The horse's pasture to the East...

Friday, February 26, 2016

TURMERIC, GOLDEN PASTE and the World's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies!

I've been doing some research on natural solutions to the process of aging as opposed to the normal "western" method of taking prescribed pharmaceuticals. Mind you, I'm not suggesting you shouldn't take prescribed medications. But I do firmly believe in the old adage that you are what you eat. That's true across the board too; for horses, dogs, cats, all animals. 

This past year I've been experimenting with turmeric, adding it to food in non traditional ways. I love lists, although I don't always follow lists the way I should, but they are a good place to start. Here's a list of the things I've added turmeric to :

1. Chocolate Chip Cookies

2. Stir Fry (We're vegetarians here so tofu or some equivalent is used in place of meat)

3. Soup ( Soup with a potato based broth, soup with a tomato based broth)

4. Brown Rice with Vegetables ( We have a Vita Clay crock pot. John invested in it last year. I highly recommend it. I make yogurt, soup, steamed rice dishes in it. Very easy to use. Easy to clean too. )

5. Salad Dressings

6. Mac and Cheese ( I always add at least as many vegetables as pasta. )

7. Frittata

8. Pie Crust ( Mine is made with real butter and whole grain flours, nice and flaky. Turmeric turned it a light golden color, really pretty! )

9. Muffins 

10. Homemade Dog Food and Homemade Dog Cookies (you have to keep both of these refrigerated)

11. Cocoa and Warm Milk (sweetened with honey)

12. Smoothies

13. Banana Bread

14. Biscuits

15. Golden Paste (for the dogs, cats, horses and us)

I'm not going to tell you that there are any sudden, miraculous changes that magically happen overnight. But I am seeing some possible effects from using turmeric every day. John's joints aren't as achy and when they are it's because he's upped the level of intensity of his daily exercise routine rather than the general swelling and pain he was experiencing.

I'm sleeping better. That statement right there will keep turmeric in our diet. Could be my imagination (ie. wishful thinking) but my hair seems to be thicker, to have more body to it. I haven't changed my supplements or shampoo and cream rinse so I will give turmeric the credit for now. With better sleep patterns comes more energy and efficient use of my time. 

But here's the most noticeable changes. Miniver is getting up by herself, has a better appetite, is going outside to play with Apple and has her smile back! Last year I bought a special sling to help get her up because her back legs were going out on her. (She is part Saint Bernard, part Great Pyrenees and part Bernese Mountain Dog. She weighs an easy 150 lbs. ) And the cysts she had developed on her back either shrank or broke open and drained! 

Apple is young, only two years old, but she has developed this wonderful, sweet breath. Even with all of the gross dog stuff that she finds outside to chew up and roll in her overall breath and body odor is really fresh smelling. A friend of mine commented on it last Autumn when she came to stay for a week. She kept telling me Apple was the best smelling dog she had ever met , a definite selling point for turmeric in my book. 

And our cats, all of whom are over eleven, are acting like kittens. I'm finding toilet paper unrolled and pulled down the hallway, small carpets rolled up and pushed in to walls from cats sliding on them and have watched all of them do "Crazy Cat" runs all over the house. Annie, my smallest and oldest, is jumping up on the table again.

I know. These behaviors are things most people don't want to deal with. But to me they are indications of cats that feel good. And what have they all been doing? They steal the dog's homemade food. Actually I've watched the dogs sit back and let the cats eat from their bowls before they eat. I've started putting small saucers of homemade food out for them now too. And, oh, the contented munching and crunchings in the mornings. 

When I use turmeric it gives off a lovely, almost perfumed, odor. The whole house smells wonderful! It's in the same spice family as ginger. Thankfully it's available in bulk from The Merc, our local coop grocery. I'm going to start buying it a pound at a time.

With all of this in mind I thought I would share some of my recipes with you. I hope you'll contact me and let me know how they worked for you. Wonder of wonders, I'll share going down the list above. Don't hold me to that pattern though. It isn't how I usually do things.


Ingredients :

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup whole oat flour
1 1/2 cups organic brown sugar
2 sticks of real butter
2 large eggs
1 tsp pink sea salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp real vanilla
1 tsp turmeric
                                                            2 heaping cups chocolate chips
                                                            1/2 to 1 cup dried cranberries
                                                            1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans or          
                                                            or walnuts or mix of the two
What to do : Soften butter and smash and mix it with sugar and salt and vanilla, add in eggs and beat until somewhat fluffy. Mix dry ingredients together i.e.. flours, baking soda, turmeric and add them gently mixing them in to the batter. After adding dry ingredients and mixing GENTLY, add in nuts, cranberries and chocolate chips and gently mix again until combined.

Drop teaspoon full lumps on to a greased cookie sheet about an inch and a half apart. You will be able to cook 12 to 16 cookies on each sheet. Cook them for 8 to 10 minutes at 375 degrees F . I cook mine for nine minutes because my oven has a tendency to be a bit cool. Cookies will be golden brown when finished.

Gently scoop them off the cookie sheet on to a cooling wrack. Cookies will be crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

Don't be afraid to play with your recipe. You could also add raisons, walnuts, almonds, chopped apricots, dried blueberries. I've even grated in a carrot or some zucchini before. My kids and most of the children in the neighborhood grew up eating my cookies and came back for more too.

I'll add more recipes with each post. Enjoy the cookies! Now you'll be able to tell everyone that chocolate chip cookies are good for you!

I am, ever yours, Nancy, laughing

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