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Below are the 6 most recent journal entries recorded in natural_pantry's LiveJournal:

Friday, June 1st, 2007
3:09 pm
easy crockpot chicken
I made this last night and it turned out delicious! Tender and moist, the meat just fell off the bones, which never happens when I roast the chicken in the oven.

Wash a whole chicken (or small turkey) and place breast-up in crockpot. Stuff and season as desired (I put lemon pieces inside the bird, and then rubbed the breast and wings with olive oil, and liberally sprinkled with dried garlic and sea salt). Put 1/4 to 1/2 cup water in the bottom, cover and turn on high. It should be done in 4-5 hours. I used the left over juices as a 'gravy' over the meat and green beans.

I love using my crockpot for roasts... it is so easy, and the meat comes out moist and tender every time.
Monday, April 23rd, 2007
3:15 pm
With summer coming, I had to share about my new toy.

After hearing about a Cuisinart 2 quart Ice Cream maker, on an email group I'm on, I knew it would make a perfect addition to the kitchen.  Soft serve ice-cream and frozen yogurt in 25-30 minutes.  We had a churn, one that my parents have had for years and years, but having to have ice and salt on hand and keeping it at the right level was a pain.  It was noisy and messy too.

Then, we found this one at Sam's for around $50 ~ cheaper then the $71 plus shipping at Amazon, the best price I had found online.  It sits on your counter, and all you have to do is put the pre-frozen bowl in, turn it on and dumped in your [already mixed] ingredients.  Let it churn for 25-30 minutes and you have soft ice cream.  Put it in the freezer and it hardens like normal ice cream.  The great thing about this though, is unlike other homemade ice cream we've made, this doesn't get ice crystals in it.  

I don't know if you've ever read the ingredients on a carton of ice cream, but, there are a lot of ingredients even in "plain" vanilla ice cream!  With this I can make ice cream, that I think, is much healthier for our family.  All it takes is cream, milk, sugar and any add-ins, depending on what flavor you want.

I am also experimenting with making it even healthier, by using a more natural sweetner.  I just finished making some using "Florida Crystals" and it's yummy!  I need to "tweak" it a little, but I don't mind. ;)  

Here's a picture and more information from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-IndulgenceTM-Cream-frozen-Yogurt-Sorbet/dp/B000FGYAOQ/ref=sr_1_1/104-3908903-3085543?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1177355754&sr=8-1 
Sunday, April 22nd, 2007
9:49 pm
Baby food?
Question for anyone with an answer: 
I've read that after 6 months or so a baby has need for more iron than breast milk alone can provide. Assuming this is true, what are good ways of getting that iron to your baby? Tirzah is 7 months tomorrow (AHHHHH!!!! It's going too fast. :-() and has been having a little rice cereal once a day for about 2 months now- she very clearly showed interest in food early and took her first taste very well, so I went ahead and started her. We haven't deviated from that once-daily non-breastmilk meal, and I don't know just where to go from here. I've been using boxed rice cereal up to now, but would much prefer to make her food myself if I can figure out what's best for her. Any hints, tips, or suggestions would be most welcome, even if someone can just point me toward a good book on the topic!

Thanks in advance!
Sunday, April 15th, 2007
11:09 pm

After some posts on kefir, I emailed a friend of my Mom's about getting some starter grains from her.  She's local and I thought I could get them quicker and they'd be fresher that way. (Though, I'm not sure freshness matters?!  It's rotten anyways, right? ;-D)

Anyways, she told me that she uses a starter kit, which I think can be found here: http://www.kefir.net/  However, it says you can use a small amount then from the kefir you make, up to 7 times, but after that the yeast gets crowded out by the more aggressive lactobacillus.  Does anyone know anything about that?  Is it different because it's a starter kit?  I'm kinda thinking that I'd be better off getting some grains from someone.  Anyone have any thoughts?

Friday, April 13th, 2007
2:09 pm
Intro and a few questions

Hello! I am so excited to have this group started- healthy eating has been much on my mind since I got married (Nov. 5, 2005- yes, another fall '05er! :-)).... and while my stomach's pickiness made me put some thoughts on hold while I was pregnant last year, I'm back and more eager than ever to get wholesome foods into my little family. 

My name is Amanda, I live in Texas, and my husband and I have one little girl- Tirzah, 6 and a half months old. We live in an apartment in the city, right between two of the largest cities in Texas (Dallas and Fort Worth). This means that so much of what I want is not readily available, such as fresh milk and the ability to garden for ourselves. But it also means that I have access to some great farmer's markets, I hear, though I have not yet learned to take advantage of that. :-) 

My background is not at all health-concious, so I feel pretty stupid getting started here. :-) I'm determined to learn, though, and I hope to gather a lot of information here! I've read and enjoyed in the past the book "Hearth and Home" by Karey Swan (I think) and am convinced of the virtues of making our own fresh-ground wheat bread. I hope to find a way to get wheat ground soon. I'm also on the lookout for fresh milk and want to make our own kefir.

I have a question or two to throw out there. I am reading the same book Elizabeth mentioned- "Nourishing Traditions", and also through the magazine Above Rubies I've read alot about using coconut oil. I love the thought, but I'm wondering if one is much better than another. I found it at Walmart in the LouAna brand and have been trying that, but the price is so low (about $3, compared to the $10 they want for what is sold at Whole Foods) I have to wonder if it's anywhere close to the same thing. Does anyone know anything about that? 

Another question: Is goat's milk really good? I mean, taste-wise. :-) I love fresh cow's milk (though I hate and never drink it from a jug in the store.), but can't find it. I can find goat milk, though. So, opinions? And what exactly are the benefits?

Last question: I haven't finished the aforementioned book, so maybe I should just look for my answer there, but what is the benefit in cutting out boneless and skinless chicken as Elizabeth mentioned? It's so convenient. :-) 

Now I must go. A very wiggly baby wants badly to help me type. :-)

Thursday, April 12th, 2007
11:50 am
intro and musings
Hello everyone, I think I pretty much know everyone here except maybe one or two of you. I am Elizabeth, married to Jonathan for a year and a half, and mother to William, who will be six months old in a few days. I live in Alaska and am very much enjoying the life we have up here.

I have always been interested in healthy eating, as my mom was fairly "crunchy" as far as that goes. Homemade bread and all that. But now that I am responsible for my own home I have been rethinking what "healthy eating" even means and have been slowly making some changes in our diet. I definitely lean towards the "Traditional Foods" end of the spectrum.... lots of good fats, dairy, kefir, meat, whole grains, eggs, and organic produce. If you are interested in learning more about Traditional Foods, I highly recommend the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. http://www.westonaprice.org/index.html

Some of the changes I am slowly bringing about in my family:
Organic whole milk (preferably raw)
Homemade kefir
Homemade breads/muffins/tortillas
Coconut oil and butter (no "vegetable" oils with the exception of extra virgin olive oil for occasional frying)
Organic meats and whole chickens (no more "boneless and skinless")
More fresh fruits and veggies (they are rather pricey here in Alaska)

I am pleased with the health improvements I am seeing in my little family. We haven't been sick all winter, praise God.
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