Spicy Bean Chips

I just heard about a new snack food called beanitos. I found the ingredient list on the internet and went to work on a grain-free, additive-free version that can be made at home.

I used an old recipe for Spicy Bean Dip from the Moosewood Cookbook and added ground yellow flax seeds to hold the chips together. I put the chips into the dehydrator for the night. I made two versions, one with fresh lime juice and one without. I know I have a great recipe when my family are eating the chips right out of the dehydrator!

bean chips 2 Spicy Bean Chips

The bean chips are a bit delicate but have a nice crunchy, creamy texture with a spicy aftertaste.

4c soaked and cooked organic white beans
4T organic olive oil
1 large organic onion, chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
2tsp sea salt
2tsp whole organic cumin seeds, freshly ground
1tsp whole organic peppercorns, freshly ground
1/2c garden parsley, chopped
2-4 pinches organic cayenne, to taste
1/2c yellow flax seeds, freshly ground
1/4c homemade banana peppers, minced (optional)
1 organic lime, freshly squeezed (optional)

Soak the white beans overnight in filtered water. Rinse the beans well before covering with fresh water and cooking for 1-2 hours until very tender. Remove any scum or hard beans during cooking. Rinse the cooked bean in filtered water.

Freshly grind all the spices and yellow flax in a spice grinder for best results. Saute the onions and sea salt in the olive oil until lightly browned. Remove from heat and add the garlic and cumin.

In a food processor, blend the onion mixture, parsley, cayenne, peppercorns, banana peppers and lime until smooth. Add the cooked beans and flax meal and mix well. Use a bit of extra water to get a smooth texture, if needed. The bean paste should be as thick as possible.

Drop the bean paste onto the dehydrator sheets using a teaspoon. With a wet spoon lightly press down the paste into a round shape. The bean chips dry very quickly in the dehydrator.

bean crackers test 1 Spicy Bean Chips

This recipe can be used for making spicy bean chips which are a good travel food. If you don’t have time to dehydrate the chips just use the bean paste as a dip.

Healthy Household: Douglas Fir Resin Salve and Liniment

“As respiratory medicine, applied externally in a rub, these saps make a great winter medicine for colds, flu and winter congestion. They help break up phlegm, open breathing passages, reduce irritating and dry coughs, deepen the breath, calm the mind and encourage a restful sleep.”
Apothecary’s Garden

douglas fir resin Healthy Household: Douglas Fir Resin Salve and Liniment

Local resins have many of the same properties as exotic resins such as frankincense or myrrh. Tree resins are analgesic and antiseptic and can be used to treat wounds, cuts and burns.

Last winter I did two posts on using frankincense resin in salve and liniment. Many of the local tree resins can be used like frankincense. Local resins have some of the healing properties of frankincense though many local resins have not been thoroughly tested for their medical uses.

There are a number of good reasons to experiment with local plants from our bioregion. The first reason is cost. Local resins are free for the gathering. The second reason is flexibility. It’s good to know that even if we couldn’t get a supply of frankincense for some reason there’s a local solution. Just because the science hasn’t been completely worked out doesn’t mean we can’t experiment with local resins. Who knows, we might even stumble upon some new use for these common plants.

“When used for tired and sore muscles and joints, they stimulate surface blood flow which helps remove toxins from muscles and joints, help invigorate tired muscles, ease aches and pains, reduce swelling and inflammation in joints and reduce the pain of sprained and strained muscles.”

douglas fir resin 1 Healthy Household: Douglas Fir Resin Salve and Liniment

This salve smells like laying in the grass in a Douglas Fir forest on a hot day in the Gulf Islands. Very calming.

Douglas Fir Resin Oil
1 part wildcrafted Douglas Fir resin
2-3 parts organic olive oil
1/2 part pure bee’s wax, small pieces

Remember to be very careful working with resins. Use a mason jar that can take the heat but can be thrown out after use or reserve that jar for use with resins. Put the resin into a mason jar and add the olive oil. Half fill a sauce pan with water and put the mason jar into the sauce pan. Bring the water to a boil and simmer the resin and olive oil for 30 minutes. Cool the resin infused oil overnight. The resin will drop to the bottom of the mason jar.

Carefully, pour off the resin infused olive oil into another mason jar. Add the bee’s wax cut into very small pieces. Half fill a sauce pan with water and put the mason jar into the sauce pan. Bring the water to a boil. Simmer until the bee’s wax is melted. Carefully, pour the hot mixture into containers and label.

douglas fir resin 2 Healthy Household: Douglas Fir Resin Salve and Liniment

Add the bee’s wax to the resin oil and carefully warm. After the bee’s wax melts completely, pour the mixture into containers and label.

“[Tree resins] also help moisturize, increase the suppleness of skin and help reduce wrinkles and crows feet. These healing phytochemicals are the whole saps or oleoresins as naturally produced by the trees for their own healing and well-being, not just isolated essential oils.”

fir resin liniment Healthy Household: Douglas Fir Resin Salve and Liniment

Douglas Fir Resin Liniment can be used like any other liniment or medical adhesive. For more information about how to use liniments see the post on Frankincense Liniment.

Fir Resin Liniment

1 part wildcrafted Douglas Fir resin
3-4 parts 95% alcohol (190 proof) Everclear

Many liniments are made with methanol which is NOT safe for internal use. As I have stated before, I do not put anything on my skin that I would not consider safe to ingest. This liniment is made with ethanol, so it can be used internally.

Have caution when working with resins. Resins are messy and sticky. Use a glass container that will only be used for that type of resin or use a container that can be thrown away after use. It will be impossible to clean the glass container after cracking the resin. The cracked resin will stick to everything it touches and once the resin dries it will produce a very hard, varnish-like coating.

Once you have acquired some 95% alcohol, this liniment is very easy to make. Remove any pieces of wood or dead insects from the resin. Put the cleaned resin in a glass container that will only be used for resin or can be thrown out after use. Add the 95% alcohol to the resin and seal the jar with a lid. Label the jar as fir resin. Put the percentage of alcohol, today’s date, and the decanting date. Decanting day will be in one week but liniment made with fresh resin can be ready in as little as a day.

On decanting day, carefully pour off the liquid into a glass bottle. Use a glass bottle that can be discarded or reused for more liniment because the resin cannot be cleaned out of the bottle.

fir resin liniment 3 Healthy Household: Douglas Fir Resin Salve and Liniment

Making liniment with fresh resin can take up to a week but can be ready in a day. The fresh fir resin is very soft and seems to almost melt into the Everclear. Yes, those are dead ants. If some dead ants get through the cleaning process just remove the bodies as they float to the surface.

fir resin liniment 2 Healthy Household: Douglas Fir Resin Salve and Liniment

For best results use the Fir Resin Liniment followed by a top layer of the Fir Resin Salve or shea butter to avoid sticking.

For more recipes please see Healthy Household: Staying Clean Safely and Saving Money.

Healthy Household: Diatomaceous Earth

de 1 Healthy Household: Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic, natural mineral that can be used safely in the home, garden or homestead. DE is safe for internal use with pets, livestock and people.

“Diatomaceous earth comes from fossilized shells of freshwater diatoms and is found in vast deposits all over the earth. Made up of silicone and trace minerals, diatomaceous earth can, according to the scientific literature, absorb methyl mercury, E. coli, endotoxins, viruses (including poliovirus), organophosphate pesticide residues, drug residue, and protein, perhaps even the proteinaceous toxins produced by some intestinal infections.”
Mad as a Hatter by Dr Kaayla Daniel

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a non-toxic, natural mineral that can be used safely in the home, garden or homestead. DE is safe for internal use with pets, livestock or people. DE is effective against numerous pests and parasites including intestinal worms, fleas, lice, mites, termites, ants, spiders, bed bugs, etc.

There are many uses for DE. I have personally used DE for:

  • killing fleas and biting spiders inside the household by sprinkling DE followed by vacuuming 24 hours later
  • de-worming our warehouse cat and hens by putting DE in their fed
  • controlling mites by sprinkling DE in the hen’s dust bath
  • controlling serious infestations in the garden by sprinkling DE around the infestation

After experimenting with DE for about two years, I can say the product is safe and effective at pest and parasite control. It is also a very inexpensive product with multiple uses. I would recommend every household having a supply of DE on hand for use instead of pesticides or de-worming agents.

“Until we can clean up the planet and our act, we fortunately do have a dirt cheap, stop-gap way of coping with metal toxicity. That solution is diatomaceous earth.”

DE has a long history of being used internally for removal of heavy metals. I have taking DE internally but don’t have any long term experience doing so. Just add a small amount of DE to water and drink. If you are interested in the internal use of DE please read Mad as a Hatter: How to Avoid Toxic Metals and Clear Them from the Body.

“The only caveat is that diatomaceous earth used for human or animal detoxification must be food grade. People and other mammals should never use the coarse, crystalline form of diatomaceous earth sold for use in swimming pool filters or as insecticides, or sources of diatomaceous earth contaminated with toxins like arsenic and the metal toxins.”

de 2 Healthy Household: Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth comes in different grades. Use “food grade” DE for pets, livestock or people. You can get food grade DE at Nature’s Fare. The Horse Barn and Purity Feeds has lower grades of DE. A pail of food grade DE is an inexpensive addition for your emergency supplies and medical kit. DE will last a very long time if kept dry.

“To detoxify with diatomaceous earth, dissolve less than one teaspoon to one tablespoon for every 100 pounds of body weight in a glass of pure water and drink before bed over a period of months or years. Taken this way, its metal-binding capacity is unlikely to hinder the absorption of needed minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc, which we take in from our food at mealtimes or from supplements during the day.”

For more recipes please see Healthy Household: Staying Clean Safely and Saving Money.

Healthy Household: Fast Exercise

“There is a persistent widespread belief in the fitness industry that the more time you spend exercising, the better.”
Fast Exercise by Dr Michael Mosley

I have just finished a very simple and interesting book called Fast Exercise by Dr Michael Mosley. He has also written a book called Fast Diet which is basically the same as the Every-Other-Day Diet which you can read about here and here.

The book Fast Exercise will outline how to get all the health benefits of exercise in a very short period of time. If you have ever used the excuse that you don’t have time for exercise, this book is for you.

The system is based on two types of exercise. The Fast Strength workout is based on doing 2-3 sets of body weight exercises. These full-body exercises can be done anywhere and without any equipment. The most common full-body exercises are: pushup, pullup, squat, and plank. The book also has a Fast Exercise Park workout that can be done in any city park. The second type of exercise is called a Fast Fitness workout which is based on High Intense Training (HIT) and High Intense Interval Training (HIIT).

The time required for exercise is minimal:

  1. Fast Strength workout take 5-7 minutes, twice a week.
  2. The Fast Fitness workout requires two sets for 20 seconds of hard exercise twice a week. If you’re really gung-ho you can do three sets for 30 seconds of hard exercise twice a week.
  3. The program requires lots of rest between workouts!

“Hunter-gatherers would have likely alternated difficult days with less demanding days when possible. The same pattern of alternating a strenuous workout one day with an easy one the next day produces higher levels of fitness with lower rates of injury… The natural crosstraining that was a mandatory aspect of life as a hunter-gatherer improves performance across many athletic disciplines.”

Fast Strength and Fast Fitness is an excellent addition to a daily walking routine and eating a nourishing traditional diet from quality sources. Getting enough sleep and controlling stress is also important for maintaining vibrate health. Because the Fast Exercise workouts are so short there is less chance of injury. Even if you don’t like exercising the routine is over quickly. For more information see: Fast Exercise Tips. Here’s more tips for improving well-being:
Daily Prescription to Improve My Well-being

optional exercise equipment Healthy Household: Fast Exercise

Exercise equipment is optional. For Fast Strength I use a pad and reused containers as weighs. I bought a used bicycle for Fast Fitness but you can skip rope, climb stairs, or do jumping jacks. There’s no need for any equipment or expensive gym memberships.

Below is Mark Sisson showing how to do progressively more difficult Primal Movements which are basically the same exercises as Fast Strength. Here’s more information about four Primal Movements.

For more recipes please see Healthy Household: Staying Clean Safely and Saving Money.

Updated June 13, 2015: Here’s John Kiefer talking to fatburningman.com about ketogenic diets, high intensity training, life extension and functionality later in life.

Ketogenic Chocolate Fudge

ketogenic fudge 1 Ketogenic Chocolate Fudge

Ketogenic Chocolate Fudge is unlike any fudge you have ever eaten.

This recipe originally came from Eat Fat, Loss Fat by Dr Mary Enig and Sally Fallon Morell. I have made a few changes to the recipe to make it ketogenic.

This is like no fudge you have ever eaten. Normally, fudge is a super sweet dessert loaded with sugar. In contrast, this fudge is loaded with healthy fats.

1 1/4c organic coconut oil
1/4c organic creamed coconut
3-4T organic butter
5-6T organic cocoa powder
1-2T local honey
2 big pinches of sea salt
1T homemade vanilla extract (optional)
1c organic pecans, finely ground

Put the coconut oil, creamed coconut and butter into a Pyrex measuring cup. Place the measuring cup in a sauce pan half filled with water. Bring the water to a boil and simmer the mixture until melted.

In a food processor or Vitamix machine, add the melted coconut mixture, cocoa powder, honey, salt and vanilla extract. Blend very well. Add the nuts and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 8″x8″ glass pan lined with wax paper.

Cool the fudge in the freezer until the it is almost solid. Remove the fudge and cut into 32 bars. If you get the cooling at the right point, the fudge cuts cleanly and easily.

Store in the freezer. Enjoy the fudge when you need a quick snack that will fuel your body for hours.

ketogenic fudge 2 Ketogenic Chocolate Fudge

Melt the coconut oil, creamed coconut and butter in a Pyrex cup.

ketogenic fudge 3 Ketogenic Chocolate Fudge

Pour the fudge into a glass pan lined with wax paper. Cool in the freezer.

ketogenic fudge 4 Ketogenic Chocolate Fudge

Use the wax paper to remove the hardened fudge from the pan. It’s easier to cut on the counter. I should have given the fudge a bit more time to cool because the fudge didn’t cut smoothly.