8. Health and Nutrition

This category looks at every aspects related to our health and nutrition - what should we be aware of; what habits should we change; known positive effects of certain food, etc... We are only beginners in these field, so do support us!

  • Bolivian Story: Gabriela Rebeca Santa Cruz

    We met Rebeca the same night as Pablo, at Red Monkey, the only vegan vegetarian restaurant in La Paz. Rebeca was behind the bar mixing unusual cocktails that combine typically Bolivian ingredients like huacataya and locoto with fresh juices and of course, alcohol. When I turned up at Red Monkey for my first day volunteering in the kitchen Rebeca showed me around their food production garden, which is her baby and love. As we talked it became clear to me that she was feeling overwhelmed as the only person working in the garden, so I suggested I come one day a week to help out. It wasn’t a completely selfless offer, I…

  • Bolivian Story: Pablo Santa Cruz

    We first met Pablo in his restaurant, Red Monkey. Within weeks of it opening we were there – eager to try some healthy, vegan food in this city of meat and fries! Looking down the menu I was impressed to see kombucha listed and gave a little shriek. I thought we were the only ones in La Paz to be making kombucha :).  Pablo came over to our table, curious about my enthusiasm, and before long I was sharing our culinary images from Making Sense Of Things and Pablo had invited me to do a ‘guest chef’ evening there. Whilst I haven’t had the confidence to take up his offer,…

  • How to make apple cider vinegar

    Homemade apple cider vinegar, ACV, is so easy! I just love turning trash into treasure, and this apple cider vinegar recipe is great example of that. Start your ACV: We simply take our apple scraps (normally after making juice), including the peels and cores and put them in a large glass jar. We then cover the scraps with filtered water and cover the jar with some paper towel secured with a rubber band to keep out bugs and dust. We then put it in a warm, dark place. You want a temperature of 15-27°C. Fermentation occurs more quickly at a warmer temperature. Some people add sugar or honey to kick start the…

  • Bolivian Story: Pablo Antelo

    One day, whilst volunteering at vegan restaurant, Red Monkey, I met Pablo Antelo. He had been asked to help out in the kitchen for the day since the chef/owner of Red Monkey was a little tied up with welcoming his baby girl into the world. That day I was so surprised and happy to see this young man, laid back but enthusiastic, never idle, taking initiative and working hard. He impressed me. I loved his attitude. I told him about my friends who were opening a wine bar, called Hallwright’s, which would be showcasing Bolivian produce. I explained that they had asked me to make some products for their platters like…

  • How to make kombucha: The ancient elixir

    As we wrote in our post about sourdough bread, we are sour lovers – you can read about making sauerkraut and kefir on this blog, so we thought it was about time for kombucha too. We take this fizzy, acidic and slightly sweet drink to parties and introduce people to it wherever we go… and the thing that constantly surprises me is just how much people love it, often putting down their alcoholic drinks to switch to this probiotic goodness! You can imagine how chuffed that makes me. The kombucha is made with a SCOBY, which is a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast that acts on sugar and tea to produce not only acetic…

  • The sour life: How to make sourdough bread

    We are sour lovers – sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha and sourdough bread. It’s not just that they are great for our bodies, providing us with billions of good bacteria and yeasts, but this sort of food is tasty too. Sourdough bread, in particular, is something special. We have friends begging us to bring them a loaf every time we visit and getting up early on a Saturday morning to bake fills my heart and stomach with so much love. The process of kneading, the aromas during baking and the wonder of eating  something that rose thanks to invisible organisms in our environment never fails to satisfy me. Bread is the staple…

  • Exploring the non-stereotypical Bolivia

    A journey into the jungle, development projects, stunning art, permaculture and community… Jean and his colleagues were flying to Santa Cruz to then continue in the Chiquitania region – visiting their projects, meeting volunteers, partners and government officials to discuss their work. I was kindly invited to accompany them and was grateful for  the opportunity to see another part of Bolivia, experience rural areas and to be in the tropics again. Nothing feels more like ‘home’ to me than the warmth and humidity on my skin. We flew to Santa Cruz where the city surprised me. I felt like I was in a different country. In contrast to La Paz…

  • Tomato free pasta sauce

    In case you haven’t seen via facebook, Carly (that’s me) is currently in Perth, Australia, visiting friends, looking after babies and hanging out in their suburban permaculture food forest, Thyme Lords Cottage. My friends are aiming to become as close as possible to self sufficient one day. I am loving spending time with their 2 year old and newborn, as well as seeing what they are growing and cooking!! The mum in this beautiful little family developed allergies around 15 years ago – to wheat, soy and tomatoes. As you can imagine, this has made cooking a little difficult, buying anything processed is next to impossible and of course, she…

  • Getting high: Lounge room gardening at altitude

    Recently we posted this photograph of our lounge room garden on facebook where you can see some of the plants we are growing indoors. In addition to these, we are also growing more tatsoi, mizuna, spinach, rosemary, laurel tree, oregano, thyme, parsley, mint and some cucumber seedlings have started to take off! As I’ve mentioned before, we don’t produce enough to make any huge contribution to our food supply but we enjoy doing what we can experimenting growing and seed saving indoors, at an altitude of 3,200 m (La Paz, Bolivia)! Our lounge room is perfectly situated to make the most of the sun’s movements throughout the day, meaning we…

  • Infographics: A killer homemade nutella

    Okay, so this definitely isn’t a health food but with a French man in this household we needed to try a healthier version of nutella… also one that doesn’t use palm oil, contributing to deforestation! What’s the deal with palm oil, you ask? Well, check out this this article (among many!), which reminds us that in 2012 things have gotten even worse than the headlines from 2007/2008, when the huge ecological impact of Indonesia’s relentlessly expanding palm oil plantations first really started being scrutinised. A report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences tells us that the palm oil situation is even worse than we thought. The nutshell version: Even though Indonesia has laws prohibiting expanding…

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