Homemade Fermented Vegetables

My first fermented vegetables that included cabbage, onion, carrot, ginger and garlic. This is the third day of fermentation. Will taste it on the fourth day to see how it is. Can’t wait!

fermented veges

fermented veges

…and the day came to finally try my fermented veges, I am happy to say it turned out great! more than I had expected. It was crunchy with a tangy taste and had a strong fresh pleasant taste that you notice in fermented foods. I loved it and now that I have made my first, i will never look back.

lactofermented veges

lactofermented veges

The lactic acid process that naturally preserves vegetables is ripe with probiotic power. To name just a few of the good bacteria that are common to lactic acid preserved foods are; Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, L. plantarum, L. caret, L. pentoaceticus, L brevis and L. thermophiles. There is a wide range of healthy bacteria responsible for these beautiful ferments, so you will find a product brimming with healthy probiotics that will help ensure good gut health. Because of antibiotic use, and even the chlorine in our water, the healthy bacteria in our systems are often beaten down. Including naturally fermented foods is an excellent way to rebuild healthy gut bacteria levels.

fermented vegetables, ugali and eggs which took me 5 min to whip up :)

fermented vegetables, ugali and eggs which took me 5 min to whip up 🙂

Why Ferment them?

Fermented vegetables is a good source of vitamin C, and a modest serving every day is a step in the right direction.

Most of us know that cabbage is an excellent food for helping prevent cancer. Fermenting it is an excellent way to enjoy cabbage. Beyond the normal benefits of cabbage, fermenting it has even more cancer-fighting powers. It has been found that through the fermentation process, isothiocyanates are produced that are found to prohibit the growth of cancer. Glucosinolates in fermented cabbage was also found to help activate the body’s natural antioxidant enzymes, and the flavonoids in it are helpful for protecting artery walls from oxidative damage. Many studies have concluded that fermented cabbage is an even better choice than raw cabbage for cancer-fighting properties.

It turns out that cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin U, which can help heal peptic ulcers. Raw cabbage juice has been shown to be an effective treatment for peptic ulcers, and raw fermented cabbage is another way to get your vitamin U. A serving of fermented cabbage could help keep peptic ulcers away!

Finally, I have some interesting observation that I noticed this morning after last night’s dinner. As long as I remember, Ive always had bloating and other gastrointestinal discomforts like inconsistent bowel movements, occasionally fluctuating between constipation and diarrhoea. So when I went to the loo and passed a complete stool without straining, I was obviously pleased and knew that my stomach health was right on track!

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Sprinkle Baobab Powder on Fruit salad

Baobab powder is a true “superfood”, with unique functional health properties. It offers three times more anti-oxidants than blueberries and six times more potassium than a banana, more iron than red meat and twice as much calcium as a glass of milk. It also contains thiamin and vitamin B6 – all known to benefit general health.IMG-20150204-00155So when I sprinkled it on fruit salad, this is what i get…

fruit salad baobab powder

fruit salad with baobab powder

After a few seconds…

IMG-20150204-00158Yummy 🙂

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Banana Jam with Baobab Fruit Powder

Ever since, I’ve always wanted to make jam but for some reason or the other I always pushed it aside. One big reason was the thought of it being a difficult thing to do. Back in the day, in my Food Science course, I remember us doing a class on jam and actually making jam. To say the truth, it was a disappointing experience because what I remember is endlessly boiling some concoction that included a little fruit, lots of filler material, preservatives, colors and other chemicals. I guess the main idea was to teach us to be able to work in a large food processing plant and to be conversant with the science of making commercial jams and the like. But the thing is, I just want to make some jam that I and my family will use, and maybe give out some to friends.

mango jam

mango jam

Making tasty jam is not so hard. It’s actually very easy and you can make it right in your kitchen. Am happy I finally made some jam this weekend. I read and watched some recipe’s online. I liked Titli’s recipe on making jam which was very simple and easy. I went ahead and tried it. It turned out so lovely and tasty, with more of the fruit and none of the additives that we were taught of in class. I did mango jam and it turned out surprisingly well. then on Sunday I was super excited about my success and went ahead and made banana jam with baobab fruit powder. It turned out so well that I haven’t stopped having a spoonful every now and then ever since.

banana jam with baobab fruit powder

can’t resist having it, the ever so tasty banana jam with baobab fruit powder.

How did I come to include the baobab powder into the banana jam? Purely by chance! I had always known that the baobab fruit powder has amazing health benefits and most importantly, it has abundantly high pectin levels which is important in making quality jam.  Getting pectin had always been a challenge because in Mombasa you just can’t walk into a supermarket and buy it in a sachet, I’ve looked for it everywhere; then suddenly I stumble on the fact that I can substitute the commercial pectin with the 100% natural organic baobab fruit powder(which is abundantly available in Mombasa) and will work as well as its counterpart or even better as it has the numerous health benefits, I was obviously excited.

IMG-20150203-00145

Banana baobab powder jam on toast brown bread

So I went to the market and bought the baobab powder, 8 ripe bananas and 1 fresh lemon and got down to making some banana jam. Making the jam was so easy, easier than making mango jam because the cooking time was so short. I think I used a total of 30 min in making the jam. It was that fast. The most satisfying thing is that it turned out so tasty and creamy, with the lovely banana flavor and the tangy baobab taste, just heavenly! I will certainly make more. One hint if you want to make tasty jam; make small batches, because in doing so you will use less cooking time and so you will have a jam that has the fruity qualities still in it.

100% natural organic baobab fruit powder available for USD23.00 per kilo  

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Making Soap in the Kitchen

It has been four months now since i made my first soap and what I can say is that I am happy I did. I had been mulling over it quit a bit and reading a lot about it. I finally took the next step and went ahead and made some. Am happy to say that the experience has been worth all the try.

The soap turned out better than I had expected and since then I have made several batches that I have been proud of and happy to give out as gifts to impressed family and friends. Am still learning and trying to perfect the art. I am over the moon now that I have mastered how to use and interpret the soap calculator, which has been an invaluable tool in helping me formulate fantastic soap recipes.

Making soap at home is a wonderful skill to learn. It is a nice hobby to have which am afraid is quickly turning out into an addiction 😀 and my kitchen is slowly being taken over by soaping, but am loving every bit of it.

The reasons for making soap in my kitchen are obvious, but i will mention them anyway. For a long time I had been aware that shop bought soap was not the best for the skin, what of the harsh additives, preservatives, fillers and colorings used? I did not like the chocking, synthetic fragrances that were always in all the soaps that I bought, and i definitely wasn’t happy chucking out at least 100bob for 100g of soap which i thought was way too expensive for such poor quality soap that did not last at all.

So I went ahead and read a bit about soap making and when I had enough courage, I made the soap. I was amazed how easy it was. I found the supplies readily available and learn’t that if I search well enough, I will get fats and oils that are locally available and so making my soaping sustainable.

One such great oil is coconut oil. I am glad that this wonderful oil is locally available in good quality and quantity. I also think that tallow which has traditionally been used by man to make soap for centuries can easily be sourced. What of the many butcheries and slaughter houses around. All these are great reasons to make soap right in the kitchen.

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