Monthly Archives: December 2013

water kefir workshop

learn how to make your own water kefirWater kefir is a non-dairy probiotic beverage that provides you with many strains of beneficial bacteria and yeast. It’s fermented over the course of a few days, on the counter, and has the potential to taste like ginger ale when you’re done. Water kefir grains look like clear, misshapen gummy bears. They bounce when you drop them but are tasteless if you eat them. Which is totally ok to do, if you prefer to get your probiotics that way.

There are two phases of fermentation; one is with the water kefir grains (no gluten, just a matrix of bacteria and yeast) in the liquid and the other is without the grains, flavours added, in a jar that seals. Pictured on this page are a selection of phase two fermenting batches of kefir. When ready and chilled most people filter out the flavour bits. Some eat them along with their drink.

Water Kefir Workshop by Sarah’s Kitchen Gardens

water kefir workshop - by sarah's kitchen gardensIn the Water Kefir Workshop, you will learn hands-on how to prepare and care for the water kefir grains. There will be taste testing, so you can get an idea of what types of flavours you like. You’ll prepare your own batch, which you will take home at the end of the workshop.

The last Water Kefir Workshop was held December 14, 2013.

Thanks to all who attended, it was a great workshop. Participants went home with two jars of water kefir, one in each stage of the fermenting process, plus an informative handout and other small goodies.

If you are interested in attending a water kefir workshop, please let me know so I can keep you in the loop about the next one.

You can contact me via the contact form (LINK).

Thank You

I appreciate your interest in the Water Kefir Workshop.

~Sarah

Are you interested in learning more about water kefir and why it’s so wonderful?

Download ‘The Top 10 Reasons to Grow Water Kefir’ for free.

After you enter your email and click download, the file will be sent to you automatically. Check your email!

 

The Top 10 Reasons to Grow Water Kefir – Free Download

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pets and permaculture: composting poo

So my kid wanted a pet. This was discussed for quite awhile before we agreed that she was responsible enough to take care of a small animal herself. Because, if it’s your pet, you are cleaning up after it. That’s the way it goes around here.

The next task was to figure out what kind of small animal. Fur was high on the priority list (skinny pigs, anyone? UGH), as was a personable personality. We have friends with rats; they are personable enough (both the friends AND the rats) but I was looking for MORE. I didn’t want to have a pet that was JUST a pet.

I’ve been doing some more in-depth learning about permaculture for the past year or so, and one of the tenets concerns the functions of the items allowed in a system. If all the parts of our living arrangement – house, land, indoors and out – are all segments of a living system that we create to serve our needs, then it makes sense that we would consider the functions of every single thing that we allow into our system.

pets and permaculture - stacking functions‘Stacking’, in permaculture, is the idea of things having more than one function. It’s a tree that provides shade as well as fruit, or a bench that also has built-in storage space for the plethora of kids’ toys clogging up the system. The more functions the better, right? Especially when dealing with limited space, as we are, in the city. When it comes to pets, it only makes sense that they should also have more than one function. 

We considered the system. We are expanding our garden space (in the front yard!) but we have limited space for year-round composting. This is why we ended up getting a rabbit. He is fluffy and cuddly and mostly house trained, which suits my daughter’s preferences. His poops are mild enough to be used on the garden straight from the source, which suits MY preferences. I had fantastic peppers this year, grown in rabbit manure from a friend’s compost pile. I’m looking forward to next season, when I can use Bunny’s contribution in our front yard garden.

Would you like to use your pet’s waste in your garden? Dogs and cats can contribute their waste as well, but it needs to be composted first because it will burn plants when fresh. And could also spread disease.

Here are some links to other sites that show you how:

DIY Dog Waste Composter

How to Compost Your Cat’s Litter

Rabbit manure can be put in the garden right away, but my growing beds are not ready for that yet. For now, we’ve got some straw bales set up as a sort of square corral in the backyard, and that’s where the waste is dumped when the cage gets cleaned. In the spring, when we build up the beds, we will use the straw as well as the rabbit manure. The straw will be mostly used for mulch and pathways, and it will gradually work its way into the soil and add nutrition.

Spring seems like a long time away from now, but I’m sure it will be here before we know it!

~Sarah

 

flourless banana chocolate muffin recipe

flourless banana chocolate muffin recipeOh yes I did. Often when I throw ingredients together for baking, something isn’t quite right. This creation, however, was a beautiful moment in my kitchen this morning. AND I even held myself back from tweaking it when I thought it might be too runny. I resisted the urge, and I’m glad I did. Because these are wonderful and grain-free. And sugar-free; the sweetness comes from the bananas and almond flour.

Almond Flour Tips

Before I get too far, I should mention a few things about almond flour. I discovered a few years ago that I could make the ground almond meal from Bulk Barn work a lot better in recipes if I whizzed it in the food processor by itself before adding any other ingredients. This turns the coarse meal into something that more closely resembles flour, and gives cookies and muffins a MUCH better texture than the coarse stuff as-is.

Another trick I learned along the way about almond flour is that it doesn’t like liquids. Eggs are ok because they cook into something firm. Water, milk, orange juice… not ok. Almond flour does not absorb liquid. At all. So if you’re going to alter the recipe, keep that in mind.

Flourless Banana Chocolate Muffin Recipe

Oven: 375

1 c almond meal

-whiz in the food processor for finer texture, then add

1/4 c arrowroot powder

2 T cocoa powder, the high fat stuff. yum.

1 T coconut flour

1 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

-whiz again until mixed, then add

2 very ripe small bananas

1/3 c melted butter

2 eggs

-whiz until fully blended, then scoop into muffin tins.

flourless banana chocolate muffins - recipeIt’s best if you keep the muffins small, because flourless ingredients do best when there’s not a huge bulk that needs to be cooked through. The batter will seem runny but it bakes up nice. It should take about 20 minutes for the muffins to bake.

I’ve been thinking, if I add another egg, that these would make a nice pancake batter too. I have yet to try it though. If you do, let me know. 🙂

Enjoy!

~Sarah