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The Best Oatmeal Cookies with Freshly Milled Flour

…simple joy by simpler living

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Soft, delicious and super healthy too! These cookies are so nutritious they can be eaten for breakfast or a healthy snack. The kids will love them and you will feel good knowing that they are not only great tasting but great for you!

Having homemade cookies in my cookie jar makes for a happy kitchen! Not only does it look pretty but is so tasty and provides an alternative to unhealthy snacks for my family. How is it healthy, you ask? By using freshly ground grains, unprocessed sweeteners and other healthy real ingredients, these are great for you. They are filled with lots of vitamins, minerals, and heart -healthy fiber.

You can make any cookie recipe healthier by substituting store bought flour with freshly milled wheat. Freshly milled grains are the most nutrient-dense food so using them in cookies actually can make them a good souce of nutrition. What better way to increase your nutrition than with delicious cookies!

I often make and even eat these with my homemade yogurt for breakfast. The freshly milled wheat fills you up with sustained energy so you are not hungry for snacks. I eat these instead of granola to mix things up. They are also great on their own with a nice cold drink!

How the Ingredients are Healthy

There are many ways to transform regular cookies into a heathy treat filled with nutrients. The trick is to substitute unhealthy ingredients. Here are the healthy ingredients used in this cookie:

  • Freshly milled soft white wheat and/or spelt: Grains that you grind yourself are chock full of nutrients. Replacing store bought flour with your own freshly ground grains changes it dramatically from a health detriment to a healing food. And if it is done right, it will taster dramatically better too! I use soft white wheat or spelt, often a combo of both. Soft white wheat does not require yeast to rise so it is used often in baked goods. This is what I primarily use. Spelt is a lighter, fluffier grain that gives an extra rise to baked goods. I like to add it to cookies so they don’t come out as flat. The pictured cookies were made with all spelt so they are extra thick.
  • Sucanat sugar: This is an unprocessed sugar high in molasses from the sugarcane plant. Because it is close to its natural state, it retains a good amount of vitamins and minerals. You gotta like a sugar that is nutritious!
  • Butter: I primarily use my “yogurt butter”, that is the top layer of fat that rises to to top of my homemade yogurt when it is done cooking. I just scrape it off and save for later. You can use any butter or margarine for cookie recipes. It is trial and error to see which ones bake better. Newer research is showing that natural animal fats are overall healthier in moderation than a lot of the “low fat” margarines that became popular in the 80s. This ingredient of butter or margarine can be personalized to individual preference.
  • Raisins: Dried fruit is “God’s Candy”. Natural sweeteness straight from the plant with lots of healthy nutrients! Raisins are high in antioxidants, and a good source of iron, potassium, copper, vitamin B6, manganese and boron.
  • Oats: Oats are well-known to contain heart-healthy soluble fiber and these cookies have a lot of oats. Oats also contain a good amount of vitamins and minerals making it a great food to improve your health!

Where to Buy Healthy Ingredients

My number one recommendation for where to buy healthy foods is Azure Standard. I love the prices, variety of food, and the organization of buying monthly in bulk. The ease of their online ordering makes it a quick and easy way to shop!

Equipment Needed

**This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.**

This recipe doesn’t require any fancy equipment but I have a few favorite products below that simplify and make cooking easier. I’m all for cooking in the simplest, easiest way possible.

  • Electric Mixer: I mostly use my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer these days. It allows you to easily multitask and mix hands-free. I also have a hand-held electric mixer that used to be my full time mixer. Kitchen Aid is the only brand I recommend. After many, many breaking on me, I was told Kitchen Aid mixers have a MUCH better motor, and found it is so true. I have used these two for over 20 years on thick doughs and it has never broken. Kitchen Aid motors are really in a league of their own!
  • Cookie Scooper: This makes scooping the dough and putting it on your cookie sheet so quick and easy with no mess. It also makes each cookie the same size, if that’s important to you🙂.
  • Baking Sheet: I started using an insulated cookie sheet years ago and never turned back. Cookies never get overcooked on the bottom.
  • Silicone Spatula
  • Stainless Steel Fish Spatula: Sounds weird that it’s called a fish spatula, but trust me, it is great for cookies, eggs, and anything else on a metal pan. I bought this two years ago upon a big recommendation that it was way better than other ones. I didn’t fully believe it but needed one so bought it. Now here I am to tell you that this is the BEST spatula to use for cooking. It is actually the only one I use now so I bought two!
  • Cooling Rack: I like these better than the low ones because they cool faster by allowing air on all sides. They are used often in my house!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Scrumptious and very healthy oatmeal raisin cookies 🍪
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 30 Cookies
Calories 65 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Mixer with bowl
  • 1 Cookie scooper or large spoon
  • 1 Baking sheet
  • 1 Spatula
  • 1 Cooking rack

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 cup Butter (200 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cup Sucanat (or other sugar) (210 grams)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups Flour (190 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3 cups Oats (270 grams)
  • 1/2 cup Raisins (75 grams)

Instructions
 

  • Whip butter and sugar together with electric mixer.
  • Continue whipping while adding eggs and vanilla.
  • Mix in flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  • Add oats until well mixed.
  • Add raisins.
  • Scoop balls of dough onto baking sheet.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
  • Cool on rack.
  • Store for 3 days at room temperature or freeze for later.
Keyword breakfast, cookies, freshly ground wheat, heart healthy

Hope you enjoy this guilt-free treat!

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Simple, Energizing Breakfast Smoothie

…simple joy by simpler living

What is simpler than a breakfast smoothie! Quick, delicious, and an instant energy booster! We don’t need caffeine in our house, just a fruit smoothie to give a boost to start our day. I simplify our routine by making either a smoothie or a bowl of fresh yogurt every morning as our ” first breakfast”. (Yes, very Hobbit-like!) Here is the simple, fast way we make our smoothies …

Why You Will Love It

You can whip this up in 5 minutes and have a “first breakfast” for everyone or at least fill bellies up enough that they can wait an hour for the rest of their morning food. Smoothies are a great way to add in extra nutrients while still tasting delicious. This recipe is high in protein, calcium and antioxidants. With the extra vitamin C added, we are also boosting immunity first thing in the morning. And did I mention it is so delicious!

Basic Smoothie

The key to a great tasting smoothie is having a basic recipe that tastes great then adding extras that don’t overpower the base taste. My basic recipe is made of a mango or peach juice (no sugar or water added, just 100% fruit juice), bananas, frozen fruit, and unsweetened Greek yogurt.

I use Greek yogurt because even those who are lactose intolerant can drink it. I thought about making my own yogurt last summer after inflation raised yogurt prices very high and I finally did it when it became out-of-stock for a long time. It is so easy to make and incredibly delicious when made with local farm milk that I will never buy store yogurt again. But that’s another blog recipe😀.

Adding enough frozen fruit to your smoothie eliminates the need for ice or additional sweeteners. I usually use half tropical fruit and half berry/kale mixed frozen fruit. Frozen berries are key. Both blueberries and strawberries not only make it taste very good but give it a nice pink color. You can get away with adding some kale if it doesn’t change the whole thing green. Although, some may like green smoothies, but it wouldn’t go very far in my house. Lastly, bananas are a must for making it extra creamy and smooth.

Extras

I like to “sneak” a few additional healthy things in our smoothies that we can’t taste and don’t get enough of elsewhere in our diets. The kale in the frozen fruit mix is one thing that actually makes it in every time because it is tasteless. I’ve also used a little fresh spinach at times. Powdered vitamin C is an easy thing to add. I put in 2000 mg per person without it affecting the flavor. I also have started to add quercetin to help with spring allergies. This is a quick and easy way to get basic vitamins without me having to pester everyone to take their vitamin pills. I like to put collagen powder in just my smoothie, so I add this after I serve the rest of the family. I used to add honey to give it a little extra natural sweeteness but forgot a few times and realized it tastes good without it. There are a variety of extras you can add but I suggest doing a taste test as you add each item because there is a point at which the healthy extra dominates the whole smoothie and it goes from delicious to disgusting. Then you’ll get a bad rep as the smoothie maker and no one will want to drink your smoothies. I made this mistake when my son was young, thinking I could just keep adding whatever I wanted. I thought it was a great idea to add broccoli. The result: he wouldn’t drink my smoothies again for a year! Whatever you add, make sure it is still delicious. Some things, like broccoll, taste better as a dinner side dish!

Recipe

I blend the whole family’s smoothies all together in my Ninja Blender. This recipe makes three 16 ounce smoothies or six 8 ounce smoothies. I put the frozen fruit in last and softer ingredients first so it doesn’t jam the blender blade. I measure with the blender container as I put ingredients in to make it very simple.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces of juice (mango or peach are my favorites)
  • 16 ounces of plain yogurt (I use unsweetened, Greek yogurt)
  • 3 bananas
  • 2 cups frozen fruit (variety but always with lots of berries)

Optional Extras

  • Vitamin C powder
  • Quercetin
  • Collagen
  • Kale
  • Fresh spinach
  • Honey

Mix in blender and serve to the delight of family and yourself!

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Homemade Yogurt the Easy Way!

…simple joy by simpler living

Why would you ever want to make your own yogurt when you can buy it at practically any grocery store?  Probably for the same reasons why I started:  extreme price increases and low stock everywhere.  When inflation hit our groceries hard last year, I started looking at the things I bought the highest quantities of and searched for ways to save money on these items.  In my house, yogurt was one of the most often purchased items.  Yogurt had almost doubled in price so I knew something had to change.  When the stores completely sold out of the kind I bought, the time had come to be done depending on store bought yogurt. 

I decided to try making my own.  I saw on my instant pot that it had a yogurt button so pursued that method first.  After discovering how easy it was, and how delicious it was, I will never turn back to store bought!

Why You Will Love It:

Easy – It basically only has 4 main steps: heat milk to 180 degrees, cool to 110 degrees, whisk in starter/probiotics, put back in Instant Pot incubate 8-24 hours.  You just need some milk and a starter and you can make this easily at your convenience.  Once made, the yogurt lasts for weeks.

Immune boosting – Made with just milk and a starter, this yogurt is so much healthier than storebought with added sugars and many other ingredients.  You can incubate for 8-24 hours.  The longer you incubate, the more probiotics in your yogurt. I use a probiotic pill plus starter (3 tablespoons of yogurt) and incubate 24 hours for maximum probiotic cultures. More probiotics mean better gut health for everyone who eats it.  Gut health is known to be the center of your immune system. Having a lot of good bacteria in your gut (prebiotics & probiotics) help your body have the ability to fight off bad bacteria (viruses, germs…) when they come your way. (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-health-benefits-of-probiotics#indigestion) What better way to increase your immunity than with great tasting homemade yogurt! Brief testimony… My family has been eating this delicious yogurt everyday for breakfast since last summer and has not gotten sick since. Even when very exposed to illnesses where others got bronchitis and pneumonia, we just got very slight symptoms for a day or two, showing we did have it in our systems, but then it went away. Not a scientific study but we are pretty amazed our whole family just made it through the entire winter with not one cold, fever or other illness.

Delicious – There is no comparison to the taste of homemade versus store bought with all their added ingredients.  Top it with your own fresh ingredients and yogurt has never tasted better!  Even my pickiest eater asks for it first thing every morning. It is so good you may just want to serve it as a dessert!

Tools Needed:

(** For full disclosure, I receive a small affiliate fee through the Amazon links. Although, I only recommend products I actually use and believe in.**)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Gallon Milk – Any milk will do but I use A2/A2 milk from a local dairy farm.  This milk comes from Jersey cows and is creamier, more easily digested and contains omega 3s, higher protein, beta carotene and more.  To top it off it is SO much more delicious!  I get it delivered within a day of milking so that also makes a big difference.  BUT…. any milk will do.  You can get good results with any fresh milk. 
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Yogurt Starter or Probiotics– This can be something sold as “yogurt starter” or a regular milk yogurt that has live/active cultures. Read the labels to find one at your local stores. One brand recommended that I have had success with is Yoplait OUI Yogurt. I has live cultures and minimal other ingredients. You could also use yogurt cultures or probiotics. What I use is 2-3 tablespoons of my latest batch of yogurt AND a probiotic capsule (I open capsule and whisk probiotic powder in with the starter.) This gives me a thick, creamy yogurt each time. Only certain strains of probiotics culture to make yogurt. You can buy some specifically labeled for yogurt but I tried my daily probiotic pill because it contained many of the proper yogurt strains probiotics and it worked. It worked so well that I keep doing it with great success!

Recipe:

Homemade Yogurt in Instant Pot

simplycountitalljoy
Delicious, creamy homemade yogurt full of healthy probiotics
Prep Time 20 minutes
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 100 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Instant Pot with yogurt function
  • 1 Whisk
  • 1 Food Thermometer

Ingredients
  

  • 1 gallon Milk
  • 3 tbsp Yogurt
  • 1 capsule Probiotic pill (optional

Instructions
 

  • Pour 1 gallon of milk into Instant Pot & cover (don’t need pressure lid because it is not pressure cooked).
  • Push the “Yogurt” button until it says “boil”.
  • When the Instant Pot beeps, check the temperature to make sure it is 180 degrees.  (I find it is always at that temperature unless I have removed the lid during heating up.) (If it is not hot enough, you can turn to saute mode and whisk the milk until it gets up to 180 degrees).
  • Remove the metal liner with milk to let milk cool down to 110 degrees.  You can do this by letting it sit on your cool stove top for a while or setting the metal liner in a big bowl of ice water. 
  • Remove 1 cup of milk to a separate bowl and whisk in 2-3 tablespoons of a yogurt starter.  When this is smooth add back to the rest of the milk in the metal liner and whisk all until smooth.
  • Return the metal liner to the Instant Pot. Cover.
  • Push the “Yogurt” button again until it says 8-24 hours.  You choose how long you want it to incubate.  (The longer you incubate, the more beneficial probiotics it creates.  I always choose 24 hours and decide the following day when I need to take it out, depending on my schedule of when I will be home.)
  • After 8-24 hours remove the liner with yogurt and your yogurt is done!
  • Optional last step: strain yogurt in a yogurt strainer to make Greek yogurt.  Great option if you are lactose intolerant as the lactose is drained out.  I usually let it cool in refrigerator first. Enjoy!
Keyword breakfast, snack, yogurt

Ways to Serve:

Fresh bowl of yogurt – We love it best with some local honey, fresh berries, sliced banana and granola on top.  You will probably want to add some sweetener so the most natural, unprocessed sweetener the better.

Smoothies – This tastes great in smoothies. See my smoothie recipe: https://simplycountitalljoy.com/2023/04/28/simple-energizing-breakfast-smoothie/

Sour Cream – If you do not sweeten, this can be a substitute for sour cream.  Much healthier than regular sour cream.  This is a good alternative if you are lactose intolerant and can’t eat regular sour cream.

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Easiest & Healthiest Homemade Bread

…simple joy by simpler living

The smell of fresh bread wafting through your home is a welcome treat no matter where you are!

I have three criteria if I am going to put forth the time and energy to cook. The food must be: super simple, super nutritious, and super delicious. This recipe is a core staple in my house and meets all three criteria with flying colors. It is a staple because it is a very nutrient-dense, delicious food that everybody loves and there are so many things that can be made from this delicious bread: croutons, french toast, sandwiches, scrambled egg with bread cubes…

Making homemade bread can be easy and delicious with a bread machine! It is also extremely healthy and more delicious when made with freshly ground wheat . Chock full of nutrition and melt-in-your-mouth flavor, I like it best with a little butter and a drizzling of honey.

No Guilt!

Freshly ground wheat is the key! It makes a world of difference to grind your own wheat. Freshly ground grains contain a wealth of nutrition not found in such abundance in other foods. This used to be the norm in society until “white bread” became popular. It was at that time in food history that more diseases and inflammation entered societies. Most of the problems people have with gluten is because of the nutritionally stripped wheat used to make almost everything in stores and not with the whole grain of the wheat kernel itself. For more info see “The Truth about Wheat“.

It sounds so primitive since this generation doesn’t know about it but grinding your own grains is so easy. All it takes is a grain grinder and then the doors to an avalanche of nutrients come falling your way. This bread is low-gluten, high protein, high fiber and flooded with vitamins and minerals. The evidence is how good you feel after you eat it. High, sustained energy and a full-feeling keep you from craving snacks between meals. I was literally the queen of snacking prior to eating this bread. Then I started eating this bread with an egg for breakfast and it filled me up so much that I wouldn’t want snacks or even be hungry for lunch until about 2pm. Good nutrition is what our bodies crave. Even if we get enough calories, we will continue to crave more and more food until the nutrients our bodies need are eaten. Good nutrition is also the best way to keep our weight in check. Filling up on on nutritious food first is a sure way to keep us healthier because our stomachs will be satisfied and our cravings will get under control.

SIMPLE

To make it simple, I keep the ingredients on hand so it is super easy to whip up a loaf of bread at a moment’s notice. I have invested in a bread machine and wheat grinder. I didn’t do it all at once but got a bread machine first and used a friend’s grinder. After I made sure it was something I wanted to do long term, I then investedin a grinder. I have never looked back or regretted the investment! I am going on 7 years of this homemade bread journey and have continued to enjoy all the many health benefits. It literally takes me less than 5 minutes to put all the ingredients in the machine. Then 3 hours later, a delicious loaf of bread is baked and filling my home with a mouth-watering aroma!

Economical

There is an initial investment of the grain mill and bread machine but the cost of the wheat berries to grind is so much cheaper than store bought flour, bread, cookies, muffins,… that you immediately start saving on the cost of groceries. This quickly offsets the cost of the grinder.

Ingredients

Fresh, high quality ingredients are key! I try to buy as much local as I can and it really makes a difference.

Flour – A variety of freshly ground wheat berries can be used but my favorite is a mix of: 2 cups hard white wheat, 2 cups hard red wheat and 1 cup of spelt. All hard white or half hard white wheat and half hard red wheat. Spelt gives a lighter, fluffier loaf. I have made loaves with all spelt and it rises more but is a little too light & airy for me. I think the rise and texture is perfect when adding 1 cup of spelt to 3-4 cups of wheat. The bread machine settings in the recipe work best for me when the wheat is chilled first. I have tweaked the settings over the years and what is listed guarantees a great loaf every time for me. It is SO easy to make! Humidity and altitude affect the rise so it may need to be tweaked for different locations.

Honey – Since honey is one of the most counterfeited foods sold in grocery stores, I only buy local honey. The taste is so delicious, that we often take a spoonful instead of a less healthy treat to satisfy sweet cravings. I buy in bulk to get the best deal from a local honey farm. It adds delicious flavor in this recipe and especially when drizzled on a steaming hot piece of fresh bread!

Salt – I used “Real Salt” from Azure Standard. It can also be bought on Amazon. It is unrefined and natural and good for all cooking and baking. Again, I buy in bulk to get the best price so I can afford this high quality salt.

**For Amazon links, I make a small commission at no additional cost to you for buying through these links. I ONLY recommend products I really believe in.**

Equipment

 Grain mill  I highly recommend this Nutrimill grain mill. I have had this and used it a lot for almost 10 years never having one single problem with it.

I recommend it over the Wondermill for the simple reason that the Wondermill will break if you turn it off while grinding. It was a MAJOR problem when using a friend’s mill and flour was spewing all over the place so it needed to be turned off. The repair was a huge hassle and big expense. Seems to be basic Electronics 101 that you should be able to turn it off if needed without breaking the machine.

The Nutrimill grinds fine or coarse, making great bread or cookies. Therefore, my high recommendation is the Nutrimill.

Bread machine  This machine makes the best bread!! The custom settings and extra heating element in the top really makes this machine the best one that I know of.

Bread Box This is the bread box I have used for years with great success keeping the bread fresher than it does in other packaging.

RECIPE:

Healthy Homemade Bread in Bread Machine

Delicious homemade bread made super easy in a bread machine.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Course Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 10 slices

Equipment

  • 1 Bread machine
  • 2 measuring spoons
  • 1 Measuring cups

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 cup honey Tastes great no matter how much!
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp yeast

Instructions
 

  • Put all ingredients in the bread pan in the order above with yeast going on top of flour not touching wet ingredients.
  • Set bread machine to “wheat bread”
    or use the following settings if you have the option to customize settings on your bread machine:
    Rest: 25 minutes
    Knead: 20 min
    Rise 1: 45 minutes
    Rise 2: 35 minutes
    Bake: 1 hour
    Keep Warm: off
Keyword breakfast, snack

How To Eat

This bread is so good that you do not need anything on it but my favorite way to eat it is with a little spread of butter and a drizzling of honey. Have fun trying your own spreads on it to serve in a variety of ways!

Once you try this bread, you will realize how easy and delicious it is and you will never want store bought bread again!

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The Best French Toast Recipe!

…simple joy by simpler living

Sweet, soft and fluffy! This french toast recipe is the utmost of deliciousness! Made from freshly milled homemade bread and dripping with real maple syrup, it is a delicious and nutritious way to fuel up for the day!

All my recipes follow three principles: simple, delicious, and nutritious. This recipe is no exception. To make it simple and easy when cooking from scratch, I often separate things into different days. For this recipe, I make the bread one day, then french toast a day or two later when I have time. 

I recently made this with my new Sourdough Bread Machine Recipe and it was better than ever! Be sure to try different breads for different tastes. Freshly milled homemade bread is the most delicious.

This recipe is also a big time-saver because it tastes great as leftovers. I don’t know about you, but my mornings are very busy so having a nutritious prepared breakfast that just needs heating is a huge help! This french toast tastes great the second or third day so I usually make extra just for that purpose.

I love cooking on my cast iron griddle for even cooking and some added iron in our diets. When cooking on medium, it cooks to a nice golden brown.

**This post contains Amazon affiliate links where I make a few cents in commission at no extra cost to you, if you buy the product. I only recommend products I use and really believe in.*

We usually put real maple syrup on it but many other toppings taste great too. Feel free to share your favorite topping!

French Toast

The most delicious French toast from homemade bread.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 5
Calories 300 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 thick slices bread
  • 4 tbsp butter

Instructions
 

  • Heat skillet to medium heat.
  • Whip 4 eggs in wide flat bowl.
  • Add remaining ingredients and whip thoroughly.
  • Dip freshly cut bread on both sides.
  • Cook on greased skillet until golden brown.
  • Serve with butter & maple syrup.

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Sourdough Discard Bread Machine Recipe (with Freshly Milled Flour)

Simple Food

…simple joy by simpler living

The fragrant aroma fresh bread baking is something even the pickiest eaters can’t resist.  This recipe not only has all the deliciousness of freshly baked bread but adds the extra flavor of sourdough to give another level satisfaction to your taste buds!

Freshly milled wheat is one of the best ways to get essential nutrients in your body and what better way to do it than with delicious tasting food!  My regular freshly milled wheat bread recipe was so good that I didn’t think I could be improved upon in taste or health benefits but this recipe is an improvement in both areas. 

I have been trying and trying to find a way to make a sourdough bread in my bread machine.  There are very few recipes out there that don’t involve kneading by hand.  I have neither the time nor ability to do that because of several hand injuries over the years.  After searching high and low for a recipe combining a bread machine, freshly milled wheat AND sourdough – to no avail, I set forth to create one myself. 

I got a good taste on my first try but it took a while to get a loaf of bread that looks good.  First it rose too much and was a gigantic loaf not even able to fit in my bread box.  The next loaf over rose even more then fell creating a big dip in the middle of the loaf.  The following loaf was another fail.  Then just this week – SUCCESS!! 

This loaf has just part sourdough and part freshly milled flour. I will work on more bread recipes with increasing amounts of sourdough. 

This recipe is tweak on my standard freshly milled wheat bread recipe but also includes sourdough starter.  Sourdough not only has a unique flavor adding depth to the bread but also unique health benefits not present even in freshly milled wheat.  It is easier to digest due to the breakdown of starches before you ever eat it, has a lower glycemic index which keeps your blood sugar from rising as much as other bread, and contains probiotics like other fermented foods, which helps your body’s immune system.  The benefit, however, that you will notice first is… it tastes so good!!

The combination of sweet and sour in this bread is a multi-level delight to your taste buds!  When freshly baked, the soft, fluffy texture is literally melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

Delicious enough to eat plain or with a little butter, but most delicious with a little sweetener to complement the sour taste. Honey or fresh fruit preserves give a great result or when my favorite is when turned into french toast. If you thought your homemade bread couldn’t get any better, you have got to try this!

Sourdough Bread in Bread Machine

Recipe combining freshly milled wheat, sourdough, and a bread machine. Easy and delicious!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12 people
Calories 90 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Bread machine
  • 1 Measuring cups set
  • 1 Measuring spoons set

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter, active and bubbly
  • 4 cups flour Cool flour first if freshly milled or it may overrise.
  • 3 tsp yeast

Instructions
 

  • Place first 6 ingredients in bread machine pan.
  • Add flour on top of other ingredients.
  • Add yeast by creating a slight well on top of flour so it doesn't touch wet ingredients.
  • Set bread machine to "wheat bread" or with the following custom settings:
    Rest: 25 min.
    Knead: 20 min.
    Rise 1: 45 min.
    Rise 2: 35 min.
    Bake: 1 hour
    Keep warm: off
  • Enjoy!
Keyword bread, freshly milled wheat, sourdough
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New 2024 Recipes Coming!!

…simple joy by simpler living

It has been a long time since I wrote a new blog post but rest assured, more are coming soon! I have been busy traveling, dealing with health issues and…cooking with new recipes! All are from scratch, nutritious, and simple! Starting this week, I will be posting new recipes. I have many from the past month that I can’t wait to share with you! 

Healthy cooking the easy way for 2024! 

Let’s journey together with simple, delicious food for maximum health! Below is a sneak peek at some forthcoming recipes…

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Party Appetizer: Delicious Homemade Salsa

…simple joy by simpler living

Sweet, salty, and your desired spiciness, this salsa is sure to please all! This recipe is a tweak on my other salsa recipe and makes enough for a crowd. Perfect for any party you are cooking for!

With fresh ingredients, this salsa is a delicious topping to chips. It is also very easy to make with a blender or food processor. You can also feel good serving this at a party because it is healthy in many ways.

There really are just 2 main steps: blackening/removing the tomato skins then mixing all the ingredients in a blender/food processor. The recipe below breaks it down step-by-step.

Healthy Ingredients

Equipment Needed

**This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.**

This recipe doesn’t require any fancy equipment but I have a few favorite products below that simplify and make cooking easier. I’m all for cooking in the simplest, easiest way possible.

  • Ninja Blender – I keep things simple and do not have too many small appliances or gadgets so I like to get multi-purpose ones. I use this as a blender, food processor and smoothie maker. The motor is the best and has never died on me like many other blenders even after MUCH use.
  • Large Cast Iron Skillet – I simplified my kitchen by replacing all non-stick pans with just a few stainless steel and two multi-purpose cast iron pans. This large pan is so useful when making large quantities. Previously I would need to cook twice in a smaller pan but with this fabulous pan, I cut cooking time in half by doing it all at once.
  • Stainless Spatula – Sounds weird that it’s called a fish spatula, but trust me, it is great for cookies, eggs, and anything else on a metal pan. I bought this a few years ago upon a big recommendation that it was way better than other ones. I didn’t fully believe it but needed one so bought it. Now here I am to tell you that this is the BEST spatula to use for cooking on metal pots and pans easily scraping up all food pieces. It is actually the only one I use now so I bought two!
  • Cutting Board – This type have been my favorites for years- non-porous and non-slip.
  • Eversharp Kitchen Knives – I received a set of these knives for my wedding over 20 years ago and they are still sharp! I even run them through the dishwasher after each use – because I keep things quick & easy in my house in order to get more done. This link is for the current version of these fabulous knives.

This salsa is great on its own with chips or as part of a recipe such as tacos or chicken-salsa baked in the oven.

Enjoy!!

Easy Party Salsa Recipe

Fresh ingredients make this large, easy recipe a guilt-free snack! Easy to make. Sure to please.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer
Servings 20 Servings

Equipment

  • 1 Blender or Food Processor
  • 1 Large skillet
  • 1 Cutting Board
  • 1 Knife

Ingredients
  

  • 11 Medium-sized Tomatoes Roma work best
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 Red onion
  • 1 Cup Fresh cilantro
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 2 Tbsp Honey (optional)
  • 1 Jalapeño pepper (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Warm a large skillover medium-high heat.
  • Char skin off tomatoes by turning frequently in hot skillet.
  • Pulse the following in a blender/food processor until chopped:
    Onion, garlic, cilantro.
  • Add: lime juice, oregano, salt, cumin.
  • Taste test and add honey, if desired, to tone down sharpness.
  • Enjoy with chips as a healthy appetizer!
Keyword appetizer, fresh salsa, party appetizer
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Easy Hard White Wheat Bread

…simple joy by simpler living

Freshly milled grains make delicious and nutritious bread! This recipe uses only hard white wheat so is my go-to easiest bread!

This bread is so easy, it is my travel bread. It is easy to pack these ingredients to make at homes I visit. And everyone loves it! So much so that I am writing this post for the friends and relatives I just visited who asked for this recipe😀.

Although you can make this by hand, what makes it super easy is a bread machine. Any bread machine will do but I love the Zojirushi bread machine because of the large capacity, custom settings, and extra heating element on top that bakes the bread so evenly. The loaves turn out consistently good.

Why You Will Like this Recipe

Guilt-Free

Freshly ground wheat is the key! It makes a world of difference to grind your own wheat. Freshly ground grains contain a wealth of nutrition not found in such abundance in other foods. This used to be the norm in society until “white bread” became popular. It was at that time in food history that more diseases and inflammation entered societies. Most of the problems people have with gluten are because of the nutritionally stripped wheat used to make almost everything in stores and not with the whole grain of the wheat kernel itself. For more info see “The Truth about Wheat“.

Easy

This bread uses only one grain unlike the mix I use at home that is my favorite fluffy blend. With a little additional yeast, it rises well giving it a not too dense loaf.

Multi-purpose

This loaf can be used for sandwiches, a side to dinners, or simply a snack. While traveling, it served many purposes and fed many!

Delicious

This is so delicious that it was hard to keep a loaf around for a meal unless I put a sign on it to save it. It was hard to resist when the smell of it cooking penetrated the air so pungently. Truly mouth-watering!

Extra Large

This loaf uses 5 cups so it feeds a crowd! Under normal circumstances, this large loaf will last a while. If you are feeding a crowd, it may only last one meal but you will have many happy bellies!

Equipment

**I make a small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase through the links below**

Here are the grain mill and bread machine I have. They have been very reliable with never one problem with either. They make the best bread!! I travel with them whenever I can and they are durable as well.

 Grain mill  I highly recommend this Nutrimill grain mill. I have had this and used it a lot for almost 10 years never having one single problem with it.

I recommend it over the Wondermill for the simple reason that the Wondermill will break if you turn it off while grinding. It was a MAJOR problem when using a friend’s mill and flour was spewing all over the place so it needed to be turned off. The repair was a huge hassle and big expense. Seems to be basic Electronics 101 that you should be able to turn it off if needed without breaking the machine.

The Nutrimill grinds fine or coarse, making great bread or cookies. Therefore, my high recommendation is the Nutrimill.

Bread machine  This machine makes the best bread!! The custom settings and extra heating element in the top really makes this machine the best one that I know of.

Bread Box  This is the bread box I have used for years with great success keeping the bread fresher than it does in other packaging.

Ingredients

Fresh, high quality ingredients are key! I try to buy as much local as I can and it really makes a difference.

Flour – I suggest buying through Azure Standard. They have a large variety of high quality, organic products. This recipe uses hard white wheat berries.

Honey – Since honey is one of the most counterfeited foods sold in grocery stores, I only buy local honey. The taste is so delicious, that we often take a spoonful instead of a less healthy treat to satisfy sweet cravings. I buy in bulk to get the best deal from a local honey farm. It adds delicious flavor in this recipe and especially when drizzled on a steaming hot piece of fresh bread!

Salt – I used “Real Salt” from Azure Standard. It can also be bought on Amazon. It is unrefined and natural and good for all cooking and baking. Again, I buy in bulk to get the best price so I can afford this high quality salt.

Olive Oil – High quality olive oil can be bought from Azure Standard or other local sources.

RECIPE:

Hard White Wheat Bread

Freshly milled hard white wheat makes a delicious loaf of bread for sandwiches oras a side to dinner
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 15
Calories 110 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 5 cups freshly milled hard white wheat
  • 1 1/2 tbsp instant yeast

Instructions
 

  • Add ingredients in order listed to bread machine, adding yeast at end to top, keeping away from wet ingredients.
  • Set bread machine to "wheat bread" or the following custom settings:
    Rest: 25 minutes
    Knead: 20 minutes
    Rise 1: 45 minutes
    Rise 2: 35 minutes
    Bake: 1 hour
    Keep Warm: Off
Keyword bread, freshly milled, hard white wheat, high protein, low gluten

How To Eat

This bread is great for sandwiches or as a side for dinners: plain, with butter, or honey.

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Black Friday Deals for a Simplified Home

Below I have listed all the recommended items from my blog pages to make it easier to quickly check prices. I personally use most of the items listed below that have made it easy for me to have a simple, healthy home. Browse below and leave a comment if you have any questions about the products.

**I make a small amount for purchases made from the links below at no additional cost to you**

Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer – I love using a stand mixer because it allows me to multi-task and makes mixing incredibly easy. Kitchen Aid motors are the most durable. I’ve had this plus a hand mixer that has lasted over 20 years with a lot of heavy use.

Grain Mill – There are many grain mills to choose from. I researched and landed upon a Nutrimill because of it’s ease of use better quality and ability to start and stop it mid-grind, if needed. After owning one and using it many times weekly for over 7 years, I can attest for it’s durability too! A great investment! It is the gateway to massively increasing nutrition in foods you cook. Read my post on the Truth about Wheat to understand the immense nutritional value of grinding your own wheat. I own an older version which is not available but I recommend this one for it’s improved features and stone mill grinding.

Zojirushi Bread Machine – This is by far the best bread machine. Not only do you have many pre-programmed bread settings but you also have the invaluable custom setting. The bread pan has a nice shape and creates a beautiful loaf of perfectly cooked bread in part to the rare extra heating element on the top. Making homemade bread has never been easier or more successful!

Other Bread Machines – You can see from this link that many are on sale.

Ninja Blender We use this almost everyday for smoothies. Easy to make the whole family’s smoothies in one batch. Grinds up frozen fruit perfectly smooth when mixed with juice and yogurt.

24 Muffin Tin – I recently discovered a real time-saver:  a 24 muffin tin.  This saves so much time because you only have to cook half as much as a 12 muffin tin.  I realized that I stayed away from making muffins because of the time and work of having to repeat the cooking process 2-4 times, depending on how much you are making.  This has been hugely valuable in my kitchen because I always have several things I am making at once and it makes muffin making a super quick process.

Pot Holders – These are my favorites.  I got them because my husband wanted bigger ones that fit his hands and my arm got burnt from shorter ones.  These are now the favorites for the whole family. Looks nice and protects your arms too!

Muffin liners– Natural muffin liners.

Spatula – Set of nice spatulas in a variety of sizes.

Measuring spoons – These keep your drawer neat, yet let you take one individual spoon out easily. It is also so helpful to have two sides for multiple ingredients.

Measuring cups – Nice, durable and pretty!

Stir Crazy Popcorn Maker – We are big popcorn eaters in our house and this took our popcorn to a whole new level. We just got this a year ago & it is our new favorite way to pop popcorn. It makes the most delicious roasted flavor. You can use your own popcorn and butter to make it the healthy by using quality ingredients.

For Yogurt Making:

  • Instant Pot – This is the one with a yogurt function too. A multi-use appliance.
  • Whisk – This is my most useful whisk. The rubber handle makes it quick & easy to use!
  • Food Thermometer – After many thermometers breaking very easily, I found this durable one that has lasted a long time and is waterproof.
  • Greek Yogurt Strainer – I have had several strainers and find these round ones are the easiest to use. I use 2 for each gallon of milk. They are easy to remove the strained yogurt and dishwasher safe.
  • Instant Pot Glass Lid Because it is not pressure cooked you can get a glass lid for yogurt making.  I did this because I make so much and it is easier to wash & see inside. It also can be used for storing in the refrigerator.
  • Instant Pot Plastic Lid – I also have this lid because it seals well and allows me to store yogurt in the refrigerator while making my next batch of yogurt.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

…simple joy by simpler living

Thanking God for the many blessings He has given this year! Family, friends, salvation, amazing chuch family, and the sweetest son who just turned 18!! Life always has difficulties, but having a friend in Jesus who is there to walk alongside me and promises a future with Him in heaven is better than anything else.

‭‭John‬ ‭14:6‬ ‭NASB1995‬‬
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

https://bible.com/bible/100/jhn.14.6.NASB1995

Praying God’s blessings on everyone who reads this! May you know His peace which surpasses all understanding!

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Freshly Milled Flour

…simple joy by simpler living

Melt in your mouth delicious! These chocolate chip cookies are a guilt-free treat. Made with freshly milled grains; they not only satisfy sweet cravings but also your body’s nutrient cravings. With all the nutrients in freshly milled whole grains, these cookies can even count as a necessary part of your diet!

Why You Will Love Them

Easy – The recipe below is easy to follow and mix together. I keep all these ingredients on hand so theycan be whipped up in less than 10 minutes. It is also easy to double this recipe and bake for a crowd.

Delicious – These cookies are especially delicious! The natural sugar and freshly milled wheat give it richer flavor. The milk chocolate really sets it apart from other chocolate chip cookies. Because of the sweetness of the milk chocolate, this recipe calls for less sugar than other recipes.

NutritiousFreshly milled grains contain many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients like fiber. These cookies are no exception! Delicious and nutritious! That’s a good combo! By using unprocessed ingredients like sucanat sugar, you not only get more flavor but it satisfies like only real nutrition can.

Equipment Needed

Not much is needed for basic cookies but I have a few things that make easier. I only cook if it is easy and also don’t like a lot of gadgets so the equipment I use here is reused in many recipes in my kitchen to keep it simple, quick and easy.

**I make a small commission at no cost to you for purchases made through the following links. I ONLY recommend items I actually use and believe in.**

Electric Mixer – For years I exclusively used a hand held mixer but now, since multitasking even more, I mostly use my stand mixer. Both are Kitchen Aid brand since I learned they have the best motors. In over 20 years of heavy use, neither motor has broken (unlike the many, many hand mixers that constantly broke in my home growing up)!

Rubber Spatula Scraper – A must for getting the last bits of dough out of the bowl.

Cookie Sheet – I switched to air insulated cookie sheets years ago and will never go back. These pans prevent the bottoms of the cookies from burning and lead to more evenly cooked cookies. They are far superior any other cookie sheet, even the heavy duty type.

Cookie Dough Scooper – This scooper is an extra, as a spoon and your finger or another spoon will do but it makes it easy, has less clean up, and makes evenly sized and shaped cookies. It is one of my secrets to being able to quickly whip up a batch of homemade cookies.

Spatula – I bought these “fish spatulas” a few years ago and they ended up being so good that I never use my old ones. They are a thin but sturdy metal that easily lifts food cleanly off the pan. These are some of my most useful kitchen tools.

Wire Cooling Racks – A must for cookies! These cool cookies evenly and are easy to store afterwards.

Ingredients

Flour – I used only freshly milled flour so it retains all of its nutritional benefits and is lower gluten. Sometimes I grind the flour a few days ahead and store in my freezer. It oxides more slowly and still maintains most nutrients and is SUPER easy this way.

Baking Soda

Salt – I use “Real Salt” which is an unrefined ancient sea salt.

Butter/Margarine – I use “yogurt butter” which is the layer of fat on the top of my homemade yogurt. It does really well in baked goods!

Natural Sugar – I only use unprocessed sugars and try to lessen them as much as possible yet still taste delish. My sugar if choice for cookies is sucanat. It has a rich taste similar to brown sugar but better for you.

Pure Vanilla Extract

Eggs

Milk chocolate chips or cut up chunksThese makes the cookies taste SO much better than the typical semi-sweet chips.

Freshly Milled Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Delicious and nutritious homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 110 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Electric mixer
  • 1 Rubber spatula scraper
  • 1 Cookie sheet (with air pocket)
  • 1 Cookie dough scooper
  • 1 Spatula
  • 1 Wire cooling rack

Ingredients
  

  • 2 1/2 cups flour (soft white, spelt or combo) (300 grams)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter (227 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar (sucanat, cane sugar, …) (210 grams)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips or cut up chunks (170 grams)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl: flour, baking soda and salt.
  • In stand mixer (or main mixing bowl) combine at medium speed: butter, sugar, and vanilla until creamy and fluffy.
  • Continue mixing on medium while adding eggs.
  • Turn mixer to low speed and add dry ingredients. Turn back to medium after initially blended to fully mix together.
  • Turn mixer to low and add chocolate chips.
  • Scoop cookie dough into 1 inch balls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 12 minutes.
  • Cool on baking racks.
Keyword cookies, snack

Jesus is the Door

…simple joy by simpler living

Continuing the responses for the online Bible Study. All women are welcome to join at WomenLivingWell.org

Today’s passage is about Jesus being The Door.

‭John‬ ‭10:7‭-‬9‬ ‭ESV‬
So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.

https://bible.com/bible/59/jhn.10.8.ESV

I looked up a few of the original Greek words in Strong’s concordance and Vine’s Bible Dictionary to try to understand this verse more deeply. 

Door – G2374 thura

This is the same Greek word used in Rev. 3:20 of Christ’s “entrance” into a repentant believers heart.

Jesus is the door/portal/gate of the sheep/His children. 

Saved – G4982  sōzō

delivered, protected (literally or figuratively), heal, preserve, do well, make whole, inclusively for all the blessings bestowed by God on men in Christ

If anyone enters through Jesus, he will be saved/delivered/made whole...

Pasture – G5342 nomē (noun)

food (pasturage), (figuratively in John 10:9)

Dictionary.com– an area covered with grass or other plants used or suitable for the grazing of livestock 

…and will go in and out and find pasture/provision.

The Bread of Life

…simple joy by simpler living

‭‭John‬ ‭6:35‬ ‭ESV‬‬
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. https://bible.com/bible/59/jhn.6.35.ESV

I am doing a Bible Study studying many of the names of Jesus. When I saw this verse, I had much more of an understanding of this verse than I had years ago prior to learning about real bread made from the whole wheat grain.

To really understand this verse, we need to know what the bread was that Jesus is talking about. Bread was made from start to finish in homes from the whole grain to the finished bread. It is nothing like the bread now available in stores today which is devoid of almost anything good.

The Amazing Benefits of the Whole Wheat Grain

The wheat grain, in its whole form, is one of the most nutritionally dense foods. Once ground into flour, the nutrients begin to deteriorate and oxidize so it needs to be made into bread immediately to maintain its nutrition and keep from turning rancid.

To prevent flour currently sold in grocery stores from becoming rancid, part of the grain is removed– the part with the most nutrients. What is left is the least nutritional part. Basically all of the gluten and none of the nutrition.

Today, the flour and bread we have in our grocery stores, even “whole wheat “, is not nearly what was found in Ancient times. It’s really not even healthy.

So when the Bible talks about bread, it is talking about it using its entire whole grain, being nutrionally dense and providing a plethora of nutrients for healing and sustaining health. It was an essential part of a balanced meal necessary for our bodies’ daily functioning up until a century ago.

This bread is still able to be made today, you just need to buy whole wheat berries and a grain mill to grind it yourself. With the modern appliances that are available, this task is very easily done. I can grind wheat and pop in my bread machine in less than 10 minutes. Three hours later, I have steaming, moist, delicious bread that literally melts in my mouth. Delicious and so nutritious! Because I make and eat this freshly milled bread on a regular basis, I can attest to the difference it makes from other bread.

Nutritious, Filling, Satisfying

It satisfies hunger like I have never experienced before. Prior to grinding my own wheat, I was the queen of snacks. My pantry was filled with chips, cookies and other snacks because I was always hungry. After I started grinding my own wheat and making bread with this super food, I was no longer hungry AT ALL between breakfast and lunch. In fact, I stopped eating lunch at noon because I didn’t get hungry until 2 ish.

When I filled upon the best food, my body had more energy, healed up and didn’t hunger for less beneficial things.

So real bread that is referred to in the Bible is:

  • immensely nutritious
  • immensely filling
  • immensely satisfying

Jesus is the Bread of Life

In John 6: 35, Jesus says He is the Bread of Life. Just like real bread made from the whole grain, Jesus is the:

  • ultimate spiritual nutrition
  • ultimate filling of our souls
  • ultimate satisfaction

When He fills our hearts, we no longer yearn for cheaper, lesser things to fill us because other things pale in comparison to His glory and His love. Anything else that we fill ourselves with will only leave us hungry. Whoever comes to Him, shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Him shall never thirst. Jesus is The Bread of Life!

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