Archive for March, 2012

Sourdough Bread is not only delicious, but also highly nutritious.  

Our first sourdough rye bread attempt

According to Kitchen StewardshipSourdough rye bread in particular is noted scientifically to be the most nutritious of them all. 

Sourdough is a fermented food. 

Fermented foods provide the body with good intestinal flora, and aid in digestion.

This is very good news for someone who is off wheat and yeast breads.

And to top it off, sourdough rye bread is the most tasty of them all –  in my opinion.

By the way, does anybody know of a restaurant in Abbotsford, Vancouver or the lower mainland, where I can get a 100% Sourdough rye bread, sandwich?

That would more than make my day.

How does Sourdough bread  improve nutrition? By…

      • pre-digesting starches, making the bread more easily digestible
      • lowering insulin response/improving glucose tolerance
      • protecting Vitamin B1 from the damage of the heat of baking
      • breaking down gluten, which may result in a bread that gluten-sensitive people can eat
      • activating phytase to hydrolyze (dissolve) the phytates, thus freeing up minerals such as:
        • zinc
        • iron
        • magnesium
        • copper
        • phosphorus

Last week, my husband and I decided to make sourdough bread.

Monday my husband started our sourdough starter.

  • 1/2 cup rye flour and enough pure water to make a gooey mixture
  • Mix and put it into a glass bowl
  • Place it in the oven with the light on, cover  with a cloth and let sit
  • Stir a couple of times a day and feed it every day by adding  1/4 cup flour and enough water to keep the same consistency – continue to let it ferment

Initially it looks like nothing is happening, but in a day or so it will start to bubble and get larger. It has now attracted natural yeast from the air and the environment. It will have a good sour smell.

Three days later our starter was bubbly and ready to use.

To keep the starter growing, add a little flour and water everyday and let sit on the counter. If you are not going to bake for a week or so, put into the fridge to slow the process down. Take out and let grow a few days before making the bread.

Here’s how we made our sourdough bread.

We took about half of the starter for the bread recipe.  Then transferred the remaining sourdough starter to a jar, and fed it once more. It will continue to grow and we will continue to feed it, until we make another loaf of bread.

The RECIPE is simple

Sourdough Rye Bread Recipe

  • Put  4 cups rye flour into a bowl
  • add 1/2 tsp salt and blend
  • Put 1 cup pure water in a bowl and add 1/4 cup olive oil
  • To liquid add 1 cup sourdough starter
  • Slowly add liquid  to flour
  • Add more pure water until you have a dough that you can roll and kneed.
  • Place into pan
  • Set oven for 400 degrees and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Egg wash the crust at this time if you wish. (take an egg, blend it well and brush lightly onto the top of your loaf)
  • Turn heat down to 350 degrees and bake for another 45 minutes – 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean when you stick it into the loaf.
  • Let cool for about 1/2 hour before slicing

Kneading the dough

Our first attempt was satisfactory.

Dough ready for the pan

Our 100% sourdough rye bread

Sourdough rises much slower than yeast breads. I think we should have let it rise longer. We let it rise about 3 hours. We’ll have to figure this one out.

I do like the consistency and the taste is excellent.

We forgot to add salt… but a little butter took care of that. Next time.

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Chemical air fresheners… What do you mean they are “Not Just a Nice Smell”?

To those of you who enjoy your smelly “Chemical-Cocktail Air Fresheners”, you may not want to read any further.

If you do, I warn you, those air fresheners may never smell the same to you again.

While reading the latest, February 2012 Vista magazine I came across an article written by Michael Bloch – “Chemical Air Fresheners and Your Home.”  (Michael’s website is greenlivingtips.com )

Getting right to the point – Bloch says that the air freshener industry uses up to 3000 synthetic chemical ingredients. Some of them include the following nasty toxins:

  • Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen
  • Phenol, a skin and nervous system irritant
  • Petroleum distillates such as butane and propane
  • Methlformamide, linked to organ system toxicity, cancer and developmental or reproductive toxicity.
  • Butanoic acid, linked to neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption and organ system toxicity.
  • Nitro – and polycyclic musks, linked to cancer and hormone disruption… and the list goes on.

What about those convenient air fresheners that spray automatically every few minutes?

Michael Bloch says these harmful products should be pulled from the market for many reasons.

Apparently, one can build up a tolerance to the smell so that one needs a stronger and stronger scent to get the desired result. That is not good.

So… what can you do?

You can start by reading the labels. Just because it says “natural scent” doesn’t mean other harmful ingredients aren’t included.

Check the ingredients list. 

The Environmental Working Group  has an online data base, Skin Deep, where you can find out the potential effects of most chemicals.

So, you ask, how do I freshen my home without my favorite chemical air freshener?

One alternative is to use essential oils diluted in water – use in a spray bottle. Mist the air for a fresh, safe and truly natural aroma.

Smell the citrus

Lemon and orange are some of my favorite aromas.

Lavender is another.

You can also use vanilla extract as a natural deodorizer. Place a few drops in small containers here and there in your home.

Natural, safe and non-toxic – why settle for less? Your health is worth it.

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