Thursday, March 24, 2011

April Classes--Fermentation

Fermentation: the breakdown of sugar into an acid or alcohol. A traditional way of yielding food more digestible and probiotic while extending shelf life of seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Did you know that many of the foods you enjoy now were once prepared using a natural fermentation process. Pickles, yogurt, sourdough, soda (yes, soda, originally made as a health tonic of herbs and roots and sold in pharmacies), chutneys and more were once a “health food” but due to mass distribution and the use of high heat can processing the health benefits no longer exist.

Every country around the world has a rich tradition of fermentation. In Germany they enjoy sauerkraut and sourdough, in Mexico there’s polenta and corn, In the Orient there’s kimchi, tamari, and tofu. The list goes on to include many more country’s like India, Polynesia, Scotland, and Africa. Fermentation is widely used in breads, main dishes drinks and sides.

This 4 week class will introduce you to the basics of fermentation and optimum nutrition. You will learn:

April 7 Sourdough: Part 1
You will learn:
*the basics of how to make and maintain a starter
*How to make you own sourdough bread for pennies
*Learn how Sourdough can be adjusted for sour taste
*Why it is important ferment/sour grains to unlock nutritients and eradicate the phytic acid that inhibits the absorption of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc.

April 14 Sourdough: Part 2
You will learn:
*how to use your starter to make crepes pancakes, biscuits, etc.
*how to store starter for long periods of time
*How to use leftover bread

April 21 Sensational Soda
You will learn:
*What SKG (sugar kefir grain) is.
* How to make your own soda full of beneficial probiotics
*How to flavor “soda”
*why old fashioned fermented soda is a very healthy alternative to the sugar laden, artificial color and flavored soda today.

April 28 Scrumptious Vegetables
You will learn:
*How vegetables were traditionally fermented/pickled
*What kind of vegetables and combinations are best for fermenting/pickling
*Why and how fermented vegetables are healthier

Classes begin at 6pm
Location: 316 S. Pine St.
Fremont Ia, 52561

Price is per session
*early registration by April 1, 2011 is $35 ($32 for students)
*After April 1 is $37 ($35 for students)
*individual class price is $10 (early registration for individual class is suggested as class size is limited.

*** This price includes handouts, recipes and food sampling.***

CLASS SIZE IS LIMITED!!!! First come, first serve.

For more information call Jami @ 641-208-6904

***To pre-pay mail checks or cash to the above address.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wheat Tortillas

What most of us don't know is that grains are protected by a chemical coating called phytic acid. This "inhibits" the grain from sprouting until there is are "ideal" circumstances to release it's nutrients. What does this mean? It means that phytic acid is present in grains that have not been soaked, sprouted or fermented. Phytic acid does not allow the body to fully reap the benefits and nutrients of these grains.

Before industrialism grain was stored, for some time, out in the fields where there was rain and sun, rain and sun. The grain was "allowed" to begin sprouting. Thus releasing and making the nutrition available for our bodies and easier on the digestive tract.

Another anecdote to the phytic acid issue is natural fermentation. This means sourdough. I prefer sourdough because it's natural leavening power combined with superior nutrient density. Getting involved in sourdoughs is a rewarding but somewhat involved process. The list of sourdough goes WAY beyond bread and pancakes. Muffins, biscuits, cookies, crepes and more can be made from wild yeast.

lastly, there is soaking! Soaking flour in a slightly acidic environment is another cure for making grain (milled or whole) digestible, nutritious and full flavored. It is preferable that the grains be soaked 24 hours but better "some than none".

Here is a recipe that my family LOVES. It's an arm wrestle to get them to the table and not eaten on the way. Homemade tortillas are SUPERIOR in flavor and nutrition. Enjoy the recipe and let me know what you think.

Whole Wheat Tortillas
by Jami McQuivey
Makes 12 -18 torts

4 Cups wheat flour
2 TSP real or celtic Salt
¼ TSP cumin and Chile powder (opt)
½ Cup real butter, coconut oil, olive oil
1 ½ Cup boiling water
1 TBSP Apple cider vinegar
½ cup sourdough (opt: gives it a slightly sour flavor)
1 Cup white flour + some for rolling

Mix wheat flour and salt (and optional spice) together. Cut in fat. Make a well in the center and add water then vinegar. Stir with a fork until you can knead together. Knead until smooth (3-5 min). Knead in white flour and optional sourdough. Allow to sit 2 hours (minimum) or 24 hours (preferable). When ready to make roll into 18 balls. At this point you can let them sit, covered until you’re ready to cook.

Heat a griddle or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Roll out a tortilla to your preferred thinness, using very little flour IF NECESSARY. Cook one at a time. Place on the griddle for 10 seconds, as soon as you see a bubble on the top, flip the tortilla over. Let it cook for about 30 seconds, then flip and cook the other side for another 30 seconds. Roll out the next tortilla while you wait for that one to cook. Repeat until all of the balls have been cooked. Tortillas can be refrigerated or frozen.

***For more information about me, my services or my cookbook please visit: