The Jesus Diet


Preparing for August Preservation Workshop
July 29, 2011, 5:28 pm
Filed under: Information | Tags:

I’m counting down the days for the food preservation workshop I’m hosting on August 13th.  I’m working down my list of things to prepare.. So, here’s your time to let me know what you want to learn about preserving.  So far on my list:

1.  drying tomatoes

2.  freezing green beans

3.  How to make (and can) tomato sauce

4.  How to make fruit leathers

5.  How to dry herbs

What else do you want to learn about?  I’m looking forward to answering your questions the best that I am able.  The workshop is Saturday, August 13th at 10:00

 

Also, check out  Simple Lives Thursday over at Just Making Noise!

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Saving Your Harvest
July 13, 2010, 7:28 pm
Filed under: Information, Preserving | Tags: ,

Last year was the first time I made any solid effort towards preserving in-season foods.  My husband came into our relationship with a deep freezer, which I used to throw in the misc. bags of veggies I’d buy at the store.  Now, however, that freezer has a whole new meaning for me!  It is full of homemade stock, venison, grassfed beef, and until we ran out sometime early this spring; produce from the summer before.

Freezing produce is SO easy, a perfect stepping stone for those just starting to consider preserving food.  Not to mention the fact that frozen foods are typically far more nutritious than their canned counter-parts.  Here’s how it’s done.

How-to Freeze Produce

1.  Wash all your produce

2.  Some produce will need to be blanched in boiling water to preserve freshness and prevent spoilage.  Here is a fantastic chart for reference..

3.  Cover cookie sheets with a single layer of produce and set in your freezer.  This will help them to not stick together once you put them in their containers.

4.  Once the produce is frozen, transfer into containers, label with the date, and stick them back in your freezer.  You can place frozen food in any freezer-burn-proof container.  Last year I used plastic freezer bags, but this year as I try to avoid plastic in any way possible, I use glass jars.  They are great for stacking and you can see what’s inside!  Just be careful when you take them out as they can be brittle.

Look for a post on canning later this summer!  🙂



Saving Your Harvest
July 12, 2010, 5:46 pm
Filed under: Information, Preserving, Recipes | Tags: ,

One way I have embraced the whole food lifestyle is to buy in season foods in bulk and preserve them for the rest of the year.

Fruit Leather

In a food processor pulse fruit until smooth, add water to make it pourable.  Add honey or organic sugar to sweeten if necessary.  Pour liquid onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Let it sit in the sun, covered with a screen or cheesecloth to keep the bugs off.  You can also dry them in the oven at 120-150 degrees, but be sure to open the door frequently to provide air circulation.  It will take several hours, probably 2-3 days in the sun to finish.  They are done when they have the texture of fruit strips.

Dried Berries

Rinse berries pick them over.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and cover with 1 layer of berries.  Let it sit in the sun for several hours, or likewise in the oven at 120-150 degrees, opening the door frequently for air circulation.  They are finished when you cannot squish any liquid out of them.



Simplify
June 6, 2010, 1:31 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Information, Lunch, Recipes | Tags: , , ,

With everything that is difficult and fast-paced in our lives, eating shouldn’t be at the top of our lists.  I know that starting out on a clean diet can seem very intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.  There are so many quick and easy recipes that are delicious and wholesome!  For example, this could easily be an entire meal..

3/4 – 1 c cottage cheese

1 apple

2 crisp breads, (like Wasa)

A few carrots

A large glass of Water.

Easy huh?  You don’t have to make a fancy meal to be clean!



The art of being frugal; Chicken
May 15, 2010, 7:31 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Information, Recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Being a stay-at-home mom has a few drawbacks, one being the lack of a second income.  I wholly appreciate the lifestyle that this inspired; one of frugality and appreciation of everything non-monetary.  I have learned ways to make my money last; and have had quite a bit of fun doing so!  I am able to provide my family with clean, wholesome, healthy food, 3 meals a day, every day, on $200 dollars every two weeks.  That breaks down to $14.29 a day, $4.76 each meal at $1.19 a person.  Awesome huh?  So all of you who are doubting whether or not you can eat clean on a budget.. doubt no more!

One way I have found to make my money last is I occasionally will buy a whole chicken and stretch it out for several meals.  For example.  Last week I did the following:

Day 1:  Roasted Rosemary-Balsamic Chicken with veggies

Day 2:  Penne with shredded chicken

What was left after those two meals:  Bones, Skin, and the little bit of meat that I couldn’t get off the bones.  Straight into the trash?  Oh, no Sir!  Into the stock pot!  I have come to appreciate the art of making Stock.  The chicken broth/stock we buy from the store is FULL of sodium and unknown ingredients.  Why not make your own?   Here’s how I do it..

Chicken Stock

Leftover chicken bones/skin/etc

Water

Veggies (carrots, green beans, onions, spinach, celery, etc)  I like to use the ends of carrots, celery, and onions that I don’t use in my regular cooking, then roughly chop enough veggies to get a good ratio.

In a very large stock-pot, toss in leftover chicken, fill to about 1/3-1/2 of the way full with chopped veggies (Nothing fancy, just whatever you have on hand), and fill to the top with water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for an hour or two.  After it has cooked, toss all of the chicken/bones in the trash, and the veggies in your compost bin.  Pour liquid into jars and put in the freezer.  Whenever you have a recipe that calls for chicken broth/stock, just use your home-made stock instead!  Ta-dah!



Carrots – more than just for eyesight!
April 30, 2010, 6:42 pm
Filed under: Information, Recipes, Sides, Uncategorized | Tags:

Recently I have been hearing so many wonderful things about carrots. I’ve always thought carrots were.. fine, nothing amazing. Boy, was I wrong! Carrots are FULL of incredible vitamins and minerals, and I have truly come to love the unique taste!

I also heard recently about the benefits of cooking your carrots whole, instead of chopped up.. Here’s a quote from an article published in Medical News Today:

“Brandt and colleagues found that carrots boiled before cutting had 25 percent more of the anti cancer chemical falcarinol than those that were cut up before boiling. They also found uncut cooked carrots had higher concentrations of the naturally occurring sugars that give them their distinctive flavour.” … “Chopping up your carrots increases the surface area so more of the nutrients leach out into the water while they are being cooked.” “By cooking them whole and chopping them up afterwards you are locking in both taste and nutrients so the carrot is better for you all round,” she added. Read More Here

While carrots are steaming, mix in a large bowl:
1/4 tsp salt
2 T Lemon/Lime juice
1 Tbsp Honey
2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp cinnamon

When carrots have finished cooking, slice them,
or cut them into strips, however you prefer to eat them.
Toss with sauce and let it sit for several
hours to overnight to increase the flavor.
Enjoy!



Stocking Up
April 26, 2010, 1:57 am
Filed under: Information, Uncategorized | Tags: ,

One of the first things that should be done when beginning to eat clean is figuring out what’s in your cabinets.  How much do you need to improve?  The best way to do that is to read labels.  Every label.  It’s amazing how much crap can be hidden in one can of fruit.  Basically in our home we keep fresh, frozen, and MAYBE a few cans.

The reason I don’t keep many cans is because the lining of many cans contain BPA, a substance that is banned in infant products around the world.  Not only are cans themselves questionable, but the food inside cans, even fruits and vegetables, are often packed in sugars, juices, or oils.  It is far more healthful to eat frozen fruits and veggies, which are typically flash-frozen almost immediately after being picked; therefore they retain far more nutrients than canned or even some of the “fresh” produce in grocery stores.

I thought I’d give you a peek into my pantry; mainly because when I read food blogs or magazines I always wonder what these people keep on hand.  

We do our very best to eat clean while on a budget.  I’ve found that this is cheaper than buying prepared meals.   In my cabinets I keep spices/herbs, sweeteners, dried fruits/nuts, and my lone box of organic mac and cheese for those days the boys REALLY want it.   I keep the extra oils and vinegars in my bottom cabinets that are not pictured..

In my pantry I keep my grains, beans, pasta, fresh fruit, and veggies (the basket has onions, potatoes, and garlic).

I’m leaving you with one job.. just read your labels.