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I have eaten Sauerkraut since i was about 10 years old. I must have been the only non-German 10yr old who loved Sauerkraut!

It’s been a part of my family since i met my step dad and his parents, and may i just say…

Sauerkraut and German sausages totally rock!

I have tried making it quite a few times but it has always involved a jar of pre-made kraut and a tonne of sugar… and it didn’t taste very good. I don’t know how my grandparents make it, but i think its canned or jar and then they tweek it, and sadly i have no knack for this method. Balancing those flavours is beyond me!

So i was absolutely over the moon when i discovered that real Sauerkraut is actually a lacto-fermented vegetable and be made quickly and simply (with a little muscle power) at home with either a little whey or extra salt – and NO sugar :

Nourishing Traditions and my Kraut!

Nourishing Traditions and my Kraut!

Sauerkraut – Inspired by Nourishing Traditions

Half a large head of cabbage, finely shredded (i used my food processor)

Half a tablespoon Caraway seeds

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

2 tablespoons whey (or an extra teaspoon of salt)

Place all ingredients in bowl and pound until juices are released. Place into wide mouth mason jar and continue to pound until juice is at least 1 inch above the cabbage. Cap the jar and leave on your bench for 3 days. At this point you can place it in the fridge and start eating it… the flavour will continue to mature over time!

Meat basher works just fine.

Meat basher works just fine.

sk4

Kraut-man!!

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It’s Autumn, the leaves are falling, the air is beginning to get chilly in the morning (kind of!) and my son asked me for porridge again.

He actually loves porridge, which is wonderful… except that i have never really loved porridge and he insists that we must eat it together. Yes, yes, it’s lovely that he wants to share this with me, it’s beautiful in fact… but to be honest, i make it through about half a small bowl and start to gag a little and now that the little Miss is almost 2 and asserting herself in the food department i have to duck if she doesn’t like it… and listen to complaints of “no like it poddidge” and so on and so forth…

Porridge, in my memories is just stodge with too much sugar on top to make it palatable. Yes its lovely smothered in whole milk and lashings of golden syrup, but honestly i could just enjoy the milk & syrup and be done with it. I don’t digest it well, it sits in my stomach for so long that it gets bored and i don’t like that.

In light of my recent adventures in lacto-fermenting and soaking grains i thought i should give it another try.  So i did, and now i think i can honestly say that i might just start loving porridge… i won’t overdo it, but maybe a few times a week i can absolutely love porridge!

The process of overnight soaking with water and a little whey really lightens the load of the oats and the addition of just little bit of butter and maple (or raw honey) is just divine!! The porridge is smooth, tasty and leaves the most luxurious mouth-feel, it’s almost indescribable… all from a little overnight soak. Not to mention how incredibly fast it is. Honestly, 2 minutes to get the oats soaking and then 5 minutes in the morning – that’s fast food folks, right there!

It got the absolute tick of approval from Miss Almost 2 and Mr 4.5… although one wanted more butter and one wanted less butter and syrup… personal porridge preferences are so darn important, and i don’t deny them the freedom of choice at individualising their breakfasts. Miss Almost 2 loves her butter so she got lots, and Mr 4.5 prefers the plain taste so he got just a smidge of butter and a dash of syrup and his personal “additive” of choice, cinnamon!

The options are limitless, but Sally Fallon (Author of Nourishing Traditions) does recommend the addition of butter to assist in the absorption of vitamins and minerals… and a pinch of good quality salt goes a long way as well.

I also found that the recipe of 1 cup of oats (once soaked) was enough to serve myself, my husband and 2 small children – whereas last year, if i wanted to feed us all i cooked at least 1.5cups – much more economical to soak!

Extra butter for Miss Almost 2... and just a dash of organic maple!

Extra butter for Miss Almost 2… and just a dash of organic maple!

 

Breakfast Porridge – Inspired by Nourishing Traditions (pg 455)

1 cup oats

1 cup warm water

2 Tblspns Whey

Combine these ingredients in a bowl. Cover and leave overnight (or up to 24hrs)

In the morning:

Place 1 cup water and a pinch of salt into a saucepan and bring to the boil.

Add soaked oats and reduce the heat to low stirring for 3-5 minutes. They are ready when they reach the consistency you desire.

Serve hot with your choice of milk, cream, butter, a pinch of salt, a slurp of syrup, honey, cinnamon, nuts and/or fruit.

Enjoy!!

 

Nicole

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It’s the latest thing isn’t it, cultured veggies. Pete Evans is doing it… and well, he’s someone isn’t he? He copped a lot of flack a while back for activating his nuts, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post!

CULTURED VEGGIES

We’ve been eating them, or their inferior cousins, for probably our whole lives and didn’t even know it.

Saurkraut, gerkins, pickled onions… that weird cauliflower/carrot/capsicum? veggie mix in a large jar that my Pop in Queensland eats every Christmas… whatever it is, it’s made appearances, you’ve seen it right? Unfortunately, most store-bought cultured veg has been made using either vinegar and/or sugar, and low-grade salt, rendering it almost entirely useless in terms of nutritional benefit.

Traditional cultured veggies were not just a means of preserving veggies pre-refrigeration, they were also a nutritional powerhouse. Full of good bacteria, probiotics and enzymes that aid digestion. They really are good for you and should be eaten daily! Not something to be forced down, but something that actually tastes good… like those yummy little piles of pickles you eat with your indian food… or that delicious morsel of Kimchi with your Korean BBQ. Honestly, awesome!

So i thought I’d start off easy and try and make something the kids might like to. Ginger Carrots it is then!

full to the brim with carrotty goodness!

full to the brim with carrotty goodness!

Cultured Carrots – Inspired by Nourishing Traditions pg. 95

(Fermented Fruit & Vegetables)

About 8 carrots (i think i got about 3 cups worth) grated

Half tspn salt

Half tblspn Ginger powder

3 Tblspns Whey* (read more about whey here)

Combine in bowl and pound with a meat mallet or other wooden implement.

Once the juice is released, pop into a jar. Make sure the carrots are pushed down under the liquid.

Pop on a lid and place in the kitchen somewhere for 3 days.

Now you can start eating it – and store it in the fridge!

 

Nicole

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UPDATE: I got to taste these, finally!!! OMG they are totally yummy. Crunchy, a little bit salty, a tiny bit vinegar-y and 100% taste-bud-tingling. I want to eat all the carrots 😀

 

Saturday night… 11pm… must remember to put the clocks back 1hr for the end of daylight savings!

Tomorrow is my son’s first game of AFL auskick. He is 4.5yrs old so i am not expecting football genius, just a lot of fun and standing around watching the kids stand around while they watch their coaches stand around and wait for someone to tell them to either catch the ball or kick the ball… it’ll be ace! But seriously, i am excited for him because he is excited and he loves it!

And to assist in this extraordinary excitement i must make pancakes, at 11pm. Or at least i must START making pancakes…

I mix my flours with warm water and *whey… then leave them to work their magic while i sleep!

Sleep all night and be woken at 4.30am by a 4.5yr old who has no idea that daylight savings has ended and is excited about football today… oh well, at least there’s pancakes…

WAIT… What the hell is *whey? Isn’t that something Little Miss Muffet was eating… with curds?

                                                   That just sounds gross delicious! Tell me more about this nutional powerhouse!

Whey is a by-product of cheese making. I recently got some unhomogenised organic milk for only $1 per litre and decided it just HAD to be made into ricotta cheese. I used this  recipe. Whey contains lots of enzymes and probiotics that assist in making phytates easier to digest – essentially, they make grains digestable and good for you! It’s the same process that used to make sour dough bread. Soaking grains gets rid of anti-nutrients and can make them digestable for those even with food intolerances or those of us who may feel a bit bloaty after too many grains. I am not a scientist or nutritionist… but my friend google has many good sources of information in the topic! This is a good article to start with.

So anyway, i get up and beat an egg add some pre-soaked batter to the bowl, baking powder and apple cider vinegar. I add these last 2 ingredients to give the pancakes the lift i like, it’s a great trick for cakes and muffins as well.

And to make some special shapes i pop my batter in a squeezy sauce bottle and design my own stars and football shaped pancakes/pikelets for my little AFL monster’s breakfast. Served with apple slices, butter and syrup!

pancakes

My recipe – inspired by Nourishing Traditions Pancakes p478

1 cup each Spelt and Buckwheat flours

2 cups warm water

2 Tblsp Whey

Let soak at least overnight or for 24 hours

I then beat 1 egg and added **half the batter, mix well.

Add 1 tspn each of baking powder and apple cider vinegar (if you want to make the whole batter use 2 eggs, or even 3, and add tspn each baking powder and ACV)

Cook in spoonfuls (or using a squeezy bottle) in a frypan with coconut oil.

These were totally devoured for breakfast and morning tea!

 

**OPTIONAL:

With the second portion of the batter i added the egg, baking powder and ACV then also added a grated apple and some cinnamon. These were delicious served warm with butter!

 

EDIT – ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

I made a second batch of these and left the batter to sit for a full 24hrs. I also added 3 eggs instead of 1 to give them more lift. Leaving the batter for a whole day really gave the waffles a sourdough flavour, delicious!

This wonderfully rich and luxurious batter was turned into gorgeous heart shaped waffles – cooked to perfection is an authentic (and possible antique) german waffle maker. They were served hot with lashings of organic butter and maple syrup – for my children and my husband, i did not indulge, but i think i should have!!!

Lovely little hearts and a sneak peek at my waffle iron!

Lovely little hearts and a sneak peek at my waffle iron!

 

 

 

 

 

After reading many many articles on the merits of fats, cultured foods and traditional foods i was inspired to purchase a copy of Nourishing Traditions written by Sally Fallon.

After opening the book only 3 days ago i have prepped and starting culturing and cooking 5 recipes already… maybe i am a bit too excited?

Anyhoo, i decided to include YOU in my new cooking adventures. I hope they are as inspiring and enjoyable for you as they are nourishing and delicious for me.

Stay tuned for a couple of quick, easy and delicious recipes to get you started on the pathway to good gut health and a healthy immune system!

Nicole

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