Dec 11

Let’s Talk High Fructose Corn Syrup

High Fructose Corn Syrup Written by Contributing Writer, Ashley @Pioneer Momma

High fructose corn syrup. Take one look in today’s grocery store, and chances are, the majority of food items up for sale have high fructose corn syrup as one of the ingredients, if not THE main ingredient. But what is it?

High fructose corn syrup is chemically derived from corn. It is composed of fructose and glucose, the same as sugar, but has a higher ratio of fructose, which makes it sweeter than sugar. Because of this, HFCS can be used in place of sugar, to get more bang for your buck. Well technically, the corn corporations buck. By using less of something sweeter than the conventional ingredient, companies can then start pumping out large quantities of larger portions, with less cost to them.

Now think about where that corn comes from. I recently wrote a post on GMOs that goes more in-depth on that topic. The cloned corn crops of today with the herbicidal and pesticidal alterations at the genetic level have been subject of debates, and under public scrutiny over the potential resulting infertility, tumors, and organ disease. But the main point is this: companies are taking chemically and genetically altered corn, then chemically processing it to create this cheaper version of “sugar”. Sugar is purposely air-quoted, only because by that point, it really is just a mess of unnatural.

I am in no way saying to go out and replace all items in your house that have HFCS with sugar. Both can be dangerous, and lead to diabetes, cancer, and other harmful diseases when consumed in large quantities. But if you had to choose one, organic cane sugar would be the route I’d choose. The glucose and fructose bond isn’t there in the HFCS, as it is in sugar. This means that it goes to the blood stream quicker, and possibly taking all those nasty man-made alterations with it. I know I don’t want chemicals roaming freely in my body, do you?

High fructose corn syrup is in a lot of foods most people eat today, but it can be avoided. Simply look at the ingredient lists next time you are in the grocery store. Better yet, try some homemade versions of your favorite foods. I know this week I’ll be coming up with a good recipe for homemade ketchup. Most bottles in the US have the corn syrup. But did you know that same company makes the European version with sugar? So it can be done…

What are your thoughts? I love to hear from all perspectives!

 

**Necessary disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and am in no way giving medical advice. Any concerns should be directed toward your family doctor.**

Dec 08

Simple “Pop Your Own” Corn

 

Nov 26

Fall Vegetable Chips

I picked up a bag of vegetable chips from the store the other day…yeah…ummm, pretty much ate the whole thing myself! :-)  The ingredients were pretty simple so I figured I should have a go at making them myself.  And it’s so easy!  I used a mandolin slicer to cut the veggies super thin, but a sharp knife can do the trick too.

Fall Vegetable Chips

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Fall Vegetable Chips
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. Fall Vegetables (Sweet Potato, Beet, Parsnip, etc.)
  2. Olive or Coconut Oil
  3. Sea Salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash and thinly slice the vegetables.
  3. Toss sliced vegetables with oil.
  4. Lay in a single layer on an oven safe cooling rack in a cookie sheet. (If you don't have a cooling rack, turn vegetables half way through cooking.)
  5. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. (Beets take the longest.)
Notes
  1. For a variation, try sweet potatoes sprinkled with cinnamon.
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Nov 20

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Written by Contributing Writer, Ashley @ Pioneer Momma

I’ve been fascinated this year, throughout our gardening experience, about the wide assortments of squashes there are. I mean summer squash or zucchini, pattypan squash, all the winter squashes; it’s amazing! Probably the best part about all of them is the wide variety of delicious dishes you can create using them.

Butternut are one of the squashes currently in season. And what better way to enjoy it then to have a yummy warm cup of Roasted Butternut Squash Soup? The whole family absolutely loves this recipe. In Bubba’s words, “Mom, will you PLEASE make this again??”  Can always count on that kid for an honest opinion!

This soup is uber healthy, as butternut squash is packed full of beta-carotene, antioxidants, and vitamins. Need fiber? Yup, it’s got that, too. Pair it with the antibacterial properties of garlic, and delicious spices, and you’ve got a scrumptious meal option fit for a healthy body. After all, with all the Christmas goodies coming up, it would probably be nice to have a cleaner soup option on the menu to break it up!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup by PioneerMomma.com for Eyes on the Source

Ingredients

1 3 1/2 lb butternut squash

1 lg brown onion

2 cloves elephant garlic

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1/2 tsp cumin (more or less, to taste)

1/2 tsp chili powder (more or less, to taste)

1/2 tsp ground ginger (more or less, to taste)

dash sea salt

1/3 Cup milk

4 Cups Chicken stock (I use my recipe)

1/3 Cup sour cream

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.

2. Slice butternut squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds. If you are short on time, you can cut into fourths, to roast faster.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup by PioneerMomma.com for Eyes on the Source

3. Slice onion in half, and place squash and onion halves cut side up on a pan. Place the unpeeled garlic on the pan.

4. Drizzle melted coconut oil over the top of the veggies, and sprinkle on spices and sea salt.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup by PioneerMomma.com for Eyes on the Source

5. Roast in oven for approximately 1 hr and 20 minutes, or until you can pierce the squash skin easily, with a fork.

6. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes, until you can handle the squash. Peel off the skin and cut the squash into cubes.

7. Put onion halves, garlic (remove and discard the outer peel), and cubed squash into blender. Add milk and sour cream. Blend on high, until thoroughly mixed.

8. Place mixture into large pot with chicken stock. Simmer about 20 minutes on medium heat. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

9. Very carefully use an immersion blender to blend soup one last time. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and enjoy!

The puree alone is delicious, and I’d like to try adding it into some savory baked goods this season. What is your favorite way to have butternut squash? Happy Fall, everyone!

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Nov 06

Grilled Acorn Squash

Can you think of any vegetable that doesn’t taste better cooked on the grill??  Me neither!  And acorn squash is no exception!  I love the smokey flavor that grilling adds to this naturally sweet Fall/Winter vegetable.

Grilled Acorn Squash 3

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Grilled Acorn Squash
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Acorn Squash
  2. Maple Syrup (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cut Acorn Squash in half and scoop out seeds.
  2. Cut each half into 4-5 wedges.
  3. Grill for 20-25 minutes. Do not over cook or wedges become too dry.
  4. Drizzle with Maple Syrup if desired.
  5. Serve right away, YUM!
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