Archive for the ‘Fermenting’ Category

I forgot to write a Recipe thuRsday post, so I’m sharing today what I intended to yesterday!  Here’s a fast & warm way to eat a healthy breakfast every morning in the upcoming cold (and gloomy) months: Slow-Cooker Pineapple OatmealIt requires no sugar or dairy (it can be gluten free if you buy gluten-free certified oats and avoid the wheat flour for soaking) and is as sweet for your digestive system as it is to your palette!  It has enzymes, whole grains, and if you go with the coconut oil option, has MCTs for healthy brain functioning.  Throw out those sugar- and additive-infested boxed cereals and eat something equally fast but much more nutritious!

If you enjoyed this recipe post, please share with your friends using one of the options below.  Thanks!


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To make yummy Zesty Bean Quesadillas like these, check out my Whole Wheat Sourdough Tortillas Recipe below!

Just in case my sniper-like midnight-posting of this week’s Transformation Tuesdays missed your attention, I have three sourdough bread recipes on the blog and today I added a sourdough tortillas recipe.  Here’s the low-down on the recipes:

SPARTAN SOURDOUGH BREAD RECIPE: Make this bread for a rich, totally nutritious compliment to soups and salads.  It is slightly bitter and dense; it provides an excellent background flavor for a Raw Honey or Dipping-oil topping.

SIMPLE SOURDOUGH BREAD RECIPE: you can make this bread without fancy equipment or ingredients.  It can be used to make sandwiches; it has a rustic texture and moderate flavor that is especially good toasted and topped with butter or served with pure maple syrup as Sourdough French Toast.

SOFT SANDWICH SOURDOUGH BREAD RECIPE: This is a sourdough bread that can replace your sandwich bread completely (you will rejoice if you’ve tried to make other sourdough breads work as a traditional sandwich bread); it is soft, has a mild tang, and slices nice-and-thin for regular-sized sandwiches.  Bonus: this bread recipe makes enough for two small loaves or a regular loaf and 6 hamburger buns.  Perfect to make for the week ahead!

WHOLE WHEAT SOURDOUGH TORTILLAS RECIPE: Are you ever tired of trying to find a 100% whole wheat tortilla at the grocery store (read the labels: most are made WITH whole grain flour and are amended with fortified white flour)?  Who wants to spend $5 for 8 tortillas?  Not I!  This is a cheap-and-easy option for improving your whole grain intake with some extra nutrition from the fermenting powers of sourdough.  Use for thin-crust pizzas, quesadillas, enchiladas, soft tacos, sandwich wraps… it’s a very versatile recipe to have in your culinary repertoire!

If you enjoyed this Recipe thuRsday post and think a friend would appreciate it, why not share it with them using one of the many features below?  They’ll be glad you did (and so will I!)

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Avoid the harmful ingredients in store-bought bread; make your own TRULY all-natural bread cheaply and with more nutrients!

This is going to be a speedy set of links…

If you want to see a little of my bread-making journey, go to my new Sourdough Help page which includes reasons for using natural leavening (Sourdough).

Helping of Hope: I have THREE recipes for Sourdough Bread on that page.  I’m sure you’ll find one that is right for you 🙂

If you missed my recommendation for Sourdough starter, it is in my latest SHOP-TIL-YOU-DROP SATURDAYS post.

Bon Apetit.  Please share using one of the many features below.  Thanks!

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Today’s shopping recommendation is to buy TWO cultures that have worked very well for me.

Free Kefir Recipe eBook from Cultures for Health

I am proud to be an affiliate of Cultures for Health and I love to use their products. Click here to check out everything they have to offer!

The first is the CULTURED BUTTERMILK STARTER, which I use and explain on my homemade yogurt page.  It makes a wonderfully creamy taste for yogurt, without the harsh tang traditionally associated with other yogurts (I have received lots of compliments and it is *husband-approved*).  It is available from the Cultures for Health home page in the menu on the left as “Buttermilk Starter” under the heading “Starter Cultures”.  Make sure you pick the heirloom culture, not the direct set.

The second is the DESEM SOURDOUGH STARTER, which I use with King Arthur ORGANIC Whole Wheat Flour for my Sourdough Recipes (more to come soon).  It is easy to use and works long-term on whole wheat doughs to get the maximum fermentation with the desired rise.  It is available from the Cultures for Health home page in the menu on the left as “Sourdough Starter” under the heading “Starter Cultures”.  Make sure to pick DESEM unless you want to keep a white flour culture for faster rise (but less nutrition).

Both cultures are $12.99 each and should last indefinitely if properly maintained.  They require no special equipment and work at room temperature.  The buttermilk culture even comes with extra “flakes” so you can keep them in the ‘fridge should anything go wrong with your first starter.  Shipping is only $3.99.

Helping of Hope: You can make at least a YEAR’S WORTH of YOGURT and SOURDOUGH  BREADS for $30 plus the price of milk and flour!  What a way to keep your body AND your grocery budget happy 🙂

If you have enjoyed this SHOP-TIL-YOU-DROP SATURDAYS post, please share it using the many options below.  Thanks!

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Better late than never, but I had to get these two recipes to you as soon as I could!

Check out these flavors: Chocolate, Strawberry, and Vanilla…all natural!

The first recipe takes advantage of the many health benefits of yogurt.  All natural flavors are provided by vanilla essence, non-alkali cocoa powder, and fresh strawberries!  These naturally-sweetened, TANGY drinks are sure to refresh you in the Summer and give you your daily probiotics.  My kids love the Chocolate Yogurt Milk.  Click here for the Chocolate, Strawberry, and Vanilla Yogurt Milk recipe.

Make sure to check out everything that ginger can do for you!

The next recipe is based on an old tradition that predates Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie days!  Lacto-Fermented Gingerade, a sweet and mildly spicy drink, takes advantage of the many benefits of ginger as one of the best natural providers of Zinc as well as antioxidants that help to protect against cancer and stroke.  The Lacto-fermentation process causes these nutrients to be more easily digested and preserves the drink naturally so it can last for months in your ‘fridge.  Click here for the Lacto-Fermented Gingerade recipe.

I hope you enjoyed these recipes!  If you think someone else would like to see them, feel free to share this post using one of the many options below.  Thanks!



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Probiotic Ranch | A Helping of Hope

Make your own Probiotic Ranch!

This thuRsday I want to give you two recipes that have come in very handy since I started making food from scratch.  The first is a Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise (Lacto-Fermented means it is preserved naturally and easier to digest; fermented does NOT mean rotten or yucky-tasting…quite the opposite, let me assure you 🙂 ) and the second is Probiotic Ranch (it will help protect you from infection and improve your digestion).  Both are nutrition-musts this Summer and will make tasty sandwich-making a snap and healthy salads a breeze.  Bon Apetit!

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Good nutrition is filling.  Good nutrition will provide your body with what it needs to fight disease without the use of side-effect-inducing medication.  Good nutrition will help you to feel better and your body to work at its peak performance.  It isn’t surprising that supplements and medications seek to add what has been lost to our foods by over-processing and poor farming methods.  Making our own yogurt is one of the simplest, most effective ways of adding nutrition to our diets.  It forms the basis of many homemade recipes and is available all the time.  You can make as much or as little as you want.  Homemade yogurt is very versatile and easy to make!

The Benefits

Casein (milk protein) is difficult to digest.  People who cannot digest casein properly can develop an “overload” of casein in their bloodstream that crosses into the brain and induces an opiate effect, creating dependency and neurological impairment.  Culturing (fermenting) milk breaks down casein so the body can absorb it properly, making it much safer for most people to consume and avoid developing a milk sensitivity.

Lactose (milk sugar) is also difficult to digest.  Culturing milk creates enzymes like Lactase which help to break down the sugar, preventing bloating and sickness in the lactose-intolerant.  The other enzymes in the yogurt help the body to absorb calcium better.  The vitamin content of milk increases when it is fermented, increasing energy, improving mood, and helping the body to fight off disease.

Perhaps the most useful aspect of cultured milk (yogurt) are the probiotics it provides: these protect the digestive tract, preventing infection and maximizing the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.  More nutrients = more full.  More full = less eating.  Less eating (for many of us) = healthy weight.  If you’re trying to add weight, proper nutrition will help you to do that naturally without eating excessively.

It’s easy to make large batches of homemade yogurt if you have several recipes coming up. Just mix some heirloom yogurt started and milk/cream in a jar and leave alone for 24 hours!

Making your own homemade yogurt will help you to make cultured recipes; your Ranch dressing and Yogurt Cream Cheese Frosting can be PROBIOTIC, maximizing the nutrition of whatever foods you are eating them with. You’ll especially appreciate it in Cold-and-Flu Season as a natural remedy that’s more effective than flu-shots and OTC cold medications (and much, much cheaper).  You will become less dependent on the grocery store and spend less on drugs; a time and cost savings you’re sure to recognize this Winter if you start now!

How to Get Started

To make yogurt “A Helping of Hope”-style, you’ll need to order an heirloom yogurt culture from Cultures for Health (I recommend the Buttermilk heirloom yogurt culture; Villi works too, but it is more tangy).  Then follow the simple, step-by-step instructions how to make homemade yogurt.  Other methods are included on the page, just in case you don’t feel comfortable ordering a culture (even though it is really easy and Cultures for Health has wonderful service)

How are you doing so far?

Have you started reading labels on your canned goods (see last week’s Transformation Tuesdays post).  Have you made an “On Notice” list yet?  It doesn’t have to be fancy!  If you haven’t done so yet, check the labels of the canned goods in your cupboard and put the cans “On Notice” if they contain artificial sweeteners or corn syrup products.  Take the list with you to the grocery store and see if you can find alternatives that are sweetened naturally.  Or, check the web (or my Food menu tab as I continually post new recipes) for ONE recipe to replace ONE “On Notice” canned-good FOR good!

Did you enjoy today’s helping of hope?  Know someone who is health-conscious and would appreciate this post?  Don’t forget to share it with them today using one of the many options below.  Thanks!


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