J, the 3 year old boy, is still getting used to me being around so for now my duties will be to cook dinners and clean. Being Sunday the entire family is around so doing deep cleaning is a bit tricky.
The on and off rainy day we're having is perfect for hanging inside and working on some items I've wanted to make for a long time that also piqued the interest of the fam : kombucha, coconut milk and raw vegan protein snacks.
KOMBUCHA : yields a half gallon : 1 hour total time
6 C water
4 tea bags, flavor of choice
1/2 C raw sugar
1 S.C.O.B.Y. (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast)
1 C of the previous batch of kombucha
1 half gallon glass jar (can be larger or smaller, just change ratios of ingredients)
1 piece of muslin, cheesecloth, towel, etc.
In a large pot heat the water, sugar and tea bags to a boil, stirring occassionally. Let cool to room temperature and remove tea bags (compost if you can!). Once cool, add liquid to half gallon jar. Top off jar with the previous batch of kombucha and then the SCOBY. Cover jar with muslin and secure with rubber band. Best if stored in a room 70-77 degrees and not in direct sunlight. Batch should be ready in about 7 days. Taste test as you please then voila!
Your SCOBY will create babies so keep multiple batches going once they multiply. Experiment with different flavored teas and once kombucha is fermented to your pleasing try to add extracts, chopped fruit, fresh juice and herbs as well!
*Note : Always use clean hands when handling SCOBY and kombucha liquids. Also always use a wooden spoon and store in a glass jar. I bought this SCOBY from Santos on Jonson but it will reproduce quickly so once you have babies keep them in a jar with some kombucha until you can make your next batch or gift to a friend! We'll add this jar to our collection to bring to the co-op and fill with new bulk items we need or to simply store other food goods or our smoothies :)
COCONUT MILK : yields 12 ounces : 15 minutes total time
2 C organic shredded coconut
4 C filtered water
high powered blender
fine mesh strainer / cheesecloth
Warm water over the stove. Once it is warm to the touch add to your Vitamix or high powered blender along with the coconut shreds. Let run on high for about 3 minutes. The consistency should be creamy with a foam head.
Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, whichever your prefer. Once cooled to room temperature store in the fridge. Separation is natural, shake up before you use/drink it. Done!
I used some in my coffee straight away but created the coconut milk for golden tea before bed (recipe later). Save the pulp and make yourself some coconut flour! Otherwise you can use freeze the pulp into cube trays for smoothies, spread raw onto bread with almond butter or plop into your food processor for some quick protein bites!
COCONUT FLOUR : yields 12 ounce jar : 1 hour total time
coconut pulp from coconut milk
See above recipe for homemade coconut milk.
Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees. Press the coconut pulp as thinly as possible onto parchment paper on a baking sheet. I used my hands to spread evenly then finished off with a fork to remove excess moisture and to smooth lumps. Place into oven for at least 45 minutes. Mine took about 1 hour but I kept checking every 5 minutes after 45 minutes to make sure it didn't burn.
Once moisture has been cooked out take out of the oven and pour dried coconut into your food processor. Turn on high for about one minute and you're done! Store in a glass container with a lid and use in your fave baked goods.
*Note : The family is so focused on sustainability and recycling. It amazes, inspires and encourages me to be a better human and to not take mother nature for granted. Last night we warmed up leftover pizza in the oven. The baking tray had parchment paper left on it from the pizza. I could have just thrown it out and put new paper down but I simply turned the paper over to a fresh side. Use your brains people! Less waste, more re-using and save more money!
RAW + VEGAN PROTEIN SNACKS : yields 10-15 snacks : 15 minutes
We cleaned out the freezer full of bulk items that haven't been touched in a while. Our list included sun dried blueberries, raisins, cranberries, and oats. These snacks are great to use up bulk items you may be running out of or don't have enough of an item to put into your favorite recipe. Use your own judgment, tastes and get creative!
Our Sunday recipe :
handful organic sun dried blueberries
handful organic raisins
handful organic dried cranberries
handful oganic cacao nibs
scoop vegan protein powder
1 + 1/2 C oats (Australian oats look way different than the quick oats I'm used to eating in the US!)
as much rice malt as needed to bind dry ingredients, I used about 4 T
jar to store
Pour dry ingredients of choice into food processor, top with rice malt swirling over the top of the dry ingredients evenly. Turn on food processor and let it work its magic until dry ingredients are now moist and able to bind together into rolled balls.
Roll the mixture into balls in your hands, refridgerate and try not to eat them all immediately!!
*Note : all dried fruits would work great! Be sure there is no added sugar or dehydrate your own fruit. I prefer cacao nibs but maybe you want real chocolate chip chunks. Protein powder or add in is totally optional. Instead of oats you can use the coconut flour previously made, almond meal, etc. Instead of rice malt you could use a nut butter or honey. Just do your own thing!
*Another Note : All these extra freezer bits were stored in brown bags. Of course we saved these brown bags and will fill up with new bits for the freezer from our fave bulk stores in the coming days. Consume smarter. I'm so grateful for what I've learned so far just from being a witness in this home!!!