Those of us with grandparents born prior to World War II may well remember that they made a practice of soaking rolled oats in a pot of warm water overnight before cooking it up the next morning.
In fact, prior to the 1950’s, Quaker Oats used to include an overnight soak in the instructions printed on the box!
Somehow, this healthy, traditional practice was gradually abandoned as the popularity of convenience foods such as quick oats and microwave oatmeal packets gradually took hold with Baby Boomers and later generations.
The truth is that soaking oatmeal overnight before cooking it up in the morning makes it infinitely more digestible and nutritious as the practice helps to break down toxins and anti-nutrients like phytic acid. These anti-nutrients are present in all grains and very effectively block mineral absorption in the gut and can cause gastric distress or bloating in sensitive individuals. Oats contain the highest amount of phytic acid of any grain, so proper preparation is very important.
The thing I most enjoy about a bowl of soaked oatmeal in the morning is that it fills you up all the way until lunchtime, unlike those enticing and so incredibly convenient microwave oatmeal packets or a bowl of quick oats which (have you noticed?) leave you hungry and looking for a doughnut fix by about 10 am.
Salad dressings have gotten a bad rap in recent years due to confusion about fats, and this has led dieticians and nutritionists to frequently advise against them entirely – suggesting either lowfat dressings or lemon juice as alternatives.
The problem is that salads dressed only in lemon juice are tasteless and unappetizing!
Lowfat commercial dressings are loaded with neurotoxic MSG in the form of hydrolyzed vegetable protein or hidden away under the “natural flavors” label.
Regular versions of bottled, commercial dressings are made with cheap, low quality oils that have been made rancid with high temperature processing. Stabilizers, preservatives, artificial flavors, colors and belly-bulging corn syrup add further insult to injury.
Even organic healthfood store dressings made with canola oil should be avoided. Canola oil is high in brain boosting omega 3 fat, but is usually genetically modified (GMO) if not organic and goes rancid very easily, requiring manufacturers to deodorize the oil to hide the off smell.
If that isn’t bad enough, the deodorizing process required to manufacture canola oil forms a dangerous form of transfat, not listed on the label of these supposedly healthy dressings.
When I first got into Traditional Food nearly 14 years ago, I pretty much had to make anything and everything myself because there were few companies (and none in my local area) that made the type of food I was seeking – let alone understood what I was even talking about!
Nowhere was this paradigm disconnect more apparent than the art of breadmaking.
“Isn’t using yeast the proper way to get bread to rise? Isn’t this the way it’s always been done?” they would blankly ask.
“If the bread is organic, isn’t that good enough?”
Uh, no, no and no!
Yeast for breadmaking is relatively new in the grand scheme of human history. In fact, when baker’s yeast was first introduced as an alternative to true sourdough starter in France in the mid 1600’s, it was strongly rejected because the Renaissance scientists of the time knew that this quicker, more convenient approach to breadmaking would negatively affect public health.
Oranges are the most commonly grown fruit tree in the world. A hybrid of ancient cultivated origin, possibly the pomelo and the mandarin, the orange is widely grown in warm climes with Brazil and the United States (California and Florida) predominant.
The elementary school I attended in Dunedin, Florida happened to be located only a few miles from a Hood’s orange juice factory, now owned by Coca-Cola.
Many days, my classmates and I could smell the distinctive aroma of burning citrus peels from the belching smokestack. While the smell didn’t bother me too much, many of my classmates found it nauseating with some even choosing to stay indoors for recess on days when the wind was blowing in the school’s direction.
While burning citrus peel waste may not seem too problematic, the process of extracting the juice from the oranges in a factory setting definitely is. Read more…
Whey in its liquid and whole food form is the ideal starter for probiotic rich, health enhancing fermented foods and drinks.
Liquid whey is most easily and economically obtained from raw milk that has naturally soured, or clabbered, on the kitchen counter. Clabbered milk is a very useful item for the traditionally minded cook and has the consistency and taste of drinkable style yogurt. In this video, I show you how this process works.
Unfortunately, not everyone has access to raw milk which may seem to preclude the use of unprocessed, liquid whey for fermentation purposes as it is not commercially available.