Monthly Archives: April 2013

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Brownies. Bad Food? Not so fast!


I’m learning valuable lessons in this whole Real Food way eating. It’s more a way of living. It’s freeing and takes so much of the stress out of eating for me. This week I NEED chocolate. Most likely I really need magnesium, but chocolate is what I WANT. Brownies, cake, mousse, chocolate milk…whatever. I could resist the ‘temptation’ and eat a carrot. I could indulge in processed, chemical-filled, hydrogenated oil brownies and feel like crud tomorrow. OR…I could adapt what some would call ‘bad food’ and make it good. What? Good brownies? Do those even exist? YES! They do. Weed ‘Em and Reap proves it with this awesome recipe! I happened to have everything in my kitchen today to make them real and good and nourishing AND tasty! I am surprised they made it into the oven because the batter was like a smooth and creamy mousse. It was hard to wait for them to cook.

What makes these ‘good’? Well…REAL FOOD. Breaking down the ingredients might give you a better idea of how brownies can be real food.

Pastured eggs
Eggs from chickens who are raised outside and eat lots of grubs and bugs and get lots of sun are more nutrient dense than commercial, store bought eggs (organic or not)!

From CheeseSlave
Compared to supermarket eggs (from factory farms), real pastured eggs have:

5 times more vitamin D
2/3 more vitamin A
2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
3 times more vitamin E
7 times more beta carotene


Grass Fed Butter

Butter is GOOD? YES! Butter from grass-fed cows has numerous benefits, especially over hydrogenated and denatured fats.

Check out what Food Renegade has to say about butter:

Butter is More “Heart-Healthy”
Butter Contains Cancer-Fighting Fats
Butter Protects Against Degenerative Arthritis
Butter Promotes A Healthy Brain & Nervous System
Butter Protects The Gut
In Short, Butter Is Awesome



Whole natural sugar cane has some valuable nutrients that are lost when processed into simple white sugar. Keep it close to its natural form and it’s got some good stuff in it! It’s still a good idea to keep an eye on the amount of natural sugars you eat, but having a dish sweetened with natural sugar on occasion is a nice treat.

From Weed ’em and Reap:

The sugar that I recommend, that is truly the LEAST processed is called Sucanat. Sucanat stands for “Sugar Cane Natural”. Sucanat is simply dehydrated, freshly squeezed sugar cane juice. It is also a good source of iron, calcium, potassium, B vitamins and chromium. I choose Organic Sucanat because then I know for sure it is NOT genetically modified. READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE ON SWITCHING TO GOOD SUGARS AT WEED ‘EM AND REAP HERE


Chocolate gets a bad rap. It’s not the chocolate part of chocolate that is concerning. It’s the processed, hydrogenated fats and empty sugars that usually come WITH the chocolate that cause the problems.

According to one study:
Cacao(or cocoa) has more antioxidants than teas and red wine
Cacao has more phytochemicals and flavanoids than teas and red wine

*There is some controversy over one compound in chocolate ‘theobromine’ but the more I read about it, the more I believe that, while it is similar to caffeine, it is NOT caffeine and does not effect the central nervous system.


Salt (where to buy)
Regular table salt has been chemically bleached and stripped of a lot of natural minerals. Those minerals are then sold back to you in your supplements! Just use real sea salt and you won’t have to add your minerals back in other ways.

From Thank Your Body’s great article on salt:
Real salt should have all its minerals in tact. This means that real salt rarely resembles the white and perfectly uniform crystals you see at your local diner. My favorite salt has a spectrum of colors from pink to gray. It’s full of mineral goodness, and I have noticed a tremendous benefit to my health by getting more salt into my diet. It’s “made” just the way nature intended it because it’s made by nature… not man. (And did I mention how good it tastes?)


You don’t have to give up your favorite recipes to eat real foods. Just use real ingredients and make the recipe fit the way your body WANTS to be nourished. The stack of brownies in the photo above barely made it through the photo session. The kids were finishing lunch as I was shooting and asked several times “Can we have a brownie now?” “What about now?” And when I gave up on getting the perfect shot, they disappeared. Not once did I hear “We want brownies like we used to have.” I didn’t hear anything. Their mouths were full of deliciousness and I was happy I could satisfy their sweetest desires(OK…and mine!) with a bit of goodness.


Thsi post is also shared at Butter Believer

Battered Cod – Real Food Version


I picked up some wild caught fresh cod the other day and didn’t really know what I was going to do with it, but I thought I’d try adapting a recipe to use all real foods. I read over the breaded whitefish recipe in Nourishing Traditions, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for. I’m not that experienced with fish dishes, but I know I’ve previously liked recipes with a batter. I found a traditional Scottish fish and chips recipe but there were no measurements!! Oh, yeah. Just my kind of recipe! I guessed my way through it and had a little fun along the way. It turned out great! I ate it, my husband ate a LOT of it and our youngest said of the brown rice, cauliflower and fish on his plate, the fish was his favorite.

So here’s how I adapted it to include real food ingredients and techniques.

I used about a cup of spelt flour, about 1 tsp Real Salt and a dash of pepper. I ‘sifted’ those together with a fork until mixed well and added enough water to make a thick pancake type batter. I let this sit while I prepared the rest of dinner so the flour would soak for a while. You could do this in the morning and leave it all day to soak. When I was ready to cook the fish, I added 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar that is supposed to make it crispier and stirred it all up. Instead of the deep fryer method I went back to the breaded recipe in Nourishing Traditions and heated up a griddle over two gas burners to about medium and melted 2 tbsp of cultured butter and 2 tbsp of coconut oil until hot (batter will sizzle). Then I dipped 2″ x 4″ strips of cod into the batter and placed them on the griddle, turning once at about 4 minutes and leaving them for another 4 or 5 until done.

Crispy and tender battered cod with not a lot of fuss or ingredients! I actually enjoyed fish! YAY for real nutrition that tastes great!

Must Have Pretty Bottles

I decided to try the baking soda ‘anti-shampoo’ (No ‘Poo) and apple cider vinegar rinse that I’ve seen so many times lately and it worked great the first day. By afternoon, my hair was a little heavier than I’m used to, but I know there’s said to be a transition period. The recipe that I decided to go with is at 1greengeneration. It’s the basic baking soda recipe, but mixed with water and put in a shower friendly bottle. The apple cider vinegar rinse is also listed and she adds vanilla and essential oils to it. I’m adding wild rosemary oil to mine.

The problem I have with some of these DIY projects is…I like pretty things. Sleekly shaped shampoo bottles with nice feminine designs on them make me happy. Good thing I am somewhat of a digital design geek. I can’t do just any bottle. My husband has his baking soda in an old supplement container in the shower. Not pretty. I CAN’T HANDLE THAT!! It has to be pretty!

I hunted for some functional AND pretty bottles today at TJMaxx and didn’t find anything in the kitchen or bath sections. But then, at the register (with my college student son – who bought a peacock painting??) there were some pretty bottles of Hawaiian spring water with pull top lids! $2.60 later, I had my bottles. I stripped the labels and designed my own for my mixed potions. I taped over the labels (albeit, not very neatly) to make sure they stand up in the shower for a while. Pretty No ‘Poo bottles! All is right and good in the DIY world tonight.


This post is also shared at Real Food Forager, Holistic Squid,

Easily Separate Cream From Raw Milk – Video

When I first started using raw milk, I noticed the cream sitting right on top, but I just shook it up before pouring to get full fat milk each time. As I’ve gone further into the Real Food lifestyle, I make butter, ice cream, creme brulee, whipped cream and such from the raw cream. It took me a while to figure out how to efficiently get the cream out of that gallon container.

Some people suggested using an expensive cream separator. Um…no. Others suggested a turkey baster, which I tried but always got a bunch of milk with it and had a heck of a time cleaning it out. I had read that you can use a fancy drink dispenser, but some people didn’t like that the spout was too high on the dispenser and…I didn’t have one.

I finally read about poking a hole in the bottom of the milk jug and thought. “I can do that!” My first attempt got milk everywhere. It took another person to get the jar ready for the quick switch and the hole didn’t exactly make for neat pouring. Got some cream…along with a big mess.

I put some thought into it and came up with a similar plan that works beautifully! I made a little how to video for clueless people like me! The pot I use in the following video is called a Chef’s Pot and it came in the Wolfgang Puck stainless set I got myself for Christmas. A large bowl would work as well. So, here’s my method! It works and it’s not messy! My 6 year old was filming instead of standing by ready to catch the cream in a jar. Enjoy the high budget film (I paid him in yogurt)! Bumper music by ZenoFi – AKA my oldest son. Let me know if you have other easy solutions for separating cream from raw milk!

This post is also shared at My Cultured Palate, Thank Your Body