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Friday, September 30, 2011

Real Food Challenge: October Unprocessed

No more of this for me!

With our Food Day planning underway, I've been looking for my Food Day story to share for the CSP. A few days ago, I came across the October Unprocessed challenge. Andrew of Eating Rules is asking people to join him in his pledge to eat only unprocessed foods for the month. Last year, he had 415 take the pledge. This year, it's over 1,800! That's a lot of people eating real.

So I was inspired to join in. Starting tomorrow and for 31 days, I will eat only foods that I could, in theory, make in my kitchen. No preservatives, added sugars, and so on. Amy's guest post on good nutrition certainly helped make the decision easier.

And really, I thought, how hard can it be? I shop the perimeter, fast food grosses me out, and I'm a food swapper, for goodness sake. I know my way around a kitchen.

But then I started thinking about the nuances: can I not have CHOCOLATE? OMG, no CEREAL? And sayonara, Skippy. Et tu, soy sauce?

But Andrew had info to calm me down (for the most part). He addresses those gray areas in Defining Unprocessed and Defining Unprocessed 2011.

Here's how I'm personally handling the gray areas:
• Milk: I will try to avoid homogenized milk and products that use it.
• Sweeteners: I'll be sticking to honey, maybe agave if I'm feeling frisky.
• Coffee & Tea: Um, you don't want me uncaffeinated. They stay.
• Flour: Whole grain flours only, nothing enriched.
• Oils: I'm pretty sure it's unwise for me to start doing all my cooking in butter, so I'm keeping olive oil.
• Baking powder, yeast, baking soda: Gotta have these if I'm baking my own bread with whole grain flour. They stay.
• Chocolate: I'll miss you, dear, sweet friend. I'll see you in November.

So stay tuned to see how I do! If you're up for the challenge, sign the Unprocessed pledge!

Image Credit: Flickr user Stev.ie / Licensed for use by Creative Commons

An Apple a Day Keeps Diet Related Disease Away

Note: This is the first in a series of six posts discussing the Food Day principles. Today we're thrilled to have food blogger and consultant Amy Scheuerman with us to discuss the importance of good nutrition and its impact on overall well-being. In anticipation of our Community Sourced Potluck on October 24, we're encouraging others to share their experiences with "real food" on our Food Day microsite.

By Amy Scheuerman

Me visiting the farmers’ market in October is like a kid running wild in a candy shop: I want to eat everything. Instead of Fireballs, I get cherry tomatoes; instead of lemon drops, I get thumb-sized yellow squash; instead of fruit-roll-ups, I enjoy late summer plums; best of all—instead of diabetes or some other diet related ailment, I get a trim waistline.

apple orchard
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 8.3% or about 25 million Americans, currently have Type II Diabetes. These numbers are expected to increase, which means the problem is getting worse rather than better. Also, as you age, your risk of diabetes increases: if you’re over 65 you have a 25% chance of having diabetes. Since Type II Diabetes is a preventable, diet-related disease, you can think of it as a culmination of bad food choices made over a lifetime.

Diet is also related to things like high blood pressure, heart disease, and even certain types of cancer. All of these deadly diseases are less likely to effect you if you eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and less salty, sugary, and high-fat processed foods.

If you’re interested in improving your health and preventing diet-related disease, food from a garden, farm, or the edges of the grocery store, is a great place to start. Whole, unprocessed foods have many, many health benefits to offer. They’re high in dietary fiber, low in saturated fat and cholesterol, contain anti-oxidants and phytonutrients, and are generally free of sodium. The health benefits of eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans are so great that that I have to limit myself in singing their praises or risk overrunning my word count.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans have loads of water-soluble, dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is something we humans can’t digest, which might sound like something you don’t want in your diet, but in fact the health benefits are endless. Everyone knows that high-fiber diets are good for keeping you “regular,” but you may not know that regular bowel movements may prevent or alleviate irritable bowel syndrome. Lots of dietary fiber in your diet is also associated with a lower risk of colon cancer.

Aside from aiding digestion, fiber also makes you feel more full, reducing over-eating and helping you to maintain weight. Dietary fiber can attach itself to cholesterol and flush it out of the body, improving heart health and blood pressure in the process. Dietary fiber can even help in the prevention of diabetes: water-soluble fiber slows the absorption of sugars from foods. This helps maintain steady blood sugar levels, which help in the prevention or diabetes and also improve the health of those living with diabetes.

Just as important as what you’re getting from delicious whole foods (fiber, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, great flavor) is what you’re not getting. When you start basing your diet around fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans, you miss out on a lot of things commonly found in processed foods, most of which are bad for you. A diet high in whole foods tends to be low in sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sugar. Each of these bad boys causes diet-related health issues that dietary fiber prevents.

Sodium, a great preservative and flavor enhancer, is used in colossal amounts in processed foods (canned soups are a particular culprit, but even supermarket bread and canned veggies can pack a sodium punch). Bacon, that favorite preserved meat, has over 300 milligrams of sodium in just one slice . With the daily recommended allowance of sodium at 2,300 milligrams, three slices of bacon puts you right under half of what you should be getting in a day…just with breakfast! The problem with too much sodium? It can be harmful to your kidneys and raise your blood pressure. While certain people are much more sensitive to sodium that others (older adults, African-Americans, people with kidney disease), you’re wildly unlikely to be hurt by reducing the amount in your diet. By eating whole foods and reducing processed foods in your diet, you can take control of where you add sodium. This lets you know how much you’re getting and can use it to add flavor, rather than to make something able to sit on a shelf for a few hundred years.

Added sugars, in pretty much any form, are bad news. People are built to crave sugar. The common assumption is in hunter-gatherer days finding it meant something energy-rich a hunter-gathered person would do well to stock up on. In modern times with beet, cane, and corn sugar all cheap and abundant, we’re suffering from too much of a yummy thing. Sugar is something you should limit for many reasons: it’s easy to over-indulge and eat more calories than you burn in a day, leading to overweight or obesity; too many simple sugars without adequate dietary fiber can cause blood sugar to flip-flop like a bad political candidate, upping your risk of diabetes; finally and most controversially, there’s some evidence that too much sugar can be metabolically toxic, essentially meaning that we’re poisoning ourselves when we eat it . The good news is that if you cut out sodas, cakes, and candies, it’s easy to limit added sugar in your diet. And you can use fresh fruits to add sweetness without hurting yourself.

Saturated fats hit your heart twice. All fat is high in calories: gram for gram fat has more than twice the calories of proteins or carbohydrates. This means it’s a good idea to limit fats in your diet because it’s easy to overindulge and gain weight. Saturated fats (fats that are solid at room temperature, like lard or butter, or the marbling in a steak) have more heath consequences than unsaturated fats (liquid at room temperature, like olive oil) because once in your body they develop groupies in the form of cholesterol. When you eat saturated fat, your blood cholesterol levels go up, and high blood cholesterol leads to increased risk of heart disease and stroke . Not only does saturated fat apparently get lonely in the body and bring in cholesterol for a party, but the two go hand in hand in the foods you eat as well. Most meat has both saturated fat and cholesterol, a double whammy when it comes to heart health. Eating a diet that is low in meat, eggs, and cheese is a great way to limit saturated fat and lower your risk of heart disease. Eating lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans increases your dietary fiber, which reduces blood cholesterol and makes eating a little meat a lot more healthful.

It’s harvest season here in the Boston area, so this week I challenge you to head to the farmers’ market and think of it as your candy shop for the afternoon. You’ll see apples and plums, squash and kale, lentils and cranberry beans, all foods that are delicious and healthful. Indulge in some local food and know that while you’re enjoying your meal, you’re also reducing your risk of diet-related disease.

Amy Scheuerman is a writer and consultant with a focus on food, nutrition, and agriculture. She has an MS in nutrition from Tufts University and has worked at restaurants, grocery stores, farms, and schools. When not working for America's Test Kitchen or with the Culinary Guild of New England, Amy enjoys visiting farmers markets around Boston and posting her food and ag musings on EarthboundKitchen.com.

Help spread the word about "real food" by joining us on October 24 for our Community Sourced Potluck, featuring local celebrity judges, gift bags packed with delicious goodies, and, of course, lots of homemade, locally sourced eats.

Boston Fashion Week 2011 Sip & Swap Recap


Last night, Lyn, Tara, and I braved the rain to attend the Boston Fashion Week 2011 Sip & Swap hosted by the super-stylish ladies at Swapaholics. Despite getting soaked on our way to Microsoft's NERD Center (not a good look for those of us with curly or wavy hair, by the way), we felt the swap spirit immediately cheer us up as we sipped Magner's Cider and talked through our swap strategy. We agreed divide and conquer: Tara and I would hit the shoes, while Lyn looked at handbags.

Since it's a multi-level space, we camped out on the upper level to get a better view of the goods before lining up to swap. (Yup, these fashion bloggers are serious about swapping so we lined up a good 20 minutes early. You can see the mayhem that ensued at 8 sharp in this YouTube video.)



clothing racks at Swap.com Boston week swap
Tara spotted a pair of glittery Chucks that, alas, would not make it her swap bag. But once the swapping started, I managed to grab a pair of jeweled flats from H & M. Meanwhile, Lyn high-tailed it over to the handbags where she found two casual bags (one of which we later discovered was from Swapaholic Amy Chase) and later scored a brown J. Crew sweater she thought I'd like. (Thanks, Lyn!)

Although Tara didn't get her Chucks, she did take home several peasant skirts and a few other finds. Oh, and she got to test out this giant tablet-thingy (I won't call it a giant iPad since we were at Microsoft):

It was a busy week for the Boston Food Swap, so we didn't stay for the runway show, but I'm sure it was fab. Those ladies looked like they know how to rock an outfit! For our next adventure, we're doing a demonstration on pickling at the Boston Local Food Festival this Saturday. Hey, maybe I'll wear my new sweater that Lyn found!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Real Food Fast v. Fast Food


This Saturday, Mark Bittman (author of many cookbooks including the How to Cook Everything series and real food advocate) wrote a New York Times Op-Ed, “Is Junk Food Really Cheaper.”   He compared the price of a normal meal at McDonalds to the cost of ingredients to make meals at home and showed that, in most cases, cooking real food is less expensive (in dollars – the difference in health, environmental impact, worker treatment, among other issues would take a few more Op-Eds) than fast food.  He went on to ask, if it isn’t really cheaper, why people still eat fast food.  His answer was that fast food has become a soothing, habitual part of American culture that we need to actively exhume from our collective consciousness.  So how do we challenge the fast food paradigm when we lead busy lives and revel in the pleasure of being served?

Last night, Tara and I got a taste of an intriguing answer to this very difficult question.  We joined the Boston Brunchers at the Healthy Habits Kitchen for an explanation of their business model, demo of their kit making process, and a (comped) sampling of their already-made kits.  Healthy Habits Kitchen in Wellesley provides pre-planned real-food kits for home assembly by busy people who want to transcend the crutch of “fast food.”  We met with HHK’s owner Susan Schochet who explained the company and showed us what goes in to one of her company’s meal kits.  The company plans the meals, sources the ingredients (on-season, their vegetables come directly from local farmers’ markets!), chops, measures, and does all of the thinking.  Busy food lovers then take the kit’s components and assemble them on the stove or in the oven for a less-than-30 minute meal.  The kits can be made fresh, refrigerated, or frozen which makes them a good option for a variety of eaters from the person who stops by the farmer’s market rather than the fast food kiosk after work to the new parent who receives an HHK stash from a baby shower and freezes the kits.  In short, you get high quality source ingredients, no preservatives, and you get part of the “fast food” satisfaction of being served because most of the work is done for you!

The most impressive feature of the service was the price.  Sold in either a small (2-3 servings) or large (5-6 servings) kits, the average price is about $5 per person.  Based on Mark Bittman’s calculation of the price of a meal at McDonalds, Healthy Habits Kitchen kits beat out the fast food meal by almost $2 per person per serving!  

You can find Healthy Habits Kitchen kits at Metrowest farmers’ markets, at certain specialty stores, at the Kitchen in Wellesley, and online at the Healthy Habits Kitchen website.

We at the Boston Food Swap understand that, even if you are passionate about the art of cooking and love to make your own food, not everyone can cook from scratch every night.  Because we are even more passionate about real food, regardless of who makes it, we are happy to see that there are healthy options for those days when “from scratch” is not an option.  I would be remiss in my duties as advocate if I didn’t mention that, if you care as much about real food as we do, you should RSVP for an upcoming food swap or our Community Sourced Potluck before you finish this post.  Whether you make your own dish or, in HHK fashion, want to enjoy other people’s real food, we can make it fun to eat real!  Once you’re finished with your RSVP (you mean you haven’t done it yet?), enjoy some pictures from last night’s adventure!




Friday, September 23, 2011

Bountiful Recipes to Celebrate Apple Month


Who knew? September is Apple Month in Massachusetts (the rest of the country celebrates in October, apparently). According to a press release from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, our state has approximately 369 apple farms and ranks 12th nationally for production of apples.

Apple picking, canning, baking, frying, eating, slicing, and pealing are classic activities for those of us who grew up in New England, so we've rounded up tons of sweet and/or savory apple recipes to help you make the most of the fall harvest.
For more apple recipes, check out the recently released Apple Lover's Cookbook by Yankee magazine editor Amy Traverso.

Have a favorite apple recipe? Post the link in the comments section and I'll add it to our list.

Flickr photo courtesy of ingridf_nl

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Boston Food Swap: September Recap

HaulBasket

Sunday was our fourth food swap and I'm still amazed at the variety of items our swappers bring! As you can see from this swapper's haul basket, we had a couple firsts like duck eggs, homemade lemon dill butter, fresh mozzarella and soup. That crunchy confection you see on top is a tasty Uzbek fried dough called chak chak, courtesy of Stas from Space with a Soul.

Dasagaffel

Another first for us was a special delivery from Dasagaffel Brew Club: a tasting of their newest IPA! They thoughtfully provided us with some refreshments while we swapped. Thanks, Dasagaffel!

ALovelySpread

Although we swap every month, there's always someone who is swapping for the first time. Look at the presentation: you'd never know this was from a pair of our swap virgins! They are natural-born swappers.

GroupPhoto

We had a great time in September! Until next time, swappers, register for the October Food Swap, or view more photos from September.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Tomato Odyssey and a Lesson in Humility

Apparently I’m human.  I learned this overdue lesson this weekend when I set out on the tomato odyssey I promised a few weeks back.  In the excitement of the Red Fire Farm tomato fest, I hatched grand plans to get a bulk order of sauce tomatoes and make barbeque sauce, marinara sauce, and hot sauce with them in time for the September swap.  The plan hatched but didn’t exactly grow wings or fly the coop.  In fact, hot sauce fell squarely off of the table!

First, there was apparently a tomato blight this season that delayed and made scarce saucing tomatoes.  I planned to get them the week after the tomato festival and could only get them this week – 3 weeks later.  Second, I started peeling tomatoes late and my tomato creations were nothing more than a watery mess when the swap started.  On the plus side, I’m enough of a bona fide food nerd that I had a few jars of apple butter and peach chutney stashed in my pantry so I had something to show for myself (BTW, got marshmallows, toffee, peanut butter cookies, mozzarella, and focaccia in exchange – food swap win!).  The best part?  Now, I have tomato sauce and barbecue sauce and a healthy appreciation for my limitations.  Who could ask for anything more?  Even better, I managed a barbecue recipe that doesn’t start with “ketchup” or “BBQ sauce.”  Damn internet recipe searches!

The journey started with a ½ bushel of saucing tomatoes from Red Fire Farm. 

NTS, tomatoes cook down a lot – next year get 2 bushels!
Then I peeled them.  And inadvertently stumbled upon my Food Day story – stay tuned for details!

Half were dedicated to an Italian marinara sauce and ½ went to barbecue sauce.  Apparently I didn’t have enough tomatoes for hot sauce and now I still have a ton of hot peppers.  Any suggestions?
For the Italian leg of my tour, I used Red Fire Farm garlic and onions.  From my sad little parking lot flower pot garden, I recruited basil.  And, even though I would have otherwise forgot it, dumb luck would have it that a savvy food swapper brought oregano on Sunday, making my quality sourcing of marinara sauce complete.
Then it all went in to the brand new stock pot!  Have you ever been to China Fair in Porter Square?  If you haven’t yet, you should.  It’s pretty amazing.  The good people there brought me my new tall stock pot which is already making me very happy.
After 12 more hours than I expected, I had TWO whole quarts of marinara sauce.  This is when I reminded myself about next year’s 2 bushel rule.  They look pretty damn good though.  Lonely, but hot.

At this point, I’d like to point out my kitchen designed to match fresh fruit and vegetables. I chose lime green so it would always look good with fresh produce inspired food. At times likes this I really appreciate the decision.
The southwestern portion of this journey included sweet peppers, hot peppers, and celery – all from Red Fire Farm.  Again, in a pot.

After a lot of simmering, two days later, the finished barbecue sauce was able to keep the lonely marinara sauce company.

If you happen to have a lot of tomatoes and some Ball preserving jars, here’s my BBQ sauce recipe:

Real Barbecue Sauce – from Tomatoes, not Ketchup
If you don't want to run in to the same timing problems that I did, I suggest that you prepare the vegetables the night before, put them (up to the hot peppers) in the pot and start simmering as early as you can wake up the next morning.

Ingredients:
  •        2 Tbsp olive oil
  •         ¼ bushel of tomatoes
  •        1 large onion – I used a small white and a small red onion
  •        4 cloves garlic
  •        1 head of farm fresh celery (the stalks tend to be smaller than regular supermarket celery – I think it came out to approximately 3 cups in practice)
  •         3 hot peppers – I like it hot.  Use what you get from your farm share or the farmer’s market.
  •        1 tsp whole mustard seed
  •        ½ tsp whole celery seed
  •        1 tsp whole peppercorns
  •        1 tsp allspice
  •        1 cinnamon stick
  •        1 cup brown sugar
  •         2 Tbsp molasses
  •        Salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper to taste
  •        1.5 cup white vinegar

Directions:
  1.      Wash and score the ends of the tomatoes (an X on each end)
  2.      Put tomatoes in to boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute (until skins peel back)
  3.      Quickly take tomatoes from boiling water and plunge them in to ice water.  This makes them easier to handle when you peel them.
  4.      Peel the skins off of the tomatoes and take the seeds out.  This is the fun part!  You get to plunge your fingers in to soft tomatoes and make a GIANT mess!  This is the kinf of step that just screams for little kids to help.
  5.     Chop the celery, onions, hots, sweets, and garlic.
  6.      Saute onion in olive oil until translucent
  7.     Add garlic for about 30 seconds
  8.     Add tomatoes, celery, sweet peppers, and hot peppers 
  9.      Simmer until reduced by about half
  10.     Puree mixture with your immersion blender.  Don't have a immersion blender?  Run - don't walk - to the nearest store to get one.  You'll love it - I promise!  If you are elbow deep in tomatoes right now and don't have one, then a food processor, blender, or food mill will also work.
  11.     Wrap peppercorns, mustard seed, celery seed, allspice, and cinnamon stick in cheesecloth tied in to a bag with string.  Put it in the pot.
  12.     Add brown sugar, molasses, ground spices, and vinegar
  13.     Simmer until the consistency of BBQ sauce.  It will take a while, you need to start early in the day!
  14.     If you are preserving your sauce for later, can them in pint or half pint jars with 1/4" headspace in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes.  

My tomato odyssey inspired my Food Day story, specifically the Italian portion of the journey – check the Community Sourced Potluck microsite regularly for the post.  And sign up for the next food swap – if I have any BBQ sauce left by then, you can try it!

Friday, September 16, 2011

5 Sites for Discovering Local Food Events


Much as we love swapping homemade goodies, we also love attending other food-related events around Boston to meet foodies who care about sustainability and real food. Plus, it gives us good fodder for blog posts. Often these events are grassroots efforts like our swap, so it's not always easy to find them. Here are some of the sites we use to uncover awesome events:
  1. Twitter
    Twitter is a great place for uncovering bite-sized tidbits on food and local events. We follow tons of local restaurants and organizations to stay current on Boston's food scene and retweet as many interesting events and links as we can. You can follow us at @BOSswappers.
  2. Yelp
    I've been hooked on Yelp since it launched in Boston around 2005, and their events section includes a wide range of events from bake-offs to book club meetings, so it's a great way to search for indie events.
  3. Meetup
    This events site is organized around groups of people with common interests like beekeeping or homebrewing. In addition to several food-related groups, I'm also a member of the Somerville Women Who Work from Home. Unlike most other sites, you must join groups to view the events.
  4. Eventbrite
    We use Eventbrite to publicize our monthly swaps and search for other events to attend. Eventbrite makes it super-easy to sort by keyword, geography, or date, then share interesting events on social media.
  5. Gusta
    Gusta is a new site that focuses on supper clubs, pop-up restaurants, and underground food events around the world. They haven't launched in Boston yet, but we're eager to start using it, so please, pretty please sign up and show Gusta how much Boston loves good food!
Speaking of food events, have you signed up for Sunday's food swap? I'm making homemade granola, and there are sure to be tons of other swappable goodies, so we hope to see you there!

Image credit: jbcurio

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Eating Real for the Rest of Us

We at the Boston Food Swap have been hinting about our Food Day participation for a few weeks now  We are eager to unveil the invitation to our event and we will as soon as we have enough of the details confirmed. 

While the BFS team works feverishly to make the evening of October 24th one thousand times more fun than your average Monday night, we wanted to prepare you for the event. Prepare? Like homework? Yes!  

Food Day is an effort by the Center for Science in the Public Interest to create awareness of the environmental, human, and health implications of our food system. They call it “Eating Real” which is shorthand for making food choices that are the most sustainable for you, your neighbors, and your international economy. The challenge with Eating Real is that making sustainable food decisions can be complicated for everyday people like us! If you aren’t on the cutting edge of food policy, figuring out what makes a good food decision and replacing an eating habit that you likely picked up before your first day of Kindergarten is tough! The Food Day Community Sourced Potluck (CSP) is designed to show regular Bostonians making sustainable food decisions and to demonstrate to our neighbors that Eating Real can be both fun and easy.
We encourage people to tell their CSP stories either via their own blog or on our Tumblr microsite.  That might mean that you document how you found your ingredients (e.g. from a local small scale farm or from a grocery store that has strict environmental standards for their suppliers), made something that is so good and nutritious that kids might even prefer it to junk food, or that you made something from your garden and then donated the extras to a food rescue.  Whether you write, take still photos, take videos, record audio, or even just link, we want to hear about how you are eating real.  The Food Day principles are as follows:

Food Day


If you need any additional guidance about how you can apply Food Day principles to every day cooking and eating or if you need inspiration for your CSP story, we will be posting a series of blog posts from or about guest experts – one for each principle.  Follow our posts via RSS or keep on top of the blog via Facebook or Twitter to read the posts as they are released and to learn about how you can make Eating Real a part of your life!

Swappable Spotlight: Coconut Lime Rice Pudding



Although the calendar says it's September, the past few days have certainly seemed like August! As excited as I am for sweaters and scarves and apples and cider (and did I mention sweaters?), I do love the flavors of summer. This coconut lime rice pudding bridges the gap between seasons: the comforting creaminess of the rice with a tropical punch of a beach vacation combine seamlessly in one bowl.

Coconut & lime is one of my absolute favorite flavor pairings. In drinks, with fish, and especially in dessert, it's a resort holiday for my taste buds. In this rice pudding, the nuttiness of the coconut and rice are the substance while the lime adds the brightness. Stir in some shredded coconut for texture and it's easy breezy delicious squeezy.

Rice pudding is best made with cold cooked rice. Whether you precook a large batch of brown rice for the week or have leftover white rice from your Chinese takeout, this is a fantastic way to use your extras. Waste not, want not... even in dessert!

COCONUT LIME RICE PUDDING

Ingredients:
• 2 cups cold, cooked rice (Note: any rice will do, but if making from scratch, a short grain like arborio adds creaminess)
• 2 cups coconut milk (Note: you can swap out up to 1/2 of the liquid with water or milk for a lighter flavor)
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 Tablespoon butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
• Pinch salt
• Zest of one lime
• 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Directions:
1. Combine cooked rice and coconut milk over medium high heat. Stir until rice is no longer in large clumps.
2. Stir in sugar, butter, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt. Bring to a low boil.
3. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
4. While the pudding is still loose, remove from heat and stir in shredded coconut and lime zest.
5. Serve chilled or warm in individual ramekins.

This rice pudding is thick. If you prefer a thinner version, use a 2:1 ratio of liquid to rice instead of 1:1.