• How to make water kefir

    Do you make water kefir? Our grains are multiplying beautifully lately! Sorry… I’ve got ahead of myself… do you know what water kefir is? Well, like our milk kefir, water kefir is a beneficial probiotic beverage that tastes delicious. It’s so simple to make. The flavour is like a ‘dry, slightly fizzy lemonade’. Like kombucha it is first cultured by introducing a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts) into sugar water – the SCOBY in this case are called grains. The beneficial bacteria and yeasts present in the water kefir grains metabolize the sugar, turning it into an array of beneficial acids and infusing it with beneficial microorganisms, additional B vitamins…

  • Bolivian Story: Vanessa Vargas

    I met Vanessa when she was heavily pregnant with her baby, Rafaela. She was working at her partner’s restaurant, Red Monkey, as well as producing natural products for her business, Moi. Moi makes handmade cosmetics and personal care products based on natural and organic ingredients, without the use of preservatives, artificial colours or synthetic fragrances, being careful not to degrade our bodies or the environment. Vanessa never stops. I was surprised to see how busy she was whilst heavily pregnant and even since having her little girl it is not uncommon to find her in her workshop making products with her baby strapped to her or sleeping nearby. She’s a strong woman with…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • How to make kefir labneh balls at home

    This is just a short post to share a simple idea and another way to eat your kefir… kefir labneh balls. First, make your kefir cheese like we described in this post. Then, take teaspoons full of the cheese, roll them in your hand and put them in a jar with olive oil and whatever else you want. We added rosemary and juniper berries in this lot (*see update below). Et voila! How easy and beautiful do they look? I think it’s also a great gift idea. 🙂   *Update: I did put rosemary and juniper berries in this lot but since doing this one I haven’t done it again……

  • How to make mozzarella at home

    You might remember this post from the New England Cheese Making Supply Company… they liked our ‘How to make brie cheese at home’ post so much they posted it on their site and sent us a Mozzarella & Ricotta kit.  We were so excited to try another type of cheese at home so this post is how we made it. The great thing about making mozzarella is that it’s quite simple, fairly quick and you can eat it straight away! The following instructions are essentially from the New England Cheese Making Supply Company, with our own notes and experiences added. They have an excellent website for trouble shooting, www.cheesemaking.com, and…

  • How to make sauerkraut and cultured vegetables at home

    Recently we’ve tried making our own sauerkraut. It’s so incredibly easy and healthy that it seemed silly not to try and of course, share it with you! This post shares two methods – with salt and with whey. The kefir whey version is quicker to ferment and ready for eating. What is Sauerkraut? Sauerkraut literally means ‘sour cabbage’ in German – it is naturally fermented thinly sliced cabbage. It has a distinctive tangy flavour and is often used on hot dogs, as a condiment to meals but also much more… as an ingredient in soups, salads and sandwiches too, for example. Its flavour and preservation is a result of lactic…

  • How to make kefir cheese

    Since we’ve been loving our kefir nearly daily at the moment, I thought we should take a small step further to make something other than smoothies from it. When I started looking online I was amazed by the variety of recipes using kefir as an ingredient – cheese, ice-cream, sourdough bread, cookies, pancakes, pizza bases, soups and more. So, one step at a time! I decided to take a very small step indeed to make a very simple type of kefir cheese. Now, this cheese isn’t a hard cheese… but its not quite like cottage cheese either. I really like Dom’s description that the flavour and texture is similar to quark,…

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