Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sprouting Beans and a 'Cure Tooth Decay' Approved Meal

I originally encountered the idea of sprouting beans back in 2004 or so when I read The Maker's Diet.  The idea was that it turned a dry dead food into a living food. I had started soaking and sprouting my beans after reading about it, but then I got away from the practice.  Mostly due to time constraints and the convenience of just opening a can of beans rather then properly soaking and sprouting them myself.  I now have renewed vigor in properly preparing my beans since we are working on the healing of cavities and reading about this practice once again in the Cure Tooth Decay book.

Here are some reasons sprouting beans is beneficial:

Beans, Beans, the musical fruit,
The more you eat the more you toot.

Ever heard that saying?  Well....

1) they don't cause gas.  Did you know that?  Properly prepared beans (and seeds) don't cause gas.  Sprouting neutralizes enzyme inhibitors present in all beans and seeds.  These inhibitors also inhibit our own enzymes in the digestive tract causing gas or even stomachache.

2) significantly reduces Phytic Acid.  Phytic Acid is that nasty little thing that is known to bind with minerals in the body causing mineral blockers and preventing the body from being able to absorb many of the nutrients that are so beneficial, and necessary.  Especially when trying to heal/remineralize teeth.  Like, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, and zinc.

3) sprouting increases the available vitamins A, B's, and C.

It's really not hard to soak and sprout, it's just time consuming.  It typically takes 2-3 days to have beans ready to prepare.  However, you can easily soak and sprout a large quantity and then can then up in your own jars for future use for that easy open and dump routine that was so alluring for me.  With just a little bit of forethought, I could still have that same convenience of just opening a can and using them.  Plus, the added benefit of them being healthier.

So, the first thing you want to do is to rinse your beans.  Sort them, which just means look for any small pieces of gravel or dirt or anything that looks like it doesn't belong.  Then cover them in water.  Giving an extra couple inches of water for the beans to expand.  Cover them and let them sit for 8-12 hours.  I usually do overnight.

Then, you just dump off the water and rinse them.  There are actually special sprouting gadgets that you can buy, but I'm not that fancy.  I just use a mesh strainer that fits across my sink.  Makes it super convenient to rinse occasionally, which should be done every 8-12 hours until you've got the size of sprout on them that you want.  This part will typically take 1 1/2 - 2 days.

Anyway, once you've rinsed after dumping off the soak water, leave the beans in whatever you plan to use as your sprouter.  It should allow for air circulation, but not so much that it dries them back out.  I put a cloth towel or cloth napkin over the top and just let it set on the counter out of the way.  Rinsing occasionally.

Once you have sprouts, you can then cook them!  I usually wait until I see a good sprout on the majority of my beans.

Add them to your pot, covered in water, and bring to a boil.

Now, I do one extra step that I've never read anywhere, but I do it anyway.  Once my beans start simmering and I get just a bit of foam in the water, I then dump that water, and refill the pot one last time.

I don't KNOW that this is a necessary step.  However, it just feels right to me.  It gets rid of the foam that was forming, and in my mind, I THINK it also helps get rid of just that much more phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors.  But I've got nada to back that up.  Just a hunch that it helps?  Not sure.  Though I'd probably do it just to get rid of the foam anyway, even if it proved that nothing else happens.  :)

So then I just boil my beans until they are cooked through and soft.  You can add anything you want to season and flavor them.  Salt, onions, pepper, fresh herbs.  Ham?  Or beef soup bones?  Just add stuff to taste here.  I usually just do a bit of minced garlic, chopped onion, salt and pepper.  Sometimes I also add some chicken bone broth in place of some of the water for added flavor and goodness.

Now if you were going to preserve the beans by canning, you could do that here instead of fully cooking them.  Instead of cooking them first, put the sprouted beans in jars and then cover in boiling water and do a cold pack pressure canning for them.  Which just means, the beans are cold and not yet cooked.  Pack them in jars, wipe the rims, add the lids, and process in the pressure canner for 1 hour 15 minutes for pints, 1 hour and 30 minutes for quarts.  This time should allow for fully cooked beans at the end.  Ready to just pop open a can and use them as conveniently as store bought canned beans.

Now, back to the meal I was making with those beans.  :)  This is as close to a healthy bean and rice meal as I could muster using the ideas from the Cure Tooth Decay book.

I made some white basmati rice cooked in chicken bone broth (that I'd made myself).  First measuring out the rice, rinsing it in water and draining it, then adding bone broth.  If you can't use the amount of bone broth for the full liquid amount, then use as much as you can and supplement with water for the rest.  Then cook the rice like normal.  When it's done, it will be kinda yellow looking from the broth.

Then, I topped it with some homemade grass fed butter.

Added some freshly picked and chopped cilantro.

Next the beans, and then topped it with some raw cheddar cheese.

And served with a glass of fresh raw milk on the side.  :)

It was so super awesome!  Yumm-o!

Now, to add a link to Sprout people so you can search for any kind of bean, nut, or seed you want to see info on how to sprout.  :)

This was a fantastically filling meal, it tasted great, and even better, no toots from the musical fruit!  :)  I guess it's not so musical after all, huh?  :)


Friday, July 5, 2013

Making Butter ~ It's SO Easy!

I have been a HUGE butter fan for many years.  It started out at the realization that margarine was a manufactured chemical, whereas butter was made from milk.  Much more natural!  Then, I started using lots of butter because I loved the taste so much better than margarine.  But, we were still buying it in the store and it was not organic, nor was it from grass fed cows.  It was just, you know, butter.  From a store.  :)

Not long after that, my husband was diagnosed with high cholesterol and we switched back to margarine because of all those commercials telling you that margarine has less saturated fat, blah blah blah.  Or rather, we tried the supposed heart healthy smart balance type butters and margarines.  But, it just didn't fit into my brain quite right that these chemically made products could possibly be better for him (us) than something made naturally.  So, I quickly put a cabosh on that idea and embraced the fact that we were butter eaters and there was no going back.  Incidentally, when his next work up came around a year later, his cholesterol had dropped by more than 50 points!  Now, I doubt that it was ALL because of butter, but my point was that butter was not the culprit of his high cholesterol.

I'm here to tell you, that butter is a health food.  It is not to blame for heart disease, blood pressure, cholesterol, making you fat, and on and on and on.  Butter, is high in vitamins A, D, E, K, and Calcium.  It's rich in anti-oxidants, selenium, lecithin, and lauric acid.  The saturated fats found in butter even have strong anti cancer and anti tumor properties!  And finally, the cholesterol found in butter is exactly what children's brains need to grow healthy. (

So today, I'm going to show you just how easy it is to MAKE butter!  I highly, highly, highly, (oh wait, did I say HIGHLY) recommend that you use raw milk from grass fed cows.  Always, really. But especially for your cream in which to make butter.  Raw cream is by far the most superior of all creams, in my opinion.  Not only in taste, but also in nutrition and health benefits.  I will not go down the rabbit trail of preaching to you all the devastation that pasteurization does to our milk.  So, just know, that I HIGHLY encourage you to use raw milk. :)  However, if you are unable to obtain raw milk, please find some Organic, preferably Grass Fed cream to use.  If all that fails, use what you can find.  :)

Now, there are about as many ways to obtain your cream from your milk as there are people on the planet.  So do it however it works for you.  MY system is to pour our milk into one of these bpa free plastic dispensers as soon as I get home from the farm.

On my gift wish list is one of these.  A glass 2 tier dispenser with metal spigots on them.  However, this little plastic one will have to do for now.

It is extremely handy for the kids to get milk as the heavy glass jars we had been using previously made it a hold-my-breath-and-pray-they-don't-drop-it experience several times a day.  So, this is wonderful!  Surprisingly, we actually go through less milk this way!  I'm not sure why exactly, but it's true.

Anyway, the cream rises to the top and as we drink the milk off the bottom, all the cream is saved for last.  In the picture below, you can see the line of cream on top that has separated from the milk.

Then, when we get down to just the cream, I pull it off and put it in a glass jar until I can get around to making butter.  In this time, if there is any milk left, it will separate again and you can see how much cream to milk you have.  As shown in the picture below.

Next, I use my little mini food processor. I pour in my cream up to the 1/4 L line plus 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt.  You can salt to taste, there's no magic amount.  :)  There's not even any reason to measure anything if you're making unsalted.  Just put your cream in and let it spin!

I've also used my blender before to make butter, though it didn't work out very well.  As you make butter it goes through different stages of thickness and at one point it gets a whipped butter consistency and my blender couldn't handle it.  It just spun and the butter-in-progress was not moving and clung to the sides.  So I ended up having to move it to my food processor anyway and having more to wash.  :)  So I just go straight to the food processor now.  Another great option is to use a hand held stick blender too.  I've used that several times as well, but it's currently designated for skin care products only and until I get another one, I won't be using it for food stuff.

ANYWAY!  Where were we?

Oh yes, we just poured in the cream.  Ok, so now stand there and hold the button down for about 10 minutes until it gets a good bounce.

As you see at the end of the video there, when it's bouncing, you have now successfully made butter.

Scrape together all your butter pieces and put them in your container you want to use to store it in.

What you have left, is buttermilk!  You can then use that for all kinds of stuff!  It is full of probiotics and SO good for you!  I use it to mix into our eggs, mashed potatoes, you could put some in a smoothie.  Just about anything.  And of course, you could use it for things like biscuits and pancakes too!  (though we do not since we are grain free)

There ya go!  Raw, fresh, grass fed, organic butter.