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My Best Investment

In order to survive my corn-free and wheat-free journey I feel it is necessary to have a chest freezer. This is the one purchase I am thrilled I made a short while back.

By buying in bulk and freezing things I can save a ton of money. The unit is not the smallest one, but close. It was fairly inexpensive and the cost to run the freezer only increased my bill by about $2.50 to $3.00 a month. The cost of buying things individually can cost way more than that.

My aStore through Amazon also offers free shipping on most of the items in bulk. The best thing about this type of shopping is that you can shop in your pajamas. The next best thing is that you can find all the items that you need in one place.

One of the problems with finding food when you are corn and wheat free is that many processed items, including frozen veggies and fruits, can be processed with the items we are trying to avoid (citric acid is a common item used to preserve the color of things and it is most often made from corn here in the US). However, if you have a freezer you can buy fresh produce, or pick your own and freeze it.

Many foods are easy to freeze. Berries are especially easy to freeze by simply putting them on a cookie sheet, making sure they are a, and putting the whole thing in the freezer. Then just put them in an airtight bag.

I just made chili from tomatoes which were frozen as described above. My mother taught me the trick. You just leave the skins on them and put them on the cookie sheet. Very easy to do and very little time. Tomatoes are another item we corn-free folks have a hard time finding processed because of the citric acid used in the canning process.

Plus one other thing that makes the freezer helpful is that I make big batches of foods and then freeze it in smaller portions. It makes it easy to come up with a meal in a snap.

You do need to make sure to label everything and date them too. Another thing my mother used to do when she had a great big chest freezer was to make a list of items in the freezer, put the tick marks next to it, and mark a line across the tick mark when she took an item out. These days the computer can even sort the list by date and then in alpha order. If you are really organized you can even have things in specific quadrants of the freezer in individual larger containers. No matter how you do it, it is really important to label what is in each package because once it is frozen it looks a lot like many other things.

Then there are the meats which can be bought in bulk and individually packaged. Or the really good deals, like the buy one get one free deals that Kroger’s has occasionally. I have saved hundreds of dollars just on meats alone. That more than pays for the freezer.

Anyone who has a food intollerance knows how expensive the foods we must buy can cost. This simple investment has saved me oodles of money so far. It is without a doubt the best investment I have made.

Eat well, save money, and stay healthy!

Cornfreegirl

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Buckwheat Pancake Mix

Awesome  Corn-Free & Gluten Free Buckwheat Pancakes

The company is 123 Gluten Free and it is Allie’s Awesome Buckwheat Pancake Mix. I have it in the aStore on page 6 of the corn-free baking items list.

For those of you who are new to the gluten-free scene, buckwheat is not really wheat. In fact it is a distant cousin of beets. The buckwheat is really a seed. The seeds are packed with nutrients and this is one of the few vegetable items which have all the essential proteins for a complete protein.

I made them as suggested, but the batter is thin. When I got to the end of the box I didn’t have enough mix to follow the directions, so I improvised and the following recipe is quite thick and filling:

1 1/4 cup of the mix

1/2 cup powdered buttermilk

2 eggs

3/4 cup almond milk

plenty of plump blueberries

Cook as directed on a hot griddle.

Making up a batch of pancakes without adding the fruit is something which can be frozen and heated in the toaster. Just let them cool, separate them with plastic wrap, and freeze in an airtight container.

You can even use them like a sandwich wrap if you make them the original way on the box and make them big enough. Wrap them up in the plastic wrap by putting it on the plastic wrap and folding the edge of the wrap up over one edge of the pancake, then gently roll the pancake up and seal it into the plastic wrap.  These should store in the fridge for several days.

There are a bunch of recipes inside the box which I can’t wait to try out!

Stay Healthy,

Lyn

 

 

Packaging With Corn

I have read several times that certain packaging materials may be made with corn. I searched: “corn used in packaging materials” and came up with a website: http://www.ncga.com/  which is the National Corn Growers Association. The page I went to right off was: http://lepton.marz.com/ncga/comm_dev_center/product_detail.asp?product=Packaging+materials#top  This page gives a long list of items which are being produced as “green” materials for the environment.

My most recent bit of information I stumbled upon was that cornstarch may be used in waxed paper. Cornstarch is used to keep things seperated, but why in the world would you need to keep a waxed item seperated? Isn’t that what the wax is for? This is what made me decide to research packaging materials.

Many of the biodegradable packaging foams are made of cornstarch now. Beware of the cups, plates, plasticware, individual wrap which is on a sandwich or other food item, the foam under any individually wrapped item, the hinged type container for individual servings (especially if you can microwave it), the wrapper on that individual piece of candy may be suspect too. It is my bet that many school cafeteria items will be using these items because they are very cost effective and save the environment.

Many bags are biodegradable because they are made with corn, so if you have a corn allergy the cloth grocery bags may be a good thing to buy.

Paper bags may be a good option, but I am concerned about the “dextrin adhesives for the paper converting industry” and will have to investigate this a bit more. You can reuse paper bags numerous times and they are biodegradable. After they are spent you can use them in your garden under mulch to stop weeds and they will attract beneficial worms to the area.

A new successful corn-free recipe

I wanted to have a barbecue sauce recipe and tweaked something from an on-line search. It turned out really good. In fact, I had rave reviews from the two other people who tried it. The recipe will be listed under the recipe tab, but I will give it to you here as well:

BBQ  Sauce by Cornfreegirl

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup Nature’s Hollow ketchup or tomato puree (Without citric acid)
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg’s cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree or tomato paste (Without citric acid)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoons hot chili powder
  • 1/2 cup sautéed onions in 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 drops Vital Heat raw hot pepper sauce
  • Pinch black pepper
  • Pinch red pepper seeds

Chop onion and sauté it in the butter. Mix all other ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add the onion mixture, reduce heat, cover, and simmer on low for an hour. Stir occasionally. Cool and store in canning jar or other air tight container for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

© Lyn Watson

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