January 18, 2019

Plants Only?

We've been hearing more lately about plant based diets.

It seems there is always a new diet routine that pops up every couple of years that creates a lot of commotion about being the healthiest new lifestyle choice.

Some of them are just craziness and some do have some sensible choices that should be part of a healthy eating plan anyway.

But, plants only?

That means no animal, dairy, eggs, refined sugars, refined grains, and all processed foods.

Plant based foods - vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, whole grains, and legumes make up the bulk of the diet.

Certain oils, such as olive and coconut, and certain sweeteners, such as agave and maple syrup are plant based so they are allowed.

The whole idea of this way of eating is to reduce the risks of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, certain cancers, and cognitive decline.

It has also shown benefits to those with inflammation, digestive issues, allergies, and asthma.

It lowers the blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as helps regulate blood sugar levels.

The way to healthy eating lifestyle choices is a fairly simple one - Mother Nature provides what we need in it's natural form.

But mankind has put many obstacles and roadblocks that stand in the way of reaching this goal.

Cheese, sugar, unhealthy fats, refined grains, and tons of varieties of processed foods to just name a few.

And for most families, it's cheaper and quicker to prepare these foods in this busy, expensive world we live in.

My family has always eaten healthy, but my daughter and her family have adopted the plants only eating plan for the past month.

She and her husband have seen significant changes in their well being.

Enough so that they will be continuing their plant only diet.

This mother is watching and listening.

And you bet I will post more about this as time goes on.

January 10, 2019

Tidy up the Blog

It's been a long while since I've posted on this blog.

It needed some serious housekeeping done as well as some TLC.

I have given it a more simple theme, doing away with the customized one that I had been using.

It was creating problems with how it was being displayed in different browsers, so back to the basics to keep it working.

Some of the side bar selections have been deleted, as well as links that were being troublesome.

Going onward, I would like to post on a more regular basis

August 29, 2015

Sourdough Starter

Sourdough bread has always been one of my favorites.

The tangy, salty flavor is unique and the chewy texture is pleasing and unlike the breads we are all used to.

I have tried making  sourdough starter from scratch, but I didn't have much luck with it.

This past spring my daughter had one given to her, and she shared some with me.

Several months later my beautiful starter is still thriving and producing exceptional bread each time I need it.

I have adapted my favorite multigrain bread recipe to using the starter in it, and I find it even better with this added ingredient.

Keeping the starter happy though takes some practice.

When it's bubbling and expanding each time it's fed, then it is active and healthy.

The only ingredients are flour and water, and once they have harvested the yeast from the air, that's when the magic starts.

The starter gets fed more flour and water on a daily basis.

The amounts need to be doubled each day in order to give it enough to eat.

But it can quickly get out of hand at this rate.

I usually keep mine at a small amount until I am ready to make my bread, then I start the doubling amount a couple of days beforehand.

An 1/8 of a cup does me well until I need to bake, then I ramp up the amounts.

That way, I am only removing a spoonful a day before I feed it so I can feed it without it getting out of control.

I have found that giving it a tad less water than the flour yields the best results for the starter to rise.

A healthy starter will rise and fall each day and I have found that using it at it's full height gives the best results for the bread.

Check out the next image to see the fullness of the batter as it is poured - just beautiful!

The natural yeasts in the bread make it unnecessary to use commercial yeast.

The rising times take longer for the bread.

Several of my recipes use added yeast, and they work well with the natural ones in the starter to produce a lighter, softer bread than the traditional sourdough.

This bread is a healthy alternative to traditional breads, and in my next post, I will discuss these benefits.

June 11, 2015

Summer's Arrival

For many, summer begins with the Memorial Day weekend at the end of May.

For those with children, summer arrives on the the last day of school.

Others will count the July 4th celebration as their start even though the calendar tells us it is June 21st.

In our house this year, summer arrived today, on June 11th.

It usually arrives for us much earlier - sometime in May, but it got off to a later start this season.

Perhaps it was the extra cold winter that lingered longer in the bones, or perhaps just another year older all together.

We thought maybe yesterday would be the day, but I'm glad we waited for today.

It was perfect.

We had the sun, the wind a little stronger than we would have liked, and just a few other people around.

But we got right in with no problems and had our first swim at the lake for this season.

Let the Summer Begin!

August 21, 2014

Beans and Lettuce

It has been a banner year for the green beans in the garden.

But then we have always had good luck with them.

Not good enough to freeze any though like this year - and they will taste so good in the winter.

What has been the biggest surprise to me though is the lettuce.

I have never grown it before and really didn't know what to expect with it.

The seeds were so tiny and they needed a major thinning once they all sprouted.

I always thought lettuce was a cool weather crop that didn't like the summer heat.

But I was so wrong.

We have had a continuous supply all summer.

The more I pick it, the more it grows.

I haven't had to buy any lettuce at the market all summer long.

That one little packet of seeds that I bought on clearance at the end of last season has served us well.

I will be sure to make lettuce a staple in the garden each year now - whether we get the seeds on clearance or not.