Let’s Get Cultured- Introducing the Best Fermented Foods Book Yet

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Miso Ramen
Miso Ramen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hey Bliss Bombs,

I’m so excited to share the release of this awesome new fermented foods book with you. I had the grand opportunity of contributing recipes alongside experts, health advocates and chefs like Donna Gates and Kevin Gianni.

The book, “Cultured: Make Healthy Fermented Foods at Home” boasts recipes like watermelon kimchi, homemade miso, kombucha, and the healthiest of chocolates, kefirs and MORE. Plus, this stuff seriously tastes great.

But it’s not just about recipes. This is a very user-friendly compilation of history, how-to’s and what-for’s on fermented foods, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it.

Kevin Gianni (editor of this gorgeously delicious) book says that “Fermented Foods May Be the Healthiest, Most Affordable and Easiest to Make Superfoods on the Planet.” And, I couldn’t agree more. You know I love these foods for more than just their taste. They totally helped save our family from autism , candida, acne, seizures, acid reflux and so much more.

Please let me know if you have any questions about fermented foods and their use in healing your family. I am happy to share.

You didn’t think I’d leave you without a recipe, did ya? Never. Check out this one from the book:

Contributed by Shira Locarni (superfoods-for-superhealth.com)


Homemade Garbanzo Miso Recipe

5 cups dried garbanzo beans, soaked overnight (traditional soy is used, see side note*)
1 cup sea salt
3 tbsp unpasteurized miso
5 cups koji
1 cup cooking liquid

Equipment:

A one gallon glass jar or a crock of similar size
Plate, lid or wooden disk that fits snugly inside the jar
Heavy weight or clean rock
Thick cotton cloth to cover everything

Cook the beans until soft. Strain and save 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Allow beans to cool and dry in a strainer for an hour or two. Process beans in a food processor for desired texture.

Dissolve 3/4 cup sea salt into 1 cup cooking liquid to make a brine. Mash the 3 tbsp unpasteurized miso into 1 cup brine. Mix brine (containing salt and 3 tbsp miso) with the koji.

In a big bowl, add processed beans to this brine mixture. This is your miso.

Packing for Fermentation: (I often do this part first while the garbanzos are cooling.)

Wet the sides of the jar slightly with hands dipped in water. Place some salt inside the side of jar, put the lid on or cover, and shake it around, coating all sides and bottom of jar or crock with a salt layer. Pack the miso into the crock/jar with clean hands, press down firmly. Spread a generous layer of salt over the top. Place the flat object on top and put the weight on top of that. Cover with cloth and secure well with a tight rubber band, string or tape.

You have the option to continue the fermentation process, and like with fine wine, it only gets better with time. If you decide to continue fermentation for another year it is good to test it out and repack it again with salt.

Miso years are calculated by the number of summers it has aged. So, if you have gone through one summer of fermentation, then you have one year old miso. I like to start my miso projects in the spring time, so they are ripe and ready to experience the warmer temps of summer when they tend to be more active.

*You can make this recipe using soy beans as well. Just be sure to use organic soy, since there is less chance of genetically modified contamination.

What is koji and where can I find it?

Koji is a Japanese rice on which koji mold spores have been cultivated. This process allows for the fermentation of koji rice, which is the primary ingredient in sake. Although koji spores can be bought, they usually have to be bought from specialty importers. However, fermented koji rice that has already been inoculated with the spores can be found at your local Asian grocery.

Helpful Tips:

It is important that your miso is packed tightly, free from oxidation and protected by the salt layer. The cloth will also help to keep out impurities and unwanted bacteria.

Label your crock/jar with the date. Store the jar in a cellar, basement or other cool, dark spot where it will remain undisturbed. Have patience and ferment for one year. (See “miso years” above.) Open, scrap off top layer and celebrate with family and friends… your very first batch of homemade miso!! It should smell rich and savory like tamari. Pack it in clean, glass jars with plastic lids and refrigerate or store in a cool place.

Get “Cultured” Here http://www.1shoppingcart.com/app/?Clk=4452873.

Namaste,
Gina

Earth Day Cake: May Your Wishes All Come True

Happy  Healing Heart Pink Full Moon in Scorpio! It just so happens to be Earth Day and the beginning of Passover as well. So, we’ve got a lot to celebrate and a lot to “deal with” energetically. First, Have your Cake! Read more

11 Bone and Vegan Broth Hacks for Healing a Leaky Gut

It blizzard-ed this week in my sweet hometown, Chicago.  Just to be clear, a blizzard happened in April.  In the spring. The husband and I thought we could be part-time mid-westerners, because we see the irreplaceable value of our children’s grandparents and extended (crazy) family (who still lives there despite the obvious weather problems). We lasted four long cold months (end of summer through the beginning of spring). Read more

Spicy Probiotic Sunflower Seed Hummus Recipe

Fermented or probiotic foods are all the rage right now because we are finally recognizing their power to help heal and re-establish balance in our gut bacteria.

Digestive health is the basis for all health, as 80% of our immune system lives within the microorganisms in our gut. Our digestion is ruled by these tiny micro-organisms, called micro biome that literally outnumber our own cells 10:1. That’s right, our bodies are made up of about 10 times more bacteria than cells.

The human body alone doesn’t have the enzyme production to break down all of the food we eat, so we depend of the power of our inner probiotics or “eco system,” as one of my mentors, Donna Gates would call it — to digest our food for us, and deliver nutrients to our other organs.

These beneficial bacteria also create vitamins for us, protect us from illness, detoxify poison and continue to accommodate MOST of our health needs.

Probiotic foods were the very first step in my son’s autism recovery. They weren’t the first food or remedy that we tried. No way — you moms know how it is when your child is sick. You will go to the ends of the planet, researching and re-researching, asking for help, and making the connections to get them well. For our family, probiotic foods were the first natural remedy that showed us significant healing results for his autism symptoms.

Coconut kefir was the first probiotic beverage we tried, and it has remained a staple in our diets.  It helped my son heal quickly from many infections including pneumonia, and gain eye-contact in less than a month. That’s why I add at least a little bit of  coconut kefir to many of my recipes. If you have children with allergies like asthma, they can often tolerate small doses of coconut kefir because it is known to be more hypoallergenic. Not creating a histamine response.  Whereas, something like kombucha tea, which is a wild ferment — may be too much for their sensitive systems to handle. Coconut kefir has even been known to reduce overall allergic response for my clients.  Thankfully, science has caught up to this ancient wisdom that we conscious mamas have been using for years to heal our babies.

The Human MicroBiome Project, which launched in 2008 spent five years studying the micro biome in depth, which led to a surge of independent and university studies — and more people healing naturally.

My book, “Are You Eating Your Bugs” debuted this year as well. After working on it since 2011, I suppose now is simply THE TIME :).

This hummus recipe here is a delicious way you can add these healthy bugs to your plate. It’s a very forgiving recipe in that you can add extra spices or take out ones that you don’t like. It calls for soaking your sunflower seeds, which is necessary to remove the phytic acid. Phytic acid is sort of like the seed’s way of protecting itself from being eaten. (Incidentally, most natural foods we consume have some protection factor like that… all nuts, seeds and grains contain physic acid and must be soaked, sprouted or fermented  for us to fully absorb their nutrition).

Sunflower Seeds are packed with their own nutritional power too. They contain Vitamin E, which helps cardiovascular health and have even been known to reduce the risk of heart-attack. High in selenium and magnesium and low in allergens, these amazing seeds happen to be something that’s well tolerated by many of my sensitive clients too. Then add in the healthy fats, minerals and protein, and you get a near-super food. My son Dougie and I were extremely low in selenium and magnesium when we were tested years ago. Part of that was our inability to absorb due to low stomach acid. So, I created this recipe to help us absorb these minerals. My body craves this and I feel awesome after eating it. Hope you do too.

If you take just a little more time with this recipe you can sprout your seeds — which not only makes them even more nutritious, but also increases your yield. Score!

Spicy Probiotic Sunflower Seed Hummus Recipe

Feeds: 5 hungry husbands or the equivalent.

Prep time: 1-2 days

Uncook time: 5 minutes

Equipment:

  • High speed blender
  • Large 32 oz mason jar
  • Knife
  • Lemon juicer or hand

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups organic  raw sunflower seeds (no shell)
  • 1  organic green chili pepper, chopped
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Splash or 2 oz of fermented coconut water kefir (or other probiotic beverage)

(Optional — Pick one or a few of these to spice it up a notch: cumin, turmeric, curry powder, black pepper, paprika)

Prep:

  • Make your kefir
  • Simultaneously, soak your sunflower seeds in the large mason jar — filling the water to the top, and adding a splash of coconut kefir to the water. Swish the jar around or lightly stir with wooden spoon.
  • Soak for 8-24 hours.
  • Choose whether to sprout or move to blending.
  • Sprouting Option: Rinse sunflower seeds and return to jar, rinsing 3-5x for (up to) 24 hours. Little tails will grow. (cover with screen or cheesecloth)
  • Blend your sunflower seeds with lemon juice and olive oil.
  • Add spices and sea salt and blend more, and taste.
  • Scoop into a beautiful serving bowl, and stir in a splash or more of coconut kefir.
  • Dress the top with chopped fresh herbs if you like.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Use as a dip for cucumbers and other cut-up vegetables.
  • Spread it on sandwiches and wraps
  • Use as a sauce- base for vegan pizzas
  • Lick it off your fingers because it’s so yummy
  • Take it to parties and feel fancy for sharing something so wickedly healthy that your friends will love (and not even notice it’s healthy).

Ok, I’ll tell you a very short story. I threw a big birthday party for my daughter this year. All of the food had something fermented in it. Many of our friends hadn’t had “our food” before, but everyone ate heartily. The next day, I received several phone calls about the deliciousness of the food, the good feelings people had in their tummies as well as some T.M.I. about the poop happenings of my guests. This stuff  not only helps nourish you, but will also help cleanse you. No one seemed to mind the poop part. They just felt they needed to share. 

Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Love Love Love

Gina


Have you seen my new book, “Are You Eating Your Bugs?” I’d love for you to get a free excerpt to help you analyze your digestive prowess. You can get it for free, here.

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I’d love to help you create bliss in your life through healthy eating! Contact me for your personalized session!


 

Magical Mushroom Elixir (Recipe Included)

Dougie and I began our Monday Moon-day celebration with a calming, warming winter drink that both supports the immune system and aids in gentle cleansing. Plus, to us…it’s pure deliciousness. Read more

Spicy Kale Chips With A Thyroid-Loving Twist

Even people who don’t Ike their vegetables seem to flip over kale chips. A tiny bag of them at the Santa Monica Co-op is about 8 bucks. And, if you’ve ever bought them, you know you don’t really wanna share yours. These crunchy, salty bites of BLISS are all the rave in the raw food community.

Yet, with so many of us dealing with low thyroid function, it’s important to know that raw cruciferous veggies do contain goitrogens, which are thyroid inhibitors. Too many raw cruciferous vegetables like kale, collard greens, cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts can slow your thyroid function.

Remember that your thyroid is responsible for energy, speed of digestion, hormone balance, sex drive and more! Most people notice the effect in their depleted energy levels. They get tired. You might need a major nap after downing a handful of raw kale chips if they are slowing your thyroid.

Plenty of peeps seem to do just fine with them. But, my clients tend to be very sensitive and dealing with complicated autoimmune issues. So, I try to come up with recipes that are more easily digestible than what’s popular. Yet just as yummy.

I’ve learned that fermenting allows you to enjoy these enzyme-rich foods in their raw form without the negative effects– because the fermentation process pre-digests the vegetables. But, fermented kale chips don’t taste so great!

I believe this recipe is a little bit healthier for our ever-loving-thyroids because it gets broken down a little and then dehydrated at a higher temperature. They are delish! I’m mucho sensitive, and I can eat a whole batch with no problemo.

I’ll have more info coming up on thyroid and adrenal health as I’m going to be experimenting with balancing my own endocrine system.

Ingredients:

  • Lots of kale ( we like dinosaur kale the best for chips)
  • 1 lemon per bunch of kale
  • Dash of apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • Italian seasonings
  • Curry
  • Cumin
  • Cayenne
  • Olive oil

Process:

We like to keep our kale leaves whole when using dinosaur kale, and we tear them apart by hand if using the more leafy kind.

Clean up your kale and cut off the fibrous stem part. Then, let it dry naturally.

Use your taste buds to help you gauge the amount of spices to use. Taste as you go. I like a lot of spice. Give your kale a good massage with lemons, apple cider vinegar, oil and the spice mixture. Then allow it to marinate overnight in a covered glass bowl or pan.

Then, line up your chips so that none are touching and air can circulate, and dehydrate these beauties at a slightly warmer temp. I do 150 degrees in my Excalibur dehydrator until crispy. It takes about 5 hours.

Or, you can line your kale up on a pizza pan or non toxic baking dish and bake at your lowest temp until crispy.

These are so delicious!

Gina

Image Credit


Have you seen my new book, “Are You Eating Your Bugs?” I’d love for you to get a free excerpt to help you analyze your digestive prowess. You can get it for free, here.

2

I’d love to help you create bliss in your life through healthy eating! Contact me for your personalized session!


 

Homemade Veggie Chips Recipe

Whip these chips up in a jiff and have a healthier snack for your family. Dip them in guacamole, hummus, seed cheese, or your favorite spread, and store in a paper bag. Plastic makes them all mushy. If you want to have a bunch on hand, it’s best to make extra dough and freeze until your ready to dehydrate and eat them– because they taste better this way. And they won’t last too long in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 3 large zucchini squash
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • ½ cup fresh dill
  • 2-3 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Pinch sea salt

Process

Shred your zucchini and carrots in a food processor, add in chopped green onion, dill, celery seed and olive oil and sea salt — and process for about 1 minute. Your mixture should be slightly sticky.

Raw Method: Spoon cracker sized servings onto dehydrator sheets and dehydrate for 5-6 hours. Flip your chips every two hours. I use an Excalibur dehydrator at 115 degrees.

Baked Method: Spoon cracker sized servings onto a greased pizza stone and bake on low for 2-3 hours or until crispy. Flip your chips after 1 hour.

Variations: add spinach, arugula, and vary the herbs for different flavors.

Image credit


Have you seen my new book, “Are You Eating Your Bugs?” I’d love for you to get a free excerpt to help you analyze your digestive prowess. You can get it for free, here.

2

I’d love to help you create bliss in your life through healthy eating! Contact me for your personalized session!


 

Fermented Fig Fantasy Dressing Recipe

Do you love figs? I do! And, besides eating them in the wildly delicious gluten-free newtons from the Santa Monica Co-op, I had to figure out what else to do with the things so that my obsession didn’t get boring. Naturally, I went to fermentation. I’ve tried to ferment almost everything you can think of from green beans to chocolate to spice mixes and teas. It’s not always a success. But, this my dears…this figgy frenzy was a fermentation feat for my record book. In fact, I often serve this in my classes and bring it to parties.

Figs are full of sugar, so naturally they have what it takes to feed the healthy probiotics in the fermentation process. Leaving them to ferment for 24 hours doesn’t produce alcohol for me. So, it’s all good. The fermentation simply breaks down the sugar and makes the whole shabang easier to digest, and also offers you some healing pro-bugs for your beautious digestive tract.

Fermentation also makes the minerals and fiber more bioavailable to you. That means that your body will actually accept more nourishment from these delicious fruits in their fermented state.

Figs are very alkalizing and have the energy to help your stomach, spleen and pancreas do their jobs, and get food and fluids moving through and balanced. No wonder why I love them so. I found myself having spleen/stomach problems a while back. Sweet foods have a necessary role in health besides providing us with caloric energy and enjoyment. They can be very supportive and tonifying. Of course, the more figgy love you have, the closer to the bathroom I recommend you stay. The little guys can also be quite a laxative.

If you’re on a candida cleanse or doing Body Ecology, you may feel the need to stray from all sugars. We did that for a while and it worked for us. However, when I started adding in more fermented foods and fermenting salad dressings and stuff like that– our whole family came to be able to process sugar much better. In fact, we also became able to process fats, proteins, and carbs much better too. We no longer think sugar is evil. We like it. And our adventures into fermentation have taken away all of those wicked cravings for the sugar beast.

“Figgy Juice” Recipe

Ingredients and Equipment:

  • 2 cups fresh figs (dried)
  • Coconut kefir to cover figs
  • Sterile Jar

Process:

  • Pack figs in jar and cover with kefir.
  • Ferment for 24 hours.
  • Use “juice” in salad dressings.
  • Figs can be used in desserts or dressings.

Fermented Fig Fantasy Dressing Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Handful fermented figs
  • Splash fermented “figgy juice”
  • Splash ume boshi vinegar
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Handful of chives, cilantro, basil, parsley, sunflower seeds
  • Olive oil

Process:

  • Begin to blend some figs and fig juice and keep adding ingredients until you have a “salad dressing” consistency that floats your boat.

Note: you may also dig adding some fig bits to your chocolates. I do.

Have a gorgeous day,

Gina

Image Credit


Have you seen my new book, “Are You Eating Your Bugs?” I’d love for you to get a free excerpt to help you analyze your digestive prowess. You can get it for free, here.

2

I’d love to help you create bliss in your life through healthy eating! Contact me for your personalized session!


 

Have a Juicy Thanksgiving: Delicious Raw Vegan Holiday Alternatives

 

Good Morning Loves!

Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving Day here in the US, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the BLISS I’ve experienced from a high raw vegan lifestyle. This is the kind of EATING that opens your MIND. In that light, we have a guest post today from Allison Brooks, who shares a mix of past info and modern science. Max Gerson was using raw juices to cure cancer in the 50s, and finally, we have modern science to support those of us on that healing path. YUM!

By Allison, Brooks

Get Juiced!

Not in the steroid sense, but sorta…

Many people today don’t understand how food really works with our bodies (or at least I didn’t). Most  of us know that there are healthy foods, processed foods, fuel foods, and then those fast-foods, but not everyone knows how those foods work with our body.

It wasn’t until the document, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, came out that I learned what phytochemicals, lycopene, and other foreign words were. But after some research I learned how these natural chemicals interact with our body to promote healthy function, and that all my “natural” foods weren’t so natural anymore.

Many of these natural mixes and chemistry-knowledge have led many naturopathic and homeopathic practitioners to produce immune boosters to help the body during its weakest times. These range from common cold remedies, to post-workout relief, and to more serious issues like cancer. This does not mean that these juices cure cancer, but instead aid the body and keep it strong during very intense conventional treatments.

Many doctors see that benefits from these natural juices and have recommended patients with a low-survivability rate cancer, such as non-hodgkin’s lymphoma or pleural mesothelioma, to practice juicing with specific recipes or take classes to learn the helpful components of each ingredient. This is not only a healthy addition for patients, but it also gives them a sense of control when life might seem out of their reach.

So today, I have listed a couple of yummy recipes to spur any cleanse, detox, immune boost, or just healthy treat for all you “Bliss Bombs.”  The best part is that the prep time is just a matter of seconds. Hope you enjoy!!

Thanksgiving-Day Treat:

This juice is a great way to stay  healthy Turkey Day, but still enjoy the yummy-ness.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups butternut squash
  •  1 large honeycrisp apple dash cinnamon

Directions:

  • Wash apple and squash well
  •  Peel squash and cut into chunks
  •  Cut apple to fit into chute of juicer
  • Juice
  • Pour over ice Sprinkle cinnamon on top of juice

Enjoy!

Hawaiian Getaway:

This juice has been studied, and used in cancer hospitals to give patients a healthy boost and delicious treat. It is rich in antioxidants and great for digestion, and its a little taste of paradise.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ Pineapple
  •  1 cup blueberries
  •  1 piece for fresh ginger (roughly ½ inch)

Directions:

  • Wash ingredients
  • Core and Peel Pineapple
  • Juice
  • Pour over or blend ice Sprinkle coconut on top for an added island feel.
Enjoy!

My name is Allison Brooks and I am a recent graduate of the University of Mississippi. I earned my B.S. in Biomedical Anthropology and have continued my research to work towards a completed ethnography. I mainly focus on the effects of biomedicalization on different cultures, but I do branch off into other fields of anthropology.

 

Fermented Orange Creamsicle Recipe

If you’re looking for a refreshing non-alcoholic drink to sip at parties this summer, or to simply toast to your everyday bliss — you so have to try theses fermented recipes I just whipped up.

Fermented Orange Creamsicle

Ingredients:

Process:

  • Stir your honey into the orange juice with a wooden spoon
  • Add ginger juice
  • Stir in fermented coconut milk
  • Stir in coconut kefir
  • Pour over ice

For an even more blissful treat, mix 1/2 cup of this chocolate shake with your fermented orange creamsicle for a drink that is a dream come true.


Have you seen my new book, “Are You Eating Your Bugs?” I’d love for you to get a free excerpt to help you analyze your digestive prowess. You can get it for free, here.

2

I’d love to help you create bliss in your life through healthy eating! Contact me for your personalized session!