Christmas Kraut

 

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This spicy, tart and juicy Christmas Kraut is a match made in heaven for your plate, throughout the holiday season.

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Traditional Christmas foods are naturally rich in fats, nutrients and, of course, sugar! Many of us will also be enjoying a tipple or two at parties over the coming weeks. Adding a fermented aspect to these meals, this Christmas Kraut may help the body to deal with and digest all these excess foods and drinks. Hopefully lessening the fatigue, bloating, hangovers, sugar highs (and lows) and of course the noxious fumes that generally comes with turkey, sprouts et al.

Christmas Kraut star loulanatural

Perfect on the plate at the main event or served with cheese, this Christmas Kraut will totally change some of your Christmas traditions!! It will certainly be on the menu for me for years to come.

christmas kraut made Loula Natural

So simple, if you are in a warmish climate you could ferment this in a week and have it ready for your Christmas table this year.

Christmas kraut collage Loula natural

To find out how to make a basic sauerkraut see here and for my beetroot and ginger flavour see here.

Christmas Kraut
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Ingredients
  1. Ingredients
  2. 1 whole green cabbage thinly sliced
  3. 1 whole red cabbage thinly sliced
  4. 1.5% Salt
  5. 250g of fresh cranberries cut in half
  6. 1 orange (zest and segments cut in 3)
  7. 2tsp Pumpkin pie spice (or use a mix of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and star anise)
Instructions
  1. Retain 1/2 of the outside cabbage leaves for later.
  2. Make sauerkraut by mixing the cabbage with the salt. Massage the cabbage until it starts to wilt and release water.
  3. Add and combine the cranberries, orange and spices.
  4. Press the mixture into a fido (airtight sealable jar) jar and keep pressing down to release liquid.
  5. When the mixture is all in the jar and there is liquid covering the top, press down the outside cabbage leaves to keep any stray bits of cabbage from floating to the surface of the liquid.
  6. Seal and leave to ferment on the counter for a week-28 days. Keep tasting the kraut every few days.
  7. Put in the fridge for an additional week.
  8. Enjoy, Merry Christmas
Notes
  1. This recipe is especially nice with cheese or an alternative to cranberry sauce.
Adapted from How to Ferment: Sauerkraut
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
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How to Cook Christmas Dinner

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How to Cook Christmas Dinner

Cooking Christmas dinner can feel like such a daunting experience. It is actually pretty simple (she says!). It is all about the timing. I have put together some lists that help me to get through the day smoothly (it really helps to appoint a chief washer upper- or have your dishwasher on constantly!).

Christmas Vegetables Loula Natural

These lists are downloadable and printable to make it easy for you to cook christmas dinner. All recipes are made with whole food, nutrient dense ingredients and you can substitute where needed to suit your dietary needs. I have based my time line on eating a 13lb 12oz (6kg)Turkey at 180C/375F,  which will feed 6 adults easily. You may need to adjust your timings using this conversion cooking chart; (source)

turkey times

 Happy Christmas Diner Loula Natural

Here is the Christmas Menu   Christmas Menu

Christmas Starters Loula Natural

The shopping list is based on half of the party not liking smoked salmon (like mine!) Some of the items on the list may already be in your store cupboard but I have included absolutely everything to help you. Before you go shopping print the list and strike off what you already have. Now its time to cook christmas dinner!

Turkey Ham for Christmas Loula Natural

I have listed some amounts so that you have an idea of how much you have to buy but please use your own judgement! I prefer to buy organic, local, fresh food however it depends what is available for you and within your budget. 

Christmas Menu Shopping List Loula Natural Here is your printable Shopping List;  Christmas Menu Shopping List Loula Natural   

 Gravy and Cranberry Sauce

Here are the To Do Lists;

Christmas Menu To Do List Loula Natural

Christmas Day To Do List Loula Natural

This is the printable version;

To Do List Christmas Dinner Loula Natural

Christmas SherryTriffle Loula Natural

Merry Christmas xxx

How to make Christmas Dinner Loula Natural pin

Kumquat, Cranberry and Cinnamon Water Kefir

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Kumquat, Cranberry and Cinnamon Water Kefir

I have been tinkering around with lots of new flavours of Water Kefir and this, Kumquat, Cranberry and Cinnamon, is my new favourite (after my ginger, lemon and honey water kefir!) I have used bought dried Kumquats in this recipe but they are abundant in the shops at the moment so am also keen to dry my own. I have used my own dried cranberries. 

Kumquats are in season in winter and in spring (they are very popular as ornaments at Chinese New Year as they represent gold and are also used as offerings in temples and shrines). As are cranberries. So this recipe for Kumquat, Cranberry and Cinnamon Water Kefir is very seasonal. Kumquats are quite unique from other citrus fruits as they are eaten whole- peel and all. They are extremely tart but still have a degree of sweetness. 

Since the whole fruit is eaten the skin’s fibre, oils, phyto-nutrients and antioxidants are present and add to its nutrient value. The anti-oxidants and vitamin C, A and E you would expect from a citrus fruit are also in abundance in Kumquats. Here you can find a table of nutrients contained within the fruit. 

See the health benefits of Cranberries here and Cinnamon here

The mix of tart, sweet, sour and spicy make a really refreshing drink with a festive twist. 

Ingredients for Kumquat, Cranberry and Cinnamon Water Kefir 

1 litre Water Kefir ( I make mine with coconut sugar but it is also nice with Maple Syrup Water Kefir)

4/5 Dried Kumquats

Handful of Dried Cranberries

1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon or one rolled cinnamon bark

Directions

Because I have used store bought dried Kumquats I have not needed any additional sugar for the second fermentation. I allowed 24 hours for the fermentation (I also prefer to ferment with a covered open vessel but you could do it closed with regualar opening to release excess gas build up. Check out the marketplace for Kefir Grains and vessels

Once it tastes to my liking I strain the fruit (which I save to add to my Green Smoothies). I then store it in the fridge ready to drink.

For many more Kefir and Kombucha recipes and how to make these fermented products please check out my ebook Culture Your Life

Check out all my other Kefir Recipes here

 

 

If you love fermenting come and check out my collection of inspiration from around the web. Full of drinks, foods and everything bacteria! Let me know if you would like to be a contributor.

Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest.

Christmas Chocolate Box

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So having decided to make the Christmas presents this year, I have way more stress than normal!!! Yes Pinterest is great for inspiration but crap at actually sourcing things!! Anyway I digress- chocolate box. I have been enjoying making healthy chocolates as most have you have seen. I also have felt so good being dairy and gluten free for the best part of the year that I wanted to try making some dairy free truffles. I have never made a truffle in my life so this was a bodge job gone good. I mean very good- these are some tasty chocs. Super easy to make. This recipe is gonna make me 17 boxes (probably less due to creative sampling- lets say 10 boxes really!!)

Technically some of the chocolate I have used is not dairy free but that’s just for the outside so not really necessary. Add more cacao to your ‘Elixir of Life’ to make it really rich.

So most have been adapted from this mix I like to call my ‘Elixir of life!’

1 can of coconut milk- I tried the whole put it in the fridge for it to separate and it didn’t so I just used the whole can!
1/2 cup cocoa butter
3-4 heaped tbs raw cacao powder
1 tsp maple syrup (as I was out of coconut nectar and iherb aren’t delivering till tomorrow and I have no patience!)
2-3 drops vanilla essence (all the essences I used are by Medicine Flowers)

So I wizzed this up and refrigerated it thinking it may get solid and it went at best chocolate moose! So because these have got an airplane ride to get through I had to thicken it to ball it up somehow! That’s where the nuts come in!

Meanwhile I am soaking 1/2 cup raisins in some dark rum for the coconut balls and mixed peel, candied cherries and raisins and dried cranberries in tokay for the Christmas pudding marzipan balls (at least overnight is best)

Almond banoffee pie

1 cup of ground almonds (I use my dried ones from making my almond milk)
1 ripe banana
Medicine flower banana essence (to taste and optional)
Baileys Creme Caramel flavour (to taste I used about 1/2 shot and a bit more 😉 )
1 tbs coconut mana
4 tbs if the ‘elixir of life)
Coconut flour
1 bar of endangered species chocolate (or for dairy free ground almonds and cacao for rolling)

If you are using whole almonds blix them up till just before it hits almond butter. So they are ground and getting sticky. Add the banana and mash with a fork, add the rest I the ingredients to taste and leave the coconut flour to turn it into a bit more dough like. Roll into balls and place in freezer. Next day roll in milk chocolate (or to keep dairy free ground almond and cacao powder).

Pistachio Mint
The next few are similar-
1 cup of pistachio nuts (raw and unsalted)
Medicine flowers mint essence to taste
Vanilla essence
5-6 tbs of the ‘elixir of life’
Coconut flour
1 bar of 85% chocolate (I used green and blacks)

This one needs less flour as its less wet. But add, mix and taste as you go. Ball up, freeze. I rolled these in 85% dark chocolate with a little coconut oil mixed in.

Hazelnut Cranberry

1 cup raw hazelnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Vanilla essence
1-2 tbs coconut mana
5/6 tabs elixir of life
Pinch pink Himalayan rock salt (or sea salt)
Coconut flour
Cacao to roll in

Second verse- same as the first. Whizz hazelnuts and cranberries together. Mix everything else leaving coconut flour till end to soak up extra moisture ready to ball up. Rolled in raw cacao powder.

Cashew, Raspberry and White Chocolate
1 cup raw cashews
Fresh Raspberries
2 tbs coconut mana
Medicine Flowers Raspberry and also Vanilla
Pinch of salt (as above)
5/6 tbs of ‘Elixir of life’
Coconut flour
2 bars of white chocolate

So as before whizz the nuts and in a bowl with the mana, Elixir, then add the other ingredients except the fresh raspberries. The raspberry essence should be used sparingly as it just makes the taste of the fresh raspberry pop! Add the coconut flour to soak up excess moisture. Add a little at a time. Ball, freeze. White chocolate is hard to melt- excessive heat makes it thicker so take off the heat and stir and return. Take your time, have patience (what I keep telling my daughter possibly as I constantly need to hear it myself!

Marzipan Christmas pudding

Now I have made marzipan before but since it contains raw eggs I didn’t feel comfortable making it for other people to consume in a weeks time so I bought it. In an ideal world I would have searched for an egg free recipe and if anyone has one please share it with me.

200g marzipan
Handful of glacé cherries, mixed peel, dried cranberries and raisins soaked at least overnight in Tokay.
Drained liquid from above
About a cup Ground almonds (again leftover from almond milk- if anything this may get some of you making almond milk!!)
Coconut flour
1 bar of green and blacks maya gold chocolate

By far the sweetest one of the bunch. Put the marzipan in a bowl and add drained fruit. Using a bit of the liquid and some elbow grease (mine’s called Niall!) mix the two together. It takes a strong wooden spoon and man! Add the drained liquid bit by bit to help make the marzipan more pliable. It is then super sticky. Add ground almonds to counteract the sweetness and some coconut flour (although not much as its always going to be sticky and too much flour will make it chalky.) work quick while balling this one you don’t want it on your hands for too long. I used green and blacks maya gold cause I like the spicey notes. But 85% would be really nice too

Rum raisin coconut balls

Made exactly like the coconut bounty balls I made see here

But I added medicine flowers rum essence and a rum soaked raisin to the middle while rolling. Add some of the drained rum liquor if you like or soak the raisin in coconut water if you want this alcohol free. Roll in 85% chocolate as before

Phew sorry it’s rough and ready and without pictures the right way round! but I wanted it out there… Merry Christmas xxxx

Also below is where I got some inspiration and sound good too.

http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/confectionscandies/r/dftruffles.htm

http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/sweetsaucesfrostings/r/Vegan_Chocolate_Ganache_Recipe.htm

http://blackberriesandbloodoranges.com/2012/05/16/dairy-free-dark-chocolate-truffles/

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