We have gotten nailed with the flu this winter in a big time way. I'm SICK of it and Marlin and i decided we've been too lenient with our food choices. I'm throwing away even the "healthy" cereals that we eat on sunday mornings and we'll eat more soaked oatmeal, eggs and soaked pancakes. I'm not saying i won't serve them for a treat but it will be once in long while. It's like Marlin said, soaked pancakes are simple to make for a sunday morning, we love them and they have 100 times more nourishment than organic cereals, most of which have been put through a process rendering them hard to digest. I might keep some cheerios on hand for baby snacks...........hey, i'm not perfect.
Marlin also got some more sauerkraut fermenting, again a WONDERFUL nourishing food that helps create a strong immune system and amazingly the kids all love it. We eat it as a side dish, just a small amount can make a big difference in your health. He is also getting some more sourdough starter made for me. He loves real sourdough bread and while i don't mind making the bread, i do mind keeping after the starter. He doesn't mind taking care of the starter, which needs to be "fed" every day, so i'm thinking we've got ourselves a deal. I like to make all my bread but lets just say that sometimes if it's a choice between a sane mama and bought "healthy" bread, sane mama wins out. I'll be honest, though, i usually have the time if i want to.
The recipe for the sourdough starter is very simple. 2 cups freshly ground rye flour, 2 cups cold filtered water. That's it. The reason for the rye flour instead of wheat is better results, probably because rye contains a lower phytate content than wheat. Every day you transfer the starter to a clean bowl and add 1 cup of rye flour and enough water to make a soupy mixture. After a few days it will begin to bubble and develop a wine like aroma. (oh, yeah!!) It should go through a bubbly, frothy stage and then subside. After 7 days the starter is ready for breadmaking. You use what you need for your bread recipe and if you don't want to make more bread in the near future, you can store it in the fridge. If you intend to make more bread in the near future, place leftover starter in clean bowl and continue to add water and rye flour every day until you have what you need. This starter also makes terrific sourdough pancakes.
The bread recipe is almost as simple. 2 quarts sourdough starter, 13 cups freshly ground spelt, kamut or hard winter wheat, 2 1/2 T coarse sea salt and about 1 1/2 cups cold filtered water. Place starter, salt and 1 cup water in a large bowl and mix with wooden spoon until the salt crystals have dissolved. Slowly mix in flour. Here's where a large mixer comes in very hander. I HATE kneading bread so i do all this with my Kitchen Aid mixer. Shape loaves and let rise from 4-12 hours. Bake at 350 for about an hour. It's a heavier bread than what most people are used too, and some people may never enjoy it. This is the Nourshing Tradition recipe but there are hundreds of recipes on the internet and many different starter recipes, most of which use some kind of sugar and even yeast to get the starter going. This is a true "old world" recipe and one which i intend to experiment with. I tried making starter once and i failed miserably!! Marlin tried it and it turned out beautifully, maybe because he put effort into it. He truly appreciates real food and the "mystery" of it, i just want to feed the kids healthy food in as short amount of time as possible.
If there's anything i would say to someone starting out on the healthy, whole foods journey it would be to start slow. It can be SO overwhelming and i don't think i'll ever stop learning. Also, if you're dealing with any kind of allergies, that will throw you into a whole different ball game. Some people can't handle ANY wheat or milk, even raw milk. Most can handle a true organic grass fed raw milk and cultured milk products but there are some that simply can't. I do like to vary the grains we eat so as to not develop allergies but again, i do what i can within our budget. Each family is different, each need is different. That's where prayer for wisdom comes in. We also refuse to make a "religion" out of healthy food. While it's our goal to eat simple nourishing foods, we want to teach our children to appreciate whatever gets set in front of them without judgement. Time and money come into play and of course your husband's preference. Some husbands abhor even the mention of healthy food, mainly because they have no idea what real food is. It's NOT soy burgers, tofu casserole or any other "american health" food. It's red meat, real butter, whole milk, homemade bread, (even white homemade is ten times better than bought) baked potatoes dripping with sour cream and butter, eggs fried in butter and on and on. To start eating real can be as simple as throwing out the processed foods and start baking your own cakes, cookies and breads and using butter instead of margarine. Preferably raw butter but start with what you can. The point is, START. Don't take the medical world at it's word but start doing your own research. You'll be shocked and saddened at how a whole generation of children are being damaged simply because we have stopped questioning and have let the government, who aren't exactly known for being godly, decide what's best for our families.
O.k. off my soapbox and back to work. ;)