Processed food, your time is up!

“Real food doesn’t HAVE ingredients, real food IS ingredients” – Jaime Oliver

Hey everyone, i hope the new year was a good one for you. I would like to talk about processed food which is such a part of life for many that we do not really understand the danger lurking in these foods. I have been fortunate enough to have started my working life in restaurants and have learned how to cook using fresh ingredients and knowing how to prepare food, something sorely lacking in people today. Even though i know how to cook, i find it very hard to avoid foods that are easy to “heat up” or grab as i’m on the go. When a person does some research into what they are actually eating it may be alarming.

One of the insidious ways the food industry tries to get us to eat their products is the “healthy” labels put on the packaging such as terms like fat free or all natural which may not be healthy at all. Some manufacturers will say products that have high fructose corn syrup in it is healthy since it comes from corn, unbelievable! Another example is whole wheat breads that have a healthy label, many of them are no better than white refined flour bread with added caramel coloring, duping people.CaptureI have decided to take the rest of 2016 to slowly eliminate processed food from my diet and focus on foods that build me up not tear me down. There is so much disease in the world we have only ourselves to change the odds of us getting sick. My view is that these chemical laden foods are one of the sources of cancer and other diseases, note the graph below.

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Is it just coincidence that cancer rates have increased as well?

Here are some links to give some insight to readers of what is in our food. I wish all to be healthy and happy, here is to a great year!

http://authoritynutrition.com/9-ways-that-processed-foods-are-killing-people/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/12/9-dangers-processed-foods.aspx

http://www.naturalnews.com/039743_processed_foods_eating_reasons.html

http://www.ivlproducts.com/Health-Library/Health-Concerns/Weight-Management/The-Impact-Of-Processed-Foods-On-Our-Health/

How to make Harissa chili paste

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As an avid hot sauce guy, I love to try new flavors that pack a punch. I really dig Sriracha and i stumbled upon this hot chili paste that hails from Northern Africa and had to share with all of you.

Ingredients
4 ounces dried chiles (I used Thai chiles)
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 to 4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Soften the chiles with boiling water
  2. Toast the caraway, coriander, and cumin in a dry skillet over low-medium heat, occasionally shaking or stirring to prevent burning. When you start to really smell the spices rmove from heat
  3. Grind the spices
  4. Drain the chiles.
  5. Stem and seed the chiles
  6. Combine the chiles, ground spices, garlic, and salt in the bowl of a food processor.
  7. Drizzle in the olive oil and process to form a smooth and thick paste. You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally
  8. Top with olive oil and store.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to make seriously delicious pulled pork!

A savory yet familiar smell fills the cool air as the smoker is warming up and the excitement of putting on a Pork butt gets a guy just a little giddy. This time honored way of cooking a pork roast comes with a tradition that has been handed down for generations. Pulled pork a BBQ delight.

Let’s begin the step by step process to making pulled pork. Firstly one needs to buy a pork shoulder, often called a Boston butt. Why? In pre-revolutionary New England and into the American Revolutionary War, some pork cuts ones not those highly valued, were packed into casks or barrels (also known as “butts”) for storage and shipment. The way the hog shoulder was cut in the Boston area became known in other regions as Boston butt.

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                                Boston Butt

The next step is to trim off any thick areas of fat and leave approximately 1/8 – 1/4 inch.

Next, liberally apply a rub to the pork, i used a special mixture i have been working on for quite some time and basically it has a little sweet with a little heat. The rub i make includes sea salt, spices, very little sugar, and garlic. After you rub the pork down let the pork rest for 30 minutes.

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Next, insert a temperature probe into the meat. I put my pork on the BBQ/smoker at a temperature of around 150C, i like the hot and fast method. We are looking for a final temperature of 95C.

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       Hot and fast at around 150C

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Temperature probe in thickest part of the pork

When the pork has reached a temperature of around 85C wrap the pork in heavy tinfoil with just a small amount of apple juice and replace the temperature probe. Next put the meat back on the smoker until it reaches 95C.

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                   Beautiful pork shoulder

When the temperature of 95C is reached pull the pork out and let it rest for about half hour, then pull out the bone.

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Next pull the pork apart with a couple of forks.

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Now finally you can load up your bun and place some coleslaw on top with a small amount of BBQ sauce if you wish. Or skip the bun all together and have a low carb meal.

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I hope you will take the time to try this great meal and just for the Sherpa readers i will include the dry rub recipe. Have a great day all!

Pork dry rub recipe

Ingredients Amount
Sea Salt 2 tablespoons
 Ginger ground 1 tablespoons
Brown sugar 2 tablespoons
Coriander ground 2 tablespoons
Cumin powder 1 tablespoons
Black pepper 3 tablespoons
Garlic powder 3 tablespoons
Onion powder 1 tablespoons
Cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon
Paprika 1/4 cup paprika

Pink salt, it’s so hot right now!

Salutations everyone, i have a quick post i would like to share about salt. Almost everywhere you look health food stores, grocery stores, and online you find pink Himalayan salt in great quantities. What is the big deal about this salt? Well my friends let’s break it down and see if this stuff lives up to the hype. This product of the Himalayas has been used by cultures for thousands of years and is highly regarded as valuable

The story goes like this, millions of years ago salt beds were covered up by huge masses of lava and basically encapsulated the salt beds and have been untouched ever since. Now we are using this salt and many have said it is the purest salt to be found. It is the composition of this salt that is so intriguing, namely 84 minerals that our bodies use and need.

So what can be said of the effects of this salt on our health? Some of the benefits that can be seen by using this wonder substance include less muscle cramps, strengthening of bones and higher pH balance in the body.

So why use this salt in place of regular “old faithful” iodized table salt? Well besides being devoid of any flavor, table salt is stripped of its minerals except sodium and chloride – not tasty!

Pink salt has many minerals that give it a unique taste. I use it on everything including my spice and rub mixes. If you have never tried it please do yourself and your health a favor and get some Himalayan salt today.

Himalayan pink salt

Top 5 Camping ideas for your next trip.

One of the most relaxing things in the world is sitting by a crackling fire with a nice beverage (wobbly pop) in your hand talking and laughing with family and friends. I mean who doesn’t love camping? This is one of my families favorite activities and we take advantage of our geographic location weekly in the hot summer months, and in Alberta Canada that means about 2 weeks in late July! We in Alberta have a saying, we have 6 months of winter and 6 months of bad sledding. But in all honesty our family just loves camping and quading.

We have enough camping experience to know that certain things can be made easier with just a little fore planning. So without further adieu, here are 5 great ideas for making your camping trip easier.

1. Make your own fire starter – Place cotton balls in hand sanitizer. All you have to do is take cotton balls and put them in a Ziploc bag and pour enough hand sanitizer to soak the cotton balls… And that’s it. When you need a fire going place 4 or 6 cotton balls on the bottom of your kindling and light them up, they will stay lit for quite some time.

2. Put a sharp edge on any knife without a knife sharpener – Dull knife and no sharpening stone? Not to worry all you need is a car window. Just turn down the window and use the top to sharpen your knife, I was initially skeptical about this but when i tried it i was amazed. It really puts a great edge on your blade.

3. Eggs in travel mode. Use an empty 1 liter water bottle and crack eggs to fill up the bottle. Shake the bottle to scramble the eggs and viola, you have a space saving travel ready container of eggs that are easily pour-able for your breakfast.

4. build a “log cabin” to start your fire. As an avid camper, I feel I have found the best way to light a fire with great success every time. First build a lot cabin with the kindling, place 4-6 cotton balls soaked with hand sanitizer in the bottom of the “log cabin” and light it up, doing it this way will exposed more surface area of the wood to flames. This way has always worked well for me.

5. Make paper fire logs – What can you do with all the annoying flyers you get in the mail? Make fire logs! Soak the flyers or newspaper in water and a dash of dish soap for a couple of hours, then layout the paper 3-4 sheets think and using a dowel rod Roll up the flyers or newspaper until you reach the size of “log” you want. Let them dry for a few days and they are ready to burn. These are a great way to use all the paper we get in the mail.

How to make bacon!

Some of the best memories I have is waking up on a Saturday morning and walking in the kitchen to see my mother cooking breakfast with the smell of bacon in the air. The smoky goodness of bacon is a taste and smell that many love. So let’s try something new and make our own bacon, i have heard that once you go home made you don’t go back to store bought.

Step 1: Get a pork belly or pork side from the butcher, and take off the skin with a sharp knife.

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Step 2: Depending on the weight of the pork belly the cure mixture amounts will vary, for the side piece that i got, it was smaller than the recipe so a quick conversion will get the right amounts. For a 2.25kg piece mix together in a bowl;

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I had read a few recipes that included espresso powder and thought that might be interesting so I added 30 ml  of ground Dominican coffee.

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Step 3: Once the mix is done coat and rub the cure on the pork making sure all sides are liberally coated and then vacuum sealed or in a Ziploc bag and put into the fridge for 5-7 days.

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Step 4: Every day make sure you flip the piece of pork and massage the pork for a minute or so.

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Step 5: When the pork is done curing, pull it out and very thoroughly rinse off all the cure mixture under cold water. Next let this sit uncovered in the fridge for 12 hrs, or have a fan blow directly on the pork for about 4 hours to let the pork form a pellicle. A pellicle is a skin or coating of proteins on the surface of meat, which allow smoke to better adhere the surface of the meat during the smoking process. This coating becomes tacky after about 12 hours.

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Step 5: It is now time to smoke the bacon for about 3-4 hours at a temperature of 90C. Toward the end of the smoke, ensure the pork reaches an internal temperature of 66C.

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Step 6: Put the pork in the fridge for a couple of hours, of course this step is not necessary but it is so much nicer slicing it when cool and firm.

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Step 7: Oh yeah, cook it up!

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So there you have it, how to make your own bacon at home. The nice thing is you control what goes into your food and flavor it however you want. We had this bacon on home made burgers and just wow the smokiness was delicious. If you care about great quality food give this recipe a try, you wont regret it!

AHH… it’s zombie Flander’s…

Heart beating and breathing like it’s your last breath you run and run away from the hoard of zombies on your tail. As you round a corner there lies a shiny, solid, and old world style rifle. You charge it spin around and unleash hell upon the advancing hoard. The unimaginable sense of security washes over you as one by one you eliminate your un-dead enemies, you have survived another day in the post collapse world…good on ya!

OK, back to reality. Here at the everyday Sherpa i want to bring to my readers information of all kinds and this post is about the humble yet versatile Soviet made SKS. This 1940’s era rifle was the staple of the soviet army until being replaced later with the AK-47, although the SKS was used as a backup weapon. It has a conventional rifle grip with wooden stock and a 10 round integral magazine which is loaded by stripper clips. It has a bayonet and in the butt stock has a simple cleaning kit cleverly designed to hide in the stock.

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The reasons i wanted to talk about this old yet fine firearm are many, to begin with a person who wishes to start shooting firearms it is a relatively easy rife to use. The recoil is not extreme and most of all it’s a really fun gun! I have had many a great time out on the range target shooting with this rife it’s just so much fun. A person could use this to hunt with also, however there are better rifles for a good price that will do a nicer job, but if your out and about it could be use for such. Speaking of price, one of the reasons this rifle is so popular is it goes for about $199 in Canada. The rounds are low priced and one can get them anywhere, with ease. So for very low initial output you could be having a fun day at the range very soon.

There are many upgrades that you could purchase for this firearm and for cheap such as optics, stocks, grips, lights, and others. The picture below is with the Tapco tactical stock. It is light weight polymer with a pistol grip and adjustable butt stock for easy use.

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With the Tapco stock, and the original stock.

The rounds that the SKS used are 7.62x39mm, a very common round You can even buy them by the crate of 1500 rounds for $300, a very good deal indeed.

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The SKS uses 7.62x39mm rounds.

So whether you want to use this rifle at the range, hunting, or just plinking there is no doubt it’s a great time. Man up and check it out, and for God’s sake when the zombie apocalypse comes aim true and for the head, because that’s what the Walking Dead has taught us. Have a great day everyone!