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Saturday, June 19, 2010

New Look....New Ideas.....New Website

We have a new look for our blog!!  I'm always up for a change,  and changing my blog template is as much fun as rearranging the living room furniture..... except I didn't even have to break a sweat  or ask for help to do this!

Hope you like the new look! 

As I've talked about in recent posts, I been experimenting with new ideas about food, mostly about soaking grains!  The purpose of soaking grains is to break down phylates.  It requires advance planning, which actually makes things EASIER, in that I HAVE to plan ahead, so there is no last minute "hemming and hawing" over what to make for dinner, or not wanting to start my bread.  If my flour or rice is already soaking, then the decision is already made for me!  I LOVE easy decisions.  And, believe it or not, it's actually much easier to decide what to make for dinner when dinner is hours (or even an entire day away).   I tend to balk at making "last-minute decisions"....just ask the Pater Familias how annoying I am every time we go into a restaurant...but decisions made for the future (even just tomorrow's dinner)..are easy!

I also wanted to introduce my loyal readers to my NEW website.  The result of much hard-work and research...and MUCH more to come.  It is still very-much a work in progress, but it's been loads of fun and I'm learning a lot.  Home remedies have been a passion for mine for the last several years  so without further ado...MY website.....(duh, da, duh, da, duh,  da.... can't you just hear the music?!?).   My-Home-Remedies.

I hope you like it.  I hope IF you do like it, you link to it.  I hope you share YOUR story on it!  But, most of all I hope you find it useful, and reference it over and over again.  Remember..new pages are being added  a couple of times a week so keep coming back and see what's new!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Soaked Muffins

My adventures in soaking grains continues.  I tried this recipe for soaked muffins, and they were DELICIOUS!!   Really, really good.  The only change I made was I used plain, home-made yogurt instead of raw milk, since we don't have raw milk, and I didn't feel comfortable letting pasteurized milk sit out on the counter.  For my add-ins I used chopped walnuts and raisins.   I omitted the ginger as I don't really care for ginger as a spice, and instead added a pinch of allspice.  YUMMY!! 

Right now, I'm soaking flour for pizza crust, for Saturday night pizza.  Can't wait to see how that turns out!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Soaking Grains

As promised in my last post, I am updating on my experience  with soaking flour to make bread.

Soaking flour, involves, allowing the flour to sit in an acid medium for 12-24 hours before using it to bake bread.   The "acid medium" could be water with lemon juice, cider vinegar or kefir (cultured milk, similar to yogurt).   The purpose of soaking grains is to break down the phylatesPhylates are sometimes called "anti-nutrients" since they prevent the absorption of other nutrients.   See this link and this link for more information on soaking grains.

Since reading this information I have adapted my bread recipe, to involve soaking most of the flour.  It has come out wonderfully, rises nice and high and is quite tasty.  The only difference is that the rising times are a bit longer.  Instead of  1 hour for each rise, it might take 4 hours...but it's still simple enough, and it's not as though I need to *do* anything to make it rise.

Whole Wheat Bread with Soaked Flour

3 cups warm water
3 tablespoons vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
5 teaspoons yeast
2/3 cup honey
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon salt
7-8 cups white-whole-wheat flour

The day before you want to make your bread, combine the vinegar with 2 1/2 cups warm water, 6 cups of flour and 1/3 cup honey.  Mix well, and cover the bowl tightly with saran wrap.  Allow to sit on the counter for 12-24 hours (I usually do around 18-20 hours).

The next day, mix 1/2 cup warm water with, the yeast, 1/3 cup honey and 1 cup flour.  Let sit for 30 minutes or until it is bubbly and slightly risen.   Add the melted butter and the salt.   Add the soaked dough to this mixture and knead well for at least 5-10 minutes.  I usually knead my dough right in the bowl as it saves a mess on the counter.  You may have to add more flour.

Let rise until doubled in size, between 2-4 hours.  Punch dough down, divine into two loaves and place each loaf into a greased loaf pan.  Let rise another 2-4 hours in a warm place.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until done.  


Many people swear by the greater digestibility of soaked grains. So far, I have only soaked beans, oatmeal and rice.  The rice and beans came out great! The oatmeal, I probably should have used kefir or yogurt instead of the lemon juice I did use.  The Social-Butterfly complained that her oatmeal was too sour, and she kept wanting to add sugar to it.  Next time, I soak oatmeal for breakfast, I'll use kefir or yogurt.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm been busy....

I apologize for not blogging in several weeks.  We've been rather busy over here. Out countdown is on....only 2 more months until we pack up and move 1000 miles away for the Pater Familias to begin studying law.   Lot's of preparations have been going on lately!

In the meantime, I've been choosing and buying curriculum for next year.  You might remember a previous post I made about choosing curriculum.  Well, forget about all that...I've changed my mind on just about everything.. (Isn't that what always happens).  I'll be using Math-U-See (as usual)...Primer for the Fairy-Princess and Gamma for the Social Butterfly. However, in other changes, I'll be attempting the FREE lesson plans on LessonPathways for History, Science and Language Arts.  ( Level K for Fairy Princess and Level 3 for Social Butterfly).    Social Butterfly will be doing Shurley Grammar (Homeschooling..Level 3).  We'll be continuing with Maps, Charts and Graphs for the Social Butterfly.    However, for the Fairy-Princess I'll be trying Phonics Pathways, and Alpha-Phonics for reading instruction.  For Religion, we'll continue with the Faith and Life Series.

Much of this, I've been able to buy USED on homeschooclassifieds.com.  LOVE saving money and it makes it easier to just buy what we need.  For example, with Math-U-See, we only use the DVD, I don't even read the teacher's manual, so it's nice to just get the DVD used, and not spend lots of money on a book which isn't used.

I'm super excited to try All About Spelling for phonics/spelling for both Social Butterfly and the Fairy Princess.  I'm thinking All About Spelling might even help me too...can always use a good review of phonics and spelling rules.  I'm afraid, I've gotten a bit lazy and overly dependent on spell-checker.

Stay tuned for future reviews on how this new curriculum works.  We school year-round...so we should be starting our "new" year by July!  (Aren't my kids LUCKY!!  If they complain, I remind them of all the 2 and 3 days weeks they get during the year.

On the real foods front., I've been reading up on soaking grains to make them more digestible. The Passionate Homemaker has a wonderful blog post, explaining in very simple terms how to soak flours and other grains to make them more digestible. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon also has instructions.

The purpose of soaking grains is to break down phylates and make them more digestible. Phylates are not digestible to humans, and sometimes are called an "anti-nutrient" since they prevent the absorption of other nutrients.  The idea, is that phylates need to be broken down to achieve maximum nutrient absorption.

Yesterday, I soaked my rice for 7 hours before cooking (used yogurt as the 'acid medium') and it came out very tasty.  I also added lemon juice to my soaking beans, and our beans and rice last night was very digestible!

Today, I started soaking my white whole wheat flour to make break.  Stay-tuned until tomorrow to see how that works!