Posts tagged: weston a. price

Chicken-Foot Bone Broth

By , August 23, 2011

 

Chicken feet! In this post, I mentioned that I’d found pastured chicken feet at the farmer’s market, and how excited I was about that! (I bought them from the good folks at Cottonwood Creek Farms — their pastured chickens are awesome…if you’re in Colorado, definitely support these local farmers!) I made chicken-foot bone broth from them, and WOW. It’s incredible stuff. I was amazed at the amount of gelatin that ended up in the stock…three or four times the gelatinousness of Jello! A delicious, rich broth…rich without being fatty.

Calcium-rich bone broth (stock) is a staple in my kitchen; I make sure it’s always in my freezer. It adds so much nutrition to a dish, and the taste is incredible. It’s the cook’s secret weapon! Lentils made with homemade bone broth instead of water is an entirely different experience (and one of my all-time favorites!). I like to simmer down my bone broth till it’s really concentrated and delicious; it’s both easier to store — taking up less space in the freezer — and adds a deeper flavor to whatever I use it in. I could dilute the concentrate once I thaw it out, but usually I just use it straight.

And so, Why bone broth? Well I will tell you. Well actually I’ll let Sally Fallon tell you. She’s the author of one of my favorite cookbooks that I sometimes mention here, Nourishing Traditions.

“Meat and fish stocks are used almost universally in traditional cuisines — French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, African, South American, Middle Eastern and Russian; but the use of homemade meat broths to produce nourishing and flavorful soups and sauces has almost completely disappeared from the American culinary tradition.

Properly prepared meat stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals of bone, cartilage, marrow, and vegetables as electrolytes, a form that is easy to assimilate. Acidic wine or vinegar added during cooking helps to draw minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium and potassium, into the broth.

It was Dr. Pottenger who pointed out that stock is also of great value because it supplies hydrophilic colloids to the diet. Raw food compounds are colloidal and tend to be hydrophilic, meaning they attract liquids. Thus, when we eat a salad or some other raw food, the hydrophilic colloids attract digestive juices for rapid and effective digestion. Colloids that have been heated are generally hydrophobic — they repel liquids, making cooked foods harder to digest. However, the proteinaceous gelatin in meat broths has the unusual property of attracting liquids — it’s hydrophilic — even after it has been heated. The same property by which gelatin attracts water to form desserts, like Jello, allows it to attract digestive juices to the surface of cooked food particles.”

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Below is the Chicken Stock recipe straight from Nourishing Traditions. Nowadays I stray from the recipe — no longer bothering to weigh or measure — and often leave the veggies out to achieve a truer chicken flavor. Sometimes I’ll add the veggies too, but never the carrots since I dislike the sweetness they impart.

Anyway, I simply dump some bones (usually chicken backs, feet, or the carcass from a whole chicken) into my crock pot, fill with cold water according to how many bones I have (this is all very unscientific — you’ll get a feel for it quickly). I tend to add less water than is called for in the original recipe because I like a very concentrated stock with lots of flavor. To the water, add a tablespoon or two of vinegar. Turn on your crock pot and let it simmer away for about 24 hours. I’ve also done this on the stove many times, but I definitely prefer the crock pot.

When it’s done, I pour everything through a strainer, reserving the bones and picking off any meat for another use. I like to munch on the ends of the bones (which will be very soft by then) — a great calcium & mineral supplement. Pour into jars (leaving at least an inch of head space if you’ll be freezing them), and place in the fridge so the fat can harden on the surface; if there’s lots of fat I’ll skim some off, but I do like to leave at least some. Use, or transfer to the freezer. (As a side note, I’ve noticed a big difference with stock made from pastured chickens — much less fat, much more gelatin!)

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Nourishing Traditions Chicken Stock

1 whole free-range chicken or 2-3 lbs of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones, and wings

gizzards from one chicken (optional)

feet from the chicken (optional)

4 quarts cold filtered water

2 Tbsp vinegar

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

2 carrots, coarsely chopped

3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped

1 bunch parsley

If you are using a whole chicken, cut off the wings and remove the neck, fat glands and the gizzards from the cavity. By all means, use chicken feet if you can find them — they are full of gelatin. (Jewish folklore considers the addition of chicken feet the secret to successful broth.) Even better, use a whole chicken, with the head on. These may be found in Oriental markets. Farm-raised, free-range chickens give the best results. Many battery-raised chickens will not produce stock that gels.

Cut chicken parts into several pieces. Place chicken or chicken pieces in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar, and all vegetables except parsley. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to a boil, and remove scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 24 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.

Remove whole chicken or chicken pieces with a slotted spoon. Remove meat and reserve for other uses, such as chicken salads, enchiladas, sandwiches, or curries. (The skin and smaller bones, which will be very soft, may be given to your dog or cat.) Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer.

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Farmer’s Market Finds

By , August 13, 2011

I went to the farmer’s market earlier this week and got some nice stuff! I’ve long ago written off the farmer’s market because a.) despite the name, there are hardly any actual farmers there — mostly it’s prepared food and other things I don’t need, b.) it’s usually a mob scene and I really have to be in the right mood to go, otherwise I get grouchy dodging enormous strollers and having people reach over me as I pick my produce, c.) the prices are often even more expensive than getting my organic produce at the grocery store, and the grocery store is so much calmer, and d.) I get flustered paying the vendors because it’s usually a variation of the same scene, where they wait impatiently while I balance my wallet on a mound of peaches and dig for one dollar bills while having my change spill into the crevices between the fruit.

So it’s unusual that I went in the first place, but I was trying to hunt down some really small cucumbers to make my Hubby a new batch of Bubbies pickles. And I found them! Organic, for $2 a pound. I also got some nice spray-free Colorado Palisade peaches, organic parsley, organic raspberries & blueberries, freshly roasted still-warm Hatch chiles (oh yessss it’s chile season!!!), and my most exciting purchase of all…pastured chicken feet for making stock!!! I’ve been wanting to find a local source for pastured chicken; we get pastured eggs from a lady at my former employer (I still go there for eggs & contract work…in that order), but pastured chicken I had yet to find until this week. I was really excited! And pastured chicken feet! I realize how non-normal it sounds that chicken feet were the highlight of my day. But if you own a copy of the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, turn to page 124 and read through the Chicken Stock recipe, where it says “By all means, use chicken feet if you can find them — they are full of gelatin. (Jewish folklore considers the addition of chicken feet the secret to successful broth.).”

And the stock turned out great! I’ll write more about it soon! (Edit: Click here to read more.)

In the mean time, have a wonderful evening and see you tomorrow for Gratitude Sunday~

 

 

Gluten-Free Coconut-Cream Bliss Cookies

By , July 21, 2011

I think it’s time for a cookie recipe, and these are absolutely divine! They’re made with coconut cream concentrate (from Tropical Traditions, a favorite company of mine). CCC has the same fat & calorie content as nut butters do, so I like to use it in place of those sometimes. Plus it’s a delicious way to take advantage of the health benefits of coconut.

Lindsey’s Gluten-Free Coconut-Cream Bliss Cookies

1 1/2 cups coconut cream concentrate*

1/2 cup plain yogurt or kefir

1 1/4 cups arrowroot powder

Rounded 1/2 cup sucanat

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

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Heat the coconut cream concentrate over low heat until softened or melted.

Then melt the coconut oil over low heat; remove from heat and mix in the vanilla and almond extracts.

In a large bowl, mix the arrowroot with the sucanat and salt.

Add the coconut cream concentrate and coconut oil to the arrowroot.

Mix until well combined.

The dough should be very nice and workable, not overly sticky. If it’s sticky, add more arrowroot.

Form dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place on a greased cookie sheet (or for easier cookie removal, use parchment paper). Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass.

Bake at 325° for 20-30 minutes or until they hold together and are very lightly browned on the bottom.
Cool a bit and remove from the cookie sheet while still warm. If they cool down and then seem to be glued to the cookie sheet, place them back into the oven to warm up again, and then they’ll be easy to remove.

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* Coconut Cream Concentrate is dried coconut meat which has been ground very finely into a butter, the way nuts would be ground into nut butter. You can cook and bake with it, mix it with water into coconut milk, put it in smoothies, spread it on a tortilla with honey & cinnamon, or eat it plain. The Concentrate will arrive separated into two layers, and you’ll need to mix them first before you use it.

To do that, unscrew the lid and put the jar into a pan of barely simmering water.

Keep the heat as low as it’ll go. This will take a while — you’ll know it’s ready when you stir the concentrate and no chunks remain.

Once it’s smooth, stir it up completely.  (I like to dump it all into a big bowl, which makes stirring easier. Then I pour it back into its jar.)

Transfer the jar to the fridge to solidify. Once it’s solidified, you can remove it from the fridge and store at room temperature. It’ll stay mixed in all but the hottest weather.

Warm your concentrate very gently in a pan of water set on the lowest heat.

Once it's melted and smooth, pour into a bowl and mix until combined. Pour back into the jar and transfer to the fridge to solidify.

How to Make Sauerruben

By , May 26, 2011

Sauerruben is made just like sauerkraut, only with rutabagas (or turnips, or a combo). It’s lovely stuff, and a nice change from kraut. It has a sweet, radish-like bite — although that will mellow out after a few weeks in the fridge. I like sauerruben a lot more than I thought I would, especially after it mellowed. Give it a try!

Ingredients:

Rutabagas (or turnips, or a combo), washed/scrubbed. I don’t bother to peel mine.

Sea salt (see my salting chart below, plus you may need more to mix up extra brine. (Any non-iodized salt will do, but unrefined sea salt is better for your body.)

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Here’s my salting chart. I usually just stick to this, but you can add a little more salt in the summer and a little less in the winter if you like.

10 tsp salt per 5 lbs vegetables

5 tsp salt per 2 ½ lbs vegetables

2 tsp salt per 1 lb vegetables

1 tsp salt per ½ lb vegetables

½ tsp salt per ¼ lb vegetables

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Shred, grate, or finely chop your rutabagas. Add the salt, and mix well.

I let this sit on the counter for several hours or overnight (this step is in place of pounding) so that the salt can begin to draw water out of the rutabagas. The water contains nutrients, and these nutrients then become the substrate for the growth of the lactic acid bacteria which is what turns your rutabagas into sauerruben. (Steinkraus, Handbook of Indigenous Fermented Foods, p.120.)

After some water has been drawn out, pack the rutabaga WITH its water into a glass jar. You really want to pack it in there (use your fist or any kitchen tool), because this will help squeeze more water out. You can also use a specially-made ceramic sauerkraut crock, or a glass or ceramic bowl (anything except metal, since salt and acid can react with metal).

Keep the rutabaga submerged under the brine by placing a smaller plate on top and weighing it down with something heavy (a jug of water, a boiled rock, etc.). Or, nest a smaller jar of water inside your larger glass jar.

This is kale, not sauerruben, but same idea. I particularly like this nesting-jars method for keeping everthing submerged under the brine.

Whatever method you devise, just be sure that all traces of rutabaga are completely submerged in the brine. Little bits sticking up above the water line will quickly lead to a moldy situation (and if you do end up with mold, scrape off the entire top layer, but the rest underneath should be fine!). So if you need to mix up some more brine (which is just a fancy name for salt water), use the ratio of 1 tsp salt to 1 cup of water.

Cover the jar with a towel to keep bugs out. Leave it to ferment at room temperature until you like the taste of your sauerruben. Let your tongue be your guide to done-ness. Taste it every few days, and transfer into the fridge when it tastes the way you like it. I like mine pretty sour, so I usually leave it out for 1-2 weeks or more, depending on how warm it is in the kitchen. If the taste is right but the ‘ruben is still too bitey, shove it to the back of the fridge for several weeks for it to mellow out.

Once in the fridge, your sauerruben will keep for many months. And when it’s all gone, don’t throw out the juice; it’s full of beneficial Lactobacillus (lactic acid bacteria) and is said to be a very good digestive tonic. And if you like, add a little of the juice to your next batch of sauerruben as a starter.

Troubleshooting:

If you see a white film (“kahm yeast”) develop on the surface of the brine, scrape off what you can each day until the ‘ruben is done fermenting. Sometimes I don’t get any film. Sometimes I get a fair amount. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason. The kahm yeast won’t harm anything, but if you keep getting a lot of it day after day, it can sometimes (not always) impart an off taste to the brine. Just try to scrape it off on a regular basis (daily is nice).

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How to Make Beet Kvass

By , May 21, 2011

Beet kvass is a favorite at our house! It’s so easy to make and so good for your body, and we love the taste — salty, sour, very refreshing.

Beets are extremely nutrient rich and have long been valued as a blood tonic (and their doctrine of signatures would suggest this — they make everything look bloody after you’ve cut into them!). They are rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, carotene, B complex, copper, and vitamin C. Beets and their greens contain special substances that protect the liver and stimulate the flow of bile (Nourishing Traditions, p. 373). And drinking beet kvass is especially beneficial to digestion because it’s lacto-fermented and therefore contains beneficial enzymes and bacteria for your digestive tract. It’s an all-around health tonic, and according to p. 610 of Nourishing Traditions, beet kvass promotes regular elimination, aids digestion, alkalinizes the blood, cleanses the liver, and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments.

Well, all I know is that it tastes good!

The recipe in Nourishing Traditions describes letting your beet kvass ferment for 2 days on the counter and then refrigerating it. However, I find it usually needs to ferment a lot longer than that. I let mine go a week or two on the counter, until the kvass is completely opaque — a deep, thick red that you can’t see through. I give it a taste, and if it’s sour with no hint of sweetness left, I know it’s done (though some may like to have that hint of sweetness). As with all fermentations, let it go until it tastes good to you, regardless of what the directions say.

Here’s my recipe:

Beet Kvass

8 – 10 ounces organic beets, scrubbed & coarsely chopped (I don’t bother to peel them)

1/4 cup whey* (optional)

1 Tbsp sea salt (I like unrefined sea salt because the minerals haven’t been taken out)

water

Place the salt into a 2-quart glass jar. Pour in a little warm water to dissolve the salt, and then add the beets and whey (if using). Fill the jar to the top with water. Stir and cover. Let sit at room temperature until the kvass tastes good to you — several days to a couple weeks, depending on your kitchen temperature and your tastes. Transfer to the fridge. If the kvass isn’t delicious, it may need a few weeks to “do its thing” in the fridge. I always find that my ferments taste even better when they’ve been shoved to the back of the fridge for a few weeks (or…er…months!).

And I have found that the whey is an optional ingredient, even though it isn’t listed as such in Nourishing Traditions. Feel free to leave it out; your kvass will take a little longer to ferment, but will be just as delicious!

When the liquid is nearly gone from your jar, you can fill it halfway again with water (no extra salt) and let it re-ferment if you want. Or you can save some kvass to add to your new batch as an innoculant, or you can juice your spent beet chunks! Or all of the above.

Starting a new batch of beet kvass

Beet kvass, finished and ready to drink

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*Whey: a clear yellowish liquid that can be drained off a fermented milk product like yogurt, buttermilk, or kefir. Whey will actually last for a couple months in your fridge. There are several ways to collect it:

– Easiest way: make kefir and let it over-ferment until curds and whey have separated. Spoon off the curds, and strain the whey through a fine mesh seive.

– Another way: Place a colander or seive over a bowl. Line the colander with a clean, damp tea towel, and pour yogurt into that. Leave for a day or two in your fridge to drain. You’ll then be left with whey in the bowl and “Greek yogurt” (or “yogurt cheese” if it’s really thick) in the colander. Both are great for making dips.

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Troubleshooting:

My ferments, including my kvass, sometimes get a white film (kahm yeast) on top during fermentation. It looks like this:

Kahm yeast is harmless, but you’ll want to try to keep it scraped off so it doesn’t affect the flavor of the kvass too much. I do find that my kvass gains a depth of flavor when it’s had this film on it, but if you let it go uncontrolled, it can make your kvass taste weird. Try to scrape as much of it off each day as you can.

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Gluten-Free Peanut Cookies

By , March 22, 2011

I tried out a new recipe today, based on the recipe for my favorite Almond Thumbprint Cookies, and it turned out great! If you like classic peanut butter cookies, you’ll love these.

Check it out:

Gluten-Free Peanut Cookies

1 1/2 cups peanuts (I used roasted/unsalted)

1/2 cup melted coconut oil or butter (I like to use 1/4 cup coconut oil & 1/4 cup yogurt or kefir to make these a little less rich for my tummy)

1  1/4 cups arrowroot powder* (start with 1 cup and add more if needed)

1/2 cup sucanat (or a little more if you like)

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 tsp vanilla extract

Place the peanuts into a food processor or blender and pulse to a fine meal (but not into peanut butter).

Transfer peanut meal into a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, and mix well. As mentioned above, start with 1 cup of arrowroot and add more if needed; I always have to add the extra 1/4 cup. The dough should form a nice ball and not be overly sticky.

Form dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place on an oiled cookie sheet. On each cookie, make the classic crosshatch pattern with a fork.

Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes, or until cookies are very lightly browned on the bottom and hold together when you lift them up with a metal spatula.

You’ll want to remove your cookies from the cookie sheet without too much delay. If they cool down and then seem to be glued to the cookie sheet, place them back into the oven to warm up again, and then they’ll be easier to remove.

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*Curious about arrowroot? It’s actually not a refined product despite the look of it. It’s the dried, powdered root of a tropical plant that only grows in tidal flats where sea minerals are available. It’s therefore rich in trace minerals and in calcium ash (calcium chloride), which makes it easily digestible. In addition, the calcium ash in arrowroot is very important for maintaining the proper acid-alkali balances in the human body. The downside is its price — $5.35 for a 1lb 4oz bag at our local health food store; however if you have a local Asian store, check with them — I’ve discovered that our local Asian store carries arrowroot for only $2.95/lb!

It’s Been Busy at the Homestead!

By , March 10, 2011

So busy!! Since quitting my job, I am so busy!! Busy doing the life I had been putting off for all that time. My, how good that feels.

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Here are some random pictures from yesterday & today:

Inside the grain & legume cupboard in late afternoon. (I love the old fashioned jars — they’ve been in the family a long time, and they give me a homey feeling!)

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I just finished reading this inspiring book about how “the rest of the world” deals with diapers (hint: they don’t use ’em!) and how we westerners can have diaper-free babies, too. This is a must-read for new parents — or even better, before they become parents! Click here for a short synopsis of Natural Infant Hygiene (being diaper-free), written by the author of the book.

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The parsley in the kitchen window looks so pretty in the sun!

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Homemade organic applesauce ready for the freezer. I gobble this stuff up, especially when I warm it up on the stove and add cinnamon & cream!

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2 jars of freshly made chicken bone broth, cooked way down and concentrated…now ready to pop into the freezer. Also, brown rice that’s been soaked overnight and is ready to cook, and raw pumpkin seeds that were soaked overnight in salt water, and are drying. (I love to snack on them and add them to soaked oatmeal!)

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Went to the health food store yesterday (our favorite — Natural Grocers, aka Vitamin Cottage) and got some good stuff at reasonable prices. Everything’s organic except the chocolate and peanuts. Lettuce ($1.99), cilantro ($1.39), seedless tangerines ($1.79/lb on sale), Cara Cara oranges ($1.59/lb on sale), Food for Life sprouted grain tortillas ($2.65 for 6 large), raw cheddar ($3.49 on sale), peanuts ($2.33 for 1 lb), brown rice ($1.99 for 2 lbs, on sale), Kalona Supernatural whole milk ($3.69 for 1/2 gallon – to make kefir), Kalona Supernatural whipping cream ($5.79/quart), Chocolove 70% cocoa chocolate bar (the best-tasting brand and incidentally the cheapest…$1.49 on sale), and two “$1 grab-bags” — one with carrots and celery for juicing, and the other with 3 lbs of bananas at the perfect stage of ripeness to cut up and freeze for smoothies!

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Frozen banana slices for smoothies…ready to be transferred to a freezer bag:

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Then I made a delicious dessert of a sliced banana sauteed in coconut oil with a bit of maple syrup. A favorite!!

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Also made a yummy snack (called a “cheese circle” in my family when I was little!) of cheese melted over a sprouted grain tortilla, topped with Penzey’s Zatar seasoning and Smoked Spanish Paprika. Dynamite! (I make these circles in a cast iron skillet, over medium-low heat, covering the skillet with a cookie sheet until the cheese is melted, then adding seasoning. And normally, I use only 1/4 or 1/2 of a big tortilla at a time!)

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What’s been keeping you busy lately?

A Valentine Delight: Almond Thumbprint Cookies

By , February 11, 2011

Almond Thumbprint Cookies with homemade wild grape jam

Actually, these grain-free yummies are excellent at any time of the year, but for Valentine’s Day, fill them with any type of pink, red, or purple fruit jam. They are so good!

This recipe is based on the one from p. 528 of my favorite cookbook, Nourishing Traditions. Makes about 24 cookies.

Almond Thumbprint Cookies

1 1/2 cups whole almonds

1/2 cup melted coconut oil or butter (I like to use 1/4 cup coconut oil & 1/4 cup yogurt or kefir to make them a little less rich for my tummy)

1  1/4 cups arrowroot powder* (start with 1 cup and add more if needed)

Rounded 1/2 cup sucanat

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

Fruit jam of your choice

Place the almonds into a food processor or blender and pulse to a fine meal. Transfer almond meal into a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, and mix well. As mentioned above, start with 1 cup of arrowroot and add more if needed; I always have to add the extra 1/4 cup. The dough should be very nice and workable — not overly sticky.

Form dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place on an oiled cookie sheet. Make a thumb print in each cookie and fill the indentation with jam.

Bake at 325° for 20-30 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned on the bottom. I’ve both under-baked and over-baked these, and they’re good no matter what; however I’ve noticed that if they’re under-baked they do tend to fall apart a little more easily.

Cool a bit and remove from the cookie sheet while still warm. If they seem to be glued to the cookie sheet, place them back into the oven to warm up again, and then they’ll be easier to remove.

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*Curious about arrowroot? It’s actually not a refined product despite the look of it. It’s the dried, powdered root of a tropical plant that only grows in tidal flats where sea minerals are available. It’s therefore rich in trace minerals and in calcium ash (calcium chloride), which makes it easily digestible. In addition, the calcium ash in arrowroot is very important for maintaining the proper acid-alkali balances in the human body. Its downside is the price — $5.35 for a 1lb 4oz bag at our local health food store.

Free Shipping Today Only (Nov 8) at Tropical Traditions!

By , November 8, 2010

Hello! Life has been a little crazy the past couple weeks and I’ll be back to blogging soon, but just wanted to let you know that Tropical Traditions has free ground shipping today only, Monday, November 8th, through Midnight EST. A good time to stock up on Christmas gifts! To get free shipping, be sure to choose ‘ground shipping’ and enter code 81110 at the checkout page.

If you’ve been hanging around here for a while, you know that I love Tropical Traditions! You can check out my favorite products here and as always, if you buy anything and you’re a new customer, you can also get this Virgin Coconut Oil book for free (any time, not just today) by entering my User ID, which is 6032410. When you’re going through the checkout process and you’ve added your shipping address and phone number, you will see the question “How did you hear of us?” Just choose “Referred by a friend” and then a new “User ID” field will appear below that where you can enter my User ID. (screen shot below)

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