What is brewing???

Over the years I have been learning many things about healthy eating, health foods and the benefits of them. I was very blessed to grow up in a family who believed that sweets, lollies and sugar were never a good thing. We also did not have a fast food restaurant anywhere near to us, so luckily I did not experience any of those foods as a child and never got addicted to them. However, I was not taught why these foods were not such a great idea so I decided to find out for myself. On my journey in finding the truth about food and well being I have come across many amazing and eye opening things that were new to me and helpful for the well being of my husband and children, one of them being raw foods. But I have also found out some really ugly truth about the food industry as well as the “health industry”.  I will share some of those things here on my blog as I am very passionate about that. Today I will share with you about fermenting your food and in particularly; KEFIR.

Milk Kefir, Water Kefir, Kombucha

Only recently have I learned about fermenting of foods and how wonderful it is for your digestive system to receive foods that have been fermented. The funny thing is, that having been born in Holland, sauerkraut was a staple in our diet! I never knew how healthy it was.

There are many reasons why you should ferment food, one is because they are full of beneficial bacteria to replenish your gut. According to Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine “all disease begins in the gut”, therefore it is so very important to make sure that we have enough healthy bacteria to keep us strong to fight off disease.  In a world where many of us are prescribed antibiotics for whatever reason,  I strongly believe that fermented foods need to be an important part of your diet, since they restore the proper balance of bacteria in the gut.

Raw and fermented foods are also rich in enzymes. We need enzymes to digest our food properly according to the  Food Renegade blog. Unfortunately most of us consume not nearly enough raw foods, such as salads, raw vegetables and fruits to make sure that we have enough enzymes to digest our foods. As you get older your enzymes decrease also, so it is critical to make sure that you ingest enough enzyme rich food to help you digest properly. Why, you might ask? Simply because our body needs all nutrients in our food and when it is not digested properly our bodies will not absorb all the goodness it needs in order to function at its best.

According to ubernatural.com

A healthy gut has 3 prime functions…

  1. digestion of food
  2. absorption, manufacture and distribution of nutrients
  3. prevention of toxins from entering the body.

So what do I ferment? The easiest thing to ferment is milk. I use milk Kefir grains to turn milk into Kefir.

Kefir is rich in beneficial bacteria. It has over 40 different strains of good bacteria. One glass is equivalent to consuming one bottle of pro biotics!!

This is how you make it:

To make Kefir all you need is the grains and milk. Best way to get the grains is from a friend. This how I got mine. If you don’t have a friend with grains, then you can purchase them online. Make sure they are live grains which you can use over and over again. Do not ever fall for the “maintenance free Kefir cultures” These are adapted and do not contain far as many strains of beneficial bacteria and yeast as the real thing. Besides, you can only use these kinds of cultures once, whereas, your grains can be passed down from generation to generation.

You add the milk to the grains and let it sit in a glass bottle for 24-48 hours (this is where the magic happens) before straining the grains out of the milk. The milk does not go off, instead, fermentation of the lactose yields a sour, carbonated, slightly alcoholic beverage, with a consistency similar to thin yoghurt. I use it in a smoothie with banana and honey. Sometimes I add berries. Super delicious and my children love it!

I  have started a batch of water kefir and a batch of Kombucha this morning. I will talk about these another time, because I only just received these in the mail and want to see if it will work out desirably, before I start raving about it…..;-).

Here I added to the Kefir some orange juice (freshly squeezed, cos I love it.), almonds and berries. See, the options are endless, so have some fun with it.

If you want more information, Yemoos is a great website where you will find an answer to most of your questions.

 

 

 

Turning old into new for as little as possible.

We recently moved into a lovely new house and with that blessing came the task of turning this space into something warm and inviting, a home.

Because our previous home was so much larger than our new house I accumulated an extensive inventory with home wares, many of which have not yet found a spot in our new home and some of which were not suitable to be used because of colour,  shape or size.

However I was able to turn some “unsuitable pieces” such as decorative cushions and even a lamp shade into a brand new piece with little effort and a little budget. I was so happy that I did not have to throw more money into home wares and throw good stuff away. Win, win situation.

So let me show you what I did.

First I decided what colour palette I wanted to use in this house. My old house had a lot of black, brown, beige and red. I did not want ANY of those colours.

I decided on white, pink, yellow and turquoise. The base colour of everything in the house is white from there I built it up with colour.

This is how the living/dining/kitchen turned out:

The basic furniture is what I started with. I re-upholstered the cushions because they still had lots of life left in them and with some fabric from spotlight it only cost me about $25 dollars to create 5 new cushions. That is cheaper than buying 1 new one!

I also re-upholstered the lamp shade from brown to fuchia or from “drab to fab”. This made such a huge difference in the room.

 

This was a very easy project and I simply used the same fabric as I used for the cushions, this way everything ties in beautifully. I was also very lucky to find some amazing pillow cases from PIP STUDIO Amsterdam on sale for $5 dollars a pair! I used the white trim from the pillow case as the embellishment on the bottom of the lamp shade. This was the cherry on top and finished it off perfectly.

The pillow cases which I found at such a bargain (I couldn’t believe my own luck) I will use for another project in the future. (not sure yet).

How did I do it? Very simple, Spray adhesive and double sided tape! Make sure you first wrap your fabric around the shade, then start cutting it.

It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to make your home look inviting and warm, it just needs a little bit of creative power and knowledge of a few basics.

Always choose a base to start with, in my case white.

Then choose 2 or 3 colours to bring your foundation to life. You can use those colours in pictures and art,  soft furnishing such as throws, cushions or even a rug.  Commit to your choice of colour and keep on building until your room looks just the way you like it!

Oh and don’t forget some fresh flowers, it works like magic.

Have fun decorating!

 

 

Patience, Patience, for a job well done. This is how you make “Grandma’s Traditional Dutch Stewed Beef.”

I couldn’t help myself! I have to share this recipe with you.

When I grew up it was almost a nightly event, stewed beef or as the Dutch also call it “draadjes vlees”.  My mother always cooked fresh and homemade food, for which I am VERY grateful. Thanks Mum!

Even when I moved out of home I still continued to cook the way my mum had always cooked for me. It helped that we had no fast food chains at all in our town except the Chinese restaurant on the corner. Oh, I still crave their Spring rolls and Satay Sauce. We also grew up in the era where a TV dinner was unheard of! Can you even imagine this now. It is all my father-in-law lives on, God bless him, and needless to say he is as square as the box his dinners come in……..;-)

I do remember though when TV dinners became available. It was well after my sister and I had moved out and lived on our own. The very first one I ever tasted was a traditional Dutch meal, Curly Kale with Mashed Potato and a Smoked sausage. My mum had bought it and was overexcited to try this new and innovative product, because surely this is incredibly convenient.

Curly Kale and Mash is my all-time favourite Dutch meal so much so that I grow Curly Kale in my backyard here in Australia in the winter time, but in a carton box heated up in the microwave it truly tasted like dog food. It was awful what it tasted like and I swore never to touch something like that again. So I didn’t!

Anyway, I digress. I was going to share this recipe with you for Traditional Dutch Stewed Beef.

  • 500 gr. Chuck Steak
  • 1 Onion
  • 50 gr. Butter
  • 1/2 tbs. Tomato Paste
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 3 Whole Cloves
  • 1 tbs. Vinegar
  • 20 gr. Mustard
  • Pepper and Salt to taste

Cut the onion. Heat butter in pan and wait for the foam to disappear. Turn the heat on low. Fry the chuck steak on both sides until slightly browned and sprinkle on some salt and pepper to taste. Remove the meat from the pan and put the meat aside. Saute the onion in the pan for appr. 3 minutes. Stir through the tomato paste and simmer for another 1 minute. Put the meat back into the pan. Add water into the pan until it just covers the meat, add the bay leaves, the cloves and the vinegar and bring back to the boil. Put the lid onto the pan and stew the meat for about 2 1/2 hours on low heat until it is done.

To make the jus (gravy), stir in the mustard and pepper and salt. You can serve this meat with mashed potatoes and red cabbage with apple. What!? Red Cabbage with Apple, the Dutch are crazy. Yes they are, this recipe I will have to share with you another time, I guess 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pantry doors are open!

What a strange concept, a blog! But it didn’t take to long till I also got sucked in. It is a fast moving world in which we live and the way we communicate, learn and share has changed a lot. So, gone is my notebook and here is my blog. I have so much to share with you about lots of different things. I have been quite busy the last few days with a couple of projects so make sure to check back so I can share with you the things that keep me off the streets!