Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fermenting Class in Orem in May

     I've had some people asking when I am going to teach another fermenting class and because I am not scheduled at Real Foods Market til next fall, I have decided to do another class here in my home in Orem, on Saturday, May 31 at 11:00.

   There is no class fee here at my house, but you may want to buy some starters or a cloth or lids.   It will be 1  1/2 hours and there will be lots of tasting.  Class will cover;  raw milk kefir and cheese making, vegetable fermenting, kombucha, sourdough bread and cooked grains called pulses.  

     Let me know by email or phone at least 3 days before the 31st.

I will inform you of my address when you contact me.  

Pickled Eggs with Fermented Pickle Brine

      I save my fermented vegetable pickle brine and use it as salad dressing, but I accidentally discovered a new use for it;  preserving boiled eggs.  
     Last August, I had some ugly ( fresh eggs don't peel very nicely)  peeled eggs that I couldn't immediately use and in desperation, I dropped them into a quart jar of reserved pickle juice or brine.  This jar got pushed to the back of the fridge and out-of-sight, means out-of-mind so I forgot them until a couple days before Easter, (eight months later) when I was cleaning out the fridge.  
     It was a little scary trying to decide what to do with them.  I was of a mind to just throw them out but.....out of curiosity, I took an egg out of the brine and it felt ok, I smelled it and it smelled ok, so I took a bite and was surprised.  It tasted good, really good.  I had successfully pickled eggs!
     I quick took pictures and then added them to other peeled, hard boiled eggs after Easter for a most delightful egg salad that my husband loved for lunch for several days....served with sourdough bread.
     I chop some onion, some celery, some green bell pepper and mixed in some mayonnaise, powdered mustard, Real Salt and pepper.  The pickled flavor of some of the eggs was really nice.  Oh, I used a little of the fermented pickle juice too.   

Sourdough Multi-grain Bread: Update

          I've made some improvements to my original sourdough bread recipe.  I grind my wheat and spelt flours in my Junior Wondermill , hand grinder that is now attached to my kitchen counter. I shifting my ground flour with a stainless steel strainer to get out some of the rougher parts of bran and germ out.  I am learning that I really don't want all that bran.  First, bran has phytic acid (non-nutrient plant defense) and second, my bowels do just fine without all that bran, in fact too much bran may hurt bowel function. 
      I also use some store bought unbleached, un-enriched wheat flour.  Never thought I'd be using this as it was my enemy for so many years, but the sourdough process makes it usable again without the damage. 
     I also have added some "dough enhancers".  Dough enhancer is usually more gluten but I don't want more gluten.  The enhancers I found do a nice job without adding more gluten.  
     This recipe makes a very nice, unsour, high rising bread that is digestible and tasty, even for those who don't like sour taste.  But, I still am very careful not to overuse bread.  One slice a day is all I consume....anymore than that, and I will put on weight.  I consume other, soaked, cooked grains and pulses and I am careful with those as well.   

1 day before mixing dough....FEED STARTER

Mixing dough next day:
1 cup sourdough start
1 cup water
3.5  to 4 cups  flour; whole spelt, whole wheat and unbleached wheat flour  usually half whole grain and half white.
1.5  tsp. Real Salt
1 TBS  fat   soft butter is good or olive oil  (not coconut oil as it can kill the yeasts)

Enhancers;   1 egg or just the white of 1 egg, 1 TBS ac vinegar or kombucha, 1 tsp. bovine gelatin, 1/4 tsp powdered ginger, 1 tsp. dark molasses.  
I use all of these enhancers. But you can try one or two.

I will also add 2 TBS cracked wheat or spelt, 1 tsp. chia seeds and 1 tsp. flax seeds sometimes.  

Mix all ingredients and form into a soft ball and cover.  Allow to ferment for at least 18-24 hours. 

Baking Day;  4-5 hours before baking, flour the counter, roll out the dough and knead the dough for a few minutes.  It should feel "alive" and elastic.  During  kneading process if you want to reduce the sour taste, sprinkle 1 tsp. baking soda with the flour on the counter and knead it into the dough.  The dough will puff up a bit, but it will return to normal quickly.  Continue kneading for total of 8-10 minuets.  If dough is too "plastic" then it may need a dish or bread pan to form it, but if dough is kinda stiff then you can form it into bowles or balls and bake without pans.  Grease pans if you use them.  Form dough for either and allow dough to rise double in bulk....maybe 4-5 hours.  Because it is so dry in Utah, I put my loaves in the oven with a bowl of hot water on the bottom shelf.  Do not leave oven on "warm" while rising dough. "Warm" is too warm for most ovens and will prematurely kill the yeasts before they finish the loaves.  I've ruined a few batches that way.  

Bake at 400-425 for 20-25 minutes.  I usually have a pan with a cup of hot water in the oven when baking.  

My favorite way to eat a slice of sourdough bread: spread with honey first, maybe that "white" honey, then spread coconut oil over the honey and top it off with a couple slices of raw milk cheddar cheese!  Yum!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"Cure Tooth Decay"

     That's the title of a book that caught my attention several weeks ago when our dentist diagnosed both me and my husband with a problem tooth each.  He wanted us to schedule appointments right then and there to either pull the infected teeth or have root canals done.  
     I convinced my husband that it would be worth our while to try  Ramel Nagel's protocol for a few weeks first and see if we could "re-mineralize" our decayed teeth. 
     I read the book, purchased the recommended supplements of  Factor X Butter Oil and Fermented Cod Liver Oil ( by Green Pastures) and started us both on the protocol to heal our teeth.  That was back in February.  There is a lot more the protocol besides these two supplements. 
     Mr. Nagel, bases his book on his own experiences and research by Dr. Weston A. Price, an early 20th Century Dentist who studied the health and teeth of indigenous peoples in Switzerland, Australia and other out-of-the-way places where the people hadn't been "westernized" yet and still ate their traditional diets.  What he found is that when the people stuck to their traditional diets, their teeth were close to perfect and had no tooth decay.  When they started eating westernized food high in starches and sugar and lacking in natural minerals and vitamins, then they too suffered severe tooth decay. 
     "Cure Tooth Decay" is a strict diet protocol that uses principles of nutrition compatible with the "GAPS" diet and the Weston A. Price Foundation.  You have to eliminate sugar in all it's forms and unfermented, grains as well.  You have to add into your diet, bone broth, raw milk, good fats, organ meats like liver, meats, seafoods, vegetables and some fruit.  This means preparing most of your own meals from scratch/raw ingredients.  It's work.  
     The work part didn't scare me off, I all ready do that....but leaving alone all sweets was harder.  My husband found he could do it, but it was harder for him.  Doing the work of reducing the phytic acid from our grains was difficult too....not impossible but just some more work for me.  All ready making my own sourdough bread, muffins and pancakes was a good start.   

      Remembering to take the oil vitamin (D and A) supplements (Factor X Butter oil and Fermented Cod Liver oil)  before every meal got to be an habit and still is.  The fermented Cod Liver Oil is not as bad tasting as it may sound.  They flavor it up with orange and cinnamon, but really not needed.....wait, maybe for husbands and children. 
     So, how did it work?  Well, I lost my back molar.  Xray picture in February, compared to picture a week ago looked the same, maybe a tad worse.  Decay was still there and my pain and discomfort with the tooth got worse.  I didn't want a root canal (don't have any others) so I elected to have it pulled.  It had a 3 yr old cap on it with large filling under the cap, so there wasn't much of the tooth left...not much tooth to re-mineralize.  The decay had gotten into one of the roots and it was very painful.  It had been traumatized a lot over the years.  
     The pulling of it by an ortho surgeon, was difficult.  It took longer than he predicted and he had to drill and chip it out.  But.....he said later that he didn't expect my jaw bone to be so hard (for a woman my age...68)!  He didn't say that but that was the "jist" of his comment.  So I am thinking that the protocol "worked" for my bones and perhaps my other teeth. He said that if the rest of my bones were as hard as my jaw, then I must be in pretty good shape.  

     My husband, just got his tooth, root "canaled".  Same thing, I believe;  a tooth traumatized over the years, not much left, filling and a cap.  But....he feels like his teeth are stronger.  He has complained for years about his "weak teeth" and now finally he thinks they are really stronger. 

     I wish I had known about this process years ago.  I think I could have avoided a lot of dental work.  If I had children now I would have them on this protocol.  I would recommend it for anyone interested in saving some dental chair time and expense.  We will keep using these supplements and will continue the diet but modified a bit.   

Friday, April 18, 2014

Spontaneous Fermenting Class Tomorrow April 19 at NOON

No Fee, just come if you can.  12 noon Sat. Apr. 19 my house....727 N. 450 East  in Orem.  

Kombucha, Kefir, fermenting Vegetables, Pulses, Bone Broth (no demo, just talk about how good it is to make), sourdough bread and anything else. 

I will schedule another class at my home in May and will announce plenty of time ahead.  I have no more scheduled classes at Real Foods Market this season....maybe in Fall so I will schedule a couple more this summer.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Phytic Acid Robbing your Minerals?

          Phytic acid is a compound found on all grain, beans (legumes), nuts and seeds.  It's found in the bran, the outer coating of these foods.   Phytic acid binds the minerals that are in the food as you eat and digest.  It pulls minerals out of your system and it goes out with the waste.  This was by design, so that the seeds of plants would not be consumed by "eaters" and would grow into a new plant.  It's a plant defense mechanism.
 Eating all that bran is really not good for your health.  If you are taking extra bran for treatment for constipation, it may work for a while, but it will do some harm in the long run. This I personally know.   (Oh, great, another health reverse!)

     There are some ways of getting around this mineral loss without giving up eating grain, legumes, seeds and nuts. Ways in which our ancestors figured out....1.  get rid of the bran, or as much of it as you can.  2.  Soaking the dry food first, in water, just a few hours will reduce some of the phytic acid.  Soaking longer and allowing the grain or legumes to sprout ( at least 2 days or more) reduces phytic acid even further.  This process is also called fermenting. 
 3.  Soaking the dry food in water with other ACIDS is even more effective.  4.  Fermenting bread dough with a natural yeast. (I'll not address this process here as I have 2 or 3 sourdough blogs all ready).  Final cooking also reduces phytic acid. 

     The picture above has 3 liquids that can be added to the soaking water to quicken the reduction of phytic acid.  Pictured on the left is a jar of "soaking water".  Soaking water starts with just plain water in a soak of some rolled oats (very high in phytic acid) for 8 hrs or more. The oats are drained and that water is reserved and used again with another batch of oats or brown rice (also very high in phytic acid). That soaking water is drained and reserved.  Each time some grain is soaked then drained, the reserved liquid is stored in a jar and used again and again. Over time It sours and builds up an enzyme called phytase which reduces phytic acid. Soaking water is sour, very sour which is good for reducing phytic acid, but may not be to your taste.  So after the grain is drained, you add more clean water and cook and it should taste "normal".   If still too sour, add clean water and a pinch of baking soda.  Soda "sweetens". 

 Amounts of soaking water to plain water is something like  1:3.   If preparing cooked oats for one serving,  I would add to 1/3 cup dry oats, 1/3 cup "soaking" water with 2/3 cups plain water and soak over night.  Drain next morning, add clean water and cook.  Pour reserved liquid back into "soaking water" jar.  Use again. 

     Pictured is also a bottle of Bragg's Apple cider vinegar.  You can also use home-made kombucha.  For a single serving of cooked rolled oats,  add 2 TBS vinegar to 1/3 cup dry rolled oats or steel cut oats, plus 2/3 cup plain water and soak 8 hrs or more.  Drain, reserve liquid, add plain water and cook.  If using vinegar, not as much is needed.  Save the reserved liquid in a jar with other "soaking waters" and used again. 

     The last picture is whey.  The liquid I get from my raw milk kefir when I drain that to make a thick kefir cheese.  Use the whey with soaking grains as you would "soaking water".  Ratio 1:3.  To 1/3 cup dry oats or brn rice, add 1/3 cup whey and 2/3 cup plain water.  Soak over night or longer.  Drain and reserve the liquid to use again.  

   I know this is just more work to go through, but it is worth it if you are truly trying to heal from a serious condition.  It's better than giving up grains all together.  Our ancestors figured these processes out the hard way and over time they benefited from the labor and where possible enjoyed robust health. 

     My husband and I are on an adventure trying to re-mineralize (heal) our teeth.  Both of us were diagnosed a month ago, by our dentist, with a tooth each, that needed to be pulled or treated as root canals. We did not make appointments for the root canals, but decided to try to heal our teeth.  
     Ramiel Nagel's book, "Cure Tooth Decay" came into our possession a few months ago and reading it motivated us to try this.  Reducing phytic acid in grains, legumes, nuts and seeds was pointed out as critical to the success of this protocol.  Stopping all sweets, mostly those with sugar and artificial sugars was also critical and too much fruit and juice. 
       Adding foods high in minerals and protein and adding natural doses of oil-soluble vitamins D and A and omegas through fermented cod liver oil and Factor X Butter oil also critical. 
     So far, it is working.  We have occasional pain, but have some natural ways of reducing that.  Decay in both our teeth seem to be gone, as well as inflammation.  In another few weeks we will go back to our Dentist and get examinations.  If this works, I will dedicate a separate blog to this. 

     My interest  and experimentation with Pulses, as a primary food source, made reducing phytic acid very critical.  The experimenting continues.