All posts by Erick C

I am interested in the health benefits of fermentation both in beverage form and foods. Using food as a healing modality, fermented or otherwise, including herbs an spices is a topic that I am bringing to the table for Heart Centered Living.

I have been created fermented beverages since the mid-1990′s and food since the mid-2000′s. I do a lot of cooking and part of it is fermented foods and beverages. They are good for health and I have posts that will share some recipes and things that I have learned along the way.

I like to also combine the fermentation process with another area of interest, time lapse photography to bring fermentation to life by speeding it up visually allowing a different level of insight into the process.

View the Eclipse With This Simple Homemade Gadget

The following is a good article on how to build a very simple pinhole camera based viewer for the eclipse. This is a simple effective and safe way to view the solar eclipse on Monday August 21,2017. I have built one before, many years ago and it works.

https://www.wired.com/story/view-the-eclipse-with-this-simple-homemade-gadget/

When is the eclipse happening??

Eclipse Map Shows the Eclipse starting shortly after Noon on Monday August 21 in New York.
Close up for eclipse times for Wellsburg,NY.
Close up for eclipse times for Wellsburg,NY.

The following interactive Google map based will give you the time of the eclipse for your location. Times are listed in UTC, 24 hour format. Subtract 5 hours from the time listed for Eastern Daylight Time, 6 for Central, 7 for mountain, 8 for Pacific.

http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/solar_eclipses/TSE_2017_GoogleMapFull.html

National Weather Service Eclipse Information

 

 

Heart Centered Living’s Fall Fermentation Workshop 2016

Taught by Erick Clasen and Bonnie Pecka

The workshop will be held on November 7th 6:00-8:00 PM at the First

Congregational Church, 30 Main Street Binghamton, New York. Class will be held downstairs in the church kitchen.

The focus of this workshop will be on the basics of fermenting foods. Fermented foods are not only healthy (full of probiotics, vitamins and minerals), they are easy to make and also extremely tasty.

Sauerkraut, fermented ginger and carrots and beet kvass, a delicious drink for the fall season, will be the stars of this workshop. Sauerkraut is an old favorite that many people are familiar with and is a good starting point for trying to ferment your own foods. Fermented carrots and ginger are a zesty combination that introduces a bit of experimental flavoring into the fermentation process.

You will have the opportunity to taste these at the workshop. Besides samples of sauerkraut and carrot / ginger ferment, there will be kombucha, water kefir, and a few varieties of beet kvass.

Workshop attendees will participate in making their own sauerkraut and carrot / ginger fermentations to take home.

Beet Kvass

Beet kvass is a fermented tonic and a snap to make. It’s a delicious choice to incorporate into your health and wellness tool belt any time of the year. Because it is packed full of probiotics, vitamins and enzymes, it is not only tasty, but healthy and nourishing. In addition to beets, other things can be added to flavor (and further fortify) the beet kvass, such as ginger, garlic, citrus, etc.

Registration

The workshop cost is $20 per person. Seating is limited. Please register for this workshop by Friday November 4th.

Registration is as simple as responding via email to hclny@oils-of-life.com or call Erick at 607-226-6943 and make a commitment to attend.

Call or email today to join us for this fun and informative workshop.

Homemade Pickles

Pickles are one of foods that appears on plates in summer and sliced up and used on a condiment on a burger. They are good with many meals and ones made the old fashioned way can help you digest the rich food that might be on your plate at that outing or harvest party you might be attending or throwing.

One thing that I learned recently while watching A Chef’s Life Season 3, Episode 4 is that cucumber pickles are a big crop in Eastern North Carolina. They are graded into various sizes and a rule of thumb ( literally in this case ) is that if you can reach around one and touch your index finger to your thumb, it is a good one for pickling whole. Bigger than that and you might want to slice it into quarters or slabs.

Abundance

Recently I was planning a class for the local Lyme disease group in my area,  Southern Tier Lyme Support . I was searching for some seasonal vegetables to bring along for tasting and I came into an abundance of late season pickling cucumbers at the local farm stand near me, Country Wagon Produce.

Old School Pickling and Quick Pickling, there is a difference

When it comes to abundance and preserving it, nothing beats fermentation, old-school pickling as it is also called. Not to be confused with the type of pickling where one uses boiling hot vinegar, also know as quick pickling. This is more or less a type of canning, which creates a sterile environment, preserving the pickles by killing off all the microbes present on the them.

Lactofermention is what we are after

It is lactofermentation that we are after when we want to produce old-fashioned pickles.  This is when lactic acid producing bacteria, which are already present on everything and everywhere, are allowed to take over. Take over in the sense of, they become the ruling bacteria and help stomp out the others that might be hazardous to our health.

All we have to do is provide the environment that will allow them to multiply fast and get ahead of the other bacteria and fungi present on the vegetables that is trying to rot them away to mush.

How Do We Get it Going?

We give the lactic acid producing bacteria the right environment to thrive.

The lactic acid producing bacteria, known as lactobaccilus can live in a salty brine with no problems, other bacteria are less tolerant of salty brines. This allows it to thrive and the others, not so much. Once the lactobaccilus starts growing it produces, you guessed it, lactic acid. This raises the acid level in the brine, gives pickles the tartness that we expect and provides an environment that excludes other bacteria that would be harmful to us.

It goes without saying that the pickles have to be submerged in the brine. The process of lactofermentation is anaerobic, meaning without air. If some cucumbers are not submerged, most likely the ends sticking out will get moldy.

My Recipe for Pickling Cucumbers

A quart jar will hold roughly a pound of pickling cucumbers. In my case, I measured 400 grams, just a bit less than a pound ( 454 grams ).

  1. Take the cucumbers and let them soak at least 30 minutes in some salty water to help loosen up any dirt. The quantity of slat for this step is not critical, use what you would normally for boiling pasta for an example.
  2. Clean them with a sponge or an abrasive vegetable cleaner. Don’t use any soap or chemicals.
  3. Clip off the ends. According the NPR Article of 3 Secrets to Crispy Pickles there is an enzyme present on the blooming end of a cucumber that can make it go soft after a while. If you are not a pro at identifying the blooming end of a cucumber, clip off both ends to be sure. They have a few other suggestions as well, it is worth reading the article. One suggestion is adding leaves such as oak and cherry which have a lot of tannins to your jar, this can keep pickles crisp longer.
  4. Measure the weight of the cucumbers that will fit into the jar, I had 400 grams for a quart jar.
  5. Pack the cucumbers in the jar. Most likely for the second time as you would have had to put them in once and pulled them back out to weigh them.
  6. Add 5% by weight of natural salt. By natural salt, I mean salt that is just salt nothing else added. For me it was 20 grams of salt. A tablespoon is slightly less than 20g of salt, so make it a heaping tablespoon, or go by weight by putting the jar on the scale and pouring in salt until you hit the mark.
  7. Add pickling spice. ( I bought some locally at Country Wagon Produce ) About 2-3 tablespoons is good enough for a pound of cucumbers. I like to bring an ounce or two of water to a boil in a pan and steep the pickling spice in it, allowing the whole thing to cool off and then I add it all in. The steeping process hydrates the spices and creates a tea. The spices quickly infuse into the water and this gives the spicing process a head start over just adding the dry spices.
  8. Top off with water, making sure the cucumbers are submerged and leaving a 1/4 to 1/2 inch of air space and put on the lid.
  9. Place in a cool ( 55-70 deg is best), dark place and wait.
  10. Loosen the lid every few days to relieve the pressure. More often in warmer weather as the process of fermentation moves faster.
  11. After about 3-4 days, pull one out and taste test, if it’s not ready give it a few more days. When it tastes right to you, put them in the refrigerator to stop the fermentation process and enjoy.

How Long Will They Stay Crisp?

They will last a while in the fridge, the first month is the best. But eventually the enzymes produced by the microbes will start to soften the pickles. They are basically being cooked, or more like digested slowly at the temperature of the refrigerator. This happens much  slower than at room temperature as the biological and chemical process are slowed down by the cold temperature. It all happens at a very slow rate by the enzymes and acidity present in the solution. It can take months but eventually they will get soft.

Resources

Upcoming Workshop Flyer

November 7th 2016:Fall Fermentation Workshop

NPR Recipe

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2012/07/12/156619002/three-secrets-to-crispy-pickles-and-a-lost-recipe-found

An outline of fermentation basics from a presentation that I did a few years ago.

http://oils-of-life.com/fermentation/

A few more posts on fermentation…

Sweet Potato Fly Recipe

Kombucha SCOBY Timelapse Video

 

Sauerkraut Timelapse Video

 

The Elements of Cooking

I recently finished reading the book Cooked by Michael Pollan. The book is divided into four sections, one for each classical element. In the book he points out something that I really had not thought much about in terms of cooking in relation to the elements of fire,water,air and earth. It was an excellent read, I got a lot out of it in terms of widening my perspective on how food impacts our lives. The relation to the elements was an interesting way to put different “lens” on and view the process of cooking through them. In the book there is a lot of eye opening information of how food impacts our health. The fact that we have become a nation of outsourcing the bulk of our cooking to corporations that don’t have our health as their top priority is something to consider. When one comes intimately in contact with food, from the raw ingredients to the final product there is a natural awareness and inclination to know more about what is going into our bodies.

Cooked also got me thinking a bit deeper of the trans-formative power of food ( on us and cultures of the world ) and the energy used to transform food. External energy of one source or another must be applied to food to “cook” it. Mostly we think of this in the form of applying heat to food, but it can also happen “cold” in the case of fermentation and slow chemical reactions that occur due to enzymes breaking down food.

A Stomach Outside the Body

At the most basic level cooking food is a type of digestion, a pre-digestion of food, that takes place outside of the body. According to the book Cooked, there is a theory out there that actually says that human evolution is tied to cooking. We humans have a small stomach relative to other primates who live on a diet of mostly raw vegetables and some raw meats. Our jaw is also smaller as we have evolved to mostly eat softer cooked food. Our brain is larger than other primates and there is a chance that it got that way because we learned to cook. The brain for it’s size consumes a lot of calories, energy required from food. By cooking food humans can extract the maximum amount of calories from it, helping us develop the way we did over evolutionary time. Other than carrying weapons and making tools, cooking gives us an edge over the other animals. Cooking also has the ability to make things that would be indigestible or even hazardous, this makes me think of tapioca, toxic before it is cooked. Cooking have opened up a new range of foods that were previously unavailable to humans in their raw form. Effectively humans learned how to build a stomach outside the body by using fire to cook and predigest meat and vegetables.

A Boost to Culture

Cooking also makes sense in the development of human culture. If we don’t have to forage all day, it leaves time for a culture to develop and frees some people up to specialize in activities, such as making more tools, value added products and other things that make life even easier. Eventually enough free time is left over for the arts, philosophy and etc. to develop, then we have a real culture, that starts to draw, illustrate it’s life and write down it’s ideas. At that point we go from pre-history to a history that has been passed on. The torch gets past from the archaeologist to the historian.

Culture within a Culture

There also would also be a culture that develops around food, as people would have gathered not only by the warmth of the fire, but for some warm food cooked over the fire. I am speculating here but, it is even possible that domesticated animals such as dogs and cats were at first attracted to the smell of food around our social gatherings, being less fearful of us and fire and were tamable enough to become our friends. Who knows, but it is a possibility.

the-elements-of-cooking
Fire, Water, Air, Earth ( Grilling Chicken, Braising Pork, Irish Soda Bread and Fermenting Chaga)

Classical Elements

A cooking transformation is involved with all of the classical elements and I will  briefly look at each of them here and cover each element in more detail in forthcoming posts of this series.

  • Fire: Fire was the first element used by humans to cook. Humans most likely encountered fires set by lightning long before they learned to domesticate fire itself, then they captured it keeping it alive for a while and then finally figured out just how to start it whenever needed. Cooking anything, meat or plant, helps it become softer and it also breaks down the food on a microscopic level in a way that makes it nutritionally more available. Cooking with fire, especially slow cooking of meat, brings out the sweetness and mingles the smoke with the fat to create something sublime and irresistible. New flavors that were not there before come to full development.
  • Water: Cooking in water allows the molecules of the food to mingle and reactions to occur between the varied ingredients. This brings out a whole new set of flavors that is not possible by putting a hunk of meat on a fire. Water conducts heat well and allows for all the ingredients to be uniformly cooked. Finally because water can hold certain combinations of ingredients, it has place. Different dishes from all over the world stand out from each other by the fact that they have there unique combinations of ingredients and spices.
  • Air: Air as carbon dioxide in bread, produced as a metabolic waste of bread yeast, transforms something like dough, a ball of mud basically into a light fluffy bread with a hard crust. What a difference this made to people. Before bread there was only a type of gruel, grains cooked in water. With bread, you had a radically different thing, something dry. Something you could take with you, something you could put other food on, thanks to the Earl of Sandwich. It must have felt like magic. In fact, it still does, even though we know what makes it work today, the ins and out of microbes and all the reactions that make the browning of the crust just so good, it is still magic when a loaf comes out right.
  • Earth: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, all returns to the earth. The power of this transformation, of decay, harnessed and semi-controlled is what allows us to ferment foods. From beer and wine to sauerkraut, it all depends on these microbes that come from everywhere…“Everything is Everywhere”. This is a statement from the book that reminds us that the microbes are ready and waiting for something to feast on. Humans just have to provide the right conditions and care and feeding of the microbes and they will do their job. Helping to predigest to food that we will eat or produce the alcohol for our drinks that will preserve them for years. Recently I drank a long forgotten stout, that was still drinkable after 5-6 years, well preserved.

 


Sweet Potato Fly Recipe

A Soft Drink from Guyana

Sweet Potato Fly is a soft drink recipe that originally comes from Guyana, a small country on the northern coast of South America. I read about it in The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz. It is the kind of drink sold in the street markets at stalls, bottled in large plastic bottles and dispensed to customers. It is a good example of a local-made substitute for soda that is shipped in from elsewhere.

Elevating the Sweet Potato

The drink itself, elevates the sweet potato to another level. The fermentation process seems to bring out some of the subtle flavors in a raw sweet potato that get lost in the translation of cooking it. According to Sandor Ellix Katz, the best seasonings to accompany the sweet potato in this drink are the so-called “Christmas spices” – cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

Sweet PotatoWhen the fermentation has gone a few days in it’s primary fermentation vessel it is moved into a sealed container where carbonation can develop. The carbonation makes it a soft drink and therefore an alternative to store bought soda. The carbonation also seems to bring out more flavor as well as it imparts a sharp note of acidity that can counterbalance the sweetness. Much in the same way that salt can bring out the flavor in foods, even sweet ones. Carbonation can do the same thing for beverages.

The Recipe

In the Art of Fermentation book it calls for 2 large sweet potatoes per gallon. When I think of large sweet potatoes, I think of those monster ones. So for a half gallon use one monster one or two medium ( think of the size of a regular Russet potato ) sweet potatoes.

Makes one half gallon
  • 1 very large or 2 medium sized sweet potatoes, cut into small pieces, shredding them works well. This might be a good job for a food processor if you have one.
  • 1 cup of sugar. You have choices here, brown sugar imparts more flavor and is what I generally go with, white if you want to keep it mild. Don’t use honey as the antimicrobial agents present naturally in honey will retard fermentation.
  • A cinnamon stick, or the equivalent amount of powdered cinnamon. The benefit of the stick is that it stays in one piece and is not a bunch of small particles floating around, in other words, better aesthetics in the final product.
  • Other spices to your liking. Ginger works well either powdered or in it’s raw form. Nutmeg and allspice work well also. Start out with a teaspoon or so of each and then adjust up to taste.
  • A  starter culture. 1-2 ounces. A live culture to start the fermentation. I use water kefir, which I have plenty of if anyone needs some, just reach out to me. Other things that would be worth trying that have a similar biological spectrum of microbes would be whey, which can be obtained from yogurt. It’s the liquid that forms on top of yogurt when it sits around for a while. Yogurt itself, or dairy kefir would be a good choice, but it will make the product cloudy as it introduces milk solids.

The Process

Take the sliced/grated sweet potatoes and put them in a vessel that will hold them, give them several rinsing of water to remove the surface starches that have developed from the cutting process. I stir them and then let them sit and soak for 30 minutes and stir occasionally. Then I repeat this again for a second rinse.

Once the sweet potatoes are rinsed, add sugar, spices, starter culture and add a few ounces less than a half gallon of water, 58-59 ounces would be perfect. Stir well and cover lightly. I used a stainless steel cooking pot, the pot lid keeps it covered but will not allow pressure to build. Always use a vessel that is non-reactive to acids as the fermentation process will acidify the liquid and you don’t want anything to leach into the liquid.

Let the mixture sit for 2-3 days at room temperature. If it is in an opaque container it is fine to sit out on a counter top. If it is clear or translucent, it is best to keep it covered or in a dark place. UV light from the sun and even florescent lighting can interact with the biochemistry that is occurring in the container and cause “off flavors” to develop.

Foam will develop on top which indicates that fermentation is occurring. It is OK to stir it occasionally and taste it to check the progress by using a clean utensil. The flavor of it will also shift with time and it is interesting to see how this develops.

Ready to Bottle
Ready to Bottle

After 2-3 days it should have some small foam bubbles on top and will be ready to bottle. Strain the liquid out of the container and put that into a seal-able container, leaving an inch or two of air space at the top. Just like soda bottles have from the store. I highly recommend plastic, a recycled soda or at least a juice container is a good idea. This drink can carbonate so vigorously that I would not trust a glass container to bottle it in.

Bottle Conditioning

Once bottled in the sealed bottle, let it sit at room temperature for 1-2 days until it gets hard from the pressure that has built up in it. It now can be drank and stored in the refrigerator, which will greatly slow the fermentation down. The one nice thing about a drink like sweet potato fly is that it will ferment slowly in the refrigerator, so it will re carbonate itself after the bottle is opened. This pretty much happens overnight, if you use some one day the next morning it will have built up enough pressure to re-carbonate, at least this is what I have observed.

Bottled Sweet Potato Fly - Half Gallon
Bottled Sweet Potato Fly – Half Gallon

What to do – Leftover Sweet Potato Pieces

Almost 1 Quart of Leftover Sweet Potato Pieces
Almost 1 Quart of Leftover Sweet Potato Pieces

I have used the leftover pieces of sweet potatoes in pancakes. I use a high ratio of sweet potatoes to batter. Basically the batter is just a binder to hold the pieces of sweet potato together.

The sweet potatoes are softer than in their raw state as they have been predigested by the fermentation process. On top of this they have absorbed some of the flavor of the spices from the liquid that they have been sitting in for several days. If you like, you can even fortify the batter with the same spices that were used in the sweet potato fly recipe and make the flavor stand out even more. I have even made them a bit savory with salt, cumin and coriander, giving it a curried type of flavor profile.

 

 

 

 

Paramahansa Yogananda

Long before Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer and other spiritual teachers that we have invited into our living room on television , there was Paramahansa Yogananda.

Paramahansa Yogananda

Awake

A few months ago Renee and I watched the movie Awake. It is a documentary about the life of Paramahansa Yogananda. I had known of him through Tom Long, who some of you might know from his center in Greene, NY. He is a big fan of Paramahansa Yogananda and generally when Tom likes a spiritual teacher that much they are someone special. I thought that it would be good to look into Yogananda’s writings and after watching Awake, I put him in the forefront of my mind when I considered what book to read next.

Heart Centered Living will feature the movie Awake later this month on the 29th at 6PM at the First Congregational Church. 30 Main Street Binghamton,New York.

Ahead of his time

Yogananda was surprisingly ahead of his time. I’ve read a decent amount of spiritual writings over the years, but I was quite surprised how his writings are not only ahead of their time but are timeless. They can apply to then, now and certainly the future. Since watching Awake, I have been reading “Man’s Eternal Quest” by him. All of the quotes in this post are from that book and I have noted the page numbers. The book was created from a number of his lectures from the 1920’s on through the 1940’s. He conveys his teaching in a style that is understandable and readily grasped. He relates his teachings to life directly.

“Yoga is for everybody, for the people of the West as well as those of the East. One would not say that the telephone is not for the East just because it was invented in the West. Similarly, the methods of Yoga, although developed in the East, are not exclusively for the East but are useful to all mankind.” (p17)

He was also intuitive to such a degree that he predicted his own death. “I will not die in bed, but with my boots on, speaking of God and India.” After he gave a speech in 1952 and ended with a reading from his poem “My India”, he lifted his eyes upward and entered mahasamadhi, an advanced yogi’s earth exit. He had died as he had lived,exhorting man to know God. (from the Introduction of Man’s Eternal Quest)

Yogananda crossed the boundaries between Hindu beliefs and Christian beliefs in a fluid manner. His belief system included the belief in a Christ consciousness. He spoke of self realization and how it can only be learned through experience.

“Self-realization is not something one can learn from books, it comes only through personal experience. Realization of truth, experience of God – not dogma merely-is what every religion should bring to it’s followers. What Jesus Christ realized, we too must experience. He didn’t teach that his followers should worship him as a personality, but rather experience what he experience in his oneness with God. That can be attained only by meditation and bu following God’s laws. To worship Jesus because he is Jesus is not enough. Embrace the universal ideals he taught, and strive to be like him.”(p 27)

Yogananda’s Spiritual Legacy

Yogananda started his teachings in America in 1920, eventually winding up in California where in 1925 he founded the international headquarters for Self-Realization Fellowship. Temples exist all over the world today, over 500. The closest one to Binghamton, New York is in Syracuse, New York.

He  founded the Self-Realization Fellowship to disseminate his teachings and to preserve their purity and integrity for future generations. In that way, no matter what material you encounter out there about Yogananda, you can be certain that material that bears the seal of the Self-Realization Foundation is pure. The seal means that it has been vetted by people that have been been trained by his closest hand picked disciples. The seal appears on the top of the Self Realization Fellowship Site and also shows up as the little favicon that shows up in the tab when you open the site.

Kriya Yoga

Yogananda was a practitioner of Kriya Yoga as a path to meditation. When many people think of yoga the first thing that comes to mind is the poses of physically directed Hatha Yoga, but there are actually quite a few different types of yoga. Kriya yoga seems to be more of a mediative self reflective type of yoga, a method of connecting with inner peace and source. It reminds me a bit of Buddhist meditations that I have participated in, in the past.

Resources

Self Realization Fellowship

I read on the Self Realization Fellowship Site that there are Self-Realization Lessons that are available as a 3.5 year mail order course where material is sent out every two weeks. Yogananda made sure that it would stay affordable in that the cost of the lessons are just to cover the cost of printing and mailings.

A blog that focuses on quotes from Paramahansa Yogananda

http://guru-paramahansa-yogananda.blogspot.com/


Heart Centered Living will feature the movie Awake

Monday, Feb 29th 6-8

(Heart Centered Movie Night)  Awake

The life of Paramanhansa Yogananda. By personalizing his own quest for enlightenment and sharing his struggles along the path, Yogananda made ancient Vedic teachings accessible to a modern audience, attracting many followers and inspiring the millions who practice yoga today. Love Offering $$

Watch the trailer for Awake

 

 

 

 

Heart Centered Living’s Winter Fermentation Workshop

Taught by Erick Clasen and Bonnie Pecka

The workshop will be held on Monday, March 14th, 2016 from 6:00-8:00 PM at the First Congregational Church, 30 Main Street Binghamton, New York.

Class will be held downstairs in the church kitchen.

Sourdough bread and beet kvass will be the stars of this workshop. There will be samples of both sourdough bread and beet kvass to taste. Additionally, there will be samples of fermented foods such as kimchi, hot pepper sauce and garlic dill pickles. These samples are all made by traditional fermentation methods. Samples of beverages such as kombucha and water kefir will be available as well.

Sourdough Bread

baked-bread
Homemade Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread is healthy because the fermentation process breaks down a lot of the anti-nutrients in the grains. It is also self-preserving. It may get hard with age but will rarely get moldy. It’s amazing how fermentation can be used to naturally preserve food instead of using harmful chemicals. Sourdough bread is easier to make than you would think. Why not give it a shot?

Beet Kvass

Homemade Beet Kvass
Homemade Beet Kvass

Beet kvass is a fermented tonic and a snap to make. It’s a delicious choice to incorporate into your health and wellness tool belt any time of the year. Because it is packed full of probiotics, vitamins and enzymes, it is not only tasty, but healthy and nourishing. In addition to beets, other things can be added to flavor (and further fortify) the beet kvass, such as ginger, garlic, citrus, etc.


Workshop attendees will participate in making their own sourdough starter and beet kvass fermentations to take home.

Registration: The workshop cost is $25 per person and also covers supplies. Seating is limited. Please register for this workshop by Friday, March 11th. Registration is as simple as calling or messaging Erick at 607-226-6943 to make a commitment to attend. Call today to join us for this fun and informative workshop.


Bonnie Pecka is a registered nurse and lives in Greene, NY. She is the author of One Small Pebble, a leading website and inbox magazine for empowering individuals around the world who want to make healthy change happen. You can learn more about her and the magazine by visiting http://onesmallpebble.com/

Erick Clasen lives in Maine, NY and has started collecting food recipes and has basic fermentation information made available online at http://oils-of-life.com/blog/category/recipes/ and http://oils-of-life.com/fermentation/

 

Winter-Fermentation-Workshop-Flyer PDF File

Fried Apples With Ginger Essential Oil

I have been using Young Living Essential Oils in recipes for some time now and I wanted to share this one as it is simple and tasty.

Frying apples in a pan until they become soft makes them into a semi-applesauce that is a great warm topping for anything from ice cream, pancakes to yogurt.

Apples do keep well in a refrigerator, in fact many apples that are purchased into the summer have been kept in cold storage since the previous fall. But, many times when there is an abundance of apples there are too many to eat before they start to decline if left at room temperature.  Frying some up is a great way to make use of them.

Method

There is nothing precise involved in this recipe, approximate and adjust to taste as needed.

  1. Take 2-3 apples and peel and core them.
  2. Cut pieces into dice sized chunks.
  3. Warm up a small pan ( 6-8 inches ) with oil or butter or both, start with medium heat. A light olive oil and butter are a good combination. The volume of oil/butter should be in the 2 tbsp range. The idea is to have enough oil in the pan to promote good heat transfer to the apple chunks and keep them from sticking to the pan.
  4. Add apple chunks and keep at medium heat for a few minutes, then reduce and stir occasionally.
  5. When the apples are steamy, add flavoring such as one teaspoon of cinnamon powder, 1-2 drops Young Living Ginger Essential Oil. Other suggested spices are nutmeg, cardamom.
  6. Stir occasionally until the apple pieces start to break down and release a bit of their sauce. Then it is done.
Salting Apples in Pan
Salting Apples in Pan

Options

Optionally a small amount of honey, preferably or sugar can be added, this is helpful if the apples are tart, to balance out the flavors. Also a pinch of salt actually can bring out more natural sweetness and enhance the flavor profile of the topping.


Young Living Oils

Christine Guidelli has just launched a website that focuses on Young Living Essential Oils. You can find out more information about the oils there.

http://yldist.com/chrisguidelli/

 

 

Rescheduled: Heart Centered Living’s Fall Fermentation Workshop

Taught by Erick Clasen and Bonnie Pecka

The workshop will be held on October 19th from 6:00-8:00 PM at the First  Congregational Church, 30 Main Street Binghamton, New York. Class will be held downstairs in the church kitchen.

The focus of this workshop will be on the basics of fermenting foods. Fermented foods are not only healthy (full of probiotics, vitamins and minerals), they are easy to make and also extremely tasty.

Sauerkraut, fermented ginger and carrots and sweet potato fly, a delicious drink for the fall season, will be the stars of this workshop. Sauerkraut is an old favorite that many people are familiar with and is a good starting point for trying to ferment your own foods. Fermented carrots and ginger are a zesty combination that introduces a bit of experimental flavoring into the fermentation process.

You will have the opportunity to taste these at the workshop. Besides samples of sauerkraut and carrot / ginger ferment, there will be kombucha, water kefir, and four varieties of sweet potato fly.

Workshop attendees will participate in making their own sauerkraut and carrot / ginger fermentations to take home.

Sweet Potato Fly

This is a traditional fermented drink that comes from Guyana, located on the northern coast of South America. After experimenting with a number of batches, we thought it would fit right in with the fall harvest season. All attendees will be given the opportunity to taste 4 versions of this drink and will be provided with written guidelines so they can make it at home.

Registration

The workshop cost is $20 per person. Seating is limited. Please register for this workshop by Friday October 16th.

Registration is as simple as sending an email or calling Erick at 607-226-6943 and make a commitment to attend.

Call or email today to join us for this fun and informative workshop.


Bonnie Pecka lives in Greene,NY and is the author of One Small Pebble, a leading website and inbox magazine for empowering individuals around the world who want to make healthy change happen. You can learn more about her and the magazine by visiting http://onesmallpebble.com/

Erick Clasen lives in Maine,NY and has started collecting food recipes and fermentation information online that can be viewed by going to food-recipes and fermentation.