Monday, June 30, 2008


Well, I felt bad about not posting anything yet!! The sprouts will be ready tomorrow or the next day, but instead of waiting for them, I decided to do a quick post on making mayonnaise.

We do not eat mayonnaise very often and I just cannot bring myself to buy the store brands. The 'health food store brands' are high quality ... with a price to match! While I do not go so far as to using grapeseed oil, I am at least content to know it is as fresh as possible with real ingredients that are usually on hand.

Total time is about 10 minutes from start to finish, including clean up. You will only need FIVE things: 1c oil of your choice (of course the different oils may change the flavor of the end product), 1 egg, 1 1/2T vinegar (or lemon juice if you prefer), 1/2t salt, & 1/2t mustard powder. I use a blender, however an electric mixer will work too.

Place everything EXCEPT the oil into the blender. Blend on low speed till mixed (a few seconds). Add the oil while the blender is on low (if you have a Vitamix, I set mine on variable speed 4) - the oil should be a slow, steady stream like this:
Here's a look from the inside just starting:
Below is a shot after about 20 seconds - the mixture will start to look more and more like mayo (mine looks more yellow here than it actually is .. the lighting was bad!). If you add the oil too fast, it will not blend properly ... so make sure to go slow! Soon it will get very thick; you may need to stop the blender to scrape down the sides.
Once all of your oil is gone, it should be done. Does it look like mayo? Does it taste like mayo? I've found that I like a little extra salt and vinegar in mine, however start with what I posted above, and adjust from there. Take notes and put your final adjusted recipe into your recipe box, book, or whatever.
This will make a little more than one cup of mayo; store in the refrigerator for up to about 2 weeks.

If you make it, let me know how it goes!
I am going to try to make an egg-free kind soon. I'll post that if and when it turns out.
In Christ,

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bulk buying and scratch cooking

Are you interested in saving money while eating healthier? Or how about just saving money around the house in general? If you are not, you should be! The way prices keep going up at the grocery and department stores, I am sure soon many will ‘wish’ they had paid attention in Home Economics class … or listened more to their seemingly ‘crazy health nut friends’ (uuh-hum ..). I thought it would be fun and worthwhile to begin a blog specifically for saving money and eating better.

I’m sure a lot of you know we enjoy eating healthy foods. I believe (and the Bible says) my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I do my best to make wise food choices, but at the same time am not a ‘slave to my diet’. We do not always eat healthy because often circumstances will not allow it. However we do our best while at home and leave the rest in the Lord’s hands. Besides that, I firmly believe the Lord wants us to be good stewards of what He has given us. Making wise choices with your food dollars (and learning to stretch them as far as they will go) is just one way to be a good steward of the Lord’s provisions.

The most obvious way to save money and eat better is to cook from scratch. If you are used to using packaged, convenience items, it will take time to learn how to switch over to ‘from scratch’ food. However once you learn, I’m sure you will be glad you did! It is very easy to make food from scratch … yes, even items like ketchup, mayonnaise, salad dressing, gravy, sauces, crackers, cereal, bread, and so on.

Buying certain items in bulk will stretch your food dollars even more. One way of buying in bulk is to simply stock up when you know a store is having an amazing sale. For instance, one time (about 6 years ago already), one local grocery store had real butter on sale for 50 cents a pound! Of course that’s a really good price; I bought 40 pounds and stored the excess in my freezer (and the clerk looked at me like I was nuts for buying 40 packages of butter!).

Another way to buy in bulk is to purchase large boxes, containers or sacks of items such as grains, beans, oil, nuts, and so on. There are a lot of choices for buying bulk food in such a way … warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s offer plenty of food items in bulk. Even normal grocery stores have a few things in large packages (beans, rice and flour for example). Believe it or not, the expensive health food stores often sell organic bulk foods cheaper than conventional packaged foods at regular stores. Spices and herbs for tea or other home remedies, for instance, are much fresher and cheaper when purchased in bulk at a health food store. Plus, you choose how much you need (who needs a whole bottle of cardamom when all you will use is a pinch once in a while?!). A farmer’s market is another place where you can buy things in bulk; mainly, fresh produce. If you go towards the end of the day, you may even get a good discount. Some will probably wonder what would be the point of buying a lot of fresh produce at one time … bulk cooking! For example, if you get a good deal on fresh tomatoes, onions and green peppers (better yet, if your garden produces abundantly these items), why not make up a huge pot of spaghetti sauce or chili and freeze it in single family meal sized portions? This saves time, energy and money. The last option for bulk buying is a food club – Azure Standard is whom we order from (you have to be a member to get the member prices, however there are no 'membership fees'). We order once a month and the truck comes to someone’s house that has volunteered to be a drop point. There are a few drop points in Omaha and surrounding areas. There’s one more food buying club for our area but I forgot the name – it used to be Blooming Prairie but they changed it a while ago … no matter anyway because they were more expensive than Azure. I buy spices, grains, beans, and other items from Azure and save a lot of money. Azure is based in Oregon, but they deliver all the way to the Midwest. For those who live further east, ask around for food buying clubs in your area.

Besides saving money, buying in bulk also offers a store of food for times of need. What would you do if your husband got laid off (or fired!) from his job and no money came in for several months while he looked for another job? There are plenty of other scenarios, but whatever the case, a full pantry offers choice in the midst of hard times. There are so many ways to use that 200 pounds of wheat in the basement … more obvious ways such as bread, crackers and tortillas; to less obvious ways like sprouts, grain pilaf, and hot cereal.

In the next blog post, I will demonstrate how to make sprouts. If you have any ideas or suggestions for future posts, feel free to email me or leave a comment by clicking the ‘comments’ button below.

In Christ,