In the Kitchen, Out & About

Though I’m eating probably as healthy as I ever have these days, I realize there is always room for improvement.  I’ve lost the baby weight I gained with the kiddos, but now I’m just hovering.  Stagnant.  I have no desire to add an exercise routine other than getting out and about when the weather is nice.  When I stop and think about it, I realize I get a lot of exercise just going up and downstairs, vacuuming, lifting Josiah, carrying bags and baby, bending over to clean food off the floor and retrieve the same toys over and over again.     

I like to browse magazines and websites for new and interesting recipes to try, though I tend to stick to familiar favorites.  I bookmark awesome craft ideas, thinking one day I’ll get around to making that.  In just the same way, I earmark healthy tips and resources for making changes; save an article here, bookmark a blog there.  And the more I find out, the more I realize, not only are these changes beneficial, but necessary.  It scares me, how much crap we as society are literally fed from the Higher Ups; there’s always an agenda, and it’s not in our best interest.

I’ve been especially concerned with the amount of carbs we take in, even in the form of whole grains – pancakes for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, pasta for dinner.  I’ve been trying to find a way to improve upon this, at times substituting ground nuts for flour, as in the case with the fluffy flatbread (though I didn’t know I was supposed to add the egg yolks back in – oops!). 

I frequent a number of blogs, one of them being Passionate Homemaking, where I originally found a recipe for homemade toothpaste when I was on a quest for healthy toothpaste.  I got to browsing, and discovered her section on soaking grains.  Initially, I was overwhelmed just reading about it – I don’t always know what we’re having for dinner at dinnertime, how would I plan ahead and soak my grains hours in advance?  But I decided to try… and have been excited at the results.  I already use wheat flour, and often grind oats and brown rice for flour, so I was already a step ahead in the game.  

Somewhere along the line – I don’t know if it was related content on one of the websites I was browsing or just leafing through my cookbook – I decided to make a sourdough starter for bread, which is basically building on the idea of soaking. 

I used the simple recipe in my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, something like this one, though I used wheat flour instead of white.  It’s been brewing for over a week now, and I’ve already made a plethora of goodies – pancakes, muffins, pizza dough, and finally… bread.   

In Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (love the title!), I was excited to read the many benefits of fermented foods, the traditional method of preparing things such breads, yogurt and other dairy, vegetables, beverages (beer, anyone?).  Though we don’t drink milk anymore, I’ve started making yogurt again from whole milk, straining it to make what basically amounts to Greek yogurt or homemade cream cheese – yum.

I’ve been leafing through Nourishing Traditions, taking note of the fact that saturated animal fats (as well as tropical sources – coconut and palm oils) such as butter are actually healthy for the body (in moderation of course), especially when compared to all the popular fat sources we have today, namely vegetable oils, margarine, shortening, fake spreads.  Grass-fed beef and eggs from free-range chickens are also one of the healthiest protein sources, whereas the kind you get in the store is missing so many essential components.  I’ve known that milk from the store is basically crap – but more than that, it’s actually harmful, in the it leaches nutrients from the body while trying to process it.  On the other hand, raw milk is “white gold” – and I’ve been disappointed to learn that buying raw milk is illegal in my state.  Discover the truth about milk at Real Milk.

For dinner, I decided to try one of the recipes in Nourishing Traditions.  Sourdough bread fresh from the oven accompanied the brown rice that had been cooking on the stove with a lovely aroma of spices, carrots and chicken broth.  The kiddos and I devoured the rice – it was so good!  It will be my new staple rice recipe, and I’m already thinking of ways to tweak it. 

The family has been excitedly awaiting some green to appear in our garden after planting lettuce, spinach and peas.  Just the other day we finally saw some green poking out of the ground.  And in the kitchen, I’ve been experimenting with microgreens and sprouts, which I’ve been researching here and there.

I always forget that we have a year-round, indoor farmer’s market, but I get excited about going when the weather is nice and plants and produce are plentiful.  We’ve already been to the markets a few weekends now, and last weekend the kiddos and I were delighted to see baby bunnies and a baby goat. 

We had to get a bag of kettlecorn for Gwen and Josiah to fight over… er, share… and I picked some carrots and a big ol’ parsnip.  We kept going back to the baby animals.  I had rabbits growing up, and we’re considering getting ’em for the kiddos. 

I take Gwen to storytime at our library every week, and last week we were fortunate to have it at local farm.  Gwen got to plant some seeds and flowers…

we looked at the horseys…

then peeked in the greenhouses at the gorgeous flowers.  It feels so good to get out! 

Healthy foods, sunshine, the promise of a self-sustaining crop in the future – invigorating!  Looking forward to the weekend, even though Phil will be working Easter Sunday (boo).  Continuing to read Benjamin’s Box leading up to Sunday, and Gwen has a little wooden box where she keeps the treasures from the Resurrection Eggs. 

What have you been up to?