This time of year and every change of season our body needs help to adjust. The healing spices in this turmeric tea have been used for centuries. We need to maintain our body temperature every day and when the outside environment is up and down that can be a stressful task for the body (cue fever!).
Spices have a long tradition in every culture to help support the body by providing essential nutrients as building blocks. Turmeric, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, black pepper, cloves, cacao and nutmeg all have a rich tradition as healing herbs. Any combination of these is going to help to support, boost, calm and restore the body during any up and down period (stress included).
I love to make this at the beginning or end of the day. Especially when I am feeling run down, cold, stressed or pre-menstrual. The combination of the herbs gives a big dose of nutrients and healing power. I sometimes make it with milk (I tend to use this coconut cream or cashew milk), I also make it with hot water and a dash of coconut cream.
Simply make up a jar of this mix and add what you like. I especially like to add it to my hot chocolate recipe! The kids like it too….
A warming cuddle in a mug. Perfect to boost the immune system and calm the nervous system.
My dad loves his fish on Friday. We love fish once a week and so friday is as good a day as any! I try to mix up what we have and I absolutely love all kinds of asian food so this hybrid joins all the flavours I love the most.
I serve ours with parsnip rice and green veg like stir fried kale, bok choi or broccoli. You can adjust the heat or leave out the chillies all together if you are not keen on spice. Our kids like a little spice so I try to minimise it so they can eat with us.
Friday Fish Curry
This Thai/Indian hybrid satisfies my taste buds. The thai lemongrass and ginger with the more indian mustard seeds and turmeric makes this curry light, fresh and with a comforting heat.
1tsp dried turmeric or thumb nail size fresh turmeric root
thumbnail size fresh ginger
thumbnail size fresh galangal
thumbnail size fresh lemongrass
3 cloves garlic
3 curry leaves
1 tbsp coconut oil
Juice of one lime
2 tbsp coconut sugar
can coconut milk
2 small shallots
1 small red chillies
800g fish (I use Ling Fillet but any firm fish or salmon would be nice)
3 parsnips for the rice
In a food processor add the shallots, red chillies, salt, pepper, 3 curry leaves, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, galangal, turmeric, mustard seed, coriander seed and cumin seed. blend until almost paste like- add the coconut oil.
Cube the fish
Add the fish and paste to a bowl and mix well. Cover and leave to marinate for an hour (overnight is best)
Add coconut oil to a hot pan and add marinaded fish and fry until spices are fragrant.
Add coconut milk sugar to taste. Allow to simmer.
Add some vegetables (this time I added aubergine and baby corn but anything would work well)
Allow to simmer until vegetables are cooked
Serve with rice and green vegetables. I use parsnip rice.
I have also used beef and chicken with the exact same method.
This recipe works beautifully in the slow cooker too. Just add it to the slow cooker with the vegetables and cook on low for 4 hours.
Loula Natural https://loulanatural.com/
I also use exactly the same recipe with chicken and beef too. With the beef I use brisket as it is lovely slow cooked (see my beef bourguignon recipe). Add the marinaded beef to the slow cooker and when there is 2 hours left on the cooking time- add the coconut milk and extra vegetables.
I love coconut. I love making coconut yoghurt, milk and butter from the meat and drinking the water and making coconut water kefir. The recipes couldn’t be simpler.
The results from making them fresh and from home are so beyond what you can buy in cartons, cans and jars! Mostly however because the natural bacteria are still present in the fresh meat and water and this greatly enhances the health giving properties. I use Young Thai coconuts, they are my favourite tasting ones. They also have a good amount of soft meat and water to make a delicious coconut milk that does not need straining. Have a look at my post to see how to easily open them
There are also several methods of making coconut milk from dried coconut too. In the tropics we have these in abundance of fresh coconuts in the supermarkets and after using the water and meat they are a bargain. Now I just need some ideas on how to use the husks- I hate waste and live on the 27th floor! (update- we now live in a house and I am planning to use them as planters for some seedlings.)
The easiest way to make coconut milk is to use the contents of one coconut (meat and water- topping up with filtered water if necessary) and blend- however if you want to make more than one glass then follow this recipe.
Fresh Coconut Milk
A delicious vibrant milk which is far superior to cows milk in taste, nutrient content and nutrient availability.
Fermentation is the “transformation of food by various bacteria, fungi and enzymes they produce” (The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz- awesome book. The transformation is enormous.
Fermenting is a natural phenomenon. Very little is actually understood about the make-up of the starters and how they grow, transform and multiply. Some do it spontaneously and some are seemingly indestructible. The trans-formative power of fermentation can produce alcohol, preserve our foods and make them more digestible, less toxic and more delicious.
1. Vibrant is how I tend to describe fermented foods especially Kefir. We would not exist without our bacterial partners. Our digestive systems need them and this system is vital for the procurement, absorption and assimilation of nutrients used to power every other body system. Our immune system depends on it and we could not use or store energy without them. The product is amazing! When using a UHT milk you will get a superior product with more nutrients ready to be absorbed. If you go up the scale and ferment a Raw Milk (sadly impossible for us here in HK) you are getting a true super food. The same goes for your water Kefir- if you use white refined sugar you are getting the bacterial benefit, if you are using a coconut sugar or maple syrup there will be so many more nutrients available within the water
2. Kefir is anatural pro-biotic. Kefir grains, whether water or milk, are essentially cultured beneficial bacteria. It is what they then go onto culture that makes them one or the other (milk or water). However with time and patience they can be used to culture both. If someone gives you ‘milk kefir’ grains you may be able to use them to culture any milk (cows, goats, sheep’s, soy, rice, any nut/seed or coconut). ‘Water Kefir’ grains may be used to culture Water (sugared water, juice or coconut water). This means that grains can produce different results based on where they are from and what they have been used and no two batches will be the same. They feed on the lactose in the milk and the sugar in the water (coconut or juice).
3. They are cheaper to use then bottled probiotics. They are also alive and not freeze dried like in the capsules so are ready to inhabit and balance the bacteria in your digestive system. Safe for everyone Kefir can be taken while pregnant and is great for babies (not the milk kefir before the age of one) Capsules will help promote good bacteria but will not take up residence like Kefir does (source) Also Kefir has 35 strains of alive bacteria working together in symbiosis. How many strains are listed on the back of your probiotic capsules?
4. Kefir is so easy to make.Liquid (containing sugar), warm environment (room temperature) and grains. Leave for between12-24 hours strain and go. Other forms of fermenting can take longer and be a bit more tempermental! The Grains are virtually indestructible and can be stored easily in the fridge. The Kefir community is inclusive and open to all so you should be able to find grains from someone in your area. (The grains are meant to be free but some people may charge postage or a nominal fee- my grains are free to come and collect!)
5. What to use it in. I add it to a smoothie every morning. However you can also make yoghurt from it, use it as a sourdough starter, pancakes, ice cream, chiaporridge, cereal, raw cookies, green drinks;the possibilities are endless. Use them on your skin and is great for Eczema (in the bath, grains as a face/body mask, in a spray bottle for after swimming and my favourite way is as an alternative to shampoo; the water and coconut water are amazing on hair and the milk kefir is great as a hair mask- try mixing it with a little coconut oil) Come and find my Fermenting Inspiration board on my Pinterest where I also share other great ideas). This post is just addressing the first ferment– with an additional second ferment the possibilities for goodness, nutritional content and taste are virtually endless!
If you are in Hong Kong come on one of my Fermenting Workshops to taste and learn Kefir, Kombucha and Coconut Yoghurt within a community! See my events board on my facebook page or subscribe to my newsletter to be kept up to date with all recipes and tips! Learn more buy buying my book;
To clarify by Raw I includeall fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds in their normal unprocessed state. The food is never heated above 115 degrees F or 48C. I do not support a full Raw Food Diet no more than I would support any diet that is restrictive and unbalanced. I endorse a 80/20% moderation in all things! Personally I enjoy at least 1 (if not more) completely Raw food meal a week. However I also eat cooked food and am not a vegan or vegetarian!
Supposedly eating Raw retains all of the vital components of the foods (vitamins, minerals, enzymes, essential fatty acids, plant proteins, fibre, water, phyto-nutrients, antioxidants and probiotics) in their natural form. It also therefore remains free of processed sugars (most of which are boiled) sweeteners, flavourings, preservatives, gluten, dairy and unfermented soy. The diet can be very nut heavy but should suit those without allergies andseeds can be substituted easily. B vitamins, essential fatty acids, vitamin c and enzymes with in food are susceptible to heat damage, these are retained in a Raw state
Raw food is reported to be gentler on the digestive system as the body is more adapt at assimilating unadulterated foods (However people with a weak digestive system and without the necessary means to digest and absorb food there may sometimes be a reaction to raw foods).The fibre contentcan also help balance blood sugar levels and bulk stool thus potentially helping any constipation. It is a simple and easy to integrate into your life and lifestyle- as easy as having a salad of raw vegetables with or as your meal. It is also kinder to the planet!
The foods are fresh so generally you will be eating seasonally and organic is preferred but not essential. You may also feel a boost in your immune system and see a decrease in chronic inflammation.
There is a vibrancy to raw foods. There may sometimes be an initial adjustment period for the body but after this with an abundance of nutrients and no more empty calories you should feel energy levels improve. Eating Raw foods can help you feel lighter (don’t really get that full, bloated feeling after a meal). . It will also help address the acid/alkaline balance in the body.
It can also make you more organised as if something has to be soaked or prepped in advance it gives you a little more control over the days/weeks meal plans.