Fermented Foods Facts and Recipe Round Up

Happy Monday. Hope you had a wonderful weekend and Easter! Anyone sick (literally) of Easter candy yet? Haha. Well, if you are , then you might like this post. We’re talking fermented foods and how they REBOOT your gut.


Plus I can’t go very long without professing my love for my favorite fermented drink, Kombucha! I might as well talk about it more along with some other fermented food recipes. Sound good?


Okay, let’s get focused.

First….. Why do I (we) love fermented foods?

Well, I think the statement below explains it all.

The gut is the largest part of our immune system,” explains Drew Ramsey, M.D., author of The Happiness Diet and 50 Shades of Kale.

Did you catch that? The gut, it’s the where our real healing begins. So we need to FEED it right. Yes?

But what does this gut need for food? It needs bacteria (good bacteria) to feed on! And that’s where fermented foods come into play.

Fermented Food Examples:

  • Kombucha
  • Kefir (yogurt and water)
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Miso
  • Pickled Cucumbers

kefir water- fermented foods

Fermented foods go through what’s known as lactofermentation. Lactofermentation is when natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food and create lactic acid. This then preserves the nutrients in the food such as  b-vitamins, probiotics, omega 3 fatty acids, and even certain enzymes. So you see, fermented food actually FEEDS US more by FEEDING the gut more nutrients that are sustainable and digestible.

Ahh haa!!! Now you know why Kombucha  plays a big part in MAINTAINING my gut health –> IMMUNITY!

New Cotter  Brew flavor Mango Guava. Made from the Komucha Brooklyn starter Kit.

photo 4

And speaking of Kombucha Brookyln , these amazing folks sent me their home brew kit along with their new Kombucha recipe book and a few bottles of their delicious brew!.

photo 1 (2)

I loved them all, but GRAPE was probably my favorite.

The kit was so easy to use and came with everything you need to brew your own kombucha, including a scoby and glass container! I was impressed!

The directions were easy to follow and written right there on the box. So if you are wanting to try out kombucha brewing for the first time, I’d definitely check out the kit.

And for those of you who have been brewing for a while and dare to try new things, you must get this Kombucha recipe book.

photo 2 (2)

The book is written by the CEO Eric Childs and his wife (and microbiologist) Jessica Childs. Eric is is a head committee member of Kombucha Brewers International, as well as one of the most knowledgeable persons in the Kombucha industry. Their book walks you through the kombucha brewing process, the flavoring, the double fermenting, and is filled with some pretty amazing komucha recipes like probiotic salsa and eggs poached in kombucha vinegar.

Now that’s some FUN FERMENTED FOOD! Not gonna lie, I was a little giddy thinking about all the strange but good recipes I could try out!

Okay, so maybe you’re new to fermented foods. Maybe you’re a bit intimidated. That’s okay because I’ve got some basic fermented recipes to share from fellow fermented food lover bloggers.

homemade fermented  veggies purelytwins

Creamy Strawberry Coconut Fruit Dip via FitFoodieFinds.com

Superfood Chocolate Chia Kefir Pudding

And feel free to check out more on my GET “CULTURED” pinterest Board.

Well, you ready to try out some fermented foods?

I promise, they are MARVELOUS!



Disclosure: I received complimentary Kombucha Brooklyn Book and kit to review. I promise my opinions are 100% my own.


More Tips for Kombucha Brewing and a Kombucha Kamp Giveaway

Okay here we go! Another Kombucha post. But this one will definitely benefit you, promise! Stay with me here.

So remember how I’ve professed my love for Kombucha and it’s health benefits in this post? And how I shared the Scoby making tutorial and Brewing process? Well if you didn’t, it’s okay, you’ll get it all again today, in a nutshell.


I started brewing kombucha for many health reasons, and I have the Kombucha Mama (Hannah) from Kombucha Kamp to thank. I “met” her way back in 2008 and she has been my go to resource ever since. Her site has really taken off and she now offers Kombucha Brewing Kits, Scoby, Kefir grains, classes, eBooks on Kombucha, recipes for brewing, and more! LOVE LOVE LOVE HER!

kombucha kamp ebook

Well when she heard that my scoby passed away (okay I accidently left the top off the jar), she generously sent me one of her scobies and starter brew so that I could keep brewing.

photo 2

I’m in the process of brewing again now, only 4 more days till it’s ready to flavor!

photo 3

homemade kombucha

So today I get to share the love and giveaway a $25 gift card to Kombucha Kamp. this means you can buy a scoby and starter tea yourself. Or if you already have a scoby, you can check out all the other fermented foods and accessories to buy on her site!!

photo 1

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to ALL!!!

UPDATED–> There will be 2 WINNERS!! each get $25 to Kombucha Kamp

Okay, now that you know about the Kombucha giveaway, here are a few kombucha scoby rules and recipe from Kombucha Kamp. Save them! You’ll need them!

golden rules of brewing kombucha

One of my favorite flavoring recipes from Hannah!

ginger lime kombucha brew

Ginger Lime Kombucha Tea Recipe via Kombucha Kamp

Ginger is perhaps Kombucha’s best friend, producing delicious fizz and flavor. Citrus pairs well with Kombucha, though in small amounts. These instructions call for flavoring after the brew.

  • 5-6 teaspoons green tea/reusable tea bag
  • 1.25 cups evaporated cane juice

for later:

  • fresh squeezed lime juice
  • fresh ginger slices

Do a shorter steep with these green tea bags, 3-5 minutes. Brew only 6-7 days, decant into bottles already flavored with ginger (to taste) and lime juice (no more than 1/2 ounce per 16 ounce bottle) and allow to second ferment for 3-5 days, burping each day to prevent explosions. Once desired fizz is achieved, move to fridge.

And just for kicks, here’s a great article on the benefits of Kombucha for Athletes. You’ll want to read it if you’ve been injured or have joint problems, trust me!

Cheers to Brewing!


How to Make your own Kombucha Scoby

Over this past year I’ve written a few guest posts about the benefits of Kombucha. You all know I love it! And I could talk about it all the live long day! It truly has been a gut lifesaver to me.


What I didn’t realize is that I never really finished my “how to make a scoby” post and I was receiving a lot of questions about how to go about it.

But what is a SCOBY you ask? Great question. Scoby stands for Symbiotic Culture of friendly Bacteria and Yeast. This culture metabolizes the sugar and organic tea (that use to make one) and that resulting in your KOMBUCHA beverage. A drink that contains billions of probiotics, vitamins such as B, C, amino acids and enzymes.

So today I thought I’d write out all the step by step SCOBY making process and then let you ask questions. It can seem a bit daunting at first, but trust me, it’s easier than it sounds. Plus once you have a scoby, your pretty much set to keep brewing!

how to make a scoby

Growing a Mother Scoby:

Source: Paprika

  • First

    -select a bottle of plain or ginger flavored kombucha. I usually go with Original GT Kombucha or Gingerade. It must be a RAW brand.


Try to find on that has extra “culture.” Meaning,l lots of yeasty floating objects in it. and it must be raw.  You will need to use about half the bottle, so feel free to drink some of the kombucha but least the stringy sediment in the bottle.  And you must let it reach room temp before using.

Note: DO NOT USE ANY METAL when doing this. It will harm the yeast. I use plastic, wood, or glass cooking utensils.

  • Second

    – make the first round of kombucha food.

In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to boiling. Add two tablespoons sugar, and return the liquid to a boil until the sugar is dissolved. I used cane sugar or turbinado sugar.

Turn off the stove and then add one bag of organic black tea (or a tablespoon of loose-leaf) and let the mixture cool at room temperature until it no longer feels the warm (very important). Also NOTE: Organic tea works best. NOT earl grey or English breakfast though as they have a slight bit of oil to it.

The one below is from Swanson vitamins.


  • Third-

Remove the tea bag or strain the tea. Pour all the contents of the at room temp kombucha bottle into the sugar-tea blend. —

    • Your sediment from the saucepan , the half-cup of kombucha liquid, and the stringy things (these will turn into the kombucha mother!), and put it all in a glass quart or pint jar. Cover the jar with a cloth/towel and a rubberband to keep bugs out. Then place it in a warm, dark, safe spot.

Note: that the kombucha liquid is needed to keep the mixture propelry acidic. If the liquid is not acidic, mold will grow.

  • Fourth

    —> now you must learn patience. WAIT

Keep an eye on your kombucha jar. In a few days or a week, it should star to grow a thin film over the top. The film will thicken and become the kombucha mother. If any mold appears, then just start over. When the film gets to be about an 1/8 of an inch thick, you’ll need to give it another little more kombucha food.

After waiting a week….


Feeding time—> Kombucha food:

This time, make a quart of tea. Heat four cups water to the boil, add 1/3 cup sugar, and steep with 2 organic tea bags or 2 tablespoons black tea. When the liquid cools completely, remove the tea. Gently place the baby kombucha scoby and all the liquid sediment in a larger glass jar or bowl with the tea. Cover it tightly and watch it carefully.

tea brew

The kombucha mother should grow significantly over the next 10-14 days. Once it reaches 1/4 to 1/2 inch in thickness, you can brew.


See my COTTER brew tutorial here.

homemade kombucha


Feel free to email me with questions or leave comments below. And please let me know if you give it a whirl!

Have you made Kombucha before? If not, here’s your chance!



p.s. Check out Kombucha Kamp for lots more info on Brewing or if you’d like to buy a starter kit. But if you stick around the next few weeks, you just might win one when I host a starter kit giveaway!


Cotter Brew

Happy Sunday folks. Not a real post going on here. I’ll save that for Monday. But I promised myself, and a lot of others, that I would post the Kombucha Tutorial Vlog. And guess what? I finished it!


First of all, if you are interested in growing your own scoby, you can read my tutorial on my old blog here. Or you can go straight to the Kombucha Queen and read here.

Some other good Kombucha sites are Kombucha Kamp and You Grow Girl.

You can easily buy a starter kit online or even buy a scoby from craigslist. Just make sure they are not moldy or damaged when you buy them. Once you have a mother scoby, you are ready to brew.


Here’s my tutorial. I have gathered this from lots of other websites and tweaked it to make my own flavoring. I’ll type out the instructions below as well. Let me know if you brew!

KOMBUCHA – Here’s How:

1.Wash all utensils with hot sudsy water and rinse well.

2. Boil three quarts of purified water.

3. Add 1 cup white sugar to water when a rolling boil is reached. Boil water and sugar for five minutes.

4. Turn off heat and add 4-5 tea bags of black and/or green tea. (Must have caffeine in tea which the scoby feeds on).

5. Steep about 30 minutes and remove tea leaves or bags and let tea cool (it doesn’t hurt to steep the tea longer).  Cooling is about 3 to 5 hours from time you turn stove off.

6. Pour cooled tea into gallon size glass container.

7. Add your Kombucha culture placing it so that the smooth shiny surface lies up. Add fermented Kombucha Tea from a previous batch. (Before step 7, make sure your hands have been washed thoroughly with soap and water. Do NOT use anti-bacterial soap. Best bet is unscented castille soap.)

8. Place a cloth over the top of the jar and secure with a rubber band. This keeps dust, mold, spores and vinegar flies out of the fermenting tea.

9. Allow to sit undisturbed in a well ventilated and darkened place away from direct sunlight (temp. 65-90 degrees F.) for 6 – 15 days. I keep mine in a closet.

10. To make sure the tea is ready to harvest; pour off a couple of ounces for a taste test. I usually test it by sticking a plastic straw in and sipping a little bit.

11.   Taste Test: A taste test on a batch of Kombucha Tea may taste like this: 4-6 Days – Too sweet, not all sugar converted. 7-9 Days – Tastes like sparkling apple cider. 10+ Days – Vinegar taste becoming prominent.

12. When the tea is brewed to your taste, pour the tea into glass bottles and cap then place in the refrigerator. This can now be second fermented with fresh juices, or pieces of crushed fruit, or crystallized ginger. Store bought juices are pasteurized and may effect healing quality of finished kombucha product, so I’d stick with 100% fresh juice. Sometimes I use sparkling water too.

13. Make sure to leave enough starter tea from your last batch (about 1/2 cup) to make another batch of tea. Repeat directions and add this to your starter and culture to start the process again.

**Note: the cultures my float on the surface or sometimes it sinks to the bottom. Either way is fine.




One more day to enter the LOVE GROWN FOOD Hot Oats giveaway!

The FALL Salmon Project

Well I survived. Actually we survived. The hubs and I jumped straight back into crazy work as soon as arrived back in Austin. Ya, I gotta make up for all the frolicking on the beach somehow, right? haha.

Thank goodness for GT Kombucha, which helped me charge through it!


We also came back to a little cooler weather and rain. I guess it is starting to feel like fall here in TX. That means the high is under 90F. Yep, that’s fall. Love it!

Speaking of Fall (clever segue I know), I feel like there fish gets the boot during this season, especially salmon. Why? Probably because most people can’t really come up with good FALL flavors to combine with this hearty fish.

I use salmon year round. It takes on so many wonderful flavors, so I thought I’d share my list. My FALL FLAVOR Salmon dishes.

First, let’s take a look at what’s in season these days.

Apple, Pear, Fig, Persimmon, Limes, Green beans, squash, sweet corn, cabbage, and pumpkin to name a few.

For a full list go HERE.

That’s a lot of good flavors if you ask me, especially with salmon.

Here’s what I’ve come up with in the past.

beens and salmonIMG_20120627_180306blueberrysalmon basil aprictpotato dishsky

  • Salmon, Green Bean, and Potato hash
  • Sweet Corn and Balsamic fig on top of Baked Salmon and Steamed Kale
  • Roasted Lime Salmon with Blueberry and Coconut Cream quinoa
  • Persimmon, Basil, an feta on top of Steamed Salmon with wild rice

See, not bad for Fall flavors, right? I’ve also used plum sauce with Salmon as well as red wine and blackberries. I know this girl has done a lot of pairings with salmon as well. Lots of good ones too!

Today I’d thought I’d share with you the persimmon and basil recipe. It’s delicious! I also want to thank Sarah for introducing me to Persimmons!


Persimmon Basil and Feta Salmon
Recipe type: entree
Serves: 2-3
  • 1 persimmon- sliced
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • ⅔ cup crumbled feta
  • WIld Caught salmon fillets
  • garlic
  • Black Pepper
  • Olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Chardonnay (optional)
  1. Slice your persimmon like you would in order to make a basil tomato salad. Set aside. In a skillet, add your salmon fillets (2), 1-2 tbsp oil, about ¼-1/3 cup white wine or you can use a dressing of some sort, few tbsp chopped garlic, and a bit of water. Heat on medium and cover. Let the fish steam until almost done. Add you persimmon, basil, and feta on top of your fish and let the fish continue to cook for anohter 5 minutes on low or until persimmon is softened, but not overcooked.
  2. Add a bit of honey drizzled on top if you want to make it more sweet.
  3. Serve on top of while rice with extra feta and chili pepper flakes (optional)

So, were you surprised? Any Foods you think need to still be used this FALL?

Happy First day of October… whoa!



No kitchen? No problem

Well, welcome Wednesday. I am so glad you are here. Just means the week is half way over. Which I need it to be.

You see, we’re leaving tomorrow. Yes, leaving for a work trip. This kind of sprung on up on us last minute. Oh say…. 2 days ago! WHOA!

I thought I was gonna get to go to Fitbloggin. But God obviously had other plans. In fact, I actually won a ticket to Fitbloggin. Did I tell you that?

Yep, I won a ticket about 2 weeks ago. I was stoked! I really wanted to go. I really wanted to go just to meet people and hug BLENDS (blog friends). I know, selfish, but true. What I didn’t take into account want that this ticket was only a ticket. It didn’t pay for food, airfare, or hotel. So I did what any blogger would do. Begged for a sponsor, pleaded in fact. I found no one. Sad face. I searched high and low in hopes that some company would sponsor me. But I think I was a little late to the game, as most companies already had sponsored bloggers going.

Oh well I said. There’s always BLEND 2013. I figured this was a sign that I needed to stay here, work on making extra money (cause we ALWAYS need that), and keep healthy bite orders flowin.

Well, little did I know that God had other plans.

He’s quite clever like that. Winking smile

We received an email about 3 days ago. An email from one of my husbands athlete’s he coaches. She needed help with an race she is putting on and she needed some help with her ironman training. Oh and of course, some good cooking.

We were her go to. I would help race direct, cook, etc. and the hubs would coach her and train few others. The perfect duo. The perfect JOB opportunity.

We took it, in fact, we jumped on it!

But there’s a catch. The house where we’re staying has no kitchen. Actually, it’s under construction. It was funny because I got this email saying that the house has no kitchen and was I okay with that? Would I freak out if I had no place to cook for everyone?

Guess what I said? …..NOPE! Not a problem. I thrive off this stuff. No kitchen, no problem. I’m bringing a blender and rice cooker in my bag. No joke.

I’m also stocking up on these items (Vega, larabar, chobani, attune cereal, and love grown just to name a few). Yep, a whole suitcase worth, well half are coupons, but you get the picture.


So a rice cooker and mini blender. Yep, i think that will do.


Lots of cold food meals like broccoli slaw, hummus, and turkey. Rice, quinoa, and oats in the rice cooker. A little hemp and love grown granola bowls, protein shakes/banana smoothies, canned fish and salmon on GF bread, Chobani yogurt and fresh fruit, and eggs that you can cook in microwave. Sounds good to me.


I’m thinking I might need a few of these kombucha cocktails to get me through it, but I’m ready.


I’ve got my game face on and I’m well hydrated.


So, does this count as falling into a good habit? Sporadically leaving the country for a last minute opportunity? Sure, why not.

wiaw fall into good habits button

Thanks Jen for letting me jump on it this week.

Have you ever had to cook for people without a kitchen? If so, what’s your go to meal?




I’ll post where we’re going Thursday. Hoping I get to post a bit while I’ll there, but not for certain yet. And if you’re going to Fitbloggin, have fun and hug each other for me please. <3

The #PROOF is in the Jell-O?

If you’re a “tweetaholic” like myself, you might be familiar with the hashtag #PROOF. Yep, it’s connected with #fitfluential and it’s the hottest thing out there at the moment. Haha, I exaggerate, but it is pretty darn cool. What does it mean exactly? Well, you can go check out the FULL article on the Fitfluential blog HERE, but I’ll give you a little snippet.


“For the uninitiated: when a runner crosses a race finish line a photographer snaps their picture, and that photo is provided for review with a watermark that reads PROOF.

To a photographer, that word refers to an unedited copy waiting for approval before printing, but we think it can mean more: PROOF of a challenge taken and conquered, PROOF of endurance and inner strength, PROOF that we came, we saw, we ran our own race.

Here at FitFluential we know that people are running their own races, accepting their own challenges, and taking steps for a healthy lifestyle every day. And we want to help you acknowledge and celebrate that. Every day.”

Basically, it’s choosing HEALTH, in whatever way is best for you and saying it out loud (via hashtag of course).

The past few weeks I have led a different kind of #PROOF. Not so much the workout kind, but definitely the “working it out” kind. Does that makes sense?

Working my health out. Getting answers. All so that I can #PROOF the heck out of life. AMEN!

So here’s my #PROOF for today or rather for the past SEVERAL days.


I won’t go into details about all the various testing, poking, prying, etc. But I will leave you with this..

My diet the past 48 hours. LOL.


2012-04-16 20.53.53IMG_20120410_131822

I guess you could say my #PROOF is in the pudding JELLO.

Now hand me a spoon!


What #PROOF have you done for your health lately?





Later this week I get to road trip with the hubs to New Orleans for next weekends  70.3 ironman. Race updates are on the horizon! YEA!


Thirty Minute Thursday: Invest in the Best

Pinterest makes me smarter. Or so I like to think. No really, words of wisdom all over that place, am I right? Winking smile

Anyway, I saw this poster on pinterest the other day I couldn’t help but apply it straight to food!

Think about it….


Good FOOD ain’t cheap and cheap FOOD ain’t good (well, at least not GOOD for you). Hey, sometimes you just gotta satisfy those cheap thrills. Who doesn’t love the 50 cent Cadbury cream eggs these days? The hubs is taking FULL advantage of that right now. haha.

Anyway, back to my point. Good Food ain’t cheap but most of the time it ain’t too too pricey either. You must invest in the best, and invest in the best for YOU!

It’s taken us a while to figure out what brands, products, etc. are the best for US at the moment, but I think we have narrowed it down to our CORE GROUP. These are foods, supplements, and drinks that have gone with us everywhere and make us feel our best. And you know what’s better?

These are companies that we TRUST and VALUE as well.

Now that’s worth the investment.

So here’s to a thirty minute Thursday! Thirty minutes of looking at your grocery bill, looking at where your food is coming from, looking at what foods make you feel your best…….



These are a few of our favorite things.

Tell me, what are your top 3 food investments?




I’ve had so many extra GENUINE pics sent me, tomorrows Genuine Post (a PHOTO FRIDAY) will be EPIC! And I never use the word Epic unless I mean it.



“I don’t think we’re in New Zealand anymore Toto.”

Yep, my exact thoughts.

As soon as we landed in LA, a rush of adrenaline hit. Yes, half of it was the jet lag and strong coffee combination, but the other half was just REAL.

Let me tell you our travel plans, just humor.

4 hour drive from Taupo to Auckland, wait 5 hours for our flight. Then 12 hour flight from Auckland to LA. Layover was suppose to be only 2 hours but then flight was delayed last minute. Left LA at 8pm and got into DFW at 1am. Construction on the highway so didn’t get to my parents house till 2am. Woke up at 7am (darn you body!!!), laundry, then drove another 3 1/2 hours to Austin. PHEW!!!!

Customs were probably the worst part, thankfully they did not take away our beloved marmite! ha!

But the highlight of it all was DEB!! Sweet, amazing, kind, loving, and GORGEOUS DEB!! The best layover present a gal could ask for. That and Trader Joes of course.

Thank you Deb for rescuing us from the LAX airport. And thank you for being YOU! We needed someone as special as you to ease us back into US society. Winking smile

photo 1

photo 2photo 4

Speaking of society, jet lag, and homecomings… Here’s a little clip of my first day back in the good old US of A!


And thank GOODNESS these treats were waiting for us when we arrived home. It was like a Christmas for the GF blogger. YAHOO!

Note: Home right now is a PO box. gotta love the nomad style.


ahhh, the brands I love!

So comforting. yes!

But the best thing… the very BEST thing… was REUNITING our CHILD.


So here’s to jet lag, to long layovers with friends, to reuniting with fur babies/friends/family, to old favorites, and to continuing this journey

American style.”


What’s your best homecoming memory?




The RACE recap by the Hubs is up. I think it sums it up just right.

WIAW- Abundance

How often do we wake up already knowing what we will have for breakfast, or at least what we want for breakfast? I’d say everyday! Heck, most of us have planned out the whole day of meals, snacks, etc. And some, yes some, are way ahead and have planned out a full week of meals (that’s impressive!).

My friends, this is such a blessing. One that I (we) so so so often take for granted. As I look back over the years, I recall a time where food was not so abundant…..in Africa. I was given the opportunity to travel with a Mission Team to Lusaka, Zambia in the summer of 2006.  While there, we hosted several camps for all the orphanages in that area. I got to love on these kids all day, every day. Actually, they loved on me!

I remember splitting my lunches with my translator, so that he could at least eat something each day. You see, I didn’t need to worry, we (the Americans) would have dinner waiting for us back at our camp grounds. I learned to be grateful, for whatever it was!

God showed me a lot during that time. He showed me how to Feed. Feed in thanksgiving, Feed in gratitude, Feed in Love, Feed in Humility, Feed in Faith, and so much more.

He taught me how to Feed my Soul.

I hope never for get that.

Day 4 and Day 5 of my Thankful Board.


Thank you God for your abundance. Let us count our blessings today!


Thank you Jen for hosting my last American WIAW.

Here’s a look at some of our last meals at home.

bfasto-matic2 (2)

The meal below? Yes, that would be GF mac and cheese with Maramite, carrots, tomatoes, and GF Chicken nuggets.

Can you tell we are cleaning out the pantry? haha.


I was lucky to have scored the lovely Christin’s homemade PB.

She made it just for me, with marmite. Christin, I love you!

PB with marmiteo-matic

And of course, my last Kombucha fix. I will miss my GT Kombucha.



What are you feeding on this week? If anything, Feed on Gratitude!





I plan on posting everyone’s Thankful pictures tomorrow or Friday before we leave for NZ. Keep them coming!