“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” –Hippocrates

Category Archives: Recipes

Healthy Eating for “Normal” Blood Pressure

Healthy Eating for “Normal” Blood Pressure

You’ve just been to your doctor and your blood pressure is elevated.

Or perhaps you’ve had high blood pressure for a while, but are tired of the expense and side effects of the medication prescribed to lower your blood pressure.

In this post I’ll explain what blood pressure is and share with you how what you eat can support a normal blood pressure.

As a pharmacist, dispensing medication to control blood pressure became very common.  Every few years the protocol would change.  Start with this medication, add this one.  Unfortunately many people believed that if they took the prescribed pill(s) all would be well.

I would get calls, as a pharmacist, about potential side effects.  When I would ask a few questions such as how much water they were drinking or when the dizziness occured,  it quickly became obvious they didn’t understand what was causing the elevated blood pressure or that their choices were contributing to the condition.


First let’s review what blood pressure is and what is considered “normal”.


Here is a dictionary definition of blood pressure:

blood pressure |ˈbləd ˌprɛʃər|   (noun)

“the pressure of the blood in the circulatory system, often measured for diagnosis since it is closely related to the force and rate of the heartbeat and the diameter and elasticity of the arterial walls.”


When your blood pressure is taken there are two values.  The higher number refers to the pressure as your heart contracts (beats).  The lower number is the pressure when your heart relaxes.


This chart shows the American Heart Associations guidelines for classifying blood pressure (If you would like to read more, here is a link explaining more about blood pressure readings.)





*Rarely is there a single cause for developing high blood pressure. Several factors and conditions may play a role in its development, including:

  • Too much salt in the diet
  • Too much alcohol consumption (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
  • Stress
  • Older age
  • Genetics
  • Family history of high blood pressure
  • Sleep apnea


* From  webmd.com


Obviously there are some factors you cannot modify like age, family history or genetics.  You can address  factors you DO have control over.  These would include diet, activity level, how you manage stress, and whether you smoke or drink alcohol.


This post will focus on how choosing your food wisely, with a few simple guidelines in mind, can have a positive effect on blood pressure.  


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One of the first things about diet you may have been told is to cut back or eliminate salt.  This is wise if you are consuming regular table salt.  Regular table salt contains sodium and cloride.  Here is a short video from webmd.com on salt.

So what are your options?

Replace table salt with sea salt.  Sea salt contains a mixture of minerals, not just sodium and chloride.  Here is a link to an article discussing the various salts available.  You would be wise to limit your salt intake, but eliminating salty processed foods is a great place to start.


It was interesting to learn that even with the same sodium blood level (determined through lab work)  a vegetarian is less likely to experience high blood pressure.  Why?  A vegetarian eats more vegetables than a non-vegetarian (duh).  Vegetables are high in minerals, especially potassium.  The higher levels of potassium helps stabilize blood pressure.

While dietary levels of sodium do not differ significantly between these two groups, a vegetarian’s diet typically contains more potassium, complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, fiber, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C, and less saturated fat and refined carbohydrate, all of which have a favorable influence on blood pressure.”  Dr. Micahel Murray

(Click here to read Dr. Michael Murray’s article)


There are two vegetables I recommend incorporating into your diet if blood pressure is a concern.



Beets are high in nitrate, which is converted to nitric oxide in the body.  Nitric oxide relaxes the smooth muscles in blood vessels, helping them to stay properly dilated.  Nitric oxide also has an anti-platelet effect, making blood less sticky.

(from Dr. David Williams’ article One Food Can “Beet” High Blood Pressure“)



absolutely_free_photos-original_photos-fresh-green-vegetable-3048x1752_36718Celery contains the phytochemical phthalides.  It relaxes the walls of the arterial blood vessels, imporving blood flow and decreasing blood pressure.

Celery also contains fiber, magnesium and potassium which help regulate blood pressure.

(“Celery may help bring your blood pressure down”)



I recently shared a series with you by Dr. Sears, “9 Steps to Prime Time Health”. If you missed it  you can find it here.   Dr. Sears shares how eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables improves our health, regardless of our age.

Whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables, are high in fiber and minerals.  This is beneficail for digestion, regulation of blood pressure and glucose levels.  Whole foods are not processed, so they don’t have extra salt or sugar added.


If blood pressure, or any chronic health condition, is an issue for you  I have set aside time to answer your questions. Clink the link below to schedule your free health consultation.  


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“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”  Hippocrates

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Karen-1-circleKaren Hunter is a certified health coach. She supports individuals who are ready to learn how food is medicine and powerful for restoring health.She focuses on the foundational aspects of health and wellness: whole food nutrition, safe movement, restorative sleep, stress management and having fun.



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Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of the article.  I have a bonus for you!

My favorite way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into my diet is to make smoothies.

Click on the image below for your FREE copy. There are a dozen delicious recipes for you to try.










Remember, caring is sharing!  Please forward this post to those you care about who have high blood pressure.



Time to Reset

Time to Reset

Have you ever wished you could start over?  Wished you would have made a different decision?  Have you thought it sure would be nice to reboot and start fresh?


December and January were very busy travel months for me. In December we were out of town two weekends in a row. After Christmas we had another 6 day road trip.  Then the end of January we traveled to Maryland to spend two weeks  with my daughter and her family in Maryland.  (Here is the link to details on our travel) Our plans for travel to Maryland coincided with the big snow storm that hit the east coast January 22nd.  We arrived two days later than planned.  I’m very thankful for the family who welcomed us into their home on short notice.


Sleeping in different beds, eating food that was different than the fare I’m used to, adjusting to different time zones (only missed CST during the two months), being out of my usual daily routine. The effect of these irregularities, though each individual one was benign, added up. I arrived home feeling exhausted mentally, physically, and spiritually.  I needed to hit the reset button.


I chose to follow Pure Living, a 10 day reset ~ physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is whole food based program, modeled after Daniel 1:12-15  

“Please test your servants for 10 days. Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then examine our appearance and the appearance of the young men who are eating the king’s food, and deal with your servants based on what you see.” He agreed with them about this and tested them for 10 days. At the end of 10 days they looked better and healthier[g] than all the young men who were eating the king’s food.” 


Today was day ten.  I am feeling more rested, my energy is higher, and honestly I was rarely hungry.  I admit, the first day I obsessed over what I was going to eat. Each day got easier.  It surprised me how little I focused on the next meal as the week progressed.

Are you ready to invest in your health?

Sign up for PURE LIVING today and reset your mind, body and spirit! 


Enjoy this recipe from PURE LIVING



Stuffed Peppers with Veggies (serves 4)

1+1⁄3 cup water

1+1⁄3 tablespoon olive oil

2⁄3 small onion diced

1+1⁄3 cloves garlic minced

1 zucchini diced

1 small eggplant diced

2⁄3 tomato diced

1 cup tomato paste

4 bell peppers tops cut off and seeded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a deep baking dish with aluminum foil. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onion and garlic for approx. 5 to 7 minutes. Add zucchini, eggplant, and tomato; cook until slightly tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir tomato paste into vegetable mixture; cover and simmer until vegetables have softened, about 10 more minutes.

Fill bell peppers with vegetable mixture. Place peppers in prepared baking dish. Cover dish with aluminum foil. Bake in the preheated oven until bell peppers are slightly tender, about 15- 18 minutes. Serve.

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Let Food be Your Medicine

Let Food be Your Medicine

February is heart health month. Real food is good for your heart.  Processed food is NOT.  If you only made this one simple change your heart would be healthier and your overall general health would be improved in many ways.

Vegetables are very good for your heart.  Vegetables contain minerals that support heart health.  Beets and celery in particular are beneficial, they play a role in maintaining a healthy blood pressure.


Beets are high in nitrate, which the body turns into a gas called nitric oxide. This is important for lowering blood pressure in two ways:

  • Nitric oxide relaxes the smooth muscles in your blood vessels. This helps your arteries stay properly dilated.
  • Nitric oxide also has an anti-platelet effect that helps prevent blood from thickening and clotting.

Together, these support easier blood flow, which means lower blood pressure. (1)

I enjoy adding beets to smoothies, roasting them as a side dish and grating them for salads. Beets come in several varieties.  I am fascinated by that regardless of the variety they all have the same flavor.  Best known are red beets, less familiar are chioggia  and golden beets.  Chioggia beets are striped like candy canes. Beets are easy to grow in the garden.

Here is a link for a recipe using beets as the sweetener for brownies, Paleo Beet Brownies.


Celery is considered the number one of the foods that lower blood pressure. In addition to a lot of water, celery has magnesium, potassium, calcium and 3-n-butyl phthalide or chemicals that help keep our circulatory system healthy. Additionally, celery seeds have anti-inflammatory properties in addition to being rich in iron and vitamins.

Note: Celery Seeds may cause stomach upset for some people.

How Much? The father of a medical student who first studied this found that by eating 1/4 pound of celery (about 1/4 of the stalk) a day, even without changing the way he ate other foods, his blood pressure came back to normal inside a week.

Turns out celery contains a chemical that relaxes the smooth muscles of blood vessels. This helps make them wider and lowers blood pressure.

Best eaten raw. Add a stalk to your fruit smoothie to balance the sugar with the salt in the celery. (2)

Celery is easy to find at any local grocery store.  I add celery to smoothies, chop it for salads and include in soups. Another way to enjoy celery is to fill the groove with soft cheese or nut butter.  My favorite filler is almond butter.

Often sodium intake is a concern if your blood pressure is elevated.  An interesting fact for you to consider: Vegetarians have a lower incidence of elevated blood pressure even when their sodium levels are the same as a non-vegetarian. Their potassium levels are higher, due to their increased consumption of vegetables.

Here’s a simple recipe for a healthy snack you can make and enjoy yourself or with your children:

Ants on a Log

Cut celery stalks into 3-4″ pieces

Fill with nut butter (or seed butter)

Top with raisins

Do you need someone to talk to about a health concern? My Healthy Living program is designed for men and women who want support in discovering how whole foods and a balanced lifestyle can help you feel your best, manage stress, and enjoy life.

Schedule your FREE 20 minute consultation today.


(1) http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/beet-high-blood-pressure/

(2) http://www.watercures.org/foods-that-lower-blood-pressure.html

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

It’s cold outside here in western Colorado, perfect weather for soup.  I love soup but many recipes require more time to prepare. This recipe is perfect for adding to any menu at the last minute.

This recipe for pumpkin soup has only four ingredients and it takes less than five minutes to assemble.  Add ten minutes for heating and you have a delicious addition to the menu.


Pumpkin Soup

  • 1 can pumpkin (or about 2 cups pureed fresh pumpkin)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 can chicken or vegetable broth (about 2 cups)
  • 2 TBSP Thai chili paste (1/2 jar)

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Stir to blend. Heat until hot.

Serve garnished with pumpkin seeds. Serves 4

(This recipe is gluten and dairy free!)


If you are ready to transform your health in 2016 check out Pure Living.  Pure Living is the perfect program to start your path to healthy living.  A ten day, whole food “cleanse” based on Daniel 1:12-15, you can complete on your own or with your family.   

My own healing journey taught me real food creates real health. Visit my website to learn how i can support you on your personal journey to better health.

Contact me today to schedule a FREE 20 minute health consultation.

Blessings of health and happiness in 2016!

Karen Hunter PharmD, INHC


Follow me on Twitter @karen_rph2farm

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Celery Root and Fennel Latkes

Celery Root and Fennel Latkes

Our family began enjoying latkes long ago, when our son was six years old.  His first grade teacher is Jewish and shared many of her traditions with families in the class.  We have enjoyed latkes many times since.  Even though Hanukkah officially ends this next week keep this recipe handy all year long.

Latkes were originally made with milk. The history of latkes is tied to the story of Judith. She fed an Assyrian general wine and salty cheese. When he passed out drunk she beheaded him with his sword and saved her village.  You can read the article here.  In Judith’s honor dairy products are included in Hanukkah celebrations.

Traditionally latkes are made from potatoes.  This recipe uses another root vegetable, celeriac.

“Celeriac, also called turnip-rooted celery or knob celery, is a variety of celery cultivated for its edible roots, hypocotyl, and shoots. It is sometimes called celery root. It was mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey as selinon. Wikipedia”  Celeriac is high in vitamin C and potassium. One cup of this vegetable contains 20% of RDA for vitamin C  and 468mg of potassium.
You can enjoy these delicious latkes any time you find celeriac in the market!
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Five tips to survive holiday snacking

The month of December is marching on. Holiday celebrations have begun. Unless you are a solopreneur, it is likely the inevitable plates of baked goodies are appearing in the break room at work. They look so tempting don’t they? Well, I’m here to help you!

Here are five tips to avoid giving into temptation.

  1. Pack your own food.  Take snack items you want to eat during your break or volunteer to bring food to share.  Here is a link for 20 Healthy Snack ideas.
  2. Eat before you attend a holiday party.  Having a healthy snack before you attend a gathering prevents you from arriving “starving”.  Everyone makes better choices when they are not hungry.
  3. Choose wisely. When you are at a festive gathering choose to snack from the fresh vegetable platter.  Fresh vegetables are good for you!
  4. When you are invited to a potluck always offer to bring something you like to eat.  If you are on a limited diet, or just avoiding certain foods, offering to bring a dish you can eat means you don’t go home hungry.
  5. Don’t be afraid to say “no thank you”.  Simply decline when the tray comes around with something you are choosing not to eat.

Here is the recipe for a higher protein snack. I call them “Protein Balls”.

  • 1/2 cup nuts
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates

Combine nuts and pitted dates in a food processor and pulse until mixtures starts to clump.

  • 1 cup uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2 TBSP flax seeds
  • 2 TBSP sesame seeds
  • 3/4 cup almond butter

Pulse mixture after you add each ingredient.  Adjust almond butter to desired consistency. Roll into bite size balls and chill.

Adapt this recipe to your preferences by substituting seed butter for almond butter, choosing different nuts, or using more seeds.  I store these in the freezer so it is more effort to get to them 😉


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I scream! You scream! We all scream for ice cream!

I have one goat in milk.  Daisy is producing more than double what Rosie did last year.  Currently I have 8 gallons of goat milk frozen.  This takes up a lot of space in my freezer. So what’s a gal to do but….make goat milk ice cream!

We used to make home-made ice cream once or twice each summer.  This year we’ve made three batches in the past month.  First was chocolate-cinnamon-coffee ice cream for my son’s birthday. Next was strawberry ice cream because strawberries were in season. Most recently we made peach ice cream, because peaches are coming into season.  See, any occasion will do when you need to make space in the freezer.

cuisinarticecreamWe use this Cuisinart countertop ice cream freezer now.  Our prior electric ice cream maker was noisy, required lots of ice and rock salt, and had to used outside.  This little gem sits on the counter and churns out delicious ice cream in about 20 minutes.

We have been making ice cream for many years (our original freezer was a gift from my in-laws prior to 1996) so we have our favorite recipes.  The chocolate-cinnamon-coffee is one of those.  However we’re now making ice cream with goat milk. The original recipe book was for cow milk and half & half and other ingredients I don’t have access to. So I pulled out my Goats Produce Too! by Mary Jane Toth and looked at the recipes for goat milk ice cream.  The original recipe starts with a custard base ~ involves cooking the sugar & milk mixture, slowly adding eggs, cooking some more. The recipe in Goats Produce Too! combines all ingredients in a blender. No eggs, no cooking. So I combined the two recipes and cooked the milk, sugar & eggs.  Another change was to use goat yogurt (also home-made) in place of goat cream.  Goat milk is naturally homoginzed so to separate out the cream takes a piece of equipment I don’t have.  IMG_0015

Chocolate-Cinnamon-Coffee Goat Milk Ice Cream

  • 2 cups goat milk
  • 1 + 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 TBSP gluten free flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 duck eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups goat yogurt

IMG_0014In double boiler combine flour, sugar, salt. Stir in 2 cups goat milk. Cook over moderate heat until thickened. Add baking cocoa. Cook 2 minutes more. Stir small amount of hot mixture into eggs. Return this mixture to the double boiler. Cook one minute more. Add vanilla extract and yogurt.  Chill one hour. Freeze!

IMG_0017Unfortunately it disappeared so fast I didn’t get a picture of the finished product.IMG_0013


The strawberry and peach ice cream recipes were according to the directions in Goats Produce Too! The warm weather had us wanting something more refreshing, so we skipped the custard base.  Here are the recipes for them.

Strawberry Ice Cream

  • 2 cups goat milk
  • 2 cups goat yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups strawberries

Place all ingredients in the blender and whirl for 35 seconds. Chill mixture for one hour. Freeze.

Peach Ice Cream

  • 2 cups goat milk
  • 2 cups goat yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6-8 peaches, chopped

Place all ingredients in blender and whirl for 35-60 seconds. Chill mixture for one hour. Freeze.

I modify recipes often, making adjustments to meet my dietary restrictions.  We’ve known for over 20 years I do not digest cow milk. (Read my story here) Several years ago we discovered I do tolerate goat milk products. Two years ago my family bought a farm so we could raise goats. Modifiying recipes has become second nature to me. I make no claim to being successful all the time. But most of my creations have been edible, all of them are nutritious!

Let’s work together to restore your health. I offer a food intolerance program. Working together I guide you through an elimination diet, so you know which foods may be triggering chronic problems.  Good nutrition leads to a body that heals quickly!  Click here for the full menu of programs currently available.

Blessings of health & happiness!

Karen Hunter PharmD IHC


Enjoy this picture of the peach ice cream!IMG_0032

Quick Summer Supper

Quick Summer Supper

I am the mistress of super simple suppers.  We often make dinner in one skillet.  Today I want to share with you a favorite recipe for pizza!  Who doesn’t like pizza?  For many years pizza was off the menu for me because of my food intolerances.  It has been almost 20 years that I’ve known I don’t digest cow’s milk. Which meant I didn’t intentially eat anything with cheese.  Several years ago we discovered I could have goat milk & sheep milk cheeses, but unless you go to a speciality pizza restaurant goat cheese on pizza wasn’t an option.  Now that I know I am also sensitive to gluten (probably have been for many years but didn’t know) this makes it difficult and expensive to order pizza as an entree when dining out.

This pizza crust mix is easy to mix and though the texture is not traditional it ia tasty!

This pizza crust mix is easy to mix and though the texture is not traditional it ia tasty!

My solution: make gluten free pizza with goat and/or sheep milk chesses at home!  Win-win for everyone!  When preparing gluten free options it isn’t the flavor that alerts folks, it is the texture.  Fortunately my family is won over by the flavor, the crust we make does have a different texture.  We use Bob’s Red Mill PIZZA crust mix.  (This mix is also excellent for cinnamon rolls :))

Having decided on pizza, the crust is a given.  The remainder of the recipe is where we have fun. You will need to decide on the toppings.  I don’t think we’ve ever made two identical pizzas.  The obvious options are sauce, cheeses, meat, vegetables, seasonings.



Here is the most recent creation from my kitchen!

GF crust with sauce, cheese and sliced peppers

GF crust with sauce, cheese and sliced peppers

Crust: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust

Cheeses: goat milk cheddar and goat milk mozzarella

Sauce: tomatoe paste with olive oil and Italian seasoning

Vegetables: sliced peppers, onions, mushrooms

Meat: ground beef (you can use any meat or leave it off)

More cheese!

More cheese!


Honestly, you can use whatever vegetables, meat, or cheese you have.  During the peak of the garden season I like to include zucchini on my pizza.  If left up to me we would have an entire salad on the pizza!

Mushrooms were forgotten until the end, so they were the top layer.

Mushrooms were forgotten until the end, so they were the top layer.

Preparing meals with a food intolerance, or multiple intolerances, requires that we cook at home more often than not.  With a bit of practice, and the support of my family, we eat delicious meals that we all enjoy together.  Meals are prepared to meet the most restrictive “diet”, because eating together is important to us.

If you suspect you, or someone in your family, may have an intolerance to a food (or foods) I can help you navigate an “elimination diet”.  After many years of experiencing chronic pain and GI discomfort after eating it is empowering to know that what I eat now fuels my body rather than making me feel ill.

For information on how I can help you visit my “food intolerance” page and contact me through the link at the bottom. Family meal time is an important time to connect and should be enjoyable for every one around the table!

Breakfast is for champions!

Breakfast is for champions!

Breakfast has been called the most important meal of the day.  It is the first meal of the day, breaking the over night fast, presuming you didn’t wake up and raid the refrigerator during the night.  Did you know breakfast is so vital for success in school the first several minutes of the school day are reserved for serving breakfast in the classroom? Unfortunately school meals must follow USDA guidelines and this often means a carbohydrate heavy meal.

Breakfast has long been my favorite meal of the day.  What we have for breakfast has changed over the years. When our children were growing up I always made breakfast  every day before they went off to school. Eggs were usually served on the weekend, cold or hot cereal during the week, some mornings I’d make french toast or pancakes. (I’m embarassed to admit that when they were in high school and running late there was “Carnation Instant breakfast”).  Years later my grown daughter would tell me this routine made it impossible for her to skip breakfast as an adult. Score! Once our kids moved away it was John & I. When I was still working as a pharmacist my schedule was variable, I might not be home until 10:30pm. Breakfast became the one meal we always ate together.

Weekday mornings John usually cooks breakfast, on Sunday mornings I make waffles.  Our typical weekday breakfast consists of eggs, potatoes & occasionally meat.  We try to change it up, but you get the idea.  (I’ve not been a huge fan of breakfast sausage since working food service in college and serving sausage morning after morning after morning, so for me typical breakfast meat is optional).  I love to add greens to the eggs. Our son once asked, “Do you always have greens with your eggs?” To which I answered “Yes!”

It is irrigation season on our farm, so while John goes out to set the water I have been making breakfast.

Here’s the general recipe:

Morning Skillet

  • Onion (red, chopped)
  • Garlic 2-3 cloves, sliced or minced
  • Greens ~ chopped. (we use spinach, kale or chard)
  • Eggs (we prepare two eggs/person)
  • Meat ~ leftover steak, sausage, bacon, chicken (optional)
My ducks are laying 7-8 eggs most days!

My ducks are laying 7-8 eggs most days!

I try to include greens with every meal. I'm ahead of the plan when I include fresh kale as part of my breakfast.

I try to include greens with every meal. I’m ahead of the plan when I include fresh kale as part of my breakfast.

Sauté onion & garlic in coconut or olive oil. Add meat, greens, seasonings. Heat until greens wilted.

Add the eggs. Cook until eggs are done.

Duck eggs with kale and sausage

Duck eggs with kale and sausage

Variety is the spice of life, and I don’t want you to get bored so here are some suggestions to change it up a bit!

  • Cook potatoes with peppers & onions in separate skillet
  • Vary the greens ~ we usually have spinach or kale on hand, but had even used broccoli
  • Add cheese
  • Serve eggs fried on bed of sautéed greens
  • Use salsa as seasoning
  • Serve eggs with leftover spaghetti sauce

I feel best with 12-15 grams of protein for breakfast, which is nearly impossible if I do not include eggs.  Eating a meal high in protein helps stabilize blood sugar. If your blood sugar is stable you are able to focus better.  I wish I’d understood this when our children were in school. Adding leafy greens to breakfast makes eating 2+ cups of greens/day an attainable goal.

I have 8 laying ducks and one drake. I am often asked how duck eggs are different.  I find they taste the same as the pastured chicken eggs I was buying from a friend.  The yolk is proportionally larger (making them fantastic for making Alfredo), the eggs are larger, and they are higher in protein. Here is an interesting article comparing duck eggs vs chicken eggs. We haven’t added chickens to our farm yet, so when you visit I hope you’re willing to try duck eggs.

For local peeps:  If you are interested in trying duck eggs I am selling them for $6/dozen

Rhubarb Chutney

Rhubarb Chutney

It is early spring here in Montrose and rhubarb is the first perinial vegetable to emerge.  The rhubarb growing in my garden is from New York,  John’s aunt Kim shared a split from her rhubarb many years ago. We’ve moved it several times and still it grows well. If you are fortunate rhubarb will grow prolifically after the first year. My plants spread over 6′ by the end of the season.  When I harvest the stalks, the only safe part of the plant to eat, I lay the leaves around my garden to supress weeds. Strawberry-rhubarb pie has become a tradition for celebrating June birthdays, I chop the stalks and freeze them for use in smoothies throughout the year, but my favorite way to enjoy rhubarb is rhubarb chutney.

Rhubarb Chutney over Brie cheese

Rhubarb Chutney over Brie cheese

Rhubarb Chutney

2/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1+1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

8 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2″ pieces

1 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp salt

12 black peppercorns

1. Place vinegar and sugar in a non-reactive saucepan or Dutch oven. Bring to boil over medium-high heat.

2. Add rhubarb and remaining ingredients to pan. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is tender and mixture thickens, 6-8 minutes.

3.Cool completely. Store in a glass jar or plastic storage container in refrigerator. Bring to room temp before serving. Makes 5.5 cups.

My favorite way to serve rhubarb chutney is over goat Brie cheese. I process pint jars in a steam canner, like you would for jam. Check with the your local cooperative extension for processing time at your elevation.


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