Saturday

Versatile Pantry Items

 

Lemon Juice, Honey, Sesame Oil, White Popcorn, Molasses, Dried Plums, Dried Apricots,
Miso Paste, Olive Oil, Raw Goat's Milk, 21 Grain Pancake Flour Mix, Mixed Beans, 21 Mixed Grains, Turbinado, Peanut Butter, Cocoa Powder, Oranges, Green Tea, Home Made Yogurt, Canned Diced Tomatoes, Spicy Garlic/Pepper Oil, Free Range Fertile Eggs, Fuji Apples, Garlic, and lots of Hearty Leafy Greens.

By keeping these foods in our pantry we have been able to reduce our food budget, eliminate many trips to town, and most importantly it has helped us avoid purchasing any mass produced garbage foods.

We have consulted this website WHFoods It is a wonderful resource for learning about the nutritional benefits of many whole foods.  I would say that this website was an important catalyst for change into our diets,  We keep reading about different foods on the list, and then we find ways to include these foods into our diets.  Since adopting these foods into our diets we have noticed many improvements to our health.

Lemon Juice - We use it to make, lemon aid,  salad dressing,  lemon custard, mayonnaise. . . We take straight shots as an energy booster.

Honey - A nutritious sweetener, we use it in: custards, salad dressings, and is makes a great marinade for smoked salmon heads (honey, salt, and black pepper.)

Sesame Oil - We make a  nice dipping sauce for pan fried tofu, using sesame oil, soy sauce and squeezed garlic.   We also like to drizzle sesame oil on, steamed vegetables, miso soup,  and  popcorn. (sesame oil is a great healthy substitute for melted butter on popcorn.)

Popcorn -  This is  what we keep on hand for those cold winter evenings when we're having a salty chip snack attack.
We stay away from the expensive, made up,  snacks with  non-pronounceable ingredients  by keeping popcorn  around. We keep ours healthy by having it with sesame oil as the substitute for melted butter, allowing us to save the melted butter for the things that truly require it like Lemon Custard.
We purchase it bulk in 25lb. bags, we like white popcorn the best because it has a good "fluff to husk ratio" making it easier on the teeth.
Popcorn keeps well, and pops up fresh and you don't have to run to the store all the time because a pound of un-popped popcorn equals a lot of bags-o-snack.

Molasses - Turns regular sugar into brown sugar. So it is good for making squash, but we like it in hot cocoa, smoothies, on cereal, or over yogurt. We use a lot when we make egg custard. Molasses is the good stuff that was taken out of the raw cane sugar in the process of making it white. It is high in iron and other minerals.

Dried Prunes - We like to have some dried fruit around, and we found that these had no high fructose corn syrup or other nasties. Anyway sometimes you just need a prune.

Apricots -  These dried apricots are 100% natural like the prunes.   Apricots are high in vitamin A so they are good for our eyes.  Mostly we like them for their tangy sweetness, and for being so chewy and good.

Miso Paste - It goes in our special  seaweed tofu miso and mixed bean soup, and in the Shang choo som paste, the simple tofu miso soup, and in the miso paste for our Snack Veggies.


Extra Virgin Olive Oil - We drink an ounce or two each day, with a raw egg, and four or five ounces of lemon juice before our walk. (If we do it right, and walk briskly, it makes mayo!).
Olive oil is also good for making salad dressings, garlic oil for dipping, and in our crepe batter.

Raw Goat's Milk - We have raw goat's milk available by owning a goat, It saves us a lot of trips to town  to buy milk, heck we can hardly leave home because she needs to be milked frequently. But, we know what is in our milk, She eats everything on our property and turns it in to wonderful milk that contains:
Oak, Maple, Blackberry, Huckleberry, Bamboo, Moss, Twigs, Alfalfa, Hay, Zucchini, Cucumber, Swiss Chard, Mustard greens, and many many more! . . . But, she does not eat tin cans.

21 Grain Pancake Flour Mix - We put together this whole grain mix as a response to the fact that it is so hard to find bread products that aren't either full of bleached white flour or sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.  Pancakes are an easy bread to make as a daily bread for eating as pancakes,  or as bread for making sandwiches, or even as an instant pizza bottom.If we use more eggs and milk, we have batter for making crepes. We have used it with other flours to make a hearty 21 grain bread. and use it in our tasty hardtack sesame flax crackers. We have been able to avoid buying any mass produced bread products for two years since switching to the 21 Grain Pancake Flour Mix. So many things we get in the stores have HFC 's or high white flour content, I have a theory that empty calories = empty heads.

 Mixed Beans - We read about each of the beans in our mix and found that each type of bean has it's own unique bunch of minerals and other nutrients.  We also thought, Most of these beans are pretty similar come eating time, So why not mix them, like we did our Grains and Flours.
We cook them like beans, and add them to our miso seaweed soup, or we prepare them like black beans and rice with our 21mixed grains under the mixed beans, with thickened yogurt, cilantro,  diced tomatoes, cheese and hot sauce.

21 Mixed Grains - We use to eat steamed white rice. White rice is white because the husk, bran, and germ have been polished off, so much is missing in terms of nutrition.
We decided that we would like to catch up on all the whole grain goodness that we were lacking.  We combined 21 grains and cook them like rice.  They are much more nutritious and taste better too.
We have them like rice under stir fried vegetables or with steamed greens, and in soups.   I like them like oat meal as a desert, topped with, yogurt, peanut butter,  honey, molasses and a drizzle of evaporated milk.
These are packed with nutrition, and in time we found ourselves being satisfied by much smaller portions of the mixed grains, compared to how much it took to be satisfied with white rice. I feel that we became content with smaller portions as we enriched our bodies nutritional stores. 

Turbinado - Simply a less processed sugar which still contains natural molasses. Some things just need sugar like cookies, candies (we mix peanut butter with a little turbinado to form peanut butter balls that we coat with cocoa powder or melted chocolate to make peanut butter chocolate bon bons  -   honey wouldn't work, too wet - messy) 

Peanut Butter - We get the chunky Adams brand natural peanut butter that comes with the oil floating on top.  We get several and store them upside down to ease stirring on opening day.  It can separate but is o.k. if you mix it well enough, If it didn't separate then it would mean that the oil was hydrogenated to keep it mixed.  Hydrogenated oils are good for stabilizing foods, but not good for putting in your body. We like it on our cereal as mentioned above, or just put a couple tablespoons in a small bowl, to eat by it's self, as a easy snack, with some apple slices on the side. Jin can nurse this last snack all the way through an episode of Kung Fu.

Cocoa Powder - We make our own mix for hot cocoa. Cocoa powder, turbinado, and a healthy dose of cayenne pepper powder, so even when the cocoa gets cold, it stays hot.
We use cocoa powder make some fantastic chocolate, chocolate chip cookies using: 21 grain pancake flour mix, chocolate chips, turbinado, butter, eggs, and cocoa powder.

Oranges and Apples - We keep oranges and apples on the table, whole fruits are better for you than juices. We don't buy juice or juice concentrate. You don't need to read a label on an apple or an orange to find out if it contains high fructose corn syrup, they're naturally sweetened. We check Rainbow foods (our local bargan food store) to see if they've received any good apples or oranges, and when they do we always buy big bags.  If you buy too few you might hesitate, deciding to save it for later rather than just eating the fruit on the spot. We eat oranges and apples through out the day ,

Green Tea - This is the real "ancient chinese secret"  It is so good for you to have a hot cup of green tea after a meal. We have been drinking it regularly for the last two years.
We drink a lot of green tea. If you find the right asian market you can buy a large five pound bag of loose leaf jasmine green tea for restaurants for around ten bucks. I wouldn't bother with teabags,  you get better extraction from the leaf, and you don't have to pay for all the fancy packaging. Green tea really cuts the grease and helps us digest our food, it is also loaded with antioxidants.
We like to brew our tea by bringing a pot of water to a boil, throwing in the loose tea leafs and then turning off the heat. Then we just pour off the tea when the leafs settle to the bottom of the pot. We don't waste the used leafs, instead we put them in the Broth  that we prepare for our chickens to drink.
There is so much to say about the goodness of this stuff I am just going to post the link: Green tea

Home Made Yogurt - Delicious and good for our guts. We eat it in smoothies and on our mixed grain peanut butter cereal desert.  We get a starter mix from the health food store and make our own from milk in an electric yogurt maker over night.
Here is a link: Yogurt.

Canned Diced Tomatoes - We like to have some emergency tomatoes on hand in case we want to make
spaghetti sauce or a quick pizza, when tomatoes are out of season, or when the tomatoes are at the store and we want to stay home.
We  prefer the diced tomatoes over tomato sauce cause we can easily make sauce from diced if we want to, and diced gives more tomato in the can, than can be packed the can in whole tomato form.


Spicy Garlic/Pepper Oil - This is our version to the hot chili oil that you find in the chinese restaurants.
We make ours using canola oil, chili pepper flakes,  garlic, ginger, and fermented black beans.
We put this spicy oil on steamed vegitables,  stir fry, or use it to spice up a soup.   It all winds up tasting like spicy chinese restaurant food.  


Free Range Fertile Eggs - We have a lot of chickens so we eat a lot of eggs.  We have eaten so many eggs lately that we have all but forgotten about eating meat,  we haven't even purchased any meat besides fish for eight months.  They are a great source of protein and much more, here is a link: Eggs

Fuji Apples - Good dependable apples, they have a good crunch, they store well, and when they are ripe, they're sweet and juicey.  These are our favorite apples,  We named the blog for them.

Garlic - We look for the strongest, meanist. burn your whole mouth down garlic. We like it so strong that it makes you go sit down, to catch your breath.  We use it wherever we can, diced and fried in an omelette,  or squeezed fresh on  a salad, garlic delivers flavor and has many health benefits. You can take your garlic that you buy at the store and plant it in the fall to harvest in the spring.  Look up the nutritional information here: Garlic.
We put garlic in olive oil and zap it to use like garlic butter for dipping. That way we can save the butter for something really important like making lemon custard.

Hearty Leafy Greens - We eat as much raw as possible because cooking destroys enzymes, with the large garden we find that we do need to cook it sometimes  to help with the chewing. Hearty greens like chard, mustard, and collards aren't  like salad greens they can really fill you up and be the heart of a meal. We are surprised at how well they digest, it must be the enzymes.
Anchovies - We found a good source for getting the 13 ounce restaurant size cans of anchovies. We buy a case of twelve cans and it lasts us a year or more.  We put it in spaghetti sauce, salad dressing. or on our pancake pizzas. We don't use any beef or pork in our spaghetti sauce, but the anchovies give it the right salty twist to round down the sharpness of the tomatoes.

Dried Anchovy, or Anchovy powder - These  are a must have ingredient for miso seaweed soup, and kimchee soup. the dried whole anchovies are a good snack, with a little red pepper paste for a dip, I wouldn't snack on the anchovy powder though.

Dried Seaweed  - Gotta have this if you want to make the miso seaweed tofu soup.  Sea Vegetables are so good for you, that you should really consider making seaweed soup.  Link: Sea vegetables

Cheese - We keep two kinds of cheese on hand. We like to get Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese, and keep a around a couple wedges of nice hard Romano Cheese. Romano is good on salad or in the salad dressing.   (The picture above was taken when we were using the Medium Tillamook Cheddar Cheese, But we switched to Sharp for the stronger flavor and lower fat content, Making Pan Fried Cheese really shows off the fat content of your Cheese.)

When we crave Cheetoes, we make pan fried cheese instead, by grating some Sharp Cheddar and a little Romano in to a well seasoned pan.   Learn how to fry cheese here: Pan Fried Cheeze  

Canned fish - We keep canned salmon, mackerel, sardenes and of course Anchovies on hand. Canned fish is good for putting on Shang choo som because the bones are soft enough to ignore.


Tofu* - Tofu is an important part of the miso seaweed tofu soup, it is also good fried up in a pan, and served with a  soy sauce, sesame  oil, garlic and green onion dipping sauce.

Dried Soybeans* - We keep some good quality soybeans on hand  so we can make soymilk. It is not hard to make if you have a good blender  and some strainers.

* Not Pictured

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