Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wild Cranberries!

This past Wednesday, Mike and I decided that we were going to go for a nice hike with our dog, Klaus.  We found a lot of surprises along the way, including a bog teeming with wild cranberries! 
I collected a nice little handful of them and ate them on the walk back to the car. 

Here are a couple more photos of our excursion:
cranberry plant sans berries

pitcher plant (carnivorous)

would I be able to spin with this plant material?? 

Michael and Klaus

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Raw Homemade Eggnog

Just in time for the holiday season (literally "just in time"), a recipe for homemade eggnog! Super easy to make and even better to drink, this eggnog is made with the tastiest of ingredients.
Note:  This recipe yields more than a blender-ful of eggnog! If you'd like a smaller batch, just cut all of the ingredients in half. I am taking mine to a party, so I am thinking I might need a lot. :)

Raw Homemade Eggnog

6 c. cream from pastured animals (set aside 2 cups), preferably raw
2 c. milk from pastured animals, preferably raw
8 egg yolks (save whites for other uses, like meringues!)
1/2 c. pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla powder
3 1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
pinch cloves
pinch cinnamon
pinch sea salt
3/4 c. good whiskey, bourbon, or brandy (optional)

Add all ingredients to blender (except remaining 2 c. cream and optional booze) and blend until thoroughly mixed and egg yolks are assimilated.  Pour into large container (I used an 80 oz. glass jar) and add remaining 2 c. cream and 3/4 c. optional alcohol.  Whisk until combined.  Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Enjoy this delightful holiday beverage with family, friends, and all else you care to share your love with.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

soaking & sprouting nuts (how-to)

Soaking and sprouting nuts is very important in making them digestible. When they are not soaked or sprouted, all seeds (which is what a "nut" is) contain enzyme inhibitors to prevent the seed from germinating and turning into a plant.  This is very beneficial for mother nature, because it gives the seed a better chance at survival.  For humans, however, the enzyme inhibitors prevent the same thing, germination, but with a cost. When they are not soaked or sprouted, your body has a very difficult time digesting them because it has to draw on its own store of enzymes to digest them rather than using the enzymes that could be available in the nuts if they were sprouted.    The enzymes in the nuts are only available if they are soaked or sprouted.  The addition of water to the nuts also neutralizes phytic acid, which inhibits the absorption of many different important minerals.  So you get a double plus when you soak and sprout your seeds:  better absorption of minerals and easier digestion!

Thankfully, soaking and sprouting is super easy.  All you need is a little time and patience, and you will be rewarded with a delicious, flavorful, and extra-good-for-you nut.
What you'll need:

Unblanched, whole almonds (outer shell removed)
filtered water
glass container

Pour your almonds into your glass container.  Cover with filtered water about 2/3 full and cover with a cheesecloth so insects and dust cannot get in.
Soak almonds overnight and then pour off the water.  Rinse the almonds, and then lay your jar on its side.  Rinse 2-3 times per day, and within approximately 3 days you'll notice your almonds growing a little tail.  Congratulations! Your almonds are sprouted.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

grain mill II + the common cold

...and that being said, we've now chosen a different appliance.  Multi-purpose, not as pretty, but definitely useful, we've ordered the Champion Juicer as our Christmas gift.  We have also been looking for a juicer, and we found that this appliance seems to not only be high quality, but also to be multi-purpose, as it has a grain mill attachment available for it. I am very excited to open the package when it arrives!

On a separate note, I am beginning to have an immune response to some sort of "cold-symptom" inducing virus. My symptoms include a runny nose, congestion, lots of sneezing, being very sleepy and sluggish, and being a little bit dizzy.  It seems to have begun a couple of evenings ago with a couple of coughs here and there.  The coughing has since subsided, but has been replaced with the above symptoms.

As supplementation to my diet, I include 2000 mg of cod liver oil and 2000 mg of vitamin C per day.  Now that I am beginning to feel a little under the weather, I am also adding the following to my daily protocol:

40 drops each of astragalus and echinacea tinctures, morning and night (80 drops total of each per day)
an extra 1000 mg of vitamin C for a total of 3000 mg (divided) per day
a nightly castor oil pack on my chest with 5 drops eucalyptus oil added in to relieve congestion
the use of homemade throat lozenges to relieve the scratchy feeling in my throat
2 tsp of elderberry syrup 4x daily (recommended amount for acute use)

Here's to natural health! Hope you're all staying healthy this season.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

thoughts on a grain mill


There isn't any snow here, and it is truly hard to get into the holiday spirit without it. As I walked the dog this morning, I was secretly cursing the sky for not producing the white stuff.  That's when I realized that I will make it and live to see another day if it doesn't snow.  I know, hard stuff to think about. ;)

Anyway, Michael and I are considering the purchase of a grain mill as a holiday gift to ourselves.  There is so much to think about when it comes to the purchase:  price, appearance, quality of materials, etc.  We are looking at the Komo Fidibus Classic, which seems to be a nice, high quality mill.  Not to mention that it will match my German knives (oh geez...).  Having a grain mill (or some other appliance that will turn your grains into flour) is a must-have when it comes to cooking traditional foods, since flours you purchase from the store are typically not sprouted, soaked, or fermented.  The only way that grains become truly "digestible" is if they're soaked and sprouted, or best of all, fermented.  From there you can dry the grains accordingly and then run them through your mill to create a lovely, easily digested flour to bake with.  Dr. Weston Price found that the healthiest cultures around the world sprouted or fermented all of their grain before it was used.  Sounds like those cultures have it right, since we Americans suffer from all sorts of gastrointestinal disorders due to eating improperly prepared grains.

So you see now why the purchase of a grain mill is important.  Now I just need to do a little more research and bite the bullet.  I am guessing that it will definitely be a very, very useful purchase! 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My favorite broccoli "dressing"

I like broccoli a lot, but with this dressing on it, it almost becomes more of a special treat. Super easy, super yummy, and oh yeah, you'll be eating a lot of broccoli with this on top! I haven't got any pictures, unfortunately, because I wolfed my lunch down before I even thought about it. Anyway, here's the recipe.


1 large head broccoli
1-2 Tbsp capers (I always use 2 Tbsp 'cause I really like capers.)
1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
1-2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (I always use 2 Tbsp, but you may use more or less to your liking)


Cut broccoli into florets and give the stem to your rabbits discard into your compost.  Set in steaming pan and steam until crisp tender.

While the broccoli is cooking, slowly melt butter in a separate pan.  Once butter is melted, add capers (including the juices they're packed in) and lemon juice.  Stir to combine.  Pour over the top of your crisp tender broccoli florets and enjoy!