SORGHUM – SOME OF IT’S BENEFITS AND UNIQUE WAYS TO USE IT!

SORGHUM – SOME OF IT’S BENEFITS AND UNIQUE WAYS TO USE IT!

Packed with plant-based protein, and especially rich in magnesium, iron, phosphorus, B-vitamins, and loaded with antioxidants, organic Sorghum flour is a powerhouse! It’s so versatile too. It can be used in baking, cooking and even as a thickener for sauces and soups. In most recipes you can replace Sorghum grains at a 1:1 ration and it’s great as a substitute for rice and quinoa. The grain is widely used in India, Asia and Africa. You can also pop Sorghum just like you would popcorn! We have enjoyed it in our home. It’s much smaller than popcorn, but if you can’t do corn, Sorghum is great! Because it’s lighter than popcorn you will want to avoid most air poppers. Here’s a fun educational video on how to pop it that your kids will enjoy!

The United States grows more Sorghum grain than any other place in the world and getting any grain flour fresh is going to be super important for many reasons. For one, the fresher the flour the more bursting with nutrients it will be. Also, your food will be more flavorful! We are not only interested in making nutritious bread for you, but delicious as well. It’s quite simple. Would you rather have a cup of coffee from freshly roasted beans or ones that have been sitting around for months? Our milling company grinds our grain into flour the moment we are ready to order a new batch! So, what you are getting in our loaves is pretty fresh.

For more information on Sorghum, here’s a good article with some great recipes as well.

Enjoy!

Sandy K Workman
SK Director of Brand Development

 

 

Toasting to Health

Toasting to Health

ACRYLAMIDES!

Many of our customers battle with serious health issues and it’s our passion not only to provide a wonderfully nutritious product for them, but also offer a better way of living. Answering their questions is one way we love to do this.

Daily we receive many inquiries concerning our product, and some of them are quite unique. Recently we received one on Acrylamide, and so today I want to talk a little bit about this chemical.

What is Acrylamide?

According to the FDA “it’s a substance that forms through a natural chemical reaction between sugars and asparagine, an amino acid, in plant-based foods.” In laymen terms, acrylamides are essentially burnt starches lol. They form when certain foods have been fried, over-cooked, grilled, baked or roasted at very high temperatures. Yes, it’s all those tasty ways that usually cause an explosion of flavor in our mouths. Some major sources of Acrylamides are potato chips, French fries, crackers, processed breakfast cereals, coffee (including cereal or chicory roasted coffee substitutes), canned black olives, prune juice and cigarette smoke.

Are Acrylamides Harmful?:

After viewing the above list of major sources, the answer is obvious. Acrylamides are toxic and in high amounts are especially harmful to the nervous system. They are believed to contribute to chronic illnesses such as autoimmune diseases and cancer. Living on planet earth can be challenging but thankfully there are some very simple and easy ways you can prepare your foods and avoid acrylamide consumption! Here’s a great little article: 9 Simple Ways to Reduce Acrylamide Intake – ActiveBeat – Your Daily Dose of Health Headlines

Simple Kneads & Acrylamides:

All the ancient grains and seeds used in our product are milled raw. We don’t overbake and the high-water content in our bread makes it resistant to over-browning. Regular bread, even when toasted on a lower setting, quickly begins to change color and gets crumbly. You will not find this with our product as it is super resistant to these types of breakdowns. As for our artisan crust… well, turns out those dark crusts that your parents had you eat when you were growing up, aren’t that great for you. So, if you want to avoid acrylamides as much as possible, you will want to cut them off!

For more information on Acrylamides, check out this video! Acrylamide (youtube.com)

Sandy K Workman
SK Director of Brand Development

Is Quick, Cheap Food Less Expensive

Is Quick, Cheap Food Less Expensive

Some of us here at Simple Kneads were raised on a plant-based, wholefoods diet, and we have raised our families the same way. But I must admit, I often wondered what it would be like to live on the “wild side.” When I was little, I dreamed about having a bowl of Captain Crunch for breakfast instead of homemade granola and cooking up a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese or popping a pizza in the oven for dinner. So, I tried it one day! My teens looked at each other in shock (although secretly excited) when I put a few pizzas into the grocery cart. They must have thought I lost my mind. I thought I lost my mind!

The dinner was exciting for everyone! I had little to do, it was done quickly, and who doesn’t get excited about pizza? But unfortunately, we were left unsatisfied and feeling icky, and very soon the kids were hungry again.

After a nutritious, plant-based meal, my children can go 4-5 hours without feeling hungry, and with no strange side effects like gas, fatigue, bloating, headaches, burping, constipation, etc. And although they are more resilient than us older folks, I think we were all looking forward to the next home cooked meal. However, the whole experience got me thinking about how the true price of cheap, processed foods, is really hidden.

We all know that bad food equals bad health. Fast food and canned, prepackaged, processed foods, are filled with all sorts of fats, sugars, preservatives, fillers, and many sketchy ingredients that no-one can even pronounce. High blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and many other illnesses, are all mainly the results of a poor diet. Then there are the medical bills and prescription drugs that follow. In the long run, eating “cheap,” fast food is actually more expensive.

A report from The Watch Paper called: Overfed and Underfed: The Global Epidemic of Malnutrition documented the real costs of obesity related to poor diet…

  • Obese people account for the disproportionate share of health-related absences from work.
  • Obesity accounts for 7 percent of lost productivity due to sick leave and disability.
  • 7 percent of all of North Carolina’s healthcare expenditures are related to obesity.
  • Obese people visit their physicians 40 percent more than normal weight people.
  • Obese people are 2.5 times more likely to require drugs prescribed for cardiovascular and circulation disorders.
  • Liposuction is the number 1 form of cosmetic surgery in the US, with 400,000 operations a year!
  • Over 100,000 people a year have gastric bypass surgery.

Remember, the above is just focusing on obesity, it does not include the other effects of poor diet like heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and a myriad of others. And no one can argue that poor health significantly lowers your ability to enjoy life on a day-to-day basis! In the end, cheap food has a high price to pay.

On the other hand, eating nutritious, whole food helps prevent disease and allows you to enjoy life a lot more! In addition, once you get the hang of it, you will find that wholesome food can actually be less expensive overall! And don’t feel like you have to do organic at first. Just take it one step at a time. Here’s a few tips to get started on your journey to living healthier and happier…

  • Keep yourself inspired on your new journey! We live in the age of technology, so do your research, there are hundreds of amazing plant-based recipes out there. Youtube and Instagram are great resources for finding inspiring, plant-based lifestyles (a great place to start is with our IG page: @simplekneads_gf). Start reading books and testimonies from those who have gone down the same path you are now on and be sure to surround yourself with people that are open to learning new ways and will support you on your journey. Keep yourself inspired at all costs, it will help to keep you motivated and consistent!
  • Learn from those who know! The healthiest cultures in the world eat little meat and a large variety of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. So, gradually adding more and more veggies and leafy greens to your meals will be tremendous as you switch over to a healthier lifestyle. And be sure to read about the blue zones on our blog! These are areas in the world where some of the oldest people live! (place our blog link here that is connected with the article “Transform Your Health and Live Longer.”)
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things! Search these cultural foods: Mediterranean (most middle eastern foods accompany their main dish with an assortment of fresh vegetables), Asian, and East Indian with its focus on vegetarianism. Ethiopian food is not only delicious, but super easy  to find plant-based options. Latin American restaurants also accommodate easily to vegans and vegetarians.

If trying a new food is too challenging, just start with a small portion or with something that is familiar, like Mexican. Or make it fun, dress up and go out to eat with friends that are more adventuresome than you! Whatever you do, do your best to conquer your fear. Adding variety to your diet will be important in giving your body more nutrition so it can function optimally.

We hope these simple tips will help you get a good start on your new journey today. Oh! And just FYI – Simple Kneads breads make great little pizzas that your whole family will enjoy, and your kids will love creating their own piece! Just make like you would English muffin pizzas and pop them in the oven. Fast and easy!

Here’s to good health, long life & happiness!

Sandy K Workman
SK Director of Brand Development

Transform Your Health AND LIVE LONGER!

Transform Your Health AND LIVE LONGER!

We all know that life is full of stress, which can have very damaging results. According to German doctor Leonard Coldwell, “All illness comes from a lack of energy and the greatest energy drainer is mental and emotional stress,” which he believes to be the root cause of all disease. Whether you believe his statement or not, it’s proven that stress is one of the leading causes of disease in our country today, so reducing your stress can be one of the best things you can do for your overall health. In fact, studies from around the world have shown undeniably that diseases can be eliminated, and health restored, simply by reducing stress. Now, what does this have to do with Simple Kneads and gluten-free sourdough bread? Well, as you know, we are all about good nutrition, which is an excellent stress management tool! When our bodies are poorly fed, stress takes an even greater toll on our health, so feeding our bodies good, nutritious food is crucial.

Speaking of reducing stress, nutritious food, and sourdough bread, have you ever heard of the Blue Zones? Blue zones are areas of the world where some of the world’s oldest people live — in fact, they are known to consistently reach the age of 100 at 10 times greater rates than the average North American! The five main geographical areas are 1.) Sardinia (mainly the Barbagia region that is mountainous). Here the world’s highest concentration of male centenarians is found! 2.) Ikaria, Greece. An Aegean Island with one of the world’s highest rates of middle-age mortality and the lowest rates of dementia. 3.) The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, which has the second highest concentration of male centenarians. 4.) Okinawa, Japan, where females over 70 are the longest-lived population in the world. And 5.) The Seventh Day Adventists (highest concentration around Loma Linda, California). They are known to live 10 years longer than the average North American.

What do all these have in common? Well, the world’s longest-lived people don’t spend a lot of time at the gym lifting weights or training for marathons. Instead, they mainly live in environments that constantly have them moving without thinking about it! All blue zone people have gardens. This gives them that extra nudge to keep moving because for the next four months they will continue to plant, weed, water and then harvest! In addition, most in blue zones do not have modern mechanical conveniences for house and yard work, and we all know that exercise is huge for reducing stress. It’s also interesting to note that these people do not generally stuff themselves during meals. Okinawans usually stop eating when their stomachs are 80% full and will generally skip a third meal. In fact, most people in the blue zones eat their smallest meals in the late afternoon or early evening and no more the rest of the day! Including the majority of Adventists. This creates more rest for the digestion, which reduces the stress on the body, especially before bedtime. In turn, there is better sleep! Which is also critical for reducing stress.

People in the blue zones traditionally eat whole foods, eat at home, and beans reign supreme! Including black beans, fava, soy and lentils. And except for Adventists who promote a plant-based diet, people in the blue zones eat very little meat, and most of the animals are freeroaming and have not been given hormones, pesticides or antibiotics. And guess what else people in the blue zones eat? Sourdough bread or 100 percent whole grain bread! And we all know that true sourdough bread digests better than regular bread, giving your body a better chance to absorb the nutrition you are taking in, and has a lower glycemic index, making your entire meal healthier! For more advice on sourdough and starters, visit sourdo.com or order gluten-free, whole ancient grain sourdough bread from us! Simplekneads.com.

In summary, there are simple ways to reduce stress in your life. Most of us have the capacity to live into our 90s, and largely without chronic disease. We hope that the information we have shared here will help you get started on your journey to a healthier and happier you.

Sandy K Workman
SK Director of Brand Development

WHAT IS CITRUS FIBER AND WHAT DOES IT DO?

WHAT IS CITRUS FIBER AND WHAT DOES IT DO?

Simple Kneads bread is now not only packed with whole organic GF grains and seeds, but we have increased our healthy fiber with natural citrus fiber, making it even healthier food!

Through the years we have had requests for softer bread, and although there is little citrus fiber per loaf, it has improved the texture and taste of our bread considerably, making it softer and fluffier, more like wheat bread you might say, without compromising taste or quality! For us this has been a tremendous step forward. Now, if citrus fiber is new to you, let me tell you a little about it.

Citrus fiber is what is left after the juice is pressed out of the fruit. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate. Most carbohydrates break down in your body, but fiber does not, it’s therefore indigestible. The word indigestible may sound like a bad thing but when we eat an orange, in its whole state, those same indigestible components are there, yet we still eat the orange because we know it’s good for us. So, indigestible fibers can have wonderful and needful benefits for the body. As you may know, we use psyllium husks in all our breads. This also is an indigestible fiber, but we know that psyllium is also known for its wonderful benefits for the bowels.

What are the benefits of using Citrus Fiber?

Citrus fiber is known for its high content of dietary fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce cholesterol. Additionally, it can promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria, leading to better digestion and a stronger immune system. Since one of the most important things to good health, is to have good digestion, and the standard American diet is very low in fiber, then having a boost will be essential! It’s also a great source of antioxidants, which can help protect against chronic diseases.

“Fiber helps regulate the body’s use of sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check. Children and adults need at least 25 to 35 grams of fiber each day for good health, but most Americans get only about 15 grams a day.”

This means the average American needs twice as much as they are getting! Many of us need more fiber in our diets!

Now, there are only two kinds of fiber, natural and unnatural. Our citrus fiber is natural, and it comes from a blend of organic oranges and lemons. With that said, we know that there are many foods that are great for human consumption UNLESS there is an allergy or dietary restriction. So, if you are allergic to citrus you will want to speak to your doctor about consuming citrus fiber.

For those who prefer to continue with our past recipe, our Pumpkinickel recipe will remain the same. We will not be adding any citrus fiber to it. This very traditional bread is a long-time favorite. So, if you desire a classic product, you can fall back on the Pumpkinickel!

We truly hope that you will continue to enjoy our organic sourdough gluten-free breads!

Sandy K Workman
SK Director of Brand Development

NUTRITIOUS GLUTEN-FREE BREAD: The Pinnacle of Natural Foods

NUTRITIOUS GLUTEN-FREE BREAD: The Pinnacle of Natural Foods

I grew up in the 70s and 80s in a little fishing village in southeastern Alaska. My parents did their best to raise my brother and me on a plant-based diet, which back in those days was pretty challenging. Thankfully, there was a nice health food store in town which we would visit weekly. There wasn’t a huge selection, but we could find items like tofu, sprouted bread, soymilk, and soy yogurt! But if you happened to have a gluten sensitivity, forget it. You may as well have said goodbye to bread altogether! The world has definitely come a long way since then. Yet, even with the many gluten-free bread options out there today, you will find that most have little nutritional value.

Empty carbs and sweeteners dominate the ingredients in most gluten-free breads. At the top of the list, you may see things such as tapioca starch, potato starch, cornstarch, rice flours, xanthan gum, commercial yeasts, and often multiple sweeteners. These typically are not the tastiest ingredients and can often worsen any health challenge. So, can a nutritious and delicious gluten-free bread be found? Thankfully, the answer is YES!

Some years ago, Simple Kneads’ CEO and founder, Tristaun LeClaire, set out on a quest to develop the perfect gluten-free bread. He pulled from the best aspects of various breads from around the world and created a product packed with the nutrition of whole ancient grains, no starches, fillers or gums, one that was free of the top eight allergens, 100 percent plant-based and made through  the true artisan sourdough process of  fermentation!

Before commercial yeasts came on the scene, bread was made using the method of fermentation we call sourdough. Sourdough is much more nutritious than bread made with dried yeasts. French baker and founder of the Celtic Sea Salt Co., Jacques de Langre, PH.D., has much to say on this subject:

“Baking with natural leaven is in harmony with nature and maintains the integrity and nutrition of the cereal grains used … The process helps to increase and reinforce our body’s absorption of the cereal’s nutrients.” (Excerpt from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions.)

He goes on to say that yeast was introduced into Louis XIV’s court in 1668 and was strongly rejected because of the perceived health risks! Melissa Richards, in her book Baking with Natural Yeast, mentions that in the 1980s when rapid rise yeast came into the picture, so did the rise of celiac, gluten sensitivity, acid reflux, and other serious conditions. In fact, many have noticed that when they switched back to naturally leavened bread, they stopped experiencing symptoms like heartburn, constipation, diabetic spikes, and other allergic reactions. This begins to make sense when you consider that true artisan sourdough can have a positive impact on your digestive system. “Natural leavened bread, because of its inherent beneficial ferments, slowly re-creates the population of friendly lactobacillus digestive bacteria in the absorption tract. The end result is recovery of the digestion and proper elimination by the effective action of friendly bacteria.” (Naturally Leavened Bread by Jacques de Langre.)

The benefits of sourdough are numerous! Simple Kneads offers gluten-free sourdough bread that’s sole aim is to bring healing and balance back to the body. Truly, this is the pinnacle of natural foods!

By Sandy K. Workman, SK Director of Brand Development

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