Full Belly Sisters: February 2014

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Natural Berry Beet Juice Jello


We've been celebrating Valentine's Day a bit early in my house. We'll be away for the big day and my kindergartener is SO INCREDIBLY SAD to miss his class' party. So, we made these jiggly, little treats at home—and he felt like he wouldn't be missing quite so much. 

There's no need for those store-bought boxes of Jell-O powder, filled with refined sugar and artificial colors and flavors. Not when it's so easy to make your own gelatin with juice! I used this Mixed Berry Fruit and Vegetable Juice from Trader Joe's, which includes juice from cherries, raspberries, beets, and purple carrots. It's 100% juice with no added sugars and it's sweet enough to make this homemade jello a real treat.



Gelatin is said to have health benefits ranging from supporting healthy growth of hair and nails to boosting joint health to improving digestion. It provides protein and many essential amino acids. Add to that the fact that homemade gelatin means no added junk—such as artificial colors—and you've got a sweet treat that you can feel good about giving to your kids. 

Ingredients


Put 3 cups of the juice in a small pot and heat to boiling. In the meantime, put 1 cup cold juice and the gelatin in a large boil and stir, then let the mixture stand for about a minute. Then add the hot juice to the gelatin mixture and stir until the gelatin is fully dissolved; it should take about five minutes. If you're adding honey, stir it in now. 

Pour the mixture into a 13x9x2" pan. Refrigerate until it's firm, about three hours. Either cut into squares, or use cookie cutters to cut out shapes (my son likes to help with the cut-outs). I bought some mini Valentine's Day-themed cookie cutters, because I wanted to send you all a message:




Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Herbed Goat Cheese Yogurt Dip w. Caramelized Onions


Sometimes you just need to bring a healthy option with you when you go to a party. That's what I did a few days ago, when we went to a Superbowl party that was all about breaded and deep-fried foods (think wings, zucchini sticks, and trays of chicken parm). I was really glad I'd brought along this dip and loads of crudités, so I could munch all day long on some clean foods!

This dip is simple, especially if you already have caramelized onions on hand from our Foolproof Caramelized Onions recipe (super easy because they're made in the Crockpot). Or try this stovetop technique. I used dried dill and parsley, because it's what I had; if you have fresh herbs handy, by all means, use 'em! 

The dip is quite filling because it's packed with protein from the yogurt and goat cheese (two ingredients that are also usually easy on your digestive system). Plus, all the herbs add loads of flavor, as well as nice amounts of vitamins C and K. This dip is quite thick and would also make a fabulous sandwich spread.

Ingredients
yields about 2 cups 
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup chopped caramelized onions
  • 4 ounce log of soft, plain goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2 T dried dill
  • 1 T dried parsley
  • steak seasoning (I used this one from Urban Accents*) and/or sea salt, to taste


Allow the goat cheese to soften to room temperature. Then, mix all ingredients in a bowl, using a fork to ensure they are well combined. Let the dip sit for at least an hour (overnight is even better) so that the flavors fully meld together. I like to reserve a bit of the onions and the herbs to use on the top of the finished dip; it looks pretty and gives people an idea of what's inside!



*I purchased the seasoning, it was not provided to me for review

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