How to Make Whey and Cream Cheese the Old Fashioned Way

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Whey. The Old Fashioned Whey!

Get it??

I’m a sucker for a play on words ūüėČ

You can use whey in soaking beans and grains. You can also use whey as the starter culture to lacto-ferment foods such as sauerkraut, beet kvass, kimchi, salsa, carrots, etc.

I’ve also read via Nourishing Traditions that you can put a tablespoon of whey in a little bit of water and drink it to soothe a tummy ache. I’ll have to try that next time.

I learn so much when I blog.

The instructions that I am going to give you are to make whey from yogurt. You can also make whey from your milk (go RAW!) but of course you must let your milk sit on the counter covered for 3-4 days until it separates before you can begin your whey/cream cheese making.

The cream cheese you will get from this process will not be like the cream cheese in the store. It may be a little less creamy. I find that if I add salt to it, it is delicious!

The process using yogurt will give you whey and subsequently cream cheese as you are separating the two substances.

You can also find instructions on this process on page 87 of your handy-dandy copy of Nourishing Traditions.

Here is what you need:

Yogurt– 1 lb. preferably made from raw milk or whole milk yogurt with no additives from the store.

(Nourishing Traditions says to use 2 qts. but I find that is too much at one time for me.)

Cheesecloth 

Mesh Strainer

Large Mixing Bowl and/or jar

Cupboard or wooden spoon to hang your yogurt on to elevate and increase drippage

Glass container– to store whey. I use a mason jar.

Covered container- to store cream cheese.

The process:

1. Line your strainer with cheesecloth and place in a large mixing bowl to separate whey from cream cheese. A large portion of the separation happens with this step. 

If you are using thick yogurt or greek yogurt you can skip step number one since you will need a little more gravity to separate to begin with. 

2. To continue separation, tie the cheesecloth around the milk solids and attach to a wooden spoon or cupboard (somewhere where it can be elevated and allowed to drip with more gravitational pull)

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3. Allow all the drippage possible. When drippage is complete your whey and cream cheese is ready. I usually let mine drip overnight. 

4. Transfer whey to a glass container and store in your refrigerator. Whey can be kept for 6 months refrigerated. 

5. Salt cream cheese to taste and transfer to a covered container and store in you refrigerator for up to 1 month. 

Viola!

Enjoy your oh-so-useful whey and cream cheese! And you probably have some yogurt left over! Three foods from one. Genius.

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Homemade Sprouted Whole Wheat Tortillas Made with Lard

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Do you know what I love? I love that moment when you figure out how to make something you thought you could only purchase from the store! …and it’s BETTER than anything the store could ever sell!

Oh what a great feeling!

This is what happened for tortillas and me last night. I figured out how to make real food, sprouted flour, lard tortillas! Seriously, these tortillas are delicious and have great texture.

And you know what? I didn’t need a fancy tortilla press. All I needed was a rolling pin and a frying pan! And about an hour and a half. And of course the ingredients that go into the dough…

The following recipe make 12 tortillas. I would recommend doubling the recipe since it is a bit time consuming. You can freeze or refrigerate the tortillas.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups of sprouted whole wheat flour – I use To Your Health Sprouted Flour Company’s flour, it is magnificent!

1/2 cup lard, olive oil, coconut oil, or tallow

1 teaspoon sea salt- I used pink salt

1 cup warm water

1/2 teaspoon per tortilla of lard for frying

Instructions:

1. Use either a hand held mixer, a kitchen-aid, or food processor (with dough blade!)

2. Add flour, oil/fat, and salt to mixer and combine until crumbly.

3. As your mixer or food processor is running, slowly add warm water until dough joins together into a large, smooth lump.

4. Roll out your lump into a cylindrical baguette shape and measure out 12 even slices. Cut your 12 slices.

5. Roll each slice into a ball in your hand and flatten all of the out on a large cutting board or counter top. Cover for 30 minutes.

6. Prepare a floured surface to roll out your tortillas.

7. Roll out tortillas to approx. 10″ around. [it takes a bit of practice to roll out your tortillas perfectly round. Take it slow and roll out equally on all sides]

8. Heat up your skillet with your lard or other fat on medium heat.

9. Fry your tortilla for about 30 or so seconds on each side or until it starts to brown and bubble a bit.

Ay ay ay!

Eat your tortillas right away or refrigerate/freeze for later use.

Enjoy!

This post is a part of Thank Your Body Thursday! Check it out!

Also linked to GNOWFGLINS.com Simple Lives Thursday!

Also linked to Food Renegade’s Real Food Friday!

 

How to Make Julia Child’s Hollandaise Sauce

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Sometimes I just have a hankering for the fattiest thing I can get my hands on. The thing that satisfies me the most? Hollandaise sauce. The perfect combination of fat, fat and more fat. It’s one of those things that when you eat it, you know¬†it’s exactly what you needed.

My recommendation: If you are finding you are craving fat…EAT IT. Your body clearly needs it and is begging you for it. Good saturated fat is important for properly functioning brain and hormones. Since incorporating fat into my diet my mental stability and depression/anxiety tendencies have decreased.

Thank you Julia Child for your simple hollandaise sauce recipe…so easy, even I can do it! And it’s a great arm workout too ūüôā

Here’s what you’ll need:

A whisk

A sauce pan

3 eggs (and two more if you are putting it atop poached eggs)~(I’ve been using duck eggs for this and they work GREAT. Try to get your hands on some organic pasture raised duck or chicken eggs)

a tablespoon or two of lemon juice

a tablespoon or two of water

6- 8 oz of soft unsalted organic butter

1 teaspoon sea salt

pinch of cayenne

pinch of paprika

1/2 tablespoon of pepper

fresh parsley chopped (optional)

Directions:

1. In sauce pan, add 3 egg YOLKS only, water, and lemon juice.

2. Whisk constantly over low hear until mixture is quite thick, you will know when it reaches this point. You may take the sauce pan off the heat occasionally while whisking so yolks dont harden.

3. When you’ve reached the desired thick consistency turn off stove.

4. Add butter by the spoonful and whisk in until totally melted.

5. Add salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne.

6. Add more lemon juice or water to taste.

7. Serve over poached eggs as eggs benedict or atop anything your heart desires. It’s great over roasted asparagus as well!

This post is part of Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday¬†& Gnowfglins Simple Lives Thursday & Butter Believer’s Sunday School

‚ÄúYou don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.‚Ä̬† ‚Äē¬†Julia Child

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WBGW: Cod Liver Oil…Fermented!

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We have all been hearing a ton about the vast health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. But I’m not just talking about any old¬†cod liver or fish oil. I’m talking about FERMENTED cod liver oil. Uncapsulated, liquid, fermentey-goodness. The stuff Roman warriors downed before battle. Fermenting cod liver oil increases the nutritional content immensely.
Paris: Pont d'Iéna - Roman Warrior
According to Ann Marie at Cheeseslave,

cod liver oil was traditionally processed via fermentation, and not processed with heat. She said that the fishermen would throw the livers into a barrel, add a little sea water, and then leave it to ferment.”

Natural fermentation, lacto-fermentation,¬†and raw are all the recent¬†rage when it comes to food–for good reason.¬†Why not treat your cod liver oil with the same respect? Most fish oil found on the shelf at the store is highly processed at high temperatures. We all know that heating things (pasteurization) kills beneficial nutrients and bacteria, and denatures enzymes.

Fermenting cod liver oil takes about 6 months to a year. So you can see why suppliers decided to ditch that route. Unless you are up to the task of fermenting it yourself, there is only one fermented cod liver oil on the market and it is made by Green Pastures.

In my readings from Nourishing Traditions I learned that one teaspoon of regular cod liver oil contains 5,000 IU Vitamin D but with only a half teaspoon of fermented cod liver oil you also get 5,000 IU. That is 2x the amount of Vitamin D!

According to Nourishing Traditions,

“Vitamin D is needed for calcium and phosphorous absorption…The body manufactures vitamin D3 out of cholesterol in the presence of sunlight. Although some claim that we can obtain all the Vitamin D we need by spending a short amount of time each day in the sun, Price found that healthy primitive diets were rich in Vitamin D–containing foods like butterfat, eggs, liver, organ meats, marine oils and seafood, particularly shrimp and crab.”

Interestingly enough, Weston A. Price found that the diet of primitive people contained Vitamin D amounts ten times higher than the standard American diet.

Enough about Vitamin D. Fermented Cod Liver Oil also contains twice the amount of Vitamin A. From Weston A. Price’s studies,¬†it has been discovered that without¬†Vitamin A from an animal source your¬†body cannot utilize protein, mineral, or water-soluble vitamins. That should¬†shock you!¬†This means that carrots will NOT do the trick for you. You need to be getting a very high amount of animal fat in your diet to utilize all of the vitamins from vegetables. Sorry Vegans,¬†you’re SOL!

Besides the Vitamin A and D factor, fermented cod liver oil is a very effective anti-viral and¬†anti-inflammatory agent, reduces the risk of heart disease and learning disorders, effectively treats eczema and acne, and is¬†a “superfood” for brain function.

Green Pastures sells fermented cod liver oil in a myriad of different flavors to mask the unpleasant taste and smell. Actually, the word unpleasant is an understatement. NASTY is more like it. Don’t let this deter you from downing this superfood. I can proudly say that I’ve progressed from putting it into capsules myself to successfully shooting it down by the spoonful usually with a raw milk chaser.

For more interesting articles regarding Fermented Cod Liver Oil check out:

Holistic Kid: Benefits of Fermented Cod Liver Oil

Cheeseslave: Why Fermented Cod Liver Oil?

Also, check out Twenty-Two Reasons Not To Go Vegetarian

Pacific Cod (Gadus macrocephalus)

Confessions of a Former Sugar Slave.

Sweet Tooth
Just in case you’re curious. You probably aren’t. But just in case.

I’m feeling extremely guilty right now seeing as I just chowed down on a block of mozzarella and drank half a bottle of wine. All by myself. I am trying to justify this by drinking a kombucha but let’s be honest–my situation needs a lot more help than that.

I hate to say it, but this is an improvement for me. This is where I transition into telling you how I fixed myself. But I won’t lie to you. I still have a lot of issues. And I still love food a little too much. The improvement lies in the fact that just a few years ago I would have been chowing down on some ultra sugary, toxin-ridden, processed piece o’ crap.¬†Not¬†that I didn’t know any better, but because I was a slave to food. Sugar, to be more specific.

Even after I stopped eating processed food my sugar cravings still lingered. My sugary treat of choice: a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie from The Blue Scorcher. Buttery, sweet, and oh-so-dangerous. I’m not big on the whole gluten-free revolution, but these are actually better than the real wheat cookies. I used to eat one everyday. Or maybe every other day.¬†And one day I’d rather forget, I happened upon a¬†free bunch of these delicious morsels¬†(I work at a co-op where we give away expired food–lucky me!), and ate not one, but FIVE of them. Oy vey…

If you are a slave to sugar, then you know how awful it feels.¬† I don’t know how it happened, but I¬†tamed my inner sugar slave.¬† My theories about this may be all wrong, but I’m going to tell you anyway, because my experiences just might help.

1. I tried to follow a candida diet. If you have candida overgrowth your main goal is to limit the amount of sugar in your diet. Basically, you are¬†trying to¬†“starve” the candida albicans, a potentially¬†harmful bacteria, that is¬†festering out of control¬†in your gut.¬†¬†The candida bacteria thrives and grows in an environment of sugar and yeast. Not just¬†added sugar,¬†but foods that naturally contain sugar, or starch,¬†in their molecular structure. The imbalance of this¬†bacteria to other¬†species¬†causes a yeast overgrowth and therefore causes sugar cravings(not to mention a¬†multitude of other unpleasant symptoms). This diet is almost impossible. Especially since, if you¬†really need¬†it, you are a sugar slave. This was my first step to recovery. I tried my darndest to starve out that dang candida.

2. I drank and ate anti-fungals right and left. You name it…I¬†devoured¬†raw cloves of garlic (much to the displeasure of my beloved Jeremiah), Pau D’arco tea, coconut oil, oregano oil capsules, nettle in just about every form, pumpkin seeds, peppermint in tincture and teas, ginger, and shots of raw apple cider vinegar, and the list goes on. I suppose this helped my situation some. And you know what?¬†¬†It better have helped my situation because¬†it was not easy! Walking around smelling like garlic all the time is not sexy.

3. Probiotics. Cultures. Good Bacteria. I made it my mission to populate my gut with as much good bacteria as I could. I drank kombucha, took probiotics, ate fermented foods, gulped kefir,¬†and indulged in raw cultured cheese. It’s a good thing I love sauerkraut because I¬†ate a LOT of it. And I still do. Note: don’t eat store-bought ‘kraut¬†unless it is Bubbie’s brand or specifically says it has been fermented because most likely it is not fermented, just¬†submerged in vinegar.

4. Mental Health. This still remains the toughest challenge for me. I get a bee in my bonnet about everything. It comes with the territory of being opinionated–and Sicilian. A stressful, anxious, and overly serious demeanor is not good for your sugar cravings. When stressed, one tends to revert back to bad habits for comfort. No bueno! Just take a chill pill and remember to thank our God above even for the struggles you endure. Everything happens for a reason. That’s all I¬†have for you on this topic.¬†Can you tell I am not one to give advice on the art of being Zen? I don’t know much about it…

5. I discovered the Weston A. Price Foundation. I busted out a book that my Aunt Mary gave me for my birthday and it changed my life. It is called Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I looked at it at the right place and the right time. Everything I read made so much sense. It was the puzzle piece I was endlessly searching for. I realized I was probably very malnourished. I was depriving my body of proper nutrition by eating a low-fat, vegetarian-ish diet. From the Weston A Price Foundation Website (www.westonaprice.org),

“The Weston A. Price Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charity founded in 1999 to disseminate the research of nutrition pioneer Dr. Weston Price, whose studies of isolated nonindustrialized peoples established the parameters of human health and determined the optimum characteristics of human diets. Dr. Price’s research demonstrated that humans achieve perfect physical form and perfect health generation after generation only when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble activators found exclusively in animal fats….

“It supports a number of movements that contribute to this objective including accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming, pasture-feeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest and informative labeling, prepared parenting and nurturing therapies. Specific goals include establishment of universal access to clean, certified raw milk and a ban on the use of soy formula for infants.”
Nourishing Traditions

So, I began eating a lot of fat. I discovered how scrumptious bacon is. I embraced raw egg yolks. I started cooking everything in butter.

Voila! No more sweet tooth. I feel like a new woman. Instead, I have a savory tooth. A tooth that craves zesty, flavorful, nutrient dense foods. I don’t feel the need to snack constantly. I don’t feel fatigued and depleted. I just want¬†a little¬†(or a LOT of) cheese and wine now and then and I’m good to go.

Cheers!
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Weird but Good Wednesday!

Coconut oil

What’s something you can use for face cream, body moisturizer, leave-in conditioner, sauteeing, baking, smoothies, and tea?
COCONUT OIL OF COURSE!
This is the first of many posts I will be doing every Wednesday outlining the weird but good things I do in the name of health. Don’t worry, I won’t run out of things to post…my life is a weird but good post in itself. If you look up weird but good in the dictionary you would see a picture of moi.
Anyway, I am dedicating this very first Weird but Good Wednesday to Coconut Oil.
Coconut Oil is a miracle food in my eyes. Actually coconuts in general are miracles to me because they are so versatile (flour, water, juice, cream, oil) but that’s a different post for a different day. Let’s just focus on the oil for now.

I have a jar in my bathroom and a jar in my kitchen.

I have stopped using any commercial of conventional face creams and body lotions. All I use is a half teaspoon or less of coconut oil on my face everyday and viola! the best face lotion EVER. It smells tropical, can help control dandruff, has strong natural anti-bacterial properties to help with acne, is fully of essential fatty acids for tissue building (ahem! anti-aging!), and it’s small molecular structure makes it readily absorbed for prolonged moisturizing.

According to Bruce Fife, author of “The Coconut Oil Miracle”,

“Pure coconut oil is the best natural skin lotion available. It prevents free-radical formation and the damage it causes. It can help prevent the skin from developing liver spots and other blemishes caused by aging and overexposure to sunlight. It helps to keep connective tissues strongand supple so that the skin doesn’t sag and wrinkle. In some cases it can even restore damaged or diseased skin. I’ve seen precancerous lesions completely disappear with the daily use of coconut oil.”

Bruce also says that coconut oil is regarding highly by beauticians for being the best conditioner even surpassing expensive salon quality products. Distribute evenly a spoonful of melted coconut oil through your hair before you go to bed and wash it out in the morning. Your hair will be soft and have a delightful shimmer.

In a toxic world, the simpler the products we absorb epidermally, the better! Not only is coconut oil pure, simple, and natural, but it is quite affordable seeing as such a small amount goes a long way.

Then once you’ve done your morning routine, you can mosey into the kitchen for some scrambled eggs in coconut oil. The benefits of this? The Thermogenic Effect.¬† From the book “Eat Fat, Lose Fat”,

“Coconut oil has a “thermogenic effect,” which means that is raises your body temperature, thus boosting your energy and metabolic rate. A study in Japan, reported in Journal of Nutritional Science Vitaminology, 2002, found that consuming medium chain fatty acids caused greater thermogenesis than did eating long chain fatty acids, regardless of what kind of MCFA-containing food was eaten.” (Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid)

Plus, coconut oil is a slow burning energy so it keeps you feeling satiated longer. Melt some in your morning tea for an extra energy and nutrition boost.

The Julia Child Omelette WAPF style

One day, Jeremiah and I were YouTubing Julia Child’s cooking videos just for the fun of it. Jeremiah clicked on her Omelette show and my life has never been the same. Since the glorious day when I discovered the Julia Child style omelette I’ve pretty much been cooking it non-stop. It is fast, easy, and delicious.This is perfect because tomorrow is Sunday morning. An omelette is the perfect breakfast for a leisurely Sunday breakfast or a quick whipper-upper before you’re out the door to work. But if you love eggs as much as I do, you know that an omelette can be perfect for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! My new favorite way to make an omelette is Julia Child style. She really knew what she was doing, because omelettes her way have become my favorite way to cook eggs. I have a couple of modifications to suggest for a Weston A. Price/GAPS legal version. I know it seems like blasphemy to modify a Julia Child’s recipe but just do it. Weston A. Price would be proud.

1) replace butter (this is up to you…butter is great also) with ghee (clarified butter)…I use about 1.5 tablespoons of ghee because it is so yummy and nutritious and makes the omelette a heavenly texture.
2) grate a fair amount of raw white sharp cheddar cheese into the beaten eggs and stir in well before you put eggs into your pan.
3) eat with a side of homemade sauerkraut (tutorial coming soon!) or some fresh, organic salsa smothered on top and voila! a breakfast bursting with flavor and nutrition

Living is Astoria, we are blessed to have friends and family who raise chickens and ducks. I’m telling you, these organic, pasture-raised duck and chicken eggs are so delicious and nutritious. Regular organic eggs from the store are better but can still be harmful especially since the feed contains soy almost every time. If you are in Los Angeles it may be a little more difficult, but if you do some research, you can probably find some good eggs! It is very important to make sure your eggs are organic and pastured. Conventional eggs are full of unbalanced Omega-6 and Omega-3s which can negatively affect your health and hormones. Eggs from pastured chickens (or ducks!) are a nutritional powerhouse. They differ greatly from conventional eggs you find in the grocery store in that they have a significantly wider spectrum of vitamins including 2x the amount of Omega-3’s and 4 to 6 times the amount of Vitamin D! http://www.foodrenegade.com/the-basics/real-eggs/ click on the link for a comprehensive look at REAL eggs from happy chickies! It all becomes clear when you compare a conventional egg to a pastured egg. You will find the yolk of the pastured egg is a brighter shade of orange and there is a higher amount of egg white (yay, bigger omelette!) If you can get your hands on some duck eggs I highly recommend using them! Duck eggs are slightly larger, and have a little more punch in the flavor. Only two eggs are necessary for this omelette if using duck eggs.


Also, this omelette rocks because we are using Ghee. Grass-fed Ghee is a fabulous fat beneficial to your heart. It’s a great source of saturated fat, which I love. (more on that later)It is great for cooking at higher temperatures because of the saturated fat profile. Throw your SmartBalance and Earth Balance crap away, use Ghee!
The use of raw cheese in this omelette will boost the nutrient level sky high. My body can only handle cheese from raw milk because it can easily digest it. When milk is highly processed or homogenized it completely transforms the molecular composition making it a foreign substance unrecognizable to your body. Raw cheese still contains the enzymes necessary for your body to absorb the calcium. Since it is unprocessed it contains enzymes, minerals, and beneficial bacteria for a healthy digestive system. Love me some raw cheese!

Bon Appetit!