Category Archives: recipes

Eat Your Heart Out, Storebought Fruit Snacks!

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I posted a photo on Instagram and Facebook earlier today of my fruit snack making in progress and got lots of interest for the recipe. I am using an awesome recipe from Thank Your Body but just had a couple things to add so I thought I’d make a quick post. (really, just another excuse to post pictures of my adorable children :blush:)

Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks Recipe:

  • 2/3 cup of lemon or orange juice (I did both)
  • 2/3 cup of fruit (I used a bag of frozen organic mixed berries but am excited to use my local produce from Urban Acres once berries come in to season)
  • 2 tbsp raw, local honey (we love Round Rock Honey)
  • 5 tbsp of grass-fed gelatin
  • Optional: 1 drop of food grade lemon oil (don’t have any? whaddya know, I happen to sell fabulous oils here)
  • Also Optional: 1 tsp homemade whey (liquid protein made from separated raw milk. The live cultures in whey eat some of the sugars and produce lactic acid which makes it more tart and serves as a natural preservative.)

First, Jack helped me juice the lemons and oranges until we had about 2/3 of a cup.

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Next, put your freshly squeezed juice in a pot with the fruit on low-medium heat. Stir occasionally for a few minutes until the fruit softens.

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Add in the honey and food grade lemon oil (if you want that extra tanginess (which Jon was wanting) “Wait,” you say, “weren’t these for the kids?” Yeah, I know. Daddy’s like fruit snacks too apparently. ;-))

Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender or pour into a blender.

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Once cooled to room temperature, pour your mixture through a strainer so that there are no seeds staying in there to turn your snacks into crunchy snacks (learned that the hard way).

ImageAdd in your tsp of whey (ours is from raw milk) to help naturally preserve the fruit snacks for longer. Without it, the snacks would only last 2-3 days out on the counter or for about a week or two in the fridge. I haven’t tried freezing but I’m sure they’d freeze well. Anyway, start stirring in your gelatin one tbsp at a time while you whisk so as to avoid lumps. Gelatin gets a bad rap sometimes but traditionally made gelatin is a mineral-rich food that is easy to digest and helps strengthen hair and nails! Pour your mixture into a glass pyrex and shake a little so that it all settles. Set it into your fridge for about 30min-an hour. Once it has firmed up, pull it out and cut into pieces or use cookie cutters for some fun, delicious (and healthy) fruit snacks!

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Enjoy!

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Homemade Chicken Stock

Homemade Chicken Stock

(excerpts from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon)

Here we’re going to make Chicken Stock, but the recipe is the same for beef, and even simpler for vegetable. (For beef stock, you can braise first, then soak. For vegetable, add way more veggies, and simmer for 4-6 hours)

Why make homemade stock?

There are actually many great reasons to make your own chicken, beef, veggie and fish stock.

First, it will only have what you put in. This means no extra ingredients and chemicals that you are better off not eating.

Second, it’s filled with nutrition that store bought stock can’t even begin to give you. Using pastured meats, hearty bones, vegetables from Urban Acres, and bit of Real Salt, your stock will be rich in vitamins, minerals, and gelatin (which aids in proper digestion.)

Third, it adds amazing flavor and nutrition to your other kitchen creations. Make some Chicken Noodle soup or Chicken Vegetable soup. Whip up some Beef vegetable soup or Chili. A great stock can be added to almost any homemade sauce or soup to make it better and more nutritious.

Recipe

1  Chicken Stock kit or Whole Chicken from Urban Acres (Pastured Chicken)

4  Quarts cold filtered water

2  Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar

1  Large Onion, chopped coarsely

2-3  Carrots, chopped coarsely

3  Celery Sticks, chopped coarsely

(other green veg or leafy green that you would like to add) no more than 2 Cups worth

1  Bunch parsley

Directions:

If you are using a whole chicken. Cut off the wings and remove the neck, and other parts from the cavity. Cut the chicken parts in to several pieces.

Otherwise, place water in a large stock pot, and add vinegar.  Then add chicken stock kit into the water, and let sit for 30 minutes.

While chicken is soaking, coarsely cut up all of the vegetables and add them to your pot.

Bring to a boil, and using a strainer or slotted spoon, remove most of the scum that has risen to the top. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 6 to 24 hours. I like to simmer for about 8 hours or overnight.

Chop up the parsley and add to stock and let it cook in for 15 minutes, then turn off heat, and remove chicken pieces with a slotted spoon. Set aside so you can get the meat off them later. Once the stock has cooled a bit, strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in the refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals.  Skim off this fat and pour final stock into containers that will be easy to store in the refrigerator. After a month, it’s best to reboil the stock and re-refrigerate.

Urban Acres carries everything you need to make a great stock.

Here’s a list of items you can find at Urban Acres to use in your stock.

1. Chicken Stock carcass kit. $5 (Windy Meadows Farm)

You can also use a Whole Chicken if you plan to make chicken soup and need all the meat. Or you can add chicken breast that has been baked to your future soup.

2. Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar 32oz for $5.79

3. Real Salt (sea salt) 26oz for $5.59

All Stocks have salt, but the store bought stocks use processed salt.  Real Salt is an unrefined sea salt that contains all of the natural minerals that salt is supposed to have, including organicly occuring iodine which helps regulate many bodily systems. Real Salt helps activate enzymes in the intestines as well to help with digestion. Use in moderation.

4.  Vegetables from your bi-weekly veggie share. Depending on what you have and what you want to include you may need to suplement with other veggies. Here’s what we are using today. (Onion, carrots, celery, part of a leek, and green chard).

Salmon BLT Taco

Quick, easy, and dang tasty dinner.

One thing I’ve learned about food and nutrition lately is that good oils and good fats ARE necessary.  Our bodies need them.  What are healthful oils?  Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, fish oils, and some nut oils like Macadamia from Australia.  What are healthful fats?  Organic beef, Salmon, most fresh fish, and raw cows milk.  The most important Vitamins and Minerals that you need are “fat soluble” in animal protein.

The other thing I’ve learned is that I still love and crave Tin Star tacos. They have a special Taco that’s special order. It’s the Salmon BLT, with salmon, chipotle mayo, bacon, pico de gallo, and lettuce.

Here’s my healthier interpretation:

Jon’s Salmon BLT Tacos

Grilled salmon, with a pinch of sea salt, pepper, paprika rubbed on one side. Ad some fresh lemon juice while it’s grilling.

Organic uncured bacon (half slice per taco – extra crispy)

Half organic mayo and half Nathan’s mustard mixed with a tiny pinch of powdered chipotle pepper.

Fresh Pico De Gallo from the store or homemade with onion, jalapeno, tomato, and cilantro.

Fresh crispy lettuce or cabbage. (I didn’t have any tonight for mine)

Corn tortillas lightly skillet fried in some olive oil

Get the salmon and bacon cooked ahead of time and keep warm. When it’s meal time, fry up the tortillas and put a spoonful of spicy mayo down the middle followed by bacon, then salmon, then pico and lettuce. Eat them right away so they are warm and fresh.

This is what good, healthy food is all about.

Pan Seared Tilapia with a lemon basil sauce

So tonight we ate an on-the-fly tilapia dish that ended up being so good, I just had to share.  My original thought was a simple breaded tilapia, seared in the skillet, but I hadn’t thought it through until I got into the kitchen. Here’s what I came up with. (dinner for two)

Lemon Basil Sauce
Finely chopped one shallot, and saute in skillet with olive oil for a few minutes on medium. Pour in about a 1/4 cup of white wine like Pino Grigio, and lower the heat. Add 2 Tb of real organic butter, and the juice of half a lemon.  Also add a pinch of organic raw sugar to balance the lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir it up until the butter is fully melted, then toss in chopped fresh basil (about 5 leaves), and pull it off the heat, and pour into a serving cup.

Saffron Rice
Cook one package of Saffron Rice (leave out the margarine because it’s evil). When it’s about finished, turn off the heat, and add 1-2 Tb of real organic butter and mix it in.

Tilapia
Put a bit of olive oil on the fish and then bread it.  Get your skillet hot again (medium to med high) and cook the tilapia on each side until golden.

Plate the fish and the rice, and serve.  Spoon on sauce as needed to taste.  Amazing!

Total time was about 30 minutes from start to finish.. Logistically, start the rice, then make the sauce, then cook the fish last. The rice will be finished around the time you get the fish cooked.

Good food doesn’t have to take all day :)