September 23, 2014

Breakthrough for Truth-in-labeling!

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court opened the door for peer-to-peer labeling accountability.  As labeling laws struggle through congressional houses, good ole capitalism is taking the bull by the horns.  Coca Cola has been marketing a drink called Minute Maid Pomegranate-Blueberry juice.  With that name, you’d expect it to contain, well, lots of pomengrantes, right?  Not a chance.  The juice (can I call it juice?) is made of only .3% pomegranate juice.  Yes, you read that correctly.  .3%.  The POM Wonderful folks, who sell actual pomegranante juice, can now take up their truth-in-labeling case with Coca Cola.   To make matters worse, the drink blend has a scant .2% blueberry juice.

This ruling has great potential for many markets, including essential oils. One of my great peeves with the essential oils market is that oils must only contain 5% of the actual oil to be labeled “pure”.  That’s how we get such cheap oils in the grocery stores – 5% oil + petrochemicals and other synthetics = cheap to mass produce.  Real, quality oils that are sourced well are hard to come by, hence the heftier (and well worth it) price tag.  Learn more about oils.


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Join us for a live essential oils class in Kansas City, Dallas, or Houston! Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257
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How To Make Awesome Homemade Mayo!

Check out my latest recipe, posted over at Surviving the Stores, and learn how to make easy and super yummy mayo!  You’ll never want to buy it at the store again!

Homemade Mayonnaise: How to Make Mayo At Home!


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Join us for a live essential oils class in Kansas City, Dallas, or Houston! Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257
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Homemade Peanut Butter In 3 Minutes Or Less!

I’ve started making my own peanut butter at home.  I LOVE how quick and easy it is, not to mention better for you!  Click on over to Surviving the Stores to see my guest post explaining exactly how to do it!

How To Make Homemade Peanut Butter In 3 Minutes Or Less!


Want to learn more or get stated using essential oils? Learn more or join today!
Join us for a live essential oils class in Kansas City, Dallas, or Houston! Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257

Recipe: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Brownies

It’s brownie time!  I LOVE these brownies!  They are my go-to recipe for a sweet treat for the essential oils classes that I teach, and they’re extra fun because of the peppermint oil.  Hop over to the Grain Mill Wagon for the recipe I share there:

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Brownies


Want to learn more or get stated using essential oils? Learn more or join today!
Join us for a live essential oils class in Kansas City, Dallas, or Houston! Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257
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Yay for Baked Chocolate Donuts!! New Recipe!

I love chocolate donuts.  I read the ingredient label at the ones in the store, when I’m tempted, and just set them back on the shelf.  No such problem here!  Enjoy this recipe for good-ingredient yumminess!  (Is that word?)  Click over to the Grain Mill Wagon for the full recipe!  (I’m participating in their recipe challenge.)


Want to learn more or get stated using essential oils? Learn more or join today!
Join us for a live essential oils class in Kansas City, Dallas, or Houston! Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257

Double Chocolate Chunk Muffin Recipe

Yummy, yummy, yummy.  Chocolate muffins!  Hop over to the Grain Mill Wagon for this yummy Double Chocolate Chunk Muffin recipe!


Want to learn more or get stated using essential oils? Learn more or join today!
Join us for a live essential oils class in Kansas City, Dallas, or Houston! Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257

Recipe: Petite Vanilla Scones

I love picking up a petite vanilla scone at Starbucks as the occasional treat, and decided to play with creating a slightly healthier version, not to mention cheaper!

I’m really happy with how it turned out.   Check out the Petite Vanilla Scones recipe, posted as part of the WonderMill Grain Mill Wagon Challenge and made with freshly milled flour!

Also shared at Tasty Tuesday!


Want to learn more or get stated using essential oils? Learn more or join today!
Join us for a live essential oils class in Kansas City, Dallas, or Houston! Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookie Perfection

There is a special place in my heart for chocolate chip cookies.  Especially ones that don’t contain too much sugar and therefore don’t send my blood sugar levels into outer space.

My awesome kid helpers and I used freshly ground wheat berries for our flour for this recipe, ground to perfection by our new WonderMill!  Hop on over to the Grain Mill Wagon blog to get the recipe!

Also shared at Tasty Tuesday!


Want to learn more or get stated using essential oils? Learn more or join today!
Join us for a live essential oils class in Kansas City, Dallas, or Houston! Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257

How To Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

When you do a lot of baking (or making water kefir!), you tend to go through a LOT of vanilla.  That can get expensive very quickly, and it’s easy to make your own.  Procurring the ingredients will take you the most time – setting up your vanilla takes only a minute!

What You Need
1 bottle of vodka (750ml)
10 organic vanilla beans

I had never purchased vodka before, and felt a little silly wandering around in the liquor section of the grocery store, staring at vodka bottles.  (It didn’t help that I was pregnant and obviously showing!  Maybe this lady needs an intervention… doesn’t she know that alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix?)    The employee I found was more than willing to make a recommendation for me – I wanted a decent quality vodka without spending an arm and a leg.  I think I wound up paying around $7 for the bottle and settled on the McCormick blend.

Organic vanilla beans are a bit trickier to come by.  You can pick them up at a place like Whole Foods, but I found better prices through my co-op.  You can also order them online from a retailer like Olive Nation or Amazon.

Directions
Are you ready for the oh-so-complicated directions?
1. Open your bottle of vodka.
2. Slice your beans in half lengthwise, leaving an inch or so at the top.
2. Insert vanilla beans into the vodka bottle.
3. Close bottle and store in a dark place.
4. Pull it out every now and then and shake it up a little.
5. In about 6 weeks, you’ll have vanilla!

Homemade vanilla makes a great gift too!  If you start your vanilla soon, it’ll be ready to give as Christmas gifts!


Want to learn more or get stated using essential oils? Learn more or join today!
Join us for a live essential oils class in Kansas City, Dallas, or Houston! Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257
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Review: Freshfoods Cook-n-Blend Baby Food Maker

I should have made more!  After our trial run with the Freshfoods Cook-n-Blend Baby Food Maker by NUK, we love it!  My kids devoured it, almost before I grabbed a picture!

I tried to make a lot of S’s baby food from scratch, using organic ingredients, but it was a CHORE using my old blender. It took a lot of steps since I had to cook it all till it was soft enough, fill the blender, empty the blender since I’d filled it too much and it wouldn’t puree, mash all the food down while trying not to spread it all over the kitchen, fill it again, and repeat almost indefinitely.
We had none of those issues with this baby food maker!

I decided to make applesauce, since that’s expensive to buy organic in the stores, and has previously been rather a pain to make at home.  Peeling and chopping the apples was the greatest time investment on my part, but since my little girl spits out the peel (wherever she might be at the time btw), I normally peel them anyway.   I peeled and chopped 3 small organic Fuji apples, since that’s what I had on hand, deposited them into the Freshfoods Cook-n-Blend Baby Food Maker, filled the water reservoir, and hit the start button.  17 minutes later, I had soft, steamed apples!

After letting the apples cool for a couple of minutes, I opened up the container and dumped the steamed apples onto the blade below.  I then pureed them for under 10 seconds, and I had applesauce!

Easy peasy!  Clean-up was a snap too, even though I decided not to use the dishwasher.  (Ours is rather old and melts things on a regular basis, so I didn’t want to take any chances.)

Steaming Food
I love that the Freshfoods Baby Food Maker steams the food and preserves the nutrients.  I make my own baby food for several reasons:

1. I want to know exactly what’s in it!  No mystery ingredients, sugar (high fructose corn syrup <gasp!>), or preservatives

2. Organic ingredients.  I can avoid pesticides and GMO’s, plus I can make a lot more food for a fraction of the cost of buying pre-packaged food.

3. Fresh!  I want the food to be as fresh as possible.  Doesn’t get any fresher than made at home!

I never made meat baby food at home with my first two kiddos, but I’m looking forward to trying it, now that I’m armed with a good tool!  The recipe book included several simple, yummy-sounding meat meals like Salmon with Carrots & Tomato, My First Fish Puree, Chicken with Sweet Potato and Apple, and more!

Specs for the NUK Freshfoods Cook-n-Blend Baby Food Maker:

• Dual-action function steams and blends food for quick, nutritious meals in
two easy steps
• Healthy steam cooking helps preserve vitamins and minerals
• Makes up to four meals at a time with large 32 oz bowl
• Double steamer basket separates food to help preserve flavors
• Beeps and stops automatically when ready
• With two texture options–smooth or chunky–you can use it for years as it
grows with your child
• Dishwasher safe and easy to clean
• Includes bonus smoothie blade so the whole family can enjoy
• Includes free recipe book with meal ideas from world-famous child nutrition
expert, Annabel Karmel
• BPA-Free!
• Retails for $99.99, but for a limited time, a $20 coupon is available online

Special Offer!
NUK is currently offering a $20 off coupon for a Freshfoods Cook-n-Blend Baby Food Maker for Renaissance Mama readers, and a $1 coupon for any accessories!  They offer a handy freezer tray, Mash & Serve Bowl, Food Mill, Stackable Cubes, and Fill & Freeze Pops.

Follow NUK on Facebook to keep up with special offers and new releases!

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet SM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinions on my blog.  My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.


Want to learn more or get stated using essential oils? Learn more or join today!
Join us for a live essential oils class in Kansas City, Dallas, or Houston! Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257
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