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 Cinnamon and Wild Orange Lip Plumper!

lipplumpHello Natural Beauties!

Would you like to attain luscious and naturally voluptuous lips without the harsh chemicals that store-bought plumpers contain? Look no further! I have created a citrusy-cinnamon lip balm that will wake those luscious lips up!

Back in my high school days I was obsessed with the very popular lip gloss called Lip Venom. Have you ever used it? It works great! But the problem is this:

Hydrogenated Polysobulene, Jojoba oil, Natural Essences, Propylparaben, D&C Red #6.

Yup, those are the ingredients of Lip Venom. Not really sure what hydrogenated polysobulene is but I’m pretty sure it’s¬† not something I want to eat. And I definitely don’t want to be eating propylbaraben and D&C Red #6. Thanks, though! Not to mention, it goes for a whopping 20 bucks! Um, hello, I can make something just as good for a fraction of the cost!

Without further ado, here are the ingredients you will need:

7-8 drops of Cinnamon Bark essential oil (if you have sensitive lips you may want to use less–this stuff can burn but it sure works! ūüėČ

Note: I experimented with different things for the plumping effect. I tried peppermint oil, clove oil, cinnamon powder, cayenne tincture, etc. Nothing works as well as cinnamon bark oil. Peppermint oil won the runner up position so if you do not have cinnamon bark oil, try peppermint!)

5-6 drops of Wild Orange essential oil (you can experiment with your complimentary oil…I thought cinnamon mixed well with orange)

1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil (or enough to fill the size of your lip gloss pot, whatever that amount may be)

an empty/clean lip gloss pot

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Directions:

In a small bowl mix melted coconut oil with essential oils.

Pour or spoon carefully into emptied pot

Let the mixture dry–I set it in my freezer for a little while so that it could harden.

REMEMBER: The point at which coconut oil melts is 78 degrees. Be very careful with putting this in your purse or pocket as it may melt and spill when you open it. Keep it in a cool place so that it doesn’t become a mess!

Viola! Apply that and pucker up! I’m sure your sweetheart will love it too!

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

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!

 

Easy Hibiscus Rinse for Enhancing Light and Dark Hair

Dried Hibiscus

dried hibiscus.

I’ve recently transitioned to washing my hair with baking soda and rinsing with Apple Cider Vinegar thanks to my friend Megan over at FamilyNaturally. She gave me the tip of rinsing with something so that your hair doesn’t smell like salad dressing!

Here’s what you need:

Sauce pan

4 cups water

3-4 tablespoons dried hibiscus leaves

strainer and cheesecloth (or just papertowel)

storage container (mason jars always work)

Here’s what I¬†did and it was so simple it’s almost ridiculous.

1. I went to the co-op and bought about 3-4 tablespoons of dried hibiscus leaves. Your natural foods store should have these or you can order from Mountain Rose Herbs.

2. I boiled about 4 cups of water in a sauce pan, turned off the heat, and added the hibiscus.

3. I let it steep for 30 minutes in there with the top on.

4. I strained the liquid from the hibiscus through cheesecloth and a metal strainer.

5. I put the liquid in a mason jar.

That’s it!

Now you have a hibiscus rinse that accentuates the golden and red tones in in hair. It can be used for either dark or light hair. Either way it will work.

When you use it just allow the hibiscus rinse to sit on your hair for about a minute. Then rinse.

Ring in Summer with a Rhubarb-Lime Martini!

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rickbayless.com

Summer is almost here and Spring is coming to a close. It’s time to get creative with those glorious branches of ruby goodness AKA RHUBARB!

I was inspired by how bright red the rhubarb has been the past couple weeks….and¬†also¬†by Mad Men. Maybe we’ve been watching too much Mad Men…all I want to do is drink martinis.

Rhubarb may seem a bit challenging but in reality, the possibilities are endless. First on the menu: My Rhubarb-Lime Martini!

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Rhubarb Compote:

1 pound of rhubarb, cleaned and sliced

3/4 cup rapadura or sucanat (much more nutritious than regular granulated cane sugar. you can find this at whole foods or your local health food store)

2 or 3 tablespoons of unsalted organic butter

pinch of sea salt

lime zest from 1 lime

For the rest of the ‘tini:

[makes 2 Martinis]

1 oz lime juice

3 oz. chilled vodka (use a good quality one!)

3 tablespoons of rhubarb compote (from recipe above)

2 ice cubes

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a little organic evaporated cane juice to rim the glasses

Recipe Notes:

*You can play around with measurements to your liking.*

*For an added ruby hue, add a splash of pure cranberry juice if you have it on hand!*

*Remember to use organic ingredients!*

First, make the compote:

1. Melt butter in large sauce pan

2. Add sugar and cook on very low heat until well combined

3. add the sliced rhubarb, lime zest, and pinch of sea salt

4. cook on low heat until rhubarb becomes slightly soft.

5. turn off heat. let cool. (it’s not good to put steaming hot food in the processor)

6. using a food processor, process the compote until creamy and smooth.

7. Place martini ingredients into martini shaker (ice cubes, lime juice, rhubarb compote, and¬†vodka) *if you are redneck like me and don’t have a martini shaker–use a mason jar…they work great and they even have oz. measurements on the side*

8. Garnish with Lime slice and sugar the rim.

9. Cheers!
rhubard martini

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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Satisfying Alternative to Coffee–A superfood too!

early morning coffee

photo credit: from flickr by Like a bird on a wire. Who looks this awake when drinking coffee in the morning ?!

I created this concoction a while back during¬†this phase I went through¬†of drinking roasted dandelion tea like it was going out of style. I just remembered it today and I got really excited to make it again so I thought I’d share!

I’ve been really struggling in my goal of quitting coffee. I¬†need to do this SO BAD for my adrenals.¬†With other dietary changes I have always had so much willpower and ease in eating and not eating what I should. Coffee is not one of these things. I will talk myself into all the great reasons why I am not going to drink coffee any more and then promptly the next morning I think to myself “Who am I kidding?? Coffee is AMAZING!!! GIVE ME COFFEE!!!” and then I feel bad, and then I drink more coffe, and then I convince myself to stop drinking it, and then I drink it again. It’s a vicious cycle.

This coffee substitute contains absolutely no caffeine and is a nutritional powerhouse. I am hoping to get on the no-coffee-wagon with this concoction.

Dandelion is great for digestion as it helps your body produce bile which assists in fat digestion. Maca is perfect for those trying to balance hormones and increase sex drive. If you are having menstrual issues, or are trying to conceive, Maca can really help your hormones to do what you want them to do.

Here’s what it contains:

Roasted dandelion root tea (You can use loose roasted dandelion root—buy here¬†or tea bags traditional medicinal makes good ones!)

Maca Powder (order good quality maca here)

Raw Honey (try to get local)

Raw Cream (try to get raw, or atleast not ultra pasteurized. Preferably from grass-fed cows)

Benefits of roasted dandelion root: helps increase bile production for improved digestion of food. Also great for liver detox. recommended frequently for skin problems like acne due to an over-worked liver.

Benefits of Maca: adaptogen, nourishing for tired adrenals, hormone balancer. libido increaser (nature’s viagra! ūüėČ

From naturalnews.com:

Maca root helps balance our hormones and due to an over abundance of environmental estrogens, most people’s hormones are a bit out of whack. Maca stimulates and nourishes the hypothalamus and pituitary glands which are the “master glands” of the body. These glands actually regulate the other glands, so when in balance they can bring balance to the adrenal, thyroid, pancreas, ovarian and testicular glands.”

Benefits of raw honey: Raw honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties, full of enzymes, if honey is local, it can help seasonal allergies.

Benefits of raw cream: perhaps the most treasured of food item in my fridge when I get my hands on it…raw cream is delicious and stock full of probiotics, enzymes, vitamins, and GOOD fat (SATURATED fat). When still in it’s raw state, cream is wonderful for your daily dose of fat soluble vitamins, conjugated linoleic acid, and immune boosting properties.

Mix everything up together in your mug and enjoy!

Mexican Street Snack: Cucumbers with Lime and Chili Powder

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If you’ve ever been to Mexico, or Downtown LA, you know what I’m talking about! These spicy-tangy snacks are so refreshing and absolutely picture perfect on a hot day!
In Mexico street vendors sell these cucumber snacks. They also make similar treats with corn, mango, and papaya. They sell them to you in plastic beer cups!
They are so simple to make which is great for when you have a one-track mind focused on getting outside. Cucumbers are hydrating and the sea salt and lime will replenish your mineral needs after sweating.

Here’s what you need:
2 large cucumbers
1 tablespoon of New Mexico chili powder blend (the one to use for this recipe is a brighter orange color. Mountain Rose Herbs makes a great blend you can buy it here)
1 teaspoon of course sea salt (buy it here)
1/4 cup lime juice

Don’t forget to buy organic!

Here’s what you do:

1. Chop the ends of the cucumber off

2. Slice in half long ways. Then slice in quarters. Then slice the quarters in half long ways

3. Pour lime juice over the cuc slices. Toss.

4. Sprinkle with salt and chili powder.

Sip with your favorite beverage outside and you have yourself a mini Mexican staycation!

This post is linked to Gnowfglins Simple Lives Thursday #96, Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday, and¬†the¬†Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter.
Cabos San Lucas- Lover's Beach:

Creamed and Curried Eggplant

Aubergine (Brinjal) in the home terrace garden
Did I mention I LOVE Indian food?

Here is a delicious recipe that is the perfect pair to rice (don’t forget to sprout it!), Naan (indian flat bread), or just in a bowl all by itself!

There is something about the creaminess and depth of Indian spices that¬†is so addicting. I can’t really describe the flavor because it is so well rounded and full. You have to see for yourself!

Here’s what you will need:

3 medium size Eggplants

1 large yellow onion

1 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds

1 1/2 tsp garam masala (spice)

1 T sea salt

1 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cayenne powder

1 T cumin

Approx 3 T Ghee or butter

1/2 cup of cream preferably raw or atleast not ultra-pasteurized

1/4 cup chopped tomatoes

I didn’t measure as I was going, so these are guestimate measurements. I think they are pretty accurate but you can do what you think looks right/yummy.

Directions:

1. Cut eggplants in half and broil at 500 degrees for approximately ten minutes on each  side or until the skin starts to wrinkle and detach. The outside should look slightly scorched.

2. While the eggplant is cooling fry the onion in ghee/butter with spices. Let the onions become soft then add the chopped tomatoes.

3. Fry this mixture until it is thick and there is not much liquid left. Set aside.

4. Scrape eggplant flesh out of skin.

5. In food processor or with electric mixer, process with about 1/2 cup cream (more if you like) I also used some creme fraiche I had in my fridge. The texture will ideally be not runny but thick and creamy. Add sea salt to your liking.

6.Mix the processed eggplant with the onion/tomatoes and add more sea salt to taste.

Enjoy!

Eggplant Bharta

photo credit: from flickr Aubergine (Brinjal) in the home terrace garden by Raman_Rambo

photo credit: from flickr Eggplant Bharta by Monica.Shaw

Rustic Sprouted Tikka Masala Pizza

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If there are two cuisines I love most in this world, they are Indian and Italian. Maybe Mexican and German, too. And French, definitely French cuisine. Ok, I love them all…but this recipe features the South Asian tikka masala curry and the traditional Italian pizza. One of the reasons I love pizza SO very much is because of it’s versatility. I can be a carrier for virtually any food you desire. I like to make my pizza’s square in honor of my Sicilian roots and also because I only have a square baking pan.

Please excuse the terrible food photography… ūüėõ

This recipe was loosely adapted from Look Who’s Cooking Too‘s Chicken Tikka Pizza recipe. The crust is from To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co’s Pizza Crust Recipe.

For the crust you will need:

3 cups of sprouted whole wheat or spelt flour

1 1/8 cups water

3 T Olive Oil

1 1/2 t sea salt

1 1/2 t honey (preferably raw, organic)

1 packet dry active yeast

2 T dried herbs of choice

dough (2)
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For the Tikka Masala Chicken and marinade you will need:

2 Chicken thighs, preferably pasture-raised, non-gmo fed, organic.

2 t Ginger Powder
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 T full-fat plain yogurt
1 t chili powder (less if you are partial to spicy)
1 t Garam masala (i think I used a little more of this because I love the flavor)
 1/2 T olive oil
sea salt to taste…about a 1/2 t

tikkaspices (2)
tikkamarinade (2)

Other ingredients:
Preferably Homemade tomato sauce (store-bought will work too) I had some leftover in my fridge and added about 1 1/2 T of Garam masala to it.
2 tomatoes
1 bunch of spinach
mozzarella ~ two or three cups, grated
Directions:
First make the pizza crust:
Place all ingredients in a large bowl or food processor and mix well.
Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it into a ball on a lightly floured surface.
Coat the bowl with olive oil; place dough back in bowl and turn it once to coat with oil.
Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let stand for 30 mins, or until the dough doubles in size.
Place it on a greased baking pan and spread it across pan with fingers.
While your dough is rising make your Tikka Masala chicken:
I used 2 thighs. Clean them and dry them.
Cover them with marinade and fry in butter on each side until done (about 10 mins each side. It varies)
Spread tomato sauce across pizza dough
add mozzarella
add tikka masala pieces
add pan drippings
add tomatoes
add spinach leaves
Bake in the oven for 8-12 mins at 500 degrees.
Enjoy!
‚̧ Olivia

Tikka Masala