Spending Time in the Kitchen with Sue Gregg
- Monday, August 11, 2003
The second thing is to start with simple things. You don't have to start with expensive equipment, and you don't have to start with yeast breads. We suggest making whole grain quick bread recipes in the blender. Almost any woman has a blender, and they can make muffins, pancakes, waffles and cornbread. It is so easy to do! Another key is changing the ingredient quality in your own recipes with really simple things such as buying leafy green lettuce instead of iceburg lettuce. If your family is into pasta, then go to the health food store and get some kamut pasta instead of white flour pasta. If you are big chicken eaters, start with a few chicken recipes or if you like Mexican food, just change the quality of ingredients in your recipes.
Then, especially for homeschoolers, if you can involve your children, the children get excited, and it becomes a learning project. If you teach your children, they can contribute to the workload, which makes it less overwhelming.
My final point is to have proper expectations. This is a subject that requires time and focus. It can be a good project for a family to do in the summer when homeschooling lightens up.
Q: Some common questions are: How much money will we spend? Where do we find resources? Will I like the taste of these foods? Let's start with cost. Is it true that healthy eating costs a lot of money?
A: We put the approximate cost of the recipes in our books. Those prices become outdated faster than you would think, but even though they are dated, they are comparative. You can compare and see what is less expensive. In Main Dishes we have a chart of 46 low-budget menus. Grains and beans are always the least expensive things. I tell women, "When you initially start, it might go up a little bit because you are trying to make adjustments. But, when you start to shift the balance of the foods so that you are using less dairy and less meats, and more of your lower cost foods such as grains and beans, then that helps to balance the cost." It turns out that you can spend a lot of money or you can spend a little money, depending on how you balance out your choices.
Q: What about taste?
A: Basically, just start with familiar, favorite recipes, and change the quality of the ingredients. It is more apt to be acceptable.
Q: Where do we go for resources? What's available?
A: Check with your local health food store. Then, you can look on the Internet for mail-order sources. Find a source close to home and you can save on shipping
Q: You talk about something called the "Two Step Process." Can you explain what that is?
A: Our Breakfast book introduces this, and it involves the whole grains. There are phytates in grains that bind up key minerals. Unless you process grains slowly, those nutrients won't be released. There are three ways to accomplish this. One is to sprout the grains. Two is fermentation. That is when you make yeast bread. I have changed the process for yeast bread by making a sponge the night before. You put the liquid with the flour in a bowl, add the yeast and mix it well. Let it stand at room temperature, and the next morning you finish off the recipe. I also recommend at least two rises; that extends the fermentation. The third option is the "Two Step" process. You allow the grain to soak, seven to eight hours or overnight, and that releases the nutrients. With a blender you put in the grains and liquids, and blend it for three minutes, omitting the egg since it will be sitting at room temperature. When the soaking is complete, you add the egg, the rest of the ingredients, and do the baking. Once you learn the process, it is easy to take any other recipe and apply the principle. Now that this has come to my attention, I wonder if so many people have trouble with allergic response to whole grains because they are not doing this process.
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