Monthly Archives: April 2012

Soap for safer grey water use

Did some research and found this soap that seems best for greywater use. In the high desert we just don’t have enough water to foul it all up. We have to maximize use of all of it, so we have the laundry water go outside onto the yard!




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Dehydrated pinto beans

We cooked loads of pinto beans this weekend. It took two shifts in the pressure cooker. Once the beans were cooked we added onions, garlic, cumin, green chiles and salt and cooked them more in the crock pot. Then we blended them with the immersion blender, and reduced the beans mix to a thick glop that we could spread it on the teflex sheets in the dehydrator. We dehydrated it over night and then put the dehydrated beans in the food processor to powder it. Ready for Paria Canyon trip in a few weeks! And it makes quick meals easy…so much more delicious to make it from scratch than get it from a can.




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Smoothie popsicles

Took at break from the great spring backyard roundup today to make homemade smoothie popsicles. I got the molds a few years ago at a discount store. I used a blender full of several bananas, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries ( picked last summer), along with young coconut and pineapple juice pulp. I used hot water poured over the frozen fruit as the liquid to blend. Filled these up and there was enough for one more smoothie for right now. To get them out of the molds when they are frozen, I just run the mold under hot water for a sec and it slides out.



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Increased and improved germination

I am very excited to share that the use of the electric blanket under the seedling containers i talked about in a previous post (starting seeds indoors) seems to be dramatically increasing and improving germination. I started half the veggie seeds about a week before the second half. I only added the electric blanket under them when I started the second bunch. And that second bunch is sprouting much more quickly than the first bunch.


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Apple beer

There’s only one apple beer left we made last fall from picked-with-our-own-hands golden delicious apples. We also processed them with our own hands. The yeast we used produced a really dry beery flavor and it is SO fizzy. Yum! I hope we have another good fruit year! We get late frosts and can loose all our fruit blossoms in town in one sad night. Last year was a great fruit year, and if it happens again there will be fruit preserving how-tos like crazy up here. Keeping my fingers crossed!


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Preserving cilantro

I love fresh cilantro. Lately I’ve been eating guacamole almost every day and I like to make it pretty salad-y with cilantro and green onions from the hoop house. But, I know the happy cilantro plants will be less and less happy as it gets hotter in there. So, to preserve the fresh taste, I severely trimmed the cilantro leaves and tender stems and stuck it in the food processor with some water. Then, I froze it in I’ve cube trays. This morning for the guacamole, I used one ice cube of cilantro, adding a tiny bit of the boiling water from making tea to thaw it quickly. In a cooked Thai dish you could just throw the ice cube in there.

Dried cilantro just isn’t the same, and this method keeps the flavor nicely. Hopefully I’ll get one more crop of cilantro before its too warm.



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April morning neighborhood ski

The several inches of snow from yesterday are pretty much all gone today. This morning I tried to beat the melt by getting a ski in on the urban trail. It got pretty sticky. Seasonal waterfalls are gonna be gushing!




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Seeds are beginning to sprout

The seeds are starting to become seedlings! I think the habitat I made for them is to their liking!




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Raw fruit and nut bar

I really love to eat Lara Bars and thought it would be fun to try and make some myself. But since I like to soak and sprout nuts, these cherry pie fruit and nut bars that I made are a little different in texture. If you wanted to make them more like the one you can buy, just don’t soak any ingredients. You could also use raw almond butter too, and mix it with the fruit in a food processor.


For my bars I used dried cherries, raw almonds, raw sunflower seeds, and dates. I think it was about 1 unit of almonds, 1.5 units of cherries, .5 units of sunflower seeds, and .5 -.75 units of dates. So, not as sweet as a the Lara Bar, which lists dates as the first ingredient. I used my Champion juicer and my Excalibur dehydrator.



First I soaked the cherries, nuts and seeds overnight. The cherries were pretty hard. I poured off the water. I had some to cherry nut water to drink and it was good!


Then, I added the dates and mixed it all up.


I put the ‘blank screen’ in the juicer so everything put into it comes out the pulp shoot and made the mixture into cherry date almond sun butter which tasted so amazing!


Looks pretty gross but it would have made a great spread in this form.


I had to dehydrate it because I soaked it, so it would keep better. If you chose not to soak it, I think it would form into bars really well, but this method left it a little too buttery. to me the health benefits of soaking are worth the extra steps.

I squished it into the screen covered with the Teflex sheet and scored it into bars with a butter knife. When it held it’s shape, I flipped it onto a screen with out the Teflex.


Then, later, I separated them onto several screens to dry better. I took a long time for them to get to a chewy consistency.


I put one batch in the fridge and one in the freezer and now its ready for my next snack time, hike or backpacking trip.


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Raw flax crackers

These are so delicious, and full of enzymes and all kinds of healthy stuff. And, they are really easy to make. It does work best with a fancy food dehydrator, the Excalibur! Also, you need a juicer, too.


The recipe is from this book. Lots of other raw food books have other recipes and they are pretty much the same. Also, in here a raw hazelnut chocolate cream pie with a nut crust. OMMNOMNOM!


The recipe calls for

2 1/2 cups of raw flax seeds, soaked for 8 hours

1 cup carrot juice

1 cup carrot pulp (left over from juicing)

salt and pepper

You can see that I added pumpkin seeds and chia seeds too. The chia makes it really gelatinous. I just use enough water so I won’t have to pour any off when I’m done. You can’t mess it up.


Once the seeds are soaked then you add the juice pulp,  juice and seasoning and mix it up with your hands.


Since I’ve been making them for a while I actually skip the juice now and use juice pulp that I have previously frozen from juicing. I want to drink the juice! For this batch I used carrot beet.


Here’s the mix.


The Excalibur dehydrator has these awesome Teflex sheets that you can spread really wet stuff on. Spread the mix in thin layers with your hands on the sheets. Wetting your fingers periodically really helps.  Then when its dry enough you can flip the cracker and peel the sheet off.


There is goes. Its done when its dry and crisp.


I got the dehydrator for $100 from someone on craiglist. Totally worth it and a major discount.


All done!


I also add soy sauce and dulse seaweed flakes sometimes. Its become my fav variation. Also, juice pulp that includes ginger, garlic or fresh tumeric root is wonderful too.

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