Video: How To Read Ingredient Labels

How To Read Ingredient Labels from 100 Days of #RealFood

I am super excited to share this video with you today. Reading ingredient labels is one of the most important steps you can take when it comes to cutting out highly processed foods. And that’s because reading the ingredients is the number one way to know what’s in your food.

Honestly, food marketers make it no easy task though. They distract us with misleading claims on the front of the package and often use terminology that makes the product sound better than it really is. So watch along while I walk you through eight real life packaged food examples and explain how to decipher each of their ingredient labels!

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How to Make a Perfect Green Smoothie

Great tips for making a green smoothie

Guest post by Jadah Sellner and Jen Hansard, founders of Simple Green Smoothies

We have a super simple and healthy recipe we’ve been itchin’ to share with you!!! As two crazy-busy passionate moms, we’ve been known to fuel our bodies with processed junk. Like those days when we found ourselves at Starbucks twice in one day…or driving through Taco Bell for dinner…again.

We were starved for time, low on energy and just….overwhelmed.

Can you relate?

Well, we discovered something that quickly changed our lives— green smoothies. This blended drink of fresh fruits and dark leafy greens gave us energy, a fast healthy meal and transformed our bodies from the inside out. No joke. And our free 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge is how we made this healthy habit really stick for the past 2 1/2 years… and going strong. Now we have over 500,000 people from all around the world hooked on the green smoothie lifestyle too. We hope you’ll join us!

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Recipe: Easy Slow Cooker Steak Chili

slow cooker steak chili

I recently shared a Red & Green Chili recipe that was also for the slow cooker, but it did require a little bit of stove cooking first. I know it’s only one extra step (and worth it in the end), but some days just one less thing to do can make all the difference! With this Steak Chili recipe, my goal was to make things as quick and EASY as possible. And trust me, it doesn’t get any easier or more delicious than this one. So if you are looking for a way to stay warm this winter or to feed a bunch of extra house guests, this recipe will not disappoint! (Just be sure to double it for a big crowd.)

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Recipe: Holiday Breakfast Bake (Make Ahead)

Holiday Breakfast Bake from 100 Days of #RealFood

With many of us hosting overnight guests this holiday season, it’s nice to plan not only that big, special dinner, but also a tasty and filling breakfast! This breakfast bake is another one of those recipes I “made over” by replacing a processed boxed mix with something more wholesome. You may even recognize this “real foodinized” version of Bisquick’s Breakfast Bake! This was actually a fairly easy dish to “make over,” and when you look at the ingredients on the back of a Bisquick box, it’s not hard to see why you would want to avoid it and use a homemade replacement instead.

In the Box: Enriched refined white flour (labeled as “wheat flour” without the word “whole”), partially hydrogenated oil (i.e. the same trans fat the FDA just admitted was really bad for us), and dextrose (an additive I do not cook with at home).

My Version: Whole-wheat flour, unrefined cooking fat (from the pastured sausage), and other whole, recognizable ingredients.

It’s funny to me how the Bisquick Breakfast Bake recipe tells you to drain the natural fat from the sausage just so you can add in their boxed stuff that contains trans fat. No thank you!

So anyway, whether you serve this for breakfast, brunch, or even dinner, I think you’ll find this is a super easy crowd pleaser, and with all of the cooking we’ll be doing this holiday season, that’s exactly what we all need!

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Recipe: Chocolate Soufflé (+ our blogging team’s holiday dinner!)

Chocolate Souffle with Ice Cream from 100 Days of #RealFood

Today I am excited to share another dessert recipe with you that I absolutely love and that’s also perfect for the holidays…Homemade Chocolate Soufflés! This is the recipe I’ve made for Christmas dessert in years past and, after resurrecting it for our blogging team’s holiday dinner over the weekend (details below), there is no question I’ll be serving souffles again for the big day this year! They were a super big hit and let’s be honest – who doesn’t love a warm, delectable chocolate soufflé especially when it’s topped with homemade ice cream?! (Okay, who else’s mouth is watering here?)

Disclaimer: This recipes contains refined white sugar so it doesn’t technically follow our real food rules…so only enjoy in moderation!

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Recipe: Chocolate Peppermint Cookies (with sugar!)

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies by 100 Days of #RealFood

In case you’re attending any “cookie exchange” parties this year or just want to switch things up from the typical holiday sugar cookie cut outs…I have a recipe for you. This is an oldie, but goodie that I have been making for many years. They do contain refined white sugar (gasp!), which means they don’t follow our real food rules to a T. But, other than that they are made completely from scratch and therefore light years beyond any of those packaged cookie dough rolls or boxed cookies you’ll find for sale these days. So for that reason alone – I think these are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth this holiday season (in moderation of course)!

Now I did make these cookies into cute little shapes with the help of my cookie press (that I’ve had forever and love). I also tried this recipe without using the press for those of you who may not have one, and while they came out just fine our preference (mainly for texture reasons) is definitely to make this recipe with the press. They just come out a lot more crisp with the press, which I think is best with these flavors. Plus, aren’t they just adorable in all these fun shapes? And bonus – if you wanted to dip these cookies in melted chocolate (and let them harden of course) you’d have yourself some homemade Thin Mints. Yum! :)

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Recipe: Easy Homemade Croutons (that are deeelicious)

Easy Homemade Croutons

One thing is for certain – croutons are just all around good stuff. And thankfully homemade croutons are super easy to make with whole-wheat sandwich bread and SO yummy. Talk about an extra special and unexpected addition to your dinner salad. My kids go nuts over these things, and I honestly have to do what I can to stop them from just eating this crunchy goodness plain so we can actually enjoy them with dinner. After you try this recipe, let us know what you think in the comments!

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Giveaway: Little Green Pouch + VITAMIX!

Little Green Pouch and #Vitamix Giveaway from 100 Days of #RealFood

I have a super exciting giveaway for you today…stocking stuffers for your little ones and something not too shabby for mommy (or daddy) too!! If your kids are into those little snack pouches that have recently taken the food industry by storm (I know mine are), then you’ll love the idea of making your own at home. What’s not to love about using your own wholesome ingredients, saving money (those pre-packaged ones can be expensive!), and being less wasteful?

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Recipe: Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole (like Cracker Barrel’s!)

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole from 100 Days of #RealFood

Welcome to the world of Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole goodness! I used to LOVE the Hash Brown Casserole at Cracker Barrel. That’s before I started asking questions about how they make their food (did you know almost all of their vegetable side dishes are made with sugar?). Then if you look at the copy cat recipes online, most of them call for a can of condensed soup – no thank you MSG and other unwanted additives! There has to be a better way, and thankfully there is. I’ve detailed it for you below. It’s hard to go wrong when it comes to potatoes and cheese and other wholesome ingredients. Be sure to enjoy this tasty dish with breakfast, lunch or dinner!

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Recipe: The Best Pulled Pork in a Crock Pot!

The Best Pulled Pork in a Crock Pot from 100 Days of #RealFood

This is some of the best pulled pork I’ve had in a long time (I’ve been working on perfecting this recipe for months!), and it also doesn’t include any highly processed ingredients like refined sugar, corn syrup, or ketchup.

My husband says it is so good that no BBQ sauce is necessary. Now, you know it’s good pulled pork when that happens. He would like me to pass on that he does like to dip it into a little hot sauce, although I for sure prefer mine with nothing added. Try it both ways and decide for yourself. Either way this is a great dish for serving (and pleasing!) a crowd.

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My Favorite Kitchen Tools for Stockings!

Eco Bagging System on 100 Days of #RealFood

It’s officially time to start making your list and checking it twice! So I’ve got some fabulous little gift ideas for you – some of my favorite items that I love and use in my kitchen regularly. In my mind, when it comes to gift giving there’s just nothing better than something that’s actually practical and useful. So here are six super affordable kitchen tools that fit the bill, plus one splurge bonus recommendation that will make the cook (or aspiring cook) in your life feel extra special! Hey, it would totally fit in a stocking. :)

“Roux” Cooking Spoon: $10
This spoon is just plain awesome. It was first introduced to me by my mother-in-law who lived in New Orleans. Forget that they tell you it’s just for making roux. I use it all the time when cooking on the stove, and it has quickly become my favorite. Need to scrape the brown bits off the bottom (or sides) of the pan? No problem.

Hand Immersion Blender: $35
This is by far the most ridiculously smart and handy small appliance I own. I love to make homemade soups, and before I had one of these (also given to me by my in-laws!), I was wasting time and also creating a huge mess when pureeing soups.You see, I was transferring my soups (in batches, no less) to the counter top blender, and when your pot is still holding the chunky soup and the blender is filled to the max with pureed soup, where-oh-where do you put it so you can continue pureeing the remaining soup?? Once again, HUGE mess. Not to mention a friend once told me the heat of the soup she was pureeing forced the lid to fly off her counter top blender, and it almost burned her. So please do yourself a huge favor and invest in one of these bad boys, and while you are at it, get one for every cook (or aspiring cook) you know!

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