What Do I Eat? (My Mostly Grain Free Food Diary)

When I shared the latest about my Grain Free Journey several asked, “Can you tell us more about what you eat?”

To answer the question, I started taking pictures every time I got myself some food. Here’s what I learned:

I eat approximately every two hours. If I don’t, I get fussy. I’m like a newborn. If only I got to nap after every feeding.

Why I eat frequently:

I can’t eat big quantities anymore, which means I get hungry more often. Also, I’m not filling up on empty calories, so it seems I need worthy calories quite frequently. I’m trying to listen to my body and give it what it’s asking for!

As mentioned here, I’ve been given the green light to eat grains again. I’m eating them occasionally but not often. When I do eat them, I’m making sure it’s worth it! I mean, I’m not going to waste grain consumption on something silly like crackers or a store-bought hamburger bun. It’s going to be a thin slice of Homemade Bread with butter or well…a Homemade Poptart.

diary1

That picture is an example of how much I eat in one sitting. You should know that I savored that fresh-from-the-oven poptart with my cup of coffee that morning as if I was eating a gourmet breakfast. It was amazingness.

Mid-morning, I was hungry so I had a half a sweet pepper and a hunk of cheese. Exciting, huh?

diary2

Lunch at noon was a big chef salad with mixed greens, fresh tomato from our garden, leftover grilled chicken, avocado, and Homemade Ranch Dressing.

diary4

Sometime later that afternoon I had a bowl of Pineapple Fluff Salad. I forgot to take a picture. :) The rest of the day got away so I didn’t take pictures of my dinner, nor do I remember what I had. Great diary, huh?

The remaining pictures I took sporadically throughout the week to show other meals or snacks I ate. Here, you’ll love this next one. I was feeling sluggish one morning so I decided I might need some extra fat. Therefore, I got myself a little scoop of coconut oil. I kind of like eating it straight and I kind of don’t because eating fat off a spoon is weird. I took a “down the hatch” selfie for your viewing pleasure.

diary3

The following pictures are good examples of what I typically do when I feed my family something grainy.

One day I pulled Homemade Corndogs out of the freezer. While they were warming, I fried sweet potatoes and steamed green beans from our garden. Sometimes I just eat the non-grain parts of the meal, but I hadn’t had many grains all day so I splurged and enjoyed a little corndog. It was quite tasty, but I really, really loved the veggies! (I mean, green beans from the garden? It doesn’t get any better than that.)

diary6

Now I will show you what has become one of my favorite meals. Instead of eating my much loved Real Food “Velveeta” and Rotel Dip with chips, I am loving it stirred into fried zucchini. What an amazing combination!! Matt usually joins me in having this with zucchini while the boys stick with the tortilla chips.

diary7

It tastes much better than this picture makes it look.

It’s easy to avoid grains on mornings we make eggs. We almost always make them with cheese because that makes the egg rating immediately go from 4 to 10. If you look closely at the picture, you’ll see that while I served a few leftover Breakfast Cookies and Homemade Poptarts to the boys with our eggs, I also cut the tops off the leftover Chocolate Zucchini Muffins. I’d made the mistake of leaving them on the counter for one day too long and they got moldy on top. No problem. I just cut off the tops and served them. You can probably guess that those were not the favorite choice of the morning.

diary5

Last I will show you a boring picture of what I ate the day I served a Build Your Own Burrito Bar. I was not in the mood for cheese or anything fancy, so while Matt and the boys loaded tortillas with Salsa Chicken, olives, rice, cheese, salsa, sour cream, greens, and tomatoes – I ate greens with chicken. It tasted great and was all I needed for the moment.

diary8

Then of course two hours later I needed a snack. Surprise, surprise. :)

Care to share some of the meals and snacks you eat throughout the day? How often do you find yourself needing to eat?

All the ways I’m using these little cups with lids…

I am such a big fan of jars. You know this about me, and you also know that I’m not actually a big fan of plastic. But still, I bought these delightful little plastic cups last year, and I’m happy enough with their function that I feel it’s worth telling you about them.

plastic cup

See how adorable? How functional? How plastic?

I know. I know.

While I know that glass and stainless steel are much better options, I also know that I have a family that is on the run a lot. Sometimes we need disposable containers. So I bought a package of 100 cups with lids last fall, and today I want to tell you a few of the great ways we’ve used them to make life a little bit simpler.

Note: While these are disposable, if it works, we wash and reuse them. We can’t help it.

Homemade Applesauce Cups

Homemade Applesauce Cups

In an effort to save money on purchased applesauce cups last fall, and to prepare an on-the-go applesauce option – I filled a bunch of these cups and froze them. These turned out to be a lifesaver when we headed to soccer games or basketball games during the school year.

Note: I don’t recommend throwing these into a diaper bag or backpack. These only travel well when placed carefully in a cooler or lunchbox that isn’t likely to tip or crunch cups.

Berries to Go

I found it easy to cut up strawberries or fill cups with blueberries to pack for the road. These cups work so much better than a plastic baggie.

Pudding Cups

pudding cups

When we headed to church camp for a week of teaching Bible class, I knew I’d need some special food items to accommodate my “special diet.” I filled several of these cups with Homemade Tapioca Pudding and I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to have these to help fill me up when my food choices were limited.

Obviously, these would be great for Chocolate, Vanilla, and Butterscotch Pudding too.

Other great ways to use these cups with lids

These cups are great filled with Ranch Dressing to go with carrots and cucumbers on the road. Or use them for Homemade Peanut Butter to dip sliced apples. Or fill them with trail mix.

What else can you think of?

Great uses for these plastic cups with lids

When possible, I stick with glass. But it sure is nice to have these disposable cups with lids on hand as a convenient option!

This post contains affiliate links.

The Sentence I Never Thought I’d Hear Myself Say

My natural doctor just took me off grains.

All grains. Not just gluten. Grains. Wheat, rice, corn, oats, and all the others.

What???

I believe (but am not entirely sure) that this will be temporary. Who even knows? Since 2012, I’ve been detoxing heavy metals, trying to get rid of migraines, and cleansing my body under the care of my doctor who strives to get to the root of our symptoms. (It has been a fun four-year party.) As a result, my body started hating sugar about three years ago. Now I’m removing grains to promote further healing.

It’s been almost two weeks that I’ve been grainless. The journey so far has gone something like this:

Day 1: Avoid grains? Fine. No biggie. I don’t eat many grains anymore anyway.

Five minutes later: Hit with the reality that I eat way more grains than I thought. Kept a good attitude.

Days 2 and 3: I’m starving. Eating round the clock. Eight meals a day. Discover that eating constantly is only fun in theory.

Day 4:  Still hungry. Food isn’t fun. I’m so mad that food isn’t fun. Now I’m mad and sad at my doctor. Except not. Except yes.

Day 5: Waffling (which is ironic seeing as I’m not eating waffles) between being grateful for so much food variety and feeling completely sorry for myself because I just want one little biscuit. And also corn chips.

Days 2-9: Grumpy. Fine. Grumpy. Fine. Grumpy.

Day 10: Turned a corner. Oh hey. My body seems to be getting used to this. I only need to eat 4-6 times a day now and the grain cravings are lessening. Cool.

Day 11: Who even cares about bread? (me. still. sometimes.) So very grateful that coffee is a bean and not a grain. So very, very thankful.

Days 12-13: Adjusting. Lettuce makes great nachos. My pants are looser. I’m not starving all the time. Spaghetti squash rocks.

Apparently, there is a normal period of time that your body, which is used to being fed grains, will beg for grains and make you think you’re hungry all the time (which you are) even though you are eating constantly (which I was). There might have been some tears. My husband is very, very nice.

So here we are.

I’m not going to make a big deal of this and I’m not going to change how I cook for my family. They’ll still get their share of whole grain bread and pancakes and rice and granola. For now, I’ll just eat the non-grainy parts of our meals.

If you know me very well, you’ll probably enjoy this giggle:

After the first four days of eating meat and vegetables and meat and vegetables and meat, I actually said this sentence to Matt,

“I’m just so tired of meat!!”

Me. I said this. I’m the carnivorous girl who has always loved and craved meat. The moment the words were out of my mouth, Matt looked at me with a smirk and I said, “Who even just said that?!”

Weirdy weirdness. I was having a moment. I was out of my head, and also I was hungry for pizza.

But now look at me. I am just fine. I am so happy to snack on a spoonful of peanut butter. Who even needs grains? Not me. This is the only snack I could ever want.

yum. peanut butter.

This grain free time (probably) won’t be forever, and I’m so grateful to be on the road to great health. Also? As if I hadn’t already learned that cutting back on breads and desserts leaves a lot of room more more nutrition-packed foods (like vegetables), I’m really finding that now. Yay! My body is receiving so much nourishment!!

Now your job is to leave yummy grain/sugar free food ideas in the comment section.

P.S. I fudge (again, the irony) and eat a little fruit even though it has natural sugar. Also, I can have dairy. Praise God for cream cheese. Amen.

Answering Your Vanilla Bean Questions

Since I shared about the 20% Vanilla Bean discount going on right now (today’s the last day, by the way!), I’ve received several questions I wanted to address while the discount code is still valid.

vanilla_beans

1. Have the prices of vanilla beans gone up??

Unfortunately, yes. The owner of Olive Nation let me know several months ago that the price of beans was really skyrocketing. He still has the lowest prices for the best quality in my experience and research, but prices are definitely higher than they used to be – for everyone.

2. Does it actually save money to make homemade vanilla extract?

I had done the math several years ago when vanilla bean prices were lower and found that it did save money to make this extract at home. One of my readers was kind enough to do the math yesterday with current vanilla bean prices. Her findings are that it doesn’t actually save money to make it yourself right now.

3. So why make homemade vanilla?

Here’s where I land. First, I take advantage of a 20% off sale when Olive Nation offers it because that takes a nice chunk off the price. (They also always offer free shipping on their vanilla beans, no matter the size of your order.)

Next, I know that the vanilla I make is pure and rich – not watered down like most Vanilla Extracts on the market. Therefore, I know that I can easily use half the amount of vanilla called for in a recipe without compromising taste even a little bit. That right there makes the homemade vanilla go twice as far, which saves money overall.

Last, if the price of vanilla beans is going up everywhere, that means the price of commercial vanilla extract is also going to rise. I think in the long run, homemade vanilla is still going to save us money. And since the flavor is so incredibly amazing, I can no longer go back and use anything but homemade. I love it way too much!

I shared all the details here about how to make Homemade Vanilla Extract. This makes great Christmas gifts and tastes incredible. (You’ll also be surprised how easy it is!)

Last day for the discount

If you would like to try making homemade vanilla, be sure to take advantage of the discount Olive Nation is offering, which expires the end of the day today, June 15. Use the code SAVE20 on any order over $25 – and remember you’ll get free shipping as long as you don’t have anything but vanilla beans in your cart.

Have you made homemade vanilla before? Do you love it?

This posts contains my affiliate links.

All Chocolate, All the Time, All Less Than $1.00

I think we should have a chocolate themed “Less than $1.00″ day – wouldn’t you agree?

$1.00 or Less Recipes, Crafts, Gift Ideas, and more!

Chocolate for breakfastYum

I’ll start us off with a breakfast (or snack) recipe that tastes quite a bit like a specialty store-bought granola, but costs much less. This Dark Chocolate Almond Granola is our family’s favorite of all granola options. It costs less than $1.00 per serving!

Tip: Want to make granola this summer, but prefer to leave the oven off as much as possible to avoid heating up the house? Make it with this 5-Minute Stove-Top Granola Making Method. I kind of like cheating and making granola this way. Be sure to wait and add the chocolate pieces after you’ve removed it from the stove. Come to think of it, you could just stir them right in to make a chocolate coating all over the granola. No one would complain, right?

dark_chocolate_almond_granola

Make your own Chocolate Milk Mix!

Follow the recipe for Homemade Chocolate Syrup and not only will you be avoiding high fructose corn syrup, it’ll cost you less than $1.00 for the whole batch. You’ll notice that I wrote that recipe before I began cutting down the sugar quantities in my recipes. Feel free to experiment with using less sugar. I’m sure it will still taste great!

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Here’s another variety of chocolate milk mix you might enjoy: Homemade Nesquik! Again, that entire mix can be made for about $1.00. :)

Make Your Own Nesquik

Make your own Frappe

Save a bundle by avoiding the coffee shop and making yourself a Chocolate Frappe at home. A big glass of this definitely costs less than $1.00. You can make this as sweet or as “barely sweet” as you like. I use stevia, but you can use sugar if you prefer.

Healthy Homemade Chocolate Frappe

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups?

Yep. These Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups aren’t necessarily low in sugar, but they are made with healthier ingredients. I only make these every once in a while as a special treat – and they fit the theme because they are less than $1.00!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

See the other “less than $1.00″ ideas I shared this week here and here. More “less than $1.00″ ideas coming up tomorrow!

This Week at Heavenly Homemakers: What You Can Cook, Read, Serve, and Craft for a Dollar or Less

Over the weekend I had a fun idea to highlight some of my fun money saving ideas for you. So this week, I’ll be posting:

  • Meals you can serve your family for a $1.00 or less per plate
  • Crafts you can make with your kids for $1.00 or less
  • Ways you can serve/bless others for $1.00 or less
  • Random $1.00 or less tips
  • Freebies

It’s going to be kind of hodge-podge because I’m trying to keep you on your toes. Or maybe I’m just unorganized. (Hey, I’m working on it.)

$1.00 or Less Recipes, Crafts, Gift Ideas, and more!

First a fun craft and service idea for around a dollar or less

You all know I’m not the craftiest gal among us. But I can cut and glue, so there’s that. I had fun making these fun Owl Gift Sacks a couple years ago. You’ll find the free printables for this project here. Print ’em off, cut, glue, and fill the sacks with a treat to share. Get your kids involved. Have fun!

Owl Gift Sacks Free Printable

Now how about a recipe?

It’s the perfect time of year to put Garden Veggie Chicken Skillet on your menu frequently. This is a one-dish meal. It uses many vegetables, you can make it to your family’s liking, and it doesn’t cost much to make. I’ve calculated that it costs $1.00 or less per plate!

Garden Veggie Chicken Skillet 2

Want more inexpensive recipes?

You’ll get this eBooklet for free when you sign up to be a part of the Homemaker’s Savings Club. That’s the newsletter where I keep you up to date on all the best homemaking deals I find!

Top 10 Money Saving Recipes cover

Stay tuned all week for many more fun $1.00 or less ideas!

Subscribe here to make it easy to keep up!

The running list:

I’ll continue to update this post all week with the newest links to $1.00 or less ideas shared!

~ Tuesday: Bread, Recipe Card Craft, Service Ideas, and More

~ Wednesday: All Chocolate, All the Time

What To Do With Milk You Need to Use Up

Many people cringe when they think about the amount of milk our family must go through each week with our family of 3 teenage sons (plus a pre-teen). A gallon a day? Two? How in the world do I keep enough milk in the house for all my boys? I’ll tell you.

We go through exactly one gallon each week.

Disappointed? Sorry. That’s really all we go through.

milk (1)

I took this picture back when we used to get two gallons of milk each week. Pretty isn’t it?

What’s up with our tiny milk consumption in a household of enormous appetites? Well I really don’t want to get into a milk debate here because I have not landed anywhere concrete on the “we should be drinking plenty of milk no actually we shouldn’t” scale. I have researched and I have asked professionals and I am conflicted. Some say drink lots and some say don’t drink it at all. We land somewhere in the middle and we do our best to drink milk from good sources.

peach milkshakes 1

If you ever want to waste milk, simply put too much in your high power blender, then turn it on.
It will explode all over you and all over your kitchen and you will be cleaning it up for days.
This is not a recommended way to use up excess milk.

Here are the two biggest (but not very exciting) reasons we don’t drink much milk at our house:

1. Our natural doctor advised that our boys/men don’t really need much milk.
2. Our boys don’t love drinking milk.

That’s it.

While some kids love drinking milk and chug down several glasses full each day, our boys never have really cared that much about it. I take that to mean that their bodies really don’t need it. If you’ve seen any of them lately, you know that lack of milk consumption has done nothing to keep them from growing long legs. Good grief, their pants.

We get raw, organic milk from a local farmer and we drink it moderately. Actually, we mostly just cook with it.

So that’s our milk situation. What’s yours? Go through lots? Hardly go through any at all? Raw, coconut, regular, unleaded? (ew)

What To Do With Milk You Need to Use Up

Let’s just say you got a good deal on milk and bought several gallons. Or you got your regular allotted milk from your local farmer and you can’t drink it up fast enough. We typically finish off our milk just fine in one week (again, I mostly just cook with it). But every once in a while if we are out of town or the boys are at camp – we end up with extra milk we need to use up quickly.

What to do with Milk You Need to Use Up

Here are some ideas of what to do (not that you couldn’t just have a cookies and milk party for the neighborhood):

Freeze It

Milk freezes just fine, although we’ve found that it works best to first skim the cream off our farm fresh milk.

Culture It

I always keep Homemade Buttermilk on hand for baking and so I can quickly make Ranch Salad Dressing. It’s also super easy to make Kefir or Yogurt. If you culture your milk, it will keep longer in the fridge.

buttermilk

Make Shakes

We’ll go through a half gallon of milk pretty easily if I make it chocolate. :)

milkshakes

Cook or Bake With It

These recipes use quite a bit of milk (especially for my family since I usually double or triple or quadruple a recipe).

garlicchickenpastasm

Those are my go-to options when we need to use up milk. How about you? What do you do or make when you need to use up milk?

Make Cookies or Brownies in Your Waffle Iron!

Friends, I have an oven again! Not only that, it is my dream oven!! I can’t find an exact match to show you, but it’s like this, only we got it for $less$ because we found it on Craig’s list. It is so perfect. The family who originally owned it had loved it, but moved into a house with electric and couldn’t use it any more. We got a great deal on a perfectly wonderful double gas oven!!!

My husband is amazing, working for hours to switch our electric hook-up to gas, getting it all set up for me. I love it and drag people into my kitchen to show them my new toy – even if they probably don’t care. Thankfully, everyone has pretended to care. People are so nice. My apologies to our mailman. Little did he know that when he brought a package up to our porch that I would grab him by the collar and… Relax. I’m kidding.

(It was really the UPS man.)

While it felt longer, it was really only two weeks of oven-less time for me. I missed having an oven, for sure. But we survived with all our other appliances and our grill. When you have to adapt in the kitchen, you start getting creative. Thanks to one reader, Lisa, who put this grand idea in my head – we learned that we can make cookies and brownies in our waffle iron!

Waffle Cookies - Low Sugar

If that isn’t the coolest kitchen hack since…ummm…the last cool kitchen hack I learned (freezing muffin batter, perhaps?).

A word of warning: It’s a little messy.

When you make actual waffles in a waffle iron, the only potential mess is adding too much batter and having it run over the edges. (So I’ve heard. I’ve never, ever actually done that myself. I’m always very, very clean when I cook.)

But with cookie and brownie batter, I found that the butter separates out a little bit, filling the waffle iron crevices with buttery goodness. It’s not a big deal. I just ran hot water over it to clean it out after it cooled. Just be aware that this process can be a little bit messy. Worth it. But messy.

Waffle Brownie Strawberry Parfaits

See that? For company one night we made Waffle Brownies and set them out with strawberries and whipped cream. What a fun treat!

How to make waffles and cookies in a waffle iron

  1. Mix up cookie or brownie batter as normal (my suggested recipes are below).
  2. Use a medium or large sized cookie scoop to add batter to a pre-heated waffle iron.
  3. Close iron and “bake” brownies or cookies for about 2 minutes each.
  4. I was able to make three at on time if I spaced them out correctly.How to Make Cookies and Brownies in Your Waffle Iron

This process takes more time than simply throwing a pan of brownies into an oven to bake. But when you don’t have an oven, or when you want a little something unique – these cookie and brownie waffles are SO MUCH FUN.

Recipes I Used:

Pin this idea to use this summer when you want a fun treat but don’t want to heat up the house by turning on the oven!

Have you ever tried this trick before? 

 

How to Feed Your Family When Your Oven is Broken

How is it that I feed my family all summer without turning on the oven, but right now I’m like, “Oh no! My oven is broken! What will we eat? How will I cook?”

I’d grill but it’s been rainy and drizzly for several days. This rain makes me want to bake. Of course. Poor me. I’m stuck with only my stove-top, electric skillet, fryer, blender, food processor, and crock pot. As you can see, I’m practically without any options.

Heavenly Homemaker's Messy Kitchen

The good news:

I think I’m getting my dream stove/oven out of this!!!

When the oven went out on Sunday, producing banana bread that was crispy on top but more like tepid, stringy banana pudding in the middle (so yum), Matt spent some time (once again) trying to fix it. Could he fix it? Yes. But after a while, he was over it. He surprised me with an offer. “How would you like to go shopping for a new oven?”

I thought he was kidding. We always just make do. If it breaks, we fix it. If it’s barely hanging on, we hang on with it. Therefore I kidded back with, “Yes! I want it to be a double oven! Also, I want to get rid of the electric hook up and instead hook up gas! Let’s go shopping for a gas range with a double oven!”

And Matt was like, “Hmm. Sounds good.” {Laura passes out.}

I’d never shared these dreams with him before. But knowing how much I cook and bake (which of course benefits him greatly), and how lame our stove/oven have been for so many years, I think Matt decided it was time to fork it out for a quality appliance.

I might have started acting like a five year old who was getting a double oven for Christmas. Sure, it was hard for me to think about paying extra for my dream range. But we were going to have to drop some money on a new range anyway. Might as well get the one that benefits our family and guests the most.

More good news:

You guys, not only am I going to have a double oven – I’m gonna have gas. I’m also going to say it like that to everyone I meet because it catches people off guard and makes us all giggle. I’ll say, “I haven’t had gas for years, but Matt is awesome and surprised me. So now I have gas. Finally!!” And then my friends will say, “Laura has gas! We are so happy for her.”

Won’t that just be so much fun? 

In the meantime, I still don’t have an oven.

One doesn’t drop that much money without first doing research to decide which is the best option for purchase. (We’re looking at one like this. It’s one of the least expensive, if you can believe it. Cha-ching!) While I’m waiting for the range to come in and be installed, I decided to make a list of non-oven great food options. There are hundreds. I’ll just make a list based on what I have on hand and what is on sale this week.

Funny, by the way, that since I know I can’t bake, all I can think of are foods I want to bake. That’s the main reason I’m making this list. I have to get my mind off of cake.

Meals You Can Make Without an Oven

Food I Can Make While My Oven is Broken

I had decided that breakfast is the trickiest, but as I look through this page of Breakfast Recipe Ideas, I’m finding quite a bit to work with. I have no idea why I’m making this hard. I’m just spoiled, that’s all.

Links to My Favorite Non-Oven Appliances

In case you’re interested, this is what I have in my kitchen. These will all be used double time this week, you can be sure!

  • My Crock Pot
  • My Electric Skillet (This is 60% off right now!)
  • My Cast Iron Griddle (Also being offered a huge discount right now if you need one. Only $22!)
  • My Blender (Pricey but worth it)
  • My Waffle Iron (It’s a cheapo)
  • My Fryer (Mine is actually a little different than that, but they don’t seem to make mine anymore.)
  • My Toaster Oven (I do NOT recommend this one. It’s cheap and burns toast. I had one like this before but when we broke the door I was too stingy to pay that much again. I regret the “money savings” – something I’m trying to keep in mind while shopping for a double oven.)

As you can see, I’ll still be able to make huge messes in my kitchen and my children won’t even starve while I am without an oven. There are loads of options.

As soon as I have gas, I’ll let you know. If that isn’t something to look forward to, I don’t know what is.

Do you have any non-oven recipe ideas to share? How about double-oven purchasing advice? Gas related thoughts? Really. I’m open to just about anything you’d like to share. 

How to Clean Cast Iron

Today you will have the honor of seeing my cast iron skillet covered in a layer of crusty scrambled egg residue. This is so special. Thank you for sharing this fine moment with me.

cast iron5

In describing how I clean my cast iron, I’m also going to reveal to you what is, in fact, my favorite of all the gadgets in my kitchen. It’s something I use many times each day (even more than my blender, and that’s saying something). I use this little gadget on cast iron skillets, on stoneware, and on my counter-tops to easily clean up flour or dough. My friends, allow me to introduce you to my BKFF (Best Kitchen Friend Forever) –

The Rubber Scraper

rubber scraper

It’s the best six dollars you’ll ever spend. Or if you already have the little brown ones that came with your Pampered Chef stoneware, you’re golden.

If you are one who hates cleaning your cast iron and even avoids using it entirely so that you don’t have to mess with cleaning it, I have two words for you: Rubber Scraper.

You guys. Cleaning cast iron is about the easiest job there is when you:

1) Soak the skillet or pot for a few minutes in hot water and
2) Use a rubber scraper to scrape all the food away.

If I didn’t have a rubber scraper, I would also hate cleaning my cast iron. I don’t even know how I would do it otherwise. Truly. How did Grandma clean her awesome skillets and griddle? I have no idea. Rubber scrapers rank up there in modern conveniences as high as cell phones and flush toilets. They are the exact same in their ability to improve life.

Allow me to present a step-by-step tutorial of my easy cast iron cleaning system:

1. Run hot water into the dirty, crusty skillet or griddle.

cast iron6

2. After a few minutes, use a rubber scraper to scrape away all the food residue.

cast iron2
3. Rinse the cast iron with hot water.

cast iron 1

4. Allow cast iron to air dry, or rub it dry with a tea towel.

cast iron 3

Before taking the above picture, I had just rubbed my skillet down with some coconut oil (or palm shortening – I can’t remember which). I rarely need to oil it down, but if you find your cast iron looking rusty or dry, rub in some coconut oil or palm shortening. They likes these fats as much as you and I do. Can you blame them?

Something to note:

Do not use soap on your cast iron.

It isn’t necessary and you don’t want it to absorb soap which will leech into your food. Hot water is all it needs. That and a rubber scraper.

Seriously, how did Grandma clean hers??

How to Clean Cast Iron

My favorite and most used cast iron pieces are…

A large skillet like this one:

cast iron 1

This big griddle:

cast iron 2

 

 

 

 

Those babies get used all the time at our house. Eggs, pancakes, meat, hashbrowns – my skillet and griddle make all of these naturally taste so much better!

None of you need to fear using your cast iron since you now know how to clean it easily! Rubber scrapers to the rescue. Who knew such a small, simple square piece of rubber would play such an important role in the kitchen?

Have cast iron? How do you clean it?