Low Carb Low or No Gluten Honey Grahams!

What I am about to tell you is a best kept secret of the cookie makers.  Honey Grahams are super easy to make and probably were made by your great great great grandmothers.    But when you make them now it gives you a feeling of power.  You will not want to buy honey grahams from the store again!   The following are Honey Grahams to the Max made with Texas Wild Flower Honey from Austin, Texas.  I am sure it would also be good with some of the other raw honeys, but this one is delux!  By the way, did you know honey is the only sugar that is alkaline forming?  Also, if its local, eating raw honey will help you stave off the seasonal allergies by giving you a honey vaccination!

Originally I made these because I needed a Graham Cracker Crust and had no Graham Crackers.  My husband loved them so much as did my mother, I would not keep them!  There went my plans for lemon cream pie!  The last time I made these my husband hid his “crispy” cookies I made just for him.  I like them softer.  In any event, these will satisfy your sweet tooth without getting you into super spike city.  Talk about good!  This recipe is enough for about 3 cookie sheets full.  Box em up!

Low carb, low to no gluten version is in parenthesis.

RECIPE FOR HONEY GRAHAM CRACKERS (option, can make with Graham and Spelt instead of Graham and Wheat.  I found Whole Spelt alone was super good)

1 Cup Graham Flour (which is wheat flour,  substitute this with whole spelt)

1 Cup of Whole Wheat Flour (substitute this with a cup of whole spelt)

8 tablespoons of butter

1/2 Cup Beet Sugar

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1/4 Cup of Honey (raw unfiltered Wild Flower Honey)

1 egg slightly beaten

2 to 3 tablespoons of warm water.

If you are a friend of Home Economics classes, this part is a repeat.  Put dry ingredients in one bowl, set aside, put sugar, honey and butter in the mixer and cream it until looks just mixed.  Keep the mixer ongoing and put in the egg, then a little bit of water (3 tbls) and start putting the dry ingredients in about a cup at a time until mixed.  When it starts looking like a dough, take it out of the mixer and put on a floured surface.  Flour your rolling pin well with spelt flour.  Roll about 1/2 the dough out pretty thin, about 1/4″ thick in a square shape.  Take your pizza dough cutter and cut rectangles.   You should have already greased and lightly floured a three cookie sheets and heated the oven for 10 minutes on 350.  Lay all of your pieces on your greased and floured cookie sheets separated some.  Place in oven and bake 10 minutes if you want your cookies pretty soft.  Bake 15 minutes if you like them crisp like a cracker.  Just look in the oven between the 10 to 15 minute marker and see if they look like you like them.  Take them out, let them cool a little bit, but you WON’T RESIST eating them warm!

Enjoy!  God Bless All My Readers!

Natures Sunshine

Sugars, Are they your Worst Enemy? Make them Your Friend

As hard as we try, we still have a sweet tooth.  The problem is, how do you eat sweet and not suffer the consequences?  Everything from a diabetic reaction, sugar spike, reverse sugar – hypoglycemic, to just simply gaining weight among many other reactions and causes of ill health due to ordinary commercial grade sugar.  Why is it you ask?  Because commercially made sugar is processed in such a way with chemicals added to it.  This changes the nature of the sugar and it becomes 10 times more harmful than it might be if overdone.  When I was a child visiting my Aunt’s home in Hereford Texas I learned that a local sugar plant washed the sugar in Lime.  Lime is commonly used ingredient as a harsh cleaner for toilets! That was in the 60’s.  What about now?  There is so much more done to our foods making “look alike” and “taste alike” sugars such as Sucrolose, High Fructose Corn Syrup and a whole host of unknowns that end up in your boxed, canned foods.

Look around you, besides heart disease and cancer, one of the biggest health risks in the US is from diabetes.  It comes upon you for many reasons. One the the main reasons is eating high carbohydrate white flour, sugar and cow’s milk based foods that spike your blood sugar and cause an unnatural effect on your whole body system so that you are more hungry, feel sluggish and tired after eating it and just can’t eat of it  without feeling sick.

The solution.  Get back to basics.  Go back to the Garden of Eden.  Eat pure foods grown in pure soil with pure and safe organic methods of bug control.  Drink pure water (well filtered or pure spring water), get plenty of exercise and when you have a meal, make sure it is balanced.  As long as you eat plenty of greens and other veges and fruits and whole grains, a about 25% of your meals are proteins and fats, you will feel better, have more energy and love your new balanced life.  Here is a new treat that you can enjoy, guilt free.  Made with the best of ingredients.  All pure, low carb.  The Beet Sugar is suggested for anyone, but recommended by the distributor and by authors of diabetic diets for diabetics.  It has a smooth taste and works well with anything you make.  No hidden dangers.  Just use it in balance.

Try these home-made vanilla wafers.  You will love having these around to snack on or put in your favorite dessert dish, like chocolate pudding.  I recommend  that you follow your home-made pudding recipe and substitute coconut milk instead of Cow’s milk.  Low glycemic.  Cut down on the sugar on the recipe at least 1/3 and add a pak of stevia.  You will love this.  You can use the same method for making your own ice cream, cut the sugar, add some stevia and use coconut milk and eggs.  You can still enjoy sweets if you know how to make them healthy and low glycemic.  Let’s start with Vanilla Wafers today.  I will bring you other recipes that are low glycemic soon.

Vanilla Wafers

4 Tbls Palm Oil (Spectrum) Vegetable Shortening or, Virgin Coconut Oil

4 Tbls butter

1/3 Cup Beet Sugar (Now Brand)

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 egg

1 1/4 Cups of White Spelt (for low carb and almost non-gluten)

Directions:  Cream together shortening, butter, eggs, sugar, and add flour a little at a time until well blended.  Drop dough on ungreased cookie sheet in teaspoon fulls 2 inches apart.  Flour bottom of glass and flatten each cookie.  Bake at 375 F for 8 to 10 minutes or until delicately browned around edges.  Cool on racks.  You are gonna love them!  Box em up!  they keep well.

God Bless all my readers.  Here is to your health!

Natures Sunshine Herbs

Sugar Free Low Carb Jellies to your Delight!

I guess I have been stricken with the old fashioned roots of making what you eat! It proves to be tastier, memorable, satisfying and rewarding. They say necessity is the mother of invention and it is so true. What got me started on this was being tired of paying a huge price for a small amount of pure organic unsweetened jelly. I started my research to see just how do they do it?

I purchased a canning book (Ball) from Walmart, reviewed my cookbooks and then the back side of the Pectin packages and found just the right recipe that fit for my plums and strawberries. I started with fresh strawberries.

When I saw them on sale and really fresh looking, it was time to purchase plenty and make up my jars of jellies. You can choose to can or not to can. The jellies will last a couple weeks to a month in the refrigerator without a problem with no canning, just the cooking process described below.

Here are the things you need to have on hand to do this:

Walmart’s Ball brand packets of pectin. Really doesn’t matter which “type” pectin you choose, but for me I chose 1. Pectin for low to no sugar recipes and 2. Classic pectin. :You are benefiting from my experience and now I can tell you if you do not add actual sugar, you need a little more pectin. So if it calls for 1 package, I use two.

Let’s begin with strawberry jam or jelly.

2 1/2 cups of fresh strawberries, after going through processor to small bits

2 packets of your choice of pectin (the size of a jello packet)

1/3 cup of frozen concentrated organic grape juice (purple)

4-5 small packs of powdered stevia (looks like sweet n low packs)

Directions: place the grape juice in the pan, pour in the strawberry puree. Add the 2 packs of powdered pectin and stir in well. Heat to boiling while stirring constantly. When get to boiling temperature, boil for 1 minute and stir constantly. Remove from heat.

Jars should already be cleaned and now sitting in heated water to keep from breaking them. Use the small jelly jars you buy Kerr or Ball. This should fill up 4 to 5 jars (8 ounces). Place the tops on and close tightly and let sit in your kitchen to cool then refrigerate. You will LOVE these! You will never believe there is no sugar in them! Happy breakfast with jelly! The exact same procedure to make plum jelly. You do not peel the plums! A lot of the flavor is in the peel. Deee-licious! There are different instructions for other fruits, so be sure to read the back of the low sugar pectin pack before deciding what to do. You can also use concentrated frozen apple juice. I found the apple juice is great with the plums, but I like both the apple and the grape with them. Bon Appetit!

Blessings of Autumn to you!

Natures Sunshine Herbs

Make Your Own Lunch Meat, All Natural, No Chemicals and GOOD!

One of my pet peeves in grocery buying is lunch meat.  Looking for healthy choices is quite a chore, especially in the local mainstream stores such as Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons, etc.  I was excited when I found Oscar Meyer had natural choices that were not made with preservatives.  These were the first I had seen and were not “bad” but were not what I would call tasty either and still have additives of some kind, although not as bad.  Nonetheless, if you need to make lunches, it was a healthier choice than some others with Sodium Nitrate in them.

So, for several years now I have been purchasing the roasted chicken, smoked ham, etc.  from Walmart lunch meat section.  The cost is about $4.00 for a small amount of thinly sliced meats that are almost tasteless (except for the ham).

Then, this year, I ran across some improved quality and taste with no preservatives from a Tyson Chicken product, Chicken Bol0gna in various flavors, including BBQ style.  I found these to be great tasting, but a little hefty on the salt but the cost factor is about the same as Oscar Meyer,  the food is purer, more natural tasting in this Tyson Chicken brand.

Still not really satisfied with what the choices are for lunch if you are a person to pack a lunch every day, I pulled out my “Make your Own Groceries” book from back in the 70’s.   Wouldn’t ya know it?  there it was!  homemade lunch meat!  I began to read through the recipes and decided I would try the chicken one first.   I had all the ingredients and it seemed simple to follow.    To my utter amazement, it worked and 2 lbs made enough of chicken loaf to slice and prepare about 18 sandwiches!  No kidding!

You gotta be a homemade loving person to do this.   Just the thought of it sounds a little over-board, but does this say something about our society now?  Have we begun to take all the processed foods, even the healthier ones, for granted that is what we eat?

I wanted to share this experience with you because it was a very enlightening and positive step, empowering if’ you will.    First, once I compiled the chicken and veges and started the pot to boiling the whole house smelled like the beginning of the holidays!  deep, rich smell of whole veges and chicken cooking with spices and water rivaling the smell of Thanksgiving!   So, I put together what could be called the recipe for “Stone Soup” like the children’s reader of long ago.   There is no stone in there, but the smell of these veges cooking will bring you back to your humble beginnings.

Here it is:  2 pounds of chicken, washed and skinned, bone-in.  Place the veges on the bottom.  Place the lemons right on top as well as the Parsley.

3 medium sized orange carrots

3-4 long pieces of celery even with leaves

4-6 whole peppercorns

1 large quartered only onion

3 slices of lemon (washed well and thinly sliced)

2 large tablespoons of dried Parsley

Large stew pot

enough water to almost cover the entire mix

Knox gelatin (2 packets)

Bring this to boil.

slow it down to 1 or 2 to simmer for 2 hours

When its has completed this 1st step, remove the chicken from the rest of the pot and set aside to cool a little.  Take off the skin of the meat (if any), take out bones and other little unnecessary pieces, keeping the pure meat.

In clean pot, take your clean hands and start pulling meat apart and hand shredding it.  Once this looks pretty well done, take most of the broth from the other pot and pour it through a wire mesh strainer (quicker) or you can use cheesecloth.  If cheesecloth, throw away the cloth when finished with it.

Now, back to your clean pot with the shredded meat.  Add about 2 cups of clean strained broth to this pot and stir into the meat until it disappears, looks almost like pudding, not soupy though.  Turn on the heat and heat the mixture through.  Turn off the heat, remove the pot and add two packets of Knox unflavored gelatin and now set the timer for 3 minutes.  Stir this vigorously for 3 minutes.  You can rest about every minute.  You can now add some garlic, salt, pepper or whatever spice you like  to taste.  Pour this into an 8″ long x 2 or 3″ deep loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours.

You will be amazed!  You can slice about 1/4″ thick, 2 slices per sandwich and this will last you through about 18 sandwiches.  Tastes best with mustard and sweet onion, perhaps relish and lettuce.  This does not taste good with mayo.  Don’t even try it.

The recipe says this will last in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.  I believe it.  Still eating off the 1st loaf I made about 10 days ago.

Now, the day you make this, start early so that when you get ready to put it together, you can serve your dinner as a chicken soup, probably serves 4.  You will not regret it!  What a savings as well as great taste!  About $3.00 for 18 sandwiches worth of this recipe.    Only one thing I did not understand, the recipe said do not freeze it.  Okay.  That’s fine.  There are several others using lamb, beef and turkey.  You can use this recipe and just use turkey instead of chicken.   Check back for more recipes of make your own sandwich meat!

Chemical free, all natural cooking! Umm Umm Good!

natures sunshine herbs

Summertime, Summertime, Sum Sum Summertime! We had a great one!

Just had to write about this summer here in Texas!  It has been so enjoyable with the cooler temperatures and blissful rain!  Our month of August has been so great! It rivals summers I remember long ago in the 80’s and 90’s.   Seems like Texas and other parts of the country suffered with drought and high heat for last few years.  Now, all of the sudden we have had a beautiful requite and retro renaissance of summers!

June had a few triple digits, then settled down to 90’s.  July had just  a few triple digits and settled down to 80’s and 90’s with rain, rain o’ blessed rain!  Then here we are in what is supposed to be the hottest of the year and its barely breaking mid-80’s!  and more blessed rain, rain, rain!  The lake has almost refilled back to a normal level.   The fish are frolicking and jumping out of the water.  That beautiful mirrored look on the solumn peaceful lake with  the look of a historic painting framed in summer afternnoon’s low lights and stratus clouds passing by slowly and in the background the locusts singing their summer symphony .  Fishermen quietly studying the water and contemplating, building bonds with their fishermen friends and with nature.

Then, the city, and the suburbs, having all been lovely green.  Gardens have been plentiful, and people spend time talking and smiling with their neighbors.  Things not so urgent, things not so larger than life, because life is the largest in God’s beautiful world.

I say these things at the end of the summer, and now as I write it is beginning of fall.  Still more lovely than ever, cool evenings with the frogs sitting out under the moon looking up.


Grandma and Her Blood Pressure

As we get older, so do our parents.  We never dream that some day we will be telling our parents what they need to do and then doing it for them.  We never dream that some day our parents will need us more than they ever needed anyone and we must be there.

I have learned over the years watching my mother getting older that there are certain things that just are not  the same about your parents as they age.  Barring any real physical illness, just the aging process will bring on a slightly different personality than you remember as you were growing up (and I say that with tongue in cheek, its really quite different).  Now, they may be more centered on what happens every day, like whether its about to rain or whether they ought to be inside when its getting dark.    Trips to the grocery store can be ominous thing for a grandmother just inching along in her steps looking at what appears to be a football field sized store.  Noting that she parked in Row 7 about 5 cars down so she does not get lost coming out.   Taking time to count money given to a store clerk and not really knowing what you get back, if its right or not.

Then there are those surprising events like  like a phone call from an Emergency Paramedic at the  parking lot at Walmart telling you your mother has just fallen and dislocated her shoulder after she had been running in the rain at 83 years of age.  What about the time by happenstance  seeing a melted garage door opener in the front seat of her car stuck to a dish towel  with both front seat doors wide open and when asked, the explanation was she was drying it in the oven after dropping it in water.  Made perfect sense to her!  That was when I realized her judgment “ain’t what it used to be” at 83.

I noticed that my mother was getting forgetful about eating, and eating things that were not good for her.  Her refrigerator would have lots of partially eaten foods and lots of old things.  Its  no wonder she began getting sick often from eating these old foods.    She began to have issues with her bladder, bowel disorders .  All about the same time as these things were appearing,  I found out that she had been overdrafting her bank account.  My brother, unknowingly was sending her money to cover and didn’t tell me.  So, when I found this out, I took account of the bank records, checkbook and found she no longer could handle money.     Her math was all wrong  and you could not make her understand.   I just had to take over all preparation of food, the car, her medical care, the house.

All of these happenings brought about a lot of change.  Change in the way she was doing things and overwhelming change in my life taking over.    I became her manager for every little thing in her life, even how much water she would drink.

So, in addition to all the daily things that happen, when physical problems like elevated blood pressure occur it sets you in whole “nother” direction if  you are like me and my mom, just about totally naturepathic.  So I set out in search of the right remedy and in finding what is the cause.  Indeed I went in search of a natural remedy versus the typical medical remedy that has known side effects of weakening the heart and damaging the kidneys.   Well, knowing that its possible to handle blood pressure without the use of drugs by some lifestyle changes, some herbs and vitamins, exercise, and as I would learn later, chiropractic care.   The first course we took was getting the salt in-take down.  No more packaged freezer meals like Chicken Pot Pie (God love them).   Yes, more work for me, but less in the long run, from now on she gets all home-made meals unless there is just no time for a home-made meal.   That means every couple of weeks cooking large quantity of home-made chicken pot pie using just the right amount of everything, all organic and umm ummm good!  Also means making home-made turkey meat loaf, and lots of salads and fruits.

The Chinese acupuncture worked pretty well along with the Chinese herbs for blood pressure, but unfortunately, the effect was not long lasting, only for a week at a time, meaning weekly trips to the doctor for acupuncture.  After  a year of going once per week to the Chinese doctor for Blood Pressure treatments of between 30 minutes to an hour laying there with needles sticking in your arms, hands, legs, hands, feet and even your head! and driving 45 minutes each way to the appointments – it occurred to me that the chiropractic office I passed that had a sign “acupuncture” might be a good alternative and so I stopped one time and asked.  Turns out, your spine has everything to do with your blood pressure.  If it is out of whack, so is your blood pressure many times.   So, I took the courageous move to make an appointment for my mother that would ultimately change the course of her health care for her and lesson a lot of stress on the both of us as we trek through this time of her life together.

After the first chiropractic treatment  for her spine along with the acupuncture tool he administered, her blood pressure dropped by 20 points!  Good news.  No pills, just chiropractic treatment.   Her blood pressure was excellent no matter what time of day I took the reading.   Before, evenings were always much higher than mornings.  As time has gone by, it appears that the chiropractic treatment is more important to her keeping good blood pressure more than anything!  Now we are looking at consistently 130/70’s and 140/70’s.

She now shows much improvement in her standing, walking and endurance. While I was taking her to get the Chinese acupuncture treatments her blood pressure was not nearly so good, it was only passable and unpredictable.  Sometimes it would be in 120’s, other times 150’s and even higher in the evening.

Passing this along to my readers in case this might help in the care of your special family members who may suffer from some of the same problems.

I am glad to report, my mother does not have an ache or pain, no complaints, is walking great and enjoying her golden years at 85.

God Bless all of my readers and wishing you healthy, happy and complete life!

Natures Sunshine Herbs

Success! All Growing in Melody! and Summertime Help with Pests

Since my last post, I have learned many more things about gardening once again!  My planted from seed plants have come up well and healthy!  The one tomato plant that I purchased seemed to get off to a good start and then looked like it was just standing still.  I could not figure out why there were over 20 tomatoes on it, green, but growing large and were not turning red!   Then, I saw one day some critters walking around in there that looked like moths!  Ah Ha!  so that is what is nibbling at these leaves!   I then treated with a liquid all natural bug killer formula I had just picked up that is designed to get rid of the bad worms that are developed from butterfly larvae.  On the front of the bottle, there it was a picture of this moth I saw walking through the garden near my tomato plant!  So, I readily mixed this up along with the insecticidal soap I use and began pouring!

I treated the area all over the garden including where it was just dirt.  I particularly soaked the area of the tomato plant that was so loaded with green tomatoes.

Low and behold in the next day or two, the tomatoes started ripening!  The plant seem to come back to life and I saw new plant growth.  So, I began picking off the sick looking leaves and pulling up the weeds and overgrowth of peppermint.  Now, we are cooking!

So, it has now been about 6 weeks since planting from seed the rest of the garden and the plants are all growing very well, especially the cucumbers.  They are extending out in vines and winding and flowering.  The tomato plants from seed are now about 2 feet tall and looking very healthy.  The Okra plants are a might slower than the rest, but still looking good and will drastically shoot up when the heat increases.  Okra loves heat.

Roses Have Bugs Will Travel

I have learned to fight off black spot on the roses in the back yard this year.  First of all, this is a bad season for bugs of all kinds.  You will find yourself discovering new little creatures attacking your plants.  My overall tonic for gardening is the Nature Guard Insecticidal Soap.  I use that over the entire vege garden (with a watering can) and then what is left gets to go all over the roses.    Then I apply compost tea in spray form to the roses for good measure.  They will thrive.  But, don’t be fooled!  Those little spiders will return.  Keep it up every 3 to 5 days for a while.  You may need to do more serious insecticidal work around the yard, particularly around fence areas where spiders seem to love to hang around.    One rather easy thing to use that is super good for all crawling bugs is diatemacious earth (ground up oyster shells).  It is sharp and cuts the little bodies of all crawling creatures (very small) .  Looks like white flour that is sprinkled wherever you are needing to kill off the pests.  Leave it there several days that are dry to get best effect.    This helps your pets as well.  Gets rid of fleas, etc.

Other Backyard Pests

You can also throw out onto your lawn and around the fence areas sulfur granules which are repellant to most all bugs and even snakes.  Snakes will not cross over it.  So, be sure  you put it thoroughly across the lawn all the way to the edge so that they do not creep inside  your yard.  Make sure you don’t already have them inside or you will hem them in!

Weed them Out!

If you have problems with those nagging weeds that grow in a circle and are so hard to get rid of and mow over, I have a great natural weed killing formula.  You purchase 10% vinegar solution (only at feed store, don’t try to make it) and purchase orange oil.   In your watering can (largest one) use about 2-3 cups of the vinegar and 1 ounce or so of the orange oil, DO NOT ADD WATER.  Mix it up a little and then pour directly over each weed you want to kill making sure you get the entire circle of the weed.    Come back about 4 hours later and you’ll see they look like they have been burned!

Armies of Ants can be Dealt with in One Fell Swoop!

Here is one last organic pest tip.   We ran across a bad problem with ants living in our boat this year.  Could not figure out why they were interested in the boat, particularly around the engine, but they bite and make  your life miserable.  I went to my local organic based feed store and asked what they had natural to get rid of these.    We had been using orange oil and water mix to kill them when we saw them, but could not get to their origin.  That same orange oil that I mentioned above for weed killing is something you just ought to keep around during bug season.  It smells great and won’t hurt any person or animal, but will kill on contact any bug, even a flying wasp!  I have used it for years.  You can also drench an ant bed and kill instantly every single one of them.  Back to the trip to the feed store inquiring about the ant-killing remedies.  They had an all natural non-toxic ant bait.  Super convenient.   You just leave these little silver dollar sized baits around where you have been seeing them.  The ants go into the house and pick up the grains and take to their queen.  She dies eating it and the rest of the colony cannot live without her.  Just a little ant trivia.

Orange Oil, Nature’s Contribution to Bug Control

For general purposes, keep yourself a large spray bottle of orange oil in your kitchen or back yard area for your instant use.  You mix about 1 ounce or less to about a quart or more of water.   It will look milky.  This stuff is magic! and leaves the area smelling great.

Its good to find yourself a good feed store that offers a variety of organic mulch, fertilizer, pesticides.  You can find something for any kind of bug problem you have and any kind of sick plant or tree problem you have.   Just look for that feed store that is focused on organics.  The one that I use also has conventional type of feeds and other items, but a substantial amount of organics.

Hope this little bit of information helps you get through your summer in good health! and makes your gardening that much more fun!

Here’s to your health and well being.  Blessings to all my readers.