Nourishing Farm Food {GAPS Approved}

I’ve been writing about our experience with Nourishing Farm Food for years now. Many of you may already know that we followed the GAPS protocol for about two years as we healed our daughter Lilah from several Food and environmental sensitivities. Through the years we’ve seen significant improvements to our health eating this way.

Interestingly, as I read and study the way folks have eaten around here for hundreds of years I realize that this is simply good old-fashioned country common sense. Healthy fats, protein, vegetables, berries, and fermented dairy would have been commonplace. Hand selects foods for how they heal and nurture the body. Remember how your grandmother suggested a big bowl of chicken soup when you were sick? Or the mention of a swig of buttermilk to settle the stomach? And kraut was a staple during winter months-making the most and extending the life of those fall vegetables.

People learned to eat this way out of necessity, but we are learning that our health depends on us being resourceful mainly because of all the foods we now have available to us all year.

Thankfully, these are the foods that can be grown, year round, right here on our Kentucky farm. With a little ingenuity, elbow grease and time cooking foods that give your body life can become commonplace.

Last night a group of men and women gathered around my kitchen counter to talk, cook and taste what I’d call the “staples” of Nourishing Farm Food. All of these are approved by the GAPS protocol, but it is by no means an exhaustive list.

 

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This is simply my recollection of the foods and the ways of preparing them as I’ve gathered insight through the years. This way of cooking has become second hand to me. Lucky for you there are so many resources available today. My favorite is The Heal Your Gut Cookbook with beautiful photos and recipes that will make you forget you are on a “special” healing protocol at all. The lovely ladies over at Honest Body have a 30-day prep that I highly recommend. My friend over at  Families Who Cook has a fantastic Instagram page with daily stories that will inspire you to get outside and in the kitchen.  This movement towards gut health wouldn’t be possible without the inspirational Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride author of the Gut and Psychology Syndrome:  Natural treatment for autism, dyspraxia, ADD, Dyslexia, ADHD, Depression, Schizophrenia and I’ll always be thankful for my doctors at Cool Springs Family Medicine who believed in my family would put in the healing work through food and lifestyle.

Lemon & Lime Water

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Ready in 1 minute
Drink every morning and between meals

Ingredients
Filtered water
Lemon or Lime
Tips
One of the most important things we can do for our health is to drink plenty of water. Without any other change, you will see significant benefits to drinking more water. Drinking watermelon or room temperature water first thing in the morning kick starts your digestion and is great for the kidneys.

 

Beet Kvass

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Ready in 24 hours

Ingredients
Beets, quartered
Salt
Filtered water
Tips
You can peel your beets, but to be honest, I just quarter them and leave the peel on. Locally grown, fresh beets work best and produce a stronger flavored Kvaas. Salt to taste, cover with filtered water and place in a cool, dry place for 24 hours. It may take a little longer to produce the flavor you want. Once it’s bubbly and active, it’s ready. Store in the fridge. I drink about 4 oz. A day to see improvements to my kidney function.

 

Fermented Vegetables

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Ready in 7 days

Ingredients
Vegetables of choice
Seasoning, Herbs
Real salt
Filtered water
“Starter” for more active ferments
Tips
The most difficult thing about ferments is the time you have to wait before you enjoy, but I find the anticipation increases my satisfaction! There are so many ways to ferment vegetables, and you do just figure it all out as you go, but my favorite method is one I read in a very old world “peasant” cookbook I skimmed through in an antique store years ago.
Chop vegetables to desired consistency, season with herbs, salt, pepper to taste, cover with filtered water and place in a cool, dry place for about seven days. Check in on it from time to time, taste. The more you eat fermented veggies, the longer you might allow them to ferment.
Leave your ferment uncovered so it can breathe. Cover with cheesecloth or a paper towel if fruit flies are an issue. Skim mold if it occurs.
Speaking of mold. Remember when our food use to mold? Butter, cheese, bread? We’d just cut the “bad part” off and eat the rest. Our food was meant to do that! Keeping without any sign of being alive means that it’s no longer food.

 

Broth

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Ready in 12-24 hours

Ingredients
Whole chicken, beef, fish (bones can be used but include meat during healing process)
Onion
Salt
Vegetables, as desired
Filtered water
Tips
Broth becomes the base of nearly every meal in the Farm Food kitchen. Like ferments, you learn your preferences as you go. Place meat, seasoning and filtered water in a pot. Simmer for at least 12 hours. I prefer a little less water and 24 hours for a drinking broth. Some use more water and heat longer. High-quality protein is the secret to a good broth. We use it for drinking and as the base for soups, stews and other dishes. In the first days and stages of healing your gut, you will want to drink as much as possible as well as cooking all of your veggies and protein in the broth. This is what predigests your food and allows your digestive tract to heal.

 

Caramelized Onions

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Ready in 30 minutes
Ingredients
Onions
Coconut oil, ghee or butter
Tips
A farmwife once told me that the most important thing you can do to start your day is to make a big skillet of carmelized onions. It’s held true for me. Once these are made you are another step closer to a tasty meal. Add to the broth for a delicious, simple soup. We also use these to flavor eggs, stews, veggies, anything! Onions and healthy fats are very nourishing and help heal the gut.

Meatballs

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Ready in 20 minutes

Ingredients
Ground Beef or Sausage
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Tips
These simple meatballs make the perfect meal or snack. I’ll add them to soup or eat on their own topped with caramelised onion, and after the healing process has begun, sour cream or yogurt. These are one of my kid’s favorites!

Roast & Root Vegetables

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Ready in 4-6 hours

Ingredients
Beef or Pork Roast
Onion
Broth
Salt & pepper, to taste
Carrots or other root crops (such as turnip, beets, parsnip)
Tips
This is one of the most satisfying meals and has become a staple in our family. Most often, we make this with a beef roast, onion, and carrots. It’s the perfect “on the go” food for those who need to pack and carry their meals.

Chicken & Vegetable Soup

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Ready in 30 minutes

Ingredients
Broth
Shredded Chicken (from chicken used to make broth)
Veggies of choice (such as squash, zucchini, carrot, onion, butternut squash)
Salt & pepper, to taste
Tips
This soup is super easy. I start by boiling the veggies in a small amount of broth. Once they are cooked tender, I’ll add more broth and the shredded chicken. Season to taste. This freezes well for quick meals and on the go.

Veggie & Broth Smoothie (Soup)

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Ready in 20 minutes

Ingredients
Broth
Veggies of choice (carrots, butternut squash, tomato, onion)

Tips
This has become a daily go to for me. I like to call it my veggie & broth “smoothie.” It’s delicious warm or cold. I include more broth so it’s thinner and “drinkable” from a mug or mason jar. This was made with broth, carrots & onion. Simply boil (if you are in a hurry) or simmer (when you have more time) veggies in broth and purée with a food processor or immersion blender.

Sautéed Apples

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Ready in 15 minutes

Ingredients
Green Apples
Coconut Oil, Ghee or Butter
Cinnamon, to taste
Salt, to taste

Tips
This becomes a daily staple around here when our entire family is working on improving our gut health. Green apples are lower in sugar, but still, give you some carbs to keep your blood sugar level. We enjoy them sautéed quickly on the stove top, but they can also be cooked longer to make applesauce.

Fermented Dairy

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Ready in 24 hours

Ingredients
Kefir = Milk + Kefir Grains
Yogurt = Milk + Starter (yogurt, whey, brine)
Sour Cream = Cream + Starter (yogurt, whey, brine)

Tips
Fermenting dairy is likely much easier than you might expect. My biggest tip is just to get started and give it a try. Reading old cooking books and journals taught me that people used what they had on hand. Kefir requires kefir grains, but when you are making yogurt and sour cream, it really is as simple as adding any “starter” to the fermentation process. I use about one tablespoon of “starter” to a half gallon of milk or quart of cream. Simply place in a cool, dry place for 24 hours and viola. Every person’s tastes, house temperature, dairy will be different. While it’s always edible, you may find that tweaking the process here and there gives you the desired consistency and flavor you want.

 

Eggs & Veggies

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Ready in 15 minutes

Ingredients

Eggs

Coconut oil, ghee or butter

Veggies of choice

Tips
Scrambled eggs and veggies are a delicious addition all year long.  We eat this for breakfast, of course, but also for any other meal of the day.

The more we’ve eaten this way. Eating less sugar, processed and fast food while increasing our healthy fats, protein and vegetables the more benefits to our health we’ve seen. We’ve lost weight, increased energy and healed health issues. It makes sense, really. We are eating the foods that have been grown here in our backyard for hundreds of years, preparing them in the same ways. Ways that are nourishing and life giving while connecting us to the very foods we grow.

 

 

 

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