Stuffed Zucchini – Grain Free, Dairy Free

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Stuff Zucchini - Purposeful NutritionIt is the end of summer but there are still a few zucchini around so tonight I made stuffed zucchini, maybe for the last time this year.  I love stuffed zucchini with lots of cheese and veggies.  But my dd and my mother in law (who lives with us too) cannot have gluten or dairy so I came up with another version that I can make for them.  It is quite tasty as well.

This recipe is adapted from a cookbook I love, Simply in Season by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert.

Stuffed Zucchini, Grain Free and Dairy Free
Serves 8
A delicious stuffed zucchini recipe for all those extra big squash.
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  1. 1 large zucchini squash
  2. 1 lb. ground beef
  3. 1 onion
  4. 1 pepper
  5. 1 cup corn
  6. 1 -2 cups tomatoes, cut up
  7. 1 clove garlic
  8. 1 -2 tsp chili powder
  9. 1 tsp oregano
  10. 1 tsp cumin
  11. 3/4 cup almond flour
  1. Split zucchini squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Scoop out more of the flesh with a large spoon and put it aside, leaving a large shell to fill.
  2. Saute together ground beef, onion, and pepper until meat is browned.
  3. Add in corn, tomatoes, garlic, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and extra zucchini flesh. Cook on medium, stirring often, until liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add in almond flour and mix well.
  5. Fill the zucchini shell with the filling and place on a baking pan. Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until zucchini shell is soft enough to cut.
Adapted from Simply in Season
Adapted from Simply in Season
Purposeful Nutrition: Healing With Food.

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Cranberry Applesauce

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Cranberry applesauce(Photo by Liana Dages)

Cranberry applesauce is my favorite way to make applesauce.  It is a beautiful color and tastes wonderful.   And since I buy up bags of cranberries where they are in season and very affordable I usually have something on hand in my freezer for applesauce making time.

This week my oldest dd decided we needed to make some applesauce.  We have friends who don’t use all the apples on their trees and they generously allow us to pick what we want as well.  So we picked a bushel or so and went to work making cranberry and regular applesauce.  

Apple cider is not critical to this recipe but it sure tastes good if you can get some in there.  And if you use fall apples (and not the early tart ones that are ready in PA in July) you won’t need any sugar or sweetener at all.

The best part of the day?   When all 3 of my daughters were working with me in the kitchen making applesauce (and peaches too).  We were enjoying each other and enjoying the work.  I looked ahead and hope that when they have their own homes someday we can still get together and can each fall. 

Cranberry Applesauce
A lovely red applesauce that everyone will enjoy.
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  1. 12 cups apples, cut up into quarters
  2. 2 cups cranberries (1 bag)
  3. 1 cinnamon stick
  4. 1 cup apple cider (or water)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot or Dutch oven.
  2. Cook on low to medium heat until apples are soft.
  3. Remove cinnamon stick and put through food mill to remove skins and seeds.
  4. Serve and enjoy (or can some for later).
Purposeful Nutrition: Healing With Food.
 Shared at Natural Family Friday,  Wildcrafting Wednesday, Wellness Wednesday. 

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Best Nut Milk Bag Review and Giveaway

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This post may contain affiliate links from which I will benefit.

nut milk bag review - Purposeful Nutrition

I don’t know about you but I really don’t like making my own almond milk.  It is quite messy and I am also left with extra pulp that I don’t know how to use easily.  But I think we now have something that is going to be a game changer for this whole process – the best nut milk bag.  I received this lovely mesh bag as a review opportunity and was eager to see how it worked.  I have to say after making almond milk today that it completely changes the process.  It is so easy to clean up and there is virtually no mess involved.   You only have to filter the pulp once and none of it gets through the bag.  It cleans out easily and after making the milk and washing out the bag it shows no sign that I even made anything in it earlier today.

I also tried it with straining the whey out of yogurt to make it thicker and again it worked really well.  The bag was easy to hang and to use.  And it was so easy to wash it out after.  And I could easily wash it in the washing machine or dishwasher.   Plus it dried very quickly.  This bag is a keeper and one I highly recommend. 

Oh, and this bag also comes with a e-book of recipes for nut milks, juices, Greek yogurt, and a few other things, about 20 recipes in all.  So if you don’t have a favorite recipe for use with this bag there is some new choices before you. 

juice picture


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Cookbook Review – The Nourished Kitchen

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I received a copy of the Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther awhile ago. But as life is very full I have not gotten a chance to do my review until now.

Nourished Kitchen
Let me start by saying that this is another beautiful cookbook with stunning photos of most of the recipes (although a few do not have a photo).    She has chosen an interesting way to organize the recipes.  Chapter headings include titles like “from the garden”, “from the pasture”, “from the waters”, and “From the orchard”.   

“From the pasture” is the 2nd chapter in the book and the focus is on dairy and eggs.   She teaches several different ways to make  yogurt, yogurt cheese, clarified butter, milk, kefir, sour cream, fresh herb frittata, and olive oil mayonaise (eggs).   

This is not a dairy free, gluten free paleo cookbook.  The subheading is “Farm to table recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle.”   If you are looking to get back to a more traditional whole foods way of eating then this cookbook will be value to you.  Of the cookbooks in my kitchen, I find this most similar to the classic Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Eng.  Because it is not a faddish diet, this cookbook will last long with remakes of traditional classics. 

As a sourdough baker I was pleased to see a number of sourdough recipes, including “simple sourdough pie crust”,  “sourdough crumpets”,  a basic “whole wheat and spelt sourdough bread”, and 4 full pages on tips for working with sourdough and the starters.

Another helpful section is a 2 page spread on beans and lentils with a handy chart of different beans and lentils, their flavor, nutritional information, and how to prepare.  It is followed by a number of helpful recipes with different beans.

If you have been wanting more information about fermenting various beverages like kombucha, water kefir, and ginger bug sodas, there is an excellent section on how to make each of these, including some great ideas on flavoring the various drinks.

The only qualifier to this review is that some of the recipes do call for more unusual ingredients.  Stinging nettle soup or wild mushroom soup are probably not recipes I will make as I don’t really have access to either of these ingredients without some unusual effort.   On the other hand, sometimes having recipes like this in my kitchen push me to be more creative and get out of my comfort zone.  Jenny McGruther’s recipe for preserved lemons is something I hope to use if I am able to get a box of organic Meyer Lemons again this winter like I did last year.  I did not preserve them in her suggested manner because I had no idea that was even possible.  I would like to try it this year especially since fermenting the lemons means they can be used for up to 2 years.  Great way to extend the harvest.

Overall I am very impressed with this cookbook and give it a 5 star rating.  It has earned a place in my kitchen and I am grateful to have it as a resource.

For a look at the table of contents and a few of the recipes in the book there are several recipes at this link.
To get your own copy click on the link below.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Shared at  Wellness WEdnesday, Wildcrafting Wednesday,  Natural FAmily Today.

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Another Probiotic Review

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I believe probiotics are very very important.  And I eat and drink several high probiotic foods to ensure that I get a regular supply.  But sometimes it is not possible to get enough probiotics in our food.  Perhaps we just have not time to make fermented vegetables or water kefir or kombucha.  Or life is very high stress and the probiotics are just not keeping up with life’s demands.  Or our bodies are not tolerating the homemade goodies because there are so many toxins we are fighting off.  In those situations I recommend probiotic supplements.  It is hard to know what options are good among all the choices out there.

I had the opportunity to review the supplement Advanced Probiotic Ultra from Optimal Healthcare Labs. 


Probiotic ultra

When I use a probiotic I am most interested in the strains of bacteria present in the supplement and in whether they are alive when I am taking them.  This particular supplement has 7 different strains of bacteria including the well known L. Acidophilus.  It also includes L. Rhamnosus, L. Casei, B. Longum, L. Plantarum, B. Breve, and Bacilus Subtillus.  (Who comes up with these names anyway?)   

I am picky about what else is included in my probiotic supplement and this one stands a chance.  The other ingredients include magnesium stearate, vegetable cellulose, and stearic acid.  It does say that it contains milk in the lactose fermentation process.  So it would be a problem for those with dairy intolerances like my daughter but it is not a problem for those with a gluten intolerance.

The recommended daily dose is 2 capsules/day and there is a maximum of 60 capsules in a bottle.  So ideally a bottle would last a month.  At about $20/bottle this is doable for many people.

I would rate this product as a 4 out of 5.  I have no reasons to doubt that it is doing its job.  And I do think a probiotic is important for all of us to be getting regularly.  But I do not like that it is not useable for those with a dairy intolerance.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Dehydrating the Summer Harvest

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Dehydrating the Summer Harvest:  Purposeful NutritionI made a big splurge this month and bought the Excalibur Food Dehydrator.  This is something I have wanted for several years.  It is considered the “Cadillac” of the food dehydrator world.  I am not disappointed especially since I caught it on a great sale on Amazon.  I got it for $200 and at the time of this post it is still on sale for that price.  This is a $100 savings from what it normally costs.  I am linking my affiliate link if you would like to purchase your own.  (IF you reading this post some time after it is published the price may not be so good, but check it out and see.)


In celebration of my new dehydrator I have a round up of posts from other health and food bloggers with their recipes of great foods to preserve from the harvest.  (All images and recipes are used with permission.)


Sun Dried Tomatoes

  Easiest Sun-Dried Tomatoes from Whole New Mom

How to Make Tomato Powder from It’s a Love Love Thing

Kale Chips from Whole New Mom

Garlic Herb Raw Kale Chips from Recipes to Nourish

Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips from Oh Lardy

Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Chips from Happy Mothering

How to Dehydrate Beets from It’s a Love Love Thing

How to Dehydrate Radishes from It’s a Love Love Thing

Sweet Potato Chips from  Paleo Gone Sassy




How to Dehydrate Fruit from Don’t Waste the Crumbs

How to Dehydrate Fruits from Kitchen Stewardship

Includes grapes, bananas, blueberries, peaches, persimmons (never even had those fresh),  pineapple, and mango.

How to Make Homemade Fruit Rolls from Kitchen StewardshipI made plum fruit roll this past week with the dehydrator and it came out great.  I put in 1 banana in relation to about 3 cups of plums and it came out great.

Healthy Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups from  It’s a Love Love Thing

Making Fruit Powder from It’s a Love Love Thing

How to Dehydrate Kiwi from It’s a Love Love Thing

Nuts and Other Foods

Crispy almonds

Salted Crispy Almonds from Raising Generations Nourished

Crispy Nuts from Kitchen Stewardship

How and Why to Soak and Dehydrate Nuts and Seeds from Whole New Mom

Carob or Chocolate Coated Almonds from Whole New Mom

How to Soak and Dehydrate Oats from Kitchen Stewardship

How To Make Coconut Flour from Raia’s Recipes

The Easiest Way to Preserve Herbs from Whole New Mom

How to Make Beef Jerky from Oh Lardy

My son wants to make rabbit jerky from our rabbit meat.  IF he does I will give a special post just to that.


Raw Vegan Carrot Cake from Good Girl Gone Green


Shared at Wildcrafting Wednesday Wellness Wednesday, Natural Family Today.

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