Author Topic: Real (Traditional) Foods  (Read 5155 times)

Elisabeth

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Real (Traditional) Foods
« on: January 02, 2015, 11:20:45 AM »
Anyone else made the switch to a real foods diet? We have been transitioning for a few months now.

Although we aren't there 100%, we are feeling a million times better. After attempts with GF, vegetarian, paleo/crossfit lifestyle, etc, I came to traditional foods.

Here are some of the things that make regular appearances on our table:

kombucha & jun teas
sourdough bread, pancakes, fritters, and pasta/dumplings
more game meat (free! we also make our own jerky & sausage from this)
high quality animal fats such a grass-fed butter, ghee, lard (from forested pigs)
local vegetables & fruits (no spray farmers) - we now eat in season
lacto-fermented vegetables including homemade sauerkraut
daily dose of cod liver oil
pastured chicken - I roast whole, then save all the bones to make bone broth in the crock pot over the next days
pastured chicken and duck eggs

I love making all of these dishes now! They are simple and leave us feeling satisfied but never full/tired. We avoid refined sugars (and don't use many sweeteners at all) and I don't buy flours doused in pesticides. My husband's lifelong allergies to animals, mold, leaves, pollen, etc have cleared up through the diet change and ceasing to use laundry detergents (I wash everything with soap nuts). Understanding the difference between 'organic' and 'pastured' has helped heal my own health problems as well.

Simple Bone Broth
Save all bones, fat, cartilage, etc from whole, roasted pastured chicken. Save vegetable scraps in the freezer for a few days - trimmings from the ends of leeks, garlic, yellow or white onions, etc to flavor the broth. Put it all in a crock pot with 1/4 cup white vinegar and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 6 hours. Ladle broth through a sieve into mason jars to keep in the fridge (great for soups!) or to drink (there's a reason chicken soup got a reputation for healing illness). Cover bones with water a second time for more broth. I usually only do this through 2 batches unless the chicken had a LOT of fat - then 3 will work well.

Sourdough Rye
This bread is like the bread I ate living in Germany more than a decade ago. One slice will satisfy, and no, it will not make you fat. It has no instant yeast and relies on a healthy sourdough starter to ferment, helping break down the wheat to a more digestible food. Recent research suggests that even people with gluten sensitivity can tolerate true sourdough breads.
1/3 cup sourdough starter
2 cups rye flour
1.5 cups white bread flour
2 tablespoons honey
1.5 tablespoons caraway seeds
2 teaspoons sea salt (use sea salt for nutrients)
1.75-2 cups warm water
Combine all ingredients in a glass (non-reactive) mixing bowl. Stir water into the dough until it has a wet consistency but not runny. It should stick to the sides. Cover with an airtight lid or plastic wrap for 12-24 hours. The longer it ferments the more sour it will become. Put dough on flour surface and form a ball. Place the ball on a WELL floured towel in a bowl and cover for 4 hours. Bake on a baking stone for 35 minutes at 475.
Sourdough is unique to every baker, so change the directions above to suit your climate, tastes, and time.

Sauerkraut
1 cabbage head
1 tablespoon sea salt (don't use white dollar salt - it will taste horrible)

Shred the cabbage finely, and work the salt into the ribbons roughly until a brine begins to form. Continue until the brine will cover the cabbage. Place the cabbage and brine into a crock, pressing each layer to remove air bubbles. Make sure cabbage is completely submerged in the brine. Allow to ferment 1 month or longer, until it has reached the level of sourness you like. Initially I used mason jars until I invested in fermenting crocks. Mason jars are fine to begin - use ones without shoulders or it is hard to pack the cabbage. You will have to "burp" the jar periodically to make sure it doesn't bubble over as the fermenting process is underway.

So, those are just a few I've got going. I also brew a large crock of jun tea, and a smaller one of kombucha, bottling it to become fizzy when I want something besides water but of course we don't drink sodas and sugary juices.

Anyone else on the real foods bandwagon?

sunnyca

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Re: Real (Traditional) Foods
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2015, 12:20:11 PM »
Have you read Nourishing Traditions?  Sounds like your diet is right in line with their ideas.

Have you tried making beet kvass?  It's supposed to be really good for you.  I haven't tried it yet, but I'm planning to.   

Elisabeth

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Re: Real (Traditional) Foods
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2015, 10:06:49 AM »
Good recommendation - just got it. I've been reading the WAPF principles lately as I make all these changes. A friend guided me to WAPF in 2004 and I didn't listen... well, here I am 10 years later. I learned that the money saved up front on cheap food is expensive in the long run with what that does to your body/health!

Skipper

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Re: Real (Traditional) Foods
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2015, 08:19:39 AM »
My mom has been doing a lot of kitchen fermenting over the last few years, and thanks to her I've recently discovered the joy of kimchi. She also does both milk and water kefir (the water one comes out like a light soda), and filmjolk (similar to milk kefir but thinner). Have you made pickles yet? My personal favorites are spiced with lots of garlic and hot pepper.

mrsggrowsveg

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Re: Real (Traditional) Foods
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2015, 10:35:47 AM »
We somewhat do this, but still have white flour on occasion for home baking.  We love cooking with real butter and lard from our own pastured pigs.  I loved some of the ideas in Nourishing Traditions, but found some of the information a little crazy.  For example, we do not drink raw milk or avoid vaccines.  I make my own sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha.  We also use homemade crockpot bone broth in many recipes.  Eating this way is very simple and makes me feel great.

NatureKnight

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Re: Real (Traditional) Foods
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2015, 02:03:40 PM »
Thanks for your recipes. We have definitely started eating more traditional foods, but have not completely switched over. I've found it difficult to keep our food budget down. Have any of y'all found ways to keep your meat/dairy budgets reasonable? I'm in an apartment, so can't supply any of it myself. I also have not found any local sources either. I buy what I can from Sprout's, but it seems so expensive. I've found some people online acting like Costco has decent prices on good meats. Have any of you seen this? I prefer pastured/grass-fed, but settle for organic or just regular if prices are too high.

Also, on a side note, I just heard about this website: https://thrivemarket.com/
They advertise themselves as Costco + Whole Foods. You pay a yearly membership to access wholesale prices on health food (non-perishable). However, it seems that right now you can get a free month trial and 15% off your first purchase. Also, free shipping on orders over $49. I haven't tried it myself yet, so I'm not sure how easy it is to cancel your trial to avoid the fee. But I'm planning on putting in an order for coconut oil, etc. tonight or tomorrow. I compared the prices with what I usually pay and it is cheaper for me at least. Just thought I'd share. I'm not sure how long the trial and discount will last. I just found out about it from the Wellness Mama emails that I get.

Bob W

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Re: Real (Traditional) Foods
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2015, 08:00:43 PM »
Like everything on your menu but would skip the wheat.

Elisabeth

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Re: Real (Traditional) Foods
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2015, 05:51:01 AM »
Nature Knight - meat is really expensive. We eat a bit less of it now that we don't buy the cheap stuff. But, I do feel that with health, saving money now just means spending more later. Meals that are meatless generally include high-quality dairy (not ultra-pasteurized). But I also try to make things go really far - for example, I'll buy a pastured chicken (usually about $18 for a 4 pound bird I think) and I roast it. We eat chicken with a vegetable that night. I cut the rest of the meat off the bones and toss it with garlic and sourdough pasta, or put in a big salad the next night. I take the carcass and stick it in the crock pot with a 1/4 cup of cider vinegar, cover in water, and add any veg scraps. I make 3 batches (cook for a day, bottle stock, cover with water again, repeat) and store in jars, or use as a base for something like leek and potato soup. I feel like that helps us get high quality animal fats, protein, etc even in meatless meals. So normally in a week, I roast a chicken and use 1 lb of other meat (ground bison/elk/beef, pork chops, etc). I buy wild salmon etc whenever it's on sale and freeze it. It's unMustachian but I probably spend about $500/mo on our groceries now; I buy in bulk, and stock up on frozen meats and fish when there are good deals.

Ascotillion

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Re: Real (Traditional) Foods
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2015, 05:33:51 PM »
I love the idea of making bone broth but it seems like a large investment of time and cleaning! How much liquid would you get from one medium-sized chicken carcass and veggie scraps?

Dulcimina

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Re: Real (Traditional) Foods
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2015, 08:22:00 AM »
Ascotillon, do you have a pressure cooker? That would cut the time down to a couple of hours.

mrsggrowsveg

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Re: Real (Traditional) Foods
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2015, 08:51:02 AM »
I love the idea of making bone broth but it seems like a large investment of time and cleaning! How much liquid would you get from one medium-sized chicken carcass and veggie scraps?

We make a lot of broth.  We make pork, chicken, beef and turkey.  Our way to get a lot out of a carcass or bones is to use the crockpot.  I just throw the bones in and after 24 hours or so I take out most of the liquids, strain it and freeze in ice cube trays.  I then add more water and repeat the process for about 5 days.  After that the broth gets much lighter and less delicious.  My grandma used to simmer continual broth on her stove top just like this.

wild wendella

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Re: Real (Traditional) Foods
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2015, 09:07:27 AM »
re: bone broth recipe: what does the white vinegar do/add?

Elliot

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Re: Real (Traditional) Foods
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2015, 12:48:13 PM »
Helps dissolve the mineral from the bone, making it available to the broth.

Elliot

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Re: Real (Traditional) Foods
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2015, 04:53:34 PM »
Not in a big way, no.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Real (Traditional) Foods
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2015, 12:37:27 PM »
I'm a big believer in pastured/humane animal products. It can be surprisingly hard to find outside of bulk purchasing (e.g. 1/4, 1/2, or full animal) or farmer's markets. Beyond the ethical win of humane animal products, the other win is a vastly superior omega-3 to omega-6 balance in the fat, and omega-3s are critical to triggering your body's satiety mechanisms.

I go back and forth on organic produce. On an industrial scale, the label 'organic' can be less sustainable, as sustainable, or more sustainable than conventional methods. It's impossible to know how the farm is run. I grow as much as I can myself.

Because I bake a lot, how much pesticide residue is there in conventional wheat flour? I can get good tasting conventional whole wheat flour for $0.50/lb, but organic runs close to $2. That's a big swing in price.

From there, my order of preference goes:

organic local
local
organic industrial
conventional

I'll put Nourishing Traditions on my (very long) to-read pile. "Wild Fermentation" is another good resource for cultured foods.

Elisabeth

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Re: Real (Traditional) Foods
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2015, 08:52:49 AM »
I'm a big believer in pastured/humane animal products. It can be surprisingly hard to find outside of bulk purchasing (e.g. 1/4, 1/2, or full animal) or farmer's markets. Beyond the ethical win of humane animal products, the other win is a vastly superior omega-3 to omega-6 balance in the fat, and omega-3s are critical to triggering your body's satiety mechanisms.

I go back and forth on organic produce. On an industrial scale, the label 'organic' can be less sustainable, as sustainable, or more sustainable than conventional methods. It's impossible to know how the farm is run. I grow as much as I can myself.

Because I bake a lot, how much pesticide residue is there in conventional wheat flour? I can get good tasting conventional whole wheat flour for $0.50/lb, but organic runs close to $2. That's a big swing in price.

From there, my order of preference goes:

organic local
local
organic industrial
conventional

I'll put Nourishing Traditions on my (very long) to-read pile. "Wild Fermentation" is another good resource for cultured foods.

I don't know details on pesticide residue. But when I read that some time ago, I decided we aren't eating it anymore. I make sourdoughs which are healthier than standard whole wheat breads. I use organic bread flour and I buy Jovial's organic einkorn (non-hybridized) flour. You can buy in bulk and get a discount; I think at the bulk rate is is $25/10 lbs with free shipping.

I buy the dirty dozen list organic or not at all. Other things I try to make calls to find out the farming practices of the store's sources. It can be hard. For meat we usually buy at the farmer's market in the fall and put in the deep freezer. I order sustainable wild seafood from vital choice. I think the farming/fishing practices are just as important as the "organic" or pastured labels.

MrsGreenPear

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Re: Real (Traditional) Foods
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2015, 05:45:09 PM »
We eat a lot of traditional foods now. We slowly started over the past few years. I've been fermenting a lot of kefir lately and we've done sauerkraut, fermented lemons (for Moroccan type dishes), yogurt, and I finally have been able to keep a sourdough starter alive so I'm learning to make breads, etc. from that. I've been reading The Art of Fermentation (same author as Wild Fermentation). We've also started buying our meat and eggs pastured from local farmers (1/4 cow, half a pig, a couple chickens).

Skipper

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Re: Real (Traditional) Foods
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2015, 11:16:47 AM »
My local Price Chopper has grass-fed meat for a bit cheaper than the other grocery stores.