Friday, 27 March 2015

New and traditional foods

As a family, we've made pretty dramatic diet changes over the last 7 or 8 years.  Gone are the processed, packaged foods and sugary snacks and drinks.  In their place, a bounty of whole foods (much of it locally sourced or homegrown), fills our fridge, freezer and pantry.  I'm not one to subscribe to a single dogmatic approach to eating, as I don't believe that ONE way is right for everyone.  That said, the teachings of Dr. Weston A. Price really resonate with me and as I read from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook over the last few years (and this winter, researched the Weston A. Price site),  so much of this wisdom just *fit* and felt right to me. 

I've struggled with a few long term health issues that were seemingly random, but I now know them to be fully connected to diet.  I'd been through all the obligatory medical tests (for YEARS) and had seen specialists for each one of them.  Each wanted to treat the condition that related to their discipline of medicine and send me on my way to see other specialists for the other issues.  Not ONE physician connected any of the dots (which at this point, I was beginning to believe were connected).

   Onwards!  Since adapting a largely traditional diet (in an effort to take charge of my health and the health of my family), most of my health conditions have completely disappeared.  The conditions that remain are slowly fading into remission in the order that they appeared.   That's proof enough for me, so onwards we go delving deeper into a traditional diet.   

Learning to cook in new ways with new ingredients is like starting all over again in the kitchen.  I'm not going at it with a militant attitude - I'm trying to ENJOY what I'm learning and take it slowly.  

Recently, this meal of falafel was a huge hit!  I'd soaked the chickpeas for several days and proceeded to whip up a delicious meal that pleased everyone in the family.  It was filling and highly nourishing thanks to the soaking which prepared the chickpeas for easy digestion. I was quite sceptical about it - it was awfully "different" from anything I'd ever cooked, but isn't that a good thing?  To try new things and add more diversity to our diets?

I've been very conscious of dietary fats and am ensuring to source the absolutely highest quality, nutritious fats I can find.   Here's bit of beef tallow from a fully grass finished cow (such a lovely glow) and we have our home rendered lard, too.  We buy pastured butter in ~ oh, how I long for a dairy cow... (John, are you reading this?).  Coconut oil makes a daily appearance.

Anyways - just a bit of rambling today...  it's been food on my mind for some time as we navigate our way through these slow changes...  The garden will play heavily into these changes as we plan our plantings and prepare to preserve the bounty in new and different ways which will bring greater nutrition to the table.  Happy eating, friends :)

Thursday, 26 March 2015

As sure as the Spring comes...

It's line drying weather here once again, and I couldn't be happier after a winter of using electricity to dry our washing.  As I pulled my clothespins out of storage, I was reminded of how the quality of modern goods continues to decline... have a look at these clothespins!  The top one is from a large bag of old clothespins that I found at the thrift store recently for all of $2 or $3.  It's so hard to find these nice old ones and they last forever so I snap them up whenever I see them.  The newer versions are completely useless and fall apart constantly. The metal spring mechanism is FAR too weak to hold any kind of weight and the wood is weak and thin - the ends snap all the time, unceremoniously dumping clean laundry onto the ground... so frustrating!  They are cheap and shoddy so I've tossed all of them out now that I have enough of these nice old ones (LOVE them).

In kitchen news, I've been busy making several new ferments in an effort to boost our probiotic intake but the beet kvass pictured below was an epic fail - the taste was TERRIBLE!  If you have a good recipe for Kvass that DOESN'T take like drinking dirty sea water - let me know :)

Ginger Carrots are the opposite of the kvass and are absolutely delicious!  I'll be making them again very soon (recipe courtesy of Nourishing Traditions).  I know they look like mush, but they really aren't - it's simply grated carrot with ginger, whey and salt (a very tasty way to boost your gut health). 

In baking news, I finally used some coconut flour that I had on hand to make up this batch of coconut chocolate chip cookies. They turned out quite tasty, but are distinctly coconut"y" so a few of my family members aren't exactly thrilled with them.  Oh well - change is good and there's no harm done trying something new, is there?

I've also been busy planning the 2015 garden and will be soon seeding some cold hardy crops in the greenhouse.  First, we need to run the hens in there to clear up the weed seeds and (hopefully) deal with the mice!  That's for another post :)