In The Kitchen

Strawberry Shake…no refined sugar

Here is a recipe for a strawberry shake with no processed sugar and no artificial sweeteners.  It was so good!  Even Randy requests these as an after dinner sweet snack.

Strawberry Shake…sugarless

This was actually really, really good and such a fun treat after three weeks without sugar.  No condiments, no crackers (except homemade which I will post the recipe for later), or anything else with sugar in it.

All I did was put:

1 cup of nut milk (preferably homemade)

4-5 frozen strawberries with their green tops

1-2 t raw honey, maple syrup, or stevia (optional)

Blend in Vitamix.

It was the consistency of a strawberry shake without all the added junk.  It was delicious.

In The Kitchen

Pumpkin pie with no sugar, grain, or eggs…and it is still edible

I am doing an elimination diet trying to reverse some food sensitivities I have been struggling with.  I have been scouring the web for recipes and tried this one from Spoonful Of Sugar Free the other day.  She has some really good sugarless recipes on her site.

Pumpkin Pie

~The pie is dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, peanut-free, and, of course, sugar-free!

Pecan Crust:

  • 2 cups pecan meal (make your own by finely grinding pecans in a food processor)
  • 4 large dates
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • pinch salt

Blend dates in a strong blender or food processor until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine until well-mixed. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan and press the mixture evenly to the bottom and sides. Bake at 375* for 10-15 minutes or until browned.

Pumpkin Filling:

  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves, 1/4 tsp nutmeg (or 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 12 oz. can full fat coconut milk (too lessen the calories, substitute up to 3/4 of the coconut milk with almond milk)
  • Sweeteners*

Combine the pumpkin, eggs, milk, sweetener (if using) and spices and beat until combined and smooth. Pour mix into crust and bake, uncovered, at 400* for 10 minutes. Then cover with foil and bake at 350* for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

*Sweetener ideas: I blended four dates with the filling in my food processor.  She also recommends using 1/2 teaspoon powder or liquid stevia drops.

Serve with Cinnamon Whipped Cream as a truly decadent Thanksgiving dessert.

**Instead of eggs (because I can’t have eggs right now) I used chia seed gel.  I used 1/4 cup to replace the two eggs in this recipe.

I couldn’t eat it all at once and Randy had real pie to eat.  So I froze individual pieces of this pie to eat whenever I’m craving something almost like dessert.  Enjoy!

In The Kitchen

Coconut Oil Chocolate…

This is the easiest “chocolate” to make without sugar.

Coconut Oil Chocolate:

¾ c coconut oil

½ to ¾ cup cocoa powder depending on how dark and chocolaty you like it

1 T raw honey

1 t vanilla extract

**add shredded coconut (unsweetened) and nuts (optional)

Gently heat your coconut oil.  Coconut oil becomes a liquid at 76 degrees F, so this needs to be done at a very low setting on your stovetop.  In a blender add everything (except shredded coconut and nuts) together and blend.  Pour into a bread pan lined with wax paper and put in the freezer.  If using shredded coconut and nuts sprinkle in bottom of pan before pouring blender mix on top.  This will make a nice sized chocolate bar to snack on whenever you get a hankering for chocolate.

Just FYI…The Raw Food World has their coconut oil on sale right now if you are in the market for stocking up.  This where I have started buying mine.

 

Enjoy!

In The Kitchen

Green Smoothies…

I am trying to add more greens to our diet and one way I have started doing that is by adding green smoothies to our daily routine.

Let me say I am neither a raw foodist or a vegan, however, I like to try new things and branch out a bit in life.

Below are some of the recipes I have tried from the book Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko or her website.

My personal favorite:

Valya Boutenko’s Green Smoothie:

Handful of spinach leaves

1 apple with core, no stem

1 banana

½ mango (peeled)

½ pear (cored)

Strawberries with tops

½ cup Water

Blend well.  Add kiwi and strawberry to edge of glass for garnish.

Sergei Boutenko’s Green Smoothie:

½ mango

1 banana

Couple strawberries with tops

5 kale leaves

Water

Blend well.

Kiwi Enjoyment:

Blend well:

4 very ripe kiwis (green or golden)

1 ripe banana

3 stalks of celery

2 cups water

Yields: 1 quart of smoothie

#13:

1 cup frozen blueberries

1/4 lb spinach

1 orange (peeled)

1 cup water

Blend well.

and this smoothie is from the Natural News website and was delicious too:

http://www.naturalnews.com/025752_superfoods_smoothies.html

Be sure to rotate your greens and don’t get stuck in a rut using the same veggie everyday.

There are a few of her “savory” smoothie recipes I would like to try.  I will post them here as I try them.

Give it a try!  They really are pretty good.

In The Kitchen, Preserving the Harvest

Pickled Garlic…

I used the recipe out of Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon to preserve some garlic cloves I bought in bulk.

Pickled Garlic

about 12 heads of garlic

2 t dried oregano (preferably organic)

2 t sea salt

2 T liquid from previous ferment (can use 2 t of additional sea salt if you don’t have a previous ferment)

1)  Place garlic heads in the oven at 300 degrees until heads open and cloves can be easily removed.

2)  Place cloves in a wide-mouthed quart jar.

3)  Add oregano, sea salt, starter liquid or additional salt and cover with filtered water leaving at least 1 inch headspace below the top of the jar.

4)  Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before placing in refrigerator.

Try to find a warm, undisturbed place to set this. 

Now I can grab a couple cloves, crush ’em, and toss ’em into whatever dish I am preparing.

In The Kitchen

Ginger Cookies…

These cookies are sort of like the molasses cookies my grandma makes.  They are really good.  I got the recipe out of a Holiday insert in newspaper and tweaked it a little.

Ginger Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour

2 t ground ginger

1 t baking soda

3/4 t cinnamon

1/2 t cloves, ground

1/4 t salt

3/4 cup coconut oil or plant-based butter

1 cup organic raw sugar (or coconut sugar)

1 egg

1 T water

1/4 cup organic molasses

4 T coconut sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together flour, ginger, ,baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, cream together coconut oil (or butter) and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg, and then stir in the water and molasses.  Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture.  Shape dough into walnut-sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar.  Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreases cookie sheet.  Bake 10 minutes in preheated oven.  Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

I noticed when I made these the cookies I baked on my stoneware didn’t rise.  They were my first batch, so maybe the oven wasn’t quite hot enough, or I didn’t cook them quite as long as needed.  However, the ones I did on metal cookie sheets were delicious.

In The Kitchen

Coconut Bark…

Coconut Bark:

6 T coconut oil, virgin, expeller-pressed

1 t vanilla extract

1 ½ T unsweetened cocoa powder

1-2 T pure maple syrup

2 T unsweetened shredded coconut

¼ c pecans

Melt coconut oil in a small pan over low heat.  Add vanilla extract, cocoa, and maple syrup.  Mix with wire whisk until completely dissolved. 

Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Pour into a 9×13 pan lined with wax paper.  Place in freezer for 15 minutes to harden.

Once it hardens, break it into bite-sized pieces.  Keep in freezer.

The recommended dosage for coconut oil is 3-4 Tablespoons a day.  This is best divided and taken three times a day before each meal.  It’s best to start out with smaller doses of coconut oil to prevent die off.  Die off is the result of toxins being removed from the body.  Diarrhea may result, but this is not actually a bad things as this is a sign your body is being flushed of toxins and offending organisms.

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil  “The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc.”

“The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV.”

Here is where I buy my coconut oil and the best price I have found.

I cook our eggs in it, spread on toast or biscuits, use it as a lotion and night cream, mix into smoothies, anytime I need to oil a pan for cooking, and of course in coconut bark.

It is delicious and nutritions.  It heals cuts on hands, good for chapped lips, rub on scalp to help fight dandruff.  The list goes on and on.

Animals, In The Kitchen

Llama Treats…

Hank gives these treats two hooves up….I got the recipe from Gentle Spirit Llamas .  I adjusted my recipe below.

Camelid Cookies

1 c shredded carrots

1 c uncooked oatmeal

1 c flour

1 t sea salt

2 T extra-virgin olive oil

1 T sugar (I omit the sugar)

1/4 c molasses

1/4 c water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix sticky ingredients in a bowl.  Measure out balls about the size of a teaspoon and place on a foil covered cookie sheet.  Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.

**As always, be mindful of any possiblity for choke.  While some do feed whole apples and carrots, cutting them into smaller pieces is a good idea.  Additionally, be knowledgeable around what plants or garden produce might be poisonous such as potato and tomato vines.  (from Gentle Spirit Llamas website by Cathy Spalding)

In The Kitchen

Dark Rye Bread…

I found this recipe on All Recipes.  I made a few changes and it turned out WONDERFUL.  I love this bread.

I used my bread machine.  It is important to put the ingredients into the bread machine in the order listed below or follow your bread machine guidelines.

Dark Rye Bread

1 1/8 c water (I use warm water)

1 T vegetable oil (I use extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil)

2 T molasses

1 t salt (I use sea salt)

3 T coconut sugar

1 T unsweetened cocoa powder

2 c all-purpose flour (unbleached)

1 1/2 c rye flour

1/4 t caraway seed (I don’t love them, so I skipped them)

2 t yeast

Set bread machine to dough cycle.  Let rise once in machine.  Remove from machine and place in oiled bread pan.  Allow to rise another time until doubled in size.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

In The Kitchen

Guacamole, Fresh-squeeze lemonade, and strawberries…

There are a few things I may never be able to grow and may never be able to live without entirely and avocados are one of those things.  I LOVE guacamole!

These were used to make a big batch of guacamole.  I don’t use a recipe, but the ingredients include:

lemon juice

lemon pepper

garlic powder

sea salt

diced tomatoes

and I think some onion powder

I would use cilantro if I had it on hand, but I rarely have it on hand.  I also put one of the avocado pits into the guacamole.  It’s supposed to keep the guacamole from turning brown.  I haven’t really seen the benefits, but continue to do it anyway.

I also whipped up some fresh-squeezed lemonade.  Country Time cannot compare.

Lemonade:

This makes 2 quarts.

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (I use raw, organic) I am trying to decrease the sugar content as our taste buds adjust

2 quarts water

Stir and then chill.

Last but not least are the strawberries. 

I am not always able to buy organic.  Sometimes it’s not available and sometimes our budget just does not allow for it.  So I soak my non-organic fruits and vegetables for 30 mintes in water with a gulg or two of white vinegar and then mist with hydrogen peroxide.  This is proven more effectiven than bleach at killing Salmonella, Shigell, and E. Coli bacteria.

Or just use vinegar and water:

Fruit and vegetable wash:
Add 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar to 1 pint water and use to wash fresh fruits and vegetables, then rinse thoroughly.  Research has shown that vinegar helps kill bacteria on fruits and vegetables.

I also use the peroxide/vinegar spray to clean the kitchen counters and bathroom.  I bought a big bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide and just attached a spray nozzle directly to the top of the bottle.  In a separate bottle I diluted it 50/50 with white vinegar and distilled water.  I added a little orange essential oil from a nice clean smell, but this is totally optional.  The trick is they have to be sprayed separately.  It doesn’t matter which order.  They just have to be in separate bottles and sprayed separately to be effective.

I TRY to buy organic according to the Dirty Dozen List.  If it is at the top of the list I try to only buy organic and at the bottom I generally go for the lesser priced commercial version.  That being said you will notice strawberries are at the top of the list.  They were dirt cheap at Sam’s, and I couldn’t walk away.  So they soaked in vinegar water and were rinsed a couple times before they became part of our strawberry shortcake.

We aren’t perfect in our little kitchen, but we do try to eliminate as much exposure to chemicals and nasty bacteria as we can in a way that fits our budget.