Forever Beautiful by Marguerite
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Category Archives for Food

Keep fruit slices from browning

Keep Fruit Slices From Browning

Keep fruit slices from browning

Keep Fruit Slices From Browning

Keep Fruit Slices From Browning

I am way more likely to eat fruit in my very busy day if it is cut up ahead of time.  But then it is not too appealing when it has turned brown. If you too want to learn some healthy ways to keep fruit slices from browning check the link below.

Monica from theyummylife.com  has tested many options and shares them with us here.

The first idea I am going to try is the mix of 1/2 cup of Apple cider vinegar to 1/4 cup Lemon juice.  Those two things I always have on hand and I will enjoy the added tartness.

What ways do you use to Keep Fruit slices From Browning?
Teas, Tinctures, Tonics, Confusing?

Teas, Tinctures, Tonics, Confusing?

Teas, Tinctures, Tonics, Confusing? 

 

Do you find remembering the difference between Teas, Tinctures, Tonics, confusing? I have been personally using and selling encapsulated herbs for over thirty years.  I still have a lot to learn.  Last year when I started this web site I began to make my own skin care. I love my Oil Face Cleanser and my moisturizer.  (Links to recipes soon.)

This year I am venturing out quite a bit more with essential oils. In all of these topics you come across the terms Teas, Tinctures, Tonics, infusions and more.  I am always having to look them up because I can never remember what is what.

Teas, Tinctures, Tonics, Confusing?

Today I came across this post by Faith at Nourishing Herbalist and she has taken the time to write it all down in one place.  She also has included a wonderful picture chart that she gives permission to print and share. Thank you Faith.

 

Teas, Tinctures, Tonics, Confusing?

Photo from http://www.nourishingherbalist.com/

Do you make Tinctures, Tonics or infusions?  What do you use them for.  I would love to have you share.

Edible Patio Garden

My Edible Patio Garden

 

It is raining right now in Northern California but for the season we have not had near enough.  That brings us all talking about the possibilities of water rations this summer.

My first thoughts were that we should not plant a garden this year if we would be short of water.  But…. I changed my mind.  My husband and I talked about it and with the crazy Winter this has been all over the States  – not enough water here – too much water there-  crazy freezing and snow  – well… you get my drift – our food in the stores may become even more expensive than normal.

It has been crazy expensive to feed the cattle around here, so I would not be surprised to see beef prices go up.  Also with little water, the crops will not be producing as they should.  That may affect our fruit and vegetable prices at both the stores and the farmers markets.

Our fruit trees bloomed very early because it was gorgeous in both December and January.  But were the bees out there to do their job of pollinating?  I don’t know.  We seem to have a lack of bees problem anyway.  Now, we have wind and rain, so only time will tell how the fruit and nuts trees in the area will fair.

Now back on point – we decided if we must, we will let the grass die and water our

Edible Patio Garden

So last weekend I started……………I went to our local farmers Market; we have one that is open all year now.  Besides some fresh vegetable to use in my cooking last week I bought plants.  Most of them will put on pretty flowers.  The key and fun part is for my Edible Patio Garden, I did not buy anything we could not eat.  Many of these plants look familiar to me.  I think they grew wild near where I grew up in Oregon.  I think most people kills these plants as weed out of their yards because we have not been taught through times that they can be eaten.

Here is what I bought for my:

Edible Patio Garden

Sorrel – 

 The lady that sold this to me said that it will taste similar to kiwifruit or wild

Edible Patio Plants

Garden Sorrel

strawberries. (Mine only has a couple of leaves so I did not taste it yet.) I read the leaves are high in vitamin C.  This is one that I will try a small amount in salads, or my green smoothies.  Womens-health-club  says it can be poisonous.  It also talks about possible medication interactions.  Neither my husband or I take any so I just need to find out a total safe amount to eat.   Wikipedia’s Sorrel page.

I look forward to talking to the lady that sold me the Sorrel varieties to ask again how she uses it and how much. 

This is an example as to how we each need to do our own research about things and make our own choices.

 Wild Sheep Sorrel –

Edible Patio Plants

Wild Sheep Sorrel

The leaves of this plant have a lemony tang. I am pretty sure this grew wild all over my parent’s property.  And when it flowered then went to seed we ran our fingers up the stem and popped off the seeds.  It was good fun.   But it sounds like you don’t want to eat too much of this one either.  I will update when I can learn more. Learn more here: Wikipedia

 Salad Burnet –

The young leaves of this plant taste a little like cucumber. I have tasted mine.  I understand if you pick the large ones they are bitter.  Wikipedia talks about Salad Burnet.  About.com/gardening has a good amount of information on growing and uses for Salad Burnet.

Edible Patio Plants

Salad Burnet

 Borage – 

 Borage is also called Starflower. Bees like these flowers and we need more bees. I think the flowers are beautiful.  They will change from pink to purple. The leaves are also supposed to taste like cucumbers.  Borage is said to be a great companion planting for tomatoes and strawberries.  I have strawberries already on my deck and I usually have 4 to 6 tomatoes plants on the deck.  I haven’t bought those yet.  It is said that Borage helps to keep the tomato horn worm off the tomatoes, that would be good.  I HATE picking them off. Learn more from WikipediaAbout.com also has some good information about Borage.

Edible Patio Plants

Borage tiny

Edible Patio Plants

Borage

Edible Patio Plants

Borage

 

 

 

 Clary Sage –

Clary Sage also has a very pretty flower.  I have ordered this one on my Essential Oil order and am looking forward to using it for insomnia and times of feeling anxious. Wikipedia doesn’t have a lot to say about this one.  It has also been historically used to help women balance their hormones.  Susunweed.com has some great information that I will be referring back to when my plant has lots of leaves and flowers.

Edible Patio Plants

Clary Sage

 

Kale – 

I planted Kale in a pot last year and it took me awhile to get used to it’s very strong  flavor on it’s own.  I don’t mind it in my green smoothies or a small amount in a salad. If I get over run with it, I plan to try Kale chips.  Also beet chips, but I haven’t planted those yet either.  Wikipedia also mentions that the flavor is sweetened when frozen or hit by a frost, so I will be trying that as well. 

Edible Patio Plants

Kale

Swiss Chard – 

(Bright Lights variety)  I loved all the colors!!  I have grown Swiss chard before so I know it is simple. Chard is high in vitamins A, K and C.  It is good fresh in salads and if you let it get to big and it is a little bitter just steam it like you would spinach and that usually takes care of it.

Edible Patio Plants

Colorful Chard

Chinese Cabbage –

(Napa Cabbage)  I have never grown this.  I like to eat it steamed and I made my first batch of Kimchi out of some I bought.  So I am excited to learn how this one grows.  It sounds like it would have been better planted in late summer early fall but we shall just have to see.

Edible Patio Plants

Napa Cabbage

Strawberries –

(Sequoia variety)  Since I understand that strawberries have shallow roots I am planting them in one of my hanging pots.  I can always move them later if they are not happy there.  I have others in pots on the deck as well. The Sequoia is supposed to give a large flavorful strawberry.

Licorice Mint –

This is just for fun.  I planted it  beside my lemon mint.  I will try steeping them together for some tea.  I am not real fond of the flavor of licorice but my husband likes it.  I also have a chocolate mint plant.

Red Onions – 

I don’t think onions need any introduction.

Garlic –

I love to cook with garlic and have never tried to grow it.

Ginger –

I use ginger in my cooking and have never grown it either. 

Turmeric – 

I have not yet cooked with turmeric.  Not fresh that is. I use turmeric capsules for inflammation and pain. So I am hoping when it grows, if I add it to more of my cooking dishes I can buy less capsules.  Or I will be able to grind it and dry it and make my own. Should be cheaper. I will also use the turmeric in my “I refuse to get sick” liquid.  I had not found any when I made my last batch.

Then we have a section of dirt between two Mulberry Trees, that when we moved here there was grass trying to grow there.  I finally gave up on that and we sectioned it off and I planted some ground cover.  That has really never taken of either, so now I am going to try to amend it a hole at a time and plant some edible plants in there.  So we mixed a BUNCH of compost, and a small amount of sand in to that clay dirt.  Then we planted some Asparagus and Artichokes.  I hope they do well.  Will hopefully share pictures of their bounty.

That is as far as I have gotten so far.  Well to be truthful not all of that is in the pots yet.  Almost, but I did not feel like playing in the rain today.  🙂

So what do you plant?  Do you have room for a large garden or do you plant in pots?

 

 

Homemade Mayonnaise

Homemade mayonnaise

I have been trying a lot of new things over the past year.  Some relearning as I did them with my mom at home growing up or when I first moved away.  In the quest to be healthier and greener I just have to try more new things.

Homemade Mayonnaise

This was one of the first things I thought about changing in our refrigerator.  Then while relearning and reading about homemade mayonnaise, I was reminded that the shelf life is only a recommended 3-5 days in the refrigerator.  I DO NOT, let me repeat DO NOT have time for that.

If you have been reading many of my posts yet, you should have seen a theme by now.  More is better.  I made two gallons of laundry soap for two people and a couple of loads of salon towels.  When I make pot roast I put two of the hugest I can find in the crock pot.  You get the idea.  So mayonnaise that I have to make every 5 days?  Not going to happen.  So I switched us to the one made with Olive Oil hoping that was my best store bought choice for the moment.

But I have now heard of a “whey” to make it last much longer.  I am very excited.

Very important for any mayo recipe you try, all the ingredients must be room temp.

Ok moving on – Your basic old fashioned mayonnaise recipe, at least the one I  used years ago, comes out of the cook book I bought right before I moved away from home.  “The New  Pillsbury Family Cookbook” (Copy write 1974)

Mayonnaise

1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon prepared or dry mustard

Dash pepper

2 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar

1 cup oil

In a small bowl, combine egg yolk, salt, sugar, mustard and pepper.  Blend at low speed until thoroughly combined.  Add lemon juice and blend well. Gradually add oil, a tablespoon at a time, beating constantly; continue beating until all oil has been added and mayonnaise is thick and smooth.  Store covered in refrigerator.

An interesting tip this recipe gives is:  If mayonnaise separates, gradually add mayonnaise to another egg yolk, beating constantly until thoroughly combine.

No matter what recipe you are going to try you have to decide how you are going to mix it.  Some people whisk it by hand, others use their beaters/mixer, others use a blender.  I plan to use my hand held emulsion blender. 
This the one I bought from Amazon.  (affiliate link).

What I like about most of the newer recipes I have seen is they are using all of the egg.  Great idea, I don’t have to take that precious time to separate it or wonder what to do with some egg white.

Here is a more current mayo recipe that uses the whole egg.  You can cut this recipe in half to try for the first time.  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/whole-egg-mayonnaise/

Here is a fat free recipe made with yogurt by  chef Rocco DiSpirito.

This recipe by Homesteading Survival is the one that I am going to try. I just happen to have grape seed oil on hand.

And her wonderful tip using Whey to make it last longer.

Do you have a favorite mayonnaise recipe?  Have you found a great way to make it last months in your refrigerator?  Share your ideas with us.

Healthy Fruit Snacks

Healthy Gelatin Fruit Snacks

Gelatin treatsI was looking for a way to get more fruit and healthy gelatin into my daily intake and I decided to try to make my own healthy fruit snacks.  They turned out pretty good.  Mine actually turned out very tart, luckily I like tart.  But next time I will add more banana or some honey.

You can buy Healthy Gelatin here.

Gelatin Fruit Cooking

Gelatin Fruit Cooking

It is very easy to make,  choose your fruit, smash it up. Add some lemon juice and gelatin, warm it up.  Put it in a mold, chill and cut up into pieces.     

Healthy Fruit Snacks

 

Gelatin Fruit Mold

Gelatin Fruit Mold

So get out your fruit and make your own Healthy Fruit Snacks!!! 

 

 

 

  

[yumprint-recipe id=’1′]

Beef Broth Gelatin

Bone broth

Home made Beef Broth Gelatin –

I have not set out to make home made beef broth – gelatin for probably over 20 years.  I have made and saved some for use when I have cooked a roast or something like that.  Anyway….I bought some Powdered Gelatin and in doing my research I was reminded of making home made.  So I have a pot going on the stove right now!!

Let me say the reason I have not made it in years as I have always fed my dogs Raw with the BARF principals so my dogs got all the beef bones.  Now I am down to one dog and she developed pancreatitis last year and my Natural vet told me she could no longer handle over 10% fat or the raw meals.

I am buying a half of Dexter Beef in the next couple of months so I am diligently working on eating out of my freezer.  And what did I remember was in there yesterday????  A bag of Dexter grass fed beef bones given to me by a client.

So, what is the process to making your healthy homemade beef gelatin?

Bone to roast

Bone to roast

Take your variety of beef bones and place them in a roasting pan and put them in the oven at 350 degrees until they are nicely browned.  This timing will depend on how full you fill your oven.  I only had a small bag of bones so it fit in one pan. I let them roast three hours.  (When I get my new beef I will do a large batch at once since the oven will be on anyway.)

Bones roasted

Bones roasted

Once you have roasted your bones, transfer them to a stock pot or any large pot.  Cover them with water by a couple of inches, but you need a couple of inches of space at the top of your pot so you don’t have major boil over.  My stock pot is probably about 5 quarts and to the water and bones I

Bones ready to boil

Bones ready to boil

added 1/2 cup of vinegar,  (I understand the vinegar helps to leach out the nutrients from the bone.) and some vegetables.  This would also be a good use of your large Crock Pot, so you could turn it on and forget about it.  Bring your pot to a slow simmer, put a lid on it and forget it.  I cooked mine for 36 hours. Because I did it on the stove top, I turned the pot off every night and turned it on again in the morning.  I Will be doing it in the Crock pot

Vegetables

Vegetables

next time.  On the last day I scooped all the bones out with a slotted spoon and scraped off any remaining meat and pushed out the marrow so it would be in my stock. I then added some salt and pepper to taste and let it simmer some more.  At the end of my third day, I drained the bones from the from the stock and put it in jars.  I put a couple in the freezer and a couple in my fridge to use right away.

I wanted every last drop

I wanted every last drop

There will be fat that will come to the top as it cools. Some people use it for their cooking.  That is a personal preference.

At the time of finally getting this post complete I have already drank or cooked with all my stock and am looking forward to my beef delivery.

Do you cook your own bone broth?  Share your ideas in the comment section below.

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

I have fallen in love with Coconut oil!!!

I absolutely love this oil.  I have been using it for oil pulling (teeth).  I have been rubbing it on a section of my gums in the hope it will give it some added nutrition and help it grow back a little.  (I brushed too hard and caused some gum recession) Now I know you can BRUSH TOO HARD.

I am cooking with coconut oil.

I am putting coconut oil in my coffee and my breakfast smoothie.

I am using it as a lotion after I get out of the hot tub at night and the shower in the morning.

For months I have been using this brand that I have gotten at Trader Joes. It is Organic Virgin Coconut Oil.  It does not state whether it is refined or unrefined which makes me thinCoconut Oilk it is refined.

Many of the articles that I have been reading talk about the greater benefits of unrefined, Organic Virgin Coconut oil.  The unrefined has the most beneficial properties intact. So as I am writing this post I am waiting for my first order of this Jarrow’s Brand.

Coconut Oil
Jarrow Formulas Coconut Oil 100% Organic, Extra Virgin, 32 Ounce

(Affil Link)

As an update, I wondered how I would do with adding this “fat” to my diet.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am probably not using more than a table spoon or so a day but I am continuing to loose weight not gain.  This Jarrow brand is wonderful!!

Here is one article that talks a little about the differences in refined and unrefined.

Slow Cooker Roast

Slow Cooker Roast –

Slow Cooker Roast is a fantastic Fall/Winter food!!

The mornings are starting to cool off, it is getting darker earlier, Fall is right around the corner.  I say this with mixed emotions.  I Love Summer!

With Fall this year also brings my first purchase of a half of Grass Fed Local Beef!!  I can’t believe how excited I am.  So this gets me thinking of recipes to use this meat.  Some of my Fall/Winter go to’s.  Slow Cooker Roast is definitely one of them as I can put it on in the morning, go to work and not worry about it again.  I was going to say “Not think about it again”,  but that would be untrue because as the day goes on I begin to smell it and my mouth waters.

So, on to what I throw in.

 

Slow Cooker Roast –

4 – 5 lb chuck type roast  (I usually put two in, one on top of the other with spices in between and on top)

1 tsp (per roast) black ground pepper

1 tsp (per roast) garlic powder

Potatoes ( I am not saying how many as it depends on the size you buy and how many will fit)

Carrots (Same as above) About 3

Celery (Same as above) About 3 stalks

1 Onion (What ever kind you like)

Garlic cloves (Optional, if I have any) About 6 I love Garlic and it is sooo good for you

1 cup of water

I turn my Slow Cooker on High while I am getting out my meat and cleaning my vegetables. Once everything is ready I layer in my meat and spices.  Pour your water around the edges of the meat or put it in first.  Add onion, garlic, potatoes, carrots, then celery on top.  About now, I have got this so full my lid almost doesn’t close.  You need it to close to keep those juices in.  🙂  I now turn my Slow cooker down to low and go to work.  You will need to know or learn (if it is new to you) your slow cooker.  They do not all heat alike.  Also how many hours is it on for you?  I am doing this at about 6am and not getting home from work before 7pm, so LOW works for me.  When I get home I will have delectably tender meat and cooked vegetables. If you like your vegetables “less done” you might not like them in your slow cooker.   For this meal I love it.  Other times I do like my veg crunchy.

Enjoy!!!

Gelatin

Gelatin – It’s many benefits

Gelatin – It’s many benefits

A while ago I started researching for the next thing to stop my skin from ageing.   I have hit my mid 50’s and though I have used high quality skin care since my mid 20’s I am still beginning to see some sag happening.  Oh NO!!!!

What I ran into is people talking about the benefits of a high quality Gelatin.  So I ordered some.  I found it on Amazon.  And that said that leads to a little confusion as well.  There are a few different types.  “Great Lakes”  makes a pure protein, Kosher, unflavored, Beef gelatin. (Affiliate Link)  A second product they also make is a pure protein,   Unflavored Gelatin, Porcine, . (Affiliate Link)

Both of these come in a reddish/orange canister.  So be careful and make sure you are getting the one you want.  The Porcine comes from Pig not Beef.

Both of these products dissolve in warm to hot water and will thicken what you put them in home made jello, gravies, etc.

 

“Great Lakes” third option is pure protein, Kosher, Bovine/Beef gelatin, but they have used a different process in making it, they call it  Collagen Hydrolysate. (Affiliate Link)

The process making it hydrolyzed makes this product quick to assimilate into the body and improves the hydration to connective tissues.

Great Lakes website says:
“Hydrolyzed Collagen is the missing link in supplying amino acids like glycine, proline and lysine that are required by the body to build connective tissue to regulate cell growth. It will benefit hair, skin tissue, muscle, cartilage, ligaments and blood cell growth. Some doctors are referring to this product as the new anti-aging product of the century.”

I have bought both of the Beef Gelatin’s and tend to use the Collagen Hydrolysate the most.  I have started making my own Coffee flavoring and this one is easy to add to my cold Almond Milk.

The ideal source:

The ideal source for your Gelatin is from your own home made.  See my recipe here.

Now lets explore some of the benefits –

  • The Glycine which is 29% of these products is said to help us with our sleep quality as well as lessen sleepiness during the day.
  • Skin,  (supposed to help tighten skin!!!) Increase Nail and Hair health and growth
  • Anti aging
  • Joint and bone health
  • Some of the reviews I read said their Cellulite lessened  (Can’t wait for that one either)
  • It is also said to improve digestion. (Which would make sense if it binds with water and then helps thing move.  My personal suggestion, with this in mind, would be to make sure you are drinking plenty of water).

 I made Healthy Gelatin Fruit Snacks, they are great way to have a treat and ass more gelatin into your diet.

Here are some recipes from Great Lakes to use with Gelatin.

I searched on Pinterest and found many fun things to do with Gelatin as well as DIY face masks.  You can see my making it and using it. It made my skin feel nice and soft.

This page by The Weston A. Price Foundation has information and also some recipes about using Gelatin.

There are many, many people sharing about the wonderful benefits of Gelatin. Here is a whole other post to share that.

Do you use Gelatin?  How often?  What results have you seen?  Please share.

 

Rubbermaid glass

Glass Containers – no BPA

Glass Containers – no BPA

A few years ago I switched out my cheap plastic storage containers to some BPA free plastic ones.  I thought I was doing a great thing.  And I still feel it was a better choice.  Now I am reading that what they have changed out the BPA for, BPSis nearly as bad for us as the BPA.  Does that just figure.  So now I will be working towards changing out for glass.  I think this  Rubbermaid 8-Piece Glass Food Storage Container Set, will be my first purchase. (Affil Link)

Rubbermaid glass

Rubbermaid Glass

 

They look like they have very nice sealing lids.

 

These containers by Kinetic Go Green look very nice as well.
(Affil Link)   The FDA has actually made some changes as to the use of BPA but in my opinion they let a lot of products, medicines etc. be approved that are NOT good for us.  So you do need to do your own research and make your own decisions.  As for me I feel there are so many bad chemicals out there that are very hard to stay away from that if I can limit my exposure to some, I will.