Better Health From Bottle To Belly

People who do not wish to consume dairy products may find that water kefir provides probiotics without the need for dairy (or tea-cultured products such as kombucha). Jared’s ProPops puts a modern twist on this ancient, detoxifying and energizing beverage by adding an organic fruit and herb blend after completing the lacto-fermentation process..


Better Health From Bottle To Belly by Jared Toay

Better Health From Bottle To Belly by Jared Toay

Jared explains: “You name it, and I’ve tried to make it. Pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, lacto-fermented hot sauce, ketchup, yogurts, cheeses, and basically any kind of vegetables. I did it all. And I was one of those weird parents who put very different and non-processed foods in my son’s lunchbox. In addition, I began a daily ritual of taking probiotics and starting him on them as well. But have you actually even seen what’s in some of these probiotic pills for kids? Sugars, flavors, and other ingredients that are added simply to make them taste better. So I began to experiment with ways my son could take his daily dose of probiotics in a fun way……. Hence Jared’s ProPops was born. It’s a refreshingly and lightly carbonated fully loaded living food or probiotic soda. Amazing.”

Click below to learn more!

Back Jared's ProPops on Kickstarter

Fresh Fava, French Carrot and Arugula Salad, Mustard Crème fraîche

Lightly steamed fresh fava beans, French carrots and peppery arugula tossed in extra virgin olive oil and white balsamic vinegar and dressed with homemade mustard crème fraîche..


Fava, French Carrot and Arugula Salad

String and split fava bean pods and remove the beans. Split small round French carrots.

Steam the beans and carrots together in a bamboo or wire steamer until just barely done, perhaps 2 minutes.  Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process; we want the vegetables to be tender, yet cooked as little as possible to preserve the color and nutrients.

Meanwhile, make a simple vinaigrette of high quality extra virgin olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, minced garlic and slivered shallot.

Drain the vegetables and toss with arugula micro-greens and vinaigrette.  Season with black salt and coarsely ground pepper and dress with a teaspoon of homemade lacto-fermented mustard combined with a tablespoon of homemade crème fraîche (Crème fraîche is similar to sour cream, but thicker and slightly more sweet than sour.  Mix together 3 parts fresh heavy cream and 1 part buttermilk or plain yoghurt. Cover and allow to stand on the counter overnight before refrigerating).

Serve with toasted crusty bread if you like..

Show Me The Whey pt. 2

In an earlier post, I took at look a using yoghurt as a source of liquid whey, which in turn can be used to make all sorts of great stuff like lacto-fermented ketchup or raisin chutney.  I also touched on some of the ways to use the solids that are left after the whey is removed.

In Show Me The Whey part 2, I take a closer look at some of the ways to use those solids, including a fresh cream cheese replacement and the traditional Middle-eastern labneh and oil-preserved, spice-coated dried labneh balls, all of which may be made at a cost of less than $5.

Once separated from its liquid whey, the solid labneh is ready for use as a replacement for cream cheese, including everything from a sweet or savory spread to crab & cream cheese wontons to cheesecake.  In this form, it will keep in the refrigerator for up to about a week, a little longer if salted.

Here, I’ve spread labneh on some thin pumpernickel (made from whole-grain sprouted rye) and topped with lingonberries & rosemary, fresh chives & black sea salt flakes and homemade orange-ginger jam with red pepper.  It would work just as nicely on a sprouted bagel with smoked salmon..


Labneh on Pumpernickel with Assorted Toppings

Another good use for labneh is as labneh balls, which are made by rolling the labneh into balls, removing the remaining water by air-drying on absorbent paper for a day or so, rolling in spices such as dried mint or za’atar (sumac, thyme, sesame seeds and salt) and then preserving in olive oil.  Made this way, the labneh will last indefinitely on the counter (no refrigeration needed), or at least until it gets eaten..

This post is part of The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday

Compound Tomato Sauce (lacto-fermented ketchup)

Also see updated recipe here

Adapted from a recipe in The First African-American Cookbook from 1881 using a method described by Sally Fallon, this is a rich, thick  fermented (rather than cooked) ketchup.  I left out the high fructose corn syrup, in case you feel like calling the food police..


1 1/2 cups organic tomato paste (or make your own)
1/8 cup whey
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (optional)
1/8 cup fermented fish sauce OR 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice

Grind dry ingredients together in a spice grinder or mortar.  Add to the rest of the ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and stir well to combine.

Add filtered water, if necessary, to achieve the thickness that you prefer.

Transfer ketchup to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and allow to sit at room temperature for 48-72 hours before transferring to refrigerator for long-term storage.

Lacto-fermented Buckwheat Pancakes with Orange Honey Butter

Fermentation allows carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to break down into probiotics containing beneficial bacteria, promoting digestive health and a strong immune system.

Kefir (substitute plain yoghurt or buttermilk), egg, butter, Celtic sea salt, baking soda, soft spring wheat berries (r) and hulled buckwheat (l).

Grind the grains into a medium-fine flour and place into a non-reactive bowl.  Cover with an equal amount by volume of kefir, add a spoonful of whey and cover with a plate and allow to sit at room temperature (68-75 degrees) for 12 to 24 hours.  You can see bubbles break the surface as the fermentation process begins.

When ready to prepare, add the egg, melted butter, salt and baking soda.  Thin the batter with filtered water if necessary.

Ladle batter into a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat- turn when edges are just getting brown.

Serve with orange honey butter (blood orange juice shown reducing above; honey and butter added at the end) or maple syrup, basted eggs and spicy tempeh strips.

Rating  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ –