Category Archives: Traditional Foods

How to cut up your own organic free ranged dead chicken.

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I’ve decided that I would like to do more videos and less writing.
Sure I would I want to share my random opinions but I’ve realized that I have some mad skills that I could be teaching.
I’m spending my life collecting skills that improve quality of life.
Many of them are very easy and anyone can do it. And Many of them also do not involve pig heads or chicken feet. I will warn you when those ones come up but I would like to invite you to set an intention for yourself to be cool with uncommon animal parts because they are so commonly thrown away.

So, here it is!

My first skill share, just for you, my beloved followers.
It’s only three and a half minutes long and will teach you how to cut up your own free range organic chicken.
Doing this makes ethical meat so affordable. And we all love meat that wasn’t raised in its own poop without a beak of its own to peck bugs with.
I’ll figure out how to put the video right on the page, but until then you’ll have to click the link…

How to cut up your own free ranged organic dead chicken.

How to easily make delicious beet kvass.

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This is a picture of the beet kvass after I’ve drank most of it. Beet kvass is a wonderful and richly nourishing drink that’s loaded with probiotics and healing properties. It supports immune function and cleanses the blood. I find that it gives me energy and an overall feeling of goodness. It’s my favourite ferment right now.
*update* I am finding that when I do not consume the beet kvass regularly I get dehydrated with headaches. I try to start all my mornings off with beet kvass. Here’s something else that’s interesting… If beet kvass makes your pee (not poo) red, then you have low stomach acid. I figured this out after I went on a research hunt to figure out why the beets had suddenly stopped creating red urine even though I was drinking more than ever. And when I quit drinking it for a while, the beets make my pee red again (low stomach acid) until I’ve been drinking it for about a week consistently every morning.

*i highly recommend making this in a FIDO (clamp down jar). The FIDO (made in Italy) brand does seem to be the best or other brands like LeParfait (made in France). Anything really not “made in China” should be good. When you make it in a FIDO, you don’t have to worry about yeasts and moulds as the environment becomes anaerobic (without oxygen) and yeasts and moulds need oxygen to survive.*

HOW TO MAKE BEET KVASS:

PER LITRE: (I make 4 litres at a time in a large FIDO jar):

-2-3 large beets, cut up with skins on. Notes: (do not grate your beets or they will ferment too fast and turn alcoholic). Your beet to brine ratio should be about half and half to get a good, thick kvass.
To make beets sweeter for your kvass, cut tops off and leave a week to let the sugars concentrate.

-1 TBSP salt (20 grams precisely)- you can use a bit less salt if you don’t like salty tastes.

-1 litre of unchlorinated water (I use the beet water from cooked beets, cooled)

Enchanting Additions:
-cut up pieces of ginger
-cayenne
-peppercorns
-carrot
-dill
-some people swear adding by onions and cabbage for people that don’t like beets.

1. Put all ingredients in a jar, the clamp down ones work best. Leave a good amount of head space, about 1-2 inches. Don’t leave too much or the environment may not become anaerobic.
2. Let ferment 5-9 days on the counter, or longer. It’s fine for long periods of time as you don’t open it.
3. Strain the liquid out once its thick and delicious. Refrigerate liquid. You can use your beets now to make a second batch by adding more brine. I usually add a few more beets.

OR The leftover beets can eaten as pickled beets or in a salad. To make them they should be placed in another brine to ferment them further. 1 tbsp salt to 1 litre water. Add some dill?

Essential Oils?

I’ve been using essential oils therapeutically this year. It felt like the next step to add into my fermented food lifestyle. Before that, I just enjoyed the scents of the oils without thinking that it could be helping me.
I’m always a bit of a skeptic when someone claims that something will cure or even help me, but I’m always willing to try new things if it doesn’t mean spending exorbitant amounts of money on health products or pills. I am especially curious about natural medicines that have been used for all of time by aboriginal peoples. And so my journey with essential oils begins…
The most noticeable and effective oils for us have been:
Cypress (from Young Living): I’ve been using on my vericose vein legs. After just one application, the noticeable purple and protruding veins had diminished along with the pain. It’s really helped with my circulation overall too.
Deep Blue Blend (DoTerra): I’ve become reliant on this for pregnancy induced sciatic pain. I love the deep, penetrating feeling of the cooling/warming oils in this. I carried it around all weekend, applying it while camping so that I could easily get in and out of the tent.
Lavender/Wintergreen/Peppermint (from DoTerra): My daughter who is four, uses this when she gets restless, achy legs (growing pains?). It helps her relax and sleep all night.
DigestZen Blend (From DoTerra): I use this when I get that heavy, I’ve eaten too much feeling. I rub it all over my belly and feel better shortly.
White Fir (from DoTerra): this is my absolute favourite oil. I was drawn to it immediately and love inhaling it. It is for generational healing. I like to use it aromatically as I think about letting go of the pain of the past, especially with family members. It’s helping! I feel a much greater sense of peace and ease in my life and relationships.
PastTense Blend (From DoTerra): My friends have been using this for headaches. They claim its the only natural cure ad blend of oils that has worked to eliminate headaches.
I have been loving using these oils in recipes:
Lemon, lime, orange, basil and rosemary. They are super concentrated and don’t water down recipes.

Other oils I’ve used for enjoyment and an afternoon pick me up: Frankincense, Wild orange, Lemon, Lime and Grapefruit. I love the citrus oils in water, often. They are also the cheapest oils!
I keep a spray bottle of water and water ever oils strike my fancy: cinnamon, clove, geranium, peppermint, citrus and melaleuca. I use the spray for everything! Cleaning surfaces, stove and my sink. I’ve also been spraying it outside my door to deter flies from coming in when the door opens. While camping I brought it to spray on tables for an way cleaning that keeps bugs and flies away. It also smells amazing and is so cheap to make!

Have you thought about getting into oils but didn’t want to commit to signing up or pay to sign up?
Now is a great time to do so…
This month (July 2013), DoTerra has a promotion that gives you a $50 credit on next months order if you sign up and spend 100 pv worth (about $100). Also, you can sign up in a way that does not obligate you to buy every month; just when you want.
You can however sign up with loyalty rewards if you think you will be ordering every month. This gets you points on all your purchases for credit towards product. You also get commissions on products from people you sign up, as well as bonuses based on how much your DoTerra team orders. I’ve found it easy to spend the money every month. I love a lot of their other natural products like the toothpaste, shampoo/conditioners and cleaners.

I’ve already received so many free products, benefits, points and commissions and that was with only signing up my one friend. Yes, my one friend. 🙂 hehe.

Along with eating a diet of real foods with a heavy emphasis on cultured foods and with essential oil remedies… I feel unstoppable!

Here’s the link to look at it further:
My DoTerra Essential Oils

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Weedstock and Food Freedom: Discovered!

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I pleased myself greatly last night when I came up with Weedstock and when I fully developed my thoughts and feelings on food freedom with children. I was watching Michael, my partner, meticulously pull and nibble on “weeds” in the front yard. We eat our weeds, so far they’ve all been edible. I noticed that he was pulling more weeds than he could consume and so I asked him for them to throw into my soup stock. The undesirable plants that grow voluntarily and that we rip, hoe and poison: they are loaded with valuable nutrients, more so than the lettuce and cabbages we so laboriously grow. When picked young, they are also tender and not as bitter. Or simply throw them into your stock. I have a few things that I do for a super rich and delicious stock.

How to make Weedstock:

1. Sauté your vegetables (onions, carrots and any other vegetable scraps) on low in a fat with a high smoking point. I use lard, chicken fat or you could use butter or olive oil. I cook them slowly to perfect caramelization. I like to do this over a morning as it poses no risk of burning when it’s on low.
2. Add water to cover: bones, meats, herbs, a few spoons of vinegar (or over fermented kombucha, to draw out minerals), egg shells and WEEDS! Please make sure you’ve identified a plant 100% before using.
3. Simmer (do not boil) for 2 days or more.
4. Strain and use in dishes, soups and sauces. I strain it as we need it.

My kids are so use to these foods now that they ask for it. I wasn’t making broth due to not wanting to heat up the house and my oldest asked why I wasn’t making broth. I was pleasantly shocked as he has been the child to complain the most about the healthy foods I’ve been cooking. Now he has a taste for it. He told me that he comes and grabs a cup of broth out of the pot when he’s hungry. I’m so happy!
There seems to have been a major shift in my kids lately. I’ve been letting go of food issues and beliefs and focusing on the foods that call me, and them. There was a point when candy and processed treats distressed me and I wanted to rip it from their hands and run with it into the wild where I could burn it and dump dish soap all over its KRAFT insides. Well, as fun as that was, I’m letting it go. I’m accepting it as the reality that is now. Factories make food like products and sometimes my children want it and they want it too much. Well, the truth is that I want it too much sometimes as well. It’s not just children. It’s a challenge; a gastrointestinal challenge mostly. I’m working on conquering my own by cooking and eating what I am peacefully drawn to and I see that it is radiating down to the children. They are joining into my passion for wild and local, real foods. They love to be able to identify wild foods they can eat as well as take part in animal and vegetable harvests. More importantly than what they eat, is how they eat. I want them
To feel free to eat without stress, judgement, shame or guilt.
With this freedom, we are finding the foods that they love.
With the inner candy/junk struggle within me, I decided to focus on the good and ignore the sneaky candy. I knew it had gotten bad when they felt they had to sneak it. That’s not true freedom. My restricting had led to them wanting it more and sneaking it. But oh well right? Live, love and learn. So…
I was also starting to see how my projecting of fears and beliefs about certain foods could and would cause food issues in the kids. But I had an idea…
So I started making ice cream for them every night. Sometimes we had leftovers for breakfast or an afternoon snack. They love it. I make it with LOTS of egg yolks, raw/local honey, fresh fruits, mineral rich maple syrup, fresh garden herbs like mint and basil, probiotic loaded kefir and occasionally raw cream and milk.
They are seeming more satisfied these days and are not asking for foods which I am not already buying. Interesting. I buy a variety and I buy what they like. They are inventing their own satisfying recipes out of our good, wholesome ingredients. Fascinating! Sometimes I’m buying marshmallows, as the homemade ones just melt into the hot campfire coals. yes, sometimes I am buying marshmallows and my friends and family become wide-eyed as I am usually known as crazy, food person. Well, crazy just got kooky.
Something has switched, and I think it is me. It’s always me.
It turns out that children are people and they do want to be healthy and happy. Sometimes they fail, but so do I. It’s all part of the journey.

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“Lettuce-head”, Michael. He is twelve and sometimes takes on the character of a rabbit when he eats his lettuce plain and plentiful.

Robbing The Hole.

I’ve been there, trying to stretch your money to make food last the longest. This often means going to a big cheap store and loading up on two dollar boxes of crackers, breads, cereals, granola bars and pasta. When you look at the entire picture, this is actually a very expensive way to eat. I know, I’ve been there, trying to fill the hole so the children don’t go hungry; So they always have snacks. But really, by filling up on cheap, processed foods you are really robbing the hole, not filling it. These foods deplete your body and force it to work overtime to deal with such inappropriate foods for humans. It takes energy, vitamins and minerals for it to pass through you. They also contribute to every known ailment ask Dr.Oz or Dr.Mercola. Hah!
Now, if you’ve been robbing the hole, let’s set aside guilt, it is of no use to us. You were doing your best and now you’re going to do better. What can you do? A lot, even on a tight budget. Think about Grandma or Great Grandma, what did they eat during extremely hard times?
You can watch your health and the health of your family increase dramatically as you replace processed foods with real foods. You all will get use to it, even your tastes will change. Here are some cheap nutrient dense foods to start adding in, you can get them for cheap or often free:

1. Eat eggs! They are good for you again (hehe). Even the little contradictory pamphlets at the doctors office tell me to eat eggs now. Egg yolks are full of Vitamins and good fats and when eaten slightly cooked or raw, your body barely has to digest it to get energy. They contain almost every nutrient we require, as an egg has all that it needs to create a baby chick.
2. Make lard. There’s an abundance of pig fat due to lard being given a bad name and rendering is not hard. But it’s actually a very high quality fat that your body needs; think about the animal fats that your ancestors survived and evolved on. Their brains grew larger on it. Try googling lard is bad for you and all it comes up with is “lard is no longer bad for you” and “lard is the new health food.” This is based on ancient wisdom combined with research. Please eat lard, it’s WAY cheaper than butter and margarine is evil. Evil!
3. Make bone broth now. Have soup once a day, or more. Source bones for free or cheap. Research all the good info on bone broth and ask my kids (or my poops) how Amazing it is. You can do it.
4. Buy lots of organic apples on sale they last and can be made into stuff. Apples are now what my kids (and children visiting us) go for when they want a sweet treat. Your children (or partner) will get use to it and love it eventually as they no longer feel like crap all the time. You can even fancy up your apples with cinnamon and vanilla!
5. Ok, now we are going to get a little more complicated, but we are still staying very inexpensive. Start Fermenting Foods. I can’t stress enough how Important it is to repopulate your gut with good bacteria everyday. E. Coli and Salmonella and Clostridia Dificile are all kept in check in your body by the good microbes, unless you don’t have enough… Good microbes inhabit space and use up available nutrients (prebiotics) before pathogens can, thus crowding them out. Fermenting (or culturing) foods can feel daunting at first, but it’s not hard and there’s a lot of hard working people out there (me included) who can guide you through it. You can start with something easy (and super cheap to make) like kombucha. You need to source a kombucha mother or SCOBY. You can pretty much ferment any real food. I love to make sauerkraut and kimchi and other fermented vegetables like cortido. There’s also dairy ferments like yogurt and kefir and cheese and sour cream and on and on. My family and I have come to crave these foods as has many people who have converted to real foods.
6. Eat organ meats!?!? Yes. Animals store vitamins (not toxins) in their organs especially the liver. Vitamin D ad A specifically, and in high amounts. If you don’t like organs, you can add small amounts into sauces and soups. I blend chicken liver from organic, grass fed chickens into beef stroganoff and it’s amazing. Use very small amounts to start, an ounce or less so you don’t ruin your meal. I cut up the liver and freeze on a cookie sheet to have small pieces to use at a time. We’ve been very fortunate lately and have been getting free liver from Deer. Sound scary? When my mother brought it to me, it was the most amazing and Healthy looking liver I had ever seen. Actually, the entire deer is that way. I stare in awe at feet that are never gnarly, broken or raw. Their hides are so full and thick and their flesh smells so clean that my mom can’t resist eating it raw. O.o

These foods I have mentioned are all inexpensive and will leave you feeling full longer. They are all nourishing and healing. They will also eliminate the cravings for bad foods when eaten for long enough. An apple a day…
By adding in good, nutrient dense foods you are protecting and strengthening generations to come! Hiya!

So, my last words: A box of something processed can buy a dozen eggs or maybe 5 or 10 lbs of pig fat or a head of cabbage to make a fermented, probiotic rich drink (called cabbage rejuvelac) or a whack load Of bones or a bag of apples. Stop robbing the hole and start nourishing it. You deserve it!

For more info on fermenting contact me or join my partner and I on fb at “Nadine and Keirsten’s Fermentation Station.”
Another great resource is Donna Schwenk’s site
http://www.culturedfoodlife.com

Mouth watering goodness. A meal complete with ferments (the jalapeños were fermented).

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Liver on a cookie sheet.

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Soaked Oatmeal.

Me.

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Our newest investment… A new baby! Little Aayla Olive.

What You Have All Been Wondering… WHAT WE ATE TODAY:

Many people have been asking me what we eat. I presume we are kinda known as weird food people . But the health of our foods must be respected or people would not be asking me for advice. And so here it is, our fascinating and glorious Monday;
foods that we ate today:

It’s Monday and I am a bit tired and sore. I wake with that familiar stiffness and remind myself “I need to do yoga.” I don’t feel like spending the day in my kitchen today. But without pre-packaged and processed foods, what will we eat!?!? Thankfully, I soaked some steel cut oats last night and I have leftovers and a huge pot of broth in my downstairs fridge. I also canned my ass off this summer which makes for quick and easy good eatin’.

Morning:
-Soaked Oatmeal from steel cut oats (5 minutes prep. Soaked the night before. Recipe below)
-Bacon (1 min. Prep. I always cook up a big batch of bacon to have in fridge ready to use)
-homemade yogurt from my neighbor (1 min. Prep, for me )
-Homemade canned spiced pears

Lunch and afternoon:
-Leftover Kimchi stew with sprouted rice (1 min. Prep)
-Miso soup (2 min. Prep)
-Homemade canned saskatoons
-Pieces of organic dark chocolate

Supper:
-Hamburger soup (our hamburger consists of 20% organ meat) with sauerkraut added to bowls (20 min. Prep time)

Late night snacks:
Apples and real food caramel with hemp seed
probiotic jello

Drinks:
WATER
Grape soda from ginger beer plant
Grape water kefir

We made it another day eating only real food. The kids have been particularly sugar obsessed since Halloweens nastiness (Never again, I swear.) and that has been a huge challenge. There’s been lots of yelling and crying infused with the squeals “CANDY!!”. Yesterday, they cooked up Sucanat, honey and maple syrup with cocoa and pomegranates just to fill their sugar induced cravings. Good luck to ya.

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Simple soaked oatmeal:

I like steel cut oats as they stay chewy even after soaking. Soak equal parts oats to kefir or yogurt or lemon juice/water overnight. In the morning add more water, a cup or two and cook until it’s at it’s desired tenderness which is five or ten minutes for me. You can add raisins, fruit, cinnamon, maple syrup, rapadura, honey, soaked nuts. This is really good
cold as well!
* I used two cups steel oats, two cups kefir and two cups water.

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Why I love lard, and how to render it.

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Lard is the new/old health food! Unfortunately, it has been given a bad name. It’s been associated with being unhealthy or overweight, but that’s not true.
I would like to attempt to reclaim the name of lard.
Did you know that lard is an excellent source of vitamin D?
Lard is also very cheap and can be used in place of butter if you’re wanting to save money. Lard is cheaper than margarine.
Any butcher should be able to offer you fat to render for free or very cheap.
It’s important to use home rendered lard as the grocery store stuff will have added preservatives, colour and maybe even trans-fats.

HOW TO RENDER LARD:

For crock pot method click here.

To make lard in a pot, read on…

You will need:
Pig fat (preferably the leaf lard)
Pot
1/4 cup or so of water
Candy thermometer
Cheesecloth
Strainer
Something to strain into(another pot or glass measuring cup)
Mason jars

Ask the butcher if they have the leaf lard which is the stuff from around the organs. It’s the cleanest and makes the best lard.
Have the lard ground up if possible, if it’s not you will have to cut it up into small pieces.
Add water as fat to the pot.
Bring up to temp over low-med heat around 220-240 F. It seems that anything higher produces a bacon taste in lard.

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Continue rendering until the cracklings are brown but still soft. They will also sink once the fat is rendered out of them.
Could take 2-4 hours.

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Strain through a cheesecloth. Careful, it’s deadly hot! I am doing it in the sink and it’s a good thing because I spilled everywhere. Will clean it up with paper towels.

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New plan:

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Now, pour into jars and seal! Yummy, it smells of shortbread.

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Emmett has just run into the kitchen saying “Cookie Cookie!” from the smell! Here he is eating cracklings:

The cracklings are delicious. Use as you would bacon bits. Try them in salads or on eggs!

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More info on the health benefits of lard.