Tag Archives: kefir

Kimchi

A chilli packed Korean tasting version on sauerkraut. Great if you like heat, perfect for topping to salads, Asian noodle dishes and eggs and bacon for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Start small on the chilli amounts and increase with each batch until you find your heat level. This ferment gets hotter as it ferments so what may seem like a small amount of chilli will actually be a full flavour hit after 7 days.

Kimchi

kraut

INGREDIENTS:

1 cabbage (green or purple)

2 carrots
2 Tbsp. cup salt
1 tablespoon grated garlic (about 5-6 cloves)
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2-3 red chillies
1 Tbsp chilli flakes (for extra hot)
½ daikon radish
4 scallions or 1/2 leek (optional_

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Chop cabbage
  2. Cut Daikon into match sticks or julienne
  3. Chop Scallions/ leek (if you want onion)
  4. Add to bowl with salt and massage until translucent
  5. Add Flavourings and massage again (gloves are good for this especially if you don’t want to smell like garlic)
  6. Press tightly into jars leaving 2 inches at the top.
  7. Cover top with cabbage leaves and add a weighted jar or weight to top (keep vegetables under liquid)
    Secure lid and place in a dark spot for 7 days minimum and 20 days maximum.
  8. Taste test the Kimchi after 7 days. Leave for longer if the vegetables are still too crunchy or the flavours are not robust.
  9. Put in fridge to stop fermentation process.

 

Experiment with purple or green cabbage or a wombok
I’ve added kale, rocket, curry leaves, beetroot leaves….anything really.

Tastes amazing and the chilli builds as the fermentation goes on…..WHOA!

 

Enjoy

 

sarah

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‘dairy free’ Probiotic Lemon Cheesecake

I have been super busy on a new project that I can’t wait to share with the world. Things are getting exciting here!!!

But even more exciting was my milk kefir grains. I ferment my grains in coconut milk/cream/meat every other day and totally forgot about them needing the sugar in lactose so I thought they had died. Thanks to a kefir expert or two I revived my babies and now they are producing both cows and coconut kefir.

Milk kefir is a bit of controversy. Some say the lactose is fully fermented out others say that it’s not. Me, I’m on the fence. I ferment my cows milk longer to try and ferment as much lactose out and I only have a small try and give the rest to the family as their probiotic through making smoothies, ‘sour cream’, tzatiki or as I did here for this recipe make some amazing desserts. My gut has been ok and by small amount I mean one serve once a week.

My next test is to make coconut cream kefir cheesecakes so stay tuned for an update.

Lemon Kefir Cheesecakes

Gluten free, low FODMAP, dairy free (debatable), egg free, sugar free

PREPARATION TIME      TOTAL TIME
                      1-2 days in total

Serves 4

kefir_cheesecake

INGREDIENTS

1 litre Milk Kefir (on 2nd ferment strain through a cheese cloth over a bowl for 24 hours, keeping the solids and using liquid whey for other uses)
2 lemons juiced
rind of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil melted
1 Cup of mixed nuts blitzed
1-2 Tbsp Maple Syrup (obviously I’m not a sweet tooth)
INSTRUCTIONS

  1. As said above, strain grains through a cheese cloth or nut bag to separate the whey and kefir. I hung my nut milk bag off a spoon over a jug and let it drip overnight
  2. Add juice and rind of lemons to kefir cheese and mix. Depending on taste buds add more lemon.
  3. To sweeten you could also add 1 tbsp of maple syrup or rice malt syrup. Leave overnight in fridge if you can as flavours will be so so so amazing after another day.
  4. Melt Coconut Oil, blitz nuts and seeds in food processor until fine. Mix together with maple syrup or rice malt syrup. Taste and add more sweetness to nut mix if desired.
  5. In a muffin tray or any pie tin/tray line with baking paper and press the nut mix in to form a base. Pop in freezer for 10 minutes.
  6. Spoon Lemon Kefir Cheese on top of base and smooth out or peak up (be creative). Either serve now or pop into freezer to semi set for 30 minutes.

 

This is a great way to get the probiotic’s into the family and friends.
You could also use your own yoghurt if you don’t have kefir.

 

Orange and Coconut Cake

Yes we still going nutty over Oranges here. They are going to be thrown out if I don’t squeeze all of them this weekend.
I decided to make a cake to give away (of course) to see whether I could just bulk bake, freeze and then give gifts of orangey goodness. My husband said I should sell them in a cake stall…..

I remember making coconut flour cupcakes about a year ago for my daughter and they tasted pretty darn good so I winged the recipe a bit by adding coconut kefir as a probiotic alternative and made what my ‘taste testers’ have said is a good enough cake. I think with some orange cashew cream or maybe an almond maple glaze with orange segments, this would be a great afternoon tea cake to take anywhere.

Orange and Coconut Cake

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Grainfree, dairyfree, sugarfree, nutfree, Lowfodmap
Preheat oven to 180c
PREPARATION TIME          TOTAL TIME
10 MINUTES                1 HOUR 20 MINUTES

 

INGREDIENTS

5 eggs
1 cup coconut milk kefir (alternatively use a milk of choice)
2/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup  melted coconut oil
2 tbsp 100% maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup coconut flour

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine all dry ingredients in food processor and pulse a few times (break up any clumped coconut flour)
2. Add wet ingredients and pulse until a smooth batter forms
3. Pour into lined round or square tin
4. Bake for 50 minutes
5. Leave to rest in tin for 10 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool

**Cut into portions to freeze.

Kids – Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

I don’t usually stray from foods I can’t eat but there are apple eaters in the house and they were on their way out so I thought instead of composting I’d attempt to bake.

This recipe can be adapted for most fruits really. Blueberries are my favourite followed closely by strawberry and rhubarb. But try banana, pineapple, raspberry, throw some choc bits in!

muffins

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

grainfree, dairyfree, sugarfree, histamine, inflammation 
PREPARATION TIME          TOTAL TIME
10 MINUTES                50 MINUTES

Preheat oven to 180c
INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup coconut flour 3/4 cup blanched or activated almond meal 1 1/4 tsp baking powder spice mix* 4 eggs  1/3 cup coconut oil 2 tsp 100% maple syrup (optional) 1 cup homemade apple puree 1 cup diced apples 2 tsp vanilla extract1/4 cup milk of choice or coconut kefir or yoghurt
*spice mix
3 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS
1. mix dry ingredients in a bowl
2. mix wet ingredients (except apple)
3. add apple puree to wet ingredients
4. add diced apples and fold
5. fold wet mixture gradually into dry
6. pour into prepared muffin tray (or alternative cake dish or loaf pan)
7. cook for 30 minutes
8. remove from oven (check for clean skewer) they will seem soft and you’ll question them but they are light and fluffy muffins
9. Leave to cool in tray before removing
10. Top with coconut kefir cream or frosting glaze

For a sweet topping…………..

FROSTING GLAZE
1/2 cup almonds
5 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil*, melted
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
*1/2 Cup Coconut Kefir Cream

To make the glaze, roast the almonds (at 180) for 10 minutes or until they smell toasty.
Let the almonds cool for 5 minutes (and no longer!) and then process in a food processor until almond butter forms.
Add the maple syrup, cinnamon, melted coconut oil, vanilla and salt
Process until it’s well combined.
Fold through cream.

*you can omit kefir and just have glaze.

Enjoy with a chai latte using the spice mix (no salt) a dash of maple syrup, hot water and milk of choice.
The kids will love them in the lunch box. Make them nutfree by substituting almond meal with buckwheat flour.

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Mexican Fiesta

Continuing on with the Mexican theme of last week (and every Tuesday) I am always looking at how I can re-create a meal into several dishes to keep the family happy, nourished and excited about food. There is always leftovers with the meals I cook. I create a meal for a larger family so I know that my recipes are accurate and that they can feed more than my little threesome. Mind you my husband eats for a whole football team so I don’t know how I still end up with leftovers some nights.

Here are two re-creations from Taco Tuesday. Can be used for breakfast, lunch or dinner the following days.

Make your food stretch, save money, time and the frustration of having to cook something new every night.

Burrito Bowl

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS
Whatever salads or vegetables you have in the fridge
Leftover burritos, taco mince, vegetable medley
A bowl

INSTRUCTIONS
Not that difficult but I’ll guide you through mine
burrito-bowlOn the base I put lettuce (I also use spinach)
I then segment the rest.
1. Meat or vegetables from previous nights meal
2. Zoodles
3. 1/4 Avocado
4. Fermented Ninja Ginger Carrots
5. Spaghetti Squash
6. Broccoli stems and florets
7. Turmeric Cauliflower
8. Sweet Potato
9. Sauerkraut
10. In the middle- coconut Kefir and Fermented Jalapeno’s

Each quantity varies between 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup each

 

Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner Burrito Wraps

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Ok we LOVE these wraps. We have them as pizza, burritos, breakfast, lunch and dinner. High in protein and good saturated fats.

INGREDIENTS
3 Eggs
2 Tbsp Blanched or Activated Almond Meal
1 Tbsp Ghee or Coconut Oil
Mexican Leftovers or;


Classic Filling
Tomato
Avocado
Bacon
Salsa

Coriander (optional)

Roast Vegetables
Sweet Potato
Cauliflower
Broccoli
Spinach
Beans
Cashew Cheese
 


Bolognese


Leftover Mince
Tomato
Carrot
Basil
Thyme 

Tomato Napoli Sauce

Roast Meat
Roast Meat
Gravy
Mushrooms
Avocado
Zoodles

 

 

 

Fresh  RAW Vegetables
Grated carrot, zucchini, cucumber
Sliced Celery
Avocado


 

Basil Pesto and Mayonnaise


Fish
Salmon, Tuna, Snapper
Dill
Olives
Cucumber 

Mayonnaise

 

INSTRUCTIONS
1.Whisk Eggs in bowl
2. Add Meal and whisk until fluffy
3. Heat Ghee or Coconut Oil in 30cm Pan (spread it all around- no dry spots)
4. Pour Egg mix in and turn to low and cook for 3 minutes
5. With an egg slide lift edges and shake pan to loosen wrap
6. Here’s a few choices.
*Add ingredients in a line to centre of wrap while still in pan. Wrap by taking bottom section to middle and folding sides over top. Press down and flip seal other side.
*Remove from heat and let sit for five minutes. Turn out onto a plate, fill with ingredients, wrap as above
*Place wrap in oven (if pan is oven proof GREAT, if not flip onto a tray. Cook for a further 10 minutes at 180c. Take out, cool and use when needed.

I make mine ahead some days, then pop in oven all wrapped to re-heat. I add lettuce and other cool salad ingredients once it’s re-heated.
KIDS LOVE THESE

 

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.

 

 

Soups

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Sarah Craven Photography

I have been looking forward to the cold weather. I’m a winter baby, I love a heart meal but this year in particular I’m excited because I’m a new me. A fitter, healthier version of what I was last year. I’ve learnt from previous winter mistakes of overindulging, excusing one meal, punishing myself through a workout, detoxing after a week of fructose hell to now not having one fall back nor craving of need to ‘carb up’ smash a desert or finish that bottle of red.

A great way to stay nourished and build your immune system is to make sure you are ritually drinking good quality bone broth, eating wholesome fermented foods and downing a daily probiotic.

Let’s start the cold snap with soup. A warming Indian spiced (inspired by Pete Evans Paleo Chef) Cauliflower & Sweet Potato Soup.

Take 1 Whole Cauliflower and cut florets
Peel and chop 1 Large or two medium Sweet Potatoes

Pop in a roasting tray with a couple of Tbsp of coconut oil.

Pop in 180c (350f) oven

In a food processor, grinder or mortar and pestle add lightly toasted a Pete a Evans Garam Masala Spice Mix;

Take 1/3 of it and add to cauliflower and sweet potato in oven. Continue to roast until veggies are tender or can be stabbed and not cling to the knife.

Heat 750 ml broth in pot and add veggies and another 1/3 of spice mix, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp black pepper.

Simmer on low until veggies break apart.

Blitz with hand beater

Serve with Krispy Turmeric Kale chips and extra roasted cauliflower and a sprinkle of fresh coriander.