Morgana’s Moringa Coconut Latte

Morgana’s Moringa Coconut Latte

Servings

1

Ready In:

5 min

Good For:

Beverage

 

About this Recipe

By: Morgana Jane

Are you a fan of the Matcha Latte? If so, you will love this Moringa Coconut Latte! Moringa Lattes are a quick, simple, delicious, and packed with nutrition!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1.5 tsp Moringa Leaf Powder
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup 
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil

If you are looking for an alternative to a tradition milk based latte, this is a great option. Four simple ingredients, delicious, and ready in less than five minutes! 

You can sweeten this latte with maple syrup or honey, and if sugary sweeteners are a concern, use stevia instead.

 

Nutrition

This delightful beverage is loaded with nutrition! A mere 10 grams of moringa leaf powder is an excellent source of fiber, protein, iron, vitamin E, vitamin K, and as well, contains high levels of vitamin A and calcium. And if that’s not enough, coconut milk and coconut oil lend even more nutritional bang to this quiet, green latte. The mighty coconut is a great source of medium-chain fatty acids which have anti-microbial and anti fungal effects, and serve as an excellent source of efficient energy for your body. And thanks to high levels of lauric acid – the oil really goes to work on inflammation.

Moringa Oleifera Leaf Photo Credit: Abin jv at Malayalam Wikipedia [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]  No changes made.

Abin jv at Malayalam Wikipedia [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1 

Toss all ingredients into a small pot over medium-high heat. Use a small whisk to mix all ingredients well. Gently whisk until it almost comes to a boil – but keep it below a boil.

Step 2

Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to finish the latte and whip it to a froth, being mindful to keep the blender immersed and not to splatter yourself with hot liquid!

Step 3

Pour your Moringa Latte into your favorite mug, (sprinkle a little nutmeg on top if you like) grab your favorite book, put your feet up, and enjoy!

How to Make Kefir Soda Pop

How to Make Kefir Soda Pop

Servings

2 liters

Ready In:

3 – 5 days

Good For:

Beverage

 

About this Recipe

By: Morgana Jane

Unless you have had your head stuck in the ground for the last couple of years, I don’t need to tell you how much sugar is in soda pop, or that all that sugar is detrimental to your health… But it’s just so yummy and fizzy and we all like a little treat now and again, especially kids, right?? So what to do!!?? Well, there’s a great alternative that’s loaded with flavor, is super easy to make, and has only a fraction of the sugar… Say hello to, Kefir Soda!

Ingredients

  • 4 Naturally Flavored Fruity Herbal Tea Bags (any flavor you like!)
  • 1500 ml Water
    (1.5 liters or quarts)
  • 1 cup cane sugar
    (natural sugar)
  • 1/2 cup Kefir Whey

Most soda has between 10 and 17 teaspoons of sugar per serving – but teaspoons are so tiny, so no big deal, right? Let’s put these facts into a perspective that sheds a little more insight: There are 12 tsp in 1/4 of a cup, and there are almost 16 tsp in 1/3 of a cup... so on average, soda contains 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of sugar per serving… That’s a lot of sugar! Now imagine if you drink a couple of those per day?! You could be consuming half a cup of sugar, or more, per day! Crazy!

 

Nutrition

Kefir Soda is a probiotic, and probiotics help restore healthy gut flora. Kefir soda is made with sugar but that sugar is what feeds the little micro organisms that create the ferment. So while it starts out sweet, as it ferments it becomes more bubbly and less sweet – because the micro organisms are eating the sugar! By the time the fermentation is finished, there is very little sugar left.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1 – Collect the Kefir Whey

After you strain the grains from your kefir and store it in the fridge you will notice that after a day or so it will separate into whey and curd. The liquidy stuff is the whey (in the photo above, it’s floating on the curds – sometimes it’s in the middle, sometimes it’s at the bottom). The whey is what you need to make this soda. Use a large spoon to hold back the curd and pour 1/2 to 1 cup of whey through a fine strainer into a glass container. If there is debris in the whey, strain it again through a coffee filter. Cover the whey and set it in the fridge until needed.

Step 2 – Make Tea

 

Place 3 – 4 naturally flavored fruity herbal tea bags into a 2 quart mason jar (Choose any flavor you like! In the photos for this recipe, I used a mixed berry herbal tea). Fill the jar with 1.5 quarts of boiling water, cover and let the tea steep for 2 or 3 hours.

Step 3 – Sugar & Whey

When the tea has cooled, remove the bags, add 1 cup natural sugar and stir until dissolved, but wait until the tea has reached room temperature before you add the whey. Do not add the whey to tea that is hot or too warm – you will kill the little micro organisms and your Kefir Soda will flop! Also,  be sure that’s there is at least a 1 inch gap between the tea and the lid – this baby needs room to ferment, which is a gassy, fizzy, bubbly kind of process!

Step 4 – Give it a Rest – Then Enjoy!

Cover the jar with a tight lid and set the jar in a warm area. Check (remove the lid) on your creation daily to see where fermentation is at and to release any pressure that is building due to fermentation. You will know that things have started to move along when you hear a little pfffiiiit sound as the lid is undone. Once you have released the pressure, give it a gentle stir and replace the lid. Fermentation will take between 3 and 5 days, depending on the temperature. The cooler it is, the longer it will take. There is flexibility here – you can certainly drink your soda when it’s not terribly fizzy, but, that will mean that there is still a lot of sugar in the mix. The more bubbly the soda, the less sugar – and since the goal here is to reduce sugar intake, give it time and let it get good and bubbly! Once fermentation is complete, store your kefir soda in the fridge. It’s good for about a week – if it lasts that long!

How to Make Milk Kefir

How to Make Milk Kefir

Yeild

1 liter

Ready In:

12-24 Hrs

Good For:

Healthy Bevy

 

About this Recipe

By: Morgana Jane

Milk Kefir, a fermented milk beverage, is one of the easiest things in the world to make and is such an incredible nutritional benefit. I keep at least 3 liters on hand at all times, and there is always a fresh batch brewing on my counter! Kefir is great to drink on it’s own and it’s natural flavor is similar to plain yogurt followed by a bit of a fizzy finish. I didn’t care for it much at first, but I absolutely love it now. It’s also a fantastic base for your favorite smoothie. 

Ingredients

  • Milk
  • Kefir Grains

Milk Kefir has a flavor similar to plain yogurt and there is a noticeable little fizz to it. For this reason, Milk Kefir is often referred to as the Champagne of Milk. If you’re not fussy about it’s natural flavor, it’s easy to give it a little flavor boost, Just add a couple of slices of lemon or orange peel to the kefir, once you have strained out the grains, for a lovely hint of citrus. Truth be told, you can pretty much flavor it any way you like! Vanilla, Mint, Berry – anything at all. You can even drop your favorite herbal tea bag into it for added flavor.

Nutrition

Milk kefir is protein rich, and a great source of calcium, niacin, B12, and folic acid. Most importantly, milk kefir is a probiotic containing 30 plus strains of good bacteria that help maintain a health gut. Milk kefir is similar to yogurt, nutritionally, but offers more bang per cup. Yogurt contains a mere 4 or 5 strains of bacteria compared to the 30 plus offered up in milk kefir. And most notably, the bacteria in yogurt is transient, and passes through your digestive system, whereas kefir actually stays put, helping to recolonize the good bacteria in your gut. Good to know!

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1 – Accoutrement

You don’t need any fancy equipment to make kefir, and you likely have some of what you do need in your kitchen already: 

  • 2 quart jars for fermentation
    (I like larger jars for fermenting because they don’t overflow when things get going… and you only need a couple of these)
  • 1 quart jars for storage of kefir
    (half a dozen will do)
  • fine mesh strainer
    (metal is fine for this job)
  • spatula
  • tight fitting lids
Step 2 – Procure Some Grains

Kefir grains are not really grains, but sticky little colonies of good bacteria. You can purchase them online, in health food stores, and if you live in my town, email me – I will give you some! Kefir grains are prolific, and reproduce madly. You start our with a tablespoon full, and within six months, you have enough grains to start your own mail order business…

Step 3 – Start Dating

Now here’s the thing about kefir grains – it’s going to take you a while to get to know each other, so give yourself that time. Making kefir is super easy. Perfecting it requires a relationship.

On your first date, put one tablespoon of kefir grains into a 1 quart jar and add half a liter of milk. Cover the jar with a loose lid or a cloth held in place with an elastic (you don’t want it to be air tight, but you do want to keep bugs and dust out).

Set the jar on your counter in a warmish (but not too warm) spot.  Mine do well at between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (15 – 20 degrees Celsius) and leave them there for about 24 hours. 

There are only two ways to kill your kefir grains: excess heat, and starvation. Moderate heat speeds up the fermentation process, but too much heat will kill the grains. 

Step 4 – Magic

You don’t need to stare at your milk kefiring away for the next 24 hours, but you can check in on it from time to time to check the ambient temperature and see how things are progressing.

Kefiring is kind of boring, actually. First you will notice some bubbles forming, later, things will begin to thicken up, and soon after, a layer of separation will be visible – but this all takes time.

The first time you make your kefir will take the longest because the grains need to get used to their new environment. Kefir grains love consistency. They like the same kind of milk, the same volume of milk, and relatively the same temperature on a consistent basis (mine like classical music, but maybe yours will prefer jazz ;o) They are very adaptable and resilient, and they will become cozy in whatever environment you provide for them – but keep that environment as consistent as you are able.

Step 4 – Strain

Your kefir will be ready to strain in about 24 hours. You will know it’s ready because if you swish the contents of the jar you will notice that it has become much thicker – not thick like yogurt, but thicker than milk. There will also be a thick layer at the top, some bubbles, and perhaps a slight line of separation. And at the bottom of the jar, the kefir will look somewhat like this:

Place your mesh strainer over a glass bowl (I find a batter bowl is perfect because it has a little spout, making it much easier to pour the strained kefir into a jar for storage – however, any bowl will do!) and pour the contents of the jar through the strainer. Use a rubber spatula to lift and stir the grains to help kefir pour through. When all the kefir has gone through the strainer, use the spatula to press any remaining kifer from the grains.

Step 5 – Cap, Store, Repeat

Place a tight fitting lid on the storage jar, and pop it into the fridge. Kefir has a very long shelf life, and will continue to ferment (slowly) even while in the fridge, becoming stronger in flavor and thinner in texture over time. Mine never lasts a week in the fridge and I am sure I wouldn’t care for the flavor within two weeks.

Next, you’re going to want to keep the train rolling. Kefir loves a consistent, solid routine so once you have strained the grains, drop the grains back into a large fermentation jar (go for the 2 quart jar this time) and start the process all over again, only this time, add a full liter of milk to the grains. After the first ferment in their new home, they will start getting a feel for their new environment, and once they become well established, it will take about a tablespoon of grains to one liter of milk to make a liter of kifer in 24 hours.

We go through a liter or more of kefir here everyday, so I am always making kefir (or rather, the kefir is making itself and I give it a nice warm place to sit while it goes to work) however, you may not wish to make so much – which is fine, because when you have enough kefir on hand, you can put the grains to sleep in the fridge until you are ready to make more.

To put your grains to sleep, simply drop them into a 1 quart jar, add a cup of milk, put a tight fitting lid on the jar, and pop it into the fridge. They can rest like that for up to a week.

Kefir Tips and Notes

— There are two ways to kill your kefir grains: excess heat, and starvation. Kefir does best in moderate heat between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (15 – 20 degrees Celsius) temperatures much higher may cause them to die. And, remember, you have to feed your little buddies, or they will die. They are little organisms, and like all organisms, they must eat to survive. What do they eat? Milk sugar. That’s their thing – without it, they perish, so if you have a stock of grains resting in your fridge, don’t forget to replenish their food source every week or two.

— You can put your grains to sleep in the fridge for a week or two, and even longer if you need to. Simply place the grains into a jar, add 1 to 2 cups of milk (depending on the amount of kefir grains you have (I currently have an excess of about a cup of grains, which I keep sleeping in two cups of milk for two weeks at a time…) put a tight lid on the jar, and store in the fridge. If you need them to sleep longer, strain them (discard the milk they were sleeping in) rinse them in cool water if you like (I do) then drop them into a clean jar with fresh milk, put a lid on it, and put them back into the fridge for another week or two. 

Remember, aside from excess heat, starvation is another way that you can kill your kefir grains. You can keep them in a nonproductive state for as long as you like, but, you have to keep replenishing their food source – fresh milk. Once they have consumed all the sugar in the milk, they will starve and die if you don’t give them more fresh milk. 

 — Kefir grains are crazy prolific… I am not kidding you! Their kind of like zucchini – there is never an end to them. You start with a tablespoon of grains, and pretty soon, you have three cups of grains. You will notice that although you started making kefir with a tablespoon of grains, that within a week you have two tablespoons of grains. In no time at all, you’ll have a quarter cup, and soon after, a cup. What to do??

Thin them. Put some to sleep in the fridge. Give some to friends. Sell them on CraigsList. Compost them (I can’t – I feel guilty, like I murdered them…). Some people mix them into a smoothie. As long as you are making kefir, you will have more and more and more grains. 

— Grains VS Time. Once your grains are established (wide awake in their new home and producing like maniacs) you will notice that the more grains you use the less time it takes to make kefir. When my grains are going full on, I can make a liter of kefir with two tablespoons of grains in 12 hours. That’s where I like to keep them in so far as production goes. It works for me and my schedule. When I put them to sleep, we start our wake-up routine all over again: 1 tablespoon of grains to a liter of milk for a liter of kefir within 24 hours, until they are fully awake again, and we get back to our comfortable routine. Go with whatever works for you.

— Kefir is variable. Sometimes it’s thicker, sometimes it’s thinner. It tastes different in the fall months than it does in the summer months. It ferments faster in warm weather than in cool weather. Sometimes it smells yeasty, sometimes it doesn’t. That’s kefir. It’s nature, not science. You will get to know your kefir over time. They’ll become your little buddies and you will become familiar with their variable nature, but until you get them figured out, don’t worry that one batch is different than the next, smells different, tastes different, has more bubble, less bubbles… You’ll figure it out over time. The only time you really need to worry about your grains is if they smell foul. They smell weird and that’s ok, but if they smell foul – toss them out!

 

Morgana’s Favorite Green Juice

Morgana’s Favorite Green Juice

Servings

About 2 Cups

Ready In:

10 min

Good For:

Any Time!

About this Recipe

By: Morgana Jane

This is an awesome, nutrient packed veggie juice and it’s great for you because it’s super fresh and far lower in sugar than fresh pressed fruit juice. It can be prepared in 10 minutes or less and it’ tastes great! Use a slow speed juicer to maintain nutritional integrity (I use the Omega Compact Nutrition Center – works great!) and drink it right away to ensure that you get the highest nutritional content. I recommend making fresh juice every day rather than juicing ahead. Here’s my favorite recipe – It’s my daily go-to.

Ingredients
  • 5 leaves black kale
  • 5 leaves curly kale
  • 1 small apple
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1/2″ piece of fresh ginger
  • hand full parsley 
  • half a small cuccumber
  • optional: cilantro or basil instead of, or as well as parsley
There is so much flavor going on in this juice!

The foundation of this recipe is kale, but the apple lends a just hint of sweetness, to balance the taste, and the ginger perks things up with a little zing.

Adjust the amount of ginger and lemon you use to satisfy your own palate. I love ginger, so I use about an inch of ginger – you may not care for it as I do – so use a smaller piece! Same for the lemon.  Optionally, you can add basil and/or cilantro for even more layers of flavor.

Nutrition

This juice delivers a wallop of nutrition. It’s packed with vitamins A, C, K, and B, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, and Folate – and that’s just the beginning!

For a great nutritional boost, drink your veggies every day!

I always recommend fresh, organic veggies. Conventional veggies are cheaper, true, but only cheaper in the moment… Long term health implications from consuming pesticide laden food is far more costly down the road than the few cents that organic will set you back now. To cut costs, shop local at farms and farmer’s markets rather than retail grocery stores. The savings are considerable, and you will be supporting local farmers and boosting your local economy!

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Go buy yourself a nice big bag full of fresh, organic greens. Give them a good wash and spin off the excess water in a salad spinner or pat them dry with a towel. Chop the carrots, celery, apple, lemon, and ginger into pieces appropriately sized for your juicer.

Step 2

Crank up the juicer and feed in the veggies, alternating between hard and soft veggies & fruit. This seems to be an important step for slow speed juicers like the Omega which does better over all with leafy greens and root veggies rather than soft fruit. Alternating keeps things flowing nicely.

Step 3

Once you have collected all the juice, give it a good stir and enjoy!

The yield for this recipe is about 2 cups of lovely fresh juice – enough to share with someone you love!

Prep Hack:

I buy a big bag of greens every week, wash them up and store it in the fridge. This makes prep time super fast, because the greens are ready to go!

 

Note:

Why a slow speed (masticating) juicer? High speed (centrifical) juicers create a lot of heat during the juicing process which compromises the nutritional quality of your juice. Slow juicers, on the other hand, create much less heat, and therefore help maintain nutritional integrity.

Mindful Moment:

After juicing, you will notice a delightful and distinct, very fresh, green scent that lingers in your kitchen.

Peace Out, and Enjoy!

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