Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Conference for Moms - Supports being a "Real Natural" Mom

Take a look to see what's coming during the Mom Conference which happens April 7 - April 11. Register now so you will be ready at http://www.conferenceformoms.com.

Some topics include natural remedies, meal planning, pregnancy & childbirth, saving money, getting fit - all with "Health" and need I say "REAL Food" in mind.

There are too many speakers to list here. Please visit the website for more details.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Cucumber Garden

This was last year. I am hoping to have just as much success again this year. We grew over 60 cucumbers (until we went on vacation and the vines didn't recover.)
We are getting things ready now.

Cucumbers:
First "Pickling" Cucumber

Planted "Pickling Pickles" Seedlings March 3, 2013 
Harvested First Cucumber on May 2, 2013
Total Cucumbers:  16


Marketmore Cucumbers
Started my own seed (organic purchased) - around March 9th
Planted "Marketmore" seedlings March 26
As of May 19 - they are growing and looking good, yellow flowers are blooming
Harvested First Cucumber on May 28, 2013
Marketmore pickles are supposed to keep their shape even under poor weather conditions. Is this why they call is "Marketmore" so that it's more marketable?

Weather:
Lots of Rain Days (Huge Downpours): April 27th, May 10th
Still had some cold days down to the 50s even in May!

Watermelons:
Started my own seed (organic purchased) - around March 9th (along with the cucumber)
Planted seedlings March 26

As of May 19th the cucumber vine has taken off, but the watermelon seedlings are still small.

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Valentine's Day Treat

The only thing I have to say is that I've changed my mind about strawberries and chocolate. The two just never tasted "right" together until I found this recipe. I think the problem I had with strawberries and chocolate was that the chocolate didn't fit the strawberries. It tasted, I guess , artificial?

Well, since I've been eating solely grain free, I found a couple of recipes and put this together because I thought it was time that I had a special treat. (Today is Valentine's Day and everyone is eating sweets.) Well, I substituted honey for all sugar. Such a better choice for me. Sugar zaps all of my energy.

I made the cupcake using this recipe I found at www.savorylotus.com. And the chocolate fudge sauce is one of Danielle Walker's. It's found on page 288 of her book (currently on sale) and uses dates to sweeten the sauce (and I added a little extra honey). Her website is www.againstallgrain.com - it's fabulous and so is her book. If you are a friend of mine, just ask me and I will let you take a peak at my "Against All Grain" cookbook. You will definitely want to get yourself a copy once you see it.

Well, here is the photo that I took of my creation. Earlier today I did make the strawberry chia jam listed on www.savorylotus.com, but it's not on the one in this photo and I didn't include the rosewater, but substituted my homemade vanilla extract. Also, if you want a creamy frosting or whipped cream you will find non-dairy versions in Danielle's book.



Oh, back to strawberries and chocolate. This fudge sauce is WONDERFUL and a SUPERB match for strawberries. Ideally you will need a Vitamix to get the best smooth texture (or you might end up with chunky dates in your sauce).

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Grain-Free Gumbo using Tapioca Roux-t

I started with skinless chicken thighs to make the soup base/stock (1 1/2 onions, celery with leaves, 2 carrots, salt, peppercorns, 1 bay leaf and a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar). I let this cook a couple of hours.


Then I removed the bones and put them into another pot with some of the stock to make a good bone broth for later. I set the chicken into the fridge for later.

I added some of the broth to the Vitamix with about 6 baby bella mushrooms and made a smooth paste-like soup and added back into the main pot. This is mostly where the dark color comes from.

Since this was my first try at this dish, I decided to try to brown some tapioca flour - it worked for the most part, but didn't take nearly as long as traditional flour would have. But I only used about 1 tablespoon. After browning a bit, I added it to the main pot along with another tablespoon (not browned) just to attempt to give it a somewhat thickened consistency.

So I cut up another onion, 1 bell pepper, 2 - 3 cloves garlic, 2 TBS fresh parsley and 1 stalk celery and cooked them until tender in some olive oil. Added that with a few chopped tomatoes (canned will do, if necessary - just watch out for added ingredients).

By now it was all coming together. Since we don't hunt or even know a butcher instead of Andouille sausage I used some fresh breakfast sausage from a local farm co-op that didn't use any nitrates or MSG. And along with this added the crab and cooked for at least 30 minutes, but most likely longer. I started this whole ordeal around 10 am, but now it was around 3 pm.

At 4 pm when my youngest (the real shrimp and crab lover) arrived home, she cleaned and peeled the shrimp, and we added them about 4:30 pm. Yet I had forgotten the most important part....C-R-A-C-K-E-R-S! (My son's first word of which I have mixed feelings...since he has to avoid GLUTEN.) Yet, he didn't even have any desire for me to fuss with attempting to make a gluten-free cracker, he just opted for a bit of plain rice. 

But for the others, I didn't want them to go without. YET, even more important is that my main goal is to feed them food without preservatives, I made some crackers using Einkorn wheat (supposedly the ancient wheat grain that hasn't been hybridized like our modern variety).

Success! Everyone enjoyed it.

Oh, I didn't add the okra to the pot. Instead, I cooked them separately with tomatoes and onions and I just added them to my own portion of gumbo.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How to juice without too much pulp going to waste

Many feel that juicing produces too much waste in the form of leftover pulp. We all know that juicing helps our bodies to feel better, so here are a few suggestions that will hopefully get you back to feeling good (even conscientiously) about the whole process.

Option 1:  Put your pulp into a compost pile or compost bin.

Option 2:  Add it to your baked goods, such as quick bread recipes.

Option 3:  Juice green vegetables and leave out the carrots.  Carrot juice creates the most pulp.

  

The carrot juice was a mixture of 1 large apple and about 12 carrots which left behind 2 1/2 cups of pulp. Whereas the green juice was a mixture of 3 large green leaves, 1 cucumber, 1 stalk celery and 1/2 green apple which only produces 1/3 cup of pulp but a full 12 ounces of juice! (Note:  The large greens I used were mustard greens because they were all I had available.  It was very spicy!)

Yes, it's true that carrot/apple juice is a beneficial juice (used by Gerson Cancer Therapy) and also one that's very palatable to beginners.  But, if you've been juicing for a while and are ready to try some great juices for body cleansing, try a glass of green juice.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Sweet Potatoes - Organic vs NON-Organic

I started buying organic sweet potatoes because they simply taste better, just like organic carrots do. But occasionally I try a non-organic variety. I guess I forget the following fact every so often. Take a look at the photo below.  I hope you can see the difference. I steamed all of these sweet potatoes together.

Let me point some out to you. See the two (or three) almost in the top center of the photo? Notice how truly orange they are without the browning that's happened to the others around them? This isn't the first time I've noticed this, but it's just the first time that I've taken a photo of it. The organic ones never brown like the others. And they are SWEET! I do not add anything to them when I eat them.

So,what makes the organic sweet potatoes so different? I don't have an answer to this question. But I know that I rather eat the organic ones every time. (I hope they haven't tricked me and put a preservative on them or something. I would just be devastated. I'm hoping that they are just natural and fresher than the others.)

Thanks for your interest. Now go try some organic sweet potatoes. YUMMY!



Friday, November 1, 2013

Cottage Cheese

Even though I do not drink milk or consume dairy products, my kids do. I purchase fresh raw milk for them, but occasionally I still buy other dairy items for them to eat. Recently I needed some cottage cheese. I already knew this, but this time I took out my camera and got a shot of this right in the store.



Try to eat as natural as possible. Remember to read all ingredients. I chose the one on the left which happens to be DAISY brand. I looked at all others and this was the only one that had the least amount of ingredients. Others had many more. Additionally, my daughter is allergic to carrageenan - why is this ingredient put in so many things (just as much as soy, corn products, wheat...) Why is this so? In order to make the cheapest product and not taking into consideration the health of others. THIS IS JUST ONE EXAMPLE - the grocery store is full of such horrific food ingredients. Best bet - shop for local produce, know your meat producer and stay away from ANYTHING packaged! Note: Soy, corn, wheat are not "naturally" bad, but the way they have been modified for the food industry is definitely a BAD THING. Are you getting this?

If you aren't doing so already, it's time for you to start investigating your food. Our bodies were not designed to eat these "manufactured" foods. READ YOUR LABELS.

I know I should really start making my own cottage cheese...some day...I'm slowly getting there. Yes, change is a process, but this type of change (A CHANGE TO REAL FOODS) is one that would benefit us the most. This processed food is killing us and I'm not over-reacting. Like Joel Salatin states "We're eating food we can't even make in our kitchens. Have you ever tried making high-fructose corn syrup..."in his book "Folks, This Ain't Normal". Well, have you even considered making it? (That's another post.)

Hate to end it on this note, but it's all in our hands to take a stand and say "NO MORE FAKE FOODS"!