Category Archives: Recipes

Recipe Love | Summer Spiced Fermented Cherries

When I see cherries, piled high, I cannot help myself but snaffle them by the overflowing handful. I eat and eat and eat ..

How wonderful to find a way to enjoy these beauties in a whole new, slightly more controlled, way .. to be able to save some for later (hah!) and get the benefits of a fermented, gut healthy treat too.

This recipe was gifted to me by the lovely Alaskan fermenter (thank you, Shabd Sangeet!). We have plans to roll this out over lots of different fruit with lots of different spices and herbs. It’s adaptable and delicious!

Summer Spiced Fermented Cherries

A divinely delicious way to improve gut function and cheer your day. Yum!

MAKES:   approx. 600ml jar   PREP TIME:   20 mins   FERMENT TIME:   2-3 days

500-600gr cherries – fresh/ frozen/ organic/ seed in or out – I buy extra to snack as I prep 😉
1 tablespoon raw honey
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3-4 fresh sprigs of tarragon (I used thyme as I didn’t have tarragon .. be creative!)
1 whole allspice berry (I used a couple of star anise)
A few pieces of cinnamon bark
3 cloves
1/3 of a vanilla bean, split lengthwise

A little filtered water.

500 ml/ 16 oz sealable jar.

Fill jar with cherries (score each one if you leave the pits in), either fresh or frozen.

Add all ingredients to jar. I like to line them on the side as it looks pretty as it sits steeping in your kitchen.

Fill the remaining space with water and let it ferment for 2-3 days on the counter, then refrigerate.

The longer you keep them, the more they ferment and become sour.

The juice kept in the fridge becomes a great salad dressing when mixed with oil. It seems to keep until it is all used up, which for Shabd Sangeet is over a year!

Fermented cherries are great with cacao nibs, in coconut yogurt with shredded coconut and toasted nuts. On your porridge. On your granola. Actually anything!

Enjoy!

Chicken Soup : Immune Boosting, Gut Loving, Warm Hug Food

The change in the seasons. The push of a schedule. Late nights. Early mornings.

Stress?

A cold coming on? In progress? Slow to leave?

All reasons, I say, to MAKE CHICKEN SOUP!

Nothing packaged. All natural. Bone broth based. Slow cooked goodness to heal your gut and boost your immune system.

If you feel you are running at less than 100% I urge, urge, urge you to make soup, snuggle up, give yourself a break and sup on soup.

Bound to have you firing on all cylinders soon .. enjoy!

My absolute, all-time fav is the Jo Whitton classic lemon coconut chicken soup .. what’s yours?

PS I know this is a Thermomix recipe but easy peasy to adapt, I know from experience 😉

Green Smoothies – fad, fetish, fabulous?

OK. So. You might feel that this whole green smoothie wagon is just the latest, trending, NYC, Bondi Beach, look-how-healthy-I-can-handle-my-milkshake kinda thing.

You might think it’s not your bag at all. That they taste as shockingly green as they look. That you would gag to try it yourself. 

I know exactly what you are thinking because I was right there with you .. until the day a friend gave me a Simple Green Smoothie Beginner’s Luck!

These days, I am less about recipes as I am clearing out my fruit bowl but, if you need tasty inspiration, you can do no better than to follow the amazing SGS girls ! They were an awesome start point for my brightly coloured journey.

Beginners-Luck

Another thank you, Roobie .. xx

What’s in it for you?

  • Breakfast/snack on the go and a super healthy start to the day .. begin as you mean to go on!
  • A simple, yummy, fuss free way to pack yourself with nutrients and even possibly (oh-so on trend!) superfoods
  • Bags of gorgeous green fibre acting as a gentle, effective push-in-the-back for things you would rather have out than in 😉
  • Yay! Another piece in the puzzle for overall improved gut health .. happy days!

TOP TIPS

  1. Be organised. If it’s not easy, you won’t do it!
  2. Wash, bag and freeze your greens portions individually.
  3. Peel, chop and freeze bigger bags of pineapple chunks, chopped banana, berries, etc ready to grab quickly.
  4. Smoothies taste best with 2-3 pieces of fruit.
  5. Make sure to add at least one piece of frozen fruit to your smoothie. Even I cannot drink a warm one! 😉
  6. Buy up big on cheap seasonal produce, prepare and freeze it for later use.
  7. Check your blender is connected properly .. error that should only happen once but …..
  8. Blend your greens well with the liquid first to make sure it’s as chunk-less as possible.
  9. Chew any chunks you didn’t blend fully. It’s good for you!
  10. Smoothies last a couple of days in the fridge so feel free to make a double batch.
  11. SHAKE your pre-made smoothie BEFORE you look at it! 😉

Don’t be shy, kids! Get your smoothie on .. your colon will love you for it!

 

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!

Recipe Love | Spinach Pie

spinach-pie-ingredients

I love shopping at our local farmer’s market. I really love it ..

I love how you can buy the biggest bunches of fresh, fresh produce. Often local. Often for less than in the big name supermarkets.

I love carrying it out in my mismatched hessian shopping bags, all overflowing with verdant goodness. I love the downright joy of such variety and quality.

I love that each food tastes like the thing it is!

So, if like me, you long to bring home those bountiful bundles of silverbeet spinach but can’t imagine how you can get that green into your loved ones tummies .. wonder no more, kiddies!

SHELLEY’S SUPER GREEN, SUPER SCRUMMY, SILVERBEET SPINACH PIE

So good that even the “where’s the meat” doubters will be lining up for another helping. Really!

MAKES:   8 big portions   PREP TIME:   30 mins   COOK TIME:   60 mins

1 pack filo pastry (fresh or defrosted if frozen)
2 large potatoes, peeled/scrubbed & sliced
1 bunch silverbeet spinach, chopped roughly
1 bunch shallots/spring onions, finely chopped
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 red onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
200g feta (herb marinated, if available)
150g parmesan, gratedspinach-pie-prep
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
extra oil to glaze top filo layer for browning

Preheat oven to 180 C.

Boil potatoes until al dente. Drain, mash a little and set aside.

Add olive oil to the biggest saucepan you have and heat to medium. Sauté onions and garlic until softened.

Combine all ingredients (except eggs and filo) with the garlic and onion in the big pan. This will sweat it all down slightly but it will still look like a massively over-flowing pot of green .. this is correct 🙂

Line a deep 28cm pie dish with 4-6 sheets of filo. You want the pastry to overhang the edges in a generous manner.

Fill the lined dish with the goodness-it’s-green contents of the big saucepan, pressing it down a little (or a lot!)  to make it all fit will be necessary 😉

Gently pour the lightly beaten eggs over the green pie filling once it is in the lined pie dish. You might have to prod the mix a little with a knife for the egg to trickle down on in. Just go slowly or you will decorate your bench top .. trust me ..

Top the middle of the green filling with another panel of 4-6 sheets of filo.

Gather the edges of the bottom layer of filo and rough tuck around the top of the pie. It should look like a rustic ruffled collar.

Brush the top of the filo with a little olive oil so it will brown. Add a few knife slots for steam to escape too. (NB I don’t add oil in between the sheets at all but feel free if that is your pleasure ..)

Bake for 60 mins until top is browned and egg set.

Serve with a crisp salad and a drizzle of balsamic.

Mmmm. Green .. xoxo

spinach-pie

Recipe Love | Raw Choc Mmmmmint Bliss Balls

 

Hot, hot hot outside and going (kind of!) British inside, with a cooling cup of Pukka Three Mint tea and a “noice littl’ snack”!

RAW CHOC MMMMMINT BLISS BALLS

MAKES: 30+ balls    PREP TIME: 10 mins

INGREDIENTS
240g medjool or other sticky dates
130g nuts of your choice, I used pecan
65g raisins or sultanas
25g raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
Up to 2 tablespoons of water if required to bring mix together, depends on your date stickiness
3-4 drops of pure peppermint oil (Terry’s lover? why not try orange oil?!)

Blitz all in food processor on high for 1-2 mins or Thermomix for 30-40 seconds, speed 8. Add water gradually if required until all comes together in a thick paste. The nuts will still be visible and for me they add a Peppermint Crisp-like crunch to your finished balls. 😉

Take teaspoon (or bigger if you like) portions and roll into balls. I store mine in a jar in the fridge .. and while they last they really do look like kangaroo poo! (Roll in coconut if you like for a less finger-licking finish).

Enjoy with tea or as a healthy energy boost any time.

If you’d like to know more about my oily goodness then drop me a line on shelley@homehearthealth.com.au . Happy to share the joy .. international curiosity welcome too .. 

Recipe Love | Vegetable Stock Paste .. with or without a Thermomix !

 

Oh my, but I love having home-made veggie stock in the house. Yay, to another set of additives deleted down here!

This golden, gloopy sludge is actually the #1 reason our little family lashed out and bought a Thermomix! Who would have thought I would lust so badly for such a dubious looking bowl of paste?

And yes, lordy yes, it is super easy in the Thermomix: granted, given, can’t live without mine .. until, that is, I HAD to .. eek! My just past summer in France (that ooh-la-la tale coming one day very soon) meant I had to find us all another way .. shhh! nobody tell Gav! 😉

VEGETABLE STOCK PASTE
THERMOMIX or THERMOMIX-FREE
Recipe adapted from Thermomix Everyday Cookbook

MAKES: 800g    PREP TIME:  5 or 10 mins   COOK TIME:  25 or 55 mins

one tablespoon per 500ml = 1 stock cube
add to everything savoury for flavourful goodness

INGREDIENTS

200g celery stalks and leaves, chopped roughly
2-3 carrots, chopped roughly
1 onion, brown or red, peeled and halved
1 tomato, halved
1 zucchini, chopped roughly
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh basil
2 sprigs fresh sage
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
8 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon nori flakes or 1/2 sheet of sushi nori
90g rock salt (can use 150g for no-freeze stock paste)*
1 tablespoon olive oil

THERMOMIX METHOD

Place all in TMX except salt and oil and chop 10 sec/speed 6. Scrape down.
Add salt and oil and cook 20 min/Varoma/speed 1.
Blend 1 min/speed 9 (increase speed 1-9 gradually) until a smooth paste consistency.
Cool slightly and pot.

* I can’t help but reduce the salt, so I divide the big batch into smaller usable portions and freeze them. My “in-use” batch sits quite happily in the fridge over the 2-3 weeks it takes me to finish it, so I guess my salt ratio is still enough to preserve the vege. And I just love the warm and fuzzy I get from  knowing I have a stockpile in the freezer .. gotta love a pantry, right?

NB If you keep the full 150g of salt then it is said to be good for 2 months in the fridge in an airtight container.

THERMOMIX-FREE METHOD

Add olive oil to bottom of a large & heavy-based casserole or other pot with lid.
Roughly chop all ingredients and add to this pot.
Add salt and stir through for a minute or so that the vegetables start to release their juices.
Cook on a low heat for 45-50 mins with the lid on but slightly ajar. You want to have the vege sweat but also start slowly evaporating the juices. Your vege should be relatively juiceless at the end of the cooking time. If not take the lid off and give it a few more minutes.
Depending on your cooktop’s reliability, stir from time to time to avoid the vege catching.**
Allow to cool slightly and then blend .. by any means .. until smooth.
Store and use as above.

**Tip – Making the stock concentrate while you multi-task e.g. dinner makes the regular stir less of a why-bother factor. 😉

Bon appétit, mes amies .. xoxo

Ooh-la-la .. our deep, green, gift in the Burgundy borders coming soon!

VsP love ..