Tag Archive | Calcium

Ketchup and Catsup

After making Shakshuka, I have this fantastic little jar of fresh tomato paste left. I have found the perfect use for the rest of the paste. KETCHUP!

Just how doable is it to make homemade ketchup?

Very!! Count yourself lucky!

Easy Homemade Ketchup (from here)

  • 8 oz tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp maple syrup – grade B
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • Optional: pinch ground mustard
  1. Mix all but the water in a bowl. Add water until desired consistency is reached. Adjust sweetness with maple syrup.

Dip these homemade fries into the ketchup. What an easy substitute for the corn syrup and food coloring that poses as ketchup! I imagine because of the lack of preservatives, it should be used quickly, but use your own judgement. I don’t see why you couldn’t freeze a batch…

I do want to share some information on maple syrup. I haven’t used it as a sweetener yet, pretty much just because it makes me want waffles, bad. Maple syrup is really quite an amazing food, but you have to know what to look for. Also keep in mind that it’s not a low-glycemic sweetener like coconut/date sugar, so use it in moderation. Maple syrup has a fascinating history. It’s one food you want to get the (generally) cheaper Grade B instead of Grade A. However, the industry is moving toward a universal label of ‘Grade A’ for all maple syrups with color differentiation; light, amber, dark, etc.). Well, what’s the kerfuffle? People tend to prefer the sweeter syrup (Grade A) vs. the maple-y tasting Grade B. My grandma always got Grade B and I can’t believe how different it is to traditional brands. But here we have syrups like Aunt Jemima which is mostly high fructose corn syrup, without the word “maple” anywhere in the ingredient. Weird, no? The abomination also occurs with honey in the plastic bear, which bears little resemblance to farm-fresh honey (HA!).

Curious, I also looked up Heinz ketchup and did some math to compare it with the recipe above based on one serving of Heinz (1 tablespoon). Isn’t the sodium interesting? I highlighted the “winner” in each column for you. It didn’t surprise me then to see a “No Salt” version of Heinz.

Heinz vs. Homemade Ketchup Nutrition Information 

Heinz (1 T) Homemade* (1 T)
Calories 20 11
Sodium 160 mg 5 mg
Carbs 4 g 3 g
Fiber 0 g 0.5 g
Sugar 4 g 2 g
Protein 0 g 0.5 g
Vitamin A 2% 5%
Vitamin C 2% 10%
Calcium 0% 1%
Iron 0% 1%

One ketchup packet is about 0.7 grams. So you always use 1.5 packets of ketchup right? Mmm…probably not. Let’s say you use 5 packets. If so, then multiply the nutrition info above by 3.5. That sodium level is really standing out at 560 mg vs. 25 mg. And now with the homemade version you have 50% of your vitamin C.

Be green and make your own ketchup!

*I used nutrition info directly from my jar of tomato paste and maple syrup (they even have an anti-GMO statement).


Kale and Apple Salad

Ange, this upcoming spurt of recipes is all thanks to you! Thanks for your question about other gluten-free stuff for on-the-go peeps!

Kale is probably a “weird-food” for a lot of you. I know it sure was for Jon and I one year ago!

Dino Kale. Cool name right? I’ve also seen it for sale as Lacinato or Tuscan kale. I guess it’s actually in season during the colder months as it can survive frost, but it’s such a super food, eat it when you can get it!

This kale looks weird, and has an interesting texture, but there are actually quite a few varieties with different looks. Kale is from the cabbage family and it’s a nutritional powerhouse! The oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) rating (you may have heard how blueberries rank very high in their ORAC) ranks kale at #1 for veggies. This means that it has the ability to work with other whole foods as a team and reduce the free radicals in your body. Kale comes in at 1770, with spinach at 1260. Kale is ridiculous! It is LOADED with fiber, protein, calcium, iron, vitamins A, C and K. Cancer- doesn’t stand a chance!

Raw Kale Salad with Apples, Sunflower Seeds, and Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette (serves 2)

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch Dino Kale (or baby/any kale variety)
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large apple, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard (my homemade recipe!)
  • 2 tsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar (or white balsamic)
  • 2 T + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil


  1. Cut away the rib/spine in each leaf and chop the kale into bite-sized pieces*. Place in a bowl and massage with 1 tsp olive oil. Just gently rub the oil in to the pieces to soften the kale.
  2. Mix together the vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and agave, and then whisk in the olive oil to make the dressing. Place half of the dressing on the kale.
  3. Core the apple, cut into slices, and cut each slice into chunks. Put apple pieces in with the kale toss with the rest of the dressing, making sure each piece of the apple is coated with dressing.
  4. Top with sunflower seeds and toss again.

The basic recipe is simple, but really delicious! Even the next day the apples stayed fresh and still had crisp. It’s probably best eaten within 2 days. You can add dried unsweetened cranberries, pine/walnut/almonds or other nuts, feta cheese, and a variety of other toppings. Have fun with it and give kale a chance! All told, this salad would probably run you around $5. The kids might even try it just because of the name! The sunflower seeds are also great additions to salads, especially for those with nut allergies/sensitivities.

*I HAVE to put a plug in for my ceramic knife. It has made chopping, cutting and slicing a joy, especially kale and carrots! It is the second most-prized item in my kitchen, second only to my VitaMix. I only have the small knife and it has paid for itself already!! I will be buying the large one for sure!

Taco Tuesday on a Friday

Jon and I couldn’t remember the last time we had tacos. Seriously. We haven’t purchased ground beef, or turkey in at least a year, and the ground bison we buy is usually for the chili. It’s almost like we had forgotten it was a dinner option. Almost. Plus Jon loves flour tortillas and I love hard corn shells so we compromised.

Almost Paleo Tacos (serves 4)

  • Organic corn tortillas (probably not paleo, but they’re gluten free and deeelicious)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 lb bison
  • 1/4 c water
  • Chipotle chili powder, minced fresh garlic and cumin-you can also buy taco seasoning, but they can have loads of sodium and possibly MSG and other junk
  • Onion, diced
  • Raw milk cheddar, shredded (possibly not paleo…but I don’t care)
  • Lettuce, chopped (salad lettuce worked just fine)
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Salsa (a common offender in the “why is there sugar in this?” category)-try to get the kind that only has food in it
  • Cilantro, diced
  1. Corn tortillas work best when they are fresh because moisture buildup can make them stick. No holes in tacos please! You want to warm a small pan and slap a tortilla in there for a few seconds on each side when you’re almost ready to serve.
  2. Heat 1 T olive oil in a medium-large pan over medium low. Add bison and cook until no pink remains. Drain the excess liquid from the pan and add seasonings and water. Simmer for a few minutes until well mixed. Add more water if necessary.
  3. See number 1!
  4. Serve with onion, cilantro, cheese, salsa and lettuce.

I know that there is not really a one-size fits all approach with the paleo diet, but I like the premise. Obviously most successful diets (meaning nutrition not weight loss) contain a large majority of fresh foods and very little if any prepackaged food. Foods like dairy show up as a yes and no, but I really love the idea of  raw milk.

What’s raw milk? Johnny Bowden’s 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth says:

“I’m a huge fan of raw, organic, unpasteurized, nonhomogenized milk from grass-fed cows that graze in small farms devoted to sustainable agriculture. In fact, I think milk-raw, whole milk from the cows I’ve just described is one of the best whole foods in the world. But I can’t say the same about the milk we find in the typical supermarket. …Even calves probably wouldn’t touch the stuff we get in supermarkets.” (pg. 173)

Of course we’ve all been told milk prevents osteoporosis and it’s good for us and a low-fat snack… but is it really? The traditional milk supply has a lot of problems. Problems many of us find hard to swallow. Some of the myths about milk that exist are:

  • My milk/dairy products don’t have growth hormone in it.
    Unfortunately, unless it states “rBst/rBGH free”, “organic” or along those lines, it does. An article in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology concluded “We found a positive association with acne for intake of total milk and skim milk. We hypothesize that the association with milk may be because of the presence of hormones and bioactive molecules in milk.” The article? High school dietary dairy intake and teenage acne. Interestingly, European cheese is free of hormones since its use is banned. The leading manufacturer of the hormone in the U.S. is the same company who created DDT, Agent Orange, PCBs, Roundup, and is pushing GMOs. Additionally, there isn’t a lack of studies linking dairy to cancers, particularly ovarian and prostate. You will also find studies to the contrary.
  • I get essential vitamins and minerals that I wouldn’t get elsewhere.
    Pasteurizing and homogenizing dairy destroys enzymes and diminishes the nutritional value of the once-whole food. That’s why vitamins are added back in. Same goes for orange juice, cereals and bread (enriched product anyone?). You can get vitamin D in salmon and in some fish oil supplements. Vitamin C and A from spinach (in your smoothie!). Magnesium-In fact, one study that had rats who were fed (human equivalent) one side serving of steamed spinach showed a blood-pressure lowering effect in 2-4 hours. Greens (spinach, dandelion, broccoli) also have calcium!
  • I’ll get osteoporosis if I don’t drink milk, since I don’t eat greens.
    Sugar, caffeine and too much protein have devastating effects on calcium levels, and so does too much milk. This link has pros and cons, and it’s interesting that several studies mentioned in the pro side are Dairy industry people. In fact, protein is being linked to hip fractures more and more. Of course you will find articles to the contrary, such is science.
  • Raw milk is dangerous! It’s practically illegal.
    There will always be two sides to every story. Spinach is a super food no doubt; spinach was also the cause of very serious food-borne illnesses a few years ago. Same with cantaloupe, and beef. There may be a danger in ingesting raw milk, and that debate wages fierce. Proponents are adamant that it is a life-altering elixir. The choice is quite personal, especially since its sale is banned in several states. Raw milk cheese is ok by FDA standards as long as it’s aged for 60 days. While I can’t guarantee the safety of raw milk, I certainly encourage education on the topic.

David Gumpert’s book The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America’s Emerging Battle Over Food Rights is simply astounding, as is his blog. It exposes the unfair treatment farmers receive trying to make a living selling a product, and the lengths people will go to for a food they cannot live without. Most people just want a choice, which is being taken away with little explanation. You can create fear for just about anything, raw milk is no different. While I recognize the possibility of getting sick, I also recognize the benefits of unadulterated food. You take a chance when you rely solely on scientific studies. The study must serve a purpose and of course it needs to be funded. I love that studies are readily available to me, but I also recognize that there is little industry benefit in studying the health benefits of competitive foods. This is the other side of the coin, and the choice should always be yours.

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