Thursday, June 26, 2014

Classes in July and August

     I will be teaching classes on fermenting;  July 15th at 6:30 at the Herb Shop on State Street (89) in Orem just a couple blocks south of Center Street.  The shop is on the west side of State Street.  No fee.  It will be about 1 1/2 hrs and I will have  kefir, kombucha and sourdough starts to sell as well as my dairy strainer cloths and some air lock lids and Prills.  

     The August class will be at my house on the 7th at 7.   727 N. 450 East in Orem.  I will be teaching all things fermenting with focus on fermented vegetables for the harvest season.  But I will talk about the benefits of pulse based diet and sourdough as well.  No fee.

     Class at the Herb Shop was great!   Thanks for coming any of you that came because of this blog, thank you!   I was a bit overwhelmed with so many, and I think Susan and Dustin were too.  I only expected 20 at the most, but it was great to see so many.  I didn't bring back much food, that was a good thing, nor my print-outs.   I sold out of just about everything, especially kefir grains and it will take a couple weeks to build my supply back up.  Great questions and thank you for being so patient with me and answers.  Looks like a lot of people will be getting started with fermented foods which makes me happy.  

     Next class will be at my house, Thurs. Aug. 7 at 7.   Please come if you could not make this week's class.  No fee again just bring a lot of questions and willingness to try new foods and new tastes.     

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My New Peddle Grain Grinder

      I love my Wondermill Jr. grain grinder.  I've had it on my kitchen counter for a couple years.  I bought it through Emergency Essentials a few years ago and put it in storage, but when I began developing my recipes for sourdough bread I took it out of storage and attached it to my kitchen counter.  It works great.  I highly recommend it.  Mine cost about  $215.  It came with a pair of stone grinders for grain and a pair of steel grinders for nuts and seeds.  The steel ones are great for hard, small beans which I have been using for pulse recipes.  Don't use the stone grinders for crushing the split peas and beans...they will wear out the stones too soon.  

           My husband recently adapted it to a stationary bicycle so now I can peddle my grain into flour and not hand and arm grind it.  Although, I didn't mind the hand/arm was a good upper body work out, but he had concerns that when we need to leave and live in tents, that a stable counter would be hard to find so he thought of attaching it to an exercise bike. 

     If you notice, the seat and handle bars are not positioned on the bike frame the way they are supposed to be; they are switched.  This solved a problem when he thought he was finished and I tried it out but the auger inside the grinder was going backwards not pushing the grain forward into the stones.  We laughed about it and he thought he had to take it all apart to put the grinder on the left side of front not the right side.  I suggested switching the handle bars and seat and it works which saved him the work of making new plate and putting grinder on left side where it should have been.  So, now I peddle grind backwards without seeing the grinder.  Still works. 

      He had to buy a couple used bikes at thrift stores to get the 2, 48 teeth sprockets and 1, 38 teeth sprocket 2 chains to make this work.  He can do metal cutting and welding which is really handy for projects like this.  Finding a small table or chair to put the catch bowl on will be easy enough.  The grinding goes much quicker with leg power, than arm and back power.  
This doesn't work.

My husband has since modified this machine to work better.  In the picture above, the grain grinder is behind seat.  We switched out the handle bars and seat so the auger in the grinder would rotate the right direction was not easy to grind.  The peddles for the bike have to be right under the seat otherwise your legs are stretching to far forward and it was very awkward.  So he reattached the grinder to the left of handle bars proper place and now seat is above the peddles where it should be and it works!  I can now grind a cup of hard wheat in 10 minutes where before by hand it took 20.  As my legs get used to the action, I will get quicker.  Another modification is straps to the peddles to keep my feet on them.  We will have this machine at the Liston's Pot Luck Dinner July 21.   

One thing I forgot to mention is the need to purchase Wondermill's "adaptor" that fits the auger inside the grinder.  This "adapter" is welded to  one of the 48 teeth bicycle sprockets so it can be run by a chain.  The "adapter" from the company is for a power drill, but Perry knew a belt would not work and a chain would work better.  You need to get the "adapter" and weld it to the sprocket.  

This picture is the latest update and now it is perfect.  Peddles are underneath the seat where they should be for better action, the mill is on the left side of handle bars and stabilized with 2 steel rods and the peddles have toe holds to hold your feet to the peddle otherwise the hesitations bounce your feet off and that slows down the action.  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Bone Broth Stock

     I make bone broth stock.  Pictured is a lovely blue/green enameled stock pot which I was lucky enough to see at "Tuesday Morning" discount store.   Isn't it a beauty?  Making bone broth stock is not beautiful so a beautiful pot helps.  It's rather disgusting really, but once you get past that, the results are wonderful and so nutritious. 

 This picture is the second day of this batch and I just added  some vegetables, garlic and bay leaf to beef bones.  With beef bones, I cook the bones on warm or low setting on my electric stove for 3 days.....round the clock. Some use a crock pot...good if you can find one big enough and that cooks low enough. 

 I want all the minerals and nutrition out of those bones and the tissues hanging onto them that I can get.  You see, that bone broth is used to cook up my pulses.  Homemade broths add extra nutrition and flavor that can't be duplicated.   

Bone broth is big on the GAPS diet for those trying to kill off candida yeast overgrowth.  You have to starve those yeasts by not eating any starchy foods or sugar for about 3 months.  You may eat meat, bone broth, cultured raw milk products, vegetable soups and stews made with bone broths and vegetable ferments.  From what I hear, it works really well! 

You can use chicken bones, or lamb, or elk, buffalo, beef, turkey and fish. Here in the West, we do not have a big choice of fish so it is the land animals and fowls that are available for us. 

You can find lots of good information about the benefits of bone broth on the internet and you can search where to get good quality bones in this area.  I will mention one farm I use;  Christensen Family Farms in Vernon, Utah.   They have pig and goats on their farm that are "pastured" and they can bring the meat, lard and bones here along the Wasatch front when you purchase them on their online site.    Real Foods Market sells beef bones that I like, I don't know about chicken bones. This process is becoming really popular so there are sure to be other stores now that offer animal bones.   

Easter Sunday this year, my sister invited the whole family to her home for the Easter meal and she and husband grilled up about 30 lamb chops.  I did not let anyone throw the bones away.  I collected them all and over the next 3 days made 3 quarts of the most delicious lamb bone broth.  I bottled the broth and stuck them downstairs in storage.  

Bone Broth Basic Recipe:

3-5 pounds bones, with connecting tissue, some meat and fat.  Large bones like joints and knuckles should be cut up at the processing plant.  Grass-fed animal bones are best.
Water; lots of it, enough to cover the bones by an inch a stock pot with a lid and big enough to hold it all. 
Vinegar;  about 1/3 to 1/2 cup vinegar.  Can be apple cider or regular.  It is needed to help or pull 
or leach the minerals from the bones.

The second day, you can add  2 carrots cut up, not necessary to peel, 3 stalks of celery with leaves, 1/2 large onion cut up, 4-5 cloves of garlic and 2-3 whole bay leaves.  All of this will be tossed out when broth is finished as it won't have any flavor.  

Begin by roasting the bones in a pan at about 400-375 degrees for 1 hour or more.  This helps to render some of the fat that you can keep or throw away and provide some flavor for the stock.  When bones are cooled down, add them to your stock pot with the right amount of water and bring the water and bones to boiling. 

 Reduce heat to simmer, warm or low, place lid and continue to cook low and slow for 24 hours.

 Next day, skim some fat and scrum off the top, add vegetables and continue cooking. 

Third day; skim the top and leave lid off so liquid can evaporate faster.  Take the bones out onto a platter and allow to cool.  Continue low/slow simmer to reduce liquid.  When bones have cooled, look for marrow inside bones.  Scoop it out and reserve for yourself.  It will be dark and hold together and doesn't look like the fat and cartilage. Pick over the bones removing all the disgusting stuff.  Remove the vegetables also.  Cool down the broth, maybe even cold storage for a while so the fat will harden.  Remove the fat and strain the broth.  If the broth has "set up" because of the gelatin, that's good, gelatin is very good but you may warm it up a bit to strain the broth faster.  A stainless steel mesh strainer works. 

I use some old newspaper to dump all the disgusting stuff onto and then fold it up before going into the garbage.  The bones when you are done are not for dogs....there's nothing nutritious left and they will be soft and not good for them, so they get wrapped up in paper too and put in the dumpster.  

Strained broth now gets some salt and is heated up to hot.  About 1 tsp. Real Salt per quart of broth.  I heat up some quart and pint jars and heat the lids in hot water too.  I "heat pack" the broth.  Hot broth in clean hot jars, with clean hot lid tightened down will preserve your broth for several months, even a year or more if you keep it in cold storage.  The nutrition you get from this process can't be duplicated or purchased.  It is worth the effort once in a while.  Be sure to label and date the jars.      

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Fermented Radishes

     Radishes?  I do not like fresh radishes....never have.  I do not like the sharpness, the hotness?  whatever it is, I do not like it.   But....fermented..... they are delightful!
     Look at that color!  isn't that wonderful?  

     I bought a bunch of radishes, just the regular red variety, then I added about 3 white and 3 black radishes.  I cleaned, and sliced them thin and cut in half and loaded one of my liter fermenting bottles  "" and added 1 TBS. Real Salt and chlorine-free water.  6 days later I stuck them in the fridge but opened them the next day for a class and what a surprise! 

 That hot, sharp flavor, that some people do like, had mellowed out and these pickles were wonderful.  They never did make it to the basement.  They are almost gone.  By the way, those white radishes are the most beautiful red fan pattern in the inside.  The black ones are just white but all of them are pink now.  I finally like radishes!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Nutty Winner; Phytic Acid Reduced Nut Mixture

    Nuts are a good, healthy snack and we eat a lot of them.  I used to buy the mixed nuts at Costco, but we quickly grew tired of them.  I examined the ingredients and found a cheap oil; canola oil or some other cheap vegetable oil.    "Industral food" preparation does not remove the natural phytic acid present on all nuts that still have their skins on.  I think it was the phytic acid and canola oil that "put us off" to those Costco nuts.  I also noticed that whatever the cheapest nuts are at the time, are the ones that take dominant percentage of the "mixed nuts" and lately it has been the cashews. Peanuts usually serve as filler but we don't eat peanuts at all.    

I have heard a lot of people say that they can't eat nuts because it makes their mouth pucker or tastes bad or something.  It is the phytic acid that does this.  Remove the phytic acid and many of those sensitive folks would be able to eat nuts again.  

   The book, "Cure Tooth Decay" had some suggestions about how to reduce the phytic acid of grains and nuts and seeds.  I decided to put those suggestions to the test. 

     Soaking is first thing to do to reduce phytic acid from the nuts that still have the skins on. 
  I buy our favorite nuts ( walnuts, pecans, almonds, macadamia and cashew) in bulk and still they are expensive....except cashews right now.    Walnuts, whole almonds and pecans have skins so these are the ones I soak in a large tub with just plain water for 2 days.   I soak all of them together for 2 days then drain (reserve the water for the garden) and lay them out to dry.  I have an electric dehydrator so I fill up the trays and dry overnight.  
      The next phytic acid reducer is roasting.  Heat will reduce the remaining phytic acid.  I found that  nuts spread out on a cookie sheet and roasted at 400 degrees for 7 minutes works perfectly.  Roasting the skinless nuts (macadamia and cashews)  right along with the dried nuts works just fine. Roasting improves the flavor of all the nuts. 
     The hot nuts are dumped into a large container and allowed to cool.  Next I melt some coconut oil, the kind that tastes like coconuts and drizzle over the whole roasted pile and then I sprinkle some Real Salt over the bunch.

     My selection of nuts is based on taste and on the blood type diet lists.  Walnuts and almonds are listed as "highly beneficial" for Os and Bs so they are the ones we use with added neutrals pecans and macs.....cashews are an avoid but they taste good, so I use a few.  No peanuts for Os and Bs. 

     I keep prepared nuts in large, 2 quart glass jars with lids.  These nuts are very satisfying for snacks, travel and lunch bags.  No phytic acid and  real-good-for-you-oil and high mineral salt; a nutty winner!