Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cooking as a soul craft

I stumbled accross this blog entry by Foodrenegade today and it is so beautifu I just had to share it.

Beautifully written it expresses the reasons behind why I spend hours in my kitchen and garden and chook yard to nourish my family. Why I choose to toil over food instead of grabbing convenience foods from the freezer and pantry. (Not that my pantry or freezer contain any but you know what Im and referring to).

And I love the concept that what I am doing is right in so many ways beyond good nutrition – character building, and according to the laws of nature instead of some man made law that is enforced over nature.

This article made my day. I hope you enjoy it too.

Cravings cured with lots of fat

I recently went to see my homeopath about the crazy cravings I have been having. I was finding it so hard to stick to the diet and really needed some support. She made a few suggestions that I thought I would share.

She mentioned that if I wasnt getting any sugars in my diet is natural for my body to crave them and the I should go back to including a small amount of fruit in my diet. She also suggested that I only eat fruit and veges that are in season and proposed that the reactions I was having to fruit may have been because they were artificially ripened out of season.

These two suggestions made sense to me and seemed a more natural way of eating too. She also suggested that honey might be causing me problems with the sore throats I am getting and that I should still avoid that but introduce some whole nuts.

Well I implemented all those ideas and was still craving sweet food, so I made some almond meal muffins with honey (I figured it was the lesser of two evils). Well of course that stopped the cravings but made me nauseus.

Then, today I was reading some emails from the GAPS group and somebody had posted that they were having this same problem eating cycle with their child. The following email was from a wonderful person explaining that it is probably a yeast craving and then a light bulb went off in my head.

I had read in the past that yeasty cravings can be combatted by eating lots of good fats. The funny thing is that I have used this strategy in the past and I know that it works. I have fallen off the good fats wagon and then forgotten that it existed!

So today I am back to adding lots of fat to my diet. Am I worried about weight gain? No, I tend to find that the extra fat actually helps me loose weight as long as I am not also eating loads of sugary, high carb food. (IE: high fat never helped me before GAPS, but then again it wasnt good fat, so maybe that is why!)

Basically the theory is that fats are converted into glucose, in the body, for energy . Carbohydrates and starches are too hard for the GAPS sensitive body to break down and so they ferment in the gut and create nasty chemical reactions with the brain, that then cause all kinds of nasty side effects thoughout the body.

But fats are simple for the body to breakdown and so they don't create that some toxic cocktail in the gut.

So by eating lots of fats your body gets the energy food it needs and therefore does not get the "sugar lows" that cause cravings. That is my understanding of the science.

I find if I eat a teaspoon of coconut oil at every meal, along with all the fats in the foods I'm eating then it curbs those cravings and helps satisfy my hunger.

So what types of fats am I eating?

Animal fats, cold pressed vegetable oils like olive oil, fatty meat and oily veges, butter, ghee, coconut oil.

How am I eating all this fat?

I add avocado and olive oil dressing to any salads I eat. When I fry foods I pour the fat over the food when it is on the plate. I pour the fatty juices from a roasting pan into my soups or over my roasted foods, I add butter to all fruit that I eat as fat makes it easier to digest, eg: if I have a peach I cut it in half and top each half with 1 Table spoon of butter, I fry bananas (cut in half lengthwise) on low heat in coconut oil and at the end I add butter to pan to melt it and then pour the whole thing into a bowl to eat.

I cant tolerate dairy yet but when I do, yogurt made with cream will also be on my list.

Probiotic Value of Yogurt

I recently read a terrific article called "The Great Yogurt (and Kefir) Conspiracy" - It basically states that if yogurt is prepared according to process outlined in the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which calls for a 24 hour ferment, then the yogurt will contain billions of bacteria and there is not need for a probiotic supplement.

I found this article fascinating and it spurred me on to make the yogurt for my kids (Im still dairy free at present).

Here is the link to the full article.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lamb Madras

This is a favourite of our - you do have to be organised in advance to make it. Sometimes I makea double batch and freeze half.

500g lamb cut into cubes
3/4 t turmeric
1 T coriander seeds
1 t cumin seed
5 dried chillies
6 curry leaves
5 cloves garlic chopped
2.5cm ginger chopped
1/2 t fennel seeds
1/2 T tamarind puree
4 T ghee
2 large onions sliced
300ml coconut milk
4cm piece of cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods
  • Rub the lamb with turmeric.
  • Dry fry the coriander seeds until aromatic - remove
  • Repeat with cumin seeds and then chillies
  • Grind them all into a powder using a mortar and pestle
  • Add curry leaves garlic and ginger and grind to a paste
  • Dry fry the fennel seeds until they start to pop.
  • Dissolve the tamarind in 1/4 cup hot water
  • Fry the onions in fat until soft
  • Add chilli paste and cook for 2 mins
  • Add meat and toss well with paste
  • add 1 cup coconut milk and 1/8 cup water
  • Bring to the boil then lower heat and simmer for 10 mins
  • When liquid has reduced add remaining coconut milk, cinnamon stick cardamom pods, and fennel seeds.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover and cook over low heat for 1 hour until meat is tender, stirring occasionally.
  • When meat is tender add tamarind puree and check seasoning.
  • Oil should have separated from the meat.

Serve with stir fry veges or 'cauliflower rice'

the Ultimate latke

I got the original recipe for these latke's from the "Pecan bread" website - Im too lazy to make it the way Jodi does so here is my revised version. These really are so very delicious and my potato loving son barely notices the difference between these latke's and the potato ones I used to make (I have to peel the zucchini's for his - any bits of green and he wont eat it). I also use more spring onion that the original recipe calls for as we love onion and you can never have too much in a latke!

I also like to add various herbs and garlic sometimes depending on my mood. Try making them plain first as they are really very good that way, and if your family likes them you could try basil, thyme, oregano the next time.

I hope you enjoy these simple but delicious creations

The Ultimate Latke

3 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 a large cauliflower
5-8 chopped spring onions (white and light green parts) or 1 small white onion
2 whole eggs
salt and pepper to taste
Lard or coconut oil

Shred the zucchini on the course grater

Place the Zucchini in a tea towel and twist. Wring out as much water as you can. (I line my tea towel with paper towel so that any little pieces of zucchini that get left on the paper can be put in the bin - rather than trying to pick every piece off the tea towel )

Chop up the cauliflower and then whiz it a food processor for a few seconds until it becomes like small grains of rice

Fry the chopped onions on low heat, in a bit of lard or coconut oil, until caramelized,

Combine the zuchinni, cauliflower, and onions together in a bowl and add the two eggs.

Mix with a fork to get everything evenly distributed.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

I like to use quite a lot of fat to cook these in so they are nice and crispy. So melt 2 Tablespoons of fat in a cast iron fry pan and when hot, add a heaping tsp. of the mixture

Flatten it out a little with the back of the spoon/fork.

Turn when browned to your liking.

These can be made ahead of time and reheated uncovered in a 250F degree oven.