Our green kitchen focuses on meals that taste wonderful and can
be made quickly but without sacrificing our well-being. Whilst cooking
can be so rewarding and bring great pleasure, long hours spent with
little improvement in the goodness or flavour is not my idea of fun. I
would rather spend the time in the garden growing our organic food; or another of my many hobbies.
It is not necessarily about greens, though they do play a huge part but rather all the food that is harvested from our garden; with a focus on that which is organic and grown according to the principles that undergird backyard permaculture.
Whilst flavour ranks high on our agenda, we strongly believe that society has been hoodwinked into believing that one need only eat that which we find delicious and pleasing. Many very important foods, like kale for example have little flavour but rank very highly in our green kitchen; finding ways to include them in our meals is important to us.
This kale and spinach sauce for example will light up a tasteless pasta or mashed-potato meal.
Another favourite is our kale pesto; having several friends with macular-degeneration I confess to being frankly terrified of it. I would rather eat greens several times a day.
Eschewing refined carbohydrate is also central to our cooking. You won't find any recipes here using white-rice, cake flour and oodles of sugar. Raised blood glucose is the downfall of modern civilisation resulting in obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular conditions; the so-called chronic degenerative diseases.
Our understanding is that treating Brother Ass kindly is a sacred trust that we have been given. Abused with highly-processed food and a lack of exercise he has a way of turning around and biting us; or giving a painful kick on the shins.
For those being forced through circumstances to go without medical insurance, who wholeheartedly embrace wellness, it may be a profoundly beneficial step. Just as those who have no cover for their automobile will drive more carefully, so you could find yourself choosing a lifestyle that will carry you through to a strong and alert eighties and nineties.
Remember that 80% of poor health is related to lifestyle, and only 20-percent to our genetic makeup.
Our green kitchen is about slow, nutritious food made fast. This is where the gut-lung connection and the coronavirus story begins.
Corn and beans provide a wonderful balance to the diet in many countries. But once those mealies have been refined, they are simply empty calories, a junk food of the highest order, and not fit for human consumption.
A mealie a day provides some thoughts on why over a quarter of the children in South Africa are permanently stunted. An allied page, why were cornflakes invented, was first published in the Witness in June, 2020.
Baking your own bread need not be an irksome and time-consuming business. It takes me less than ten minutes every morning to produce the most delicious loaf in the world; but wait, dough has a mind of its own.
Sourdough deals with many of the issues that bedevil many of us today; there are huge doubts about starches, anti-nutrients and gluten. Despite all of that there is strong research that whole grains are extremely good for us; but they are hard to get it. So we have a mill for grinding corn and wheat; then you have 100% flour.
Still, to my mind, whether better taste or whole grain nutrition is your focus, baking the best bread in South Africa
is absolutely worth ten minutes of your time each day. Interestingly
there is anecdotal evidence that those with a gluten intolerance can
enjoy the 100% wholemeal loaf without a grumbling belly. I would also
recommend a probiotic such as kefir.
Part 2 of this series is introduced at ingredients for sourdough bread.
Pizza and commercial loaves in general bedevil many of our stomachs. In the UK they are celebrating Sourdough September each year to remind us that real bread tastes so good and doesn't give the bloating that we have come to associate with refined starch.
Of one thing I am certain; it's in the kitchen where our fates will be determined in both the chronic diseases and the acute conditions brought on by viruses and bacteria.
My journey with the threat of Covid-19 has reinforced the belief that we should be extremely vigilant about keeping our blood glucose under control; that means strongly limiting refined carbs, and being vaccinated.
This disease has killed millions of people, and continues to do so; in the main the unvaccinated.
This beer bread recipe is another of our favourites.
Safe and quick food preparation is dependent on the right tools; here are a few of my favourite kitchen utensils.
And my favourite kitchen appliances features here too.
New potatoes have half the starch of those from cold-storage but they need to be eaten, like all other vegetables, within a couple days of harvesting. Since you don't need to peel them they are rich source of fibre.
This potato gratin is quick to prepare; the fibre and cream keep the glycemic-index down so provided you keep the portions at least half-way decent you need have no fear of the effect on your blood glucose.
We all need to learn how to cook legumes; they are much cheaper form of protein than meat, give off far less greenhouse gases than cattle and pigs, and require a tenth of the water. Within a few short decades beans, peas and pulses like lentils will be the norm.
Broad beans on toast is a wonderful nutritious dish that can be made in only fifteen minutes, but it is easy to ruin if you insist on shelling the pods and popping them out of the skins. You lose much of the important phytochemicals like L-dopa and the glycemic index shoots up due to the loss of fibre.
Freezing broad beans means you could enjoy them all year round.
Whole foods are chewy but we pay a terrible price if we avoid them; along with a probiotic like kefir they pave the way to the happy tum.
Homemade hummus with lemon pulp is a legume we enjoy almost every day; it takes only five minutes to make once you are in the routine. It has all the amino acids needed making it a good protein for vegans too.
Is it easy to make a hummus salad dressing recipe? It certainly is.
Use the lemon pulp too; less than half of the nutrients and flavour are to be found in the juice.
In short enjoy whole foods and you will make a huge step-up to greater wellness.
And then of course for making humus; that's something quite different.
Brewing various tipple has been a hobby of mine for at least thirty years; first it was mead, which is quite difficult for various reasons, then a braggart, and more recently I learned to make Merrylegs perry cider. It is so simple.
How is apple cider made is another question I once asked, and found that it was deliciously simple.
An all-hive mead uses just the gleanings left after decapping honeycombs, water and yeast.
There is huge emphasis in the literature on getting many different coloured foods onto your plate from your own green kitchen; that means reds, purples and yellows too. They contain the phytochemicals that help prevent inflammation and the development of nasty tumours.
We found initially that tomatoes in our garden were very tart and had an almost metallic taste. Until we learned how to caramelize our vegetables.
We then learned to caramelize our tomatoes so that we wouldn't have this problem; cookery is an art and you learn slowly by listening to those who immerse their lives in it.
These poached eggs on fried sourdough bread chunks create a wonderful breakfast.
We strongly advocate the KISS principle; keep your cooking simple, wholesome and nutritious. I have no desire to spend long hours in the kitchen producing food that leaves much to be desired.
Your organic kitchen waste is a rich source of nutrients. For heaven's sake do not send it out to the trash. First in the hierarchy make sure your dogs get the best of the meaty bones and other scraps.
This passionfruit posset is a great favourite, but without the sugar.
Compost bins are essential and must be emptied and washed at least twice a week; ours goes to the worm farms, but there are the chickens who will thrive on that old lettuce, watermelon and even rice or bread.
Worm farms and the black plague reminds us of the devastation that can befall communities that do not deal adequately with their green kitchen waste.
In short finding foods that are not processed is time-consuming and certainly not effortless. We justify it because of the wonderful taste of whole grains and fresh vegetables; and because they are cheaper and more nutritious. We enjoy a life without medication.
The so-called industrialised diet has come about because firstly of the greed of large companies to make a lot of money out of us; and secondly the demand by exhausted consumers for convenience foods.
We say, "make the time, or you'll be spending a lot more consulting doctors and pharmacists." And in any case foods that are not processed are far more tasty.
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