Sunday, November 30, 2008


After disemboweling my first coconut by hand with my husband's help, I have developed a great respect for those folks who get out their machetes, knives and hammers to do this every day.

Next up: homemade coconut butter!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's a (mostly) GAPS Thanksgiving!

So, I made it to the sixth week and although I've had some awful setbacks here and there, I'm starting to feel better slowly. I think it will take the entire year, but I do see some nice improvements. And I'm eating much better.

Foods I've successfully introduced:
citrus, (raw) dairy in the form of butter, ghee, yogurt and cheese, greens, possibly macadamia nuts, although the jury is out on those.

Honestly, now that I can thoroughly enjoy a dessert of dates with coconut butter and the hopes of adding nuts to that...and CHEESE! My previously favorite food! Of course the raw stuff is the more expensive, but's not something I'd eat all the time.

So here's our (mostly) GAPS Thanksgiving plan:

Chicken soup with giblets, greens, onion and carrot, coconut milk kefir and a bit of sea salt.
1 chicken and 1 duck (no one here likes turkey), roasted, using butter to add fat to the breast
Cauliflower with raw butter and olive oil
Brown rice for everyone but me with butter and olive oil
Sauerkraut with cabbage, kale, carrots and radishes
Pickled cucumbers
Cranberry sauce with dates and orange bits
Raw milk cheddar and manchego with crackers for those who partake
Pumpkin custard with either creme fraiche or creme fraiche made into ice cream, depending on time, outdoor chill and mood.

I'll probably blend up a batch of squash cookies with the leftovers from the custard...but that's probably not going to happen until the day after.

So I have the pumpkin baked and the cranberry sauce made...although I discovered that Snackboy had eaten all the oranges that I got in preparation. (Serves me right for not saying anything.) He just came back with a bag of organic oranges and I have to add one of them...then it's done. I hesitate to use the blender with the baby asleep, but there will be no other time for custard. That's next.

Recipes soon!

Happy T-day!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Raw Milk!

It's been a while since I talked about dairy.
Since I started GAPS there have been a few hitches. Dairy hasn't been one of them. I started with raw butter a ways back, moved to ghee for the diet (no lactose, thank you!), and then, after a few weeks, started making yogurt from raw milk. It is THE BEST yogurt I have ever tasted. Best of all, I believe that Little Moo is completely able to digest it without a problem. I say that carefully, since she's biased against anything she can scoop with a spoon or sip like soup. If it's something she can chew and that she can hold in her hand, she's happy with it. Otherwise, she might like the taste, but there will be only one or two tastings and we never get to the three that make a complete allergy test.

Raw milk is one of those things that has been taboo for me. I've realized that my mother, who was raised in the 50s, has a much different philosophy about eradicating germs from her life than I do, although she herself had a yogurt and sourdough-making period when I was a kid. I tried to explain what the mainstream dairy industry was trying to do by insisting on eliminating all but a tiny number of "coliforms" in milk, but I think she can't quite get her head around the goodness of certain types of bacteria. (Now, watch as she responds to this post with her poem that she wrote years ago about yeasts...heh.) That kind of bias is, I think, something that most people have, which is a problem. The Standard American Diet (i.e. S.A.D.) has too few good bugs in it and as a result we're quite sick. Milk as all good Americans drink it is pasturized and homogenized, with the fat split away from it, then vitamins re-added to achieve...a food that gives you phlegm, minor amounts of damaged fats that could be carcinogenic due to exposure to high heats, very little of it's original vitamin, enzyme and mineral nutrition and none of its probiotic goodness.

Although I'd love to write more, these guys have done much of the job here:

The Campaign for Raw Milk

So here's my dilemma. I have heard from many a source that milk should be boiled or should be heated to at least 180 degrees and then cooled to body temperature before adding cultures. My question is, then, what does this do to the good rawness of this milk? I realize that I'm not pasturizing it, which is so harmful. I do know, though, that the good stuff in the milk can't necessarily survive such treatment.

Our electric oven doesn't do the job, so I need a yogurtmaker that I suspect is overheating the yogurt. Someone on a list suggested buying a plug-in dimmer, which I may do, and a calibrated thermometer, which I still have to research.

Anyone out there have any ideas?