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…]

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 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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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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Lettuce Wraps with Herbed Chicken Salad & Pecans

lettuce wraps chicken salad

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This herbed chicken salad is one of my favorite creations.  And that is saying something, because as a child I hated chicken salad with a passion.  Perhaps it was the nasty soybean oil in the storebought mayonnaise, or that I could sense the chicken wasn’t quite right since it was from a factory and not a field.  But whatever the reason, my loyalties have been shifted by making a real chicken salad.  I have been won over by this herbalicious creation!

I happen to have several herbs growing in pots on the back patio.  In fact, I have so many that I can’t leave any out in this recipe.  So when I say that it is “herbed”, I mean it.  If you want to do a little less, make sure you at least get the tarragon and thyme into the mix.  Those are the essential herbs that really make this chicken salad really something.

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REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Beet Kvass (and why!)

beetkvass

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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.)

Beet kvass may be one of the most beautiful lacto-fermented drinks that I make at home.  Deep purple and slightly effervescent, some claim that beet kvass cleanses the blood, detoxifies the liver, and supports kidney health.  I have even heard that kvass pulls heavy metals from our bodies.  I’m not able to make any of those claims, but I certainly feel pretty good when I am drinking beet kvass regularly.  So I simply trust my own experience.

Beet kvass is also very simple, only made with four ingredients: beets, salt, water, and whey.  And when each ingredient is the best quality, you don’t need complicated recipes.  The simple blending of these four items with a little time on the counter can provide your body with needed electrolytes, vitamins, probiotics, and well-being.

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Smoked Salmon & Herb Cheese Pinwheels

Cool and savory, these smoked salmon and herbed cheese pinwheels are the perfect nutrient-dense bites to whip up for a holiday party.  Served on a simple cracker these hors d’oeuvres give a balanced contrast of crunch from the seeds to the velvety texture of the cheese and salmon swirled together.  I have also always been drawn to the color salmon, so I love this dish for it’s beautiful presentation of the pinkish-orange against the green and white, all sitting atop a crisp square.

Of course, anything nutrient dense is always excellent for little growing bodies, or for mamas who can find a quiet moment during lunch to sit and enjoy a few of these morsels.  So when I made these for my boys tonight I knew that we would not only be enjoying our weekly seafood, but also a moment of nourishment knowing this food is clean and Plus smoked salmon has a healthy amount of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and protein.  I love recipes like this are made from solid, clean ingredients.  Those dishes translate to high brow affairs as easily as the snack table.

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REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Water Kefir

waterkefir

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

Every day I happily drink a cup of strawberry water kefir, feeling it replenishing my body with probiotic goodness and happy little enzymes.  Unlike soda with it’s syrupy-sweet empty calories and artificial carbonation, water kefir isn’t an indulgence.  Water kefir is a probiotic drink that supports the balance of bacteria, or flora, in your digestive tract.  In fact, I think the reason we crave lemonade or soda or sweet drinks is because we evolved to have naturally-fermented beverages that benefit our health.  And water kefir is just that: a traditional, lacto-fermented drink that is tried and true. [Read more…]