This is my journey in keeping my family happy and healthy.
In this day and age, what parent knows best what to do and how to care for their family?
There are so many conflicting ideas, so much wisdom, and so many paths.
It is here that I will compile information on what I have learned and the choices I am making.
Maybe my path will help others.... or not. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ah... the heavenly grain mill....

Currently I grind wheat and other grains via my Vitamix, which has been fairly easy. However I suspect many nutrients are lost due to the high heat that occurs while grinding.

As a part of our goal to become self-sufficient as a home, I'd like to get a hand-crank grinder, both because it requires no electricity, as well as, less nutrients are lost due to the method of grinding.

So here is my dream grain mill:

This one is a beauty and it will last for generations to come!

Now to start saving up my money....

Friday, January 4, 2013

Kefir Bread Ponderings...

Okay, so I'm thinking Kefir Bread will be the next really nutritious food I will attempt.

Not only will it have the nutritional & probiotic elements from the kefir (though much of the probiotics will be destroyed by baking), but it will also be soaked & fermented by the lactic acid from the kefir, thus allowing more nutrients to be acquired from the grains as well. And to top it all off, if I first sprout the wheat (and possibly any other grains), it will be even more nutrient-packed. It will also have a much lower to almost non-existent amount of Phytic acid (which prevents absorption of nutrients).

This bread will go perfectly along with my desire to make regular nutrient-dense food items which help to offset any nutritional deficiencies in my family's diet. And maybe I can add it to my family recipe book if it actually turns out amazing... like my Honey Whole Wheat Bread, which everyone seems to enjoy!

Here are some recipes I have found, that I will base my recipe off of:

Kefir Bread from "Naturally Knocked Up"

Kefir Sourdough from "The Fresh Loaf"

Kefir Bread from Chikousky Farms

Abel's Oat Bran Bread with Kefir

How to use Kefir as Sourdough 

Soaked kefir wheat bread

After doing my extensive research (because I'm Type A) and plotting, I will post my recipe and the results. Now onto experimenting..... I will keep you all posted!

Below are some great links on making Kefir:

One of the best Kefir-making Sites - Dom's (otherwise known as the Kefir God)

Another awesome Kefir site by Helladelicious.com

Kefir is really quite easy to make by the way, I highly recommend everyone try it! You really cannot get adequate probiotics from store-bought yogurts & kefirs, and even bottled probiotics. You'll be amazed at how easy making Kefir is and how abundant the probiotics you can acquire are, with so little effort. And those who have trouble digesting milk will often be able to consume kefir, due to it being partially digested and rich in enzymes. But kefir is a whole other blogging day..... :)

Posted on Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesdays

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Rededicating myself to my blog.... and my Healthful Musings...

Somewhere along the line, I lost my momentum with blogging. I guess life got in the way! That will happen with a 3 year old and too many of life's To-Do's. But I realize that I need to get back into focusing on my life's goals... and using this forum to document them.

I want this year to be a new year of focus, clarity, motivation, and inspiration. I want to get back on track with eating healthy, taking care of my family, Homesteading, and just trying to live a healthier more "back to the basics" sort of life.

Some of my goals are:

1. To restart my kombucha and kefir making.
2. To start making yogurt and yogurt cheeses, while using the whey to ferment grains before cooking them.
3. To use sprouted and fermented grains instead.
4. To redo our chicken coop and add a better watering & feeding system, as well as attaching the compost for their enjoyment. And a much larger run!
5. To get the garden producing beautifully.
6. To can more foods including soups & stews.
7. To use healthier store-bought foods, like organic, non-GMO.
8. To replace our sugar with healthier,  more-nutritional (non-GMO) alternatives.
9. To make more foods from scratch.
10. To make weekly bread. including sourdough.
11. Living within my means / budget.
And oh so much more.....

So I am rededicating myself now... to begin the journey to better health, awareness, and choices.

Today I had my first kefir smoothie of the year (recipe below). I also restarted my kombucha, and am enjoyng that today too. Though the kombucha needs to be dialed in again. It doesn't taste as yummy as it did when I was doing it regularly. I think what I need to do is reduce my holdings to one gallon-sized jar instead of two. That way I have slightly less responsibility and don't feel guilty about not consuming all 4 quarts in 4 days. Anyone want a endless-brew gallon-sized scoby and kombucha starter?

Today I also started 2 jars of sprouts... wheat berries for making bread, and brown rice for making rice pudding. I found some interesting breakfast recipes for making healthy sprouted brown rice pudding! What a way to start the day! To that I will add ground flax seed & chia seeds.

I made steel-cut oats today, but the hubby did not like them as much as regular cooked oats. I prefer the steel-cut myself, so what I think I will do is try to make it with both to appease everyone. My next batch, I will soak the oats (both kinds) in whey overnight, then cook them the following morning. This morning I had the steel-cut oats with ground flax seeds, chia seeds, and maple sugar. It was really yummy and I liked the chewy consistency. Now to make it so that I have a happy hubby too....

I think I will even create a porridge bar where I can keep dried fruit & nuts for each person to add their own varied toppings.

Once I have some extra money, I will buy some yogurt starters to make yogurt & yogurt cheese, as well as whey for fermenting grains and such.

For Christmas I got a pressure cooker too! One of the ones that will last lifetimes. I vow to start using that....

So far Day 1 is going fairly well in regards to my goals. If only I didn't have a sick family. I guess it's the perfect time to start this new venture!

Here's to new beginnings....


Approximate measurements...

1 cup kefir
2-3 small bananas or 1 large
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
2 Tbsp frozen OJ concentrate
1 cup filtered water

Blend in a high powered blender like a VitaMix! YUM!

I would have taken a picture, but it was consumed too quickly Next time!
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