Mini-Thin Mint Pies

IMG_0967

I was a girl scout growing up (any Girl Scouts in the house holla!) and I used to peddle cookies every year like all the others. These days, I wouldn’t dare eat those things as they contain harmful ingredients such as food dyes, high fructose corn syrup, and emulsifiers.

My favorite cookie was by far the Thin Mint (best frozen, am I right?!). That’s why I’ve created these Mini-Thin Mint Pies, which are melt in your mouth good.

And better yet, they are full of healthy fats to support your hormones.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups desiccated unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped dates

Filling:

  • 3/4 cup cacao
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of your preferred nut butter of choice. Make sure it’s creamy and unsweetened.
  • 7 drops of peppermint oil
  • Pinch of sea salt (optional)

Method:

  1. Take all of the crust ingredients and put them in a food processor and pulse until it starts sticking together.
  2. Line a cupcake pan with and then pack the crust into them nice and tight. Make sure to pack it hard because if you don’t the crust will fall apart and that would be tragic.
  3.  Put the cupcake tin in the freezer.
  4.  Now for the thin mint filling. If you live in a place with a cold climate melt the coconut oil first in a saucepan over low heat (If you live in a climate where your coconut oil is liquid then skip this step). I like to use a double broiler so the chocolate mixture does not come in direct contact with the heat. If you do not have one, just put the mixture in a bowl and set on top of the saucepan. Use what ya got, right?
  5. As soon as the coconut oil has melted mix in the maple syrup.
  6. Now mix in the nut butter.
  7. Next, turn off the heat and immediately mix in the cacao until smooth, then add your vanilla, and peppermint oil.
  8. After that is all smooth and blended, sprinkle in your sea salt.
  9. Next, take your cupcake tray out of the freezer and pour the chocolate mixture into each one to 3/4 full.
  10. Place in the freezer and let harden for an hour.
  11. Transfer to the fridge if you live in a cold climate, or keep in the freezer if you live in a hot climate.

Enjoy!

Health Coach Jenna

Grain-Free Chocolate-Chip Cookie Cake

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Who doesn’t like a cookie cake? Growing up, my favorite birthday cake was the cookie cake. Nowadays, I’m not a big fan of all the refined sugar and gluten that goes in them. But that doesn’t mean the party stops here. Hell no!

Today, I make my own party. With this grain free chocolate chip cookie cake.

Ingredients:

Wet ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup creamy nut butter

Dry ingredients:

  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Add in’s:

  • ½ cup chocolate chunks or chips (I use Lily’s Sugar free)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Grease a round 9 inch round baking dish well
  3. Mix together wet ingredients
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well
  5. Fold in chocolate chunks
  6. Pour into baking dish and bake for 18-20 minutes
  7. Will stay good for 5 days or longer in fridge and freezer

*Note– If you would like to make a larger cookie cake, double this recipe and put in a larger pan. I haven’t personally tried doubling it, so I don’t know the exact baking time it would require. I’d put it in for 20-25 and then keep an eye on it every 5 minutes after that. And remember, this cake will still continue to bake after it’s removed from the oven, so under-baking is always the best and safest method.

Enjoy!

Health Coach Jenna

healthernotions_logo_elementonly3.png

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars (Vegan)

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

It’s November, so it means all thing pumpkin, y’all. And I’m on a mission. I’m going to make as many pumpkin treats as humanly possible in order to convince my English husband that pumpkin is exciting.  It turns out that the hoopla over pumpkin treats is shared only by Americans.

I know right?! I’m just as shocked as you are.

The first recipe up is one from Rachl Mansfield. I love all of her creations, especially because she has an affinity for peanut butter and oats just like I do. I think we might be soul sisters.

The recipe was simple to follow and the results were delicious. And better yet, the Englishman approved! Up until now his only experience with pumpkin is one traditional pumpkin pie from his visit to the U.S. last Thanksgiving. He wasn’t really into that, but he really liked these.

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars:

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Makes: 9 bars

INGREDIENTS
  • Cheesecake Filling:
  • 1.5 cups soaked cashews (about 10-12 hours in warm water)
  • ½ cup gluten-free old fashioned oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • ½ cup maple syrup (can sub honey)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil (melted and cooled)
  • ⅓ cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk (can sub your preferred nut milk)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Pumpkin Swirl:
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Crust:
  • 2 cups gluten-free oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 cups pitted medjool dates
  • ½ cup almond butter (or your favorite nut butter)
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Toppings:
  • ⅓ cup pecans (can sub whatever nut you’d like)
 Instructions:
  1. In a food processor, pulse together oatmeal, dates, almond butter and cinnamon until a “dough” is formed, the ingredients should be well blended together
  2. Spray an 8×8 baking dish or line it with parchment paper and press the crust into the dish
  3. Wipe out the food processor to get rid of extra crumbs (no need to fully clean) and place the “cheesecake” ingredients in the food processor
  4. Pulse together until it is a doughy, creamy consistency
  5. Leave to the side for now and beat together the pumpkin and pumpkin spice together with a kitchen aid OR you can wipe out your food processor and use that
  6. Add the “cheesecake” mixture on top of the crust, spreading evenly
  7. Add a spoon of the pumpkin mixture on top of each “cheesecake”
  8. Swirl together gently with the end of a spoon or knife (mine didn’t turn out as pretty as I wished!)
  9. Add pecans on top
  10. Pop in the fridge for about 2-3 hours or until firm
  11. Enjoy! Will stay good in fridge for 4-5 days or 2 weeks in freeze
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Happy Pumpkin Month!
Health Coach Jenna

No-Bake Lemon Bars

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

When life gives you lemons, you make lemon bars. It’s just what we do🍋🍋🍋.

If you are looking for the ultimate lemon bar recipe, then look no further. I promise you these are the best damn vegan lemon bars you’ll ever taste.

Bold claim I know!

But I’ve been working hard on these guys, and have since made three trial batches before coming up with the perfect recipe. And of course, they are also gluten-free and vegan.

INGREDIENTS:

CRUST

  • 1/3 cup dates, pitted
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cups dessicated unsweetened coconut

FILLING

  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (for color)

METHOD

  1. Soak your cashews in water for 3-4 hours.
  2. In a food processor, chop the crust ingredients until it makes a dough like consistency
  3. In a 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper, press the crust into the bottom in an even layer. Make sure to pack the crust tightly or it will fall apart and that would be tragic.
  4. In a food processor or blender add drained cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, coconut milk, turmeric, maple syrup, and lemon zest. Blend until nice and creamy. Add more coconut milk as needed.
  5. Pour the lemon mixture onto the crust and let set in the fridge for at least one hour.
  6. Cut into bars.
  7. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

lemonbar2

Please email with your recreations! I love to see your photos.

xxxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

HealtherNotions_Logo_Stacked

Goji Berry Chocolate “Cheesecake”

Goji berry and chocolate

Goji berries and chocolate are a delicious duo. I mean- not as orgasmic as peanut butter and chocolate, but pretty darn close. That’s why I created this goji berry and chocolate “cheesecake”.

And something cool I learned fro the recipe? Goji berries turn orange when you blend them! Wasn’t expecting that one.

What You Will Need:

  • 2 cups cashews
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped dates
  • 1 cup goji berries
  • 1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup raw cacao
  • 8×8 baking pan
  • baking paper

What to do:

  1. Okay y’all, first you need to take 2 cups cashews and soak em’ for about 6-8 hours.
  2. Then, we need to make the crust because it has to chill in the freezer for about an hour before we can put the filling in. For the crust take 2 1/2 cups desiccated unsweetened coconut, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, and 1/3 cup chopped dates. Put this all in blender or food processor and blend until it starts sticking together. Line an 8×8 pan with baking paper and then pack the crust into her nice and tight. Make sure to pack it hard because if you don’t the crust will fall apart and that would be tragic. Now stick her back in the freezer.
  3. For the filling: Take 1 cup goji berries and soak in water for about 30 minutes to an hour- until they are soft and plump. Drain these and put into the blender, with your drained cashews, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tbs coconut oil, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk. Blend until nice and creamy.
  4. Take your crust out of the freezer and pour your filling on top and spread nice and evenly. Now, put back in the freezer because it’s time to make our chocolate!
  5. For the chocolate, take 1/3 cup coconut oil and place in a saucepan (double broiler if you’ve got it so it doesn’t come into direct contact with heat) and stir over low heat. Add 1/3 cup maple syrup and stir. When it’s nice and warm add 3/4 cup raw cacao and a pinch of sea salt. Stir until silky smoooooth.
  6. Take your pie out of the freezer and spread the chocolate evenly on top. Place back in the freezer for a few hours.
  7. Take out and store in the fridge. I like to cut the cheesecake after it’s been in the fridge for a bit as it’s softer and easier to cut.

If you liked this please leave a comment below to let me know! And I always love to see pictures of your replications!

Enjoy y’all!

Health Coach Jenna

HealtherNotions_Logo_Stacked

Coconut Kefir- The Easiest Fermented Food You’ll Ever Make

Processed with VSCO with m3 preset

Coconut kefir is probably the most simple fermented food to make. My body just can’t digest dairy milk kefir, so I opted for the coconut milk version instead. I have previously tried to make coconut kefir with kefir grains, and failed both times. Miserably.

I don’t feel too bad because while looking on Meghan Telpner’s health blog for another coconut kefir recipe, she mentioned she has never made a successful batch of coconut kefir with kefir grains either. Instead she uses a probiotic capsule. I tried this out and the next morning I was happy to find a fresh batch of delicious coconut kefir. I was so happy, I juuuuust may have done a little happy dance.

IMG_3797.JPG

Coconut Kefir:

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (2 cups) full fat coconut milk (make sure to buy one without all the funny sounding ingredients. Arroy-D is a good choice, as well as Thai Kitchen Organic)
  • 1 probiotic capsule (about 1/4 tsp of powder). Any live kind will do.
  • 1 clean one litre mason jar.

Instructions:

  1. Stir together the coconut milk and the probiotic. If the cream and water in the tin are very separated, you may want to toss it in the blender or warm over low heat first and then whisk in the probiotic.
  2. Transfer to your jar and put a breathable cloth or folded paper towels on top. Secure with a rubber band.
  3. Let sit at room temperature for 18-24 hours. You can taste periodically with a clean spoon until desired taste is achieved. If you live in a tropical climate 8 hours is enough. 6 might even be sufficient. Just keep an eye on it. Note that the longer it ferments, the more sour it will taste. It all comes down to personal preference.
  4. Once ready, reserve 1/2 cup of coconut kefir for your next batch in a new mason jar. Place your coconut kefir in the fridge.
  5. Will keep 3-4 days, or freeze for a couple of weeks.

Second Batch Instructions:

  • Mix together your reserved 1/2 cup of coconut kefir with 2 cups (1 can) organic full fat coconut milk. Repeat steps 2-5 above.

Enjoy!

Health Coach Jenna

HealtherNotions_Logo_Stacked

Dark Chocolate Power Cups

darkbarkcup

Sometimes in life, failure leads to even greater success. Just like these dark chocolate power cups! I was experimenting with a power bar recipe, and both trays I made just wouldn’t hold together. I was left with a crumbled mess, but dang it tasted SO good. So what did I do? Whipped up some of my homemade dark chocolate and mixed it all together and made these little guys.

So how’d they turn out? Well, my husband can’t get enough- he says they are his favorite sweet treat I’ve made so far! I really like them because they make for a great afternoon snack with my tea. The nuts provide plenty of protein and healthy fats, which keep my body fueled as well as my brain alert for the remainder of my day. And because I use raw cacao, I get a dose of magnesium, fiber, and antioxidants.

So see, accidents can lead to prosperity!

Ingredients:

For the power filling:

  • 1 cup nuts (I used mix of almonds & walnuts)
  • 1 cup seeds (I used pumpkin)
  • ¼ cup Goji berries
  • 3 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup

Directions:

Mix all of the above in a food processor or high speed blender for a few pulses. You don’t want to blend it too much. Set aside the mixture.

Dark Chocolate:

  • 3/4 cup cacao
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt (optional)

Directions:

If you live in a place with a cold climate melt the coconut oil first in a saucepan over low heat (If you live in a climate where your coconut oil is liquid then skip this step). I like to use a double broiler so the chocolate mixture does not come in direct contact with the heat. If you do not have one, just put the mixture in a bowl and set on top of the saucepan. Use what ya got, right? As soon as the coconut oil has melted add the maple syrup. Next, turn off the heat and immediately mix in the cacao until smooth, then add your vanilla. After that is all smooth and blended, sprinkle in your sea salt.

Now, add your power mix to your chocolate and stir, stir, stir. While it is still hot, pour the mixture into cupcake tins, set in the freezer, and they will be ready within the hour.

Enjoy!

Health Coach Jenna

 

Peanut Butter & Jelly Smoothie

IMG_3374

Peanut butter and jelly is one of the most delicious combinations. It reminds me of being a kid and eating the homemade packed lunches my mom used to make. These days I do not eat bread, so my days of peanut butter and jelly sammiches are of the past.

But that doesn’t mean the party is over! Oh no. If anything, they just got even better.

This smoothie is perfect for breakfast, as it’s loaded with protein, vitamins, and nutrients to start your day off right. It has plenty of healthy fats so it will provide you with plenty of brain fuel, keep your metabolism going, as well and keep your hunger at bay until lunch.

It’s a great post workout smoothie as well!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Smoothie:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups non-dairy milk ( I use Koh coconut milk as it seriously has the best consistency and taste out of any non-dairy milk I’ve ever tried)
  • a few ice cubes. If you have Candida skip this.
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries (organic if possible- these are on the dirty dozen list)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (stabilizes your blood sugar levels which prevents weight gain)
  • 2 cups greens (spinach, kale, etc. Think dark green y’all.)
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter

*Optional- 1 scoop of organic plant-based protein powder ( I use Vega). I like to add this for extra protein, but if you don’t have any yet, no worries-add an extra tablespoon of chia seeds instead!

Blend and enjoy!

xxxx

Health Coach Jenna

HealtherNotions_Logo_Stacked

How To Make Kefir

Hey Folks!

Fermented foods are my jam. I love them more than most anything, as I know how healthy and vibrant they make my body. The key to good health is maintaining healthy bacteria in our gut- it’s pretty much crucial to our physical wellbeing, and as we have learned, our mental wellbeing as well.

It’s important to get at least 2-3 fermented foods a day, and  kefir is an excellent fermented food that can be incorporated at breakfast, or any other meal of the day. I really enjoy kefir with oatmeal, or in a smoothie, as it has a nice tangy taste that gives smoothies a refreshing and creamy kick.

Today, Abby Quillen is sharing with us a recipe for kefir (both water and milk versions) , as well as its excellent nutritional benefits.

Ways Microbiota is Good For You

Guest post by Abby Quillen:

A healthy human gut harbors 100 trillion microorganisms representing 500 different species.1 These microflora outnumber our human cells 10 to 1.2 The good news is that most of them are our allies. They aid digestion, boost immune function, and help us absorb nutrients. It’s no wonder more and more people are taking probiotics.Luckily, you don’t need to spend a bundle on supplements to boost your gut biome. Eating probiotic-rich fermented foods – as people have done for thousands of years – has the same gut health benefits. If fermentation sounds like a scary science experiment, then it’s time to learn how to make kefir, one of the healthiest and easiest-to-make probiotic-rich foods.

Kefir 101

Kefir is tangy, mildly carbonated, fermented milk. It tastes like drinkable yogurt and has been a regular part of Russian and Eastern European diets for centuries. It’s a true superfood packed with calcium, protein, potassium, and other minerals and vitamins, and it abounds with healthy bacteria, yeasts, and enzymes.

ConsumerLab.com tests showed that a serving of store-bought kefir beats supplements when it comes to the number and diversity of probiotics. Every brand of kefir they tested teemed with “live organisms, ranging from 150 billion to 950 billion per cup – far more than found in a serving of most probiotic supplements.”3

Homemade kefir contains even more microorganisms than store-bought varieties, because most home fermenters use kefir grains that contain between 30 and 50 different strains of healthy bacteria and yeast. In one study, just one tablespoon of milk kefir contained 150 billion colony-forming units (cfu), a measure of viable bacterial or fungal cells. Compare that to most supplements, which usually contain between 3.4 billion and 30 billion cfu.

The probiotics present in kefir vary per batch, but here’s a list of bacteria strains commonly found in homemade kefir:

  • Lactobacillus
  • Lactococcus
  • Leuconostoc
  • Pseudomonas
  • Streptococcus

These yeast strains are common to kefir:

  • Candida
  • Torulaspora
  • Kluyveromyces
  • Saccharomyces45

The best part is that kefir is simple, fast, inexpensive, and safe to make at home. If you’ve struggled to ferment vegetables or yogurt in the past, don’t let those experiences scare you away from DIY kefir. The entire fermentation process only takes 24 hours at room temperature.

Not into dairy? No problem. Milk kefir can be made with coconut milk. Or you can make water kefir, a delicious and popular soda substitute. Read on to learn the basics of both.

The Difference Between the Grains

First off, milk kefir grains aren’t really grains. They’re a mixture of lactic acid, bacteria, and yeasts in a matrix of proteins, lipids, and sugars, and they contain the wonder bugs that turn milk into kefir.

Kefir grains are not available at stores, but they can be purchased online from a number of vendors. Or they can be found locally on message boards or via friends. If the grains are well cared for, they can be reused indefinitely to brew batch after batch of kefir. And they grow, which means you’ll eventually have some to share.

Kefir can also be made from a powdered starter culture, which is how it’s brewed commercially. However, the grains contain more strains of probiotics and are a more economical choice, since you can use the same ones to make kefir indefinitely.

Water kefir grains contain fewer strains of bacteria and yeast than milk kefir grains, and resemble sugar rather than milk curds. Similar to milk kefir grains, they can be purchased from a number of online vendors, and they can be used over and over again.

How to Make Milk Kefir

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons kefir grains
  • 1 quart milk

Choose one of these options:

  • Cow, sheep, or goat milk

Pasteurized milk works great, but avoid ultra-pasteurized and reduced-lactose varieties. The milk can contain any percentage of fat.

  • Coconut milk

Milk kefir grains can also ferment coconut milk. It may take the grains a few brews to adjust to non-dairy milk. Revitalize them every few days by covering with dairy milk and leaving overnight.

Equipment:

Kefir is acidic, so avoid letting it come into contact with metal, which can cause a reaction.

  • 3 quart-sized jars with lid rings
  • Coffee filter, cloth, or other breathable material (enough to cover two jars)
  • Non-metallic colander or strainer
  • Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
  • Non-metallic mixing bowl

Instructions:

  1. Sterilize the jars.
  2. Depending on where you get your grains, they may be dehydrated. If so, follow the directions provided by the vendor for rehydration. If grains are resting in water, strain.
  3. Place 4 tablespoons of grains into a jar.
  4. Fill the jar with milk.
  5. Affix breathable material with a jar ring.
  6. Set the jar on the countertop out of direct sunlight or in a cupboard for 24 hours. Shake occasionally.
  7. Strain the kefir through the colander into the mixing bowl.
  8. Transfer the kefir into a clean jar. Smell and taste. If the kefir is thick, tangy, and slightly fizzy, it’s perfect. Affix a non-metallic lid, refrigerate, and enjoy. If sour is not your thing, read on for tips to sweeten the kefir.
  9. Move the grains from the colander into the last jar. Repeat the process to make another batch of kefir, or cover the grains with milk and place in the refrigerator. Cold slows the fermentation, so the grains will rest there until you’re ready to make kefir again. Some experts say not to rest grains in the refrigerator regularly. However, many fermenters do because it’s difficult to keep up with drinking quarts of kefir daily. Fortunately, kefir grains tend to be quite resilient.
  10. Kefir should not taste or smell rotten. If it does, or if anything else about it seems off, discard the liquid, rinse the grains in non-chlorinated water, and start over.
How to Enjoy Milk Kefir

How to Make Water Kefir

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon water kefir grains
  • 1/4 cup sugar, sucanat, rapadura, agave nectar, or maple syrup
  • 1 quart of water
  • Optional flavorings
    • Ginger
    • Lemon slices
    • Berries, sliced in half
    • Dried fruit
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or another dried spice
    • 2 1/4 cup raisins

Equipment:

  • 3 quart-sized jars with metal lid rings
  • Coffee filter, cloth, or other breathable material, enough to cover two jars
  • Non-metallic colander or strainer
  • Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
  • Non-metallic mixing bowl
  • Flip-top bottles (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Sterilize jars.
  2. Depending on where you get your grains, they may be dehydrated. If so, follow the directions provided by the vendor for rehydration. If grains are resting in water, strain.
  3. Boil water.
  4. Add the heated water and sweetener to a quart-sized jar. Stir until sweetener dissolves in water. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
  5. Add the water kefir grains.
  6. Cover with breathable material and leave on countertop for 24 to 48 hours, shaking occasionally.
  7. Prepare a new batch of sugar water.
  8. Strain the grains by pouring through a colander into a mixing bowl. Transfer the finished water kefir into a clean jar.
  9. If desired, add optional flavorings, pour into the flip-top bottles, seal, and return to the countertop for 18 to 24 hours. This second fermentation adds flavor and fizziness.
  10. After 24 hours, strain out the flavorings, return the water kefir to the bottles, store in the refrigerator, and enjoy whenever desired.
  11. Place the grains in the new batch of sugar water. Either repeat the process or place the jar in the refrigerator to rest for up to 3 weeks.
  12. Water kefir grains can grow rapidly. Share any extra with friends, eat, or compost.67

Cautions

Milk and water kefir are delicious, and it’s quick and easy to whip up abundant supplies. But be cautious about drinking too much too soon. Remember, these beverages contain a lot of probiotics. Your body probably isn’t used to digesting foods that contain that many good bugs. Start with small quantities (maybe just a couple of tablespoons) and increase gradually to let your body adjust. If you experience any digestive upset, slow down.

Kefir is a powerhouse beverage for most healthy people, but it may not be the right drink for people who have compromised immune systems or artificial heart valves, or who are taking certain medications. If in doubt, ask your doctor first.

People who abstain from alcohol may want to skip kefir. Milk kefir contains a very small amount of naturally occurring alcohol from the fermentation process. Water kefir that is fermented a second time with fruit contains more alcohol but usually has less than 1 percent alcohol by volume (compared to 3.5 to 10 percent for beer).8 The actual amount varies per batch by the sugar content of the fruit and the length of fermentation time.

Conclusion

The word “kefir” is said to come from the Turkish word kief, which loosely means “good feeling.”9 Once you start making it, it’s easy to understand how this substance got its name. Making kefir is an ancient art that easily fits into busy, modern lives. If you want the benefits of probiotics without the supplements, it’s time to discover this wonder drink.

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.health.harvard.edu/vitamins-and-supplements/health-benefits-of-taking-probiotics
  2. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics/introduction.htm
  3. https://www.consumerlab.com/news/Probiotic_supplements_kefir_drinks/11_06_2015/
  4. http://www.culturesforhealth.com/milk-kefir-grains-composition-bacteria-yeast
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3716650/
  6. https://www.wholetraditions.com/articles/3-water-kefir-instructions
  7. http://www.culturesforhealth.com/how-to-make-water-kefir
  8. http://kellythekitchenkop.com/does-kefir-soda-have-alcohol/
  9. http://journals.usamvcluj.ro/index.php/agriculture/article/download/930/926

 

About Abby:

abby

Abby Quillen is a writer and gardener who has written for a number of publications and penned her own book titled “The Garden of Dead Dreams.” She lives in Oregon with her family where she enjoys gardening, walking and bike riding, and jotting down the cute things her children say.

This article was originally published on Fix.com on January 18,2016.

“Good For You” Chocolate-Chip Cookies

Hey All!

As many of you know I have a HUGE sweet tooth. But no guilt here, amigos. Having a sweet tooth isn’t a bad thing, nor does it mean you have to eat processed ingredients filled with sugar. No sir, I’ll have none of that.

This is why one of my hobbies is creating delicious and healthy treats. And when I’m not creating, you can betcha I’m on the look out!

Today, this delicious “good for you” cookie recipe made by my  friend, Emma, caught my eye. And luckily, she has agreed to share her recipe!

emmacookies2

Emma’s “Good For You” Chocolate Chip Cookies:

I started making these cookies for my three and four year old nieces. Kira, the three year old, can’t have dairy or nut milks so I decided to see if she would drink home made oat milk. I didn’t want to just toss the pulp that was left over so I had the idea to add them to a cookie recipe. This is the result!

Do things with love & they will bring love back to you.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of organic sprouted whole wheat flour (for gluten-free recipe use oat flour or Bob Mill’s Gluten Free Flour Blend)
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 Himalayan salt (or sea salt)
  • 3/4 cup melted organic coconut oil (or grass fed unsalted butter)
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 1 cup of oat pulp – see separate recipe below. (If not using oat pulp just add a cup of flour , your gluten free flour blend, or oat flour)
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 free range egg 1 egg yolk (free range)
  • 1 1/2 cups of dark chocolate chips

To make the oat pulp: blend 1 cup of organic steel cut oats with 3 cups of filtered water, 1tbsp of maple syrup & 1tbsp vanilla extract. Strain liquid into a bowl & you have oat milk! The pulp that is left behind… Put into a nut cloth or just use a thin cotton tea towel. Squeeze off the extra liquid into the milk. The milk lasts 5 days in the fridge. It will separate. Just shake before using & yum!

Use the dry pulp in the cookies.

Directions:

  • Mix the dry ingredients & put them aside.
  • Mix the coconut oil, maple syrup, sugar & vanilla in a blender until fluffy. Then add the eggs.
  • Mix wet & dry ingredients together in a mixer or by hand. If using the oat pulp add it now. Then add the chocolate chips.
  • Cool in the fridge for 20 mins while the oven is heating at 375deg. Then use an ice cream scoop to measure out. And bake for 17 mins or until golden along the edges.
  • Use parchment paper to line the trays. Makes 18 cookies!

Enjoy!

About Emma O’Neil:

emmaEmma is an Authorized Level Ashtanga yoga teacher & the Director of Mysore, Toronto – an Ashtanga program in Toronto, Canada. She is also an international voice actor & maker of yoga jewelry. . To learn more about Emma’s teaching schedule or to check out her jewelry line, go to www.emmaoneillyoga.com or www.malasbyemma.com. Or on Instagram @emmaoneill or @malasbyemma