Tag Archives: soaking beans

Beans at High Altitudes!


A long time ago…more than six years now, I published a chart that summarized how to soak beans…which “neutralizers” for which beans, how long to soak them, at what temperature water, and how to cook them. I gleaned the information from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. When I asked Sally to review my chart for accuracy, she said that I had missed the baking soda. “Baking soda”?! There was no mention of baking soda in her chapters on beans! Yikes! Sally provided me with a report to read through on how to make beans more easily digested  that had been published in Wise Traditions, the journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation. In order to make my soaking chart accurate, I needed to include baking soda as one of the neutralizers for specific types of beans. So I updated the chart, got her “thumbs up”, and had it printed. My chart is called “Preparing Whole Grains and Legumes for Ease of Digestion and  Nutrient Availability“. It has been available on my website since 2010. It is hand-illustrated and hand-lettered, and it has well served many people around the world since then.

As some of you know, I moved to Colorado in 2011. I now live at almost 5,000 feet, after living at sea level for all of my life until then. Living at high altitude demands some changes in the kitchen. One of those changes has been in cooking beans. Now, while we are not big bean eaters in my house, I do soak beans for chili, and lentils for soup, etc. I have found the easiest way to make the perfect beans at high altitude. I shared that information in my latest post on Selene River Press, in “Perfect Beans at 5,000 Feet“. You can find that article here. I hope you enjoy it!


Order your own Bean and Grain Chart!

Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon Morell




Filed under Food, simply being well, soaking beans, traditional foods

My first book…buy yours NOW!

I am happy to announce my first book (I say that because I have many more on the agenda!)…

with Love from Grandmother’s Kitchen: Traditional Cooking Techniques for Well-Beingcover with Love from Grandmother's Kitchen

The book covers all the techniques you need to cook nourishing, traditional food!

***For more information about the book, including sample pages and info about content, click HERE***

Due out 11/11/11! (How auspicious!)

Order yours today!

If you would like to purchase more than 5 copies, or if you would like to order in bulk or wholesale, kindly contact me directly at simplybeingwell at gmail.com!

Special thanks to Amy Berger for her research and contribution and to Jessica Haney, editor, without whose tireless work this would not have been published! 


Filed under Uncategorized

new classes added for October…

Come on out for a class, folks! I am looking forward to being “back in the saddle” again. (ha ha–get it, I’m in Colorado now! 😉 )

Beans and Whole Grains for Autumn! Saturday, October 22…Cheyenne, WY

Liver! Love it and Eat it! Saturday, October 29…Fort Collins, CO

For details and to register, see the schedule of classes! http://simplybeingwell.com/2011-class-schedule/

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

August and September classes!

Hey folks, visit the 2011 Class Schedule page…I just added classes for August and September. These are the last classes I will teach in the DC metro area for a while, as I am moving in late September. If you would like to take a class with me in this area, *now’s the time*!! I did my best to incorporate the class requests that came in. Thanks to everyone who will be hosting these two months, to those who offered to host, and to those who have hosted me over the years!

Classes include:

Enzyme-Rich Sauces! The Secret Ingredient to Satiety

Beans and Grains for Autumn

Greens-GLORIOUS Greens- and Squash!


A Week of Healthy Breakfasts!

You will also find information about the weekend of classes in Charlottesville, VA in September: Nourishing Healthy Children. If you know anyone in Charlottesville, kindly *spread the word*!! Thanks!

As always, I look forward to cooking with you!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

PROMO: today thru April 30!

Purchase a 3 DVD Set:  “Pulling It All Together: Fitting Nourishing, Traditional Food into Your Busy Life!” and receive a copy of Nourishing Our Children E-Book…AND be entered in a drawing to win a Bean and Grain Chart!

This 3 DVD set covers all the techniques you need to cook nourishing, traditional food. All the techniques and all the timing…not sure how to fit REAL food into your busy life? This 3 DVD set shows you how. Recorded LIVE at Wise Traditions 2010.

Check out samples of the  E-Book:

sample 2
sample 3-malnourished section

sample 4-water section

A big THANK YOU! to the Nourishing Our Children Campaign for donating the E-Book for this promo…and for all their tireless work to help educate us about how to best nourish our children!!

…and another big THANK YOU to Sandrine Hahn who offers Visual Communication for a beautiful slideshow and landing page! And to my husband, Franklin Taggart, for the musical score, “Morning Kitchen”. And to my cousin Martin for spending hours on photographs one day in March…and to all of you who allow me to continue to “Teach, teach, teach!”

be well!


Filed under Uncategorized

GLUTEN-FREE whole grains are good for EVERY body!

First of all, the super GLUTEN-FREE whole grains are DELICIOUS. I encourage all of you to try them and add some variety to your diet, as well as reduce the amount of strain you are putting your digestive system under on a daily basis…perhaps multiple times a day…depending on how many grain (read wheat) products you eat. More about that later.

Let’s talk about GRAINS. Let’s talk about WHOLE GRAINS. Everywhere we look, folks are encouraged to eat grains, and a lot of them. Yes, grains are nutrient-rich and B vitamin packed…yes, they are good for you and part of a REAL food diet. Here are the problems…for you, for me, for the average bear…and CERTAINLY for the children.

1. Most of the grains everyone is eating are PROCESSED grains. When we talk about whole grains and processed grains, or “grain food products” as I call them, we are not comparing apples to apples (or whole grains to whole grains I might add)! Crackers, cereal, bread, bagels, goldfish, pretzels, muffins…These have their own problems because processing in high heat and high pressure damages the nutrients in the grains themselves…not to mention that none of those items actually resemble the whole grains from which they came…slurries, extrusion processes…oy.

2. The whole grain goodness in these grain food products (crackers, bread, bagels, goldfish, cereal, muffins…) is not accessible by the body because the grains have not been prepared by soaking, fermenting, or sprouting.

3. Most people are not eating their grains with healthy fats, (such as butter from grass-fed cows), therefore, they could not absorb the nutrients in grains even IF THEY WERE available  (see numbers 1 and 2, above).

4. Most of the grains and whole grain PRODUCTS folks are eating are made from WHEAT.

You have already heard from me before on items one, two and three. So here I go on number four. “What’s the PROBLEM with WHEAT, you ask? Isn’t it healthy to eat whole wheat?! Heck, everyone’s telling me to eat whole wheat!”

Many problems. Hard to hear in this land of “amber waves of grain”, I know. In addition to the first 3 problems mentioned above, wheat contains GLUTEN. And not only does it contain gluten, (along with spelt, kamut, triticale, barley and rye), but wheat has been hybridized multiple times over the past 30 years or so to INCREASE the amount of gluten in it. Why, you ask? Because gluten is the “magic ingredient” that gives bread and baked products its rise, its air, its “mouth-feel”. Bakers and pastry chefs love high gluten flour. They are even adding “vital wheat gluten” to breads that already have gluten in them because of the grains from which they are produced. (Check your labels, folks! I have yet to find a “true sourdough” in a grocery store-that is, one in which “vital wheat gluten” has NOT been added!) Somehow during those 30 years as the amount of gluten has tripled in our grain food products, celiac disease, gluten allergies and gluten intolerance has skyrocketed. A cooincidence? hmmmmmmmm. You decide.

Why don’t I love gluten?  Because gluten is VERY HARD TO DIGEST by the human body, and ALMOST NO ONE is preparing wheat flour or any other gluten containing flour in a way that would  predigest the protein for us. (The exception is sprouted bread found in the freezer, aka Ezekiel Bread). Traditions all over the world fermented or soaked or sprouted grains before they ate them; they still do. Here in the Melting Pot, in the interest of speed, numbers, ease of manufacture and long shelf life, we lost the wisdom of the traditions. Who loses in the end? The people.  Our health. The children. I almost cannot walk into the grocery store any more, organic or not. All that whole wheat flour, all those processed grain products, and all those distressed digestive systems! And almost everyone is just eating it up! (No pun intended!) Filling their shopping carts with more and more grains, (processed for sure) because they have been told they are “good for you”…thinking they are doing their bodies good.  oy.

So……….what is gluten anyway? Gluten is a long-chain protein that must be pre-digested or broken down BEFORE it is eaten…or it can cause gastric distress and injury to the small intestine…as well as set up conditions for candida overgrowth if one does not have a strong gut or good gut flora (read good bacteria in the gut). When someone has difficulty digesting gluten, it can look like this: allergies, eczema, constant exhaustion, dark circles under the eyes, pale skin tone due to lack of nutrient absorption and perhaps anemia, headaches, earaches, gum ear, diarhhea, constipation, learning disorders, brain fog, memory issues, difficulty focusing…FLATULENCE. (If you or your child pass a lot of gas, it is a signal that the digestive system is distressed…or at least that it is working very hard to break down foods that were not properly prepared before you ate them.)  Many children on the Autistic Spectrum–from Aspberger’s Syndrome to full blown autism or  ADD, AD/HD  or dyslexia do far better when gluten is removed from their diet. What I am suggesting is SO WILL YOU.

Try some gluten-free whole grains in your diet-amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa… and remember, all grains must be prepared correctly–soaked, fermented or sprouted before they are eaten, whether they are gluten-free or gluten-full. Don’t be hoodwinked. Don’t fall for those processed GF grains or that GF flour! Make sure they are prepared correctly also. Your digestive system will thank you. You will get all the nutrients of whole grains, and none of the digestive distress.  And be sure to serve them with some good grass-fed butter, so you may absorb those nutrients.

If the Gluten-Free super-grains are new to you, consider coming to a class. I’ll be teaching one on Thursday evening, October 14 in Silver Spring, Maryland.  You may register HERE. If you are not in the area, then pick up one of my handy dandy, beautifully hand lettered and illustrated,  Bean and Whole Grain Chart!

and, as always, be well!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

It’s time for a hot breakfast. Every day.

On the right, a Polyface egg...

Make your child nutrient-dense, pastured eggs cooked in butter from grass-fed cows. Note the dark orange yolk on the right--an egg from POLYFACE Farm. Pastured eggs make a difference!

So today it’s cold and rainy. A perfect day for a hot breakfast. But so is every day, especially for the child you are sending off to school, no matter what the age. More on this in a moment.

Today I sent my 4 year old off to school well-bundled and in his rain suit. And before he left, I made sure he had a hot breakfast in his tummy…sausages and “dippy eggs” (meaning the yolk is still runny…best for nutrient value…and of course the eggs are from hens ON PASTURE) and some warm herbal tea. And I’ll do the same tomorrow. And the next day…hot, warm or cold outside, rainy or snowy or bright sunshine…I will be sure to warm him from the inside out and to provide his rapidly growing body and mind with the protein and healthy fats he needs to thrive. And he will have the fuel he needs to run and play and build muscles and to focus on the teachings of the day.

Tomorrow it might be bacon and eggs…the next day “hammy eggs” (all ham nitrate and nitrite free, from sustainable farms…no ham from confinement operations obviously!)…or soaked oatmeal with grass-fed butter, cinnamon and ginger and pure maple syrup or raw honey… or almond waffles with grass-fed butter and fermented apple butter… Notice no cereal has been mentioned. I know what I am talking about here is REVOLUTIONARY, especially in a culture that espouses low-fat, no-fat, no time, speedy not-even-good-for-you high fiber not soaked cold cereal. Once again, I’ll deflate the balloon (seems to be my job around here.) Here goes: cold cereal—organic or not—is not good for your child, and will not help him or her to thrive physically or mentally. Let’s see why.

  1. Most cereal is full of sugar, whether it is called organic cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, or any other word that ends in -ose (fructose, glucose, maltose, sucrose or any other -ose they come up with).
  2. All cereals in a box from the store are PROCESSED. That means they are far removed from the way nature intended them and have undergone all sorts of processes to get it into that box. Cooked into a slurry, extruded under high pressure and heat. Heck that “O” doesn’t look anything like the oat from which it came. (And what happened to all that “whole grain”, whole oat goodness?? They can’t convince me that extruded Os, no matter what they claim on the box, has the same nutrient value as soaked oatmeal. They just can’t.)
  3. Nearly all cereals, organic or not, contain grains that have NOT BEEN SOAKED, SPROUTED or FERMENTED. ALL grains must be soaked, sprouted or fermented in order to make them easy to digest by the human body. Especially if you are eating them every day! (And in this country, we are encouraged to eat grains 8-10 times a day!)
    1. The protein in the grains (usually GLUTEN) that has not been predigested can put a strain on any digestive system, and especially those of young children.
    2. Minerals in the grains will be blocked from absorption in the small intestine. (Read MINERAL DEFICIENCIES over the long term. I don’t want my child to have mineral deficiencies, do you want yours to have them?)
  4. The cereals that are shapes (like Os) or flakes have been subjected to a very high heat process, which DENATURES THE PROTEIN in the grain. (I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to eat denatured protein, and I am certainly not giving it to my child.)
  5. The cereals do not provide healthy fat which is needed in order to assimilate the vitamins and minerals in the grains. Okay, I can hear some of you saying, “but what about the fat from the skim milk I pour on the cereal?” (That one’s a no-brainer. Whatever you do, don’t serve your child skim milk or low-fat milk. One, they need the fat, and two, they cannot absorb the calcium in the milk without fat!) What about  soy milk? Let’s not even go there. Soy milk is a processed food, which we are trying to eliminate here. Not enough said? It is also high in anti-nutrients and phyto-estrogen, and bad for the thyroid.

    Soaked Oats w Grass-fed Butter

    Soaked oats with grass-fed butter, raisins and cream

So yes, it is a perfect day to serve your child a hot breakfast. A hot, nutrient-dense breakfast of REAL food, prepared in a way that all of the goodness is easily digested and available to be taken in. Full of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and protein that you just can’t get from a box from the DEAD ZONE. And full of course, of love. Yours. Doesn’t get any better than this.

NOTE: If you don’t know how to soak the oatmeal or other grains, come to a class if you are in the area. I am teaching Soaking Techniques for Whole Grains and Legumes/Beans  in Silver Spring this Thursday evening, October 7 from 7pm-9:30pm. If you are not in the area, order one of my handy, informative and beautifully hand-lettered and illustrated CHARTS. The Preparing Whole Grains and Legumes for Ease of Digestion and Nutrient Availability Chart has all the information you need to soak, cook, and serve nutrient-dense whole grains and legumes. For more information, click HERE.

soaked pancake batter

Soaked buckwheat pancake batter


Filed under Uncategorized