Suburban Pioneers

The Adventures and Misadventures of Homesteading in 21st-Century America

Lauren: 3-Day Juice Cleanse April 11, 2014

Filed under: Drinks,Juicing — lkcook20 @ 7:39 pm
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Mean Green Juice (recipe from Joe Cross article)

Mean Green Juice
(recipe from Joe Cross article)

My husband and I are on day 3 of a 3-day juice cleanse. I’m hoping this will kick-start us into juicing daily again and making healthier decisions. Juicing is a great way to get nutrients and to train your body to crave fruits and veggies instead of cookies and cake. I’ve also lost three pounds and that doesn’t hurt either. But we’ll see how long it takes for those to come back. . .

I was really excited to find Joe Cross’s Weekend Juice Cleanse. I loved his documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

The movie chronicles his 60-day juice fast, during which he loses 100 pounds, gets off prescription meds, and changes his life. The documentary is what made us buy a juicer in the first place. And his three-day plan is right up my alley. I like that you can have hot water with lemon in the morning. It helped me not to miss coffee. Well, maybe I shouldn’t go that far. . .

Then you drink juice for breakfast, as well as for a mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, and  pre-dinner. (I skipped the pre-dinner drink. That’s a lot of juice!) And here comes my favorite part. You can eat dinner. Real food. Warm food. That you use your teeth to chew! Granted, the meal consists of fruits and veggies, but I’m telling you, friends, sweet potato fries never tasted so good! Then you end the day with some herbal tea before bed.

I will admit that it is somewhat torturous to feed the kids. Even their unsweetened oatmeal looks good to me. And I made the mistake of reading an Easter book with E. that talks about what different cultures eat for Easter dinner. My mouth is watering just recalling it now. Oh my gosh, he just came out of his quiet time and wants to read it again. Nooooooo!

The kids love to make and drink the juice. They actually do a dance when I say we’re going to make juice. And I have to fight them off when I’m having some for lunch. “Get down, dogs! This is my whole lunch!” (That’s right. Sometimes I call my kids dogs. I think I learned that from my husband.) I never have to do that with that other drink I’ll call “Second Servant.”


Someone should tell him that’s not an apple

Here’s my favorite breakfast juice recipe:


3 oranges

3 apples

8 carrots


Wash apples. Peel oranges. Peel carrots if they aren’t organic. Place ingredients in a juicer and wait for the magic to happen. Pour over ice, if desired, and enjoy.


Yield: 2- 16 oz glasses

carrot juice




Lauren: A Taste of Summer: Strawberry Peanut Butter Smoothie January 30, 2014

Filed under: Drinks,Food & Cooking — lkcook20 @ 9:26 pm
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Me and peanut butter are like this:      (you can’t see them, but my fingers are entwined). We had a brief breakup after I returned from studying abroad since we saw a little too much of each other in England when I was poor (that exchange rate hurts) and ate a lot of peanut butter sandwiches. But that separation didn’t last long and now I’m older and wiser; I know that absence makes the heart grow fonder. But it’s not easy to exercise restraint, especially when it comes to these Strawberry Peanut Butter Smoothies.

In my opinion, the best tasting smoothies have peanut butter in them. They also have the added benefit of keeping you fuller for longer. Win win.



2 cups milk (organic, if possible)

3 Tbsp peanut butter

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 frozen banana

1 cup spinach

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

2 Tbsp honey

1 cup ice cubes


Combine all ingredients (except ice cubes) in a blender and blend until smooth. Then add ice cubes and blend again. Pour into four glasses (or two big glasses) and enjoy!



Lauren: Salted Caramel Mocha / Hot Chocolate December 12, 2012

This is one of my very favorite treats. I like the homemade version even better than the Starbucks one- and so does my wallet, which also makes my husband happy. It’s a win-win-win!


Shout out to my incredibly talented sister-in-law who made the mug!


2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp honey

1/4 cup water

2 tsp caramel (Try to find some at the store with only five or six ingredients. They are out there! Or make your own!)

generous pinch of sea salt (not coarse)

1 cup milk

Homemade whipped cream (see below)

caramel and salt (for drizzling and/or sprinkling)

Microwave Directions: 

1. Add cocoa powder, honey, and water to a mug. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Add caramel and sea salt. Stir until dissolved.

2. Microwave milk in a seperate glass for one or one and a half minutes. Slowly pour into chocolate sauce while stirring. Top with whipped cream, caramel, and salt.

Stovetop Directions:

1. Add cocoa powder, honey, and water to a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until honey is dissolved. Add caramel and sea salt and stir until both are dissolved.

2.Add milk. Heat until hot but not boiling, stirring occasionally.  Pour into your favorite mug and then top with whipped cream, caramel, and salt.

For the more caffeinated version:

Reduce milk to 1/2 cup and add 1/2- 3/4 cup strong coffee. Pour in the coffee at the same time that you add the milk in the recipes above.

Homemade Whipped Cream:

1. Chill the mixing bowl for about fifteen minutes. Add 1 cup heavy whipping cream and 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract to the cold bowl. Mix on medium speed until soft peaks form (about five minutes). Don’t leave it too long or you’ll make yourself some butter!


Sarah: Simple Apple Cider December 10, 2012

As our next Deprocessed December recipe, fill your home with a little holiday cheer!  Of course, you can buy hot apple cider in instant packets at the store.

But I recommend you substitute thisScreen Shot 2012-12-09 at 10.35.16 PMfor this:

Easy Homemade Apple Cider

6 c. apple juice (no sugar added)
1/2 tsp. whole cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 sticks of cinnamon

Heat all ingredients to boiling in a pot over med./high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 10 minutes.  Strain if desired (I usually don’t because it’s too much work).

Frugal Reduce and Reuse Note: finding the cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon sticks in the Hispanic foods aisle at the grocery store means they’re not only cheaper, but the packaging is much less bulky than those plastic bottles that are in the spice aisle.  For an even better solution, though, go to the spice section of your bulk foods source and reuse your spice bags (save your empty spice bottles, containers, and small jars so that you don’t need to buy the packaging just to get the spices).

I sometimes double this apple cider recipe and then freeze half.  I think the real substitute for individually packaged apple cider would be to freeze it in individual serving sizes (if you ever get to-go cups from eating out, they’re the perfect size to rinse out and fill partway with the cider).  Once they are frozen, you can remove them from their cups and put all those frozen chunks of cider in a gallon ziplock or other container to pull out and microwave as single servings on those wintery nights!  So…it’s a little more work, but I see two advantages: 1) No mysterious ingredients or additives (have you ever read what’s in one of those packets?!)  2) Making your own cider makes your house smell heavenly…and it always impresses the in-laws.


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