KOMBUCHA ~ The Elixer of Life!

Kraut, Kimchi ..Kombucha!

Kombucha is a fermented drink like beer and wine. Very low alcohol (under 10%). Kombucha is called a tea, made from (1) Yeast, (2) Sugar, and (3) Black tea. Renew your interest in this fermented tea to improve your health. Make a difference in your life. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Start now. [ Note: The sugar is fermented out via scoby / yeast culture. ]

Recipe

Ginger Kombucha

First STEP: Grow kombucha scoby ⬅️ link

Kambucha Recipe

  • Servings: 1 gallon-16 serv.
  • Difficulty: medium-easy
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INGREDIENTS
1 Scoby purchased or grow komucha scoby from a bottle
1 Cup sugar (sugar needed to feed the fermentation)
5 Organic black tea bags (or 1 tablespoon loose tea)(can use green tea, but not the first batch)
1 Gallon Jar to store kombucha
2 Fresh Ginger (3-inch pieces) Vary to taste.
Glass bottles for storage
2 Cups brewed Kombucha

DIRECTIONS how to make kombucha recipe 1 gallon

1. Everything must be sanitized. I cannot stress this enough. When dealing with fermenting anything it is crucial every piece is clean and sanitized. Wash your hands and all equipment used before you begin. I like to run everything through my dishwasher before I make and bottle. My husband and I brew our own beer and make our own wine. So we are very familiar with making sure everything is super clean and sanitized.
2. Measure out 3.5 quarts of water and place in a pot on the stove. Heat the water until boiling. Some people insist on using distilled water. Boiling filtered water from our fridge has worked perfect for me, and I have been making this for nearly a year.
3. Turn off the heat and add 1 cup of sugar. Stir the sugar until it is completely dissolved. Then add 5 organic black tea bags. This is the brand I use and for the first fermentation from your homemade scoby you should use black tea for a strong brew. Cover the pot so not much water escapes. After you have brewed the kombucha you can then use a combination of black and green tea. But you should have at least a 3 black tea and 2 green for later brews
4. Wait for the tea to cool. It must cool to room temperature before adding the scoby. If not you risk damaging your precious scoby you grew from scratch. Once it is completely cooled, pour the tea into the clean 1 gallon jar and add 2 cups of your previous brew. Then add the homemade scoby to the top.
5. Store in the 1 gallon glass jar with a cloth (cheese cloth-doubled) covered lid with a rubber band. This allows the kombucha to breathe without getting any additional bacteria or fruit flies in your brew. Store in a dark closet that remains cool through out the day and someplace no one will touch it. It needs to remain still to grow the scoby and create the bubbles.
6. Allow to brew for at least 7 days. It may take 10-12 days, depending on the temperature in your home. During the winter months, I allow a little longer brew. Right now 8 days is the perfect time for the flavor and creating the carbonation.

IMPORTANT: The bacteria in kombucha is considered a probiotic. But, if not prepared properly harmful bacteria or mold grows on your scoby Green or gray spots is a sign of mold. Another sign of mold when your scoby is dull and fuzzy looking. NOT glossy. Discard the scoby and start over. TIP: Use cane sugar or white, not honey, stevia, raw or coconut sugar. When shopping for kombucha, it may be best to choose brands that contain under 4 grams (1 teaspoon) of added sugar per serving. TREND: Add turmeric & black pepper Ratio: 100/1. How much? 1 tsp. of turmeric per gal. + a pinch of black pepper. You should not be able to taste the turmeric.

Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY) is a culinary symbiotic fermentation culture (starter) consisting of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), acetic acid bacteria (AAB), and yeast. .. provided by Wikipedia.com.

Put a jug in your fridge: Gallon dispensers (5.5 cups) with a spout. (as seen in IKEA.com, Canada)

It Tastes Like Vinegar!

Not true ~ Kombucha is delightfully tart and fizzy. Ginger adds a warm and spicy punch!

Kombucha can be made into vinegar – fermentation period –>6-10 weeks. Use in salad dressings! Other uses: mayonnaise (add 2 tbsp to your mayo recipe). Hair Tonic, Facial Toner, House Cleaner and Healthy Gummies <–recipe.

Criminal Minds At Work!

Mandy Patinkin (actor – Criminal Minds +plus) is a proud advocate of kombucha [kämˈbo͞ochə]!…or Kambuka?
Anyway you say it ~ it ‘s all good!

Kvass – Similar to Kombucha

Kvass

When life gives you stale rye bread, it’s time to make bread kvass!

Kvass is an ancient fermented cereal-based, low alcoholic drink. Kvass is known to reduce the risk of cancer. When it comes to taste, kvass is similar to kombucha. Kvass is a rich source of manganese, vitamin B12, selenium, niacin, iron, copper, and magnesium.

Making Kombucha. This is my favorite video.
He said it best!

New Year’s Resolution : “GOOD HEALTH!”

Make Kombucha ..drink ..daily.. like water! See the change and let me know about it. You will be helping .. yourself .. and a lot of other people! Spread the news. 🧑🏼‍🤝‍🧑🏻 👩🏽‍🤝‍👩🏻 👍🏽 🧑🏼‍🤝‍🧑🏻 👩🏽‍🤝‍👩🏻

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Gingerbread Cookies ~ Holiday Gifts

This holiday season enjoy a nutritional treat! Healthy, soft, chewy, sugar free gingerbread cookies.

Gingerbread Cookies (Sugar-Free Keto) Recipe

  • Servings: 2 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS
2 cups almond meal*
1/4 cup melted coconut oil (or salt free butter -or- ghee butter)
3 tbsp maple syrup
4 Medjool dates
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
A pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS
(1) Combine almond meal, dates and all of the spices in a food processor. Process until combined.
(2) Add coconut oil (or unsalted butter), maple syrup and egg. Process again until a soft dough forms.
(3) Remove the dough and roll flat between 2 pieces of parchment paper (about 1/8 to 1/4 inch). Thicker cookies are chewier
(4) Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes to firm up.
(5) Preheat oven to 300 °F (150 °C)
(6) Cut out into shapes with a gingerbread cutter and place cookies onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
(7) Bake at for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool.
Optional step: After cooling, add sugar free cream cheese frosting. ..see link below
CHEWY Cookie: Reduce Cooking time. e.g. instead of 15 minutes, take cookies out at 11 minutes. (suggested by Mrs. Fields). You be the judge.

  • One cookie = 77 Calories

Finished Cookie

The above recipe results in light coloured cookies .. & dark specks from the almond meal. For a darker cookie use almond ‘flour‘ and substitute in coconut sugar or brown Monk’s fruit for the maple syrup. Changes the cookie to a darker colour. Monk Fruit –> LINK —>Monk Fruit . I thought about adding food coloring. I need to research this a bit more. Experiment for yourself to get the results you wish to achieve.

Baking – STEPS

To get the classic brown colored cookie–> Recipe LINK–> Keto Gingerbread Cookies. These photos below are from the ‘darker’ version of the gingerbread cookies. Still keto friendly!

Cream Cheese FROSTING

Decorate these low carb gingerbread cookies with a simple frosting : 1 cup sugar substitute, add low calorie cream cheese until the icing has the right thickness (like toothpaste). Place mixture in a writing tip piping bag or a sandwich bag (finely cut the corner) and decorate your cookies. IMPORTANT: Grind sugar substitute to a fine powder in a magic bullet. Otherwise your frosting will be grainy.

Cookie Tips

This is the most important part. Chilling the dough firms it up so that it’s easier to work with. If it takes you a long time to cut all the shapes, it may soften, so chill again if necessary. Add flour for too soft dough. Add cream/ half and half, if dough is too hard. You may roll the dough right on the parchment covered baking pan. Use your cookie cutter and remove the side bits of dough for more cookies. CARBS ( ‘cane-sugar’ free): 1.4 grams. CARB count with flour & sugar: 21 grams per cookie.

Cooking Hack 👩‍🍳

If you make these thicker, they’re a little chewier, which is nice; if you make them thinner, they’re more crisp and “snappy,” which is also nice. Regano suggests, “Pat the chilled dough into a log shape almost the length of the baking sheet. Place plastic school rulers on each long side and roll along the length with the pin resting on both rulers. I get a uniform thickness appropriate for a bakery style cookie with no high or low places. I use the cookie cutter directly on the parchment/baking sheet. When finished baking, I lift the parchment, with cookies still on it to the cooling area, no breaks!”

Storage 🎄

1 week in the refrigerator. You can freeze these cookies for 2-3 months. Make sure that you let them cool completely and freeze in a single layer before transferring to a freezer bag, so they don’t stick to each other.

*Almond Meal (skin on) & Almond flour (skin removed)

However, almond meal has a slightly higher fiber and mineral content due to the presence of almond skin.

Kimchi O-So-Easy! Holiday Gift

Kimchi is made with the hope of healing the world!

(One gut at a time)

A traditional Korean side dish of salted and fermented vegetables: napa cabbage, Korean radishes, and seasonings 🔥 . Totally natural and oddly delicious.

Holiday Gift Ideas 🎉 🌟 🎁

How to Make Simple Vegan Kimchi

There are over a hundred different kinds of Kimchi recipes! The recipe for mak kimchi, or simple kimchi is a great place to start. Yield: 1 quart.

Simple Kimchi

  • Servings: 1 quart
  • Difficulty: medium-easy
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INGREDIENTS
1 medium head napa cabbage (about 2 pounds)
1/4 cup iodine-free sea salt or kosher salt
Water, preferably distilled or filtered
1 tablespoon grated garlic (5 to 6 cloves)
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce (or salted shrimp paste, or 3 tablespoons water) to taste
1 to 5 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
8 ounces Korean radish or daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks -optional
4 medium scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup julienned carrot (about 1 small -adds colour you can add julienned red cabbage)
DIRECTIONS
1. Cut the cabbage. Cut the cabbage lengthwise through the stem into quarters. Cut the cores from each piece. Cut each quarter crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips.
2. Salt the cabbage. Place the cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Using your hands, massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften a bit. Add enough water to cover the cabbage. Put a plate on top of the cabbage and weigh it down with something heavy, like a jar or can of beans. Let stand for 1 to 2 hours.
Rinse and drain the cabbage. Rinse the cabbage under cold water 3 times. Set aside to drain in a colander for 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the spice paste.
3. Make the spice paste. Rinse and dry the bowl you used for salting. Add the garlic, ginger, sugar, and fish sauce, shrimp paste, or water and stir into a smooth paste. Stir in the gochugaru, using 1 tablespoon for mild and up to 5 tablespoons for spicy (I like about 3 1/2 tablespoons); set aside until the cabbage is ready.
4. Combine the vegetables and spice paste. Gently squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and add it to the spice paste. Add the radish and scallions.
Pack the kimchi into the jar. Pack the kimchi into a 1-quart jar. Press down on the kimchi until the brine (the liquid that comes out) rises to cover the vegetables, leaving at least 1 inch of space at the top. Seal the jar.
5. Let it ferment for 1 to 5 days. Place a bowl or plate under the jar to help catch any overflow. Let the jar stand at cool room temperature, out of direct sunlight, for 1 to 5 days. You may see bubbles inside the jar and brine may seep out of the lid.
6. Check it daily and refrigerate when ready. Check the kimchi once a day, opening the jar and pressing down on the vegetables with a clean finger or spoon to keep them submerged under the brine. (This also releases gases produced during fermentation.) Taste a little at this point, too! When the kimchi tastes ripe enough for your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator. You may eat it right away, but it’s best after another week or two.

Kimchi ~ Dos and Don’ts

Rely on your own sense of smell and taste and you’ll end up with a fine batch. A word of caution: too much garlic can make the kimchi bitter, and too much ginger can make it sticky. Adjust the amount of other spices to your liking. Kimchi can be mild or fiery, it’s your choice. I have received all kinds of opinions. Some cooks swear by a little bit of sugar, others completely shun sweeteners. There are people who include carrots and there are people who wrinkle their noses at the idea.

25 Fermented Recipes

Want to Eat More Fermented Foods? Here Are 25 Recipes You’ve Got to Try.

Kimchi Grilled Cheese

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices Sour Dough Bread
  • ½ cup Mozzarella Cheese (shredded)
  • ¼ cup Kimchi (fine chop)
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter

MY FAVORITE KIMCHI: Leftover water melon rind (pictured above) Watermelon rind contains citrulline, which is loaded with antioxidant properties that convert to arginine, an essential amino acid. Arginine is great for the heart, immune system and circulatory system.). Add seeds such as chia, black sesame or pumpkin seeds. You choose. Add the watermelon rind – include the green part. Delicious! I like adding cumin seeds and maybe mustard seed and turmeric.

Storage

If you are planning to keep it in a fridge, make sure that all of its ingredients are fully covered in the brine before you reseal it.

Kimchi can last 3–6 months in the refrigerator. It continues to ferment as it matures, though, becoming more acidic and softer. So, If you prefer a milder flavor or crunchier texture, you may want to eat up your kimchi before 3 months. 

Napa cabbage: A broom that sweeps {your system} clean. Kimchi: Contains protease, lipase, and amylase enzymes making it good for breaking down and absorbing protein, fat, and carbs.

The beneficial power of kimchi comes from vitamin C, vitamin A, thiamine (B 1 ), riboflavin (B 2 ), calcium, and iron. According to some researchers, the antioxidants, and the lactic acid bacteria in kimchi helps with digestion, heart disease and diabetes. Good in a weight loss plan and clear skin. Kimchi boosts your immune system.

David Chang adds sugar to his kimchi along with salty shrimp. Making authentic kimchi with sugar – helps in the fermentation and acts as a preservative and improves the flavour. The probiotics actually consume sugar during fermentation.

David Chang: Chef and Owner of Momofuku, New York

Kimchi hot dogs!

Kimchi pairs well with fried rice, dumplings, and summer rolls, or, ahem, straight out of the jar.

Thai Basil Stir Fry #For Lovers💘

A chef romanced his girlfriend with this delicious stir fry; Romance with Jason Rosso; see “4 Senses” TV show S1.E4 [watch the video] My favorite stir fry came directly from a food cart owner in the orient. “When I’m in the ‘Dog house’ out comes the Thai Basil Stir fry” ..and all is well again!”

Food For Romance

Rice Noodles is the best compliment to this Thai Basil Stir Fry. You will not find this recipe anywhere else on the Internet, except on the cooking show 4 Senses” TV show S1.E4 . YUM! 💗

Would you like to stir in more romance?

ASK THE EXPERT

Karin Vagiste is a highly respected Mediator, Author and Producer in Canada and the USA. Karin has appeared on many TV show, keynote speaker and leads seminars. www.lowerstress.me

Couple conflicts may have built up the kind of frustration that a box of chocolates can’t eliminate. In order to stir in generous amounts of romance, we need to remedy the source of frustration with positive change. No couple is immune to conflict. Release your inner peace-maker. read more

Latest Book! First Aide For Stress Order Online

‘Romantic’ Thai Basil Stir Fry 💗

Chop, Sauté and Serve!

Thai Basil Stir Fry #For Lovers

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1/2 red onion (+ 1 scallion optional)
  • 2-3 oz of stock
  • 1 oz. white wine
  • 1 egg
  • 1 oz. (2 tbsp) sesame oil
  • 1 can of coconut milk – combined with 2 oz soy sauce, 2 oz fish sauce, 1 tbsp. chilli flakes
  • 1 thumb ginger diced (about 2 inches long)
  • 1 lime – sliced into quarters
  • 1 chicken breast (cubed)
  • 10 shrimp – de-veined, de-shelled – leave shell on the tip of the shrimp
  • Medium – Wide rice noodles (cooked) – enough for 2 people
  • 8-10 fresh basil leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Crack an egg into the hot oil and scramble it for 20 seconds
  2. Add cubed chicken –mix until color starts to change
  3. Add julienne sliced carrots, pepper & red onion
  4. Add diced ginger
  5. Add 1 oz white wine (to steam)
  6. Add 1 oz of stock ( add other 2 oz. later, if dish is too dry)
  7. Add coconut sauce mixture (see ingredient list)
  8. Bring to a boil and mix to ensure chicken is done.
  9. Add cooked rice noodles –mix well for 2 minutes.
  10. Add shrimp –cook lightly until done.
  11. Add chopped basil (and chopped scallion) as your topping -yum!

The immersion of flavors begins with sesame oil, and ends with a finale of fresh basil and lime!

DISH, FLAVORTOWN! , BASIL, SESAME OIL, MAKES THIS DISH FOR LOVERS !!!

VARIATIONS

This dish was added to the menu at Milestones in Ontario, Canada by cupid’s Chef Jason Rosso. They added a drizzle of peanut sauce. All you need is add 2-3 tablespoons unsalted unsweetened creamy peanut butter to 1/3 of the coconut milk mixture and pour on top. Hot jalapino peppers sliced in rings is another addition that gives heat, or, 1 hotter Serrano chili, seeded and sliced. SUBSTITUTION: The recipe calls for chili flakes. They are not common in all regions. I used red pepper flakes. You can use chili powder if you wish, or a combination of both.

MEMORIES OF THAILAND ~ Honey “Thai” Thighs

MEMORIES  OF THAILAND
There are  many recipes for chicken and chicken thighs. I really liked Linda’s “Honey Thigh Recipe” from the Fabulous Fare Sisters. Linda wrote that she would like to see my version of her Honey ~”Thai” Thigh Recipe”  after I commented on Linda’s Yummy honey Thai chicken recipe. . . .from LINDA: Thank you! Hope you give it a try – would love to see your version!  Being a lab rat, I enjoyed experimenting with this chicken recipe;  originating from Thailand.  I prepared Linda’s  wonderfully tasty chicken thigh dish. The selection of spices was too good! I did not adjust the original recipe. The great flavours of Turmeric, chives basil, ginger and soy sauce were so good already. You don’t want to change something that is already spectacular.  The only variation I made was  in the added honey;  used for  sweetness and caramelization.

Memories of Thailand!

Memories of Thailand!

TEST-TUBEMY TEST KITCHEN 
I made 3 versions of this  “dish” by  altering the method of adding sweetness to this dish. I wanted to see if there was any change in the flavour and the caramelization.
I made my first version almost the same as the original Fabulous Fare Sisters recipe. (on March 10, 2016).  In my version I used green onions instead of chives.  I doubled up on the turmeric,  basil and ginger since I am fortunate to live near “St. Lawrence Market” where I am able to get fresh ginger and turmeric along with fresh basil all year round. I grow my basil in the summer. The fresh turmeric is not as common as fresh ginger from local supermarkets here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I was very generous with the cilantro. I used 1/4 cup of cilantro instead of a few leaves since I like it so much!
I made the second version  and added  the honey at the end, with one tablespoon of soy sauce glazed on top to see if the flavour and caramelization was affected.  I assumed that the caramelization would be less.
I made a third version with two tablespoons of stevia substituted for the honey and used chicken legs.

All Natural, Healthy Stevia

All Natural, Healthy Stevia read more from godshalingplants.wordpress.com

All versions were marinated for 24 hours. I shared my Thai chicken with my  friends, neighbour and  the concierge in my building.  The concierge is very please that I include him in my test kitchen.
RESULTS
The results surprised me a little.  The first version was good.  I had thought that the second version would have less caramelization. It did not. It was the same as the first. If the caramelization is too much and carbon is formed then this is not very healthy.  The third version with the stevia was just a little too sweet. I would perhaps change it to 1 tablespoon of Stevia instead of two tablespoons.
THE VOTE WAS UNANIMOUS!
All the critics favoured the version that had the honey and soy sauce glazed on top at the very end. The sweetness of the honey was enjoyable but it did not permeate through the entire dish.  This gave a pleasant contrast between the sweet and the savory.  It was the winner with everyone here!
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RECIPE
HONEY THAI THIGHS
INGREDIENTS
6-8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs  ( or bone-in or legs)
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
1 teaspoon grated fresh turmeric (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon grated ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon salt  fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 limes
1/4 cup honey (or 2 tablespoons stevia)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves.

IMG_2400

Ingredients for the chicken thighs on the left and chicken legs with stevia on the right

INSTRUCTIONS
1.  Season the chicken with the chives, turmeric, basil, ginger, salt, pepper, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce,
2.  Zest the lines and squeeze the lime juice over the chicken.
3.  Drizzle with the honey and add cilantro.
4.  Allow to marinade for 10 minutes(up to 24 hours).
5.  In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook the seasoned thighs 6-10 minutes on each side until cooked through.
6.  If using bone-in or legs cook 2 more minutes on both sides.
7. Test to an internal temperature of 165 degrees away from the bone. Serve and garnish with more cilantro leaves.

IMG_2403

Chicken thighs that had honey glaze on the left and chicken with honey in the marinade on the right

IMG_2404

Chicken legs in stevia marinade cooking

IMG_2408

Chicken thighs and legs garnished with cilantro

I would like to thank the talented Fabulous Fare Sisters for their delicious recipe .  The challenge was truly interesting and made me consider all options to improvise and test this recipe.  The recipe was wonderful.  Everyone enjoyed it. The version that had the same amount of honey as in the original recipe but used as a glaze was the winner with my group of taste testers.  Many thanks to them as well and I hope that everyone keeps cooking happy and healthy.