Spiced Blueberry Green Tea featuring frozen Wild Blueberries!

Blueberries hands down are my fave thing to have handy in the freezer. There have been many a times I made a smoothie that looked like mud and blueberries are my savior. They turn it a great shade of reddish purple and help cover any super strong spinach flavor. Seriously.. thank you blueberries for helping me lie encourage my kids to drink healthy smoothies.

Moms MeetWild Blueberry Association of North America teamed up to have bloggers everywhere enjoy these tasty, wild blueberries. What was the first thing i did? I went out and bought the biggest bag of frozen wild blueberries I could find! In this case it was Wyman’s of Maine. We did everything with them – added them to pancakes, smoothies, yogurt, granola and some homemade ice cream. (disclaimer – if you have a little one and they eat a ton – be prepared for their.. um.. poop to uh.. turn dark. Cmon parenting is full of these lessons right?!)

blueberries

Then I started to do some research about what exactly makes these little buggers so amazing:

  • 99% of the Wild Blueberry crop is frozen fresh at harvest, which locks in their nutrition and taste.
  • Wild Blueberries have a more intense flavor than regular blueberries. Wild Blueberry plants are more genetically diverse with thousands of interlocking plants spreading and interlocking naturally across fields over thousands of years. That diversity is what gives Wild Blueberries their complex and delicious flavor—an extraordinary mix of tart and sweet
  • Wild Blueberries are called “Wild” because they are not planted— they have occurred naturally in barrens and fields in Maine and Eastern Canada for 10,000 years.
  • Blueberries contain antioxidants, are low in fat and contain vitamin c.

Then came the task of creating something interesting with my blueberries. While doing some research I found everything from pickled blueberries, blueberry onion jam and a bunch of marinades. I wanted to create something that screamed summer. I also wanted to create something that encouraged eating blueberries while maintaining their health benefits.

blueberries ingredients

Spiced Blueberry Green Tea

6-8 bags of your favorite green tea (I chose my fave – Organic India Tulsi Green Tea)

1-3 sticks cinnamon (depends on how strong a cinnamon flavor you want)

2 tablespoons lavender

1 1/2″ – 2″ fresh Ginger (peeled and sliced)

1 cup frozen Wild Blueberries

8 -12 cups filtered water (really just depends how big your container/how much you want to make!)

Cheesecloth

Cooking Twine

The key to “brewing” this tea isn’t brewing at all. I call it refrigerator tea… Everything basically gets put in a pitcher and is ready to go within a few hours.

  • create your spice pouch. Cut approx 5×5 square of cheesecloth. Place the cinnamon, ginger and lavender and tie closed with the twine.
  • create your blueberry pouch. Cut another 5×5 square of cheesecloth and tie your blueberries up in it.
  • Fill your container with the filtered water.
  • Add in your teabags, spice packet and blueberry pouch and give it a stir.

Immediately you notice the blueberries turning the water a lovely red/purple!  Place it in your refrigerator overnight. Here is where you can get creative. Want a super spiced tea – keep everything steeping for 24 hours. Want a lightly spiced blueberry green tea – only leave it in a few hours. Same thing goes for the spice pouch. More ginger if you love ginger, more lavender if you love lavender. If you want a sweeter tea I suggest taking the blueberries out and giving them a quick spin in your vitamix and adding that to your glasses before you pour the tea. Talk about beautiful!

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Oh and if this is the first time you’re cooking with dried lavender.. don’t worry it’s completely okay to eat!

Everyone in my family loved it! Even my hate-to-try-new-things boys.. they were all about it! This will be our summer staple. The health benefits of Wild Blueberries, green tea and no added sugar. WIN!

Are you a fan of blueberries too? Follow Wild Blueberries for some blueberry inspiration!

twitter.com/wildblueberries

pinterest.com/wildblueberries

instagram.com/wildblueberries

And don’t forget to give us some love too!

twitter.com/matchingmummies

pinterest.com/matchingmummies

instagram.com/sjordanusher

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

Living microwave free – The Popcorn Edition

A few years ago we made the decision to live microwave free. We had one… rarely used it.. so it was the obvious decision.

I’m sure I could go on and on citing a trillion different articles as to why using a microwave is bad for you etc etc. But I’m not gonna. Google it my friends.

That being said there were a few adjustments. Like my favorite Whole Foods Market frozen rice. 😢 just not the same without a microwave…

And those awesome microwaveable scented pad things that you can put on your shoulders and neck. They’re delightful… But what to do when you don’t have a microwave?

One thing that’s MUCH better? POPCORN! Nothing beats stovetop popcorn… My popcorn could kick microwave popcorn’s ass. Maybe even that neat silver JiffyPop we all have fond childhood memories of.

Step 1 – use a large pot – like that you would use for pasta. Give those kernels some room to grow why dontcha?!

Step 2 – pick the right oil. Again there are a million different articles as to why one oil is better than another. Not going there. I choose Coconut. It leaves a very faint coconut flavor, isn’t over oily when popped and has some health benefits.

Step 3 – heat the oil at medium heat. Drop a couple kernels into the melting oil and cover. When those babies pop.. You know it’s time.

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Step 4 – pour about 1/4 – 1/2 cup into the pan depending on number of servings you require I’ve been making it so long I know that if I cover the bottom of my pan it’s approx 10 servings. Know your oil and know your pan. I usually add a bit more oil at this stage for a kick of flavor and benefits.

Step 5 – Put a lid on it! No seriously. And keep it slightly vented to let steam out.

TADA! Delish, healthy stovetop popcorn. No microwave needed. 😊

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I typically just throw some sea salt on but tonight I went all out. I threw on some Penzey’s Spicy 4/S salt. It is now my fave popcorn topping!

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***** What items did you re-learn to cool when you ditched your microwave? Leave me a comment! ***

xoxo
Sarah

ginnybakes cookies & mixes: gluten free, organic AND delicious? Yes please!

I had the pleasure of sampling some ginnybakes cookies and baking mixes thanks to the Moms Meet blogger program. I was blown away by the box of samples… what a great selection! I wasn’t familiar with the brand but have tried a bunch of different kinds of gluten free cookies… most of which were.. um… not great? However the ginnybakes brand holds it’s own.

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ginnybarsginnyminis

My favorite thing about these products (besides being non-gmo and organic) is how they taste homemade. Let’s face it.. when you had a Grammy that knew how to bake.. most store bought treats just don’t cut it. Oatmeal Coconut Bliss was hands down my favorite. Hello, my name is Sarah… and I’m a coconut-aholic. And they were just that, bliss. The Butter Crisp cookies reminded me of Christmas as a youngling. There is something about a buttery, sugar cookie that brings you back to being a kid. I think it’s the sparkly dusting of sugar ;o)

oatmeal detailsugar detail

 

Their ginnybakes mixes are just as great! I made the ‘lovely brownie bliss’ in my mini donut pan. I am not a huge fan of using oil in any baked goods. I’m the crunchy momma that always uses those handy little cups of apple sauce. (the ginnybakes recipe calls for coconut oil.. which i LOOOOOVE but ran out of in my AM smoothie). Using the applesauce made the brownies moist and cakelike. My boys went nuts over them. As you can see kid #3 was angry he couldn’t eat them all… sorry dude.

brownies

 

As always I try to learn everything I can about the product I’m reviewing.. Their website is beautiful and their Instagram makes their founder, ginny simon, incredibly accessible. I was in awe when she started to comment on my posts about the product! Most of the time when you tag companies you never expect to interact with their creator!

From their website:

“founded in 2010 by ginny simon, ginnybakes is the realization of a dream. combining ginny’s passion for nutrition, active living and baking, our products are a natural expression of her dedication to leading healthy, balanced lives.”

And you can tell by their social media that they live that mantra. Photos of food, life, family and wellness. Unlike most company’s social media accounts, I thoroughly enjoy ginny’s updates. As a consumer I feel better about the products I choose when I feel a connection to the people and the passion behind them.

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Last but certainly not least they offer ginnybars and ginnyminis. Peace, Love & Apple was my favorite. They also make Love & Nuts, Karma, Love & Apricot and Happy Chocolate Bliss. Crunchy and slightly chewy made this lady happy on her long commutes to work. And then once I got to work I knew I had a little treat waiting for me later. ginnyminis are the perfect little snack during the day. Just enough to take the edge off ;o)

peace love applechocolate minis

 

Please check out these links and follow kindly:

ginnybakes Facebook

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ginnybakes Twitter

matchingmummies Facebook

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matchingmummies Pinterest

matchingmummies Twitter

 

 I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product. 

 

More than refrigerated cookie dough… Chocolate + Coconut = Immaculate Cupcakes

Sometimes you want tasty confections without wasting away in the kitchen. I’m still waiting for the day we all eat little food pills like in The Jetsons. Since we’re not there yet, we do what we do to eat tasty morsels in small amounts of time. Enter: Immaculate Baking Company! IBC has been making yummy sweets since the early 90’s. The best part is that they’ve partnered with the Non-GMO Project which is a huge win in this household. For those of you that live under a rock GMOs stand for ‘genetically modified organisms’ – basically food that has been bioengineered to be larger, heartier and resistant to pests. I’m not sure about you.. but I don’t want MY family eating food that has been created in a lab. Definitely check out the Non-GMO Project website for more info!

The lovely folks at IBC sent us a care package filled with refrigerated goodies (Check out our latest blog for a recipe for Sausage CinnaSwirls!) including their 2 latest refrigerated cookies: Coconut Macaroons and GLUTEN FREE Peanut Butter cookies!

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I decided to kick it up a bit and made:

Immaculate Cupcakes!

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1 cup milk alternative, we used Coconut!
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4oz cup of applesauce
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose unbromated flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder – I used Valrhona
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 package Immaculate Baking Coconut Macaroons

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Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin cups!

Whisk together the coconut milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle.

Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla extract to the coconut milk mixture and beat well.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add little by little to the wet ingredients.

Pour tasty looking cupcake batter into liners filling 1/2 way. I experimented adding the coconut macaroons whole or in pieces and hands down adding them whole was WAYYYY more satisfying. Put them in the batter and then top with the remaining batter. You should have enough to make 12 cupcakes!

Bake 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Put them on a cool surface and have them cool completely.

For the frosting I made a simple Chocolate Ganache:

8oz Chocolate Chips

1/2 cup heavy cream

Cook the chocolate chips and heavy cream in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. I transferred mine to the refrigerator to help it cool quickly and stiffen up.

Once everything is cooled, frost the cupcakes and garnish with shredded coconut!

TADA! Tasty, decadent cupcakes in a reasonable amount of time!!!

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disclaimer: Immaculate Baking sent me free product to review on our blog. Also note that matchingmummies does not accept any liability from the purchase or use of any products reviewed on this blog.

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Foodie Friday – Sausage CinnaSwirls

The lovely folks at Immaculate Baking sent us some fab samples of their latest cookie creations. They were also kind enough to throw in a can of their tasty cinnamon rolls!

I was looking for a different way to use them, Pinterest had some awesome ones! I wish I had a waffle iron because throwing some flattened cinnamon buns on the grill looked great. But I digress.. Nothing screamed out awesomeness to me. So I thought.. Sweet & Savory.. Cinnamon buns and pork sausages!!

Think pigs in a blanket.. But using cinnamon rolls. Brilliant I know! All you need is Immaculate Baking Cinnamon Rolls and frozen cooked sausages. I chose Wellshire maple pork sausages. Neither item has anything artificial, preservatives or colors. Super important when I’m cooking for the Fam.

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Anyone else love popping open cans of rolls?! Love it.

-Preheat the oven to 350°
-Unroll 1 cinnamon roll and cut in half
-Roll each piece of roll around a sausage link
-Depending on what sausage you use it might be better to cut each roll into 3rds.
-Throw em in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
-After 20 minutes keep a watchful eye every couple minutes. Make sure they’re not browning too much but also check to make sure they’re not too doughy.

My boys LOVED these… So did the Husband. These Sausage CinnaSwirls would be perfect for a family brunch or early AM tailgating.

xo Sarah

disclaimer: Immaculate Baking sent me free product to review on our blog. Also note that matchingmummies does not accept any liability from the purchase or use of any products reviewed on this blog.

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