nutrition

I’ve been feeling the need to update my post on whole wheat sourdough bread, mainly because baking with sourdough is far, far easier than the recipe I left there. And now that I’ve been at it for several years, I’ve also gotten to a nice rotation in juggling multiple sourdough starters. I get most of my starters from Sourdoughs International, and I’ve been very pleased. Each one has a different personality, a different flavor, and even a different scent! Some work really well with heavy whole wheat (such as the Russian or Polish Rye), and others work better for white or wheat/white mixed breads (such as the French or Italian). Some ferment and rise very quickly, within a few hours, and some take all day.

 

I realize that *real* bakers weigh their ingredients, but I’ve really enjoyed just following the recipes in Classic Sourdoughs (also available via Amazon). Furthermore, I really like just eyeballing the flour and water mixture for consistency, and I learned that through the book, too. I almost never use baker’s yeast anymore at all, and when I do, it’s always kind of a bummer I didn’t have my starter ready.

 

I keep all of my starters in the fridge. I’ve kept and rotated four at a time for a while, but I got kind of bored and dehydrated a couple. After a nice long baking sabbatical, I added a Polish Rye to the group, and currently I am keeping and rotating three (one Italian and a French, along with the Rye). At the ready for rehydrating when I’d like are a Russian, another Italian, an Alaskan and a South African. I love having so much variety in my baked goods at home! The nutritional value AND the money savings are bonus!

 

This is how I rotate my starters; all of these pictures were taken on one single morning.

 

When I remove a starter from the fridge, it looks like this. It’s probably been a week or two since I’ve used this starter. The separation is normal. I will pour this entire jar into a ceramic bowl, and then “feed” it with some flour and water. I eyeball both measurements, taking care to keep my flour just less than half of how much starter there is, and then slowly whisking in water until I get that pancake consistency. I love using my Danish dough whisk for this, but I did use a large fork for a long time. I cover the bowl and put it aside. I’ll be feeding it again in the evening (second feeding) and a third time the following morning. That following evening is when I will put a dough of something together, to let it rise overnight.

 

sourdough1

 

This is a bowl of starter I had begun the day before.  All I have to do here is feed it, again just eyeballing it and let it sit until evening. If I forget or choose not to make dough that evening, I simply hold it over until morning for pancakes or waffles or pizza dough or even chocolate cake. YUM. And I really, really, really try not to forget to SAVE STARTER BEFORE MIXING DOUGH. The saved starter (back into a fresh mason jar) gets a little feed and goes back into the fridge until its turn to play is again up.

 

By the way, the best way to not lose starter is to share with friends ;)

 

sourdough2

 

Lastly, I have a bowl of dough mixed from the night before, risen and ready to be scraped out onto the counter to rest for a half hour. Then I put my dough into loaf pans and let it rise until its good and ready to throw into the oven. Depending on the starter, this could be just 2 hours, or 8-10! This happened to be my Polish Rye (a slow riser), and I made a couple of loaves of whole wheat raisin bread. I baked them that afternoon and we had seriously crazy yummo sourdough rye raisin bread to toast for our breakfast the next morning.

 

sourdough3

 

 

I suppose the last photo ought to be the finished bread, crumbs and melted butter on a sweet plate dappled by sunlight. But we ate it all before I bothered to take any photos that would make you drool :)

I don’t really plan ahead what I’m going to bake.  Typically, I just pull out the next starter and consider what kind of breads would be good with that one. Sometimes I just don’t bake anything at all for days. And when I do bake, it’s in small batches. Gone are my days of pulling out half a dozen yeast breads at a time. Sourdough breads are not only delicious, but they are far more filling.

 

Juggling multiple sourdough starters isn’t really difficult. It’s just like anything else, simply a learning curve to get around.

 

Blessings,

{ 2 comments }

Eat Well

August 30, 2013 · 3 comments

eatwell

pastured eggs, kale, chanterelles, red onions, tomato, fig, seaweed

bulletproof coffee on the side

 

It doesn’t much matter that we know we’re eating junk.  Guilt over the half bag of cookies? Check.  Late night snacking? Check.  Dare I say soda-pop? Check.

But, eh, you only live once and a little bit, moderation even, doesn’t hurt.

Except it isn’t true, and neither denial nor sincere belief will alter the biochemistry of what those foods are doing in and to our bodies.

Sometimes we know.  We’re a little stuffy, a bit congested (“Just a cold” we say).  We’re crashing every day at 2pm (time to hit the coffee pot).  We feel a little stiff in our joints in the morning (getting older, I guess).  Now and again we get a little headache, or heartburn, or cranky.

Aren’t you tired of the circus?

Why wait until January 1st?  Why not start the next meal?

I know.  It’s hard.  It’s about impossible.  Your brain will SCREAM at you to EAT.THAT.DOUGHNUT.NOW.  You won’t be able to help putting the bags of chips into the cart.  The produce department looks foreign and did you see the prices of grass-fed anything?

But you could change one thing.  One thing.  Maybe one tablespoon of syrup into your coffee instead of two.  Maybe bake your own cookies instead buying the franken ones from the store.  Maybe skip the jam and eat the whole fruit instead.

Maybe you pay for a pound of grass fed beef now, in exchange for the price you’ll pay otherwise at the pharmacy later.

And then, after a while of making small changes, it happens.

You actually will find kale tasty.  Your eyes will widen at the fresh figs at market.  You’ll see a loaf of bread and your brain will say, “eh”.  Butter will become your best friend and you won’t want soda for even a sip because, well, it plain tastes nasty now.  And there might be plenty of grass-fed, wild, pastured meats on the table.

Right now, every bite you take is making you healthier or sicker.  Every.Bite.

You know there are plenty of websites, books, podcasts.  You might feel lost in all of the information (even conflicting!) out there.  It’s ok.  Try something.  See how your body feels, how it reacts.  Just know that just about anything that smacks of wholesomeness and nutrient-density will make your body scream for a week (or three) like a two year old in a full-blown tantrum.

And you know what happens to toddlers if you just constantly give them what they want.  And you know we end up drugging them later.  Feed tantrums now=temper them with pharmaceuticals later.

Find a buddy to hold you accountable, to commiserate with.  Start (or continue) to blog about your ups and downs.  Journal.  Keep a food log.  Or, how about rip out a magazine picture of some kids and put it on the fridge with a pen marked over it: “FOR MY GRANDCHILDREN”.

Because, don’t you want to play with your grandchildren?  On the grass?  Throwing a ball?  Taking a hike? Swimming with them?

Or do you just want to watch from a walker? Too stiff in the morning to play hide-and-seek? Hacking up mucous at lunchtime?

Do you want to have gorgeous skin? Stand tall?

Or slump over your shoulders into a hunch? And have frown lines dipping to your chest?

Eating well makes for a clear mind, an energetic body, and dare I say, a better outlook on life in general.

You’re going to get older (have you noticed that already?).  How do you want to get there, into even “older”?  And what kind of body do you want to be in?

Start building it today.

{ 3 comments }

Basic Herbs in My Home

November 15, 2012

It’s that time of year when harvest is closed and the dark and cold outside foster rejuvenation of mind and body.  It’s a time to find quiet, catch up on reading, pick up the knitting needles (or scrapbooking…or whatever…) again and take advantage of more hours to sleep.  For me, it’s also a time to […]

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Raising (and Butchering!) Your Own Meat Animals

April 11, 2012
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Ever think about raising and butchering your own meat animals? Join me as I interview my friend Sonja to hear her experiences and advice. Warning: there may be some parts you might get "ick-ed" about!

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Preparing For Baby With Herbs

April 7, 2012

Ok, I think it’s fair to say I’m “officially” nesting now, trying to get the house in order and cleaned up before baby shows up.  And, of course, if Mama is nesting, there’s no rest for the others, is there?  With the dark and dumping rain we had going on outside, I figured it was […]

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Families, Food, and Faith

February 21, 2012

Most moms want their families to eat well, because they recognize wholesome food creates the building blocks for good immune function, amongst other things.  Too many times I think we ascribe the “common cold” (for example) as a matter of germs, when in fact, it could just be an overloaded little (or big) body trying […]

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Healthy, Quick, Easy Schoolday Lunches

September 14, 2011

Update:  Today (Wednesday), we had leftover cabbage slaw (made w/cilantro and homemade mayo), tossed with leftover chicken (our own!) and mozzarella cheese, topped with crunched saltine crackers and onion bits.  It was delish! It is really difficult for me to craft a new lunch every day because, face it, lunch is in the middle of […]

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Pastured Poultry From Your Backyard

June 17, 2011
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In this podcast my husband and I share about how we raised and butchered our own meat hens. We didn't grow up farming, we're not experts, but with help from the internet and a "just do it" attitude, we did it and are so happy with the results. Believe me, if we can do this, you can too.

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Spring Food

May 31, 2011

I can tell you that my second go at this post is going to be a whole lot shorter, what with Blogger losing the first time I wrote this up.  It was a good reminder that everything I do here is as the air that blows by, nothing will keep. What I wanted to share […]

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Homemade Green Mix

March 24, 2011

I was inspired to put together my own family’s green mix after watching one of the homesteading videos in which they did the same. Her mix was far larger than mine (and also I assume way more costly) and I didn’t want to end up with more than we would use within the year, so […]

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Preventing and Healing Dental Cavities

March 8, 2011
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It is very possible to heal dental cavities through the use of nutrition. In fact, decay is caused by a lack of vitamins and minerals in the diet. In this podcast, we'll challenge what *really* causes cavities, and question the current practices of treating them. Get ready to be armed to fight for the health of your family in a whole new way. Long podcast, but lots to ponder!

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Morning Kitchen Chores

February 16, 2011

I spent about an hour in the kitchen yesterday morning. I think I spend about an hour in the kitchen every morning. There’s always something to prepare, something to wash, something to plan. I’m thankful for my roomy kitchen, for electrical appliances, for white dishes and plenty of silverware. Here’s a small taste of what […]

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Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

January 13, 2011

No oil. No yeast. No honey. No extra gluten, vitamin C, or extra white flour. Just bread. Simple bread with whole wheat, water, salt…and starter. I’m very, very happy with my new kitchen passion: whole wheat, sourdough bread. The flavor is amazing. The health benefits are incredible. And the process is slow. Slow, to me, […]

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Fast Food: How to Feed People on the Quick!

January 3, 2011
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Have you ever had meal preparation time delayed? Or last minute unexpected visitors to feed? Listen in as we delve into the challenges, discover some new ideas of how to prepare for this inevitable hurdle in the kitchen, and what sorts of snacks and meals can be easily put together with just a few raw ingredients. You don't have to send people away from your home hungry!

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Keep ‘Em Guessing

December 7, 2010

So, I’m at the market on a dark rainy afternoon (no, really, it’s 4:30….and dark!), and wandering around in awe at all of the wonderfully amazing food choices just a decision away from my cart. I mean, really. Really. Don’t you ever just stand in gratefulness that you can pretty much have anything you want […]

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Hours in the Kitchen?

December 2, 2010

I recently read a comment about how preparing and eating healthy food sounds like a good idea, but this particular person didn’t want to spend “hours in the kitchen”. I do find it curious that activities such as cooking (and exercise for that matter) that foster good health typically have a bit of dread involved, […]

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Farmed Fish: A Good Catch

October 1, 2010
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I loved Sally Fallon's word for those who claim to *know it all* about proper politically correct foods: diet dictocrats. These are the same folks that say red meat is BAD, saturated fats are BAD, eggs are BAD, bread is BAD. So it was no surprise that my assumption about fish was: wild fish=good. Farmed fish=BAD. Then I met a solid Christian gentleman who, of all things, farmed fish. And he asked me point blank, "So....what do you think of farmed fish?" Listen in on our conversation and be ready to challenge your own assumptions in the process.

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