passionatural

Passionate About Natural Living


11 Comments

DIY Ginger Beer

2012-12-15 22.42.08-2

Home brewed ginger beer. Makes a great gift and kids love it too.

Do-it-yourself ginger beer. It only takes four ingredients that you probably have on hand: water, ginger, sugar, and lemon.

chug chug chug!

On a semester abroad to London, I learned a few things. One of which is that I have an undying love for Fentiman’s Ginger Beer. Here I am, unattractively chugging the delicious ginger treat at a hostel. Huzzah!

Imagine my happiness to learn that you can make your own ginger beer that’s just as delicious as Fentiman’s AND it’s inexpensive and beneficial to your health.

You can brew your own ginger beer through fermentation, thus the fizz you get isn’t from added carbonation, it’s the fizz of a homemade probiotic. And don’t let the name fool you, there isn’t an appreciable level of alcohol in ginger beer. It’s a soft drink that you can enjoy with the kiddos.

Rapunzel Rapadura Unrefined & Unbleached Whole Cane Sugar - 1.5 lbs.

However, I’m pretty sure if you use this unrefined, unbleached whole cane sugar the ginger beer will have an appreciable level of alcohol.

You can use any bottle with a seal to store your ginger beer while it ferments. For mine, I used four one-liter swing top bottles that I purchased from Crate and Barrel.

Ginger Beer adapted from Sandor Ellix Katz’ Wild Fermentation

-a nice hunk of ginger, at least about 3 inches long

-about 2 cups of sugar

-2 lemons

-water

2012-12-18 17.10.04

ginger bug is fermenting into ginger beer goodness

1.Begin by making a “ginger bug”. Add 2 teaspoons of grated ginger and 2 teaspoons of sugar to 1 1/2 cups of water. Stir and leave in a warm spot. Sandor Katz recommends to cover the ginger bug with cheesecloth to allow it to breathe, but I kept mine in a sealed mason jar. Either way works. Add 2 teaspoons of grated ginger and 2 teaspoons of sugar every day or two until you can hear your bug fizzing. Then it is time to get brewin’! Or continue to feed your ginger bug 2 teaspoons of ginger and sugar every day until you are ready.

2. The Brew (Yes, I did just rhyme. I am clever like that). Boil 2 liters of water. Add between 2 and 6 inches of grated ginger and 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Boil for 15 or so minutes. Then cool your brew. Once it has cooled, strain and add the juice of 2 lemons, your strained ginger bug, and enough water to make your brew equal 4 liters.

If you’d like to start another brew, keep your strained ginger bug. Return to step one and add another 1 1/2 cups of water, 2 teaspoons grated ginger, and 2 teaspoons of sugar to your ginger bug.

3. Pour your brew in seal-able bottles. Like I mentioned earlier, I prefer the swing-top bottles from Crate and Barrel but you can recycle any old plastic or glass bottle. However, be careful with glass bottles. I have read that the pressure can build so strongly that it is possible for the bottle to explode. My Crate and Barrel bottles haven’t exploded on me and I suspect this is because there is a teeny tiny space between the swing-top seal that allows the bottle to breathe only the slightest. Regardless of your choice of bottle, let it sit at room temperature for about 2 weeks.

gingerbeer

If you are wary of losing any ginger beer, you can open it with a bowl underneath, like so.

4. Cool the bottle before opening. This is not just for refreshment sake, it is also to help stabilize the pressure of the ginger beer so that when you open it, it doesn’t spray a geyser of your delicious brew into the air and onto the ground.

2012-12-31 22.01.36

And that is how it’s done!

5. Bust out the fancy glasses and enjoy your wonderful home brew!

Please share any of your home brew tricks of the trade or your experiences.

Advertisements


1 Comment

Hemp Seed Fish and Parmesan Chips

Hemp Seed Fish and Parmesan Chips

I needed something to go along with my Easy Healthy Homemade Ketchup and so I decided to make one of my favorites, fish and chips. However, these fish and chips are not fried and have only wholesome ingredients (oh yes, and it’s very easy. Almost TOO easy, if there were such a thing).

You will see that I choose to use butter on the fish and coconut oil on the fries. This is my personal preference. You can substitute any oil/fat of your choice here. But before you do that, let me do a little plug for butter and coconut oil. Even though we have all been brainwashed very effectively by marketers looking to make a profit, butter is not the enemy (unless of course you have a milk allergy), vegetable oils are. Vegetable oils are not stable at high temperatures and when cooked higher than around 200 F, they become the dreaded TRANS FATS. This includes olive oil. Olive oil, when high quality, is fantastic for salads, but when cooking and baking opt to use an animal-based fat, like butter or ghee, or coconut oil. These are stable at higher temperatures and thus, will not turn into toxic filth in our bodies.

This serving feeds two people

Hemp Seed Fish 

-2 (around 4 ounce) cod fish loins

-A small amount of butter (think of what you use to butter a piece of toast)

-dash of salt

-3 or so tablespoons of hemp seeds

Spread butter on top of cod fish loins (again, like you would butter a piece of toast). Shake salt on cod loins. Sprinkle hemp seeds on top of buttered, salted cod fish loins. Bake on 400 F for about 10-12 minutes.

Parmesan Chips

-8 small-medium size potatoes

-Around 3 tablespoons coconut oil (in liquid state)

-4-5 tablespoons Parmesan

-1 clove garlic

-3 teaspoons rosemary

-2 teaspoons of salt

Grease cookie sheet with coconut oil. Cut potatoes into fry-like wedges or if you are like me, use one of these. Put around 2 tablesoons of coconut oil in a gallon-size bag and add the remaining ingredients (including the potatoes) into the bag. Shake the bag like a Polaroid picture. Empty bag contents onto cookie sheet. Bake on 375 F for around 45 minutes or until Parmesan is golden and fries are fork tender. Shake a little more salt on top of fries to taste.

Don’t forget to enjoy fries with homemade ketchup!


Leave a comment

Easy Healthy Homemade Ketchup

Ketchup. Yum.

HOLD IT RIGHT THERE! It’s probably the most processed, sugarized condiment on the market. Say goodbye forever to Heinz. This ketchup is delicious, easy to make, and good for you. Enjoy with Hemp Seed Fish and Parmesan Chips.

I’ve adapted this recipe from the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD.

Easy Healthy Homemade Ketchup

-7 Roma Tomatoes (or any tomatoes you have on hand that you think will equate to 1 cup of tomato pulp)

-1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

-bay leaf

-1 teaspoon honey

-salt to taste

In a food processor, blend tomatoes to a pulp. Simmer all of the ingredients except the honey until  thick, stirring often. When desired thickness is reached, add honey and simmer one minute more. Remove bay leaf and serve.

Now for some amateur photographs of food:

Easy Healthy Homemade Ketchup accompanied with fish and chips.

Image

Easy Healthy Homemade Ketchup