Tag Archive | food

Ginger Bug

Alright, last post for today. I’m terrible at keeping up with my blog. Sorry for that. 🙂

Another experiment in cultured foods that I am currently working on is a ginger bug. I had seen a couple posts on other blogs for creating a ginger bug to use for making homemade healthy sodas, and thought this could be fun! The recipe I decided to use is from Holistic Squid and her post How to Make a Ginger Bug.

The sugar I’m using in it is an organic turbinado that we already had, and so far, it seems to be working well. I started this on Sunday, and already, its starting to get bubbly and build pressure inside. I’m feeding it once a day, but checking the pressure a couple times a day. Her recipe says to put a tight lid on it, but others say to cover with cheese cloth or a coffee filter and allow it to breathe. I don’t know which is right (if there is a right or wrong), but I’m going with the tight lid.

When I opened the lid this morning to feed it, this is what I got:

Day 3 of my Ginger Bug

Day 3 of my Ginger Bug

Nice and bubbly. I’m guessing since my kitchen is more on the warm side, I won’t have to wait a full week. But I do need to get some proper bottles or decide if I’m just going to bottle the sodas in mason jars. And I’ll have to decide what flavors of soda I’d like to make.

I’m considering trying this Cultured Strawberry Soda, since I have some organic strawberries I need to use up from the farmer’s market we went to last Saturday. But I’ll have to make that soon, because those babies aren’t going to last long. This Apple Ginger Soda also looks good, but I’ll have to grab more apples to make that.

I’m still a little paranoid about this whole cultured foods thing, so I keep smelling everything to make sure it doesn’t smell good. Let me just say, this ginger bug smells GOOD!

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Sourdough Bread

I’ve always wanted to learn how to bake bread. But I never got around to it before learning how bad wheat is for us. I am trying not to eat a lot, if any, bread, but I can’t force my significant other into eating the same way that I do. So I was thinking, what changes could I make that would increase the healthiness of his bread?

In reading through Nourished Traditions, it talks about the importance of properly soaking, sprouting, or fermenting for bread products. So I decided to learn about that and experiment with it. I haven’t gotten to the point of soaking or sprouting or grinding the grains into flour myself (and I do realize that it is important for the grains to be freshly ground) as of yet, but I did want to start playing with the process of making sourdough. To start off, I ordered a sourdough starter from Cultures for Health. They have a good variety of sourdough starters, and I chose to go with the San Francisco starter.

Since I’m not sure whether this is something I’ll keep up with, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on fancy flours, so I went with a plain, unbleached, organic all purpose flour found at my local grocery store. After about a week of feeding the starter regularly with flour and water, I was ready to bake my first loaf of sourdough bread.

The recipe I used comes from the ebook Lacto-Fermentation by GNOWFGLINS. The recipe is for Honey Whole Wheat, but the flour I used was not whole wheat flour recommended. I basically wanted to stick with the ingredients I already had, so that I didn’t have to spend a lot of extra money. The whole process ended up to be quite easy, though it does take some planning, since you have to leave time for the dough to rise and all that fun stuff. But this was the end result we ended up with:

Sourdough Loaf

Sourdough Loaf

It ended up quite tasty, and we were able to make fabulous bacon grilled cheese sandwiches on it. I have yet to make my next batch of bread, but will be trying that again soon. Its also quite tasty with some raw honey spread on it.

Here’s how it looks as a bacon grilled cheese sandwich. Delicious!

Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I would like to try making a sourdough bread using einkorn flour, as that is supposed to be a more ancient form of wheat, but want to get my process down a little more before attempting with a much more expensive form of flour. And if I can do this well, then getting a grain mill and making freshly ground flour will be in my future.

Cultured Applesauce

I’ve been reading a lot and trying to learn more about the fabulous world of traditional foods, especially the cultured/fermented foods. I’m trying to incorporate a variety of these cultured/fermented foods into my diet, to get a good variety of the healthy bacterias into my system.

One of my favorites, and the easiest and quickest by far, has been a cultured applesauce. This was the first one I tried, because it seemed like it would be the easiest food on a palate that is NOT accustomed to eating these types of foods. I’ve never, in my life, even tried a sauerkraut, properly cultured or not, so I feel a little timid about whether I can get used to the taste of that type of food. So applesauce it was. I got my recipe from this post by Real Food Forager for Cultured Applesauce.

Rather than using whey for the starter, I’ve been using this culture starter from Body Ecology. Find it here. In my warm kitchen (ranging anywhere between 70-80 degrees) , I only need to let it sit for about a day before putting it in the fridge, and this is what I end up with:

Cultured Applesauce

Cultured Applesauce

 

Yum! I’ve made this twice so far, and it is delicious! Apparently, it should stay fresh in the refrigerator for at least a few weeks, but one jar only lasts me about a week, eating it by myself.

Primal/Paleo Thoughts

I’ve been doing my best to stick as closely as I can to a primal/paleo way of eating. I’ve had a couple backslides, but have been doing pretty well with it. The key, so far, is to make sure that I have groceries in the house, of course. And even if I do, but find that I do not feel like cooking, I try to make sure I choose someplace to eat that has a higher chance of keeping me at least gluten-free and sugar-free.

I ordered a mixed package of grass-fed beef from Hat Creek Grown in Northern California and am loving their meat so far. We’ve made a few things – a chuck roast, NY steaks, and ground beef dishes. Right now, I have the cross rib roast in the crockpot. I’m a huge fan of roast-type dishes, because they are super easy and require little supervision on my part. Cooking is not really my forte, and not something I am very comfortable with.

In between beef dishes, I’m making meals using conventional pork and either conventional or organic chicken. Mixing in the conventional products helps me to bring my costs down for now, which is helpful.

Another site that I am loving is PaleoTrack.com, which is awesome for nutrition tracking. While the food database *could* be better, I find it suitable, and I especially love that it gives you the Omega 6 to Omega 3 breakdowns. I do find that eating REAL foods, I have to pay attention to how much I am eating and make sure that I am eating enough – enough protein, enough fat. If I don’t pay attention to that, then the amount I eat drops especially low and I do not need to be losing any weight right now.

I finished reading The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson the other day. That was a very good read. It gave me lots to think about when choosing my foods, and it was especially interesting to read the sections describing how our bodies react to the gluten and sugars, what that does to our insulin levels, etc. I liked the workout sections a lot too.

While I’ve never been one for working out or physical activity in general, I’ve been trying to work hard at incorporating that into my lifestyle. I had started doing modified push ups against a wall a few weeks ago, and am getting close to being able to do 50 at a time. So almost time to move on to the next type of modified push ups, which I believe is the girly version. 🙂  I’ve also been working on squats, which is not so easy, but I can do maybe 15 at a time. And we put a pull up bar in the doorway to our hallway, and I can do about 3 chin ups and 0 actual pull ups.  But I am working on it. Eventually I will be able to do ONE whole pull up. 😀