My Nourishing New Year’s Resolutions

It's time for the Nourishing New Year's Resolutions carnival! Thanks Kimi, for a wonderful idea to help us to really think through and articulate where we want to go next with nourishing foods and practices!

I've been excited for the chance to force invite myself to sit down and actually write out some of the things that I want to do, and there's nothing like blog accountability to make me actually work towards accomplishing my goals!

Here are my Nourishing Resolutions for 2009:

1) Learn to make an incredible loaf of wheat-free sourdough bread.

Though I already bake wheat-free bread all the time (including sourdough), and can make loaves that are passable and even really nice sometimes, I haven't yet figured out how to make that really amazing loaf. You know, the one that your husband claims is just the absolute best in the world, and your guests rave about, and that works like a charm every time. I feel like I still have much to learn in the art of making sourdough bread (and it really is an art!), and seeing as bread is such a staple in our family, it seems like a fitting goal.

I am thinking of purchasing a starter from online instead of continuing to make my own, and there are such wonderful sounding starters available for really reasonable prices. A few places to check out are Fermented Treasures, Sourdoughs International and Cultures for Health.

2) Try three new lacto-fermented recipes for fruits and vegetables, and find 1 or 2 that my family loves!

As I have the extra time and inclination, I have been trying a few of the fermented veggie and fruit recipes in Nourishing Traditions
(in addition to the kefir, yogurt and kombucha I already make). So far, we loved the Garlic Dill Pickles, but the Sauerkraut didn't go over too well (then again, we're not sauerkraut eaters to begin with), and my husband didn't really care for the fermented berry sauce (though my kids and I grew to somewhat like it by the end of the jar).

I've heard that the Ginger Carrots aren't so hot, that the Ketchup is really good but doesn't taste like ketchup, and I'm intrigued by the garlic recipe (basically whole garlic cloves, pickled). I think I'll try the ketchup and garlic, and perhaps a fruit chutney or two, and I'll have to dig around to see if anything else appeals to me (or might appeal to my family).

3) Consistently make my own mayonnaise, instead of buying it half the time.

This actually shouldn't be that hard of a resolution anymore, since just last week I made the recipe in a way that everyone really enjoyed, including my husband, and he is the ultimate one that needs to give his approval. Up until now, he hasn't loved any of the mayos I've tried making, and so I kept reverting to store-bought, knowing that it's not the best for us.

Last week, I made the recipe from The Nourishing Gourmet once again, this time using my new food processor (which worked like a dream- what a perfect consistency it made and it was sooo easy to do!). I had to use apple cider vinegar, instead of white wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar, because that was what I had. I added a touch of honey to help make up for the lack of sweetness from the balsamic, and I think it helped. I also used sunflower oil, which was recommended in Nourishing Traditions, but I may give grapeseed oil a try when my sunflower oil runs out.

There you have it! Some do-able goals that I'm excited to be able to implement into my time in the kitchen, knowing that I'm continuing to provide better and better quality (and tasting) food for my family!

What about the rest of you? Have you joined in the carnival? What are some nourishing new year's resolutions that you are making for 2009?

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. Jessica, I substitute the apple cider vinegar 1:1 with the other vinegars, so I use 3 tsp of it (unless I have balsamic on hand, then I use 1 of balsamic and 2 of apple cider).

    If I’m using balsamic, I will only use about 1 tsp of honey. If I’m using all apple cider vinegar (because it’s less sweet) then I will use more like 2 tsp. I find that the oil I’m using also makes a difference, so with a stronger tasting oil (like grapeseed) I’ll use a bit more sweetener than I would with a milder oil like sunflower.

  2. About the mayonnaise…can you tell me how much apple cider vinegar you used (instead of the white vinegar and balsamic)? Also, about how much honey did you use? I want to try this recipe! Thank you!

  3. I love(!) the ginger carrots! They are great to add to the top of a salad. I don’t really eat them on their own, but they’re a great salad topper.

  4. I grew up eating saurkraut and normally love it but when I made it myself, it was very salty and never really tasted quite right. I also tried alton brown’s fermented pickle recipe with not so much success. One of my goals for the year is to try and find at least one fermented recipe my husband and I like so be sure to pass on any recipe you find that are “keepers”.

  5. I love your Living Simply Saturdays article! I’ve been thinking about a lot of the ideas you wrote about lately… I main hesitancy about saying
    “no” is that I worry about becoming selfish by focusing too much on my own life and not giving enough to others (ministry, church stuff, volunteering, etc.)… I know there is a BALANCE, but I’m struggling to find that line!

  6. Hello,
    I got my starter at King Athur Flour on line and I love it. So easy to start and use.
    Here is a link for rapadura http://www.rapunzel.com/products/rapunzel/rapunzel_baking_rapadura.html That is a sweetner I use. I also use honey and agava syrup. I look forward to reading more this read about your goals.
    Hugs,
    Elizabeth

  7. I have so many ideas that I would like to learn more about in the realm of food. I think I will set my goal of trying some honey-sweetened canning during canning season, since that is actually do-able to set a goal for that far down the road as I can’t do anything right now! :)

  8. Hi Stephanie: I receieved my water bottle and love it. It was a great gift this Holiday season. I look forward to your upcoming posts this year 2009.

  9. I tried the ginger carrots, and they were very distasteful, I agree. But then again, there was no water added to the recipe as in saurkraut. Have you tried the fermented beets or kvass? I was at a Romanian friend’s house yesterday in Surrey and she served us the Romanian version of sour cabbage. If you don’t like saurkraut you might not like it, but their method is to chop the cabbage into large pieces, then add garlic cloves, dill, and a quartered beet for flavor/color. They also added a hot pepper for a bit of spice. The base was simply salt and water as in saurkraut. Maybe you wouldn’t like it, but I thought it was delicious! Also, have you tried the onions? Or an onion and garlic mixture? Those are wonderful!
    I want to try this recipe for fermented cauliflower (not sure if I’d add the bok choy or not). It’s found at http://www.stephaniewilger.net/recipes/ferment-cauliflower-bokchoy.html.
    It’s fun to experiment and try out different things!

    Also, kudos to your making a wheat free sourdough! If you find a way to get it to turn out well, I’d love to learn how. I’ve been doing a lot of research on sourdough lately and learning a lot! I want to learn to make it like the Europeans do, with a baking stone or stoneware baker and hot temps to get that crispy crust! Thanks for the links and inspiration!

  10. When I tried to make the N.T. sauerkraut it did not turn out very well. I spoke with a wonderful lady with Weston-Price and she said it is so imperative to have a crock. Did you use one? If not, maybe that will change the taste.

    I enjoyed reading your list. Blessings!

  11. I would love to finally understand sweeteners. Don’t get me wrong, I know that eating too much of any sugar is bad for us, but I can’t get my head around why honey and date sugar are better than cane sugar given that they all break down to glucose in the bloodstream. Can anyone help me out? I’ve read the sections in Nourishing Traditions but they don’t make sense to me. Is is that honey etc. have more trace nutrients we need, or that cane sugar is contaminated, or both, or neither? I have been trying to limit sugar consumption in our family for a long time (my resolution) and it seems like if I understood exactly why I was doing it I would be more sucessful (and sell the idea better to an engineer husband with a sweet tooth). :) Can anyone help me out?

    Thanks,

    Raven