Food & Health Archive


Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

While no single book can definitively answer the thorny question of how to feed the Earth’s growing population, Defending Beef makes the case that, whatever the world’s future food system looks like, cattle and beef can and must be part of the solution.

In Defending Beef, Nicolette Hahn Niman — a longtime vegetarian — argues that cattle are neither inherently bad for the Earth nor is meat bad for our own nutritional health. In fact, properly managed livestock play an essential role in maintaining grassland ecosystems by functioning as surrogates for herds of wild ruminants that once covered the globe.

Hahn Niman, a former environmental attorney and activist, dispels popular myths about how eating beef is bad for our bodies. She methodically evaluates health claims made against beef, demonstrating that such claims have proven false.  Grounded in empirical scientific data and with living examples from around the world the author shows how foods from cattle – milk and meat, particularly when raised entirely on grass – are healthful, extremely nutritious, and an irreplaceable part of the world’s food system.

She also criticizes the modern, industrial food system — especially as it pertains to meat production — for being harmful to animals, the environment, and our health. Here’s a short excerpt from the book’s final analysis:

“I will be the first to agree that industrial methods for raising farm animals are indefensible, and I believe all people should join in rejecting them. Having seen it in all its gory details, I have no qualms about calling industrialized animal production a routinized form of animal torture. While Prohibitionists attacking innocent apple trees with axes seem absurd to us today, a lot of discussion over the ethics of meat eating likewise focuses on the wrong villain. Industrial animal production is rightly vilified; animal farming, on the other hand, is not.

What has really fostered my interest in the debate over meat eating is not a desire to encourage meat consumption but a longing for some nuance in the discussion. The issue is far from black-and-white, and polarized camps lobbing accusations at each other only hinder movement toward a better system. Building a food system that is more ecological and more humane is far more important to me than whether or not so-and-so is eating meat.

I believe the real issue is whether we humans are living up to our responsibilities of good stewardship of animals and the earth. Michael Pollan and others have proposed the idea that animals “chose” domestication based on a sort of “bargain” with humanity.  (…) However, it’s reasonable to assume, as well, that animals would never have opted for such an arrangement if torture had been part of the deal. Stated simply: By raising animals in factory farms, humans are violating their age-old contract with domesticated animals.

(…)

Individuals and groups are rightly concerned about adequate food supplies for the future. But they would do well to focus their attention on this imminent crisis, and on the way livestock are managed on the land, rather than on the absolute number of livestock, which has little significance. Properly managed grazing animals are an important part of the solution to feeding the world in the future.”

 For more from Defending Beef, click here to read the Preface and Introduction.

Wise Traditions Conference: Focus on Food and Health

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Interested in exploring the wisdom of the ages and the best of modern science and learning how it pertains to your family’s food and overall health?

Our friends at the Weston A. Price Foundation are hosting their annual conference next month in Indianapolis, Indiana and there’s still time to register and check out several days of information on nutritional health, whole foods, and farming traditions geared toward improving your overall health and well-being.

Chelsea Green author Mike Farrell — author of The Sugarmaker’s Companionwill lead a workshop on tapping trees, sap, and syrup production. Farrell will teach you about the costs and benefits of developing a sugaring operation on a hobby or commercial basis, as well as different trees that can be tapped—including various species of maple, birch, and walnut.  The benefits of using tree sap and syrup as a local, sustainable, and healthy sweetener will also be discussed in detail.

Authors Hilary Boynton and Mary Brackett will be at the conference and able to sign copies of their popular new book, The Heal Your Gut Cookbook: Nutrient-Dense Recipes for Intestinal Health Using the GAPS Diet. However, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, who developed the GAPS Diet and wrote the Foreword to Boynton and Brackett’s book, is a featured speaker at the conference.

Chelsea Green will have an onsite bookstore at the event where you can find a selection of our books that focus on traditional food, health, and cooking, meet some of our authors and maybe get a book signed. Be sure to stop by and say hello.

 

The Heal Your Gut Cookbook
by Hilary Boynton and Mary G. Brackett
In The Heal Your Gut Cookbook, readers will learn about the key cooking techniques and ingredients that form the backbone of the GAPS Diet: working with stocks and broths, soaking nuts and seeds, using coconut, and culturing raw dairy. The authors offer encouraging, real-life perspectives on the life-changing improvements to the health of their families by following this challenging, but powerful, diet. With more than 200 straightforward, family-friendly, nutrient-dense recipes, this book is a must-have if you are considering the GAPS Diet, or simply looking to improve your digestive health and—by extension—your physical and mental well-being.

The Sugarmaker’s Companion
by Michael Farrell
In The Sugarmaker’s Companion, author Michael Farrell documents the untapped potential of American forests and shows how sugaring can turn a substantial profit for farmers while providing tremendous enjoyment and satisfaction. Appealing to foresters, organic farmers with woodlands, homesteaders, preppers, permaculture enthusiasts, and, of course, sugarmakers, this book is applicable to a wide range of climates and regions, and is sure to change the conversation around syrup production and prove invaluable for both home-scale and commercial sugarmakers alike. This is a unique guide to making an integrated sugaring operation, interconnected to the whole-farm system, woodland, and community.

How Do You Like Them Apples?

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Crisp air? Check. Vibrant foliage? Double check.

It’s Autumn and that means orchards are overflowing with apples. As we tuck in to our first warm apple pie of the season, we thought it would be a good time to reflect on this quintessential staple of the American diet—the apple.

In the age of industrial food production, how much do we really know about apples? Here to shed some light on the subject is a selection of Chelsea Green books and authors that embrace the biodiversity of this fruit and all of its forms. From crafting the perfect cider to utilizing traditional preservation techniques to a history lesson covering 1,800 varieties, these books will take you on a journey deep into the world of apples.

Books About Apples

The New Cider Maker’s Handbook
by Claude Jolicoeur
If cider is the new craft beer, what’s holding you back from brewing your own? The New Cider Maker’s Handbook by Claude Jolicoeur is a one-of-a-kind guide to cider production, providing detailed and accessible instructions on the basics of cider making. Check out this excerpt on the many types of ciders that are within your reach.

Old Southern Apples
by Lee Calhoun
Explore the vast and forgotten world of southern apples with this ultimate guide by pomological expert and conservationist Lee Calhoun, including over 1,800 southern apple varieties and 120 color images. Here’s the full introduction to Old Southern Apples.
Taste, Memory
by David Buchanan
Buchanan’s memoir examines the relationship between preserving culturally forgotten foods and looking ahead to new varieties. Drawing from his experience as a grower of heirloom cider apple trees and more, Taste, Memory is based on the fundamental principle that a biologically diverse planet is not only good for the environment, but for humans as well. Here’s an interview with Buchanan on why we need biodiversity.
Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning
by Gardeners & Farmers of Terre Vivante
Not sure how to preserve this season’s bounty? This essential guide to traditional preservation techniques provides numerous recipes that enhance the taste and flavor of food, all while preserving its nutritional value. The book offers multiple options and recipes for storing apples, whether it’s simply utilizing a cellar or making a delicious chutney. Or, try making a drying tray in order to naturally preserve and increase the sugar content of your apples without additives.
The Grafter’s Handbook
by R.J. Garner
It’s never too soon to begin planning for next growing season and The Grafter’s Handbook by R.J. Garner has everything any level horticulturalist needs to know about grafting. This essential reference provides five grafting techniques for fruit trees, all of which will ensure that your orchard can thrive!

Chelsea Green Celebrates 30 Years of Craft and Cutting Edge Books

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

We here at Chelsea Green have always had a nose for authors and books that are years ahead of the cultural curve. That knack is clearly on display in a new anthology that we’re making available to celebrate our first thirty years in publishing.

More than one hundred books are represented in this collection and reflect the many distinct areas in which we have published—from literature and memoirs to progressive politics, to highly practical books on green building, organic gardening and farming, food and health, and related subjects—all of which reflect our underlying philosophy: “The politics and practice of sustainable living.”

The Chelsea Green Reader offers a glimpse into our wide-ranging list of books and authors and to the important ideas that they express. Interesting and worth reading in their own right, the individual passages when taken as a whole trace the evolution of a highly successful small publisher—something that is almost an oxymoron in these days of corporate buyouts and multinational book groups.

“I like to think of these brief excerpts as individual stones in a cairn. A cairn is a landmark, a pile of rocks built by hikers high above tree line in the mountains. It grows larger and larger over the years as new hikers passing by contribute a new stone, or replace one that might have fallen. A cairn is there to confirm, even on a foggy day, that we are on the right path, and it indicates the way forward, to the summit,” writes Senior Editor Ben Watson in the book’s preface.

“Every book is a stone, or a brick in the wall, of an edifice that is always being constructed, constantly evolving, and never quite finished. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that a publishing company is colloquially referred to as a ‘house,’” Watson adds. “At Chelsea Green we continue to build, with our authors and their ideas, a great house, one that represents our deeply held values and beliefs, our hopes and our dreams.”CGP_grasshopper_olive green

From the beginning, Chelsea Green’s books were nationally recognized, garnering positive reviews, accolades, and awards. We’ve published four New York Times bestsellers, and our books have set the standard for in-depth, how-to books that remain relevant years—often decades—beyond their original publication date. Books in this volume range from ones that appeared in our very first catalog in 1985 (and remain in print today) to ones that have long since gone out of print, but not forgotten as important touchstones for us as a publisher.

“Chelsea Green was born from a single seed: the beauty of craft. Craft in writing and editing, in a story well told, or a thesis superbly expressed,” writes cofounder and publisher emeritus Ian Baldwin in the book’s Foreword.

This attention to craft has even informed our business model: In 2012, Chelsea Green became an employee-owned company as a way to “practice what we publish” and lay the groundwork to ensure that the founders’ legacy remained intact in the decades to follow.

The move made Chelsea Green unique among book publishers in an industry dominated by investor-driven, multinational corporations. Only a handful of independent book publishers can claim employee-ownership status, and of those Chelsea Green will be near the top in terms of the percentage controlled by employees.

With the rise of the Internet, new media platforms, and a constantly shifting bookselling landscape, the future of publishing is anything but predictable. But if Chelsea Green’s books prove anything, it is that, despite these challenges, there remains a hunger for new and important ideas and authors, and for the permanence and craftsmanship of the printed word. Today our ongoing mission is stronger than ever, as we launch into our next thirty years of publishing excellence.

“People are moved by what they read,” adds Baldwin in his Foreword. “That pertains whether they read an ebook or a printed one, and they want to connect with the writers who make their lives richer. Part of the publisher’s role is to help make this vitalizing connection. This nexus among author, publisher, and reader is, I believe, unlikely to wither anytime soon.”

The Best of Autumn Project Special

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

There is no denying it: the days are shorter and unless you planned for season extension your garden is all about the root vegetables.

But don’t let the looming winter get you down. There are plenty of projects and recipes perfect for the changing weather.

Let our field guide to our favorite fall projects inspire you: from growing endless arugula, the ultimate sheet mulch, creating a root cellar, growing mushrooms on your jeans (no joke), cider making, and more!

Happy reading from your friends at Chelsea Green Publishing.

P.S. Don’t let the permaculture sale pass you by! http://goo.gl/hgMI7g

 


The Endless Arugula
 The Endless Arugula Bed

Want to save time and money while enjoying your greens as soon as possible in the spring? Consider extending your growing season by overwintering your crops—it’s both frugal and forward thinking. Grow it »»

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Ultimate Bombproof Sheet Mulch

Ultimate Bombproof Sheet Mulch

A fresh bed of sheet mulch isn’t as productive as one that’s six months old, so fall is the perfect time of year to start a new layer of mulch for your spring plantings. Get a jump start on your spring planting and turn soil into black gold.  Build it »»

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Chop, Salt, Pack, Wait

Chop, Salt, Pack, Wait: Four Simple Steps to Making the Best Sauerkraut on Earth

Four easy steps are all you need to turn veggies into a long-lasting, tangy condiment perfect to serve alongside sausage or eggs.

So go ahead, make friends with the microbes in your life. Make it »»

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Winter Vegetable Magic: Creating a Root Cellar

Winter Vegetable Magic: Creating a Root Cellar

As we enter into autumn, the gardening locavore starts assessing her stock of pickled beans, dried herbs, and preserved fruits. But what about the potatoes, beets, turnips, carrots? What’s a gardener to do with those when the thermometer drops? Build it »»

 

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Oyster Mushrooms: Grow Mushrooms on Your Jeans

Oyster Mushrooms: Grow Mushrooms on Your Jeans.

Thinking about getting rid of that pair of worn out jeans? Think again. You could use them to grow mushrooms. That’s right, mushrooms.

Don’t have a lot of space? Not a problem. Oyster mushrooms are perfect for fruiting indoors and in small spaces.  Grow it »»

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Veggie Lovers Rejoice: Vegetable Tian

Veggie Lovers Rejoice: Vegetable Tian

Enjoy This simple but elegant dish from the newly released The Heal Your Gut Cookbook. It’s always beautiful, and the vegetables are completely interchangeable, so use what have.  Eat it »»

 
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Autumn Apples: The Basics of Cider Making

Autumn Apples: The Basics of Cider Making

An increasingly popular, and mouth-watering, approach to handling the overflow of orchard-fresh apples is to make a batch—or five—of hard cider.

Ever wonder how you can dive in and make your very own? With these basics we’ll get you started. Learn it »»

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Sweet Desserts: Cinnamon Spiral
Sweet Desserts: Cinnamon Spiral

Warm up your kitchen this winter with this sweet temptation. This isn’t just any bread – the crumb is firm and reminiscent of pound cake, while the crust is soft.

Cinnamon Spiral is comfort food with style. Bake it »»

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 ~ ~ Hot off The Press for Fall: New Releases ~ ~

The Wild Wisdom of Weeds
Retail $29.95
Sale: $19.47

Farming the Woods
Retail $39.95
Sale: $25.97
The Heal Your Gut Cookbook
Retail $29.95
Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation
Retail $39.95
Sale: $25.97
~ ~ Need More? Don’t forget to look at our Sale books  ~ ~
Resilient Farm and Homestead
Retail $40.00
Sale: $26.00
Grass, Soil, Hope
Retail $19.95
Sale: $12.97
Integrated Forest Gardening
Retail $45.00
Sale: $29.95
Edible Perennial Gardening
Retail $22.95
Sale: $14.92
For a full list of all our sale books – more than 30 for 20% off or more—take a look at the full list here.

Discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books
already on sale for example. Free shipping for orders $100 or
more is applied after the discount is applied. (U.S. Orders Only)
 

The 13 Weeds Essential for Human Survival

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Did you know there are 13 plants you can find, whether at home or traveling, that can help you maintain a state of optimal health with minimal cost and effort?

In The Wild Wisdom of Weeds, author Katrina Blair introduces these 13 global “survival plants”—dandelion, mallow, purslane, plantain, thistle, amaranth, dock, mustard, grass, chickweed, clover, lambsquarter, and knotweed—that both regenerate the earth and support human survival. They grow everywhere where people live, from the hottest deserts to the Arctic Circle, and provide important forage for the bees and other wild pollinators especially today as human development is encroaching on wild habitat. They help regenerate the soil and bring fertility back to land that has been disturbed or overgrazed. The wild weeds are exceptionally nutritious as protein rich food sources.  The weeds typically have more nutrition than anything we can buy from the store. These 13 weeds each have powerful medicinal qualities and through utilizing them on a regular basis not only can they help cure illnesses but also prevent them from occurring.  The weeds often grow in abundance so overharvesting is not a concern.  The weeds are generally free and widely available to most humans living on the planet as an important survival resource.

With more than 100 unique recipes, Blair teaches us how to prepare these wild plants from root to seed, including information on growing “wild” microgreens, sprouting, fermenting, making wild green powders, and gleaning weeds from local lawns as a principled stance against pesticide use.

Introducing the 13 Weeds

Purslane (Portulaca) seeds are one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids. The leaves and stems are juicy, succulent and taste lemony.

Mallow (Malva) has a pleasant mellow flavor and is delicious in salads and juices while gently drawing out congestion from the body.  The whole plant blended and strained also makes a great base for homemade lotions and shampoos.

Plantain (Plantago) is not only a great food, but also acts as the perfect first aid kit in a myriad of ways.  The leaves chewed into a mash draw out snake venom, spider bites, infection, and assist rapid healing of any injury.

Clover (Trifolium) replenishes the soil with nitrogen and re-mineralizes our bodies with a full spectrum rainbow of trace minerals that support the integrity of long-term health.

Curly dock (Rumex) leaves are used for lettuce when young and the seeds ground fine make great flour for adding to breads.  The root works as a fantastic natural antibiotic and immune builder.

Lambsquarter (Chenopodium) has far greater nutritional value than spinach and its seeds turn into the highly nutritious grain, quinoa.

Amaranth (Amaranthus) also known as pigweed is a wild food of choice.  The greens are delicious raw and for making into green chips and the little black seeds and leaves are packed with protein.

Grass (Poaceae) grows everywhere and is a true blessing because all wild grasses are edible. It makes a fantastic survival food because it contains all 8 essential amino acids making it a complete protein.  Chew the blades for the juice and spit out the pulp if it is too tough to break down.

Chickweed (Stellaria) is a delicate plant with five white flower petals that uses the support of other plants to grow higher.  It tastes mild, like fresh green springtime.  It can be used in salads, green juices, and salves.  It supports our ability to let go of excess and increases our bodies efficiency.

Thistle (Carduus) greens make a fantastic juice.  Harvest the greens carefully from the back stem or use gloves.  Place them in the blender with plenty of water, an apple, and a lemon.  Blend and strain the pulp out.  Drink this delicious thistle lemonade and experience a good energy that comes from shifting your body towards an alkaline healing state.

Knotweed (Polygonom) grows low to the ground and is often overlooked. It is a wild buckwheat that is highly nutritious and delicious. It is a first succession pioneer species and helps regenerate the soil.

Dandelion (Taraxacum) reminds us how to survive in style.  The whole plant is edible and highly beneficial for good living.  The roots are eaten raw or prepared like a wild potato, the greens are delicious with a slightly bitter flavor, the flowers taste like honey, and the stems make great musical flutes.

Wild mustards (Brasica) are spicy edibles and encourage good circulation in the body.  They each have four flower petals that come in different colors of the rainbow.  The greens make a flavorful addition to dishes and the yellow seeds create great condiments and add local variety to your spice rack.

The Wild Wisdom of Weeds is about empowering ourselves to maintain a state of optimal health with minimal cost and effort, and offers a tangible way to connect with our sense of place by incorporating wild edible and medicinal plants into our daily practices.

Save 35% off your purchase of The Wild Wisdom of Weeds when you buy it direct from us before October 13.

Homemade Bone Broth – A Healthy Diet Staple

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Have you had your steaming hot bowl of bone broth today? If not, you might want to consider integrating this nutrient rich, immune system boosting elixir into your diet.

As the foundation of the GAPS diet, bone broths are used in the early stages to starve pathogenic bacteria in your digestive system and heal your gut. Sealing a leaky gut can help treat disorders ranging from allergies and asthma to autism, ADD, depression, and more. However, as a healthy source of calcium, potassium, and protein, anyone looking to improve their digestive health can reap the nutritional benefits of bone broth.

If you still need convincing, listen to this interview about bone broth conducted by Dr. Joseph Mercola with authors Hilary Boynton and Mary Brackett from The Heal Your Gut Cookbook. After the interview was posted on mercola.com, the book shot to #7 on Amazon’s best seller list for the day.

Learn how to make your own chicken, beef, and fish bone broths using the below recipes from The Heal Your Gut Cookbook. This easy to digest, nourishing broth is made from bones with a small amount of meat on them that you cook on low heat for anywhere from 4-72 hours depending on the type of bones being used. According to Boynton and Brackett, some of the most nutrient-dense animal parts include those you may normally throw away. It might take some getting used to, but once you start adding those chicken feet or fish heads into the pot, your nourished gut will thank you.

For more recipes from books that focus on restorative diets and traditional foods, check out this simple, 4-step method of fermenting vegetables from The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz and a recipe for succotash from Full Moon Feast by Jessica Prentice—a cookbook featuring foods that follow the ancient rhythms of the season.

Now, get ready to make bone both a new staple in your diet.

Homemade Bone Broth – The Heal Your Gut Cookbook

Back to Basics with Fermentation

Monday, September 15th, 2014

For thousands of years, people have been using fermentation as a nourishing way to eat and preserve a variety of foods including vegetables, fruits, milk, grains, beans, meats, and more. Only in the last century has our culture distanced itself from this traditional approach to nutrition and adopted an industrialized food system complete with highly processed and genetically modified foods.

This month, we are celebrating Chelsea Green authors that are committed to bringing the nutrient-dense, traditional foods and preparation methods of our past back into the mainstream.

The fermentation revivalist himself, Sandor Katz, deserves to be recognized as one such revolutionary. Katz is the author of Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentationa New York Times Bestseller and the definitive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation.

His books have inspired a new generation of home fermenters—even author Michael Pollan caught the bug. “Sandor Katz writes about the transformative power of fermentation with such infectious enthusiasm that he makes you want to try things just to see what happens,” writes Pollan in his foreword to The Art of Fermentation.

With Katz’s simple, 4-step method to fermenting vegetables, attempting a homemade sauerkraut has never been easier. All it takes is Chop, Salt, Pack, and Wait. Check out the excerpt below for details.

And, here are some other books featured in our series on nourishing foods…
The Heal Your Gut Cookbook: Nutrient-Dense Recipes for Intestinal Health Using the GAPS Diet by certified holistic health counselor Hilary Boynton and whole-foods advocate Mary G. Brackett – You’ll find additional info on this restorative diet and a sampling of appealing, family-friendly recipes here.

Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection by chef and food activist Jessica Prentice – With recipes that display the richly satisfying flavors of foods tied to the ancient rhythm of the seasons, this book will resonate with anyone interested in traditional food philosophies like the Paleo diet, the Weston A. Price approach to nutrition, and, of course, fermentation.

Fermented Vegetables: The Basics

(The following excerpt from The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz has been adapted for the web)

The English language does not have its own word for fermented vegetables. It would not be inaccurate to describe fermented vegetables as “pickled,” but pickling covers much ground beyond fermentation.

Pickles are anything preserved by acidity. Most contemporary pickles are not fermented at all; instead they rely upon highly acidic vinegar (a product of fermentation), usually heated in order to sterilize vegetables, preserving them by destroying rather than cultivating microorganisms. “For pickles, fermentation was the primary means of preservation until the 1940s, when direct acidification and pasteurization of cucumber pickles was introduced,” writes Fred Breidt of the USDA.

My vegetable ferments are usually concoctions that do not fit any homogeneous traditional ideal of either German sauerkraut or Korean kimchi. But of course, everything I’ve learned about sauerkraut and kimchi reveal that neither of them constitutes a homogeneous tradition. They are highly varied, from regional specialties to family secrets. Nonetheless, certain techniques underlie both (and many other related) traditions, and my practice is a rather free-form application of these basic techniques rather than an attempt to reproduce any particular notion of authenticity.

In a nutshell, the steps I typically follow when I ferment vegetables are:

1. Chop or grate vegetables.

2. Lightly salt the chopped veggies (add more as necessary to taste), and pound or squeeze until moist; alternatively, soak the veggies in a brine solution for a few hours.

3. Pack the vegetables into a jar or other vessel, tightly, so that they are forced below the liquid. Add water, if necessary.

4. Wait, taste frequently, and enjoy!

Of course there is more information and nuance, but really, “Chop, Salt, Pack, Wait” is what most of it amounts to.

Photo: Sandor Katz illustration by Michael Tonn
Photo: Shredded vegetables in jar by Devitree

Over the Moon for Traditional, Nourishing Foods

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

This month, we are highlighting Chelsea Green authors that are champions of locally grown, organic, nutrient-dense foods and traditional cooking methods.

Last week we featured certified holistic health counselor Hilary Boynton and whole-foods advocate Mary G. Brackett’s new book, The Heal Your Gut Cookbook: Nutrient-Dense Recipes for Intestinal Health Using the GAPS Diet. For more information on this restorative diet and a sampling of nourishing, family-friendly recipes, click here.

Up next in our series is Full Moon Feast by chef and food activist Jessica Prentice. This book follows the thirteen lunar cycles of an agrarian year, from the midwinter Hunger Moon to the autumn bounty of the Moon When Salmon Return to Earth. Each chapter includes recipes that display the richly satisfying flavors of foods tied to the ancient rhythm of the seasons. Full Moon Feast will resonate with anyone interested in traditional food philosophies like the Paleo diet, the health benefits of fermentation, and the Weston A. Price approach to nutrition.

Like The Heal Your Gut Cookbook, Full Moon Feast inspires a more restorative way of eating, one that calls for a holistic approach to where our food comes from and how we prepare it.

In honor of the current change in seasons, the following is an adaptation from Full Moon Feast, The Corn Moon. This lunar cycle falls in that magical time when summer transitions to autumn.

The Corn Moon

The ancient Celts and many Native American peoples called the lunar phase that fell on the cusp of summer and fall—when the grains were ripe in the field and ready to be harvested— the Corn Moon. But translating the Celtic moon name and the Native American moon names as the Corn Moon creates some confusion. Corn in North America and corn in Europe are two different things.

In the United States, the word corn refers the species Zea mays, the tasseled plant that produces cobs of kernels in earthy hues of yellow, white, blue, and red. In Northern Europe the Germanic word corn means simply “grain.” When Northern European colonists first encountered the plant Zea mays that had been cultivated and developed over many millennia by the indigenous peoples of this continent, they named it Indian corn, meaning Indian grain. Over the centuries the plant became known simply as corn in American English, while barley, wheat, rye, and other familiar cereal crops came to be referred to as grains. Early on, many colonial dishes that made use of Indian corn were given names like Indian pudding (a dessert made of cornmeal and sweetened with molasses) and rye’n’Injun bread, which was made of rye flour and cornmeal. In most other Englishspeaking countries, what we call corn here in America is called either maize or sweet corn, to distinguish it from grain.

For many of us who grew up in the United States, summertime evokes images of corn— the sweet, juicy variety that can be eaten right off the cob, dripping with butter, at a barbecue or a summer beach house. I can’t seem to get enough of it once the season starts. But while our associations conjure feelings of carefree, lazy days, for the peoples that called this the Corn Moon, corn was a serious affair.

Many American Indian moon names reflected what was happening in the cornfields. You can find a Planting Corn Moon, a Green Corn Moon, a Moon When Women Weed Corn, and a Moon When the Corn Is in Silk in various languages. For both American Indians and the Celts, this time of year heralded the ripening of grain. So while the Corn Moon of the Celts and the Corn Moon of indigenous peoples referred to slightly different harvests, they came down to the same thing: The Corn Moon meant survival and sustenance. It meant that the sacred, staple grain, the agricultural foundation of the community, would soon be ready for harvest. The crops ensured that there would be food to last through the winter. A year’s worth of planting and tending had been successful.

Suffer-free Succotash
Serves 3–4

The word succotash comes from a Narragansett word, m’sickquatash—with variants sukquttahash and msakwitash—which apparently meant “fragments” and referred to a stew of various ingredients, always including corn. This is my version.

Ingredients:
1 cup dry or fresh shelling beans, preferably white or pale green (lima beans, butter beans, or gigante beans are ideal)

1/2 dried ancho chile pepper (or other mild, dried chile), without stem or seeds

1/2 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons butter, olive oil, lard, tallow, or other traditional fat

1 medium leek or onion, chopped or diced

1 large (or 2 small) sweet pepper(s), red, orange, or yellow, diced (bell, gipsy, or other)

3 ears of corn, kernels cut off the cob

Salt and black pepper to taste

1/2 cup raw cream or crème fraîche

1 or 2 scallions, minced

Procedure:
1. Reconstitute the ancho chile pepper in the boiling water by pouring the water over the chile in a bowl and letting it soak while you begin the recipe.
2. Heat a large skillet or shallow pan over medium high heat and add the butter or oil.
3. When the butter or oil are hot, add the onion or leek, and sauté for about two minutes.
4. Add the bell pepper and continue to sauté for another couple of minutes.
5. Lift the ancho chile out of the hot water and mince it small. Add the chile mince to the sauté and stir. Allow to cook for a minute or so, then add the chile soaking water to the sauté (strain out seeds).
6. Drain the beans and reserve the cooking water. Add the beans to the sauté and bring mixture to a simmer. Add bean cooking water as needed to keep the mixture wet and saucy.
7. After about 5-10 minutes, when the mixture is soft, add the corn kernels and cook for another minute or two to heat through, and add salt and pepper to taste.
8. Remove from heat and stir in cream or crème fraiche.
9. Serve as a stew with chopped scallions on top, or as a side dish to fried chicken, pork chop, or other meat.

The Morel of the Story? Think Like a Mushroom

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Calling all you fungi (and fun gals), it’s time to celebrate National Mushroom Month.

Our mycological-minded authors know more than a thing or two about the fascinating world of mushrooms—whether its foraging, cultivating, or concocting tasty recipes, we here at Chelsea Green have the books that are sure to answer your mushroom musings.

NEW Mushroom Books in 2014

Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation - In this comprehensive mushroom guide, mycologist Tradd Cotter shares innovative new methods for urban and off-grid growing, making mushroom-infused beers, morel cultivation, and more. Hear from the author himself and get a taste of his infectious enthusiasm for fungi as he urges people to “think like a mushroom” during his interview on Radio Vermont’s Mark Johnson Show. And, check out Cotter’s wild and cultivated mushrooms in the slideshow of images at the end of this post.

Farming the Woods - This book by Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel looks at agriculture from a completely new perspective—one that relies on forests for growing a wide range of food and medicinals, rather than open fields with straight rows of crops. Chapter 5 is all about mushrooms including stats on US production, cultivation tips, consumer demand, and species profiles. Here’s a preview of the foreword and introduction for Farming the Woods.

Chelsea Green Classics Featuring Mushroom Content

The Resilient Farm and Homestead - Ben Falk, award-winning author and expert permaculturalist, has written a manual for developing durable, beautiful, and highly functional human habitat systems fit to handle an age of rapid transition. Read what he has to say about the power of fungi and how, in addition to providing food and medicine, their existence makes ecosystems more resilient.

Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist – Think mushrooms and cocktails don’t mix? Think again. Michael Judd shares this recipe for a Maple Mushroom Martini featuring mushroom infused vodka.

Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares - This fascinating and fresh look at mushrooms—their natural history, their uses and abuses, their pleasures and dangers—is a splendid introduction to both fungi themselves and to our human fascination with them. Author Greg Marley sat down with us back in 2010 to talk about mushroom culture around the world and of course, his favorite edible mushroom.

And now, a slideshow of ‘shrooms…


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