Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Biochar - interesting!

I found this project on Indiegogo this morning (Indiegogo has so many amazing projects, I want to fund them all!)

BioPreta Sample Project

I looked up biochar in wikipedia, and learned some interesting things about how the ancient technique of smoldering agricultural waste on farming land contributed to keeping the soil and environment healthy.

Source: http://www.biochar-nsr.eu/cms/
Sometimes I have to wonder if in many ways (not all!), our ancestors were so much smarter than we are. Or perhaps not smarter, but wiser. Why go through the trouble of producing chemicals to put on our land if we can use what we don't need to augment the soil instead. Seems like far less work (but alas, would contribute less to the "economy", oh my! note sarcasm in this sentence, which is not always easy to convey in writing).

Trepanation is one way that our ancestors clearly were not smarter nor wiser!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Caraway Rye

I got a bread machine at the Sally Ann a year or two ago, and use it for kneading my bread. I still like to bake the bread in the oven if I can, as I prefer the crust and shape of an oven baked loaf, and I can better control how it comes out.

Last night I made caraway rye dough, and this morning baked it up on my pizza stone. It is delicious!

150 ml of water
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp honey (for a lighter bread) or molasses (for a darker bread)
1 cup rye flour
1 1/4 cup white bread flour
2 tbsp caraway seeds (or more, if you like)
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast

Put in the bread machine in the order listed. Use the dough cycle.

Let bread do final rise in a oblong shape. I rise it on a silicone matt so I can just pop it into the oven with no fuss. Preheat oven to 400 C. Heat pizza stone

When the bread is doubled in size, pop in the oven. Pour 1/4 cup of water into the bottom of your oven (please please please check your over instructions and follow them - this is fine in my oven, it may not work in yours). Bake until the bread sounds hollow when tapped, for me about 30 - 40 minutes in my convection oven.

Delicious plain, or with butter or honey.

Friday, February 1, 2013

uBiome project

In December I got my own genome partially sequenced to help me better understand the health issues I am dealing with. I also learned a lot about my genetic history, including my matrilineal line (that is, where my mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's ... mother came from ).

I have a new arthritis diagnosis that is associated with inflammatory bowel disease. I don't have IBD, but I am curious about the bacteria in my gut. Gut bacteria are really important to health, and provide a variety of functions such as assistance with digestion, vitamin production, and synthesis of a variety of substances. Gut microbes have been associated with a number of disorders, including depression, autism, several types of arthritis, eczema and even sinusitis!

So, along came uBiome, which I found on Indiegogo, a crowdsourcing website. I'm going to get my gut biome sequenced and see what they find. Should be very interesting! In the meantime, I continue to try to eat food that are wholesome and healthy, close to their natural form, and have a wide variety of naturally occuring microbes such as kefir, yogurt and saurkraut.

Two books that will help you cook more healthily in a microbe friendly way are Wild Fermentation and Nourishing Traditions: