Sunday, October 24, 2010

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter.



We've all eaten it hundreds of times. Many of us grew up on it. It's a common staple food in America. It's cheap source of protein that requires no cooking and no refrigeration.

Peanut butter, is also, quite tasty. I miss peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I miss them because for the most part I try to avoid this food. I do eat it, but not regularly. I choose other nut butters such as almond or sunflower seed butter.

If you do choose to eat peanut butter it is very important to choose organic. Peanuts are often rotated with cotton crops to put the nitrates back in the soil that the cotton took out. Cotton crops are heavily sprayed with pesticides since we don't eat cotton. When the peanuts are planted the following year after cotton their oils pick up the pesticides making peanuts a heavily toxic food. In general foods that are oily absorb chemicals (which is way you should keep oils and oily foods in glass jars).

If you only ate one food that is organic it should be peanut butter. But peanuts have additional problems as well. Peanuts are easily subject to mold. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about it:

"The peanut plant is susceptible to the mold Aspergillus flavus which produces carcinogenic substance called aflatoxin.[10] Since it is impossible to completely remove every instance of aflatoxins, contamination of peanuts and peanut butter is monitored in many countries to ensure safe levels of this carcinogen. In 1990, a study showed that average American peanut butter contained an average of 5.7 parts per billion of aflatoxins, per the US Food and Drug Administration guidelines of 20 parts per billion"

Peanuts grown in the south are especially subject to this. Peanuts grown in drier climates have less issues with mold and aflatoxins.

Here is some info from wikipedia on aflatoxins:
"Aflatoxins are naturally occurring mycotoxins that are produced by many species of Aspergillus, a fungus, most notably Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Aflatoxins are toxic and among the most carcinogenic substances known.[1] After entering the body, aflatoxins may be metabolized by the liver to a reactive epoxide intermediate or be hydroxylated and become the less harmful aflatoxin."

Above are some great reasons not to eat peanuts. However, peanuts have been used as a food source for many years. What other benefits to peanuts offer?

According to Paul Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition

"Peanut: Warming thermal nature; sweet flavor; affects lungs and spleen-pancreas; lubricates the intestines; harmonizes the stomach. Used to increase the milk supply of nursing mothers (add roasted peanuts to rice or millet soup),  to stop bleeding including hemophilia and blood in the urine (eat raw peanuts), to treat deafness (eat raw peanuts), and to lower blood pressure (drink tea of shells). Note: in the above remedies, use the whole peanut, including the thin brown skin. Caution: Peanuts can cause skin outbreaks. They also greatly slow the metabolic rate of the liver. Therefore they should be avoided by overweight, damp, sluggish, yeast-infected, or cancerous persons. If eaten moderately, peanuts can benefit the person with fast metabolism such as the thin, nervous person who digests food quickly"


This explains why we are so attracted to feeding peanut butter to children. It slows down their fast metabolism and acts as a nourishing food. But is peanut butter safe to feed to children? That is for you to decide on your own. I have yet to give any peanut butter to my 17 month old and if I can help it I would like to keep it from him for another year or so. Peanuts can also be highly allergenic, which is not surprising considering the amounts of toxins they can potentially hold.

I still eat peanut butter. But I do not eat it often. I keep my jar of peanut butter in the fridge to help it last a long time. Peanut butter, even organic peanut butter, is pretty affordable compared to other nut butters. Nut butters can be an expensive food but they are worth the extra money. If you buy them recognize them for being a strong food and use them wisely to help stretch your dollar.  Even better you can also make your own nut butters with a food processor.

Artisana Organic Raw Almond Butter 16oz



Make your own nut butter by placing nuts in a food processor and adding a bit of oil as needed to help it turn to butter. Coconut or palm oil is a good choice, but you can use any oil. Try to avoid soy oil and canola oil.


And last here is some more information about peanut butter from Nourishing Traditions
Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats



"The Peanut is a legume that is particularly rich in protein and fat. It is an excellent source of niacin, pantothenic acid and biotin as well as other B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, calcium and potassium. Peanuts are also rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes a healthy nervous system. As peanuts are often grown as a rotation crop with cotton, a heavily sprayed commodity, it is important to buy only organic peanuts and peanut butter. The carcinogenic mold aflatoxin that sometimes develops in peanuts, especially those grown in moist climates, is virtually neutralized by cooking or soaking. Peanuts should never be eaten raw. Buy freshly ground peanut butter made from roasted organic peanuts or make your own peanut butter."

Sally Fallon holds a more positive view of peanut butter than I do, saying it holds no problems if cooked and organic. What do you think about peanut butter? Does it have a place in every fridge? Do you think it's a safe food for children?




This post added to
Monday Mania!


and hearth and soul!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Gluten Free Birthday Dessert!


Birthdays! Who doesn't love 'em? Well, today (technically yesterday) is my birthday, and since I love baking I made my own concoction.

The trouble was I couldn't decide what to make, and threw something together last minute. But it turned out! And it's a bit different, which is good.

So what did I make?

I made Maple Walnut Buttermilk cupcakes (gluten free) with Pumpkin Custard for frosting. The key to these is I have been on the lookout for frosting alternatives to avoid the powdered sugar. I have found a few but none yet that have been ideal. This is my favorite alternative thus far! Plus is perfect with the onset of fall. It's fairly simple, not too sugary, but rich and will compliment a cake well.

I can't give you the recipe for the cupcakes because I didn't write things down as I was putting them in the bowl.  I could give estimates but that doesn't help most bakers.

However, I will give you the recipe for this awesome pumpkin custard topping. Note, you don't need cake for pumpkin custard, go ahead and eat it by itself.

Pumpkin Custard

One Pie pumpkin, baked.
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 cups heaving whipping cream
2 T whole cane sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon clove
1 T coconut oil (optional)

Blend or food process pumpkin with maple syrup, coconut oil, and spices.

Remove pumpkin and add to a large bowl.

In blender or food processor blend whip cream and whole cane sugar until thick, being careful not to over blend. This part is important! Note make sure to use good quality cream from pastured cows.

Add whip cream to bowl with pumpkin and fold in. Voila! You have a great dessert.



I also received a dessert book for my birthday, the pages are golden and it is huge and shiny. I feel overwhelmed looking at it with so many new recipes to try. Hopefully you will all see some of them soon on this blog, but modified, of course, to encompass my whole foods approach.

I hope you are all enjoying fall. It is a great time of year to start reflecting and making the journey inward as we prepare for the cold. If you haven't had the chance it's not too late to do some preserving. I am making lacto-fermented pickles as we speak. I also made some blackberry/Italian plum agar agar jam (recipe to be posted soon) to go in my freezer. I also plan on making garlic honey and infusing some oils and vinegars for later use. What do you do in your kitchen to prepare for the cold season ahead?


This post linked to Monday mania!

This post also linked to Hearth and Soul

This posted linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Corn Chowder


If you haven't noticed yet it's harvest season! Perfect time for vegetable dishes of all types. Here is a great chowder using fresh corn, fresh potatoes and fresh peppers! This would turn out well later in the year when peppers are from Mexico and the corn is frozen, but if you get the chance try it now. Your body will appreciate it.

The first trick to this recipe is the corn. You may already know this but I just found out from Rebecca Wood's book The Splendid Grain that corn grated on a cheese grater (large holes) works fantastic for soups and other corn baking dishes. It is messy, however, but worth the extra effort. It is also easier to do this by cutting the ears of corn in half. Use all of the milk from the corn as well and if needed run a knife over the outside of the cob afterwards to pull off excess corn (Tip: wear an apron.) I also didn't have broth on hand for this dish, so if you have it replace the water and bouillon with vegetable or meat broth.

Julie's Corn Chowder
Serves 3

Four ears of corn (prepared according to directions above)
3 medium potatoes
1 large carrot
1/2 red bell pepper
1 jalapeno
1 small onion
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cups water + 1 cube bouillon
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sage
1/2 tea allspice
sea salt to taste

Put corn in the soup pan after it is grated.

Dice onion and bell pepper and saute for a few minutes in butter (or coconut oil) until translucent. Add onions/peppers to soup pot. Add water and bouillon. Cut potato, carrots, and jalapeno and add to the soup (make sure to cut the jalapeno small). Add sage and all-spice. Cook for about 30 minutes on medium heat. Just before soup is done add the milk and salt to taste, and you have a great late summer soup. I ate this with buttermilk gluten free biscuits and apple cobbler. Note, this soup would still be great without the milk!

Fun fact about corn: Corn cannot pollinate itself and needs us in order to survive! Good thing we grow so much of it. The growth of corn is heavily subsidized by the government which is one of the main reasons high fructose corn syrup is so cheap and abundant in our society.


Here is a few pictures of my son Leo. We went on the Whatcom County Farm tour this last weekend. One picture is at Bellwood acres (apple farm) and another is at Cloud Mountain Farm, a nursery in Everson. I'm already excited to go again next year. The weather turned out great for an end of summer outing. Plus, it is important to get to know your farmer! I am lucky that I live in an area so abundant with fresh food. We have many farms here in whatcom county growing lots of fruit and vegetables as well as dairy farmers and animal farms. In the summer months I do my best to eat as local as possible. Since this is a new concept to me within the last few years I am getting better each year. Hopefully next year will be even better. My goal for next year is to make canning a new family tradition. I've made some freezer jam but no actual canning yet.

If you make the soup please leave a comment telling me how it turned out. Enjoy!







Also, don't forget you can still sign up for the Real food for Rookies ecourse! Classes start 9/16/2010. Go here to register

Monday, September 6, 2010

Nourishing Traditions Lacto Fermented Jam and class give away!

I am giving away one class entry to Kelly The Kitchen Kop's Real Food for Rookies Class!

I am excited to give this class away. 

Click here to register!
In Kelly's class, which is 12 weeks long. You will learn about healthy meat, dairy, and eggs. You will learn why is these foods are good and how they will help you maintain great health.
Kelly says it best here:

"It’s time to take control of your health. Doctors want us to be well, but they don’t always know what’s best for us. The USDA and pharmaceutical companies certainly don’t know what our bodies need. Our food supply has completely changed in the last few decades and we’ve never been more unhealthy. It’s time we rediscover the power of Real Food to nourish our bodies so we can live full, active, pain-free lives."

The food Kelly is telling you about is not scary strange health food. But real food. Food your great grandmother probably ate. This is the diet I eat, and I am thankful I found this way of life. I grew up eating boxed foods. Maybe people don't know what to cook beyond easy boxed dinners anymore. This class will teach you how to eat different, but also some EASY meals, and CHEAP meals as well.

Here is Kelly's 12 week class schedule!
1. READING LABELS TO AVOID THE JUNK.
2. CHOOSING WHICH FATS & OILS TO USE IN YOUR KITCHEN
3. CHOOSING WHICH SWEETENERS TO USE & BATCH BAKING TIPS TO SAVE TIME
4. CHOOSING THE RIGHT MEATS
5. CHOOSING THE RIGHT PRODUCE
6. CHOOSING THE RIGHT DAIRY
7. HEALTHY BREAKFAST IDEAS
8. HEALTHY LUNCHES, SNACKS AND ON-THE-GO FOODS
9. HEALTHY DINNERS & FAST FOOD ALTERNATIVES
10. SUPERFOODS PART 1
11. SUPERFOODS PART 2
12. BEYOND REAL FOOD


You can sign up for 120$ for the entire session, or four payments of 35 dollars. If you have health problems at ALL you are doing yourself a huge favor by taking this class. You can also win the class for you or a friend here! If you enter into the contest you also get a discount coupon off the enrollment fee.

Here is Kelly telling you about the class herself.





 
So here is how to enter!
 
1. Leave a comment below telling me you added yourself as a follower of my blog either through RSS feed or google friend connect.

2. Share this post on Facebook or twitter and leave a comment (separate from the first) letting me know you did this. (BONUS- you get two entries for doing this!)

3. Email four of your friends and let them know about the giveaway, and leave a comment telling me you did this.

If you do all of these things you can earn up to four entries! Winner will be chosen at Random. Contest ends Thursday September 9th a noon. Make sure to check back to see if you have won! If the winner doesn't contact me within 48 hours I will choose a new winner. Good luck! Prize value is $120!



Remember, by entering you also get a coupon for a discount off the class! Registration for the class ends 9/15. Classes start 9/16!

Note: I am an affiliate for this class and get a small commission that supports this blog if you sign up through me. Thank you! Click here to register for the class!





And here is the recipe for Lacto Fermented Jam you have been waiting for!

This is from Nourishing traditions. I was excited about this recipe as it's a way to make your jam much healthier. However, due to lacto fermenting things needing salt, it's salty. It's not really salty, but you can taste the salt. It's also not very sweet. It tastes much better on things. I tried some by itself and didn't like it, but I didn't give up and tried some on a thumb print cookie and thought that was pretty good. So you may or may not like this one depending on your tastes, however it's a great way to eat jam!



You need:

Four cups fresh berries. I used blackberries and blue berries. Don't use strawberries, however, they are too acidic.

1/4 cup rapadura (whole cane sugar)
1/4 cup whey
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons Pomona's universal pectin (available at health food stores)
2 teaspoons calcium water (comes with Pomona's pectin)

Add all ingredients together and mash with a wooden mallet or spoon until well mashed. You could try a food processor as well. I used a wooden spoon, but had an after thought that the food processor would have worked better.

Put into quart sized mason jar and close the lid tightly. Make sure there is at least one inch of room from the top of the jar. Leave out for 48 hours to ferment. Then it's done! Store in a cool place or your fridge for up to two months. Enjoy!

Recipe from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

This posted linked to Monday Mania!

And Tuesday blog hop!

And Real Food Wednesday!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tahini Thumb Print Cookies (Gluten Free)



These cookies are high protein and gluten free. Which means they are great for snacks! I made them for my little toddler.

Kelly The Kitchen Kop, as many of you probably already know, is having a class real food for rookies, which you can learn more about here. Kelly's class is an affiliate for my blog so if you sign up you are supporting this blog! Thank you :)

Very soon I will be giving away one free class! So stay tuned if you are interested in taking it. I will also be giving away out a discount coupon for the class as well.

Kelly's class covers the basics of the real food movement. What is that? It means eating like your grandmother, as Michael Pollen put it. Or better yet your great grandmother! We live in a time with many new health problems. We live in a time where many people lack cooking skills, and in turn lack those skills to teach to their children. There is a lot of confusion about what diet is actually the "healthy" diet and what should we actually be eating. That knowledge used to be passed generation to generation but now that system is broken. Taking Kelly's class helps restore that knowledge as it is about food people ate traditionally. What kind of food is that? Meat, dairy, butter, and fermented foods, to name a few. Foods that you probably thought were bad for you. But meat and and dairy have potential to be very good for you if used correctly! The Real food for rookies class will show you how and WHY you need these foods to be healthy. You may think it's a bit odd to hear me promoting meat on my vegetarian blog! But I do think grass fed animals can play a very healthy part in a diet. But I also don't think you HAVE to have meat to be healthy.

I've been a much healthier happier person since finding and eating real foods. My moods have stabilized, my weight has stabilized, my skin is clearer, my hair is shiner. It's a pretty good way to diet. Basically, eat good whole foods = feel awesome!

And here is that cookie recipe you have been waiting for!



High Protein Tahini Gluten Free Cookies

1 3/4 cups Rice Flour
1/2 cup hemp flour
1/2 arrowroot flour (or tapioca)
1 t xantham gum
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t sea salt

Mix Dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl mix together:

1/2 cup good quality tahini
2 T coconut oil (or palm or butter)
1/2 cup rapadura (whole cane sugar)
1 EGG (if you don't eat eggs use 2 T flax seed in 1/4 C hot water)
1 T maple syrup (optional if you don't have it)
2 T applesauce
1 t vanilla
1 t cinnamon

Add wet and dry ingredients together. If you think the dough is a bit dry you can add more applesauce.



Roll into little balls and press down with your thumb. Bake for 12 minutes at 350. I left my cookies black for the most part, but you can fill them with jam, or an almond, or any other cookie fillings you have laying around! I recommend apricot jam. I filled a couple with habanero raspberry jam that was amazing, but too hot for my toddler!


This post linked to Real Food Wednesdays!

This post also linked to http://wearethatfamily.com/

Thanks for reading!





This post entered into Fight Back Fridays!

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Blueberry Kudzu Pie

The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook: Whole Foods Recipes for Personal and Planetary Health, Second Edition
This recipe is slightly adapted from the Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen cook book.




First of all, what is Kudzu. Well, according to Rebecca Wood, one of my favorite food authors, Kudzu is a vine plant that grows like crazy. It was officially classified as a noxious weed in 1970. The part that is used is the chalk like root of the vine. It's expensive per pound, but light weight and you generally don't need a lot of it.

Kudzu has been used in Chinese medicine for 2000 years. It is best known for helping with intestinal disorders and alcoholism. It's also great for colds and hangovers.

Kudzu is a superior thickener. Use it to thicken sauces, soups, and deserts.


But lets not forget about the pie!

crust:

1 cup almonds
1 cup pecans
1/2 t Cinnamon
1/4 cardamom
1/4 ginger powder
1 cup medjool dates, pitted

Place nuts and spices in food processor, then add dates. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan.

Blueberry filling:

6 TBS kudzu dissolved in 2 TBS water
1 1/2 cups berry juice (i used apple)
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2 TBS real maple syrup

dissolve kudzu in small sauce pan and meanwhile place juice, berries, and syrup in a blender and blend until smooth. Add to kudzu in sauce pan and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. It will be thicker, but will not set until cool. Poor into pie pan. Place into fridge to cool. It will take about two hours.

I used good quality whip cream for the topping as well as some blue berries and cherries. However, you can also make a cashew cream topping as the recipe suggests if you don't want to use dairy.

Cashew cream:

1 cup cashews
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 to 3 TBS water
2 tea vanilla

Blend in blender until smooth and creamy!



Enjoy your awesome pie! This is a great way to eat your blueberries.

Note that here is a place to buy kudzu

Also note that I didn't have enough nuts when making this recipe so I replaced some of the nuts with oatmeal. I also used hazelnuts instead of walnuts/pecans. It worked well.

This post linked to two for tuesdays!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Cabbage and Hijiki in Mustard Sauce (Healing With Whole Foods)

Cabbage and Hijiki




Cabbage and Hijiki are both very medicinal foods. I use to not like both of these foods, but now I think they are great. Seaweed can be hard to get into a western diet. Hijiki is a mild tasting seaweed and worth trying if you don't normally like seaweed. When cooked, its taste becomes even more mellow. Some healing properties of Hijiki according to "Healing With Whole Foods" By Paul Pitchford (a great food resource.)

Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition (3rd Edition)

Hijiki:

detoxifies the body, cooling to the body, benefits the thyroid, and moistens dryness. Also has ample amounts of calcium, iron and iodine (the latter usually strongly lacking from the western diet) B2 and niacin. Good for bones and teeth, helps normalize blood sugar, helps with weight loss, and supports hormone functions. It also makes your hair shiny. I ate a lot of seaweed before I had Leo and I noticed a significant increase in the quality of my hair which is partly why I am trying to get it back into my regular meals.



Cabbage: great for the digestive system and intestines. Cabbage has an ample amount of sulfur which acts to destroy parasites and purify the blood. I just planted Cabbage in my garden to have later this fall. This is my first fall/winter garden so we shall see if it does well. Cabbage is a good fall/winter plant.




The following recipe is adapted from Healing with Whole Foods. I changed it, but not because it wouldn't be good the way it was, but that I have a hard time following recipes.



1/2 head of green cabbage, chopped.

2 small carrots, shredded

1/8 cup of hijiki rinsed then soaked for 15 minutes (make sure you discard the soaking water!)

1 cake of baked tofu (optional) (mine was sweet chili flavored)

sesame oil for cooking (olive oil will work as well)



SAUCE:

2 T soy sauce/tamari or braggs

1/2 t mustard power

1/2 t fenugreek

1/4 cup milk, optional (I used Eden blend rice/soy milk, but almond milk would be great too)



Mix ingredients for sauce together in small bowl.



Heat pan with oil



Fry Cabbage and carrots and tofu if using for one or two minutes. Add Hijiki and fry for two or three minutes. Add sauces and continue to cook until cabbage looks shiny and done. Careful not to overcook. My cabbage turned out well cooked but I think this would be a bit better if it was slightly crispy still. But it is up to you.



So how does this interesting meal taste? Surprisingly good. Slightly salty and mellow flavored. I didn't notice much of a seaweed taste and cabbage has a mellow taste when cooked as well. It would be a good meal served with jasmine rice. Enjoy!

Note: Here is some more interesting info on Hijiki from Eden foods

This post linked to Monday Mania blog carnival and
Two for Tuesdays

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cherry Chutney (Nourishing traditions)


Cherries!



Cherry season is almost over, but with this you can preserve some cherries for a few months. There are many wonderful ways to eat cherries. The best is the classic way to eat them plain as is. Recently cherries have been shown to act as a mild pain killer (similar to aspirin) on the body. But they need to be fresh to have this effect, and you need to eat a decent amount of them. Another great reason to eat your fruit!

This Chutney is a nourishing traditions recipe
Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

You will need to whey for this recipe, which helps preserve the chutney and ferment it. This step is very important as the fermentation adds valuable enzymes which is half the point of making fermented things (the other half is to preserve it). Here is a how you make whey.

For the Chutney:

Four cups ripe cherries, pitted and quartered (I halved mine)

1/2 tea coriander seeds
1/2 tea whole cloves
grated rind and juice of one whole orange
1/4 cup whey
1/8 cup rapadura (whole cane sugar)
2 tea sea salt
1/2 cup filter water

Put the cherries in wide mouth mason jar. Mix other ingredients  in another bowl, then pour over cherries. Make sure the cherries are two inches below the liquid. Add more water if needed. Put a lid on it then leave it at room temp for two days in order to ferment. Then move it to your fridge, where it will keep for about two months.



All done! So how does this taste? Different then I thought. I pictured sweeter. I made have added to much salt. The salt helps preserve the food as well. It has a strong spice/orange/salt taste. But it's good. However, chutney is usually used on meat dishes, and as a vegetarian I haven't decided what would go good with this dish! Maybe some wild rice? We shall see. Let me know if you have any ideas!




This post added to Real food wednesdays!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Blue GF Cornbread



Blue Corn Gluten Free Corn Bread!

I love Cornbread. But for some reason the past dozen or so times I have made corn bread, it didn't rise well and came out a bit strange. It did, however, taste good. The problem was the recipe. So, I changed it! This may be the best corn bread I have made. I think the key is the xantham gum. I'm not a huge fan of using this, but, I see it is a good comprise now that I am GF.


If you don't have blue corn, you can use regular corn flour. But I like blue corn.

Recipe:

1 1/4 cups blue corn flour
1 1/4 cups rice flour
1/3 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 T sea salt
1T baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

Mix dry ingredients together. Make a well in the center of dry mix or mix in a separate bowl:

1 egg.
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup water
1/3 melted coconut oil
3 T honey

Blend everything together. It should be a thick pancake like batter. Add more water if needed. I needed to add more water to mine so the amounts may be off slightly.



Bake at 350 for 20ish minutes. Enjoy!



Again, this is some of the best cornbread I have had. I hope your comes out as well!



I made my corn bread into a Sunday of sorts.

I cut it in half and filled with pink beans and cheese and topped it with more beans, salsa, and sour cream. It was like eating desert for dinner.

For those of you interested as well I made my own sour cream this past week! I turned out well. I recently found out that many companies use powdered milk in the products! This is not good. Powered milk is all kinds of bad. Whole milk is good, however. So I checked the ingredients on my Organic Valley sour cream I had been buying, and one of the ingredients is non fat milk. Non fat milk does not belong in cream, which leads me to believe it is powdered milk, because according to this post powdered milk can be added to products and they can just label it "milk." Part of the problem is that we have a milk surplus right now. But I was quite upset by this as I have been trying to avoid powdered milk. I used Nancy's organic milk products because they have great flavor, but at least they state on the package that they use powdered milk. So I stopped using them. Really I just need to make my own milk products. It is not hard, it's just different. My first sour cream turned out great and was really easy. I was quite sure that I was about to ruin a perfectly good quart of cream... I will be trying again a few more times and then posting the results.

For those who cannot wait take one tablespoon of butter milk an add it to a quart of cream in a very clean jar. Leave 20 to 24 hours. All done!

24TRenderingLard


This post linked to two for tuesdays!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sprouted Rice

Sprouted Rice.



Now is a great time to make this. Why? Well because Rice can be tricky to spout and sprouting is very easy in the warm summer months! Rice is also great for cooling summer heat (according to Healing with Whole Foods). Sprouted food in general also cools the body plus it is easier to digest.


Pick any kind of brown rice. I'm pretty sure I used brown basmati rice, because that is my fav. But I have many kinds of rice on hand at all times. Short grain, long grain, jasmine, Black Rice, Red Volcano Rice, there are so many kinds!

Soak your rice over night, or for 6 to 8 hours.

Drain.

Rinse two to three times a day.

You can do this by leaving them in a colander or by using a mason jar with a cheese cloth on it or a handy sprouting lid






Sprouting Strainer Lid - Fits Most Wide-mouth Mason, Kerr & Ball Canning / Pickling Jars - Perfect to Use for Sprouts & Sprouting in Salads. Convert Any Standard Jar Into a Sprouter. Growing Sprouts Is Healthy & Fun.

I use something very similar to this lid. It makes it way easier.

Drain your rice after Rinsing by putting it upside down in a dish rack or bowl.

Proper Draining is important!

Your rice should be ready in two to three days. It is done when there are small sprouts coming off of it. Don't let it go for too long or it may get moldy or go bad. You KNOW when it goes bad. It has a strong unpleasant smell. This can also happen from not rinsing.


As you can see in this picture I also soak my nuts before eating them. This makes them more digestible. Nuts are one of the more difficult foods to digest. Think of how much power is in one nut! Think of a walnut, then picture a walnut tree! Nuts have things in them to encourage them only to grow at the right time.. Soaking them starts the spouting process which releases all of that dormant energy. After I soak them over night I toast them on low in the oven to make them crunchy and store well. Soaked nuts go back quickly, which I have learned several times recently... But when you dehydrate them they last for many months in a cool place!

So what do you do with all of that rice? Well you could make rice milk by blending it with water.

I used it to make Spanish rice.


This is a pretty simple meal. The Rice was cooked with onions, garlic, and a canned of fire roasted tomatoes. I used canned black beans as a side. I generally prefer to cook my own beans, but I keep canned beans around as a quick "fast food" for when that doesn't happen.

Sprouted Rice also makes a great breakfast cereal when cooked with water or milk.

This post is part of two for tuesdays Blog Carnival!
http://girlichef.blogspot.com/2010/07/two-for-tuesdays-vol5.html