Dreams Do Come True: I’m Writing a Book!

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Next summer, in July or August of 2017, you’ll be able to buy my book! I’m writing a book! I cannot believe it. I wrote my first 4,000 words over the weekend and although it feels good, I have a lot ahead of me. It’s an awesome feeling but also so, so scary. It’s easy to let my insecurities creep into my mind but I will continue to be positive and keep my eyes on the prize, THIS BOOK IS GOING TO ROCK.

I began canning about ten years ago and it quickly became an obsession, I’m sure many of you know exactly what I mean. After a lifelong love affair with kimchi, I decided it was time to start fermenting as well (I finally mastered my recipe two years ago). As the years go by, I’ve come to realize that most people stick to one hobby or the other, not enough of you can and ferment food. That’s when the idea came to me and I decided that I needed to write a book with both canning AND fermentation recipes, for the same produce item. Now you will be able to easily reference recipes for both canning and fermenting for the same fruit or vegetable in one amazingly resourceful book, my book!

I’m going to be laser focused over the next 9 months and do my best to produce the most delicious recipes I can come up with.

Thanks for all the love and support over the years on this blog, twitter and instagram. ❤

Beautifully Fermented Watermelon Radishes: How to Ferment Radish Pickles

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About a month ago I tried my first watermelon radish. I quickly fell in love with the beauty that was unleashed once I cut it open.  The color burst found inside is one of a kind. I have come to prefer watermelon radishes to the regular red radish, as they are not as harsh tasting; they are a mild version of what I am used to and they are much more aesthetically pleasing.

Initially I tried roasting the radish with other root veggies and I fell even more in love with my new found friend. I was unsure what to do with the remaining radish and so naturally I decided to ferment it. 🙂 If something is good raw, it’s going to be even better fermented… that’s what I’ve come to find anyway.

I only fermented one radish and that filled up a pint sized mason jar.

To Make: Wash the radish, cut off the ends and slice it up. I used a mandolin to thinly slice the radish. Pack the slices in a jar and cover it with brine.

The brine is made up of 1 teaspoon of sea salt (or kosher salt), stirred into 2 cups of water (filtered water is preferable but not required) until dissolved. Remember to leave about an inch of space from the top of the mason jar to curb spill overs as the radish ferments. I used a glass jar weight to keep the radish from floating above the brine and molding. If you don’t have a weight, you can sanitize a rock and use that. Cover the jar with cheese cloth and let it ferment on the counter for a few days. I like to taste my ferments daily and decide when it has the taste I prefer. I fermented this just 4 days. Once the desired fermented flavor is met, put a lid on the jar and refrigerate.

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Normally I add garlic to everything but this time I really wanted to taste how the radish fermented on its own. The beautiful pink color from the center of the radish leached out into the brine and made a gorgeous pink color out of it. The radish pickle tastes even less like a radish now and is a treat to have on the side of a meal or even chopped up and added to a salad or sandwich. My 5 year old even approved of them and she’s the true test after all.

Love for Local: Wintertime Roasted Root Vegetable Recipe

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Typically in Minnesota, we think of summertime being the months of farmer’s markets, gardening and freshly plucked produce. Surprisingly there are a lot of wonderful produce options during the winter months that, I hate to admit, but I’ve looked past for years.

Recently I took a closer look at the produce section of my local co-op and found that not only was there a wide variety of root veggies to pick from, many were grown in MN and WI! I quickly gathered a basket of mysterious looking veggies and went home to experiment.

I decided the easiest way to sample all of the veggies at one time would be to roast them. Roasted veggies make a great snack and are a fantastic side dish to almost any meal. It turns out the assortment of veggies I collected included: yellow and orange carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, celery root (celeriac),  beauty heart radish (watermelon radish) and turnips.

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I became completely enamored with the radish. Who knew such a vibrant color would be hiding inside? The flavor of it was similar to a regular red radish, but with less of a punch. The celery root had a faint flavor of celery, but a texture more similar to a potato. Shockingly, the roasted rutabagas were my favorite veggie of all.

These commonly overlooked root vegetables are not only versatile but offer a gauntlet of nutritional benefits to your health. Many are rich in vitamin C (antioxidant) and phosphorus, which is important for the health of your bones. They are also high in fiber and low in calories!

How to Roast Root Vegetables

  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • Clean all veggies (cut skin off of the celery root, peel carrots and parsnips, cut ends off of radishes and parsnips) and rough chop them into fork-friendly sized chunks

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  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
This looks more like a platter of fruit than a platter of vegetables, doesn't it? Stunning!

This looks more like a platter of fruit than a platter of vegetables, doesn’t it? Stunning!

  • Toss veggies in 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil (or other high heat oil of choice)
  • Once evenly coat veggies with oil, sprinkle seasonings of choice over veggies and mix well. I used garlic powder and Montreal steak seasoning but salt and pepper would work just as well.
  • Spread veggies out into one layer.
  • Roast veggies until tender, which is about 30 mins. Cook longer as needed.
  • DEVOUR. 🙂

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All products used in this post were generously provided by Lakewinds Food Co-op.

Chicken Foot Bone Broth Recipe: Step by Step Guide to Making Gelatinous Broth

 

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I’m sure that you’ve heard the buzz about bone broth by now. Up until a couple of years ago, I didn’t know there was a difference between bone broth and soup stock. The main differences are the length of time each are cooked and the extra nutrition you get from broth vs. stock.

If you have not heard of bone broth, do some research and you’ll quickly see why it’s not only delicious but so beneficial to your health. Bones from animals offer a variety of benefits to your health including improving your immune system, strengthening bones, healing digestive system lining, improves your complexion and much more.  Of all the broths I’ve made and tasted over the last couple years, my absolute favorite broth to make and devour is Chicken Foot Bone Broth.

There are so many ways to make broth and it seems everyone has “the best” recipe or “the most effective” way to leach even more goodness from the bones. I’ve tried roasting the bones, soaking them for hours in apple cider vinegar and several other tricks I’ve read about, but the truth is, every recipe is divine and I’ve never tasted a bad broth. I like to keep things easy in my kitchen and that’s exactly what my broth recipe is!

Here is what you’ll need to make my very easy, super tasty and gelatinous Chicken Foot Bone Broth:

  • A Large Stock Pot (I use an 8 quart stock pot typically)
  • 1 lb of Chicken Feet, membranes removed – a little less than a pound or a little more than a pound will be just fine as well
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Carrots
  • 2 Celery Stalks
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Bay Leafs
  • Water
  • Garlic Powder
  • Sea Salt
  • Oregano

One important rule that you must remember is  there are no rules when it comes to seasoning the broth. You can pretty much add in whatever veggies and seasonings you like and the broth will turn out amazing. Don’t feel as if you need to stick to my recipe, toss in whatever you have on hand.

I prefer to make small batches of broth because I don’t have a lot of freezer space to store jars. If you prefer large batches, double the recipe.

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Put Chicken Feet into Stock Pot

It's so easy a 5 year old can make this recipe, and she has been since she was 3 ;)

It’s so easy a 5-year-old can make this recipe, and she has been since she was 3 😉

I leave the veggies in large pieces so they are easy to strain once the broth is finished. Cut the carrots, celery, garlic and onions and add them to the pot.

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Sprinkle garlic powder, salt and a dash of oregano into the pot. Add Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), toss in bay leaves and fill the pot up with water. I normally use an 8 quart pot and fill it about 2″ from the top. 

Bring pot to a boil, cover and reduce heat to gently simmer for 24 hours. Once complete you will have a golden liquid that is going to bring much joy to your life. I enjoy broth by the mugful but it’s great to use for homemade soup recipes as well as. Typically I’ll add a little additional salt or seasoning once it’s finished simmering.

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Once the broth has cooled, strain it and store in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 7 days. I find that my small batches of broth ALWAYS gel up.

What’s great about the bones is that you can use them again! I often times strain out my broth, leave all the bones and previously cooked produce in the pot, add more of everything from the ingredients list, sans new bones and cook a second batch. The second round does not usually produce such a gelatinous broth as the first, but it still tastes great and it’s perfect to use for soup and other cooking.

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My absolute favorite way to use my broth is to make soup with it. Almost daily I have kimchi, broth and two poached eggs for breakfast or lunch. It’s a fantastically flavorful meal that is very nourishing for the body and low on calories. Try it!

All products used in this post were generously provided by Lakewinds Food Co-op.

 

 

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Garlic Scape & Basil Pesto Recipe!

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The weekly CSA pick up included garlic scapes this week…. say what?! Curious, I cut a bite to try and it tasted surprisingly spicy! I added some to eggs and didn’t even notice them…. hmmm… what to do with these new foreign ingredients?

A quick search on the web led me to experiment with a pesto recipe. It turned our great so I had to throw it on the blog to share with you.

There’s a nice, soft kick of spice at the end of this recipe that’s fantastically fresh tasting. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I do.

Ingredients

  • ¼ c. toasted pine nuts
  • ¼ c. fresh basil
  • ½ C chopped garlic scapes
  • ½ lemon squeezed and zested
  • Salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • ½ c olive oil
  • ¼ C grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Toast the pine nuts in a small, dry pan until they begin to change color (about 4 minutes). Pay attention, you don’t want to run to the store for more! Let cool.

In a food processor, combine pine nuts, garlic scapes, basil, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt and pepper (1/2 tsp. each or so). Pulse until mixed well.

Slowly pour in the olive oil while the processor is running. Pour into a bowl and mix in the Parmesan

Voila! Pesto chango!

I enjoyed my batch over zucchini noodles, but this would be GREAT on crackers, bread, or even just by the spoonful! Love it!

Thanks for reading,

Kristin

The Paleo Diet: Our 30-Day Update

When we began the diet just over a month ago, I had intended to post a weekly recap of what we ate and how we were doing, etc… Well, life and illness got in the way and I never got past the first week summary – my apologies.  But now I’m here to give you a re-cap of the last three weeks and share some of our favorite meals from the last few weeks.

My favorite part of the Paleo diet has been all of the new recipes I have tried. Before this, we were stuck in a rut of making the same things month after month and this diet has altered the way I cook almost everything. I definitely wouldn’t consider myself an unhealthy eater before, but being very aware of the ingredients in each and everything I put in my mouth has made me more aware of how many things I was eating before that weren’t necessarily beneficial to me.

We decided to give this diet a try to see if would help my husband’s disease: Ulcerative Colitis. I explain more in detail here. Over the last thirty days, I cannot say that he has seen any changes other than in his waistline. My already-slim-husband dropped 12 lbs over the last 30 days, and most of the weight dropped within the first two weeks. I was told that this could be due to inflammation and water-weight so it could have been a good sign that there was some healing going on inside of his body. Other than that, there has not been really any improvement. I have met a lot of great people over the last 30-days, mostly on Instagram, that have seen success from eating clean and time and time again, I am told that it typically takes more like 45-60 days before they noticed any changes. I’m hoping I can keep my husband on board that long.

I, myself, dropped 9 pounds on the diet but my weight-loss was gradual. I lost a couple of pounds a week and I feel great. I’m less bloated, my energy is up,  my skin is clearer and my pores even are smaller and I intend to keep eating this way.

Here are some of the things we ate over the last three weeks:

Spaghetti and Zucchini Noodles with homemade Italian sausage and a tomato sauce. This is one of my favorite meals from the diet.

Spaghetti and Zoodles - minnesotafromscratch.wordpress.com

For the sausage, I used Melissa Joulwan’s Italian sausage spice recipe. Her book, Well Fed has tons of other great recipes as well.  I love this spice recipe and followed it exactly.

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We had tons of whipped coconut cream. We ate it on pancakes, waffles, mixed with fruit, by the spoonful… yeah, we love this stuff.

Whipped Coconut Cream - www.minnesotafromscratch.wordpress.com

I experimented with Paleo – Pho. I used zucchini noodles as my rice noodles. I had a pho spice packet (paleo friendly) that I made broth with. Added poached eggs, kimchi, fish sauce, scallions and sriracha sauce. I had this for several meals.

Paleo Pho - www.minnesotafromscratch.wordpress.com

We made juice several times. Veggie juice in the afternoon and occasionally a fruit juice in the morning.

Juicing recipe - www.minnesotafromscratch.wordpress.com

Juicing - www.minnesotafromscratch.wordpress.com

Paleo friendly pizza… this was our Valentine’s Day dinner. The pizza crust displayed below was not good. It tasted fine alone, but once we added the pizza toppings, the flavors did not mesh well.

Paleo pizza - www.minnesotafromscratch.wordpress.com

A couple days later we made a cauliflower crust recipe and enjoyed it VERY much.

Paleo cauliflower pizza crust - minnesotafromscratch.wordpress.com

Paleo waffles, with strawberries we heated on the stove until they made a sauce and coconut whipped cream.

Paleo waffles - minnesotafromscratch.wordpress.com

Zucchini Brownies – These were a Super Bowl treat. Of course that is coconut whipped cream on top! YUM! These were great and very moist – more like a cake than a brownie though.

Brownies - minnesotafromscratch.wordpress.com

Chicken Bone Broth

Chicken bone broth - minnesotafromscratch.wordpress.com

Chicken bone broth with poached eggs and homemade kimchi

Bone broth with kimchee - minnesotafromscratch.wordpress.com

Eggs with sausage and homemade sauerkraut. We have eaten tons of eggs of the last 30 days. More eggs than I would have ever imagined I’d eat, but hey, I’m not even sick of them yet!

Spaghetti pie. There are lots of versions out there. It was decent, I’d make it again.

Spaghetti pie

Paleo deviled eggs – we added avocado, mustard powder, homemade pickles, paprika and some leftover guacamole. They were good!

Paleo deviled eggs - minnesotafromscratch.wordpress.com

Sweet potato fries – The following morning we chopped up the rest with some leftover steak and made a hash. We had fried eggs over the hash. Mmmm that was my favorite breakfast. Sorry, I forgot to take a pic!

Sweet potato fries

Smoothies with homemade yogurt, frozen organic fruit and bee pollen.

Smoothies with homemade yogurt - minnesotafromscratch.wordpress.com

We ate many more meals over the 30 days as well, but these were some of my favorites. I made a calendar and attached it to the refrigerator door. I marked down what we ate for each meal so I could remember. I found this helpful, especially for meal planning.

If you have any favorite Paleo meals, please share them with me in the comments section below!

How to Make Kimchee (Kimchi) from Scratch: Step by Step Guide with Photos!

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Kimchi has been one of my favorite things to eat for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, many of the store bought brands have preservatives in them that do not allow fermentation to happen. Once I learned that a couple years ago, I began making my own. After years of friends asking me for the recipe, I am finally ready to share – I just needed time to get the taste down to my exact liking.

This is what  you’ll need:

  • 2 heads of Napa cabbage
  • kosher salt
  • Half a bulb of garlic (More if you prefer more, less if you prefer less)
  • 1 medium onion
  • a chunk of fresh ginger (again… add more if you like a prevalent ginger flavor)
  • 5 organic green onions
  • coarse hot pepper powder (found at the Asian food store)
  • HOT chili powder (optional)
  • Red Boat fish sauce (optional)
  • Food processor

Now here’s how you do it…

Buy two or three heads of Napa Cabbage (2 large or three small). I have seen organic Napa at a select few places, and I always prefer that to conventionally grown, but use what you have available.  Clean with cold water, rinsing in-between each leaf as well as you can.

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Cut the cabbage in half length-wise and rinse again with cold water. Then cut a small slit into the core of the cabbage as seen below:

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Sprinkle Kosher salt in between each leaf, gently massaging the salt into the leaf and be sure to get down towards to core. The salt gives the cabbage flavor and also tenderizes it.

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After I am finished salting, I pile up the cabbage into a large pot and leave them for two hours. Then I turn them over and let them sit for two more hours. There are ways to speed up this process, but from my experience, I personally enjoy the flavor and texture best when I salt the cabbage for four hours.  Towards the end of the four hours, I’ll clean and prep my garlic, onion, green onions and ginger.

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After salting, rinse the cabbage with cold water 3-4 times to remove the salt.

Now it’s time to grab the food processor. Toss in the garlic, ginger and onion. Pulse until it is evenly chopped up and put into a bowl.

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Cut up the green onions into about 1″ pieces. I use the green and white portion. Add the green onions to the bowl as well. Then add in the hot pepper powder(s). The amount of heat you want your kimchi to have will determine how much hot pepper you add but I add about 1 cup of the powders total.

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Then add 1-2 tablespoons of fish sauce. I specifically say Red Boat fish sauce because it is only made from black anchovies and sea salt – no added water, no MSG, no preservatives.

Mix everything together and there you have your kimchee base.

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Grab the Napa cabbage, remove the cores and chop it up into bite size pieces. Once you have chopped it all up, grab the kimchi base and combine it with the cabbage.

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Once mixed evenly, store the kimchee in sanitized, air-tight jars and leave on the counter for 5-7 days. You must “burp” the kimchi daily – this means open the jar, push down the cabbage and let any excess air escape. I do this twice a day, but I’m kind of obsessive over and I like to take a big wiff of it too. After 5-7 days, store in the fridge.

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You do not have to follow my recipe exactly. I tried a lot of different versions before I found what I liked best. Play around with the ingredients until you come up with what you like. If you are looking for a very hot kimchi, add more spice. It will turn out great no matter what. No two batches ever turn out exactly the same. I suggest taste testing the kimchi daily so you can see how as it ferments, the taste changes.

I’ve learned that kimchee makes everything taste better so be adventurous!

Enjoy!

Bone Broth: Why it is So Beneficial to Your Health and Recipe {Guest Blog Post}

Today I am turning over the blog to one of my favorite people in the world, my cousin Kirstin. She is a born and raised Minnesotan as well. She is an intuitive life coach and she’sa also my go-to-gal for anything Paleo related! Today she is going to explain why bone broth is so very important and how to make it. 

Kirstin and her husband

Are you interested in…

  • – A flatter, less bloated stomach and a much healthier, happier digestive system
  • – Strong bones and preventing osteoporosis
  • – Healthy, glowing skin with fewer wrinkles
  • – Strong teeth and nails
  • -Reducing cellulite
  • -Mental health achieved without pharmaceuticals

If so, then you need to start drinking bone broth.  It is truly a natural superfood and will affect your life in even more ways than I’ve listed.  It gives us access to the stored minerals and nutrients contained in animals bones, skin and joints.  These include collagen, glycine, proline, hyralonic acid, chondrointon sulfite, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfer, potassium and sodium.  What’s unique about bone broth though is that while some of these minerals and nutrients can be found in other foods, there is really no food more easily absorbed as broth. The problem most of us face without realizing it is that we have damaged gastro-intestinal systems.  Our intestines become more permeable than they should be because of less than ideal bacterial populations as well as irritated, damaged intestinal walls.  I won’t go into all the scientific details here but if you are interested the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome by, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride is outstanding in explaining this concept in great detail.  The damaged gut is very important because it leads to things getting through your digestive walls that shouldn’t,  such as undigested foods.  This creates a  lot of problems like food allergies, autoimmune conditions, and terrible allergies in general (no it is NOT a coincidence that everyone and their brother seems to have terrible allergies these days.  So did I, until I changed my diet!).  It is also problematic because our bodies are struggling to absorb nutrients even when we eat food that should provide great nutrition.   These nutrient deficiencies cause all kinds of issues including wrinkled skin, dry skin, cellulite, stretch marks, insatiable hunger, weight problems (yes most overweight people are actually under-nourished but over fed), and here’s a big one: mental health issues.  At this point we know we need certain neurotransmitters like serotonin to be in balance and keep us feeling less stressed and happier, but who knew that the first step to creating serotonin is not Prozac, it is in fact eating the right nutrients, and then being able to absorb them.  The precursor to serotonin is then sent up to the brain to be converted and utilized.  But none of this can happen if we don’t take in the right amino acids and absorb them properly. Again I won’t go into great detail but the book The Mood Cure by, Julia Ross is an excellent resource for understanding mental health issues and addiction and how they relate to nutrition.  Also, the vast majority of your immune system is in your gut, so if your gut’s not healthy, neither are you. 

Now that I have you seeing the importance of a healthy  gut, let’s look at how to rebuild it.

It takes pretty much no work on the part of our digestive system to digest and absorb all these wonderful and much needed nutrients from the broth, and it goes right to work rebuilding our intestines and feeding our bodies what they need.  It is also important to work on improving gut bacteria but that’s a subject for another day.

Let’s look at how to make this broth:

Where to buy?  I get my beef bones from the farmer we order our grass-fed beef from.  We order ½ cow and just ask the butcher to include as many soup bones as possible. If you don’t have access to bones like this, have no fear – just save the carcasses whenever you eat meat on the bone (roasted chickens or turkeys, chicken thigh bones, fish bones etc).  You can also get chicken necks, backs, and beef knuckles from butchers. If you want your joints to age well, use joint bones; if you want to keep your skin wrinkle free, collagen rich chicken feet and ox tail are a great addition to your carcasses.  Grass fed/pastured animals are always best, then organic, but if all you have is conventional, go for it.  It’s still much better than nothing and animals do have detox systems built-in so some argue it’s less important than organic veggies. **Bones can be used to make up to three batches of broth**

Here’s the recipe for broth I made this week:

Ingredients:

  • Beef Bone
  • Stock pot mostly full of water (I think it’s a 16 quart pot but I’m not sure) plus
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • peel of one orange
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 big cloves garlic, smashed
  • Pinch of cloves
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 4 stalks celery

Bone broth --

Take your bones (2-3.5 pounds is really ideal but I often use a bit less if I don’t have enough) and add them to a stock pot full of water.  2-3 chicken carcasses, 1 turkey carcass or a good sized beef bone will work.

Bone broth Recipe - Minnesotafromscratch.wordpress.com

Add about 2 TBSP of organic apple cider vinegar to help the water leach the good minerals out of those bones.  Bring it to a boil and then reduce to simmer, always leave it covered so you don’t evaporate it away.  You can also leave the meat on and extract lots of good amino acids from the meat, but I wouldn’t boil the meat too long if you plan to eat it or it will lose all it’s taste.  Maybe 1-2 hours at most for the meat, and then continue to cook the bones for 1-2 days. You can cook the broth in a crock pot, or as I do, leave it on the stove top simmering. Poultry bones take about 20-24 hours and beef/lamb is more like 2 days. As you see Fat accumulating on the surface of the broth, don’t be alarmed.  According to the GAPS book mentioned above, animal fat is one of the most important factors in rebuilding your gut.  This is especially desirable coming from grass fed animals.

Once your bones have boiled long enough, you have two options:

1. For drinking/cooking broth: You can enjoy as is, just add salt OR add chunks of veggies, herbs, garlic and sea or Himalayan salt to taste towards the end to improve flavor. Keep it to 1-2 hours or less.  Then strain all the solids (meat bones, veggies) out and store the broth  in the refrigerator or freezer until you need it.  The meat and veggies can be thrown away or eaten if they still have flavor.  I gave my meat and veggies to my dog this week (minus the bone, garlic and onion of course).  She’s on a raw/whole food diet, though so it’s not suitable for every dog.

2. For soup: You can strain the broth out from the bones/ meat, and add in veggies, meat, herbs, salt, etc to make a soup. Just boil as long as you need for veggies to be the right texture (30-45 minutes usually) and you’re done!

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The broth usually keeps a week or so for poultry and longer for beef. Soup seems to last longer than just broth.  Once it’s been refrigerated it should start to gel, like a soft jello consistency.  This means that you pulled out lots of gelatin, collagen, minerals, etc.

Later I plan to add a couple of cups of this broth to a dutch oven with a pot roast and bake in the oven, it reduces to a really tasty sauce and then I have lots left for drinking.  Also works great for beef stew!

Thank you!
Kristin

Meet Kirstin+ get ready to find your way home (to you) at http://www.KirstinBernau.com.

Have you ever tried making bone broth? Do you have any questions for Kirstin? Please feel free to leave any comments on the topic below!

How to Make Sauerkraut From Scratch: Step by Step Guide to Fermenting Cabbage

Homemade Sauerkraut - www.MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

Here is a quick and easy guide to making your own sauerkraut. Why ferment foods? I briefly explain why here. For ingredients, all you will need is organic cabbage and sea salt.

Homemade Sauerkraut - www.MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

I use about 1.5 tablespoons of sea salt per every 3 pounds or so of cabbage.

Homemade Sauerkraut - www.MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

Clean up your cabbage and shred it or grate it. Place the shredded cabbage in bowls and toss in some sea salt.

Homemade Sauerkraut - www.MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

Then begin to layer your cabbage into your crock, alternating between layering the cabbage and sprinkling it with sea salt.  Firmly pack the cabbage into the crock using some elbow grease. You can add additional veggies to your cabbage at this point as well, such as carrots, jalapenos, onions or garlic.

Homemade Sauerkraut - www.MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

I was able to fit both of my cabbages in this gallon sized crock. The salt should pull water out from the cabbage which will create the brine that your cabbage needs to be submerged in.  The older your cabbage is, the less water that will be pulled from the shreds.

Homemade Sauerkraut - www.MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

Cover your cabbage with a lid or weight to keep the cabbage under the brine level. I’ve used jars full of water, clean rocks and other creative items to weigh down my lids. Just make sure whatever you use is sanitized.

Homemade Sauerkraut - www.MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

If your brine does not rise above the cabbage, dissolve one tablespoon of sea salt in one cup of filtered water and add it to the crock.  Cover the crock with cheesecloth, a pillowcase or any other breathable wrap. Store in a cool, dry place and check on your sauerkraut on a daily basis to make sure no mold has grown or bugs have found there way in. You also want to make sure the brine has not evaporated.

Taste test every week or so until you have reached your desired taste.  I have had sauerkraut ready in two weeks and have left some fermenting as long as five weeks. Once it is complete, transfer the kraut into glass jars and keep it in the fridge!

How to make homemade sauerkraut - www.minnesotafromscratch.wordpress.com

Wondering about my beautiful crock? Most people ask me where they can find one for themselves. I bought mine from Jeremy Ogusky, a potter out in Boston. It is a handmade gallon size crock, which initially people think is too small, but I have found it to be just the right size. I refer to it as “the gem of my kitchen”. It’s not only functional, but aesthetically pleasing. See more of his crocks, recipes and portfolio here.

 

 

Paleo Diet: Week 1 Summary and Recipes {Plantain Pancakes and Coconut Milk Whipped Cream}

Here is a summary of our Paleo experience over the last six days. I meant to post this last night but I just got too tired, forgive me.

If you are not in the loop about why we are trying the Paleo diet for 30 days, get caught up here.

Neither I, nor my husband have experienced anything out of the ordinary in regards to our emotions or health after the diet change. We have both been tired in the later afternoons, which is pretty common for us anyway (as our daughter is an early riser) and we both have had a couple mild headaches on and off, but that may or may not be related to the change in diet. My husband has not noticed any improvement in his UC symptoms, but they have not worsened either. One thing that I definitely enjoy about the diet is knowing that for almost a complete week, I have put nothing but highly nutrient-dense food into my body and that is a very satisfying feeling. We both stay full longer, as the meals we are consuming offer more nourishment to our bodies. I have really enjoyed experimenting with new ingredients such as coconut flour, coconut milk and plantains.

Here is a brief summary of our meals over the last several days with recipes to a couple of our favorites:

Tuesday

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and homemade KimChee

Scrambled eggs, smothered in kimchee

Lunch: Smoothies with mixed fruit and homemade yogurt

Dinner: Steak with sautéed zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes

Steak and sauteed veggies

Wednesday

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with KimChee and Mushrooms

Lunch: Same as Tuesday. We also tried  my new favorite treat, cashew butter and made delicious apple chips!

Dinner: Spaghetti and meatballs – I made a sauce from a large can of diced organic tomatoes, shredded carrots, celery, zucchini, onions, garlic and Italian herbs. Meatballs were my usual recipe, except I used almond flour instead of bread crumbs and we served the sauce over spaghetti squash.

Spaghetti and meatballs

Thursday

I didn’t write down what we ate for breakfast and I can’t remember (sorry!) It was likely eggs.

Lunch: Leftover spaghetti dinner

Dinner: Chicken Tortilla Soup served with fresh avocado – without the tortillas. I just googled a recipe until I found one that sounded good. It was OK, but I wouldn’t make it again so therefore I’m not sharing the recipe.

Chicken and no-tortilla soup

Friday

Breakfast: Eggs… again *sigh*

Lunch: Leftover soup

Dinner: Pan fried cajun-seasoned chicken breasts with roasted cauliflower. YUM.

Saturday

Breakfast: Pancakes  **Favorite Recipe of the Week!**

Plantain Pancakes

Holy moly, these are the best pancakes! We made them by blending 2 plantains, 3 eggs, a half of a tsp of baking soda, 1-2 tsp of vanilla (depends on your preference) and a dash of sea salt. That’s it! You would not believe how they resemble pancakes made with flour. I don’t think we’ll ever make them any other way! 

Lunch: Healthy snacks

Sauerkraut

Dinner: Leftovers

Sunday

Breakfast: Crepes filled with mixed berries and smothered with  paleo-friendly whipped cream **Amazing!!**

We googled crêpe recipes and there are many, so pick any that suits your liking. We used frozen organic mixed berries for the fillers… I heated the berries slowly on the stove and added a little bit of honey. The whipped cream is my second favorite new recipe of the week! 

paleo crepes

To make paleo whipped cream, all you need is a can of organic coconut milk (I found mine at Whole Foods) that needs to be chilled in the fridge. When you are ready to make the whipped cream, turn the can upside down and dump out coconut milk (reserve for future use). Dig out the thicker white portion and use a hand mixer to blend it for a couple of minutes until it reaches the “whipped cream” consistency. We added cinnamon and a touch of honey to ours before blending, but it definitely isn’t required. We LOVE this fluffy goodness  – I never see us buying the sugary store-bought stuff ever again. Warning: The whipped cream tastes good on everything so prepare to become addicted!

IMG_4245

Lunch: No-Mayo Tuna with KimChee

I was not a fan of how my tuna turned out. I mixed it with scallions, avocado, yogurt, salt, pepper, lemon juice and more and never had a truly satisfying outcome. I ended up smothering it in kimchee and eating it that way, because let’s be real, everything tastes better smothered in kimchee.

Dinner:

Beef with homemade sauerkraut and tahini with fresh veggies on the side.

So that was our menu Tuesday-Sunday. I’ll post another summary next weekend. I post pretty much daily on Instagram, so follow me there if you’d like! Again, please share any of your favorite paleo recipes, tips or tricks in the comments below.

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