Homegrown

Well... homemade at least... that's what I've been focusing on lately.  So much so, that I haven't blogged in over a month.  What exactly have I been homemaking?  Well, experiments, really.

These eggs aren't exactly mine, but that small little guy is the result of some spring chicks revv'n up to give us more farm fresh eggs.  (shew, and I thought 3 hens laying was enough... gonna be crazy when there are 13 of them!).

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Next, we have homemade corn and whole wheat flakes with nuts and granola.  This experiment was certainly edible - but did not satisfy my cereal craving like I would prefer.  (And, yes, that is a Parmesan cheese lid on a mason jar - for those of you not on pinterest).

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The following is one of the family favorites.  Smoothies are how we roll.  These might be a little more juiced-up than other's, but we make up for it in other places, so I'm fine with that.  Whatever helps you make healthier choices for your quick fix has to be better than the alternative.

smoothie ingredients

Ingredients going in the blender

Berry Veggie Smoothie
Ingredients are approximate, but this is about as close as you can get

  • 1 C High Pulp Orange Juice - Or about 3 fresh oranges, juiced
  • Handful of berries or other tart fruit - optional (I usually add whatever is on hand - it was blackberries today, but none when the picture was taken above - it helps to mask any veggie flavor, but certainly isn't necessary.  The majority of the time, we don't add this)
  • 1 C Strawberries (Tip: if you use frozen berries, you get an instant frozen smoothie without any need for ice)
  • 1 Large Carrot, scrubbed
  • 4 Cherry Tomatoes
  • Bunch of Dark Greens (Fresh kale pictured here.  We use about 1/4 C frozen greens most of the time).
  • 1/4 C peas/other veggies - optional
  • 1/4 C protein - as needed - we use a variety of things such as organic french vanilla yogurt... frozen chick peas.... frozen black beans...  If I make this with breakfast, as in with eggs, I don't add extra protein to the mix, especially if all I have available is dairy
  • Water as needed to blend

Blend... and blend... and blend some more.  The trick to blending the veggies, particularly kale and other dark grees, is to blend!  Spend the money on a good blender, or just push the button a few more times on high speed!  The frozen smoothies also help to blend any textures that may result from funky measurements... but, you can't really go wrong - just add more something and make it taste the way you like it.  My kids, and husband, love these!  My husband puts peanut butter and bananas in his - my kids will eat it, I won't.  Everyone is different!  They're pretty tasty, yes, even when they look like that!  But, start out small - when I started making smoothies, I was only adding strawberries, OJ, and yogurt!  I've matured now and feel like I'm missing out on so much when I don't have the veggies and greens in there.  Smoothies, when not balanced with greens, veggies, and protein, can certainly mess with your blood sugar!  Juices without the rest of the fruit aren't exactly healthy, especially when they're pasteurized and stored for any length of time - fresh is certainly the best option - so I recommend splitting this with someone.  This amount is usually shared between my and my daughter, and son (who doesn't really drink a whole lot just yet).  Think of smoothies like a more wholesome supplement - but chewing your food is always a great thing!

smoothie

smoothie results

And now... for the ultimate homemade fun!  If you've been following me, talking with me, or know me, you know I've been venturing in pasta making.  I'm certainly no expert, but my pasta tastes lovely to me and my family, and that's all that matters!  However, I had to use up some dark chocolate cocoa and decided there was no better way to do this than dark chocolate fettuccine!  Yes, you mix it with flower, but there is a big chunk of dark chocolate cocoa in that mix!  Add some eggs, because why make noodles without protein?  A little vanilla, and get your hands dirty!  I had some fresh strawberries from the local market, YUMMO, and had to squeeze some on top of some fresh cooked noodles and then top with sliced berries.  Wow, what a treat.  What is amazing about dark chocolate, is you get a very interesting texture, a hint of dark chocolate, and the toppings are what stands out.  Pasta truly at it's best!

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And, for the sake of sharing with the neighbors (i.e., my grandparents, dad, and great grandmother), I had to make some homemade cherry-honey sauce from the cherries I picked at my mom's then whip up some cream!  I decided to cook the noodles IN the cherry sauce to soak up the flavors (I was drying the cherries for my granola and didn't want to waste the sauce).  Such an experience.  This isn't brownies or cookies and milk satisfying, but it is one of those treats you can really enjoy making and sharing at your next girls' night in!

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And, that's how we "cheat" around here!  It isn't about ridding yourself of the lovely delectable treats that satisfy your ridiculous cravings.  It is about #1 - laboring to make them, because you'll appreciate them more and simply won't make them as much if they aren't as easy as opening a box, and #2 - all things in moderation.

How do you enjoy the things you love, and probably shouldn't have, while you're pregnant (or have little ones in the house begging for something sweet)?