Browsing Tag:

mason jar

How-Tos/ Nutrition/ RECIPES

How To Eat More Seeds Every Day [+ A Super Seed No Recipe Recipe]

bowl of oats topped with super seeds

Last week I wrote ‘5 Reasons to Eat SuperSeeds Every Day’, and today I am going to share some ideas on HOW to eat more seeds every day.

When it comes to getting into the rhythm of doing something every day, it helps to make it as accessible as possible and as easy as possible.


tablespoon and seeds in a jar

My superseed no recipe recipe below is the best way I have found to make everyday seed-eating most accessible and efficient. I eat them almost mindlessly and rarely skip a day.

The glass jar I keep them in is always front and center in my refrigerator. By making a mix, you avoid having to grab different individual bags of seeds each day, but still get all the amazing benefits of eating multiple types of seeds each day.

Let’s face it, those bags can get lost in the pantry and sit lonely and unused, and an empty jar waiting to be refilled can solve that problem.

A glass jar is key. You can see what is in it, and it is easy to grab and use while making breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack.

I use a mason jar, and have been eyeing this glass jar clip and spoon that fits around the lip of a wide mouth mason jar would be perfect for scooping seeds efficiently. It’s only $3.99!

It would eliminate that one more step of searching for a spoon, and it is cute to boot. I also keep my ground coffee in mason jars, so I may have to buy 2! I just put it on my Amazon Wish List. 


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HEALTH/ Homemaking/ Natural Products

How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies Before & After They Enter Your Home


Getting Rid Of Fruit Flies

We eat a ton of fruit around here, especially in the summer. We up our green smoothie game with all the wonderful fruit available. The past 2 weeks I’ve noticed our fruit attracting fruit flies, and I had to do something about it! Fruit flies are harmless but a nuisance. It was time to get rid of them!

I asked my followers on Facebook for some tips, and used their suggestions & some ideas on Pinterest to decide what would be the most simple, easy and effective way to get rid of fruit flies.

Here is what I did and it worked!


How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies With a Trap

You simply need a jar, balsamic vinegar, a drop of dish soap & some plastic wrap. Put some balsamic vinegar in a jar, add a drop of dish detergent, top with a piece of plastic wrap, screw jar ring to keep it in place & poke holes in the wrap. Set it out where you have seen the most flies & in time you will see less and less flying around and more floating in the jar.

I like using balsamic vinegar because the sweetness really seems to attract them, and the soap will reduce the surface tension so the flies sink to the bottom. Apple Cider vinegar works too, but I like how the dark color of the balsamic vinegar hides the flies so I don’t have to look at them! It gives me the shivers!! I tried just plain vinegar and it did not work.


How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies Before They Enter Your Home

I hate to be there bearer of the MOST gross news, but often fruit flies come into your home because their eggs and larvae are already on the fruit you buy. Then, once in your kitchen, they thrive because the have a beautiful place to breed–your kitchen sink drain. I know…yuck!

If you want to get ahead of the battle and make sure your fruit is clean, when you bring it home fill a bowl with water & add 2 Tablespoons of vinegar. Place fruit in this solution & gently scrub with your hands. Rinse with cool water. You could also use a store-bought solution made especially for cleaning fruit.


How To Keep Fruit Flies From Hatching In Your Drain

I have not done anything to my drains except pour a bit of vinegar down and then chased it with a pot of very hot water from my electric tea kettle. I have read that filling the sink up with bleach water, letting it soak, then emptying the drain is also a way to deal with drains as breeding grounds, but I don’t like dealing with harsh bleach. I find that keeping my counters clean & the dishes in my sink rinsed and free from fruit or anything sweet is key to keeping fruit flies away from my sink area.


How To Keep Your Home Fruit Fly Free

The above methods work! Less than 3 days ago I created a trap and today I have not seen one fruit fly, but there are at least 30 floating in my trap if I look closely through the dark vinegar. I’ve made sure our kitchen is clean and been vigilant with my teen girls about keeping food put away and rinsing their dirty dishes right away.

Once your infestation is under control using the above methods, the best thing to do is keep it that way by keeping a clean kitchen, so don’t let food sit out, especially sweet food and bruised fruit. Bruised fruit is like a magnet, the flies will find it, will breed and swarm! I’ve been vigilant with my teen girls about having them keep the food put away and rinsing their dishes right away, especially when they make fruit smoothies! Teen girls are very grossed out by any type of bug, so they have been quick to oblige!



{for your pinning pleasure}

Do you struggle with fruit flies?

What are your tried and true methods for getting rid of them?


Brunch/ Featured/ Homemade Gifts/ RECIPES/ Sweets

Cranberry Chia Jam


I cannot get enough cranberries for some reason this season! I crave them. It all started around Thanksgiving with my Hall of Fame Cranberry Sauce, which was so good that I started putting it on my toast in the morning.  Then the New Year hit and I wanted a healthier version, so I came up with this Cranberry Chia Jam recipe.  This awesome recipe is sweetened naturally & packed with 2 superfoods; cranberries and chia seeds.


Cranberries are so very healthy. According to WebMD:

Cranberries have vitamin C and fiber, and are only 45 calories per cup. In disease-fighting antioxidantscranberries outrank nearly every fruit and vegetable–including strawberries, spinach, broccoli, red grapes, apples, raspberries, and cherries.

One cup of whole cranberries has 8,983 total antioxidant capacity. Only blueberries can top that: Wild varieties have 13,427; cultivated blueberries have 9,019.

Cranberries are amazing, but being as tart as they are, it is tempting to use sugar to sweeten them up. There is a reason my Hall of Fame Cranberry Sauce is so good, and that is the 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar in it! I am really trying to detox from sugar so I had to find a way to keep my cranberry -jammed toast habit, but dump the sugar.

My solution was to sweeten the recipe up with honey or maple syrup instead of brown sugar, and cut the amount of sweetness way down.  Another way I added some sweetness is by using the juice of the orange.  The recipe calls for grated orange peel, so it made sense to use the juice from the orange as a natural sweetener.


Chia Seeds

Using juice and a liquid natural sweetener made the cranberry mixture a bit too runny after cooking, so my solution to this was chia seeds! I was giddy to think that not only would they thicken the jam and act as pectin would in regular jam recipes, (chia seeds swell and turn gelatinous) but they would add more health benefits on top of my toast!


Here are a few reasons why chia seeds are my favorite seed:

 ~they are jammed packed with protein and minerals and healthy fats and fiber
~they provide more plant-based Omega 3’s than any other food, even FLAX
~5 times the calcium of milk, plus boron which is a trace mineral that helps transfer calcium to bones
~8 times the omega 3’s found in salmon
~3 times more iron than spinach
~2 times the amount of potassium than bananas
~more antioxidants than found in blueberries
~they have 5 GRAMS of fiber PER TABLESPOON!
~the are a complete source of protein, providing all the essential amino acids
~can be stored for years without deterioration of flavor or color
~they are flavorless and dissolve in juice, soups, stews, shakes etc..
 ~they are low-calorie way to get super FULL!
Jar of cranberry chia jam

My Morning Toast Habit

I am in a major morning toast habit.  I have found my favorite bread from Sam’s called Dave’s Killer Bread, and it is full of seeds and nuts and all kinds of organic goodness. It has 6 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber & 670mg of Omega 3’s due to all of the great flax and pumpkin seeds in it. I make 2 slices so all of that goodness doubled. I like to use a softer bread for sandwiches, unless they are grilled or Panini pressed, but this bread is delicious with just a touch of sweet & makes wonderful toast.  I buy it in bulk and freeze it.  I take it straight from the freezer to the toaster. You can buy it here on Amazon or at Sam’s.

I use either Earth Balance spread or organic butter…whatever we have on hand.  We do not drink milk around here but I have added some organic animal products back into our diet.  We just do better health- wise with some good organic animal fats & protein, and it especially seems to be a positive thing for our family when it comes to brain health– but that is another post!


Cranberry Chia Jam As A Gift

Here is where I have to make a confession.  I had a jar of my Hall of Fame Cranberry Sauce all packaged up and ready to give to my sweet neighbors during the Christmas season.  They always give us great home-baked goods and I wanted to send a little something their way, too.  I even shared a picture of it on my New Nostalgia Facebook page.  I made a jar for them and a jar for us. Confession: I ate the jar for us… and the jar for them.  I know! I know! I just couldn’t imagine my toast without cranberry sauce on top and mine ran out so I just had to open their jar and help myself.

Because of my selfishness, our poor neighbors didn’t get a gift until New Year’s…ok…I confess, I delivered it just yesterday.  But, I feel like it all worked out well.  They are very health conscience, so it felt great to give them my Cranberry Chia Jam instead of the sugar-filled Hall of Fame Cranberry Sauce, and last night I got a text from my neighbor letting me know he was looking forward to toast in the morning.  I did have to dump the original Christmas packaging idea, and instead added a fun polka dot tag and a little hint of sparkle, as New Year’s day really was not THAT long ago, right?



Cranberry Chia Jam Recipe

makes 1 pint

2 cups fresh or frozen organic cranberries, sorted and rinsed

1/3 cup of organic 100% maple syrup or honey (more if you want sweeter)

1/8 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Peel of one orange, grated (or 2 clementines) I use the fine side of this grater.

Juice of one orange (or 2 clementines)

1 Tablespoon chia seeds


Add all but chia seeds to a medium saucepan.

On medium heat, let the cranberries pop and cook, 7-9 minutes, mashing and stirring as they cook.

Let cool, then stir in the chia seeds.

Store in a jar. Jam will thicken upon standing.

This will keep for about a month in the refrigerator.



Do you love the taste of cranberries?

Do you use chia seeds? How?

Did you make any homemade gifts this holiday season?

FUN/DIY/ Healthy Eating/ RECIPES/ Sides

Simple Mason Jar Salads



Salads in a Mason Jar

I’ve seen these mason jar salads all over Pinterest and Instagram, and have been wanting to make them myself for quite a while now.  I love the idea of just grabbing a jar and having a healthy lunch or snack right at your fingertips.

These jars took just minutes to make. I decided to keep mine simple, which helped make the process super easy.

 I wanted to use ingredients that all members of my family would eat, as I hoped that having some beautiful jars of goodness in our refrigerator would encourage my 3 girls to grab one and eat up their veggies.

It worked, especially on my oldest girl who is a cross-country runner and is quite motivated to get her veggies in!  She loved these so much that she asked if she could take them in her school lunch instead of a sandwich.




Salad in a Jar

I’ve seen quite elaborate salads- in- jars all over the internet, but I knew simple would work best for our family.  Most that I’ve seen put the dressing at the very bottom, then add veggies, a protein (beans or hard-boiled eggs) then the salad at the top.

Putting hearty vegetables in-between the dressing and the lettuce keeps the lettuce dry and makes them last 5-7 days in the refrigerator.  It is great for a to-go lunch or snack.

My family members all like a different dressing, so I skipped putting the dressing in the bottom.  We ended up eating most of these at home, where we could easily grab the dressing we liked, dump the jar onto a plate, and add any other toppings at the time of eating.

Really, for my family, the salad jars were a great way to present enticing, healthy, grab and go food.  I think it is worth the little bit of time to put the jars together to make this happen.

Sometimes when veggies just sit in their bags in the refrigerator, my girls are less likely to grab them and eat them. Having them in such pretty jars really made a difference in the number of vegetables we consumed that week.

I’ve written before about keeping fresh veggies cut in jars in our refrigerator.  Most weeks when I am making a salad for dinner, I will cut up extra vegetables and put them into jars–again–worth the extra time for my family to see healthy foods in our refrigerator.

They will not grab a cucumber and cut it up to eat it, but they will grab a jar of sliced cucumbers and munch away.

The week I made these jars, I made sure I had hard-boiled eggs peeled and chopped, ready to go as it is one of my families’ favorite salad toppings and a great way to add protein.

I also had red pepper slices and cooked peas, both in separate jars, which are two of my favorite salad toppings.

In my pantry, I had a large jar of croutons, a jar of dried cranberries & a jar of sunflower seeds, all of which are great salad toppings.

Jars a wonderful way to keep healthy ingredients at your fingertips, store ingredients so that they last a long time, and make the refrigerator and pantry look beautiful and organized.  I just love them!

Below is a list of salad ingredients that can be stored in jars to top your Simple Mason Jar Salad, or to make more elaborate Mason Jar Salads.

If you are wanting to make these with the dressing and all of the ingredients layered in the jar, make sure you buy large mouth jars and layer the ingredients in the right order.


Best Order:

Dressing, hearty vegetables (ones that can marinate in the dressing without breaking down like carrots, peppers, grape tomatoes, cucumbers), fruits, protein/carb (beans, pasta, chicken), dry toppings (seeds, croutons, dried fruit) then lettuce.


Ingredient Ideas for Mason Jar Salads

Shredded Rotisserie Chicken
Chopped Bacon
Whole-Wheat Bow-Tie Pasta
Sliced Strawberries
Mandarin Oranges
Dried Cranberries
Green Peppers
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Feta Cheese
Sunflower Seeds
Sliced Almonds


Simple Mason Jar Salads

Here is how I made mine:


Shredded Carrots

Shredded Broccoli Stalks

Baby Spinach

Lettuce Mix

*all of my ingredients (except cucumber) came prepped in bags from Trader Joes- easy!



Add ingredients in jars in the order given.  Put a lid on and store in refrigerator 5-7 days.

When ready to eat, take out, add whatever extra toppings you would like, add dressing & enjoy!


What about you?

Do you like the idea of having these available in your refrigerator ready to grab and eat?  Do you think it would motivate you to eat more veggies?

For a very detailed article on Mason Jar Salads, click here.


Sweet Tart Smoothie


I call this a Sweet Tart Smoothie because that is exactly what I thought it tasted like!  How fun is it that a green smoothie can taste like candy?!

The sweet/tart flavor comes from  Aronia Berry.  This smoothie also contains mixed berries, a banana, chia (for those plant-based omega’s), kale (another powerhouse nutrient-filled food), and aloe vera juice.



Now THAT’S a healthy smoothie, AND it tastes like candy!  What more could one want?


Have you heard of this powerhouse, superfood, full-of amazing-goodness  Aronia Berry?  Let me tell you a bit about it.

~Aronia berries have the HIGHEST antioxidant capacity among berries and other fruits evaluated to date. (as of 2012)

~they contain high levels of vitamin C which make them great immunity boosters

~the antioxidants they contain protect against many degenerative diseases, including cancer, heart disease and just aging in general

~they help protect the skin from harmful pollutants & the sun’s ultraviolet light. They keep our skin from aging and are part of an anti-wrinkle diet

~they have anti-viral properties and a rich history– Potawatomi Indians used them to cure colds.

~a group of Bulgarian scientists found Aronia melanocarpa to have in-vitro and antiviral activity against type A influenza virus.  It also was found to have anti-bacterial activity against Staph & EColi.

~reasearchers from the Department of Nutrition & Food Science at the University of Maryland analyzed the extracts in grapes, wild blueberries and aronia berries for their chemoprevention activity against colon cancer.  All three extracts inhibited the growth of cancer cells, but aronia berry extract was the most potent inhibitor.

~Aronia berries taste yummy


I have read that they are so potent, that you do need to limit your consumption to a serving a day.


This works out well for me, as they are sold at our local food co-op in pretty small amounts for a pretty large penny! This package was $7.00.  It is worth it, as they are locally and organically grown & come frozen.  I’m willing to pay well for food that is THIS nutritious.

If you cannot find them fresh or frozen, you can order them dried on Amazon.  They are said to make a great tea when rehydrated.  Steer clear of Aronia Berry juice.  Most of the antioxidants are lost when juiced and bottled.

I’m excited to experiment with this little sweet tart berry.  I’ve seen Aronia Berry pie, cobblers & crisps.  I’m sure if we searched Pinterest, there would be all kinds of fun ideas.  I will share anything I try that I love with you in future posts.

Have you tasted the Aronia berry?  What do you think?

 {Don’t you LOVE the lid and straw? My new favorite.  Click here to purchase}

Sweet Tart Smoothie

1 ripe frozen banana*
1/3 cup frozen aronia berries
1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
1 handful baby kale
8 oz aloe Vera juice
1 tbls chia
Add all to a high-speed blender.  Blend until smooth.
If you don’t have a high-speed blender, start with the aloe vera juice & kale, blend well.  Add the rest of the ingredients & blend until as smooth as possible.  Your smoothie might have some texture to it, but it will be delicious!
*If you banana is not ripe, which makes it sweet, you may need to add either stevia or a couple of medjool dates or date paste for sweetness.





Cinnamon Maple Iced Latte

mason jar of cinnamon maple iced latte

I recently was given an awesome hand-me-down espresso maker,(thanks Dad & Pam!) and I have been having great fun with it.  My latest concoction is this delicious Cinnamon Maple Iced Latte.

If you don’t have an espresso maker, don’t worry.  This can easily be made with cold-brewed toddy.  Cold-brewed toddy is a low-acid coffee made by simply soaking coffee grounds in water overnight, then straining.  Read here for instructions.

If you do have an at-home espresso maker, just make 4 ounces of espresso.  Don’t worry about cooling the espresso down, ice will do that job for you.

This recipe is a breeze if you do just a couple of steps ahead of time.  It uses a cinnamon syrup, which keeps really well in the refrigerator.  Make once and use for a week or two. If you skip the espresso process and use toddy, then that, too, can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.  Talk about streamlining the process of making a quick iced drink!  Just grab your jar of brewed toddy, grab the cinnamon syrup, grab your ice and milk and voila–a delicious and very inexpensive Cinnamon Maple Iced Toddy Latte.

This really is a special tasting drink.  I like it better than what I can buy at my favorite coffee shops, especially when those said drinks cost me over $4.00 a pop!


Cinnamon Maple Iced Latte

1 Tbsp cinnamon syrup

1 Tbsp pure maple syrup (more or less depending on how sweet you like it)

4 oz espresso (or cold-brewed toddy)

4 oz milk of choice (I use vanilla almond milk–delish!)

glass full of ice


Cinnamon Syrup

1 cup filtered water

1 tsp cinnamon 

Combine water and cinnamon in a small saucepan over low heat for about 5 minutes, whisking often.  Do not go longer.  Overcooking will turn it into the consistency of egg white, and you DO NOT want that.  Pour the syrup into a jar and store in the refrigerator.


To Make Cinnamon Iced Toddy:

Fill glass with ice.  Measure milk into a glass measure.  Add maple syrup and cinnamon syrup. Stir, then pour over ice.

Add espresso or toddy.  Give a gentle stir.  Pop in a straw and enjoy!


I have a thing for drinking iced coffee drinks with a lid and straw.  I think I just got used to it from purchasing so many iced lattes in my lifetime! I have ADORED the mason jar lids and straw you see in the above picture.  They turn a mason jar into a portable cup with straw, or a sippy cup without the straw.

If you want even more fancy, use a pretty glass and pop one of these stainless steel straws in.  Love it!


FUN/DIY/ HOME/ Homemaking/ Organizing/ Simplifying

9 Ways To Use Jars To Spring Organize And Spring Clean

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Cooking Light and Real Simple, but all my opinions are my own.  #pmedia #FreshandFab

If you have been reading New Nostalgia, then you know I have a love affair with mason jars.  Why do I love them?  So many reasons!
~They come in many sizes
~They are inexpensive
~They are not plastic
~They are simplistic in design
~They are glass, which does not keep me guessing on what and how much is inside of them!
~They have a gazillion different uses!
I think the understated mason jar is just perfect, and are the perfect example of something from yesterday that can simplify today, which goes right along with the title of this blog, New Nostalgia.
I was recently super inspired by Real Simple magazine & a picture I saw in it. They used my beloved mason jars to organize, but made them even better by using chalkboard stick-on labels.  I think the nostalgia of chalk goes great with the nostalgia of mason jars, and together they make such an appealing look!  Those labels would be the perfect purchase to keep my motivation up to organize, which is perfect as spring is coming and I have got the urge to get everything in its place and spring clean!
Are you a fan of Real Simple magazine?  How about Cooking Light magazine?  They are 2 of my personal favorite magazines, and right now if you buy the April issues of both magazines at Target, you will receive a $5.00 Target gift card from the cashier while supplies last. I got mine and I was giddy excited to get home, relax and read my new magazines!
Here are 9 ways that I’m already using mason jars to make life a bit more simple & organized:
1. Use them as drinking glasses.This Iced Tangerine Mint Green Tea look so beautiful in them!  I also love just simple lemon water in them, and I use them almost daily for green smoothies!

2. Store craft supplies.

Mason jars are great for storing craft supplies, especially DIY Scented Gel Paints!  I like to use the small size jars to round up small craft supplies –like googly eyes and buttons.

3. Use for DIY gifting.

Jars are the perfect container for a large batch of DIY homemade gifts. They keep great in storage to grab and gift when in need!  I love having this Peppermint Stick Hot Cocoa Mix on hand during the holiday months.

4. Use to store leftover foods.

I personally despise stained plastic containers, and REALLY do not like searching for the right lid for the container!  If you use mason jars, there are only 2 lid sizes.  I throw all my lids and rings for the lids in a big bowl for storage.  No more stained plastic.  No more searching for the right lid.

5. Use for food storage in the pantry.

I love the look of jars in the pantry.  Small jars are great for herbs.  Larger jars are great for grains.  They stack nicely and look so pretty!

6. Use for food storage in the freezer.I use jars to freeze leftovers or my some of my favorite large-batch recipes, like this Strawberry Freezer Jam or my favorite Pepper Onion Relish. The smaller pint size jars are great for stacking and fitting a lot of food in a small freezer.

7. Use them to organize your healthy eating and motivate you to eat more plants!

Turn your refrigerator into a work of art where you family will want to come, snack on a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, and get excited about it!  I don’t know about you, but when my veggies are prepped and staring at me through the glass of the jar, it makes me grab and eat!  Jars also make your veggies super portable.  On the go in a rush?  Grab a jar and go!

8. Use for utensil storage.

I love keeping my wooden clips in a mason jar.  I also keep straws in open jars to grab quick for smoothies.

9. Organize your salad ingredients.

Use them to create an at-home salad bar that stays fresh and beautiful for days in the refrigerator!  You can easily put a ready-to-eat layered salad in a jar that will keep for days — just make sure you put the salad dressing at the bottom.  When I have all my salad toppings in jars and ready to go, it makes my goal of eating a big, leafy green salad at least once a day very do-able.  Don’t forget to grab the jars of slivered nuts, dried cranberries & sesame sticks in the pantry to sprinkle on top and make your salad on to look forward to!


I hope these images of beautiful magazines and beautiful jars motivate you to do some of your own spring organizing and cleaning.  Remember to spring clean your bodies by eating good foods, too!

Don’t forget to grab your April copies of Cooking Light and Real Simple, and your free $5.00 gift card.

Happy Spring!

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