Fermenting on the road

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It has been 10 weeks tomorrow that we have been on the road.  There are lots of things we have changed about the way we are living however there are a few that have remained the same …. my ferments are some of these.  I was determined to keep up my kombucha and milk kefir on the road and so far so good.  It felt so good having this practice continue that I have even tried to do another batch of sauerkraut.

The large kombucha jar simply gets a screw top lid put on it and placed in a cupboard with ‘non-slip’ matting on the bottom whenever we travel.  When we arrive at our destination  out it comes, the lid is taken off and on the bench top it is left.  Easy as!  I did notice though that after a week or so the kombucha didn’t taste as sweet as my usual batches however soon I realised that where it was sitting never got sunlight on it, as it did in our house.  My solution?   I simply try to get it into the sun for a bit each day (when I remember) and it seems to be back to its usual sweet, fizzy self.  I usually only leave it for a week before creating another batch and apart from judging cooling time for the tea before adding to the SCOBY. The SCOBY is incredibly healthy and continues to grow happily, thankfully.  I have given loads away and still had to pop this big bit (see photo) in the compost today.

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Another Sunday and a fresh batch of Kombucha on the go

The kefir grains, which I use in Rice Milk, are much easier.  They are transferred into fresh milk daily as I consume the fizzy goodness for breakfast.  The other equipment needed is a clean jar (I have 2 in total to swap), a plastic spoon and the milk.  Once again they are simply popped into a drawer with the cups when we travel and then brought out onto the bench while we are parked.  I think they would be my favourite ferment for ease of making (without thought involved) and also that I get to enjoy it everyday without running out.

Finally my sauerkraut.  We came onto the bus with a jar just freshly opened, so that lasted us for most of the 10 weeks however when that came to an end I had to either justify storing an empty jar or fill it.  I decided on the latter.  As we had found some fresh, homegrown radishes in a road side stall I decided to create a radish, cabbage and carrot version.  It is the first time I have used radishes and I’m hoping for a kimchi taste (fingers crossed!).  The process of preparing the vegetables, while very messy and harder to clean up when you are trying to converse the water you have, was straight forward enough and I was feeling very pleased with my self as I packed it tightly into the jar.

Into the cupboard it went … out of sight and out of mind.  Well that was until we next stopped and I realized that my sauerkraut had been jiggled around so much that it had seeped out in all directions as it fermented away.  I have had this happen before at home when I didn’t have a tight seal on the jar or there isn’t enough room for ferment to do its thing.  So after a lot of cleaning up and double bagging the jar we are all set.  Time will tell on the taste and I will have to remember to be less enthusiastic with the amounts of vegetables I am preparing next time to avoid a repeat performance!

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Bagged up and ready for fermenting

Well that is it for now … just a wee insight into domestic life on the bus. 🙂 Until next time.  I hope this finds you enjoying your own little rituals

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

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‘Life Changing Loaf’ recipe

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It seems only fitting that the woman who helped me bring my daughter into the world and hence changing my life forever would then give me this recipe for ‘Life Changing Bread‘ 10 years later, almost to the day. Thank you to the most amazing Douala in Ireland, you know who you are.:)

This recipe for ‘The Life-Changing Loaf’ is so, so delicious and worked just like the writer said (even the original photo and mine look similar!) that even though I have only made it once I had to share. I did change it …. of course you already knew that I would … only because of my lack of checking that I actually had enough sunflower seeds and because I wanted it nut free.  The thing is that it worked perfectly anyway which just goes to show how great this recipe is.  I did find it interesting that she considers this loaf pretty much gluten free even though it has oats in it as I have always believed that oats do contain gluten.  I did include them in my loaf as oats are something I can tolerate more than other grains however the person I got the recipe from used quinoa flakes instead.  I’ll leave that decision up to you.

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Fresh loaf

Please check the original blog for the recipe of ‘Life Changing Bread’ and guidelines that they give however below I will put the recipe which I used and the modifications I made.  In the original recipe they use a silicone loaf tray however as I don’t have one of those I simply lined my regular loaf tin with baking paper.  In doing this I was able to lift the paper to check if the loaf was staying together before baking.  The down side of this was that I did have to mix the ingredients in separate containers first before pushing down into the tin.

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Delicious as toast also

Life-Changing Loaf

1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
½ cup whole linseeds
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 ½ cups rolled oats (jumbo ones not the ‘quick’ or fine ones)
2 Tbsp Black chia seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt (actually I just ground a bit in)
1 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1 ½ cups water

  • Melt coconut oil and honey in a large pot then whisk in water.
  • Combine dry ingredients really well and then pour the wet ingredients over.
  • Mix everything thoroughly  until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes thick
  • Tip into a lined loaf tin.  Press in and smooth down with the back of a spoon.
  • Let sit out on the bench for 2 hours. To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it it.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.
  • Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down on a baking paper lined tray and bake for another 30-40 minutes.
  • Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing.
  •  Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!

So there it is!! Experiment, play, bake and enjoy lots of nourishing goodness.  One thing is for certain … I will be making this again and again.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Ugly Muffins – now GF, DF and SF

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Well … the oven is still waiting for parts?!! So we have well and truly tested out our bus oven and kitchen over the last week.  The bread baking in particular is proving easier than I thought … my only real ‘issue’ is that I have to pre-heat the gas oven to get it to the correct temperature as it doesn’t have a gas mark guide on the knob.  Those of you that know me and my baking habits will know that this is a new experience as I am forever plonking stuff in a cold oven and adjusting cooking times after that!

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Warm out of the oven.

The other baking of biscuits and other snacky morsels is also going really well.  So my recipe this week is one that I made in the bus for my Infant Massage course and it went now a treat.  I have shared a version of this recipe before however since then I have modified it further so that it is gluten free. These are a super easy and a super yummy snack with no worries of over indulging – well not much :).  NB: If you do use the patty pans then let them cool fully otherwise half the muffin will be stuck to the paper – I have learnt the hard way 🙂

Ugly Muffins – GF version

  • 1 finely diced apple – I leave the skin on
  • 3 large bananas mashed
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Rice flour
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

– Mix everything together in a bowl

-Either grease a muffin tin or put patty pans in

-Scoop mixture into muffin tin or patty pans

-Bake at 180 C for 10-15 mins or until they are golden on the top.

-Enjoy

Hope this finds you all happy, healthy and enjoying the fruits of life.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

 

 

 

Easy Egg and Dairy Free Cake

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Well our days here have been very busy as we have finally got our house-bus and are in the midst of preparing everything to hit the road.  It is super exciting however it is also a bit mental at times so I have been trying to find ways to  get everything done in the best possible way.  The recipe I’m going to share is one that is around on the internet and is a very basic chocolate cake which we have been using as a stand-by last minute recipe for a while now.  It is a very easy recipe to whip up and is particularly good if you need something for ‘egg-free’  friends or if you need to bake many cakes without breaking the bank buying eggs. 🙂

This recipe is a favourite with my daughter too and she often whips it up when she gets the baking urge.  It also is good for baking as cupcakes as well as a whole cake.  We have even eaten it warm from the oven with berries and cream for a pudding … in fact it is very versatile and fail free which is why I thought I would share. I think the original recipe had a bit more sugar in it which we have reduced down as we were consuming less sugar and so could taste the sweetness in things more.  I have put the original recipe here the best I can remember (before I just wrote out the recipe my daughter uses) and then our adaptions in brackets.

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Too good (and warm from the oven) for herself to resist.

Chocolate Cake (Egg and Diary Free)

  • 1.5 Cups Flour (both wholemeal and white work)
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar (we usually use honey and have also used dextrose which can make it a little crumby)
  • 1/8 Cup Cocoa
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 Cup oil (any oil that you like … we use Olive)
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (also made with other ‘flavours’ )
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar (white vinegar though I’d sure any would be fine)

-Mix the dry ingredients

-Add the wet ingredients

-Mix very well to ensure there are no ‘pockets’  of flour

-Pour into a lined cake tin and bake at 180C for 20-25 minutes

-Ice, sprinkle with icing sugar, decorate with berries or leave plain and ENJOY.

 

Hope this finds you all well and enjoying the changes of season happening around us all.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Easy Gluten Free Bread

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I have tried a variety of recipes for Gluten Free Bread it has to be said …. all with varying degrees of disaster!  I am a lazy cook by nature.  It needs to be fairly basic with not much brain power required.  It needs to be quick and easy.  I need to have the ingredients in the cupboard or readily available at the local shops.  Yes … I’m sure the sour dough, gluten free bread is delicious and very edible however I am almost guaranteed to forget about feeding the starter and it is way too much thought needed by me in advance of actually getting to eat.

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Fresh out of the oven!

Then low and behold a miracle occurred!!  Yes … I’m fairly easy to ‘wow’ when it comes to food.  While down at my local organic shop the other week I noticed a recipe sheet for Gluten Free Bread that seemed to tick most of my boxes.  Mix, cook and eat all on the same day. 🙂  Turns out it is also a pretty good loaf of GF bread too!

Thought I would share it here for you all to try and let me know your thoughts.  It lasts for a few days pretty well if stored in an air tight container.  I even tried freezing a few slices to toast at an even later date with success and without it all falling apart on me.  Sorry to the original recipe writer as the shop didn’t source it and then I have done my usual adaptations.

Gluten Free Bread

Makes 1 loaf

  • 1 Tbsp Dried Yeast
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Cups Warm Water
  • 1 Cup White Rice Flour
  • 1 Cup Buckwheat Flour
  • 1 Cup Chickpea Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Tapioca Flour
  • 8 tsp chia seeds
  • 8 tsp boiling water
  • Sprinkle of Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil

– In a large bowl whisk the water, yeast and honey and leave for 10 minutes to activate.

– Add all dry ingredients apart from chia seeds and mix well

– Mix chia seeds and boiling water then add to bread mixture with the oil.

– Mix well and pour into a lined bread tin.

– Leave to rise for 10-15 mins.  It doesn’t rise much on baking so if you want a bigger loaf then leave it to rise longer before cooking.

– Bake at 170 C for 45 minutes.

-Enjoy!!

Hope this finds you happy, healthy and enjoying some warm bread. 🙂

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Becoming Healthy Chicken Soup

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I have been a vegetarian for a long time now however my family are a long way off being veggie.  So whenever themselves are unwell, as the case has been over the past week, then we get to brewing up a big pot of chicken soup.  Chicken soup has long been a ‘kitchen cure’ for colds and flu, even the scientists have proved that it does have benefits, and it is quick and easy comfort food when you are feeling under the weather.

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Homemade soup and bread for lunch.

Hot fluids in general are great for helping clear all those ‘blockages’ in the sinuses and re-hydrating you.  If you pop in a whole heap of other kitchen cures you will have a great healing meal.  Thyme for coughs, Sage for sore throats, garlic for its antibacterial properties, ginger for its anti-inflammatory  properties (and loads more beside) and a whole heap of vegetables along with chicken on the bone makes an awesome meal to help the healing along.  If nothing else though soup is incredibly comforting when you are feeling yuck.

Lots of families have their tried and true recipes however if you don’t here is one to start you off.  After that experiment and enjoy!!

Becoming Healthy Chicken Soup

  • Chicken on the bone (I use 2 chicken breasts with the skin on)
  • Garlic (the more you can sneak in the better)
  • 1 large onion
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried sage leaves
  • Ginger (fresh is better however ground is fine)
  • Vegetables of your choice – chopped or diced depending on your preference.

-Chop the garlic and onion finely.  Fry off little with some olive oil in a large pot.

-Add in the chicken and brown a little.

-Add in the vegetables for a quick fry then add in the herbs, stirring to ensure they don’t stick to the bottom.

-Cover with water and gently boil until the vegetables are soft and the chicken cooked through and is beginning to come away from the bone if knocked.

-Take the chicken out of the pot and get all the meat off, including the skin, then chop and return the meat only to the pot.

-Allow to sit for a bit before serving.

-Enjoy.

Hope this finds you all healthy, happy and enjoying your home comforts

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

 

GF, DF Griddle Cakes

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These are super easy and fast to make and delicious!  Herself loves making pancakes on the weekends and since they don’t really sit well with me I thought I would create my own GF and DF version.  I have to say that after playing around and trying numerous mixtures of flours these Griddle cakes are the best mix I have managed.  Basically I have swapped the flours and milks to make a basic pancake recipe gluten and dairy free so I’m sure there are a million and one other versions online if these don’t tickle your fancy.

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Warm and ready for breakfast.

They are thick (the mixture is thick so the cakes are too as the mixture doesn’t run) and just the right taste to be able to use as a toast or pikelet substitute.  I also cooked these in coconut oil, something new for me I have to say, which actually made them all the better.  I have had them for breakfast with spreads, for breakfast with a poached egg and for lunch with some salad.  As with most GF things though they are best used on the day they are made however they can be made in the morning and still tasting good at lunch.  Actually, to be completely honest,  they haven’t lasted beyond lunch for me to know if they would be good after this!

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Just as delicious with lunch.

Anyway … enough chat. Here is the recipe.

GF, DF Griddle Cakes (makes 12-15)

1/3 Cup Rice Flour

1/3 Cup Buckwheat Flour

1/3 Cup Coconut Flour

1 Cup Rice Milk

1 Egg

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until they are well blended.
  • Heat a cast iron pan (griddle) and put some coconut oil in.
  • Spoon in the mixture and flatten a little into a round shape.  I fitted about 3 cakes into the pan at a time.
  • Cook until there are air bubbles/pockets appearing on the surface and then flip.
  • Remove when they are browned on both sides.
  • Enjoy!

It really is that simple.  As I said before there are probably heaps of other alternatives to these that you can find online however why not play around and get your own ‘sweet’ mixture?  They are a great, quick ‘whip up’ meal when time is short and a yummy afternoon treat with jam too if need be.

Hope this finds you enjoying life to the fullest.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz