Friday, June 27, 2008

New recipes


I've just recently started doing more cooking with whole grains. We've used brown rice for quite a few years, but never soaked it... in reading some of my regular blogs, I've learned that the phytates found in whole grains inhibit our bodies' absorption of the nutrients. Soaking the grains prior to cooking dissipates the phytates and releases the nutrients that we need. Along with making the grains more easily digestible (fewer issues with gastrointestinal discomfort), they become better for us. Since reading that, I've started soaking the rice for several hours prior to cooking it. My rice now comes out perfectly every time. Before I started soaking it, I would sometime get rice that was still hard and crunchy in the middle. Now, it is perfectly textured, flavorful and creamy. YUMMMM!

Last week, the same night I dropped the toaster oven on my toe, I started a sourdough starter culture. Last night it was ready to be made into sourdough bread. The loaf is cooling now, and I can't wait to taste it later!

Sourdough Starter

1/2 cup freshly ground rye flour
1/2 cup filtered water

stir together in a large mason jar, cover loosely to protect from any insects (like the fly that got in here and is driving me batty), sit in a warm spot for 24 hours. I used a coffee filter to cover the starter the first night to let the wild yeast in the air get to the flour and water mixture, after I saw evidence of yeast activity (bubbly, wine-smelling mixture) I switched to the glass cover my jar came with. Each day for a week, feed the starter with equal parts (for large batches, use 1/2 cup amounts, if you don't mind making the bread more frequently you can use 1/4 cup amounts) fresh rye flour and filtered water (the filtering eliminates the chlorines and other toxins in our water supply, and allows the yeast to flourish... last time I'd tried making a starter it didn't work because of the chlorine in our water) After a week, it should be ready to make into bread. I'll post the results after I've tasted the bread.... and pictures after we get new batteries for the camera!

Blessings to you,

Thursday, June 26, 2008

It's been a loooong time...


Wow, I've realllly neglected this blog. Getting ready to return to teaching, and then working full-time threw me for a loop. This summer I'm going to work on developing a posting routine that will allow me to update this blog at least semi-regularly... maybe once or twice a week.

Maybe I'll even work on extra postings to save for the school year so I can just c&p them.

That said, I will be working on developing a more healthful lifestyle. I just got a copy of the book Nourishing Traditions. What a lot of information!! I've skimmed through it (got it two days ago, and skimmed through most of it). I gleaned a basic understanding of a lot of it, but definitely need to go back to it and go over and over it. One thing I definitely want to try to incorporate is some of the lacto-fermented foods, as well as soaking grains / flour prior to cooking them. They taste better, are easier to digest, and are better for us when we do that.

I'll be documenting my progress. I also want to switch to raw dairy (although at this point we'll have to travel to the next state in order to do that - it's illegal to sell raw milk in our state, although there is legislation pending that will finally allow it - not that the government has any business regulating agriculture, but they don't seem to get that), and pasture fed meats / eggs. There is a farm in the next state that is about an hour from here. If we can swing purchasing an extra freezer, it may work out to be worth a trip out there once a month... or better yet, every other month. The prices for their raw dairy and meat products are not that much higher than for conventionally produced (and nutritionaly more bankrupt) products from the grocery store. The improvement in our health may offset the additional cost.

Blessings to you,