Category Archives: Blog

Tiny Tip Tuesday: Add Prebiotics to Your Diet

Photo by Liz West on Flickr.

Photo by Liz West on Flickr.

Probiotics for gut health are all the rage in the nutrition world.  Everyone is talking about eating yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchee  and drinking kombucha to introduce those vital,  ”good bugs” to your gut.  Lately, however, the science community has been buzzing about prebiotics to help nourish the healthy bacteria already in your gut.  For healthy bacteria to thrive, they need fiber that survives the length of our GI tract without being digested.  Two types of fiber, cellulose and fructans, are tough enough to survive the digestion process and become the food source for our ”good bacteria’.  Fructans are found in many fruits and vegetables and cellulose is the tough part of veggies and fruit we usually don’t eat, like the stalks of broccoli and the string of celery.   Cooking does start the break down process of these tough fibers, decreasing the amount of prebiotics in the food.  With scientists estimating that over 70% of our immunity and 80-90 % of our serotonin comes from our gut,  you may be wondering exactly which foods you should add to your diet to feed your “good bacteria”.  Adding the following foods can start to shift your gut bacteria in a positive direction in as little as 48 hours.

  • Asparagus
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Onions
  • Radishes
  • Jicama
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Cooked beans
  • Chicory root
  • Raspberries
  • Wheat bran

Remember to start slowly with all these fiber rich foods to avoid excessive gas and bloating.

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Dark Chocolate Nut and Seed Bombs

Dark Chocolate Nut and Seed Blasts- Good for your Heart!

Dark Chocolate Nut and Seed Blasts- Good for your Heart!

I have been so intrigued by all the raw truffle recipes on Pinterest.  Every time I see a recipe for truffles or energy balls, I have to click over to the actual website to see how they are made.  I can’t believe how many different versions there are!  After reading so many recipes and dreaming about how yummy they all sounded,  I decided to try to make some of my own.

Since I am always looking for ways to get more nutrition into my kids, I wanted to be sure my nut and seed bombs offered some health benefits.  Given how each nut and seed has it’s own distinct nutritional benefits, I decide to try to incorporate as many different types of nuts as possible.  I used walnuts for their short chain omega-3 alpha linolenic acid to benefit the heart and give copper and manganese.  I include pistachios for their high fiber content and carotenoids.  Almond butter was used for almond’s high vitamin E, manganese, copper and fiber content.  Finally, hemp seeds were included for another dose of omega-3′s

Chopped walnuts for healthy omega-3's.

Chopped walnuts for healthy omega-3′s.

After grinding up the dates, nuts and seeds, I added the melted dark chocolate.  The dough turned a beautiful, rich brown color and tasted so yummy!

Dough all ground up before heading to fridge.

Dough all ground up before heading to fridge.

I found the balls rolled the easiest by squishing them into loose balls and then rolling them in the chopped pistachios.  After they were lightly covered with pistachios, I would roll them into tighter balls.  (Unfortunately, my ball rolling skills aren’t perfect- the balls are a little lopsided but they still taste delicious!)  It also seemed best to VERY finely chop the pistachios.  They adhered the best when finely chopped!

Blasts all ready to eat.

Blasts all ready to eat.

Dark Chocolate Nut and Seed Bombs

Ingredients

  • 20 dates ground into a paste
  • 1/3 cup of almond butter
  • 1/3 cup of hemp seeds
  • 1 3.5 oz dark (70% or above) chocolate bar, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of cardamon
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup of pistachios, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Grind pitted dates in a food processor fit with an s-blade until a paste forms.
  2. Place chocolate in a double boiler over low heat, stirring occasionally until melted.
  3. Add walnuts and pulse until combined.
  4. Add hemp seed, almond milk, cinnamon, cardamon and sea salt. Pulse until well combined.
  5. Add in melted chocolate and pulse until well mixed with the nuts and dates. You may have to stop and scrape the sides a couple of times.
  6. Place food processor bowl in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
  7. Take nut mixture out of fridge and carefully roll the dough into balls.
  8. The balls can be rolled in chopped pistachios or other nuts according to your tastes.
  9. (I found it was easier to lightly squeeze the dough into balls and then roll them in the pistachios and then roll them some more to make the balls stay together.)
  10. Enjoy!
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A single blast of nutty goodness.

A single blast of nutty goodness.

I love the bright green of the pistachios contrasted with the brown of the chocolate!  It is so pretty!

A whole bowl of nutty goodness.

A whole bowl of nutty goodness.

Feel free to substitute different nuts or nut butters for any of the ingredients.  I think you can never go wrong with a nut.  Enjoy!

Shared with Rock My Vegan Socks, Girl Meets Nourishment, Today’s Creative Blog, The Novice Gardner and Real Food Fridays.

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Seasonally Appropriate Hydration

Ideas to flavor your water.

Ideas to flavor your water.

Last week, my school hosted a community health fair.   Each student was asked to choose a topic related to the bountiful harvest of summer.  There were incredibly informative tables about fermentation, sprouting, the importance of eating greens and hormone balancing through food.  A colleague and I chose to make our booth about the importance of hydration.  My booth partner, Stephanie Rider, provided a great short primer for ways to add tasty, seasonally appropriate hydration to your day.  I thought I would share it with my readers. (You can see my part of the handout here.)   Enjoy!

Basil, cucumber, orange water.

Basil, cucumber, orange water.

Adding Hydration into your Day
Adding vegetables and fruits such as those listed below will enhance
your intake of water.
Vegetables: Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber,
Green Peppers, Iceberg Lettuce, Spinach, Tomatoes
Fruits: Blackberries, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Grapefruit,
Raspberries, Strawberries, Watermelon
The best way to ensure adequate hydration is to include water in your
daily routine. How can you make hydration fun? Adding fresh fruits,
vegetables and herbs to your water can provide both eye-catching
appeal and subtle flavoring.

There are many great, natural ingredients you can add to your water
to infuse color and flavor.
As you add these ingredients, you also get the benefit of the vitamins
and minerals contained in those foods.
Wholistic nutrition also recognizes the energetic and healing properties
of foods and herbs, and selecting the right ones based on the time of
year will support natural nourishment.
Summer: Cooling
Summer is a great time to look to foods that have a cooling effect on
the body to help stay regulated in the heat of the summer.
Such food/herb combinations are:
Cucumber, Orange and Basil
Dandelion leaf
Lemon and Lavender
Peaches and Chamomile
Pineapple and Green Tea
Berries: (black, blue, raspberry) and Mint
Watermelon and Mint

Fall: Grounding
Fall is a great time to add grounding foods to your diet. This reflects
the natural cycle of nature by supporting the need to ground and
prepare for winter months, drawing energy into your core.
Great fall seasonal flavors to use are:
Cilantro and Citrus peel
Fennel
Apricot and Goji Berries
Kumquat and Rosemary
Pomegranate
Pineapple and Ginger
Winter: Warming, Immunity Boosting
Winter is a time to stay hydrated, as the dryness of the air can
dehydrate just as much as summertime heat. Additionally, infusing
your liquids with warming foods and herbs will deeply warm you from
the inside out. It is also a great time to boost your immunities against

colds and flu. Consider warm/hot water infusions, herbal teas as well
as broths for hydration.
Winter concoctions can include:
Kumquat and Basil
Citrus peel
Black tea and Ginger
Cinnamon, Clove and Honey
When you are fighting a cold or virus:
Fresh Ginger (not dried) tea
Onion and Rosemary/Parsley broth
Miso broth

Spring: Uplifting
Springtime is a time of rebirth. Consider these “first harvest” fruits,
vegetables and herbs to bring that uplifting nourishment to your body
as you prepare for this cycle of nature.
Springtime harvest infusions can include:
Apricot
Cherry and Lime
Pineapple and Ginger
Strawberries and Rose Petals
Cucumbers and Basil
Lavender and Lemon

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Inspiration Week Day 2: Live Like Someone Left the Gate Open

dog running

I love how happy and free this dog looks.  Being a dog owner myself, I completely recognize the expression on this puppy’s face- total freedom!  I know we all have responsibilities and jobs and things we have to do but we should strive to find moments of pure freedom in our day.  Pause to look out the window  to notice the leaves on the tree shading your office window.  Stand up and stretch after hours spent over the computer.  Carve out some time to sit by a lake.  Find what will give you your own feeling of escaping out of the gate!!  When you take that moment, totally present!  Our moments of total freedom don’t have to be long, they just have to be experienced fully.

Photo from Bing photos.

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Inspiration Week

Be kind to yourself!

I decided to do something a little different this week.  I love Pinterest and spend an amazing number of hours searching for inspiration, recipes, projects, workout advice and anything else I can find there. I know  many of you out there also lose many hours pouring over all the pins.  I decided this week, I am going to share some of my favorite inspirational finds.  I would love if you have a favorite pin that inspires you, you shared it with me!

My first find this week comes from Gaye at Calm, Sexy, Happy.  I love this pin and her blog post because I have had this exact conversation with some friends and even myself at times.  Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we could all make a commitment to being at least as kind to ourselves as we are to our friends and family.

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Lime and Chocolate Cashew Cream Cheesecakes

Lime, raw, vegan cheesecake with raspberry sauce.

Lime, raw, vegan cheesecake with raspberry sauce.

For the Fourth of July, we were headed up to the Olympic Peninsula to spend time with my in-laws.  They live in a somewhat rural area on the Puget Sound.  Everyone in the family loves to go up there because not only do we get to spend time with the grandparents but the area is filled with great outdoor activities.  Our days are consumed with fishing, kayaking, crabbing, hiking, biking and walking on the beach.  The other thing I love about going up there is all the yummy natural food.  There are multiple small farmer’s markets within 20 minute of their house.  The Sound is filled with fish and crab and the forest has wild blackberries and huckleberries.  I love to take advantage of the natural bounty!  Usually, when I am there in the summer, I end up making some sort of berry cobbler for my father-in-law’s birthday.  Crazily enough, he is one of the few people I know who doesn’t like chocolate so I like to try find desserts that will make him happy.

Before going up there last week, I was cruising around the internet and came upon the beautiful blog, Healthy For Happy.  Lisa, the blog’s author, had posted a recipe for a yummy sounding raw, lime, vegan cheesecake.  I had made a raw key lime pie before using the recipe from the I Am Grateful: Recipes and Lifestyle of Cafe Gratitude cookbook.  It was super tasty, particularly the crust.  I decided to combine the two recipes to make my own raw vegan cheesecake.  (I also knew that most of the people at my in-laws DID like chocolate, so I decided to make half mini lime cheesecakes and half mini chocolate cheesecakes.)

 

Chocolate, raw, vegan cheesecake with raspberry sauce.

Chocolate, raw, vegan cheesecake with raspberry sauce.

Lime and Chocolate Cashew Cream Cheesecakes

Ingredients

  • FOR CRUST:
  • 11/4 cup of macadamia nuts
  • 11/4 cup of pecans
  • 1/4 cup of packed dates
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • FOR FILLING:
  • 2 cups cashews soaked overnight (or at least 4 hours) and then rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup of melted coconut oil
  • small amount of almond milk as needed
  • Juice of 1-2 limes depending on how juicy they are
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tbs of cacao powder
  • couple of squares of dark chocolate, melted

Instructions

  1. To make the crust, put all crust nut ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor.
  2. Process until nuts are small and crumbly.
  3. Slowly add dates while continuing to process nut mixture.
  4. Crust will begin to stick together.
  5. Press crust mixture into muffin tins lined with paper liners.
  6. The crust should hold together well in bottom of tins.
  7. I made two different types of cheese cake so I had to divide all the filling ingredients in 1/2. If you are only going to make one type, you can pour all the ingredients into the blender at the same time.
  8. To make the filling, add 1/2 the cashews, 1/2 the vanilla, 1/2 the maple syrup, juice from 1 lime, lime zest and 1/2 the coconut oil to a blender.
  9. Blend until smooth.
  10. Taste to see if it is limey enough.
  11. If not, gradually add more juice until it tastes as limey as you want.
  12. Once the filling tastes as limey as you like, add lime filling to half of the prepared muffin tins.
  13. Clean out the blender.
  14. Add other half of the ingredients, plus the cacao and melted dark chocolate to the blender.
  15. Process until smooth.
  16. If not getting creamy, you can add small amounts of almond milk to help your blender process the nuts.
  17. Taste to see if chocolaty enough. If not add more cacao to the blender.
  18. Once all the nuts are ground up, spoon filling into the prepared muffin tins.
  19. Smooth top of the cheesecakes.
  20. Place in the fridge for a few hours to firm up and then ENJOY!
  21. You can serve them with a raspberry sauce if you like. Recipe to follow.
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Here is a picture of all the nuts for the crust before they get chopped up.

Pecans and macadamias before they become crust.

Pecans and macadamias before they become crust.

Below is a pic of the nuts, processed into the crust mixture and then pressed into the cup cake pan.  They are just waiting for the filling to be ready.

Crust before filling.

Crust before filling.

A pic of the muffin tin with the chocolate and lime fillings added.  Everything is now ready to go into the fridge.

Chocolate and lime raw vegan cheesecakes.

Chocolate and lime raw vegan cheesecakes.

I have a crazy amount of raspberry bushes in my yard and last week the were filled with berries.  I decided to use some of the berries to make a raspberry sauce to go on the cheesecakes.  The cheesecakes are super yummy without the sauce but if you want to add a little extra zing, this is one way to do it.

Raspberry on the vine in my yard.

Raspberry on the vine in my yard.

Homemade Raspberry Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of fresh raspberries (I am sure frozen would work too)
  • 1/4 cup of agave syrup
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients in a pot on the stove over low heat.
  2. Stir frequently to prevent burning or sticking.
  3. When raspberries are broken down and the sauce starts to thicken, turn off stove.
  4. Allow to cool.
  5. Put in glass jar and store in the fridge.
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Enjoy!

Shared on the Plant Based Pot Luck Party, Live Laugh Rowe, A Glimpse Inside, Real Food Fridays and the Nourishing Gourmet.

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5 Great Road Trip Snacks

Road trip picture.

Road trip picture.

Summer  has definitely hit and it seems everyone is on the move.  People are visiting family, headed to the beach or checking out the National Parks.  I can’t wait til we get to hit the road.  Beyond the hassles of packing, boarding the dog and planning the trip, one of my biggest concerns is what to bring for car snacks. I don’t want to undue all the healthy eating we have been doing at home by failing to be prepared!!  It never fails that we have barely made it out of the driveway and the kids are already asking what we have to eat.  I have been giving this a lot of thought and this year I am prepared.  Here are five snacks I will be packing.

Blueberries.

Blueberries.

Blueberries.  Blueberries are an amazing car snack.  Pick or buy them, wash them and then store them in your container of choice.  They are a tasty, healthy, sweet alternative to candy and other junk food you might be tempted to pack.  Plus they provide a shot of anti-oxidants, vitamin C and fiber.  Perfect to keep you regular when your routine is out of whack.  Read more about the benefits of eating berries here.

Nut butter stuffed Dates

Nut butter stuffed Dates

Nut Butter Stuffed Dates.  These portable little beauties offer a hint of sweetness with a little bit of salty thrown in.  There are currently so many options for different nut butters.  I often use pistachio but experiment with what is your favorite.  Here is a recipe but they are so simple to create.  Just slice the date down one side, remove the pit and then stuff with the nut butter of your choice.

Trail Mix.

Trail Mix.

Trail Mix.  The great thing about trail mix is it can be completely customized to your own individual taste.  Take the kids to  a store with bulk bins and let them choose what they would like in their own “special” trail mix.  Chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, sesame crackers- it is all good!  Just be aware that some dried fruits have added sugar.  Once the kids have chosen their ingredients, you can pack each kid their own bag of “special” mix.

Fermented Blueberry SodaFermented Blueberry Ginger Soda.  This snack takes a little more planning because creating the ingredients for the ginger bug takes about a week.  However, having a cool, refreshing, healthy alternative to soda while on the road is well worth it.  Plus it will provide your gut with healthy probiotics while you are traveling. Here is the recipe for Fermented Ginger Blueberry Soda.

Yum!  A whole container of granola!

Yum! A whole container of granola!

Granola.  Jane’s Chocolaty Gluten Free Granola is a great road trip food.  Portable, healthy and no refrigeration required.

These are just a few ideas!  I would love to hear about what other families take on their road trips.

Shared with REal Food Forager, Gluten Free Homemaker,  Urban NaturaleReal Food Wednesdays and Allergy Free Alaska.

Car Photo by Les Chatfield on flickr with text added by me.

Trail mix photo by Sara Milne on flickr.

Blueberry photo by Mr. TinDC on flickr.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Torte

I have not been shy about my love for the The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out cookbook.  Every thing I have made from it has been absolutely delicious  so when it came time for me to host book club, I knew exactly where I was going to search for a recipe to serve for dessert.

Finished pie.

Finished pie.

Our book club is fairly simple and until the last meeting not very focused on the book.  If you are the hostess, you are responsible for choosing the book and serving wine and dessert.  Until the last book club, we did not spend much time actually discussing the books we had read.  Most of our time was spent drinking wine and talking about what was going on in each other’s lives.  However, with this meeting, we decided the hostess would be responsible for having some questions about the book to help spark discussion.

I choose Me Before You: A Novel by JoJo Moyes and printed off a list of questions from the web.  This book turned out to be a great choice for our first meeting with questions.   It themes were so universal that even the people who had not read the book were able to participate in the conversation.  It sparked a lot of conversation about how you live your life and the choices you might make around death.  I highly recommend this book.

In the original The Oh She Glows Cookbook recipe, it calls for espresso powder to be used in the filling.  I was out of espresso powder so I decided to omit it from the recipe.  I am sure it would be super tasty with the espresso powder but I thought it was very yummy and decadent without it.  Even though this dessert is dairy and gluten free, it still wowed everyone at book club. It does, however,  take a bit of planning because you need to soak the cashews for at least 4 hours (and overnight is even better) before you can make the filling.  This planning is well worth the end result!!

Some of the yummy ingredients that make up this torte.

Some of the yummy ingredients that make up this torte.

To make the crust, you combine the hazelnuts, coconut oil, oats and maple syrup in a food processor and pulse until you get a coarse crumb.  This coarse crumb is then pressed into the bottom of a nine inch round pan and baked for about 10-13 minutes.

Crust before being pressed into the pan.

Crust before being pressed into the pan.

After removing the crust from the oven, allow it to cool before adding the filling.

Crust before baking.

Crust before baking.

I put all the ingredients for the filling in my Nutri Bullet and gave them a whirl.  I had to stop multiple times to scrap down the sides and add a little almond milk.  The Nutri Bullet worked awesome to turn those nuts, chocolate and other ingredients into a smooth, creamy, yummy  filling.

Filling mixture after being blended together.
Filling mixture after being blended together.

 

Chocolate Hazelnut Torte

Ingredients

  • FOR CRUST:
  • 3/4 cup raw hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 3 tbs of maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oat flour
  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • FOR CHOCOLATE FILLING:
  • 1 1/2 cups of cashews soaked overnight or at least 4 hours
  • 2/3 cup of agave or maple syrup (I used maple)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup of melted dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp of vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp of espresso powder (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9 inch pie dish with coconut oil.
  2. TO MAKE CRUST:
  3. In food processor, grind the hazelnuts into a coarse crumb.
  4. Add the maple syrup, oat flour, salt and coconut oil until the dough starts to stick together.
  5. Add oats and process until begin to break up but you can still see them.
  6. Press mixture into the pie pan.
  7. Place in oven and bake for 10-13 minutes. (Until lightly brown.)
  8. Allow crust to cool while you make the filling.
  9. TO MAKE FILLING:
  10. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.
  11. Place cashews and all other filling ingredients in your blender.
  12. Process the filling on high. Stopping to scrap the sides or add almond milk as needed to keep the blender moving.
  13. Once your filling is completely smooth, pour it into the cooled pie crust.
  14. Smooth filling so it evenly covers the crust.
  15. I garnished my pie with shaved dark chocolate and chopped hazelnuts. You can skip the garnish all together or add whatever ingredients appeal to you.
  16. Put uncovered pie in a flat spot in your freezer and freeze for a few hours.
  17. After a few hours, cover pie with foil and freeze for a minimum of 4-6 hours before serving.
  18. When ready to serve, remove pie from freezer about 10 minutes before slicing.
  19. To store pie, cut in individual slices, wrap in foil and keep in the freezer.
  20. Enjoy!
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Pie slice.

Pie slice.

This pie is really very pretty sliced.  (I know this pictured doesn’t do it justice.)  Unfortunately, my kids got a hold of the pie before I could cut a nice slice and take a picture of it.  Just one more piece of evidence about how delectable this pie is!

Enjoy!

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Tiny Tip Tuesday: 4 Tips for A Healthier You

 

Four Tips for a Healthier Diet.

Four Tips for a Healthier Diet.

It seems there is a lot of contradictory information out there about healthy diets.  Many people have incredibly strong feelings about how they fuel their bodies and they are not afraid to share their opinions.  It can be hard to keep up with the latest research because the information is always changing.  One minute, carbs are good- the next, carbs are bad.  First you hear, don’t eat fat then you hear eat all the fat you want. It can be confusing because new research is always being released.  However, here are 4 tiny tips I think most everyone can agree on.

  1. Eat whole foods.   Try to make the majority of calories you consume come from whole foods.  Eat foods you recognize with a minimum of ingredients- all of which you can pronounce.  Avoid food that comes in a box or package.  Food in its natural state is the best.
  2. Eat healthy fats.  Your body needs fat to survive.  Fat is necessary for absorption of the fat soluble vitamins D, E, K and A, for insulation for your organs and to help keep your body warm.  Fat helps produce hormones and biochemicals and is in every cell in the body.  However, not all fat is healthy.  Avoid trans fats like those found in baked goods or processed foods.  Get your fats from real food sources like seeds, nuts, avocados, fatty fish, meat and eggs.
  3. Eat a variety of foods every day.  Try to eat as many different colors of natural foods as possible. Blue blueberries, red apples, dark green leafy greens, vibrant orange butternut squash and purple eggplant all offer different essential vitamins and minerals.
  4. Move your body.   The Center for Disease Control recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and muscle strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week.  These recommendations do not mean you have to go sweat it out in the gym- any kind of activity which gets your heart rate up will qualify.  It doesn’t matter if it is gardening, running, boot camp or ballroom dancing. Just be sure to choose something you like so you are motivated to keep doing it.  Consistency is key!!

Photo by Alex Lomas on flickr.

 

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Naturally Fermented Blueberry Ginger Soda

Super yummy blueberry soda.

Super yummy blueberry soda.

 

I have become obsessed with making fermented sodas and other drinks.  I have been making kombucha and water kefir for a while but only recently became interested in trying to make fizzy sodas for my kids.  Unfortunately, my kids have not been fans of either my kombucha or the water kefir so  I am hoping to increase their consumption of fermented foods by appealing to the soda loving part of them.  (However, if you love kombucha, go here for easy kombucha making instructions.)

Even my dog, Roxie, is interested in improving her gut health with fermented soda.

Even my dog, Roxie, is interested in improving her gut health with fermented soda.

I was interested in trying to do a wild ferment using a ginger bug  and found a great recipe for ginger bugs on The Holistic Squid.  When I first read the term ginger bug, I was a little intimidated to try to make one but it really turned out to be very easy.  The only thing about ginger bugs is they require time.  They take about one week to fully ferment so if you are in a hurry, you will need to explore a different soda making method.  (I will be posting a recipe for raspberry soda soon, which I am fermenting using champagne yeast.  It is quicker.)

Chopped ginger to start the ginger bug.

Chopped ginger to start the ginger bug.

Ginger Bug Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 teaspoons of sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of chopped ginger

Instructions

  1. In a quart sized jar, mix all three of the ingredients.
  2. Cover jar and give it a shake to mix the ingredients.
  3. Place in a warm spot away from direct sunlight. (Above 72 degrees)
  4. If your house gets cold at night, you might want to use a seedling mat or heating pad to warm your bug.
  5. Everyday for a week, add 2 more teaspoons of ginger and 2 teaspoons of sugar.
  6. Shake after each addition.
  7. Towards the end of the week, you will see your liquid begin to get bubbly.
  8. Once good and fizzy it is ready to be combined with the blueberries.
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Ginger bug plus blueberries.

Ginger bug plus blueberries.

Above is a picture of the ginger bug on the seventh day.  You can see the bubbles near the top of the jar.  You can also see the blueberries in the background.  I used organic frozen blueberries but fresh works just as well.

Once the bug was done, I used a recipe from Learning Herbs to make my blueberry soda.

Naturally Fermented Blueberry Ginger Soda

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of ginger bug
  • filtered water
  • Gallon jar and large pot

Instructions

  1. Put 1/2 gallon of filtered water in a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in sugar.
  4. Add your blueberries to the pot and allow the water to come back to a boil.
  5. Boil for 10 minutes.
  6. Taste to see if tastes fruity. If you want a fruitier taste, let it boil longer.
  7. Pour boiled liquid into the gallon jar and fill jar a few inches from top with more filtered water. (I put a metal knife in the jar to draw out some of the heat and keep the jar from cracking.)
  8. Allow liquid to cool completely.
  9. Strain ginger bug to remove particles of ginger.
  10. Add ginger bug.
  11. Cover with cheese cloth held down with rubber band or you can use paper coffee filters.
  12. Place jar in warm spot but not in direct sunlight.
  13. Allow to sit for at least 3 days. Stir each day 2-3 times.
  14. After 3 days, taste your liquid, if it has the right balance of sweet and tart for you, then it is ready to be bottled. (This could take up to 7 days.)
  15. You want to strain your liquid to remove all the berry solids.
  16. Place strained liquid into small, capped bottles. (I used some flip top bottles I found at Ikea and some recycled glass kombucha bottles.)
  17. Allow to sit out for another day to increase the fizziness of the soda.
  18. When it is a bubbly as you want, move it to the fridge to stop the fermentation process.
  19. When cool, enjoy!!
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Blueberry soda fermenting on the counter.

Blueberry soda fermenting on the counter.

I am happy to say that even my kids like this blueberry soda.  In fact, they kept hunting for more even after it had all been consumed!  I was happy because my mission to get them to consume more ferments was accomplished.  (Read more about the importance of fermented foods here.)  The soda was fruity and fizzy but not too sweet.  It tasted very refreshing on the hot summer days.

Finished soda ready to drink.

Finished soda ready to drink.

This post was shared on Plant Based Pot LuckHomespun Oasis, Allergy Free Alaska, Urban Naturale, Real Food Forager and Live, Laugh, Rowe.

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