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Make Your Own Sauerkraut

June 5, 2016

It may take several weeks but the process is simple and the final product is well worth the wait. Sauerkraut is just fermented or “soured” cabbage that can be made right at home.

First off, collect the following items:

-a fermenting crock
-a head (or more!) of cabbage
-water (about 6 cups)
-kosher salt (about 2-3 TB)

First, heat 6 cups of water and 1 TB of salt until dissolved and then remove from heat.  This will be used later.

Now start with peeling the outside 3-6 layers of the cabbage and hang on to them for later use.

cabbage leaves

Now, layer the bottom of your crock with 2-3 of leaves.

cabbage lining

Next, chop the head of cabbage into skinny slices, adding salt as you put handfuls in the bowl.

cabbage, sliced

Begin filling up the crock with the shredded cabbage until it reaches the top.

crock

Then, place a few whole leaves of cabbage on top of the shredded layer.

cabbage, topped

And gently place the weights on top of that.

weights

Allow this to sit for a few hours and some of the natural water from the cabbage should rise. If necessary, add some of the cooled salt water until the top of the cabbage is submerged 1-3 inches. Then cover with the lid and add the brine to the sealing rim around the cover to prevent oxygen from getting in a creating mold.
crock, sealed

Now you wait! Keep the crock in a warm area (68-72 degrees) for the first couple days and then move it to a cooler area (59-64 degrees) for the rest of the 2 weeks. Be sure to add the salt water mixture to the seal when it runs low.  After 2 weeks you can open the crock to skim off any layer of mold or bubbles (don’t worry, it’s natural) and add more salt water mixture to the original level.  Close the crock up, add to the seal, and wait another 2-4 weeks until there are very few bubbles- the longer you wait, the stronger the sauerkraut gets!

Sauerkraut

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Support my KICKSTARTER Project

December 17, 2015

A food journal and an intuitive guide to cultivating a sustainable food practice filled with recipes + lifestyle tips.

Nutrition from the Ground Up is currently a blog and video series about building a sustainable nutrition practice. This project is a 48 page food journal that will be published twice per year. It will include my tools for intuitive cooking, sustaining a healthy relationship with food and expand your recipe collection.

 

Knowledge is power and with knowledge about the ingredients in food, where that food came from, and who grew it helps to increase confidence about the food that is fueling my body. There are incredible experiences to be had when enjoying local food, like trying new foods, meeting farmers and producers, and even growing your own food. Food can extend to the worlds of art and science and this can act as a form of therapy or mindfulness. When these ideas are part of a lifestyle then consuming feels more like a nutrition practice rather than following strict instructions, recipes, and meal plans—because of course, there is no perfect way to eat!

This will be the perfect affordable Holiday gift for yourself or someone you love. The Nutrition from the Ground Up Food Journal will be published in January 2016 with your support. It will provide educational tools to help you grow your own nutrition practice with my guidance. It will also include intuitive recipes that will strengthen your intuitive cooking skills. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Local food can be used as a tool—this can be seen by keeping it simple, cooking and preparing meals, nourishing your day, and improving overall health.

Every day in my nutrition practice I focus on how to, for both myself and my clients, inspire, connect, and educate. I have set out to live out my passion and the concept of sustainability has been a reoccurring theme in that process. I strive to always be aware of the role of sustainability in the areas of food, business, and personal lifestyle. I believe in the power of connecting farmers and consumers.

With local food comes inspiration from venturing out and trying something new; connection with friends, farms, health, and my meals and nourishment; and education by finding new recipes as a tool to practice a skill and share with others.

There are many benefits of local food, including that it brings awareness to the consumer and has changed my relationship with food and has allowed me to realize the difference between whole, real food and labeling. Local food also creates an appreciation for food when you realize that it must be grown and produced, rather than just appearing. Understanding local food has also helped to educate me about how the food I eat arrives to my plate; for example I may pick it up from the farmers’ market rather than waiting for a truck to deliver something.

Finally, local food has truly brought joy to my overall life with the social aspect of shopping and the fun of intuitive cooking. This all ties into my nutrition practice by helping me make a stronger connection between vitamins and minerals in food and my health. Local foods increase the nutrition and flavor of the foods that my body digests and uses to provide me with energy.

Thank you for supporting my KICKSTARTER project!

 

Snacks Uncategorized

Holiday Bites

December 12, 2015

Holiday tip: don’t go anywhere starving!

These energy snacks are great to have before going to your holiday events. They are also great to serve for parties to kick the cravings of other sweet treats offered or after a workout/yoga class.  Keep them in your car for a quick energizing snack while traveling throughout the holidays.

Carrot Bites

CARROT CAKE INGREDIENTS:
2  carrots
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw walnuts
6  dates
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup oats
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp raw honey
1/4 cup shredded coconut for rolling

Place all ingredients into a high speed blender or food processor. Blend until you see all ingredients are a large crumb size. Roll into any size ball of your choice and display on a fun platter.

Add a chocolate twist:

1/2 cup cacao chips/nibs
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw walnuts
6  dates
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup oats
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp raw honey
1/4 cup shredded coconut for rolling

These additional ingredients offer a great nutritional boost to these yummy date balls.  Coconut contains healthy fats and fiber with less sugar and cacao is an excellent source of antioxidants, especially those called “flavonoids.”

IMG_5580

Dinners Lunches Uncategorized

When in Doubt {Start to Sprout}

June 8, 2015

Sprouts are the first shoots of a plant and are tender, delicate, tasty, and highly nutritious.  They are new life awakening.  Once sprouted, our bodies can better absorb essential nutrients like iron, calcium, amino acids, B vitamins, and vitamin C.  When plants are sprouted they are also easier to digest, in their simple sugar and amino acid form.  Sprouts are delicious any time of the year but make for a great source of nutrients and freshness during the winter months.  Winter gardening is about hardy greens and delicate sprouts, providing the bare essential nutrients needed for keeping our bodies ad minds healthy when fresh food, sunlight, and movement are in shorter supply. sprouts

You can purchase sprouted grains at various food stores but you can just as easily do it yourself!  It’s an easy process, offers you fresh and healthy food, and can be a fun project to try.  Sprouts are so good because the biochemical changes that occur during the sprouting process allow them to be more digestible and increase their vitamin content.  For example, the sprouted mung bean has the simple carbohydrate content of a melon, the vitamin A of a lemon, the thiamin of an avocado, and the list goes on.

You can sprout many things! Try grains, seeds, or beans.  For grains, first, find the whole grain you’d like to try sprouting.  You can choose any that still has the germ and bran and has not been altered yet.  For example, amaranth, barley, buckwheat, corn, einkorn, farro, kumut, millet, quinoa, rice, rye berry, sorghum, spelt, or wheatberry all will do the trick.  Try these simple steps:

1-quart mason jar
cheese cloth or screen (to allow water and air through)
metal band or rubber band to secure cover
½ cup of grain
water

1. rinse and drain the grains
2. place the grains in a bowl of water, covered a couple of inches, and soak overnight to release enzyme inhibitors
3. drain the grains and rinse again with cool water
4. place the grains in the jar and cover
5. turn the jar upside down and angled  so that air can circulate in and water can drain out
6. every 12 hours or so rinse the grains with water, drain, and return to the upside-down position
7. continue step 6 until your grains have sprouted, rinse again, store in the refrigerator, and enjoy!

Sprouted Grains

You can also try sprouting seeds and beans with a similar process! To calculate your bean-to-sprout ratio follow these simple guidelines:

1 lb of small seeds = 20 liters
1/4 cup of beans = 1 liter

TIP:
Use 1 TB of seeds OR 1/8 cup of beans to make 2 cups of sprouts

Now, you can sprout pretty much anything- try one of the following: alfalfa, broccoli, sunflower, radish, lentils, mung beans, peas, arugula, beets, adukzi beans, clover, mustard, garlic chive, garbanzo, cabbage, quinoa, pumpkin, hemp, chia, garlic, or leeks.

1. fill a mason jar or bowl with cool water and soak your beans or seeds for 4-12 hours, covered with a cloth
2.rise and drain with cool water, cover with a cloth, set in a dark place for 2-5 days, rinsing and draining every 12 hours
3. after 3-5 day when sprouts are desired height, set in the sunlight for a day to increase the chlorophyll content
4. harvest when sprouts are 1-2 inches long with delicate green leave; enjoy within 4 days sprout broccoli

Any of these sprouts can be added to salads, soups, stir-fry’s for a yummy taste, texture, and health boost.  Think outside the box and try your newly sprouted grains at all meals of the day, even dessert! You can also bake with them, dry them, or make them into flour.

Try out some of these recipes, great ways to enjoy these gorgeous little sprouts!  shiitake lettuce cups

Ingredients:

1 cup Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 TB Srirachi sauce
2 TB Apple Cider Vinegar
2 TB Tamari
2 TB Dijon mustard
1 block Tempeh, crumbled
1 cup Broccoli Sprouts
1 TB Red Palm Oil
1/2 cup Shredded Carrots
1/2 cup Onions, sliced
1 TB Sesame Oil
1 head Boston Lettuce
2 cloves garlic, chopped

In a large frying pan, heat palm oil and sauté tempeh, mushrooms, onions, srirachi sauce & garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, covered. In a mason jar or small bowl, mix dressing using tamari, mustard, vinegar & sesame oil. Place tempeh mixture into each lettuce cup, then drizzle dressing and top with carrots & broccoli sprouts. To finish, drizzle more srirachi sauce. Serves two for dinner or four for an appetizer.

Or try out: shrimp vegetable spring rolls

Ingredients:

8 spring roll rice papers
16 shrimp, sautéed in red palm oil
1 cup pea greens
1 cup chinese rose radish sprouts
1 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup asparagus, chopped
1/2 cup water chestnuts, sliced
12 fresh mint leaves

Fill a large mixing bowl with warm water, then submerge one paper into water until it feels extremely flexible. Remove from water and let drip over bowl, then place onto cutting board. Lay mint leaves in a row horizontally across. Top with all other ingredients, accept shrimp. Lay shrimp in a row horizontally across. Pull inwards both sides, then lift side closest to you, folding it over in the opposite direction until it creates a roll shown in picture.

~Or just a simple Sprouted Sandwich:
1 cup of sprouts
1 TB homemade mayonnaise
2 TB hummus
1 fried egg
2 slices of homemade or Ezakial bread

Spread the mayo and hummus, place the egg on one side, top with egg, and enjoy!

Uncategorized

Mushroom Tea

June 5, 2015

mushroom tea

Rhode Island Mushroom Company grows more than your basic portobella , they produce and sell more than a dozen specialty types of mushrooms for restaurants, whole sale, and curious home chefs.  They offer blue oyster, crimini, golden oyster, king oyster, maitake, portobella, pioppino, and other seasonal varieties.  They do it all at in their facilities in West Kingston, RI but you can come into Farm Farm Market to get a taste of the amazing mushrooms they offer.

For example, we picked up Maitakes this week and they are packed full of nutrients and medicinal value when they’re cooked.  The mushrooms have been historically used in traditional medicine and have more recently been found to act as a beneficial anticancer food.  An employee at RI Mushrooms explained the versatility of the superfood, they are both a fast growing crop and full of nutrients so they make for a really sustainable option, especially in developing areas that are in need of a reliable food source.  Finally, something that hits close to home, research is being done in the area of bio-remediation to use components of mushrooms to grow dune grass more resiliently in order to help with beach erosion.

Now let’s get to the tea! For this, dried chaga and reishi are the mushrooms you want.  Chaga is super loaded with antioxidants, helps support a strong immune system, and is a great source of protein.  Reishi benefits the immune and cardiovascular systems, and the brain and kidneys.  Making mushroom tea is very simple and a great drink to keep in the fridge.
mushroom set up

 

INGREDIENTS:

10 cups of filtered water
1/2 cup dried reishi mushrooms {broken into small pieces}
2 tsp chaga mushroom powder

STEPS:
First, measure the water into a crock pot or stove-top pan. Then add the reishi mushrooms:

reishi

Now, add the chaga mushroom powder:

chaga

Then, bring to a light boil, reduce heat and simmer for at least 2 hours but you can also continue overnight.  Then longer it cooks, the more flavor and nutrients you’ll get in your tea.  When ready, just strain the tea and keep refrigerated.  You’ll end up with something like this and you can reuse the dried mushrooms to make another batch.

mushrooms, finsihed

If this sounds like something you’d like to try just head to Farm Fare Market and buy the ingredients, all ready to go, that you’ll need!

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Beans: Energy-Rich, Legumes

May 29, 2015

First off, beans have incredible nutritional value! They offer one of the best sources of plant-based protein and fiber, which are extremely important for energy balance.  They also supply various vitamins and minerals that support a healthy diet, particularly B vitamins, iron and zinc.  Finally, these little legumes help to reduce and prevent the risk of degenerative diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

What is your relationship with beans? Do you LOVE them? Dislike them? Never experienced them?

Beans are powerhouses when it comes to protein + fiber. It can be difficult to reach our WHOLE fiber intake; I stress “WHOLE”, because we are tricked into buying isolated fiber all too often inplace of WHOLE fiber off many of the supermarket shelves. The recommended fiber intake is 25 – 38 grams per day.

Beans are: 

  • are low in sugar, which prevents spiking insulin and hunger sooner than later!
  • are high in antioxidants, which incapacitates cell-damaging free radicals!
  • Just {ONE CUP} of cooked beans gives your body:

12 grams of Fiber

14 grams of Protein

200 calories

{NOTE:} The fiber and protein causes these to be digested slower and you benefit from feeling more satisfied.

Let’s face it…..BEANS ARE PRETTY MUCH THE PERFECT FOOD. On an end note, beans are also one of the most inexpensive high-quality proteins that won’t break the bank.

Beans 1

How do they grow?
Beans actually require little management to grow, come in large numbers, and often add nitrogen back to the soil— much needed for organic farming.  Since they’re pretty easy to grow they make a great beginner crop for people wanting to try gardening.  The beans most common in local gardens are Bush beans, like green beans, should be harvested daily to avoid the beans becoming mature which will stop the plant from producing.  Shell beans is a tad more versatile in the kitchen. They can be pinched off the vine, like bush beans, but when the pods are slightly fuller.  Or you can let the pods stay on the plant until they are dry and very hard and save the dried beans for later cooking and planting. Lots of options to play with in your gardens!

Beans 2

Soldier Beans {above}

Beans are super sustainable,  because they can be part of the local food sources in your diet.  They’re perfect for the New England region because they only require an area where frost is not a threat during growing season, minimal to regular amount of water, and neutral, fertile soil.  Beans, as many foods, were brought from Central America by Native Americans and some of the popular ones still grown in the Northeast include Yellow Eye, Jacob’s Cattle, Soldier, Black Turtle, Cannellini, Red Kidney, and many others—several of which can be found at Farm Fare Market!

Beans 3

Yellow-Eyed Beans {above}

Beans 4

Jacob’s Cattle Beans {above}

How to prepare your beans? Generally, to prepare dried beans you first clean and rinse the beans, then soak them in water overnight to soften them to reduce cooking time and break down some of the natural gasses. Cook the beans by gently simmering them, stirring them periodically, until they’re tender.  But eating them fresh is always an option too! You can eat them raw, shell them, boil them, or stir fry them into your favorite dishes for an extra kick of protein.  Beans can be used in a variety of recipes like salads, soups, veggie burgers, dips and spreads, and even for desserts, providing added protein and substance.

Try making your own bean bowl with ingredients like these and intuitively mix and match:

  • 1/2 cup of cooked beans
  • 1/2 cup of a grain; like brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, farro, or wheat berries
  • 1 cup of assorted seasonal veggies; like spring onions, asparagus, carrots,  spinach + kale {carrots provide heart, lung, and bone health & kale is great for antioxidants, calcium, muscle-building, and sleep promotion}
  • 1 TB of coconut oil, olive oil or sesame oil
  • various spices; like turmeric, cumin, garlic, ginger +/or cayenne {garlic is rich in manganese, vitamin B6 and C, thiamin, phosphorous, selenium, calcium, potassium, iron, and copper}
  • fresh herbs; cilantro, parsley, thyme, rosemary, basil

In summary, beans can be an intuitive protein addition to your pantry.  They’re packed full of nutrients, are easy to grow and prepare, and are a much more sustainable option for your wallet and the environment.  Because they require fewer resources and are a more direct source of energy they make a great alternative to eating meat at various meals.  Get cooking!

Beans 5

Pinto Beans

Lentils

Green Lentils  

Breakfasts Lunches Uncategorized

Farm Fresh Eggs & Pasture Raised Chicken

May 26, 2015
Andrea Lynne Photography

Andrea Lynne Photography

Meet Caroline, one of my backyard chickens. I purchased her in her teenage months from Engelnook Farm. She is a heritage breed and is known to be a heavy layer.

When chickens are able to walk and graze they’re happier and this is important in their egg production too… the happier the chicken, the better the eggs when they get to you!

 

EggDone

Let’s talk about eggs! The nutritional value of pastured eggs has been researched and shown to have higher amounts of vitamin D! How much?? 4 to 6 times as much vitamin D as typical supermarket eggs.  Previous studies have also shown that farm fresh eggs are:

  • 1⁄3 less cholesterol
  • 1⁄4 less saturated fat
  • 2⁄3 more vitamin A
  • 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
  • 3 times more vitamin E
  • 7 times more beta carotene

Since the beginning of time, eggs have provided humans with excellent sources of vitamin D, B- vitamins and protein. In ancient times, they were thought to have magical properties and symbolized immortality. Commonly eaten scrambled or hard-boiled, eggs are another versatile staple to have in the kitchen. Try baking a cracked egg into a pitted avocado or stir-fried with brown rice and veggies. You can try my Sunrise Pepper or Rise ‘N Squash recipes that really highlight farm fresh eggs.

egg in pepper

creativeeggs

With all of this, be sure to remember the many benefits of choosing farm fresh eggs:

  • Supports local food choices
  • Chickens are allowed access to fresh grass
  • Better nutritional value
  • Healthier Chickens = Healthier Eggs
  • Connection to your food source

Stop by Farm Fare Market to pick up some local, pastured eggs that are only $5 for a dozen…you’ll be able to taste the difference!

What about the white meat? 

Why is it important that the chicken we consume be pasture raised? According to Hillside Poultry Farm, raising chickens pasture style results in a much healthier and cleaner bird free of antibiotics and hormones.  Hillside also explains that the pasture poultry system allows the birds to eat the whole stock of grass and receive all of its nutrients. The deference in health benefits between pastured chickens and commercial raised chickens are drastically different. According to Savannah River Farms, pastured poultry contains more omega 3s and vitamins A, C and E. Pastured poultry is arsenic free and boasts higher levels of beta-carotene, less fat and lower cholesterol.

Remember that “free range” or “free roaming” is not the same as pasture raised. While they may sound good, there are problems with the terms “free range” and “free roaming”. According to pasturedpoultry.org, to qualify as “free range” for the USDA all the chickens need is “access to the outdoors”. That means a shed with a dirt floor full of chickens qualifies if it has a little chicken door in the wall at the end.

You can often find pasture-raised chicken at certified local farms in your area. To help find a farm near you visit www.localharvest.org. You can also visit Farm Fare Market to purchase a frozen whole pasture raised chicken.

Uncategorized

Garden Planning: Time to Start those Start-Ups!

May 22, 2015

Growing your own food can be one of the most rewarding, enjoyable, and tasty projects you take on this season.  Now it’s time to buy your seeds and get garden planning! Check out Johnny’s Seeds Co. for purchasing your seeds. Before selecting your seeds this year, read Jim Lough’s sustainable gardening tips.

Screenshot 2015-05-23 12.50.44

Steps to start growing your own food:

1. Start composting: food waste, grass clippings, leaves, charcoal, and manure
2. Select size and location for your garden
3. Select your seed: annual and perennials
4. Gather tools and supplies
5. Build your garden: lay your tarp, turn soil, lay compost, cover with leaves
6. Start seeds in flats and trays
7. Clear garden and plant crops
8. Fertilize and cultivate
9. Harvest crop
10. Cover garden at the end of season and plan for next year

Most importantly! Enjoy what you grew. Visit our blog to find seasonal recipes.

Benefits of growing your own food:

1. Nutrition
2. Sustainable
3. Education
4. Connection to food
5. Environment

Get going with some start-up plants with these easy steps:

Collect the following materials from your local gardening store:

1. Organic soil and some stones
2. Small pots or trays
3. Seeds
4. Water

materials

Now you’re ready. Lay some stones in the bottom for drainage:
stones

Fill the pot about 2/3’s with soil: soil

Make finger-tip deep holes in the soil: holes

Sprinkle in the seeds, amount will depend on plant variety: sprinkle seeds

Cover the seeds up with the soil, water, and place in the sun.  Now just wait for the seeds to sprout, continue to water & move to a larger pot if needed! kale

Best of Luck!

Uncategorized

Sourdough Spelt

March 27, 2015

A little history about my own digestive issues…I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowl Syndrome since I was 8 years-old. Stomach aches, bloating, distention and long sessions in the bathroom all by myself. As I became Registered Dietitian and created my own nutrition practice, I was able to manage my IBS symptoms through balancing what I chose to eat. As many of you know, I love to cook intuitively with vegetables, fruits, grains and proteins. However, when it comes to baking, well, it’s never been my strong suit. Partly because I was afraid of feeling sick. Then along came Kate Scarlata, an amazing dietitian that specializes GI and is the pioneer of the FODMAP diet, which is meant to help manage the symptoms of IBS. I’m proud to call myself a #FODMAPer and love helping others with digestive issues through my nutrition practice.

I’d like to dedicate this one to Kate Scarlata + my dear friend Tara Laidlaw, who was generous in providing me with her family’s fifth generation sourdough starter from San Fransisco, California. Sourdough Spelt generally works great with FODMAP clients. I can bake!

Ingredients: {3 TB} Maple Syrup or Honey  + {1 1/2 cup spring water +  {1/4 cup} Sourdough Starter + {5 cups} Whole Spelt Flour + {1 1/2 tsp} Sea Salt

First, place honey or maple syrup into a mixing bowl with 1 1/2 cups of spring water and stir.

photo 3-2

 

Add the sourdough starter to the water and sweetener, then stir well.

 

photo 4-1

 

In a separate mixing bowl, fluff 5 cups of whole spelt flour.

 

photo 2-2

 

Add 1 1/2 tsp of Sea Salt to flour and mix.

 

photo 5

 

Pour flour and salt mixture into the sourdough, sweetener and water bowl and mix until you end up with your sourdough ball.

 

photo 1-3

 

Place into a bowl and cover for 1 hour. Pick up the dough and stretch and then fold the dough.  Stretch once again in the opposite direction.  Place back into bowl and cover with plastic for another 1/2 hour.  After a half hour do a second stretch and fold in both directions.  Put back in bowl and cover for another half hour.  After a half hour do a third stretch and fold in both directions.  Place the dough into the bowl and cover, then allow it to sit overnight. In the morning, scrape the dough out of the bowl and place it onto a cutting board.  Pull the sides up and pinch the dough at the top.  Place dough into the lined colander and cover with plastic and allow the dough to rise for another hour and a half.

 

photo 1

 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place an empty dutch oven with lid on for the last half hour.  Pull the  dutch oven out of the oven and gently transfer the dough from the colander.  Put the lid back on and return to oven and bake for 35 minutes.  After 35 minutes remove the lid and allow to bake for 10 additional minutes.

 

photo 3

 

Let your sourdough spelt loaf sit for an hour before serving. I’ll be serving mine tonight with quahogs I harvested this week. Enjoy!

 

photo 4

 

Don’t forget to save 1/4 cup of sourdough starter for your next batch. You can also save a few extra 1/4 cup sourdough starter jars for your friends!

 

photo 1-1

My recipe was modified from Breadtopia.  

A little bit more about sourdough:

Sourdough is not your typical bread product compared to most. It is made by a long fermentation of dough often derived from generations ago and is the traditional preparation of grains. However, you can create your own sourdough starter using flour and water. The fermentation process uses natural occurring lactobaccilli and yeast. Like many traditions, there are several methods to follow.

Why do people become attached to their sourdough starters? Recently, I had the opportunity to receive a San Fransisco Sourdough starter from a friend, Tara Laidlaw. This starter has been in her family for generations. I automatically felt a level of responsibility. After researching how to care for my starter, I realized, like many do, this “thing” deserves a name. After all, its going to be hanging out in my kitchen, I’m going to be feeding it and it’s going to allow me to bake with it. This was the beginning of a new relationship with “Walter” or “Wally”.

Some common practices for serving your starter refreshments or feeding is to use Unbleached, Unbromated Flour and Unchlorinated Water, pay attention to Temperature. To learn more, visit www.CulturesforHealth.com.

Sourdough is a stable culture of lactic acid bacteria and yeast in flour and water with a few health benefits and a mild sour taste.

  • Potential benefits of sourdough:
    • easier to digest
    • lactic acid creates an ideal pH to decrease phytates, which can block the uptake of critical minerals like calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc.
    • Increased amounts of zinc, iron, magnesium, copper and phosphorus
    • Breakdown of gluten and predigestion of starches
    • The acetic acid which is produced along with lactic acid, helps preserve the bread by inhibiting the growth of mold

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Seed Saving

March 13, 2015

As a beginner gardener, every growing season I purchase seeds from companies for my gardens. But, what if I didn’t have to? A few years ago, I noticed my seed expenses were adding up to over $400. This triggered me to investigate other options. Which led me to seed saving, a term I have heard of, however haven’t made a part of my own nutrition practice just yet. Here is what I found out from the Cape Cod Food Hub, a community that is playing a role in the local food movement.

What are the benefits of seed saving? Saving your own seed promotes biodiversity and supports locally adapted plant varieties. Sharing locally-saved seed strengthens a community by empowering individuals to grow their own healthy food; building connections between gardeners; and deepening residents’ connection to the land on which they live.

seed saving

Choosing Your Seeds 

The seeds in this collection are all from open- pollinated or heirloom varieties, meaning that seeds of successive generations will produce plants just like their parents. They are categorized by difficulty of saving pure seed, not difficulty of growing the plant itself.

Feel free to try growing any plants that interest you! However, if you are growing plants to save seeds, we ask that you stick to the easy plants (at least at first) to ensure that you’re returning reliable seed for other library patrons.

Easy

These annual plants usually self-pollinate, which makes it easy to ensure the purity of the seeds. Examples of easy seed to save include beans, peas, lettuce, and tomatoes.

Medium

These annual plants rely on insects for pollination and may cross-pollinate with other plants, so you need to plan ahead in order to ensure pure seeds. Examples of medium seed to save include basil, eggplants, and peppers.

Difficult

These plants require multiple years of growing and/or they cross pollinate readily, so they are recommended for experienced seed savers only. Difficult seeds to save include squash, cucumber, watermelon, kale, broccoli, and cabbage. 

 

There are 3 Techniques for Saving Seed:

Dry seed processing is for seeds that grow in pods or on the outside of the plant, for example beans, peas, and lettuce.

-allow the seeds/pods to dry on the plant, and collect them into a bag or bucket before they break open
-separate the seeds from the rest of the plant material (the “chaff”) and allow them to dry completely before storing

Wet seed processing is for seeds that grow inside the fleshy fruit of the plant but that do not have a gel-like coating, for example watermelon, eggplant, and some squash.

-scoop the seeds out from the fruit and rinse them thoroughly in a colander
-spread the seeds on a plate or screen and allow them to dry completely before storing

Fermentation seed processing is for seeds with a gel-like coating, for example tomato, cucumber, and some squash.
-scoop the seeds out from the fruit and mix them with a bit of water in a small glass or plastic container with a lid
-leave the seeds in a warm spot until a layer of mold has grown on top of the water (2-6 days)
-add more water, swish it around, and remove the mold, pulp, and floating seeds by pouring them gently off the top
-drain the water and spread the remaining seeds on a plate or screen to dry thoroughly before storing

You can find out more information about seed saving at the following links:

www.seedsavers.org
www.howtosaveseeds.com       
www.seedalliance.org

SEED SAVING EVENT AT STURGIS LIBRARY:

Join Cape Cod Food Hub members for the opening day of the seed lending library’s 2015 growing season! This year we are delighted to offer high-quality vegetable, herb, and flower seeds that were either grown here on the Cape or donated by Seed Savers Exchange. These seeds are available free of charge to all members of the community.

We also encourage gardeners to bring leftover seeds (and accompanying gardening stories) to share and swap during the event.

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