How to make Kombucha at home

This is much simpler than you may think.

 

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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!

Creamy Broccoli Soup made from scratch

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Making your own soups from scratch is easier than you may think.  Not as easy as opening a can, but much more nutritious and you made it yourself!

Ingredients:

1 head broccoli

2 cups water

1/4 sliced red onion

1 garlic clove minced

1/2 cube real butter

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 can evaporated milk ( can also use almond or coconut milks)

2 handfuls grated cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients

Let liquid cook down on simmer to evaporate and thicken to creamy consistency

Blend in Vita mix or blender

Garnish with grated cheese or parsley

Serve

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A great way to eat more “green” .  I hope you like it.  Please let me know in the comments section any thoughts or innovations you may have tried.

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Lion’s Gate Meditation and how to prepare

 

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Mini altar

Cottage Mavens, I was astounded and amazed when I saw that people from 16 countries had read my blog yesterday. (46 countries year- to- date )

At that moment, I was glad that the “translator” was on.

Finally, hitting the 3 year mark, I don’t think I started writing on the blog right away.

And once I did, I started out gingerly, tip-toeing in to the blog world, not sure what I would be writing about.

Things started to shift and evolve within me.

Thinking that I would write about decorating and all things related, my spirituality started showing up in a big way.

There were messages coming through that I needed to share with the world.

When I started to share these things, my heart began to fill up.

Even though I have just over 200 followers, I continue to blog.  I’m not only inspiring myself, but hopefully others. 😉

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pepper grinder used for incense holder

Even if you don’t know what the Lion’s Gate portal is on 8-8-17 (8), the full moon eclipse, the global shift, etc. etc. etc. , you can prepare for this worldwide event by preparing your altar.

The full moon in Aquarius, the friendly sign, will most likely be bringing people together, and with the sun in Leo, there may be large gatherings, parties, and get- togethers done on a larger scale – or you may choose to spend the time with those closest to your heart.

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Elements of an altar

Whichever way it plays out for you, there are several things you can do to prepare.

Create an Altar ~ this can be temporary or permanent.

Here are some suggestions for you to try…

Your altar can be simple or extravagant, it is entirely up to you.

  1. create a central focal point, like in any good design!
  2. You can start with a table, place a cloth on the table if desired.
  3. add pictures of the Christed ones such as Jesus, Paramahansa Yogananda, Babaji, Lord Buddha, Amachi, your own personal guru, your ancestors, or a symbol that denotes peace, love, and world unity.

You can also use a large rock or crystal

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Large Selenite Crystal with Quartz Point on top

Add something from each of the elements, ie. fire, earth, wood, air, water, using natural living things found in your environment.

Fire ~ Candles, Incense, Sage wand

Earth ~ Crystals, rocks, lava, dirt

Water~ a bowl of water, a mirror,

Wood ~ Herbs, Flowers, leaves – here I’m using leaves, Rosemary for longevity, faithfulness, and spiritual strength.  Sage for clarity and guidance.

Air ~ feathers, bird nests

Written affirmations

Look for things close to your home, or take a walk and see what finds you!

The idea is not to go out and buy a bunch of stuff or spend a lot of money on your altar.

Find things from Nature, the elements, or your kitchen!

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As I’m sitting here with this altar, sacred space, with all of it’s beauty, softness, and grace, I feel deep emotion, blessings, and so much love in my heart.

The energy of the herbs, flowers, crystals, send forth their love, fragrance, and gratitude, making our job easier. 

Our job of sending this love and gratitude worldwide.

Why wait until the full moon?

Get the family involved in this vigil, this ceremony.

Spend time meditating near your altar infusing it with your peace.

Then, on the full moon, collect the energy of your altar, rolling your hands over it and collecting it up into a great ball of light.

Give your energy ball a blessing and send it out into the Universe.

Every Sunday, in August there will be worldwide global unity prayer circles.

Keep your altar refreshed.

Create a group of your own .

Keep the Ball rolling!

Feel the peace in your heart and become a “smile millionaire”* giving your smiles away to all you come into contact with. ( smile millionaire first coined by Paramahansa Yogananda)

Eat more super foods and Raw foods to increase your own Life Force energy. You can find my recipes here.

With much love,  Lorna

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share this article on Facebook if you are moved by it.

Please leave a comment or go to cottagnecessites on Facebook and post a picture of your altar.

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I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, Thank you.  Enjoy the energy of the photos.  Let me know if you can feel it. 😉

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

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.)

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Spend time in Nature!

 

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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!

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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.

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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.

 

Chopped Salad ~

This is not a recipe, but an open plan for you to unleash your own creativity with food that is alive, that is full of cell regenerating, living enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and organic goodness.

 

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chopped salad

Not everyone likes the same vegetables.

By chopping everything into very small pieces, you will be blending your flavors to create your own masterpiece.

It’s important to have color, so be sure to include something in the yellow, orange, or red family, as well as the green, the purple….

You are not limited to vegetables, and can add fruits, nuts, cheese, meat ( cooked), herbs and spices.

Your items can be fresh ( preferred), canned, fermented, dehydrated.

You can start with what you have in your kitchen right now.

So, let’s get started ~

 

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Green leafy beginning

Base ~

 

Start with greens ~ a variety or choose one ~

Spinach

Lettuce

Cabbage

Arugula

Do you have a favorite?

Add some Color ~

Tomatoes, apples, oranges , peppers, zucchini, corn cornichons, purple onions carrots, radishes, celery, cucumbers

Spice it Up ~ Fresh garlic, olives, pickles, sauerkraut, capers, hot peppers

Herbs ~ Fresh basil, mint, dill, sage, thyme

Dairy ~( optional)   goat cheese, grated cheese, parmesan cheese

Sweet ~ raisins, grapes, strawberries, apples, oranges

Nuts and Seeds ~ Hemp seed, chia, sunflower, pumpkin, sliced almonds, peanuts, cashews, pine nuts, walnuts

Oils~ olive oil, flax seed oil

Vinegars ~ apple cider vinegar with the “mother”, wine vinegar, lemon or lime juice ( fresh squeezed, of course)

salt and pepper

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Pick one or two from each category

Try to use homemade dressings, not store bought

A surprise favorite is flax oil and lemon ~ This combination is unbeatable

Chop large items before placing in the bowl

Chop in bowl with a pizza wheel, dough separator, or hand held chopper

Add dressing and toss and serve

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Best if eaten immediately.

Eat as much as you want.

Change it up for variety.  I know you will discover some favorite ingredients on your own.

This will leave you feeling full, satisfied, not stuffed.  It will feel light, and you will be energized from eating living food that goes to work in your blood stream to cleanse and tone all of your vital cells and organs in your body.

This is a great way to eat during a full body detox and cleanse, or just every day.

 

My family loves chopped salad.  I hope yours does too.

Thanks for visiting.  Please sign up so you don’t miss a post. Leave a comment below and tell me some of your favorite ingredients that you’ve tried.

 

Pan Roasted Vegetables

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There’s nothing that makes your home smell more like “home” than pan roasted vegetables.

Now you know I’m all for home cooking pure, organic, unadulterated vegetables, the salt of the earth, and God’s own living creation.

And if you read my blog, and have tried my recipes, you will also know that when it comes to cooking, simplicity is key, especially if you’ve been working all day, and have to muster up enough energy to prepare a meal.

There’s nothing simpler and more satisfying than Pan Roasted Vegetables.

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Preheat oven 375 degrees f.

Line roasting pan with parchment paper

Assorted fresh vegetables

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

fresh herbs – I used sage here.

Slice, dice, and cut up your vegetables.

Drizzle with Olive oil

bake until brown and glazed

Turn half way through the baking process or after 15 – 20 minutes

Serve as a side dish, as the main course, or cut up and tossed in your favorite greens while still warm.

Delicious

Light

Savory

Soul Food

Seasonal Vegetables work best.

and don’t forget the fresh garlic and onions!

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A dollop of sour cream adds an extra element of flavor.

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Enjoy!  And please sign up so you don’t miss a post.  Thanks for visiting.  Until next time.

 

Chia Pudding in a Mason Jar

When doing a cleanse it’s always a great idea to keep some healthy sweet alternatives at the ready so you don’t fall back on old habits.

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Here are some of my favorites –

I like to have the maple flavored or honey flavored yogurts instead of ice cream.

Unsweetened applesauce

sliced apples with chunky peanut butter

You can make ahead this recipe and get creative with it.  I like to store it in a mason jar because it takes up less room in the fridge.

Chia Seed Pudding in a Mason Jar

2 1/2 cups almond or Coconut milk

3/4 cups chia seeds

2-3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

Blend in a blender or stir all ingredients into a Mason jar and refrigerate overnight.  If you make it directly into the mason jar, you will want to check it to make sure it is stirred  about a half hour after you first make it.

I like to layer it with one of the yogurts mentioned above and some fresh fruit, like mango, shown in the picture.

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For an extra treat, enjoy it outside on the patio or by the poolside.

 

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Most of the above satisfies the “no dairy” protocol during your cleanse or anytime.  Reducing dairy in your diet can reduce inflammation in your joints.

Even though there is some sugar and dairy in the yogurt choices, you cannot beat the healthy probiotics you’ll be getting.

Please share in the comments if you’ve found some healthy alternatives for your sweet tooth.

I’d love to hear from you.  Mahalo

This post does not intend to offer medical advice. Only suggestions for  healthier lifestyle choices based on my own personal experiences.