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Thread: newbie transition to primal - food texture/mouthfeel page

  1. #1
    Berele's Avatar
    Berele is offline Junior Member
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    newbie transition to primal - food texture/mouthfeel

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    Hi all. I'm sorry if something along these lines gets asked every month or two. Feel free to point me to links of past discussions and have that be the end of it.

    So, i'm attempting the gradual approach to transitioning to primal eating, because i think that's what will produce the most sustainable results for me. Inspired by Mark Bittman's 'vegan until 6pm' shtik, i'm doing 'primal until x o'clock and gradually pushing back the hour, with the goal of 80% of what i eat being primal. This is working splendidly so far, with one hitch.

    I'm something of a foodie (i.e. someone who's parlayed an obsession with food from 'mild eating disorder' into 'quirky hobby') and do a lot of my own cooking/fermenting/putting up, etc. And, i'm a texture/mouthfeel fiend when it comes to foods. I deeply prefer a wide diversity of food textures, so the point where it feels like a craving/need. Not having the right balance of textures can make otherwise delicious meals unappetizing.

    There are lots of textures primal foods offer - crunchy, creamy, chewy, gelatinous, even starchy when it comes to tubers. This is lovely and i'm glad of it. But, what's proving tough for me is that without the presence of grains or things made of grains to sop up and balance out juices/sauces/etc., i'm finding primal eating to be unceasingly...well, moist. Pretty much all protein is wet, unless it's jerky or so overcooked as to be unpleasant. All fruits and veggies are very moist, weather raw or cooked. Anything made primarily of fat is inherently moist. So no matter how flavorful and delicious my non-grain meals are (and many of them are), on that texture/mouthfeel level the monotony of moistness leaves me feeling like i'm eating slop or gruel or something equally unsustainable for the part of me that needs food to be pleasurable in order to have a healthy relationship with it.

    Handfuls of nuts and seeds after meals are helping things feel more texturally evened out, but i don't want to overdo it on them. So, i'm wondering if anyone else has had this issue? Will this pass with time? Should i invest in a dehydrator and make lots of sweet potato and vegetable chips and jerkys? Become a molecular gastronomist so i could flash freeze things with liquid nitrogen like that guy on top chef?

    Is there some amazing concoction made from coconut or almonds or something that could work? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    bokbadok's Avatar
    bokbadok is offline Senior Member
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    Coconut flour is very dry and absorbs moisture, so I use that in meatloaf, hamburger patties, and meatballs to balance out the moistness. There are recipes using coconut and almond flours to make mock breads (search "sandwich is back" for a very easy starter recipe by Rivvin).

    You might be able to make vegetable chips in the oven if it can go low enough.

    Not being a foodie though... my ideas probably aren't much help.
    42 yo female; 5'8"
    Oct 2009: 205 lbs
    Dec 2010: 167 lbs
    Current weight: 158 lbs (first time under 160 in 17 years!!!)
    Goal weight: 145 lbs

  3. #3
    Phoenixflame's Avatar
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    I'm something of a foodie (i.e. someone who's parlayed an obsession with food from 'mild eating disorder' into 'quirky hobby')
    -dies- This describes me all too well. Nail on the head, dear one.

    Ok, crunch! I have this same problem. Some people may frown on it, but I like whipping up a batch of primal crackers for dips and the like. The most common method is using almond flour, but there are other recipes (some raw vegan) that use flax/sunflower seeds/zucchini. You can also make chips with zucchini, potatoes, parsnips, and probably beets. Thirdly, seek out pork rinds. I prefer the rinds to cracklin. Basically they are these puffy things made from pork skin--they are like porky Cheetos sans cheese. They are awesome for dips. And cream cheese.

    If you need stuff to sop up sauces, I find cauliflower rice can work well as long as you haven't overcooked it to mushdom. Potatoes can soak up sauce too. Oh, and there are a few primal bread recipes floating around. Again, they aren't "uber paleo," but potentially great for someone transitioning.

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    Styrofoam Jones's Avatar
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    Pork rinds.

  5. #5
    TigerLily's Avatar
    TigerLily is offline Senior Member
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    Howdy and welcome, Berele~

    I also transitioned into Primal in a similar way, although I wasn't aware of Bittman's "vegan until 6 p.m." bit. (I eased in in reverse order -- dinner was Primal first, then I pushed the clock up.) I found it to be an easy entry path. I'm not sure I would have made it if I had to plunge into the deep side of the pool head first. I truly do feel like I've made a lifestyle change here; it's easily sustainable.

    As far as something to sop up juices, I second the recommendation for cauliflower rice. I did this just tonight, as a matter of fact.
    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

  6. #6
    Berele's Avatar
    Berele is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the advice, all. I'm keeping my eye out for a dehydrator on freecycle and craigslist - i have a feeling that our CSA share will have the makings of much zucchini jerky. I feel skeptical about cauliflower rice in concept, but in the spirit of open mindedness and experimentation i'm gonna give it a try. And, pork rinds - enough said.

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