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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Dehydrating Pineapple

     


     We love dehydrated pineapple at our house.  Unlike store bought dried pineapple, when you make it at home from fresh pineapple is so much more flavorful.  Also, when you make it at home you know what you are getting...dried delicious fruit.  Store bought has added sugar and preservatives...yuck!

     I used to "can" everything but once I discovered dehydrating, I can a lot less often and dehydrate more and more.  Dehydrating takes less time; is not as complicated; and the items take up a fraction of the room.  Food lasts a long time this way and is really yummy too. 

       The very first thing you need to do is slice the top off of your pineapple(s).  Now, cut off the sides of the pineapple.





   Don't worry about the little brown "eyes" or the rest.  Once all the sides are cut off, just carefully cut them out.  I do not use a "pineapple cutter" or anything fancy.  I use a regular cutting board and one of my kitchen knives.  They do a fantastic job with minimal pineapple flesh waste. 

         Once the top and sides are removed, I cut off the bottom of the pineapple.  Now you can start slicing the pineapple up.  Be sure to cut out the center part of the pineapple.  It is almost like the core of an apple except on a pineapple, the center has a woody type center and is not very tasty so we throw this part out.

      Once I have all the slices, I generally cut it up into small chunks.  Then lie all the pieces onto your dehydrator trays.



     Place all the trays in the dehydrator and set it for 135 degrees and start it.  It takes about 12 hours for the fruit to be ready.  It is so good and makes a great treat.  Kids and adults all love them because they are almost like candy.  We also throw it into trail mix; our morning cereal or oatmeal; or even into baked desserts. 



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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Dehydrating Kiwis

      Dehydrating is a great way to preserve the harvest.  When you dehydrate foods, they shrink down in size and you can store a lot more in a very small amount of space.  Dehydrating preserves the vitamin content and allows items to last for a long time too.  You can rehydrate them and use them as you would any fresh kiwi.  Toss dehydrated kiwis into trail mix, oatmeal or just eat them as a healthy snack.  Or you can soak the kiwi in boiling water for about 15 minutes and then add them to cakes or other desserts.  Also, did you know that Kiwis have more Vitamin C than even an orange?!  Healthy and delicious!

how to dehydrate kiwis, dried kiwi,




    To dehydrate the kiwi, just take & peel each kiwi.  Slice thin and lay out on the dehydrator trays.

how to dehydrate kiwis, dried kiwi,
Sliced kiwi...I use a mandolin to slice them.


     Turn on your dehydrator to 145 degrees and let it run for about 4-6 hours.  The kiwis are done and ready to store when they are bendable and a bit chewy.  Store in baggies or mason jars like we do.

how to dehydrate kiwis, dried kiwi,
The dehydrated kiwi.






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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter

   Happy Easter everyone and I hope your day is blessed.

Happy Easter


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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Baby Goat...

   Today at noon, Contessa gave birth to a female and we named her "Carrie Ann".  Contessa was our 2nd goat we got on our homestead.  We got her when she was just 3 weeks old and had rescued her for a large nearby dairy barn.  One of their turkeys had pecked out her eye and with them having so many goats to care for, they couldn't care for her.  We took her (nearly 2 years ago) and have raised her and loved her ever since.  She is half Saanen and half nubian.  Her mate is Casper and he was our first goat here. We purchased him from that same dairy goat farm about 2 weeks prior to taking in Contessa when he was just 3 weeks old too.  Loved bottle feeding the two of them.  Casper is a full blooded Saanen.  Anyway, we bred the two of them together and today baby Carrie Ann was born and we are thrilled.

baby goats, Saanen goats, farm life,
Casper as a baby.
baby goats, Saanen goats, farm life,
Casper & Contessa eating their lunch as babies.

baby goats, Saanen goats, farm life,
Contessa as a baby...notice her injured eye.


A photo posted by Melody Gravitt (@countrifiedhicks) on
  Casper now...


Contessa, 6 months ago.

    Now that you've become reacquainted with Contessa & Casper, meet Carrie Ann.

baby goats, Saanen goats, farm life,

baby goats, Saanen goats, farm life,

baby goats, Saanen goats, farm life,
video

Hope you enjoyed this and I'll share pics as she grows.  This was Contessa's first birthing and she did great and didn't require any assistance.  So proud!  :-)

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Monday, February 15, 2016

Dehydrating Collard Greens

   My family isn't much on eating collard greens but we do grow it for our animals. Even though we do not care for the taste, I like the nutrient value of collard greens and like to implement them into our diet.  I do so by dehydrating the greens and using them in green powder.  I then "sneak" it into our meals without changing taste or texture of our foods.  Green powder can be added a teaspoonful or so at a time to eggs, salads, casseroles, meatloaf, smoothies, etc.

      Collard greens are really packed with healthy vitamins and minerals.  Just one serving of collard greens contain more than your daily requirement of Vitamins K & A.  They also contain a lot of Vitamin C, calcium and iron.  Collards have a lot of protein and posses several anticancer properties and are a great source of fiber...all great reasons to incorporate them into your diet. 

     The first thing you do is take and wash your collard greens real well and then lay them out on your dehydrator tray.

Dehydrating collard greens, how to use dried collard greens, green powder


      Next, turn on your dehydrator.  They dry really fast so generally, within about 3 hours they are completely dry.  When done, they will be super brittle.

Dehydrating collard greens, how to use dried collard greens, green powder




  
     I crumble the leaves into my blender and pulse them until they are a fine powder.  I then add them into my green powder jar until I am ready to use them.

Dehydrating collard greens, how to use dried collard greens, green powder



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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Turkeys

    It has been almost a year since we got our turkeys.  We got them when they were just a few days old from Chickens for Backyards.  To read about when we first got in the shipment, you can read it here.  We also got ducklings from Chickens for Backyards.  We have had our ducks we purchased from them for 2 years now and have not lost a single one.  They are great layers and great birds. 

     Turkeys are harder to raise and we were told to expect to lose some but we only had one die which is amazing.  We have butchered a few of our turkeys and the meat was DELICIOUS.  It was 1000% better tasting than any we have ever purchased from a store.  We are so thrilled with the birds we have received from Chickens for Backyards that we HIGHLY recommend them to anyone in the market for quality animals with OUTSTANDING customer service. 

    Anyway, just thought you might like to see a few pics of the turkeys we have remaining. 

Chickens for Backyards, turkey calls, turkey update, white broad breasted turkey,

Chickens for Backyards, turkey calls, turkey update, white broad breasted turkey,

Chickens for Backyards, turkey calls, turkey update, white broad breasted turkey,

Chickens for Backyards, turkey calls, turkey update, white broad breasted turkey,

Chickens for Backyards, turkey calls, turkey update, white broad breasted turkey,





And finally, here is a short video of the turkeys making their calls.  I could listen to them all day long.



   Hope you enjoyed this update.


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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A New Way of Life

     I am super excited to let you all know about a huge change in my life.  I have started a new journey to finally become healthy.  I have been on about every diet you can imagine.  I have tried pretty much all of them with no luck at all.  I have even been on doctor controlled diets and I have never lost more than 10 pounds on any single one.  And not only did I not lose any weight with the others but I was also miserable.  I was hungry all the time.  Now, I am proud to say I am a Personal Trainer Food Blogger (and believer):

#PersonalTrainerFood, Personal Trainer food, exercise program, how to lose weight, best diet ever

     I know that sounds cheesy and sounds like I'm selling something but I'm not selling anything here.  I just truly believe in this program after being on it just 5 complete days now.  It has made that much of an impact on me already that I am telling everyone about it.  Seriously, I am chatting to people online, at the grocery store, to my friends, etc.  Have you ever been super excited about something you found out and wanted to share it with all your friends and loved ones? Well, that is how I am feeling right now about Personal trainer Food. 

        This is my before shot.  This is the part that I disliked a lot.  Here I am at the beginning of this diet.


#PersonalTrainerFood, Personal Trainer food, exercise program, how to lose weight, best diet ever
      The other part I hated the absolute most is sharing my starting weight on day 1:  263.2.  This diet is a whole change of life for me.  The premises of this diet is that you cut out all sugar, all flour and starches.  I am 47 years old and I bet ya that I have eaten meat, potatoes, and bread at least once EVERY single day for 45 years.  I grew up in the South and we eat meat & taters; biscuits & gravy; etc.  My main foods are not off limits.  What????  Will I survive?  Will I even be able to do this?

      The first thing you do to get started is to go to the Personal Trainer Food website and order your menu choices.  I started the Rev program.  On the Rev program, you choose a breakfast entree; for lunch a meat and a vegetable choice and for supper, two vegetable choices.  There are programs where you choose for only 2 meals a day or a choice where you get meat for both your supper and lunch choices.  The choices were really good and I was excited about the menu.  All the food really did look good.

        Once the food is ordered, they suggest you go on a 24-48 hour fast to rid your body of as much sugar and junk as it can.  I did the 24 hour fast because as you can tell by looking at me, I likes my food.  :-)
Also, since I am an insulin dependent diabetic, I have to be careful too.  After 24 hours, I was ready to start and the food arrived the next day.  I live in southern Oklahoma and the company is in Texas so it arrived super fast.  This first order was for the normal 28 days worth of food and it weighed nearly 50 pounds!

#PersonalTrainerFood, Personal Trainer food, exercise program, how to lose weight, best diet ever




    All the food is completely cooked already and they flash freeze it to preserve the flavors.  All you have to do is steam each package in the microwave from 2-4 minutes and you have a delicious meal ready right away.  Example breakfast choices were cheese omelet with bacon; eggs with sausage and things like that.  Here are 2 of my breakfast packages.

#PersonalTrainerFood, Personal Trainer food, exercise program, how to lose weight, best diet ever



    I was amazed how delicious all the different breakfast choices turned out.  They taste just like they had been cooked in my kitchen.  Everything is so flavorful and good.  The yellow squash tasted like I had picked the squash from our garden and steamed it fresh.

#PersonalTrainerFood, Personal Trainer food, exercise program, how to lose weight, best diet ever



    The dinner choices look beautiful and taste great too.  These amazing chicken strips are my absolute favorite.

#PersonalTrainerFood, Personal Trainer food, exercise program, how to lose weight, best diet ever



     The first few days I really struggled with cravings.  I really wanted potatoes, bread, and sugary type foods.  On this diet, all those are no-no's but what you can have is all the meat that you want.  UNLIMITED!  Eggs are unlimited.  Leafy greens are unlimited...I like the sound of this.  The first few days I felt like I was eating all the time.  Every time I got hungry, I would supplement the meals I received by having a few boiled eggs, or a piece or two of lunch meat or a salad.  I really thought, "boy, oh boy, I must be gaining a ton of weight".  By day 4, I was getting concerned.  I ate a lot but never once cheated.  I was never really hungry either because I was allowed to snack and eat.  They suggest you NOT weigh yourself but let the way your clothes fit show you if you are losing or not.  I did weigh myself and was floored...I had lost almost 7 pounds.



     Since the 2nd or 3rd day since I began this, my energy levels are so much better.  I used to have to take a nap every single day but I have not had a nap (nor needed one) since I started.  Also, my blood sugar levels are better controlled than they have been in YEARS.  I have actually had to have my doctor adjust my insulin and he's excited about my results too.  I will continue to blog about this and share my results.  I hope everything continues to get better for me.

     If you decide to try it out, enter this code (HEALTHYFOOD) for $100 off.  


     
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