Category Archives: Homemade

Toby the SCOBY on the move

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It has been 14 days since Toby the SCOBY joined his new habitat and today was officially moving day…well, in a way.  Today we made a new batch of tea for Toby to work his magic in.  We transferred our fresh kombucha to dark colored growlers so that it spend the next couple of weeks fermenting more and getting it’s fizzies, just in time for Christmas.  We were very impressed as Toby has been growing well and our  batch of kombucha smells wonderful.

New batch of tea.

New batch of tea.

 

Our very first batch of kombucha that Toby helped make in the bottles and ready to rest for a couple of weeks.

Our very first batch of kombucha that Toby helped make in the bottles and ready to rest for a couple of weeks.

 

Toby the SCOBY in his new batch of tea.  The smaller is our original SCOBY and the two larger rings are how much Toby has grown.

Toby the SCOBY in his new batch of tea. The smaller is our original SCOBY and the two larger rings are how much Toby has grown.

 

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Toby the SCOBY all tucked in and ready to spend the next couple of weeks relaxing in his cupboard.

Toby the SCOBY all tucked in and ready to spend the next couple of weeks relaxing in his cupboard.

 

 

 

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Toby the SCOBY day 7

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It has been 7 days since Toby moved into his new habitat and so far he is looking very comfortable.

It has been 7 days since Toby moved into his new habitat and so far he is looking very comfortable.

 

Toby is starting to grow.

Toby is starting to grow.

 

The creamy/cloudy looking layer is Toby growing...which is exactly what we want to see.

The creamy/cloudy looking layer is Toby growing…which is exactly what we want to see.

 

In this photo you can see the thick yellowish area which is our original SCOBY and the thin milky looking layer which is our SCOBY Toby growing.

In this photo you can see the thick yellowish area which is our original SCOBY and the thin milky looking layer which is our SCOBY Toby growing.

 

At this point Toby has been in his new habitat for 7 days.  Toby needs to be in there for 8-15 days, so we will check in on him again in a week and see how all is going.

At this point Toby has been in his new habitat for 7 days. Toby needs to be in there for 8-15 days, so we will check in on him again in a week and see how all is going.

 

 

 

 

 

Toby the SCOBY

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One of our favorite things in the world is Kombucha.  We love it because not only is it tasty, but also has a lot of wonderful health benefits.  Kombucha has probiotics, is an immune builder, aids in digestion, improves brain function, detoxifies, helps remove heavy metals from our systems, balances internal pH, promotes healthy joints and has theanine which helps ease stress by increasing seratonin levels…just to name a few of Kombucha’s benefits.

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Recently we have been researching how to make out own Kombucha.  One of our favorite Kombucha suppliers is Kombucha Mama out of Bend, Oregon.  Kombucha Mama has a great website with a ton of information (if you are ever in the Bend area you can also stop in and their staff is very knowledgeable and helpful—I give them 5 stars).  The following is a link to Kombucha Mama’s How to Make Kombucha page:  http://www.kombuchamama.com/brew-class .  From all of the different websites we research, we found this one the most user friendly, especially for first-timers.

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Yesterday we went and adopted an wonderfully healthy SCOBY that we lovingly have named Toby.  Today we prepped our tea and let Toby join his new living habitat (for the next 8-15 days).  So far Toby looks very happy and healthy and is relaxing in a quiet, dust free cupboard.  We will be keeping a close eye on in and posting updates.  Here’s hoping that our first adventure in homemade Kombucha turns out to be a tasty one…we will find out on Christmas as that is when our whole Kombucha making process should be complete.

Easy Laundry Soap

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With prices continuously going up and paychecks not keeping up we’ve started cutting costs in as many ways as possible.  A HUGE way to save money is to make your own cleaning and beauty supplies (so far we have only done the cleaning supplies, but beauty aka body wash and shampoo are soon to follow).  The best and cheapest cleaning supplies come from nature…seriously, it is amazing what vinegar and orange peels can do!  After months of reading different recipes online for different household products I finally got my butt in gear and made some laundry soap, needless to say I am now kicking myself in said butt for not doing this sooner (as in YEARS ago!).

Easy Laundry Soap Recipe

1 part grated bar soap of your choice

2 parts washing soda

2 parts Borax

 

We chose to use Dr. Bronner’s bar soap in the tea tree and peppermint scents.  I grated both soaps together and then gently mixed them.  In our 64 ounce airtight containers I put one cup of grated soap, 2 cups of washing soda, 2 cups of Borax, put the lid on, shook and was done.  Doesn’t get much easier than that.

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Grated Dr. Bonner's soap, we used peppermint & tea tree.  Make sure that if you are mixing scents like we did that you do actually mix the scents together by stirring...gently, because if you are too tough your finely grated soap will stick together in not-so-fine clumps.

Grated Dr. Bonner’s soap, we used peppermint & tea tree. Make sure that if you are mixing scents like we did that you do actually mix the scents together by stirring…gently, because if you are too tough your finely grated soap will stick together in not-so-fine clumps.

Washing Soda and Borax can be found in most laundry sections at your local grocery store.

Washing Soda and Borax can be found in most laundry sections at your local grocery store.

I added one cup of my mixed scent grated soap to my container.

I added one cup of my mixed scent grated soap to my container.

2 cups Borax.

2 cups Borax.

2 cups washing soda.

2 cups washing soda.

Secure the lid to your airtight container.

Secure the lid to your airtight container.

Shake, shake, shake.

Shake, shake, shake.

Wah-lah...homemade laundry soap!  I typically use 1/8 of a cup, but for more soiled loads will use about 1/4 of a cup...a heck of a lot less than the store bought stuff!

Wah-lah…homemade laundry soap! I typically use 1/8 of a cup, but for more soiled loads will use about 1/4 of a cup…a heck of a lot less than the store bought stuff!

My 2 bars of grated soap, one box of washing soda and one box of Borax was enough to make 3 containers of laundry soap and still have a little Borax and grated soap left over.

My 2 bars of grated soap, one box of washing soda and one box of Borax was enough to make 3 containers of laundry soap and still have a little Borax and grated soap left over.

Each of my containers is 64 ounces, and ended up being half full…so 32 ounces x 3=96 ounces…so using 1/8 of a cup per load (often times you don’t even need that much) that equals 96 loads of laundry.  The washing soda was around $3, the Borax was just under $4, and the two bars of soap on sale were $6..so right around $13 which equals LESS than $0.14 per load.  You could also save money by purchasing a cheaper bar soap and buying your washing soda & Borax in bulk.

Quinoa Spiced Oatmeal

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Quinoa Spiced Oatmeal

3 cups water

Dash sea salt

BRING TO BOIL then ADD

1/2 cup quinoa (we used a tri-colored quinoa)

TURN HEAT DOWN TO MEDIUM and cook for 5 minutes then ADD

1 TBSP organic whole flax seed

2 TBSPorganic  hemp nut seed

3 TBSP organic raw pumpkin seed

2 cups organic thick rolled oats

COOK for 5 minutes, while cooking ADD

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

WHEN DONE cooking remove from heat and ADD

1/4 cut raw organic agave nectar

 

Dish up and enjoy.  An addition of fresh or dried fruit would work very well with this dish.  If you like your oatmeal with milk try your favorite hemp, soy, rice or almond milk.  Makes 4 servings (that stick with you).  Recipe takes a total of 15 minutes to make (with boiling the water and all).

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NUTRITIONAL FACTS

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 317 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

402
Calories from Fat

111
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

12.4g
19%
Saturated Fat

1.2g
6%
Trans Fat

0.0g
Cholesterol

0mg
0%
Sodium

72mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates

56.6g
19%
Dietary Fiber

7.0g
28%
Sugars

12.5g
Protein

17.3g
Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 4% Iron 31%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points

Vegan High Protein Snack Bars

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Vegan High Protein Snack Bars

In sauce pan:

2 cups water

1 cup organic raw agave nectar

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

1/2 cup organic unsweetened cocoa

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Cook all ingredients together on medium heat for 8 minutes, stirring constantly.

In large mixing bowl:

4 cups natural rolled oats

6 TBSP whole flaxseed

10 TBSP hemp seed nut

1/2 cup organic raw pumpkin seeds

3/4 cup organic dried tart cherries

Stir all dry ingredients together.  Once sauce pan mixture is complete pour over dry ingredients and stir well.  Pour mixture into lightly oiled 9×13 inch baking pan, press down to make as even as possible.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Let cool and enjoy.  Recipe makes 40 servings (well, depending on how big you cut your bars, ours were about 1×3 inches).

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NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION BASED ON 40 SERVINGS

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 66 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

150
Calories from Fat

53
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

5.9g
9%
Saturated Fat

0.7g
3%
Trans Fat

0.0g
Cholesterol

0mg
0%
Sodium

53mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates

19.0g
6%
Dietary Fiber

2.4g
10%
Sugars

10.0g
Protein

6.1g
Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 1% Iron 13%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Bad points

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Healthier Puff Pancake

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PUFF PANCAKE FRESH OUT OF THE OVEN.

PUFF PANCAKE FRESH OUT OF THE OVEN.

 

A couple of years ago my friend Sarah, the Mac-Mama, shared a recipe for puff pancake with me and we have been fans ever since.  Typically we only have puff pancake once every couple of months because it isn’t the healthiest of meals…BUT it is oh-so-good.  Being that we have been trying to eat healthier I keep trying to figure out how to make some of our favorite recipes  just a little better for us. This morning puff pancake was on my experiment radar, not just because I was craving it, but because I dreamed about it.

 

Original Sarah’s Shared Puff Pancake Recipe

Preheat Oven to 450 degrees.

1 cup flour

1 cup milk

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Put cast iron skillet in oven to heat-up.  Melt 4 TBSP of butter in pan (place butter in when you put it in oven, that way the pan warms up and butter melts at the same time).  Once pan is heated and butter is melted pour batter in.  Bake for 22-25 minutes.  Will puff up and be a wonderful golden brown when done.  In our family we cut the puff pancake into 4 pieces, so the nutritional facts is based on 4 servings.

Nutritional Facts:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 152 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

312
Calories from Fat

157
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

17.4g
27%
Saturated Fat

9.5g
47%
Cholesterol

199mg
66%
Sodium

128mg
5%
Total Carbohydrates

27.2g
9%
Dietary Fiber

0.8g
3%
Sugars

3.6g
Protein

10.9g
Vitamin A 11% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 4% Iron 13%
Nutrition Grade C-
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Bad points

 

 

Healthier Puff Pancake

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

1/4 cup whole ground golden flaxseed meal

3/4 cup unbleached white flour

1 cup unsweetened soy milk

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of sea salt

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Put cast iron skillet with 1  tbsp olive oil in it in oven to heat-up  Once pan is heated  pour batter in.  Bake for 22-25 minutes.  Will puff up and be a wonderful golden brown when done.  In our family we cut the puff pancake into 4 pieces, so the nutritional facts is based on 4 servings.

Nutritional Facts:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 140 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

244
Calories from Fat

103
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

11.4g
18%
Saturated Fat

2.0g
10%
Trans Fat

0.0g
Cholesterol

164mg
55%
Sodium

152mg
6%
Total Carbohydrates

24.2g
8%
Dietary Fiber

3.0g
12%
Sugars

3.0g
Protein

11.5g
Vitamin A 4% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 4% Iron 24%
Nutrition Grade B-
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Bad points

 

Both recipes taste AWESOME and are wonderful being topped with maple syrup, honey, apple butter, fresh fruit or whatever your favorite topping is (I sometimes eat mine plain).  Comparing the original shared recipe and the healthier version you get 68 calories less per serving with the healthier, 7.5 grams less saturated fat with the healthier version, 11% more iron, more protein and selenium…so a healthier version of a very yummy puff pancake.

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