Saturday, August 14, 2010

Green Friday

Today's green idea is understanding where food comes from or should I say how far it comes from.

You are at the store and you purchase a box of crackers. Have you ever stopped to think what it took to get that box to you? If you look on the packaging it says where it was distributed from. Lets say this a box of crackers comes from Chicago. All the ingredients come from different places and get shipped to Chicago. Then in Chicago they make the boxes of crackers and then ship them to distributors. From there they are shipped to store distributors and so on. The average food item we eat comes at least 1500 miles.

Think of all the resources used the gas to ship it, electricity to run a whole plant and so on. Are you following me yet?

If you decided to make your own crackers think of how many resources it would save just from one box.

Here are two recipes to help with ideas.

Whole Wheat Crackers

2 cups whole wheat
1/2 sugar or honey (next time I will try it with less)
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp soften butter
2/3 cups milk
Kosher or sea salt for tops (optional)

(A lot of recipes say to preheat the oven first. I normally wait and preheat it when I am ready to put it in the oven or preheat it just a few minutes before I am ready to put it in. This helps save electricity. Really the oven does not need to preheat for 20 minutes.)

Sorry back to the recipe

"Preheat" oven to 325

Combine flours, sugar and salt in large mixing bowl. Cut butter until the mixture resembles a course meal. Slowly blend in milk, using just enough to form a ball that holds together.

Divide the dough in half and roll each portion out to 1/16-1/8 inch thick on floured surface. Lightly sprinkle with salt and gently roll over dough with rolling pin. I use a pizza cutter to cut 2 in strips and then cut those strips every 2 inches. You should have 2 in squares. If you want to get creative use fun cookie cutters to make different shapes. Now place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Prick crackers 2-3 times with a fork and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on rack.

Makes about 100 crackers.

My kids loved these crackers. I have a few more recipes that I am going to try and see which one is our favorite.

Let me just say this next recipe is AMAZING!! Worth the 30 minutes you are going to sit at the stove!!

Homemade Vanilla Tapioca Pudding

Scant 1/2 cup small pearl tapioca (not instant)
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 large egg yolks, slightly beaten
scant 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup cold heavy whipping cream

Soak tapioca in 1 cup of water for 30 minutes, then drain (do not rinse) and set aside.

In medium size saucepan, whisk together milk, egg yolks, sugar and salt. Add tapioca then bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring slowly but constantly with a wooden spoon. The pudding will start to thicken. Turn heat to low and continue to simmer, stirring slowly and constantly, for another 20 to 30 minutes or until the tapioca is completely translucent- the time will vary depending on the size of your tapioca.

Remove pudding from heat and stir in vanilla. Cover and let cool to lukewarm. In a separate bowl, beat cream (make sure it is cold) with an electric mixer until it holds soft peaks. Stir cooled tapioca, and then gently fold in the whipped cream until thoroughly combined. Scrape pudding into serving bowls and serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve (I like it better cold).

Tip: Push plastic wrap onto surface of pudding to prevent skin from forming.

1 comment:

Nikki said...

AWESOME! I'm so trying the crackers. I love greeeen Friday :0 Thanks for the inspiration.

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