Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir

Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir Loula Natural fb

 I looooove pumpkin season! Making Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir  makes so much sense to me.It is so versatile as it can be sweet or savoury. Packed full of nutrients and flavour, fermenting it makes it bang like the fireworks around this season! I started making this Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir recipe last year when I was playing with recipes for my book  Culture Your Life. We make it every year now!  Check out all my favourite recipes for pumpkin here

This Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir recipe is simple and you can use canned pumpkin or make your own very easily (and cheaper!). That way you have complete control over how much sugar you add as in the canning process the pumpkin is heated again thus caramelizing the sugar. 

Making your own water kefir is so easy

It is so easy to make your water Kefir as here. There is a video too to help you get started here;

Have fun flavouring it whilst the pumpkins are around! Fun to use this Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir to make cocktails with for family gatherings, BBQ’s and other fall festivals. I make standard Gin and Tonics much more fun, adding this Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir recipe!

Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir
A warming, delicious seasonal flavour of Water Kefir. Simple to make and great to boost immunity in Autumn.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 litre of water kefir ( I make mine with coconut and maple sugar)
  2. 3 tbsp canned pumpkinor pureed pumpkin
  3. Maple syrup to taste
  4. 1tsp canned pumpkinor pumpkin spice or cinnamon
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl mix the pumpkin puree and spice mix with the maple syrup to taste (until you like the flavour)
  2. Add the mix to the litre of water kefir.
  3. Allow to ferment on the counter for 1-2 hours. Or to taste.
  4. When you like the flavour and the fizz place in the fridge.
  5. Consume cool or room temperature.
Notes
  1. refreshing and revitalising.
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
Pumpkin Parade Loula Natural

Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir Loula Natural

Lemon Sage Cordial

Lemon Sage Cordial

Lemon Sage Cordial

sage leaves Loula Natural

Sage has so many amazing benefits. It has seen to be effective at cooling down the body (especially during hot sweats) and reduce perspiration, it also helps to dry up excess phlegm and diarrhea.

It contains anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds which helps to protect and heal cells all through the body. This maintains good circulation of blood and flexibility of muscles and blood vessels throughout the body.

Read more about how and why Sage is so great here. I absolutely love the smell and taste of sage too.

 Lemon and sage cordial Loula Natural image1

Lemons are also amazing for the body. Rich in vitamin C, good for boosting the digestive system and restoring a ph balance to the body. Lemons stimulate the body and they go really well with Sage. Combined with the raw honey and water kefir, this cordial is great for an immune boost, hormone balance, is cooling and effective at helping to reduce any heat or irritability on the skin or in the digestive system. 

The water kefir helps you to absorb and digest the volatile oils in the sage and also help to support the body back to balance. To make it see here or check out my book- Culture Your Life.

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However, please consult your natural health provider if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, on blood thinners, or epileptic before using this recipe. It may have undesirable effects. As always listen to your body and try to take responsibility for your own health and knowing what your body needs.

Lemon Sage Cordial
A great cordial combining Sage, Lemon, Water Kefir and Raw Honey. An immune powerhouse and hormone balancer. Not to be used during pregnancy or breast feeding.
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Ingredients
  1. 5-6 Fresh Sage leaves or 1tsp dried organic sage
  2. 3 lemons- juiced
  3. 1tsp raw honey
  4. 1tbsp Water Kefir
Instructions
  1. Add all of the ingredients to a glass jar
  2. Leave out of the fridge for an hour or two then place in the fridge.
  3. Use 1-2 tbs of cordial to sparking water, warm water or filtered water.
  4. Also can be used to flavour water kefir or Kombucha
Notes
  1. Use sparingly. Good to help cool down the body- especially during a hot flush and also used to help balance hormones after breastfeeding.
  2. Gives an immune boost and can help to dry up excess phlegm and soothe sore throats. Also good for dental health especially chewing the sage leaves.
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
Check out some of my other homemade recipes and articles for natural health;

Elderberry Cordial

Hibiscus, lemon, ginger and honey tea

Lemon, Orange and Ginger Curd

5 reasons to make Kefir

Kefir Gummies

5 Reasons to brew Kombucha

How the Immune System Works

How do I naturally boost my immune system

How to choose Essential Oils

Lemon and sage cordial Loula Natural Pin 

 

Loula Reviews Microbirth

Loula Reviews Microbirth

Loula Reviews Microbirth

On the 20th of September (2014), One World Birth put together a worldwide premier of their new documentary- Microbirth. It was a clever way of getting small groups together to hold screenings around the globe to try to get people together to watch and be able to ask questions. Groups were held by midwives, doulas and professionals surrounding pregnancy. I heard about it through my Doula friend Kathy Kitzis, who knew with my passion for bacteria, how much I would love the film. We held the screening together and I was excited to watch it and now review it for you to encourage you to watch it too.

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The film contains information from scientist and researchers talking about their latest work into understanding why we as a global community are getting so sick.

“we are amazing… we have never been sicker, and it is going to get worse.”

These are sentiments that I tend to start all of my courses and client sessions with. It was so refreshing and motivating to hear what I as a Naturopath have been experiencing throughout my almost 6 years of practicing. How come with all the technology and research out there, we not recognising what is staring us in the face. Our modern health care system is not coping and by and large not working.

What the film goes on to talk about is ‘non-communicable diseases’ they name some; asthma, cancer, mental disorders, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and so on. What I tend to categorize and are also known as; chronic disease. Through my own research to help my clients, family and friends find the cause of their chronic conditions, I have also come to similar conclusions as the films main purpose. It is all about the health and balance of our internal environment. Especially the balance and existence of bacteria in our body and in the environment surrounding us.

“Cost of treatment (for noncommunicable diseases) is $47 trillion by 2030…staggering”

“60% of all deaths” are caused by non-communicable diseases and it is estimated that it is on the rise- 17% over the next decade. The film cites predictions that the cost of providing care using the modern healthcare system is set to bankrupt the world economies by the year 2030. My response as a natural health care practitioner is, of course, that this is not surprising. We in the natural health community have been saying the same thing for years and we have been actively trying to get people to take responsibility for their own health. No longer expecting doctors and pharmaceutical companies to come up with another magic pill which isn’t so magical anymore. Changing to real food, remedies directly found in nature, fermenting, dealing with societies pressures, stress and being able to balance emotions. All of these require us to take responsibility and make different choices in our lives.

What was so encouraging about the film is that is is centred around motivating people and explaining how to change the possible very starting point of our problems. Getting the seeding right in our babies. This may set the rest of their potential future health in stone through three key things- vaginal births, skin to skin when born and breastfeeding for at least 6 months. These are all things we are very, very aware of. The film helps you to really stop and think about just how crucial these 3 things are to the future of our children and children’s, children. If at not all 3 then you at least consider the implications and try to include at least 2.

“we are a walking ecosystem…an ecosystem under threat”

Antibiotics are said to have achieved great things, but they are also overused and over relied upon. Combined with hand sanitising and cleaning products we have been waging war on the very beings who are their to keep us safe and alive. With the predictions being that half of the net worth of the world will have to be spent on health care we also have to consider that we will also become an invalid society. One that is too sick to work, without the caretakers or facilities able to look after us. This is a very real prediction, but we can make changes and we can do it very easily. 

The film suggests we have one chance, at birth, to get this microbial environment correct. This is something I largely disagree with. Our internal and external environment is constantly changing and the film talks about epigenetics (see here for Brue Lipton, here for his book and here for a list of other books for more information on that). Epigenetics is the idea that genes (which dictate how our cells are formed) can turn off and turn on. In effect, we can change our gene expression but also our overall health. This can be done very easily by ensuring that we create an environment which switches off the so called destructive (some call them survival genes) and switch on the genes which allow the body to go back to normal- back to balance.

“losing our maternal heritage…we do not know what the implications of this is yet”

 

This is very exciting and the film merely touches on this as a way to show us that bacteria play a huge role in epigenetics, as does pregnancy and perhaps normal labour. So we can help our future generations by ensuring that we know while we are indeed preparing to get pregnant and whilst pregnant the gene expression we switch on and off with our babies is possible. A large part of this is suggested in natural, unassisted, unprovoked and tampered with labour. 

The film touches on the idea that stress may be necessary for the fetus to switch on their immune system. That c-sections not only take away the ability for the baby to gain the necessary seeding of bacteria through the birth canal on their skin and in their mouth, but also they do not go through the ‘trauma’ of childbirth which is necessary for them to know what is safe and what is not. This is also affected by them not being allowed skin to skin with their mother in their first moments. Not only is skin to skin necessary to further seed them with bacteria from your skin but it can also regulate and stimulate their hormone production which allows them to calm down, to regulate their blood sugar levels and their instinct of hunger to then seek out the mothers nipple to being the third phase in seeding, breastfeeding.

It is exciting that people are talking in this way with several studies backing up their ideas, and not shying away from the risk of offending people who choose c-sections. Of course they all agree that sometimes c-sections are very necessary in come cases, but that they were never supposed to be an option to choose from. The rate at which elective c-sections is rising is completely alarming and can no longer be ignored as a factor towards the person’s future health. In that way it is very exciting that the film talks to a scientist currently conducting experiments into using a gauze swab which collects bacteria from the mothers vagina to be used following a c-section. The gauze is then rubbed over the baby and in their mouth trying to replicate at least one factor of the birthing process. 

“their (bacteria) function should not be underestimated…we cannot cut out species and expect to still be balanced…we have lost about a 1/3 of our diversity…diversity protects us”

What comes across very strongly, which motivates me further, is the encouragement to see bacteria differently. For me it is my passion to see people fermenting and re balancing their bacterial levels in treatment of their chronic (non-communicable) diseases. That we are walking eco-systems. Bacteria make us normal and that we should be 90% bacteria. That fact “connects us to the universe a bit more” and I loved that about this film. 

A baby with a c-section, especially those who are then fed formula are potentially at risk for some very serious long term complications. They may be picking up bacteria from an imbalanced environment, especially in a hospital. Their immune training if incorrect right at the beginning may or may not be possible to correct. It is seen to then go on to affect all tissue from brain development to muscle and mucosal lining development. These children and of course now adults born in this way must consider retraining and modulating their bodies systems by correcting their bacterial balance. The fact that breast milk provides, not only, bacteria and nutrients but also the very food source to nurture our bacterial counterparts at the same time. This is huge in support of giving baby what nature intended. I hope it helps motivate mums to keep trying and seek support. Otherwise to consider homemade formula and the very least probiotics for their babies.

So you dont have to be pregnant or working with pregnant women to gain something from watching this film. We dont have to contribute to the potential bankruptcy of the world as we know it. We can make big changes by turning to some micro-organisms. Seek out your local fermenting classes now! I dont believe that at birth it is the only chance for change but I am happy to promote that is it is a huge chance to start to change what you think about health and the future of our children and their children is actually in our hands.

“We cannot afford to wait”

Let me know if you watched the film and what you thought about it…

Loula Reviews Microbirth Pin

Sea Buckthorn

 

Sea Buckthorn Loula Natural

Nutrient Fact File Sea Buckthorn

We have seen from historical records, the Chinese were the first to document use of Sea Buckthorn for its medicinal properties. More than a thousand years ago Sea Buckthorn was added to a classical Tibetan medical book.  In 1977, after numerous studies, it was also added to the Chinese Pharmacologia. For a full history into the studies and findings of Sea Buckthorn see here . Also to see a full list of its nutritional constituents please see here.

Sea Buckthorn is a bush sized plant which yields bright yellow berries.   The berry is considered one of the world’s most balanced fruits, providing powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds with a lot of essential fats. The benefits are easy to come by as the plant is not overly processed and grows without the need of too much interference from the farmer. The ‘magic’ of this food is in the mix of its nutrients. It is high in a great mix of healthy fats whilst also packed with necessary bioavailable (which means the body can use them immediately) nutrients needed in so many cases of chronic inflammation and conditions.

This cherished “super fruit” is rich in antioxidants, essential amino acids, vitamin E, rare Omega 7 and 190 other bioactive nutrients. Rich in beta-carotene, flavonoids and vitamins C, D, E and K, sea buckthorn also contains a substantial complex of B vitamins and 20 minerals. Moreover, it supplies between 4-100 times more vitamin C than any other fruit or vegetable. It is a real natural powerhouse.

It grows in very dry desert like soil and loves the direct sunlight all day. Sea-buckthorn berries are edible and nutritious, though astringent, oily and unpleasant to eat raw. However they can be frosted (freeze dried) which reduces the astringency and/or mixed as a drink with sweeter substances such as apple juice (I would love to see what it is like in water Kefir!). 

The leaves, flowers, and fruits are also used as natural medicine. When the berries are pressed, the resulting sea-buckthorn juice separates into three layers: on top is a thick, orange cream; in the middle, a layer containing sea-buckthorn characteristic and uniquely high content of saturated and polyunsaturated fats (Omega 3,6,7 and 9); and the bottom layer is  then the sediment and juice. The fat sources are then largely used for cosmetic purposes, but the upper two layers can also be processed for skin creams, whereas the bottom sediment layer is normally processed into edible products like syrup. 

Forms

 

The oil may be consumed either internally or externally, but it is recommended to combine doing both. By taking sea buckthorn oil internally, you will provide your body with bioavailable nutrients. Using it externally can also protect and nurture existing skin cells. It is also amazing rubbed into your gums to eliminate any infection or swelling, or just as a way of preventing cavities and gum disease.

The nutrients make Sea Buckthorn very anti-aging often also found in many cosmetics as . Some people apply sea buckthorn berries, berry concentrate, and berry or seed oil directly to the skin.  If used topically, the sea buckthorn oils and supplements are known for strengthening the epidermis (skin top layer) and can penetrate to the cell membranes. In this way it can be useful for preventing sunburn; for treating radiation damage from x-rays; for healing wounds including burns, and cuts; for acne,dermatitis, dry skin, eczema and other skin conditions including age spots.  

The fruit also contains dense contents of carotenoids, the precursor to Vitamin A; This vitamin plays a very important role in healthy dental care. Our tooth enamel contains keratin, and vitamin A allows keratin to be used for teeth rather than prioritising it for storage in cells.  Also, vitamin A is key in protecting mucus membranes (that cover our digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems). Plus carotenoids are hugely anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory.

The berries also include Vitamin D which is essential for healthy tooth tissue and bone strength and density. It is also key in collagen formation, which is responsible for strength and solidity of the organ cells (such as teeth and bones, for example) which helps to repair and strengthen all of the body’s systems and also contributes to brain health and development

The fruit of the plant has a high vitamin C content and is about 15 times greater than oranges. Vitamin C also greatly influences the synthesis of collagen, therefore aiding in strengthening teeth, bones, connective tissue, mucous membranes and muscle mass. It is also key in energy production, protecting the cells from oxidative damage and moderating the immune system. Adding to this, vitamin c may also help to prevent tooth decay by balancing bacteria levels. 

balanced

Nutrient and phytochemical constituents of sea-buckthorn berries are undergoing basic research in inflammatory disorders, cancer mechanisms or positive effect on bone marrow after chemotherapy and other health claims, although no specific health benefits have yet been proven by clinical research in humans.  However anecdotal evidence is rich in its benefits and uses. Personally, over the years, it has helped me in many ways. To support, regulate and moderate my menstrual cycle (has reduced period pain and pms), it has helped me to reduce my systemic inflammation (especially in the digestive system), has played a role in my change of body shape and helps me to moderate my mood and motivation.

Few other healthy fats have such a combination of benefits and nutrients. This powerhouse has such an amazing combination of treats for the body.

Main actions are;

    • Cell membrane integrity and structure; which helps develop strong and healthy cells throughout the body.
    • Gastrointestinal and liver health; by using the above point to repair and also protect the mucous membranes
    • Dental and gum health as it is anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant also the fats help to develop strong healthy tooth material. 
    • Moderating a healthy inflammation (immune system) response
    • Muscle/energy production
    • Brain health; also helps to protect messages from the brain to the rest of the body

Historically has been used in the following conditions with some effect;

  • Sea Buckthorn uses

And a review published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology states:

“Sea buckthorn has been scientifically analyzed and many of its traditional uses have been established using several biochemical and pharmacological studies. Various pharmacological activities such as cytoprotective (protects cells-ed), anti-stress, immunomodulatory (moderates the immune system-ed), radioprotective, anti-atherogenic (supports heart health-ed), anti-tumor, anti-microbial and tissue regeneration have been reported.” 

 

 

Resources; 

 http://oilypedia.com/natural-oral-care-sea-buckthorn-oil-for-healthy-teeth/#ixzz37biE7ttA

Dr. Oz Deems Sea Buckthorn New “Miracle Berry”

http://www.seabuckthorninsider.com/health-benefits/concerned-about-cancer-inflammation-memory-loss-or-diabetes-holy-fruit-of-the-himalayas-can-help/

 http://seabuckthorn.com/files/Seabuckthorn%20and%20Medicine.pdf

http://www.itmonline.org/arts/seabuckthorn.htm

 

Sea Buckthorn Loula Natural Pin

Cherry Vanilla Kefir

Cherry and Vanilla Water Kefir  Loula Natural fb

Cherry Vanilla Water Kefir

I play with kefir flavours all the time-I love to introduce new ones in my classes. Whatever is in my fridge or cupboard gets tried out! I use dried fruit, fresh fruit, stewed and juiced fruit! I use vegetables too (cucumber and mint water kefir is lovely) I even use cacao nibs. Some I love and so I then make a huge batch of it. This is a recipe that I love!

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Black Cherries are in abundance and the tart fizzy flavour of the cherries in the water kefir is so well balanced by the vanilla. I use very concentrated vanilla essence (like this one). I have tried it with fresh vanilla pod and it is nice too. Also it goes the prettiest colour! 

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I normally ferment with an open vessel because in the humidity and heat of the summer- potential for explosion is very high. However I decided to use a shorter fermentation time. I used the fido lid this time and fermented this for 8 hours and then refrigerated it. You may need to adjust the timings of the ferment so that it is suitable for your climate. I always taste my ferments as I go past to see if it needs longer- and the key to good flavour is fermenting to taste.

Cherry-and-Vanilla-Water-Kefir-in-the-popped-bottle-Loula-Natural

This recipe is a second ferment. If you want to learn how to make the initial water Kefir please see here for my How to; Make Kefir or buy Culture Your Life (hardback version is out very very soon)

Cherry Vanilla Water Kefir
This tart, fizzy and rich vanilla water kefir is delicious and refreshing. Its also amazingly good for your digestive and immune system.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 litre of water kefir ( I make mine with coconut and maple sugar)
  2. 7-8 cherries pitted
  3. 3 drops of vanilla essence
Instructions
  1. Once the water kefir is strained pour into a flip top topped bottle like this one
  2. Add cherries to the bottle and close
  3. I fermented this for between 8-10 hours but you may need to leave it for up to 24 depending on your climate.
  4. Store in the fridge when you like the taste
Notes
  1. Be careful when you ferment with lids as carbon dioxide is a by product of fermentation.
  2. Ensure you allow gas to escape by opening your bottles periodically.
  3. See here for how to make water kefir
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
Here is my pinterest board for fermentation inspiration;
Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest.

 Cherry and Vanilla Water Kefir  Loula Natural pin

 

 

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