Welcome to May! Yes, I know it’s really the 2nd. I’m trying to stay caught up this week, but it isn’t easy. 🙂
We just finished our “DIY” month in April. In May, we’ll be doing a “Local” theme. It’s a great time, too — just when farmer’s markets are opening and produce is coming into season. Around here (Ohio) we’ll be enjoying lots of greens, asparagus, honey, and by the end of the month, strawberries. (I can’t wait for those strawberries!! We’ll take the whole family to go picking this year.)
Although I’m not always a fan of hot weather, I love summer for its bounty. I love enjoying each food as it comes into season, and we eat a lot of that food for as long as we can! My favorite is peaches, but I must wait until August for those!
In the meantime, I’ll enjoy what there is. Throughout this month, we’ll be talking all about local — local food, local activities, local everything. How to enjoy your summer (even on a budget), why supporting local is important, and more!
Seasonal Eating: Simply Summer
Today is Thursday, though, and if you’ve been around for any length of time, you know we almost always post a recipe on Thursdays. That’s gotten a bit mixed up over the last couple of months as we welcomed our new baby, Nathan (now almost two months! already!), and I had a series of excellent guest posters. Our normal “themes” didn’t always happen. That’s okay — we roll with life in the busy seasons.
Now, you are going to notice something really important when you watch the video: I screw it up. I warm the cream and cook the sugar syrup and mix it all together, then I try to whip it. While it’s hot.
Then, in slight panic mode (I don’t *think* that shows on the video…I hope not), I conclude that the cream was too sour to whip. Which is probably totally wrong. I was trying to come up with some explanation as to why it wouldn’t whip. (And yes…you can chill it and then run it through an ice cream maker, whip it properly, or freeze and stir periodically and it will work just fine.)And for the record…yes, I went back and whipped it with the mixer after it chilled properly. And it whipped fine. It DOES work, you just have to be smarter than I am.
Ultimately I just didn’t have a final product to show on the video. Awesome, right? Oh well — you still see how to do almost all of it.
Lemon Sherbet (from Simply Summer)
- 3 cups heavy cream
- Juice + zest of 4 lemons
- 1/2 c. water
- 1/2 c. organic sugar
Warm the cream to around 115 degrees. Mix the water and sugar together and cook until it reaches 238 degrees. Zest and juice the lemons. Mix the lemons and cream, then add the cooked sugar syrup slowly. Chill the mixture. (I forgot this essential step!) Whip it until fluffy and freeze, or pour through an ice cream maker. See video for additional details!
If you haven’t seen Simply Summer yet, it’s filled with delicious, seasonal recipes. There’s peach upside-down cake, bacon-wrapped chicken with Italian salsa, grilled shrimp salad, chicken spinach and strawberry salad, crock pot Mexican pork roast and beans, sweet onion poppy seed dressing, and lots more!
Seasonal Eating…and Healthy Recipes
Many people are not creative in the kitchen. I enjoy it; that’s why I write cookbooks! But, I have lots of friends and family members who say “Give me tried-and-true recipes. I don’t have the time or expertise to experiment and hope it works.”
I understand. In areas where I don’t feel so strong, I think the same thing!
That’s why I’d like to share a few more resources with you today, which can help you on your journey to eating a healthier, whole foods diet.
First, I want to talk about Money Saving Mom’s Freezer Cooking Guide. While I have to tell you this isn’t fully ” real food” (she uses white flour, unsoaked wheat, vegetable oil, and refined sugar — things like this), it’s a great starting point on the concept of making freezer meals, and a lot of recipes that could be easily adapted to real food. I know many of you are looking to save time on your cooking, and freezer cooking is a popular solution.
Second, there’s Crock On. This crockpot cookbook by Stacy Makes Cents is filled with mostly whole foods recipes. She does use a bit of canned corn and soy sauce, but many recipes are excellent as-is, even if you’re strict about real food. Others are adaptable. Stacy is practically the queen of crock pot cooking. It’s another great way to save time in the kitchen.
If you haven’t planned ahead and you need dinner on the table now, you should check out 20 Minute Meals. Again, it’s “whole foods” but occasionally uses an ingredient or two I wouldn’t choose. But the concept is simple — each meal takes 20 minutes or less to cook and serve. That’s great for those who aren’t yet into regular meal planning and need to be able to cook last-minute and still come up with a delicious and healthy meal.
If your kids are eager to come into the kitchen, like mine are, you’ll also find Real Food for Kids. This book teaches kids from ages 3 or 4 on up through adult to cook — simple tasks like learning to use a knife or measure ingredients to complex tasks like butterflying meat and preparing gourmet meals independently. It’s a great way to teach your children — and hey, yourself! — a love and skill for cooking.
There are so many more resources, including Jill, editor of Modern Alternative Kitchen’s Festive Traditions. This book is filled with delicious, mostly grain-free holiday dishes, like bacon-wrapped dates, apple cake with caramel sauce, crock pot beef stroganoff, and spinach-artichoke dip. It’s possible to celebrate with healthy food!
What’s your favorite seasonal ingredient or recipe?
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