Saturday, January 29, 2011

Holistic Conference in June in So. Jordan

Well this news is exciting for me.....I just got accepted to be one of the speakers at a holistic conference to be held in So. Jordan, Utah the end of June. The organizers invited me to submit a proposal before Christmas and I submitted 3. Two were accepted and the one on fermentation will be repeated twice. Check it out Click on speakers.

The organizer who contacted me learned about my work with food microbes from the REAL FOODS MARKET here in Orem where I have been giving seminars on food fermentation. I don't know any of the other speakers, so if anyone I know out there knows any of those other people, please email me or comment here and tell me what you know. I hope a few people I know go to this conference.

I will get a venders booth also where I can sell strainer cloths, prill crystals (for high ph water), sourdough starter, kombucha starter, ghee, maybe kefir pearls and give out samples of our new no-sugar chocolate bar . Registration opens March 1.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jelled Cranberry and Apple Salad

This recipe is my favorite fall/winter salad. I put one together at Thanksgiving and thereafter about every two weeks. It serves the purpose of supplying my fresh fruit and vegetable servings during the cold time when I make and eat mostly soups and stews. For some reason, I hate getting my hands wet too much when it gets cold like I have to do when making leafy vegetable salads in the warmer months. I can make this as sweet or tart as I want and it is a pretty color. It really is a good compliment to the winter time hot soups and stews.

1 packet of plain gelatin sprinkled over
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 package of cranberries (after the holidays fresh ones are scarce so I buy frozen)
1 carrot peeled
1 tart apple
1 stalk celery
1/4 part of a sweet onion
1 grapefruit
some fresh blueberries if possible
handful of pecans
1 small can crushed pineapple ( reserve the juice from this can....use canned cause fresh pineapple doesn't let the gelatin set up)
1 cup pineapple juice to boil
1/2 cup naturally cultured sour cream ( I use my own filtered goat milk cheese)
1-2 tsp sweetleaf stevia or 1/3 cup agave or honey to sweeten
1 or 2 drops grapefruit essential oil

You can chop all the ingredients or use a food processor but I use my blender. I put the 1 cup pineapple juice in the blender and then add the fruits and vegetables a few at a time and blend.
I like some chewing texture so I don't blend too much, then I strain the mixture, put the juice right back into the blender and process the rest of the fruits and veggies. When all is done, ( I do save out the celery and chop that) I measure the 1 cup of juice and boil that to mix with the softened gelatin to dissolve. There is usually another cup of juice left over and that I love to drink as is. Mix everything together and place in cold storage to set up, in a flat bowl like a 9x9 glass baking dish or something. It keeps for many days in the fridge. It's great to take with lunch or have with dinner and sometimes I eat it with my egg breakfast.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sourdough Bread Pudding

Hey, I discovered something is possible to make bread pudding out of sourdough bread.
In one of my earliest blogs the one about the process of making soudough bread, I described how to knead 1 tsp. baking soda into the bread to take the "sourness" out of the bread if it is too strong. That information comes from Sally Fallon in "Nourishing Traditions" and is a very good trick. Most times when I make my bread I remember, but last weekend I forgot. I tasted that bread and it really was too sour. I didn't want to throw the 4 mini-loaves I made away but the problem was what to do with them. Afte a couple days pondering, I decided that if soda sweetens the bread before baking, maybe it will sweeten it after.

I cut this little loaf up into cubes and added about 1 1/2 cups water with 2 tsps baking soda to it and let the bread soak. I call this a "soda bath". It really reacted by bubbling up. The bread cubes floated on top of the water so I kept stirring and pushing them down. I was surprised the cubes didn't fall apart but for the most part kept their cube shapes. After about 2 hours I tasted the cubes and they were not sour! I drained the cubes and set about to make a sweet egg custard to bake them in. I didn't write this down at the time cause I was sure it wouldn't turn out so the amounts are approximate.....the idea is what's important.

My little loaf made about 2 cups of cubes
2 eggs beaten
2/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp Real Salt
1 1/2 cups milk ( I used old, raw milk that hubby wouldn't drink)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
handfull of raisins
coconut oil for greasing the baking dish

Combine all and bake uncovered at 325 for 45 minutes or more if needed. Nuts can be added.

I warmed some of this up this morning with some cream for breakfast and it was very good and gave me enough energy to last until my prep period. I keep it in the fridge with a lid. The "soda bath" did neutralize the sourness. Yea!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Seminars upcoming this Spring

Real Foods Market in Orem is gracious enought to have me again teach a couple seminars in their store on 800 North in Orem this spring. The first Fermenting seminar is Sat. Feb. 19 at 1:00pm. It will be like the ones I did in 2010. I will decant Komcucha and everyone will get a starter, I will bring 3 vegetable ferments and everyone will get tastes, I will bring my own sourdough spelt bread with ghee and everyone will get tastes, I will bring some sourdough starters for sale, I will bring my pumpkin seed ferment as a nut butter and of course everyone gets to taste that too and I will bring some either multigrain mini-muffins or fermented cake. I will teach how to separate whey from yogurt to get the living lacto-bacillus and have some 11x14" poyester strainer clothes for sale. I will also bring a few Precious Prill bags for sale; these magnesium crystals turn tap water into pure, high alkaline water good for lacto-bacillus. It's always hard to pack so much into an hour and half and still have time for comments and questions but we manage to do it and have fun in the process. The cost for these seminars is $10 per person and it is so worth it.

The second seminar will be in Heber at the Real Foods Market up there on Satuday, March 29. Seminar same as above.

The Third seminar is Sat. April 23. And this one will be a little different. I may be partnering up with Michelle and we will teach how and why to use alternative grains. We will discuss the importance of soaking grains and what that can do to boost nutrition. I will discuss the difference between hybridizing and GMO and what that difference means in terms of nutrition. Wheat sensitivies will be discussed with recipes shared using alternative grains. Food storage with alternative grains will also be discussed. Of course samples will be part of this seminar too. Sally Fallon's article "Be Kind to Your Grains" is the inspiration for this very practical seminar. This one will also have a $10 fee.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Chocolate and Stevia and other goodies

Holidays were great! Most of my gifts were food related; some new items I've cooked up and cooking equipment. My friends and family are very indulgent with me and know they are getting some weird but practical stuff and I do appreciate them for humoring me these many years. But one item that I am still working on and perhaps will market is a chocolate sweet made with stevia. Nothing to do with fermenting, but really a good idea worth investigating. I have a brother-in-law with diabetes and some friends and they love sweets but cannot partake, so to provide something they can eat and enjoy I embarked a few weeks ago on this task of putting chocolate and stevia together. One of my trials was pretty good, not great and I made a few chocolate pieces for my brother-in-law. But haven't heard back from him on it. I'll assume that the flavors were too strong and he didn't like it that much.

It is a sizable task. I now have 10 trials and I'm close but not there yet. Trouble is, both unsweetened chocolate and stevia have very strong flavors by themselves and putting them together is like putting two strong personalities in the same group. Which one will win out? Stevia has an aftertaste that is very strong when using the amounts I've been using in order to get the chocolate to taste sweet enough. I've been using various "extender" ingredients with varying success. I've also been learning how to "temper" chocolate which is an art of itself and adding different ingredients alters the "tempering". It is a challenge and I would share more of the ingredients and process here, but like I said, if I can get it right, I would like to market this. Sadly, there are a lot of diabetics in our culture and I think this would be a great thing for them especially as the lack of side effects from stevia sweetening are so promising. I really am just beginning this adventure and don't know much about chocolate or stevia or where it will lead but I like a good kitchen challenge....HEALTHY kitchen challenge.

Another item I have been working on is an energy cake. Yes, all cakes are "energy" cakes because they are nothing but starch, sugar and fat which are classic energy sources but the one I have invented is really healthy too. I don't use the classic cake ingredients; wheat flour, hydrogenated vegetable oils, or white sugar. My recipe does not use regular flour from hybridized wheat, or corn or soy or peanuts or sunflower seeds. Which are all cheap but not good for all, or some of the blood types.

There are many "energy bars" on the market and some of them are processed in a way, and using ingredients that can claim the "RAW" distinction. That is all well and good but mine are different in that the grains and seeds I use are soaked at least 8 hours or more and then baked. So, mine can't claim a place in the RAW market, nonetheless, they are very tasty using high quality ingredients which are neutral for all blood types. I guess that is my distinction; high quality ingredients and neutral or beneficial for all blood types. They provide high energy and high nutrition. I have given many batches of these little cakes away and many more are in my freezer. The feedback I get from these are very favorable. Again, I apologize for not giving the recipe for this as this might also be a product worth marketing. I think it a good item for food storage as well if I can figure out how to package them correctly.

The other thing I have been working on is a grain, legume and seed combination that cooks up into a complete plant protein source compliant for each of the 4 blood types. (I am again thinking of food storage) The question for me was, what can be stored a long time, cooked up simply yet provide high nutrition for us non-vegetarians? Vegetarians have been "combining" for a long time but my concern was for us Os and Bs who really thrive on red meat and very little grain and legumes. I have some red meat stored as canned, dried and frozen but what happens when the meat runs out in a time of economic or natural disaster....what do Os do? I researched the grains, seeds and legumes that were at leat neutral or better for Os and came up with a combination that answers my question and still tastes really good and for me upon eating it clinched the idea was it doesn't constipate me. Yea! I call it Plant Protein Pilaf.

The greatest difference between blood types in what they eat have to do with proteins. Os and Bs can digest red meat easily because of intestinal alkaline phosphotase which we produce in abundance and As do not. As need protein and can get it from fish,(also good for Os and Bs)poultry and plant proteins. Plant proteins are very blood type specific. As have a very wide and long list of agreeable grains and legumes to choose from, Os do not. The O list of agreeable legumes and grains is short but Bs even shorter. The physical test is alsways "gassing". If you eat a legume and it makes you gas up, you know it was wrong for your digestive system and it will be expelled as fast as your body can get rid of it. If there is no gassing, then that legume was agreeable to your system and will stay in you long enough to get the nutrition out of it.

Quarts of this dry combination were part of my Christmas gifts this year as well. I have made up Plant Protein Pilaf combinations for O, B, A, AB blood types as well as those tricky combinations for married couples like....O+B, O+A which are the most common. So far, the feedback has been good. People like it. IF they follow the directions which include 8 hours or more of soaking before cooking.