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Asian Slaw

By Rachel Tiemeyer

This light, flavorful Asian slaw is a delicious, healthy side dish that is perfect for the spring and summer months. Serve it with some grilled chicken, corn on the cob, and watermelon and you have yourself a perfect meal.

Asian Slaw

A Short Video of How Asian Slaw Comes Together:

Asian Slaw makes a perfect light side for a summer dinner or a “no mayo” salad for an outdoor BBQ. It’s made with fresh veggies and gives that satisfying crunch while still providing tons of flavor. Here is a short video of how it comes together!

Asian Slaw in a white bowl

You know that delicious slaw salad made from Oriental Ramen Noodles? Well, unfortunately, that recipe is usually full of processed ingredients and MSG.

The good news is, my friend Carla took a stab at making a homemade version of that dressing. I then tweaked the recipe resulting in a delicious Asian Slaw recipe that is healthy and still awesome-tasting according to our husbands and friends.

What’s in Asian Slaw?

The ingredients in Asian Slaw are quite simple and require very little prep. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cabbage slaw mix
  • Chopped green onion
  • Almond slivers or slices
  • Dried cranberries
  • Sunflower seeds
  • 1 crisp pear or apple
  • Optional: grilled chicken

You could also toss in some edamame, peanuts, or snow peas. Play with it! Have fun!

The dressing has a handful of ingredients that you likely have in your pantry.

Ingredients for Asian Slaw

What to Serve with Asian Slaw?

While this recipe can be used any time of the year, I seem to gravitate towards it in the summer time. Here are some ideas that it would pair well with:

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Asian Slaw

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings for main dish; 6-8 servings as a side dish 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This light, flavorful Asian slaw is a delicious, healthy side dish that is perfect for the spring and summer months. Serve it with some grilled chicken, corn on the cob, and watermelon and you have yourself a perfect meal.


Ingredients

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup avocado or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 4 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced onion
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Slaw Ingredients:

  • 16 oz bag of cabbage slaw mix
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup almond slivers or slices
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 crisp pear or apple, diced in small chunks
  • Optional: 1 1/2 lbs grilled chicken, diced

Instructions

  1. Combine the dressing ingredients in a sealed jar and shake until combined. Chill in the fridge while making the rest of the salad.
  2. Toast the almonds at 350°F for about 5-10 minutes until lightly browned. Watch closely so they don’t burn.
  3. Approximately 30 minutes before serving, combine the slaw ingredients and then toss with part of the dressing. Taste and then add more dressing, as needed.
  4. Optional: To add grilled chicken, make a second batch of the dressing. Marinate chicken breasts in that mixture for 1-2 hours and discard the marinade. Grill chicken over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, turning once, until internal temperature reaches 165°F. Let rest for 5 minutes and then slice on against the grain and top the Asian Slaw.
Asian Slaw in a white bowl on a cutting board

Homemade Basic Cheese Sauce (with NO Velveeta!)

By Rachel Tiemeyer

This all-natural basic cheese sauce transforms vegetables, leaving my family always asking for more! It also works as a delicious sauce over pasta, meat, or rice. Best of all, NO VELVEETA!

This all-natural basic cheese sauce transforms vegetables, leaving my family always asking for more! Works as a delicious sauce over pasta, meat, or rice, too. Best of all, NO VELVEETA!

Wow. Just wow. This real cheese sauce is made from all known ingredients (see ya processed cheese block), is absolutely delicious, and is even freezable! My kids beg for this stuff.

What can I use Homemade Basic Cheese Sauce for?

So far I’ve served Homemade Basic Cheese Sauce over steamed broccoli, whole grain pasta, rice, and have even used it as a dipping sauce for Oven Fried Chicken Tenders. My point is that you can use this creamy basic cheese sauce to jazz up everything from nachos to asparagus to leftovers! It makes just about anything more delicious, including those vegetables your picky eaters turn their noses up at.

Can I save and reheat the leftovers of Homemade Basic Cheese Sauce?

I’ve stored leftover cheese sauce both in the fridge and freezer. In both cases, the sauce reheated just fine! I honestly couldn’t believe it worked. So, don’t toss the leftovers. Just stick them in a glass freezer container for next time. Thaw in the fridge or using the defrost setting in the microwave, and then rewarm in the microwave or over low heat in a pan on the stovetop. You might have to stir in a little milk to thin it back out when you warm it up.

Recipe for Homemade Basic Cheese Sauce

Are you ready for your family to ask for more veggies so they can put some cheese sauce on top? Then get going on this recipe…

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All-Natural Basic Cheese Sauce

Homemade Basic Cheese Sauce

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: 1.52 cups 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This all-natural basic cheese sauce transforms vegetables, leaving my family always asking for more! It also works as a delicious sauce over pasta, meat, or rice. Best of all, NO VELVEETA!


Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour (Recommended: white whole wheat)
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of ground pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or whatever you have on hand)

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Melt the butter in a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour, stirring constantly to prevent lumps, until the mixture darkens a little, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Turn up heat to medium-high. Pour in the milk and continue whisking to break up any lumps. When the milk thickens to the consistency of thin gravy (approximately 2 to 3 minutes), turn off the heat and stir in the cheeses, salt, and pepper until well incorporated. If it’s still too thick, add more milk.
  3. Serve warm over vegetables, pasta, rice, or whatever you want!

Freeze For Later: Freeze leftovers in an air-tight freezer container for up to 3 months.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw in the refrigerator or using the defrost setting on the microwave. Warm up in the microwave or over low heat in a pan on the stove, stirring occasionally. Add more milk to thin it out when rewarming, if needed.

How to Make Vanilla Extract at Home

By Polly Conner

This homemade vanilla extract recipe not only works well for cooking with but also makes a great gift idea!

How to make vanilla extract at home. This homemade vanilla recipe is great not only for cooking with but also a great gift idea! | Thriving Home

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Here’s our full disclosure.

When you go to the store to buy vanilla you are faced with a dilemma: do you buy the smaller, more expensive bottle of REAL vanilla or the larger, cheaper bottle of imitation vanilla?

It’s a battle of values, right? Save money or eat real foods (and pay a bit more for it).

Even though it is more expensive, I most often (painfully) opt for the real vanilla. I won’t pretend to be an expert on how imitation vanilla is made but from what I’m gathering, it’s for sure not natural. I am also convinced that real vanilla just tastes better (six baking experts agree with me too).

Because I get mad at the price of vanilla every time I buy it, I began a little project of making my own. I have since been reaping the benefits of my project and LOVE it. I also now have a great gift to give away at Christmas time!

Making your own vanilla really is SUPER easy. Seriously. It takes three ingredients:

  1. Vanilla Beans
  2. Vodka
  3. Patience

How to Make Homemade Vanilla

1. Prepare Your Vanilla Beans

How to make vanilla extract at home. This homemade vanilla recipe is great not only for cooking with but also a great gift idea! | Thriving Home

For every 8 ounces of vanilla you want to make, you will need 4-5 vanilla beans.

How to make vanilla extract at home. This homemade vanilla recipe is great not only for cooking with but also a great gift idea! | Thriving Home

Slice one side of each bean open to expose the inside. 

How to make vanilla extract at home. This homemade vanilla recipe is great not only for cooking with but also a great gift idea! | Thriving Home

In order to fit them into my large mason jars, I had to cut and/or bend the beans in half. Do what you’ve got to do. My jars held about 3.5 cups of liquid so I put in about 15 beans per jar. 

2. Submerge beans in alcohol

Place your sliced beans into a glass storage jar of some type. Keep in mind that you want to keep the 8oz-to-5 bean ratio in your container.

How to make vanilla extract at home. This homemade vanilla recipe is great not only for cooking with but also a great gift idea! | Thriving Home

Now, fill your jars with alcohol. My booze of choice was a cheap, unflavored vodka. You don’t need expensive vodka to make this work. Just as long as it’s 35% alcohol. Some use rum, brandy or bourbon. Since I wanted to use up my 50 vanilla beans I ended up needing 2 HUGE bottles of vodka. I felt as though I needed to explain myself to the cashier but she didn’t seem phased by my purchase.

How to make vanilla extract at home. This homemade vanilla recipe is great not only for cooking with but also a great gift idea! | Thriving Home

3. Wait

Now for the hardest part of making your own vanilla, waiting!

You need to give the alcohol time to extract the vanilla flavor from the beans. (Get it, vanilla extract?) 

Every week or so, give the jars a good shake. Some say wait about 6 weeks. Some say 6 months. The longer the vanilla sits, the more complex the flavor will be so I gave mine a good 5-6 months.

4. Store Your Finished Vanilla

How to make vanilla extract at home. This homemade vanilla recipe is great not only for cooking with but also a great gift idea! | Thriving Home

I searched long and hard for a good deal on amber colored bottles. I ended up going with some 8 ounce bottles but I would strongly suggest some 4 ounce bottles instead.

In retrospect, I probably should have gone with 4 oz so that I had more to give away as gifts at Christmas time. Hindsight is 20-20 right?

How to make vanilla extract at home. This homemade vanilla recipe is great not only for cooking with but also a great gift idea! | Thriving Home

I added a little tag to my bottles and plan to give them away as little goodies in the future. (Spoiler alert–if you are a member of my family, you will probably see these on Christmas morning. Glad we had this chat.)

How to make vanilla extract at home. This homemade vanilla recipe is great not only for cooking with but also a great gift idea! | Thriving Home

The Cost Breakdown

So how much money does making your own vanilla actually save?

Here is a breakdown of my costs:

  • Vodka: $36 total ($18 each)
  • 50 Beans: $34.93
  • Bottles: $33.60

104.53 divided by 13:

$8.04 for an 8 oz bottle OR $4.02 for a 4 ounce bottle

Considering a 4 oz bottle of quality vanilla can cost anywhere from $10-20 online or at the store, I’d say I saved myself A LOT of money in the long run!

How to make vanilla extract at home. This homemade vanilla recipe is great not only for cooking with but also a great gift idea! | Thriving Home
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How to Make Vanilla Extract at Home

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 6 weeks
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 weeks
  • Yield: 8 oz bottle
  • Category: DIY
  • Method: DIY
  • Cuisine: American

Description

How to make vanilla extract at home. This homemade vanilla recipe is great not only for cooking with but also a great gift idea!


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Prepare your vanilla beans (for every 8 ounces of vanilla you want to make, you will need 4-5 vanilla beans).
  2. Slice one side of each bean open to expose the inside.
  3. Submerge beans in alcohol (place your sliced beans into a glass storage jar of some type. Keep in mind that you want to keep the 8oz-to-5 bean ratio in your container).
  4. Now, fill your jars with alcohol. My booze of choice was a cheap, unflavored vodka. You don’t need expensive vodka to make this work. Just as long as it’s 35% alcohol.
  5. Wait. Every week or so, give the jars a good shake. Some say wait about 6 weeks. Some say 6 months. The longer the vanilla sits, the more complex the flavor will be so I gave mine a good 5-6 months.
  6. Store your vanilla extract for long-term use.

Zucchini Pizza Crust

By Polly Conner

Zucchini Pizza Crust: Seriously, it's good! What a great way to sneak in veggies to your dinner too.

I was skeptical.

I know you are too.

“Zucchini pizza crust? Seriously, Polly? You’ve gone too far.”

My sister sent me this recipe a while back and since I still have frozen zucchini stocked up in the deep freeze, I figured this might be a good way to use it up.

I must say, it was a big risk to replace our normal pizza crust with this zucchini pizza crust recipe. If I messed up our much anticipated pizza night, I would face much retribution from my husband and kids.

Zucchini Pizza Crust: Seriously, it's good! What a great way to sneak in veggies to your dinner too.

The Verdict: This pizza was pretty gosh-darn-good. It really didn’t change the flavor all that much. Just added a heartiness and flavor to the crust that you don’t get with a white or even wheat crust. The crust has cheese and seasoning in it so it adds some extra fun to each bite. It’s also low-carb so if you’re into that, it’s a win!

But here’s the deal when making this crust — you need to follow the directions. Don’t be like me and be a directions skimmer. Follow these directions and all will be well in your world. (Printable recipe below).

Zucchini Pizza Crust Recipe

1) Preheat a baking stone or overturned rimmed baking sheet at 450 degrees F for 30 minutes. Don’t skip this! The stone needs to be HOT or else your dough will be gooey. No one wants that.

2) Wring out the shredded zucchini really, really well. When you think it’s wrung out all the way, wring it out some more. You want it as dry as possible. You’ll end up with about a cup of zucchini after it’s been wrung dry. I used a thin dish towel and squeezed the zucchini through that.

3) In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, flours, garlic powder, oregano, basil, salt, eggs, and cheeses. Using your hands, mix all the ingredients together. It will be sticky — do not let your heart be troubled. It won’t be the typical dough texture.

4) Grease two sheets of parchment paper. Press the dough into the desired shape and thickness between the two pieces of greased parchment paper. You can get this dough pretty thin if you work at pressing it out evenly (I like it about 1/4-inch thick).Zucchini Pizza Crust: Seriously, it's good! What a great way to sneak in veggies to your dinner too. Zucchini Pizza Crust: Seriously, it's good! What a great way to sneak in veggies to your dinner too.

5) Slide the parchment paper with the pizza crust on top of it on to the preheated baking stone. Yes, you are baking the pizza ON TOP of the parchment paper. Zucchini Pizza Crust: Seriously, it's good! What a great way to sneak in veggies to your dinner too.

6) Bake for about 10 minutes until the crust looks set and the bottom is starting to brown.

7) Remove the pizza crust from the oven and top with pizza sauce and toppings. Bake for another 3-5 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.Zucchini Pizza Crust: Seriously, it's good! What a great way to sneak in veggies to your dinner too.

Here is a great pizza sauce recipe if you want one.

Make sure to check out our other pizza and pasta recipes in our recipe index. You shall not regret browsing upon other delicious pizza recipes that the index contains.

**Affiliate Disclosure:  Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your costs will be the same but Thriving Home will receive a small commission. This helps cover some of the costs for this site. We appreciate your support!

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Zucchini Pizza Crust: Seriously, it's good! What a great way to sneak in veggies to your dinner too.

Zucchini Pizza Crust

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Zucchini Pizza Crust is the unexpected dinner guest for pizza night that your family will go crazy for.


Ingredients

  • 34 cups finely shredded and packed zucchini (about 34 zucchinis depending on size)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Pizza sauce
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Pepperoni and/or other toppings

Instructions

  1. Preheat a baking stone or overturned rimmed baking sheet at 450 degrees F for 30 minutes.
  2. Wring out the shredded zucchini really, really well. And when you think it’s wrung out all the way, wring it out some more. You want it as dry as possible. You’ll end up with about a cup or so after it’s been wrung dry. I used a thin dish towel and squeezed the zucchini through that.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, flours, garlic powder, oregano, basil, salt, eggs, and cheeses. Using your hands, mix all the ingredients together. It will be sticky!
  4. Grease two sheets of parchment paper. Press the dough into the desired shape and thickness between to two pieces of greased parchment paper. You can get this dough pretty thin if you work at pressing it out evenly (I like it about 1/4-inch thick).
  5. Slide the parchment paper with the pizza crust on top of it on to the preheated baking stone
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes until the crust looks set and the bottom is starting to brown.
  7. Remove the pizza crust from the oven and top with pizza sauce and toppings. Bake for another 3-5 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Homemade Whole Wheat Egg Noodles

By Rachel Tiemeyer

These homemade whole wheat egg noodles are cheap, healthy and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. All my favorites in one recipe!

Homemade whole wheat egg noodles - delicious and simple!

My 5-year-old daughter and I threw these together one afternoon in about 15 minutes. I know it looks fancy or difficult, but I ASSURE you that you can do this.

Check out just how easy it is to make Homemade Whole Wheat Egg Noodles…

Homemade whole wheat egg noodles - delicious and simple!

My kids took several helpings of the chicken noodle soup we made with these. And, the leftovers were even better the next day. We’ll be making them again soon!

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Homemade Whole Wheat Egg Noodles

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Mix and prep
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Homemade whole wheat egg noodles are delicious and simple! Make them from scratch and enjoy the fantastic flavor in Chicken Noodle Soup or as pasta with sauce on them.


Ingredients

  • 2 1/3 cups whole wheat flour (I recommend white whole wheat flour for lighter noodles.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup water, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Instructions

Make the Noodles:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Then, make a “well” in the middle using your finger.
  2. In a separate small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, water and olive oil. Pour this wet mixture into the “well” in the middle of the dry mixture. Stir with a spoon until the ingredients are mostly combined. Add a little more water if it is too crumbly and not coming together like a dough.
  3. Generously dust flour over a clean countertop. Dump the dough out onto the well floured surface and knead it with your hands a little bit to get the ingredients combined well. Form into a round disc-shaped dough ball. Sprinkle with a little more flour.
  4. Use a well floured rolling pin and roll out your noodle dough until it’s very thin, about 1/8 inch in thickness. If needed, add more flour under the dough to keep it from sticking to the counter. This is very important!
  5. Use a pizza cutter to cut long strips of noodles as thin or thick as you like and any length you like, but try to keep them a uniform size.

Cook the Noodles:

Simmer your homemade egg noodles in a big pot of salted water until noodles are fat and tender to the bite (aka al dente). Drain in a colander. Or, try using them directly in this Chicken Noodle Soup.

Store the Noodles for Later:

Option 1 (Freezing the Dough): After Step 3, place the dough in a freezer bag, seal, and freeze until ready to use. The dough will be good for about 3 months. When you’re ready to use it, thaw the dough in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours and following the instructions, beginning with Step 4.

Option 2: (Drying and Storing the Noodles): Complete the recipe through Step 5. Spread the cut noodles on a wire cooling rack and let dry for about 2 hours. Store in an air-tight container in the pantry for up to a month.

 

Easy Homemade Playdough Recipe (+ FREE Printable Recipe Card)

By Polly Conner

DIY homemade play dough is a cinch to make. Enjoy the process with just a few ingredients. Your kids will love helping you whip up a batch.

A printable recipe for playdough is available at the bottom of this post!

I have such fond memories of making playdough with my mom and siblings. We’d watch in anticipation as my mom stirred up the mixture with our chosen colors. After it was done we would take turns tossing it around like a hot potato until it cooled off.

Today I got to do the same thing with my two year old (minus the hot potato game part). We made homemade play dough!

She picked out the colors and I threw together the simple ingredients and stirred up two batches.

DIY homemade play dough is a cinch to make. Enjoy the process with just a few ingredients. Your kids will love helping you whip up a batch.

It was fun to see her discover how to actually play with it. We used cookie cutters, utensils, toothpicks, and other miscellaneous things I found around the kitchen.

DIY homemade play dough is a cinch to make. Enjoy the process with just a few ingredients. Your kids will love helping you whip up a batch.

Making your own playdough is SUPER easy. I’m not just saying that. Just mix and stir. Your kids can help until you get to the end when it really thickens up. Want to make your own playdough??

Homemade Play Dough Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • food coloring

Directions:

Mix all ingredients except the food coloring into a 2 qt sauce pan.

Stir over low/medium heat.

Once it begins to thicken a bit, add food coloring.

DIY homemade play dough is a cinch to make. Enjoy the process with just a few ingredients. Your kids will love helping you whip up a batch.

Stir until mixture becomes very thick and kind of balls up on its own.

DIY homemade play dough is a cinch to make. Enjoy the process with just a few ingredients. Your kids will love helping you whip up a batch.

Once it is the consistency you want, remove it from the heat and let cool.

Now let your little ones get their hands all over it!

DIY homemade play dough is a cinch to make. Enjoy the process with just a few ingredients. Your kids will love helping you whip up a batch.

Oh, and if they decide to eat or lick it, you won’t have to worry. You know what every ingredient in it is!

DIY homemade play dough is a cinch to make. Enjoy the process with just a few ingredients. Your kids will love helping you whip up a batch.

Thrifty Gift Tip: Our friend, Holli, makes several colors, puts them in small containers (think tupperware or small mason jars) and gives homemade playdough away as gifts as birthday parties. What a cheap and fun idea! You could even add in a fun cookie cutter or two and the recipe card below. I find cookie cutters at garage sales all the time. Just string it through a nice ribbon and tie it to the jar(s) of playdough.

To make this even easier for you to do with your kids or to give away as a gift, I’ve created a printable 4×6 card with this playdough recipe on it. It looks something like this (below) but can be downloaded as a pdf from here: Printable Play Dough Recipe Card

playdough recipe

If you like the style of this recipe card, you’ll probably like our Five Printable Home Run Recipes as well!

Enjoy!

Oh, and if you want, add glitter to the mixture to create an extra fun factor!

Taco Seasoning Mix

By Polly Conner
Homemade taco seasoning mix. Skip the additives and artificial ingredients and whip up a big batch of this FABULOUS natural taco seasoning mix. I'll never go back to buying those expensive little packets again! | Thriving Home

This house LOVES mexican food. Even my two year old will scarf down a whole bowl of spicy mexican soup without any protest. When I sit down to menu plan for the week, it seems like there is almost always something with a mexican flare on it. Most of the recipes I make call for some type of taco seasoning. Up until this point, I simply bought the expensive little packets of taco seasoning without batting an eye. However, as I am growing increasingly aware of what is actually in pre-packaged foods, I realized that my little bundles of taco-joy were filled with some questionable ingredients.

Check out the ingredients in the packet that I usually buy: Maltodextrin, salt, chili pepper, onion powder, spice, monosodium glutamate, corn starch, yellow corn flour, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, silicon dioxide (anticaking agent), natural flavor, ethoxyquin (preservative).

I also hated that I was paying $1-$2 for a single serving of taco seasoning.

I used taco seasoning so much that I finally realized it’d be worth it to make my own batch and triple it for future use.

Turns out I had every ingredient I needed in order to make a big batch of this yummy taco seasoning mix! Isn’t it pretty?!

Homemade taco seasoning mix. Skip the additives and artificial ingredients and whip up a big batch of this FABULOUS natural taco seasoning mix. I'll never go back to buying those expensive little packets again! | Thriving Home

How to Make Tacos with our Homemade Seasoning:

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Cook 1/2 diced onion, stirring frequently, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in 3 cloves of garlic and cook for 30 to 60 seconds more.
  3. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add 1 pound lean ground beef and cook for 5 minutes, or until no longer pink, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon as it browns.
  4. Drain off excess grease.
  5. Sprinkle the reserved spice mixture over the meat and stir until coated. Add in 3/4 cup broth and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the mixture has thickened, 4 to 5 minutes.

This homemade taco seasoning mix can be used in other recipes like, Chessey Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas, Mexican Soup, Quesadillas, 7 Layer Taco Dip, Easy Taco Salad, Anything Goes Tortilla Soup, and many other recipes in our recipe index.

Homemade taco seasoning mix. Skip the additives and artificial ingredients and whip up a big batch of this FABULOUS natural taco seasoning mix. I'll never go back to buying those expensive little packets again! | Thriving Home

Taco Seasoning Mix

Combine the following ingredients and store in an airtight container. Double, triple, or even quadruple the recipe!

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Happy taco making! (Or if you are our family, you’ll be making even more enchiladas!)

Homemade taco seasoning mix. Skip the additives and artificial ingredients and whip up a big batch of this FABULOUS natural taco seasoning mix. I'll never go back to buying those expensive little packets again! | Thriving Home
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Taco Seasoning Mix

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 tablespoons (enough for 1 lb ground beef) 1x
  • Category: Seasoning
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

Homemade taco seasoning mix. Skip the additives and artificial ingredients and whip up a big batch of this FABULOUS natural taco seasoning mix. I’ll never go back to buying those expensive little packets again!


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container. We use about 2 tablespoons of the mix per pound of meat, but feel free to add more or less depending on your preference.
  2. Double or even triple this recipe to have on hand for all of your favorite Mexican meals!

How to Make Homemade Freezer Jam {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Homemade freezer jam is a delicious treat that is not hard to make! The batch makes a lot, so you can save some for your family and gives others away as gifts!

By Jessica Ellingsworth, Contributing Writer

Summer is arguably the best time for savoring seasonal foods, especially perfectly ripened fresh berries. As a child, the berries our family didn’t eat right away either got frozen for the long winter or made into freezer jam. If you’ve made freezer jam, you probably know what I mean when I say it is the gift that keeps on giving. Nothing on any grocery store shelf will even compare to homemade freezer jam.

I skipped making freezer jam on our move from Missouri to Texas about a year ago, and my children acted like I deprived them of an essential nutrient when our freezer was jam-less all winter. Well, I am back in the saddle this summer and I am sharing jam tips after getting my hands on these gorgeous raspberries this week.

Homemade freezer jam is a delicious treat that is not hard to make! The batch makes a lot, so you can save some for your family and gives others away as gifts!

F.A.Q.s About Freezer Jam

Let’s begin with some basic questions you may have before moving onto the method of making it.

What is freezer jam?

Freezer jam is not cooked, so the flavor is like ripe fruit and the texture is chunky. Plus, no standing over a hot stove in the summer! Expect a softer set than canned jam with a fresh fruit taste.

Do I need canning supplies or to sterilize anything?

Making freezer jam requires no sterilizing or sealing of jars. Just clean your jars with hot, soapy water or run through the dishwasher.

How long does freezer jam last in the freezer and refrigerator?

Jam keeps well in the freezer up to a year or more. Once it’s thawed in the fridge, it will last 4-6 weeks.

What kind of pectin do you recommend?

My favorite pectin is Sure Jell. They offer low sugar or no sugar options, as well as their classic recipe. Ball brand also makes a no-cook pectin that some jam folks prefer.

Any tips on what kinds of berries to use?

I know this seems obvious, but I’ll say it: perfectly ripe fruits make the best jams. Don’t be afraid of combining two of your favorite fruits into one jam. Peach-Raspberry, anyone?!

How long does it take to make freezer jam?

Perhaps my favorite part of homemade freezer jam is you can have a batch of freezer jam done in 30 minutes.

Any other freezer jam bonuses?

Why yes! It is a lovely, heart-felt gift for a teacher, neighbor, or friend. Kids also love helping with the basic measuring, stirring and simplicity of freezer jam. My two-year-old son and I had a wonderful time making this together.

How to Make Freezer Jam

Here are the steps, complete with photographs, for the best jam every time:

1. Wash and measure out the fruit. The pectin comes with a guideline; follow it exactly so the jam will set well. I used 3 pints of raspberries for 7 cups of jam.

Homemade freezer jam is a delicious treat that is not hard to make! The batch makes a lot, so you can save some for your family and gives others away as gifts!

2. Get out a good ole potato masher and crush the berries. Sieve out 1/2 cup pulp to remove some seeds, if you prefer. I skip this and go for full pulp.

Homemade freezer jam is a delicious treat that is not hard to make! The batch makes a lot, so you can save some for your family and gives others away as gifts!

Homemade freezer jam is a delicious treat that is not hard to make! The batch makes a lot, so you can save some for your family and gives others away as gifts!
3. Measure exact amounts (according to the recipe on the pectin) of crushed berries into a bowl.

Homemade freezer jam is a delicious treat that is not hard to make! The batch makes a lot, so you can save some for your family and gives others away as gifts!

4. Add sugar (again, according to the recipe on the pectin) and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Sugar helps set the pectin and preserves the fruit.

Homemade freezer jam is a delicious treat that is not hard to make! The batch makes a lot, so you can save some for your family and gives others away as gifts!

5. Now’s the time to add the pectin according to package directions. If using Sure-Jell, bring the package and 3/4 c. water to a boil for 1 minute. Pour into the fruit and stir for 3 minutes, making sure everything is incorporated. The two year-old stepped in and stirred for me.

Homemade freezer jam is a delicious treat that is not hard to make! The batch makes a lot, so you can save some for your family and gives others away as gifts!

6. Fill jars. Using a basic funnel makes it really easy.

Homemade freezer jam is a delicious treat that is not hard to make! The batch makes a lot, so you can save some for your family and gives others away as gifts!

Now your homemade freezer jam is ready for the freezer or the first piece of warm sourdough toast!

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How to Make Homemade Freezer Jam

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 jars
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Freezing
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Homemade freezer jam is a delicious treat that is easy to make! The batch makes a lot, so you can save some for your family and gives others away as gifts!


Ingredients

  • Fresh berries (I used raspberries)
  • Sugar
  • Pectin

Instructions

  1. Wash and measure the fruit. The pectin has a guideline; follow it exactly so your jam will set up.
  2. Crush the berries with a potato masher.
  3. Sieve out 1/2 cup pulp to remove some of the seeds. *You can also skip this step and have full pulp.
  4. Measure exact amounts of crushed berries in to a bowl (according to the directions on the pectin).
  5. Add sugar (according to pectin directions) and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  6. Now add pectin according to the package directions. If you use Sure-Jell, bring the package and 3/4 cup water to a boil for one minute.
  7. Pour into the fruit and stir for 3 minutes, making sure everything is fully incorporated.
  8. Fill jars using a basic funnel.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:

To Freeze:
Prepare jam as directions state. Fill in glass, mason jars. Let jam cool completely. Store in freezer for up to one year.

To Prepare:
Thaw jar of jam in refrigerator overnight. Use on toast or in your favorite recipes. Store jam in refrigerator. Use within 7-10 days of opening.

About the Author

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 10.45.46 PMJessica Ellingsworth is the editor and curator of Mayvn.com. Mayvn serves as a lifestyle spot for stylish, yet simple homemaking. Jessica is the wife of a musician/composer, mother to two beautiful daughters and one dashing son. When she isn’t running around with the children, she can be found honing her photography skills in her city of Austin, Texas, experimenting with makeup artistry, and romancing her handsome husband with culinary treats.

Homemade All-Natural Carpet Cleaner

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Important Update as of 4/11/14: It has been over a year since using this on my carpet. The stains are still mostly gone, but my carpet is now lighter in those areas. I have old carpet so I much prefer this to the dark stains, but I want to give you fair warning that this concoction does have the power to bleach your carpet!

DIY All-Natural Carpet Cleaner - homemade and non-toxic

Warning: Umm, this post might gross you out. I wouldn’t recommend eating breakfast while reading this one. 🙂 But, I assure you it will come in handy if you have young kids or pets!

I’ve found myself Googling “how to get poop out of carpet” and even “how to get puke out of carpet” a few different times over the years, but without much luck.  When you have small kids around, these are the things you Google.

Last night, we had another one of these incidents when my 1-year-old had his diaper off for just 1 minute!  My husband and I were determined to get the poop stain (along with all the track marks!) out this time, yet we didn’t want to use any kind of harsh chemicals in our son’s room, especially before bedtime when he could inhale the fumes.

We ran across this site and discovered how to make our own non-toxic, all-natural carpet cleaner.  Before I worked on my son’s poop stain, I decided to really test this all-natural carpet cleaner recipe. We had a 7-month-old puke stain from my 3-year-old in the play room. Yuck! I gave it a try, but my expectations were low.

Check out how this homemade carpet stain remover worked to get this OLD stain out of carpet

BEFORE…

DIY All-Natural Carpet Cleaner - homemade and non-toxic

AFTER…

DIY All-Natural Carpet Cleaner - homemade and non-toxic

So, did this all-natural homemade carpet cleaner get out all evidence of the puke and poop stains in our house? Not every last bit. In the right light, you can still see a shadow of the stain. But, I would say this carpet cleaner got the poop and the puke stains out from both locations in our house as well as I could hope for. They are 90-95% gone and hard to see unless you look closely.  I’m satisfied with that, since it didn’t add harsh toxic fumes to our house. I suspect I would have had the same result with store-bought, chemical-laden carpet stain remover anyway, as I know from prior experience.

Last little perk, this all-natural carpet cleaner kills any germs left on your carpet due to the poop or puke! The vinegar and borax both have bacteria-killing power.

If you want to save money, kill germs, reduce chemical exposure in your home, and get poop and puke stains out of carpet effectively, I recommend trying this homemade all-natural carpet cleaner recipe below.

All-Natural Carpet Cleaner Recipe

Adapted from eartheasy

1) Remove all the solid waste with a paper towel and throw far, far away.

DIY All-Natural Carpet Cleaner - homemade and non-toxic

2) Mix together:

  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup borax* (I used 20 Mule Team Borax, which you can find at almost any grocery store in the laundry detergent aisle.)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

DIY All-Natural Carpet Cleaner - homemade and non-toxic

3) Rub the paste into the carpet over the stain and let sit for a few hours. I suggest using a rubber glove or Ziploc bag over your hand (like I did in the pic below) to apply. You know, so you’re not touching poop and such. (Gag.)

DIY All-Natural Carpet Cleaner - homemade and non-toxic

4) Vacuum up the dried paste on top of the carpet.

5) Get down on your hands and knees and scrub, scrub, scrub with a wet washcloth or rag. Rinse the rag out periodically and keep scrubbing until you don’t see any more discoloration on the rag. (I worked at this quite hard and it helped immensely!)

6) Let wet area dry and then vacuum one last time.

7) Give the stain a few days and it will dissipate even more.

* If you’re wondering what borax is and if it is safe, here’s a thorough blog post that explains more and can help you make your own decision. I feel okay with using it, personally.

Here was my nearly-miraculous result on the 7 month old puke stain in our play room. I couldn’t believe it! I thought we were going to have to call our carpet cleaner and shell out $50 or cover it with a rug forever…but no siree! Thank you homemade carpet cleaner recipe!!!

DIY All-Natural Carpet Cleaner - homemade and non-toxic

Like this homemade all-natural household product? Try another thrifty, non-toxic solution that’s worked for us!

All-Natural DIY Drano – Naturally unclogs your toilet or any drain with only 2 ingredients!

All-Natural DIY Drano

Make Your Own Non-Toxic Foaming Hand Soap – Incredibly easy and cheap!

non-toxic hand soap

Homemade Laundry Detergent – This will save you tons of money and leave your clothes clean without harmful chemicals.

how to make homemade laundry detergent

All-Natural Homemade Disinfectant Spray – Clean any and all surfaces in your home with this safe and effective all-purpose cleaner.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XoXp-M9plLI/TlAoJeocfJI/AAAAAAAAAtE/3qZHeoQFWrY/s1600/IMG_0561.JPG

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How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

By Rachel Tiemeyer
Try your hand at homemade laundry detergent. Not only will you save yourself some money, but you'll feel great about using safe, effective ingredients on your family's clothes.

Guest post by Jess from Twenty-Something and Not Counting

I’ve been making homemade laundry detergent for about 4 years now. Though I was a little nervous it might not work well or might take too long, I decided to give it a whirl. I made it once and never looked back! Seriously! I originally found the recipe on thesimpledollar.com, but I’ve also heard it’s similar to Michelle Duggar’s recipe among others.

Reasons you may want to consider making your own laundry detergent:

  • It’s cheap!
  • It’s environmentally friendly—no weird chemicals or dyes and you know what’s in your soap because you made it!
  • It’s easy. It takes about 30-45 minutes of hands-on time. You don’t need to be a chemist or a rocket scientist.
  • It has no perfumes or other skin agitators.  (I use lemon essential oils in mine sometimes, but otherwise it has no scent at all.)
  • It’s fun. Really! My husband and I make soap together. Yes, we’re nerds!

Supplies Needed for Homemade Laundry Detergent

You can find all of the supplies below in the laundry aisle of Wal-Mart or you favorite grocery store.
 
Try your hand at homemade laundry detergent. Not only will you save yourself some money, but you'll feel great about using safe, effective ingredients on your family's clothes.
 
  • 1 cup Washing Soda–Not to be confused with baking soda. It’s the yellow Arm and Hammer box.
  • 1/2 cup Borax—You’ll most likely see 20 Mule Team Borax on the box.
  • 1 bar Fels Naptha bar soap—I’ve heard of people using other kinds of soap but this soap is actually made for laundry, so I stick with what I know works.
  • about 3 ½ gallons Water
  • 5 gallon bucket with a lid–We’ve used the same cat litter container for years.
  • Optional: essential oils of your choice

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

Step One:

Grate down the entire bar of Fels Naptha. This part you can do while watching your favorite TV show or having a good conversation. I did find this awesome tool (see below) at IKEA when I visited recently and it has changed my soap making experience because it actually keeps the soap inside as you grate it—way less mess! You can use a large or small hole grater but I like the soap to be grated finer.

Try your hand at homemade laundry detergent. Not only will you save yourself some money, but you'll feel great about using safe, effective ingredients on your family's clothes.
 
Try your hand at homemade laundry detergent. Not only will you save yourself some money, but you'll feel great about using safe, effective ingredients on your family's clothes.

Step Two:

In a medium pot, boil 4-8 cups of water. I’ve found more water makes it easier to dissolve the soap into soap bubbles but doesn’t change the consistency. Once the water is boiling, gradually add soap and stir rapidly until all the soap is dissolved and you are left with soap bubbles.

Try your hand at homemade laundry detergent. Not only will you save yourself some money, but you'll feel great about using safe, effective ingredients on your family's clothes.
 
Try your hand at homemade laundry detergent. Not only will you save yourself some money, but you'll feel great about using safe, effective ingredients on your family's clothes.

Step Three:

Add three gallons of hot water to the storage bucket of choice. Then add borax, washing soda, and soap bubbles to the bucket. If you are adding essential oils, you’ll want to add them now. I would say add 10-20 drops or so. I don’t measure—I just go by how I feel.

Try your hand at homemade laundry detergent. Not only will you save yourself some money, but you'll feel great about using safe, effective ingredients on your family's clothes.

Step Four:

Stir all ingredients together until well mixed. Put a lid on your bucket and let the homemade laundry detergent sit overnight to gel.

Step Five:

Open your bucket. The consistency will most likely be like a gelatin. Mix it all up—I use a handled grater or spoon. Mix until some of the gelatin is broken into easily removable pieces. It doesn’t need to be perfectly consistent the whole way through. It just needs to easily scoop up so you can use it.

Try your hand at homemade laundry detergent. Not only will you save yourself some money, but you'll feel great about using safe, effective ingredients on your family's clothes.
That’s it! So easy!
 

Directions for Using Homemade Laundry Detergent

I use a cup in each load. I do think it’s important to put the soap in the washing machine first with the water and then add clothes, but I am sure when my husband does laundry he just throws it all in and I don’t know the difference. It works just the same.

How Much You Save Making Your Own Laundry Detergent

If you are wondering how the costs stack up, well, here’s the number crunching:

Tide = $17.97 per jug or 18 cents per load

All Free and Clear = $12.50 per jug or 12.5 cents per load

Homemade Detergent:

Borax—$4.46 for a box (.23 per batch of detergent)

Washing soda—$3.24 for a box (.48 per batch of detergent)

Fels Napth—$1.15 for a bar, one bar per batch

Total Cost of Homemade Laundry Detergent = $1.86 per batch or 3.3 cents per load

The savings! The savings, I say!!

FAQs about Homemade Laundry Detergent

1) Does the homemade laundry detergent work well?

It’s lived up to my satisfaction for years. I do pre-treat severe stains but other than that, it’s the only soap I use.

2) Does homemade laundry detergent keep color and the “new” feel to clothes?

I tend to think so. In four years, I’ve never noticed an issue.

3) Can you use it with an HE machine?

I have heard that you absolutely can but since I have an old-school machine, I would recommend talking with someone who’s done it or do a little online research before you try it.

4) Can you use it with cloth diapers?

You probably shouldn’t. It won’t irritate your baby, but it might add soap buildup to your diapers and you’ll have strip them.

I hope you get the drive to make this soap once and fall in love like I did!  You’ll save yourself so much money and know that you’re using a safe option for your family.  Suds up!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Washing Soda–Not to be confused with baking soda. It’s the yellow Arm and Hammer box.
  • 1/2 cup Borax—You’ll most likely see 20 Mule Team Borax on the box.
  • 1 bar Fels Naptha bar soap
  • about 3 ½ gallons Water
  • 5 gallon bucket with a lid–We’ve used the same cat litter container for years.
  • Optional: essential oils of your choice

Instructions

  1. Grate down the entire bar of Fels Naptha.
  2. In a medium pot, boil 4-8 cups of water. Once the water is boiling, gradually add soap and stir rapidly until all the soap is dissolved and you are left with soap bubbles.
  3. Add three gallons of hot water to the storage bucket of choice. Then add borax, washing soda, and soap bubbles to the bucket. If you are adding essential oils, do this now (approximately 15-20 drops).
  4. Stir all ingredients together until well mixed. Put a lid on your bucket and let the homemade laundry detergent sit overnight to gel.
  5. Open your bucket. The consistency will most likely be like a gelatin. Mix it all up—I use a handled grater or spoon. Mix until some of the gelatin is broken into easily removable pieces. It doesn’t need to be perfectly consistent the whole way through. It just needs to easily scoop. You’re ready for that laundry pile!

Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

These healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are moist, sweet, and delicious…and easily freezable. We pull them out of the freezer for snacks or for an easy breakfast.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

It’s the time of year when everyone wants a little pumpkin in their life. These healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are moist, sweet, and delicious…and easily freezable.  We make them every other week and pull them out of the freezer for snacks or breakfast. Enjoy!

pumpkin chocolate chip muffins in a basket
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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 24 mini muffins or 12 regular muffins 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Healthy pumpkin chocolate chip muffin recipe. So delicious and at the same time, nutritious! Try them regular-sized or as mini muffins.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup milk (your choice)
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil or coat a mini muffin tin or regular-sized muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, ground flaxseed, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a medium bowl, stir together the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, oil, milk, and vanilla until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake 15-18 minutes for mini muffins or 20-23 minutes for regular-sized muffins, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let muffins cool on a wire rack. (Freezing instructions begin here.)

Notes

Freeze For Later: Bake muffins and cool completely. Place muffins in a single layer in a gallon-sized freezer bag or container, seal, and freeze.

Prepare From Frozen: Let a muffin sit on the counter for a few minutes or use the defrost setting on the microwave to thaw.

Close up of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins in a basket

Want More Pumpkin Recipes?

With YEARS worth of content and recipes on Thriving Home, it can be easy to forget about some amazing pumpkin recipes that we have shared over the years. Here are our Top 10 Pumpkin Recipes that you simply must try!

Homemade Whole Grain Pancake Mix {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Make this whole grain pancake mix to keep on hand for a quick, healthy weekday breakfast.

Our family loves pancakes, like Seriously Sweet Potato Pancakes and Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes.  But, sometimes I don’t have time to make those and I just want a quick dry mix on hand.  Unfortunately, the pancake mixes at the grocery store have a ton of unrecognizable and highly processed ingredients.

Enter this Homemade Whole-Grain Pancake Mix recipe from King Arthur Flour.

Make this whole grain pancake mix to keep on hand for a quick, healthy weekday breakfast.

I made a big batch and put it in the freezer to have on hand anytime.  When ready to use, just add 1 cup buttermilk and an egg to 1 cup of the mix. So easy! We actually had these pancakes for dinner tonight.  Everyone wolfed them down. I added some blueberries to some of them, which was delicious.

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Whole Grain Pancake Mix

Homemade Whole-Grain Pancake Mix

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: Using one cup of the mix will make about eight 4" pancakes. 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Make this whole grain pancake mix to keep on hand for a quick, healthy weekday breakfast. You’ll feel great about serving this to your family.


Ingredients

  • 4 cups King Arthur white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 1/2 cups old-fashioned or rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (I use unrefined raw sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I use melted coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil)

Instructions

To make the mix:

  1. Grind the oats in a food processor until they’re chopped fine, but not a powder.
  2. Put the flour, oats, and all other dry ingredients into a mixer with a paddle. Mix on slow speed, and drizzle the vegetable oil into the bowl slowly while the mixer is running.
  3. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks at room temperature, or indefinitely in the refrigerator or freezer.

To make pancakes:

  1. Whisk together 1 cup of mix, 1 cup of buttermilk (a combination of half plain yogurt and half milk also will do), and 1 large egg. Don’t worry if it seems thin at first: the oats will soak up the milk, and the mix will thicken a bit as it stands. Let the batter stand for at least 20 minutes before cooking.
  2. Heat a lightly greased griddle to 350°F (or medium to medium-hot will do).
  3. Drop the batter onto it in 1/4-cupfuls to make a 4″ diameter pancake.
  4. When the edges look dry and bubbles come to the surface without breaking (after about 2 minutes, if your griddle is the correct temperature), turn the pancake over to finish cooking on the second side, which will take about 2 minutes.
  5. Serve pancakes immediately, or stack and hold in a warm oven.

Cooking Note:

  1. If you don’t have buttermilk in the house, try the yogurt and milk combination first; if you happen to have buttermilk powder, try this: In place of the buttermilk, add 1/4 cup buttermilk powder to 1 cup of dry mix, then stir in 1 cup water and 1 large egg. The results won’t be as magnificent as using liquid buttermilk, but you’ll still have very tasty pancakes.

Variation:

  1. Add 1 tablespoon orange juice to the dry mix along with the buttermilk. We’ve found that the acidity and sweetness of the orange juice helps mellow the tannic taste some people perceive in whole wheat flour. While the pancakes won’t have any orange flavor, they may taste slightly milder to you, if you’re not a fan of whole wheat flour (but still want to get more whole grains into your diet).

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:

To Freeze:
Follow steps 1-3 in the directions. Freeze mix in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 6 months.

To Prepare:
Remove 1 cup of pancake mix at a time and follow steps 1-5 under “to make pancakes”.

From: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/homemade-whole-grain-pancake-mix-recipe

Homemade Disinfectant Recipe

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Simple and effective, this homemade disinfectant works wonders and saves you money!

In an attempt to reduce toxins in our homes and save money, we’ve  become official wannabe hippie pioneer women.  Well, at least I like to think I am.  Polly, have you been converted yet?

Below is my homemade disinfectant recipe, which I found here.  I use this on my kitchen counters and bathrooms.  I just spray it generously on the counter/toilet/etc and wipe with a damp cloth.  The tea tree oil makes it smell just like something that is clean and lends an extra antibacterial property to the concoction.  I would err on the side of putting a few more drops than you think needed, since the smell dissipates over time.

Simple and effective, this homemade disinfectant works wonders and saves you money!

Wondering where to get the products mentioned in the recipe? Borax is in the laundry detergent aisle at Walmart. However, tea tree oil and castile soap is cheapest on Vitacost. (If you use my referral code link when you make the purchase, you’ll get $10 off too!) You can also get it at a health food store, but it does cost more.

The best part?  Each 32 fl oz bottle only costs about $.20!  Be sure to rinse and save any of your cleaning agent spray bottles, since I’ve found that the ones from Walmart do not work.  I repeat…do not buy the spray bottles at Walmart.

Like this DIY all-natural household product? Try another thrifty, non-toxic solution that’s worked for us!

Homemade Disinfectant All-Purpose Spray

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons borax
  • 6 tablespoons vinegar
  • 4 1/2 cups hot water (I use distilled water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid castille soap
  • a few drops of tea tree oil

Instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a pitcher, stirring well.
  2. Using a funnel, pour mixture into spray bottles.