• How to make no-dig gardens

    A few weeks ago I built some no dig garden beds in our new home that we are renting and planted them out with small cuttings and seedlings. After living in Bolivia for the past 2 years, growing at altitude and indoors, in pots, I am excited to back at sea level in the sub tropics, converting grassed areas into abundant food production gardens. Here, my plants are growing so fast that I feel like I should be able to see them gaining height real time. This is how I built my no dig gardens: Each layer is around 10cm thick but it all settles to a height of approximately 20cm once finished. When…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • How to make muesli, granola, cereal… or whatever you want to call it!

    When Jean eats a bowl of cereal from a standard pack of muesli, nearly half the pack is gone! He’s a hungry man! It’s expensive, contains hardly any of those cashews advertised so prominently on the label and often has a heap of sugar added too! So, a few years ago I decided to make our cereal weekly at home. Now, we really miss it when we are travelling and feel we don’t get a proper start to the day without it. More importantly, what Jean realised is that no matter how high-fiber/high-protein the store bought cereal was, it wouldn’t really keep him full for very long and he’d need a…

  • How to make kefir at home

    When we were doing our cheese making course back in 2010, Elisabeth Fekonia gave us some kefir grains to take home.  So we’ve been using these friendly microorganisms and yeasts to help balance our inner ecosystem and supply complete protein, essential minerals and vitamins B12, B1 and C. It is also an excellent source of biotin, which helps the assimilation and absorption of other B vitamins from the body. Kefir has all the great health benefits of yoghurt and more, because whilst yoghurt works through a bacterial conversion of the milk sugars, kefir uses both bacterial and yeast actions! Kefir is full of probiotics while the calcium, magnesium and phosphorous from the milk…

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