Tag Archives: ferments

Fermented Mustard

Taken from Pete Evans and adapted to our requirements.
We put this on everything from salads, eggs, meats, vegetables

Fermented Mustard

MUSTARD

INGREDIENTS

  • 185ml of strained sauerkraut brine (at least 3 into fermentation- oh and don’t worry too much if a few bits of cabbage end up in the brine)
  • 80 grams of mustard seeds (brown are hotter than yellow so keep that in mind)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric Powder
  • 1 Tbsp. of Maple Syrup
  • And if you can tolerate them;
  • 1 French shallot finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely diced

 INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pop the seeds, brine, salt and if using shallot and garlic in a bowl.
  2. Cover the top with a plate and leave at room temperature over night
  3. Add Maple Syrup and Turmeric to mix and whizz in a food processor until it is the right consistency for you- the more you pulse the less whole seeds you will have.
  4. Taste and add salt if needed to season
  5. Pour into at least a 250ml jar and secure lid
  6. Refrigerate for up to 3 months

Dressings- try these on your meals. In a small jar mix

  • mustard with some olive or macadamia oil, shake and pour over salad, vegetables, meat or even on some sourdough.
  • Use above and add ¼ mashed avocado, shake and pour
  • Add an extra ‘zing’ by adding 1 tsp. of apple cider vinegar or balsamic to the mix, shake and pour.

Serve a dollop on a steak, with some prawns.

 

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Traditional meals are good

It seems gone are the 90’s and all the info on low-fat and zero fat. 2013/2014 is the year of the traditional’s. I will admit that I jumped on the low-fat diet (sugar hike, artificial, preservative laden foods…yum) Thanks to those days I was at my worst!
But we never said goodbye to meats and traditional recipes. Allergies, healthy eating, calorie counting, fat analysing has seen so may great meals put on the back-burner. My grandmother lived a well-rounded diet, was a fit young lass and died from old age. Her recipes stick with me and I know that she’d be high-fiving me on my traditional methods of cooking.
As part of our weekly menu planning, the family chooses what meats are going to take us through lunches, left over creation Thursday night and a breakfast option.

It’s been a few weeks since this sweet pink meat has graced us, and boy was it delicious. Cooked traditionally (with low fodmap adaptions) served with some seasonal vegetables and devoured in record time. The leftovers are sliced, diced and shaved for lunches, another meal, breakfast and to use for ‘frittata-pizzas’ tonight.

Corned Beef is a salt-cured beef product. The term comes from the treatment of the meat with large-grained rock salt, also called “corns” of salt. Speak to your butcher about getting a cut of Beef cured, know your curing process (salt brine)  and where your meat comes from (grass-fed). If you’re stuck for time,  a low and slow cooked corned beef is perfect. Enjoy…..

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Corned Beef Silverside

INGREDIENTS

1-2kg of cured beef (speak to your butcher about getting a corned beef silverside)

4 Cups of Filtered Water

1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Tbsp Black Peppercorns

3 Dried Bay Leaves

4 whole cloves

*optional 1 onion quartered of not avoiding FODMAP’s

INSTRUCTIONS

Slow cooker (all are different but in general High=4 hours, Medium/Auto=6 hours, Low=8 hours)

Work out your time frame (I had 6 hours yesterday so I set mine to Auto)

1. Rinse meat in cold water and place in slow cooker
2. Pour water over top (you may need a little more if the water does not cover the meat)
3. add other ingredients
4. Leave it to do its thing
5. If you are home, turn half way through (don’t know why but I always have)
6. When there is half an hour to go test the meat by pushing against outside, you want to feel a medium pressure (to know this put your middle finger and thumb together and feel the base muscle where your thumb connects to your wrist- the chunky part- call it an old hospitality university tool) I do this because you need to rest the meat before you carve and it still cooks when you remove it from the pot.
7. Wrap in aluminium foil and rest for 20 minutes before slicing against the grain.

On the Stove (aka no slow cooker, running out of time)

If you’ve got two hours then we can do this
Follow everything from above apart from time.

1.Place meat in cold filtered water (no need to boil)
2. Set element to low and add all ingredients
3. Check as above
4. Rest before carving

Serve with steamed seasonal vegetables and cauliflower bone broth mash sauce and some fermented vegetables and fermented mustard.

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There’s still time today to pop this one one…..

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Five Minute Meals

Time….What Time?!

As a mum & a photographer,  some days I have so much time on my hands to play and some days I can’t even scratch myself. Most days I’m prepared for anything, I’m a planner, I like routine and have everything in it’s place….another word for anal or strict?!
In the way of food it’s so easy to grab something convenient and easy when you’re not prepared, right?! A sandwich, a slice, a pie, wrap?! Why not, it’s convenient! Well you could do that or you could think a little broader and look in your fridge. I’ll admit that was me. I grabbed wraps (just one gluten thing won’t hurt) and sandwiches. A little education and having an organised shopping list every week now I can say my wraps are a little different and my sandwiches are non-existent instead it’s five-minute chopping, throwing anything into a bowl, pan…..I can even vouch and say that even if you’re not ‘home’ for lunch it’s easy. Days I’m not organised with the family I can throw the spouse a salad (left over veg, meat, salad leaves etc) my cherub a platter of whatever we have in the fridge, nuts, seeds, kale, fruit…..if you’re out then you’re not far from a supermarket, grocer, fruit and vegetable shop. A good friend and personal trainer taught me that a bag of spinach, a carrot, cucumber, roast chook, tin of sardines, tuna and some oil and nuts make a nutritious meal.

Here’s a go to recipe for days you home and look into the fridge with a blank stare and think ‘life would me easier if you just ate bread’

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5 MINUTE STIR FRY
vegetarian, vegan, paleo friendly, low FODMAP, grain free
one person dish- adjust quantities for more

1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
1/2 Tbsp. miso paste (a good one from an asian shop, no msg or make your own)
1/2 tsp. grated ginger
1/2 tsp. grated turmeric
3 Brussel sprouts
huge handful spinach leaves
1/2- 1 zucchini spiralized or peeled into ribbons (I had half on the bench from breakfast)
handful chopped mushrooms
2 asparagus spears
palm size broccoli florets
1 Tbsp. water

1. In a wok or pan heat coconut oil, ginger, turmeric and miso.
2. Add mushrooms, Brussel sprouts, broccoli and asparagus and sauté for a few minutes
3. Add spinach and zucchini and water and sauté for a couple more minutes.
4. Find a bowl, chop sticks, a quiet corner and enjoy a bowl of nourishment.
Add some lacto-fermented vegetables, some leftover meat, bacon, prawns, sardines,tuna or egg with fresh coriander and sesame seeds to serve.

Make this before work and take it with you. You can only be as prepared as you let yourself to be. Look after your body and it will reward you.

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Fermentation Debate

I always over promise things but to be honest I lost the research and citation I had on the topic of wild vs cultured fermentation and it has taken me a while to find where I was at the time and what I wanted to get across.

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Sarah Craven Photography

Do you ferment vegetables? Drinks?
Have you heard people talk about Kimchi, Water Kefir, Milk Kefir, Kombucha, Whey, Kvass? Are you wondering what all the craze is and why people are using these words and swapping grains and SCOBY’s?

It’s called Lacto-Fermentation:
Lactic acid is a natural preservative it inhibits the growth of harmful,  bacteria. Fermentation has travelled through cultures for years as it allowed people to preserve foods for extended periods of time before the advent of refrigeration or canning.
Lactic acid also promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract. That is why lacto-fermented foods are considered probiotic foods. (Probiotic means “for life”.)

The process and science behind lacto-fermentation is amazing and it is where it first had me hooked (inner geek).  You see lactobacillus (from a prepared culture, fresh whey, or just naturally occurring) plus sugar (naturally present in vegetables and fruits), plus a little salt, minus oxygen (anaerobic process), plus time, equal lactic acid fermentation. How cool? How complex? Let’s cut to the chase.

Why have people started on the fermented foods?

Nearly every person I meet has a topical, digestive issue. Thyroid’s are very popular, candida’s population could inhabit 10 of our worlds plus venus, mars and pluto….get my drift?! Doctors have been prescribing antibiotics, cortisone creams for as long as I can remember. Now remember that I speak from personal experience only, I love doctors, nurses, the medical profession is needed but for me I abused it and it’s resources. Most people who I suggest lacto-fermentation to have one or more of the following;

  • Signs of intestinal or systemic Candida overgrowth
  • An immune system that has lost its balance—with signs of allergies or autoimmune disease
  • An inflamed and leaky gut
  • Bacterial overgrowth
  • Multiple food sensitivities
  • Mood or behavioural disorders
  • Skin rashes, eczema, or acne
  • Antibiotic overuse

But with everything in life there are road blocks, there are caution signs. Lacto-fermented foods are kind of like a really good block of chocolate. You eat a small piece you feel great, you eat the whole block you feel like a warrior for 3 minutes then curl in a ball and cry wondering why you went so far and delving into the seven deadly sins over the following 48 hours.

So it brings me to how much and when?!

For a regular person that presents with no real issues and wants to boost their immune system and jump on the ferment train (wooo wooo) then I say for WILD! Wild fermentation is wonderful. Using whey, kefir grains, kombucha scoby’s, salt only is a special process. We reproduce all our Wild cultures and love how we can share our ‘babies’ around. So check my recipes and make some. Find a person locally that can supply you with a SCOBY and grains or contact me personally.

Now for the rest of us WILD can be more bad than good. I started the lacto-fermentation process in a WILD way and I went backwards quickly. What I thought was going to be the answer to my prayers was a nightmare. You see, people with damaged ecosystems need more than what wild culture has to offer and in order to repair the damage caused by antibiotics, sweet additives and preservatives in foods and a poor diet in general.
By using a starter culture to begin with you can start to repair the damage. Starter cultures help the fermentation phase by limiting cause for contamination, help nourish and grow the right bacteria and yeast needed to build your ecosystem.

So why not just take a tablet?!
Think of over probiotic supplements as a sleeping biotic. They are not LIVE and do not act immediately. They are also manufactured in a laboratory and contain a lot more than a million lactobacillus. Wild and cultured probiotic’s are alive and naturally beneficial. 

So where do you start and what do you look for?!

I don’t endorse any brand, I don’t think any brand is better but what I can say is what to look for in a starter culture.
Look for these ingredients;  Sugar (as a carrier), active lactic bacteria (lactobacillus plantarum, leuconostoc mesenteroides and pediococcus acidilactici) anything else that is listed move right along.
Beware of prepackaged fermented drinks and yoghurt too. Always look at the ingredients. If you see numbers, agave, long words that don’t match the above then don’t use it. You will end up feeding the buggers that are causing all the problems rather than nourishing and repairing.

Above all else speak to a body ecologist if you have inner ecosystem issues. Don’t go it alone either. Find a cultured community and work together, cook together and share your cultures.

I will holding classes locally this month for beginners offering a nurturing approach to lacto-fermentation and how to nourish your body.

 

 

When you just feel OFF

A long post this week, sorry but when I get passionate you can’t shut me up.

Far too often foods sneak back into my diet. Sometimes from lack of knowledge, sometimes from lack of caring. Everyday I fill my brain with more and more knowledge of health and wellness so that I can be the best version of me., sometimes I win, sometimes I stumble.

As Christmas, camping and New Years flew by I was pretty damn happy with myself and avoiding allergens, however sometimes a bowl of pretzels or dark chocolate is a major roadblock. It has been a long time since I consumed anything commercial considering my track record of how my body reacts to these foods that contain numbers and ingredients that even Google pronunciation can’t figure out how to say them.
Everybody reacts differently to foods, some people don’t react to anything (that they’re aware of) and sometimes I curse and envy people that have iron guts and immune systems built of platinum. If however you have indulged over Christmas, looked and scales and are not happy, feel the pants a bit tighter, the bikini not looking as rocking as November 2013 I thought I’d share some knowledge on what might have and unfortunately still happening without you knowing.

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My old mate Candida would have to be my least favourite experience to date. If you’re thinking vaginal thrush then no, go to a pharmacist and get some cream for that stuff. I’m talking about this little species of nasty that lays dormant feeds off sugars and is the cause of many an autoimmune disorder. It’s not about eating lollies, chocolates and all that confectionary. Sugars are in a lot of processed foods. Pretzels as salty as they are contain sugar. This last week alone I have mistakenly eating my way through so much more fruit than normal…..ALARM bells!!
Candida exists in the body, it’s a fungus that is a form of yeast. Everyone has it and it is present in our mouth and intestines. When this little sucker is overproduced it affects our intestines and releases toxins into our bloodstream. Heard of leaky gut syndrome? Yep, that little sucker is a contributor that! What I found the most important part of Candida and before you click next and dismiss the topic is what else it causes that you wouldn’t think it could. Candida is a major contributor to a lot of mood disorders, behavioural issues, digestive problems, seasonal allergies, mucous build up, colds and flu, skin changes and even snoring. Yes, what was once just a vaginal thing that was caused my antibiotics or sex or something the doctors have said now expands to a whole lot more…trust me, don’t dismiss this!
So you’re thinking great, you have Candida? Great! How the heck did you feed that little thing?!
• Carbohydrates=sugar feed yeast. Now don’t go cutting all Carbs, I’m talking refined carbohydrates (honey, sugar, maple syrup, flours, rice, refined cereals, all store bought gluten and gluten free products, sauces for more info check out diagnosisdiet.com/refined-carbohydrate-list/). There are still carbohydrates you can consume through vegetable form.
• Alcohol- yep that’s a yeast feeder right there. My nemesis to be honest. Alcohol is still something that I consume, not as regularly as I used to (*cough daily *cough) but it’s simple pleasure that I love. I’ve changed what I do drink though.
• The pill. Urgh the damn pill! It’s been all the news of late, it’s the number one contraception and in that an unavoidable candida feeder for some
• Fermented foods….really I know, it’s heartbreaking!
• Stress. Ha you’re thinking great stress will cause my gut to leak so I have to find a way to never be stressed again. Basically yes!
• Antibiotics. It’s not just a topical thrush problem. Repeated antibiotic use does a lot of damage to your gut, trust me I’ve been there!

So now you see what this thing feeds on let’s talk about what happens when it starts to grow way too much. I mentioned earlier that it’s a major contributor to a lot of issues and disorders, for me when I know that my Candida is getting out of control I notice mood swings, sugar cravings (to the point I don’t even realize that I am eating sugar until after), carb cravings (like wanting to sink my head into a cake) I bloat from nothing, my clothes are tight, I gain 3-4kgs quickly and my skin changes colour, my eyes change, dark circles, rashes, sinusitis, morning mucous (the biggest indictor right there), asthma flare up and of course my favourite toilet troubles. All signs of Christmas indulgence hey?! More like Candida indulgence!!!

But as there is a reaction for every action we can reverse and kill off the little sucker so it sticks to it’s real job and stops making us act, feel and look like something we don’t want to be fulltime!!
Firstly you’ve got to stop feeding it. Sugar has to go, flours, breads and pasta, beans, rice….just eliminate gluten ok. Replacing the bad bacteria with good bacteria. I still consume fermented foods, I cut back on ferments when I’m feeling a little dusty and change to coconut kefir and kombucha and sauerkraut. Getting stress under control is important. Our gut and brain are big talkers, they spend all day chatting about what we are putting in and how it nourishes our bodies. When your brains off, your guts off. Simple stress strategies help. Exercise, yoga, meditation (yes I meditate daily and trust me I would never have thought I could do it years ago). A diet that is rich in good meats, fresh organic wholesome vegetables is important. Coconut oil is a great candida fighter, taking supplements of Vitamin D3, oil of oregano in small doses help with killing of the fungus. Candida can be controlled but it’s important to know the triggers before it gets out of control. If you feel like you’ve upped your sugar, fruit and feel off and not sure why then really consider Candida before you go to the doctor and get given Candida.

Keep Eating Real Food

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Recipe for the day

jar of salad

 

A short one for the day.

At the end of each day I look in the fridge grab a jar and fill it with salad veggies, leafy greens, ferments, quinoa, activated nuts and whatever else I can find. Add a splash and a bit of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar and whammo there is tomorrow’s lunch. Try it!!!

 

Spinach
Brocoli (raw, small amount)
Kale
Carrot
Sprouts
Quinoa
Celery
Zucchini (raw) 
Pepita’s 
Sunflower seeds