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Posts Tagged ‘Sourdough’

English: A Burger King bacon cheeseburger.

English: A Burger King bacon cheeseburger. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First thing I want to say is I am TRULY sorry for being very absent lately.  My life has taken quite the crazy turn, mostly at work where I find the most time to blog.  I no longer have that time, which is a good thing and a bad thing.  I have absorbed another person’s job and am swamped, but the trade-off is that they days fly by, even if I am stressed the whole day.

Monday (yesterday) was the first day off my fast.  I am truly proud of myself for sticking with this for 40 days, there were a few days I didn’t think I could or wanted to.  My cravings sometimes were too much and there were days I wanted to throw in the towel.  I haven’t been much of a finisher, so this was a good thing to prove to myself that I could (with God’s help of course) follow through with something I started.  I am happy to say I have lost 23lbs!  All my clothes fit amazingly, in fact I have found things that I still had tags on in my closet.   I bought some “birthday” clothes for myself last year, my birthday is in June so almost exactly a year ago, I thought I was a certain size bought that and went home without trying them on.  I remember going home trying on the pants that didn’t fit, then the top, throwing them all back in the bag and on to the top shelf of my closet.  I was so mad.  Now I get the joy of trying them on to have them be baggy.  What a joy!

I have seen others start their juicing journey because of my energy and excitement for it.  I have been told by people I know, as well as complete strangers at the grocery store that my skin glows, and I see that in myself too.  I’ve had good and bad days.  Over all, this journey has been really amazing and I am happy that I started on it, and even more happy I finished and can feel the results.

Yesterday Hubby got the good news that he got a job, that and it being the official day I could eat anything I wanted, we went out to celebrate.  However, the joys that we had yesterday were almost robbed from us with some car problems I had on the way home.  Satan didn’t win, he wasn’t allowed to rob us that joy.  We went out to a local restaurant, they serve the best burgers, and I have wanted a cheese burger for 40 days!  It’s funny, looking at the menu it was almost overwhelming.  I hadn’t had so many choices in food in a long time it seemed, there were almost too many choices.  We settled on a bacon cheeseburger and split it, when it came out it looked great, smelled great.   The first bite?  You know, it was just ok.  I know the hamburger was more than just ok, but my taste buds have actually changed.   We finished our meal and went home, soon to discover that burger sat like a brick in our stomachs.  Hubby even said we should have just went and spent that money on produce to juice, in a strange way I felt the same way.  It wasn’t the awesome meal I thought I was about to have.  I feel good about it, honestly, it helps me to know that I don’t need certain things in my life food wise, that I thought I did.  I can be content and full and satisfied with a much more simple diet.

So what’s next?  I see myself having meat every once in a while, maybe once a week, maybe not even that.  I see a mostly vegan diet with yummy vegan cheeses and stir fry and homemade black bean burgers.  I see soaked nuts on my counter every day, with homemade sourdough bread cooling on the rack.  Basically a whole foods diet, I don’t need processed garbage, tons of cheese (if you know me this is a really shocking statement, I used to adore cheese), or meat.  I have to admit, I’m changed.  I never want to go back to feeling the way I used to, to looking the way I used to… I pray that Corri is gone forever.  I promised photos… I have them, but they will have to be posted another day.  I’ve been too busy to load them onto a disc to bring to work and I never have enough time in the evenings, that is my Hubby time.

So the bottom line is, if you are considering a juice fast of any kind, I highly recommend it!  God’s nutritious foods are amazing life givers.  Praise God for his blessings!

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One of my go to snack foods has always been crackers, but if you look at the ingredients of any of the boxes you find a lot of not so great for you things.  Hydrogenated oils (read more about these toxic oils here http://www.naturalnews.com/024694_oil_food_oils.html ) sugar, preservatives… you name it.  Most of the ingredients are not whole food ingredients, and if they don’t come from God why are we putting it into our temples?  Since I’ve been doing sourdough however,  I have found a lovely alternative.  Sourdough crackers are crispy, crunchy and delicious!

You add your sourdough starter to your flour and let it sour over night, I’ve actually got busy after I started these and let them sit on my counter for a couple of days and they still turn out amazing.  Mostly I’ve used raw butter but you can also use coconut oil.  The souring process breaks down the phytic acid and makes the grains much more easily digested, it doesn’t have to take the  minerals and vitamins from your body to break it down, thus giving you a much healthier option.  Plus the only limits you have in variety is the limits in your imagination.  After you sour your dough, you roll it out pretty thin, cook them in a hot oven until golden brown and let sit until cool (if you can wait).   Then you can either top them with some cheese or just eat them plain.  Then do not last in my house!  Last time I made a double batch and still they didn’t last.

For flavor options you can always steal ideas you see in stores, sun dried tomato and garlic, cheese, thyme and rosemary… Once I have my dough soured I add my additions before rolling it out.  They say you aren’t suppose to “play” with your dough too much because it won’t be as crispy and crunchy but so far I haven’t had this issue.  I’ve made cheese, where I grate cheese (I used Tillamook Pepperjack) then I took a handful put it on top of my dough and then kneaded it in, took more once that was incorporated and kneaded that in, until I had what I thought was enough.  The cheese blended in, so it was a guessing game as to how much, but once they cooked… oh my! They had the most amazing cheese flavor and it was natural not some chemical cheese flavoring.   Hubby wanted a type of graham cracker, so I made plain crackers and wiped the top with coconut oil.  I used my fingers (since my body temp heated up the coconut oil) but you can melt some and use a brush to brush the top.  Then I added a cinnamon/sugar mix we have (that we put on toast from time to time) and baked them.  It was a sweet treat and I got to control the amount put on top so you know how much sugar you are using, rather than getting what you get from a pre-packaged box.

Two years ago we had a crazy summer, most people here in Oregon didn’t get red tomatoes, people still call it “the year of green tomatoes.”  Thankfully we were not those people and actually ended up with so many tomatoes we didn’t know what to do with them.  So we dehydrated them and I’ve been putting them in soups and spaghetti and on homemade pizza with great success.  I cut them up and throw them in the dough and they taste like sun-dried tomatoes.  We also went mushroom hunting and have dehydrated chanterelle’s that I have added to soups and such, I bet these would make a fun addition to some crackers.

I believe that the more we make ourselves the healthier we will be.  We control what goes into the food, there are no secrets, no mystery chemicals, no cancer causing materials, just whole fresh food that is made with love.  I guarantee that if you give some homemade sourdough crackers a try, they won’t last in your house either.   Make some farmers cheese or some yogurt cheese (like cream cheese with a bit of a bite) and put that on top for some homemade probiotic cheesy goodness.

Make what you and your family like to eat.  I guarantee they will be gone before you know it and you’ll be setting more dough out to sour.  I can’t believe how easy these are and how cheaply the can be made!  There really is no reason to buy crackers at the store anymore.  Sourdough does take some planning ahead so you can soak the phytic acid out, but there is joy in planning nutritious food for you and your family.

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I purchased the sourdough ebook from GNOWFGLINS.com and have been having touch and go results since I started.  The closest I have come to sourdough previously was a Amish Friendship Bread that was given to me.  But really how much sweet bread can one person make?  So sourdough seemed like a better option, you can make crackers, cakes, cookies, biscuits, bread, even tortillas.  The versatility was quite shocking actually.  My sourdough starter is just SO happy in my house.  I don’t know if it’s the wood stove that is making the yeasts happy and active, but I know I’ve never seen the bubbles so happy before we moved into our new house.  Thank you Lord!

Ebooks are great but I’m a paper type of person.  Even in the medical field (that I work in) I’m a paper person, it’s hard to adjust to everything being electronic.  There is something quite satisfying to have a cookbook in front of you, where you can make little notes to additions you have made or suggestions for the next time.  In fact I have a Betty Crocker cook book from probably the 40’s or 50’s and there are little hand written notes in there from the lady who loved it before I did.  I just LOVE that!  Like the tradition was passed down to me, but in this case I bought the cookbook at a garage sale rather than it being my Grandma who passed it to me.

This weekend I looked through my ebook which I carefully put into page protectors and into a three ring binder.  The decision to do that was confirmed when I started getting milk and water and flour all over the pages.  I’m a messy cooker, and I’m slightly accident prone.  Ok, ok…I’m REALLY accident prone.  I made two recipes, one was for muffins which I turned into blueberry muffins and then the spice cake.  I was most impressed with the cake so I wanted to share.

First off I took the time to allow the grains to soak over night, thus eliminating the phytic acid and making the grains digestible to our bellies.  I believe it was 2 1/2c flour (my favorite is King Arthur Flour) with 1/2c sourdough starter and milk.  Mix all together and covered with a cheese cloth.  My cheese cloth is actually an old skirt that the zipper died on so I cut it up and made it into cheese cloth, which I use ALL the time in my kitchen.  You can also take an old T-shirt and do the same thing (although I recommend it being a white T-shirt, pretty sure you want to keep any dyes off your food).  The next morning the eggs, baking powder, and salt and Soda go in.  Apparently salt will slow down the fermentation process and the phytic acid will not break down as fast.  The butter and sugar are mixed together and everything goes into the soaked flour.  Tricky part here is to break up all the chunks of soaked flour so you get a smooth dough rather than clumpy one.  I actually found this part really fun.  The recipe called for specific amounts of spices, cinnamon, clove and all spice.  I had pumpkin pie spice and used that (which has the addition of ginger) and then added a bit more of my sweet cinnamon and tasted it to my liking (I am NOT afraid of raw eggs, in fact I drink them…).  Added it all to the pan and baked it.

The cream cheese frosting was a 100% experiment.  Well, I guess the entire thing was, I actually get nervous when making something new.  I adore baking!  But I hate failure, who doesn’t right?  I really wanted this to come out and I was serving it to some pretty skeptical friends.  Hubby and I had a failed attempt at some yogurt.  We made the yogurt from raw milk we get and then let it strain the whey off so we would have a thicker Greek style yogurt, but we let it strain too long and ended up with a type of “cream cheese.”  I’ve made cream cheese frosting before with store bought cream cheese, this was not that.  At one point Hubby added some of the whey back in, trying to make it yogurt again but the whey didn’t really incorporate right.  It made the frosting more like pudding and less like frosting.  Added the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and stirred until it was as smooth as possible.  It had a tangy sweetness to it, and it was runny so I stuck it in the fridge.

The cake turned out great, although I think I used too much butter.  Can one use too much butter? It was a denser cake but not hard.  It had a nice crisp top and when it cooled I served it with some of the cream cheese frosting (er… pudding LOL).  I was worried it.  I really want my baking to be pleasing to others.  So I gave it to our most skeptical friend first, he would tell me it was junk, if in fact it was junk.  He took a bite of the cake with no frosting, Mikey LIKES IT!! Then he seemed interested in the frosting and again, it was good.  Whew!  Turns out the cake didn’t last until morning.  Hubby had it for breakfast before I got up.  Success!  Unfortunately the cream cheese frosting didn’t get all used up and it sits sadly in my fridge begging to be used on something, but I’m at a loss as to what.  I think it will turn into eggs, AKA chicken food.  But, I made it through another trial of baked goodies and I don’t feel guilty about the cake, it was phytic acid free, baked with whole grains, raw butter, organic sugar and topped with some healthy probiotic cream cheese.  God is good to us!

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Fermented foods is my new passion.  I am learning a lot about it, how healthy it is for us, especially grains.  Most people who have issues with eating regular wheat flour can actually tolerate sourdough because the grains have been soaked and soured, it breaks down enzymes in the flour that are generally the cause of the intolerance.  I don’t seem to have issues with wheat, although I don’t know that for sure, I’ve never been tested.  However it is quite the “fad” to be gluten-free.   I made sourdough pizza for a friend who was gluten sensitive and he didn’t report any issues back after.  Anyway, I bought a sourdough Ebook from gnowfglins.com and got started right away getting my starter going.  The Ebook is awesome!  I highly recommend it, it has tons of recipes, tricks, and help for your sourdough needs.

After I got my starter ready I tried all types of things, rolls, pancakes, crackers, pizza.  But my favorite and the easiest is something they call Bucket Bread.  Basically it’s a combination of flour, water, and sourdough starter and you make a large batch of it and put it in, you guessed it, a bucket. 😉  I use a gallon bucket that use to hold our coconut oil.  My first few buckets were pretty good.  I got good rise on my dough and although there were a few doughy breads, for the most part I did well.  Then it stopped, I think maybe with the colder weather change.  But I’ve made two buckets (which is quite a bit of flour and several breads) and the stupid dough wouldn’t rise!  I’ve laughed at myself a lot calling them hockey pucks.  They have been perfect chew toys for the dogs, I’m sure they got quite a jaw work out too.  Hubby was always pretty generous and ate the bread anyway.  One turned out like a pancake and I left it out to rise and had nice bubbles on top, I couldn’t figure it out!  It was so frustrating.

Last night was the break through moment, thanks to Hubby.  I had the last bit of dough in my bucket, I’ve had ZERO success with this bucket, but I had to make the dough.  It was getting quite sour!  So I added a bit more flour, and then hubby suggested something, he actually said use some baking soda.  The light bulb went off!  When I make sourdough pancakes, I add baking soda to give it fluff.  What a wonderful idea!  So I eyeball and dump some in.  Instantly my dough started to get puffy!  I did a little dance. 🙂  Hubby came in later and said “did you put in baking powder?”  and I said “no baking soda.”  He had said soda but had meant powder, but just that little mix up gave me the ah-ha moment I needed.  We were actually out of power, so I’m glad I didn’t need that.  So I covered them (I made two loafs) for the first 15 minutes per the instructions, and hoped for the best.  After 15 minutes I took off the covers and they were looking plump and brown.  I had a fear of a doughy middle, like most of them have turned out recently so I left it in a bit longer, another 15 minutes.  When I pulled them out they looked fluffy, but with that same sourdough crisp crust.  One looked a little too done… so I dumped them on to the cutting board and sliced into the big one.  It was fluffy!!! YAHOO!!  It made my whole week actually, is that sad?  Taste test with Hubby and our friend turned out great, we put some raw butter on there with some homemade peach jam, er syrup, it didn’t quite set up right.  Everyone loved it and went back for more!  I found my solution to my hockey puck bread, and it was so wonderful.  I see lots of bread in our future.

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