Pursing a pro-biological lifestyle

Contact Me February 12, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Krystyna @ 1:01 pm

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Sourdough: The Conception July 18, 2016

Filed under: Biological Lifestyle — Krystyna @ 9:51 am

I remember visiting Paris, France when I was 13  – my first trip to Europe to visit my sister Gosia and her family in the Netherlands,  and anywhere in Europe was as close as Wisconsin Dells was to Chicago.  I was enamored with the city, the architecture, and the ambiance (not knowing the word back then).  I was a slightly overweight American teen,  already jumping from diet to diet.  I was off bread at that time.  I was also curiously observed that so many slender and pretty Parisian ladies were walking around with pastries in the morning, mainly with long baguettes.   Bread,  croissants, and other baked goods were abundant, I had to let go of the “diet.”  For a long time I  wondered why eating bread (ok not just bread, most other foods as well) in the U.S. made people overweight and unhealthy,  but many Parisians ate bread daily and seemed not to suffer those effects. Looking at the ingredients in most “American” bread, and having the feeling that 20-30 ingredients shouldn’t be in the ingredients list.    I know now that one of the main reasons was the age old fermentation process of sourdough bread and baked goods.

Having been raised Polish and Roman Catholic, it was hard to give up gluten when the issue came about.  Sure, the evidence was compelling- like Dr. Hyman’s article, to many scientific studies (i.e. that serological markers for gluten remaining in the body for 6 months after consuming gluten), entire health websites (i.e. greenmedinfo)  and other authorities like Dr. William Davis and his book Wheat Belly, Dr. David Perlmutter and his book Grain Brain. No grain left unturned,  in many cases it turned out that the so-called whole grain products were actually worse than the low grain due to the processed separation, making the glycemic index pretty high. Certain naturally occurring toxins like gliadin and lectins in whole grains can cause inflammation and even permeate the gut, causing a whole host of health problems.

But for crying out loud,  my grandparents and great-grandparents and ancestors in general were raised on and sustained with bread. Considering the raveges of wars and subsequent poor living conditions, malnutrition, and lack of hygiene, they were pretty healthy.  Evidence now shows that grain has been used by certain populations for over 10,000 years +.    Bread was equated with life, sanctity,  and everything Slavic/Polish (as is so in many other heritages and cultures). The Bible is teeming with examples, parables, and discussion about grain and bread.  From Weston A. Price’s Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, I remember the isolated Swiss valley with extremely healthy individuals that grew up and subsisted upon  traditionally prepared rye bread and dairy.  According to Dr. Price the Vatican Swiss guards were chosen from among these men for their fine figures and robust health.  All this information was constantly striking a major chord of dissonance for me.

With beginning thyroid symptoms and rising autoantibodies, symptoms of IBS ( painful digestion and moreso) after eating most wheat/ conventional flour based foods,  I was sure that the gluten free diet would work.  I wasn’t for using the usual gluten free substitutes,  since they were so high in the glycemic index and in many cases very artificial and/or processed (possibly more unhealthy than the gluten full versions). The flours I used were buckwheat, lentil (or other bean), millet,  coconut, almond, sometimes rice,  no corn ( due to the fact that so much corn is genetically modified with Bt toxin and already naturally seeping with lectins) and no soy (also due to the genetic modification factor).  But the baking results using these flours,  besides pies and crumbly cookies, were not too satisfactory.

Digging further and looking for more answers, the evidence seemed to point out that it’s not just the wheat, but that chemicals like glyphosphate ( Round up)  that were creating this problem. In addition the higher hybridization of dwarf strains of wheat that amplify the gluten content, as well as the adding of more gluten to commercial and processed breads were adding to the toxic mix.  With so many factors combined together,  the raw materials (grains but especially modern wheat)  and the modern processing of bread and baked goods are all leading to an epidemic of celiac disease, gluten intolerance in the last 40 years or so.

After more digging ( and discovering that I am a foodie at heart),  this article summed up the history of bread and baking in a decent nutshell – The rise and rise of sourdough bread.  After watching Catalyst – Gluten: A Gut Feeling I felt even better about my return to grains and bread.  Certain research also seemed promising.  One case study showed that pediatric patients with celiac disease could consume wheat based products that were thoroughly soured/fermented without adverse effects.  Another study demonstrated that fermented sourdough products can heal early stage intestinal damage and inflammation persons with celiac disease.

Encouraged, I started with the easiest no knead sourdough bread,  made mostly with spelt or rye flour.  Sorry, but after a few rounds, the results didn’t give the effect of the bread that I had eaten in Paris – the bread was too hard, not very palatable.

Giving up, as I was daunted by the whole idea of true sourdough,  I sought out local bakers and found a local bread ( from Iwanisk) that delivered to the local health food store. It was 100% rye (  a grain with a higher nutritional value than conventional wheat), different from any other bread that I had eaten in Poland or anywhere else.  Hearty, chewy, and most importantly unlike most other breads or baked goods bought ( I didn’t buy many artisan or sourdough breads in my student years), the bread hardened  but never got moldy.   Always delivered in its round boule form, always crunchy on the outside,  chewy on the inside, and very filling. The bread didn’t give the the symptoms previous baked goods did.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), for the past few weeks the bakery stopped delivering.  My family and I were distraut since healthful sandwiches ( great travel fare) and breakfasts were limited.  In my search I found this wonderful website with exacting details on how to prepare and even approach the idea of sourdough:  I was  enamoured with the author’s zest for all things sourdough and at ease since the instructions were systematic and explanatory – from the idea of using temperature as an ingredient,  to exact amounts and times.

My first bake was a flop – I used spelt flour (I though it was wheat, my bad), too quickly overheated the first rise by putting it atop the oven. It was a start, a poor one at best.  One hard loaf,  edible, better than most common bakery fare, but not delectable.

For my dad’s name day ( July 15th, Henry) I decided to make the best homemade present – a proper, well prepared sourdough bread.  In order to prevent lengthening this post more than needed, please refer you to the Perfect Loaf’s  beginner’s sourdough page for terminology and specifics. I used the country sourdough recipe with less levain with a few tweaks.  I did a 3 hour autolyse – mixing of just flour and water with no levain or salt to free sugars for the future fermentation, and to help build the dough in general.  I did the bulk fermentation with minimal folding,  since I mixed in some spelt flour in the mix ( now I  know I overhydrated the dough).  Shaping was a bit tricky,  but I added a bit of flour to  get it stiffer before the second proof.  An overnight stay after  the final proof  and into the oven at 5 am on Friday.  


The set of ingredients used first:

For the levain ( early Thursday afternoon)

Time: 5 hours

25 g mature starter

50 g white wheat flour

50 g spelt flour

80 g water at 29 C ( 84 F) – please note this was too much water still


At the 2 hour mark the autolyse was set,  which included:

900 g white wheat flour

100 g spelt flour

700 g water at 29 C (84 F) – note that I should’ve used less water here too – about 650 g would be better

These were mixed in a bowl and left to sit under a plate.   At the end of the 3 hour autolyse – 5 hour levain mark I mixed the levain with the autolyse. The final mixing also included 20 g of salt.

At that point I let it sit for about an hour to get a good rise out of it.  Then I just lightly folded the dough four corners of the earth ( north-south-east-west) style every half hour, until it about doubled.

Then I dusted the wooden board (work surface)  for the shaping phase – rolling the dough in circular fashion, preventing it from sticking to the board. I need to buy the proper scraper/bread-making knife, I used a thick sharp regular one but it was tricky – needs-must.

Then I finally shaped the dough into one piece and let it sit for over an hour.  After than I took a basket, lined it with linen dusted with rice flour and plopped the dough in, and it  was into the fridge for overnight.

The next morning at 4:30 I set the over for 250 C (the highest the over will go)  and placed the dutch ovens inside to heat up for about 20 minutes.  I took out the dough and started to shape ( good shaping video here). After I shaped I scored – or lightly cut the top of the bread to help release gases and makes it a unique loaf every time.   In went the two pre-breads into the oven at 250 C (about 480 F) for 20 minutes, then 10 minutes at 230 C (450 F) and then the breads were uncovered and finished off after another 30 minutes at 230 C.  The finished product were delivered to my dad, looking like this:


Chleb zakwas bake 2


Don’t judge too harshly please – the crust was a little thick and not the prettiest, the crumb  was a bit dense, but I mentioned that I deviated in a few ways.  I  hoping to make this a point in the learning curve. Tomorrow is a day off and I start again.  Wish me luck – Cheers and good health!













Goodbye Thai Chicken Curry February 24, 2015

Filed under: Recipes — Krystyna @ 4:54 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Before leaving my wonderful Dutch family my brother-in-law Henny had a  huge request: curry.  As a  young man he lived in India as an exchange worker for some time and grew to love this dish.  Now I must admit that  I  did not  eat or cook a great deal of Indian food  even  as a student,  even though I had quite a few Indian and East Asian friends.  Being Polish, and mingling with an eclectic group of ethnicities during my college years,  my friends and I ate in a largely fused kitchen, mixing spices and elements from many cuisines.  Many of us had a staple favorite though – a small Thai restaurant offshooting from our campus – serving great pad Thai,  amazing bubble teas  and a great coconut chicken curry.

So I dug in my tastbud’s memories  to  recreate one of my favorite dishes from my late teens and early 20s, which included chicken, potatoes, a medly of vegetables including onions, which are high in phenolics and flavonoids – potent anticancer antioxidants, and bell peppers, which a Spanish study concluded  have the most Vitamin A, Vitamin C,  and carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin) of all fruits and vegetables, alongside tomatoes.  Carrots add even more carotenoids to this dish.

Along with coconut milk, which gives a good dose of medium chain fatty acids -which gives us quick energy – and lauric acid,  which is  very antifungal and antiviral, we have a creamy base for the curry to simmer in.  A generous addition of  basil and cilantro make for a perfect seasoning combo,  adding a mound of favor as well as a great antibacterial and vitamin filled due.   The starchy carbohydrate in this case is the potato, which, contrary to many’s belief, is a very healthy addition, packed full of potassium, vitamin B6, copper, and vitamin C,  and of course gluten free.


1/2 pound (about 1/4 kilo) chicken – any part, I used deskinned legs and thighs that simmered in the chicken broth

3 potatoes – we used red skinned

2 medium onions

2 bell peppers – any color

3/4 pound (about 10 medium) carrots

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 can ( about 300 ml) coconut milk  – if you  have fresh coconut milk more power to you!

2 tablespoons curcumin powder

1 teaspoon basil ( I  used dried, fresh is great too)

1 teaspoon cilantro – dried or fresh

salt to taste ( I used about 1 a teaspoon and a half, Himalayan)

pepper to taste ( about 1/2 teaspoon)

A large pan or wok

Total time: 50 minutes to 1 hour


To make this faster, I  had already pre-cooked the chicken in  broth.  Cooking the potatoes in advance is also better.  In any case, carrots and  onions are diced into small pieces and fried  in a dollop of coconut oil, onions first – until glossy, and then the carrots, also sliced and diced.  I added a bit of salt with every vegetable to  seal in every individual flavor.  That takes about 15 minutes. Then add the washed and diced bell peppers, for another  5-7 minutes in the pan.  Then in go the potatoes and chicken,  along with the basil and cilantro.  Let that heat for another few minutes.

The coconut milk goes in next, and a bit of simmering happens.  Top that off with the curcumin ( or curry) powder and pepper, and let that simmer for another few minutes. Voila!  A real feast all in the confines of one dish.  Top with fresh basil or cilanto and serve.  Cheers and good health!

curry veg                                      coconut milk

all the vegetables looked glorious together                        the coconut milk that looked the most trustworthy at the local store

curry final

meal in a pan


Fat Tuesday Pudding Cheesecake February 19, 2015

Filed under: Recipes — Krystyna @ 7:13 am

So I’m visiting my Dutch family ( my sister Gosia is married to Henny, who is 100% Dutch, and has lived here for a long time) in the Netherlands – the country known for it’s tulips,  windmills,  massive scale bicyling.  What I also noticed about the Dutch  is  that  they  know and love their cheese.  Jonge kaas – young cheese,  Belage kaas – aged cheese (gaining firmness and  flavor with time),  Geitenkaas (goat milk cheese), Maasdam,  Edam, Rotterdam, Old Amsterdam – many of their cities have their specific cheese – and of  course  Gouda.  With the ending of  Carnival,  what better  way to celebrate Fat Tuesday than to make a rich cheesecake, and for easy fun a no bake version?

Looking at  recipes, I saw that a lot of them  used cream cheese, and using my google translate I  found out that the Dutch counterpart is  roomkaas.  The crust was made with cookie crumbs and grass-fed butter,  since it is one of the healthiest fats around.  Grasboter, as  grass-fed butter is  called in the Netherlands, is full of important  fat soluable vitamins like Vitamin A (butter is best source) and Vitamin E,  necessary for good eye (Vit. A),  as well as endocrine (thyroid gland)  health.  Both  also help with the immune system,  making us  more resistant to  infections, toxins, and diseases in general.  Butter lowers the risk of heart disease, as a new study  at the University of Cambridge shows, circulating  fatty acids from dairy  reduced heart disease risk.

Butter prevents weight gain,  by, contrary to many’s belief,  providing fatty acids for quick energy and not being  stored in fatty tissue,  since butter  provides mostly  short and medium chain fatty acids.  Full fat dairy actually lowers problems with metabolism and  obesity, as shown in this multi-study analysis.   Butter provides energy  for out intestinal flora prevents fungal (like Candida albicans) growth, and contain the highest know amount of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which reduces the risk of colon, stomach, skin and breast  cancer, and prevents cancer growth in children that ate CLA.   Butter is high in  omega-3 fatty acids, which  are known to fight inflammation and prevent many diseases like cancer, heart disease, and arthritis.  Butter also helps prevent osteoporosis by giving the necessary factors to  absorb calcium like Vitamin K2.  Butter even lowers the risk of developing asthma.

Margarine  and other synthetically produced  fats,  which are high in omega-6 fatty acids,  do the opposite by  slowing the thyroid, and causing inflammation.  Cancer risk increases with intake of margarine and other polyunsaturated fats,  as  well as obesity, and heart disease.  Even  infertility is linked to these fats,  so why not just use the butter instead?

Well we did.  This ultra-rich dessert is only for special occasions, and should be eaten in moderation:


Total  time:  1 and 1/2 hour

Preparation time:  about  15 minutes




500 g Roomkaas or cream cheese ( we used the Dutch brand Campina,  but I want to make my own, and found this easy recipe: )


1/2 (50 g) packet vanilla pudding


1/2 liter milk (for the pudding)


1 cup  sugar of  choice ( we used cane,  but  Muscovado, coconut palm, or any  other is fine)


150 g ( about 5 ounces) cookies or graham crackers, crumbled completely


3  tablespoons  Grasboter or grass-fed butter


Strawberries, another fruit,  coconut flakes or chocolate for decorations, I used  about  150 g strawberries – not in season,  but my niece Maaike really wanted them 😉


A pie pan




Make the 1/2 package of pudding,  and set aside to cool for a bit.


Mash the graham cracker or  cookies ( best to get gluten free and  without trans fats).  Melt the  3 tablespoons of butter and  mix together  and set aside.


Next get the  cream cheese, add sugar  and whisk together in order to mix in the cooled pudding.


Spread the buttered cookie or graham cracker mixture in a pie pan,  spreading it evenly.


Then fill the pie crust with the  cheese and pudding mixture,  put in the fridge or a  cool place to  set  for at least 1  hour.   Then decorate with desired  fruit or topping and  serve.  Yum!

photos courtsey of my sister Gosia


Raw Apple Chutney September 12, 2014

Filed under: Recipes — Krystyna @ 11:41 am
Tags: , ,

So after the LONG hiatus ( my dad broke a spinal vertebra so  it was a busy summer, thankfully he’s out of his  brace and  walking with  one crutch) the food dissection is back. With an easy, probiotic-rich recipe made for late summer/early fall.

Apples are coming in season,  and to get  on with annoying our  favorite Dic-Tator,  apple chutney is in order.

Apples are one of the healthiest fruits  out there.  They stablize blood sugar,  are  full of soluble fiber that help  regular blood lipid levels, and even alter gut flora to  make important dietary fats like butyric acid (which feed our good bacteria) more bioavailable.  Add the burst of  probiotics from fresh whey, a burst of minerals from the Himalayan salt  and some good old cinnamon, cloves,  and anise and cane sugar,  topped with citrusy,  this is a heart and soul filling recipe  to be made as long as apples are available.   All groups of  taste buds are stimulated with this dish – you have sweet,  salty, sour, and umuami ( which comes with the whey  and lacto-fermenting).

The recipe is simple, the only hard part is the waiting 😉


1 kg apples peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

1/4 cup yogurt or kefir whey, strained

1 & 1/2 teaspoon fine Himalayan salt

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground colves

1/4 teaspoon  ground anise

2-3 tablespoons cane sugar ( depending on the sweetness  of the apples)

zest of 1 lemon

juice of  1 lemon

1/2 cup raisins ( optional)


Large  bowl and spoon

Lemon rind zester/peeler

2 quart or 3 1/2 liter jars

Place  apples in a large bowl and mix  with spices, cinnamon and  sugar. Then add the salt  ( the apples will start to let their juices out).   Mix the zest  and lemon juice  and add the  whey.  Pack tightly into jars so that the  juices  cover the chutney on tope.  Let it  set from 1-2 days in a room tempertatre spot, and  taste to  serve.  Delicious yogurt or kefir,  pancake or waffle topping,  nd  a great  side  dish to meat, fish and vegetable meals.  Cheers and good health!

apple chutney


Marzipan coconut delights May 8, 2014

Filed under: Recipes — Krystyna @ 11:48 am

Yesterday was my parent’s anniversary, and besides the bought presents I wanted to make a special treat. Not having a tone of time and ingredients, I scoured my panty and happily found leftover marzipan (sweetened almond) paste from Easter. A light bulb came on – bake free easy treat!

Almonds are packed with Vitamin E ( a strong antioxidant), magnesium (good for your heart and muscles), and copper ( essential for enzyme and antioxidant function),  lower cholesterol,  are high in good fats,  protein and fiber.   Cacao and  coconut add a healthy dose of antioxidants and healthy fats to this delicacy as well.  It’s also gluten free and so easy to make. With a spoonful of cacao and some coconut flakes this makes a delightful treat, inside and out.



200 g marzipan paste or

200 g almond paste and a teaspoon and 1/2 of honey

1 tablespoon cacao

2 tablespoons coconut flakes to roll



In a bowl, mix the paste and cacao ( or the almond paste, honey and cacao) until there is a marbling. Pinch off about 1.5 cm (half inch) pieces and roll them into spheres. Cover each sphere evenly with coconut flakes. Serve or store in a cool place to firm.

Cheers and good health!


2014-05-06 21.02.15 (1)


Dandelion May 3, 2014

Filed under: Biological Lifestyle,Books and Sources — Krystyna @ 7:28 pm

ImageDandelion is abundantly infesting my lawn (maybe yours, too).  This is no reason to dispair, since dandelion is and has been a prized medicinal plant throughout human history for its many healing properties of gastric complaints, spleen and liver issues, hepatitis, even anorexia.

There is no way  with my ecological and health sensibilities that I  would use herbicides like Roundup,  which are linked to  fatal kidney disease in many countries, one of the most toxic herbicides and pesticides,125x more toxic than the isolated glyphosate.  Glyphosate is bad enough with its endocine disruption effects, damaging the metabolism and respiration of our cells, but Round up has a surfactant named polyoxyethyleneamine which makes the glyphosate more penetrable to  our cells and DNA, causing much cellular damage and carcinogenic effects.  Polyethoxylated tallowamine (POEA),  an ingredient declared to be inactive previously, was shown to be more fatal to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than glyphosate, the  “active” ingredient.”  Enough of the bad stuff – this post is to commend one of the greatest weeds out there.


Dandelion’s Latin name Taraxacum officinales means „Official Remedy of Disorders,”  and it is a well deserved name.  High in  vitamins A, B, C, and D, and minerals like iron, potassium, and zinc, dandelion also has a stimulatory effect on the salivary glands, kidneys (dandelion leaves), and liver (mainly the root), has potent antioxidant and anticarcinogenic (provoking the production of antibodies) properties, works to thin the blood and lower blood sugar.  No wonder the Puritans and other European settlers brought over this „weed”  to the Americas.


Dandelions grow in many places, and are associated with many plants like sagebrish and blueberries.  Bees gather dandelion pollen for honey, birds and other small animals can feed off them,  as well as poltury and pigs.   The only problem is that they an be  a bit invasive,  with their strong taproots growing up to 10 feet deep,  but  the taproot can be used in so many ways – like tea.


As a digression, there was an episode of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman where Dr. Quinn cured (and accurately diagnosed) her mother of hepatitis after the Boston doctors declared her incurable with daily infusions of dandelion root tea (yes I know it’s fiction,  but the writers  could’ve based the story on  some truth).

Dr. Quinn – wasn’t she the greatest? She was inspirational in so many ways.

The leaves and shoots can also be eaten ( blanching them makes them tastier,  less bitter).  Flowers  can be gathered for a delicious wine or an elixir for respiratory tract infections due to a substance called mucilage (which works as a wonderful cough expectorant).


 The procedure is quite easy, if not a bit of a workout.  The main work is  pulling the dandelion plant  with a maximally intact root (since intact taproots  will regrow, and as  much as I love dandelion,  no need for an infestation).  Using  a sturdy pitchfork or a  garden screwdriver  (I’m  not  sure if it’s actually called that, but it does the trick), the job can be done.

To get roots for dandelion tea or coffee, you  have to cut off the roots,  wash them in a bucket of water or the sink about 2-3 times (until they are maximally free of  mud/debris), lay them out to dry.  After  they  are decently dry,  cut them on a cutting board and set aside to further dry – depending on weather and conditions it can take about 1-2 weeks.  For tea, just store and add boiling water to infuse.  It’s good to mix a tablespoon of  dandelion root,  with a teaspoon of chamomile, linden flower, and mint.  Most aromatic herbal leaf or flower combinations work well.Image


For coffee,  the excess drying is not necessary.  Blend them in a food processor until they are coursely  ground, and them  either heat then in a cast iron pan or pot until they are evently  cinnamon brown (about 7-10 minutes, depending on heat),  or roast them on a sheet in the oven, 250 F (120 C) for about an hour and a half,  mixing them every 30 minutes.  The leaves can be dried alongside the roots, or frozen for later.


Image The  flowers can be gathered for wine,  or for a cough expectorant elixir,  which I can vouch for.    You need about  100-120 flower heads (it’s actually not that hard to gather on a lawn).  A quart  or liter glass jar will  be the incubator.  Take a few heads, pour a little brown sugar or  honey on    them  and  mash,  doing  half inch (1 cm) layers of  flowers, adding the sugar or honey,  and repeat   until the  jar takes in all the flowers.  Put in a cool dark  place for a few days  until all the juices let  out.  Drain the  elixir in a bottle and store.

After that I add some more honey (about 2 tablespoons), pour over with spirits,  and let the  flowers infuse their full potential into the spirits (ethylene alcohol – 90% is good 😉 ).  After about  2-3 weeks, the flowers will appear drained.  Store in  cool dark place as well.  Here’s to that – cheers and good health!


Butter Coffee April 27, 2014

Filed under: Biological Lifestyle,Recipes — Krystyna @ 2:31 pm

Coffee consumption is on the rise and this is not necessarily a bad thing.   Coffee  has a great deal of  health boosting properties – from its antioxidants chlorogenic acid and vitamin E, to to a high  magnesium, potassium, and niacin content.  Caffeine boosts neurotransmission by having caffeine block adenosine in the brain,  to improving  metabolism , fatty acid mobilization ( aka fat burning)  and even physical endurance are improved by caffeine consumption.   Regular coffee consumption has also been shown to decrease the risk of Type II Diabetes as well as the risk of Alzheimer’s disease quite  possibly due to the antioxidant content and increased insulin sensitivity caffeine produces.   Higher coffee concumption is even linked to  decreased risk of liver cirrhosis (liver death), suggesting a role of coffee in  detoxification.

The downside of this all – the coffee itself may be full of pesticides,  rancid,  or even worse  full of mycotoxins (fungal toxins).   Roasting decreases some of the risk, but having a source of  good quality preferably organic coffee is a good start.  Drinking real coffee, and not all the frappy sugary artificial coffee based drinks (or instant coffee, which is chocked  full of artificial ingredients and highest in acrylamide,  a known cancer causing substance).

Having such a wonderful drink,  how could it  be improved… by adding butter.   butter coffeeYes, you  heard me.  When I first read about this I was very hesitant – butter is great on toast, on boiled broccoli,  but in  coffee?   One needs to look no further for a butter lover – I  am  on the top ten list,  from my previous posts ( University of Cambridge’s rehabilitation of butter  as well as Dr. Aseem Malhorta’s defense of saturated fat, even the metanalysis done in California showing saturated fat does not contribute to heart disease) I  am adamant in restoring its place in our kitchen and digestive tract.   High in short chain fatty acids, vitamin K2, a high smoking point (clarified butter),  a high Conjugated Linoleic Acid content and full ofomega 3 fatty acids(in grass fed cow butter), not to mention the great flavor, so many benefits are available both healthwise and culinary.

So today, after whipping up a fresh batch of butter, and only having goat milk,  the decision to  put butter in the morning coffee was set.  To say the least, it was a great decision.

The procedure

The coffee (4 tablespoons) was freshly ground with a cardamon pod,  a  few  cloves,  and a pinch of grated nutmeg.  After boiling the coffee (3 tablespoons for 3 cups of water),  I  added 2  tablespoons of fresh  raw butter and  used the hand blender – gave it a whirl for about 30 seconds.  To my surprise, the butter formed a beautiful frothy cap on top.   So that’s it-  so easy, and a double punch of  health benefits.  No heart palpitations,  since it seems the caffeine would be more slowly absorbed due to the higher fat content.  There was also a greater feeling of fullness than after a regular cup of black or  even milked coffee.   This is going to be a morning staple.  Cheers and good health!

butter coffee 2





Slaskie kluski aka Silesian Dumplings April 23, 2014

Filed under: Recipes — Krystyna @ 11:22 am

Potatoes are  a (not only)  Polish staple food.  High in vitamin B6, potassium, copper and vitamin C, they are a brain and heart nourishing food.  One of my favorite ways  to  take in this delicious nightshade (which also grows quite easily in  the ground or in a container) is to make Slaskie kluski,  also known as kluski nylonowe, or nylon noodles.  This is because their texture is unlike any other dumpling – they’re chewy and gummy.  They are great  served  with a sweet side (like plum jam) or savory ( meat or mushroom).   The recipe is quite simple,  and  can be brought up a notch for festive occassion like Easter – which I did by adding freshly chopped dill and chives  for a great color effect.  Served with a mushroom onion garlic sauce,  they were  a favorite at the Easter dinner.



2 pounds (or about a kilo) of freshly bolied potates

2 eggs, beaten

1 tablespoon salt

1 1/2 cup potato flour or starch ( give or take)

2 tablespoons cream


1/2 cup  chopped chives and/or dill

Peel the boiled potatoes once they cool off a bit.   Mash with cream in a very large bowl or on a pastry board.   Add in the eggs and salt and mix.  Keep mixing the mashed potates and  flour  until the mixture is a rubbery consistency.  If you want the green effect,  add the chives and/or dill at the end.


Boil a  pot of water with a little bit of oil or butter (so the dumplings don’t stick).  Pull 1.5- 2 inch (golfball sized pieces) of dough, roll and thumbprint the middle of each dumpling. After making  10-12 noodles,  put them in the pot of  water.  After these rise  put in the next batch.   Each set of  dumplings should boil for  about 5 minutes after rising to the top.   They can be served with bacon bits, with sweet jams (if  made plain), or with our house favorite  sos pieczarkowo-cebulowy (mushroom onion sauce).

Kluski cooked

Mushroom onion sauce:

1 pound mushrooms

3 medium yellow onions

2 cloves or garlic

1/2 teaspoon majoram

1/4 teaspoon oregano

pinch of rosemary

1/2 teaspoon salt

pinch of pepper

boiling water

1 teaspoon potato or buckwheat flour

Chop  mushrooms,  saute on a skillet until  slightly  browned, add finely chopped onions  and  garlic.   Add spices,  pour  water over well sauted veggies,  then add flour  to  thicken,  add salt to  adjust.  Top  the kluski while  hot.  Smacznego!




Which fat is heart healthy fat? April 10, 2014

Filed under: Books and Sources — Krystyna @ 7:37 pm

A new study from the University of Cambridge reviewed saturated fat restricted high polyunsaturated fat diets and came to the conclusion that lowering saturated fat does not correlate with a lower risk of heart disease.  The researchers  also didn’t find  evidence for a high polyunsaturated ( omega 3, omega -6) fat consumption.  Even  different  types of omega 3 fatty acids had different rates of heart disease risk factors.  In the 72 studies analyzed, the group found that long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids were differently linked to heart disease.  Palmitic (palm)  and stearic (saturated animal fat) acid were linked to slightly higher increases, while margaric (dairy)  fat  reduces  heart disease risk.


Additionally, the study shows that the cardiovascular risks posed by red meat originate in the substance L-carnitine, and not in the saturated fat content.


The food download

Fatty aged cheese (like Gouda, Brie, Jarslberg) are high not only in dairy saturated fatty acids,  but also have a high  Vitamin K2 content.  Liver, eggs, butterfat, and  natto as well as sauerkraut (the last two the exceptions here)  are all good sources of Vitamin K2.  Vitamin K2 is necessary in the utilization of Vitamin D and ultimately calcium.  Low levels of Vitamin K2 are a  huge reason why so many people taking their calcium and Vitamin  D  have osteoporosis,  vascular calcification, i.e. linked to heart disease.  Vitamin K2 has other functions such as proper fetal bone development, decreased inflammmation in diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis, possibly treat leukemia and even prevent wrinkles.

Short chain fatty acids  butyrate (found in milkfat) are a quick  energy source for colon cells, acetate  is a direct energy source for the  cells of our body,  and many of the short chain fatty acids have cancer preventing activity.

Medium chain fatty acids like lauric acid and  capric acid ( in coconut oil) have documented antimicrobial and antifungal effects effects, regulate metabolism  and weight management, are used to prevent and treat  neurological diseases like Alzhimer’s, ALS, epilepsy, as well as for parenteral nutrition.  The list goes on about the activity of these fatty acids.


End choice

Well for me personally, I’m going to continue to eat generous amounts of butter, coconut oil, leaf lard (great for baking), and goose szmalec.  Like this offshoot article states, I will  eat like my granny  and my ancestors did before that.  My poor mother didn’t – she avoided eggs, ate low fat dairy,  cooked with vegetable oil and  had  two heart  attacks and coronary bypass surgery before age 55.  Now with diet (plenty of butter,  goat milk,  broth and veggies)  actually has reversal of  her post-MI ECG changes – a visible sign of heart function improvement – the doctor couldn’t believe it!

There is a growing number of doctors and researchers that are digging up the data  and questioning the low fat, “modern” diet,  since it’s just not bringing in the results.   Saying that saturated fat currently overtaking our food is a fallacy.  Most restaurants, most processed food producers make food like substances or cook with polyunsaturated vegetable oils and trans fats, which are causing our modern day problems of cancer, obesityheart disease, even infertility, and not the maligned lard and tallow that Julia Child reminisced about, remembering fries back in the day.


Many types of saturated fats are out there, and  they  have been  used for millenia.   In any case,  I’d like to live as close to 90  as possible, like my maternal dziadek (grandpa) did, eating his bacon and eggs,  sourdough bread with  szmalec.  That, and I love to eat my freshly made raw butter – yum!









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