What is milk kefir….

 

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Many of you many know that I float between  eating as a vegetarian and some days eating as a vegan and then some days raw and some days a combination of all three.

I have also been using many fermented foods in my diet for years but I was recently sent down the path of discovering that I have Leaky gut (and a few other issues from a life time of taking heavy pain killers and pharmaceuticals for my chronic back pain.)

I have had to clean up my diet even more to cut out sugar, gluten, dairy, caffeine and alcohol…..there a few that are so easy and one that is a little hard, I will let you guess which one is the hardest.!!

So this journey lead me down the path of discovering the health benefits of milk kefir…have you ever tried it?

To start with you must purchase some milk kefir grains or find a friend who uses the grains, you can purchase them from me if you wish, just leave a comment below. Kefir grains are a living culture, they are a combination of bacteria and yeast existing in a symbiotic colony and clumped together with casein and complex sugars. They look like little pieces of chopped up cauliflower.

To make the milk kefir you need some full fat organic milk and then you add your grains to the milk, leave your jar out of the refrigerator and cover with a cloth, leave for 12–48 hours depending on the temperature or the consistency you are after. If you strain the kefir off after 12 hours it should resemble runny yoghurt and slightly effervescent.

If you leave the kefir for a longer period of time you will see the kefir will separate into solids and whey, as this is now a fermented drink you can use both the whey and the solids in cooking, cheese making and many other amazing dishes.

After you have waited the desired amount of time you must strain off the milk and repeat the process. Use a plastic sieve and a wooden spoon and slowly and gently sieve the milk mixture off the grains,trying not to break up the grains too much. Find a clean glass jar and pour you milk in, put as much milk as you think you will drink over the next couple of days, I like to make my milk kefir every second day so I only make 1-2 cups of milk. You don’t need to rinse the grains before adding them to your next batch, if you decide you do want to give them a quick rinse don’t wash them in hot water or water with chlorine as it will kill them. If you are going away on holidays or you just want a break you can pop your grains in milk into the refrigerator and they will go to sleep ,they should last for a couple of weeks.

Now the fun begins, deciding what you are going to do with your probiotic drink….you can drink it as is, you can add it to a smoothie, you can pour if over a fresh fruit salad, make cheeses or drizzling it on the top of a soup with a handful of chives…..perfect.

Kefir is much more beneficial then mainstream yoghurt, kefir has 35 different strains of bacteria and yeasts, most yoghurt only provide prebiotics. Kefir is great for boosting your immune system and the fermenting process creates lactic acid which helps to heal and sooth our gut lining, it is also rich in many vitamins and minerals.

I hope you have fun experimenting with your kefir and playing with fermented foods.

Angela XX

What is Jun Tea..?

Jun tea is a wonderful fermented probiotic health drink, a little similar to Kombucha. Like Kombucha the Jun needs a SCOBY, a symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast.

The most exciting bit about Jun tea is that is made with green tea and honey. You must make sure you have the right scoby, you cant have Kombucha scoby and make Jun tea….the cultures have learnt to feed off the right types of sugars. Jun tea is slighty softer in flavour, lighter in colour and more effervescent than Kombucha.

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One of the things that I love about Jun is that it has has shorter fermenting time than Kombucha, Jun usually takes about 3-4 days, depending on the temperature of course. That why I love fermenting Kombucha, Jun and Water Kefir…yes it is like the mad scientists house at our house…down in the laboratory…..scobys everywhere.

Another comparison between the two is that the Jun has less caffeine in the finished tea, as the scoby will eat and feeds off the honey and the caffeine. Jun tea is a great source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Jun is also a natural probiotic which can help with digestive health and of course gut health and is a fabulous source of organic acids. As Grandma  once upon a time would always have lemon juice in water, drinking Jun tea has also become part of our health culture today. When you drink the Jun tea you are drinking organic acids that have a alkalizing effect on the body and can help balance the ph on the body, just like the lemon juice does!

Ingredients

4 teaspoon green tea
1/2 cup organic honey
2  litres of fresh filtered water                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Jun scoby and half a cup of starter

Method

Boil the water and and the green tea, let it steep for 10 minutes then add the honey and stir until combined. Leave the tea until it is cool, as with all fermented teas this part is important as heat will kill a scoby, so your tea must be cool and not hot. Add the scoby and starter mix to the tea.

place a cloth or tea towel over the top of the jar and place on the bench out of direct sunlight. Set and forget, you can sample it around day 3 and using a straw taste the tea and if it is to your liking you are ready to bottle you Jun tea.

I am happy to answer any questions you may have about this wonderful healthy giftofourearth@gmail.com

Once you have bottled your Jun tea you can place it in the refrigerator to stop the fermenting process. You should try and consume at least one or more cups of this fabulous drink a day to help with that all important gut health, and then you experiment with double ferments!!!

Cheers

Angela xx

A great drink for your gut health…Kombucha

 

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I’ve only recently started making this fabulous health drink – Kombucha. 

Kombucha has many health benefits.   It’s an ancient fermented tea beverage that is naturally carbonated and full of amazing probiotics and vitamins.  One of Kombucha’s main health benefits is its ability to detox the body, as it is rich in many enzymes and
bacterial acids that your body naturally produces or uses during a detox.

When Kombucha is regularly consumed it also has an anti-inflammatory effect, great for acne, fatigue, hypertension, arthritis and general good health.

 

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Kombucha is really easy to make at home as it’s basically made form organic black tea and sugar.

You can use white sugar – but obviously organic is best.    Try to keep things organic as obviously this is a health drink so try to keep things pure to best meet your body’s needs.

The only other thing you will need is what’s called a ‘scoby’.  A scoby (or mother) are used  as they have the ability to reproduce.    A scoby is symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. 
You can now purchase these scoby’s directly from me by emailing giftorourearth@gmail.com

The fermenting process usually takes between 7 – 10 days during which time a new culture will be created from the original scoby.   You can either leave this in your container or share it with a friend.

RECIPE

1 litre of filtered water
¼ cup organic sugar
2 tsp organic black tea
1 scoby (or mother culture)
And you need ½ cup of pre made Kombucha

METHOD

Add sugar to glass container.  Boil filtered water and add to sugar.  Add in 2 tsp organic black tea.     Allow to cool well as you don’t want to kill the new bacteria.    Strain to remove tea leaves (or you can use tea bags),   Now you add your scoby and ½ cup pre made Kombucha.   Cover the glass jar with a tea towel, paper towel, muslin cloth and allow to sit for 7-10 days.

Around the 7 day mark start testing it.  A great way to do this is to dip a straw into the drink & have a sip.  If it’s super sweet, then you know you need to leave it a bit longer, as the aim of the game is for it not to be over sweet as we need the bacteria to eat up the sugar.   It should taste slightly vinegary. 

Now you need to take out the scoby, reserve ½ cup of liquid and pour your Kombucha into a glass bottle and refrigerate.   Then you just repeat the whole process.

For therapeutic use it’s recommended to drink about ½ cup a day.   But if you are new to this, or have sensitivities or gut issues it may be wise to start with less & build up.

There are many fabulous & exciting ways to use Kombucha.  You can combine it in your cooking, use it for soaking & fermenting grains, wash your hair with it, make it into salad dressing. 

 

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Have fun experimenting with your Kombucha and share with me some of your recipes.

Angela XX

How to make water kefir…

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Don’t you just love these close up pictures of these little grains of goodness….how exciting that you can make a probiotic drink for you and your family to have when ever you feel like it.

To make the water kefir you will need to by some water kefir grains from someone or be given some by your friends. Be aware that there are two types of grains one is for milk and one for water, I actually use both but the grains I am talking about today are…. water grains. If you would like me to post you some you can email me at giftofourearth@gmail.com and we can work out the postage and price ( for delivery in Australia only )

 

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Things you will need…

 

One glass jar, with or without a lid. You can cover with cheesecloth or a coffee filter.

A wooden or plastic spoon ( don’t use anything metal..the grains don’t like it)

A large rubber band if you are using a cloth or paper filter.

One litre of good water, not chlorinated or with fluoride  ( rain water is perfect)

Half a cup of organic raw sugar, if possible.

Organic dried fruit..I use dried figs or sultanas. A slice of lemon and a pinch of celtic sea salt.

 

How to make the kefir…….

 

Some people dissolve the sugar in the water first, maybe Im lazy……I skip that step. Make sure your glass jar is clean and no soap residue from washing up. Swish it with some extra hot water just before you start. Put the sugar in your jar and add your cold water, give it a little stir to mix it up. Place in your grains, treat the grains with love as they are soft and breakable.

Add in your dried fruit and piece of lemon and pinch of salt. Cover the jar with your lid, cloth or paper filter and leave the jar in a warm area of your kitchen, not in direct sunlight.

Depending on the temperature, whether it is summer or winter will determine how fast your drink will take. You can always have a little sip and see if you like the flavour. Some people will strain off the water after this time and you can drink it straight away but I am  bubbles girl and always do a second ferment. When you strain off the water throw out the dried fruit..well feed it to the chickens or pop it in the compost bin. Bottle the water,use new bottles if you wish or you have friend s that drink wine get them to keep the empty bottle with the lids. This is the time when you can be as creative as your heart desires…you can add more dried fruit, slices of fresh fruit, fruit juices or combinations of all of the above.

Place the bottles with a tight fitting lid on the bench for a day or two, yet again depending on the warmth of your kitchen and time of year. After the second ferment I place the bottles into the refrigerator to slow down the fermenting process. Be careful when you open the bottles as some fruit juices can make an extra bubbly drink, you can always check and “burp” the bottles before placing them in the refrigerator.

Then you go back to the start and do it all over again. If you are getting tried of making the kefir or you are going away you can place them in the refrigerator, with some extra sugar and they will survive for a couple of weeks.

Once you have a system going its great to share this wonderful probiotic drink with your family and friends and there bodies will love you for ever. We used to drink a lot of soda water ( that we made ourselves ) now our we have a huge selection of organic healthy drinks that are so nourishing, its such a lovely feeling when you can share the things you make with the people who mean the most to you.

 

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Please if you have any questions on how to make water kefir I will be only to happy to help, just contact me through the email link above.

 

Cheers and good health.

 

Angela xx