Wild Yeast

I have played and played around with sour dough and wild yeast off and on the last few years, and mostly I have found it tedious with unappetizing results.  Regardless of the brick-like bread I had produced in the past, I  still wanted to learn how to make a good sour dough bread and other items from wild yeast.  Baking with wild yeast means that you gather the natural yeast from the environment, you don’t use any commercial leavening products, and you keep it alive in your “sour dough start”, just like they use to do it in the olden days.

Last time I was at Costco I saw the book “The Art of Baking With Natural Yeast” by Caleb Warnock and Melissa Richardson and I had to buy it.

Monday I prepared my start.  I combined one cup freshly ground wheat flour and one cup water, put it in a jar and covered with a cloth.  By that evening it was already starting to bubble with yeast and by Wednesday night it had doubled and was ready to use.  This very morning I made sour dough banana pancakes from the recipe book.  I was a little worried about how the kids would react, they weren’t fluffy pancakes, like those that use baking powder, and they have a sour taste (very mild) however, the family loved them!  I am so excited to try some other recipes, including bread.

Homemade Toothpaste

Making my own toothpaste has been on my “to-do” list for a few years now, I just never got around to it.
It is so simple I wonder why I put it off so long.

I love the idea of knowing exactly what is in my toothpaste, and once I got use to the different consistency, I felt like this toothpaste worked better than any comercial brand I had every used before.
(convinsing the kids has been a different story…..)

Here is my quick tutorial for homemade toothpaste, and I say quick because it really is, it only takes a few minutes.  All mesurements are approximent, just adjust to suit your own tastes.

2 cups VIRGIN ORGANIC coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda
20 drops peppermint oil (or any oil of choice)
(I don’t use this, but some people like it)

Spoon the coconut oil into a bowl and give it a quick stir to soften a bit.

 Add baking soda, and stir until smooth and well blended.

 Add as much peppermint oil as you would like. 🙂

Store in air tight glass jars and use as you would regular toothpaste!


Coconut Oil, My New Love



I have been using coconut oil in cooking now for awhile.  A couple years ago I changed how and what kinds of oil I use in the kitchen, I switched from using vegetable oils (except olive oil) to using traditional oils and fats, mostly butter, olive oil and coconut oil in all my cooking and baking.  Coconut oil makes baked goods absolutely delicious!  About that same time I started using extra virgin coconut oil for my face as a moisturizer, I have really loved the results, the acne that I have struggled with for most of my twenties and early thirties is gone. YAY!  In the last month I have branched out even further in using my beloved coconut oil.

1.Oil pulling


Oil pulling is a fascinating method for cleaning teeth and mouth.  The method is simple, place a couple teaspoons of either virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil in your mouth and swish for up to 10 minuets, then spit and rinse.  It sounds really weird.  The biggest benefit I have seen is the loosening of plaque and tarter from my teeth.  I have always had a hard time keeping tarter off the back of my front teeth (sorry if this grosses anyone out) , but after I pull coconut oil, it comes right off with a regular brushing.  My older girls pull oil too, they have problems with brown spots on their teeth that they can’t brush off, after pulling, the brown spots go away.  For a more detailed article, including all the benefits of oil pulling go HERE.

Homemade tooth paste is something I have been wanting to try for a while, so the other day when we ran out of regular toothpaste I finally made some of my own.  Toothpaste is very simple, there are only two main ingredients: virgin coconut oil and baking soda, I also add some peppermint oil and some recipes call for a little stevia powder for sweetness.  It took some time for the kids to get use to the taste and feel of the new toothpaste, it doesn’t bubble, there aren’t any chemicals to make suds, that is a little strange and first, and since I didn’t add stevia, it isn’t sweet, however they got use to it and it is no big deal.  I have been loving it, after I brush my teeth feel like I have been to the dentist for a cleaning, my teeth and smooth and super clean.  I plan on posting a tutorial soon.

So there you go, Coconut oil is my new love!




Chicken Broth Part II


 Chicken Broth Part I is

At this point we have already cooked the chicken with vegetables and seasonings.  The chicken has been removed and the meat stripped from the bones, and the bones and skin put back into the pot.  Put the pot back onto the stove and slowly simmer for 48 to 72 hours, adding water when needed.






After 48 to 72 hours the bones and skin will have reduced considerably.  I empty the pot, through a fine strainer, into a large pitcher.  I like to press out any liquid remaining in the chicken parts.  The bones are soft and will crush when you put pressure on them, this is good thing, when the bones go soft you know that the minerals have leached out of them and into your broth, making the broth packed full of nutrients.

Once you have drained the liquid out of the chicken mush and strained the water, place the pitcher into the refrigerator to cool completely.  This allowes the fat to rise to the top and solidify so it is easier to remove.  We do want some fat in our broth, but not as much as is produced. 

After a few hours you can see the fat as risen and solidified.  Also the broth itself will thicken (depending on the chicken) sometimes the broth will be so solid you can cut it, other times the broth just seems a little thicker.  The is gelatin that has come from the bones gelatin is very good for you, a very digestible form of protein.  Skim all the fat off the top.  If the fat is cold it is very easy to skim, it just breaks off in big lumps.  This fat can be saved for cooking if you would like, potatoes are really good fried in this fat.

Then pour the broth in to individual containers, in amounts that suit you.  I like to use small, plastic, containers that hold two cups of broth.  Then I add a little lup of fat into each container.  Don’t be afraid of good fats, we need them to adsorb certain vitamins.   

The broth is then stored in the freezer.

Isn’t it such a beautiful dark brown color, this broth is rich, full of flavor and packed full of nutrients.  It can be added to any recipe that calls for broth, bouillon cubes (which are just chemicals and not good for you) or just water for an added punch of flavor.  Try cooking rice in broth for a wonderful flavor and added nutritional value.  Broth is also good for the sick, whose bodies need the nourishment, but also need something easy to digest.


Chicken Broth Part I


” Why is chicken soup superior to all the things we have, even more than relaxing “Tylenol”?  It is because chicken soup has a natural ingredient which feeds, repairs and calms the mucous lining in the small intestine.  This inner lining is the beginning or ending of the nervous system.  It is easily pulled away from the intestine through too many laxatives, too many food additives…and parasites.  Chicken soup…heal the nerves, improves digestion reduces allergies, relaxes and gives strength.”
Hanna Kroeger Ageless Remedies from Mother’s Kitchen

 Chicken broth is one of the easiest ways to add nutritious foods to our family’ diet.  Chicken broth when cooked slowly over a few days becomes a super food full of vitamins, enzymes and minerals that nourishes the body, and heal disease.  There is a lot of research about the value of chicken broth that is beyond the scope of this post and blog, but if you would like to research more here are a few good articles about the value of chicken broth:  Here, Here, Here and Here.

I like to make chicken broth in a  big batch and freeze it for quick easy meals.  Of coarse I use chicken broth in soups, but I also use it in  mashed potatoes, casseroles, any where liquid is required and I want a little punch of nutrition and flavor.  Chicken broth is easy to make, but does require time to get the full benefits of the chicken, when I do broth it takes at least three days.

 I start with two chickens and place them with all the pieces (giblets and neck) in a large stock pot.  I add onions, celery, thyme, sage, salt, pepper, garlic and vinegar. I fill the pot with water and bring it to a boil


 Once it is boiling hard, reduce the heat so it is lightly simmering and skim the impurities as they rise to the surface.
  You want it to cook very slowly.


After a couple hours the chicken will be fully cooked.  At this point take the chicken out, let it cool and little and strip the bones of the meat.  I usually make chicken noodle soup on broth making day!  the cooked chicken can be used for other recipes and also freezes well.

At this point all the bones and skin go back into the pot to simmer slowly for 48 hours…..

(to be continued….)