Anni Daulter is stopping by my kitchen today to talk about her mission to go organic, to share her must-have kitchen tool, and to make mouths everywhere water with talk of her family's all-hands-on-deck bread-making routine.
Anni is cofounder of Bohemian Baby, a fresh, organic baby-food company, and the author of Organically Raised--Conscious Cooking for Babies and Toddlers . She has an MSW degree from the University of Southern California. She lives in Los Angeles. Follow her journey on Facebook.
Why is living organic important to you?
Honestly, it started with my kids, as I think it does for a lot of people. I wasn't raised particularly organic, I just don't think it was a big deal when I was little. With my own kids, all of the sudden I'm hyper-aware of what they're eating, what I'm putting on them, what I'm washing their clothes with... Everything became so much more important to me.
When I had my first child, who is almost 13 now, it wasn't as popular back then to be concerned with all this. But given the fact that our country is concerned with it now, I literally find it appalling how much processed stuff that we put into our bodies, and that people just don't have the information. Which is why I so appreciate Maria's book.
The thing that really bothers me the most is that organic stuff has to be "special," it's not just what we do. We have to have this special stuff that's made without chemicals.
What was your favorite food growing up?
I didn't grow up in a particularly organic household, but I will say that taco night was my favorite, hands down. It was processed stuff for the most part, although my mom made her own tortillas, guacamole, and salsa. That's probably why it was one of my favorite nights--it was fresh.
What's your go-to comfort food now?
I like simple, rustic, seasonal food. Things that are easy, and that we make literally all the time? My sweet potato fries (I make a really good ponzo dipping sauce to go with them), homemade sticky buns, roasted chicken, and roasted vegetables. Turn vegetables into a roasted vegetable soup, which I love.
Homemade bread, I love. My husband and I decided two years ago that we were going to make our own bread, not buy any bread from the store. That has really become one of our favorite things to do with our kids, to bake bread, and to eat it together. Sourdough, wheat, or classic French bread. My daughter will make honey butter for it. We'll sit out and have fresh bread and strawberries, wonderful cheese. It's a good snack, and it's easy and simple.
What's the one thing in your kitchen you just couldn't live without?
I think I would have to say the food processor. We blend a lot of stuff! We've done a lot of baby food. I have a new book coming out about popsicles--it contains 50 organic popsicle recipes. So I use the food processor quite a bit to blend stuff to make popsicles and to make all sorts of stuff.
And good knives, of course.
From Anni's book, Organically Raised, these popsicles are great for teething babies (these herbal teas are safe for your baby and contain no caffeine) or for thirsty adults!
Havana's Herbal Peach Tea Frozen Ice Pops with Crushed Fruit
5 organic herbal peach tea bags
6 cups hot water
1 cup raspberries, chopped very small
1 tablespoon mint, chopped very small
1. Bring the tea bags and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat, add the raspberries and mint, and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes. Transfer it to popsicle molds.
3. Place the molds in the freezer. Serve the ice pops when frozen.
Note: This recipe contains no refined sugar.
What magazine, website, book, album, or product are you most obsessed with right now?
Maria's Organic Manifesto is something I just got in the mail, so I read the first page and I was so depressed, I thought, I have to email Maria and tell her, I can't believe this is our lives! It's not depressing, though, it's inspiring. It's something I'm very interested in.
I really enjoy Amanda Soule, her blog, and her two books out right now. She writes about natural family living. I really like those and all food-related magazines. I'm obsessed with cookbooks and food-related things.
What's the most important news story today that you think we all need to pay more attention to?
Personally, as it is close to my heart, I think we need to look at the obesity rates in our children, what they are eating in schools, and how we shift the nutritional habits of Americans. I honestly think it's a matter of life and death, and we are at a critical point of understanding how the foods we eat are affecting the declining health of our future generations... I am with Jamie Oliver on this one!
Where do you get your news?
Where everyone gets it, John Stewart of course! I'm not a newspaper person; I have to get bite-size pieces here and there. I do get a lot from Rachel Maddow at MSNBC.
A Visit to My Kitchen: Cheryl Forberg from The Biggest Loser - Maria's Farm Country Kitchen
Bake Your Own Bread: Expert Tips and 5 Easy Recipes - Rodale.com
Holiday Chilaquiles - The Slow Cook
For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com.