Five Star Recipes

3 Ingredient Sugar & Pectin Free Strawberry Freezer Jam



Strawberry season is here at last!  I have always looked forward to May because it means I can usually get some pretty awesome deals on strawberries.  My kids eat strawberries like crazy, so when I found out from my local produce co-op that I could get 8 lbs of strawberries for $8 I jumped on it.

Our family has been trying to eat healthier, so I wanted to find a recipe that was sugar free.  Not only did I find one that was sugar free, but pectin free as well!  Instead of pectin this recipe calls for chia seeds.  Apparently the chia seeds jell up when mixed with the fruit and help the jam set up.  Not only that, but chia seeds are extremely healthy for you!

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Pretty awesome right?  And even better, they aren’t that expensive.  I think the bag we got at Walmart was around $5.  Much healthier than pectin.

This recipe calls for 2 cups of fruit.  I had closer to 8 cups so I just quadrupled the recipe. Feel free to add a bit more or less honey (agave syrup) to taste.

The best thing about this recipe is that not only does it work, but it is super fast and easy. Kids can even help wash, blend and stir the ingredients.  Let’s get started!

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3 INGREDIENT STRAWBERRY FREEZER JAM- Makes 2 Cups

  • 2 cups fruit (any berry)
  • 3 Tbsp. raw honey or agave syrup
  • 2-3 Tbsp. chia seeds (2 for looser set, 3 for more set)

Process all ingredients in a blender and refrigerate over night.  The chia seeds will gel, setting up the fruit puree.  Want to use two different kinds of fruit?  Just make sure it equals 2 cups.

Wash all your strawberries and remove the tops.  Then you can use either a blender, food processor, or my favorite, an immersion blender to puree the strawberries.  Blend in the other 2 ingredients and pour into freezer safe jars or containers leaving an inch of head space.  Place your containers in the fridge or freezer to cool, and you’re all set!

Now when you pack that PB&J sandwich for your kiddos lunch you can rest assured knowing that not only will they love the taste, they will be getting all those awesome benefits of chia seeds.

What is your favorite thing to slather the strawberry jam on?

Five Star Recipes

Resurrection Rolls

This year I thought it would be fun to start a new tradition for our Easter dinner.  I was flipping through ideas on Pinterest and these little hollow rolls stood out to me.  I love the symbolism not only in the finished product, but in the way they are made as well.

Most of the recipes I found for the resurrection rolls used prepackaged tube crescent rolls. Unfortunately I didn’t have any, and didn’t have time to run to the store, so I decided I’d make my own.  I’m so glad I did!  The crescent rolls were super easy and would be amazing on their own.  Thanks to Annalise from Completely Delicious for this amazing recipe:  Fairy Rolls

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After the dough has risen, separate it and roll each half into a circle.  Then use a pizza cutter to separte the dough into 12 triangles.

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Now its time for the fun part.  Thanks to Jen from Yummy, Healthy, Easy for these directions with all the wonderful symbolism and scriptures included.

  1. First, gather the kids together (or your significant other, grandparents, aunts, uncle, whoever). Get your ingredients out and preheat the oven. Read John 19 in the New Testament while the oven is pre-heating.
  2. Unroll the crescent rolls, separating each section. Explain that this is like the cloth they wrapped Jesus in.
  3. Give your child a marshmallow and explain that it represents Jesus. It’s white and pure because He was without sin.
  4. Roll the marshmallow in a small bowl of water. This symbolizes the embalming oils.
  5. Now, roll the marshmallow in the cinnamon & sugar mixture. This is like the spices used to prepare his body for burial.
  6. Next up, wrap the marshmallow in the crescent roll dough, making sure to pinch the dough together securely on the sides. Don’t worry about what they look like because they’ll taste great no matter what! This represents how they wrapped Jesus’ body.
  7. Repeat with each marshmallow and place the rolls in the oven (symbolizing the tomb) and bake for the amount of time specified on the package – 8 to 10 minutes. (Note:  If you are making them with the recipe I used you will want to cook them closer to 13 minutes.)
  8. While the rolls are baking, read John 20:1-18.
  9. When the cook time is up, open the tomb and remove the rolls. When they’re cool enough to handle, let your child(ren) open one and discover what happened to the marshmallow. It’s disappeared! This signifies how Jesus has been resurrected.

One of the important things to remember is to use either parchment paper or a silpat mat while baking these.  You will thank me when you don’t have to scrub the crazy sticky cooked on marshmallow off your baking sheets.  And as an added bonus you can sneak little bits of tasty cooked marshmallow.  It peels right off.

These turned out so good!  And honestly it wasn’t that much harder making the crescent rolls from scratch.  There isn’t even any kneading required.  These will be finding a place on our Easter table for years to come.

Five Star Recipes

Easy Shrimp Sushi Stack

If you love sushi, then have I got a recipe for you!  This is something super easy that you can make from ingredients you already have at home.  When you are having one of those sushi craving moments all you need to do is chop up a few veggies, and layer them up with that leftover rice from last night’s dinner.  Now just for the record, this is more of a faux kind of sushi.  It doesn’t include any raw fish or seaweed, but if you’d like to change it up feel free to add what you like.

I didn’t add any specific measurements to the recipe below, because I usually just chop up the avacado, cucumber, and shrimp until I have a small bowl of each to layer with. I wouldn’t recommend making these ahead of time, as they are best eaten immediately after you make them.  If you are making them for a party or get together you could probably refrigerate them, but I wouldn’t keep them in there for more than an hour or so if that.

I first got the idea for this recipe from the amazing blogger Gina Homolka over at Skinny Taste.  When I saw that I could make something similar to sushi at home, I just had to try it out.

Now on to the recipe!

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Easy Shrimp Sushi Stack

  • peeled and diced cucumber
  • mashed avacado
  • cooked shrimp, peeled and tails removed
  • cooked rice (white and brown are both great)
  • mayonnaise
  • siriracha sauce
  • sesame seeds

First find a small container to use as the mold for your sushi stack.  You can even use your 1 cup measuring cup.  Start by putting a spoonful of diced cucumber in and spread until it covers the bottom.  Then continue with the shrimp, avacado, and rice in that order.

When you’ve finished layering these ingredients pack them down tight into your container using the back of a spoon.  Place a small plate on top of your container and holding the plate in place, quickly turn it upside down.  Gently tap the container and lift it straight up.

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Now onto the tasty sauce that really makes this stack amazing.  You can add as little or as much siriracha sauce as you’d like depending on how spicy you like it.  Put a scoop of mayo in a small dish and add your siriracha sauce.  Mix together and spread on top of your stack. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

My final thoughts:  This recipe definitely deserves a full five stars.  It is quick and tasty and my little sushi loving kiddo begs me to make it all the time.

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Five Star Recipes

Tasty Pressure Cooker BBQ Ribs

There is a new kitchen gagdet that people are falling head over heels for, including myself!  The electric pressure cooker (some of you may know it as the brand name InstaPot) is a wonderful tool for when you want a meal that tastes like it has been cooked in a slow cooker, but with half the time.

My husband is a huge fan of ribs; and when I saw a recipe that made them in the pressure cooker, I knew I had to try them out.  The best part about these amazing ribs is that you can make them with only 4 ingredients!  You probably have all these ingredients, minus the actual ribs of course, in your pantry.

Tasty Pressure Cooker BBQ Ribs

Serves 4-6

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 lbs Pork Ribs
  • Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 Cup Water

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1:  Turn the ribs over and use a knife to find the thin fatty membrane.  Using a paper towel for grip,  peel/slice the membrane down the length of the ribs. This was not my favorite part.  I’m not a huge fan of touching raw meat, let alone pulling off fatty tissue, but it was worth it in the end.

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Step 2: Sprinkle both sides of the ribs with salt & pepper.  Rub the spices into the meat.  You could also use other spices in this step such as paprika, or specialty BBQ spice rubs if you’d like.  Preheat your oven to 450 F so it will be nice and hot for later.

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Step 3:  Add your ribs and 1 cup of water to the pressure cooker.  My pressure cooker is a Power Pressure Cooker XL and has a Chicken/Meat button.  I’m guessing those of you who have an Insta Pothave a similar button.  Press this button and pressure cook for 25 minutes.

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Step 4:  After the ribs have cooked for 25 minutes, place them on top of a metal cookie cooling rack that has been set on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.  This parchment paper will save you the headache of scrubbing the cookie sheet later.  Squirt BBQ sauce all over both sides of the ribs and brush it on with a pastry brush.

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Step 5:  Add the ribs to your preheated oven and cook for 10-15 minutes.   Delicious!  My husband said these were better than the ones he had at the steak house.  I would give this finger licking recipe a full five stars for sure!

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