KOMBUCHA BY JUST AROUND THE BEND

I have been actively making my own KOMBUCHA since July 2017.

Why: Because it tastes better than any store bought on the market. It’s far healthier, costs pennies to make compared to store bought. In addition it is just so much fun to make and makes me feel like a little brew master. PLUS MY HUSBAND LOVES IT.

So let’s get started with my simple directions, believe me its so worth it.

SUPPLIES:

  • 1 GLASS GALLON CONTAINER
  • 1 SCOBY
  • 10 TEA BAGS – BLACK OR GREEN JUST NOT DECAF
  • 12 GLASS BREW BOTTLES
  • 12 AIRLOCKS
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cup sugar

PROCESS: Boil 4 cups of water-add 10 tea bags and steep for 20 mins add 1 1/4 CUP SUGAR to dissolve, stirring to help it along. Cool adding another quart of water to help it cool. Make sure it is cooled to body temperature. Place in your gallon container preferably glass and fill with non chlorinated water up to 6 inches from the top of jar. Now you add your reserved 1 and 1/2 cups of started matured kombucha liquid and stir. Top with your scoby which in kombucha land is actually call THE MOTHER. The scoby is a rubbery disk which floats on the surface of the tea as it ferments. Cover with a clean cotton cloth (do not use cheese cloth) secure with a rubber band, do not use the lid the jar usually comes with. Place in a dark place ideally around 70 degrees temp. The kombucha mother will float above the sweet tea mixture as it ferments. Sometimes when you first place the scoby in the tea mixture it will sink, its ok within a day it should float up to the surface. I ferment my kombucha for 7 days and it has been turning out perfect.

This is the really fun part. Remove the mother and 1 generous cup of mature kombucha liquid from your gallon jar to help start the next batch. set aside.

Bottle the rest of the remaining liquid in your prepared jars.

PREPARED BOTTLES:

Our favorite has been blueberry, lime, ginger kombucha. I place 1/3 cup pure blueberry juice (no sugar added) in my jars, 1/4 teaspoon lime juice or powder and 6 slivers of fresh ginger, top with you your mature kombucha mixture and insert the airlocks. I place these on the counter for 3 days then remove the airlocks, lock down the ceramic tops and place in refrigerator. Best served over ICE. Remember you can flavor your kombucha with any fruit combo you prefer, try 6 slices of fresh strawberries – YUM. Another favorite my friend Cheryl got me hooked on is Pomegranate-Blueberry, that’s a great combination, but dont forget to slide a few (6) slices of ginger in your jar. Fred Myers and or Kroger has been having these bottles on sale for $2.99 each. They are Organic and no sugar added, just perfect.

Now you start over adding your room temperature tea, dissolved sugar along with the 1 and 1/2 cup fermented liquid left over FROM ORIGINAL batch and enough non chlorinated water to bring it 4 inches from top. Gently place your scoby (MOTHER) on top and in 7 days you have another batch of kombucha, it’s that easy.

You can purchase online a scoby which includes the starting liquid or find a friend to share, that works the best. We have a kombucha factory called HUM here in Bend and they sold me a scoby with starter liquid for $5.00 and it is going strong.

I must say you can do this, even my 84 year old mother is making a weekly batch of kombucha and loving the process.

UNTIL NEXT TIME FROM JUST AROUND THE BEND – CHEERS

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General TSO’S CHICKEN

GENERAL TSO’S CHICKEN

Since our retirement, my husband seems to spend a lot more time in the kitchen. Now do not take this wrong he is an excellent cook and comes up with some good ideas. He loves his pressure cooker, one morning he is surfing the web for new ideas for dinner. He also knows whatever idea he conjures up has to be healthy.  So when he says WHY DON’T WE MAKE General Tso’s Chicken tonight my first thought was YUM, I love General Tso’s chicken, but reality says breaded, deep fried, grease  oh no.  So we do more research in the  Kuhn Rikon webb site, took about 12 different recipes and ideas and came up with this fantastic recipe.  I will admit I was skeptical that just a few ingredients  could bring out such amazing flavors. OK I was wrong; this recipe has become one of our favorite fast, healthy go to recipes. It also works well for us as we make it in our RV often. The recipe works with an instant pot or my traditional pressure cooker.

SIMPLE INGREDIENTS

SAUCE –   mix together and set aside

¼ CUP LOW SODIUM SOY SAUCE OR TAMARI

¼ CUP HONEY

1 TABLESPOON TOMATO PASTE

PINCH OF CHILI FLAKES

3 STRIPS 2 IN LONG FRESH GINGER OR  2 TEASPOONS JARRED MINCED GINGER

2 TEASPOONS MINCED GARLIC

3 TABLESPOONS RICE VINEGAR

PLACE

1 POUND CHICKEN    I USE CHICKEN TENDERS –  You can use any kind of chicken you prefer thigh’s  would be good also but more fattening.  Tenders are more convenient for RVing.

Add your chicken to your pot; pour sauce over chicken, that’s it, so simple. Close the lid. I bring my pressure cooker up to the top red ring and let cook for 5 minutes, then quick release. Instant pot cooks for 10 minutes then quick release. Remove the chicken to a vessel you can keep it warm in. Leave the sauce in the pot.

3 Tablespoons Water

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Mix water in a small cup, whisk in 1 teaspoon cornstarch, add this slurry to your sauce in your pressure cooker and cook for about 2 minutes stirring to keep from lumping. Should  thicken up if not turn heat up and cook 1 to 2 additional minutes.

SERVE OVER BROWN RICE OR MY NEW FAVORITE FARRO

NOTE; FOR CONVENIENCE YOU CAN MIX THE SAUCE AND CHICKEN ALL TOGETHER, THAT WORKS WELL ALSO.

NOTE; ANOTHER HEALTHY IDEA WE DO OFTEN IS STIR FRY A LARGE BAG OF MIXED VEGGIES (LIKE THE ONES AT COSTCO) PLACE IN A REFRIGERATOR CONTAINER AND HEAT UP AS NEEDED. I THEN PLACE RICE OR FARRO IN A BOWL TOP WITH THE HEATED PRE COOKED VEGS , PLACE CHICKEN AND SAUCE ON TOP, VERY TASTY.

ANOTHER NOTE: YOU CAN USE WHITE RICE – BUT REMEMBER BROWN IS MORE NUTRIOUS!

BROWN RICE

1 CUP ORGANIC BOBS RED MILL BROWN RICE

2  ½ CUPS WATER OR STOCK

Place ingredient’s in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid or use your pressure cooker. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once or twice, cover. Reduce heat and simmer 45 to 55 minutes.

FARRO- ORGANIC BOBS RED MILL MY FAVORITE

1 CUP FARRO

3 CUPS WATER

RINSE 1 CUP FARRO, PLACE IN A POT WITH 3 CUPS WATER OR STOCK.  BRING TO A BOIL, REDUCE HEAT TO LOW AND SIMMER FOR 30 MINUTES. DRAIN EXCESS LIQUID IF ANY.

HOPE YOU ALL TRY THIS SIMPLE HEALTHY RECIPE – CHEERS FROM LIZ AT JUST AROUND THE BEND

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Dutch Oven Fruit Cobbler and Gluten Free

Dutch oven cooking is a fun way to create food and desserts gourmet style. This particular Rving Adventure lead us to Horse Creek Campground for 5 days of Hiking, biking and campfire cooking with great friends.

Since half of our friends and family tend to be gluten free I came up with this delicious gluten free fruit cobbler. I decided instead of using my oven in the RV, I would cook it on the campfire in a cast iron pot.  IT’S EASY, FUN AND DELICIOUS!!!   🍏

RECIPE:      

In a medium bowl add:

FRUIT MIXTURE:

4 cups of FRUIT– can be sliced apples, apples and blueberries, mixed                                        fruit (strawberries,  blueberries, raspberries etc)  I personally add 1                                     cup rhubarb to any of  the above fruit mixtures, Yum.

To the fruit mixture mix in-

1 Tablespoon Tapioca

2 Tablespoons sugar free raspberry jam (I prefer Trader Joe’s)

1 Tablespoon Honey (more if you like it sweeter) also can use Stevia, Agave etc

1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon

Stir together gently and place in a deep dish pan, 8 x 8 inch casserole dish or any ovenproof  dish you prefer- pour into chosen pan. Set aside. If cooking in a conventional oven set oven at 350 degrees.

If cast iron cooking I used a 12 inch dutch oven and placed 8 coales on the bottom and 12  to 14 coales on the top. This particular time I used a dutch oven liner which really helped with clean-up as we were dry camping with limited water, either way it turned out perfect.

TOPPING

In a medium bowl add:   🥘

1 Cup Oatmeal

1/4 Cup chopped nuts ) I prefer pecans) almonds are good also

2 Tablespoons gluten free rice flour (can use gluten free baking mix)

If you are not gluten free I use 100% whole wheat flour

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds

1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon

Optional but yummy is to add 1 to 2 tablespoons flaked coconut to topping mixture

Stir above ingredients together mix in the butter or olive oil until crumbly 

ADD:

2 Tablespoons Butter (melted) or 2 Tablespoons Olive OIL (We prefer the olive oil for health reasons , I’ve made it both ways and really can’t tell the diff). Try it both way and see what you think.

Sprinkle topping over your fruit mixture, spreading evenly- place in preheated oven and bake until golden brown and bubbly approx for 30 to 40 minutes. We live at 6 thousand feet so my cobbler takes a little longer in Bend, Oregon. 350 Degrees

Now the Cast Iron Pot over the campfire cooking method: 

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The method is the same as a conventional oven the only difference is If cast iron cooking I used a 12 inch dutch oven and placed 8 coales on the bottom and 12 to 14 on the top. This time it took about 40 minutes  at 1500 feet elevation to cook to perfection. Just peek at the last 15 minutes to check if its bubbly and browning nicely.

Now the unhealthy part, really good with vanilla bean ice cream (Per jeff) and or whipping cream, just a suggestion.

CHEERS FROM LIZ UNTIL NEXT TIME♥♥♥♥      

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