I can’t believe we are already in to April and Easter is just around the corner!! I talk a lot about healthy eating, but I have never been a believer of trying to eat healthy for holidays. I usually have traditional family recipes that I like to make for holidays. My line of thinking is that they only come once a year, and how much you eat on a particular day isn’t going to make or break your diet or waistline :-). You do have to be careful when it turns into a week of eating fattening leftovers though.
I thought that this year I might make whole-wheat biscuits to go with the Easter dinner. They are made with coconut oil. Despite coconut oil's bad reputation there is evidence that it is actually good for you and may help promote weight loss. There is not a lot of research at this point for us to be certain, but several studies such as this one and this one say that coconut oil may be beneficial.
About a year ago, when I first started examining my diet, I discovered several blogs (Nourished Kitchen, GNOWFGLINS, and Kitchen Stewardship) that used traditional cooking methods. Salley Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions, is the inspiration behind many of the ideas. The basic premises of her book is that food has become over processed through the manufacturing process and is devoid of any nutrients (i.e. white flour, white bread, white sugar, white rice, etc.) Ms. Fallon explains in her book that eating the way our ancestors ate is much healthier for us. Whole grains are better for you but must be properly prepared in order to make their nutrients digestible by the body. The Weston A Price foundation also advocates the use of traditional preparation methods for grains in order to remove the anti- nutrients that prevent mineral absorption. This is typically achieved by soaking the grain in water and an acid such as vinegar overnight (in this recipe the yogurt and buttermilk acts as the acid) This method neutralizes the phytic acid in the grain and allows it to be more easily digestible by the body increasing vitamin absorption (particularly B vitamins).
This recipe for the soaked biscuits is adapted from a blog that I took an eCourse from early last year called GNOWFGLINS. The blog’s creator Wardeh Harmon has graciously allowed me to use her recipe. Check out her site if you are interested in learning more about Sally Fallon and traditional food methods. For more information about whole grains and breast cancer prevention go here.
Step 1: Start by placing the flour in a bowl and cut in the coconut oil with a pastry cutter or two knives. Add the yogurt and buttermilk and cover with a towel. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature overnight (8 to 12 hours).
Step 2: The next morning pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees. Add the salt, baking powder, and baking soda to the dough. Knead the dough by continually folding the dough over onto itself in the bowl. I did this about 10 times.
Step 3: Roll out the dough to ¾ of an inch thick and cut into squares. (Note that if you want your biscuits to really rise you can’t roll them too thin.)
Step4: Place the squares on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until brown.
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