Live probiotic foods, simple to make lively and lovely to drink and eat

“Bacteria are not germs, but the germinators – and fabric – of all life on earth… In declaring war on them we declared war on the underlying living structure of the planet – on all life-forms we can see – on ourselves”– Stephen Harrod Buhner The Lost Language of Plants


Lacto fermented foods are extraordinary and they have the power to restore to us rude health! These live life enhancing foods and drinks foods have been a passion of mine for many years now. My interest in Macrobiotic philosophy and food led me to start fermenting things back when I was just 14 years old! That’s a good long relationship with good bugs. My first cultures were Japanese Takuan radish pickles that stank and jars of miso and then there was a dairy kefir ‘plant’ I got from my cousin Greg. He christened his S.C.O.B.Y, that’s a Symbiotic Collection Of Bacteria and Yeasts ‘Jim’ he gave me what became and still is known to me ‘son of Jim’. Along the way, there have been intense periods of regular contact and periods when son of Jim has spent time dormant, in the freezer. When I am culturing using son of Jim I get a fresh, drinking style yoghurt that provides a wide range of beneficial probiotic bacteria and yeasts and I can also use him to turn sweet coconut water into a refreshing effervescent mineral rich drink. I can use the dairy kefir product as a drink or turn it into fresh cheese and even a very delicious all raw, all food cheesecake! I now grow a range of scobys, I have a Kombucha ‘mother’ which thrives on green, black red and or white tea and raw sugar, water kefir which produces a fabulous sparkling gingery drop. With these helpers at home I always have the makings of other fermented foods, using the product itself or by utilising whey from my dairy scoby. These can be used to make, amongst many other things, digestible nutritious deliciously light pancakes, pikelets, muffins and fruit compotes and vegetable pickles and by employing their probiotic powers they can be used to turn otherwise hard to digest foods into faster cooking,digestible nourishment.
There is something quite magical about vegetable pickles where you take a fresh ingredient and turn it into what equates to medicinal food; using naught but itself and a little salt.
I am including an article I wrote for Notebook magazine it might be of interest and could encourage you to get friendly with fermented foods. This month I have 2 classes I call ‘Capturing Cultures, get the good bugs’ where these foods can be seen and tasted and you learn the what, why and how of growing them safely and inexpensively at home.
Read my article on Probiotcs, written for Notebook magazine

Sourdough fruit Cake, naturally sweet and a great keeper

Our Sourdough christmas cake is still on offer, with tea of course, to welcome in this new year. May yours be as deliciously, naturally sweet and nutty. I am currently unlaxing in Northern NSW, home of the macadamia, it’s beyond beautiful here, the perfect place to rest and remember the value of time alone. Yesterday I walked through rainforest to a secluded beach a few bays from Byron, but with 5 people to Byron’s 5000! On the way I ate a fabulous breakfast at Harvest a charming cafe  offering excellent local produce made with care. All the  staff  were unusually committed to offering fantastic service; with warm smiles, this is not common in these relaxed, hippy environs. Harvest is at the site of the old Newrybar bakery, which was once run by my friend and sourdough baking teacher John Downes. I made my sourdough leaven in his class in 1983 and I share it with all who come to my baking classes; it makes extraordinarily fine fare. I have some dates to finalise before posting my next term of Sydney classes, apologies to those who are keen to make bookings. I am teaching a two day Sourdough Bread, Pastry, Biscuits and Cake Baking Workshop in Brisbane at Mondo Organics March 24th and 25th, bookings via their site. If you have friends or associates in Queensland who might like to come to this class, please help me spread the word. What whole food cooking classes and workshops would you like this year? I will be teaching in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth and I am hatching a plan to be teaching classes in the UK mid year. I have added a Like me on facebook button, Like away please!

Lacto fermented vegetables and a recipe for Red cabbage, lemon and ginger pickles


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please respect Copyright Holly Davis, these notes and recipe are for personal use only

Why might you make and eat lacto fermented foods?

The lactic acid produced by the lactobacilli preserves the vegetables or fruits and increases their digestibility. This also puts beneficial microorganisms in the digestive tract, which promotes the growth of healthy digestive flora throughout the intestine. This aids digestion and the absorption of other nutrients.

The fermentation process can increase the vitamin levels by as much as 100 times!

Useful enzymes are produced in this process.

Antibiotic and anticarcinogen substances may also be created.

Eating a little fermented food with every meal can aid digestion, particularly of fats.

Eating lacto fermented foods can also reduce the desire for refined sugars.

Oh and they taste fabulous and are a great meal enhancer!

Here is the basic recipe to lacto ferment vegetables

There are many variables when making these foods, always begin with the best quality freshest foods and avoid contaminants.

To make a batch of pickles you will need:

A good board and very sharp knife and / or a food processor with vegetable chopping attachments

Sterile glass jars with airtight lids.

Fresh vegetables clean and dry, chop according to your preference. Root vegetables and cabbages are ideal but softer veg can also pickle well.

Celtic Sea salt approximately 1% of total weight of the vegetables. (If you prefer not to use any salt make sure you add the whey or culture. The presence of the salt prevents putrefying bacteria growing while the beneficial bacteria increase their numbers) personally I prefer the flavour with salt.

Lemon zest is a favourite addition of mine, finely sliced

Spices of your choosing (optional) i.e.chilli, cumin, coriander, fennel seeds.

Home made whey, to introduce lacto bacillus more consistently and rapidly.

Or

Plantarum bacteria culture (‘Culture’ is available from Donna Gates Body Ecology Stockists online at www.bodyecology.com )

Or my preferred method : With no addition of a culture, allowing for the capture of organisms present in your kitchen. Often this works well and occasionally you might lose a batch due to having caught some putrefying bacteria. (You will know if this has happened because your pickle will smell awful and possibly also have become slimy, there is no danger you will want to try them!)

Lacto fermented vegetables can be kept many months when stored correctly and in a cool dark place.

Red Cabbage lemon and ginger pickles

Copyright Holly Davis

1 large fresh organic red cabbage, sliced finely

1 knob organic ginger, grated

1 organic lemon, zest only

Sea salt (1% of total weight of cabbage)

Chop the vegetables

Add the salt and rub in a loving but vigorous manner; until the cabbage has released plenty of liquid

Mix very well with the other ingredients

Contain completely covered in liquid in sterile glass jars, push vegetables down firmly so they are tightly packed and covered in their own juices

Ensure there is a good 5cms between the top of the vegetables and liquid and the lid of the jar as they expand a little during fermentation.

Lid tightly and leave on the kitchen bench 4-7 days depending on the weather. 18-20˚C is ideal (fermentation takes longer when the weather is cold)

The mix will bubble and if you were to open it, it would smell rather unpleasant for the first few days, don’t open the jars now as the process is anaerobic and oxygen at this stage may cause them to spoil. With red cabbage you will notice it turn from purple to bright pink, this is due to the action of the acid produced by the lacto bacteria.

On about day 5 you can place the pickles in the fridge and store there as you use them. Be sure to use only spotless utensils so you dont contaminate the mix.

The flavours continue to develop over several months but these can be eaten any time after the fermentation process has completed, say around 5 days

Note re something course participants are often confused by: Lacto bacillus are not dairy food; though they grow happily in milk products. Lactose is the sugar in dairy food it is not present in lacto fermented vegetables unless you add a dairy product such as whey.


Summer in Australia is bejewelled with cherries. Christmas cake, upcoming classes, Christmas catering and probiotic cultures

Naturally leavened Christmas cake in the making, one for tomorrows class and one for the pantry.

If you are keen and very quick, there is a place in my Sourdough baking, including cake class tomorrow November 6th. The class is being held in a private home, an intimate event with only 6 participants and lots of time to get your baking questions answered. It runs from 11-4 at Coaster retreat, access is by ferry from Palm Beach wharf, give me a call if you are interested to join us. I ran this class while in Perth last and it was a massive success. Using a natural sourdough leaven and slow fermentation ensures that the delicious sweetness of organic fruit is supported by the most digestible organic flour. My Chistmas cake gets its light, moist texture and rich flavour from the addition of Coopers stout and a little unpasteurised white miso!

The November 9th class, Quick Spring Delights; wholefood meals in 20 minutes is full to bursting. Jude Blereau was just here in Sydney, lucky us, she coined this The Little Black Dress Class!– Due to the rush of interest Michele and I  have opened a new date for this same class on Wednesday November 30th from 11am-3pm, cost $125. Michele’s Balmoral address is provided after booking. Places are already being snapped up so if your interested or know someone who might be, please contact michele@ahealthyview.com.au at your earliest convenience.

Christmas Catering I have already taken a few bookings for Catering jobs leading up to Christmas. You might like to consider having me cook you a range of delicious wholefood canastables for stocking your festive fridge. If you are planning events prior to December 20th or during January please be in touch soon, to assist me in planning and to avoid disappointment. Here are a few ideas for the sorts of things that keep well, which I could deliver to you to make your Christmas delicious and a little easier. Beluga lentil salad with assorted mushrooms, Gravlax King fish (a more sustainable and healthier option than farmed salmon), Organic Mushroom and chicken liver pate, Organic cucumber, ginger and mint salad, Star anise and ginger roasted organic pork neck for slicing cold, Mirin and vanilla poached organic summer fruits, Gin and orange pickled organic cherries-these are fantastic with cold meats or summer fish dishes, Cultured organic red cabbage pickles, Organic Kim chi pickles, and of course an organic Chrissy cake and so much more… The price for such home delivered treats? The food costs plus $70 an hour to shop, cook and depending on your location, to deliver.

I have Probiotic cultures and cultured vegetables for sale too, these are fabulous to have on hand to prepare your digestive system for the festive times ahead and to aid recovery afterwards. I have Kombucha, dairy kefir and water kefir SCOBy’s, to give away if you come to Palm Beach or for sale when posted to you. I charge $25 for one $35 for two or more; they come with instructions for maintaing them. I also make and sell a range of cultured vegetables which make a fabulous addition to many meals, these valuable foods help to reduce sugar cravings whilst also supplying vast amounts of beneficial bacteria, vitamins and live enzymes. Red cabbage, lemon and ginger is a favourite of mine. I will post the basic recipe for making your own soon. Many people who have not been to a Capturing Cultures Class, and actually also many who have,  prefer to buy these pickles; rather than make their own. The cost when collected is $25 per 750 mls glass jar or $40 per 2 litre glass jar. It isn’t difficult to make these pickles but many folk fear the B word!

Lightness of being and stunning light itself makes Spring into Summer a glorious time. Enjoy every moment…

Coasting through winter with food and friendship

Winter on Pittwater is beyond glorious. We spent a lovely sunny day with our  friend Lucienne and her generous mother Cherie at Cherie’s home in the bush. It is a short ferry ride from our home to hers but it feels like a world away, no cars to be seen or heard in this stunning, boat access only, bay. It was a day of shared cooking, festivating and feasting together with visits from unexpected and opportunistic diners and tea drinking friends. A day that reminded us all of the pleasure it is to be alive and able to share our selves. It certainly helped that Cherie’s home is exquisite and that every direction you look your eyes are met with beauty, be it a tray of sparklingly clean glasses, a wall of fine art, her Chinese red leather chair or beautifully framed outlooks onto nature, days like these make me very grateful for life and loved ones.

A native Firewheel tree provided these spectacular flowers and since the bush abounds with ravenous wallabies, possums, bush rats and goanna  fruiting shrubs must be contained; hence the beautiful bird cages. Below are a few of Cherie’s beautiful botanic watercolours and her colourful palette.

Lucienne and I took to the kitchen and while she made silky linguine India and I made side dishes. Together we cooked cockles and muscles alive alivo and the meal was delightfully shared.

   

This insistent goanna muscled in too and caused a fair bit of  a stir before the sun began to sink and it was time to pack up, return the shells to the water and take tea on the deck and a boat ride home.

Coq au vin recipe

Photo © Cloudy Rhodes

A maturing free ranging cockerel offers deeper flavour and a coarser texture than a hen, it makes for a superb flavoursome meal. Cook in plenty of good stock for extra flavour and sound nutrition. The acidity of the wine also helps to soften the meat and sinews while the low temperature and a long time cooking ensure the meat is not too dry or tough. I like to cook this dish in a roomy enamelled casserole pot, it makes the perfect stove to table ‘one pot’ winter meal. A ceramic (lead free) slow cooker is another option.

3 tablespoons ghee or duck fat

1 truly free range cockerel, rinsed and well dried inside and out

12 eschalots, peeled

1 head purple, new seasons garlic, peeled

4 carrots, in bite size wedges

1 fennel cut in wedges

1 cob of corn kernels (optional)

1 large leek, cut in medium dice and then well washed

10 white peppercorns

½ bunch thyme

½ bunch flat leaf parsley

2 bay leaves

1 bottle of biodynamic shiraz

1.5 litres gelatinous chicken stock (check seasoning before adding salts)

Sea salt and or fish sauce, to taste, this dish cooks a long time and the liquids reduce so don’t over season at the start, adjust towards the end

Add lots of freshly chopped thyme and flat leaf parsley at the end of cooking

Heat the cooking pot and add the fat

Sauté  the eshallots until they are starting to brown all over

Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes

Turn these into a bowl and set aside, put the pot back on the stove

Brown and seal the cockerel then sit it breast bone up

Add back the eschallots and garlic and the remaining ingredients

Bring to a gentle simmer

Turn the heat down, place a lid on the pot and simmer very gently for 2-2½ hrs

The meat will be falling from the bones

Remove and discard the cooked herbs and add the fresh

Serve with plenty of the cooking liquor, barely wilted greens and boiled kipfler potatoes,

naturally fermented (cultured) vegetables and a glass of delicious red wine

Give thanks for the bird that feeds you so well

Slowly does it, is so worthwhile

Photo © Cloudy Rhodes

I am moving slowly and it seems that Easter came and went too quickly and so these beautiful eggs hang before me still, to be enjoyed a few more days. I spent lots of easter cooking, not a great surprise to any who know me. I spent time cooking for us and for friends and did a wonderful catering job that challenged my ‘real’ foodiness. The menu included four dozen freshly shucked Pacific oysters, three Eastern rock lobsters; hand picked on Saturday and killed on Sunday, and three rock cod that were speared at Palm Beach in the morning and brought to me to kill. By days end I was done with death and chose to use the experience to take note of and value the life I am surrounded by. Once dispatched the lobsters were halved and cleaned the meat loosened from the tails and tarragon butter poured beneath them before they were placed to grill on the barbeque and served in the shell, there were plenty of happy noises and not a morsel to discard later and so, I think they were appreciated and did not die in vain. At home the fare was simpler cooked at low temperature for longer, which suits this season and the produce on hand.

Photo © Cloudy Rhodes

This slow cooked Potti Morran pumpkin made a memorable and delicious meal. I stuffed it with lamb mince I cooked with quinoa and pomegranate molasses. Antonio, who features in my last post inspired the filling and he and Camilla grew the pumpkin. Look out for small dense fleshed pumpkins to fill with whatever delicious thing you can think of. I have made them with a filling similar to the Millet recipes from a previous post and mushrooms are seasonal and go wonderfully with pumpkin. It works best to rub the outside of the pumpkin with a little duck fat or ghee, cut the base so it will sit flat on a baking tray, cut off a lid and remove all the seeds. Spoon in a fairly wet, pre-cooked meat, vegetable or grain based filling, replace the lid and pour a little stock or water into the baking tray, cover loosely with foil and bake at 140C for an hour or two, depending on size. Remove the foil and continue to bake until a small sharp knife passes easily through the flesh at its thickest point. Rest a few minutes, transfer to a platter remove the lid and sprinkle with freshly shucked pomegranate and lots of freshly chopped flat leaf parsley. This is a truly Autumn offering that will help keep out the chill. Then there is the Coq au Vin recipe I promised you…

Photo © Cloudy Rhodes

I turned Camilla’s gift of one of her much loved cockerels into my version of a Coq au Vin. The secret to delectability here is lots of  good organic red wine and thyme and time and looong low slow cooking. A free ranged cockerel whose time has come, is quite a different beast to the young chooks we are used to buying. The meat is stringy and much drier and so the wine provides more than its delicious flavour, it helps to soften the sinews and ensures it does not dry out, adding lots of eshallots and sweet root vegetables also adds great texture and flavour and the addition of a litre or two of gelatinous stock ensures fabulous, easily digested nutrition. You may wonder, why eat a stringy older bird, when sweet juicy hens abound, its all about the amazing flavour and fabulous texture and making the most out of a life well lived scratching in the dirt. Since you may not have a cockerel to use, you can make this with a regular chook, reduce the cooking time to an hour and a half but none the less, keep it low and slow and serve some fresh raw fermented foods and a lightly simmered side dish to ensure there are plenty of live enzymes to aid digestion of the fats and proteins in the dish.

I’ll post a recipe for this dish…soon, in the meantime I am off to spend four days with 11 women at Seal Rocks. There will no doubt be tails to tell.

The photo’s above were taken by my much loved friend Cloudy Rhodes. Cloudy is a well recognised surfing talent and an up and coming young photographer. Clouds has a delicate yet quirky eye and many of her photos express a painterly sensibility I love. Watch her space at http://cloudyrhodes.tumblr.com  We spent a lovely day shooting a range of dishes; the results will be available soon.

Oh and who is coming to class? I have a fabulous sourdough baking class coming up May 22nd in Bondi, see Bondi Programme tab to the right here. Please tell whoever you feel might like to know how to make and active leaven so that this ‘No Knead Fruit loaf’ is at their fingertips and so much more besides, naturally leavened cakes and pastry to eat with divine cultured cream and ….

Free to roam, organic wholefoods grown at home

In my book, growing real organic wholefood and friendship go hand in hand. It takes tenacity and hard work to grow real food but the rewards are many fold. I count my daughter and I incredibly fortunate to have such foodie friends, whom we adore, who are committed to growing free range organic food, at home in the country.  ‘The country’ fits the Sussex like area they live, where hills roll and European trees proliferate, this is not really ‘the bush’. We spent a fabulous wet weekend prior to Easter, at Glenquarry, a magnificent rural haven; not far from Bowral, two and a half hours from home. Antonio Ramos and Camilla Mahony are the proprietors of ‘Olive Green Organics’ their life is about providing Australians with the best packaged organic produce,sourced in Italy and South America. They sell many great products including the best gluten free pasta I have ever tried and traditionally farmed high altitude Quinoa and Amaranth from the Irupana collective in Bolivia. They and their truly divine nippies Paloma and Maximo live on the land in harmony with the elements growing most of their fresh food. This family is committed to developing nourishing soil in and on which to raise nutrient rich produce, to feed themselves and many of their friends. Maximo and Paloma are learning about respect for life and death and real food through their inclusion in everything it takes to grow your own. These are happy free roaming children who are a delight to be with, they are well nourished with love and the best the land can offer. All the animals growing here are destined for the pot, in their right season but while they live, they are much loved and carefully tended.

In the past couple of years we have cooked and feasted on incomparable home grown pig, sheep, duck,cockerel and a wide assortment of vibrant mineral rich vegetables. On this Autumn visit, we came home with large Queensland blue and French heirloom Potti Marron pumpkins, onions, carrots, eggplants, fat bunches of just picked herbs, yacon (a South American tuber to eat raw or cooked) and a Cockerel; not much makes me happier than having fine produce to create with. Antonio and Camilla share the many tasks but it seems to me, he is lord of the four legged beasties, Henry the dog and the soil, while Camilla devotes her time to raising the two legged creatures including the most fabulous collection of heritage breed ducks and poultry, however, the lines of work are fluid. Camilla is breeding poultry with function as her goal, there are 40 or more chooks and we were fortunate to arrive the week 14 young cockerels met their maker and thus the cooking pot, that was a delicious sadness, pics of a most delicious Coq au Vin to come.

Camilla’s free ranged chooks provide eggs in the extraordinary array of colours, seen in the photo below. The grey blue birds are Arucana they lay the light blue egg, this breed, like Antonio, hails from Chile. I am sure Antonio’s heritage is a contributing factor in his magnanimous come one, come all, lets eat together nature. Camilla quietly embraces and engages the many and ensures peace and order have a home too, they are a special family and India and I always leave with full hearts and fuller stomachs. Together we all cook and chat and plant and reap and laugh and walk and bake and cook and eat… This trip we ate hot cross buns from ‘Flour, Water, Salt’ Bowral’s Sourdough bakery, definitely worth a detour to go here where the bread and cakes reflect someones careful attention and passion. We made a range of delicious meals that included one of the Potti Marron pumpkins stuffed with home grown minced pork, garlic, onions and whatever else it was Antonio added to what he called his ‘porkognese’, this dish inspired me to make something similar when I got home but I used lamb and pomegranate in mine, photos will follow. These pumpkins have a dense flesh, they are not very sweet but they are totally delicious and look gorgeous. India and I made a fig and chestnut tart and Camilla wowed us all with her cockerel casserole and roasted rack of home produced lamb. I left them with a monster loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread, which Antonio told me he was still eating a week on. Above are photos of the poultry, the magnificent French ‘Moran’ cockerel is top left, his feather footed missus lays the chocolate brown eggs below, on his right is a Dutch Barnevelder chicken, she lays the medium brown breakky. The ‘Silver Laced Wyandotte’ is an American breed, she lays the cream coloured eggs. The white eggs belong to the large showy five toed, top-knotted French heritage Houdan, she refused a photo; the French once considered Houdan to be the best birds for eating, today they are mostly bred for their looks. It seems then that egg colour has to do with breed, not feed as I had previously thought. These impressive looking eggs are all utterly delicious. I am keen for my own heritage breed chickens but for now I make do with tending my neighbours two free roaming Isa browns, reliable layers who provide us with a delightfully brown egg each, each day they are away. Collecting eggs from free ranging hens is somewhat like finding hidden treasure and is, I believe, a pleasure not to be missed by anyone. That eggs from truly free ranging hens are also a perfectly balanced package of easily digested nutrients makes them a gift of nature not to be taken for granted.

Recipe. Toasted millet with chestnuts, walnuts and ginger

Serves 4

1 cup hulled millet

½ tablespoon duck fat, ghee or raw sesame oil

3 cups well seasoned stock, I used chicken

1 cup peeled, par cooked chestnuts

1 knob fresh young ginger, roughly chopped

12 fresh or raw dried walnut halves soaked overnight in lightly salted water, drained well

Bring the stock to a simmer

Heat a separate pan and add the fat or oil

Toss in the millet

Stir using a wooden spoon, keep it moving until the millet is evenly lightly toasted and nutty smelling

Pour the hot stock into the pan, being careful of the steam created

add the chestnuts and ginger

Stir to combine and cover with a tight fitting lid

Place on a diffuser and turn the heat to low

Cook for 30minutes

Turn off the heat but leave the lid on for a further 10 minutes

Stir gently to combine, the grains should be fluffy and very slightly sticky. For greater fluff factor toast a little more and add ¼ cup less stock

Serve with soaked walnuts, freshly steamed green beans and broccoli

We ate this with sticky slow roasted pumpkin, parsnips, onion and garlic and cultured red cabbage pickles; it was declared a big hit. A little grain and lots of vegetables, a fine meal makes.

Note: The fat and chicken stock are optional, I use them because they not only increase the nutrient value of this dish, they also contribute fantastic flavour, great texture and slow the absorption of sugars in the grains; so you stay satisfied for longer. The cultured vegetables assist your body to utilise the nutrients and provide plenty of vitamins, live enzymes and probiotic bugs; to aid digestion. These are some of the principles of nutrient dense dining.

 

What to do when you get them home

I brought several kilos of each home, I will be finding good places to include both over the next few weeks, I may even make some chestnut flour; for a dense divine Italian style cake. Iv’e spent a fair bit of today admiring, photographing, peeling and cracking, this is my kind of fun.

JUST PICKED OR STORE BOUGHT CHESTNUTS…Contain the chestnuts in a bag that breathes and place them in the fridge for up to six weeks. When you are ready to use them pierce the flat side with a small sharp knife and make a slit. Place on a roasting tray and roast at 200˚C until the skin splits and they are soft. Wrap in a cloth to allow them to steam and both skins to soften, peel and eat whilst warm. Or place on embers and turn frequently until cooked through, then do the cloth trick and peel. If you want the flesh intact to cook with, place the chestnuts in cold water and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove to cool water and peel the outer skin off whilst they are still warm. return to the water and simmer 5-8 minutes and then peel the inner pellicle  (brown inner skin) from the nut, which will leave you a wrinkly, crinkly chestnut; to use as you will. I like to cook these a bit more, add a little fat (duck fat or coconut fat work well, depends on your taste) then squash the chestnuts into mush and squish them into little balls, I then roll them in chopped roasted almonds, these are a treat after dinner or in the lunchbox of someone you adore- could be you?

If you are buying chestnuts from the markets or a shop look for deep, rich colour with lots of lustre, they should be heavy for their size and hard when lovingly squeezed.

JUST PICKED WALNUTS….spread them out in the sun or in a dry spot to air for a few days, the idea is to dry them out enough that they keep well for a few months. If you contain them damp you will end up with mouldering blacked nuts, these wont taste or do you any good; an old nut  or mouldy nut is never a good nut. When your ready crack the nuts and remove the walnut halves. You could skip the drying, crack the lot and store them in a bag in the freezer, that works well. A fresh nut is unlike anything you can buy, they are clean tasting and crisp as anything try a few this way. Due to being hard to digest its a great idea to soak all nuts overnight in salted filtered water, next day rinse well and drain. These can either be used as is or  you can dry them out at under 42˚C until they are very crisp, this will help retain their active enzymes and you can treat them as ‘raw’ food. Once dried store in an airtight glass jar, in the fridge. That recipe, the one I’m making as I type, has evolved, no brown rice at home so its become Millet and chestnut instead, the texture of millet gently toasted before boiling in chicken broth should go fabulously, well see….recipe coming later, once I’ve cooked and eaten it.

I recommend buying nuts in small amounts frequently and buying from a supplier who does a roaring trade. The organic food network supply excellent organic nuts in Brookvale and Nobby’s is a conventional supplier with a massive turnover, in Ramsgate I think. Consume them whilst they are fresh, rancid nuts will taste awful and be deleterious to your health.

Chestnuts and Walnuts resemble the brain, in macrobiotic philosophy a food that has a likeness to an organ is said to feed that organ, here’s hoping…

COPYRIGHT © HOLLY DAVIS

NURTURING  NOURISHING  DELECTABLE  WHOLEFOOD

NURTURING  NOURISHING
DELECTABLE  WHOLEFOOD