Bits of food prep trivia and a Chai Tea recipe : LUSENET : Millennium Salons : One Thread

These are little bits on food prep and storage I've put out other places.

1) Get a couple of books to start if you need them: Amazing Grains and Romancing the Bean, by Joanne Saltzman, of Boulder Colorado and the School of Natural Cookery, 303-444-8068. These are designed for cooks new to the ingredients, use few utensils, and are simple and nutritious. Sprouting beans and pre-soaking grains is great for reducing cooking time. If you soak the grains and then drain them off, you use the water to both soften and clean. Add fresh water for your cooking pot.

Beans sprouted one or two days can then be easily pureed, and cooked quickly without as much heat. Grains can be cooked quickly by putting them to bed: Heat your grains and water and roiling simmer/boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Put the covered (thick walled is best) pot quickly into a basket or box stuffed with crumpled newspaper. Cover with a towel. They'll be fully cooked after several hours. Beans take a bit longer, depending on the bean. Vinegar added to beans increases shelf life.

2) Don't sweat the shelf life issues too much. If you need to store something for years, be sure you'll be opening it a lot sooner. Bugs can contaminate something in a matter of weeks, so this *is* an issue. A 6.5 gallon container holds approx. 45# of grain. Oxy packs seem the simplest to me. Shelf life of beans and grains in an oxy-free environment is 8-10 years minimum, (brown rice is 2 years). Keep temps as stable as possible.

3) Oxygen, light and heat degrade nutrient values by stimulating change. Minimize these challenges to your food storage system and you'll go a long way to getting the optimum life out of your foods. Sprouting of beans and grains is a great way to go to max out nutrition. Organic foods haven't been treated with sprout inhibitors and are not, at this time, genetically engineered.

4) Asian staples of miso, tekka and seaweed, American green foods like dried wheat grass and barley grass tops, and chutneys and hand-made Chai Tea are foods that we quite often forget, but can add spice, pleasure and nutrients to the basic foods list. Butter can be clarified into ghee, and stabilized for non-refrigerated storage for several months.

**** My Indian Chai Tea Recipe *****

Powdered Milk Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves & fennel seed (black pepper and other pungent spices can be added if you want) Black Tea granules bought in bulk tins clean water heat

Grind/crush spices. Simmer covered in a bit of water for a few minutes. Mix up powdered milk in water (I use a jar and shake it). Add milk to sauce pan and stir - cook gently for awhile. Add tea granules - stir for awhile til color comes.

Strain into pump thermos. Drink all day.

This is how the tea sellers make it on the streets of India. It's inexpensive, a good stimulant, pleasant, and stimulates digestion.


-- cynthia (, November 16, 1998

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