Update on Honey – ZayCon vs. Reisinger

I just talked to Janice Reisinger this morning. Their prices haven’t changed.

There are 12 lbs of honey in a gallon.

Conclusion:

Reisinger  $52.80  for 2 gallons

ZayCon      $65.90  for 2 gallons

Besides, 5 gallon jugs are easier to handle than gallon pails and local honey is more beneficial for you than “foreign”  honey :).

Make it a great one!

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Bean Butter–Huh?!

You heard right, Bean Butter. Let me explain. You can use white beans–either dry or from a can– to make bean butter.

Why Bean Butter? LOW FAT! You can make nearly any baked good low-fat by replacing the fats with bean butter. You say “No way!”. I say “Hey – give it a try!”. I did, and was pleasantly surprised. I tried it in Ginger Snaps and in the Chocolate Zucchini Cake I previously posted. The cake tasted and had the same texture as before. The cookies tasted great but were more like cake cookies rather than “Snaps”.

My conclusion: Bean Butter is a great substitute for fats when used in cakes, quick breads, yeast breads (I have a friend that uses it this way), and cake-like cookies. You substitute fats for Bean Butter using a 1/1 ratio–easy!

There are Two Methods for making Bean Butter:

Wet

Mash canned white beans along with the canning liquid.

Cook your own white beans, either Small White or Great Northern*. Rinse beans, cover by 1-2″ with water and soak overnight. Discard soaking water, rinse, then cover again with water by 1″. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered until tender. DO NOT add anything to the beans when cooking, no matter what their end use will be, the beans will never soften. Trust me! I know what I’m talking about. You can cook and mash a large amount, then freeze in 1/2 cup portions for future use.

Dry

Grind dry white beans in your grain mill to make flour. Add 1/2 cup of this flour to 1 cup water while whisking in a small saucepan. Keep whisking as you bring it to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer covered for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and thick, similar to shortening but not as stiff.

*You can use other types of beans but they will impart color and taste to your baked good, which may not be all bad depending on what it is. It could be fun to experiment! If you use Pinto beans to make flour you can make refried beans in 5 minutes!

Bean flour is handy to have around and will keep for 6 months without refrigeration in an airtight container. Besides using it to make bean butter you can also use it as a thickener or as a nutritious addition to wheat flour when making bread (Fill 1 cup measure 1/8 full with bean flour and the rest with wheat flour.)

In Rita Bingham’s Country Beans she has a recipe for “Cream of Chicken soup”. It is simply white bean flour whisked into boiling water, seasoned, and chicken pieces added along with Italian seasoning. Now you have non-dairy & non-fat!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread (using beans for butter–or not)

Still have Zucchini in your garden and dry white beans & wheat in your food storage? Here’s a recipe that uses all three but can be easily adapted to what you have on hand.

1 3/4 cup sugar (can use a little less sugar &/or part brown or honey)

1/2 cup margarine (butter, coconut oil, applesauce, bean butter*)

1 cup oil (bean butter, coconut oil)

2 eggs

1/2 cup sour milk (1/2 tsp. cider vinegar or lemon with 1/2 c. plain milk, let sit briefly)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking soda

5 Tbsp. cocoa powder

2 1/2 cups flour (use 1/2 white, 1/2 whole wheat or more of this and less white)

2 cups grated Zucchini (I prefer it to be finely grated as do most children)

Cream sugar, fats, and eggs. Add milk. Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture. Fold in grated Zucchini.

Grease your baking pan: Sheet cake size, or a 9 x 13 and an 8 x 8.

Pour batter into pan. You can sprinkle  with 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips & 1/2 cups walnuts if you like or just one or the other.

Bake at 325 degrees for 45-55 minutes.

Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

*See the following post for Bean Butter recipe and directions.

Frosting:

1 cube butter, softened

8 oz. cream cheese

1 tsp. vanilla

Add powdered sugar to desired consistency. Add a little milk to thin if necessary.

Mix well and frost cake when cooled.

 

Seasonal Allergies and Essential Oils

As we come up on the fall season many people experience seasonal allergies. Essential oils can help!

Update 7/16/18: I had nearly forgotten I had this site until I got another subscriber recently, so decided I’d better revisit it.

Many people, especially aromatherapists (of which I am one), will say there is no reason this should work or that it doesn’t work. I’m here to tell you that it does work for some people including me–just like Avon’s Skin So Soft works as a bug repellent for many people though no one can really explain why. Because you can’t explain or prove something, does that mean it can’t or doesn’t work?

The fact is lavender and peppermint both have antihistaminic properties and lemon is a mucolytic, so there actually is a basis for this formula working. For me, it does. I have several mild allergies to the things I live around, such as: grass, aspen trees, cottonwood trees, sage. This means I constantly have post nasal drip to the point I can hardly swallow sometimes. The allergist told me to use Flonase or Zyrtec everyday. You can click on those names to see the possible side effects.

I decided I would rather go with the following blend of essential oils that, if used correctly, have nearly zero side effects. Those could be nausea or “essential oil burp”, which though not pleasant are not dangerous either.

This is how you would use them correctly: Put 2 drops each of lavender, lemon, and peppermint in a gelatin capsule, topped off with a vegetable oil, then take internally. I only use one per day in the morning, though sometimes as I’m going to bed at night too, so I can breathe and swallow freely. I find that if I take them with food and water that I don’t have any problem with burping them or with nausea.

There is some concern about the effects on the liver from using essential oils internally over a long period of time. I have used these for a long time, rather than the medications previously listed, and in all my lab results from physicals, my liver is in fine shape. No one can transpose their experience onto anyone else. This has been my experience and I appreciate having a more natural and safe alternative to control my allergy symptoms.

The following, from my previous post, is true:

I hear it works best if you start this regimen before allergy season starts, one capsule a day, then add more per day as needed throughout the season. If you wait until they start it may take a few days for the oils to start taking effect. Let me know how it works for you.

~Gelatin capsules can be bought at your local pharmacy or health food store. You can also buy this formula ready-made from some essential oil suppliers.