Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Mmmm, pumpkin!! Doesn’t get anymore delicious does it?

If you’re like me, you got a bunch of pumpkins/squashes right after Halloween when everybody had them marked way down! My favorite local pumpkin spot had everything for $1.00. You can bet your bottoms I stocked up!! Now that my freezer and kitchen and hallways are full of pumpkin, I’m making quite a lot of pumpkin-y things!

This recipe is super tasty, vegan or not!

We are not vegans (not even vegetarians!!) I just have a tendency to run out of eggs at the weirdest, most inconvenient times, so I end up making/testing/trying quite a lot of vegan recipes!

This bread is very sweet, and could easily be used for a dessert as its also moist and dense.

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

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Ingredients-
4 tbsp. chia seeds
6 tbsp. water
1/2 c. organic cane sugar (or sucunat)
1/2 c. melted coconut oil
1 c. cooked pumpkin (pureed or not, I never puree my pumpkin)
1.5 c. organic unbleached white flour
A pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix the chia seeds with the water, stir them and let them sit for 5 minutes (I usually melt the coconut oil while I’m waiting for the seeds to gel!). The seeds will form a gooey substance very similar to an egg*. When the 5 minutes are up, add in the oil and sugar. Whisk it together as much as it will combine. Add in all of the other ingredients and mix it together very thoroughly. Dump the batter into a well greased bread pan and bake for 50 minutes. It won’t rise too much and it will feel sturdy and not liquid-y when you tap the top of the loaf if it’s done. Let it cool completely before you cut it.

*If you want to use eggs instead of chia seeds, add 2 eggs and leave out the water and chia seeds.

Peace, love and blessings!

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Homemade, All Natural Deodorant!

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Did you know your deodorant is (more then likely) incredibly toxic?? If you haven’t, I’m sorry I have to be the one to tell you. There is aluminum and other toxic chemical ingredients in deodorant. When you rub it into your underarm (right near your breast and all over your lymph nodes) your pretty much just rubbing a lovely smelling toxin right into your skin. Its not pretty to think about, and its really not very healthy!

Out of all things natural, organic, chemical free, good for the enviroment and healthy, a good deodorant is near impossible to find. I’ve looked. My mom has looked. My sister has looked. Its tough!!

However, the stuff I make, is amazing. I never smell when I wear it, its easy to apply, its super cheap, it takes 5 minutes to mix up and its really natural and chemical free!!

Now that I’ve thoroughly talked it up, here’s the recipe!

Equal parts arrow root powder and baking soda (for instance, you want 1 cup of deodorant, use 1/2 c. arrow root, 1/2 c. baking soda)
A little coconut oil
A few drops of tea tree oil

Mix the baking soda and arrow root together and make sure they are combined. Stir in just enough coconut oil for it to come together and seem moist. It needs to be wet enough to be combined, but not so wet its runny. Add a few drops of tea tree oil, and your done!

I store mine in a dark cool place in a Mason jar.

To apply it, scoop some out onto your finger (I put just enough to cover my finger pad) and rub it onto your underarm. It may look a little white, but it melts into your skin after a minute or so. (If your wearing black, and can’t wait a minute, you can also continue to rub it until its totally invisible).

Now go remove your body odor naturally!!!

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Tomato Wild Rice Soup

Ahhh, fall!! My FAVORITE season!! Why?? Sweaters and soup. I love sweaters and soup. If it were more logical, I could totally live off soup. Sometimes I feel like I’m cheating on my husband with soup I love it so much.

This wonderful soup warms me to the bone and tastes fantastic!

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Tomato Wild Rice Soup

You will need:

1 28 oz. can organic tomatoes (whole, diced, crushed, any way!) or approx. 4 large fresh tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock (homemade would be best!)
1 large chopped organic onion
1/2 cup organic wild rice
2 tbsp. organic olive oil
3 cloves of chopped organic garlic
1 tbsp. dried organic basil
1 tbsp. dried organic parsley
2 tbsp. organic, unbleached sugar (you can leave this out if you want!)
Salt and Pepper
Optional- 1 tsp. organic crushed red pepper

Put everything except the stock, rice and the tomatoes in pot and cook it in the olive oil until the onions are withered and soft. Take the pot off the stove. If you have an immersion blender, add the tomatoes and the stock to the pot and blend it until the tomatoes are no longer chunky. If you don’t have an immersion blender, put the tomatoes (with the juice the come in) in a food processor until they are smooth then add them to the pot. Return the pot to the stove and add the rice. Bring it to a boil then reduce it to a simmer for 40-45 minutes or until the rice is cooked through and tender.

That’s it!! Its super easy and delicious =) I like it with freshly grated Parmesan and some homemade bread!!

Stay tuned for an easy, homemade deodorant recipe later this week!!

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Vanilla, Almond, Chia Seed Granola

Granola is about 1million times easier to make then you think it is. It’s incredibly easy.

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I love granola but pretty much no matter where you get it, what brand it is, how expensive it is, whether the box says organic, all natural or additive free, it is almost always full of some weird unhealthy ingredients. It might be delicious, but it ain’t good for you. Homemade makes an awesome on the go snack, or an insanely delicious breakfast.

What you’ll need:

3 1/2 c. organic rolled oats (not quick oats or anything, just plain ole oats)
3/4 c. chopped organic almonds
1/4 c. organic chia seeds
1/2 c. organic evaporated cane juice (sugar)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

In a bowl, mix together the oats, almonds and chia seeds. Mix the sugar, seal salt and water in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil while whisking regularly so it doesn’t burn. Stir it for 1 minute and remove it from the heat. Add the coconut oil and vanilla. Pour all the liquid into the bowl with the oat mix. Stir it until everything is completely covered. Spread the mix out onto a baking sheet covered in unbleached parchment paper (or and oiled cake pan) and with lightly oiled fingers press it down to into a thin sheet. Put it in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until its dry and crunchy all the way through.

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Let it cool for 2-4 hours and break it up into small pieces.

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Store sealed in a cool dry place. I’m working on figuring how to make granola bars, but its more difficult to make into bars then I thought it would be. When I figure it out, I’ll let you know how it went =)

My favorite way to eat this granola is in a bowl with some ice cold raw milk on it. Its amazing.

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Obviously you can eat it anyway you like granola though. Enjoy!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Chicken & Israeli Couscous in Pan Gravy Sauce

This was a huge hit at my house. My husband gave me 5 stars on it, and even compared it in deliciousness to our at-home-honeymoon lobster dinner.

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I use all organic ingredients and local whenever possible. While its not necessary to make this recipe, I strongly suggest it and personally feel its the best way to eat anything =)

For the chicken:

2 pastured chicken legs*
2 chopped cloves of garlic
1 chopped tomato
1/2 an onion
A big pinch of oregano
3 tsp. dried cilantro
1 tbsp. cumin
A big pinch of cayenne pepper and paprika
2 cups water
2 tbsp. coconut oil
Generous pinches of salt and pepper

(*We generally don’t eat this much meat in one sitting, for a less meaty version, you can make 1 chicken breast and shred it into small pieces and mix it into the couscous.)

Over a medium heat put everything but the water and cook until the chicken is browned on both sides and has started to cook through (easy, huh?).

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Add the 2 cups of water, cover and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked completely. Which should be between 20-30 minutes. Take the chicken out and set it too the side, but save all the water you cooked it in and all the drippings/scraps/juice in the pan.

For the Couscous & Gravy:

2 cups Israeli couscous
4 cups homemade chicken broth
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour

Bring the broth to a boil, add the 2 cups of couscous and remove it from the heat. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes to let the couscous cook.

In a separate pot melt the butter and mix the flour in. Whisk constantly until it starts to bubble then (while still whisking) cook for 1 minute. For those of you that don’t know, this is called a roux. Add all the cooking liquid from the chicken and stir until it starts to thicken.

Mix the gravy and the couscous together.

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It may not look the prettiest, but man oh man, its delicious.

Oven Baked Green Beans:

Even though these aren’t in the post title, you gotta have your veggies and these are amazing. I absolutely can’t stand cooked veggies 95% of the time. But I love these so much I scarf them down the second they’re cooked.

Coat the green beans in coconut oil then add generous amounts of salt and pepper (I like to add a pinch of cayenne pepper for heat, but this is totally optional). Bake them in the oven at 400 degrees. Bake them for 7 minutes, stir them around and bake them for another 5, or until they start to get brown.

SO GOOD!!!

Enjoy!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Epic Healing Salve

Hey guys! Don’t forget to ‘like’ me on Facebook!! I only need 100 total likes by August 11th likes to do a giveaway of 6 half gallon mason jars!!

I’ve been debating weather or not I should share this recipe. I adjusted another bloggers recipe to make mine, so its kind of from another blogger (which you should go read so you can decide which way works best for you!). But in the end, its just the most amazing salve ever so I decided you all needed to see how to make some!!

Epic Healing Salve

(Salve is pronounced sav, in case you didn’t know ….)

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This particular salve is made from the leaves of the plantain leaf. (Not the starchy banana looking fruit plant). Plantain (broad leaf or narrow leaf) can almost certainly be found in your yard or a nearby field. I used broad leaf plantain for my recipe but you could use narrow leaf plantain if that’s what you find.

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This is what the leaves look like. They are easy to identify by the thick veins that run through them in one direction and the flower stems are thick, green spikes out of the middle.

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The plant in its natural environment

This plant is really an amazing plant. You may think its a weed but its pretty awesome. Its edible (just like salad greens or cooked in a recipe in place of any greens) and medicinal. If you get stung by a bee just pick a leaf of this, chew it up and rub the poultice on the sting. It removes the stinger, stops the swelling, eases the pain and eases the itchiness.

How to make the salve-

You will need:

A mason jar loosely pack with plantain leaves* Organic Olive Oil Beeswax (Buy here) Coconut Oil (Buy here)

(*I didn’t put amounts because its how much you want to make. I used a quart jar 3/4 full of leaves and got a pint and a half of salve and half a pint of leftover infused oil. As far as beeswax and coconut oil go, use 2 tablespoons of each per 1/2 cup of oil.)

Process:

The leaves in the oil

The leaves in the oil

Add enough olive oil to your mason jar to cover your leaves (I used about 2 cups for my quart jar). Here’s where I do my own thing. Put the jar of oil in a cool, dark place. Take it out and shake it twice a day (or more) for 2 weeks. At the end of the two weeks strain the leaves out. Squeeze them in your fingers to get all of the oil out. You don’t want to waste any. Get rid of the leaves however you see fit (or save them and use them as a poultice). Put the oil in a sauce pan and melt the coconut oil ad beeswax into it over as low of heat as you can. You heat it on low heat so you don’t disrupt the nature of the beeswax.

Pour it into sterilized mason jars and let it cool. Its ready to use immediately. It lasts for a year stored in a cool, dark place.

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So what do you use it on??

Everything!!

Ok, not quite, but almost!

It stops bug bites from itching along with making them go away quicker, it helps stings, scratches, small cuts, bruises and poison ivy. It also really helps new tattoos and piercings. I recently got a new tattoo and its healing up very nicely. It was one of the most painful tattoos I’ve gotten and the salve really helps when it starts burning and itching.

Just because I mentioned it, this is the tattoo I got. It was a horrible, crappy, scratcher tattoo (just thick, black letters) that my favorite artist over at Inner Vision Body Art fixed for me =)

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Anyways, back to the salve, I’ve been rubbing it on everything. Its fantastic!!

So go make some!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Wildcrafting Wednesday Featured Blogger Award

This post was shared on Thank Goodness It’s Monday, Natural Living Monday, Party Wave Wednesday, The Blog Strut and Wildcrafting Wednesday!

DIY 5 Gallon Water Filter for $30!

Yup, you read right. A 5 gallon water gravity water filter for $30.

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I have always wanted a Berkey water filter. Tall, shiny, silver, water purifying happiness. But the price tag?? Waaaay out of my budget. The 3.25 gallon Berkey is $283.00. Almost half one month’s rent. And twice the cost of monthly utilities. Now, don’t get me wrong, Berkey’s are awesome and I would still like to get one. But its a big purchase and would require saving a lot of money and a lot of time. I need clean, good drinking water now.

So about a month ago I entered a giveaway to win a royal Berkey (which I didn’t win). One of the entries was earned by commenting on the blog post. A few days later I got a Facebook message on the blogs Facebook. A really nice guy messaged me and told me you can make your own for around $30!! It had never even crossed my mind. So he showed me his, and I researched it more online to see what I could find. Turns out, tons of people make their own!

So, without further ado, I’d love to share a tutorial on making your own =)

*Disclaimer- Not my original idea!! I’m simply sharing with you what I have learned in a (hopefully) helpful, easy to follow tutorial so more people can have clean drinking water!!*

You will need:

  • 2 food grade, five gallon buckets with at least one lid. You have to be able to stack the top bucket on top of the bottom bucket’s lid.

(I got mine from the pickle stand at my local farmer’s market, they sell the pickles out of 5 gal. buckets and were selling used ones for a dollar a piece, which they donated to the ASPCA. You can also ask nicely at a grocery store near you that has a bakery, they get icing in them.)

(if you order those two together on amazon it ends up being $28.29 and you get free shipping!)

  • A drill and drill bits

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First off, start by rinsing/washing out your buckets.

You will have to drill holes for the water filter’s bottom and the spigot. Figure out how big of a drill bit you need to drill that sized hole. I just used the biggest bit we had then used a cardboard knife to make the hole the correct size, since we didn’t have a big enough bit. Once you have that down, let’s put in the filter!

Stack the buckets on top of each other with a lid in between (picture labeled 1). You will want a hole through both the bottom of the top bucket and the lid of the bottom bucket at the same place (pictures number 2 and 3). This is where the filter gets attached.

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Then, put the bottom of the filter through both holes with the rubber seal inside the bucket and the wing nut outside under the lid:

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Top left- this portion goes inside the top of the bucket, top right- this is was should stick out into the bottom bucket once you put the lid on, bottom left- same thing just with the wing nut screwed on, bottom right- what the filter will look like from inside the top bucket once its attached. I put my filter off to the side because I eventually want to add another filter on the other side.

More filters = water cleans faster

Which means, with 2 filters, it would take half as long to filter all the water.

Now your filter’s installed!!

Let’s install the spigot =)

On the bottom of the bottom bucket, mark where you want you spigot to go. You want it close to the bottom, but not so close that you can’t tighten the nut to keep it on. Drill a hole where you marked and push the spigot through. The spigot will have 2 rubber seals/washers and a nut. One seal goes on either side of the bucket and the nut gets tightened on the inside of the bucket. Make sure its really tight so there’s no leaking going on when you fill it with water.

Where the hole should be located

Where the hole should be located

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That’s it!!

Test everywhere you drilled holes to make sure no water leaks out before you fill it with 5 gallons of water. Trust me, you don’t want to clean up/waste that much water if there’s a leak!!

If its all good, place the bucket with the filter on top of the bucket with the spigot. Do not snap the lid completely closed, as it will prevent water from coming out of the spigot properly, leave a section open or just rest everything and be careful around it. Mine has sections on the lid and I leave 2 or three sections unsnapped. Then fill the top bucket with water. The water will drip through the filter and out the bottom hole into the bottom bucket. The filter I used said to fill your filter and let it run through twice before drinking it. You could use that water for dishes, watering your plants, etc.

Then you can enjoy your fresh clean water!!

These filters are so good, you can set your filter out in the rain and collect rain water. It will filter out into perfectly clean, drinkable water.

I know its made of plastic, not metal like the Berkey, but its still exponentially better then tap water! Plus, its $253.00 cheaper then a Berkey filter =) I do suggest cleaning it out with a little hot water/baking soda or some vinegar every other week.

Now go make your own and drink some deliciously refreshing, better for you water!! Your half an hour and $30 away from it!

Like what your read? Follow me on Facebook!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Shared on Tuned in Tuesday, Party Wave Wednesday, Thank Your Body Thursday and LHITS DIY Linky!