Rooted In Wonder:
Nurturing Your Family's Faith Through God's Creation
Master Naturalist, Bible teacher, author, wife, and mama of four! Join our adventures of discovering God while adventuring in creation.
As we have switched over to a whole food diet, my husband and I have realized that there are just some things that cannot be made “healthy”. This realization was the result of some less than satisfactory pans of black bean brownies and batches of whole wheat chocolate chip cookies. It’s not that these “treats” were bad, it’s just that when it came to flavor and texture, they didn’t stand a chance against the real things. Some foods, to remain true to themselves, must not be compromised by using healthy alternative ingredients. Instead, we have found that we can still enjoy these treats by applying two simple rules:
1. Enjoy them in moderation
2. Use quality ingredients
A good example of this is our homemade ice cream. We enjoy this delectable treat a few times a month. And we have no guilt when we do so because it’s an occasional treat, and when we make it at home, we control what goes into it. Instead of store-bought ice cream with toxic industrial fats and unnatural sweeteners, our ice cream is made from organic whole milk and cream from cows that were raised on pasture, raw sugar, and pure vanilla. And we often dress it up with fresh fruit and nuts. No guilt!
This is what it looks like to remove the anxiety factor surrounding “unhealthy” foods: keep them a treat, and create them with wholesome ingredients.
Another example of this in our own diet is our use of white flour. Yes–white flour. In our pantry, behind the local raw honey, nuts and seeds, we always have on-hand a bag of white flour. What place does white flour have in a whole food kitchen? It plays one very essential role: Pastry and pie crusts.
Even in Nourishing Traditions, the bible of Traditional Whole Food Diets, author Sally Fallon, in the midst of explaining the nutritional benefits of eating certain grains over others, explains that, “Unbleached white flour may be used for dusting pans, rolling out doughs, and kneading. We also allow unbleached white flour for pie crust.”
There you have it. A prominent voice in the Traditional Whole Food Movement that says there is a place for white flour.
This in mind, we keep that little bag of white flour on stand-by for whenever we feel like throwing together a pastry or pie. And again, there is no guilt because of our principle guidelines of moderation and quality ingredients.
Pastry and pie crust don’t ask for much. Butter and flour. Sometimes cheese. And so when we make it, we’re sure to use quality ingredients. For flour choose an unbleached organic white flour. Organic guarantees that the grains used were not genetically modified. For the butter, use organic and/or “pasture” (grass-fed) butter. Butter from cows that ate only grass is actually healthy for you, and should be a part of your regular whole food diet! It can even help aid in weight loss or management. Read more about that here.
This is a simple and versatile crust that, with minor adjustments, can be used to make: pastry, dessert pies, pot pies, and Quiche.
Where you go from here depends on what you are making! Below are a few extra tips to help you make a successful crust, as well as a couple of recipes to get you started!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!
I have to say I am a little disappointed in this post, and I don’t agree.
White flour is not a whole food and has no positive nutritional value it’s a filler.
Also, your comparision with your homemade ice cream does not make sense. I see that your ice cream is made with “whole food” ingredients that are healthy and loaded with nutritional value. Does that make it any less of an indulgence, no, but you are still indulging in a more indulgent “whole food.”
The white flour…it’s a no brainer. White flour in a whole foods pantry is a compromise. It shouldn’t be there.
And as Nancy from Nourishing Traditions says…she “allows” it, for pie crust. Which indicates it wouldn’t normally be “allowed.” That tells me she would say it is NOT a whole food.
I promise I’m not being a hater, I know everyone has their own convictions about healthy eating and what works for their family. And for me, white flour is one of the biggest things people can’t let go of when trying to transition to a healthier lifestyle. They just have to have those certain foods that they always have eaten. Eating healthy means change not just in the ingredients we use, but in the meals that we eat. And for my family, it means no compromise, and no white flour. Just my thoughts.
Also, there are other options out there for a whole foods pie crust option. Almond flour crusts are delicious!
I hope you haven’t taken this comment personally, I just wanted to spark some conversation. It’s not hate mail, I promise. I went to BI with your husband, and know him well. I enjoy reading your blog, and will continue to do so.
Thank you Leisl! Those are great points and I really appreciate the helpful feedback. I agree whole heartily that everyone has their own convictions about healthy eating. I also whole heartily agree that white flour is indeed a filler, and there is no nutritional value, not even in the organic version. It is still highly processed and void of nutrients.
I believe I did not communicate clearly enough in the blog if it came across as trying to explain that white flour was a whole food. Rather, I was trying to point out that instead of trying to make it healthy, we choose to make it a compromise ingredient for pastry and pie crusts. We follow a loose 80/20 rule; meaning if we eat whole foods 80% of the time, then we can “splurge” with the other 20%. This fits our lifestyle because we simply love all different foods, and trying everything we can, even if it may not be considered whole.
All that to say, what I really hoped to communicate is that although white flour is not a whole food, we choose to use it in a very small area of our cooking, for pastry and pie crusts, because we enjoy it and find it worth the small compromise in our whole food values. I really appreciate the suggestion of almond flour for crusts, I will have to try that! Besides with white flour, I have only tried whole wheat for pastry crusts, and that was a big flop! I would definitely be willing to try others, and if you have a recipe I would appreciate it! Thank you again, I always appreciate any feedback that will help me think deeper about the issues I’m writing about!
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