kitchen tips

This post is a part of Kitchen Tip Tuesday over at Tammy’s Recipes.¬† I encourage you to visit Tammy regularly for kitchen tips, recipes, and encouragement ūüôā

We really like dates!

I like to puree them and add dried fruit or nuts for a Lara type snack bar, eat them right from the box, and wrap them with bacon for a delicious hors d’oeuvre!

Not only are they yummy they’re very good for you too!

Check this out from “”


“Medjool dates are large moist dates (2 ¬Ĺ times as large as a normal date), while the smaller Deglet Noor dates are a drier date. These dates provide fiber, potassium, and magnesium nutrients that defend us from heart disease and cancer. Evidence shows that eating fiber-rich foods reduces our risk of colon, rectum, and breast cancers. Soluble fibers have been linked to low blood cholesterol levels and scientists believe they may help lower blood pressure and stabilize blood sugar. Four medjool dates provide 570 milligrams of stroke-reducing Potassium and 10% of the U.S. RDA of essential Magnesium. Potassium works with sodium and magnesium to regulate blood pressure and to control the proper rhythm of the heart. One study showed that eating even one serving daily of fresh fruits or vegetables high in potassium can reduce the risk of stroke by 40%. Potassium is necessary to maintain fluid balance in cells, transmit nerve signals, release energy from carbohydrates and proteins, improve the delivery of oxygen to the brain, and aids clear thinking. Magnesium is very important because it plays a major role in almost every major biological process. It is essential for maintaining the heart, good nerve function, bone formation and many general metabolic processes. Magnesium has been shown to be an essential component of more than 300 critical enzymatic reactions. It activates enzymes that control energy release from glucose and fats, and releases energy stored in muscles so it can be used.”

Co-ops usually have large quantities of dates resonably priced, so, this is how I usually get them. Recently, I didn’t use up my dates quickly enough and when I went to get them they were as hard as rocks!! If this happens to you, simply soak them in water for about ten minutes, and they are as good as new!


This post is a part of Kitchen Tips Tuesdays at Tammy’, head over there for more great kitchen tips!

Kids are really smart. We are not going to convince them that liver is yummy. Especially¬†if we¬†don’t happen to feel that way ourselves!

But! It is so good for them..and us,¬†that it’s worth at least trying to¬†sneak it in, somewhere. Think about the really old people you know. The ones that fly past you at the mall. The really old ones that still smoke and spit. Ask ’em what their moms fed them growing up and they’ll tell ya “liver and onions”! (and cod liver oil, but we’ll talk about that another day ūüôā

So how DO you get your family to eat liver?

The very best way to introduce liver to your family is to sneak it in to a recipe in small amounts,¬†without them knowing anything about it. Then gradually increase the amount as everyone’s palates adjust.

I’ve found liver is best disguised when combined with a spicy food like medium or hot sausage. If you don’t eat pork, pepperjack cheese works nicely.

My favorite recipe with liver is¬†“Spicy Meatballs”. It’s based on a recipe I found on my friend Katie’s blog.

Spicy¬†Meatballs (Katie’s Recipe)

1T minced garlic

2t fresh chopped parsley

1T dried basil

2t ground cumin

1T dried dill weed

1/2t ground black pepper

1/2 dry bread crumbs

1.5t yellow mustard

1/2t salt

2 eggs, beaten

1C shredded pepperjack cheese

1.5lb ground beef

1/2 lb liver (liver from grass-fed animals is the healthiest choice, if you can’t buy from a farmer’s market or directly from a farm, most grocery stores (I know Wal-Mart does) sell calf livers. This would be the only liver I would buy from the store! In the U.S. calves are still started out on pasture, so calf liver from the store is still¬†a good option)

Soak your liver in lemon juice for at least 30 min. before using, this helps remove impurities and improves the texture.

Puree liver and combine with remaining ingredients. If you have time to mix this all up either the day before or the morning you plan to cook them the meat sort of marinades in all of the spices and makes the meatballs even yummier!

Form into meatballs and bake in a moderate oven (around 350 degrees) until 140 degrees inside (usually somewhere around 30-40 minutes)

I only had to make these a few times until I noticed myself craving them! Amazing how¬†our bodies know what’s good for us (if we’ll pay attention:)

Now when I make these I use 1lb grass-fed beef, 1lb medium sausage (in place of the cheese), and, because our palates have adjusted, we use 1lb of liver as well!

I always double the recipe. When they’re done I spread them out on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer and¬†after they’re frozen I put them in ziploc bags!

This is SOOO convenient!

I can pull a couple of handfuls out and warm them in a little pasta sauce for a really quick spaghetti dinner.

Or take one or two out and chop them up in an omelette (my personal favorite).

They’re also great on a hoagie with a yummy sauce.

That doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

Well, if feeding your kids liver now so they can have lots of fun mall-walking and spitting when they’re really old isn’t reason enough for ya…..take a look at this!

  APPLE (100 g) CARROTS (100 g) RED MEAT (100 g) BEEF LIVER (100 g)
Calcium 3.0 mg 3.3 mg 11.0 mg 11.0 mg
Phosphorus 6.0 mg 31.0 mg 140.0 mg 476.0 mg
Magnesium 4.8 mg 6.2 mg 15.0 mg 18.0 mg
Potassium 139.0 mg 222.0 mg 370.0 mg 380.0 mg
Iron .1 mg .6 mg 3.3 mg 8.8 mg
Zinc .05 mg .3 mg 4.4 mg 4.0 mg
Copper .04 mg .08 mg .18 mg 12.0 mg
Vitamin A None None 40 IU 53,400 IU
Vitamin D None None Trace 19 IU
Vitamin E .37 mg .11 mg 1.7 mg .63 mg
Vitamin C 7.0 mg 6.0 mg None 27.0 mg
Thiamin .03 mg .05 mg .05 mg .26 mg
Riboflavin .02 mg .05 mg .20 mg 4.19 mg
Niacin .10 mg .60 mg 4.0 mg 16.5 mg
Pantothenic Acid .11 mg .19 mg .42 mg 8.8 mg
Vitamin B6 .03 mg .10 mg .07 mg .73 mg
Folic Acid 8.0 mcg 24.0 mcg 4.0 mcg 145.0 mcg
Biotin None .42 mcg 2.08 mcg 96.0 mcg
Vitamin B12 None None 1.84 mcg 111.3 mcg

This chart is from The Healthy Skeptic. (Great Source for Health Info)

And, because recipe posts are lame without pictures, I’ll try to get some up today!


This post is a part of Kitchen Tips Tuesday at Tammy’s Recipes. Head over there for more great kitchen tips!

I like to make lots of soups and stews during the cold months and  many of them call for a few slices of bacon or a little bit of sausage.

Since switching to a traditional diet I’ve been purchasing pastured and nitrate/ preservative free meats. These cost more than store bought meats, but I’ve found I can get by with a little less than what recipes call for without affecting the end result.

So, when I want to add 4 or 6 slices of bacon to say… a lentil stew, but the bacon in my freezer is a whole pound, here is what I do.

I take the bacon from my freezer and place about a third of the package in warm water…..

After about five minutes I take the bacon out of the water. The part that was in the water is completely thawed!

I use kitchen shears to cut off the portion I will be using.

After that, the rest of the bacon that’s still frozen, goes right back in to the freezer!

Super fast. Super easy!

Have a great Tuesday!