Monthly Archives: February 2016

Fermentables ..

Hands up, I am the first to admit that until recently my knowledge of fermentation was limited to a hard earned, rather-better-than-average, understanding of champagne production. Although I also had the vague but enticing comprehension this process, when applied to cabbage, was “good for me” I could not, hand on heart, tell you why.

So, withdrawing Bollinger et al from the equation, what is this swelling buzz for fermentation all about? And why am I now fully converted to this health conscious coven after just one happy afternoon chopping vege and talking intestinal health with our ferment guru friends, the F clan?

One word, Jerry. Gut health. 😉

Yes, people! The time has come to give my gut flora some love. Needed oh-so-much after unknown measure of antibiotics and more than a decade of practically pathological dedication to Dettol hand wash (aka living in Saudi Arabia) has surely decimated their numbers.

Yoda-esque wisdom from Mrs F explained I can eat fibre until the cows come home from eating fibre, but until these babies are flourishing neither will my digestion be.

gut-health-diagramAny idea as to what’s happening in your gut?

Does this strike a chord?

Need to know more?

More?

More?

I know!

Red letter day, right?

Another piece slotted into the puzzle of me. Yay!

How much am I loving this journey to discover the secrets of good digestion and my bio-individuality along the way? 🙂

The good news is, fear not!

Armed now with the know-how to reinoculate my gut, I am set to give this microscopic population the belated dedication they deserve.

And, thanks to my homegrown experts sharing the love in their kitchen, I am forgetting probiotic pill popping in favour of …….. the fermentables!

F family kitchen fashion. Super yummy and good for you too! 😉

Just a little on your plate every day for optimum gut function.

Old-fashioned, simple, good.

 

 

 

KYLIE’S GO-TO FERMENTS FOR HEALTH

Easy peasy, cost effective, oh-so-oh-so good for you and tasty! These trending probiotic must-haves are just a few of an endless array of the ferment-based goodness set to kick start gut health with an overflowing smorgasbord of benefits.

Kylie’s sauerkraut with apple and cumin

Yes-it’s-fermented salsa

Fermented Carrot, Ginger and Currant Salad

Turmeric/ginger gut tonic

Watch this space for kombucha tea featuring at a happy hour near here soon!

Why not choose such yummy additions to your plate and “cocktail” glass in support of systemic wellness, digestive health and the proper functioning of your immune system? Winner, right?

Love to know how you get on.

Am I feeling the benefit? Yes! 😉

Like me and still need to know more?

ferment-for-health

** beyond massive and special thanks to Kylie and Geoff for sharing their own hard earned, heartfelt knowledge xx **

Recipe Love | Yes! It’s Fermented Salsa

salsa

Right to left, Yes-It’s-Fermented Salsa, Fermented Carrot Ginger & Currant Salad, and Kylie’s Kraut.

Kylie’s Yes-It’s-Fermented Salsa

For improved gut function, as a tasty dip, to flavour meals. Yum!

MAKES:   approx. 1.5 litres   PREP TIME:   10 mins   FERMENT TIME:   3 days

1.4 kg fresh tomatoes or 800 gr canned, peeled, whole toms (liquid drained off)
1 small onion, diced (quartered in TMX)
1-2 cloves garlic, diced (whole in TMX)
1-2 chilis, seeds optional, rough chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Cracked black pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup whey or sauerkraut juice
1 large bunch of fresh coriander, coarsely chopped

A Thermomix or blender
A 2 litre sealable glass jar, or two smaller jars

Place all ingredients except cilantro in TMX/blender and process until chunkily smooth.

Add coriander and turbo/pulse a few times.

Jar and seal.

Leave to ferment for 3 days at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Remember to “burp” your jar morning and night to prevent a build up of carbon dioxide.

Salsa should then be stored in the fridge and will no doubt be good for longer than it will take you to eat it! i.e. 4-6 weeks as a stab.

As Kylie says, if it’s not rotten .. it’s good! 🙂

Enjoy!

Recipe Love | Kylie’s Sauerkraut with Apple and Cumin

kraut-carrot-salsa

Right to left, Yes-It’s-Fermented Salsa, Fermented Carrot Ginger & Currant Salad, and Kylie’s Kraut.

Kylie’s Kraut with Apple and Cumin

For improved gut function and as a tasty treat.
Add a tablespoon or two of this probiotic packed ferment to your meals every day!

MAKES:   approx. 2 litres   PREP TIME:   30 mins   FERMENT TIME:   7-10 days

1 large cabbage, cored and thinly shredded (mandolin at the ready!)
1 green apple, deseeded and grated, skin on
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
salt, sea or pink Himalayan
4 tablespoons of whey (where the heck do I get whey? try this)

2% brine solution as required (see table below to calculate)

A large pot to prepare mix
A 2 litre sealable glass jar (or two smaller jars)
A rolling pin or big wooden spoon to “massage” mix
Fermenting weights or a ziplock bag filled with a few rocks (my fav) 🙂

brine-chart

Remove any of the obviously dirty outermost leaves. No need to wash. The fermentation process itself will kill any “bad” bacteria and encourage the “good” to proliferate. That’s the whole point. 😉

Shred the cabbage thinly. This makes the whole dish tastier and is worth the effort. Invest in a mandolin to make life cruisy.

Weigh cabbage to calculate amount of salt to add as per table above and place with cabbage in a couple of layers in large mixing pot.

Take rolling pin and massage, aka not-so-gently mash, the cabbage until it begins to release its juices and mingle with salt. This process helps breakdown the strong fibres in the leaves and makes the final kraut easier to digest. It will take several minutes.

Add grated apple, cumin seeds and whey then get in with your hands and mix it all about.

Transfer the kraut to sealable jar, making sure to press the mix firmly down. You want to try to get the whole lot as submerged in its own juices as possible. Place weights to the top, pressing down again, to ensure the kraut stays submerged as it ferments.

If required add enough 2% brine solution to make sure the whole mix is fully submerged. It must stay that way at all times. Top up brine if necessary.

Leave for 7-10 days out of direct sunlight to do its thing. Make time to admire the bubble party going on in the first day or two. Especially in warm weather!

Remember to “burp” your jar each day to prevent a build up of carbon dioxide. Not necessary if you are the lucky owner of an airlock.

Then refrigerate and use a little daily to dress up salads and snacks.

Will last at several months when sealed and stored in the fridge.

As Kylie says, if it’s not rotten .. it’s good! 🙂

Enjoy!

Recipe Love | Fermented Carrot, Ginger and Currant Salad, Kylie-style ..

carrot

Right to left, Yes-It’s-Fermented Salsa, Fermented Carrot Ginger & Currant Salad, and Kylie’s Kraut.

Kylie’s Fermented Carrot, Ginger and Currant Salad

A tasty side dish for improved gut function.

MAKES:   approx. 1 litre   PREP TIME:   10 mins   FERMENT TIME:   7-10 days

6 large carrots, grated
1 inch of unpeeled ginger, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons sea or Himalayan pink salt
2 tablespoons whey or other vegetable ferment starter
1/3 cup currants

2% brine solution as required (see table below to calculate)

A large pot to prepare mix
A 1.5 -2 litre sealable glass jar, you need room for your weights
Fermenting weights or a ziplock bag filled with a few rocks 🙂

brine-chart

Add all ingredients except additional brine solution in large pot then get in and mix it all about.

Transfer mix to sealable jar, making sure to press it all down firmly. Place weights to the top, pressing down again, to ensure the carrot mix stays submerged as it ferments.

NB This mix should produce enough liquid to self brine but if not cover with a 2% brine (see chart above). Top up brine if necessary.

Leave for 7-10 days out of direct sunlight to do its thing. In warm weather you are in for a treat with the bubble action going on day one!

Remember to “burp” your jar each day to prevent a build up of carbon dioxide. Not necessary if you are the lucky owner of an airlock.

Then refrigerate and use a little daily to dress up salads and snacks.

Will last at several months when sealed and stored in the fridge.

As Kylie says, if it’s not rotten .. it’s good! 🙂

Enjoy!

What the heck is oil pulling?

Up early this morn, enjoying some quiet time and squeezing in a little early oil pulling!

Agreed, that does sound a dodgy start to the day but, the fact is, I have been sneaking out of bed early for this morning practice more than a year now. One, two or, happy-days, three times a week if I can manage it.

Absolutely best done first thing before anything else (tooth brushing, coffee, food). I go for it if I am up early enough to avoid my boy. This saves us both a whole lot of poorly executed daybreak mime during the 20 minutes or so it takes me to finish. 😉

A fly on the wall seeing the first time Gav toddled along mid-swish would have had a right chuckle. Suffice to say hand signals do not cut it in an explanation of how/why/where you got the yes-perhaps-a-little-bonkers idea to pop a tablespoon of coconut oil into your gob and jiggle it about for 20 minutes before then jettisoning the whole lot into the bin. Hehehe.

Never heard of this lark? Neither had I before my desert dwelling neighbour provided  enlightenment. Merci. 🙂

A little read of this post about the why and how might help me to convince you to give this ancient Ayurvedic practice a go. As a relatively long-time convert, I can only say, this bunny is feeling the benefit and encourage you to expand your horizons too.

Coconut-Oil-Pulling-Benefits.new_1

No, it does not replace brushing but for me the added health benefits I derive from this three-step process (oil, salt rinse, brush) – far outweigh the weirdness of the event. I just tie it in with whatever else I do to the start of the day: social media, email, journal. To date I have, quite sensibly in my opinion, avoided downward dog. 😉

If you Google the topic you will find lots of reasons it’s good for you (along with those saying it makes no difference at all!) but having had days I have actually felt little bits of I-don’t-want-to-think being “pulled” from between my teeth (but I swear I brushed last night!) I am sold.

In complete disregard to decorum I will admit I have even seen the teeny culprits in the milky white remains I mistakenly inspected in the sink! NB I say mistakenly as you can actually block your drains this way .. don’t do it .. inspect in a saucer while you still need validation of your morning silliness and then progress to a confident spit in the bin, is my earthy recommendation. 😉

For the last 5 months I have improved the pleasure factor of the process tenfold by adding in a drop or two of peppermint oil. Said improvement, my friends, leaves me with a minty tang and fresher breath than my morning brushing alone can provide. I am also happy to absorb all the therapeutic benefits of a great hit of gorgeously pure peppermint in the a.m. An energising and uplifting addition to my morning routine.

HOW I OIL PULL
Prep Time: 1 min
Takes: 20 mins

1 Aus tablespoon (20ml) pure coconut oil (organic if available)
1-2 drops peppermint oil

Pop both into mouth and swish about for 20 mins. Do not gargle. Do not swallow. Spit into the garbage when finished. Rinse mouth and teeth with a weak solution of salty water (I use Himalyan Pink). Brush teeth (and tongue) as required.

Done!

Little points of note ..

Trying this for the first time in a cool climate? You will find your coconut oil solid .. never fear as it soon goes liquid in your mouth and quickly allows the required mouth shooshing to proceed with as much abandon as you can muster at this hour of the morning.

If you get a “stretched mouth” feeling with the full tablespoon, spit a little out into the bin until you feel comfy and unlikely to dribble. That can be unsightly. Another reason to go solo on this. 😉

If 20 mins seems too long and your mouth is getting tired, stop. You will progress longer next time. Go with what you can do, enjoy, build up! Training your cheeks to move like this is a new experience. Maybe enhances cheek bones too? Who knows?

REMEMBER!

In this, as in all things, be gentle on yourself. Well done you for having a go I say!

Love to hear how you fare! Funny stories greeted with joy.

Local and international curiosity welcome on all things oily.