Friday, September 21, 2012

Coconut Flour Sourdough Starter

So anyone following me anywhere- facebook, blogger, or twitter, knows that I'm a big fan of eating Paleo/Primal style.  I've discovered over time that this is how my body is meant to be fed, I feel healthiest and strongest when I eat this way.  At some point over the last year I also discovered kefir.  And kombucha.  These start off as sugar and water or milk and water or tea and sugar and water, and this would be a problem eating paleo, but with the addition of your grains, scoby, or mother, the offending sugar and milk are transformed.  The resulting drink is a healthy probiotic that I have had no difficulty with when it comes to weight gain or health problems.  I do make sure that my milk kefir is made from high fat milk, you can't get raw milk on Oahu as far as I know.  I would if I could.  I also go back and forth between coconut milk and cow milk kefir so I get a break from cow milk.  Anyway.  I've joined a bazillion fermentation groups on facebook and am totally addicted to the idea of fermenting things.  I just started a master tonic and am curious how that's going to come out.  I had started a rye sourdough starter, just because I wanted to see it grow, but my problem is- rye is a grain and not even a gluten-free grain at that.  I'm not a paleo nazi, I don't mind a cheat here and there, but I'm gonna have a sourdough starter, there's going to be a lot of baking happening as a result.  I was trying to explore the interwebs for a way to turn make my rye sourdough as paleo as possible and it just so happened that my sourdough got mold.  I was lazy when I started it and didn't sterilize the jar, so shame on me.  But it's one of those blessings in disguise.  I decided to research coconut flour sourdough starters and didn't find one for that, but did find a rice flour starter.  I was going to just start there and then add coconut flour over time, since I have some that's been sitting around here for a while.  Instead, I went into my kitchen and threw all caution to the wind.  I started with coconut flour, water and water kefir.  I shall track my research on this page.

9/21/12 Day 1:
I poured one cup of coconut flour and one cup of water into a jar.  Take note: this is a mistake.  Coconut flour absorbs the hell out of the water.  If I were to start over, which I'm not because I'm not throwing away all that coconut flour, I would start with 1/3 or 1/2 a cup of coconut flour and one cup of water.  I would then stir to find a soupy consistency.  And add water or coconut flour as needed.
I then added a few tablespoons of water kefir.  Somehow in the few moments I had turned away, my flour had absorbed a lot of water again and was now dry, so I threw all caution to the wind and poured in water kefir until it was soupy again.  There is possibly a lot of things wrong with this.  I guess we'll see won't we!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Water Kefir Brewing in the Cabinet
Well, holy hell, I haven't written a post in quite some time.  I've been busy, school started back up again, so work has gotten more exciting.  The most recent addition to my health repertoire is that I've been brewing my own probiotic cultures.  If you don't know much about probiotics, I'm not really the one to answer your questions.  Definitely go here or here for more information from trusted sources.  In very basic terms, probiotics are good gut bacteria.  We all have bacteria in our guts, we have to, or we would die, they do jobs like help break down our food and keep bad bacteria at bay.  It's what Activia is trying to sell you to "regulate your digestive system."  And it's what any yogurt with live active cultures contains.  I've made my own yogurt before and that's fun for a little while, but it didn't really entertain me enough to keep up with it.  Also, I cut dairy out of my diet in 2011, so I stopped totally.  I recently found milk kefir and water kefir and ordered some from Amazon.  
I ended up going nuts, making both water kefir and milk kefir and enjoy drinking both.  I have got to play around with the timing of the water kefir more, when you do it right it's like a delicious, bubbly soda, when you ferment too short, it's sugary, and if you ferment too long it gets a weird smell and taste.  I'm gonna keep at it, since I enjoy the flavor, even though Nathan thinks it smells like ass, and won't go near it.  Keysa and Bobby both tried some and neither one of them vomited or passed out.  The milk kefir is really delicious, especially when made with fattier milk, like whipping cream or half and half.  However, I have to stop kidding myself, that I am not sensitive to the milk.  If I had a source for raw milk I might try that, but I am going to just give away the grains.  Anybody in the area who wants them, they are up for grabs.  Probably will throw them up on Craig's List for anyone who wants them if you guys don't.
Water Kefir Grains
In my researching, I ran into how to make Kombucha and finally today I started a Kombucha SCOBY.  It turns out that Kombucha has S. Boulardii that is supposedly good for UTIs and such.  Plus, I've tasted store bought kombucha and it's so much tastier than my water kefir.  I have experimented for long enough to know that none of these products have made me gain any weight.  I have pretty much stayed around the same weight, which went back down when I went back to stricter primal eating and goes up when I eat grains and sugar.  No changes with any of these probiotic beverages, even though there have been days that I've drank two full 16 ounce bottles, plus a huge scoopful of milk kefir in frozen fruit.  Gaining weight was one of my initial concerns because you start all of these beverages with sugar or milk, things that I have cut out of my diet for the most part.
I will update with pictures of the Kombucha I've made.  It takes a lot longer to brew than water kefir (2 days vs 1-2 weeks), but once you get going with enough "mothers," you can have a pretty stable flow.  I was told yesterday that it does sound a bit gross that I am fermenting foods in my cabinets, but people do it all the time.  There are huge active groups on facebook that I subscribe to, and people ferment everything from pickles to saur kraut to beet kvass to sourdough bread to jalapenos to eggs.  It's pretty cool.  Feel free to ask any questions or comment on how weird I am!