How to make Kombucha at home

This is much simpler than you may think.

 

IMG_3103
Cocktails anyone?

Here is what you will need ~

Filtered water ( too much chlorine in the water can spoil the yeast)

Gallon container or quart jars (glass)

Large pot

Rubber bands

muslin squares ( I make mine from dishtowels that I purchase at Ikea)

Black Organic tea bags

Organic raw cane sugar ( non gmo)

Ginger tea bags ( optional)

Scoby ( symbiotic  culture of bacteria and yeast) ( optional but helpful for faster brewing.

If you have a friend who makes Kombucha, ask for a piece of their “scoby” or “mother”.)

 

One cup of live Kombucha with the mother. You can find it at the health food store or your local grocer. This will help create your new scoby if you have one or not.

 

Instructions:

 

Boil one to two gallons of filtered water.

 

Add 8 Organic tea bags and let steep until a rich brown color.

 

Add 1-2 cups of sugar and stir until dissolved. ( 2 is better)

 

Let cool to room temperature.

 

Remove tea bags

 

Add one cup of kombucha ( this can be your starter if you don’t have a scoby.  Brewing time may take longer.)

Add your scoby.

 

Pour into large jar or crock.

 

Cover top with muslin and secure with rubber band.

 

Let sit in a place where it will not be disturbed for a week or more.

 

After one week, taste for doneness.

 

It should be bubbly, and have a tart but sweet taste.

 

When it achieves desired taste, decant into smaller bottles with lids and refrigerate.

Healthful benefits:

Cleans the liver

Creates beneficial bacteria in the gut.

helps reduce alcohol cravings

Aids in weight loss.

Good to use for a detox.

Has more beneficial bacteria than store bought.

Improves bowel health

Helpful tips:

Since I keep Kombucha on hand as a daily tonic I use a water crock with a spigot for easy decanting into bottles.

 

It helps to save glass drink bottles with reuseable lids for easy decanting.  I save store-bought kombucha bottles with the wide mouth.

 

Let scoby grow and thicken for more effective brewing.  ( I rinse my scoby and rinse out the crock between brewing sessions).

 

The yeast culture feeds on the sugar, so it’s okay for diabetics. ( consult your doctor) Once it is finished brewing ( about one week), there should be very little sugar content.

The yeast culture ( scoby) will form a new seal each time you make a new batch.  Don’t worry if the one that you put in initially floats to the bottom.  It is there to support the new scoby that will form and may eventually float to the top.

The scoby is not pretty, but you should think of it as your friend.  It is setting up the beneficial bacteria for your gut that will work to heal you from the inside out.

Oily, flavored teas will interfere with the fermenting process.

Many people have been able to stop a soda addiction by replacing their soda with home-brewed kombucha.

If the kombucha turns into a vinegar ( this will happen is it sits longer than one week) you can use it on your salad!

Please leave a comment with any questions.  I would love to get your feedback.

 

Happy Brewing!

All of the opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not attempt to advise or treat any illness.  Please consult your doctor.  Mahalo!

Advertisements

Easy 3 Bean Salad

Upon arriving home, after four months in Hawaii, my mind is flooded with a huge to-do-list…

Start new job

Redecorating

Cleaning

Make new slipcover for chair

Reorganize wardrobe for work

Bring more green into room

Finish painting bedside table

and the list goes on….I really just want to dive in and re-do every room!

But what keeps looming over my head, is the thought of how to keep a mostly “raw food diet” going in accordance with working a full-time job.

My first week, I purchased a stack of ready- made salads from the grocery store but wasn’t happy throwing the plastic containers into the trash everyday.  I was glad to have the convenience though.

Work lunch has to be fairly simple, but completely satisfying, as my focus will be upon learning everything I can about the business, going through their four week training program, and adjusting to working a 40 hour work week.

Not too heavy…living food that energizes…Keeps me alert…stays with me to the end of the work shift.

 

IMG_4781
3 bean salad in a Mason jar

 

So, today, I’ve inventoried the fridge and all of the cupboards to see what I have.

I’ll be making a three bean salad, a carrot salad ( find my recipe here), and some flax seed crackers ( here).

I’ve been making this easy three bean salad since my kids were little and even now that they’re adults, they still request it.

I love it’s versatility, as it can be eaten alone, on a bed of greens, easily transported to work in a mason jar, and is great to take along on picnics and family gatherings.

Easy 3 Bean Salad Recipe

Combine the following ~

1 can garbanzo beans ( rinsed and drained)

1 can cut green beans ( drained)

1 can black or kidney beans ( rinsed and drained)

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 tsp black pepper

1 Tablespoon dry sweet basil ( rubbed between hands to bring out the flavor)

1/4 cup raw red onion chopped

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar ( with the mother)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

After mixing, let it marinate in the fridge for at least one hour to bring out the flavors and give them a chance to blend.

 

IMG_4780
Serving suggestion

Shown above on a bed of fresh spinach with raw crinkle cut butternut squash , and your favorite dressing.

 

Enjoy!

 

Superfood ~ Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_4723No dairy, Gluten free, Low Glycemic, Delicious, Superfood Recipe.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Preheat oven 200 degrees Fahrenheit ( use convection setting if available)

Line baking pans with parchment paper

Ingredients ~

14 oz. or approximately 2 cups of Golden Flax Meal

1 Tablespoon dry ground psyllium powder

2 Tbsp chia seed

1 tsp baking soda

Mix dry ingredients above

Add 2 1/2 cups water

stir and set aside one hour

**************************

In a separate bowl combine

2 mashed bananas

1 cup raw honey

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1tsp vanilla

Mix until creamy.

Combine both mixtures

Add 2 cups instant oatmeal

Mix with oiled hands

IMG_4714

add

63% CACAO CHOCOLATE CHIPS

1 CUP CHOPPED WALNUTS

form into patties or cookie shape

IMG_4713

 

SLOW BAKE IN OVEN, FLIPPING AFTER 30 – 60 MINUTES  cook until desired tenderness  the beauty of this, is that you can’t burn them!

PLEASE NOTE;  THESE COOKIES ARE DEHYDRATED IN A SLOW OVEN TO PRESERVE THE LIVING FOOD.

THE BODY NATURALLY KNOWS WHEN TO STOP EATING THESE COOKIES!  TRY IT FOR YOURSELF.

IMG_4720

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW AND LET ME KNOW IF YOU TRIED THEM.

PLEASE SIGN UP SO YOU DON’T MISS A POST.

 

 

How to get unstuck from Emotions that may be holding you back.

IMG_4635

First of all, if you are feeling stuck emotions, depression, a sense of helplessness, it’s important to honor those feelings, spend time with them, feel them through and you may find yourself coming out of the tunnel on the other side with some new insights, refreshed energy levels, and some inspiration of what to do next.

Find out what’s blocking you.  Dive deep into your feelings to see if you can “see” what’s holding you back.  Do you need to let go of something, forgive yourself or someone else, speak your feeling to someone?  Or are you just trying to control something that is not yours to control? Practice Self-Reflection. Step out of yourself, and take a serious look at yourself from an objective point-of-view.  What do you see? 

Sometimes the only thing that will help at the moment is to just take a nap.

Sleep as much as you need to.

IMG_3663

Start a journal ~ If you can write every day before you even get out of bed or while you have your morning coffee, just dump all of your thoughts and feelings onto the pages.

I like to do a ‘stream of consciousness” writing where I write down every thing that I am hearing ( like the fan), feeling in my body, any thoughts that come up , random things that I think about.  This can give you some insight into what it is that’s bothering you.

It’s also a way of getting in touch with your intuition.

After journaling each day, just say a simple prayer ” Heavenly Father, Divine Mother, Friend, Beloved God, Angels and guides, I surrender these feelings and thoughts to you.  show me what I need most today on my journey to self-healing.  guide me by your loving hand to make the right choices for my life.  If I cannot handle my feelings today, send me an angel to lift me out of despair.  Help me to recognize that I am not alone in this life.  show me a way to rise above my sorrow and reach out to others.  I put my trust in you.  Wrap me in your loving arms as I go about my day.  Help me to have a deeper understanding of myself and others so that I can feel your Divine presence in every thing.  Om _ Peace _ Amen.

 

IMG_4627
my sacred space/altar

Create a Sacred Space in your home where you can just be.

Whether it’s a corner of a room or ideally a whole room, decorate it, paint it your favorite color.  add uplifting words and pictures, or things from Nature.

Bring in some soothing music or even music that you enjoyed at your happiest times.

Make this your go-to place of retreat where you can work through your feelings and pour your heart out to God or your chosen source of comfort.

Wear your favorite colors.  What colors are you drawn to? think about this for a minute.  There’s a reason you are drawn to certain colors.  They can help heal you!  Honor the impulse.  buy some new underwear.  Go shopping and try on some clothes that are totally out-of-the-box from you usual.  Your fantasy self.  You may discover that you like some aspects and incorporate them into your wardrobe. 

Try wearing natural gemstone jewelry. 

Visit a crystal shop and discover which ones you are drawn to.  Keep your favorite crystal next to your bed. or on your mini-altar.

Citrine for Joy!

Amethyst for peace.

Rose Quartz for love and connecting to your heart center.

Walk through your home. 

Is there any clutter?

Dead plants?

Images that don’t uplift?

Old tired or broken furniture?

Dust bunnies?

If so, they are depleting your energy every time you pass by them.

If you can’t muster up the energy to do it yourself, then call someone to come and help you.

a cheerful house cleaner could be just what you need.

Sit down and draw a picture of your home.

Or start with one room.

Put your drawing in a chair and sit across from it.

Have a conversation with this room or with your house drawing.

Ask it what it needs.

Write down what ever comes up.

You may be surprised.

Be sure to take action on whatever it tells you.

This is a fun exercise.

I hope you try it.

 

IMG_4630
Herb garden, parsley and sage

 

Try planting a garden.

Working with plants can be very uplifting.

Bring some fresh greenery indoors. Or a big fresh bouquet of flowers!

Plan an herb garden in your kitchen window.

Open the windows and let the fresh air come in.  Bring more light in.

Is there enough lighting in each room?  Add some lamps for ambient lighting.

Clean the windows so the natural light can fill your space.  This will help you “see” what’s blocking you.

 

IMG_4629
Try a clay pot tray for your smudge wand

 

Aromatherapy

Have you smudged yourself lately?

Sage wand – dispels negative energy and clears the air of heavy dross.  It also carries your prayers on the smoke!

Sweet Grass – Brings in the beautiful, positive energies.

IMG_4628

Nag Champa insense is used in temples.  I always burn this after cleaning a room.  It brings a calming influence, and my family loves it!

Palo Santo is my new favorite insense!  It brings in a soft intimate feel to the room, enhances intuition, and opens your mind to see more clearly.

Eucalyptus Room Spray – energizes, clears stagnant energy, freshens, and discourages dust mites.

Lavender – is a loving, peaceful, and comforting sent.

rose – is very beautiful, romantic, and soft, helps you feel from your heart.

Orange Blossom – uplifting, happy.

( see how I make my own smudge spray here.)

IMG_2990

Spend time in Nature!

 

IMG_4633
Dancing Plumeria trees

This is where I feel most connected to Source.  Spend some time hanging out with trees.  They are known as the “tall ones standing, praying” in the Native American culture.

They will help you on your journey and lift some of your burdens.

Do you have a pet?

Animals are very prescient of what’s going on with us.

They have been some of my greatest healers.

I used to cry to my cat, Monkey.  He would stay with me , purring, comforting me.

I also had the opportunity to care for a boston terrier named Lucy.  She would come into my room every morning and get me out for a walk.  We would hang out at the park and commune with the trees.  I received so much healing during that time.

Hobbies – Do you have a hobby?  Now’s the time to dive right in to that hobby.  It will help you shift your mind to something creative.  Try something new.  And remember all art is perfect! and so are you, just the way you are!

Try this prayer, or wish wall hanging made from old magazines, a tree branch, wooden clothespins,  some bakers twine, and your positive intentions or affirmations!

IMG_4016

IMG_4333

 

You can learn how here.

Try to eat some raw, living food at least once a day – Organic fruits and vegetables.

Drink lots of pure water.

Exercise

Get a massage

Clean your colon.  A lot of trapped emotions could be sitting in your colon, causing mental and emotional pain

Find a professional colon therapist with five or more years of experience, who uses the “closed” method.  Go in for at least three treatments over a three week period.

IMG_3743

Dearest Cottage Mavens,

All of these things will work to help you get in touch with your emotions and start the chi or energy flowing in your life again.

But you must take action.  One day at a time, and with much gentleness as you go about your journey to wellness.

With much love, Cottage Necessities

Thank you for visiting!  Please sign up so you don’t miss a post.  I would love to hear your comments about what you have done to move past stuck emotions.

 

Watermelon Zinger! Got Juice?

IMG_4533

When Auntie Deelee comes to town ~ it’s never a dull moment! You can read about her beach cottage tour here.

Not only is she a fantastic cook, engaging conversationalist, and all around positive person, she’s into a lot of the same things that I’m into, like healthy food, meditation, always learning about  new things, and viewing life as an on-going adventure.  ( I’m trying to talk her into starting her own blog!)

Auntie Deelee’s sage advice :

The practice of yoga postures takes you closer to meditation.

What is life without meditation?

In other words, if you are having trouble getting into meditation, get started with a yoga practice.

Then you will naturally move with ease into meditation, by stilling the body, the breath, and the mental chatter first.

Meditation is the key to happiness no matter where you are in your life’s journey ~ Cottage Necessities

Don’t wait!  Start Now.

Now here’s the delicious Summer juice that she made one day ~ I got so excited just by the beautiful coral color that I immediately staged a photo shoot.

*******************************************************************

Watermelon Zinger ~

In a juicer combine the following

1 watermelon ~ no rind

1 pineapple ~ peeled

1 large ( the size of your hand) piece of fresh ginger root, peeled

Fresh juice brings happiness to the soul.

Try it and see!

 

IMG_4526
Watermelon Zinger with Ginger Goji Berry Cookies

 

Thanks for visiting!  Please sign up so you don’t miss a post!

Ginger Goji Berry Cookies ~ Superfood!

IMG_4526

Here’s that recipe that I promised.  I hope you like them as much as we did!

These cookies are dehydrated in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven for several hours.

It can be considered to be in the raw or living food category for maximum nutrition and life force.

I made this recipe based on the traditional recipe for ginger snaps, while using whole foods that can be dehydrated and superfoods that can all be consumed in raw form.  ( So, it’s okay to eat the raw cookie dough!)

I hope that you will give this recipe a try and let me know how you like it.

there is a small amount of raw cane sugar used in this recipe which carmelizes during the heating process and adds a nice finishing glaze.

These cookies will aid in your digestion, promote healthy elimination, while leaving a sweet aftertaste of ginger.

Enjoy!

**********************************************************************************

Ginger Goji Berry Cookies ~ Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit ( use convection oven if available)  Line baking pan with parchment paper

1 cup goji berries soaked in filtered water ~ then strained and set aside

Dry Ingredients ~

2 1/2 cups flax seed meal

1/2 c. whole raw flax seeds

4 Tbsp. chia seeds

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 Tbsp. Psyllium fiber ~ dry processed in blender

1 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

2 1/2 cups of filtered water

Mix dry ingredients then add the water , stir and set aside for one hour or more.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Prepare ~

2 mashed bananas

3Tbsp coconut butter

1 c. honey

1/2 c. molasses

1 c. almond butter

1/4 c. fresh grated ginger

Mix together all of the ingredients by hand using oiled hands.  I like to use real butter, ghee, or coconut oil

Roll into balls in raw cane sugar

flatten with a spoon and bake

You can also form into round cookie shapes by hand or you can press them into these Wilton pans.  It’s so much easier!

After one hour, turn the cookies over

Continue baking to desired consistency.  Can take several hours.  for crispier cookies, bake longer.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I hope you will give this recipe a try.  I made mine without the clove, as I didn’t have it on hand at the time.

Get the kids involved.  This is a great time to teach them about measuring, patience, and the joy of cooking!

Please leave any comments below, and sign up with your email, so you don’t miss a post!

Thank you for visiting Cottage Necessities!

 

 

Superfoods, The Ascension Diet, and you.

When you bring superfoods into your body, your energy changes, and as a result your focus of attention will shift as well…it becomes easier to live in a state of appreciation, ( or gratitude). David Wolfe

I had a dream the other night, half in and out of sleep.

I’ve heard about getting “down loads” from the Universe.

As I was seeing clips of superfoods scroll across my mind, I realized the next morning, that I was getting what I thought must have been a download.

With only a general knowledge of “superfoods”, I started to notice more of them.

I was being urged or guided to eat more of them

…and to find ways to incorporate them into my diet.

 

IMG_4596
chia, chlorella, hemp seed, goji berry, flax see, sunflower seeds

 

 

I had already discovered the benefits of eating a more raw diet of living, whole foods, such as organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

I had also been weaning myself away from breads, flour, grains, and dairy, and was noticing a difference in my body like ~

More energy

less bloating and inflammation

a feeling of inner stability

a brighter outlook

mental clarity

deeper sleep patterns

my skin is getting smoother, silkier

I was also noticing that I no longer had cravings for candy or chips, or anything unnatural like foods with preservatives.

And the best thing, was that my body knew when it had had enough and when to stop.

Rather than eating a whole bag of chips, a few flax crackers would satisfy me.

Ice cream tasted good at first, but then I noticed I felt heavy afterward and it made a pain in my back flair up.

Whereas, yogurt was half the calories ad made me feel calm and nurtured.

I was gently being guided through food to choose the higher vibration foods and my body was responding and I was able to hear what my body was saying to me.

So, I started listening.

The Life Force in the food had started bringing me home.

It may have cost a little more to buy organic fresh foods, but the dividends were paying off by the way that I felt.

I realized that this is what our Creator had intended for us, and how far we had gotten away from our true nourishment, and been seduced by advertising, beautiful packaging, and false labels of promises that weren’t being met, like non-fat, sugar free, natural, and cage free.

Why had I felt depressed after eating a steak, or sensed an ammonia after taste in the store bought eggs or noticed bruises on the chicken legs?  Was I picking up on their distress?

I was beginning to think so…..

The big looming question in your mind at this point is probably….

How do I eat this stuff?

 

IMG_4595
Gogi berries

 

Where do I start?

I sincerely hope you will join me on this journey as I create new Superfood recipes to share with you.

Here are some facts about superfoods.

What is so special about a superfood?

Superfoods have over a dozen or more special properties in them like, more vitamins, minerals, enzymes, detoxifiers, and life force.

Think:  Foods as medicine ` they increase your body’s immune system from the inside out.  It’s like building your cells from the inside, to fight and protect you from illness and disease. *

“Get more nutrition with less eating”, superfoods are both a food and a medicine ~ David Wolfe

Here are a few examples:

deep red goji berries ~ ( moist berries) increase eye health and are considered the “Fountain of Youth“.

cacao ~ chocolate,” the food of the gods “, highest anti-oxidant, magnesium

Maca root ~ fertility, strength, stamina

Honey ~ Bee pollen

Coconuts ~ the tree that supplies all that is needed to live.

Just to name a few…..

Superfoods have the ability to tremendously increase the vital force and energy of one’s body, and are the optimal choice for improving overall health, boosting the immune system, elevating serotonin production, enhancing sexuality, and cleansing and alkalizing the body.  ~ David Wolfe

Well, who wouldn’t want that????

Consuming superfoods makes it dramatically easier to achieve your ideal weight, diet, and food habits.” ~David Wolfe

This just keeps getting better all the time!!!!

Superfoods will ease you into detoxification and the transition to more healthy foods ~ all without willpower! ~ David Wolfe

And I’m a living example!

You can check out some of my recipes here:

Green Smoothie

Flax seed crackers  just scroll down to the bottom for the recipe, and be prepared to be wowed!

Chia pudding

Chopped salad

Pan roasted vegetables

Making soup from scratch

Butternut squash soup ( try using other vegetables)

The best salad dressing ever!

Waldorf Salad Wraps

These will get you started!

I call this The Ascension Diet.  You can read about the 7 essential steps on the Ascension Ladder.

Next time I will share my recipe for Ginger Gogi Berry Cookies.  Please sign up so you don’t miss a post.

IMG_4533

Have a Happy, Healthful day!                                                                                                                                                                                * I do not intend to offer any medical advise.  I am only making suggestions from my own personal experience.*  Please consult your doctor when starting a new regimen.

Mahalo