I made this lemon curd for a tea we had, for a friend’s bridal shower. And I just made some more… it’s super-awesome on top of yogurt!
Lemon curd is commonly served with scones and clotted cream, or as a topping for cheesecake and other desserts. But I’m thinking this version will go well in my smoothie even- ha! I mean, it doesn’t contain sugar, and I used Kerry-gold pastured butter, and a neighbor’s fresh chicken eggs. Of course it’s good for me, right?
This recipe uses the whole egg–no worries about using up the leftover egg whites (as with traditional lemon curd, made only with egg yolks). OK, I can be a bit OCD about using whole foods! But I’m down for this whole egg version–it gives this lemon curd a lighter feel- a bit more like custard.
An easy substitute for grated lemon zest is to just add the lemon peel to the VitaMix dry blender. I process it some, then add the honey, lemon juice and butter, processing again. But–the old-fashioned zesting method works too.
Makes about 12 oz.
Peel 3 lemons
1/3 c. honey
1/3 c. lemon juice
1/3 c. butter
Zest the lemon peel, or process in Vitamix (or other quality blender) until smooth: > Peel 3 lemons
Measure (an oiled one-cup glass measuring cup works well): > 1/3 c. honey > 1/3 c. lemon juice > 1/3 c. butter
Pour the measured ingredients into the blender with the processed peel (or zest), to process some more until smooth. Or–mix the ingredients with the zest.
Microwave or heat in pot, 1-2 minutes, until melted and bubbly: > the processed, blended inhgredients
Add the eggs to the empty blender, processing until smooth: > 3 whole eggs
Slowly pour the hot butter/lemon mixture into the beaten eggs in the blender, through feed-hole, with motor running, just until mixed.
Gently heat all the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, stirring constantly until thickened. This can store 2 weeks or so, refrigerated.
My husband’s a good sport. Peanut butter didn’t fit into our cleansing diet (due to the molds and such). Sad face- it’s one of his favorite snack foods…
But happy face- he’s not even thinking of peanut butter now! These energy bars satisfy his snack-cravings. Yay!
I really had just wanted an excuse to use some bee pollen, and the wonderful local honey I’ve had on hand. I had been inspired by my friend Karen, who let me sample a concoction she’d made–it was PERFECT! The catch: She hadn’t written down the recipe. Whah…
I made a lot of various versions of energy bars, and eventually came across one that seemed as good as my friend’s was. A cinnamon version of it can be found here, but I really like this “marzipan”-style one!
It should make 12 servings or so.
1 c. oatmeal
1 1/2 c. raw almonds, soaked overnight*
1/4 c. coconut oil
1/3 c. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
1 TBS. bee pollen
1. Process the oatmeal into flour in a blender (or food processor). Use: > 1 c. oatmeal
2. In a hot, dry skillet, toast the oatmeal until golden and fragrant, stirring constantly.
3. After soaking the almonds overnight, drain off the water and pop the skins off them. Use: > 1 1/2 c. raw almonds
4. Add almonds to a Vitamix (or other blender); process into almond butter. Add: > 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted > 1/3 c. honey, warmed > 1/2 tsp. salt > 1 tsp. vanilla > 1 tsp. almond extract
5. Turn mixture out of blender, into bowl. Add the following, kneading some with hands to mix, as the dough will be very stiff. Use: > Toasted oat flour > 1 TBS. bee pollen > Blended ingredients
6. Press into loaf pan and chill until firm before cutting. Slice and wrap in wax paper; store in jar in fridge.
Thought I’d share info on superfoods for super health, from my annual Women’s Retreat session on “Abundant Health in Christ”. Most of the notes this year are about our relationship with Jesus, and how we can find abundant health through that. But utilizing a few of the wonderful, natural, healing foods God put here for our own good, also seems worthy of mention!
I don’t make a big production every morning, to get my nutrient fix. I have a few jars of blends; I just add a scoop to various drinks.
Maca/Gelatin Mix is added to smoothies (using Collagen gelatin, which mixes well with cold ingredients)
“Maca/Gelatin/Eleuthero/Fo-Ti Blend” is added to my hot “Golden Milk” brew
“Chlorella/Spirulina Mix” (which also includes Nopal, Astragalus, Liver, Brewer’s Yeast, Ashwaghanda, and Goat Whey) is added to a cup of cold water in a jar, shaken well, and quickly chugged down
Below is a list of the foods in my arsenal. Let good health prevail!
Super Foods & Such
Ashwagandha Root Powder, Organic– Can support thyroid function. An adaptogen, filling various nutritional/hormonal needs, improving sleep, improving energy; decreasing anxiety, increasing libido; improving concentration.
Astragalus Root Powder– It reduces inflammation (by reducing nitric oxide levels released from cells). An immune-enhancer. In activating enzymes stimulating telomere production, it might reduce cell death from aging and cancer.
Black Cumin Seeds, Organic– Fights Candida, cancer, autoimmune disease. May help asthma, allergies, eczema, inflammation, digestion. Might help fight super bugs (MRSA, etc.). The thymoquinone (TQ) in this can improve cholesterol levels and blood pressure. It can increase glutathione, to prevent cell damage from free radicals, heavy metals. (Use oil topically for skin problems,)
Cinnamon, Ceylon– Can potentially reduce blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Other cinnamon varieties (Indonesian, Saigon, cassia cinnamon) have a lot of coumarin, which can mess with liver function.
Coconut Manna, Organic– This is pure coconut, pureed smooth, to use for sauces, smoothies, soups. It can go by other names as well: coconut spread, coconut butter, coconut cream… It contains the pulp/fiber, plus oil (good for brain/metabolism/immune system, etc.).
Desiccated Liver, Grass Fed– Better assimilation than iron from plant sources (even more taken with acidic lemons or other fruits). Is liver toxic? The liver neutralizes toxins (drugs, chemicals, poisons), but it doesn’t store them. Toxins will more likely accumulate in fatty tissues and nervous systems. What IS stored in the liver? Vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid, plus minerals (iron, etc.).
Diatomaceous Earth–For Candida and other yeast problems. It binds with toxic metals in the body, helping with detox. Some folks love it for hair, skin, and nail health. Drink 2 tsp. each morning, half hour before breakfast (every other month). Give dogs half that (rids them of worms and other nasty parasites.) Also, doesn’t mess with other beneficial bacteria in our gut.
Eleulethero Root–For cold relief, fatigue, high cholesterol; the list goes on! A tonic to boost the immune system, and more.
Fo-Ti–A longevity tonic that may be used in cancer treatment, for inflammation, high cholesterol, insomnia; thought to help even tinnitus and premature graying.
Gelatin, Organic– From grass-fed cows, for joints, skin, hair, cellulite, nails, etc. It’s not a complete protein, but supplies the body with oft-missing amino acids. Great for swollen knee issues (give it a few months). Sprinkle on water, add boiling water/tea (it won’t mix well into cold foods, unless dissolved and heated first).
Goat Whey (AKA Capra Mineral Whey) (From grass-fed goats)—Lots of minerals, in easily-absorbed form. It is super alkaline, for reducing acidic deposits in arthritic joints, even helping acid reflux, inflammation, Osteoporosis, and bone mass loss.
Maca Powder, Organic– A natural endocrine adaptogen; supporting normal hormone production by stimulating/nourishing the hypothalamus and pituitary glands (which regulate other glands). Some have seen it reverse hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, anemia, infertility, and post-menopausal symptoms. For men and women, it may also be a libido enhancer.
Saffron, Mehr Premium– I need to remember to use this, ha! Popular as a memory enhancer and appetite suppressant; it’s gourmet too, for pilafs, stews, risotto, etc..
Superfood Powder by Dr. Schulze– A handy mix to add to smoothies, to insure ultimate, natural nutrition– superfood powder from natural sources. Vitamins can be manufactured synthetics, but they might be missing some (yet discovered) components crucial to our nutritional well-being.
Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate, Organic– This can help control blood sugar and cholesterol levels, maybe even decreasing abdominal fat and inflammation, and improving muscle recovery after workouts.
Turmeric Powder– Full of antioxidants; anti-inflammatory too, with potential for use with Alzheimer’s patients.
Yucca Root,1 lb.– This contains certain chemicals that might reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol, arthritic pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Water Filter, Berkey– Fluoride and chlorine can disrupt thyroid function, among other things. (Read this about all the potential poisons in water- yikes!)
Turmeric! It’s anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and about ten other things. Basically, the answer for everything. (OK, maybe we can’t go that far…) It’s gone mainstream, too. I just saw “Golden Milk Powder” samples featured on display at a local store. But the product had dextrose and other weird ingredients in it and it was pricier, so I’ll continue to make my own. Mine is higher quality, even if it is a little more time-consuming.
Most golden milk formulas include a few particulars. Like, black pepper and Ceylon cinnamon (the best of the various cinnamon varieties), which work synergistically with turmeric to increase absorption of nutrients.
Once I’ve made a batch of Golden Milk Paste, I like to blend it with some “Nut Milk, Bullet-Style” (same idea as “bullet coffee”). Adding coconut and butter to the golden milk helps sustain good energy levels; the healthy fats level out sugar levels.
Heating the turmeric mix helps bring out more of the healing qualities, hence the method. This mix keeps two weeks, refrigerated, so freeze some of it (or make a half recipe) if not making several drinks of it daily. Makes about 10 ounces of concentrated paste, for quite a few drinks.
2 TBS. fresh ginger, sliced thin
1 tsp. or so fresh black pepper (grated or whole peppercorns)
1/4 c. turmeric root, sliced thin (or sub powder)
2 TBS. Ceylon cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cayenne
Optional: 1/4 c. honey
1 1/2 c. boiling water
Per serving: Milk of choice (dairy, coconut, etc.)
To make “golden milk paste”, mix the first six ingredients in a small pot. Use: > 2 TBS. fresh ginger, sliced thin > 1 tsp. or so fresh black pepper (grated or whole) > 1/4 c. turmeric, sliced thin (or substitute powdered) > 2 TBS. Ceylon cinnamon > 1/2 tsp. cayenne
Slowly stir in the boiling water and simmer for 10-20 minutes, to get the flavor out.
Let pot cool some. Optional: Stir in the honey, if desired, using: > 1/4 c. honey
Stored in glass jar in refrigerator, this will keep for two weeks or more. Or, freeze some of it, to prolong shelf life.
I have an older post about Brazil Bark, which gives nutritional reasons for this concoction. But by now, “bullet-proof” coffee, tea and smoothies has kind of gone main-stream…an explanation is hardly required. If you haven’t heard yet, the idea is that adding pastured-butter, plus maybe some coconut (or MCT) oil to various beverages, can help boost energy, suppress appetite, and help regulate blood sugar.
I like to melt a pound or so of butter with an equal amount of coconut spread (AKA coconut manna, coconut butter, etc.). Some folks would rather substitute coconut oil or MCT oil. That’s your choice! I personally am big on whole foods, so I figure, why not throw the whole, ground-up coconut into the mix, fiber and all?
I also add my favorite blend of nuts (or whatever’s available). I like to add macadamias, since they’re lower in polyunsaturated fats (which are inflammatory). Brazil nuts have selenium, so I add some of those too.
Oh dear- sounds like I’ve got off on the nutrition tangent once again. I was intending to just post this “bullet-proof nut milk” recipe. Did I go too far?!
Here goes- an easy way to make a big batch of nut-milk-bark, which will keep for a month or so in the fridge. Just add boiling water to several chunks of this, to make a thick “nut milk cream”. It’ll blend smoother when mixed with the boiling water, making it easier to add to hot drinks and/or smoothies. A jar of the pureed nut milk cream blend will keep for about a week.
1 lb. (or one 15-oz. jar) coconut spread (or “coconut manna“, coconut cream concentrate, or coconut butter, which are all 100% coconut meat, ground to a puree)
1 lb. butter (grass-fed, like Kerry Gold. “Organic” is not necessarily grass-fed)
3/4 lb. nuts (macadamias, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, or a mix)
To get hardened coconut cream out of the jar, set the jar on a folded cloth in a small pot of hot water. Let it warm gently on low heat.
Mix the softened coconut butter with the butter in a small pot, until melted. Use: > 1 lb. butter, melted > 1 15-oz. jar coconut spread, softened
Last, stir in: > 3/4 lb. nuts of choice
Cover a cookie sheet or large pan that has edges, with parchment or heavy-duty foil. Pour mixture into lined pan; refrigerate overnight.
Next day, break bark into pieces and store in glass jar. (Or leave on the foil, to break up as needed.) Refrigerate.
To make the nut milk concentrate, blend several big chunks with enough boiling water to process, in the blender. Mix until smooth. The refrigerated blend will last a week, although the “bark” will keep a few months in refrigerator. Use in smoothies or hot drinks as needed. It makes “smoother smoothies” this way!
I love having some preserved veggies on hand. They can give a more boring dish a savory, salty, tangy kick. Sauerkraut or kimchi can serve as a garnish, or a last-minute addition to stir-fries or soups. And, of course the probiotics in the fermented veggies are so good for the gut.
Some folks shy away from the saltiness of fermented foods, but salt is a natural preservative. One might use as little as 3 TBS. salt per 5 lb. of veggies, but it’s best to not go lower than that.
The recipe below is a loose guideline. You can change up the spices, or add some shredded beets or carrots as well. It’s best to use a larger proportion of cabbage, since it has the most fermentable properties. Note that veggies like onion, garlic and peppers are better used in small quantities, for seasoning, due to their low acidity. Makes 1 qt.
2 lb. total of veggies (1 head cabbage, plus some carrots and/or beets if desired)
scant 2 TBS. salt, non-iodized (about .10 lb.; a scant half ounce of salt per pound of produce)
optional: garlic, spices, caraway seed, pepper flakes, ginger, curry, etc.
optional: kimchi-style ingredients (fish sauce or kelp powder, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, green onion, etc.)
Fine-slice the cabbage. If using carrots or beets, grate those. If a Korean-style kimchi is desired, use napa cabbage! Use: > 2 lb. total (approx.), of cabbage (including a small amount of carrot, beet, or onion, if desired)
Add the prepped veggies to a large bowl and toss with the salt and any other seasonings of choice. Use: > scant 2 TBS. salt > optional garlic, caraway seed, ginger, pepper flakes, etc.
The mixture will soften up after twenty minutes or so, creating its own juices as well. Then add to a quart jar, pressing in to fit. The vegetables should be pressed down enough that they are submerged in the liquid.
Cover the jar with a coffee filter or a cloth and let sit on counter for about 5 days. Check the jar daily to be sure the vegetables are covered with the juice. If they float to the top, press them down again.
After 5 days or so (this depends on the room temperature), the veggies should be fermented. It will taste fermented! Put a lid on them and refrigerate. Will keep for months.
I’ve cooked on electric and gas stove tops for years. Most cooks know that gas ranges are awesome. Electric, not so much. At least we have a gas range at the deli. But for over 25 years, I put up with an electric stove top at home. Until I finally found a most excellent replacement: Induction range!
I’ve had the pictured induction stove top for over two years now. I LUV it.
We didn’t really want to go to the bother and expense of getting gas piped into our kitchen, so I surveyed my options. Someone mentioned: If I like to cook, and don’t want to put in gas, then “Induction Range” was the way to go.
What? I hadn’t even heard of it. Guess I’d been too busy cooking on the deli stove to do any research about alternatives. But after looking into it, I realized: Induction range was my answer!
It was easy to get the range installed (we got one similar to this one). Just plug it in! Over two years later, the stove is still gleaming. It’s easy to wipe clean, but if I want to spiff it up, I also spray it with vinegar, wiping until spotless.
But that’s just surface talk. What’s really cool is that the induction burners can get much hotter than electric burners. When I want to sear something, I can really sear! But, like the gas burner, as soon as it’s turned off, there is no more heat. When I want to bring something to a boil, it happens so FAST! I love my induction range, and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good stove.
I pulled out some of our old deli recipes, now that the grandkids and I want to make desserts on occasion. We used to make this recipe at The New Deli, back when we had a wholesale delivery route as well (in the eighties). It was a hit!
This is a less-sweet version of the original Betty Crocker recipe. And it can be made gluten-free, by substituting processed oats (“oat flour”) in place of the regular flour.
I made these with the grandkids—they were surprised that the dates turn into this yummy filling, just by cooking up with some water. Might serve 12 or so (unless there are some date-bar-piggies like me around…).
3 c. dates (1 lb.)
1 1/2 c. water
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. butter
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. flour
1 3/4 c. quick-cooking oats
Ahead of time, prepare the date filling. Boil, then simmer until thick: > 1 lb. dates > 1 c. water
Cool the date mix.
Beat until creamy: > 1 c. brown sugar > 1 c. butter
Add, just beating until mixed: > 1/2 tsp. baking soda > 1/2 tsp. salt
Add to creamed stuff: > 2 1/4 c. flour > 3 c. quick-cooking oats
Butter 13×9″ pan. Press half the above in pan. Spread with the cooled date filling.
Sprinkle other half of oat mix on top. Bake at 400 degrees (375 in Pyrex) for 20-30 minutes.
Most recipes for ginger bug would have us grating some fresh ginger every day, mixing it with a bit more sugar and water, to feed the bug. I don’t have time for that! So I came up with a quicker method: I process the whole bunch of ginger with an equal part of sugar, add an equal quantity of water, and freeze that mix in ice-cube trays. Then it’s easy to scoop a little out for the daily feedings. Whoot!
But what’s “ginger bug”, you ask? It’s a beneficial culture, for making healthy fermented sodas. Add some to the second ferment of kombucha or kefir, for a natural “gingerale”. So tasty, and good for digestion too.
One caveat: Only use organic ginger! I’ve tried using non-organic on two different occasions, and it ruined my bug every time. It may be hard to locate organic ginger, but it’s worth the hunt. I guess that’s why I like to buy a big bunch of it when I do find it (I usually get at least a pound at a time). The ginger/sugar mush I make with it will last awhile in my freezer.
8 oz. fresh ginger root
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 c. filtered water for mix
2 c. filtered water for starter
To make an easy ginger/sugar mix to store in the freezer for months, process the two ingredients in a blender, to a fine “slush”. Chop the fresh ginger into pieces (I don’t peel mine) and process with the sugar in blender, using: > 8 oz. or so fresh ginger root (about 6 large “fingers”) > 1 1/2 c. sugar
Add to the mixture: > 2 c. filtered water
Set aside 1 c. of the ginger/sugar/water mixture (for the starter batch; freeze the rest in an ice cube tray. Grab an ice-cube or two per day, for the ginger bug’s daily feeding.
The initial starter will need these amounts, mixed into a jar (one-quart size or larger): > 1 c. ginger/sugar/water mix
Also add to jar: > 2 c. filtered water
Add a lid and shake well. Remove lid and use a rubber band and coffee filter (or napkin or paper towel) to cover the top.
Stir the mixture at least once a day for five days, with a non-metallic spoon or spatula. Each day, add: > 2-3 TBS. ginger/sugar mix > 2 TBS. water
The culture is active when bubbles form in the top layer (where the ginger pulp floats). It will get cloudy, and may seem fizzy and smell lightly yeasty. This might take up to eight days. If mold grows, remove the mold. Discard the mixture and start over if it gets moldy again.
Use this “ginger bug” to add to fermented drinks. For a quart-size bottle, use: > 1/4 c. ginger bug, strained
The ginger ferment can be kept in the refrigerator, where it will only need to be fed weekly. Add another 2-3 TBS. of the ginger/sugar mix, plus 2 TBS. water, each week.
Make a new batch of the ginger/sugar mix as necessary.
Use the strained ginger bug for the second ferment of kombucha or kefir, for a delicious, natural, healthy “soda”.
After over 25 years with our original kitchen, I realized my friend was right: My kitchen needed a renovation. One feature: I had a “shabby chic” sink, but sinks aren’t supposed to be shabby chic! It had chipped within the first year of use, years ago, and more chips continued to pop up, even with light use. Turns out, the enamel-over-steel construction was horrible. I do not recommend such a sink, even if they are cheaper than their cast-iron cousins!
One of the things I did in the process of my budget kitchen renovation: I splurged on an enameled cast iron Kohler sink, which I absolutely love. I felt justified, since I wasn’t spending a lot of money on other upgrades. The sink was so worth it.
One of my friends had chosen a more economical stainless steel sink for her kitchen, which I think was a way better choice than the enameled steel sink (in my first picture). But here was my beef about the steel sink: It’s darker! Less warm and inviting! After all, I can spend a lot of time at my sink. I prepare loads of food, which means I wash a lot of dishes. Washing dishes at my bright, light sink, with the window above it, is actually a pleasure!
Another friend insisted I’d want a one-compartment, deep sink (like those popular vintage, farmhouse-style sinks). He said that most professional cooks prefer it, since they can wash large amounts of produce in it. Well, I might be a professional, but I don’t process massive quantities of foods in my home kitchen. I just make our meals, and a few bulk things, and I like washing most of the dishes by hand. I like having one sink compartment for washing and rinsing, the other for letting them sit in to dry. That has always been my dish-washing style. I would say, maybe if you do wash cases of produce, and/or use the dishwasher a lot, go for the farmhouse/apron style sink. But if you’re like me, you’d probably really enjoy the kind I got.
Oh, one caveat: even the enameled cast iron sink could get marks or chip if you try hard enough. I’ve had mine for over two years now, and it’s yet to chip or mark. I don’t think it ever will. I have taken precautions though, purchasing the Kohler stainless steel sink racks for the left side and right. They protect my sink from pots and pans. Yes, it’s true that metal will mark the sink, but any marks I’ve made have come out with cleanser. (I try not to use too much cleanser though, as that will help preserve the integrity of the finish.
I hope this helps with any decision-making you need to make about your kitchen sink!