March 19, 2009

Raw Cream Cheese Heaven!

I am so exited and thrilled that my latest accidental experiment turned out so well!! I was trying to make more of the wonderful raw buttermilk that I talked about in my last post and forgot about it!!! So when I finally remembered to look at it, the whey had already separated out of it. So I'm thinking...let's make cream cheese! Now the last time I tried making cream cheese I made it just from the raw milk..and I must say it turned out awfully gross. But this time being made from buttermilk and not just soured raw turned out Heavenly!!! Success!!

This is what you do:
**If you would like to see pictures: just look at the post I did here, only use the raw buttermilk and not plain raw milk!

1) Fill a quart mason jar with RAW buttermilk and screw on lid.
**You have to use the raw buttermilk you make yourself NOT the store bought kind!

2) Set it in a warm cabinet until you see the yellowish whey separate. This will take 1-2 days instead of 3-4 for just the raw milk.

3) Get a dishtowel or cloth napkin damp and place over a strainer/colander in a large bowl. Now pour the contents of your mason jar in and let it drain.

4) When most of it drains, tie the ends of the towel around a spoon and let drain until the dripping completely stops.

Now you have your whey and WONDERFUL CREAM CHEESE!!!!
I will never make the cream cheese from just soured milk again. This cream cheese from buttermilk tastes very similar from what you buy at the store only it is more light and fluffy. You may want to add a little salt if you like, but I don't find it necessary! You CAN use this with dessert recipes! I can't wait to make raw cheesecake with this!!!!

From the quart of buttermilk I got:
2 1/4 cup whey
1 1/4 cup cream cheese (10 oz)
COST: $1.50!!! Much cheaper than what you buy organic cream cheese at the it's raw!!

I just added this post to a wonderful blog carnival called, "Fight Back Fridays" on the blog called Food Renegade. It is a wonderful site...check it out here:

March 17, 2009

Cultured Whole Milk Buttermilk and Sour Cream!!

Buttermilk is wonderfully EASY with a capital "E" to make!! The NT book tells you to send off for some starter somewhere but that is completely unnecessary! I found this marvelous website here, that tells you how to easily make your own buttermilk by just using commercial cultured whole milk buttermilk!!

***The buttermilk you get after making butter is NOT the same as the whole milk cultured buttermilk that is sold in the stores or that I'm making here!!

Here's what you do:

1. Pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup of store bought cultured buttermilk into a quart mason jar.

(I used 1/4 C of Borden's whole milk buttermilk-I like them because they don't use hormones)

2. Fill the rest of the jar with raw milk and screw on the lid.....then shake it up well.

3. Set it in a warm cabinet (NT says not higher than 80 degrees) and leave until it thickens. It took mine about a day. Then put in the fridge and use as needed!!

4. When you get down to about 1/4 to 1/2 a cup left, just refill with milk and do it again for more buttermilk!

Now this same website tells you this is the same way to make SOUR CREAM!! Just put your 1/4 to 1/2 cup of buttermilk(store bought, or what you just made!) into the mason jar and fill with cream instead of milk for sour cream! I can't wait to try this!!!

COST: Since I buy my raw milk for $6/gal, to make my own RAW, organic buttermilk it only costs me $1.50/quart!!!!!!

February 25, 2009

Hot Chocolate or Chocolate Milk!!

NT has a recipe for a raw milk warmer with carob powder and other ingredients on page 88. Perhaps I will try that sometime...but until then how about a whole food version of good 'ol fashioned hot chocolate? I don't understand what Sally Fallon has against chocolate. A little caffeine once in a while never hurt long as it is organic chocolate...right?! Remember all the great antioxidants it is supposed to have! :)

For a single serving:
One cup raw milk
2 ts organic cocoa powder
2 ts organic sucanat (granulated cane)
1 shake sea salt
drop of vanilla if desired
Put all in a sauce pan and stir, warming on low heat until desired temperature.
I usually make this with 4 or 5 servings at a time.
Of course you will want to play around and see how much sweetener you like in yours. The recipe on the cocoa container actually called for only 1 ts per cup...but that was not enough for us! I would like to experiment with this using stevia sometime. I will let you know if I do.
Now if you just want to drink Chocolate Milk that is cold...all you do is put all the ingredients in a jar or container with a lid and shake, shake, shake until it is mixed up really well!! You can't just put the cocoa into a glass of cold milk and stir it with a spoon like you can do with Neslie Quick! It won't dissolve! So just a little shakey-shake and it is good to go!!!
Every Wed. when we get our fresh supply of milk it is Chocolate Milk Day....or Hot Cocoa day if it is cold! This is also a good camouflage if your milk has turned just a little sour and not so fresh tasting. Remember soured raw milk is not bad for you...I am not talking about store bought milk that you definitely would not drink if it tasted the least bit will not sour like raw milk.

Meat Products

Lunch Meat

Sometimes I find the Hormel cheaper and sometimes the Oscar Myer depending on where I shop.

Hormel Natural Choice Brand: (I'll add the prices later)
**This is not organic meat, but does not contain Nitrates, Nitrites or MSG.
Oven Roasted Turkey
Honey Turkey
Roast Beef
Uncured Pepperoni
**They also have ham, but I don't usually buy it.
Hard Salami

Oscar Myer nitrate free lunch meat:
Turkey & Ham

Frans Fryers:
I buy my whole chicken, ground turkey, and beef from a company called Frans Fryers. Their meat is not labeled as "organic" but they do not use hormones, or antibiotics etc so it is much healthier. This meat is sold at The Granery and Drug Emporium, but I get it a lot cheaper through a local co-op that delivers once a month to a ladies home. I plan to add more info later about how I use my meats and the costs etc.

Ground Turkey
I buy the ground turkey in 10 lbs packages that come frozen. The ground turkey is so much cheaper than the ground beef. I do occasionally buy the ground beef for a "splurge" but really we can't tell much of a difference in the recipes I use them in. So when I'm ready to thaw out the big 10 lbs pk I put it in a big plastic garbage bag and tie the end up (to catch any blood that leaks out) then I stick it in my fridge to thaw for several days. I then cook it all up in a big batch in one day. I have a big skillet that will hold 5 lbs at a time. I sprinkle on garlic powder, onion powder, basil, and oregano while cooking! I drain off the fat and let it cool off before putting them in 1 lb portions in zip lock bags. I then freeze these bags and they are very convenient to take down and throw in whatever recipe I am using! The 10 lbs of raw meat cooks down to about 7 lbs of cooked meat.

Whole Chicken
When I get the whole chickens they are not frozen so I usually roast 2 the day I get them and freeze the rest. I'm sure they would taste a lot better if I rubbed herbs and spices all over them up inside and under the skin...but I don't do that very often...I just stick them in the pan and roast them in the oven sometimes with some veggies around them. When they are done and cooled I debone them and either use the meat then or freeze it for later use. The chickens are usually around 3.5 lbs each and I normally can get about 1 lbs of cooked meat (2 1/2 -3 Cups) per chicken. I then get rid of the skins and take the bones and either make chicken stock with them then OR put them in a zip lock bag and freeze them for later use. Right now I have about 3 big gallon zip lock bags of bones in the freezer waiting for me!! I am behind!

I usually buy one or two nice roast each month. We would love to eat it more often but it is expensive. And of course I save the bones for beef broth later!

I don't want you to think that I ONLY eat meat from here. We also buy regular meats sometimes....but I really want to start eating more meatless meals and restricting our meat intake to healthier meats.

February 24, 2009

Dairy Products

Trimble Dairy:
Whole raw milk: $6/gal
raw cream: $3/quart (actually the cream content varies in the container)

Woodstock Farms Organic Unsalted Butter-16 0z-$4.99-The Granery

Sour Cream

Cream Cheese

Cheddar Cheese

Dairy Recipes

Cultured Buttermilk & Sour Cream

Cream Cheese & Whey: from raw buttermilk, Yummy!

Cream Cheese & Whey :from raw soured milk, Yuck!

Hot Chocolate or Chocolate Milk

Food in Jars/Cans

I'll be gradually adding to this page as I have time!

Apple Sauce:

Tree of Life Organic-Regular or Cinnamon- 24 oz- $4.35 (.181 /oz)- Drug Emporium
Full Circle-Organic- 25 oz- $3.68- (.147 /oz)-Super One

Canned Salmon:

Honey Boy skinnless/boneless pink-6 oz-$1.81 (.30/oz)-Super One

Jams/Jelly: **If I don't buy organic, I do buy the kind with NO corn syrup!
Full Circle Organic-10 oz-$2.57 (.257/oz)-Super One
Polaner All Fruit: (Not organic...but does not contain corn syrup)-10 oz- Drug Emporium
$1.88 (.19/oz) or $2.07 (.21/oz) depending on what flavor you get.

Favorite Food Products

This is a list to pages in which I will keep track of the various brands that I like, how much they cost and where I purchase them. I'm hoping this will help with some cost comparison. Sorry this page is under construction: I'm trying to write it all down in a notebook and get it organized before I post it to the various pages. I will gradually be adding as to the various pages as I get time!








Food in Jars/Cans

February 16, 2009

Eat Your Broccoli Sprouts: Cut your cancer risk!

Nourishing Traditions has much info on the benefits of sprouts on pages 112-118. Surprisingly she does not mention broccoli sprouts. This must have been written before scientists discovered their amazing cancer preventive properties!
From Johns Hopkins scientists:
"Three-day-old broccoli sprouts consistently contain 20 to 50 times the amount of chemoprotective compounds found in mature broccoli heads, and may offer a simple, dietary means of chemically reducing cancer risk," says Paul Talalay, M.D., J.J. Abel Distinguished Service Professor of Pharmacology"........." people would still have to eat unreasonably large quantities of broccoli to get any significant promotion of Phase 2 enzymes," Talalay says.
Clinical studies are currently under way to see if eating a few tablespoons of the sprouts daily can supply the same degree of chemoprotection as one to two pounds of broccoli eaten weekly. The sprouts look and taste something like alfalfa sprouts, according to Talalay Read full article Here!

To me the sprouts taste like a cross between broccoli and radishes. You can eat them in a sandwich, throw them in soup, put them on pizza, or to get your kids to eat them...grind them up and hide them in things!!!

Step One: Pour 1/4 cup of broccoli seeds in a mason jar. I get the seeds from The Granery.

Step 2: pour filtered water in and soak your seeds overnight.

Step 3: Drain the water and put a breathable cover over it. I got this nifty cover with holes in the top from The Granery that screws over a mason jar. If you don't have that you could just put a paper towel with a rubber band. Place in a dark cabinet for 2-3 days. I like to try to roll the seeds up on the sides so they won't be stuck together. You want to have the air circulating around them. You have to take it out of the cabinet and rinse the seeds with water 2-3 times per day. This keeps mold from forming. I noticed on the seed jar it mentioned adding vit C powder to the rinsing water to help with this... but I have never done that and they are fine. It can be tricky to rinse these if you don't have a screw on cover. I have lost many seeds in the sink before I got this. Try whatever method works best for you.

See the cute little sprouts coming out after 2 days? Don't forget to keep rinsing!

Step 4:
On about the 4th day take the sprouts and place in indirect sunlight to help them turn green and produce chlorophyll. I like to turn my periodically during the day to make sure all the sprouts get some light.
(I actually think I should have left these in the cabinet a bit longer to get more sprouts) Sometimes if they clump together they don't sprout as well.
Step 5: Eat them now or put a lid on and store in the refrigerator. Yum! Yum!
I hate to say it but I am not a big veggie fan, unlike my husband who could eat them all day long! So when I do eat them, I want to get the most bang from my buck nutrition wise. And with broccoli sprouts you can't go wrong there!

February 1, 2009

Cream Cheese and Whey

(Nourishing Traditions page 87)

The recipe says you need either: 2 quarts piima milk, whole-milk buttermilk, yoghurt or raw milk.

I chose to do raw milk for this version since I had it on hand. I also only used 1 quart instead of two.
Step 1:
Pour 1 qt raw milk into a clean mason jar and put up in a warm cabinet. Leave there for 2-4 days until the whey separates from the milk. This is not the same as the milk separating from the cream as you see in the picture to the left! See the yellowish cream at the top? My top cabinet maintains a consistent temperature of about 75 degrees. This process will work with cooler temps but not if it is too cold.

Step 2:

This is how it looks after 4 days in my cupboard. You will see a clearish yellowish liquid in there. That is the whey!

Step 3:

Now line a strainer with a clean cloth napkin, dishtowel, or cheese cloth and place in a bowl. ** Here's a little tip I read online: If you get the cloth wet (wring it out) before you pour the milk in, this will prevent the whey from being soaked up in the towel. It really does work!

Step 4:

Pour the contents of the mason jar into the covered strainer. See all the frothy bubbles? You know the lactic acid is doing it's job!

Step 5:
Leave in the bowl at room temperature until all the whey drains into the bottom of the bowl.

***OK I deviated from the directions here and put this in the fridge to drain...BIG MISTAKE! I did this after reading advice from someone else online who said this would make the cream cheese more mild tasting. Now I'm wondering if she used yoghurt instead of raw milk...anyhow, when I put it in the fridge the whey went back into the milk and I didn't have just whey straining out. ARG! So...Mayday...mayday..abort. Seeing that this did not work I quickly ground up some flour and mixed this up with it to soak for a batch of pancakes for the next mornings breakfast! Waste not want not, I always say!

Back to Step 1-2:

I woke up one morning to find one of the kids had left out the carton of milk on the counter overnight. So I'm thinking perfect opportunity to try this again! So I pour this into the mason jar and put it back up into my cabinet and it's cozy 75 degrees. Well something weird happened...Now only after 2 days did I see the whey come. In the picture to the left you can see the clear yellowish liquid near the bottom this time. So for some reason the process was accelerated. Maybe it was being in the milk carton...who knows! As you can see this is not an exact science.

Step 3-4 Again:
This time when I poured it in it did not look as bubbly and frothy, but it is still good. Like I said...not an exact science. **Don't forget to get the cloth damp, otherwise a lot of the whey will be soaked up into the cloth instead of in the bowl.

Step 5: Now this time: I left it out at room temperature to drain and I had success! The lovely yellow whey came to the bottom. This should take several hours. I have always loved science experiments!

Step 6, yeah...we're progressing:

Once most of the whey stops draining, tie up the cheese in the towel around a big spoon and let it continue to drip until it completely stops. You may need to squeeze it a little.

Step 7:
Now you have the whey with all the great lactic acid for all your soaking and fermenting fun!! And your cream cheese! Now I must tell you that this cream cheese does not taste ANYTHING like the cream cheese you buy in the store. It has a sour taste that I would describe as yeasty. An acquired taste to be sure. I would definitely not use this for recipes in desserts. Now in a dip with lots of garlic and spicy would work.

Step 8:
The NT book says to store the whey in a mason jar and the cheese in a covered glass container. Refrigerated, the cream cheese keeps for about 1 month and the whey for about 6 months.

Starting with 1 quart of milk, I ended up with 2 2/3 Cup of whey and 1/2 Cup of cream cheese (7 oz wt.) The resulting products cost me...hmmm let's see here...$6 for the gal of milk by 4 = $1.50. Not bad considering this is raw, organic, and you can't buy whey anywhere!

I think next time I do this I will try it with my favorite store bought yoghurt and see the difference in how the cream cheese tastes. I love this Cascade Fresh brand that I can only get at a local health food store (The Granery) It is not labeled as organic, but it does not contain hormones.

Then maybe I will try it with homemade yoghurt ;)

January 30, 2009

Thoughts on purchasing, storing, and preparing food.

I don't have a microwave. That may seem weird to you. It seems I have had one my entire life and I used it every day until about a year or so ago. I can't remember where I first read about the dangers of microwave cooking. It could have been from the Dr. Mercola website or somewhere else. But I do remember it made me go and do my own research on the topic. I remember reading how researchers discovered that it zapped most of the nutrients right out of your food. After reading was rather convenient that we had just burned popcorn in it and threw it out in the garage never to return to our home. And I have not missed it.

I also remember reading that the best food preparation method for veggies to keep the most nutrients was to steam, followed by boiling, I can't remember the rest. I will try to find the links to that info. I do want to try to put documentation behind what I say and not just rehash info I've heard or read. :)

One of my goals is to maximize the nutrient value in my family's food, while at the same time minimizing the bad stuff such as pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, bpa in cans, etc.....I know I have to be realistic. Cost can be very prohibitive in what I would buy. I know if I had a lot of money I would buy ALL organic everything. But since I'm not made of money I do the best I can and try not to worry about it.

Trust me, there are nights when the $1 menu at Wendy's will just have to do. Of course you can't control what you eat away from home, so when we are home I do want to try my best at serving healthy food in the house. I don't bring coke or chips, etc into our home and I try to limit the processed food as much as possible. I know we will get that when we leave and go other places.

There are certain foods that I don't skimp on as far as buying organic and that is milk and butter. I read somewhere...I will have to look up the reference...that butter has the highest pesticide load of any food. I do buy some hormone free meats but the cost is so high I also buy regular too. I always buy nitrate free lunch meat and hot dogs even though the meat itself is not organic.

As far as organic produce, I try to follow the Environmental Working Groups list of the most and least pesticide laden foods. You can see that here: There you can see that peaches, apples and bell peppers have the worst pesticide load. On the other end of the spectrum, frozen corn, avocados and onions have the least load. So I never buy those organic.

Another thing I consider is how the food is stored. I only buy a few foods canned like Alaskan salmon and black olives. That's it. According to the EWG, EVERY can has the chemical BPA in it except I think Eden brand beans. Not to mention the fact that most of the nutrients have been stripped out of the food when it is canned. So I buy fresh as much as possible and then everything else frozen. I do buy other things canned in glass such as spaghetti sauce. I found this great brand (organic Bertolli) that I like and I use it for everything in recipes that calls for tomato sauce or paste. I love it because it only has olive oil in it. Most other brands you find will have canola or some other unhealthy oil.

I've been wanting to study other food preservation methods like drying. I was surprised to learn that, in some cases, drying preserves nutrients in foods better than even freezing. I know I need to get my emergency preparedness food stash ready! I don't think my kids would eat a bunch of canned salmon with spaghetti sauce on top!

It's just a matter of making wiser choices. I know I can't be perfect. Especially when I am stressed...everything goes out the window and it's pizza from a restaurant for everybody! But you know what ...that is OK.


(From Nourishing Traditions page 521)

Makes 8 Cups!

1/4 Cup organic popcorn
2 TB oil (olive or coconut)
sea salt
2 TB Butter: organic or homemade raw (The recipe called for 1/4 to 1/2 Cup, but we found that was way too much!)
Step 1: Put oil in pan, put popcorn in pan.

Step 2: Put pan on stove burner, place a tight fitting lid on and put on medium heat (5 on my stove)

Step 3: Shake pan back and forth over burner so the kernels don't stick and burn! When you hear the first pop lower the heat slightly (I put on 3), and continue to shake until the popping stops! It's fun to watch them pop if you have a glass lid!

James says, "Always cook with a grown-ups help!"

Step 4: Take off lid and put in butter to melt. Put the heat on the low setting and stir around.

Step 5: Sprinkle on the sea salt!

Step 6: Enjoy your popcorn!!!

Variations: Add Parmesan cheese, maple syrup, or whatever sounds good!

Cost: Popcorn (I will have to add later...I forgot.), Oil ,Butter .31,

Total cost of snack:

Don't eat microwave popcorn! It contains harmful chemicals in the lining of the paper....not to mention the unhealthy oils it is cooked in!!!


Here is a list of healthy simple snacks that we enjoy! Click on the name to go to the recipe.



Welcome to my Healthy Traditions blog! The purpose of my blog is to share all the wonderful concoctions I try in my quest for healthier whole food cooking. I plan to share products I like as well as keep track of the cheapest place to purchase it. I will also include how much it cost to make each recipe. Another goal I have is to organize menu plans around my recipes. I will also share links I find that include healthy products or research which pertains to topics of health and nutrition.

This way of thinking about nutrition is so revolutionary for this time! It is the complete opposite of what we are told by the mainstream. I was so amazed after becoming enlightened on the truths that kept out ancestors healthy. Soaking or sprouting grains, seeds and beans, actually releases the nutrients in them....Wow! All this wisdom of the ages has largely been forgotten....until now! Yippy for us!

We are told that saturated fats are bad, bad, bad....when in actuality they are very healthy and important for health. Especially for infants and children!! Read more amazing Myths and Truths about nutrition here! Remember margarine (trans fats)? For years we were told how wonderfully healthy it was for the heart by well meaning doctors! WRONG! I remember reading how bad it was about 1o years ago and stopped using it BEFORE the mainstream came around!

Do you know that soy products, which have been the panacea of the health food market for years, are actually very bad for you? Read about that here!

Why do you ask, have the nutritionists, the doctors, the food pyramid, everything we have ever heard say the complete opposite of what I am telling you? Well as the old saying goes..."It's all about the money!" In other words, special interests with big power got this way of thinking to become mainstream, even when many scientists and doctors opposed this newfangled low fat diet craze!

If you would like to educate yourself about traditional diets and why they are healthy please go to the Weston A. Price website here. They have oodles of wonderful information on the topic!!!!!