Simple. Fresh. Local

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." JRR Tolken

Month: December, 2009

Permaculture Inspires

Thanks Dan for this great video.

I am more convinced everyday that permaculture will be a big part of my life. Permaculture gives security, power, and purpose. It helps develop an understanding of systems and how they work together. Teaching people about permaculture is one of the best ways to serve others because you are giving them the tools to feed themselves for centuries.

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Not so Funfetti

Since when is Funfetti considered homemade?

I was walking on campus today and cupcakes were being sold for 50 cents. I heard a girl shout, “50 cent cupcakes! They’re homemade if that makes you feel any better! We have Funfetti!”

Ever wondered what’s actually in funfetti?

Ingredients

SUGAR, ENRICHED BLEACHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, CANDY BITS (SUGAR, HYDROGENATED COTTONSEED AND SOYBEAN OIL, CORNSTARCH, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, CONFECTIONERS SHELLAC, COLORED WITH [YELLOW 5, YELLOW 6, RED 40, BLUE 1], SALT), WHEAT STARCH, BAKING POWDER (BAKING SODA, SODIUM ALUMINUM PHOSPHATE, MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE, DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE), CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: PROPYLENE GLYCOL MONOESTERS, DEXTROSE, CORN STARCH, SALT, CELLULOSE, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, XANTHAN GUM, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, CELLULOSE GUM, POLYSORBATE 60, NONFAT MILK, SOY LECITHIN, TBHQ AND CITRIC ACID (ANTIOXIDANTS).

Okay…I know what sugar is….and baking powder….and salt, yes I know salt and well lets see maybe one or two other ingredients are vaguely familiar. I’m guessing the girls didn’t sit down and hydrogenate their own soybean oils or create colors or chemically alter corn products. This is simply not food. It is complete crap, garbage, and worst of all people are claiming this shit is homemade. When did homemade get bastardized into buying a box of chemically altered foods and mixing them with three ingredients?

And I’m sure the “homemade” frosting on these also filled a short novel with poisonous ingredients. Especially if they were “Vanilla Dream”

Use pronounceable ingredients. Eat real food. Feel proud of truly homemade goods.

Feast your eyes on some of the desserts made by Raw Heathy, they look incredible!

 

I’ve also made these cupcakes a few times in the past:

Ingredients

Cupcakes
1/2 cup expeller pressed canola oil
1/2 cup unbleached, evaporated cane sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs
1 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 medium carrots, grated
1/2 medium zucchini, grated
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Frosting
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1 2/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted, (buy natural and unbleached, if possible)
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
12 walnut halves for decoration

Method

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the oil with the sugar and applesauce. Add eggs. In a separate bowl, mix together mix together the flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add to the liquid ingredients. Fold in carrots, zucchini and nuts. Spoon into muffin cups filling 3/4 full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until done when tested with a toothpick. Cool on a wire rack.

For frosting, beat the softened cream cheese with the powdered sugar. Add lime juice. Ice the cupcakes with a blunt knife. Garnish each with a walnut half.

I usually make a lot of substitutions. For example I use 100% whole wheat flour or spelt flour, coconut palm sugar instead of white sugar, coconut oil or olive oil instead of canola oil, and if I feel like throwing in baked yams or other ingredients I think might work I definitely do not hold back.

Ode to Chocolate Shakes

There is nothing easier, yummier, healthier or more satisfying than a raw cacao shake…except perhaps dehydrated kale chips but those deserve their own ode. It’s the kind of thing you can drink any time of day and feel great, rejuvenated and in my case wired from the caffeine in the cacao.

Raw Chocolate Shake:

Handful of raw almonds
Vanilla powder
Sea salt
Coconut water
Dates
Banana
Ice cubes
Raw cacao powder

I’m not very precise with my measurements but I generally toss all of these into my vitamix and voila! amazing treat created that tasted just like a milk shake but is actually healthy.

On another note I want to bring attention to the ever pressing organic vs. conventional vs. local vs. natural vs. etc vs. etc issue by quoting Joel Salatin:

Too often, especially in organic agriculture, we focus all the attention on the animal’s diet and miss the bigger picture… I am constantly amazed that people in Virginia pay exorbitant prices for certified organic broilers flown in refrigerated air freight from California, birds that do not receive green material and are raised basically in a conventional confinement factory house. From a world-view standpoint, it would probably be better for the environment to buy locally produced conventional chicken than to encourage the use of jet fuel and heavy metal to transport that chicken across the country. In the name of one cause, we sacrifice another equally worthy cause… the point is that organic feed is only a fraction of what is necessary to produce a truly dynamic bird. Certainly truly organic chickens are not necessarily bad. But neither are they necessarily good.

I am frustrated by the misconceptions and trickery that exist in our food system. But, when we gain awareness about misleading labels and food issues I believe it is our personal responsibility to make an effort to do what is right. And what is right to me is meeting the people who I buy my food from. I recently made a trip to Lattin Farms in Fallon and when you get to sit down and talk  to a farmer there is a level of transparency that you will never find at the store.

I am disheartned by our food system, by the  monumental scientific scandal that is ClimateGate and the dead zones in the oceans estimated to be twice the size of Texas.

And on that note it’s time for bed, because I agree with Ernest Hemingway about sleep:

“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?”

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