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Natural Goodness Blog

  • 3 Super Easy Overnight Oats Recipes

    In 2016 Overnight Oats recipes took over popular recipe sites like Pinterest, Yummly and epicurious – and for good reason! Overnight Oats are the trifecta for busy moms – easy to make, delicious to eat, and good for you (and the kiddos), too!

    To celebrate national oatmeal month we’re sharing three of our favorite Overnight Oats recipes. You can eat them straight out of the fridge, or heat them up for a little dose of warmth on these cold winter mornings. Which recipes are your favorites?

    Apple Walnut Overnight Oats (http://oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/apple-walnut-overnight-oats)apple-walnut-overnight-oatsA classic combo, these apple cinnamon oats have the perfect amount of crunch thanks to some chopped walnuts. If your kids haven’t tried overnight oats before, this is the perfect transition from sugary instant oatmeal to protein-rich overnight oats.

    Whipped Raspberry Overnight Protein Oats (https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/whipped-raspberry-overnight-protein-oats-recipe)whipped-rasberry-overnight-protein-oatsIf texture’s an issue, these whipped overnight oats are perfect for you. They have the smooth creamy texture of traditional oatmeal, with the extra protein and flavor of overnight oats – plus the added benefit of being able to make them ahead of time. Yum!

    Cocoa Banana Overnight Oats (http://www.myfussyeater.com/cocoa-banana-overnight-oats/)cocoa-banana-overnight-oatsCalling all chocolate lovers! This Cocoa Banana flavor is like eating dessert for breakfast. Full of protein and slow-release carbs, this will keep you full until lunchtime (and beyond).

  • 4 Recipes You’ll Love Waking Up to on Christmas Morning

    There’s nothing sweeter than the sound of little feet pitter-pattering down the stairs full of excitement and wonder ready to check out what Santa left under the tree – unless it’s 4am, that is.

    We’ve all been there, and since there is approximately -100% chance of getting kids back to bed once they’re up on Christmas morning, the best way forward is a strong cup of coffee and something delicious to get you in the spirit. These four Christmas morning recipes are sure to do the trick!

    Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Mug Bake

    https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/pumpkin-oatmeal-mug-bake

    pumpkinspiceoatmealmugbake

    Mmmm – pumpkin spice and everything nice. This easy-to-make breakfast is perfect for parents with early risers. All you have to do is toss the ingredients in a mug and heat in the microwave. Drizzle with maple syrup and your own your way to Christmas morning magic.

    Snickerdoodle Donuts

    https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/snickerdoodle-donuts

    snickerdoodledonuts

    If milk and cookies and donuts were on your Christmas list – you can check them all off in one fell swoop with this deliciously indulgent breakfast. It’s everything you love about cookies, mixed with a donut, served with milk. As an added bonus, the kids are guaranteed to love it, too.

    Gingerbread Steamer

    https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/gingerbread-steamer

    gingerbreadsteamer

    This festive bevvy is fit for the whole family. It’s like a warm gingerbread cookie in cup – what could be a better way to start the holidays?!

    Cranberry Eggnog French Toast Bake

    http://oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/cranberry-egg-nog-french-toast-bake

    cranberryeggnogfrenchtoastbake

    Don’t ever let anybody tell you it’s too early for eggnog. This delicious french toast bake is made with Oakhurst eggnog and can be prepared the night before, so all you have to do it toss it in the oven Christmas morning and voila – breakfast is served!

    Do you have a Christmas morning breakfast tradition? What do eat and how early do you get up?

  • 9 Epic Holiday Photo Fails

    Ahh yes, it’s that time of year again. Time for milk and cookies and presents and snowmen and desperate parents bribing their children to please for once just sit still and smile for a holiday card photo.

    We all know the chances of that happening organically are pretty much zero. So instead we resort to tactics like placing bizarre looking stuffed animals on top of the camera, completely losing all self-dignity and dancing like a monkey behind the photographer, or even offering candy in exchange for eye contact.

    When all else fails, just Photoshop your kids’ faces onto a magazine family – we won’t tell!

    holiday-card

    Or – you can skip the whole “200 photos to get one good one” rigmarole and just go with the goofy, crazy, perfectly imperfect family photo that actually represents real life. Some of you already went this route – and we’re loving it! Here are 9 of our favorite ways holiday photos go bad:

     

    1. When your toddler just isn’t interested in sitting on a stranger’s lap, dressed in a crazy suit, offering free candy. #maybetheyhaveapoint (Photo by Beth Larrabee)

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    2. When you capture that one-in-a-million shot – just not the one you were hoping for. (Photo by Kimberly Nielsen)

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    3. When your toddler is even more frustrated by the holiday photo shenanigans than you are. (Photo by Spi Be)

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    4. When the kids have just completely given up. (Photo by Caroline Rodrick)

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    5. When the kids are NOT impressed by the special effects. (Photo by Jessica Matthews Hall)

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    6. When the photo-bombers win. (Photo by Amanda Kilfoil Krantz)

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    7. When your kid is about to slug Santa. (Photo by Kaylee Ellis)

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    8. When #momlife doesn’t slow down, even for a family photo. (Photo by Lea Jensen)

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    9. When you have 4 kids under 5 and this is as good as it gets. (Photo by Becky O’Keefe)

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  • 4 Thanksgiving Recipes You Can Make Ahead

    Thanksgiving is all about family, football, food and relaxation – right? Not always when you’re the one hosting! All too often moms (and dads) find themselves missing out on the fun because they’re hustling in the kitchen, trying to feed an army of extended family.

    This year, spend more time with the ones you love and less time in front of the oven with these 4 delicious Thanksgiving recipes you can make ahead of time. Just heat and serve when everyone is ready to eat.

     

    creamy-butternut-squash-bake

    Creamy Butternut Squash Bake (http://oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/creamy-butternut-squash-bake)

    A little bit sweet, a little bit creamy – with just enough crunch. This Creamy Butternut Squash Bake is practically a dessert, but healthy enough to qualify as dinner. Yum!

     

    spinach-and-gruyere-gratin

    Spinach and Gruyere Gratin (http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/baked-spinach-gruyre)

    The easy way to eat your vegetables – this Spinach and Gruyere Gratin is deliciously cheesy and can be eaten as is, or paired with a slice of warm bread. Make it, freeze it and heat it just before dinnertime.

     

    goat-cheese-mashed-potatoes

    Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes (http://www.pink-parsley.com/2014/11/make-ahead-goat-cheese-mashed-potatoes.html)

    If you thought mashed potatoes couldn’t get any better, they just did. Add a little goat cheese, butter, Parmesan and a healthy dose of garlic. Then prep in advance and toss it in the oven on Thanksgiving Day…if you can wait that long to dig in!

     

    gingersnap-pear-cheesecake

    Gingersnap Pear Cheesecake (http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/gingersnap-pear-cheesecake)

    This is no ordinary cheesecake. A gingersnap crust and layer of fresh pears set it apart from the rest. A perfectly seasonal dessert that is equally as easy to make as it is to eat. Enjoy!

  • 13 Local Veterans to Be Thankful for Today and Everyday

    Earlier this month we launched our “Thank a Veteran” Giveaway and as per usual, you all blew us away with your thoughtful, emotional entries. We could only pick one winner, but we wanted to share our appreciation for the bravery and sacrifice of everyone who entered and also take this opportunity to express our gratitude to every veteran who has served this great country.

    Serving our country is a tough (arguably the toughest) job, and one of the most meaningful. We honor, we applaud you, and most importantly we thank you. We are the land of the free because of the brave, and we will never take that for granted.

    This Veterans Day, please keep these special service members in your thoughts, who were nominated by their friends and family. Their stories are truly inspirational.

    “I would like to recognize a Veteran who is just simply an amazing woman! She is a Veteran, a teacher and a super mom! Her husband currently serves and while he is away, she is a super mom! She was a pre-school teacher at my son’s school. She has had some major hardships this year and has always bounced back because she is such a strong and compassionate woman. She is such an inspiration to all women!!! I would like to thank her not only for her service to our country, but for being an amazing role model to all women.” –Sarah Adams Rulman.”

    vd1

    “My husband, Jon, has been in the military for over 17 years. He’s been on four deployments and continues to proudly serve. He does a lot for our family and is always there for our kids and me, even if not always in the physical sense. We’ve had a crazy year: got married, had a baby, went through our then-10-week-old having surgery, and bought a house! Jon always finds a way to make sure we are all taken care of, no matter what.” – Jen Lapalme

    vd2

    “My cousin Toby is a veteran. He joined the army at a very young age and even had to miss his son’s first steps. He is an incredible person.” – Amanda LeClair Goodrich

    “This is my fiancée Robert Thomas. I met him 16 years ago in Hawaii where he was based and we immediately became glued to other. Ever since he got out he always worked hard to provide for us, help our friends in need, always with out hesitation. We love this man with all our heart.” – Emily Andrews

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    “I want to share a recognition of my husbands grandfather. He was truly an amazing man. He joined the Navy at 17 and served there for 4 years. He then joined the Air Force and served there for 20 years. He married the love of his life after he retired from the Navy and before he joined the Air Force (she didn’t want to marry a Navy guy because he could be deployed on a ship/submarine for months on end. In the Air Force he learned many languages. He spoke fluent Japanese and Russian. I think he might have spoken some Chinese too. Grampy was a kind and loving man. He went to school after he retired from the Military and got his Master’s in education. He became a teacher and ended up becoming a Principal. He inspired so many people to become the best that they can be. He passed last year and we love and miss him so much.” – Tosha Foster

     

    “I’d like you to meet PFC Blaine Adams. I don’t know if he qualifies for this contest since on November 29, 2008 he died in a training accident he was 19 yrs old. Blaine joined the US army when he was 17. He is my younger brother…He had a huge heart. My brother is my hero. His nephew Lucas only met him twice, he was a baby. My brother loved him so much. He bought Lucas a power wheels truck, 8 yrs later my son still has it…My brother was simply the best man I knew. He was loving, kind, supportive and smart. He sacrificed so much for his country. He had so much he planned to do… college, a family, seeing different parts of the world. We once asked why did you want to join the army, he replied I want to better myself and my life. That’s the young man I’m proud of and honored to be called his sister.” – Millissa Pierce

    vd4

     

    “I would like to recognize my grandfather, Clarence Conway , who served during the Korean War. In the photo, he is on an Honor Flight Maine trip to see his memorial in Washington DC. He was one of the first to go on a Maine Honor Flight, and active in the early days of the organization. In addition to serving, he has also been a volunteer firefighter for over 60 years, and was Maine Firefighter of the Year in 2004.” – Alan Barker

    vd5

     

    “This is my grandfather from WWII, where he met my grandmother before returning from France (small pictures on bottom is my grandmother). He received the highest level of honor during his service time. When he was stationed in France he met my grandmother. They fell in love during his time there. When he was ready to leave she said she was very sad, then he surprised her with a proposal. They returned to America together, married and that was the beginning of our wonderful family!” – April Rumery

    vd6

     

    “My brother, SSgt Nathan Collin of the USAF, is my favorite vet. He’s in his 11th year of service and has been deployed to the Middle East for several tours. He’s working his way back to the US from one this week. He’s sacrificed so much of himself and his life to do what he does and somehow he keeps his sense of humor. My son absolutely adores him and even has a build-a-bear dressed in camo that he calls “Uncle Nate.” – Cheri Michaud

    vd7

     

    “My story is about an amazing man named Angel. Lance Corporal Angel Rosa of South Portland, Maine to be exact. An incredible man, a Marine, a community activist, soccer star, brother, son, best friend, husband to a beautiful soul, and godfather to my daughter whom we named after his wife. His love for his family and community is matched only by his love for his country. In 2007, Angel gave his life for that country, that family, and that community. He was killed on a mission in Al Anbar, Iraq at 21 years young protecting his brothers in arms and his home so far away. My daughter teaches her class every year about her “unkie” and we keep his spirit alive every Veterans day with flags with his name on them.” – Jennifer Manzo

     

    “My fiancé Craig Oxley is in the military. He balances running a company, being a Sergeant and being a dad to 3 boys. He has had to miss out on important stuff for the kids, but he is our hero and we love him.” – Robin Hakins

     

    “We love our Airman!” – Samantha Miles-Freeman

    vd9

     

    “This photo is from our favorite Veteran’s return home from his deployment this past August. He may travel the world as a pilot in the USAF but no matter where we live, we will always consider Maine to be our home.” – Jennifer Maurais Luce

    vd10

     

     

  • Egg Nog is Back!

    It’s the happ-happiest season of all…

    You’ve been asking for it and now it’s back! Oakhurst Egg Nog will be hitting shelves the end of this month in traditional, Light and Buttered Rum flavors to enjoy this holiday season.

    Once again, we’ll be donating 5 cents from every ‘Nog purchase to the Salvation Army of Northern New England – meaning your favorite holiday indulgence is also a delicious way to give back. Since creating this annual giving program 16 years ago, we’ve given a whopping $280,000 to the Salvation Army to help families in need. Help us reach $300,000 this year!

    And we haven’t forgotten the kiddos! Even if they don’t drink Egg Nog straight out of the glass there are plenty of ways for the little ones to enjoy it, too. Like this Cranberry Egg Nog French Toast Bake that is perfect for Sunday brunch or even as a Thanksgiving dessert!

    eggnog

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) Oakhurst Butter
    • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1 loaf Challa bread, cut into 1­inch cubes
    • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
    • 8 eggs
    • 2 cups Oakhurst Egg Nog
    • 1 cup fresh cranberries, divided
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Powdered sugar (optional)

    PREPARATION

    Grease a 9 x 13″ baking dish with butter and set aside.

    In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and maple syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour into prepared baking dish. Arrange half the bread cubes over the brown sugar mixture. Sprinkle half of the fresh cranberries over the bread.

    In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and mix in the Oakhurst Egg Nog, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract. Evenly pour the custard mixture over the bread cubes. Gently press down on the bread to make sure it’s all coated. Sprinkle the remaining cranberries over the top of the dish.

    Tightly cover baking dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight, at least 8 hours.

    Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator.

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake covered for 45 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees and remove foil.

    Bake uncovered until a knife inserted in the center of casserole is clean (and mostly dry) and top is puffy and golden brown. This will vary from 10-20 minutes depending on how hot your oven cooks.

    Dust on powdered sugar if desired and serve warm.

    Author: Ang Paris, Blogger, Juggling Act Mama

    Eat up, drink up, and enjoy the season! Happy Fall-idays!

  • 4 Fall Recipes to Keep You Warm All Season Long

    Sweater weather is finally here and besides cute little babies in warm, snuggly hats – the absolute best thing about Fall is the food. Apples, pumpkins, warm soups and sweet treats are all Fall staples, and we just can’t get enough.

    Here are four of our favorites:

    1. Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

     roasted-butternut-squash

    http://oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/curried-butternut-squash-soup

    A Fall favorite, this Butternut Squash soup has a healthy and fiber-rich twist with the addition of pureed black beans. The warm, creamy texture and sweet satisfying flavor will satisfy even the pickiest eaters at your dinner table.

    2. Apple Walnut Overnight Oats 

     apple-walnut 

    http://oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/apple-walnut-overnight-oats

    The perfect combination of tasty, healthy and EASY – this overnight oats recipe is the trifecta of Fall goodness. Use up your extra apples by making the mixture ahead of time and enjoy healthy breakfasts all week long.

    3. Smoky Mac and Cheese

    smokey-mac-and-cheese

    Photo credit: Peter Krumhart and Dean Tanner

    http://oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/smoky-mac-and-cheese

    Fall is all about comfort foods, and macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. The smoky flavor of the Gouda cheese, combined with the zip of your favorite hot sauce makes for the perfect pasta to warm you up from the inside out.

    4. Apple Cinnamon Pancake Muffins

    apple-cinnamon-muffins

    https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/apple-cinnamon-whole-grain-pancake-muffins

    Everything you love about pancakes but in muffin form for on-the-go eating. These muffins are warm, fluffy and made with whole-wheat flour and low-fat milk to keep you fueled up all morning long.

  • Homework Help Tips

    Homework Help Tips

    While many parents are happy to have their kids back in school, one thing most of us aren’t so excited about is the return of nightly homework, which, for many kids (and parents) can spell confusion, frustration and arguments about how and when it needs to get done. To help keep the peace we’re sharing our four favorite tips for making homework time happier.

    • Start Early 
      1. It’s best to start homework as early as possible, ideally before 5pm. This is because kids (especially the little ones) start to get tired after dinnertime, and it becomes more difficult for them to think critically. Tired, frustrated kids can also equal big meltdowns, so it’s better to get at least the tough stuff out of the way early!
    • Create a Special Space 
      1. Homework is easier for everyone (including parents) when kids are excited about doing it. Help them find more enjoyment in homework by creating a special space for them to work in. Their own desk, some fun pencils and other supplies – even a special snack with a glass of milk – can help create a fun environment and routine that they can look forward to.
    • Be Positive 
      1. Homework (whether the amount or difficulty – or both!) can be tough for kids. Be their biggest cheerleader. Having someone in their corner telling them they believe in them and know they are capable of doing it can actually increase their ability to perform. Your confidence in their abilities is critical in developing the self-esteem necessary to succeed. That said, you know your child best. If the amount of homework they’ve received is truly too much, or the concept seems to be entirely out of their reach, don’t be afraid to shut it down and simply pen a note to the teacher explaining your observations and asking for their assistance in making homework more manageable for your child.
    • Be Supportive, but Stand Back

    As parents it can be hard to watch our kids struggle or get frustrated. But that’s all part of the learning process. Be supportive of your kids and encourage them to do their best, you can also help them try to break down concepts they are struggling with, but don’t do it for them. Making mistakes is part of becoming a better learner!

    What helps your kids focus and finish their homework? Comment below or share with us on Facebook!  

  • Milk Jug Flowers

    You know what they say, one man’s (or woman’s) trash is another (wo)man’s treasure. Turns out this is especially true when it comes to milk jugs.

    milkjug5

    Last month the Maine Center for Creativity unveiled a new installation at Westbrook’s Blue Note Park entitled Art All Around. The exhibition featured recycled materials transformed into experiential art. We were excited to see one of those transformations included recycled Oakhurst milk jugs.

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    These adorable Milk Jug Flowers are easy to make and such a cute craft to do with the kiddos on a rainy day. Here’s how to put one together:

    1. Rinse and clean out a one gallon (Oakhurst) milk jug.
    2. Draw petals around the top half of the bottle, stretching down from the opening.
    3. Cut the petals along the previously drawn lines.
    4. Bend the petals backwards (against the natural contour of the bottle) until they hold their new shape.
    5. Paint (spray paint makes for a more uniform color, but brushes can be more fun!) or glue anything you like on the flower.

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  • Back-to-School Breakfast Hacks

    By the end of summer, plenty of parents are ready for their kiddos to head back to school – but one thing that seems to bring about universal dread is figuring out how to get the family fed before they miss the bus. These 4 back-to-school breakfast hacks will help you get energized and out the door in a snap.

    Waffle Iron Eggs

    Skip the frying pan and head straight to the waffle iron for this genius breakfast hack. Simply heat up the waffle iron, scramble an egg (omelet ingredients optional) and pour over the waffle iron. Close it up and wait 30 seconds to a minute for a perfectly cooked scramble.

    Overnight Oats

    This healthy stand-by has been around for a while but the recipe variations just keep getting more delicious. We’re in love with this Apple Walnut version, especially heading into apple picking season!image001

    Ready-to-Blend Smoothies

    Smoothies are already pretty much the perfect on-the-go breakfast. But just in case you hit snooze too many times, you can speed up the prep with this clever trick: freeze all the ingredients (except the liquid) in a Ziploc bag ahead of time. Then on your way out the door all you have to do is dump the ingredients, add milk, water or another liquid and hit blend – no slicing, dicing or measuring needed!image003

    Fruit and Yogurt Popsicles

    Another perfect on-the-go idea for those who just can’t stop hitting snooze – these fruit and yogurt popsicles are the easy way to take your yogurt parfait with you. They’re also great for staying cool on hot summer and fall days. Get the recipe here.image006

    Do you have a quick and healthy breakfast recipe that’s perfect for back-to-school? Share with us on Facebook!