Thursday, 17 June 2010

A whole lot of culture in the kitchen!

Are you constantly amazed at how easy it is to make various items that you would normally purchase at the grocery store?
With a number of cultured foods on my 'to-make' list I was googling for a wider range of methods, and along the way I came across THIS method for making my own buttermilk. 
Fortunately I could buy the proper buttermilk here in town so I followed the method and left my own buttermilk to culture over the following 24 hours...
It's only another 6 hours until it's ready and already I have creme fraiche sitting on top of the buttermilk. Very exciting, this is! :-)
Last night I also prepared for breakfast, bread, and morning tea. I soaked my tapioca in a coconut milk/water mix, started a new batch of sour dough mother, soaked my nuts in whey and water, soaked my flours in buttermilk, as well as starting my buttermilk culture...
To  make the yummy tapioca breakfast cereal I had today you first need to rinse 1/2 cup of tapioca (sago) under running water, 
 then soak the grains in 1 cup of organic coconut cream and 1 cup of filtered water overnight.
Next morning bring it all to the boil on the stove, then drop to a very low simmer. Stir constantly for around 15 minutes until all the grains become translucent...
Put aside to cool.
In a bowl add a mixture of fruits, nuts and seeds - any choice you like. I used the pecans I had soaked last night (after rinsing), a grated apple, blueberries, and freshly ground flaxseeds (linseeds). 
Add this to the cooled tapioca along with 3 tablespoons organic natural yoghurt, and a splash of maple syrup or honey.
Delish!! This will serve 3-4 people, and is even lovelier the next day after it has 'set'.
The basic recipe is from Cyndi O'Meara's book...
After soaking my flour in buttermilk overnight I decided to experiment with baking it into a cake. I added some butter, eggs, mashed banana, dates, and muscovarda sugar. Silly me, though, I forgot the bi-carb (baking) soda! This prevented the cake from rising.
I scattered the remaining soaked pecans and some organic cocao nibs on top and baked in a slow oven for 55  minutes.
Even though it did not rise as a regular cake would, it still tasted wonderful - it is very moist, and more like a loaf than a cake.
Never mind, cooking good food is all about experimentation. So far I'm thrilled with what I am learning about soaking, culturing, and fermentation, and how much better the food tastes.
Tonight I have Osso Bucco cooking slowly and the smell is amazing through the house. Wish you could come for dinner. You'd be most welcome! :-)
Healthy Hugs

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