Apple Raspberry Crisp

This is one of my favorite dishes to bake in the fall because apples in Michigan are so amazing and this past week raspberries at Meijer were only 50 cents a container! Seriously…..50 cents!

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Bottom – 

1 carton of raspberries (1 cup)

5 small/medium apples – cored & sliced

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tblsp. cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

 

Topping – 

2 sticks of cold butter

1 cup rolled oats (not instant)

1/8 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees – make sure oven rack is in the middle.

Butter 13×9 dish

Mix all bottom ingredients together & spread evenly in dish.

Mix all topping ingredients together with a fork until crumbly & sprinkle over bottom mixture.

Bake 25-35

ENJOY!

Jessica xo

 

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Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

Happy Easter! I decided to create a cute Easter cupcake today to share with you all.

Recipe – 

1 stick of real butter at room temperature

1 cup plus 2 tblsp. sugar

2 large eggs at room temperature

2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

dash of salt

3/4 cup buttermilk

 

Directions – 

Mix butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time until incorporated, add vanilla. Scrape down bowl.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

In a separate bowl, sift or mix with a fork – flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt.

If you do not have buttermilk, make your own by mixing 1 cup of milk and 2 tblsp. of white vinegar, let sit for a minute.

Alternate buttermilk and flour mixture, do not overmix.

Fill paper cups 3/4 full and bake for 16-18 minutes depending on how full your cups are and the altitude.

Buttercream Frosting – https://rawbasil.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/buttercream-frosting/

For lemon frosting, add 1/4 tsp. lemon extract, add more if you want a stronger lemon taste.

I used the cadbury eggs and sifted cocoa on top.

Let cool, frost & ENJOY! I hope you all have a blessed Easter!

 

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Thank you for stopping!

– Jessica

Easy Homemade Pita Bread

I love a good pita bread but am not a great bread maker – this recipe makes it so simple!

Recipe:

1 cup of warm water

1 heaping tsp. of active dry or instant yeast

2 1/2 cups of flour

2 tsp. salt

1-2 tsp. organic olive oil

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Directions:

Mix water & yeast, let sit for 5 minutes

Add flour & mix until shaggy

Knead dough on floured surface for 5-7 minutes

Shape dough into a ball and cover – let rise for 2 hours

Heat oven & pan to 450 degrees

Divide dough into 8 parts and roll out on floured surface

Bake for 3 minutes

Enjoy!

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Thanks for visiting!

-Jessica

Facebook – Living Green https://www.facebook.com/pages/Living-Green/225911607575346

Twitter – @OrganicsBakery https://twitter.com/OrganicsBakery

Recipe adapted from – http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-homemade-pita-bread-90844

Ombre Ruffle Cake – Buttercream Frosting

Happy Sunday – I thought I’d share one of my favorites with you today!

I made a cake for a little ones 1st birthday & the mom gave me free range to do whatever I wished.

I decided to do a chocolate ombre cake and I have to honest, it’s not the easiest for me BUT I love the way it looks.

I separate the frosting into three bowls, or however many colors you are wanting. For the brown, I used pure cocoa.

Start with the darkest, if that is what you are putting on the bottom, add several tablespoons of cocoa & lessen the amount of cocoa per bowl to lighten the color. I want them to be noticeably different but not too drastic. If you like to frost from the top down, it may be easier to have the lighter color on top (as shown) and darken the frosting as you go.

The tip I used was a Wilton #104 or #125 for larger ruffles.

ombre cake

My buttercream recipe – https://rawbasil.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/buttercream-frosting/

Please feel free to ask questions! I’d be more than happy to help =)

Thanks for stopping!

– Jessica

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Living-Green/225911607575346

Choosing a Healthier Lifestyle! Not sure where to Start?

Around 2007 my family started totally digging into our food, water, and household products. Whether you’ve been feeling blah, dealing with health issues, or just want to live a healthier lifestyle, here are a few ideas….just a few!

Let’s start with WATER! Only the most important thing we need in our body! As an adult we are supposed to drink at least half of our weight in ounces of water, even more if you have a high activity level. An adult who weighs 150 lbs should drink approximately 75 ounces of water each day. If possible, drinking filtered water that is free of fluoride and other harmful chemicals is your best choice. If the water has gone through Reverse Osmosis filtration it is likely free from most substances. Ingesting fluoride can make one feel lethargic and is toxic to your body (Fluoride Action Network, 2012).

READ those labels! But what are you looking for?!? I have several main ingredients that I run from.

Staying clear of soda, juice that is not 100% juice or raw juice, and non-organic milk. Most soda has High Fructose Corn Syrup, a high amount of sugar, and is extremely acidic. Your body does not flourish in an acidic environment, resulting in diseases & illnesses. If one constantly consumes acidic drinks and food, their body is working overtime to get back to the correct pH level resulting in a lower immune system. When the body is busy fighting the unknown they are putting in their mouths, the body has less time to fight the stuff that matters – flu, cancer, diabetes, ect.!

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) found in many pre-packaged foods such as chips, soups, dressings, and extremely flavorful foods. This is a flavor enhancer that makes you want to keep eating! Doritos are one that I remember making me feel awful and so tired afterwards but I kept wanting to eat them. Other names for MSG are; yeast extract, autolyzed yeast extract, torula yeast, hydrolyzed & texturized vegetable protein, and several others (Elephant, 2013).

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) found in cereals, juices, syrups, sodas, bread, dressings, crackers, canned goods, and baked goods. This highly processed, man-made sweetener sneaks into food that you would not even think of it being in. (Mercola, N.D.)

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener found in diet sodas. This may be one of the most harmful artificial sweeteners. (Mercola, 2013). Sadly, there are so many undiscolsed labeling tactics just like with MSG that I am unaware of how many different names there are. Look for cane sugar, stevia (I happen to like stevia, I know this upsets some stomachs though), or xylitol in candies.

Milk drinkers are highly recommended to choose a milk that is from a local organic farmer or at least an organic choice at your grocery store. Cows who are fed an organic (mainly grass) diet, treated humanely, and not pumped with antibiotics or hormones produce healthier products; milk, cheese, and meat. I believe one of the obesity epidemics is from eating meat & dairy products from unhealthy animals. If an animal is given growth hormones that will transfer to you. Not everyone who drinks non-organic milk will be heavy but that milk surely isn’t doing them any good. If you’re looking for a milk alternative, we are loving Flax Milk! Almond Milk is a great choice as well, look for the Non-GMO project verified label! =)

Artificial flavors & colors are a big one to stay away from. Do you or your children act as if they cannot control themselves? Have they eaten candy or a processed food with any dyes such as; Red 40 or Yellow 5, or another artificial ingredient (artificial flavors)? Artificial = fake, so why put something fake into your body? Your body will not recognize this substance therefore does not know how to process it. I believe that many kiddos are mis-diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, or another learning disability because of the junk that is being put into their little bodies. If they are fed what their bodies NEEDED, then they may have a bit more self control.

Gluten Free. I know, I know not everyone loves to ditch the bread BUT if you are living with a bloated gassy belly, brain fog, skin issues, can’t lose weight, or just feel lethargic then give up gluten! Gluten is a protein found in wheat that our bodies have a tough time digesting and there so many really good gluten free options are available. Did you know french fries are gluten free? Awesome, right?!?

  • Instead of bread go with rice crackers, corn tortillas, or gluten free bread (usually in the freezer section). I’ve been making my kiddo homemade lunchables with rice crackers, meat, and cheese – YUM!
  • Instead of noodles go with rice or corn noodles (preferably non-gmo), rice (organic or Mahatma Basmati),  or potatoes
  • Many gluten free cereal & granola bars options

Try to make the bulk of your diet come from foods in their raw form (fruits, veggies, & nuts), choosing organic when possible or a local farm, getting enough non-city water, and staying clear of highly processed foods is a great place to start. Remember to start small though, don’t incorporate many changes at once. If you’re in a state with Meijer, they have a great selection of Meijer Organic or Meijer Naturals. Aldi’s has also started carrying organic & gluten free options. If not, shop around and see what you can find. I totally understand the expense of eating organic so do what you can and what fits with your budget. Google meals that go a little further or freeze easily. One of my FAVORITE chefs is Lacey over at A Sweet Pea Chef – she is amazing and I have loved every recipe that I have made of hers!

Exercise is HUGE – get up & get moving! So many have sit down jobs and I am grateful that my desk at my day job moves up and down with the push of a button! Adding a few short walks/runs into your day, just 15 minutes each will help your blood flow and release those happy endorphin’s! I recently came across Daily Burn and love their choices! Whether you are looking for some seriously intense workouts or just something to get your body moving, they have it! They also have a FREE trial!

Now, onto household products! Paying attention to ingredients doesn’t end with food, we make sure our cleaning products, bath products, and even our beauty products.

Cleaning products – plant based, biodegradable ingredients. Wondering how your products rate on the EWG, look here – Live Healthy.  A few brands we love are; Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers, Method, Earth Friendly, and Dr. Bronner’s.

Bath products – stay clear from sodium lauryl sulfate (any sulfates actually), parabens, and artificial colors & fragrances. We really love products from EO (Everyone) Bath Products – they are Non-GMO, cruelty free, and scented with pure essential oils. Deodorant has been a struggle to find a good one, so many natural deodorants just do not work but recently we came across Schmidt’s Deodorant and holy moly this stuff is AMAZING!! If you have sensitive skin they offer a few different options, the Lime & Bergamot is so refreshing and works like a charm. One downfall is that it discolors my shirts in the armpits a bit but I’ll totally take that over aluminum anyday!

Air fresheners – STAY AWAY FROM PLUG INS!! If you want a nice smelling home aim for an oil diffuser with pure essential oils (I love Edens Garden), natural air spray such a Mrs. Meyers, or a beeswax candle that uses pure essential oils.

 

I know this was ALOT of info to soak in but even choosing just one area to focus is a great start! It’s taken us years to get where we are so keep researching and loving your body enough to give it the right fuel.

Thanks for stopping and cheers to healthy living! XO

-Jessica

Happiness

References

http://fluoridealert.org/articles/50-reasons/

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/04/sneaky-names-for-msg-check-your-labels/

http://www.mercola.com/Downloads/bonus/danger-of-corn-syrup/report.aspx

Shortbread Cookies

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Shortbread cookies are one of my favorites & sometimes I add a few chocolate chips to change it up a bit!

3/4 cup real butter (softened)

1 3/4 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

chocolate chips (optional)

 

Directions – 

Cream butter & sugar together until fully combined. Add vanilaa

Slowly add flour.

Stir in chocolate chips or split the batch – 1/2 with chocolate & 1/2 without!

Bake for 10-13 at 350 degrees depending on altitude.

Thanks for stopping!

Jessica

Facebook – Living Green

 

 

Adapted from Betty Crockers Christmas Cookbook

 

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recently I started following a gluten free diet, not a strict one but the main bulk of my diet is gluten free. And for someone who bakes often, I was on the hunt for a flour substitute. While at Costco I found a gluten free flour mix called, Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend by Namaste Foods. This was about $9 for 5 lb. so it isn’t the cheapest but it works and I don’t use it for all of my baking.

GF Flour

This is one of my favorite cookie recipes that I found on another blog – http://www.asweetpeachef.com/ that was adapted from Alton Brown. I have made these both with regular flour and this GF flour.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter

2  1/4 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup + 1/8 cup of sugar

1  1/4 cups brown sugar

1 egg (room temperature)

1 egg yolk (room temperature)

2 tblsp milk

1  1/2 tsp vanilla

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Melt butter in saucepan over low/medium heat. Mix together flour, salt, & baking soda in a medium bowl, set aside.

In large mixing bowl pour in melted butter and add sugars, cream together on medium speed. Add egg, egg yolk, 2 tablespoons of milk, and vanilla. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until completely combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Cover dough and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees – time & temperature may vary depending on oven and altitude.

Scoop dough using a cookie scoop or tablespoon onto sheet. Make sure the cookie sheets are not warm, especially when making sugar cookies so they keep their shape. Using parchment paper helps keep the cookie sheets clean & makes the cookies not stick.

Once oven has reached the temperature, bake cookies for 11 minutes. Adjust time as needed – if you like a doughier cookie or a crispier cookie =)

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Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by!

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