A documentation of my preservation and preparation of local foods as I work through the seasons. This will serve as a reference tool for me in the future and as a sharing guide for family and friends...and anyone else interested. Hopefully, I can offer some useful methods, tips and recipes to share with everyone--be they novice or pro--and encourage them to join me in the exciting world of preserving and cooking with local foods.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Healthy Beverages

I've discovered three very healthy beverages.  They all have sort of a tart-like, refreshing taste and are sooooo good for you!

Beet Kvass   This drink is loaded with nutrients, is a blood tonic, aids digestion, cleanses the liver, gives regularity, treats kidney stones               
Put 3 medium or 2 large chopped up, peeled, organic beets in a 2-quart container.  Add 1/4 cup whey and 1 Tablespoon sea salt.  Cover securely, then fill to top with filtered water.  Keep at room temp for 2 days, then transfer to fridge.  When most is drunk, you can fill again with filtered water and set at room temp for 2 days.  Then refrigerate and drink.  Discard after this and start over.

Kambucha  This drink aids the body's natural cleansing process, boosts the immune system and is a proven prophylactic against cancer and other degenerative diseases.  It is delicious and refreshing on a hot day.

3 quarts filtered water
1 cup sugar
4 organic black tea bags
1/2 cup kombucha (health food store or online)
1 kombucha mushroom (GEM cultures)
Bring water to boil.  Add sugar, salt and simmer until dissolved.  Remove from heat, add tea bags and steep until cool.  Remove tea bags and add 1/2 cup kombucha.  Put mushroom on top.  Cover with light towel and leave at room temp for 8 days.  Remove mushroom and store in refrigerator.  (Save 1/2 cup of liquid and mushroom for another batch.)

Kefir  This drink is a natural antibiotic with beneficial yeast.

2 cups whole milk, non-homogenized
1/2 cup cream
1 Tablespoon kefir grains or one package powdered kefir
  (GEM cultures or www.cheesemaking.com)
Combine milk and cream and bring to room temperature.  Add kefir, stir well, cover with light cloth and let sit at room temp overnight.  Strain kefir if using grains.  Store in refrigerator.  If re-using grains, rinse and store in refrigerator for several weeks or freezer for several months.

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