Friday, 29 April 2016

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Water Kefir



I've been researching a lot on how to heal my gut. Many articles state that diets which are rich in natural probiotics do help the gut to heal. I decided to try water kefir.

When I first heard that water kefir needs sugar to ferment, my mind revolted. I mean, sugar gives me PAIN! Excruciating pain. After researching about it, I understood that the water kefir grains needed the sugar to thrive. It will 'consume' the sugar and turn it into beneficial bacterial and yeast. It actually has a lot of beneficial microbes!

Here is a list of the beneficial microbes that water kefir can contain:
(*different grains and conditions may produce different kinds of strains)

Bacteria:
Acetobacter.
a. fabarum.
a. orientalis.

Bacillus.
b. subtilis.
b. graveolus.

Lactobacillus.
l. acidophilus.
l. alactosus.
l. brevis has been identified as the species responsible for the production of the polysaccharide (dextran) that forms the grains.
l. bulgaricus.
l. casei. Produces lots of lactic acid; colonises well in the gastric tract; creates a favourable medium in which other beneficial bacteria can grow; inhibits putrefaction and harmful bacteria; increases immune function; helps protect against bacterial infections.
l. casei ss. (subspecies) casei.
L. casei ss. pseudoplantarum.
l. casei ss. rhamnosus.
l. casei ss. tolerans.
l. coryneformis ss. torquens.
l. fructosus.
l. hilgardii.
l. homohiochi.
l. hordei.
l. nagelii.
l. plantarum. Produces lactic acid; fights listeria monocytogenes; makes plantaricin; inhibits a large number of Gram-positive bacteria - the type of bacteria that cause spoilage.
l. plantarum.
l. pseudoplantarum.
l. reuterietc.
l. yamanashiensis.

Leuconostoc.
l. mesenteroides.
l. citreum.

Pediococcus damnosus.

Streptococcus.
s. agalactiae.
s. bovis.
s. cremoris. Has similar properties to s. lactis.
s. diacetylactis. Produces carbon dioxide in the kefir; makes diacetyl, which gives kefir its characteristic odour; other properties similar to s. lactis.
s. faecalis.
s. lactis. Produces lactic acid, aids digestion, inhibits harmful microorganisms, produces bacteriolysins.
s. mutans.
s. pneumonia.
s. pyogenes.
s. salivarius.
s. sanguinis.
s. suis.
s. viridans.
Yeasts:
Candida.

c. lambica.
c. lamica.
c. gueretana.
c. valida.

Hansenula valbyensis.

Kloeckera apiculata.

Lachancea fermentati.

Saccharomyces.
s. bayanus.
s. boulardii.
s. cerevisiae.
s. florentinus.
s. pretoriensis.
s. uvarum.

Torulopsis insconspicna.

Zygotorulaspora florentina.
*the above list of microbes is taken from HERE

Longer fermentation will result in lesser sugar content. 

I got my kefir grains from a very helpful friend. And she gave me a brief lesson on how to ferment the water kefir grains. 

As I got to know the water kefir grains, I discovered that the grains ferment best for 24 hours. As the temperature of each person's house varies, the fermentation period varies. Once the first round of fermentation is completed, I will strain the water into another clean jug and add some fruit (apple, pear, goji berry...etc). I will put a lid onto that jar and let it ferment for another 24 hours. I will then place it in the fridge. The result tasted like a can of Heineken beer. Joel said that it tasted like 100 plus! There isn't any sweetness left after the second fermentation. 

Here are some ground rules to fermenting water kefir:

1. DO NOT use chlorinated water. The kefir grains WILL die. No chemicals are allowed too.

2. DO NOT use metal spoons or strainers. Use plastic strainers. Apparently the metal will affect the kefir rendering them to be less effective.

3. DO NOT pour hot water as it will kill them.

4. DO NOT use honey as the antibacterial properties will kill the kefir grains.

5. DO talk to them as they thrive on sound. (I was told of this when I attended a workshop!)

6. Do use sugar which has a good amount of mineral content. 

For more information, click on LINK

You can also click HERE to read more. 

So far, I've only tested a tablespoon and I haven't really started drinking it. I'm still in the experimenting stage. By the way, the water kefir grains will ferment the sugar and produce alcohol! HIC! HIC! HIC!!! 


Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Thermomix Papaya Sorbet


Ingredients:

1. 500gm of frozen papaya (in cube size)

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1. Place the frozen papaya cubes into the Thermomix jug.

2. Close the lid and set 1 1/2 minutes/and slowly increase to speed 10.


3. Pour out onto bowl and serve cold.
4. You can add any toppings to your liking.

Bon appetit!

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Thermomix Purple-Carrot Bread


Ingredients:

1. 85gm purple carrot (skin peeled)

2. 200gm water
3. 400gm organic high-protein strong bread flour
4. 30gm oil
5. 1/2 teaspoon yeast
6. A pinch of salt
7. 1 teaspoon of sugar
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1. Place carrot into TMX jug and set 10seconds/speed 6.

2. Scrape down the sides of the jug.

3. Add 200gm of water and set turbo 2 seconds.

4. Add the sugar and the yeast.

5. Set 2mins/37C/Speed 1.

6. Add 400gm flour, salt and oil.

7. Knead for 3 minutes.
8. Set aside and allow it to rise/double in size. (*Wet your hands when handling dough.)

9. Line a loaf tin with baking paper. Knock the dough down and place the dough into the baking tin and allow it to rise again.

10. Preheat oven to 180C.

11. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

12. Set aside to cool before serving.

Bon appetit!


Saturday, 9 April 2016

The Love Affair with Sugar




*pictures taken from HERE

To read more about Malaysians and their love affair with sugar, click on LINK.


Monday, 4 April 2016

No Sugar = Life?

It has been 16 months since I ditched sugar from my life. By that I mean that I do not cook with sugar, drink or eat sugar.

Why such a drastic step you ask.

Sugar actually gave me problems.

It gave me such excruciating pain in my shoulders and neck to the point that I couldn't move my arms without being crippled with acute pain. I even saw a physician who specialised in rheumatology. I had thought I had the 3-in-1 disease which were arthritis, fybromyalgia and rheumatism. I couldn't sleep or function. I felt I was losing my mind from the pain.

It went on for years as I never suspected that sugar was the culprit.

It was only after the emergency surgery that I had two years back that I stumbled upon the possibility of sugar being the culprit.

There are times where I crave for sugar so bad that I could KILL for it!

There are times where I was so desperate that I ate something with sugar and then spat it out and rinsed my mouth many times.

I miss desserts very, very, very, very, very much.

But you see, one day after many weeks of abstaining from sugar, it suddenly dawned on me that I was PAIN-FREE! I was sceptical of course. Hence, I started eating sugar again. The pain hit me and it was so bad that I felt that I had been run over by a tanker. I stopped the sugar immediately and the pain left again after many days.

These days, I would know whether the manufacturers of certain food (chips or gluten-free biscuits) which state they do not have sugar are telling the truth. The excruciating pain would come back. And I would know that I can't buy that to eat when my tastebuds behave like a pregnant woman.

Do any of you abstain from sugar? If so, why? And what do you use as a substitute for sugar?

Do share your story.