Homegrown Kitchen Cookbook Giveaway Winner Announced 

Leave a comment
Uncategorized


Congratulations to Alice for winning the Homegrown Kitchen Cookbook giveaway! Alice, please email me and we can sort out getting the parcel of goodies to you!

A huge thank you to everyone who entered and for all of your lovely comments and support. It means so much! I wish I had a book and yarn for each and every one of you. More textile giveaways to come in the not too distant future! 

GIVEAWAY: Homegrown Kitchen Cookbook by Nicola Galloway – Giveaway Closed

comments 111
baking / bread / breakfast / dairy free option / dessert / dinner / drinks / favourites / fermented / food / gluten free / gluten free option / lunch / nutrition / rusty skillet favourite / savoury / snack / sourdough / sweet / Uncategorized

 

Homegrown_Kitchen-SMALL-4

You know those invaluable cookbooks that live on your bench and have been dog-eared dozens of times with food stains and marks found on almost every page? This new Homegrown Kitchen Cookbook by Nicola Galloway has already become that for me after only mere weeks of having it in my possession. The love and effort put into this book by Nicola is so obvious throughout and her passion for cooking good food is infectious. This is a book I feel fortunate to have and a book that far exceeds any expectations I had prior to receiving it.

When I started on my journey into gut health and healing foods 5 years ago the Homegrown Kitchen blog by Nicola Galloway was one of my staple resources. It is still one of my favourite food blogs today and I use it on a weekly basis. Nicola’s way of cooking is beautifully honest and accessible. Her recipes are healthy, hearty and most of all DELICIOUS (definitely need all caps there). It is hugely exciting to see this amazing knowledge along with so many new recipes compiled into a sturdy hard-cover book.

This cookbook is a wonderful collection of everyday recipes that are not only inspiring, but also simple to make and use inexpensive ingredients that are easy to source. I have made a dozen or more recipes from this book several times already, including the no-knead super seeded sourdough (pictured), lacto-fermented beetroot pickle, labneh, rustic sourdough, yogurt scones and sourdough crumpets. This cookbook is more than just yummy recipes. It is a fantastic resource in which you can find recipes that I guarantee will become staples in your daily food-making. Nicola also includes in-depth but easy-to-follow instructions on basics like sourdough, yogurt-making, and fermentation as well as dozens of recipes which show you how to use these essential basics in every day cooking and baking. This is a perfect book for anyone, whether a beginner in the kitchen or a skilled foodie.

Nicola’s Homegrown Kitchen Cookbook can be found here and you can also find her over on her blog and on Instagram and Facebook.

GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED, THANK YOU

****GIVEAWAY DETAILS****

Nicola has kindly gifted a cookbook to be offered in a giveaway to one of my blog readers. I will also be including a naturally dyed tote bag and two x 100gm skeins of naturally dyed DK weight alpaca/merino yarn to go with the book in the giveaway (foodies and textile addicts unite!). I am happy to cover the cost to ship around the world, so please feel free to enter the giveaway no matter where you are!

To enter the draw, just leave a comment below. I will draw the winner at random in the weekend, so you have until Friday 12th May, 8pm (NZ time) to enter.

The lucky winner is Alice! Thank you to all for entering and for your lovely comments!

****************************

 

Basic Noodle Omlette + Anxiety

comments 8
breakfast / dairy free / dairy free option / dinner / favourites / fermented / food / gluten free / gluten free option / lunch / nut free / nutrition / savoury / Uncategorized / vegetarian / vegetarian option

img_1337

 

Things may seem rather quiet around here, but I can promise you that the quietness on my blog is a reflection of the busyness in my life and the chaos in my head. I have found the jump from two kids to three mind boggling. It is exhausting, relentless, and tedious at times. Conversely it is also wonderful and fun and hilarious. But if I am to be honest, more often than not, I am overwhelmed. Postnatal depression and anxiety is a beast like that.

There are many things that can trigger PND and anxiety, and there have been some huge challenges and events for me over the past 12 months alone. Anxiety and depression have been an on and off battle for me for as long as I can remember but a few years ago I managed to get to a great place in managing it.

With the help of a great practitioner I discovered the huge benefits of fermented foods and nutrient dense foods.  I had no idea at the time how a few simple but crucial changes could make such a massive difference to my mental wellbeing. These changes brought about 3 years of having absolutely no anxiety or depression whatsoever. Those 3 years were fabulous and incredibly freeing and helped me realise how poor my mental health had been for so many years.

Needless to say, it was such a blow to regress and succumb to terrible anxiety during and after my (very unexpected) pregnancy with my third child. I felt so nauseous and exhausted in my pregnancy that I couldn’t manage to feed myself properly or think about doing anything except the absolute essentials. I was also working very part-time on call as a midwife while mothering a toddler full-time and didn’t discharge my last client until 6 days before my baby boy was born (he came along much earlier than anticipated)! When I look back at what was happening, it is no surprise that I developed PND on top of everything else.

Thankfully I am coping better each day and managing to get back into fermentation and nutrition, which honestly reduces my anxiety and depression almost entirely. My fabric dyeing adventures and knitting projects have also been my saviour. I find creating to be one of the most important things for my mental health. But fixing my gut imbalance has been pivotal in managing my anxiety and depression and I am so grateful to have the knowledge I do in order to improve my mental health. I have always loved to cook, but food has become so much more than fuel. I love the quote by Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

For now, I will leave you with one of my regular lunch meals, which is also a great breakfast or dinner meal too. It is loaded with protein and healthy fats, which I have found very helpful to combat the extreme hunger produced by extreme mothering! Protein and healthy fats have been important in helping my brain function well. I look forward to sharing more on this topic in future posts.

This recipe is for a basic noodle omlette, which can be added to and improvised depending on what you have on hand and also what your preferences are. I would love to know what you think of this dish and feel free to leave a comment on any variations you try!

And on a last but very important note, if any of you are experiencing or have experienced depression and/or anxiety, you have all of my love and support! It is a brutal thing to endure. I have no reservations in talking openly about mental health. It shouldn’t be a taboo topic. Big love from me.

Basic Noodle Omlette

  • Servings: 1 large or 2 small
  • Print

ghee or coconut oil for cooking

1 garlic clove – minced

2 large free-range eggs – beaten

1 tsp fish sauce or tamari or soy sauce

1 green spring onion – finely sliced

small handful of cilantro/fresh coriander – chopped

1 large handful of cooked pea starch cellophane noodles or rice vermicelli noodles (in a pinch you can use rice sticks or slightly thicker rice noodles or even egg noodles) – follow cooking instructions on the packet and undercook the noodles ever so slightly

To serve:

A wedge of lemon or lime

Fresh mung bean sprouts

Kimchi

Fresh coriander

Options for different add ins:

1 small carrot – grated

handful of tofu or tempeh – sliced into thin pieces

4-6 prawns – peeled and de-veined

peas

mung bean sprouts

Hoisin sauce

  1. Cook your noodles slightly less than the time given on the cooking instructions so the noodles are just about cooked but not soft or mushy. Rinse in cold water after cooking and set aside to drain.
  2. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the fish sauce or tamari or soy sauce and mix well.
  3. Heat ghee or coconut oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Once hot add the tofu, tempeh or prawns and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side (the tofu or tempeh should be golden or the prawns should be cooked). If not using tofu, tempeh or prawns, proceed with step 4.
  4. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. You can add grated carrot and peas at this point too if using. Add noodles and spread them around the pan and then quickly pour the eggs over the noodles. Reduce the heat slightly to a medium/low. Sprinkle the spring onion and fresh coriander on top and use a spatula to press the beaten egg mixture to spread them evenly over the noodles. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. At this point the top of the omelette will still be undercooked and you can flip half of the omelette over on itself or you can flip the whole omelette over like a pancake. Continue to cook for another minute or so and flip over again. Cook until the egg is just cooked but not burned.
  5. Serve with a squeeze of lime or lemon, some mung bean sprouts, fresh coriander and kimchi. You can also add a little bit of hoisin sauce.

 

Probiotic Coconut Yogurt: Plain or Chocolate!

comments 46
breakfast / dairy free / dairy free option / dessert / egg free / egg free option / favourites / fermented / gluten free / gluten free option / grain free / lunch / nut free / snack / sweet / vegan / vegan option / vegetarian / vegetarian option

IMG_0981.JPG

Have you tried making coconut yogurt but haven’t had much luck? I get questions from a large number of people about the secrets to making a consistently good coconut yogurt that is tangy and thick and that doesn’t separate. My method is EASY and I get a perfect batch every time. You don’t need any fancy equipment and you don’t even need to have probiotic capsules on hand. This method uses leftover coconut yogurt which you can find in the supermarket for a lot less than a bottle of probiotic capsules (thank-you Hannah from the Facebook fermentation group for that bit of advice!). I have also included the probiotic capsules in the method too incase you have those on hand and prefer to use those. Also, please feel free to share any tips and tricks in the comments, as well as any other brands of coconut cream that you have had good and consistent success with. Knowledge is power and I am a firm believer in sharing it freely!

IMG_0985.JPG

IMG_0986.JPG

IMG_0983.JPG

All coconut creams and milks are not created equal. Some brands have added thickeners, emulsifiers and fillers while others have minimal ingredients in them. There are a few things to consider when buying coconut cream and I can give you three recommendations for brands available in New Zealand. Ayam Premium Coconut Cream, Kara UHT Coconut Cream (in the Tetra Pak), or Trade Aid Coconut MILK (sorry, no photo of the can) are three coconut products that work very well for coconut yogurt. There are a few pros and cons to each. I have also used Pams and Fia Fia brand in the past, but I found they had a funny aftertaste which was more than a little unpleasant.

AYAM – This produces the thickest yogurt (so thick it is like cream cheese). It is 100% pure coconut kernel extract and comes in an easy open tin. The flavour is beautiful. One of the cons is that it is possibly harder to find for some. As well,  at around $2.50-$3.50 per 270ml can it is the most expensive option.

TRADE AID – This coconut milk (which is the same as a cream) also produces a very thick yogurt and has minimal ingredients. I also like that it is a fair trade item and is also in a tin that can be recycled. It is slightly less expensive than the Ayam brand. One con is that, again, it can be harder to find for some.

KARA – This coconut cream is the easiest to find and is by far the best price point. It produces a lovely coconut yogurt but isn’t as thick as the previous two. However, in NZ we cannot recycle Tetra Paks and it has to go in the bin (or you can use it as a mould when making homemade soap!). This coconut cream also has more thickeners and emulsifiers than the other two, which is not ideal for some people.

There is some confusion as to whether a thickener needs to be added (such as xanthan or guar gum, or even tapioca and potato starch) to get a thick yogurt, but in my experience, I have never added anything to thicken it and I can stand a spoon up in the yogurt once it has fermented and then set in the fridge. I also try to avoid xanthan and guar gum as they can be an irritant to the gut. 

IMG_0984-2.JPG

Some of the common problems encountered when making coconut yogurt and what may have gone wrong:

  • It separated – this can be from overheating or over fermenting. Using an Easiyo is a classic way to overheat and get separation. With tweaking, this method can work, but I like minimal equipment in my kitchen so only use a jar on the bench top with nothing else. One tip I have for this method is to make sure your coconut cream mixture is at room temperature and only add HOT not boiling water to the Easiyo, or you may find that your mixture has separated a few hours later.
  • Separating can also occur when using a coconut cream which has water added to it. The water separates during fermentation and also as the cream rises to the top.
  • Using too many probiotics can also cause separation (4 billion microorgaisms per cup of coconut cream is a good amount – check your package for this info)
  • The coconut cream didn’t ferment – the probiotics are likely too old or dead, which also means they aren’t doing anything for your guts if you are taking them daily. This is a great way to test them!
  • The yogurt is tangy but didn’t thicken – I have found this comes down to the brand and ingredients/quality of the coconut cream, which is why I am only suggesting these three brands which I have made succesful coconut yogurt from many, many times over the past few years.

Basic Coconut Cream Yogurt

  • Servings: Makes around 500mls
  • Print

This recipe can easily be double or tripled for a larger batch of coconut cream yogurt.

400-540mls of coconut cream of one of the above mentioned brands (Ayam Premium, Trade Aid Coconut Milk or Kara UHT)

2 TBLS probiotic coconut cream yogurt (good quality store-bought or a previous batch)

OR 3-4 probiotic capsules (4 billion microorganisms approx per cup of coconut cream- check package for this info – I have had good luck with Bio Kult brand probiotics)

Method:

  1. Shake the can(s) or carton of unopened coconut cream well. Open and place into a clean glass jar. Place 2 TBLS of probiotic coconut cream yogurt OR 3-4 probiotic capsules  into the coconut cream and stir well. Screw on the lid and leave the coconut cream to ferment in a warm spot or on the kitchen bench out of direct sunlight. If left in a warm spot it will ferment more quickly and usually takes between 12-24 hours to develop a nice tang. If left on the kitchen bench it can take 24-72 hours to ferment fully. It should thicken up a little and you may see little tiny air bubbles on the sides, which is a good sign of active lactic acid bacteria.
  2. Open the jar and test it every 12-24 hours until you like the tanginess/flavour. It will also continue to get a little more tangy in the fridge.
  3. Place it into the fridge and allow it to chill completely before eating it. It will thicken up more once chilled.

Consume within about 7-10 days.

Chocolate Coconut Cream Yogurt

  • Servings: Makes around 500mls
  • Print

This recipe can easily be double for a larger batch of coconut cream yogurt.

400-540mls of coconut cream of one of the above mentioned brands (Ayam Premium, Trade Aid Coconut Milk or Kara UHT)

1 TBLS honey

60 grams of good quality dark chocolate – chopped into small pieces

2 TBLS probiotic coconut cream yogurt (good quality store-bought or a previous batch)

OR 3-4 probiotic capsules (4 billion microorganisms approx per cup of coconut cream – check package for this info – I have had good luck with Bio Kult brand probiotics)

Method:

  1. Place chopped dark chocolate into a mixing bowl. In a saucepan, combine coconut cream and honey and slowly bring to a simmer over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. As soon as the coconut cream begins to show signs of simmering, remove it from the heat and pour it over the chocolate in the mixing bowl. Swirl the mixing bowl gently a couple of times and then leave the mixture to soften and melt undisturbed for 3-5 minutes.
  2. With a whisk, gently move the mixture around. Once you can see that the chocolate is melting and swirling into the coconut cream, whisk it in a circular motion a bit more vigorously. Continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is totally melted and evenly mixed into the cream. It should look a bit like chocolate sauce. Cover the mixture with a tea towel and allow it to cool to about 40 degrees (if you dip your pinky finger into the mix it should feel warm, but not at all hot).
  3. Once the coconut cream & chocolate mixture is warm to the touch, add the 2 TBLS coconut yogurt OR probiotic capsules and mix well. Screw on the lid and leave the coconut cream to ferment in a warm spot or on the kitchen bench out of direct sunlight. If left in a warm spot it will ferment more quickly and usually takes between 12-24 hours to develop a nice tang. If left on the kitchen bench it can take 24-72 hours to ferment fully. It should thicken up a little and you may see little tiny air bubbles on the sides, which is a good sign of active lactic acid bacteria.
  4. Open the jar and test it every 12-24 hours until you like the tanginess/flavour. It will also continue to get a little more tangy in the fridge.
  5. Place it into the fridge and allow it to chill completely before eating it. It will thicken up more once chilled.

Consume within 7-10 days

Winter Solstice

comment 1
Uncategorized

_DSC0179-2 copy

The winter solstice just passed exactly two hours ago. I love this day as it means the days will start to become longer again (here in the Southern Hemisphere, that is). Wellington is looking rather wintery today. I will be making some curry and fermented starchy goodness  tonight to warm our bellies (pictured, but I can’t share quite yet!). There has been plenty going on behind the scenes lately and I am looking forward to sharing some of this productivity very soon.

Until then, stay warm (or cool, for you Northern Hemisphere folk). Happy Solstice to all!

 

 

Giveaway: Sourdough Bread Kit

comments 9
baking / bread / breakfast / dairy free / dairy free option / dinner / egg free / egg free option / favourites / fermented / food / lunch / nut free / savoury / snack / soup / sourdough / vegan / vegan option / vegetarian / vegetarian option

 

rusty_skillet-228

rusty_skillet-239

rusty_skillet-262-2

rusty_skillet-311-2

Photography by my lovely friend Virginia Woods-Jack

I get mighty excited about making bread. It is my favourite fermented food and I never tire of watching the dough rise slowly throughout the day or the smell it creates during baking. I love how unique each loaf is when it is finished baking and pulled from the oven. Over the past couple of years I have slowly saved up and purchased a few bread-making tools which have made the bread-making process easier and more enjoyable. I have been acquiring a few more of the same items slowly and today I am offering a giveaway for these, along with a beautiful sourdough starter culture (dehydrated), all purchased from a local fellow artisan bread maker.  Neville has recently been on Radio New Zealand sharing his wealth of knowledge in sourdough bread making. I highly recommend having a listen to it (Thank you Nicola for sharing!). This giveaway is open to all NZ residents and is not endorsed in any way. This is a giveaway purely from me to you because I want to share my love of bread-making and in return I would love for you to share my love of whole and fermented foods with others. Head below for the details.

On a different note, my friend Virginia (check out her Instagram too) and I have teamed up to work on some very cool projects that we both look forward to sharing with you all in the near future. Virginia is a talented and skilled photographer. I love her ability to capture light in such an honest way. These photos were taken by the window in the late afternoon with natural light.

:::: GIVEAWAY DETAILS ::::

Giveaway Now Closed – Thank you to all who entered!

Winner has been emailed

The giveaway includes a lame (super sharp razor tool for making lovely slash marks in the bread), a banneton (for the shaped dough to rise in), a Danish dough whisk (for mixing doughs), and a beautiful mature sourdough starter culture that Neville has been nurturing and passing on to others for many years. You must be a NZ resident to enter the giveaway. To enter the giveaway, leave me a comment below or on the Facebook or Instagram post, and tag 3 friends (on Facebook or Instagram). Feel free to enter the giveaway on all three social media platforms for extra chances to win. This is the first of a series of giveaways I will be doing and I would love for you to subscribe to the blog, ‘Like’ my Facebook page and follow me on Instagram for inspiration and recipes in fermentation and wholefoods and to find out when I will be doing more giveaways. There will be textiles involved in the future giveaways too! You will have until 6pm on Monday the 6th of June to enter and I will randomly draw a winner that night and announce it by Wednesday the 8th of June.

Images © Copyright Virginia Woods-Jack 2016

Textiles: Cotton gauze | Scoured | No Mordant Used | Beetroot with Privet Berry Over Dye