Easy Apple Puff Pancake

easy Apple Puff Pancake

MMM… there’s nothing better than warm buttery apple pancakes in the morning!

For those mornings you need something savory but not heavy, apple puff pancakes are perfect!

This is my new favorite go to for a warm breakfast. It’s not as heavy or sweet as traditional pancakes or other pastries. But fills the belly and satisfies the taste buds!

As important as breakfast is, it’s easy to reach for the already made stuff. Muffins, cereal, bagels, all delicious, but not so good for you when store bought and time consuming to make at home. If you’re going for a real food breakfast, quick and easy makes all the difference.

Scrambled eggs and sauteed kale are quick and easy, but sometimes the savory flavor is what you need. An apple puff pancake is a crowd pleaser and semi-entertaining with its fresh out of the oven puffiness. The apple-y goodness is delicious!Apple Puff Pancake

I adapted this recipe from The Prairie Homestead. There are a few differences, but I didn’t create this all on my own. I’m not that creative in the kitchen! Pinterest is my best friend for finding new meals.

Easy Apple Puff Pancake

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2-3 apples, cored, peeled, and sliced thin
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp rapadura (or unrefined sugar), divided
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Melt your butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is bubbling, add in your sliced apples, cinnamon, and 1 Tbsp of rapadura. Stir occasionally until apples are starting to soften.
  2. Meanwhile, combine remaining rapadura, flour, and salt in a large bowl. Mix in milk, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well until combined. You may have some small lumps, but this won’t affect the final outcome.
  3. Flatten your apples in your skillet and pour in the batter. Place the skillet in your oven and cook for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. The edges may start to brown slightly and the center will be nice and puffy!
  4. Let rest a few minutes and then slice and enjoy. It pairs well with bacon and coffee. Mmmm.
http://neverlackingzeal.com/2016/04/05/easy-apple-puff-pancake/

Apple Puff Pancake on a plate

For an easy weekday breakfast, or a leisurely weekend, an apple puff pancake is a great choice! It’s quick to whip up and bakes while you make your coffee. (Or chase toddlers around.)

What are you making for breakfast this week?


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5 Reasons to Eat Kale For Breakfast

5 Reasons to Eat Kale for Breakfast

Did you say kale for breakfast?

Well, yes I did!

It’s no secret that kale has been labeled a superfood. In recent years, it has gained popularity and become the crux of many jokes surrounding healthy eating. But with any joke, there is some truth to it!

Kale is full of vitamins, minerals, and even compares to beef with its high iron content. I know!  Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. And more calcium than milk. Let that sink in for a minute.

Breakfast is often considered to be the most important meal of the day. Not only is it the first food you eat for the day and a chance to start your body off with nutrient dense foods, but it can help set the tone for the types of food you eat later on. When you eat a healthy breakfast, you are more inspired to make healthier choices through the day. I know that’s true for me.

So why should you consider kale for breakfast?

  1. Kale is high in fiber. It’s important to get your digestive system rolling in the morning. Fill your stomach with a fiber rich food and let the process begin. A strong start will help your body throughout the day. The high fiber content helps your body detox as well.
  2. Kale is high in minerals such as iron, calcium, folate, and magnesium. As I mentioned before, per calorie, this leafy green has more iron than beef and more calcium than milk. That blows my mind. It is low in calories too so you’re gaining more nutrients with less calories.
  3. Kale is high in vitamins. In just one cup of kale, you can get well over your suggested daily amounts of Vitamins K, A, and C. Vitamin K helps maintain bone strength and blood flow. Vitamin A is good for vision and skin. And Vitamin C boosts your immune system and metabolism.
  4. Kale is anti-inflammatory. High in omega-fatty acids, this leafy green is excellent in helping a variety of body functions affected by inflammation such as, arthritis, cardiovascular, and autoimmune disorders. Omega-fatty acids also help build cell membranes in the brain.
  5. Kale tastes amazing. This might be debatable. But I think it’s all in how you prepare it. I’m not necessarily suggesting you need to eat a huge kale salad for breakfast. I’m not too excited about that either. But a little side of sautéed kale is super simple and delicious.

This is only touching the surface on the benefits of kale. A little bit of kale goes a long way in regards to your health. I don’t think it can be argued that starting your day with a superfood isn’t a good idea. I can tell you, I always feel better when I’ve had my kale for breakfast.

If you’re worried about the time it would take to make a hot breakfast, kale cooks faster than scrambled eggs. And you know that’s a quick breakfast! Seriously, it doesn’t take a lot of time to make a good healthy breakfast.

A quick tip on streamlining breakfast if you are headed out the door or short on time, prepare things ahead. Cut your kale up ahead of time and store it in the fridge so you can easily cook it in the mornings. Or add it to an egg muffin (pinterest has zillions of recipes) that can be made ahead and even eaten cold.

My favorite method is to sauté kale in butter or ghee in a stainless steel pan. Then I cook up some eggs in that same pan. (No one needs extra dishes.) I add a side of roasted sweet potatoes to my kale and eggs for a complete meal! That could even be dinner some nights. Yum!

Kale for breakfast may seem strange. (I haven’t convinced my husband yet.) You may have to change your mindset as to what breakfast means. Is it time for sweet “breakfasty” foods? Or time to eat real food to fuel your day? Start your day off right with some hearty kale for breakfast.

Have you started eating kale for breakfast yet?

 


 

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30 Day Clean Eating Challenge Wrap Up

30 day challenge wrap up

You know how some things go to plan and others don’t?

Yeah. This past month was one of those that didn’t really go to plan.

I want to share a quick wrap up on our 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge. I’m not going to say we failed, but we didn’t succeed the way I envisioned it.

If you read in the beginning of June, we started a 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge. My goal was to get back on track with meal planning and cutting out the processed foods and added sugar. I wanted to get my energy back and hubby wanted to lose a few pounds.

Well, I DID succeed at getting our meal planning on track again. It is so much better getting to the store with a list in hand! During the week I don’t have to worry about what’s for dinner and know that what I planned out is good and delicious.

With the meal planning comes the better food choices. I plan out delicious from scratch meals that are easy and full of nutrient dense foods. Creating the meal plan gives me the shopping list which helps me avoid the processed foods at the grocery store. When I wander the store without a list I come home with some really random items.

Hubby declared we were eating like “rich people”, which I will take as a compliment even though we spent the same or less than the previous months. It isn’t very difficult to cook real food on a budget. Be frugal with the meat and use lots of veggies seasoned with herbs and spices. It’s all about the spices people! Don’t skip over the seasoning!

We definitely succeeded in cutting some of the processed foods and eating more nutrient dense options. Simply by planning our meals and shopping with a list makes it so much easier for me to keep the junk out of the cart and pantry. If we don’t have the options of junk at home then I won’t be tempted to eat it!

I did not do so well making sure Hubby had lunch every day. For some reason this is my biggest failing in wifely duties (it’s my duty in our home, it may be different for others!). I honestly forget or get up too late to make it before he leaves for work.

Our Little Man is a late sleeping baby and I usually sleep until he wakes up. It’s kinda nice, but I really want to work on getting up earlier so I can get my day started. It’s hard to be a morning person when you stay at home and are naturally wired to be a night person.

I did not do so well with removing added sugar either. It’s not that I sit at home making dessert all day, but a spoonful of sugar in my iced coffee or leftover dessert brought over by friends are difficult for me to resist. I really struggle with the sweets issue and want to get a handle on it, but can’t seem to at the moment. I know what to do, I’m just not doing it.

The main goal of getting on the meal planning wagon again has been met. The other things fall into place as I continue to plan and shop accordingly. The real food lifestyle is just that, a lifestyle. It’s not something you do just for a time or a season. It’s for life. I love how I feel when my diet consists highly of vegetables and quality meats.

I’m planning to continue to work on the lunch thing and getting up earlier. I’ve said that for months now, but it’s gotta happen. Little Man is finally sleeping through the night like a big boy so I have no excuse for sleeping in late! And then I can get Hubby’s lunch made.

And those are the things I struggle with and go through. If that’s the worst of my worries I think I have a pretty blessed life. I am so thankful for the options of good food readily available. I won’t ever forget to be grateful for that.

What were your successes in last month’s Real Food Journey?


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20+ Real Food Fourth of July Recipes

20 Plus Real Food Fourth of July Recipes

The Fourth of July is around the corner!! I cannot believe July is almost here.

I’m ready and I’m not.

This year we need some seriously healthy options for our family Fourth of July celebration. I’m all about some good food that’s good for you too!

I haven’t completely decided on a menu yet, but here are some of the ideas I’m pulling from. I hope you can benefit from this great list too!

Fourth of July Picnic!

Main dish:

Sides:

Desserts:

 What are you cooking for this celebration?


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30 Day Clean Eating Challenge

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It’s time to jump back on the wagon.

You may recall my Saving Time and Money in the Kitchen series leading up to the launch of my eBook Planning with Purpose. Well, I must confess something, I haven’t been planning and we are eating too much processed foods.

I know! I need to practice what I preach!

I did really well adhering to the principles on Real Food eating that I wrote about in that series and eBook, but then something happened. I don’t know how to explain it other than life. Life happened and I got lazy and was not focusing on feeding my family as well as I could.

The results? I’m tired, don’t feel as well as I could, grumpier than usual, and bored of food. And that’s me. I won’t analyze the hubby or the toddler, but all to say we could use a boost to get back on the Real Food wagon.

SO…hubby and I have declared a Clean Eating Challenge for the month of June. Not only to get back on the wagon with some good food choices, but we also have some goals to reach. June will be a good month for us and so it begins.

When I’m referring to Clean Eating, I’m not talking about a list of things we can’t eat. I don’t “diet” or count calories and never will. I believe it is unhealthy and counterproductive. It makes a lot more sense to get a list of all the amazing real food options that you CAN eat and stick to it.

Have you ever tried a Whole30? That is an AMAZING way to learn how your body reacts to certain food and to regain a handle on how food makes you feel. Since I’ve done a Whole30 before and learned what foods make me feel bad or that I don’t really like, I’m not going quite as strict.

Our basic guidelines of food we will eat this month are quality meats, veggies, fruits, and fats. Think about it. There are a ton of foods that fit in those categories! We will include rice occasionally and some dairy. (Which are off limits in a whole30 or strict paleo diet.)

The main thing we want to focus on is cutting processed food and refined sugar. Not that big of a list!

In order for us to be successful in this I need to make a plan. I have to be ahead of the game on this one for sure. The challenge is not so much breakfast and dinner, but lunch for the hubby. He’s on the road and packing a lunch is hard since he’s not going to eat a salad everyday! (I wouldn’t want to either.)

And so, I’m telling you all this now to keep me accountable to stick with it! Hubby wants to shed a few pounds and I want to feel better and tighten up before I turn 30. (I’m not ready for that!) Choosing to eat strictly clean for a month will give us a kick start in the right direction.

From experience I can tell you that once you get on the Real Food wagon, you’ll want to stay on it. The energy, good sleep, brighter skin, clear mind, and overall wellbeing are totally worth it. Your tastes change in thirty days of clean eating and you really begin to just want to good food.

I challenge you to stop right now and just make it happen! Make your meal plan and eat the good stuff. There’s really no reason not to. Life still goes on at the same pace, why not feel better in the midst of it? I know I’m ready.

So, who’s in? Are you ready to get back on the wagon??

 


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Wellness Wednesday #15 – Parsley

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Did you know there are actually a ton of nutrients in Parsley?

I didn’t.

I see it all the time in recipes and usually go for some dried parsley just to say I added it in. Honestly I don’t think it has that great of a taste. I think it’s time to start getting some fresh parsley for those recipes!

Parsley hails from the Mediterranean area and has been used for medicinal and culinary purposes for 2,000 years. It has a very green leafy taste, much like you would think from its appearance. The leaves and the roots can be used as food or medicine.

The rich nutrients in Parsley include vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Plus it is high in volatile compounds that help fight some cancers, inflammation, osteoporosis, arthritis, and heart disease.

Due to the high amounts of vitamins and minerals in Parsley, it is a strong immune booster. A parsley tea will help detox your system too!

Although there are some cautions with taking Parsley in high doses, (you can check here and here for those cautions) there is no need for concern with regular culinary use.

You can add fresh parsley as a garnish to many dishes. It’s great in soups, salads, omelets, juices, and anything that needs a little green! It’s an easy herb to grow and can be added to a small herb garden or even a pot out on your porch.

I’m going to buy a bunch next time I’m at the Farmer’s Market. There’s always a vendor with Parsley!

 How do you add parsley to your diet?

Sources: 1, 2, 3


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Real Food Camping: Hobo Packs

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Camping is THE BEST summer activity.

There is nothing like getting outdoors, away from electronics, out exploring the world around you. Whether you tent camp, car camp, or stay in an RV or rustic cabin, camping is just plain fun!

One aspect makes camping fantastic is the food. Planning your camping menu is exciting and challenging at the same time. The excitement comes from the variety of foods and change in cooking method while camping. It needs to be portable, easy to cook, and nourishing (hiking can take a lot out of you!).

The challenge can be in avoiding processed filler foods and sticking to real foods that will keep your energy up. It would be easy to throw in a bag of chips for a snack, but how will that help you succeed on your epic hike? Cut up those carrot sticks and pack the hummus!

Our favorite camping dinner is what we call a Hobo Pack. It’s very easy to prep ahead of time and could be frozen if needed to last a couple days in a cooler. There is a lot of flexibility in the recipe. Be creative!

Before we head out, I chop up a variety of vegetables (onions, carrots, potatoes) and mix it together with some raw ground beef in a foil pack. Add some spices and butter and close up the packs. (I usually put the packs in a plastic bag as well just in case they leak.)

When you are out at the campsite get your fire going before dinner and let it die down just a little bit. Place your Hobo Packs on the coals and let it cook! You’ll want to rotate the packs around every five minutes or so for it to cook through. Your cook time will vary depending on how much food you have in your packs. I’d say 15-20 minutes and check that the beef has no more pink.

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Hobo Packs

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion
  • 4-5 carrots
  • 2-3 small potatoes
  • (other veggies as desired)
  • 2-3 Tbsp butter per pack
  • salt and pepper
  • favorite spices

Instructions

  1. Divide meat evenly onto 2 sheets of foil.
  2. Chop vegetables and distribute on top of the ground beef.
  3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and desired spices. (I like Thyme or Savory. But any single spice or combination will work!)
  4. Add butter.
  5. Fold up foil to enclose the food. Add an extra sheet of foil around the outside if necessary.
  6. Place packs in a plastic bag for transportation or until ready to cook.
  7. When cooking over an open fire, you can use a grate if one is available or you can let the fire die down a little and place the packs on the coals.
  8. Turn the packs every five minutes until the meat is no longer pink and the veggies are at desired doneness.
http://neverlackingzeal.com/2015/04/13/real-food-camping-hobo-packs/

Super simple! You can eat straight out of the packs or divide up onto plates for the kiddos. Remember the foil is HOT so bring tongs and a hot mitt or towel to handle the packs.

Eating real food while camping CAN be done. It takes a little bit of planning and usually a little prep ahead of time. But it is well worth it. If you usually eat real food at home, you don’t want to switch it up just for convenience when camping. Everyone wants to have fun while camping so feed your body well!

What is your favorite camping food?

 

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