Archive for the ‘Nourishment’ Category

Emulsification and Eggs

mayonnaiseSome people will tell you that mayonnaise is bad for you.  Perhaps it is, if you look at the ingredients in a store bought brand.  It is full of so many extra additives and ingredients and if you get low-fat you are bound to have some sort of starch to create the wonderful thickness that mayonnaise is known for.  Why the thickness?  It’s due to emulsification.  Really quite amazing how it works actually!  The combination of oil added slowly to egg yolks creates a stable sauce.  The egg yolk is the emulsifier as it contains lecithin, which is a fat emulsifier.  If you add mustard to your recipe it also has a bit of lecithin and serves to add more stability to your mixture.  You have to add the oil slowly though while beating at a high speed.  I use my Vitamix which makes the process relatively easy.  I cannot imagine the intensity it would take to do this by hand as my husband’s grandmother supposedly did.

I am not fooled by thinking that this high-fat dressing and sauce is bad for me.  I use high quality olive oil, good farm fresh eggs, mustard, lemon, sea salt and pepper.  I will add whey when I want the mayonnaise to last for a longer length of time and I am not using it right away.  The taste is amazing.  I hated mayonnaise all my life until I made my own.  Now I cannot get enough of this rich creamy condiment.  The fresh lemon brightens the flavor and I have always loved the taste of olive oil.  So with homemade mayonnaise you get lipase.  Lipase is an enzyme that helps your body break down and digest fats.  Making your own mayonnaise with fresh, organic raw eggs gives you so many enzymes that pasteurization would destroy.  When I add why to this I leave my mayonnaise out for about 7 hours and this begins some lacto-fermentation which brings out more nutrients.  I can then keep my mayo for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.  Honestly in the summer it doesn’t last more then a few days though.

Now let’s talk about eggs…

So I suppose the subject of adding raw eggs to something might be a bit freakish to think about.  What with all the salmonella warnings and all.  If you are using battery chickens I would be concerned about that as well…and more.  The truth is that the risk is low even in your commercial eggs.  The better truth to look at is that if you are buying your eggs from healthy, cage free, organically (at the very least properly fed) fed chickens there is almost no risk as sick chickens are who lay salmonella covered eggs.  It makes sense doesn’t it?  If you are fed poorly and taken care of poorly you are more likely to be sick with something and pass that on to others.  So why raw eggs?  Well, for one thing when you cook anything you begin to break down the nutrients in that food.  If you cook your eggs you lose a lot of protein and other vital nutrition for the brain, nerves, glands and hormones, they are such a perfect food.  So what exactly is in an egg in it’s raw state that makes it so wonderful?  Protein, essential fatty acids along with niacin, riboflavin, biotin, choline, vitamins A, D and E, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, iron, iodine, copper, zinc, lecithin and sulphur.  Oh and guess what?  Egg yolks are one of the few foods that contain vitamin D.  Yeah that’s a whole lot of goodness packed into one tiny thing.  So why wouldn’t you begin to add some to your diet?  I have 2-3 eggs a day and regularly add a raw egg to my smoothies.  I send my husband off in the morning with a raw egg smoothie whenever I am awake enough to send him off.  As a pregnant mama and getting ready to be a nursing mama all those nutrients are invaluable.  So anywhere I can get a raw egg in I am all for it.

My basic recipe for mayo…

  • 1 egg yolk,
  • 1 whole egg,
  • juice of a lemon (to taste),
  • about a teaspoon of mustard (or to taste),
  • 1 Tablespoon of whey (if I want it to last more then a few days, optional),
  • celtic sea salt (to taste)
  • grind or two of pepper
  • 3/4 C. extra virgin olive oil

chxsaladCombine everything but oil  in your food processor or I use my vitamix for about 30 seconds.  Then slowly drizzle in your olive oil, slowwwlllly, almost one drop at a time.  This is where the emulsification process kicks in.  Slowly that oil incorporates and becomes your mayo.  Now if I have added the whey then I will let my mayo sit out for no longer then 7 hours to slightly ferment, this also makes your mayo more solid.  Pop in the fridge and use up before 2 weeks.  And one of my favorite ways to use mayo?  On chicken salad.  I can’t get enough chicken salad or salmon salad these days.  I love the fresh coolness of it combined with lettuces and a few grapes for crispy sweetness.  Don’t forget the pickles!  Pass the mayo anyone?!

Gone bananas

I love bananas, green bananas that is.  I just can’t stand them when they get mushy and brown and super sweet.  So when you buy yourself some nice organic bananas and they become brown too quick what’s a girl to do?  Make banana bread.  Ok, so it’s not the best thing for me right now being a bit high on the blood sugars, but I can share it with others and the rest of the family can still eat it.  The added bonus is I control the whole grain goodness and sugars I add into the bread.

I followed the Nourishing Traditions recipe, though I swapped out the maple syrup in favor of coconut sugar and only used 1/4 C.  I believe I added an extra banana too, just to get rid of what I had.  Oh and I added almonds, because I didn’t have pecans on hand.  Though personally pecans would be my first choice.

yogurt_speltFor starters I took my whole organic spelt berries and freshly ground them.  I then presoaked them in my yogurt to get rid of the phytic acid and increase the amount of nutrient absorption.  You really want to presoak your grains, they become more easily digestible and you release nutrients that are otherwise locked away.  You want to soak them in some sort of acidic medium.  My typical choice is my own homemade yogurt. It gives your grains a wonderful sour taste much like sourdough.  Making yogurt is really so simple it’s worth your time and effort and easier on your wallet.  Alton Brown has excellent instructions on the foodnetwork.com website if you are interested.  He did a show specifically on yogurt

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and really showcased this wonderful food.  I omit the powdered milk and honey, no real need for it, plus I don’t want the poor quality of powdered milk when I’m using good quality milk.  However you can experiment with your own flavors as well.  I use a Yogourmet thermometer for making my yogurt, it’s just wonderful!  For an excellent article and instructions on pre-soaking your grains click here.

Yes it does take some getting used to when you start pre-soaking your grains for consumption.  The texture is different, the taste is different, there is more time involved (though it’s usually just time waiting for the soaking process).  The health benefits outweigh all that though.  I find I enjoy the process myself.  I started with easy things like pancakes.  My family just loves them and you can’t beat the rich good flavor of freshly ground grains!  I have made buckwheat, spelt, oat pancakes.  I have made my own Runza’s with a yogurt dough.  Plus I can feel good about what I feed my family.  I can’t say enough about it, try it out today I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

bananabread

I scream, you scream…

I love ice cream, I have always loved ice cream, I will always love ice cream.  You cannot go wrong with a smooth creamy sweet treat!  However sugar is not our friend as most everyone knows.  I do not have issues with the fat, as long as you use a healthy fat.  Raw milk and cream would be the best and farm fresh eggs.  If that is not available I will go with a vat pasturized non-homogenized variety.  (For more information on the benefits of milk see  www.realmilk.com/what.html.)  In Iowa raw milk sales are not legal so unless you have access to your own cow it’s much more difficult to get a hold of.  I buy good quality non-homogenized from a local dairy farm.

IceCream2

Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Cream

I made both a chocolate and vanilla ice cream for Sloane’s birthday party (forgive the insane red in the picture, I didn’t set up the shot for lack of time as I usually would).  Being about 28 weeks pregnant I am having issues with blood sugars and though I have not officially done my glucose test yet I had diabetes while pregnant with Sloane.  So I am watching my sugars this time too.  I made my ice cream with a combination of coconut sugar (which has a lower glycemic index and more healthy benefits, see here) and stevia.  Farm fresh eggs and egg yolks for extra protein as well.  I need to balance my food as much as possible and I need vast amounts of protein to help stave off pre-eclampsia.

So let me share my recipes, such as they are.  I use a Cuisinart style ice cream maker, only it’s a knock off brand.  Simple to use, you just freeze the container in a deep freeze set it in the base and poor in your mix.  In about 20 minutes to half an hour your ice cream is usually done.  So I’ll share my favorite first, it’s like having a rich chocolate truffle and what I like about these recipes is though I cook the milk I don’t cook the cream in with the egg yolk mixture.  The less I cook my milk and cream the better as I want as much of the natural qualities of it is as possible.  I also used the smallest amount of sugars possible.

French Chocolate Truffle

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 2/3 C. whole milk
  • 1/4-1/2 C. coconut sugar
  • 6 or so drops of dark colored stevia liquid, you might want this to taste
  • 1/3 C. cocoa powder, use a good quality cocoa powder
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 2 C. cream

Whisk together the egg yolks, milk and sugars.  Cook over medium low heat until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon.  I have read some recipes that tell you not to heat over 170 degrees, if you would like to check this way.  Just don’t let it bubble over as you will ruin your mixture.  Add your cocoa powder and whisk in over low heat until well mixed.  Once mixture cools completely add your vanilla and 2 cups of cream.  Chill overnight or up to 24 hours.  Add to your ice cream maker and follow the directions.

Vanilla Bean

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 C. whole milk
  • 1/4 of a vanilla bean
  • 1/4-1/2 C. coconut sugar, to your taste
  • 6 or more drops of clear stevia
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 C. cream

Whisk together your egg yolks, milk and sugars.  Slice the vanilla bean open and scrape out the seeds, add the bean and seeds to the mixture to amalgamate while you cook.  Cook over medium-low heat until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon.  Remove from heat and cool completely.  Add your vanilla extract and cream and combine well.  Chill overnight or for 24 hours.  Discard vanilla bean and add to your ice cream maker per makers directions.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!  And for my favorite Farscape ice cream quote to leave you with “Savage, I know almost every food in the galaxy–I have no idea what this iza’s scream IS!”  Spoken by Rygel.