What is healthy food?

A couple of weeks ago a friend called me to ask me what I was doing to get rid of my arthritis.  She had just been told she had a form of arthritis.  She eats pretty good and so she would not need to change much.   I suggested she look at ingredients of what she eats and she would be surprised.  Many people have talked to my husband and I about what we eat and how we feel.  Most of us don’t know where to start.  I would like to challenge you to spend this next week looking at the ingredients of what you are eating.  Does it have ingredients you can not pronounce or have you heard of these ingredients?  Do they have sugar? High Fructose corn syrup?  Preservatives?  White flour?  Anything you can’t pronounce or heard of?  Chemicals?

I saw a clip on the Dr. Oz show a couple of years ago about an ingredient that is in soda and sports drinks. It is called brominated vegetable oil, or BVO.  BVO was originally created as a flame retardant. (google ingredients in Gatorade) It was used in children’s clothes and mattresses!  Does that seem crazy to you?  The reason they put it in these drinks is they found that it helps keep the flavor and color spread evenly throughout the drink.  Researchers link this ingredient to organ damage, neurological issues and even birth defects.  Does this concern you?  It does me.  Many countries have banned this ingredient but we have not.  What else is in the food we are eating?

It is not cheap to eat healthy.  I have thought about this many times.  Why is it expensive to buy something that has less ingredients in it?  I was at Costco today and one of the samples was a flavored pop chip or something.   I was hungry and made the mistake of grabbing one.  It did not taste like food!

Yes, your taste buds will change!  One day our daughter said “You people have changed my taste buds!  I think this food tastes good but it probably isn’t because it is healthy!”  I think she is right.  We have trained our taste buds to like this junk and now it is time to train them to like the good stuff.

 

Honey kettle corn

I had not eaten kettle corn in years until just a few weeks ago.  My sweet hubby was making popcorn and my mother in law asked him if he has ever added honey to it.  After several batches of trial and perfecting he now has it down.  I asked him to make it last night so I could share it with you today.  🙂 In preparing to write this I googled Honey kettle corn and a couple other recipes came up.  They are all close to the same but this is how we make it.

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First thing is your equipment.   We LOVE the Whirley Pop popcorn popper.  If you look closely you will notice one of the handles on the lid is missing.  It gets used a LOT!

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Popcorn popped with coconut oil is tasty!  We eat a lot of popcorn and it is a good way to get your daily coconut oil in.  Just add some sea salt and you have a good snack.

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Or add honey for a sweet treat!

Honey Kettle Corn

2-3 Tblsp Extra Virgin Coconut oil
1/2 cup popping corn
3 Tblsp Raw Unfiltered Honey

Over Medium high heat heat the oil and add in the popping corn. Close lid.  Hold wood handle and slowly crank until popping slows down.  Remove from heat.  Pour honey over popcorn.  Put back on heat and crank quickly for about 2 minutes.   Pour into a bowl.  Let set for a couple of minutes.  Enjoy.

*You may need to pour some of the popcorn out before pouring honey in if there is not a little extra room in the popper to stir.

 

Whole wheat pizza dough

Who doesn’t like pizza?!  I have always thought of pizza being healthy.  You have a lot of the food groups in one dish.  I love when I can get a real rounded one dish meal.  🙂  The only problem with the pizza dough is the white flour and sugar.  Here is a solution for that.  This is a super easy recipe for pizza.

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We LOVE pineapple on pizza!  To be honest we love pineapple on just about anything.  It is so good and a natural sweetener.  On this pizza I used ham instead of Canadian bacon.  You need to be careful when buying ham.  Look at the ingredients.  It is hard but you can buy ham with out sugar.  My favorite place to buy ham is at Costco.

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I also make my own “pizza sauce”.  I use a 8 oz can of tomato sauce.  (Remember to check the label for ingredients.  I use tomato sauce that is tomato and spices only).  Then I sprinkle garlic powder and Italian seasoning on it.

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When putting dough on pan I just push it out with my fingers.  I don’t worry about rolling it out.  You can if you want.  This is easier for me.

Whole Wheat Pizza dough

1 Tblsp yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup milk

1 Tblsp honey

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Dissolve yeast in warm water.  In small saucepan heat butter until melted.  Stir in milk.  Add whole wheat flour and salt to the yeast.  Add honey and butter and milk mixture.  Mix.  Knead dough by hand or with Bosch for 2 minutes.  Let rest 5 minutes.  Knead 10 minutes.  Roll out on pizza pan.  Top with desired sauce and toppings.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Please see my recipe for  Honey whole wheat bread for notes on the wheat flour and kneading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best whole wheat bread

I have been making homemade bread off and on for 29 years.  There are a lot of recipes out there for homemade bread.  I will say I am kind of picky when it comes to bread.  This recipe is SO GOOD!  My children have sold it to raise money for church camps.  I have made it for Christmas gifts.  It has never disappointed.

Our friends and family know we eat healthy.  When we eat in a public setting like family reunions, church functions, etc.  the first thing people try to do is steer us towards the gluten free dishes.  Gluten is not bad for you unless, of course, you are allergic to it.  We love gluten!   Is what we do not it is white flour.  White flour has been processed and all nutrients have been taken out then some have been added back in.

This recipe has fresh ground wheat.  One thing to remember when working with fresh flour is that there are no preservatives so it will go bad quickly.  When grinding our wheat we always grind extra and put it in the freezer for other recipes that call for flour.  It is a hassle to pull everything out for a cup of flour.  🙂

Equipment that will make the job of making bread easier is a wheat grinder and mixer.  What I use is the WonderMill Electric Grain Grinder for grinding the wheat.  For mixing/kneading I use Bosch Univeral Plus Stand Mixer.  This is definitely an investment.  Like I said previously  I have been making bread for a very long time.  In the past about 15 years our family has eaten my bread about 90% of the time.  These machines get a LOT of use!  I am only on my second set of equipment.  About 12 years ago my first ones broke.  They were hand me downs from my mother-in-law.  In getting new new ones I figured they would be paid for in a year or two from the savings of making all of our bread.  Homemade bread is so much cheaper to make.

Can you make bread with out getting this equipment?  Yes, you can!   I will tell you how as I tell you how to make the bread.

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First you want to start grinding your wheat.  I fill the grinder two times with wheat to let it grind.  Of course you must empty the wheat between grinding.  This should give you enough flour.  If you are using store bought wheat then of course you will skip this step.

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Next you will add in all ingredients while the mixer is going until the dough starts to pull away from the sides.  This gives you an idea what it will look like.  The nice thing about using the Bosch is you then will let the machine do the kneading for you for about 12 minutes.  If you do not have a machine that has the kneading tool and you knead the dough by hand that works too.  You will knead by hand for 12 minutes as well.

Once the dough is done kneading place in loaf pans.  As you can see it makes about 5 loaves of bread.  (make sure you also snitch a piece or two of dough.  It is YUMMY!)

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You will then put the pans in a warm oven for about 20 minutes.  Once the dough is almost double in size then turn oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 25 minutes.  DO NOT remove from the oven while the oven is preheating.  The dough will continue to raise while the oven is heating up.

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Let the bread cool then you can remove from pans.  We usually slice the loaves and stick them in the freezer.  Depending on how fast you will eat the bread you can take it out by the slice or the loaf.

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Honey whole wheat bread 

Yield: 5 loaves

Prep time: 25 minutes

Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients 

6 cups warm water

2/3 cup honey

1 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil or Coconut oil

Tblsp active dry yeast

Tblsp salt

About 15 cups wheat flour

Directions 

Mix together water, honey and oil in Bosch or mixing bowl.  (If using Bosch make sure to use the kneading attachment)  Add yeast and about 6 cups flour.  Mix slightly then add salt.  Slowly add remaining flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Knead on medium speed for 12 minutes.

Oil bread pans and hands.  Remove dough, form into loaf and put into pan.  Put pans into warm oven.  Once dough is almost double in size, about 20 minutes, turn oven to 350 degrees and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Do not remove bread while oven is heating.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Enjoy with butter and honey or jam!  Also, great for a sandwich.