Saturday, June 20, 2009

Supporting Local Businesses

I had a chance to drive out to Yoder without the kids this week. I had a great time all by myself going to the dairy, the bulk food store, and one of my favorite restaurants, Carriage Crossing. Due to the fact that I shopped at locally owned stores I was not able to use any coupons so my totals are a bit higher then usual, but I was able to get locally produced, homemade, and organic food for my family. Yes, if you were wondering those are a couple of bags of candy and some white pastry flour. I don't always buy these items, but I decided to get the kids a bit of a treat (hopefully to be used as some potty training tools as well.) I also picked up the pastry flour because I like to sometimes use a small amount in breads and tortillas for when I have to cook for extended family members who do not like whole grains.

If there is anyone who lives near me I am wanting to find a small group of people who would be willing to start a rotation picking up milk once a month. I reset my trip meter when I started out, and it was an 80 mile round trip. If I could get 4-5 individuals who would be willing to drive we each could have fresh milk weekly, but only drive once a month.

Here is what I picked up....

Borntrager Dairy-
3 gallons of raw milk $2.50/ gallon (I got 3 this week to make ice cream)
1 1/4 pound raw, homemade cheddar $5.60
1 dozen fresh eggs $1.50
Total $14.60

Yoder Bulk Foods-
Pastry flour
2 small bags of candy
1 small bag dried veggie chips
sea salt
celery salt
garlic salt
raw peanuts
Total $14.40

Since I was in Yoder I decided to stop into Carriage Crossing for a cinnamon roll. They are usually large, but this had to be the biggest one I have ever seen. That take home box is one of the large ones that they usually put a full meal in. That is my 4 year olds hand. My husband was watching me post this picture and said, "Oh yeah, that looks like some natural food!" Well, like I said sometimes it is OK to have a treat. This treat fed us for breakfast twice combined with some fresh berries and raw milk.
Total for the cinnamon roll and a book for Madison $4.02! The roll was only around $1.30.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hummus Recipe And More About Whole Foods

I have to admit that I LOVE hummus. My husband loves it when I make this recipe. From all the research I have done chickpeas are very good for you which makes this dip extra healthy since it contains olive oil, tahini, and garlic. Yes, it is a bit high in fat, but it is good fat. I am a firm believer in eating full fat and whole milk as long as it is healthy fat and comes from a reliable if not organic source.

If you are wondering about why I believe in eating this way you should check out the 2 books that completely changed the way my family eats, The Maker's Diet and Nourishing Traditions. In fact my husband lost around 60 pounds eating real butter and full fat diary. HMMM that seems to go against everything we have been taught. I feel we should eat our food the way the Lord made it and not mess with it too much. If I could find a source of farm fresh milk anywhere near here I would be buying it.

Using coupons to eat a whole foods diet can be a bit of a struggle. Since we are currently working to pay all of our debts off we have decided to compromise on a few foods, but I have to say that eating a whole foods diet can be just as cheap if not cheaper then using coupons alone for processed foods. I strive to use my coupons to help off set the price of some of our produce and other things. There are also great sources of organic and whole food coupons if you keep an eye out for them.

The way I have found we save is by making nearly everything we eat. It is amazing how much you can save when you are not buying premade or processed foods. It is so much healthier and cheaper, even when you can get some things for free. My sister-in-law said once that she would rather pay more for food now then pay much more for medical bills later.

All this said here is my favorite hummus recipe...

15 oz garbanzo beans (chick peas, I use dried beans, but you can use 1 can)
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup tahini (sesame "butter" found in the health food section of grocery store)
1/4 cup lemon juice
olive oil to taste

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend together. If the hummus is too thick you can thin it with olive oil or a little water.
Place in a bowl and garnish with pine nuts, paprika, and a little olive or sesame oil if you like. I usually don't.
Serve with pita or fresh veggies.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Garage Sale Day

Sorry I did not get around to posting anything today. I decided to have a garage sale. It was almost 100 degrees here today and my husband had to work. At least I made a little money. I can not believe how many people came out despite the heat. If you live in the area come by and see me tomorrow or Saturday. I could use the company.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


If you are anything like me you have been told growing up that you should always drink low fat or skim milk from a grocery store because raw milk and whole milk will make you sick and fat.

Have you noticed that there has been a huge increase in the incidence of heart disease and other cardiovascular disease within the last half of the 20th century? How could this happen? We are doing the right things by cutting out butter and full fat milk? Well I believe the answer is that the Lord put fat in our milk for a reason. He knew we needed it to survive. Fat is not the enemy.

Seriously have you looked at the ingredients in a tub of margarine? My husband read an article once that said margarine is one molecule off from having the same makeup of plastic. I don't think I want to eat that.

But isn't raw milk dangerous? I used to think so. I have a mother who is a nurse and is still convinced that I am making a mistake. A couple of things that have sold me on raw milk is that it can be so helpful for children who have eczema and allergies. The other thing I noticed was that I had a partial gallon that was forgotten at the back of our fridge for a couple of weeks. When I discovered it I thought it would be stinky when I opened it. Would you believe it had no smell at all? If you need more in depth info I would recommend the web site real milk. It has a wealth of information. Way better then I could ever put together.

Isn't organic milk just as good? Well yes and no. Organic milk is great because it has not been produced by cows who have been given synthetic hormones or antibiotics, but that is about where the similarity ends. Most organic milk has been ultra-pasteurized and homogenized. Pasteurization heats the milk up to a point that it kills all the so called bad germs to the point that it no longer resembles real milk anymore. This process also kills off all the vitamins and minerals in milk. To make the milk worth drinking they have to add back synthetic, fortified vitamins.

Homogenization is a process that keeps the milk fat from separating from the milk liquid. Raw milk will have the cream at the top. This cream can be used to make so many things. For example whipped cream, not Cool Whip, real whipped cream. Never ever buy Cool Whip. It is not even real milk. It is a man made hydrogenated oil. Have you seen the commercial lately asking if you would like cream or oil?

Another thing I discovered about organic milk today is that not all organic dairies treat their cows well. You can read a report about it here. Notice where Horizon rates.

Won't eating fat make me fat? No, on the contrary. Eat fat to lose fat. I know this sounds crazy, but it is true.
The following is from the book Real Food: What To Eat And Why. This exert is taken from the article written by Kelly The Kitchen Kop.
"Unlike polyunsaturated fats, which the body tends to store, the saturated fats in milk are rapidly burned for energy.” “The butter fat found in milk helps the body digest the protein, and bones require saturated fats in particular to lay down calcium.” “The cream on the milk contains the vital fat-soluble vitamins A and D. Without vitamin D, less than 10% of dietary calcium is absorbed.”

Read more about Eat Fat Lose Fat from one of my favorite authors, Sally Fallon, here.

If I can not get raw milk what is the next best thing? I believe that if you can not get raw milk try to find unhomogenized milk. I have seen it in health food stores. Kelly the Kitchen Kop has a great article dealing with just this issue and more. Check it out here. If I were to get into everything about raw milk this would be a very long post.

OK, you have convinced me. So where can I find raw milk? The best place to start looking is at Real Milk. They have a list of dairies that offer it. Although you may still have to look if there is nothing listed in your area. The way I found my dairy was word of mouth. If you have a farming community near you go there and ask around. You might be surprised what you find.

If you have any questions that I have not addressed please feel free to leave a comment and I will try my best to answer it for you.

Food You Can Sneak Veggies Into

Kelly the Kitchen Kop asked if anyone had read the books The Sneaky Chef or Deceptively Delicious. I thought I would repost an old post from my old blog about trying out these methods. I am still a little skeptical about how many servings of fruits and veggies you really get out of doing this, but since I have a really picky 4 year old (who used to eat anything!) I have had to become creative in how I get her to eat her vegetables. So I learned what foods you can sneak veggis into. She has been eating things that she would normally turn her nose up at. I have to tell you this works on adults too. I have compiled a short list of the things I have tried so far. Most of my ideas came from the book The Sneaky Chef and others I came up with on my own.

Some of the concoctions look terrible, but I have tried each one and they are actually very good. Some recipes have other healthy things instead of veggies. All the recipes are healthy and full of good things.

Cocoa Chocolate Chip Pancakes (SO GOOD and actually healthy)-blueberries and spinach
Breakfast Ice cream-Pumpkin, banana, berries, avocado, apples
Breakfast cookies-Whole grains and cottage cheese
Grilled Cheese-Any orange veggie pureed
Mac and Cheese-Any orange or white veggie pureed
Spaghetti sauce-You can add anything white, red, or orange This is easy to hide things in
Pigs in a blanket- Sweet potatoes or butternut squash
Quesadillas-Sweet potatoes, squash, zucchini, cauliflower, white beans
Chicken Nuggets-Any white or orange veggie snuck into the wet step before breading
Fish Sticks- The same as chicken nuggets
Meatloaf-Just about anything Peas, spinach, and broccoli pureed are a great combo
Lasagna- Hides a ton
Burritos-White veggie and white beans
Brownies-Blueberries and spinach (Sounds bad, but my kids cleaned them up!)
Pancakes-Pumpkin and any fruit
Smoothies-Pumpkin and any fruit (Can be made into Popsicles)
Biscuits- Sweet potatoes and squash
Mashed potatoes-Zucchini and cauliflower. If your kids will eat orange mashed potatoes you an add some sweet potatoes to the white ones.

All of these recipes work best if the "snuck" in item has been pureed first. It makes it easier to hide and less noticeable for kids or some adults. I have found that baby food works well in a pinch.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Amazon Deal Alert

I ran across a great deal on Silver Palate oatmeal at Amazon. It is the same stuff I received in my order today. From what I have heard the reviews say this stuff is really good.

If you click on the picture of the oatmeal in this post it will take you directly to it. Right now when you enter the code
OATME333 into the coupon code line at checkout you will receive 50 % off.

Here is a great deal scenario...
Place 2 of these 4 packs into your cart (For a total of 8 boxes)
Go to check out
You will now qualify for FREE Super Saver shipping
Enter code
OATME333 get 50% off
Your total should be just over $16 after taxes.
That is $16 for 8 pounds of high quality oatmeal shipped.

You can also get 32 ounces of pure maple syrup shipped for $18.61. Maple syrup is expensive so this is not a bad deal...

Click the above link and place 1 jug in your cart
To get the best discount you will want to sign up for the Subscribe and Save. Basically you will be signed up to get a shipment every 1-6 months. I did it and then immediately canceled it. It is really easy.

After you hit the Subscribe and Save button you will be taken to check out. Paste in the code
MAPLES35 to receive another 15% off.

You should get free shipping for your order being over $25

Make sure that before you hit the sign me up button at the end you for sure want to order because if you have credit card filed it will automatically order. I know from experience, but don't let this scare you off. It really is easy.

If you have a any Amazon Swagbucks gift cards apply them before you order as well.

There you have it, 2 great Amazon deals on wholesome foods.

Amazon: Great Deals On Organic Foods

I received a shipment from Amazon today. I love getting these little boxes. It is always fun to open and see what you ordered. It is even better when you are able to get things very, very cheap or even free. How you may ask? Well by utilizing Swagbucks and the discounts that Amazon offers. I am planning to start doing posts about cheap, organic deals I see on Amazon. The best deal I have gotten from them is 6 pounds of raw honey for less then $2 by using my swagbucks gift cards. So don't rule out places like Amazon when you are on the hunt for great deals on organic foods. If you are interested in getting the specifics on my most recent order you can find the honey and the oatmeal in my side bar.

Search & Win

I am sure that you have heard of Swagbucks by now, but if you haven't you really should be using it.

Basically Swagbucks is a search engine that you can use just like google and any other search engine. The bonus to using Swagbucks is that when you search for things you will occasionally be rewarded with a swagbuck or 2. After you accumulate enough you can redeem your swagbucks for things such as Starbucks gift cards, Amazon gift cards, and tons of other prizes.

The other great thing is that if you have a website or even an email you can refer friends and earn extra points. For every point your friends earn you will earn the same number up to 100 points.

There are lots of other ways to earn bucks. The best way to learn about the program is to go ahead and visit here. It is so easy to get started. So far I have earned around $40 if free Amazon gift cards. Go ahead and give it a try. Did I mention that signing up is FREE and painless. I would not refer you if it was not legit.
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