Hello and welcome to Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen I cannot begin to tell you how delighted I am to be back with a brand- new column at Smorgasbord Magazine… and how welcome you made me feel last month for my first post of the year you are all stars as is Sally for inviting me back x
I am passionate about cooking from scratch using fresh ingredients, the environment and ensuring that the food I make for my family is clean and as chemical free as it can possible be…I would also love to know that instead of counting calories that more people counted chemicals as it is the chemicals in processed foods which affect our health and wellbeing.
Just to recap for those who missed the first post…This monthly post will cover sustainability, news on food production…changes for the better and maybe a villain or three…haha, a recipe or two including some plant- based recipes, hints and tips on making my household a little greener…aka recycling and composting.
It isn’t easy …in theory we know what we should do …THEREFORE I have looked at what I can do gradually…every small change is a bonus.
Positive signs from 2020 are it seems we are becoming a nation of cooks again we are baking bread, cooking from scratch, making small changes to how we live our live…A reset…
I now bake bread every other day… Sandwich Loaf…an update… (The original recipe was in last month’s post)
The only change I have made so far is to substitute stone ground wholewheat flour for some of the white bread flour…everything else is exactly the same…
The original recipe used 500 gm Bread Flour…
I now use 300gm stone ground wholewheat flour and 200gm Bread Flour.
As different brands of flour do vary it can affect the liquid used up until now, I have not had to change the volume of my liquid. Personally, my family prefer this percentage and is how I will make this sandwich loaf in future it has a nice texture and a nuttier taste.
Did you know?
It’s a given that processed foods can save you a little time. But what you gain in convenience, you lose in money, environmental impact and maybe even health.
That’s because processed foods require more labour to convert them from their natural state to something that fits in a box, bag or tub.
You’re also paying for the chemicals added to the processed food to keep them fresh.
You’re paying for the packaging, too, which is totally worthless once you get it home. Indeed, $1 out of every $11 you spend at the grocery store you spend on packaging you throw away.
I will give you a simple example…Peanut Butter…
One of the quickest and simplest, things to make…
Today I was making a hot homemade protein drink and needed peanut butter…it took a little under 15 mins of my time…
Rather than buying store-bought peanut butter which is full of nasties, it is easier and it is very quick to make your own.
It is the quickest easiest recipe to make ever, the kids can help blitz it and as well as being tasty it has no nasties.
- Take 500 gm raw peanuts. Put in oven on a tray and cook on high for 10 mins.
- Take out of oven and reserve a few (if you like crunchy peanut butter) like me.
- Put the remainder of nuts in a food processor and blitz at 1 min intervals scraping down the sides. Do this for 4 mins or until smooth.
- Add 1tsp of salt,1 tbsp oil and remainder of reserved nuts if using. If you want to add honey, Nutella or other flavouring, of your choice then add now.
- Blitz again for 1 min and put it in a suitable container. Stores in fridge for 3/4 weeks.
How many of you grow your own vegetables and or herbs?
When you are growing your own food, you are in control of every step of the growing process — from selecting your seeds and deciding on how you will manage the soil and the pests which may appear all the way to harvesting and composting …it was my grandfather and my father who taught us about rotating fruits and vegetables and which parts of the garden needed the soil to rest once the crops had been picked.
Plus, a garden can provide a relaxing way to connect with nature and work with your hands.
I know all this can sound intimidating; however, gardening can be done on any scale, from a windowsill of kitchen herbs to a backyard vegetable plot.
With the right plan in hand, a home garden can easily fit the demands of busy lives and tight budgets.
You just need a plan…for those of you who are experiencing snow and winter weather it’s the ideal time especially if you have been in your home for a while you know where the sunny spots are…If you have time and reasonable weather now is the time to prepare your soil just dig it over and let the elements do the rest and you will have nice soft soil come the spring and early summer…
Of course, think about your goals do you want fruit and veggies or just happy to grow some herbs all this of course depends on space…in our early days we just relied on window sills, pots, hanging baskets and planting a few veggies among the flowers and then I luckily managed to get an allotment and we could grow a bit more but so much depends on the space and time you have to allocate to this…
Then comes fun part choosing your seeds…drawing a little plan…sorting out your shed for pots or anything which may hold soil and veggies…Get Creative and sort out some junk…
If anyone has some hints and tips on how you grow your own please share…we are in this together…
Are you ready to join me in making your kitchen and garden a little greener, are you ready to cook from scratch more often and to count chemicals instead of calories?
Love Carol xx
About Carol Taylor
Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.
I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.
Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.
Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: Amazon US
Connect to Carol – Blog: Carol Cooks 2 – Twitter: @CarolCooksTwo – Facebook: Carol Taylor
My thanks to Carol for another wonderful post about how small changes can make a big difference to our health and that of the environment.. do head over to her blog to follow her and take your appetite… thanks Sally.