Category Archives: Gluten Free

Amazing Tomato Soup


We are nearing the end of the harvest in our garden.  Only a few tomatoes, beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, radishes, fall flowers, and herbs remain.  I have so enjoyed our garden this year.  The tomatoes have been AMAZING!  They are sweet and full of flavor. 




Salicylates:

I have to limit how much store bought tomato items my family consumes.  I am somewhat salicylate intolerant, meaning my body does not break down salicylic acids in foods very well.  I also don’t break down pain killers very well either because they are made with salicylate acids.  Foods high in salicylate are difficult for many people to process and can result in a whole bunch of side effects like painful joints, blisters on the mouth, head aches, and more.  Salicylates require the production of certain enzymes in the liver to break them down and remove them from the blood stream.  The longer they remain the body, the more side effects and problems a person will have.  Most of my children and my husband also have some salicylate intolerance too.  So we deal with this by reducing the amount of meals we eat in a week that contain tomato sauce.  We might have pizza one night, but it is several days (usually 3 because it takes about 3 days to rid the body of the previous salicylates), before we eat commerically produced tomato sauce based meals again.

But there is a solution:

Why are garden fresh organic tomatoes better than store bought? 

 

Commercial tomatoes from the store are picked before they are ripe, when the salicylate content in the tomato is at its highest.  Salicylates are the plant’s protection against bugs.  By protecting itself, it has a better chance of reaching maturity so it can reproduce fruits with seeds for the next season.  But when humans pick the fruits before they are fully ripe, we set ourself up to consume these high amounts of salicylates.  Then these under-ripe tomatoes are sold to the consumer in all sorts of ways from ketchup, to spaghetti sauce, salsa, and fresh tomatoes too.  Commercial tomatoes also have very little flavor and have to be cooked down into a thick concentrate to get a lot of flavor.  Concentrating tomatoes also concentrates the salicylates.  Many children have physical illness and behavior problems after eating concentrated tomato products and many adults have health problems too that they struggle to understand, but that can be traced back to a food made with concentrated tomatoes or other foods that are high in salicylates within the last couple of days. 



But garden ripe tomatoes are bursting with flavor.  They don’t need concentrated down to add flavor to foods.  They also have very little salicylates and they have high vitamins, minerals, and are nutrient dense.  Amazingly, they don’t produce the behavior problems in children that the commercial tomatoes do.  So they have a little to no side effects.   Garden fresh tomatoes that are allowed to ripen on the vine before they picked are the wise choice if one chooses to eat tomatoes.  If you have a surplus of garden fresh tomatoes, I recommend freezing them to use later when needed.   The added benefit of growning these at home is that you can include kids in raising and processing their own food too.  



My nutritional point of view right now is smack dab in the middle of the Weston A Price methods of food prep (nutrient dense traditional foods, soaking, sprouting, fermenting, eating grass fed, free range, wild caught, naturally raised, etc to the extent you can afford to buy these items), the Fast Metabolism Diet (for what days / phases to eat what food groups to boost the metabolism), Paleo and Keto recipes, Eat Fat Loose Fat (also WAPF), Dr. Mercola, and Trim Healthy Mama, all rolled into one!  Imagine that!   These “plans” all complement each other and each one has something to benefit from.  There a few parts in some that I omit based on personal preference (for example I skip microwave recipes), and if they contradict, I always revert back to the Weston A Price method of food prep (such as soaking / sprouting seeds / nuts / grains before using them). 

So with all of that in mind, I am making lots of foods from scratch with simple, fresh, and nutrient dense ingredients.  And soups are a great way to get lots of dissolved and easy to assimilate nutrients into the body.


Just as your body needs vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, and more, you also can not live a healthy life without fatty acids.  Your body needs fat to assimilate fat soluble vitamins from the foods you eat.  It also needs fat for the immune system to function properly.  You will render your white blood cells defenseless without healthy fats in your diet.  Don’t buy into the dietary lie of the “low fat” or “fat free” diet!  It could literally kill you if you don’t supply the body with the right kind and right amount of healthy fats.

As the fall season heads into full swing, I am wanting something warm and velvety on my tongue, but still longing for the fresh taste of summer on my taste buds. Well I have hit the JACKPOT with this Amazing Tomato Soup.  I love making homemade tomato soup!  And my version of soup is garden fresh, no fuss, and full of healthy fat, and AMAZING! 




Amazing Tomato Soup

This is so simple and fast to prepare if you have your ingredients on hand.  From scratch it takes about 15 minutes from start to finish if you need to make the sauce. Or you could have this soup ready to eat in less than 5 minutes if you premake the sauce, and keep it refridgerated or frozen to use in the soup later.  Be sure to get the kids involved in making this wonderful soup!  They are sure to love it as it is so AMAZINGLY YUMMY!


Homemade Tomato Sauce:
Start the sauce base part of the soup with organic garden fresh tomatoes that are allowed to ripen all the way on the vine.  You can make the freshest sauce with fresh picked, or frozen tomatoes.  It is easy to free
ze fresh tomatoes.  I freeze them whole, quartered, diced, juiced, or how ever it suits you.  Then later I use them in a variety of ways, even roasting them in the oven to enhance the sugarry sweetness for all sorts of recipes.  Only your imagination is the limit with this!
 


Start by cutting up whole tomatoes into halves and quarters and put them in a sauce pot over medium heat.  Bring the tomatoes to a slow simmer.  Cook on a low simmer for about 10 minutes. 

 

When the tomatoes begin to turn soft, remove from the heat and press tomatoes with their juice through a sieve or food mill to remove skins and most of the seeds.  Then return the tomato sauce to the sauce pot.



Amazing Tomato Soup:

Ingredients:
Makes 4 (2 cup) or 8 (1 cup) servings


2 quarts of already prepared homemade tomato sauce, or 1 gallon of garden fresh  or frozen whole tomatoes to make into a sauce before proceeding.

1/2 cup Butter
(see the note below for other healthy fat options for special diets)

1 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt
, ground fine

1/2 tsp Black Pepper
, ground fine

1/4 tsp Cayenne
(you won’t notice this amount of cayenne, but it helps to bring out the flavors, or use more if you like your soup spicy).

Directions:
Warm 2 quarts of homemade tomato sauce.
(recipe posted above)

Add 1/2 cup of fat of your choice.
  (I used a ratio of 4 Tablespoons of fat per quart of soup, so if you want to make only 1 quart of soup then add 4 Tblsp of fat, or if you want to make 2 cups of soup, add 2 Tblsp of fat).   Healthy fat options include: grass fed butter, ghee, coconut oil, coconut milk, sour cream, cream, greek yogurt, or 24 hour soaked nut milk/nut cream options.  Any of these options should create the velvety texture on your tongue and allow the body to consume the fat soluble vitamins from the tomato.

Seasonings of choice.
  I used Himalayan Salt, Ground Black Pepper, and Cayenne.  Other fresh or dried seasoning variations could be: cilantro, basil, oregano, thyme, sage, parsley, garlic, onion, fermented horse radish, coconut aminos, fermented hot sauce, sea salt, pepper, cayenne, etc. You could also ad fresh lemon juice or raw apple cider vinegar to enhance the flavors too if desired.



Stir over low heat until the fat melts and is well mixed into the soup.

Serve
hot or cold, or refrigerate and reheat for later. This soup also freezes well.  

This soup is so simple, yet delicious and really hits the spot!!!


MORE:

Now the real fun begins when you use this soup as a base for other recipes.  Season it different ways to make all your tomato based meals such as chili, spaghetti, lasagna, chicken parmesan, enchiladas, burittos, pizza sauce, coconut curry chicken, and more.  For convenience of using it as a seasoning in other foods, you can freeze it in ice cube trays and then store the cubes in ziplock freezer bags.  These cubes are great to stir into other meals.


Special Diet Plans:


This soup also works well on special diet / food plans such as:
FMD, Trim Healthy Mama, Eat Fat Loose Fat, Low Carb, Nourishing Traditions, Grain Free, and Paleo diets.


You can leave the fat out of the soup if you wish.  If you are limiting your fat intake for a few days, such as a carbohydrate re-feed program on a Paleo / Keto Diet, or on Phase 1 of the FMD, and you need a fat alternative, try equal amounts of nutrient dense bone broth as a fat replacement.  It is high in minerals and still contains some fatty acids to help assimilate nutrients.  On Phase 3 of the FMD, you can have healthy fats and coconut oil or coconut milk would both be good options to stay on plan. 


Use Soup As A Home Remedy:

For winter months and during cold and flu season, I like to use the bone broth, plus butter, plus coconut oil, and several of the herbs and spices, plus garlic to help my body stay healthy and strong.  All of these are anti viral and anti bacterial and add a great boost to my immune system.

Whether you like tomato soup mild or robust, the variations of this Amazing Tomato Soup are endless.

Enjoy and be blessed!


Linking this post with:
Mindful Mommy Mondays
Raising Homemakers
Sharing Time

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Snikiddy and the Snack Lab



I hosted an outdoor learning program in the park this past week.  Homeschool families joined me and we had a science program and food tasting lab we called the “Snack Lab”. 

The main goal was to help kids identify healthy snack choices.  But we also had a fun adventure learning about our taste buds and sampling sweet, sour, bitter, and salty food options.  We also did a product sampling and giveaway of Snikiddy All Natural snacks.





The kids spent some time answering questions and sharing about their favorite snacks.  They learned to identify their personal favorite combinations: salty and crunchy, sweet and juicy, sweet and crunchy, sour, etc. 

Then we discussed some healthy and not so healthy snack choices.  Using lots of plastic toy foods, we grouped the healthy choices and not healthy choices on different plates.  We discussed why some foods are healthy snack choices: nutrients including vitamins and minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, good fats, and proteins.  We also discussed why some foods are bad snack choices: artificial colors, too much sugar, bad fats and hydrogenated oils, and artificial ingredients. 

 

Then the kids took turns trying out several different healthy food choices that met these different criteria: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, crunchy, soft, juicy, etc.  After tasting the food, the children identified and described what they were tasting. 

Bell peppers were bitter and crunchy.
 

Lemons and Limes were sour and juicy.

 

Grapes were sweet and juicy, carrots were sweet and crunchy, and so on.  The kids tried out several fresh snacks.  However, I forgot to cut up the apples, even though I brought several apples with me and a cutting board and knife along.  I just ran out of time and forgot to do it.  Sometimes the pollen in the air makes me feel like my head is in a cloud!

We discussed several more fruits and vegetables and protein snacks that we did not have on hand, but would make good snack options too, like fresh broccoli, celery, cauliflower, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, bananas, cheese and crackers, and so on.  Most kids said apples were their favorite fresh food snack. (go figure, the one choice I didn’t serve them, but they saw it on the plate, sorry guys!).



Next we sampled some varieties of salty and crunchy snacks.  We discussed lots of options like popcorn, nuts, crackers, pretzels and various chips too.  Most kids said either popcorn or pretzels were their favorite salty and crunchy snack.



On each plate the kids tasted Snikiddy All Natural snacks. We were sent five different bags to try.  The variety included: Baked Fries: Sea Salt, Barbecue, and Cheddar Cheese; Cheese Puffs: Grilled Cheese ; and Eat Your Vegetables: Sour Cream and Onion.  

Snikiddy All Natural snacks are made with healthy wholesome ingredients, are gluten free, wheat free, preservative free, no corn syrup, no hydrogenated oils, and have no artificial colors or flavors.  You can read about the ingredients on the links posted above. 
 
From the Snikiddy website: “ …Snikiddy┬« creates products for families actively looking for healthier foods that satisfy their snack cravings. The Snikiddy brand is a portfolio of better for you snacks that are simple, wholesome real products for families.

 

After the tasting lab, the kids and some of the parents took a snack survey.  I came up with the questions myself and printed them out on paper.  I cut the sheets of paper into 10 rectangles a little bigger than buisiness card size.  This way I could fit 50 surveys on 5 sheets of paper.  It was much cheaper to print this way than print out 50 sheets of paper. 

They answered these questions on the survey:

    1. Do you eat snacks? 
         a) Yes  b) no

    2. Which answer is a snack? 
         a) apple  b) popcorn  c) chips  d) all

    3. What is your favorite salty snack?

    4. Which Snikiddy All Natural snacks were your favorite?
        a) Baked Fries: Sea Salt , Cheddar, Barbecue
        b) Cheese Puffs: Grilled Cheese
        c) Eat Your Vegetables: Sour Cream and Onion

 

Four of the parents helped me serve the kids all of the various snacks and take the survey.  After the tasting lab, they went to each child and took down their personal answers on the survey forms.  The parents squatted down like you see in the pictures at eye level with the kids and got their honest open opinions.  This was such a big help, as it a
llowed me to focus on teaching the kids and taking pictures. 

I love homeschool families and their servant attitude.  Truly these families encourage me to do more and more, reach my full potential, accomplish my goals, and be the best I can be.  You know they are teaching all these kids the same thing too.  Wow, all these kids reaching their goals and full potentials, awesome!  All this encouragement and support makes teaching the kids absolutely fun!  I just want to say a big “Thank You!”  I just love everyone of them!



After our sampling and survey of the Snikiddy snack foods, the kids and parents were free to eat as much of the various snacks as they wanted.  Oh, it was so yummy, and there was plenty to eat today. They ate everything except the bell peppers. 

The kids also made a snack bag / goodie bag craft to take home bags of Snikiddy snacks.   I supplied them with various craft supplies and they could decorate their snack bag anyway they wanted with crayons, colored pencils, and cut outs. 



 

After our craft, we filled their snack bags with Snikiddy All Natural snack bags.  This was such a treat to take home.   Then we drew names for giveaways.  Some kids won large boxes full of Snikiddy snack foods. Wow!

 

Some kids won Snikiddy Art Kits.  These kits are wonderful and fit nicely in a backpack, purse, or desk.  They contained 8 pastels, 12 crayons, and 8 colored pencils all in a handy plastic organizer kit for crafting lots of arts and crafts.

 


There were way to many pictures from today to share them all with you.  But as you can see, we learned allot about nutrition and healthy snack choices, science with our taste buds, and we had a lot of learning fun! 

Everyone loved the Snikiddy snacks.  When it came to picking favorites, the most favorite by far was the Grilled Cheese Puffs.  All of the parents also enjoyed the Snikiddy snacks and several asked where they could buy them for their kids.  I am glad to share this information, because these snacks really are delicious, kids love them, and many families with allergies or on special diets can eat them. 

Snikiddy is available for purchase in lots of stores and online.  Check out the Snikiddy website to find a retailer near you.  They also offer a free coupon at the top of the product page. 

Snikiddy also offers contests and giveaways.  Right now they have a Summer Escapes Sweepstakes going on.  Stop over to Snikiddy.com and enter their contests for a chance to win great prizes!

Disclaimer:  I was sent the product mentioned above in exchange for writing an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my personal opinions, and I also gathered opinions from the folks I shared the product with and expressed them in this review as well.



This post will be linked up with:
 
No Time For Flash Cards
Science Sunday
Sharing Time
Raising Homemakers








 

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Simply Organic Giveaway Winner


Congratulations to our winners of the

Simply Organic Baking Mix Giveaway

You can read about the Simply Organic Giveaway
HERE.


Winners were chosen by Random.org


Here are your random numbers:

5

Timestamp: 2011-05-31 23:30:48 UTC

A Restful Place wrote:
I’d love to win this! I use Simply Organic products all the time and love them! I follow you via GFC via ARestfulPlace.

Blessings!
Tabitha




and



Here are your random numbers:

1

Timestamp: 2011-05-31 23:53:29 UTC

Sarita Edgerton wrote:
I am following on Google connect!


Congratulations ladies!
 
I will be sending you an email with directions to collect your prize.



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