mint chocolate cacao

From time to time we have a phase for hot cacao, on these days I like to experiment with different flavours. Sometimes I add cinnamon or gingerbread spice, and once in the pile of old newspapers and magazines I found mint hot cacao recipe. Such Winter hot cocoa with a pinch of summer. My partner didn’t appreciate the taste, but let me tell you that I really enjoyed it. So if you haven’t tried it yet, it’s easy to prepare, and you can find chocolate with mint filling in almost every store. To keep it low carb I would look for good quality dark chocolate or sugar free.

If it will be too bitter for you, add a bit of sugar alternative, or regular sugar if you don’t mind. Use mix of milk and double cream or double cream only if you like it more heavy. You can also prepare vegan option using plant milk (almond, oat, soya or rice) and vegan cream. I also saw vegan mint chocolate bar in the supermarket.

Have you noticed that there’s cacao and cocoa powder in the shops? What’s the difference? If you’d like to know have a look here.

If you like having hot cacao on dark Winter evenings this mint version is a great idea. Cup of hot cacao, cosy blanket and a good book is a perfect Winter set up.

mint chocolate cacao

INGREDIENTS for one cup:

  • 125 ml of any kind of milk you prefer
  • 125 ml double cream or vegan cream
  • 1 headed tsp of raw cacao
  • 4 good quality, low carb mint chocolate squares or sugar free (or vegan chocolate)

DIRECTIONS

You can use milk and cream or cream only for extra fat content. Heat up together milk and cream, but don’t bring it to boil. Take a mug or a cup put a headed teaspoon of raw cacao powder. When milk and cream is hot add a little bit to the mug and using a teaspoon dissolve cacao (milk frother also will be handy). Add four mint chocolate squares and the rest of milk/cream. Stir until chocolate melts. Serve hot adding a cosy blanket and good book 馃檪

banana coffee with vanilla ice cream

This banana coffee with vanilla ice cream is not an everyday treat. At least not for me. But as a sweet treat, from time to time, or on a special occasion (as I don’t drink alcohol, this kind of special occasion drink is perfect for me) – it’s not as bad as you might think. One banana contains about 25g of carbs, plus scoop of ice cream – 10g of carbs and about 50ml of condensed milk – 6g. Considering that for one coffee you’ll use half of banana, it gives about 28.5g of carbs per portion. It’s still not that much, comparing to the tub of my favourite ice cream with peanut butter, salty pretzels and pieces of brownie, that contains 115g of carbs in a whole tub. And usually I eat whole tub at once…

So…this banana coffee is kinda low carb sweet treat 馃槈

And it’s really delicious. If you’re a coffee fan of course. If you like this kind of experiments, I highly recommend making this coffee. It’s a great idea if you want to surprise your loved ones with something more than regular coffee.

I do not like very cold iced coffee, so instead of ice cubes, I used slightly warm coffee and a scoop of vanilla ice cream – I like this combination very much, because the individual layers do not mix too much, and you can have a sip of warm strong coffee with bananas or cold vanilla ice cream. Also if you don’t have condensed milk, you can use single or double cream instead.

There’s not much more to say about this recipe, it’s not the healthiest but still homemade, and definitely will make you smile 馃檪

banana coffee with vanilla ice cream

INGREDIENTS for 2 portions:

  • 150ml of coffee (instant or espresso)
  • 1 small banana
  • unsweetened condensed milk (evaporated milk)
  • ice cream
  • cacao powder
  • optional: sugar or sweetener

Blend warm coffee with banana chopped into pieces (you can add sugar or sweetener if you feel like it’s not sweet enough for you). You’ll get a thick, fairly stiff froth on top that will remain on the surface of the coffee. Pour coffee into glasses, put a scoop of ice cream and top up with condensed milk. Sprinkled a little bit of cacao powder on top and serve.

Enjoy!

mint and lime smoothie

Mint is I believe one of my partner鈥檚 favorite teas, he often buys a bunch of fresh mint and we use it to make hot or cold tea during summer months. I rinse fresh mint thoroughly, remove the the stem and freeze it in a zip bag. Each time we fancy a hot or cold mint tea, I just take couple of frozen leaves and brew it in a pot.

For making a smoothie the best is fresh mint though. So if you have a supply of fresh herb and hot weather, to enjoy this refreshing smoothie, do not hesitate and try this recipe. I鈥檝e included honey or its replacement in this recipe, but it鈥檚 totally optional and depends only of your personal preference. Some people needs a hint of sweetness, but obviously if you鈥檙e on keto diet you might want to skip this ingredient.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine mint (and also pears, roasted almonds, honey, white sesame seeds, and celery) support your lungs and large intestine. Often times, in a hot summer months these organs suffer from being too dry and not having enough moisture. And mint with its cooling nature has a soothing, cooling, clarifying effect.

If you experience headache, fever, slight aversion to cold, sore throat, red eyes, cough, nasal congestion, and it鈥檚 connected with wind-heat, try adding some mint to your drinks.

mint and lime smoothie

INGREDIENTS (for 2 portions):

路 500ml kefir
路 陆 cup cold water
路 2 twigs of fresh mint
路 陆 lime juice
路 optionally: 1 teaspoon of honey or replacement for keto diet

DIRECTIONS

Rinse fresh mint and cut off the leaves. Take a jug, add in kefir, water mint leaves and lime juice.

Blend until smooth. Optionally add some honey or sweetener. Put to the fridge for about 30 minutes, then it’s ready to drink. Very, very refreshing!

Enjoy!

Source of knowledge:

Bo He – Chinese Field Mint

Magical Mint

strawberry smoothie with a twist

Summer is unfortunately slowly coming to an end, what makes me feel a little bit sad. Because a lot of light and reasonably sunny weather (for Scotland), was helping me to keep my mental health in more or less good condition, despite the situation we all have to deal with. And I hope that September will surprise us with a lot of sunny spells, and and temperature that will let us spend some time outside.

This smoothie recipe is perfect for Scottish weather, which sometimes is hot and cold in the same time 鈥 very summery strawberries with a twist of warming ginger. You might probably heard that in Traditional Chinese Medicine ginger has a special place, it has a warming nature and disperses cold and wind 鈥 perfect for Scottish weather 馃槈

But seriously, fresh ginger is warm in nature, so do not overuse it, as this may cause further heat accumulation in the body. Ginger stimulates the stomach mucous membranes and increases stomach acid secretion and intestinal mobility. Do not use fresh ginger if you have issues with stomach ulcers. Ginger increases heart rate, respiration rate and blood pressure. So it鈥檚 perfect if you have problems with a low blood pressure. On the other hand, use with caution if you have high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat and fast breathing rate. Ginger also has yeast/fungus-inhibiting properties. So if you feel this kind of internal dampness (symptoms: feeling of heaviness, swelling or water retention, distended abdomen, phlegm discharge, loose bowels, sluggish energy) or external dampness (symptoms: dizziness, a heavy sensation in the head and body, and joint soreness and pain), you could consider including ginger into your diet.

Ginger can be use to treat many initial flu and heat symptoms like dry and sore throat, constipation and fatigue. I remember couple years ago we鈥檝e been on a camping and spend a week in a tent with pouring rain. What saved us from getting sick, was a cup of warm fresh ginger tea couple times a day.

I recommend making this smoothie from room temperature ingredients to keep the balance and harmony.

strawberry and ginger smoothie

INGREDIENTS:

路 250ml room temperature buttermilk
路 1 banana
路 handful of ripe and juicy strawberries
路 slice of fresh ginger (about 1cm/1/2inch)

Slice banana, peel ginger and dice in smaller pieces. Rinse strawberries and remove the stems.

If you add fresh ginger according to TCM, it’s important to keep a temperature neutral to prevent disharmony from developing. That’s why I recommend using room temperature ingredients.

Put banana and buttermilk in a jug and smooth it using blender. Then add strawberries and ginger and blend until you get uniform and smooth texture.

Enjoy!

Source of knowledge:

https://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=54203

https://hk.asiatatler.com/life/chinese-medicine-ingredients-help-boost-health

https://acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=31706

dalgona coffee (keto/vegan)

I know I come with this recipe when everyone has tried it, and forgot about it already. However, if by some coincidence you you’ve never tried dalgona coffee, I invite you to try this recipe. Dalgona coffee is also known as whipped coffee and it comes from South Korea. It has become viral all over the world when quarantine has started, and all the coffee shops were closed. I think now we can say, that’s a signature coffee drink of 2020.

I’ve seen the recipe many times, but I never buy instant coffee, eventually when the weather became quite warm I decided to give it a try. I’ve made it several times already and I quite enjoy it. Even though I never sugar my coffee. The sweetness is not very dominating and you can always use more or a bit less xylitol (or other granulated sweetener). Without sugar or its replacement coffee won’t become fluffy – the sugar makes the coffee froths when you mix it.

You only need 4 ingredients to make it, although if you wish you can upgrade it adding vanilla flavour to the milk or sprinkle the top with some cacao powder. But definitely it’s the easiest way of making frappucino style homemade cold coffee drink.


Original recipe requires whipping the coffee until it’s very fluffy and light like a cloud. But I’ve noticed that if you make it this way it’s much harder to mix it with the milk when you put it to the cup. It looks more impressive and pretty though. That’s why I usually whip my coffee until it’s quite creamy and frothy but not too much. So it’s easier to mix it with milk. You can see on the photos, that my froth is not very impressive. Although I like like it this way much more.

You can use any kind of milk you like: almond, coconut, hazelnut, cashew if you want to make it vegan/keto/grain free. If you don’t mind, oat milk, rice milk or traditional cows milk will be fine as well.

dalgona coffee (keto/vegan)

INGREDIENTS (for one portion):

  • 2 tsp instant coffee
  • 1-2 tsp xylitol
  • 2 tsp room temperature water
  • 200 ml cold non-dairy milk (my milk of choice: unsweetened almond milk)

DIRECTIONS

Put 2 teaspoons of instant coffee, 1-2 teaspoons of xylitol and 2 teaspoons of room temperature water to s cup or small bowl. I always take a cup – it’s easy to hold when I whip the coffee.

Take a teaspoon and making a circular motions with your wrist rub the mixture against the sides of the cup to grind all the xylitol granules. It’s not going to take a long to froth the coffee. If you have you can use some kind of mixing/frothing utensil, although I thing it’s easy enough not to bother with extra tools. After 3 minutes of whipping you’ll see that coffee gets lighten in colour and fluffy. You should get light brown creamy fluffy cloud of coffee.

Take a glass and pour some milk leaving a space for your coffee. If you like, add couple of ice cubes. I don’t like as cold coffee, milk from the fridge is perfect for me. Using a teaspoon put all the coffee froth on top of the milk. And your dalgona coffee is ready!

More fluffy you make the coffee, more difficult will be to mix it with milk. So usually I whip it until it’s creamy and light, so it’s easier to stir it into the milk.

vegan mango and ginger smoothie

While preparing this post I stumble up on a very interesting article, but before that let me introduce you this delicious tropical flavoured smoothie. If you live in hot climate or your summer time is extremely warm, this kind of drinks will be a good option for you. There’s a reason why tropical fruits grow in tropics. When it’s hot you’re appetite goes down, you sweat a lot, so you need more water. Fresh summer fruits and vegetables, generally raw, have a cooling nature. So if you live in a climate where all year round is hot eating more of raw veggies and fruits will be more natural and healthy for you. Whilst if you live in a climate with four seasons let’s say, Summer will be the best time to treat yourself with some tropical fruits. Diet based on only salads, cocktails or such popular smoothies, will not necessarily work in the cold and snowy Autumn and Winter. Therefore, the Eskimo’s body needs different food than the inhabitant of hot Africa or Australia. A diet dominated by products from a different climate zone, will provide us with the wrong proportions of nutrients (and different nature) and in the long run might not be beneficial to our health. But that’s only my opinion. Although there must be a reason why world was build like that.

Another thing is that large-scale import of products from the other end of the world, is not without impact on the natural environment – generating increased fuel consumption and mass production of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In addition, food transported thousands of kilometres must be properly protected from deterioration – usually by freezing or chemical preservation – which causes it to lose a large part of its original values and body absorbs a lot of different (not necessarily healthy) chemical ingredients along with the fruit. Most of the fruit is transported unripe and gets ripened (or not) in transport, so the fruits you buy in the supermarket has completely different taste, that if they would ripened in its natural habitant.

This, of course, does not mean that we should completely give up products from other climate zones. We live in a world where it would be hard to imagine life without bananas, citrus fruits or cocoa. Although I’m sure there would be many people, who would deal with it without any problems.

That’s why I think informations about food nature, nutrition and more importantly – the way they grow, they way they are transported and preserved, should be clear and evident. So everyone could make a concious decision about what kind of food they want to consume and what outcome they’ll get. But let’s be honest, I’m afraid it’s never going to happen, from obvious reasons. If people would know what they actually consume, how the food is produced, transported and preserved etc., any of the big food companies could probably no longer exists.

That’s why I think spreading the knowledge and awareness is so important.

Now we can come back to that interesting article I’ve stumbled up on while preparing this post. Article comes from Civil Eats website nonprofit news organization, daily news source for critical thought about the American food system. Although I think this problem is not only American, every country has its own laws and regulations regarding food production and preservation. Some of the countries has more restrictions, some of them are more reckless, and unfortunately US is one of them. On Civil Eats website you’ll find many interesting articles about food policies, food and farm labour, health, nutrition, and technology that is used in food industry, not only from US perspective but also European (UK for example). So if you’re interested in this subject I highly recommend checking out this website.

The article I stumbled up on refers to orange juice production – I would never in my life get the idea, that orange juice industry came up with. But lets start from the beginning. We have four types of orange juice (considering the production process) we can buy in the shops.

  • fresh, unpasteurized orange juice, pressed using the Cold Press method (cold pressed). Fresh, unpasteurized juice retains its freshness and value due to the cold pressing of vegetables and fruits. This method allows you to keep the temperature low throughout the entire juice pressing process. This is crucial, because at low temperatures vitamins and enzymes are preserved almost 100%, while preventing the growth of bacteria that initiate the process of spoilage. It is also important to limit the access of air to the juice by pouring it almost under the cork of the bottle. Another important factor that allows juice to maintain their nutritional value is their storage in the cold and dark cartons during transport, protecting against accelerating the process of spoiling and destroying the nutritional values 鈥嬧媤ith light
  • made from concentrate – i.e. juices deprived of most water. When the water is eliminated, we are left with a thick and flowing liquid – concentrate. This process usually serves to extend the usefulness of the juice, because without water bacterial growth is inhibited. Among other things, thanks to this, concentrates are cheaper to pack, store and transport. In this process, the taste of the juice may be diluted, which is why some manufacturers use flavor additives. Unfortunately, these are usually artificial compounds produced from fruit waste. To make matters worse, high-fructose corn syrup is often added to fruit concentrates. It happens that artificial colors and flavors are also placed in these products. Most concentrates are filtered, evaporated and pasteurized. They are stored at room temperature or frozen. Most often they are intended for dilution with water
  • pasteurized juices are juices subjected to temperatures ranging from 72 藲C – 100 藲C for a specified period of time to kill microorganisms present in the juice. The destruction of bacteria protects the product against spoilage, thanks to which it can be stored on the shelf for a longer period of time, usually from one to several months, without exposing stores to financial losses. However, the process of pasteurization, in addition to bacteria, also destroys many valuable vitamins and antioxidants, which is exactly what we care about most and is the most important for health. Some vitamins, such as vitamin C, may be destroyed by pasteurization up to 90% compared to freshly squeezed juice. So what remains in such juice? Some fiber, fruit sugar, some vitamins and water. Some manufacturers still add synthetic vitamins
  • the last one that Civil Eater writes about is orange juice although not made from concentrate but with new technology which is “aseptic storage”. Process “which involves stripping the juice of oxygen, a process known as 鈥渄eaeration,鈥 so it doesn鈥檛 oxidize in the million gallon tanks in which it can be kept for upwards of a year. When the juice is stripped of oxygen it is also stripped of flavor providing chemicals. Juice companies therefore hire flavor and fragrance companies, the same ones that formulate perfumes for Dior and Calvin Klein, to engineer flavor packs to add back to the juice to make it taste fresh. Flavor packs aren鈥檛 listed as an ingredient on the label because technically they are derived from orange essence and oil. Yet those in the industry will tell you that the flavor packs, whether made for reconstituted or pasteurized orange juice, resemble nothing found in nature. The packs added to juice earmarked for the North American market tend to contain high amounts of ethyl butyrate, a chemical in the fragrance of fresh squeezed orange juice that, juice companies have discovered, Americans favor.” (source)

What do you think about it? I would never ever imagine that this kind of “magic” can be used to make something as simple as orange juice, that everyone can make by themselves in 3 minutes using own hands. Are we so lazy? In what kind of “only buy cheap” trap we are? And lastly where this world is going? As I said, some of the countries has more restrictions, some of them are more reckless, so it doesn’t mean that every bottle of orange juice is dangerous for your health, but let’s be honest…Don’t you think it’s kind of crazy?

Hopefully after reading this you’ll grab two real oranges, although they might travel to you for thousands of kilometres, and are waxed with some kind of preservative, at least they haven’t spent a year in a tank, and have no extra perfume in it. And I don’t know what’s worse – that they add this kind of chemical or that they don’t need to inform about it on the label?

Oh my goodness!

Next time I’ll find something about bananas.

mango and ginger smoothie

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 oranges
  • 1/2 fresh mango
  • 150ml plant milk (coconut will go great with tropical vibe)
  • 1 small banana
  • slice of fresh ginger

DIRECTIONS

Squeeze the juice from two oranges. Peel the ginger. Place all the ingredients in a smoothie maker or use a blender, like I did. Add couple of ice cubes if you want it extra cold. Serve straight away.

kogel-mogel coffee #ketofriendly

Did I already mention that I love coffee? If not – I have days when I could drink coffee every second hour, every time with the same pleasure. I always say “yes” to every new way to prepare this nectar of gods. I’m sure if gods knew that coffee exists they would immediately swap wine with it.

Today though we won’t move so far back to the ancient Greek, only to 80’s. We are moving to my childhood, when my grandma was making kogel-mogel (/k蓴.伞蓻l藞m蓴.伞蓻l/) for me. Without coffee, that’s my own modernization. Kogel-mogel making is time consuming and laborious, so each time grandma was making it I was waiting impatiently until it was ready. But when it was ready (eventually) and you could finally put the first spoon into your mouth – it was like you’ve been sitting on the candy floss cloud.

OK, that’s enough of my childhood memories, I’m sure you’re dying to now what the heck is that kogel-mogel thing? I won’t keep you in suspense any more.

Kogel-mogel it’s a dessert made with egg yolks (very keto) with sugar (not keto at all). Years ago very popular in the Eastern and Central Europe, when such a variety of sweets as we have today didn’t exist. It was also a folk medicine used for treating colds or flu, sore throat and chest colds. It’s something kind of similar to eggnog, but of course with no alcohol.

Why it was so hard to make? (at least for a kid)

Because raw egg yolks and sugar, have to be beaten and ground until they form a creamy texture, with no discernible grains of sugar. And grandma always did it with a teaspoon and small cup. And for me as a kid it was taking ages. In the process of grinding sugar, making multiple moves of your wrist, egg yolks become fluffy and thick. Modern grandma would probably use a blender, but kogel-mogel would lost its charm of impatient waiting. So don’t use blender! Take your time, you can meditate or watch one episode of “The Good Place” and kogel-mogel will be ready.

You’ll probably ask if it’s safe to eat raw egg yolks?

They are super gentle on the digestive system as long as the egg is good quality and fresh. If you are wondering about salmonella – again, fresh raw eggs from a quality source are even less likely to contain salmonella. So, it’s completely safe if you use fresh eggs from a good source. And you’ll get nutritious bomb of vitamins and minerals (A, D, B2, B6, B9, B12, iron, and zinc), omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

So let’s get to the recipe. For the sake of the keto diet use some kind of sugar replacement like xylitol or erythritol. For those who don’t care about carbs – you can use regular sugar. It’s not healthy option, but everyone needs to comfort themselves from time to time.

keto coffee

 

kogel-mogel coffee

INGREDIENTS (for one portion)

路 about 100 ml hot espresso (I made my using old Bialetti coffee maker)
路 1 陆 tsp regular sugar or 2 – 2陆 tsp xylitol or erythritol
路 1 egg yolk

DIRECTIONS

To be on a safe side – pour some boiling water over the egg, it should kill any potential bacteria existing on the shell. Carefully separate egg yolk from the egg white (you can freeze egg white and use them in the future for meringue).

Place egg yolk in a small cup, add sugar or it’s replacement and using a small spoon grind the sugar, making circular motions with your hand. Try to do it quite fast, other way it will literally take ages. Your wrist will be painful but keep going. Egg yolk will get lighter in color, thick and fluffy with time. There should be no sugar grains left. When it’s fluffy, creamy and smooth, means it’s ready.

Now make a portion of espresso. Pour it to the mug or coffee cup and slowly pour kogel-mogel in. The froth will stay on the surface for a long time (even if you stir) giving you the sweetest mustache ever 馃檪 Enjoy!

coffee

 

how to boost immunity with sauerkraut juice

Nature already gave us all the solutions to keep us healthy, but we’ve discarded it for pills, tablets and other “medications”. That’s not our fault, we’ve been told that it’s better. But better for who? I’m not saying that all the medications are bad, because some of them are saving lives. But looks like instead of improving people’s health they just keep them (barely) alive. And I don’t want to start debating about pharmaceutical business, because I’m sure it’s already a common knowledge, that the most important for pharmaceutical business is their own business.

So we need to deal with our health problems by ourselves. And it’s not easy (taking a pill is much easier, but does it work better?) and takes time and knowledge. But it’s our health, our bodies and our life, if we’re not going to care about it who is going to?

We are used to being more reactive than proactive – means we usually start looking for help when it’s already really bad, and we need a quick fix (that’s why pharmaceutical business is going really good). We ignore small symptoms, forgetting that “prevention is better than the cure”.

Wouldn’t it be great to become independent from pills, drugs, vaccines? As I said, I believe that nature has already provide us with necessary compounds to keep us strong and healthy. So maybe if we try to come back to nature, and start to boost our immunity and make our bodies stronger, we stop being fated with big pharma.

You won’t find better time to start than now. In this uncertain time, when they scare us with the virus, like they forgot that everyday millions of people die with common flu, diabetes, strokes, cancer and other modern diseases.

So if you would like to start improving your health and boost your immunity, you can start with cabbage juice – one of the most underrated superfoods.

Here’s the recipe. If you would like to read some more information from the researches that has been done around this topic scroll down.

 

 

sauerkraut juice

INGREDIENTS

  • naturally grown white cabbage
  • filtered water (I use ozonated water)
  • natural rock salt or Himalayan salt

You’ll also need:

  • blender
  • few 1l glass jars with lids
  • large pot
  • wooden spoon

CABBAGE – the best is late season (winter) cabbage. Should be more white than green in color, quite hard, healthy, with no signs of mold or vermin. Green leaf cabbage with loose leaves, has low sugar content and won’t ferment properly. Try to find a good source of cabbage, preferably organic or from local farmers. I’ve tried to make sauerkraut from supermarket cabbage but didn’t work. I always buy from polish shop, few days ago I bout one from the local farmers shop, but didn’t try it yet.

WATER – I use ozonated water, you can use any kind of filtered water, free from chlorine, fluoride and other stuff, that can be found in tap water. Boiled water in room temperature will be fine as well.

SALT – also extremely important – don’t use supermarket salt with anti-caking agent (which is a synthetic mixture of sodium, aluminium and silicon oxides), it’s deprived of the essential trace minerals. Use natural rock salt or Himalayan salt instead. Salt will help to extract the juice from the cabbage and prevent from going bad.

PROPORTIONS – for about 1kg of cabbage, use about 20g of salt (about one tbsp). Because we’re making sauerkraut juice not a sauerkraut, we will be adding much more water, so I use my common sense and just add more or less salt.

JARS – glass jars are the most available for everyone and they are easy to store. Make sure they are perfectly clean, you can scald them out with boiling water. To make juice from one quite big cabbage (I would say about 2 – 2,5kg) I need 9 glass jars. Everything depends how liquidy you’ll make it. Don’t use any metal, aluminium or plastic containers, because acid from the sauerkraut will go in reaction with these materials.

DIRECTIONS

Shred the cabbage, bits don’t need to be very small, just to make it easier to blend. Now depending of how big is your pot, place part of shredded cabbage in the pot. Pour the water, so it covers all cabbage. Then blend it using hand blender. Because of blending process, you’ll get some foam on top. I take it off with a spoon if it’s quite a lot. Add rock salt and stir, as I said I do it using my common sense. Pour the mixture to the jars leaving about two inches room. Gases that will develop during fermentation will push the cabbage up. Leaving some room will prevent from spilling all over. Do the same with the rest of cabbage. Cover all the jars with lids and place in dark and warm temperature (room temperature is fine).

And now very important – for first 3-4 days you need to stir in every jar with a wooden spoon. It’s not a magic trick, it’s because if you won’t stir cabbage that’s going up above the surface of water will start to mold. So it’s so important to stir it everyday (you can do it twice a day, but usually once is OK), so the cabbage is constantly soaked in water. Expect distinctive smell that it will start to develop – it’s normal. Have a sniff, all the jars should have the same smell. If you feel that one of them is obviously stinky and smell different than the others it’s better to bin it. If you never ate sauerkraut, they all might smell stinky for you, but I mean this kind of stinky when something is off and moldy. And the second thing – mold. There should be no mold on top of the cabbage. If you see pinkish mold on top – you have to bin it. So for the first few days cabbage will be on top of the jar, and water on the bottom. When the sauerkraut will be ready, cabbage will be on the bottom and water on top. Depending of your storage temperature it will take a week up to ten days, maybe two weeks.

Now the taste, homemade sauerkraut juice is less sour than the sauerkraut bought in the shop. Longer you’ll keep it in warm temperature more sour it will get. So if you want to stop fermentation process just put it to the fridge.

Drink one cup everyday. Do not overdose, at the beginning when your body is not used to, you might get diarrhea. If you do, just take less. Start with 1-2 tablespoons a day. Than increase to one cup.

 

 

HOW COME SAUERKRAUT IS SO GOOD FOR US?

Fermented cabbage is not a modern invention, it actually have a long story in many cultures, starting from the Roman age. Although “sauerkraut” is a German word, the dish did not originate in Germany. Some claim that the Mongol Emperor Genghis Khan brought it to Europe. Others claim that it originally came from China (means not only the bad things come from China).

English name is borrowed from German language, the rest of central and eastern European countries has their own names. Anyway before frozen foods, refrigeration, and cheap transport, sauerkraut 鈥 like other preserved foods 鈥 provided a source of nutrients during the winter.

So looks like people used to ate a lot of fermented foods (not only cabbage), but it seems logic. Imagine the times, when hygiene wasn’t so obvious as now, I mean personal hygiene and all over hygiene. People had to have fairly good immune system to fight all this bacteria, mold, fungus and hell know what else. And fermented foods help them very well.

I will quote some of the modern conclusions from the researches that has been done in this topic.

“According to the Statista Statistic Portal, global probiotic sales are expected to jump from $25 billion in 2011 to $42 billion in 2016. This statistic shows that consumers are paying for these probiotics that are man-made in a lab and sold for a profit. There is nothing wrong with supplementation because there are many proven and effective probiotics, but the聽 option of using fermented foods may be more efficient. The argument for sauerkraut (and other fermented foods) is that the families of strains that naturally culture together in fermented sauerkraut are more beneficial than the isolated strains found in supplements. In other words, probiotic therapy is based on the belief that certain strains are vital for our health, which leads to people going out and buying these isolated supplements. In reality, some research shows the genetic fluidity of bacteria suggests that variety and diversity may be more beneficial than specific strains. In addition to the beneficial bacteria they produce, fermented foods also supply nutrition that no other sources can provide.*

Can the natural probiotics found in sauerkraut be as beneficial as other options? Here’s what they concluded:

“Initially, the research was going to compare store bought, shelf stable sauerkraut to homemade sauerkraut. After experimentation, it was concluded that store bought, shelf stable sauerkraut had little to no bacteria due to pasteurization and processing. An important note is that each trial was conducted on a different batch of sauerkraut. (…) The results conclude that homemade sauerkraut can supply an efficient amount of LAB to promote health benefits in small (2 tbsp.) and large (1 cup) serving sizes. Sauerkraut belongs to a rare category of foods which not only provide probiotics, but also nutrients of the cabbage in a more digestible state. The aim of the study was to culture and count strictly the LAB in sauerkraut, but it is expected that sauerkraut can be home to more microorganism species than which is currently known.*

聽 “Sauerkraut could possibly be one of most underrated superfoods. Sauerkraut is a name given to the end product of fermenting cabbage. One of the reasons sauerkraut is considered a superfood is because the fermentation makes all of the nutrients of the food more bioavailable than in its raw form. This means that all the vitamins, mineral, and phytonutrients that cabbage offers could become more bioavailable after fermentation. become more bioavailable after fermentation. For example, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride states in her book 鈥淭he amount of bioavailable vitamin C in sauerkraut is 20 times higher than in the same serving as raw cabbage鈥. In addition to increased bioavailability, what really sets sauerkraut apart from most foods is its probiotic content. The main reason sauerkraut is a wonderful food is because it is full of probiotics. Probiotics are defined as living organisms which upon ingestion in certain numbers confer health benefits upon the host. (…) human gut (and all of the bacteria involved) can have on human health. The microbiota plays a major role in health and disease in humans and it is sometimes referred to as our 鈥渇orgotten organ鈥. Even more importantly, the gut microbiota interacts with the immune system by providing signals to promote the maturation of immune cells and the normal development of immune functions.” *

From some other studies: “Sauerkraut (homemade and shop-bought) has been shown, through culture-dependent techniques, to contain Bifidobacterium dentium, Enterococcus faecalis, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus delbrueckii, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Lactobacillus sakei, Lactobacillus curvatus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis, Weissella confusa, Lactococcus lactis and Enterobacteriaceae.” **

“One of the most significant groups of probiotic organisms are the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) which were observed further in this study. Lactic Acid bacteria have established benefits such as the treatment of diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and infections such as urogenital, urinary and candida. LAB have also been shown to enhance immune system function to help prevent various illnesses and promote lactose digestion. Some studies even show that these bacteria could even prevent certain cancers. While nearly all research confines LAB to dairy products like yogurt, sauerkraut stands out as a vegetable that also produces LAB. Unlike yogurt, a starter culture is not needed for sauerkraut because the cabbages grown in healthy soil have all the bacteria they need to start fermentation. All that is added is salt which inhibits the growth of undesirable microorganisms but favors the growth of desired bacteria.”*

However,

“when it comes to sauerkraut, original studies dating back 1969 only found four strains of LAB. A more recent study done in 2009 (with technique and technology advances), concluded that 15 strains of LAB with high conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)-producing ability were isolated from sauerkraut. It should also be noted that within different stages of fermentation, there will be different organisms present. There is no definite identity or count on the LAB in sauerkraut.”*

And next one: “Certain lactic acid bacteria contained in sauerkraut generate conjugated linoleic acid for which there is evidence of anti-carcinogenic and anti-atherosclerotic activity in animals.**Anti-cancer effects of lactic acid bacteria: Several research studies confirm the ability of lactic acid bacte-ria to reduce the mutagenicity of intestinal contents by suppressing the levels of specific bacterial enzymes that promote the activation of procarcinogenic compounds (DALY et al. 1998). Lactobacilli have been periodically
associated with anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic and anti-tumorigenic activities.” ***

“Sauerkraut is one of the few fermented foods for which there is a clinical trial in functional bowel disorders. A randomised double-blind trial compared the effects of sauerkraut containing viable lactic acid bacteria (LAB) on gastrointestinal symptoms and microbiota in 58 patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). (…) There was a significant reduction in IBS Severity Scoring System (IBS-SSS) score between baseline and end of trial in both study groups, however there was no difference in symptoms between the diet groups.”** “The nutritional impact of fermented foods on nutritional diseases can be direct or indirect. Food fermentations that increase the protein content or improve the balance of essential amino acids or their availability will have a direct curative effect. Similarly fermentations that increase the content or availability of vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin or folic acid can have profound direct effects on the health of the consumers of such foods (STEINKRAUS 1997). It was shown that lactic acid fermentation increased the utilisation of iron from food by breakaway of inorganic iron from complex substances under the influence of vitamin C (SIEGENBERG 1991; V ENKATESH 1998). Fermentation may reduce the content of non-digestible material in plant foods such as cellulose, hemicellulose and polygalacturonic and glucuronic acids. Breakdown of these compounds may lead to the improved bioavailability of mineral and trace elements (KALANTZOPOULOS 1997). Fermented foods may reduce the serum cholesterol concentration by reducing the intestinal absorption of dietary and endogenous cholesterol or inhibiting cholesterol synthesis in liver (KALANTZOPOULOS 1997).”***

*”Functional Foods in Health and Disease” 2016; 6(8): 536-543. “Sauerkraut: A Probiotic Superfood” Ryan Orgeron, Angela Corbin, Brigett Scott. Submission Date: May 9, 2016; Acceptance Date: August 27, 2016; Publication Date: August 30, 2016

**”Fermented Foods: Definitions and Characteristics, Impact on the Gut Microbiota and Effects on Gastrointestinal Health and Disease” Eirini Dimidi, Selina Rose Cox, Megan Rossi and Kevin Whelan King鈥檚 College London, Department of Nutritional Sciences, London SE1 9NH, UK. Published: 5 August 2019

***”Lactic acid fermented vegetable juices” J. KAROVI膶OV脕, Z. KOHAJDOV脕 Slovak Technical University, Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology, Bratislava, Slovak Republic

If you’ve managed to get to the end, I’m very happy 馃檪

If you’ll try to make your own sauerkraut juice I will be more than happy 馃檪

I’m not an expert, but if you’d have any questions I will do my best to answer.

 

boiled spiced coffee #ketofriendly #nosugar

We found this recipe years ago in the book about Traditional Chinese Medicine and Theory of Five Flavours, and it’s my partner’s favorite way of making coffee. We both are coffee lovers, always keen to find a new way of making it. This way of making coffee is considered to be the most gentle for the stomach and blood pressure.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine coffee is seen and used as herb, so it means it should not be overdosed. 1-3 cups of coffee per day is fine, but as I said it’s important how you brew it. The way you brew your coffee is also very important. You can prepare it in two ways – brew it by pouring boiling water into the ground coffee beans (or use a coffee machine) or boil it. Each one has different nature and different properties.

Brewed coffee removes fatigue, improves intellectual effort, brightens the mind and stimulates creativity. But for most of the people causes restlessness, heartbeat, dizziness and insomnia. People who suffer from hyperactivity, high blood pressure, with weak spleen, liver, kidneys and intestines, can feel heat imbalances which are often experienced as ulcers, heartburn and excessive sweating. Coffee brewed in coffee machines is more gentle, and tends to cause less issues.

While boiled coffee has not only different taste, but also different nature and properties. Boiled coffee is more gentle and soft in taste. It’s warming, stimulating for all body, especially kidneys, improves digestion, tends to soothe rheumatic pain, migraines and even PMS. In TCM boiled coffee is advised for people with allergies, asthma, cough, colds, with weak spleen and stomach. It also cleanses gallbladder and increases and warms blood circulation.

If you like coffee but you have this kind of problems, try boil it and see how it works for you. Add spices as you like, cinnamon will make it more sweet, ginger more spicy, cardamon and cloves gives it a bit wintery taste. And it also smells delicious when it boils 馃檪

 

boiled spiced coffee #ketofriendly #nosugar

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 full tsp ground coffee
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (sweet and woody)
  • pinch of cardamon (citrusy and fragrant)
  • pinch of ginger (pungent and spicy)
  • pinch of ground cloves or 3-4 cloves (warm, strong, sweet and bitter)
  • 500 ml water (I use ozonated)

DIRECTIONS

Put the coffee and all the spices to a small pot, pour the water in and heat to boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Leave it for few seconds, so the coffee grounds will fall on the bottom. Pour to the cup and enjoy 馃檪

turmeric latte – winter blend

You can easily buy ready made blend of turmeric latte, and that’s how I started. But it’s more expensive and less fun, than when you make your own mix. I enjoy making my own blend, I can add as many ingredients as I want, in proportions I like the most. And I love this winter flavor latte. Most often I make hot bulletproof latte for myself, and a smoothie for my partner, that he can take to work.

According to ayurvedic medicine that is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems. It’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Ayurveda treats the body as a whole, not just the bunch of organs or systems that are not connected with each other. So in ayurvedic theory of disease, poor digestion is actually the root cause of most disorders. When the food we eat is not digested properly, and the by-product of poor digestion, builds up in the body, clogging the microchannels of the body. Not only does this further block the efficient flow of nutrients to the different parts of the body, weakening the immune system, but also make a good ground for bacteria and diseases.

That’s where the spices helps to make the magic. They not only helps to digest the food, but also to get rid of this unwanted by-product of metabolism. Turmeric, ginger and cinnamon helps to clean your body. Cloves are known to have antiseptic properties (and their smell is often associated with the dentist – oh I know something about it, mixing eugenol everyday for two years). But as with every natural remedies it need to be taken systematically, so they can work gently and gradually.

If you’ve never tried turmeric latte, I highly recommend it. It has a specific taste, but if you’ll like it you’ll love it 馃槈

 

turmeric latte – winter blend

INGREDIENTS (descending):

  • turmeric
  • cinnamon
  • desiccated coconut
  • cloves
  • ginger

DIRECTIONS

Proportions: Turmeric is your base, so it’s going to be your main ingredient. All depends how much of the blend you want to make. If you only want to try whether you will like it, one full teaspoon will be enough. I add one heaped teaspoon of blend for one cup of latte.

If you want to make a bigger batch, you’ll need a lot more. Add the rest of spices in proportions you like the most. I add quite a lot of cinnamon, because I like it’s sweet, warm and slightly spicy flavor. Coconut is for extra fat and flavor. You can grind it in a coffee grinder, to get more powdery consistency, but I don’t mind bits of coconut in my latte. Cloves gives a wonderful sweetness and aroma. And finally spicy ginger, but not too much, that’s why I add only a little bit.

You can use this blend to make a latte, smoothie or add to your morning porridge (if you eat porridge, ugh… I miss my morning porridge).

Enjoy!