gluten-free blueberry banana muffins titles

Gluten-free Blueberry Banana Muffins

gluten-free blueberry banana muffins titles

Blueberry season started early here in Florida. By the end of April we’d already gone blueberry picking and filled the freezer with berries for smoothies, jam, ice cream and muffins.

blueberry bucket web address

I have two teens now, but when the kids were little we always read Blueberries for Sal before going berry picking. I loved the Before Five In A Row lessons that included activities to make reading even more fun. I found these printables good for any little ones you might have at your house right now.

“Little Sal picked three berries and dropped them into her little tin pail…kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk!” – from Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

This year we are also getting handfuls of berries from our backyard bushes! I’ve tried converting our landscaping into as much edible landscaping as I can. Three blueberry bushes replaced some overgrown ligustrums a few years ago.

“You ought to have seen what I saw on my way To the village, through Mortenson’s pasture to-day: Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb, Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum In the cavernous pail of the first one to come! And all ripe together, not some of them green And some of them ripe! You ought to have seen!”
excerpted from “Blueberries” by Robert Frost

When we first moved in we planted bananas which have since grown into a tiny jungle by my daughter’s bedroom window. Right now we have both bananas and blueberries growing – inspiration for some seasonal baking!

bananas with web address

Sprouted Grains and Flours

I really like To Your Health’s Sprouted Gluten-free Baking Mix for these muffins. To Your Health, a small business in rural Alabama, is owned by Peggy Sutton whose own quest for health resulted in this answer:  “Eat a variety of all foods God made available to us in as pure form as possible.”

Sprouting grains makes their vitamins more available and makes the grains more digestible while reducing the phytic acid to nearly half.

You can find To Your Health sprouted flours and products at selected Whole Foods stores and other natural food stores, or you can order them directly from To Your Health.

Gluten-free Blueberry Banana Muffins

2 1/4 cups To Your Health Sprouted Gluten-free Baking Mix

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp non-aluminum baking soda

1 tsp non-aluminum baking powder

1 cup whole milk kefir or buttermilk

2 eggs from pastured hens

1/2 cup butter or coconut oil

1/2 cup unrefined sugar like sucanat or coconut sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 very ripe bananas, mashed

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin.

In a medium bowl whisk together the gluten-free flour, sea salt, baking soda, and baking powder and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Add the bananas, mixing well.  Add the eggs and mix well. Add half of the dry ingredients, mix and then add half the kefir or buttermilk. Add remaining dry ingredients followed by remaining kefir/buttermilk.  Stir until incorporated. Then gently stir in the blueberries.

Evenly divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from the oven.

Allow the muffins to stay in the muffin tin for about 3 minutes. I’ve found that gluten-free baked goods are much more fragile and allowing them to set up a bit makes it less likely that you will squash or break one taking it out of the pan.

Remove from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack. These keep best if refrigerated, and they also freeze well. Just wrap in a little foil to reheat in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.

Gluten-free Blueberry Banana Muffins
 
Author:
Recipe type: muffin
Serves: 12
 
Spring and summer berries, plump and juicy, fill this moist gluten-free breakfast treat. Add a big glass of raw milk or a lovely cup of tea for the perfect snack.
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups To Your Health Sprouted Gluten-free Baking Mix
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp non-aluminum baking soda
  • 1 tsp non-aluminum baking powder
  • 1 cup whole milk kefir or buttermilk
  • 2 eggs from pastured hens
  • ½ cup butter or coconut oil
  • ½ cup unrefined sugar such as sucanat or coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 very rip bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the gluten-free flour, sea salt, baking soda, and baking powder, and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Add the mashed bananas, mixing well. Add the eggs and mix well.
  4. Mix in half of the dry ingredients, and then add half of the buttermilk/kefir stirring well.
  5. Add the remaining dry ingredients followed by the remaining buttermilk/kefir mixing just until incorporated.
  6. Gently stir in the blueberries.
  7. Evenly divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups, then bake for about 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven but allow the muffins to sit in the muffin pan for 3 minutes before removing.
  9. After the 3 minutes rest, remove the muffins to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

 

Love blueberries? Love these muffins? Be sure to Pin this recipe for later!

blueberry banana muffins extra image titles

 

 

 

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Cinco de Mayo: Real Food Recipe Round-up

cinco de mayo collage titles

Cinco de Mayo falls on a Thursday this year. Perfect for a fun family dinner to celebrate all the fabulous tastes of Mexico! No need to go out; you can make it at home with real food ingredients and the recipes linked below!

Not a biggie holiday in Mexico, (and also NOT Mexican Independence Day) this day marks the Mexican army’s victory over a much bigger and more well-armed French army intent on claiming more territory for France.

In America, Cinco de Mayo has become a day to celebrate Mexican culture and food. If you can’t travel to LA, Chicago or Houston where the largest Cinco de Mayo celebrations occur, you can have fun making delicious Mexican-inspired food at home with your family!

Here’s a Round UP of some of our own Well Fed Family Mexican-inspired favorites followed by several more from some other fantastic blogs!

If you start it by Tuesday morning you can have delicious lacto-fermented salsa ready for dinner Thursday evening!

Make your own nourishing whole grain flour tortillas with our BREADS DVD

DIY Taco Seasoning is frugal and healthy. No more MSG!

Easy Guacamole your kids can make!

Taco Stew is a family favorite at our house.

Fish Tacos with Chipotle Sauce brings a little California to your table.

Irish Nachos – just for fun, or for anyone who can’t eat corn chips!

Chipotle Spiced Meatloaf (with optional organ meats) for some major nutrient density.

Slow Cooker Mexican Corn and Potato Chowder from Don’t Waste the Crumbs is super frugal!

Nourishing Black Beans from Radiant Life

Mexican Rice from Modern Alternative Mama

Salsa Verde from Deep Roots at Home

No-rolling Required Sourdough Tortillas from Traditional Cooking School

Homemade Corn Tortillas from The Kitch’n (only two ingredients!)

Mexican Spinach Casserole from Cave Man Keto (because even people on ketogenic diets need to celebrate!)

Plantain Tortillas from Zenbelly Catering (for you grain-free/Paleo people!)

Slow-Cooker Carnitas from Paleo Foodie People

Paleo Coconut-Lime Tres Leches Cake from Bare Root Girl

And there you have it! Over a dozen real food recipes for your family’s feast!

What is your favorite Mexican food? Leave your answer in the comments!

Mary or Martha titles

Are You Mary or Martha? [Plus Free Printable Lesson]

Mary-or-Martha-titles-624x468 and bonusThis post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family!

Every month, every season, we have reasons to celebrate. Weddings, birthdays, graduations, babies, holidays…our lives can be very full.

This was also true in Jesus’ time. From Passover to Purim and the year of Jubilee, the Jewish calendar was filled with feast days, holy days and times of celebration.

While times of celebration can be joy-filled, wonderful memory-making occasions, just as often they are accompanied by meltdowns…..and not just the sugar-high kids.

Moms can get overwhelmed too…

One very special Jewish holiday  was The Feast of the Tabernacles. Similar to our modern Thanksgiving, it came at the end of harvest and was a time for thanking God for His blessings and bounty. But unlike our one day of Thanksgiving, this holiday lasted an entire week.

A significant component of this holiday was the booth or “Sukkot” each family would build. Representing the temporary structures used by Moses and the Israelites as they wandered 40 years in the wilderness, families would eat meals and even sleep outside in their shelter gazing up at the stars.

So preparing for this week of thanksgiving meant not only cooking, cleaning and decorating the house, but also building and decorating the Sukkot.

(For a fun diversion put “Sukkot” into the Pinterest search box and see how modern-day Jewish families build and decorate.)

Not only is there a lot to prepare, but this feast comes on the heels of the very serious week of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – the week of repentance and day of atonement. Only four days separated the two holidays!

It is into this extremely busy environment that we must immerse ourselves as we read the New Testament book of Luke, chapter 10, starting in verse 38. This is the brief story of Martha, Mary and Jesus.

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.

While hospitality was a serious duty, an important part of life during Bible times, Martha, and her siblings Mary and Lazarus, were good friends of Jesus. He stayed with them on more than one occasion.

39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.

A significant part of the Feast of the Tabernacles centered around having guests, spending time with friends and family. Isn’t that what we enjoy most even today during holidays and celebrations? In fact, when the Lord established this particular holiday He commanded them to rejoice for seven days! (Deuteronomy 16:14-15)

So if you were to make a “To Do” list of things to get ready for the Feast of the Tabernacles, the #1 thing on the list would be “Get Happy”.

Even though there was a lot to do, Mary took time to sit and listen, to visit with Jesus.

40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“But Martha was distracted”.  Other versions say “cumbered” or “angry”. After all there were only four days to get it all done! The law stated no chores could be done during the week of the feast. She had deadlines!

Do you think Martha sounds joyful?

 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,

Jesus didn’t think so either. Let’s see what He says next:

42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Jesus reminded Martha that Mary was doing the right thing. There will always be chores to do, but Jesus was not always going to be visiting with them. It was important to stop, to be still, and listen to Jesus.

I know I am guilty of being Martha. A lot. I have on more than one occasion told my husband “no” when he wanted to have people over. It was too overwhelming to think of all the cooking and cleaning to be done.

I actually told one of my friends that I couldn’t have her over because I knew how pretty her house was and how scrupulous of a housecleaner she was.

I was being Martha. Upset, distracted, cumbered.

When I did this lesson with my Sunday School class we made a Citrus Mint Punch together. (the recipe is in the free lesson download. See the link at the end.) Then we laid out sandwich meat, cheese, mayo, mustard and slices of a simple homemade bread. The kids made their own sandwiches and we sat down to an indoor picnic.

We had tacked some palm fronds and Christmas lights to the ceiling so we turned out the lights and pretended we were outdoors in our Sukkot looking up at the stars. The kids felt like it was a special feast!

I guess I need to take a lesson from my Sunday School kids. The meal doesn’t have to be fancy and the decorations don’t have to be expensive. When we are joyful even a simple meal is a feast when shared with friends.

Proverbs 15:17 Better a small serving of vegetables with love
    than a fattened calf with hatred.

I’d love to hear from you about what you do when you get overwhelmed. How do you show hospitality? Please join in the conversation by leaving a comment!

The people at Ultimate Bundles have a bundle of resources for most every “Martha” in this year’s Ultimate Homemaking Bundle.  I’m excited about the e-course from Cozy Minimalist and the Tiny Owl Guide to Hospitality. There are also 14 e-cookbooks including one just for company. There’s even a whole section devoted to holidays and celebrations.

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle sale ends in just a week. So click here to check it out!

If you’d like to download a version of this lesson to do with your own kids click the link below.

Feast-of-the-Tabernacles mustard seed cafe

 Leave a comment telling me how your kids enjoyed their special feast!

 

4 Factors That Determine How Severely Amalgam Fillings Affect Your Health

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This is Part II of a 3 part series on mercury in dentistry, detoxification and health. The complete articles are available on the Traditional Cooking School website where I am a regular contributor.

Does long-term, chronic exposure to low doses of mercury vapor pose any risks? What might the health effects be?

And, are there any subsets of our population who might have greater sensitivity to mercury?

These are the questions we will answer in this continuation of our discussion on mercury amalgam fillings. ….. Read More

Please click through and read the rest of the article and leave me some feedback on what you think and any questions you might have!  -Lee

The Historical Uses of Mercury & Its Use in Dentistry Today

mercury gnowfglins blog

(This post is found in its entirety on the Traditional Cooking School site where I also write monthly articles.)

“Will you do a post about amalgam fillings and curing tooth decay? What do you think about biological dentistry? How can I find a dentist with a holistic practice?” asks Michelle A.

In January of 2016, Michelle asked us these questions.

(By the way, we loving getting questions from our readers — they make us think!)

This is one of the most difficult topics I’ve ever written about, and I’ve done some doozies in the past!

To begin, Michelle, let’s talk about the historical uses of mercury and what various countries are doing today, as well as the FDA’s confusing response to mounting evidence against the safety of mercury in dental fillings.

These topics will pose a few more questions, which I will address in future posts. (read more…)

 

Homemade Italian Sausage

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This post is one of my monthly contributions to Traditional Cooking School

Sausage… A gourmet delicacy, yet it is the essence of nose-to-tail farm frugality.

Nothing goes to waste when all the scraps and small pieces of meat are used to make sausage.

Salting, smoking, fermenting, and drying are all ways to preserve meat for longer without refrigeration.

The History

Traditionally, sausage was made from pork, beef, or veal, but….(read more)

Please leave a comment on the TCS post and let me know if you try the recipe!

Explaining Antibiotic Resistance + Natural Alternatives That Work!

This is my latest article for Traditional Cooking School. Please stop by there and leave a comment or question!

Explaining-Antibiotic-Resistance-and-Natural-Alternatives-That-Work-Traditional-Cooking-School-GNOWFGLINS-main

In 1942, Anne Miller was dying of a streptococcal infection until, literally overnight, a single injection of an experimental drug saved her life.

The medical community predicted the elimination of all infectious diseases in the near future.

What was her miracle drug?

The first true antibiotic: penicillin.

Explaining Antibiotic Resistance

At that time, the entire world’s supply of antibiotics amounted to only 64 pounds. Today, over 60 million pounds of antibiotics are used in the United States each year. (Herbal Antibiotics, page 7.)

Additionally, much of the population now uses antibacterial soaps, hand sanitizers, and cleaners daily. And yet, this tidal wave of antibiotic use — and misuse — has not eliminated infectious disease, but rather kindled a new war against antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

The result?  Keep reading here…

six signs you need magnesium titles

Six Signs You May Need Magnesium

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases. 

six signs you need magnesium titlesWhere Did the Trouble Begin?

A Senate report documented that we are growing our vegetables, grains and fruits in soils that are depleted of the necessary minerals needed to give us the correct balance of nutrients when we eat them. In fact they are so depleted that we are starving for these minerals no matter how much of these foods we eat. Laboratory tests proved the vegetables, eggs, grains and other foods we are eating are not as nutritious as they were generations ago. Scary? You haven’t heard it all….this report was written in 1936!

Six Signs You May Have a Deficiency

One of the most overlooked mineral deficiencies is magnesium.  It is estimated that as many as 80% of us are deficient in magnesium. How do you know if you are deficient? There are many symptoms, but these six are some of the most common according to Liz Lipski, nutritionist and author of Digestive Wellness.

  • Eyelids twitching
  • Muscles twitching
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Muscles very tense at the end of the day
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sensitive to Noise

What Does Magnesium Do?

Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle, is probably one of the leading authorities on magnesium deficiency and nutrition.  She explains that magnesium is crucial to good health. It is responsible for hundreds of important processes in our body. It activates our muscles and nerves. It creates energy in our cells. It helps digest proteins, carbs and fats. It is a building block for our DNA as well as RNA. It is even part of the process that builds our “feel good” neurotransmitters like serotonin.

What About Calcium?

Everyone has heard about calcium. Lots of people take calcium supplements thinking they are helping their bones. What you may not know is that you need to supplement with equal amounts of magnesium! The two minerals work in balance with each other. In fact they work best in a synergistic balance of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K2. When these four nutrients are in a plentiful balance you will be helping care for your bones, heart, and the rest of your body!

Where Can You Find Magnesium?

Foods plentiful in magnesium include almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, seaweed, dark green leafy vegetables, properly soaked and cooked black beans, avocado, wild caught seafood like salmon, and grassfed beef. Often people think whole grains are a good source of magnesium, but the anti-nutrients in whole grains actually deplete minerals from your body. This is why it is so important to soak, sprout or use sourdough leavening with all of your grains and breads. (For a detailed demonstration and recipes see our Breads DVD.) Juicing fresh vegetables is also a good way to get more of them into your diet.

Homemade bone broth is a great source of many important minerals and nutrients. Including broth in your meal helps you absorb even more of the nutrition from all your other foods! Find recipes here and here to make delicious bone broth at home.

What Depletes Magnesium?

Many prescription and OTC drugs deplete magnesium. The list includes, but isn’t limited to, Zantac, Nexium, Prilosec, Maalox, Tums, Alka-Seltzer, most antibiotics, blood pressure medications, Ritalin, steroid creams and inhalers, HRTs, and oral contraceptives. If you take any of these it would be wise to ask your doctor about a good magnesium supplement.

In addition to those medications, magnesium is also depleted by stress, caffeine, high amounts of calcium supplements, and very loud noises. Eating a diet high in processed foods and soft drinks, as well as having any kind of digestive disorder can also deplete your magnesium.

Also remember that foods treated with herbicides, especially glyphosate (RoundUP), will further deplete the minerals in the soil and in the food. So stick to organic whenever possible, or follow the Dirty Dozen guide when choosing fresh vegetables and fruits to find the ones with the least amount of toxic chemicals.

What About Supplements?

Magnesium glycinate is an easily absorbed form of magnesium that’s good for supplementing a deficiency. Be aware that magnesium has a laxative effect when you first begin taking supplements, so start slowly and work up to the most effective dose for you.

Mix up Natural Calm powder if you want to drink your magnesium. Take a bath with epsom salts, or use a high quality high mineral sea salt

Using magnesium oil spray or making a magnesium body butter are two more ways to add magnesium to your daily routine.

What are your favorite ways to get magnesium? Tell us about it in the comments or visit our Facebook page to share your thoughts.

 

 

ALN grain free

2015 Best of Alternative Living Network Grain Free Recipes

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized.

ALN grain freeAlternative Living Network

I am happy to be a part of Alternative Living Network, a network of Christian natural living bloggers. At the end of each year we like to give everyone an opportunity to feature their favorite blog articles on a wide range of topics. This year I’m sharing all of the favorite grain free recipes from ALN bloggers. Please visit these great blogs and give some of the recipes a try. And be sure to leave a comment that you found them on our 2015 BEST OF ALN post!

Grain Free Recipes

Savory Paleo Waffles with Chicken Gravy from yours truly at Well Fed Family

Blueberry Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel topping also from Well Fed Family

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins from Well Fed Family

Grain Free Pumpkin Acorn Bread from Thyme To Embrace Herbs

Grain Free Lemon Basil Drop Biscuits from Thyme To Embrace Herbs

Grain Free Fluffy Pumpkin Basil Pancakes from Thyme To Embrace Herbs

Grain Free Melt in Your Mouth Lemon Balm Cookies from Thyme To Embrace Herbs

Grain Free Carrot Sage Muffins from Thyme To Embrace Herbs

Grain Free Lemon Basil Poppyseed Muffins from Thyme To Embrace Herbs

Grain Free To-Die-For Mint Brownies from Thyme To Embrace Herbs

Grain Free Chocolate Basil Cake from Thyme To Embrace Herbs

Grain Free Breakfast Biscuits with Rosemary from Thyme To Embrace Herbs

Grain Free Eggplant Parmesan from Simple Abundant Life

Simple Potato Egg Hash from Simple Abundant Life

Deliciously Simple Meatballs from The Pistachio Project

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Coconut Flour Muffins from Nourishing Simplicity

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake from It Takes Time

Grain Free Sourdough Cereal from It Takes Time

Tell us what your favorite grain free recipes are! What would you like to see next year?

Leave a comment here or on the ALN Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Ornament and Bible Lesson for the Littles plus Free Download to Share

christmas ornament and bible lesson titles

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.

For the last several years I have been privileged to be a part of a wonderful Sunday School program at Concord Street Church of Christ where our family worships. We have five different themed rooms and the K through 5th grade classes rotate through a different room each week hearing the lesson presented in five different ways. I love this approach as it speaks to the different learning styles we all have, and allows the kids to really understand and absorb the lessons before moving on to something new. One of my jobs has been to come up with recipes that complement the lessons – the children actually cook in the classroom as part of Sunday School! We have had so much fun and the kids have become more comfortable with the idea that they CAN cook as well as enjoy trying new things. In addition to food recipes we have also learned about essential oils, the importance of clean water, and how we can reach out to show Jesus’ love to our community.

Special Christmas Lesson and Ornament Craft

Here is a lesson you can read with your children or grandchildren that you don’t normally hear at Christmas, but since it’s about how Jesus loved everyone, even the unlovable people, it’s a great story to share! At the end gather three easy ingredients and have fun making ornaments together to hang on the tree and help remember how glad we are that Jesus came to Earth! At the end is a link for a .pdf you can download and print.

Jesus and Zacchaeus
Do you know what taxes are? It is money we have to pay to our government to help keep things running. Our taxes can do many things: pay for new roads, schools, public transportation, police, firemen, soldiers, and many, many other things.
Do you know what kinds of things we have to pay taxes on? We pay sales tax when we buy things at the store. We pay taxes on the money we earn at our jobs, or when someone gives us a large gift of money. If we buy or sell things online we pay taxes. There are even taxes when you win prizes for being on a tv game show. If you find treasure on a sunken pirate ship or buried treasure chest you still have to pay taxes on what it’s worth! Even people who win the Olympics or the Nobel Prize have to pay taxes on any money they win. Even if you rob a bank (which of course you wouldn’t want to do!) you are still supposed to pay taxes on the money you stole! So you can probably see why grown ups don’t like to pay taxes. It takes away some of the money that you feel like you have earned and have a right to keep.
This story is about a man whose job was a tax collector. Nowadays even though we don’t like to pay taxes we still don’t usually hate the person whose job it is to collect them, but back in Jesus’ day the tax collectors were often dishonest. They would collect more money than they were supposed to, and then keep the extra money for themselves.
Open your Bible to the New Testament and find the book of Luke, and look for chapter 19 verse 1.

1“Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich.”
You can tell by reading these first two verses that Zacchaeus was probably just like most of the other tax collectors in that he was not well liked by the people of Jericho because he had become very rich. People probably assumed he was keeping some of the tax money for himself. Now Jesus was traveling around to different places teaching, telling parables and performing miracles. The news about Jesus had spread all over the country, and it was common when Jesus arrived in a town for people to gather and see him. Zacchaeus had also heard about Jesus and wanted to see him, too. Read verses 3 & 4.
3 “He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.”
Here we read that Zacchaeus was not very tall. Do you know the song about him? In the song we call him a “wee little man”. Even though he was short he was still an important person in Jericho. Can you imagine a grown-up you know climbing a tree? Can you picture your school principal or the mayor climbing a tree? It would seem strange to us, and it was probably strange back then to see the tax collector climbing a tree! But Zacchaeus didn’t seem to care. He was just interested in seeing Jesus. Let’s keep reading and see what happened next. Read verses 5&6.
5 “When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. ‘Zacchaeus!’ he said, ‘Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.’ 6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.”
Wow – that is pretty amazing! Jesus knew Zacchaeus’ name without asking him first! Jesus also didn’t care that other people didn’t like Zacchaeus; he wanted to visit in his house. The Bible says Jesus said “I must be a guest…” which means that God had told him to do this, and so Jesus obeyed. All of this happened right in front of all the other people who were there to see Jesus. Zacchaeus was very happy about this! What do you think the other people thought? Read verse 7.
7 “But the people were displeased. ‘He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner’, they grumbled.”
I think it’s kind of funny that they called Zacchaeus a “notorious sinner” and grumbled that Jesus was spending time at his house. They didn’t understand that they were sinners, too. In fact we all make mistakes. In the book of Romans chapter 3 verse 23 it says that we are all sinners and we all fall short of God’s glorious standards. That’s one reason Jesus came to Earth. He came to help all of us learn how to be better people. I think Zacchaeus realized this too, because he quickly said something that surprised a lot of people. Read verse 8.
8 “Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!’”
It looks like Zacchaeus had a change of heart. He realized that being rich at other people’s expense wasn’t the right thing to do. He also realized his money could be used to help other people. And he also wanted to show how sorry he was by paying back even more than he had taken. He said he would repay four times as much. It he took a dollar wrongly, he would repay $4! Do you think Jesus was happy about this? Let’s read the last two verses of this story. Read verses 9&10.
9 “Jesus responded, ‘Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.’ “
Jesus forgave Zacchaeus his sins, and even if the other people in town didn’t like Zacchaeus, God loved him, forgave him, and knew that his heart was good. The very last verse is a good verse to memorize. This verse explains the whole reason why God sent Jesus to Earth. Jesus came to find those people who didn’t know God, who were lost in sin, and to show them who God is and to tell them the Good News of salvation!

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments
Use gingerbread man and Christmas tree cookie cutters to cut out Zacchaeus and tree ornaments using this recipe. Since you aren’t eating this dough, you can use the cheapest applesauce you can find. Find bulk-size ground cinnamon at warehouse stores or dollar stores. Use leftover dough to make more ornaments so that you can share with friends and family.

Ingredients
2 cups applesauce
2 cups ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon craft glue such as Elmers

Preparation
Mix all of the ingredients together. Add more cinnamon if the dough seems too wet, or more applesauce if it is too dry. You may need to place the dough on a counter top and knead it several times to incorporate all of the ingredients and make a smooth dough.
Roll out the dough to about ¼” thick. Cut with cookie cutters, and place ornaments on a baking sheet. Use a toothpick or wooden skewer to open a hole in the top for a ribbon.
Let the ornaments dry on baking sheets overnight, or until completely dry. Alternately you can bake them in a 200 degree oven for 2 ½ hours.
Thread a ribbon through the hole and hang on the tree.
Well Fed Family, December 17, 2015
www.wellfedfamily.net

Click here for a free downloadable version of this lesson! Jesus and Zacchaeus

This Christmas spend some time with the little ones in your life and share with them this story about Jesus’ love, and let them create fragrant ornaments to hang on the tree and remind them of all they have learned.