Resources for whole wheat and grains, grain milling, training, and kitchen supplies

Prolong Produce: Dehydrate Bell Peppers

Maybe it’s not quite time for those special summer treats to come out of the garden, but it’s never too soon to practice how to prolong the harvest!  But bell peppers (red, yellow, orange or green) are so expensive out of season!  And what if a recipe only calls for a portion of a bell pepper? Then what do you do? Throw the rest away?  No.  But freezing them turns them to mush (and sometimes can make the freezer smell a little peppered).  The answer is to dehydrate them.  It is so easy and takes almost no time at all.

2014-01-28 13.50.03Although I like bell peppers just fine , they can become overpowering, so even when they are in season, I tend to use only about 1/4-1/2 of what ‘s called for in a recipe.  Leaving me again with a surplus of these easy to grow summer veggies.

But out-of-season produce is always far too rich for my blood.  So….

Enter my ‘out-of-season-go-to plan’ for most produce.  When produce is in the grocer and it is not the season for harvest in your area, it’s getting trucked in and was picked “a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away”. This is one of the reasons you pay a premium price on produce out of season.  But if you look for the pre-cut items that are marked down from their usually higher price tag (this one pictured usually runs $3.48 for the half pint) you can save a step and a buck or two at the same time.

2014-01-28 13.52.25I bring them home and rinse and check them in a colander.  They are, after all marked down, I want to be sure that there’s nothing funky hiding in the midst.

Since these are already sliced, like most packaged produce, in uniform widths, they are primed and ready to dehydrate with ease.

I let them drain for just a few minutes while pulling out my Excalibur 9 Tray Economy Dehydrator.  I have to admit – that this one appliance has not only paid for itself by putting back items from the garden, but has helped me by prolonging the life of produce that was on sale and keep from throwing out food that has been in the refrigerator a while. 2014-01-28 13.55.52

Bounce of any clinging water from the colander and pour out on to the dehydrator tray.  There may be a need for multiple trays depending upon how big of a stash you were able to snag at the grocer when they were marked down.  Just spread these beauties out equally and give them some breathing room!

Now, if you want them to remain a LIVE food…dehydrate them below 115 degrees F.  The enzymes will stay live (not the bacteria but the enzymes that help with digestion) and just keep drying until desired dryness is achieved. This may take up to 24hrs.

However, if you’re going to put these into recipes later, or chop up little bits for meatloaf or sauces…crank them on up to 130 and you’ll be done faster!  Likely you’ll have dry peppers ready for storage wtihin 8 hours.  So it’s an ideal over night project.

Remember the Excalibur 9 Tray Economy Dehydrator costs about 1 penny per hour (often less) of electricity to use.  So either choice you make for drying purposes does not really cost you that much more to prolong the produce you dry.

2014-01-30 10.09.08

As soon as they are dry to your liking (hint: they dryer they feel the longer they will last) let them cool to room temperature and place in a jar or other air tight container.  They must be cooled to avoid sweating, but also cannot be left out too long to pick up any moisture from the air.  Inside the container place a desiccant packet.   Especially if you’re going to use these over the next few months, the desiccant packet will be fine enough. There is no need for an oxygen absorber unless you plan to ignore this food indefinitely.  If you have a food-saver you can remove air with the jar sealer attachment to remove more air in between the times you open and close the jar to use your pretty little peppers (or whatever produce you’ve dehydrated).  The desiccant packet removes any moisture thus keeping the food dryer longer. Just be SURE when you purchase or use desiccant packets that they are marked clearly for Food Grade Use like the ones we have selected as examples below.

 

I hope that you’ll use some of these tips on more than just the bell pepper and try to prolong produce of many kinds. Until next time, keep playing with your food and enJOY the journey!

Best Blessings,  Donna

In full disclosure, yes we do make our living from the sale of items (which we also use personally and can in good faith recommend) such as these desiccant packets and the Excalibur Dehydrator. If you like what we share with you, please consider purchasing your needs with us at Millers Grain House. We promise to treat you like family. (:

Giveaway: Enter to win an iCoffee Coffee Maker

 

KMR_0207.MOV.Still001Our friends at the Dollar Stretcher have reviewed the iCoffee Coffee Maker and now is your chance to win one!

Here is an excerpt from their review:
“…we found that the iCoffee consistently produced a delicious, flavorful, smooth, and less bitter cup of coffee. The brewer truly does bring out a great flavor in the coffee!” and “The iCoffee produces a wonderful and flavorful cup of coffee, perfect for a busy morning or an afternoon pick-me-up.”

 

You can read their whole review here – http://www.stretcher.com/stories/14/14mar10j.cfm?FPSpecialiCoffee_VRAY.mov.Still001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enter for your chance to win by ‘liking’ the pages below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway: SodaStream Starter Kit

Easily enter this giveaway for your chance to win the SodaStream’s Fountain Jet – Soda Starter Kit (pictured below):

SodaStream Starter Kit

Click for Savings in case you don’t win!

Ever want to make soda that didn’t have all that junk in it? Easily put your wholesome juices and sweeteners in and avoid the artificial ingredients?

SodaStream (Soda-Club) USA

My good friends at the Dollar Stretcher have reviewed the SodaStream’s Fountain Jet Soda Starter Kit and have this to say:

“The Sodastream is an easy and versatile way to create your own tasty sodas at home or at work! And with the variety of flavors offered by Sodastream, any soda drinker at work or at home has a great offering to choose from!”  Read more from the Dollar Stretcher HERE

 

No purchase necessary. The winner will be randomly selected using Rafflecopter entry form below and entries will be verified. Winner will have 48 hours to reply to The Dollar Stretcher’s email. If no response is received, a new winner will be chosen. The prize will be sent by Sodastream. Participating bloggers in this event are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Prize: Giveaway package is a Fountain Jet Soda Lover’s Start-Up Kit  ($99.95)

It includes:

  • Fountain Jet winner’s choice of color (black/silver, red/silver or white)
  • 1 carbonating bottle, reusable for up to 3 years
  • Reusable carbonator to fizz up to 60L of soda
  • Variety 6-pack of popular sample-size flavors
  • 3 full-sized flavors of the winner’s choice

 

Duration to enter:

Monday February 10, 2014 12:01 AM (EST) through Sunday February 16, 2014 11:59 PM (EST)

Eligibility:

Must be 18 years of age or older to win and a Resident of the Continental U.S.A.

Enter everything you can in the form below to increase your chances! 

BEST OF SUCCESS TO YOU!

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Another chance to win Whole Wheat Bread Making eBook

Easily enter below for a chance to win this helpful eBook!

Why feed your family processed, dead and tasteless grocery store bread (that has little to no nutritional value and that is often loaded with unhealthy chemicals and preservatives) when you can easily make your own healthy, whole wheat bread from home for a fraction of the cost?

  • Maybe you think home-made wheat bread is too heavy and dense?
  • Maybe you think it’s bitter and doesn’t taste good?
  • Maybe you think it’s too difficult to do or that your family won’t like it?

Let this ebook show you how that list above is totally wrong!  You can do it, it will taste great and your family will love it (and be healthier too).   Here’s a peek inside:

Hopefully you can see how I’ve broken down the steps and techniques and you’re interested in learning more.  But for a while…there’s an extra perk!

  • Enter below through December 10th and you could WIN it this eBook !

a Rafflecopter giveaway

But if you don’t win – you can pick up a copy of the Whole Wheat Bread Making eBook  or there is a Paperback version if you prefer the real deal in at your finger tips.

Best of success to you in the giveaway and the kitchen!

Donna Miller

Back on the air LIVE!  Tonight and Wednesdays!

Good news!

old-radioMy old radio show: “Encouragement in the Kitchen” is back on the air!  We will have a short ‘reunion’ show tonight at 4PM Eastern… CLICK THIS LINK to tune in  or set your reminder.

You can use the same link to listen later if you miss it…

Then we’ll be back on the air every Wednesday at 5PM Eastern time – LIVE to help encourage you, answer questions, share trials and triumphs and give you some Encouragement in the Kitchen!

Time to have fun and play with your food! Please feel free to comment on some topics you’d like to hear and discuss on the show.

We’ll see you in the chat room some time!

Best Blessings,

Donna

 

What’s your #1 Thanksgiving Left-over?

ThanksgivingSorry. Nope. Turkey doesn’t count – it’s too cliche’.

We all have too much of that left over after Thanksgiving, but it is often a planned left-over food.  We know it’s going to happen and we have a plan or two for what to do with all that extra turkey. Even if we get sick of it, we have plans.

 

What I want to know is:

  • What other food ends up as a surplus at your home after Thanksgiving?
  • What do you have in abundance that you really don’t know what else to do with other than to reheat it…again and again and again?
  • What will you have that you’re likely going to throw out if you can’t stand it anymore in it’s current form?

We want to help you save money and your sanity, but we need to know where you need the help.

So if it’s a side dish, a dessert, gravy or anything other than turkey that graces your table at Thanksgiving still lingers far too long after the guests and holiday are gone – we want to know about it!

We want to help you address the mountain of mashed potatoes, or the cranberry sauce that seem to take up residence in your refrigerator and spill, hide and eventually grow off-spring long after the Thanksgiving holiday has run it’s course.

Please take the quick survey below …

Then in the days following Thanksgiving, come back here for some ideas on how to turn your left-over items into completely different foods.  Better yet, sign up for the newsletter and we’ll send you a note when the recipes are up.

You don’t have to face a kitchen full of the same old same old same repeated stuff that gets nuked and reheated to oblivion.  It can all get used!  We’re here to help!  But we need your help first.  Please take this short survey!  Thank you!

Best Blessings for a Peaceful Thanksgiving!

Donna

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Bonus Whole Grain Recipe: Calzones
Each month I send out a recipe to all of the newsletter subscribers…so if you got notice of this – you’re one of the subscribers!

 

Yay you get a bonus whole grain recipe!  Because this is going up on our blog and you get updated.
But if you just happened to stumble upon this recipe, first – we’re happy to have you find us and secondly – you may want to subscribe to the newsletter because you get these bonus recipes plus a lot more!  Subscribe here.

 

WMwithKernels
First though, before we get into the recipe – let me say that if you’re not yet milling grain into fresh milled flour, you are missing out on so much nutrition, so much taste and spending way too much for dead bagged flour (grains cost less and create 50% more flour per volume).  So if you’re curious about mills, click the Wondermill to the left – and check out the options we carry and recommend.

 

Now on withe show, this is it….

 

If you can make a pizza crust -you can easily use the crust to make a calzone to change up the typical pizza and still enjoy an easy whole grain Italian meal!

 

Whole Wheat Calzones

Calzone

Whole Wheat Pizza Crusts
Makes two 16 inch pizza crusts

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ Cups Warm Water
  • 4 TBS Organic Evaporated Cane Crystals
  • 2 TBS Olive Oil
  • 4 Cups Freshly Milled Hard Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp Garlic Salt
  • ½ tsp Onion Salt
  • 1 ½ tsp Instant Active Yeast

Bread Machine Method:
Place all ingredients in the machine in order given. Make a ‘well’ for the yeast and put in the ‘well’. Set to dough or pizza dough setting. Machine should punch down after first rise.

Food Processor Method:
Use ‘S’ Blade. Place all dry ingredients in the food processor. Turn to pulsing while drizzling in the oil. Stop when mixed in. Now turn on and leave on drizzling in the water until dough forms a ‘ball’. Let ‘ball’ clean the sides and round the bowl between 20-25 times.

Place in greased bowl, cover and put in a warm place (85 degrees) until doubled in size.

Mixer & Hand Methods:
Mix yeast in with the flour and set aside. Mix all other ingredients in a large bowl until blended. Mix one cup of flour mixture in at a time until all incorporated. Knead 3-5 minutes until 2 finger poke test bounces back quickly.

Place in greased bowl, cover and put in a warm place (85 degrees) until doubled in size.

Forming:
Calzone2Divide dough in to 2 (for large) or 4 (for small) balls of dough. Roll each out on to a floured surface and fill the center with a combination of cheeses: Ricotta, Mozzarella, Provolone and extra goodies such as mushrooms, peppers, pepperonis, cooked ground sausage (we like turkey sausage), onions (go light they get watery) and more.  The possibilities are almost endless.

Fold one side over the other (stuffing in the middle will move) and turn up the edges and seal with a fork. Prick a few holes in the top for steam to escape.

Place on a cookie sheet or pyrex dish and brush a light egg wash.

Baking:
Bake at 375F until golden brown. Remove to cool for just a little bit so no one gets burned cutting into the gooey goodies inside the tasty pockets!

For more fun ideas in the kitchen, subscribe to Millers Grain House YouTube Channel

Also, come join us on:

For more off the cuff ideas, coupon codes for discounts and impromptu recipes!

Best Blessings and enJOY the journey!

Donna

WMwithKernels

If you can make a pizza crust -you can easily use the crust to make a calzone and put a twist on an Italian meal!

Calzone

Whole Wheat Pizza Crusts
Makes two 16 inch pizza crusts

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ Cups Warm Water
  • 4 TBS Organic Evaporated Cane Crystals
  • 2 TBS Olive Oil
  • 4 Cups Freshly Milled Hard Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp Garlic Salt
  • ½ tsp Onion Salt
  • 1 ½ tsp Instant Active Yeast

Bread Machine Method:
Place all ingredients in the machine in order given. Make a ‘well’ for the yeast and put in the ‘well’. Set to dough or pizza dough setting. Machine should punch down after first rise.

Food Processor Method:
Use ‘S’ Blade. Place all dry ingredients in the food processor. Turn to pulsing while drizzling in the oil. Stop when mixed in. Now turn on and leave on drizzling in the water until dough forms a ‘ball’. Let ‘ball’ clean the sides and round the bowl between 20-25 times.

Place in greased bowl, cover and put in a warm place (85 degrees) until doubled in size.

Mixer & Hand Methods:
Mix yeast in with the flour and set aside. Mix all other ingredients in a large bowl until blended. Mix one cup of flour mixture in at a time until all incorporated. Knead 3-5 minutes until 2 finger poke test bounces back quickly.

Place in greased bowl, cover and put in a warm place (85 degrees) until doubled in size.

Forming:
Divide dough in to 2 (for large) or 4 (for small) balls of dough. Roll each out on to a floured surface and fill the center with a combination of cheeses: Ricotta, Mozzarella, Provolone and extra goodies such as mushrooms, peppers, pepperonis, cooked ground sausage (we like turkey sausage), onions (go light they get watery) and more.  The possibilities are almost endless.

Fold one side over the other (stuffing in the middle will move) and turn up the edges and seal with a fork. Prick a few holes in the top for steam to escape.

Place on a cookie sheet or pyrex dish and brush a light egg wash.

Forming:
Bake at 375F until golden brown. Remove to cool for just a little bit so no one gets burned cutting into the gooey goodies inside the tasty pockets!

Calzone2

- See more at: http://bakingwholegrains.com/whole-wheat-calzones/#sthash.N6k2gbUA.dpuf

Okay, I say the description of  ‘great’ …and then I feel like an egomaniac since they’re my books…but I have had a lot of folks say they really like them so I’m just going off of their feedback when I say ‘great’.  Please don’t think I’m tooting my own horn :/

I enjoyed writing them, testing the recipes and making sure I could convey exactly what I would if you were right here in breadbookthe kitchen with me.  So, it is my hope that they are something you will enjoy too.

The two e-books are my “Supreme Bread Making with Bagel ebook2Video” and my newest “Whole Wheat Bread Making“.  By clicking those links you’ll see what is in each e-book.

BUT… this post is more than showing you these to e-books…I want to give them to you if you win!

You can enter this Giveaway to have a chance to win BOTH!

Take a look at how it’s set up. You don’t HAVE TO do them all…but the more you do, the more points you rack up toward extra entries in the Giveaway!  So…it’s up to you how many points toward wining you will want.

The Giveaway contest ends this Friday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Intentional Back to Basics Living

If you share the desire with me to slow down, and intentionally get back to basics, you’ll want to read this.  I hear from so many people who want to simplify but don’t know where to start or feel overwhelmed because they feel like they lack skills to accomplish it.  If that’s you….do not despair.  Read on.

peace harmony tranquilityIn our extremely hectic world society has put much pressure on each member of it to ‘succeed’ and often at any cost.  What is the real cost?  Much of the time it’s to the detriment of our health, our family relationships and our peace of mind.

I stand just as guilty of frequently falling into the trap or being lured by what appears to be ‘success’ (be it defined by money, accolades, popularity or material possessions, etc) only to find much of it is not only empty but also fleeting and fickle.  Most of the time, peace, for me can be found by intentionally sorting through the vast and ever pressing modern opportunities and getting back to the basics of simply living.

It’s a joke in some ways, but reality in others, that I often head to the kitchen to make bread because “I knead therapy.”  No, that was not a typo-o.  I do KNEAD that bread making rythm and feel of the therapeutic dough, the smell as it bakes (there is science behind the smell of fresh baked bread releasing stress)  and of course the taste of home-made ANYTHING is always a deeper sense of satisfaction than packaged or convenience foods.

My suggestion is – sit quietly and find out where you’re overwhelmed.  Try to find ways to pare down the ‘to do’ list that drains you and put in some things that recharge you!

Here is a tool that may help you see some of the joys in simplicity.  It is only available for a limited time (5 days as of this posting) but is PACKED with advice and instructions from leaders in the area of self-sufficiency, homesteading, home-making, gardening and loads of back to basics skills. Click the banner to take a look and see all the topics!

UltimateSurvivalBundle.com
It’s not really all just about ‘survival’ even though sometimes it may feel like we’re barely surviving at the current rate of life.  It’s REALLY about THRIVING right NOW in the joys of self-sufficiency and basics. Something in the bundle is BOUND to recharge your batteries and help train you for more intentional back to basics living.

Until next time …enJOY the journey!

Donna

With the rise in so many people being diagnosed as “Gluten Intolerant” or having a “Gluten Sensitive” it’s no wonder that this naturally occurring protein has gotten an undeserved bad name.  Unless the diagnosis is actually “Celiac’s Disease” – you may just be one of the numerous people who are affected by our highly processed flour and diet and may not actually suffer from a true intolerance or sensitivity to gluten.  I truly believe, and can attest to  it personally for myself, that it is not gluten that is the problem for most people.  It is the processing of flour to make it so-called “shelf worthy” that is a big problem.

The truth is that gluten is present in many grains, mostly however, wheat is the most widely used and recognized.  Gluten was not ever meant to be consumed without the benefits of the entire grain – which you cannot get in a bag of dead store bough flour…even ‘whole’ wheat flour.  Mostly because it isn’t the whole wheat kernel…although it may be allowed to labeled that way.

wheat disectedThe wheat grain was created to work like all whole foods – with a synergistic relationship one part to another, with each part in tact.  When a wheat grain is stripped down to make white flour all but the endosperm is discarded and we are left with the white flour that can hold together a paper mache’ creations – of course then gluten becomes an issue – where are the parts that help us to digest this ‘glue’?  They are missing.  Even in ‘whole wheat’ flour the wheat germ oil mostly is removed to prolong shelf life. Traces of it are left and the rancidity of the traces of oil is what cause the bitter taste in bagged ‘whole wheat’ flour.  No wonder no one seems to think they can like whole wheat – they taste the rancid oil left in the bagged dead flour.

So there are two problems – just to name a a few that help to feed (no pun intended) this frenzy of gluten being a problem.  It in fact is a fraction of a whole that was meant to work together in our digestive system.

Now let us just take a quick look at what is missing nutritionally when we consume only the white dead bagged flour.

It’s called ‘enriched’ flour for a reason.  It has been ‘enriched’ with synthetic (yes, think – fake) vitamins and minerals to attempt to replace what has been removed when the other parts of the kernel have been omitted from your flour.  wheat nutrition breakdown

This small diagram to the right (if you click it – it enlarges) shows what is missing when only the white flour is consumed.  The lack of vital nutrients in the wheat flour that we consume is creating gluten sensitivities and intolerance – not the gluten itself.  Gluten itself may not be the problem.

The bran contains more protein than the endosperm, trace oils (good oils too – natural vitamin E ) a very high percentage of one’s daily allowance of fiber and iron.  Not to mention the B vitamins vital for energy in our bodies.

The germ is the powerhouse for the kernel that helps it grown into a live plant – and our commercialized process strips it from us. Highest in protein, it also contains the vital oils with their vitamin E and lipids and omega oils that we seem content to pay extra for in supplements. Iron and B vitamins are also very high in the wheat germ.

We are a people who are satiated, yet extremely malnourished.

Below are some personal stories about my journey to discover the real problem for me and I suspect for many who may be under the assumption they have a gluten problem.  Please listen and watch to gain more information than is not included in this post.

You can listen to my story below and see the path that I personally took to prove that gluten was not the problem for me:

New Family Internet Radio with Millers Grain House on BlogTalkRadio

This video was one of my first on our YouTube Channel.

80+ videos later it still is one of my favorites for educating people about the benefits of home-milling.

I hope you enjoy…

From: Donna

donnaHello!  Thank you so much for stopping by.  Please make yourself at home, and be sure to let me know if I can assist you in any way.

If you are looking for whole grains, grain mills, or other kitchen appliances, be sure to stop by my store.  We're stocked with some great items!  Go to:  www.millersgrainhouse.com/store