Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Filling My Freezer While I'm Waiting...

So I am in the final stages of getting ready for our baby's arrival. When this last 5-4 weeks starts I am so ready to have my baby, it hurts to sit, it hurts to stand, it is uncomfortable laying down I guess it is like that so you anxiously look forward to labor and delivery. Who knows, at any rate to keep myself from getting too discouraged I have been doing a different cleaning project, in addition to the regular cleaning, every week. I cleaned out our storage room the other week, the refrigerator, the stove, the car, my pantry...it is like scheduled "nesting" for me. It works best that way when dealing with two toddlers.

My other form of baby prep is making up healthy, nutritious, freezer meals so I don't have to cook for a while after the baby arrives. It saves me lots of time and money from using more expensive and less nutritious options of take out or pre-made dinners. I really just want to bond with my new baby and let my body recover, not be in my kitchen cooking or worse trying to think of something to cook.  I usually just double a recipe that I know will freeze well to make for dinner and freeze half of it for when "Blueberry" comes. (My daughter refers to our baby as blueberry because when she found out she was going to be a big sister again the baby was a size of a blueberry. It is our pet name for baby #3)

I had just been doing dinners but then I got to thinking. "Wow, maybe I should be making breakfasts too!" My children and I rarely eat cereal, I try to not use processed foods regularly, even the "healthy" versions. Anyway, who doesn't like a home cooked breakfast? So a big batch of sprouted spelt waffles went into the freezer and some carrot coconut flour muffins and then I got thinking my favorite muffin is banana nut, so I went to look for a recipe. Well I found nothing online to make a satisfactory healthy version so I decided to make up my own. We really liked how they turned out and next time I think I will try soaking the flour to make it even more digestible.

Banana Nut Spelt Muffins
makes 1 1/2 dozen
  • 1 Cup whole spelt flour
  • 1 Cup white spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp non-refined sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp mace
  • 1/2 Cup non-refined coconut sugar
  • 4 spotted bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 Cup whole dates
  • 1/8 Cup water
  • 1/2 Cup chopped walnuts
Heat oven to 375 degrees and line muffin cups with liners or grease with coconut oil.

Mix first group of dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Blend the second group of ingredients and mix in with the dry ingredients till most of the lumps are mixed in, do not over mix.

Blend the dates and water till liquid and mix in with the batter.

Fold in the walnuts and evenly distribute batter in the muffins.

Tap the tray of muffins on the counter to get all the bubbles out.

Place trays in the oven and bake for 18 min.

Remove the muffins, let cool and enjoy! Or in our case freeze for later after enjoying one :)

My kids love muffins so when our baby arrives this will be such a treat. As my daughter says, "Blueberry is too little for muffins, so we get to eat them all right mommy?" Well not all at once hopefully but yes they are for us to enjoy while we enjoy and snuggle our baby Blueberry. 

We love freezers full of healthy foods and cuddly new babies, I am looking forward to both!
                                                              The Farmer in the Dell

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tired of Water? How About Ginger Ale?

We are pretty big water drinkers here. I am drinking quite a bit extra right now as I am pregnant and the weather is warmer. My two little kids drink quite a bit too and my farmer is finding out, after 3 years of marriage, that he is starting to not be able to make it through the day without his big water bottle. That is a huge success seeing as he barely drank water at all when we first were married. Dehydration can cause all kinds of problems in your body, so in my opinion it is a great to drink your weight in oz as a preventative health measure. In high school I read the book Your Body's Many Cries For Water it was a huge eye opener as to how many of the chronic diseases of our day are really brought on by not being properly hydrated. Our bodies are 65% water so it makes sense if we don't replenish our stores things start going wrong.

However even with how great it is to drink water it can be...well, a little boring at times. We do like to make some iced herbal tea with stevia or home-made lemon aid sweetened with just lemon juice and stevia or honey to switch it up sometimes. Recently I have been looking for a little something different, but has some health benefits as well. Enter the home-made ginger ale. It is refreshing and contains many health benefits from the fresh ginger.
  • Anti- inflammatory/fights pain and swelling
  • Anti-microbial and contains natural antibiotics
  • Stimulates circulation
  • Lowers blood cholesterol
  • Helps with nausea and indigestion
  • Can help with headaches
  • A good source of potassium, manganese, silicon, Vitamins A,C,E, B phosphorus, sodium, iron, zinc, calcium, and beta-carotene.
So with that we decided to give this ginger ale a try from Nourishing Traditions. You can drink it as it is or mix with sparkling water to give it that soda "bubble", completely up to you! I have changed the amount of salt and added more ginger because that is how we like it :)

Ginger Ale
Adapted from Nourishing Traditions
  • 1 Cup of Fresh ginger peeled and grated
  • 1/2 Cup fresh lime juice (about 4-5 limes)
  • 1/4 Cup Whey
  • 1/2 Cup Rapurda 
  • 2 Quarts water
  • pinch of sea salt

Peel and grate ginger in the food processor and add the rest of the ingredients to a glass half gallon jar.

(If you don't happen to have the liquid whey on hand you can take plain yogurt and strain the whey out with cheese  cloth.)
Mix with a wooden spoon and let set on the counter for 2-3 days with a lid on.

When you are ready to have a glass mix it up and strain out a cup through cheese cloth. It will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
                                              Stay hydrated and healthy in the hot weather!
                                                              The Farmer in the Dell

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Freshen Up in a Pinch!

With all the warmer weather we have been having this spring I have been feeling kinda icky and sticky all the time. I guess we just skipped over spring and went straight to 80 degree summer days. This pregnant lady is dreaming of 70 degree spring weather and the nice feeling that comes with not being sweated every time I go out.

There are some things I have been doing to keep this "yuck" feeling to a minimum, like soaking just my feet in cold water. This works amazingly well at cooling off your entire body without having to jump into a pool.

Washing my face in ice cold water. When I am shiny and "glowing" on my face I just feel gross so a quick splash of cold water and some cleanser is really refreshing and doesn't take too long.

I also have been using this dry shampoo to make my hair look fresh in between hair washings. It is not really good to wash your hair every day, it causes your hair follicles to swell and expand and strips it of the natural oils and protective coatings that makes the hair more lush/healthy. I also find that it just generally looks better if I only wash it 1 to 2 times a week. It can vary person to person depending on hair type and how much you sweat. Since I have been stretching the amount of time between cleansing my hair and not using conventional shampoos, when I go to get my hair trimmed, the stylist says it looks nice and healthy. I regard that as a good indicator of how it is working. I have also noticed my hair has grown quicker, this is the longest my hair has ever been, and when I was shampooing every day it would never grow longer than the middle of my back no matter how long I went between cutting it.

At any rate if you don't have time to wash your hair/and or don't want to and it is starting to look "funky" at the roots this dry shampoo really does the trick. I especially find it works well if you put it in before going to bed and let it settle in over night.

Here is my hair before (excuse the ends of hair, I had it in a up-do before taking these pics so the ends are a little wild)
Here is what it looks like after brushing the shampoo in the same night.
This is the next morning, it has settled in by now and absorbed the excess oils and the texture is nice and lifted again.

So there you have it, my experience with dry shampoo!

Dry Shampoo

1/4 Cup of Fuller's Earth powder
1/4 Cup of Orris root powder
2 Tbs Arrowroot powder
20 drops of rosemary essential oil

mix all ingredients up in a glass bowl and then store in a glass container, in a dry place. 
This stuff smells great!

As the saying goes,"a little dab will do ya!" So it really only takes a few pinches of the dry shampoo sprinkled on the roots and brushed in with a boar bristle brush to do the job. Too much and you will end up looking like you had a baking disaster in your hair. I know I have been there.

If you are not sure where to purchase these powders they can be found on Amazon which is where I got mine. 
Orris Root
Fullers Earth

To looking and feeling good in this hot weather!

                                                           The Farmer in the Dell

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Hot Weather Cool Dip

When the weather gets warmer I find myself trying to keep the house as cool as possible and not do lots of cooking in my oven. My husband and children have a "hot food" complex anyway and would rather wait till it is room temperature than eat it hot, so around here I do quite a bit of make ahead meals and bulk cooking so we have leftovers. I find I spend less time in my kitchen and more time with my children this way as I generally only cook 3x a week. I call this a win-win situation!

Anyway for me and the kids at home I like to make sure they get a love of vegetables early so we try and incorporate them into our lunches every day. While my little girl will down a salad with me and love it, my one year old son right now has an aversion to leafy greens. So one of the easiest ways for me to get everyone munching on veggies at lunch is to have some healthy, homemade dip for them to dunk their favorite veggies in.

One of our favorite dips for lunch is what my daughter calls "purple dip". We discovered this one when a friend brought it over for part of a meal while I was recovering from Boaz's birth. I craved red beets during that pregnancy and just devoured them any way they were prepared. They are packed with nutrition, in fact some of the benefits of eating red beets are rather impressive,
  • High in antioxidants, (they are great for cellular cleansing and detoxification)
  • Studies have shown them to prevent cancer
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Energy and brain booster
  • High in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, manganese, b-foliate and iron
Purple dip is like a hummis in texture so it is great for veggies and pita/naan bread. I have doubled the recipe so that I can have this in the refrigerator all week for a quick and healthy lunch option. Like I mentioned before lunch always surprises me and I end up scrambling to pull it together, dips help a lot. You could halve it if you don't want so much.

"Purple" Beet Dip
Gluten-free, Vegan

12 servings
  • 12 oz of red beets
  • One large white potato
  • 3/4 Cup olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
Put your red beets and potato in a pot, cover with water and put them on the stove to boil. I find I usually need to boil mine an hour till soft enough to poke with a knife. 

Take the red beets and potato and put them in ice or cold water, rub the skins off, roughly chop them and transfer to a food processor.

Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and blend till smooth. Put dip in dish and chill before serving.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do and keep cool as the weather gets warmer!
                                                                   The Farmer in the Dell