My food “bible” is Nourishing Traditions. After years of paying attention to and experimenting with nutrition and health, I learned what I and my body liked and responded to.
Along the way, I followed food fads (no salt, no butter, no fat, no wheat, no dairy), read books (“Eat Right for Your Type,” “The Green Smoothie Revolution,” “Nourishing Traditions“), adhered to philosophies (Michael Pollan, Ayurveda), went on cleanses (“The Master Cleanse,” nutritional cleanses), abstained from caffeine and alcohol — and periodically abandoned them all for a life of pure enjoyment and hedonism!
These days, I have struck a happy balance. Experimentation was a way of learning what worked, what I liked, what felt good, and what seemed reasonable. The diets of traditional cultures are now the basis of my philosophy, and I pepper them with the bits I like from fads (green smoothies in moderation), hedonism (alcohol in moderation), and indulgence (treats in moderation).
I eat local when I can, with a farm share in the summer and a high quality farm market to supplement. Pastured meat and dairy, recently harvested vegetables, fruit in moderation and especially in season, homemade stews, fermented foods, and enzyme-rich preparations form the basis of my daily diet. I prepare all my meals at home. When I do eat out, I will enjoy whatever attracts me without going overboard. I’ve kept this up with occasional forays — like green smoothies — into a new experiment, usually to ratchet it back to my baseline.
Thursdays will be food days on OmDePlume, so you can shop for the ingredients and make the recipes for the first time on the weekends. This weekly post and the Pinterest board that will go along with it will ease you into cooking for yourself in a healthy way.
So, let’s start with a treat! Clafoutis is a fruit custard pudding recipe that I’ve adapted a bit from Nourishing Traditions, and, if you are more experienced, you can adapt it further for yourself. “Clafoutis” is a French word that comes from the verb “clafir,” to stuff.
4 firm organic pears
¼ cup Rapunzel sugar
3 tablespoons arrowroot powder, or ¼ cup unbleached flour
⅔ cup raw milk, or organic whole milk, or half and half (not ultrapasturized)
⅔ cup fresh, soft ricotta cheese — Or any combination of dairy you wish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, or 325 degrees if using a convection oven. Butter an easy-remove, 10-inch cake pan.
Peel, halve, and core the pears. Slice and arrange artfully in the cake pan.
Place Rapunzel sugar, eggs, arrowroot powder or flour, and milk/cheese in blender and blend until well combined. Pour batter over the fruit in the cake pan.
Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the edge pulls away from the pan, the top is lightly browned, and the custard is set.
Note: If you’re not ready or willing to commit to going organic or raw or pastured, you can use “ordinary” ingredients. But, if you decide to use this recipe and others like it to stock your kitchen and gradually change your mode of cooking and eating, it’s worth having them on hand.
Yes, organic, raw, special-order ingredients are more expensive and harder to shop for. But poor health — which may only appear after years of eating lower-quality, processed, or chemically-laden foods — is a far more serious consequence. If cash flow is king, as it is for many of us ITET (In These Economic Times), make a conscious decision to choose well when you can, and make additional changes in the future as you figure out how to afford them.
Yum! I could tie into one of those right now. Great snow day dessert!