Recipes

Crunchy Kale Chips Recipe

When you’re watching TV and looking for something to nosh on, forget the greasy potato chips that just leave your stomach upset. Instead, go for kale chips! If you haven’t tried them yet, they’re thin, crisp bites of green goodness that satisfy your craving for a little crunch. 

Sure, you can find them at the grocery store, but they can get pricy. Plus, making them at home means making them your own. You can season them with nothing more than sea salt, or kick them up with cayenne pepper, black pepper, cumin, curry or any other spice you like. 

The best part about any green is that they contain chlorophyll, which is how plants get energy from the sun. When you eat them, you take on this vibrant energy. Other benefits?

Dark Leafy Greens:

  • Detoxify your body
  • Are a source of fibre, vitmains and minerals
  • Contain antioxidants that eliminate free radicals
  • Can reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease  

So it’s an easy guess that I like to eat greens daily. Some favorites are broccoli, escarole, Swiss chard, collards, dandelion greens, spinach and, of course, kale. 

This recipe is just one way to get a dose of these nutrient-dense power foods into your diet. Your kids will love them, too. Pop them into their lunch boxes for a healthy, satisfying snack! They also make the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. 

Crunchy Kale Chips 

From the Institute for Integrative Nutrition:

Ingredients
1 -2 bunches kale
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  2. Remove the kale leaves from the stalks, leaving them in large pieces.
  3. Pour the oil into a bowl. Dip your fingers into the oil and massage a very light coat over the kale. Season well with salt.
  4. Place the kale on baking sheet in a single layer (cook in batches if necessary) and bake for 5 minutes, or until they start to turn a bit brown. Keep an eye on them, as they can burn quickly!
  5. Flip and bake until both sides are golden and crisp. Remove and cool completely.

Go green and give Kale Chips a try! Your body (taste buds included!) will thank you. Then, let me know what you think in the comments below or join the fun on Instagram

Healing Tonic: Beet Kvass Recipe

Beet Kvass is a fermented, healing tonic. It originated in Eastern Europe, where it was originally prepared by fermenting stale bread. The resulting liquid was taken to fight against illness and disease. Today, you’ll find that kvass made from beets is just as healthy (if not more). Plus, it’s a bit tastier than stale bread! 

Beets are a delicious ruby-red root vegetable, most abundant during the late-summer and fall months. They have a unique grassy, earthy flavour that helps you feel more energetically rooted to the ground. 

You’ll find that a shot glass full of fresh-made kvass will have you looking and feeling healthy and vibrant. In fact, it will even provide you with a more sustainable energy boost than your 3pm coffee fix. Beets are already full of nutrients, but when fermented, you get a dose of gut-friendly bacteria to boot!

Benefits of Beet Kvass:*

  • Aids in digestion
  • Cleanses the liver
  • Boosts energy
  • Promotes blood alkalinity
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Excellent source of fibre (which is great for staying regular)

This tonic is simple to prepare with only 3 ingredients (water, salt and beets). You can have up to 2-4 ounces per day. I usually take about ¼ cup daily. Drink up, or use the liquid to make my gorgeous Cherry Blossom (Cauliflower) Kvass

Cheers to your health! 

Beet Kvass

Ingredients
2 cups water
1 ½ tsp. sea salt
1 medium beet, small dice

Equipment
1-litre glass Mason jar with lid
Mesh strainer

Directions

  1. Combine the water and salt to create brine. Set aside. 
  2. Fill the Mason jar with the diced beets. 
  3. Pour the brine over the beets, leaving one inch of space at the top of the jar. 
  4. Place the lid on tightly and let it ferment at room temperature, about 70-85° F (21-20° C).
  5. Let it sit on the counter for 2 weeks, turning it upside down every day for the first week. This will allow the gas to build up so that the beets stay covered in the brine.
  6. When ready, strain the liquid into a clean jar and store it in the fridge. You can use the leftover beets in salads and rice bowls. 

Ready to fall in love with kvass? Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments below or join the conversation on Instagram

*Reference: Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

Fermented Ginger Carrots & Fall Veggie Guide

With fall just around the corner, there are a ton of fruits and vegetables entering their prime. If you’ve been eager to expand your palate and eat healthier foods more often, now is the perfect time. Plus, with new fall routines taking shape, this season provides us with a fresh opportunity to try new things and form new habits. 

Next time you head to the market, pick up some of autumn’s beautiful bounty. A few of the best fall veggies for fermenting include: 

  • Beets
  • Greens
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Apples (Spiced Apple Kraut is amazing! Recipe coming soon…)
The Beauty of Autumn

All these vegetables offer their own health benefits, so it’s good to mix it up throughout the season. However, I have a special affinity for carrots. My Simply Delicious Fermented Ginger Carrots recipe was the first one I made when I started to teach myself how to ferment foods. They were so good, even my kids ate them! 

It was a great way to introduce all that gut-boosting bacteria into our diets. It inspired me to try fermenting other vegetables and I haven’t stopped since. If you’re a beginner and have fear around starting, this is a great go-to, as it only takes a few days to ferment on your counter. 

The best part? Carrots are rich in Vitamin A (which your skin loves), Vitamin C, Vitamin K and other micronutrients. They also have a high fibre content, which makes them a great prebiotic food. Prebiotic foods feed the beneficial bacteria (the probiotics) living in our gut. Plus, the ginger is a wonderful addition for aiding in digestion and relieving digestive discomfort. Not to mention how much flavour it adds to this recipe. 

Fermented Ginger Carrots, using an airlock top

Fermented Ginger Carrots, using an airlock top

Simply Delicious Fermented Ginger Carrots

Ingredients
2 cups filtered water
1 ½ tsp. unrefined sea salt
4 cups grated carrots
1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger

1 probiotic capsule 

Equipment
Small glass jar
½ gallon Mason jar or fermentation crock

Directions

  1. Pour the water and sea salt in a small glass jar and mix until the salt is completely dissolved to create brine. Set aside.
  2. Combine the carrots and ginger and place into a Mason jar or fermentation crock. Pack down firmly with your fist or a tamper and remove any air bubbles.
  3. Pour the brine over the carrots until the water level is just above the carrots. Leave room in the jar, as the carrots will release more liquid.
  4. Be sure to cover your jar with a tea towel fastened with a rubber band to block out any light. Leave the carrots on the counter for 3 days. 
  5. Transfer to fridge when ready. Enjoy!

Give this fall recipe (and my favourite fall vegetables) a try, then follow up with me in the comments below! Or, join the conversation on Instagram

Preserve Summer: Dill Pickles Recipe

As the summer ends, there’s a lot to start missing about the season. Sunny days at the beach or pool, excuses for long weekend trips and longer daylight hours are just some of summer’s best qualities. But there’s another thing I’ll be missing as the weather cools: cucumbers! Luckily, fermentation allows my favorite vegetables to be preserved well past their usual prime. 

If you’re like me and don’t want to let cucumber season get away, pickling is a great option. Not only do you get to continue enjoying them, but your body also gets to enjoy the many health benefits of cultured foods. 

Pickles are just one example of a fermented food that people love, but most store-bought varieties have skipped the fermentation process. Instead, they’re made through a quick-pickling method, meaning they get their flavor by adding acid. This way, the pickles don’t have to formulate healthy bacteria. 

My Dill Pickles are actually fermented, meaning they undergo the lacto-fermentation process to self-preserve by creating beneficial bacteria. This method is healthier and better for your gut. Win-win!

Dill Pickles

Yields: 1 gallon

Ingredients
4 lbs. small cucumbers
2 bulbs garlic, peeled and chopped
1 handful dill weed
1 handful grape leaves (or other tannin-rich leaves)
1 Tbsp. peppercorns
2 tsp. minced horseradish
1 tsp. hot chili pepper flakes
2 ½ quarts spring or filtered water
¼ cup sea salt

Equipment
1-gallon crock or jar* 

Directions

  1. Get the pickles ready: Gently wash the cucumbers. Place the garlic, dill weed, grape leaves, peppercorns, horseradish and chili pepper flakes in a 1-gallon crock.
  2. Fill the crock: Tightly pack the cucumbers in the crock, placing larger cucumbers at the bottom. Combine the water and salt to make brine and pour over the cucumbers. Put a plate or other weight on top of the cucumbers and add brine to completely submerge all of the ingredients. Cover the crock with a towel held in place with a rubber band.
  3. Time to ferment: In a few days, fermentation will begin. Bubbling can last anywhere from 2-4 weeks, depending on the temperature. When bubbling has ceased, sample a cucumber. If it has not pickled through to the center, give them some more time. When they are fully pickled, transfer to fridge for storage. (A half-sour pickle will still be raw and crunchy in the center.)

*Gut Girl Note: This recipe can also be made in two 2-liter jars—simply divide the seasonings between them.

Heal Your Gut! My Dill Pickles recipe is just one of many ways to prepare fresh ingredients that will assist in maintaining a healthy gut flora. If you want more information, check out my free Daily Gut-Healing Checklist