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!

Easy Quiche Recipe

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An easy dish to make during the holidays for company or even to take a slice for work lunch, this recipe is one that I’ve made many times for friends and family, and is what I would add to the “comfort-food” variety.

You can vary the cheeses and vegetables to your taste.

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Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit

two ready made crusts

Pat down into pie plates flute the edges by pinching softly together all around the edge with fingers.

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Poke crust in bottom of pan with a fork to vent and prevent bubbles. (see photo above)

Bake crust alone for 15 minutes to slight golden color ~

Remove from oven, set aside.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

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Prepare ingredients ~ while crust is baking mix together…

10 eggs

1 1/4 cup half n half

3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce ( does contain anchovies, so is not vegetarian).

salt and pepper to taste

set aside…..

In a separate bowl mix together …

1 cup of grated cheese ( here I used gruyere with cracked pepper)

3 Tbsp white flour

set aside ~

slice one small red onion

1/2 cup spinach

2 Tbsp parsley

Mix egg mixture, cheese mixture and vegetables together and pour into pie crusts

Sprinkle additional grated cheese on top before inserting into oven.

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Bake 350 degrees F for 45 – 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let cool for 10 – 15 minutes before slicing.  It will be hard to resist as the aroma is divine!

Makes two pies.

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Helpful Tips:

French Quiche Lorraine is typically made with precooked bacon slices, swiss cheese, and a buttered crust ( made with real butter in place of shortening).

Optional vegetables ~

mushrooms

green onions

leeks

grated zucchini

peas

corn

green beans

Spices ~

nutmeg

basil

thyme

red pepper flakes

Meats~

Canadian bacon

ham

sausage

chicken

turkey

Cheeses ~

Swiss

goat cheese

cheddar

Monterey jack

ricotta

I hope you try it.

Leave a comment and tell me what combination you prefer.

This is where cooking creatively becomes fun.

Once you have the basic recipe, you can add some of your own favorites.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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

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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

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add

63% CACAO CHOCOLATE CHIPS

1 CUP CHOPPED WALNUTS

form into patties or cookie shape

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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.

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

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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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Watermelon Zinger! Got Juice?

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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.

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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!

 

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Watermelon Zinger with Ginger Goji Berry Cookies

 

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Ginger Goji Berry Cookies ~ Superfood!

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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!

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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.

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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

After one hour, turn the cookies over

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

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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!

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Thank you for visiting Cottage Necessities!