Food Quotes


"No therapy or drug known to modern medical science can rebuild tissue that has been damaged by disease or trauma. Food alone can accomplish this feat. It is for this reason that nutrition is an indispensable weapon against disease".
Dr. Bernard Jensen (1908-2001)




Monday, October 3, 2011

Sunday Morning Yogurt Yum



This is an easy yet nourishing and scrumptious Sunday morning breakfast. It takes the edge off when the rush is on to get out the door for church.

Yield: Makes 1 serving
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup plain organic whole milk yogurt
healthy sweetener to taste (coconut palm sugar, maple syrup, raw honey, stevia, Truvia, Rapadura to name a few)
1/2 teaspoon maple or vanilla extract
1/2 cup of organic fresh fruit - bananas, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, blueberries, blackberries, cantaloupe - to name a few (mix it up by using several fruits to equal 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup organic granola
1 tablespoon walnuts, almonds, or pecans, chopped (if granola does not contain nuts)

Directions: Spoon yogurt into serving dish. Add sweetener, maple or vanilla extract and stir to combine. Add fruit, granola and nuts to top (can be stirred in if desired).

Or, you may prefer to layer all ingredients in a parfait glass for an eye and kid pleasing treat.

Note: Of course this breakfast can be eaten any day of the week and it is still full of yummy goodness.
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Aromatic Jasmine Fried Rice

Fried Rice
Absolutely love this fried rice, which can be either a main or side dish (see "variation" below for side dish).


Ingredients: 
1/4 cup coconut oil, olive oil, or bacon drippings (from nitrite and nitrate free, uncured bacon)
3 eggs, beaten
4 cups cooked Soft and Savory Brown Rice (this recipe uses Jasmine brown rice)
1 cup leftover pork, beef or chicken, diced
5 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas and carrot mix
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon real, unprocessed salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, (or to taste)

Directions: Preheat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet (seasoned cast iron preferably). When oil is shimmering (but never smoking), add the eggs and scramble till almost set (they should still look slightly wet). Remove eggs to a plate and keep warm.

Add the 3 tablespoons of oil remaining to the skillet. Heat as above and add the 4 cups of rice. Brown slightly, stirring constantly until hot. Add pork, beef or chicken, green onions, peas and carrots, parsley, ginger and garlic. Stir over medium heat till peas and carrots are just heated (do not overheat). Add sesame oil, soy sauce, scrambled eggs, salt and pepper and heat through . Makes 4 servings.

Variation: Leave out the meat for a scrumptious side dish.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What I've Been Waiting For - The Household Menu and Coupon Organizer


The Household Menu and Coupon Organizer is a new book by Revell (a division of Baker Pubishing Group) that just hit the book seller's shelves.

"So...", you may ask, "...why are you so excited about this book? Why have you been waiting for it?"

Well, besides the fact that is it a great little tool for meal planning and grocery shopping, I was privileged to be one of the 12 contributing authors involved in writing this book. My complimentary copy from Revell came in the mail today. How fun to tear open the package and peruse through this helpful little guide.

The book is broken up into 12 months and each month includes an article and helps for menu planning and grocery lists that pertain to that month of the year. Here's how The Household Menu and Coupon Organizer works as stated in the forward (welcome) of the book:
Each month includes an article on a shopping or meal-planning topic. These are written by folks who've "been there". Their information and helpful website addresses are in the back of this book for you to peruse for more advice and information at your leisure.
Each month also has a pocket where you can save coupons and recipes you've clipped out of magazines to try "someday". This is followed by a meal-planning chart for the main meal of your day (probably dinner), so there is no more standing in front of the pantry at 5:30 p.m. trying to figure out what to prepare. We also have included a place to plan the food for any special celebrations during the month.
Of course, then you need to go shopping. We've provided for that as well. Four pages for each month include grocery lists with helpful category divisions - four grocery lists for shopping once each week. When you realize you're running low on something, jot it down in the book. As you  plan your meals for the month, jot down the ingredients you need to purchase. 
You'll have your coupons, menus, shopping lists and recipes all in one place.

That's what I like about the book besides the thrill of being one of the authors, which I count as a blessing from the Lord!

If you're interested in purchasing The Household Menu and Coupon Organizer, Amazon has a pretty good price here.

Happy meal planning!

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Rising Above Food Wars

Just yesterday one of my readers emailed me to ask how to avoid alienating people who chose not to eat a diet of whole foods as she does. Here, in part, is her letter to me:
I wanted to know your thoughts about having a lifestyle where you care about what you eat and what you avoid based on wisdom and research.

I've been trying to refrain from telling people what I learned from my research about nutrition, but sometimes the topic comes up amongst my peers. Sometimes I get the impression from others that that they think I'm crazy or that my hope is not fully in the Lord. I get offended by this.

I think it's a liberty to have a lifestyle like the one I have based on good nutrition principles. But even for me to mention anything about sprouted grains or pasteurization, people get sensitive and easily offended. But I understand when they get sensitive because I get sensitive.

I don't want something like this to ruin my relationships with other believers, but at times I get to the point where I refrain from saying anything about what I know and have learned concerning nutrition. I want to avoid others feeling uncomfortable.

What are your thoughts?



Here is my response:
Eating very conscientiously is important to me also, as you know. It is a liberty that no one should judge you about. Yet it happens. But nutrition is also something that I personally never talk about unless someone asks me for information concerning it. In fact, I most often take a very light-hearted approach if the subject happens to come up and joke about it to ease the other person's discomfort.

It's important to me that I make no one feel like I am judging them based on their food choices. I just don't take it so seriously in front of others that they feel an intensity from me, like it's so very important to me, though it is. That is what I am more concerned about rather than others judging me.

There should be freedom for any woman to come to me for counsel (regarding any topic) or fellowship, so I don't want food standing in the way of that. I don't want anyone feeling intimidated by my food choices. Loving others has to be first. My food choices are hidden behind my love for others, if you know what I mean.

Yes, it is important what we eat, but unity is more important. Consequently I will not say a word about any food that is in front of me at church potlucks or when we are invited to someone's home. I eat everything I can get away with at those times. Yet, I will not eat anything that I know will cause me to be ill, but it will never come up in conversation from me to the host or hostess, etc.

 I blog about my food choices and post recipes that are healthy, but I would not post on facebook about this topic of eating healthy. Any one of my friends from church can read that and people just do not understand how such food choices could make a difference. They really just do not understand. I used to be the same way.

Yes, we will still be exposed to a toxic environment and even some supposedly healthy foods that may not be so healthy, but overall, my diet has enabled me to minister again. There was a time when I could hardly crawl out of bed and ministry was impossible. But since I began eating whole foods things have changed for the better. Now for me to go back to eating foods that put me back in bed would be sin unless I had absolutely no other choice. People can ask if they'd like and I'd be happy to tell them that in whatever I do, even in what I eat or drink, I will do all for the glory of God.

One person in particular asks me on a regular basis why I won't eat sweets at church functions. I tell that person, "Because I like to sleep at night". I'm also asked by this dear saint why I would ever get sick (presently) if I eat such a healthy diet. First off, in answering these questions, I don't get offended. I love this person. In a light-hearted way, laughing, I say (regarding that question), "If you think I get sick often now, you should have seen me 7 years ago." I don't get into lecturing about why sprouted grains are a better choice than whole or refined grains. I don't discourse on why raw milk has helped me so much, etc. I just answer that I can now function and minister when I couldn't 7 years ago and laugh when I say it.

Ask God to give you the ability to let it all roll off your back like water off a duck's back. Ask Him to give you an intense love for the saints, even (rather especially) for those who judge you. Make it a reason to love them all the more.

As for those people who think I look down on them because of the way I eat as opposed to the way they eat, if they only knew how insignificant this important part of my life is compared to my love for them, they would drop all their defenses and just enjoy the fellowship we have in Christ.

This is also something you can pray for - that your love would far exceed any important lifestyle choice to the point that you felt that choice was totally insignificant compared to your love for others. Your food choices are important, but compared to your love for others, your relationship to that choice should feel like hatred. Does that make sense?

I hope this helps. It's all about your attitude. When another saint was critical, I invited that family over for dinner and fed them the most delicious meal I could that was organic and locally grown, etc. Their taste buds were delighted and surprised I think, but the topic never came up in our conversation. We just had such a great time and the subject of food has never come up again. In fact that family's love for us has grown and there is absolutely no tension regarding this subject now.

Love always wins the day as does humility. Always take the low road and think of others as better than yourself, especially those who are critical.

Keep up the good work of feeding your family in the best way that produces the best health. God will never fault you for that. But He will fault you when its importance exceeds your love for others, though He will not require that you eat differently, just that you think differently.


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Monday, April 18, 2011

Lacto-Fermentation - It's Benefits and A Tutorial

This is a post I did for Keeper of the Home last week. Thought I should also share it here at Franziska's Pantry.

The original cabbage patch kid...

For as long as I can remember, I've loved sauerkraut. As a small child, my mom served it on a regular basis with roast pork and mashed potatoes. I would scoop out a hole in my mashed potatoes, fill it in with sauerkraut and then dish on some gravy. Oh, what heaven for my taste buds!

Enter Grandmother's method

Years later my mom started making her own sauerkraut. She told me how healthful it was and that it was the method that her German mother and grandmother and the generations beyond had always used to make sauerkraut.
Demonstrating, Mom started by shredding numerous heads of cabbage, sprinkling salt onto each new layer of cabbage as it was packed into her three-gallon crock. She then placed a plate on top of the cabbage weighted down with a plate-sized rock and let it set. Occasionally she removed what she called "scum" from the surface of the liquid that covered the cabbage. I found this to be quite distasteful and wondered how safe this "new-old" method could be.

Thanks, but "No thanks"

At the time, I didn't understand what the benefit was in pickling cabbage like this and since my mom couldn't really explain it to me, I continued to eat the canned sauerkraut I had grown up enjoying.
In fact, being ignorant of  the "lacto-fermentation" process, I thought that eating Mom's sauerkraut would be a risky thing since it wasn't canned in vinegar, heat-processed, sterilized and vacuum sealed - in other words, dead. After all, my mom herself had taught me how to "safely" preserve foods by either the water-bath method or by pressure canning.

Sauerkraut comes full circle

Fast forward to seven years ago. My mom came to live with us. At about that same time my husband and I began eating a traditional diet and I soon discovered that one of the most healthful elements of such a diet was lacto-fermented foods. These foods keep the digestive system populated with billions of beneficial bacteria, arming the body with a well-functioning and protective immune system.
Needless to say, my mom was thrilled! This is what she had instinctively known, but couldn't explain to me during all her years of kraut making. So we'd come full circle now that I had taken up my mother's, grandmother's, great-grandmother's - who knows how far back - method of making pickled cabbage.

Lacto-fermentation - not just for cabbages

All kinds of fruits and vegetables can be preserved by this method. Recipes for cucumbers, carrots, beets, green beans, pearl onions, radishes, Swiss chard ribs, tomatoes, turnips, zucchini, eggplant and snow peas are but a few of the vegetables featured in the book Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning. And the variety of fruits is equally diverse - plums, peaches, pears, apples, mango, papaya, lemons, raisins, oranges, apricots, berries and more. Nourishing Traditions Cookbook features recipes for all of these fruits.

A  multitude of wonderful benefits

  • Prolongs the life of food
The most obvious benefit is that lacto-fermentation preserves food. Lactic acid is a natural preservative which safely inhibits bacteria that causes food to spoil. When lactic acid is present, putrefying bacteria isn't. It's as simple as that. The good bacteria keeps any bad bacteria from invading.
  • Safe Food
You will never have to wonder about botulism when preserving foods with lacto-fermentation since that deadly bacteria only grows in a vacuum (heat-preserved foods are vacuum-sealed). If you happen to have a failed batch of pickles, for instance, your nose will quickly detect the spoilage. It will smell so bad, disposal will be the only option, never to come anywhere close to your dinner plate.
  • Increases the nutrient value of food
Foods preserved with lactic acid are not only completely safe to eat - this knowledge disarmed the fears that I'd had during those years I wouldn't eat my mom's sauerkraut -  but nutrient levels are enhanced in wonderful ways (see next paragraph). This is the opposite of conventionally preserved foods (processed by heat and/or vinegar means), which strip foods of their vitality.
Sally Fallon, in her cookbook, Nourishing Traditions, tells us that lacto-fermented fruits and vegetables have "numerous advantages beyond those of simple preservation"...
  • enhanced digestibility
  • increased vitamin levels
  • numerous helpful enzymes
  • antibiotic and anti-carcinogenic substances
  • lactic acid which promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine
  • hydrogen peroxide and small amounts of benzoic acid
  • Prevents disease
In his book, Wild Fermentaion, Sandor Katz, referring to Captain James Cook when on his second round-the-world voyage in the 1770s, tells us that
sixty barrels of kraut lasted for twenty-seven months, and not a single crew member developed scurvy, which previously had killed huge numbers of the crews of long sea voyages.
  • Amazingly simple to prepare
Another wonderful benefit is the simplicity of preparation. For 25 years I labored intensively, sterilizing jars and lids, standing over huge boiling pots at the height of summer heat to produce thousands of jars (an average of 500 jars per summer) of devitalized foodstuffs by conventional canning. It was literally the hardest work I've ever done.
Lacto-fermenting foods has been a breath of fresh air for me. By comparison, it is the easiest, most satisfying work I do with food, producing the most nutritionally optimum, delicious fare.
Try it out! Use the following tutorial to make some nourishing and delicious sauerkraut.

A Sauerkraut Tutorial

Supplies you'll need: Wide-mouth quart mason jartwo regular seals (the flat part of the lid), one half-pint jar that will fit into the wide-mouth mason jar, utensil for tamping down cabbage (look at the photo below to see the utensil I use), wooden cutting boardsharp knife for shredding cabbage, large mixing bowlmeasuring spoons and a cloth to cover jars.
Ingredients you'll need: 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 pound cabbage1 tablespoon unrefined sea salt,10 juniper berries or 2 teaspoons caraway seeds or several bay leaves (these are all optional), filtered water (non-chlorinated), extra salt.
Select only organic cabbage, either red or green (or mix the two colors for pink sauerkraut). Conventionally grown produce often results in an inferior product.
For quart jars (wide-mouth), select a head of cabbage that weighs about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds.
Cut cabbage in half from the core to the top. Remove the core, if desired. Then shred the entire cabbage finely or coarsely, whatever your preference. Coarse shredded cabbage is an option since cabbages can even be pickled whole with the lacto-fermentation process.
After shredding the cabbage, put a large handful of it in the bowl and sprinkle about 1/4 of the one tablespoon of salt over it.
Continue in this fashion until all the cabbage is in the bowl and all of the salt has been sprinkled over it. The salt will begin to pull juices out of the cabbage. If you are using caraway seed, add it to the cabbage at this point and mix it in well.
Lay cabbage, a little at a time, in mason jar. Tamp down with an appropriate utensil (I found the one in the photo at a thrift shop for under a dollar). This process pulls the juices out of the shredded cabbage. If you're using bay leaves or juniper berries, layer them in with the cabbage. As you lay in more cabbage continue to tamp it down. You should not have any difficulty getting all of the cabbage into your quart jar.
For this jar of sauerkraut I added juniper berries.
If liquid level is low in jar, add several tablespoons of filtered water with a pinch of salt stirred in to raise the liquid level in the jar. Then place the two jar seals, rubberized side up, on top of the cabbage, side by side to hold cabbage under liquid.
Fill the half-pint jar with water and set on top of the seals to hold the cabbage under the liquid. Press down on the small jar to raise the level of the liquid. Cover both jars with a muslin (or similar) cloth to keep contents free of dust, fruit flies, etc.
If the liquid level is still not above the cabbage, check it every few hours, pressing down on the small jar. The liquid level should rise a little more each time. After 24 hours if cabbage is still above the liquid, add a few more tablespoons of filtered water with a pinch of salt stirred in.
As you can see in this photo, the liquid is low in the jar.
But after about 12 hours, enough liquid had been produced to cover the cabbage. Keep jar covered and at room temperature for about three days, then cap tightly with a seal and ring band and transfer to refrigerator. Though your sauerkraut can be eaten immediately, for maximum flavor, wait about a month.
The end product - a jar of cabbage transformed into nutrient dense, delicious sauerkraut, ready for the cabbage patch kid to devour.
Since this is a food with beneficial bacteria, the optimum way to serve it is cold or at room temperature. Heating it kills off all the good stuff, so think of eating it as you would a pickle - cold and crunchy. YUM!

Resources

On my blog, Franziska's Pantry, I have five very interesting videos posted. Love this!

Have you experimented with making your own lacto-fermented foods? What successes (or flops - we all learn from the imperfections) have been your experience?



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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Christ in My Kitchen

Today I offer a blessing for the kitchen. I found this poem on an old wall hanging at a thrift store. (Oh...the joys of thrifting!) I did edit it a little and added the last few verses. There was no name on the picture to identify its author.

But the poem reminds me why God has ordained the wonderful sphere of the home as the wife's occupation in life. What better place could we be? It is a heavenly and high calling. In the home, specifically the kitchen, godly women do the very work that God Himself does. We feed others. God feeds His people and has from the very beginning. This is divine activity!

In the garden, God fed the man and woman He created; in fact, He created their food even before Adam and Eve were created. The LORD fed the children of Israel manna in the dessert. God kept the widow's jug of oil and jar of flour replenished for herself, her son and Elijah the prophet (1 Kings 17) during a time of famine.

During Jesus' earthly ministry He fed the multitudes (the first time there were 5000 men alone, not including women and children). On one of those occasions (John 6:1-14), Jesus used a young boy's five barley loaves and two small fish to feed upwards of 10,000 hungry people. 

But besides physical food, God supplies His children with spiritual food. In the 23rd Psalm, our Shepherd leads us and feeds us. Jesus told His followers, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst" (John 6:35-36).

Nourishing others with physical food from our kitchens opens to us the opportunity to nourish them spiritually as well. And that, my dear sisters, is what our kitchens are all about.

Feeding Others

Bless my little kitchen, Lord;
I love its every nook.
And bless me as I do my work,
Wash pots and pans and cook.

May the meals that I prepare
Be seasoned from above
With Your blessing and Your grace,
But most of all Your love.

As we partake of earthly food
The table You have spread,
We'll not forget to thank You, Lord
For all our daily bread.

Please bless my little kitchen, Lord
And those who enter here;
May they find Your joy and peace,
Through Christ the Savior dear.

For what I offer on each plate
Can only gratify
The temporary need one has -
T'will never satisfy.

But Jesus is the Bread of Life
It is the soul He feeds
He gives to every hungering heart
Himself, to meet the need.


"She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens." (Proverbs 31:15)

"I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst". (John 6:35-36)
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy written by Sharon Kaufman: By Sharon Kaufman. © Franziska's Pantry. Website: franziskaspantry.blogspot.com

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