Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Homemade Green Powder for Smoothies and Washing Greens the Easy Way

Ever wonder how many fresh greens fit inside a one pound container of powdered greens? Wonder no longer.

Homemade Green Powder for Smoothies
Every year I try to dehydrate lots of green things, turn in to powder and use in our smoothies (just remember to add a little extra liquid to the smoothie!). I've been wondering for a while how many greens I am actually putting in to my smoothie when I add a tablespoon or two and since Google turned up no answers for me (IMAGINE THAT! Maybe I was not using the right search words??) this year I decided to figure it out myself.

To begin my experiment I started with one pound of two kinds of greens: kale and spinach. In each photo they are pictured side-by-side, kale on the left and spinach on the right.




I did two different kinds because I wanted to see how they compared when dehydrated and turned in to powder. Both were the same ... each pound produced about 1/2c of powder (maybe a tablespoon over a half cup) and weighed nearly the same (a gram or two different).

Now, on to WASHING all of those greens.
Sometimes I have to wash about 25lbs of greens in one day. That's a LOT of greens to try to put through the salad spinner!!! So what I do instead is wash the greens in a bowl of water, put into a pillow case, secure the end with a rubber band and put it through the SPIN CYCLE of my washing machine. This works prefect! Of course I still have to spin them in several batches but it is a real time saver.
For those who do not know, spinning greens helps pull the water off and dries them quite a bit. This in turn helps them to keep longer in the refrigerator. If you are planning to dehydrate them, do not bother spinning :)
Beet greens ready to spin.

Set dial to final SPIN cycle.
I hope this was helpful! Maybe you have a more efficient way than this? If so, please share!

Kombucah Revisited

Almost FIVE YEARS AGO I did a post on brewing kombucha tea. We do things a tiny bit differently now ... here is a video I did recently to show how we flavor our kombucha. Let me know if you have a different method that works for you :)


Monday, May 4, 2015

General Update

Drilling fence post holes

Preparing to build the new meat bird and layer houses

Tilling the garden spot
Greens from our raised beds ... got about 6lbs so far :)

Selling our organic, heirloom starts

Picking mushrooms
The best seat in the house ... but ...
... now she thinks all windows are hers

Easy Homemade Sauerkraut

Making your own sauerkraut is super easy :) I know I've posted a 'how to' blog before on this subject but here is a quick video demonstration. I hope it is helpful!!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Easy Lacto-Fermented Apple Chutney

Another super easy lacto-fermented food ... probably a good one for beginners since it is sweet. Excellent alone or paired with yogurt, pancakes, cottage cheese, etc. Video at bottom :)

3c chopped apples, any variety
1/2c seeds or chopped nuts - sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc.
1/2c dried fruit (chop if larger) - dates, figs, dried apricots, raisins, etc.
1/2c distilled or filtered water
1/4c fresh lemon juice
1/4c starter (whey, water kefir, ginger soda, kombucha, liquid from carrot or other veggie ferment, etc.)
2T unrefined sweetener - pure maple syrup, honey, sucanat, rapadura, etc.
1/2t sea salt (such as Redmonds Real Salt)
1 - 2T spices to taste
(I use a combination of spices but you may use only cinnamon or a pre-made mix such as 'pumpkin pie spice'.)
My combo: 1T cinnamon, 1/2t nutmeg, 1/2t ginger, 1/4t cloves, 1/4t allspice, 1/8t cardamom, 1/8t anise seed ... or something like that :)

Mix together thoroughly. Place in a 1qt mason jar with a tight lid or an airlock (D-I-Y Fermenting Airlock Tutorial). Leave on the counter to ferment 2-3 days, after that store in the refrigerator. Keeps about 3 weeks but really you should have it eaten by then. :)

For more videos please see our youtube playlists.

Monday, April 6, 2015

America's Test Kitchen

When searching for a good mandolin slicer I happened across "America's Test Kitchen" on YouTube and I'm so glad I did! I really appreciate their channel ... it's filled with all sorts of interesting things, but I especially like it when they do equipment reviews. Here are a few I've watched ... enjoy! (actually, when looking up these videos to post I see now that I watched their stand mixer one last year before I got a refurbished KitchenAid, but I must have not thought to check out their channel at that time).

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

It's time for an update ...

Well ... here we are not much more than a week or two past my last update and I'm going to have to change what I said last time. I mentioned our church burned down and we were waiting for a place on the new church property just on the outskirts of town. A few of us got to thinking that it made more sense for us to move now to a little house in the country and then some day whenever everything else is done on the new property we will re-evaluate and see if we should stay where we are or move to the property. So, without further ado, here is our new house that we plan to move in to this week ... Lord willing ...

It's a little house in the country, about 8 minutes or so from the SE edge of town. As a HUGE bonus, it's about a block down the highway from the elderly woman we help out several times a week. She is BEYOND EXCITED to have us so near :) :) :) and has all sorts of plans for us :) :) :) On a side note, our bees are on her property too so that will be convenient being near them as well.

There's a good barn and a large, 2-car garage. The house itself is smaller but the kitchen is super nice (in my opinion). A few brothers and my children have already been busy fixing things up. It's sat empty for about a year and has a few issues ... mainly mice, spiders and plumbing. One of the brothers installed me a wash sink in the laundry room. YAY! It has a little bit of land but we are going to see if we can get a little more (some really brushy area to the west).

The last people who lived there enjoyed gardening and left behind some asparagus, strawberries, a few blueberry bushes and some fruit trees. All are sorely neglected so we'll see if we can revive them. Corban rolled down one of the fruit trees because it was hiding in the brush! We hope to get a garden going there soon.

In other news, our green house plants are all doing very well. These photos were taken last week already so things are taller than what is pictured. The peppers just got transplanted and really needed the room ... they have already grown so much!

This evening we sat outside with our girls and enjoyed watching them peck around. I wonder what they will think of country life? For now though, they are still very much city-chickens ... as evidenced by the burned and partially torn down church in the background!

All the bricks are gone, some in a huge pile in the back, just to the right of this photo. We've had quite the activity around here these last few weeks.

I have several video ideas in the works but I might hold off until we move. We'll see.