Hungry for Healthy Pancakes

I love seeing my son’s eyes light up when I ask if he wants pancakes for breakfast.  It’s by far his favorite mealtime option.  I make a big batch of toddler-size pancakes at the beginning of the week; enough to eat now, save for tomorrow & freeze for the rest of the week.

Over the months I’ve experimented with different recipes, trying to find that perfect balance of yummy & healthy.  Today I think I finally came up with the perfect combination & I am so excited to share it!

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Lemon & Blueberry Pancakes

In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients

1 Cup White, Whole Wheat Flour.  I use King Arthur brand.

2 TBSP Lemon Infused Sugar.  I used the reserved sugar from the Citrus Peels I made last month.  As a substitution, add lemon zest to 2 TBSP sugar.

2 TSP Baking Powder

In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.  Once combined add 1/2 cup whole organic blueberries.

1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

2 TBSP (melted) Coconut Oil

1 Large Egg

1 TBSP Fresh Lemon Juice

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients & mix until just combined.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat (greased or nonstick).  Add TBSP portions of the pancake mixture to the heated skillet.  You can make the pancakes as big or small as you like.  Tablespoon portions work best for us; my little man usually eats them grab & go style as he plays or watches the cars rush to work.  Once the pancakes start to bubble it’s time to flip.

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We usually eat these as is, but you can serve them with maple syrup, agave nectar or even strawberry preserves.  Enjoy!

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Citrus Peels & Vino

I love spending Sunday afternoons in the kitchen.  My husband entertains the babe & I am able to get lost in my own little world of cooking, baking, and more often than not, enjoying a quiet glass of wine.  Who are we kidding, it’s never quiet in this house.  But, at least I get to enjoy a glass of wine!

This past Sunday I finally perfected my homemade Potato Chips & experimented with making French Fries in the oven.  My husband claimed he didn’t like homemade fries, but when he tried this recipe he requested I make them every night.  So I guess they out turned okay 🙂 For the Fries, I adapted a recipe I found on Pinterest from Layers of Happiness.  I basically just used coconut oil, sea salt & garlic to make a healthy alternative to fast food fries.

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Earlier in the week a Facebook post caught my eye on how to make candied fruit peels.  With all the fruit we’ve been eating & cooking with lately I thought this would be the perfect way to use the discarded peels.

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For my candied peels I adapted a recipe from Glorious Treats that I’m excited to share.  I ended up using peels from oranges, lemons & tangerines.  I cut & cleaned the peels into bite size strips that would make for easy snacking.  The recipe suggested boiling the peels in equal parts water & sugar, but since we’re watching our sugar intake I didn’t use nearly as much sugar.

Once the peels were translucent, I drained them & laid them over a bed of sprinkled sugar.  I rolled them in the sugar until they were fully covered; again, using about 1/4 of the suggested amount.  I let the peels soak in the sugar for about 15 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to dry.  I saved the leftover sugar for future citrus-flavored recipes.

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Have fun snacking!  Don’t forget to follow me on IG as the_wexford_housewife_

 

 

 

 

 

Clean Eats in the Oven

It’s been a little over a week since we started avoiding processed foods & ingredients we couldn’t pronounce.  I wish I could say that I have more energy, but I don’t.  It’s not the foods fault though…my son doesn’t sleep.  Apparently it doesn’t matter how well I eat or how much coffee I drink, I’m constantly in a zombie-like state.  Oh the woes of motherhood lol

Anyways, I’m excited to share some easy, clean recipes that my family has fallen in love with!  When we first started this clean eating journey, my husband & I were most worried about our snacking habits.  Potato chips were and still are our go-to snack of choice.  Making our own chips was so much easier than I imagined; time consuming, but easy.

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I literally just sliced potatoes with my mandolin, let them soak in water for 20 minutes to remove excess oil & lined them on a baking sheet.  I brushed them with melted coconut oil & sprinkled them with sea salt.  I let them bake on high (400 degrees) until they started to brown, about 20 minutes.  I can’t wait to try this with sweet potatoes!

I love to bake & I’ve found some pretty tasty, all-natural recipes for breads & muffins that my family has fallen in love with!  Click on the links below to try them out for yourself!  When making the muffins, I substituted almond milk & vanilla Greek yogurt rather than nonfat milk & plain yogurt.  The texture was a little drier than the muffins we’re use to, but they tasted great & there was no guilt!  I also doubled the recipe, since 6 muffins would not have lasted long in our household.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins – Courtesy of Amy’s Healthy Baking

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Low Sugar Zucchini Bread – Courtesy of One Strange Herd

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Jumping on the Clean Eating band wagon

When my son first started eating solid foods I made everything from scratch.  I utilized my Baby Bullet to make healthy concoctions and only used fresh local produce & organic grass-fed chicken.  However, as time went on and he got older, I got lazier.  Maybe lazy isn’t a good word, more like exhausted, overworked & time constricted.  I found myself cooking with canned vegetables & boxed pastas more often and offering my husband and son chips & store bought muffins as snacks.

Over time we started to feel weighed down from all of the processed foods we were eating & snacking on.  On top of that, both my husband & son have sensitive stomachs and were taking medicine to cope.  We had to make a lifestyle change….

Eating clean seemed like such a fad to me.  Every time I turned around people were saying they were clean eating, or going vegan.  How ridiculous!  Or, was there something to this “eating good, feeling good” thing?  After doing some research we decided to jump on the band wagon.  We decluttered our cabinets & filled our fridge with fresh produce & lean meats.  It hasn’t been easy or cheap.  My kitchen is a madhouse from all of the prepping, cooking & baking.  Dishes are scattered across the countertops because the dishwasher is constantly full.  But, knowing that my boys are getting the vitamins and healthy fats they need makes it all worth it. 

Of course, I’m not giving up my wine & there will be times we go out to dinner or decide to make nachos.  But at the end of the day, I’m hoping that by avoiding most processed foods we’ll gain more energy, manage existing stomach conditions & get the nutrition we need without taking supplements.

Wish us luck!!!

It’s dinner time…

My husband & I like to go out to eat – correction, we love to go out to eat!  We love the experience and the meal selections, plus sometimes grabbing dinner (and drinks) is just easier than the process of making dinner.

However, now that we have a son I think it’s important to spend quality time around the dinner table.  Going out to eat has so many distractions that prevent us from having conversations and truly enjoying each other’s company.  We want to instill good values in our son and making family dinner at home a priority is a good way to start.

I’ve made dinner every night this week & I love the interest my son has taken to the kitchen.  He pays attention to my every move, eager to help and learn.  Since he can’t fully assist with making meals yet (he’s only 15 months) I let him play with the pots & pans and even dabble at mixing flour with his own bowl & whisk.

Last night I conjured up a new family favorite, Cinnamon Pecan Chicken!  Fall is my favorite season & I love baking and cooking fall-appropriate meals. This recipe was easy & turned out better than I had anticipated. Try it for yourself and let me know your thoughts!

Cinnamon Pecan Chicken – Prep time 10 Minutes – Cook time 30 Minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb. Chicken tenderloin or boneless, skinless breast

1 Tsp. salt

½ Cup all-purpose flour

2 Eggs, beaten

 1½ Cups chopped pecans

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a large baking sheet with non-stick spray.  Clean and trim your chicken as needed and sprinkle with salt.

Place the flour, eggs and chopped pecans in three separate bowls/containers.  Whisk the eggs and then add the cinnamon into the chopped pecans, mix until fully coated; I used Fisher Pecan Chips.

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One by one, place each chicken tenderloin into the flour ensuring the chicken is fully covered before shaking off any excess.  Dip the flour-coated chicken into the beaten eggs, again having the excess drip off.  Finally, roll the chicken into the cinnamon pecan mixture pressing the pecans into the chicken.  I didn’t want our son to have the pecan chips so I coated his chicken in Italian breadcrumbs instead.

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Bake the chicken for 15 minutes.  Flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes until fully cooked.  I paired the chicken with corn & parmesan tomato pasta.  I love the combination of salty & sweet so I think next time I’ll caramelize the pecans for a sweeter finish!

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Tis the season for apple picking and making sauce

I love this time of year…the leaves are starting to change, the house smells like pumpkin spice & I can finally break out my scarves and boots!  It also means that we can venture to the local farm for hayrides and apple picking.  Over the weekend we took our son to the apple orchard; he loved picking his own apples!

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By the time we were finished we had a 10 lb. bag and one happy little boy!  Since we had plenty of apples to go around, I decided to make applesauce!  Follow my simple recipe for an applesauce the whole family will love.

Laura’s Apple Cider Applesauce – Prep time 15 min, Cook time 20 min, Yields 1-1 ½ quarts

Ingredients:

7 – 10 Apples (we picked Jonathan, but Granny Smith or Golden Delicious would work too)

3 tbsp. Lemon Juice

1 Cup Water

½ Cup Apple Cider

1 tbsp. Cinnamon

Put the water and 2 tbsp. lemon juice in a large pot.  Peel, core and cut apples into quarters.  Add apples to the pot of lemon water as you cut them to prevent browning.  Halfway through cutting the apples add the remaining lemon juice and stir to make sure all of the apples are covered.

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Once all of the apples are in the pot add the apple cider, bring to a boil, and then lower the temperature.  Cover and maintain a low simmer for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.

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Once the apples are fully cooked, remove the pot from the heat.  Add the cinnamon and use a potato masher (or a fork) to mash the apples in the pot.  My family likes a thicker applesauce, but if your family prefers a smoother style you can mix the apples in a blender.  Taste the applesauce, if you believe it’s too sweet add more lemon juice or if it’s not sweet enough add 1/4 cup brown sugar.

You can serve the applesauce hot or cold, with pork chops or mixed with yogurt!  It also freezes for up to a year in a cold freezer.  Enjoy!

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(Took inspiration from http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/applesauce/)