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Counsels on Diet and Foods

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    Part 3—Bread

    The Staff of Life

    493. Religion will lead mothers to make bread of the very best quality.... Bread should be thoroughly baked, inside and out. The health of the stomach demands that it be light and dry. Bread is the real staff of life, and therefore every cook should excel in making it.—Manuscript 34, 1899CD 315.3

    Religion in a Good Loaf

    494. Some do not feel it is a religious duty to prepare food properly; hence they do not try to learn how. They let the bread sour before baking, and the saleratus added to remedy the cook's carelessness makes it totally unfit for the human stomach. It requires thought and care to make good bread. But there is more religion in a good loaf of bread than many think.—[Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 49] Counsels on Health, 117, 1890CD 315.4

    495. It is a religious duty for every Christian girl and woman to learn at once to make good, sweet, light bread from unbolted wheat flour. Mothers should take their daughters into the kitchen with them when very young, and teach them the art of cooking.—Testimonies for the Church 1:684, 1868CD 316.1

    [Knowledge of Breadmaking Indispensable—822]

    Use of Soda in Bread

    496. The use of soda or baking powder in breadmaking is harmful and unnecessary. Soda causes inflammation of the stomach and often poisons the entire system. Many housewives think that they cannot make good bread without soda, but this is an error. If they would take the trouble to learn better methods, their bread would be more wholesome, and, to a natural taste, it would be more palatable.—The Ministry of Healing, 300-302, 1905CD 316.2

    [Use of Saleratus in Bread—see “Soda and baking powder,” 565, 569]

    Using Milk in Yeast Bread

    In the making of raised or yeast bread, milk should not be used in the place of water. The use of milk is an additional expense, and it makes the bread much less wholesome. Milk bread does not keep sweet so long after baking as does that made with water, and it ferments more readily in the stomach.CD 316.3

    Hot Yeast Bread

    Bread should be light and sweet. Not the least taint of sourness should be tolerated. The loaves should be small, and so thoroughly baked that, as far as possible, the yeast germs shall be destroyed. When hot, or new, raised bread of any kind is difficult of digestion. It should never appear on the table. This rule does not, however, apply to unleavened bread. Fresh rolls made of wheaten meal, without yeast or leaven, and baked in a well-heated oven, are both wholesome and palatable....CD 316.4


    Zwieback, or twice-baked bread, is one of the most easily digested and most palatable of foods. Let ordinary raised bread be cut in slices and dried in a warm oven till the last trace of moisture disappears. Then let it be browned slightly all the way through. In a dry place this bread can be kept much longer than ordinary bread, and if reheated before using, it will be as fresh as when new.CD 317.1

    [Zwieback Good for the Evening Meal—273]

    [Zwieback in diet of E. G. White—Appendix 1:22]

    Old Bread Preferable to Fresh

    497. Bread which is two or three days old is more healthful than new bread. Bread dried in the oven is one of the most wholesome articles of diet.—Letter 142, 1900CD 317.2

    The Evils of Sour Bread

    498. We frequently find graham bread heavy, sour, and but partially baked. This is for want of interest to learn, and care to perform the important duty of cook. Sometimes we find gem cakes, or soft biscuit, dried, not baked, and other things after the same order. And then cooks will tell you they can do very well in the old style of cooking, but to tell the truth, their families do not like graham bread; that they would starve to live in this way.CD 317.3

    I have said to myself, I do not wonder at it. It is your manner of preparing food that makes it so unpalatable. To eat such food would certainly give one the dyspepsia. These poor cooks, and those who have to eat their food, will gravely tell you that the health reform does not agree with them.CD 317.4

    The stomach has not power to convert poor, heavy, sour bread into good food; but this poor bread will convert a healthy stomach into a diseased one. Those who eat such food know that they are failing in strength. Is there not a cause? Some of these persons call themselves health reformers, but they are not. They do not know how to cook. They prepare cakes, potatoes, and graham bread, but there is the same round, with scarcely a variation, and the system is not strengthened. They seem to think the time wasted which is devoted to obtaining a thorough experience in the preparation of healthful, palatable food....CD 317.5

    In many families we find dyspeptics, and frequently the reason of this is the poor bread. The mistress of the house decides that it must not be thrown away, and they eat it. Is this the way to dispose of poor bread? Will you put it into the stomach to be converted into blood? Has the stomach power to make sour bread sweet? heavy bread light? moldy bread fresh? ...CD 318.1

    Many a wife and mother who has not had the right education and lacks skill in the cooking department, is daily presenting her family with ill-prepared food which is steadily and surely destroying the digestive organs, making a poor quality of blood, and frequently bringing on acute attacks of inflammatory disease and causing premature death. Many have been brought to their death by eating heavy, sour bread. An instance was related to me of a hired girl who made a batch of sour, heavy bread. In order to get rid of it and conceal the matter, she threw it to a couple of very large hogs. Next morning the man of the house found his swine dead, and upon examining the trough, found pieces of this heavy bread. He made inquiries, and the girl acknowledged what she had done. She had not a thought of the effect of such bread upon the swine. If heavy, sour bread will kill swine, which can devour rattlesnakes, and almost every detestable thing, what effect will it have upon that tender organ, the human stomach?—Testimonies for the Church 1:681-684, 1868CD 318.2

    The Advantage of Using Bread and Other Hard Foods

    499. Great care should be taken when the change is made from a flesh meat to a vegetarian diet, to supply the table with wisely prepared, well-cooked articles of food. So much porridge eating is a mistake. The dry food that requires mastication is far preferable. The health food preparations are a blessing in this respect. Good brown bread and rolls, prepared in a simple manner, yet with painstaking effort, will be healthful. Bread should never have the slightest taint of sourness. It should be cooked until it is thoroughly done. Thus all softness and stickiness will be avoided.CD 318.3

    For those who can use them, good vegetables, prepared in a healthful manner, are better than soft mushes or porridge. Fruits used with thoroughly cooked bread two or three days old will be more healthful than fresh bread. This, with slow and thorough mastication, will furnish all that the system requires.—Manuscript 3, 1897CD 319.1

    [Good bread in place of Rich Foods-312]

    Hot Biscuits

    500. Hot biscuits and flesh meats are entirely out of harmony with health reform principles.—Extracts from Unpublished Testimonies in Regard to Flesh Foods, 2, 1884.CD 319.2

    501. Hot soda biscuits are often spread with butter, and eaten as a choice diet; but the enfeebled digestive organs cannot but feel the abuse placed upon them.—Letter 72, 1896CD 319.3

    502. We have been going back to Egypt rather than on to Canaan. Shall we not reverse the order of things? Shall we not have plain, wholesome food on our tables? Shall we not dispense with hot biscuits, which only cause dyspepsia?—Letter 3, 1884CD 319.4

    [A Cause of Dyspepsia—720]

    Gems and Rolls

    503. Hot biscuit raised with soda or baking powder should never appear upon our tables. Such compounds are unfit to enter the stomach. Hot raised bread of any kind is difficult of digestion. Graham gems, which are both wholesome and palatable, may be made from the unbolted flour, mixed with pure cold water and milk. But it is difficult to teach our people simplicity. When we recommend graham gems, our friends say, “Oh, yes, we know how to make them.” We are much disappointed when they appear raised with baking powder or with sour milk and soda. These give no evidence of reform. The unbolted flour, mixed with pure soft water and milk, makes the best gems we have ever tasted. If the water is hard, use more sweet milk, or add an egg to the batter. Gems should be thoroughly baked in a well-heated oven, with a steady fire.CD 319.5

    To make rolls, use soft water and milk, or a little cream; make a stiff dough and knead it as for crackers. Bake on the grate of the oven. These are sweet and delicious. They require thorough mastication, which is a benefit to both the teeth and the stomach. They make good blood, and impart strength. With such bread, and the abundant fruits, vegetables, and grains with which our country abounds, no greater luxuries should be desired.—The Review and Herald, May 8, 1883CD 320.1

    Whole-Wheat Bread Better Than White

    504. Fine-flour bread cannot impart to the system the nourishment that you will find in the unbolted-wheat bread. The common use of bolted-wheat bread cannot keep the system in a healthy condition. You both have inactive livers. The use of fine flour aggravates the difficulties under which you are laboring.—Testimonies for the Church 2:68, 1868CD 320.2

    505. For use in breadmaking, the superfine white flour is not the best. Its use is neither healthful nor economical. Fine-flour bread is lacking in nutritive elements to be found in bread made from the whole wheat. It is a frequent cause of constipation and other unhealthful conditions.—The Ministry of Healing, 300, 1905CD 320.3

    [Unbolted or Graham Flour the Best for the Body—171, 495, 499, 503]

    [Grains to Be Used in Natural State—481]

    [Graham Bread in Camp Meeting Diet—124]

    [A Religious Duty to Know How to Make Good Bread from Unbolted Wheat Flour—392]

    Grains in Bread May Be Varied

    506. All wheat flour is not best for a continuous diet. A mixture of wheat, oatmeal, and rye would be more nutritious than the wheat with the nutrifying properties separated from it.—Letter 91, 1898CD 321.1

    Sweet Breads

    507. Sweet breads and cookies we seldom have on our table. The less of sweet foods that are eaten, the better; these cause disturbances in the stomach, and produce impatience and irritability in those who accustom themselves to their use.—Letter 363, 1907CD 321.2

    508. It is well to leave sugar out of the crackers that are made. Some enjoy best the sweetest crackers, but these are an injury to the digestive organs.—Letter 37, 1901CD 321.3

    [Sweetened Crackers—410]

    [Bread Not Relished by Those Accustomed to Rich and Highly Seasoned Food—563]

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