Wow! Where has the time gone??? I can't believe it's been over TWO WEEKS since finishing the 10 Day Pledge (aka - the last time I blogged.) My girls went back to school last week and....well...you know! Since finishing the Pledge my family has had good days and we've had really, really bad days. One thing is for sure, my husband and I agree that most food we've eaten in restaurants since finishing the Pledge was not good - not good at all. This caused us to be:
1) Frustrated because sometimes you want a night off from cooking
2) Angry because we spent good money on these meals
3) But mostly we feel PROUD because we've successfully changed our taste buds and curbed our cravings for junky, processed foods! It amazed me how my favorite dish from my favorite restaurant now tastes like Chef Boyardee to me :)
One thing we splurged on over the past two weeks was a visit to Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams while in Columbus, Ohio. I'd heard about Jeni's from Food Network, but wondered if it was worth all the hype. Let me say this - IT WAS! Every. Single. Bite! Oh my! Now, I can't eat Jeni's on a regular basis (which is probably a good thing!) but I CAN make my own wholesome, clean ice cream at home anytime I want! This ice cream is a basic vanilla, but by using high quality ingredients the vanilla and honey flavors really shine through. I used Orange Blossom honey from a local farmer, but imagine the possibilities by changing up the honey flavor! I feel fairly confident that you could serve this to unknowing guests and they'd never guess it was 'clean'!
Honey Vanilla Ice Cream
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk, grass-fed organic if possible
1/2 cup good quality honey, local if possible
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (homemade or pure)
In a medium saucepan combine cream, milk and honey over medium heat. Bring the mixture to just boiling, while stirring frequently (this prevents the mixture from burning). As soon as the mixture boils, turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Cover the saucepan and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. After 1 hour, place the saucepan in the refrigerator until completely cool.
**I usually make the mixture after dinner and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
Once the mixture is completely cool, give it a quick whisk to break up any large lumps that may have formed. Don't worry about getting it completely smooth - the little chunks will taste great in the finished product! Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's directions. Once the mixture becomes soft-serve ice cream, transfer it to a freezer-safe container and place in the freezer. I've found that these long, shallow containers seem to provide the most even freezing and allow for easier scooping.
After 1 hour in the freezer, take out the ice cream and give it a stir. Place it back in the freezer for another 4-6 hours before serving. If you add a bit of honey to your serving it hardens a little and tastes like a little bite of caramel! Yum!
Adapted from Thank Heavens
I didn't want to go the entire 10 days of the Pledge without sharing a new recipe with you! I thought this one would be perfect for any weekend entertaining or movie nights you may have planned. These Whole Wheat Pretzel Bites are the product of a slightly modified recipe from King Arthur Flour. For most of my baking I use KAF's White Whole Wheat Flour, but for these pretzel bites I really love using the darker, red Whole Wheat Flour. Feel free to use whatever you like or whatever you have on hand.
When I typically make these we wind up 'sampling' quite a few before they make it to the freezer. For the ones that do make it to freezer bags, I've eaten them several different ways:
I have often heated up a few Pretzel Bites and added them to my lunch. Here I had them with a salad and some red pepper slices. On my 'To Try' list is finding a good, clean cheese dip to serve with these yummy nuggets!
Whole Wheat Pretzel Bites
Makes about 6 dozen
10 1/2 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) Whole Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon honey
7/8 - 1 cup warm water*
*Use the greater amount in the winter, the lesser amount in the summer and somewhere in the middle in the spring and fall.
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons baking soda
Coarse salt - I use kosher salt and some black salt from the bulk section of my grocery store
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Place all dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until combined. Switch the mixer to the dough hook and knead for 5 minutes. Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
While the dough is rising, combine the boiling water and baking soda and stir until the baking soda is dissolved. Pour into a 13x9 brownie pan and allow to cool to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with a silicon making mat or parchment paper and set aside.
Transfer the dough to a large cutting board and divide into 6 equal pieces. Roll the pieces into 12" to 15" ropes. Cut each rope into 12-15 equal-sized nuggets. Once all the bites are cut, place them in the baking soda solution and 'swish' the nuggets around so they are evenly covered. Allow to sit in the solution for 3-4 minutes. Remove the nuggets from the solution (draining slightly) and place on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush with the melted butter. After a few minutes, transfer the pretzels to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days or in the freezer in freezer-safe bags. Reheat in the oven for a few minutes or enjoy thawed from the freezer at room temperature.
Adapted from King Arthur's Flour
It seems like sugar has been all over the news lately. We are learning each day about more and more dangers associated with a high sugar diet. Personally, I have known I should cut back on my sugar intake for awhile, but I've never been able to commit to it (see all the cupcake recipes on the old blog) and for very good reason: sugar is addictive! Fortunately for me, my sugar 'addiction' has never manifested into any health issues, but too much sugar can lead to diabetes, obesity, food cravings, heart disease and behavior issues in children. In my opinion, one of the biggest issues with sugar today is that we aren't finding our sugar in our nightly after-dinner bowl of ice cream. No, today we're finding loads of it in our morning breakfast cereal, in that mid-morning granola bar or the soup/sandwich combo at lunch. Simply put, once you start reading the labels, you see that sugar is in nearly everything we eat. Trying to cut it out is so very, very hard. For that reason, I was super excited to find this brownie recipe that uses honey instead of white sugar!
One of my passions is teaching my young daughters how to choose healthy foods or even crave them. My older daughter is definitely my bigger challenge. She loves sweets! And lucky for her, some sort of sweet is provided to her nearly every day. She has been offered (and usually accepted) cookies/lollipops/candy/mints at more places than I can even count - school (this is a big one!), the grocery store, restaurants, CCD, story time at the book store and even boutique shops! I don't want to be the parent who always says 'NO' but I want my girls to understand that those things should be thought of as a 'sometimes treat'. If I can't control what is going on 'out there' at least I can control what I am doing 'in here'.
We recently went camping and s'mores were a requirement for my daughters. I found a more wholesome option for the chocolate and graham crackers we used to buy, but when it came down to finding better marshmallows, they just didn't exist. I did find vegan marshmallows, but they too had sugar listed as the first ingredient. What to do? Find a recipe without sugar and make them myself!
This recipe uses honey to sweeten the marshmallows. Honey has been found to have more nutrients than white sugar so it is slightly healthier, but it raises the blood sugar and is quite dense in calories so it should still be consumed in moderation. I, personally, prefer honey over sugar because it is less processed and in a more natural state than sugar.
These marshmallows were extremely well received by my two toughest critics - Jordan and Brecken! They melted nicely over the campfire and oozed out of the graham cracker just like they were supposed to! The honey flavor is very predominant, so you can have a lot of fun with different flavors of honey - orange blossom would be amazing!!
DIY (Sugar-Free) Marshmallows
1 cup water
4 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
Pour 1/2 cup of the water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin on top of the water. Whisk until combined.
Pour the other 1/2 cup of water into a small saucepan with the honey. Heat the mixture over medium heat until a thermometer registers 230° F - don't stir the mixture! Keep the heat at medium and 'swirl' the pan if necessary. This step could take a few minutes.
With the mixer running on low, very slowly pour the honey/water mixture into the gelatin mixture. Once the mix is incorporated, turn the mixer on high. Whisk on high for several minutes (5-10) until the mixture turns white and fluffy. Do not overmix.
Pour the mixture into an 8x11 pan lined with parchment paper. For thinner marshmallows, use a 9x13 pan. These come out pretty thick and were great for roasting over the campfire! Tap the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
Allow the marshmallows to set in a dry place (not the refrigerator) for at least 8 hours before cutting. Cut into squares about 1x1 inches big. A pizza cutter dipped in coconut oil would work well here. Place them on a cutting board and cover with a dry, clean dishtowel overnight so that they dry out a little more. This step allows them to become easier to handle.
Store the marshmallows in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks. If you are planning on toasting them on the campfire, try to make them at least 2 days beforehand so that are sufficiently dry to the touch.
I see endless possibilities of the fun we can have with these marshmallows! I'm planning on experimenting with all sorts of flavors of honey...maybe adding some cocoa powder to the honey mixture....maybe some fresh mint leaves around Christmastime.... let your imagination go crazy!
Adapted from An Organic Wife
Welcome to the new and improved Butter Blog! I've taken a long absence from blogging but I've recently decided to start again! For those of you who are used to seeing cupcakes, cakes and other unhealthy recipes, you'll notice a shift in the types of food I showcase on here. I've decided to use Butter is Better as my way of sharing my new food philosophy - a focus on whole, real, unprocessed food - also known as 'Clean Eating'. I've switched over 90% of my cooking and baking to be 'clean' so I'll still have plenty of recipes to share with you! I'm also hoping to share my daily challenges and successes with you as well as share information I've learned in the past year about our food sources and Western diet.
What prompted this change?
In late 2013 I really started to take notice to the way our food is processed, where it comes from and the effects it has on our health and our bodies over the long term. In January 2014 I found the blog, 100 Days of Real Food and read Michael Pollan's book, In Defense of Food. Only then did I realize just how many chemicals and preservatives we were putting into our bodies every single day with every single meal. I was truly shocked! My food philosophy was forever changed. After that, my kitchen pantry received a major update! I wanted to revive this blog to reflect on my new way of eating in the hopes of sharing some information you all may find valuable.
What will you find on this blog?
My goal in reviving Butter is Better is to share with you all of the information I've learned during my real food journey. I have been reading, reading, reading and I want to share my findings with you! I also want to share with you delicious recipes, menu planning tips, budgeting ideas, school lunch inspiration and more!
Please keep in mind that I am NOT a dietitian, nutritionist or doctor. I am formally educated in business with a background in purchasing but I've always had a passion for cooking (and eating!) I'm just a girl trying to eat as healthy as I can and raise my two daughters on the highest quality food I can possibly provide. I'm not perfect and I don't eat clean 100% of the time. Sometimes the best laid plans go awry and we end up with a take-out pizza for dinner. It happens. We eat it and feel gross and vow to try harder the next day!
I have a whole slew of topics and recipes to talk about over the next few months, but to get you started I wanted to share with you a few of my old blog recipes that are already clean! These are two of my summer staples that I'm enjoying right now as I type :)
Stop Back Often!
Please stop by often! I plan on updating this blog several times a week so please stop by and let me know what you think of the new direction I've taken. Also, if you have any specific topics you are wondering about, please ask! I may have an answer for you and if I don't, I'd be happy to find one for you and learn along with you!
Enjoy the new and improved clean version of Butter is Better!
Do you see the picture above? Do you know what that is a picture of? Freedom! Er...Iced Coffee! But, iced coffee that I made by myself, at home, for a fraction of what it costs at a coffee shop! To me, that is sweet coffee freedom! I am a coffee drinker in that I have to have a cup (sometimes 2) of coffee every day or else I end up with a dreaded caffeine-induced headache. I hate that I'm a slave to coffee, but I accept it. I've tried a few times to give coffee up over the summers because, quite honestly, who wants a hot cup of coffee when it's 80 degrees at 10:00 am? Giving up coffee never really worked for me. A few years ago I discovered iced coffees at the coffee shops around town. Genius! It's coffee. It's cold. It's refreshing. It's perfect for summer! This great find came with a few problems - 1) Buying an iced coffee every day is not budget-friendly 2) Getting to a coffee shop every day is not convenient AT ALL and 3) Doesn't it seem like they put way too much ice in those drinks and not enough coffee? So, why not make it at home???? And I tried....
My first attempt was making a full pot of coffee in the morning and only drinking what my hubby and I wanted for the day, then dumping the leftover into a pitcher in the fridge. Then, the next day, then the next day...eh. I was still drinking warm coffee from the initial brew and the stuff in the fridge just tasted stale and nasty. Fail #1!
My second attempt was to make espresso and get out the blender and make a sweet, frozen coffee concoction. Messy, too sweet, too many calories, too much work and just tasted off. Fail #2.
My third attempt came when I purchase my beloved Keurig. One of the reasons I bought the Keurig was because I read about how you could make iced coffee by using them. Intriguing. How this was achieved was by brewing a strong blend of K-Cup using only 6 ounces of water. Once you had this potent little concoction in your coffee mug, you simply dumped it over a FULL cup of ice in an insulated cold beverage tumbler. Ok, let's try it. It worked....sort of. The taste was ok, but since you are pouring piping hot coffee over ice the ice melted instantly and left you with almost-cold coffee. Probably my best attempt up to that point, so we went with it for a while. I'm still comfortable calling this Fail #3.
Then, along came this brand new technique I saw on Annie's Eats. I've never really heard of cold brewing coffee before. Looks complicated....or does it? The originally recipe makes quite a bit so I quartered the recipe down to yield just one pitcher and suddenly this was the easiest thing I'd ever done in the kitchen! It takes just a few minutes of planning and very minimal kitchen supplies (I think a kitchen scale is extremely helpful in this recipe). I usually throw a batch together at night and let it sit on the counter overnight. The next morning I strain it through a colander lined with a heavy-duty paper towel (I like Bounty) or a cheesecloth. Once it's strained I pop it in the fridge until I'm ready for it. You can add any kind of syrup or sweetener to your drink if you like, but I usually just add some almond milk to balance mine out. It keeps in the fridge for quite a while too - I've had my current batch in there for 3 weeks now (I'm blaming Mother Nature on her late arrival of spring here in PA). So, if you've been looking for a perfect recipe to make iced coffee at home, look no further - you have found it!
DIY Iced Coffee
Makes about 2 quarts
4 ounces bold/dark roast coffee, ground (this is where the kitchen scales comes in handy)
2 quarts cold, filtered water
Add coffee grounds to a 2 quart pitcher. Fill about halfway with cold water. Stir to moisten grounds. Continue filling pitcher with water until it is full (this may be slightly less than 2 quarts). Cover and let sit at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight.
After 8 hours, pour coffee and grounds through a fine mesh sieve lined with a strong paper towel or cheesecloth. Push gently on the coffee grounds to extract all the liquid. Discard coffee grounds. Place coffee in a pitcher and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Enjoy!
I grew up in Central Pennsylvania and because of that I tend to hold a loyalty to all PA-based foods - TastyKake, Heinz ketchup, too many potato chip and pretzel makers to count and, of course, Hershey's chocolate. A few years ago when I quit working to become a stay-at-home-mom I began watching my grocery budget to the extreme (we're talking Excel spreadsheets, broken down by item, store and price per unit. Yes, I'm that person). I tried many store brand and generic items and, for the most part, they were all acceptable substitutes. Hershey's Chocolate Syrup though....no way I could give that up!! I justified the higher cost over store brand because I consistently bought it at Target which was much cheaper than my go-to grocery store.
About a year ago, when I first stumbled across food blog (seriously, you'd think I'd been living under a rock all these years!) I saw lots of recipes for DIY Chocolate Syrup. Naturally, my first thought was "Yeah, right. Who wants to do that when you can buy Hershey's?" I'm not sure what possessed me to do it (possibly the crazy short ingredient list?), but I gave this recipe a shot and, WOW! No more store bought in this house!! I felt a little bad abandoning my old-faithful, but I used Hershey's Cocoa Powder so I could still sort of call it Hershey's Homemade Chocolate Syrup....right? Give this one a try - it's one of the easiest DIY recipes you will find!
DIY Chocolate Syrup
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt (I use kosher)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and cocoa powder. Whisk together to break up any lumps. Stir in the water and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Once cool enough to handle transfer to a bottle and store in the refrigerator.
I like these bottles from The Container Store because they are squeezable and BPA free.
Here we are, almost halfway through the school year and I've accomplished a big feat! My 2nd grade daughter has been a fan of school lunches and, for the price, I never minded her buying them. At a little over $2 a day she can get a pretty decent, balanced, kid-friendly lunch. Well, the problem with that is, well....she doesn't! I surprised her during lunch one day last April and I caught her eating an ice cream cone while her otherwise healthy lunch items sat there on her tray untouched! When I questioned her about it she had a perfectly logical answer: "I have to eat the ice cream first Mommy. It would melt if I didn't." Doh! How many times had she done this? I couldn't be too upset, she was only 6 after all. After a doctor's visit over the summer I'd discovered the my petite little girl had gained a whopping TEN pounds in first grade! Whoa! Time to 'Mom Up' and start packing lunches for her. We have a little system in place to keep mommy and daughter happy. Some things have worked, some haven't. A few things that are a constant are 1 fruit, 1 veggie, 1 sandwich and 1 'junk' each day. Thankfully, she DOES eat those fruits and veggies so when she was asking for a jelly sandwich every single day I kind of let it slide. About a month ago I started reading labels more carefully. Yep, as suspected, high fructose corn syrup in her little jelly sandwich (cut out in the shape of a heart these days!). Time to make another change and give DIY jam-making a try. How simple! Just combine some fresh fruit, sugar and lemon juice and let it thicken up a bit and you have jam!
This is only a small batch so you don't have to worry about getting into the canning game - I'm certainly not there yet! This recipe produced a nice, thick, fresh tasting blueberry jam. It tastes like summer on a spoon! Anything that tastes like summer is much needed in Pennsylvania these days. Ugh...don't even get me started on how much I hate winter and how I feel like it's never going to stop snowing or if I'll ever see my toes again.... Anyhow, I digress! This jam takes about a half hour of your time and makes about 2 cups. The only downside to this recipe is that it only lasts in your refrigerator about 3 weeks. But that shouldn't be too much of a problem. Just pair it up with some homemade almond butter and reinvent your PB&J for a yummy throwback lunch!
DIY Blueberry Jam
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
1 pound blueberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Place a metal spoon in the freezer to chill.
Combine blueberries, sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. While bringing the mixture to a boil mash the blueberries with a potato masher or a fork to release the pectin of the fruit. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce to medium. Simmer vigorously until the mixture thickens and is jamlike, about 8-12 minutes.
To test for consistency, remove the spoon from the freezer and dip into the jam. Allow the jam to run off the spoon. Jam should fall off the spoon slowly, in one thick clump. If it does this, it is done. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. If the jam is too thin, continue simmering another 2-4 minutes until it reaches desired consistency.
Once jam has cooled to room temperature place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
Adapted from The America's Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook
Have you all heard about the current almond butter craze? I've known that almond butter has existed for years and though I love it, I've always steered away from buying it simply because of the cost. With my health kick/lifestyle change over the past month I've been reading some health & fitness blogs in addition to my running magazines and can I tell you something? Almond butter is EVERYWHERE!! It's packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein and tastes great in place of peanut butter on a sandwich, celery or pretzels or even in a smoothie. I decided to just suck it up and buy a tiny, overpriced jar of this awesomeness during my next grocery run. As I stood there in the nut butter aisle I pondered my choices. I could either buy a $10 jar of almond butter, or the cheaper $8 alternative. I went with the $8 choice. I had it in my hand. I put it in my cart. Then, it hit me! I recently bought myself some new cookbooks and I had remembered seeing a super easy recipe for making almond butter at home!!! I immediately put the little jar back on the shelf and hauled butt over to the nut aisle where I found a 1 pound bag of roasted almonds for $5! Score! Let's give this a try!!!
I made a few modifications to this recipe. The most notable being using already roasted almonds instead of raw. Since the recipe stresses the importance of having warm almonds when processing to bring out the oils I decided to still throw them in the oven for a few minutes. If you use raw almonds, roast for 10-12 minutes until they are fragrant and slightly darkened.
DIY Almond Butter
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
1 pound whole, roasted almonds
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 375° F. Spread the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Roast about 6 minutes, until fragrant. (Be very careful with this step. It only takes a few seconds for nuts to go from perfectly roasted to burnt.) Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly, until they are cool enough to handle - about 15-20 minutes.
Place almonds in a food processor for about 1 minute, until they resemble coarse meal. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue processing. After another minute or two you will have a very firm mass. It will be difficult to scrape down the bowl at this point - that's perfectly ok. Continue processing for another 2-3 minutes. The oils in the nuts will begin to break down and the mixture will start to look like a paste. Stop to scrape down the bowl. It should be pretty easy to do at this point. Add the salt to the nuts and process for about another 30 seconds. This whole process should take about 5-7 minutes. What you will be left with is gorgeous, tasty, pure almond butter!!
Store in an airtight container. It can be kept at room temperature or refrigerated for up to 2 months.
Adapted from The America's Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook
So, I've been on a major health-kick since the start of 2013. Back in January 2011 something clicked in my brain and I started Weight Watchers and stuck to it for 3 months. I lost 15 pounds and I felt amazing! I was happy with my weight so I let some of the good habits slide a bit. Then at the beginning of 2012 I was starting my blog and training for the Pittsburgh Marathon Relay. I tried half-heartedly to eat the Weight-Watcher-Way but just couldn't make it happen with all the yummy things coming out of my kitchen! This wasn't a big deal because I was running more than usual so my weight pretty much stayed the same. Enter the 2nd half of 2012. All bets were off. We went on a 3-week vacation (running was minimal...eating was plentiful), moved out of our townhouse, into my parents' townhouse and FINALLY into our new home. After getting settled in the new house we were faced with Halloween candy, Thanksgiving dinner (and leftovers) and lots and lots of Christmas goodies.
That brings me to January 2013. This year I am back on Weight Watchers and I'm doing a great job so far! I'm also training for 2 half-marathons (that's 13.1 miles, people!). I'm also trying very hard to incorporate fun food and baking into my daily life in a healthy way. I'm going to do my best to bring you healthy and delicious recipes as well as the occasional sinful treat! Oh, one more thing, you should be forewarned, I've been craving LOTS of citrus and oatmeal lately!
Today I bring you a Weight Watcher inspired Orange Ginger Scented Granola. Orange juice and ground ginger are both used in this granola, but I feel the flavor is delicate, not overpowering. I have been enjoying this granola served over plain, nonfat yogurt. It's great for a light breakfast or a mid-afternoon snack. You could also serve it in a bowl with some milk, or just grab a handful as a quick snack on the go.
Orange Ginger Scented Granola
2 cups quick oats
1 cup old fashioned oats
2 cups puffed rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
6 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup mixed raisins
Preheat oven to 350° F. Mix oats and puffed rice cereal together in a large bowl. Spread evenly onto a rimmed, non-stick baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, stirring once. Remove from oven. Allow to cool slightly.
While the cereals are baking, combine the honey, canola oil, orange juice, cinnamon, ground ginger and vanilla extract into a 2-cup measuring cup. Mix well. Set aside.
Place slightly cooled cereal back in the large bowl. Stir in the almonds. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Spread evenly onto the rimmed baking sheet again. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cereal starts to brown, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir in the raisins and allow to cool. Once granola is cool, store in an airtight container.
Adapted from Weight Watchers
So, I've been making my own pizza for years - sometimes with a pre-baked crust from the store, sometimes with one of those refrigerated pizza crusts and sometimes with my own dough. Through the goods and the bads of pizza dough I always found one consistently bad thing - the sauce! I am not a fan of the store bought pizza sauces that come in jars and bottles, so I've tried half-heartedly to make my own pizza sauce time and time again. Sometimes I would use straight marinara sauce - didn't quite cut it. The next time I'd doctor-up my marinara sauce with a little oregano - still not quite right. To my surprise, internet searches for a pizza sauce recipe yielded nothing! In the end I'd resort to going back to store bought sauce because I just couldn't 'get it'. FINALLY, about a year ago I came across this recipe on Annie's Eats (I know I've said it before, but this girl's blog has seriously changed my life!) and it happened - I finally 'GOT IT'! This pizza sauce is ridiculously easy to make! If you have 5 minutes and a food processor you can probably whip up a batch out of your pantry right now! I find that this recipe makes enough to cover at least two pizzas. When I make a batch I usually use half and freeze the other half for another time. When using from frozen I suggest you reheat it gently on the stove for a few minutes to thicken it up a bit. The sauce tends to be a bit watery when defrosted from frozen.
Give this one a try! I promise - you'll never buy store bought pizza sauce again!!
DIY Pizza Sauce
28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl. Refrigerate (or freeze) until ready to use.
Adapted from Annie's Eats
Pittsburgh area mom striving to provide clean, healthy, REAL food for her family!