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Questions Answered: Celery Juice

 

Alright y’all, time to answer some questions. Most of these I had myself when I started drinking celery juice. I wondered, why celery juice? What is in it? Why the F do I constantly have to go to the bathroom? The answers I found really helped me understand what it was that my body was going through. Sometimes it helps to understand exactly what is happening so that you don’t freak out and quit. Quitting is really not the best solution when you are trying to rid your body of some nasty toxins.

These toxins have clouded my brain. For YEARS. And it is time I ditch them. I am tired of being tired. Tired of my brain drifting off. Tired of my stomach hurting. Tired of my hormones going crazy during “that time” of the month.

I’m over it y’all.

So, I am sticking to the celery juice, even though it is painful. Literally. I’ll explain a little more in detail about that in a second. I think my biggest take away at the moment is that being uncomfortable is really the most important aspect of this whole journey. I realized this a few days ago. Being uncomfortable is what makes us grow. It makes us feel. It wakes us up to the world  and what is going on right in front of our face. It brings us to our most vulnerable state and with that, you really find the definition of who you are.

I retreat to being comfortable. Just like everyone else.

But when is this cycle going to stop? The cycle of chronic issues, ADD/ADHD, unable to concentrate, being moody, having stomach issues. I mean, the list can literally go on. It is hard to make changes that don’t feel “normal.” It is hard to get passed the detox stage. It is hard to get out of bed at 4:15am to do yoga. There is always a “reason.”

So I tend to retreat. Back to my “normal.”

But not this time. This one little change, celery juice, has already made me so uncomfortable and you know what?

I love it.

It’s weird, I know. I am talking about celery juice. I bet you are thinking, “How does this all connect?”

Believe me, it connects.

Let’s get into the questions I had that helped me understand why the hell I should keep doing this to myself.

All my questions were answered by medicalmedium.com, this site is phenomenal when it comes to natural remedies and helping to heal some major health issues. I highly suggest you check them out.

Questions about celery juice:

  1. Do I have to drink celery juice on an empty stomach?

Yes. Drinking on an empty stomach allows your digestive system to absorb all the beneficial properties of the mineral salts present in celery juice. It sets your digestive tract up for the entire day and allows it to function at optimal levels.

2. Can I add anything to it like lemon or any other fruit or veggie?

No. By doing so, you dilute the potency of the healing properties. Having a juice filled with fantastic veggies and fruits is an awesome source of vitamins and could be consumed later in the day. But celery juice is best alone, and first thing in the morning.

3. How much celery juice do I drink?

1 stalk. One stalk of celery usually provides you with about 16 oz of juice.

4. Can I add ice?

No. Again it dilutes the healing properties. I know, ice is something I dig on too, especially first thing in the morning. But what I have learned is that cold beverages, especially first thing in the morning, actually contracts your intestinal tract and add stress to it. So, consuming your celery juice at the temperature it comes out of the juicier is the best way to go. Plus you get use to it.

5. Is having diarrhea normal?

Yes. And yes I went there. I have to man, this was the biggest question we had when we first started juicing. And this is what made me take so many breaks. I was tired of rushing to the bathroom. But what I learned is that, celery juice flushes your system of toxins. Well, those toxins have to go somewhere. So yes, it is totally normal and you actually want this to happen. It means you are getting rid of all the nasty crap that makes you feel, well, nasty.

6. Why does my stomach hurt after drinking celery juice?

This is my biggest reason for retreating back to my comfort zone. My stomach. I have always had stomach issues growing up. So when my stomach gets compromised, I tend to back the train up and retreat to what is comfortable. BUT what I learned and was the biggest thing that has helped me push through this time around is that your stomach WILL hurt. And for valid reason to. See, we all have a main nerve called the vagus nerve. It sends signals to the heart, lungs and digestive tract. When our bodies are filled with neurotoxins, those neurotoxins can create inflammation within this nerve.

Celery juice cleans these neurotoxins off the vagus nerve, which can create an uncomfortable reaction.

AND…..

Some digestive tracts are filled with bacteria like, E. Coli and Streptococcus and when these bacterias are killed off by the healing properties of celery, it can create spasms within the stomach that can be painful. So hang in there.

7. I feel extremely tired after drinking celery juice. Why?

Feeling tired is actually normal. When your body goes through detoxification, it is normal to feel your symptoms increase. Individuals who have toxins in their blood caused by Epstein Barr and Streptococcus will especially feel an increase of their symptoms during this stage.

While this stage is brief, it can be extremely difficult to get passed. Just know that once you get passed this stage, the hard and painful journey will be totally worth it.

8. Can I just eat celery instead of juicing it?

No. Juicing it releases the mineral salts that contain the healing properties. When you eat celery, you are eating the fiber as well, which is great but what we are looking for is the juice containing the mineral salts to help heal the body.

Any more questions?

I hope this helped bring some more understanding to the whole subject. Don’t let this scare you and stop you from drinking it. Knowing all this actually helped my stay strong and push through. For the last two months I would go for four days straight then take a 2-3 day break. One, because of the bathroom thing and two because my stomach hurt. Then I read all this information and I decided to go a full two weeks without stopping.

Wish me luck!

Being uncomfortable. That is what is giving me strength right now.

See how I connected the two?

Happy pushing through!

Got any more questions? I’d love to hear them. 

Have you tried celery juice yet? I’d love to hear your experience so far. Leave a comment below.

 

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Benefits to Drinking Celery Juice

Benefits to drinking celery juice.

We are constantly on this journey of natural healing. Our minds are always open to what could be beneficial to our health. And it just feels really good to try different things. It is not always easy, I am one that struggles with jumping on the band wagon of something new but I eventually get there and always happy I did. My husband, on the other hand, can make a decision to do something and it’s done, I mean like, DONE. He sticks to it and doesn’t ever lose track of it.

What band wagon are we on now?

The celery juice band wagon yo.

Did you know that celery juice had so many powerful healing properties? Yea, celery juice. You know, that delicious crunchy green veggie that you use to dip in french onion dip. Yup, that one.

It has the power to straight up heal serious ironic illnesses.

Let’s break this down shall we.

Benefits to celery juice.

Celery juice is most beneficial when consumed first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This allows the beneficial properties, which include mineral salts, to help strengthen your digestive system, allowing it to function at optimal levels.

While adding other fun, delicious fruits and veggies seems like a great idea. I know, I went there too. Consuming celery juice ALONE is really the only way to obtain all the fantastic medicinal properties to it. You see, when you add to the juice, it dilutes it, leaving it less potent to heal the body the way it should.

And ice is no different. I know, I went there as well. First thing in the morning the last thing you want to do is drink a 16 oz glass of warm salty celery juice but you get used to it. Ice dilutes the healing properties, don’t do it yo. 

Speaking of salt. The mineral salts that are present in celery juice are really where the healing properties come from. You see Mother Nature is truly amazing. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. She give us everything we need to heal ourselves. We just need to listen.

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The mineral salts present in celery juice actually go into your body and starves pathogens that manifest into illnesses. What the salt does is, it goes through your digestive tract and blood stream and starts breaking down the pathogens’ cell membranes. These pathogens include nasty little F-ers like Epstein-Barr and HHV-6. As the salt moves through your body it flushes out toxins like you wouldn’t believe, from every nook and cranny of your body.

Lets talk neurotoxins.

Neurotoxins are toxins that are extremely dangerous to the body, especially to nerve tissues. They tend to feed off of toxic heavy metals that are left in the body. Neurotoxins are responsible for creating neurological symptoms such as, tremors, spasms, insomnia, vertigo, twitching and cold feet and hands.

The mineral salt within celery juice flushes out these nasty toxins. It allows your kidneys and adrenals to function at optimal levels and it also increases the hydrochloric acid in the gut so that your digestive system functions properly.

Celery juice is also supportive to the central nervous system. You see, the mineral salts allow neurotransmitters to function the way they were intended to. When your brain goes into shut down mode, when suffering from, depression, anxiety, brain fog, obsessive compulsive disorder, ADD/ADHD, bipolar disorder, or difficulty focusing or concentrating, the mineral salts help keep the heart pumping, which then creates a stronger signal to the neurotransmitters to send information from one point to the other.

Celery juice contains high amounts of electrolytes making it extremely beneficial for those who suffer from migraines, panic attacks and anxiety.

Celery juice also supports the thyroid. It has the ability to flush the thyroid of toxins.

This is such a short list of benefits. The list can literally go on, balancing the body’s PH, balancing out hormones, bringing stability to body and mind. I mean, come on!!

So you are on the band wagon but now what do you do?

Here is what you do.

Ingredients:

1 whole bunch of organic celery

What do you do:

Cut the end off and cut the tips off, sometimes they can get a little brown.

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Then…..

Juice the muther f-er. That’s it yo!

Drink 16 oz of celery juice, alone, on an empty stomach. Remember not to add ice either. Simply wait about 15 minutes before eating anything. Celery juice is not caloric, so it should not replace any meals. It is just simply to start your day and get your digestive tract running smoothly.

***Alright, I have to say it, well, because it happened and still happens to us and it took us forever to figure out why or if the two were connected. Celery juice flushes out toxins right, we learned that above. Well, toxins have to go somewhere right?! So, just be prepared after drinking a full glass of celery juice that the bathroom will be in your near future.

Don’t let this freak you out. Going to the bathroom is a really good thing. It means you are getting out all that nasty stuff that has been bringing you down, man. But I get it, it can get rough. I tend to take mini breaks. I’ll go for about 4 or 5 days straight of drinking celery juice and then take a 2-3 day break from it. My husband, on the other hand, recently just upped his ante. He is now juicing two stalks of celery EVERYDAY. To each their own. Just listen to your body and do what feels right. Just remember that new routines and flushing out your body of nasty stuff is not going to be comfortable. Prepare yourself and hang in there.

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***An awesome little tip for ya, when you cut off the end of your stalk, place it in a cup of water and in a few days you’ll see a new little celery pop through. It’s fun to watch plus you can plant them in your garden and BAM, you’ve got yourself some celery homie.

Happy celery juice drinking!

Join us on Wednesday for some more questions answered about celery juice. Because we all have questions, right.

What is your question? Leave your questions or comments down below, that way I’ll be sure to answer them. 

Resources: medicalmedium.com

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Fermenting Carrots,With Brine!

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So you have some carrots do ya. And you want to ferment them do ya. Let’s do this thing yo! Fermentation doesn’t always have to be about making sauerkraut, the sky’s the limit when making fermented foods. Whatever your favorite vegetable is, you can ferment it to give it a ton more health benefits. Or if you harvest to much from your garden and can’t think of what to do with it, ferment it up, yo! We are going to talk about fermentation using a brine rather than only salt.

When do you use brine?

When you have a vegetable that does not allow liquid to be withdrawn easily. For example, cabbage,  when you put salt on cabbage and massage it, you are able to pull liquid out by just doing that simple act. Now, unless you want to shred your carrots, you can’t just put salt on a whole carrot and get liquid to come out. So you’ll need to make a brine to create the liquid.

Things you’ll need:

1 quart Filtered water

2-3 pounds of Carrots

1-3 TBL Sea salt or Celtic sea salt

Optional: Lemon, peppercorns, garlic, dill, rosemary….

Glass jar (Quart size mason jars work beautifully)

Fancy lid or plastic lid or coffee filter

Fancy weight or plastic baggy filled with brine

Whatcha want to do is…

  • Wash and peel your carrots. Slice them to whatever size tickles your fancy. I did quarters.
  • In a pot dissolve salt in filtered water.
  • Place your carrots in glass jar and cover with liquid. Be sure to leave some head space for your weight.
  • Now either you can add your additional flavors now or wait until after the fermentation process is done and add them before you place in fridge.
  • Place weight on top of carrots.  ***If you’re not using a fancy weight don’t worry, just fill a baggy with some brine and place baggy on top of carrots. This will help keep everything down and if the baggy happens to have a hole or breaks, it has the same brine as the carrots so your fermentation is not ruined.

***Remember, your vegetables MUST stay below liquid. The liquid creates the anaerobic environment (free of oxygen) that allows good bacteria to form and prohibits bad from growing. BUT if your vegetable mass reaches air, mold can grow.

  • Place fancy lid on or which ever lid you choose and place in cabinet for about 7-14 days. Like sauerkraut, taste test it after 5 days or so. Find your ferment. If it is too salty, let it ferment longer. The longer it sits the more sour it gets. Plus the more health benefits it will have.

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Enjoy whenever! Adding some form of fermented food to every meal you consume, is the most effective way to get the health benefits.

Let’s ferment the world homies!

Happy fermenting!

If you are following from our last post on making sauerkraut, I can’t wait to hear how your sauerkraut came out. Leave a comment below. Let’s make this process loud and loved. I want to hear your questions, comments, thoughts even recipe ideas. 

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you purchase a product through the link we provide, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Oh Sure I Can Homestead. 

 

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Kombucha Series 5: SCOBY Hotel

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Alright Y’all, so you’ve brewed your batch of Booch and you need a break. I am not even going to ask why you are taking a break from Booch but I am sure it’s a good reason. So I will walk you through on how to make a SCOBY hotel. This way your SCOBY stays happy and fed while you do whatever it is that you need to do.

It is really quite simple to keep your SCOBY happy without stressing yourself out.

Enough with the busy talk….Let’s do this thang!

After you have made your batch of Booch, simply brew yourself a new batch of sweet tea. Pour tea over you SCOBY and…..

BOOM SON

Your got yourself a hotel for your SCOBY. Your SCOBY will be happy for 2-6 months. ***Always check your SCOBY to make sure mold is not growing on it. If it is just remove that layer of SCOBY off the mother and refresh your batch of tea. Remember your SCOBY lives off of sugar. That is what keeps your SCOBY a happy camper. As your SCOBY sits in the hotel for a long period of time, the tea will turn to Kombucha vinegar.

What is Kombucha vinegar?

Have you ever had a batch go just a tad bit to long and all you taste is a strong vinegar taste but it is drinkable? Well let’s say you let your Booch go about 2-6 months, that tea is no longer tea, it is Kombucha vinegar. Still drinkable, so you can still use it for your starter tea, but it is potent as a muther! You can use Kombucha vinegar to sanitize your jars and utensils when you are ready to brew your next batch. You can also use it for your starter tea. You can even use it to clean as you would use white vinegar.

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As your SCOBY sits in its hotel, it can become really think. Which is incredible but sometimes it gets a little tricky keeping it in the jar because it takes to much space. This is when you do a little maintenance.

What kind of maintenance? Oh, I am so glad you asked. Next post will be on how to maintain your SCOBY. So stay tuned.

Until next time…

Happy hotel making!

Need to find a SCOBY to start your Kombucha adventure? I got you covered yo!

*Price includes $4.99 shipping

Kombucha SCOBY

Wanna start making Kombucha? We have just the thing. Our SCOBY’s were made and continue to be maintained with organic ingredients. Will ship with tea in bag to keep it healthy.

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Kombucha Series 4: Simplifying Your Flavor

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Yo! Let’s talk about simplifying your Kombucha flavor. Many ask me about the process it takes to make Kombucha and while it can be time consuming for a very small portion of the process, it’s actually super easy. If you haven’t already read series 1, 2 and 3 check them out here, here, oh and here. It talks about what Kombucha is, how to grow your own SCOBY and how to brew the stuff.

This post is going to go over how to simplify your second fermentation process with flavor. Now, if you are a Kombucha brewer you may have experienced the time consuming part of the process where you cut up all your fruit shove them in the little hole of the bottle and pray that flavor leaks out into your Booch. Mean while, everyday you open your bottles to breathe and you don’t hear the sweet hissing sound of carbonation that you are salivating over.

Then….

After you have waited your 5-7 days hoping you’ve got a flavorful Booch and a deliciously carbonated one at that, you have to strain your Booch to get the fruit out.

Then…

You have to pour your Booch back into the bottle it just came from using a small funnel so it can go into the fridge.

Phew…..

Talk about not wanting to make Kombucha anymore because of the process. You cannot give up on your Booch because of this reason. I am here to tell you there is a simpler way and my goodness your tummy is going to thank you for starting back up again.

So let’s get that beautiful SCOBY of yours out of its hotel and brew up some sweet tea.

Wanna know how to brew up some sweet tea for Kombucha? Check it out here

I am going to give you a list of items to get from the store, ready………

A bottle of organic juice of your desired flavor.

That’s it yo!!!!!

Pick your favorite flavored juice. I like to make sure it’s organic, well because, you’re making this beautiful fermented beverage that is full of organic goodness, why add a juice that is full of high fructose corn syrup. So be mindful and get yourself an organic no added anything but juice, juice.

The best part about adding juice to your Booch is that 9 times out of 10 because of the concentrate of the juice, carbonation is present. There is enough sugar to continue to feed the yeast within the Booch and yeast is where your carbonation comes from. Unlike pieces of fruit that may not be rip enough and do not contain enough sugar to feed the yeast. This is where people give up because it doesn’t taste like store bought Kombucha. If you are a Kombucha lover, you are after that refreshing carbonation taste. So when people make it at home and they don’t get that result, they think it is to hard.

But really, I am here to stand up and say, It is not hard at all my friends!

Ready for the process?

Once your Booch is done fermenting and is ready for the second ferment. Grab all your bottles, give them a good rinse with white vinegar. This helps keep all the bottles sanitary.

Now pour 2-3 inches of juice in each bottle.

Fill the rest with your fermented tea. Be sure to leave a good amount of head space. I like to stop right at the bottom of the neck.

Close up your bottles and stick them back into the pantry or where ever they live to ferment, for another 5-7 days.

Be sure to burp the bottles. This means pop open the tops to the bottles to let the gas that is building up out. *Be sure to do this over the sink, sometimes so much carbonation builds that it will come spraying out. So take it slow and keep your little baby fingers over the top just in case. It has never happened to me but I have heard stories of peoples bottles bursting because the gas built up to much.

Don’t let that scare you.

The chances of that are rare and as long as you burp your bottles daily or at least every other day, you are going to be A OK yo!

***Remember, the less you handle your SCOBY the better. So if you can bypass taking your SCOBY out of its container, do so. I use a continuous brew method where I have a glass container with a spigot so I can just pour our my tea from the spigot. This also gives me control over leaving my starter tea in the container.

And I never have to touch my SCOBY until maintenance time.

After your 5-7 days are up, take a sip and test out the carbonation level. Sometimes you will reach desired carbonation level day 3, if that is the case do a little dance and throw it in the fridge. If it is not quite there, save your happy dance and put it back into the pantry to keep going. So don’t be afraid to sip off that sh!t and find your groove, your dance groove that is.

Now, as you take a sip to check your carbonation level, you get a sneak peek of your flavor. And how damn delicious is that flavor?

No straining, not fuss, just straight from brewing container to bottle to fridge.

That’s it yo!

I’d love to hear feedback on how this process works for you or your favorite flavor so far.

Ours is apricot!

Happy simplifying!

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Kefir: You Got A Question? I Got An Answer!

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I have received a ton of question around Kefir. So I thought I would compile them all together and help take the fear out of fermented milk. When people hear the words fermented milk they immediately shut off. Seriously people, this stuff is the best stuff in the world for your entire well being. When I encourage people to make it at home, they look at me like, there is no way in hell I can make this stuff. Then they look at me and ask, are you sure it’s safe to drink? So lets take the fear out of it and start feeding our bellies with homemade Kefir.

What is Kefir: Kefir is a probiotic. It is a fermented milk that has the consistency of a drinkable yogurt.

What are grains: Grains are essentially little SCOBY’s, Symbiotic Colonies Of Bacteria and Yeast. Grains provide the milk with the necessary bacteria and yeast to create the fermenting process. They are only called grains, they DO NOT contain any wheat.

What kind of milk do I use: Preferably raw organic goats milk.

Next would be organic pasteurized whole milk. You do not want to used Ultra-Pasterized milk. When milk is pasteurized it is heated to a certain temperature inevitably killing off natural bacteria while still leaving some to live in the milk. When milk is Ultra-Pasterized, the milk is heated to such a high temperature that is kills of any and ALL bacteria, leaving no nutritional value in the milk what so ever. If you notice, that is why Ultra-Pasterized milk products have such a high shelf life.

You can use raw whole milk but you would want to acclimate your grains first. Using 25% raw to 75% pasteurized milk and then with each fermenting session increasing the amount of raw milk. Raw milk has tons of good bacteria already present. So sometimes if the grains you purchases or inherited were not acclimated to raw, they tend to compete with the other bacteria.

If you are looking for a non dairy option, coconut milk is the way to go. Coconut milk has natural lactose, which give the grains enough to feed off of to create the fermenting process.

How do I acclimate my grains: If you get fresh grains the first thing you should do is give them some fresh milk. Most likely you will receive 1-2 tablespoons of Kefir grains. To acclimate them place them in a quart size mason jar, pour milk to the top line and place in a cool dark place for 24 hours. After 24 hours, drain grains using a plastic strainer, place grains back in jar and pour more milk and do the process all over again. After the third time, your grains should be good to go. If you receive fresh grains in milk from a friend, those bad boys are ready to rock right when you get home.

When you buy dehydrated grains, some can take up to 2 weeks to acclimate. Usually dehydrated grains will come this a set of instructions to properly hydrate them.

Where do I buy grains: We have grains available for purchase here. When I first purchased my grains I purchased them from amazon. Just be sure you look into the company and feel good about who they are.

I am lactose intolerant, can I still drink Kefir: The grains feed of of the lactose in milk, which is basically the sugar. The fermenting process turns it into lactic acid making it much more easily digestible. 99% of lactose intolerant individuals can drink kefir with little to no problem.

One trick you can do is put a drop of kefir on your skin, let it dry and wait 24 hours and if you do not see any inflammation, you are good to go.

How long do I ferment for: Ideally, 24-36 hours. That doesn’t mean that you can’t strain your grains at 22 hours or if it hits 38 hours it’s ruined. That is just a guideline. The weather has a tremendous impact on any fermentation process. I’ve allowed my kefir to ferment 48 hours and I have also strained it at 18 hours, both perfectly fine to drink.

What size jar do I use: Best size jar to use is a 6 cup mason jar. You can use any size or style of jar you prefer, just make sure you can place a lid or coffee filter over the top during the fermentation process.

What milk to grain ration do I use: The best ratio I have found to make a great batch is 2-4 tablespoons of grains to 6 cups of milk. Now, I have also used about a cup of grains in about 6 cups of milk and my ferment comes out perfectly fine. So again, it’s a guideline. Fermenting is giving, it does not need to be exact. Adding more grains will speed up the fermentation process. Not having enough could make the process a bit longer. You need to play around and find how your grains like to react.

What kind of lid do I use: I used coffee filters with a rubber band at first, which worked great. However, sometimes my rubber band would break off. So I now use plastic mason jar lids. You can find them at any grocery store where they sell canning supplies. Plastic mason jar lids are not air tight, so it is perfect for keeping gnats out while still releasing CO2.

There is a lot of separation during my fermenting process, what is that: Separation is totally normal. When the grains feed off of the lactose it begins to separate the curds and whey within the milk. So you will most often times see a layer of yellowish liquid. Absolutely normal. That separation could occur super quick on a hot day or if you have to many grains for the amount of milk, either way perfectly safe to drink.

Is my Kefir supposed to have a strong smell to it: YES!!! The beautiful thing about grains is that they are a Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast, (SCOBY) so they will smell yeasty. They will smell sour. When they don’t smell is when I question my batch. If I do not smell a strong yeasty smell I usually allow my kefir to ferment a bit longer. Now with any ferment, your nose is the best thing you have to determine if something is not right. If in your gut you feel it’s not right, dump that batch and start a new one. BUT 99% of the time it’s a perfect ferment.

Why is my kefir sometimes really thin and watery: It could be the weather. If it is colder outside than usual, it may take your ferment a bit longer to reach desired consistency. Also, if you have to much milk for the amount of grains you have in your batch, you will end up with a thinner batch. Sometimes just letting it ferment another 24 hours will help thicken it up.

My kefir is super chunky, how do I make it smooth: Ok so you finished your ferment, you added your pureed fruit and it’s still really chunky, throw it all back into the blender and blend that puppy for 30 seconds or so. It will come out super smooth and delicious. It may seem a bit thin at first, I tend to find that after having out in the fridge for a bit, it will start to thicken up.

After each batch I strain out, I will puree 3 bananas for my 6 cup kefir batch and it helps thicken it up perfectly. I also add any seasonal fruit to add natural flavoring.

How do I store my grains when I do not want to make a batch: You can store your grains in the fridge if you’re not up to making a batch. Place them in any size glass jar, I use a quart size mason jar. Fill that bad boy up with milk and allow to sit in fridge for a week or two. When you start to see major separation, add more milk or make a batch. By placing them in the fridge your grains will hibernate.

My grains look different then from when I started, why: Grains are alive. They feed off of every batch you make, so they will grow and multiply. You may start with 1-2 tablespoons of grains and in a few months have 1-2 cups worth. They will look more plump than usual, thats ok, that just means you are loving your grains the right way.

I store my grains in the same jar I always have when I am not fermenting, but lately there is a lot of separation, quicker than usual, why: Your grains are multiplying and growing and they need more space and more milk to make them happy. Transition your grains to a bigger jar.

Can I rinse my grains: There really is no need to rinse your grains. After every batch just move your grains around as much as you can to get the kefir off of them. But if you must rinse them for any reason, you can do so by pouring milk or filtered water over them. Do not rinse your grains with tap water. The fluoride, bad bacteria and other chemicals found in tap water will kill your grains.

My Kefir is super sour, how can I sweeten it: I have found great results with 100% organic pure maple syrup. You can use fruit, agave or honey. However, there is some back and forth about honey. Because honey is an antibacterial and antimicrobial, some say it will kill off any bacteria found in the kefir. Some have great results using it. I’ll let you decide.

What are the nutritional benefits to Kefir:

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What is the difference between Kefir and yogurt: Kefir is considered a drinkable yogurt but is not considered actual yogurt. Kefir contains mesophilic strains, which are microorganisms that thrive in natural temperature. That is why we place our kefir in our pantry to ferment. Kefir contains about 10-40 strains of probiotics.

Yogurt contains thermophilic strains, which are single-celled organisms that are activated through heat. Which is why yogurt is made by heating up milk to a precise temperature. Yogurt also contains only about 4-10 strains of probiotics.

I hope I took some of the fear out of making homemade kefir. It sounds intimidating but once you find your groove it is super fun and the best thing you can give yourself and your family. I am always happy to answer any other questions. Please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Happy questions answered!

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Simple Beet Kraut

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Let’s  do a little fermenting shall we, a simple Beet Kraut perhaps.

We harvested some beautiful looking beets and carrots a few weeks ago. So I decided to ferment them. Man, the world of fermenting has just got me. It is so much fun. What made this batch even better, was that we grew it.

The word ferment, scares people. But it shouldn’t. Read here to see why. We are going to get on with this simple beet kraut that is quite delicious.

Beet Kraut Recipe

What you need:

1 head of purple cabbage

2-4 medium size beets

1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt

1 clove of garlic (optional)

Quart size mason jar, crock or fido jar

Airlocks (optional but highly recommended)

Weights

Directions:

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Suggested Reading: What is fermentation, sauerkraut, Kombucha, Kefir
  1. Rinse cabbage and peel off outer few layers that are damaged. Save one or two good leaves to use as a weight.img_3473.jpg
  2. Wash and peel beets.IMG_3474
  3. Thinly shred cabbage and place in a bowl.
  4. Grate beets. Now do not skimp on this step and thinly slice the beets. You want to grate them. Grating them allows more liquid to be drawn from them. Wear an apron because this little veggies will spray red juice everywhere. Place in bowl with cabbage.IMG_3476IMG_3478
  5. Sprinkle salt on top and use your hands to massage the veggies. If you feel like you have been massaging for a while and still no liquid, cover your veggies with plastic wrap and let sit for 30-40 minutes. Come back to it and massage again. By this time the salt will have drawn out quite a bit of liquid.
  6. If using a clove of garlic, place clove in bottom of jar. Place veggies in a quart size mason jar, crock or fido jar and press down as much mass as you can. When you press down on the veggies, liquid will rise. You want that liquid to stay above the veggies. Place cabbage leaf, that you saved from earlier, on top of veggie mass. Now place a weight on top of that. If you do not want to buy actual fermenting weights, you can use rocks, (make sure you boil them to sterilize), shot glasses or baggies filled with brine. You want to use anything that will keep that liquid above the veggies. This is what creates an anaerobic environment where bad bacterial cannot grow.
  7. Cover with a coffee filter and rubber band or use an airlock lid. I personally love to use airlock lids. It allows carbon dioxide to be released while keeping oxygen out. And so far with them, I have not lost a batch to mold.
  8. Place in a dark place, like a pantry for 7-10 days. After 7 days test the flavor.

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If you do not take the time to have all your veggies submerged in the brine, you run the risk of mold growing. It takes just one little piece of cabbage sticking out above the brine to create mold. So take the time and use weights and wipe of any loose veggies that are stuck to the walls of your jar.

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Oh and I love this fermenting book. It is super simple to read and has some great recipes.

Happy fermenting!

Tell me about your latest fermenting experiment. Veggies, Kombucha, Kefir…..

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Blaukraut Recipe

 

 

Blaukraut Recipe

Let’s ferment some deliciousness, shall we. We are talking blaukraut recipes here people. This batch of fermented veggies came out much more mild than my last batch that had more onion flavor. This recipe calls for caraway seeds, which I had never experienced before. They are very interesting little seeds. They give the kraut a minty, spicy weird taste. There were times that I was like, “wooo okay, I can dig it.” Then there were times where I was like, “damn it, why are there so many?” If you have not figured it out by now, we are honest here, people. Take it or leave it. We still gobbled down two jars of this stuff, well because it was delicious and good for our bellies. So give it a try and let me know what you think, caraway seeds just might be your new favorite flavor. Anyway, let’s get on with it.

You can serve this with any dish as a side. You can put it in your sandwich for a nice crunch or you can top it with blue cheese crumbles and walnuts and have it as a salad. I didn’t have blue cheese but I had feta and Mmm it was tasty. Onward.

 

Blaukraut Recipe

Ingredients: 

1 head red cabbage

3 honey crisp apples

1 onion

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

Directions:

1. Rinse cabbage and peel the outer layers of leaves that look run down. Save one or two leaves and set aside. Thinly shred cabbage and put in a big bowl.

2. Rinse, core and peel apples. Quarter apples and again thinly slice apples into little sticks. Add to bowl of cabbage.

3. Thinly slice onion and place in bowl with apples and cabbage

Blaukraut Recipe

 

4. Weigh your bowl to make sure you have about 2 lbs of mass.

5. Now add your salt and caraway seeds and begin to massage your veggies.

Now I must stress that massaging with your hands is truly the best way to work your brine out of your veggies. My first few batches I used my plunger from  my VitaMix blender and all it did was make way more work for me. The liquid took FOREVER to draw out and it just frustrated me. Then I started massaging it and BAM, liquid all over the place. The salt needs to be worked agains the walls of the veggies to draw out the liquid.

 

Fermenting Cabbage for BlaukrautFermenting Cabbage for Blaukraut

6. Massage for about 5 minute and then cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let sit for about 30-40 minutes. When you come back to it you should see a little liquid in your bowl. Massage for another 15-20 minutes. When you squeeze the veggies in your hand and liquid pours out, you are about done.

7. Pack veggies in vessel of choice. You can use a crock, Fido jars, or a mason jar with airlocks. I went with mason jars with airlocks on them. I have been very pleased with this system. You can fit about 2lbs of mass in two quart size jars. Make sure you are pressing the veggies all the way down so that the brine (liquid) is covering over the veggies. This is what creates the anaerobic environment you are looking for. 

Fermenting Cabbage for Blaukraut

Fermenting Cabbage for BlaukrautFermenting Cabbage for Blaukraut

8. Remember that cabbage leaf I had you save, take one and place on top of your veggies. This is your primary weight. Now take a small jar and place it on top of the leaf, this is your secondary weight. Make sure to push down all the veggies so that the liquid rises. Your secondary weight can be a boiled rock, small jar, a plastic baggie filled with brine, whatever gets your veggies to stay under the liquid. 

Fermenting Cabbage for Blaukraut

 

9. Place your lid with the airlock on it, the lid to your crock or your Fido jar lid and place in your pantry for a week to whatever tickles your fancy. This batch, since I had two jars, I took one out at a week and put it in the fridge. Then I let the other one sit for about three. We dug how tart the three week old batch tasted. This is all experimentation. Try different lengths of time, try different veggies, just try.

Fermenting Cabbage for Blaukraut

That’s it my friends. Delicious fermented veggies that do amazing stuff for your bellies.

If you are interested in more information on fermentation read my post “What is fermentation?” And I have another fermented veggie recipe for you!

 

I am still on my experimenting journey. So share any secrets you have, I would love to hear them. Leave a comment below or shoot me an email.

Happy Red Cabbage Fermenting!

This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase a product I suggest through the links I provide, I get a small commission at no additional cost to you. 

 

 

 

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Kombucha Series 3: Brewing Up Some Kombucha Yo

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So you made yourself a SCOBY and your thinking, how in the world do I brew a batch of Kombucha to drink? I got you covered homie, I got you covered. See now aren’t you glad you hit the follow button and received an email updating you that this post was available? I thought so. Ok carrying on. This is the third post to this three part Kombucha series. If you missed the first two be sure to read, WTF is Kombucha and Growing a Kombucha SCOBY. Let’s Kombucha it up yo.

Lets talk about ingredients for a second.

Teas:

When it comes to choosing which tea is the best, you really want to stick with black at first and allow your SCOBY to grow and mature. When using green tea, you want to be sure your SCOBY has at least four batches under its belt. It takes a bit more strength to get green tea fermented. You can use white but again your SCOBY needs to be mature. I’ve heard of some people using Rooibos tea, which has great antioxidants properties to it, with no problem. So really, there is room to experience the with. After you have done a few batches with  black and your SCOBY is strong, take a baby off of it and brew up a couple batches with different teas.

Let’s talk caffeine for a second

Kombucha contains about a third of the caffeine compared to a normal brew of tea. The longer the Kombucha brews the less caffeine it has. Do not use decaf tea, as it is treated with a chemical, leaving filled with toxins that can harm the SCOBY. You can brew your Kombucha with a mix of green and white tea, which contain less caffeine then black. It is suggested that every fourth brew you use black though to keep your SCOBY strong.

Sugars:

I’m sure the thought of adding so much white sugar made you cringe a little bit. I get it but you have to rememebr that sugar is what the SCOBY feeds off of. So when you start with a batch of sweet tea, you are not ending with sweet tea.  Organic white cane sugar allows for consistent results each time. Sweeteners such as honey, agave, maple syrup can give inconsistent results. There is also some debate about honey since it is an antimicrobial and what we got growing here is pure microbes but some use it with no problem. So again experimenting is the best thing to do to answer those kinds of questions. So far, I have only used cane sugar.

Alright let’s get a brewing.

Ratios:

Half Gallon                                                                                         Gallon

1 cup starter tea or white distilled vinegar                              2 cups starter tea or vinegar

1/2 cup white sugar                                                                       1 cup white sugar

7 cups of water                                                                               14 cups of water

4 tea bags.                                                                                         8 tea bags

1 cup starter tea                                                                              2 cups starter tea

Directions:

Before you get started, you want to make sure everything is clean, dry and ready to go. Remember when handling your SCOBY you want to keep everything really clean. DO NOT use antibacterial soap when washing your hands before handling the SCOBY. Again, we are harboring good bacteria in the SCOBY so we don’t want to kill off any bacteria when handling it. 

1. Boil up your desired amount of water.

2. Once boiled add your sugar and allow to dissolve.

3. Add your desired amount of tea bag and take your pot off the heat. I put it on a pot holder on the counter to allow it to cool faster.

 

 

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4. Allow your tea to cool to 95 degrees or lower with the tea bag in it.

5. Take the tea bags out and compost them.

6 Pour your cool tea into the jar that has your SCOBY.

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7. Cover with a paper towel, thin muslin fabric, or doubled up cheese cloth.

There are chances with all covers for gnats to get into your tea and lay eggs in your SCOBY. So making sure you have a big enough covering and a tight enough rubber band is key here. This just happened to me. I’ll post how to take care of your SCOBY after gnats soon. 

8. Put in a cool dark place for 7-14 days.

You are going to want to check the taste weekly. Each week it becomes more and more vinegary. So when it reaches desired taste then it’s ready to pour and put in the fridge or go for a second ferment.

I have my tea fermenting in a glass jug with a pour spout. One tip I found is that when using this kind of jar you never really have to touch your SCOBY and your starter tea is always available. When your Kombucha is ready to pour then just pour it out into another jug or into air tight bottles if doing a second ferment.

A little side note

Your SCOBY will take the shape of any jar you use. Before I learned about using a glass container with a pour spout, I had my SCOBY in a square container. When I transferred it to the large round container, it formed an entire new layer. The SCOBY acts as a seal, to not let oxygen into the tea. So even if you transfer your SCOBY to a bigger vessel, magic still happens. Pretty amazing.

On the left is my original SCOBY On the right, you can see my original SCOBY on the bottom left under the newly forming SCOBY? Is that not just incredible.

Lets talk about the second ferment:

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This is where you build carbonation and add flavoring. You can add flavoring and not do a second ferment but it is just so much tastier all bubbly. So pour your tea in air tight glass amber bottles. Choose flavoring of your choice. The sky’s the limit here.

Ginger- slice up pieces of ginger and place in bottle.

Lemon- thinly slice pieces of lemon and place in bottle.

Strawberry- purée a handful of strawberries and pour about an inch in each bottle.

Blueberry pomegranate- pop a handful of blueberries and pomegranates in each bottle.

Mango- either slice or purée mango and place in bottle.

Leave a good amount of head space in each bottle. I stop right at the neck of the bottle. Carbon dioxide is being created when using an air tight lid so you want to make sure you leave some room. You also want to remember to burp your bottles everyday to lower the risk of the bottles bursting. 

Allow bottles to sit for about a week. I did three days and it seemed bubbly but not super carbonated so my next batch is going for a week. I’ll keep you posted. Again, its all about experimenting. Once they reach desired bubbly action, place in fridge and enjoy.

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Or you can pour Kombucha through a jelly strainer and strain out all the fruit or purée. It is nice to be able to drink it without chewing on stuff. It’s kind of an extra step in the process but I think it’s worth it. Your choice.

Don’t forget to save tea from your batch to keep as your starter tea before you do your second ferment. 

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You are done my friends. Now brew yourself another batch of sweet tea and get another round brewing. If you do not want to brew another batch or you’re going out of town. Make a SCOBY hotel. What in the world is a SCOBY hotel? Hang on. I think a fourth post to our Kombucha series was just added to the list.

Tell me about your favorite flavor of Kombucha in the comments below. 

If you want to learn how to make a proper SCOBY hotel, hit the follow button. That way, when it posts you receive an email notification.

Happy Kombucha brewing!!

This posts contains affiliate links. When you buy a product I suggest by clicking on the link I provide, I get a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support homies.

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Kombucha Series 2: Growing A Kombucha SCOBY


Ingredients for a homemade Kombucha Scoby.

Let’s make a mutha Fing SCOBY shall we.

If you have not already read the first part of this three part series: WTF is Kombucha, I suggest you check it out. This post is going straight to the point and discussing how to grow yourself a SCOBY.

Let’s do this thang.

Things you’ll need:

A bottle of store bought raw organic unflavored Kombucha

A glass half gallon or gallon size jar

1/2 cup organic white cane sugar

4 organic black or green tea bags

7 cups filtered water

Thermometer

Cheesecloth

Directions:

1. Boil your water. It’s important that it is filtered water. The SCOBY has trouble forming or surviving in tap water, due to high amounts of chlorine.

2. Add your sugar and allow to dissolve.

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3. Place tea bag in water and turn off heat. Allow tea to cool to a temperature of 95 degrees or lower. Any hotter then that and it will kill the tiny strains of SCOBY that you’ll be adding from your bottle. Even when you have a full grown SCOBY, the temp still needs to be 95 degrees or lower.

Side note about this thermometer, it’s amazing. At first I was like, holy crap why did I spend $40 on this thing but it really does come in handy. 

Kombucha Scoby Recipe

4. Once tea is cooled remove the tea bags, don’t forget to compost yo. Pour your tea in your jar and then pour your store bought Kombucha bottle in.

Those little weird slimy things in your store bought bottle of Kombucha is actually little pieces of SCOBY. That is all it takes for a full mother to form. See that little tiny piece of SCOBY on the left, that’s all it takes.

How to make a Kombucha Scoby

5. Cover the top with a piece of cheese cloth folded a couple of times. That way it’s  thick but will still allow the tea to breath. Hold it down with a rubber band.

Place that sucker in a cool dark place and allow the magic to happen. This whole fermenting thing blows my mind. Over the next two weeks you will see this weird foam start to form. Then that foam will form a layer of film on top. That film will start to get thicker and thicker and then BAM, you got yourself a muther Fing SCOBY. I’m telling you, it will blow your mind.

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SCOBY at 1 week
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SCOBY at 2 week
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SCOBY at 1 week
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SCOBY at 2 week

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Your SCOBY should be ready to go after two weeks. If it needs another week, give it another week. If you feels it’s thick enough then congratulations you now have a beautiful Kombucha SCOBY that will last forever as long as you feed it. The incredible thing about a SCOBY is that it will continue to grow with each batch you make. You will start to see this little layer laying on top of the mother. The mother is the main SCOBY. Feel free to start sharing your baby SCOBYs after about batch number four. After four batches you have got yourself a strong SCOBY. So share the love.

The tea that was used to create the SCOBY is good to drink as well. So don’t let that go to waste. It’s going to be pretty strong so make sure to taste it. Flavor it up if you want or if you’re a bad ass, drink it straight.

Rememebr, your SCOBY is a living thing. So if your not up for making another batch, that’s cool, just make sure you place your SCOBY in a “hotel.” Make some sweet tea and place your SCOBY in it and you can allow it to sit for up to two weeks. If you need it to go longer just add another cup of sweet tea on top. Your SCOBY needs the sugar to feed off of to stay alive.

I do believe that’s it my friends. Now I’m sure you’re thinking, wait how do I brew an actual batch of Kombucha? I gotcha homie, I gotcha but patience is key.

Happy Growing a SCOBY!

Share your SCOBY making adventure with me and leave a comment. Don’t forget to hit the follow button to receive an email when there is an awesome post waiting for you to read, like the third part to this series, Brewing up a batch of Kombucha.

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