One Pot Rice and Curried Butternut Squash

One Pot Rice and Butternut Squash | @naturallyella

This one pot rice dish is a staple for fall cooking in my home. Sauté onions and garlic, add in the other ingredients, cover, and let sit for 45 minutes. After that, all that’s left is to eat! The original version of this dish is based on this paella recipe but I’ve morphed it into a stove-top casserole dish as an easy adaptation. Rice and tomatoes cooked together can leave you with al dente rice but the secret is to make sure the rice is well coated with oil before adding the tomatoes. As a side note, our toddler also loves this one pot rice dish (as long as I use a mild curry powder)! Read more and see the recipe.

The post One Pot Rice and Curried Butternut Squash appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Naturally Ella

Purple Kale, Aubergine & Blackberry Salad

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At first, it was a coincidence. When we looked at the vegetables we had brought home from the market this weekend, many of them just happened to have purple, violet and dark lavender tones. We talked about how that huge bunch of purple kale could make a beautiful salad base together with the rainbow chard, mint flowers and purple sugar snaps. It was at that point my obsessive side took over. “Let’s ONLY DO purple ingredients!” I shouted into Luise’s ear. She turned her head towards me with that hesitant look she always has when I get one of my “brilliant” ideas: “Ok, slow down now, let’s talk about the flavours first”. Of course I didn’t hear her as I was already writing a list with all the purplish ingredients I could think of: “aubergine, purple cauliflower, plums, figs, olives, blackberries, grapes, beetroot, red onion, …”.

Some recipes are born out of genius flavour combinations or new preparation methods, this one simply started out as a colour. Luise did however quickly gain back control and started shifting focus to the flavour and combination of vegetables as well.

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In the end, I think we managed to combine both flavour, colour and texture in a great way. We roasted aubergine and purple spring onion in warm spices until soft and sweet. Massaged the kale with a flavourful dill, mint, lemon and honey dressing to round off its flavour and make it less sturdy. Cooked black lentils were added as a filler, along with rich and creamy avocado (even though it’s more black than purple – and green inside!). Hazelnuts are not purple at all but they added a nice crunch to the texture. Juicy blackberries made a perfect topping.

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The result was beautiful, a true harvest salad. Maybe not as purple as I originally imagined it (basically because most vegetables loose their colour when they are cut/baked/cooked), but still with lovely deep hues and so many interesting flavours – a mix of herby, sweet and tangy.

When the salad was assembled it still felt like we missed a creamy element, so we tried the honey roasted feta that we had seen on New York Times Cooking last week. It was perfect. Burnt and caramelised on the outside and almost melted on the inside. It completely ruined the dark purple theme but flavour- and texture wise, it was worth the sacrifice. You’ll notice that I smudged it in mashed blackberries as a poor attempt to camouflage it.

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We should perhaps add that this wasn’t our kids favourite dish. They picked out the blackberries, avocado and feta cheese from the salad, leaving the raw kale to us. I guess purple isn’t their colour…

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Purple Kale & Blackberry Salad with Roasted Honey Feta

Vegans can just skip the feta cheese or replace it with hummus. And replace honey with maple syrup.

Baked vegetables
1 aubergine / eggplant

4 spring onions or 2 red onions
2-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cumin
1 pinch ground cayenne
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 handful hazelnuts

Cooked lentils
½ cup uncooked lentils (we used black lentils)

1 ½ cup water
1 pinch sea salt

Dressing
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juice
2 tsp honey or more to taste
sea salt & pepper
1 large handful mixed fresh dill, parsley and mint

Other salad ingredients
4 stalks curly kale, green or purple
4 stalks rainbow chard or spinach
2 avocadoes
1 small handful snap peas
1 punnet fresh blackberries, halved

Roasted feta with honey (from NYT)
1 block feta cheese, patted dry
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey

Start by preparing the baked vegetables. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C. Wash and cut the aubergine into large cubes and trim and slice the onions, then place in a mixing bowl. Stir together oil and spices in a small bowl, pour the oil mixture over the aubergine and onions and toss to combine. Transfer to a baking tray covered with baking paper. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until very soft and golden, check every now and then to prevent from burning, the baking time depends on the size of the vegetables. Add the hazelnuts halfway through.

Meanwhile, cook the lentils in a saucepan with the water for 15 minutes or until tender and can be mashed easily between two fingers. Add sea salt towards the end of the cooking time. Drain any excess water and leave to cool.

Prepare the dressing by mixing oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Chop the herbs finely and add to the oil mixture. Taste and adjust to your liking.

Remove the stems from the kale and coarsely chop the leaves. Finely slice the chard. Place all in a large mixing bowl, add 2 tbsp of the dressing and massage for a couple of minutes until soft. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Mix the lentils with the remaining dressing and pour them over the kale and chard mixture. Cut the avocado into cubes, slice the snap peas and roughly chop the hazelnuts. Add to the salad bowl together with the roasted  aubergine, onions and hazelnuts. Toss slightly to combine and then scatter blackberries on top. If you like to serve the salad with the baked feta cheese, follow the instructions below.

Keep the oven at 400°F / 200°C. Place the feta cheese in a small ovenproof dish covered with baking paper and cover with oil. Bake in the oven for about 8 minutes, until soft but not melted. Melt the honey. Remove the cheese from the oven and turn the heat to broiler. With a baking brush, paint the cheese with the melted honey. Place back in the oven and broil until the top starts to brown. Use a spatula to immediately and carefully transfer the cheese to the salad, or serve it on the side.

Green Kitchen Stories

Roasted Broccoli Bowls with Freekeh

Chili Roasted Broccoli Bowls with Freekeh | @naturallyella

Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables for grain bowls. It cooks quickly and tastes amazing when roasted. Additionally, it pairs well with many different flavors. As a result, I’ll be making these broccoli bowls often this fall. In fact, the hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the broccoli to roast. Read more and see the recipe.

The post Roasted Broccoli Bowls with Freekeh appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Naturally Ella

Friday FAQs: Spice mix uses, smoothie freezer packs, coconut milk differences, and more!

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Whew, what a whirlwind start to September we’ve had! Between home renovation setbacks, caring for a sick toddler, and the launch of my new cookbook, things have sure been lively. But I’m happy to say Oh She Glows Every Day has now hit shelves across North America (why is releasing creative projects into the world so darn scary?), the little one is in good health, and the reno situation is…well, a typical reno situation, hah. But all of that aside, we’re super excited for this month as Adriana turns 2 in a couple weeks and my due date is just days after. There’s no doubt that this month promises to bring some big changes in the Liddon household. I’m basically feeling every kind of emotion you can imagine right now.

Before I get to this week’s Friday FAQs, I’d like to let you know about some retailers carrying Oh She Glows Every Day. In the US, you can currently find the book at Barnes & Noble and Sam’s Club. In Canada, you can find the book in Costco, Chapters/Indigo, and Loblaws! More to come soon.

Last but not least, I’d like to share this week’s #osgeveryday blog tour posts. I can’t thank these lovely bloggers enough for their kind words. Be sure to check out the links below for some recipe sneak peeks, giveaways, and Q+As!

  • Mandy’s Healthy Life
  • The First Mess
  • Oh My Veggies
  • Yum Universe
  • Cookie + Kate
  • Carrie on Living
  • Wholehearted Eats
  • Detoxinista
  • My Darling Vegan
  • Vegan Crunk

 

Q1. Hi Angela. These new veggie burgers look great. I have a question about the sweet potato—in the directions you write that it works out to about 4 cups, but when making the patties you only use 2 cups of cooked potato. Is this because you are accounting for some “shrinkage” during the cooking process? Hehe. Thanks in advance!! I love your first book and can’t wait to buy the second.

A. Thanks, Melanie! Yes, you are totally correct…there’s shrinkage! Haha. 4 cups raw sweet potato (or squash) translates to just over 2 cups cooked. I hope this helps clarify. Feel free to make extra and serve it alongside the burgers!

Q2. Wondering—will your Oh Em Gee Veggie Burgers hold up on the grill??? I’m looking for something that can hold up to grilling as my parents love making hamburgers and I need an alternative for my husband and myself. :) Thanks!

A. Hi Becky, I haven’t tried it yet, but I think they would! I’d suggest prebaking in the oven for 15 minutes, and then grilling on each side for a few minutes over medium heat. If you give it a try, please let us know how it goes!

Q3. Hi Angela! Love your site and cookbook. It’s helped me a ton since I met my (vegan) boyfriend almost 2 years ago. I’ve been dying to ask, do you have any more specific suggestions for using the 10-Spice Blend? I see you’ve written “pasta, potatoes, soups” but any other recipe besides your 10-Spice Vegetable Soup?? Thanks!!

A. Hi Kayla, This is such a great question! The wonderful thing about the 10-Spice Blend is that it’s so versatile; you can get really creative with how you use it in your kitchen. Aside from the 10-Spice Soup (which is an OSG cult fave!), you could use it to kick scratch tomato sauce up a notch, or add a new twist to roasted potatoes or Lightened-Up Crispy Baked Fries (The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 203), kale chips, Crispy Baked Onion Rings, Pan-Seared Garlic Tofu (OSG Cookbook, p. 197), or Perfect Roasted Chickpeas (OSG Cookbook, p. 220). I love adding a tablespoon or so to Endurance Crackers, and sprinkling it over toast topped with avocado and hummus. You can also try it in my Oh Em Gee Veggie Burgers and Metabolism-Revving Spicy Cabbage Soup (Oh She Glows Every Day, p. 139).

Q4. Hi Angela, great suggestions for make-ahead meals! One question…what do you mean by a ‘smoothie pack’??

A. Hey Allison, By a smoothie pack I mean that I freeze some of the non-liquid smoothie ingredients in a freezer bag. It’s a fun little trick for make-ahead smoothies! For example, you can turn my Green Tea Lime Pie Smoothie Bowl into a freezer pack. Simply place the spinach, banana, avocado, and matcha into a small freezer bag, then press out the air and seal. This can be stored in the freezer for 1 to 2 weeks. When you’re ready to use, simply add the coconut water, lime juice/zest, and maple syrup into the blender along with the contents of the bag. Blend on high until smooth (adding ice only if necessary).

Q5. I loved your homemade Bailey’s recipe, but I think I messed up somewhere by using normal coconut milk in a carton for the “light” coconut milk. Do you think that’s why it wasn’t as thick as it should have been? Thank you though, for this amazing recipe!!!

A. Hi Sierra, If you mean the cartoned coconut milk (the kind typically found near soy or almond milk in the grocery store), I do think that’s the likely culprit! Like soy and almond milk, this type of coconut milk is really more of a dairy milk replacement that is best consumed as a beverage or used in smoothies, over cereal, and so on. It’s typically watered down and contains other additives as well, and so it tends to be lighter/thinner than even the “light” canned coconut milk. In my recipes I will specify canned coconut milk, and also indicate whether I used full-fat or light. Another possibility as to why it was thin is that the liquid needed to be cooked down longer than it was. So you could always try throwing it back on the stovetop and simmering it a bit longer until the volume reduces. I hope you still enjoyed the Homemade Bailey’s, though, even if it wasn’t quite as rich!

Comment of the week:

With the release of my new cookbook, I’ve received so many warm, enthusiastic messages that I can’t pick a single one to highlight. Some of them seriously brought me to tears. Thank you to everyone who’s picked up a copy of the book, placed it on a wishlist, signed it out at the library, or simply shared their support for this latest adventure. You helped make Oh She Glows Every Day a reality and I couldn’t be more grateful. :)

PS—That cute little spice mix at the top of this post is the Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix! It takes minutes to throw together and you’ll be sprinkling it in everything from oatmeal to smoothies to pies and more.

Oh She Glows

Butternut, Kale & Feta Quiche

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Last weekend we went to a crayfish potluck party in a friend’s garden. Vegetarians at a crayfish party might sound awkward but the crayfish are actually just an excuse to spend an evening with your friends, sitting outside until dark, drinking, eating, singing songs and wearing silly hats. Life in its very essence.

Since we don’t eat crayfish, we made a couple of salads and baked a large, round version of this butternut quiche. We have been talking about making a butternut quiche ever since we first tried it, two years ago at a café in Bondi outside Sydney. Their version had large chunks of salty feta cheese and a slight tartness from vinegar that balanced the sweetness from the pumpkin perfectly, so we made ours the same way. We also used our favourite oat & almond pastry which added a nice nuttiness to the quiche. The addition of kale to the filling makes it a little greener and more substantial and the pieces on top crisps up into chips. I guess it’s not our most unique recipe but a really good one to keep up your sleeve for picnics and late-summer parties.

When we recreated the quiche the other day, we also shot this video below. It all came together in a rather stressful hour between soccer practice and dinner time and we didn’t have much light to work with either, so please excuse the blurry quality here and there.

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You can probably veganize this by leaving out the eggs and replacing the feta cheese with tofu, a squeeze of lime and nutritional yeast. The pumpkin makes it very rich and creamy on its own, but since we wanted to recreate the butternut and feta quiche from our travels, we didn’t try a vegan version ourselves this time. Do let us know if you succeed with it!

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Butternut, Kale & Feta Quiche

Pastry
3/4 cup / 100 g oat flour (or 1 cup / 100 g rolled oats mixed into flour in a food processor)
1/3 cup / 50 g rice flour

1/2 cup/ 50 g almond flour
2 tbsp potato starch or arrowroot
1/2 tsp sea salt
100 g / 3 1/2 oz chilled butter or solid coconut oil, cut into dices

3-4 tbsp ice-cold water

Butternut & Kale Filling
1 small butternut squash/pumpkin
a drizzle of olive oil or coconut oil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
sea salt & black pepper
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 large handfuls (100 g / 3 1/2 oz) tuscan kale / black kale or regular kale, remove stems and chopped (if you can’t get kale use spinach instead)
2 tbsp unfiltered apple cider vinegar (or balsamico)
sea salt & black pepper
1 cup milk of choice (we use oat milk or almond milk)
2 eggs
150 g / 1 block feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.
Prepare the pastry: Add oat flour, almond flour, rice flour, potato starch and sea salt to a bowl and toss until combined. Add the diced butter to the flour and use your fingers to mix the dough into a rough breadcrumb consistency. (These steps can also be made by pulsing the butter with the flour in a food processor.) Add the water, little by little, and work it together into a dough. Flip it out on a floured workspace and shape it into a thick disk. If it feels crumbly, add 1-2 tbsp extra water. Gather the dough into a disk, wrap in clingfilm and chill for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the filling.

Prepare the filling: Line a baking tray with baking paper. Peel the butternut, discard the seeds and cut into 1 inch / 2,5 cm dices and place on the tray. Drizzle with oil, add the spices and toss to combine. Roast in the oven for approx. 20 minutes or until it starts to brown and soften. Set aside. This step can easily be prepared ahead and stored in the fridge for up to a couple of days before baking the quiche. While the pumpkin is in the oven, heat oil in a skillet on medium heat and stir-fry the onion and garlic for 10 minutes until transparent and soft. Add the chopped kale, stir around and stir-fry for a few more minutes, add the apple cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper and leave for two more minutes. Set aside.

Assembling the quiche: Place the chilled dough between two baking papers and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until you got a rough circle, about 1/8 inch / 5 mm thick. Carefully transfer it to a 10 inch / 27 cm tart pan (or rectangular as in the video). You can also press out the pastry dough directly into the pan. Trim off any excess dough then use a fork to prick it a few times. Blind-bake for 10 minutes to prevent the crust from getting soggy.
In a large bowl, whisk together milk and eggs. Add onion and kale, crumbled feta cheese and half of the baked butternut to the egg mixture and gently combine. Pour into the blind-baked quiche crust. Press extra roasted butternut into the quiche if there is still space (any leftovers can easily be used in a delicious salad or inside a sandwich). Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden. Serve the quiche warm with a light salad on the side.

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PS. We have also been celebrating this little 2-year old smoothie maniac and kitchen helper throughout the week. Happy birthday Isac!

Green Kitchen Stories

Brew your own Kombucha!

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This post has literally been years in the making. After countless requests for a kombucha brewing method and recipe, I finally feel confident enough to write about such a HUGE topic. Considering the fact that there are entire books about this one subject, I’ll start off by saying that I do not consider myself a kombucha-brewing expert. Although I’ve brewed hundreds of liters of the stuff by now, I am still learning and just happy to share my processes and experiences with you so far. Everyone has a slightly different way of brewing and this is mine – it works perfectly for me and I hope for you too!

Making kombucha, like any “kitchen project” seems pretty daunting until you actually do it. Once you take the first step and brew your own batch, you won’t believe how simple and easy it is to make your own kombucha and be able to drink it every day of your life! You’ll also wonder why you waited so long to start. With just a 20-minute time investment every 7-10 days you’ll have access to the most delicious, high-vibe kombucha you’ve ever tasted at a faction of the cost of buying from the store. Plus, if you make it yourself, it will be 100% raw and full of those precious, digestion-supporting enzymes that our diets are typically lacking, whereas commercial kombucha has often been pasteurized – a process that destroys enzymes. You can ferment it to suit your taste, make it as fizzy as you desire, and even add flavourings. How rad is that?

What is Kombucha?
Although kombucha is experiencing a major surge in popularity, it has actually been around for thousands of years. It is essentially sweetened tea, fermented with the help of a SCOBY, transformed into a fizzy, effervescent drink. SCOBY is an acronym, which stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. It’s an odd-looking thing – often compared to an organ, a slippery mushroom, or a rubbery pancake – but it’s the essential ingredient in making the miracle beverage that is kombucha. Its flavours can range from pleasantly vinegar-y to champagne-like, with sweetness varying according to the original brew and second fermentations.

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Where can I get a SCOBY?
Since the SCOBY duplicates every time you make kombucha, there are plenty out there in the world for free! I recommend asking at your local health food store – in my experience it seems like the place to either purchase one, or connect with someone who brews and enjoys spreading the kombucha gospel and giving their extra SCOBYs away. Alternatively, try your local Craigstlist to find a culture. You can even buy them online. Here is a worldwide source: www.kombu.de

What about sugar?
Yes, you need sugar to brew kombucha but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be consuming it – it’s only food for the SCOBY! What starts off as very sweet tea completely transforms through the fermentation process, and that SCOBY turns all of that food into a delightful mixture of beneficial organic acids, B-vitamins, and enzymes. If it’s something you are concerned about, just let your kombucha ferment for the full 10 days, or longer. The longer the tea ferments the less sugar it contains. Usually by day 10 there isn’t a trace left – but your tea will be rather acidic-tasting just so you know!

There are a few types of sugar you can use for feeding the SCOBY, but cane sugar is the most recommended by seasoned brewers. I use the least processed form of cane sugar I can find – organic evaporated cane juice – but even the most sugar-avoiding, health-conscious people I know brew with refined white sugar. Remember: the sugar feeds the SCOBY, not you!

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What about caffeine?
The caffeine range in kombucha is extremely broad, and is mostly dependent on the type of tea used to brew it. Black tea contains substantially more caffeine than green tea for instance, and since I am sensitive to caffeine, I always brew with green tea. In general, brewed kombucha will contain approximately 1/3 of the caffeine of the original tea. If black tea contains 30-80mg of caffeine per cup, the same sized up of kombucha would contain 10-25mg. Green tea kombucha may have just 2-3mg per cup. Whatever you do, do NOT use decaffeinated tea to brew kombucha. Instead, blend the black tea with green tea or simply use green tea alone.

What about alcohol?
Fermenting anything sweet with yeasts is going to produce booze, that is just nature! With kombucha you’re looking at an average of 0.5 – 1% alcohol by volume. With home-brewing, there is always a risk of more alcohol forming since it is in an uncontrolled environment, so keep that in mind if that is a concern for you or someone you are serving it to.

What are the health benefits of Kombucha?
First, kombucha is a probiotic drink, so it is an excellent beverage for improving digestion, and supporting healthy bacteria in the gut. Its high enzyme content also promotes healthy digestion and nutrient assimilation.

Lab tests show that kombucha has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, and the ability to improve liver function and reduce oxidative stress in the body. Many people report success in relieving their symptoms of arthritis, allergies, chronic fatigue, hypertension, metabolic disorders, and digestive issues.

What I think is very exciting and promising about kombucha however, are the acids formed during fermentation. These acids have incredible detoxifying and antioxidant capabilities. Glucuronic acid, for example, is the body’s most important detoxifier and made by the oxidation of glucose. Glucuronic acid binds to toxins in the liver and flushes them out through the kidneys. It also works in conjunction with gluconic acid, which binds with heavy metals and ushers them out of our systems. Acetic acid inhibits the action of harmful bacteria. Usnic acid protects against viruses through its antibiotic properties. Malic acid helps detoxify the liver. Butyric acid is produced by the beneficial yeasts in kombucha and protects cellular membranes and combines with gluconic acid to strengthen the walls of the gut to combat harmful yeasts such as candida albicans.

Of all the healthy habits I’ve adopted in my life, I’d say that drinking kombucha has actually made a difference in how I feel. Every time I take a sip it feels like every cell of my body is screaming YAAAAAHHHHHSSSSSS! Really and truly. To me, it is life elixir, and a fabulous drink to add to your healthy lifestyle. But I will also say that kombucha is not a panacea. The hype around this beverage has reached astronomical heights and I believe it’s important to consume kombucha without the expectation that it’s going to change your life. What works for me, may work for you and it may not. At the end of the day, kombucha is purely delicious and I think it’s best to enjoy it for that reason alone.

Can I drink too much kombucha?
Kombucha, like anything, should be enjoyed responsibly. Just as you wouldn’t eat a pound of chia seeds in a sitting, nor should you drown yourself in kombucha (although it would be a delicious way to go). If you have never had kombucha before, start out with about half a cup (125ml) and work your way up over the course of a few weeks or months. I probably drink around 1-2 cups a day (250 – 500ml) but my body is used to it and I too eased into this amount. Remember: food is medicine! You never know how your body will react, so it’s best to take things slow with such powerful potions.

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Second fermentation – flavouring your brew and making your kombucha fizzy
Although kombucha straight after the first fermentation is delish, I love to flavour it and make it really fizzy through a second fermentation. This involves adding a sweet substance, like fresh fruit or juice (I use unfiltered apple juice), to the bottles of brewed kombucha and letting it sit, sealed at room temperature for another couple of days instead of refrigerating it right away. This extra dose of sugar will feed the kombucha further and produce gas, which builds up inside the sealed bottle. This step is optional, but will make your kombucha really special and sparkly!

It’s essential that you use flip-top bottles with good seals for this step, since you want the gas to build inside the bottles at this stage. But because the pressure can be quite strong, I always recommend “burping” your bottles once a day until they have reached the amount of fizz you’re after. Simply flip the top on the bottles and you should hear the gas escaping, which is just enough to take the pressure off – there will still be plenty of sparkle in the kombucha. If you fail to burp your bottles, you may end up with an explosion on your hands! Needless to say this is quite dangerous, so set a timer for once  day if you’re a forgetful person.

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Taking a break from fermenting
There will come a time when you’ll have to pause your kombucha brewing cycle – perhaps if you’re traveling for a period of time, or simply feel like stopping – in which case, you need to know how to take a break.

Remove the SCOBY from the jar, separate the mother and the baby and put them into the same or separate glass jars (separate if you’re giving one away) with enough brewed kombucha to cover it, and seal with a plastic lid (remember that kombucha can not come into contact with metal, so stay on the safe side and use plastic). Keep this in the fridge where the temperature will slow down fermentation, and it will keep for many months. When you want to brew your new batch, remove the SCOBY from the fridge and let it come to room temperature before adding it to the sweetened and cooled tea, along with kombucha from your last batch, the SCOBY and the liquid it was stored in.

If you can time it properly, it’s a nice to be able to bottle your last batch right before you leave so that you can put your SCOBY away at the end of a cycle. I time it so that my second fermentation ends on my travel day so that I can store my bottles in the fridge while I’m gone. If it doesn’t exactly line up, you can do this by increasing the first or second fermentations by a few days. Remember that if you bottle early, it will be sweeter, and if you leave it longer it will be more acidic. Some people will leave their kombucha brewing for up to a month and that may suit you, but I personally wouldn’t leave mine for more than 2 weeks. If you are flexible on the taste and don’t mind these flavour variations, it will be a lot easier to time your break.

Whatever you do, don’t start a brew right before you leave for more than a couple weeks (unless you like very vinegar-y kombucha), and definitely don’t leave your second fermentation bottles out at room temperature! You’ll come home to an epic mess or worse.

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I know that this seems like a lot of information, but I wanted this post to be thorough so that you could have all the information you need to start brewing! If you have another variation on brewing, or tips and tricks that you think others would find helpful, please let me know in the comments! And because I know you’re going to have a lot of questions, I’ll try to check in on this post more often to answer them.

Here are some great online resources for those who want more information on brewing kombucha:

  • The most in-depth kombucha brewing info and how-to videos: Cultures for Health
  • Step-by-step photos: The Kitchn
  • Excellent troubleshooting resource: Bestweb

Remember that it may take a few batches (and a few SCOBYs) to get your kombucha just the way you like it, but it’s a really fun, empowering and delicious project that will make you feel like you can do anything in the kitchen! Did I mention you’ll get to drink kombucha every day for the rest of your life? Yes, there’s that too.

All love and happy brewing,
Sarah B.

Show me your kombucha on Instagram: #MNRkombucha

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More news!

The My New Roots recipe app now has an updated iPad design and it synchronizes your favorites, shopping list and recipe notes between your iPhone and iPad. In other words: make your shopping list on the iPad, and you’ll have it right on the phone when you’re in the store. Neat!

If you already have the app, just update it. If not, click here to go to the App Store.

Healthy Vegetarian Recipe app by My New Roots

The post Brew your own Kombucha! appeared first on My New Roots.


My New Roots

Maple Cinnamon Grain-Free Granola

Grain-Free Granola by My New Roots

Cruising the health food store a few months back, I happened upon a bag of locally made, grain-free granola that really spoke to me. Something about its un-designed packaging, its minimalistic ingredients and flagrant chunks flirting with me through the cellophane window, begged me to take it home. The $ 15 price tag begged me to leave it on the shelf. So I went and perused the tea section, while spiritually distracted by the promise of crunchy sunflower seed clusters and juicy raisins. I went back. I picked up the bag and walked swiftly to the cash register so that I wouldn’t change my mind on the way there. I bought it, ran home, tore open that bag and sat gorging myself on handful after handful of total luxury granola bliss. I did again the next week. And the following week too. It took about five rounds of $ 15 granola before I realized, firstly, how insane it was that I, Sarah Britton, would spend such a preposterous amount of money on something like breakfast cereal, and second, that I wouldn’t just figure out how to make it myself.

Grain-Free Granola by My New Roots

Grain-free granola is nothing new, but nothing I’d ever tried making before since I love grains so very much. But as I tend to enjoy grain-centric breakfasts, pouring a bunch of mostly-oat granola on top of mostly-oat porridge seemed like oat overkill, ya know? It didn’t take long to perfect this recipe and secure its place as a rotating staple in my household. I eat it on all kinds of things besides porridge too. It’s great on top of chia pudding, smoothie bowls, chopped fruit, coconut yogurt, waffles and pancakes, and ice cream (the healthy kind, of course). And like all other granolas, this stuff is pretty addictive. I’m warning you.

Grain-Free Granola by My New Roots

This recipe is excitingly versatile, so don’t get too caught up on the ingredients themselves – instead think of them as inspiration. If you’re allergic to nuts, or you simply want to cut down on the cost of this recipe, simply swap out the nuts for more seeds. You can also replace the coconut if you’re so inclined, use another spice instead of cinnamon, honey instead of maple syrup…you get the idea. Just make sure that whatever you choose to alter is substituted with the same amount of something else. If you dig dried fruit, chop up a bunch and add it to the mix after it’s cooled down. Apricots, figs, mulberries, and raisins are some of my favourites with this mix.   

Grain-Free Granola by My New Roots

 

This recipe was included in my online video series, Healthy Kickstart, that I produced with my friends over at Cody! If you’d like to see me making this recipe in the flesh, and the many other breakfast delights (such as the Grab-and-Go Carrot Bread below), click here. I had such a blast with this series, as I feel passionate about helping you to create mornings that are as delicious, vibrant and easy as possible! I hope you all enjoy.

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Deep gratitude for all of your ongoing support of My New Roots!

In light,
Sarah B

Show me your Maple Cinnamon Grain-free Granola on Instagram: #MNRgrainfreegranola

The post Maple Cinnamon Grain-Free Granola appeared first on My New Roots.


My New Roots

Vegetarian Breakfast Burritos

Vegetarian Breakfast Burritos | @naturallyella

When we don’t know what to do for dinner, breakfast is usually the answer. Eggs are quick to prepare and easily create a meal. I made this burrito after having a bit of the chorizo-spiced crumble leftover from the nachos. As a result, these breakfast burritos were ready in a short time. Additionally, you can make the crumble the night before to quicken burrito assembly in the morning. Homemade tortillas are great for burritos. However, these days I’m usually putting dinner together at the last minute so store-bought are a lifesaver. Also, I’ve been known to skip scrambling the eggs and simply fry an egg over-hard then cut it into strips (similar to this quesadilla). Read more and see the recipe.

The post Vegetarian Breakfast Burritos appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Naturally Ella

Friday FAQs: The difference between soy sauce and tamari, speeding up digestion, Glo Bar troubleshooting, and more

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Happy Friday! This week has been a flurry of activity on the home and work fronts. My days lately are filled with interviews and other launch excitement as we gear up for Oh She Glows Every Day to hit the shelves in a few short weeks. (Exciting side note: I just heard the book will launch a few days early in Canada, on Saturday, September 3rd!) I’m trying to channel any anxiety I have into excitement (a great tip I heard years ago), which I admit can be challenging with all these hormones floating through my system, hah. On the blog and app side of things, I’ve been preparing content for when after baby arrives, to make sure there are some exciting recipes planned during one of my favourite cooking/baking months (October!! Who else is excited?). The prospect of fall is also helping me get through this intense heat wave we’ve been going through, and I can’t wait to cool off in our friends’ pool tomorrow.

PS—Stay tuned for Monday’s blog post, where I’ll be sharing my game plan for Make-Ahead Freezer-Friendly recipes. I’m excited.

Q1. Hi Angela! What’s the difference between soy sauce and tamari, do you know? Or is there a difference at all?

A. Hi Sue, Great question! Soy sauce and tamari sauce are both made from fermented soybeans and are quite similar in colour and flavour, so it can be easy to assume they’re basically one and the same. Yet there are actually a few differences between the two. First, traditional soy sauce contains significant amounts of wheat, while tamari—a specific type of Japanese soy sauce made as a byproduct of miso paste—is made with little to no wheat. (If you’re eating gluten-free, you should always check brand labels to be safe!) Additionally, tamari has a darker colour, richer flavour, and slightly thicker consistency than soy sauce; you may also find it tastes a bit “smoother” and less salty. My go-to is low-sodium organic tamari. If you’re looking for a soy-free option with a similar flavour, coconut aminos is great, too!

Q2. I just tried making your Classic Green Monster in my Vitamix for the first time and I’m not sure what I did wrong, but it came out frothy and it wasn’t cold. I even threw a couple more ice cubes in to see if that would help. My banana was frozen and my almond milk was refrigerated. Any ideas why the smoothie didn’t turn out cold?

A. Hi Katie, Oh, warm smoothies in the summer are not my cup of tea either! I’m not quite sure what went wrong with yours, but sometimes blending for too long in the Vitamix will actually heat up the smoothie. So, my advice would be to be extra careful not to over-blend it, or to try adding more ice.

Q3. Hi Angela. I recently started taking the Baby and Me prenatal from MegaFood. It’s a great vitamin but the iron in it is extremely constipating for me as I’m already prone to constipation. Do you have any tips?

A. That’s never a fun situation, Megan! It may be a good idea to speak with your doctor at your next appointment to see if they have any suggestions about a prenatal vitamin that might agree with you better. But, in the meantime, I do have a few tips that’ll hopefully help you out.

I’ve found that it really helps to up my water intake; when it comes to slow-as-molasses digestion, dehydration can be a sneaky, but powerful, culprit. Hot beverages, like tea, coffee, or simply hot water with a bit of lemon, are commonly recommended. I make a habit of drinking several cups of liquid at the start of each day.

You can also try adding more fibre to your diet—but be careful not to add too much too quickly, because that can exacerbate symptoms like gas, bloating, and cramping. Great sources of fibre include bran, oatmeal, beans and legumes, and fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veg noted for being particularly high in fibre and great for constipation relief are prunes, figs, apricots, berries (I didn’t realize the power of berries until my toddler started going through a big berry phase, haha!), broccoli, plums, pears, and apples; listen to your body, though…no two people’s digestive systems are the same. Flaxseed can also be a great thing to add into your diet. If you need recipe inspiration, you could try making my Happy Digestion Smoothie, Feel Good Hearty Granola Bars, Almost Instant Chocolate Chia Pudding (chia is another excellent source of fibre, but make sure to consume a lot of water with it!), Vegan Overnight Oats (top with some of the fruits I listed!), or a veggie bowl filled with fibre-rich veggies and bulked up with beans and/or lentils.

And, of course, there’s exercise! Getting your body moving may help to get your digestive system chugging along, too. I hope this helps, Megan!

Q4. Hi Angela, I’m a big fan of yours…your recipes always inspire me! I bought your cookbook last summer and it got me out of a major cooking slump and I already have OSG 2 on pre-order! I can’t wait!!! Quick question: What other sweetener would you recommend to use in your Glo Bars? I’ve had a hard time finding brown rice syrup and I’ve used maple syrup but it doesn’t seem to hold them together as well. Thanks!

A. Hi Hillary, Thanks so much for your lovely words, and for your support of my cookbooks! I hope you enjoy the new book when it arrives in a few weeks. To be honest, I haven’t managed to find anything that works as well as brown rice syrup at holding the Glo Bars together. Something about its viscosity and general “stickiness” is really hard to find in any other sweetener. I’ve tested Glo Bar recipes with maple syrup myself (as well as every other liquid sweetener I could get my hands on…agave, honey, malt syrup, coconut nectar, etc.) but never had much success with anything else. But I’ve got to say, the various attempts—though crumbly—were still pretty delicious. (Smoothie topping, anyone?) I’m not sure where you’re located, but you can find brown rice syrup via online retailers, such as Amazon (with free shipping if you are a Prime member).

Q5. Hi Angela, My granola burnt after less than 15 minutes at 300℉. Is there something I missed or could be doing wrong?

A. Hey Roxanne, I’m sorry to hear your granola burned! If you have an oven thermometer, I’d recommend checking to see how hot your oven is actually running. Sometimes ovens run hotter than the dials/digital displays would have you believe, and that can definitely result in a burned batch of granola. Also, I’m not sure if you’re using the convection oven setting, but the convection setting will cook things much, much faster. (As a rule of thumb, I never use my convection setting when testing recipes.) I’d suggest checking the oven temp and settings, baking it at a lower temperature, and keeping a close eye on it. Good luck!

Comment of the Week:

“OMG! Just stopping by to say I made these One Bowl Chocolate Chunk Cookies the other night and was blown away! I’m a baker at heart but have taken a bit of a hiatus from it to focus on balancing my diet (more veggies, less brownies, etc.). After seeing this recipe and not being able to get it off my mind, I convinced myself they were practically a health food, so ok to take a shot at! I couldn’t summon enough patience for a trip to the store so decided to use what I had on hand. I ended up subbing corn starch for the arrowroot & just blitzed some almonds in the food processor for the almond flour. I used dark chocolate chips and got a little carried away with my subs and accidently added a flax egg too. I was worried I was going to be disappointed with the results but boy was I so pleasantly surprised! I’ve been raving about these cookies for two days and haven’t shared a one (maybe I’ll be more generous with the next batch!).

I’m not vegan or vegetarian myself but stumbled across your site a number of years ago & it has been a “go-to” for me for inspiration to incorporate more plants into my diet. Anyway, I’m sometimes skeptical of some of the ingredients or how something will ‘really’ turn out, but your recipes have never disappointed! So thank you! Can’t wait for the new book!”

Hey Kelley, It sounds like you hit the cookie jackpot!! Heh. Thanks for sharing your subs with us. I’ll have to try those out myself sometime, too. Also, I’m so happy to hear how much you’re enjoying the recipes. Thanks for the love!

PS—The image at the top of this post is my Apple Pie Chia Jam Breakfast Parfait!

Oh She Glows

Summer Aubergine Rolls

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Hi friends, today we are sharing a dinner recipe that we prepared over the weekend. Some of you might recognize these aubergine rolls as they are a summery version of our Involtini di Melanzane recipe. It has always been one of our favorites and there is also a winter version of it in our Green Kitchen Travels cookbook.

This one has a brighter and tangier filling than the original and is baked without the tomato sauce. The filling is made with a mix of asparagus, rhubarb, pesto, pistachios, feta cheese, raisins and cooked quinoa. It is a really delicious filling that could also be served on its own (but it looks so much more impressive tucked inside the aubergine rolls). We served the rolls with a green salad drizzled with a little yogurt dressing. It was totally delicious and would be quite an impressive dish to do if you have friends coming over for dinner. I know we always say this, but do save some time (and effort) and let everybody get involved and help roll. Cooking and eating is so much more fun when the experience is shared.

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We also have some news about upcoming events.

  1. First of all, we are going to Lisbon this coming Sunday (29 May) to promote the Portuguese edition of our first book. We will be doing some interviews and a talk and book signing in the Praça Leya at the Lisbon book fair. The talk is at 7 pm. We’d love to meet some of our Portuguese readers there, so please come by and chat with us!
  2. We also wanted to share some more dates for our exciting launch of Green Kitchen Smoothies in London.
    We will be doing a supper club and Q&A with Mae Deli x Deliciously Ella on Tuesday 7th June and tickets can be booked here (only a few left!). We will also be talking at the Good Roots Festival on Saturday 11th June but unfortunately that is already sold out. There will be one or two more opportunities to get your books signed and have a chat and we will announce those as soon as we have more info.

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Summer Aubergine Rolls stuffed with Quinoa, Rhubarb & Asparagus

2 large aubergines, thinly sliced (approx. 24 slices in total)
olive oil, to brush
sea salt
2 rhubarb stalks, thinly sliced
10 asparagus spears, thinly sliced

½ cup / 100 g uncooked quinoa or 2 cups cooked quinoa (any color)
1 cup / 250 ml water
1 large pinch sea salt

1 cup pesto dressing (see end note)
50 g shelled unsalted pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
150 g feta cheese, crumbled
1 handful raisins

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
Arrange the aubergine slices (not overlapping) on two baking trays lined with baking paper. Use a pastry brush to brush each slice with a thin layer of olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes or until very soft and golden. Thinly slice the rhubarb and asparagus and spread out on another baking tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Place in the oven and bake for 5-8-minutes, or until soft and juicy.

Meanwhile cook the quinoa. Place rinsed quinoa in a saucepan, add water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat immediately and simmer for about 15 minutes, set aside. When slightly cooled, stir through ¾ of the pesto dressing, ¾ of the chopped pistachios nuts, ½ of the feta cheese and raisins. Then carefully fold in the baked rhubarb and asparagus.

Roll the aubergine: Place the grilled aubergine, one by one, in front of you. Add a large spoonful of the quinoa mixture at the bottom of it and roll up lengthwise away from you. Place the rolls on a baking tray with baking paper. Scatter over the remaining feta cheese, a drizzle of the pesto dressing and sprinkle with the chopped pistachio nuts. Bake for 10 minutes at 200°C/400°F. Ready to serve. Serve with a simple green salad of choice and drizzle with yogurt. Enjoy!

Note about the pesto dressing: If you make a batch of homemade pesto, simply add more olive oil and lemon juice to make it thinner. Alternatively buy a store-bought pesto and thin it out with more olive oil and lemon juice.

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