REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Root Beer

Healing Herbal Root Beer | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

Handcrafted root beer is almost a lost art these days, which is a shame.  Complex and layered, these earthy flavors combine with whey to create a naturally fizzy drink that is good for your well-being and your gut.  Homemade root beers are probiotic by nature, and have been revered for their beneficial powers for centuries. (source)

Fermenting your own drinks is a wonderful way to incorporate good bacteria into your diet.  Plus, kids love it.  They love to help make it, and they love to help drink it when it’s done.  What’s not to love about homemade soda?!  Root beer has always been my favorite, and now I feel quite justified in preferring it above all else!

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Bread & Butter Pickles

Bread and Butter Pickles | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS #naturalsweetener #ferment #realfood #cultured #diy

I have to admit that as a child I loved zesty pickles but really really hated bread & butter pickles.  The cloying sweetness of a commercially-made vinegar-based bread & butter pickle was just so one dimensional.  Like with many things, the real food version is so much better than anything from a national brand.

Enter the lacto-fermented bread & butter pickle.  The flavors are balanced, slightly salty, slightly savory, and slightly sweet.  They are perfect as a probiotic component of any meal, but especially in a chicken salad or on a grass-fed hamburger.

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GIVEAWAY: THREE Starters from Cultures for Health

As I embarked on my real food journey, Cultures for Health quickly became one of my favorite resources.  By now, I have used them for years, and I have steadily recommended them to everyone that I know both in person and online.  I mean, look at that beautiful strawberry water kefir!

I have tried several of their starters over the years, and they never disappoint.  My first starter was a sourdough starter that worked beautifully and helped me gain confidence in the kitchen as I learned about traditional foods.

So that is why I’m so excited to do a giveaway of THREE STARTERS from Cultures for Health!  If you win, you’ll be able to choose three different varieties and start making lacto-ferments at home like a boss.

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REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Preserved Lemons

How to Make Preserved Lemons | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS #ferments #lactoferments #probiotics

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.

Preserved lemons are bright, complex, soft, and a perfect addition to a savory meal.  Plus, if you’re like me and you just need to eat the peels of anything citrusy, then these lemons are the end all be all of probiotic sides.

There are many ways to make lacto-fermented fruits and vegetables.  The combinations are virtually limitless.  Adding garlic or spices or herbs can deepen the flavor profile, add color and interest, and help you find culinary expression in your own kitchen.

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An E-Course that’s ALIVE!: Get Cultured!

Last week I posted my interview with Jenny of Nourished Kitchen, all about her fermenting e-course called Get Cultured!  One of my favorite things that she said was “Indeed, in looking at the history of fermentation, you’ll realize that there is no one right way to do things; rather, there’s many right ways to ferment foods.”  I love that!

There are only a few more days to sign up for this excellent resource, normally priced at $197.  But through 5/31, you’ll save $50 off the usual price of $197.  Click here to sign up for the class for only $147!

Why should we worry about fermenting foods?  In my mind there are two major reasons (and one minor perk!): [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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Before I Start GAPS, What Should I Do to Prepare?

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In January 2012, we did the 30-Day GAPS Challenge here at Our Nourishing Roots.  For 30 days, it was all about drinking stock, detoxifying, replenishing with probiotics, and healing with nourishing foods.  Of course, beforehand there was a little preparation that took place.  Let’s take a look at what you should do before starting GAPS.

I highly recommend getting a copy of the What Can I Eat Now? 30 Days on the GAPS Introduction Diet ebook.  Those of you who have already purchased a copy of the ebook, you will see that there are recommendations for what to do 2 weeks before starting GAPS.  Go ahead and open the ebook and start following the directions.  You can do this! [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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