Posted by & filed under Food Philosophy, organic, organic produce.

It’s quite the exact science to eat an artichoke the right way — which is why many get so intimidated by just looking at one. You can’t exactly cut the thing up and eat all the pieces. Your result for doing that would probably be much worse than eating the shells off of shrimp. As a point to make, there are three steps to eating that artichoke, and the process is actually surprisingly easy. Just get to one of these organic farms and buy an artichoke right now, and we’ll get started!

Firstly, You’ve Got to Imagine the Artichoke Like It’s an Onion….artichoke-1

Only this ‘onion’ is going to be a whole lot more fun ‘peeling,’ especially if you have a dish of melted and seasoned butter. Artichoke eating is a bit of an acquired taste, but as it gets to the center of your taste buds, you’ll realize you’re in real culinary epicurean Heaven. Follow these instructions:

  1. Pull Off Petals One at a Time, Please — There’s a reason for this. For one, each of those petals is a true delicacy straight out of Ocean Mist Farms, making for a process gearing you up for quite the endeavor. Each petal is, well, ‘edible’, from a certain point of view.
  2. The Trick Is to Eat Only Part of Each Petal — Get your dish of melted seasoned butter now. Never forget that. What you have to understand is that there’s a “fleshy” portion of the petal that’s truly edible and quite delicious when dipped in butter. Treat the petal like you’re eating a clam. The hard portion of the petal’s the shell, the rest is just yum yum.
  3. And That’s Not All. There’s the HEART of the Artichoke — Discard the leftover portion of each petal, and guess what: you’ve got more to eat. As in the “heart” of the artichoke, which is at the bottom. Spoon out the fuzzy center on what’s remaining and discard it. What you have left is the bottom part of the artichoke, and that part is also good to eat. Cut in smaller pieces and enjoy with your seasoned butter. And remember to thank those homegrown organic farms out there for showing some love to the ever-awesome artichoke.

Talk About Quite the Snack, Right? The Artichoke Delivers.

You just needed the correct way to feast on the fun that is the artichoke, because as you can see, it’s not a “cut in pieces and shove in mouth” type of endeavor like some veggies and fruits are. The best part? You won’t overdo this at all, and the artichoke makes for a great snack dish with butter on the side. Serve hot or cold, fill up a giant bowl, enjoy the Super Bowl (or the latest episode of “America’s Got Talent”), get your butter, and you’re good to go.

Posted by & filed under organic, organic produce, organic produce delivery, tips & tricks.

Don’t be fooled: organic’s still king of nutrition as far as we’re concerned. Why? Because labels don’t tell you everything, and as it stands, in this food industry, the subject of “non-GMOs” has been hitting the airwaves like a ton of bricks (for the most part, positive bricks) thinking that they’re a great alternative to organic going slim and costing too much money for the benefit.

But Hold Up, People: There’s More to This Non-GMO Craze That You Need to Be Aware ofnon-GMOs

Everyone touts that non-GMO foods are most likely just as safe as organic, but here’s the thing. The label doesn’t tell all about what you’re putting in your stomach (while stating the obvious). GMO actually stands for “genetically modified,” and that’s it. The label doesn’t take into account any of the other substances going into our food products, such as:

  • Synthetic Pesticides
  • Roundup Herbicides
  • Hexane neurotoxins
  • Sewage Sludge
  • Growth-Promoting Antibiotics
  • Ractopamine Drug Residues

That’s the kind of stuff you don’t get in truly organic foods. Labels stating that they’re “non-GMO” doesn’t say much except to say that the good food produced ends up going through the same harsh processes truly organic foods don’t ever have to endure.

So Be Wary of “Non-GMO” and Stick With Organic

True organic foods have literally no additives, preservatives or other types of substances designed to increase longevity. Organics are harvested the old tried-and-true way, not requiring some of the conveniences this society requires to mass-produce and transport goods.

Remember that next time you see supermarkets pushing for their non-GMOs. You may be getting something not genetically modified, but that doesn’t mean it’s not tainted with the worst you could put in your body.

Posted by & filed under delivery, Education, Food Philosophy, organic, organic produce, tips & tricks, Uncategorized, weekly update.

Miracle Noodle 1 Miracle Noodle 2Miracle Noodles 3Mirqacle Noodles 4We’ve all heard it a million times: there’s no such thing as a free lunch. It’s a maxim that diet conscious folks and processed food giants alike have been trying to disprove — or at least circumvent — for decades.

Some of the biggest commercial experiments in having your cake and eating it too have been downright disastrous. Recall seriously misguided Olestra, the lab-generated fat, calorie and cholesterol-free oil substitute that offered snackers the chance to gorge on potato chips and pastries without the weight-gain consequences.

Touted as a diet miracle back in the mid-90s, it turned into a PR nightmare as quickly and uncomfortably as Olestra itself was passing through the rumbling digestive systems of millions of decidedly distressed American consumers.

The cautionary tale of Olestra has stayed with me all these years and helped shape my longstanding conviction that the healthiest foods are not those crafted by nutrition scientists in a lab, but those that are organic and minimally processed, regardless of their calorie count.

So when Corey handed me a bag of “Organic Shirataki Miracle Noodles” to try out and review for the blog, I was more than a little skeptical — beginning with the word “miracle” and extending to its claim of being virtually calorie and carbohydrate free, a perfect guilt-free substitute for pasta.

But this isn’t some nutritionist’s lab gimmick at all. It’s a traditional Japanese noodle that has been around for two-thousand years.

Shirataki noodles are made from nothing but water and a pounded fiber called glucomannan that comes from the root tuber of the konjac plant (konnyaku imo), also known as devil’s tongue yam or elephant yam, (though it’s not actually a yam).

Glucomannan is an undigestible fiber that is gluten, carb and calorie free, highly soluble, slick and slippery in texture, and utterly devoid of any taste or flavor of its own.

It does come with a distinct smell though. Shirataki noodles are packaged wet in a bag, and the water in which they squish has a distinct odor perhaps best described as that of trout innards spilled on the floor of a fishing skiff passing on the breeze. Yes, seriously. The first step in preparation is a thorough repeat rinsing to get rid of the funky smell, which indeed goes away entirely before a quick boiling and then flash heating in a pan to dry them (unless you’re putting them into a soup).

I prepared mine as a substitute for traditional wheat pasta as the package encourages – “Use Miracle Noodles as a pasta substitute in any dish dramatically reducing calories. Finally, you can have your pasta and eat it too!”

Under a sauce of olive oil, garlic, onions, Roma tomatoes, zucchini, fresh basil leaves and other Italian spices, I plated the noodles and topped everything with a little grated Romano cheese and cracked pepper. I was hungry and ate eagerly, but something was not quite right.

The noodles were translucent, gelatinous and a little bit snappy when I bit in – quite pleasing — and they most definitely have the slick mouth feel that is distinctive of many Asian noodles. They contributed absolutely zero in the way of flavor; the sauce and veggies dominated entirely. It tasted fine, and yet it didn’t.

After a while I realized that the texture and the taste simply did not match; it created an odd sort of incongruence that I think had a lot more to do with mixing inappropriate culinary metaphors — Asian noodles and Italian flavors –than any failing of the shirataki noodles themselves.

I don’t think shirataki noodles are a replacement for pasta, at least for me, but I do think they are an awesome thing in and of themselves. I am definitely not done with Miracle Noodles.

I love the idea of a healthy no-calorie, no-carb noodle that’s been around for centuries, and I can’t wait to try doing other things with them — putting them in soups, using them in spring rolls and wraps, making cold noodle salads, and putting them under Asian spiced stir fries instead of rice.

Hopefully my first experience with these noodles will point other folks in the right direction if they give them a try. I say go for it;  it really is the closest thing to a free lunch I’ve ever seen — quite a miracle in my book.

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Shirataki Miracle Noodles are available as an add-on item in Golden Gate Organic’s weekly organic produce box delivery throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Let us know what you think of them!

 

Posted by & filed under Education, Food Philosophy, fruit, organic, organic produce, organic produce delivery, tips & tricks, Uncategorized.

Woodman Reservoir trailer

When I made plans to go camping last weekend, I also planned to skip my Friday organic produce box delivery — because who wants a fridge full of fresh produce when you’re a hundred miles away,  floating on a blow-up raft and lazily admiring your lakeside campsite?

I logged in to my account and was about to hit “skip” when it dawned on me that there were plenty of fresh things I could take to enjoy in the great outdoors. So, instead of skipping, I customized my box to include fruits and veggies that would travel well in a cooler and be a welcome addition to our campground menu. Because one cannot live by crackers and Clif bars alone; or at least one shouldn’t.

Obviously, some produce items are destined to fare worse on road trips than others. Tomatoes and peaches, for example, are likely to bruise or get smooshed with anything less than the gentlest handling, and in all my years I’ve yet to see a head of lettuce emerge un-wilted on the second night of a trip.

My strategy is to bring things that are physically hardy and don’t need much refrigeration. Here are six items from my Golden Gate Organics box that I took camping last weekend, and all of them proved to be terrific choices:

Cantaloupe – A melon of any kind is always a welcome addition to a campout, but cantaloupe is my favorite because it comes in its own handy-dandy compostable bowl, meaning fewer dirty camp dishes.

Cucumbers – Cukes are wonderfully refreshing when it’s hot out, and dipping them in hummus makes an excellent snack. They’re great tucked into sandwiches too.

Celery — With its high water content, celery holds up surprisingly well in less than ideal conditions. A jar of peanut butter is the perfect companion for a mid-day, high-protein snack.

Corn – The official vegetable of summer is also the official vegetable of campfire cooks everywhere. Leave the husks on and soak the ears in water before tossing them on the grill alongside whatever else you’re firing up.

Apples – A perfectly portable pomme never fails to be just the right thing on a day hike.

Avocado – The humble avocado plays a crucially important role in my camp kitchen; it serves as a stand-in for mayo on sandwiches.

One of the most notorious sources of food poisoning in outdoor settings is mayonnaise because folks don’t do a proper job of keeping it cold.  Forty degrees or cooler is what’s considered safe for foods that need refrigeration, and while most ice-filled coolers start out their journeys well within the safe range, a day or two later that is often no longer the case. Unless you have a thermometer, it’s hard to know when you’ve reached the tipping point, but even without that, there are a few things you can do to minimize the risks of bacteria growth and food-borne illness.

The FDA’s website offers these tips to help keep food safe in coolers and when preparing food outdoors:

* Freeze raw meat, poultry and seafood before packing it so it stays cold longer, and keep those items well wrapped and separate from fresh produce to avoid cross contamination.

* Put beverages and perishables in separate coolers so folks can help themselves to drinks without repeatedly exposing fresh produce to warm outdoor temperatures.

* Wash fruits and veggies really well before packing them, even items with thick rinds like melons.

* Remember to wash your hands before handling food, and make sure that utensils, dishes and surfaces are clean as well.

With just a little effort you can leave the crackers and Clif bars behind on your next camping trip and instead enjoy food that is fresh, as well as safe.

Happy summer adventures!

Posted by & filed under Education, fruit, Uncategorized.

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Every summer, I can count on two things like clockwork: the arrival of a jury duty summons and the arrival of wild plums.

Sitting here in a crowded assembly room at the Alameda County Superior Courthouse, waiting to be selected for jury duty, all I can think about are those plums – thousands and thousands of tiny sweet yellow plums, all about the size of gumballs. The sprawling volunteer tree behind our garage went gangbusters this year in celebration of the long-awaited rains, and over the past week we picked roughly ninety pounds of fruit.

I’ve already given away about twenty pounds, used another twenty to start five gallons of sparkling plum wine, and canned just over two gallons of jam, but there’s still another twenty-five pounds or so heaped in a recycling bin in my laundry room (the coolest, darkest room in the house). Those are the ones I’m fretting over as I survey the faces of annoyed and bored citizens who would quite obviously rather be somewhere else today. Admittedly, so would I;  I want to be home with my plums.

Having a prolific fruit tree is truly a labor of love. When I see the sagging branches burgeoning with fruit hanging in thick bunches like grapes, I feel certain that it is my personal responsibility to ensure they do not go to waste. When the plums ripen, they demand immediate attention so they don’t  fall and create a big sticky mess; once picked, they spoil quickly and must be used within days. That’s why when it’s plum harvest time, I clear a few days from my schedule to deal with them. All the picking, sorting, pitting, fermenting and canning take a lot of effort, but it is a chore I have gladly accepted as my end of the bargain for such beneficence.

When they didn’t call my name in the first court roll call, I breathed an audible sigh of relief and laughed nervously with others.  As an hour passed waiting for the second roll call, I was acutely aware that some miles away, my small mountain of plums was slowly moldering without me. Somehow that felt like a failure on my part, like I had shirked my responsibility and was guilty of gross profligacy.

Because if my annual plum harvest has taught me anything, it’s that bounties and blessings come with responsibilities.

Oh.  I see.

Just like democracy.

Of all the many freedoms we enjoy, the right to a fair and speedy trail by a jury of one’s peers is one of the most sacred of our Constitutional protections. As flawed as our legal system may be, trial by jury is still a crucial check and balance against tyranny in its many forms.  It gives everyday people a chance to be directly involved in upholding the rights that we all benefit from every day, so it is essential that we take part in the process.

By the time my name was finally called and my group was asked to stand outside in the hall to await instructions, I had adjusted my attitude and resolved to do my civic duty with the same spirit of gratefulness that my plum harvest calls forth. So much so that I was actually disappointed when the court clerk came over and quite theatrically released our group from service.

Oh well, there’s always next summer’s duties to look forward to.

Happy Fourth of July

 

Posted by & filed under Food Philosophy, organic, organic produce, organic produce delivery, produce report, tips & tricks.

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I stopped by the new Golden Gate Organics office on 50th Ave in Oaktown the other day to check out the new digs and catch up with Corey, and after a fun visit he sent me home with an armload of grocery products to try. I’ll be road testing them over the next few weeks and writing about them here, but there is one item I wanted to get to right away: Vegie Fresh, a mineral-filled pouch that you put in the fridge to help extend the life of fresh produce by up to 50 percent.

One of the biggest concerns for folks who subscribe to an organic produce box delivery is being able to use everything before it goes bad, and indeed the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the average family of four throws out $1,500 worth of food each year. That’s bad enough on its own, but rotting food produces methane, a greenhouse gas that the EPA says is 20 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide. Landfills are a major source of methane, and despite local composting programs, food waste is still a major component of landfills.

Decreasing food waste by extending the shelf life of fresh produce is a great way to take personal action on climate change, and while it might seem gimmicky to some, the science behind Vegie Fresh is well grounded.

Once picked, all fruits and vegetables emit ethylene gas, which in turn accelerates the spoilage of other nearby produce, which generates more ethylene gas, which promotes even more spoilage, and so on – a slow but steady march toward the compost bin for all involved.

The Vegie Fresh pouch contains 100 percent natural minerals, including zeolite, to absorb and trap ethylene gas and keep it from circulating. It’s a simple and elegant solution that really works.

After putting Vegie Fresh in my crisper, its effectiveness was apparent within days – no more mushy cucumbers or withering strawberries; no more slimy bell peppers or green onions in need of daily grooming. Why this stuff isn’t a household name is a mystery to me, but according to a vendor search on the company’s website, Golden Gate Organics is the only place in the East Bay or San Francisco that you can get it.

The package claims that Vegie Fresh is effective for three months, but I’ve tested it out and can happily report that it works much longer, especially if you take care to separate high ethylene items (most notoriously, apples) from the rest of your produce.  When it finally gives up the ghost (don’t worry, the mushy cucumbers will let you know!), simply open the packet and spread the minerals in your garden or add them to your compost – it makes great fertilizer.

We all have the best intentions when it comes to eating healthy organic produce, and using Vegie Fresh will give you some extra time to make good on them. It really doesn’t get much more elegant than that.

Check out the Vegie Fresh website for a deeper explanation of the science behind the product and the mechanics of food spoilage, and for additional tips on how to reduce food waste and properly store fresh produce, take a peek at our archived blog post, “How to Save Limp Lettuce and Keep Celery Snappy.”

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What a beautiful weekend it was in Berkeley the last two days. I just arrived home a little sunburn and a lot tired after talking to new and current customers who visited the Golden Gate Organics booth at the festival. The festival itself had an enormous footprint. Perhaps even too big.

The Bay Area Book Festival, or BABF for short, occupied much of downtown Berkeley. Some streets such as the one our booth was on, Radical Row, had tents lining both sides of the street and made for a very festive atmosphere. Other streets, however, were lined on only one side with tents leaving a vast expanse of the street open. As a festival sponsor and a booth occupant I would’ve liked to see both sides of each street lined with tents. This would’ve decreased the amount of walking required for festival goers, decreased the number of streets that needed to be shut down to traffic, and most likely would have increased the exposure of all booths throughout the festival. I am confident that due to the wide expanse of the festival there are many people who did not see all that there was to see.

Of course this is not to take away from Lisa Bullwinkle and her event management business, Another Bullwinkle Show, that managed this unwieldy spectacle. When registering before the event she let me know that she was not able to do the Chocolate and Chalk festival this year due to all the planning required for the BABF. Indeed, the BABF is an enormous event for Berkeley. Personally, Golden Gate Organics had a very successful weekend even if a few of the authors I spoke to in nearby booths shared mixed feelings on their results. Oh well, different strokes for different folks I guess. After looking at the preparations of these same authors it was obvious that they should keep to writing and not venture off into marketing anytime soon! I was happy to share some of the lessons I gained from five years of attending these types of festivals with the occupants of the tent across from ours. David Haldane the author of Nazis and Nudists as well as his booth-mate Doug Piotter who was selling copies of his book Fixed:Dope sacks, dye packs, and the long way back. Both guys were great human beings and I wish them success.

Over the weekend I talked to probably a hundred people in one form or another. From giving my entire pitch to a surprised passersby to simply complying with a hard charger demanding to sign them up for organic produce and grocery deliveries immediately. I love the diversity of experiences from brief encounters afforded by having a booth at a festival like this one.

All in all it was a successful event for GGO. Next weekend Steven and I will be at the Temescal Street Fair in Oakland on Sunday and we are looking forward to being back in the hometown of GGO. Until then stay healthy and keep living your organic lifestyle.

Posted by & filed under Food Philosophy, organic, organic produce, tips & tricks, Uncategorized.

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When I was a kid, poached eggs on toast was a favorite breakfast that I only got when Dad took over cooking duties because Mom was sick or had slept unusually late.  His entire morning culinary repertoire consisted of either poached eggs or French toast, and when I got to have either it was a special treat – both for the rarity of the food itself and because Dad himself had made it.

These days, I’m cutting carbs and not eating much toast (French or otherwise), so when I got a random hankering for a poached egg recently, I rooted around the kitchen and tried to figure out what to have with it. After giving a loaf of bread the evil eye and similarly rejecting the idea of leftover pasta, I finally settled on a bunch of mixed greens, which I sautéed in a skillet with a little olive oil. I plopped a poached egg on top, added a little pre-made hollandaise from Trader Joes, and thus a new breakfast obsession was born.

As it turns out, greens are quite excellent with eggs; the soft yolks make a creamy sauce and give the greens a lovely texture and flavor.  It’s also a great way to get more green superfoods into your diet and have a protein-focused breakfast without carbs — something the Paleo folks apparently have known for a long time. (A Google search for “greens for breakfast” turns up thousands of Paleo posts and recipes. Who knew? I thought I invented this combination all by myself!)

Since that first breakfast discovery with the greens and poached egg, I have tried numerous variations on the theme:  Sometimes I make greens with a fried egg and top it with a little Louisiana hot sauce; sometimes it’s greens, a fried egg and a little bacon, ham or sausage; sometimes it’s greens, caramelized onion, poached egg and feta; and sometimes it’s greens and scrambled eggs with a corn tortilla and Greek yogurt.

If you think about it for a minute, eating a “dinner” food like greens for breakfast doesn’t seem all that odd given the growing popularity of eating “breakfast” foods throughout the day — a trend so big that offering all-day breakfast recently helped McDonalds reverse its worst sales slump in more than a decade. Which definitely underscores the point that it isn’t when you eat certain foods that matters so much as what you eat.

With our typical American breakfast foods being so high in carbs, sugar and fat (think cereals, pancakes, pastries, etc), I’m finding myself more and more often choosing to eat non-breakfast items to break my overnight fast. Having an egg on greens for breakfast (usually a mix of beet greens, collards, kale and spinach) has become one of my favorite ways to start the day.

I’ll be visiting my folks for Father’s Day weekend, so maybe I’ll get up early and make Dad some poached eggs on greens and see what he thinks. I think he’ll like them, but he’ll still probably want toast on the side…

 

 

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Hey there everyone…It’s been a long time! After an extended hiatus, the Golden Gate Organics blog is officially back! Woo-hoo!

Since most of you don’t know me, I want to start out by reintroducing myself and telling you a little bit about what’s going on at Golden Gate Organics. My name is Tamara Thompson, and I’m a writer/editor by profession and an organic foodie by appetite. Corey brought me on in 2013 to make sure you have plenty of interesting things to read about here, and I’m really excited about being back writing a new blog twice a month.

Corey and I have talked a lot about where we want this blog to go, and we’ve kicked around a variety of ideas for future posts — but we’ll get to all that in the weeks ahead.

For now, though, I’m thrilled that the GGO blog archive is back online and I’ve picked a dozen of my favorite posts to share with those of you who weren’t around to read them the first time. They represent a good sampling of the kinds of things you’ll find here — everything from recipes and produce tips, to thoughts about healthy eating and food/agriculture politics, to reviews of food-related books.

Take a peek and see what interests you. If you have ideas for future posts or a topic you’d like to see discussed, drop me a note at tamara@goldengateorganics.com. I’m looking forward to what you all have to say!  Tamara

Sticky Business and Tomato Tattoos — All about those sticky little produce labels and the dubious solution that Big Ag is looking to replace them with.

Authentic Oaktown Greens — This is THE recipe to impress people who know from greens.

One Bite at a Time — While American culture has shaped the demand for fast food globally, fast food has in turn transformed American culture — and not for the better.

Bone Appetit! — Three original four-paw recipes for homemade dog food. Woof!

A Winner for Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner — Eggs aren’t just for breakfast anymore; easy-to-make chakchouca is the perfect anytime meal.

Eat Fresher — Of yoga mats and why the healthiest choice in fast food is still not a good one.

Artichokes, Biodiesel and the Botany of Desire — Why do we eat artichokes instead of their wild cousin cardoon, which we consider an invasive weed?

How to Save Limp Lettuce and Keep Celery Snappy — Grandma knows best when it comes to reducing food waste and getting the longest life out of fresh produce.

Velveeta, Marlboros and the Chemistry of Craving — A review of Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss, which helps make sense of why so many of us who know better still sometimes give in to the temptation of processed foods.

Sharing the Harvest — A bumper crop can be an overwhelming blessing; here’s what to do with excess tree fruit.

Food to Feed the World — How do we change a system that teaches people to prefer unhealthy foods that are cheap, ubiquitous and deeply entrenched in American culture?

Love It or Leaf It, Kale Is on the Menu — More than you ever wanted to know about the various types of kale, plus a great recipe for homemade kale chips.

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Lucas, my 7-year-old shepherd mix, had a pretty serious health scare a couple weeks ago. He wouldn’t eat a single bite – not even his favorite jerky treats – for three whole days, so off to the vet we went.

They checked him out and ran labs, and the verdict was that his stomach and liver were both enlarged and his liver enzymes were off the chart. Some $750 later and we were back home with three different medications and absolutely no idea what he might have gotten into to provoke such a crisis.

Most folks who have animals know the bland-diet recipe for feeding a sick dog (rice, boiled chicken, and cottage cheese), and that’s what the doctor ordered for Lucas.

I’ve occasionally cooked for my dogs over the years – it’s a great way to use up older produce – but by and large they get a good brand of kibble twice a day, with something interesting mixed in at night (wet food, meat scraps, yogurt etc).

As Luke started feeling better and I started thinking about reintroducing kibbles to his diet, it dawned on me that I still have no idea what made him so sick. Could it have been his food? His treats?

There was a massive scandal involving tainted pet food and treats from China a couple years ago, so sadly it isn’t an unreasonable question. I have been pretty careful about where things come from for my pups, but still…

The more I thought about it, the more resistant I became to giving him anything I didn’t make myself. That’s how I ended up spending Saturday afternoon making a big pot of doggie stew, which I then put into canning jars and froze for use over the next few weeks.

Cooking every meal for my dogs is something I can’t sustain, but it will probably be a while yet before Lucas gets kibbles again.

Just like with our own diets, meals that are made at home with fresh, whole foods taste better and are healthier for our animals than processed and refined foods that come in bags and cans.

Here are a few recipes that I’ve made up for my dogs, who quite enthusiastically tell me they like them.

Bone Appetit!

 

Sweet Doggie Stew

Dogs love apples, cooked or raw, and this stew hits a sweet spot for them.

 

6-8 apples, cored and chopped but not peeled

2 bunches carrots, chopped (set tops aside)

1 medium potato, diced

2 cups carrot tops and/or other greens (optional)

2 cups rice (uncooked)

Water and/or chicken stock

Prep fruit and veggies while cooking rice separately. Simmer apples, carrots and potato in a large soup pot with enough water and/or chicken stock to cover. When the mixture cooks down and veggies get tender, add greens and then the cooked rice. Stir and let sit a while to absorb moisture. Stir again and adjust water as needed. May be frozen or pressure canned. Your dogs would like you to serve this with some cooked chicken on top.

 

Savory Doggie Stew

With a couple notable exceptions (onions and bell peppers) pretty much any veggies can be used to make this stew. The proportions and combinations don’t really matter much as long as there is enough potato to hold it all together.

 

Leftover chicken meat and carcass

6 cups potatoes and/or sweet potatoes

Celery, chopped

Carrots, chopped

Green beans

Squash, any kind, sliced or chopped

Greens and/or carrot tops

 

Pick chicken carcass as clean as you can and set meat aside. Simmer carcass for an hour or more with enough water to cover. Remove bones. Add potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots to the stock (add some water too if needed) and cook until tender. Add green beans, celery, greens, squashes or whatever other vegetables you want to throw in. When it is cooked down, use a potato masher to mash about ¼ of the mixture and then stir in the chicken. Simmer longer if you still need to reduce water. May be frozen or pressure canned.

 

Bone Gravy

Use this as a meal topper and your pups will pretty much worship you!

Simmer a chicken carcass on low with enough water to cover for 12-15 hours. A crock pot works great. Put all the bones and bits into a blender, along with a ladle or two of broth as needed. Blend until smooth and pour into glass canning jars. Remaining stock can be used for human recipes. Bone gravy may be frozen or pressure canned but only keeps for a couple days after opening; small jars (half pint) are best. Stir or shake well before using.

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