Dehydrated Foods-Pear Candy

A Jar of Pear Candy

A Jar of Pear Candy

Got your attention didn’t I? Well this got Steve’s attention too.

I have been talking about my favorite ways to preserve foods. Fresh, then fermented, then frozen. My next favorite is dehydrated.

Since eating Paleo the dehydrated foods taste so incredibly sweet! Once the liquid is gone, the flavor the food is super concentrated. Today, I went to lunch (at Cheesecake Factory)with a girlfriend. I would not suggest this until you are past the craving phase. Skip the bread basket and tell the server that you are on “Paleo” and see what the chef suggests. This serves two fold, she will refrain from trying to tempt you with a dessert menu and the chef just might add a little surprise. The warm asparagus salad comes with a sprinkling of sundried tomatoes and pinon nuts. (yum!). He added extra! (Somebody please hit the like button!). Though I drank ice water with my meal, I decided to splurge and have a cup of coffee for dessert. While I was cupping the hot ceramic mug in my hands, sipping the wonderful drink that I usually save for mornings and listening to one of my favorite friends chatting from the other side of the table; I felt quite spoiled.

Wait-why did I tell you all that? Oh yes, the sun dried (dehydrated) tomatoes. So sweet and perfect!

What am I dehydrating right now? Well everybody knows about apple slices, but have you ever had a dehydrated pear slice. It tastes like candy. Seriously! Ripe pears are so sweet, but their juice dilutes that sweetness out, spreading it all over your hands, down your arm and onto your clothes. But when you dehydrate that baby. My oh my! Pear candy!

I peeled some and left the peels on some others. After slicing the pears, they went into a lemon juice and water bath for just a few minutes. Then, on to the dehydrator tray.

The lemon juice and water bath helps the pears keep from turning brown.

The lemon juice and water bath helps the pears keep from turning brown.

 

Give it a try. I am going to go now to buy more pears. Steve loves these. They will not last long!

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True Cinnamon?

 

 

Will the real cinnamon please stand up?

Will the real cinnamon please stand up?

A  couple of years ago, several of my favorite trusted mega bloggers were sharing the idea that there was a true cinnamon and a cinnamon that was not a true cinnamon. The statement was being made that Ceyla cinnamon was the true cinnamon. It had all the health benefits that cinnamon was said to have and that cassia cinnamon had none of the super powers that we have always heard that true cinnamon had. It has actually been said that eating too much cassia cinnamon could have negative affects on our health.

After reading several articles, I started buying only Ceyla cinnamon. I use a lot of it in the fall, for flavoring drinks, baked goods, oatmeal and even meat dishes.

My mom was telling me that she read an article about the benefits of cinnamon and honey; so naturally I got out my bottle of Ceyla cinnamon to show her. After my mom left a friend stopped by and saw the bottle sitting on my counter. I told her what I “knew”. I also told her that I had shared this bottle as “Donna’s Favorite Amazon Product” on my Face Book page. I had prepared a post about it for the blog and was interested to see what the response would be.

My friend shared with me about how one of my favorite mega bloggers had written an article refuting the original information. So, I read that article and was pretty disappointed. How frustrating!

What are we supposed to believe? I do not consider myself a professional blogger, or an informational blogger. I am a lifestyle blogger. I just write about what is going on in my little world.

So here is what I am doing. I prefer the flavor and the smell of the Ceyla Cinnamon over the Cassia Cinnamon. For now, I am not going to do a knee jerk thing. I made an order to re-stock my near empty bottle and changed the blog post.

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Food Preservation in Order of My Favorites

Avocado Pits

Avocado Pits

 

My very favorite way to eat the bounty from my backyard is same day fresh. It makes sense that fresh is best. But I have other ways to keep that food from being wasted.

Of coarse the refrigerator is the first option. Until now, the freezer was my next favorite way. But since discovering fermentation; the art of harnessing and employing  microscopic creatures (that are everywhere anyway) to enrich and preserve your food naturally-has bumped the freezer to the next place in line.

We have already begun talking about fermentation-and we will continue.

But today I want to tell you something new that I am doing with my freezer. Here we go again you say. I know, but this is really cool.

We have talked about ice cubes trays.  I use them to freeze wine, iced tea, lemonade and juice. I do this so that when I pour a glass of something over something ice cubes, my drink stays cold and does not get diluted.

I use ice cube trays to freeze herbs or pesto into little blocks of goodness to pop into a plastic bag and store in that wonderful appliance that I love so much.

But today, I am going to share something new with you. Don’t tell anybody, but I eat avocado pits. Silence, boy she is weird.  Yep, that is right! I heard about it along time ago from a man who was eating “Raw” to ease his inflammatory pain. He said that the Avocado pits had tons of anti-inflammatory properties and anti-oxidants.

After doing some research of my own; this is what I have read finding. I found the information put together quite well on one of the nutrition forums that I follow. It is not word for word though.

The benefits of an Avocado Pit

1. Fiber. More soluble fiber ounce per ounce than almost any other food.

2. Antibacterial and antifungal. Some researches say that there is evidence that avocado seeds inhibit the growth of bacteria in the gram positive rod group and also of a variety of fungii including candida.

3. Antioxidants. 70% of the total antioxidants from the whole avocado are found within the seed, which means we often throw away the best part.

4. Anti-cancer!! A flavenol from avocado seed was given to rats with cancer, which induced programmed cell death (apoptosis) in the cancer cells.

5. Anti-inflammatory for the GI tract. Historically avocado seeds were used in South America to help treat dysentery, gastric ulcers and other digestive disorders.

6. Boosts skin collagen. Avodaco seed oil actually boosts collagen production in your skin and makes hair shinier and skin soft.

7. Boosts heart health. The oils from avocado seeds and flesh include 71% monounsaturated fats (MUFA), 13% polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) and 16% saturated fatty acids (SFA). This helps promote healthy blood lipid profiles and support cardiovascular health.

I do want to tell you that I don’t just go gnawing on the pit though. After I chop up an avocado, I set the pit in a bowl and set it aside. The next morning I put 1/2 of it in my Vitamix with my smoothie.

Pits and water

Pits and water

Bright Orange

Bright Orange

Lately, I have not been drinking smoothies. Today, I did something different with yesterday’s avocados. I put the two pits into my Vitamix with 1 cup of water and pulverized it. I love how it turned the liquid a bright orange.  Then I poured the mixture into ice cube trays. When they are frozen, I will pop them into a plastic bag to wait until I am ready to use them.

Avocado pit ice cubes

Avocado pit ice cubes

Hooray for my freezer!

This post was featured in http://newlifeonahomestead.com/2014/09/mondays-homestead-barn-hop-177/

 

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A Summer Wine

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not summer whine, silly! Summer wine. Though we desert rats do whine a lot in the summer time. A lot! It is too hot outside! The electric bill is too high and the ever popular; it is Friday night on a holiday weekend and the air conditioner just died. Yikes!

Ok-back to the subject.

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What is in My Kitchen Pantry?

My kitchen pantry? Not hardly!

My kitchen pantry? Not hardly!

I have a friend who says that she is amazed when I show her something new from my kitchen  pantry. When ever she comes over she says “So what new thing are you working on” and “I would love to take a peek inside this secret place that you call My Kitchen Pantry”. This is the friend who took that picture of my laundry room. Now, I close the pantry door when she rings the door bell. One of these days, I will have my kitchen pantry organized and I will let her see it. I am just too busy doing things that are much more fun right now.

When someone comes over, I just calmly shut the pantry door.

When someone comes over, I just calmly shut the pantry door.

I also have a blogging mentor that suggested that I  do more with my Amazon Affiliate link on my blog. So, I thought that I would feed two birds with one dish of bird seed.

I can do this!

I can do this!

I looked in my kitchen pantry and found some unique items that I have purchased through Amazon and am very happy with. I will post them on my Facebook page at 6:00pm as Donna’s Daily Amazon Favorites. Sometimes I will talk about them here to tell you a little bit more why I like them. If it goes well, I will continue to share this. If I notice that my fans are all jumping ship, running for the hills, or getting the heck out of Dodge; then I will do something different.

But whatever happens, I hope you have fun reading my new attempts while I Share my Life’s Abundance!

 

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A Giveaway in Honor of National Preparedness Month

ready.gov national preparedness day

 

I work with a group of bloggers who are teaching me-a homesteader-how to prepare for an emergency. I have been visiting each of their blogs, liking their Facebook pages and sharing information that I think that my readers would like. This giveaway is an opportunity for my readers to visit their blogs and facebook pages as well. Please click the rafflecopter link to find the instructions on how to win this giveaway. By doing this, you too will be able to enjoy their blogs as well as mine.

Now, go into the world and prepare while you are–Sharing life’s Abundance!

Giveaway Details for $100 Giveaway:

In honor of National Preparedness Month (www.Ready.gov/Prepare), the Homestead Bloggers Network is hosting a giveaway to help you become better prepared for any potential emergency situation. Not only do you need to create an emergency family plan, but you need to have some basic supplies at the ready. The winner of this giveaway will receive a $100 Amazon Gift Card to help them get everything on their family’s preparedness list!

The giveaway will end 11:59pm on September 22, 2014. Open to US residents, 18 and older only and void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary – chances of winning depend on number of entries received.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Fermented Foods in My Kitchen

Box of Apples

I am not an expert at making fermented foods. But I have found myself a mentor. Oh yes, I can read about it all day long on the internet, but I learn better live.

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