Probiotic intake is one of the cornerstones of traditional foods, but many kids balk at the zip and tang most probiotics have. As a mom, I’ve found many creative ways to get large and small amounts of probiotics into my kids. This was critical while we were all going through gut healing and we continue with consuming probiotics daily now that we have healed. While some of these ideas don’t represent a large amount of probiotics at one time, little bits here and there definitely add up. Here are some easy ways to get probiotics into kids while disguising the zing. [Read more…] about Four Sneaky Ways to Add Probiotics to Your Kid’s Diet
As a new feature on Cooking Traditional Foods, every Wednesday afternoon we’re going to feature one of our most popular posts from the past. There are many great articles and recipes in the archives and we hope you’ll find some new favorites.
I have tried and tried to make sourdough the ‘traditional’ way, in the way Nourishing Traditions describes in its sourdough recipe. I have let my starter sit out and fed and stirred it faithfully, time and time again, only to have it get moldy and fail after a period of time unless I kept it in the refrigerator. Maybe it’s because I live in the humid South, who knows the reason. But I have never been able to get sourdough to the point where I could bake with it and have it out on the counter so I could produce enough to use it daily. Keeping it in the fridge just resulted in too many jars to be able to keep up with the demand of daily baking, it soured so slowly.
That is, until I tried the method Lozt Nausten, one of the moderators on the CTF forum, recommended in her wonderful sourdough bread recipe. If you are gluten-free and you need a regular bread, I strongly suggest you look at her four versions of sourdough, including the grain-free and egg-free versions. I have tried every version of her recipe and have enjoyed them all.
Using kefir made with apple juice instead of water to make the sourdough starter speeds the process up considerably and gives the starter a major boost of beneficial bacteria to ward off mold. You can use the starter in as little as 24 hours if you want a very mild flavor. Allowing it to go longer while feeding it daily creates a stronger sourdough flavor.
You can use any fermentable flour to make sourdough. Nuts and starches, like coconut, almond, tapioca starch and the like, will not ferment and can not be used for the starter but they are fine as an ingredient in the dough. If you need a grain-free starter, you can use bean flours to make your starter. In fact, on Lozt Nausten’s blog, you’ll see a grain-free recipe that uses bean flour to make the starter.
Sourdough pizza crust, ready to be baked
To make your starter, combine equal amounts of a flour of your choice and apple juice kefir. 2/3 cup flour and 2/3 cup apple juice kefir makes 1 cup of starter. Leave it on the counter for 24 hours. If you need a mild sourdough, use it to bake at that point. If you want a stronger flavor, feed it more and let sit longer.
If you need to take a break from using the starter, stash it in the fridge and feed it once a week. I use my starter to make pancakes, pizza, bread and much more. In the coming weeks, we’ll be going over a variety of recipes and techniques to help you add sourdough to your meals.
Image adapted from Pauline Mac on flickr
This cobbler has proven to be popular among Menu Mailer users, as it is egg free. I originally used it as a Menu Mailer dessert recipe, but I occasionally use it for breakfast when we have an over-abundance of fruit. The topping becomes completely firm while baking, even though it’s liquid when you add it.
From the Menu Mailer
1 Tbs yogurt or kefir (coconut or dairy-based)
1 cup flour of your choice (I used sorghum)
4 cups firm fruit, such as peach/apple/pear/apricot, peeled and cubed
1 cup soft fruit, such as berries or nectarines, cubed if needed
1/3 cup + 2 Tbs rapadura (more if your fruit is tart)
1 tsp cornstarch (use organic to minimize potential GMO exposure)
¼ cup tapioca starch if gluten free, or additional wheat flour
½ tsp xanthan gum if using gluten free flours
1¾ tsp baking powder
Heaping ½ tsp salt
½ cup coconut oil or butter, melted
In a medium bowl, combine the kefir or yogurt with enough water to make 1 cup and whisk in the flour. Cover and allow to stand 8 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease a 12×8 baking dish or another shallow, 2-quart casserole dish. Add the fruit, 1/3 cup rapadura and cornstarch. Stir to combine and set aside.
Whisk the remaining 2 Tbs rapadura, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt into the soaked flour, being careful that the xanthan and baking powder don’t clump. Whisk in the oil. Pour the batter over the fruit. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and firm.
Image from flickr
This is what happens when your sourdough starter is really active. We were in the living room when we heard the explosion over everyone cheering while playing a game on the Wii. It sprayed the starter in a ten-foot radius. It damaged the ceiling and took a while to clean.
I’ve never had a sourdough explosion before. I always make my starter with equal parts apple juice kefir and freshly ground flour. The only difference is that today I added a couple pinches of freshly-ground teff when I fed my starter. Teff, like rye in the world of gluten, is very active when added to sourdough. I took the remaining starter and made pizza crust for tomorrow. I will make pancakes in the morning for breakfast. I took a new lid and ring and loosely put it on the jar, in case it decides to do a repeat performance tonight while we’re asleep. I put it in the middle of the bar, on a towel, with nothing near it, so if it overflows it won’t make a mess. I’ll start the sourdough over after that, this time in a bigger container!
This post is part of Get Real Tuesday.
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Last year on the forum, we started a Baby Steps section to help people new to traditional foods. Each month, I will be posting those baby steps to the blog in case you’re wanting to start your own Traditional Foods journey.
January begins with the most basic steps.
1. Make your own chicken stock from scratch instead of buying canned stock.
2. Switch the type of fat you’re cooking with to a traditional fat- coconut oil, lard, butter, tallow, ghee, palm oil.
3. Eat fruits and vegetables that are in season for this month.
4. Move to consuming the best quality dairy that you can find &/or afford. If you can not locate or afford raw milk, you will not receive any flack from board members. We all understand limits of availability and budget. Instead, let’s discuss ways to make non-raw milk as healthy as possible, such as kefir, yogurt and other cultures.
KerryAnn Foster runs Cooking Traditional Foods, the longest running Traditional Foods Menu Mailer on the internet. KerryAnn has over nine years of traditional foods experience and is a former Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader. Founded in 2005, CTF helps you feed your family nourishing foods they will love. Each mailer contains one soup, five dinners, one breakfast, on dessert and extras. You can learn more about our Menu Mailers at the CTF website. For a free sample Menu Mailer, join our mailing list. You can also join our forum to chat with other traditional foodists and learn more.
I have taken both heaps of praise and heaps of criticism for the coconut milk yogurt recipe since it was published. Praise from those who are dairy-free and looking for ways to expand their probiotic intake or are happy to have a replacement for the expensive coconut yogurt that their kids love. I have received criticism from those who are unhappy I wouldn’t push raw milk consumption over coconut milk, even for those who are dairy allergic, and that the recipe would use canned coconut milk instead of directing people to first make their own.
First, to address those who come here for help and support- I understand that you do not have an unlimited budget and all of the time and resources in the world. You will not receive any condemnation from me for not being able to source and use the best ingredients possible for everything that you do. You do not have to be a food snob to be accepted here and on the CTF forums. We welcome you, as you are, wherever you are on your traditional foods journey.