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About Nourishing Traditions

In my opinion and experience, Fallon and Enig’s book is the best resource to date advocating food preparation that provides whole nutrition for the human body. Nourishing Traditions demonstrates preparing food the way it was prepared prior to the Industrial Revolution - before sugar took a front seat in the Standard American Diet and the wheat grain was adulterated and stripped of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Nourishing Traditions gifts the reader in the first sixty-three pages with a definition and understanding of our societies view of nutrition. As you peruse these beginning pages, you’ll be educated on what are real quality, life-building proteins. You will learn the difference between complex and simple carbohydrates. Good fats are defined and bad fats are exposed. You will learn the true value of milk products, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, salt, spices, and beverages.

This is my cookbook of choice. I highly recommend it for those who are serious about improving their health through nutrition.

Deborah Agajanian, NTP Blog

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Mastering the Basics – Piima Starter Culture

When setting out on a journey to learn anything, one must consider the end result of your education. (Like math, if you don't get the small stuff at the beginning, you'll suffer immensely later on… trust me I know this from experience!) Thus, we begin with Cultured Dairy Products. Some of the basics include piima milk, buttermilk, yoghurt, kefir, whey, and cream cheese. Follow along with me in the coming weeks as I prepare each one of these nutrient dense and delicious whole foods.

The very first recipe is "Piima Starter Culture". A cultured food is a fermented food. These ferments efficiently preserve a dairy product, thus giving us the ability to keep it for several days (and in some cases, for months). Fermenting also improves the nutritional value of the food by producing good bacteria and biochemically changing the raw food to improve digestion.

This is a very simple recipe for sure, but not without distinct perimeters. When followed exactly, it offers up a unique, thick, creamy starter for Piima Milk and Piima Cream. The recipe has two ingredients: cream and piima powder. I purchased mine at Cultures for Health. I bought the piima yogurt starter for $12.99 plus $3.99 shipping. I assure you it is worth the investment, as the finished product produces several batches of cultured milk and yogurt that stay viable for several months in the refrigerator.

I started with a good quality minimally pasteurized cream. I chose Straus Family Creamery organic cream. I live in California, so I make it a priority to purchase local food products whenever possible. The Straus Family Creamery is located in Petaluma on the Northern California Coast. One caveat is that in order to purchase this milk, you must pay a $2 deposit for the glass bottle it comes in. I don't mind paying the deposit as it reduces landfill, I prefer glass containers for dairy products, and I'll get the two dollars back when I return the bottle, anyway.

I poured the cream into a very clean one-quart mason jar. Next, I introduced one packet of the piima powder to the cream. The recipe advised strict temperature control. You must place your culture in a place where the temperature will remain between 72-75 degrees for 24 hours. It's winter and I usually keep my thermostat at 68, which is too low. I had the bright idea that if I stick it in my sock drawer that resides over a heating vent, it might suffice. It did not. Next, I put it in the oven, turned on the light, and went to bed looking forward to a completed product the next day. For some reason I woke up two hours later at mid-night. I rarely do this, so the piima must have sent vibes over to wake me because I got up to check on it and it was at 82 degrees – too hot! I took it out of the oven and placed it on top, leaving the light on. When I woke up the next morning it had adjusted to a perfect 74 degrees. How do I know this? I placed a small REI keychain thermometer on the lid of the Mason jar, which I had the good fortune of finding in my kitchen junk drawer. I left them together on the oven with the oven light on all day and into the evening. The end result was a very thick cultured cream that tasted slightly of aged cheese with reminiscent tones of tannins (like the tannins you would taste in a fine Cabernet). I'm happy with my first successful endeavor at dairy fermentation!

If the adventurer in you finds that you are inspired to try this, please do and let me know how your experience goes.

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Let’s Begin this Journey Together!

Have you ever seen the movie "Julie and Julia"? One night during my studies to become a nutritional therapist, I happened to have the opportunity to dine, hang out, and watch a movie at a good friend's house. The movie was about the early years of Julia Childs' career in the mid 1950's, her rise to stardom, and the love of Julia's cookbook by a twenty-first century blogger, Julie Powell. I fell in love with the idea of cooking through a whole cookbook. That night a seed was planted to do the same with another cookbook – my favorite cookbook, "Nourishing Traditions – The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats" by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, Ph.D.

If you don't already have Nourishing Traditions, I highly recommend purchasing it. Buy it here! I can honestly say it is worth every penny of your investment. Not only does it present over 700 delicious recipes that will improve your health, but it also has wonderful little excerpts gracing the margins of each page. You'll get a good dose of nutritional history, engaging tidbits of nutritional trivia, and a fine education in real nutrition. Once you have this life-changing piece of literature in your hands, I invite you to join me on a journey through "Nourishing Traditions" as I endeavor to prepare, discuss, and present each recipe in this amazing book of properly prepared nutrient dense foods. Cook alongside me in your own home or just enjoy the blog – either way, offer up your two cents and we'll enjoy the journey together.

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