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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Pumpkin Supreme Pie

      Our family loves this pie.  I try to make it when we are having special company over for dinner or on Thanksgiving but my family would love to have this at least once a week.  It is a perfect pumpkin pie but elevated to a whole new level. It looks lovely and tastes delicious!




Pumpkin Supreme Pie, Cool Whip


Pumpkin Supreme Pie

2 pkgs. vanilla instant pudding (3.4 oz. size)
2 c. Cool Whip
1 c. milk
1 c. pumpkin
1/4 c. caramel topping (plus 2 T. more)
1/4 c. pecan bits
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
pie crust

    For this recipe, you can use a regular pie crust or a graham cracker crust.  We have tried it with both and both ways are incredible and we can't decide which crust we like better!

      Pour 1/4 c. of caramel into the bottom of the  pie crust and then set the pie crust aside.  In a mixing bowl, beat together the pudding, milk, pumpkin and spices.  Whisk until blended.  Stir in 1 1/2 c. of Cool Whip. Now pour entire mixture into the pie crust.  

     Place in refrigerator for 1 hour.  Remove and top with 1/2 c. of Cool Whip and 2 T. of caramel and then sprinkle with nuts. 
Pumpkin Supreme Pie, Cool Whip

Pumpkin Supreme Pie, Cool Whip
 
                       

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Dehydrating Strawberries

       Strawberries are so sweet and delicious but they are not always readily available so that is why I love to dehydrate them so I can enjoy them all year long.  Dehydrating them does not reduce their vitamin content and drying them properly makes them last up to a few years on your shelf (if stored properly).  And dehydrated strawberries take up way less space than canning them does. 

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     To dehydrate strawberries, wash and hull the strawberries.  Then slice them from top to bottom.  Now just arrange the berries on your dehydrator trays and dehydrate them for about 8 hours at 135 degrees.  When they are done, they are pliable and leathery.  When they are completely dried, just remove them and store in a mason jar. 

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       Dehydrated strawberries are great in granola, trail mix, on cereal, or even as a healthy snack.  You can rehydrate them by soaking in water for about 30 minutes and then you can use them in smoothies or sauces.  



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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Dehydrating Coconuts

       We love to have coconut on hand and one way to ensure you have coconut all year long is by dehydrating it from fresh coconuts.  Dehydrated coconut stores so much longer than fresh coconut and goes great into baked goods, such as cakes and cookies.

     Coconuts also provide a great source of fiber and also contain a good source of protein and folate, as well as Vitamins A & E.  It tastes good and adds a nice texture to foods.   Coconuts are considered the superhuman food of the food pyramid world.  Eating coconut on a regular basis can have very positive effects on your overall health. 

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       To get the coconut "meat" out, you first have to open the coconut.  To do so, first hammer a 10 penny nail through each one of the coconuts "eyes".

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     Then drain the liquid out.  You can drain it into a bowl and drink it or give it to your chickens.  They love it as much as humans do.

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    Now using a hammer, hit the coconut a few choice times and it should crack open and you can now pry out the meat.

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Once all the "meat" is out, I used a cheese shredder to very carefully shred it.


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       Now just place the coconut on your dehydrator tray at 135 degrees and dehydrate for about 8 hours .  If you want your coconut sweetened, just sprinkle some sugar on it before dehydrating it.  Once dried store in a sealed mason jar until you are ready to use it.   I have stored it up to 2 months with no problems.  I am sure it would last longer than this but only have experience up to 2 months.  We enjoy it too much. 

       It makes a great snack straight out of the jar or you can add it into any recipe or add it into a homemade trail mix.  It is also awesome sprinkled onto ice cream or a salad.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Banana Peels

         
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  It might seem strange to you but I actually dehydrate not only bananas but I also dehydrate the banana peels.  Did you know that a banana peel is as useful as the banana itself?  The banana peel contain antibiotic, anti-fungal, and enzymatic properties.  Besides that, they are very nutritious.  Did you know that banana peels are rich in potassium, calcium and Vitamin D?  Well, they are!  
            
            Banana peels are great for your garden and plants.  Put them under your rose bushes to deter aphids.  They also help your rose bushes grow big and beautiful because of the potassium.  Other plants benefit from banana peels to because of the phosphorous, potassium and other macro-nutrients they provide.  Just place small pieces of banana peels into the soil for an added boost.  Every time I plant a new seedling I do this and have great results from it.  

          
           The potassium in the peels helps with root development of plants.  It also helps promote stronger plant stems...essentially making your plants more disease resistant, drought resistant, and pest resistant.  The calcium is also great for root and stem development. Calcium also helps break down the nitrogen in the soil.  Phosphorus helps with seed viability and germination.  It is essential for healthy roots and for overall plant strength.  Finally, the magnesium in banana peels aids in the production of chlorophyll.  In other words, it helps keep your plants green.  It also helps to feed your plants. 
        
        Not only are banana peels great for plants there are other great uses for it too.  You can actually eat them too.  There are many Asian and Indian recipes that call for banana peels and they can be eaten cooked or raw.  It seems weird to us in America but the entire banana is utilized in other countries around the world.  

            You can also juice the peels and add them to a smoothie or other drink to add some extra flavor, vitamins and minerals.  To juice the banana peels, just add a few peels to a pot of boiling water and allow them to boil for about 10 minutes.  I use one whole banana peel per 2 cups of water.  Once 10 minutes have passed, remove the peels, and allow the "juice" to cool and you now have banana juice you can use in your drinks.  

      Finally, you can feed your dehydrated banana peels to your farm animals.  I have fed them to my pigs, chickens and rabbits and they all love them.  You can feed it to them in chunks or grind them up into a powder and add it to their feed.  It is a nice treat and the animals love the taste and they get a bit of nutritional boost too.  

      Dehydrating the peels is super easy.  Just wash the peels and remove any stickers and all of the wax coating.  Lay out on your dehydrator trays and let dry for about 6-8 hours.  That's all there is too it so the next time you eat a banana, don't toss the peel...dehydrate it instead!
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A wise woman builds her home 
Our Simple Homestead

Monday, November 14, 2016

Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Cookies

        My boys love these cookies.  To them, these are "Brownie Cookies" and not "Gluten-free Double Chocolate Cookies" because according to them these taste just like brownies but in cookie form.  Whatever you decide to call them, just know they are super delicious. 

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Gluten-free Double Chocolate Cookie


Gluten-free Double Chocolate Cookies

 2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c. chocolate chips
3 eggs
1 T. cornstarch
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt


       Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  
       In a large bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt.  Whisk eggs in with the dry mixture.  Now stir in vanilla and the chocolate chips.  The mixture will be a little runny but it works.  
      Add mixture onto cookie sheet by spoonfuls.  
      Bake for 13 minutes.  
      Makes 24 cookies.
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Gluten-free Double Chocolate Cookie
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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Thrive Market (Why I love it!)

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 I have been a member of "Thrive market" for over a year now and really do love the products.  They sell organic, non-GMO, natural products at wholesale prices.  They sell Paleo, gluten-free, raw and vegan products and they are delivered right to your door at fantastic prices.  I especially like their dried green bean snacks.  





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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

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Pumpkin snickerdoodles!


     Snickerdoodles is one of my hubbies favorite kinds of cookies and he is almost obsessed with pumpkin flavored anything so I combined the flavors to make "Pumpkin Snickerdoodles".  

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

                              3 1/4 c. flour               1 c. sugar
                              3/4 c. pumpkin            1/2 c. brown sugar
                              1/2 c. butter                1/2 c. shortening
                              1 large egg                  2 tsp. cinnamon
                              2 tsp. baking powder   1 1/4 tsp. cloves
                             1 tsp. baking soda        1/2 tsp. salt

      Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix together your butter, shortening, sugars, pumpkin and egg.  Once it is well combined, add in the flour, baking powder & soda and the spices.  Stir well.  Place the bowl in the refrigerator and let it chill for a half hour.  As it is chilling, mix together 1/2 c. of sugar, 1 T. of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. ginger.  

     Once the dough is chilled, remove and form into small balls.  Roll each ball into the cinnamon sugar mixture and place on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 8 minutes.  

Makes 4 dozen. 

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I shared this recipe on the following blogs:
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Blog Oklahoma
easy recipes