Thursday, May 26, 2016
Frozen fresh? What is that? My Dad went to North Carolina this past fall and harvested a bunch of fresh strawberries. He brought me about 6 gallons of them. I washed them off and let them dry. After they were dry I placed them, in a single layer, in a freezer safe container and directly into the freezer. So, Fresh Frozen. Dad's idea and it worked beautifully. Stored in that way, they could be used, at will, throughout the winter. I still have some left and noticed that they were "growing" ice, which means they are going to be ruined and frost bitten. What in the world was I going to do with them?
My son asked for waffles for breakfast. We have gluten free, multi-grain Pumpkin spice waffles, which actually taste like gingerbread. How to incorporate those strawberries? Strawberry syrup.
I have been purchasing organic Ceylon cinnamon sticks so I can grind my own cinnamon. I have read articles that claim some cinnamon is cut with bark. Cinnamon is bark, but I don't want another kind of bark in my cinnamon. I prefer pure cinnamon. How can I assure this? Grind it myself. I put several sticks in my coffee mill and poof, freshly ground cinnamon that I know is 100% and nothing extra added.
Where does the dried up brown sugar come into play? I keep my Organic brown sugar in a ceramic container, with a terra cotta bear to keep it moist. However, not all of the brown sugar fits. Some of it has to stay in the original container, where it dries up into a big ole' lump. I know if you add sugar to strawberries, the strawberries released their juice so it becomes a delicious syrupy treat. It's so good, just strawberries and sugar. Not so much frozen strawberries and sugar, fresh strawberries.
I capped the strawberries, dumped the dried up brown sugar over them, and sprinkled some cinnamon on them too. Let me tell you, it only took a few minutes to have a fresh strawberry syrup with delicious strawberries to go with it!
Skillet for cooking
Organic Ceylon Cinnamon sticks
Organic Brown Sugar (dried up, fresh, whichever doesn't matter)
1-2 cups frozen strawberries, cap them and place into the skillet
Sprinkle the ground cinnamon over the strawberries
Put brown sugar on top
Turn skillet on low
The heat will start to un-thaw the frozen strawberries and a syrup will start to form,
Gently stir the berries to incorporate the brown sugar and cinnamon
No need to wait too long, the syrup will form pretty quickly
Ladel the strawberries over the waffles, scoop out some syrup and you have your own, freshly prepared Strawberry syrup.
My son gobbled all, but 4, of the strawberries (I saved some for myself) and his entire waffle. Which he rarely does. Healthy goodness I could feel good about. Like most Moms, I beat myself up over every little thing I think I'm doing wrong. Today it was, that I didn't think I was feeding him enough healthy things to help him grown and develop properly. This was a good start to a great day!
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Ok. Yes I said it! Lentils! Yes, these cookies are made with Lentils. I was watching the Cooking Channel, years ago, and saw a woman making these cookies. They looked so good. I didn't get around to trying them until this year. A friend of mine is opening her new Pastry shop, called Luv Berry, and she asked if I could help her find a chocolate chip cookie recipe that doesn't use white flour or white sugar. I immediately searched for this recipe.
I modified, as I always do. Since I have a trace wheat allergy, just to whole wheat, I used regular organic flour. I joke, sort of, that I can eat white bread because it use to be wheat, but has been processed so much that it doesn't affect my allergies. I also left out several ingredients because I don't like nuts or seeds in my cookies.
Here is my version of the recipe from Bal Arneson via the Cooking Channel website, a link to Bal's original recipe can be found at the bottom of the recipe.
Quick note: Let the Lentil's cool before adding the butter, I didn't and all the butter melted and I had butter and lentil soup. I ended up having to add more flour. It was a near disaster.
Healthy Chocolate Chip Lentil Cookies (modified version)
1 Cup dry Lentils
2 Sticks unsalted butter
1 Cup brown sugar
1 Cup Organic Flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Cup regular dried Oats
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Raisins
1 Cup Sweetened dried Cranberries
Cook Lentils in boiling water for 35 minutes. Strain and smash with a fork. LET COOL.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or grease cookie sheet)
In a bowl, cream together the cooled lentils, butter, and brown sugar
Add the egg and blend well
Add the baking soda, flour and vanilla extract and blend
Stir in the chocolate chips, raisins and cranberries
Drop the cookies and flatten on the cookie sheet, by the spoonful
Bake for 13 to 18 minutes
Remove from oven and place on a baking rack to cool
Now, try to stop yourself from eating them all. I dare you!
For the original recipe go to: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/bals-lentil-cookies.html
Thank you to all of my friends for the outpouring of support for my new venture! I started my new company, Essentially Purely™, with the intention of sharing the products God has blessed me to be able to create. They really work, they are fantastic and I am so fortunate to have so many wonderful friends, and family who are Customers, and to have added Customers who feel like friends.
I've been making making my own deodorant for years. I started my search for a natural deodorant about 16 years ago, after my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. The lump was caught in the very early stages and thanks be to God, she is 100% ok. After the surgery and the treatments, she was told not to use commercial deodorants. She was advised to find a natural deodorant that didn't contain aluminum or other harsh chemicals. That really triggered a "WHY?" Response in me. I have always been that person who needs to know why? When I found out how some of the chemicals in our deodorants can negatively affect our health, I was appalled. That is probably the root of why I have been so persistent in my search for natural/organic things for my family and myself. How can the FDA approve such things to be used, when they know what kinds of awful side effects they can cause. Serious problems, such as cancer!!!! It's not ok. A couple of examples:
Aluminum Chlorhydrate is found in most antiperspirants, it is used to close the pores. Doctors have found links to that and Alzheimer's disease as well as breast cancer and other illnesses. (Check out article: http://side-effects.owndoc.com/deodorants-and-antiperspirants-side-effects.php)
Triclosan is an endocrin blocker, it's found in deodorants, toothpaste, anti-bacterial soaps, soaps, shampoos, it's bad but it's FDA approved for you to rub on your body, and use in your mouth. Here is an excerpt from a great artical on the dangers of the ingredients in commercial deodorants.