Back to Basics: Homemade Organic Kale Chips
Kale chips are a delicious anytime snack and healthy alternative to junk food & store bought chips.
It took me a long time of hearing about Kale Chips before I actually took the plunge and made my own. A leafy green as a chip? It just didn’t make much sense to me, but I knew it was definitely a healthy snack… and for that reason alone, I wanted to try it.
So I did! And here’s how:
First, grab a bunch of organic kale:
Wash the kale thoroughly. Dirt is usually trapped within the leaves/close to stem, so make sure you remove all of the dirt. Then, rip or cut the leaves from the stem. After you wash the leaves, it is important to thoroughly dry them! — spin in a salad spinner and pat dry with paper towels. If you don’t have a salad spinner, toss the leaves and dry well with paper towels. Your kale should be mostly dry/as dry as you can get it. If it’s wet, it will not become crispy like it should when you bake it.
After your kale is washed and dried, toss kale with approx 2 tablespoons of olive oil (depending on how much kale you’re using…use your own judgement. You don’t want your leaves to be saturated with oil, just lightly coated).
*somewhere in here, preheat oven to 350 degrees*
Sprinkle salt over leaves to taste. Don’t go crazy with the salt! Once the kale bakes, it will shrink and the salt will be more concentrated. You can always add more at the end). Toss leaves.
Next, cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread leaves in a single layer. It is best to not allow leaves to overlap. You’ll probably end up using multiple baking sheets, depending on how much kale was used.
Finally, put the kale in preheated oven for approx. 12 minutes (at 350 degrees, although you can get the same results by playing around with different times & temperatures). I usually bake let it go for about 8 minutes, then flip the leaves and finish up baking for another 4 minutes. The leaves should be crisp and dried out.
The kale will be shriveled and darker, as pictured above. Watch the leaves closely while in the oven and don’t let them burn!
Done!! Seal in a large, ziplock bag.
Making Homemade Kale Chips is soo easy and literally takes about 15-20 minutes in total. DO IT!
Check out this graphic by NaturalNews.com which shows a great & simplified comparison of Raw vs. Pasteurized milk
Sh*t Crunchy/Natural Mamas Say - Part 2!
Because I posted part 1 previously, I feel obligated to post the newest one.
Check out part 1 here.
Sh*t Crunchy/Natural Mamas Say.
haha, I love this!
This is so important…and TRUE.
Think about it just for a minute…
We ALL need to go Back to Basics.
Back to Basics: Healthy Homemade Ketchup
Have you ever read the ingredients list on the back of your store bought ketchup bottle? High fructose corn syrup is often one of the main ingredients (yuck!)
Ever since we finished using our favorite store bought ketchup, I decided to no longer buy ketchup, and that the ketchup we use in our house would only be homemade. Of course, there’s always the all natural, organic ketchup that can be purchased at Whole Foods in case of condiment emergency. But organic store bought ketchup, even in it’s “all natural” state, is still not as healthy as homemade lacto-fermented ketchup.
So here is a healthy, all natural, organic, enzyme & probiotic filled (via lacto-fermentation) recipe. This recipe is SO simple, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been making ketchup yourself all along (at least I did!)
3 cups organic tomato paste (I used 4 cans of 6oz Muir Glen organic cans — in the future I will most likely use Bionaturae brand since they come in glass jars instead of cans)
1/4 cup liquid whey (homemade only…click the link to learn how to make your own).
1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup
2-3 organic black peppercorns (crushed)
1 Tbs sea salt
3 cloves organic garlic, mashed
1/2 cup fish sauce (try to only use fish sauce that has only anchovies and salt as the listed ingredients…I tried to find it, but the only one I could get at the time also had sugar. Next time I will go to an Asian supermarket since they have a vast selection of fish sauce, but for now, I used Thai Kitchen - which has anchovies, salt, and sugar)
Combine all ingredients and mix on low with a hand mixer (you could also just whisk this mixture together yourself, but I prefer the hand mixer to make sure everything is mixed well). Pour into a 1 quart jar or container. Make sure there is approx 1 inch at the top of the jar/container to allow for expansion during fermentation. Leave the jar/container out on the kitchen counter for 2 days to ferment, then store in the refrigerator. Mark the container with the date to keep track of how long you’ve had it for. Will keep for up to 6 months.
I adapted this recipe from Sarah, at The Healthy Home Economist, who adapted recipe from Nourishing Traditions Cookbook by Sally Fallon Morell.
**NOTE: After the new year (my anniversary with Tumblr), I will most likely be moving Back to Basic posts to SUNDAYS! It will be “Back to Basics Sundays” instead of “Back to Basics Fridays”. I will post this note again before the change is made for sure.
Lately I’ve been finding more and more ways to convert my lifestyle to incorporate more all-natural & traditional ways of eating (and living)! I’m on my way to becoming a “real foodie” — taking baby steps, of course. But any improvement is better than no improvement at all, and I’ve already come a long way! (More on this in next week’s Back to Basics post)
This video was released just in time for this week’s Back to Basics segment & I thought it’d be the PERFECT way to explain to everyone what direction I’m moving towards and how/why.
In this video, you’re introduced to Sarah of thehealthyhomeeconomist.com. Reading her blog is what initially made me become interested in a traditional/real foods lifestyle. I learned SO much from reading her blog, as well as other blogs & sources from the world of real foods. Everything I learned made perfect sense to me. And although I question everything, this one was a no brainer. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be living how our ancestors did years ago. I already had this mind-set anyway, even before I knew about the community of people who live/eat traditionally. (Remember, before I was interested in the food aspect of it, I already eliminated the use of store bought skin care products & cleaning products by using all natural products that I made myself. Also, I already started going No ‘Poo way before I was reading into real foods!) — It all fell into place with what I’ve been trying to do myself this entire time.
Although I’ve been trying to post informational posts for my Back to Basics posts lately, these next few B2B posts will be going in the direction of what I’m doing, specifically, to go Back to Basics and eat and live more traditionally (without the processed, chemical-filled junk). I’ll use this weeks video post as a preview and overview of what’s to come.
Back to Basics: Homemade Granola Bar Recipe
Store bought granola bars may seem like a healthy snack, but after taking a closer look at the ingredients list, you realize how awful these things actually are. They are no better than any other processed, prepackaged snack. Store bought granola bars are filled with sugar, preservatives, MSG (often disguised as “natural and artificial flavors”), and rancid vegetable oils (canola and soy). Aside from that, these store bought snacks are not properly prepared. As I described in my previous post, it is extremely important to properly soak grains and seeds (including the oats, Grape Nuts cereal and seeds used in this recipe). The grains used in store bought granola bars are not soaked, and therefore, are filled with phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. In order for your body to properly digest and absorb the vitamins and nutrients offered in these potentially nutritious snacks, the grains and seeds must be properly soaked, rinsed, and dried before use. In order to get the best out of what should be a healthy granola bar, go Back to Basics and make these bars yourself so you know exactly what is in them and to ensure they are prepared for maximum digestibility.
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (soaked, rinsed, and dried** -see below)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (soaked, rinsed, and dried**)
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (soaked, rinsed, and dried**)
- 1/2 cup rice puffed cereal (I used Nature’s Path Organic Koala Crisps - chocolate flavored rice puffs, from Whole Foods)
- 1/2 cup Grape Nuts cereal (soaked, rinsed, and dried**)
- 1 cup raisins (or dried fruit of choice: blueberries, cranberries, cherries)
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar or cane sugar
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1. Coat an 8-inch-square pan with cooking spray.
2. Mix oats, Grape Nuts, puffed rice, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and dried fruit in a large bowl.
3. Combine peanut butter, sugar, honey, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan. Over medium-low heat, stir frequently until the mixture slightly bubbles, this will take just a few minutes.
4. While the mixture is still warm, quickly pour the sticky mixture over the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon until all of the dry ingredients are covered (this may take a little while, just keep mixing and folding over ingredients).
5. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan. Using a large spoon and/or your hands, press the mixture down firmly to make an even layer (wait until the mixture cools slightly if necessary). Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes; cut into bars. It may be easier to cut if you wait a little while after you remove them from the refrigerator. After cutting, keep individual bars refrigerated.
** Two days before I planned on making my granola bars I began to soak my oats, Grape Nuts (wheat), and seeds. I did this around 7pm that night. I soaked the oats and wheat as follows: 3 cups of each (in separate bowls) in 3 cups of warm water, with two tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar per cup of water. That’s 6 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar for each grain to soak in (oats and wheat separately). *Note: you do not need to use raw apple cider vinegar, that is just what I use because to me, it’s better than regular apple cider vinegar.*
In 2 additional bowls, I added about 2 cups of pumpkin seeds (in one bowl), and 2 cups of sunflower seeds (in another bowl) - I added 3 cups of water to each of these, plus two teaspoons of sea salt to each. Stir salt, water, and seeds. Cover all of the soaking bowls with lid or plastic wrap. I let these soak overnight. Then, in the morning around 7am, I began the next part of the process. Starting with the seeds (since they need less soaking time), I strained all of the water out and rinsed both batches of seeds thoroughly. Then, I used three cookie sheets to spread out seeds evenly to dry in the oven. (It’s probably easier to use a dehydrator for this if you have one, but I do not). After patting the seeds dry with paper towels, it’s important to put the seeds in the oven at the lowest temperature you can (mine was at 170 degrees, but 150 degrees would be ideal). This will take hours to dry out the seeds completely (taste them to feel the insides — they shouldn’t be mushy on the inside), and every so often you should make sure you are checking on the seeds and taking them out, mixing them up, and rotating them in the oven.
Meanwhile, I emptied the water and rinsed the oats and wheat, but refilled the bowls with those grains and added fresh water and fresh apple cider vinegar. I knew that the seeds would pretty much take all day to dry in the oven, so I wanted the oats and wheat to be able to soak until the oven was freed up from the seeds. After the seeds were dried out completely, I then drained and rinsed the oats and wheat thoroughly. The oats and wheat take a little longer to completely rinse. After rinsing, I squeezed them (in large handfuls) to allow excess water to drain out, and then laid them out on the three cookie sheets. Then, I dried them in the oven the same way I dried the nuts (at 170 degrees, mixing and rotating the oats and wheat every so often). Drying the oats and wheat takes less time than the seeds, but require more mixing and rotating. The oats ended up being stuck together when they dried out, so I threw them into a blender to pulse a few times in order to break them up a bit.
Since I did my soaking in a larger batch than I needed to use for this recipe, these ingredients will be prepared and ready to use for future batches of granola whenever I need them. Of course, you do not have to soak and dry all of the ingredients at once (as I did), you can soak and dry whenever you want and spread it out to different days, and make your granola bars whenever you have all of the ingredients ready.