See, you don't need land in order to grow fresh, nutritious food for your family.
A couple days ago, I started sourdough. I've always ordered my cultures from Cultures for Health, so did this time as well. I chose the San Fransisco starter. They give very good instructions with their cultures and starters. My sourdough is currently living on top of the bookcase in the living room, as that is the warmest spot in the house. Don't worry, I have the mason jar set inside a very large bowl.
This morning, I finally had enough leftover starter to make pancakes. Here's the recipe that comes with the starter:
- 2 cups sourdough starter
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons sugar (or other natural sweetener)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (optional)
- enough milk or water to create the consistency that you like for pancake batter
The taste test? Well, I like them, but I'm not sure my kids will. They do have a different taste, and the texture is closer to a crepe than a pancake because they are so airy. The taste is subtle as well. Really, they don't have as much flavor as a traditional pancake. That's OK. I found them to be a bit boring with maple syrup. So, I stopped by Central Market and picked up a jar of Felix brand lingonberries. Perfection!
Why go to all this trouble? For starters, three of us in the family love sourdough. I'm hoping little brother's taste buds will acclimate before too much longer. I used to make our own bread each week. Yes, it's a lot of work. But, anyone who has eaten fresh-baked bread understands the rewards. I try to create more food from scratch for the health of my family. Both boys are sensitive to all the chemicals in food, especially MSG and aspartame.
My boys have never eaten a slice of Wonder Bread. And, they eat their crusts! They are off to a much better start than I had. I still hate to eat the crust. And, what was up with Wonder Bread back in the 70's anyhow? What did we do with that garbage? We smashed it and rolled it into a ball and nibbled at it like a mouse. Come on, you know you did.
Now it is time for your public service announcement. Sourdough, especially that cultured and baked in your own kitchen, is exceptionally healthy. It has a lower glycemic index than other breads (which is great for ladies pushing 50 like myself). The fermentation gets rid of 68% of the phylates (as opposed to about 33% in non-fermented bread). This creates a greater bio-availability of important minerals: zinc, iron, copper, magnesium, and phosphorous. Sourdough is also rich in selenium, folate, thiamine, and manganese. B1 vitamins in sourdough are not damaged by the baking process. It is easier to digest because the gluten content is lower. Also, the creation of phytic acid helps to preserve the bread. And, if that's not enough, sourdough is also full of beneficial bacteria. Everyone could use a bit more intestinal-flora support, eh? One of the reasons cited for the longevity of residents of Ikaria, is their consumption of homemade sourdough bread.
So, go bake some sourdough...or, at least eat some!