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March 2010
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GNOWFGLINS eCourse Redux

I originally wrote about my thoughts on the eCourse on my LiveJournal, but since I’m moving everything over here, I figured I’d give a recap until I can properly import all my entries. I put my thoughts about Lesson 3 from this week at the end of this entry, but I wanted recap my thoughts from the previous two.

Lesson 1

The “dietary guideline” for a natural way of eating got me thinking. Some of the aspects were obvious; eat whole foods, eat pasture fed meats. Some were a little more unexpected from the normal “healthy eating” jive; eat full fat milk products from pastured cows, eat animal fats liberally, use traditional oils only (like EVOO, expeller pressed sesame and flax oils and tropical oils like non-heated coconut, palm and palm kernel oil).

A few and my thoughts on them:

- Eat wild caught fish from unpolluted waters – can you even get that in Texas without it being flown in from Alaska? Anything caught in the gulf might glow, but I’m not sure of how polluted it is for real. Wardeh listed a link to wild caught fish seller online, but holy cow did it seem expensive to me. I found some in the grocery store that seemed to indicate “wild caught” and “sockeye” or “wild red” that was not inexpensive, but nowhere near the price of these ones. What about gulf oysters and shrimp? Is it better to get quality food from far away or to eat local? Thoughts?

- Eat whole grains and nuts that have been soaked, sprouted our sour leavened – This is something I’m trying, though it takes a lot of forethought to sprout grains on Monday, so that you can dehydrate them Tuesday night and grind them for Thursday’s pizza dough. Oy.

- Eat lacto-fermented stuff - I’m trying this one too, though I’m not so much down with most lacto fermented things, I’m slowly developing my taste for them. I can finally eat saurkraut, as long as it’s not warm (gag!). I’ve started doing a bit more with whey fermenting things before cooking like many of the recipes in NT state, but it seems weird to me.

- Drink only non-pasteurized wine or beer in strict moderation – What does that mean? I take it most stuff you get in stores has to be pasteurized when bottled? I guess you could make your own beer and wine…I don’t know how well that would turn out for the wine though. Is home-brew still pasteurized since you have to boil it? They suggest to drink more kombucha, water kefir, ginger beer and haymaker’s oat soda.

- Use only natural food-base supplements – I imagine that my Fruitein shakes do not fit into this category, especially since they mention at one point the evils of protein powders without the cofactors occuring in nature, but honestly, it’s probably the only way I’m able to get breakfast reliably into me and to knock out a good meal if I’ve had too much crap to eat that day. Granted, crap eating will continue to diminish, it’s a process after all, but right now, it’s a reliable way for me to get nutrients into me and it seems like it’s a good protein and whole foods source (who knows? I could be wrong!)

It talked about Dietary Dangers as well, some of which was fairly limiting sounding. I’m taking them with a grain of salt though, there will be times when I’ll buy factory meat because bacon-wrapped tenderloin filets are $2.50/lb. There’ll be times when I go out and eat my MSG laden food because it tastes good. I’m going to drink floridated and chlorinated water, because just about everyone I know is on city water and may not have a reverse osmosis system in their kitchen.

Even so with all of that, the class is worth it already. It’s got me thinking and I’m not one to take “Do This” as a final answer without looking into the whys of why I’m doing it. I’m getting lots of good idea to try, and lots of opinions on products and techniques. I’m looking forward to really getting into it, to be sure. It’s stimulating on many levels.

Lesson 2

This lesson is all about soaking grains.

She discusses the point to soaking whole grains is to break down 1. phytic acid in the bran of the grain. (Phytic acid combines with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc in the digestive tract blocking mineral absorption) 2. enzyme inhibitors in the grain/seed and 3. difficult proteins (and tannins, gluten and complex sugars too) into more easily digestible ones.

Soaking in warm acidulated water breaks down these above in grains and seeds. Vitamin content increase (especially B vitamins).

She talks some about storing whole grains, how they are best stored in the fridge or freezer or will keep at room temp for 9-12 months. I store for long term in 5 gallon buckets with metalized foil liners and oxygen absorbers. In this way, with no exposure to light or air, they’ll last for five plus years. Then, as I need them, I pull out a package and move them to half gallon mason jars and use the vacuum sealer to remove as much air as I can from the jar and store them in my pantry behind the blackout curtains.

Their basic recipe for soaking is easy. 1 part grain, 2 part water, some acidy thing like vinegar (can use kombucha, whey, buttermilk, yogurt, etc). Warm the water on the stove, add grains and acid and let sit for 7-48 hours keeping the mixture warmish the whole time. This came in handy today as I was making barley for dinner (we eat more barley than brown rice generally). So I’m soaking it, I put it in the oven in a cast iron pot with the oven light on to keep it warm. I put it in around 9am, I figure I’ll pull it out around 5 and start cooking it.

Here’s some interesting cookbooks with cooking with whole grains I might look more into.

A grain primer that I thought was interesting from the GNOWFGLINS website.

Cold grain salads – (GNOWFGLINS)

Raw soaked granola – (GNOWFGLINS)

Sourdough crepes – (Sarah’s Musings)

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