Red Cabbage and Beet Sauerkraut

I’ve always been a lover of sauerkraut. I loved it as a kid and still love it as an adult. I don’t remember when I started making my own but if I asked my wallet I’m sure it would remember 😉 If you are someone who buys or has ever bought raw sauerkraut, you know what I’m talking about. It’s amazing how much money one can charge for a head of fermented cabbage. I spent that money for some time because it was well worth it for me. And while I will still purchase it on rare occasions if the craving hits and I didn’t anticipate that 2 weeks prior, then I splurge. Sauerkraut, which is a fermented food, is a very high source of probiotic, which is essential for good gut health. Having a healthy gut is pretty much one of the best things you can do for you overall health. Have you ever heard that we have two brains? Our actual brain, and then our gut, or “second brain”? Well it’s true. Our gut holds so much information that it is imperative we take care of it. Eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, amongst many other things, is a great way to introduce probiotics to our systems. While I make the plain and simple version more frequently, I like to play with the flavors every now and then. My latest kraut creation is a beautiful combination of red cabbage, beets, and red onions. Not only are we getting the benefits of fermentation here, but we are adding all the health benefits of raw beets (great for blood health and liver cleanser) and onions (awesome immunity booster). This batch came out surprisingly mild in flavor while still containing that delicious fermented taste that I look for. If I would have let my sauerkraut sit for a few more days, I probably would have gotten a stronger flavor, which would have been awesome as well. I’ve been introducing sauerkraut to my kids since they were babies, and they all like it. They are not always in the mood to eat it but I keep on presenting it to them, and some days they eat happily. I think it’s important we give our kids plenty of chances to eat “funky” foods without pressure in order to teach them about variety and so they can be familiar with all kinds of flavors of health boosting ingredients. Go slice yourself a cabbage and enjoy one of the cheapest ways to eat your way to a healthy gut.

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One of my favorite lunches recently has been this sauerkraut combined with some avocado, yellow yams, and whatever fresh greens I have growing in my garden. I actually crave eating that most days!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of purple cabbage
  • 2 small beets
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 TBS salt or to taste
  • 1 cup filtered water

Steps:

  • run vegetables in a food processor with the shredding attachement
  • put in a large bowl and add water and salt and massage really well to get the salt in there, it will get the vegetables to start releasing their juices faster so the fermentation process can start
  • either use this method here, or put your mixture in a large mason jar with screened lid covered with a piece of fabric (to keep bugs out) and press it down every few days to make sure the cabbage remains submerged in water. This is imperative or it will go bad!
  • let it sit on your counter or any place out of the way, for at least 2 weeks, taste it and let it sit longer if you want a stronger flavor.
  • when you are satisfied with the flavor, put it in sealed jars and keep it in the fridge for weeks!
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Luscious Crimson Smoothie

Luscious is right. Luscious. Vibrant. Slightly tart, definitely sweet. Slightly bitter, definitely awesome. Thick, creamy and dreamy.

I made a huge batch of this with the intention of sharing it with my family. I didn’t. I often go to bed with a thought for what the first thing I want to put in my body is. I am usually intentional with my first meal. And this time, I knew I wanted it to be red. Bursting red. With lots of anti oxidants and immunity boosting qualities. I wanted it to feel refreshing while still warming my body. I wanted it to be bursting with flavor and dense in vitamins. I wanted something that would make me feel alive and excited to be awake. This smoothie did all those things and then some. I’m making this again tomorrow.

Just in case you needed more convincing here are a few nutritional benefits of some of the ingredients in this smoothie:

beets: high in iron and B vitamins (great for blood and new growth cells), as well as potassium and magnesium. They also contain tryptophan (creates a sense a well-being).

grapefruits:  high in vitamin A (good for mucus membranes and skin) and vitamin C (an antioxidant that helps the body develop resistance against infections). Vitamin C also helps in the absorption of dietary iron (so a great pairing with the beets!)

maca: high in vitamins B, C, and E (healthy immune system, skin and eyes), as well as iron, calcium and magnesium. Maca is also known to increase energy and improve one’s mood. There are many other benefits to maca that I won’t post here. If you’ve never tried maca, I suggest you do 🙂

jicama: high in fiber it is also rich in vitamin C and provides healthy amounts of minerals such as magnesium, copper and iron. Another great addition for this smoothie 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large beet or 2 small ones
  • 2 large pink grapefruits
  • 1 large chunk of ginger (about 2 inch cube)
  • 1 cup chopped jicama, or 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 TBS maca (optional but highly recommended as it gave me super powers)

Steps:

  • juice first 4 ingredients
  • add juice to blender with all other ingredients and blend on high until nice and smooth
  • pour in your favorite large container and feel alive!
  • this made enough for two large servings. I sprinkled some cinnamon on top because cinnamon makes me happy.

Bitter Sweet Belly Love

This  juice is just that: bitter, sweet, tangy and definitely full of love for my body. I have been loving playing with all the deep crimson colors and coming up with different tasty combinations.

The combination of the pomegranate (super high in antioxidants), grapefruit (high in vitamin C), beets (great blood purifier) and ginger (immunity boosting) makes for another winner of health for this winter season, when people seem to get more sick than other seasons.

Starting my day with another belly full of love.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large pomegranate, seeds only
  • 1 large beet
  • 1 large pink grapefruit
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 1 packed cup of greens (I used fenugreek)
  • 1 large chunk of ginger (2 inches)

Steps:

  • wash everything
  • juice in juicer
  • serve and drink up!

This made enough for 1 adult and 2 kids.

Blackberry Beet Smoothie

I love smoothies. For so many reasons but mainly because I find it to be the best way to get the kind of nutrition I want for my kids without them fussing about it. Thankfully I was blessed with some good eaters who will eat pretty much everything I put in front of them, but not always, and not always in quantities I find beneficial for their growing bodies. About 5 out of 7 days we will start our day with a green smoothie and my kids have become very accustomed to the fact that this is how things are done here. Getting them to drink their smoothie is rarely a battle. This is why I encourage parents to start feeding their children as wholesomely as possible as early as possible. Kids will fall into your routine pretty easily if you adopt a “that’s just the way we do things” attitude early on. Here I was playing with all the purple goodness we had in our fridge.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 small/medium beet (if it still has the leaves, wash and use them in the smoothie instead of the chard)
  • 3 large chard leaves with stems or about 1 1/2 C chopped
  • 1C purslane
  • 1C blackberries
  • 3 medjool dates-pitted  (or more to taste)
  • 2 TBS chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 C water
  • 1C ice

Put everything in a blender and blend on high until desired consistency.

Note: Most of my recipes are designed to feed a minimum of 2 adults and 2 small children. Adjust the measurements according to our own family’s needs.