Zero Waste Recipe – Ketchup

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Hi there world, I have resurfaced long enough to try a little experiment in my search to consume less plastic.  I do plan to post a little more often now than I did over the winter!

ketchup

One of the advantages of eating a Primal diet is that a lot less of my food is packaged now than when I ate a more normal diet.  At the moment I cannot find meat or dairy products in non-plastic packaging, so I don’t worry too much about it, but I have been bothered by the waste in the condiment bottles I buy.  Those seem less essential and for months I’ve been telling myself I needed to just learn how to make them myself, thus eliminating not only the plastic bottles that might be around for thousands of years, but also the plastic chemicals (BPA, etc.) seeping into my food and disrupting my body’s hormones.

I finally managed to make a somewhat simplified version of Jamie Oliver’s ketchup recipe the other day and, as usual with these things, it took even less time than I expected.

It was a fun, quick project.  Next time I will put in half the sugar, though, because it was definitely too sweet.

In terms of money, 2 pounds of tomatoes at $1.49 a pound, some brown sugar, and the various spices/herbs come out to a little over $3.00 for enough ketchup to fill maybe two thirds of my normal ketchup bottle.  The 36 ounce bottle usually costs me about $3.49 at the store, so making it myself doesn’t really save me money.  I do plan to keep doing it, though, because it’s better on the health front, quite easy, and maybe after tweaking recipes for 20 years I’ll come up with a recipe that everyone wants but that I keep secret until bequeathing it to my ancestors at death!  Or something 🙂

Y Girl

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Primal food recipe: Bone marrow

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This will be a whenever-I-feel-like-it series about what I have been eating the last few months or what I am experimenting with at the moment.  I have had unorthodox views about nutrition ever since my aunt sent us Nourishing Traditions shortly after it came out.  I remember reading it and being amazed by such a different way of looking at things.  I’ve been drinking raw milk for I think six years now and love it, I’ve tried making fermented vegetables and hate them, I’ve soaked my grains and liked it, cod liver oil got rid of a BAD depression quickly, and basically I’ve done a lot of experimenting.  It’s fun and I was the reason my entire family decided they love raw milk, so that was cool.  Now I am eating a paleo diet (NOT low carb), which mainly means no grains, no legumes, not a lot of nuts, and keeping track of my nutrition on Fitday to make sure I am getting enough of everything.

I’ll answer any questions you guys have about why I’m eating this way, but please do check out the people in my blogroll, who have tons of very thorough articles.  Basically, I am very surprised I have stuck with eating primal, I thought it would feel restricted and I would just try it for a month, but the diet just works for me.

I thought it would be fun to post some of my favorite recipes occasionally.  I like comfort food and admit to being way too fond of chocolate and sweet things, so if I recommend something as tasting good, I’m not kidding or being a crunchy “it’s healthy, so of COURSE it tastes good!” person.

Several years ago I tried bone marrow for the first time and I was really surprised at how good it was.  At the time I still ate wheat products and I used it as a spread on mayo, meat, cheese, and tomato sandwiches.  Oh boy, talk about delicious!  It’s easy to find and easy to prepare.  First, look for some beef or lamb soup bones.  You want bones that are more like this rather than the knuckle end.   The soft pink or grayish stuff in the middle is the marrow.  In fancy restaurants they will roast the bone and marrow whole, which does turn out nice.  It is rather nutty that way.

I usually scoop it out and put it in a bowl.  Then, if you want, you can soak it in cold water in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours and dump the water off after.  This way you get rid of the blood.  You don’t have to, but it does make the finished product a little better tasting.  These marrow bones I got from a local farmer right in my small town who produces 100% grassfed beef.  It’s amazing how pure grassfed products really taste – I have been eating liver regularly for quite a while now and you can really, really tell the difference between store-bought and grassfed.  Even the hamburger tastes extremely delicate and mild.

Once you are ready to cook, you can either:  Add it to eggs you are scrambling, melt it in a frying pan and use as a sauce over anything, or melt it and cool it and then slice it to add to whatever.  It goes especially well IMO with eggs, avocado, pork, cooked green veggies, tomatoes, and cheese.  I used to love it with hummus, but no longer eat hummus; oh well!  Do not overcook it.  If you are frying it, it is done as soon as it is liquid.  There will be some lumps, but that is okay.

Here I added it to scrambled eggs.  Sorry the photos are so obviously amateur, it was night and the light was bad when I realized I had already thawed the marrow a few days ago and needed to cook it immediately.

You can give the raw bone that is left over to your dog or cat (bones don’t splinter when raw and are great for teeth) or you can use it to make soup.

Anyway, this was a rather typical primal meal for me.   A banana, a whole avocado, five eggs scrambled with red bell pepper and a mix of greens, and some dates.  I recently started adding dates because they are really high in potassium and that, besides vitamin E, has been the hardest for me to reach my goal amount on.  As you can see, the marrow disappears into the rest of the food, but it makes everything taste richer.

Marrow is mostly fat, but it contains a lot of vitamin K, too.  It’s hard to find much nutrition info anywhere since it is such an overlooked food, but like kale you may want to be careful if you are on blood thinners, as it might change the composition of your blood.  I am not sure about this, since the types of K found in bones and veggies are slightly different, but just be aware of it.  Vitamin K is good for preventing osteoporosis and heart disease and marrow is one of the first things carnivores go for.  Eat it ’cause it’s good for you, but mostly eat it because it is a gastronomical delight that you should not miss out on!

Y Girl

Dollars and Cents

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I intend this to be an ongoing series of posts in which I will report how many pounds of food are produced and how much that would have cost to buy versus how much it cost to grow.  Or, if I do a project where I make something or find an alternative to buying some normal, plastic item, then I will calculate the costs of both options.  I know that I personally have always enjoyed reading actual numbers on any type of how-to project and it seems to be one of the things most missing in the permaculture/grassfarming type articles and books that I have read over the years.  I realize it’s kind of difficult when caught up in the flow of a busy summer season to stop and weigh the produce before eating it (my family always called peas “garden candy” because none of the pods ever made it inside the house to be cooked), but I think it will be very fascinating to see the stats.  So, I am going to make a real effort to keep track of every minute detail of the crops produced and money saved.

I am hoping to dehydrate some of what is produced, so before I dehydrate anything I will weigh it and then tell you the weight and size post-dehydration, too.  Oh, and I am thinking about making a solar dehydrator, even though there is one I could borrow.  It might be more fun, as well as cutting down on the plastic fumes my food is exposed to.  At least the good thing is that here in Cali we sure have great sun for dehydrating stuff!  It even makes me dehydrate the second I step outside.

I will eventually add up what it would have cost me to buy everything that my garden produced and we will see how much that comes to at the end of the year!

Y Girl