Thursday, March 4, 2010

"Sugar: The Bitter Truth" - a must see presentation

Please watch this video of a presentation from Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology.  A little over a minute into the video he says,
By the end of the story I hope I will have debunked the last 30 years of nutrition information in America.
If this video won't convince you to ditch all those processed foods and embrace whole foods like fresh raw milk, I don't know what will!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Soaked Rice & a Nourishing Dinner!

 The homework this week from my GNOWFGLINS eCourse is cooking with soaked brown rice.  Soaking grains such as brown rice neutralizes the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors in the grains.  Our ancestors knew how to properly prepare grains by soaking them, but in our modern day rush, most cooks today do not know how to cook grains for optimal nutrition.

Last night I soaked 2 cups of long grain brown rice in 4 cups of warm spring water with 4 Tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar.  This evening, I drained off the excess soaking liquid (3 & 1/2 cups, which I discarded) and put the soaked rice, 3 & 1/2 cups of fresh spring water, and some coconut oil (~1 Tablespoon) into a heavy saucepan.  I brought the rice mixture to a boil, covered it with a lid, and simmered it on low for about half an hour until all the liquid was absorbed.

 Yum!  While the rice was cooking, I made up my own recipe for a meat topping, with some inspiration from Wardeh's "Sloppy Joe's in a Bowl" recipe on GNOWFGLINS.  I browned 1 pound of grass-fed ground beef with one small diced onion.  Then I added a can of seasoned diced tomatoes (garlic, basil, and oregano), ground pepper, a dash of sea salt, a dash of ground kelp granules, a dash or two of Bragg's Liquid Aminos, a Tablespoon of raw honey, and a couple squirts of organic ketchup (to give it more tomato flavor, but tomato paste would have worked, too).  I just adjusted the seasoning by taste and with what I had on hand!  Then I let it simmer for 20 minutes or so.  What an easy dinner!

To serve, I put a dollop of rice in a bowl, topped it with a scoop of the meat mixture, and offered the kids grated cheese, fresh parsley, and sour cream for toppings.  I also put fermented sauerkraut on mine, and the combination of the sweet rice and tomato sauce with the sourness of the kraut was sublime.  I LOVED it!

Tomorrow I'm going to use some of the leftover rice for a new breakfast porridge.  I'll mix the rice in a saucepan with milk, maple syrup or stevia (I haven't decided), cinnamon, vanilla, and a beaten egg.  I'll cook it until it is all warm and yummy - I can't wait!

Soaked brown rice was very tasty and easy to prepare for dinner (and will be even easier in tomorrow's breakfast!).  Perhaps the best thing about soaking the grains first is that the cooking time is significantly reduced.  Most soaked grains will cook in half the time it takes to cook unsoaked grains.  I hope you are inspired to experiment with new nourishing foods for your family!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Miso Porridge & GNOWFGLINS Tuesday Twister

Yes, yes, yes - I know it is now Wednesday morning... better late than never, right?  Yesterday I started the eCourse at GNOWFGLINS (Wardeh rocks!), and this morning I was having fun reading through the Tuesday Twister Blog Carnival on her site.  After eating my most delicious miso porridge this morning, I decided to jump in!

Here is all that is left of my miso porridge:
 It was warm and creamy and earthy and oh-so-delicious on this cold, rainy, morning!  Sorry I didn't take any "before" pictures, but I was half asleep and rather hungry this morning.  In fact, I think my recipe was supposed to be for two servings, but I gobbled it up all by myself!

Last night I put 1/2 cup of old-fashioned rolled oats (steel cut oats would be perfect for this recipe, but I didn't have any on hand) and 1 cup of filtered water into a small saucepan.  I cooked it for a couple of minutes until all the water was absorbed by the oats.  Then I removed the pan from the heat and let it all cool down.  Once cool (maybe 15-20 minutes or so?), I mixed in 1 Tablespoon of mellow white miso paste, put the lid on the pan, and left it to sit overnight.  (edited to add: be sure to really cook the water & oats well so that the oats are very thick before you add in the miso; the miso will break down the oat mixture so that it will become a much more soupy mixture, especially if you leave too much water in it the night before)

This morning the miso-oatmeal porridge was runny and fragrant with that earthy miso smell (I love that smell).  I put the pan over low heat and let the porridge warm up until it steamed, but not boiled.  Then I put a dollop of fresh grass-fed butter on top, swirled it into the porridge, and dug in.  YUM!  You could add some honey, maple syrup, or any other natural sweetener to the porridge, but I loved the savory and buttery flavor without it.  I could even taste a hint of natural sweetness in it - from either the oatmeal or the miso or both?

Miso oatmeal porridge is an excellent addition to my breakfast repertoire, and I will be making it again and again.  I think I am going to research recipes that use other grains in the miso porridge - millet, brown rice, etc.  If anyone ever reads this and has any recipes to share, I'm all ears!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Evening update - miso porridge & more wait time for the beet kvass...

I did some reading on some other "nourishing" blogs this evening (recommended reading: Kim at The Nourishing Cook) and have decided to let the beet kvass sit in the refrigerator for an extra week before I drink it.  The extra time allows the flavor to mellow and a little fizz to build up.  Sounds good to me!

Tomorrow morning I'm going to try Sally Fallon's recipe for miso porridge for the first time.  For over a year now I have been a huge fan of her basic breakfast porridge recipe in "Nourishing Traditions."  I'm looking forward to trying this new (for me) variation on porridge.

I think it's funny that as a kid I despised oatmeal.  However, one bite of creamy, old-fashioned, soaked oatmeal topped with fresh butter and cream and ~swoon~ I fell in love.  If you think you hate oatmeal, give the porridge recipes in "Nourishing Traditions" a try.  You may just find your new favorite breakfast food.  Plus, you'll be surprised at what a "fast food" soaked oatmeal really is!

Beet Kvass


Yesterday I finally found organic beets and the confidence to once again try making fermented foods.  I don't know why fermented foods intimidate me, other than the possible reasons that I was raised to fear microbes and un-refrigerated or unpreserved foods!  Silly fears aside, I proceeded to make my beet kvass from Sally Fallon's recipe in "Nourishing Traditions."

In "Nourishing Traditions" Sally Fallon says that beet kvass
is valuable for its medicinal qualities and as a digestive aid.  Beets are just loaded with nutrients.  One 4-ounce glass, morning and night, is an excellent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments.
~whew~ All that from one little drink!  How could I not try it?  So here's what I did:

I gathered my ingredients: organic beets, sea salt, whey (from my homemade yogurt), and spring water.  I also had my copy of "Nourishing Traditions" handy and a clean half-gallon mason jar.

I peeled the beets (such gorgeous color!),

 coarsely chopped them,

and put them in the 2-quart mason jar with 1 Tbs sea salt, 1/4 cup whey, and

enough spring water to fill the jar.

I put the top on the jar, and now the good bacteria is working its magic.  After two days I will put the beet kvass in the refrigerator.  Sally Fallon says that after this batch is consumed, I can fill it one more time with spring/filtered water for another nourishing batch.  I will keep you updated on my results.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I'm back! (not that I was ever really established to start)

I feel a little like those astronomers in "Contact" - just blindly sending signals out into space.  Fellow foodies, nutrition & health seekers, fans of "Nourishing Traditions" - I know you are out there somewhere!  Somehow we'll find each other, I'm sure of it.

Anyway, I am embarking on an exciting journey.  Tomorrow is the beginning of an eCourse with Wardeh at GNOWFGLINS.  I am also following several other bloggers who are also embracing a "Nourishing Traditions" lifestyle.  So I hope to become a regular blogger myself; adding my experiences and adaptations of a more nourishing way of eating and living.  I promise to take pictures and post regularly.

Until tomorrow, I wish you health, happiness, and nourishing traditions!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nourishing Traditions

For someone who was a born rule-follower (a trait that drives my husband crazy), I also have a bit of a rebel in my soul.  I like to think that it comes from a line of strong women on my mother's side of the family.  Well, the rebel side of me was stirred up after I got my hands on what I now consider to be the most important cookbook ever published - "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon.  If you haven't heard of Sally Fallon, I strongly urge you to look her up.  Her views on diet and nutrition, which are backed by sound science, turn our USDA food pyramid on its head.

"Nourishing Traditions" is so much more than a cookbook.  It is packed with information on what we should eat and why.  The introduction to the cookbook is a whopping 71 pages of detailed information on fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and more.  She walks you through choosing and preparing foods to optimize your health, and she explains why so many of the foods "they" tell us to eat are actually bad for us.

Do you want to know why heart disease, diabetes, cancer, allergies, obesity, and general poor health is on the rise?  Sure, all the toxins in our environment are contributing to the problem, but we are not nourishing our bodies properly so that we can fight off disease and eliminate the toxins from our bodies.  Faulty science and profit-driven big agriculture has steered us in the wrong direction.  Remember when we were told to eschew butter and use margarine, and then a couple decades later "they" (Sally calls them the "diet dictocrats") told us that the trans fats in margarine are killing us?  Well, like the recommendation to use margarine, there is a lot of faulty nutritional information out there.  Low-fat?...  The low-fat guidelines aren't scientifically sound nor are they healthy.  Cholesterol?...  It's not the devil it's made out to be - in fact, cholesterol is an important building block in our bodies that is needed to *repair* damage other substances create (which is why cholesterol is found in our arteries - it is repairing damage created by substances like homocysteine).  Whole grains?...  Unless grains are soaked or fermented, they are full of "anti-nutrients" that damage our health.

So if everything we have been taught is wrong, and fad diets are becoming more & more confusing, what SHOULD we eat?  It's simple - return to the nourishing traditions of our ancestors, before there were factories that created "food" or pseudo-scientists and nutritionists who invented different fad diets.  We need to eat whole natural foods that are prepared using old time-tested techniques.  Those sourdough pancakes made by the 49ers?... They are full of good nutrition, unlike the pancakes made from a boxed mix.  Think red meat is bad for you?...  If it comes from a steer raised in a feedlot on corn and soy and goodness-knows-what-else then it is definitely bad for you!  If it comes from a cow raised on lush green pasture then it's full of good fats and nutrients - a true health food!

"Nourishing Traditions" will fundamentally change how you think about food.  I urge you to find a copy today and become a rebel like me!