Pumpkin Spice

October 19, 2014

For this autumn pantry party I made Pumpkin Spice. It can be used on just about anything and everything. Tonight I am making GAP chocolate by this fabulous lady, and topping the chocolates with a sprinkle of this mix.


3 part        Cinnamon Stick
1 part        All Spice Seeds
1 part        Star of Anise
1 part        Vanilla Bean, chopped into bits
1 part         Whole Cloves
1 part         Ginger, already grounded*
1 part         Nutmeg seed

Grind everything in  a spice grinder (except ginger) until finely milled, almost powder like.
Mix with ginger and store in an air tight container. Use before autumn is over.

*I used ground ginger because I was worried fresh would spoil the mix faster.

 More Uses

Lacto-Fermented (pickled) Heart Beets

March 4, 2014

Inspired by the vibrant and impassioned Annie Dru of Lardmouth, I've started to look for opportunities to lacto-ferment anything and everything.  These were fun to make and they're full of healthy probiotics for your belly.

Roast beets at 350 degrees until tender/a fork goes in easily (around 30-45 minutes depending on size).  Cool and peel (the skins rub off easily).  You can store them covered in the fridge for a day or so if you want to do this step in advance.

  • 1 part good Celtic or other mineral Salt
  • 1 part raw honey
  • 2 parts Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4 parts whey*

Put the vinegar in a saucepan with your seasonings - I used 2 cinnamon sticks, a star anise pod and a few cloves.  Simmer on low for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and cool.

Whisk in the salt, honey and whey into the cool vinegar. 

Cut up your beets (if you're crazy like I am, thinly slice and then punch out small shapes - I did hearts for Valentine's Day) and put your beets into your jar(s).  Pour the pickling liquid over them and then top off with filtered water. 

Cover and store on the countertop for at least one day, up to five depending on how much you like fermented food.  Then put it in the fridge.

If you substitute a "cup" for the "parts" indicated you should have enough for 10-12 beets.  If you cut it down to 1/4 cup salt/honey; 1/2 cup ACV and 1 cup whey you should have enough for 4-6 beets.  And if you cut it down to 1 TBL per part you'd have enough for 1 beet.

Don't be surprised if you start quoting Portlandia.

*Don't know where to get whey?  Buy some yogurt; line a mesh colander with a thin dish towel (I like the inexpensive blue and white ones from Ikea); place this over a larger non-metallic mixing bowl and pour in the yogurt.  After a few hours you can tie up the ends of the dishcloth to a wooden spoon and hang it up over the bowl (I use an upper cupboard knob).  Let it drip for at least 8 hours (e.g. overnight).  The stuff in the bowl is whey and will keep in your fridge in a glass jar for up to 6 months.  It's useful stuff!  We add a TBL to 1 cup of oats and 1 cup of water every night to sprout them for the next morning's breakfast.  The stuff left in the dish towel is yogurt cheese and there are loads of recipes for it online.  It's a good substitute for cream cheese and I've also used it in my muffin recipes.

Homemade Gummies

We are coming off a strict GAPS protocol and I am always looking for ways to pump my kid full of broth, gelatin, and all sorts of healthy gut-lining goodness.   These are super-easy to make and even easier to remember - just 3+3+3. 

  • 3 Tbl grassfed gelatin (I use Great Lakes brand purchased through Amazon)
  • 3 oz juice
  • 3 Tbl Raw Honey

Mix in a saucepan over low temperature and then pour into molds.  I use flexible ice cube trays from Ikea in fun shapes.  Then put them in the fridge or freezer to firm up.  I like them best at room temperature but learned they will mold if not kept in the fridge.

You could also pour them into a greased pan and then cut into cubes.

Options:  - add organic oils such as lemon or orange (a drop will be just enough)

                - play around with natural dyes
                  (turmeric; beet, red cabbage, spinach, and carrot juice)

The ones pictured are equal parts lemon and lime juice (sometimes I use up to 4 oz of juice) and then grated a beet and squeezed a few drops of juice in for color.  It's not the best photo but aren't they pretty? 

Everything Seedy Topping

February 9, 2014

This is something I have been sprinkling on just about everything since my mother-in-law introduced it to me over a month ago.  It really couldn't be simpler to make or more versatile to use.  I especially love it on sliced avocado, green salads and creamy soups.  Sometimes I even eat it out of hand!  It is quite addictive.  I offer one caveat…..it is pretty garlicky, so kissers beware!

Everything Seedy Topping

3 parts sesame seeds
3 parts poppy seeds
2 parts dried minced garlic
2 parts dried minced onion
sea salt to taste

other add-ins: dried lemon peel, fennel seeds, black pepper…..the possibilities are endless, really!

Dark Chocolate Salted Truffle Cookies

January 31, 2014

  • 6 oz by weight unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 ¼ C semi-sweet or dark chocolate (I used semi-sweet)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ⅓ C lard, butter or palm shortening, softened but not liquid (I used butter)
  • ¾ C maple, date, palm or other granulated sugar (I used coconut)
  • 1 T vanilla
  • ¾ - 1 C almond flour
  • ¼ C dark chocolate/dutch process cocoa powder
  • ¼ t salt
  • ¼ t baking powder
  • coarse sea salt or pink salt for sprinkling
  1. Melt chocolate together into a smooth consistency, stirring constantly to prevent overcooking
  2. Sift dry ingredients and set aside. Note: if you'd like a more under-cooked brownie-like cookie, use ¾ C almond flour; if you prefer a thicker cake-like cookie, use 1 C. (I used a scant 1 C)
  3. Combine wet ingredients, except chocolate, by whisking until combined.
  4. Temper in melted chocolate by adding in about ¼ C and whisking.  Add another ¼ C of the warm chocolate and whisk again.  Then add the remaining melted chocolate.
  5. Slowly add in the dry ingredients, stirring on low until just incorporated -- final batter will be smooth and pliable.
  6. You may need to set your dough aside to chill for about 10 minutes in order to be able to shape into balls.
  7. Form tablespoon (or smaller) sized balls, sprinkle with salt then press semi-flat onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes, or until the center of the cookie begins to firm--will further harden as it rests.  Enjoy!