Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

I needed one more excuse to use my homemade pumpkin puree and homemade pumpkin pie spice mix and this is a GREAT way to use both.  I made pumpkin dip last year and followed a recipe with powdered sugar……it was WAY to sweet.  So, this year I decided to come up with my own pumpkin dip.  I was aiming for rich, creamy and naturally sweetened.  It took me a couple tries to perfect it, and I’m excited to shared it with you just in time for Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Chesecake Dip

Rich, creamy, and sweetened with 100% maple syrup……yummmmm!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1¾ cups pumpkin puree or one 15 oz. can
  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • liquid stevia, powdered sugar (optional)
  • Graham crackers and apples for dipping
Instructions
  1. Whip together the heavy cream and vanilla until soft peaks form.
  2. In a separate bowl blend together the rest of the ingredients until smooth then fold in the whipped cream.
  3. Give it a taste, if you think it needs to be sweeter you can add a little more maple syrup or stevia or a little powdered sugar. We usually add about 10 drops of liquid stevia, and that does the trick.

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Pear Smoothies – A Healthy Fall Treat!

Fall Smoothies

Fall SmoothiesFall is in the air!

On our way home from a shopping trip my mom and I stopped at a fruit stand.  Everything looked soooo good (I love this time of year)!   After some debating I settled on a box of pears and a box of apples.  The pears were really ripe and by the next morning I thought the fruit flies were going to pick up my kitchen and fly away.  I quickly started a big batch of pear butter (I’ll share that recipe later) and then I froze a bunch to use in future smoothies.  What was left, nicely fit in the fridge and we are still enjoying fresh pears and fall smoothies.  After putting up a couple fly strips, my kitchen is now (mostly) fly free again!

Here are two wonderful, healthy fall smoothies!

Cinnamon Pear Smoothie 

All you need is: 2 pears (cored and quartered) – 1 frozen banana (cut into pieces) – 1 cup of milk (any kind) – 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt1/2 cup oatmeal1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon – a pinch of nutmeg.

Cinnamon Pear SmoothiePut everything in a blender and puree until nice and smooth. This makes enough for 3 of us to have a nice size smoothie.

Apple and Pear Smoothie

You will need: 1 ripe pear (cored and quartered) – 2 apples (cored, peeled and cut into pieces) – 1 frozen banana (peeled & cut into pieces) – 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt – 1/2 cup of apple juice1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pear Apple Smoothie 1Throw it all in the blender and puree until smooth.

 These make a healthy breakfast or snack….it’s like fall in a cup!

The Queen Of The Red Double Wide adapted these recipes from: AllRecipes.com and Good Food Channel

Healthy Homemade Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins 3

Blueberry Muffins 3Berries seem to be everywhere right now, and muffins are a weakness of mine so we’ve been eating lots of them lately.  A couple weeks ago I shared a Fresh Raspberry Muffin recipe that used our homegrown raspberries.  The girls and I made several batches, but now the bushes are pretty much picked clean.  Sadly we don’t have any blueberry bushes (yet), but I did find some for a very good price the other day so I bought LOTS!   I  found this blueberry muffin recipe about a month ago and they looked sooooo delicious I couldn’t wait to try them!  I made a few minor alterations to the recipe and oh yum, yum, yum!

Blueberry Muffins 1In a big bowl stir together the milk (any kind will work), melted butter or coconut oil, egg, vanilla and sugar.  Then mix in the flour, baking power, and salt.

Blueberry Muffins 2Gently fold in the blueberries.  We used fresh berries but frozen would work too. Fill greased muffin tins two thirds full (this makes about 10 muffins).  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Blueberry Muffins 4They went really well with my iced coffee. 😀

Healthy Homemade Blueberry Muffins
 
Author:
Cuisine: For breakfast or a snack
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup milk - any kind of milk will work
  • ¼ cup melted butter or coconut oil or olive oil if you prefer
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup organic sugar or sucanat
  • ¾ cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup blueberries fresh or frozen
Instructions
  1. Stir together the milk, butter, egg, vanilla, and sugar. When it's nice and smooth mix in the flours, baking powder, and salt. Then gently fold in the blueberries. Fill greased muffin tins about two thirds full. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. This will make about 10 muffins and can easily be doubled if you want more.

I’m going to make a dairy free version of these for my mom and sister by using almond milk and coconut oil.  I love recipes that you can easily substitute ingredients for people with allergies!

This recipe was adapted from Angela at Hickory Trails.  She took some amazing pictures of her muffins; you should check out her blog!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie – Sugar Free

Chocolate PB Smoothie

Summer is finally here!  We enjoy smoothies all year, but they seem to be especially good on hot days.  So to celebrate the beginning of summer I’m sharing one of our favorite smoothies,(the girls have been making these daily!)  The best part is I don’t mind them having one everyday, they are a pretty healthy snack, especially if you have organic ingredients. 🙂

Choc PB Smoothie

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie - Sugar Free
 
This makes enough for one adult size smoothy or two kid size smoothies. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
Author:
Recipe type: Smoothy
Ingredients
  • ¾ of a cup of milk (any kind of milk)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1½ tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 5 to 7 drops of liquid stevia - we use the chocolate flavored (If you don't use stevia any sweetener will work, honey, maple syrup, sucanat ect....)
Instructions
  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender and push the liquify button, blend until you have a nice smoothy consistency. It takes about 30 seconds in my blender.

Chocolate PB SmoothieThis is a very versatile recipe; if you can’t have peanuts just leave out the peanut butter, it’s still yummy.  If you need dairy free, you can use a different milk.  I have used almond milk and rice milk and both worked great.

An easy, healthy, summer treat with chocolate and peanut butter….how could you go wrong? Yummmm!!

Happy Summer Everyone!

Homemade Microwave Popcorn

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DSCN6036 (640x480)-1Sunday night is popcorn night at our house!  When we started our journey to a more frugal and healthier life style, microwave popcorn was one of the first things to go.  I’d bought an air popper a while back (in a moment of nostalgia) but barely used it.  My husband didn’t like the air popper popcorn, and I had to agree.  For some reason it seemed soggy and wanted to melt between your teeth instead of having that nice crunch.  I thought we were stuck with soggy popcorn because I refused to buy the bags of chemicals again.  Then a friend told me that you can put popcorn in a paper bag and microwave it.  How brilliant!

DSCN6053 (640x480)-1This is sooooo much cheaper and healthier than store bought microwave popcorn, it has that wonderful crunch and you can control the amount of butter and salt it has on it.  I’m ditching my air popper, and freeing up some space in my cupboard!

All you need is a paper bag, 1/4 of a cup of popcorn kernels, butter, and salt or what ever seasonings you like.

DSCN6057 (640x480)-1Put 1/4 of a cup of popcorn kernels into a paper bag and fold down the top.  Place the bag right side up in a microwave for ABOUT 2 minutes.  I set the timer for 2 1/2 minutes and listen closely.  When the popping slows down to 3 to 4 seconds between pops I stop the microwave.  Microwaves are different so times will vary.  Pour your popped corn into a bowl and season (we like Parmesan cheese on ours).  You can use the same bag to pop more than one batch if you want more popcorn.  So simple, yummy, healthy, and cheap. 😀

Happy Popcorn Night!

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

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This recipe is very versatile…you can make healthy breakfast muffins, or not quite so healthy dessert muffins.  But either way they are nummy, nummy, nummy!  Of course I made both kinds, (several times) just to make sure I got the recipe exactly right.  Then a few more times to be absolutely sure I wasn’t sharing a recipe that was no good.  Then I found myself digging through the bananas at the store to find more over ripe bananas, cause waiting for bananas to get a little over ripe just takes to long!!  Did I mention these muffins are good?….really good!

DSCN5783 (640x480)-1Start by mixing together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and set it aside.

DSCN5712 (640x480)-1In a separate bowl smash the bananas then add honey, butter, egg, and milk.  Stir well and then pour into dry ingredients and stir until moist, then fold in chocolate chips.

DSCN5823 (640x480)-1Fill sprayed cupcake tins or you can use cupcake liners about 1/2 full and bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour or all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup butter or coconut oil melted
  • 3 over ripe bananas smashed
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk, any kind you like
  • ½ cup of chocolate chips or more if you like, or you could leave them out if you want a sugar free muffin. 🙂
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl smash the bananas and add honey, melted butter, egg, and milk. Stir well and pour into the dry ingredients. Stir until combined then fold in chocolate chips. Put cupcake liners in a cupcake tin or spray the tin with cooking spray. Fill each tin half full with batter and bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 14 muffins

Note: If you’re like me and like to cook with stevia, just substitute 3 tsp. spoonable stevia for the honey and add an extra 1/4 cup of milk and a half cup of plain yogurt.  Don’t use cup cake liners; they will stick. I sprayed the cupcake tins with Pam and they came out just fine.

I made these this morning with whole wheat, coconut oil, rice milk and didn’t add any chocolate chips.  They were a wonderful HEALTHY breakfast!

DSCN5753 (640x408)-1They taste even better warm from the oven with “Honey Whipped Cream Cheese”  smeared all over them!

Homemade Honey Whipped Cream Cheese

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We have been making lots of muffins and quick breads lately.  What goes better with a nice warm muffin than cream cheese?  Honey whipped cream cheese of course!!

This is a great recipe to let the kids help with, it’s very simple.

All you need is an eight ounce package of cream cheese, softened and 3 to 4 tablespoons of honey (depending on how sweet you want it).  Whip the cream cheese in a mixing bowl (I used my KitchenAid).  When it’s nice and smooth gradually add the honey.  Keep whipping until it’s light and fluffy.

DSCN5571 (640x480)-1             This is honey whipped cream cheese on a Chocolate Chip Banana Muffin.

If you don’t want a sweet whipped cream cheese just substitute milk instead of honey.

DSCN5542 (640x475)-1This is Whipped Cream Cheese on Applesauce Raisin Quick Bread.

You can also use maple syrup instead of honey.  Either way this spreadable cream cheese makes any breakfast bread even yummier!  I was thinking of trying in on french toast next time?

This is a lot less expensive than a tub of whipped cream cheese at the store especially if you buy a generic brand package of cream cheese. 🙂

Applesauce Raisin Quick Bread

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This bread is easy, healthy, and delicious.  I’ve been making a loaf about every other day…..

This recipe has been moved to our new blog.  Please click here to take you to Applesauce Raisin Quick Bread at Sufficient Acres.com.

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Sorry for the inconvenience while we slowly move posts to our new blog.

This recipe was adapted from: Heavenly Homemakers – Applesauce Bread

 

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