Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Weekly Challenge - Week 48 (November 26, 2013)

Be thankful!


 
No matter how well you eat, you will not feel great, filled with energy and vitality - unless you work on letting go of negative thoughts such as anger, worry, hurts, and bitterness.  All of these negative emotions produce toxins and destroy your health.  So this week of Thanksgiving, work on being thankful and be filled with joy! 
 
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing (Prov 12:18).  See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many (Hebrews 12:15).  A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones (Prov 17:22).  Better a meal of vegetables, where there is love, than a fattened calf with hatred (Prov 15:17). 
 
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thes 5:18).  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phil 4: 5 - 6). 
 
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.  Worship the Lord with gladness;  come before Him with joyful songs.  Know that the Lord is God.  It is He who made us, and we are His, we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.  Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.  For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations (Psalm 100).
 
May you be filled with thanksgiving and thus joy this week of Thanksgiving.  Let the healing of these loving emotions be yours as you nourish your body with real foods that God has provided for us.  I have posted my recipes for our Thanksgiving meal.
 
I thank God that He has allowed me to share all that He has shown me about diet and health with you this year.
 
I thank God that I have so many of my recipes documented on-line now and thus I save so much time by not searching for them.
 
I thank God for my health and the health of my family.
 
I thank God for your successes this year and ask for His continued blessing to be upon you.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord; for His steadfast love endures forever (1 Chronicles 16: 34).

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Baby Kale and Green Tomato Salad

 
I love discovering new dishes that are delicious and use unique ingredients, such as my green tomatoes, so they won't go to waste.  I harvested quite a few small green tomatoes off my plants a few weeks ago before our first freeze.  They will last a month or so stored in this brown grocery bag.  This is the first year I have used green tomatoes in a fresh salad (I usually cook them in Mexican dishes).  I found that they taste great combined with baby kale.  (Please note that there is controversy over eating green tomatoes raw, so start out slowly to make sure they don't upset your stomach.) 


My newest discovery at Costco was this bag of baby kale leaves.  The recipes they had on the bag used the baby kale fresh, so I decided to improvise with one of their recipes.  The result was excellent.  

 
Ingredients:

4 - 6 cups of baby kale
a handful of small green cherry tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup organic golden raisins
a handful of pine nuts

Dressing:

2 Tbl excellent quality organic olive oil (I have been very pleased with the Middle Earth Organics oil that I have pictured below for salads - it is expensive so I never cook with it - just use it in dressings).
2 Tbl balsamic vinegar
1/2 Tbl white wine vinegar
1 Tbl raw unfiltered honey
freshly ground sea salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Whisk together the dressing ingredients, pour over salad, and toss.  Don't add dressing until right before serving.
 
 


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Homemade Whipped Cream



Homemade whipped cream is incredibly easy to make.  I use the cream I skim off my fresh milk.  Excellent, with no hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial ingredients that are found in whipped toppings from the store, such as Cool Whip.  Plus this whipped cream is sweetened with honey instead of sugar.  If you don't have a mixer, you can whip cream by hand.  Be sure to use a large-sized whip.
 

 
Ingredients:
 
Heavy cream
Raw, unfiltered honey
 

 
I never measure the ingredients.  Place heavy cream (about a cup or two) into your mixer.  Using the whip attachment, whip the cream on a medium high speed until it begins to hold its shape.  Then add 1/2 to 2 Tbl of raw honey.  Whip for another minute.  Lasts a day or two in the refrigerator (it will start to separate after a day but still usable).

Be sure to watch your cream as it whips in your mixer - if you whip it too long it will turn into butter!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Whole Grain Pie Crust (Single)



I have always struggled with rolling out a pie crust (thus pies are very special in our house because I don't do it often).  But this year, I decided to learn how to make a great pie crust successfully.  I think I have succeeded and will share my results with you!

Ingredients:

3/4 Prairie Gold whole wheat berries ground fine (or 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 cup spelt berries ground fine (or 3/4 cup spelt flour)
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 stick cold sweet cream organic butter (I use homemade)
2 Tbl organic sour cream (I like Wallaby's or Organic Valley)
7 Tbl chilled, ice-cold filtered water (plus or minus one Tbl)

Grind berries and mix in sea salt.  In a large bowl, cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter.  (Cut the butter into small chunks before adding to flour.)  I cut the butter on my cutting board rather than in my hand so I did not begin to melt it.
 


When crumbly with the largest chunks about the size of a pea, dab the 2 Tbl of sour cream over the surface.  Cut this in also with the pastry cutter.



Then sprinkle 4 Tbl of chilled filtered water over mixture.  With a wood spoon, gather dough together.  Add another 2 to 3 Tbl. of chilled water, and gather into a ball with your wood spoon.  At the very end, as you gather in the last bits, use your hands to form the dough into a ball and then flatten onto a piece of wax paper.  Place another piece of wax paper over the top, place dough in a bag (like a Ziploc), and put in the refrigerator to chill and relax for at least 8 hours (can make several days in advance and store in refrigerator until ready to use).


 
When ready to use, roll the dough out with a rolling pin.  Place in pie pan and trim the edges with a knife.  I then like to form a pretty edge, by pinching the edge and twisting with two fingers.  Finally, prick the surface with a fork (so you don't get a big air bubble while baking). 

 


 Add desired filling and bake per pie directions.  If making a no bake pie, bake the pie crust in oven at 400 °F for 10 to 12 mins.  Cool completely on cooling rack.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Weekly Challenge - Week 47 (November 19, 2013)

Don't skip meals.



Get in the habit of eating three meals a day.  Even when we were adding a breakfast room onto our house and had construction things all around us, with concrete floors and bare sheetrock walls, we ate three home-cooked meals using real ingredients each day.  The boys were starting their breakfast with some pineapple (that we cut up) on this day before going to school.
 
This is especially important if you are trying to lose weight.  Skipping meals is not the way to lose weight; it slows your metabolism (the body's defense for times of starvation).  Instead, you want to kick start your metabolism in the morning.  So start your day with a good morning routine.  Then eat a good breakfast.  Make each of your meals substantial - just a piece of fruit for breakfast or a small salad for lunch is not a meal. 

Be careful though to not eat a lot of bready items or wheat-based items daily.  Today's wheat is creating lots of problems from arthritis to obesity for lots of people.  I try to find better quality wheat berries, which I grind to make my flour.  We seldom have pasta dishes or sandwich bread since I don't regularly make my own at home (be careful with your bread selection - most contain dough conditioners).  Our diet has changed over the years, as man continues to degrade and destroy the foods that God has given us to eat (for example, we also don't eat non-organic corn and rarely eat fish because of its toxins).

But be careful that you don't go to the other extreme (except for a short period of time for a medical condition), and severely restrict your diet cutting out an entire food group.  Many of today's diets are based on this concept, such as cutting all carbohydrates out of one's diet.  Remember, it is all about the quality of the ingredients you buy and the foods you eat.  Cut your consumption of wheat down (or out) but eat other good quality carbohydrates such as organic sweet potatoes, brown rice or quinoa.  Buy the best quality foods and ingredients you can, and be aware of how these foods are grown, raised, and handled. 
 
While it is important to not skip meals, it is also a good practice to not eat after dinner (to allow your body time to 'fast' each night), and not to snack throughout the day.  Hypoglycemia 'runs' in my family and I was on my way to developing problems in my early twenties.  I was told to eat small meals throughout the day.  At one point, I felt I would pass out in the morning when I got up if I did not eat immediately.  I also always carried snacks in my purse.  I think a lot of the problems like I had, that many people experience, stem from erratic blood sugar levels caused by sugar in one's diet.  Skip the processed sweets, stabilize your blood sugar and stabilize your eating to three regular meals a day.
 
I now seldom eat between meals.  I typically get up early (by 5 a.m.) and don't eat anything until 8 a.m.  I sip on my water and have some fresh fruit usually around 7:30 a.m.  Since I have cut sugar out of my diet (using only raw honey, maple syrup, and dried fruits for sweeteners), I don't have any problems feeling faint in the morning or throughout the day, even if I skip a meal.  I never carry snacks in my purse anymore.  But it takes planning.
 
Work on creating a routine for yourself and eat three regular healthy meals each day.  If you are trying to lose weight, eat smaller portions, but eat balanced meals.  Plan out your meals, create a meal planner for your week, make sure you have the right ingredients and then follow it. 

If you are trying to lose weight, don't snack between meals, or if you do in the afternoon, have some fresh fruit, that is in season.  Your meals do not have to be complicated and make a huge mess in your kitchen.  We often have a one pot dish for a meal.  For instance last night we had Dudley's Stew over Yellow RiceI have posted lots of recipes now, work on making all of your meals with 100% real ingredients that God has given us.
  
"Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food"; and it was so."  Genesis 1:29 - 30  

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pumpkin Pie



This is Fred's pumpkin pie recipe as he remembers it growing up (with a few changes I've made to it, like changing the sugar to honey and condensed milk to fresh cream).  It has wonderful flavor and we often eat the leftovers for breakfast the morning after Thanksgiving!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups fresh pumpkin puree or 1 16-oz can pumpkin
2/3 - 3/4 cup honey (as you transition to 100% real ingredients and cut out sugar from your diet, you will find you don't need things as sweet - sweeten accordingly) 
2 Tbl sweet cream organic butter, melted
2 large eggs (or 3 medium/small eggs), fork beaten
3/4 cup fresh cream

1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
2 Tbl pastry flour

1 whole grain pie crust (single layer)

Preheat oven to 425 °F.  Mix together the dry ingredients.  Place pumpkin in a bowl and add dry ingredients.  Stir until mixed thoroughly.  Next add honey and stir.  Then add melted butter and stir.  Finally add cream and stir.

Pour pie filling into pie crust and bake at 425 °F for 20 mins, then reduce heat to 350 °F and continue baking another 45 to 60 minutes until center of pie is set.  Allow to cool and serve with homemade whipped cream.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Jana's Stuffing

 
Jana's stuffing recipe is the best.  Thank you, Jana for sharing it with us! 
 
 
 
The first time I tasted Jana's stuffing was the year we prepared a Thanksgiving feast for the local community, and made many large pans of the stuffing to be served.  We made it all from scratch including all homemade ingredients - broth, biscuits and cornbread.  This is the best stuffing I have ever tasted and wonderful for a large crowd.  It was also great made in advance and reheated for our community dinner.
 
Here are my notes from my 2005 Thanksgiving recipe book in which I included Jana's recipe:  For best results you must use homemade broth, biscuits and cornbread.  Don't leave out the sage - a key ingredient.  I cook mine separately in a pan; Jana prefers her stuffing cooked in the turkey.  Do what works best for you.
 
I love the many, many cooking tips and recipes I have received from dear friends over the years.  As you learn to prepare foods from scratch that use only foods that God has given us (vs processed packaged foods that should be avoided), share your knowledge with your friends and loved ones too.
 
Ingredients:
 
2 big onions, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 stick butter
6 cups crumbled biscuits - 1 batch (use a no yeast biscuit recipe and no sweetener)
8 cups crumbled corn bread - 1 batch (leave out salt and sweetener from recipe)
2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 free-range eggs
3 - 5 cups home-made chicken broth
 
(If stuffing a turkey, leave out the sea salt from the dressing mixture and sprinkle it inside the turkey just before stuffing instead).
 
Crumble the biscuits and cornbread.

 
 
 Sauté onion and celery in butter, place in a large bowl.  Add the crumbled biscuits and cornbread, and toss lightly.  (The biscuits and cornbread can be made in advance and frozen.)  Sprinkle on the poultry seasoning, sage, black pepper (and salt if not placing stuffing in turkey - otherwise follow note above).  Toss lightly again.
 


Fork beat 2 eggs and add to 1/2 cup warm (not hot) broth.  Mix.  Sprinkle egg mixture on top of dressing mixture in bowl.  Toss lightly.
 
Then add additional warm broth, 1 cup at a time, until moist but not soggy.  Be careful you do not over mix (or beat while tossing) or your dressing will turn to mush.  You may not use all of the broth.  Add broth then toss lightly in gradual increments.  The mixture should be moist and sticky but not slushy, with no standing broth in bottom.  Add slowly at end so you don't add too much.
 

 
Baking in pan:
 
Butter a large glass rectangular baking dish.  Place dressing into baking dish.  It is ok to smooth it down a bit as long as you don't pack it down.  Bake at 350 °F for about 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until done.
 
 

To stuff turkey:
 
Spoon stuffing into the cleaned cavity, shaking it down.  Do not pack with your spoon or you will have a brick (stuffing expands while baking).  Stuff the neck area also, securing it closed with toothpicks.  Bake per turkey directions in a brown paper bag. 
 
The paper bag will roast your turkey perfectly, it steams it just right to where it has a lovely color and is moist and delicious.  You can bake your turkey overnight if you have your Thanksgiving meal at lunchtime.  A big bird that is stuffed cooks overnight at 300 °F and a smaller bird stuffed with dressing at 250 °F.  Keep it in the oven on a very low temperature to stay warm.   As Jana says, if you are having a lot of company for Thanksgiving, getting up and having your turkey cooked is a great feeling. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Our Traditional Thanksgiving Menu

 

 This menu became our traditional Thanksgiving dinner after I put together this little recipe book in 2005 for the members of a food coop I was facilitating.
 

 Plan your holiday menus in advanced so you have time to get good quality ingredients.  All of the recipes I have provided use 100% real ingredients which makes for a incredibly delicious and nourishing feast.  Start planning your Thanksgiving feast - make your shopping list and pick out your recipes.  It is not that hard to avoid man-made and processed ingredients if you plan in advance.  Give thanks and enjoy!     

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Weekly Challenge - Week 46 (November 12, 2013)

Thank God for the clues He gives you.


Pure, clean, beautiful - that is how I describe God's creation such as this small waterfall we happened upon when traveling through Oregon.  Being in areas of nature, untouched by man, refreshes my soul.  So does eating the real foods that God has provided for our nourishment.  I thank and praise God for these wonderful provisions for my senses (both the good food and the waterfalls in life).  It is easy to thank God for these obvious blessings!
 
But this week, I want you to thank God for some blessings that are not quite as obvious.  I hope that you have gone 100% with your diet and that you don't have the opportunity to do the challenge this week!  But when you slip-up, as I did this past week (and I'm sure will continue to occasionally do), this is a very important challenge to put into practice.  If you have fallen way off track with your diet, this may be an extremely difficult challenge for you.  However, I urge you to try.  Let me explain by describing my morning to you from this past weekend.
 
I woke late (for me) at about 6:30 a.m. feeling quite achy.  I stretched and winced from a headache.  As I woke fully, I became aware that I was also slightly congested, my hands felt a bit swollen, and I felt very sluggish.  This is very unusual for me - I typically wake feeling energetic and full of vitality and joy with no aches or pains.
 
Thanking God was not my first thought, unfortunately, but it was my second.  My first thought was, "Why do I feel so bad - ugh".  My second thought was - "Oh, I remember, I ate out twice yesterday.  Thank you, God, for letting me feel bad now and showing me why I make the effort to not eat the typical American diet of processed foods and white flour."  I was not being sarcastic, but genuinely sincere in my thanks.  I hope you can be too this week.
 
The day before I woke not feeling very good, I had eaten a lunch of a chicken pasta dish in a cream sauce, salad with dressing, and a roll.  If I had stopped with this, I probably would not have noticed many consequences the next morning.  But I then had part of a bread bowl with clam chowder for an early dinner, and snacked on a small bag of pretzels later in my hotel room.  I did skip all desserts and did not have any sugar but I still woke feeling quite poorly because my body is not used to all that enriched white flour and other preservatives and artificial ingredients that were in the foods. 
 
I thank God for these clues, these aches and pains, that my body gave me.  What I ate was loaded with toxins that my body was trying to deal with and I was feeling the effects.  This does not happen often, and nothing was overly addictive, so I didn't have to deal with more cravings.  But starting that morning, right when I woke, I was determined to make much better choices or to not eat.  I also thank God that it was so easy for me to see the link between what I ate and how I felt.  If your diet is not yet clean enough for you to understand this,  ask God to give you this gift, to help you to see the connection . 
 
My friends know that when they tell me of similar stories (of how they or their children have gotten sick after eating something they knew was junk), that I typically say - "Oh, thank God for that lesson for you."  I am not being mean by saying this; it is a heartfelt praise that God is so kind to give us these clues.
 
So this week, I want you to change your perspective.  If you have a headache or pain, after drinking a soda or eating a candy bar or eating some other processed foods, don't complain or look for some medication to relieve your symptoms.  Instead thank God that you get this feedback and use it to help you make better choices in the future.
 
After feeling unwell when I woke that morning, and thanking God, I then asked God to help me not make this same mistake again.  I could have eaten some food I had brought with me and skipped the lunch, and I certainly did not need to eat the packaged clam chowder and white bread from the bread bowl.  My resolve to not cheat was strengthened by this experience (again I thank God for how I felt when I woke).
 
Over the past couple months, I had been eating French bread and ciabatti rolls once or twice a week made with white flour (always better quality bread from Whole Foods so I could justify that it was o.k. to be eating it).  No more.  Once I begin cheating, it is easy to continue.   White bread, which is not addictive like sweets with sugar for me, is easy to slowly sneak back into my diet since I don't get any noticeable clues or feedback the next day after eating it. 

Since I don't have intense cravings for more throughout the day or perceptible aches/pains, the fact I'm cheating weekly is less obvious.  The negative effects on my health are more subtle and thus much easier to justify.  Because of this cheating I had been doing, I was easily lured further.  Again, I thank God for the morning of waking and feeling bad to wake me up to what was happening! 

Don't wait to thank God when you experience these aches and pains - do it in the moment when you feel bad.  After getting up, drinking my water, and eating a couple of fresh pears I had brought with me on my trip, I was feeling fine.  If I had waited to recognize the signs and thank God for them, I would have missed the opportunity to strengthen my resolve and I would have gained nothing. 
 
So remember to thank God when you don't feel good after indulging or falling off track.  This is especially true if you have ever gone 100% in the past, eating only God's foods, even if for only a few days.   Thus you know what it feels like to have vitality and energy and no-pains or symptoms (such as chronic infections, sinus issues, etc.).
 
Thank you, Father, for getting me back on track and resetting my resolve to stay.  I pray this week that you too can change your perspective and thank God for the clues He gives you.

"Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what He has done for me.  I cried out to Him with my mouth; His praise was on my tongue.  If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer.  Praise be to God who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me!"  Psalm 66:16 - 20. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fresh Cranberry Relish



This is one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving dinner.  Simple and absolutely delicious.  Hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

Ingredients:

1 package of fresh cranberries, quartered
1 orange, diced
~ 1/2 cup pecan pieces
2 - 4 Tbl raw unfiltered honey (to taste)

Combine the cranberries, orange, and pecan pieces.  Add the honey and stir well.  Best if made in advance and allowed to sit for several hours (make the day ahead).  The exact quantities used are not critical.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Soy-free Homemade Chicken Feed


My chicken feed recipe works for free-range chickens, who have access during the day to plenty of grass and bugs and other plants and roots.  The feed mixture varies slightly from year to year depending upon what is available.  There are a few essential core ingredients though, and a method of preparing the feed (sprouting the grains) that is critical.  The quantity of feed depends upon the season.  I don't like to feed them more than needed for a consistent egg production.  Chickens will not forage but will gorge on feed if it is provided to them all day long.  Though some feed is needed for chickens, I want my chickens to also forage so that they receive the most natural, optimal diet.

Core Ingredients:

2 parts hard red wheat berries (wheat with highest protein content, 15%)
1 part organic whole corn
1 part black oil sunflower seeds
1 part field peas (or other whole peas or small beans)
1 - 2 tsp kelp powder
oyster shells

I use organic wheat and organic corn.  It is sometimes hard to find organic feed ingredients.  Possible sources I have used over the years include:  Wheat Montana, Countryside Naturals, Coyote Creek, Tractor Supply or other local feed stores, and Azure Standard.  Feeds are very expensive - often the shipping cost is the biggest problem since we do not have good sources of local organic feeds here in the DFW area.  This is another reason to let the chickens supplement their diet through foraging, especially during the growing season when nature is flourishing.


Currently, I purchase my wheat berries, organic whole corn, and green peas from Azure Standard.  They also have soy-free mixed-grains scratch feed that I have been purchasing and using since last May.  I will explain below how I use this in the feed.  I purchase my black-oil sunflower seeds and oyster shells from Tractor Supply or Ag-Mart or other local feed stores.  Kelp powder lasts a long time if you buy in bulk and I get it from a variety of places - my last bag was from Frontier Wholesale.  We store our grains in plastic buckets with gamma lids (which screw on and off easily).  Storage in buckets helps eliminate the spread of bugs - larvae are always in grains so you will have bugs occasionally.  It is fine to still feed the grains to your chickens, but be careful you don't let bugs from one bag spread to all your grains.

The quantity of feed that we give to our chickens varies with the time of year.  They do not have access to the feed all day long.  Instead, we mix up a batch and toss it out to them in the morning when we let them out of the chicken coop.  It gets them out in the grass foraging.  When there is lots of green grass and plenty of bugs, we cut down on their feed.  In the dead of winter or summer, when there is little outside food for them, we increase the feed slightly.

Chickens molt in the fall and their egg production decreases as the amount of daylight decreases.  During this time period, they do not need as much feed.  This is why we only slightly increase the feed during the winter.  We never put artificial lights in our chicken coops to extend daylight hours because though this keeps up egg production, it is not healthy for the chickens.  It does not allow them a rest time during the year, and it will affect the long-term health of the chickens.
 


Also, we try to eat with the seasons, not just our produce but all our foods.  This is healthiest plan for us, it is as God intended.  Eggs are plentiful in the spring and early summer, and thus we enjoy more egg dishes during this time of year.  In the fall and winter, when egg production is down, we use our eggs in baking and have only an occasional breakfast of eggs. 

Blending your chicken feed (amount for about 20 - 25 chickens):

Soak together in water overnight:  2 - 3 cups whole wheat berries and 1 - 1 1/2 cups black oil sunflower seeds.  Fill water level a couple inches over the grains because they will absorb a lot of water and you want them to still be immersed in water in the morning.  In the morning, drain off the water and place the wet seeds back in your bowl. 


Stir or re-rinse again in the evening.  We always have two mixes going at once since they are allowed to 'sprout' for 24 hours after soaking.  At night one bowl is soaking in water, and one bowl is drained and sprouting (wet but not sitting in water).  Sprouting the grains increases their protein content and nutritional benefits.

  

In the evening (24 hours after you started your first batch of wheat/sunflower seeds) soak: 1 - 1 1/2 cups of corn and 1 - 1 1/2 cups of peas or beans.  You can soak them together. 

In the morning, drain the corn and peas and place in your feed container.  Add the wheat/sunflower mix that has been soaked and then sprouted for 24 hours.  Stir. 


Sprinkle in kelp onto the wet grains, stir again.  Sprinkle in oyster shells and other additions such as old grains and flax last.  Stir to combine. 



Each morning, drain the previous night's wheat/sunflower mix that is soaking and start soaking another batch.  If I am adding soy-free scratch mixtures (I have been purchasing these from Azure Standard since they are available and contain field peas), I stir one cup into the wet mixture with the kelp.  Since these scratches are ground pretty fine, it is important to add them to the wet mixture so they 'stick' to the larger sprouted grains and don't get lost on the ground when you toss out the chicken feed.



Optional ingredients (other things I add, if I have them) include:

old peas and beans from my kitchen
old grains or grains that have become buggy from my kitchen
flax seeds
other sprouting seeds if I find them cheap (such as radish seeds, mustard seeds, clover seeds, sesame seeds, etc)
soy-free scratch feeds (from Countryside Natural or Azure Standard)
Fertrell's in place of kelp



After mixing everything together, we let the chickens out and toss the feed to them.  We go to a different spot in the field each day, and standing in one spot, toss it out radially in a circle using a large spoon.  The chickens go to roost at night in their coop and we lock them in at dark to protect them from predators.  Thus, we let the chickens out of their coop in the morning and feed them then.


We can see and taste the difference in the quality of our eggs.  The eggs served at hotels and restaurants for breakfast are such an inferior quality, it is difficult to eat them.  Find a source of good quality eggs and encourage your supplier to eliminate soy from their feed.  Unfermented soy is a cheap source of protein that is not good for chickens (or people).  In addition, almost all soy and corn produced in the U.S.A., in genetically modified, which is not only a serious health concern but it is a serious food production concern since all seed sources are being contaminated.  The quality of the foods you eat affects your health. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Weekly Challenge - Week 45 (November 5, 2013)

Make some homemade bone broth and healing soup.



I hope you resisted all of those sweets last week and continue to resist them through the holidays.  Germs are still everywhere though and it is always good to be prepared with God's medicine in advance of getting sick. 
 
I have documented in detail how to make homemade bone broths, and given you the recipe for healing soup.  At the first sign of illness (typically a sore throat in my family), serve up some healing soup.  You can make broth and freeze it (I like to always have a few containers in my freezer all winter long).  You can even prepare some healing soup in advance and freeze it, but wait to add the fresh herbs until you have reheated it and are ready to serve the soup.  To preserve the healing powers of the fresh herbs, you want to add them after you have removed the soup from the burner.

Why is this soup so beneficial?  It contains many healing nutrients.  The homemade bone broth (if made from animals bones or carcass from free-range animals raised in a natural environment and fed a natural diet) is rich in minerals that have been leeched from the bones and are easily absorbed by our bodies.  It also contains gelatin which aids digestion along with many other amazing properties which you can read more about through the Weston Price Foundation.  The fresh garlic and onion cooked in the soup possess excellent anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.  Load up on the garlic, mincing even more into individual bowls when fighting a bad cold.  The addition of fresh herbs is a way of using God's healing medicines, containing many healing properties (learn to use fresh herbs).
 
There is no substitute for making your own homemade bone broths (other than perhaps convincing a friend to make them for you!).  You cannot buy good quality broth in a can or carton.  If you have never made bone broth - take time this week to learn.  If you already know how to make broth, start planning to make a batch every week or two, it is a great addition for winter soups and stews, and if a regular part of your diet, can help you stay healthy this winter. 

Remember that the quality of the chicken or beef bones that you use is essential and get the best quality that you can.  We have many sources here in the DFW area - look at the end of the quality post for resources to find these sources.  If you consider the savings in doctor bills and for medications, it is worth the extra money you use up front to buy good quality foods.  If you use your food  as your medicine, foods that God has given to us, you will not only avoid side-effects of man-made medicines but build up your immunity in the process. 
 
"Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit." 3John 1:2

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Beverly's Salad in a Jar

 
 
I learn so many great things at school (Jon's homeschool coop).  Beverly came up with the wonderful idea of making her salad in a canning jar and bringing it for lunch.  Brilliant and doesn't it look delicious!
 
Beverly saw this idea of stacking a salad in the Dallas newspaper - the article was titled, "Make-ahead salads".  In the article, they gave several salad recipes, showing them stacked in 12 oz rock glasses.  The key to this idea is to stack the ingredients correctly so the salad can be made ahead and does not wilt.  Use ingredients that you like - this works for any salad you wish to create.  Placing it in a canning jar, as Beverly did, allows you to easily take a salad with you for lunch.  Be sure to use a wide-mouth jar.
 


Salad in a Jar Instructions:
 
1.  First pour your dressing in the bottom of the jar.
2.  Next add items that will brown if exposed to air such as apple, pear or avocado chunks.
3.  Then add meats and/or cheeses, if using.
4.  Then add diced vegetables, seeds and/or nuts.
5.  Lastly, add lettuce or spinach greens.
 
Press gently to compress the salad so it holds together.  Screw on lid and place in refrigerator.  Pack in insulated lunch bag with an ice pack.  Can be made the night before.
 
When ready to eat, remove the lid and gently turn over the jar onto your plate.  Remember when you stack the items in the jar that the items will come out in reverse order.
 
This idea can also be used to create individual salads ahead of time for a party if you stack the salad in open drinking glasses instead of a jar (as was shown in the newspaper article).
 
What a great to-go lunch idea which keeps all of your ingredients fresh, eliminates storage in plastic, and allows you to use ingredients such as fresh avocado.  This idea makes your lunch fun and appealing.  Thanks, Beverly!