Friday, January 25, 2008

Local Mill

How many times have you said I wish there was a local mill close to me? OK so everyone has a different dream.

For those interested there is a "working water powered grist mill" in Rogers, Arkansas by the name of War Eagle Mill, I would love to get away one weekend and visit this place, hint hint Daniel. It even has an attached restaurant called The Bean Palace. Bags of stone ground flour and hot bean soup what more could you want?
So this mill grinds their own stone ground flours that they sell at the mill or online. The flours that I have tried have been fresh and I've had good results baking with them. This place even bags their flour in cloth sacks! How cool is that? They're sturdy and colorful. You can reuse them maybe for giftwrap. Additionally their shipping costs are affordable. So if you're looking for a local, affordable source for stone ground flours try War Eagle Mill.

Use what you're paying for!

Yeah Uncle Sam is a little intense I know. I want to let my friends know about the wonderful tool we have available from the government. This is the USDA database at:

This is a great tool that I use all the time. You can put in a food (ex. oatmeal) and choose from the list given. Then you select the portion and you get a very complete list of what's in the food (vitamin, fat, fiber...). No every food you can buy isn't listed but many foods are. I use this to help me decide what ingredients I want to use (ex. is there a big difference between stone rolled organic oats and old fashioned steel rolled oats).

And you can use it to search for foods rich in a certain nutrient (iron, calcium...). Did you know that clams are the food most nutrient dense in iron? This is a great resource, most nutrition analysis programs use this database. Your tax dollars pay for it might as well use it!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Daily soapbox: Meat Thermometer

OK so when I check my daily nutrition news this is what I see: food poisoning, This article is pretty scary, it is about long term affects of food poisoning. Arthritis, kidney failure, and paralysis are very serious.

I knew about many of them b/c of my lab background. After seeing the picture from the clinical laboratory and then food prep side I know that food poisoning is nothing to play with. Most chicken in the grocery store has Campylobacter that is a fact. I don't remember the percentage of Salmonella contamination but it is "normal flora" in chickens. After processing sometimes some nasty Salmonella will be shrink wrapped with the chicken you take home from the store. And we all hear about the ground beef recalls due to E.coli.

Believe me I'm not saying to avoid buying meat. The easiest way to check if something is done is to get a reliable meat thermometer and cook your meat to the recommended temperatures. Once I got ours I wished I had bought one a long time ago. If you don't get a thermometer you will either undercook your meat and risk possible infection or overcook it and eat dry meat like we used to do. And little holes from the probe of the thermometer are far preferable to slashing the meat to see if it's done (also like we did pre-thermometer days). We use the CDN DTQ450 ProAccurate Quick Tip Thermometer, it is digital- 10 seconds to give a temp & is accurate. It runs about $20. If you want to spend more there is the $95 thermapen, it gives a 3 second readout and is also accurate (I reserve this one for my bread, but it would work for meat). I know you're thinking I don't want to fool with that, but it really is easier and will give you piece of mind about serving that hamburger or chicken.

Here's a link to a government site about recommended cooking temps: meat Use your common sense: wash hands after handling meat, use separate cutting boards for meat, and wash contaminated surfaces with hot soapy water.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Coffee & Miscarriages

I know my female friends out there probably already know what I'm talking about. Certainly we have all heard that when you're pregnant you should avoid caffeine or at least limit it. Why is this? Well when I was in nutrition school they told us that high caffeine consumption is linked to increased miscarriage risk. The recommendation given is to limit caffeine to 2 cups of coffee or less per day. And I kinda thought, big deal everyone should be able to cut their caffeine that much.

Well today I read that there is a study that correlates moderate caffeine consumption with miscarriages. Here the article: caffeine Like every other study, this one study is not confirmative and they need to do more research. But it does cast some doubt to the old ≤ 2 cup rule. Moms to be that I know will do anything for their baby, so I imagine with a possibility of danger most would cut caffeine all together. I probably would too.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Snow Barley

OK so Saturday morning we had a little bit of snow. The fact that it wasn't cold enough for it to stick and it turned into slush didn't stop us from introducing our puppy to the snow. Our friends and family know what a scaredy doggy Barley is so I wasn't sure what he would do. He liked it so much he ate it, not surprising to anyone that has a dog I'm sure. Eating foreign matter (deadly or not) seems instinctive to dogs:)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Chocolate good for you?

Some scientist somewhere is always trying to spoil our fun. According to an article I read today chocolate consumption may have a negative affect on bone strength. Chocolate is a link to the article:

My personal take on this is:
- they need to do more studies
- eat a balanced diet with plenty of sources of calcium (especially dairy)
- don't eat too much chocolate (duh- not a balanced diet)

As for me, I eat plenty of calcium rich food and enjoy my chocolate. Those who know me well could tell you how unlikely it is that I will give up my chocolate!

Chocolate good for you?

Some scientist somewhere is always trying to spoil our fun. According to an article I read today chocolate consumption may have a negative affect on bone strength. Chocolate is a link to the article:

My personal take on this is:
- they need to do more studies
- eat a balanced diet with plenty of sources of calcium (especially dairy)
- don't eat too much chocolate (duh- not a balanced diet)

I eat plenty of calcium rich food and enjoy my chocolate. Those who know me well could tell you how unlikely it is that I will give up my chocolate!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Carrot allergies....

So when my husband tells me he's "allergic" to vegetables maybe he is telling the truth. According to this article anyway: allergies

I have never heard of this allergy. Apparently fruit & vegetable proteins mimic the pollen proteins (ragweed, birch...) that people are allergic to & cause them to have a mild but uncomfortable reaction like hives. Although the article mentions that if too much of the offending fruit or vegetable is eaten at once a serious reaction can occur. The article also gives some great tips for being able to eat the vegetable or fruit: peeling them or microwaving them for a short amount of time.

Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, lettuce) berries, and tropical fruits usually don't cause this problem. So allergies to cauliflower or cabbage are convenient, but not likely. Since Daniel doesn't have pollen allergies I'm not sure he can use this excuse.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Playing With Yer Food

Some are food related, some are not. All are clever.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

What's a wheat berry? And what about farro?

My loyal customers would say, "Elizabeth's whole wheat bread with the nutty little grains in it".

Now I like this basic picture provided by our friends at I may add your tax dollars are paying for this site so might as well make use of it. There is a more detailed illustration at this website: for those food nerds like me who want to know more.

So the wheat berry is the fruit of the wheat grass that we use to make bread, cookies, pilafs, ect... And if you use the entire grain without removing the germ and the bran then you have "a whole grain" product.

So my Wheatberry bread is 100% wholegrain just like all of my breads, but it is unique in that it has roasted farro berries added to the dough. Farro is variety of the ancient grain spelt. I have written about spelt in my post Crisp mornings, pumpkins & cranberries . For more information about spelt check out this page from one of my suppliers: So I should call this bread farro berry, but being most people don't know what farro is I think Wheatberry is ok. My wheatberry is an excellent everyday bread. It rises very well (for a whole grain bread), has a lightly sweetened whole grain flavor. The roasted farro berries are sweet (less bitter than our modern wheat), slightly smoky, and nutty. It is a popular bread and one I always try to have on hand.

Ingredients: Ingredients: organic stone-ground whole wheat flour, water, roasted farro (spelt) berries, buttermilk powder, orange juice, Mississippi honey, molasses, canola oil, butter, egg white, salt, yeast

Friday, January 11, 2008

Is butter really bad for you?

So I check some food blogs daily and I am just blown away with how proficient the authors are at updating their sites! I do good to put one entry per week. One of my New Year's resolutions was to be better at blogging.

So I often check the nutrition news, and if I run across something interesting I think I may post it here:)


So this article is one of the best I've run across in awhile. It makes many good points. I'm not shocked b/c in "nutrition school" we were taught to look at research and be ready to change the advice we give people. Our knowledge of the world around us is not static. Personally being a Christian I have had a hard time believing that butter, cheese, and meat are to be totally avoided. We say that God's creation is good, so why would he give us food that is "bad". Now I'm not saying to eat only saturated fat laden foods, but they can fit into a well balanced diet between fruit, veggies, and of course WHOLE GRAINS! If you want to comment after reading it go ahead!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Christmas Gifts

I hope all of my friends and customers have had a wonderful holiday season. The holidays are a fun and busy time. I always feel like I'm in a whirlwind.

I like many people ate too many rich foods, but I guess that's kind of what happens this time of year. Now it's time to get back on the track of healthy eating. I have been inspired to return to my friends fruits and especially neglected vegetables by my new cookbook Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld.

I have in the past been skeptical about "sneaky pea" cookbooks. That is hiding vegetables in cakes to get people to eat them. I mean there is something to be said about eating a food in it's natural form, texture intact. And vegetables cooked correctly are really delicious. BUT, after almost 2 years of marriage I can really understand the value of this cookbook. I love vegetables and fruits, but my dear husband does not. No he doesn't hate them, but it is rare that he eats his daily recommended servings of veggies and fruits. So I would recommend this book highly for those of you out there that like to cook.

Pros of this book:
1. The recipes look delicious (we have tried the zucchini & shiitake burgers- our friends liked them too)
2. Vegetables go down better for non-vegetable lovers as part of mac n' cheese, muffins, ect.
3. The purees Jessica recommends can be frozen- great for times that you don't have fresh produce in the fridge

Cons of this book:
1. The purees will take some time to prepare & some planning to have vegetable on hand