Dog Days!

So, since he was a puppy, Leo has been eating some of the better (but not most expensive) dry dog food; I always have checked ingredients to make sure that meat, not meat by-product or a filler was in the top 3 ingredients and corn and gluten free. Blue Buffalo was tried (but sporadically as it was too expensive), but mostly Taste of the Wild as it was the most reasonably priced for something “decent” as far as dry food goes. But having allergy and stomach issues like me, I hated some of the ingredients still included. I wondered daily “WHY am I buying and feeding him something that even I wouldn’t want to put in my body?” Not only that, but he put on 10 pounds in 2014 after he was neutered and even cutting back on his portion size, he could not lose weight.

I finally weighed my options after seeing Fresh Pet in a cooler in the pet section and realized the price comes out the same and the ingredients were only what I would use if I were cooking his food myself. Fresh ingredients, no fillers, no corn. He LOVES the food. When he sees me getting it ready for him, he literally does a doggy “happy dance” and actually ignores his ball (which is his pacifier and can’t be without). Well, I’m not sure just how much weight he has lost, but not only is there a taper to his waist again and looking fitter (and one can tell he feels better), but his collar has been adjusted to a smaller fit (1/2 – 1 inch in from the last notch) and I am still able to get several fingers under it.

Food being aside, I have been paranoid (being the health & organic food advocate that I have become) about chemicals and supplements he has been given over the past 5+ years to control fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and parasites. He had a horrible reaction to the Trifexis the last couple of times I gave him that about 2 years ago so I refused to give that to him again (especially after researching it…that stuff shouldn’t be on the market). I started using a topical, Advantage Multi, but after a few times, I noticed he definitely was still having reactions to even that for 24 or so hours after applying. 😦 So, more research ensued. I was skeptical of using garlic at first, but after more than a year of reading, researching and talking to people who use garlic for their pets, I bit the bullet and started him on fresh, raw garlic.

Guess what? He has been on it since the first part of January and I’ve only seen and caught one, maybe 2 fleas on the surface of his fur. He still always seems to have issues with environmental allergies and dry, itchy skin. So I broke down and like to have killed myself bathing him a couple of days ago (using the always gentle Castille soap that I use myself) as it is soothing and won’t strip natural oils from his skin and fur and to my amazement, no fleas or flea dirt on him at all! And we have had such warm weather that fleas haven’t exactly been killed off this year! Well, now I’ve added Brewer’s Yeast powder to one of his meals each day (today is the third day) and he FINALLY seems to be feeling better (still a bit of licking and scratching, but compared to how it was, it is much better today).

So the point is this: if your pet food has ingredients in it that you wouldn’t put in your body or your loved one’s bodies, don’t feed it to your dog. When we HUMANS stop consuming packaged processed food and start eating REAL food, weight falls off effortlessly; if your dog or cat is overweight, switching them from packaged processed food to either real fresh food, homemade food or raw food diet will help them shed the weight effortlessly as well. And if labels say (of flea treatments, oral OR topical) to avoid getting on your skin and not to ingest, to call poison control if you do, then WHY would you want to keep pushing it on to your pet? They lived for thousands and thousands of years without that crap. Our ancestors didn’t have to rely on anything but nature to take care of themselves as well as their animals. The only advantage we have today is that we learned that HYGIENE which has made ALL the difference in quality of health.

Do you and your pet a favor: ditch the bags of processed dry dog food and the chemicals to keep fleas under control and give your dog a chance on garlic and Brewer’s Yeast. You will be VERY pleasantly surprised!

Leo my baby

I will leave you with the Book of the Day (well, more like Book of the Week actually). I am reading George Orwell’s “1984” at the moment. I’ve heard people talk about it a lot, especially in the last few months, and know that they made it into a movie a long time ago (I saw that John Hurt had played Winston Smith! Loved John Hurt…great actor!). I’m slightly more than halfway through, but it is a good book. Very interesting and one can draw so many similarities to life as we know it today. This oft repeating quote in the book sounds exactly like many in today’s society:

“WAR IS PEACE.  FREEDOM IS SLAVERY.  IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.”

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Flourish & Blotts

So I haven’t had recipes or any such thing to really blog about lately and have been busy studying (Web Development) and reading. This will be short but sweet!

If you love to read, especially fantasy, then you will want to get a copy of Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicle. The first book, The Name Of The Wind, is an amazing journey of Kvothe, a young boy who started out in a troupe. Similarities and contrasts can be drawn throughout the book to him and Harry Potter, but the majority of the story (aka Day 1) is of Kvothe as a 15 year old at “University”. It has the elements of humor, sarcasm, rivalry much like Harry and Malfoy in the Harry Potter series, action & adventure, magic, music, and so much more! It is a 722 page book, but it is very difficult to put this one down! I started reading it about 2 weeks ago, the day before I got sick with the flu. When you are sick, you care nothing about anything except sleeping. That being said, this is a wonderful story!

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I am working on HTML & CSS both online and the book HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites in the first part of the day so I can HOPEFULLY get good enough to work from home designing and developing webpages for individuals and/or companies (mom & pop mostly) and now I’m going to read The House of Hades online since a) book 3, The Mark of Athena, left you hanging and b) it’s one that is available to read at Read Any Book! I was hoping to read Sheriff David Clarke’s book, Cop Under Fire: Moving Beyond Hashtags of Race, Crime and Politics for a Better America, but since it was a Valentine’s present from my mom to my dad, I have to wait my turn!

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Looking forward to reading next!

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Reading now!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you love mythology, Rick Riordan is a master storyteller and you get a really good in-depth education on Greek (and some Roman) mythology while enjoying an outstanding series of novels!

Fourth Times A Charm!

YAY! So this was actually my fourth attempt at making Sauerkraut (the REAL thing, not this crappy “grab a bag of pre-shredded cabbage, dump it in a jar and pour vinegar into it” horrible excuse for the real thing stuff). You know… lactofermented so it’s actually healthy and full of probiotics. My first time making some last summer was an absolute fluke; it turned out great, albeit a tad too salty. I use both green AND red cabbage so I get the nutrients and benefits of both cabbages instead of favoring one over the other so it comes out looking purple (color matters not when it tastes great and is good for you)! Using a head of both yields enough Sauerkraut to last about 3 months and costs all of $5 versus a jar of the only brand I’ve found that is actual SAUERKRAUT and not vinegar soaked cabbage that lasts a week at best and runs $7! No brainer! My second time, I think I managed to get hold of old cabbage (although it could be because I tried a different method…it molded literally overnight and put out no juice…bummer). Last batch turned out good, just not as salty as it should be and not as tangy as a perfectly fermented batch should be, but still good. But this time? Living in northwest Florida and the weather being pretty darn mild for this time of year,  it took 8 days from packing the cabbage to lactofermented Sauerkraut perfection. I’m. So. Happy!

When I checked on it Monday morning, it had that “tangy” smell to it which is indicative of the cabbage properly fermenting (believe me, you learn fast when you’ve bought some and know what it smells and tastes like when your own has gotten to that point) and since I didn’t have quite the room in the fridge at that moment, I decided to wait until yesterday morning which would work great…the fermenting “bubbles” came up in a frenzy Monday! Yippee! So press, press, press…got those bubbles going and made sure it was good and submerged in the juices.

So I went to get it to put into a couple of smaller jars that would fit in the fridge yesterday morning and the smell? Awesome! Great tangy/sour smell that is so very Sauerkraut! Then trying to pack it into the 2 jars that I used, some fell out on the counter so I tasted it. O.M.G. Bubbie’s has NOTHING on this batch of homemade Sauerkraut!  I so wish I could share it with y’all. I’m really happy and feeling quite accomplished at how well it turned out! Look at these beauties…..

yay-its-perfect

I don’t always like just getting a spoonful out and eating it straight. Usually, I get a couple of heaping tablespoons to 1/3 a cup of Sauerkraut and top my meat with it. Now, I top my chicken with it and whenever I eat beef (which my taste buds are changing…again…beef just doesn’t taste as good to me anymore, not even steaks), but it only took ONCE to discover it does NOT go well with fish! Well, this batch is solo worthy. I feel humbled because even though it is not hard to make, making it really is an art and the taste can vary a little from batch to batch depending on different factors…the freshness of the cabbage, how much salt and quality of salt (NEVER use iodized table salt; even in health magazines, they recommend using some sort of sea salt like Himalayan pink, Kiawe smoked, black sea salt from Hawai’i, etc…), how well you scrunch/rub the salt into the cabbage to release juices, or any extras you add like Caraway seeds like some recipes do. Mine is straight green and red cabbage with Himalayan pink salt and a little filtered water with extra salt on days 2 for brine when it is short on liquid to submerge.

Seriously, go back and check out the recipe. See how easy it is. Make a batch. It is especially great for helping you recuperate when you’re sick. Check out the links on THIS page and see just how good for you it is and the benefits it offers. And if you need something for the flu or an upper respiratory infection (or even a queasy stomach), try the ginger tea from THIS POST. I swear, ginger & honey are miracles for sore throats, coughing and congestion!

Hope you try some and let me know how it turns out and how you like it! Love you guys!

*Want some good reading material? Check out Heroes of Olympus (Rick Riordan), The Dresden Files (Fool Moon) by Jim Butcher or The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss. I just finished reading Fool Moon and doing a rush job of Evermore (The Immortals) by Alyson Noel. It’s okay, but it is nothing like The Dresden Files and I’m dying to get started on The Kingkiller Chronicle. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.

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Excellent novel on Greek & Roman mythology! Five stars!
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The Dresden Files are just amazing. This is also a five-star book.
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Eh, I feel like I’m reading a version of Twilight. Not a bad book, but not impressed. Three stars.
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I am so looking forward to starting this one either later today or tomorrow. The summary sounds so good!

Candied Ginger & Simple Ginger Syrup

Okay, so…. not original idea, and I have made candied ginger and the accompanying simple syrup, but it was a different recipe and although the ginger was edible and the ginger syrup was perfect, the ginger stayed “wet” despite my best efforts. But today I got out ginger rhizome number 2 and saw that I wasn’t going to be able to wait to be able to use it and had to cut off part of it! Nooooo…. So I did some more searching and checked some of the recipes I had bookmarked, but it wasn’t until I came across Kimberly’s recipe over at The Daring Gourmet that I knew it sounded like a winner. Simple yet delicious. It didn’t seem like there was excessive water or sugar. As usual, I did tweak it just a tiny bit. I LOVE ginger! Sweet and spicy and great for those of us that have sensitive tummies! I am sorry, but as I am still on the mend from upper respiratory infection this week, I wasn’t feeling up to taking pictures (and by the way, the cabbage is almost to sauerkraut perfection!). But here is the recipe (with my changes marked by ***):

How To Make Candied Ginger
Prep time
10 mins
Cook time
1 hour
Total time
1 hour 10 mins
: Kimberly Killebrew, http://www.daringgourmet.com
Ingredients
  • 1 pound peeled and sliced ginger, preferably young/smaller roots, sliced about ⅛ inch thick (by hand or use a mandolin)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar ***I used raw organic Demararra sugar which turned out great!***
  • Extra sugar for coating
  1. Place the sliced ginger in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Reserve ½ cup of the ginger water and then drain the ginger slices.
  2. Place the sliced ginger back in the pot with the reserved ginger water, sugar and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until the temperature on a candy thermometer reads 225 degrees F.
  3. Drain the ginger in a colander over a bowl to catch the syrup (see Note).
  4. Lay out the ginger slices on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet, separating the slices the best you can. Let cool for 2 hours (you want them sticky but not wet so that the sugar will adhere without dissolving).
  5. Toss the ginger slices in a bowl of sugar so they are coated all over. ***Tossed in raw organic cane sugar***
  6. Place the ginger slices back on the cooling rack to sit overnight.
  7. Store in an airtight container in a dark, cool place. Will keep for several months.
Notes
This recipe makes a delicious byproduct: Ginger Simple Syrup! Add a teaspoon or two to your drinks for a refreshing ZING!

Cabbage & Ginger and the Flu…Oh My!

I know, I know. I promised I would be posting daily, especially since I’m in the process of making sauerkraut, and the cabbage needs to be checked on daily. But, the upper respiratory crud that is making the circuits managed to run me down and I was in bed yesterday. Definitely was not part of the agenda! I did check on the cabbage, but unfortunately, didn’t get pictures. Oops! Suffice to say, I had to add a couple of cups of brine. It did sweat and produce it’s own juice, but not enough to submerge the cabbage. So I added 1 teaspoon of Himalayan Pink Salt to 2 cups of filtered water (1/2 teaspoon of sea salt per cup of water for brine) and added that to the cabbage, then pressed down a few times to allow air bubbles to escape and make sure the cabbage gets submerged so it can ferment and not get mold.

Here is update for Day 2 (today):  No extra brine needed today! But it, of course, for this time of year, is far from being sauerkraut! Still looks and smells like cabbage.

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As I said, the upper respiratory crud going around managed to grab hold of me yesterday. Nothing like feeling like you’ve just stepped off a Merry-Go-Round all day! Was queasy with absolutely NO appetite and felt like a stone sitting on my chest and a sore throat and itchy ears to boot. So, I did what the annual publication of Herbal Remedies suggested and had 2 good size mugs of Cinnamon Ginger Tea instead of my usual 1 at lunch. There really is something to these homemade remedies! I had already been drinking it occasionally, but I have become more diligent as of late!

Ginger Tea

Place about an inch (depending on size of ginger rhizome) of ginger, thinly sliced, into a pot of 1 ¾ cups of boiling water. Add ½ – 1 teaspoon of organic ground cinnamon (or you can use a fresh cinnamon stick), cover, turn temperature to low and let simmer for 10-15 minutes (the longer it steeps, the more zing there will be to your tea). Remove from stove, strain into a mug and add 1 tablespoon of raw honey. Can drink hot or cover and let cool to drink later.  *For warmth, better digestion, nausea/morning sickness and to lessen congestion.

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I had to grab something to use that would hold a good 2 cups the last several days as another member of the household has been VERY sick with this upper respiratory mess, she wound up having to go to the doctor yesterday. I handed her the Herbal Remedies magazine to read and she asked about the Ginger Tea that I drink and could I make her some? She drinks hers fresh and very hot! But she said that it is not only good, but soothes her throat (one of a number of benefits). Because of the spice that is ginger, it stings a little as you’re drinking it (like soda does, only soda is NOT something anyone needs to be drinking), but then you get this numbing and soothing sensation. The honey helps with the coughing. It is recommended to drink 2 to 3 cups a day when you’re sick, and after yesterday, I see why. I do feel better today, but I have a cough and congestion.

Which leads me to something else I plan on trying a bit later today:  Ginger Bath. It has been a few years since I actually sat and soaked in a bathtub due to having a hard time getting down and back up thanks to my crappy back! But when you’re sick with this stuff, you are willing to try anything, and everything I’ve read says this Ginger Bath (and Ginger Footbath) really work.

Via Pure Inside Out, as well as numerous other sources both online and off, here are benefits of Ginger:

Main Health-Enhancing Benefits of Ginger

  • Calms nausea, including motion sickness dizziness
  • Relieves gas and bloating
  • Helps stop diarrhea
  • Boosts digestion
  • Calms menstrual cramps
  • Relieves headaches
  • Anti-inflamatory
  • Stabilises blood pressure (equally when too high or too low)
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Soothes cold and flu symptoms, as well as respiratory infections
  • Known for its anti-cancer properties
  • Freshens the breath naturally

The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger have been known and valued for centuries. Modern Medicine has now provided scientific support for the long-held belief that ginger contains constituents with anti-inflammatory properties. It is known to reduce the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and encourage blood circulation.

Caution: If you take anti-coagulants, consult your doctor before using ginger.

 

Ginger Bath: You can use either fresh grated ginger or ginger powder. Add ½ a cup of freshly grated ginger or a rounded teaspoon of ginger powder in hot or warm water and soak for 15-20 minutes. Please remember that the ginger bath will make you sweat profusely for at least an hour afterwards, so wear a bathrobe or sweat clothes.

Make sure you drink plenty of water after the bath. If you have sensitive skin or are allergy-prone, test ginger on your skin for irritation before the bath.

 

I’ll let you know how I feel tomorrow. But as of now, it looks promising!

What’s So Special About Sauerkraut?

I don’t know about you, but I grew up on southern food which included coffee so strong it would “make you grow chest hair” (as my daddy put it), buttermilk biscuits (YUM!), fried foods like chicken, and desserts like Coconut Cake, Coconut Cream Pie and Lemon Meringue Pie. Oh, and that’s not all. Summer time meant ice cream, ice pops and snowcones, and getting not only a Bismark doughnut to munch on in the grocery store to keep me quiet while my mama shopped (like a white glazed doughnut with a thick cream down the center…looked a bit like a hotdog bun only MUCH tastier!), but candy at the checkout. The holidays brought all kinds of yummy baked goods like Pumpkin Pie, Sweet Potato Pie (my favorite), Divinity Candy, Fudge, cookies, cakes and brownies GALORE. I didn’t much care for vegetables growing up and wasn’t forced to eat them, although I DID have to at least try them before deciding not to eat them. Oh, I can’t forget the most important thing to us southerners: SWEET ICED TEA! And I’m not talking about tea sweetened with enough sugar to make it taste delicious, it was basically tea flavored sugar water! Times haven’t changed, either. Although now when you go to a restaurant or buy tea premade in the grocery store, you’re buying tea that is sweetened with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) which has very recently been changed to just Fructose, or Fructose Syrup. Unless you read and do your research, you may think “hey, doesn’t fructose come from fruit?” Yes, and this is Big Ag’s way of fooling the public while continuing to poison us. Always be on your guard!

In that vein, there ARE ways you can counteract these foods. First of all, STOP EATING PROCESSED FOODS! If it has more than 3 ingredients (actually, should eat whole food that is just ONE ingredient), particularly ingredients you can’t pronounce, then DON’T EAT IT. Secondly, fermented foods. Preferably homemade fermented foods. When you buy fermented food at the store, it is ALWAYS pasteurized. Yogurt is pasteurized (and I have a hard time eating pasteurized food…always wind up with severe gastrointestinal pain), Kefir is pasteurized and pickles (if you can even find some that are actually lacto-fermented in the refrigerated section…the ones on the store shelf are made with vinegar, thus NOT fermented and offer no real health benefits) are pasteurized. Even the best sauerkraut in the refrigerated section with just cabbage and sea salt says it is lightly pasteurized.

There are plenty of sites that talk about the benefits of probiotics from fermented foods and there are lots of recipes to be had. I started out eating Bubbie’s Sauerkraut which was actually very good considering I had always been offput with just the smell of the stuff growing up. But as the container is on the small side and cost $7, I was determined to find a way to get fresh sauerkraut that didn’t break the bank. Guess what? You can buy cabbage (I buy both green and red…and according to EWG as posted here, cabbage is part of the “Clean 15”) for about $5 for 2 heads which last 2 to 3 months compared to a week or two! Cabbage is naturally resilient to bugs and the outer leaves are able to shield it from most toxic sprays. When consuming cabbage, make sure to remove and discard these outer leaves.

Okay, I’ll stop yapping and share my recipe. It’s a mix of red and green cabbage as they both have their own nutritional benefits! They share some of the same, but also very different ones. Dr. Mercola had his sauerkraut sent to a lab to test for probiotics and the results were astounding! “We found in a 4-6 ounce serving of the fermented vegetables there were literally ten trillion bacteria.” That means 2 ounces of home fermented sauerkraut had more probiotics than a bottle of 100 count probiotic capsules. Translated this means one 16 ounce of sauerkraut is equal to 8 bottles of probiotics.” (via Nourishing Plot). After the recipe, I’ll post some links to read that list health benefits as well as nutrition information.

Homemade Sauerkraut

Beginning with a head of Red cabbage and a head of Green, remove and discard the outer leaves and rinse the cabbage and set aside to dry. Cut in half, then remove the core.
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Thinly slice and add an inch or 2 layer of cabbage at a time, adding salt (and Caraway seeds if you like) after each layer, scrunching well to release water (make it sweat!). Keep doing this until all the cabbage is used.

*Always make sure to use either a clean, sterilized glass bowl, ceramic, stone or stainless steel bowl.

After washing a large mason jar, ceramic or stone jar, sterilize by pouring boiling hot water into jar and lid and rinsing well, put in warm oven for a few minutes (I’ve read in places that this is how some people sterilize their jars) or wash in dishwasher and run through sterilizing heat cycle. Once clean and sterilized, add the cabbage in handfuls to the jar, pressing down to help release juices and cover with a saved leaf or 2 (not the outermost leaves, but a couple 2 to 3 layers down in the cabbage), then cover either with a towel, cheesecloth, or lid loosely fit on. Set in a dark place where the temperature is stable and not cold. How long it takes to ferment depends on how warm or cold it is. If it is warm, it will ferment and be ready to be refrigerated in about 5 days or so, perhaps less, but my experience is 5 days in the summer, and a good week or more in the winter. Sauerkraut has a tangy smell and taste which you will recognize once it is properly fermented. It’s really a no-brainer!

*ALWAYS make sure your hands are CLEAN before you begin and wash only with non-antibacterial soap and water and dry with paper towel. You sure don’t want to add any bad bacteria to the cabbage!

Tomorrow, we will check on the cabbage to see how it is doing. You need to “burp” it daily (releasing air bubbles) by getting a jar or plate (whatever fits in your container) and press down. On the first day, check to see if it has released enough liquid to submerge it. It most likely will have juice, just not enough to cover it. If that is the case, mix up 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt per 1 cup of filtered water and add till the cabbage is covered.

Links to check into:

Sauerkraut is the Original Probiotic Superfood

Sauerkraut Test Divulges Shocking Probiotic Count

Sauerkraut Offers A Spectrum of Health Benefits

Tips for Fermenting At Home

Sunny Days & Golden Rays

“It was a beautiful day and the sun beat down,
I had the radio on, I was flying.
The trees went past, me and Dale was singing
Little Runaway; I was flyin’.

Yeah, runnin’ down a dream
Whatever would come to me
Workin’ on a mystery
Goin’ wherever it leads
Yeah, runnin’ down a dream!”

Running Down A Dream – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

It WAS gorgeous today. Felt like spring. Aaaand I promised last night I would start sharing information and secrets to my weight loss and health. Confession: I don’t eat breakfast! *GASP* I’ve never been a big breakfast person. Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE some breakfast foods, just not in the morning. I get up and drink a cup of organic or fair trade or rain forest alliance coffee with pastured cream, coconut sugar and coconut oil. It’s good and it holds me over till about 11’ish.  I tend to eat lunch between 11 and 11:30. Whatever I do, you know I always have to have music playing. Today, it’s definitely a classic rock day. Tomorrow it may be Indie Folk, or Adult Contemporary or Instrumental Rock or Jazz or any number of genres! Oh, you didn’t come on here to read that, huh? Okay.

I wish I had gotten pictures, but unfortunately I didn’t. But I made a homemade simple Traditional Hummus, sans tahini. Turned out fabulous, too!  It is a slightly tweaked recipe by Kelly over at LifeMadeSweeter. I (as well as other family members) can’t use paprika not to mention I have to be careful with any and all things from the “nightshade” family. Like red pepper flakes. A pinch doesn’t USUALLY cause problems, but here lately, more food and medications are giving me problems, so I am just avoiding those things. Also, I don’t have a food processor so I had to bag the handful of ingredients needed and march over to my sister’s house (behind ours) and use hers. No problem. That is, until the food processor decided to fight me and not want to work. It finally gave in! Woohoo!

Ingredients

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed

2 large garlic cloves

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon paprika (OPTIONAL)

1/4 cup water, plus more as needed to thin out hummus to desired consistency

salt to taste

black pepper to taste

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

chili flakes for garnish (OPTIONAL)

Instructions

  1. Place chickpeas in a blender or food processor with garlic, lemon juice, cumin, paprika and water. Blend or puree until very smooth, adding more water as needed to thin out to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper and add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to help achieve a super creamy texture.
  2. Serve on pitas, crackers, veggies, or sandwiches. Adjust seasonings as you like and sprinkle with red chili flakes if desired.

Notes

*Can store in an airtight glass container in the fridge for up to 5 days or freezer for up to 3 months.

I normally buy Boar’s Head non-GMO Traditional Hummus in the Publix deli department which has very few ingredients, but the price is ridiculously high. Plus, it is soy free and nut free. But paying $4.99 for a small container that lasts a week compared to 2 cans of organic chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) at less than $2 each while I already have the other ingredients and now I have double the amount that the store bought containers come in. And it is DELICIOUS.

It’s great at lunch! My typical lunch? It varies, but one of my favorite lunches is Crown Prince Sardines in Olive Oil, traditional hummus with The Better Chip chips (right now I’m on a kick with the Beet chips; although I’m a huge fan of their Spinach & Kale and the Radish Chia is great, too!), a cup of fresh brewed Cinnamon Ginger tea (I make that in the mornings around 8:30 and let it sit covered till lunch when it is at room temperature), and a square of dark chocolate (85% cacao) with about a teaspoon of Polaner’s non-GMO Seedless Raspberry Spread. I love berries with dark chocolate, but raspberry is by far my favorite. One day, I’m going to make my own fruit preserves. On the days I don’t eat sardines, I have either Wild Planet tuna (Albacore Wild Tuna in EVOO, or rather, Extra Virgin Olive Oil) or Ocean Naturals Albacore Solid White Tuna in Italian Olive Oil. BOTH are delicious! And when I can afford it, I drink GT’s Synergy Kombucha, usually Raspberry Chia (my favorite). They have a few I really like, but the Raspberry Chia? Mmmm, can’t be beat!

My dinners? Depends on what the rest of the family is having. I tend to buy my own chicken (non-GMO, cage free, organic) and Sockeye Salmon which Wednesdays are my fish, kale and quinoa day since they eat at the church (and I can’t…every time I have, I’ve gotten sick because of food additives…ugh). I eat sweet potatoes pretty regular also. And I make my own sauerkraut which I will share that process with y’all tomorrow since I’ll be making some to which I eat with all meat except fish. Well, except I don’t eat pork. I can’t eat pork. I LIKE pork meats, but they don’t like me (yeah, part of my ever growing list of foods that I can no longer eat without getting sick or suffering) just like beef is starting to do the same. I eat them in very small amounts with a good portion of sauerkraut. I don’t eat bread or pasta and rarely eat rice and quinoa is once, maybe twice a week, and I occasionally whip up a batch of gluten free biscuits so I can have one when I get the craving (not often, but I am southern, ya know!). About half an hour before dinner, I get 2 tablespoons of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar in 4 ounces of water with a little stevia and drink it, chasing it with some filtered water. THAT, my friends, is not easy for me, but with my thyroid condition, I’ve noticed a lot of benefits in drinking it!

The only other thing I do is I tend to eat a spoon of Smucker’s organic peanut butter and a cup of fresh raw milk (I can’t consume pasteurized dairy…talk about several gastrointestinal discomfort!) at night when I take my medicine. Usually have a second square of dark chocolate too. So that pretty much sums up my eating habits. Tomorrow, homemade sauerkraut!

Southern Organic Life