If you’ve been reading Lavishly, you know I’m super passionate about what I put on my hair, as well as what I put into my mind and belly!
Well I have a confession to make.
My name is Erica and I’m addicted to EXTREMELY pure, healthy foods.
Obsessively. Fanatically. Built A Blog About It. Addicted.
In the past 3 years I’ve released 60lbs on the slow carb diet, gone vegan twice, gluten-free completely, and now hover between raw vegan dishes and The Body Ecology Diet.
Sounds complicated, right?
Enter this week’s book.
It’s been the cure to unexplained gastrointestinal problems and fatigue for me, and helped my kids break a sugar addiction my hubby and I created. It’s also had a curative effect on my son’s health and that continues to be very exciting! Almost as exciting as putting nearly naked photos on the Internet.
Thank goodness You’re the only one seeing them.
Cultured Food For Life is a delicious, probiotic extravaganza in your kitchen!
It’s one of several books I’ve received for review (free) through Hay House Book Nook. Anyone can review books (here’s how); it’s simple to get started, and can be quite enlightening & delicious.
What’s in the book?
Kefir ice cream, how to make sourdough bread (and other sprouted breads), kombucha, dips, sandwiches, smoothies, soups and even cinnamon rolls, are a teeny weeny sampling of what’s in this probiotic scroll!
If eating clean is a goal for you — it doesn’t get any CLEANER than this…other than juicing veg (I know…different post:)
There are also a wealth of resources and step-by-step instructions for everything.
I ordered my kefir grains through Donna’s site – Cultures for Health. You can also buy kefir grains locally and from online health food stores.
Basic Kefir Recipe
- Milk Kefir Grains
- Milk (cows, goat or coconut)
- Mason Jar with Lid
Why I Eat Probiotic Foods
My son Damon, aka “DJ the Great” and “The Hugger,” was diagnosed with a speech delay and sensory disorder when he was 2 years old. He was also considered “at risk” for further developmental delays.
Right before his second birthday, we noticed he wasn’t adding as many new words to his vocabulary. He seemed to go into a stupor and it scared me.
On the recommendation of our wellness team (developmental pediatricians, therapists, healers, Mom Warriors, advocates and good ole fashioned research), I started adding store bought kefir and probiotic supplements to Damon’s diet. My goal was to improve his speech AND overall development.
DJ received early intervention, and still gets speech and occupational therapy (at home and school). This experience inspired our family to eat a specialized diet (gluten-free, wheat free, dairy free (but not taste free:), mostly sugar-free desserts. Even the kids got into juicing!
Damon is SUCCESS IN ACTION, and is thriving in more ways than can be measured (and in all the measurable ways too). I’m still “crazy mom” over his health and well-being.
I’m crazy mom over all children’s health and well-being (it’s my inner wild scientist).
Probiotics have catapulted us into a new level of healing.
Still, it can seem like there’s not enough variety with our meals, particularly when I’m using food as savory “medicine” and prevention. Considering my toughest food critics are 8 y/o and under (2 of whom have nut allergies – tree nut and peanut), finding succulent meals that meet our specialized needs has been a challenge.
14-Days of Cultured Foods…And Counting
This book did not disappoint.
After a discussion of what probiotic foods are, what kefir is, and what it does in the body, Donna Schwenk (Author & Probiotic Goddess) does a phenomenal job of sharing her extensive history in this seemingly new world of probiotic wellness.
This book is my new guide in the kitchen.
It’s been 2 weeks since we’ve been eating the foods and I’ve noticed the following:
- the whole family is more energized, less cranky pants
- increased speech, clearer communication (DJ)
- kids crave less sugar, staying fuller between meals
- clearer skin
- no bloating
- shinier hair
- less mental fogginess (me especially)
The kefir used in all of my recipes has gone through second day fermentation. Donna explains how to do this in brief, yet great detail!
I used organic whole milk. I usually don’t give milk to Damon, but he’s done well with kefir and has done even better with the homemade edition. I’m interested in raw goat’s milk next…
Here are some photos re-hyrdrating the kefir grains as soon as I got them.
Keep your kefir grains fully covered by the milk.
Read Donna’s Basic Kefir Recipe here.
The milk will begin to thicken on its own. Cover the jar with an air tight lid and sit in an area that doesn’t get a lot of sun. The warmer the room is where your kefir sits, the faster it will thicken (or curdle)
Making kefir cheese (never made cheese in my life…until now!) It’s very good.
That liquid at the bottom is kefir whey. You can use it to make cultured vegetables…
Red & Purple Cabbage – LOVE these colors
I used the veggies I had in the fridge and adapted the Flu Prevention Cultured Vegetable Recipe (pg. 112-113).
Lavishly Natural’s Cultured Veggies
- 1/4 cabbage
- 1/4 red cabbage
- 1 carrot
- 1/4 small red onion
- 1 garlic clove
- pinch of kale
- 1/4 cup kefir whey
- zest and juice of 1 large orange
- Shred, chop, or cut your ingredients.
- Pack your veggies into your jar and leave about an inch of space at the top. Keep your veggies covered with liquid.
- I added water to fill the rest of the jar. Probably used a little less than a 1/2 cup.
The cultured veggies are my favorite. They’re like a boost of sunshine anytime of the day! Pickles up next:)
I added 1 tablespoon of cocoa to my kefir right before it’s second fermentation.
I used it in our GF Homemade Tea Biscuits* and Gluten-free wheat-free kefir pancakes*!
Cultured Food for Life has a delicious recipe for chocolate kefir waffles…
I didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand, and I was so excited to use my kefir, I substituted the dry milk (lactose free) in our favorite gfwf pancake recipe and…
**These recipes aren’t in Cultured For Life so I’ve included them in an upcoming video**
My Rating For This Book
5 STARS *****
I was surprised by how easy it was to make EVERYTHING. Not as time intensive as I was expecting…took less time than juicing. Plus, we’ve already started experiencing wonderful results.
I had so much fun making the recipes…I’m hooked!
Team Lavish hasn’t scratched the surface on all of the different types of foods to dive into in Cultured Foods. I will definitely be making the sprouted breads and “kombucha floats” now that I’ve “mastered” kefir!
If you’re new to probiotics or even if this is a way of life for you, there are at least 5 things you would LOVE in this book, just based on taste.
Everything we made was good.
I can’t wait to try each and every one!
So I want to know…do you eat probiotic foods?