Daily Archives: September 28, 2016

Homemade Vanilla Extract

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Homemade vanilla extract woop woop!  I am super excited with this and cant wait to try it out.  It was so simple and easy to make even my husband managed it ha ha 🙂

Vanilla beans

Brandy or vodka

Click on the link above to purchase some vanilla beans, I found these were a pretty good price.  Whatever you do don’t buy them from the supermarket, they are usually super expensive.

So…easy peasy…slice the vanilla pods and chop into 1inch pieces, pop them all into a sterilised bottle and fill with your chosen alcohol.  Pop in the larder cupboard or dark place and leave for at least one month.  You can then drain the liquid into a suitable sterilised jar and you can also make a vanilla paste with the leftover beans.  I will post and tag the vanilla paste recipe onto here once my vanilla extract is ready.  I just want to add that this is a fraction of the cost of the extract you can purchase in the supermarket.  Save money and make your own.

Natural Coconut Water

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Natural coconut water is so simple and so refreshing.  Fill up a sports flask with coconut water and half water for pre or post workout drink, also a great drink for the summer garden.  Its Autumn here just now though and I’m drinking my coconuts indoors before I move onto hot cacao drinks mmmm…

Coconut water is a great natural electrolyte, and it contains high amounts of potassium. It is also lower in carbohydrates — It only contains about 4.5% carbohydrates, whereas typical sports drinks can contain a 6%-8% carbohydrate concentration. (Dr. Axe)

My son drank two of these after school the other day, they are expensive fresh and I cant keep up with that demand ha ha!  You can buy a good high quality coconut water from the supermarket but most of them are heat processed and I try to avoid pasturised drinks where possible, simply because pasturisation in most cases = high heat which in turn destroys some of the nutrition (not all of the nutrition though), they are still beneficial to your health in some aspects though. Coconuts are not always easy to obtain fresh though and if I cant get them fresh the pasturised stuff is second best.

Also a great addition to smoothies and deserts, some raw desserts use coconut water in the blending processes.

Here are some additional facts in the links below.

https://www.davidwolfe.com/how-coconut-water-can-help-your-body/

If you are looking to purchase coconuts in bulk, which is possible via mail, then you can purchase them in a 6 or 12 pack by clicking on the image below.  If your not using many though I would purchase a 6, I have purchased a 36!! before and they all went off before i got through half of them.

Click on the image to order coconuts

 

Blackberry (bramble) picking

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We were talking the other day on our way to a birthday party about how awesome it would be to pick some fresh and wild blackberries (brambles).  When we arrived and to our surprise out of the kitchen window there was a huge blackberry bush. I grabbed a bowl and went out to inspect.  There were loads of ripe and ready to pick brambles.  All the scratches and scrapes were worth it as we gather a massive bowl up.  When we got back I made a blackberry and apple gin which will be ready in time for Christmas and a blackberry jam for my kids.  I’m not particularly keen on high sugar content jams but I needed to preserve them quickly as they were starting to spoil only after day two after picking.  So a high heat recipe was required.

If I were to come across such treasures again I would blend them up immediately into a smoothie when I got back to my kitchen as the nutritional content of blackberries is really high and they contain all sorts of goodies like vitamins A, C, and K, magnesium, potassium, and fiber.

“Vitamin A helps maintain eye health while vitamin C promotes wound healing, keeps gums healthy and helps the body absorb iron. Vitamin K, along with magnesium, are important in promoting bone health. Potassium plays a role in health blood pressure levels. And fiber helps control cholesterol and keeps you regular.” http://www.livestrong.com/article/110325-blackberries-nutrition

If you fancy trying your hand at foraging then check out the book below with a variety of things you can find for free in the wild.  Its so satisfying to go out and find something so satisfying in the wild.

Click on the book above for some more foraging adventures.

Lemon Vit C Boost

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“The juice of a fresh-squeezed lemon in water has many medicinal values, as well as its benefits for cleansing the body, stimulating the liver, and improving digestion and elimination” http://www.waterbenefitshealth.com

Drinking lemon water is a great way to start the day!  Its a great source of Vitamin C for your body and lemons are also known for their detoxing and alkalising health benefits.  Below are some links to some articles I found online about the benefits of lemon water.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/111175-benefits-lemon-water/

http://www.waterbenefitshealth.com/benefits-of-drinking-lemon-water.html

I personally try to drink this 3-5 times a week, but I have a very busy kitchen in the morning with kids running around looking for food and we have smoothies and juices being made left, right and centre so I drink it when I can.  It really doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare and you can have it with hot water or with cold.  If its the colder months I prefer to have warm water.  After a glass of water or the lemon water above a smoothie is the next important breakfast step for us.  The kids usually have a  glass of water, or lemon water, a smoothie and some homemade bread or muffins.  Then additional fruit if we can squeeze it in.  We’re not perfect by any means but we try to get those super foods into them as much as possible.

Click on the link below for the smoothie glasses that I use for my vitamin waters, smoothies and frozen puddings.  They are fab and can also be recycled once the use is finished which is important for me.  The kids love the ones with the straws.
Click on the image above for mason jars
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