Stand Upon Grace

Homesteading with heart~Cultivating the art of intentional living

Making Keifer

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Keifer (rhymes with deer), is a wonderfully effervescent probiotic cultured dairy product.  Think of it as drinkable yogurt, but with a kick.  I have made keifer for years with the starter powder, loving it made from coconut milk, but with our recent addition of Coco, our very lovely and affectionate homestead milking goat, I decided to take the leap and order some keifer grains.

Let me explain.

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There are two different ways to make keifer.  The first way is with the starter packets of keifer powder that you can buy at your local food co-op, or order online.  It is simple and easy to use and I have had great success with the packets forever.  They are the best choice for culturing non-dairy milk, like coconut milk.  The second way to make keifer is with a grain, (which is not really a grain, but called that because it looks like grains), or culture.  The keifer culture/grain is added to fresh raw milk, the best choice in my opinion, and allowed to do it’s thang for 24 hours on your kitchen counter.  The “grains” are then removed from the keifer and added to a new jar of raw milk to continue the process, much like a sourdough starter/culture.  In the case of the powdered culture packet, you must use a new packet for each batch of keifer, whereas the “grains”  you just strain them from the fermented, ready batch of keifer and reuse them for the next batch, making a continuous cycle of cultured goodness.  The culture will continue to grow so you will have grains to share with friends and family, and eventually perhaps even strangers looking for probiotic loveliness….  Seems like a much more sustainable option to me, so I ordered some up, and now I make keifer every day with beautiful, raw, creamy, fresh milk from the ever fantastic Miss Coco.

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So why keifer you may ask?  My answer is why not.  Just kidding.  Keifer is a probiotic powerhouse, especially when made from fresh raw milk, but also when made with a freshly prepared non-dairy option.  Homemade Keifer has 30-56 different strains of probiotics* nestled into a delicious creamy, dreamy, drinkable delight.  You can blend it into smoothies, pour it over granola and berries, make it into the most fantastic cream based salad dressings, or just drink it straight from the jar.

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Probiotics are integral to radiant health and vibrant energy.  They support our internal systems, boost immunity, and give us boundless energy.   Probiotics are awesome. They are good bacteria, the good guys, billions of them, and they help our body to heal itself.   So, like I said, why not keifer?

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Making keifer at home is a quick and easy routine to incorporate into your day.  It takes less than five minutes to prepare, and the hardworking cultures do the rest.  Add keifer grains or powdered culture to 3 cups of the milk of your choice, place a lid on the jar loosely to allow room for gases to escape as fermentation works it’s magic, and allow to sit at room temperature on your kitchen counter or shelf for 24 hours.  After 24 hours, if using keifer grains, gently strain out the grains (they will be floating on the top), with a slotted spoon, or strain with a fine mesh strainer.  If you have cultured with the starter powder, all you need to do is put the lid on tight and refrigerate, use in a smoothie, on your granola, pour over berries, or drink and enjoy.  Simple.

You should know that the store-bought, commercially prepared keifer has significantly less of good bacteria strains, which is better than none, but not exactly worth the money.  The sustainable option, as well as the most beneficial option, is to make it at home, or source it from someone who does.  Check your local farmers market, or your homesteading neighbor.   Oh, and you should also know that in comparison, commercially prepared yogurt only contains 7-10 different strains of probiotics.*  Let me remind you that keifer has well over 30 probiotic strains.

WOW!

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It is a delicious powerhouse.  Adding Keifer into your diet will allow you to live vibrantly, wholly, and help your body to stay balanced and heal itself naturally. Begin your journey to radiant wellness and start your keifer today.

Resources:

If you are looking for keifer starters here are my favorite sites for ordering online.  These are not affiliates only resources for you.

http://www.culturedfoodlife.com

http://www.culturesforhealth.com

I have ordered from both of these sites, the first is the author Donna Schwenk’s website, who wrote Cultured Food for Health, A Guide to Healing Yourself with Probiotic Foods.  The book is awesome, I love Donna’s energy and story of how she healed herself and her family using cultured foods.  I ordered my keifer grains from her, they are a bit more in price, but come directly with love from Donna’s kitchen to yours.  Well worth supporting another mama who is sharing her healing journey with others to uplift, inspire, and promote healing.  

The second site is a very well-known site for all things cultured.  I have ordered with success from them as well, keifer starter powder, and sourdough culture.  Both sites will get you fermenting in no time!  

*Cultured Food for Health, by Donna Schwenk pg. 10

Adventure Bread

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Because life is nothing if not an adventure.

Adventure Bread lives up to it’s name and then some.  It is a gluten-free delight of a loaf.  Having made the switch to eating gluten-free several months ago, in pursuit of a happier, healthier life, bites of toast had become distant, lovely memories.  I could have lived on toast.  I truly love everything about toast–it’s crunch, the warm soft center surrounded on all sides by a chewy crisp crust that begs to be tore off and indulged upon, dipped into soups, spread with soft cheeses, or cultured herbaceous butter, used to sop up beautiful olive oil laced with rich, slightly sweet, tangy vinegar.  Oh toast, how I have missed you.

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Adventure Bread is the perfect toasting bread.  Loaded with nuts, seeds, and bound together with oats and ground flax, adventure bread is the perfect way to start the day.  It opens the door to whatever adventure may lie in wait on the other side.  Filling, nutritious and nurturing, bursting with wholesome nutty flavor, a slice of adventure bread toasted golden dark, awakens the palate and enlivens the body.  It is soul food nirvana.

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The original recipe comes from Josey Baker, (yes, that is truly his real name), a science teacher turned Bread Miller and Baker, following his passion in life.  No wonder this bread is amazing.  Anytime we follow our passions and creativity the outcome is out of this world.  Josey is an adventurer in the truest sense of the word.  One glance at his blog and you will see him creating his own stone mill to grind his grain,  baking with abandon, climbing mountains, and building sweat lodges. Oh, and let’s not forget his adorable baby boy and beautiful wife who are adventuring right alongside him.  Check out his website here.

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I stumbled across the recipe the other night while searching for something completely unrelated on David Lebovitz’ blog. He posted with permission from Josey Baker’s book, the original recipe for Adventure Bread.  Click here for the link.

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I was blown away by the bread, and decided to jump up from the couch to make it right then.  The promise of toast for breakfast was too strong to deny.  The great thing about this recipe is the simplicity.  You dump everything together, muck it up with your hands, or a big wooden spoon, shape it into a loaf pan and let it sit.  A few hours or overnight will do.  The recipe is definitely no-fuss simplicity at it’s finest.  After the loaf has set, all you do is pop it in the oven to bake for an hour.  The hardest part about this recipe is waiting to cut the loaf until it has cooled completely. 2 WHOLE HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh well, I figured I haven’t had toast for 6 months, what’s a couple more hours???!  It is well worth the wait.  Make this bread, it is the adventure you have been waiting for.

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As always, I tweaked the recipe just a bit to make do with what I had in the cupboard.  I didn’t have the psyllium seed husk that is the binder in the original recipe so I used ground flax instead.  It turned out great, I don’t think I will buy the psyllium seed husk, as I always have flax on hand; it’s a staple in my homestead kitchen.  I also used old-fashioned thick rolled oats.  I buy these in bulk at the mill, so it is our homestead rolled oat of choice.  The thick rolled oats gives a nice texture and a ton of creamy oat flavor to the bread.  Other than that I tried to stay true to the recipe, as it is unbelievably delicious just as it is.

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This bread is delicious toasted for breakfast, slathered with butter and drizzled with honey, an open-faced sandwich for lunch, piled high with veggies and cheese, or as an appetizer, cut into bites to accompany a cheese board complimented with a glass of wine.  It would also be the perfect camping bread toasted lightly over a campfire.  Any adventure you might encounter, this bread is a ready partner.

Adventure awaits.  Take your bread with you.

Morning Milking

 

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Photo Credit:  Caleb Snobl

The sweet smell of warm milk mingles with the sharpness of manure and straw.  The damp earth releases moisture as my feet press into it.  The quiet around me is dotted with notes of songbirds calling out to one another.  The air is usually cool, but today it is more humid, thick, enveloping both the goats and I, creating our own atmosphere.

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Photo Credit:  Caleb Snobl

I wash Coco’s udder with gentle, cleansing soap and oils, inspecting and massaging to be sure of her health before we begin our routine.  She has an abundantly full bag, and it makes me smile to think about the beautiful raw milk that we will soon be indulging in.  The beauty of whole, living food, brings me deep joy and satisfaction to provide this close to the earth, holistic lifestyle for myself and my family.

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Photo Credit: Caleb Snobl

Our rhythm slowly becomes steady, me gently, yet eagerly nudging her udder to encourage the release of milky goodness through my hands, while the easy sway in Coco’s hips matches the sound of her chewing the feed she covets.  The sweet smell of fresh warm milk again on the homestead reminds me of things that warm my soul, the milky breath of my own babes as they sleepily unlatched from nipple, the sweet litter of puppies our dog birthed on the living room floor, when our youngest was still in diapers.  The moments mix together along with the scents in my mind as fresh milk begins to puddle in the bottom of my mason jar.

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Photo Credit:  Caleb Snobl

We begin to understand each other, Coco and I, two mama’s working together in unison, her with the offering, the providing of milk, and me  bringing her favorite feed, a little sweat equity this morning in the humidity, and a whole lotta love and respect for both of our roles in the process.

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Photo Credit:  Caleb Snobl

As the milk begins to come more easily, awakening muscles begin to be heard, to sing their own song along with the rhythm of the movement. I breathe in deep and allow my body to expand into the experience.

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Photo Credit:  Caleb Snobl

The kids begin to call out, impatient that my milking skills are a bit rusty.  I talk sweet to both mama and babes, asking for patience for my slowness.  Gratitude fills my heart for all the souls participating together, the hands and skills of my man and my boys who worked together with me to create a milking pen and an improved shelter for a mama goat with twins, rather than a single birth, the goat kids who wait somewhat patiently for their mama to go out to grazing pasture for the day, and my eldest son, Caleb, who graciously and fabulously took these amazing photographs of our first morning milking, capturing the moments with a talented eye.

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Photo Credit:  Caleb Snobl

The sunshine warms both fur and skin as I finish morning milking, eager to bring my fresh milk into the kitchen to taste and finish the process.

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Photo Credit:  Caleb Snobl

Coco and I bond over our morning communion, our depth of understanding awakens through each connection, each interaction, she is a sweet, sweet mama with an amazingly rich, creamy sweet milk that creates euphoria on the tongue.

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My mind wanders in the kitchen as I strain the ultra-fresh, still warm milk, to all the beautiful and holistic opportunities raw milk on the homestead brings….keifer, yogurt, artisan cheeses of every variety, smooth, velvety caramels with a sprinkle of coarse salt, simple jelly jars brimming with rich, creamy, cold, raw milk, full swallows coating mouth and chilling throat and belly….. And of coarse the thick lather of pure soap lightly scented with herb and oil…

I breathe it all in deeply, and exhale a smile, expanding from my heart acknowledging the blessing of morning milking.

On the Homestead

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Happy 4th of July!  Independence Day strikes a chord in my homesteader’s heart.  It is today that we celebrate the independent spirit that is the undercurrent of our country.  It was independence that gave courage strong to our founding fathers to stand and fight for what they believed in.  This is what makes America great.  Independence is a beautiful thing, let’s keep the spirit alive as we celebrate with joy the hard won freedom that we enjoy each and every day.  A special thank you to all the veterans, and service men and women and their families who have helped to make the life we enjoy possible.  Happy Independence Day!!!!

Most homesteader’s have an independent streak a mile wide, even if they say they are easy to get along with.  ;)  It is the grit and determination to make a life worth living that drives us on each and every day.  To live out what we believe in most, freedom, liberty, and the right to live our values and beliefs, to raise our families and our food within that freedom–what an amazing gift it is to live here.  I thought we would celebrate that freedom by sharing a peek into our last couple of weeks on the Homestead!

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Chicks on the first day trying out their new portable enclosure that my amazing hubby put together for them!  They are getting so big with feathered wings!  It is so much fun to watch they stretch  and flap their wings, as they run across the enclosure learning to fly as build strength.

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Stay tuned for a post on this awesome enclosure that my hardworkin’ hubby engineered completely for free!  And Yes, there are days that it is a three ring circus here on the homestead between kids and kritters, I love that I am reminded of this every time I look at the ‘Big Top’ the chicks are spreading their wings in!

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Lots of Chick Love!

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This is how we shuttle the chicks over and back from coop to enclosure morning and night.  (In one week they have graduated from this little box, to a large tote–amazing how fast they are growing in the sunshine and fresh air!

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We have chicks (AGAIN)!!!!!  Our little Banty Mama was successful in her quest to hatch our ordered Swedish Isbar eggs!!!  If you remember from this post our adventure with orderin fertilized eggs….well, it’s been 21 days and we have 2 chicks so far!!!!

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They are just SO sweet!

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Eggs fresh from coop!

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Strawberries & Cream for breakfast….mmmmm….

A Strawberry Parfait is a lovely way to start your day.  Freshly picked sunshine warmed berries compliment a splash of homemade almond milk with a sprinkling of chia and flax seeds to round out the bowl.  A beautiful celebratory cup makes it an eye opening celebration of joy!

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Strawberries & Cream

Fresh Picked In Season Strawberries, quartered

Homemade Almond Milk, Fresh Raw Milk, or Cream

A Sprinkle of Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, or Slivered Almonds

Wash, pare and quarter strawberries, divide evenly between ramekins, or parfait cups.  Pour chilled milk/cream of choice over top of berries.  Sprinkle with seeds and nuts if desired.

Eat with Joy!

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Why not try a breakfast picnic???!!!!  Read more about it here!

 

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This week found us preparing for the new additions on the homestead!

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The boys and I did fence repairs and happily got ready for…..

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New Kids on the Block!!!!

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I am thrilled to be back in fresh raw milk for our family!!!  Meet Coco and her beautiful twins!

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(Photo Credit:  Caleb Snobl)

Coco and I getting acquainted with our first milking!  Some awesome milking posts and more unbelievable photos by my so very talented oldest son, Caleb!  Thanks my boy!!!! So glad you were able to be with us for the weekend!

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Strawberry Salad–my favorite lunch this week!

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Loving simple, seasonal, fresh summer suppers!

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Celebrating William’s 15th birthday last night!!!!  Way to go kiddo, we are so proud of you and blessed to watch the man you are growing to be!

I don’t know where the time goes, but I do know that a mama has to embrace each and every day, celebrate the ordinary, and see the beauty in each moment.

A Breakfast Picnic

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A simple celebration of kindred hearts and the miraculous journey that is life.

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A breakfast picnic is just a fabulous way to start the day.  Strong smooth, vanilla essenced coffee, black with just the lightest splash of creamy almond milk is the perfect compliment to fresh picked, sunshine ripened strawberries, still just a touch cool from the night dew.  A simple drizzle of beautiful liquid gold that is honey straight from comb, fresh, homestead made almond milk, generously rounding out the celebratory cup.

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A bottle of wildflowers picked in love by a child’ s hand, and a well-loved through the years table to hold and support it all.

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The embrace of a flowering tree to gently encourage those who rest beneath branches, enabling a view of the gardens and all the life they hold within.

the goodness of the earth..

 

Raw, honest, heart-felt conversation filled with love and support that only kindred souls can speak and provide.

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And of course, a few homestead hens to join in the celebration, offering their own form of love and support.

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These are the makings of a breakfast picnic.

Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter

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Nut and seed butters can be a tasty treat and a healthful addition to a nourishing diet.  Full of good for heart and soul oils, fats, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and proteins, they not only taste lovely, they are deeply satisfying.  Store-bought versions can be laced with copious amounts of refined sugars, preservatives, and additives, as well as expensive to purchase.  Making them at home allows you the freedom and creativity to choose what goes into your butter, and what does not.  The process is simple, straightforward, and easy to incorporate into your kitchen routine.

Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter

4 c. Organic raw sunflower seeds

2-3 T.  Coconut Cream Concentrate

2 T.  Raw Honey, or to desired sweetness

*taste freely & adjust accordingly

Sea salt, or Redmond Real Salt to taste

*I used approx. 1/2 t. Redmond Real Salt

 

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Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Place raw sunflower seeds on two baking sheets to create a thin, even layer.  Gently roast seeds for approx. 20 min. (Oven times may vary),  Stir every 5 minutes to achieve a nice even roast.  Roast until golden.

Remove from oven let rest 5 min.

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Scoop still warm sunflower seeds, and the salt of your choosing, into the food processor.  Process for 5 min. Or until seeds resemble dry flour.

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Add coconut cream concentrate 1 Tablespoon at a time, to adjust for the level of naturally occuring oils within the sunflower seeds, process for another 3-5 min. Adding more coconut cream concentrate to achieve the level of creaminess you desire.  At this point you should have a creamy looking seed butter within your processor.

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Add raw honey and continue to process for 2-3 min., or until the level of creaminess you adore is achieved.

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Enjoy on fresh fruit, bread, or any of your favorite ways to experience your beautiful homemade sunflower seed butter.

Eat with joy!

 

 

A Simple Beautiful Life

Perhaps it is the way the morning mist gently gave way to softly nudging light through the windows this morning that makes me pause reflective before diving into the week.  It is the quiet of the morning hours as I watch chickens dutifully and tirelessly comb the lawn and gardens for tasty intruders, that I am reminded perhaps more so, reawakened, to the stirrings in my heart to live a simple, beautiful life.

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A life filled with more, not less of what my soul seeks.  Of quiet abundance, gentle moments spent together, not apart.  Of beauty, of seeing and opening to the gifts of gardens, field, and forest.  A life with less striving, less worrying, and more of being present, embracing the moment with open heart and mind.

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A life with the music of children ringing bright under night skies around marshmallow sticky bonfires, with fireflies’ lighting glow around the edges of  evening.   A life of quiet moments and relaxing sips of a mellow wine from jelly jars with the man I love. Whispers and gentle stolen kisses under moonlight, as we traipse unencumbered, hand in hand, to close up chicken coops for the day.

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A life filled with beautiful, heirloom, homegrown food, wonderful friends, family, and the sharing of it all.  I long for the lingering over wine, after an artisanaly prepared feast laced with what is abundant in the garden each season.  Beautiful conversation and connection built slowly and shared freely over food and wine.  A celebration of a simple, beautiful life.

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A life lived in simple celebration of the beauty and gift of each day.

 

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It is in this spirit that I share with you an opportunity to slow, to stop and breathe, to become, at the very least, completely enveloped in the task at hand.  To revel in beauty, to pursue the simple, to embrace a joyous, creative spirit in each moment, and experience life more fully. Deeply connecting to what is, and being contented in faith about what is to come.

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I lovingly borrowed this idea from a Real Simple magazine I perused in the orthodontics office while waiting for my boys.  I love the simplicity of it, as it fully envelops my need for creativity, slowing, gathering and celebrating the beauty around me.

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Medicinal Properties of Wild Strawberries 

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Many of the foods we eat are medicinal.  It is my belief that Food is Medicine.  Every bite and swallow that we imbibe in either nourishes and strengthens the body, mind, and spirit, or in the case of processed, industrialized, or junk food, it harms, depletes, and overloads the body’s systems.  Wild and foraged food, if found in a pure, natural environment contain the highest amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants readily absorbed by our human bodies and those of the animals that we raise on our homesteads.

(I refrain from using the word “farm” or “farmstead” because the modernized, mechanized way of doing things has changed the way food is grown on most farms today.  It is my experience that those who choose to homestead, or classify their ideals as homesteaders, adhere to a much more natural, holistic view of growing and raising food).

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Heirloom seeds bridge the gap between wild & foraged and cultivated.  Heirloom plants are able to maintain their high nutritive value as they are the seed that has been curated and saved for countless generations, all being traced back, if you look far enough into their history, to indigenous and native peoples, before the modernized industrial food systems were introduced after the end of World War Two.

Hybrid seed and plants cannot do this.  They were developed for seed companies to market to heirloom growers and homesteaders, as a new modern variety, available only through their company.  You could not save the seed from these plants as they were engineered to last only for that season, so that you would have to buy more seed from the company for the following year’s crop.  This model exploded the use of mail-order seed catalogs and made a very profitable business for a few folks, at the expense of the nutrition and health of the plants as well as the fruit and vegetables that they bore.  This has directly impacted the nutrition of both us as the consumers of these fruits and vegetables and the animals that we raise.

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On our homestead we are becoming more aware and educated about the value of wild & foraged foods.  I grew up foraging for berries to make homemade jellies, jams, and a little country wine, and we have also added wild mushrooms, chaga, dandelions, greens, and herbs to our repritoire.  I am excited to learn more each season about the wild foodstuffs and medicines that grow native to our region, and also in our fields and forests of our own homestead.

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Enter the Wild Strawberry.

I always knew I loved freshly picked strawberries, but never paused to consider the “Medicinal” qualities of both the leaves of the plant and the fruit.  David and I always find joy in looking for wild strawberries.  They grow thick in our front pasture  and amongst some of our wooded areas.  Foraging for wild strawberries is much like a treasure hunt as they are very tiny little berries, (about the size of my pinky fingernail), with big, bold flavor that will knock your socks off, and make your eyes widen with delight!  I find it amazing how nature has packed so much power into such a tiny package.

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Common Herbs for Natural Health by Juliette de Bairacli Levy describes Wild Strawberries as being high in minerals, antiseptic, cooling, strengthening, healing, and a mild vermifuge (anti-parasitic).  They were utilized extensively by Native Americans.  Beyond the fruit, the leaves and root of the plant are also medicinal, administered as a tea for fever, to thin blood, treat lowered vitality, feeble nerves, a lack of appetite, bowel and stomach disorders, liver diseases, and undue sweating.  The leaves were also utilized in treating and preventing miscarriage, and bringing  balance to irregular menstration.

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The fruit of the plant, the berry, is a powerful nerve tonic.  It is thought to soothe and strengthen the nerves.  Wild Strawberries are higher in iron than those that are cultivated, and therefore an important part of a foraged, seasonal plant-based diet.  The leaves can  be eaten raw, a handful per day, and are great tossed in with salad.  With Wild Strawberries’ strengthening, cleansing, and antiseptic qualities, one can understand why they would be an important part of a seasonal, traditional diet, to cleanse, rebuild, and strengthen the body after a long winter.

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Externally, Wild Strawberries have wonderful antiseptic qualities.  The fruit may be used as a cleanser and brightener for teeth and facial applications.  The drawing power of the fruit whitens teeth and lightens dark spots, discoloration, and blemishes in the skin.   The leaves, when brewed into a tea, can be used as a soothing and healing lotion for eczema, sore/tired eyes, and styes surrounding the eyes and the lids.

Wild Strawberries pack a powerful punch for such a dainty little package.  I plan to utilize the medicinal properties of the plant and fruit much more readily now that I understand what a powerful herbal ally they really are.  I would imagine that my organically grown heirloom descendants out in the garden still retain at least trace amounts of these properties.  It is no wonder they are so good!!!!

Strawberry Almond Milk

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Oh my Heavens!!!!!!

I wanted to give you a quick little update on the Strawberry Almond Milk Recipe I have anxiously been saving with a bookmark here on the homestead, until my strawberry patch was bountiful.

All I can say is,

“RUN, DON’T WALK TO THE KITCHEN AND GET YOUR ALMONDS SOAKING!!!!!!!!”  

IT IS THAT GOOD!!!!

Seriously though, Strawberry Almond Milk is everything I dreamed it would be.  Smooth, creamy, dreamy strawberry-ness, with a kiss of sweet, mmmmmmm.  The boys loved it.  My hardworkin’ hubby thought it was divine.  The beautiful pink tint is a colorful celebration of all that is good and lovely.

I made it pretty much to the recipe, using our homemade maple syrup to taste, a splash of vanilla, and a tich more strawberries than the recommended fifteen.  Oh, let’s say about 20.  My homegrown strawberries are not as big as the store-bought hybrids, so if you are not sure, I always say more is more.  And in this case it truly was.

And just in case you have not made your own artisanal almond milk at home yet, here is the link to my post on making almond milk in your own kitchen.  Yes, it is worth it.  Yes, you are worth it.  No, it doesn’t take a ton of time and energy.  Go for it, you will have no regrets, other than not having made it before.  Ditch the store-bought stuff, it’s not worth the time and energy invested, it is full of fillers, and preservatives, and minimal nutritional value.  Homemade is good.  It is worth it.  You are worth it.

And Amen.
P.S.  I just noticed at the bottom of the Strawberry Almond Milk Recipe is says:  Prep time 60 min.  Don’t let that scare you away.  I’m not sure what is being included in prep time here, but it takes me nowhere near 60 min to make almond milk.  Try 10 min.  Or less.  In the morning when it’ s ready to blend, and it takes me about 3o seconds to get the almonds soaking the night before.  Much less time than going to the store to buy some!

It’s Strawberry Season!

It’s official!  Strawberry Season on the homestead is here!!!  We have picked our first bright juicy fruits from the patch that are bursting with taste-bud party inducing flavor.  All of a sudden it feels like summer.  Nothing tastes more like summer than a sunshine-warm strawberry picked straight from the plant and popped directly onto your tongue.

 

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There are so many ways I love to eat strawberries, most of them simple to celebrate the taste that is uniquely strawberry.  I love them fresh-picked, of course, but also simply quartered with a splash of keifer, or homemade almond milk.  Toasted almonds also top this beautiful little dish perfectly.  Makes a perfect summer breakfast.

Another of our family’s favorite way to enjoy strawberries is to muddle them with some chopped chocolate mint, and just a sprinkle of maple sugar to marry the herb and berry.  The boys LOVE this over a humble dish of homemade vanilla ice cream.  YUM!

 

Simple Goodness

Making Raw Strawberry Jam is my favorite preservation technique for strawberries on the homestead.  Preserving them in this way, allows you to maintain the most abudant nutrients available in the berry, rather than making a cooked jam.  Opening a jar on a cold, blustery January morning, takes the sting out of the winter blues.  See my recipe for my homemade jam here.

 

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I have been holding onto this recipe for Strawberry Almond Milk waiting for my berries to be in season.  It looks soooo yummy!  I am soaking almonds tonight for a breakfast treat tomorrow!!!!  I can’t wait for the sweet, creamy goodness!

What a beautiful way to start the day!  

 

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