WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Gf Sourdough Starter is Good for You!

After my wild success with our "Nofu" butter, I decided I was ready for a real challenge, it was time I started my own Gf sourdough Starter.

Years ago I did try to do this, and my starter was a big F for failure. :-)

Thanks to bloggers, websites and those devoted to all things sourdough, I have succeeded in a nice sour sour dough starter- that is gf/cf.

I followed this blog, Peas and thank you directions with a few easy changes.

I used half buckwheat and half millet flour to start my starter.

On day 3 when it is time to add more flour, I changed over to an organic brown rice flour.

On Day five I also used the organic brown rice flour.

On Day six I used my all purpose mix of gf flour which is; brown rice flour, white rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, and millet flour.

I used the juice from a fresh pineapple instead of canned. Abby doesn't "tolerate" fresh/canned pineapple, but isn't allergic. So, after a couple feedings and the "fermenting" I am hoping the pineapple juice will have been "consumed." Then it will be clean. ( Tonight I was browsing and found a recipe on allrecipes for a sourdough starter that she uses "red organic grapes" instead of pineapple juice- I sooo have to try that one! Way better for Abby. Interestingly, apparently there are yeast spores on the skins of the grapes.)

When I decided to make this I read about 10 different blogs/websites on how to grow and maintain. Another site I leaned on was the King Arthur directions for their gf sourdough starter. I wasn't sure which grain flours would work to start it, but it seems many are started with whole wheat, or ancient grains. This lead me think about which flours I have that are more along the "Ancient grain" definition. Buckwheat and millet I always have on hand and use them like I would whole wheat. A tip I found was later down the road, I should now and then feed my starter more buckwheat and/or millet to help keep it healthy.

Some of the blogs started theirs in a jar. Then they would have transfer to a bigger vessel later in the process. It is recommended to use glass,ceramic and lastly plastic. I opted to start with a container that would be big enough for the final product vs transferring mid- process. I have a nice big large mouth glass jar that will be it's final vessel. I kept my starter on top of fridge hoping to maintain a bit of warmth from the appliance. I never added cold juice or water- I did warm the juice or water to not quite as hot as for activating yeast, but definitely a touch warmer then room temperature. I also only used purified water, making bread over the years I have learned that our tap water isn't a good choice(we don't drink it because of the fluoride), it can cause failure.

Now of course beyond flavor, I am always anxious to try to increase the value of Abby's food. Like her buckwheat bread, it is dairy free,gluten free,etc but lots of sugar. Thankfully buckwheat has a great profile and I throw in blackstrap molasses so I rest easy she is not eating just empty calories. Everything needs as much value as possible without upsetting her system.(sugar is a catalyst for digestion for Abby- not sure why, but am in no mood to dump the apple cart as long as she continues to improve). Sourdough is "fermented" and thus has good bacteria that help with digestion, and since Abby has been tolerating the homemade coconut yogurt very well, this is just one more avenue to introduce those "good" bugs. In the Mast world it is generally recommended to avoid foods that are fermented, but since(knock on wood!) we haven't seen any disruption from the yogurt we are going to push this a little further. If it is an energy issue that has been interfering with her ability to digest many foods, and part of that may have been from multiple antibiotics then these little bacteria are necessary to keep Abby healing. Our thoughts are that anything that will make it easier for her to absorb nutrition is a good risk. Bring on the good bugs!

If you are interested in learning more, Simple Bites blog has a terrific page on the nutrition and "science" of sourdough. Easy and appealing to read it encouraged me that this was the right next step.

Pancakes,muffins,waffles,breads... even cakes, cookies, pastries and pretzel's- they are all just that much more flavorful with some sourdough starter added, and that much more nutritious.

Lastly, one more link I have referred to quite a few times as I have been learning about yogurt and sourdough- Cultures for Health. Terrific information and really sold me on the importance and benefits of fermentation. At the end of the day, I still have some doubts about how far Abby's food makeover will take her health, but sure has been a tasty journey!

My first use of the sourdough starter;
Gf sourdough, coconut yogurt blueberry muffins, we were impressed! Not only did they taste delicious, but the smell of them baking was simply out of this world!

Gf sourdough, coconut yogurt, blueberry muffins:

1 1/2cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
1/2 cup gf sourdough starter
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon guar gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
3/4 cup coconut yogurt
2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Blueberries

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or paper)a 12-cup muffin pan or line with paper liners.(I got 16 muffins)
Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, guar gum and salt in a medium bowl until blended. Whisk together sourdough starter,coconut oil, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl until combined. Stir in flour mixture until partially moistened. Fold in blueberries until evenly mixed. Batter will be thick, do not over stir.
Divide batter evenly between muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full.
Bake 10 minutes. Rotate pan and continue to bake about 10 minutes longer or until muffins are golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 3 minutes. Serve warm or remove to wire rack to cool completely.

I have read a lot of different pages on how to Maintain my starter.. Hopefully, I don't kill this batch before figuring out what works best! :-)


Anonymous said...

Have you tried coconut milk kefir for your starter? It gets everything goin pretty good!!

Also toss in fermented millet seeds..and just buzz em up and add in the starter. Prolly not real good for light stuff but we tend to more whole wheat like stuff anyway...lol


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