Homemade Salad Dressing

Salad Dressing Make Your Own

The following article contains links to my affiliate partners for products that I personally use and recommend.

I read somewhere that each home should have their own house dressing, just like restaurants …

And, to me, that means homemade salad dressing!

Since I have been on the GAPS diet for awhile with such phenomenal results, I have become very conscious of the ingredients in our foods. If it is not homemade, I read the label.

Ugh!- it is hard to believe how many ingredients some processed foods have! Not to mention how difficult some are to pronounce!

One food that is particularly filled with unnecessary ingredients is salad dressing. And, even the “healthier” brands will have canola oil which can go rancid quickly. This causes the manufacturers to use a deodorizing process to cover up the smell – this process also causes trans fats to be produced!

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Making Vanilla Extract – Video

Homemade Vanilla Extract

What would you say the most frequently used flavoring in the kitchen would be?

If you said vanilla extract, you are right!

But, it is also one of the most expensive! Because of the labor required to grow vanilla beans, it is the second most expensive spice – second only to saffron.

Did you know that you can make real vanilla extract for just about the same price as buying the counterfeit?

I used to use imitation vanilla extract because real vanilla is so expensive. After finding out how easy it is to make the real thing in my own kitchen AND how economical it is, I would never go back to the fake stuff!

Watch for yourself to find out how easy it is! After the video, I will give the recipe and more information about selecting the vanilla beans.[Continue Reading]

Making Homemade Mayonnaise

making mayo video

After being on GAPS for awhile, I became much more aware of the ingredients in the foods we ate – yes, I even began reading labels! One of the things that struck me (besides sugar being on every label I read!) were the oils used in prepared foods – they were down right bad for you. Canola oil and partially hydrogenated oils are in just about everything! So, I began the quest to replace as many bad-for-you oils in our diet with good-for-you oils.

In the following video, you will see just how easy making your own homemade mayonnaise is to do. And, you will wonder why you never tried it before! After all, it is richer, creamier, full of enzymes and just plain tastes good!  The recipe follows the video for those of you who prefer written instructions.[Continue Reading]

Cracking Coconuts

Have you ever wanted to use fresh coconut but just didn’t know how to get the thing open? Well, put your screwdrivers and hammers away because in this video, I show you the secret that makes cracking coconuts a breeze! Once open, the fresh white meat is revealed and you can eat it, grate it to use in recipes or even make your own coconut milk.

According to the Coconut Research Center:

The scientific name for coconut is Cocos nucifera. Early Spanish explorers called it coco, which means “monkey face” because the three indentations (eyes) on the hairy nut resembles the head and face of a monkey. Nucifera means “nut-bearing.”

Coconuts are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. The coconut water which is drained from the center of the coconut through the eyes (or indentations found on the end of the coconut) contain dietary fiber, proteins, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and provides an isotonic electrolyte balance. It is a refreshing drink which is a healthy substitute to sports drinks. Coconut milk is different from the coconut water. Coconut milk is obtained by pressing the grated coconut or passing hot water through the grated coconut to extract the oils and flavors.

Although coconuts are grown around the world, the Philippines is the largest producer. In the United Stated, coconuts are grown without irrigation in Hawaii, south Florida and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the Virgin Islands. Coconuts may also be grown and even reach maturity in areas such as deep south Texas, near Brownsville and on the northeast Texas coast at Galvaston Island but they are usually damaged in winter freezes.

Thanks to modern transportation, coconuts are available in most areas. With the method shown in the above video, anyone can crack a coconut and enjoy the fresh meat inside!


Sources: Coconut Research CenterWikipedia

Photo Credit © Depositphotos.com/margo555


This post is part of: Fresh Bites, Whole Food Fridays


How to Make Kefir Video

I am sure you have heard of yogurt but have you heard about kefir?

Kefir has even more probiotic potential than yogurt – it is like yogurt on steroids! While yogurt normally has 5 – 7 strains of bacteria, kefir has 50+ strains of beneficial bacteria to nourish your body.

Kefir is not as thick as yogurt and can be drunk plain but also makes a wonderful smoothie. While kefir alone has a twang to it, when blended with fruit and honey it is difficult to tell the difference between it and a smoothie made with yogurt. So, whether you have it plain or as a smoothie, it is a refreshing probiotic drink.

From my affiliate partner you can purchase Kefir grains, which look like little cauliflower pieces, are needed to make kefir. The grains are a mix of yeast and bacteria living in a symbiotic relationship. Since the grains multiply, it is very easy to obtain some from a friend who already makes kefir – if you have one. Otherwise, they are available online. If properly cared for, they should last indefinitely. If you need a break from kefir making, the grains may be rinsed and refrigerated in non-chlorinated water (chlorine will kill them). I have even read that they can be frozen for future use but have not tried it.

Like most things, homemade kefir is tastier and more economical than its store bought counterpart. With homemade kefir, you get the taste you prefer because the twang is determined by the length of time you leave the grains in the milk.

Milk kefir grains may also be used to make coconut milk kefir. Follow the same procedure as shown in the video just be sure to revitalize the grains in dairy milk for 24 hours every few weeks to maintain their health.

Watch the video yourself to see just how easy kefir is to make – below the video is the recipe.

Kefir Recipe

Ingredients to make 1 quart:

4 c whole milk (we use raw milk from our family milk cow, Buttercup)

2 – 4 Tbsp kefir grains (from my affiliate -where to buy)

Other items needed:

1 qt mason jar, lid or cheesecloth to cover jar loosely, mesh strainer, spatula


Put the kefir grains in a 1 qt mason jar.

Pour whole milk over the grains leaving about 1 inch space at the top of the jar.

Stir the milk and grains and cover loosely.

Leave in a warm place for 12 – 24 hrs. – depending on the taste you prefer. The kefir grains culture the milk and the longer it is left the tangier it will become. I leave mine on the kitchen counter for 24 hours. If it has separated and there is a bit of liquid on the bottom, I shake it before straining.

Pour the kefir through a  strainer into another jar catching the grains in the strainer. Refrigerate and enjoy.


Making Yogurt Video Class

how to make yogurt video

Making yogurt is easier than you think!

But, if you are like me, it is easier to do something after you see someone else do it! I can read a recipe and do it, but if I can watch someone, it gives me more confidence that I am doing it correctly. Making yogurt is no different – I had a friend who showed me how to make yogurt the first time! Hopefully, this video tutorial will help give you the confidence to try new things!

Making yogurt is economical and best of all, if you have raw milk available, you can even make yogurt with it!

Because yogurt is such a popular food and is full of probiotics, it is a wonderful addition to any diet. Populating your gut with “good” bacterial is one of the easiest things to do to ensure good health. And, because yogurt is so full of probiotics, it is easily digetible. In fact, many people who are unable to tolerate milk can eat yogurt!

Making yogurt is shown step by step in the following video. When making yogurt, I use a recipe  in which the milk is heated to 180F. In making raw milk yogurt, follow the steps below but only heat the milk to 100F and then add your yogurt starter. I have found the raw milk yogurt to be a bit runny but it works great in smoothies!


Making Homemade Yogurt


1 gallon whole, preferably raw
1/2 c cultured plain yogurt starter – purchased starter (from my affiliate -where to buy starter) or store bought yogurt with active cultures


1. Heat milk over medium heat to 180F. Allow milk to cool to 115F – 120F. I place the pot of milk into a sink of cold water to speed the cooling process.

2. Once the milk has cooled, add starter and stir well.

3. Pour into  jars.

4. Place them in an insulated cooler and leave overnight or wrap the jars in a bath towel and place in a warm, out of the way place for 6 – 12 hours.

5. Unwrap the jars and refrigerate. The yogurt will separate if not chilled before using.

**** Save 1/2 c. to start your next batch.


Warning: Your yogurt consumption will probably increase now that you know how easy and economical it is to make!


This post is part of: Busy MondayGluten Free MondayMake Your Own MondayMarvelous MondayMelt in Your Mouth Monday, Monday ManiaMust Try MondayFat TuesdaySlightly Indulgent Tuesday,  Traditional TuesdaysAllergy Free WednesdayHealthy 2day WednesdayHomemaking Link-UpParty WaveReal Food WednesdayWheat Free WednesdayWhole Foods WednesdayEat Make GrowFull Plate ThursdayPennywise PlatterSimple Lives ThursdayThank Your BodyGluten Free Friday, Whole Food FridayGAPS Friendly FridayFresh Bites FridayFill Those Jars Friday