"Eat as our grandparents did."
"Eat as our grandparents did." Might sound crazy, but we think this is some great advice.
Now we aren't nutritionists, nor do we have any certifications to back the statements we're going to make in today's email, but hear us out! ;) It seems that our health and quality of life could be improved by simply looking at the way our elders (specifically the oldest generation still living, born about 90 years to a century ago) ate and lived. We can find a lot of inspiration about how we can incorporate their wisdom into our modern-day lives.
1. Eat what's fresh and in season
It's a wonderful time of year to take this advice to heart. Our hardworking farmers are reaping the rewards of their crops and bringing it to farmers markets where we can "vote with our dollars" and support local farming and agriculture. This also boosts our quality of life by going out and participating in community events.
2. Live off the land.
Older generations grew a lot of foods in their own backyard gardens to feed their families. They raised their own animals to use them as food. The result was ethically sourced fresh food, free of processing, additives, and chemicals. Even having a small herb plant or two in your house is one step towards growing your own food. Kevin comes from many generations of McGillivray farmers—spending time on the family farm growing up was a natural way to see what living off the land looks like, and to grow to appreciate the work of a farmer.
3. Eat real & whole foods.
This is all there was. There weren't foods made in a laboratory and made to last for months on store shelves. They were made by nature. It comes back to the idea of eating foods with little to no processing. Our tip is to look for minimal ingredients and be able to pronounce them all on the label
4. Be creative & minimal waste-minded.
In the 1900s to 1920s, if a family cooked a bird, they used it all; the organs and the bones for bone broth, too. It was a well-rounded way to eat, not to mention waste-reducing. We practice zero waste in our bakery by doing "bake-to-order" with our online ordering. This allows us to produce exactly the amount needed, and never throwing away any loaves. We also practice this by using the very last bit of the loaf for breadcrumbs. It's the perfect topping for the incredible asparagus that is in season right now!
5. Don’t fear good fat.
Unfortunately, with the fad diets that have made their way to the top news headlines, fat has become something we removed from our diets. Non-fat, low-fat... none of this existed in the early 1900s. Today's non-fat and low-fat foods are often supplemented with extra sugar to make it palatable. We'll continue eating full-fat butter and yogurt with our toast, please. You be the judge on this one!
6. Gather around the table to eat.
This is near and dear to our hearts. There weren't fast food options in our elder's day. They made food from scratch, in the home, and ate together around the table. This is real "slow" food.
7. No dieting.
Dieting wasn't a thing. Although there wasn't an abundance of food at the time, and food-insecurity was a reality, they ate what was available. There is something we can take away from this too. Just eat real food.
8. Move all day.
A sedentary lifestyle wasn’t a problem for our great-grandparents or great-great-grandparents because most of them woke up at the crack of dawn and were active right off the bat. They moved more and lounged less. More of their jobs and chores required manual labor, away from TVs, computers, and smartphones which today distract us and keep flicking one thumb at a time. We aren't saying all this is all bad. If it weren't for the internet you couldn't receive this email. But perhaps there is a balance that we can find in making sure we get up and move around every day.
9. Preserve with fermentation.
We love this one. Ben's father-in-law, Richard, says weekly, "I love your bread because it reminds me of the taste of my Grandmother's bread." Our grandparents and their grandparents jarred spent their summer preparing for bad winters. Preserving with salt and cold storage creates fermentation, which not only preserves the food for long periods of time but also enhances the nutrients. This is exactly what we do with our bread. It has an impressive countertop life and doesn't go moldy thanks to to the salt and long fermentation. It's also easier to digest and is high in nutrients.
Try one of our loaves of sourdough, and eat like our elders! You can order a loaf here to be delivered for FREE to your home!
FAQs about The Bakehouse Project on Kickstarter
FAQs about our Kickstarter Campaign:
1. Tell me more about the croissants and brioche. Our family will LOVE that.
They are staples for any good bakery that makes things from scratch with a European focus. Once we have a bakery up and going, we will concentrate on the pastry, with a European style to them, which means not too sweet.... and lots of butter! From brioche, you can make all sorts of things; cinnamon buns, hamburger buns, there's a whole list of items you can make. Those are 2 fun things we'll be able to make later in the year.
2. How are you going to raise the rest of the capital you will need to open your bakehouse?
We are going to get a loan from either a bank or lending company backed by a small business association. The pitching for that starts in the next week or two. Hopefully, that will allow us to get the rest of the money to fit out the bakehouse and equipment we need. As well as working capital we need to help us through the rest of the year!
3. Aren't there cheaper ovens you could get? $25,000 seems like a lot for an oven.
Yes, $25,000 is a lot for an oven and it will probably be a bit more than that. When it comes to ovens that is the entry price for a proper bread oven, with a stone hearth to bake on. I've done extensive research and spent a lot of time looking for a used bread oven, but I can't find anything, that is under 10 years old. I think it is wise for the business that we get something that is new. It is going to mean a really good product for years to come and also become an asset and heartbeat of the business moving forward.
4. How did you decide to go the crowdfunding route?
Why did we choose to crowdfund? Well all of us in the business are big fans of crowdfunding and have followed many great ideas that have come via crowdfunding. We saw some great examples of other bakeries around the world that have used crowdfunding to put some money together. We knew we would need to get money and funding from somewhere to kickstart this business to the next level. We knew that would come via debt or a loan. Kickstarter was a great way to get our community involved. We see ourselves as a community supported bakery, and little pledges from a thousand people around Green Bay is really going to set us up for success in the future. We won't have to borrow as much in the early stages. It is going to help us a lot.
So what if we raise more than $25,000? How will it be spent?
Our goal is to raise $25,000 in our Kickstarter campaign. The majority of the funds will go towards the purchase of a bread oven. However, that is only around 30% of the total costs needed to set up our new Voyageurs Bakehouse. Our Kickstarter goal is the minimum we need for the bread oven. If we surpass our goal of $25,000, we will spend the money on other equipment like a professional dough mixer, shaping benches, other bakery equipment, bringing the building up to code, and making an awesome coffee bar for our community to enjoy.
This is why we need the continued support of our community to share this project with your community around Green Bay.
A personal story: From Bread-is-bad ➡ Bread-Lover
Hello there, I'm Celeste! You've maybe seen me around before on our Instagram stories, or if you've come to the kitchen for pickup. If not, it's a pleasure to "meet" you here, and I hope we get to chat in the kitchen or at a market someday soon!
I wanted to share my story of being converted from a "bread-hater" to a "bread-lover" over the last couple of years. You might be thinking, "well you're married to a baker!" While this is now true, the man I met was a wine-shop-owning, come tech start-up CEO, and now turned sourdough baker.
For the last 10 years, I spent my career traveling Asia & Australia engulfed in the world of health, wellness, and personal growth. I had the privilege to work for some incredible brands and people in alternative health and personal growth space. I've learned from them, been inspired by them, and inevitably been influenced by them.
Some of the material that I was exposed to lead me to make a conclusion that "bread is bad"... full stop. No exceptions.
My personal journey:
For nearly 5 years, I eliminated a majority of the processed sugar and grains from my diet. I felt amazing, and of course, I was convinced that it was all to do with bread and sugar... those little evil things! 😉I had lost weight and was feeling great. Here's my "before" and "after".
"After" in 2015 (left), "Before" in 2011 (right).
What I haven't mentioned yet, is that coupled with the removal of grains and sugar, I was also doing an immense amount of green juice drinking, hours of exercise, and lots of deep personal work and lifestyle change.
I wanted to become very connected to the food I was eating. I wanted to know where it came from, the type of care that went into growing the vegetables, and how the animals were being treated.
So what is really to credit here? Was it only the grains and sugar? Hindsight has now given me the perspective to see there were many things in play that was impacting how good I was feeling.
After a couple of years living in Hong Kong, where it was very difficult to know much at all about the food we were eating, we moved to Australia. We were blessed to live in an area that had an incredible farmers market every Sunday. It's where we went to fill our spiritual cup; to get connected and to feel nourished. We had long chats with the farmers and they became some of our closest friends we had while living in Australia.
The shift in my bread beliefs:
My belief around "bread is bad" was strongly challenged when Ben and I watched the docu-series on Netflix called "Cooked" with Michael Pollan. In the third episode "Air", they talked a lot about bread & grains. They talked about sourdough and fermentation. It challenged my perspective on grains and gluten. I had strong opinions about gluten...
(I have a distinct memory of telling my brother, "Gluten is like glue in your gut. You shouldn't be eating it." Oh, how life is humbling.)
Inspired by Episode 3 titled "Air" of Michael Pollan's series "COOKED" on Netflix.
I dug deeper into the content I had access to through my work and found more "experts" that were supporting the perspective that the problem with bread isn't the grains. Including the documentary called "The Trouble with Bread" on Food Matters TV.
The problem with modern day bread is the synthetic fertilizers, GMO grains, and long lists of preservatives, emulsifiers, and enzymes to keep bread shelf stable. The problem with bread is everything that became popular after sliced "Wonder" bread.
From my studies, here's what the experts had to say that was in common:
- Eat bread the way it was done centuries ago, with the simple ingredients it was founded upon; Water, Flour, Salt.
- Eat fermented bread because as the grains are transformed through fermentation, the nutrients become more bio-available and easier to digest.
- Eat a balanced diet that is vegetable-focused, complimented with nourishing grains and sustainable sources of meat.
My personal conclusion:
Although I'm not one for labels and the dogma of the health industry, I like to consider myself a "qualitarian". I focus on eating high-quality ingredients and do my best to know where things come from. I've worked hard to remove the "good / bad" mentality around food, and to eat things that nourish my mind, body, and soul.
Gathering around a table with friends, family, and beautiful food is nourishing to my senses. My sight, my taste, my smell, and my mood. And sometimes the answer is chocolate because it is completely nourishing to my new-mom soul.
I never would've been on board with becoming a bakers wife and starting this business if I didn't fully believe in the product we're selling. After all, my entire career has been focused on helping people find their health. This is still a very strong passion of mine, and believe we are doing that here at Voyageurs.
It's been an honor and pleasure to share part of my story with you, and I appreciate the time you took out of your day to read this. I look forward to connecting with you more. It is the highlight of my week to talk to those of you who buy our bread. From the deepest place in my heart, thank you for supporting our dream and vision!
Baked Apple & Cinnamon Maple Raisin French Toast
As you can imagine, being breadmakers we often have a lot of bread around our homes. Usually, these are loaves we have made in our testing and practice time - otherwise, we've learned if we want bread we have to place our orders online too!
It's our goal to find creative ways to re-invent bread that is stale or past it's time for a good slice of toast, to get the maximum life out of a loaf and have as minimal waste as possible.
We love doing sourdough breakfast bakes! You can do a sweet or savory version the savory version commonly referred to as a strata. It is the perfect fast and easy breakfast to feed a big group of people. Plus if you have kids in the house, you can easily sneak in some veggies too! (Of course along with the bacon)
Today we want to share with you a sweet version of a french toast bake: Baked Apple & Cinnamon Maple Raisin French Toast. A french toast bake can be modified in so many ways. For example, you could mix in blueberries instead of using apples on top. We've also made the blueberry version of a french toast bake and it was delicious.
Baked Apple & Cinnamon Maple Raisin French Toast
Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 50 mins | Serves 4
- 5-6 slices of Voyageurs Sourdough bread cut into cubes (~5-6 cups of cubed bread)
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup milk (you can also use coconut milk to lighten)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- 3 apples (cored, peeled, and sliced into slices*)
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)
- 1 Tbsp butter
- Preheat oven to 375 F degrees & grease a 9 in x 9 in baking pan (adjust number or size of pan if altering batch size).
- Put bread cubes to the baking dish - enough to generously cover the bottom and a second layer.
- In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla & salt. Once mixed pour the mixture over the bread.
- With your hands or mixing spoon, move the bread around the dish so the egg mixture gets soaked into the top layer as well. Repeat every few minutes while preparing the apples (step 5).
- To prepare the apples, add the butter to a skillet over medium heat. Once butter has melted, add the apples. When they start to get tender (4-5 minutes), remove from heat, and sprinkle with brown sugar (optional). Continue cooking another couple minutes until soft but not mushy (this will depend on the type of apple). Remove from heat.
- Check the bread to make sure all pieces are getting well soaked. If any cubes are dry on top, flip them over with your hands to ensure all pieces are wet.
- Top the bread with the apples, then place in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour (depending on oven). You can check after 45 minutes to see if it's done. The egg mixture should no longer be wet.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately!
You can serve with a dollop of plain yogurt, slices of bacon, and a fruit salad. And truth be told, we love a little local maple syrup on top too!