Rehydrate with Healthy Homemade Gatorade or Pediayte

homemadeelectrolites

As the weather heats up here in central Texas, I find myself extremely parched more often that I would like. Although I down water, my body often needs some real hydration. If you have kids, you are familiar with the suggestion of pedialyte to rehydrate after or during illness or whenever fluids are needed. Unfortunately pedialyte is filled with food dye and corn syrup and other additives (as is gatorade.) Instead make this affordable, really simple version for yourself or your little ones. The orange juice gives your body needed carbohydrates and slows down the digestion to help your body absorb more water and the salt helps your body retain the water to further hydrate your cells.

Gather

3 1/2 c filtered water

1/2 c orange juice or other juice

Pinch of salt

 

Make

Combine all in a large jar and shake with the lid on securely or stir. Add ice if so desired.

 

 

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Pretty little green beans

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Our spring garden has sprung. We had only moderate success with fall so we were not too hopeful about spring , but here they are, the prettiest little pole beans I ever did see. Charlotte picked them from the vine and gobbled them up. Joys of summer are upon us.

Mighty Little Chia Seeds

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I recently watched the documentary, “Forks over Knives” and it has me reeling. The research they present showing the ill effects of ALL animal protein is staggering, saddening and alarming. It made me start to re-evaluate the way we eat. It also had me making my way to the library for some vegan cookbooks. I always aim for homemade and healthy, but we love our dairy in this house. And meat. (Charlotte’s proclaimed favorite meals are tacos and pot roast.) Try to go from a low-carb high animal protein diet to vegetarian and vegan leaning… wow. I still have no clear idea what to eat, how to cook. Now, lets just be clear- I have no plans to go completely vegetarian or vegan but I hope that meat and animal products can become something rare instead of represented in every meal, every day. Fast forward to yesterday when I was walking aimlessly down the aisles at sprouts and saw chia seeds on sale ($7 off!) One thing that can almost always be vegan is a smoothie. Add almond milk if you need something creamy and maybe coconut yogurt instead of dairy. So in hopes of raising our health, I grabbed a bag and went home to research. Wow, what little powerhouses.

The chia seed comes from the desert plant, Salvia hispanica, grown in southern mexico and it has been consumed in that region since about 3500 BC. They were a main component of the aztec diet and consumed by the Maya as well. Chia seeds are rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants, fiber, omega-3’s and essential nutrients. One ounce contains 11 grams of fiber, a whopping 42% of your daily recommended amount, they have more omega-3’s than any other source per ounce, (including flax seeds and salmon) and chia seeds also provide your body with calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.

Chia seeds have a neutral, slightly nutty flavor and can be added to almost anything- cereal, salads, smoothies, water or juice. When combined with liquid, chia seeds make a gel that is hydrating to your body. Add chia seeds to a glass of water with some lemon and/or lime. Add them to juice let stand for 10 minutes or so for a tasty chia pudding. For anegg replacement, add 1 tbsp of chia to 3 tbsp of water to equal one egg. Let it stand for 10-15 minutes until a gel forms. There is some research that they may help with weight loss since they can help you stay full longer.

So here’s to healthy living, fewer animal products and a happy family.

Sources
http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442472548
http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA365093/Chia-for-Health.html
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7928/the-amazing-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds.html

Tropical Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

tropical morning

I have fond memories of the classic creamsicle, orange and vanilla ice cream were dreamy and delicious. There is also the yummy orange julius that has the same flavor profile. These days, we try to avoid processed sugars and artificial flavors so we make our own for breakfast often. This one has whole milk yogurt for probiotics and protein, vanilla for deliciousness, orange juice for vitamin c, mango for some extra vitamin c, beta carotene (vitamin a) and phytonutrients Cryptoxanthin, Lutein, Gallic Acid and Anacardic acid. The mango really adds a delicious complexity and thickness to the smoothie. If I am making this for me, I need very little honey, but my daughter likes things a tad sweeter. This is also very similar to a mango lassi which I adore. Add chia seeds for extra credit!

Gather

1 c orange juice
1 c whole milk yogurt or non-dairy yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
1 c frozen mango
honey to taste

Make

Blend and drink!

Homemade Brown Sugar (Using Demerara or Turbinado Sugar)

IMG_4040Turbinado and Demerara sugar are delicious alternatives to white table sugar. Both have larger crystals and naturally have a hint of carmel flavor.  I started using Demerara in my coffee and mmmmmmmm. They also has more trace minerals than the regular variety so if I am going to use sugar, I try to use turbinado or Demerara. Many of my recipes call for brown sugar, and as far as I know, my local health food stores don’t carry brown turbinado sugar. So I make my own and the molasses smells fresher and the taste is more complex and just delectable. It’s also absolutely wonderful not to have to go to the store for brown sugar ever again.

Gather

3 cups turbinado sugar

3 tbsp molasses

 

Make

Blend with a wooden spoon or food processor if you desire a finer grain.

Easy Homemade Chicken Stock (Slow Cooker Method)

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I think I should change this blog to “Soup Lovers Anonymous.” I hope you like soup at least one tenth as much as I do. To continue on our soup loving adventure, I bring you chicken stock. The food blogging world has been abuzz with the use of chicken wings instead of leftover carcass or necks or backs. The results are unabashedly delicious. This stock brightens any soup or dinner item. It take 3 minutes of prep and cooks all in its lonesome in a slow cooker. Freeze in quart size storage bags, quart mason jars, ice cube trays or regular muffin tins (for 1/2 cup size)

Makes: 3 Quarts (ish)

Gather
2 lbs chicken wings
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 bunch parsley
3-5 celery stalks
3 quarts water
Cheesecloth
Fine meh strainer

Make
Throw it in the crock on high for 5-6 hours or low for 8-10!
Let cool, strain with cheesecloth-lined mesh strainer!
Freeze! (Or refrigerate!)

Thrifty Living: Pretty Little Spices (Frugal Bulk Option)

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Aside: I’m starting a thrifty living series here where I’ll post my personal cost savings measures. Please feel free to leave your own in the comments or message me to guest post on the blog!

Hey, quick money saving note. Buy your spices in the bulk section of your local health food store or grocery store (if your store has a bulk spice section) and instead of $7 for a jar of cinnamon, pay $0.26. Yep. It’s not just cinnamon. All bulk spices are a fraction of the cost of their jarred counterparts. Also, don’t they look prettier this way?