In the Middle Ages, animal milk was, of course, not refrigerated, and fresh milk did not stay fresh for long. Most cooks simply did not use much milk as the short shelf-life of the product made it a difficult ingredient to depend upon. Many recipe collections of the time advise that cooks should only rely on milk that comes directly from a cow, something not possible at all times, and purchasing milk was a dubious practice, for streetsellers of milk often sold wares that were either spoiled or diluted with water. Milk’s use had to be immediate, in cooking or by turning into cheese & butter. It was these difficulties that forced Medieval cooks to look upon milk with great reluctance, and so having milk in the kitchen was usually unheard of.
Rather than animal milk, Medieval cooks turned to something they could depend upon, and that was the milky liquid produced by grinding almonds or walnuts. This liquid, high in natural fats, could be prepared fresh whenever needed in whatever quantities. It also could be made well ahead of time and stored with no danger of degeneration. Because of its high fat content, it, like animal milk, could be churned into butter, and because it was not animal milk, it could be used and consumed during Church designated meatless days.
What do you think about TVP and nutritional yeast (and faux-meats)? They're available sources of protein and nutritional yeast is good for B vitamins, but I'm not comfortable consuming them when I can get protein and B vitamins in less processed foods (dried lentils/beans, greens, grains and the like). Yet, both are very popular- do you have any information/articles for us on the processing involved? And what to do about B12? Thank you, I enjoy the blog!
I take 2 of the B12 Folic capsules from Pure Encapsulations each day. If you are vegan it is essential that you take a B12 supplement. B12 is key in normal functioning for the brain & nervous system (inadequateB12 can lead to depression), formation of blood, DNA synthesis and regulation, fatty acid synthesis and energy production.
I try not to rely on mock meats as a source of protein when less processed/healthier options are available. I’d like to avoid non-organic soy because most of it is monsanto’s GMO soy. As nearly all mock meats contain non-organic soy, I try to make them a small part of my diet, available as convenience food or as an occasional indulgence. TVP is usually soy based and I prefer seitan anyway. Of course, if you’re avoiding gluten seitan is out of the question. If you’re ovo-vegetarian there is the Quorn brand, which is based on mycoprotein and eggs and contains no soy.
Some grains are deficient in the essential amino acid lysine. Some legumes are deficient in the essential amino acid methionine, which grains contain. Put the two together and you’ll get a complete protein. Amaranth, buckwheat, hempseed, soybeans, quinoa and spirulina are complete proteins on their own. Grains and legumes should make up the largest portion of your diet anyway. But nuts are also a good source of protein (and healthy fats), I try to keep a bag of nuts and dried fruit in my backpack for when I need a snack.
Nutritional yeast is a complete protein & frequently fortified with B12. Because it is a dead yeast, people with candida can usually still eat it. However, many commercial brands of nutritional yeast contain MSG, which forms during the processing. There is glutamic acid in many natural foods (tomatoes, shitaki mushrooms, soy) and in it’s naturally occuring form is not bad for you. When heated the molecule becomes free and crosses the blood brain barrier, thus the neuron damage.
I don’t know much about the processing of various faux-meats, it might be easiest to contact the brands you buy. This pdf has a fairly simple explanation of the processing of nutritional yeast (www.lesaffreyeastcorp.com/SoY/images/pdfs/story_of_yeast.pdf)
Captain Paul Watson has said that meat-eating humans are actually “necrovores” because “Humans eat dead flesh and rarely eat the organs, preferring the muscle tissue. Most of the beef that people eat has been dead for months and in many cases for years. The meat is disguised with bleach and dyes in many cases to hide the decay and the fact that the flesh is putrid. We are closer in our eating habits to vultures and jackals than wolves and lions.”