Monday, July 29, 2013

The Power of Purple Sauerkraut

I made a fresh batch of sauerkraut this past week.  I chose to make purple this time.  Well, technically green and purple.  It actually came out a beautiful deep pink and is it ever powerful!  It may be the most potent batch of kraut I have made to date.

So I thought it would be a good idea to do an update.  There is a lot of new information available thanks to the fact that so many people have discovered the virtues of fermenting their own food.  I also learned that making fermented foods is a more powerful way to get your probiotics besides taking capsules.  That thought just nagged at me.  “I really need to make some sauerkraut again.”   The thing is once I do make it, the stuff never lasts very long around here.   My husband just loves the stuff.  Which is great since he needs it as much I do.

One of the things I tried to do this time was make it more like an airlock method.  I did this by taking a plastic bag sealed with water and putting it in the top after I pressed the cabbage down inside my jar.  I just use the old fashioned jars that clamp.  Maybe a new fangled jar would make better kraut but since it's always given me great results in the past I'm quite pleased.   Besides, it seems by using the bag in the top it did improve the potency of the probiotics.  I am quite sure the results are quite powerful.  So much that I have to be careful with this recent batch not to eat too much at a time!

If you do put a bag in the top sealed with water just make sure to put a plate underneath cause it really has a tendency to leak down the sides.   I'm just relieved that I caught it before my pantry turned purple!

Great explanantion of creating an airlock with a plastic bag is
Other tips to bear in mind are to remember that all spices added will intensify in flavor by fermenting.  You will save yourself a lot of trouble and frustration with that tip.  For salt this time I just used kosher salt, pure, additive free and gave great results.

For more tips and a great overview if you’re just getting started is -

To make sauerkraut using kefir grain whey see my recipe at my other website.
Making ferments using kefir whey is very forgiving.  I have had good success using this method for many different recipes and foods.  Preserved lemons, beet kvass and even pickles!

I hope you try these recipes and realize that your ferments will only get better and better along with your health!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Healthy Holiday Tips

The holiday season is upon us!  Many of us will be getting together with loved ones we cherish.  We will share traditions and memories.  We'll reflect on the last year and the new things we have experienced.  We will also share over meals.  Maybe several; maybe even celebrate at office parties!

What do we do?
How do we keep eating food that makes us feel  wonderful  instead of pain or even worse symptoms?

Here are a few simple ideas and suggestions that you can work into your festivities this Holiday season.

Tip 1.

If you eat until you’re well satisfied and nourished days before and days after the celebrations, you will be less apt to feel deprived and veer off into temptations.  So stay well satisfied and always make sure you are regularly eating foods you really enjoy.  Have nourishing soups (soup recipe, below) on the days before and days immediately after the party.  Have steaming, comforting bowls of food made with onions, peppers or garlic - any combination or all three together.   These ingredients will boost your Vitamin C and have anti-flu and cold benefits.

Tip 2.

At the party, eat only very tiny amounts of any starches such as sweet potato side dishes, breads and sweet desserts.   Keep a mental running total in your head.  Decide ahead of time what you’ve felt is a safe limit and stick to that.   Gently remind yourself that if you cheat too much you might feel bad soon afterwards and you want to feel great to keep up your good health now that you’ve finally regained it.

Tip 3.

Eat lots of butter on meats and non-starchy dishes which will be the bulk of what you eat at the event.  I even advocate B. Y.O. B. (Bring your own BUTTER!).  There are two good reasons for doing this step. One, some families consider using real butter a bit of a luxury (when it isn’t when you know its value, but that’s another discussion for another blog post).  The second reason is that some people will present a substance thought to be butter when in fact it isn’t anything remotely like the real McCoy!   This happens more often then I care to acknowledge!

Tip 4.

Take some kind of anti-fungal or herbal immune booster.  Take it the night before, the morning of, the evening of AND even the next morning (if you sense any symptoms or signs of illness) of the party.

Wellness Formula (click on link below!)

Tip 5.

During the Holiday season make sure you take time for yourself so you don’t feel over-rushed or weighted down with endless responsibilities and to-dos. 
Take time to be good to yourself –
Do fun things for no reason –
Go to a good movie or meet with a friend to talk and drink tea or coffee.

Tip 6.

Go right back to eating well immediately the day after a party.   If you carefully cheat only one day and eat no sugars or starches afterwards you are less apt to get sick or even feel bad.

So there you go.  A few tips some of which (probably all)  I have learned over the years to make sure you have a wonderful, tasty, fun Holidays.  Days with great friends and family and wonderful health and life!

Here’s some soup that comforts and nourishes your soul between celebrations.

Sprouted Bean Trio Soup with Sausage                       Serves 6

2 medium red onions, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 cup celery, chopped
3 garlic, minced (I use roasted garlic I’ve roasted inside a roast chicken, previously)
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons virgin olive oil
Skip butter and oil and use 4 Tablespoons lard (full of Vitamin D)
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon thyme
2 bay leaves
Few grinds of fusion hot pepper blend (optional)
6-8 cups water with fumet or chicken stock
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 lb. beef sausage like Kielbasa, cubed
1 cup sprouted bean trio, TruRoots brand at Costco or make homemade
Sea salt , to taste

Heat butter and oil in large cast iron Dutch oven pan or large saucepot over medium heat.  Add onion, celery and carrots.  Cook till soft and translucent about 5 minutes,  Add thyme, bay leaves, garlic, ground beef and sausage and cook for 3 more minutes.  Let the flavors really develop and let everything get a little brown.  This makes the soup very similar to a good gumbo despite the fact there is no brown roux.  (Yes, I do know how to make a true Southern Louisiana Gumbo, even though I grew up far north from our southern borders, trust me on this, especially if you are a Cajun.)

Add stock and beans and cook at least 15 minutes.   Don’t let it boil over, turn heat to medium low if it threatens to do so.  Test the beans to see if they are tender enough and add salt to taste and more ground black pepper if needed.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Great Ebook Bundle Offer And A New Recipe!

I wanted to let everyone know about this great offer.
This collection is only available from 8 a.m. EST on October 29th to 8 a.m. EST on November 3rd. There will be no late sales offered.

HUGE Sale on Healthy Living ebooks

For 5 days only, 27 prominent Healthy Living authors have joined together to bundle 34 of their most popular eBooks, valued at just over $300, for the incredibly low price of $29.
That’s only $0.87 per book to gain inspiration, encouragement, and the practical resources you need for your own healthy lifestyle. Plus, receive $49 of additional FREE Bonuses, and be entered to win one of 3 great prizes.

What’s Included in the Sale?

When you purchase the Healthy Living eBook collection, you will get instant access to each of the 34 eBooks listed below.

PLUS $49 of FREE Bonuses

Each Healthy Living eBook Bundle comes with $49 of FREE Bonuses from several of our favorite healthy living companies. Offers include a variety package from Redmond Trading ($21 Value), a FREE 3-Month subscription to Plan to Eat ($15 Value), and a FREE Sourdough Starter or Traditional Buttermilk Starter from Cultures for Health ($13 Value). Click here for more details.

PLUS get entered to win one of 3 Great Prizes

Each person who purchases a Healthy Living eBook bundle is automatically entered to win any one of the following 1 Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator, 1 Omega VRT350 Masticating Juicer, or a R1 Royal Berkey Water Filtration System (Click here for more details).
Click here to purchase your Healthy Living eBook collection (with FREE bonuses) today!
Please note: This collection is only available from 8 a.m. EST on October 29th to 8 a.m. EST on November 2nd. There will be no late sales offered.

Real Food Meals for the Whole Family

Have Your Fruits… and Veggies, Too! by Laura Coppinger @ Heavenly Homemakers ($5.95)
Real {Fast} Food by Trina Holden @ Trina Holden ($6)
20 Minute Meals by Leigh Ann Dutton @ Intentional by Grace ($4.99)
Real Food… Real Easy by various bloggers @ The Humbled Homemaker ($9.95)

Baking, Snacks and Desserts

Smart Sweets by Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship ($8.95)
Healthy Snacks To Go by Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship ($8.95)
Sourdough A to Z by Wardee Harmon @ GNOWFGLINS ($20)

Homemade “Everything” (Condiments, Pantry Basics, etc.)

Restocking the Pantry by Kresha Faber @ Nourishing Joy ($7.99)
Easy. Homemade. by Mandi Ehman @ Life Your Way ($3.99)

Grain Free and Paleo/Primal Eating

Grain Free Meal Plan Cookbook by Cara Faus @ Health, Home & Happiness ($18)
Toadally Primal Smoothies by Todd @ Primal Toad ($9.95)
Simple Food {for spring} by Shannon @ Nourishing Days ($10)
Simple Food {for winter} by Shannon @ Nourishing Days ($10)
Well Fed (Paleo Recipes) by Melissa Joulwan @ The Clothes Make The Girl ($14.95)

Saving Money on Real Food

Real Food on a Real Budget by Stephanie Langford @ Keeper of the Home ($18.99)
Plan It, Don’t Panic by Stephanie Langford @ Keeper of the Home ($4.99)
Don’t Compost It, Cook It by April Patel @ An Apple a Day Wisdom ($2.99)

Skincare and Beauty

My Buttered Life (Baby edition) by Renee Harris @ Hard Lotion ($5)
My Buttered Life (Gift edition) by Renee Harris @ Hard Lotion ($5)
My Buttered Life (Summer edition) by Renee Harris @ Hard Lotion ($5)
Simple Scrubs to Make and Give by Stacy Karen @ A Delightful Home ($3.99)
Food on Your Face for Acne and Oily Skin by Leslie @ Crunchy Betty ($7.99)
Holistic Mama’s Guide to Homemade Skincare by Roxanne King @ The Holistic Mama ($19)

Homesteading, Gardening and Preserving

Your Custom Homestead by Jill Winger @ The Prairie Homestead ($4.99)
Guide to Gardening and Preserving by Laura Coppinger @ Heavenly Homemakers ($7.95)
Apartment Gardening by Jami Leigh @ Young Wife’s Guide ($2.99)

Healthy Lifestyle

Simple Living by Lorilee Lippincott @ Loving Simple Living ($2.99)
Herbal Nurturing by Michele Augur @ Frugal Granola ($8.95)
Simple Natural Health by Nina Nelson @ Shalom Mama ($17)
Healthy Homemaking by Stephanie Langford @ Keeper of the Home ($12.95)
Music: An Essential Ingredient for Life by Resound School of Music ($6.99)

Pregnancy and Babies

Breast to Bib by Kate Tietje @ Modern Alternative Pregnancy ($8.95)
Healthy Pregnancy Super Foods by Kate Tietje @ Modern Alternative Pregnancy ($8.95)
Unbound Birth by Jenny Yarborough @ The Southern Institute ($4.99)

PLUS, You will receive FREE Bonuses from these awesome Healthy Living companies…

$21.00 of incredible natural products from “Earthpaste” “Real Salt” and “Redmond Clay” products for FREE.
Your choice of a FREE sourdough starter, or a FREE traditional buttermilk starter from Cultures for Health ($12.99 value)

Your choice of: a FREE 3-Month Subscription or 30% off a One Year Subscription. Plan to Eat is a simple online menu planner that organizes your recipes and creates your grocery list for you. ($15.00 value)

PLUS, You will also be entered to win one of the following 3 awesome prizes…

9-Tray Excalibur Dehydrator with Timer
($349.95 Value)

Omega Vert VRT350 Masticating Juicer
($379.99 Value)

Royal Berkey Water Filtration System from LPC Survival  
$289.00 Value)

And here's a great recipe for breakfast.

You take an egg and separate the white and mix in a little shredded coconut.  Then make a little nest with it in your frying pan sizzling with butter and put the egg yolk in the center and cook like sunny side up or if you're like me easy over!  It's that easy.   I think this might be my new favorite thing to eat.  So filling!  Sprinkle just a little sea salt and now it's all salty sweet.  Yum!

I got the idea for this from another recipe I saw the other day but didn't remember the exact details.  Later I realized they were saying to make these in the oven.  Mine is so quick on top of the stove.
And I really hope you check out the book deal - ends Nov. 3rd.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Statins Can Cause Diabetes

Did you know that only a very small percentage of people are helped by statins, if at all?

Now we're seeing studies that link an increase in diabetes with statin use.

Did you know you can use natural, safe alternatives to help your cholesterol?

Now forget the fact that all this cholesterol lowering might just be dangerous to do at all.

Every cell in your body needs cholesterol so if you don't get enough from the food you eat your body will make it.  It is that essential to your good health.

It regulates your brain function, your sex hormones, everything!

Here are some natural, effective ways to improve your cholesterol:

*  Consume plenty of good natural fats such as grass-fed butter, whole cream, pasture-raised eggs, coconut oil and cod-liver oil.

*  Eat lots of fresh, organic non-starchy vegetables like carrots, green peppers, onions and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, chard, green and red leaf lettuce for starters.

*  Get plenty of regular exercise as in daily walking.

Just doing these few easy things you can give your heart and the rest of your body what it needs.

For more information and research see this link by Dr. Mercola.

I know that after years of low-fat, high carb eating I felt tired and wiped out.   I easily came down with colds and didn't recover quickly either.

Since consuming healthy fats in generous quantities, I have never felt better!

You don't need to take a drug to maintain good heart health.

Try it!  You'll see for yourself.   If you are on ANY medications never just stop taking them.  Work with a doctor trained to slowly reduce your dosages.   Or tell your doctor that you intend on doing things that are natural and ask him to work with you.

Good health is totally achievable with good nutrition.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Homemade Vinegar Drinks are Tasty Pick-Me-Ups

With summer rolling along with the hot days we’ve been experiencing I’ve been experimenting with cool drinks.  Maybe some of you have tried these new Bragg’s Vinegar Drinks.   They are quite tasty.  So I’ve come up with a few easy versions of my own and they are much cheaper to make at home.

Some people make their own sodas with cultures like whey and such.  This is easier and instant since soda takes a few days to culture from scratch.  You can play with the flavors and add your favorite juices and extracts to the mix.  

Since Bragg’s vinegar is raw it’s a great quick probiotic.   I like to add lemon juice and ginger extract to mine which makes a great pick-me-up and tonic when you need a quick energy boost.  You can sweeten it with honey, stevia, or even xylitol to your personal taste.

It would also make a great sport’s drink alternative without chemicals or any sugars.  I was using coconut water for this but it’s still relatively high in sugar if thats a concern.  It’s also just nice to have a few alternatives for variety.  

One caution with coconut water.  As wonderful and nutritious as it is I recently learned that if it sits out or goes bad you need to be very careful with it.  It can give someone a pretty bad case of food poisoning.  So bear that in mind and use care with handling it.   If it doesn’t taste fresh and sweet, throw it out immediately. 

Be sure to try this money-saving vinegar drink.  It’s a tasty alternative to all sodas and plain juices.  I like to take the leftover bottles that the Bragg’s vinegar drinks come in.  

Mix together in a bottle 

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon ginger extract
1-2 tablespoons raw vinegar (Bragg’s)
honey or stevia to taste

Add cold water place cap on bottle and shake vigorously.   Enjoy!

For more variety experiment with other flavored extracts, juices or even flavored stevia extracts.

Good choices would be grape, acai juice, pomegranate, strawberry or any other of your favorite choices.  Experiment with the flavors and you’ll come up with your own favorite flavor combinations.  I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cooking Garlic Curry Chicken in the Halogen Oven with Curry Yogurt Sauce

This recipe adapts to any chicken 2-4 pounds.  It is adapted from the directions that came with the Infrachef Halogen Oven for Roasted Chicken.  It is also inspired by Jamie Oliver.

Take a mortar and pestle and in it place,

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons olive oil (any will do)
Pinch of sea salt
3-4 garlic cloves peeled and smashed with a knife

Take this mixture and mash it to a creamy paste, doesn’t need to be smooth.
Place the fresh whole chicken breast side up on the lower rack in the halogen oven.
Run your finger between the breast and the skin of the chicken on each side of the breastbone.
Shove some of the garlic butter mixture under the skin.  Then do the other side of the breastbone.
Take a sharp knife and cut little pockets in the thighs and wings on each side of the chicken and place the rest of the garlic butter mixture in the slits you made.   Evenly distribute the mixture.  Rub your buttery hands all over the top of the breast over the skin.  You can lightly salt the skin at this point.
Now take a good quality curry powder and sprinkle it all over the breast, wings and thighs.  Doesn’t have to be perfect.  You can rub it around if you like but it is not necessary.

Now turn the chicken over so the breast is facing down.   Place lid on oven.
Set the temperature at 400F. for 25 min.  When the timer finishes, turn the chicken breast side up and cook for 30 minutes.   Open lid and let sit for 10 minutes.

While the chicken is resting take full fat yogurt and put
large spoonful of yogurt in a small bowl depending on how many people you are serving.
Sprinkle into this curry powder, turmeric, cinnamon and flower pepper or black pepper, freshly ground.  Stir and taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Serve with the chicken.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Boost Your Iodine Levels

I wrote an article about adrenal fatigue recently and I mentioned the importance of taking iodine.   Thinking about it I realized I should expound more on the many great ways to get iodine into your diet and into your life.

Sea vegetables are an excellent source of iodine and other trace minerals.  Sea kelp is available as granules you can sprinkle on your food.  I like to add it to soups.  But you can also put it on your salads, casseroles or any other dish that you like.  For your convenience kelp also comes in tablets and capsules so you can just take it with your other daily supplements.

Another fun and delicious way to get your iodine is with tasty snacks.  Seaweed crackers and nori treats are available online and in your local health food stores.  Asian or Thai markets are another great resource to find products made with seaweed.

Dried fish or fish sauce also have good amounts of iodine In them.
Iodine boosts your metabolism and keeps your thyroid in good shape.   Which also helps your immune system and  can help you lose weight.  Or gain weight if you need it.

I think getting plenty of iodine is not just important for people with thyroid issues.

Everyone can benefit!