Beet Kvass (part 1)

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I took the summer off from “fermenting” and am excited to kick off this season with beet kvass. What is beet kvass? Is it as gross as it sounds? Well, considering I HATE beets, take heart. It’s not as gross as it sounds.

Now, like kombucha, or alkaline water, or bone broth, you can find and read some crazy stories regarding healing and regained health. However none of them are ever going to be approved by the FDA or confirmed by your family doctor. That’s cool. This is totally up to you and your body. Your body will tell you if something is “working” or not and it has been used for centuries given its medicinal purposes. The plus side is that kvass is simply beets, salt, and water. So even if you don’t experience a crazy healing story, at least you got some solid nutrients. In fact, there are a few “at leasts” to consider,

It’s nothing new. Fermentation is a natural cycle of nature that we have simply moved away from with all our “modern progress” . . . however, fermented food (and drink) offer huge health benefits when taken advantage of. Nature knows what she’s doing, we just need to listen.

It’s full of bacteria. The good kind! Our guts need all the help they can get. Chances are you could use some healthy bacteria. Between Z-Pak’s, stress, sugar, our obsession with antibacterial hand gel (this one drives me crazy), and our “never-come-into-contact-with-dirt” mentality, our bodies are starving for some good bacteria. Quite literally.

It’s affordable. Probiotics are not cheap my friends but fermentation is a cheaper and sometimes better alternative. It’s not only a way to add variety into your diet, it’s a way to add in probiotics while saving your wallet. Making a gallon of beet kvass cost me around $3.00, that’s a pretty sweet deal.

It’s local. You can’t get much closer than your own kitchen. When we ferment things like kombucha, kraut, veggies, and kefir, the bacteria is local to your surroundings. It’s tailor made to your specific bacterial needs.

It does stuff. Like I said, there are all sorts of claims out there regarding it’s magic like properties (beets are good for you, fermentation is good for you, so good stuff is bound to happen). Age spots disappearing as a result of a cleansed liver. Bowel regularity increased as a result of improved digestion. A remedy for kidney stones, heart burn, and morning sickness. Now, none of these things are guaranteed. The human body and the bacteria we ingest are alive, they are going to do their own thing in their own time. But I think it’s worth the $3 to at least try.

I will be sharing the results and “recipe” soon!

Real Life Meets Whole Foods

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Wouldn’t it be rad if this was real life dinner? We can at least embrace the vibe.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I am going to be posting our weekly menu on a weekly basis. I hope that this #1 Inspires you in the kitchen. #2 Encourages you in knowing that sometimes “stuff” hits the fan and we often result to frozen beef patties and gluten free pasta. #3 Helps you in your own pursuit of eating whole foods in a practical, tangible, and affordable way.

I will kick of this new series by saying . . . if you’re going to make your health a priority you need to come to terms with spending time in the kitchen. There are shortcuts and tricks BUT whether you are cooking everyday or cooking once a week and freezing your meals ahead of time, you’re going to be spending time in the kitchen. Embrace it. There just isn’t a way around it. However, do what you can to make this work for you and your schedule. Do what you can to make this somewhat enjoyable if cooking/baking just isn’t your “thing.” Listen to a podcast or movie. Pick recipes that interest you. As The Paleo Mom says, “It’s only effort until it’s routine.”

That being said, here we go!

Every week is going to look different. I start out by,
1. Looking at the calendar on my phone to see what’s coming up
2. Writing down the days of the week
3. Picking meals that will work for each day of the week. For example, this Wednesday I have a meeting at work and am getting coffee in the evening with a friend. I obviously won’t be making beef bourguignon. (Insert
4. Sometimes I glance at the sale adds in the mail but more often than not, I get to the store and see that they are having a killer sale on (let’s just say) pork. I grab pork instead of whatever I was planning on and make a change. Your menu shouldn’t be hard and fast. Just a helpful sketch.
5. Always, always have a backup plan. Have something you can throw together super fast without driving through Arby’s. This will save you from being “hangry” in the craziness of life and will save you from “oh shoot, I forgot to defrost the roast for dinner and it’s 6 PM..”

Below is our menu for this upcoming week

Monday: Spaghetti squash and meatballs. Spaghetti squash can be cooked in the microwave in a pinch (although there is much debate on microwaves) and meatballs can easily be made ahead of time and frozen.

Tuesday: We luck out by getting to eat with our “community group” every week. Love them.

Wednesday: Bison/beef chili in the crock pot with roasted sweet potato on the side. Chilli is one of the easiest things to throw together. Sweet potatoes take about 40 minutes to roast but can, again, be baked in the microwave in a pinch).

Thursday: Tacos on corn (nope, not paleo! GMO free though) tortillas with cauli-rice and guacamole/pico de gallo. You can find some legit taco seasoning or can just stick to cumin and whatever other spices you fancy. Guac and “pico” can be bought or made ahead of time if need be. Cauli-rice maybe takes 20 minutes?) We have black olives, grass fed cheese, maybe some cilantro and definitely lots of limes! Sometimes I’ll make beans . . . on a weird day.

Friday-Sunday are absentee given a wacky weekend. Photo above from here