strawmintpop1

What could possibly be better than a refreshingly sweet and cool popsicle on a scorching summer night?

*A refreshingly sweet and cool popsicle filled with beneficial probiotics and protein rich gelatin!

Ahhh summer…

If Montana didn’t have these GLORIOUS perfect summers, there is no way in hell I would live here.

Our summer days are filled with watering tomatoes, trampoline madness, hiking in our beautiful mountains, and playing music. We have a few summer traditions we have each year,  including a trip to Rocky Creek Farms to pick bozeman’s best strawberries, which will be ready for picking in just a few weeks.  In the beginning in June, my fellow Weston A. Price Co-Chapter Leader, Kaelin Kiesel Germann and I taught a Probiotic Beverages Class, this was one of the recipes that I developed for the class with our annual trip to Rocky Creek Farms in mind.

strawmintpop4In our house it seems like this is one of the most popular things I have made, they FLY out of the freezer, but I don’t mind keeping them stocked because they only take about 10 mins to make, and I know my family is getting a big dose of probiotics and protein rich collagen hydrolysate in each bite!

icepopgirl1Here’s what I do.

Hull my strawberries and add them to the blender. Along with the mint, honey, water kefir or kombucha.

Blend.

Add Great Lakes Gelatin, Collagen Hydrolysate, and homemade beet kvass (optional)…

Blend on medium speed again for 30 seconds.

Pour the liquid into my favorite popsicle maker that I purchased on Amazon.

Progressive International PLP-1 Freezer Pop Maker

Freeze them for at least 4 hours.

strawmintpop5

I know what your next question is…What in the heck is Collagen Hydrolysate???

 

Here’s the description directly off of Great Lakes’ Site

Hydrolyzed Collagen is unique in its amino acid structure because of its high amounts of glycine, lysine and proline, which are found in lower amounts in other protein food supplements. These particular amino acids are found to generate cell growth much quicker because the natural ability to produce supporting amounts of connective tissue diminishes after the age of 25. Hydrolyzed Collagen is more easily digested because of its low molecular weight and is absorbed within 30 minutes. All of the amino acids collectively are beneficial to cell reproduction, but it is the distinctive spectrum of this product that impacts the metabolic pathways to healthy tissue.

Hydrolyzed Collagen is beneficial in replacing the synovial fluids between the joints and secondly, to repair and build cartilage weakened by overuse through impact and stress. Our bodies are made up of 30% collagen of which 70% of these proteins are connective tissue made of collagen.

Hydrolyzed Collagen is the missing link in supplying amino acids like glycine, proline and lysine that are required by the body to build connective tissue to regulate cell growth. It will benefit hair, skin tissue, muscle, cartilage, ligaments and blood cell growth. Some doctors are referring to this product as the new anti-aging product of the century.

What are the benefits of Collagen Hydrolysate?

Hydrolyzed collagen gelatin will provide the missing nutritional links for most dietary supplements. A nitrogen balance is maintained for the support of age related collagen loss and cartilage damage. It is an excellent product for those with a sedentary lifestyle who may suffer from repetitive joint pain or discomfort.

Proteins are a primary element of life’s sustenance. The body contains millions of amino acids and peptides which are smaller than proteins. These are essential to the body which regulate functions of the cells. Glycine content of collagen assists the liver in handling foreign substances for individuals exposed by habit or occupation to toxic substances like chemicals, pollutants, alcohol or tobacco. Feeling of alertness, improved concentration, balanced mood, improved energy and increased sense of well-being have been reported by many users.

Hydrolyzed Collagen differs from gelatin as it will dissolve in cold, warm, or hot liquids and will not congeal when chilled. This feature allows taking a high protein product in a convenient way that suits your needs.

Read more about, Collagen Hydrolysate from The Healthy Home Economist here

Probiotic Strawberry Mint Water Kefir Popsicles
 
Author:

Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time:
Total time:

 
This cooling probiotic-rich summer treat is super easy to make. Try kombucha or milk kefir in place of water kefir for a different but equally delicious flavor. Add a TBS or two of our citrus beet kvass, and cold soluble gelatin for an outstandingly nutritious and healing treat.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups fresh, strawberries
  • 3 small sprigs fresh mint
  • 12 oz fresh water kefir
  • 2 TBS beet kvass(optional)
  • 1-2 tbs raw honey or stevia to taste (optional)
  • 3 TBS Great Lakes]collagen hydrolysate (optional)

Instructions
  1. Wash, hull and place the strawberries into the blender.
  2. Remove mint leaves from stem; and place in the blender with the strawberries. Puree until smooth.
  3. Add water kefir, honey, kvass if using, and gelatin to the strawberry/mint puree in the blender and pulse or blend on low to mix.
  4. Pour the water kefir mixture into popsicle molds, making sure to leave space for expansion, and freeze 4 hours or overnight before serving.

 

eat. love. nourish.

curry-kraut2The buzz in the health world lately has been all about improving gut flora for health. What exactly does this mean?

Gut Flora, is  the complex ecosystem that exists in the gut. The gut flora preforms a great deal of VERY important functions to the body. Gut flora consists of many different organisms, but one one of the most integral parts of this system is the beneficial bacteria that live there.  One big problem that we have seen with our modern way of living, is that we are constantly destroying/damaging our gut flora and bacteria.

But how are we damaging our gut flora?

  • Eating conventional meats pumped with antibiotics.
  • Overuse of Antibiotics.
  • Antibacterial hand-soaps, mouth-wash, body wash, and cleaning products.
  • Stress/Environmental Stress
  • Prescription Drugs

This is naming only a few of the ways we are killing one of the most efficient immune boosters that our body has working for us.

How do we build a healthy gut flora?

  • Avoiding anything stated above (that can damage/destroy gut flora)
  • Playing in the dirt/gardening
  • Eating local/seasonal foods that have not been irradiated and grown in depleted soils
  • Eating fermented foods like raw unpasteurized sauerkraut, raw kombucha, water kefir, milk kefir, and SO many other traditional foods.

One of the keys to long term health is diversifying the beneficial bacteria in your gut, Most of the probiotic pills found at the store usually contain only one or two strains of bacteria that are thought to be beneficial. On the other hand, raw sauerkraut can contain a mixture of over 15 different species of gut-friendly bacteria.

If you have a compromised gut flora, and are only adding one/two strains of bacteria back in, there most likely won’t be the diversity you need. But there is a simple/economical answer. Make your own kraut! I don’t recommend buying it at the store, unless you buy from a local, reliable source, who assures you that their product was not heated in any way.  Each batch of homemade sauerkraut you eat may contain different proportions of different strains of probiotics, and will help to diversify the army living in your intestines.

So enough said, here’s a recipe for my favorite Curry Apple Kraut!

If you are in Montana, think seriously about coming a fermentation class! Learn more here

Oh, and you get extra credit if you incorporate a few other of the beneficial fermented foods into your diet.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Orange Vanilla Bean Water Kefir Soda

Simple Homemade Crème Fraîche

Curry Apple Kraut
 
Author:

Serves: 3 quarts

 
Ingredients
  • 2 large heads of green cabbage, shredded finely
  • 1 granny smith apple, cut in a ¼ inch dice
  • 1 medium sized onion, diced finely
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 TBS your favorite organic curry powder(no sugar added)
  • 2 TBS unrefined sea salt

Instructions
  1. Mix everything together (make sure the curry is well dispersed through the cabbage) in a large bowl and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, or until the salt starts to pull the moisture from the cabbage.
  2. Pound the mixture with a wooden pounder (or anything you can find that will work, you could use clean hands as well) I use either a rolling pin without handles, or the tamper for my vitamix for at least 10 minutes to release more moisture.
  3. Transfer mixture to large mouth quart size mason jars and press until the brine rises over the cabbage.
  4. Make sure the mixture is under the brine, or in an oxygen free environment(and its even better if you accomplish both of these things by weighing the cabbage under the brine and fastening your jar with an airlock system).
  5. Store in a dark cupboard at room temperature for 7-10 days,
  6. Transfer to a fridge or cold storage.
  7. Enjoy 2 tablespoons of kraut per day to keep your gut flora populated!!

 

eat. love. nourish.

giardinera-2I have been thinking a lot about legacy lately.

Let’s take a look at the definition of the word.

Legacy

  • n.noun
    1. Money or property bequeathed to another by will.
    2. Something handed down from an ancestor or a predecessor or from the past.

     

We,  as a society, have been moving further and further away from our traditions,  because we hang on to belief systems that we have built up over time, these belief systems dictate that “cooking isn’t cool.”

Around the time that the first processed foods started popping up in stores, and the TV dinner started to make it’s way onto the American’s dinner table, we started moving away from our traditions in food preparation. The next generation scoffed at being barefoot in the kitchen, and cooking was thought as a form of drudgery.

Thankfully, things are starting to change. Many of you, I assume…since you are reading this blog, are starting to take back your food, and are learning or getting inspired to make a change in our world.

Though cooking isn’t for everyone, I believe that there are many people who just haven’t experienced the complete joy and blissfulness that cooking can inspire. I NEVER thought I liked cooking, until I tried it. Now I can’t sleep one night without dreaming of a new recipe or flavor combination. I believe many people get over-whelmed by just not learning the groundwork for simple cooking. They simply haven’t been taught the simple basic methods that have been passed down for generations.

I am so passionate about teaching the gift of food, that I have partnered up with my good friend and Weston A. Price co-chapter leader, Kaelin Kiesel-Germann to bring Bozeman and surrounding areas, traditional foods cooking classes, including fermentation…my favorite subject.

Let’s learn to love food, and pass this incredible legacy to our children!

 

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. 

~Henry Brooks Adams

 

Weston A. Price’s dying words:

“You teach, you teach, you teach!”

 

If you are in Montana, we would love you to join us in these entertaining and informative cooking classes.

Let’s get inspired together, and change the food system, one person at a time!

Here is our schedule for the summer.

We are also available for private lessons in your own home. Perfect for birthday parties, get-together or host a Garden Harvest Party. We bring everything but the veggies, and will show you how to preserve your harvest to enjoy for months to come!

Contact us through our contact page if you are interested!

Jody Engstrom & Kaelin Kiesel-Germann

 

eat. love. nourish.

 

 

 

creamy ginger dressingI am famous for letting my kombucha go too long…

I keep it in a cupboard away from my water kefir (which sits out on the counter 24/7)

…and there’s that moment, when the world stops…and you realize its been three weeks since you checked it….you start swearing like a sailor, and your inner judge says, “HOW COULD YOU LET IT TURN TO VINEGAR AGAIN?!?”

Yet “Kombucha Vinegar” can be used in tons of different ways, including for house cleaning, facial toner, and apparently as a stand in for apple cider vinegar in bone broth!

Read more Here!

Today, I am going to share one of my favorite ways to take advantage of my neglected “buch”.

This Asian inspired dressing will knock your bone-broth drinking socks off.  It’s super creamy, slightly sweet, with bite from the ginger and garlic. I love to dump some chopped purple kale and shredded purple cabbage, in a bowl along with some shredded carrots, spring radishes, and pickled red onions. I toss it with this Creamy Ginger Dressing with Kombucha Vinegar  and top the whole thing off with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds.

Voila! The perfect Asian Slaw!

Another one of my favorite things to do, is to coat a bunch of coarsely chopped kale in this dressing and dehydrate them for a few hours to make a crunchy satisfying kale chip.

Let us know how you used this dressing…and next time you accidentally make kombucha vinegar, slap that inner judge across the face and REJOICE!

Creamy Cashew Ginger Kombucha Vinegar Dressing
 
Author:

Serves: 12
Prep time:
Total time:

 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup raw cashews (soaked for 3 hours)
  • 2 cups over-ripe kombucha (vinegar)
  • 1 thumb sized piece ginger, peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 TBS coconut aminos
  • salt to taste

Instructions
  1. Put everything but the salt in the blender.
  2. Blend until creamy.
  3. Add salt to taste.

 

eat. love. nourish.

snickerdoodle blondies2

While I don’t actually believe anyone could possibly not like chocolate…

… those slightly deranged people out there who think they don’t, would probably appreciate me posting a dessert recipe that doesn’t contain chocolate every once in a while.

(*Scoffs*) People….

snickerdoodle blondies1

In all seriousness, these are pretty amazing, and would be especially delicious after a long chilly walk in the spring snow. These aren’t super dense, and remind me of something in-between cake and a blondie.

Enjoy with that one last cup of steaming hot cinnamon ginger tea of the season, before summer (hopefully) peeks its head out from behind the seemingly neverending clouds.

Snickerdoodle Blondies (Grain-Free, Dairy-Free)
 
Author:

Serves: 12
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups blanched almond flour
  • 2 TBS tapioca flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp unrefined sea salt
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup Maple Syrup, Grade B, Pure
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBS sucanat or coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon (I use Saigon Cassia, which is not True Cinnamon, but is AMAZING!!!

Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. F
  2. Mix the dry ingredients well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet until well combined.
  5. Pour into a 9×9 greased baking pan, and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 mins.

 

eat. love. nourish.

chicken sage bites2 Hors d’oeuvres….

one of my absolute favorite things in life…

I love creating small bites with big flavor, combining at least 3 or four tastes in one little morsel to heighten the flavor.

I often serve meals to our family that comprise of 4-5 different appetizers, or will set out a huge tray of homemade crackers, or sourdough bread, cured salami, lox, raw cheeses, lacto-fermented vegetables, fresh fruit, and dates. This makes dinner time easy, since I almost always have these things on hand. There is nothing more cozy than cuddling up to your family with a big tray of finger foods, and a glass of wine or steaming hot tea.

chicken sage bites3 I was inspired to make these a few nights ago, when I was trying to pull dinner together with not much in the fridge. What I did have was pastured bacon, chicken thighs and fresh garden pesto from the freezer and a few sprigs of fresh sage.

I wrapped the sage and chicken in the bacon (because what isn’t better wrapped in bacon?!?) Next I grilled them and served them dipped in fresh garden pesto atop a bed of dressed local spinach.

Perfect.

See, it pays to slack on grocery shopping once in a while…

Chicken Sage & Bacon Bites
 
Author:

Serves: 2-4
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

 
Ingredients
  • 2 pasture raised boneless chicken thighs cut in quarters
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 4 slices of pasture raised, chemical-free bacon cut in half
  • 1 cup of pesto, preferably homemade

Instructions
  1. Place a sage leaf on a chicken strip and wrap with bacon.
  2. Repeat with all of the chicken pieces.
  3. Grill until the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Serve with a green salad and pesto on the side.

 

eat. love. nourish.

fish broth

Fish broth will cure anything.” South American Proverb

One of my favorite healing foods is fish broth. You see the benefits of beef bone broth everywhere, but what about fish broth?

The popularity problem might be because it makes our weak American stomachs turn at the thought of throwing a fish head (or 2) into your broth pot. I admit, the first time I cooked my own fish broth, I was skeptical if I could stomach the stuff.

But after straining everything off, It had the most beautiful slightly golden hue, and tasted heavenly…not fishy at all!

Most cultures wouldn’t think of making fish broth without fish heads, they would probably think of it as dishwater, not broth, and tucked inside those creepy skulls are super healthy things like cartilage, fat, and connective tissue!!! So try to get over the creepiness of those heads bobbling in your stew, and the meat that comes off of those things are a delicacy. So eat it!

I love to add fish stock to any seafood dish that needs extra liquids. Pesto and Wine Braised Mussels, Curried Coconut Shrimp Bisque,  Thai Green Curry with White Fish and Cauliflower “Rice” ,  and homemade Thai-Inspired Fish Soups.

From Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions.

  • Fish stock, made from the carcasses and heads of fish, is especially rich in minerals including all-important iodine. Even more important, stock made from the heads,  and therefore the thyroid glands of the fish, supplies thyroid hormone and other substances that nourish the thyroid gland….
  • According to some researchers, at least 40% of all Americans suffer from a deficiency of the thyroid gland with its accompanying symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, frequent colds and flu, inability to concentrate, depression and a host of more serious complications like heart disease and cancer. We would do well to imitate Mediterranean and Asian regions by including fish broth in the diet as often as possible.
Nourishing Fish Broth
 
Author:

Recipe type: Broth
Serves: 10
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs fish bones, or shells
  • 2 fish heads, trimmed of the scales which make the stock bitter
  • 1 thumb sized knob fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • water to cover everything by 3 inches

Instructions
  1. Bring water to a boil on high heat, then turn heat to medium low.
  2. Simmer for a minimum of four hours, but as much as eight hours if you have time.
  3. * Quick fish stock- If you have a pressure cooker, put everything in the pot and and pressure cook according to manufacturers instructions for 1 hour.

 

eat. love. nourish.

 

curry-shrimp-bisque1This has to be one of my favorite meals of all time.

As I was making it a few nights ago, it hit me that I haven’t shared it with you yet!!

This one has been in my arsenal for YEARS, and we often have it on winter evenings when we want something light and warming.

Once I decided to start making my homemade fish broth with fish bones and heads, I realized it added a whole new depth of flavor homemade chicken bone broth just couldn’t give it.

And it’s not just about flavor.

Fish broth will cure anything.” South American Proverb

Do try and make some fish broth just almost as often as you do with beef and chicken broths. It freezes wonderfully.  I make my fish broth about once a month and thaw it to add to fish soups, and curries.

From Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions.

  • Fish stock, made from the carcasses and heads of fish, is especially rich in minerals including all-important iodine. Even more important, stock made from the heads,  and therefore the thyroid glands of the fish, supplies thyroid hormone and other substances that nourish the thyroid gland….
  • According to some researchers, at least 40% of all Americans suffer from a deficiency of the thyroid gland with its accompanying symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, frequent colds and flu, inability to concentrate, depression and a host of more serious complications like heart disease and cancer. We would do well to imitate Mediterranean and Asian regions by including fish broth in the diet as often as possible.

curry-shrimp-bisque2

Stay tuned for next week, when I share my recipe for home-made fish broth!

Curried Shrimp Bisque
 
Author:

Serves: 4
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

 
Ingredients
  • 2 TBS good quality coconut oil or grass-fed pastured butter
  • ½ cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 whole kefir lime leaf (optional, if you can find it)
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped finely
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2½ cups fish or chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 2 TBS good quality sugar-free curry powder
  • 1 (14oz) can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 TBS arrowroot, dissolved in ¼ cup cold broth, coconut milk or water
  • ½ lb shelled wild-caught raw shrimp
  • juice of one lime
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garnish:
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro chopped
  • sesame oil

Instructions
  1. Heat the coconut oil on medium-high in a large sauce pan.
  2. Add the onions and lime leaf.
  3. Cook until onions are translucent.
  4. Add the celery, carrot and garlic, cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the broth and curry powder, simmer the until the carrots are tender.
  6. Add the coconut milk and arrowroot/water mixture. Stir and allow to thicken.
  7. Add the shrimp and simmer until shrimp are fully cooked, about 3 minutes.
  8. Add lime juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Top with chopped green onions, cilantro and a tiny drizzle of sesame oil.

 

eat. love. nourish.

pressure cooker1I did it.

…after many failed attempts at a gelatinous bone broth, and days upon days of my house smelling of crockpot bone broth, I did it.

I purchased a pressure cooker.


Now I wonder what I ever did without it.  I purchased it for making bone broth, but have found that it makes just about everything taste better, and in half the time! I am spending less time babysitting the oven/stove and more time eating wonderfully tender stews and super gelatinous broth.

  • The second thing I made was a super gelatinous bone broth with beef bones from my friends Meat Montana Co. It was so flavorful, and contained more gelatin than I have ever seen in a broth.
  • The third experiment was 2 in 1, Mediterranean Lemon Chicken with Olives, which took 30 minutes in the pressure cooker, I was amazed at the flavor, and even the white meat was superbly tender and moist. After dinner, I took the remaining meat off the bones, added some water, kombucha vinegar, and a turkey foot to the leftover broth and chicken bones, and pressure cooked the broth for an hour. Again…perfect broth.

pressure cooker2

I would have never guessed how this kitchen tool would have changed my life before I actually got one.  It tends to cut down on cooking time to less than half of the typical time, so really, this is the ultimate tool for the modern-day traditional food kitchen. I mean who doesn’t want to produce delicious nourishing meals in half the time? And bone broth in 1 hour compared to AT LEAST 24 on the stove top?!?

pressure cooker3

I would have loved to purchase the Kuhn Rikon 12-Quart Duromatic Stockpot Pressure Cooker, because of the capacity, but it was a bit out of our price range.

It ends up the Fagor Futuro 10 Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner was enough for us, and Bridger Kitchens (my local kitchen supply) actually had it in stock!  It ended up saving us $200 in the end, though one day I might be able to invest in the Kuhn Rikon (Rolls-Royce of pressure cookers, made in Switzerland).

So if you are in the market for a new AMAZING tool for your real food kitchen…you know which one I am recommending.
eat. love. nourish.

banana-chai-pancakes3 Sometimes you just need a pancake.

With Grade B PURE Maple Syrup.

and, a MOUNTAIN of pastured grass-fed butter…raw if you can get it…or make it yourself!

It’s good for you!

Don’t Believe me about the butter? Read THIS (If you aren’t doing dairy, top it with a dollop of coconut butter or coconut cream…)

Every time I would sleep over at grandma’s house, we would wake to a heap of hot cakes drenched in real maple syrup and butter.

No wonder it is comforting to me now.

I will tell you what isn’t comforting though…A stack of gluten-filled, GMO, pesticide treated, hybrid modern wheat that turns your digestion/total body function up-side down..

So I made my own version…using only 4 ingredients!

  • Eggs
  • Banana,
  • Tapioca Starch
  • Finely Ground Chai Spice

banana-chai-pancakes1

Serve piping hot, with a drizzle of pure maple syrup and slathered with a ridiculous amount of Grass-fed Pastured Butter.

Chai-Spiced Banana Pancakes (Grain-Free)
 
Author:

Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 2
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

 
Ingredients
  • 4 Medium Bananas
  • 1 TBS tapioca starch or coconut flour
  • 2 Large Pastured Eggs
  • 2 tsp finely ground chai spice

Instructions
  1. Mash the Bananas with the tapioca starch.
  2. Add the eggs and chai spice and whisk until incorporated.
  3. Heat 1 TBS butter or coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  4. Pour a few ¼ cup dollops in the pan and fry until they start to bubble on the sides.
  5. Turn, VERY CAREFULLY these are delicate. Cook for 1 minute more.
  6. Repeat with the rest of the batter!

 

eat. love. nourish.