Tag Archives: honey

Lighten Up The Load..

on Thanksgiving.  If you can.

We had a Thanksgiving dinner when our son, Sam, was on leave from the Army last Sunday.  I was at my art conference and wasn’t getting home until Sunday evening, so Pops was in charge of making the food.  Oh boy.  It was all yummy,  but the poor man……… Lets just say…..How can I be nice here……I love him.  Things get a little out of hand when the going gets going.  He was so exhausted when it was all said and done.   I asked if it was worth it.  He said no.  But that it was great to have everyone here.  But we could have peanut butter and jelly with the same people here, right?  And Pops would have been able to enjoy Catch Phrase with us in the living room instead of losing his pretty little head in the kitchen.   Is it worth it?  (My head is always thinking about  stuff like this. )   Why do we make SOO MUCH FOOD?  And it’s not only so much food but it is so much heavy,  decadent food.  Can we cut corners somewhere?  I have a  new friend who just told me they never have the huge dinner.  Never.  They do their own thing and don’t think a thing about it.  Good for you, Sarah.  People time is the most important, right?

In my world????  (What is that?)  I wouldn’t cut fat cause I happen to know fat is good for you.  Good organic, local fat, that is.  I would cut sugars and omit some of the bread/noodle/white potato  stuff.  I KNOW. I KNOW.  Stuffing is SO GOOOOOOODD.  Why not eat the stuffing and forget the other starchy things.  When you look at a plate of thanksgiving food, really it looks so…well..ugh.  With the exception of a tiny section of green beans maybe and a quarter size of red tarty stuff ruining everything around it.

After Thanksgiving…bring to boil the carcass and  simmer for  two days or more. The longer the better.   Pour broth in glass containers 2/3 and freeze for future use for soups, rice, or any good thing.  It is the best thing ever.

Below are three recipes for lightening up the sugar.

SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

Most casseroles call for at least a cup of sugar.  This calls for  2 T.  We had it and we loved it.

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 large), scrubbed
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted plus more for the preparing the pan
  • 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar unrefined.
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Put the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and pierce each one 2 or 3 times with a fork. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.

Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F. Scoop the sweet potato out of their skins and into a medium bowl. Discard the skins. Mash the potatoes until smooth. Add the eggs, butter, coconut palm sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pepper to taste. Whisk the mixture until smooth.

Butter an 8 by 8-inch casserole.  Pour the sweet potato mixture into the pan and sprinkle the top with the pecans. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until a bit puffy. Serve immediately.

PUMPKIN CAKE BARS WITH CREAM CHEESE ICING

(No flour and small amount of honey as sweetener)

CAKE BARS

1 c. pumpkin puree

1 c. almond butter

1/2 c. raw honey

2 eggs

1 1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1 t. vanilla (pure)

1 t. cinnamon

1/4 t. cloves (optional

pecans or walnuts.

350 degrees.   8 x 8 pan 30 minutes

ICING

2 package cream cheese, softened organic.

1/3 c. honey

2 t. vanilla extract

Mix. Spread.

WALNUT CHOCOLATE CHUNK ICE CREAM

(No sugar added. Dairy free)

This is really good.  But if not eaten day of, it gets really hard in freezer but still tastes good.

1 13 oz. can of full fat organic coconut milk

1/4 c. chopped walnuts.(soaked and dried if possible)

2 ripe bananas, mashed

Pinch of salt

1/4 c. finely chopped dark chocolate.

10 drops of stevia

splash of vanilla

Heat coconut milk until smooth.  Stir in walnuts, banana, salt vanilla.  Pour into glass container and cool.  Add chocolate and stevia.  Freeze, stirring occasionally.

I pray safe travels, loving family time, and relaxed digestive state for all.

God bless,

Karen

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Call In The Recipes

My brain wavin’

Here is the dilemma….  I cook every night.  I never use recipes.  I can’t/shouldn’t eat most of what is out there so I make up stuff.  All the wonderful recipes on Epicurious, Food Network, or what else….Allrecipes.com.  Oh and Paula Deen.  Poor thing.    Her french toast made with Crispy Creme doughnuts wont work for me.  Although it sounds SOOO good.  Can I just have A bite!  Please?   You know where they are and we will leave them be.   Cause I can’t eat them.

I am all about cookie and other baking recipes.  I am constantly trying to get down recipes that are the least damaging to my system.  So it is a trial and error effort.  I’ll get there.  And I AM getting there.  My family is really enjoying them at this point.   That is good for  YOU to know.  That means I am making progress.

Where am I going with this?   The recipes I post are simple.  and in rough measurements since I make up a lot.   Recipes with lots of gobbleygook have too many ingredients that are not good for me and in many cases for you too.  So what you will mostly find here is good whole real food prepared simply.  AND sweet recipes that have been experimented upon with some decent success.  AND other things.  what?

Trust me on some of this stuff.  Because  my family is “normal” not a freak like me.  And they love it.  Even da babae.

On a side note….The photo above was taken by my son when he was showing me cool things my camera can do.  I have used a few photos so far in this blog that are not mine.  Ex.  the twinkie, the cow bones, etc.  It freaks my brain.   Its like posting a painting of someone else’s and calling it mine.  I know it’s just a twinkie.  But I am going to try REAL hard to post only photos that come from my camera.  Beware.  People want food pics when they see a recipe.  I will make a sincere effort going forward.    That will be a hard one to remember.

Mix Veggies on Rice

There. We have a cabbage. That I took the photo of.

Serves 4

It is a delightfully sweet taste sensation

1 head of cabbage chopped organic

1 sweet red pepper chopped organic

1/2 onion chopped  organic (do I need to  keep saying that?)

a couple of carrots   orga….

a couple of teaspoon Cumin

a couple of  Tablespoons of Ghee or butter

a splash or two of hot sauce.

Sautee on med. heat for about 1/2 hour.  I usually cook until all is soft and a little of the cabbage and onion is  crusty brown.

Serve over brown long grain rice.  Makes a  nice meal.

Blueberry/Peach Crisp. My photo. I can do it.

YUMMY Blueberry/Peach  (or anything else) Crisp

Proven wonderful by normal people!  I have reduced the amount  of sweetness by at least half and it works well.  Serve it warm with ice cream.  We use natural vanilla ice cream always because it has the least amount of ingredients.  For people like me,  I use a coconut milk ice cream that is vanilla flavored or greek plain yogurt with a little stevia (natural sweetener).

1 pint blueberries

3 cut up peaches

1/4 cup of raw honey

2/3 cup flour  – don’t use bleached white flour.  Use the best flour you can get.  Or better yet use the gluten free recipe and give your body a rest from the wheat.  My people cannot tell the difference.(Gluten free people use  – split equally rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca flour and 3/4 t. xanthum gum)

1/3 cup coconut palm sugar. Regular brown sugar will work fine but……

1 t. cinnamon

1 cup of rolled organic oats

8 T.   butter  organic

1 cup chopped nuts.  Pecans or walnuts.  Soak your nuts ahead of time and dry in oven.

Put fruit in 9 x 9 pan and toss with honey

In a bowl put dry ingredients, mix.  Grate cold butter into mixture and add nuts and oats.  Mix all together and sprinkle over top of fruit.    Super Super  Duper!

See, I can put together a recipe.  Surprised even myself.

Two out of the 24 blueberries we got this year.

God bless,

Karen

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Is Sugar a Food Group?

You would think.         

Before I delve into the wonderful alternatives and healthier substitutes for sugar, I would like to preface this by explaining the ways you are consuming sugar without knowing it.    Some of the few:   Anything made with bread.   Sandwiches.    Alcohol.  Pizza.  Macaroni and Cheese.   Snack bars.   These are  “Simple Carbohydrates”.   A common thread here is processed food/starches.   These foods enter into our bodies  and then are  converted into sugar.  And our bodies have to process it in the same way as a candy bar basically.  After we complete a day of eating what we consider to be generally  healthy food,  we stretch our arms big and wide, and proud and say, “Yeah , a nice  dessert should  be in order after a day of  conscientious eating.”  And if you don’t know better, that seems totally logical.  I did FOR YEARS!     Often times by dessert time we have had more sugar than any other food group.

These simple carbs are processed.  They are sneaky.  We don’t know what they are doing  TO us.

Sugar is addictive and poisonous.

I am really not all bearer of bad news.  Really, I can be quite positive.  But this blog is about good whole foods.  Not poison.  I love sweets!  I spend a great deal of my time experimenting in an effort to enjoy without getting sick.   We all get sick from sugar.  All those nasty symptoms you feel on a daily basis can be attributed to sugar in most cases.  Headaches.  Colds.  Stomach aches.  diarrhea.  Constipation.

THOSE AILMENTS ARE NOT NORMAL!

That bears repeating.

THOSE AILMENTS ARE NOT NORMAL!

From there it can grow into Hypo/Hyperglycemia.  Diabetes.  Cancer.  Immune  Depression. Adrenal fatigue.  A host of others but we will leave it at that.  For many,  many people it has grown into those diseases.   No thank you.

OOOOKKKAAAYYYYY.

Not all is doomed.  Remember,  whole real foods is the key here.  And anytime we can REDUCE and IMPROVE the sweet intake, the less damage done.

This is about progress NOT perfection.

When we eat whole foods, we have a complete knowledge of how much sugar we are intaking.   And when we prepare our own foods we know as well.  Changing our eating habits is hard.  It takes effort.  We have  to decide to make our decisions thoughtfully and with a purpose.  I know for me, I have spent a good deal of my life just moving through life not giving thought to what I was eating, or where it came from or how it was processed.  I was really ignorant to that information.  That is not good.  We are only on this train once.  The trip should be awesome! Not short sighted.

HONEY
Whole food.  Honey can substituted in almost all cases.  It has many nutrients.
100% PURE MAPLE SUGAR
Whole Food.  It can be substituted in almost all cases.  It has many nutrients.

COCONUT PALM SUGAR
Whole food.  Has been dried to a granule.  It is granule like sugar and can be substituted  in all cases.  It very high in nutrients.  It is unrefined.  Organic.  Has not been processed.

STEVIA
It is from a plant found in South America.  It is very concentrated and is not good for baking.  I sweeten drinks or hot cereal with it.

DATES OR OTHER DRIED FRUIT THAT HAS NOT HAD SUGAR ADDED TO IT.
Sometimes I bake cookies and the complete source of sweetener will be dates.

Those are the five  I use exclusively.  I reduce  the amount called for always because I feel we WAY over sugar our foods.  So If a recipe calls for 1 cup, I will reduce it to 2/3.  If the recipe tastes sweet then next time I will reduce it down to 1/2 cup.  If that is satisfactory, then I will keep it there.

The sweeteners I have discussed above, I use sparingly.   They are not used on a daily basis.  We try to enjoy a dessert once a week.  Sometimes twice.

Sugars that talk a good line but I have learned are no- no are:

Agave –   It is processed and has been compared to corn syrup in its processing.

Brown Sugar  – is nothing but white sugar with Molasses added to it.  It is NOT healthier than white.  I think sometimes we think if something is brown, it is healthy.????  Like eggs.  Brown eggs come from certain breeds.  White eggs come from others.  No difference.

All the “natural” sugars. – Turbinado.  Sucanat Sugar.  Florida crystals.  They have all been refined and nutrients taken out.   Molasses has been added to make it look natural.

I have added molasses to sugar to make brown sugar before when I didn’t have brown sugar.  It is the same thing.

Molasses – is a “waste” product  from the processing of white can sugar.

The following recipe is wonderful.  I have taken a recipe that is predominately whole food.  I have cut ingredients to reduce sugar impact.  And they are delightful.

**Please note that I will never share a recipe with you that I have not shared with others and have received rave reviews.

The ingredients will surprise you.  And the results will even more!!!

BROWNIES

Preheat oven 325 degrees.

1 16 oz. jar salted almond butter.  organic.

2 eggs

2/3 cup raw honey (the recipe calls for 1 1/4 cup.  I reduced it as low as 1/2 cup.  not satisfying enough.  found satisfaction at 2/3 c. )

1 T Vanilla

1/2 c. cocoa powder. organic.  The only ingredient should be cocoa.

1/2 t. sea salt

1 t. baking soda

1 cup of dark chocolate chips. organic.   I use about 2/3 that.  Find the darkest chips you can find.  They will be the purest in form. ***** Remember when stuff is taken out, stuff is added to take its place.

1 cup of  walnuts or pecans.  organic (IF you can  buy raw, soak them in salt water over night and dry them in lowest temp in oven until crispy , usually about 24 hours.  I do this will all nuts and make about 3 lbs at a time and always have them on hand. This process removes harmful enzymes within the nut that wreaks havoc on our digestive system.  )

Blend each ingredient before adding the next.

Place in 9 x  13  glass or ceramic pan.  Bake 35-40 minutes.

Please let me know what you think of them!!  I would be interested in feedback.

God bless,

Karen

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