Sauerkraut – Delight your gut bugs!

12 cups of cabbage, 3 tablespoons salt, and time = delicious!

YUMMY sauerkraut is so easy to make. Besides just scooping it out and eating it, I add it to my salads, as a garnish for soups, and as an extra in my wraps. All you need is cabbage, sea salt, a crock or a glass jar, something to weight the cabbage under the brine and a cloth to cover it. I like about 1 part red cabbage to 3 parts green because it is just so brilliantly pink when it’s done. My KRAUT GURU’s book WILD FERMENTATION (Sandor Ellix Katz) is the best bedtime read. Next up, I’m trying – MISO and Summer Half Sour Pickles.

The other book that keeps me up nights digesting it (LOL) is THE GOOD GUT by          Justin & Erica Sonnenburg, PhDs.

12 cups of cabbage, 3 tablespoons salt, and time = delicious!

YUMMY sauerkraut is so easy to make. Besides just scooping it out and eating it, I add it to my salads, as a garnish for soups, and as an extra in my wraps. All you need is cabbage, sea salt, a crock or a glass jar, something to weight the cabbage under the brine and a cloth to cover it. I like about 1 part red cabbage to 3 parts green because it is just so brilliantly pink when it’s done. My KRAUT GURU’s book WILD FERMENTATION (Sandor Ellix Katz) is the best bedtime read. Next up, I’m trying – MISO and Summer Half Sour Pickles.

The other book that keeps me up nights digesting it (LOL) is THE GOOD GUT by          Justin & Erica Sonnenburg, PhDs.

Kimchi Yumi

BUILD YOUR IMMUNITY GUT BUGS! Ancient, created thousands of years ago in Korea, kimchi is the perfect gut flora food. Fun to make, it’s really delicious, even if it does smell a bit farty as it cures.

Market List: Napa Cabbage, Daikon, Bok Choy, Carrots, (Pea pods, snow peas, peas, seaweeds, – choose your own added vegetables.) Ginger, Garlic, Onions (green/yellow/white), Leeks, and/or shallots, red hot peppers (fresh dried or in a sauce just be sure no preservatives). Preservative free Fish Sauce (Naum Plum) if  you like. Have FUN!

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Be sure all utensils are are clean. CLEAN means washed, rinsed, then rinsed again with boiling water. PREPARE VEGES: NAPA CABBAGE chopped 12 cups  BOK CHOY chopped 3 cups CARROTS 1 cup sliced DAIKON RADISH cubed 4 cups SEA SALT 8 tablespoons FILTERED WATER 8 cups  Place the vegetables in a large clean ceramic or glass container (never metal or plastic). Dissolve the sea salt in the water to make the brine and pour over the vegetables. Add a plate weighted with a jar of water to keep the vegetables submerged. Cover with a clean cloth  Let cure at least 8 hours, up to 12 hours. Drain the brine and reserve.

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Prepare the spices: GINGER 3 to 5 Tablespoons, grated. ONIONS 1 large WHITE or YELLOW one cut in crescents or chunks; add maybe 5 GREEN onions, diced if you like. LEEK green and white parts sliced in thin rounds, about a cup. GARLIC 5 to 8 large cloves minced. HOT RED CHILIS: 1 ONE 1  Hey – I make my own kimchi because I am not a fiery spice girl. Add what you like but remember, you can’t “de-fire” it.  Taste the veggies and insure they aren’t too salty. If they are too salty, just dilute the brine LATER. Add the alliums and spice mix to the vegetables and blend well with clean hands. You can transfer the entire mixture to a clean (boiled clean) crock at this point or leave in the ceramic bowl. If the vegetables were too salty dilute the brine. Remember, the salt is what helps to safely cure the kimchi so don’t desalinize them. Add brine until your kimchi is fully submerged with about an inch of liquid over it.

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Add a clean plate that covers the vegetables and weight it with a clean large bottle of water. Cover completely with a clean cloth. (Notice the “clean” repeated.) Place in a dust free area for it to nap and ferment. Check daily and press under the brine. Is there yucky stuff? White mold? Just remove it. Other weird stuff, don’t risk eating it. My kimchi ferments for 7 days at 70°F. Then I pack it into clean (sterilized) Ball jars and press it firmly down to insure covered with brine. Seal with clean Ball enamel lined lids. Don’t use metal utensils to scoop your kimchi out of its jar – only wood, ceramic (like Asian soup spoons) or silicone ones. I  drink the leftover brine – no kidding. Kimchi will continue to ferment in the refrigerator, just more slowly. Heat destroys the healthy bacteria, so add Kimchi to maximum 115°F broths. Delicious in miso and you get 2 gut goodies! Always refer to the real expert —Wild Fermentation 

DISCOVERY JOY—North Georgia Candy Roaster

Thank you Farmer Maria! The word that describes this Raleigh City Farm gem – ABUNDANCE!
It’s a terrific winter squash that could work like a summer squash as well.
It’s a healthy eye additive for you and your dog too.

Abundance Soup/Sauce

  • 2 cups cubed peeled candy roaster
  • 1 cup cubed unpeeled from tart apple
  • 1 cup yellow onion crescents
  • 3 cloves of peeled garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt, fresh black pepper, dash cayenne
  • 2 cups water
  • Garnish – choose marigold petals, pumpkin seeds, teeny cubes of apple, sage leaves

Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss all the ingredients and spread on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast until the squash is just brown on the edges, about 30 minutes. BUT check after 20 because the onion or apple may need to be rescued. Puree the roasted goodies with 2 cups of water, adding more water as you like. Garnish. It’s great hot or cold, as a soup or as an easy sauce (over or under) roasted cauliflower, poultry, pasta.

YUM!

Candy Roaster Blueberry Muffins

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons psyllium husks (optional)
  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mashed roasted candy roaster
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • Zest of 1 lemon or 1/2 orange
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (or cranberries)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Insert paper liners in a 12-muffin baking pan. Mix all dry ingredients including nuts in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in another. Combine the wet and dry until just mixed. Gently fold in the blueberries. Spoon batter equally into each muffin liner. Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are browned. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool 5 minutes on a wire rack. Eat some. Freeze the rest. 

Seared Autumn Moons

Cut of a 6 inch hunk of candy roaster, split it in half longwise, peel, slice into 1/4” crescents. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a skillet large enough to hold all the roaster slices. Add 1 cup chopped onion, sauté until its translucent. Add 1 teaspoon curry powder or herbes de provence. Cook a minute and scoot the mixture into a bowl. In the skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of ghee, sear the roaster until it is just caramelized and fork tender, not mushy. Add the onion mixture and heat through. Serve hot. 

Topsy-Turvy Fig Cake

Sweet figs and pungent rosemary make this a perfect summer treat. Serve with a creamy French cheese.
Raleigh City Farm has fresh delicious figs, and other fabulous produce. Check out their Wednesdays 4-7 farmstand.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

  • 1-1/2 cups fresh whole ripe figs, sliced in half, stem to blossom end
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut into 1/2-inch or smaller pieces
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • Scant 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Grated zest of one lemon

Heat a 9-inch cake pan in the oven for 5 minutes. Add the butter and return the pan to the oven for about 3 minutes, just until the butter melts. Take the pan out of the oven. Mix the brown sugar with 1 tablespoon of the rosemary. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the melted butter. Place the figs, skin side up on top of the mixture. Place the walnut pieces in the spaces between the figs.

Place the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix well. Whip the egg whites until stiff and set aside. Whip the egg yolks until they are light. Add the sugar to the yolks and whip until the mixture is creamy and fluffy. Add the vanilla, lemon juice, zest, and remaining rosemary. Blend well. Spoon the batter over the figs and even it with an angle spatula. Lightly bump the pan so the batter flows into the figs.

Bake for 40 minutes, checking after 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in the pan. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it form the pan, and turn it onto a serving plate. Eat warm with a triple cream French cheese. It freezes great, too!

Oxalates – BE CAFEFUL – Spinach, Beets, Swiss chard, Endive, etc…

I just wrote Dr. Gundry. I really like his podcast because he has all sorts of geniuses speak, even if he doesn’t agree with them. I was about to load up on Belgian endive, a member of the chicory family, when I learned more about oxalates. Here’s what I wrote to Dr. G.

“Dr. Dr. G — Recently I was diagnosed with Lichen Planus, UGH! I am a Food/Health Chef (passionate nut). In researching potential diet culprits, seems oxalate heavy foods can be contributors. I sparingly eat Swiss chard, spinach but I was eating beet greens and beets (even juicing them), and just bought endive, radicchio because of your podcast recommendation BUT these also have oxalate (oxalic acid).

It’s important to address OXALATE specific foods. Maybe talk about Lichen Planus/Lichen Sclerosus. I’ll stick with my cruciferous greens (kale, arugula, collards, mustard greens, turnip greens) as my everyday greens, but enjoy beet greens (and beets), Swiss chard, spinach, endive, and radicchio, occasionally.

Thanks, and I do love your podcast. As a Duke Integrative Medicine Health Coach/Nutritional (delicious foods) Chef, I send all my clients your way!

chamberslife.com”

Greens, Scallions, Herbs & Beans

Spring at Raleigh City Farm means — out of the greenhouse & into the plots. Seen here kale & lettuces.
  • 2 T EVOO (Italian has the most nutrients.)
  • 8 scallions/green onions Separate the white & green parts as the white parts taste entirely different than the green & we’ll cook the white parts and have the green parts as a garnish. Chop.
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
  • Sea salt, black pepper, turmeric
  • 1/4 C. stock of your choice or water
  • 2 C pressure-cooked garbanzo beans/chick peas Choose Eden Organic if using canned. Pressure cooking eases digestion by inactivating lectins. Add a couple strips of astragalus root for immunity. Remove the astragalus before serving.
  • 6 C fresh greens, roughly chopped. Or add whole(beautiful as a nest)& include a knife to serve.
  • Herbs of your choice and as much as you like. The Raleigh City Farm harvest this week includes rosemary, oregano & thyme. My recommendation is rosemary by itself or a mix of two thirds oregano to 1/3 thyme. Taste the herbs raw to make sure you like them. The taste will change when cooked; while oregano will mellow, thyme and rosemary will intensify. Thyme can be very dominant so add sparingly. You can always “herb/spice it up!” later. Rosemary is an amazing herb — improves brain function.Centenarians in Italy pinch a bit & eat it every day. Look for my future post about rosemary(s). Oregano, I can’t say enough, except eat it every day, raw in salads, on sandwiches, etc. Check out my prior post here about all the benefits of: OREGANO!
  • Acid splash of some sort — Lemon juice or Champagne vinegar
  • Crunchy something — pumpkin or sunflower seeds, fried onions (yum!) even crumbled chips or crackers
  • Optional: A bit iof feta & a few kalamata olives for interest.

Heat the EVOO in a skillet. Add the garlic & scallion white parts. Sauté just until clear. Add +/-1/2 t salt, 2 dashes of freshly ground black pepper & a dash (or 2) of turmeric. Add the stock, herbs & garbanzos and cook until the beans are heated through, stirring constantly. NOTE: If you are using leaf lettuces, spinach or baby greens, just place them raw on the plate as the beans will wilt them. OR Add the greens & cook just until wilted. If you’d like a greens’ nest, for ease later, cook the greens separately on one side of the beans’ skillet.

Taste the beans & greens and add more herbs & salt/pepper as desired.

If you cooked the greens whole, pull them from the skillet and form a “nest” for your beans. If you chopped the greens, just add the bean/green mixture to a serving dish. If using raw greens, place them on a plate & top with the hot beans. Squeeze a bit if acid over. Sprinkle with the green onions & crunchy stuff. Add olives & feta if you like.

Divine & Delicious Dining, Ya’ll!

See ya at the FARM! Don’t forget to get your April 24 Bearthday Celebration tickets by April 19!

Summer Basil Pasta

This simple recipe is an all time favorite.
  • 5 ORGANIC plum or other tomatoes, chopped (about 1 pound) (Peel & seed first for easier digestion.)
  • 1/4 C ORGANIC basil chiffonade
  • 1 T ITALIAN extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T ITALIAN red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves ORGANIC garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 t Iodized sea salt
  • 8 ounces ITALIAN farfalle/bowtie pasta, cooked (Cook until almost al dente. The bow’s center will be a bit firm and seem undone, but it will soften in the marinade.)

Mix all ingredients & refrigerate for at least an hour. DELIZIOSA INSALATA!

MUST! Supplements

I am a sponge trying to absorb information about nutrition & that includes food as well as supplements. It’s an ever changing research project. The best advice came through a program I took with PESI and that is — EVERY individual requires unique health care. What’s right for me is not always right for you.

Learning what was right for me came first through some wonderful healers who thought outside the box a bit. One was my eye doctor who not only recommended Lutein 20mg a day, but also Omega 3s when I complained in my mid 50s of dry eye. He said, “Hey, try taking 2000 mg of Omega 3s for about 3 weeks and let’s see what happens.” My dry eye was completely relieved & I also noticed my brain seemed to be working a bit better as well.

A B-complex was recommended to help my focus. Worked!

Low magnesium was the culprit after an ambulance took me to the Heart Center with a suspected heart attack just 2 years ago. Damn, was I scared. I was admitted & the next morning took a stress echocardiogram. I could have run on that treadmill all day. My heart was in great shape but my magnesium levels were low. About 7 years ago, I had my heart checked because I had tightness in my upper chest on elevation hikes. My heart was fine. My lungs were fine. No one checked the magnesium level. Today, with a magnesium boost every day, I hike well & I also noticed I am a bit calmer.

The legal disclaimer: This is what I learned that worked for me. I am a Duke Integrative Medicine Health Coach, not a doctor. I do have a voracious appetite for health knowledge. BUT you must work with your trusted health professionals to know what’s best for you. IMPORTANT! f you take ANY PRESCRIPTION medications, supplements (and even foods) may interfere with your Rx’s effectiveness or duplicate their purpose. Some prescriptions deplete nutrients that you might need to replace. For example Synthroid, which I take for hypothyroidism, may deplete my calcium.

Your pharmacist & health professional can guide you. Sprouts Farmers Market has a nutrient awareness guide that details what prescription meds may deplete.

BE SURE all your supplements are verified through a third party source (USP or other lab) as supplements (& what they claim they are) are not regulated by the FDA.

I’d like to highly recommend two podcasts Dr. Gundry and Dr. Hyman as resources to help you sort what is right for you. And here’s the list of what I take & why. NOT what you should necessarily take. ASK your health care provider to test for deficiencies before you take anything!

  • Omega3 2000 mg ratio — DHA 66% (brain) EPA 34% (heart) Brain power, heart health. Balance overload of Omega 6 in our diets.
  • Magnesium Potassium Aspartate — Nerve & Muscle support. You can also obtain topically (epson salts bath) Replace loss of magnesium in our food due to soil depletion. If you take too much you will have diarrhea. Start low & increase. Everyone is different.
  • Lutein 20 mg Eye health
  • IMPORTANT!!!!! Vitamin D3 LOTS! Immunity & brain & bone health. I take 2000 IU a day regularly & up to 4000 IU these days when I want to boost my immunity. I put my mushrooms in the sun to increase their Vitamin D2.
  • B complex + a sublingual B12/methylcobalamin form Nerve/brain support, digestion, energy. Especially if you are a vegetarian but everyone needs as our food sources are depleted.
  • IMPORTANT!!!! C 1000 mg TIME RELEASED or take 250 4 times a day. Immunity, iron/nutrient absorption, tissue repair, collagen formation, wound healing, bone & cartilage support. TOO much will give you diarrhea! Especially important for immunity!
  • CoQ10 – Heart Health
  • Zinc, selenium, other minerals. I eat Brazil nuts for the selenium & oysters, clams, mussels, scallops, shrimp (shell fish) for my super immunity etc boost! Research mineral supplements thoroughly before you ingest.
  • Iron — just fyi, tea depletes iron.

GOOD HEALTH!