Energizing Apple Peel Powder

applepicThis past weekend I made the most delicious Dutch Apple Pie. As always though, I felt terrible for the waste – all those apple peels and cores. I decided to come up with a way to use them rather than throw them in the trash (especially since most the nutrition is in the peel). With a little research, I found the PERFECT way to save the peels and create a vitamin packed homemade Energizing Apple Peel Powder (There’s a site that sells this stuff and let me just say, “It isn’t cheap!!”)

Look at ALL those peels!

I found that apple peels contain natural sources of Vitamins A and C, and minerals – Calcium, Phosphorus, Folate, and Iron. They also contain a high level of antioxidants to help protect our cells from free radical damage. *

According to the National Institute of Health, consumption of apple peel powder increases joint function and range of motion in those who were found to have chronic pain.*

In addition, a study done at the University of Iowa showed that a natural substance in apple peels (ursolic acid) was found to reduce obesity in mice. They said further studies were needed to see if apple peels would reduce obesity in humans, but I would be willing to give them a chance to lose a few pounds – how about you?

Ok, if I were at home in Vegas I would just use the summer sun to dry my peels, but I’m way up in Canada right now without my dehydrator. I still decided to make it work by setting my oven on its lowest setting (170F) and heating the peels until they were dry (it took about 3 hours).

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Not the best photo – Sorry! But I wanted to show you how much they will shrink.

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And even though they shrink significantly, 8 apples still yielded over 3 cups dried apple peels.

There was probably closer to 4 cups of dried peels, but they were so sweet and crispy that I ate some of them right off the tray!

I added the dried peels to my Vitamix blender and crushed them until they turned into a powder (about 2 minutes). It yielded 3/4 cup powder. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but notice the recipes below. Each one calls for a tablespoon or less. This energizing apple peel powder goes a long way!

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Check out ALL the ways you can use this amazing creation!

Apple Pie Smoothie: One banana, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup ice, 1 tablespoon raw honey, 1 tablespoon apple peel powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Blend in high powered blender for 1 minute.

Apple Walnut Oatmeal: One serving of your favorite oatmeal (mine is steal cut oats cooked with nut milk), 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, 1 tablespoon raw honey, 1 teaspoon apple peel powder.

Apple Granola Yogurt: One serving of your favorite yogurt (mine is vanilla Greek), 2 tablespoons of your favorite granola (I like a hemp and nut granola), 1 teaspoon dried raisins, 1 teaspoon apple peel powder. Mix all the ingredients and let sit in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before eating.

Apple & Sweet Pepper Marinade: One cup of your favorite smoky barbeque sauce, 1/2 cup (each) chopped red pepper and red onion sautéed in olive oil until soft, 1 tablespoon apple peel powder, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, dash cayenne pepper. Blend all the ingredients and marinate/baste your favorite piece of meat.

Apple Vanilla Frozen Yogurt Pops: Blend a 500gram container of vanilla yogurt with a dash of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of apple peel powder. Add to your frozen pop mold and freeze.

Apple Granola: 2 cups (oats, uncooked quinoa, popped amaranth or other grain of your choice), 1 cup of your favorite nuts, 3/4 cup raisins, 1 tablespoon apple peel powder, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground clove, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup melted coconut oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup brown sugar. Blend dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another. Blend both bowls together. Add mixture to a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake at 325F for 10 minutes.

Basically, apple peel powder can be added to any smoothie, hot or cold cereal, granola recipe, ice cream recipe, marinade or even dry meat rub!! I’ve also added it to a Harvest Cheddar Soup and Butternut Squash Soup.

Apple Peel Powder is packed full of nutrients, saves on food waste, taste incredibly sweet with a hint of tart, and a little goes a long way.

Please comment below and share how you’ve been creative in the kitchen and saved food from being tossed.

Thanks for stopping by, Rene’

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25271471

http://www.appleactiv.com/appleactiv-dapp

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120620212855.htm

4 Ingredient Healthy Dog Treats

Today my little Snap ran out of dog treats and I didn’t feel like paying $7 for a bag of the treats I usually buy for her. I figured “How hard could it be to make dog treats as good as the ones from the pet store?”.

Surprisingly, it was easy-peasy!!

Read on and you will see with a little of invested time, I was able to create a delicious, nutritious HUGE bag of snacks for my little pup.

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Meet Snap

First I looked at the ingredients from the bag of treats Snap had just finished. There were some grains (this being the biggest ingredient), meat, vegetables and fruit (along with some random chemical names items)…..

I figured it shouldn’t be that hard to recreate something similar, except I decided the largest ingredient would be meat.

Homemade Healthy Dog treats

  • Time: 6 hours
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 large apple cut in chunks (including peels and core)
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans (I used raw)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice blend
  • Water

Supplies needed:

  • Cake decorating bottle with small tip
  • Cookie sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • High power blender

Directions:

  1. Set oven temperature on 225F.
  2. In a high-powered blender, blend the chicken, apple, garbanzo beans and rice. Add small amounts of water and press ingredients until everything is mashed completely. The texture should be like a thick hummus or peanut butter. Make sure the mixture is blended completely or the tip of the bottle will clog.
  3. Scoop mixture into cake decorating bottle.
  4. Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Put 1/2 inch dots onto the paper. The dots will shrink by half so if your dog is bigger you may want to make your dots bigger.
  6. Put into oven and let sit (dehydrate) for 2-3 hours.

This recipe made 4 cookie sheets of treats. Two sheets can go in the oven at a time (unless you are lucky enough to have a conventional oven and you can put 4 sheets in at once).

Step-by-Step

Gather all your healthy yummy ingredients.

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In a high-powered blender, blend the chicken, apple, garbanzo beans and brown rice. Add small amounts of water until the mixture looks like a thick hummus or peanut butter. The more water you add to the mixture, the longer it will take to dry the treats:

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Scoop the mixture into the cake decorating bottle.

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Squeeze 1/2 inch droplets onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.

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Place in an oven preheated to 225F. Slow cook them for 2-3 hours (Depending on how big your droplets are – if they are smaller they wont take as long). Feel free to taste test them to see if they are done in the middle!!

I didn’t take a photo of the finished product on the cookie sheet (sorry!!). They dehydrated to half the size. Here is the finished product.

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Look at those delicious little dog treats!

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Under $10 for about 3 months worth of dog treats!!!

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Substitutions

  • Chicken: Beef, lamb, duck
  • Apple: blueberries/raspberries/strawberries, pear, broccoli, kale
  • Garbanzo beans: lentils, kidney beans, green beans, black beans
  • Brown rice flour: garbanzo bean flour, lentil flour, almond flour, quinoa flour

Wholesome ingredients, happy dog!!

Feel free to share this recipe with any of your dog loving friends. Thanks for stopping by.

Nutritious Chicken Broth

When I was a little girl we didn’t have a lot of extra money which meant meals were often simple and always budget friendly. One of the meals my mom used to make was “chicken and rice”. A homemade chicken broth with rice cooked in the broth. No frills. Just chicken, rice, salt and pepper. (still one of my favorite meals!!)………..The secret ingredient was the broth.

My mom didn’t spend $3 on a pint of watered down broth from the grocery store. She took the left over carcass from a roasted chicken and made her own. She covered the carcass with water and boiled it until all the left over bits of meat and bones just fell apart.

I would watch her sift through and pull out all the bones and inedible stuff like cartilage and skin. I remember saying, “ewwwwww, I’m NEVER going to touch meat like that. Gross!!”

Guess what?

My finances became tight and I found myself doing things the way my mom used too, in order to feed my own children. Trying to save a few pennies, I learned what my mom had known for years. A bit of invested time and left over bones from a chicken dinner can be turned into a super healthy broth that can be used a zillion different ways.

Think about this. If you’re already buying a chicken or pieces of chicken (anything with bones), making this broth is a net cost of zero!!. It’s like FREE food. How can you argue with that!!!

Nutritious Chicken Broth

  • Time: 2hr
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

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Things you will need

  • Bones from a whole chicken or parts of a chicken to equal same amount.
  • Large pot with a lid.
  • Second pot or large bowl.
  • Strainer.

Directions

  1. Take left over bones from a chicken dinner.
  2. Put the meat in a pot and cover almost to the top of the bones.
  3. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to a low-medium for about 45 minutes. Make sure it’s on a low boil or all the liquid will boil off and you will lose the broth.
  5. Once the bones are broken apart and the cartilage pulls away from the bones easily, remove from heat and let cool.
  6. Put your strainer in a large bowl.
  7. Pour cooled broth and bones into the strainer, making sure the bowl underneath is catching all the broth.
  8. Sift through the bones to keep any extra edible meat.
  9. Use immediately or freeze in baggies or ice cubes for later use

Not only is this broth SUPER friendly on your wallet, but it’s also amazingly healthy.

  • This broth aides in digestion (and leaky gut syndrome).
  • Because of the boiled down cartilage, you get extra glucosamine which helps with joint discomfort.
  • You get to decide how much sodium you want to add.
  • This broth contains a high amount of calcium from the boiled bones.
  • The gelatin in the broth promotes healthy hair and nails.
  • Studies show that homemade chicken soup has soothing immune boosting qualities, not to mention the sheer comfort of sipping on a cup of warm homemade broth when you don’t feel well.

Here are just a few ways this super food broth can be used:

  • Base for any kind of soup or stew.
  • My mom’s chicken and rice.
  • Chicken and dumplings.
  • Cooking vegetables.
  • Instead of water in rice/pasta/grains.
  • As a base for gravy.
  • When making mashed potatoes.
  • As a braising liquid.

This broth can be frozen in large freezer bags for your next pot of stew or frozen into little ice cubes to use as a flavoring agent in sauces. I also like to freeze single size portions for those times when someone in the house isn’t feeling well.

If you don’t have the time to make the broth just freeze the carcass until you do. Remember, throwing a carcass away is like throwing dollars in the trash. In fact, I am SO sold on this idea that my roommates have started giving me their left over chicken bones!! (hahaha, does that make me weird?)

Step by Step

Use any left over chicken bones. It can be a whole chicken or a mix of legs/wings/thighs/bone-in breasts.

Put bones into a pot and add enough water to cover the bones. Yes I know, not a pretty photo – BUT, it’s a carcass!

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Cover pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes (until the cartilage easily separates from bones).

Remove from heat and let cool.

Put a strainer over another pot or large bowl. Pour broth and bones into the strainer, sifting out the bones and catching the broth in the bowl underneath.

Sift through the bones for any left over edible meat. This is what mine looks like at the end. The left is what I kept for my next pot of soup, the middle is what I will feed my little pup Snap and the right is the only part of the chicken that goes in the garbage!!  Look at that tiny pile of bones and skin – not much waste there!!

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……………… and the final product!  (Delicious, nutritious, hearty, SUPER food).

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TRY this recipe (especially if you hate throwing food away). Feel free to share!!

Come visit again for more wallet friendly kitchen tips.

References:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/16/bone-broth-benefits.aspx

http://draxe.com/the-healing-power-of-bone-broth-for-digestion-arthritis-and-cellulite/