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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Simple, Savory Homemade Salsa

…simple joy by simpler living

Fresh and delicious! This homemade salsa is in a class of it’s own! Just like my homemade yogurt, this salsa is so much better than the store bought kind that it almost needs another name! With a mix of sweet, salty, and personalized spiciness, this salsa is a savory delight to your tastebuds.

With my home garden winding down after the summer, I always have a big crop of tomatoes in September and October. Making fresh salsa is one of my favorite ways to use them up.

I used to laugh when I was asked if my salsa was homemade. I would wonder why anyone would ever put forth all the effort to make their own when it was so readily available in stores. Then I actually made it and realized it was pretty easy. The hardest part is actually getting the ingredients. Part of the difficulty was solved by adding some of the ingredients to my garden. The fresh ingredients are always extra flavorful.

If you do not have a garden, these ingredients are easily bought at any grocery store and still give delicious results!

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

  • TomatoesTomatoes are good for the heart, eyes, joints and even skin!
  • Garlic – Garlic has many health benefits but what tops the list for me are the antiviral and gut health benefits. This can make a big difference in our immunity as our bodies can naturally fight off germs and viruses.
  • Red OnionThese contain many antioxidants helping your heart, reducing inflammation and a good source of quercetin. Quercetin is key to helping your body absorb zinc at the cellular level which in turn is a powerhouse for fighting germs we inevitably encounter. A healthy immune system strengthens the body and also our mind so we don’t have to worry about every new cold or virus that is going around.
  • CilantroExcellent for detoxification of heavy metals, among other things.
  • Lime
  • Salt
  • Oregano
  • Cumin
  • Honey – So many health benefits! Make sure to only buy local honey because it is one of the most counterfeited foods.
  • Jalapeño Pepper

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.
  • Calphalon Fry Pan – I recently replaced all of my old pots and pans with these stainless steel pans to decrease toxicity in my kitchen. After using these for a few years, I also see the benefits of easier cooking with stainless steel. I just bought a small set and found it has been enough. Simplified cooking is a delight with these!
  • 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 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!!

Simple, Easy Homemade Salsa Recipe

Quick and easy homemade salsa recipe that's delicious and healthy!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 8 people
Calories 40 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Blender or Food Processor
  • 1 Skillet
  • 1 Cutting Board
  • 1 Knife

Ingredients
  

  • 8 Medium tomatoes (Roma tomatoes work best)
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 1/2 Small red onion
  • 1 cup Fresh cilantro
  • 1 Lime (Juice only)
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tbsp Honey (optional)
  • 1 Jalapeño pepper (Optional)

Instructions
 

  • Warm skillet on stovetop over medium-high heat.
  • Put tomatoes (and optional jalapeño pepper) in warmed skillet and char skins by turning frequently until skins peel off.
  • Pulse the following in blender/food processor until chopped:
    Onion, garlic, cilantro
  • Add: lime juice, oregano, salt, and cumin.
  • Taste test and add optional honey if desired to tone down sharpness of taste. (Only needed if tomatoes aren't very sweet)
  • Enjoy with tortilla chips or as part of a meal!
Keyword appetizer, easy recipe, from scratch, salsa

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Homemade Mac & Cheese: Simple, Delicious

…simple joy by simpler living

It is that time of year again where BBQs and pot lucks are coming into full swing.  This Homemade Mac & Cheese recipe is one that I get rave reviews of every time I make it.  It is also very filling and easy to make so perfect for a crowd! 

What Makes It So Delicious

This recipe is not too different than other mac & cheese recipes (I mean how different can they really be with being mainly macaroni and cheese) so the key is getting very good quality cheeses.  That’s basically it.  Good cheese makes good mac & cheese. 

Why You Will Love It

Simple – Few ingredients, easy to make.  Shredding the cheese is the only somewhat time consuming part if you are making the recipe for a crowd.  To shorten prep time, you could shred the cheese a day ahead or have other family members pitch in and help with that part.

Healthy – Real, from scratch ingredients are always healthier.  You know exactly what is in this dish as you make it from scratch.  It does contain a bit of fat so it is not to be an everyday dish but from scratch real foods are healthier than any processed dish that lowers fat by replacing with artificial ingredients.

Filling – It is a great side dish for a crowd and fills everyone up!

Delicious – I know I always say this for my recipes but I only post the most delicious ones!

Great for Make Ahead Meals

This recipe is perfect to make a day or two ahead of when you need it.  Then when you need it, remove from the refrigerator and let the dish warm up a bit (if it is glass) before heating it in the oven.  Another alternative to making the whole dish ahead of time is to partially prepare it ahead of time.  Sometimes I shred the cheese and cook the pasta and store separately until just before cooking.  On the day I need it cooked, I can prep the remaining ingredients in less than 10 minutes, pop it in the oven, and it is done in 30 minutes. It is also quite adaptable and can be put in a slow cooker also. Instead of cooking in the oven for 30 minutes, it can be cooked in the crock pot for 3 hours on low. I usually do whatever fits best in my schedule.

Ingredients

Dried pasta – Any will do but I typically get elbow macaroni or penne pasta.  Somewhat small pasta seems to be better.

Cheese – The most important ingredient.  I usually get three types of cheeses and combine them.  I use  mostly cheddar, then less of asiago and parmesan.  Again, getting a very good quality cheese that you shred yourself is the most important thing.  If you skimp on this, it will be a very different dish.  I used to buy the preshredded for ease of preparing but after reading Real Food, Fake Food by Larry Olmsted I will never eat that again.  This book examines different foods and found that shredded cheese you buy in grocery stores is often not all made of cheese.  These bags also contain other by products: preservatives, stabilizers and in some cases SAWDUST!  Yes, you read that correctly.  Even if you did not know that, you can tell by the taste that a block of cheese that you shred yourself has a far better taste and texture than any you buy pre-shredded.  I have found that the more expensive the cheese, the better taste it has.  I am all for bargain shopping so what I do is stock up when my favorite cheeses go on sale. 

Milk – We limit dairy in our house but this dish is one of our exceptions because it tastes so good!  We also use A2/A2 milk from a local farm which doesn’t have the same inflammation and stomach irritation that other milk has.   Sometimes, to limit the lactose I use a milk substitute.  I like oat milk the best.  It seems to have the most neutral taste of all the milk substitutes and still makes a delicious mac & cheese.  There is no doubt, however, that when made with real milk it tastes better.

Flour – Any flour will do, just a little is needed.  I only use freshly ground wheat in my house for full health benefits and flavor.   

Butter – Any butter or margarine that you can cook on the stove will do.

Recipe

2 lbs. small pasta (elbow macaroni, penne,…)

5 tablespoons butter/margarine

3 tablespoons flour

1 cup milk

½ teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

6 cups freshly shredded cheese (cheddar alone or mix with asiago, parmesan,…)

  1. Boil pasta until al dente. Drain then put in casserole dish.
  2. In a separate pan, melt butter over medium heat.
  3. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly on medium, for about 3 minutes until smooth & thick.
  4. Whisk in milk, stirring constantly on medium-high for about 3-5 minutes until thick & bubbly.
  5. Add cheese to milk, stirring until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.
  6. Add salt and pepper.
  7. Combine pasta and cheese sauce in a casserole dish. 
  8. Sprinkle a little more shredded cheese on top.
  9. It just needs to be heated & browned on top so here are 3 options:
    • Broil in oven for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
    • Bake in the oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes until top is golden brown.
    • Put in slow cooker on low for up to 3 hours.

Serve and enjoy!  You are bound to get compliments for this one!!

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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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