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Oven-Dried Apple Chips {Seasoned 5 Different Ways}

One of my favorite ways to use a bushel of apples is to make apple chips. Actually, you can make apple chips with just a few apples, and it's really easy to do!

One thing that is so wonderful about fall is the food that transitions us between summer and winter. It’s tough to let go of the warm gardening months and fresh fruits and veggies of summer, but the comforting foods of fall make the colder months easier to welcome. Apples are the first thing that come to my mind when fall approaches! There are so many ways to enjoy them while they’re in season.

One of my favorite ways to use a bushel of apples is to make apple chips. Actually, you can make apple chips with just a few apples, and it’s really easy to do! Check out my latest post at Scratch Mommy that shows how to make oven-dried apple chips, along with the 5 fabulous ways to season them.

Garden Herb, Spinach and Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes

You'll really experience the garden-fresh flavors of summer when you taste these garden herb and goat cheese stuffed tomatoes. These are the flavors to savor during the few precious tomato-harvesting weeks of the season!

Every year I savor the precious month during the summer when we can eat juicy, sun-warmed tomatoes right off the vine. We’ll enjoy that quintessential flavor in the wintertime when we cook with our garden tomatoes that we canned, but nothing quite beats perfectly ripened, fresh tomatoes! The type of tomato that has been most plentiful in our garden this year is the Siberia. It’s 2-3″ in diameter and has a delicious, deep flavor. These tomatoes taste amazing in salads and sandwiches, but my favorite way to prepare them is making them into little bite-sized appetizers.

You'll really experience the garden-fresh flavors of summer when you taste these garden herb and goat cheese stuffed tomatoes. These are the flavors to savor during the few precious tomato-harvesting weeks of the season!

You’ll really experience the garden-fresh flavors of summer when you taste these garden herb and goat cheese stuffed tomatoes. These are the flavors to savor during the few precious tomato-harvesting weeks of the season!

Garden Herb and Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 12

Garden Herb and Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 12 organic tomatoes (around 2-4" in diameter)
  • 2 tablespoons organic olive oil
  • 2 organic garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups organic spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup organic goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup organic whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato juice (reserved after scooping out the tomatoes)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Wash and dry tomatoes, then slice tops off and carefully scoop out just enough flesh to make room for stuffing. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the juice. (A grapefruit spoon works great for the scooping.)
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine goat cheese, breadcrumbs, black pepper, herbs and tomato juice.
  4. Heat olive oil over low to medium heat. Sauté garlic until just fragrant, then add shallots. When the shallots are barely tender, add the spinach and sauté until wilted.
  5. Add the sautéed mixture to the goat cheese mixture and combine well. Spoon into each tomato.
  6. Place stuffed tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, or I use a baking dish with sides to help keep the tomatoes upright.
  7. Sprinkle stuffed tomatoes with grated parmesan cheese.
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until thoroughly heated through.
http://www.dailypea.com/garden-herb-spinach-goat-cheese-stuffed-tomatoes

Banana Blueberry Bread

Who has the oven cranked up when it's 95 degrees outside? This girl. It's blueberry season, and a big pile of fresh blueberries makes the best banana bread ever.

Who has the oven cranked up when it’s 95 degrees outside? This girl. It’s blueberry season, and a big pile of fresh blueberries makes the best banana bread ever. After you try this recipe, you’ll want to make it all year long. We’ve been so grateful to be stocking up on fresh organic berries from the farmer’s market. Blueberries are easy to freeze; just place in a single layer on a cookie sheet to prevent them from sticking together, and later place them in freezer containers. If you would like to wash them first, make sure to air-dry them as much as possible before freezing. This banana bread recipe can be made with fresh or frozen blueberries.

Banana Blueberry Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Banana Blueberry Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 small to medium-sized bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 organic eggs, lightly beaten (preferably pastured eggs)
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut oil, room temperature
  • 2 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup organic blueberries, plus a handful to sprinkle on top

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed bananas, honey, vanilla extract and eggs. Stir in the coconut oil.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients, except for blueberries.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir until just combined, being careful to not over-stir. Gently fold in the blueberries.
  5. Pour batter into an oiled 9 x 5 loaf pan. Sprinkle a handful of blueberries on top of the loaf.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes to a hour, or until knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
http://www.dailypea.com/banana-blueberry-bread

Real Food Picnic Recipe Roundup

There are just so many wonderful ways to enjoy fresh foods this time of year. That's why I was excited to partner up with a group of some of my favorite bloggers to bring you a full real food picnic spread, from appetizers and beverages all the way to dessert!

It’s tough to think of summertime memories that don’t include family, friends and picnics! With the Fourth of July right around the corner, many of us are thinking about recipes to make that incorporate our favorite flavors of summer. There are just so many wonderful ways to enjoy fresh foods this time of year. That’s why I was excited to partner up with a group of some of my favorite bloggers to bring you a full real food picnic spread, from appetizers and beverages all the way to dessert! You may find a different twist on a classic favorite, or an entirely new dish to try. Either way, have a fabulous time at your next summertime picnic, and savor the beautiful tastes of the season!

Appetizers

Baked Green Tomatoes with Fresh Tomato Relish, by Daily Pea

Sprouted Deviled Eggs with Bacon, by The Skinny Pear

Beverages

Ginger Watermelon Fizz, by Daily Pea

Honey Sweetened Strawberry Limeade, by Health Starts in the Kitchen

Main Dishes

Picnic Chicken, by Health Starts in the Kitchen

Roasted Lamb Chops with Rosemary Mint and Thyme, by Real Food Outlaws

Simple Grilled Kabobs, by Simple Clean Living

Side Dishes

Apple-Poppy Sed Coleslaw, by Real Food Girl: Unmodified

Brown Sugar Maple Baked Beans with Bacon, by Real Food Girl: Unmodified

Cucumber Tomato Salad with Basil, by Real Food Outlaws

Homemade Potato Salad, by Simple Clean Living

Spinach Strawberry Salad, by The Skinny Pear

Desserts

Crockpot Cheesecake in Jars, by Health Starts in the Kitchen

Gluten Free Angel Food Cake, by Simple Clean Living

Lemon Gem Cookies, by Real Food Girl: Unmodified

Do you have picnic plans coming up? What are your favorite summertime dishes?

 

Baked Green Tomatoes with Fresh Tomato Relish

This baked green tomatoes with fresh tomato relish recipe makes it tough for me to leave my tomatoes on the vine long enough to ripen!

Ripe, juicy tomatoes warmed from the sun are one of the best tastes of summertime if you love tomatoes, but they are just as fabulous when they’re green with just a slight blush of pink! This baked green tomatoes with fresh tomato relish recipe makes it tough for me to leave my tomatoes on the vine long enough to ripen. It’s also a great way to use the straggling tomatoes that haven’t ripened by the end of harvest.

Fried green tomatoes are a classic southern dish, but they shouldn’t be forgotten wherever there are tomatoes growing! They are such a perfect appetizer for a summertime barbecue. I thought I would try my hand at baking them because it’s quicker and easier for me to season them and put them in the oven, as opposed to creating a potentially really messy frying situation. They turned out to be incredibly delicious with the perfectly crispy crust and tangy flavor of the green tomatoes. The fresh tomato relish is optional, but it can be whipped up in a matter of minutes and really makes this dish extra flavorful.

Any large, meaty tomato variety is good for making baked green tomatoes. I think they’re best when they are green but just barely show ripening tones. The most important recommendation to make this recipe turn out perfectly is to slice the tomatoes no thicker than 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick. This is a big factor in perfecting the crispiness of the crust.

Baked Green Tomatoes with Fresh Tomato Relish

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 6

Baked Green Tomatoes with Fresh Tomato Relish

Ingredients

  • 4 medium-sized organic green tomatoes (any large, meaty variety works well)
  • 1/2 cup organic fine ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (we use this kind)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Whites from 1 organic egg
  • 1/3 cup organic grated parmesan cheese
  • Organic olive oil for drizzling
  • For the fresh tomato relish:
  • 3 small ripe tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1/8 cup organic olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon organic balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch sea salt (we use this kind)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh organic basil, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh organic parsley, coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Prepare the fresh tomato relish first:
  3. Wash and chop tomatoes into small pieces, then add to a glass mixing bowl.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  5. Set aside to allow flavors to blend.
  6. For the green tomatoes:
  7. Wash and slice green tomatoes no thicker than 1/4" to 1/2" slices.
  8. Combine cornmeal, seasoned salt, black pepper and garlic powder in a small mixing bowl.
  9. Add egg white to a separate small mixing bowl.
  10. Dip tomato slices into the egg white first, then dredge in the cornmeal mixture, thoroughly coating.
  11. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  12. Lightly drizzle one side with olive oil and sprinkle with half of the parmesan cheese.
  13. Place on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
  14. Remove from oven and flip each tomato over. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese.
  15. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
  16. Serve warm, topped with fresh tomato relish.
http://www.dailypea.com/baked-green-tomatoes-fresh-tomato-relish

Watermelon, Pineapple & Blueberry Popsicles

Watermelon, Pineapple & Blueberry Popsicles @ DailyPea.com

We’re on a popsicle kick here, and I think we will be all summer! Seriously, nothing beats this refreshing treat after being outside in the heat. As a mama, I’m loving making different kinds of homemade popsicles every week because it’s an easy and fun way for my little ones to eat a healthy snack. It’s something nutritious that the whole family loves.

A couple of weeks ago, these Peaches & Honey Yogurt Popsicles were a hit. We’ll definitely be making these again next time we have peaches in our CSA basket! Last week we had a gigantic watermelon. We had so much of it that we were honestly getting bored of eating it plain, so we thought we’d give it a different twist. I added organic blueberries and pineapple to the watermelon, along with some local raw honey and coconut water…popsicle perfection! Besides adding a little extra sweetness to this delicious flavor combo, the local raw honey gives us an extra boost to combat our seasonal allergies. Coconut water is an excellent thirst quencher, and restores fluids lost via sweating while outdoors in the heat.

Give these refreshing and healthy homemade popsicles a try. They’re so easy to make, and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed with this summertime treat!

Watermelon-Pineapple-Blueberry Popsicles

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4-6 popsicles

Watermelon-Pineapple-Blueberry Popsicles

Ingredients

  • 3 cups organic watermelon, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup organic pineapple, cut into small pieces
  • 1-2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup organic blueberries

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients except blueberries to a blender or food processor.
  2. Purée until ingredients are blended (purée longer for a smooth consistency, or for less time if you prefer a chunkier fruit consistency.)
  3. Stir in the blueberries.
  4. Pour into molds and add popsicle sticks (we use these stainless steel molds.)
  5. Place molds in the freezer for a couple of hours, or until mixture is frozen all the way through.
  6. Run molds under warm water for a few seconds to release the popsicles, and serve.
http://www.dailypea.com/watermelon-pineapple-blueberry-popsicles

Peaches & Honey Yogurt Popsicles

Peaches & Honey Yogurt Popsicles

It’s been hot here in South Carolina, marking the start of popsicle-making season at our house! I always love a good popsicle no matter what time of year it is, but there’s nothing like enjoying one after being outside in the heat. I always have a batch ready in the freezer for my kiddos. They tend to be a little grumpy when they’re hot after playing outside, and popsicles always hit the spot.

I like making homemade popsicles because they’re easy, quick, and we get to decide what goes into them. We can use healthy organic ingredients and avoid the yucky additives that are often in store-bought varieties. It’s also less expensive to make them at home!

Allergy season is in full-swing where we live, so I added some local raw honey to this popsicle recipe to help combat our sneezing. Local honey, fresh organic peaches from our CSA basket and organic Greek yogurt made these wonderful refreshing and healthy popsicles that we’ll surely be making often. I hope you’ll enjoy them this summer, too!

Peaches & Honey Yogurt Popsicles

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: 4 popsicles

Peaches & Honey Yogurt Popsicles

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic peaches, cut into pieces
  • 1-2 tablespoons local raw honey
  • 3/4 cup organic plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Cut skinned peaches into pieces and place into a blender or food processor.
  2. Add honey, yogurt and vanilla extract.
  3. Purée until ingredients are blended (purée longer for a smooth consistency, or for less time if you prefer a chunkier fruit consistency.)
  4. Pour into molds and add popsicle sticks (we use these stainless steel molds)
  5. Place molds in the freezer for a couple of hours, or until mixture is frozen all the way through.
  6. Run molds under warm water for a few seconds to release the popsicles and serve.
http://www.dailypea.com/peaches-honey-yogurt-popsicles

Have You Ever Eaten a Jerusalem Artichoke?

Have you ever eaten a jerusalem artichoke? You'll want to try this nutrient-dense root veggie! DailyPea.com

One of the things I love about belonging to a CSA program is the encouragement to try new foods, especially when we’re surprised with a fruit or veggie we’re not familiar with. These interesting-looking, knobby root veggies were in the extras basket when we picked up our share last week. I actually thought they were ginger root at first. Turns out they were jerusalem artichokes, and now I know what I was missing out on by overlooking them in the past. Have you ever eaten one? Read on to find out why you’ll want to try this nutrient-dense root veggie!

What is a Jerusalem Artichoke?

Jerusalem artichokes, sometimes called sunchokes, are the edible tubers of the plant (Helianthus tuberosus) which is a type of sunflower (source.) They’re actually not artichokes, although I think they taste remotely similar. My honest opinion is that I don’t think they’re an amazingly delicious standalone veggie when raw. However, I would like to incorporate them into my meals more because they’re an easy way to add more valuable nutrients without majorly affecting the flavor of the dish; i.e., my toddler doesn’t know they’re there.

What are the Health Benefits of Jerusalem Artichokes?

Jerusalem artichokes are particularly high in dietary fiber, and they’re rich in potassium, magnesium, iron and B vitamins (source.) Jerusalem artichokes are high in inulin, a non-digestible soluble fiber. Inulin increases healthy intestinal bacteria which results in the prebiotic effect. Healthy bacteria in the gut can fight off unwanted bacteria and improve digestive health. Jerusalem artichokes can also help regulate blood sugar since they’re high in inulin. They have a low glycemic index and do not cause rapid fluctuations in blood glucose levels (source.) Some people are sensitive to jerusalem artichokes and have digestive discomfort after eating them because of the inulin. No one in my family experienced this, after eating them raw and cooked.

How to Eat Jerusalem Artichokes

Unlike some other unusual fruits or veggies, jerusalem artichokes are versatile. Like potatoes, they can be steamed, baked, roasted or grilled. They can also be sautéed. They have the highest nutrient content when eaten raw. I don’t think they taste horrible raw, but they don’t have much flavor that way. A water chestnut comes to mind when I eat a raw jerusalem artichoke. You can either peel them or leave the skin on. I thought they were a little bit difficult to clean because of their texture and peeling was time consuming, if the goal is to get every bit of skin off, that is. I used an old fashioned veggie peeler to remove the skin, but they definitely don’t peel as clean as a potato. I wasn’t too worried about getting all of the skin off because it’s not very tough.

We cut some jerusalem artichokes into small pieces and sautéed them with some other veggies that were going into a homemade soup. When sautéed, I think they have a bit of a nutty flavor, but they didn’t alter the flavor of the tomato-based soup we were making. It’s one of my three year old’s favorite soups and she didn’t even notice the jerusalem artichokes. A way to eat them raw is to grate them into salads or coleslaws. You can also thinly slice them, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and put them on the grill or roast in the oven. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F and roast for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

We definitely have a new appreciation jerusalem artichokes thanks to our CSA, and we might even try some in our own garden this year. Next time you’re grocery shopping, don’t forget about these little guys! They’re definitely worth a try!

Pumpkin Coconut Muffins {with Dark Chocolate}

Pumpkin Coconut Muffins with Dark Chocolate @ DailyPea.com

These pumpkin coconut muffins with dark chocolate are my absolute favorite no matter what time of year it is (well, it’s a tie between these and my favorite blueberry oatmeal muffins!) They are sweetened with ingredients such as raw honey, shredded coconut and cinnamon instead of refined sugar and are very nutritious with coconut oil and pumpkin puree. I think they’re delicious with or without dark chocolate chunks, and are amazing warmed up a little and served with a pat of organic grass-fed butter. I craved them all the time during both of my pregnancies…my body sensed that they’re such a nourishing treat! I make them often now and always have a stash in my freezer; they’re best fresh although they will freeze just fine for up to 3 months. Just take some out a couple of days in advance and let them thaw.

Shared at Mostly Homemade Mondays

Pumpkin Coconut Muffins {with Dark Chocolate}

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 12

Pumpkin Coconut Muffins {with Dark Chocolate}

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree (here's how to make your own!)
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 3/4 cup organic vanilla yogurt
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1/3 cup organic coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup finely shredded organic unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup organic whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup organic dark chocolate baking chunks (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. It's easiest to add the melted coconut oil last; it starts to solidify with the colder ingredients.
  3. Combine next 5 ingredients in a separate mixing bowl.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks.
  5. Put batter into a muffin pan (I use these chorine-free baking cups.)
  6. Bake for 17-20 minutes, then remove muffins from pan to cool.

Notes

These muffins can be wrapped individually and frozen for up to 3 months. Just remove a few at a time and let them thaw.

http://www.dailypea.com/pumpkin-coconut-muffins-with-dark-chocolate

Zesty Zucchini Coins

Zesty Zucchini Coins @ DailyPea.com

These organic zesty zucchini coins are my new favorite “coin fries.” They taste better, and without a doubt, they’re healthier. My whole family loves them; another veggie recipe that my three-year-old will eat! I give all credit to my sister for this recipe. She had us over for dinner a couple weeks ago just after we moved here to South Carolina (man, does it feel good to start to feel settled and finally blogging again.) We’ve lived in separate states for over a decade and shared recipes via phone and email. I’m so excited that we now live in the same town and we can actually cook together and share recipes in person! We both have cookbooks overflowing with favorite family recipes.

Zesty Zucchini Coins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Serving Size: 6

Zesty Zucchini Coins

Ingredients

  • 2 large organic zucchini or yellow summer squash
  • 1/2 cup organic olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite organic dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated organic parmesan cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon organic ground cayenne pepper (you can omit or adjust this to the amount of heat you prefer)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Wash and slice squash into 1/4" coins.
  3. Add olive oil to a small bowl.
  4. Add all other ingredients to a large mixing bowl and combine well.
  5. Prepare a greased (or lined with parchment paper) baking sheet.
  6. Dip each coin in olive oil, then dredge into bread crumb mixture so both sides are coated. **I tried tossing the coins in a large bowl with olive oil, then tossing in the bread crumb mixture. It didn't work as well as the dredging method; the bread crumb mixture didn't stick.
  7. Place coins in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown.
http://www.dailypea.com/zesty-zucchini-coins