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Karen is Fermenting

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Hey there, I am taking a little hiatus from this blog until September.  I am busy fermenting at Kraut Source.  Please visit me there.

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Idli: A Fermented, Gluten-Free Snack

 

steamed idlis with sauces

Idlis with Two Dips

 

I love to make and eat idlis.  I call them “little steamed rice pillows”, and they are traditionally  a popular breakfast food throughout Southern India.
Although the process of preparing the idli batter takes time, the effort is well worth it because slow food is good food.  The extra time used to soak, and ferment the ingredients serves three purpose:
1) Soaking grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds removes phytic acid which inhibits proper digestion.
2) Fermentation helps to break down starches, making it easier for us to digest and metabolize nutrients.
3) Fermentation makes for a richer , more complex flavor.

There are various recipes which I have tried, and I would like to share my latest idli creation using a beautiful organic pink rice from Madagascar.
The pink hue of this sustainably harvested rice offered by Lotus Foods gives the idlis an alluring blush which is very pleasing to behold, and adds a wonderful delicate floral ambiance that conventional rice does not provide.

Idli served with curry falvored sauerkraut and yogurt.

Idli served with a spicy, Golden Sauerkraut and yogurt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click HERE for a recipe on how to make your own Golden Sauerkraut.

Idli: A Fermented, Gluten-Free Snack

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Madagascar Pink Rice from Lotus Foods, or basmatic rice
  • 1/2 cup urid dal, or black gram in English (de-husked)
  • Filtered water for soaking rice and legume
  • 3/4 cup filtered water (or a little more as needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Oil for brushing (ghee, butter, olive oil, or coconut oil)
  • Equipment: idli steamer
  • If you do not have one, try using a cupcake pan or ramekins. BUT it is so much fun using a real idli steamer.

Instructions

  1. Place the rice and urid dal in a medium glass, ceramic, or stainless bowl.
  2. Cover with filtered water by 2 - 3 inches and allow to soak for 4 - 5 hours or overnight.
  3. Strain the soaking water when ready, and place rice/urid mixture into a blender. Add in the 3/4 cup water.
  4. Blend until mixture is very smooth and has the consistency of a very thick pancake batter. Add in a little more water as needed, but be careful not to add in too much.
  5. Pour the mixture into a medium glass, ceramic, or stainless steel bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel.
  6. Allow mixture to ferment for at least 6 - 8 hours, preferably in a warm place, and away from light.
  7. When ready, prepare the idli steamer by brushing the compartments with the oil of choice.
  8. Fill each compartment with a good rounded tablespoon of the fermented batter.
  9. Steam for about 10 minutes or until idlis are set.
  10. (If you have an idli maker, then fill a large pot with about 2 - 3 inches water, and bring to simmer. Place the idli maker into the pot, cover, and steam.
  11. If you are using other types of molds, then place in a steamer.)
  12. Serve idlis with chutney, sambar, yogurt, or any sauce that appeals to you.
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For Love of Food & Friends,

Karen

 

 

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your costs will be the same but Kareniscooking will receive a small commission. This helps cover some of the costs for this site. We appreciate your support! Disclaimer.
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsements, recommendations, testimonials and/or links to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with Kareniscooking’s health principles and that I believe would be of value to my readers.

 

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Gluten Free Pumperknickel Bread

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You know that a loaf of bread is good when it has cocoa powder, molasses, and caraway seeds.  What makes it even better is that it is gluten free!
While traditional German-style pumperknickel is very dense and resemble more a brick  than a loaf, this recipe is in the North America-style, which tends to be much lighter in texture and also contains all those yummy ingredients just mentioned.  It is absolutely divine just out of the oven!

Gluten Free Pumperknickel Bread

Prep Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: one loaf

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place dry yeast in a small bowl with warm water and Sucanat. Allow yeast to activate for about 10 minutes.
  2. Place wet ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together.
  4. Now combine dry ingredients into the wet, and add in the activated yeast mixture.
  5. Stir the whole thing with a wooden spoon for about 3 - 4 minutes.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  7. Shape the dough into a loaf and place it onto the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Cover loaf with another piece of parchment paper and put in a warm place to proof for an hour.
  9. After dough has proofed, pre-heat oven to 375F.
  10. Lightly brush top of loaf with the egg yolk and sprinkle on some coarse sea salt.
  11. Place in the middle of oven and bake for about 60 minutes. (Cover the loaf loosely with a piece of parchment after 20 minutes so that the top doesn't get too brown.)
  12. Bread is ready when the internal temperature reaches 185F.
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Keep leftover bread in the fridge and toast before serving.

This recipe was developed by my good friend and colleague, Lizette Marx, a nutritionist and chef and c0-founder of an organic, and gluten free catering service, Kitchen Treasures.
And co-author of Flavors of Health Cookbook.

For love of gluten free breads,

Karen

 

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your costs will be the same but Kareniscooking will receive a small commission. This helps cover some of the costs for this site. We appreciate your support! Disclaimer.
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsements, recommendations, testimonials and/or links to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with Kareniscooking’s health principles and that I believe would be of value to my readers.

 

 

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In Praise of Real Mayonnaise

Real mayonnaise

Real Mayonnaise

I grew up scooping white mayo from a jar and thought for the first few formative years of my life and this white substance was real mayonnaise, but oh, how wrong!
To think that I ate so many sandwiches not knowing the truth…

If you think that “real” mayonnaise comes form a jar by way of the supermarket, then you’ve been missing out on one of the most luscious taste sensations around.
Real is real, and in the case of real mayonnaise, the only way to really experience it is when it is made from scratch, with eggs from pastured hens.
Unreal mayonnaise, and I’m referring to the insipid white stuff  from the grocery store,  labels itself as “real” but is often made with genetically modified soy or canola oil, along with additives such as calcium disodium EDTA, otherwise known as ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (any ingredient that requires you to catch your breath three times before you can say it should not be ingested).

good eggs come from happy hens

good eggs come from happy hens

Store-bought mayo also contains eggs from factory farms, where hens are kept in crowded, unsanitary conditions causing them undue suffering.  Because of extreme over crowding and stress, battery hens are prone to bacterial infections, and are shot up with antibiotics and hormones. The eggs that they lay contain residues which will negatively affect your own hormonal balance when eaten.  What’s more, conventional eggs cannot compare with the taste and nutritional value of 100% free range (pastured) eggs.

Ready to Mayonnaise?

In Praise of Real Mayonnaise

Place your real mayo in a class jar and store in fridge. Consume within 7 days.

Ingredients

  • 2 egg yolks, free-range
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1.5 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • Yields approximately 1-1/2 cups

Instructions

  1. Place the yolks, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard in a blender. With the motor running on low, slowing pour in the olive oil in a slow stream until it thickens like, well... mayonnaise. Add in seasoning, pulse a few times to mix, and adjust with more salt and pepper as needed.
  2. Other spices/herbs you can add in are cayenne pepper, curry blend, dill, parsley, or thyme.
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Why is Store-Bought Mayo White?

There are multiple reasons why store bought mayonnaise is white:

  • factory-farmed eggs have lackluster, pale yolks
  • whole eggs are used instead of just the yolk
  • water is added to increase volume
  • instead of extra virgin olive oil, many brands use cheap, genetically-modified soy, or canola oil
  • it’s made with high volume blenders that cause the mayo mixture to come in contact with a lot of air (oxidation)
    stabilizers such as lecithin and the impossible-to-pronounce ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid are added for shelf life

For Love of Food and Friends,

Karen

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Announcing July Giveaway Winner!

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The winner for the July Giveaway is Read More

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I must confess.  It took me a while to really appreciate the flavors of lacto-fermented foods.  The only thing that I did like eating was yogurt, but when it came to fermented vegetables, well, I just didn’t see what all the fuss as about.  I usually tossed out the pickles that came with a sandwich, and asked the hot dog vender to go easy on the sauerkraut.  But then, something happened when I tried my first batch of live-culture sauerkraut! It dawned on me that all my previous encounters with sauerkraut and pickles were not “alive”.  Because most commercially made preserved vegetables are done with vinegar and also pasteurized, there were no active healthful lactobacilli organisms to thrill my taste buds and make my tummy happy.

Now, almost 15 years since my first batch of sauerkraut, I am a devotee of lacto-fermented foods, and can’t imagine a meal without a little mound of sauerkraut or other tangy fermented vegetables on the side to perk things up.  I even have it with my scrambled eggs in the morning.

10 Healthy Reasons for Eating Lacto-Fermented Foods

  1. Choline: Sauerkraut contains choline which is an amino acid needed for good liver health and the production of acetylcholine. This is a neurotransmitter that helps with memory and is protective against Alzheimer’s.
  2. Vitamin C: Fermented vegetables contain large amounts of vitamin C. This common, and over looked vitamin is one of the most critical nutrients for the immune system, vision health, and to buffer stress.
  3. Minerals: Lacto-fermentation increases the bio-availability of minerals present in food, such as manganese, calcium, and potassium.
  4. Bacteriocins: Lactobacilli competes with harmful bacteria such as shigella, salmonella, and e.coli. Therefore eating fermented vegetables on a regular basis protects against these pathogens.
  5. Vitamins K & B: The presence of lactobacilli organisms in the gut actually creates vitamins K  and some B.
  6. Detoxifies: Fermented foods provide the most bio-available form of beneficial bacteria, and these probiotics are some of the best chelators available, capable of pulling toxins and heavy metals from the body.
  7. Improves digestion: As people age, the production of hydrochloric acid is reduced, which means that the stomach is less able to properly digest food. Lacto-fermented foods help increase the action of hydrochloric acid, while also protecting the integrity of the stomach lining.
  8. Prevents cancer:Lacto-fermented sauerkraut and other cruciferous vegetables are rich in indole-3-carbino, a well-known cancer fighter that helps to remove excess estrogen.
  9. Dietary Fiber: A delicious and nutritious way to increase fiber on a daily basis.
  10. Energy: According to Jeff Cox,
    author of The Essential Book of Fermentation, the presence of lactobacilli microbes facilitates energy production:
    ” They turn sugars into lactic acid, an acid that links carbon with hydrogen and xygen to form the molecules of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in our bodies that provide us with energy as it is broken down into its constituent pieces.”

Tips on How to Make Lacto-fermented Vegetables

If you are new to fermentation, there are several basic points to follow:

  • The vegetables must stay submerged beneath the brine (salt + water solution), as anything that stick up above the brine will start to mold.
  • As the vegetables ferment, cardon dioxide is produced, and this needs to be released, while new air needs to be kept out, because the lactobacilli strains require an anaerobic environment to grow.
  • Ideal temperature is between 72 – 75°F.

Admittedly making your own sauerkraut or other fermented vegetables may seem intimidating or just plain too much work.  Traditional crocks require a lot of chopping of vegetables to fill them, and it you are using a mason jar, it’s a challenge to figure out a way to keep the vegetables safely submerged underneath the brine.  However, there is a new system using wide-mouth Mason jars that simplifies everything!

Kraut Source: Fun and Easy New Way to Make Sauerkraut (and other lacto-fermented veggies)

KrautSource_collage

Kraut Source – Fermentation Made Simple

 

 

 

 

 

Curious about Kraut Source?  Please check it out on Kickstarter.

 

For Love of Food & Friends,

Karen

 

 

 

References:

Cox, Jeff. The Essential Book of Fermentation: Great Taste and Good Health with Probiotic Foods New York: Penguin Group, 2013.
Campbell-McBride, Natasha.Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia York: Maple Press, 2012.

 

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your costs will be the same but Kareniscooking will receive a small commission. This helps cover some of the costs for this site. We appreciate your support! Disclaimer.
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsements, recommendations, testimonials and/or links to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with Kareniscooking’s health principles and that I believe would be of value to my readers.

 

 

 

 

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Mini Paleo Chocolate Cakes

 

Chocolate, chestnuts, cake, and paleo!  That’s right, have your cake and eat it too is what I say.
This recipe came into my head as I was reminiscing about a cake that I was very fond of when I was a kid.  Read More

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Food Processor Giveaway

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As a professional chef, I pride myself on my knife skills, and prefer to chop things by hand, BUT I have to admit that a food processor is an indispensable tool in my kitchen.  I am constantly using it to make one thing or another, including some of my favorite recipes that I’ve shared with you on this blog, such as Celery Root & Sweet Potato Mash, Mushroom Pate, and CocoaSpheres.
Now, there’s no excuse not to try these recipes because I am giving away a brand new FREE food processor from Hamilton Beach.  Simply follow the easy steps below for a chance to win!

How to Enter:

There is 1 mandatory entry and a bunch more optional entries. The more entries you have, the higher your chances are of winning! Use the rafflecopter widget below to submit your entries. Do the first entry to unlock the rest of the bonus entries!

1. Leave a comment on this blog post saying what your first recipe will be using your new food professor. (mandatory)- 1 Entry
2. Sign up for my newsletter (optional)- 10 Entries!
3. EASY ENTRIES: Click HERE to see the product (optional)- 10 Entries!
4. Check the rafflecopter widget below submit your entries and to unlock even more entries to increase your chances of winning!
All entries are checked. You can’t win if you have not in fact entered the entries that you claim to. This contest will be open until 7/31/2014 at 12am. This contest is only open to U.S. residents. The winner must claim his/her prize within 48 hours after he/she is announced. There is no purchase necessary to enter the giveaway. None of your information will be shared or sold to any third parties (See my privacy policy)

I pay for these giveaways myself. These links are affiliate links meaning that I may receive a small commission if amazon makes sales from the resulting clicks. This will not change the price of any amazon items for you. I only affiliate with products that I trust and believe would bring value to my readers.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your costs will be the same but Kareniscooking will receive a small commission. This helps cover some of the costs for this site. We appreciate your support! Disclaimer.
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsements, recommendations, testimonials and/or links to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with Kareniscooking’s health principles and that I believe would be of value to my readers.

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chard_rolls3

 

These Stuffed Swiss Chard Rolls are delicious for a main course, or they make a wonderful Paleo snack that’s easy to take on-the-go.  Eating it with the Sauerkraut-Tomato Salsa gives the palate a perky contrast along with a boost of healthful nutrients, including probiotics.  And of course, swiss chard is also full of Read More

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10 Hidden Sources of GMOs

10GMOs

 

At the end of May, 2014 California’s Senate Bill 1381 was rejected by just two votes.  Had the bill passed, it would mean that foods containing GMO ingredients would need to be labelled.
In 2012 a similar bill was defeated with an obscene amount of  money from Read More

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