Posted by Allyson Owens on

Here at Pleni Naturals we are always thinking about fruits and vegetables, in our products and on the table here at home! One of my favorite healthy living bloggers is Taesha Butler who is "The Natural Nurturer". When she was open to letting me interview her for a blog post I was thrilled! Her recipes are above all else, incredibly family friendly, which is so important when you have little ones at home who can be tricky about their fruits and vegetables. I hope you enjoy the interview below and the insider view into Taesha's easy, approachable and delicious family friendly meals!
Tell us a little bit about your blog and why you started it.
My blog, the Natural Nurturer, is my little chunk of the internet geared towards empowering parents and caregivers to feed and raise their families as healthfully as possible….in the real world. I started it about 3 years ago when I was a young busy working mom. People would often tell me that I made healthy living look easy and I would say that anyone could do it with a little creativity and a few good tricks up their sleeve. Soon I saw that there was a real need for easy quick recipes that were nourishing and family friendly. And The Natural Nurturer was born! As the years went by, my passion for teaching and raising children in a natural way has started to poke its way into the blog and my blog has started to evolve into a natural parenting resource.    

When did you discover your love of cooking?     

I have always loved to cook. I was my mom’s right-hand man in the kitchen all growing up and I am so lucky she passed the knowledge of cooking onto me. It has not only allowed me to provide nourishing home cooked meals for my family, but has also become my creative outlet. I invite my own daughter into the kitchen whenever she wants to pass on the skill and love.

I personally love all of your recipes and have so many saved to Pinterest! What is the inspiration for your recipes?     

Honestly, life. Most of what I share is exactly what I find myself cooking my family on any given day. My daughter has hit a “picky phase” of eating, which inspired me to start developing more recipes that have veggies worked into them…so even those picky eaters are getting their veggies in.  I also love making over classic, not-so healthy recipes into to something easy and nourishing! Whenever I create a new recipe, I aim to have it be something easy to make and healthy for the body…and delicious, of course!        

Do you have a favorite recipe you have created? Can you share it with us?    

Oh that is hard to pick! I have lots of different favorite ones! But the one I make time and time again is my Slow Cooker Lemon Thyme Chicken. I make it at least a couple of times a month and it’s my go-to recipe to feed a crowd! I love how cost efficient is it to cook a whole chicken over just breast or thigh meat and you can use the bones to make your own homemade bone broth! You get my bang for your real food buck.    

What are your top 3 kitchen items/gadgets you cannot live without (and why?)        

My blender for sure. You will notice a lot of my baking recipes are mixed entirely in my blender. Real food cooking can create A LOT of dishes, so I cut corners where I can to save how much time I have to hang out in the kitchen cooking or cleaning up. So I started mixing batters in my blender to save time and mess.
Next would be cast iron skillets. They live on top of my stove…I don’t even both putting them away because they are used at every meal! They are the most traditional and oldest kitchen “gadget” and I love how they cook my food. Plus, the non-toxic chemicals to worry about in coatings and such…like some other cookware out on the market.
And lastly, my slow cooker. Dinner wouldn’t happen some nights without my slow cooker! I have a lot of slow cooker recipe on my blog because I have found it to be my secret weapon in the kitchen. I am a full-time teacher, so some days I come home late or extra tired. Its nice to have dinner already cooked and ready to go on those days.     

What are some favorite veggies in your home and how do you prepare them for your family?        
I always always have spinach and kale in the house. So much goodness in greens that I want to get into my family! I throw those in everything from smoothies to pasta sauce and even in meatloaf and muffins! Broccoli and brussels sprouts are also always on hand. They are my daughter’s favorite veggies and our family’s favorite way to enjoy both is roasted! Roasting veggies maintains many of the nutrients but also cuts the bitterness of veggies!

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