"When a woman stays at home and cooks with good judgment and understanding, peace and happiness result. She thus controls the family's health and destiny, also her husband's mood, disposition and feeling, and assures the futures of her children." - Jaques DeLangre

Friday, October 8, 2010

I Love Herbs!

What a great blessing plants are! Not only do they nourish our bodies, they can heal our bodies too!

This is the time of year when my heart turns to herbal remedies. My garden is slowing down, we are settling into a routine for school, and the weather is turning cold.

This is a picture of the section of shelves in my kitchen that are (mostly) dedicated to herbs, oils, tinctures, etc. I feel so happy knowing that I can naturally treat the coughs, colds, aches, and pains that happen in our family.

The most common thing I mix are herbal infusions. Our favorite are peppermint and a blend of comfrey and echinacea. I boil up a pot of water and steep the herbs for
15 -20 minutes, add a big plop of honey and let it cool down some. SO GOOD!

A quick list of herbs I always keep around:
Comfrey - for infusions
Echinacea - for infusions and capsules
Peppermint - oil and dried leaves for infusions
St. John's Wort - oil and dried plant for infusions and capsules
Chamomile - dried flower for infusions
Garlic - for SO much! It's a great anti-microbial.
Clove Bud Oil
Lavender Oil
Wintergreen Oil

A great source for all of these is Mountain Rose Herbs. They have great prices!

Last fall I took an herbal remedy class. I learned so much! I paid $50 dollars for the class and it was worth it! Yesterday I found a website that has a FREE webinar that covers some of the same information. It was great! I think every mother should watch it! It taught about how to use 17 common herbs to treat many different problems. All of the herbs are probably in your kitchen or pantry right now. The recipes are easy! Click here for the link. The people who teach the class are from a website called learningherbs.com. I signed up for their newsletter and I have learned a lot just exploring their site. I highly recommend it!

Learning to care for your family in times of *sickness and in health! What a great way to be happy in the kitchen!

*Always seek professional medical attention for serious wounds and injuries!

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Best Friend and a New Recipe

This is a picture of my best friend! Oh how I love my dehydrator! My Dear Hubby bought this for me for Christmas many years ago and it has been an invaluable member of our household! I use it to dry pecans and cashews every other week. It blesses me with yogurt too! So far this year I have also dried:

Zucchini chips
St. John's Wort
Pumpkin seeds

By the end of the harvesting season I should also have quite a lot of apples and pears dried and ready to eat in the winter! (A big THANK YOU to the awesome ladies who share their fruit with me!) I am planning to make lots of apple and pear butter this winter. The recipe is from Nourishing Traditions. I'm going to make my first batch of apple butter today. It's lacto-fermented! I'll let you know how it turns out!

Apple Butter - 2 quarts

4 cups dried apples (or pears)
1 TBLS Real Salt
1/4 cup whey
1/4 - 1/2 cup honey

Place apples in a pan and add just enough water to cover them. Simmer until they are soft. Transfer them with a slotted spoon to your blender or food processor. Let them cool for a few minutes. Add the salt, whey and honey. Taste to see if it's sweet enough for you. Add more honey if needed. Pour into 2 quart-sized jars. Leave at least 1 inch between the mixture and the top of the jar. Cover tightly. Keep at room temperature for 2 days. Transfer to the refrigerator. Eat within 2 months. Try this on top of oatmeal or ice cream!

Happy Harvest!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Learn to Lacto-ferment! It's Class Time Again!

Where Has The Summer Gone?

I can't believe it's the first day of fall! Summer flew by! I hope your summer was as happy and productive as mine. My garden is still overflowing with produce! That beautiful patch of dirt in my back yard has given me so many blessings this year! Here is a list of what we've harvested so far:
Peppermint, chamomile, St. John's Wart, carrots, beets, spinach, peas, lettuce, zucchini, more zucchini, cucumbers, pumpkins, squash bugs, grasshoppers and about a million tomatoes! Whew! Just writing that list makes me tired! It's been a lot of hard work! I think it's time for something easy!

Easy? Anyone interested in an easy way to preserve your produce? Lacto-fermenting to the rescue! Look at the picture below. The big jar on the left is full of beet kvass. It's my favorite thing to lacto-ferment! In front of that is a jar of cherry chutney. It runs a close second.

There are many reasons to lacto-ferment. The number one reason being that the end product is full of enzymes that are so good for you! Most foods today are devoid of enzymes and we need them to digest food properly and to heal and nourish our bodies! Sound like something you are interested in? Join me this Saturday for fun class and leave knowing how to lacto-ferment! We will also learn how to make other condiments like mayo, salad dressing, and ketchup.

Email me if you are interested! I'd love to have you with me again!

My Birthday Cake

Making Tomato Juice!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

What A Wonderful Day!

I had such a fabulous afternoon at the first Happy In The Kitchen Class! It's such an amazing feeling to be surrounded by like-minded women. It boosted my spirits and gladdened my heart! Thank you SO much ladies for sharing the afternoon with me!

I'm going to spend the next week or so posting the recipes for the food we made and links for the articles and websites we talked about. First up is the recipe for Mexican Rice.

Step 1
Start your brown rice soaking 24 hours before you plan to make the dish. Put 2 cups of rice and a few TBLS of whey in a mason jar. Cover the rice with very warm water. (About 90 degrees) Twist a lid onto the jar tightly. Let the rice soak in a warm place for 24 hours. After 24 hours remove the lid and carefully pour off some of the soaking water. (Reserve this liquid in the fridge to use the next time you soak rice. This is now your culture and you won't need to add whey.) Pour the rice and any liquid remaining into a pan. Add about four cups of fresh water or stock to this. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer. Cover the pan with a lid and let the rice simmer for about 40 minutes. Check to see that the rice is soft and all the liquid had been absorbed. It might take a few tries to get this just right. Keep trying!

Step 2
Measure 4 cups cooked rice into a skillet. Add 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes. Heat this on med/high until the butter melts. Add 1 TBLS of each of the following: chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and Real Salt. Stir well. Cover the pan, reduce the heat a little, and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Serve this on fresh tortillas with cheese, beans, salsa, spicy dip and lettuce!

The recipe for the dough we used can be found here, or you can visit my friend Caralee's blog. She created this great recipe. You will love her blog!

I also found a blog that has the story of Jenny that I told you about. It is a little long, but worth the read! Please let me know what you think after you read it.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Raw Milk Safety

The Story

I was over at my friend's house the other night picking up some their delicious RAW MILK. I was talking and laughing with my friend when their 10 year old came into the kitchen and said to her husband, "Dad, Peter (name has been changed) next door says we shouldn't drink our milk because it'll make us sick. He said his mom told him it's not clean." My friend and her husband handled the situation with grace and style. They didn't get upset, they just confirmed to him that everything was okay. I was fuming inside, though! I wanted to march over to the neighbor's house and set his mama straight! I've been stewing over it for a while now and I just had to post about it.

I truly believe that raw milk is clean and safe! I love the fresh taste of it and I love knowing that it is alive and REAL! Not dead, devoid of enzymes and two or three weeks old.

I found a few great links in defense of raw milk that I think you will really enjoy reading.

Link 1
Link 2

Thanks for letting me vent!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tara's 12 Step Program

It's True, I'm Addicted!
Have I confessed here that I am a sugar addict? It's true! I've spent most of my life moving from one sugar fix to the next. As a teen I would spend my lunch money on candy and soda. (Sorry Mom! I'll pay you back!) As an adult I pigged out on sugary cold cereals, deserts and candy. I always bought myself a candy bar at the end of each shopping trip. After all, I had just done the hard work of grocery shopping, I deserved a treat! I usually had a bowl (or two) of cereal at the end of each day. I had just spent a day caring for little ones, I deserved a treat. I often mixed up a little bowl of powdered sugar frosting, because I deserved a treat! Two months after Halloween I would usually find myself combing the cupboards for any leftover candy. So sad! Sugar had me in her grasp and did not want to let me go! I finally started suffering from severe hypoglycemia and knew I had to make changes. I just didn't know where to start.

Thankfully the Lord led me down a path to recovery. That might sound a little silly, (does the Lord care if we eat white sugar?)but it's true. The path started with education! I learned why white sugar was so bad for me. Here are 146 reasons! Don't read any further until you've clicked the link and scanned the list. Even brands that claim to be "pure" and "natural" are not good for you! Don't fall for it!

Good Advice
"The average American now consumes 175 pounds of sugar per year! That's 46 teaspoons a day! If we pretend that sugar actually had some benefits, eating one-half pound every day would not seem like such a bad idea. But the truth is that sugar has absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever. Not only does it totally lack nutrients, but when you eat sugar it actually robs your body of nutrients-- vitamins, minerals and even enzymes.

Sure sugar may be temporarily pleasing to the taste buds, but the rest of the body suffers for it. The sad thing is that most people are not aware of the devastating effects that excess sugar consumption has on the body."


"Get in the habit of reading labels and avoid products made with white sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, fructose, and ALL artificial sweeteners. Instead use natural sweeteners, including pure maple syrup, molasses, stevia, Rapadura (dehydrated cane sugar juice - Sucanat) or raw unfiltered honey. Many health food stores offer products made with natural sweeteners, like cookies and ice cream, and even licorice, although it is better to make your own."

Read the entire article at the Weston A. Price Foundation website.

It's Still a Battle!
I love sweets! I think I always will. White sugar no longer controls me though. I can go through the check-out line at the store without my palms breaking into a sweat over the sight of all the candy bars! The trick is to learn how to make tasty treats at home. I have several recipes you can try. Click here for cookies and here for a delicious cake!

Tara's 12 Step Sugar Addiction Recovery Program
Step 1. Go buy some Sucanat or honey at your local health food store.
Step 2. Read and try my cookie recipe.
Step 3. Read and try my cake recipe.
Step 4. Read through the "Desserts" section of Nourishing Traditions.
(If you don't own a copy of NT go to Amazon.com and order one right now! That's step 4 and a 1/2!)
Step 5. Try one of the ice cream recipes from NT. I like the berry one!

The next steps are hard, but you can do it!

Step 6. Open your pantry and toss the bag of white sugar into the trash.
Step 7. Take a deep breath and toss all the food CONTAINING white sugar.
Step 8. Stop thinking about all the money you just wasted!
Step 9. Start thinking about the health you will be building!
Step 10. Put on your prettiest apron and make my cookies again.
Step 11. Don't buy any more white sugar or products with sugar in them.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Summer just isn't complete without a great salsa!

What You Need
2 large tomatoes
3-4 green onions
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 small can diced green chilies
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Real Salt
2 TBLS raw apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

What You Need To Do
Wash and chop all of the veggies and herbs. I usually mix mine together in a wide-mouth quart jar. Add the salt, garlic powder and vinegar. Stir gently. Enjoy with chips (find a kind with as few ingredients as possible) or on Mexican Style Wraps. Have I posted the recipe for Mexican Wraps? I'll check on that!

Make The Salsa Extra Nourishing!
Add 2 TBLS of whey to the salsa. Mix it in gently and screw a lid on the jar. Leave this on your counter for 2 days and then transfer to the fridge. It is now full of enzymes and will aid in digestion!

Breakfast Time!

I Wish You Could Smell This!
I promise no one will miss the cold cereal when you serve up a breakfast like this one! Butch and I worked together to bake/blend/mix up this delicious meal! I made the Cinnamon Bread Sticks, and Butch made the scrambled eggs and the Fruity Yogurt.

Cinnamon Bread
Start with half a batch of basic soaked dough.

Knead a rounded teaspoon of Real Salt, and a rounded teaspoon of baking soda into the dough.

Butter your stone and roll out the dough evenly. Spread a thin layer of butter over the dough, and then a thin layer of Sucanat.

Sprinkle cinnamon over the whole thing and then bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Let it cool for a few minutes and then use your pizza cutter to slice it into squares. Big Guy calls these squares "sugar cubes!"

Fruity Yogurt

I poured 1 quart of my homemade, raw milk yogurt into the blender. (If you're not making yogurt yet, don't worry! Dannon makes a great plain yogurt. Just be sure to buy the full fat kind, not low-fat. Brown Cow is another brand that is pretty easy to find.) Butch added 3 bananas, 5 frozen strawberries, and a 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla. Whiz that until it's well blended. It will be a little soupy. He poured the Fruity Yogurt into bowls and then I sprinkled a few teaspoons of Sucanat into each bowl.

What a great way to start the day!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer Salad

Too Hot To Cook?
I'm always on the lookout for recipes that don't involve heating up the oven! This recipe is fast becoming a favorite of mine. The original recipe came from my friend Sara, but I've tweaked it a little. (I'm hopeless when it comes to following a recipe!)

What You Need
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup bulgur wheat*
Juice of two small lemons
1/4 cup olive oil
Real Salt
1 cup cooked, chopped chicken (optional)
3 green onions, chopped small
1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped a little
1 cucumber, chopped up small
1 large tomato, chopped up small

*Bulgur wheat is wheat berries that have been soaked/sprouted, dehydrated, and coarsely chopped. Unless you have a lot of free time, I suggest you buy this from your local health food store!

What To Do
In a large, heat-safe bowl combine the boiling water, olive oil, lemon juice, and bulgur wheat. Cover this and let it sit for an hour or so. The bulgur will absorb the liquid.

While the bulgur is busy absorbing, you get busy and chop the cucumber, tomato, green onions, and cilantro. When the bulgur is fluffy and tastes chewy like rice, mix in the veggies. I sprinkle in about 2 teaspoons of Real Salt, mix well and TASTE it. Add more of what it seems like it needs.

Let the salad chill for an hour in the fridge so the flavors blend together well.

Other optional ingredients are chopped mushrooms or your favorite kind of cheese.

If you add the chicken, this is a main dish. I usually make it without the chicken. Either way, it is great served with a big green salad!

This Is The Place!

Face Lift
I am so excited about the new look of my blog! What do you think?

Hello? Are You There?
It feels like forever since I last posted. I have to admit that I haven't felt very "happy in the kitchen" over the last few months! I'm working on a post to explain that. I think we all have our ups and downs and what we are able (or willing) to do changes all the time. I have still been cooking and learning, though, and I am happy to say my enthusiasm is returning! My goal is to post regularly!

Let's Get Together
The class idea is still in the works! I am putting together the first class called, "The Science of Soaking." We will learn all about WHY it is so important to properly prepare your food and HOW to do it! More details on dates and times soon to come.

I just have to say that I think the title "Followers" is SO odd in the blog world. Can we change it to "Onlookers," or "Observers," or "Slightly Interested In What You Have To Sayers?" I am amazed every day that there are 22 people who follow this blog! I think you all are the GREATEST!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

How I Make It All Work (Sometimes)

I was asked to post a "day in the life of Tara" to give an idea of how I manage my time in the kitchen. I've been pondering this for a while and I think I came up with an honest way to do this!

An Ideal Day
I am up early to read my scriptures and study. I am studying in a kitchen that is nice and clean thanks to the older kids who did a great job on the dishes the night before. The kids start waking up around 7 AM and I start cooking the oatmeal that has been soaking over night. If it's not an oatmeal day I either mix up some muffins, make some type of eggs or what ever else sounds good. I pop through the shower and into clean clothes and we all eat at 8 AM. School starts after breakfast and we read, play, and work together until I leave them to themselves around 11(ish) so I can start lunch. Lunch needs to be easy! My favorite is to roll out lots of flat bread and stuff them with cheese or peanut butter and honey, or spicy rice. I'll chop up some fruits and veggies and call it good. Another lunchtime favorite is left over soup from the night before with soaked rolls or muffins. We go back to schoolwork and jobs until around 2(ish). The night before I set beans to soak so I rinse them and put them in a big pot and get them boiling around 2:30. They cook away while I get some other things done. I toss some of my canned, home-grown tomatoes into the pot around 4PM and smell it to see what spices it needs. If we're lucky I'll put a pound of pasture-fed beef in too. At 4:30 I roll out some soaked dough rolls and then make a salad while they cook. I mix some dressing up for the salad and then call the troops in to help get things on the table. (I don't always make beans! There are LOTS of other dinner options! I just usually try to start dinner prep no later than 4PM.) While the kids are cleaning up after dinner I prep for the next day. I mix up some dough to soak and any other thing that needs to soak, i.e. oats, rice, beans, breakfast cereal batter, etc. I also make my hubby's lunch for the next day. If I am really feeling nice I'll mix up a batch of cookies. It's probably time to start putting little kids to bed at this point and then I will read to the older kids. At about 9:30 PM the house is quiet and I have an hour or so to study by myself.

A Not So Ideal Day
I wake up later than I'd like because I was up with a sick kid, or up late cleaning the kitchen because one of the older kids was sick or gone and couldn't do their job, or up late reading a great book, or up late just enjoying the silence! I didn't prepare well for breakfast so we have scrambled eggs and fruit smoothies. For lunch I get out all the left-overs from the fridge and hurry and roll out some cheesy bread. School goes long or there was a field trip or someone stops by to visit or I get to talking on the phone or I'm out in the garden and I don't get started on dinner until 5PM. That's when we have "breakfast" for dinner and I mix up some muffins, scramble some eggs and chop up some fruit.

The only real difference between these two kinds of days is TIME. We still eat nourishing foods, even when I'm not as on top of things as I should be. I LOVE to be able to get a soup going at 3 so it has lots of time to simmer and let the spices meld together. I love to make pizza and Mexican wraps and lots of other things that take more time, but some days THERE JUST IS NO TIME! You must be prepared so that "no time" doesn't equal dad stopping for pizza! (Although that does happen every once and a while around here.) Here are some things I do that help me be prepared. (*And some things I am determined to do better at this year!)

Grow a garden so I can produce:
-1 year's supply of ketchup
-Potatoes for the winter
-Cucumbers for pickles
-Beets to pickle
-Herbs for spices and medicines
Inventory food storage*

Make sure I have Cod Liver Oil
Shop for fresh/frozen foods (2x a month)
Make capsules with our most needed/used herbs
Inventory/replenish food storage*

Make 1 gallon of yogurt
Make 1 batch of breakfast cereal
Make 1 gallon of buttermilk
Read recipe books for new ideas*
Keep a list of things I'm running low on

Plan for tomorrow's meals
Make a batch of soaked dough
Get tomorrow's grains or beans soaking
Pray and study

The BIGGEST lesson I have learned is that the key to being happy in the kitchen is being PREPARED! If I am prepared then meal prep is so much easier! I used to hate it when at 4PM my husband would say, "What's for dinner Hon?" I would get frustrated and reply, "I don't know, I haven't thought that far ahead yet." I felt like I didn't have time to think about dinner until the school and house work were done. THEN I would think about it. Lot's of times, okay most of the time, I wouldn't even start thinking about dinner until it was 5 or 6PM! This was a source of ... stress... in my marriage!

I really like the FREEDOM that comes with planning and preparing the night before! Freedom from what? Freedom from the age-old question, "What shall I make for dinner?" (Funny how that question always pops into our minds at the worst times!) Mostly it's the freedom from guilt about the quicky, prepackaged food we know in our hearts isn't good for us!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Time To Garden!

Does the dirt in your garden call your name? As soon as the calendar flips to February I start getting antsy and anxious for the snow to melt so I can PLANT THINGS! The weather cooperated and last week my 8, 6 and 4 year old kiddos and I went out and played in the dirt! While we were there we planted peas - sugar snap and green arrow - carrots, beets and lettuce. This week I'm going to put in some spinache seeds too. It feels so good to get out and dig around! I have big plans in my mind about all the other tastey things we will grow. If I can just get our city to let me keep a small flock of chickens in my back yard I will be one happy mama! I might need to change that name of the blog to 'Happy In The Garden" for the spring and summer!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Soaked Whole Wheat Chocolate Cake

The biggest challenge I have had while adopting a Nourishing Traditions lifestyle is making a yummy birthday cake! I used to make all kinds of fancy, fun shaped, white sugar laden birthday cakes. When I committed to making healthy cakes I had no idea what a roller coaster ride I was in for! Since last March I have made so many BAD birthday cakes I had almost given up hope! My dear family has been so patient with me!
I am happy to report that I have finally found a way to make a GREAT birthday cake! I stumbled on the idea when I was making homemade breakfast cereal. (See my last post for that recipe.) The cereal is made by soaking a batter over night and then baking it in a 9x13 inch cake pan the next morning. Then you crumble that cake up, dehydrate it and you have cereal. One morning at breakfast time I had the batter baked, but not crumbled and dehydrated. I didn't have the time to do that so I just cut it up and served it with butter on it. It tasted great! I thought then that I could tweak the recipe a little, frost it and have a great birthday cake!

This week we had another birthday and I made the best chocolate cake! Here's what to do:

3 cups fresh ground whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups milk (raw is best)
1/2 cup water
3 TBLS yogurt (mine is homemade)

Cover the bowl you mixed it in and set it on the counter overnight or until you are ready to cook the cake.

Preheat oven to 350. Butter two 9 inch round cake pans.
Add to the mix:
1 tspn baking soda
1/2 tspn Real Salt
2 tspn pure vanilla

Melt together (NOT IN THE MICROWAVE!)
1/4 cup butter
3/4 - 1 cup honey
Add this to the mix.

Mix this well. Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder and mix well. Taste the batter and see if it is chocolatey enough for your tastes. Add more cocoa powder 1 TBLS at a time until the batter tastes right to you. Pour the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake until they are springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Mine take about 25 minutes, but every oven is different. Watch them closely and write down how long yours took to cook so you'll know next time.

While your cakes cool, make your frosting. You will need:

3 cups heavy cream (raw is best, don't use ultra-pasteurized)
1/4 cup (or so) sucanat
1/4 cup (or so) cocoa powder
1 tspn pure vanilla

Mix the cream with hand held beaters. When it starts to thicken a little add the vanilla and a few TBLS of the sucanat and cocoa while you keep beating. Taste this and keep adding sucanat and cocoa until it tastes right to you. Beat until it is thick, smooth, and creamy. Don't OVER beat it, it will become lumpy. The end result should be light brown in color.

Assemble the cake by putting one cake layer on your cake plate and spread a layer of frosting on top of it. Put the next cake layer on top of that and then frost the whole thing. We topped it off with organic M&M-like chocolates from the health food store.

I am so thrilled with this recipe! I hope you enjoy it!

Please remember that cooking with whole foods takes lots of trial and error. If you are wondering why soaked wheat is best, read my previous posts on that topic.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Homemade Breakfast Cereal Recipe

There was a time, not too long ago, that a big chunk of our grocery money went to purchasing cold cereal. To tell the truth, I was a cereal addict! I enjoyed a bowl for breakfast and then once the kids were in bed I would enjoy another bowl. (OR TWO!) In the back of my mind somewhere I knew that it wasn't the most nutritious thing we could be eating, but I had lots of reasons why I felt justified in eating it. See if any of these reasons sound familiar. Just for fun let's do a "Top 10 Reasons to Eat Cold Cereal For Breakfast" list!

10. "It's magically delicious!" (Lucky Charms!)
9. The bus is going to be here in 10 minutes!
8. "It's part of this nutritious breakfast."
7. I got it on sale!
6. The kids really like it!
5. I don't have time to cook breakfast!
4. It's the "Breakfast of Champions!" (Wheaties - my favorite!)
3. I only get the kinds made with whole grains!
2. It's fortified with vitamins and minerals!
1. It's SOOOOOOOOOOO easy!

I have said all these and more at different times in my life! Here are a few quotes from a great book, Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon.
"Boxed Breakfast cereals are made by the extrusion process, in which little flakes and shapes are formed at high temperatures and pressures. Extrusion processing destroys many valuable nutrients in grains, causes fragile oils to become rancid and renders certain proteins toxic. For a new generation of hardy children, we must return to the breakfast cereals of our ancestors."

Also from Sally Fallon's book - "In 1960, researchers at Ann Arbor University performed an interesting experiment on lab rats. Eighteen rats were divided into three groups. One group received cornflakes and water; a second group was given the cardboard box the cornflakes came in and water; and the control group received rat chow and water. The rats in the control group remained in good health throughout the experiment. The rats receiving the box became lethargic and eventually died of malnutrition. But the rats receiving cornflakes and water died before the rats who were given the box - the last cornflake rat died on the day the first box rat died."

The truth, and this was VERY hard for me to swallow, is that bagged/boxed breakfast cereals do more harm than good. If you need any further proof, look at the ingredient list. Sugar is almost always the number 2 or 3 ingredient.

SO! Knowing that they have no place in our diet, we are left with a few questions that were mind boggling to me. WHAT THE HECK DO WE HAVE FOR BREAKFAST? YOU MEAN I HAVE TO COOK ANOTHER MEAL? EVERY DAY? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Let's all take a deep breath at this point...

Here's another truth. Yes, we need to cook breakfast each morning for our families. (I remember being a little angry at this.) The good news is that it's not that hard, once you get in the swing of it. You know you can trust me when I say this because I was once hooked on cereal and now we never have it and I know it's possible! With a little planning and a little preparation the night before, breakfast can be quick and easy. Not as quick as opening a box, but still pretty easy!

Here is a list of our favorite breakfasts.

Oatmeal (See my previous post on how to make REALLY good oatmeal.)
muffins (see my post about soaked dough for muffins)
yogurt with fruit
biscuits (see the soaked dough post for biscuits)

I mix and match these things to keep breakfast from being boring. We have oatmeal about 3 times a week. Every once and a while I make granola, but not very much. (Have you ever noticed that you get a case of the "toots" after you eat granola? That's your body telling you it cannot digest those unsoaked oats!) My kids are a lot better behaved in the mornings since we stopped eating cold cereal. The reason is that a bowl of cold cereal is digested and out of their systems very quickly! My breakfasts now are power packed with complex carbs and good fats that take time to be digested. My little ones usually need a snack a few hours later (smaller tummies) but my older kids and myself are usually not even hungry until lunch time!

I am so far off topic now! I started this post to give you a recipe for homemade breakfast cereal and instead I've stepped up on my soap box again. I will say just a bit more and then I will give you the recipe!

Just because we stopped eating cold cereal doesn't mean I don't still get cravings to sit down and enjoy it's crunchy taste. I think in my mind it's comfort food. I've read in the last few months about different homemade cereal recipes, but I didn't think they could possibly taste good so I never tried. Silly me! I finally made some this week and it turned out so good! It tastes to me like Raisin Bran! When you try this remember that learning to cook with REAL FOOD takes some trial and error. The first time I made it I had to do a few things differently than the recipe called for. The second time I made it I burned it a little. Just keep trying and learn how to make it work for you!

Drum Roll Please...

Makes about 10 cups

6 cups ground wheat
3 cups milk (raw is best)
1 cup water
1/4 whey, buttermilk or yogurt
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup butter, melted (not in the microwave!)
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp salt
1 TBLS pure vanilla
1 TBLS cinnamon

Mix flour, milk, water and whey/yogurt in a large bowl. Cover and let sit overnight. (If you are not using raw milk you don't need to leave it overnight or use any whey/yogurt. Processed milk will rot whereas raw milk will culture. The culturing milk and whey will make the nutrients in the flour more friendly and absorbable. See my posts about raw milk and soaking grains if you need to learn more about this.) In the morning or in the afternoon, when ever you have time, add the rest of the ingredients. Mix until you have a pourable batter. I usually have to add a cup and a half of water to this or it's too thick.

Preheat the oven to 350 and butter two 9x13 inch cake pans. Pour the batter equally into the two pans. Bake for about 35-40 minutes. Don't let it burn! When it's done a toothpick will come out clean from the center and it will feel springy to the touch. Let it cool. Get out two cookie trays and your blender. With a big spoon scoop out your cake-like cereal and process it in your blender in small batches until it's crumbly. Pour the crumbs onto the cookie trays. (This is the most time consuming part.) Turn your oven down to 200 or 250 degrees and put the trays in. You are going to keep them in the oven until the crumbs dry out completely. I do mine at 250 and it takes about 2 hours. Check it and stir it and taste it often so you will know when it's done. write down how long it took so you'll know next time!

When it's out, let it cool and then transfer it into some kind of sealable container. When you are ready to eat it add raisins to it and pour some (raw!) milk over it. It is so good and so worth the effort!