Tag Archive for chemical free food

How to Make Turkey Gravy like GRANDMA’S

How to Make Homemade Turkey Gravy Like a PRO! So much better than jars or packets and much less waste!

Gravy is super simple to make and costs very little, but it gives wonderful flavor and texture to your meal. In the south, gravy is a staple food. There are brown gravies and white gravies. White gravy is made with fat and flour along with milk. Brown gravy is made with meat drippings and corn starch. Gravy from the turkey drippings is brown, generally speaking.

Besides saving money, it’s a great idea to make your own gravy because then you know exactly what’s in it. Store bought mixes and gravies are filled with flavor enhancers, artificial flavors, preservatives, and other chemicals that may not be the most healthy to put in your body. I have multiple chemical sensitivities and many of these additives can give me migraines, diarrhea or other unpleasant symptoms. Even if you don’t have chemical sensitivities, additives have many health concerns. Know what’s in your food.

Another great reason to make your gravy from scratch is flavor. Nothing equals the pure taste of homemade food. Store bought is not even in the same universe as homemade. Do yourself a favor, and learn this skill.

My grandmother was a master of gravy. Grandpa wanted gravy at every meal and when Grandpa wants it, Grandma masters it. Her food was oozing with love. She nourished people with her cooking. I love that. I want that. My Mom does that as well and her gravy is just as good as Grandma’s ever was. She’s an amazing cook too. I hope to be as good as them. I have the key ingredient, love. Food nourishes minds, bodies, and souls. It’s important.

my precious grandma

From as far back as I can remember, my Grandma served gravy in a turquoise gravy boat. When she passed away, I got to take it home and now I serve gravy from it on special occasions. I love it because it reminds me of her.

After a Christmas dinner where gravy was served in the gravy boat, you can see the handle of it here.

After a Christmas dinner where gravy was served in the gravy boat, you can see the handle of it here.

Mastering the art of gravy takes a little bit of finesse, but once you get it down, it’s super simple. There are a few key things to remember.

  1. Stir, stir, stir! No one likes lumpy gravy!
  2. The longer you cook gravy, the better it tastes. Good things come to those who wait, so be patient with your gravy.
  3. Tasting is important to adjust your seasoning.

Now let’s focus on the making of brown gravy. First you need the drippings from some meat you’ve cooked. Brown gravy can be made from chicken, beef, pork, whatever type of meat you’re roasting. If you’ve cooked a turkey, lift it out and pour everything from the bottom of the pan into a bowl. Set a strainer over your sauce pan and pour the drippings into your pan, straining out any bits as you pour. Let your juice sit for a while and settle. It might take 30 minutes or so for the fat to rise to the top.

Take a spoon and skim the fat off the top of your liquid and discard it. You just need the juice for brown gravy. Too much fat will make it separate as it sits.

turkey drippings

Take a small amount of your liquid and put it in a separate bowl. Put your pan with the remaining liquid on medium heat and bring it to a boil. Make sure to watch it, sometimes it will try to boil over.

brown gravy

Add a few tablespoons of corn starch to your bowl of liquid and whisk it thoroughly with a fork until you don’t see any clumps of corn starch. Depending on how much total liquid you got from your turkey, you should need 2-4 tablespoons. Your liquid should still be somewhat warm, if it’s cold, you need to heat it a little before you add the corn starch so it will incorporate correctly.

Homemade Turkey Gravy is so easy to make yourself!

thicken gravy with corn starch

whisking corn starch into turkey drippings to make brown gravy

boiling drippings to make turkey gravy

adding slurry to turkey gravy

Put your strainer back over your saucepan when the liquid is at a full rolling boil. Add your corn starch, liquid mixture back into the boiling liquid straining out any small clumps that didn’t get broken up.

brown turkey gravy

Boil gravy, whisking constantly until it thickens and has the desired consistency. Be sure to cool a spoon full of gravy and taste it to see if it needs additional seasoning. Typically with turkey gravy, the seasoning from the meat is perfect for the gravy and it doesn’t need any additions.

cooking grandma's turkey gravytasting your gravy for seasoning

grandma's gravy boat

What special family traditions do you love?

Are there other basic cooking skills you’d like to learn? Comment here and I’ll write a post about them if it’s something I know how to do.

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How to Make Great Homemade Whole Wheat Bread with a Breadmaker

How to Make Great Homemade Whole Wheat Bread with a Breadmaker

I make tons of stuff in my bread maker, but most of the time I use it to crank out delicious loaves of homemade whole wheat bread, golden goodness for my family and daycare kids. Why not just serve the kids store bought bread? Click here to see my reasons.

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How to Make Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

I love making tacos and burritos with taco seasoning. I make all my own seasoning mixes homemade because store bought mixes are full of fillers and additives that I don’t want to eat or feed my kids. I have multiple food allergies and chemical sensitivities so additives are a big deal to me. After reading about the effects of many additives to the body, I no longer wanted to feed those types of food to my kids and family either. 

Chemical free taco mix

I use taco mix to flavor my beans. I soak the beans in the morning and drain and rinse them in the evening of the same day. Then I put the soaked beans in my crock pot and fill it with water. I add a serving of my homemade taco seasoning mix and cook it all night on high. The smell that permeates the house is intoxicating and the beans taste DELICIOUS! When the kids come in, everyone remarks on how great it smells in here.

Taco mix can also be used to season ground beef, chicken, or whatever you want to add a little spice to. It’s great to have on hand and useful for many recipes. It’s less expensive for me to make my own than to buy pre packaged mixes at the store. I love that!

Save money by making your own

To purchase any herbs and spices we don’t grow, I use the website bulkfoods.com because they have pure products with no added fillers or salts. If I buy chili powder from them, I get just chili powder. Many times when you buy chili powder at the grocery store, your chili powder will contain additives such as anti caking agents and fillers such as gluten that make it bulkier and thereby less expensive to produce. I am not allergic to gluten, but I want to know what I’m eating.

I buy many foods in bulk because it’s less expensive and less packaging to go into the landfill after I use the products. I use old spice containers to store my mixes in so they don’t collect moisture. Since I don’t use anti-caking agents, sometimes my mixes clump together. That’s okay with me. I just give them a stir and everything is fine!

Click here to see how to make my world famous taco soup that kids love using this mix. 

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix
A spicy, inexpensive taco seasoning mix to season your favorite Mexican dishes.
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  1. 1/2 C chili powder
  2. 2 T. garlic powder
  3. 2 T. onion powder
  4. 2 tsp. dried cayenne pepper powder
  5. 2 tsp. dried oregano
  6. 1 T. paprika
  7. 1/4 C. ground cumin
  8. 1 T. black pepper
  1. Mix ingredients together in a bowl and store in airtight container.
  2. To make tacos, brown one pound of ground beef in a skillet on medium heat.
  3. Drain fat if needed.
  4. Add 2 Tablespoons of taco seasoning mix and 1/2 cup water to skillet.
  5. Cook and stir for an additional 5 minutes.
  1. Makes a little over one cup of seasoning mix.
  2. I use this mix to season beans that I cook overnight in my crockpot as well. It makes a tasty pot of beans that my family and kids LOVE!
Little Sprouts Learning http://littlesproutslearning.co/
Click here for recipes for homemade ranch seasoning or homemade bbq seasoning.  

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