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Archive for the ‘Nourishing Traditions’ Category

Homemade Soaked Wheat Thins

I packed these crackers on a winter trip to the north woods of Wisconsin, and we ate them with organic raw cheese and homemade raw jerky from a grass-fed steer. The butter I used in the crackers was deep yellow, in fact, raw too until the crackers were baked. To me, it was the most nourishing travel meal imaginable, because at the time, I was reading a book (Cure Tooth Decay, by Ramiel Nagel) that explains how to remineralize your teeth and reverse tooth decay by eating traditional foods, especially high quality, organic, yellow butter, soaked or sprouted whole grains, raw cheese, and grass fed meats.

This recipe comes straight from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, but it’s not a cracker recipe in the book. It’s actually the recipe for Yogurt Dough, which is used to make crusts for empanadas and even pizza. In somebody’s real food blog – sorry, I can’t remember whose it was – I read that this recipe produces crackers that taste a lot like Wheat Thins. And it does! It’s a simple recipe too, and best if you actually take the time to soak the flour. I use yogurt sometimes, but most often, kefir is what I have in the fridge, and I think I like it’s flavor best in the crackers. You can use either.

Soaking the flour in this recipe makes the crackers easier to digest and the minerals more available to your body because the phytic acid will be broken down. It’s best to soak the flour for 8-12 hours. Much longer than that, and they may become too sour. (Of course, if your kitchen is cooler, you may be able to get away with a longer soak time.)

Soaked Cracker Dough

Ingredients:

1 cup plain, whole yogurt or kefir
1/2 pound butter, softened,
3 1/2 cups freshly ground soft white wheat flour, or, if you can’t mill it yourself, use pre-milled whole wheat pastry flour
2 t. fine sea salt, plus more to sprinkle on top
unbleached flour for rolling out the dough

 

Soaking the Flour

In the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, the recipe calls for creaming the butter and yogurt together, but I’ve never had any luck with that method. Instead, I’d suggest that you mix the yogurt with half of the flour and half of the salt in one bowl, and mix the butter with the other half of the flour and salt in another bowl. Once you have two separate balls of dough, one with yogurt and the other with butter, combine the two together. I do it this way, sometimes it produces a cracker with pretty marbling.

Cover the dough and leave it at room temperature for 8-12 hours.

Rolled Out Cracker Dough

Rolling Out the Crackers

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Use a pastry cloth if you have one. Otherwise, just sprinkle some unbleached flour on the counter to keep the cracker dough from sticking. Roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thick. It’s nice to sprinkle salt on at this point and give the dough one more light rolling to press the salt in a bit. Or you can sprinkle it on later.

Either with a pizza cutter or a knife, cut out your crackers. Prick with a fork. Transfer them to an ungreased metal cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, checking now and then to be sure they don’t burn. They’re done when they’re golden brown on the edges.

Homemade Whole Wheat Crackers

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My mom found this recipe in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, and wanted me to try making these for her. I thought the idea of putting arrowroot powder into cookies instead of flour sounded a bit strange, but I made them anyway.  They’re awesome! When I took them out of the oven, they were very crumbly, and broke easily (probably because they don’t have eggs in them), but after they cooled down for a few minutes they were very nice.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups almonds
1 cup arrowroot powder
1/2 cup Rapadura Whole Organic Sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon, or 1/2 orange
1/2 cup softened butter or coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
about 18 almonds for decoration (optional)

Directions:

Put the 1 1/2 cups of almonds in a blender or food processor. Turn the machine on low and grind the almonds into a meal. Pour the almond meal, arrowroot powder, Rapadura and lemon rind into a bowl and mix them together. Then add the softened butter and vanilla, and stir until combined.
Drop rounded tablespoons of cookie dough on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork, or press an almond into the center.
Bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the cookies are just slightly brown. Remove from the oven and cool before serving. Store in an airtight container. (Makes about 18 cookies.)

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Our daughter has been avoiding wheat for the past 6 months or so, having discovered that her skin clears up nicely when she does. But, as many of you know, coming up with gluten free recipes can be a challenge. This recipe was an immediate winner with the whole family, husband included.

We have always added a little bit of buckwheat – really only a handful – to our pancake batter, milling it fresh in our Nutrimill. But this recipe is made entirely from buckwheat flour, lightened by an overnight soaking in yogurt or buttermilk, and by beating the egg whites until they’re stiff.

Since this batter is so light, it works well in a waffle maker too.

Here’s the recipe that feeds our family of 7.

4 cups of buckwheat flour

4 cups of buttermilk, yogurt, or kefir

2 tsp. baking soda

pinch of sea salt

2 tablespoons maple syrup

4 tablespoons of butter, plus more butter for cooking

10 eggs, separated

In a bowl, mix together the flour and yogurt, buttermilk, or kefir and leave it out in a covered bowl overnight.

In the morning, melt the butter in a small pan and allow it to cool.

Separate the eggs, being careful not to get any of the yolk into the whites. Then beat the egg whites until they’re stiff.

You want to add the baking soda to the flour/yogurt mixture carefully so you get the best rise, so what I do is combine the melted butter, egg yokes, and baking soda, salt, and maple syrup and add this mixture to the flour mixture at the same time I add the egg whites. This way, the whole thing can be stirred once. Gently fold all the ingredients together. Then ladle onto a hot, buttered griddle; flipping each pancake once after it becomes bubbly.

Serve with plenty of butter and maple syrup!

 

 

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Gluten Free Corn Bread
Made with all corn or a combination of corn and millet

One of our kids is not eating wheat right now because her skin stays much clearer without, so this cornbread has been a staple for simple lunches around here lately. I’ve added millet because it’s an alkaline seed which helps to balance the body’s PH. Besides that, I like to feed our family as much variety as I can, and this is one easy way to do it.

Add the millet if you’d like, but this recipe works just fine with all corn, freshly ground if possible.

Ingredients:

3-4 tablespoons ghee (butter oil) or coconut oil, or a combination

3 eggs

1 3/4 cups coarse cornmeal, preferably freshly ground

1/2 cup coarsely ground millet (or use 1/2 cup additional cornmeal instead)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

scant 2 cups yogurt, buttermilk or kefir

Preheat your oven to 400°.

Place an 11″ cast iron skillet or 9″x13″ baking dish in the oven. Add the ghee or coconut oil to the skillet and let it melt in the warming oven while you mix up the batter. The hot oil will give your cornbread a nice crispy crust, especially if you’re baking in cast iron.

Mix the cornmeal, millet flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl and set it aside.

Beat the eggs with a fork and add the yogurt, buttermilk, or kefir. Combine the mixture together with a spoon or fork until it’s a fairly even color (no unmixed swirls of egg).

Add the egg mixture to the cornmeal mixture and stir to combine, but be careful not to overmix.

Remove the hot pan from the oven and swirl the melted oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Then pour in the batter and bake 20 – 25 minutes. The cornbread will pull away from the sides of the pan when it’s done, and it will be a nice golden color.

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With all the peaches we’ve had lately, we’ve been making this refreshing slushy quite a bit. It’s so easy that I don’t think I can really give you a recipe, but I’ll tell you what we do. For our 8 cup capacity VitaMix, we put about 3 cups water in the blender container and then add frozen peaches while the motor is running until the container is full. Add a spoonful of honey or a pinch of stevia powder, and it’s done.

This slushy is equally good made with frozen strawberries instead of the peaches. Yum!

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Cauliflower is one of those vegetables I’d never paid much attention to. Sure, it’s nutritious, containing some of the same amazing health benefits as broccoli, but boiled cauliflower? Blah!

After the birth of one of our daughters, my friend Lia made a dinner for our family which included this cauliflower, and my husband, who had never cared for cauliflower before, made certain that I got hold of this recipe. Cauliflower has become one of our most loved vegetables. We like it best served with Nourishing Traditions’ Spicy Meatloaf or a simple roasted chicken.

1 head cauliflower, with the bottom cut flat

4 tablespoons softened butter

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed

1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel (See tip)

1 clove garlic, crushed

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon salt

Black pepper to taste

Mix together the butter and seasonings. Rub all over the cauliflower.

Bake in a covered casserole dish at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Tip: I keep a resealable bag full of lemon rinds (leftover from juicing) in the freezer to have on hand for recipes like this. I actually think they’re easier to grate when they’re frozen.

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Peppermint Patties

Peppermint Patties

Last spring, I followed a 14-week low carb anti-inflammatory diet, during which time I needed some kind of snack that came close to satisfying my cravings for chocolate and sugar. I got the idea for this simple frozen patty from the Carob Chips recipe in Nourishing Traditions, however this version uses stevia, which does not affect blood sugar, and the strongly flavored peppermint oil covers the unfamiliar taste of the stevia. Freezing them just adds to the refreshing minty blast.

On a side note, the 14 week low carb anti inflammatory diet must have made some serious changes in my body. I have always had sugar cravings. Always. And I eat a lot. I mean, generally more than my husband. No, I’m not fat. I just have a really big appetite and a hearty metabolism to go with it. But I’m getting off track… This 14 week diet I did allowed no sweeteners (except stevia), no fruits except lemons, grapefruits and berries, no grains, no beans, and no starchy vegetables, at least not for the first 6 weeks. It was really tough at first, especially as the main chef of our house, but now that it is over, I have lost all cravings for sugar.

Update: It’s been a year and a half since my 14 week diet, and I still don’t crave sugar that much. If I do get a bit of a sweet tooth, it’s easily satisfied by a piece of fruit. Has anyone else had this experience? I’d love to hear your comments.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup melted virgin coconut oil

3/8 cup carob or cocoa powder (sift it if it’s lumpy)

2 – 6 drops pure peppermint essential oil

1 – 3 drops liquid stevia or 1 – 3 tiny dashes powdered stevia

Directions: Mix all the ingredients together very well. (You don’t want to bite into uncombined peppermint oil or stevia.) Spread 1 1/2 inch circles thinly onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet or pour into mini muffin tins and freeze for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove from the baking sheet and store the patties in a container in the freezer.

Makes 10 – 12, depending on how thick you make them.

Making Peppermint Patties

Making Peppermint Patties

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