Homemade Coconut Oil Mayonnaise

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This picture was taken immediately after making this batch. It actually thickens to a nice fluffy consistency as it cools in the refrigerator!

I have been on the quest to find a nutritious alternative to the store bought versions of mayonnaise that come filled with soybean or canola oil, two genetically modified ingredients that are best to be avoided. Read more about GMO’s here. I have tried a few different homemade varieties and have shared them here in the past, but either they tasted too strongly of olive oil or else they used evaporated milk. Enter…coconut oil!

A combination of olive oil and coconut oil is the perfect balance to providing a high quality and nutritious mayonnaise. (Read more about these healthy oils here.) Can you believe it? Mayonnaise can actually be healthy for you! We love mayo at our house on everything from deviled eggs, sandwiches, hamburgers, etc. This recipe is a good balance of coconut oil and olive oil in flavor. It is quite delicious! The coconut oil adds just a slight sweetness to it and yet not overpowering when balanced with the olive oil. Using all coconut oil resulted in a solid substance that was overly sweet and coconut tasting, but this recipe was prefect for us and stayed nice and fluffy throughout its duration in the fridge.  I love making my own condiments as I know what goes in it without any additives or unnatural preservatives! Plus it is the frugal way to stretch your budget.

1 whole egg (fresh, free range eggs from the farm are preferred)
2 egg yolks
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/4-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil (melted if solid)
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine the eggs, mustard, lemon juice, salt and white pepper in your blender or food processor. Then with the blender or food processor running on a low speed, start adding your oils very slowly. Start out with drops and then work up to about a 1/16 inch stream. It takes a good 5 minutes to accomplish this, but the end result is worth it! Continue blending until all the oil is incorporated.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Please in your refrigerator to thicken. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. You can add 1 Tablespoon of whey to preserve it for about a month and provide those good fermenting nutrients.

Note: If you do not like the flavor of coconut oil, choose an expeller pressed/refined version. This is flavorless and still healthy, although not as beneficial for your body as the cold-pressed, unrefined versions. I love Mountain Rose Herbs coconut oil, and they sell both varieties. Another good alternative is sesame oil, although again not as nutritious as coconut oil.

Recipe is adapted slightly from Tropical Traditions.

P.S. Looks like I am not the only one thinking about and experimenting with homemade mayo lately. Check out Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s healthy recipe here.

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And we’re back!

We had a simply delightful time at the beach with my side of the family, but we are glad to be back! Here are a few pictures from our trip. It was beautiful weather but we had lots of wind, as you can tell. We also got some cute family photos that we will have to share later…
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Salmon/Tuna Melts

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Yummy wild salmon or tuna is another delicious and light lunch. Fish is so incredibly beneficial for the heart and should be consumed regularly in your diet. It is important to make sure to select wild fish options. Why? One article shared the following report:

In a study published in the journal Science in 2004, researchers discovered that farm-raised salmon had more dioxins and other chemicals like PCBs—polychlorinated biphenyls, which the Department of Health and Human Services has determined are carcinogens—than in wild salmon. Not just more, but 11 times more! Another study published in a 2005 edition of the journal Nutrition found similar results, theirs showing PCBs were ten times higher in farm-raised salmon than in wild salmon.

1 (14 oz. can) wild salmon (we like the Trader Joe’s version as it is fairly cheap. Beware of small bones, but they are easy to remove prior to adding the rest of the ingredients)
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
3-5 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whole grain bread or English muffins
Tomato slices
Cheese, shredded

Combine the salmon/tuna, seasonings and mayonnaise until smooth and to your taste. Spread onto your bread and top with a slice of tomato and cheese. Grill till melted in a toaster oven or conventional oven. Enjoy!

Makes about 4 servings.

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How to Enjoy Reading Frugally

Picture 2In light of my recent post on building your marriage and one of the suggestions being reading together, a reader asked, “How can you maintain a reading habit frugally?” Here are some of the ideas that were shared along with some of my own. Reading is my hobby. I love sneaking in snippets of reading while nursing my baby, during nap time, and before bed as time allows.

But…the cost of books surely does add up. How can we pursue the joys of reading and all the benefits it brings without breaking the bank?

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Wahoo and to the beach we go!

It has been a long time coming and a greatly anticipated event! We are off to enjoy the Oregon Coast for the next several days with my family. We will be enjoying some much needed rest and refreshment. Blessings upon your weekend!

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Building Our Marriage & Strengthening Our Faith

It is a constant battle in this day and age to preserve, uphold and treasure the design of God in covenant marriage. We are no exception. I am often plagued with doubt and fear in my husband’s provision for us, or in self-centered thoughts of feeling unloved. Take that plank out of your own eye first, dear. We have found we must be active in preserving our marriage for the glory of God. God has designed marriage to be a reflection of His beautiful union between Christ and the church. Marriage has been the number one means of growing in sanctification and maturity in my life! Here are a few practical ways we are actively seeking to grow and cherish our marriage until death do we part….

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In Season: Strawberries

strawberryThose lovely juicy strawberries are coming off the vine and they are packed full of vitamin C to boost your immune system. Did you know that there is more vitamin C in the green leafy tops than in the red succulent strawberry itself? I freeze my strawberries for year round use and keep the tops on. When I prepare a smoothie, they get blended in quite nicely. Plus if you preserve the entire berry you have no waste and get more for your money!

Our favorite strawberry concoctions include…

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Homemade Bubbles for Littles

IMG_5238What fun we have playing with bubbles around our house! You can make your own bubble fun play with a simple empty spool of thread and your favorite castile liquid soap. Can’t get much better than this for frugal fun!

Supplies:
Empty spool of thread
Castile liquid soap (Dawn’s dishwashing soap, Dr. Bronner’s or Trader Joe’s castile soap all work well! I prefer the natural castile soap as my little girl likes to eat the bubbles!)
Water

Combine about 1 Tablespoon soap with 1/4 cup water in a small container. Dip one end of the empty spool into your soap and blow out the other end! I store the spool in the container with a lid until future use. An 8 oz jam jar works perfect. Have fun!
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Learning Resources for Toddlers

IMG_5848One of my projects lately has been to map out a plan for spending some more purposeful learning time with Karis this summer and into the fall. My goal is to spend 1 hour each morning, from 10-11am, during Titus’ morning nap, to have some special one-on-one learning time with Mommy. The first half hour will be an activity followed by a half hour of reading books together (keeping encouraging that love for reading thanks to the local library!). I am excited to explore together with her! Here are some of the resources and ideas we are using…

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Hummus Platter

IMG_5917 We stumbled across this idea after trying it on the appetizer menu at a local restaurant. We loved it and couldn’t wait to try it at home! It is best served as a delicious light dinner, for a Saturday evening at our home, or an appetizer with a Mediterranean dinner of sorts. It is hands on all the way! If you like hummus and feta, you will love this dish! When you make your hummus from scratch, this is a very frugal meal! Hummus is an excellent source of protein and nutrition from garbanzo beans and sesame seeds. Yum!

Hummus (we tried this homemade hummus recipe with good results using homemade tahini – it’s so incredibly easy and cheaper than the store! I used dry garbanzo beans, soaked them for 24 hours, and then cooked them for 5-7 hours in the crockpot. I added about 1 tsp cumin to my hummus with excellent results! Tahini, a main ingredient of hummus, can easily be made at home with a little coffee grinder and sesame seeds! Check out the recipe here.)
Crumbled Feta Cheese
Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Olives, kalamata or black, as desired, sliced in half
Naan, Pita, or flat bread (I attempted to make soaked whole wheat naan, but it was a failed experiment. For now, we greatly enjoy Trader Joe’s Naan. Next time, I will try this Whole wheat naan recipe!)

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Scoop a little of each topping onto your piece of naan or pita and enjoy!

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