Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A new favorite drink: Water Keifer Lemonade!

I have a new obsession. I hate soft drinks; I always have. Nothing to do with their immense health problems, but I just don't like the taste. I kind of like sweet tea, but I usually avoid it because it isn't my favorite thing in the world and I'd rather save my sugar for desserts :) But I LOVE lemonade! I still don't drink it that often, though, because the high sugar content often makes me feel icky afterwards. Enter: Water Kefir Lemonade!

I've been meaning to try this for quite a while to help my husband kick the soft drink habit. He just doesn't like water that much, and although I give him coconut water as often as possible, it gets expensive. He was very skeptical, but actually really liked it! And I thought it was awesome; lemonade without the sugary aftertastes and headache!

The best part: it is really good for you, chock full of probiotics! The kefir grains eat the sugar and produce probiotics. And very easy. You can make it any flavor you like (depending on what juice you put in it), with as much carbonation as you like (depending on how long you let it set).

So simple. I just fill a 2 quart jar with warm filtered water and 1/2 cup of sugar. I wait until the sugar has dissolved and the water is back to room temperature and then I add my kefir grains and cover the jar. I let it sit for about 3 days, then strain out the juice and add an ice cube of lime or lemon juice. Yummy! If you want more fizz, cover it and let it set on your counter a couple more days.

The grains are a little pricey to start off with, but you can use them indefinitely for a very inexpensive drink!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Healthy Chocolate Candy

Ok, I thought I had posted this a long time ago, but I was searching for the link to give to a friend and couldn't find it. And I figured that if I couldn't find it on my own blog, then you surely wouldn't be able to so I simply must post it again. Because it is that good! (And good for you!)

I have been making this candy about every few weeks in large batches and freezing the extras. (Because I never know when I am going to get a chocolate craving!) It is also a favorite treat for the girls to choose after they take their cod liver oil. (They usually choose from this candy, a carob raisin, or a bit of raw honey). Please note that it should be kept in the fridge or freezer because it will get soft and mushy if it stays at room temperature!

You will probably think I am crazy, but I have found this candy to be the perfect way to give my girls superfoods like kelp and liver. I buy it in powder form and sprinkle some in the mixture. I promise you, you don't taste it at all!

I add in all sorts of things to my candy, depending on my mood. If I have good quality butter from grass-fed cows, I will add some of that to the mixture. I also LOVE sunflower butter mixed with it and usually add in raisins, silvered almonds, and/or dehydrated coconut as well.

Here is the original recipe (found at Kelly the Kitchen Kop, a fabulous blog that you really ought to check out!):

Melt together gently in a saucepan over low heat (so you don't lose the great antibacterial properties of the coconut oil!) until it’s all mixed together. You then have several options: You can drop it by dollops onto wax paper, you can drop it into candy molds or ice cube trays, or you can spread it out on wax paper covering a cookie sheet and break it into "candy bark" after it as solidified. I have tried all the options and found the latter to be the easiest by far! Stick it in the fridge or freezer for a while till hardened and then enjoy!

Egg and bacon muffins -- a new favorite breakfast!

I found this recipe in my most recent Weston A Price journal. I knew my girls would like it because they love anything you can call a "muffin," but I was very surprised at how much my husband liked them! I used a very flavorful smoked turkey bacon from Trader Joes and a bunch of garlic powder and he loved the strong flavor. I love the fact that these muffins warm up wonderfully in our toaster oven so I can make a bunch ahead of time for a super healthy quick breakfast or protein-filled snack. And don't worry if you despise cottage cheese (like my husband) because once the muffin is cooked you cannot even tell that it is there!

1 pound breakfast meat (I actually only used 4 large slices of bacon, 1/3 slice for each muffin)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup chopped veggies (they recommend onion, garlic, peppers, carrots, green onions, etc, but I skipped all those for the first try to make sure my family did not reject them simply because of the add-ins :)
12 pastured eggs, beaten
1 cup cheese, shredded or crumbled (I used a little of parmesan and cheddar)
herbs and spices of choice (sage, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, etc)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, Grease 12 muffin cups. Cook meat. Use leftover grease or favorite healthy fat (coconut oil, tallow, butter, ghee, or lard) to saute chopped veggies. In a large bowl, beat eggs then add everything else. Spoon 1/4 cup mixture into each muffin cup, sprinkle with cheese, and cook between 15 to 20 minutes, until egg has set.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Quick Farmer's Market sausage skillet

We went to the Farmer's Market today so tonight I threw together this dish using only what we bought :)

1 pound Sweet-Italian style sausage, casings removed
about 6 little potatoes, sliced thinly (I used 3 purple ones and 3 red ones)
3 zucchini, chopped (I used 1 green and 2 yellow)
1 small sweet onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, chopped (we love our garlic but you might want to do less if you don't :)

Directions: Saute everything in the oil of your choice (I used coconut oil) on medium-low heat. I chopped the potatoes first because they take the longest to cook and threw the zucchini in the pan at the last minute because I didn't want it soggy. Sprinkle on whatever seasonings you like (I used a little sea salt and oregano). Top with a little of the cheese of your choice (I used Parmesan). I think diced tomatoes would also be delicious in this dish.