For the Love of Bread


In our family, we’ve had to deal with food sensitivities to eggs, dairy, gluten, and all other sorts of fun things.  Thankfully, we’ve been able to work through most of these through long-term healing diets and overall dietary changes and by keeping as much processed foods out of our diets as possible.  The last remaining sensitivity is gluten.  My daughter and I have been gluten free for a long time and recently started testing out using ancient grains to see if we can tolerate the gluten content in those grains.  So far, so good!

The thing we really missed is a good bread.  Gluten free breads really aren’t very nourishing.  Often, they’re made with high glycemic flours that equate to eating a bowl full of sugar…not exactly the best alternative!  Even when they’re homemade, they use a lot of starches to create a bread that is similar to the favorite conventional white bread.

Einkorn is our grain of choice to reintroduce gluten.  We’ve been culturing einkorn sourdough.  I was very excited to purchase a grain grinder recently so we can have a truly nutritious, fresh ground whole grain flour.  I’m loving working with the fresh ground flour and knowing I’m feeding my family the most nutritious food available.

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Happy Sourdough Starter

Here’s my happy little bubbly sourdough starter.  It takes about a week to nourish a true, healthy starter and I think she loves our house because we keep the wood stove going all winter long!  I feed the starter every 12 hours or so, throwing in about 3/8 c. einkorn flour and 1/4 c. water.  If I don’t have a need to build it, before each feeding, I dump off half so I’m not feeding so much, however we use it to make sourdough pancakes, bread, and all sorts of goodies, so I’m often building a larger starter batch.  It smells so fresh and good!  Mmmmm.

When grinding grains, it’s best to measure by weight for recipes instead of by cup because fresh ground grain is often fluffier than store-bought flour.  If I have extra flour, I just store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  This whole grain flour contains lots of fiber from the bran, as well as the healthy oils that grains naturally contain, and it’s naturally low-glycemic compared to white flours.  Store-bought flour also has to be specially processed to treat the oils because they go rancid very quickly (not healthy at all!)

I use a very easy no knead method of making sourdough bread with Einkorn.  This grain makes a very sticky dough, so the less you can touch it, the better!  Using the right tools is also really helpful!

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Shaggy Sourdough Ball

I weigh out 720g of flour, stir in about 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 c. starter, and 2 c. of warm water.  I just roughly mix these ingredients together using my favorite danish dough wisk, cover it with plastic wrap (so the top of the dough doesn’t dry and get a “crusty” layer on top), and let it sit and sour for about 8-12 hours until it’s risen some.  A true sourdough probably won’t double in size…mine usually grows by 2/3 or so.  Einkorn dough looks far more “golden” in color than traditional wheat.

After the dough rises, I liberally flour the counter and dump the dough out onto the floured surface.  A handy trick I’ve learned that really helps the sourdough action is to then sprinkle a tsp. of baking soda onto the dough.  Fold the dough over (with liberally floured hands) about 20 times or so to mix in the baking soda, adding more flour as needed.  The less folds, the better, but do thoroughly mix in the baking soda.  Wrap the dough in a floured linen couche (the stick dough doesn’t stick to this genius linen cloth!) and let rest for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. and put your dutch oven into the oven to preheat as well.  After approximately 30 minutes, pull the dutch oven out, flour the bottom and plunk in your rested sourdough.  If desired, put slits in the top of your dough to give it a break point while it rises during baking.  Reduce the heat of the oven down to 425 degrees F.  Bake the loaf for 45min – 1 hour (longer for high elevations) or until the loaf is a dark golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.  For a softer crust, wrap the loaf in a tea towel while it cools on a rack, but if your family prefers a crustier loaf, don’t wrap it.

The souring of the dough pre-digests the grains for you making them more nourishing to the body, not to mention that this bread tastes AMAZING!  It’s really simple to make and really doesn’t take much hands-on time…just a little planning ahead.  It’s soft and chewy and gives you all the nutrients of the whole grain.  Let me know if you try it out…and if you’re in the area…I’ve got plenty of starter to share so swing in for some toast and tea and starter to take home!

♥ Trish

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Edible Cookie Dough


This recipe is from Cookie DO, a new place in New York City that is BOOMING.  ~ If only I lived closer!  I have made this several times and it is DELICIOUS!  Be warned it is DANGEROUS, you may not be able to stop eating it!

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PHOTO CREDIT: Cookie Do NYC

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  •  1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Mix flour and salt.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugars until no lumps are left.  Mix in the milk and  then vanilla.  Slowly add the flour mixture and stir.  (It should be light and fluffy. ) Fold in the chocolate chips.

* Note from KARE: I used hormone free butter and milk, organic sugars, Enjoy mini chocolate chips, sea salt, organic pure vanilla and Wheat Montana flour. From my experience you do not want to use the “dip-level-pour” method for the flour.  Just scoop the flour out of the bag or the dough will be too buttery and greasy.  Also, it doesn’t work so well with large grain raw sugar.

You are going to really like this one!

 

 

Juice or Smoothie?


Several years ago I was introduced to green smoothies.  I thoroughly enjoy them!  Especially in the hot summer months.  What could be a more delicious healthy option than a creamy fruit smoothie with nutritious greens blended in?  My favorite is almond or coconut milk with mixed frozen berries and a vanilla nutritional powder I found.

I’ve also heard a lot about juicing.  My uneducated thoughts were that it was a waste of fiber and my body needed fiber, so smoothies are better because you have the entire fruit.  But then I did some research.  Here is what I found:

The reason people juice is so they can get the most nutrition out of multiple fruit and vegetables in one drink without getting full, all while giving the digestive system a rest. It’s a great way to cleanse your body, to train your palette and to be energized.  It’s also an outstanding way to lose weight, as a side benefit.  Years ago I watched the movie “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”, which originally planted the thought in my mind – very subliminally.

 

Last year I found out that we have a “Juice Bar” right in our little town.  Twice during the summer I did a 3-day juice cleanse from them.  I’ve also noticed the weight creeping up since I turned (ahem) the age I am… =)  and I am pretty disgusted about it.  In January 2017 I started a facebook group called New Dimensions where we are encouraging each other to lose weight, get fit, what-have-you and after 3 weeks, I decided I was going to do the research on juicing and what I found led me to decide to take the plunge!

Since I am a researcher, I researched the different types of juicers.  They have presses, masticating juicers and centrifugal juicers.  Each has advantages and disadvantages and they range anywhere from $50 or so, to thousands of dollars.  I talked to several of my friends and ended up purchasing the Omega 8006 Juicer.  Here’s why.  I plan to continue juicing for years and this one has a 15 year warranty.  Most of the others were 1 year.  It’s also a masticating juicer (sometimes referred to as a low speed juicer). The Omega 8006 processes at 80 rpm, whereas most other juicers process at a speed of 1,650 to 15,000 rpm. The low speed protects and maintains healthy enzymes, prevents oxidation and allows juice to be stored up to 72 hours without degradation. It is versatile enough to extract the maximum amount of juice from fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, even wheatgrass! (centrifugal juicers can not do greens and grass)  And you can also use this to turn nuts into nut butters (an all-natural peanut butter), make baby food from natural, fresh ingredients, whip up soy milk, extrude pasta, grind coffee and spices, and mince herbs and garlic.

I started juicing in early February and I LOVE it!  After a couple of days just guessing with combinations, I decided to use Joe’s 30 day Classic Reboot (from Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead).  The first 5 days are transitioning from food to juice so you don’t jolt your body.  His recipes are delicious and so easy!

If anyone would like to join us on our facebook group, we would love it!  You can share your experiences, ask questions or just have a friendly group of people to help hold you accountable.

Olive Oil from Israel


I am SO excited!  I just placed my first order for olive oil from Galilee Green.

I had a dear friend recommend it to me.  She has been using it and loves it.  They have an automatic shipment that comes every 90 days right to your door.  I know the value of a quality olive oil, so rather than risk getting diluted oil at the store, I am ordering this.

This is from their website:

Enjoy our Premium Boutique Olive Oil

canOur Galilee Green Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil is among the finest you can find anywhere in the world. The olives are lovingly harvested from Olive Groves in Northern Israel.

It’s a mild blend of Barnea, Coratina and Koroneiki varieties. Each of these varieties are grown and harvested here in the Galilee and nurtured by the waters of the Jordan River. It’s very smooth and mild when you taste it with just a bit of a tang a few seconds later. You’ll love its delicate fragrance.

chatam soferYou can trust you’ll be getting 100% pure Olive Oil, and it is certified kosher under the supervision of Rabbi Shlomo Didi of local Kinneret-Emek HaYarden Rabbinic Council as well as Chatam Sofer of Bnei Brak. It is supervised Kosher which means that the olives are only picked from trees that are over three years old and all Biblical tithes are taken.  The olives are  brought directly to the olive press the same day. As part of the Kosher supervision, the machines are washed and cleaned before our oil is cold pressed.

And here is a video about how the oil is made:

What type of oil do you use?  Do you have a favorite olive oil?  Share with us in the comments!

 

 

Oatmeal, it’s what’s for breakfast


I have to admit, oatmeal used to be one of my least favorite breakfasts – unless it was maple oatmeal from a packet.  But I have learned to really like it a lot!  It is just SOOO healthy!

This is the way I have been eating it nearly every morning.

 

The one at the top right is mine.  It is raw steel-cut oat flakes topped with organic dried cranberries, raw pumpkin seeds, 4 or 5 apricot seeds, a handful of raw almonds, a large handful of large coconut flakes, a small handful of ENJOY LIFE mini chocolate chips (they are gluten free, dairy free, nut free and soy free!), 1/2 banana sliced, a sprinkle of chia seeds, a pinch of bee pollen, frozen blueberries, a drizzle of unsulphured organic molasses and a spoonful of raw honey.  Then I top it with milk.  YUM.

My husband has started to eat it every morning too!  It just does a body good, ya know?  His is on the left.  He eats the same type of oats, bananas, coconut flakes and chia seeds, but he varies his with raisins and pecans instead of all my other stuff.  He likes his sprinkled with raw organic sugar and topped with milk.

I like to have grapefruit also.  First.  Grapefruit first…before the sweet breakfast.  If you have ever tried it the other way around, you know why I am emphasizing that.  =)

My grandmother, who lived to be 98 years young, ate oatmeal with raisins for breakfast every single day for the last several years of her life.  She loved it.  I believe it is part of the reason she lived so long.  And she was healthy and mentally alert right up until the end!

I have to admit.  I don’t eat them every single day.  Sometimes I have french toast, an omelet, waffles, pancakes or on festive days maybe a cinnamon roll… but *most* days, it is this healthy, delicious oatmeal.

Why eat oatmeal for breakfast?

Here’s a quote from Healthy Eating that pretty much sums it up.

Steel cut oats differ from old-fashioned, rolled oats in only one way: Steel cut oats are not rolled flat into flakes. Instead, the whole toasted oat grain, or groat, that is used to produce rolled oats is cut into thirds to yield steel cut oats. Steel cut oats — also called Scotch, Irish or Pinhead oats — are nearly identical to old-fashioned, rolled oats in nutrition. Regularly eating steel cut oats gives you the same health benefits as rolled oats, says Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N. A diet that includes oats may decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

If you want more details, just click here and head over to their page to read more about it.  In summary, eating oats contributes to a longer, healthier life.

DISCLAIMER:  The link in this post to the ENJOY LIFE mini chocolate chips takes you to my Amazon store.  They will pay me a tiny commission for sending you over to them to buy it.

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