How to make: Milk Kefir

Milk Kefir is a fermented drink made with kefir “grains” (a natural yeast/bacterial fermentation starter). You can get this grains from someone that already makes milk kefir, just search online for lists of people keen to share some grains in your city.

There is also an industrial starter that you can use to make a few batches, but different of the grains, this option doesn’t last forever. So, I would forget about this one.

I love to make my own Milk Kefir at home. I have a plain cup every day, simple, nutritious and delicious :D. However, you can have it with anything, such as fruit, nuts or add to smoothies. Use your creativity!

Today’s video is all about how to make this goodness. Forget all mystery behind preparing Milk Kefir and learn how simple is to make some using the fresh grains. It’s extremely good for your body!

Ah! In case you are asking yourself if milk kefir is low carb, I couldn’t find any trustful source saying it, whereas is common sense to say that the bacteria eats all the sugar in the milk during fermentation (fermenting longer is better for this), which leaves the drink almost without any sugar.

Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups of full-fat milk
  • 25g of milk Kefir grains
Directions
  1. In a clean large jar add the milk. This jar needs to be larger than the amount of milk you will use as the fermentation process will increase the volume of the liquid inside the jar.
  2. Next, add the milk Kefir grains and stir gently.
  3. Cover the jar with a cheesecloth or a paper towel. You need to let it breath.
  4. Let it rest at room temperature for 24 hours. Stir every 8 or 12 hours to help fermentation.
  5. 24 hours later, stir the mixture again, then using a plastic or stainless steel sieve, drain the content to separate the kefir grains from the liquid-kefir.
  6. It’s done! You can have it straight away or, pour the liquid kefir in a sealed jar and keep it always refrigerated. About the grains, add them in another clean jar with fresh milk to make your next batch.
Tips:
  • Always use plastic or stainless steel utensils to stir the grains in the milk.
  • Always use a glass jar to make and store your milk Kefir.
  • Remember to increase the amount of milk by 25% after every other batch as the grains will multiply (boy, they are very fast doing it!).
  • In case you need a break from making your milk Kefir, add the grains in a small sealed jar, with fresh milk just enough to cover them, and store it in the fridge. I suggest you to replace the milk every other week and use your grains again every four weeks.
  • Fermentation time may vary depending on your house temperature, so keep an eye on it and test the time according to your taste. More fermentation time means a sourer Kefir.

Tsurujiro Okonomiyaki | Asakusa – Tokyo

In August I had two weeks of holidays and the destination was a country that I always wanted to visit: Japan.
During this time there, I managed to visit Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka and I’ll try to show here on the blog a little bit of my experience there, especially in regard to the topic I know more about: food. Yum Yum Yum!

To start, I decided to put here our first lunch in Tokyo: Tsurujiro Okonomiyaki in Asakusa. This restaurant is very close to the Senso-ji temple and had good reviews online, what convinced us to give it a try. Also, I was very excited to try Okonomiyaki and, if possible, to cook it by myself (some restaurants don’t give you this opportunity).

Okonomiyaki is kind of a savory pancake cooked on a grill, very popular in Japan and delicious. Toppings can vary but basically, the ingredients are eggs, cabbage, seafood or pork, green onions and wheat flour (Yeah, unfortunately this is not gluten-free).

My order

As the entrée, I ordered a portion of Kimchi. I simply love it! It was delicious, the only disappointing thing was the portion size. Very, very small.

Entree: Kimchi
Entree: Kimchi

After that, we ordered the mains. There was a good variety of Okonomiyaki flavours, including a two-flavour option, which was my husband choice: Pork and Pollack Roe Mochi Cheese. This one comes fully prepared out of the kitchen, so you just need to keep the pancake warm.

Two-flavours Okonomiyaki: Pork and Pollack Roe Mochi Cheese
Two-flavours Okonomiyaki: Pork and Pollack Roe Mochi Cheese

My choice was a simple Pork and Spring Onions Okonomiyaki. As I wanted to cook it, all the ingredients were brought to our table, together with some instructions.

Pork and Spring Onions Okonomiyaki ingredients
Pork and Spring Onions Okonomiyaki ingredients

The idea is to mix everything from the first bowl (egg, cabbage, cheese and wheat flour dough), next put them on the grill making (pork aside) a pancake shape. Then, once the bottom is golden brown and crunchy flip to the other side. Top the cooked side with the extra egg, spring onions and it’s done.

Pork and Spring Onions Okonomiyaki almost there!
Pork and Spring Onions Okonomiyaki almost there!

As I prefer my egg and pork well done, I decided to put them on the top before flipping the pancake, so they would cook a little bit more.
It’s still funny to remember … the waitress apparently didn’t like my style of cooking and tried to tell me that it was wrong hahaha! 😀
Well, to finish, top with some spring onions and some of the dressings available. I’ve decided to have a little bit of mayo. 🙂

This cooking process takes some time. I can say around 15 minutes for sure.
The final result was delicious and I was very proud of myself. Almost felt like an authentic Japanese cook. 🙂

Pork and Spring Onions Okonomiyaki
Pork and Spring Onions Okonomiyaki

The verdict

Although both plates were good and the experience of cooking it by myself was very cool, I believe the portion sizes were too small for the price, especially comparing to other places we visited during the rest of our trip. However, the location is good, especially if you are visiting the Senso-ji temple, and it does not seem to be a very busy restaurant comparing to others in that area (huuuge lines!).

About English: It is an English-friendly restaurant, including English menu. In case you have any questions on how to cook your Okonomiyakiyaki, the staff had an average level English, but were friendly and helpful.

Total bill (two people): $2,745 Yen (A$ 35) – no drinks.

Exact location: https://goo.gl/maps/xdWytcMLDcD2

 

How to make: Crispy pork crackling #lchf #paleo

Need to add some crunch to your life? This Crispy Pork Crackling recipe is a crackle. 😛

It’s easier than you imagine, you only need a good oven and some time. Just remember that despite beeing a natural source of fat, it’s still very fatty and should be eaten in moderation.

I like to use a few grams to garnish soup or tacos. Just enough to give me that good crunchy feeling. 🙂

Ingredients
  • 400g of pork rind (you can use a pork belly taking off the meat part)
  • Olive oil enough to brush
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • A fan-forced oven
Directions
  1. First pat dry the entire piece of pork using paper towels, then store it uncovered in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  2. Now, preheat oven to 200C (392F).
  3. Place your dry and refrigerated pork rind in a baking sheet (you can also use a wire rack, in case you have one), and brush olive oil over it, just enough to cover the whole piece.
  4. Season it with salt and pepper. You can be generous here. 🙂
  5. Pop it in the oven (it MUST be very hot) and roast it for 15 min.
  6. After that, adjust the oven temperature down to 160C (320F) and roast for more 45 minutes or until small blisters form on the surface and the rind is golden and crispy.
  7. It’s done! Take it out of the oven and let it cool down for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy that feeling only a good crackle can give to you. Ah! Drain the rendered fat, pour in a sealed jar and store in the fridge to use as cooking lard. 🙂

Out there: Henley’s Wholefoods | Bondi Junction

Henley's Wholefoods entrance
Henley’s Wholefoods entrance

While cycling at the Centennial Park another Sunday, that morning hungry feeling decided to say hi to my husband and me. It wasn’t the polite type that calmly talks to you, but that one that shouts loud at the back of your stomach!

So, I remembered a place I’d heard about recently: Henley’s Wholefoods Café in Bondi Junction, and I thought: “Why not give these guys a try today?

The place was empty when we got there (before 8am), what made very easy for us to get a table and have our food quickly served :). To start, we ordered:

  • Two flat whites with coconut milk;
  • An extremely moist coconut and chocolate gluten free muffin (no refined sugar too).
Flat white with coconut milk.
Flat white with coconut milk.
Coconut and chocolate gluten-free muffin
Coconut and chocolate gluten-free muffin | Look how moist this is. YUM!

After this morning entrée, we ordered more things to share:

  • A slice of pumpkin & hazelnut meal loaf (gluten and refined sugar free).
  • Farmers Feast: two lamb sausages, two poached eggs, two rosemary sweet potato rostis, wilted spinach with one whole roasted truss tomato.
Pumpkin & hazelnut meal loaf.
Pumpkin & hazelnut meal loaf.
Farmers Feast
Farmers Feast

The pumpkin & hazelnut meal loaf was very good, moist and delicious. About the Farmers Feast dish, everything was ultra yummy, very well seasoned and tasty. However, the sweet potato rostis could be improved. It didn’t match my expectations; the consistency was more like a sweet potato cake than a rosti, without any crunchy feeling. The taste wasn’t bad, just wasn’t a rosti, what made me miss that crunchy feeling I was looking for when I pictured this plate in my mind before ordering it.

Anyways, it worth a try. There are plenty paleo-ish options in their menu. Also, they have a great variety of gluten free and refined sugar free treats at the counter. Almond and soy milk are available as well, but I would recommend you going with the coconut milk for your coffee, much more yummy! 😛

Henley’s Wholefoods – 9/310-330 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction – Sydney
Check their website for other locations: www.henleyswholefoods.com.au

How to make: Cauliflower rice #lowcarb #paleo

I love to make this Cauliflower Rice as a side for many dishes that traditionally I would have with regular rice. Curries, Beef Stroganoff, Risotto, Asian style stir-fried rice… The list is long.

It’s very low carb, tasty and good for you! So, if you are missing some rice, give this recipe a try. You won’t regret. 🙂

Ingredients
  • 1 cauliflower head
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Chopped onion
  • ½ cup of water
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Wash the cauliflower and chop into small pieces. You can use a food processor to make things quicker.
  2. In a pan heat the olive oil and add the chopped onion. Sautè them until tender.
  3. Add the chopped cauliflower, water, and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  4. Let it cook for 5 minutes.
  5. You can serve it with anything you like, here we stir fried it with eggs. YUMMY! 🙂