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Posts Tagged ‘Fruit’

If you’ve been following me for any length of time you will know how much I have been into juicing.  In fact looking back we’ve been juicing for a month now.  It is amazing how we feel, how my skin glow and how people are noticing it… here’s the deal we went on a 7 day juice fast.  We ate fruits and veggies along with nuts during that week and we felt really amazing.  Since then I’ve lost a total of 5lb.  It just isn’t enough, when we broke our fast we started back with dairy (which I’m suspicious that I shouldn’t be eating it) and grains and meat, although we only ate meat a few times a week.  Since my boss bought the juicer for our office we decided that we are going to do a 30 day fast, after 30 days I’m going to evaluate things and either continue for another 30 days or be done then.  Hubby is committed to doing this with me as well.

Juice

Juice (Photo credit: hynkle)

Every morning we start out with our smoothie.  Here’s the recipe:

1 banana

1 tsp spirulina powder

1 tsp kelp powder

1 tsp carob powder (until it runs out… we’re getting close)

1 tsp wheatgrass powder

1 tsp dulce powder (again we’re about out of this and don’t plan on getting more)

5 drops stevia

5 drops Iosol Iodine (I purchase the 8oz bottle from swanson vitamins)

We have a magic bullet so I make individual servings in the cups, blend and drink.  I actually gave up coffee with this smoothie.

The rest of the day it’s juice and fresh veggies and fruit.  Today we start, so far so good although the lady behind me at the store with the roasted chicken? SHAME ON YOU! Don’t you know I’m fasting!? 😉  I don’t have cravings today, I’ve been juicing pretty regularly, I probably only missed a few days in the month, so I hope to not go through the same detox that I did for the week fast.  If you want to read about the start of my juice journey you can read it here, and also learn more about the movie Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, which in the US you can watch FREE on hulu.com.

So we’re on an adventure… more to come!

 

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I remember those commercials when I was young, Chia Head, Chia Pet, then they came out with cartoon chia’s.  We were much too poor to get something like that, but my neighbor friend had one.  I remember watching the seeds grow in her kitchen window.  That had been my only interaction with chia seeds until probably a year ago.  In fact this blog doesn’t even recognize the word and is telling me to change it to China, LOL so let me introduce you in case you also don’t have much knowledge of this tiny little miracle seed.

Chia seeds are very small but pack quite a punch.  In fact they contain more antioxidants than fresh blueberries, more omega-3’s than Atlantic Salmon, more calcium than 2% milk, more protein, fiber and calcium than flax seeds (thanks to http://www.thechiaseed.com/ for this info).  Chia is also a complete protein unlike MOST vegetable sources, you don’t have to add anything to them to make them complete.  I have read in multiple sources that Aztec and Mayan men would take chia seeds with them to battle.  They were small and easy to carry and they would take a teaspoon of them for energy.

I think I found chia seeds from my herb source mountainroseherbs.com (I love them because they are in Eugene, Oregon and I’m in Oregon so it just seems right.  Oh and the fact that they have amazing prices and give you discounts on multiple pounds that you buy helps too).  I was getting on a sprouting trip.  I bought chia along with alfalfa seeds to sprout.  It wasn’t until AFTER I got the seeds that I noticed the chia wasn’t washing clean like the alfalfa seeds.  They had this…gel.  I contacted Mountain Rose and finally the mystery was solved, this is normal and you don’t sprout chia seeds like you do others.  Well… great.  Now what am I gonna do with a pound of these seeds if I couldn’t use my sprouting screens?  So research began and I found chia seed pudding.  Chia seeds soak up 9-12 times it’s weight in water, depending what site you get your info from.  Some sites say to add 2 cups water to 1/3 cup seeds, some say 3 cups water to 1/3 cup seeds, I usually wing it.  I also don’t use water, I make a fruit “syrup” out of frozen fruit we have.  Mostly I do blueberry and elderberry or a combo of both, simmered in water to release the fruit juice.  Then I add a sweetener sometimes sugar, sometimes honey, sometimes stevia, sometimes syrup.  This past batch I made elderberry juice with stevia to soak the seeds in, added the seeds and let them plump up to the gel stage.  Then I added some organic cranberry maple syrup we picked up at a discount store (Grocery Outlet).  The addition of the syrup made this batch extremely good.  You do have to make sure they are covered in the fridge because they do dry out if left uncovered.  I’m a use-what-you-have type of person, why go waste money on buying something specific when something else would work that is already at home?  So if you have apples, use apples, if you have juice in your fridge, then use juice.

We call it chia pudding in our house but that’s only because it’s like tapioca in a way.  Each chia seed has a gel around it that swells up with whatever liquid you use.  So it has a “pudding” like feel.  You could use milk and make pudding too if you want, your imagination is your only limit here.  I take a bunch to work and use it as a pick me up in the afternoon.  I’ve eaten it for lunch, had it as dessert after dinner and you don’t feel guilty for eating it!  I’ve added fruit to it (Blueberries are so good!) and made it like a Jello fruit mold.  Recently I found a bag in the cupboard, I haven’t done chia in a while and I started, I’m sitting here eating it at lunch today.  It’s especially refreshing on a hot summer day which I can’t wait for, come on Summer!  As for sources, there are a zillion places to find organic chia seeds.  Mountain Rose Herbs, Naturalnews.com store has them, google them.  I’m a proponent of saving money so find the best deal and go with it!

Such a sad thought that so many chia seeds were wasted on stupid chia heads!  We could have been eating them and getting good nutrition, but what kid thought about that?  I guess there are some benefits to growing up.  🙂

 

 

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About a year ago I got milk kefir grains from a nice person on craigslist.   I thought it would be a wonderful way to get probiotics into our bodies.  It worked, for a bit.  I just couldn’t get use to the very pungent tasting drink.  Even with fruit and sweetener I just couldn’t get over the tart taste.  But the stuff in the grocery store is SO good!!  I thought for sure I would enjoy it, turns out the amount of sugar that is added to the stuff you get at the grocery store would spike your blood sugar so high you’d be doing the Freddy on the front porch.  (or maybe that was when I had my first cup of coffee…)  Either way I couldn’t do it, hubby on the other hand enjoyed it, or so I thought.  Turns out he just liked the probiotics and the protein from the milk.  We were using raw cows milk but have since switched to raw goats milk, but I gave up the idea of milk kefir a long time ago.  By the way I pronounce it KEY-FUR.  So I found a yahoo group about Kefir and joined.  A few days later a wonderful woman who lives not far from where I work dropped off some water kefir grains.  Basically it’s the same probitoic goodness in the milk kefir but no milk, Yay!  It is supposed to taste like a soda of some sort.  This lady gave me directions, 1/2 cup of grains to 1/3 cup sugar, fruit and 4 cups water (well you start out with 5 cups water, but you simmer the water and fruit and it reduces).  She was using ginger and I’m sure it makes a wonderful ginger ale type drink, which I make in a lacto-fermented soda, I’ll post that later.  So I wanted to try fruit, we have an abundance of frozen blueberries that hubby harvested so I used blended blueberries, water, and the fruit then I made my first mistake, I added the grains.  There are two different ways to do kefir water, one says to put the grains in a small sack (burlap/cheese cloth type) then you can easily remove the grains, the other says just put it all together and then you can just wash the grains off when you’re straining it.  After 48 hours I strained and found that I couldn’t separate the fruit bits out of the grains!  Of course you have to rinse with cold water and after my fingers were numb I figured it was a lost cause.  I grabbed out as many big grains out that I could and fed the rest to the chickens.

With my first lesson over, we drank the “juice.”  It was sweet and yet had a fermented/wine type smell.  It didn’t taste fermented it tasted sweet.  The next batch I added frozen blueberries, in a large pot with 10 cups of water (I’m doubling the recipe) and simmered.  After that I strained off the blueberries, added my sugar and let the mixture cool.  After it was cool enough to the touch (what is cool enough? well it felt cool to the touch, not warm…) I poured it into two half-gallon jars and added the grains.  Let it sit 48 hours and again, success!  Sweet goodness.

My third attempt, again another lesson in this one.  But we do learn from the mistakes don’t we?  It’s hard to make the same mistakes twice.  This time I decide I want to try Elderberry.  Hubby and I LOVE Elderberry.  God made these perfect blue/purple berries that not only make one of the best wines I’ve ever tried, and some amazing muffins, but it also is an immune system booster.  Many cough and cold remedies have Elderberry in them.  So we generally harvest a lot of berries, last year our buckets were OVER FLOWING with these beautiful little berries.  The only “bad” thing is the seed, it is quite big for the little berry, and it’s got this crunch that you can’t really explain, you just have to try.  Too many seeds can be bad, only because there is just too much crunch.  Oh and I forgot to mention it makes an amazing jam too!  Ok… back to the subject at hand.  So when I’ve made Elderberry soda before (with the lacto-fermented version) it was VERY explosive, which leads me to believe that the sugars are eaten up pretty quickly, and ferments quickly.  I followed the same rules for the kefir water and left it for 48 hrs, but the end of that time there was obvious fizz on the top of the jar.  We strained it and this batch smelt VERY fermented, in fact I was a bit apprehensive to try it.  Hubby went first, bless his heart.  He likes it!  So I give it a go, when you don’t take a big inhale before you drink it’s really great, when you do you get that fermented smell first then you can’t help but taste it.  It seems to have settled down in the fridge, although that could just be my brain playing tricks on me.  But what I would do different, is probably add less grains, more sugar and maybe even ferment it less time, or a combination of these things.

Kefir water is a hit in our house.  Hubby is even considering retiring his milk grains for a bit.  They can keep in the freezer so can the water kefir grains actually.  This way if and when he’s ready for milk kefir again he can have them, and when our water grains multiply like crazy then we can save some, and give some away.  I think too many people don’t do “nice” things anymore, everyone seems to expect something and no one can truly get something for nothing.  I do think it’s important to share, I mean isn’t that one of the first things in life we learned?  So I plan on extending my water grains to some folks on craigslist, and maybe here if anyone is listening. 😉

Happy Kefiring (totally just made that up, I think)!

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