You CAN have your Pancakes and Eat them too!

September 26th was National Pancake Day – who knew?  Image

……except for pancake lovers maybe

…..except that there is less of them now that gluten and grain and flour is taboo..

This is about a better way to make pancakes… it is NOT about alternative flours – the alternative flours and ancient grains can be awesome but if you or someone in your family is partial to “white flour” pancakes – read on.

Do pancakes HAVE to be on your no eat list?  Well, that is up to you, as long as you know all the info – for most of you, if you want your grain you can eat it too. Yes there are all sorts of recipes for pancakes now, all free of something. I am talking about good ole flapjacks and why the traditional way of making them is still one of the best in my book.

Answer this – how many years has there been a form of bread in the world?  Then how come – like all of a sudden – bread is “not healthy”.  There are a few reasons, most of them wrapped  up into us humans fooling with foods and processes that nature gave us.

As early as 8000 B.C. bread was a staple with the Egyptians honing the practice of rising bread before baking. Bread was used as a form of money in times past – I am sure I do not have to say again – bread has been around a long time.

Let’s cut to the chase – you need to know about sourdough – REAL sourdough

REAL sourdough Fundamentals:

1) First of all – sourdough does not mean that it is sour. Don’t let the word sour turn you away, think of sourdough as a PROCESS not a flavor. It is a culturing and enlivening of ground grain.  And – sourdough is not just for bread! Anything you make with flour, you can make “sourdoughed”..

2) Sourdough is a live culture that does amazing things to flour and it can help you make bread and bread products that are lower in gluten (our ancestors did not make a gluten problem so they did not have a gluten problem) I have some friends that order my sourdough bread, when other bread products make them feel like they should not be eating it.

3) It rises the bread without any other commercial yeast you buy from the store

4) You can make your starter from thin air -literally!  So really it is an awesome, self – perpetuating, “sustainable” food source that can always be around to make any kind of bread products you want – I made sourdough brownies the other day that were amazing.

Why did I make brownies with sourdough?  Mostly – because this process works within the batter and makes your baking goods more digestible. Once you start seeing the wonders of sourdough you won’t want to make anything without it.

Think of your bowl of sourdough as a little fish tank with invisible little friendly fish – you have to feed them, most everyday. But if you are using it most everyday you want your little critters to be healthy and happy. You say hello, you feed your little batch of starter and – poof – a couple hours later it is bubbly and growing. When it gets to this jiggly stage is when it gets fun. When you don’t want to bake for a while – you just place it in a fridge – and will wait til you feel like wanting to deal with it again – it is very patient with you.

Now back to jiggly!  You add this sourdough to a recipe and it transforms it to – well – a more cohesive batter that has a life of its own.  Except for really cool pancakes – it you like a really spongy pancake – pure sourdough pancakes may be for you, and they are not like a rock in your tummy.

Sourdough baking is an artisianal process – meaning that does not follow strict rules on time, temperature and amount of ingredients.  If you are a real “measurer” in the kitchen I may lose you right here – but on the other side it is a very forgiving, it is an “anyone can do it kind of thing”.  It is just one of those processes that your mom or grand mom would have shown you – that you could have worked on together in the kitchen, like learning an art that you finally master and can teach to your kid!  Bakers were once revered in the communities – and specialized in this craft alone.

So lets make pancakes!   Here is my favorite!  It is especially good to do on days that you have been feeding your sourdough but just have not gotten to making anything with it.

Here is how easy it is once you have the sourdough: While you are heating a griddle place a couple cups of sourdough into another bowl, add a bit of sugar if you want plus an egg, a dash of salt and a dash of baking soda (you can add more flour too, but why do that is you have lots of starter?)  Place coconut oil (or other good oil) on your griddle – make pancakes with that starter. done.  The jigglier the starter – the spongier the pancake!

Want to know more??  Come to one of my sourdough classes at – my resort in the Adirondack Mts where I am Executive Chef – and passionate about sharing Old World healthy methods of cooking.

Bring a group and learn how to incorporate Old World preparations into a New Age!

This article from a Baker’s Forum does a nice job at explaining the history and science of sourdough.  Go here for more.



Learn about real “Nourishing Traditions”


Learn the “Nourishing Traditions” that kept – and can still keep – generations of peoples healthy – truly.  No fads or “new” material – only researched and documented preparations of foods – most that we have forgotten or have never been taught – they have been lost though the last few generations of “convenience” foods. These preparations of real foods work with our physical bodies and provide them with nutrient dense foods.

This book is available for browsing and purchase here, in the Adirondack Nourished Market and 100 Mile Store, onsite at The Lake Clear Lodge, 6319 State Rt 30, Lake Clear, NY  12045

“This well-researched, thought-provoking guide to traditional foods contains a startling message: Animal fats and cholesterol are not villains but vital factors in the diet, necessary for normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels. Sally Fallon dispels the myths of the current low-fat fad in this practical, entertaining guide to a can-do diet that is both nutritious and delicious.

Nourishing Traditions will tell you:

  1. Why your body needs old fashioned animal fats
  1. Why butter is a health food
  1. How high-cholesterol diets promote good health
  1. How saturated fats protect the heart
  1. How rich sauces help you digest and assimilate your food
  1. Why grains and legumes need special preparation to provide optimum benefits
  1. About enzyme-enhanced food and beverages that can provide increased energy and vitality
  1. Why high-fiber, lowfat diets can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies

Topics include the health benefits of traditional fats and oils (including butter and coconut oil); dangers of vegetarianism; problems with modern soy foods; health benefits of sauces and gravies; proper preparation of whole grain products; pros and cons of milk consumption; easy-to-prepare enzyme enriched condiments and beverages; and appropriate diets for babies and children.”

Make Eating an Agricultural Act


            By LYNN M. CAMERON

Wendell Berry – farmer, philosopher and author wrote 13 years ago “eating is an agricultural act that most are no longer aware is true”.  He said that thinking of food as a mere agricultural product instead of an act ending the birth/death drama of the natural world leads to a passive consumption apathetic towards sustainability.

As with any other commodity, consumers’ attitude skews to become ‘buy what you want’ — or what you’ve been persuaded to want — within the limits of what you can get for the least amount of money.   Commodity shopping for the bargains while lamenting the rising costs of eating makes everyone a victim of industrial agriculture and the travesty that masquerades as food.


Meanwhile, both acute and chronic diseases have risen dramatically, and addictive chemical tastes are deliberately formulated by commodity scientists to increase market share of product.  Potato chips are a huge culprit in the obesity epidemic – many industrial dollars have been invested in melding the perfect addictive experience of salt and crunch which couples with the natural blast of pure sugar that happens when potatoes are flash-fried in rancid oil. The return for the industry has been dollars on the penny.

Equating food with other dollars and cents goods and services most certainly

causes crucial quality questions to be ignored.

  • How fresh is it?  Food loses nutrition the very moment it is harvested – many nutrients within hours of picking, too.  Fruit is routinely gassed and waxed for transport.
  • How pure or clean is it – how free of chemicals, hormones or antibiotics?  Has it been genetically engineered?  How humane were the animal living conditions?  Mutagenic as well as toxic substances are regularly measured in produce treated with dangerous drugs, and organic standards are being compromised annually.
  • How far away was the product grown and what did transportation add?         Free-trade Central American bananas may have less carbon footprint than Valentine’s Day strawberries from irrigated fields in California and with more food dollar value.
  • How much did manufacturing or packaging or advertising add to the cost?   According to the National Farmers Union, 80 cents of every food dollar spent, that’s how much.  A mere 15.8 cents goes to the farmer/rancher who grew/nurtured the food.
  • When the commodity product has been processed or precooked or enriched or extruded how has that affected its true goodness, its nutritional content and the food value received for the dollars paid?

See more at:

Mountain Lake Wholeshare Online Food Buying offers you one solution

Do you have Green Fatigue?

Do You Have Green Fatigue?   Image

Chef Cathy Hohmeyer, OTR

Years ago we shined shoes and repaired them. Today, we throw them away and buy a new pair. This equates to more resources, more energy, more utilities, more…..  Yup, too much throw away items on the planet!

OK we know all that and all this “going green stuff” is wonderful.  But geez, doesn’t buying local, buying organic and going green cost more money?

And how do I know that the changes I make will actualy have an impact?

Education and understanding can be key factors in knowing how and where you can make more responsible decisions.

Make it a goal to understand how to change habits or products that keep you at the same level of expenditures or even save you money in the long run, so spending more money does not even have to be an issue.

Here’s a simple goal:  I will learn sustainability to save money and improve my family’s health! Who can argue with that ?  And yes, help save the planet too!

Earning Audubon’s highest eco rating rating for our Lodge On Lake Clear was no small feat, it took a few years and I got  “green fatigue”  pretty quickly.  It took time and effort and yes in some cases more money upfront. I looked at a lot of green hotel practices.

Then I found the Carbon Diet Priorities Chart and the Green Tips Library, a great resource for anyone. The “Library” at breaks it down for you in 5 simple categories. If you are a list maker, write them each on a piece of paper.


* Heating and cooling,

* Electricity,

* Food and

* Products and Services.

Then ask these questions to determine what you can do in your world to make a change.

Where can I make lifestyle changes:

  • What will be a ONE TIME change,
  • What will be a change in HABIT and
  • What change can affect my HEALTH.

Many “tips” are obvious, but many others are much less so and some can involve a different way of thinking. One of the laziest ways to go is to support “green companies” and “green travel”. In that case you don’t even have to think too much! Or change too much of anything. There – first idea and you didn’t lift a finger – except to find them on the internet!

And I bet most of us can do this one!  Give up disposable coffee cups. If you are a regular coffee junkie and live local I am sure you’ve made friends with the store workers by now. Many have programs that you can refill their logoed cup, or bring your own that matches the size of their disposable ones.

Many of you go to local Farmers Markets.  Not only are you buying good foods – is it supporting your “neighbor” and it supporting your whole community.

But do you know how to prepare those foods to increase and improve the nutrients and enzymes rather than cooking these valuable nutrients away?  Aren’t you buying them for their supposed better nutrient value as well as fresh taste?

Go to my blog at  to find out more.  Join a cooking class – the focus will be on making the absolute most of your local and organic food purchases!  Make food more nutrient dense for your body by learning to save the nutrients in the food you eat – not buy more supplements because you are cooking them away.  This alone offsets the possible food cost in comparison to grocery stores or inferior foods.

And if you are looking for a way to save money on SOL foods (sustainable, organic,local)  there is another option here in the Adirondacks, especially in the winter when you really don’t want to drive anywhere.   Join  Watch the video on how it works.  No fees to join, no minimums – Buy online, share cases, enjoy the savings, pick up your box (we have delivery and car pool drop offs too) another Green idea – in more ways than one…

In the case of food – don’t just think green – think all the colors of the rainbow. In a “nutshell”, different nutrients are different colors – so buy the colors of the rainbow and then cook them “nutrient dense”. Reacquaint your family with the 11 time tested principles that kept peoples of the planet healthy for generations.  See more at my blog and plus the cooking class schedule at Some classes are onsite and some are online.

eat by color rainbow

Do you know what your carbon footprint is? Want to know how to reduce your carbon footprint to zero or at least get somewhat close? There is a list right off our homepage website above to tell you all about your carbon footprint, how to calculate it and even how to buy carbon offsets.

With that all said – greening can be very simple.  It can be as wondrous as stopping all that unwanted junk mail, thinking before you push the print button and re-purpose something.

If you are on facebook or know how to search the web – re purposing is becoming quite the art!  Look for images. You will be amazed what people can do with “stuff”!

And oh by the way – one of my mentors used to bring a plant to all of her presentations – always reminding people to think green – but she meant think fresh, think new ideas – a great way to start and end any kind of conversation.

Happy Greening how ever you do it!


Listen to  Mindful Living in the Adk Alps on Blog Talk Radio

Sustainable Foods – If you live in the Saranac Lake/Lake Placid area – there is an option you can participate in for local , sustainable foods that can save you money

Sustainable Foods in the Adirondacks

on the radio – Part one


The first in a series discussing Sustainable foods and their importance to the future of good food



Local is the new Organic

Listen in at Blog Talk Radio –  10 minute discussion     Mindful Living in the Adirondack Alps



Sustainability in agriculture is crucial for the future not just because it is a set of best food management practices that minimize the negative ecological and social impacts of industrial agriculture. It is about creating a fundamental different paradigm for agriculture.

  • It relies on nature’s principles of holism, diversity, and interdependence to achieve productivity rather than the industrial strategies of specialization, standardization, and consolidation of control.
  • It arises from a fundamentally different worldview: Farms and communities are treated as living organisms rather than inanimate mechanism.
  • Benefits must be shared fairly and equitably among consumers, retailers, processors, farmers, and anyone else involved in the collaboration. 
  • Food systems, organic or otherwise, that lack cooperative social and ethical characteristics will not be sustainable in the future as much study has confirmed.
  • The economic incentive to ignore social and ethical values practiced by industrialized agriculture cannot help but extract and exploit in order to achieve greater economic efficiency. Thus, the sustainability of profits for farmers in cooperative chains like regional buying clubs depends on maintaining the social and ethical integrity of relationships among those at all levels in the food value chain, from producer to consumer.  

     Our Local Buyers Club ,         Wholeshare Online Foods     meets this criteria.