Non religious homeschooling from a scientific perspective.

Posts tagged ‘whole foods’

A-Z Eggs

Today’s ingredient is eggs! Eggs are super delicious and can be used in a ton of recipes. I love having eggs for breakfast and egg salad for lunch and sometimes bacon and eggs for dinner. Who decided they are only a morning food anyways? I love omelettes and eggs benny and quiche, and what I’m getting at here is that I really like eggs.

However the recipe I’m sharing with you all today is something different and easy and awesome that you can make at home using eggs. Now I’m sure you’ve figured out, if you’ve been following along on your healthy food bingo card, that I try to eat healthy and make as much stuff as I can from scratch. This is not because I’m afraid of the !evil “chemicals” in food or anything trendy like that, its mostly because everything you buy pre made is just packed with sugar. Seriously packed with it, and stuff that you wouldn’t even think like ketchup! Do you know how much sugar there is in ketchup? When I started really looking into it I was so disappointed to find out how much sugar is in so many foods, even ones that seem healthy. Those little individual yogurts marketed to kids in bright packages? That’s a healthy snack right? Better than chips or a chocolate bar. They have more sugar per ounce than Coca cola.

All this to say that quite a while ago I started making my own mayonnaise, which before you run away, is super easy and takes like 5 minutes. All it takes is 2 egg yolks, some mustard (dry or prepared), oil (I prefer light tasting olive oil but you can use any light vegetable oil like canola), white vinegar (or lemon juice) and some salt. The recipe I use comes from a book called Science Experiments You Can Eat! but you can google “olive oil mayo” and find a ton of different variations online.

The basics of it are that you mix the egg yolks and vinegar and let them co mingle in the jar/measuring cup until they come to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Then add your mustard and mix until thoroughly combined. Then while running the blender (regular or immersion works for this) very, very slowly drizzle in your oil. Adding it slowly allows the mixture to emulsify giving you that thick delicious mayonnaise-ness instead of an oily soupy mess. The entire mixing process takes about 3-4 mins and bam! You have mayo, with no sugar or preservatives added.

It’s worth noting that it’s best to make this in small batches, I do 1 cup at a time, as it doesn’t keep forever in the fridge like store bought mayo. However I’ve never had mine go bad on me, even after a few weeks. If you make this please comment and let me know how it turned out! Tomorrows ingredient is flax seed! Come back for some awesome tips and tricks.

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

 

A-Z Drawn Butter

Well I forgot to update my draft of yesterdays post to include today’s ingredient! I profusely apologise and hope that my claim of being super busy over the Easter weekend will suffice as apology. Also since yesterdays recipe did indeed include cauliflower rice, so wonderful reader Camie has won a prize! Please email me your details Camie to emeraldbaynton@outlook.com to claim your $5 Amazon.com gift-card!

Today’s ingredient is Drawn Butter, also known as clarified butter or Ghee. This ingredient is super useful when doing a Whole30, or even just for those in need of a dairy-free diet. You can use it in place of butter in most recipes, it’s delicious melted over popcorn and great to use as an alternative to olive oil when frying things. Especially if you are specifically looking for that buttery flavour.

I don’t have a recipe to go with today’s ingredient, I just wanted to extol the virtues of clarified or drawn butter. You can buy it in most any grocery store, I got mine at the store 5 mins from where I live. Which is actually a discount grocery store, nothing fancy. It can best be found in the international food section, because it is often used in Indian dishes and in my store at least was found alongside other sauces and things dedicated to Indian cooking.

The alternative to buying your clarified, or drawn butter (Ghee) is you can make it yourself. Purchase a few pounds of regular salted or unsalted butter at your local grocery store. Watch for sales, or multi buys. Butter freezes really well, so if you want to do a big batch you can always buy a couple of pounds each sale and then do a large batch later. Making your own will result in about half the amount of clarified butter as you started with regular butter. So one pound = 1/2 pound et cetera.

In order to make clarified butter you simply melt down your store bought butter in a pot on low heat. You don’t want to burn or cook the butter so patience is definitely a virtue in this endeavour. Once your butter has melted it will separate into its fat and oil components. You’ll want to scoop out all the milk fat leaving behind just the oil and now you have drawn/clarified butter.

You can use this butter to mix into or top your mashed potatoes, to roll your corn on the cob in, top your steamed veggies, and all kinds of other things. I used mine the other day to saute garlic, onions and spinach for those twice baked Spinach and Artichoke stuffed potatoes. Tomorrows ingredient is eggs. If you can guess tomorrows recipe you can join Camie in the winners circle! Wouldn’t that be nice?

A-Z Artichoke

Welcome to the first in this years A-Z April Blogging Challenge! Today’s ingredient is Artichoke, and this recipe if a brand new one for me. I made it for dinner today and it went over really well. It’s called Twice Baked Spinach and Artichoke Potatoes, follow this link to get to the original post on Paleo Running Momma’s blog.

Basically you bake your potatoes, scoop out the insides and mix them up with a pile of goodness! Spinach, artichoke, onion, garlic, coconut cream, nutritional yeast etc. Oh did I mention that this recipe is Whole30 compliant, paleo and dairy free?? I’m not strictly following any of these diets at the moment, but they are useful tags to use when you’re trying to eat healthier. Which is something I’m definitely working on.

One thing I wanted to point out about this recipe for anyone who is going to try it out is the original recipe says to use the guts from 3 potatoes and then fill in the two halves of four potatoes total. I found however that when following the recipe my mix became way too liquid-y after adding the coconut cream. So I ended up adding in the insides of the 4th potato anyways to thicken back up. So either use 4 potatoes or go easy on the coconut cream.

Another tip just in case, if you’ve never used coconut cream before, don’t worry! The finished product doesn’t taste anything like coconut. I use coconut milk as a substitute in tons of recipes and my husband hates coconut! He was pleasantly surprised to find a dairy free way to make things creamy and delicious that is also health conscious and tastes great!

That’s it for today’s recipe, tomorrows ingredient is Butternut Squash and as per usual there is a prize waiting here for anyone that can guess tomorrows recipe!

Photo by JACKELIN SLACK on Unsplash

It’s a jungle in here! 

Remember those tiny seedlings I shared way back on S of the A-Z challenge? Here they are today, growing with a vengeance!


Those super tall ones are midget broccoli. The others are brussel sprouts. I’m hoping to get them in the ground this weekend, as it finally looks like we won’t be getting anymore frost here in Ontario.

I repotted some of the largest ones into peat pots and a couple of days ago had to move my lamp up several inches as they were so tall they were almost touching the light.

I have high hopes for these veggies! We’re sharing our garden with two other families and their sprouts have also done well. Hopefully by the end of the summer we’ll have a good crop between us to help get our families through the winter without shopping at big box grocers.

For winter veggies I’m hoping to purchase a farm share with a local farmer. Farm shares are awesome, you pay a price up front and receive a veggie/fruit shipment every week or bi weekly for the season, supporting local farms and diverting money to people who need it rather than corporations lining rich pockets.

This type of sustainable living is what I have recently been aiming towards with my family and I hope others will too! Farmers feed cities! Together we can keep local farms alive and maybe send a message to factory farms and corporations that we are not happy status quo! Happy Farming 😀

Yogurt making part 2

I successfully have yogurt! It’s delicious. If you are interested in how the process started click here. The first batch came out thicker than I anticipated, and only had to be drained for a few hours. Which required a pretty hilarious rig in my fridge involving a cloth, yarn, and empty pot and 2 different shelves. The thing is I said I would come back and write about yogurt again once mine was done but I didn’t really do anything fancy other than follow the instructions.

One thing I can say for sure is you do not need to go out and purchase a special machine to do it! Many websites list a yogurt maker as needed to make yogurt in order to hold the milk at the proper temperature during the culturing process. When we were hunting for cultures we were even asked by store clerks if we had a yogurt maker. I was a little concerned, I want to make yogurt from home as a healthy snack alternative and smoothie ingredient for my family. Store bought yogurt has a phenomenal amount of sugar in it, not to mention all the preservatives to keep it from going off for weeks/months.

However I wasn’t willing to break the bank for it. Living on one income has meant cutting some corners when it comes to spending and making all of our food from scratch has made a huge difference in our grocery budget, my current goal is to not have to shop at the big name grocery store at all by the end of the summer. I hope to be getting all our meat and veggies locally from farmers or our garden and making so many things at home that all I’ll need to buy at stores are the most basic ingredients like flour and milk which I can get at our local eco friendly grocer or bulk food store.

So what did I use to make yogurt? My slow cooker, by turning it just to the warm setting and carefully monitoring the temperature of the milk (I had to turn it off a few times throughout the day to prevent the milk from over heating) I was able to maintain a fairly steady temperature between 105 and 120 degrees. The instructions say to maintain at 110 but I figured there must be some leeway, people have been making yogurt for a lot longer than they have had special temperature controlled machines to do it with. The result was fantastic. The yogurt turned out great.

The one other thing I did slightly differently than indicated in the instructions was to pour the heated milk directly into my slow cooker. The instructions I got say to culture the milk in a glass or plastic container only. Well I thought the ceramic slow cooker pot was close enough and it worked just fine. I think they indicate glass or plastic to prevent people from using aluminum pots which is apparently very bad for any kind of culturing.

Wow I started out this post thinking I didn’t have much to say, clearly that was wrong! I also want to add that now that the April A-Z challenge is over I’m going to be switching to a 4 times a week posting schedule. I’ve got a pile of projects coming up so look forward to lots more posts about my kitchen experiments and homeschooling adventures. I’ll also be posting about products I have for sale now that I have launched my Etsy store but don’t worry this blog is not going to turn into a non stop advertisement. Thanks for coming out 😀

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