Sunday, March 29, 2015

Yoghurt and Sauerkraut

More food!  Been a big week. Bread, yoghurt and sauerkraut.
Home made yoghurt. Made with powdered milk. I'm onto the second batch now, this only lasted two days before being eaten.  Kept well, considering no fridge - kept it in the shade during the day after making it.

Making it was easy. Mix up the milk, add some vanilla, then boil it.

An important step. Not only does it sterilize the milk, but some reading says that the heat changes the protein, to help it 'set' later (if all goes well). Other people say it doesn't matter that much for commercial milk. Not sure how much heat is applied to powdered milk, but I need to boil anyway to sterilize the water.

Wait till it cools to blood temperature, then add in two tablespoons of Jalna Low Fat yoghurt, and mix it well. Then keep it warm for 6-8 hours. I wrapped it up spare clothes.  Made it in the morning, and found it set the next morning when I checked.  It may have set by the afternoon - but I didn't check.  Keep two spoons to make the next batch.

I used Jalna low fat yoghurt as that is what I had. I like Jalna yoghurt; Australian and simple. No thickeners, gelling agents, nothing artificial, no colours, no preservatives, no stabilisers or emulsifiers. But any natural yoghurt would work to provide the culture.

I'll try making yoghurt when travelling - will be a bit more messy as the best time for the temperature will be during the day. But then it will shake about on the bike. Probably will not 'set' in that case. But hopefully will still be 'yoghurt'. Thinking a bag might be better - then can force the air out and it will not splash about.

Also have a two batches of sauerkraut fermenting. Ideally they should stay a few weeks before being done. But since I'm leaving soon, I'll eat one later this week. Might try the other in a bag on the bike also..

Looking forward to being mobile again.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Bread and flour definitions

Mmmmmm Hot Bread!

I got access to a stove, so rather than making my usual flat bread, I decided to bake bun. Haven't done this since was on the Great Central Road.

But, while doing this, I read the self raising wholemeal flour ingredient list: "Wheat flour, Coarse Bran, Acidity Regulators (339,341,450,500)".

I'm not that keen on the acidity regulators now that I look them up, but 'Coarse bran'? Why is there coarse bran in wholemeal flour?

I had perhaps, naively, assumed that "wholemeal" meant what the dictionary said it did "...made from the entire wheat kernel... " .

But, no. Foolish assumption!

Hunting about led me to Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code - Standard 2.1.1 - Cereals and Cereal Products

Extracting out bits:

"flours or meals means the products of grinding or milling of cereals, legumes or other seeds."

"wholegrain means the intact grain or the dehulled, ground, milled, cracked or flaked grain where the constituents – endosperm, germ and bran – are present in such proportions that represent the typical ratio of those fractions occurring in the whole cereal, and includes wholemeal."

"wholemeal means the product containing all the milled constituents of the grain in such proportions that it represents the typical ratio of those fractions occurring in the whole cereal."

What is the typical ratio of endosperm, germ and bran?

Looking about, found on Wikipedia that "Wheat consists of approximately 83% endosperm, 14.5% bran, and 2.5% germ by mass."

Over on Australian Food Standards website, they state "Ingredients must be listed in descending order (by ingoing weight)." Seems to me that the flour isn't wholemeal as per the standard as it is missing the 'germ'. Since it has 'wheat flour' as the first ingredient, and bran as the second.

Looking at Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council picture of the parts, and the section "Identifying Whole Grains" it says "When checking to see if a food contains whole grain ingredients look for these words in the ingredient list:" and then, shows that "wheat flour" is not a wholegrain.

Looks to me like false marketing - calling the flour "Wholemeal flour" when it isn't.

Also note, nothing says they have to add in the same part of that grain back in. So, start with the grain, remove the germ, and bran, and then mill the endosperm. Ship the three parts to different factories. Each factory adds in their own stock of missing parts, maybe from overseas sources, and then calls it 'wholegrain'. And that is ok.

I cannot find a definition of "coarse bran".  Looking about the supermarket, the one other "Wholemeal" flour I found had the ingredients as "Wholemeal wheat flour" - which is more like what I wanted - having all the parts of the grain.

You cannot trust any words written on the front of a packet.

Edit: fixed weird formating. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Detoxing naturally

The weekend is over and I'm feeling shiny! Nothing like a good detox and cleanse to revitalise you for the week. Yep, had a honest and authentic detox happening Sunday. Out with all those toxins and pollutants. And today I'm feeling fantastic! The difference is amazing.

Mine was not one of those wimpy celebrity detoxes.  No days of just drinking juices. No lists of allowed foods or forbidden items. No special meal plans. No costly books. No special shakes. It didn't cost a cent. And, no willpower required at all! During my detox, food was the last thing I was thinking of.

But wait, there's more!

I lost a bit of weight. A modest amount, not just the water, but definitely fat. The detox process included a full body workout. True, it was tough and tiring working out. Every muscle is exercised, even the ones I didn't know I had. But the result speak for themselves. All that sweating like a pig; you could just smell the toxins oozing out, and feel the calories burning up.

I'll admit, that there were times when all I wanted was a long hot shower and some sleep. But with no hot water on tap, it wasn't to be. Boiling a litre at a time wasn't going to cut it.  And I thought my usual cold wash might be a bit too bracing under the circumstances. Can only cleanse so much at once. Be nice to your body. Best not to over do it all at once.

If I had my choices, I'd have run the detox during the day, rather than starting after sun down Saturday night. But once started, there was no stopping it. You just have to keep going till you're out the other side. Expelling toxins takes some effort. This detox needed a full 24 hours to run its course, though only the first 12 hours were really full on.

Arh, the joys of it all. Nothing like a 2am rushed stagger to the pit to know your still alive. When your colon's going eight rounds against the duodenum, it's such a relief when they both pass out. Keep up the supply of fluids though. It might feel like its just flowing straight through, but really, its cleaning. Flushing out the toxins and pollutants. If you've ever tried cleaning up a dirt spot with just paper, you know you need water.  Hot is better if you have it, but any clean water will do in a pinch. And don't be shy with it. Drink plenty. Add a bit of salt, and sugar to the water. With all the cleansing happening, you'll need some salt.

By sun up Sunday morning, the bulk of it was in the past. The rest of the day was catching up on sleep, and some gentle eating - plain boiled brown rice and sweet potato.

Unfortunately I'm not sure what triggered my detox.  But I'm not going to worry about that. It shows that my body is working at peak efficiency. It knows when to start detoxing.  No effort from me required at all.

Aren't I lucky?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sydney, a longer trip in the Blue Mountains

Just back from another trip about the Blue Mountains. Started badly with an unhappy City Rail Guard. Just minutes before it departed Central, he was telling us we shouldn't be on the train and threatening to get the Police onto us for not obeying him. All his talk and threats of police came to nothing in the end, but was a worrying and unsettling trip and completely unnecessary.

After that, blue skies, lots of road side fruit trees, and some very lazy days. Back to Hill End for a visit, then over to Hargraves, Mudgee, Rylstone, Glen Alice and Glen Davis before returning to Lithgow for a non stressful trip back down again.  In contrast to the trip up, the guard on this trip was very friendly and helpful.  Biggest day riding was just shy of 100km - Hargraves to Rylstone with a tail wind. Shortest day was just 12 km.  So lots of lazing about, reading was done.

Managed to return with only 10 kg of apples this time. Made a special detour to go back to our favourite tree.

Apart from the day through Sofalia up to Hill End which was very hot, we had a 5C overnight in Rylstone.  Sadly my home made chain guard, that handled 42C last year, didn't survive. The cold night cause it to warp badly. Not sure if the heat really did the damage, and the cold finished it off, or it didn't like the cold, but after a day of hoping it would straighten out, I had to pull it off and bin it. Running without a chain guard for now.

Without a chain guard, I'll have to pay the chain a bit more attention. Lube is good, but commercial stuff is expensive. I like the dry wax lubes - like White Lightning or Rock n Roll. Decided to have a go with a homemade formula. I dissolved candle wax in some Shellite that I use for my stove. The Shellite evaporates, leaving the wax on the chain. It doesn't last long though - flaking off too fast. I get about 50km before it sounds dry. Going to add in some beeswax to the mix, which should have more "stick" to it.

Another casualty, was my ebook reader, a Sony PRS-T1. Fortunately it lasted until I was back in Sydney, before half the screen faded out. It has been a faithful companion for many years. With Sony no longer making them, I'll get one of the Kobo ereaders. Reading is essential.

Will be about Sydney a few more weeks yet, before heading north. The cyclones up there are making the place very wet. Also heard there are swarms of mossies about. I can wait.