Real Food 101: April

Welcome. Real Food 101 is the place to share:

* easy recipes a real food beginner can tackle
* tips on learning to cook with real food

Note: If you’re reading this through a feed, click to view all the great posts other bloggers have shared.

Here’s my featured post from last week:

Roasted cauliflower, coconut milk, green curry paste, garlic… this is a cauliflower soup after my own heart. The Tasty Alternative posted what does indeed look like a tasty alternative to my regular cauliflower soup. I’m going to have to try this one soon. I wonder if there will be cauliflower in today’s CSA box.

Thanks, Amber!

Real Food 101: Dec. 5

Welcome! Real Food 101 is the place to share:

* easy recipes a real food beginner can tackle
* tips on learning to cook with real food

Note: If you’re reading this through a feed, click to view all the great posts other bloggers have shared.

Here’s my featured post from last week:

Jill, of Real Food Forager has posted about these beautiful coconut date linzer cookies. They’re grain free – made with coconut flour. There’s also a video so you can see exactly how to make it.

Thanks, Jill!

Real Food 101: March 5

Welcome. Real Food 101 is the place to share:

* easy recipes a real food beginner can tackle
* tips on learning to cook with real food

Note: If you’re reading this through a feed, click to view all the great posts other bloggers have shared.
Here’s my featured post from last week:

Amber from The Tasty Alternative has shared a delicious looking marinara sauce. This sauce isn’t made with tomato paste or canned tomatoes, but with actual, real live tomatoes. It makes all the difference.

Thanks, Amber!

Real Food 101 Nov. 13

Welcome. Real Food 101 is the place to share:
* easy recipes a real food beginner can tackle
* tips on learning to cook with real food

Here’s my featured post from last week:

Pam from Ramblings of a Happy Homemaker has done it again! She shows how you can grow your own bean sprouts. This seems like a great project to do with young kids.

Thanks, Pam!

How to Get Rid of Warts with Apple Cider Vinegar

I wanted to share this cure for warts. I thought it might be helpful for some of you.

I recently got a wart on the index finger of my left hand. My first wart. I was most displeased. I wanted it gone.

I already knew of one natural cure for warts – fig “milk”. When you pick a fig, a thick, white liquid comes out of the stem. I’ve seen how effective it is on warts, but it isn’t very practical. You need to live in a country where fig trees grow (I do), you have to find a female tree (only female trees produce fruit), and they have to be in season and regularly accessible so you can pick them day after day (a pain in the neck). I decided to search for a different natural cure for warts and found one: my old friend, apple cider vinegar! Here’s how to cure warts with apple cider vinegar.

Method

Take a tiny piece of cotton, soak it in apple cider vinegar (ACV) and use a bandaid to hold it against the wart. Change the cotton and bandaid every morning and again before bed. Replace it if it falls off, for instance, after showering.

What you will feel

At first I didn’t feel very much of anything. Then the wart became more sensitive. Towards the end of the process, it felt a little uncomfortable – a burning, throbbing sensation. When the sensation started to bother me, I took some short breaks from the ACV. I slept one night without the wart covered.

What you will see

For the first day or two, there was no change. Then the wart started getting darker every day. After about a week, it was almost black. Finally, the wart started to pull away from the surrounding skin. It took me 8 or 9 days to get to this stage, but it will vary from person to person depending on nature of the wart. Once it started pulling away, I helped it just a little.

After the wart was gone, I was left with a little hole in my finger where the wart had been. It healed completely leaving no mark.

From my reading, people with recurring warts are very satisfied using apple cider vinegar to cure warts because the warts tend not to grow back. Looking at the hole left in my finger, I can see why. It seemed to get rid of the root of the wart.

I took a few pictures. I apologize for the poor quality. Holding a camera steady with one hand is apparently harder than it looks.

Tips

  • If you find that the bandaid tends to falls off, use some other kind of tape over the bandaid to hold it in place.
  • Make sure that the ACV-soaked cotton ball is no bigger than the wart. Applying ACV to the skin surrounding the wart will just cause it to be unnecessarily sensitive.
  • Dry the area around the cotton ball before you put the bandaid. It won’t stick to wet skin.
  • Don’t pick at the wart before starts to fall away on its own.

 

Real Food 101

Real Food 101

Welcome. Real Food 101 is the place to share:
* easy recipes a real food beginner can tackle
* tips on learning to cook with real food
Note: If you’re reading this through a feed, click to view all the great posts other bloggers have shared.
Here’s my featured post from last week:

I’d never heard of fermented mustard, but I’d love to try it. Jessica from Natural Health and Prevention shows us how it’s done.

mustard

Thanks, Jessica!

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Treat Your GERD?

Apple cider vinegar is an old-time cure that does wonders for a variety of conditions, especially acid reflux (also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD for short).

A friend recently told me she was suffering from acid reflux. Her doctor had prescribed one medication, then another, then a third, but they made little difference. I suggested apple cider vinegar. Two days later she reported she was off the pills and feeling better. Today, two weeks later, she’s still on the cider and says that it has worked better than any of the medications.

Taking vinegar to treat acid reflex sounds counter-intuitive. Why does it work?

What is the root cause of GERD?

In Gaps and Psychology Syndrome, Dr. Campbell McBride explains what hypocholorhydria is and how it affects the body (pp. 287-292). Here’s my summary:

  • Most people with abnormal gut flora have low stomach acid production.
  • For digestion to start properly, the PH of the stomach must be 3 or less.
  • Digestion is “like a conveyer belt or an assembly line in a factory. If the first person does a poor job, then no matter how well the rest of the people in the line may work, the end product is likely to be of a poor quality…. The first person is the stomach acid.”
  • Besides disrupting the digestion process, stomach acid is the first line of defense against microbes – such as h. pylori, E. coli, Salmonella, and Candida – which are able to proliferate in the gut and even the stomach itself.
  • When stomach PH is low, pathogens may grow around the sphincter found at the top of the stomach and paralyze the muscle, allowing food to be regurgitated – i.e. acid reflex / GERD.

What is the conventional treatment for GERD?

According to the Mayo Clinic, treatment starts with:

  • Antacids that neutralize stomach acid
  • Medications to reduce acid production
  • Medications that block acid production and heal the esophagus

And progresses to:

  • Prescription-strength H-2-receptor blockers – which reduce acid production by blocking signals telling the stomach to make acid.
  • Prescription-strength proton pump inhibitors – which reduce the production of acid by blocking the enzyme in the stomach wall that produces acid.

If the problem is indeed a lack of acid, then all these methods, which further reduce acid, will never cure the problem, but will only provide temporary relief. And indeed, people take these medications indefinitely. Besides taking apple cider vinegar, or another substance that increases stomach acidity, the solution is to switch to a healthy, real food diet.

Which apple cider vinegar should you buy?

Look for any raw/unpasteurized ACV. The apple cider vinegar commonly found in supermarkets is usually pasteurized. Health food stores are a better bet. Besides being unpasteurized, it may be unfiltered. In that case, you’ll see something floating around in the bottle. Don’t worry. This is what’s called the mother. It is what causes the vinegar to ferment and isn’t harmful.

How to take it?

I’ve been taking a little apple cider vinegar daily for almost two years (not for GERD – for other reasons, but more about that in another post). It took some getting used to but now I find it completely ok – even pleasant. Start by putting a small amount, maybe a teaspoon or half a teaspoon in a glass of water and drink it with a straw. Why a straw? I’d rather be cautious and not expose my teeth to this acidity on a daily basis for years. Work up to a tablespoon or so. You may want to try adding a little honey. I tried drinking it with apple juice at first, but it didn’t find it more palatable this way, and I didn’t want to start drinking fruit juice daily.

You can play around with the dose. See how much you need to get relief from your symptoms. Let’s not forget that it’s a food. You can use it in cooking and salads.

Not-Very-Authentic Miso Soup (with apologies to the people of Japan)

Miso soup is traditionally prepared with miso and dashi. It’s a very important food to the Japanese. If you want to know all about the true, authentic miso soup, allow me to introduce you to Google which can direct you to the knowledge you seek.

For the last few years I’ve been making Miso-ish soup (miso adjacent?). Whatever it is, it’s tasty.

A few words about miso. It’s a thick, sticky fermented paste usually made out of rice or barley or soybeans. The taste is pungent and salty.  Miso isn’t quick to prepare from scratch. The fermentation can take years.

If you’re curious to learn how to make it from scratch, this video shows a Japanese family and friends during a miso-making weekend.

And a few words about dashi. According to Wikipedia,

“Dashi (出汁, だし) is a class of soup and cooking stock, considered fundamental to Japanese cooking…. The most common form of dashi is a simple broth or stock made by heating water containing kombu (edible kelp) and kezurikatsuo (shavings of katsuobushi – preserved, fermented tuna) to near-boiling, then straining the resultant liquid.”

That’s all you’ll hear about dashi, since I don’t use it in my miso soup.

Where’s the tofu?

I don’t believe that tofu as it’s prepared in Japan is a problem. However, most soybeans in the world are genetically modified. For that reason and others, I avoid soy whenever possible. That said, I do use soybean miso because it is organic (and therefore, not GMO) and it’s the only one I’ve found that isn’t pasteurized.

Although the recipe seems long, it’s one of the fastest soups I make. So with no further ado, here is my not-very-authentic miso soup.

Ingredients

Bone broth – I use chicken broth, but fish broth would be closer to dashi.

  1. carrot, preferably organic
  2. green onions, preferably organic
  3. tbsp. dried wakame (a form of seaweed) mushrooms

Soy sauce, try to get a traditionally prepared Japanese brand.

  1. A few tablespoons of thin rice noodles (optional)
  2. 1 tbsp. miso, preferably unpasteurized
  3. 1 egg, preferably pastured

Let’s Cook

  1. Place some bone broth pot (I used a 3 liter pot – about 3 quarts). I’m not writing a quantity because anyone, mine may be more or less concentrated than yours.
  2. Fill the pot 2/3 of the way with water and bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer.
  3. Grate a carrot and add it to the pot (rather than slicing matchstick sized pieces of carrot)
  4. Cut 2 green onions into thin slivers and toss it in the pot.
  5. Add the wakame. This stuff softens as soon as it hits the water. Kinda cool.
  6. Slice mushrooms into small pieces and add. I used one monstrously large one, equivalent to about 4 normal champignon mushrooms.
  7. Remove about a ¼ cup of broth and let it sit to cool in a bowl.
    1. Add the noodles if you’re using them. I skipped them this time.
    2. With a fork, beat one egg in a separate bowl. Add a bit of soy sauce to the eggs.
    3. Using a fork, dip the fork into the egg them into boiling soup. Egg drops will form.
    4. Add soy sauce to taste. It doesn’t traditionally belong in there, but I like it.
    5. Turn off the soup. Add room-temperature water to fill the pot.
    6. Mix the miso paste with the cooled soup to blend it. You don’t want to just plop the miso into the soup for 2 reasons. First, the miso is very thick and you need to make sure it dissolves. No one wants to eat a big chunk of miso. Second, miso is probiotic, so you don’t want to put it directly into boiling soup which will kill those beneficial bacteria.
    7. When the miso has dissolved and the soup has cooled down a little (adding water in step 12 helps), add the miso to the soup.

Note: When you warm the soup, don’t bring it to a boil. That way the probiotic qualities of the miso remain.

An Easier Tomato Soup

Few combinations are as universally pleasing as tomato, garlic, and basil. These ingredients come together in an easy-to-make soup. With the addition of chicken broth, coconut oil, and garlic, this soup is brimming with wholesome ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 5 Garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1½ Kilos (about 3 pounds) Organic Tomatoes
  • ½ Cup Fresh Basil leaves
  • 1 Cup Homemade Chicken Bone Broth (preferably from pastured chickens)
  • 2/3 Cup Coconut Milk or Fresh Cream
  • 1 Tsp. Sea Salt, or to taste.

Garnish with sliced sun-dried tomatoes and sliced, fresh basil. (optional)

Method

  • Slice the garlic and let is rest for 10 minutes so its natural allicin can develop.
  • Heat coconut oil over low heat and add the crushed garlic.
  • Cook for about a minute to soften and infuse the oil with garlic.
  • Cut the tomatoes in large pieces (quarters or sixths, depending on tomato size). Remove the hard stem base, and add to the pot.
  • Add a handful of whole basil leaves.1. Cover, and cook over a low flame for about 30 minutes.
    2. Remove from heat. If you have the time, let the tomato combination cool down. It’s more pleasant to use blend when the soup has cooled down.
    3. Puree the tomato mixture with an with an immersion blender until there are no more chunks of tomato.
    1. Return to stove. Add broth. If the soup is too thick or concentrated for your taste, add a little water.
    2. Add the coconut milk or cream and salt to taste.
    3. Before you serve, cut sun-dried tomatoes into 4 or 5 pieces, and finely sliced basil. Garnish with slices of sun-dried tomato and thinly sliced basil to add color.Enjoy!

Turmeric Sweet Potatoes

  • It’s yummy.
  • It’s easy.
  • It’s pretty.
  • It’s healthy.

You seriously need to eat this.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Start to finish:  15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil (or other healthy oil)
  • ½ – ¾ tsp. turmeric

Water

  • A few sprigs parsley
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Let’s Cook

  1. Chop the onion.
  1. Melt the coconut oil and fry the onion over a low flame until it softens and just starts to brown.
  1. Cube the sweet potato and add it to the onion. Add enough water to cover the sweet potato about half way. Cook on low heat.
  1. Add the turmeric and chopped parsley and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally. As you cook, keep an eye on the water. You don’t want to fill the pot with water so that you’re boiling the sweet potatoes, but you don’t want it all to evaporate either. I add a little water several times as it cooks.
  2. After it’s softened enough to tastes, add the salt and pepper.

Enjoy!