Healthy Blueberry Jam – A Sweet Summer Condiment

Healthy Blueberry Jam – A Sweet Summer Condiment

Did you know July is National Blueberry Month? Erin, our guest blogger from Food Wise Family, is here to share a quick, yet healthy blueberry jam recipe that’s perfect for spreading on your favorite breads, pancakes, crackers, or even adding to yogurt or oatmeal.

This healthy blueberry jam recipe makes approximately one cup of jam, which is ideal when you only want a small batch in your refrigerator. Plus, this recipe takes 15 minutes or less and uses only three ingredients, making this recipe super simple!

What Makes This Jam Healthy?

The jam you find in the store is usually packed with refined sugar, but this healthy blueberry jam lets the natural sweetness of the blueberries and a little bit of honey do the work.

So, this isn’t the sweetest jam you’ll ever taste, but it does the job to create a balanced bite of blueberry sweetness to whatever you add it to.

I love to use chia seeds, and this healthy blueberry jam recipe is an opportune time to add them. In jam recipes, you often will discover that pectin is used to help gel the jam. The chia seeds are replacing the pectin in this recipe. Chia seeds absorb the blueberry juice produced in this recipe and helps to give the jam its gelatinous quality. If you’re not familiar with chia seeds, they are rich in omega-3s, protein, fiber, and calcium, making them a great addition.

Healthy Blueberry Jam Recipe

Cook Time: 5 Minutes
Rest Time: 5 – 10 Minutes
Total Time: 10 – 15 minutes

healthy blueberry jam ingredients

Ingredients
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
3 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp honey

Instructions

healthy blueberry jam prep
  1. In a small saucepan, heat blueberries on medium while stirring occasionally.
  2. Once berries are warmed and start to break down (about 5 minutes), mash them with a potato masher or other utensil (fork, wooden spoon, etc).
  3. Add chia seeds to the saucepan and stir several times until mixed in. Let lightly simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from heat and stir in honey.
  5. Allow the jam to cool for 10 minutes, and enjoy warm or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for later use.

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.

Feeling Knotty? Knotty Alder Brings Rustic Charm to Your Home

Feeling Knotty? Knotty Alder Brings Rustic Charm to Your Home

Knotty Alder butcher block has been one of our fastest growing species options over the past couple years. Because it is very lightweight, it is easy to move, and is therefore used mostly in furniture and cabinets. But recently we have seen a surge in its popularity for island tops, dining tables, and even countertops.

Knotty alder is an affordable and versatile wood that can be used throughout your home!

The rustic, natural appearance of knotty alder lends warmth and charm to many décor styles. Our customer Brandi, for example, has a gorgeous kitchen with modern appliances and more traditional cabinets. Her 2.5″ thick knotty alder island top somehow ties everything together perfectly, bringing a beautiful warmth to the cooler palette of her design.

knotty alder

Blending light tans to medium and dark reddish browns, knotty alder also stains quite well if you want to go darker. It even looks great with whitewashing, so the coloring can be quite versatile. Check out our customer Amie’s beautifully stained top! She used the plank style knotty alder with the hand-scraped treatment, then applied her own stain and finish to match her cabinets. The knot holes present throughout the lumber may be more apparent and frequent in plank style tops, with some holes going all the way through.

knotty alder

Knotty alder is on the softer end of the hardwood spectrum, and that softness combined with the knot holes mean it is not ideal for the rigors of chopping, but it is certainly durable enough to be used as a table, bar, or island top. For a smooth surface, you may choose to fill the knots with either a matching wood filler or a clear epoxy. Once finished and sealed, you will have a beautiful smooth surface suitable for just about any application!

We hope you are feeling knotty now, too! Check out our online custom quote calculator if you are interested in getting pricing for your own project in 1 of 15 different species!

Sweet Potato Toast Recipe – A Must Try!

Sweet Potato Toast Recipe – A Must Try!

Sweet Potato Toast
Here’s something sweet, yet wholesome for dad this Father’s Day. Our guest blogger, Erin, over at Food Wise Family, has a great addition for any breakfast, brunch or even appetizer.

What is Sweet Potato Toast?
Sweet potato toast is sliced sweet potatoes that have been perfectly baked in the oven. Well, it’s not bread and it doesn’t really taste like toast, so why call it toast? It is dubbed as toast because it can hold all your favorite toppings just like toast. If you want to be fancy, you could even think of it as a healthier form of bruschetta. Not only is this gluten free, but it is a delicious and healthy option.

The recipe below uses almond butter and strawberries, but this is just an example.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to sweet potato toast. Whether it’s avocado and tomatoes or honey and cinnamon, just think of your favorite toast toppings and have at it.

Leftovers Are Great
This sweet potato toast recipe calls for one large sweet potato. If you don’t think you’re going to eat that much in one sitting, these make great leftovers. Just store any plain slices in an airtight container in your fridge. When you want to eat them, just pop one in the toaster on a low to medium setting, and then top with your favorite topping once warmed.

Sweet Potato Toast
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Baking Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients
1 large sweet potato
almond butter
sliced strawberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Wash and dry sweet potato. Cut off both ends of the sweet potato and cut lengthwise into 1/4-1/2 inch slices.
  3. Place sweet potato slices in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool. Smother sweet potato slices in almond butter and top with sliced strawberries.
sweet potato toast prep

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.

Looking for another Father’s Day Recipe? Here is a (not-so-healthy) recipe for you to consider: Father’s Day Sliders!

Hickory Butcher Block Grows in Popularity

Hickory Butcher Block Grows in Popularity

Hickory butcher block has become increasingly popular over the last couple years, sliding in just behind maple and walnut to round out our top three best sellers. Known for its unique appearance, hickory wood is also very hard, making it an incredibly durable option for many applications. Its hardness level can also make it a bit difficult to work with, so if you need custom cuts, it is best to consult with us and have them done in our shop. Hickory is not just used as butcher block in the kitchen, though! It can be utilized in the bathroom, home office, laundry room…anywhere!

From countertops to cabinets, desktops to dining tables, hickory butcher block can add a beautiful and dependable surface to any room of your home or office.

The lumber for our hickory butcher block is readily available and sourced from Ohio and the surrounding area. The heartwood is a beautiful brown color that pairs nicely with the more creamy and light sapwood. The plank style hickory boasts large swaths of the beautiful grain pattern, whereas the edge grain style typically has a somewhat striped appearance.

Below on the left is a full kitchen remodel from customers Victoria and Mark, who used the plank style hickory with a varnish finish to revamp their countertops and center island. We were able to accommodate the unique shape of their island as well as the custom bump-out at the kitchen sink. On the right is a kitchen cart with an edge grain hickory top, highlighting the stripey pattern.

Hickory Butcher Block

Our happy customer, William, from California, installed this gorgeous 3” thick edge grain style hickory block to complete his beautiful kitchen. It looks stunning with those green cabinets and rustic brick backsplash.

Hickory Butcher Block

As you can see, hickory butcher block is an incredibly versatile material that adds function and beauty to your space. We hope you are inspired to bring some hickory into your life! Check out our online instant quote calculator to get pricing for your project.

Homemade Salsa Recipe – Feel The Heat!

Homemade Salsa Recipe – Feel The Heat!

Erin, our guest blogger over at Food Wise Family, has a homemade salsa recipe with an awesome kick to it! So break out those tortilla chips, and get ready to make this quick and easy salsa just in time for Cinco de Mayo.

I like my salsas hot. With two jalapeños and a little bit of cayenne pepper in this homemade salsa recipe, you can definitely feel the heat. So I’ve added chunks of creamy avocado to help cool down each bite.

Not a Fan of Cilantro
Cilantro is very common in Mexican dishes and salsas, but this homemade salsa recipe just doesn’t have it. I am one of those people who isn’t sold on cilantro; my taste buds just don’t like it. The salsa needs some herbs to help balance out the flavor, though, so my favorite herb mix to use in my salsa is Italian seasoning. That’s right, Italian seasoning! Trust me on this one. However, if you are a fan of cilantro and you are wondering why on earth wouldn’t she use cilantro, by all means, sub a handful of fresh cilantro for the Italian seasoning.

This homemade salsa recipe is not only great with your favorite tortilla chips, but is so versatile and full of flavor, it complements anything that needs a punch of flavor.

Enjoy it on top of eggs, meats, fish, tacos, hamburgers, baked potatoes… the possibilities are endless.

Homemade Salsa Recipe

Total Time
5 mins

homemade salsa recipe

Ingredients
• 1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes
• 2 jalapeños, seeded and roughly chopped
• 2 green onions, roughly chopped
• 1 tsp Italian seasoning
• 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
• 1/4 tsp black pepper
• 1/8 tsp salt
• 1 small ripe avocado, cubed
Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients, except the avocado, in a food processor and pulse for 15 to 30 seconds.
  2. Put salsa in a bowl and lightly stir in the cubed avocado.
  3. Enjoy immediately. This will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.

This recipe goes great with a Hibiscus Margarita! Read our Blog!

Crunchy Snack Recipe – Maple Cinnamon Glazed Pecans

Crunchy Snack Recipe – Maple Cinnamon Glazed Pecans

National Pecan Day is this weekend and a great way to celebrate this nut is with a healthy, protein-packed pecan recipe. Our guest blogger Erin from Food Wise Family is here to share a wonderfully crunchy yet sweet snack that you don’t feel guilty about indulging in.

My maple cinnamon glazed pecans are a delightful way to honor the delicious pecan. Not only is this recipe super simple, but it makes your house smell amazing. I know I can’t resist the smell of maple and cinnamon welcoming me when I walk in the door.

These glazed pecans don’t last long in our house. My most recent batch only lasted a little more than 24 hours. It’s really hard not to eat more than one. They are addicting!

 

This tasty little snack is sweetened by just a little bit of maple syrup, keeping it paleo.

This not only makes a great snack, but is also a great topper for salads, if you want to add some crunch. Plus, the pecan is heart healthy, full of vitamins and minerals, and packed with fiber.

Maple Cinnamon Glazed Pecans
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Baking Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes

Ingredients
2.5 cups raw pecans
1 egg white
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt

glazed pecans bake

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250°.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk egg white for about one to two minutes until it is frothy.
  3. Add maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt to the egg white mixture and mix well.
  4. Pour the pecans into the egg mixture and stir until well-coated.
  5. Spread mixture evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes. Stir the mixture every 15 minutes while baking.
  7. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 5 minutes.

Recipe Note:
Looking to make more? This recipe for maple cinnamon glazed pecans can easily be doubled. Just make sure when you are baking it, that the there is enough room on your baking sheet for the glazed pecans to be spread out evenly.

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.

Love pecans and looking for a sinfully delicious dessert? See our blog for Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie!

Matcha Chia Pudding Recipe

Matcha Chia Pudding Recipe

Whether it’s St. Patrick’s Day or any other day, here’s a little bit of green to start your morning. Our guest blogger, Erin over at Food Wise Family, has a creamy treat perfect for matcha lovers – it’s called Matcha Chia Pudding!

Matcha is a finely ground powder of high-grade green tea. Unlike normal tea where you steep the leaves, with matcha you are consuming the whole leaf. Matcha has more caffeine than black tea, but less than coffee.

Chia seeds are tiny seeds that retain a large amount of water. That’s why they are great in pudding, because they soak up all the delicious coconut milk in this recipe, creating a texture similar to tapioca pudding. Since they soak up at least 10x their weight, it’s best to eat chia seeds soaked, like in a pudding, so they don’t absorb the water in your body. These tiny seeds are a great source of fiber, protein, calcium, and omega-3s.

Chia seeds tend to soak up whatever flavors you pair with them, so this matcha chia seed pudding is a balanced blend of creamy coconut and the refreshing earthy notes of matcha.

While this matcha chia pudding is far from being Irish, this tasty little goody is a great alternative to enjoying a cup of matcha. I’m not giving up my morning coffee any time soon, but every once in a while I love to indulge in a cup of matcha. This vibrant green wonder is full of antioxidants and just the right amount of caffeine.

With my love for coconut milk chia pudding, it was a no-brainer for me to combine it with matcha.

This matcha chia pudding takes just minutes to prep and requires only four ingredients. Plus it’s dairy-free and paleo!

Matcha Chia Pudding Recipe

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour to overnight
Servings: 4

Ingredients
13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk
6 tablespoons chia seeds
2 – 3 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)*
2 teaspoons matcha

Instructions

  1. Empty a can of coconut milk into a mixing cup and blend for a few seconds using an immersion blender.**
  2. Place remaining ingredients in the coconut milk and mix thoroughly.
  3. Spoon the matcha chia pudding into separate serving containers and cover.
  4. Refrigerate for at least an hour before enjoying. For the best flavor and for chia seeds to fully set, refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Recipe Notes:
*Use more or less sweetener to desired taste.

**You can also use a regular blender, or even just whisk the matcha chia pudding. Just make sure to mix well. If whisking, make sure to mix it immediately after adding the chia seeds. Once the chia seeds get wet, they stick to everything and clump, so it’s best to mix it right away.

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.

Try Our Tangelo Margarita Recipe!

Try Our Tangelo Margarita Recipe!

Time to break out the cocktail shaker and mix up a tangelo margarita just in time for National Margarita Day. Our guest blogger, Erin, from Food Wise Family, will show you how.

Margaritas are my go-to drink when I want a cocktail. They are oh so refreshing and the perfect balance of sour and sweet. My tangelo margarita tastes similar to the classic margarita, but leaves triple sec out of the mix. For those of you who may not recall, tangelos are a hybrid of a tangerine and pomelo/grapefruit.

I mainly eat a paleo diet, so I am always trying to recreate my past food/drink loves to be paleo-friendly. Alcohol itself really isn’t paleo, but when recreating this recipe, I made sure there was no added refined sugar or other icky additives, like most mixed drinks tend to be filled with. And so, the tangelo margarita was born!

Choosing the Tequila

When it comes to choosing the tequila for your tangelo margarita, make sure it is blanco/silver and 100% agave. Blanco tequila is usually used for the classic margarita because its pure flavor compliments the bold citrusy goodness that is a margarita. Tequila that is not 100% agave has sugars and other additives, so it’s best to make sure it says 100% pure agave on the bottle. 

tangelo margarita ingredient

Leave Out the Triple Sec

Triple sec is typically found in a margarita recipe, but I cut this from my recipe.

Triple sec is a type of orange-flavored liqueur, and liqueurs are high in sugar. By using the tangelo in the recipe instead, the sweet orangey flavor is still present.

Getting More Lime Juice

I always have a tough time juicing limes because they are so small and the rind is so tough. I found the best way to get the most juice out of a lime is to stick a whole lime in the microwave for approximately 15 seconds. This softens it up a bit and makes it so much easier to juice.

How to Make a Tangelo Margarita

Total Time: 5 minutes

Serving size: 1

Ingredients

1 1/2 oz blanco tequila (100% agave)

1 1/2 oz freshly squeezed tangelo juice

1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice

1 oz water

2 tsp maple syrup*

lime slice for garnish (optional)

1. In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients and add ice.

2. Shake well and strain into a salt-rimmed glass with fresh ice.

3. Garnish with a lime and enjoy!

*Recipe Note: You can use honey in place of maple syrup, but let the honey dissolve in the cocktail shaker before you add the ice. If you add ice too early, the honey just won’t dissolve.

tangelo Margarita with salt

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.

Looking for another margarita recipe? Check out our Hibiscus Margarita.

Created Hardwood’s Showroom of Live-Edge Wood Slabs

Created Hardwood’s Showroom of Live-Edge Wood Slabs

I visited Created Hardwood’s Columbus Showroom and was blown away! Ever since Created Hardwood Ltd. – Butcher Block Co.’s supplier of Live-Edge Wood Slabs – opened a showroom in their hometown of Columbus I have been wanting to check it out. Recently I visited Ohio’s capital city and thoroughly enjoyed my tour of CH’s extraordinary exhibit.

Created Hardwood’s live-edge wood slabs are used to make stunning, natural countertops and one-of-a-kind tables for kitchens, dining rooms, lobbies and conference rooms.

I learned that the family-owned firm has discovered a myriad of other clever uses for the slabs they salvage from downed trees.

Upon entering the showroom you cannot help but be overwhelmed by the striking beauty and variety of options before you. The main hall of the exhibit showcases a selection of live or rustic-edge slabs mounted on a number of different metal bases. All told, CH offers 11 different table base styles and its design experts are eager to help customers find just the right base for the slab selected.

created hardwood slabs

Here are a couple of extra-large slabs that would undoubtedly transform a dining room or a conference room.

created hardwood tables

Narrower slabs can be transformed into gorgeous library tables, desks and countertops.

created hardwood sofa table

Smaller recycled slabs can make perfect accent or coffee tables. Notice how much impact the selection of table legs can have. The wood slab in the photo is mounted on “Points” legs, which provide a delicate look suitable for a coffee table. While a similarly sized slab is mounted on heftier “Taper Up” supports, which signal this is a sturdy bench.

created hardwood coffee table

These unusual and stunning floating shelves were further testimony to the creativity of CH’s creative and skilled craftsmen…

created hardwood shelves

…as was this island bar and bar stools set.

created hardwood seated bar

In the rear of the store a neon sign calls (more like “shouts”) one’s attention to CH’s wood slab cutting boards exhibit. Rectangular slabs of various species and sizes hang, much like paintings in a gallery. They’re mounted on an authentic red brick wall, providing keen contrast in color, material and texture.

created hardwood cutting boards

By this point in my tour I was so impressed by the variety of CH’s creative re-use of salvaged, living edge natural wood slabs that I couldn’t imagine what I’d find around the next corner, nor could I wait to see. And sure enough, I wasn’t disappointed. I discovered a mock bedroom showcasing a wood-slab headboard, and an adjoining bath with a mirror framed at its top and bottom with wood slabs with live edges.

created hardwood headboard

And as they say on infomercials, “Wait, there’s more.” That’s when I discovered that the seat and back of a cushion-covered loveseat in the main exhibit hall were also wood slabs. But to be honest, by then I should not have been the least bit surprised. Here’s one of CH’s more interesting designs. It marries a glass table top with table base consisting of interlocking wood slabs.

created hardwood sofa

If you live in or near Columbus or ever visit, be sure to check out Created Hardwood Ltd.’s unbelievable tribute to wood slab recycling. It’s located downtown, at 16 West Poplar Avenue. If you want to shop online, visit us at butcherblockco.com and see our selection of Created Hardwood live-edge slabs, table bases and cutting boards.
Warm thanks to my tour guide, Created Hardwood’s National Sales Manager, Max Charney.

Customized Butcher Block Made Your Way!

Customized Butcher Block Made Your Way!

Customized butcher block kitchen island tops and countertops is our sweet spot here at Butcher Block Co.! It is what we do every day. While standard size butcher block may work for some folks, we have found that the majority of our customers have very specific requirements to fit their kitchen islands, island bars, or countertops. Often they require unique dimensions, custom angle cuts, miter cuts, sink cutouts or stove cutouts.

For customized butcher block island tops or countertops requiring just specific length and width specifications, including custom edging, chances are you can have some fun with our Instant Quote Tool and get an online quote yourself. Visit our John Boos Instant Quote Tool, email a quote to yourself, or order immediately. It’s fast and easy!

If your customized butcher block island top or countertops require special cuts or cutouts, simply give us a call at (877) 845-5597 and we will be happy to work with you on a custom quote. The process is pretty simple:

  • Specifications – Identify all of your specifications, including wood species, dimensions and a simple sketch, then email them to us.
  • Conversation – We will call you to discuss details.
  • Quote – A firm quote will be provided for your butcher block.
  • Order – We will place a phone order with you. If you have custom cutouts for appliances, we will ask you for make and model numbers.
  • Signature Approval – A simple engineering drawing from the manufacture will be sent to you for approval prior to production.
  • Anticipation – This just requires a little patience on your end, as we make your customized butcher block!

Perhaps you are looking for a unique species of wood, if so, consider our Butcher Block Co. brand of countertops available in 15 different wood species. This would also be your choice if you have requirements for an XL butcher block, an unfinished butcher block, or you were on a tighter time frame, as these tops are made within 3 weeks, plus shipping. Our BBCo. brand custom butcher block is handcrafted by Amish woodworkers who pay special attention to detail and quality workmanship.

Go ahead and play with our BBCo. brand Instant Online Quote Tool. It is a wonderful way to research and plan a kitchen remodel in the privacy of your own home. No pressure. Just generate a quote and email it to yourself.

We would love for you to become one of our happy customers.

Every day we work with DIY homeowners, contractors and designers to help them customize butcher block their way!

We also have worked with small restaurant owners to outfit both their front of house and back of house with customized butcher block. And, we are also available to help home builders and other commercial businesses looking to integrate butcher block into their projects.

Reminder… you always get FREE SHIPPING on your butcher block island tops and countertops from Butcher Block Co. Let us know if we can help you. Give us a call at (877) 845-5597 or email us with your specs at [email protected]. Cheers!