Q & A: January 15, 2012

by Ann Marie Michaels on January 15, 2012

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"Yes! Even Goggle Hasn't All The Answers"

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1. Question: Thoughts On Using Soaked Oats In Recipes Instead Of Unsoaked Oats?


Hi Ann Marie,

Have you ever tried using soaked oats in recipes that call for regular unsoaked oats? If so, how did they turn out?

Thanks!
Katherine

Answer

If you mean like oatmeal cookies, something like that won’t work. What I did was dry the soaked oats in my dehydrator. Here is my recipe: Healthy Soaked Oatmeal Cookies.

What I’m doing now is using sprouted oats. You can find them on my resources page. This way you don’t have to soak and dry them.

You do need an oat roller/flaker. I got this cheap one on Amazon: Norpro Grain Grinder

If you really want to reduce the phytic acid, the most effective combination would be to use the sprouted oats and soak them with warm water and whey, and then dry them.

2. Question: Suggestions For Eating Real Food While Not Having The Use Of My Kitchen?


Hello,

I have started on a kitchen remodel, the planning/designing part is done. Originally my contractor said one week of being out of the kitchen but now the counter tops company is saying 4 weeks, maybe 6, to get the counters and sinks ordered. I need suggestions for how to keep us eating real food and not eating in restaurants in spite of not having a kitchen sink or counter tops for 4 weeks. Hopefully I’ll have access to the stove/oven and the refrigerator.

Also, what to do with my ferments? I have kombucha, two kinds of kefir, sourdough and the usual veg/pickles. Any suggestions you have are appreciated!

Thanks,
Lee

Answer

Will you be able to use the dishwasher? If not, I’d probably get some compostable paper plates and paper cups to use.

I’d probably make lots of deviled eggs, and stock up on yogurt and sprouted granola, and we’d eat lots of cheese, pate, cold cuts with store-bought sourdough bread and crackers. Also, store-bought hummus (made with olive oil). I’d also buy sprouted bread and make a lot of sandwiches with tunafish salad, salami, cheese and soaked nut butters. I’d also make sure we had a lot of soaked and dried nuts stored. And I’d leverage pre-cooked meals and salads from Whole Foods.

We’d also eat out more for dinner. One month of eating out more isn’t going to hurt you. We tend to eat at nicer places because the food is higher quality. French restaurants tend use real butter and make their own stock and sauces. You can also usually do well with sushi.

3. Question: Information On Reusing Bones For Stock?


Hello-

I recently read that you can use your bones for stock up to 3 times. Is this true??! So you could make make up to 3 batches of stock with the same bones? I always throw out the bones after making one batch, but are there still minerals and nutrients that you can get out of it? For chicken stock I let it simmer 24 hours usually. For beef stock I let it simmer 24-36 hours usually, but I use very large bones, so imagine those bones could go for days. But, it would be a help on the budget to be able to use the bones again!

If you can re-use bones, how would you do it? After making a batch of stock, rinse and then right away make another batch? Or could you re-freeze the bones for making another batch at another time?

Thanks!!

Answer

I don’t know where you read that but I do not think it is true. Especially if you are simmering for 24 hours. What is the point of reusing them if all the nutrition is gone? If you touch the bones after you’re done simmering and they crumble to your touch, you really can’t use them again.

If you want to save money on making stock, buy chicken, duck and beef cuts with the bones still in. Then use the bones for making stock. This saves a lot, since you pay more for boneless cuts.

You can also buy whole fish with the heads on. Have the fishmonger filet them for you and ask him to wrap up the bones and heads separately.

You can also use leftover shrimp peels and lobster bodies for stock.

Bone broth is one of the least expensive things you can make, so I wouldn’t worry about the cost. I’d focus on cutting out other expensive things. I’m sure you’ve already cut out expensive packaged foods like chips and cereal.

4. Question: Thoughts On Varied Moods When Eating Grains?


Hi! I love your blog!

I am new to all this grain-free stuff and find it so helpful. I have a 2-month-old baby who I am breastfeeding. I am not suffering from postpartum depression or baby blues.

I went cold turkey off all grains. I lasted for 2 days. Those 2 days I cried uncontrollably and constantly. I was also irritable. When I went back to grains the crying 100% stopped but I ended up feeling anxious (common for me), jittery, and kind of wired up or high or something.

I am now convinced I need to go grain free but not sure how to do it safely. Have you ever heard of someone having this sort of reaction or know why that would have happened? I am concerned about how the change in diet will affect me and my husband of course but I’m more worried about the quality and quantity of my breast milk (for my baby girl’s sake) along with the health of my 3-year-old son.

Any idea what I should do?

Thank you so much!
Dana

Answer

It’s hard to say what was going on with you since I don’t know what you ate when you were not eating grains. Also, I don’t know if you were eating refined grains or if you were eating properly prepared soaked grains. Maybe you can let me know in the comments.

If you were eating primarily refined grains (as opposed to properly prepared whole grains), you may be addicted to refined grains. In which case, I recommend reading The Mood Cure: The 4-Step Program to Take Charge of Your Emotions–Today. You may need help from some amino acids, as you may be deficient in certain neurotransmitters — Julia explains this in the book.

You can certainly produce quality breast milk on a grain-free diet and children can thrive on this diet. You just need to make sure you are eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Bone broth should be a staple. I would also include properly soaked/dried nuts and seeds and legumes. Whole grains are rich in magnesium and other minerals, as are soaked/dried nuts, seeds and legumes. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir and yogurt are also important to include in your diet.

You also need to eat adequate amounts of good fats. These include coconut oil and grass-fed butter, cream, beef tallow and lard. It may be that you weren’t eating enough fat when you went off of grains. Most of us are used to a low-fat diet. When I was on the GAPS Diet (grain-free), I was eating 50-60% fat.

I would also include organ meats on a regular basis, and plenty of seafood. If you don’t like organ meats or don’t know how to prepare them, make sure you eat plenty of shellfish, particularly mollusks such as clams, mussels and oysters.

5. Question: Suggestions To Ensure Good Flora?


Hi Ann Marie -

Can a normal non GAPS diet person use Bio-Kult to ensure good flora, or is that too strong, and should just a normal probiotic? Can you, should you, test your gut flora via a stool sample with your ND? How do you really know you have good gut flora?

Thanks so much!
Debbie

Answer

Yes, “normal” people can take Bio-Kult. We take Bio-Kult in our house.

You can get a stool test, however, I’m not sure how accurate they are. The best way to judge is to watch for symptoms of abnormal gut flora.

6. Question: Advice On Using A Slow Cooker?


Dear Ann Marie,

First of all, I love your blog. Thank you! I have tons of questions for you, but I’ll start with something simple and practical that is very timely for me at the moment.

I recently got a slow cooker, the Hamilton Beach model that you recommend, and I have two questions about it. I got it especially to make broth that I can leave to simmer all day when I am at work or overnight while I am sleeping.

But my question is this: It takes about 4 hours for the broth to reach a boil with setting on high. I am not usually around at that point so I am wondering how you skim the scum that rises when the broth first begins to boil?

When I cooked it on the stovetop it boiled in about half an hour so I would always watch it and skim it at that point, but for various reasons I am not comfortable leaving the stove top on in my apartment while we are sleeping and certainly not while we are out so it became impossible for me to make broth without a slow cooker. But what do you do about this step?

My other slow cooker question is that several times you’ve mentioned that you use your slow cooker to make yogurt. How do you do that? Do you pour the milk straight into the vat or do you put it in jars and then set the jars in the slow cooker. What setting do you use?

Thank you!!!
Rachel

Answer

Honestly, I don’t worry too much about it. In my experience, I don’t get a lot of scum unless I am using factory farm chickens.

If you are worried about being there to skim the scum, just bring the broth to a boil in a stockpot first, skim scum, then transfer to the crockpot, set it on low and go.

Here is the best crockpot yogurt recipe I have found, from Shannon at Nourishing Days.

7. Question: Thoughts On Soaked Vs. Sprouted Flours & Grains?


Hi Ann Marie,

I am curious on your take about the differences/benefits/similarities of soaked flours and grains vs. the health benefits of sprouted flours and grains.

Thanks!

Cathy

Answer

I am currently working on an online class called Healthy Whole Grains: Soaking, Sprouting and Sourdough. It’s going to start in mid-February and it’s going to be all about how to soak, sprout, and use sourdough with whole grains.

In the next couple of weeks, I’m also going to be doing a FREE webinar on this topic. Specifically, it will cover when to use soaking, when to use sprouting and when to use sourdough (or a combination). Make sure you sign up for my email updates so you don’t miss the announcement of the webinar.

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Cassie January 15, 2012 at 8:44 AM

Dana,
I am currently tandem nursing a 7 month old and a 2 1/2 year old. I havent ate any grains since my daughter has been born. However, I eat LOT o healthyf fat, meat from grass fed pastured animals, LOTS of eggs, and bone broth. We do a paleo diet. When I first started I had ‘carb flu’ (low energy) for the first week. I didn’t know a lot back then but increasing fat helps that feeling. So when you feel tired and stuff eat more butter! You can read more here…
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/low-carb-flu/#axzz1jTEnRIuj
Hope that helps!!

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Lauren January 15, 2012 at 12:18 PM

I’m so glad you got this in there at the top of the comments! Paleohacks also has lots of support for “carb flu”, and pretty much any primal or paleo website worth its salt will describe what’s happening and how to deal with it. I’d also suggest that you snoop aroud Chris Kresser’s site and podcasts to see if you can find any leads on the mood/grains thing. Good luck!

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Rebekkah Smith January 15, 2012 at 8:57 AM

In response to the reusing the bones question, I actually read a blog post, can’t remember who’s it was, about making stock in the crock pot, and reusing the bones for several days. I tried this method. I did my usual routine for stock, but I put it in the crock pot. After 24 hours, I removed the stock and added more water. I only did this twice, but it is the best stock I have ever made! So gelatinous, like a giant bowl of jelly! So, I think you can keep using them, as long as they keep producing gelatinous stock. I just read a post by Nourishing Gourmet that said she used some of her’s like a dozen times.

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Lori January 15, 2012 at 9:09 AM

I’m assuming that you just kept the stock going and didn’t start and stop.

We used to use a crock pot, but it got too hot and made the whole house smell like chicken stock which really bugged my husband. Now I do it on the stove and sometimes I let it go over night, but sometimes I don’t.

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Rebekkah Smith January 15, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Yeah, I didn’t stop it. I did have to switch between “low” and “warm” because my crockpot “low” setting making it boil. So, as soon as it’d start boiling, I’d bring it back to “warm”. I did a whole chicken too, not just the bones. Sometimes I do just the bones.

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cheeseslave January 15, 2012 at 9:28 AM
amy January 15, 2012 at 8:04 PM

I’m trying this now for the first time. Day 3 and it is amazing!!

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Lauren January 15, 2012 at 12:21 PM

I do the same – switching temps, I mean. I’ve had a crock full of beef bones going for 6 days now, dipping from it and adding water as needed. Yes, the kitchen smells like soup all the time! We keep the door closed. Kitchen Stewardship has some great stock posts (and homemade raw yogurt posts too!).

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jeanmarie January 15, 2012 at 12:52 PM

I haven’t tried reusing bones. We make huge batches of stock at a time, so when I’m done, I’m not in the mood to do it all over again! I might try once though. I have done that with crockpot chicken, put the bones back in with more water to make them into stock. It did make terrific stock.

Once our bones are done making stock, we save the strained bones and vegetables and feed them to our dogs. Not all at once, over several days, combined with their usual grain-free kibble. A typical batch of a dozen or so quarts of stock means we have lots of solids left for the dogs.

Now, I know you’re only supposed to feed raw bones to dogs, on account of how cooked bones can splinter easily and possibly perforate a dog’s intestines. But, after being cooked for 24-30 hours in the stock-making process, I find the bones are quite soft (I can easily snap or crumble them by hand) and no challenge for our big dogs. (Toy dogs might be a different story, I’m not sure.) And they love it! There sure seems to be some nutrition left. There is definitely flavor.

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BeccaOH January 16, 2012 at 6:33 AM

Yes, you can reuse beef bones. I did it for 3 straight days. Take off the broth and any vegetables. Use the bones again with refresh water and new vegetables and vinegar (if you choose). I was pleased with my results, though day three was much clearer broth and no gel even letting it simmer longer like 36 hours. Still good for soup base.

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Ki Vick January 15, 2012 at 9:22 AM

depending on what parts you use for stock, you can totally get away with multiple batches. And they are still nutrient dense: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGUCSaud1kI

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Raluca Schachter January 15, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Hi Ann Marie! I am on the look for a tortilla / wrap that should be: organic, non-GMO, gluten free, no corn, no soy, no gums, no bad oils and ideally sprouted! I know, quite hard to find, so I probably have to start making them instead. Which is the best recipe you know of that follows these requirements and also tastes good?
I’d like to see a sprouted amaranth or quinoa tortilla one day on the market…Since they are gluten free it’s harder to cook with them…Any ideas? Thanks!!

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cheeseslave January 15, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Here’s a grain-free coconut wrap: http://improveat.com/whatoffer.php

They had them at the WAPF conference and they were pretty good.

I prefer homemade soaked corn tortillas but you could also make sprouted flour wheat tortillas. I think you can also find sprouted wheat tortillas at the store but I’m not sure if they are any good.

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Raluca Schachter January 15, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Cool! I’ll give them a try and place a order, thanks !!

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Tiffany @ The Coconut Mama January 15, 2012 at 11:29 AM

If you have a dehydrator you can make the coconut wraps at home! Here is how I do it – http://thecoconutmama.com/2011/03/coconut-wraps-recipe/. I also have a recipe for homemade sprouted gluten free tortillas. They’re a lot of work, but are a good-healthy tortilla if your willing to make them.

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cheeseslave January 15, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Thank you, Tiffany!

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Raluca Schachter January 15, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Tiffany, I have to say your recipe looks really mouth-watering! I always thought coconut wraps would involve coconut flour, not coconut meat..Indeed it takes a little more work but it’s doable..Have you tried with coconut flour ? I wanted to experiment by mixing coconut flour with amaranth flour and egg..would that work ??

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Beth January 15, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Lee, regarding cooking during a kitchen remodel, a toaster oven can serve double duty and can be set up anywhere in the house. Using ovenproof glass or enamel pans that fit inside it, you could do grilled cheese, baked frittata or other egg dishes, quesadillas using sprouted corn tortillas, reheated soups or stews, broiled or baked fish, etc.

We got a wonderful Cuisinart toaster oven from Sears over the holidays to replace our old one and it cooks evenly and quickly! Sears had a surprisingly wonderful selection of toaster ovens, especially during the holidays — much better than Target.

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Melody January 19, 2012 at 1:43 PM

I’ll add to that by saying that when we first got married, we lived in a friend’s basement and had very little access to the kitchen. Any kitchen. A convection toaster oven is perfect. Add a crockpot, and you’re pretty much golden. You can bake eggs and bacon in a toaster oven, re-heat anything, broil, bake, etc…and then the crockpot is for all of the liquids. Soups, roasts, stews….You can even bake bread in a crockpot if you’re daring enough, but I bet if you get a wide and deep casserole dish, you could do a version of no-knead sourdough in the toaster oven for your bread/grains. Should you feel the need to refrigerate, you can try a mini-fridge. It will mean shopping more often, but I did it for years when I was single! (I was kind of a nomad then). My brother and his wife got an electric wok, and used that along with a convection/toaster oven (we got ours from Costco for $99 maybe), since their first home was an above-the-garage-apartment with absolutely no kitchen. Just the bathroom sink and a large shelf in the main room…they ate really healthy then. Just be careful of the surface of the wok, if you can find an anodized electric wok that would work…I think one more thing would be to consider an electric tea kettle (don’t know where I’d be without mine). You would just need one shelving unit to hold these things, with a 2′ square work surface and you’d be golden. Trust me on this one. I was one of the “real food” homes that Ann Marie did, and I was the “Real Food Apartment Dweller”…veeery little space.

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Pattyla January 15, 2012 at 12:11 PM

About using bones twice, I keep using mine till they are crumbly. Chicken bones and the like sometimes are after one batch but beef bones aren’t ever spent after one batch of broth is done. I strain off the broth, add more water and vinegar (replace any veggies at this point with fresh as well) and keep going. The most I ever do is 3 batches of broth from the same bones but I have a friend who does more. There are minerals to be harvested as long as there are bones to boil.

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Beth January 15, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Rachel, I like using my Nesco 6-qt. roaster oven for stock for the reason you stated. It has a wide temperature range with a dial control to modulate any temp. I can turn it on high to bring to a boil in about an hour, then turn down to a very low burble. Just get the kind that’s NOT nonstick (enamel-porcelain coated metal) and glass lid, not aluminum lid.

I called the company to ask if this particular roaster oven is lead-free and they said yes, but that was several years ago so it would be worth asking again.

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Sally Jo January 15, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Hi! Wondering where to buy Natto? I found something on Amazon that is dried and to be reconstituted – is that okay? My health food store doesn’t sell it and we have no asian stores close by. Is there a good online source?

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cheeseslave January 15, 2012 at 6:44 PM

I buy natto from my local Japanese market

If you can’t find a local Asian market that sells natto, you could make it at home:

http://nattoking.com/

Just make sure you use organic soybeans

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Julie D. January 15, 2012 at 5:24 PM

The idea that factory farmed chickens inherently produce more scum than pastured ones when making stock is not true. I know that this info originally came from Sally but it is just not true. The amount of scum depends on how well the chicken is cleaned during butchery. It is comprised of tiny bits of the organs, etc that are sticking inside the cavity. I only use pastured chickens and get plenty of scum.

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cheeseslave January 15, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Oh, OK, well I guess I get chickens that are well-butchered then

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Maredith January 15, 2012 at 6:44 PM

We were without a kitchen of any kind for 7 weeks during a full kitchen/1st floor remodel a few years ago: I used the bar counter in our basement as the kitchen, with all electric appliances, and honestly it worked really well. I borrowed an extra crock pot so we had porridge/oats, soups/stews, roasts, chicken, etc. I also borrowed an electric skillet and so we could do eggs, meats/veggies in that easy enough. And all of the “non-cook” meals and snacks that Ann Marie mentioned worked great too, cheese, fruit, nuts, cold cuts, boiled eggs, etc. Used the blender for smoothies. And yeah, we used disposable a lot, because lets face it hauling dishes from basement to the upper bathroom to wash them bent over the bathtub was not too much fun. Good luck, and enjoy your new kitchen! Ours is so worth it…

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Annabelle January 15, 2012 at 10:02 PM

re using bones for stock might come from an age when different types of animals were cooked. I have been making stock out of my old laying hens and just tonight looked at the bones that I just cooked for two days and thought that I could cook them more! The bones are very dense like a tooth! so I think it’s different than a 5 week old broiler from the store or even a slightly older pastured bird.

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cheeseslave January 16, 2012 at 6:47 AM

Good point, Annabelle!

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Michelle January 16, 2012 at 6:08 AM

To the person who asked about unsoaked oats vs. soaked…here is a recipe for oatmeal cookies that does require them to be dryed. Never tried it so I hope it turns out good..
Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups oatmeal, old fashioned
1/4 cup whey or buttermilk
1/4 cup milk, whole
1/4 cup water
1 cup butter
1/2 cup Sucanat
2 large eggs
4 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup flour or 1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts; chopped

Combine oatmeal, whey, milk and water. Cover and set in warm place for at least 7 hours. Check after 10 minutes and add more water if mixture seems too dry.

After 7 hours:
Grind crispy almonds in food processor to make almond meal.
Drain any excess water from oat mixture.
Add next 8 ingredients (butter through soda) and cream together until light and fluffy.
Add almond meal and flour to above mixture (enough to make a soft dough).

Fold in raisins and walnuts. Drop by spoonfuls (ping pong ball sized) onto oiled baking sheet. (To add an elegant touch to with ½ candied cherry) Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Yield: 45 cookies (10 gm carb per cookie)

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Cindy Perez January 16, 2012 at 12:16 PM

I read th same stuff about re-using bones for broth. I tried it this last time, but boiled them for an extra 12 hours or so longer than the first batch. It was so gelatinous that I had to use a long spoon to get it out of the jar! MUCH better even than the first batch; I simmered the first batch for about 24 hours, the 2nd for about 36. These were large beef bones, and they still were solid when I finished the last batch. So exciting!!! Getting bones for broth isn’t very easy here in GA, so I also value getting all the use out of them possible.

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chicken house plans by Mark January 21, 2012 at 10:57 PM

Thanks for answering these questions! Especially about how to eat real food when you don’t have access to the kitchen. I can’t begin to count how often I just eat any old crap because it’s available wherever I am.

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