Thursday, December 14, 2017

how to brew your own kombucha...


Ok stay with me here. This is going to be a looooong post PACKED full of information. I'm doing this for two reasons: 
  1. My heart in this is that you guys get the most in-depth "how to" that I can possibly muster up in hopes that this will hopefully lead to...
  2. Full awareness and understanding with what's needed so you can make your own kombucha without a doubt in your mind! 

Because you guys, once you get started, this stuff is SO easy to make AND SO FRIGGIN ECONOMICAL. I mean let's break it down for a second: one bottle of a well known kombucha can run you anywhere from like $3-5 (PER BOTTLE!!!) unless it's on sale. If on sale, I've found certain brands go for like $2-3. But still, that adds up! And if you're like me (and my husband), you drink a bottle a day! Which means at least 2 bottles a day. Multiply by 7 days in a week and we're at around 14 bottles! 14 multiplied by $3 is $42 JUST IN KOMBUCHA. #nope

So naturally, we needed to make our own! Ha! Which I'm assuming is your same predicament as well, which is why you're here! Yay! This recipe and post is going to teach you how to brew ONE GALLON of your own, probiotic filled, unprocessed, kombucha which is the price of a cup of sugar, filtered water and tea bags. Boom done. Now if you're just starting you will also need to find a friend that brews and get them to give you some of their SCOBY (more on that later) and some of their starter OR buy some online. We'll get to sources where to buy and stuff later. But after that initial start up cost, you're back to just sugar and tea. AND YES PLEASE USE REAL SUGAR. Ok, I'm getting ahead of myself. 

You're going to love this, I promise. But let me say upfront, first and foremost- read through this whole post first. Then read it again. And maybe even read through it a third time and start to envision yourself doing each step so that you are fully understanding what's required. We are dealing with a living thing and want to make sure we're doing it right. Now like I said before, it's EASY stuff, but it does take some doing, some patience, and a little practice. 

Just to give you guys a little background; I've been brewing my own kombucha for almost 2 years. Every week. So that's a lot of time to experience troubleshooting, learn from mistakes, and get into a really good routine for what works easily. And it needs to be easy for me! I brew this solely on my own and I have to do it while being a stay at home mama to a toddler and also homeschooling him and doing house stuff too! If I can do this, so can you.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

hearty overnight chia pudding...

The days are just getting busier and busier as we get closer to Christmas, it seems. I find myself so wrapped up with getting us all where we need to go, and making sure Luke's still eating appropriately, that my own diet is falling by the wayside. Sometimes breakfast or lunch is a cold leftover half a chicken breast and a tangerine. It's ludicrous! 

Then I remembered we used to LOVE eating overnight oats when I was into doing things like planning ahead 😆 It really helped my husband and I out so much in those super busy mornings! You know, like Sundays when we're all rushing around and I'm trying to get us all fed, dressed, teeth brushed and out of the house an hour after Luke has gotten up, and at church on time! Such a struggle! Having a breakfast that I prepare the night before and let do it's thing in the fridge? GOLD. MAMA GOLD. That morning, it's one less thing I have to worry or even think about. Simply pop open the jar, throw a spoon in and boom- breakfast is served. 


Since going Paleo, I do try and remain as grain free as possible so I've switched out our overnight oats for an almost overnight chia pudding! It's hearty, fills you up thanks to all those healthy fats and proteins from the coconut milk, nuts and seeds, and best part is it's so easy. It definitely needs to be done the night before so that it's got the time it needs to set up properly. But by doing so, you've cleared off one more thing on the morning list and breakfast will be waiting and ready as soon as you're up! (Also great as an on-the-go food!)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

vegan + paleo easy "eggnog"...

I don't know about you, but I love the idea and flavor of eggnog...but have always had a hard time drinking it unless it was diluted because of how thick and rich it was. Sign me up for all the eggnog flavored specialty drinks and candies, but man- it's hard to drink too much of the real thing. 

Just me?

Don't get me wrong- the moment someone pulls out eggnog and asks if anyone would like some, my hand is the first to fly up. But then 4 or 5 sips in and I find myself really struggling with finishing it because it is just so much! I end up having to dilute it with milk or something along those lines to be able to fully enjoy. I'm thinking I'm just an eggnog whimp.

Then, having to go paleo a few years back sort of stopped any eggnog drinking anyway. Sad face. Although, just recently I've found a few homemade paleo friendly eggnog recipes out there using real eggs and coconut milk and boy- that sounds really good! But also sounds pretty rich again. I'm afraid I'll find myself in the same dilemma...still needing to dilute it a bit with some more almond or coconut milk. 🤷 (Also, why am I not allowed to make her dark haired like on my iPhone?!)

I digress...

Well the holidays are upon us and as soon as Thanksgiving was over, I found myself naturally craving all things pepperminty and eggnoggy! Happens every year. Pumpkin spice everrrrrrrrrything until the day Thanksgiving is over. Then it's WHAM!- EGGNOG AND PEPPERMINT ARE LIFE. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

thanksgiving recipe roundup...

Hey friends!

Thanksgiving is sneaking up on us fast. Real fast! So I wanted to take a second to round up our favorite Thanksgiving inspired dishes, desserts, drinks, and leftovers(!!!) for you all in case you were looking for a little inspiration still. I know I am!

Some of them are Paleo, some are Gluten free, and some are good ol fashioned butter, sugar, flour babies. I wanted to make sure there was something for everyone. So, if you're needing some help, I hope these ideas will come to your rescue and get your Thanksgiving spirits going!

I also thought of titling this, "Let's take a walk down memory lane of the progression of Christina's photography skills" hahaha. Oh well.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

one pan roasted chicken + veggies with thyme + lemon...

Now that the weather has finally turned into autumnal coolness here in Southern California, we can start using our oven again. You guys- we had a HOT, LATE summer, with one of the hotter heat waves I can remember hitting us right up until the end of October. It was brutal! Most of us here have old homes (walking distance from the beach) with no air conditioning. We never needed it. Sure there were a few days here and there you wished you had one, but a few fans and the windows open, and you survived. Now though, you need one to feel like you can live. Its HOT! Luckily we invested in a portable window guy a few years back when it first started reaching 100+ temps, and man is it a lifesaver. 

That being said, when it gets that hot, stoves and ovens just aren't turning on. AT ALL.

But now the ocean breeze is back, the air is cool and sometimes even crisp, and we're feeling all the fall vibes. That feeling trickles into dinner as well. Soups, stews, hearty rich dishes, and lots of one-pan baked meals are all our jam now.