Sunday, April 9, 2017

9 April 2017 - Bread Making

One of my foals taken many years ago in my barn in the winter sunlight

I made a discovery at the local Charity shop (where you can buy second hand clothing, toys, books, videos, kitchen items and many other things donated), a Bread making machine.  it cost a whopping $5!!!!  Considering that you can pay hundreds for one today it was a steal.  It is an old machine but in very good condition.

In my quest to eradicate preservatives, high fructose corn syrup (found in many foods and a carcinogenic ie can cause cancer) and chemicals I decided to give it a go to bake my own bread.  I used to do it by hand many years ago while I was still in Zimbabwe (35 years ago!!!).  I have to say this machine is amazing.  You put the ingredients in and it does the rest and 3 hours later you have a wonderful baked loaf of bread.

So far I have baked Cinnamon Raisin Bread, White Bread and Whole Wheat Bread and all are delicious.  Today I used the dough cycle with the white bread recipe, which stops after the first rise so that you can remove it and make your buns or bread rolls and bake them in a conventional oven.  It worked a treat and I froze a few unrisen rolls to thaw, rise and bake later.  I used a small Toaster Oven, which is an energy saver in itself and I can cook smaller quantities at a time.

I also baked a whole wheat loaf today, the only adjustment I have found in this recipe is that it needs a few tablespoons more water than the recipe calls for.

I will share the basic white bread recipe later.

Hoping to post at least once a week, summer is an incredibly busy time with my vegetable garden
and baling hay on top of the usual activities.  I will share more on the veggie garden soon and do some photos of everything as I do it.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

1 April 2017 - Discovering Ingredients - Nutritional Yeast

A Blue Heron at a small lake a mile down the road

A friend of mine posted today that she is suffering from a vitamin B12 deficiency.  She has been struggling with food "allergies" for years now and is seriously restricted on what she can eat without becoming seriously ill and living with a lot of pain.

Nutritional Yeast (also called Nooch) is one of the products that I discovered early on in my quest to go meat free.  I did not really look into it in great depth until today as she was not sure if she could use it as she cannot eat active yeast products (the type you use when baking bread).  Nooch is not an active yeast.  It has a high B12 content, is a wonderful tasting flake or powder that can be used to sprinkle on popcorn, on top of baked potatoes, in soups and stews, in fact in everything.  It has a nutty cheesy flavor.  I use it in and on everything. It is NOT a product that is only used in a Vegan or Vegetarian diet.

A few things I discovered that were interesting and you should check the lables for are that -
* the B12 is not naturally found in Nooch, it is actually fortified by the manufacturer along with a few other ingredients like niacin (B3), pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6), riboflavin (B2), thiamin hydrochloride (B1), folic acid (B9).
* If you want to be sure that it was not grown on a dairy product like Whey or on GMO filled Beets, make sure that it is labelled Vegan or clearly marked GMO free or Organic.  it is mostly grown on Molasses.  If in doubt when buying it in bulk, ask your supplier what brand it is and what the nutritional values are and whether it is Vegan or not.

When storing Nooch use a sealable container and refrigerate.  I use a large Ball Canning Jar and store in the freezer.  This will give it a longer shelf life as heat will kill the B vitamins and light will make it turn a dark yellow and give it a stronger bitter taste.  Some people like to store it in a non see through, sealable container for this reason if they are keeping it in smaller quantities on their counter top for shorter periods of time.

I have been buying my Nooch from a local health food store in bulk in powder form but after reading all the pros and cons I have decided that I am going to order the flakes (which apparently have a better milder flavor) from Bob's Red Mill who I buy many other items from in the stores.  I cannot find thie Nooch in store so I will be purchasing it online.  One of the great things about ALL of Bob's products as I have said before, is that they are GMO free, click here to read their GMO Free Pledge and here is a link to their FAQs.  Some of their products are also Organic and are always labelled so.  Here is a link to the information on the processing of their Nooch  and here is the link to the product itself for online ordering.  I do not in any way represent this company, all of this has been collected from my personal research in my quest for healthier eating. I am passing this knowledge on to anyone reading this and I hope it will save you many hours of computer time.

I love egg salad sandwiches so here is one easy recipes that I use Nooch in as a teaser.

Egg Salad Sandwich

2 hard boiled eggs peeled and mashed
2 Tbs Mayonnaise (I use Veganaise)
Half Tbsp Nutritional yeast powder or flakes
Dash Paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Romaine lettuce or raw spinach leaves

Mix all, except the lettuce/spinach, together well.
Prepare two slices of toast or bread
Put a layer of spinach or lettuce on one slice of toast/bread
Slather the egg mixture on top
Close the sandwich with the second slice of toast/bread
Consume, YUM!!

If you like open sandwiches, just put lettuce/spinach on both pieces, there should be plenty of egg mixture to put on the second slice.


9 April 2017 - Bread Making

One of my foals taken many years ago in my barn in the winter sunlight I made a discovery at the local Charity shop (where you can buy se...