Friday, September 28, 2012

Waste Not Want Not!

   One of the first things I got into with the new, healthier me was juicing. It was simple, nutritious, and best of all, yummy! Fresh juiced apple cider is as good as dessert! I fell in love with green goddess juices. I  save the pulp of the carrots and the apples and freeze them for use later in cakes, breads, and the like. Some of the veggies I mix in fresh to my little bug's mashes. Still, so much of it wasn't getting used! Watching all that fibrous, usable material go to waste just felt wrong.

   I decided to try my hand at make-shifting a cracker made from this high fiber pulp. I don't have the best juicer, so some of the nutrition and juice is left in the pulp I use. I just set up all my veggies for my morning juice yesterday and went to juicing. This time I used apples, carrots, kale, and tomatoes. I was thinking of the crackers when I made this juice selection for sure!!

I juiced all my fruits and veggies, not being too careful to get all the juice out, I thought leaving some in would improve the flavor of the crackers and help me form them before drying.

  (Man am I glad my kid already makes healthy decisions when it comes to food, out of habit. I really wish that for him, when he's older, that it's easier for him to eat well, not just out of concern for health but out of habit. He loves him some kale!)

   Once everything is juiced and put away, it was time to start on the pulp. I dumped it all into a bowl and mixed in a big handful of flax seed for that extra punch of nutrition:

I separated the pulp into three bowls. One I left plain. The second, I mixed in a bit of minced onion and garlic and a bit of cracked pepper. The third I mashed some fresh blackberries into, just in case the rest didn't turn out well. I cut out sheets of parchment paper to lay out on the trays of my 5 layer dehydrator, packed the pulps into the trays in their individual flavors, and set it to work. (NOTE: This can be done in the oven, on the lowest heat, if you don't own a dehydrator. I got mine for $5 at a garage sale. It's not the best but it gets the job done! )

After over 24 hours of dehydrating the chips were done. Next time I will make the indents where I want the crackers to break after the first couple of hours, but I just snapped them into casual squares this time. 

This made a large bag of crackers for me. The blackberry crackers were definitely the best! We liked them all however. The garlic ones were great with feta and apple slices! I keep all the little piece for the Bug. He eats them up!! 

So much cheaper than the kale chips from the store, no preservatives or weird ingredients, and fresh fresh fresh!! I can't wait to experiment more with different juices, pureeing the ingredients together before adding flax, and adding different herbs and spices.  

I can't believe eating raw, cheap, and healthy can be so yummy!!

Happy Dehydrating!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Beginning the Adventure: A Pledge

So. Proudly born and raised in the Bible-thumping, Rebublican-run, Monsanto-catering, bread basket of America, good ol' Lincoln, Nebraska. While I learned lots of important 'old-school' values such as respect for elders and washing behind my ears, it was a community that frowned on alternative parenting, distrusted vegetarians, shunned non-Christians, and discouraged free thought. 

It has taken me years to step away from the constant Republican/Christian brainwashing and begin to awaken to the realities of the world. Becoming a mother has made me seek out any and all information I can, to learn how to provide a more chemical-free, wholesome, nature-based, life for me and my young child. As I have discovered herbal medicine, self-sustainability, organic/raw foods and food-as-medicine, backyard farming, tiny houses, urban homesteading, and un-schooling, I have watched this new, amazing, beautiful world unfold right along with my perspective. 

I spent some time in college, went to a tiny town that was absolutely not the place for me. I eventually made the decision to move on to a new adventure, something I felt I was doing for me, and not for society or it's expectations. I began pursuing my music and landed in Kansas City, MO where I found a wonderful group of awake people, people who had really started to figure out what LIFE really was under the propaganda and brainwashing and corporate politics. And thus the journey began. I dropped my life of materialism, of drugs, of the pushing and shoving to get above those around you. I left all I owned behind, went sober, and began traveling, began the process to un-teach myself everything I'd learned about me, about my world, about relationships, about Spirit. 

I did eventually become pregnant and move inside but that entrepreneurial, forge-her-own-path, tree hugging, upcycling, homesteading, crafty gypsy lady still existed inside of me. Of course, the many exhaustions of mommyhood slowed my progress, but motivated me further to provide the childhood and life for my bug that I feel he deserves. 

So this is the beginning of my pledge. To make every day a day for learning, for progress, for sharing, for love, for smiles and warm bellies and gratitude for this wonder-ful, amazing place we live called earth<3