skimming away digestive issues

stock-to-skimWhile some people have allergy lists as long as the end of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird”, (I swear I was born after 1980), just because you use the “right” ingredients does not mean that you are eating safe for your digestive system.  Ingredients are clearly a determining factor in food indigestion and allergic reactions, but so is technique in cooking.

You know when you go into a hot tub in a public vicinity and there is a “sexy” layer of froth on top?  Those are all impurities that have been brought to the surface, quite literally, through the bubbling of the water.  The same principle applies to cooking: when you bring something to a boil, or even keep it at a simmer, the bubbles in the water naturally bring all of the bad things to the surface of your liquid.  The things not suitable to eat, digest, or add to the flavor of the dish (moreover take away from the flavor of the dish).
What to do about this?  Skim it off!
sauce before skimming<–See the opaque bubbles on the top of this sauce?  Those are nasty bits I do not want to have to take down internally.

clear sauce<–now we’ve got one clean bubble.  Yum.
Whenever you are cooking with a sauce or liquid, keep a bowl or glass with warm water and a spoon nearby, and scoop just the impurities off of the top of the surface.  It’s almost like it washes your food for you, and makes everything easier for those with sensitive systems to chemicals, additives, whatever-other-nastiness has made its way into your food out of the picture and your belly.steak with jus  Want the jus from the steak to the right?  It won’t be that clear without skimming.  Nor that light to ingest.

It doesn’t matter if it’s rice, buckwheat, wheat, sorghum, you name it: if you do not cook your flour, it will be more difficult to digest.  Something I have picked up cooking in France is the emphasis all of the chefs I have worked with put on making sure the flour added to a dish is cooked.  I did not hear the same reinforcement cooking in The States, where there is a far higher percentage of those claiming gluten intolerances.
This relates to pastry, boulangerie, breading meats, making purees, anything.  If your flour is not thoroughly cooked through, meaning at a temperature that would induce boiling for at least 30 minutes, it will be, as they say, “heavy in the stomach” or “flour stomach”.
flour stomach<–a very bad example of me with flour stomach at age 18.  I am on the left.  My dear friend Mindy, equally aroused by flour stomach, on the right.
I am not saying that if you have celiac go ahead and eat a bunch of wheat flour because it has been properly fermented, handled, and baked to a black color (that’s bad, too.), but try not to eat all of that rice flour cookie dough if you can help it– proper cooking and making sure your dishes and dry ingredients have received a breakdown through heat will assist your body in breaking them down, as well.

Hooray. 🙂

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