Slow Cooker Refried Beans

Are refried beans half the reason you crave Mexican food?  This healthier version can easily be made at home in a slow cooker!

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Did you know that your favorite creamy refried beans can easily be made in the slow cooker?  This recipe by Amber, who blogs at Homemade Nutrition, is a cleaner, vegetarian version of the Mexican staple.

Trust the native-Texan when she says these beans are legit.  They're perfect for tacos with cheese, or as a flavorful dip for chips.  Fresh beans actually really easy,  plus they're healthier and cheaper to make from scratch.  Perfect for a crowd!

Slow Cooker Pinto Beans

Here's the ingredient list, but check out Amber's post for the full recipe!

Slow Cooker Pinto Beans

  • 1 16-ounce bag Farmer Direct Co-op Organic Pinto Beans, rinsed and soaked overnight or using a quick soak method (see instructions in post)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil

Click here to read the full recipe, and to check out Amber's other healthy recipes!

French Green Lentil Detox Salad

It's a new year, and many of us have health-related resolutions.  To help your body repair and reset, try eating more detoxifying veggies.  This French Lentil Detox Salad is a great start!

Detox Salad with Farmer Direct French Green Lentils

This salad, created for us by Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table, is filled with color and plant-based protein.  It has another benefit in that it offers naturally detoxifying ingredients, such as:

  • Lentils are packed with fiber, protein, and minerals. French lentils are a blood-sugar-stabilizing and heart-healthy energy source. 
  • Cabbage is filled with vitamin k, vitamin c, and manganese.  It is also a cholesterol-lowering, digestion-friendly vegetable.
  • Beets are a high-antioxidant vegetable that contains a number of nutrients that have been shown to be cleansing and detoxifying.
  • Parsley is an excellent source of flavonoid antioxidants.  The leaf helps improve digestion and acts as a natural diuretic to help to relieve bloating.
This French Green Lentil Detox Salad is packed full of detoxifying ingredients!

Here's the ingredient list, but check out Laura's full post for the full recipe!

French Green Lentil Detox Salad

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 drops liquid stevia (I used lemon stevia)
  • 1/2 C red onion, chopped
  • 2 C sliced red cabbage
  • 1 C French green lentils, cooked
  • 1 small beet, roasted and cubed*
  • 2 C spinach, rough chopped
  • 1/4 C parsley, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Click here to read the full recipe, and to check out Laura's other healthy recipes!

Gingerbread Overnight Oats

This creamy, healthy Gingerbread Overnight Oats recipe is topped with a naturally sweet strawberry compote.  A perfect start to a busy day!

Gingerbread Overnight Oats

To say these oats are packed with nutrients would be an understatement.  Heather from The Soulful Spoon created this recipe using our organic oats, which are rich in fiber and manganese.  She also added organic flax meal and chia seeds, which provide omega-3’s.  To top it all off, she naturally sweetened the overnight oats with blackstrap molasses, which is packed with good stuff like iron, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B6!

Molasses, combined with classic gingerbread spices, makes this a great way to plan ahead for festive breakfast.  Who couldn't use a quick, healthy meal on a busy morning?

Gingerbread Overnight Oats with strawberry compote

Gingerbread Overnight Oats

  • ⅓ C organic rolled oats
  • 1 tsp organic flax meal (or more chia)
  • 1 tsp organic chia seeds (or more flax)
  • ½ tsp organic blackstrap molasses
  • 1 T. coconut flour (optional, but it's low in fat and makes it thicker, creamier, and higher in fiber)
  • Pinch of stevia (or a tsp of another sweetener, such as organic maple syrup)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • Pinch each of nutmeg and cloves (no more than ⅛ tsp)
  • ½ C non-dairy milk
  • ⅓ C frozen sliced strawberry halves

For instructions and more delicious, healthy recipes, visit Heather's blog here.

Creamy Potato and Mushroom Lentil Soup

Cold winter nights call for something hearty and cozy like this Creamy Potato and Mushroom Lentil Soup.  Make it in the slow cooker for a quick, easy clean-up dinner!

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We love that this simple soup packs a big veggie punch.  The natural textures of the potatoes and lentils add a creaminess to this oil-free, vegan recipe.

The whole foods in this recipe from Heather @ The Soulful Spoon provide nutrients like protein, magnesium, iron, potassium, B vitamins, Vitamin C, and fiber.  Plus, it's delicious and flavorful! 

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Creamy Potato and Mushroom Lentil Soup

  • 2 small Russet potatoes or regular-sized Yukon Gold potatoes

  • ⅓ C lentils 

  • 2 stalks of celery, washed (preferably organic)

  • 1 pint of sliced button mushrooms, washed

  • ¼ an onion

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 tsp. each of oregano and black pepper

  • ½ tsp. each of rubbed sage, thyme, basil, and rosemary

  • 2 C of water

  • 2 C of no-salt-added or low-sodium vegetable broth

Click here to read the full recipe, and to check out Heather's other healthy recipes!

Stop Buying New Batteries

While batteries aren't in our wheelhouse, sustainability is important to all of us at Farmer Direct Co-op.  This includes sustainable power.

Green energy

The X-1, developed right here in Saskatchewan, can double, triple, or even quadruple the life of batteries, alternators, starters, and electrical systems.  It cleans plates of sulfates, which choke the flow electrical charge, making the battery unusable.  The X-1 uses 50-75% less electricity due to its more efficient construction and ability to charge batteries at a faster rate.

This advanced charger can charge batteries that fail to accept a charge from a conventional charger (80-90% success rate).  Good for the environment.  Good for you wallet.  It's a win-win!

The X-1 comes with a 10 year warranty.  For more information, contact designer & builder Ken Compton at 639-571-2432.

Mixed Berry and Oatmeal Smoothie

Fruit smoothies are a delicious snack.  Adding oatmeal to smoothies makes them even more creamy, plus they have a little more "stay" power!

One of the other benefits of a oat-based smoothie is the added nutrient boost.  The addition of oatmeal in this recipe from Rebecca, who writes Nourish Nutrition Blog, makes it higher in fiber.  Fiber adds more bulk and helps with digestion.  

With that in mind, think about making something like this for a quick, hearty snack or even breakfast.  We all love oats in the morning... why not drink them?  You can also bag up the ingredients ahead of time so that all you need to do is dump them in the blender on a hectic morning!

Berry Oatmeal Smoothie Recipe

Berry Oatmeal Smoothie

  • 2/3 C yogurt of choice or individual container
  • 1 banana
  • 1 C frozen berries
  • Handful spinach
  • 1 tsp peanut butter flour
  • 1-2 T Farmers Direct Co-op rolled oats
  • 1/2 C milk or enough to get desired consistency

Click here for the full instructions, and to check out Rebecca's other recipes!

Homemade Vegan Oat Crackers

These crackers are made with a few simple ingredients.  Best of all, you can customize your own flavors!

Homemade Vegan Oat Crackers

Whether you're looking for a fun add to a cheeseboard or a dipper for hummus, making your own crackers at home is a great way to play with flavors.  Dixya, who blogs at Food, Pleasure, & Health, created three oat-based flavors for Farmer Direct: sesame-flax, spinach-cumin, and pumpkin-almond.  All three are packed with wholesome ingredients, and are sure to please the pickiest eater.

If you have children, DIY crackers are a good way to get them excited about creating healthy foods in the kitchen.  Try using a cookie cutter to get different shapes and sizes!

Homemade Vegan Oat Crackers

Homemade Vegan Oat Crackers

For the Base Cracker:

  • 1 C rolled oats, pulsed into flour
  • 1/4 - 1/2 C all purpose flour (need more for dusting, rolling later)
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1/4 - 1/2 C water
  • 1/8 tsp salt

For Sesame-Flax Cracker:

  • 2 T flax seed
  • 2 T black sesame seed

For Spinach-Cumin Cracker:

  • do not add water
  • ¼ C spinach puree (drain as much liquid as possible)
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds

For Pumpkin-Almond Cracker:

  • do not add water
  • ¼ C pumpkin puree
  • 2 T chopped almonds
  • 1 T honey (maple syrup for vegan)
  • ⅛ tsp pumpkin pie spice

Click here to read the full recipe and to check out Dixya's other healthy recipes!

Chocolate Coconut Almond Granola

Making your own granola isn't as difficult as it sounds.  This recipe is a healthier, more cost-effective alternative to store bought granola.

Chocolate Almond Granola

If you're like most people, you think of granola as a healthy snack (I know I'm guilty!).  However, granolas found on store shelves often contain unnecessary added sugars and fats.  By making your own at home, you control the ingredients!

That's why we love this Chocolate Coconut Almond Granola recipe from Sonali, who blogs at The Foodie Physician.  Inspired by a favorite candy bar, her recipe is a cleaner interpretation of a favorite treat.  It's filled with nutritious ingredients like our organic oats, almonds, coconut flakes, and pumpkin seeds, then lightly sweetened with maple syrup.

Chocolate Almond Granola

Chocolate Almond Granola

  • 2 C rolled oats
  • ½ C shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • ½ C sliced almonds
  • ¼ C pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 ½ T coconut oil, melted
  • 3 T cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 2 T almond butter
  • ¼ C maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ C cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips

Get the full instructions on Sonali's blog, and be sure to check out her other delicious creations!

Easy Tomato-Basil Cottage Cheese Crepe Recipe

This Tomato-Basil Cottage Cheese Crepe is made with just three healthy ingredients - cottage cheese, egg whites, and oatmeal!

Easy Tomato-Basil Cottage Cheese Crepes are a perfect, healthier breakfast.

Laura from Sprint 2 the Table was inspired to make these after a trip to Paris.  She made these healthier crepes with ingredients you can feel good about eating every day!

The savory crepes are packed with fiber and protein, which will help you feel satisfied longer.  Who wants to have a growling tummy before lunch?  These easy Tomato-Basil Cottage Cheese Crepes are a satisfying, healthy breakfast!

Tomato-Basil Cottage Cheese Crepes

Here's the ingredient list, but check out Laura's full post for the full recipe!

For the Crepes:

  • ½ Cup (110g) low-fat cottage cheese
  • ¼ Cup (20g) oats
  • 90g egg whites (~2 egg whites)

For the Tomatoes:

  • 10-15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 T onion, diced
  • 2 large basil leaves

Click here to read the full recipe, and to check out Laura's other healthy recipes!