Nourishing Traditions

Corn Bread

This recipe is a staple in our house.  The ingredients are always on hand.  Everyone always likes it.  And it’s so good with so many things, like baked beans, chili, scrambled eggs and sauerkraut salsa, even just simple soft butter.

We use 100% corn meal instead of including some unbleached flour, so it’s gluten free, and we soak it in kefir.  Kefir seems to work much better than yogurt or buttermilk to give a nice light texture and higher rise.


3 cups cornmeal

2 1/2 cups kefir

3 eggs

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt (If you live in TN, get this amazing salt cheaper when we order it wholesale through our co-op!)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 cup melted butter

2 tablespoons butter oil or coconut oil

First, ideally the night before you’re going to be baking, combine 3 cups cornmeal with 2 1/2 cups kefir.  Cover the bowl and soak overnight, or up to 12 hours.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat a large cast iron skillet in a 35o degree oven.  (Alternatively, you can bake in a buttered 9 x 13 pan, but don’t preheat it.)  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter oil or coconut oil in the skillet.

Combine the eggs, honey, salt, baking soda and melted butter in a bowl and add the soaked cornmeal, but don’t over mix.

Pour the mixture into the hot skillet, and bake for about 20 minutes.  The edges will become a nice crispy brown (if you’re baking in the skillet, that is).

Christine’s Apple Pie Filling

Canned apple pie filling:  the ultimate last-minute dessert for unexpected company or chilly winter evenings when you’d rather be sitting beside the woodstove than slaving on pies in the kitchen.  If you’d rather, you can freeze this pie filling in quart freezer bags. Enjoy.

4 – 6 quarts peeled and sliced firm apples, like Winesap, Rome, Ida Red or Jonathan (reserved)

4 1/2 cups sugar or rapadura

1 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder

4 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons nutmeg

3 tablespoons lemon juice

10 cups water

In a large pot, cook all the ingredients, except the apples, until thick and bubbly, stirring often.  Remove from heat.

Add as many apples to the sugar sauce as you can, keeping the mixture plenty juicy.

Place the apples into prepared quart jars and process 25 minutes in a hot water bath.   Makes 4 – 6 quarts.

Rapadura Carmel Popcorn

My daughter Emma invented this recipe on movie night last fall, and since it’s similar to a candy recipe, with specific instructions on boiling, I didn’t expect it to work with rapadura and honey – but it did!  Good job, Emma – it’s a real treat!  (And I never would have thought of it.)

8 cups popped popcorn

3/4 cup rapadura

6 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons honey

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Butter 2 9×13 baking pans and preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Place the popcorn in a large mixing bowl.

In a heavy saucepan mix the butter, honey and rapadura.  Cook and stir over medium heat until it boils.  Then turn the heat down a little and continue boiling, without stirring, for 5 more minutes.

Remove the pan from heat.  Stir in the baking soda and vanilla, and pour the whole mixture over the popcorn, stirring to coat.

Pour the popcorn into the prepared 9×13 pans and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from the pan onto buttered foil to cool.   Makes 8 cups.

High Fat Coconut Energy Bars

I know, I know: high fat has certainly been taboo. But many people actually try to add more nutritious, lauric-acid-rich coconut oil to their diets, our family included. Here’s one of our favorite ways to do it.

From my good friend Christine, a very tasty, edible winter moisturizer that soothes skin from the inside out. These are very, very rich – cut the bars small, like fudge, and eat them (don’t rub them on your face).  ;-)

2 cups soft or melted virgin coconut oil

2 cups smooth or crunchy natural peanut butter (Christine’s recipe actually calls for almond butter, but we don’t care for the almond flavor in these and changed it to good ol’ peanut butter. Feel free to use either or.)

1/2 – 3/4  cup raw honey

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1 cup raw sunflower seeds

2 cups fine unsweetened coconut

1 cup chopped pecans

Mix all the ingredients together and spread or pour into a 9×13 pan, preferably one with a lid.  Chill them until solid, then cut into small bars.  Store in the fridge so they don’t melt.

Carrot Juice Smoothie with Peaches and Oranges

A beautiful orange smoothie, full of antioxidants.

3 cups carrot juice (from about 3# carrots)

1 cup fresh orange juice

2 cups frozen peaches

2 cups frozen strawberries

2 tablespoons flax seeds

Makes about 8 cups.

Creamy Green Smoothie

Although I’m not a fan of tahini, this smoothie is one of my favorites.  I am using Ida Red apples from our last bulk order, for the juice – they’re my favorite (not too sweet).

1 cup fresh apple juice

1 tablespoon tahini

1 stalk celery

a handful or two of spinach

1 frozen banana