Thursday, March 10, 2011

Our Food Journey Part VI

Finally!  We get to this year!  If you haven't read the rest of our journey, catch up here.

This year we have seen so many really drastic changes to our diet. 

It started with the boys' ears being so clogged from colds, etc, that we mostly cut out dairy.  Not completely, but mostly.  I started buying almond milk, rice milk and coconut milk (mostly for Ellie) instead of our fresh, raw milk.  And I stopped buying cheese, which is a favorite food in our house.  At first I wondered how in the world our lives were even going to go on or exist at all without dairy.  But you know what?  They did.  And I learned/ am learning dairy alternatives every day!

Next, Chris wanted to avoid all sugar, wheat, and gluten.  I wasn't exactly on board with that one right away.  How am I supposed to feed my family anything when we aren't eating dairy, sugar, wheat, or gluten. I really resisted this change to our diet.  I knew that Chris was going to be more strict with it than the kids or I could ever be.  I did finally have a heart change and chose to submit to my husband.  Even in the realm of food it is so important to submit to our husbands, if we are to be truly a picture of the church submitting to Christ. But, I digress from the topic of food... :-) Anyway, once I finally did choose to submit my will to Chris', you know what? God blessed it.  I had a HUGE burst of creativity in the kitchen!  We had all kinds of amazing food that week!  I even came up with the sesame cracker recipe that I'll share below. 

ANOTHER change we have made here in the Good household since the beginning of the year:  eating more raw food.  My mother-in-law got the book The Live Food Factor: The Comprehensive Guide to the Ultimate Diet for Body, Mind, Spirit & Planet for Christmas.  I was immediately interested in these crazy people who were insane enough to eat ONLY RAW FOOD.  Chris and I knew right away that we needed to be incorporating more raw foods-- at the very least more vegetables-- into our diets pronto. I have been learning so much about raw food and the benefits of eating raw, but also the benefits of cooking certain foods.  We are still working towards a balance in our house on this one.  It's tricky working with little ones-- finding things to eat raw that are beneficial for and also realistic for our children.  We also got another book on the topic, Becoming Raw: The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets, which has helped a great deal in figuring out what is best for our family.  There are also a bunch of great recipes/menu plans! One last book I should mention on this topic is Breaking Free: Truths for Healthy Living.  This book also has a great, balanced approach with a lot of really helpful recipes, some of which I even tried out these last two weeks! It has a great chapter on feeding our children as well. 

Okay, so as if all these major changes were not enough, there is one more.  I have spoken about soaking grains a little bit on this site before.  My heart right now is to really prepare all my grains, legumes, beans having soaked or sprouted them first.  This breaks down the phytic acid in the bran of the grain, unlocking many nutrients that are inhibited by the presence of phytic acid in digestion.  I haven't done this much yet.  I would like to experiment with sprouting wheat (and then dehydrating it before grinding it into flour) instead of soaking it, to see if that is a better option.  This last soaking part of our journey is going to be a real learning curve.  I don't know too much about what I'm talking about... YET!  I intend to find out as I go and I will  clue you in to my findings as well.  So far, the best site I have found with information on soaking is Katie has done extensive research over the past year-- comparing soaking methods and sprouting, interviewing all kinds of experts on this topic.  If you are interested to know more, go here

Whew!  Glad to get that all down for you folks to read!  I hope our journey from simply giving up soda to a dairy/gluten limited, low sugar, more vegetable laden, soaked grains diet will inspire you to go out and take that first step in your life!

And finally the recipe I promised: 

Sesame Rice Crackers (Dairy free, gluten free, vegan)
3 TBS oil or palm shortening (Oil can be coconut, vegetable, light olive oil, or any other mild flavored oil)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 1/2 cups rice flour (I have also used a rice/millet mix)
2 cloves garlic, crushed or pressed
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp tumeric
1/8 tsp paprika
2/3 cup water

Combine the oil, sesame seeds, rice flour, garlic, salt, tumeric and paprika. The result will be almost like a pie crust before you add the water-- crumbly, but moist.  Stir in the water. Turn the dough out onto a cookie sheet. Press it out until it is a relatively even layer on the sheet.  I like to use some plastic wrap on top of the dough, so my hands don't get really messy.  Score the crackers (a pizza cutter works really well!) into whatever shape you like.  Ben likes sticks, but Chris likes crackers, so I usually make a combination.  Bake at 250* for an hour or so.  Check after 40 minutes to see if they are done.  They should be crispy, but not brown.  Because of the turmeric, these crackers will be yellow.  Last, a note about oil vs. shortening: The crackers were more... oily (for obvious reasons!) and dense but less likely to fall apart when made with oil and were kind of flaky (reminiscent of pie crust) when made with shortening.   

Enjoy!  These usually don't even get 'put away' at our house-- everyone just snacks on them right off the cookie sheet until they are gone!

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