Sunday, December 12, 2010

Blueberry Syrup

This morning we wanted french toast but didn't have any syrup in the house. Normally, I would just sprinkle with powdered sugar and all is well, but today required syrup. Blueberries were on sale yesterday, so I bought a few fresh pints. Banana french toast topped with homemade blueberry syrup was a hit this morning.

What you need:

1 cup fresh blueberries
3 tablespoons coconut milk
1 tablespoon raw honey

Place blueberries and milk in a pot and cook on medium heat until blueberries soften. Add honey and stir. As you stir, mash the blueberries into the mix to reach desired thickness.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pizza Sauce with Carrot

I made this last night, and the family liked it better than my original recipe.

What you need:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium tomatoes
1/3 cup of fresh basil
1/4 cup of fresh oregano
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of fresh carrot juice
1 tablespoon flour (optional)

Juice 1-2 large carrots (or use 1/4 cup carrot puree). Heat oil in a pot on medium heat. Chop tomatoes, basil, oregano and garlic and combine in heated pot. When the tomatoes are soft add the carrot juice and stir. Mix in flour to thicken. Blend in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chocolate Chip Muffins

We tried this recipe for the first time this morning and it is a winner! My son doesn't like yellow squash, but he will munch down these muffins in a heartbeat! In preparing for the upcoming birth, I made this a double batch to store some in the freezer. I didn't even try the recipe in a single batch so the recipe below will make about 24 muffins. Also, I haven't sat down to calculate the cost, but I'll get that up as soon as possible.

What you need:

Non-stick cooking spray or butter to grease the pan
4 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
6 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup yellow squash puree

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips. In a medium bowl, mix milk, vegetable oil, eggs and squash puree. Add the liquid mix to the flour mix and mix just until moistened. Batter will be lumpy. Bake for 20-22 minutes.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Blueberry Smoothies

These yummy smoothies are a great start to the day, rich in vitamins and antioxidants. It is simple and delicious!

The Recipe

What you need:

2 Large Carrots, Juiced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 Cup Kefir, your favorite flavor
3/4 Cup Frozen Blueberries

Juice carrots if using fresh carrots. Blend ingredients in blender until smooth. Enjoy! Makes 16 ounces.

The Cost

Carrots - A 5 lb bag of carrots is $3.09 at my local grocery store. This has 20-22 carrots in it, making each carrot $0.16 - $0.14. We'll use the higher price.

Kefir - A carton of Kefir is $3.99. Using 1/2 cup servings allows 8 servings per container, which brings it to $0.50 per serving.

Blueberries - A 48 ounce bag of frozen blueberries is $9.89 (Publix brand). This allows 6 cups per bag of blueberries, so we're working with 6 smoothies. This brings the blueberries to $1.65 per cup.

This brings the total cost of 1 smoothie to $2.47, making it cheaper, fresher and healthier than any store bought or restaurant smoothie.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Basic Biscuits

You'll notice in following recipes I will be addressing the cost to make each recipe. Since I started cooking from scratch there has been a significant drop in our grocery bill each week. I used to believe the misconception that it was cheaper to buy prepared food. Now I am witness to the opposite. It is much more inexpensive and healthier to cook from scratch. This basic biscuit recipe is simple and inexpensive.

The breakdown of the cost will follow the recipe. Note: Prices may vary by store and location. The prices provided are from my local grocery store, directly from my receipt.

Basic Biscuit Recipe

What you need:

2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup no-trans-fat tub butter or margarine
3/4 cup (almond) milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place flour into large mixing bowl and cut in butter until crumbly. Gradually add in milk and stir until the dough comes off the side of the bowl. Lightly flour a flat surface, pat and fold dough until it is no longer sticky. Use a biscuit cutter or roll into balls. Bake 10-12 minutes.

The Cost

Self-Rising Flour - A $2.99 package of flour has approximately 19 cups of flour in it. This totals $0.16/cup ($0.32 for this recipe).

Margarine - A small tub of no-trans-fat margarine is $2.49, which makes the cost $0.41/half cup.

Almond Milk - A $2.99 half gallon of almond milk contains 8 servings (1 cup is a serving) making each serving $0.37.

One batch of 10 biscuits will cost $1.10. You could make about 6 batches of biscuits and still have left over milk and flour to use in other recipes.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Breakfast for 10 for under $10

This week my husband wanted to take breakfast to his crew at work to show appreciation for their hard work. There are 10 people, so he thought he'd just pick up 10 of the McDonald's $1 Sausage Biscuits. Ew, say I. I suggested he let me make them breakfast instead. He thought it would just be cheaper to get the $1 biscuits from BarfDonald's. This set off a mission to provide breakfast for 10 people for just $10 - and in a much healthier way.

There is a misconception in our culture that it is cheaper to buy prepared food than to cook from scratch. I'm going to show you that this just isn't true.

Note: Prices may vary by store and location. The prices provided here are from my local grocery store.

What you need:

10 cage free, organic eggs ($2.99/dozen, $0.24/egg)
16 ounce package of ground sausage ($2.99)
1 cup cheddar cheese ($2.00 for a 2 cup package, $1.00/cup)
1 batch of basic biscuits ($1.10/batch, 10 biscuits/batch)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown sausage in pan over medium heat. While sausage is cooking, lightly beat eggs in a separate bowl. Place browned sausage in a single layer of a casserole dish. Sprinkle half of the cheese over sausage. Pour eggs over sausage and cheese and sprinkle the top with remaining cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake 25-30 minutes or until eggs are cooked through.

The McDonald's $1 Sausage Biscuit is just that - sausage on a biscuit. I was able to make a sausage, (organic) egg and cheese casserole and biscuits for just $7.58! And it tastes great!

Those who are familiar with me know that ground sausage is not a typical menu item around here. I don't like it, and I don't consider it healthy. However, I understand that not everyone likes or wants to eat the way I do. Many people, especially hard working men, love ground sausage. In an effort to stay with the sausage theme, meet the eaters palates and stay within cost, I went with regular ground sausage. At home, you can make this meal healthier by using organic turkey sausage or turkey bacon for close to the same price.

Note: The cheese was on sale, 2 packages for $4. However, even at it's regular price (about $0.50 more) the total cost of the meal is still under $10.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Morning Boost Smoothie

This smoothie gives me a big burst of energy in the mornings. Sometimes I think it is better than coffee. It doesn't leave me with the down effects of coffee because it is a natural, veggie and fruit induced energy.

What you need:

1/2 cup fresh carrot juice (2 large fresh juiced carrots)
1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
1/2 cup (a handful) fresh spinach
1 cup fresh or frozen fruit

Blend ingredients together and enjoy. If you're using fresh fruit you may want to add some ice for thickness. For those worried about not liking the taste of the carrot juice or spinach, I promise it is barely noticeable. Add a couple of tablespoons of fat-free fruit yogurt to cover the taste more, but it really isn't needed.