Homemade Powdered Sugar

Did you know that the powdered sugar from the store has “anti-caking agents” in it?? Yep, it’s not just sugar. It could contain cornstarch (almost certainly from genetically modified corn- yuck!), flour, calcium phosphate or other extras.

Why eat that nasty stuff when we can make our own powdered sugar at home?! Besides, we can use dehydrated cane juice, which is full of good minerals! So much healthier and it won’t have that icky aftertaste that the store-bought stuff has. Win! 😉

What You’ll Need Dehydrated Cane Juice, also called “Rapadura” (enter to win some, here!) or another unprocessed sugar, but I think that’s the best. A blender or clean spice grinder What To Do

Grind it up!! No, I’m serious. Just put it in the blender (or spice/coffee grinder) and let ‘er rip! If you want it extra-fine, just let it go longer or adjust the coarseness setting. […]

Beef or Chicken Stock Recipes

 

Before we started switching to Real foods a year-and-a-half ago, I remember wondering what the big deal was about homemade beef and chicken stock. Actually, I wasn’t even sure what the difference was between “stock” and “broth”, so I just figured a can of “broth” really couldn’t be that different from homemade “stock”. I was so wrong!

Although there are some places in the world where the terms “broth” and “stock” are interchangeable, when we’re talking about Real food, there are some generally agreed upon definitions.

Broth tends to be lighter in color, because it is only cooked for a few hours and contains only meat and vegetables. It can be flavorful and nutritious, especially if you keep the solids to liquids ratio pretty even. Stock is much darker in color. It contains not only meat and veggies, but also the bones. Often beef bones are roasted first, which […]

How to Make Homemade Butter

How gorgeous is that?! And, yes, it tastes as good as it looks! Homemade butter tastes so much better than store-bought, so we took advantage of a good deal on some high quality cream and whipped up some butter. What I used is cream (the only ingredient) from a local dairy that uses no antibiotics, hormones or GMO feed (the cows are mostly grass-fed). It’s pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized) and non-homogenized, so it’s really the best thing you can find short of raw cream! True, this quality of cream can be difficult to find, so don’t feel like you can’t make butter out of whatever you have. This 2-quart (1/2 gallon) of cream was less than $10 dollars and I got 1 quart of buttermilk, which I’ll culture, and 2 pounds of butter!

What You’ll Need

Cream: Make sure that there are no additives. The ingredients list […]

How to Make Sour Cream

Since we talked last week about the benefits of culturing dairy, I thought I’d jump right in with one of the easiest and most versatile products you can make: Sour Cream!

Although you can buy a starter culture, or simply set out raw cream to sour, this is our favorite method. You can’t even imagine how easy this is. But first, why make your own sour cream?

You can choose the best possible ingredients, so that you know that your finished product is high quality and full of probiotics. You won’t be adding a bunch of junk, which is found in some store-bought sour cream. It’ll make you feel like Miss Super-home-maker! 😉 How to Make Sour Cream In a clean jar, mix one part real cultured buttermilk (store-bought or homemade) with three parts cream, stirring gently. Cover with a coffee filter (use a rubber-band to hold it on, […]

Make Yogurt in a Cooler

After having several yogurt makers ruin our yogurt-making attempts, I was thrilled to discover this method! I just might get a cooler exclusively for yogurt making! We use yogurt for smoothies, veggie dip and yogurt cheese. Here’s how to do it.

What You’ll Need Milk (we use raw, whole milk) Yogurt culture Glass jars with lids Cooler (a small one is best, unless you’re making several gallons of yogurt 🙂 ) Pot to heat the milk in Thermometer (I use digital- it’s usually more accurate) Whisk What To Do Pour the milk into the pan and start heating it. Stir occasionally until the temperature reaches 110 degrees. While the milk heats, put your culture into a glass measuring cup and put warm/hot water (115 degrees) into the cooler until it’s about 3 to 4 inches deep. Remove the pan from the heat and ladle some of the milk into […]

Dried Orange Peel

Don’t you just love the smell of fresh orange zest? Mmm… makes my mouth water just thinking about it. The store-bought zest in a jar just doesn’t work for me. It always tastes a little bitter. Since I don’t like the zest from the store and I can’t always find a good organic orange to use fresh, I made my own! Delicious!

Preheat the oven to the lowest setting. Wash the orange, dry well and use a vegetable peeler to remove thin slices of the peel. Take care not to include the white part. Spread out the peelings on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the oven and turn it off (we just want a warm, dry environment, we don’t want to cook them). Once they are dry and cool (give them a few hours), you can store them in a glass jar.

You can use […]

Home-made Vanilla Extract

Once you’ve made your own vanilla extract, you’ll never want to go back to the store-bought stuff! This is a little more time-consuming than just tossing the beans into the alcohol like most people do, but I’m out of extract, so I’ve done it this way to speed things up!

You’ll need…

A bottle of liquor (we really like bourbon for this, but anything will do– I had about 20 ounces in this bottle) 20 (or more) vanilla beans (you could do less, but it will take longer to infuse)

Here’s how it’s done…

 

 

 

You’ll need a sharp knife and a spoon…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut the vanilla bean open and press the two halves away from each other so that it is somewhat flat…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use the spoon to […]

Refried Beans

There are tons of recipes for refried beans out there and they are all pretty much the same and very easy. All you need to do is plan ahead a little and you’ll have something much tastier and healthier than what you’d get from the can!

Refried Beans

6 to 7 cups dried beans (we like black beans, but you can use whatever kind you prefer) One medium onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoons cumin 1 tablepoon salt (add more to taste)

Instructions:

The night before, put beans in a large bowl and cover with water. The next morning, drain and rinse beans, then put them in the crockpot and cover with water or broth (liquid should be about 2 inches higher than the beans). Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours, then check to see if the beans are soft. If not, add a little […]