What’s cookin’

29 May

I’ve always had strong feelings about food—from the high school years of low fat fads, to college where I was a self-pronounced vegan, to an adult who is now a meat eating, raw milk drinking, just about everything from scratch mother. 

Our evolution of eating has been a process.  It is one that is still on-going.  I make no judgments about what others are doing.  This is *our* story.

For years, our family moved towards a gluten-free and refined sugar-free lifestyle.  I say lifestyle because it really is—this isn’t a fad or stage that we are in, but a conscious decision about one important aspect of raising our kids. 

Sure, the gluten-free portion came into play once wheat and oats started to wreck havoc on our tummies and unfortunately our little ones inherited similar intolerances (sorry kids!).  The no refined sugar was the result of wanting to nourish our little ones’ bodies with healthy foods—not sugar that depletes their bodies of vitamins and minerals. 

But, as you may have read, Jonah and James have some disturbing health things going on that have encouraged us to ramp up my time in the kitchen and take what our family is eating to the next step. 

Let me give you a little preview into my kitchen just from today:

Grains soaking for tomorrow’s eating.  Teff on the left and Amaranth on the right.  Did you know soaking your grains in water and a tad bit of raw apple cider vinegar helps to break them down and make them more easily digestible?  This is the way our ancestors prepared their grains.  We have come a long way from that in the processed, pre-packaged American diet, haven’t we? 

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Crock pot of chicken stock on the left and home-made almond herbed crackers cooling on the stove on the right.  We drink homemade chicken broth at our house at every lunch.  There is always a crock full of chicken carcass, herbs, and water melding together to make a delicious broth.  Why?  Because it heals the lining of your gut and is a powerhouse of nutrients—all things that we all need more of, but especially Jonah and James.  Why homemade crackers?  Because I can’t find any in the store that don’t include grain, taste good, and are affordable.  These are delicious!

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Yogurt starter turns our raw milk into yogurt.  This morning a batch of nine quarts just finished doing it’s thing.  This will last about a week in our house.

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Snacks—homemade trail mix.  The one on the right consists of almonds that have been soaked in water and salt for 7 hours and then cooked at about 150 degrees for 18 hours.  Why?  Because like grains, nut should be properly soaked before consumed to allow anti-nutrients to be released and to aid in digestion.  In that tub of trail mix, there is also organic, unsulphured raisins, currants, dates, and dried apples, as well as gluten free chocolate chips.  The smaller container on the left is the same combo minus almonds and added in coconut shreds for Jonah who is allergic to nuts.

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Add to that making breakfast (banana and vanilla buckwheat—soaked over night, of course–with coconut milk), a snack (raw veggies and sunflower or almond butter, depending on the person), lunch (fried liver and veggies for the kids and left over chipotle black bean chicken soup for the adults), preparing another snack (fruit salad), and then dinner (grilled salmon and veggies). 

Do you get the idea?  This preparing healthy food takes a ton of time.  Most days I’m happy to do it, others I am quite crabby, and still others I feel a tad bit overwhelmed with the unending list of what needs to be made.  Like right now, I’ve got my to do list brewing for tomorrow:

*  Double batch of pumpkin almond bread and a double batch of coconut bread (for those allergic to nuts or grains)

*  A soup of some sort for lunches for the week

*  Homemade popsicles

*  The meals for the day—breakfast, lunch, dinner and the 2 snacks—all that meet the dietary guidelines of everyone.  This is NO EASY FEAT, people!

*  Things to research:  getting a good kefir grain and the best sources/prices for the ingredients to make kombucha and home-made root beer. 

And let’s not forget that in there I have three little kids needing me, a house that needs to be tended to, and work responsibilities.

I’m not saying this to cry myself a river.  Just to explain.  This is my life.  We’ve chosen a different way to approach health and healing.  It is harder and more expensive.  It probably seems over the top to most people and it might be.  But, I doubt that anyone would disagree that eating less processed food, and more local and organic meats and vegetables, and staying away from refined sugar is a healthier way to live. We just happen to be living that reality because we are insane (kidding—sort of).  But, it is the path that we are on, praying that it pays off.

So, what’s going down in your kitchen these days? 

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One Response to “What’s cookin’”

  1. Kari June 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    Ok, I finished my first batch of soaked, roasted nuts (this phrase gets BIG laughs in this house of boys) and they were AMAZING!! I can’t imagine going back to plain “raw” nuts.

    Also I did your chicken thing and realized an hour and a half into it that it should be smelling good… I DIDN’T PLUG IN THE CROCKPOT. seriously. So, last night at about 10, the chicken was fall off the bone delicious and the stock smells fantastic with the fresh parsley. Yum!!

    So glad you share your brain (:
    love ya

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