REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Whey (and “Cream Cheese”)

whey and yogurt cheese

(To buy the REAL FOOD 101 E-book: Traditional Foods, Traditionally Prepared, click here.  Full color photos, step by step tutorials, and more.  Only $14.)

Whey is incredibly useful when making lacto-fermented drinks (such as beet kvass), condiments (such as mayonnaise), and vegetables (such as these dilly carrot sticks) at home.

I have mentioned in several recipes that I use whey.  Have you ever bought yogurt from the store and there is a little liquid on the top before you stir it all together?  That’s whey.  However, it’s only a teaspoon or so if you pour it off.  You will need more than that to make ketchup on a regular basis!

So if you want to make whey, then it’s best to use my method below.  Plus, when you make whey my way you get “cream cheese”*, too.  (That’s a bonus for those of you taking the Whole Grains E-course and you’re learning to make your own bagels.  That’s a match made in heaven.) [Read more…]

REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Yogurt

homemade yogurt

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(To buy the REAL FOOD 101 E-book: Traditional Foods, Traditionally Prepared, click here.  Full color photos, step by step tutorials, and more.  Only $14.)

Yogurt can be made many different ways: raw milk yogurt, 24-hour yogurt, yogurt made from one of many different culture strains.  That’s the great thing about yogurt.  It’s very simple, but it’s also variable depending on what you would like to make yogurt for.  Some are thick, some are thin, but all have that bright and sour flavor that we all love.

Yogurt is basically milk and cream that has been thickened with beneficial bacteria.  We all know that yogurt is “good for you”, but why?  Probiotic foods are claimed to be good for our bodies in many ways: gut flora balance, immune system defenses, and general health.  Making your own yogurt at home is simple, and yields the freshest probiotic bang for your buck!

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REAL FOOD 101: How to Make a Basic Vinaigrette

 

Garlic & Herb Vinaigrette

This post is part of a series.  To buy Volume One of the e-book containing several REAL FOOD 101 tutorials, click here: REAL FOOD 101 E-book: Traditional Foods, Traditionally Prepared.

My lovely Basic Vinaigrette is a simple dressing; an excellent recipe to have on hand.  Prepared as written it can go with nearly any green salad, cooked veggie, or anything else that needs a little oil for richness and acid for sharp contrast.  I have even tossed it with rice salads and it’s perfect.

However, I have a particular version of this vinaigrette I use almost 100% of the time due to the predictable freak out that everyone has whenever I use it.  Yes, it’s that good.  Who knew that real food ingredients could make such a difference?  (I know, I knew it already too!)  I call it my Garlic & Herb Dressing, and it’s based on a dressing recipe from here.  Of course I had to double the garlic and mustard, but I think it’s perfect that way.  Every time I make this dressing, people rant and rave about it. [Read more…]

Top Ten Posts on Our Nourishing Roots in 2011

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Butternut Cupcakes with Cardamom Buttercream: My most popular recipe, these delectable morsels embody the taste of autumn. Cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and vanilla all balance the butternut squash to create a moment to savor.

Two Holiday Recipes: Chocolate Peppermint and Coconut Citrus Fudge: Dark and light, these two simple fudges are perfect for entertaining and snacking.  Made with clean ingredients: sweet honey, bright coconut, rich cocoa, and clean organic flavors.

White Cheddar and Chive Crackers (Grain-Free): Simple savory crackers, perfect for a quick snack, lunches, or even entertaining.  Cheddar, sesame & sunflower seeds, garlic and chives: Impeccable taste!  Try with my Smoked Salmon & Herb Cheese Pinwheels, or nutrient-dense chicken liver pate. [Read more…]

REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

 

homemade buttermilk ranch dressing

(This recipe is an excerpt from my book: Real Food 101.  CLICK HERE)

I know that ranch dressing is arguably not in the realm of Real Food 101 for everyone reading here.  But oh my it certainly does hit the spot for anyone who grew up in my family.  We used to put ranch dressing on everything!  It wasn’t just for fries, it was also for salads, meats, veggies, and anything else savory.  The problem: we were eating bottled salad dressing or dressing from restaurants when we were out.

Growing up, the only less-offensive version of Ranch dressing was when we would buy the ranch flavoring packets and at least make our own from mayonnaise and sour cream at home.  But that isn’t much better since the packets contain MSG, the mayonnaise had industrial waste oils in it, and we used to buy fat free sour cream.  It is memories like this that make me feel so grateful that I started embracing whole foods.  To top it all off, I learned that fats are nourishing and healthy.

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REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Lacto-Fermented Ketchup

How to Make Lacto-Fermented Ketchup | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS #ferment #lactofermented #DIY #probiotics #realfood

This post is part of a series.  You can buy the Volume One of the e-book containing several REAL FOOD 101 tutorials here: To buy the REAL FOOD 101 E-book: Traditional Foods, Traditionally Prepared, click here.  Full color photos, step by step tutorials, and more.  Only $14.

When you start reading labels at the grocery store, you may find yourself considering the idea of just making your own condiments.  Fortunately making ketchup is pretty simple, because it sure is tasty on all the grass-fed hamburgers and hot dogs at my house!  But ketchup is quite versatile too.  We also use it as a base for cocktail sauce and barbaque sauce on a regular basis.  I have not tried it, but I am guessing fry sauce would be amazing too.  Yummmm…okay, stay focused!

But most of all, I love that this ketchup is lacto-fermented, which means that it has probiotic goodness coursing through it.  When you add the whey and let it sit out overnight, the good bacteria grow and make your ketchup good for your gut.  Plus, this ketchup isn’t a compromise.  There is no need to worry about the price tag or the content: it costs very little, and there are not any ingredients to dread!

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REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Traditional Sauerkraut

How to Make Traditional Sauerkraut | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS #realfood #ferment #lactofermented #probiotics #DIY(To buy the REAL FOOD 101 E-book: Traditional Foods, Traditionally Prepared, click here.  Full color photos, step by step tutorials, and more.  Only $14.)

I am not sure there is a simpler ferment to make than sauerkraut.  After all, it is only cabbage and salt.  And time.  You wait, letting the flavors grow and shift and change until you are left with a humble but power-packed probiotic vegetable.  Sauerkraut is full of raw enzymes and probiotics, not to mention that it is a very good source of vitamin C after the fermentation process.

I like to eat more sauerkraut and other lacto-fermented vegetables in the wintertime.  We can all use more vitamin C during cold and flu season to support our immune systems.  I have read that seafaring people would take barrels of sauerkraut out with them to sea, since fresh produce would be scarce, and the vitamin C would protect against scurvy.  I hope that it true, because it’s a great story!

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Beware of Soy: A Classic Eggnog Recipe (with a dairy-free version)

The Best EGGNOG Ever! | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

This eggnog recipe is included in my Natural Cocktails ebook, and is one of many, many delicious tried and true drinks I have crafted over the last few years.  Enjoy!

This eggnog is pleasantly thick with rich egg yolks, and grass-fed cream and whole milk, not from thickeners and stabilizers that mimic what nature can do simply with whole foods.  Add a few pinches of warming spices and sweet honey and you have yourself a holiday drink that is nourishing and festive.  Plus, did I mention that this version does not include egg whites which are best eaten cooked (they have enzyme inhibitors!), and that we blend it up in seconds in the blender?  Okay, now I have your attention.

Well now you can have a quick version of eggnog that does not have to compromise on quality ingredients.  A guilty pleasure just because a regular pleasure!  But most importantly, now you can make goofy eggnog comments like my husband who, every year without fail, says “So eggy. So noggy.” as we sip.  Or something like “you can really taste the nog”.  It is just that fun to make eggnog, I’m telling you!

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Thanksgiving Recipe Collection

It’s that time of year when you may be on the lookout for a Thanksgiving menu that covers all the sweet and savory tastes that your heart desires.  I have a few that I have written myself, and the rest I have collected from some of my favorite blogs to piece together into my perfect Thanksgiving meal.  Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Appetizers:

Main Course:

REAL FOOD 101: Homemade Mayonnaise (Lacto-Fermented)

 

lacto-fermented mayonnaise

This post is part of a series.  To buy Volume One of the e-book containing several REAL FOOD 101 tutorials, click here: REAL FOOD 101 E-book: Traditional Foods, Traditionally Prepared.

Raw pastured egg yolks are a superfood, and my body soaks them up like nothing.  Coupled with olive oil and simple flavors of mustard, lemon, and sea salt, this sauce hardly deserves the maligning it has received over the years.  Homemade mayonnaise is simple to whisk together, ferment for a few hours with whey, and then use in a myriad of recipes: aioli for fish, chicken salad, egg salad, hors d’oeuvres, hollandaise, herbed for sandwiches, and so many other uses.

I love making homemade condiments now, but I was not always so amiable about the task.  All you need is a bowl and a whisk, and a few wholesome foods to morph into the lovely, velvet emulsion that is mayonnaise.  Plus, I look at this as an opportunity to roll up my sleeves a work a little for my glorious pale sauce.

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