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Health, Home, and Happiness: June 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New! Traditional Food and Health Textbook

I was so excited to hear about Kristin's Traditional Food Textbook when it first came out, what a great idea! Well, I've now read it (all 203 pages) and it's fantastic!  I learned tons of new things, especially about enzymes, liver health, and the whole A1 A2 cow's milk issue.

The focus of the book is to show that eating real whole traditionally prepared foods should be our focus, rather than the 'nutritionism' which is popular today.  "Nutritionism" is what we see all over mainstream media- quick little quips like, "Fiber prevents cancer" or "Vitamin D prevents heart attacks".  Fiber isn't a food. Fiber is in food, and is found in foods that have many other healthful properties.  We can't expect to isolate fiber from it's source and have it provide the same benefits as fiber found in conjunction with all the other goodies in fruits, whole grains, veggies, etc.

The individual chapters go into the 'why' this works the way it does, dispelling nutrition myths along the way.

Chapter 1 – Food, Not Nutrients

An introduction to whole foods & nutritionism

Chapter 2 – What Traditional Food Cultures Can Teach Us

An introduction to traditional food cultures and the work of Dr. Weston A. Price

Chapter 3 – Healthy Fats & Oils

Discussing fats, essential fatty acids, saturated fat myths & healthy choices.

Chapter 4 – Healthy Meat, Seafood, & Dairy

Discussing protein, essential amino acids, the effects of industrialized food production on the healthfulness of meats, seafood, & dairy & how to make healthy food choices.

Chapter 5 – Healthy Vegetables & Fruits

Discussing carbohydrates, dietary fiber, what affects the nutrient-density of plants, & how to make healthy choices.

Chapter 6 – Living Foods & Superfoods

Discussing vitamins, minerals, enzymes & health.

Chapter 7 – Grains & Legumes

Discussing whole vs. refined grains, & traditional grain and legume preparation methods.

Chapter8 – Bone Broths

The benefits of bone broths & how to prepare them.

Chapter 9 – Sweeteners

Discussing natural sweeteners.

Chapter 10 – The Keys To Health

Discussing what “health” is, examining key organs to health, including the liver, gut, adrenals, and thyroid.

Chapter 11 – Real Food For Real Life

The virtue of Real Food, how to transition to eating Real Food, eating Real Food on a budget.

A great way to make sure you've covered all the real nutrition basics both for yourself and for your children, homeschooled or not! I know I talk to my kids all the time about food, health, and nutrition, but a good comprehensive book is always welcome to fill in any gaps that I might have missed.  And I love that it's in real book format. Ebooks are fun, but there's just something about holding a real book in your hands to make it feel valuable  You can order online here.

Ordering through me helps support this site! Thanks!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Natural Cosmetics- Why I'm Wearing Makeup Again

This is me with makeup on ~ a rare sight since my first was born nearly 4 years ago.  But now I have natural makeup that I feel good about wearing, and I end up spending the minute and a half it takes to apply most days of the week.

Comparing me with vs without makeup you might not notice much of a difference (below is without- with my cute little guy!) but we do. The day I got my natural makeup in the mail, I tried it on right away and hubby walked in after work saying, "Wooooo, you look good!" - he noticed right away. Pretty impressive for this guy!

I felt like makeup wasn't something I was interested in spending time on for quite a while, and thus didn't wear it other than some mascara and colored lip gloss occasionally.  I knew that I never wanted to have wearing makeup be a requirement for me to be seen in public or photographed- I wanted to make sure I was comfortable with how I looked naturally and didn't want to have makeup be an unhealthy priority for me, displacing what really is important, even just for a few minutes.

As I'm working to trade out conventional items for healthier alternatives, I looked into organic makeup and ended up ordering from Actual Organics.  It isn't cheap, but it's healthy and that makes you feel so much better about wearing it.

It really only does take me a minute and a half to put on, and it makes me feel pretty all day, even if I'm just going to the grocery store or to the park with the kids. I have always known that I wanted to avoid becoming a ragged looking stay-at-home mom who stays in sweats all day (though all bets are off when I have a newborn), and spending a bit of time to put on makeup seems to extend out into how I care for my looks, and other areas as well.  I figure if I spent a minute putting makeup on, I can spend another minute cleaning out the car, making the bed (I'm awful at doing that usually), and setting the shoes all in a row rather than letting them gather in a pile by the front door. I'm not saying that buying this makeup will give you a clean house... I'm just noticing how putting a little effort into my appearance seems to start a good momentum for the day :)

I'm a wannabe minimalist, though I've succeeded in always keeping my makeup confined to this little makeup bag that I bought in high school.  Here's what I have:
From Actual Organics:
Foundation in Honey
Plum lip color with a brush
A cute little sampler of perfume- I don't remember what kind but I love it

Rose of Sharon Acres Lip Balm

And Burt's Bees
Face powder that I don't use because it makes me look silly.  I don't know why I keep it
Colored lip gloss

Do you wear makeup? How often? What kind? 


Friday, June 18, 2010

Croissant Topped with Spinach, Parmesan, and Sundried Tomatoes

Simple summer food.  These are store bought croissants (I have made croissants before though!) but they are made with real butter.  Topped with sundried tomatoes that were packed in olive oil with herbs, spinach, and grated parmesan cheese then baked at 375 for 15 minutes, until the cheese melted and spinach wilted.  A quick dinner for when we'd rather be spending time outside, but it was so pretty that I wanted to take a picture.

And about my blog this summer:
I love to share what's going on in my kitchen, but I think as we're all outside more with the nice weather, family vacations, and summer activities I'm going to do shorter 'this is what we're eating' posts rather than long informational ones (like the ones about babies and childbirth, fluoride, liverroot canals, etc).  A season for everything, right? I'll continue to do giveaways because those are always fun, and over on Facebook (come 'like' my page!) I share articles that I come across that are interesting/important.  But for here, we'll be toning it down this summer, and ready to go a little more in depth learning and cooking in the fall.

Some topics I'm looking forward to covering after summertime:

  • Gut health and the importance of probiotics
  • Acne- is it really just little specks of dust in your pores getting infected?
  • How holistic medicine differs from mainstream medicine (ie it's not just using herbs rather than chemicals to treat problems- it treats the root of the issue)
  • Breastfeeding beyond the 12 month mark- benefits for baby, benefits for mommy
  • Houseplants- benefits and how to keep them alive
  • Cold-start gardening (first I want to make sure our garden works!)
  • Soaked wheat/sprouted flour muffins
  • Using stonewear (I have some coming, I doubt I'll be able to hold off talking about it til fall but we'll see)
  • Making a sourdough sponge

Anything in particular that you'd like to see here? Leave a comment below or email me cara faus at gmail dot com

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Play Kitchen- Just Like Mommy!

Since we're in a bigger place now we finally have enough wall space for a play kitchen area!  The kids receive money for gifts from relatives, but in our last place we had so little room for toys and *stuff* that I saved most of it until they wanted/needed/could use something else. I bought Julianna's Kitchen and wanted to give you a little review. Down To Earth Toys is where I ordered from.  They are an at-home family business that sells wonderful natural toys! The colored rings are from there, the little enamelware cups, and they sell the dolls that I make as well.

About Down To Earth Toys' Julinna's Kitchen
So exciting to get such a big box from UPS!  We were outside when the UPS truck came, what fun.  We brought it inside and all set to work on putting it together. I know it's simpler to wait and do it without 'help' (my kids are 1-1/2 and 3-1/2) but it's so fun for the children to participate in  building, and it makes it even more fun when mom spends an hour 'playing' with their toy with them as it's put together.
The instructions for assembly were easy to follow, I used just a Phillips head screwdriver and a small hammer to get everything nestled in the grooves correctly.  We all took turns trying out the screwdriver ;)

I was a little nervous about the hinges, but it turns out that the hinges are really good quality and look like they will withstand opening and closing hundreds of times every day.  The shelf up top is so fun, it's really neat watching them play with something that was designed for their exact size; so often they're trying to reach up and work with adult-sized equipment.  You can see in the top picture in this post that we rearranged their furniture to have drawer/cabinets and a table top 'counter'.   

Playing with the kitchen just after assembly

The kids love it. I love providing them with a place to imitate what I'm doing.  This is set up right along the wall in our dining room, next to the kitchen.  I love to watch their play change as the seasons go- now they're into chopping fruit and veggies, as I'm cutting up fresh fruit often right now! This past winter they set up a 'stove' out of a box and did a lot of stirring and tasting soup.  

Plans for the play area
I'll be honest, I love playing with their little toys.  For their play area I'm going to attempt lazure painting the wall behind their play area here. We're renting, but I thought doing one wall would be neat, and our land lord is okay with it :) We'll see how it turns out! And I want to get them a rug to 'define' their play area a bit more from the dining room that it's a part of.  I love having them play just off the kitchen; they bring me their cooking to sample as I'm in the kitchen often.

What do your children think of all your kitchen work? 

More from Down To Earth Toys:
A special Made in the USA section
And Organic toys too!

More from me:


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How We Became Coffee Free!

I've wanted to give up coffee for, well, over 4 years now (since I got pregnant the first time) and it hasn't happened for longer than a few months at a time.  For my first pregnancy I made it through the first trimester without coffee, then in my second pregnancy it gave me the jitters so I stopped then too, only to start back up after my son was born.  But I've always felt that I wasn't awake in the morning until I'd had a cup or three, even after being off caffeine for a few weeks.

When I posted about my 'nap substitute' iced coffee Ann Marie had commented about DLPA, an amino acid supplement that helped her to stop the caffeine.  I was intrigued, but skeptical. I really depended on my coffee in the morning!  

I looked into amino acids as supplements, because I hadn't heard of those before.  I was concerned that they might just be doing the same thing as caffeine, but they seem to correct an imbalance within the body rather than force adrenaline out like caffeine does.  DLPA also has very few side effects for the dose I was going to try.  As I've talked about, I'm not a supplement person, I think it's too common in our society for us to ignore the roots of problem, and just try popping a bunch of pills to cure our problems.  But for some things, herbs, supplements, probiotics, etc have their place.

I decided that this was worth a try.  Some more information:

D, L-Phenylalanine (DLPA) is used by the brain to produce norepinephrine (our brains' version of adrenaline), a neurotransmitter depleted by stress, caffeine, nicotine, pollution, and some pharmacological and recreational drugs. Source

When you’re low on dopamine, you feel dull, unmotivated and tired. Nothing seems very interesting. When left to yourself you might sit in the same spot for hours. This can feel terrible! 

Fortunately, there’s a simple way to boost dopamine levels. The amino acids L-tyrosine and DL-phenylalanine (DLPA) are your body's natural dopamine precursors. When you take L-tyrosine and DLPA as supplements, your body converts them into dopamine, and your alertness and energy level get a boost.  Source

Caffeine gives us a temporary lift by sending norepinephrine into the blood stream.  Over time, healthy levels of norepinephrine are depleted by caffeine and other factors mentioned above ... if not replaced.   Phenylalanine does a great job replacing this major neurotransmitter. Source

DLPA looks like it also helps with chronic pain and depression, so it's not just for withdrawing from caffeine.

I tried it first, and was able to quit coffee immediately without any withdrawal symptoms. I felt like I got better sleep, and woke up ready to go in the morning with more energy than usual, and a longer attention span than usual.  This was about 3 weeks ago now, and I've had half a mug of coffee a couple times, but haven't become addicted at all.  The DLPA itself doesn't seem to be habit forming, I skip most days now and only take it if I start to feel like I 'need' something to wake me up.

This past weekend I finally convinced my husband to try giving up caffeine with DLPA "for my blog" and he has been amazed at how his sleep quality has improved and that he has more energy too. He did go one day without coffee and had no headache or anything (we normally would have to have caffeine in the morning to avoid a headache) but after that one day he decided that he'll keep drinking coffee in the morning.  He has been taking the DLPA every other day or so, though, because he likes how it gives him more energy and better sleep. And it's not the nervous caffeine-induced kind of energy, it's the kind of energy you have after you had a great night's sleep and you're excited to do whatever needs to be done that day.  He wakes up at 5 or so, and is all productive before going to work- before he'd roll out of bed at the last possible minute and rush rush rush to get out the door at 6:30.

This is what we're taking- it's what they had available at our health food store (it's way cheaper on Amazon) Solar Ray DLPA

And Ann Marie's post about her experiences using DLPA to stop drinking coffee too.

I'm still amazed at how well this works, it's almost like it's too good to be true.  I can't seem to find any side effects recorded unless someone is taking about 20 x the dose I have been (I've been taking one 500 mg pill a day, not even every day).  I am still breastfeeding my toddler, and I'm comfortable taking this with him, though I most likely would avoid during pregnancy and while nursing a newborn, but I'd have to research more before deciding (as a default most supplements will say to avoid while pregnant or breastfeeding, though that's not always necessary).

Are you addicted to caffeine and want to stop?

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cookin' Across America

The Local Cook is having a "Cookin' Across America" contest, to showcase different food from different states in the US. Isn't that fun? I entered my Wild Trout Dinner from earlier this year.  This week you can still enter the contest if you have a blog, or visit blogs if you don't, and then voting will open next week.  What a fun roundup of recipes!

Visit here

Monday, June 14, 2010

Donielle's Black Bean Brownies

I tried Donielle from Naturally Knocked Up's black bean brownies. Yummy guiltless chocolate, and they passed the kid and husband test as well :) The only substitutions I made were I didn't use bittersweet baking chocolate, but instead I increased the cocoa to 6 tablespoons and the butter to 1/2 a cup.

GAPS notes: Black beans and cocoa are technically GAPS illegal, but I think they're 'borderline advanced' foods and are okay for some.  Whipping cream is not GAPS legal at all, sorry.

Other notes: One pound of black beans, soaked and cooked, yields exactly 3 batches (6 cups). I did my first batch in an 8x8 glass pan, then the second and third together in a 9x13.  Less dishes, and a stockpile in the freezer- win win!  Great served with whipping cream (sweetened with honey, and melting because the brownie is still warm. yum.)

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Friday, June 11, 2010

I Love a Guacamole Burger

Wrapped in lettuce, eaten  justwith a fork, or in a bun- barbecued grass fed beef burger, topped with guacamole, cheese, and fresh veggies is summer to me!

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Excalibur 5-Tray Dehydrator: Review

I got a chance to try an Excalibur dehydrator after using my friend's garage sale dehydrator for the past few months.  Oh wow what a difference! I knew that Excalibur had a really good reputation, but I didn't realize how much more effecient it would be than an off-brand model.  The main reason I wanted one was because they were square and were a better use of space than a round one.

But besides being a more efficient use of space, the heater/fan is in the back, which means that all trays dry at the same time.  The front cover just lifts off, then the trays are easy to slide in and out, rather than the stacking kind that I had before.  They remove for cleaning or yogurt, which I just placed right on the bottom of the dehydrator (pictures below).  As Excalibur recommended, I left the sheets for making fruit leather on the bottom as a liner- and they just wipe off to clean!

This is a 5-tray model without the timer, and you can use as many or as few trays as you need.  I think it's a great size.  The trays are big- I was able to do 5 lbs of bison jerky on just three of them.  When I showed my husband the trays of beef that were drying he was impressed with the size, "You could fit an entire antelope in there!" (he means once it's been butchered, perhaps this hunting season I could show more of that whole process- with ample warning to skip the post if you don't want to see!)

I know my dehydrator is going to get a workout this summer, I'm looking forward to preserving fresh local foods for the coming winter.  We're moving soon, and our new place has an unfinished basement which is where the dehydrator will live during the summertime, and in the winter I bet we'll end up moving it into the living area again- it's nice to be able to reuse the heat it puts out.  

The book Preserve it Naturally is inspirational to look through too.  It gives directions for drying anything, and the pictures show you what to do.  Hubby skipped right to the meat section, and I was curious about making fruit leather (which really is easy!).  There was instructions for easy homemade cottage cheese in there too, which I'm going to try soon!

Some things I'm looking forward to using my dehydrator for:

  • Found a great deal on ripe produce? Stock up and dry it for future use! We just bought a bunch of strawberries, and while we could have eaten them all in one day, we dried some to save for the future (pictured below).
  • Spinach- I buy 3 lbs of spinach at once at Costco, and we don't always use it all before it starts to go bad, not to mention how much room it takes in the fridge.  I have been using about half, drying the other half to use later. (pictured)
  • Yogurt! So easy, stick it in and ignore it for 24 hours.
  • Jerky- a great snack for day trips out, or even back packing if we were doing that.  Save loads by doing your own, and only have the ingredients in it that you want.
  • Produce from the garden.  We just planted a bunch of tomato plants because store tomatoes don't even compare to home grown ones.  I'm especially excited about drying them to use this winter in soups.  
  • Cleaner snacks for the kids: I love giving my children fresh fruit as snacks, but dried fruit is so much easier for when I don't have the option of hosing them off washing their hands and changing their clothes.

And some pictures of the first few things I used my dehydrator for:

Here's my yogurt (goat) - I fit a gallon in, though I had room for even more! The 24-hour SCD yogurt is easy to keep at a consistent temperature, since the Excalibur has a thermostat.   
There are three different options for the tray- the wider one allows the most air through, this mesh one is great for little pieces so they don't go through, and then the solid sheet for fruit leather.

My yogurt, finished. I didn't have enough lids and doing 24 hour yogurt without a lid does evaporate quite a bit of moisture.

Banana chips- quickly turn on-sale ripe bananas into sweet treats! I bought 5 bunches of ripe bananas that were marked down for quick sale, sliced them up, and dehydrated on the dried fruit setting. I don't mind that they turn brown a little bit, I didn't soak them in anything to try to try to prevent it.  There are instructions in the Preserve It Naturally book that show you how you can soak your fruits in natural solutions to keep it from turning brown. 
Beef jerky! I've made bison jerky as well. I love that these dry evenly and in less than a day.

* Excalibur sent me this product to review. All opinions are my own!

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Giveaway: Real Food for Mother and Baby

Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck is such a fun encouraging book to read.  Nina explains what nutrients are needed to grow a healthy baby while pregnant, what to eat while breastfeeding, and what we really want baby to eat during their first couple years of life.  She writes in an easy and nonjudgmental style that I love; I can feel comfortable passing this book out to friends that I know are trying to conceive or are expecting and they won't feel condemned because of it.  You can read my longer review back here.

How would you like to win a signed copy of her book?

Enter to win a signed copy of Real Food for Mother and Baby:  Giveaway is closed! Congratulations #14, "curlie girlie" - I'll be emailing you now :)

First and mandatory entry: Click into her Real Baby Food website down below (turn off your ad blocker if you can't see the code, and if you're reading by RSS feed or email you may have to click on over to my blog using this link) and go to the Who Is Nina section and in the comments tell me a piece of trivia about her that you thought was interesting and/or go to the The Book section and print out one of her handouts to give to someone you know who could use the information, then tell me about it in the comments.  (1 entry for each- remember to leave your email in your comment so I an contact you if you win!)

For extra entries:
Spread the word! Email this giveaway to 5 friends, share on Twitter, etc. (1 entry for each way you share)
Subscribe to my blog via RSS or Email (1 entry)
Follow me on Twitter (1 entry)
Follow Nina Planck on Twitter (1 entry)
Get the Real Food Media Widgit! (5 entries for those who have it on their blog!)
*Leave a comment for each*

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*Fine Print*  Winner will be chosen one week from today (6/15) and announced in this post. Make sure you have your email address hooked up to your blogger profile so I can contact you, or leave it in the comment entry.  Open to US residents only.  I receive a small compensation per click. No purchase necessary in order to win.  Winner will be chosen with from the number of entries received.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Beef Jerky- Make it a Health Food

Homemade beef jerky is something I'm loving bringing along when we're out this summer.  I have a bunch of grassfed hamburger in my freezer that was purchased for an amazingly low price, but to make my first jerky I checked out the clearance section of our health food store's meat department. Every two weeks they order half a cow, and they clearance what hasn't sold before it comes in.  It's the less tender cuts, but at less than $4/lb it's more than fine for jerky!

To make, I marinade in my seasonings plus 1/4 cup of lemon or lime juice and a couple tablespoons of honey overnight.  I use the same amount of seasonings as I would for barbecuing the meat- I've found that most jerky recipes use way too much salt.  I season to taste.

I let it marinade all day or over night in the fridge, then transfer to the freezer for an hour (set a timer!) so that it's easier to slice into strips.

I slice either with or against the grain depending on how I can get the longest strips, and place in the dehydrator.  Dry on high all day, and that's it!  I keep mine in the fridge, and would put in the freezer for extended storage.  I'd rather put it there than risk the batch going bad, and it doesn't take up much space once it's dried.

If you look at the ingredients on the package of jerky at the store- you'll see that most of it is loaded with preservatives, MSG, and sugar.  Making this at home, especially with good quality reduced price meat is a healthy and frugal alternative!

Our first attempt at jerky was with deer, using a recipe with too much salt and drying it in the oven with the door cracked open- major fail.  We got tough rock-hard salty chunks of venison. This was much better.

Have you been successful drying jerky in the oven? What do you dry it on? For us, I'm happy to stick with the dehydrator but it would be nice to know it could be successfully done in the oven as well.

Other snack foods:
Date Macadamia Balls (I've also done with pecans and almonds)
Strawberry Almond Bars
Homemade Oatmeal Bars


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fermented Sweet Tea- Kombucha!

Kombucha- also known as SCOBY, Mother, Baby, Mushroom, Tea Beast- it all is on the weird side of traditional foods, but is interesting nonetheless! I finally made my first kombucha last month.  I followed Briana's directions of making a strong tea, adding sugar (yes, refined sugar is called for in this Nourishing Traditions recipe!), the mushroom, and letting it ferment at room temperature for a week.  I got my mushroom from a friend, but they are available to buy from Cultures for Health.

Picture is my first batch of kombucha ready to go in the fridge, and the mother (mushroom) still in the glass jar waiting to be re-filled with sweet tea to ferment again.

My first batch didn't produce a baby, but I asked about it on Facebook and it's most likely because I had the mother refrigerated prior to use. Now if I need to set the mushroom aside between uses I cover with some kombucha and keep in a mason jar covered with a cloth napkin on my counter.

While it was fermenting, I looked for more information on this little concoction.  Interesting stuff!

What is it?
The Kombucha mushroom is not really a mushroom,  or even related to mushrooms, in reality it is a symbiotic relationship between a number of bacteria (beneficial) and special yeast cultures. The symbiotic nature of the bacteria and yeast ferments sweetened tea to become kombucha tea, a refreshing, naturally carbonated beverage used for over two thousand years as a refreshing beverage as well as a beneficial tonic.
Source: FreeWebs/Kombucha

Potential Health Benefits:

Kombucha is a culture, so it's full of probiotics like lactofermented veggies and yogurt.  It's a little bit of an acquired taste, but once you are hooked it's a wonderful natural substitute for soda.  The culturing process brings out more nutrients from the tea.  Kombucha is said to help CFS and EBV, detoxify the liver, prevent acid reflux, be helpful to reduce alcohol cravings for recovering alcoholics (see below for precautions with that), provide B vitamins, and more (you can read a lot of incidental findings on Earth Clinic).


What to watch for when making kombucha: Watch for fuzzy mold to develop- if it does, throw it out. I seem to have really good results with my ferments/cultures and have never had to throw anything out, so I think this would be pretty rare.

Potential Side Effects: Kombucha can be detoxifying, and just like strong probiotics, coconut oil, or epsom salts, it's best to start slow to see how you react to the detoxifying properties.  I tried just half a glass at first, and it didn't bother me.  If you have liver issues/hepatitis, do your own research, there is some controversy with whether kombucha helps or harms in regards to hepatitis.

Alcohol content: It has a low alcohol content. This seems to be controversial, but I feel like I've had a bit of alcohol it when I drink a large glass.  I normally don't drink, so I'm more sensitive than most people would be.  Personally, I avoid alcohol because I have no desire to experience it's affects, and I think I can avoid that by drinking (ahem) less than a quart of kombucha at a time. For children it's recommended to water it down. Kombucha is sold in health food stores, and doesn't require you be over 21 or older to buy (I think here you have to be 21 to buy nonalcoholic beer even!) so it must be pretty low content.  It's good to keep in mind anyway.

More Kombucha on other blogs:
Food Renegade tells how to make a scoby from store bought kombucha.
Hartke Is Online has a post about making kombucha from apple juice rather than tea.
GNOWFGLINS uses honey or unrefined sugar in hers, and answers a lot of questions in her post.

Is Kombucha something you're already doing? Something you'd like to try? 

(part of fight back fridays!)

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sprouted Spelt Flour Giveaway

I just ordered sprouted spelt flour to use in my Challah, and Peggy from To Your Health Sprouted Flour has some to giveaway for you as well!

Sprouted flour intrigues me, I have been meaning to buy some sprouted flour for quite some time.  It's a great faster alternative to soaking wheat; the spouting uses the natural properties of seeds (wheat berries or spelt berries) to reduce the phytic acid and other anti-nutrients, leaving you with a more nutritious, more digestible grain.

Sprouted flour is made by sprouting the grain, then dehydrating it, then milling it into flour.  The flour can be used as regular flour is in recipes but you don't have to soak/ferment it to make it more digestible; that was taken care of in the sprouting process.  (You can see an example of my 'soaked' bread here).  I'm going to use it in my challah at the end when I need to thicken up the dough a little to braid it , and for making quick breads like muffins.

For the giveaway:  Giveaway ended! Thanks for entering!  Rebecca from Secret Life of Daydreams won, congratulations!

To Your Health Sprouted Flour is giving away a 5-pound bag of organic sprouted spelt flour and shipping it out for free!

To enter you have to do this first step- click over below (you'll have to disable your ad blocker if you can't see where to sign up) and sign up for her newsletter. If you're already signed up for her newsletter, go to the recipe section and tell me what recipe you'd like to try if you win- down in the comments section!

For extra entries:
Spread the word! Email this giveaway to 5 friends, share on Twitter, etc. (1 entry for each way you share)
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*Leave a comment for each*

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Health, Home, and Happiness
Get the Real Food Media Widgit! (5 entries for those who have it on their blog!)

*Fine Print*  Winner will be chosen one week from today (6/8) and announced in this post. Make sure you have your email address hooked up to your blogger profile so I can contact you, or leave it in the comment entry.  Open to US residents only.  I receive a small compensation per click. No purchase necessary in order to win.  Winner will be chosen with from the number of entries received.

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