Thursday, February 11, 2010

Merseth Morsels

Do you like to try unusual recipes? Do you experiment with food to make it healthier? Have you ever wanted a recipe for homemade peanut butter cups? If so, follow this link to a new blog called Merseth Morsels.

I went to college with Megan Merseth and her husband Jeff a decade ago in Mankato, MN. Thanks to the miracle of Facebook, we've gotten back in touch, and when Megan started her new blog this year, I was quick to follow it. We have quite a bit in common -- we're both stay-at-home-moms with two-year-old sons, and she has a 4 month old, while I'll be having my second kid any minute now. And we both love to cook and bake! But Megan is much more into healthful cooking than I am, which is what fascinates me about the recipes she shares on her blog.

I asked Megan some questions about her approach to food and the recipes she shares on her blog. Here's what she responded:
My journey to truly nourishing real food started back in 2005 after starting to use some "health" products from a well-known company. It was my first step toward a lot of eye-opening research, as I realized the food I was eating was contributing to my less than excellent health. A lightbulb also went on when I was able to connect BBQ sauce (which has Worcestershire sauce containing soy sauce in it) to these itchy red bumps I would get after eating it. Ever since then, I've been abstaining from soy products as much as possible, and if you've ever looked at the ingredient label of anything, there aren't many things without soy in some form. Soy comes under many names, as I've discovered.

Soy is the only "dietary restriction" I try to cook around, although when I'm cooking for my brother-in-law, he doesn't do dairy, so I use olive oil or coconut oil instead of butter. I also stay away from as many refined foods as possible. That includes white bleached flour, white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, and most anything pre-packaged or processed. I will either soak whole wheat or rye flour in an acidic solution overnight or use sprouted grain flour. I usually use real maple syrup or raw honey instead of white sugar.

I also own a copy of the cookbook "Nourishing Traditions" and follow a couple of "real food" blogs which is where I get most of my cues about what constitutes truly nourishing food. I use the term "nourishing" because I strive to make food that truly feeds the body instead of just giving it empty calories. I don't want to jinx anything, but we've had a pretty healthy winter thus far, and I attribute that to taking fermented cod liver oil, drinking raw milk, and eating organic citrus by the box.

Besides all this, I just love to cook and try new things in the kitchen. I'm thinking of making some fermented foods soon, perhaps some fermented marmalade! It's still an on-going learning process for me, though. I'm always reading, trying new things. Never a dull moment!

I live in Minnesota with my two boys ages 2 years (Judah) and 4 months (Andrew), and husband (Jeff) who is a vicar (sort of like a student teacher position, part of his schooling) at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. I teach part time as an adjunct faculty member of the music department at Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, giving voice lessons.
Megan posts some truly fascinating -- and yummy-looking -- recipes on her blog, as well as amusing stories about her sons, complete with cute pictures. If you think the pictures I've posted here look tasty, please check out Merseth Morsels! You won't be sorry you did.

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