Garden to Table: How to Make the Most of your Homegrown Food

Garden to Table: How to Make the Most of your Homegrown Food

There is a Part II to gardening that often gets forgotten. It demands attention and yet is scarcely mentioned in the gardening community. It is: How to use the vegetables after they get picked and need to be eaten. Sure, most of us know how to nibble on cherry tomatoes and enjoy some steamed peas but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about using those vegetables for your everyday cooking and knowing how to do that with confidence.

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In the Kitchen: Sprouted Wheat Bread

I finally got the courage to try the spouted wheat flour in bread. I was really nervous about it because the last time I had wheat, I was so, so sick.

I tried it and I'm happy to report it was successful! I had no problems at all with it, no bloating, tummy ache or anything.

It tasted the same as regular bread, but the surprise was it rose different. It was way more light and fluffy than non-spouted. I had to adjust my go-to recipe from 2 tablespoons of gluten to none. Which is probably better for me anyway, and it also needed a bit of extra cooking time.

Here is the recipe:

Sprouted Wheat Bread

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
290mL warm water
2T honey
1t. sea salt
2t. apple cider vinegar (I use Braggs)
1 egg
3 cups sprouted white wheat flour (See below for directions)
1 1/2 t. instant yeast

To make sprouted wheat flour:
Put 10 cups of wheat kernels in a bowl.
Cover the wheat in bowl with filtered water. Make sure to allow an extra inch of water at the top for expansion of the wheat.
Next add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in the water. Let sit in a warm place for 24 to 36 hours.
Drain and rinse.
Place on dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 115 degrees for 12 hours.
Grind in wheat grinder. Done!  Should make around 12 cups ground flour. Or about 4 loaves worth (my recipe makes one at a time)

Now for the bread making.

 Load ingredients (in bold above) in the order listed into your machine.

Once its all ready, press the dough button on the machine.  When in beeps just take it out and knead into bread shape. It will be a little wet so add flour as needed. Place in a greased bread pan.

Next let it rise until it comes just about the top of the pan.  This took about 45 minutes for me.
Then place in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
Then enjoy your yummy easy to digest bread :)

In the Kitchen: Cultured Food

I think most people who read this know that I've been dealing with digestive problems (aka IBS) for the last year. I've experimented with different diets- vegan,  paleo, and just plain elimination diets. Right now, I'm gluten and dairy free and have been for about six months. It's helped substantially but I recently stumbled on a book about fermented foods and implementing what she suggests is not just masking symptoms but is really healing my digestive system.
Image from here

The book is "Cultured Food for Life" by Donna Schweck. Donna talks about her daughter Maci who suffered from IBS but was able heal herself by eating cultured (probiotic) food everyday -a few tablespoons with each meal. So I thought I would try it out and since I've been dairy free I didn't want to start out with Kefir and I opted for what I could find in the grocery store- kimchi. I've been eating it a few tablespoons with breakfast and dinner and it really has made a big difference in how I feel. Since I've had a lot of success with it and the tiny kimchi jar costs $5, I'm making my own fermented veggies now to save money and add variety. I started with a classic fermented food- sauerkraut and a recipe from Donna's book "Dilly Beans".

Pink Sauerkraut fermenting- day 4

Donna said Maci was able to add back in wheat when it had been sprouted first. I can see how this would be helpful because I've read many Paleo books that talk about how bad grains are because of the phytic acid (anti-nutrient). The thing they don't talk about is the idea that soaked and sprouted grains deactivate the phytic acid and makes the nutrient available for the body to digest. I've been soaking my rice and quinoa for a while and because Maci's story mirrors my own, I'm going to give wheat a try again after I sprout it... (in the process now, see photo below)

Donna says you can sprout the wheat, then dehydrate it and grind it to make flour just like regular wheat. I hope it works because I will be so happy to eat wheat bread again!

 My spouted wheat- can you see the little tails?

In Donna's book she also recommends making sourdough bread (more fermenting!) to make it easier to digest.

As you can tell, I am super excited about fermenting! There are lots of reasons to love it...

1. Because I've had less stomach pain and fewer IBS symptoms

2. Because it will be a good way to use my garden veggies (after food is fermented it has to be stored in the fridge but can last for 9 months! The previous owners left us an extra fridge so I have lots of extra space).

3. Unlike canning, there is little to no risk for botulism because there is no heat to kill the good bacteria which eats up the bad.