Dec 8, 2010

Cranberry Cider

3 1/2 qts water
1 (12 oz) pkg fresh cranberries
1 1/2 c. sweetener (honey is great if you have that much)
2 oranges, juiced
2 lemons, juiced
12 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks

In a large pot, combine water and cranberries. Bring to a boil (cranberries will pop, so cover the pot), reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add sweetener, orange juice, lemon juice, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Cover, and steep for 1 hour. Strain and remove sticks and cloves (cranberries are optional..I prefer them in).

Yummy! This is definitely a keeper for our family Christmas tradition, and it makes the house smell , delicious! Just add more sweetener if it's too strong.


Dec 2, 2010

Homemade Mayo

1 Whole Egg
2 T. Vinegar or Lemon Juice (I used vinegar because I was out of lemons)
1/2 t. Dry Mustard
1/2 t. Salt
1 c Oil (I use avocado or olive oil--combinations work well. Coconut oil was too strong.)

Place egg, vinegar or lemon juice, seasonings, and 1/4 cup of the oil in the blender in the order indicated. Put on cover. Run blender until contents are thoroughly blended, about 5 seconds. Remove cover. Add remaining oil gradually and run for a few seconds after last oil is added. YIELD: About 1-1/4 cups.

IMPORTANT: Do NOT add all of the oil at once. Do not do this unless you want to waste a whole cup of oil. Remember how I said this recipe is easy? It’s super easy if you read the instructions and follow them. (Anyone have an idea for how I can use my first failed batch?) The second batch came out perfectly.

*submitted by Cheryl Sanger, "no need to buy store-bought mayo...tastes good!"
originally from

Cheesy Corn Quesadillas with Guacamole

Avacados, peeled and mashed with a fork
Cilantro, washed and chopped
Onion, finely minced
Lime, juiced
Garlic Powder
Corn Tortillas
Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded

1. Prepare all ingredients before peeling the avacados because they brown very fast!  Still tastes fine, but doesn't look that great after sitting out a while.
2. Mix the first 7 ingredients to your preferred taste.  Start with a small amount of everything. 
3. On a non-stick skillet over med. high heat, place the tortillas topped with cheese and another corn tortilla on top of that.  Flip on the other side until cheese is melted and tortillas are a little crispy.  
4. Top the quesadillas with fresh homemade quacamole.  This makes a quick, fresh and delicious snack! 


For those of you who have a wheat grinder at home, do you use it regularly? If not, I strongly encourage you to get it out and keep it on your counter top...why?
Most people have learned through experience that refined flour is inimical to good health. According to Prevention Magazine and MANY other health books I have read, as the original wheat kernel is subjected to ever greater processing, more B6 Vitamins are destroyed until losses approach 90%!

Vitamin B6 benefits you in maybe more ways than any other vitamin!
  • Vitamin B6 has been called the "mighty-vite" because of all the functions it performs. It is estimated that Vitamin B6 is involved with more than 101 chemical reactions that occur in our bodies. Vitamin B6 helps us by aiding in the manufacturing of amino acids. Amino acids are what we need to build proteins. And as we all know, proteins are essential for the repair and growth of our tissue.

  • Vitamin B6 benefits our brains as well. Vitamin B6 helps us to make what's called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that connect one nerve cell to the next and enable these two nerve cells to communicate with one another. These neurotransmitters are essential for regulating our mood and even helping to ward off depression in our later years.

  • Vitamin B6 also benefits us by helping us to metabolize our foods and converting these foods into energy we need to get us through our day. Vitamin B6 may play a part in preventing vascular disease and brain disease.
Now that you are aware of how important getting these vital B6 vitamins are, why would we want to continue eating breads/bagels/muffins/pancakes, etc with that white refined flour you get at the store that has about 90% of all those vitamins stripped out?

Grains are the STAFF OF now lets make sure that our WHOLE GRAINS are used in order to keep our bodies healthy! We all know how difficult it is to give up our white refined flour in a society whose eating habits are so heavily based on them. It is relatively easy to replace margerine with butter and refined polyunsaturates with extra virgin olive oil because these fats taste so much better; but white flour, being mildly to severely addictive, is harder to renounce.

So, my first piece of advice is to start replacing white flour products with a variety of ground whole grains.  I like to use about 5 different grains in my flour because then we are getting a nice variety of nutrients and a lighter flour than 100% Whole Wheat Flour.  In fact, Wheat is VERY hard for your body to break down unless it is soaked to soften the outer casing of the Wheat kernals, and that (in my opinion and from all the research I have done) is a main contributer to all the wheat/gluten intolerance that are so common today! So, in my food storage, I have MANY buckets of a variety of grains:

Brown Rice (tons better than white which has been stripped of many vital nutrients)
Spelt (an ancient European grain that was brought to the U.S in the 1890's and is similar to Wheat but easier to digest)
Kamut (One says this grain was found in the tombs of the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, hence the nickname; "King Tut's Wheat". Another legend is that Noah used the grain on the ark resulting in the nickname “Prophet’s wheat.” Other legends surmise it was brought over by invading armies into Egypt. In Turkey, it has the nickname “Camel's Tooth” due to its hump back shape)
Oat Groats
Teff (a common grain used in Ethiopia and the smallest grain in the world but holds a powerful punch of nutrients)
Buckwheat, etc.

If you have a local Grainery that sells them in big 25-50 lb bags, this is ideal and what I do. They put them into the buckets with a little CO2 and seal them up for me as well which is nice. I buy a bucket or two every month to keep up my food storage.

The buckets at the Kitchen Kneads store where I buy my grains are more expensive, so I save a little money by purchasing the buckets and the arthritis GAMMA LIDS at Walmart. The Gamma lids are so much easier to open and make it easy to get into them. For instance, I have several buckets of Spelt but one of those buckets have a Gamma lid and the others have regular lids. The one that has the Gamma lid is the one I get the grains from and when that is empty, I open one with a regular lid and dump that bucket into the one with the gamma lid. Then I jot down that I need to buy another bucket of Spelt next month to replace the one that I used up. Then I just take my buckets when I go buy the grains and they'll fill, seal, and label them for me.

This is what Charise does to prepare her grains... OK, so now that you have your storage of several different grains, you can now buy yourself a good solid electric grinder. I have a NUTRIMILL and it has lasted for about 8 years so far and seems to be a good one for me. My mother has a MAGIC MILL which has lasted a LONG time as well, so these are just two options for you. After getting your wheat grinder and the grains, you can now keep it on your counter to use every week or every other week. I have smaller buckets of the grains in my pantry upstairs to easily access them and the big buckets are downstairs in my food storage room.

Charise's 5-Grain Flour combines 5 cups of Spelt or Kamut, 1 cup of Rye, 1 cup of Barley, 1 cup of Millet, and 1 cup of Oat Groats.

This is a nice combination to start off with. You can change the amounts to suit you and implement other grains like Buckwheat, Quinoa, Amaranth and other grains. I dump all of these in my wheat grinder and then scoop it all into a plastic storage container. 

NOW, once your flour is ground, it only keeps the vitamins for a day or two on the counter, 1 week in the fridge, but it will last 1 month in the freezer!  So, I now store my freshly ground flour in a tuperware container in the freezer to ensure the valuable nutrients are not lost! 

This 5-Grain Flour is GREAT in EVERYTHING!!! I use it for our pancakes, waffles, muffins, German Pancakes, quick breads, etc! My husband uses it in his yeast bread recipes but also likes to use ground White Beans to keep it a little lighter and fluffier. Many wonder if their breads will be heavier and I tell them NO because you aren't using 100% WHEAT...which is a heavier grain. Because I use 5 different grains and some lighter than others (such as millet, barley and Oats), it is not very dense at all! 

If at first you don't like using ALL whole-grain flour, might I suggest you start by using 1/2 white flour and 1/2 whole grain flour to begin with.  It may take some time to get used to, but you'll soon not want to go back to plain white'll notice the whole grain flour is much more flavorful and delicious.   Now go and try it for youself...I'm sure you won't be dissappointed and you WILL be so much healhier!

Mini Pumpkin Muffins

1 cup whole-grain flour
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup organic whole cane sugar (brown sugar)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
15 oz pumpkin puree (1 3/4 cup)
2 lg. eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup lowfat granola cereal, crumbled
Chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease mini or regular muffn pans. 
Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. 
Beat sugar and oil in medium mixer bowl until blended.  Add pumpkin and eggs; beat well. 
Gradually stir in flour mixture.  Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling 2/3 full. 
Sprinkle each with a bout 1/2 tsp. of crumbled granola and a few chocolate chips if desired.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.  Makes 20 servings, 3 mini muffins each.

*From Charise