March 31, 2015

Fermented Vegetables 101

Fermented Vegetables 101

Fermented Vegetables
by Susan Count

I thought I would have to hold my nose to eat “ugh” – fermented vegetables. Sauerkraut, I thought! Who would eat that? But somewhere I picked up that fermented vegetables could put good bacteria in my gut and help with my acid refux. WRONG! It didn’t just help – it changed EVERYTHING!

And I think it helped me lose a little weight too and that never hurts. I substituted a big forkful of fermented vegetables at dinner instead of eating rice or potatoes or pasta.

Cutting the Cost

A quart of fermented vegetables at the store can run about $10. A cabbage, a couple carrots and two bunches of celery so I can make my own will yield TWO quarts of fermented vegetables. You are better at math than I am, but that seems like a deal to me.

Making my own also makes me feel like I have really done something special.  You know – that feeling you get when you bake a big beautiful chocolate cake from scratch.

The store bought fermented vegetables tend to be tooooo strong for me so I like to control how long they brew.

I also want my fermented vegetables to be as much of a “superfood” as possible, so I decided to learn to make them myself. That way I would have control over what goes in. If you can chop cabbage, then you can make it too.

I keep it simple and I definitely keep it organic! Cabbage, carrots, and juice of celery are some of my favorites. Yes, you can use other vegetables and yes it would be beneficial to mix it up. I suggest you try the simple version first.

You will need the following supplies:
a gallon size wide mouth glass jar
a round stick pounder (ask Home Depot to cut a piece of closet rod about 14” long.)
a gallon size zip-lock type plastic bag.

Ready?
1. Roughly chop one big head of cabbage.
2. Grate two carrots.
3. Juice two bunches of celery either in a juicer or in a blender.
4. Squeeze or work the cabbage with your hands for about ten minutes to break down the cell walls.
5. Mix cabbage and carrots and pack into the gallon glass jar.
6. Then, pour celery juice over cabbage to completely cover vegetables.
7. Supplement with brine if needed – see note below.
8. It’s important to remove air pockets so compress with pounder or if you don’t have one, you are brilliant – improvise.
9. Cover with whole cabbage leaves.
10. Place the gallon size plastic bag on top of the vegetables (INSIDE the jar**) and fill the bag with water to seal the vegetables from air. This is HUGELY important.  If air is in contact with the FV it will turn them all icky brown and could cause bad bacteria to grow instead of the great ones you are after.  Seal the bag.
11. Put the lid on LOOSLY so gas can escape.

Now it ferments! Keep the jar at room temperature, between 50 and 75 degrees.  I get a kick out of watching it bubble and brew. The longer it ferments the more acidity it gets. If you want it mild, let it ferment about four days and then do a taste test every day until it is tangy enough for you.

Pack your creation in smaller glass jars and store them in the refrigerator.

Making fermented vegetables is not an exact science.  You don’t have to do it perfectly, so play and have fun with it.

You can pat yourself on the back after you make fermented vegetables because you will be putting mounds of beneficial microbes and enzymes on your dinner plate.

I recommend you read the article by Dr. Mercola  as he has a wealth of information on the subject. Fermented Vegetables 

Other fermented possibilities: try mixture above with some shredded beet, radish, or even apple.

*BRINE: is 1 T mineral rich sea salt dissolved into 1 cup water.

** Use of a plastic bag: Not all fermenters use the plastic bag because they feel it leaches chemicals into the brew. I only leave the bag on the mixture for a few days. When the fermented vegetables are transferred to the fridge, I’m done with the bag. If you do not cover the surface you will have to skim off mold and who wants to do that?  You can look for bags that are BPA Free.

 


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* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257
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Bone Broth For Busy Mamas

Bone BrothBone Broth For Busy Mamas

Guest writer Susan Count joins us today to share about her super simple way of making a kitchen staple, bone broth!  

Don’t throw that bone to the dogs! In that bone is ‘superfood – super nutrition”. Use your crockpot to make a bone broth that will nourish your cells like nothing else.

Why bother? Bother because you know that farming practices have depleted the minerals in our soils so we need to be deliberate about supplying them to our body. This is especially true if we have any degenerative or auto immune diseases. Make your own broth and you won’t get the “natural flavor”- cough-cough of MSG or sugar.

OH the minerals you will get… calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, arginine, chondroitin, glucosamine and other trace minerals. PLUS a few amino acids – glycine and proline.

Nutrient dense bone broth

* helps fight a cold, flu and infections

* helps build strong bones, teeth, nails and hair

* fights inflammation

* and aids in digestion.

Health-Benefits-Bone-Broth

Are you ready?  Let’s get started!  

Here comes the hard part!

1. Turn the crock pot ON.

2. Add bones from any mammal or even a fish. Would it be best if the animal was organic? Absolutely yes! If it is a large bone, split it open with a cleaver.

3. Add 1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar (the kind that has the “mother” in the bottle). The ACV helps release the minerals from the bone.

4. Fill crock pot with water.

5. Cook on low about 24 hours, strain and store in glass jars in refrigerator.

6. Doctor up the flavor with healthy vegetables and Celtic or Himalayan Sea Salt.

Then use your nutrition rich broth anywhere you use stock; to braise vegetables, make soups and stews or even drink it straight.  You can also freeze the cubes to have them ready to go anytime!

I hate to think that my dog has been smarter than me all these years but truth can hurt.   You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that bone broth = healthy for you.   She gnaws on a bone until there is absolutely nothing left. She got the cartilage, minerals and red blood cell building marrow but I am smarter now.

~From the kitchen of Susan Count Hastings


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Join us for a live essential oils class! Our team members are in all 50 states - Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257
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Husband Food – Meal Plan #2

When my husband decided to marry me, he sure didn’t pick me because of my culinary skills.

So, it makes me super excited when I can put together a meal that he really enjoys.   This week, that happened not once, but TWICE.

Score!

Awesome and SUPER EASY Meal #1

Pulled Pork (in the crock pot!)   I LOVED how simple this was!  I made it for Sunday lunch, it’s lasted for several meals, and we still have pork left over!   Chris cut up the onions for me.  (Maybe one day I’ll post a pic of how I cut up onions.  It involves me wearing my 7 yr old son’s scuba mask.  Not highly effective but quite entertaining for all other parties involved.)

Anyway.  Hubby was home so he helped. :)  Into the crockpot went the first onion, then I added the pork roast, and then poured some Ginger Ale on top.  I found the natural cane sugar kind at Trader Joe’s.  I finished it off with one more onion and left it to cook overnight.  In the morning, I drained off the juice, mixed in bbq sauce, and let it cook for a few more hours.  DONE!

I felt like a hero.  Chris had a blast turning it into a fun “man dish”.  He added blue corn chips, shredded cheese, guac, and cowboy caviar, and then proclaimed it perfect Super Bowl food.

Awesome and slightly more complicated Meal #2


Chicken Marsala.
 I used Chef Emerile Lagasse’s recipe and, oh my gosh, we thought we were in a restaurant.  It was THAT good.   It was so totally amazing I can’t wait to get more red wine so I can make it again.  I’m going to wait till we move in mid-December though, because I’m trying to purchase as little as possible right now and use what we have!   His directions were nice and thorough, and this non-chef didn’t have any trouble following them.

Let me know if you decide to try either of these recipes, and how you like them!

Did you see our Black Friday special?


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Join us for a live essential oils class! Our team members are in all 50 states - Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257
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I have a confession to make…

I have a confession to make.

I LOVE to bake, and while my kids wouldn’t mind living off of scones, cookies, and bread, that’s not exactly a well rounded diet.

I am a huge advocate for a whole foods diet, which naturally means using as little processed foods as possible. With the busy-ness of life, we’ve gotten away from that and have been utilizing the freezer section at Trader Joe’s far more than we should.  Does anybody feel me there?

So, in an effort for some accountability, and because I know I am not the only one who could use a personal chef in my back pocket, I want to share what our meal plan looked like for the week, and how the recipes went.

Sunday
Salisbury Steak Meatballs with egg noodles and organic corn. Chris and I made this together on Sunday afternoon. It was fun doing it together. There were a couple of moments he said, “don’t do that!” Oops. Another positive of doing this together: cooking lessons. And a huge reminder to only do one thing at a time, instead of ten. (I have no idea how I will actually manage this. Feel free to give me suggestions in the comments!)

Anyway, back to the recipe. It took a LONG time. I watched Pioneer Woman’s episode for some tips on making this, and realized how much time they edit out. We probably spent an hour and a half making this! Ok for a Sunday afternoon, but it’s not going to work during the week.

The recipe came out well. Chris and my oldest loved the meatballs and devoured them. I didn’t care for the flavor as much, but vibrant flavors are something I’m getting used to. We had organic beef from our local farmer to use, and it felt good to serve a home-cooked meal.

Tuesday
Fancy Mac and Cheese
This was another meal that took a while to prepare, but oh-my-gosh it tasted fabulous. Bacon + mushrooms + lots of cheese = fantastic. I experimented and used my Vitamix to grate the cheese. I mixed the softer and harder cheeses together for that purpose, and it worked out well. This meal took a while too because it had lots of separate dishes to prepare to put together in layers. I was trying to homeschool math and make this at the same time, so that was a little stressful.

Friday
It was a crazy day and we had friends coming over for a send-off meal together. I just heated up the Trader Joe’s pulled pork, warmed up some organic buns, and cooked organic corn on the stove top. We added some leftover cheese from the Fancy Mac and Cheese for a topping. Everyone loved it, and while it didn’t meet my whole foods standards, I got overwhelmed with the idea of cooking pulled pork for 6-7 hours, wet basting every 45 minutes. Trader Joe’s to the rescue!

Up this week:
Stovetop lasagna
Chicken Marsala with Alfredo
Tilapia


Want to learn more or get stated using essential oils? Learn more or join today!
Join us for a live essential oils class! Our team members are in all 50 states - Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257

Breakthrough for Truth-in-labeling!

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court opened the door for peer-to-peer labeling accountability.  As labeling laws struggle through congressional houses, good ole capitalism is taking the bull by the horns.  Coca Cola has been marketing a drink called Minute Maid Pomegranate-Blueberry juice.  With that name, you’d expect it to contain, well, lots of pomengrantes, right?  Not a chance.  The juice (can I call it juice?) is made of only .3% pomegranate juice.  Yes, you read that correctly.  .3%.  The POM Wonderful folks, who sell actual pomegranante juice, can now take up their truth-in-labeling case with Coca Cola.   To make matters worse, the drink blend has a scant .2% blueberry juice.

This ruling has great potential for many markets, including essential oils. One of my great peeves with the essential oils market is that oils must only contain 5% of the actual oil to be labeled “pure”.  That’s how we get such cheap oils in the grocery stores – 5% oil + petrochemicals and other synthetics = cheap to mass produce.  Real, quality oils that are sourced well are hard to come by, hence the heftier (and well worth it) price tag.  Learn more about oils.


Want to learn more or get stated using essential oils? Learn more or join today!
Join us for a live essential oils class! Our team members are in all 50 states - Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257
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How To Make Awesome Homemade Mayo!

Check out my latest recipe, posted over at Surviving the Stores, and learn how to make easy and super yummy mayo!  You’ll never want to buy it at the store again!

Homemade Mayonnaise: How to Make Mayo At Home!


Want to learn more or get stated using essential oils? Learn more or join today!
Join us for a live essential oils class! Our team members are in all 50 states - Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257
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Homemade Peanut Butter In 3 Minutes Or Less!

I’ve started making my own peanut butter at home.  I LOVE how quick and easy it is, not to mention better for you!  Click on over to Surviving the Stores to see my guest post explaining exactly how to do it!

How To Make Homemade Peanut Butter In 3 Minutes Or Less!


Want to learn more or get stated using essential oils? Learn more or join today!
Join us for a live essential oils class! Our team members are in all 50 states - Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257

Recipe: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Brownies

It’s brownie time!  I LOVE these brownies!  They are my go-to recipe for a sweet treat for the essential oils classes that I teach, and they’re extra fun because of the peppermint oil.  Hop over to the Grain Mill Wagon for the recipe I share there:

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Brownies


Want to learn more or get stated using essential oils? Learn more or join today!
Join us for a live essential oils class! Our team members are in all 50 states - Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257
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Yay for Baked Chocolate Donuts!! New Recipe!

I love chocolate donuts.  I read the ingredient label at the ones in the store, when I’m tempted, and just set them back on the shelf.  No such problem here!  Enjoy this recipe for good-ingredient yumminess!  (Is that word?)  Click over to the Grain Mill Wagon for the full recipe!  (I’m participating in their recipe challenge.)


Want to learn more or get stated using essential oils? Learn more or join today!
Join us for a live essential oils class! Our team members are in all 50 states - Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257

Double Chocolate Chunk Muffin Recipe

Yummy, yummy, yummy.  Chocolate muffins!  Hop over to the Grain Mill Wagon for this yummy Double Chocolate Chunk Muffin recipe!


Want to learn more or get stated using essential oils? Learn more or join today!
Join us for a live essential oils class! Our team members are in all 50 states - Contact us to find a class near you!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please read our testimonial disclosure under our Disclosure tab. I am an independent distributor for Young Living. #1325257
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