Cooking with Goat Milk – Healthy Chocolate Pudding

Project Cooking with Goat Milk continues with……Healthy Chocolate Pudding.

My family loves chocolate pudding but let’s face it as easy as it is to make, boxed instant pudding is full of crap.  Sorry, but it is. I found this recipe from Food Renegade and decided to give it a try…. with goat milk of course.

Homemade Healthy (ish) Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 4 tbsp. arrowroot powder (I used cornstarch)
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 2 c. milk  ( I used Goat milk)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. butter

Directions:

In a glass measuring cup, mix cocoa, cornstarch and milk until smooth. In a saucepan combine the honey and milk mixture and stir over medium heat.

april 2013 027

Cook until thickened stirring constantly.

Once thickened, remove from heat, stir in vanilla and butter until smooth.

Pour into serving dishes and place in refrigerator to cool.

april 2013 029

The good: This recipe has a nice smooth chocolaty texture that the family loved… and it didn’t taste like goat.

The not so good: The pudding didn’t thicken up as well as I would have liked.

Project Cooking with Goat Milk Score 2 (we love goat milk)-1(not so much)

******Update*******

Since posting this recipe I have made several other recipes using goat milk.  As much as I would Love to tell you that they were wonderful and that I cant wait to convert my family over to drinking goat milk… that really isn’t the case. Unfortunately none of us fell in love with goat milk….at best, its okay.  For now we are just going to be drinking cows milk purchased from the store.  We have been looking for a local farmer that we can source raw milk from via herd share. (This is the only option for legally acquiring raw milk in Ohio) The other option of course is to purchase a family dairy cow, and as lovely as that sounds…..Im just not convinced Im ready to go that route.

 

Advertisements

Cooking with Goat Milk – Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe

I have been anxious to get my hands on some goat milk to help me decide if we want to try milking our  3 Nubian does when they kid this fall.  At this point I’m leaning toward foregoing milking and letting the does raise their kids on their own, or doing a once per day milking. However, I should say that I don’t have a great deal of experience with goat milk. A few months ago I bought some goat cheese from out local food co-op.  It did not go over well with the family.  Then I got a jar of fresh goat milk from our neighbor….much better. This week I was lucky enough to be the recipient of 4 gallons of goat milk, so this weekend I have had lots fun making different recipes for the family to try.  I have made a few different kinds of cheese, yogurt, healthy pudding and a healthy hot chocolate recipe. I figure if all else fails, I have a little Nubian bottle baby who will be more than happy to make quick work of any extra milk.

The first thing I made was…

Image

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Ingredients

  2 quarts whole milk ( I used goat milk)

  1 cup heavy cream

  1/2 teaspoon salt (I used cheese salt from Hoegger Supply Co.)

  4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Bring milk, cream, and salt to a rolling boil in a 6-quart heavy pot over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.

Image

Add lemon juice, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles. This should happen fairly quickly.

Pour the mixture into a colander lined with a high quality, fine weave cheese cloth. (This is different than cheese cloth you find the local discount store, mine comes from Hoegger Supply Company) Let the curds drain 1 hour.

ImageRemove cheese from colander, you can mix in additional salt or herbs if desired.  Cover and store ricotta cheese in refrigerator for up to a week. I understand it can also be frozen although I haven’t tried it.

Whey (the liquid that drains out of the curds) can be used in a variety of ways. I will be feeding it to our pigs.

This recipe should yield about 2 cups of ricotta cheese.  I am planning to use it to make lasagna this week.

I like this ricotta cheese recipe because it is easy to follow, doesn’t require any special equipment and of course turns out delicious!

 

**Linking to Nomday Monday

Our First Azure Standard delivery

20130411-235200.jpg
Yesterday the Azure Standard delivery truck rolled into Northern Ohio for the first time and we were lucky enough to be there to pick up our first order.
I am pleased to report that we are more than satisfied with the process and the products. Although they arrived in the middle of a horrible thunderstorm, everyone made quick work of getting the truck unloaded.
I have heard nothing but wonderful things about Azure, but this being our first order I placed a modest sized order just to see how it went. I am pleased to report that what was to be frozen ( 10# of cranberries) were indeed frozen, what was to be cold ( Organic Valley French vanilla half and half) was indeed cold. … My coffee cup is still singing with joy from this new find btw….my cocoa was strong and flavorful and my oats, coconut, sucanat and Mighty Tasty cereal are dry and in good shape. I am looking forward to putting in a larger order next month including produce.
Grocery shopping for me is primarily a monthly event, and my preference is still to buy local as much as possible. I can see that ordering from Azure, especially in bulk, is one more tool I can use to purchase high quality healthy food for my family at a reasonable price. Now what to do with 25# of rolled oats since all my Tupperware is currently in use??? Guess I need to order those gamma lids after all!

Gluten Free Chicken and Rice soup with mushrooms

Today I wanted  to share with you one of the recipes I made last week at the beginning of my adventure in sugar free living

Gluten Free Chicken and Rice soup with mushrooms

pics 003

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 Crockpot roasted chicken or  2 cups chopped chicken
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 package mushrooms
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Begin cooking brown rice with 2 cups of chicken stock.  (Brown rice can take 40-50 minutes to cook)

If using a Crockpot roasted chicken, remove chicken from Crockpot, debone chicken and strain chicken broth.  (You can return the chicken bones to the Crockpot to make a batch a chicken stock)

Clean and slice mushrooms.  Saute mushrooms in a large skillet with butter and minced garlic.  Add 2 cups of chicken stock, onion, celery, carrots and peas.  Cook on medium until cooked through.  

Transfer contents of skillet to a large pot.  Add additional 2 cups chicken stock, chicken, salt, pepper, seasoning and cooked brown rice.  Cook until heated through.

Adventures in Sugar free living

Early this year I decided that one of the ways I wanted to improve my overall health was to reduce the amount of sugar I eat.  I know that for me the best way to stay away from any particular vice is cold turkey.  So, 2 weeks ago I removed nearly all sugar from my diet.

For the first week I consumed zero refined sugars and very little natural sugar including no fruit, dairy, or high sugar vegetables.  I have to tell you that first week was Not pretty. I didn’t realize the extent to which I would actually experience sugar “withdrawal.” My symptoms included headaches, stomach upset, and extreme fatigue.  The sugar cravings were actually mostly gone after the first 2 or 3 days.  I elected to avoid any sugar substitutes, natural or otherwise.  Kate from Modern Alternative Mom had also suggested adding fats to my diet to help curb the sugar cravings and I think that also really helped.  By day 6 I was beginning to feel a little better and I was definitely enjoying watching the number go down each day on the scale.  During the first week I also didn’t drink coffee but instead drank lots of water with lemon and herbal tea. One of my favorite new foods that I discovered during week 1 was Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal. Yummy!

Beginning on day 8 I began adding fruit and dairy back in starting with a morning smoothie.  Our local Aldi store began offering an organic line and I able to pick up 32 oz containers of organic yogurt for $2.99 and 12 oz packages of frozen organic whole strawberries for $2.39. Score!! Needless to say I stocked up.  If you have an Aldi near you, you might want to check it out.  I am really enjoying the new Simply Nature products.  Week two was much easier and I’m feeling so much better.  I added a bit of maple syrup to my morning hot cereal and some honey to my tea.  Unsweetened coffee really isn’t cutting it for me so I’m looking for some alternatives for making homemade creamer that is naturally sweetened.

I am very pleased with how the last 2 weeks have gone.  I haven’t been craving sugar and haven’t had a problem passing it up.  However, last night on day 14 I decided to have a small serving of ice cream with the family.  First let me say that it was Breyers ice cream, so not organic, but definitely much more natural than many other brands, no artificial flavors or colors but indeed full of sugar.  My body was not happy; it was not pleasant.  One of my concerns is how I can balance eating a low sugar diet, and still be able to occasionally enjoy a “normal” treat or dessert without feeling awful later. I’m not sure yet how to make that work.  Until I figure it out I will definitely be avoiding all refined sugars.

Over the next week I’ll share some of the new recipes I’ve tried over the past two weeks including GF Chicken and Rice soup with mushrooms, GF sweet potato pancakes, enchillada soup and a few others.

Choosing Healthier Oils

Over the past few months I have spent a lot of time rethinking our families diet.  Both my family and the Handymans family have a long history of obesity and/ or  heart disease.  These are things I do not wish to pass on to our children. Conventional wisdom has called for a low-fat diet and physical activity as protecting against these diseases.  And while I agree on the physical activity, I have spent a lot of time researching different nutrition “philosophies” if you will.  While I am certainly no expert, what makes the most sense to me is a diet rich in  nutrient dense Real foods, lots of fruits and vegetables, eliminating artificial ingredients including sweeteners, avoiding chemicals and pesticides in our foods, limiting sugar (especially refined sugar) and incorporating healthy oils. I’ve also been doing some reading on the benefits of eating more fermented foods and raw dairy.  (I know scandalous, right)  I do almost all of our cooking from scratch so part of the fun has been modifying our favorite recipes as well as trying new ones. I love to cook and we all enjoy eating a little too much so part of the journey has also been changing the culture of food in our home, but more about that another day.  So, todays topic …choosing healthier oils.  

For me  this means using less of these (or rather eliminating)

nov 2012 032

Using more of this –

nov 2012 031

It has been easy to use coconut oil in place of the other oils for things like sauteing and frying, it has been a little more challenging to incorporate into baked items but here is one recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies that turned out really well.  I am also learning that coconut oil has lots a great uses outside of the kitchen as well.

So while these certainly would not qualify as a healthy snack, they were pretty yummy and it was my first attempt at baking with coconut oil, so I thought I would share it.

nov 2012 030

Chocolate Chip Cookies with coconut oil

1 cup coconut oil

3/4 c. brown sugar

3/4 c. white sugar

2 eggs

1 t. vanilla

1 1/2 cups white flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup ground pecans

1 t. baking soda

1 t. salt

2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Cream coconut oil and sugars in mixing bowl.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Sift together in another bowl flours, salt, ground pecans and baking soda.  Gradually add dry ingredients to mixing bowl, mixing just until incorporated.  Stir in chocolate chips. 

Spoon onto parchment covered cooking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for  9-10 minutes just until edges turn light golden brown.  Cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before moving to cooling rack. 

Makes approx. – 4 dozen 

These cookies have a wonderful soft chewy middle with a crisp edge.