Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir

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 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

Slow Cooked Beef Bourguignon

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I absolutely love my slow cooker. I bought my first one just before my daughter was born because I thought that throwing things into one and leaving it and dinner is served when you need it. My first one cracked and I felt like I was without my right hand for the week it took me to replace it! This is the one I have now but they all do the job! I prefer the ones with the ceramic pots.

I use it for soooooo many things and it is one everyday for either my stock, stewing apples, making pumpkin and porridge when it is cold, cottage pie, its the only lasagna  (and my squash lasagna), stews and whole chickens are super simple and never ever dry and bland!

Modern Updates of the Classics Loula Natural

This is one of my favourite adaptations of a classic. This recipe calls for flour which I adapted to use coconut flour. The secret to this is to use a decent red wine- one you would want to drink with the meal! My dad loves his wine and so we have a great number to choose from (two wine fridges and then some). 

Slow Cooked Beef Bourguignon
This is a delicious meal that fills the house with rich aromas and is filling and nourishing. The kids love it too!
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Ingredients
  1. 800g Beef Brisket cubed
  2. 500mls Red Wine- Burgundy is preferable
  3. 1 onion chopped
  4. 3-4 cloves of garlic
  5. 2 carrots cut up
  6. 1-2 stalks of celery sliced
  7. 1-2 tbs coconut flour
  8. 1/2 tsp turmeric
  9. 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  10. 1 tsp herbs de provence
  11. salt and pepper
  12. 1-2 tbsp olive oil/butter/ghee or coconut oil (your choice)
Instructions
  1. Pre- heat slow cooker if necessary
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add onions and garlic
  3. Brown meat, add flour- stir well so evenly covered
  4. Add all of the rest of the ingredients
  5. Add to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 6-7 hours
Notes
  1. I serve my stews with steamed green veg finished with a knob of butter and parsnip rice or sweet potato mash
Adapted from Supercooks Beef Bourguignon
Adapted from Supercooks Beef Bourguignon
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/

 

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Hazelnuts Loula Natural1

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Stock Pot; How to make Bone Broth in your Slow cooker

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I hate waste. In Hackney, (London) all our kitchen scraps went into a composting bin on the estate. I got so used to there being no food waste in the bin and I loved the idea that our waste was then used to tend the gardens in the area even though we didnt have a garden of our own. Now in Hong Kong on the 27th floor everything goes in the bin (there is some recycling like glass, metal and paper at least!). I have been making stock for a long time now- but that food waste was really irritating me! Now I use everything!

A stock can be made from anything. A bone broth will be fortified with all the nutrients. Nourishing Traditions By Sally Fallon (and here is her book for babies and children) outlines how to make all the different stocks you can make and has a recipe for each one. It is a key component in nourishing our children and is mentioned on most sites advocating the principles of Weston A Price. I like that for me it means that all parts of the food are used that alot of the water based nutrients are saved and used and that you can harness nutrients from things like skins, peels, stones and seeds that you would otherwise throw away. Thats before you think about the minerals and gelatin from the bones are not only nutritious but also in a form that is easily absorb-able.

Here is what I do.

EVERYTHING I trim, have as leftovers, peel, core, take seeds out of gets put in a ziplock bag (which I also re-use! but you could of course use a glass box!) which goes in the freezer. Then once a week I put it all in the slow-cooker add some apple cider vinegar (about a tbs) and put it on low for 24 hours. Strain it and store it in the fridge ready to use or stored in ice cube trays/bags in the freezer.

 What can be used;

All bones (chicken, ribs, porkchops, I also keep fish skins and bones separately, prawn heads and skins for my fish stock- should be cooked first)

Egg Shells (unwashed with membrane intact- they have gone straight in the freezer)

Leftover meat, veg, rice, beans and lentils if they do not get eaten through the week for lunches

All vegetable trimmings eg; (lettuce, carrot, celery, peppers and cabbage. Almost all of my veg is organic, if it isnt then I have washed it prior to trimming it in apple cider vinegar)

All skins (for example; avocado, potato, apple, orange, lemon, lime, melon etc)

All seeds (for example cherry stones, lychee stones, melon seeds, papaya etc)

I also even sometimes add my herbal tea straining!

I also retain water from boiling veg (but that happens rarely as we mostly steam veg!)

 

I love using my broth to cook my rice, lentils, stews, risottos, spaghetti, stir fry and sometimes will drink it as a broth (especially if feeling run down)

 

What do you use yours for?

(PS- the stock looks like the picture in the beginning but after the 24 hours it is brown sludgy and sloppy! I strain it and squeeze it satisfied that all the goodness has been extracted from the foods and can now be thrown in the bin!)

Other recipes:

 Bone Broth from Kula Mama

Easy and  nourishing bone broth in the slow cooker: Our Small hours

stock pot Loula Natural pin

Slow cooker lasagna

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I love lasagna. My mum always made a good one and when I lived with my brother for a while we tried to make the perfect one. I’ve tried pre-cooking the pasta, always make the white sauce without milk so finding a good alternative was a struggle (mistaking sweetened soy was a fatal error!). However I have just with my hubby made my fifth PERFECT lasagna.

Here’s how we do it- in the slow cooker. I love the slow cooker, I got it when I had my first baby as making dinner was a constant struggle, she would always need constant feeding and holding from about 4pm. So making dinner during her morning nap was a constant godsend for me. Now it’s just great to enjoy the afternoon with the constant pressure of dinner over my head. The food has always been perfect. It was only recently I stumbled upon the idea of doing it in the slow cooker. Pinterest I love you.

Ingredients:
500g mince (a mix of chicken, beef and pork is really nice but not necessary)
Celery
Carrot
1 Onion
2 cloves Garlic
Thumbnail size of ginger
Basil, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf (preferably fresh any herbs are nice)
Tin of tomatoes
Tbs Tomato purée
Worcestershire sauce/fish sauce/ glass red wine/ white wine (optional add that extra Unami)
200ml Bone broth (stock)

White Sauce;

40g Butter

40g Gluten free flour (buckwheat, rice, quinoa, chickpea- whatever you have- wheat flour is also fine)

400ml Oat milk/whey/stock(or leftover veg water- last nights asparagus and green beans)

10g cheese (usually pecorino as its sheeps cheese- optional)

(If no veg water a little Dijon mustard gives it some flavour)
Gluten free lasagna sheets (I get mine from great- waitrose for those in uk also do some)

Put onion, celery, carrot, ginger and garlic with fresh herbs (except bay leaf)into food processor. Blitz till all chopped. Heat some olive/coconut oil in a deep stockpot. Fry off and add meat. When browned add tinned tomatoes, stock, purée, and optional extras ie wine. Add bay leaf. It’s okay if it’s quite wet. You want that to cook down and reduce on low for at least an hour. Whilst this is cooking, melt butter in another saucepan. When melted add flour until you have a roux. Slowly add fluid (water/milk) stop and start continually mixing on a very low heat. Add cheese/mustard. Set aside. Turn crockpot onto low- add half mince- layer pasta- then white sauce- then pasta- then meat sauce- then white sauce with some extra cheese on top. Cook for 6 hours (I put mine on at 11am turn it to warm at 5pm and serve at 6.30. Serve with a colourful salad.

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