Saturday, May 18, 2013

Revamping our Food Ways

For a while now {years}, I've been trying to figure out how to cook seasonally.
I didn't grow up doing that.
And its felt like an uphill challenge figuring it all out.
So sometimes I try and sometimes I just throw in the towel.

Recently thought,
 I've felt more serious about it, 
because I think it will be really good for Jasmine's digestive health, with her allergies and such. 
(Not that it won't be just as good for the rest of us.)

Initially I was totally overwhelmed by the idea of figuring out what I was doing.
There are so many things in the grocery store, its so hard to really know if its in season or not. (If -- like me-- you don't already know.)

But for the last two weeks we've gone to our Farmers Market here, and wow, does that ever make seasonal shopping a no brainer.

If its there, its in season.

So these last two weeks, we've just gone and bought some of what we see 
and then go home 
and google what to do with it.

Like today we bought collard greens and I have no idea what to do with those.
But 5 mins later I've read how to wash, pull the steams off properly and cut nicely.
And sometime this week I'll cook them up!

I'm liking this Farmer's Market thing!

Plus, you get to do fun stuff too! Like listen to Blues while sitting in sweet sunshine, letting the wind blow your hair, while you stare at your adorable little ones.
Win -Win!

Before we left this morning I cleaned out our fridge. 
I needed to realign our shelves so I could fit our new half gallon canning jars on top.
I'm mainly using them to hold our non-dairy milks I make for Jasmine.
But I'm also using them for culturing Kiefer Water. (But that happens outside the Fridge.)

I'm LOVING how cute these things are.
I ran out of room for them in our cabinets, so I just set the extras on top when I'm not using them and they look adorable!

The Fridge looked so nice I had to take a picture.
(Because it never looks like this!)
Then I thought, you know, I bet we have some stuff in here that would be interesting, since its stuff I've never heard of till the dairy allergies. 
So I thought I'd tell you some of what we've got going on.
1. I don't know the right way to store Asparagus, so I thought this would work, and it looks cute. :)

2. Homemade Coconut Milk. Its really easy to make. (I think I do a post sometime) And I think its delicious! I have a hard time not hogging it all!

3. Our washed and prepped veggies from the Market. (Carrots, Kale, Collard Greens.)
The white stuff up high, behind the green, it is the left over solids from making coconut milk. (I'm gonna try and bake some cookies or something with it.)
Behind the greens - that yellowy stuff, you can hardly see, that's vegan Mac & Cheeze (fake cheese)

4. Nutritional Yeast. That's the key to most vegan "cheese." It looks like instant mashed potatoes that are really yellow. That or, yellow fish food. :) (Here's a great explanation of it.)

5. We are trying Farm Fresh Eggs this week from the Market.

6. Short grain brown rice. This stuff is soo much more delicious than long grain brown rice. Its sweeter and a bit sticky. I use it to make our rice milk. (Its supposed to be the best kind for rice milk -- but I still can't convience Jasmine homemade is as good as store bought.)
But we generally all love to eat this rice.
Its harder to find in stores. We get ours in bulk at a local co-op.

7. JUICE -- the only thing Jasmine wants to ingest all day long! Sheesh!

8. Two gallons of milk, because we like to make our own greek yogurt. (Sadly, I've been really slow to make any lately so poor Blake is dying for me to get on that!) 

( I should mention, we need to grocery shop soon. There is no meat in there!)

Here is our Kiefer water juice!
Kiefer water is cultured sugar water. 
So it has probiotics in it, the way yogurt does.

I'm wanting Jasmine to get lots of probiotics to make sure her gut is healthy. 
(And it is harder to do when you can have dairy. But she can have coconut yogurt. So that's good.)

Anyway I like how Kiefer Water Juice tastes. 
It smells yeasty. (It's a healthy mix of yeast and bacteria in there.) 
It kinda smells a bit like beer, but there is less alcohol in it than there is in juice.  So its totally kid appropriate.
You can also do Kiefer milk, if you don't have dairy issues.

The bottle on the left is empty right now. (I'm about to refill it when I start our next batch.)
The middle one is Kiefer Water plus some apple juice.
Jasmine loves when I use these bottles to fill her juice cup -- I think she feels fancy. I know I do, when I pop these babies open.
The small jar is plain kiefer water. (I made a big batch once and ran out of space.)

So that's my short and random tour of our fridge and food life right now.
Its totally new to me.
And I'm starting to see it as exciting!
I'm starting to look forward to random things as an actual adventure -- not drudgery!
We ordered a new blender and it should be showing up this next week.
So I'm really excited to start doing even more with its help!

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