Make Your Own Easy Milk Kefir

I just made a quick video to show how easy it is to make your own milk kefir! I’ve been making my own milk kefir for around 3 years. When I started it was a bit of a daunting procedure, but I’ve figured out how to make it easy and delicious. In this under 3 minute video I share some great tips and insight I’ve discovered. This is the real me. Not too much make-up, and just a normal kitchen. My daughter helped me by recording, but we only had one take!

Adding probiotics to our diet has a lot of immune boosting benefits. Here are some of my recipes that contain kefir:

Chia Breakfast Salad
GF Waffles
The Best Curry You Ever Made
GF Banana Bread

If you’d like some dried kefir grains, I have a limited supply, but am happy to send them to you for the cost of postage.

Thanksgiving 2015

Author: Becky Hastings is a wife, mother, grandmother, and passionate follower of Jesus and truth. As a breastfeeding counselor for over 23 years Becky is devoted to helping parents make wise decisions for the long-term health and wellbeing of their babies. As a member of a Vaccine Safety Education Coalition, Becky writes and speaks on the topic of vaccine safety. From time to time Becky shares easy recipes that can help you have a healthier life!

 

Make Your Own Tomato Soup

Since we try to eat clean, organic, non-processed foods, there aren’t too many restaurants we frequent in our town that majors on the franchise model. But, I do have a confession: I love Panera Bread’s tomato soup. It’s a little expensive for a bowl, and I don’t eat the bread, but occasionally I indulge myself. Many times I considered trying to match their recipe, but last week, after having a significant molar pulled, I really needed some soup! So I finally attempted it, and was delighted with the result.

For the same price as a bowl of tomato soup from Panera, I can make a huge pot. Not only is it delicious and economical, it is also quick and easy. I encourage you to give it a try. As always with my cooking, I use a great deal of flexibility. I have made it two times and both times were different, but still great.

I added jalapeño and cayenne pepper just because I enjoy hot flavors and they are both really beneficial for healing and the immune system. You can leave them out to have a milder flavour. See notes at the end on optional ingredients to add.

  • 2 Tablespoons oil suitable for heating (avocado, coconut, or butter)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 4 – 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes ( I used Simple Truth Organic)
  • Either one 25 oz jar of your favorite tomato pasta sauce (I used Simple Truth Organic Tomato Basil) OR another 28 oz can of diced tomatoes.
  • 1 cup chicken stock (the 2nd time I used beef stock)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon dried basil, or 5 leaves fresh
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper
  • cayenne (red) pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (or more) half and half, cream, or milk

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic in your preferred oil until translucent. Add jalapeño, if you like the heat. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the half and half. Bring to a boil. Allow the pot to simmer on low with the top off for about 15 minutes, then add the half and half, milk or cream and allow to heat through. Use an immersion blender or transfer all (or part) to a regular blender. Serve with whatever you enjoy. It’s great plain, but it was also really good sprinkled with cheese!

Optional variations: For an additional nutrition boost, the second time I made it, I added 4 carrots to the above recipe. When it was put through the blender, there was no obvious indication of carrots, except that it may have been a little thicker – and the beta carotene content was boosted!

[Edit: I just made this again on 29 March 2017 and included about 1 1/2 cups of butternut squash cut into cubes, a handful of leafy green beet tops, 1 whole peeled fresh tomato (because it was very ripe and needed a place to be useful) and 3/4 inch of fresh turmeric root! I only added the turmeric at the blending stage, so it wasn’t cooked. Because the butternut is sweet, I omitted the honey. It was great!]

I’m sure it will be easy to freeze and reheat, but I didn’t have enough left over to try!

DSC_0062Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus, seeker of truth and health. Facing a world quite different from the one in which I grew up, I seek to research and understand the very real dangers threatening the health and freedom of today’s parents, providing information to navigate towards joyful family living!  Posted 31 January 2017

 

 

Waffles – Again!

Belgium style waffle makers have larger indentations

Belgium style waffle makers have larger indentations

All recipes are a work in progress! I am getting consistency good results with this combination and wanted to share it with you! Where possible I use local organic ingredients! Bob’s Red Mill is a great company to support because it is employee owned, AND is the best source of brown rice flour and tapioca flour I have found. In presenting recipes I like to intermingle my ingredient list with the method. I hope this is helpful to you! This recipe makes about 6 ‘not quite full’ size waffles in a ‘Belgium waffle’ style waffle iron. It you fill it full, it will probably make 4 waffles. When I used my other waffle iron – which has now been retired – it would make about 8 ‘not quite full’ size waffles. I combine everything in one bowl and mix by hand. Make extra to freeze for a handy future breakfast! The recipe can be doubled, perhaps tripled if you have a lot of people to feed, or want a lot to store in the freezer!

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup kefir (or buttermilk, or milk with 1 Tbl lemon added)

Add:

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan  salt

Whisk all together. It should be bubbly, then Add:

  • ± 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or butter, or a combination

Add:

  • ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill tapioca flour
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill brown rice flour

Mix just until thoroughly combined. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the batter onto the hot waffle iron. Cook until the light changes colors (or follow the procedure for your particular brand of waffle maker).

img_3412

This recipe is #glutenfree and #sugarfree. If you are following a strict #dairyfree diet, I would substitute pure water for the milk kefir. I have substituted water in pancake recipes in the past and found excellent results. Let me know (in the comments below) if you try it!

Thanksgiving 2015

Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus and truth. As a breastfeeding counsellor for over 23 years Becky is devoted to helping parents make wise decisions for the long-term health and wellbeing of their babies. As a member of a Vaccine Safety Education Coalition, Becky writes and speaks on the topic of vaccine safety. As a diversion, she sometimes posts recipes!

Yummy Pancakes

img_3388

These delicious pancakes are not only YUMMY and LOVED by all ages, they are also  #paleo, #glutenfree #dairyfree #sugarfree and #healthy! All ingredients are as organic and local as possible!

Batter blended in a Vita Mix. Pours easily and makes nice circles.

Batter blended in a Vita Mix. Pours easily and makes nice circles.

My good friend, April, mom of many, shared this amazingly simple recipe with me. It’s too good not to share…

  • 1 or 2 very ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8t. baking powder
  • a squirt of vanilla
  • dash of Himalayan salt

Mash everything together with a fork. Or, if you have a blender or food processor, dump in all the ingredients and process for a minute or so. I prefer the texture and result from using the Vita Mix, but use what you have.

Batter made using the mashed method. Still delicious!

Batter made using the mashed method. Still delicious!

Heat coconut oil in a skillet for several minutes to a medium heat (if skillet is too cool the batter may stick and be much harder to turn). Pour by spoonfuls and cook. Flip and cook on the other side. Makes 14 or so small pancakes and can easily be doubled. Serve with organic maple syrup, honey, fruit, yogurt, cinnamon, butter, etc. Choose whatever combination appeals to you!

So simple. So fast. So delicious! So healthy! A great treat for anyone trying to adjust to  gluten free.

Thanksgiving 2015Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus and truth. Sometimes she blogs about recipes so that they will be easy to find in the future!  As a breastfeeding counsellor for over 23 years Becky is devoted to helping parents make wise decisions for the long-term health and wellbeing of their babies. As a member of a Vaccine Safety Education Coalition, Becky writes and speaks on the topic of vaccine safety. 

Chia Breakfast

img_3352

A refrigerator stocked with six portions of Chia Breakfast! What a great way to start the day!

We all love fast food.  Many times we NEED fast food.  We have a deadline, a place to be, an important reason to be there, but not enough time for eating our healthy breakfast. Chia is a great plant based source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and is extremely versatile.

img_3350It is time to think differently.  What can I make that is fast, nutritious, good for me, AND will travel well? Chia breakfast to go.  The following is more of a guide than a recipe – personalise this process and make it your own! My quantities are only rough estimates – I very rarely measure anything!

Foundation ingredients:

  • Chia seeds (about 1/2 T per serving)
  • Water to cover
  • Homemade kefir or plain yogurt (±1/3 Cup per serving)
  • Nuts
Chopped fresh ginger, jalapeño pepper, and turmeric

Chopped fresh ginger, jalapeño pepper, and turmeric

  • Goji Berries, Raisins or other dried fruit
  • Seeds, sunflower or pumpkin
  • Honey
  • Fruit, chopped (apple, pear, pineapple)
  • Berries, fresh or frozen (cherries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.)
  • Veggies, chopped especially celery, cucumber, or kale. Celery is a great to add because it naturally helps pull metals from the body i.e. ‘detox’ and I love the crunch it provides!
  • Ginger, chopped fresh
Fresh Turmeric

Fresh Turmeric

Optional ingredients, adjust to taste:

  • Cinnamon (boosts metabolism)
  • Salt (Himalayan for mineral boost)
  • Turmeric (fresh is available, great anti-inflammatory)
  • Jalapeño pepper, fresh, chopped (anti viral)
  • Coconut, fresh or large flake
  • Coconut oil (A great brain boost, stir in fast after you add the veggies, so it doesn’t clump!)
  • Hemp seeds (also known as Hemp Hearts)
  • 1 Tbl raw cacao powder
  • 1 Tbl raw maca powder
  • Flax seeds, ground (not too much)

For those who are more hard-core focus on more veggies (celery, cucumber, kale), more superfoods and less fruit. Adding hemp can be expensive, but it provides a great energy source. We’re all at different stages of our journey, but I think most people will be able to find some way to modify this concept so that they can enjoy it.  If you decide to have eggs for breakfast, or want to do “intermittent fasting”, you could always save your chia breakfast for lunch!

img_3349If it seems like a lot of effort, remember, you are preparing breakfast for several days in advance. I like to organise my breakfast ingredients into three categories: refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. This helps me streamline the preparation process.

I wrote about my previous Chia Breakfast variations here and here and here

Thanksgiving 2015Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus and truth. As a breastfeeding counsellor for over 23 years Becky is devoted to helping parents make wise decisions for the long-term health and wellbeing of their babies. As a member of a Vaccine Safety Education Coalition, Becky writes and speaks on the topic of vaccine safety.

Plarn – Plastic Yarn

Plarn Bags SACreating something out of a product destined for a landfill can be quite fulfilling! I have made many plarn bags, in a variety of sizes, out of plastic grocery store bags. I find the activity relaxing, and completing a project brings satisfaction. I have gifted many of the bags, sold a few, and have a few for demonstrations. Each bag is a unique, one of a kind example of UpCycling.

Plarn WalletWhen my mother told me she was saving plastic grocery bags for me, I decided to make a video on how to prepare plarn from the plastic bags – with the hope that she might take her support one step further! Preparing plarn is the first step towards making an UpCycled Bag that will make a big impact on your friends!

This is my first video, my mom did say I talked too fast, but I was trying to make a very short video! It turned out to be 3:37! I realize that I might not make the joining of the loops as clear as it could be, so perhaps there will be another video to follow! Please like, share, or comment! Feedback is always appreciated!

3rd Prize Chili

Red potOrganic 3 Bean Chili Con Cashew (Vegetarian)

This is my variation of an original recipe known as Chili Con Cashew by Kathryn J. Canfield, in Whole Foods for the Whole Family, published by La Leche League International. All the ingredients are organic, if they were available. This chili won 3rd place in a local chili cook off.

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. each basil and oregano
  • ±1 tsp. chili powder, or to taste
  • ±1 tsp. curry powder (can’t get enough of those spices!)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder (great anti-inflammatory food; add to everything!)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt or less
  • a few dashes of black and cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 cups black beans, cooked
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 42 ounces chopped/crushed tomatoes, with their liquid
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup dry red wine

Salute garlic and all vegetables (except tomatoes) in the coconut oil in a saucepan for several minutes. Add all the spices (except the bay leaf) and stir.

Stove Top Method: Add the remaining ingredients to the pan and simmer on low, stirring occasionally for ±2 hours.

Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Method: Dump the contents of the saucepan and all the remaining ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5+ hours. In order not to waste any of your spicy flavor, add some of the tomato liquid to the saucepan, stir and pour into the crock pot.

Serve with sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips, corn bread, or WHATEVER YOU LIKE! It is also great as leftovers and can even be eaten cold!

ENJOY!

Becky Hastings

Adult Disposable Underwear (aka diapers)

disposable diapersJudging from the product space given in supermarkets and the advertisements for these products, it must be a burgeoning industry. When I did a search for incontinence products I was overwhelmed.

WHY?

Why is there so much need for this product today that there wasn’t 10, 15, or 20 years ago?

These questions should be asked by everyone who would never want to wear them and doesn’t really want to change someone they love.

I submit that the toxins assaulting our brains and basic bodily functions are possibly the primary culprits for this trend of incontinence. The worst offenders could be:

  1. VACCINATIONS & MEDICATIONS. We are injecting our children and ourselves with concoctions which contain harmful chemicals and known brain damaging heavy metals. Prescription and over the counter medications have been accepted as a normal part of life. We don’t question our need for pain relievers, asthma medications, antibiotics, etc. etc. etc. The average child now takes how many medications in their lifetime? The average senior citizen is on how many prescriptions?
  2. CHEMICAL ADDITIVES IN OUR FOOD, CLEANING PRODUCTS AND PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS. We are exposed to ±80,000 chemicals on a regular basis and yet no one has ever studied how these chemicals can interact with each other in our body. Educate yourself. Room fresheners pouring out chemicals for you and your loved ones to regularly breathe in are NOT a good idea. Any product you put on your skin is absorbed. Wean yourself off of your favorite products. There are substitutes that are healthier and CHEAPER! There are so many ways you can make your own. We have been the victims of marketing exercises our whole life. We think it would be impossible to get clean clothes without certain well known brand names. We have been indoctrinated to think any product that is promoted to make me look good is good.
  3. ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS are maybe the WORST offender of all. Sweeteners created in laboratories are widely added to all manner of ‘food’ items. Science has shown repeatedly that these chemical concoctions are harmful, yet it has become a political issue to keep them in our supermarkets. When combined, these compounds can boil at 87° F. With our natural body temperature at 98 ° F, these chemicals are hitting our body and having chemical reactions inside of us, destroying bladders and more. They also cross the blood brain barrier and cause brain damage.

If you scoff and think you are not going to give up your artificial sweeteners I have to ask why?

  • The addictive property of these chemicals is extremely high. You are probably addicted if even the thought of discovering the truth makes you want to avoid the effort. You are happily living in the lies of marketing.
  • If you think they help you lose weight or avoid gaining weight, the evidence does not support this. Studies show that people who use artificial sweeteners actually gain weight. If you want to lose weight, detoxing from these products is one of the first and best things you can do for yourself.

I’ve avoided writing about these issues for a long time because they are so entrenched in our society that sometimes when I mention the dangers people think I am the one who is crazy.

However, my ongoing research has convinced me that the science ABSOLUTELY SUPPORTS THE FACT THAT THESE THINGS ARE DANGEROUS AND CAN BE DEADLY. Continue to use them at your own peril. But, please inform yourself. And don’t give them to your children or anyone you love – unless you want to be changing their adult diapers when they become incontinent.

Live long, live well. Seek the truth in all things.

“My purpose is that you may be encouraged in heart and united in love so that you may have the full measure of complete understanding, in order that you may know the mystery of God, namely Jesus Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  I tell you this so that no one may deceive you with fine sounding arguments.” Paul, 2000 years ago

 

References:

Dr. Russell Blaylock, a board-certified neurosurgeon, combines many years of medical practice with study of thousands of research studies to create this monumental book. Author of Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills, one of the first books to address the hazards of food additives, he has also written several other medical books and numerous scientific articles.

Dr Janet Hull, unparalleled researcher and authority on Aspartame, author of Sweet Poison: How the World’s Most Popular Artificial Sweetener is Killing Us – My Story.

H. J. Roberts, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.C.C.P, author of Aspartame Disease: An Ignored EpidemicSunshine Sentinel Pr Inc (May 1, 2001) is a Board-certified internist in West Palm Beach, and an internationally respected medical consultant and researcher. He is on the Staff of Good Samaritan Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital, Director of the Palm Beach Institute for Medical Research (since l964), and a member of prestigious medical and scientific organizations–including TheEndocrine Society and the American Academy of Neurology.

David L. Lewis PhD, 30 years of experience in the EPA and author of Science for Sale: How the US Government Uses Powerful Corporations and Leading Universities to Support Government Policies, Silence Top Scientists, Jeopardize Our Health, and Protect Corporate Profits.

 

 

Breakfast to Go

IMG_0928We all love fast food.  Many times we NEED fast food.  We have a deadline, a place to be, an important reason to be there, but not enough time for eating our healthy breakfast.

It is time to think differently.  What can I make that is fast, nutritious, good for me AND will travel well? Chia porridge to go.  I wrote about chia porridge previously, this is an expansion. Choose your favorite flavors and personalize it!  The great thing about Chia porridge is that the chia seeds need about 15 minutes of soaking to expand, so it can travel with you and get better on the way! I made this chia porridge to go for my husband to take with him for his early morning appointment:

  • 1/2 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • water to cover
  • 1/2 Cup or so of homemade kefir
  • 1/4 Cup hemp seeds
  • 1 Tbl raw cacao powder
  • 1 Tbl raw maca powder
  • nuts, raisins, seeds
  • 1/2 Tbl honey
  • chopped pear
  • chopped strawberry

For those who are more hard-core you could add a few veggies (celery, cucumber, kale) and omit some fruit.  Others might want to top their chia porridge with homemade granola or add different fruits. The hemp gives you the energy and will sustain you so you don’t feel hungry.  The chia is a great source of omega 3s. The maca powder is optional, but gives a great boost. We’re all at different stages of our journey, but I think most people will be able to find some way to modify this concept in a way they can enjoy it.  If you decide to have eggs for breakfast, you could always have a bowl of chia porridge for lunch!

Other chia ideas here

and here

Healthy Snack

nuts

We all know that Snack Attack feeling!

My friend shared this great idea with me.  Whenever you feel hungry – like you want some sort of a sweet treat, mix together equal parts:

  • goji berries
  • cocoa nibs
  • raisins
  • Brazilian nuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • pumpkin seeds

in a big glass jar, shake and grab a handful – or two (maximum is two!)  And your cravings will be gone!

I’m sure you could try different ingredients, like walnuts (brain food), cashews, almonds, coconut flakes, cranberries, whole cacao beans, etc.  But since my friend is such a great researcher, I think she might have specific reasons for each of her selections!

I like to do a mix something like this for my husband to keep in his briefcase so he’s not tempted to have processed food snacks at the office!  It’s also great to have a mix like this on long road trips. If I’m driving I always like a constant supply of snacks to help me keep awake and paying attention!