Are you a health-conscious (foodie) mom looking to take your cooking skills up a notch? Do you want to make sure that your family is eating healthy, nutritious meals, but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry – I got you in this blog post. We’ll cover some of the most common mistakes people make when they are preparing food and provide tips on how you can avoid them! We’ll walk through some of the steps of the cooking process together, from planning ahead and selecting ingredients to a couple of start recipes.
Whether you’re an amateur or an experienced home chef when it comes to traditional cooking, our beginner Foodie’s guide will give you more confidence when it comes time for eating so that your efforts leading up to mealtime pay off big.
The importance of Traditional Food & Nutrition:
The importance of Traditional Nutrition cannot be overemphasized. Our modern, processed diets have led to an epidemic of obesity and chronic disease, while traditional diets have been shown to be protective and nutritive. The reason for this is that traditional diets are based on real, whole foods, while processed foods are full of sugar, unhealthy fats, toxic additives, and chemicals. Processed foods are addictive and can lead to cravings and overeating – not to mention a plethora of mental and physical ailments.
Traditional diets are also rich in nutrients that our bodies need for optimal health and growth. These nutrients include natural fibers, vitamins, minerals, essential fats, raw, enzyme-filled activity, and antioxidants. Fat & proteins help keep us regular and prevent constipation and other undesirable bathroom visits. The live and absorbable vitamins and minerals support our immune system and help us stay healthy, and antioxidants protect us from disease, inflammation, and premature aging.
Real food is also more satisfying than processed food, so we tend to eat less of it. This is important because excess weight is a major risk factor for many chronic diseases and you DON’T want your kids suffering from any diseases early on. So, it pretty much becomes a no-brainer to ditch processed foods and switch to a traditional diet. It may take some adjustment at first, but once you get used to it, you’ll feel better than ever and your taste buds will thank you!
The Benefits of Cooking from Scratch:
Cooking from scratch is a great way to explore your culinary skills. When you cook from scratch, you know exactly what ingredients are going into your food, and you can avoid additives, colorings, and other unhealthy chemicals that your great-great-great grandmother never used. You can also control the sugar content of your food, which is important for not desensitizing your palate to appreciate the natural sweetness in foods.
Cooking from scratch is also a great way for kids to appreciate (and some adults) the value of food and where it truly comes from. Not only that, the skillset of cooking is never underappreciated!
If it wasn’t obvious… cooking from scratch is also a great way to save money. When you cook your own meals, you don’t have to spend money on expensive premade dinners or take-out. In fact, if you plan your meals carefully, you can actually save money by cooking from scratch. Don’t let the packages fool you with inexpensive products – those products are dead, GMO, and chemical food-like substances that will cost you in the long run (just ask my husband!).
Finally, cooking from scratch is a great way to bond with your family, hands down. Cooking together is a fun way to communicate and spend time together, and it’s a great way to teach your kids about the importance of food handling and preparation for the final meal. Plus, there’s nothing quite like the smell of homemade, traditionally prepared bread, or roast chicken wafting through the house. If you’re looking for ways to improve your health, save money, and bond with your family, cooking from scratch is definitely the way to go.
The Most Common Cooking Mistakes (Foodie) People Make
Cooking traditional foods can be a little tricky, especially if you’re not used to it f- this is where cooking mistakes can come into play. There are a few common mistakes that people make when preparing and cooking these foods, which can lead to problems with digestion and absorption of nutrients. Here are the most common cooking mistakes:
Not cooking the food properly – This is a very common and one of the most overlooked cooking mistakes. When cooking meat, for instance, especially if you’re used to cooking it well-done, is a bit overkill. Traditional cooking methods involve low and slow heat, which helps to break down the connective tissue and make the meat more digestible. Overcooking the food can destroy many of the nutrients. Likewise, certain meats can be thoroughly enjoyed med-rare – making it easier to chew.
Using the wrong ingredients – Another common and one of the worst cooking mistakes is using the wrong ingredients in traditional recipes. For example, using modern oils instead of animal fats, or using processed, chemically sprayed grains instead of organic, soaked and sprouted whole grains. These ingredients can not only decrease the nutritional value of the dish, but they may also cause digestive problems, an inability to absorb nutrients, and inflammation (which is the root cause of disease).
Not altering the recipe to traditional ingredients – A third, and one of the most frequent cooking mistakes, is not following the recipe as a traditional preparer would. This means that you should follow the instructions to a tee, IF it’s a traditional recipe, like including soaking and sprouting grains, fermenting vegetables, and so on. If not, you’ll need to make the swap with like traditional ingredients. For instance, if it calls for vegetable oil, use coconut oil or ghee. Vegetable oil will be your main culprit in modern recipes.
Every step of the preparation process is important and contributes to the overall flavor, texture, and nutritional value of the final dish – just be mindful of the traditional substitutes to avoid these cooking mistakes.
Not tasting as you go – And finally, the fourth most common mistake is not tasting as you go. Traditional dishes require a certain amount of balance and flavor that is achieved by tasting and adjusting the seasoning throughout the cooking process. By tasting before you serve, you can adjust the saltiness, sweetness, or acidity of a dish to make it just right. This is one of those cooking mistakes you don’t want to ignore!
Using water instead of broth – Unbeknownst to many people, using broth in place of water can really elevate a dish and make it taste more flavorful. Broth is full of minerals, electrolytes, and other nutrients that are hard to come by in other forms. Plus, it adds an incredible depth of flavor that you just can’t get from plain water. For example, rice, properly prepared pasta, soups, and steamed veggies can take your culinary skills to a whole other level of a violà!
By avoiding these cooking mistakes, you can ensure that the traditional foods you prepare will be as nutritious and delicious as possible.
A Few Simple Recipes
The research done in Weston A Price’s book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, shows that a diet consisting of whole, unprocessed foods is essential for good health. The recipes provided are a great way to start incorporating these foods into your meal plan.
One recipe that is particularly beneficial is bone broth. Bone broth, also known as stock, is high in protein, healthy fats, and minerals, and it has been shown to be effective in treating conditions like arthritis and autoimmune diseases. It can be made using any bones, but chicken or beef bones are the best choices. You’ll be amazed at how it can transform a dish!
To make bone broth, you will need:
-1 pound of bones (chicken or beef)
-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
-2-6 cups of water
-1 onion, chopped
-3 Celery stalks roughly chopped
-1 carrot, chopped
-3 cloves of garlic, minced
-1 teaspoon of salt
Place the bones in a large pot and cover them with water. Add the apple cider vinegar and let it rest for 20-30 minutes for the acid in the vinegar to start to “pull” the minerals from the bones. Bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 12 hours. Remove the bones and discard them (if they are large beef bones, you may reuse up to 2 more times). Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and salt to the pot and simmer for another hour. Store the broth in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to six months.
*Alternatively, you may place all ingredients in a crock pot and forget about it, on low, for about 12 hours.
Another great recipe from Weston A Price’s book is simple sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is high in probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that support gut health. It can be made with any type of cabbage, but red cabbage contains the most nutrients. To make sauerkraut, you will need:
-1 head of red cabbage
-1 tablespoon of sea salt
Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage and chop it into thin strips. Place the strips in a large bowl and sprinkle them with sea salt. Massage the cabbage until it begins to release its juices. Pack the cabbage into a sterilized jar and press down on it until all of the liquid comes out. Cover the jar with a lid and store it in a cool place for two weeks. Sauerkraut will keep in the fridge for up to six months.
Another recipe is soaked grains. Soaking grains helps to break down phytic acid, which can cause digestive issues in some people. To make soaked grains, you will need:
-1 cup of your favorite grain (oats, barley, wheat)
-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice or whey
-3 cups of water
Rinse the grain in a bowl and remove any debris. Place it in a jar, add the vinegar or lemon juice, and fill the jar with water. Cover the jar with a lid and let it sit on your counter overnight or for at least 8 hours. Drain off any excess liquid before cooking as normal. Soaked grains will keep in the fridge for up to four days.
*If you are using wheat or any hard-shelled grain, soak up to 48 hours, draining and refilling, till you see sprouts.
A great one for the kids is liver patê! This is high in B vitamins, iron and zinc – all of which are essential for good health, natural energy, and mental focus. To make liver pate, you will need:
-1 pound of organic, grass-fed beef or chicken liver
-3 tablespoons of butter
-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-1 shallot (or onion), minced
-2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, minced
-1 teaspoon of sea salt
-1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
-1/4 C raw cream or organic, cold-pressed olive oil
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and add the garlic, shallot (or onion) and parsley. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the liver and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the liver is cooked through. Transfer the contents of the skillet to a food processor and puree until smooth. Drizzle the cream or olive oil till you get the consistency you love. Serve as a dip or spread on your favorite crackers!
If you want to use bacon in your live patê recipe, you can add 1/4 cup of pastured bacon that has been cooked and chopped and add it to your food processor.
If you don’t believe me yet… no doubt, traditional foods are the foundation of good nutrition and there are many benefits to cooking from scratch. By avoiding common mistakes, you can set yourself up for success in the kitchen. Here are a few simple recipes to get you started on your traditional food journey! Find one that looks appealing and give it a try. You might be surprised at how satisfying it is to cook a meal from scratch using wholesome ingredients. And who knows, maybe you’ll even start feeling like Julia Child in the kitchen!
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