Finally. I have finally concocted a cheaper version of the Raspberry Passion Mama Chia beverage my daughter and I love so much.
It was much easier than I expected it would be. I’m not sure why I kept putting it off.
I began by looking at the ingredients list.
Already I had decided to use pomegranate juice. Odd that that isn’t one of the ingredients listed. Pomegranate juice to me tastes like a combination of juices…like a raspberry/grape/cranberry combo maybe?…so I was confident that this would work.
First I prepped the chia seeds. I took about 1 ¼ cups of dry seeds and poured them into a mason jar along with about 30 or so ounces of water.
I actually miscalculated the amount of water I would need initially. I filled my glass bottle (see pictures below) 3/4 full with chia seeds, then added water.
That is not the way to do it.
Chia seeds absorb a lot of water. Like 3 times as much as the actual seeds.
So after that sat in the fridge for awhile I was ready to throw it all together.
One teaspoon of honey was just right, once I figured out how to stir it up (stir with a metal skewer then shake vigorously).
A bit of lime juice added to the pomegranate juice added another element to the flavor that made it pitch-perfect, and just like the Mama Chia beverage I remembered.
Rachel’s Copycat Mama Chia Recipe
Makes about 10oz (1 serving).
2/3 cup soaked chia seeds*
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon raw honey
1/4 teaspoon lime juice
Combine ingredients in liquid measuring cup.
Pour into desired container.
*To make about 25oz/3c. of soaked chia seeds, I put about 1 ¼ cups dry chia seeds into a quart (32oz) mason jar. I filled the jar with water, shook up the jar and let it sit in the fridge about 24 hours.
For 10oz of this Mama Chia brand drink from Aldi, it was $2.29. My version was only $1.28 for the same amount.
Granted, my recipe doesn’t have the same exact ingredients. But the taste is very similar and still delicious.
Apple season is upon us. I looove this time of year. Even if it has been uncharacteristically hot. I know that fall is on its way.
Today I wanted to talk about apples. About oh..2 weeks ago I brought home a bushel of apples to add to the peck I already had. I was planning on canning A LOT of applesauce and possibly doing some other things if I had any left.
This is what happened…First, the apples. I used 3 kinds.
Newton Pippin (I think)
My friend and neighbor helped me pick apples and helped me during part of the canning process. We picked about a 1/2 bushel and 1 peck of them. Ended up not using the red ones because they didn’t have as much flavor as the green ones, which tasted like a combination of Golden Delicious and Granny Smith apples.
After a lot of research (I love a good mystery), I believe these are Newton Pippin apples. They have some sooty blotch (a fungus) on them but peeling or scrubbing them makes them a ok to use. I found this interesting I thought they were just naturally that way. At any rate, they are delicious. Very crisp, a bit tart but still on the sweet side too. You can learn more about them from the link above.
The awesome thing about Melrose apples is that they turn the applesauce a pinkish-peach hue, depending on how many you add. I found that making half or slightly more apples in each batch made the sauce a pretty peachish color.
Cortland apples aren’t very exciting. They are quite similar to a Macintosh. Rather soft and cooks down easily. A nice white fleshed apple.
And now…preserving the apples! Here are 3 ways to keep it apple season, always.
You Can Can Them,
I used all 3 types of apples in my applesauce, but mostly Cortland and Melrose.
With the extra Pippin apples I made some apple pie filling. Not sure if the apples are suited for baking but I guess we will find out! I made an apple crisp a few days ago with them and it turned out ok. Took a bit longer for the apples to get tender but delicious none the less.
The Pippin apples are wonderful dried! So good. I did not peel them because I didn’t know about the sooty blotch at that time. I think its fine. I mean, I haven’t died yet. That’s a good sign.
I sliced them thin and dipped them in lemon juice, shook off the extra liquid and filled up the dehydrator trays. I think I dried about 8-10 apples total and it made quite a bit. Cheaper than buying it in the store and so much tastier 😊 My daughter L agrees!
I dried them for about 10 hours each batch at 135°.
I paid $16.75 for 30 pints of applesauce. That’s 56¢ per pint, 28¢ per cup and 3.5¢ per oz.
Apple Pie Filling
$1.43 for 5 1/2 quarts. (Remember the apples were free.) That’s 26¢ per quart. Hopefully I can just use 1 bag per pie crust but we shall see.
It was about $1.22 for 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice that I used to dip the apples. (Again the Pippin apples were free.) We can get technical and calculate the money spent to run the dehydrator for 10 hours each time but I won’t go there atm.
I made enough to fill at least 3 quart bags. Not too sure on the exact amount.
So there’s the breakdown! Pretty inexpensive to preserve apples. It may take a bit of time and patience but it is so worth it 🙂
Doing anything interesting with apples lately? Any baked goods with apples that you love?
Great website that has multiple handy charts. Mostly helpful for canning and freezing. If you want to know how many pounds/bushels/pecks you need to make a certain number of jars of a specific size, or vice versa, this should be a helpful site for you.
Lately I’ve been working on a big ole post of all things apples. Oh yes the marvelous season of apples is beginning! I’m so excited. I’m working on canning and tweaking a recipe for a certain apple dessert.
In the meantime, I thought I would share one of my favorite recipes for baked beans.
My mom and I invented this recipe together. It was one of those days when we weren’t sure what to have for lunch (I was a teenager at the time and still living at home). My mom had a brilliant idea to take a simple can of baked beans and spruce it up.
And this recipe was born.
Garlic, butter, dill and beans. That’s it! The flavors work so well together. Garlic and butter give it a great flavor and the dill adds another layer to the dish. Plus dill is a herb which is good for digestion and the…problems associated with eating beans. Haha.
I always use the cheapest kind of beans from Aldi (49¢ pork & beans). The type of beans doesn’t matter because the sauce will just be rinsed off the beans 🙂
4 Ingredient Baked Beans with Garlic and Dill
1 can pork and beans, drained and rinsed.
6 tablespoons butter (more or less to your liking)
a teaspoon or two of dill weed (I went heavy on the dill)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Preheat the oven to 395°.
Slice half of the butter into a small baking pan and put it into the oven to melt.
Add the garlic to the butter and stir.
Add the beans and dill.
Slice the remaining butter and place it on top of the beans. (This keeps the beans from becoming dry.)
Bake in the preheated oven till bubbly, 20 or so minutes.
It cost me about $1.50 to make this easy dish of beans. I used some garlic from my garden and dill weed from a bulk food store to save some pennies 🙂
Check it out. I made a blt the other day. No dairy. No gluten. It was super yummy.
I planted Goldie tomatoes (huge and yellow) this year and they are just starting to ripen. I was trying to decide what to do with them, although in the back if my mind I was wanting a blt. And I remembered that I like to eat my garbanzo bean burgers in between two slices of tomatoes instead of with bread.
Perhaps a tomato bread blt? And instead of mayo…guacamole. Just avocado, lime juice and seasonings. That’s it. Tomato, guacamole, bacon, lettuce.
Definitely not fat-free. But some fat is good for you. And who can argue with bacon? Ok maybe vegans. I couldn’t be a vegan/vegetarian. Sorry. I love meat.
There’s really no particular recipe here. I cooked up some diced bacon (a little over 1/4 lb). I cut up an avocado, mashed it (I use a ziplock bag) and added a bit more fresh lime juice than usual..since I didn’t add mayo. Then salt, garlic powder and onion powder to taste. I usually buy romaine lettuce whole but Aldi was out. I got some bagged Caesar salad instead.
And that’s it. This sandwhich tastes like summer and really hits the spot. Fresh tomatoes from the garden make this so good 🙂
This sandwich cost me $2.78. Not bad! Decreasing the meat and using produce from the garden keeps it cheap. I’ll use a bit less bacon next time haha.
A few days ago I accidentally made hot fudge. Want to know how? It goes like this…
My son J demanded wanted no bake cookies. I thought that was a good idea because I love them too.
Out came the recipe and I began making them. Butter, sugar, cocoa…oh and almond milk. But then it looked strangely soupy. Oh no I added 1 cup of almond milk instead of 1/2 cup. I didn’t want it to go to waste so…
I added double the amount of butter, sugar and cocoa. Let it boil for 1 minute as usual. Then poured it into a glass measuring cup. It was about 2 cups so I poured out half back in the pan and made the cookies like normal.
Except now I realise that I had a double recipe’s worth of milk and varying degrees of the others. The butter, sugar and cocoa were at the same level but the peanut butter and oats were still at the half-batch amount.
No wonder they looked like pancakes. Oh well. They still tasted fine.
What to do with the rest of the liquid? Well it certainly looked like chocolate syrup. I wondered what would happen when I froze it.
So I poured it into a cake pan and popped it in the freezer. I forgot about it until the next day when I brought home a pint of frozen custard.
When I pulled off the plastic wrap from the cake pan, the chocolate sauce had all the appearance of “hot” fudge.
I put it on my frozen custard and it was divine. A bit heavy on the butter but totally delicious.
Accidental Hot Fudge
1/4 cup butter (can sub non-dairy butter)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup almond milk (or other dairy or non-dairy milk)
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Mix all ingredients together in a small saucepan as the butter melts. Boil for 1 minute.
Pour into a metal cakepan to cool. Cover with plastic wrap (press it to the surface of the syrup) and freeze overnight.
Spoon or drizzle hot or cold over your favorite dairy or non-dairy ice cream/frozen yogurt/custard 😊
$1.24. Yeah. Cheap. If I divided the chocolate sauce and my pint of chocolate frozen custard into 4 servings it would only be $1.31 a serving. Even for 1 cup servings it would be $2.62. That’s about a dollar cheaper than the ones I order ready made.
I made this cake recently and oh my it was good. My son J recently turned 4 and I wanted to make him something special. He does not like cake. I’m just getting him into ice cream too. But he loves brownies.
And because there were some guests in attendence that cannot tolerate dairy, I decided to make this cake 100% dairy free.
I found a fudgy brownie recipe that I wanted to try. It called for butter and I decided I wanted to sub unsweetened applesauce.
Which led me to this article. Combining these tips with a modified version of the cookbook recipe led me to the delicious finished product.
It is wonderfully dense and moist. The flavor is awesome, even without butter or dairy. The substitution of applesauce for butter can make it less moist though, so its important not to overcook.
I made a triple batch but one of the 3 layers ended up becoming a bit singed. I used 9″ round cake pans, so my layers were on the thinner side. If (or rather when) I make it again, I would keep the recipe as is and use 2 pans.
My oven I set to 375°. All ovens are different though. Mine tends to run on the cool side.
Here’s the second part! The ending of our pizza story. In part 1, I showed you how to make pizza dough from scratch, without the use of a bread machine. I referenced Erin’s website for the dough recipe. It closely follows the recipe in her $5 Dinner Mom (2009) cookbook with the exception of 2 Tablespoons of Parmesan cheese added in the kneading process.
Here is where we left off.
During part of the hour that it was rising in the oven, I grated my mozzerella cheese. I typically use more than this. I forgot I was using it for pizza later and J and I ate some. Scatterbrained 🙂
Here I have made my pizza sauce and am browning about a 1/2 lb. ground beef with onions and seasonings (italian seasoning, oregano, basil, s&p). The pizza sauce is very easy to make. It is nothing but 2 cans (8oz ea.) of tomato sauce; 1 tsp. each of basil, oregano, italian seasoning, onion powder and garlic powder; and 2 tsp. of oil. I used canola oil. Olive oil would be a very good choice too. Tomato sauce, seasonings, and a wee bit of oil. That’s it.
So incredibly messy. Some like to follow a special technique for transferring the pizza dough to the baking pan. I don’t particularly have one, unless I’ve rolled it very thin. Then I will wrap it around the rolling pin and unroll it onto the pan.
I baked it for about 20 minutes, till the cheese was bubbly and just beginning to brown.
I had a few pieces. It was divine!
This pizza turned out really well. It was more of a deep dish pizza. The pieces in this picture were about 2″ thick. This is due to the fact that I made a whole recipe instead of a half and did not pre-bake my crust.
I was distracted and worried, as my son was developing a suspicious cough. Had I made a half recipe and pre-baked the dough, I would have had a wonderful thin crust crunchy pizza. Ah well. It was still plenty delicious! Next time I think I’ll work on some pizza topping variations. Maybe a roasted veggie or a simple pizza margarita.
Easy, right? The sauce isn’t a must, but I do think it tastes better than store bought. It also depends on which store brand you buy. Typically, I will do a plain cheese or a pepperoni and cheese topping but some variety (and some real meat) is sometimes nice.
All together, this recipe cost me: 99¢ (dough) + 84¢ (sauce) + $3.94 (meat, onions and cheese) = $5.77
Last time we ordered pizza at my house it cost us about $10 for a large pepperoni pizza. Prices vary by location but I think I can say with confidence that making your own pizza can save you $$. And even though it’s messy it can still be fun. I look forward to sharing this experience with my son when he gets older. And when I am less worried that he will turn my kitchen into a twirling snow globe of flour.
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