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My passion it to be healthy. And to teach you how to be healthy. Open your mind and dive in.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Me, My Passion and I

Well, I thought I would update you on what's going on in my life.

I am in love, addicted, obsessed, focused, dream about, think about, research every moment I can about my new love.  My new love is called Kerri's Kakes, which I hope will one day become a successful business for me.  I have dreamed about starting my own business for years. 

I have dreamed about taking a cake decorating class...for years.  I had actually signed up for one years ago.  But the store, won't mention the name, cancelled the class and would not give me and my friend our money back.  Kind of made me mad.  Life spiraled out of control right after that and, well decorating a cake seemed not so important.

So, last month, I took a cake decorating class with 3 friends at Hobby Lobby.  And boy did it open the floodgates for me.  I so love baking already, so now I love to bake and decorate.  (Good Lord am I glad ViSalus is in my life.  Otherwise I would probably gain 100 pounds.)

But my 'bizness' has a different spin.  I want to make cakes, cupcakes, etc with a natural twist.  

By natural twist, I mean I WILL NOT use food coloring to decorate.  I only use colorants that have been made from fruits and vegetables.  Any dairy that goes into my recipes is organic ONLY.  The eggs in my recipes are free-range   My cupcake cups are bleach free and biodegradable.  I really do not want to use any aluminum cake pans.  (Aluminum crosses over to the food and aluminum is gaining itself a direct link to Alzheimer's).  I want glass to be the only cake pan I use.  And I am studying how to make cakes and icing without the gross shortening we are all familiar with.  I want to stay as close to natural in every aspect that I can.  Finally I am studying gluten-free and gluten-free ingredients, organic where I can. 

I am soooo in love with all of this.  I am very passionate about providing an alternative to the desserts we are used to.  I want to break down that scary wall that we all see when someone talks about baking in a healthy manner.  Healthy DOES NOT have to mean gross, flavorless, dry or toss that recipe in the shredded to be recycled later.  Healthy to me means, let's find a way to cook or bake that is better for me and my family. 

There is a lot of controversy about wheat.  I am trying to slowing limit the amount of wheat products that are brought into this house.  Will I get to the point where we are completely wheat-free??  I don't know.  But I do know that there is a food, chemical or something out there that I am allergic to and I am on the hunt to figure out what it is. 

After reading "Eat Right for your Blood Type" my gut feeling tells me that it is wheat.  So, we will see.  I know that it takes awhile to undue everything that I have already done.  So, I pray for patience and strength as I begin this journey.  But boy am I excited about it all!!!  :-)  I will keep you posted on my progress.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Must HAVE Plants to Keep in Your Home---They Filter the Air you Breath

This is a fun post.  Cause you either get to go shopping or it gives you a good list to ask for at  your birthday, Christmas, Valentines day, whatever holiday you need to celebrate.  :-)  And if you need a good gift idea for someone....here it is!!!

If you live in a house, well you might want to read this.  :-)  Especially if you smoke, ever use finger nail polish or ever change the color of paint on your walls.  Your house could be swimming in an array of completely bad for you chemicals.  Glue, paint, furniture wax, detergents and cigarette smoke cause benzene.  Benzene as you can guess....is BAD!!!  

Here's what breathing benzene could do to you....
1.  Cause dizziness
2.  Headaches
3.  Compromise your immune system
4.  Eventually cause cancer from over exposure
5.  Long term effects on bone marrow
6.  Decrease red blood cells, leading to anemia eventually leukemia

Another lurker that makes its way into our homes is formaldehyde, which is suspected to cause cancer in humans.  Yeah, you might think the only place formaldehyde is found is at a funeral home...guess again.

Formaldehyde can be found in the following...
1.  Pressed wood products, like particle board for you floor
2.  Hardwood plywood paneling on the wall or in furniture
3.  Durable press drapes and other textiles
4.  Glues
5.  Tobacco smoke

Here are other areas where chemicals are present that make their way to your lungs...
1.  Paint removers
2.  Paint stripping chemicals
3.  Adhesives
4.  Spot removers
5.  Carpet cleaners
6.  Varnish
7.  Shellac
8.  Rust preventatives
9.  Nail polish
10.  Perfume

So, to keep these levels of chemicals lower in your home, you need these plants in your house.  This list is actually from NASA's list of air filtering plants.  Pretty cool huh'?!

Here is the list of the top air purifying plants to have in your home.  Plus, a home with some greenery just feels more like a home.  Don't you think?  And if you are worried about watering and taking care of them...please...as long as they get water every week or 2 weeks, they should survive.  Sometimes my plants don't get a drink until they are drooping.  Said to say...these babies used to get love from me once a week, sometimes two!  Their day will come again when they are top of the priority list!  :-)

1.  Boston Fern
2.  Dendrobium
3.  Dracaena
4.  Dumb Cane
5.  English Ivy
6.  Gerbera Daisy (so happy about this!!  this is one of my 2 favorite plants!!)
7.  Golden Pothos or Devil's Ivy
8.  King of Hearts
9.  Peace Lily (I have a two of these if someone wants a start)
10.  Moth Orchid (Beautiful!!)
11.  Philodendron (verrrrry hardy...so, if you don't have a green thumb...good choice)
12.  Pot Mum
13.  Snake Plant, or Mother-in-law Tongue
14.  Rubber Plant
15.  Spider Plant
16.  Weeping Fig
17.  Areca Palm

Let me know when you make any new plant purchases!  I checked the plants that I have in my house and I actually have 2 Peace Lillie's and 1 Philodendron!  YAY!!!!

Click here to see pictures of the above plants and for full article.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I believe God is definitely in Organic

Last summer I took my kids and my in-laws to the Living Lightly Fair here in Muncie.  As I was browsing the booths, I found one particular booth where I wanted to buy something.  As I was paying for my purchase one of the owners and I began to chat.  I shared with her the movement that had been happening in my life for the past 9 months (then) and that I had started a blog and I gave all the credit/glory to God.  She asked for my blog address, and I gave it to her. 

As we were ending our conversation, she made a comment along the line of, you never hear a believer in God also being someone concerned about organic, or that organic and God never go together.  And that, should be a topic I blog about.  That is not exactly the way she worded it, but it has been almost a year ago that she and I had that conversation, and I have to think hard to remember what I had for breakfast this morning.  :-)

So, obviously, I have thought about that conversation since......a lot.

For me, being a follower, believer, lover of Jesus Christ, it makes my brow furrow with confusion on how God/Jesus could not be in organic.

Organic is everything that God and Jesus is.  Pure, untainted, whole, healthy, perfect and very good for us!  God does not want us eating all the crap that we put into our bodies on a daily basis.  Look at the Garden of Eden.  They ate from a tree every day...from a tree!!!  Not a prepackaged box, full of pesticides, MSG, bleached flour, artificial flavoring and coloring.  Or a can lined with bpa and aluminum.  Everything was pure.  Right down to the fact that Adam and Eve were naked and neither one of them thought a thing about it.  Modesty or even the word naked did not exist to them.  They were what we call naked and they were fine with that.  Very fine with that.  They and almost everything around them was.....pure (I can't say everything seeing that the serpent/satan was far from pure).

The health of our families and of our country is on a fast forward track of destruction.  Cancer is rampant, Alzheimer's is on an increase, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity it at an all time high.  Now, you can argue with me that we have better technology to find this stuff now, better doctors, more testing, etc etc...I agree our technology is better, but the fact is...what we are eating has gotten worse.  Unless you are someone who reads the labels of everything you buy and buy organic.

God does not want us to fill our bodies with harmful ingredients that can be found in about everything we eat.  The bible says that "our bodies are our temple."  So, we should treat them like they are a temple.  A very important one.  Seeing that they are the only one we get.

So, in a nutshell and in my opinion...God is very much in organic.  And God is very much a supporter of us eating and farming organic.  Organic is the way things should be.  What we eat should be in the purest form.  I love how one fitness trainer suggests trying to limit eating anything that comes in a "package."  You want to eat things that come in their original package....fruits and veggies.

Something to chew on.....today is April 22, 2011 Good Friday and it is also Earth Day.....coincidence???  I don't think so.

What do you think?

Homemade Organic Easter Candy--YUM!!

Candy Nests (from mother nature network)

Ingredients:
1 9-ounce bag of organic chocolate chips (ex. Sunspire Fair Trade organic)
1 cup (or more or less, depending on your love of coconut) organic coconut
Organic jelly beans (I buy at Whole Foods)

Directions:
1. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler on the stove (or put them in a heatproof measuring cup, and set that in a saucepan filled with some water). Or you can microwave them for a minute or two.


2. Add the coconut to taste, and stir together with the chocolate.


3. Take a cookie sheet and cover it with parchment paper. Using a spoon, put a dollop of chocolate-coconut mixture on the parchment.


4. Add three jelly beans in the middle and press them down…like eggs in a nest.


Put in the fridge until they are set.


Enjoy!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Homemade Sour Cream

A few months ago, I got the idea to make my own organic sour cream.  Then I found it at a very affordable price at Meijer and Whole Foods, so never put these recipes into action, but that I would still share my research.  If anyone tries any of these recipes, let me know.  :-)

I do really like the How to make it in a pinch part, if you happen to have cottage cheese in the refrigerator. 

Overnight Method to Make Sour Cream

If you'd prefer to have a little more control over the sour cream, here is a way to make it overnight.


What You'll Need
2 cups light cream (like half and half)
3 tablespoons buttermilk
Canning jar

What to Do
Sterilize a canning jar in boiling water.  Pour the cream and buttermilk into the hot jar. 
Cover the jar tightly and shake to combine the ingredients.
Keep at room temperature until it reaches the desired thickness.


-A higher percentage of butterfat in the cream will produce a thicker sour cream.David Fankhauser, PhD: Sour Cream


Stir before serving.Cooks.com: Homemade Sour Cream


Store in the refrigerator up to three weeks.


-Throw the sour cream away if mold begins to form on the top.

How to make it fast, if in a pinch
Blender Method to Make Sour Cream



Another way to make sour cream is using a blender.
What You'll Need
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons skim milk
Blender


What to Do
Pour the cottage cheese, milk and lemon juice into a blender.
Mix on medium-high speed until smooth.
Refrigerate before serving.


Variations

If you want to impart a little extra flavor to your sour cream to accompany a specific recipe, consider the following varying ingredients that you can combine with the sour cream.

Flavor the sour cream by adding items like fresh garlic, cracked pepper, chopped bell peppers or pimento before mixing in a blender.


Combine sour cream with mayonnaise and cider vinegar to create a tangy salad dressing or dip.


Add port, red wine, tomato paste and canned chipotle chilies to make spicy sour cream.

Other methods....
Ingredients

Method 1
1 cup cream
1 tablespoon cultured buttermilk
Recipe can be increased at the ratio of 1 tablespoon buttermilk to 1 cup of cream.


Method 2
1 cup cream
1 1/2 cups pasteurized whole milk
1/2 cup buttermilk
Instructions
Method 1
In a double boiler bring the fresh cream up to 180 degrees. Cool to room temp in a cold water bath. Add the buttermilk, cover, and let sit at room temp. for 24-48 hours. Stir and refrigerate. The batch will keep approximately 3-4 weeks, refrigerated


Method 2
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl over warm water. Raise the temperature of the mixture to (68 degrees to 70 degrees F) and let it stand for 12 to 24 hours or until it is sufficiently sour and thick enough to cling firmly to a spoon. Keep in the refrigerator until you want to use it. For a richer heavier sour cream combine 2 cups of pasteurized heavy cream with 5 tablespoons of cultured buttermilk and incubate as before. For better texture refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.


Tips and Hints on Using Sour Cream
Sour cream is commonly used for dips, dressings, and sauces or simply "plain" as a condiment.

Never boil sour cream because it will curdle immediately. To add sour creme to a hot liquid, remove the liquid from the heat source (or turn the heat to very low) and add the cream while stirring gently.


Avoid using sour cream in dishes with a lot of salt, as the salt may cause curdling. Also dishes made with sour cream do not freeze well

Baking With Sour Cream
Cakes using acidic ingredients such as sour cream may development a metallic flavor if baked and stored in an aluminum pan. To prevent this reaction from taking place, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper before adding the batter to the pan.

Yet another method...
Sour cream cannot be made at home with pasteurized cream; the lack of bacteria in the cream will cause the cream to spoil instead of sour. If you have access to unpasteurized heavy cream, you can add 1 Tbsp of vinegar to 2 cups of cream and let the mixture stand out at room temperature for several hours until curdled.



If you can’t get unpasteurized cream, you can still make a version of crème fraîche, which is also a soured cream. The taste is generally milder than that of sour cream, but it may be an acceptable substitute for you in recipes that call for sour cream. You can make crème fraîche by adding 1 cup of buttermilk to 2 cups of heavy cream and leaving it out in a warm place (80° to 90°F, or 26° to 32°C, is ideal) for as few as eight hours and as many as 24 hours. One of the benefits of crème fraîche is that it can be whipped.

Granola Time!

I have read about it, friends have blogged about it (love you MK), friends have made it and gave it to me (Yum! JV), but I have never really felt the desire to make it.  So....I have been buying Cascadian Farms Organic Granola.....YUM!!!

But I ate the last bowl of CFOG and hubby went to the pantry to get a bowl of granola last night and it was...well....gone.  :-)

So, I decided to make a batch today and see what I think.

I bought the book "Eat Right for You Blood Type" months ago and remembered a granola recipe in the book that I had bought the ingredients for, but alas, had never made.  So....here it goes.....

Maple-Walnut Granola
4 cups rolled oats (I did not soak over night this time, but will next and will post more)
1 cup rice bran (lady at Whole Foods had to help me find this...BUT wow is it packed with FIBER!!!)
1 cup sesame seed (I had 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (I used ALOT more)
1/2 cup dried currants (could not find)
1 cup chopped walnuts (I used 1/2 cup, I am not a huge nut in my food person)
1/4 cup flax seeds (my addition)
1/4 cup organic canola oil (the only cooking oil we use now except for olive oil of course)
1/2 cup maple syrup (yep...the real stuff....OH so yummy on pancakes!)
1/4 cup organic honey (Whole Foods or Meijer)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.  In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, rice bran, seeds, dried fruit and nuts.  Add the oil and stir evenly.

Pour in maple syrup, honey and vanilla and mix well until evenly moistened.  Mixture should be crumbly and sticky.  Spread mixture in a roasting pan or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 90 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes for even toasting until the mixture is golden brown and dry.  Cool and store in a glass airtight container.

Enjoy!!

My Dream -WF

When I woke this morning, there was such a sense of urgency around me.  God had given me an idea.  And this is the message I sent to the Global Headquarters of Whole Foods.

PLEASE consider what I am going to type....I woke this morning with such an urgency to share this idea with you. It is soooo IMPORTANT that this idea goes to the top within Whole Foods.  I believe this is very possible.  Very!  Please pray with me that this is answered.



Dear Whole Foods Global Headquarters,
I am such an advocate of Whole Foods. I live over an hour away from the closest WF but you are still the place I do the majority of my families grocery shopping. Why? Because it is a must that my family eats the safest and healthiest food I can buy. I even do grocery shopping for my friends when I drive down, due to the fact that they never make it down to Carmel, IN.


Here is my dream for you...Whole Foods Mini Market....or....Whole Foods Market -mini.


The "mini" Whole Foods would not need to carry all the fresh items that your 2 larger ones in Indiana carry. WE could do without the fresh fish, the cheese area, the extensive alcohol choices, and even the large deli. We could so easily survive on most things frozen and of course organic produce. You would not even need to carry the conventional produce...since we need to be only eating the organic produce anyway. BUT we just need clean/healthy foods to buy. The -mini would most definitely need to carry the 365 brand of everything as this is how I am able to shop at Whole Foods, due to the price of the 365 line being very affordable.


Heck! I may even be able to to help with the building of this. I am a stay at home mom currently (with a college degree ;-) )


BUT PLEASE hear this cry and request! There has to be more Whole Food groceries available around the US. HAS TO BE!!! There is such an movement right now...everyone's eyes are being opened to what is being put into our food and body care. I even started a blog so that I can share this info with my friends and family. Check it out.. www.itstimetogreen.blogspot.com
PLEASE hear this cry for food and body care products that are not going to kill us!!! PLEASE!!
Sincerely, Kerri Boughman

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Easter "jello" Eggs

Continuing the Easter Theme...I have one of the jello Easter egg molds.  You know the one that looks like a half-dozen eggs but has the open holes in the top.  Years ago when I bought it, I would make the Jello recipe that came with it for the "jiggler" consistency, pour it into the top of the mold and the next day we had beautiful Jello Easter Eggs.

Well, now that I know what I know, we have not bought Jello for a long time.  I do still have some in the house, but I am not sure what I am going to do with it.  I was thinking I would donate it the next time our postal carrier asks for fool collection...hmmmmm....or I might pitch it, since the trash can is actually where it deserves to go.

Anyway, just as an FYI, is that Whole Foods sells their version of a rockin' jello.  The brand is Natural Desserts.  It is all natural, gluten free, vegan and contains no artificial colors or flavors.  They carry three flavors...Raspberry, Strawberry and I think Orange (we ate that a while ago and I can't remember if it was orange or peach).  I thought it was DE-LISH'....my hubby did not.  But if he was looking for that way over the top sweet taste that you get when you first take a bite of the name brand jello dessert, you will not find that sweet make-my-teeth-hurt flavor with the All Natural brand.  :-)

"Jello Jiggle Easter Egg Molds" is what I googled and I found some on eBay.  I would be surprised if they were not for sale at our regular stores too.

So, as you know....artificial coloring is BAD BAD BAD!!!!  So, we are going to make our own "jello" eggs as natural as we can.  So, I headed to the box of Knox gelatine I have in my pantry, that never gets used.  And did some research.  Knox gelatine has 1 ingredient....gelatine.  Hmmmm, I thought, OK, how do you get gelatine....well if you are vegetarian or vegan...stop right here.  Because gelatine is made from animals.  I am a meat eater, so I am OK with this.  If you want more details go to http://www.knoxgel.com/  I found some awesome recipes here.

OK, so for our natural "jello" Easter eggs.....
My mold only makes 6 eggs at a time, so I am using a small batch.
Spray inside of egg molds with cooking spray or wipe them with organic canola oil.
Close and snap mold tightly.
(Since I have never made this, I am guessing that the recipe I am starting with will make more than the 6 eggs that my mold makes, so my idea is to fill the molds and then with what is left to pour into a glass dish and just make squares or cut with cookie cutters.)

This is a Regular Fruit Juice Knox Blox Recipe
4 envelopes Knox unflavored gelatine
1 cup cold organic fruit juice
3 cups organic fruit juice, heated to boiling
2 tbsp organic sugar, agave or organic honey, optional (I used organic fruit punch...no sugar needed)

1.  Sprinkle gelatin over cold juice in large bowl; let stand 1 minute (I actually let it sit for about 4 minutes, I stirred it after 2 minutes with a wood spoon and waited till I could no longer see any white powder).  Add hot juice and stir until gelatin completely dissolves, about 5 minutes.  Stir in sugar or honey, if desired (I am thinking Agave would work here too).  Normal recipe calls for you to pour this into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan, but I am pouring mine into my egg mold.

2.  Refrigerate until firm, (about 3 hours for regular Knox Blox recipe) but I am going to leave my eggs sit overnight in the mold in the refrigerator.

After making these, if you only have 1 mold, I would suggest halving the recipe above.  I made the above recipe and was able to fill 6 eggs (1 mold) and 1 5x7 glass pyrex dish almost filled to the top.

Another Version with Yogurt----yum!
Creamy Easter Eggs
2 envelopes Knox unflavoured gelatine
1/4 cup granulated sugar (cane sugar is the best...Meijer sells it in 4 lb bags)
1/2 cup cold filtered water
1/4 cup organic frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 ice cubes
1/2 cup organic plain yogurt (Stonyfield Greeks is what I am going to use)

1.  Combine gelatine and sugar in a small saucepan.  Stir in cold water; let stand 1 minute.  Stir over low heat until gelatine is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

2.  Stir in orange juice concentrate and ice cubes until ice is dissolved; whisk in yogurt.  Pour into your prepared egg molds or an 8 inch square pan.  Chill in freezer until set, about 30 minutes. 

3.  If using 8 inch pan, unmold and cut into tiny shapes or squares.  Cover and refrigerate leftovers.

Tip: To unmold, turn pan over onto cutting board; cut out shapes.

Coloring Easter Eggs

Well, Easter is almost here, so I started to do some research to see what I could find about coloring eggs......you guessed it.....THE NATURAL Way!   :-)

Guess what...I found some pretty cool ideas.  I have not tried this, so if you try this before I do let me know what you think.

As I have blogged about in the past...artificial coloring is BAD BAD BAD!!!!!!  There are studies that actually show that artificial food coloring is carcinogenic....get that???...it can cause CANCER.  You have probably read about Red Dye, it is the worst, but try to avoid all food coloring if possible (but especially any food or drink with red food coloring in it!!). 

Our "perfect" world would consist of clear and all NATURAL coloring used to color our foods and drinks.

So, here is what I found....when coloring eggs, instead of buying those tiny tablets we are all so familiar with to color our eggs try this instead.....

1.  Robin egg blue color---Buy red cabbage leaves
2.  Tender yellow---Orange peels
3.  Smoky yellow green---Carrot tops
4.  Pale lavender flecked with soft rust---Yellow Delicious apple peelings
5.  Orange---Brown onion peels (not white)
6.  Pinkish color with gray-green buffs---Fresh spinach

How to make...
To dye eggs, place eggs in a pan and cover with water.  Add 1 teaspoon of vinegar and dye material.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

The color will deepen or change if the eggs are left in the dye solution overnight.  But place in refrigerator if wanting the deeper color overnight!

If you leave the eggs sit out on the counter over night, please do not eat.

I also bought India Foods food coloring at Whole Foods (all natural from highly concentrated vegetable colorants).  It come in a package of 3 colors, red, blue and yellow.  I might try this to dye my eggs too.