Have you ever looked at a recipe only to realize that you don’t know what a lot of the ingredients are? Well let’s start demystifying ingredients.
Perusing through recipes is a favorite pastime of mine. As well as collecting cookbooks, although I’ve gotten much better than I used to be. A recent conversation about ingredients got me to thinking. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some sort of guide that removes the mystery as well as gives you ideas of where to obtain these items?
I often take for granted much of what I know, and I’m sorry I do that because it’s not that I’m ungrateful by any means, it’s just I don’t think about backing up the train and sharing more often, if that makes sense.
So this post is about breaking down some basic ingredients that I use and are a staple of my pantry and should be in yours as well. If you have looked at any of the recipes I share here, then perhaps you’ve had questions too. This is for you and anyone whom you think will find it helpful.
Coconut oil, cold pressed
Extra virgin olive oil
Lard (from pasture-raised hogs)
Tallow (from pasture-raised beef)
Unrefined sea salt (not bleached with minerals still intact)
Kefir (fermented cow or goat milk)
Ancient Grains (We generally define ancient grains loosely as grains that are largely unchanged over the last several hundred years and are more nutritious than refined grains with higher protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Many ancient grains thrive with lower levels of pesticides, fertilizers, and irrigation, making them an attractive choice to consumers who choose to shop with their carbon footprint in mind.)
Unbleached flour (not what you buy in the store – comes from a good bulk food store)
Whey (the watery part of milk after separated from the curd – considered a complete protein)
Rapadura (Rapadura is the pure juice extracted from the sugar cane (using a press), which is then cooked to evaporate off the water, whilst being stirred with paddles. It is then sieve ground to produce a grainy sugar. It has not been cooked at super high heats and spun to change it into crystals, and the molasses has not been separated from the sugar. It is produced organically, and does not contain chemicals or anti-caking agents
Sucanat (basically the same as rapadura, only an industry trade name)
Arrowroot powder (You can use arrowroot powder to thicken soups, sauces, and stews. It works exactly like cornstarch but without the scary refinement process or question of: “are there GMOs in this?”. It is one of the easiest starches for the body to digest as well)
Now for the where to buy. I shop at a local bulk food store that carries these items and most are organic. If you don’t have a local store, you can always find these items online. Google the item and often times you’ll find it in places like Amazon. Shop for both quantity and price. You’d be amazed at the differences there are.
While this list isn’t all inclusive, it’s a great beginning. If there is something you have a question about, please feel free to ask and if there is something that should be added, please share that below too.
To your health,
This past week I had the great pleasure to listen to a very wise woman share her plight into traditional eating and the reason was her sick young daughter.
You see, most mothers (and fathers) become fierce momma or papa bears when our young are sick or ill, don’t we?
We want to find out what exactly is wrong and then do everything in our power to make them better.
I know I’ve done this over the years with my own daughters and now with my grandchildren. When they don’t feel well, we’re digging and fixing!
If you’re shopping for and consuming prepackaged and commercialized food products from your local grocery, you are consuming life robbing foods.
There is a list of 10 major life robbing foods that I’d like to share that you should NEVER eat and then I’ll share the list of life giving foods.
Foods you should NEVER EVER eat….
1. GMO Foods
(Corn, Soy, Sugar, Aspartame, Papaya, Canola Oil, Cotton Oil, Commercial Dairy, Zucchini, Yellow Squash)
2. Processed Meats
(Lunch meats, hotdogs, sausages, bacon)
3. Microwave Popcorn
4. Soft Drinks
5. Diet Beverages
6. Refined White Flours
7. Refined Sugars
8. Conventional “Dirty” Produce (see EWG’s Dirty Dozen listing here)
9. Farmed Salmon
10. Hydrogenated Oils (canola, shortening, vegetable oils)
(Most baked goods use these oils)
Whew….that’s a list isn’t it?
Now would you like the list of foods that are living giving and good for you? It’s my pleasure to present them!
1. Bone Broths
2. Raw Milk
5. Grass-fed Beef, Pork, Lamb
6. Pastured poultry (chicken, turkey)
7. Sourdough Bread
8. Pastured Eggs
9. Fresh fruits and veggies (preferably organic)
10. Soaked grains, nuts, seeds, beans
11. Fermented veggies, fruits and teas
Yum!!! This is the food items that I adore! When foods are properly grown, prepared and eaten, they give life and they taste absolutely delicious!
Often times in conversations, it comes about that “healthy” doesn’t taste good. Well, have I got news for you. When you eat the “life giving” foods I outlined above, your whole body sings, including your mouth!
Every cell is awakened and having a party and rejoicing! One of my clients recently shared how she’s feeling just after two weeks of consuming Kombucha (fermented tea) and Bone broths. The results are amazing and she’s seeing the proof.
Guess what else is amazing? She’s telling everyone that will listen. Why? Because when you’ve struggled with something like IBS for so long and you don’t have control over what your body does, and all of a sudden you are given a glimpse of normal and vibrant living, you feel fabulous, you look fabulous, people notice and you sing!
Isn’t it time to take back your health and your life? Do you feel doomed to just suffer through? Or perhaps you’ve tried so many things and nothing seems to work.
It really isn’t your fault. You just need a fresh start, some sound guidance, a good roadmap to follow to your destination, which is great health, energy, sound sleep, vibrant vitality and the feelings of being youthful and sexy again.
I really don’t believe we were put on this planet to suffer. We are created of a higher power and image and that image isn’t one of a broken down body that suffers needlessly.
What has been your biggest takeaway from the “Life Robbing” and “Life Giving” foods list? Share your comments below.
To Your Health,
Holistic Health Coach
PS: Are you ready for your personal roadmap to health and vibrancy? Click here to talk and make a plan! Isn’t it time to take your life back?
Welcome to the world of delicious and probiotic rich kefir. Did you know that kefir has over 50 strands of probiotics/bacteria in it?
Kefir is easily digested, it cleanses the intestines, provides beneficial bacteria and yeast, vitamins and minerals, and complete is a complete protein. Because kefir is such a balanced and nourishing food, it plays important roles in a healthy immune system and has been used to help patients suffering from AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes, and cancer. Its calming effect on the nervous system has benefited many who suffer from sleep disorders, depression, and ADHD.
The regular use of kefir can help relieve all intestinal disorders, promote healthy bowel movements, reduce flatulence and create a healthier digestive system. In addition, its cleansing effect on the whole body helps to establish a balanced inner ecosystem for optimum health and longevity. Helps provide a healthy gut flora.
Kefir can also help eliminate unhealthy food cravings because it makes the body more balanced and nourished. Its excellent nutritional content offers healing and health-maintenance benefits to people in every type of health condition.
For the lactose intolerant, kefir’s abundance of beneficial yeast and bacteria provide lactase, an enzyme which consumes most of the lactose left after the culturing process.
Kefir can be made from any type of milk, cow, goat or sheep, coconut, rice or soy. Although it is slightly mucous forming, the mucous has a “clean” quality to it that creates ideal conditions in the digestive tract for the population of friendly bacteria.
In addition to beneficial bacteria and yeast, kefir contains minerals and essential amino acids that help the body with healing and maintenance functions. The complete proteins in kefir are partially digested and therefore more easily utilized by the body. Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in kefir, is well known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because kefir also offers an abundance of calcium and magnesium, which are also important minerals for a healthy nervous system, as well as hormonal system, kefir in the diet can have a particularly profound calming effect on the nerves.
Kefir’s ample supply of phosphorus, the second most abundant mineral in our bodies, helps utilize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy.
Kefir is rich in Vitamin B12, B1, and Vitamin K. It is an excellent source of biotin, a B vitamin which aids the body’s assimilation of other B Vitamins, such as folic acid, pantothenic acid, and B12. The numerous benefits of maintaining adequate B vitamin intake range from regulation of the kidneys, liver and nervous system to helping relieve skin disorders, boost energy and promote longevity.
I often get asked if yogurt and kefir is the same thing. The difference between the two is this…they are both fermented milk products …but they contain different types of beneficial bacteria. Yogurt contains transient beneficial bacteria that keep the digestive system clean and provide food for the friendly bacteria that reside there. But kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract, a feat that yogurt cannot match.
Kefir contains several major strains of friendly bacteria not commonly found in yogurt, Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, and Streptococcus species.
It also contains beneficial yeasts, such as Saccharomyces kefir and Torula kefir, which dominate, control and eliminate destructive pathogenic yeasts in the body. They do so by penetrating the mucosal lining where unhealthy yeast and bacteria reside, forming a virtual SWAT team that housecleans and strengthens the intestines. Hence, the body becomes more efficient in resisting such pathogens as E. coli and intestinal parasites.
Kefir’s active yeast and bacteria provide more nutritive value than yogurt by helping digest the foods that you eat and by keeping the colon environment clean and healthy. Because the curd size of kefir is smaller than yogurt, it is also easier to digest, which makes it a particularly excellent, nutritious food for babies, the elderly and people experiencing chronic fatigue and digestive disorders.
Now that I have kefir grains, what do I do with them?
You are starting out with 1 tablespoon of grains.
Add this to 1 cup of milk.
I put them into a pint mason jar, close the lid and let sit on your kitchen counter for 24 hours, out of direct sunlight. Pour kefir into a strainer, with a bowl underneath. Take a spatula and work the kefir through the strainer. You’ll be left with the grains, which are gelatinous cauliflower like substances, ranging in size from a small piece of grain to a fairly large piece.
NOTE: The first time you make your kefir, if your grains were stored in water, the fermentation period might be more like 36 hours vs. the typical 24 hours.
The consistency will be slightly thick and have a more pungent smell to it. You’re good to go.
Rinse out the jar that you fermented in and put the grains back into the jar along with another cup of milk. DO NOT rinse your grains.
Wait another 24 hours and repeat the process above. You can continue this indefinitely.
Your grains will grow. Expect this to happen after the first couple of weeks of fermenting with them. After that, they will expand a little more rapidly.
Keep them, make more kefir, store them in another jar of milk in the refrigerator or share them with family and friends.
Always keep your ratio of 1 tablespoon of grains to 1 cup of milk. If you want to make more because you have more grains, just keep this same measure and you’ll be fine.
When I make a quart, I use approx. 3 tablespoons of grains to 3 cups of milk.
If I have unused kefir, I store it in a mason jar with a lid in my refrigerator. It will keep for a couple of weeks, no problem. Another thing I like to do is fill an ice cube tray with them, freeze and then pop into a freezer bag. These are great for smoothies or anything else you might want to use them for. I find that 3 cubes equals approx. ¼ cup, which is a nice measurement for some recipes. You can thaw and use.
Another tip: If you find yourself with an abundance of kefir because you haven’t been using it as frequently or you’re traveling and can’t keep up with production, add them to some milk in a jar and store them in your refrigerator.
When you’re ready to start up again, measure out a tablespoon to 1 cup of milk and start again.
Use kefir in smoothies, baked goods, dressings; make whey from it and so much more.
You can also just drink it straight up. Yum!
There are some great ways to do a second ferment as well. My favorite is to peel the skin from an orange or lemon, place in a jar and pour the finished kefir over it. Place the lid on the jar and set on your counter another 24 hours.
The kefir will take on the citrusy flavor and won’t be so sour tasting. This is especially good for those not accustomed to the flavor of regular kefir or just those that like something a bit different and refreshing.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I do and I hope to hear from you.
What’s been your experience with making or drinking kefir? Comment below!
To your health,
Holistic Health Coach
PS: Are you serious about taking charge of your health? If so, we need to talk. Click here if you’ve decided that now’s the time to get some accountability and take back your life!