Zuppa Toscana with Freeze-dried Foods

I love how quick and easy this soup is, especially with the freeze-dried vegetables on hand. I already had some sausage cooked up, so I just scooped everything in, brought it to a boil, and let it reduce. I’ll include notes in the recipe to show you how to turn this into a meal in a jar.


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Zuppa Toscana with Freeze-dried Foods
Instructions
  1. Please all ingredients, except sour cream, into a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and add sour cream. Stir well. Serve with Parmesan cheese, to taste.
Recipe Notes

*For a shelf-stable meal in a jar, use Thrive Life freeze-dried sausage crumbles and Thrive Life sour cream powder in place of the fresh ingredients listed. Layer ingredients (minus the water) into a pint sized jar.

*For more information on Thrive Life foods, please contact me. Thanks, and Happy Thriving!

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Easy 3-minute Vegetable Medley

I’m excited to learn how to cook with more freeze-dried vegetables as Thrive Life comes out with more freeze-dried meal kits. So far, there are 3 awesome kits that come with the main ingredients for 3 main dishes and 3-4 side dishes, along with step-by-step recipes from Chef Todd. I’ve tried the full Southwest Chicken Kit, and a few of the recipes from the Home Cookin’ Ground Beef Pack, including this one. Both are great!

I only made 1/2 the original recipe, and I kept the seasoning simple. This is a great, easy recipe I’m going to add to our rotation. I’m ALWAYS looking for easy vegetable side dishes, and I like the flavors of the freeze-dried beans and corn, unlike when I use frozen or canned. And, of course, my little girl couldn’t even wait for this recipe to make it to the table; she snacked on her own bowl full while I finished the rest of dinner. Love it!


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Easy 3-minute Vegetable Medley
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Bring the water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Add the rest of the ingredients except the butter, and stir thoroughly. Reduce heat to simmer, place lid on the pan, and set a timer for 3 minutes. After the 3 minutes, remove from heat and stir in butter until melted. Serve warm, and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

To order your freeze-dried vegetables today, head to my consultant website. If you'd like to try this meal kit, click here. For more questions, check out my Thrive Life 101 page or contact me. Thanks, and Happy Thriving!

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5 Ways to use Thrive Life Freeze-dried Strawberries

Thrive Life strawberries are just the best. They are vine-ripened, which means they taste as delicious as the ones we can pick ourselves for just a few weeks in Spring. They are freeze-dried, which preserves all the great nutrients they have to offer. They are shipped right to my door, which means I can just re-order them whenever I want, without another trip to the store. And they’re one of the cheapest fruit options, so I try to keep these around at all times, along with either some mangoes or raspberries, which are our other current favorites.

Here are 5 ways to use Thrive Life strawberries:

Snack Straight Out of the Can

I left this can out on the table after breakfast the other day, and found my daughter snacking on them later in the morning. My son likes them if we call them “strawberry chips.” I eat them straight from the can, or sometimes dunk them in water to restore their softness.

Stir into Cereal

Generally, if you buy a box of cereal with “added fruit,” you’re lucky to see 1 or 2 little bits in your bowl. With Thrive Life berries, I throw in a good-sized handful and actually get a serving of fruit with breakfast. Yum! I also like to add strawberries and yogurt bites to oatmeal; it’s super delicious.

Mix Up Your Muffins

I don’t know about you, but I love muffins! It’s nice to mix it up sometimes, so I created this recipe for gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate-covered strawberry muffins. My husband was super impressed, which doesn’t happen often. A great way to sneak in more strawberries!

Smooth out a Smoothie

My favorite way to whip out a smoothie is to use a simple ratio: 1 cup of juice to 1 cup of fruit, plus either some yogurt or a banana. Sometimes, instead of the yogurt or banana, I throw in some freeze-dried berries, which serve the same purpose as the banana or yogurt: to make the texture a little more smooth.

Complete a Berry Compote

Did I mention I just love berries? I used to boil down frozen berries for our Sunday morning waffles, but it often took about 20 minutes, and I had to add extra sugar for sweetness. Then, when I started using freeze-dried berries, I came up with this 30-second berry compote in the microwave. I used it a ton while visiting my parents last summer, and this is what converted my dad to Thrive Life.

Bonus Idea: Frosting!

I know the picture says “5 ways to use strawberries,” but I just had to include this one for you too. Check out this AMAZING, dye-free strawberry frosting from my friend Ashton over at Keat’s Eats.

Strawberry Picking From Home

I hope you’ve had the pleasure of going strawberry picking for yourself, or even of growing your own strawberries. Thrive Life offers the same fresh taste and nutritional punch as a trip to the fields, with the convenience of shopping from your computer, tablet, or phone. If you’re ready to try some Thrive Life berries today, you can find them on my consultant website:

For more information on Thrive Life, check out my Thrive Life 101 page, or e-mail me with any questions. Thanks, and Happy Thriving!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Muffins

I had a friend ask me for some more ways to use Thrive Life fruits, so I started playing around with the fruit I have the most of these days: strawberries! We eat them so quickly, it can be hard to take time and even make a recipe with them, but I love muffins, and it was time for some new flavors. I made these gluten free and dairy free as well (minus the chocolate chips) for anyone with food sensitivities. These would be a GREAT treat for a mother’s day breakfast, especially a breakfast in bed! (hint, hint…)

     

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Chocolate Covered Strawberry Muffins
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Begin by refreshing the strawberries in a small bowl, if using freeze-dried berries. Then, mix all the wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients except chocolate chips and strawberries. When just combined, fold in strawberries and 1/4 cup chocolate chips.
  3. Divide into muffin pan (10-12 muffins, depending on the size of your scoop). Sprinkle the remaining chocolate on top of muffins, adding more if desired.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-22 minutes.
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3 Kinds of Thrive Life Potatoes

Thrive Life offers 3 different kinds of potatoes: potato chunks, which are dehydrated, potato dices, which are freeze-dried, and mashed potatoes, which are flakes.

I often get questions about the 3 different kinds of potatoes, so I wanted to share them with you today.

Potato chunks

Potato chunks are what you typically think of when you think of “food storage potatoes.” They are decent enough in soups, especially because they hold their shape well. However, they take at least 15-20 minutes of hard boiling to soften, and I personally don’t like their flavor much. They are cheaper than the potato dices, and some people really like them. They’re just not my thing. The ingredient list reads: potatoes, preserved with sodium bisulfate.

Potato Dices

These are the freeze-dried potato dices, and I like them the best. I was hesitant to use them at first because they do soften quickly and I wasn’t sure I would like the taste. However, when this can was in my pantry I quickly found excuses to use them, and ended up enjoying their taste. I also especially love the ingredient list, compared to frozen fries and other forms of potato. You ready? The ingredient list reads: Potatoes.

Mashed Potatoes

  

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. You see packets of instant potatoes in pretty much all the grocery stores these days. I have to admit that the first time I tried these, I didn’t like them much. Then I realized that because I had prepared them without milk or butter for my husband who’s dairy-free, it was obvious why they were so bland. When I tried them again with dairy, they were better than the traditional store varieties. Also, I like to make these with Thrive Life chicken broth, some Chef’s choice, peppercorn, and some garlic powder, and then they taste fine being dairy free. I wasn’t a believer in instant potatoes until I learned how to use these. Now it’s what I do for Shepherd’s Pie, or just as an easy side dish for dinner. Again, I love the ingredient list. Just like the potato dices, the only ingredient is potatoes.

To try some Thrive Life potatoes today, click the link below and shop on my consultant website:

For more information on Thrive Life, check out my Thrive Life 101 page, or contact me. Thanks, and Happy Thriving!

5 Secrets to Savings at Thrive Life (Without Coupons)

When my husband was in graduate school, I ran a home daycare and became an avid couponer. To this day, I have what I call “couponing instincts,” and I try to stock up, look for the best deals, and never buy anything at retail price.

Whether or not you have your own “couponing instincts,” everyone loves a great deal! Especially on something we ALL have to make room for in our budgets: groceries! One thing I love about Thrive Life is that you don’t need to clip coupons, study sales cycles, or stress about every penny. There are plenty of simple ways to save. Here are 5 secrets to savings with Thrive Life: no coupons required.

  1. Support a Consultant. If you were to type “Thrive Life” into google, you could find the corporate website, where everything is full retail price. However, if you order through a consultant (whether that’s by paper order form, a phone call, or on a consultant website), you will get party pricing right off the bat! Consultants are able to offer party pricing on ALL of our products, which is usually around 10% off retail! Not a bad way to start off your savings. You can find my consultant website here for party pricing today.2. Shop the sales. Take advantage of the monthly specials and semi-annual sales. Every month, Thrive Life has around 10 products on sale, which you can get reminders about by signing up for my e-mail list below. This is a great place to start experimenting with Thrive Life foods; try out what’s on special! And watch out for our semi-annual sales; they’re incredible, and they’re my favorite time to stock up and to share Thrive Life. 3. Buy in bundles. Bulk shopping is not exactly a secret way of saving money, but there ARE a few secret bundles from Thrive Life. First off, buying in buckets (for things like grain) or #10 cans (instead of pantry cans) will save you money because the larger sizes are cheaper per serving. Plus, Thrive Life has a variety of specialty packages that are ONLY available through consultants. These include meat variety packs, fruit variety packs, vegetable packs, and even a yogurt pack. They each contain six #10 cans, with a substantial savings. Consider purchasing a pack and splitting the savings between friends. You can read the full details on the packages here, and shoot me an e-mail if you’d like to order. 4. Join the Q Club. If you’re going to be shopping at Thrive Life, you should start a Q. Inside the Q, you can organize your orders and set up 1-3 shipments at a time. In addition, if you join the Q club, you’ll earn 3% rewards points on your purchases, and you’ll have access to the monthly Qpon. The Qpon is a deeply discounted item, usually between 30-35% off! To join the Q club for free, take advantage of the Q Club promotion by starting a Q of $100 or more. For full details, check out this post.5. Take advantage of special promotions. Every few months, we have special promotions from corporate. Some promotions require that you host a party and hit a specific sales goal (like the image below). Other promotions require that you purchase by a certain deadline (like a lot of recent free shipping deals). Of course, the BEST way to take advantage of all of these promotions is to become a consultant, and earn food and commission as you use Thrive Life and share it with family and friends.
*Note: This is not a current promotion, just an example.

There are many ways to save at Thrive Life. Whether you simply want party pricing or you’re ready to join as a consultant yourself, you can start saving today by visiting my consultant website:

If you would like to be notified of our current promotions, please sign up for my monthly specials e-mail list below.

If you’re thinking about starting a Q, hosting a party, or becoming a consultant, please let me know and we can set up a time to chat. Thanks, and Happy Thriving!

 



Thrive Life Unadvertised Specialty packs.

Thrive Life offers a few specialty packs that you can ONLY order through consultants. It’s kind of like the secret menu at In-N-Out. You have to be “in the know” to  take advantage of these special savings. Of course, it’s not the only way to save with Thrive Life, but these ARE some of the best deals around! Scroll through to see our specialty packs, and then shoot me an e-mail if you’d like to purchase any of these.

 

 

 

 

Unlike the other items on my consultant website, you will need a special order number for these packs, that only consultants have access to. So, if you want help adding this to your Q or making a 1-time order, please contact me. Thanks, and Happy Thriving!

P.S. Thank you to Laurel Heintz for creating these images!

 

 

Cuban Black Beans and Rice

Several years ago, a friend invited us over for dinner and served authentic Cuban food. Her mother is from Cuba, so she really knew her stuff. She had spent all day slow-roasting pork, and served it with these black beans and rice, and fried plaintains for dessert.

Needless to say, it was a meal to remember. Everything was so delicious, and I finally understood why my husband is in love with Cuban flavors. I asked her for her recipe, which she was gracious enough to share with me, even though it involves some family “tricks of the trade.”

So, to keep her recipe safe, I’ve changed it a bit on here. Mine is a simplified version of her pure deliciousness, but it definitely works as an easy side dish these days! Enjoy this quick and easy Cuban black beans and rice.

 

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Cuban Black Beans and Rice
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a skillet, and saute garlic until it becomes fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  2. Add Thrive Life green chilies and onions and give them a quick stir. Add black beans and spices, and give all of that a good stir. Add the remaining ingredients.
  3. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce to simmer, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the rice has absorbed all the liquid.
  4. Remove from heat and let steam for another 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes

To order Thrive Life ingredients today, shop on my consultant site here. Thanks, and Happy Thriving!

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Real FOOD Storage

You know, it’s ironic that I sell freeze-dried food but I hate calling it food storage. I think it’s because I like to guard it from all the stereotypes I’ve heard (and lived through) about “food storage.”

And by food storage, I mean “weird food in cans that goes bad in your garage or under your bed. Also, food that looks like shriveled apple peels and tastes like saw dust, but might give you enough nutrients to survive the Apocalypse.”

I know that might sound like an exaggeration, but honestly, those were my thoughts and feelings towards food storage for most of my life.

Add to that the fact that I’ve been converting to real food over the past several years, and there just wasn’t much I felt like I could store. I knew I was just being picky, but I wanted the full flavor and nutrition of locally grown foods without canning it myself, and I wasn’t finding THAT kind of food anywhere.

That is, I wasn’t finding it until I found Thrive Life. I kid you not, the night I went to a random home party for Thrive Life changed my life. When I learned that this company seeks out non-GMO foods and preserves them straight from the fields, I knew it was a game changer. When I started turning the cans around and seeing super simple ingredient lists, I wanted to do a little dance. When my consultant made taco meat with freeze-dried beef and I LIKED it, I was weirded out. And when I realized that my passion for helping people eat healthier foods at home could actually help me earn groceries and commission with this company, I was hooked.

But, alas, I digress. This post should be more to the point, and less about me. So, let me quickly list what qualifies Thrive Life foods as the BEST option for people looking for REAL FOOD to put in their FOOD STORAGE:

Identifying real food

As close to it’s natural state as possible:

5 ingredients or less on the label, as a rule of thumb

Free from unnecessary preservatives and all artificial flavors and colors

Vine-ripened, if possible (not ripened with artificial gases)

From trusted sources, either locally or from companies with transparency and integrity

Identifying high quality food storage

Tastes good

Can be used in place of “normal” grocery store food

Long shelf-life

Quality control measures in place (such as batch testing at the factory)

If this is what you’re looking for, look no farther than Thrive Life!!

I’m not sure how else to say this. Thrive Life is just THE BEST company to order food from if you want REAL FOOD in your FOOD STORAGE.

I am always happy to discuss particulars, so shoot me an e-mail if you’re not finding the information you’re looking for on my blog or consultant website. Thanks, and Happy Thriving!

 

3 Ways to Use Thrive Life Freeze-dried Bell Peppers

Hello, and welcome to another post about using Thrive Life foods in your everyday cooking!

Today, let’s talk about freeze-dried bell peppers.

I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy red bell peppers in a lot of my foods. I personally like them better than green bell peppers, and they pack a big punch when it comes to flavor AND nutrition.

However, I used to not keep these around my kitchen much, because they were too expensive, they went bad too quickly, or they added too much moisture to my foods when used the frozen ones.

Thrive Life red bell peppers have become a favorite around here because they’re shelf-stable and easy to cook with. Here are 3 of my favorite ways to use Thrive Life freeze-dried bell peppers:

Red Pepper Powder

Breakfast Casserole

Pizza Toppings

To try some Thrive Life freeze-dried red bell peppers today, please visit my consultant website:

For more information on Thrive Life foods, check out my Thrive Life 101 page or feel free to contact me. Thanks, and Happy Thriving!