Looking at Wheat Wednesday: what to make? Some recipes…

[As I’ve been learning more about modern wheat, and its ancient equivalent (einkorn, and later, emmer), I have also been looking into the vast amount of resources, books, and blog posts, about going grain-free.

I don’t think its for me.

But, I do think that I want to continue to limit grains to about a 1/2 C. per meal when I do have them, and I’m trying to not have any grains at all before lunch. It can be a bit tricky, and I continue to fluctuate and cheat and go back and forth in my discipline. It really is tough at times to be consistent, and easy at other times. Weird.

For those who might want to join in the experiment, or are just curious to try a new recipe, I have made a couple recipes that bear repeating.

One is a grain-free pancake recipe I learned of in the Kitchen Stewardship blog (which is a fantastic, lovely blog, btw!). I also have used several of the recipes in the Wheat Belly book, and two of my favorites have been the flax hot cereal, and the flaxseed wrap. I don’t know if its lawful to copy them here on my blog, but they are both easy, filling, and tasty. The cereal I cut in half – making a whole recipe was just TOO much! I couldn’t finish it! The flaxseed wrap took me a time or two preparing, but when I got the hang of the texture, it was fun. I love the flavor it gets when I add a tsp. of my Wildtree Adobo Seasoning blend – its just perfect. I have also just recently made the cookie recipe, and I really loved them. They have a base of ground walnuts and coconut flour. Yum! Moist, and a bit crumbly. Not good for dunking IN coffee, but eating with coffee close by, definitely.

What can you use if you’re not using wheat? I have used flaxseed, coconut flour, and almond meal/flour. We even ground up our own almond flour – if you have a grain mill (or borrow one from your neighbor, and then keep it so long she forgets you have it, then she comes over to your house and your feel bad you’ve had it so long, and offer to buy it from her, and thus now it really IS yours), you can easily do this – though, let me warn you, have some good helpers on hand, because it takes a while! I think it took us an hour to grind about 3 cups! I have to look into what might make it go quicker next time.

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We put the whole almonds in a plastic zip-top bag, took them out back on the sidwalk and bashed ’em with a hammer, then loaded them in the hopper of the Family Grain Mill and turned the crank. Voila (and hour later) – we could make a truly delicious Apple Walnut “Bread”, courtesy of the recipes included in the Wheat Belly Book, by Dr. William Martin.

Looking at Wheat Wednesday: Got Wheat?…No? Okay then, how about einkorn? – Part 2

So, if I am to be a crazy person that doesn’t eat common whole wheat bread (that is supposed to be really healthy for you!…….more on that in Part 3), what can I make my kids toast out of? Should I be like the Seinfeld so-called ‘Soup Nazi’ and just say, “No bread for you!…Or anyone!”

Many people would think, ok, so just turn to the gluten-free bread! And, that may be a short-term solution. Indeed, that is what I had been doing for close to a year.

But, there becomes a problems with too much gluten-free anything (even besides the high price! oy! You gotta be Scrooge McDuck to afford this stuff!)

The problem, for me, is that  most commercially available gluten-free bread (and many recipes you can make at home) rely on other grains that are equally high in the glycemic index (aka, make your blood sugar spike high, then you crash. Blood sugar crash = unhappy people, and sometimes people who retain the remnant of wheat in their belly fat. Doubly unhappy people). I had seen weight gain in myself and my husband since we had been livin’ la vida ‘gluten free’.

I’m currently researching and learning about an ancient grain – the ORIGINAL wheat – called einkorn. This is, literally, what enabled the nomads to ‘settle down’.

Its genetic structure isn’t like modern wheat – and it was what our ‘ancestors’ were eating, probably beginning about 50 or so years ago, and going back in time.  Have you looked at pictures of your great-grandparents, or even your grandparents, for that matter? Notice how thin everyone looks? You didn’t necessarily have to live and work on a farm to remain slender – you just had to eat einkorn, which then was called wheat – and what is wheat now, is vastly different, genetically.

I was able to get a sample of einkorn pasta from the company Jovial Foods. I am considering purchasing either ground einkorn flour, or some einkorn berries that I can grind myself. The pasta taste test went well – the kids couldn’t tell the difference, and if I had to say there was any difference, I would say it really just tasted like whole wheat pasta, which I was already used to.

I’m also limiting us, for the time being, to the Ezekiel brand sprouted grain bread. It is lower in the glycemic index, and still expensive enough that we won’t eat 6 pieces with each meal. Because, again, Oy! Scrooge McDuck factor – hitting the wallet – yikes.

Again, I don’t have all the answers, but this is an interesting journey. Is anyone else out there questioning ‘healthy whole-grain’ products? Let me know what you’ve been finding in your own journey – I’d love to hear from you!

Looking at Wheat Wednesday: Got wheat, or…NOT wheat? Part 1…

Hey all – thanks for your patience as I took a short hiatus to tool up my bloggin’ plans, and start homeschoolin’ my kiddos. Yeah, that’s just another wacky cool thing I do! 😉 I’ve been reading about grain-free stuff lately, so I’m going to devote the next couple’a’ Wednesdays to talking about what I’m learning and thinking about.

I have finished reading a very interesting book called, “Wheat Belly” by William Davis, MD, and am quite taken with trying to give up wheat. Having a gluten-sensitive son has diminished our family’s intake of wheat already, but reading the information in the book, and other recent blog posts on the same topic, have really made me consider seriously if wheat, as we know it, should be eaten at all!

Wheat has been altered by cross-breeding and gene modification in the past 40 years or so. The alteration has made it more productive and predictable, which is helpful to farmers, but the altering of its structure as a plant has left some question as to what it really does to humans. Because cross-breeding is practice that has been done for generations, and something that has happened naturally since the first nomads became the first farmers, it wasn’t questioned as to whether the lab-variety crossbreeding should be tested. Now, with increased outcry that Genetically Modified Organisms SHOULD (have been!!) BE tested, wheat’s lab cross-breeding also is being questioned.

The book, and others like it, are worth a read, in my opinion. Did you know that two slices of  ‘healthy whole grain bread’ raise your blood sugar more than a Snickers bar? This is bad news for people who already struggle with blood sugar issues of many kinds. And, bread, while making you feel full pretty fast, also doesn’t last (the way protein, or other carbohydrates like as in veggies) do – so you want to eat more. Wheat stimulates your appetite. You eat more.

Which leads to ‘wheat belly’ – and most people in the US sport one, large or small. I decided to give up wheat for a week, to see how I felt, and if it made any difference in my own body.

I lost 5 pounds, and I felt great. I truly didn’t crave afternoon sweets or carbs as I used to. I gave it up for another week. After a large pasta dinner, I woke the next morning feeling groggy, bloated, and depressed. Was it the wheat? Could it have affected me so much?

And, what could I do? Myself, giving up wheat, is one thing. But I have 5 guys to feed that already are always hungry. And while they’re good at eating vegetables, they do crave those filling breads. I’m not sure quite what the future holds, but I would like to see us lessen our dependence on whole wheat bread.

More on this story as it develops. What do you think? Conspiracy theory, or sound science?