Tuesday, 25 October 2016


What is Kombucha?
  1. a beverage produced by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria.
    "bottled kombucha is available in many natural food stores"

What is a Scoby?
"Scoby" is actually an acronym: Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. And that's exactly what it is! A scoby is the living home for the bacteria and yeast that transform sweet tea into tangy, fizzy kombucha — think of the scoby as the coral reef of the bacteria and yeast world.
Kombucha is a fermented beverage of black tea and sugar (from various sources including cane sugar, fruit or honey) that’s used as a functional food. It contains a colony of bacteria and yeast that are responsible for initiating the fermentation process once combined with sugar. After being fermented, kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, b-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic and lactic), which are tied with the following effects:
  • Improved Digestion
  • Weight Loss
  • Increased Energy
  • Cleansing and Detoxification
  • Immune Support
  • Reduced Joint Pain
  • Cancer Prevention

I was having serious stomach issues and my good friend actually told me about Dr. Axe and the healing foods plan.  It has been over a month since I have made the change in my diet and I can say it is for sure working.  She aslo gave me a scoby and gave me a step by step guide to make my own Kombucha at home and boy am I hooked!  The kids even love it and love creating new flavours of "Boocha", as Liam calls it.  The whole family is enjoying its "good side" affects!
How To:
Remove Scoby from fridge 24 hours before making Kombucha

You will need large glass jar

Wooden spoon

Organic tea

White sugar


In large glass jar, Steep 8 organic tea bags (I used green tea) with 1 cup of sugar and 13 cups of boiling  water

Steep until room temperature

Remove tea bags with wooden spoon
Add scoby and reserved liquid to the glass jar

 Cover with clean tea towel and elastic bands (so nothing can get in but the scoby can still breathe)

Keep in a dark warm place (I leave on my counter and let the tea towel  hang over to cover the whole jar) The warmer your environment the quicker  the Scoby  gobbles up the sugar!

They say 4-20 days for the first fermentation , 7 days has been the magic number for my house and then I taste it to see if I like the taste. (No metal utensils!)

At this point I Remove the Scoby, and reserve 1 cup of liquid and put that in a sealed glass jar and keep in the fridge until next batch.

(fresh ginger and lemon)

At this point I add my flavouring to the remaining kombucha, seal tightly and let it carbonate on the counter until it is the desired flavor and fizziness I like.

(Lemon and fresh raspberries)

I leave this for another 3-20 days.  Sometimes I remove the flavouring (ginger sometimes get  bitter) and reseal for more carbonation and let it sit out until I like.

When I’m ready to bottle it I strain the liquid and funnel  it into my glass bottles (from ikea, they seal awesome, only $3 a bottle!)

Then you can refrigerate and serve at this point. You will notice the longer it sits the less sweet it gets.

I’ve used:
lemon & fresh ginger
Fresh raspberries & lemon
Mint and grapefruit
Ginger, lime & mint
So many awesome combinations!   

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Pumpkin power bites and soup of the week

So I woke up with Pumpkin puree on the brain.  I can't really have something sitting in my fridge without a plan for it.  So the extra pumpkin for the pancakes we made on Saturday, I found this recipe from Pinterest.

I simply mixed all the ingredients as directed and then felt it needed a bit more bulk.

After all was said and done; I used 1/2 cup of homemade almond butter as the nut butter, 1/2 cup of chopped 90% dark chocolate as the chips, 1/4  cup of chopped almonds as the nuts,  and to the recipe I added 1/2 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut to bulk up the recipe.  I rolled these and put them in the fridge, after one bite I decided the texture was too soft and so I put them in the freezer.  Boy, was I right I will be keeping these in my freezer. I've already gone into the container 4 times since lunch; they are perfect with a cup of herbal chocolate chai tea.

Now for the soup of the week!  I decided to make a farmers sausage, spinach and chick pea soup.  My soups pretty much start the same way every time.  Onion and  celery sauteed with grapeseed oil and salt and pepper.
I decided to add diced carrot to this recipe, so my sous-chef helped me peel carrots from my friends garden. 

Then to the pot I added chopped farmer's sausage.
I added in a brick of thawed diced spinach leaves and stirred that all up. (This is a great time saver and money saver!)
Lastly I added in 2 litres of homemade chicken stock, a packet of onion soup mix, 2 cans of rinsed chickpeas and 8 cups of water.
I let this simmer for an hour or so and then served it up to my biggest critics.
They absolutely loved it.  I put the soup in jars while it was hot so they would seal.  I got 8 1-litre jars of soup and that was after we ate our fill!
Now for another pumpkin ball!

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Gluten Dairy Free Pumpkin Pancakes

Jeff and I arrived home last night after five days away.  As most parents can understand it takes a village to raise children.  We left our kids in very capable hands and off we went for five glorious days to picturesque Prince Edward Island.  One of our main reasons for going to PEI was to visit friends.  We share a milestone year with these friends; Jeff and I attended their wedding 10 years ago, a week before our own wedding.  Since 2006 we've seen each other for a few hours so we all felt it was time.  Long overdue but we all picked up right where we left off.
Our Thanksgiving dinner seemed like it should of been taken out of a Foodie magazine, and every bite was delicious.

 One thing Jeff and I love to do is eat, and vacationing pretty much revolves around our next meal.  The past month I have taken it upon myself to try and  heal my gut (to put it bluntly).  As wonderful as that sounds it has been quite the task, more for my will-power than anything else.  I needed to decide for myself that i couldn't live life anymore not "feeling well" and try to heal my body through food.  I heard it once said, "God won't usually do something for you that you can do yourself".   Yes it may seem harsh but yes I can decide what i eat, and what I put in my body.  Our world is full of amazing produce that we are meant to eat.  The more "whole foods" I eat the more my body craves, it's pretty exciting.
 So needless to say I was little bit skeptical about the timing of the trip and my 180 frame of mind but within 3 days of eating from the healing foods plan I started feeling so much better.  My friend told me about this healing food guide by Dr. Axe; his website is so helpful and has tons of recipes, ideas and helpful information.  This has really helped me figure out which foods trigger my symptoms.  I would encourage you if you are not feeling as good as you think you can,  do yourself a favour and try even a month of clean eating.  Its actually surprising how many things I can eat.  When you cut out the processed foods it allows for creativity to grow.

So this was day two....
 And that was our appetizer.
 Our final night we ate at 21 Breakwater, our friends restaurant and boy was it amazing.  I took a few detours from my plan for this meal but what I found was when it comes to eating it really matters what you do most of the time.  The next morning I was right back on my no dairy, no gluten and back to eating whole foods.
 Mussels.  Enough said.
 Their house burger, which was unlike any burger I've ever tasted; served with the most amazing fries and garlicky mayo.  I hardly had words....and they served it on a tasty gluten free bun.

 They sent us off with the most delicious herb-filled omelette I've every had, what a great send off.  Simple but thoughtfully delicious.

So needless to say the kids were a little happy to see us.  This morning was a great family time and it all started with a healthy breakfast even the kids loved.
We mixed all the wet ingredients together.

We used the gluten free flour we had on hand, next time I would like to try it with coconut flour.
The batter seemed quite thin so we added in a 1/4 cup of oats as well.
The kids waited patiently for their breakfast as they sat and coloured.

Ready to serve, they turned out great. We will definitely be using this recipe again.

I ate these pancakes with raspberries and maple syrup.  Yum!  Now I just need to find more recipes to use of the remaining pumpkin puree!  That's a good "problem" to have.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Autumn is here!

Fall is in the air and with that came a huge milestone. Aubrey started grade 1; our baby girl is growing up.

She did so well. We are proud of our girl.

Another highlight of our week was Jeff's birthday. The kids were so excited. Liam woke up singing happy birthday daddy.
One of our family favourites is the breakfast sandwich. Grilled ham, melted cheese, a runny egg and a perfectly toasted English muffin; yum! We also love the addition of thinly  sliced tomato and spinach leaves.
We celebrated Jeff's birthday at the breakfast hour; including "cupcakes" also known as banana muffins. This is what you do with shift work; improvise! 

Tonight started out a little quieter than usual; just me and Liam. I was cleaning up from our dinner and when I came around the corner I found him like this! He was flipping the pages and giggling to himself. What a sweet heart.
After dinner I whipped up my favourite fall treat; chocolate zucchini muffins.  I went on my own blog to get the recipe; I found that humorous!  I ended up having only 1 cup of shredded zucchini so I added a bit of shredded carrot too.
I baked these at 350F for 40 minutes. 

This is the best recipe I've ever found for chocolate zucchini muffins. I couldn't of even told you there was carrot either. I used one cup of zucchini and 1/2 cup of carrot.

Now to relax; what a week it has been. I am so grateful as I sit and reflect on all the amazing things; some would seem big and some may seem small but I choose to see the miracles in the middle of it all.