Monthly Archives: October 2010

Video: Chicken Liver Pate

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist October 28, 2010

Liver is one food that folks sometimes hesitate to incorporate into their kitchen routine even after making most of the changes required to transition back to the wise ways of Traditional Cooking.

Not all liver tastes the same, though, and just because one type of liver doesn’t appeal to you doesn’t mean that you will dislike them all.   Beef liver, for example, is rather unappealing to me due to its extremely strong flavor.  On the other hand, I absolutely LOVE chicken liver pate.

In fact, if I was stranded on a deserted island and could only pick a single food to eat, it would be chicken liver pate both for its fabulous and highly enjoyable flavor as well as for its amazing nutrient density.

Liver is a sacred food in many Traditional Cultures and, as such, is particularly beneficial at promoting fertility.    It contains ample amounts of both natural cholesterol and Vitamin D, both critical hormone precursors that are so very necessary for balancing the glandular system to favor conception.


You will need to find a clean, pastured source of chicken or duck livers before attempting this recipe.  Commercial chicken liver, even if organic, is usually unsuitable for eating due to a diet of unnatural, soy based feed and lack of freedom to roam and peck for bugs even if the label deceptively says “free range”.

Chicken Liver Pate


Ingredients

1/2 cup pastured, chicken or duck livers
1 cup chopped grassfed bacon
1/2 organic onion, chopped (spanish or white)
1 organic garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup butter
1/2 Tbl Sherry
1 Tbl dried cilantro
sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Melt butter in a saucepan and lightly saute chicken livers until just pink in the center.   In a separate saucepan, saute the chopped bacon for a few minutes and then add the onion and garlic.   Saute until the onion is slightly carmelized and the bacon is cooked through.

Transfer the contents of both pans to a glass bowl and mix in sherry and cilantro.   Let cool for 10 minutes.     Transfer to a food processor and blend until very smooth.    Taste.   Add sea salt and pepper if needed and pulse the food processor a few times to mix.

Transfer chicken liver pate to a small, glass bowl with a lid and chill for 1-2 hours until set.

Serve as a sandwich spread, on toast, or with crackers!

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

40 Comments

Are You Toxic? Quick Way to Tell

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist October 27, 2010

I first started to get professional massages over 20 years ago.    I was living an extremely stressful corporate lifestyle at the time with lots of business related travel, eating out nearly every meal, and a rush rush manner of living pretty much all the time.    It seemed glamorous and exciting for about a year or two.   After that point, it gradually became an unbearable grind.

I compensated for this very unhealthy lifestyle by working out way too much (aerobically, no less, which is not the healthiest way to exercise) and getting full body massages every two weeks to destress and detoxify.

During one particular session, a new massage therapist commented that I was very toxic.   She wasn’t talking about my muscles being tight.   She had actually detected toxins in my skin during the massage.

Curious, I asked her how could she tell. She explained that she could feel tiny toxic crystals underneath my skin.

She then showed me the method by rolling the skin up my back.   I nearly jumped off the table it hurt so much!   It felt like she was forcibly peeling my skin away from the underlying tissue.   In other words, the skin did not separate easily from the muscle and tissue underneath – there was some sort of “stickiness” that seemed like the skin had adhesive on it from the inside!    This “stickiness” on the underside of the skin and the lack of ready separation from the underlying muscle/tissue as the skin is rolled up the back is what indicates toxic buildup.

Rolling the skin up the back should normally feel very pleasurable and be pain free.  If there is toxic buildup, however, rolling the skin in this manner is quite painful  and slow.  The feeling of the toxic stickiness as your skin and muscle tissue are separated is rather like a piece of tape being pulled off cardboard and gives the unpleasant sensation of running your fingernails across a chalk board.

Want to try it?    Are you game to check and see how toxic you are?

If so, lay down on a couch or bed like you are going to get a back massage and have a loved one try the following on you:

Quick Toxicity Test

Gather up a piece of  skin between both thumbs and and forefingers and roll it in a wave from the base of the spine near the tailbone all the way up to the neck.

Repeat several times starting from a different place on the lower back each time until the entire back has been rolled.  About 5-6 complete rolls is all you need.

If you feel any pain as this exercise is being performed, then you have toxicity issues.   If it has to be done slowly, there are toxicity issues.   Normally, the skin should effortlessly roll up your back and the test can be performed in less that a minute or two.   The more pain and discomfort and the slower this takes, however, the more toxicity. Sometimes, rolling the skin may hurt at the base of the spine and up by the neck but not toward the middle of the back.   In this case, there are toxicity issues, but not everywhere.

When this test was first performed on me, it hurt everywhere and I could barely tolerate the pain.   I am happy to say that today, this test can be done quickly and I find that it feels wonderful and there is no pain or discomfort whatsoever!

If you decide to try this test out and find that you are quite toxic, take heart and know that this can be completely reversed! A diet of traditional, whole foods is all that is necessary to accomplish this under normal circumstances.

Your body knows how to cleanse itself!   You don’t need to force anything or go on a cayenne pepper, maple syrup, lemon juice and water fast (yes, I’m talking about the Master Cleanse) which unduly stresses the body. Just eat traditional, whole foods and cut out the junk and the process of cleansing will naturally occur.

Don’t be in such a hurry to cleanse yourself with harmful fasts and other forcible herbal cleanses. It took you a long time to get so toxic, it will take some time to undo the damage.   Doing it quickly and forcing the issue can do more harm than good.

If you absolutely feel that you must cleanse at a faster rate, drinking fresh, raw veggie juice is a proven way to gently detoxify according to Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride MD.    The best way to drink your juice (it MUST be fresh and use veggies that are safe to consume RAW) is on an empty stomach – no food for at least 30 minutes after drinking the juice and no food for 2 hours before.

Those of you that try this test, what did you discover about your toxicity load?   Are you going to make any changes to your eating habits or lifestyle based on what you discover?   Why or why not?

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Picture Credit

24 Comments

1995 and Counting: Nondecomposing Supermarket Cupcakes

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist October 26, 2010

A story has been making its way around the Web the past couple of weeks regarding a nondecomposing McDonald’s Happy Meal.     Sally Davies, a New York based photographer and artist, bought a Happy Meal back in April 2010 and left it out on a plate in her kitchen ever since to see what would happen.

The upshot of this homegrown experiment?   Other than an acrylic sheen, plastic like texture and becoming hard as a rock, no other discernible changes have occurred!

Davies’ science project has been photographed weekly and the results posted on Flickr for all to see and wonder about.    Should children really be given food that doesn’t decompose?

If bugs, mold and bacteria don’t want this stuff, how could this be counted as any sort of nourishment for children other than just empty calories?

What may be even more surprising, however, is that the lack of decomposition of McDonald’s fast food is not unique in the processed foods industry.

Oh no, not by a long shot.    Hold onto your hats everyone!

How about adding supermarket cupcakes (and other baked goods) to the list of foods that neither bugs nor bacteria want anything to do with!

You know what I’m talking about – the supermarket birthday cake that is served at just about every kids’ birthday party you’ve ever attended.     How about that cake you ate at your cousin’s wedding last summer?    Yes, even those delightfully decorated Halloween cupcakes you saw the other day in the supermarket bakery that seemed just perfect for the Trick or Treat get together this coming weekend!

Yes, all of it.    This stuff doesn’t decompose either!   It doesn’t even get moldy!

Best of all, I’ve got pictures!!

You see, many years back when I first began eating real food, I met Dennis Stoltzfoos, a local grassbased farmer who had a curious box of cupcakes sitting in his kitchen.    He explained that these cupcakes were from a party back in December 1995.

The box with the 3 remaining cupcakes never got thrown out, so it just kind of stayed in his kitchen for weeks, then months, now almost FIFTEEN YEARS later.

After seeing this story about the nondecomposing Happy Meal, I emailed Dennis and his wife Alicia to see if they still had this box of supermarket cupcakes.    They did, and Alicia snapped these photos taken only last week of the now 15 YEAR OLD cupcakes that now practically have artifact status!

Check it out! 

cupcakes1In this photo, you can still just make out the “1996″ on the cupcake box label which indicated the expiration date for the cupcakes (it originally said “January 1996″).  The cupcakes were purchased in December 1995.

Kash n’ Karry, the supermarket where these cupcakes were purchased, no longer exists.  Kash n’ Karry supermarkets are now called Sweetbay Supermarkets.

cupcakes4Alicia Stoltzfoos told me that the sticky, sweet, artificial smell of the cupcakes was still very much evident when she opened the box to take this picture!

My hope is that parents who see this blog are motivated to never again buy supermarket bakery goods and to take the time to make a wholesome, homemade birthday cake/cupcakes with REAL ingredients for their children.

If it’s not good enough for bugs, mold and bacteria, it’s most certainly not good enough for your children!


Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Many thanks to Dennis and Alicia Stoltzfoos of Full Circle Farm for the pictures and story behind this blog.   Dennis, Alicia, and their four healthy, beautiful children own a leading edge, grassbased dairy farm in Live Oak, FL.   To contact them to find out more about nutrient dense, healing foods, email them at thisisdennis@windstream.net. 

82 Comments

Monday Mania – 10/25/2010

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist October 25, 2010

Welcome to Monday Mania, a carnival where Real Food bloggers come together to link up their popular Posts.  

These Awesome Posts can be Real Food recipes, Book Reviews, Natural Remedies, or Green Home Tips.    They might even be a blogger’s take on a media health report, a videoblog, podcast, or an amazing giveaway!

In short, these Awesome Posts are a complete free for all of incredible Real Foodie Wisdom!

So, roll up your sleeves, link up and show us your stuff!    Can’t wait to see what your Real Foodie brains turned out recently!

Guidelines for Participating


Please link up your blog post using the Linky widget below.   Remember to use the URL of your actual blog post and not your blog’s home page.     
* Remember to link this post back to your blog and leave a comment!    Thanks!






Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist



13 Comments

Reformulated Kombucha Back in Stores

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist October 24, 2010

After a 4 month wait, fans of GTs Kombucha and other kombucha brands can heave a sigh of relief as the product is slowly finding its way back on the shelves of healthfood stores across the country.  It is still raw and unpasteurized as before (with a few changes – see below).  I was delighted to see it back on the shelf at one of my local healthfood stores only yesterday!

If you remember, GTs Kombucha was pulled from Whole Foods and eventually all healthfood stores early last summer because of concerns that if the product was not properly refrigerated once it left the manufacturing facility that the alcohol content would rise slightly above .5%.  At that point, a warning label is  required and only people over the age of 21 could buy it.   In addition, the product could only be produced in approved facilities.


To control the level of alcohol in the product, Dave of GTs Kombucha altered the original formula so that the amount of alcohol producing probiotics was reduced.   Correspondingly, the amount of non-alcohol producing probiotics was increased to compensate.  Each bottle contains the same number of probiotics, just in a different ratio than before.

The result?   The reformulation has a smoother taste and a shorter shelf life.

I tried my first bottle of the reformulated GTs Kombucha yesterday and it definitely tastes lighter than before.   It also tastes lighter than home brewed kombucha.  There still is plenty of zing to it, but only time will tell if it produces the same feeling of digestive well being as before!

Dave of GTs has indicated that he plans to bring back the original formula at some point, but it would only be available for purchase by individuals over the age of 21.

Age of Kombucha Culture Affects Alcoholic Content

One interesting thing I discovered while researching for this article is that older kombucha cultures produce less alcohol in the final brew than younger cultures.    A kombucha culture, if you recall, is a symbiotic balance of both friendly bacteria and beneficial yeasts that contribute greatly to the overall health and function of the gut.

A kombucha culture that is over 20 days old has less yeast and more bacteria.  The bacteria are non-alcohol producing and the yeasts are alcohol producing.   So, using a kombucha culture that is more than 20 days old will alter the ratio between the two in favor of the bacteria.

Starting with less sugar is also beneficial in altering the probiotic ratio.  For example, a 3 quart batch of home brewed kombucha uses between 1 and 1 1/2 cups of sugar.   Using only 1 cup as well as an older culture will reduce the alcoholic content of the final brew – even though the alcoholic content is negligible if proper refrigeration after fermentation is observed at home.

Interesting!   For those of you who are interested in making your own kombucha, I have a 4 video series on how to do this at this link.  Note that the beginner videos are at the bottom and the more advanced topics at the top.

While I’ve been making my own kombucha at home for almost 10 years now, I find it extremely helpful to have GTs Kombucha at the store to help bridge the occasional gap between batches and for when traveling!

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Source:  Kombucha Tea Producer Reworks Formula to Alter Alcohol Content

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