Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sleep Deficit: The Hidden Debt That's Hurting Us All

Slumber parties are in ;)...
http://www.experiencelifemag.com/issues/november-2008/health-wellness/sleep-deficit-the-hidden-debt-thats-hurting-us-all.html

Buckwheat Mimetic Bread / Pain de Mime au Sarrasin


So far this one is the tastiest of my hybrid breads. I seem to get the best combinations with nut meals and GF cooked grains (leftovers work just fine).

Le plus savoureux de mes pains hybrides à ce jour. Il semblerait que j'obtienne les meilleurs résultats en combinant poudres de noix et céréales cuites sans gluten (les restes d'un repas font l'affaire).

INGREDIENTS (for a small 4"x4" loaf / pour un petit pain de 10cm x 10cm):
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled kasha-toasted buckwheat / 1 tasse (env. 250 ml) de kaska-sarrasin grillé, cuit et refroidi

  • 1 cup of almond meal / 1 tasse de poudre d'amandes

  • 1/2 cup chestnut flour / 1/2 tasse (env. 125 ml) de farine de chataîgne

  • 2 eggs / 2 oeufs

  • 1 tsp maple syrup / 1 càc de sirop d'érable

  • 1/2 tsp GF baking powder / 1/2 càc de levure chimique sans gluten

  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar / 1/2 càc de vinaigre de cidre

  • 1/8 tsp salt / 1/8 càc de sel

  • Water or nut milk if necessary / Un peu d'eau ou de lait végétal si necessaire

Preheat the oven at 375F/160C. In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients: kasha, almond meal, chestnut flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat the eggs. Then add the maple syrup and the vinegar. Mix well. Incorporate the wet mix into the dry mix and stir well. If the batter is to dry, add a little bit of water or nut milk. The batter should be thick but not runny. Pour into an oiled baking pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. Wait for the bread to cool down before removal from the pan and slicing the bread. Enjoy ;)!

This mimetic bread reminds me of dark country breads. It is tasty, it has character and a little bit of sweetness...

Préchauffez le four à 160C/375F. Dans un récipient, mélangez tous les ingredients secs: sarrasin, poudre d'amandes, farine de chataîgne, levure chimique et sel. Dans un autre récipient, battez les oeufs. Ajoutez le sirop d'érable et le vinaigre aux oeufs battus. Incorporez le mélange liquide au mélange sec et remuez bien. Si la pâte est trop sèche, ajoutez un petit peu d'eau ou de lait végétal. La pâte doit être épaisse mais pas liquide. Versez-la dans un moule huilé et mettez à cuire au four pendant 45-50 minutes. Attendez que le pain refroidisse avant de le démouler et de le couper en tranches. Regalez-vous ;)!

Ce pain de mîme me rappelle les pains de campagne Nordiques ou d'Europe de l'Est. Il est goûteux, il a du caractère et une touche de douceur...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Let Thy Food be Thy Medicine" by Darcey Blue

I love folk medicine and grandmothers' remedies...
http://desertmedicinewoman.blogspot.com/2008/11/let-thy-food-be-thy-medicine.html

In the Mood for...Infused Vinegars

I bought some fresh organic cranberries and decided that I wanted to prepare a cranberry infused vinegar. So I filled a glass jar with roughly 1/2 cup of fresh cranberries, 2 tbsp of cane sugar (honey would have been better though) and covered with organic apple cider vinegar...Rendez-vous in 6 weeks for the result.

Cranberries are a natural source of vitamin C, much needed during Fall & Winter months. Vitamin C helps prevent & heal colds as well as affections of the upper respiratory tract, UTIs, it's energizing and it also helps the body absorb iron in food (vitamin C and iron work sinergetically; if your body lacks one, it probably lacks the other too).

I also had a pomegranate that started looking tired so I figured I would make a pomegranate vinegar like the luxurious ones you can find in fancy grocery stores. I opened the pomegranate and poured the seeds in a glass jar, added some leftover honey, some pomegranate concentrate and covered with organic balsamic vinegar. This vinegar was a little acidic so I think it can only improve itself, especially combined with honey. I'm not quite sure how it's gonna come out, but I'm hoping for a flavorful and syrupy vinegar...Yet I have no control over natural alchemy!

Then I strained a thyme infused vinegar (fresh thyme sprigs in organic apple cider vinegar) that I had almost forgotten about (it's been infusing for months!). And I decided to use part of it to make a thyme honegar with wild tasting forest honey (by mixing equal parts of infused vinegar and honey). I like adding a couple teaspoons or so to water, it makes a refreshing and flavorful drink...Plus thyme is one of my favorite herbs & a friend of the lungs (another useful ally during the cold months)!

Thoughts on Fog...

Today is a foggy day like I like them (the denser the better)...As far as my memory goes, I always have. Most people don't like fog for various reasons. I like its energy, its quiet eeriness, its magic. I like the fact that you can expect the unexpected to happen when it's foggy. It makes my feel alive & energized. It's a deep call that resonates on a soul level, something like an old friend or the way back home (Frank McEowen wouldn't disagree). A friend of mine used to say that "fog is made of the spirits of the dead", therefore it is highly spiritual. I agree to this and believe that the dead are calling us beyond the grave and beyond time and space to awaken in our lives and...to awaken spiritually.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dark Side of the Food

For some reason lately, I've been attracted by ingredients that have a strong color. Especially black items: I have black quinoa, black forbidden rice...I'm currently interested in black sesame (I read the taste is different and that it has more health & nutritious benefits than regular sesame).
I also look for purple, blue, orange and red things to eat...Needless is to say that my cuisine has become more colorful or at least more interesting visually.
If you are what you eat, does that make me a rainbow ;)?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Natural Exfoliation

I just finished knitting my first exfoliating glove for the body. I've been inspired by Moroccan body care with my own twist (read the benefits under my listing). This one is made of jute, but I plan on using other natural fibers such as hemp, nettle, linen or sisal. And maybe make travel size ones as well.

I'd like to make gentle facial gloves too. Some people can't use even the most gentle face masks because their skin is so sensitive. I found some very soft cotton that I think would be just perfect for this project.

I also plan on knitting eco-friendly bags using the same natural fibers: they have the advantage to be natural, sturdy, long-lasting and biodegradable!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mimetic Bread with Rice / Pain de Mime au Riz

This is not a traditional bread and kind of a hybrid between gluten free and SCD bread.

For 1 loaf, you'll need / Pour 1 pain:
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal / 1 tasse 1/2 de poudre d'amandes (1 tasse = environ 250 ml)
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled brown rice / 1 tasse de riz brun cuit et refroidi
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tps salt / 1/8 a 1/4 càc de sel
  • 1/2 tsp GF baking powder / 1/2 càc de levure chimique sans gluten
  • 3 eggs / 3 oeufs
  • 1-2 tsp maple syrup / 1 ou 2 càc de sirop d'érable
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar / 1/2 càc de vinaigre de cidre

Preheat the oven at 180C/375F. In a bowl mix the almond meal, the rice, the salt and the baking powder. In another container, mix the eggs, the maple syrup and the vinegar. Incorporate the wet mixture into the dry one and mix thoroughly. Pour into an oiled 6" x 3" baking tin (I used a square 2 cup "Bake n' Keep" glass container by Anchor, smaller in length but higher, allowing bigger slices). Bake for 45 to 60 minutes. Depending on what type of baking container you used, this bread will give you between 6 and 12 slices. Enjoy!

Since it isn't a real bread yet a rich and nutritious one, you won't feel the need to eat a lot of it. I usually slice it and freeze the slices until I need to toast some ;).

I plan on trying variations of that bead with different nut meals/flours, cooked GF grains and even cooked legumes like lentils. My next loaf with probably be hazelnut with wild rice ;).

Préchauffer le four à 180C/375F. Dans un récipient, mélanger la poudre d'amandes, le riz, le sel et la levure chimique. Dans un autre récipient, mélanger les oeufs battus, le sirop d'érable et le vinaigre. Incorporer le mélange liquide au mélange solide et bien remuer. Verser la préparation dans un moule huilé mesurant approximativement 15cm x 7cm (pour ma part, j'ai utilisé un moule en verre carré d'une contenance de 500ml de chez Anchor. Il est plus petit mais également plus haut, ce qui me permet d'avoir de plus grandes tranches). Cuire le pain entre 45 et 60 minutes. Selon le moule utilisé, vous devriez avoir l'équivalent de 6 à 12 tranches.

Comme ce n'est pas un vrain pain et qu'il est riche et nutritif, vous n'éprouverez certainement pas le besoin d'en manger beaucoup. Faîtes comme moi, coupez-le en tranches et mettez-les à congeler. Vous en toasterez une quand vous en aurez besoin ;).

Je compte essayer des variations de cette recette avec différentes poudres/farines de noix, des céréales cuites (sans gluten) et même des légumineuses cuites comme les lentilles par exemple. Je pense que mon prochain pain sera avec des noisettes et du riz sauvage ;).

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Alchemy of Tea

It was refreshing to read Kiva Rose's post on "The Primal Allure of Tea". She put to words what every Wise Woman and tea drinker feels deep inside. She also reminded me how important tea is to me. I've had a long relationship with herbs and I can't see a day go by without having my ritual 3 cups of tea.

Beyond the fragrance and the taste, beyond the nourishment and medicine, there is also the sense of timelessness and instant well-being. A cup of tea is a cup of joy: I am always looking forward to preparing a cup of tea either from 1 herb or one of my blends. I know that after pouring the hot water in the cup, inhaling the scent and waiting a little, I will enjoy my magical brew and I will feel better no matter what. Time will stop for a few minutes. No more worries, no more problems, no more pain...No more nothing. Just me and my tea, allowing my mind to wander and to connect with the Great Mother & All That Is, with Past, Present & Future, the Above & the Below as well as the Inner Worlds.

When I need deeper nourishment, I prepare some nourishing herbal infusions...I do this only when I feel that my body needs is (though lately I haven't been needing much. I guess I have been getting all the nourishment my body needs...I have also been enjoying nut milks).

Some people may wonder how can a few leaves, flowers, roots, barks and spices do so much for you? To me tea is a complex alchemy: each herb is charged with the forces of Nature. The Elements, Earth & Sky, Sun & Rain, the Seasons, Sun, Moon & Stars, Planetary influences, Time passing by, Faery Blessings...You get all that in a cup of tea!

Some of my favorite herbs are: rooibos, nettle, wild thyme, elder blossoms & berries, hawthorn, roses & rosehips, blackberry & strawberry leaves (and fruits), rosemary, lemon balm, plantain, oatstraw, mallows, dandelion, warming spices such as ginger & cinnamon...

Tea talks to us in a subtle level: it nourishes our body, it uplifts our mood/spirit, it heals our heart, it soothes our mind, it heals & strengthens our soul...Tea blesses us with health & wholeness!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

ROPE INCENSE


I'm glad to introduce this new incense of mine ;).

I make my rope incenses with organic cotton twine and homemade scented tinctures. I find that twine absorbs and holds scents better than paper does.

This type of incense is fragrant, natural and slow burning...In other words: perfect!

I currently offer Frankincense & Myrrh, White Sage and Western (Siskiyou) Cedar.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

When you go shopping, bring your own bag(s)...

If you wonder: "Why?" (or even if you don't)...Read this article :
http://grocery-bags.com/Plastic_Nor_Paper__To_Make.html

In order to encourage people to bring their own bags when shopping, Whole Foods stores deduct 5 cents per bag you bring (at least my local Whole Foods does)...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Celebrate the Goddess through Love

"As a mother loves her tender child, so the Great Mother loves each breathing creature upon the Earth. Honor Her by caring for all beings, both animal and human, as the Wheel of the Year moves into the deepening time.
Offer shelter and comfort in simple ways, and listen to your own animal nature too, caring for yourself through quietness, retreat, and rest. Lovingly give yourself all that is needed for your own wholeness.
Let the cycle of the year's rhythms guide you, always listening to the powerful heartbeat of Mother's love."

From SageWoman 2008 Calendar
CURRENT MOON

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