Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Homemade Cold Breakfast Cereal - so easy and soo good!

After I read this, we ate what cold boxed breakfast cereal we had in the house and made the decision to not buy any more.

This recipe is so easy it's ridiculous and it is DELICIOUS!!!  I have tweaked it a bit from what the above link shows.  :-)

Homemade Cold Breakfast Cereal (grain)
6 cups freshly ground spelt flour
Yogurt, clabbered REAL milk or whey (I don't measure, I just pour enough into my 6 cups of spelt, stirring until it is all wet

Mix fresh spelt flour with any of the above mentioned ingredients in a large glass bowl.  Cover with a clean, non-bleached towel or cloth and secure with a rubberband.  Let sit on countertop for 24 hours.

After soaking is complete, mix in the following ingredients:
3/4 cup unrefined, expeller pressed, organic coconut oil (use a stainless steel measuring cup, then place the measuring cup in warm water and allow the coconut oil to soften, if needed)
1 cup Grade B maple syrup or raw honey
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract (homemade preferably)
1 tsp almond extract
1-2 tbsp organic cinnamon (or more)

Mix these ingredients well into the soaked batter.  I have 2 of the large bar pans from Pampered chef and they work perfectly.  I pour the batter evenly in the 2 large bar pans.  And bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, until batter turns golden brown and becomes a coffee cake consistency.  

(You have another option here if you would like...cut the coffee cake into 2x2 squares, or whatever size you would like, wrap in bpa free plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator or freezer.  Thaw and warm in the toaster oven for a few minutes and you have a quick out the door breakfast or snack!)

Let coffee cake cool and break it up into small pieces and spread out over your baking sheets you used.  You decide the size of pieces you like.  Anything works here.

Place both bar pans back in the oven with crumbled coffee cake pieces spread out as evenly as you can get them.  Bake at 200 degrees F for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally to bring the pieces on the bottom to the top for even drying.  Remove from the oven when the pieces are starting to feel crunchy.  You don't want to bake too long here and chip a tooth.

Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator.  Serve with REAL milk and organic fruit.  Soooooo YUM!!!

If you like to watch videos, watch The Healthy Home Economists video about cold cereal here, but SIGNIFICANTLY decrease the final bake time as I mentioned above in recipe.

With Coconut chips and chia seeds.
A batch makes close to 3 of these.  They are 1/2 gal size.

*Recipe adapted from Sarah from The Healthy Home Economist.  An AMAZING blog!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Crispy Almonds and Cashews

Pecans.  Almonds.  Peanuts.  Cashews.  Pepitas (pumpkin seeds).

These 2 recipes are our favorites!  I don't leave for a soccer practice or game without these almonds!  :-)

Crispy Almonds
4 cups almonds, preferable skinless (I can't find skinless)
1 tablespoon sea salt (Redmonds Real or Celtic Sea Salt)
Reverse osmosis or filtered water

Skinless almonds will still sprout, indicating that the process of removing their skins has not destroyed the enzymes.  (The skins are probably removed by a machine process.)  Skinless almonds are easier to digest and more satisfactory in many recipes.  However, you may also use almonds with the skins on.  

Mix almonds with salt and reverse osmosis water and leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours or overnight.  Drain in a colander.  Spread on a stainless steel or baking stone and place in a warm oven (no more than 150 degrees or lowest temperature your oven will go and leave oven door propped open with a wooden spoon, mine will only go down to 170 degrees) for 12-24 hours, stirring occasionally, until completely dry and crisp.  Store in a glass, airtight container.

Variation:  Crispy Almond Slivers
Use 4 cups slivered almonds instead of whole almonds.

Crispy Cashews
4 cups "raw" cashews
1 tablespoon sea salt (Redmonds Real or Celtic Salt)
Reverse osmosis or filtered water

Some care must be taken in preparing cashews.  They will become slimy and develop a disagreeable taste if allowed to soak too long or dry out too slowly, perhaps because they come to us not truly raw but having already undergone two separate heatings.  You may dry them in a 200 to 250 degree oven--the enzymes have already been destroyed processing.

Soak cashews in salt and filtered water for 6 hours (NO LONGER...so set the timer on this one!)   Drain in a colander.  Spread on stainless steel or stone baking sheet or pan and place in a warm oven (about 200 degrees) for 12-24 hours, turning occasionally, until completely dry and crisp.  Store in a glass airtight container in the refrigerator.


*Taken from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.  A must buy book!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Soaking Peanuts, Pine Nuts and Hazelnuts

Pecans.  Almonds.  Peanuts.  Cashews.  Pepitas (pumpkin seeds).  

If you missed why you should soak your nuts, read this.

How to Soak Peanuts
Makes 4 cups.

4 cups raw peanuts
1 tbsp sea salt (Redmond Real or Celtic)
Filtered or reverse osmosis water

Mix peanuts with salt and filtered water and leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours or overnight.  Drain and rinse in a colander.  Do not rinse if you want your peanuts a little salty.  Spread peanuts on a baking stone or stainless steel baking pan and place in a warm oven, preheated no higher than 150 degrees for 12-24 hours (if your oven does not go down to 150 degrees F, preheat your oven at its lowest temperature, my ovens is 170 and place a wooden spoon in the door, so your oven door is slightly ajar, leave spoon in door, this will create a temperature very close to 150 degrees).  Stir peanuts occasionally, until completely dry and crisp.  Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator.

(Peanuts are the only nut for me that does not get crispy.  They are still good, the kids love them, but they are not as crispy as almonds that are soaked and dried.)  

I also recommend, after your peanuts have dried, lay them out on half of a dish towel.  Fold the other half of the dish towel over and sort of massage the peanuts to remove the skins.  Then pick the peanuts up and place them in the glass jar you are going to store them in.  Then take your dish towel outside and shake it to remove the skins.  You can totally eat the skins, they are just a little messy with the dried skins still on.  Store peanuts in refrigerator (makes them last longer).

Variation:  Crispy Pine Nuts
Use 4 cups pine nuts instead of raw peanuts

Variation:  Crispy Hazelnuts
Use 4 cups skinless hazelnuts in place of peanuts.
(To peel hazelnuts, place on a cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees until skins turn dark and begin to crack.  Place hazelnuts in a kitchen towel and wrap up tightly.  Hold towel-wrapped nuts in your hands and rub and squeeze for several minutes.  Open up towel--most of the skins should have come off...same as peanut skins above.)

*Adapted from Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions Book (a must buy!)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Why Should you Soak Nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts, etc.) Before you Eat Them???

This was one of those GREEN things, that I did not understand.  I put it off to the very last thing on my "how to eat real food list."  And when I finally soaked some almonds and dried them.....wow did I kick myself.  If you like to snack on almonds or any nut.  This is a must read for you.

Soaking is sooo easy, it makes nuts taste 1000% times more delicious and allows your body to actually use the nutrients, vitamins and good stuff that are inside a nut.

My favorite way to soak is all in one day.  My feeling is, get is all done and over with, then I have a refrigerator full of nuts that are ready.  Either to snack on or to cook with.  For example the delicious almonds pancakes I posted here.

Think of it this way.  (Gonna get gross here....)  When you eat nuts that have not been soaked and dried, you eat them, you think to yourself, hey these taste pretty good, down the hatch they go, your body says oh, he or she ate some nuts, great...what do we do with these things....???....well we can't get much nutrition out of them, so out the old poop shoot they go. 

I have heard many people say they notice an "upset stomach" when they eat nuts that have not been soaked.  This is because your body cannot digest them correctly.   When we listen to our bodies we can learn a lot.

So.....why don't we soak 'em and allow your body to say WOW we can actually get a TON of vitamins and minerals and all sorts of nutrition out of these nuts.  Think of it this way...you will eat less when you body can tell you, "hey we've had enough, you can stop eating, you have given us some great vitamins and nutrients."  When the opposite happens with unsoaked nuts.  Your body cannot pull anything from them, so you brain never flips a switch to tell you it's full and you have ate the entire jar of nuts.  So, you actually save yourself money when you soak nuts.  You eat a little and you feel full.  And you have less "upset stomach" issues.  And get soooo much more nutrition out of them soaked.

Got it?  Good.  Now go buy some organic raw nuts (almonds are our fave) and get to SOAKING!!!!!

I will be posting recipes for each nut separately.  :-)  Soaked nuts make a GREAT snack!  Try some with raw cheese or a glass of REAL milk....delish and oh so filling.  :-)

And don't forget to reread my post on soaking oats, rice and beans here.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fruit flies?? Be GONE!!

Anyone else fighting fruit flies in your house?  They are driving me nuts.  Here is how you get rid of them.

Fruit Fly Be Gone Tonic
Organic apple cider vinegar
Some sort of GREEN dish soap (the kind of soap you use when hand washing your dishes)

Pour a small amount of organic apple cider vinegar in a small glass bowl.  Add 3 drops of dish soap.  Swirl to mix.  Set in your kitchen.  And watch what happens.

Here is a picture of my success.  :-)  There was more organic apple cider vinegar in the glass bowl when I started.  A lot of it evaporated.  This picture was taken after the first day of the tonic sitting out on the kitchen counter.  Safe, natural and it works!
This is how much acv I used.

Gross huh'?  But it works!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Weston A Price - Indianapolis Groundwork Conference

Weston A. Price

Saturday, myself and 3 friends went to our first Weston A. Price -  Indianapolis Chapter - Groundwork conference.

Can I just say.............wow!

First, it was amazing to be surrounded by 200+ men and woman who share the same passion that I do.  To GREEN our lives.  To eat traditionally.  To stay away from GMO's.  To ditch processed foods.  To grow your own food (weather permitting).  To eat organic (if safe local food is not available).  You get the point.  

I walked in with my bright orange shirt that reads "GMO's are not food!" (with each o filled in with a bio-hazard symbol and did not feel like a freak.  It was wonderful!  :-)  I should take a pic of my shirt.  Hmmmmmm......maybe I will surprise you with it at the end.  :-)
Bio-hazard symbol

The day consisted of speakers and break out sessions, vendors with booths, lunch and dinner.  It was a great day.  My butt, (who is not used to sitting) thought different, but I told it to shhhh so I could hear what the speakers were saying.

Here is a little info about Weston A. Price.  1870-1948.  Dr. Price was a dentist who wanted answers.  He wanted to know why we, Americans had such awful teeth.  He could not find one person around him who did not have a cavity that had been filled.  So, he decided that in order to find out what was causing our dental problems he would have to go to countries that did not have any dental problems.  What he found was that we ate a lot of processed foods (white flour, white sugar and processed animal fats in particular).and other countries ate whole healthy foods that had not been processed.  The countries that ate the whole, natural foods had good teeth.  There is MUCH more to Dr. Price, that I am not going to write here, this blog post would never end, so read about Dr. Price here.  

So, here are some highlights/notes that I thought I would share.

1.  The pesticides that we thought were so great years ago are actually horribly messing up crop yield today.  When crops are compared today, the crops that do not have the pesticides on them are yielding more product and have less weeds.  Crazy isn't?  (not really)  Glyphosate (broad spectrum pesticide) can stay in the ground for 22 years after it was applied.  This is why we should not eat ANY root vegetable that is not locally grown (without pesticides) or organic.  The glyphosate accumulates at the root of crops.  Glyphosate has messed up a lot.   It has decreased yield, depleted nutrients, killed good microbes, depleted manganese levels and depleted B12.  Right now farmers are wishing they had not applied Glyphosate years ago.  Crops have been genetically engineered to withstand the application of the glyphosate and still live.  And then we eat the plant.  Not food but a science project.  
~Speaker: Dr. Don M. Huber, Emeritus Professor of Plant Pathology, Purdue University

*Note:  Remember when a label reads "Organic" it can not be made of genetically modified organisms (GMO's).  Only buy fruits and vegetables that begin with the barcode of "9."  9 means organic.

2.  Oh, are some of you going to hate me for this one...but here we go.  STOP using SUNSCREENS and CHOLESTEROL is GOOD!!!

Are you spinning?  I will elaborate.

Sunscreens are not protecting our skin from cancer, it is more likely (depending on what sunscreen you are using) your sunscreen is causing cancer.  (ouch!)  High SPF products contain aluminum which is very damaging to apply to the skin and then go out in the sun.  

When you go outside your skin will naturally begin to produce sulfate to protect itself from the sun.  When you put sunscreen on you are interfering with the skin's ability to detoxify sunlight.  Vitamin A, also found in sunscreens, inhibits cholesterol suflate synthesis making the sunscreen damaging to your skin.  Eating foods that are high in sulfur is recommended over applying sunscreen.

Cholesterol is essential for our living.  Cholesterol sulfate is actually who gets the credit instead of Vitamin D3.  It protects us against cancer, heart disease and diabetes, as well as improved immune function.  Cholesterol sulfate provides our bodies with cholesterol, sulfur, oxygen, energy and negative charge to all of the tissues.  The brain contains only 2% of our bodies mass but 25% of the body's cholesterol. 
~Stephanie Seneff PhD.  B.S. in Biophysics and a M.S., E.E., and PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.

When we eat a "cholesterol free" diet, we are actually harming our bodies more than helping.

And I don't have an exact answer for you on what to do if you and your kids are going to be outside for a long time in the sun.  What I do at my own house is this, we purchased swim shirts this year, my kids practically wore them all summer and I used Badger or Burt's Bees sunscreen on their necks and arms.  I think the boys had a slight burn once.  I tried to always wear a shirt and a hat and I think I got slightly burned once or twice on my face when I did not go back in and get a hat.  So, you can do it.

3.  Fermented Foods
Sour kraut, the traditional way, is an example of a fermented food. :-)  You can ferment 100's of foods....carrots, beets, ketchup, cabbage, green beans, the list goes on and on.

We NEED the microorganisms more than ever doe to the lack of healthy organisms in the sterile foods we are consuming every day.

(This gets me FIRED UP!!!  Please try to think before you eat.  "It tastes good."  Well that's great.  But think about where it came from and what is it made of?  Think about a sandwich from a fast food restaurant...white bread....you are eating air...there is NO nutrition in that bread.....the meat on the bun...where did it come from?  What living conditions did that cow or chicken live in?  What steroids, hormones, neglect, manure, antibiotics, etc did they ingest, that you are now eating?  I am not saying you have to give this life up 100%, we still eat out occasionally, but please think about what you are eating...REALLLY think about it.  We have lost the connection between farmer and our table.  We don't think about the farmer or how this food was raised.  We go to the store, buy it, take it home and cook it.  There is so much more behind every piece of food we buy.  We "VOTE" every time we go through the checkout line.)

Preventative maintenance to our health can be achieved by simply eating fermented foods.  Each of us already have 5-6 pounds of bacteria in our gut.  What kind of bacteria do you want in your gut?  Live bacteria from eating good foods or sterile bacteria from the food we eat today that is lacking nutrition and vitamins?  If you eat "dead or sterile" food, you will become dead and sterile.  Kombucha, Kefir and Fermented foods MUST be added back to our diets!!!!

If you eat 1 tbsp of fermented vegetables you are eating more good bacteria in that 1 tbsp that Americans eat in 1 year!  CRAZY!!! 
~Josh Henson and Mark Cox owners of Fermenti Artisan

I am in the process of studying and starting to ferment my own sauerkraut!  Can't wait!!

4.  Fluoride-here goes another touchy subject.  But keep in mind as you are reading this one, this speaker is a DENTIST...do you hear me?  A DENTIST!!!!!

Fluoride in our water systems is a baaaaad idea.  A BAD IDEA!!!!  Consuming fluoride in "safe" amounts (that's what the ADA and FDA call the amount they pour into our water systems) leads to cracked teeth, cavities and broken bones.  The FDA and ADA have admitted that fluoride is a drug.  Fluoride falls between lead and arsenic based on its toxicity level.  Harvard just finished a meta-analysis of 27 studies.  26 out of the 27 studies showed a negative effect on kids IQ.  (That just ticks me off!!!!)

Back in the 1940's dentists claimed that babies needed to drink fluoride in their water to increase the formation of fluoride on their teeth during the "teething period" a baby goes through and before the teeth erupted through the surface of the gums..  Now, studies show that ingesting fluoride plays no role to aid in helping strengthen our teeth.  Topical use is the only use where there is evidence that fluoride helps to strengthen the teeth.  But this evidence is not true for adult/permanent teeth.

When fluoride is described in it's scientific terms, it reads " According to the CDC, there are three main mechanisms by which topical fluoride can prevent decay. It can (1) enhance remineralization of carious lesions before they become full-blown cavities, (2) inhibit demineralization, and (3) poison the enzymes in the oral bacteria that produce the acids that erode the teeth. (CDC 2001). Importantly, neither of these three mechanisms depends on teeth having high concentrations of fluoride in their internal matrix. Accordingly, each of the three topical mechanisms can fully occur without a person swallowing a single drop of fluoride their entire life." 

Do you see that?  Number 3?  "Poison the enzymes in the oral bacteria that produce the acids that erode the teeth."  Then this stuff definitely DOES NOT BELONG in our glass of water!!!!!  
Children are developing a white film/spots over their teeth from drinking water with fluoride in it called fluorisis.

Picture of child with fluorosis.  Buildup of fluoride in their body.

Not all reverse osmosis filters filter out fluoride.  Dionizers and water distillation do work on eliminating fluoride from your water.  If you buy spring water make sure it is really from a safe spring somewhere and not from someones sink in their garage.

Fluoride decreases testerone levels and increases infertility rates.

Countries that don't have fluoridated water show a decrease in cavities.  While countries a.k.a. America show an increase in cavities and cracked teeth, directly linked to the states where the water systems are fluoridated.

Dialysis patients can only drink reverse osmosis water because they will develop a fluoride toxicity by drinking water with fluoride in it and could die.  (I am sick just typing this!)

Fluoride Action Network has an awesome website, check it out.

So, topical use of fluoride does help reduce decay, but is mostly beneficial only in kids.  

So, from what I heard in this presentation, I am going to keep using fluoride toothpaste, like every other tube purchased in my 5 year old son's toothpaste (who knows how to spit).  For my almost 3 year old, he is starting to spit after teeth brushing but until I feel like he has spitting down to perfection his teeth with be brushed with Weleda's toothpaste for babies (does not have fluoride).  And I will not allow the fluoride treatments at the dentist office since saliva is increased profoundly when those trays are placed in their mouths making ingestion highly likely.  If a problem arises, then my answer may be different on the treatment.

I would love to flip a switch and change my families teeth brushing habits to just baking soda.  But I don't see that happening today.  More research here.  :-)

I will DEFINITELY tell you, that if you have children under the age of 3, I would not buy toothpaste with fluoride in it and I would be very careful what water you use to mix your baby's formula in, if you do not breastfeed.  (And please, everyone, try breastfeeding first.  This is the food that God created for our babies, not formula.  I know now everyone can breastfeed, but PLEASE try first before you make a decision to not breastfeed.  Please.)

To decrease fluoride in other items you are buying, change the following....
-only buy organic or white tea (non organic tea leaves contain high levels of fluoride from the water used to water the tea plant)
-wine, same thing, only organic wine is free from fluoride
-buy organic grape juice (conventional grapes are the highest for pesticides and fluoride)
~Michael Fossweiler, DDS

This is a link to the Top 10 Ways to Avoid Fluoride.

5.  RAW Milk-aaaanother touchy subject....
There were 3 gentlemen who sat on the stage for this presentation.

Steve Bonney, American, political independent, community activist and organizer, Army veteran, eco-farmer, natural food advocate.

Alan Yegerlehner owner of The Swiss Connection Farm that provides products to Trader's point Creamery for sale.

Bret D. Marsh, DVM (vet), Indiana Board of Animal Health, Purdue Grad. B.S. in Animal Science.

It was an interesting presentation.  The each spoke a little and then the floor was opened for questions.  In nutshell, there is a lot  a   l  o  t   of noise being made to legalize raw milk in Indiana.  They are all currently working on this task and trying to come to a conclusion.  As for now, you can purchase a herd share to acquire your raw milk.  Use this link to find a RAW milk farmer near you.  

6.  Death By Food Pyramid
This was a really cool presentation, Denise Minger spoke about the research she has been doing regarding our food pyramid.  You can follow Denise's blog here.  She went back in time to where the first "Food pyramid" was created.  And it was hilarious to see how the food pyramid has evolved.  And she offered some very cute humor along the way of her presentation.  Her new book "Death by Food Pyramid" will be on shelves in early 2013.

Denise referred to the name Luise Light who was a pioneer in her time.  Luise wrote "What to eat."  Luise worked for the USDA as their Director of Dietary Guidance and Nutrition Education Research back in early '90's.  She created a pyramid that she believed was healthy for us.  It was high in fruits and vegetables and low in grains and meats.  She created the pyramid, that I am trying to live by today.  Crazy concept, isn't?  Any way when the pyramid that Luise created was reviewed before going to print, it was destroyed... needless to say.  Do you want to know why it was destroyed and completely rewritten????  Because the grain farmers caught wind of the new pyramid and FREAKED, they lost their minds, because they were going to loose money.  Not because they cared that too much grain in our diets would kill us, but because they were going to be making less money!!!  Do you see a theme here...a shall I dare to say it??? .......a conspiracy!?  I will let you decide, but I will be buying Luise's book.  Here is the link on Amazon.
~Denise Minger

7. Dangerous Grains
I did not hear this presentation, as I had to decide between 3 presentations and there is only one of me.  :-)  But in a nutshell here it is....we Americans eat WAAAAAAY too many grains.  That is bread, cereals, tortillas, etc.  Overeating grains leads to weight gain, sinus problems, headaches, inflammation, decreased immune function and food allergies.

If you are going to eat grains you have to soak or sprout them.  HAVE to.

Soaking is sooo easy.  See my post on this topic here.  Seriously, for example with oatmeal....pour oatmeal in a glass dish...cover with water...count how many 1 cup measurements it takes to cover the oatmeal...for example 2 cups of water...stir in 4 tbsp of yogurt...cover....let sit on counter.   In the morning, rinse and cook.  Soooo easy and so much healthier.

Same thing with flour.  But you have to tweak the recipe to use less liquid since your flour will be wet to start off with.  I have a ton of recipes here that I will be starting to make and blog about.

Here's an example....oatmeal not soaked=you starving in a few minutes.  oatmeal soaked=you possibly making it all the way to lunch without being hungry. Hmmm?

There is a BIG difference when you soak.  Trust me.  So START SOAKING!  :-)

So....what's your thoughts on all of this?  Feel like you went to the conference with me?  Good.

Here's my shirt.  :-)