am always a bit saddened by the changing of seasons, but also find myself longing for those delicious fall drinks! I love pumpkin spice lattes! Truthfully, I love pumpkin anyway it’s served! I’m excited to share one of my favorite fall smoothie recipes with you…my twist on a clean pumpkin spice smoothie!

Ingredients

1 cup of ice
2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon of raw honey
1 scoop of Pure Protein Whey powder (I like vanilla) check out A Few of My Amazon Favorites  link to purchase this item.
1 tablespoon molasses (optional)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup of vanilla Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

ice

plain or vanilla yogurt will work for this recipe

plain, or vanilla yogurt will work for this recipe

Almond milk is a great source of calcium

Almond milk is a great source of calcium

Pumpkin is a fall favorite in our house

Pumpkin is a fall favorite in our house

Procedure

1.) Add all ingredients to the Ninja (I use this as it is one of my favorite tools in the kitchen, a blender will also work) you can purchase a Ninja at A Few of My Amazon Favorites

2.) Pulse until you achieve the desired smoothness and pour yourself a rich and delicious smoothie

This smoothie is great for a snack, lunch, or an on the go breakfast!

This smoothie is great for a snack, lunch, or an on the go breakfast!

This delicious pumpkin pie smoothie is a great anytime treat! I enjoy it most as a substitute meal for lunch. It’s also a great on the go breakfast, or just as satisfying as a sweet treat! I’m sure you will enjoy this delicious and satisfying smoothie as much as I do. If you enjoy this fall favorite be sure to check out my post for Feel free to leave feedback. I love to hear from you!

Clean Apple Ginger Bread

Driving to work this morning was such an awesome experience! It was the same stretch of road that I have traveled for years! But, this morning God’s beauty and grace seemed so very evident, as was the beginning days of fall. I always dread saying good-bye to summer, but eager to welcome fall. I think I enjoy events, colors, activities, food, and the wardrobe that comes with fall more than other seasons. Okay, secret’s out…I love wearing sweaters and turtle necks! I also love baking in the fall!

God's beauty abounds in the mountains of Kentucky.

God’s beauty abounds in the mountains of Kentucky.

Even though it’s not technically fall I baked one of my favorite breads Saturday Morning. I baked it for our ladies meeting at church, and it quickly became a favorite among many of the ladies as well. Most of them were surprised when I told them it was clean. Several didn’t know what I was referring to when I said clean, so it started a nice conversation about clean eating while we enjoyed a variety of dishes.

Clean Apple Ginger Bread

Clean Apple Ginger Bread

For this recipe you’ll need the following ingredients;

1 tablespoon of fresh ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of fresh ground ginger
1 pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 and 1/2 cups 100% Whole grain/flour

Fresh ground cinnamon is delicious

Fresh ground cinnamon is delicious

1/3 cup raw honey (the honey and molasses replace brown sugar)
1 and 1/3 cup molasses
2/3 cup agave nectar (the agave nectar replaces white sugar. I have also used stevia as well.)
1/2 cup almond milk
2 fresh organic eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (the yogurt and applesauce replace the butter)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large apple of your choice diced (I like larger chunks, but that’s a personal preference)
1/2 cup of walnuts roughly chopped

Agave nectar is a great way to sweeten any drink or dish!

Agave nectar is a great way to sweeten any drink or dish!

Almond milk is a great source of calcium

Almond milk is a great source of calcium

I love having fresh farm eggs that I know are truly organic.

I love having fresh farm eggs that I know are truly organic.

1.) Whip eggs with a wire whisk and through a strainer into mixing bowl.

2.) Add and mix wet ingredients one at a time.

3.) Sift flour through a sifter, or a wire strainer to promote a smooth texture.

4.) Incorporate dry ingredients, spices, and lastly add the diced apples. I like to add the apples last to prevent bruising while mixing the ingredients.

I like larger chunks of apples in my bread.

I like larger chunks of apples in my bread.

5.) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

6.) Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. (I like to use organic coconut spray)

7.) Pour batter into the sprayed loaf pan, sprinkle rough chopped walnuts, and bake for 30 – 40 minutes. (You can increase the amount of nuts and incorporate them in the batter as well.) Oven temperatures may vary, so baking time may vary.

8.) You will know your bread is done when the sides pull away from the pan, and the bread is brown. You may also use a toothpick to test. Insert a toothpick in the center of the loaf, if it comes out clean your bread is ready!

Clean Apple Ginger Bread

Clean Apple Ginger Bread

This is a recipe that my family enjoys for breakfast, lunch, warm, cold, for dessert, or just as a snack! It will make you feel like you’re cheating, but you’re not! I truly love eating a slice of this delicious bread warm with frozen vanilla yogurt, and a cup of hot coffee. I’m excited to hear how you enjoy eating this deliciously clean treat! If you enjoyed this recipe, be sure to check out my post for Almond Fruit Dip! I’m excited to bring you more fall favorites including; My Pumpkin Passion Smoothie, Pumpkin Apple Bread, zucchini Bread, all of which are clean and delicious! Thank you for taking time to read about my journey through clean eating! Feel free to leave comments. I love to hear from you!

A Little Taste of Italy Omelet

I love eggs! I love fresh eggs! Have I mentioned that I love eggs? Eggs are also a  wonderful and healthy source of protein. I limit myself on my intake of yolks to help maintain my cholesterol, but at least one morning a week, I thoroughly enjoy an omelet for breakfast. Other mornings, I love to create healthy dishes with egg whites. I am working from home today on this beautiful fall-like morning, which is one of the many perks about being a college professor. My hours allow me more time to work for the Lord with various activities in my church, spend time with my family, read, work in our garden, host my bi-weekly book club, blog, and work on an exciting upcoming novel. Yes, I’m writing a new book, but that’s a story for a future blog. Now, back to a delicious Italian omelet that make you feel like your dining in an Italian bistro!

egg

I use two fresh eggs for an omelet

Ingredients

two farm fresh eggs (if available, if not you can buy organic eggs at most supermarkets)
1/2 teaspoon ground sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
cooking spray (I prefer coconut oil spray)
1/3 cup diced sweet onion
1 large whole white mushroom
2 fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon of either fresh garlic, or minced garlic
1 teaspoon organic low-fat feta
sprinkle of parmesan cheese
Chives (optional)
turkey sausage (optional)

Process

1.) Heat skillet over medium low heat. Spray with cooking spray and add extra virgin olive oil. Allow oil to heat and add diced onions and ground turkey sausage.
2.) Stir gently with wooden or rubber spatula. Once onions begin tendering, add washed and sliced mushrooms. Add garlic and season gently with sea salt, and black pepper. Keep a close eye on the garlic to prevent it from burning.
3.) Wash two medium size fresh basil leaves. I prefer Italian basil for this recipe. You can cut the basil, but I prefer to use my kitchen scissors and snip it to the size I prefer without bruising it. Add basil and gently stir lowing the heat.

basil leaves

Fresh is better!

4.) Add oregano. I like to use oregano from my herb garden that I have dried, and have used fresh. Either are great.
5.) Crack two fresh eggs into a bowl and add milk. Gently whisk briefly and then add the egg mixture to a strainer to do most of the whisking.
6.) Whisk the eggs through the screen of the strainer. This helps remove any of the membrane or chalazae that may exist in the white of the egg. This also helps your eggs to be more fluffy. When it seems that there is some of the egg that just wont go through the strainer, your ready to add your eggs to the skillet. You don’t need what’s left behind in the strainer.

whisking eggs

Whisking eggs

7.) Add egg mixture with feta into the now browned turkey sausage, tendered mushrooms, and onions. Don’t over stir while cooking. You may add a dash of salt and pepper if desired.
8.) Gently fold with a rubber, or wooden spatula until thoroughly cooked, and slightly brown on either side.
9.) Plate your beautiful Italian omelet, and top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
10.) Serve your Italian omelet with marinara sauce for dipping, or to top your omelet. I also like to add chopped chives to my omelet. My husband enjoys this omelet with garlic toast. I’ll admit, the garlic toast tempts me like crazy!

italian omelet

Delicious Italian Omelet

This is one of my favorite omelet recipes. I love Italian food, clean eating, delicious breakfasts, and that quiet time when I can sit and enjoy my breakfast with hot cup of coffee, and a great book! I love the early morning hours as well, but I think I’ve mentioned that before. If you enjoy Italian foods, I’m sure will enjoy my Little Taste of Italy Omelet! Be sure to check out one of my earlier posts, Breakfast for a King or Queen, another great idea for a tasty healthy and clean breakfast. I would love to hear your feedback.

Quick and Delicious Apple Pie Smoothie

It’s only Tuesday, and it’s been a busy week already! The campus was buzzing with life yesterday as students were rushing about making schedule changes, exploring the campus, and enjoying a brand new start to a brand new year! College life, you gotta love it! As I made my hour and a half commute to work yesterday, I was reminded of one of the reasons that I love smoothies so much! I love their health benefits, their taste, and I love the fact that they are easy and quick to make, and I love that I can drink my power breakfast on the go! It’s also a healthy alternative to the popular fast food breakfast sandwiches, and just as satisfying!

A delicious, clean, and easy apple pie smoothie!

A delicious, clean, and easy apple pie smoothie!

I am a true believer that we should take what could be a stressful situation, and turn it into a positive one. For example, my long commute could be stressful, even though I love arriving at my destination, the drive on the Interstate has its disadvantages.  What better time to forget schedules, multi-tasking, drivers with road rage, speeders, slow pokes, and deadlines… and instead crank up a little K-Love on the radio, meditate, or pray, and sip on a delicious smoothie! The commute passes quickly, and before I know it, I have arrived on campus in a positive frame of mind, and a full stomach! I’m ready to get my day started!

I like to make smoothies that are simple, quick, tasty, clean, and healthy! My apple pie smoothie meets all of those requirements. I find myself fixing this smoothie more often than any of my other favorites. My grandchildren enjoy this smoothie as well. Imagine that…you could replace a milk shake, or any another high calorie snack with a healthy delicious smoothie. That’s good news for the entire family.

Ingredients

1 cup of ice
1/4 to 1/2 cup almond milk (depends on the thickness you desire)
1 tablespoons of plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons of unsweetened apple sauce (optional)
2 tablespoons of raw honey
1 scoop of Pure Protein Vanilla, or French Vanilla flavor
1 medium apple peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated ginger, or 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger (I prefer grated, fresh is always better)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Greek Yogurt

Delicious Vanilla flavored Greek yogurt is my favorite!

French Vanilla is great in all smoothies!

French Vanilla is great in all smoothies!

Process

I like to use a Ninja to process my smoothies. I recommend them highly, as they can double as a food processor and a blender. I reach for my Ninja more often than my food processor. However, most blenders will work if you don’t have a Ninja. If you’re interested in purchasing a Ninja, check out the Amazon link titled A Few of My Favorites, for an amazon link to purchase one. Now, back to the simple process of making an Apple Pie Smoothie.

Adding the ingredients in my favorite kitchen gadget, a Ninja!

Adding the ingredients in my favorite kitchen gadget, a Ninja!

Pulse ingredients to the desired texture.

Pulse ingredients to the desired texture.

1.) Add ice to the Ninja
2.) Peel and slice apple add to Ninja
3.) Measure and place wet ingredients in the Ninja
4.) Add dry ingredients
5.) Pulse until you reach the desired thickness and texture that you prefer.

Pour yourself a delicious Apple Pie Smoothie!

Pour yourself a delicious Apple Pie Smoothie!

That’s all there is to it! It’s that simple to have a smoothie ready to drink, or take on the go for a fast and nutritious breakfast. I’ll be honest, when I drink one of these healthy and filling smoothies I feel full until midday, or later. Trust me…it’s that satisfying. I know your family will enjoy this sweet, but healthy treat as much as mine. If  you enjoy this smoothie, be sure to check out my previous post for Almond Butter Fruit Dip. Also, be sure to watch for upcoming fall smoothies in future posts. Feel free to leave comments. I’m anxious to know how you enjoyed your smoothie! Cheers!

A delicious, clean, and easy apple pie smoothie!

A delicious, clean, and easy apple pie smoothie!