Benefits and Uses of Chia Seeds (Plus 50 Chia Recipes)

Chia seeds are a hot superfood right now – for good reason! They contain a crazy good amount of omega-3s, they boost energy, they're high in fiber and protein, and so much more!! Here's all the benefits and uses of chia seeds, plus over 50 recipes to get them in your diet!

By Stacy Karen, Contributing Writer

Chia seeds have been lauded as a super food for a few years now, and for good reason. Of all of the benefits of chia seeds, some of the most notable are their ability to provide significant amounts of protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids.

The amount of omega-3 fatty acids contained in chia seeds is truly impressive: just 3½ tablespoons can contain the same amount of omega-3s as a 32-ounce piece of salmon! (Source)

Chia seeds often are used to boost energy. In fact, they have a history of doing so. As Dr. Josh Axe reports on his website, Aztec warrior used chia seeds to boost energy and boosted that “just 1 spoonful of chia could sustain them for 24 hours.”

The high-fiber and protein content is thought to aid in weight loss. Chia seeds are also thought to aid in stabilizing blood sugar.

If you’ve ever added chia seeds to liquid, you’ve likely noticed how well they absorb it. Chia seeds can absorb many times their weight, some suggesting up to ten times, and others up to 27 times! This makes them a useful in providing hydration to the body. In fact, they are often added to electrolyte drinks and used by long distance runners to prevent dehydration during races.

It’s worth noting a warning here: because chia seeds can absorb so much liquid, it is important to be cautious when consuming them. Don’t consume a lot of chia seeds dry without accompanying liquid. A little sprinkled over yogurt or in a homemade granola is fine, but taking a spoonful on it’s own is not recommend, as they can absorb the fluids within your body and cause a blockage. (Check out this man’s story about ending up in the ER after eating chia seeds).

How to Use Chia Seeds

Chia seeds can be used to create all manner of delicious treats, many of which are linked below.

Some of the most popular uses of chia seeds are:

Below I have listed over 50 recipes that use chia seeds. All of these are made with real food ingredients and many of them are also gluten free (not all, but a lot!).

Chia seeds have been lauded as a super food for a few years now, and for good reason. Here are over 50 recipes that use chia seeds. All are made with real food ingredients and many of them are also gluten free.

Image via Holistic Health Herbalist

Breakfast

Raspberry Vanilla Chia Breakfast Pudding Recipe @ Hello Creative Family

Apple Pie Granola (Paleo, GF) @ This is So Good

Paleo Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal @ A Girl Worth Saving

Pumpkin Spice Granola @ Delicious Obsessions

Banana Granola @ This is So Good

Paleo Oatmeal @ A Girl Worth Saving

Breakfast Pudding with Chia Seeds @ Nourishing Simplicity

Whole Wheat Chia Seed Pancakes @ Natural Chow

Soaked Buckwheat & Millet Granola with Chia Seeds @ Raia’s Recipes

Skinny Dark Chocolate Chia Granola @ Natural Chow

Strawberry Chia Seed Smoothie Bowl @ Holistic Health Herbalist

Drinks

Strawberry Chia Water Kefir @ Homestead Honey

How to Make Kombucha with Chia Seeds @ Nourishing Simplicity

Iced Raspberry Leaf Chia Tea @ Raia’s Recipes

Creamy Banana, Cacao & Chia Seed Smoothie @ The Rising Spoon

Double Duty Detox Smoothie @ Everblossom

Chocolate Pumpkin Smoothie @ Food Your Body Will Thank You For

Chia-Aid Sports Drink @ The Nourishing Home

Chia seeds have been lauded as a super food for a few years now, and for good reason. Here are over 50 recipes that use chia seeds. All are made with real food ingredients and many of them are also gluten free.

Image via Better with Cake

Pudding

Vegan Triple Berry Chia Seed Pudding @ Natural Chow

Mango Lassi Chia Pudding @ Loula Natural

Bircher Chia @ Loula Natural

Dairy Free Cherry Chia Pudding Recipe @ Happy Mothering

Rich Chocolate Pudding Healthy Enough for Breakfast @ Whole New Mom

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding @ Holistic Health Herbalist

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding @ This is So Good

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding @ Keeper of the Home

Dairy-Free Berry Chia Mousse @ Whole New Mom

Mango, Coconut, and Chia Pudding Parfait (Gluten-free, Dairy-free) @ Made to Glow

Chia Chocolate Pumpkin Mousse @ A Harmony Healing

Whipped Peppermint Mocha Chia Pudding @ Better with Cake

Whipped Espresso Chocolate Chia Pudding @ Better with Cake

Jam

Easy Strawberry Chia Jam @ Back to the Book Nutrition

Berry Cherry Chia Jam @ Back to the Book Nutrition

No Cook Strawberry Chia Jelly Recipe {3 Ingredients} @ Happy Mothering

Berry Cherry Chia See Jam @ Natural Fit Foodie

Breads and Crackers

Grain Free Graham Crackers @ Worth Cooking

Easy GF Cheese & Chia Crackers @ Raia’s Recipes

Healthy Whole Wheat & Chia Tortillas @ Back to the Book Nutrition

Paleo Blueberry Ginger Soft Crackers @ A Girl Worth Saving

Paleo Garlic Crackers @ A Girl Worth Saving

Flax & Chia Flatbread @ Raia’s Recipes

Chia seeds have been lauded as a super food for a few years now, and for good reason. Here are over 50 recipes that use chia seeds. All are made with real food ingredients and many of them are also gluten free.

Cookies and Sweet Breads and Muffins

(and a few miscellaneous desserts)

Gooey Paleo Chocolate Chip Banana Bread @ A Girl Worth Saving

Strawberry Chia Muffins @ Keeper of the Home

Lemon Chia Mini Muffins (Paleo Friendly) @ Better with Cake

Cherry Chia Raw Macaroon Cookies @ A Harmony Healing

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Chia Cookies @ Better with Cake

Chia Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies @ Ambitious Kitchen

Flourless Chocolate Chocolate Chia Cookies @ Hummusapien

Baked Fruit and Nut Cups @ Simple Healthy Home

Date, Chia & Coconut Energy Bites @ Better with Cake

Lemon Chia Seed Gummy Squares @ Love Ur Belly

Chia seeds have been lauded as a super food for a few years now, and for good reason. Here are over 50 recipes that use chia seeds. All are made with real food ingredients and many of them are also gluten free.

Image via Whole New Mom

Ice Cream and Popsicles

Lemon Poppy Seed Chia Ice Cream @ Whole New Mom

Chocolate Hemp Chia Ice Cream With Flax Chia Crumble @ A Harmony Healing

Strawberry Coconut Chia Seed Popsicles @ A HappyFood Dance

Blueberry Coconut Popsicles with Chia Seeds @ Real Food Enthusiast

Chocolate Chia Ice Cream @ Top with Cinnamon

Strawberry Chia Ice Cream @ My Food and Happiness

Mains and Side Dish Additions

Paleo Sticky Rice Balls @ A Girl Worth Saving

Chia Chipotle Dressing @ Serious Eats

Linguine Al Limone With Grilled Chia Chicken @ Mind Body Green

Natural Body Care

Facial Care with Chia Seeds @ Scratch Mommy

Lemon Sugar Scrub with Chia Seeds @ Natural Fit Foodie

Strawberry & Chia Facial Scrub @ A Delightful Home

Chia seeds are a hot superfood right now – for good reason! They contain a crazy good amount of omega-3s, they boost energy, they're high in fiber and protein, and so much more!! Here's all the benefits and uses of chia seeds, plus over 50 recipes to get them in your diet!

What is your favorite way to eat chia seeds?

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. When you use my links, it doesn’t cost you anything but helps to support this site, so thank you!

Weekend Links

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Links for this week:

hope for all the prodigals… and their people @ A Holy Experience

How Cancer Gave Me Unshakable Faith @ Intentional By Grace

Boerenkool Stamppot (Kale Hash) @ The Domestic Man

Why We’ve Made Too Big of a Deal over the Phrase “Looks Like You Have Your Hands Full!” @ The Humbled Homemaker

The Statistic That Can Change Your Marriage @ Smartter Each Day

Blackberry Ginger Kombucha Mock-ito @ The Nourishing Gourmet

Eighteen Summers @ (in)courage

The Important of Seeing People @ Grace Table

It’s been really hot here in Colorado lately! What tips do you have for staying cool during the dog days of summer?

9 Healthy, Portable Snacks for Family Road Trips

Don't sabotage your next family road trip by not packing healthy and portable snacks! Having healthy snacks on hand helps you to avoid the bad gas station snacks along your route. Here's 9 real whole food snack ideas for your next family trip!

By Elsie Callender, Contributing Writer 

What’s a road trip without snacks? For me, food is an essential part of any journey. Having something to snack on helps to pass the time in the car–and saves you from pulling into McDonald’s when hunger strikes!

Healthy, portable snacks will keep your family full longer, and your kids won’t get hyper from all the sugar and artificial food dyes in processed snacks. Because you don’t want hyper kids locked in a car for hours on end, right?

It’s a good idea to have a small cooler designated just for snacks, so you don’t have to dig through the big ice chest every time you want a carrot stick. Store all your snacks in that cooler, along with an ice pack or two, to keep homemade snacks from spoiling or getting melty.

In addition to your road trip snacks, be sure to bring:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hand wipes
  • A trash bag
  • Reusable water bottles (a unique bottle for each family member, so you can tell them apart!)

Ready to plan your snack menu? Here are 9 picks for healthy, portable snacks for your summer travels!

1. Hard-boiled eggs

We love boiled eggs for road trips because they’re non messy, and with 6 grams of protein they make a more substantial snack than other options. When we camp, we boil eggs for the next day while we’re prepping supper at our campsite.

2. Homemade fruit roll-ups

Store bought fruit roll-ups contain a cocktail of corn syrup and artificial food dyes. Not a healthy snack! Thankfully, you can make your own easily enough, using any combination of berries or chopped fresh fruit that your family enjoys!

Healthy, portable snacks will keep your family full longer, and your kids won't get hyper from all the ingredients in processed snacks. Here are 9 ideas for healthy, portable snacks.

3. Homemade granola bars

Granola bars are filling and provide lots of nutrition in a small package. Try this recipe for Chewy Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars, or this one for Perfect Peanut Butter Granola Bars.

4. Non-messy fruit

Apples, pears, and grapes are good picks because you can eat them with their peels (unlike oranges) and they won’t drip juice all over your hands (unlike plums).

5. Sliced veggies

Carrot sticks, celery sticks, and bell peppers are refreshing–and not too messy!

Healthy, portable snacks will keep your family full longer, and your kids won't get hyper from all the ingredients in processed snacks. Here are 9 ideas for healthy, portable snacks.

6. Homemade cheese crackers

If your kids love Cheez-It crackers, try a healthier, homemade version instead!

7. Trail mix

Use any combination of almonds, walnuts, peanuts, raisins, chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, pecans, dried apricots, popcorn, pumpkin seeds, etc. For a fun pre-vacation activity, you can have your kids assemble their own personal trail mixes ahead of time. Set out all the options in bowls, and let your kids fill their own labeled bag or container.

8. Beef jerky

This is another highly-processed snack–if you buy it in the grocery store! But you can make your own at home using ground beef. (If you don’t own a dehydrator, use your oven’s lowest setting.)

Don't sabotage your next family road trip by not packing healthy and portable snacks! Having healthy snacks on hand helps you to avoid the bad gas station snacks along your route. Here's 9 real whole food snack ideas for your next family trip!

9. Snack boxes

If you’re just traveling for a day or two, you can portion out individual snack boxes for everyone ahead of time. Fill sectioned snack boxes with crackers, sliced cheese, homemade hummus, sliced fruit, etc. and store in the cooler.

HSTG-Kindle-Cover-with-Outline_200px

For more real food snack ideas, check out the eCookbook Healthy Snacks to Go by Katie Kimball. It includes 45 recipes perfect for camping trips, picnics, family vacation, and more! Pick up your copy HERE.

 

 

Are you taking a road trip this summer? What are your favorite healthy, portable snacks?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!

 

Why My Kids Don’t Drink Juice Everyday {& What They Drink Instead}

The idea that fruit juice is a good way to get healthy vitamins and minerals into children while hydrating them is a myth. My kids don't drink juice everyday ... here's what they drink instead.

By Leigh Ann Dutton, Contributing Writer

It’s everywhere. The idea that children should drink fruit juice regularly.

On a hot summer day at the beach, we’re surrounded by children consuming fruit juice from boxes.

At a family picnic, the squirt juices are on ice waiting for the children to lift the cooler lid and twist off the top.

Restaurants offer apple juice or orange juice without fail, and Grandmaw always has it on hand when we visit.

The idea that fruit juice is a good way to get healthy vitamins and minerals into children while hydrating them is a myth, and here’s why …

Why Juice Isn’t Healthy

1. High in Sugar

Most of the fruit juices you buy in the grocery store are loaded with sugar. Even if you opt for the “no sugar added” options, your child is still consuming sugar.

When you juice a piece of fruit, you’re left with concentrated fructose – naturally occurring sugar. Our bodies treat sugar as sugar whether it’s fructose or sucrose.

The sugar in fruit juices causes your blood sugar to spike giving you a burst of energy, but once the sugar is stored your levels plummet leaving you tired and cranky.

Sound familiar?

When we consume fruit straight from the source, the fiber is there to help slow the absorption of sugar into our bodies. This means that eating an apple is far better for our children’s bodies than drinking apple juice from a box.

2. Filled with Empty Calories

Fruit juices are high in calories, yet they do nothing to nourish the body. Fruit juices are mostly empty calories. Because they contain so many calories, our children grow full quickly and cease to desire real food that will actually aid in the development of their bodies.

In addition, most fruit juices are pasteurized, going through a heating process to ensure all bacteria is eliminated. What nutritional value the fruit juice had has now been cooked out of the juice, which means the manufacturer probably has to add back in vitamins that were stripped, which leads to reason number three.

The idea that fruit juice is a good way to get healthy vitamins and minerals into children while hydrating them is a myth. My kids don't drink juice everyday ... here's what they drink instead.

3. Contains Unwanted Ingredients

When it comes to choosing convenience, you have to be mindful that you are also choosing some unwanted ingredients.

If you don’t choose 100% fruit juice, then you’re also choosing high fructose corn syrup (or some other artificial sweetener), artificial colors, fake flavorings, and the list goes on – arsenic anyone?

Plus since the juice is pasteurized and devoid of nutrients, the manufacturer adds in synthetic forms of the vitamins that were killed off but required to be in the juice.

Phew. That’s a mouthful!

The bottom line is that when we process anything, we mess with a good thing and end up worse off than when we started.

4. Increases Cravings

Finally, regular fruit juice consumption increases children’s cravings for sweet foods and drinks. It’s just the way sugar works.

Let’s summarize all this really quickly.

What is fruit juice?

Water.

Sugar.

And if you don’t choose the right fruit juice, sometimes chemicals and other unwanted ingredients.

In all truth, fruit juice is liquid candy and should be treated as such when it comes to allowing our children to consume it on a regular basis.

The idea that fruit juice is a good way to get healthy vitamins and minerals into children while hydrating them is a myth. My kids don't drink juice everyday ... here's what they drink instead.

So what do my kids drink instead of juice?

1. Water

It sounds boring, but water is essential to health. Because my kids have always been offered water, they really don’t balk at the option and drink plenty of it throughout the day.

We like to add whole fruit to our water to flavor it and make it a little more interesting, especially in the summer.

2. Milk

We like to offer the option of milk from time to time. We are especially fond of raw cow’s milk when we can source it.

Recently we’ve had to turn to nut milks since we suspected that our youngest was having a hard time with dairy. Turns out he wasn’t, so we’ll be sourcing raw milk again.

However, when we were buying almond milk, we made sure to buy it without carageenan added in.

Just remember that not all milk is created equal.

3. Kombucha

Kombucha is a favorite in our house! Both of my boys freely enjoy kombucha as often as they want.

It’s a great fermented drink that helps populate the gut with all sorts of goodness!

4. Kefir

You can offer milk kefir or water kefir. Both are very good for you!

Oddly enough both of my boys love milk kefir. They drink it plain or flavored with fruit, whatever I have on hand. My husband and I don’t care for it as a drink, but they love it.

Kefir is full of probiotics that aid in digestion, boost immunity, and more. So much more! Plus it is inexpensive to make yourself, and if you’re like my husband and me, then you can hide it in other things.

5. Coconut water

Coconut water is a great alternative to fruit juice (or sports drinks). Coconut water is super hydrating and full of vitamins and minerals!

I can almost always convince my boys to choose coconut water over juice at a convenience store stop on long road trips. Just be sure to read your labels.

6. Herbal teas

Herbal teas are another favorite drink that my children consume year round. You can find three of our favorite summer herbal teas here.

The idea that fruit juice is a good way to get healthy vitamins and minerals into children while hydrating them is a myth. My kids don't drink juice everyday ... here's what they drink instead.

Do my kids ever consume fruit juice?

They do on occasion drink fruit juice. However, they understand that fruit juice is a treat, not a staple.

At home, we only drink fruit juice that we make ourselves in the juicer. Our favorite juice contains carrots, beets, and apples. So good!

The only juice we buy from the store is orange juice, and we only keep it on hand to help make our daily dose of cod liver oil a little more palatable. We only pour a couple of tablespoons into the glass with our cod liver oil.

When we’re out and about, especially with family and friends, we allow our children to drink a juice box every now and then. And then this only applies to our babies once they are weaned. If they are still nursing, it’s just Mama!

For us, juice falls under our grace-filled approach to real food. It’s a fun treat, but it’s not a staple.

Do you let your kids drink juice?  If you make sure your children don’t drink juice everyday, what are some juice alternatives that they enjoy?

Other articles worth reading:

All About Sugar @ Keeper of the Home

Juice Makes You Pee Your Pants (and other reasons not to drink it) @ Kitchen Stewardship

Why I Don’t Give My Kids Juice @ Hollywood Homestead

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. When you use my links, it doesn’t cost you anything but helps to support this site, so thank you!

Real Deals: This Week’s Sales and Discounts on Natural Products You Really Use

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This week’s top deals:

bobs
As Low As $12.21-$13.64 ($3.05-$3.41/24oz bag) Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain, Steel Cut Oats, 24-Ounce Bags (Pack of 4) are on sale for $14.36.  Save 5-15% with Subscribe & Save.  Get FREE shipping with qualifying order.

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As Low As $9.42-$10.53  Bob’s Red Mill Corn Popcorn, White, 27-Ounce is on sale for $11.08.  Save 5-15% with Subscribe & Save.  Get FREE shipping with qualifying order.

sunflower

As Low As $9.66-$10.79 ($2.42-$2.70/20oz bag)  Bob’s Red Mill Natural Raw Sunflower Seeds, 20-Ounce Packages (Pack of 4) is on sale for $11.36  Save 5-15% wtih Subscribe & Save.  Get FREE shipping with qualifying order.

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Check out Mountain Rose Herbs Monthly Specials below:

cacao20% Off Organic Cacao Beans  whole, raw 1lb Regular $11.00 On Sale $8.80

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liniment20% Off Herbal Liniment 2oz Spray Bottle Regular $9.50 On Sale $7.60

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AbesMarket.com

Natural for the People

Abe’s Market continues to have some really great deals available.  They have their Try For $2 with new picks everyday.  They also have their Stock Up at 20% Off and don’t forget to check the many items under their Sale Tab!  Here are just a few items available right now:

gojiRegular $13.45 On Sale for $6.73 100% Certified Organic Goji Berries 6oz is on sale at Abe’s Market.  This item found under the Sale tab.  FREE shipping on orders over $49

seedsRegular $9.00 On Sale $2.25 Sprouting Seeds Organic Alfalfa 16oz is on sale at Abe’s Market.  This item found under the Sale tab.  FREE shipping on orders over $49

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Just $6.99  K Cup Reusable Coffee Tea Filter K-cups Pod (3 Pack) – Free Bonus Included.  Get FREE shipping with qualifying order

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As Low As $4.96 Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Crème, 4.34 Ounces is on sale for $5.84  (list price $12.34)  Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save.  Get FREE shipping with qualifying order.

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As Low As $4.62-$5.16 Burt’s Bees Peppermint and Rosemary Body Wash, 12 Fluid Ounces is on sale for $6.39  Save 15% when you clip the coupon below the product description (you must be logged in).  Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save.  Get FREE shipping with qualifying order.

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As Low As $7.90-$8.83 Burt’s Bees Radiance Eye Cream, 0.5 Ounces is on sale for $9.29 ($17.99 List Price).  Save 5-15% with Subscribe & Save.  Get FREE shipping with qualifying order.

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List Price $49.99 On Sale $37.99  LEGO DUPLO My First Deluxe Box of Fun 10580 Building Toy  Qualifies for FREE shipping

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List Price $14.95 On Sale $7.34 My Book About Me Hardcover Get FREE shipping with qualifying order

Hat Tip to Jungle Deals & Steals

FREE Kindle eBooks:

(Note: Prices can chance without notice so please double check the price before purchasing)

declutter

DeClutter (Simplified Book 1) Kindle Edition
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40 Activities for the whole family: Easy and quick recycling ideas Kindle Edition

top

Top Home Remedies for Everyday Problems Kindle Edition
clean7 DAY CLEANING COURSE TO A BEAUTIFUL HOUSE: Learn How To Keep Your House Clean, Tidy, Spotless Without Breaking Your Back. Kindle Edition 

This week’s best coupons:

 

real-deals-pinterest-june-23Find a deal you love? Share it! Pin this week’s post, tweet it, or share on Facebook.

Want to get these deals in your inbox each week?

Sign up for our once-a-week “real deals” email. It comes out each Tuesday morning.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!
About prices: Though we do our very best to post only current deals and prices and to let you know when offers expire, companies can and do change their prices and offers at their own discretion, and we have no control over this. If you notice that a deal has changed, please let us know and we’ll change the post to alert other readers that something is no longer available. Thanks for understanding!

Easy 7-Day Summer Grilling Meal Plan

Hit the grill this summer with this 7-Day Summer Grilling Meal Plan just for you! It's gluten free and allergy friendly – plus you don't have to heat up the house cooking in the kitchen!

By Kelly Smith, Contributing Writer

Summer is here … my family’s favorite time of year, because not only do we love having fun in the sun, but we’re also seriously into grilling out as often as possible!

In fact, I’m such a huge grilling aficionado, I’ve created a special 7-Day Summer Grilling Meal Plan just for you! Meal planning is definitely a real sanity saver. That’s why I love sharing my family’s weekly gluten-free meal plans and teaching on the subject as often as I can. Meal planning is such a life-changing tool for eating healthier – and for saving time, money and stress!

Summer Grilling Menu KOTH

To access the recipes, simply click on the meal plan image above and a PDF will open with hyperlinks to each of the recipes. Be sure to save the PDF to your computer first, then open it from your computer desktop since the meal plan requires a PDF reader in order for the links to open properly. Unfortunately, many mobile devices and tablets have trouble reading PDFs, so the best bet is to save it to your computer first.

I'm such a huge grilling aficionado, I've created a special 7-Day Summer Grilling Meal Plan just for you.

One of my favorite ways to save time in the kitchen, is to “Cook Once, Eat Twice or More!” Basically, it’s a batch cooking method where you make double or triple the amount of a main ingredient, such as grilled chicken, so you can use it in several meals throughout the week. It’s such a huge time saver, which is why I make sure to schedule this technique into my weekly gluten-free meal plans as often as possible.

I'm such a huge grilling aficionado, I've created a special 7-Day Summer Grilling Meal Plan just for you.

Another favorite time-saving tip you’ll notice in the Easy Summer Grilling Meal Plan is making a double batch of a side dish and saving half for a future meal. These delicious Roasted Sweet Potato Bites keep well in the fridge and can be quickly reheated in a toaster oven (or oven) in just 5 to 8 minutes.

I'm such a huge grilling aficionado, I've created a special 7-Day Summer Grilling Meal Plan just for you.

And be sure to save room for dessert! You definitely don’t want to miss this fabulous recipe for Grilled Tropical Fruit Skewers. Yum!

Looking for more easy summer meal plans and delicious gluten-free, whole food recipes? Then, be sure to subscribe to The Nourishing Home. I’ve got lots of family-friendly menus waiting for you!

Hit the grill this summer with this 7-Day Summer Grilling Meal Plan just for you! It's gluten free and allergy friendly – plus you don't have to heat up the house cooking in the kitchen!

What are your favorite summer grilling recipes?

PlanToEat-150x150This post is sponsored by Plan To Eat. If you know you need to make strides towards regular meal planning and you’re looking for a tool to make it easier, I highly recommend you check out Plan To Eat’s virtual tour. Sign up for a free 30-day trial to see how it works! Plan To Eat was born from a desire to eat real food — great food — prepared at home, together as a family. Plan to Eat is an online menu planner that uses your recipes, scheduled for the days you want them, automatically generating your grocery list, organized the way you like to shop. Eat well. Eat together.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!

Weekend Links

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He’s here!

Stephanie and her family welcomed their newest member, a little boy, at 12:21 am PST on Thursday! He weighed 7 lbs. 15 oz. and both mother and baby are doing well!

Links for this week:

Sons And Grandsons Help Paralyzed Man Hike The Grand Canyon @ Huffington Post

The Friends Who Come to Carry You @ (in)courage

Shaved Carrot Salad @ Wellness Mama

Breaking the Influence of Consumerism @ Becoming Minimalist

The Unlikely Reaction to Filling Life’s Holes @ Hands Free Mama

Paleo Teriyaki Chicken (Soy-free!) @ The Nourishing Gourmet

why it’s time we all got a lot more [good] stubborn @ A Holy Experience

7 Places to Pause for more Peace in Your Life @ Be More With Less

Summer is a great time to catch up on reading! What books have your attention these days?

A Minimalistic Approach to Summer

After binging on busyness for nine months, I’m spending the summer purging commitments from our lives. This year, my minimalistic approach to summer includes three Rs: Rest. Rejuvenation. Refocus.

By Hilary Bernstein, Contributing Writer

Whew. The school year is over. Does anyone else want to breathe a huge sigh of relief with me?

In many ways, it feels like my family’s been on fast forward since school began last August. And I’m tired.

Even though I homeschool my two children, our year’s been jam-packed with co-ops and lessons. Strangely enough, I tried to be intentional with our plans this year,  yet somehow we ended up with at least one family member having some sort of a commitment five nights of the week. That left us Friday and Saturday nights as a family without having to run around – only if we didn’t make other plans with family or friends.

I don’t mean to complain. We weren’t busy just for the sake of being busy, and we certainly tried to only commit to worthwhile groups and activities. But too much is too much. When our commitments started to wind down last month, we all breathed sighs of relief.

  • We could linger at the dinner table instead of rushing through dinner and running out the door.
  • We could play board games or card games or outside games together before bedtime.
  • I could teach my children how to cook or bake or garden.
  • I could finally start to tackle the mess that had now crept into most rooms of my house.
  • We could be more intentional about our lives.

After binging on busyness for nine months, I’m spending the summer purging commitments from our lives. This year, my minimalistic approach to summer includes three Rs: Rest. Rejuvenation. Refocus.

After binging on busyness for nine solid months, I’m spending the summer purging the commitments from our lives. Oh, sure, we still have swim lessons and vacation plans, but we’re ditching the non-essentials.

This year, my minimalistic approach to summer includes three Rs:

Rest.

Rejuvenation.

Refocus.

After binging on busyness for nine months, I’m spending the summer purging commitments from our lives. This year, my minimalistic approach to summer includes three Rs: Rest. Rejuvenation. Refocus.

Rest

I’d love to imagine that I’m going to catch up on my sleep this summer, but with two elementary-aged kiddos roaming my house, that’s not going to happen. (They haven’t reached the sleeping in phase yet.)

Rather, my rest is going to come from refusing to run everywhere all summer long. Our commitments are few, and we’re trying to stay at home. It may mean long, boring summer days for our kids – which is OK!! – and hopefully it will mean more time spent as a family, whether we’re eating out on our deck, reading books together on a blanket in the shade, or going on neighborhood walks together.

After binging on busyness for nine months, I’m spending the summer purging commitments from our lives. This year, my minimalistic approach to summer includes three Rs: Rest. Rejuvenation. Refocus.

Rejuvenation

What good is a summer without some fun? Since it’s finally warm in my corner of the world, I want my family to get outside as much as possible and soak up the sun and warm weather. I just know that running through the sprinkler, eating tomatoes fresh off our garden vines, or chasing fireflies at dusk will do wonders in reviving our spirits.

Refocus

As much as I’d like to ideally spend my summer resting and having fun, I do need to keep some responsibility in my life. Over the next couple months I’ll try to refocus on what is truly important and ask myself the hard questions:

  • What needs to stay in our lives during the coming school year?
  • What needs to be eliminated during the coming school year?
  • What should our family focus on in this next year of our lives?
  • What should we learn about?
  • How can I improve our education, home, business, outreach, and relationships?

Along with my time of reflection, I need to refocus the efforts in my house. My school room must get cleaned up before another year begins. My basement desperately needs a new way of organization. (I know, I know … minimalism is all about getting rid of what you don’t need, which I’ve done. But I use our basement to store clothing my children will grow into and their toy rotation, among other things.)

After binging on busyness for nine months, I’m spending the summer purging commitments from our lives. This year, my minimalistic approach to summer includes three Rs: Rest. Rejuvenation. Refocus.

If I can refocus my home and my family’s priorities by Labor Day weekend, I’ll be thrilled.

And if I can stick to rest, rejuvenation and refocus this summer, I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished much with my minimalistic plans.

If you’re culling commitments from your summer, what does your minimalistic approach to summer look like?

Real Deals: This Week’s Sales and Discounts on Natural Products You Really Use

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This week’s top deals:

BHSJune Savings at Bulk Herb Store

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Give Dad a FREE Beesilk pocket size bar from MadeOn Hard Lotion.  Just pay shipping.  Add the Beesilk pocket size bar to your cart. Apply code “DAD2015″ and the bar is free.  You can even send a bar straight to Dad, along with a gift note included with your order.  Offer only good for TODAY.  Coupon code ends at midnight Tuesday, June 16, 2015.abeslogo_r

AbesMarket.com

Natural for the People

Check out the sales at Abe’s Market.  Loads of natural, organic and eco-friendly products on sale!  Here are just a few:

chocjarnew-squareRegular $4.99 On Sale $2.99  Chocolate Powdered Peanut Butter  6.7 oz on sale at Abe’s Market

syrupRegular $12.50 On Sale $7.50 Organic Ginger Syrup  3 Pack/ 8 oz ea.  on sale at Abe’s market 

jesbenitph.sqRegular $7.98  On Sale $3.99  Jesben Slow Cooker Sauces on sale at Abe’s Market

Several great deals at Tropical Traditions right now!

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Buy 1 Get 1 FREE Virgin Coconut Oil Liquid Soap Pumps  Only $10.99 for 2  Sale ends Thursday, June 18, 2015

soapBut 1 Get 1 FREE Virgin Coconut Oil Scented Bar Soaps  Only $7.99 for 2 Sale ends Thursday, June 18, 2015

 

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60% OFF Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil for Hair Treatment Only $9.99/16oz.  Sale ends Sunday, June 21, 2015

 

Organic-Herbal-Breath-Spray35% OFF Herbal Breath Spray  Only 9.99.  Sale ends Sunday, June 21, 2015

 

organic-maple-syrup-16-oz-glass30% OFF Organic Grade B Maple Syrup Only $18.90/16oz.  Sale ends Sunday, June 21, 2015

 

lip_webBuy 1 Get 1 FREE Virgin Coconut Oil Lip Moisturizers Only $3.75 for 2. They come in 5 varieties: Cinnamon/Peppermint, Tea Tree Oil, Orange/Cinnamon, Citrus, Vanilla, Coconut, and Unscented.  Sale ends June 21, 2015

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Lowest Price To-Date! Just $2.40  Are You My Mother? (Bright & Early Board Books(TM)) Board book  Get FREE shipping with qualifying order.

Hat tip to Jungle Deals and Steals!
meldeensAs Low As $8.82-$9.86 Meldeens Raw Organic Extra Virgin Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil, 14-Ounce Jar is on sale for $10.38/14 oz.  Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save.  Get FREE shipping with qualifying order.

palm sugarJust $5.49  Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Coconut Sugar, 16-Ounce.  Get FREE shipping with qualifying order.

vacuumA great Father’s Day Gift Idea!

List Price $107.95 On Sale $48.99   Shop-Vac 5986000 5-Gallon 4.5 Peak HP Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum.  Qualifies for FREE shipping.

FREE Kindle eBooks:

(Note: Prices can change without notice so please double check the price before purchasing)

paleoPaleo Gluten Free Slow Cooker Recipes: Against All Grains (Paleo Recipes Book 4)
GFGluten-Free Recipe Sampler: Delicious Recipes for Pizza, Biscuits and More from Our Favorite Cookbooks
groceryThe Strategic Grocery Shopping Guide: How to find the best food, save money and improve your health

Kindle eBooks for Less Than $1:

debt freeDebt Free for Life: The Ultimate Guide to Get Out of Debt

Hat tip to Money Saving Mom for these eBooks!

This week’s best coupons:

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About prices: Though we do our very best to post only current deals and prices and to let you know when offers expire, companies can and do change their prices and offers at their own discretion, and we have no control over this. If you notice that a deal has changed, please let us know and we’ll change the post to alert other readers that something is no longer available. Thanks for understanding!

My 10 Favorite Real-Food Recipe Sites

Looking for some new real-food recipe sites? Check out my favorites!

Need some help finding great real food recipe sources? Here's ten great sites to start with, and tips to modify non-whole food recipes!

By Jessica Smartt, Contributing Writer

I have recently started meal-planning for the month. It is just amazing to look at the month of meals, PLANNED, in my calendar! While it is a bit of a bear to plan 30 days of meals at once, the rewards far outweigh the trouble! Anyone with me??

Whatever your method of planning meals (or not planning meals!) there probably comes a point where you think, what am I going to make for dinner? I need some inspiration! Here are the places I go for real-food meal-planning inspiration:

  • Keeper of the Home, of course! Sometimes I type “meal plan” or “recipe round-up” in the search bar, and this is the jackpot, because you’ll end up with lots of meal ideas!
  • For The Love of Cooking: Nothing fancy-schmancy, just normal good food.
  • The Pioneer Woman: No, not every recipe is 100% real food, but I can often adapt (for example, using this cream-of-soup recipe, or other homemade versions of things).
  • All Recipes: I like the reviews and comments feature of this site. I often use this site when I want a recipe for something kind of common (chicken enchiladas, for example). I’m able to see which recipe is most popular and get ideas that way. You do have to weed through a lot of standard-American recipes, but many are real-food!
  • Damn Delicious: I know, I know…the name! I wish it were different! But the recipes sure are…delicious.
  • Nourishing Home: I love Kelly’s recipes, especially the sweets!
  • Stacy Makes Cents: You’d be surprised how many things you can make in a Crock-Pot, even in the warm-weather months!
  • 100 Days of Real Food: It seems she has a recipe for everything!
  • Kitchen Stewardship:  I don’t know what I like more…the recipes, or Katie’s adorable sense of humor!
  • Pinterest: Real earth-shattering news here! We all know Pinterest is great for recipe searches, but I do have to give a specific shout-out to my allergy-friendly dinner board. It is a great place to look if you have dietary restrictions, like our family. Nothing gets your mouth watering like browsing Pinterest late at night for recipes!

So now it’s your turn. Where’s your favorite real-food recipe sites?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!