One of the things I like most about being a Real Food-er is (virtually) meeting all the amazing people who make up this worldwide community of crunchy food fanatics. Many of them can be found blogging about their traditional-fooding lives, and most of them have been doing both of those things a lot longer than I have. Thankfully, they are around to teach me.
Whether about gardening or gadgets, farming or fermentation, pudding or politics, real food blogs are always buzzing with new things to learn, recipes to try, or interesting stories to read. So I thought it was time that I start sharing with my own readers what I discover from them.
Here’s what I’ve learned this week:
- How to make coconut milk without a super-expensive high-end blender. Or even a blender at all! Penniless Parenting is at it again in teaching us something super cool this week. Making creamy, delicious coconut milk with this method looks so easy and fun! Canned coconut milk can be loaded with preservatives and other icky things — not to mention it’s pretty dang expensive — so it’s a great idea to make your own at home from dried coconut. I’m excited to try this!
- We are hogging all the quinoa. Farmers who grow this ancient and sacred crop are exporting about 90% of it due to high overseas demand, and often cannot afford to consume it themselves. A trip to Bolivia led Jill at La Vida Locavore to discover some troubling truths about their local farming communities. “In the past, most people had 1-2 hectares and most quinoa was for home consumption. Now, people use the money they get from selling quinoa and they buy rice, noodles, crackers, etc. And they hardly eat any quinoa. The quinoa growing area now has the highest malnutrition in Bolivia.” Wow. Makes me wonder what other imported goods we buy have negative consequences to the people who provide them. Yet another reason to try our best to buy local!
- Burns heal with honey. I am a kitchen klutz extraordinaire. Right now I’m looking at three cooking-induced burns on my arms and hands. But they have been rubbed with a little bit of honey and are looking better thanks to a quick lesson learned from A Delightful Home! Honey has anti-microbial properties that can reduce the risk of infection, and has moisturizing, skin-soothing benefits as well which make it a great burn salve. This post has 9 more tips of how you can use honey, in your food and on your skin!
- Celiac patients can eat gluten-containing grains. With a serious caveat. In a recent study, truly fermented and slowly-baked sourdough bread was given to participants who suffer from Celiac disease, a disorder that causes an inability to digest the grain protein, gluten. These participants were able to tolerate the bread without any negative changes in their intestinal permeability. Sarah at The Healthy Home Economist explains in her take on this study why modern baking techniques have led to digestive-related disorders and gluten intolerance, and why traditionally-prepared sourdough can be healthy even for Celiac sufferers.
- Another pasta-less way to do a pasta dish — spaghetti squash spaghetti! You know, I’ve definitely heard of this veggie before, but never would have thought to literally make spaghetti out of it. This fun experiment Too Many Jars in the Kitchen tried looks like it turned out great! Conventional spaghetti pasta is not the greatest thing for you, and alternatives such as rice pasta are already kind of a far cry from normal noodles — why not try for squash instead? I’m putting this on the grocery list and giving it a go.
What have you learned lately from your favorite blogs?