Tag Archives: diet

Fermentation, Sourdough, and childhood favourites

12 Apr 16
Megan
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4 comments

Last week as part of Cee’s Share Your World post, I shared a list of my favourite childhood foods including Golden Dumplings. I was asked if I could share the recipe for this particular dish…

The recipe comes from an old cookbook my mum had at home, it was so well used that when a new addition came out a few years ago my sister and I both got ourselves a copy (and a new copy for mum). The book is the Australian Breastfeeding Association’s “NMAA Cooks Recipes for Busy Mothers“.

My copy of NMAA Cooks Recipes for busy mothers

My copy of NMAA Cooks Recipes for busy mothers

And the recipe is:

Golden Dumplings Recipe, page 192 of the cook book

Golden Dumplings Recipe, page 192 of the cook book

Since finding out I’m gluten and dairy intolerant I’ve had to experiment a lot with my favourites to see if I can adjust them to work without them. The dumplings do work reasonably well just replacing the flour with gluten free flour.

One food item I have yet to find a reasonable replacement for is bread… all the gluten free options I’ve found or attempted to make have not been anywhere near as good as their glutenous counterparts. In fact, the only way I like the gluten free bread is either fresh out of the oven or toasted.

E has been doing some reading and has found several research papers which show that people who are intolerant to gluten are sometimes able to cope with sourdough bread (not gluten free). The proposed reason for this is that the process of making the sourdough (if made the traditional way) breaks down most of the gluten proteins in the bread before baking making them easier to digest.

I’ve decided it’s worth a try if I can add something back into my diet but many of the commercially made sourdoughs are not made using the tradition long fermentation time so I’m going the home made route and making it from scratch.

I began my ‘Sourdough starter’ last Thursday and today I made pancakes with the discards from feeding it so we’ll see how I feel after them to see if I may be able to add sourdough bread into my diet…

The starter is really simple to make, you can check out a quick guide here at the Zero Waste Chef. It’s basically just flour and water and time… You start with equal parts flour and water and you “feed” it daily by adding more flour and water each day. I didn’t discard for the first few days, but starting this morning I’ll be ‘discarding’ (using to make pancakes) at least half of what’s there and feed the rest.

Making sourdough pancakes with my discarded starter.

Making sourdough pancakes with my discarded starter.

Once I feel that it’s ready (see the Zero Waste Chef link above for what to look/smell for) I’ll store it in the fridge and take it out to feed it weekly when I make my loaf of bread.

Another home fermented item I started last Thursday is a Ginger Bug. A ginger bug is a way of making soda by fermenting ginger and sugar in water to make the fizz. Once it’s ready, you mix a quarter cup of the bug with juice, tea or other drink to make the drink fizzy. You follow the same process as for the sourdough starter, ‘feeding’ the bug daily until it’s ready and then storing it in the fridge and feeding weekly. I believe my bug is ready to use today, but I’m going to give it another day or two to be sure.

My sourdough starter and ginger bug last Thursday immediately after they were made.

My sourdough starter and ginger bug last Thursday immediately after they were started.

Another simple to make at home item that I believe will get regular use in our house is vanilla essence. I started my bottle of vanilla essence just before Christmas and have been storing it in the back corner of the pantry. It’s basically just vodka with vanilla beans in it and all I need to remember to do is shake it occasionally. By the time we run out of the shop bought stuff this time it should definitely be ready to use.

The feature image at the beginning of this post shows the sourdough starter, ginger bug and vanilla essence as they look today.

Do you make any of your own products at home?


Physical Friday: The Complete Fibromyalgia Health, Diet Guide & Cookbook – Book review

25 Apr 14
Megan
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(c) Megan S, December 2013

(c) Megan S, December 2013

Today’s Physical Friday post is going to be different to what I’ve done so far. I’ve just finished reading The Complete Fibromyalgia Health, Diet Guide & Cookbook by Dr Louise McCrindle and Dr Alison Bested so I thought I’d provide a review for those of you who might be interested in this book.

Image taken from Goodreads (click to view original) The Complete Fibromyalgia Health, Diet Guide & Cookbook

Image taken from Goodreads (click to view original)

The Complete Fibromyalgia Health, Diet Guide & Cookbook aims to provide the reader with an overview of what Fibromyalgia is, how it affects those suffering it and how a change in diet can help minimise the symptoms through a focus on increasing the micronutrients for managing Fibromyalgia and reducing inflamatory foods.

Overall, the book is easy to read and divided into self-explanatory parts so that you can easily absorb the information in smaller portions. The authors advocate an approach to managing Fibromyalgia that takes into account both Western and Eastern medicines and philosophies. There is a strong focus on managing Fibromyalgia through diet, with half the book focused on this aspect, however they acknowledge the need to use other techniques as well.

The overall approach recommended by the authors is the ‘SEEDS of Health Program’, that looks at Sleep, Energy, Exercise, Environment, Diet, and Support as the key factors that influence Fibromyalgia symptoms. A lot of the information covered by the book I found to be a repeat of what I had already learnt through my online research and discussions with my doctors, however I did find it useful to confirm my approach.

I would not recommend attempting to read this book in large blocks, especially if you are suffering from Fibromyalgia. Although, as I’ve already stated, the information is laid out in an easy to follow and understand way, I did find that I became overwhelmed a few times and had to put the book down for a few days before reattempting to read a few of the chapters. Especially when it came to the diet section and the tables of foods to avoid (the inflamatory foods) and the anti-inflamatory foods which should be increased in your diet.

I like the way the book provides a four week menu plan with associated shopping lists and recipes, but again I found the long lists to be a little overwhelming all at one time. The authors do acknowledge this and recommend starting with modifying one meal for a week (for example breakfast) while continuing your normal diet and then slowly increasing until all your meals follow the diet.

Although I personally wouldn’t follow the menu plan precisely, I will most likely incorporate some of the recipes and the ideas behind this diet into my own.

This book is great for someone who is newly diagnosed and wants to have a better understanding of what is going on and what they can try in terms of management. Just remember to break your reading sessions into short blocks as, although easy to digest, the amount of information can be overwhelming for someone suffering from brain fog and fatigue.

Have you read this book?

Did you like this review? What details would you like in future book reviews?