Give the Gift of a Cookbook
New Year for New Ways of Cooking
Give the Gift of a Cookbook!
Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, Ph.D., 1999
Excellent history of food and recipes. This book needs to be the new “Betty Crocker” or “Joy of Cooking” in every kitchen. For those looking for more science or want to ferment your own food, the book contains a reference for research that documents food fermentation; fruit, vegetables and cereal (read grains) throughout the world before the “indigenous knowledge” was completely lost. www.fao.org
After reading the book my first response was what yours may also be, “I don’t have time for any more food preparation.” Yet . . . I was curious!
So I started with soaking whole grains. Soaking the grain made a huge difference in digestion. Soaking sprouts the grain, breaks down phytic acid which makes the nutrients in the grains like calcium and magnesium more absorbable, also breaking down certain starch and sugars that produces enzymes that aid digestion and eliminates gas. Yes it meant more planning. My solution was to make a large batch of rice, millet or quinoa and freeze it into appropriate containers for the month. Remember cereal is not a whole grain. Cereal is probably our oldest processed food. Can you go into your kitchen and make “O’s” or “flake’s” cereal?
Nuts are another great topic covered in this cookbook. Seeds have anti-enzymatic properties to prevent sprouting of the seeds – that’s why you can store seeds for later planting. This is what makes them difficult to digest. So, yes soaking/sprouting is required to release the enzymes making the nut or seed more digestible. Again a little planning and making large batches is all that is needed to make nuts digestible.
And if you’ve never made bone soup, including chicken soup (yes, with the skin), now’s a great time to get started. Make a large batch and freeze the broth in various size containers or ice-cube tray to use later in vegetables or other recipes.
Today it is easy to get started with these traditional methods of food processing. Our grocery stores are carrying many of these sprouted and fermented products. Some Farmer’s Markets carry bone soups and other delectable food adventures. With a little planning you can include some of the old ways. Think of it as a culinary adventure for your health!
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, Michael Pollan, 2014
This is not a cookbook, but rather a history of food transformation. The book covers how new discoveries in food led to improvements in our nutrition until the 1880’s. Since then the changes have not improved our health (a great section on bread, real bread with the whole “whole grain”, and subsequent short shelf life); how Americans now have more food networks yet aren’t cooking their evening meal anymore (ah, if there’s time to watch food networks there is time to cook and eat well!); how cooking at home ensures eating health; the importance of eating fermented (or “rotting” food) and a whole lot more interesting history. Pasteurization (dairy and juice) is excellent for killing the microbes yet we need the microbes. The microbes are the friendly bacteria in our guts that help in so many ways, and research is finding that we carry a lot of microbes. Other books by Michael Pollan include: In Defense of Food, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Food Rules. http://michaelpollan.com/
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