Homemade, Real Food, Cheesey Crackers

I love crackers. Plain and simple. Super crappy crackers from the grocery store made out of chemicals and ‘food’ have my name all over them. ‘Eat me, Courtney, eat me!! I promise you won’t regret it!!’ It’s pretty tempting. But aside from the ridiculous prices of a store cracker, the ingredients are just so obnoxious it keeps me from buying them. So what do I eat instead??

Homemade crackers!! Once you start to realize you can actually make anything you want yourself, you suddenly want to try and make everything yourself!

Crackers are way easier then you ever thought. These cheese crackers taste like the popular ‘Cheez-it’ cracker. Only better, and good for you!!

Homemade, real food, Cheesey Crackers

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4 oz. of sharp cheddar cheese
(buy a block and shred it yourself to avoid eating the sawdust they put on pre-shredded cheese! And purchase white cheese to avoid artificial colors and dyes!!)
2 tbsp. of pastured pork lard
(you can sub in butter if you don’t use lard, but I highly suggest lard!!)
3/4 organic whole wheat flour or unbleached white
2.5 tablespoons of grass-fed raw milk
(Plus extra to brush on the crackers)
Himalayan Pink Salt

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine everything except the salt in a food processor until it forms a soft dough. You can add a little extra flour if it’s too sticky. Roll the dough out as thin as you can and cut it into small squares with a pizza cutter. Place the crackers on a cookie sheet and brush them with milk. Sprinkle a little bit of salt on each cracker and bake them for 14- 20 minutes, or until they are brown on the edges and getting crunchy.

Bam! Healthy ‘cheez-its’. Not to mention they taste way better and they are way cheaper!! My daughter loves these crackers.

Please note, unless you use artificial dyes/colors, these crackers will be a brown/tan not bright orange like the original cracker!!

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Environmentally Conscious Toddler Gift Guide!

No matter what holiday you celebrate, I think we can all agree that things are becoming very materialistic and people are becoming overly greedy. Presents are being bought in excess and the ‘meaning of the season’ has become new toys, electronics and clothes. Supporting huge corporations and adding ever more to the piles of waste. On top of that, most children’s toys these days break within a week and are made by children the same age or younger then the children we are gifting them too, in foreign countries, getting paid .07 cents a day.

And just for you gals and guys, I thought I’d compile a small gift guide of some of my favorite gift ideas for toddlers the holidays this year!!

The best option would be to make things yourselves. However, I know not everyone is artistically inclined or is able to sew/knit/crochet. If you knit or crochet, check out Raverly for tons of free patterns for anything you can think of! Great knit/crochet ideas for toddlers/older babies would be blocks, balls, stuffed animals, mittens, hats or slippers. If you sew check out Pinterest or All Free Sewing for patterns and ideas! I think I’ll be sewing some little stuffed veggies this year for Delilah, and putting them in a little garden basket. I may even make a little garden bed cushion she can ‘plant’ the veggies in and pick them into her basket!

Now, for those of you that can’t, don’t have the time or aren’t able to make all homemade gifts, I’ve found a few super awesome gifts to buy!

Batsiranai Sharing Doll
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Delilah is actually getting one of these from her grandma this year. It’s handmade in Zimbabwe and certified fair trade (meaning it was made by adults who were all fairly compensated!). Besides the fact that it’s adorable and is baby wearing a little baby in a sling (!) whenever you purchase one, they give the same doll to a child in a heavily HIV/AIDS infected infected area! So really, you’re buying your child a doll, then buying one for a less fortunate child who may not even have a toy!

Handmade, personalized blocks

I came across these the other day, and fell in love! You can get any amount of letters you want and you can pick which letters! The whole alphabet, numbers, pictures, your child’s name, blank blocks, shapes. It’s really cool! The awesome thing, is the family who makes them, also uses organic oils and beeswax to coat them using materials they grow themselves on their farm! How cool is that?? They are completely safe an non-toxic so children who are teething can enjoy them as well as older children! PLUS they donate to the Peace Corps with every purchase!

A basket of fresh, farmer’s market veggies

Farmers Market Basket of Veggies

I love this play food! Make a play ‘farmer’s market’ in the house and buy veggies in your basket! You can pick whatever veggies you like for in the basket! Totally homemade by ‘Locally Sewn Produce‘ (see what she did there!!) based out of Iowa. Plus, she has a ton of other options in her shop if you want to add some other veggies.

Wooden TrucksWooden Toy Trucks and Wooden Toy Cars Wooden Toys Organic Walnut Set of 6

These awesome trucks and cars are hand crafted from quality wood and finished with beeswax! This particular link is for a whole collection of trucks, but they can all be purchased individually for those on a budget! I think they are so pretty and we might be getting Delilah one of these from me and her dad this season!

Felted Number Eggs
Needle Felted Eggs with numbers, Made to order

Learns numbers and learn where eggs come from! Put these little guys under a toy chicken and have them count the eggs as they collect them. Perhaps put them with the farmer’s market veggies I mentioned earlier! Or have them pretend with you while you prepare eggs for breakfast. Plus, there is a little bell in each egg! So they can make noise while they play, what’s better then noise??

Do you have a favorite gift idea? Do you make gifts yourself? Do you make gifts and sell them? Feel free to link them in the comments!

I definitely urge you to go at least partially handmade for the holidays this year!

Til next time,

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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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Roasted Habanero Hot Sauce

Hot sauces are one of those things that seem really hard to make, but really aren’t. Its not too hard to find a fairly high quality hot sauce store bought with few ingredients, but when you see how easy it is, you’ll want to make your own.

*Warning!! This hot sauce is HOT!*

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You will need-

1 pint of organic habanero peppers
1/2 c. white vinegar
2 large pinches of sea salt (or about a teaspoon)Water

Before you begin, you may want to get some rubber gloves to wear while you make this. Habanero peppers burn something awful if the juice comes in  contact with your skin. I didn’t use gloves but I was really careful to only touch the skins or use tongs/a fork to touch them.

Preheat your oven to its broil setting. Start off by removing the stem and cutting all the peppers long ways in half. Place all the peppers cut side down in a baking dish and broil for ~10 minutes, or until the skins just start to blacken (see picture)(also, keep the windows open or a fan on or have a well ventilated area while you cook them, the hot peppery fumes can burn and make you cough). Remove them from the oven and transfer them all into a pint mason jar and close it for 10-20 minutes. This finishes cooking them through with their own steam. Add the vinegar and salt into the jar and fill it with water (probably about a cup). If you have a stick blender and are using a wide mouth jar you can blend it directly in the jar. Otherwise, transfer to a blender and blend it until its completely smooth. Store it in the fridge.

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Remember a little goes a looong way with habaneros. They are really hot.

Add a few drops in soup or add some to a pot of chili or even in tacos.

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This post was shared on Party Wave Wednesday!

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

Real Food Peach Cobbler Muffins!!

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Ah summer! When the delicious peaches are ripe and juicy!

So ripe and juicy in fact, that you find it necessary to pick 30 pounds of them at your local pick your own orchard!!(or is that just me??)

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Which leaves you scouring the internet for any and every peach recipe you can find to use up all of the peaches you didn’t can. So let me help you out by giving you this absolutely delicious recipe for-

Peach Cobbler Muffins

You will need:

Muffin-

2 cups fresh (or home canned) organic peaches cut into small pieces
1 cup organic whole wheat flour
1 cup organic unbleached flour
1 1/2 tsp. good quality baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 stick or 1/2 cup of butter (from grass fed cows would be best!)1/2 cup organic, unbleached sugar
2 free range eggs
2 tsp. homemade or good quality organic vanilla extract
1/2 cup raw milk
1 tsp. organic cinnamon

Topping-

3 tbsp. organic unbleached sugar
1 tbsp. organic whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. organic cinnamon
2 tsp. coconut oil (at least 76 degrees so its in its liquid state!)

Beat the sugar, eggs and butter together until there are no large lumps. Add in everything except the peaches and mix until its combined. Then fold in the peaches. Scoop into well greased muffin tins (or use unbleached muffin papers).

Whisk together the ingredients for the topping and sprinkle a bit over each muffin. Bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

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Served with some homemade whipped cream or a tall glass of cold, raw milk (or on their own!), these are delicious!!

Go pick some peaches and enjoy!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Chicken Tacos with Super Spicy Tomatillo Sauce

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Yum! Like oh my goodness yum.

Me and my fiance were both sweating when we finished eating them from the tomatillo sauce.

First off, some of you may not know what a tomatillo is. Its kind of like a green tomato in a husk. Like an ear of corn and a tomato had a baby. Its a staple in Latin American cooking and is quite delicious. You peel the husk off and just eat the fruit inside. You may have to look in the ethnic foods section of your grocery store or a specialty store to find them. If your paying attention though, they are readily available.

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Tomatillo Sauce

2 lbs. Fresh tomatillos
4 Cloves of garlic
1 Bunch of fresh cilantro
1/4 of a large onion (or 1/2 a small onion)
3 Cups of water
4 large Jalapeno peppers

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Remove the outer paper from the tomatillos and wash them off. Cut everything except the cilantro into large chunks. I cut the tomatillos in half, the peppers in thirds and roughly chopped the onion. Put them all in the water and bring to a boil.

Look how deliciously fresh this looks!!

Look how deliciously fresh this looks!!

Turn it down to just below a boil and cook for half an hour. Let it cool until its manageable, add in the cilantro and blend it until its smooth. This sauce is super spicy and goes on ANYTHING! Use it as a healthy substitute for classic taco sauce, use it on chicken, beef, pork, in carnitas, on enchiladas, on pretty much anything you’d like to be spicy. Its honestly the most amazing sauce ever. Plus you can eat it hot or cold.

Beautiful green sauce!

Beautiful green sauce!

Chicken Tacos

2 Boneless chicken breasts from free range chickens
1/4 of a large onion (or half a small onion)
3 Garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 Jalapeno pepper, chopped
3 Tsp. ground cumin
1 Shredded carrot
The juice from 1 lime
4 Tsp. dried cilantro or half a bunch fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. Coconut oil (to cooking in)

(Note, use organic ingredients for the best result!)
(Another note, either grate the carrots or use a vegetable peeler and peel the whole carrot into long thin strips and chop the strips so you don’t have big chunks of carrot.)

Start out by chopping up the chicken breasts into small cubes and put them in a pot in the coconut oil, jalapeno and onions. Start cooking on medium high heat.

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As its cooking add in all of the other ingredients. Continue cooking until the chicken is fully cooked and all the juice is cooked off. When the chicken is mostly cooked through start chopping it up with the spoon your cooking with. It chops easy when its cooked. And that’s it! Top with tomatillo sauce, cheese and lots of greens. I personally think arugula and spinach taste the best with tacos.

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Serve it with a delicious…

…Mason jar lemon-limade slushy

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Put the juice of one lime and one lemon in a mason jar and add 1 tablespoon of organic sugar. Add two slices of lemon and fill it the rest of the way with water. Put the lid on it and shake it vigorously until the sugar is dissolved and pop it in the freezer for 3-5 hours, or until it starts to freeze. It’ll turn itself into a slush.

Super amazing dinner =)

Enjoy!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

This post was shared on the Get Inspired Blog Hop and Tuned in Tuesday!

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!