Tag Archives: cinnamon

Fourth Times A Charm!

YAY! So this was actually my fourth attempt at making Sauerkraut (the REAL thing, not this crappy “grab a bag of pre-shredded cabbage, dump it in a jar and pour vinegar into it” horrible excuse for the real thing stuff). You know… lactofermented so it’s actually healthy and full of probiotics. My first time making some last summer was an absolute fluke; it turned out great, albeit a tad too salty. I use both green AND red cabbage so I get the nutrients and benefits of both cabbages instead of favoring one over the other so it comes out looking purple (color matters not when it tastes great and is good for you)! Using a head of both yields enough Sauerkraut to last about 3 months and costs all of $5 versus a jar of the only brand I’ve found that is actual SAUERKRAUT and not vinegar soaked cabbage that lasts a week at best and runs $7! No brainer! My second time, I think I managed to get hold of old cabbage (although it could be because I tried a different method…it molded literally overnight and put out no juice…bummer). Last batch turned out good, just not as salty as it should be and not as tangy as a perfectly fermented batch should be, but still good. But this time? Living in northwest Florida and the weather being pretty darn mild for this time of year,  it took 8 days from packing the cabbage to lactofermented Sauerkraut perfection. I’m. So. Happy!

When I checked on it Monday morning, it had that “tangy” smell to it which is indicative of the cabbage properly fermenting (believe me, you learn fast when you’ve bought some and know what it smells and tastes like when your own has gotten to that point) and since I didn’t have quite the room in the fridge at that moment, I decided to wait until yesterday morning which would work great…the fermenting “bubbles” came up in a frenzy Monday! Yippee! So press, press, press…got those bubbles going and made sure it was good and submerged in the juices.

So I went to get it to put into a couple of smaller jars that would fit in the fridge yesterday morning and the smell? Awesome! Great tangy/sour smell that is so very Sauerkraut! Then trying to pack it into the 2 jars that I used, some fell out on the counter so I tasted it. O.M.G. Bubbie’s has NOTHING on this batch of homemade Sauerkraut!  I so wish I could share it with y’all. I’m really happy and feeling quite accomplished at how well it turned out! Look at these beauties…..

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I don’t always like just getting a spoonful out and eating it straight. Usually, I get a couple of heaping tablespoons to 1/3 a cup of Sauerkraut and top my meat with it. Now, I top my chicken with it and whenever I eat beef (which my taste buds are changing…again…beef just doesn’t taste as good to me anymore, not even steaks), but it only took ONCE to discover it does NOT go well with fish! Well, this batch is solo worthy. I feel humbled because even though it is not hard to make, making it really is an art and the taste can vary a little from batch to batch depending on different factors…the freshness of the cabbage, how much salt and quality of salt (NEVER use iodized table salt; even in health magazines, they recommend using some sort of sea salt like Himalayan pink, Kiawe smoked, black sea salt from Hawai’i, etc…), how well you scrunch/rub the salt into the cabbage to release juices, or any extras you add like Caraway seeds like some recipes do. Mine is straight green and red cabbage with Himalayan pink salt and a little filtered water with extra salt on days 2 for brine when it is short on liquid to submerge.

Seriously, go back and check out the recipe. See how easy it is. Make a batch. It is especially great for helping you recuperate when you’re sick. Check out the links on THIS page and see just how good for you it is and the benefits it offers. And if you need something for the flu or an upper respiratory infection (or even a queasy stomach), try the ginger tea from THIS POST. I swear, ginger & honey are miracles for sore throats, coughing and congestion!

Hope you try some and let me know how it turns out and how you like it! Love you guys!

*Want some good reading material? Check out Heroes of Olympus (Rick Riordan), The Dresden Files (Fool Moon) by Jim Butcher or The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss. I just finished reading Fool Moon and doing a rush job of Evermore (The Immortals) by Alyson Noel. It’s okay, but it is nothing like The Dresden Files and I’m dying to get started on The Kingkiller Chronicle. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.

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Excellent novel on Greek & Roman mythology! Five stars!
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The Dresden Files are just amazing. This is also a five-star book.
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Eh, I feel like I’m reading a version of Twilight. Not a bad book, but not impressed. Three stars.
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I am so looking forward to starting this one either later today or tomorrow. The summary sounds so good!
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Cabbage & Ginger and the Flu…Oh My!

I know, I know. I promised I would be posting daily, especially since I’m in the process of making sauerkraut, and the cabbage needs to be checked on daily. But, the upper respiratory crud that is making the circuits managed to run me down and I was in bed yesterday. Definitely was not part of the agenda! I did check on the cabbage, but unfortunately, didn’t get pictures. Oops! Suffice to say, I had to add a couple of cups of brine. It did sweat and produce it’s own juice, but not enough to submerge the cabbage. So I added 1 teaspoon of Himalayan Pink Salt to 2 cups of filtered water (1/2 teaspoon of sea salt per cup of water for brine) and added that to the cabbage, then pressed down a few times to allow air bubbles to escape and make sure the cabbage gets submerged so it can ferment and not get mold.

Here is update for Day 2 (today):  No extra brine needed today! But it, of course, for this time of year, is far from being sauerkraut! Still looks and smells like cabbage.

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As I said, the upper respiratory crud going around managed to grab hold of me yesterday. Nothing like feeling like you’ve just stepped off a Merry-Go-Round all day! Was queasy with absolutely NO appetite and felt like a stone sitting on my chest and a sore throat and itchy ears to boot. So, I did what the annual publication of Herbal Remedies suggested and had 2 good size mugs of Cinnamon Ginger Tea instead of my usual 1 at lunch. There really is something to these homemade remedies! I had already been drinking it occasionally, but I have become more diligent as of late!

Ginger Tea

Place about an inch (depending on size of ginger rhizome) of ginger, thinly sliced, into a pot of 1 ¾ cups of boiling water. Add ½ – 1 teaspoon of organic ground cinnamon (or you can use a fresh cinnamon stick), cover, turn temperature to low and let simmer for 10-15 minutes (the longer it steeps, the more zing there will be to your tea). Remove from stove, strain into a mug and add 1 tablespoon of raw honey. Can drink hot or cover and let cool to drink later.  *For warmth, better digestion, nausea/morning sickness and to lessen congestion.

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I had to grab something to use that would hold a good 2 cups the last several days as another member of the household has been VERY sick with this upper respiratory mess, she wound up having to go to the doctor yesterday. I handed her the Herbal Remedies magazine to read and she asked about the Ginger Tea that I drink and could I make her some? She drinks hers fresh and very hot! But she said that it is not only good, but soothes her throat (one of a number of benefits). Because of the spice that is ginger, it stings a little as you’re drinking it (like soda does, only soda is NOT something anyone needs to be drinking), but then you get this numbing and soothing sensation. The honey helps with the coughing. It is recommended to drink 2 to 3 cups a day when you’re sick, and after yesterday, I see why. I do feel better today, but I have a cough and congestion.

Which leads me to something else I plan on trying a bit later today:  Ginger Bath. It has been a few years since I actually sat and soaked in a bathtub due to having a hard time getting down and back up thanks to my crappy back! But when you’re sick with this stuff, you are willing to try anything, and everything I’ve read says this Ginger Bath (and Ginger Footbath) really work.

Via Pure Inside Out, as well as numerous other sources both online and off, here are benefits of Ginger:

Main Health-Enhancing Benefits of Ginger

  • Calms nausea, including motion sickness dizziness
  • Relieves gas and bloating
  • Helps stop diarrhea
  • Boosts digestion
  • Calms menstrual cramps
  • Relieves headaches
  • Anti-inflamatory
  • Stabilises blood pressure (equally when too high or too low)
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Soothes cold and flu symptoms, as well as respiratory infections
  • Known for its anti-cancer properties
  • Freshens the breath naturally

The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger have been known and valued for centuries. Modern Medicine has now provided scientific support for the long-held belief that ginger contains constituents with anti-inflammatory properties. It is known to reduce the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and encourage blood circulation.

Caution: If you take anti-coagulants, consult your doctor before using ginger.

 

Ginger Bath: You can use either fresh grated ginger or ginger powder. Add ½ a cup of freshly grated ginger or a rounded teaspoon of ginger powder in hot or warm water and soak for 15-20 minutes. Please remember that the ginger bath will make you sweat profusely for at least an hour afterwards, so wear a bathrobe or sweat clothes.

Make sure you drink plenty of water after the bath. If you have sensitive skin or are allergy-prone, test ginger on your skin for irritation before the bath.

 

I’ll let you know how I feel tomorrow. But as of now, it looks promising!