Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Green Spring Cleaning Recipes...

My favorite place to buy all my herbs, Mountain Rose Herbs, has posted some fabulous green and healthy spring cleaners that you can make yourself.  I am looking forward to being able to whip some of these up myself.  You can look HERE for the recipes.

If you have never checked out Mountain Rose Herbs, be sure to do so!  They are my favorite place to buy almost all my herbal supplies!

(I am an affiliate for Mountain Rose Herbs.  I recommend only places that I personally buy from.  Using their link from my website helps to support this blog.  Thank you!)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Soaked Granola

 We are in a very busy season of life right now.  I'm always on the lookout for healthy, whole foods recipes that can be fast and used on busy mornings.  I found THIS RECIPE from Passionate Homemaking for soaked granola.  I've taken the basic bones of the recipe and adapted it to what supplies I have on hand.   It has come out delicious!  We can grab this in the mornings and have with raw milk or homemade yogurt and fresh fruit.

This granola has become such a hit in this house that I always double the recipe.  It makes a LOT, but I freeze it and the time I spend making it is more than paid for by having an easy breakfast my husband can grab on early mornings or when I just need a break.  I like the fact that I'm not having to stock the house with store bought granola (which is SO expensive!) or cereal.  Even the organic ones are full of rancid oils and additives that I prefer my family not be eating.

Here is my little helper, helping with the first stage (soaking) of the granola.  As you can see, I tried twice to get a real smile, but I guess these are a three year old's "real" smiles!

Making the granola is some work, but it is doable, as the recipe is broken into stages.  I have tweaked the recipe by drying my granola in my dehydrator (which can hold a double and even triple batch) and then using what I have around the house.  I like lots of nuts, seeds, and coconut in our granola, so I have doubled or tripled what the recipe calls for, keeping the dried fruits about the same.  Some things I have added to our granola are pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, hazelnuts, raisins, and hemp.  One time I ran out of my raw honey (big bummer!), so I have subbed in some sucanat or increased the maple syrup.  With lots of extra seeds and nuts, this is a great source of proteins and healthy oils (especially since I use nuts that I have soaked and dried).  Would love to hear what kinds of things you would enjoy putting in your granola!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Crock-Pot Oatmeal

I wanted to share this recipe from my sister Christy, over at Whole Foods on a Budget.  Crock-pot oatmeal has recently become my "go-to" breakfast for Monday mornings.  Prepping the night before and having breakfast ready and waiting on Monday morning is such a treat and helps me get a good start on the week, in this busy season of life!

You can read the recipe HERE.  I have found that this makes enough for me, my husband, and three year old with enough left-overs to warm up with a little water on Tuesday morning, so it's actually two days that I don't have to do any breakfast prep.  To get 2 days worth out of the recipe, I have tweaked it just a bit for us:

*I do a heaping cup of oat groats, probably closer to 1 1/4 cups and therefore add about 1/2 cup extra water.
*I add three apples, chopped into bite-sized pieces and place them on the bottom of the crock-pot, along with 1/3 cup raisins.
*With the apples and raisins, I have found that we need no extra sweetener.
*I like to add walnuts or pumpkin seeds to the oatmeal AFTER it is done cooking and just before we eat it.
*Every crock-pot is different and I found my oatmeal sticking a lot, so I have found that if my husband starts it cooking around 11, it does not stick as much.  Also, placing the apples in the crock pot first and then putting the oats in has helped reduce sticking.
*I also like to soak my oats to reduce phytic acid, which inhibits mineral absorption.  To soak, I place the oat groats in a bowl and cover with water.  I add 1 T apple cider vinegar and then I let it soak 6-8 hours; which means I usually start soaking around 4 in the afternoon.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Olive Curing is Done!

Better late than never!  I realized I forgot to post about my finished home-cured olives.  These were pretty easy, (though a bit time consuming), to do, and they came out absolutely delicious!  I bought my organic, raw olives from Chaffin Family Farms (who also sell all kinds of other yummy things!).  You can read my post HERE about how I salt cured my olives.

Above are my finished olives.  I rinsed the salt off and they have a delicious mildly salty taste unlike any olives you would find that have been lye brined.  I'm sold on salt brining olives and look forward to doing this again - maybe adding some herbs and spices to them next time around.

If you are new to curing olives, I would recommend starting with black olives and doing the salt cure.  It was a very easy process, great for beginners.

Below is some sourdough ciabatta I made with the olives - so good!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sealogica Availability...

Due to some very busy months ahead, I am taking a temporary break from selling Sealogica and hope to resume around August.  I will take orders until the end of the week (maybe next week as well), so if you would like to order, this would be the time to do it.

Thanks and I hope you give it a try!