IMG_5854The countdown to the end of Kung Fu camp is on… Two more days.
I’ve ended up having to help out more than I thought I would, so haven’t had nearly as much time as I’d wanted to get stuff on here. As I sit here in my cubicle at the Kung Fu school, I am trying not to worry frantically about the fact that I have massive amounts of herbs that desperately need to be harvested back at home. Worried I’m going to lose the rest of my chamomile and red clover, due to the incessant rain we’re having;worried my milky oats and rose hips are just going to rot. Just have to hope for the best…
I’m also hoping we get enough time this weekend to pick and freeze blueberries and boysenberries that seem to be ripening rapidly (and early!) this year (one of the benefits of the unbearable heat, humidity and excessive rain, I suppose). We managed to get them all netted this year, so won’t lose any to birds. (We didn’t manage to get our elderberries netted. I thought we had a couple more weeks, but the birds ate them all unripe, which I was totally not expecting. Got enough elderflowers to make tincture, thankfully!) We’ll have two days to get all of this done before my daughter and I take off to the Cape to visit family and go surfing (such as it is on the east coast in summer), plus making home-made chocolates and grain-free/sugar-free banana bread for our trip (check out this recipe I found–I had to modify it a bit to make it lower sugar;I’ll get my modified version up on here soon), so she has some healthy treats that she loves when her cousins eat ice cream, etc.

OK, will get a few more recipes up before the end of the week. Have to get back to researching computer animation programs for my daughter. She’s decided she really wants to make movies out of her drawings and photos, etc. Being a complete Luddite, I know absolutely nothing about this, so have messages out to all my illustrator/computer graphics friends to try to find how to go about this. If anyone (homeschooling moms out there?) has any suggestions for me, please write!

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Two Really Easy Gourd Recipes

Roasted Delicata Circles

Delicata is delicious, sort of sweet, but not as starchy as Butternut, so doesn’t spike sugar/insulin as badly. My daughter loves these cold the next day for lunch.

A couple of small to medium delicata squash
Extra Virgin, cold-pressed organic coconut or olive oil
sea salt to taste
ground pepper to taste (optional)

Slice the squash in thin rounds (about 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch thick). Clean out the seeds. Spread in a single layer on a baking dish that’s been sprinkled with the oil (I use a pyrex dish–you’ll need more than one, or the other option is to pile the squash up in a thicker layer, but then make sure to stir frequently so it all gets cooked). If using coconut oil, bake at 350 F for about 15 minutes, then turn circles over and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until just slightly browning. If using olive oil, bake at a lower temperature, around 300 F, for about 20 minutes each side. Remove from oven. Sprinkle salt and pepper over all and enjoy warm or cold.

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Creamy Coconut Pumpkin Soup

I have been craving everything pumpkin lately (have I mentioned this already?). It must be the power of suggestion, some subliminal thing. Ya think? They’re everywhere, here in New England, right now:every roadside, every porch, every schoolyard. People keep bringing them over (we happen to not have grown any this year–not sure why–just forgot). We have a bunch of various-sized ones in our front hallway that my daughter has great plans for:she’s presently obsessed with Harry Potter,  being 1/2-way through the fourth book, so the pumpkins will soon be carved into a plethora of fantastical characters from the books (for some reason, none of her favorites, none of the main characters, rather some of the secondary more obscure ones). I’ll put up some pics in here when they actually get carved, see if anyone can guess who they are…
Meanwhile…. this oh-so-simple and satisfying soup:

To make pumpkin puree:
Cut a baking pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds, etc. Prick each half in a few places with a fork. Place face-side down on an oiled baking dish. Roast in oven  at 350F to 375F for approximately 1/2 an hour (depending on size of pumpkin), or until soft when pricked with a fork. Remove from oven. Cool enough that you can handle it with bare hands. Scrape pumpkin meat off of skin with a large spoon and place in food processor or blender and puree, adding small amounts of  broth or water if necessary to make smooth. Add fresh raw pastured butter and/or cream, salt and pepper, and you have a delicious veggie, or make the soup:

4 cups pumpkin puree (either canned or home-made)
1 and 1/2 cups coconut cream
1/2 to 1 cup home-made bone-broth
salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro (finely chopped) is also good in this (optional)

Stir everything together in a pot, and bring almost to boiling point. Serve warm with an extra dollop of coconut cream (or sour cream) and sprinkling of cilantro or rosemary.

Remember, pumpkin is not a very low-carb food, though nowhere near as high on the glycemic index as sweet potatoes. If you eat it with lots of good fat (coconut, raw cream, etc) and in a meal with some protein too, you should be OK.