Saturday, December 13, 2008
My mom recently ran into the family friend who owns our CSA. He shared with her that his 140 or so shares for next season are all filled up and he has something like 120-130 additional families on the waiting list! I'm amazed and encouraged by the growing interest. Rock on. :)
I must admit, though, I still feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of great resources and great reads and great websites available to us... It seems like I stumble across new ones every other day, and my list gets longer and longer...
Here is the website I mentioned at last month's meeting, highlighting the Locavore Nation project. There are 15 individuals from around the country participating in the effort to acquire 80% of their foods "from local, organic, seasonal sources and then incorporate it into tasty, healthy meals."
And here are two more books that I've added to my eventual list: Plenty and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.
Happy reading, everyone! It's great to share these explorations with such a fun group of people...
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I wish I had some sort of tidbit to share right now, but I don't :) Has anyone found a CSA they are interested in for next year? I'd be interested to hear any new discoveries going on in your lives. That's all for now :)
Monday, December 1, 2008
Today I tried a recipe for making my own toothpaste! I had all the ingredients already so it was fun to give it a try. Here's the recipe if any of you want to try:
2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil
3 Tablespoons of Baking Soda
10 drops Peppermint Essential oil
a pinch of Stevia powder (an herbal supplement that tastes sweet)
I tried this and it tastes really salty while you brush because of the baking soda, but it left my mouth feeling clean and shiny. This won't foam. Just dip a dry toothbrush in the mixture. Also, coconut oil is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, so your toothbrush should actually stay a little more sanitary!
Do research on Fluoride!!! I have only begun looking at the possible adverse affects of fluoride, but it is very fascinating.
Just a reminder to keep on reading "In Defense of Food." For those of you who do not want to read the entire thing but would like a good idea about what the book has to say, read the last parts about "Eat food, mostly plants, not too much" the first part of the book is good, but more of a foundation and a history to where the author gets his end points.
Anyways hope you all had a terrific Thanksgiving!
I thought I would share a little bit about why I soak my grains for 7 - 24 hours in water with a little bit of whey or lemon juice. The reason for soaking is to allow the grain to in a way "pre-digest" so that we may utilize the nutrients more efficiently. This process naturally occurs in some animals that have several stomachs for digesting. Here is an excerpt from the Weston A Price foundation about soaking grains:
” Grains require careful preparation because they contain a number of antinutrients that can cause serious health problems. Phytic acid, for example, is an organic acid in which phosphorus is bound. It is mostly found in the bran or outer hull of seeds. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in improperly prepared whole grains may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. The modern misguided practice of consuming large amounts of unprocessed bran often improves colon transit time at first but may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and, in the long term, many other adverse effects.
Other antinutrients in whole grains include enzyme inhibitors which can inhibit digestion and put stress on the pancreas; irritating tannins; complex sugars which the body cannot break down; and gluten and related hard-to-digest proteins which may cause allergies, digestive disorders and even mental illness.”
The reason for these antinutrients is to preserve the life of the grain. So the main reason for soaking is to make the valuable nutrients more accessible to your body. Among grains you can soak are oats, wheat berries, rye berries, pearl barley, and others. A bonus of soaking is that when you actually are ready to cook your grains, they cook in much less time. For instance oatmeal that may take 35mins to cook regularly will take 5min after soaking. You can also soak your flour the night before making pancakes.
Let me know if you have any questions I can answer. This might be a fun topic for future meetings :)
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I happily agreed to cook most of the Thanksgiving food this year; the trade off was that my parents would donate cash for groceries, and Ted and I would supply the group of a dozen+ with something delicious on Thursday afternoon. Two stipulations: Dad would cook the turkey and the mashed potatoes.
After pulling together a few (too many?) delicious (and simple) recipes, creating a master preparation timeline (yep, I'm a geek) and shopping list, and packing everything in the car (with lots of help from Ted) for a Wednesday night rush hour tour of I-205, I-5, and eventually the "back road route" of 99W, we finally arrived in St. Paul in one piece.
My little brother, Jesse, collaborated on the food effort. We spent Wednesday night on prep work and pumpkin pies, and Thursday morning on final flourishes. Together we served...
Dad's Turkey and Mashed Potatoes
Rye and Apple Stuffing
Cranberry Apple Walnut Chutney
Maple Glazed Carrots
Maple Candied Garnet Yams
Sweet Potatoes Wedges
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Pecans
Green Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
And for dessert --
And the crowned glory: Raspberry Almond Trifle
One of the real achievements underlying the whole menu/meal-shebang was the source and quality of the ingredients. Instead of the Stovetop Stuffing of years past, I used organic sage and parsley, locally baked bread, and local organic apples. Instead of typical cranberry out of the can, we started with fresh, local, organically grown cranberries and added the various ingredients for the chutney: local walnuts from Ted's grandpa's tree, more local apples, etc., etc. Organic carrots and garnet yams. Organic pumpkin for the pies (canned, but from a company out of Corvallis, Ore.). What a treat to enjoy the afternoon and revel in quality ingredients, delicious recipes and, most importantly - good company.
And, truth be told, eight days later I'm still polishing off leftovers. Which leads me to last night: Cranberry apple chutney spooned between layers of brie, surrounded by slices of apples sprinkled with brown sugar, baked at 350 degrees for 15 minute, and served warm over thin slices of a multi-grain baguette.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Thanks to all you ladies who came over last night for our first food group meeting! Bethany and I enjoyed meeting and seeing each of you and hearing your ideas and feedback about future get-togethers. For this week I will be working on getting everyone cleared as administrators so we can share fun ideas and discussion topics.
Here's a thought for the day...
Last night after everyone left I took my oatmeal out of the fridge, measured a half cup, added leftover warm water and 2Tb of whey and put it in the turned-off oven. This morning I took it out and cooked it for 5min. (That's all it needed since it had been soaking). I added Adam's Crunchy peanut butter, cinnamon, and some homemade applesauce. It was so good, so filling and so energizing. I was on my way to work thinking about things I had to get done and I kept noticing how good I felt. I didn't just notice once but several times how content and peaceful and happy I was. Maybe the oatmeal had nothing to do with it, but I do think it's important to "listen" to our bodies and take note of how we feel after downing a coke, an apple, cheesecake, or a bowl of oatmeal.
Can't wait to meet with you all again in January. For those of you who were not there but interested in coming to the January meeting, we are reading "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan for discussion.