Nutritious, Traditional Food: Homemade Baby Formula Part 1

Originally posted August 2013

I want to do a series on traditionally prepared, nutritious foods.  We have dating apps in chicago, as many of you know, in an effort to heal our son’s reflux and gut issues.  Below is a little background on what happened with my now 7 year old (though leaving out a lot of details, not to mention the cost comparison of medicines and formulas vs homemade). 

Obviously, I am in no way a medical professional and am NOT giving you medical or health care advice.  I am offering you information and what you do with it is up to you.  

Mister had terrible reflux, was on Nutramigen baby formula (it is an elemental formula in which the dairy is broken down as much as possible) for dairy protein allergy, and overall his gut was a mess.  I nursed and pumped as long a I could (while doing a dairy free diet myself, for his sake) but Mister refused to nurse after 6 months; I continued to pump but after a month lost my supply.

If you have read anything about traditional foods, or traditional nutrition, you have read that the “gut” is the most vital part of the body- it produces enzymes that affect every single aspect of your body functioning properly, along with so much more we have learned in the last 10 years.

From using hormones to absorbing vitamins and minerals, the condition of your gut determines your overall health.  Period.  (see the bottom of this article for links and resources regarding gut health)

So, here are a list of the ingredients in a can of Nutramigen:

That is a picture taken straight from a can of baby formula in my pantry.  I have no idea why I still have this can.  Maybe it reminds me of how far we have come in just 4 short months.

Can you pronounce any of those words easily?  Do you know what many of those ingredients are?

They aren’t natural.  They are not God made and nature grown.

Ingredients on a package are in order of amount found in that product.  Corn syrup solids are the majority of what is makes up most general baby formulas.

Corn syrups solids are a genetically modified organism (GMO), made from corn and are basically SUGAR.  A crappy, non-nutritional, HIGHLY processed chemical food product.

I can’t even call it a food, because it isn’t.

Corn syrup solids interfere with a hormone which tells your body “hey, you’re full!  Stop eating!”  Therefore you eat more (that’s pretty convenient for food corporations…).

Corn syrup or some form of it is found in almost anything in a package or box.  It is much healthier to find a real food recipe version of your favorite boxed foods and cook them at home.

Check out this link from Dr. Mark Hyman on 5 Reasons Why High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You.

None of those ingredients aid in the health of the gut, body, or absorption of nutrients.  Do babies everywhere survive on that can?  Yes, they do. Do they possibly have unforeseen health complications later in life?  Yes.

Many of those ingredients have been linked to health problems, especially the highly processed High Fructose Corn Syrup, and vegetable oils in that can.  *ick*  I seriously can’t imagine making meals out of that stuff.

So, I did research.  I read.  I bought Nourishing Traditions Cookbook.  FYI- that is a link to the cookbook on Amazon.  

I love it so much I took it to Kinkos and had the covers laminated, and the binding spiral bound so I can lay it flat and it makes it easier to flip through 700 pages.

In the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, there are recipes for baby formula (it is also found on Weston A Price website).  One uses raw milk or goats milk, which with a dairy protein allergy Max cannot have. *for baby #4 in 2016, I did make the goat milk formula for our baby and it worked well. We will do it again for Baby #5 if necessary

The other uses liver and bone broth.  *ding ding ding*

So, I went back to searching for organic grassfed beef bones for stock and liver, and all the ingredients I needed for the formula.  After I found them all, we decided to dive in and do it!

I began weaning him onto the meat-based formula the week we left for a trip in June.  I made up a few batches, froze them, and took them with us.  By the time we got home he was on the homemade formula full time, in addition to his solids.

No more nutrient void commercial formula.

A few chiropractor visits later, and Max is no longer on medication.  His gut is healed- thanks to that bone broth and it’s mineral producing gelatin, no doubt.  The chiropractor also did work on his gut, you can read about that here.  (Google the importance on bone broth in your diet). **This was all pre-the big bone broth craze of paleo and keto fads. But doesn’t change the fact that it is affective.

Gosh, it really brings me to tears writing this out.

His belly is healed.  He occasionally spits up, but usually only when I get his bottle too warm, or he gulps it down.

Oddly, after I started Max on the homemade formula, he became a new baby in many ways.  He started napping better, was generally happier, and his development shot off.

He no longer has reflux, and there aren’t acid reflux stains on his bed sheets anymore.  Even on his medicines there were smelly, acidic stains on his sheets after a nap, or first thing in the morning, from refulx.

Traditional, WHOLE foods healed my son’s gut.

Not a medicine that masks symptoms.

Hard work and healthy food.

So, what is this homemade, meat-based baby formula recipe, you may be asking?
From Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, page 603 here it is:

3 3/4 cups homemade beef or chicken broth (recipe from page 122 or 124)
2 ounces organic liver
5 Tablespoon lactose
1 teaspoon infant probiotic
1/4 cup homemade liquid whey
1 Tablespoon organic coconut oil
1 teaspoon codliver oil (I use Green Pastures)
1 teaspoon UNrefined sunflower oil
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon acerola powder

Now, assume all those ingredients are from only the best sources and are organic.  Because anything you can get from Walmart probably isn’t the best quality ingredient. **In 2019, you can actually find a lot of organic foods and ingredients in Walmart and Kroger- yay!

I found mine at: http://www.radiantlifecatalog.com/ and I get my coconut oil from http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/

I use Weston A Price Foundation as a HUGE source of information and health related articles, along with Nourishing Traditions– it is so much more than a cookbook!  It is over 700 pages of wisdom, science, and traditional health information.

The point of this recipe is that all ingredients are natural, whole, raw sources of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients a baby needs-they can be easily absorbed and the body knows what to do with them.  They are not processed or found in a man made vitamin capsule.  (you can overdose on synthetic vitamins, but it is much harder to do so with natural sources because your body knows how to use them and rid of excess.)

I also want to include the breakdown of the nutritional analysis done by Sally Fallon and Weston A Price Foundation of breastmilk and these homemade formulas.  Obviously breast milk is BEST, provided the mother eats a nutritious diet, but some of us aren’t able to nurse or continue nursing.

This is a good alternative for my family:

Based on 36 ounces.
Breast Milk
Cow’s Milk
Formula
Goat Milk
Formula
Liver-Based
Formula
Calories
766
856
890
682
Protein
11.3g
18g
18g
15g
Carbohydrates
76g
79g
77g
69g
Total Fat
48g
52g
54g
36g
Saturated Fat
22g
28g
30g
16g
Mono Fat
18g
16g
16g
12g
Poly Fat
5.5g
5.6g
5.7g
5.6g
Omega-3 FA
.58g
1.3g
1.2g
1.0g
Omega-6 FA
4.4g
4.2g
4.4g
4.5g
Cholesterol
153mg
137mg
166mg
227mg
Vitamin A*
946IU
5000IU
5000IU
20,000IU
Thiamin-B1
.15mg
1.05mg
1.1mg
.19mg
Riboflavin-B2
.4mg
1.2mg
1.2mg
1.9mg
Niacin-B3
1.9mg
2.5mg
4.4mg
14.2mg
Vitamin B6
.12mg
.51mg
.60mg
.65mg
Vitamin B12
.5mcg
1.9mcg
2.8mcg
39mcg
Folate
57mcg
236mcg
284mcg
159mcg
Vitamin C
55mg
57mg
59mg
62mg
Vitamin D
480IU
450IU
525IU
460IU
Vitamin E***
9.9mg
6.2mg
4.7mg
4.9mg
Calcium
355mg
532mg
548mg
NA**
Copper
.57mg
.38mg
.58mg
1.9mg
Iron
.33mg
1.4mg
2.2mg
5.4mg
Magnesium
37.4mg
91.3mg
96.1mg
34.5mg
Manganese
.29mg
.034mg
.12mg
.24mg
Phosphorus
151mg
616mg
729mg
344mg
Potassium
560mg
949mg
1228mg
750mg
Selenium
18.8mcg
15.4mcg
18.7mcg
31.1mcg
Sodium
186mg
308mg
320mg
NA**
Zinc
1.9mg
2.8mg
2.7mg
2.5mg
* Vitamin A levels in human milk will depend on the diet of the mother. Nursing mothers eating vitamin A-rich foods such as cod liver oil will have much higher levels of vitamin A in their milk. Commercial formulas contain about 2400 IU vitamin A per 800 calories.
** Calcium and sodium values for homemade broth are not available.
*** Vitamin E values are derived from commercial vegetable oils. The vitamin E levels for homemade formulaswill be higher if good quality, expeller-expressed oils are used.

At first I was embarrassed and scared to tell people I made Mister’s formula. As in most things, when you go against the grain or do something differently that mainstream society, people think you’re a little wacky. In 2019, it can be easier for people to see the benefits of real, nutritious food for all stages of life, than it was even in 2013.

I am proud to say we worked hard, and we healed Max’s gut (and therefore damage caused by the commercial formulas and medicines we had tried).  He is healthy, growing, and gaining weight better than he ever did the first half of his first  year.

We are approaching his first birthday, and I am so thankful.

 READ PART 2 HERE

Articles on gut health:

 

Nutritious, Traditional Food How To: {Weston A. Price} Homemade Baby Formula Part 2

Originally posted October 2013
A few months back I left you with some information about the homemade, meat based baby formula we make at our home.
(Well, were making. Mister is almost 14 months old now, and we have weaned onto a coconut milk tonic. But I have read where many families used the homemade broth up to 2 years).

So, what is this homemade, meat-based baby formula recipe, you may be asking?

From Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon, page 603 here it is:

***Please see my previous post HERE for LOTS of details on this recipe, and where to find the ingredients.***


Here is my method for making this formula.

  • I first made my bone broth, either chicken in the crock pot, or beef bone broth in a huge stock pot.
  • Then collect all my ingredients and get out my measuring spoons for each.

 

  • Start the broth on a simmer for cooking the liver. Here is my simmering broth:
  • I slice the beef liver into strips and then cut it into about 1″ pieces so it cooks quickly.
  • Next, I add the organic, grassfed beef liver to the broth. I Simmer for a few minutes, or until it is no longer pink.
I know, it’s raw liver. That is pure, nutritious gold right there, y’all!
  • After it is cooked, I spoon out the liver and placed into the food processor. Then pour some of the liquid into the food processor with the liver. Puree it until it is liquefied (this will take some time- you’re liquefying a meat, so be patient! You need as much of the meat as you can get in the formula). *Be careful to let it cool some or you will have exploding beef liver juice flying all over your kitchen. Ask me how I know … Depending on how old your food processor is, you may need to upgrade to the Best Food Processor to ensure that you end up with a smooth paste. Outdated processors are great for chunky recipes and breadcrumbs, but with this recipe, you need a processor that will give you an even consistency.
  • Strain the liquefied liver through a mesh strainer into a bowl with the rest of the broth. **Liver has an entire strip of some kind gristle running through it. You need to strain this out, which is why I run mine through a strainer. The gristle DOES NOT liquefy. I have read other tutorials that fail to mention that … and then I wondered why it wouldn’t go through the nipple of Mister’s bottle. You must strain out the gristle. Okay. Got it? Strain the gristle….
My liver infused broth in a bowl, with some of my ingredients
  • Then I add in the amount of each ingredient the recipe calls for, and whisk it very well. I add the powdered ingredients first, so they can dissolve while it is warm. Then pour it into jars, using a wide mouth funnel for ease of filling the jars.
**Tips**
  • One batch makes about 36 ounces, which at 8 months was enough for one day for my son. I made this in triple and quadruple batches, so I didn’t have to make it every day. My understanding is it will last 5 days in the fridge just fine. Ours certainly did. Do what you think is best.
  • Shake it well before pouring each time. The fats (olive oil, coconut oil, and cod liver oil) in the formula will separate when chilled in the fridge, so shake, shake, shake. But be sure the lid is on nice and tight, or you will have a huge mess of beef liver baby formula all over your kitchen. Ask me how I know..

There you have it, how we make the homemade baby formula from Weston A Price and Nourishing Traditions.

This post may contain affiliate links.

Real Food Remedies for Cold and Flu Season

If you have a young brood at home, chances are you’re going to need to fight off ailments at some point. While most of these are acute and short lived, the odd one does require a visit to the doctor.

However, antibiotics and medication are prescribed less often today because of antibiotic resistance. There have been instances we saw the doctor and she told us to go home and rest, continue the remedies we were using, and let my kiddo fight it off over the next few days (advice I greatly appreciated). Always go to the doctor if symptoms are serious, but for more minor child ailments, take a look at these home remedies that could be beneficial!

Real Food Remedies for Cold and Flu Season

Ear Ache

Nearly every child will have an earache at some point-some are more prone than others. This can range from a mild dull ache with few other symptoms, to the ear being painful to the touch, hot and red, and accompanied by a fever and tiredness. Consider a honey and lemon warm water mixture if accompanied by a sore throat and ensure that your little rests. Seeing a doctor for tinnitus may be necessary; you can learn more about that here. Some olive oil drops may be prescribed. (We like using Wally’s Naturals.) We have found relief from ear aches using diluted Thieves and Purification essential oils on a cotton ball around the outside of the ear.

Common Cold

Colds can be picked up throughout the year, but particularly at the start of the school year and in the winter. We homeschool and the first week all the public school kids were back to school, we ended up with 2 colds in our home (germs are shared everywhere!). If your little returns home from church, the store, or school with a sore throat and congestion, make sure they get plenty of rest. A hot water bottle taken to bed can relieve chills and aches, along with a little homeopathy remedy like Cold Calm. We also like taking elderberry syrup.

For a sore throat, we love our homemade cough medicine, but an ice cold Vitamin C smoothie can offer relief when it hurts to swallow food. Our kids love my homemade smoothies (strawberries, ice, milk of your choice, baobab powder, and a dash of vanilla, maybe a little stevia).

A soup made from warm bone broth, with plenty of tender veggies to boost your little one’s immune system is a great dinner (or any meal). We like to drink it from a mason jar when we are fighting illness. It is a good immune supporter, and helps coat the gut (where most of our immune system lives) so we can get well faster. not to mention it is full of collagen and minerals!

Hayfever

In our home, hayfever is very real-there have been times when my son and I couldn’t breathe at all through our noses because of hayfever. If your child has a runny or swollen nose, is sneezing and has itchy eyes, hayfever can be to blame. Encourage them to stay hydrated, and try an allergy remedy like Borion’s Histaminum Hydrochloricum 6C.

My mother in law read changing the pillow case helps prevent laying and sleeping in the same pollen over and over-so changing pillowcases frequently, or rinsing off every night before bed in the shower (which may be difficult with very young ones). Also, a hypoallergenic pillowcase can be a good preventative. 

Being a parent is tough job- especially if your child is struggling with their health. Children tend to go through a period where they come down with every bug going around-and other times they’re healthy no matter what they come in contact with.

Try these home remedies at the onset of a rundown immune system.

 

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Homemade Cream Cheese and Whey (using kefir or yogurt)

I wrote this post before we knew our oldest had a dairy allergy- She is now 7 and still reacts to dairy. However, I absolutely *loved* making unique foods from our raw milk in the past. Maybe one day we can do it again, or try it with goat milk. =)
(2019 update- we now have our own goats and use raw goat milk without any protein problems like we have with cow dairy)
Homemade cream cheese and whey from raw milk yogurt
enjoying homemade-cream cheese filled strawberries
Would you like to make your own cream cheese and have homemade, raw whey to ferment foods with? (and sip on when you’re feeling run down? You can do that! All you need is:

 

 

You know … “curds and whey?” from the favorite childhood nursery rhyme? Yep- that is farmer’s cream cheese and whey!

For kefir cream cheese and whey you will need:

  • a jar of your kefir
  • a glass bowl
  • a white tea towel or a few layers of cheese cloth material
  • some way to hang your kefir above the bowl (I use a wooden spoon hanging from the cabinet by a rubber band)

1) lay your towel over your bowl
2) pour your kefir into the towel
3) pull the edges of the towel up until they are in a nice bunch at the top
4) use a big ole rubber band to tie the towel up to a wooden spoon that is hanging from your cabinet.
5) let the whey drip down into the bowl for 7+ hours. I let it go over night, or all day depending on what time I started…

After just a few minutes. see what I mean by hanging it up?

When you are done, you will have a tangy cream cheese in your cloth (that you can use for all sorts of recipes), and whey left in your bowl! Both will last weeks (6 or more for sure for the whey… the cream cheese doesn’t make it that long around our house!) in the fridge.

***Be sure when working with kefir grains that you don’t use metal. Metals can harm your grains, so you want a cheapo plastic mesh strainer, and preferably glass jars and bowls***

The cream cheese, or “farmer’s cheese” as a friend calls it, is really good if you add in a little powdered (ground up) sucanat, or sliced strawberries. You can use it for anything you use regular cream cheese for, and it is a probiotic! So good and nutritious for your gut.

You can also do the same thing with regular, plain, full fat store bought yogurt (look for Brown Cow and Stonyfield Farms brands- I have tried both and they were great). You could be experimental and try the Euro Cuisine YM80 Yogurt Maker. This way, you’ll know everything is fresh and made from scratch.

However, if you don’t want to make the kefir just yet, but want to try recipes that call for whey (and make homemade cream cheese) then I TOTALLY encourage you to use the store bought yogurt. It does need to be plain, full fat yogurt- no added sugars, sweeteners, or fruits- preferably organic and not ultra pasteurized.

You can use your whey to ferment foods, soak grains, and in place of milk in some recipes (like my favorite tortilla recipe by the Prairie Homestead).

A jar of whey

So, that’s how you make kefir cream cheese and whey!

What do you think? Easy enough?

If you have questions, please ask. If I don’t know the answer, I will direct you to someone that can help.

Traditional Foods: Making Milk Kefir with a Video (or two …)

This is a repost from 2013. We are still making kefir, using our goat milk and love our kefir cheese!

I wanted to explain how easy it is to make Kefir.  I read and read about doing it, but having a friend actually show me in her kitchen made it much less intimidating.

Kefir is like a tangy, drinkable yogurt.  It’s a probiotic, naturally cultured, enzyme containing yogurt-like dairy product that is amazing for smoothies, in place of yogurt for snack, can be used for soaking grains, and the list goes on.  You can also use it to get whey.

Did I mention it is delicious?  Especially with a little
Organic Sucanatand fruit on top?  =)

Lexie’s first time trying kefir- she LOVED it!

First, what you need to make kefir is some milk kefir grains

Kefir grains look like little cauliflower or tapioca grains, that turn milk into kefir!
You can have a wonderful friend give you some (because they multiply ….) or you can buy some dried kefir grains from Cultures for Health.  There are also some sold on Amazon
For about 2 teaspoons of grains, I use about 16 oz of milk.  We use raw milk from a local farm (raw milk is healthier and can actually aid in healing the gut because all the beneficial enzymes and bacteria have not been killed off via pasteurization), but any milk will work. (2019 update- we use our fresh, raw goat milk now.)
(Passionate Homemaking has a recipe for COCONUT MILK KEFIR!  I am so excited, because now I can make kefir for my little dairy allergy-havin’ Mister!  Yay)
OK, back to milk kefir.  There are two types of kefir grains: dairy and water.  Be sure you get dairy for the yogurt-like kefir.  (I want to try water kefir grains next!  But that comes after I master sourdough bread!)

So, you need:

  • milk
  • a jar
  • a coffee filter
  • a rubber band
  • kefir grains

1) Put your kefir grains in the jar

2) add the 2 cups or so of milk.

3). Cover with the coffee filter, secured by the rubber band, and let it sit for about 24 hours (24-36 hours is average. (the purpose of the filter is to keep bugs, namely fruit flies, out but still allow the fermentation process the air it needs.)

Leave the jar sitting on the counter to do its thing- try not to have it near fruit or other foods you have that are fermenting. You can also put it on top of the fridge or something, but I would forget it up there ….

The longer you leave it after 24 hours, the tangier and fizzier it becomes!  FUN!  And, if ever you leave it too long (which I have done) you just sorta scrape off the top layer of really thick stuff, and continue on like normal.

 

You can sorta see the whey starting to form “pockets” in there … that’s how you know it’s working!  Sometimes it will start at the top, other times at the bottom .. the grains sorta have a mind of their own.  =)
4) After 24 or so hours, simply pour the kefir into a plastic mesh strainer
over a bowl, so you can separate out the grains.5) When you are done, you will have your little grains in the strainer, and in the bowl you will have kefir!  Put your kefir in a jar and place in the fridge, or go ahead and use it.
6) Lastly, I take the grains and put them in a jar, add a little bit of the kefir I just made (this gets the good bacteria back in there and “boosts” the batch), and then pour in about 2 cups of milk, cover and do it all over again!

We like our kefir in smoothies, as a drinkable yogurt, and as “frozen treats,” (aka smoothie’s frozen into popsicle forms).  You can also flavor kefir in a second fermentation (like you would kombucha tea).  Learn more about that here: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/second-fermentation-milk-kefir

After they get acclimated to your milk (yes, I did just say that) they will do a great job turning the milk into kefir.

So, people joke about kefir grains being like pets … and they kinda are.

You have to keep them alive….  BUT HAVE NO FEAR!  They are so easy to keep alive.

If ever you want to take a break from making kefir, just put them in a jar or bowl, in the fridge and feed them milk every few days or so.  They need the sugars from the milk to stay alive.

They are a live organism, after all …
But with that kefir you can also make cream cheese and whey!  That post is coming soon!

Here is a 6 minute video (how embarrassing  …) on how I make kefir!

 

Traditional Food How To: Bone Broth {in the slow cooker}

I get lots of questions about how I make my bone broth.

I started out using a recipe from a book, but have adapted my own way of doing it since then.

Bone broth is FULL of nutrients that help heal the body and gut, & improve digestion.  Do a quick Google search for the benefits of bone broth, and you will see what I mean-gelatin, proteins, and nutrients dense, it is a favorite in our home.

Our family used it as the base of a homemade baby formula {and part 2 here} for our son with a dairy allergy, and a very messed up gut.  Every bit of me (and my husband) believes that bone broth helped heal our infant son’s gut, get him off medications, and get him healthy again, as an alternative to commercial formulas.  {I am not a doctor and what I write here is strictly my opinion, not medical fact}

We now give bone broth with a pinch of real salt during illnesses, cold season, and share with the dogs, chickens, and cats.

So if you want to replace the store bought “broths” and sodium in a square bullion cubes for a real, nutrient dense food, that is easy to make, keep reading!

  1. First, you have to get the bones by preparing a chicken, preferably from an organic grassfed chicken.  So, I make (an amazing) whole chicken in the crock pot or using my 9 Qt Le Crueset in the oven.
  2. Just cut up some carrots and onion, maybe some garlic, and any other veggies you like.
  3. I rub my chicken down with organic olive oil, Himalayan pink salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic.  But season yours however you like.
  4. Put your chicken in the crock pot (I start mine frozen so I cook it all day on low, but if yours is thawed 4-6 hours on low will probably cook it through nicely) BREAST SIDE DOWN, so it doesn’t dry out.
  5. Place your carrots and other vegetables in around the chicken.
  6. Add about 2 cups of water, and let it cook on low for 4-6 hours, or longer if frozen.
  7. About an hour before it is done, I flip it breast side up and season the breast really well.
  8. Pull the meat off the chicken bones and serve as you choose. (by itself, in soup, on pizza, in chicken salad, on a sandwich … the possibilities are endless.  And you can really make that meat stretch for some frugal meals!)

That is how you acquire your bones (and flavorful chicken for the week)!

{The great thing is, you can cook a chicken every week (say on Saturday, or Sunday), have chicken for recipes during the week (or freezer meals!), and make a new batch of bone broth every week for the freezer!}

Here is how you make (chicken) bone broth

You will need:

  • crockpot
  • water
  • aple cider vinegar
  • a fine mesh strainer (metal is better than plastic here, it is finer)
  • jars/plastic bags
  • funnel (not necessary but definitely helps the pouring process)

Your chicken has cooked and your house now smells good enough to attract passersby.  You have removed all the meat from your chicken, and are left with the bones, skin, etc.

  1. Place the bones back in the crock pot.
  2. Add a 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar.  This will draw the minerals out of the bones.
  3. Cover the bones with water, leaving 1 inch at the top.
  4. Turn the crockpot on low, and let simmer all night.  If you are feeling really froggy, in the morning add more water and let it go another 18- 24 hours.  I usually let mine go about 2 days in the crockpot.  This will cook those bones good!
  5. When the bones are done, use a big spoon to pull out the bigger, obvious bones.  Compost/trash them, or smash and feed to dogs/animals on the farm.
  6. Pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a big bowl
  7. Pour your strained broth into plastic bags or glass jars for freezing.
Before the broth is strained
remove the bones, fat, cartilage, etc from crock pot
**Tips**
  • Use a pastured chicken if you have a local source; we raise our own each year.
  • When putting your bones in the pot to cook, you can add in celery, carrots, onion … any vegetables you like (just like you did for the chicken meat).  They will only add flavor and nutrients!
  • When freezing in glass jars, be sure you are using wide mouth jars, and you stop at the fill line.  I never screw my lids on all the way until it is all the way frozen, because I lost an ENTIRE huge pot of {organic, grassfed} beef bone broth to my jars busting.  Talk about devastation.  So use the right jars and I’d suggest not sealing them air tight right away, because that liquid is going to expand up as it freezes and will need room to do so.
  • Make sure you freeze your broth in amounts you will use in a recipe.  Rarely will you use an entire gallon zip lock full of bone broth, unless you’re making a soup.  I freeze mine in pint and pint-and-a-half jars.  The pint-and-a-half jars are the COOLEST jars ever. and so versatile.
  • I also add chicken feet from our pastured chickens. Chicken feet are full of gelatin, which is a nutrient dense food when found naturally from organic sources.  This will absolutely improve any broth and make it gel so well! Bone broth done correctly should gel.
  • I suggest reading about the benefits of chicken feet in broth, because they far outweigh the weirdness of seeing chicken feet in your crockpot.  =)
I use my bone broth in any recipe that calls for broth, and add it when cooking brown rice and black beans.  Talk about FLAVOR (and nutrients!).
You can make delicious, from scratch soups like this.
Your family will thank you.
And drink every last drop from their bowls.
So there you have it- bone broth in the crockpot.  When you or someone in the family is feeling sick this winter, thaw a jar and have them drink it, or make them a soup with it.
It is truly a real, healing food.
Next time I will post how I make my bone broth from organic, grassfed beef.
Have you ever tried making bone broth?  If you try this method, let me know how it goes in the comments!

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil {Giveaway!}

I mention in many of my blog posts how much we love coconut oil.  However, not all coconut oil is created equal {by any means}.  Of course, using coconut oil is much better than refined oils; but we have found the highest quality of real-food coconut oil comes from Tropical Traditions.

They have a gold label coconut oil, which is the highest quality, and has a coconut flavor.  For cooking foods that I do NOT want coconut flavor, I use their expeller pressed coconut oil.  Expeller pressed oil will not have the coconut flavor.

My children take coconut oil by the spoon full.  We add it to smoothies, cook our eggs in it, and I replace it for butter in any recipe.  With Max’s dairy allergy, I know we can rely on coconut oil for his health and safety.  I trust Tropical Traditions, and the process by which they make coconut oil. {FYI: there is no such thing as “extra virgin” coconut oil.  When you see that on a jar of coconut oil, they are just trying to grab your attention, because everyone associates the best olive oil with “extra virgin” olive oil.}


We use so much Tropical Traditions coconut oil, I am saving to buy it in the gallon!  They run awesome sales  on all their products, which is when I jump on my purchase, so be sure to sign up for their sales alerts!


Win 1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!


Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 32 oz.
 
 
Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut Oil?
 
 
 
Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.
 

**The first mandatory entry for this giveaway is to subscribe to Tropical Traditions Sales Newsletter- trust me, even if you weren’t entering to win this giveaway, you would want to be subscribed to their newsletter!

It is full of wonderful information, and keeps you up to date on all their amazing sales (free shipping promotions, buy one get one free, etc).


Here is a video with many ways to use coconut oil.

 ***If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.  I did this on another blogger’s website, and received the book.  It is a nice, thick, very informative book about virgin coconut oil.  I have really enjoyed reading it.

 
Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
*Winner of the giveaway has 24 hours, from the time I email them, to reply before I move along to another winner.
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dairy Allergy Alternative for Weaning Baby: Coconut Milk Tonic

If you have a baby with dairy protein allergy and ready to wean from breastmilk or formula, you are probably looking for a healthy alternative to cow’s milk. 


We were in the same situation about two months ago; I tried reintroducing cow’s milk and the result was

Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Sally Fallon.

I am in no way a medical professional, and you should talk with your doctor before trying something new.  This is what has worked for our family.


I wasn’t happy with the amount of fats and nutrients in almond milk, rice milk, etc for a young baby.  


However, coconut milk is full of good fats and nutrition for babies (and adults).  So we use this recipe.  It is equal to cow’s milk in fat and calcium (per Eat Fat, Lose Fat):


1 can of whole fat Organic Coconut Milk

2 1/4 cups of water (preferably filtered with no chlorine, etc)
2 tablespoons of (organic) Grade B Maple Syrup or a pinch of stevia
1 tsp of vanilla extact
1 tsp of KAL Dolomite (calcium)

I have to label Max’s milk so JTom doesn’t grab it instead of our raw milk  =)

I heat all ingredients in a pot until the dolomite powder is dissolved, and then pour it into a glass jar and keep in the fridge.  I make this in double batches, and store it in a half gallon mason jar. Shake the jar well before pouring into bottle to warm up, the thick cream will separate from the rest of the milk when chilled.

**Where to get ingredients**
We purchase either Natural Value coconut milk in BPA free cans, or Native Forest organic coconut milk- depending on which is cheaper- through Amazon Prime.  So we can do subscribe and save and also get free 2/3 day shipping, which is very convenient.  However, I really watch the prices of the milk, because like right now, the organic milk is cheaper than the Natural Value brand.


** What to look for in natural, real ingredients**
Please do not use coconut milk in cartons- they contain very dangerous additives (although the carton may say the milk is organic, the actual ingredients are in fact NOT).  

“NO PRESERVATIVES”- no stabilizers, emulsifiers, whiteners, guar gum, and BPA free cans!
Natural Value brand of Coconut Milk
Ingredients: Coconut extract, water

   

Ingredients: Organic Maple Syrup- that’s IT!

Now, the dolomite powder can be stored in the pantry, but always always keep pure, organic, grade B maple syrup in the fridge or it will go bad! (because, you know.  It’s a real food with no additives)  And yes, it is pricey, but we just use it sparingly at our house.

Max LOVES this milk, and I feel good about giving it to him.  Again, I suggest doing your own research, and taking the recipe, and nutrition information (in the book Eat Fat, Lose Fat) and talk it over with your doctor because I am not a health care professional.  


But this is a pure, real food milk recipe for baby, and I feel is much safer than a chemical laden formula alternative for our baby with dairy allergies.

Max is gaining weight and developing great on this formula!

This post contains affiliate links.

Making Lacto-fermented Kraut

One of the first lacto-fermented foods I learned to make (with the help of a great friend here in York), was Kraut!

I love making it, and even better, I love eating it.

Even better than that, I love watching my babies (and husband) enjoy it!

So, I hope to share this easy recipe/method with you, so that you may try it for your family!

Lacto fermented foods aren’t like regularly pickled foods- they are raw so they still contain all their original nutrients (and then some).  They aren’t cooked or heated.  

Laccto-fermented foods are cultured with beneficial bacteria that help preserve it and make it more nutritious.  The foods retain their crispness and can be flavored in any number of ways by adding ingredients, such as garlic, spices, onion, fruit, etc.

And even better, they have added benefits for your health.

Some of those benefits include natural probiotics, increased vitamins, healthful enzymes and this natural process makes them more digestible.

On one of my favorite websites, The Nourishing Gourmet, she tells a little more about lacto-fermented foods-

“The health benefits of lacto-fermented fruits and vegetables are wonderful. I think we probably only know a small part of why they are so good for us. For example, unpasteurized sauerkraut and kimchi got a lot of buzz in recent years after some scientists found that birds fed kimchi or sauerkraut would often start recovering from the Avian Bird Flu!” 

Not to mention it tastes amazing!  It is way better than any store bought sauerkraut you have ever had (especially if you are like me and only eat sauerkraut on reuben sandwiches.)

Lacto-fermented foods are … fizzy.  They are tangy, have a little fizz from the natural carbonation that is created during the fermenting process, and they aid in real health.  

They date back to the ancient Romans, and are considered a “traditional” food.  To learn more about traditional foods, grab a copy of Nourishing Traditionsby Sally Falon.

I will add some great resources at the bottom of this post for your leisurely reading (because we all have SO much time for that ….) that I love.

This batch of kraut produced almost 2 half gallon jars, in the end.  I used:
  • 2 heads of green cabbage
  • 1 head of purple cabbage
  • 1-2 sweet white onions (the more onion the spicier the kraut will be- not hot spicey, but like “zingy” spicy)
  • 3+ carrots- I think I used a one pound bag of organic carrots, but we LOVE them in our kraut
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of Real Salt (not that stuff you buy in the grocery store, and not “sea.”
  • Pure (pink) Himalayan Saltis WONDERFUL!)
  • 3/4 cup of homemade whey (a link to making homemade whey coming soon!)
  • A big bowl for pounding the cabbage
  • A fermenting vessel of some sort

Below: chopping cabbage (this batch my food processor had some issues … so some was by hand and some was in the processor)




Into my (antique) crock it all goes-Here is a link to my Dream Crock



Everything in the crock- cabbage, carrots, onion, salt, and whey





This is a jar of Real Salt.  If your salt is WHITE, and isn’t pink/gray/brownish, it’s not Real Salt.
You need to get some of this:




Here is my whey




And my baby bug pounding the kraut





Still pounding before gymnastics  😉




There it is:




When your kraut is about ready to jar, there will be several inches of juices in the bowl with the cabbage- it can take quite a while (15+ minutes) to get all the liquid you will need.  

We use a meat tenderizer (which was at a friend’s house at the time of this batch) or a potato masher to pound the kraut to extract all the juices.  Something a little heavy and good for pounding will work.

Then you add the kraut to your jar/fermenting crock/or other fermenting vessel.
To do this, you add a heaping spoon or two of the cabbage/carrot mix, then press down with one of these:


And poor off the liquid that comes up back into the crock or bowl.  


Continue adding kraut, alternating pressing down with the tamper, and pouring off the liquid, until the kraut is about an inch or so below the neck of the jar.

Then spoon some of that liquid you’ve been pouring off, back on top of your kraut.  A safe measurement is covered by about an inch, but as long as it is covered it is safe.  It’s when the food is exposed to air (ie, not covered with the liquid) that you risk mold.)

This is the kraut just after it has been jarred.




And this is our kraut after a few days of fermenting.  It is now ready to be moved to cold storage where it will be good for 6 months, or a little more.  (If it lasts that long before we eat it all ….)

If you ferment in glass jars like these, you will need to burp your jars once a day to prevent all the pressure from building up.  Once they’re moved to the fridge the fermentation process slows down so you won’t need to burp as often, but it is a good idea to prevent explosions …  =)


Isn’t it pretty?  I love the purple color!



We put the kraut on hot dogs, burgers, eat it as a side, and I even eat it if my tummy doesn’t feel good, to help queasiness or upset stomach.  Those natural probiotics are great for your gut!  (remember disease begins in the gut, with the loss of good bacteria, enzymes, etc.).

Here are a few links to wonderful resources on traditional foods and lacto-fermented foods:
GNOWFLIGINS– “God’s natural, organic, whole foods, grown locally, in season”

Weston A. Price- lacto fermentation (Nourishing Traditions)

Nourishing Days

Deliciously Organic- the UNprocessed Kitchen

Simple Bites

Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Sally Fallon

It is Home

I haven’t just written a random post in a while. I used to sit up at night and write. But then reading blogs about preparing traditional food, infant reflux, and pinterest got in the way. 🙂


That Pinterest ….

But tonight (June 27) I can’t sleep, and I feel like writing.

When Jtom and I made this decision to move our family to Nebraska, we knew it would take time to meet new people. Over time, I didn’t know where the best place was to move the family, but once we settled here, I found that it was the best choice to make. Additionally, a friend of ours have moved to the Charlotte area of South Carolina. Before she left, she would always look into finding charlotte home builders and I never knew why until she finally revealed her plans. Change for us both has come at the right time I think. It would take time to find the right groups of friends, the right church home, and the right children for Lexie and Max to befriend for themselves. Plus since its so cold in Nebraska it would be a good idea to have someone similar to air conditioner repair passaic nj so we can keep our home a lovely temperature.

We also knew that we wanted to start buying food in bulk to save money, since we would now have the room to store it. We wanted him to get to hunt more, so we would have wild game for eating. We wanted to raise chickens again, so we can have fresh eggs, which we all miss terribly! Oh my goodness, there is nothing like gathering eggs in the afternoon for breakfast the next day. (Or even better, dinner that night).

Well, maybe milking my own cow would be a very close second …

Ah dreams. They’re really not too far away, with as quickly as time goes by, maybe 5-10 more years?

But when we came to York we put a few things on the back burner for the first month or so. We needed to get settled in our new home. A large part of this involved finding a more affordable energy policy. Our electricity bills have always been high but they did seem to jump when our baby was born. Fortunately we managed to find a more affordable policy by browsing electricity comparison websites like Home Energy Club. Using their website made it easy to compare different energy providers such as TriEagle Energy to find the best power solution for us. Things all worked out in the end though and we are much better off now. In addition, JTom needed to continue learning his new job. Lexie needed to understand this was our new home (which she did with great ease), and learn about our community. Settling in to a new home can be very difficult, especially for children. With this in mind, if you and your family are considering relocating to somewhere like trappers crossing, you should consider how hard this may initially be for your kids.

We began by going to story time at the library. There I met a wonderful lady who has two daughters of her own. She told me about their church, and was completely open and honest with me about anything I had questions about- the church, the town, etc. She gave me names and phone numbers to other women in the community. She connected me with a salon to get mine and Lexies hair cut- which turned into me meeting two wonderful ladies that were so gracious- she gave me an entire list of reliable babysitters in case I needed someone.


A short month or two after we moved (and I after I met that mama at story time), we began visiting churches. And through doing this we have met very nice families with small children. We still haven’t found our church home. I suggested a few weeks ago, that maybe we need to travel outside of York to look. We would much rather find one here, in our own community, but we need to be open to everything. At one of the churches we visited in town, there were many familiar faces from the library.

Then, one night I exclaimed to J.tom, “I’m going to make Max’s baby formula!” His reply was something like, “oh. my. gosh. *insert eye roll* that’s great. how much is it going to cost me?”. Haha- the funny part here, is that he was kidding. The commercial formula max was on was already costing about $150 a month.

Upon hearing the ingredients, JTom was on board, and was quick to assure me that it was a great idea and much better than the commercial stuff that is full of toxins, corn syrup solids (whaaat?!) and GMO foods. Okay, okay, that’s another post…

In my efforts to heal Max’s reflux and the damaged it has caused to his gut and esophagus, we visited the chiropractor (see this post). Not only was he a very kind, understanding doctor with amazing “bedside manner” with my children, he asked what else he could help us with- Did we need any resources or contacts for anything?

He genuinely wanted to help our family.

I told him about wanting to make Max’s baby formula, using the Weston A. Price recipe, and explained I had no experience in any of it, despite all my research, and told him what ingredients I would need and which ones I couldn’t find.

Not only did he fully support our wanting to make homemade baby formula, but he gave me the name and number to another (amazingly kind and generous) lady who was very well educated in Weston A Price. The chiropractor mentioned her husband is a veterinarian here in town; it just so happened we needed to board Scarlet while we traveled to visit family. (And his clinic was one a co-worker had mentioned to JTom.). Small world. Err…. Town.

A few days later I contacted Dr C’s source. A few days after that she came to my home, shared her resources, knowledge, and homemade whey, and other ingredients I needed for our baby formula.

She was so kind.


A week later, we have placed orders with Azure Standard for our organic, whole bulk foods, received the organic grassfed beef through the Nebraska Food Cooperative, and found our raw milk at a local family farm!

Talk about blessed.

I know this is long and drawn out. But there is a reason.

When J.Tom and I talked about how everything would take time- making our house a home, finding a church, meeting friends and other families we want our children to be around, etc. we also acknowledged that everything would happen in God’s time.

We knew it may be weeks, or it could be months before things all fell into place.

After almost 3 months of a cold, hard winter, in a new town, with no familiar faces to interact with, God sent us at least 6 people I can think of off the top of my head, that if Jtom were gone and I needed something, I would feel 100% comfortable calling them. Complete strangers gave me their phone numbers after meeting us one time.

Blessed.

We had faith, that if we put forth the effort and prayed about it, God would place in our lives the people that needed to be there.

I really, entruly believe that is what has happened.

In our journey to simplify, become healthier, get closer to Him, and heal our son, we have already found this amazing support system of like minded, Christian families.

I know small towns get a bad rep. We were told, “people move away from Nebraska, not to it.”

But in this move, which many people thought was a wrong decision, we have found so many blessings.

For that, I am truly thankful.

It is amazing how here is now home. During our travels to visit family, we were both longing to be back home, in York, after only a few days away.

Its small. And it is windy. In the winter it is cold. And in the spring the wind will blow you over. But York has an amazing community.

It is where our family is.

It is home.

Almost back home!

error: Content is protected !!
Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On InstagramVisit Us On PinterestCheck Our Feed