Nourishing Soured Dough Banana Bread

A couple weekends ago I attended a seminar by Sally Fallon Morell the president of the Weston A. Price Foundation and author of Nourishing Traditions.

For those who haven’t heard, Weston A Price was a dentist who traveled the world researching the primitive diets of people who didn’t have modern processed foods available to them and then, those of the same descent, who did. He found all the primitive diets had something in common – they were high in saturated fats like seal fat, cream, and fish oils and fermented foods like sauerkraut, fish sauce, sourdough breads, and laco-fermented pickles. These people were strong and healthy and had beautiful teeth without decay and cavities. When modern foods were introduced to them their health declined and there was a marked difference in the next generation – crowded teeth, cavities and degenerative diseases.

Price died in 1948, but his research and valuable findings in dentistry and nourishing traditions have been passed on to people like Sally Fallon and others who are passionate about eating to be healthy. Sally’s book, Nourishing Traditions, is an extensive volume that encompasses the when, why, and how of soaking, fermenting, sprouting and souring of grains, meats, milk, legumes and seeds. The book is loaded with recipes, health information, and interesting histories about food.

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We’ve owned a copy of Nourishing Traditions for several years now and over the years I’ve experimented with different techniques using her recipes. To give an honest review, I’d have to say I don’t agree with everything Sally teaches, but for those interested in getting back to the old paths of eating nourishing food – and making foods easier to digest, I would recommend this book for your library without hesitation.

Sourdough bread is one of these foods our family has thoroughly embraced. Soaked grain pancakes or waffles or sourdough pancakes are never turned down either. Water kefir is a constant in the pantry (Usually lime ginger these days. Check out my water kefir post for recent flavor and tip updates!) and I usually have milk kefir, some kind of yogurt or raw milk product and occasionally, sauerkraut and kombucha on hand. I think we might, just might,  be getting enough healthy probiotics into our systems. :)

So, for the last two weeks I’ve had all the information from the seminar crazily racing around in my brain. What better way to process it than to bake some banana bread? Not any kind of banana bread though. It had to be moist and flavorful and…why not soak the wheat?

So I did.

I took pictures of the second to last piece. See, it was another one of those wasn’t-going-to-blog-about-it-but-too-good-not-too things. At least I got a picture before it was all gone! I’m glad it’s gone, too. I definitely don’t need this stuff laying around looking all innocent and healthy and delicious.

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That’s it…You know you want just one more bite!

Here’s what you need for 1 loaf…oh wait! Who are we kidding? Why make one when making two is just as easy?

  • 1 c. milk kefir or buttermilk
  • 2 c. whole wheat flour

Combine together in a glass bowl, cover and let sit overnight.

In the morning, or whenever you get around to it, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and cream…

  • 1 c. rapadura, coconut palm sugar, or sucanut
  • 1 c. butter
  • 1/4 c. honey

Add…

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 c. mashed banana (about 4 medium)
  • 1 t. orange extract
  • 1 t. almond extract

Beat well, then add your soured wheat mixture.

Combine…

  • 1 c. chopped pecans (optional)
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. salt

and mix into banana mixture.

Butter the bottoms of  2 loaf pans. Pour the batter evenly between the two. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Let cool before trying to remove from pan. We didn’t and it was not right.

Well, the crumbles were good.

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If you’re a REAL Sally Fallon follower, slather each piece with 3 Tablespoons of delicious raw butter and eat it in a bowl with a spoon! ;)

Making Your Own Fizzy Drinks – Water Kefir

This summer a friend gave me some water kefir grains, also known as tibicos, to try. Ever since then I’ve been experimenting and researching and experimenting again to discover the perfect brew. For those of you who are new to … Continue reading

Magenta Sauerkraut

It amazes me sometimes how someone looked at this and called it a purple (or red) cabbage. What were they thinking? Couldn’t they come up with something better than that? Maybe I should give vegetable “namers” the benefit of the doubt and attribute it to an unusually “blah” day. The creativity had gone out the window after a long week of giving names to star fruit, passion fruit, papaya, mango, radicchio, endive, and courgette. But then, what’s the excuse for the brilliantly colored eggplant, the blackberry that isn’t black and the pawpaw? Perhaps “blah” days weren’t so uncommon after all. Oh well, I digress.

I don’t know about you, but I love sauerkraut. I think it’s the Czechoslovakian blood in me. My great grandmother used to make us Bolshevik onion dumplings with sauerkraut on the side. Oh my, I loved it. She taught me how to make the dumplings before she died. Do you know how incredibly special that is? Someday, I’ll do a post on that, but today I made sauerkraut.

I shredded one magenta cabbage and another quarter of a leftover green cabbage that we had in the refrigerator. This can be done with a knife, a cheese grater or a food processor. Be prepared to make a mess! Cabbage is one of the messiest things to work with ever!

One tablespoon of salt goes into that.

Just in case you’re wondering, I use REAL salt. That’s the brand, I’m not just being stuck up here. REAL salt doesn’t process the living daylights out of their sea salt. That’s why you see specks of color. It looks like dirt, but it’s really several different minerals that are natural to salt. I think it tastes better too, but that might be psychological. :)

Most of the time I put caraway seeds in my kraut, because that’s what my Great-grandma did. And that’s what makes it sauerkraut in my mind. But today I went out on a limb and put chiles and garlic in it instead.

Just like that. Well, I pulled the stems off the dried chiles.

The next part takes time. I should say it used to take time because I found a nifty short cut. I used to pound it all down with my french rolling pin.

Then I had a brilliant thought, The Kitchen Aid could do this! And it did.  I happily wandered around and did other things. Electronics are amazing! Well, some of them. Sometimes.

The cabbage will end up half the bulk that it was before and will take on a rather wilted look. (I would too if I were beat up in a Kitchen Aid.) You’ll be able to easily squeeze juices from it.

Next, pack it into quart jars. this recipe fills about 1 and 1/2 quarts. Fill it almost to the top and pack it down hard. Then weigh it down with a glass bottle, or a tin can protected with plastic wrap. (Pictures do not show plastic wrap.)

You can already see the juices rising up to cover the cabbage.

Amazing color!

Put it on a plate to catch any overflow that might happen and let it sit there for about 7 days to ferment. And….well, it hasn’t been 7 days yet, so I’ll be back with the rest of the story.