Valley Kitchen.

Having lots of home-grown veg is one of the joys of life, cooking and eating it all is pretty joyful too. Food miles are pretty low here, our veg garden is only about 20 yards from the kitchen. Made a lovely nutritious soup yesterday with carrots, leeks, loads of parsley and pot barley. Pot barley is very nutritious, being less processed than other types of barley. I was also told by a practitioner of Chinese medicine that barley is very good for clearing “damp conditions” from the body. With the addition of  turmeric and cumin this soup was delicious and healthy. Turmeric is a very benificial spice to use, much used in Indian cooking. It is an anti-inflamatory and said to be a cancer preventitive.

To follow I made Sourdough Muffins. I made a sourdough starter last Autumn from flour, water and our own grapes. Grapes are full of natural yeasts so they got it off to a good start. I now use this sourdough culture in all sorts of baked goods. I reduce the liquid in the recipe and use the sourdough starter instead. It is also used in Soda Bread and gives delicious results. Sourdough has a number of health benifits, the main one being the presence of lactobacillus, which helps generate the intestinal flora essential for proper digestion. As sourdough is a natural leavening agent it negates the use of commercial yeasts, all of these (except organic) are genetically modified.

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