In this episode of Know Your Food with Wardee, I'm taking listener questions. Topics include: getting started with fermented vegetables, sourdough bread troubleshooting, herbal tea for pregnancy and breastfeeding, reactivating a sourdough starter with “aged” flour, how to make homemade salted peanuts, and how to get started with sprouting nuts and seeds. See below for the questions and answers, plus links to resources I mentioned in my answers.
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Here are the questions I answered in this episode, in the order they're answered (in case you want to skip around). The podcast contains my answers, plus if I mentioned any additional resources, they are linked here along with the question.
Christie asked (via voicemail): What would be the best fermented vegetable with which to start? She's tried other fermented vegetables (like kraut) and didn't like the taste. What would be more mild that she'd be more likely to enjoy?
I suggested several recipes:
- Ginger Carrots in Nourishing Traditions (halve the salt, though) — taught in my Fundamentals eCourse or Fundamentals eBook
- 5-Spice Apple Chutney
- Pickled Radishes
- Fermented Cranberry-Apple-Orange Relish (I forgot to mention this in the episode!)
- No-Pound Kraut (just in case the kraut you tried was store-bought — you might like homemade!)
Let me know how it goes! 🙂
Katie (from Girl Meets Nourishment) asked (via voicemail) for help with sourdough bread baking. She's having trouble with loaves that are gummy and sticky inside. She's changed rise times and baking times without success.
Full explanations are in the podcast; here are brief points of what I suggested:
- Is the starter really active or would it benefit from babying it to get the concentration of organisms higher and the activity level higher?
- What types of flour have you tried? Spelt and hard white wheat are lighter than hard red wheat.
- Is the dough too wet or too dry? Either can cause this (surprisingly!).
- Is your house temperature on the cool side? This can prevent a good rise — try a warmer location.
- If you're doing single rise, add a second rise (punch down in between). If you're double rising, add a third rise (punching down in between).
Katie, if you have any questions about what I suggested in the podcast or want to add any other information, just leave a comment below. 🙂
Osanna asked: I have a friend who is getting ready to breastfeed – she wants a tea that's good for her body and building her milk supply. I thought of you, because I value your advice about so many things!
When I was giving birth, my midwife recommended I make a blend of red raspberry leaf, oatstraw, and nettles.
I asked my friend Donielle, blogger at Naturally Knocked Up and author of the book by the same name. She recommends her fertility tea blend. However, leave out the red clover and the don quai, and also the red raspberry leaf if she's earlier than third trimester. And you can add fenugreek, which is a good herb for milk supply.
Here's Donielle's fertility tea blend recipe.
She and I both would recommend doing it as an infusion for greater concentration of nutrients and minerals. The instructions are in her book and the blog post.
Kindra asked: Hi, I have a question regarding sourdough bread. I searched your site but did not find an answer to my question and am hoping you can help me. I ordered my culture for whole wheat sourdough and the instructions say to use “aged” flour. My understanding is that this means that fresh ground flour should be left at room temperature for up to about 3 weeks. However, won't this make the flour go rancid? Have you heard anything along these lines?
Short answer is that you want to use aged flour so nothing competes with the organisms you're trying to revive in the starter. Obviously, you wouldn't want to use aged flour for the most healthful bread, but in this instance, it is the best choice.
Having said that, I have revived starters with fresh-ground flour and with success. 🙂
Further info: Starting your own starter (free instructions).
Bethany asked: My daughter (age 10) and husband both love salted peanuts. I have crisped peanuts (previously in the oven, but now with my new Christmas present…an Excalibur dehydrator!!) which they'll eat occasionally, but miss the salt. Is there any way to salt crispy peanuts like the ones you can buy in the store?
Yes! Take your crispy peanuts and toss in melted coconut oil and salt. Then roast in a single layer at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes, checking frequently to prevent burning and rotating trays as necessary.
Mandy asked: I'm trying to learn as much as possible about sprouting seeds and nuts. Do you know the best way to get started?
Yes. 🙂 Refer to this post on sprouting beans; the same principles apply no matter which “seeds” you're sprouting. Soak overnight, then drain and rinse. Rinse twice daily until sprouted (1/8″ to 1/4″ tail), then dehydrate to crisp them back up (or blend up and use wet in recipes).
Choose raw nuts — others may not sprout. The exception is organic almonds that are H2O pasteurized (by law); they will often sprout.
I also teach sprouting of various seeds in my online Fundamentals eCourse.
And that was it — have a blessed week, everyone!
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