Kefir: Yogurt On Steroids!

Kefir-1

Yogurt is great, but Kefir is even better! I want as much immune boosting probiotics in my diet as I can get, and drinking Kefir is a tasty way to get those good little bugs in my gut!  I make  a kefir smoothie daily, and serve with breakfast or as an afternoon snack.  It’s one of the easiest and nutritious things I make at home, so there’s absolutely no excuse not to have a kefir smoothie every day, oh and my kids love them!  Let me add, that to get the most potent yogurt or kefir, it is best to make it at home as the beneficial bacteria can be lost through packaging and shelf age.  If you are purchasing your cultured dairy, you want to check the package and make sure it contains “live active bacteria” if not, more than likely you are consuming dead bacteria, and what’s the point in that?  Here’s a quick overview of some of the benefits of kefir, and one of our regular kefir smoothies we do at home.

Facts About Kefir:

  • It’s a perfect balance of yeast and beneficial bacteria
  • Has been shown to Inhibit growth of tumors in lab rats
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Antimicrobial – Kills pathogens such as E. Coli & Salmonella
  • Reduces allergy, asthma & eczema symptoms
  • Aides in digestion
  • Fermentation process breaks down lactose and casein-depending on how long you let the kefir ferment it potentially could be lactose free
  • Contains 30-50 strains of good bacteria – yogurt only has 7-9
  • Builds strong bones-contains Vitamin K2 important nutrient lacking in our diets that aids in placing calcium in the appropriate places in our bodies

Making Kefir:

1-2 T. live kefir grains

4 cups whole milk (do not use UHT pasteurized milk)

Place kefir grains and whole milk in 1 quart Mason jar, cover loosely with lid, clean cloth or coffee filter and rubber band or mason ring. Leave at room temperature for approximately 24 hours, strain to use the grains again and refrigerate the kefir or use immediately.  You may ferment longer depending on how sour you want the taste.  If you see it starting to separate like curds and whey,  it’s okay, just stir and strain, nothing is wrong with it.

Kefir Smoothie

4 cups kefir

2 frozen bananas

10 oz. frozen berries

2 raw organic farm fresh eggs (optional)

¼ cup raw honey, sucanat or 5-10 drops Stevia

2 T. chia seeds

Place all ingredients in blender and blend till smooth.  Make popsicles with any leftovers and the kids really think it’s a treat!

If you need any kefir grains they can be purchased through Cultures for Health, there’s a link below, or try to find some from someone in your community.  Sometimes, people post on Craigslist that they’re giving them away or selling them pretty cheap.  It’s easier but not necessary if you start out with active grains.

For more information:

http://www.kefir.org/kefir_manual.htm

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/milk-kefir-grains-composition-bacteria-yeast

http://www.nourishkefir.co.uk/upload_file/F8.pdf

For The Love of Cooking

 

Love-People.-Cook-them-tasty-food.

My mom would be the first to tell you that I have not always loved to cook.  When I got married in my early twenties I was the girl that called my mom and asked how to make spagetti.  My husband actually taught me how to cook the first year of our marriage. I learned by watching him make gourmet meals from his favorite cook books.   Once I discovered a love of cook books and Martha Stewart, it became a passion.  I truly love to cook.  Sure there are days when I am tired and nothing sounds good, and I declare it a sandwich dinner, but for the most part I really enjoy cooking.   The main reason I love cooking is because I adore eating.   I don’t just cook what I think everyone else will like, but mostly what I will like.  And when I cook with love and passion, everyone loves it regardless.

I want to bring back the love of cooking that seems to have disappeared in most homes today.   By cooking at home you eliminate over 75% of processed chemicals, salts and sugars from your diet.   Most of America has forgotten the love of cooking due to tight schedules and long hours of work.  The drive through window and microwavable dinners have increased in sales, while our health has been declining.  We are promising the next generation (our children) a shorter life expectancy than our own by saving a few minutes of our day.

Here are some ways to find the love of cooking that you may have lost over the years.

1.  Go check out or buy a cookbook that makes you smile (Here is my new favorite!).

2.  Plan your meals ahead of time so that you have all the ingredients on hand.  making a meal plan or following our fall menu for a week or even a full month at a time will save you stress and time during the busy week.

3.  Put your ipod or speakers on some good, relaxing music in the kitchen and make this a time of joy and creativity after a long day.   I usually add a glass of wine to step 3 as well ;)

4.  Organize your work space.   I would invest in a nice thick wood cutting board that can stay out at all times.  Keep this near your sink or your trash or composter, if you can, so that you can chop and slide off trash in seconds.   Move your knives close to your cutting board, so that yoModern kitchenu have everything you need to chop right in front of you.  Have a strainer that fits over your sink on at all times, or at least keep it close by.  This will allow you to wash and rinse things with out any hassle.  Keep a towel tucked in your pants or close at hand.  I know it sounds crazy, but this eliminates washing your hands every two seconds and searching for the paper towels over and over.  I like aprons, but a towel tucked in a pocket, or the side of my pants makes my cooking go much faster.

5.  Make a list of spices, tools, and utensils that you are constantly out of or wished you had while cooking.  It is amazing how long I will go without a certain tool and when I finally break down and buy it, it will cost me $3 and I wonder why I waited so long.   Having good kitchen tools can really save you time and bring you joy.

6.  Make Friday Pizza night! There is always one night of the week that I don’t have to think about, Friday.  Fridays we always have pizza night.  We love our homemade pizzas so much, that no one even asks for delivery anymore.  Pizzas are so fun to me because you can add so many different toppings, make individual pizzas, have friends over and let them pick out their own toppings, and everyone loves pizza!   We have family movie nights or eat the pizza on the patio, it’s just brainless good food! And of course, here’s a recipe! We also love this book!

Friday Night Pizza

Make your own dough – google it ( so easy to make, anyone can do this!)

Pizza sauce

1 can crushed tomatoes

5 garlic cloves crushed

olive oil

Spread the tomatoes on the dough, sprinkle crushed garlic over tomatoes and then drizzle with olive oil.  Now add your cheese and toppings and bake!  You will never order pizza again!

If you love to cook, what are some tips you have to bring back that lovin’ feeling?

SoDA Sick Day : A Fall and Winter Wellness Class

The School of Domestic Arts has been bombarded today with lots of questions about wellness, fighting the new virus and so on. So we are moving up our class scheduled for late September to THIS SUNDAY.

SoDA Sick Day: A Fall and Winter Wellness Class
Learn ways to build your immune system to keep from getting sick and natural remedies when you do get sick. The School of Domestic Arts goal is always to help others find health food. This class will focus on healing foods and natural remedies.

 

 

Keep your family well this season, we want to help!

$5/person – seating is limited
Sunday, September 14th 4:00pm-5:30pm
Providence Presbyterian Church 3301 34th
east wing courtyard

To reserve your spot email simply4realfood(at) gmail

www.theschoolofdomesticarts.com