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Pressure Cooker Beef Stew

Pressure Cooker Beef Stew

Pressure Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

When the slightest bit of cool weather starts to roll in, we get way more excited than we probably should. We live where it is F-ing hot ALL. THE. TIME. Last thanksgiving; you know thanksgiving, a cold holiday that should be filled with sweaters and fireplaces lit, well, we had the air conditioning going. So, needless to say, we get super pumped the moment the temperatures drop to the 70’s.

Anyway, we have been fortunate enough to get a break from the heat. That means, our bellies want comfort food like beef stew and chili.

And tonight we made beef stew. My old recipe called for a cook time of, pretty much, all day. This recipe calls for the same delicious ingredients but a cook time of 45 minutes. How you ask?

Pressure cooker yo!

I’m telling ya, y’all need to get one of these bad boys. They are freaking fantastic. The meat comes out perfect every time.

Y’all ready to do this?

Pressure Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

Pressure Cooker Beef Stew

Don't waste your time in the kitchen cooking stew all day. Throw some goodness in the pressure cooker and it's done in half the time.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Beef Stew, Stew
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Depressurize 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Krystal Smith

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Tri Tip
  • 5-6 Carrots
  • 4-5 Celery Sticks
  • 4-5 Red Potatoes
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion
  • 2-3 Zucchini
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves
  • 4 Cups Beef Stock
  • 2 Tbs Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tbs Flour or Corn Starch
  • Olive Oil
  • Seasoning
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2-3 Fresh sprigs of rosemary

Instructions

  1. First thing first, Cut up all your veggies into quarter inch nice size pieces. 

  2. Cut tri tip into about 1/2 inch cubes. Season those bad boys up with all the goodness you can think of. My favorites are porterhouse, TexJoy steak seasoning and Lawry's season salt.

  3. Start the saute button on your pressure cooker. When ready add in your olive oil and brown your onions. Then throw all other veggies in except for the potatoes and cook enough to get the flavors blended together. About 5-7 minutes. 

  4. Next, add in your stock, potatoes, bay leaves and rosemary sprigs.

  5. In a small bowl mix your tomato paste with a small amount of water. Just enough to mix it well. Then add it into your mixture. 

  6. Now, heat a large skillet on high heat. Add some olive oil, bacon grease or butter, whatever tickles your fancy, and brown your meat. This seals in all the flavor and juices so be sure to not skip this part. 

  7. Once brown go ahead and throw them delicious pieces of meat into your even more delicious pot of soon to be stew. 

  8. Last thing, add your flour or corn starch. In a small bowl mix your flour or corn starch with just enough water to mix it. And pour it into your pot.

  9. Slap a lid on this puppy and cook it on high pressure, meat/stew setting for about 35 minutes. Allow the pressure cooker to depressurize naturally. This will add another 15 minutes to the cook time.

  10. Boom son, get ready to enjoy a super delicious bowl of beef stew that will literally melt in your mouth. 

Recipe Notes

Cooking this easy meal on Sunday will allow you to have left overs throughout the week. Making your life so much easier. And if you find yourself not finishing the whole batch even with having left overs, measure out portions and use your Food Saver to package it up and freeze it. On those nights where you can't get your life together, pull a bag or two out of the freezer and heat those bad boys up! Again, making your life so much easier. 

Let me know how this recipe turns out for you. I would love to hear feedback or questions you may have.

Happy stew making!

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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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Homemade Healthy Ice Cream. It’s Good, I Swear.

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Health homemade ice cream

We love ice cream, I mean, it can get to an unhealthy point. I am not going to lie. So we cut ourselves off of ice cream a little short of two years now. Don’t get me wrong we have indulged a few times here and there but if we don’t check ourselves, shit can get real, real fast!

But who doesn’t want ice cream, right? It is just so nice and creamy and cold.

Damn it, I want some right now!

Anyway, back to my point. One night the thought of ice cream popped into our heads. And then another thought popped into my head…

Frozen bananas

I thought, why not try and use frozen bananas to make some ice cream. So in went some frozen bananas, some fruit and some milk. I blended that goodness up and served up some “ice cream.” I didn’t think to much about it, I figured it would help curb the craving that night and we would forget about it.

Well hot diggity damn, this blended up goodness came out way beyond expectations. My husband kept asking me, “you made this?”

The kids were fooled and all our bellies were smiling!

The next night after dinner everyone was like, can we have ice cream again.

And a delicious recipe was created. The best part about this recipe is that it can be totally changed depending on your mood. Throw in some chocolate chips, vanilla bean, cacao powder, granola…the sky is the limit my friend.

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Wanna know how I curbed our ice cream craving?

Alright, alright. Let’s do this.

Healthy Ice Cream

Don't allow ice cream to control your life and your weight. Whip up some heathy stuff, you belly and your thighs will thank you.

Course Dessert
Keyword dessert, healthy ice cream, homemade, Ice cream
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 5 Frozen bananas
  • 2 cups Frozen fruit of choice
  • 1/4 cup Milk of choice

Instructions

  1. Grab yourself a blender or food processor.

  2. Pour in your milk.

  3. Toss in your frozen bananas. It is best to break them in half or quarters.


  4. Toss in your frozen fruit.

  5. Blend your little heart out.

    The key here is to not blend to the point of liquidation. You want everything blended but just enough to maintain a thick texture. 

  6. I like to add some fresh fruit or even frozen blueberries on top when serving. 

  7. Boom son, you just made yourself some damn delicious ice cream that you can feel good about. It is super easy and your kids can enjoy with out the sugar high after. 

Recipe Notes

Heavy cream is ideal for making super creamy ice cream. But you can choose any milk that you desire. The base of this ice cream is really the banana. The milk just helps allow all your frozen fruit to blend easily. 

Tell me what y’all think. Does it hit the spot? Did you add anything else like vanilla bean or some chocolate chips? Leave a comment below.

Happy ice cream makin!

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Pizza on The Grill? Yes Please!

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Pizza on the grill y’all!

Whhhhaatt!

You mean I don’t have to heat up my kitchen by turing on my oven to make delicious pizza?

Yes please!

If y’all are in search for the perfect pizza dough head on over here and check out the recipe I have found, tweaked and loved.

I am a pizza lover but more times than not…wait what am I saying, I mean….. every single time, when we order pizza, we feel like total crap after. Which, really sucks because it is such an easy dinner and after working all week and I just want something easy. But paying the price afterward for convenience is just not worth it.

So, I tried one more time to take a stab at making pizza from scratch. And by golly what do you know, it came out pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself.

I took a risk with this recipe because I used the BBQ grill to actually make the pizza. You see, it was like 110 degrees outside when I decided pizza sounded really good for dinner. But, I really did not want to heat my kitchen up with a 450 degree oven. So, I decided to grill it up! I am really glad I did, it was super easy and tasted fantastic.

And super bonus, my kitchen stayed cool!

Y’all ready for it? Let’s roll!

Grilled Pizza

Don't heat up your kitchen just to make some delicious pizza, throw that bad boy on the grill.

Course Main Course
Keyword grilled, handmade pizza, homemade pizza, Pizza
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Oh Sure I Can

Ingredients

  • 1 8 oz Pizza sauce
  • 1 cup Mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Cornmeal

The list of pizza ingredients is endless. The world is your oyster, or in this case your pizza, my friend.

Instructions

  1. Let's start up that grill and get it real nice and hot. Prepare a small cup or bowl with about 1/4 cup of olive oil and place a paper towel inside. You will use this to grease up your grill. 

  2. If y'all have your own trust worthy pizza dough, by all means homies, bust that goodness out and move on to the next direction. BUT, if you are still in search for the perfect dough, head on over here.
  3. Now, that you have your dough ready to go, roll that sucker out on a floured surface. The best way to make a pizza into the size of an actual pizza is to roll it out a bit with a rolling pin. Then pick it up and use your fist to spread the dough into an even diameter. Once you have a decent size, lay it back down and use your hands to press it out further. 

  4. Allow dough to sit for about 5 minutes. In this time the dough will shrink back a little. It's cool yo, just push it back out with your hands. If holes appear, again it's cool, just pinch the dough back together and pretend it never happened. 

  5. Sprinkle the cornmeal evenly on a flat surface that you can transport your pizza dough on. Like a cookie sheet or a pizza pan. Lay your dough on top of the cornmeal, this will allow the dough to slide right off without getting stuck. 

  6. Open up that grill, grease it up nicely, and slide your pizza right on it and close the door. Cook for about 1-2 minutes. Your dough will bubble. Don't freak out. Once it is all bubbly and nicely cooked on the underside, take it off the grill and back onto your sheet. 

  7. You actually want to flip your dough at this point, so the grill marks are going to be where you spread all your toppings. Brush the dough with olive oil, and spread your sauce and toppings on top. Don't get to close to the edge. Leave about an inch of space. 

  8. Throw that sucker back onto the grill for about 3-4 minutes. Timing here people, is really all you. Keep a close eye on how your pizza is cooking and use your best judgement. 

  9. Take it off the grill once it reaches desired doneness and BAM, you have yourself a damn good pizza! Serve with a nice refreshing salad with beautiful romaine, feta cheese, olives, grape tomatoes and a light dressing. 

Hey homie, I’d love to hear how you enjoyed this pizza. Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out.

Happy grilling!

 

 

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Homemade Pizza Dough

I finally created the perfect pizza dough recipe! This pizza dough recipe is easy and delicious!

Oh pizza, how I have searched for years to find the perfect homemade pizza dough recipe to make you delicious. I have failed multiple times. But I never gave up and finally, I have found a recipe that will do you justice.

Wanna hear how easy it was? Well, let me tell you then.

If you are anything like me, you want pizza more times in a month than you probably should. But seriously, ordering pizza from out is a great idea for an easy dinner, then once you are done eating, you regret every bite. And the idea of homemade pizza is awesome, but when it comes out like cardboard EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. you are just not into it anymore. Anyone?

No……just me?

Well, I am going to share my dough recipe with you anyway. Because we are homies right? And that is what homies do. They share pizza dough recipes.

This is unfortunately a whole half of days worth of dough making which, when you are in a dinner pinch does not work out. I hear ya, I really do. So, I suggest you take one day that you are off and make yourself some dough and prep for those, “I wanna homemade pizza” kind of nights. This recipe actually makes two 10″-12″ pizzas. What is super great about this recipe is that it is totally freezer friendly. So make ahead, throw those bastards in the freezer and boom son, you’re one step ahead of yourself.

Ready for some homemade pizza dough?! Let’s roll!

Ingredients:

3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 packet of active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water

2 tablespoons Olive oil

Directions:

If you have a stand mixer, your life just got a tad bit easier. If you don’t you’re about to build some muscle. Which is kind of a win win, work your arms out, then have some pizza.

In your standing mixer bowl, pour in your warm water and active yeast packet. Allow to dissolve for about 5 minuets, it will get all bubbly and activate itself.

Once it is dissolved, use the mixing paddle attachment to mix the flour, salt, sugar and olive oil. Mix on low until you see everything mixed well. Now, switch to the hook attachment and allow the hook to knead your dough on low for about 10 minutes.

***This is the part where if you do not have a stand mixer, that you are going to build some muscle. You are going to have to knead the dough by hand for about 10 minutes.

***You want the dough to be a bit sticky but not too sticky. If it’s too sticky, toss in a little bit of flour. A little goes a long way so go slow.

Now, grab yourself a bowl, grease it up with some olive oil. Remove your dough from the standing mixer and place inside greased bowl. Cover and allow to sit for about an hour and a half. Place bowl in a somewhat warm place. Like on the stove. You can make the stove nice and warm by making oatmeal raisin cookies while you wait of your dough to rise!

Once your dough has risen, lightly dust a cutting board and your hands with flour and knead your dough for 30 seconds. This is just to get all the air out and you can reshape it into a ball.

Are you looking for the best homemade pizza dough recipe? Come check it out!

Cut your dough in half. You can use both at this point or use one and freeze the other.

***If you are freezing one, place dough in the fridge for a bit to cool down. Then place in a ziplock freezer bag and freeze. To thaw, allow to sit in a fridge for 24 hours.

Roll your dough out with a rolling pin. Then use your hands to help flatten it out. Start at the center and work your way out.

Let the dough rest for about 5 minutes. Then stretch it out again until it reaches desired size. If a hole appears, which I am pretty certain it will unless you are absolutely magical, don’t get frustrated like I did. Just squash the dough back together.

At this point if you are moving forward with pizza making, sprinkle some cornmeal on the surface of which the dough will sit on, this will keep the dough from sticking to the pan. You can also spread olive oil over the top of the pizza before you put all your topping on. This will give the crust a nice crunch.

Throw that bad boy in a preheated oven of 450 and cook for about 10-12 minutes. But I suggest you check on it a few times. Every oven is different, so watch your pizza until it reaches the desired doneness.

I got crazy and actually made our pizza on the grill.

Are you looking for the best homemade pizza dough recipe?! Come check it out!

WHAT!

I know right, stay tuned to read all about that recipe. You can do that by subscribing to our email list. That way you never miss when there is a new post available. If you tried this homemade pizza dough recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out!

Happy dough making y’all!

 

 

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Pressure Cooker Hard Boiled Eggs?

Easy recipe for Pressure Cooking Hard Boiled Eggs!

I mean, WHHHHHAAAAT!!! These pressure cooker hard boiled eggs turn out perfect, and require less effort!

We were gifted a pressure cooker at christmas last year and my thoughts were, “oh cool.” But then we busted this thing out and now every time we use it our minds are…

Blown.

I mean, the meat comes out, melt in your mouth every. single. time. And every time we use it we tell each other, “how have we lived without a pressure cooker this long?” You can throw in any meat and dinner is done in like 30 minutes. And it’s a damn good dinner too!

I have yet to use all the features of this thing, there is a yogurt feature that I am dying to use, just haven’t found the time. BUT I did manage to try hard boiled eggs in the pressure cooker!  Man o’ man did they come out perfect and there was no boiling water on the stove making my kitchen hot situation.

Alright y’all, here is how you do it:

Pressure Cooker Hard Boiled Eggs Recipe

First off, mosey on over here and purchase yourself one of these bad boys, seriously, you will not regret it.

Fill your pressure cooker with 1 1/2 cups of water.

Place a steamer basket inside. I use this one.

Can you cook hard boiled eggs in the pressure cooker? Um, yes!

Place your eggs in basket. Close your lid and you are going to press the steam button, high pressure and for only five minutes.

*** Now your pressure cooker needs to reach pressure and needs to release pressure once done. I allowed pressure to release for about 5 minutes. So, this whole process will take about 15 minutes total.

Step by step recipe for cooking hard boiled eggs in the pressure cooker!

Once your pressure cooker is done releasing pressure, take eggs out and place eggs in a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking.

Pressure cooker hard boiled eggs are so good!

Now, you can peel your eggs right away or not, whatever floats your boat. But you got yourself some freaking hard boiled eggs yo! Amazing right? I know!

My pressure cooker hard boiled eggs turned out perfect.Did you know that you can cook hard boiled eggs in the pressure cooker?

Happy pressure cooking hard boiled eggs!

This post contains affiliate links. That means that when you purchase something through the link we provide, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you. We appreciate your support. 

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Lip Smackin’ Good Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

 

Finding a damn good delicious AND healthy oatmeal raisin cookie recipe can be really hard. The pictures look great but then you make it and they taste like……crap, I’m just gonna say it y’all.

They taste like crap. 

I don’t know about you but I want an oatmeal raisin cookie that is still healthy, without tasting like cardboard. I want a cookie that is full of flavor not just sugar. And I want a cookie I can give my kids without totally feeling guilty. I mean, this recipe calls for light brown sugar.

Is that healthy?

Well, if it’s going to give me a cookie like it did, without using processed white sugar, it’s healthy in my book.

Y’all ready for the cookie of your dreams?

I’ve already had two since starting this post, so I’m ready!

Cookie Making Time Y'all!
It’s cookie makin’ time y’all!

Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe

This oatmeal cookie recipe is healthier than most, and freakin' delicious!

Ingredients:

1 cup All purpose flour
1 and 1/2 cups Oatmeal
1/2 cup Raisins
1/2 cup Cranberries
1/2 cup Chopped walnuts
1/2 cup Light brown sugar
1/2 cup Softened butter
1 Large egg
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Healthy ingredients for oatmeal cookies

Instructions:

1. In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda and set aside.

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2. In a bowl or large mixer, cream together butter, sugar, vanilla and egg. Mix it all up yo, until you have a nice creamy situation happening.

3. Now, slowly add in your dry ingredients that we set aside. Once this mixture is well mixed together. Add in the rest of your ingredients. Raisins, cranberries, walnut and oatmeal. And what ever else tickles your fancy.

4. Mix it up nicely but not to nicely. You don’t want to over mix.

5. Place bowl in the fridge for about 30 minutes. I know, you’re thinking, “what?!?” But trust me here y’all. It gives the dough some time to firm back up. Making it easier to form in a ball that is going to give you a damn delicious cookie.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

7. Now scoop those little bad boys out and on to a prepared cookie sheet. No need to grease the cookie sheet. Scoop a nice 1-2 tablespoons and form into a ball. Slightly press down but still maintain the circle shape.

8. Throw those puppies in the oven for about 12 minutes. Or until slightly brown.
Once done, allow to cool for about 5 minutes. OR go ahead and shove one of those hot cookies in your mouth before anyone in your family sees you. I’m not judging.

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Let me know if these oatmeal cookies were worth the burn on your tongue! Leave a comment or review!

Happy baking y’all!

Hey, don’t forget to subscribe to our email list. If you do, all sorts of fun stuff happens. For one, you join the cool kids club and two, you get a FREE medicinal herbs recipe book with 6 super easy recipes.

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Using Essential Oils Around the House

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Essential oils are an incredible resource for health and well being. They can be used in more ways than your than your pretty little brain probably realizes. I get it, the word essential oil sounds kinda hooky. Every time someone asks me a health question or a suggestion, the word essential oil comes out of my mouth and I see them slightly roll their eyes. But seriously people, I wouldn’t be yapping about it if I did not freaking believe in them.

So……

I wanted to yap about some ways that essential oils can benefit you and your family other than just using topically, aromatically or internally.

Y’all ready?!

Dog shampoo: If you haven’t read about our previous devil pup, by all means mosey on over here to read about her and this awesome dog shampoo I made.

Glass cleaner: In a glass bottle, fill half with distilled water and half white vinegar. Add 20-30 drops of lemon essential oil. Lemon will not only clean your glass it will help neutralize the smell of the vinegar. As well as, provide an invigorating and uplifting smell. And who doesn’t need that while cleaning!

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Floor cleaner: I use this bad boy and let me tell ya, it is fan-freaking-tastic. Once I am done mopping the floors I just throw the mop part in the wash and BAM, no mop mess to deal with afterward. Since it has a water reservoir, I like to fill it with half water and half white vinegar. Then I add 10 drops of Onguard, 10 drops lemongrass and 10 drops tangerine and 10 drops of grapefruit. The combination smells heavenly and Onguard helps protect against seasonal threats.

Mouth wash: After brushing and flossing I like to fill my mouth up with water and I add 1 drop peppermint, 1 drop frankincense and 1 drop of myrrh. Peppermint freshens your breath while frankincense and myrrh provide support with oral health issues such as tooth decay, cavities and oral infections.

Diffuse: Sounds kind of obvious but hey I gotta say it. Diffusing oils can do so much for your mental state, as well as, your overall well being. My favorite mood lifter is tangerine, grapefruit, wild orange and lemongrass. Add 2-4 drops of each oil for an instant mood lift. My favorite for calming is siberian fir, balance, lavender and geranium. Holy moly, does this smell heavenly. Again just add a few drops of each oil.

Face oil: You’ll want to find an oil of preference for your face. For me argon and jojoba oil are two perfect oils that blend beautifully together to give me exactly what my face needs. In a 1 oz dropper bottle fill a 1/4 of the way with argon oil. Then add 4-6 drops frankincense, 2-4 drops lavender and 2-4 drops geranium. Fill the rest with jojoba oil, shake and gently rub in to face.

***I use the oil cleansing method for my face. I just massage oil onto my face after a shower, then I put a hot wash cloth over it for a minute, then I gently wipe off my face. Feel free to change up your oils.

Deodorant: There are so many deodorant recipes out there. I wanted one that I could rub on just like a normal deodorant. This one works fantastic. However, you do have to be mindful of black shirts. It will leave a white residue. In a bowl combine arrowroot powder, baking soda and just enough coconut oil to allow the powders to stick together. I have a full post here if you want to read it in detail. You can add any oil that tickles your fancy but I like to use lavender and tea tree.

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Wood polish: Holy moly, I am in love with this wood polish. It smells absolutely heavenly and it works fantastic. In a glass bottle combine equal parts olive oil and white vinegar. Then add 5-10 drops of arborvitae, wild orange, tangerine and lemon. Shake that bad boy up and spray your toots off.

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Linen spray or air freshener: This is a fantastic way to finish off your day of cleaning. I especially like to spray this when I change the beds. It just feels like it seals the deal. In a glass bottle you are going to mix 1 cup of water, 3 tbs of rubbing alcohol and 30-40 drops of lavender, geranium or any other essential oils that just puts your soul at ease.

***If y’all don’t want to make this but still want it apart of your life, mosey on over here and y’all can purchase it!

Alright y’all, I hope you found some sort of inspiration from this post. Essential oils can be utilized in every part of your life. This post was just how to use them around the house, I haven’t even tapped into how you can use them to reach optimal health. I know, I know, I’ll get a post out on it soon.

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Happy essential oiling y’all!

This post contains affiliate links. That means that when you purchase a product through the link I provide, Oh Sure I Can gets a small commission at no additional cost to you.

 

 

 

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Magic Cleaner? I Think So Yo!

Homemade All-Natural Cleaner Recipe

Holy moly am I excited to share this homemade natural cleaner with you. So, one day I came home and my husband was like, “oh, I made a new cleaner.” I thought, cool! But then I actually tried this bad boy and was….

Blown away.

Not only did it clean the toughest grease stains off our stove, it also reminded me what a beautiful color white my kitchen floor tile was suppose to be. Yikes! Even my toilets sparkled after I was finished with them. And the smell……

wonderful.

If you are anything like us, then vinegar is your go to for everything. Which just absolutely feels great because you know you are keeping your family safe from harmful chemicals. But there is always the smell that many cannot handle, so they choose the harmful stuff instead. But please don’t.

I’ve got a solution yo!

Best damn cleaner recipe:

32 oz spray bottle

1/4 cup dish soap of choice

6 tablespoons vinegar

3 tablespoons borax

3 cups hot water

Whatcha y’all wanna do is:

Heat up your water on the stove just to a low simmer.

Fill spray bottle with water, vinegar and borax. Do not add the soap just yet.

Give that bottle a shake. Shake it like you mean it yo.

Now, go ahead and add the soap and give it a little swirl.

Boom son, you just made yourself the best damn all natural cleaner there is.

Ok, now, I am going to be super vulnerable here and share some before and after pictures. Don’t judge, homie, don’t judge.

Before homemade natural cleaner

After Canning food, my stove top usually turns brown from the pressure canner. On top of super tough grease stains, my stove top was a nightmare.

After homemade natural cleaning recipe!

I mean, HEEEELLLLOOOOO!! Yes please! And seriously, not a lot of elbow grease went into getting the stains up either. IMG_7496

I just about died when I spilt a little of the cleaner on my already mopped floor and as I bent down and wipe it up I noticed a color difference.

WHHHHAAAAT?!?

My ADD peaked and before I knew it, I was on my hands and knees cleaning each individual tile. I mean, how could I not at this point. The best part of this cleaner is that, while I love vinegar, it doesn’t smell like vinegar. It smells clean. Like sparkly clean. You can always add some beautiful essential oils to make it smell even more beautiful but it really doesn’t even need it.

Give it a try homie. Let me know what you think. Are you embarrassed by your stove? Bathroom floors? Kitchen sink? Spray this bad boy on it and let me know how it works.

Happy cleaning y’all!

Looking for more natural cleaning recipes? Check out my All-Natural Lemon Vinegar Cleaner Recipe!

Learn more about Using Essential Oils Around The House

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Strawberry Jam Yo!

DesignIt was 93 degrees today with a humidity of 84%, sounds like a perfect day to stand barefoot in the kitchen over a hot stove and make some jam.

Don’t you think?

I mean, when really is a good time to can. No matter what, you are going to be dripping sweat so, I say F it…..

Can it up yo!

I love canning food. It is just so empowering to take a delicious piece of food, homegrown or from the farmers market and preserve it at its finest. But canning to many can be super intimidating. When really, it’s not. Today we will can up some delicious strawberry jam. Now, back in the day rule of thumb was a cup of white sugar to a cup of fruit. That just seems a little intense. When you have a pure piece of fruit that is organically grown with love and picked at its prime, there really shouldn’t be any reason to cover up it’s natural sweetness with processed white sugar. This recipe we will be using honey and the ratio will be more fruit than sweetener.

Jams, jellies and other high acidic fruits require the water bath method. Water bath method is using boiling water to process your jars. Usually you can find a water bath canner at walmart, target or even the grocery store. Or you can just click here and bam get one delivered right to your door.

Usually I skip out on added pectin when making jam in the past, which pectin is just a natural starch found in fruits and vegetables. This helps naturally thicken up jams and jellies. I did use it in this recipe and was pleased with the results.

Ready for the recipe…..

What you’ll need:

8 cups of strawberries

1 cup of honey

6 tablespoons of pectin

Juice of half a lemon

Whatcha wanna do is…..

Start up your water bath canner first thing. It’s a ton of water and takes some time to get boiling. Next, place a small plate in the freezer, trust me.

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Then wash and de-stem your strawberries. Now, you can either throw whole strawberries in a sauce pan and use a masher to mash them up or you can puree your strawberries. Either way bring those bad boys to boil.

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Add in your honey, pectin and lemon juice. Bring to a boil that can not be stirred down.

***Let’s take a second to talk about “scum.” Scum is simply air bubbles that rise up from the fruit during the heating process. It is a white foam that sits on the top of your jam while cooking. If you do not remove the scum, your jam will be discolored and processing may be compromised. You do not want air trapped in your jars. You can easily remove the scum as it rises to the top with a spoon.

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Next, remove the scum. See now aren’t you glad I explained what scum is first, now you’re not scratching your head wondering what the in the hell is scum?

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At this point, the water bath should be boiling. Go ahead and put all your jars, rings and seals in the water. Allow to boil for 10 minutes. This will sanitize and keep everything safe for canning.

Now, take that plate out of the freezer, I told you to trust me, and put a small spoonful of jam on it and place back in freezer for 3 minutes. This is an old trick to see if your jam is ready to can. When you run your finger threw it, it gels up a bit, that is when it’s ready to rock.

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Now take those hot jars out carefully, along with the rings and seals. Place a funnel over the jar and fill those bad boys up with jam, leaving a quarter inch of headspace. Gently wipe the rim of the jar, this prevents any residue from not allowing the jars to seal properly. Place seal and ring on and tighten only finger tight. ***Do not over tighten.

Allow filled jar to wait in canner by lifting your rack.

***Ball blue book suggests you do one jar at a time and allow filled jars to wait in hot water until jars are ready to be processed. By doing this all jars stay hot and at appropriate temperature.

Now gently drop your rack down, put lid on and process your jars for 10 minutes.

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Place jars on a towel and do not touch for 24 hours. This allows the jars to properly seal. Hopefully you get to hear the sweet sound of a delicate BING throughout the day. That sound my friends tells you all that sweating you did in the kitchen was worth it.

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***If your jars have white residue from hard water after processing, spray a paper towel with vinegar and wipe jars down.

Boom son, you just canned yourself some sweet delicious strawberry jam.

Happy canning!

This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click on the product we suggest and purchase through that link, we get a small commission as no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support. 

 

 

 

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Damn Delicious Spaghetti Sauce

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Alright y’all, I feel as though it is time that I share our spaghetti sauce recipe. I get it, there are thousands of recipes out there, so why should you try this one? Because it is mutha f-ing delicious that’s why. This recipe has been handed down from my mother-in-law, thanks Gail! And now I hand it down to you.

Enough with the bull s*** let’s do this thang already

***Yo, use as many organic ingredients as possible, I feel like at this point I shouldn’t have to say it but I am…….so do it!

Ingredients:

3 cans tomato sauce

3 cans of stewed tomatoes

1 lb ground beef or turkey (we use turkey)

4-5  sweet Italian sausage links

1 Mayan sweet onion sliced or chopped

3-4 garlic cloves

Optional: mushrooms and bell peppers

2-3 teaspoons of each of these seasonings

thyme

marjoram

oregano

basil

italian seasoning

salt to taste

Directions:

*** This sauce is best cooked in a slow cooker ALL. DAY. LONG. But if you are running low on time and have a handy dandy pressure cooker, which side note I believe everyone should have one of these because they are freaking amazing, you can use this as well and it comes out beautifully.

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  • In a crock pot put your three cans of tomato sauce and three cans of stewed tomatoes. Add sliced or chopped onion, all dry seasonings and garlic. Start cooking the sauce while you prepare the rest.
  • In a pan cook your ground turkey or beef until fully cooked. Once cooked add to crock pot.
  • Remove sausage from casing and roll into small meatballs. Cook in a pan. Once fully cooked add those little balls of deliciousness to the crock pot.
  • Now just cook on low for as long as possible. Stir occasionally.

***You want your onions to be soft and supple.

Yes, I just used the word supple.

Cook yourself up some noodles and BAM you got yourself a damn delicious bowl of spaghetti sauce.

If you’re like us, you’ll end up eating the whole pot throughout the week. BUT let’s say you have more self control and want to save this bad ass sauce for future dinners. If you have a food saver you can seal up this sauce and stick it in the freezer. If you don’t have a food savor, get yourself a freaking food savor, stop reading this post click here. This thing along with the pressure cooker have been two things we have not regretted.

***If you plan on using your food saver and intend to freeze it, here are a few tips.

  • Portion out servings. Because let’s say your having a lazy Sunday and no one is really in the mood for anything and everyone fends for themselves. And let’s just say you are craving spaghetti, well you can just mosey on over to the freezer pull out a serving and make yourself a bowl without wasting a bunch of sauce.
  • Put the date on it yo!
  • Freeze your sauce as close to the date you made it as possible. I suck at doing this to be honest but it is so important. Portion out a couple of dinners worth and then freeze the rest.

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To have homemade spaghetti sauce on hand in times of need has been so incredible. So again get yourself a food saver homie and stock that freezer up!

Happy spaghetti sauce making!

This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click on the product we suggest and purchase through that link, we get a small commission as no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support. 
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From The Tree of Life

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Mother nature is an incredible mother. She heals with love, she sends energy out to guide you, she even gives you all you need in order to thrive in this life. This one life we get to live.

But we get distracted.

We forget that she is here for us. We forget that we are her top priority and our health and well being is the main goal in this whole damn thing. So let’s stop for a freaking second here people and take a deep breath. Do it with me now….

Inhale…………..

Now exhale…….Ahhhhhhh

See, now don’t you feel just a tad bit more centered. Now that you are in the right mindset, let’s talk about the essential oil called Arborvitae. It comes from the tree of life. I mean hello!!! The tree of life, why wouldn’t you want this oil to be apart of your daily routine. And meditation.

Arborvitae is a powerful cleansing and purifying oil. When used for meditation it has been said that is rejuvenates your soul and spirit and cleanses the bad energy away. And let me tell you, you feel that the moment you apply it. It has this woody, warm earthy  aroma that just brings peace to your soul and connects you to earth.

This specific Arborvitae oil is harvested from the Thuja plicata tree that is native to North America. While it comes from a tree, the sourcing method used for this oil is still respectful to mother nature. It is distilled from residual wood materials to ensure that no tree is unnecessarily harvested for production.

It has specific chemical compounds that make it a wonderful insect repellant. As well as, an incredible preserving agent for wood.

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How the heck do you use this amazing oil?

  • Add a few drops to wrist, ankles and behind the neck for a fantastic insect repellant.
  • Use during meditation to bring peace to your soul.
  • Make a wood polish. (Surprise, recipe will be included below. Can I get a heck yes!)
  • Add to diffuser for overall calming relief, and to keep insects away.
  • Apply to bottoms of feet and/or spine with a carrier oil to help with bacterial support.
  • Apply to chest with carrier oil to provide possible respiratory issues relief
  • Diffuse or apply to temples and back of neck for grounding effect.
  • Add 10-20 drops in glass spray bottle with water to use as a protecting solution on surface areas or hands.

Are you super excited yet about this beautiful oil?

I know I am, in fact, I have some on as I share this with you!

If you are wondering where in the world do you buy this oil, well it just so happens I have a fancy little link. If you have more in-depth questions about buying the oil or about the oil itself please feel free to reach out to me. I would love to share more!

And now as promised here is your all natural wood polish:

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/4 cup of vinegar

10 drops Arborvitae (pairs wonderfully with lemon and/or wild orange)

Directions:

  • Add olive oil and vinegar to glass spray bottle.
  • Add your 10 drops of Arborvitae essential oil.
  • Shake your booty while holding the spray bottle!
  • Apply to microfiber cloth and wipe wood surfacing clean.

Repeat every 2-3 months or as often as needed.

Damn, now how easy was that, and you have a fantastic all natural wood polisher that is not only safe to breathe in but will calm your ass while you’re cleaning.

Score and  score!

Happy Tree of Life People!

Buy your essential oils here

Don’t be scared to reach out y’all. I would love to share any and all information around oils and why I choose doTERRA to help heal me and my family. 

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No Sugar Added Please!

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Normally when giving a recipe, I never give a story. I just want to give you quick and to the point, I mean you are here for a recipe and damn it I want to give it to you.

BUT….. I feel like maybe if this back story can shed some light on someone, it’s worth sharing, so hang in there.

I promise you’ll get something delicious at the end.

For a hot minute I did the Keto diet. My whole goal was to cut out sugar. See I am on this ever lasting quest to find a natural solution or at least a relief from ADD. My brain works in an unusual way sometimes. In ways I can’t explain and lately I’ve just been over it. Over this past year I have been more open about my ADD and as I discuss it with others, mostly other woman, I find that we all think and do almost the same things.

So is it ADD? Or is it the way woman think? Or is it the way we all think?

These questions go through my head all the time. I sometimes get so frustrated because I wish I could just be a little sharper, not forget things, be able to respond fast enough, be able to make a decision, not procrastinate, not forget about an appointment or what happened in a conversation two minutes ago. But then, the person right next to me who I tell all this to, feels the same way.

So now my question is, why are most of us feeling this way?

Possible answer, our food.

Our food is so packed with processed ingredients, sugar, GMO’s, antibiotics, pesticides, and chemicals……the list can go on.

How can we think clearly?

Rule of health is you eat 80% whole foods, 20% processed foods. Which seems like a high percentage of processed foods to me but in reality it is small. With sugar being the last thing you should stick in your body, especially processed sugar.

I had a little aha moment in my quest to finding a natural solution to ADD. One day I was just reflecting on conversations I had that day with woman I work along side with. All beautifully made, strong, smart, incredible souled woman. Some who are mamas some who are not. And in every comment made about behaviors, thoughts, feelings… almost all of us were like, oh yea been there felt that. Then for some reason, I realized all of us who were in the conversation, are a bunch of sweet eating junkies.

So, of course I went home and I researched ADD and craving sugar. Sure, muther f-ing, enough they go hand in hand. The way an ADD brain works is, if it is not stimulated then we lose interest. There almost has to be a reward of something at the end for it to hold our attention. Well what sugar does, is it stimulates the dopamine in our brain, which acts as a neurotransmitter sending signals to nerve cells that control reward and pleasures. This is what stimulates the brain. Which people with ADD need to feel in order to be content. So when one is not stimulated, often times something sweet is usually a mission of theirs to find. The body is needing and looking for that “high.”

Well, I am attempting to not feed that need and I am trying to clear the fog that consumes me. So, I attempted a Keto diet, no sugar, no carbs, high fat foods. I found it was not for me. But what I did find was that I wanted to continue to cut out sugar and keep my carbs as low as possible.

 

ADD is not fun. Feeling like you are constantly trying to hold your head above water, gets tiring. Creating chaos without realizing it, gets annoying. Doing stuff half ass because halfway through your head goes, “meh, I am over this!” SUCKS!!!

The more I research, the more I am aware. The more I can fight that part of my brain and be like, “Listen bitch, we are seeing this through. whether you like it or not!”

I will not stop until I find relief. I am a firm believer that our bodies are made to run like machines. And when given the proper fuel, food, it will run like a machine effortlessly. In my gut I feel like most ailments can be reversed through food. Through healing the gut. I will not let this “chemical Imbalance” define who I am. We are not meant to have imbalances. The symptoms we feel are signals that we must listen to and from there we must do the leg work and find the solution.

A natural solution.

BUT……..I am still fighting my sweet cravings.

It’s like crack, man! It really is. Annnndddd……

Since you actually made it to the end, here is your delicious sugar free sweet fix substitute.

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Recipe from keto cookbook Fat Fast

Ingredients:

85%-100% pure dark chocolate powder

8 Tbs of butter (real butter, grass fed organic butter)

3 Tbs coconut oil

4 Tbs natural peanut butter

1 Tbs heavy whipping cream

Sugar substitute equal to 6 teaspoons (I used 4 Stevia, a little less than the recipe called for but tasted great to me)

1/2 macadamia nuts

Directions:

  1. Melt together butter and chocolate.
  2. Add all other ingredients except for macadamia nuts. Mix together until smooth.
  3. Add in your macadamia nuts and pour into mini baking cups.
  4. Freeze until solid.

That’s it yo!

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Fresh out of the freezer, don’t mind the cold spots.

Enjoy frozen or allow to soften.

Now, these bad boys are not going to be your typical peanut butter cups but when you’ve got a sweet tooth and you’re trying to kick sugar. These lil’ F-ers do the trick.

Happy Questing and Chocolate Making!

This post contains affiliate links. That means that when you purchase a product through the link provided, we may get a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!
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The Real Flu Shot

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Mother nature gave us these amazing resources to stay healthy. But some how along the way we got side tracked by shiny things. There is a reason why food has so much power. It is made to heal our bodies. Food is what we are meant to metabolize. We are so quick to pop a pill to help head tension or the feeling of a flu or cold coming on. But really, we need to put food, whole food, in our body to give it what it needs to heal itself. Let’s back away from the pills, cold medicines, cough syrups, and nyquil and trust that mother nature gave us all we need to fight off any harmful bugs that enter our body. Ready to fight this flu naturally?

Let’s do this.

This is our version of the flu shot. It actually has multiple parts to it so keep on a reading. It has some power behind it that will knock out what ever is a brewing inside you within a couple days. If caught early, you can even knock it out before it settles in.

Let’s talk a little it about why these ingredients are so important to help your body fight a cold, flu or infection.

Lemon: Is known for its antibacterial properties. It can help protect against throat infections. It can provide relief from fever by increasing perspiration. It can relieve congestion. Lemon is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin B6, riboflavin, folate, zinc and iron, to name a few.

Ginger: Is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It can help lower chances of bacterial infection. The spice of ginger will help relieve congestion. It also helps provide a healthy digestion.

Garlic: Is mother natures antibiotic. It provides the body with the strength to fight against infections. It helps increase a healthy immune function. Garlic is a powerful microbial and anti-inflammatory.

Cayenne: Is a high antioxidant that helps provide support for the immune system. It will also help loosen mucus within the nasal cavity and chest.

Honey: Is a well known antibacterial and antimicrobial. It provides the body with soothing relief of sore throats, coughs and congestion.

*** It is best to use all organic ingredients. When choosing a honey, choose one that is raw and unfiltered. This means that it is in it’s purest form, with more health benefits.

Directions:

  • In a glass you are going to add half a juiced lemon, 1 TBS honey, 1-2 cloves minced garlic, 1-2 TBS grated ginger, a dash or two, depending on how brave you are, of cayenne. Add about 4 oz of water.

Now chug like a gansta.

***Do this about 2-3 times a day when you feel something coming on. If it has already hit, still do it yo! It will decrease the duration of the cold or flu.

Everyone has their variations, it is best to try all and find your groove. You can also add apple cider vinegar to this to kick it up one more notch. Apple cider vinegar has incredible properties to it, that will give your body the strength to fight off anything.

Second part to our flu shot….

We also like to take 2-4 doses of oil of oregano or oregano essential oil, when we feel something coming on. I will put a drop of oregano essential oil in a veggie capsule and take it 2-4 times a day. If I am doing oil of oregano, I will do about 8 drops under the tongue 2-4 times a day.

What is the difference? 

Oil of oregano is dried or fresh herb steeped in a high quality oil such as olive oil that is cold pressed and organic.

Oregano essential oil is oil derived from the plant through distillation.

*** Remember if taking an essential oil internally, please do your homework and find a high quality oil from a company that can provide you with certainty that it is in fact pure essential oil. Please contact me if you would like to hear more about essential oils.

Third part to our flu shot…

Elderberry Syrup! This berry has incredible properties to it that helps keep your body happy and healthy. If you haven’t heard of elderberry check out this post.  and if you want to make it check to this post. On the onset of a cold or flu we take this 4 times a day. If something is going around and we don’t want to get it, we start taking this 2 times a day for an added immune boost.

Lastly…

Black Seed Oil. This is the mother load here. If you haven’t heard of black seed oil check out this post and get yourself some black seed oil. We will take this 2-3 times a day when we feel a cold coming on. We take this daily but increase it by one or two when cold and flu season is around.

That’s it yo!

Our version of the flu shot. It may sound like a crap ton, but I swear by it. My house hold got hit with a nasty flu where the kids had fevers for about 4 days. Then five says later they came down with the stomach flu. I managed to escape both illnesses magically. And I owe it to this regimen above. Screw going to CVS and getting a flu shot filled with who knows what. Use what mother nature gave us, use food to help heal your body.

Happy Healing!

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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 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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Finger Lickin’ Hot Wings, Yo!

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Now, I do not have a ton of recipes up my sleeve like some woman. In fact my husband does most of the cooking in our house. And I must say he’s incredible at it. BUT the one recipe I do have down and in my opinion is an important one because it’s my husbands favorite, is…

Hot wings!

There are a ton of recipes out there that have the “perfect” hot wing and I went through that ton to find that “perfect” wing with the right amount of crispy and flavor. And I have been told that I have found it, so I am here to share this finger lickin’ hot wing recipe with y’all.

Y’all ready…

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Few Tips:

*When I said dry well after thawing, I meant it yo! DRY THOSE WINGS LIKE YOU’VE NEVER DRIED ANYTHING ELSE IN YOUR LIFE!

*When about to broil, use a new piece of foil. This allows the wings to crisp up rather than sit in a bunch of liquid.

*Here is a link to the Bragg’s seasoning. I mean this stuff changed our lives! It is AMAZING! And you can literally put it on anything.

*Serve with celery and carrots with blue cheese dressing.

BAM you got yourself some finger lickin’ wings yo!

Happy hot winging!

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Yummy Healthy Banana Bread

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Alright, I know there are like a million banana bread recipes out there that you have tried. I am sure that this one is not much different because I mean it’s banana bread right! But when I tasted it I was like, “hot damn this is some good banana bread!”

Maybe it is because I used maple syrup instead of sugar. Maybe it is because I used eggs that I collected from my back yard. Maybe it is because I used raw milk in stead of pasteurized milk.

Who knows. All I know is that it came out mutha F-ing good. I know when people give recipes, they tell this long elaborate story about the recipe. I don’t have that here. What you see is what you get and what you get is a banana bread recipe! So on with it shall we.

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Ingredients

4-5 super rip bananas

2 eggs

1/4 cup raw milk (or pasteurized)

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour

2 cups walnuts

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

-Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

-Line a 9×5 baking loaf with parchment paper. Criss cross so that the whole pan is covered. You can grease it as well, but this makes for super easy clean up. And who want to clean up when there is warm banana bread that needs to be eaten.

-Peel your bananas and mash them with a fork. I left some chunks because I wanted little chunks of banana. But to each their own.

-If you bought whole walnuts, chop them up. If you were smart and bought already chopped walnuts, good for you, you are one step ahead. Reserve one cup for the top of your banana bread.

-Grab yourself a large bowl and toss in our melted coconut oil and maple syrup, whisk them both up nicely. Add one egg at a time. Add your mash banana and milk.

-Add in the vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Whisk it all up like a mutha.

-Now add in your flour and 1 cup of your walnuts and fold them in until fully combined.

-Pour the batter into your lined loaf pan sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on top and then sprinkle the remaining walnuts over the top of your batter.

-Throw that bad boy in the oven for about 60-65 minutes. Or until you are able to stick  a toothpick in and it come out clean. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Or if you are anything like me and completely impatient, go ahead and pull your bread out, burn your fingers and cut yourself a slice of warm mutha f-ing delicious banana bread.

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Happy Banana Bread Making Y’all!

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Elderberry Gummies

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I am always seriously shocked when I set out to do something and it actually works! I mean, it doesn’t always work let’s be honest. But I set out to make elderberry gummies for my kiddos and BAM, made some mutha f-ing gummies y’all. I have to say I am still on the search for the perfect gummie consistency, so stay tuned for updates to this post and possibly a new recipe. This here recipe is made with grass fed beef gelatin. I’m thinking a tapioca alternative might give me a more dense gummie. But we shall see. Anyway, back to this recipe. First off, super duper easy to make gummies. If y’all already have your elderberry syrup made up and in the fridge, then you are down right AWESOME and should pat yourself on the back for being one step ahead. If you need to make some syrup, you’re still AWESOME because you’re going to mosey on over here to use this recipe!

Things you’ll need:

Grass fed gelatin

Gummy molds

Elderberry syrup

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Directions:

1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.

2. Pour 1/2 cup of cooled elderberry syrup in a bowl or measuring glass.

3. Add 1/2 cup of gelatin and mix generously.

4. While mixing slowly add 1 cup of hot water.

5. Then add 1 1/2 cups more of elderberry syrup. Mix until fully combined.

6. Pour mixture into molds.

7. Place in fridge for 20 minutes.

8. BAM, gummies yo!

A few notes here. The first batch I made didn’t really have to much taste to it. The second batch I made, in place of the 1 1/2 cups more of elderberry syrup, I used an all natural no sugar added strawberry watermelon juice and it came out tasty. If you want a sweeter option without using sugar, you can use xylitol. It’s an all natural sugar that doesn’t stick to the teeth, making ideal for kids.

Some say you need coconut oil to grease the gummy mold but the molds I used worked perfect. No oil needed, those little bad boys just popped right out.

Thats it! Play around with flavors and sweetness. I’ll keep you posted if I find a gelatin free recipe that holds the perfect gummy texture. Until then….

Happy Gummy Making!

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Homemade Elderberry Syrup

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If you haven’t already read the medicinal herb series post on Elder, I suggest you stop what you are doing and mosey on over there. Elder is incredible stuff especially during cold and flu season. Every year there is huge talk about how this years cold and flu season are the worst they have seen yet. Every year it’s the worst one? Crap, I am scared to see what next year brings. So I plan on stocking up on this stuff to help prevent any nastiness that may come our way. Right now I am putting all my faith into this stuff, well this and a handful of other herbs, my household is battling a stomach bug and I am wishing and hoping it doesn’t find a happy place in my belly. Fingers crossed that 4 doses of elderberry syrup, 4 doses of oregano oil and 3 doses of black seed oil throughout the day helps this mama stay strong. Anyway, back to what we are here for. Elderberry syrup. Let’s do this!

First things first, get your grubby little paws on some dried elderberries. Mountain Rose Herbs is an incredible source, however, they were out when I went to order them. So next best place, Amazon. I bought these and so far, we are rockin!

Ingredients: 

3/4 cup dried elderberries

1 tsp cinnamon powder or 1 stick of cinnamon

1-2 tbsp fresh or powdered ginger

3 cups of filtered water

1 cup of raw unfiltered honey

Directions:

  1. Bring elderberries, cinnamon, and ginger to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cover for 40-45 minutes or until liquid reduces to about half.
  2. Strain liquid into a bowl using a cheese cloth or a metal strainer. Be sure to squeeze excess liquid from berries.
  3. Allow to cool just a bit before adding your honey. You don’t want to kill of the honeys natural properties but warm enough so that the honey melts.
  4. Stir it up!
  5. Pour into a mason jar or a swing top bottle.

Elderberry syrup will last about 2 months in refrigerator.

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Dosage: 

Children: 1 tsp once a day for maintenance. 1 tsp twice a day for maximum health benefit.

Adults: 2 tsp once a day for maintenance. 2 tsp four times a day for maximum health benefit.

Elderberry syrup from the store can cost close to $30 for a bottle. Making this syrup at home will not only save you a ton of money but you’ll feel good knowing you put your love and energy into keeping your family healthy.

Happy Syrup Making!!

The information provided is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any illness or disease. Consult with a health care professional before use.
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Making Tea Like a Gangster

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Tea…………how do you feel about tea? Is tea part of your daily routine? Or can you even remember the last time you thought of tea? I was the one who could remember the last time she thought of tea, if I can be honest here. However, these days I’m finding myself salivating over it like a monkey over a banana. Is that a stereotype? Do monkeys even like bananas like we think they do? Anyway, back to tea, it’s freaking delicious when done right. I’m here to share how we enjoy tea time like gangsters. That’s right…….GANGSTERS. On with it shall we.

Lets do a quick break down of tea and why we should drink it. Doing some research we found that white and green tea are the least processed, so we’ve kinda stuck around the green tea variety.

1.Packed with antioxidants which do all sorts of good for your body. Antioxidants help remove free radicals, which tend to be the source of lots of diseases and ailments.

2. Less caffeine than coffee. Great option if you are winging yourself off the black liquid.

3. Helps prevent heart disease.

4. Helps reduce cancerous cells.

5. It literally makes you slow down and enjoy the very moment in which you should be present in. I challenge you to rush through a cup of scorching hot tea. You can’t my friends, you simply can’t.

Now tea by itself is good, but tea like a gangster is even better. Let me share. As we ventured into the world of tea drinking the amount of things that went into the pot have multipled and I honestly can’t say that the list of ingredients I’m about to provide you are it. The sky is literally the limit. Get crazy and have fun with your tea.

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List of ingredients and their benefits:

Ginger: Anti-inflammatory, aid in digestion, soothes nausea, supports respiratory function, fights agains bacterial infection, boosts immunity and helps fight cancer.

Lemon (and rind): detoxifier, aids in digestion, balances alkaline, vitamin C booster, helps fight infections and mood and energy booster.

Fresh Rosemary: Antioxidant, memory and mood booster, detoxifier, soothes nausea, aids in digestion, anti-inflammatory and calms the mind.

Fresh Mint: Decongestant, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, aids in digestion and soothes stomach aches, supports respiratory function.

Lemon Balm: Protects heart and liver function, calms anxiety, reduces stress, aids in digestion, powerful antibacterial and soothes pms symptoms for women.

Cayanne Pepper: Helps fight cold and flu, aids in digestion, relieves migraines, prevents blood clots and high in vitamins A and C.

Tea: Your choice we have really enjoyed our experience with Green Tea Kombucha by Yogi.

Heres what you do.

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There are no measurements here people, it’s an experiment with your tastebuds. Start little and work your way up.

First, grate your ginger.

Fill a pot with 2-3 cups of filtered water. Add squeezed lemon juice AND rind, mint, rosemary, grated ginger and a dash of cayenne. Bring that sucker to a boil.

Once boiling add your tea bags, we use about 3-4 bags, turn off heat cover and let steep for about 10 minutes.

Strain all that goodness out into a mug, that makes your soul smile, add some honey and enjoy that tea like a gangster.

Its going to burn, the cayenne the ginger, well they are hot so your baby mouth and throat are going to burn but you’re a gangster right! Drink it, it’s good for you!

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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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Garden Pest Control With Neem Oil

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You plant this awesome garden. This awesome garden starts to produce awesome things like, tomatoes, basil, strawberries, peaches. You see the beautiful flower blossom. Then you see the flower turn into the fruit you have always wanted. You get excited that you finally, after years of picking off the fruit so it can stabilize, finally get to taste the fruit of your labor. Then BAM, that beautiful round tomato got taken out by some damn pests. Or that beautiful basil of yours has little holes on every single leaf. I think that when you have a garden these inevitable challenges occur. Just like weeds, but we now know that we let the weeds live, right? If you are not nodding your head yes like you should be, please head on over to here. Back to the pests. If you are attempting to grow an organic garden, which I highly encourage you to, sometimes you are left scratching your head not knowing what to do. Let’s talk about a way that can possibly help. Two words, NEEM OIL.

Neem is an evergreen tree. Neem oil is a vegetable oil pressed from the fruit and seeds. Neem oil contains Azadirachtin, which is a very effective chemical that is non-toxic. The oil coats the leaves and also acts as a fungicide. It prevents fungus from starting and also smothers soft bodied insects. This dandy little oil takes care of up to 200 insects in the garden. Now I need to stress one point here about neem oil. It has to be 100% pure. Many store bought brands contain other unnecessary chemicals that are going to do more harm than good. I suggest buying this brand, it has worked beautifully for us and my husband, (who is the garden guru of our family) gives it two thumbs up.

So that little bastard that keeps eating your perfectly sized tomatoes, GONE. Those tiny little bugs that you can’t even see eating your gorgeous basil leaves, GONE. That army that took down your beautiful looking zucchini that you were so excited about, GONE.

Are you pumped up now? Are you thinking, lets do this! Okay, Okay I hear ya. Lets talk about how to make this magical potion.

Whatcha need yo:

1 tsp. of 100% cold press neem oil

32oz. spray bottle

32oz. of water

1/4 tsp. standard dawn dish soap with no additives

Whatcha do is:

Mix all ingredients listed above in your spray bottle. It is that simple. Well let me explain a little.

You want to put your oil in first. Then add your water then add your dish soap. If you add your oil and dish soap together, when you add your water you’ll end up with a bubbly mess. Then slowly turn your bottle side to side to gently mix the solution.

You want to spray your plants early in the morning. You want to spray the top side of the leaves and the underside of the leaves as well. You also want to spray the soil around your plant. This is usually where those little bugs like to lay their eggs. So make sure you wipe them out before they even have a chance. Now you don’t want to drench the leaves or the soil, just enough to coat everything.

Spray plants as needed or once every two weeks for prevention.

This mixture is only good for about 24 hours then as time goes on it becomes weaker and weaker so make sure you go on a mission after making this stuff.

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Happy pest killing!

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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

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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.

 

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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. 

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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.

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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!

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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!!

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Purple Sweet Potato Baby Food

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Let’s indulge our little sweet human in the deliciousness of purple sweet potatoes shall we. Making baby food is really not that difficult. I think many mamas get a little intimidated and don’t even try but seriously, try. It’s so easy and what better thing to feed your brand new little baby then homemade pure food. Am I right or am I right!

Purple sweet potatoes are high in vitamins A and C and in magnesium. They are a super food. Purple sweet potatoes are high in vitamins B6, iron and potassium. Purple sweet potatoes are perfect for your baby! I mean come on, you should be eating this delicious potato as well. And seriously, how beautiful is the color. Alright, well let’s get to it and make our little human some food.

Purple Sweet Potato Baby Food Recipe

Step by Step Purple Sweet Potato Baby Food Recipe… It’s So Simple!

First things first wash your potatoes with a brush and get as much dirt off of it as possible.

Get a pot with a few inches of water and put a steaming basket in. Bring water to a boil.

Purple Sweet Potato For Baby

Next, peel and cut ends off of potato and cut into big chunks. Don’t forget to throw your peels and ends in the compost.

Making some yummy japanese sweet potato baby food!

Drop potatoes in pot and cover.

Allow to steam for about 20-30 minutes or until you can pierce them with a fork very easily. Just like regular russet potatoes.

Purple Sweet Potato baby food is so easy to make!

Once done allow to cool for a bit and put them in a blender or food processor. Add some filtered water, breastmilk or formula and blend those puppies up. This purple sweet potato baby food is so nutritious for your little one!

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Pour potaoes in ice cube trays. Cover with press and seal wrap. Label and place in freezer.

Once frozen take trays out for about five minutes. This makes popping out the cubes a lot easier. Then pop out the cubes and place in freezer bag. Date, label and high five yourself!

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How easy peasy was that. Now, get yourself a crap ton of potatoes, make a big batch freeze them like I told you and you have baby food for a month. I’ll do big batches of a few things like apple sauce,  pears, even butternut squash. That way I can mix cubes up and give my little poodle noodle a variety.

To cook just heat them up in microwave for about 30 seconds to a minute.

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If y’all enjoyed this post head on over to here and or here for more baby food recipes.

Happy making!

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Canning: Chicken Stock

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It’s getting fun up in here with some chicken stock people. We love making chicken stock. Now, it does take some time and effort and sometimes we just don’t feel up to making it. But when we do man, oh man do we love it. Now when I say we, I’m mostly saying my husband. He’s been the real master mind around this chicken stock making adventure. This post is really a big fat thank you to my husband for taking time after working all day to make us this deliciousness. The feeling that comes from popping open your own delicious can of chicken stock, is like no other feeling in the world. You feel accomplished, satisfied. How do we (my husband) make it you ask, oh well let me tell you.

You know that whole chicken you buy from the store that you cut up. You cut out two breast, two legs and two wings,  then you throw the rest away. Well I encourage you to stop throwing the carcass away. You are going to take that bad boy and bust out your crock pot. If you don’t have a crock pot, that’s cool, just take out a big pot and throw it in that bad boy. After you cook it for a full 24 hours you are going to bust out that bad ass canner you bought your self and can up that delicious stock you just made. If making it in a pot, you’ll just cook it for about 12 hours.  I guess that was a little vague uh, ok let’s get into the details.

Ingredients:

Chicken carcass
3 carrots
3 celery
½ sweet onion
2 cloves garlic
1-2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Filtered water

Directions:

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After you cut up your chicken and your carcass is left, throw it in a crock pot.

Rinse carrots and celery, no need to peel the carrots. You are not eating them, all these veggies are just for flavor. Chop carrots, celery and onion. Throw in crock pot. Along with cloves of garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves. Now add filtered water just until it covers chicken and veggies. Turn on low and cook for a full 24 hours, you may need to turn it back on low after so many hours. My husband usually starts it after dinner, after cutting it up and then finishes it the following night right before we start dinner.

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After the full 24 hours, get your pressure canner on the stove filled with water and start heating it up. Get everything else you need for canning. (click here for a refresher) Next, you are going to take a big pot and put a strainer on top of it. You want to strain the meat and veggies and reserve the liquid. We usually pick out the bones and as many of the peppercorns as possible and feed it to our dog. Nothing goes to waste.

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Put the pot back on the stove and just bring it to a boil. Once your pressure canner is ready, put your funnel on your jars and fill with stock. Leave ½ inch of head space. Wipe rim of your jars with your paper towel, put your lid and ring on and tighten only finger tight. Place those suckers in the canner. Put your lid on and allow steam to vent for a full 10 minutes. Now, steam will start to trickle out of the vent hole as soon as you put your lid on. What you want to wait for is a full flow of steam to come out of the vent. Once that happens set your timer for 10 minutes. Once your timer goes off you are going to put on your weight at 10 lbs and process for 20 minutes for pints 40 minutes for quarts.

Once your time is up you want to just turn off your stove and allow the pressure canner to cool and release the pressure. DO NOT try and speed up this process by trying to cool it down with a wet towel or ice. Just turn off the stove and go about your business for about 30 minutes or until the gauge reads zero. Then you can take off the weight and I usually wait about another 30 minutes. I believe the instructions say to wait another two minutes but I stay on the safe side. Take your jars out and place on a towel on the counter and leave for 24 hours. By leaving the jars alone you ensure the jars seal properly. If you’re lucky you might hear the sweet sound of the PING, the sweetest sound to a canners ear. That sound tells you, you just canned yourself some chicken stock, homie.

How to use your chicken stock:

1. Sip on it when you are sick, it is amazing at boosting your immune system and makes you feel so much better.
2. In any recipe that calls for stock or broth.
3. I use it in my homemade Spanish rice.
4. Use it in sauces.

The list can really go on, use it like you would store bought stuff. Don’t forget to label and date your jars. They will sit pretty in your pantry for about a year.

Happy chicken stock making!

Oh and help a homie out and hit the like button if you dig this post, pin it if you want to get crazy and follow if you just want to be cool!

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Homemade Enchilada Sauce

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Ok if you are a true Hispanic you might say what is this? I, people am the whitest Hispanic there is so this is what you got coming at you but if I do say so myself it’s pretty damn good. I hope my aunts don’t read this, if they do I’m sure I’ll be getting a call saying seriously! Anyway, onward!

If you were wondering what to do with that homemade tomato sauce that you just canned, bust it out yo because this recipe calls for it. As usual get everything you need ready before you start. One thing my husband has taught me is get everything measure out in bowls and everything you need out on the counter before you even attempt to start cooking.

Ingredients:
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 8oz tomato sauce
1 ½ cups chicken broth
¼ salt or to taste

Let’s do this:

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We are going to heat the oil in a large skillet on medium heat.

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Whisk in flour, chili powder and cayenne pepper and reduce heat. Continue to whisk until it turns lightly brown.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce and chicken broth and salt to taste.

Continue to simmer for about 5 maybe 10 minutes until slightly thickened.

Serve immediately

When it comes to making enchiladas, I heat up some vegetable oil in a pan and dip my corn tortillas until slightly toasted. Then I dip my tortillas in the pan with the enchilada sauce then I put my cheese and roll those little suckers up. Slightly toasting the tortillas in oil helps give it a tiny crunch rather then a soggy taste. Then I top with more cheese and olives and bake on 325 for about 15 maybe 20 minutes.

Serve with homemade refried beans from your home canned beans and homemade Spanish rice with your home canned stewed tomatoes!

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Happy enchilada making!

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Homemade Spanish Rice

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Ok people, we are about to make some tasty super duper easy Spanish rice so toss that boxed crap out and get ready to get your socks knocked off! I am all about easy recipes so this one is going to be super quick. Let’s roll.

ingredients:

1 cup uncle Bens white rice

2 tablespoons butter

16 oz stewed tomatoes

1 cup chicken broth

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Grab your self a large pan and thrown your rice in that bad boy and start heating it up on medium. Toss in your butter and cook rice until slightly brown.

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Pour in your stewed tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.

slap a lid on it, turn to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Check it after 15 minutes and see if you have any liquid left. If you do cook for about 10 to 15 more minutes. If not turn off the heat keep lid on and move off burner.

I usually cook my rice first and let it sit on the stove until I serve. But keep your lid on so it stays warm. Spanish rice can go with so many delicious dinner ideas. Here I made enchiladas with homemade sauce with refried beans and Spanish rice.

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Happy making!

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Healthy Refried Beans

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Listen homie, if you’re looking for a mean refried bean this ain’t it. BUT, if you are looking for a healthy feel good refried bean, come on down I’ve got what your looking for. To start, bust out that home canned bean goodness you just stuck in your pantry and get ready for your belly to smile.

Ingredients:
Home canned pinto beans
Clove or two of garlic
1 tbsp butter
Salt to taste

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Pop that bad boy open toss it in a pot. Add garlic, butter and salt. Heat on medium high. You want to keep the flame medium high and constantly stir the beans. By cooking them on the higher end it will thicken them up the way refried beans should be. Once heated you want to mash them up a bit. At this point be careful with the garlic because if you mash it too much it will stat to look like a bean and then who ever finds it, uh um bites in to it, is the winner! At least that’s the game in our house. Continue cooking until desired thickness. Keep tasting it and salt to taste.

That’s it people, bam, refried beans healthy version. Enjoy with not so healthy cheese on top!

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Happy refried beaning!

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Baby Food: Butternut Squash

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Yum, butternut squash, don’t mind if I do, oh wait it’s not for me it’s for my baby. We are making baby food here people. Don’t get freaked out by the thought of it and think it’s way to much to take on or you don’t have time. I have two kids under three and work 40 hours a week. If I can do it, you can do it. With that said, let’s roll.

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Butternut squash is one of those weird hard looking squash, so be very careful when cutting it. But first let wash it up. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.

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Then you are going to cut the end with the little stem off. Stand it up right and cut, again very carefully, down the middle.

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Next, scoop out the goodness in the middle.

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Take a cookie sheet and line it with foil, pour about two inches of filtered water in the sheet and place your squash meat side down on your sheet. Place in your oven and bake for about 40 minutes. You want the skin to become soft and brown up a bit.

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Let cool for about ten minutes and scoop the meat out into a blender.

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Blend up, homie.

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Pour into ice cube trays, cover with press and seal and freeze it.

When making baby food here are a few tips I’ve learned

• Use press and seal, it’s a great little seal for what it is and gives you some time if you can’t get to putting the food in a freezer bag the next day.
• Let trays sit out for about five minutes before trying to pop them out. This gives them time to loosen up, making it a hell of a lot easier to dump in a bag.
• Always label and date.

And you’re done, see how easy that was.

Don’t forget to check out my purple sweet potato baby food recipe!

Happy making!

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Baby Food: Apple Sauce

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Seriously making baby food is one of the easiest things to do. Plus you are giving your sweet little human the purest form of food there is. No preservatives, dyes, chemical or other nasty little things. Just pure food. Anyway, let’s hop to it and make us some apples sauce.

As always what are we going to do? Yup, you got it, wash our fruit. Next, you want to peel those little suckers.

Get a pot with a steamer basket going on the stove. After peeling your apples, take out the core and cut in half or quarters. Throw those little puppies in the pot and steam them until they are soft.

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We are going to blend them up until we get a soft purée. I put cinnamon in almost every baby food recipe, why my husband asks every single time, I don’t know it just feels right. Let me be.

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Pour your delicious and super easy apple sauce in ice cube trays seal with some press and seal and freeze.

Little tips that have made my life a tad easier when making baby food.

*Use press and seal, it’s gives a pretty good seal giving you time if you can’t get to it the next day.
* leave your trays out for about five minutes before trying to pop them out into a bag. This gives them enough time to loosen up and doesn’t take as much effort.

* Always label and date your freezer bags.

That’s it people. Easy peasy.

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Happy making!

Also, check out my purple sweet potato baby food recipe..yum!

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Baby Food: Pears

Making baby food sounds and feels more complicated then it really is. If you have a pot, a steamer basket and blender, you’re ready to rock and or roll. This recipe for pears is super easy, let’s get to it.

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First wash and peel and core your pears. Then you want to cut them into big chunks. After so many times of doing this, I find you can just core them and throw them in the blender. Pears blend so easy it doesn’t take a whole lot of prepping.

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Next blend them up you. Bing bang boom, baby food of the purest kind.

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Pour it into ice cube trays, freeze up and then pop them out into a freezer bag and you’ve got food for a week or two.

Tips that have made my life just a tad easier,
• press and seal plastic wrap, just lay it on top and press and you’ve got a pretty decent seal for a few days.
• Leave the trays out for about five minutes before trying to pop those suckers out.
• Label label label

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Happy making!

Need more baby food ideas? Check out my Purple Sweet Potato Baby Food Recipe!