Welcome!

This is my journey in keeping my family happy and healthy.
In this day and age, what parent knows best what to do and how to care for their family?
There are so many conflicting ideas, so much wisdom, and so many paths.
It is here that I will compile information on what I have learned and the choices I am making.
Maybe my path will help others.... or not. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sick kiddo prompts cooking frenzy...

For days I've been worried about my kiddo.

It started with a runny nose for a few days. I thought she was just exhibiting general allergy symptoms.  Then as she was eating avocado, she starts telling me that "it's too spicy, mommy." Great... she's got daddy's food allergies too.

Fast forward a day, and the cough starts.

This terrifies me because she just had pneumonia a few months ago. Luckily I have her Albuterol, and know some steps to take to help keep it from getting worse.

Instead of inundating her with a zillion different herbal combinations, all at once, including the ever-favorite elderberry syrup,  I decided to make some yummy attempts to get it all in her. Thus Yummy Gummies & Thera-Pops were born..... to help ensure her health & well-being and my feeling of assurance that she will soon be well.

Bonus recipe: Apple Rice Pudding.

Yummy Gummies


These are made with a combination of fresh blueberries, elderberry syrup, vitamin C, with fresh ginger, some coconut sugar, raw honey and possibly another ingredient or two I've forgotten.

Due to the spontaneous nature of this day, everything was concocted on the spot and of course, not written down. Such is life eh? But I will do my best to report what I did, so that you might be able to replicate it with your own personal twists.

First I threw the last 1/3-1/2 basket of blueberries that had been sitting in the back of the fridge getting wrinkly, into a pot with about 2 cups filtered water. I also added a bit of sweetener to it. I used coconut sugar. I didn't use very much. I just figured it would help with creating the syrup. I also sliced up and added some ginger; maybe about 3 pieces or so. I let that boil down slightly. Maybe about 5 minutes. Then I threw it all into my Vitamix. After that, I strained it and threw it back into the original pot. To that I added my gelatin.

I have been wanting to get a good source of gelatin into our diets because my body has been aching and feeling old. We don't get any of this in our diets due to the generally vegetarian diet we have. This being said, I figured my daughter should benefit too.  Plus it's a great stabilizer and super fun medium for medicine!

While I could have used the powdered gelatin I have, instead I wanted to take advantage of the gelatin disaster I had the other day (with 3 cups of apple juice and 16 tablespoons of gelatin). I learned the good news that you can re-melt gelatin and use it again. Which is exactly what I did. I probably used about 1/4 of that batch for this amount of fluid. What I did is estimate the amount of fluid I had, with the amount of firmness I wanted, and added that amount of gelatin. Mine came out like "jello."

Here's me straining the liquid before adding the gelatin.....


Here's the leftover debris after straining....


Here's the concoction after I added the gelatin....

Once that melted, I cooled the concoction, and added the elderberry syrup (maybe half a small jar, or 6-12 tbsps), liquid Vitamin C (6 tbsps or so), and raw honey to taste. You want to make it sweeter than if you were drinking it as a liquid, due to the fact that it ends up tasting less sweet once gelled.


Here's the elderberry medicine I added when the syrup cooled...



I oiled the pan (square 9" Pyrex) with raw coconut oil, and poured/strained again....


 My mess!


Then a put it in the freezer for about 20 minutes.

Here is my final result.....


And cubed cutely.....


I have to tell you, I've eaten over half the whole pan myself! I can't stop eating them. And the great part about it is that I'm eating stuff that's not only good for me, but will help keep me healthy too!

You do realize you can use any pureed fruit don't ya? YUM!

The next project I endeavored was to make medicinal popsicles out of herbs, spices & teas. I had done this before and was able to get my daughter to actually *like* stronger tasting herbs, spices & teas. This is partly due to the nature of freezing things. The taste is reduced and becomes more subtle. If you sweeten it with raw honey, you also get the natural antibiotic/antimicrobial nature too.

Thera-Pop

First I made an herbal concoction of fresh thyme, fresh ginger, cinnamon, fresh mint, coconut oil, Throat Coat tea (1 tea bag), Licorice tea (1 tea bag) and ground tumeric. Yes... I have no idea on the exact amounts. Just wing it. A handful of thyme, a sprig of mint, several slices of ginger, a few tablespoons of coconut oil, a shake or two of tumeric....

To do this, I quickly brought about 2-4 cups of water water to boil, took off the flame, then threw in the fresh herbs, teas & spices and covered for about 20 minutes.


Then I strained out all the herbs and such....


Then I chilled slightly over a cooling bath so that when I added the raw honey & raw coconut oil, they wouldn't be harmed by the heat. Then stirred....




I poured this into my popsicle mold... and froze...

Here's what I had leftover after that. I put this into a jar to save for later! Yummy!


And here's my daughter trying out the final result....




So now for the bonus recipe! I realized after making all these items, that I hadn't made her breakfast yet. Bad mommy. Since we are on an Elimination Diet to detect her allergies, I was limited on what I could make her, with what we have in the house. I opted for rice pudding! Yummy!

Apple Rice Pudding

I had grand plans to make rice pudding with coconut milk, but when looking in the fridge and on the shelves, I only found 1/4 of a can Instead of letting this foil my plans, I opted to use the rest of the apple juice in the fridge.

You will find this happens in a lot of my recipes.

Next time however, I think I would opt for just using coconut milk or some other nut milk. The apple juice left it tasting kind of tart, which somehow was oddly appealing. But I wouldn't want to take that chance every time!

I added a rinsed cup of Jasmine rice, 1/4 can of coconut milk, and 2 3/4 cups apple juice. I threw in some cinnamon, sliced fresh ginger (it sure is a gingery day isn't it?), and maybe some coconut oil. I can't remember. Put it on a high flame until it started to boil, then turned it down to low to simmer.



Cover and keep an eye on it. Which is not exactly what I did as you can see below.....

I cooked the rice down. Um... too much. I totally burnt the entire bottom of the pan.


Luckily I salvaged some of the rice pudding!


Here's where I pressed the rice up the sides of the bowl to help cool it. I also sat the bowl in another larger bowl with cold water in it to chill the bottom.


Then I stirred in some raw honey and a few more tablespoons of raw coconut oil. All of this to taste...


And here is the final rice pudding! Tart and sweet and super delicious.....



I sure hope I didn't over-inundate you today! I had no idea I was going to be so inspired! Too bad I have to do the dishes now.....

Enjoy!

And to top it all off.... here are some pictures my daughter did today...




And here she is with her "lipstick" on, just like a princess (as she puts it, and no I never taught her this)....







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