Friday, June 27, 2008

Food Drying Bliss and Gratitude

Tuesday was an exciting day, my dehydrator came! I ordered it on Friday night and by Tues it had already gotten here.It turns out the factory is in Sacramento and it must have been dropped shipped from there. I got the nine tray Excalibur and because I ordered it from it came with 9 teflex sheets which I knew I would need. I cannot praise them more highly because when I had a question they got right back to me and they were very helpful.
Tuesday afternoon I got some raw buckwheat groats out and started them sprouting in my $1.25 nylon paint straining bags (it sure beats the $9.00 ones that are sold as nut milk bag). It takes about two days to fully sprout buckwheat so while I waited for that to happen I soaked some different seeds and on Wed I made some seed crackers. It takes about 24 hours for the crackers to dry thoroughly and I was so happy when they were finished. I used fennel seed, celtic sea salt, and onion to flavor them and they were really yummy. Yesterday I used 4 cups of fresh corn and the sprouted buckwheat to make some chili-lime corn chips. That turned out well too. I also made some chili-lime, and wasabi flavored almonds that turned out nice. I figured out how to process the sprouted buckwheat to make the flavoring stay on the nuts and I think I am on to something. I plan to post the recipe on when I get a hold of a digital camera. You can see I am getting a little crazy with the dehydrator but what can I say but that it is my new toy. I am sure that I will not be snacking so much on this stuff after awhile so right now I am just having a good time with it. You will find that after your body gets detoxed some that you tend to be able to eat much more intuitively. All the raw foodists I talk to say the same thing. Once in a while I really want avocados but then it seems like I get it out of my system and start wanting something else. I used to eat fruit every morning but now I eat what I am hungry for, and at night sometimes after I have had richer food during the day, I just want some fruit for dinner so I just sort of go with it. One thing I do hold myself to though is that I never eat melon with any other food because it just kills me. Others experience that too. I do appreciate my hubby for sacrificing to get my dehydrator. For a carnivore, he is very supportive because he knows that it makes me well.
I have been researching buckwheat and I have come to the conclusion that in it’s sprouted form it is the perfect grain for me ( although it is a fruit in the rubarb family). It has 18 % protein and it is a complete protein form so it helps out other proteins you have eaten in the last day be 100% usable also. It is fast to sprout but must be rinsed very well at least 3 times a day. Whirled up in the food processor it makes a smooth textured batter like thing that can be used to make the base for cookies and crackers. You can also dry the sprouted buckwheat to make “buckwheaties”. They can be eaten for breakfast with nut milk and fruit for a very filling breakfast type thing. And, like I mentioned above, I can use them to do a coating on nuts. I bet in the future I am going to figure out many more uses for it. After sprouting it does not have a “raw flour” taste either. I think that many people when they first hear about raw food that you are just forcing yourself to eat all sorts of unpalatable raw stuff. I heard a story about a girl that was invited to a raw potluck and she brought a bowl of raw cake batter mixed up. She was embarrassed but I am sure they understood.
My hubby brought home yesterday some fresh local figs, about 3 pounds worth. I had advertised on craigslist my need for organic produce and listed some of my talents in trade. I am going to give her 8 year old some sewing lessons in exchange for more in the future. That will be fun as I really like to teach the next generation life skills. I have to get the figs in the dehydrator and I can’t wait till they are done. You can use figs instead of raisons if you cut them up small so they are going to work out great for me.
Thinking back yesterday, sort of doing an inventory of where I am at, I came to the conclusion that I am very happy to be doing this and plan to do it for life. I am never hungry at all, I no longer have a love-hate relationship with food, I actually feel much better about eating in general, I don’t struggle with weight anymore, and as I observe people around me I believe that I enjoy the taste and experience of food so much more than they do. I am so grateful to the Lord for leading me here.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Organic or not organic, that is a question.

This is a post about why I don’t eat totally local and organic. I am committed to eating local as much as possible but my farmers market has many sellers that are conventional growers too and it seems like the organic produce is pretty scarce there. I don’t like to buy from these local conventional growers because even though it is fresher they have no one to be accountable to as far as their pesticide use. At least large veggie farmers are tested and hopefully a little more cautious in this area because there own bottom line is at stake. I know many home gardeners that never found a pesticide and herbicide they did not like and dumped them on at whim. What it boils down to is that I am just afraid to buy from these growers. I will buy from those who say they grow organically locally, if I can at all afford it (even though they are not certified because of hassle and cost). I do try to ask some questions though about their methods and if I don’t like the answer I move on. I have also stopped buying strawberries and other berries because I know these are heavily sprayed crops. Once in a while I will get organic ones but this is very rare.
I would love to be able to go to the store and buy all organic produce but because of the cost, if I did that I would not eat much and end up going back to SAD (Standard American Diet). I know that it is not the best but I believe it is much better than eating the SAD. Sometimes people have to make measured choices about what is best, sorta best, and really not good. I am not writing these posts to complain but to maybe help people navigate these issues better.
Unfortunately I will have no apples, cherries or plums on my trees this year. I planned on drying some with the dehydrator that hopefully I am getting in a week or so but looks like that is not going to happen because they all froze. Oh well, I can hope for next year as hopefully we will not have a weird late hard freeze like we did this year. I do have a large patch of blackberries that are blooming so if I get to them before the local foragers do, I will eat some fresh and dry some. YUM!
I am so looking forward to getting that dehydrator though. Thoughts of sprouted seed crackers made with all kind of flavor combinations keep dancing around in my mind. I really can’t wait. I want something dry and crunchy now!