Fried Dandelion Flowers

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I saw a site on 40 things to do with Dandelions and because I already make dandelion tea I thought I would try something the kids might enjoy since they are not into tea *yet*

I went out into the yard and picked 20 flowers (recipe could easily made 40 flowers)

I washed them and let them dry on paper towel and made sure the ants were out of them.  Which would just be good protein if they weren’t right.

Then I reached under a chicken and got a fresh egg and beat that in a bowl.

In another bowl I combined 2 tbsp of arrowroot flour, pinch of pink salt, pepper, garlic powder a dash of oregano and basil. (you can do any combo of spices you would like)

Heated Olive oil in a pan and dipped the flowers in the egg then the spices and fried for approx 3 min. 

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Drained on them on a paper towel…took a few pics for this blog and thought “oh it would be funny to end the blog with…They tasted like crap and what a waste of time”  But I can’t end the blog in that way…They were pretty AWESOME!  I am going to do up more and play with the coconut oil and sweet spices for dessert style.  Maybe a bit maple syrup instead of egg and cinnamon? 

There are tons of health benefits to Dandelion and if interested just google and you will get a list of what they can do for you.

 

 

 

PALEO WAFFLES AND MAPLE BACON ICE CREAM

ImageMy daughters asked me if I could buy them some waffles since they hadn’t had them in 18 months and were missing them for a *fast pop in the toaster* kind of breakfast.  I just cringed as I have never made waffles before and not sure of the process.  So out I went and bought a cheap waffle iron and came home to see if pancake batter was the same as waffle batter.  I guess it isn’t really…and so I found one that was Paleo approved and decided to give it a try.

Waffle Batter
(makes roughly 14 waffles)

- 6 egg whites
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (or whole milk if you are doing dairy)

- 2 cups almond flour

- 1/2 tsp salt

- 2 tsp vanilla

- 2 tsp maple syrup

- 4 tbsp coconut oil

- fat of your choice (I use bacon fat)

In a bowl I mix the egg yolks, milk, flour, salt, vanilla, maple syrup and coconut oil.

In a mixer I beat the 6 egg whites till frothy and then fold in the egg yolk mixture until all blended.

Heat your waffle iron and drizzle the bacon fat and I put 1/3 cup of batter on each side and cook for 3 minutes.

You can eat right away…or…you can lay them out on a cookie sheet and freeze them and then once frozen put them in a freezer bag and then toast them when wanted.  We find that 1 waffle will usually fill the kids where the adults will usually eat two.  Because of the good fats in this a little will take you much further.

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If you have never had Maple Syrup boiled over a WOOD FIRE, lets just say you haven’t LIVED!  My girlfriend Jane (another Paleo mom) taps her trees in the spring and boils her syrup over a wood fire and then because she LOVES me so much she gives me some of her Liquid Gold.  I have tasted lots of syrup, store, from sugar shacks, local from far, but I have NEVER EVER tasted anything as awesome as hers.  Wonder if she will give me another jar for this plug??? 

Another thing I wanted to try was George Bryant’s (Civilized Caveman) Maple Bacon Ice Cream.  I have made ice cream with coconut milk before and I find it really hardens in the freezer and more like eating ice shavings (unless I am just doing it wrong)  but I always have success with Whipping Cream and Whole Milk.  So even though the Dairy is not Paleo, I am not a big ice cream eater but my family is and they are more on the Primal side of eating (including dairy)  So here is the recipe for the Ice cream.

Maple Bacon Ice Cream

- 4 strips of bacon
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 2/3 cup maple syrup
- pinch salt
-1 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla

lay bacon on a rack in the oven or on tin foil and bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until crisp

In a bowl mix all the other ingredients and put into your ice cream maker (I bought mine at Canadian Tire for $80.00) and just before it really starts to thicken add the bacon bits.

This morning I added a bit of the ice cream on top of the waffle and then added the smokey maple syrup and it was divine!

shannon xox

Kombucha

Now that I am brewing my 3rd batch of Kombucha I think I am ready to share my experience, as little as it is.

What is KOMBUCHA you ask!

First it seems every research I did had a disclaimer first…so I am going to do that here as well….

Disclaimer: Information is for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the advice or attention of heath-care professionals.

With that out of the way…back to Kombucha
Here is the intro on the Kombucha Kamp site.

 

 

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The 3 Vinegar Tasters

 

Kombucha has been consumed for over 2000 years the world over. It has been extensively studied and applied for several medical uses in Russia, Germany, China and many other places.  It is naturally carbonated and is purported to have a host of healing properties that may include:

 

*Probiotics – healthy bacteria
*Alkalize the body – balances internal pH
*Detoxify the liver – happy liver = happy mood
*Increase metabolism – rev your internal engine
*Improve digestion – keep your system moving
*Rebuild connective tissue – helps with arthritis, gout, asthma, rheumatism
*Cancer prevention
*Alleviate constipation
*Boost energy – helps with chronic fatigue
*Reduce blood pressure
*Relieve headaches & migraines
*Reduce kidney stones
*High in antioxidants – destroy free-radicals that cause cancer
*High in polyphenols
*Improve eyesight
*Heal excema – can be applied topically to soften the skin
*Prevent artheriosclerosis
*Speed healing of ulcers – kills h.pylori on contact
*Help clear up candida & yeast infections
*Aid healthy cell regeneration
*Reduce gray hair
*Lower glucose levels – prevents spiking from eating

http://www.kombuchakamp.com

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Really in a sense it means once you give the gut what it needs (healthy bacteria) then it will look after the body.  80% of your immune system is in your gut so if your gut is not happy, your body is not happy.  I personally have tried other fermented foods and it just didn’t go well for me.  Kombucha was suggested to me and even though it seemed like a daunting task to make my own, it was actually quite easy.

 

First what you need is a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast)

WHAT!?!?!  Where the heck do I get that!?!?!  Well you have options, you can grow your own from a commercial brand of Kombucha, which I did for my first batch.  But I have heard that the SCOBY might break down after a few batches.  You can get a SCOBY from a friend who brews Kombucha.  For each brew you make a new SCOBY is born, so some people are giving these away.  You can also order online and this is what I ended up doing.  Since brewing I have now met more Kombucha brewers so if you are looking for a SCOBY, I will have some and friends of my from all over have them.

Second thing you will need is Start LIquid…again this was another aspect that made me feel frustrated…SCOBY?!?  STARTER LIQUID?!?!  But if you get a SCOBY from a friend it will come in the starter liquid, and also if you order one online.  If you make your own the liquid the SCOBY grew in is the Starter Liquid.  EASY?  :)

Third you will need Organic Black or Green Tea.  I have been using the Organic Green Tea.  I have the black tea waiting for when the green run outs.

Fourth is Sugar.  I used Organic Cane Sugar for my first and second batch and my 3rd batch which is brewing right now I am trying the Turbinado Raw Sugar that I bought at the Whole Foods Headquarters in Austin Tx.  I hear you can use maple syrup as well!

So once you have your SCOBY, Starter liquid, Tea, Sugar you just need a gallon glass jar, a cloth and elastic.

Here are a few pictures

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At Day 6 of sitting in it’s corner I decided to taste it and so I slipped a straw pass the SCOBY to the bottom and took a sip. YUM!  it was ready to be bottled.  Here you can see the yeast strands….

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I grated a bit of ginger into each bottle and then filled them and capped them and put them on the counter for another few days to form the Carbonation.

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Every day we burped the bottle to that they wouldn’t explode (heard this can happen)

This was even better than the commercial brands I have tried.

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Here is our second batch, which we added different fruits into each.  This should be ready in a day or two.  I love my Kombucha and what it does for my body.  My daughter loves it just as much as I do so I have ordered an Continuous Brewer so we can have Kombucha ready everyday!

My next project….Fermented Ginger Beer!

Shannon

 

 

Coconut Berry Swirl Ice Cream

I am on a mission to continue to change the food my family eats.  Are they on board 110% like I am?  No not really I would say they are in the 80% range which is still really awesome!  So yesterday I bought a Cuisinart Ice Cream maker and today we made our first batch.  I got the recipe from my friends at http://sexfoodandkettlebells.squarespace.com/

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I personally cannot eat ice cream and haven’t for probably 7 or 8 years.  So it was not on my radar for change.  After eating Coconut Ice Cream with Avocado at Lick in Austin Texas I thought about the amount of ice cream my kids eat and decided I needed to change this food for us.

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Not only is it about changing the food we eat, but teaching my children where our food really comes from and how easy it is to make healthy choices.  They are part of the process, they understand the ingredients and they enjoy the food that much more.  I hope that I am changing the trend our last 3 generations have been moving towards…Heart Disease, Obesity, Cancer, Diabetes are ALL DIET related diseases. 

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20 minutes is an eternity to her…but I know I am adding years of life and health <3  I love my kids.

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I just asked them how it tasted and they both just yelled “GOOOOOD!!!”  So even though I didn’t think it was going to be sweet enough for them since they were used to the store bought crap.  I thought it would take time to change their palates…but they are good.  Yes!  Success :)

Here is the recipe from the popular bloggers of Sex, Food and Kettlebells.  Check them out.

  • 2 cans full fat organic coconut milk (14 oz, BPA free cans)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs (free-range)
  • 2 tbs vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup frozen organic raspberries
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder
  • ice cream maker

Directions:

1. Combine the coconut milk, eggs, vanilla, and 1/4 c maple syrup in a large bowl and mix well using a hand mixer. After it is well mixed, place the bowl in fridge or freezer until liquid is cold.

2. Once your ice cream mix is chilled, place it in your ice cream maker and turn it on (follow the directions for your appliance).

3. While your ice cream is churning, make the raspberry swirl.

4. Raspberry Swirl: Blend raspberries in the blender. Add 1/4 cup maple and raspberries to a saucepan on med/high on the stove. Stir continuously until completely mixed. Bring maple/raspberry mixture to a boil.

5. In a small bowl, mix water and arrowroot powder. Add to saucepan just before mixture hits a boil.

6. Allow maple/arrowroot/raspberry mixture to boil for 1 min, stirring, and then decrease temperature to a simmer, and stir continuously for 5-6 min. You will see the mixture thicken significantly. Let cool until ready to add to the ice cream (see next step).

7. After approx 30 min of churning the ice cream (a few minutes before ice cream is completed – follow instructions on your ice cream maker), slowly pour in the raspberry swirl.

8. Enjoy immediately and store extras in the freezer. If you prefer your ice cream harder, then place it in the freezer for a few minutes before consuming.

 

PALEO FX 2013

On March 26, 2013 at 4:00am I began the first leg of my 28 hour drive to Austin Texas.   Our group consisted of three other, eager participants from Ontario, Canada. Glen Lalond from Toronto, a Paleo Lifestyle Activist; Jon Randles of New Market, founder of Legendary Fitness and the popular blog Sex, Food & Kettlebells – A Guide to Ancestral Health in a Modern World; and Mitch Baird from the town of Thorold, the program developer for the Southern Ontario Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative.

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The Paleo Parking Lot Boys with Glen, Jon and Mitch.

There was never a lull in our conversations, on the various topics we discussed during our long trek.  We finally arrived at our destination in Austin at approximately 11:30 Wednesday night to the house that we were sharing with Michael Roesslein of Warrenville, Illinois, founder of Natural Evolution Holistic Health and Fitness.

It was ironic that for the past 18 months I was the healthiest I had ever been in my life, simply by following a Paleo/Primal lifestyle, and now, here I was, arriving at the Palmer Event Center, dehydrated, sleep deprived and with elevated cortisol levels.  Even so, I felt a certain level of comfort being with all of these people who just understood what I was dealing with.

Nora Gedgaudas was the opening key note speaker and probably the number one reason I attended this conference.  She spoke about the roots of various forms of adrenal dysregulation, based on more modern research and approaches for restoring a healthier state of internal stress management.  If you want to take steps toward improving your health and nutrition, Nora has mastered the skill of putting extremely, confusing topics into an easy to understand format.  Her book Primal Body, Primal Mind is a must read.  The rest of the day was packed with speakers including Dr. Cate Shanahan, Dr. Emily Deans, Sarah Fragoso, Dr. Terry Wahls, Dr. Lauren Noel, Steve Cooksey, and Robb Wolf.  I was especially impressed with Dr. Terry Wahls, who suffered from secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, and had spent four years confined to a tilt recline wheelchair. After combining Functional Medicine, Ancestral Health and the nutritional needs of the brain, she restored her health and less than a year later was out cycling 18 miles with her family.  If that doesn’t impress you…

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Stefani Ruper, Beverly Meyer, Diane Sanfilippo, Sarah Fragoso, Nora Gedgaudas

People entered the Paleo realm from different paths, whether from trying to improve diet, reverse disease, or increase their overall performance. As I am still in the healing stage of my journey, I was unable to spend time with the ‘awesome’, movement workshops running outside such as Mov Nat, Parkour, and Primal Play; although, after listening to my travel companions sharing their experiences I will certainly partake in these activities next year.

There was also cooking demonstrations and since I LOVE cooking and photographing my food, this was an area of interest as well.  As I was spending most of my time listening to panel discussions, on various topics from women’s health, creating new habits, the effect of hormones, circadian rhythms and much more, I did not get many cooking demos in.  There was more than enough topics to choose from, and sometimes you were in a state of panic of having to decide between topics, as they were presenting at the same time.  This really helped me to focus my interest and to determine what was important and relevant to me right now.

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George Bryant & Julie Bauer

I also went to the Paleo FX Conference imagining that all of my idols and gurus would be behind the scenes, while we lowly groupies would remain in the audience, waiting in long lines to shake their hands or snap a picture or two.  To my delight there was no ‘THEM’ and ‘US’ thinking it was ‘WE’ and I have to say that this was probably one of my favourite parts of  PFX. Not only did I get the chance to meet the authors of several books I have read over and over, along with the cooking or health blogs I follow like a religion, I was able hang out with them and then chat with them as they made themselves totally accessible for the entire event.  They seemed truly interested in our stories, and I am certain that sharing the fact that we drove 28 hours to see them really worked its magic …pity has its place!

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        Michelle Tam & Jon Randles                                              Glen Lalonde & Robb Wolf

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Abel Bascom, Nora Gedgaudas, Jacob Egbert, Dan Pardi, Emily Deans, Dan French, Amy Kubal

There was a moment, during my week at PFX, that I stepped out for lunch.  On my way back, I came upon a homeless man who was crawling on the ground collecting what I thought were stones. As I got closer, I realized he was collecting nuts that had fallen from the tree we were under.

I stood there for a moment and all I could think about was those hundreds of people, inside the events centre, trying to learn the ways of our ancestors from various doctors, scientists and chefs, and yet… here was a real live gatherer right outside the doors.  I do not believe that anyone asked him to come and speak about his experiences.  I even wonder how many people would even acknowledge his presence or that of the other gatherers living along the train tracks, which were living off Mother Earth.  Sadly sometimes the homeless become nothing more than wallpaper.

Another group of people, who were not represented at PFX, was our own indigenous peoples, those real live hunters and gatherers of today living off of the land.  Now that would have been an impressive panel. Sometimes we all forget to look right in front of us.

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Mitch Baird of the Southern Ontario Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative

Looking back at the trip I loved every aspect of it, even including the flat tire we had to deal with on our way home, while in Tennessee.  I learned, I laughed, I cried and happily, I made some incredible friends.  Would I go back next year?  Certainly; although, next year we fly!

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I guess this is considered Grain Free…

OK maybe not food related but still health related!

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If you are anything like me and have mini fantasies about living in the woods (like snow white…minus the dwarfs) herbs hanging and drying and making all your own household needs from scratch…yes I do have mini fantasies or maybe they are flashbacks to a previous life. And YES that is a BREW of KOMBUCHA on the window sill! (another blog to come) Point is, I get GREAT satisfaction for making my own things and especially when they work.  A while back I posted about deodorant and I am happy to say I AM STILL IN LOVE!

So why bother making your own laundry detergent?  Other than the fact that is is super cheap and easy…conventional laundry detergent is loaded with chemicals like sulfates, fragrances, phenols and more. Many brands contain things like petroleum distillates, which are linked to cancer and lung disease. Fragrances in these detergents are made of a mix of harmful chemicals.  YUCK!  Also I am all about “doing better when I know better” and lowering my and my families exposure of harmful chemicals.

- 1- 5 gallon bucket with lid (got mine at home depot)

-1 bar of soap (Dr.Bonner’s Pure Castille)  I used an Organic scentless glycerin bar from the health food store.

- 1 cup Borax (there are alternatives if you don’t want to use borax)  I did.

- 1 cup Washing Soda

- 2 tbsp baking soda

- Essential oils (I used lavender)

  1. Grate one bar of soap with cheese grater or food processor.
  2. Put grated soap in pot with 2 quarts water and gradually heat, stirring constantly until soap is completely dissolved.
  3. Put 4.5 gallons of really hot tap water in a 5-gallon bucket and stir in 1 cup of borax, 1 cup of Washing Soda and 2 tbsp baking soda until completely dissolved.
  4. Pour soap mixture from pan into 5-gallon bucket.
  5. Put 40 drops of your Essential oil (or combination of) Stir well.
  6. Cover and leave overnight.
  7. Shake or stir until smooth and pour into gallon jugs or other containers.
  8. Use 1/2 to 1 cup per load.

A Five-Gallon batch costs $4.30 and washes at least 80 loads, costing about $0.05 per load!

another cool idea and fun project until I got the wool tangled up…just don’t do that!  Making your own scented dryer balls! 

I just went and bought some balls of 100% wool.  Wound them up into balls.  Put them in a stocking leg (put ball in bottom tie know, put in the next ball, tie knot and so on like a sausage.  Put through the wash cycle and then into the dryer (to felt them)  Took a while to dry…then I put drops of my favorite Essential Oils and ta da!!! 

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I know I have increased my fish intake, but something smells

Oh wait my Dove antiperspirant deodorant stinks.  Well it actually smells really nice and does a wonderful job, but the ingredients stink.  I am an AVID ARBONNE user and even though Arbonne has a deodorant out, I am not a fan of mint…actually really don’t like mint smell at all.  So my friend Jane told me about a deodorant she was making and I was all over that like….well like me on bacon.

So I cleaned out a deodorant container and got to work on the recipe.  So easy and I have been using it for a week now and I really love it.

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I know you can read but I will list it out so you can copy and paste ;)

1/2 cup arrowroot flour

1/2 cup baking soda

5 drops each of your fav oils.  (tea tree, eucalyptus, cinnamon is what I used, Jane used the first two and Lavender…I smelt it it was awesome!)  Mine is pretty good too except I want to lick my underarms *blush*

approx 5 tbsp coconut oil melted

Mix all together and either put into an old deodorant container, or even make into a ball and put in a baggie and rub on.

Since doing this I have ordered some empty container and a few more oils from http://www.saffireblue.ca  I got ocean breeze and a gentlemen’s scent.  Yes I am making a tube for each member of my family.

WHY?  Well just too many people close to me are being diagnosed with breast cancer and I am going to do everything I can do for me and my girls.

As for the fish comment…that is for another post!!!!!

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