Food Safety: Choose Unprocessed Food Recipes

Columnists Mick and Lini of the Ecological Cookery for the L.A. Free Press provide a list of healthy unprocessed food recipes for MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers.
By Mick and Lini
July/August 1970
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Wash, core and slice apples. Do not peel. To make strudel easier to roll, it's a good idea to cut apple slices in half.
PHOTO: FOTOLIA/SUBBOTINA ANNA


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Mick and Lini shared their concern for food safety in their article Food Safety: Natural vs Processed Food in this same MOTHER EARTH NEWS issue. Mick and Lini write for Ecological Cookery for the L.A. Free Press and are sharing some healthy unprocessed food recipes for MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers. The recipes cover grains, fruits, vegetables and a number of alternative recipes you can use confident you are making healthy food choices. 

Grain Recipes

BOILED RICE  

This is the base of many delicious dishes and is probably the most important recipe of the article.

1 cup rice
2 cups water
Pinch of salt

Bring ingredients to a rolling boil, lower flame and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours on an asbestos pad or flame tamer. Mix and serve.

Variations: Add roasted sesame seeds, 1 Tbs. Tamari soy sauce or 1-2 Umeboshi plums.

PRESSURE COOKED RICE 

1 cup rice
1 1/2 cups water
Pinch of salt

Place ingredients in a pressure cooker. Let pressure come up, lower flame and cook 45 minutes. Turn off heat and let the pressure return to normal. Leave on stove 10 minutes, mix and serve.

ROASTED RICE 

1 cup rice
2-2 1/2 cups water (boiling)
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. sesame oil

Roast rice in oil until color changes and it begins to pop. Pour roasted rice and salt into boiling water. Lower flame, cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours.

BAKED RICE 

2 cups rice
3-4 cups boiling water
1/4 tsp. salt

Roast rice in oil until color changes and it begins to pop. Put in a casserole dish with salt and boiling water. Bake about 1 hour at 350°.

Variations: Add roasted sesame seeds and/or Tamari soy sauce.

CHICK PEAS AND RICE 

2 cups rice
1/4-1/2 cup chick peas (soaked overnight)
1/4 tsp. salt
4 cups water

Bring chick peas to a boil in 1 cup of water, cover and simmer 30-45 minutes. Add partially cooked chick peas and salt to rice and the remaining 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, lower flame and simmer at least 1 1/2 hours.

Variations: Cook chick peas and onions together. Pour cooked chick peas over rice. You can also use Aduki beans, black beans, pinto beans, lentils, etc.

RICE PORRIDGE 

1 cup rice
5 cups water
1 onion (slivered)
1 tsp. sesame oil
Pinch of salt

Saute onions until transparent. Add sauteed onions and salt to rice and water. Bring to a boil, lower flame and simmer at least 3 hours or overnight on an asbestos pad or flame tamer. Mix and serve. This can be garnished with roasted seeds, dry toasted sea vegetables such as Wakame or Nori or chopped roasted nuts.

Variations: Try adding oat groats, barley, rye and wheat. Toast lightly before using to give them a more pleasing flavor.

FRIED RICE 

2 cups cooked rice
4-5 scallions (chopped)
1 onion (chopped)
2 tsp. sesame oil
Deep fried cornmeal chunks (optional)
Sesame seeds (roasted)
Sunflower seeds (roasted)
Tamari soy sauce

Saute onions, scallions, seeds and cornmeal chunks, adding 1 at a time. Add rice and mix well with a wooden spoon to break up all lumps. Make sure that rice is not too moist as this causes the fried rice to become soggy. Simmer 5-10 minutes. Add Tamari soy sauce to taste.

Variations: This is just a basic recipe . . . you can make a thousand and one variations by adding shrimp, oysters, crab, clams, green peppers, a scrambled egg, chopped noodles, any kind of cooked bean, fresh cooked corn, cabbage, carrots, almonds, currants, raisins, ad infinitum. Experiment with them all, but remember that the simplest recipes are usually best.

DEEP FRIED RICE 

Using leftover rice, form into any compact shape desired. To prevent rice from sticking to your hands dip fingers into salted water, taking care not to get them too wet. Deep fry rice until it forms a golden crust. Dip into Tamari soy sauce as soon as you take it out of the oil so that it sizzles. Drain on absorbent paper.

POPPED RICE 

1 1/2 cups rice
1/8 cup salt
Water to cover

Rinse rice, cover with water and soak 2 days. Drain in a colander, add fresh water and salt. Let soak 1 more day. Drain again. Using about 1/2 cup of rice at a time, roast in a dry pan. Shake pan continuously so that rice roasts evenly. Continue roasting until rice pops and can be chewed easily.

GRAIN PATTIES 

There are innumerable ways to make patties and they are all very tasty. You can use different grains or combinations of grains, add sauteed vegetables, creams, bechamel sauce, roasted seeds, cooked beans or bean puree, Okara, Tofu, etc.

You not only have all these different ingredients to work with, but the texture as well. The consistency of your mixture can be anywhere from very thick (and therefore easily formed into patties) to a bit sticky, like a better and dropped into the pan with a wooden spoon. The differences in the texture make for a wide variance of taste.

RICE PATTIES  

2 cups cooked rice
4-6 cabbage leaves (chopped)
1 carrot (chopped)
2 scallions (chopped)
Roasted sesame seeds
Whole wheat pastry flour
Water
Tamari soy sauce

Saute chopped vegetables in 1 tsp. sesame oil for 5-10 minutes. Add them to cooked rice and sesame seeds. Combine. Blend in enough flour and water to form patties that hold together. If a nice crust is desired, you can dust your patties with flour before frying. Pan fry in sesame or corn germ oil until done in the center. While still in the pan, sprinkle patties with Tamari. Remove from pan and serve plain or with any vegetable sauce, cream or puree.

Variations: Add boiled barley or buckwheat to the patties and proceed as above.

CREAMS 

If you have a flour grinder you can improve the taste of any cream tenfold. Take approximately 1 cup of any grain and roast in dry pan over a medium-high flame until the grain changes color and gives off a fragrant aroma. Then grind. If you don't have a mill use your blender.

Add 4-5 cups of water to freshly ground flour and bring to a boil while stirring. Add small amount of salt. Cover and simmer at least 1 hour, preferably longer. Creams can be cooked overnight on an asbestos pad or flame tamer and will be ready to serve for breakfast.

Not only do creams make a good breakfast cereal, but they are great as a sauce over grains, patties and vegetables and are ideal for babies.

Variations: Try using all your different grains and changing their texture and taste by varying the grind. Barley tastes superb when it is coarsely ground instead of fine. You can add roasted sesame seeds or sunflower seeds or even sauteed vegetables, such as finely chopped onions or carrots, to any cream.

CREAM PATTIES 

Using any leftover cream, form into patties and pan fry in sesame or corn germ oil until golden on both sides. Sprinkle with Tamari soy sauce while still in the pan. Serve plain or with a vegetable sauce.

Variations: Add roasted sesame seeds and/or sauteed vegetables to your cream.

BASIC CREAM RECIPE 

1 cup grain
1 tsp. sesame oil
4-5 cups water
Pinch of salt.

Dry roast until grain changes color and begins to pop. Grind to a medium-coarse texture in a flour mill or blender. Add water and bring to a boil while stirring constantly to prevent lumping. Lower flame and cook covered for at least one hour.

When buying prepared creams, saute in a little sesame oil until fragrant and then proceed as above.

Variations: Add roasted sesame seeds, or for a different taste, add about 1 Tbs. powdered lotus root tea. Serve garnished with sesame salt.

MILLET BECHAMEL CASSEROLE 

1 cup millet
1 tsp. sesame oil
3 cups boiling water
Pinch of salt
Bechamel sauce
Bread crumbs
Tamari soy sauce

Saute millet in oil until lightly golden and fragrant. Add to boiling salted water and simmer 30 minutes.
Bechamel Sauce:

1 cup rice flour
3-4 cups water
1/8 cup sesame oil
1/4 tsp. salt

Heat oil, add flour and saute. (Do not brown flour since this is a white sauce.) Let flour cool before adding water to prevent lumping. Gradually add water and bring to a boil while stirring. Lower flame and simmer 1/2 hour. Add salt towards end of cooking.

(Bechamel sauce has many varied uses, all of which are delicious. You can also use whole wheat or buckwheat flour for a darker sauce and add roasted sesame seeds.)

Mix cooked millet with bechamel sauce. Pour mixture into a casserole dish, sprinkle with bread crumbs or toasted oats and Tamari soy sauce. Bake at 350° until top is browned or place under the broiler.

Variations: Add any sauteed vegetables or cooked chick peas and onions.

BUCKWHEAT GROATS WITH ONION CREAM SAUCE 

1 cup buckwheat
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 cups boiling water
Pinch of salt.

Roast buckwheat in 1 tsp. sesame oil over medium-high flame until it has a nut-like fragrance. Pour roasted buckwheat into boiling water and add salt. Lower flame, cover and cook 10-15 minutes. Pour onion cream sauce over the groats and serve.

Onion Cream Sauce:

2-3 onions (slivered)
1/8 cup sesame oil
1 cup rice or whole wheat flour
3-4 cups water
1/4 tsp. salt
Tamari soy sauce:

Saute onions in hot oil until transparent. Add flour and blend. Cool. Gradually stir in water. To prevent onions from sticking to the bottom, continue stirring until mixture boils and begins to thicken. Simmer 30 minutes. Last 5 minutes of cooking time add salt and/or Tamari soy sauce to taste.

Variations: Combine cooked buckwheat and onion cream sauce and place in a casserole. Top with bread crumbs or lightly roasted oat flakes and sprinkle with Tamari soy sauce. Bake at 375°. until the top is brown.

WAFFLES 

1 cup rice flour
1 cup barley flour
1 cup oat flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. sesame or corn germ oil
Water

Combine flours with salt. Add, enough water to make a batter that is heavier than pancake batter but that still pours easily. Let the batter sit overnight for best results. Before cooking, add your oil and combine well. Drop onto waffle iron and cook until golden.

Waffles taste great served with sesame butter, vegetable purees such as squash or carrot, cooked whole beans or puree, apple butter or apple sauce.

Variations: Use any combination of flour with the exception of millet and buckwheat which do not mix well. For dessert waffles add roasted and crushed sunflower seeds, chopped roasted almonds, roasted sesame seeds and currants. Try serving topped with bechamel sauce made with half apple juice. Delicious! To make pancakes, use the same recipe but make a thinner batter.

Vegetables

Canned and frozen vegetables have little resemblance to their fresh counterparts. The main reason many people do not like vegetables is because they know only the overcooked, stale, tin-tainted, chemicalized variety which lack both taste and nutritional value. Even fresh frozen vegetables come nowhere near having the delicious flavor of really fresh produce.  

Unfortunately, many American cooks do not know the first thing about preparing fresh vegetables properly. Throwing a bunch of vegetables in a pot of boiling water not only renders them tasteless but it also destroys much of their nutritional value. If you like to boil some of your vegetables then be sure to add salt to the water, keep the cooking time at a minimum and use the remaining colored water for soup stock. This water contains important nutrients from the vegetables.

Cutting Vegetables

Never peel any vegetable. Try to use the whole food whenever possible. When preparing an onion, for example, only the gritty part of the small roots needs to be discarded. Simply scrape with a knife, leaving the rest of the root intact. Peelings and roots are invariably rich in minerals and these minerals are lost and wasted if they are not used. Nature has provided us with whole, nutritionally balanced foods which we should use in totality.

For cutting vegetables, a heavy, square, sharp knife is desirable. This will make the vegetables easier to cut and will prevent tearing and cutting pieces unevenly.

It takes a while to learn to cut vegetables properly but once mastered, the job becomes easy and fast.

To prevent the loss of finger tips and nails pull the fingernails in and rest the first knuckle above the nail against the knife while holding the vegetable. Cut straight down in an even motion . . . not back and forth. It will seem awkward at first, but once you get used to it you will be able to handle the knife safely and rapidly.

It is important to remember that all vegetables that are to be cooked together should be cut in the same way. If they are not, vegetables will not cook evenly; some will be too well done and others raw.

When cutting vegetables, the idea is to get a little of the top and bottom in each piece. This provides more nutritional balance. Therefore, for long root vegetables such as carrots, burdock, Daikon, etc., slice diagonally, not straight across. For other vegetables such as pumpkin, squash, turnips and onions, slice from top to bottom.

Cooking Vegetables

Sauteing:

There are many factors that must be considered when sauteing vegetables. For instance, when sauteing more than 1 vegetable the order in which they are sauteed is of the greatest importance. Here are general rules to consider:

  • It is best to saute onions first, since they have a strong flavor which should blend with the other vegetables.
  • Leafy green vegetables which have a high water content should be sauteed longer to expell excess water than root vegetables.
  • Root vegetables which are fibrous, such as burdock, are harder and therefore need to be sauteed the longest. They also require slightly more oil to prevent sticking.

To saute vegetables, heat a small amount of oil (usually about 1 tsp.) in a pan. Add vegetables one at a time and gently toss so that each piece is coated with oil. This seals in the vitamins, minerals, aroma, color and flavor. Cooking chopsticks are especially good for this process since they prevent vegetables from breaking up or tearing.

Each vegetable should be sauteed until it changes color before adding the next vegetable.

There are two basic ways to continue cooking the vegetables once they have been sauteed. One is to gently stir vegetables for about 15 minutes over a medium-high flame until tender. The other is to cover vegetables with 1/2-1 cup of water, depending upon their moisture content, covering and letting them simmer for 30-40 minutes or until tender.

Since salt draws the liquid and juices from the vegetables, it is desirable to add salt only towards the end of cooking, usually about 5 minutes before the vegetables are done. The same applies for adding Tamari soy sauce.

Deep Frying Vegetables

This is one of the most delicious ways to prepare vegetables. Because of the amount of oil used it is advisable to eat only a small portion at a time and not too frequently. Prepare batter from flour, water and a pinch of salt. Dip vegetables into batter and deep fry until golden.

Baking Vegetables

There are different methods for baking vegetables and each depends upon the particular vegetable you are using. With squash or pumpkin, for example, cut into any size pieces, brush tops, sides and bottoms lightly with oil, sprinkle with salt and bake on a cookie sheet or in a baking dish. Broccoli can be left whole and placed on a lightly oiled baking dish with about 1/4 inch of water and then baked. Carrots cut in quarters lengthwise, can be baked in a similar manner.

Vegetable Recipes

 DEEP FRIED CARROT BALLS 

Carrots (finely grated)
Whole wheat pastry flour
Water
Pinch of salt

Combine grated carrots and salt with enough whole wheat pastry flour and water to be able to form into small balls. Deep fry until golden. Drain on absorbent paper.

Variations: Add roasted sesame seeds or grated squash such as banana, acorn or butternut. These can also be made into small patties about the size of a half dollar, dusted with flour and pan fried. When patties are done, sprinkle with Tamari soy sauce before removing from pan and serve.

STUFFED ACORN SQUASH 

1 carrot (chopped fine)
1 onion (chopped fine)
5 cabbage leaves (chopped fine)
2 acorn squash (cut in half)
Whole wheat pastry flour
Water
Bread crumbs
Salt

Cut squash in half, remove seeds and cut off a small portion of the bottom so that they stand up by themselves. Sprinkle with salt and place upside down on paper towel. Save the seeds. Later you can roast and eat them.

Saute vegetables in 1 tsp. oil. Add enough whole wheat pastry flour and water to form a thin paste. Continue to saute. Add salt to taste. Stuff squash with vegetable mixture and sprinkle tops with bread crumbs. Brush edges and sides of squash lightly with oil. Bake at 450° for 45 minutes.

Variations: Use different vegetables for a stuffing. Add roasted sesame seeds, sunflower seeds or Tamari soy sauce. Use different binders such as leftover creams, bechamel sauce, etc.

CAULIFLOWER BECHAMEL 

1 cauliflower Bechamel sauce (see recipe above)

Steam cauliflower in about 1/2 inch water for 20 minutes. Pour half the bechamel in a casserole dish then add the cauliflower. Cover this with the rest of your sauce. Sprinkle top with bread crumbs and Tamari soy sauce. Bake until top is brown at 350° or place under the broiler.

Variations: Add pureed banana squash or carrots to your sauce; use other vegetables such as broccoli, summer squash or Swiss chard; sprinkle top with toasted rolled oats; add roasted sesame seeds, sunflower seeds or whatever else sounds good to you.

Beans

The general rule for cooking beans is to use 3-4 cups of water per cup of beans. For pressure cooking, use 2-3 times as much water as beans.

In order to insure tenderness, first soak beans overnight. To speed up this soaking time, cover washed beans with water and bring to a boil. Cover, lower flame and cook about 2 minutes. Then let the beans stand for a few hours. Remember that beans are rather difficult to digest and need to be cooked for along time.

To prepare the soaked beans, add them to the required amount of water and bring to a boil. Cover, lower flame and cook for 2-3 hours, depending upon the beans. During the last hour, add salt and cook uncovered so that excess liquid evaporates.

If pressure cooking, lower flame and cook 1-2 hours, again depending upon the beans. Let pressure return to normal, add salt, and continue cooking uncovered until liquid evaporates.

BEAN PATTIES 

Cooked beans
Bechamel sauce (see above recipe)
Whole wheat pastry flour

Mix cooked whole beans with bechamel sauce and add enough flour to form a mixture that holds together. Drop about 2 Tbs. at a time onto hot oiled skillet. Pan fry on a low flame until crust is golden brown.

Variations: Instead of using bechamel sauce use any leftover cream. Wheat cream is especially delicious. Lentils can also be used to advantage in this recipe.

LENTIL AND BARLEY 

1 cup lentils
1/2 cup barley (soaked overnight)
5-6 cups water
1 burdock (gobo) root (sliced on diagonal)
1 onion (slivered)
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. salt

Saute vegetables in oil. Add to lentils, barley and water. Bring ingredients to a boil, lower flame and simmer, covered, until tender (1-2 hours). Towards end of cooking time add salt.

Variation: Instead of using burdock, add 1/4 bay leaf and a pinch of thyme.

REFRIED BEANS 

1 cup kidney beans (soaked overnight)
4 cups water
1/4 tsp. salt
1 onion (slivered and sauteed in sesame oil)
2 tsp. sesame oil

Add beans and sauteed onions to water. Bring to a boil, lower flame and simmer 2-3 hours until tender. Last 1/2 hour of cooking add salt and cook uncovered so excess liquid evaporates. When beans are done, puree about 3/4 of them in a Suribachi or blender.

Put whole beans in oiled frying pan and saute for 5 minutes. Mix in pureed beans. Cook until crisp and dry.

Variations: Cook beans with a pinch of thyme and 1/4 bay leaf, or 1 sprig of parsley. Try this recipe using different beans.

SOUP 

There are 1001 ways to make soup. Any vegetable or combination of vegetables is a good start. You can use fresh water, soup stock or water reserved from cooking vegetables. For variety, add leftover grains such as barley, rice or millet. Cooked beans and noodles are also a welcome addition to many soups.

Soup can be as clear as a broth, thin, creamy, thick or any shade between. To achieve these various consistencies try using roasted flour, leftover creams, rolled oats or natural corn flakes. You can make your soup stand out as the main dish of the meal by adding strongly flavored vegetables.

BLACK BEAN SOUP 

2 cups black beans (soaked overnight)
8 cups water
1 stalk celery (chopped fine)
1 onion (chopped fine)
1 1/4 Tbs. whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 leek (sliced thin on diagonal)
1/4 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. salt

Bring beans and water to a boil, lower flame and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Saute celery, leeks and onions in oil, add flour and blend until smooth. Add parsley and cook gently until well blended. Add beans, water and bay leaf to this mixture. Simmer until beans are tender (at least 1 1/2 hours.) Last 1/2 hour of cooking, add salt.

SPLIT PEA SOUP 

1 cup split peas (soaked overnight)
4 cups water
Fresh peas
1 onion (slivered)
Croutons

Bring water, split peas and a few handfuls of fresh peas to a boil. Lower flame and cook covered for 1-2 hours. Add salt last 1/2 hour of cooking time. Serve garnished with croutons.

Variations: Saute 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped burdock root, 1 stalk celery chopped. Add split peas and water. Cook 2 hours, add salt and Tamari soy sauce. For a different texture, blend in a blender.

KALE SOUP 

1 bunch kale (chopped)
1 onion (chopped)
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 cups water
1/2 cup roasted cornmeal
1/4 tsp. salt

Saute onions and kale in oil 10-15 minutes. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Simmer 5-10 minutes. Dilute cornmeal with some of the water from the vegetables and add slowly to the soup. Simmer an additional 20-30 minutes. Serve with croutons or bread crumbs.

FRESH CORN SOUP 

3 ears corn
1-2 onions (chopped)
4 cups boiling water
1 1/2-2 cups natural corn flakes or corn meal
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt

Prepare corn by scraping kernels off the cob. Saute onions in 1 tsp. sesame oil until they become transparent. Add corn kernels and continue to saute. Pour boiling water over vegetables. Simmer 20 minutes or until tender. While soup is cooking, saute corn flakes until they change color, in 1 tsp. sesame oil. Last 10 minutes add salt and corn flakes or meal to soup and continue cooking until thickened.

SQUASH SOUP 

1 lb. winter squash (cut into 1 inch pieces)
2 onions (chopped fine)
1 tsp. sesame oil
Salt
2-3 Tbs. whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
Tamari soy sauce

Saute onions and squash in oil 5-10 minutes. Add enough water to cover vegetables completely. Bring to a boil, lower flame and simmer 1-2 hours until tender. Salt to taste. Place ingredients in a blender or food mill and puree. To every 4 cups puree add 1/2 cups of water. Put puree in a pot and set aside. Saute flour in 1 tsp. sesame oil until fragrant. Cool and add 1 cup water to form a paste. Gradually add to squash puree, stirring constantly. Season with Tamari soy sauce and cook until thickened.

ONION-OAT SOUP 

3 onions (slivered)
1 Tbs. sesame oil
4 cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats (toasted in 1 tsp. sesame oil)
Tamari soy sauce

Saute onions in oil until golden. Add boiling water and toasted oat flakes. Cover and simmer 30-40 minutes. Season with Tamari soy sauce.

Saute onions in oil until golden. Add boiling water and toasted

Variations: Make a soup using other vegetables such as Chinese cabbage, leeks and carrots and thickening with rolled oats. Leftover barley made into a soup thickened with oat flakes and garnished with chopped parsley is delirious.

The Art of Making Bread

Making good bread is indeed an art . . . especially when you don't use yeast, sugar or bleached white flour. These ingredients make a large, puffy white loaf of bread, but are unnecessary and detrimental to health. All grains possess natural leavening agents which only require a little skill and knowledge to use.

Bread made with yeast, sugar and bleached flour may have an attractive appearance but is seriously lacking in nutritional value. Yeast—being sugar based—and sugar itself, is definitely harmful. Bleached or unbleached white flour is totally lacking in vitamins and minerals. It is made from the endosperm of the wheat and consists mainly of undigestible carbohydrates. The bran, or outer layer of the kernel, is removed and used in cereal products or fed to animals. The wheat germ is also removed and falsely pandered as a "health food". A food should not be eaten unless it is good food. White flour, whether bleached or unbleached, is purely a devitalized non-food with no nutritional value. Wheat is specifically designed by Nature to be a whole nutritional package.

Makers of white bread offer no explanation for their use of white flour other than their claim that the bread is more "aesthetically pleasing". They readily admit that the milling process robs the flour of most of its nutritional value. They claim, however, that this has been rectified by adding synthetic vitamins and minerals and would have us believe that this adulteration is as good as anything direct from Nature.

Many nutritional experts recommend using only whole wheat flour. This is well meant, but if yeast is still used the problem will be compounded. Recent studies have shown that during yeasting action most of the vitamin K in whole wheat flour is absorbed by the yeast.

This produces a radical change in the chemical composition of the wheat and the pH factor drops to the incredibly acid figure of 1.6. The result is anemia and an overall dyspeptic condition, which manifests itself in heartburn, stomach pains and—in extreme cases—ulcers and stomach cancer. This occurs because the phylic acid in the yeasted whole wheat combines with calcium to produce an insoluble and indigestible calcium phylate salt, which in turn brings about decalcification of the entire organism.

Remember now, we're discussing whole wheat breads made with yeast, not to naturally fermented breads or breads using natural starters. Although bread fermented naturally is more acid than yeasted bread, it is more easily digested.

Flours

There are many varieties of flour from which to choose: Whole wheat flour. . . One of the few flours that can be used by itself although it combines well with all other flours.

  • Buckwheat flour . . . Delicious but heavy and, therefore, only a small amount should be used in combination with other flours.
  • Rye flour . . . Too heavy to be used alone and should be combined with whole wheat flour.
  • Rice flour . . . Sweet and tasty. Generally used in combination with whole wheat flour to give a smooth texture.
  • Corn flour . . . Very light. It can be used by itself to make corn bread or combined with whole wheat or rice flour.

For variation, rolled oats, cooked cracked wheat or any whole or cracked grain can be added to the dough. If you do this you will find it necessary to use less water.

The possibilities for combinations are innumerable, but it is best to use whole wheat flour as the base for all breads and work from there. Combinations that we've found to be particularly good are barley, oat and wheat flour, and wheat, corn and rice flour. The important thing is for you to develop your own skill at baking bread and discover your own combinations.

Kneading

The most important technique in making good bread is kneading. If this is done properly . . . and for a long enough time . . . your loaf of bread will rise by itself without the use of yeast.

After you decide on the combination of flours you are going to use, the next step is to make the dough. For a small loaf of bread, 2-3 cups of flour is usually sufficient. Since all flours are different, it is nearly impossible to give an exact recipe; you will have to use your own judgment. Just be sure that you add water a little at a time, and mix it in with your hands before adding any more. This will prevent the dough from becoming too thin. When the dough has the consistency of an ear-lobe, stays together, and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl, it is ready for kneading.

Generally, a quarter teaspoon of salt per cup of flour is about right, but again, this varies according to the needs of the individual. For best results, mix salt with the flour before adding water.

Now you're ready for the most strenuous, yet most important part of making bread . . . kneading. If you get tired easily and need to stop occasionally, try kneading the dough at least 300 times, but it is best to knead vigorously for 10 minutes. A good procedure follows:

Flour your hands and board lightly. Flatten the dough on the board. Pick up the edge of the dough which is farthest away and fold it toward you. Then press down 2 or 3 times with the heels of your hands, pushing the dough away. Turn the dough a quarter turn, fold it, press, and push again. Dough should become satiny, smooth and elastic. Remember . ..this is the most important part of bread making because it stimulates the formation of gluten, which brings about the natural yeasting action of the flour.

Place dough in a pan, cover with damp cloth and let it rise overnight. In the morning knead dough 100 more times. Shape into loaves and place gently in lightly oiled pan. It's a good idea to heat the pans on top of the stove so that the oil will spread easily. Do not pack the dough down.

Cover with a damp cloth and let dough stand for at least another hour, preferably longer. Slit loaves down the middle. For a nice crust, lightly brush the tops of the loaves with oil or an egg yolk. Do not preheat oven. If you do, the bread will burn on the outside before getting done on the inside. Bake at 425° for about an hour. Test by inserting a toothpick into the middle of the loaf. If it comes out dry, the bread is done.

Remove loaves from pans immediately and let them cool, that is, if you can wait long enough before digging in!

If you've kneaded properly you will now have the chewiest, most flavorful, most nutritious bread you've ever eaten. This bread will not dissolve instantly in your mouth like store-bought yeasted bread. In fact, it must be chewed to bring out its finest flavor! The longer you chew it the sweeter it becomes.

Keep the bread in a cool place. If it gets moldy just pop it in a toaster or under the broiler and the original flavor will return.

Once you master the basic techniques of making real bread you will begin to see that the possibilities for variations are endless.

UNYEASTED BREAD 

(Makes 2 large loaves)
5 Ibs. whole wheat flour
6'/z cups water
2 Tbs. salt

Prepare as explained above.

Variations:
A) 3 Ibs. whole wheat flour.
1 lb. rice flour
1 lb. millet flour
B) 3 Ibs. whole wheat flour
1 lb. rice flour
1 lb. oat flour
C) 3 lbs. whole wheat flour
1 Ib. rye flour
1 lb. oat flour

BATTER BREAD 

(Makes 2 small loaves)
6 cups whole wheat flour
4 Tbs. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups water

Combine salt and flour. Thoroughly blend in oil with your hands. Let the flour and oil slip through your fingers until there are no lumps. Gradually add water, folding in small amounts at a time. Do not stir or turn over. When batter no longer sticks to the sides, tip bowl and roll into oiled bread pans. Smooth tops of each loaf with a wet spatula or knife, then slit down the center. Brush tops lightly with oil and bake 2 hours or until done at 350°. Do not preheat oven.

DESSERT BREAD 

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
1 1/2 cups chestnut flour
5 Tbs. corn germ oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3-4 Tbs. currants
3-4 Tbs. chopped roasted almonds
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Water

Combine flour, salt and cinnamon. Blend in oil thoroughly. Add currants and enough water to make a soft but not sticky dough. Proceed as for plain bread. Knead and let rise twice.

CROUTONS 

Cut whole grain bread into small squares. The drier your bread is, the better. Deep fry until crisp and golden. Serve as a garnish in soups or on salads.

PUMPKIN MUFFINS 

2 cups whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups water (approximate)
Pumpkin puree

Combine dry ingredients. Slowly add water and blend. It should be like a cake dough, quite thin. Oil muffin tins or use baking cups and half fill with dough. Add 1 or 2 spoonfuls of puree and top off with more dough. Bake in a 350° oven for about 45 minutes. Serve hot or cold. They taste great in the morning when heated for a few minutes under the broiler.

Variations: Sprinkle tops with sesame seeds. Use any of the numerous fillings such as chick pea puree, aduki bean puree, carrot puree, any fruit in season or apple sauce.

ONION ROLLS 

4 cups onions (slivered)
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 cup corn flour
1 cup rice flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup corn germ oil
2 1/2 cups water (approximate)

Saute onions in oil until transparent. Combine sauteed onions, flour and salt. Thoroughly blend in oil. Add water slowly with one hand while blending with the other. Knead well until dough is elastic and shiny. Lightly flour board and roll out dough very thin. Cut out large rounds of dough and roll from end to end. For a glossy finish, brush tops with beaten egg yolk. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 350° for 30-45 minutes.

Desserts

It is unnecessary to use sugar, honey or any other sweetener when making desserts. All fruits and many vegetables, such as onions, carrots and squash, are very sweet when prepared properly. The following recipes are just a few examples of the many delicious desserts that are possible with natural foods.

Pies

Soft, flaky pie crust is really quite easy to make when you remember these simple points:

  • Never knead your dough for a long period of time. The less you handle the dough the better.
  • When combining oil with flour and salt, work it in quickly with the tips of your fingers.
  • The more oil you use in the crust, the flakier it will be. Be careful not to use too much.
  • Your dough should be soft and flaky.
  • After laying bottom crust in pie plate, prick tiny holes with a fork to let steam through.
  • Slit top crust to allow steam to escape.
  • For a professional glaze, brush top crust lightly with a beaten egg yolk mixed with a little water.

PIE CRUST 

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup corn germ oil
3/4 cup water (approximate)

Combine flour and salt. Add corn germ oil and work in quickly with the tips of your fingers. Add water gradually and blend into mixture until it forms a soft dough of earlobe consistency. Roll out thin and line pie plate. After filling, preheat oven to 375° and bake 40 minutes or until crust is golden.

Variations:
A) Add 1/4 tsp. cinnamon and 2 tsp. grated orange rind.
B) Substitute sesame butter or Tahini for oil to give crust a nutty taste.
C) Roast almonds, chop very fine and add to dough.
D) Use whole wheat flour instead of whole wheat pastry flour.
E) 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour.

1 cup buckwheat flour
1 Tbs. sesame oil
Pinch of salt
Water to form dough

CHERRY PIE 

4 lbs. fresh cherries (pitted)
1 tsp. salt
4 Tbs. arrowroot or corn starch
Pie dough

Pit 4 lbs. of cherries. Cook in a covered pot with 1 tsp. salt for 1 hour. Dilute starch in a small amount of water and add to the cooked cherries. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Pour in pie crust and cover with criss-cross strips of crust. Brush lightly with beaten egg yolk. Preheat oven. Bake 40 minutes at 375°.

APPLE CUSTARD PIE 

Crust:
Pie dough
2 small red apples (cored and sliced, but not peeled)
2 tsp. corn germ oil

Slice apples and saute in oil until golden. Let cool. Line bottom of pie crust with sauteed apple slices and sprinkle with salt. Set aside.

Custard filling:
1/4 cup rice flour
2 cups water
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. corn germ oil
Vanilla bean
2 eggs

Combine flour and salt, Add water and vanilla bean. Bring ingredients to a boil while stirring. Remove vanilla bean and let cool. Add beaten eggs. Mix vigorously. Add oil and blend thoroughly. Pour custard over apple slices. Preheat oven and bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes until crust is golden.

Variations: Add roasted almonds, currants and/or grated orange or lemon rind. Use half apple juice and half water.

BREAD PUDDING 

Stale bread
Currants
Roasted almonds or other nuts
Grated orange rind
Pinch of cinnamon

Cut bread into 1 inch cubes. Soak in boiling water to cover about 1 hour. Mash with a fork. Add remaining ingredients and enough whole wheat or rice flour to make a thick batter. Pour into oiled baking pan and bake at 350° until surface is golden (about 1 hour). This can also be steamed for about 2 hours.

Variations: Mix sauteed onions, chopped parsley, diluted Miso soy bean paste or other vegetables with soaked bread and flour. Bake as above. Can be eaten hot or cold, with or without a sauce. You can also cut into slices and pan fry.

BUCKWHEAT COOKIES 

1 1/4 cups buckwheat groats (roasted)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (partially cooked)
1 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup corn germ oil
Roasted sunflower seeds
Roasted sesame seeds
1 tsp. salt
2-2 1/2 cups water

Bring 1-1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add rolled oats and cook 1-2 minutes. Combine dry ingredients and add partially cooked oats. Blend in oil thoroughly. Gradually add water to form a fairly thin batter that holds together. Spoon onto oiled cookie sheets. If the batter separates, thicken it with sweet rice flour. Bake at 375° for 30-40 minutes.

OATMEAL COOKIES 

2 cups whole wheat flour (sifted)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (roasted)
1/2 cup rice flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sesame seeds (roasted)
Small handful of almonds (roasted and chopped)
Currants
1/4 cup corn germ oil
2-2 1/2 cups water

Add ingredients, one at a time, in the above order. Mix well. Dough should be thin but it should not separate when placed on the cookie sheet. Spoon batter onto an oiled cookie sheet and bake at 375° for 30-40 minutes. These taste great even a week later when heated up under the broiler!

Variations: Try adding roasted sunflower seeds, chopped apples, different kinds of roasted nuts or sesame butter. Vary the combination of flour. For instance, use 2 cups rolled oats and 2 cups chestnut flour.

STRAWBERRY TEMPURA 

Wash fresh strawberries. Sprinkle with salt and dust with whole wheat or rice flour. Make tempura batter from flour and water to form a thin paste. Dip strawberries into batter and deep fry until golden. Drain on absorbent paper and serve.

APPLE STRUDEL 

Filling:
3 apples
Salt
Chopped almonds
Grated orange or lemon peel
Pinch of cinnamon (optional)

Crust:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup corn germ oil
3/4 cup water (approximate)
1/2 tsp. salt

Wash, core and slice apples. Do not peel. To make strudel easier to roll, it's a good idea to cut apple slices in half. Combine dry ingredients for crust and then work in oil thoroughly. Add water slowly and blend in with your fingertips. Roll out on a pastry cloth. Place a layer of apples on the dough and sprinkle with salt, almonds, grated orange or lemon rind and a pinch of cinnamon. Roll strudel and seal edges.

Make a slit on the top to let the steam escape and brush lightly with oil or 1 beaten egg yolk for a nice crust. Bake 40 minutes at 425°.

BREAD AND APPLE SAUCE LAYER CAKE 

Whole grain bread
Fresh apple sauce

Cut whole grain bread into bite size pieces. Put a layer of apple sauce in a flat baking dish and then a layer of bread. Repeat and top with a layer of apple sauce. Bake at 350° for 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped roasted nuts and serve hot.

Variations: Sprinkle with cinnamon topping or cookie crumbs and bake.

BEVERAGES  

There are many delicious natural teas, but of all the varieties, we find that we enjoy grain tea the most.

BARLEY TEA 

Roast 1 Tbs. barley in a dry pan until it turns dark brown. Shake the pan constantly so the barley will roll and roast evenly. Add roasted barley and a pinch of salt to 4 cups hot water. Bring to a rolling boil, cover and simmer 1 hour. Strain and serve. Reserve barley and store in the refrigerator. You can use it in soups, breads, tempura batter or casseroles.

Hint: If the tea is weak it's because you didn't roast the barley long enough. Remember, it must be very dark before you use it.

Variations: All of the grains make good teas. Try them all.

As you can see, the varieties and possibilities for natural recipes with good quality, fresh, natural food are nearly endless. A superior cook can make even the simplest meal of brown rice and vegetables into a work of art. Please use these recipes as a base for learning and experimenting, and go on from here to invent many new and delicious dishes of your own. The joys of natural cooking and health are infinite!


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Post a comment below.

 

foodieinside
6/5/2014 12:56:50 AM
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