If you read what I’m doing nutritionally and for the blog lately, hopefully you’ve been anticipating some yummy food ideas.
Let’s start with breakfast!
We eat free range eggs from a local farmer constantly! He charges us $2.5o/dozen and I usually get 3 doz. a week.
Here you see scrambled eggs with my home made fermented salsa and a fried egg over home made, slow-yeasted bread, topped with the same salsa and a side of bacon from the same farmer who supplies my eggs. We don’t have a problem eating pork from a trusted farmer feeding a non-gmo all natural diet. He charges $6/lb for bacon.
To break this down a little further, the salsa is from almost 7 lbs of tomatoes, at $2/lb, probably 4 different peppers at 2 for $1 and onions at $1 lb. All from local farmers. I had to buy cilantro for 1.79/bunch, and limes at the grocery store. I fermented with whey strained from home made yogurt made out of raw milk I get from a local farmer for $8/gallon; and sea salt which is ordered strait from the source over seas by the dairy farmer, $6/lb.
There are so many important reasons for fermenting. First, it’s a natural preservative for foods. Second it enhances the nutritional value by creating good bacteria and natural probiotics which lead to healthy stomach flora and healthy levels of digestive juices. A person with healthy digestive juices is very low-risk for cancer. I would cite my source on this, but I’m lending a friend my book. Look it up in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook by Sally Fallon, it’s on the page with the beet kvass recipe!
So we’re doing a lot of ferments these days! Ferments also promote healthy weight!
The bread, slow-yeast, why? Allowing the bread to rise slowly allows the grain to soak and break down phytates that are gut-irritants to us. Look up information on lacto-fermentation for more details. Also, I grind the grain myself with my nutrimill grain mill, so ensure I have all the proteins and nutrients intact before I begin my bread. Unfortunately, the grain on your shelf at the store is already robbed of it’s nutrients through a brommated process, and then has gone rancid before you ever get it home. Grain, once ground, can only maintain it’s nutritional value for 3-5 days on a counter top. About 1-3 weeks in the refrigerator, and a couple months in the freezer. I usually grind just enough for 2-3 loaves of bread and a batch of pancakes, and always soak my grains over night in water and whey, yogurt, or buttermilk. Unless doing a sandwich bread, in which case I make a slow yeast starter which is 1 Cup flour, 1 scant Cup water, and 1/8 tsp of SAF yeast (you can find it on Amazon). This is enough for one loaf.
This is a very simple-foods, low-budget, highly nourishing supper from last night.
I started with chopped onions from a 5 lb bag of onions costing $4.50 from a Mennonite farmer, organic carrots from the grocery store costing about $1.79, and lots of pasture fed butter, Kerry Gold brand found at Sam’s Club for $6.98/lb. Once the veggies are soft, you add tomatoes that have been peeled and seeded. I used about 5 lbs. from farmers market that cost $2/lb. You add stock at the same time you add in tomatoes, I usually have about a gallon on hand that I prepare from a free-range chicken that I get at Sam’s Club. I would buy chickens from my egg guy, but he hasn’t butchered in a while, so I have to go to the next best thing. Once the tomatoes and broth simmer for 15 minutes, you blend. I WOULD LOVE to have a stick blender, I’m still working on adding that tool to my kitchen. Right now I go through a very dangerous, laborious process of loading my baby bullet, little by little, pureeing, dumping into a separate mixing bowl, then once all the soup is blended, back into the pot for the final 15 minute simmer, which is when I add the fresh basil from a farmer for $1/bunch. Other seasonings I use include coarse sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and leftover cooked bacon.
Potatoes, $2 for a pint-size box. Chopped, coated with half butter, half olive oil (I use California Olive Ranch. YAY for buying American, and a trusted olive oil procuring process. $11.38 for 24 oz. at Walmart), sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and parsley. I use lard to grease my baking dish. Lard, like other necessary animal fats (Tallow, butter, whole milk), contains the needed A vitamins and D vitamins. That’s right folks, there is more than one strain of vitamin A and vitamin D, and they reside in perfect harmony, and work beautifully in our bodies, strait from the animal fat. Don’t worry about your cholesterol, its actually a lack of these good and useful fats in our diet today that results in the cholesterol problems you hear about in your families and on the news. We load up on the animal fats! Also, eating this way also creates a natural sunscreen in your body by forming a healthy layer of collagen right under the skin. I’m thinking if you’re building up this layer of collagen under your skin, eating this way also has to help you look younger, right? Just a theory I have right now, I’m sure I’ll read something eventually to back up my own conclusions! Read more about healthy fat in this article and others on the Weston A. Price Foundation website.
I roast the potatoes for almost 2 hours at 400 degrees. Naturally if you want supper to be ready on time, start the potatoes, chop the onions and other veggies while the potatoes are roasting, then peel the tomatoes while the veggies are sauteing.
One of my latest LOVES. Muffins made with coconut flour. The honeyville website usually has a good deal on coconut flour. Last time I got the 5 lb. bag for around $27 including shipping. It lasts for quite awhile because for a batch of 1 doz. muffins, or a large batch of pancakes, you only use 1/2 cup of flour. It’s super absorbent. It’s low-carb, low-cholesterol due to not actually being a grain, thereby making it better than gluten-free, since most of the time you find gluten-free products are still made from a grain (rice, corn) or a starch (potato, corn, rice), which will turn to sugar in your body and not be worth it’s weight (ha-ha) in nutritional value.
So this morning, I whipped up a batch with a zuchini that cost maybe $1 at farmer’s market, raisins I made myself (see below), from grapes purchased for $3/lb at farmer’s market, half coconut oil, half butter. See the recipe on this super-informative and fun blog!
So we love dehydrating things lately. A good way to get the most out of what you bring home from the market. We got 2 lbs. of apples for $1.79/lb. at a local orchard and they’re dehydrating now. I had experimented with dried apples when a friend gave me four of them along with some peaches as a gift. From four apples I got a quart-sized Ziploc full of apples. My son managed to eat all of them throughout the day. I was sold. As you can see, the dehydrator (gifted from a dear lady) also made some beautiful raisins! I purchased a total of 19 lbs of grapes during the short seedless grape season this summer. I came away with at least 4 quarts of raisins, probably more, it’s hard to be sure since we were eating them by the handfuls as they became ready! SOO much better than store bought, as usual :-)
Finally, my guilty afternoon pleasure!!! I scored some AMAZING peanut butter at, of all places, WALMART!!! When on roll back it’s 2.88, so stock up! I’ve denied myself peanut butter for so long, so I’m really excited about this. (I could make my own, it’s just finding the time!) It’s not at every walmart, but maybe you can request it? Or just go to their website. They really are just roasted peanuts! Which is great, you really don’t want raw nuts. I know, I know, I was surprised too. But a raw nut contains phytates which irritate the gut, which really need to be neutralized by soaking in water and sea salt for at least 12 hours, up to 24, then dried out in an oven for 24 hrs at 150 degrees. Ok, back to the peanut butter! Roasted nuts. Done. No hydrogenated oils, not sugars or salts! If you look, even your natural peanut butters in the organic section at the store always have palm oil, sunflower oil, or some other VERY HARMFUL oil. Do NOT eat these oils!! The only plant oils you want is a trusted olive oil, coconut oil, and the rest better be an animal fat. Also, most peanut butters have at least molasses as a sweetner. You really just want to avoid sweets. Raw honey and pure, b-grade maple syrup is fine in small doses. You have to watch how the maple syrup is prepared, look out for formaldehyde (the label won’t tell you, so buy from a local source). Raw honey does not upset your blood glucose which is great! But your brain still gets the message that your taking a sweet, so it does put your pancreas to work.
Any way, on top my very heaping spoonful of peanut butter, I have these great little Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips, $4 and maybe some change, at the grocery store. The good thing about these chocolate chips is that they’re soy-free! They are sweetened by cane juice, but short of making my own using honey, they’re great! A most healthy option at the grocery store. Find them in your organic section :-)
I hope you’ve enjoyed this installment of low-budget, highly-nourishing food ideas!