Thursday, February 20, 2014

Homemade Fizzy, Fermented Tea

Did you know that you can ferment just about any food/drink?  You don't need any fancy equipment or ingredients, and the result is good for your tummy and taste buds! 

I have a lot of loose herbal tea around the house, so I decided to make a recipe I found online for fizzy, fermented tea. The original post was featured in a Cultures for Health newsletter (click here to view original).
Since I have more peppermint/spearmint than any other herb, I decided to make a good-for-your-tummy drink for my kids. :) 

To make this yummy drink, just put 1/4 c loose tea into a pan with one quart boiling water and let it steep for about 10 minutes.  Strain the tea into a quart jar and let it cool to about 100 degrees F.  Add 1/3 cup whey and 3 T sweetener (honey or unrefined sugar).  Cover the jar with a rubber band-secured cloth and let it ferment on your counter for 2-3 days.  Then, bottle your tea (or just cap your canning jar tightly) and let it sit out for another day or so, until you have plenty of bubbles (you can see the bubbles at the top of the bottle in the picture).  Chill until you are ready to drink!

The original recipe recommended adding a touch more sweetener when bottling your tea to give it more carbonation, but ours didn't need it!  

Try making your own fizzy fermented drinks!  Experiment and Enjoy!

Homemade Sinus Infection Remedy

I don't know about you, but cold weather and sinus infections go hand-in-hand in my life!  Every time we turn the heat on (which has been more than usual, even in our semi-tropical climate), I wake up with that tell-tale headache and excess drainage- yuck.  

I usually rely on my netti pot for sinus issues, but this year I stumbled upon a pintrest post for putting a probiotic capsule into the netti pot solution for a powerhouse of a sinus infection remedy.  This works, trust me, but it's not pleasant.  My capsule did not readily dissolve into the water and it made for grainy drainage later on, which was pretty disgusting. Also, the initial treatment did have some pain associated with it... so much that I did another netti cleanse shortly after with nothing but salt water.  But, it worked wonders! Within an hour (or less) I felt normal again. 

Fast forward to my next sinus infection... I was not going to subject myself again to the capsule remedy, so I came up with something just as effective without the gross factor and pain:

I used a saline solution with freshly dripped whey!  No graininess and no discomfort! Really, this way was much better.  Here are the steps I took to perfect my sinus remedy:

1. Warm some filtered water in a sauce pan, just enough to take the chill out- not hot!
2.  Add a pinch of salt and stir.
3.  Fill your netti pot to the desired level, leaving room for 1T whey.
4.  Add freshly dripped whey (from kefir, yogurt or raw milk) and stir again.
5. Administer netti pot according to directions on the box.
6. Relax and let the probiotics do their job!  Repeat after a few hours if your infection is a doozy.

I hope this brings you as much relief as it has brought me!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Homemade Eggnog

Eggnog is not just for the holidays!  In fact, my youngest son drinks this creamy drink nearly every day of the week.  It is not only full of flavor but is packed with protein and energy-giving ingredients!  So, if you or your family needs a pick-me-up, grab your blender and whip up some eggnog.  

What you'll need for your homemade eggnog:

makes 1 serving:
2 free-range egg yolks (if you can't keep your own chickens, get these from a reliable source)
1 c raw milk
1/2 c raw cream
1-2 T real maple syrup 
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t freshly ground nutmeg

Blend all ingredients together in your blender until frothy and serve immediately!  This is a super-simple, super nutritious snack (or breakfast on many days) that everyone is sure to love.  Enjoy!