Category Archives: Real Food

Challenging Every Excuse You Have for Not Buying Local

It’s 11 a.m. and so far I’ve already talked to two different people who told me that grocery shopping was on their to-do list today. Naturally, my question was “Oh, where are you shopping today?” One response was “Martin’s” (as in Giant Eagle), and the other was “Sam’s Club”. I never fail to get disheartened when people tell me that they are frequenting a large grocery store. I get especially disheartened when I’m actually on my way to visit our local farmer’s market, where there is a bounty of fresh baked breads, gleaming produce, fragrant cheeses and humanely-raised sustainable local meat – put there early this morning by people who work sunup to sundown carefully planting, watering, feeding, kneading, and churning just to bring you and your family the very best food possible.

strawberry pint

Let’s forget about GMOs and processed foods for a bit and talk about why anyone would choose a large, fluorescent-lit, impersonal grocery store over a welcoming, friendly farmer’s market. These are the excuses I hear the most, and why each of them is – excuse my French – complete bullcrap.

1)      I don’t have the time to shop local. It’s so easy to get in and get out of the grocery store!

Really? I know we are all busy. No doubt. Between work, home, and the role of mommy or daddy, we’re tired. I get it. Trust me, my little one is one of the squirmiest, most impatient kids you’ll find. And homesteading and a 40-hour a week job to boot keeps me pretty darn busy. I don’t know about you, but my kid isn’t exactly content to be still in the basket of the grocery store cart. If I have to end up at a grocery store (and mine is the co-op 40 minutes away, unless we are in a dire emergency for baby wipes , and then Martin’s has to cut it), I want to be in and out in as little time possible, because my little guy is constantly pulling at everything on the shelves, trying to get out of the cart, or on the verge of a meltdown because I’ve made him sit still for an extended period of time. Even then, my trip to the store ALWAYS takes at least 45 minutes. Let’s compare this with the farmer’s market. Saturdays are usually THE day for markets. Picture your kid strolling with you through the tents, in awe of the fresh food in front of him or her. There are local farmers at every station, ready and willing to say good morning to your little one, explain how they grew that tomato, or even provide a small sample of local, freshly-cooked bacon. My C is star-struck at the farmer’s market. Bright colors, yummy smells, lots to see everywhere. The market is a very pleasant trip for us. Aside from that, the market is such an amazing learning moment for you and your child! What better place for them to learn where their food comes from, pick out something fresh to help you cook for dinner, or meet and talk with their local farmer who grows their food?! What’s a better option – buying a can of cherry pie filling at the store, or having your little one handpick a pint of sweet cherries at the market, hearing how those cherries were picked off of a big tree a couple days ago, watching your little one carefully put them in the bag, then going home and spending the rest of the morning as a mommy-daughter or mommy-son date making a homemade pie? Which one leaves more of a positive impression on your child? Which one makes you feel like a better parent? Why anyone wouldn’t take advantage of Saturday morning quality time with their kiddos at such a wonderful place is beyond my comprehension.  So sure, the choice is yours. Dread going to the grocery store with your little ones in tow, or enjoy your morning at the market as a family outing.

2)      Local food is too expensive!

While I realize that local and organic are two different things, this excuse is applied to either. Folks say that organic food is too expensive too. Luckily for us as local consumers, most of your market food, while it may not be certified organic, is chemical-free – simply because the clientele of the market demands that. In the words of Joel Salatin, “If you think organic food is expensive, have you priced cancer lately?” Unlike GMOs (which while us real foodies are pretty well convinced they have some kind of link to cancer, it has not been “proven” yet), chemical pesticides and herbicides DO contribute to cancers and other degenerative diseases. The antibiotics and hormones in meat are partially responsible for the maladies today of early puberty onset and antibiotic resistance. Do you really want to feed your little one that stuff? I sure don’t. And if you think it simply washes off, you’re sadly mistaken. And the reality is that local food really ISN’T more expensive than the grocery store. For example, I got a half gallon of locally grown, chemical-free sweet cherries at the market this morning. My cost? $7. You can get a half gallon of conventional (NOT organic) cherries at the grocery store for $6.99. Wouldn’t you rather pay one cent more and get cherries without pesticide on the side? Also keep in mind that when you shop local, that ENTIRE $7 goes to your FARMER. That ENTIRE $7 stays in the LOCAL ECONOMY. Most of that $7 will probably be SPENT in the local economy. Your $6.99 at the grocery store? Some of it may go to the grower – who might be in California, but is more likely in Mexico. The majority goes to the CEO of a large grocery chain. There is a saying I love: “Eat local, feed a farmer.” So true. Every dollar you spend is your vote on how you want the world to be for your children. Chew on that.

3)      But I can just get everything in one place at the grocery store!

Once again – really? Because I don’t think there has EVER been a time I went to Wal-Mart (ok, so it’s probably been about five years since I’ve even stepped foot inside a Wal-Mart) or Martin’s when I didn’t have SOMETHING lingering on my list and I’ve had to chalk it up “Oh well, I’ll buy it at another place another day.” Most grocery stores do not carry an abundance of nutritious food to begin with. I’m lucky that we frequent a good food co-op about once a month for the few things that I can’t get from local farmers (sugar, dry goods, baby food snacks) and I completely trust the food they have stocked as wholesome and nutritious for my family. My co-op also sources local as much as possible – double win. Locally, we have farmers – all within five miles of our home – that provide all of our meat and eggs. FIVE MILES. FIVE. Is it really that difficult to drive a couple of miles up the road, buy your meat in bulk from someone you know and trust, allow your child to see the farm where his food is coming from, and then take it home and put it in the freezer? Nope. Know your farmer, people. He’s right in your backyard, and he can give you better food than you will ever get at the store.

We all have a responsibility. You have a responsibility to yourself, your children, your community, your country, and your world (nudge, nudge, former 4-Hers, sounds familiar eh?). Your responsibility is to make your family healthy, and leave a positive impact on those around you. That’s why you were put on this earth. If you’re not already, do your part. Give your money to the farmers who need it and who care enough about YOUR family to grow nutritious food for you. Keep your dollars in the local economy. Teach your children where their food comes from. Teach them that shopping for food is fun and fulfilling. Teach them to do their part too.

Buy local. Be local.

A Healthy Snack: Lemon Ginger Apple Chips

This recipe came from Holistic Squid – one of my favorite bloggers. I made just a few small tweaks, like using ginger powder instead of ginger juice and cutting the time by about 80%. If you’d like to see the original recipe, click here. These are SO easy and super nutritious! Perfect for road trips, kids’ lunch boxes, or just because dangit you felt like something to eat! You can probably come up with other creative flavors very easily.

apple slices

Lemon Ginger Apple Chips

1/2 lb. apples – I used Fujis, but you could really use whatever variety you like

2 tsp. ginger powder

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Slice apples in 1/8″ rounds. The seeds will fall out as you slice. If they don’t, just remove them before putting your slices on the dehydrator. Place apple slices in a bowl; add lemon juice and ginger. Toss very well to coat. Place apple slices on dehydrator (my mom bought be me a Nesco dehydrator for Christmas – love it!) trays and dehydrate at 135 degrees for about 6 hours. Yum!

Chicken: Your New Best Friend in the Kitchen

Are you the type of person who wants an easy, no-fuss meal that both tastes great and gives you a fantastic value for your dollar? Meet your new best friend:

whole chicken

A whole chicken is one of the most economical, EASY staples you can add as a part of your weekly menu. Notice I said “whole”. NOT boneless, skinless chicken breasts. One pack of three boneless, skinless chicken breasts will cost you roughly $6 for conventional (Purdue, Tyson, etc.) chicken and $8 for organic. Let’s say you also purchase 2 32-oz. containers of chicken broth at $3 a piece and a tub of chicken salad at the deli for $8/lb. We’ll say you went the cheaper route and bought conventional chicken and your grocery cart now contains $20 worth of products.

Let’s compare this with a $15 whole broiler chicken from your local farmer. Our last chickens came from Walnut Hill Farms in Kearneysville. They were fantastic, and we also plan on trying some from Greengate Farms in Shepherdstown for our next batch. You know where your whole chicken came from – it’s not pumped full of antibiotics and hormones, it hasn’t been fed GMO feed, and it hasn’t been kept in unhealthy squalor in a disease-filled poultry house. You’re getting about triple the amount of meat than your pack of boneless, skinless breasts – along with juicy cuts like legs and thighs. You’re also getting a bargain you may not know you’re getting – chicken bones. Chicken bones are PACKED full of vitamins and minerals – what a waste to throw them away! You can use your local, healthy chicken bones to make fantastic bone broth that you can then freeze and use whenever you need some chicken broth… and it has WAY more nutrients and flavor than that store-bought stuff. So you now have roughly a $32 grocery store value for $15. Add in the added vitamins and minerals from healthy, pastured chickens and the peace of mind that your animals were humanely treated, kept out of disgusting poultry houses, and do not contain GMOs, and that value increases immensely. AND, you’re using your chicken THREE times – 1) Roasted chicken for dinner, 2) Leftover shredded chicken (I use mine for enchiladas or chicken salad) and 3) delicious, nutritious chicken bone broth! Last but not least, you’re supporting your local farmer! Your dollars are going directly to buying a little girl’s Easter shoes, or a little boy’s baseball glove, or to put food on the table for a local, hardworking family!

Some of you are probably now saying: “But I don’t know how to cook a whole chicken!” or “It takes too much time!” or “It’s too hard!” (I truly hope nobody is throwing out the “lean meat” argument for boneless, skinless breasts – with all of the information I have posted thus far on the health benefits of pastured animal fats). I have GREAT news for you! It could not be easier to cook a whole chicken! And for those of you who have fidgety toddlers that make your kitchen time a little more challenging (oh, how I understand!) you are looking at a 5 minute prep time when you get home from work and you will be enjoying delicious roasted chicken 2 1/2 hours later (for a 4 lb. chicken). Posted below is my cheater’s recipe for Rotisserie Chicken. It’s to die for. But first, I’ll tell you how to easily make some wonderful chicken bone broth!

Chicken Bone Broth

bone broth

Chicken bone broth (or ANY bone broth) is a way to get your normal chicken broth to use in recipes, when you’re sick, etc., but with huge amounts of added vitamins and minerals! If your bone broth gels after it cools – great! The gelling is formed by gelatin and collagen – which are necessary nutrients for human health! If you’re able to throw in some of the leftover skin and some chicken FEET (yes. feet.) – even better!

Place your leftover, picked-over chicken bones (after you’ve removed meat and shredded it for another purpose) in your slow cooker. Add 64 oz. of water and 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar. The vinegar will pull all of the minerals out of the bones and into your broth. Set on low and cook 2-3 days (yes. days.). If the broth level starts to get lower as it cooks, you can simply add some more water. You can also steal a ladelful to drink for added immune boosting whenever you like, so long as its cooked for at least 8 hours. Then, pour into containers and place in the freezer. I freeze mine in Pyrex containers with about 2 c. of broth per container and label them with the amount and the date. I then just pull them out whenever I need broth!

Kiya’s Cheater Rotisserie Chicken

1 Tbsp. salt

1 Tbsp. paprika

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp. onion powder

1 Tbsp. thyme

1 1/2 Tbsp. black pepper

3 Tbsp. garlic powder

1/4 c. butter, melted

whole chicken

Preheat oven to 350. Place chicken in a dutch oven (I LOVE my Le Creuset!!!) or roasting pan. Coat chicken with melted butter. Combine all spices and rub all over bird, using all of spice mix. Place dutch oven in the heated oven and cook about 2 1/2 hours, or until internal temperature reaches 165. That’s IT! You can also do this in your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours, if you tend to eat supper earlier in the evening.

Now, don’t ever buy that pack of boneless, skinless chicken breasts again!

Fertility Diet and Eating for Two

I was lucky. I didn’t have a problem getting pregnant. My husband has only had to so much as sneeze at me twice and I’ve gotten pregnant (though unfortunately, my first time resulted in a miscarriage – the DNA just decided to be wonky). But unfortunately, for so many women, trying to conceive is not so easy.

My happy, healthy little guy

My happy, healthy little guy

Are you thinking about trying to get pregnant? Actively trying to get pregnant? Already pregnant? Nursing a baby? If so, you are hopefully watching what you eat. Your diet makes a HUGE difference in whether or not you will successfully conceive, as well as a HUGE difference in nourishing a pregnancy and a little one. If you’re dreaming of or looking down the barrel of motherhood (ha! That’s really a great comparison, actually), here is a list of foods that should make up the bulk of your diet – as well as some that you should be avoiding altogether.

Hopefully, by now, you’ve cut out fast food and processed food. If not, GET ON IT. These “foods” have no place in a healthy diet to begin with, much less a diet aiming for fertility and nourishment. In addition to the below list, make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep and cut out the stressors in your life.

Top 10 Fertility Foods

1.   Colorful fruits and vegetables: This should be no surprise. You know your fruits and veggies are good for you. By eating a variety of colors, as well as a hefty amount of leafy greens, you’re ensuring that you eat some quantity of very important vitamins and minerals – necessary for correct cell formation and reproductive function. Leafy greens, such as kale and spinach (**NOTE: iceberg lettuce does NOT count!) also contain a great amount of folate, vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, and potassium.

2.   FULL FAT dairy: NOT low-fat. NOT fat-free. NOT skim. Full fat – which in the very least means whole milk. Raw milk is absolutely superior to pasteurized whole milk, however, as it still contains the good fatty cream and the nutrients haven’t been zapped by the pasteurization process. If you don’t drink raw milk, at least opt for raw cheeses, and low-temperature pasteurized milk and cream. Your body NEEDS fat – especially when trying to conceive, growing a baby, and nursing a little one – to correctly put together cells and maintain proper hormone balances. Guess what – that little egg doesn’t leave the ovary unless there is sufficient fat content in the diet to maintain the correct balance of female hormones. Always make sure the dairy you’re buying is rBST-free, and try to make a farm visit to the farm where your milk is coming from. In addition to great healthy levels of saturated fat, dairy provides good levels of Vitamin D, enzymes for food absorption, vitamins A, K, and E, CLA (a fatty acid known to be a powerful antioxidant),  and calcium. Raw milk provides this vitamin D naturally, in a state that your body can easily absorb, while storebought whole milk has a synthetic form of vitamin D added. Some argue that the synthetic form is virtually useless as our bodies do not recognize it as easily as natural vitamin D.

3.   WILD-CAUGHT salmon: Salmon is a fantastic source of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, selenium, DHA, vitamins D and B-12, and calcium. Omega-3 fatty acids and DHA are essential for brain cell formation. Always make sure your salmon is wild-caught – King, Sockeye, Coho, and Chinook salmon are the breeds you should look for. Alaskan is preferrable over Pacific, but both are usually wild-caught. Always avoid Atlantic salmon. Atlantic salmon is almost always farmed, and contains chemical contaminants such as PCBs and dioxins. It also has artificial color added (don’t believe me? Look on the label at the store!) and lower levels of all of the good nutrients listed above. Don’t worry about mercury levels in wild-caught salmon – they are very low. If you are still worried about it, don’t eat the skin and brown/gray meat near the skin.

4.   Coconut Oil: I know, I sound like a broken record. Coconut oil just has SO many benefits!

Everyone should have a big jar of this (not necessarily this brand) on the counter!

Everyone should have a big jar of this (not necessarily this brand) on the counter!

Coconut oil is a very healthy saturated fat, and you can use it to cook virtually anything – from frying, to sauteing, to using it in place of shortening for baking. Coconut strengthens the immune system and balances hormones for regulating blood sugar and the thyroid gland. It helps absorb fat-soluble vitamins in the other foods you eat and increases HDL (good) cholesterol in the blood. Cholesterol is essential for healthy cell formation.

5.   Eggs: Eggs are truly a superfood. Eggs have great levels of choline, which is necessary for stem cell proliferation and cell division. It helps in the formation of baby brain cells and even decreases baby’s (and yours!) levels of cortisol (the nasty stress hormone). Eggs also contain amino acids necessary for eye development, protein to build muscle, and are a fantastic source of several vitamins and minerals including A, D, E, B2, B6, B9, iron, calcium, and phosphorus!

6.   Grass-fed organ meats: I just heard the collective “yuck” from all of you reading. Hear me out. Organ meats – including liver, kidneys, and others – are very concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, folate, and necessary amino acids. They are a power punch for fetal development. Yes – these organs filter toxins out of the body; but, they do not store them. Toxins are actually stored in the nervous system. Eating organ meat is not only safe, it’s extremely healthy. All of the nutrients found in organ meats are necessary for forming tissues, cell division, and maintaining mama’s reproductive health. If the thought of liver on a plate doesn’t sound appealing to you, try adding it in to dishes like steak and kidney pie, chili, dips, or soups.

7.   Pastured Meats: Protein, iron, B12, and healthy saturated fats are only some of the great ingredients in meat. Pastured meats always have higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients than their confinement-raised counterparts. Good protein levels are SO important for blood production, bone and muscle development, and development of maternal cells in the uterus and placenta.

Confused about the difference between “pastured” and “grass-fed”? Grass-fed meats are just that – animals that eat grass. Pastured meats may or may not be “grass-fed”. For example, pastured cows are certainly eating grass. However, pastured poultry and pigs are not – these animals are not natural vegetarians. They are eating a mix of vegetation, insects, and even small amounts of protein. Pastured simply means these animals were raised in an environment that ensures both humane conditions for the animal, and optimal vitamin and mineral formation in the meat for you!

8.   Shellfish: Shellfish – fully cooked only when you’re pregnant! – are a fabulous source of iron, magnesium, and zinc, among other vitamins and minerals! Did you know that mollusks such as clams, oysters, and mussels contain more iron than red meat? Red blood cells don’t form without iron; adequate iron levels are crucial for a healthy pregnancy. Shellfish are also a great source of protein.

9.   Bone Broth: If you’re not yet familiar with this type of broth, now is the time to start looking into it. Bone broth is made by taking scrap bones (beef, chicken, whatever you like), roasting them, and then simmering them in a crock pot (with a Tbsp. or so of apple cider vinegar) for days until they shatter when you touch them. At this point, the majority of the minerals have leached out of the bones and into your broth. You can add bone broth to recipes in place of any broth or stock. You can also have a big hot mugful of broth when you wake up or when you wind down. Bone broth is concentrated with vitamins and minerals such as calcium, silicon, sulfer, magnesium, animo acids, and antioxidants – all necessary for healthy fetal development.

10.   Nuts: When you’re pregnant or nursing and you’re CONSTANTLY hungry (mm… a snack sounds pretty good right now), nuts are a fantastic snack. Nuts are power packed with protein, healthy fatty acids, fiber, and vitamin E. The nutrients in nuts help your baby’s blood vessels develop properly, ensure proper heart development, and build the immune system.

So What’s on the DO NOT EAT List?

crying baby

1.   Low-fat or fat-free ANYTHING: Low fat and fat free are simply terms that mean “we have removed all of the healthy fatty acids from these products and instead replaced them with sugar or artificial sweeteners and lots of chemical additives to trick your body into thinking they still taste good. Whether trying to conceive or not, don’t ever put these products in your shopping cart.  

2.   Refined Flours: There is really no redeeming nutritional value from refined flours, and they result in a big spike to your blood sugar and irritation to the gut lining.

3.   Sugar: We have really started to realize how detrimental sugar is to our health in the past few years. Sugar – especially refined sugars like HF corn syrup, white sugar, and brown sugar – puts extra stress on your pancreas, liver and kidneys, causes low-level inflammation of the gut and raises blood pressure. A sweet every now and then won’t kill you (believe me, I have one heck of a sweet tooth that I fight with daily), but especially during the period of time when you’re trying to conceive or nurture a growing baby, it’s best to lay off the sweets.

4.   Soy: This “health” food has been touted by the industry for a long time as an alternative to meat protein for one reason and one reason only – it’s cheap to produce and they want to sell you cheap food. The truth about soy is actually very sinister. Soy directly disrupts the female reproductive cycle by interfering with the production of estrogen. This includes soy in all non-fermented forms – edemame, soy extracts in processed products, tofu, lecithin, soybean oil, etc. Soy is also toxic to the placenta and can interfere with nutrient absorption to the fetus and even contribute to birth defects. Your man isn’t immune from soy’s effects either –  when men eat soy, estrogen levels increase and may negatively effect sperm production.

5.   Vegetable Oils/Shortening: Oils such as canola, soy, corn, safflower, and sunflower are high in Omega-6 fatty acids. These oils are largely responsible for heart disease. In the woman who is trying to conceive or the mama nourishing a baby, these rancid oils can interfere with proper formation of the circulatory system and interfere with cellular processes at the DNA/RNA level.

6.   Artificial Colors/Flavors: These chemical concoctions interrupt adrenal function, cause chromosomal changes, and damage DNA. Flat out – they are nasty. Avoid them at all costs. If you’d like to read some in-depth information about artificial colors, this article contains great data: Rainbow of Risks

The fact is that if you’re not at optimum health, your baby won’t be either. We all go through phases, especially when actually pregnant (I, myself, had a very humiliating Taco Bell phase that lasted a couple weeks when I was pregnant with my son). Don’t beat yourself up over those. However, especially if you’re trying to conceive, now is the time to get started on a healthier diet for fertility and healthy baby development.

If you’re interested in learning more about how a traditional diet can help you conceive or nourish a growing baby, I’d strongly recommend picking up a copy of the Nourishing Traditions cookbook. Also, check out these resources from some other bloggers that I love:

Beautiful Babies E-Course by Kristin Michaelis (Food Renegade):

beautiful babies

Holistic Squid Fertility Page

Finger Lickin’ Good!

BBQ sauce is an art. Sure, the basics are all there in most any sauce. But each BBQ sauce needs its own personality. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m sharing with you the sweetest sauce in my arsenal – and man oh man, is it good! I confess – this is not a “healthy” recipe. It’s got a lot of sweet stuff in it. However, since we don’t tend to sit down to an entire bowl of BBQ sauce, I think in moderation we will be fine. 😉

Kiya’s Honey BBQ Sauce

1 c. raw, unfiltered, local wildflower honey

1/4 c. molasses (I know, not traditional sugar – bad girl)

3 Tbsp. organic ketchup (or homemade!)

3/4 tsp. paprika

1 1/2 Tbsp. organic or homemade seasoned salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

1/4 c. organic steak sauce (or i use “camp” sauce)

2 Tbsp. Worcestershire

1 Tbsp. prepared mustard

1 1/4 c. brown sugar (as minimally processed as possible)

Ok. Here comes the hard part. Mix everything together. Chill in the fridge at least 30 minutes. That’s it! While this sauce is great as soon as its done resting, it gets even better after a few days of sitting in the fridge. This recipe makes about a half quart. I usually double it and keep the whole quart in the fridge for a while. Want to make my Honey BBQ Chicken? Simple. See below.

food 2

Honey BBQ Chicken

1 c. honey BBQ sauce (recipe above)

1 whole 3-4 lb. chicken, cut up

1/3 c. coconut oil

pepper

seasoned salt

onion powder

Melt coconut oil in large frying pan over medium-low heat. Add chicken pieces. Sprinkle with pepper, seasoned salt, and onion powder. Continue to fry over medium-low heat, turning every few minutes, until juices run clear. Top with BBQ sauce. Enjoy!

Half Sprouted Pancakes

Pancakes are so versatile. You can add bananas, pumpkin, chocolate chips, or even a bunch of sprouted flour and they only get more delicious! Admittedly, this recipe does take longer than opening up a box of Hungry Jack, dumping it in a bowl, and adding some water. It takes about 5 minutes. Really though, isn’t your family worth 5 minutes? While pancakes are usually a Sunday special in our house, I often make a double batch of these pancakes and then take them to work with me throughout the week.

Half Sprouted Pancakes

1 large pastured egg

1 1/4 c. low-temperature pasteurized, organic buttermilk (If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, simply put 1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice in a measuring cup, fill to 1 1/4 c. with milk, stir, and let it sit 10 minutes)

3/4 c. sprouted spelt flour

1/2 c. organic, unbleached all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

1 tsp. raw sugar

1 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

Pastured butter and real maple syrup for serving

Extra virgin organic coconut oil for greasing griddle

In medium sized mixing bowl, beat the egg. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat well. Using a sandwich baggie, smear your griddle generously with coconut oil. Heat griddle to 400 degrees. Depending on what size you want your pancakes, pour 1/4 – 1/2 c. batter onto your griddle. When edges appear dry and bubbles appear in the center of the pancake, flip. Repeat with the rest of the batter. Drizzle with butter and syrup. SO. EASY.

Add whatever your heart desires to make the pancakes your own!

It’s Not Delivery, It’s…Homemade!

I struggled for a long time to find a pizza recipe I liked. Everything I ever found was in the “meh” category. Now that I’ve found and tweaked a good one, I can’t understand why anyone would order delivery pizza when homemade tastes so much better and is so much faster… not to mention has no nasty preservatives! I’m going to issue a word of caution: my pizzas are not overwhelmingly “pretty”. I am horrible at tossing pizza dough. My pizzas usually end up as a weird rectangle shape, but they are oh so delicious.

pizza

Another confession: While I believe wholeheartedly in the health value of sprouted flour (if you aren’t familiar with sprouted flour, it digests as a vegetable and not a carbohydrate), I freely admit that it is not the easiest flour to work with. I encourage you to add as much sprouted flour to your recipes as you like, but would also advise you to add small fractions at a time until you find a sweet spot in your recipes. For my pizza dough, I only use 1/3 sprouted flour. If you don’t use sprouted flour (I suggest you buy some though, and get familiar with it!), you can use plain old flour. But, at least buy organic so you’re avoiding GMO wheat.

Take some free time when you have it and make your dough. If you make it ahead of time and freeze it, all you have to do is take out a dough ball the day before you want to make pizza and pop it in the fridge to thaw. On pizza night, whip up your sauce, assemble your pizza and within 20 minutes of starting time, you have fresh, delicious, homemade pizza!

Kiya’s Pizza Dough

1 1/2 c. sprouted spelt flour
3 c. organic all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. instant (rapid rise) yeast
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 3/4 c. ICE COLD water
organic cornmeal for dusting

Stir together flours, salt, and yeast in large bowl (I do mine in the kitchen-aid). Slowly stir in oil and cold water (I use the dough hook on my kitchen-aid) until all flour is absorbed. Mix 5-7 minutes until you have a smooth sticky dough. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl, but stick to the bottom of the bowl. Sprinkle flour on counter and transfer dough to floured counter. Cut dough into 4 equal pieces. Sprinkle flour over dough and flour your hands. Round each piece into a ball. Mist dough generously with spray olive oil.

At this point, I put the dough balls I don’t want to use that night into individual bags and put them in the freezer. Just put one in the fridge the day before you want to use it. For dough you are not planning on freezing, rest it overnight in the fridge and take out 2 hours before you want to make pizza to let it rest at room temperature.

Kiya’s Pizza Sauce

My sauce is a little tangy due to the white wine I put in it. If you’re not a fan of the flavor white wine lends to a dish, omit the wine and substitute with water. This recipe makes enough for two pizzas.

1 6-oz. can organic tomato paste
3 oz. warm water
1 1/2 oz. organic dry white wine
3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. anchovy paste (yes, you can easily find this at any grocery store)
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried marjoram
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Whisk all ingredients together and let sit 30 minutes to develop flavor.

Make Your Pizza

Preheat your pizza stone by placing it in the oven and turning your oven on to 450 degrees. Let sit in the hot oven for at least 30 minutes. Take the pizza stone out of the oven (leaving oven on) and place on a dish towel on top of your stove. Let it sit for a couple of minutes then dust with cornmeal. Flour your hands and toss or stretch the dough to pizza size; place on the baking stone. Spread on your sauce, cheese (I slice a ball of fresh mozzarella) and toppings. Bake 8-10 minutes until crust edges are browned and cheese is bubbly. Wait about 3-5 minutes before slicing. Voila! Enjoy!
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Reviving Traditional Foods

Food Renegade

challenging politically correct nutrition