This time of year everything is orange and black. Pinterest is loaded with images of cupcakes, cookies, and sweets galore with orange and black icing and sprinkles. Thank goodness my kids don’t frequent pinterest or I would pulling my hair out with requests for all these items. As it is I avoid taking them to the store this time of year because I don’t want requests for all the candy on the shelves. But because I know they will get candy at school, at parties, and while trick or treating I just plan ahead and amp up the nutrients and healthy foods during and after this sugary season. See my post on Staying Healthy and Boosting Immunity AFTER Halloween.
This year part of those efforts will be adding a little of my own orange and black…
The Black – Chyawanprash. Say what?? According to good ole Wikipedia it is a jam-like cooked mixture of sugar, honey, Triphala, ghee, sesame oil, berries and other herbs and spices. That is a lot of health and goodness packed into a jelly/jam. Organic India’s version of 100% Organic Chyawanprash contains 36 herbs in a sweet base made from gur (organic cane juice reduced to a syrup) honey and ghee (clarified butter). They recommend one teaspoon twice daily for maximum benefits. It also gets bonus points because the honey is still raw. It is added after the heating process.
It is pretty strong in flavor so adding a small dollop to a tart apple slice works well for us.
The Orange – Turmeric Formula capsules. Turmeric is absolutely essential in our lives. I am convinced of it. It is important for a variety of health and dietary needs. See Amazing Health Benefits and Uses for Turmeric. You can add this lovely spice to a variety of foods but a super easy way to get more turmeric is to take a capsule. For young kids who can’t take one, I suggest the turmeric milk recipe found in the article above.
Have a happy, healthy Halloween and beyond!
My fermentation repertoire is sadly limited up to now. I have thus far only made kombucha, kefir, yogurt, and sourdough. I have wanted for a very long time though to make other fermented foods. High on my list are sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, ginger, and salsa but really I want to go wild with it. I love fermented foods and they are so very good for you. I credit fermented foods with helping me heal from the devestation wreaked upon my body by chemotherapy drugs after my bout with cancer. The drugs kill healthy cells and the healthy bacteria in the gut as well. Fermented foods helped me immensely, during chemo and after. They are now a big part of my family’s diet and one of our weapons against illness. We just don’t get sick very often and I credit all the fermented food we consume.
My love of Kombucha, and my disdain for the hefty price tag spurred me to make it myself. I would like to save even more by making more of my own ferments and I found the perfect guide to help me in this goal.
Last week I had the pleasure to meet a wonderful and knowledgeable blogger while at an activism and social media conference, Tamara from Oh Lardy. I have been a fan of her blog for a long time so it was awesome to meet her and even more awesome to hear her talk about fermentation and her new book… Oh Lardy’s Guide to Fermenting Fruits and Vegetables. I was super excited to get home and await it’s release, which was yesterday. I have already read it cover to cover. I love it!
Not only am I exited to make all of the items on my wishlist (sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, ginger, and salsa) with the provided recipes I am also excited to try those I never even heard of….Dilly carrots, mushrooms, fruit leather, and lemonade. The instructions are super clear so I am 100% positive that I can take these recipes and run with them and the photos are gorgeous. I hope my creations look half as nice!
In This PDF E-book, You Will Learn…
- The importance of the roles gut bacteria play in your digestive tract.
- The basics of the process of fermentation, how it happens and why.
- The benefits of consuming fermented foods (there are so many!!)
- What materials you need to ferment foods at home to get you on your way to becoming a confident fermenter.
- How you know when you food is fermented and other frequently asked questions.
- How to make almost 40 different recipes easily in your own kitchen; recipes your whole family will love!
This is a digital e-book, not a print book. This e-book can be downloaded and read on your iPad, Kindle, smart phone, computer…almost any device! You can read this e-book anytime, anywhere.
From now through November you can purchase a Certified Reconditioned Vitamix Standard blender starting at $299. This is a $30 savings off the normal reconditioned price and hundreds off a brand new Vitamix blender. These reconditioned blenders come with a new container and a 5 year warranty. Free shipping too. This is an AMAZING deal!! Know anyone that wants one for the holidays???
I have had my Vitamix for about eight years and it is still going strong. I recommend it to anyone hands down as a must have gadget for the kitchen and a great value for the money. This little kitchen instrument is powerful and indispensable. Here are a few reasons why:
Benefits of using a Vitamix
Not only is the Vita-Mix is super easy to use, it has powerful health benefits. Hundreds of people have written letters to the Vitamix Corporation, witnessing their improved health because of their Vita-Mix. Thus, Vitamix can be used to naturally build up a weakened immune system. I got my Vitamix after I was diagnosed with cancer and I used it daily all throughout my fight with the big C. I have used it almost every day since.
The Many Uses
In addition to the many health benefits, it can be utilized in a variety of manners: juicing whole foods, cooking soup from fresh organic vegetables, and making homemade ice cream and sorbets. New mothers who practice green living use their Vitamix for making baby food, from whole foods, for their babies. People with health issues, like high cholesterol, cancer or heart disease, have experienced an improvement in their health after using Vita-Mix for an extended period of time. Why? Because it encourages you eat eat healthy whole foods and makes them easy to prepare!
Vitamix Saves Time
Vitamix is loved by working men and women because it is such a huge time saver. After a long day at the office, you come home worn out, too tired to cook a full meal. With this blender, you can walk in the front door, throw your ingredients into the machine, and in minutes you have a healthy serving, minus all the hard work.
The Vitamix is a heavy duty blender, a food processor, ice cream/sorbet maker, wheat grinder, and so much more all warped in one amazing package. It blends food at speeds up 218 miles per hour. They can be ordered online or purchased directly at store demonstrations throughout the country. It comes with two books including and amazing cookbook with hundreds of recipes for soups, salsas, ice cream, smoothies, dips, nut butters, and hundreds of other things. This machine is so good at blending smoothly you can through fruits and veggies in their whole form into this blender and mix it up smooth.
Likes: I have been using my Vitamix for 8 years now and it is still going strong. I have made hundreds of smoothies, sorbets, ice cream, soup, salsa, tomato sauce, cobbler, key lime pie filling, salad dressing, cookie dough, and even pie crust. I could never go back to using a regular blender after having this machine. I have found that I don’t even need a food processor anymore either. In fact I use my machine so much that is rarely gets put away because I always need it for something!
Dislikes: I don’t really have any dislikes although I have found that purchasing the extra dry grinding container is a good idea if you plan to grind wheat into flour. The regular container doesn’t do as good of a job although I have used it to grind flour before.
I am not a big fresh fruit eater. I just don’t usually care to grab an apple or an orange, or any fruit really to snack on. Maybe occasionally I might grab a banana or a slice of watermelon (if I am cutting it for the kids) but that is about it. I prefer to eat my “fruit” in some kind of nut/fruit bar or in a green smoothie. Sometimes I have to consciously try to get some fruit into my diet and that is when some kind of snack bar is perfect. That way I can just toss one in my lunch bag or grab one on my way out the door for a quickie snack and I don’t have to feel quite so bad that I am not eating fruit. I also get the benefits of diversity when I eat fruits I would almost never grab for fresh…apples, pears, cherries, mango, etc.
This is why I have been enjoying OneBar. Each bar has a full serving of fruit and the ingredients list is minimal and simple, mostly just fruit and a bit of fruit juice. No added sugar, gluten, or wheat. The bars also contain Baobab, a super fruit new to the US, but well loved for centuries in Africa (especially among nursing mothers). It is fair-trade sourced and full of antioxidants and this fruit product is one of the few that you can get here with Baobab in it. It is said to have more nutrition packed inside it than any other super fruit. Baobab has nearly six times the amount of potassium found in bananas, lots of vitamin C and is a great source of fiber and magnesium.
I love that OneBar fruit works with a paleo diet and that they are small enough to take with me if I am going to be away from home for a spell. Having a snack bar on me means I am not going to cave and get something from a vending machine. Nothing good comes from a vending machine. Plus they are super tasty! The cherry is my fave.
We are all big Kombucha fans here. My husband and my three kids adore it and we used to spend a pretty penny buying it bottled from the store. The price is usually anywhere from $4-6 for a single serving bottle. It added up fast and ultimately became a rare treat for us and that was a big shame because Kombucha is so good for you. Imagine my delight that my kids want to drink fermented tea (with oodles of healthy bacteria) instead of drinking soda, milk, or juice. The only thing standing in the way was the price tag.
So what did we do? We decided to brew it ourselves at home and commence with sipping on Kombucha that tasted every bit as good but now only cost about $1.50 a gallon…at MOST. Now we all have all that delicious fizzy Kombucha and all the health benefits for pennies. Here are some of the benefits:
It tastes great!
Help for acid reflux
Low calorie drink for people drinking soda
Helps with weight loss (for the above reason)
Improves energy levels
Supports the immune system
Keeps bowels humming along
Cleanses the liver
Improves the health and appearance of your skin
So that is the WHY and it brings us to the HOW…
I wish I could say it was all smooth sailing but we did run into some problems with brewing initially. Part of it was just error as we learned and part of it was that we had to kind of piece the process together by perusing various websites. We put together our equipment using and reusing what we had on hand. We jerry-rigged a pretty good system in my opinion and the Kombucha was delicious. For anyone wishing to avoid the trial and error headaches we experienced though I would recommend a good Kombucha brewing kit and I think I found the perfect one.
Get Kombucha is an online store that sells a few different continuous brew kombucha kits. The have standard, silver, gold, and super deluxe kits and all have what you need to get started brewing at home from the time the package hits your doorstep. The company graciously sent me their silver kit and within hours I had it set and ready to brew. It also looks fantastic compared to my previous setup.
Everything came quite fast and with eco-friendly custom die cut packaging, which reduces waste (ie no extra packaging or peanuts). In the package was a certified lead free porcelain brewer and a hand crafted wood stand for it. Also provided was a whole leaf tea blend, reusable muslin tea bags, pH strips, gloves, spigots (in black and/or white), cloth covers, and the most important thing…the SCOBY.
The SCOBY or mother culture is the large mushroom looking thing that causes the tea to ferment and it was happily swimming in a just a bit of already fermented Kombucha tea. I love that anyone can get this kit and start brewing immediately. The instructions were easy to understand and the process was actually much faster than the one I developed. SCORE! I would say that within 20 minutes of setting everything up I was finished with the initial brewing phase. My Kombucha is now fermenting. In about 10-14 days we will give it a taste test and see if it is ready but about 14 days is usually our sweet spot.
Can I just say that I love the porcelain brewer. It is very attractive and something I will not mind having prominently displayed in my kitchen.
I think the silver kit has everything you need for a newbie brewer but if you need more help they also offer a collection of free Kombucha training videos. If you lose the instructions card with the recipe (mine is now on my fridge) you can also access it online. It just cannot get any easier. If you are wanting to try making Kombucha at home I hope you will check this out.
Where to Buy: Get Kombucha Continous Brew (Silver Kit)
Thank you to Get Kombucha for sponsoring this post. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of the Green Moms Network, and the content and opinions expressed here are 100% my own.