Things I Love About the Healthy Living Bundle

Do you ever feel like you’re lost in a jungle instead of growing a garden?

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Do you feel frustrated that you have to keep trying to feed your kids good choices?

IMG_0200Tired of deciding which essential oil you should use?

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Feel like all your chickens are plotting against you?

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Puzzled by wild foods?

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Okay, okay, so I’m being a little silly. But if you’ve ever tried to live a healthy lifestyle and felt frustration along the way, I get it. I’m right there with you.This is one of the only times I am super, over the moon excited about an online product. One of the only times I will go on and on about why I’m buying something (and why you should too). One of the only times I will unapologetically spend $30 on something “just for me”– even though it’s quite clearly for my family too. It’s Healthy Living Bundle Time! (This post contains affiliate links.) 

What is the Healthy Living Bundle?

The bundle is a collection of e-books, e-courses, printables, and product bonuses from some of the best bloggers and companies across the web. Each resource focuses on a different aspect of healthy living to help address a wide variety of reader concerns, questions, and goals. The bundle is a super deal (less than $30) offered for a very short amount of time (cough, cough- the deal ends Monday at 11:59).

Here’s some of what I love about the Healthy Living Bundle.

1) It’s got a gazillion resources that you’ll actually use. 

A gazillion actually means 80+, but hey, that’s something like a gazillion when you’re only one person. The bundle covers topics from healthy eating to fitness to alternative health and essential oils. It’s got sections on gardening, homesteading, and healthy kids. For the ladies, the bundle includes a section on pregnancy and women’s health. No matter what your natural health interests, it’s got something for you.

2) It’s cheap. 

If you bought all the e-books, courses, and bonus products that come free with the healthy living bundle, do you know what it would cost you? $2,669.53. Do you know what the cost of the bundle is? $29.97. I don’t know about your math skills, but to me, that seems like some pretty serious subtraction. If you were eyeing up only one or two of these resources, chances are the bundle will pay for itself VERY quickly.

3) It’s inspiring. 

I’ve always wanted to be skeptical of gimmicks, courses, challenges, and life-fix-it courses. While I’ve kept a healthy dose of realism (no product is going to change my life in 3 easy steps), I have come to accept that resources like the Healthy Living Bundle truly help inspire me to reach my goals. I can’t help it- When I have a list to check off, I tend to be more productive. When I have a great new cookbook, I’m going to try a new healthy recipe. When I have a garden planner, I want to make next year’s growing season the best it can be. The bundle gives me the kick in the pants I need to get back on track. Whatever works, man.

4) The bonuses! 

The bundle comes with over $250 in free products– just pay the shipping to get it to your house. Examples of some of the bonuses included in your bundle cost are:

  • Free Meyer’s detergent & fabric softener ($32.66)
  • Free Trilight herbal formula ($15.00)
  • Free organic maca powder ($15.44)
  • Free “Dirty Mouth” tooth powder from Primal Life Organics ($15.97)
  • Gift certificate to Perfect Supplements ($15.00)
  • Free eyeshadow trio from Orglamix ($18.00)
  • Free 6 month membership to Meal Garden, a meal planning service ($35.70)
  • And several MORE, including a kombucha tea blend, liquid probiotics, skin care products, and a health magazine.

5) It’s risk free. 

If for some reason you buy the Healthy Living Bundle and you really don’t think it’s for you, you’ve got a whole YEAR to return it and get your money back. That is a serious guarantee, and one you will rarely find in any online product.

6.) It’s supporting small business owners everywhere. 

Bloggers everywhere are supporting the Healthy Living Bundle, first and foremost because it’s a great product. But you should also know that when you buy the bundle through my site, or any other blogger’s site, we receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

I try to keep my sales posts rare and worth your time, and only promote products I really believe in. The products I promote are ones that I think my readers will find useful and affordable. The Healthy Living Bundle meets this criteria spot on.

When you buy through my site, you are helping to put dinner on our table and keep our lights on. Literally. Thank you in advance for supporting us in this way!

In short, this bundle rocks. 

Even before I blogged, I would drool a little over these bundles and wonder if they were really worth it. Once I finally bought one, I never looked back. The Healthy Living Bundle is worth every penny.

By the way,in my usual procrastinator style, I have waited until the last possible day to write a post about this. The Bundle is only available until 11:59 EST on Monday, September 26th. Check it out before it’s gone for another year!

Before Adding an Animal to the Homestead

I have a a daydream that goes like this: I own a sprawling property that covers acres of rolling hills and lightly wooded areas. Sheep and goats mill about through the pastures and chickens dot the landscape. There’s a family of ducks quacking about on our quiet pond, and we have several sources of peacefully raised and processed meat. Of course, the loyal family dog is also there, and he greets you noisily but merrily.

Reality: I got chickens, rabbits, and a goat. I love them dearly, but they’re also a big responsibility.

It’s easy to become enamored with (and addicted to) homestead animals. Each new addition is enthralling and delightful. We keep thinking of excuses to get more chickens. (Just one more, honey, I promise.) We tend to say yes to friends who need homes for their animals. We wonder, what difference would one more goat make? When we hear of free guinea hens, we think, why the heck not?

Here are some points to consider before you decide to buy a homestead animal.

Maybe you’re an experienced farmstead extraordinaire. Perhaps you’re just at the stage where you think chickens are cute but you’ve never smelled inside a dirty coop. Regardless, you should know that you must consider each animal carefully before you add it to your homestead.

Here are some factors for consideration:

1) Housing 

Every animal needs a home, and many animals have particular needs. Chickens need a coop with nesting boxes and a roosting pole. Rabbits like to have a hide-away place. Goats need super-awesome fencing and a shelter for the night. Plan your animals’ housing carefully to make sure that they are warm, comfortable, and safe from potential predators.

2) Feed

I hate to say it, but animals eat too. Depending on the animal and your purposes for it, you’ll need to provide pasture, kitchen scraps, grain, hay, and/or other food and supplements. You can try to do as much of it as you can inexpensively, but all animal feed options either take time or money.

Consider animal food needs before adding them to your homestead.

3) Health Care

Do you know how to trim a goat’s hooves? Figure out whether or not your birds have parasites? Separate a sick animal from its companions? Deal with a litter of baby bunnies found dead in the early morning?

I don’t want to be intimidating– we didn’t know how to do any of this when we first started acquiring animals. However, you must be prepared to do a little research and jump in with both feet when your animal has a health need.

4) Cost

All of these animal needs cost money. We got into raising animals ultimately to save money, and sometimes that has worked out really well. However, there have been lots of times when they’ve cost us more than they’re worth, and that can be disheartening and frustrating.

We are still trying to work out how to raise animals as frugally as possible. The best advice I can give you is to research inexpensive methods, try to be resourceful whenever possible, and be prepared to adjust if you find something is costing you more than you would like. Now, to go take my own advice!

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5) Responsibility

Dairy animals need to be milked twice a day. TWICE A DAY. And finding willing victims helpers who are able to milk while you go on vacation can be difficult. Bear this in mind before you buy your goat or cow.

All animals, however, require daily chores. Food, water, cleaning, moving, and tending to as necessary are all part of keeping farm animals. It can be a big commitment at times. Not to mention it requires some level of physical strength to complete the tasks– I can do a lot of it, but I often need my husband to help with some of the heavier lifting.

6) Neighbors

We are SO blessed with awesome neighbors who either have animals themselves or who are very forgiving of our rogue chickens and the occasional escapee goat. Let’s see if they still like us when our noisy guinea fowl are full-grown.

However, not all neighbors enjoy a runaway rooster dust bathing in their flower beds, or horses perusing their backyards. (Yes, that happened to us. Multiple times.) Consider an animal’s noise level, smell, ranging limits, and safeness before adding one to your property. Be considerate of neighbors and be sure that your animal choices will bring peace to your community, not war and increased legislation. Always be sure to check your local regulations too!

I said yes to free guinea fowl. #guineafowl #homesteadingit #imustbecrazy

A photo posted by Abigail Zieger (@theyrenotourgoats) on

7) Animal Interaction 

Will your animals live with each other? Will your cat kill your chicks? Can a pig and a goat get along? Does one animal present any bio-security hazards to another? Consider how well your animals will interact with one another, and ensure that you have adequate space and housing if certain animals need to be kept away from one another.

8) Usefulness

This might seem harsh to some, but I am at a point in my life where if an animal isn’t useful to me, I won’t keep it. I love dogs, but I can’t afford to feed one just for companionship. If an animal doesn’t feed my family or take care of predators for me, I’m not going to spend my time and money on it.

You, however, may have the resources necessary to raise an animal purely for your own enjoyment. It can be a wonderful experience– even therapeutic– to care for other creatures. If it brings joy to your heart and you are ready for the responsibility, then by all means, don’t let me discourage you from having an animal simply as a pet!

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Don’t let all of these considerations scare you. Animals can be a lot of work, but they can also be a lot of fun. I admit– sometimes I’d like to ship our animals off to another house for a while– but most of the time, I’m really glad we have them and I’m grateful for their provisions.

Have any other advice? What animals do you own?

 

Moon Song (Saturday Song)

It’s time for another edition of the few and far between “Saturday Song” posts!

Moon Song is about “The moon, father time, and the way things change, or don’t.” As usual, I’ll let the song speak for itself.

Written by my husband, Timothy Zieger. Copyright 2016.

How to Grow Your Own Sprouts

Salad sprouts are so tasty and good for you. They’re also rather pricey. $4 and up for a teeny box of half-dead grocery sprouts? No thank you.

Grow your own salad sprouts at home- inexpensively!

This post contains affiliate links.

Thankfully, growing your own sprouts is easy and fun to do. You need very little- a screw-top jar, some water, and, of course, sprouting seeds! Sprouting seeds can be purchased online  or from a local health food store, and they come in many different varieties. While $12-20 for one bag may sound like a lot, the bag will give you way more sprouts than what you could purchase pre-grown for the same amount.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Put 2-3 tablespoons of sprouting seeds in a mason jar, covered with about four times as much water. (You could do more or less seeds, depending on how much you’ll eat at one time.) Screw on the lid and leave for about 12 hours at room temperature.
  2. Drain the seeds through a fine mesh colander or cheesecloth. Rinse very well with water. I like to spray mine with the hose attachment on high. Make sure seeds are well drained from the rinse.
  3. Put seeds back in the jar and cover with a paper towel and rubber band, or other loose covering that allows for air flow. Leave at room temperature for another 12 hours.
  4. Every 12 hours or so, re-rinse and drain the seeds. By the second day, you’ll see the beginning of little white sprouts. By day 2-3, the sprouts will grow longer and they are ready for eating.
  5. When the sprouts are ready to eat, rinse and drain one final time. Store in the refrigerator.

FAQs

What happens if I accidentally skip a rinsing? One skip probably won’t hurt. Don’t make a habit out of it, though. You don’t the sprouts growing mold.

How long can I store sprouts? I’ve never gone more than a week or two before eating them all, but I’d say to use your best judgment. If they start to get slimy, grow mold, or otherwise seem questionable, then toss them. Hopefully you’ll eat them before then!

How do I eat sprouts? Any way at all! Try sprouts in salads, on a sandwich, in your eggs, or as an appetizer topping. Use your imagination and see what you come up with!

Have you ever made your own sprouts? What’s your favorite way to enjoy them?

 

 

 

Kids Can (and Should!) Cook

I wrote this post a while back, but I’m realizing my own need to revisit it regularly. It’s easy to get frustrated with kids in the kitchen, and to just want to do it yourself to save time and hassle. I often forget the reasons why I so want them to learn to cook in the first place! So, here’s to you and me both working towards this goal together. Press on, parents of sous chefs.

(This post contains affiliate links.) 

Kids should cook.

Kids should know where food comes from. They should know food preparation basics. They should have the basic skills they need to cook a simple meal. And, ideally, they should enjoy doing it!

Kids Can Cook(J cooking his own egg for lunch. He’s able to do it from start to finish- with supervision at the stove, of course.)

“Anyone can cook, and most everyone should. It’s a sorry sign that many people consider ‘from scratch’ an unusual and even rare talent. In fact, cooking is a simple and rewarding craft, one that anyone can learn and even succeed at from the get-go.”How to Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food, by Mark Bittman.

I don’t want my children to grow up without a clue as to how to perform simple cooking tasks for themselves. I don’t want them to rely on microwaves and fast food joints. I’d hate for J to one day get his own apartment and stare at his stove in dismay, not knowing where to begin.

Why? Part of it is about life skills. A little home economics goes a long way for kids these days, especially when the push for more convenience and less labor is growing ever stronger. But more importantly, I want my kids to have a healthy relationship with food: to know where it comes from, to know what they’re putting into their bodies, to make moderate and nourishing choices when possible, and to be grateful for what they have.

How do we get started on this process? It can seem daunting at first, especially if you don’t cook too much yourself.

There are lots of kid’s cookbooks available, but these resources can be either a blessing or a curse. Sometimes they actually teach kids a simple recipe. Other times, however, they just teach children to microwave chicken nuggets and make a special dipping sauce out of three different condiments you already have in your fridge. Really? Is this cooking? Is this what we want our children to have in mind when they think of preparing a meal?

Look, I’m not a great cook, but I do an awful lot of it. And from the time my kids are very little, I have them in the kitchen with me, helping with simple tasks. Is it always easy? No. Do I get frustrated and fed up with them making a mess of things? Yes. Do I push them to do it perfectly? No. Do you end up with carrots in the silverware drawer? Yes. Is it worth it to teach them? Yes.

You can do this.

For the youngest children, just having them “work” alongside you is great. If you’re making bread, give them a small piece of dough to mold while you knead the big loaf. Give them a small amount of flour to draw in. Yes, it will get on their clothes and the floor. Can it be cleaned? Yes, and maybe you should invite them to help wipe it up with a towel.

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For 2-3 year olds, have them try simple kitchen tasks. Scooping cups of flour. Mixing ingredients in a bowl. Cracking eggs. Washing the potatoes before you peel them. Mashing the apples you’re cooking down into sauce.

For preschoolers, try having them begin sequencing tasks. For muffins: First we mix the dry ingredients, then the wet, then we gently put them together. Or, for an omelette: heat the pan, add the chopped veggies, whisk the eggs and milk, then pour the mixture onto the hot pan. Top with cheese while it’s cooking. Cooking is a homeschooling mom’s dream lesson- it’s great for beginning math (counting, adding, etc.), science (how does baking soda work?), and general life skills.

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You can have elementary aged children practice skills that require more coordination. J (not quite 5) is already practicing proper knife skills with a butter knife. Once your children are older, you can teach them to use a real knife- always supervised, of course. Older children can try recipes that require a little more finesse- like using a double boiler, or trying to cook eggs in different styles (over-medium, sunny-side up, hard-fried, etc.). Older children can read recipes themselves, plan a meal, and learn proper safety precautions for using the stove or oven.

My sister-in-law has each of her teenage children take a night of the week cooking, and they can make great meals for the whole family. The younger ones always have responsibilities to fulfill for the meal as well. Imagine what a good foundation they will have for when they leave the home!

While it’s true that I’ve spent a lot of times pulling my hair out while trying to guide my son in helping, we’ve had just as many times that cooking together has been an encouraging and bonding experience. Yes, it can be a lot of work at first, but the memories we have created are wonderful, and I am proud of all that he is learning in the kitchen.

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All that work is starting to pay off! J just made his first full meal for us last night- tuna burgers and toppings on homemade buns, with homemade ice cream for dessert. I had to help him with measuring (he can’t read yet), shaping the buns (he just needed a break from prep), and flipping the burgers (we don’t want burnt little hands!), but he did everything else himself. The resulting meal was delicious, and he was proud of it. In fact, he doesn’t even like tuna- but he ate it because he cooked it himself and wanted to take part in his meal.

Kids can cook, and they probably should too! A little energy and patience put into teaching them cooking skills will set them off on the right foot for healthy eating, independence, and food appreciation- for life!

Would you like a little help to guide you on the way? The Kids Cook Real Food course from Katie of Kitchen Stewardship looks like a wonderful resource. It’s definitely on my list to try! 

Three Simple Foraging Rules

Last month, I was enjoying our family reunion in Vermont. Clear skies, clean highways, miles of wildflowers and green mountains, and (atypical for this Pennsylvania girl) not a billboard in sight. I loved it.

Along with picturesque scenery and extra free time came foraging. It seemed like everywhere I looked there was a wild edible or medicinal. Even my nephew and son were delighting in how much wood sorrel there was in the yard by our rental.

“You guys know a lot about this stuff,” marveled Uncle V. “That’s cool, man,” he said with a nod.

In reality, as we assured our uncle,  we still have a lot to learn. While I frequently make use of friendly neighborhood weeds in homemade medicines, teas, and meals, we still are amateur foragers at best.

Here are three simple rules to help you forage safely, ethically and sustainably.

If you, like us, find yourself wishing you knew more about foraging, take heart. You can still enjoy feasting upon even the most mundane of wild-harvested oddities (i.e., dandelion greens) while you learn how to improve your foraging skills safely and sustainably. Here are some basic rules of foraging to abide by.

1)Know thy plants. Buy a guide to wild edibles. Ask the great Google for plant descriptions and photos. Learn about poisonous lookalikes and companion plants. Pay attention to details of leaf shape, seasonal changes and growth, fruit arrangements, etc. Know when you can eat a plant, what parts of the plant you can eat, and how it is best consumed.

If you aren’t 100%, double checked, absolutely sure what a plant is and how to use it, don’t pick it. An innocent misidentification could lead to topical rashes, stomach upset, nasty side effects, or even death.

Now that I’ve scared you, you should know that foraging is generally quite safe as long as you’re well-researched and sensible. Just don’t start sticking everything in your mouth at once, okay?

2) Pick only what you need. If you pick all of the plant in one go, it won’t have a chance to come back the following year.A general rule of thumb is to harvest no more than 10% of the total plants available, and no more than 25% of any one individual plant. For example, let’s say there are 100 nettle plants in my goat field– I should only harvest about a quarter of the leaves of each individual plant, and make sure that I don’t take more than about 10 plants in total.

If there’s only one or two plants in the area, then it’s better not to pick at all. If you leave them to their own devices, hopefully there will be more the following year to return to and enjoy more fully for years to come.

And of course, take only what you need. You want to leave the plants there to help promote a thriving ecosystem. Remember that it’s not just you that enjoys eating plants!

3) Pick in legal and safe locations. If you suspect that the wild apple tree on the side of the road is on private property, do be sure to ask permission from the property owners before claiming a bushel. Also, double check with the rules of your local parks before making off with an abundance of a precious resource that is actually protected for ecological reasons.

And of course, avoid areas where pesticides, roadside fumes, or toxic run-off could be compromising your plants.

While these guidelines may seem like no-brainers, it’s easy for a newbie forager to become overzealous and forget to use common sense. Remember these simple rules as you traipse about searching for wild edibles, and you will ensure a safe and principled foraging expedition.

 

When Homesteading Ain’t No Fun

It’s August and I haven’t written in three weeks. Whoops.

We had a family reunion in Vermont, and it seems that I never got back into the groove of writing after a week away. Perhaps I’ve been in a bit of a post-vacation funk.

Enjoying a family reunion away from the homestead.

(Re-uning.)

There’s been a lot on our plates– Life decisions to be made, a homeschool year to organize, sibling arguments to mitigate, budgets to balance, lurking unfulfilled ambitions, and the feeling that we’ll never get it all together. To be totally honest, keeping up with the homesteady stuff on top of it all has just felt like one more big chore to complete.

I drag my feet out to the rabbits and chickens every morning, baby in the Boba backpack and shrilly screaming children misbehaving every 56 seconds, or so it seems. The grass is wet and I can’t drag the rabbit tractor without slipping around. I inadvertently step in poop. I open the chicken coop and accidentally let a rooster escape. My son grabs the hose from my hands while I’m filling the waterers so he can make a rainbow. It takes me 30 minutes to do 10 minutes worth of chores.

A girl and her goat.

(A girl and her goat.)

And whatever the heck I’m trying to do, I’m often doing it wrong. I planted lots of stuff in the wrong places this year. I under-cooked our home processed rooster, and over-cooked the store bought chicken. I forgot about the extra rhubarb stocks in the back of the fridge where they lay in wait until they were moldy. I’ve broken 2 dishes in 36 hours. I’m spending WAY more money at the grocery store than I used to and all my self-reliant bragging is coming back to haunt me.

This isn’t always easy. Or fun.

But no one necessarily said it would be.

Today, I’m reminding myself of lots of blessings so I won’t be so tempted to complain.

This land, these animals, the plants from the earth are truly a provision for our family. There’s been more than once I have literally thanked God for having food in our backyard because we couldn’t afford to buy much. And though I’m not always super-efficient, raising our own food is usually a significant savings compared to the grocery store.

The hard work is good for us. It builds character. It reminds us that we’re not always in control of everything. It makes us persevere when I would really rather just sit back and order Chinese every night.

Kids on the Homestead

And best of all, I’ve got a loving family to do it with. Even though the kids can be a challenge, they are also an absolute joy. Really, trying to homestead without them would be positively boring. I can only hope that these early years will teach them much about caring for the world around them and being thankful for what they have. I desire that they look back on these memories with fondness.

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And then there’s my husband– gardener, farmer, builder, musician, repairman, innovator, motivator, lover, father, friend. He runs the grand majority of this operation, and I am so incredibly thankful for him.

Though it may not always be a barrel of laughs, I wouldn’t trade this life for anything. <3

Garlic-Fennel Radish Butter

Radishes! We just harvested a bumper crop of these ruby beauties last week.

Fresh radishes from the garden, going to be turned into a compound radish-butter.

There are few ways I really enjoy eating my radishes: roasted radishes, fermented radish pickles, and this glorious creation: radish butter.

Turn some of your radish crop into this savory and addictive compound radish butter!My radish butter is a spin-off of this great recipe from Grow It Cook It Can It. That one is splendidly delicious too, so if you have fresh fennel and marjoram I encourage you to give her recipe a try.

However, alas!- I was lacking some of those fresh ingredients, so I have come up with my own version. This is a mini-recipe, using only a half a pound of butter, so feel free to double or triple it as you feel is appropriate.

(As a side note, you can save the radish tops as an edible green. I like to dehydrate mine and grind them up into super green powder. Give it a try.)

Garlic-Fennel Radish Butter

  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 2-3 radishes, finely minced
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried fennel seed
  • sprinkle of black pepper

Simply prepare & mix up the ingredients. That’s it.

Mix up some fresh ingredients to create deliciously addictive radish butter.

A little spicy, deliciously savory, and strangely addictive.

Store your radish butter in the fridge, or freeze it for a few months at a time to thaw out for later.

Enjoy!

Yummy compound garlic-fennel radish butter!

 

How to Ferment Rhurbarb (+ Probiotic Rhubarb Lemonade Recipe)

Rhubarb pie in the summer

Rhubarb pie made by my mother

Nothing better in the winter

Than rhubarb pie after dinner!

There you go. Now you, too, can sing this song to yourself repeatedly when rhubarb comes into season.

You’re welcome.

However, today, I am not going to talk about rhubarb pie or give you a recipe for one. (Though I might sing about it still.) Rhubarb pie is delicious, but let’s face it. There’s already a gazillion and one recipes for it out there and you don’t need mine too.

What you do need, however, is fermented rhubarb. If that makes you want to gag, you should first read about the awesomeness of fermentation. If you’re still with me, then you need to try this. Honestly, fermented rhubarb doesn’t taste terribly different from regular rhubarb. Besides that, it’s easy to make and it’s good for you. So there. 🙂

Fermented rhubarb is easy, healthy, and tasty too. Not convinced? Try this easy fermented rhubarb lemonade recipe!

Fermented Rhubarb

  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 2 Tbsp whey (leftover from cheese or yogurt-making)
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt (I use this one)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Simply mix all ingredients together and put in the fermenting vessel of your choice, leaving about 1″ headspace if you’re fermenting in a jar. Use a weight to ensure that the rhubarb stays beneath the brine. Install an airlock or properly burp your jars each day to allow for the venting of CO2 that builds up during the fermentation process. Allow to sit on the counter at room temperature for 4-7 days, then move to cold storage.

I use a Fermentools kit any time I ferment. It’s one of the least expensive kits out there, and you don’t need special jars or crocks because they fit on top of any wide mouth mason jar. It takes the guesswork out of fermenting for me. Less mistakes= money saved in the long run.

And of course, I promised you a Rhubarb Lemonade recipe too. This is super simple, and should use about half of the fermented rhubarb you just made, leaving you the other half to experiment with or eat straight from the jar. 🙂

A delicious way to get your daily probiotics- fermented rhubarb lemonade!

Probiotic Rhubarb Lemonade

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups chopped fermented rhubarb & its juices
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
  • More water to make a quart
  1. Mix sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat and stir until sugar dissolves to make a simple syrup. Let cool and chill.
  2. Mix simple syrup and rhubarb in a quart sized mason jar or other container. Add cold water to make a quart total.

And that’s it! You’ve got the good juices from the fermented rhubarb in your lemonade, so you’re getting a dose of probiotics with each sip. I haven’t tried this with a “double brew” technique as you would with kombucha, but if you’re feeling adventurous, give it a go.

Try it? Like it? Let me know how it went for you!

 

The Best Parts of June

Father’s Day: We celebrated with four families at our house on a sunny, humid, Pennsylvanian afternoon. Tim fired up the mud oven and I gloried in the delicious sights and smells of a roaring wood fire and grey smoke drifting across the yard. I prepared sourdough pizza crusts while listening to music turned up loud on my high school stereo that has survived years and multiple moves to come sit on top of our kitchen fridge. The kids played in the grass outside, getting dirty and hot and scraped up like kids do on summer days.

As I carried out unbaked pizzas to my husband on a wooden peel, I thought to myself, there’s not much better than this.

The Best Parts of June

Hot, sticky days under a clear blue sky make me feel alive. Perhaps it’s because they hearken back to a time when I had less responsibility and more dreams. Or maybe it’s the fact that we still get that “school’s out for the summer” feeling when my husband is done teaching. Likely, it’s the combination of more family time and the twitterpation effect of slower days spent together under the sun.

June is when we start to see new crops in the garden, like kale, radishes, and garlic scapes aplenty. It means ripening black raspberries and fresh strawberry picking. It’s when I can really start cooking meals with whatever is fresh and available.

Summer evenings avail themselves for family fishing trips, marshmallow roasting, fires built and lightning bug hunting. The evenings drawl on and the kids stay up late. Just last week, my son fell asleep as we spent time stargazing. My husband carried that big boy up the stairs and tucked him in like a baby.

June means festivals, fairs, and eating more hot dogs and ice cream than we should. It means letting the kids have a little extra money for silly little things like three minute pony rides or a big soft pretzel. We are normally so tight that we can’t indulge in these things, but for some reason summer nudges us and whispers to loosen up a little bit.

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An impromptu beach trip? Check. A picnic at a park? Check. Face painting? Check. I love seeing the kids discover and delight in it all. What else can we squeeze in before the summer days fly away from us?

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Let’s keep this summer thing rolling.