Wednesdays Without Barcodes: Teriyaki Bird Food

I have to admit, when snacking off the grid I sometimes feel like I eat a lot of bird food…so sometimes I have to get creative.  Nuts and seeds, when properly prepared are wonderful sources of healthy fats, complementary proteins and a host of micronutrients.

Sunflower seeds provide significant amounts of vitamin E, magnesium and selenium.  These nutrients are known to calm and detoxify the entire body, reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol and help prevent heart both heart disease and cancer (source).

Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, are another super seed which are known for promoting prostate health, increasing bone density and reducing inflammation better than pharaceuticals!

“The healing properties of pumpkin seeds have also been recently investigated with respect to arthritis. In animal studies, the addition of pumpkin seeds to the diet has compared favorably with use of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin in reducing inflammatory symptoms. Importantly, though, pumpkin seeds did not have one extremely unwanted effect of indomethacin: unlike the drug, pumpkin seeds do not increase the level of damaged fats (lipid peroxides) in the linings of the joints, a side-effect that actually contributes to the progression of arthritis.” (source)

Birds must be amazing healthy little critters, but I bet they are jealous that they don’t have these tasty seeds!

TERIYAKI BIRD FOOD
Ingredients

  • filtered water
  • 1 – 2 TBS Celtic sea salt
  • 1 lb raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 lb raw pumpkin seeds
  • 15 – 20 dates, soaked and drained
  • 1 TBS ginger
  • 2 TBS crushed garlic
  • 2 TBS soy sauce (use tamari for a gluten free version)

Preparation

  1. Place seeds in a large bowl and cover with filtered water.  Add 1 – 2 TBS of Celtic sea salt and soak 8 hours or overnight.  Drain.  Should be about 8 C soaked seeds.
  2. About an hour before seeds are done soaking bring a pot of filtered water to a boil and then remove from heat, add dates and cover.  Allow dates to soak for 1 hour.  Drain.
  3. In a food processor, process soaked dates until a smooth paste forms.
  4. Add ginger, garlic and soy sauce and continue to process.
  5. Scrape paste into bowl with soaked and drained seeds and mix well to coat.
  6. Place on non-stick dehydrator sheets and dehydrate for about 20 hours at 115° degrees. Or use the oven method (below)*.
  7. Store in air tight glass jars.

Eat Well, Be Well (Tweet, Tweet),
April

*OVEN DEHYDRATING METHOD
Spread items to be dehydrated out onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper and place in the oven.  If you have a convection setting use it, if not, prop the door open using a small metal object such as a measuring cup to allow air to circulate.  Dehydrate at 150° (or your oven’s lowest possible temperature) for 8 – 12 hours or until crispy.  You will lose some of the enzymes with this method, but will still have a yummy treat!

This post was shared on Read Food Wednesday with Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

Wednesdays Without Barcodes: Creamy Dill Sauce

© Tanyae | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

If you’ve been as inspired as I have by the Real Food Summit and you are trying to incorporate more fish into your diet, here’s a quick and easy sauce that goes great with almost any fish and includes dill, which is a great herb on so many levels…and it’s in season!

“Dill’s unique health benefits come from two types of healing components: monoterpenes, including carvone, limonene, and anethofuran; and flavonoids, including kaempferol and vicenin. 

The monoterpene components of dill have been shown to activate the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase, which helps attach the anti-oxidant molecule glutathione to oxidized molecules that would otherwise do damage in the body. The activity of dill’s volatile oils qualify it as a “chemoprotective” food (much like parsley) that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens, such as the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke, charcoal grill smoke, and the smoke produced by trash incinerators.” (source)

INGREDIENTS:
1 C full fat sour cream
3 – 4 TBS chopped dill
1 TBS prepared horseradish
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients and taste test.  Adjust dill and horseradish as needed.  That’s it…easy peasy!  Serve with fish or veggies.

Eat Well, Be Well,
April

This post was shared on Real Food Wednesday with Kelly the Kitchen Kop

Wednesdays Without Barcodes: Paleo Granola Bars

Granola bars are another one of those things that sound healthier than they usually are.  A quick label inspection usually shows way more soy and sugar than I’m comfortable feeding my little people on a regular basis.   And if you are sensitive to gluten, grains or dairy…forget about it!

Here is a kid tested “granola bar” recipe that is sure to please the most discerning palates!

You can do better than that!

INGREDIENTS:
2 C raw sunflower seeds
2 C raw pumpkin seeds
15 – 20 dates with pits removed
3/4 C raisins
3/4 C shredded coconut
1 TBS vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
maple syrup (optional)

PREPARATION:
Soak the seeds in filtered water with 1 TBS Celtic sea salt for about 8 hours or overnight.  In a separate container soak the dates in warm filtered water for about an hour.  In a food processor, puree the soaked dates along with the vanilla and cinnamon until they form a paste.  Drain the water from the seeds.  You’ll probably have about 6 cups of seeds now.  In a large bowl, mix the seeds with the date paste, raisins and coconut.  Taste test for sweetness.  If you feel it’s not sweet enough add a little bit of pure maple syrup.  Really a TBS should be plenty as dates are super sweet.  Now return everything to the food processor and pulse until it is granola consistency.  You may need to do it in a couple of batches.  Now spread out the mixture onto several non-stick dehydrator sheets or a parchment lined baking sheet.  If using the dehydrator, set it to 115° and let it run for about 24 hours until crispy.  If you don’t have a dehydrator put them in the oven on the convection setting at 150° for 12 hours or until crispy.  You will lose some of the enzymes with this method, but it will still be a yummy treat!

Eat Well, Be Well,
April

This post was shared on Real Food Wednesday with Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

Wednesdays Without Barcodes: Beef Jerky

Tastes better than it looks!

It’s hard to make beef jerky look good.  A friend of mine said that every time she see it she thinks of Cadaver Lab.  However, it’s hard to make it taste bad!  So play around with the spices in this recipe.  Don’t be afraid!  It’s a great snack for on-the-go this summer, full of protein and good to eat anytime of day. 

If you don’t have a dehydrator use the oven dehydrator method:

Set your oven to 155° or the lowest possible temperature and put it on the convection setting if you have that option.  You can also prop the oven door open a bit so that it stays cooler and air circulates. If your oven does not go below 200° you’ll need to find a different method of dehydrating.

GROUND BEEF JERKY:
For every pound of beef
mix in:
1 tsp Celtic sea salt
1 TBS naturally flavored Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS naturally flavored red pepper sauce
1/4 tsp dried minced onion

Mix all spices with the ground beef (meatloaf style) and roll out onto non-stick dehydrator sheets or parchment paper.  Aim for about 1/8″ thick.

Dry for about 6 hours at 155°F.  Take out the trays, invert the jerky and place on clean dehydrator sheets or fresh parchment paper.  Dry for another 6 hours or so until hard and leathery.  Cut it into strips and eat or store.

If you come up with any fun spice combos, please share with the class!

Eat Well, Be Well,
April

Wednesdays Without Barcodes: Fruit Leather

Banana Cocoa, Apple Cinnamon, Raspberry Pineapple

Looking for a fun and easy snack project now that the kids are finishing school.  This fruit leather is so easy to make that I made six different flavors with 18 preschoolers in 90 minutes!  Really, it’s that simple and it’s so much better than a fruit roll up or any store bought fruit snack.  Below are 6 different “recipes,” but really the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

Basically, for each tray puree a quart of coarsely chopped organic fruit.  Frozen and thawed fruit works great.  If you use bananas make sure they are plenty ripe.  If you need to add a little liquid while blending, water or organic pear juice (RW Knudsen makes a nice one with no sugar added) is a perfect choice.  Add as little as possible so that the blender still functions properly but the mix isn’t too liquidy.

Spread the mix evenly onto dehydrator trays lined with non-stick dehydrator sheets or onto baking trays lined with parchment paper.  It should be about 1/8 – 1/4 inch in thickness.  Now put it in the oven or dehydrator set to about 150°F.  If your oven doesn’t go that low, just put it as low as it will go and prop the door open a bit so it stays slightly cooler.  If your oven has a convection setting use that!  Leave it to do it’s thing for about 8 – 12 hours.  Check it periodically to see what the texture is like.  You want to stop the dehydrating before it gets crispy!  After the half way point you can peel the fruit leather and flip it over if you like, but you don’t have to do this.  When it is no longer sticky and has a smooth surface, remove it from the oven, peel, roll and enjoy!



Peachy Pear, Mixed Berry, Strawberry Banana

BANANA COCOA
4 ripe bananas
2 TBS raw cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla

APPLE CINNAMON
1 QT peeled, cored apples
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

RASPBERRY PINEAPPLE
1/2 QT raspberries
1/2 QT pineapple chunks


Look at these ingredients….YUCK!

PEACHY PEAR
1/2 QT peeled, cored pear1/2 QT peeled, sliced peaches
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
a few shakes of cinnamon

MIXED BERRY
1/2 QT blueberries
1/2 QT blackberries

STRAWBERRY BANANA
2/3 QT strawberries
1.5 ripe bananas

Eat Well, Be Well,
April

This post was shared on Real Food Wednesdays
with Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

Wednesdays Without Barcodes: Strawberry Vinaigrette

This post is part of a weekly series in which I give ideas for eating off the grid.  In other words…fringe eating.  I know that in the past I’ve mentioned my disdain for store bought salad dressing and provided a few recipes for easy homemade dressings.  This really is a simple way that you clean up your diet.  It’s delicious and so much healthier than any sugar laced dressing you’ll find at the store.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 quart strawberries, sliced
  • 10 cups chopped spinach or mixed greens of any kind
  • nuts or seeds

In a blender or food processor combine 6 strawberries, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and puree until smooth.  Pour the dressing over greens and mix well.   Top with the remaining sliced strawberries and nuts or seeds as well as any other veggies you would like (red onions are nice addition).  Add grilled chicken or blue cheese if you feel you need a little more protein.

Strawberries are an amazingly healthy food so enjoy them while they last this season.  Just one cup of these beautiful berries has 141% of the RDA of vitamin C.  Because vitamin C helps with iron absorption, strawberries and spinach make a great combo!

Eat Well, Be Well,
April

Wednesdays Without Barcodes: Shake & Bake

Although the giveaway has ended I’d like to keep the Wednesdays Without Barcodes feature going for a while longer, and perhaps I’ll start another giveaway here soon.

This post is part of a weekly series in which I give ideas for eating off the grid.  In other words…fringe eating.  Here is a recipe for one of my favorite comfort foods…”Shake’N Bake!”  You could use this to coat chicken or pork, baked or fried.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups dry bread crumbs (whole wheat or sourdough works great!)
  • 2 tsp Celtic sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced onion
  • 1 pinch dried basil leaves
  • 1 pinch dried parsley
  • 1 pinch dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 1/3 C olive oil

PREPARATION:
Mix all dry ingredients in a large zip lock bag and shake to mix.  Add olive oil and massage through bag.  Rinse chicken (or pork) and place in bag.  Shake to coat.  Bake or fry as you normally would.

Eat Well, Be Well,
April

This recipe was shared on Real Food Wednesdays with Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

Wednesdays Without Barcodes: Homemade Garlic Powder

Continuing with my anti-barcode condiment kick, here is a recipe from another REAL food blogger, also named April oddly enough!  I’m copying her recipe for homemade garlic powder below, but please check out her blog, My Home Healthier, as well.  She has some great ideas and easy recipes such as this one:

Homemade Garlic Powder* (from My Home Healthier)

Ingredients:

Organic Garlic Cloves

Directions:

  1. Peel garlic cloves, and slice thin.
  2. Place the garlic slices in 150F degree oven and heat until dry. *The garlic is dry when you can crush it in your hand and it crumbles easily. 
  3. Allow the garlic to cool. Grind with food processor or mortar and pestle until you reach your desired consistency. 
  4. Store finished garlic powder in an air-tight container.

Thanks for the recipe April.  It doesn’t get much simpler than that! And this is yet another food preparation activity in which you can include your kids.  It amazes me how jobs that I find incredibly tedious (i.e. peeling garlic) will entertain my toddlers for hours…well maybe a half hour anyway…OK, 15 minutes!

Eat Well, Be Well,
April


*RECIPE NOTES:
You could definitely use your dehydrator for this as well.  I try to use mine whenever possible to justify the cost!  If you don’t have a dehydrator or your oven does not go down to 150° (mine doesn’t either), do not despair.  Try this trick instead:

Set your oven to the lowest possible temperature and put it on the convection setting if you have that option.  Prop the oven door open a bit so that it stays cooler (I use my metal 1/8 measuring cup).  You’ve just turned your oven into a dehydrator, sort of!

Wednesdays Without Barcodes: Giveaway Ends at Midnight

Today is the last day to enter the Fringe Eating inaugural giveaway.  The winner receives a DVD of the movie Farmageddon.

Eat Well, Be Well,
April

MORE ABOUT FARMAGEDDON:

“Americans’ right to access fresh, healthy foods of their choice is under attack. Farmageddon tells the story of small, family farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities and were forced to stop, sometimes through violent action, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies, and seeks to figure out why.”

Wednesdays Without Barcodes: Please Pass the Mustard

This post is part of a weekly series in which I give ideas for eating off the grid.  In other words…fringe eating.  It is also a REAL food challenge and my first GIVEAWAY!  See the Wednesday, April 11th post for all of the giveaway details.  There are two weeks left, so please join us!

After taking a little break for some yummy Cinco de Mayo recipes, I’m back on my condiment kick.  Another great thing about making your own condiments is that you can put them to work for you by turning them into digestive aides.  Allowing  your condiments to lacto ferment supercharges them with powerful probiotics & enzymes.  These otherwise dead foods now have the power to aid in digestion, and we know that the health of the body’s immune system is directly related to its ability to digest and utilize food (source).  Take that hotdog!  So before your next backyard barbecue give this easy ferment a try…your fellow picnic-ers will thank you.

garlic dill mustard

Lacto-Fermented Mustard (adapted from Simply Being Well)

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 1/2 cup ground mustard seeds
  •  1/2 cup filtered water
  •  2 TBS whey
  •  2 1/2 tsp celtic sea salt
  •  juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp spice of choice (some great options are turmeric, garlic, dill etc.)
  •  2 TBS whole brown mustard seeds

PREPARATION

  1. Mix 1 C of the ground mustard and all ingredients except brown mustard seed in a food processor.
  2. Mix in the remaining ground mustard a little at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
  3. Stir in the whole brown mustard seeds.
  4. Place in a glass jar with at least 1″ of space and cover tightly.
  5. Leave it at room temperature (68° – 72°)  for  3 days and then move to cold storage.

Make sure to write the date you made it on the lid.  If you store it on the door of the fridge it should last for about six months.

Eat Well, Be Well,
April