Organic Berry Rhubarb Muffins

One of my favorite things about simple livin’ is seasonal menus. I don’t have to spend a lot of time planning what I will make because when the pears are ripe we will have things made from pears, when the tomatoes are ripe we will have wonderful tomato dishes etc. Well it’s rhubarb season at the moment and after making the traditional rhubarb dishes like rhubarb pie and rhubarb jam, and tucking some away in the freezer for a mid-winter rhubarb fix, I decided to do some experimenting. I started out with a traditional muffin recipe but…well, I just can’t help myself. I tweaked and substituted my way into a completely different recipe and these breakfast muffins are scrumptious as well as healthy.

 

Berry Rhubarb Walnut Muffins

 

Organic Berry Rhubarb Muffins

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups organic unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 cup organic stone ground whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup organic ground flaxseed meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups organic brown sugar (or partially substitute some stevia to reduce calories)
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut oil (melted but not hot)
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups organic kefir or buttermilk

Fold in

  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh organic rhubarb
  • 1 cup diced fresh organic berries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 12 cup muffin pans or line with paper cups.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, flaxseed meal, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the brown sugar, coconut oil, egg, vanilla and kefir or buttermilk with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour in the dry ingredients and mix by hand just until blended. Stir in the rhubarb, berries and walnuts. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, filling almost to the top. Sprinkle top of each muffin with raw sugar.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed, about 25-30 minutes. Cool in the pans before removing.

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

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JUN the Champaign of Kombucha

Aged Bottled JUN
Aged Bottled JUN

JUN the Champaign of Kombucha

This wonderfully light, crisp, effervescent beverage has many health benefits, delicious and easy to make. I was recently on a long and strong course of chemotherapy and it did a lot of damage to my immune system and many other areas while it was eradicating any remaining trace cancer cells and I suspended my use of this powerfully beneficial beverage. Now that my treatment has ended I’ve resumed drinking JUN and feel much healthier and more energetic. I suppose it’s because it’s a simple drink made from simple ingredients that’s simply wonderful! Here’s how you can make your own.

Note: Unpasteurized JUN or Kombucha will continue to develop a new baby SCOBY so if you are squeamish about them floating in your brew just pour thru a nylon or high quality stainless steel tea strainer into your glass and put what it catches into your compost.

You can get a JUN SCOBY here or you can get a daughter from a fellow brewer. I use a 1 gallon glass jar as my fermenting vessel and a coffee filter to cover the top securing it with a rubber band or breathable cap.

 

JUN TEA

Ingredients:

3 ½ Quarts of non-chlorinated water

8 organic Green Tea Bags

¾ Cup Raw Honey (I use clover due to tree allergies)

1 JUN SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast)

2 Cups of previously brewed JUN that your SCOBY was stored in

(this is known as a SCOBY Hotel)

Jun Ingredients
Jun Ingredients

Directions:

In a large pan bring to a boil 3 ½ quarts of non-chlorinated water. Add 8 organic green tea bags and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat, cover and cool to 117 degrees. Remove tea bags and add ¾ cup of raw honey and stir until completely dissolved. Continue to cool until it’s room temperature then pour it into your fermenting vessel. Add 2 cups of previously fermented JUN from your SCOBY hotel and your SCOBY. Cover with the coffee filter and secure with a rubber band or breathable cap. Leave in a cool place out of direct sunlight for 6 – 8 days. It will grow a daughter SCOBY on top. (This can be used to brew your next batch of JUN). Remove the mother and daughter SCOBY and 2 cups of brewed JUN and put them back in your SCOBY hotel and refrigerate until your next brew date. You can strain and bottle at this point or add flavorings like fruit or ginger root if you prefer. If you add flavorings put them in with the JUN and cover with coffee filter for a couple of extra days then strain and bottle. If you store the bottles in the fridge right away it will not become effervescent. I leave my bottled brew on the counter for 2 – 3 days before I refrigerate so that it has some carbonation.

Brewing Tea
Brewing Tea
SCOBY Hotel
SCOBY Hotel

 

Fermenting the JUN
Fermenting the JUN

 

Flavoring the JUN with Ginger Root
Flavoring the JUN with Ginger Root
Aged Bottled JUN
Aged Bottled JUN

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

GLUTEN FREE BUCKWHEAT PANCAKES…. YUM!!! (Fussy Husband Approved)

GLUTEN FREE BUCKWHEAT PANCAKES

Gluten free Buckwheat Pancakes
Gluten free Buckwheat Pancakes

These can also be made vegan with a couple of substitutions.

 

Ingredients:

Dry

1/2 cup organic buckwheat flour

1/4 cup organic oat flour

1/4 cup organic tapioca flour

2 tablespoons organic cornstarch or arrowroot

1 tablespoon organic ground golden flax seed meal

1 tablespoon baking powder (Aluminum free)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon organic cinnamon

 

Wet

1/2 cup buttermilk or kefir (or nondairy milk if you are a Vegan)

1/4 cup non-chlorinated water

1 organic egg (or equivalent egg substitute if you are a Vegan)

2 tablespoons organic pure maple syrup or agave nectar

2 tablespoons grape seed oil or whatever oil you prefer.

1 teaspoon organic pure vanilla extract

Preparation:

In a large mixing bowl, sift together all dry ingredients including baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add the remaining wet ingredients and mix well. Let the batter rest while you preheat (medium heat) a griddle or skillet. When the griddle is hot, spray it with cooking spray or brush it with oil. Stir batter between cooking pancakes. Pour the batter by 1/3 cupful’s onto hot griddle/skillet. The pancake will start to form little bubbles as it cooks, but won’t rise as much as conventional pancakes. Cook for about 3 minutes, then flip over and cook the other side for 2 – 3 minutes more. Brush more oil onto the griddle/skillet between cooking pancakes or they will stick to the pan.

 

Makes about 10 pancakes.

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

 

Magnificent Gluten Free Spaghetti Dinner – Magnifica Cena Spaghetti Senza Glutine

I love pasta. I love Italian food. Now that my husband is trying to be gluten free and I prefer organic I’m finding that coming up with meals that align with both of our lifestyle choices and taste authentic a bit challenging. After much persistence and perseverance I think I’ve hit on a pretty close approximation of an acceptable Italian dinner. There are times when I have to remember that even Thomas Edison said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.

Gluten Free Spaghetti with Organic Meat Sauce
Gluten Free Spaghetti with Mostly Organic Meat Sauce

 

Mostly Organic Italian Pasta Sauce with Meat

(This makes a gallon of sauce so I can what is left over in glass jars in a pressure canner but it can be frozen also)

Home Canned Mostly Organic Pasta Sauce with Meat
Home Canned Mostly Organic Pasta Sauce with Meat

In a large stainless steel 6 quart pan put enough Organic Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil to coat bottom. This amount will vary depending on the fat content of the meat you use.

Brown and crumble in Organic Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil to brown ground meat

1 pound of organic 99% lean ground beef

¾ pound ground Cudighi or sweet Italian sausage (casing removed)

ADD

1 organic yellow bell pepper (seeded and diced)

1 medium organic sweet yellow onion (peeled and diced)

1 – 8 ounce package organic portabella mushrooms (minced or sliced)

½ cup organic sweet red wine (I make my own but you can use Marsala or Port)

3 cloves garlic (peeled and pressed thru a garlic press or finely minced)

½ teaspoon organic red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons organic turbinado sugar

1 tablespoon beef soup base powder or granules

2 tablespoons organic dried Italian flat leaf parsley

2 tablespoons organic dried sweet basil

SIMMER STIRRING OCCASSIONALLY UNTIL VEGETABLES ARE TENDER THEN ADD

3 quarts of canned tomatoes in their juice (blended in a blender)

3 – 8 ounce cans of any brand of organic tomato paste.

sea salt to taste

SIMMER UNTIL REDUCED TO DESIRED THICKNESS. COOK GLUTEN FREE PASTA ACCORDING TO DIRECTIONS ON PACKAGE. I USE THE PASTA PICTURED BELOW AND GOT IT AT WALMART.

Tinkyada Brown Rice Spaghetti
Tinkyada Brown Rice Spaghetti

WHEN READY TO PLATE TOP WITH FRESH GRATED ASIAGO CHEESE

Fresh grated Asiago Cheese
Fresh grated Asiago Cheese

Serve with Garlic Bread made from My Gluten Free Bread Recipe and an organic toss salad. Stay tuned for my Italian salad dressing mix recipe coming soon. For those who prefer a creamy dressing try My Ranch Dressing Recipe.

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

Nature’s Nectar – Cherry Wine

After learning about making yeast from readynutrition.com Survival Food Series: 3 Ways To Naturally Make Yeast I decided to try it out and see if I could make wine without purchasing wine yeast. I’ve made wine and beer for many years but have always purchased the little packets of yeast. When I let nature take care of this process for me the fermentation process took longer to start (11 days verses 1 day) but the overall flavor was more true to the fruit that I used and it was crisp and clear.

Cherry Wine
Cherry Wine

Nature’s Nectar Cherry Wine

 

Ingredients

3 Quarts Unprocessed Sour Cherry Juice (room temperature)

(mine was drained from frozen cherries that my daughter-in-law picked and I added enough other fruit juice to make it equal 3 quarts)

2 Quarts non-chlorinated water

2 Pounds raw organic sugar

cherry wine fermenting
cherry wine fermenting

In large sauce pan dissolve sugar in 1 quart of water. Let cool to room temperature. Combine all ingredients in a 1 gallon sterile glass carboy and put airlock in place. Fermentation will start in 1 to 2 weeks. Leave ferment in a cool place out of direct sunlight until bubbling stops. Siphon off the cleared wine into sterile dark wine bottles and insert cork stoppers.

POUR, ENJOY!!

 

Enjoy!  Here is one of my favorite quote to start your day!!

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

Super Food Side Dish

Super Food Side Dish

Super Food Side Dish Over Rice
Super Food Side Dish Over Rice

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons Rosemary Garlic infused cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

(I make this by adding a few sprigs of rosemary and a few cloves of halved garlic to a bottle and fill it with cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. Then cover it and leave it set in a cool dry place for a few weeks)

3 Tablespoons Organic Grape seed oil

2 medium yellow onions (sliced)

8 ounces portabella mushrooms (sliced)

1 large organic green bell pepper (diced)

1 Tablespoon organic minced garlic

 

Season with

Low sodium organic fermented soy sauce (to taste)

Course ground sea salt (to taste)

Saute Ingredients To Desired Consistancy
Saute Ingredients To Desired Consistancy

Combine ingredients in a large skillet and sauté until it reaches desired consistency.

Serve over jasmine rice or quinoa cooked in vegetable stock.

 

Enjoy!  Here is one of my favorite quote to start your day!!

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

Where’s The Sours?

Fermenting Banana Peppers
Fermenting Banana Peppers

Long ago people used to have fermented food with every meal to aid in digestion. I remember having some of my much older relatives over for dinner and forgetting to serve some fermented food as one of the courses and inevitably one of them would pipe up and ask “Where’s the sours”? meaning the probiotic rich fermented food or condiment that would help their digestion and of course that “other” later part of digestion! Probiotics are not a new discovery, they’ve been a part of healthy eating since the beginning of time. We are now rediscovering what a huge benefit they are. I’m fortunate that I had family to teach me how to culture this type of food and how really easy it is. I like a little heat and zing so here is my recipe for Fermented Hot Banana Peppers but you can do the same with regular banana peppers or jalapenos or whatever your preference is. Fresh organic produce, cleanliness and patience are the 3 keys factors in successful fermentation. Produce that has been treated to have a “stay fresh” appearance in the produce section of the supermarkets do not ferment as well. This is the same reasoning behind using non-chlorinated water and unbleached flour. Chlorine kills the process because it kills yeasts, molds and bacteria, good and bad!

Fermented Banana Peppers - Finishe Product
Fermented Banana Peppers – Finished Product

Fermented Hungarian Hot Wax (Banana ) Peppers

 

4-5 large ripe Hungarian Hot Was Banana Peppers (about a pound) sliced into desired size.

½ small onion peeled and sliced thin

2 cloves garlic peeled and halved

1 small jalapeno sliced (optional)

1 Tablespoon sea salt

1 Tablespoon of whey from kefir or plain yogurt or sour cream

(This is the clear liquid that separated from the milk product. Pour it off into a small jar and save it in your fridge. This will be your “good bacteria” boost)

Non-Chlorinated water

Fermenting Accessories
Fermenting Accessories

You will need something to cover the top of the peppers to submerge them under the brine. I use Grape Leaves since I have grape vines and they are accessible. They also help keep pickles and peppers crisp. But you could also use carrots slices cut lengthwise the width of your jar and a weight to keep the peppers under the brine.

Make sure all your hands, produce, utensils and jars and surfaces are clean.

Dissolve the salt in some of the water

Layer in your jar, sliced onion, sliced jalapeno (if used), halved garlic cloves. Fill Jar to the “shoulder” with sliced banana peppers (allow room at the top so that there can be at least a ½ inch of brine over the peppers).

Add Whey and water with dissolved salt. Fill with water to I inch from top of jar. Insert whatever you are using to submerge your peppers (these Fermenta Dunk Extenders are really nice and no fuss for keeping you stuff submerged below the brine). I put my grape leaves on top and add a Fermenta Dunk Weight. Then close your jar and and set it in a cool place away from drafts and direct sunlight until it reaches the desired tartness. I leave mine ferment for a few weeks. If you aren’t using a jar with an airlock, like the Fermenta Fido Airlock Jar 1 QT Jar, you will need to occasionally burb the jar to relieve pressure from the gases that will build up. Once you are happy with the flavor pop it into the fridge or other cool place.

Fermanted Banana Peppers Before and After
Fermanted Banana Peppers Before and After